Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:29 am

The Steel Corps

Also nicknamed "The Steel Corpse."

America has long wanted to have a legion of super-powered soldiers in battle armor. The problems are manifold with this due to the fact the designs either tend to be hideously expensive, beyond the ability of most scientists to maintain, or impractical once advances in military hardware become standardized. For example, the original Steel Commando armor was exceptionally useful during World War 2 but the stuff really isn't that much more exceptional than tanks or a plane with the armor beonlying capable of doing the functions both.

General Venom was hideously protective of his designs when he was the second Steel Commando and while he was capable of producing numerous knock-offs, the projects were not very cost effective in the long-run. America really didn't need more than a handful of superpowered metal soldiers. The project was briefly revived with power-armor becoming scaled down for usage in Super-Alcatraz and for the Foundation for World Harmony but none of these were anywhere near the level expected of the Steel Commando suits.

The third Steel Commando suit proved technology could be useful, however, and in 2012 the idea of expanding the ranks of America's personal anti-terrorism squad to several Steel Commandos was approved. Part of this was due to the Obama Administration wanting to capitalize on the mystique of superheroes while also appearing tough on terrorism. While a Republican, Steven Shepard had never shied away from his duty and the promotion to General which came with the project was enough to get him to sign on for another tour of duty.

The early trials were a complete disaster.

Part of the problem boils down to the technology involved. It's possible for a person who is not General Venom or Alexander Timons to design, maintain, and repair power armor. It may take like thirty guys, each a specialist in their field, but it's possible. However, in general, any modifications to a design is a royal pain the butt.

For whatever reason, there's just not enough education in the field of armordynamics to consistently create power-armor able to compete with Metamen. Canada's Avro Arrow-hardsuit program was the closest thing to a complete success and some idiot shut that down due to cost concerns versus buying American equipment. The initial trials were going to involve power-armor of a variety of different types but virtually every design proved to be horrifically flawed but the original.

Well, fine, they said, let's just use a dozen or so copies of the Steel Commando armor. General Shepard was less than enthused about this prospect since the idea of a diverse type of power armor was his and believed he could do most of what such armor-specific required on his own. He nearly quit the program when he had to wash out the first crop of picks completely and the second after their training mission ended horrifically. It turned out training pilots to be able to triple time as Marines and tank-drivers is harder than it looks.

In the end, through gritted teeth, Steve returned to Black Wing II and asked for his help. Black Wing helped design numerous simulators for the project, put Steve in contact with several "contractors" from the Doc Smith Society despite their questionable security clearance and psych evaluations, and also helped the government "cheat" by putting in confiscated alien technology into their devices. The project managed to complete itself just over a billion dollars over budget, practically a bargain.

The original twelve-man squadron of the Steel Corps has been downgraded to six active field members and expanded to twenty-four reserve members. Each of the Steel Corps has a specialty in a certain field and armor to work within it. The team has a highly classified base in the Colorado, Rockies with a rebuilt Thran starship (minus orbital capacities) that allows them to travel anywhere in the globe within minutes.

The Steel Corps has been on dozens of missions since their launch and has mostly an extremely high success ratio. The vast majority of these missions are extraordinarily classified but aren't exactly low-profile either. The Steel Corps are meant to represent American power in an extraordinarily direct and powerful way, with the President and Joint Chiefs of Staff employing them as Big Stick.

They may be overestimating the capacities of the Steel Corps as their inventions in wars have included more casualties than Steve Shepard is really comfortable with (mostly on the side of the enemy). It's surprising to find himself moving from a team where lethal force is a last resort to one where it is the standard operating procedure.

The government is also not entirely 100% behind the Steel Corps. Bluntly, a lot of people believe the Steel Corps is more about publicity than results. They argue that, like in WW2, 100 hyper-advanced tanks will do more damage to Jerry than another Steel Commando. This is a bad argument given the number of planet-destroying weapons the original Steel Commando created but they're not wrong in terms of conventional warfare.

There's also the fact that Steve's choices for pilots aren't remotely anyone the original military picked. Using the assistance of Ultramind, he's ended up once more with a group of oddballs and idiot savants that seem to be the sort drawn to superpowers. I.e. the absolute worst sort of people for any military. Compared to regular superheroes, most of these guys are still far more serious and disciplined but something about the armor seems to bring out the Maverick in even the best of them.

Main Team

Aqua Marine: Jessica Starson is a Texan-born girl with a fondness for diving which dates back to her childhood expeditions with an oceanographer father. Aqua Marine wields a suit specialized for water-based missions and which is also equipped with numerous devices designed primarily for use in the water.

Despite this, Jessica continually gets called for land and air-based missions due to the fact she's simply extraordinarily skilled at her job. Jessica is not particularly happy with her movement to the Steel Corps since she was quite content in her previous position in the Marines. Unfortunately, orders are orders, and she's followed them to the letter despite the breakup of her marriage as a result.

Cylone Soldier: California-born pilot Larry "Hex" Wilson is a person Steven Shepard did not want on his squadron under any circumstances whatsoever. Larry's showboating as a test pilot apparently resulted in the death of a fellow pilot and his imprisonment.

He was only brought out of jail to test the highly dangerous Cyclone-suit designed by a man of questionable credentials. Larry, instead, made it sing and was granted a full-pardon in exchange for his continued service inside it. Larry, of course, considers it akin to winning the lottery.

Larry is not liked by any of his fellows, especially by his continued insistence the accident which killed his partner was sabotage. His suit is, hands down, the best in the air and also has wind generating abilities.

Hellfire Harrier: Richard Jensen was a fireman before the assassination of hundreds of people by Unity in his Virginia home town. The Patriots eventually stopped them but Richard lost virtually everyone he'd ever known and loved from family to causal acquaintances.

Volunteering as a soldier, he was turned down due to psych concerns only to end up working as a security officer for Alexander Timons in hopes someone would attack and he could get some form of payback. Richard ended up stealing a suit of armor designed for use in the exploration of volcanic interiors and beating the living [censored] out of Amplitude during one such attack.

Richard is technically a civilian contractor and out of place with the others. However, the brooding and stoic man is also one of the most serious and dedicated to his craft. Richard has an incredible affinity with his machine like the others, though this is because he volunteered to have Alex implant him with cybernetics so he could better pilot it. He considers it a small sacrifice to get revenge for his family.

Major Machine: Steve Shepard's only choice to qualify for the team, Major Machine is Elizabeth Hernandez who is a serious and tough pilot who spent no less than eight years piloting Steve Shepard for missions on behalf of the Foundation for World Harmony. Elizabeth's armor is unusual in that it's primarily designed around cybernetic warfare.

The device uses a combination of nanobot firing canisters, electronic warfare devices, and EMPs to be able to disable machines or even take control over them at will. She is also capable of jamming virtually any form of sensor imaginable, leaving the team more invisible than most people would have thought possible.

Elizabeth, ironically, is uncomfortable with the team because she thinks it's the first step in moving the USA from international anti-terrorism movements to more US-based ones. She's concerned about this not for the reasons you might suspect but worry the current head of the Foundation will drive the organization into the ground without good people like Steve to hold him back.

Steel Commando III: Steve, team-leader, obviously. Despite the fact he's a General, he still insists on leading the team himself with the base commander being a Colonel. Most people are uncomfortable with this arrangement but Steve still feels the need to be in the thick of things AS WELL as being in charge.
For now, the military has indulged him.

Tank Trooper: The meanest-looking one of the group, Tank Trooper appears to be pretty much a walking arsenal of countless different weapons with highly bulky armor. Tank Trooper even includes a nuclear-fusion cannon that can blast away mountains if necessary. It comes as somewhat of a surprise that the interior of the machine contains a tiny Asian American woman who just barely met all the physical requirements. A member of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, she designed her own variant of the armor and was finally taken seriously when she took it out for a test drive and beat a dozen highly qualified pilots.

Doctor Ayane Takahashi (American order) is the boisterous bruiser of the group in her armor, always first into battle and advocating extreme violence. The fact she is a shy, retiring wallflower outside of the armor is a psychological concern Steve really wish didn't exist.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Phrozen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:04 am

A kind of take off of Centurions and some of the Iron Man armors and villain armors. Neat.

I wonder who came first: Major Machine or Phantom Works since their suits tend to do the same thing.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Libra » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:45 am

Very fine work Charles! :D

Libra's guys were just too awesome to come up with easy tops for.


My ego thanks you for the compliment; my ID would like to have words with you because you've made it's job a lot harder AND cut into it's living space by causing the other fellow to swell like a hot air baloon connected to a national legislature. :wink:

I can't do it unless I could match it.

*frown*


Turn that frown upside down old fellow - you've more than managed to outdo me by working up the Steel Corps, something I signally failed to do. :D
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Phrozen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:31 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:The Fate of Charles Freeman is quite moving, Phrozen.

It's a nice little parable on revenge.


It is. Also a adventure hook. I was debating whether to have Alex be the only one visiting him but:

1) There is really no reason for Alex too. He only knows him as a corporate rival and a rather vindictive one at that. I imagine that Alex has a great deal of personal distaste for the man.

2)Alex is a good person but he isn't a saint. Redemption of his enemies isn't really his thing.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:51 pm

The Armorer

Vincent Caldwell was a graduate of the Freeport Institute of Technology (he refuses to call it FIT) and was hired to SparaCorp almost instantly. Vincent was involved in all manner of designs for everything from robots to armor designs. He was able to achieve tremendous results extraordinarily under budget and was the envy of his rivals. Unfortunately, the politics of the corporation were slightly more dangerous and Vincent was less than an effective player. His rivals discovered his ability to create staggeringly complex weapons was due to his Metaman ability to comprehend machinery at an intuitive level.

If it were up to Death Mask III, Vincent would have been moved to a private firm where he could work on diabolical machines of doom in private. Death Mask III has fostered genocidal plots against metamen in the past but has always been willing to make room for individuals without scruples. However, Vincent didn't really catch his eye and SpartaCorp's hiring policies were clear, Metamen were not to be tolerated. Given the boot, Vincent was furthermore sued and indicted for fraud regarding his creations.

This was bad enough but the final straw came when Jack Washington took over the company and proceeded to reveal many of the people involved in supply weapons to PHANTOM and various supervillains. Completely to his surprise, he discovered he was one of them. His attempts to cover it up ended up getting him punched in the face by Dawn Wing. He was forced to mortgage his house in order to make bail.

So he became a terrorist.

It's surprisingly easy to become associated with the wrong sorts of people if you've even a peripheriary association with SpartaCorp. Jack Washington Junior's takeover of the company meant a lot of former PHANTOM employees were out of a job and Vincent saw his chance to make ends meat by forming his own company. Well, not so much company as an illegal arms dealership with himself at the head. In secret factories spread across the United States, Vincent has used his inhuman understanding of special technology he's examined to create factories for highly advanced weaponry and sells them at a fraction of their cost.

Which is still more money than most people make in a lifetime.


The Armorer, for a mere 100,000 dollar downpayment and promises of criminal assistance in the future, will gladly outfit your average criminal with a suit of power armor. If you're wondering how the average criminal can afford the equivalent of a new house, the Armorer is quite willing to put you in contact with people who do loans. His associates have stolen millions for him in properietary information, experimental technology, and generally caused the sorts of chaos which he loves to profit from.

The 100,000 dollar suits are generally low-intensity work for the Armorer, built out of a bunch of scraps like Tony Stark in an afternoon.

He's fully capable of using his genius to create things equal to or superior than the Steel Commando's armor for countries and terrorist groups with a budget. He just thinks quantity has a quality all its own.

These "mass orders" don't include the automated factories fully capable of popping out weak power-armor for mooks.


In truth, the Armorer actually makes far more from using this money to make semi-legitimate arms sales to Third World countries and dictators than he does from creating the literally dozens of supervillains he's created. The Armorer, however, is obsessed with something not immediately supplied by arms-dealing. Yes, he craves respect and the power to humiliate the people who looked down upon him. It's a tired and overused motivation but that's because it's so very true to life.

The Armorer desires to show up SpartaCorp by becoming one of the world's biggest arms traffickers, humiliate the country by having his creations defeat its heroes, and cause chaos enough more people want to buy his armaments. He's currently facing down the Iron Corps as they're starting to investigate the rash of armor-related weapons and supervillains which are starting to appear across the country.

Vincent, in person, doesn't really look like much of a supervillain. Hell, he doesn't look like much of a arms dealer. He looks more like the kind of guy who founds DotComs. Despite this, he's a complete sociopath as the first time he ordered one of his armored troopers to throw someone off a building (which was mostly him caught up in the moment) he found he didn't care. Indeed, he liked the sense of power he got from it. Vincent is also completely amoral to what his weapons are used for, having actually constructed nuclear weapons overnight and sold them causally to Zulan.

Really, the Armorer has discovered that being a criminal mastermind is fun and he enjoys the perks of it. He'd be even more dangerous than he already was if he could learn to make full-use of his abilities and possessed a good deal more business savvy. He's learning, however, and in five-to-ten years he could become a man responsible for outfitting entire nations with weapons too powerful for anyone to oppose.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:53 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QUjokIcHCo

Reminds me of how Jack Washington Junior operates, he could teach the Armorer a few things.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Libra » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:26 pm

For some reason I imagine that The Armourer looks like Mickey Rourke before his pugilist-induced makeover. :shock:
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:50 am

Scary Week Entry 1#

Because, why not?

The Window Man

There are some evils in the world that defy the ability of normal heroes to deal with. They can't be punched, eye-beamed, or dropped in the sun. The Window Man defies conventional rules of physics and power. He can only be driven off by a set of circumstances that changes every time he appears.

Maybe it's solving a riddle, maybe it's collecting a number of boxes belonging to the victim's grandparents, or maybe it's puzzle. Whatever the case, you can't physically engage him because he has no substance until he arrives. Then, he is completely invulnerable to even the strongest magic or anything sort of a PL X entity.

The Window Man's nature is inscrutable even by the rules of HED! and it is said only Merlin knows for sure what it is. He also refuses to talk about it, saying that "it belongs to a race which grows stronger the more you speak of them. Which is why you should not be talking about him or asking questions!"

Theories by those who refuse to abide by this restriction include he is a creature of the Otherworld, a Lord of Nightmare, a creation of Orkus, a ghost, and even an Elder God which just happens to have a far more narrow set of interests than the majority of their kind. One popular theory is that the Window Man is a manifestation of Mister Hoppy's dark relationship with children, punishing them for growing up and losing their innocence.

The Window Man appears as an unnaturally tall man of about ten to eleven feet, ridiculously long arms, and unnaturally large feet. It wears a simple business suit, tailored for its size, and a hat which always seems to obscure its facial features in shadows. The Window Man appears in reflective surfaces, not because he's inside mirrors or windows, but because he exists inside your perception.

Which means you can see him in the dim light or your computer right now, just to the side of your vision. Did you catch a glimpse of him? No? A pity. He saw you. Televisions, movies, glasses, and so on are all methods he can be glimpsed. Indeed, when he feels like "cheating" it is capable of appearing in the reflective surface of your eyes. Yes, as long as you can see you're in danger of being taken by him.

One man tried to escape the Window Man by burning out his own eyeballs. The Window Man let him live for an additional year before, screaming out in horror, shouted he could still see him before throwing himself out into traffic.

What the Window Man DOES to his victims is still up for debate. It's impossible to fight him and when he gets them alone or even in a group with all those he wants to take, they simply disappear...somewhere. Sometimes, they're found later with their insides re-arranged or in pieces like a jigsaw or alive but empty. These last ones are known as Dollmen who stalk children, serving as guardian angels or heralds of their master.

The Window Man, it should be noted, usually acquaints himself with his victims as children. He doesn't appear so much as an imaginary friend as a figure who openly appears to children and befriends them. He often teaches them secrets and things which shape their minds and perceptions in ways they don't know. The thing is, he often does this in front of their parents, the Window Man unseen. In time, the children forget the Window Man ever existed and go on with their lives.

But the Window Man doesn't like to be forgotten.

The herald of the Window Man's presence is your arms going clammy, the hairs on your arm standing up, and a chilling sensation moving about you. He's there, with you, when you get this. You may not see him, even when there's a mirrored surface, but he's right next to you. He can take you any time but that's not how the game is YOU CAN'T SEE THIS, CHARLES, BUT OTHER PEOPLE CAN. played. Victims will receive photos, video-tapes, and imagery of the Window Man that slowly reveal his presence plus messages that I AM COMING contain clues even in mundane documents.

RUNNING AWAY IS FUTILE

No one can really say what will satisfy the Window Man when he's caught the ire of another. YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. Maybe you're just postponing the inevitable.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Libra » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:54 pm

Because, why not?


Why because it's high-quality horror and I'm a big chicken with a belly as yellow as a budgie? 8)
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Phrozen » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:03 pm

I like SCP better then Slender Man.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:09 pm

Phrozen wrote:I like SCP better then Slender Man.


For me, I wanted to do something combining Slenderman with Bloody Mary (the original rhyming character) and a bit of Mythos. Also, I wanted to do something with Changelings.

The Dollmen will be a bit more on those.

Bwhahaha

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:12 am

Scary Week Entry 2#

Feel free anyone to jump in.

Dollmen

Earth has been invaded many times in the past. It has been invaded by Tsavong, Thran, Orkus, Unseelie Fae, Thundarian mercenary armies, and more. However, the invasion of the Dollmen may be more insidious. It is an invasion from without that is tearing apart the human race from within.

The Windowman is known to make use of Dollmen but he is not alone in this practice. There are other, Eldrich Abominations for lack of a better term, which make use of the Dollmen. They also operate on their own accord. The creatures do not negotiate or have any recognizable motivations, despite having the personalities and memories of those involved.

No one knows what their agenda is. Only that, each time one of them is born.

A human dies.

IS REBORN.

Dollmen have been on the planet Earth for much of its history. The early humans kept them propagated with gifts of babies left to die of exposure, unwanted baby girls, and sacrifices which had their hearts torn out. Many believe the Maya and other South American cultures were affected by this individuals more than others and sought vainly to prevent their taking.

A Dollman, in short, is an empty human being. They are taken to an isolated location and their heart is removed. Usually, while being held down or otherwise paralyzed by the Dollmen. Somehow, the loss of this organ does not impede them as it is replaced with something that functions in its place. Students of Egytology may remember that the heart was the center of the soul.

The resulting creature possesses all of the previous human's memories but they are absent anything resembling previous loyalties, feelings, or love. This manifests in different ways for different Dollmen. Some become hedonistic, enjoying sex and drugs without any consequence. Others become cold and emotionless, more alien than human. Others do something even more disturbing, acting completely like their old selves until they do something utterly unconscionable without a hint of remorse or hesitation. A few aren't even aware their Dollmen until they need to be and forget immediately once they're done.

Those who have talked to the Dollmen find them even more disturbing as they believe, wholeheartedly, they are the person they once were. They just have been changed in a way that has removed their humanity MADE THEM BETTER and turned them upside down. Dollmen have no hierarchy or organization, primarily because they all have complete loyalty to their cause and no disagreements whenever they do something. Either they are moved by SOMETHING else or are able to achieve consensus instantaneously by human standards.

Dollmen who are made from humans with magical potential, let alone trained sorcerers, immediately gain an instinctual knowledge of dark magic which worships things beyond the scope of mortal men. These spells allow them to induce terror, alter memories, summon monsters from beyond, bend space/time, and other things which stretch the boundaries of what normal magic is.

Dollmen with backgrounds in science do arguably even more disturbing stuff, seemingly blending science and magic in ways that the John Smith Society would find unnerving. Devices which lead to other dimensions, unnatural injections into unsuspecting experiment subjects, brainwashing, unnecessary surgery, and so on. The point of a lot of this eludes many, obviously done with some purpose but other times just seemingly looking insane.

PUT THE PIECES BACK IN WRONG. YOU'LL SEE WHY.

The Dollmen do not seem interested in replacing every human being on the planet but their numbers are steadily growing. They cannot, for whatever reason, birth their own children but instead make do with infants taken from hospitals or taking away the offspring of others. Bizarrely, many times, the parents of young individuals are replaced without replacing the child. This leads to a particularly horrific situation for many young adults who discover their own families are not who they used to be.

Have fun sleeping!

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Libra » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:53 pm

:shock:

Sleep, sleep, sleep? methought me heard a fell voice cry out upon the moonless midnight air, 'sleep no more, Phipps he doth murder sleep!' the minute I read that article of yours, old fellow!
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:57 pm

Thanks Libra.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed that.

Okay, I am extraordinarily pleased with everyone's help. You have made Halt Evil Doer! the most splendid campaign setting ever.

(total modesty there)

I'm debating starting a new thread just for fun, a "develop the setting as we contribute to it" freeform.

Anyone up for that?

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! thread IV - (Zombies!)

Postby Libra » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Before anything else Charles, might I offer you my best wishes for the success of your novels? (However slack my posting may have become, I've done my best to keep up with your blog).

Secondly thank you most heartily for Heroic Earth; we owe you a mighty debt of inspiration for the creation of this wonderful setting and a debt I thoroughly doubt we can ever repay for allowing us to add to it, tell stories using it and best of all just play a part in shaping what it has become.

Thank you for giving us so much inspiration and for allowing us so much freedom to express it.
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