athelind: (Ommm)
... well, you know; we all want to change the world.

2011 draws to a close today, and for the first time in a long time, the farewell I bid the passing year is a fond one. I know it's been a hard year for many of us, and certainly, in the Big Picture, there have been grim tidings and outright catastrophes. I hope 2012 is better for every one of us.

On the small scale, on the personal scale ... 2011 has been a good year for Your Obedient Serpent. I haven't mentioned it often, but I finally landed full-time work that taps at least some of my science background, and while there were a few rough patches mid-year, I think I've settled in solidly now. Better yet, it looks like I'll be getting to do even more sciencey stuff in the upcoming year.

As for me, personally ... well, as Gloria Gaynor once sang, 2011 was the year that "I grew strong, and I learned how to carry on." I'm not the person I was, and for the first time in a long time, it feels like I'm starting to become someone I want to be.

So ... thank you, 2011. I know you won't be hearing that from many people, but you did right by me.

As for the Shape of Things to Come:

If the theme for 2011 was Crawling from the Wreckage, then 2012 is Building from the Wreckage. I've found my place to stand, precarious as the footing might be (it is on a pile of wreckage, after all); now it's time to get my levers into place and see if I can move the world, just a little.

Really, it comes down to Extropy, and the Extropian Ideal: Live your life to improve the human condition ... starting with the local human. I'm still assembling a solid foundation for Maslow's Pyramid, but I can at least start sketching out the higher levels.

So, here's the Outline for 2012. If you don't like calling them "Resolutions", think of it as a TO DO LIST ... )
That seems like a good start.

Again, my best wishes to all of you, and I bid you all joy and hope for 2012.

footnotes )
athelind: (facepalm)
[livejournal.com profile] athelind grauphs, "If YOU had a Green Lantern PC, how would YOU hand them the ring?"
[livejournal.com profile] halfelf chirrs, "Mail order."
[livejournal.com profile] athelind pencils in "Hurt [livejournal.com profile] halfelf" on his Google Calendar.
[livejournal.com profile] halfelf chirrs, "My character responded to an ad in the back of a comic book, and got this nifty ring!"
[livejournal.com profile] athelind inks it in.
[livejournal.com profile] halfelf chirrs, "What I didn't know is that the green lantern went to the manufacturer and stuck a REAL ring into all the fakes!"
[livejournal.com profile] athelind BOLDFACES.



athelind: (Parallel Worlds)
Given:

Conservation of Surnames: If two people in a comic book setting share a surname, they must be related, no more distantly than first cousins.

The Arkham Hypothesis: Gotham City is smack in the middle of Lovecraft's New England. Arkham Asylum really is in the Gotham suburb of Arkham.

Then:

Iris and Wally West are therefore close relatives of Herbert West.


athelind: (Parallel Worlds)
The Legacies premise is pretty straightforward:

LIFE:
  • They Began When They Began. The characters of the DC Universe each started their active adventuring career on or about the same time as their first appearance on the comics stands in our world.1
  • Life Happens. They aged normally2 from that point, and had full lives. Many of them married and had children, sometimes with ordinary people, sometimes with other superhumans or costumed adventurers.
  • Dead Is Dead. If a character died in the comics, they stayed dead, even though the comics eventually brought them back.3 No miraculous resurrections.4,5

THE UNIVERSE:
  • The Gang's All Here. "Characters of the DC Universe" includes pretty much every character currently under the DC umbrella, including the original stable of National Allied Publications (Superman, Batman) and All-American Comics (Green Lantern, the Flash), Quality (Blackhawks, Freedom Fighters, Plastic Man), Fawcett (Shazam!), Charlton (Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question), Milestone (Icon, Static), MLJ/Red Circle (the Shield, the Web), and Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
  • All This and Arkham, Too. In the Legacyverse, the traditional DC "fictionopoli" do not co-exist with the cities of our world; they replace them. Gotham City is Boston, Metropolis is New York City, Gateway City is San Francisco, and instead of Los Angeles, there's a big crater where Coast City used to be. Fictional locales from sources other than DC comics are likely to make an appearance; the suburbs of Gotham include Arkham, Kingsport, and Innsmouth.
  • "Guardians of the Universe" is a misnomer. Oan jurisdiction extends across the "region of dominant gravitational attraction of the Milky Way Galaxy", including the halo of globular clusters surrounding it. As far as is known on Earth, the Magellanic Clouds are "disputed territories". Just who would dispute such matters with the Oans and the Green Lantern Corps is a matter of endless speculation in xenopolitical circles.6 For the record, there are a lot more than 3600 sectors in the Oan Jurisdiction, though I haven't decided just how many there really are.

EVERYTHING:
  • Big Events Usually Happened. Events in the Legacyverse track the main DC timeline(s) fairly closely, right up until the Crisis of 2008 ("Final Crisis"). The various alien invasions, the Luthor presidency, the Gotham Earthquake, the destruction of Coast City -- they've all left their mark. Not all of them did, though, and they didn't all happen in the same way. There Will Be A List Later.
  • Yes, Virginia, There Is A Multiverse. It's ... wider, weirder and more diverse than the one we see post-52, though. Since the mid-1960s, the Justice League have had annual contact with a team from a parallel Earth that call themselves the Avengers ... .
  • Some Elseworlds are Thisworlds. Oddly, while John Byrne's Generations shares almost exactly the same premise, I wound up using very few of his plot twists. I'm using a few bits from Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier (especially Diana's costume!), and a whole lot of James Robinson's The Golden Age.
  • It All Started With K-Metal. This is important enough to give it its own bullet point: "The K-Metal from Krypton" is an unpublished Shuster and Siegel tale from 1940; Joe and Jerry originally planned to have Superman discover his origin and reveal his identity to Lois early on. Please read this; for one, it's a short, fun tale; for another, it's exactly the point where the published stories of the DCU diverge from the Legacyverse timeline.7



Footnotes:
  1. There are exceptions to all of these rules, of course. Green Arrow, for instance, doesn't put on a costume until the late '50s, while his comics counterpart first popped up in the '40s. His Bronze Age Road Trip with Hal Jordan and his relationship with Black Canary are just too important, and he needs to be the right age for that.
  2. "Normally" as modified by alien or metahuman physiology, of course.
  3. There will be exceptions here, too. Not every death scene "counts".
  4. Things like Lazarus Pits aren't "miraculous" if they're an established part of a character's background. Ra's al Ghul isn't known for sharing, though.
  5. Yes, this means that a lot of familiar young faces will be in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. More than one regularly-appearing character in the comics will be, well, just plain dead.
  6. For some reason, I never had to worry about stuff like this in Gotham.
  7. You might notice that "K-Metal" has properties not normally seen in the Green Kryptonite that later appeared; those properties may be a plot point.

athelind: (hoard potato)
This is partly related to [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020, and partly a matter of general curiosity.

Back in World War II, Clark Kent volunteered for service, but failed his eye test. He was sufficiently agitated that his x-ray vision kicked in, and he wound up reading the (entirely different) eye chart in the next exam room. That popped up in the Superman newspaper strip, in February of 1942:



Bruce Wayne, on the other claw ... I have no idea what kept him out of the service. The Batman movie serial of 1943 has a line where Bruce and Dick talk about being on "special assignment" for "Uncle Sam", with the implication that said uncle knows who Batman and Robin really are, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing of the sort was ever brought up in the funny pages.

We've got the appropriate volumes of The Batman Chronicles at the store, and I suppose I could leaf through them and find out. On the other claw, it's more fun to ask the LiveJournal Hive Mind:

  1. Did the comics of the '40s ever provide an explanation for why Bruce Wayne stayed out of the service?
  2. Did any post-WWII comics throw in any retcons to answer the question?
  3. Okay, gang, what do you think? Did Bruce use his wealth to pull strings? Or did the proverbial "little man from the Draft Board" simply never drop in on Wayne Manor? Not everyone got called up, after all, and Lazy Trust Fund Playboy is exactly the kind of stereotype nobody would expect to volunteer.



(Please indicate which questions you're answering when you comment. Specific citations are preferable to hearsay, naturally.)
athelind: (hoard potato)
You know, I never quite believed in the Bat Signal. Sure, I've seen searchlights shining on cloud layers, but the idea that you could see a silhouette of something placed over the light, and see it so clearly, seemed like pure fancy.

I was, evidently, incorrect:

In New York City in the early 1890s, nighttime clouds served as projection screens for giant ads. A 3,000-pound lamp atop Joseph Pulitzer's World building beamed text and figures from the news or from sponsors onto the clouds; the messages were visible as far away as New Jersey and Long Island.


The same technique was used in the '30s, in England.

Gotham City is generally considered a fictionalized New York, of course.

athelind: (Default)
You know, I never quite believed in the Bat Signal. Sure, I've seen searchlights shining on cloud layers, but the idea that you could see a silhouette of something placed over the light, and see it so clearly, seemed like pure fancy.

I was, evidently, incorrect:

In New York City in the early 1890s, nighttime clouds served as projection screens for giant ads. A 3,000-pound lamp atop Joseph Pulitzer's World building beamed text and figures from the news or from sponsors onto the clouds; the messages were visible as far away as New Jersey and Long Island.


The same technique was used in the '30s, in England.

Gotham City is generally considered a fictionalized New York, of course.

athelind: (hoard potato)
A call for assistance to the DC comics fans out there in the audience: I need your ideas!

As many of you know, I'm currently running a superhero RPG set in an alternate DC universe, where Superman and other characters started their careers at about the times they made their comic book debuts, and time passed normally. Heroes aged, had children, passed on their names, powers, and/or missions, and, in many cases, passed on.

It's the year 2020, and the generation of heroes that were teenagers in the 1990s and at the dawn of the Millennium are now the stalwart core of the Justice League: Starwoman, Static, and the Blue Beetle fight along the grandchildren of Superman and Wonder Woman.

The sole player-character in the campaign is a teenaged girl who's adopted the nom de guerre of Robin, protecting the innocent in a Gotham City that has been without a Batman or any other costumed hero for 15 years.

However, I need interesting NPCs to flesh out the setting. In the interests of Harvesting Good Ideas, I pose this question to the LiveJournal Hive Mind:

If you were going to play in this setting, who would you want to play?

Guidelines )

Have fun with this; think of it as another LJ Meme. I know that a good chunk of the fun we've had has been from banging out the timelines, and laughing about the ways things just fall together -- often more sensibly than they did in the "canon" source material.

athelind: (Default)
A call for assistance to the DC comics fans out there in the audience: I need your ideas!

As many of you know, I'm currently running a superhero RPG set in an alternate DC universe, where Superman and other characters started their careers at about the times they made their comic book debuts, and time passed normally. Heroes aged, had children, passed on their names, powers, and/or missions, and, in many cases, passed on.

It's the year 2020, and the generation of heroes that were teenagers in the 1990s and at the dawn of the Millennium are now the stalwart core of the Justice League: Starwoman, Static, and the Blue Beetle fight along the grandchildren of Superman and Wonder Woman.

The sole player-character in the campaign is a teenaged girl who's adopted the nom de guerre of Robin, protecting the innocent in a Gotham City that has been without a Batman or any other costumed hero for 15 years.

However, I need interesting NPCs to flesh out the setting. In the interests of Harvesting Good Ideas, I pose this question to the LiveJournal Hive Mind:

If you were going to play in this setting, who would you want to play?

Guidelines )

Have fun with this; think of it as another LJ Meme. I know that a good chunk of the fun we've had has been from banging out the timelines, and laughing about the ways things just fall together -- often more sensibly than they did in the "canon" source material.

athelind: (RPG: Retcon)
(Cross-posted from [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020)

The Batman Timeline is probably going to be the longest and most involved entry in the [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020 blog, because it is, for now, a Gotham-centric game.

That doesn't mean the commentary on it is gonna be SHORT, though. )
athelind: (hoard potato)
After a few months of hiatus, I've resumed updating [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020, the journal for my Mutants & Masterminds campaign set in an alternate DC Universe.

As I've mentioned in the past, it's given me an insight into the "fanfic" impulse. While most of it's just fun, I've found that the wholesale rewrite of 70 years of comic book history makes a good springboard for analysis of the original source material. Those interested in comic books, gaming, and fanfic might find it amusing; I'd rather enjoy getting some discussion going about timelines, characters, and story decisions, both in my game setting and the original "canon".

Unfortunately, since I also plan to use the journal to communicate information to my (only) player, I need to friends-lock posts that might reveal key story elements (including the two most recent ones). If you want to read the Sooper Seekrit Spoilers, please drop a comment in the introduction post, so I can add you!
athelind: (Default)
After a few months of hiatus, I've resumed updating [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020, the journal for my Mutants & Masterminds campaign set in an alternate DC Universe.

As I've mentioned in the past, it's given me an insight into the "fanfic" impulse. While most of it's just fun, I've found that the wholesale rewrite of 70 years of comic book history makes a good springboard for analysis of the original source material. Those interested in comic books, gaming, and fanfic might find it amusing; I'd rather enjoy getting some discussion going about timelines, characters, and story decisions, both in my game setting and the original "canon".

Unfortunately, since I also plan to use the journal to communicate information to my (only) player, I need to friends-lock posts that might reveal key story elements (including the two most recent ones). If you want to read the Sooper Seekrit Spoilers, please drop a comment in the introduction post, so I can add you!
athelind: (big ideas)
Odd. I've made light NaNoWriMo in years past -- honestly, I've outright mocked it. However, it just occurred to me that this year, in my own peculiar way, I actually participated.

I've had a mental block as a GM for several YEARS now, in no small part because of poor preparation skills. For last part of of November, however, I've been busily writing away, hammering out the background for a one-player superhero game I'll be starting tomorrow.

I'm sure I haven't gotten anywhere near 50 kwords, and it's more a series of timelines and outlines than prose -- but that's what one needs for a game setting. I've come up with interesting characters, long-term plot twists, and dramatic scenes, both as backstory and to be played out as the game progresses. In the last three days, I had a surge of inspiration, tying together three or four disparate elements and themes and bringing them together into one grand, intricate scheme.

And the oddest thing?

This is all building on notes and ideas I worked on last November... only to set them aside at the end of the month as other ideas took center stage.
athelind: (Default)
Odd. I've made light NaNoWriMo in years past -- honestly, I've outright mocked it. However, it just occurred to me that this year, in my own peculiar way, I actually participated.

I've had a mental block as a GM for several YEARS now, in no small part because of poor preparation skills. For last part of of November, however, I've been busily writing away, hammering out the background for a one-player superhero game I'll be starting tomorrow.

I'm sure I haven't gotten anywhere near 50 kwords, and it's more a series of timelines and outlines than prose -- but that's what one needs for a game setting. I've come up with interesting characters, long-term plot twists, and dramatic scenes, both as backstory and to be played out as the game progresses. In the last three days, I had a surge of inspiration, tying together three or four disparate elements and themes and bringing them together into one grand, intricate scheme.

And the oddest thing?

This is all building on notes and ideas I worked on last November... only to set them aside at the end of the month as other ideas took center stage.
athelind: (Superboy Punches The Universe)
I was perusing some text files I wrote up at the end of last year, sketching out the initial outlines for a game setting, and got inspired again. I wanna run a game in this setting -- preferably a round-robin type game with rotating GMs, because, frankly, I'd have a blast playing in it myself.

This would be a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition game set in an alternate DC Universe -- one where the major characters are introduced in the years they debuted in our world, and then age normally from there, interacting, marrying, having families and legacies.

It would steal heavily from "Elseworlds", especially Generations, The Golden Age, and The New Frontier.

I've put together tentative timelines for the Superman and Batman legacies, and I have ideas for the Marvel Family that I haven't typed up yet, but after that, I just... petered out. There are major legacies I need to timeline, and hten I need to go back, figure out how they intertwine, and revise accordingly.

So, I need a GEEKTANK! A thinktank of geeks to brainstorm ideas based on this premise -- largely just for the fun of it.

I may set up an LJ community for it -- if I could find some kind of Q&D Wiki, that would be ideal, since we could all brainstorm on timelines.

I know I've got fanfic writers and comics fans in my flist who could come up with good stuff here. Who wants in?
athelind: (Default)
I was perusing some text files I wrote up at the end of last year, sketching out the initial outlines for a game setting, and got inspired again. I wanna run a game in this setting -- preferably a round-robin type game with rotating GMs, because, frankly, I'd have a blast playing in it myself.

This would be a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition game set in an alternate DC Universe -- one where the major characters are introduced in the years they debuted in our world, and then age normally from there, interacting, marrying, having families and legacies.

It would steal heavily from "Elseworlds", especially Generations, The Golden Age, and The New Frontier.

I've put together tentative timelines for the Superman and Batman legacies, and I have ideas for the Marvel Family that I haven't typed up yet, but after that, I just... petered out. There are major legacies I need to timeline, and hten I need to go back, figure out how they intertwine, and revise accordingly.

So, I need a GEEKTANK! A thinktank of geeks to brainstorm ideas based on this premise -- largely just for the fun of it.

I may set up an LJ community for it -- if I could find some kind of Q&D Wiki, that would be ideal, since we could all brainstorm on timelines.

I know I've got fanfic writers and comics fans in my flist who could come up with good stuff here. Who wants in?

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