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A conservationist legacy – Liberty Scouts Comics #2, June 1941

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A few years ago I had the great pleasure of being a working historian with the Maryland Park Service. I was hired for my knowledge of the American Civil War (and gave battlefield tours while I worked for the MPS), but was also tasked with increasing my knowledge regarding other areas of U.S. history. On weekdays I ran a museum (and occasionally filled in at a second museum) and spoke with visitors about multiple historical periods and topics: 1820’s political history, Victorian-era literature, the American Civil War (and the political arguments leading to it), and the early conservation movement (being as the Appalachian Trail passed directly through all of the parks to which I was assigned). The job also rekindled my interest in the 1930’s and 1940’s, as one of President Roosevelt’s agencies had a direct connection to my park (said rekindled interest also led directly to the primary subject matter of this blog). More

Meet Junior Justice (I) – Nightfang

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Before we launch into the final character profile for the first iteration of Junior Justice, I’d first like to relate a story about how real life can be more weird and cool than any fictitious game event. The real-life player of today’s featured character is a third-generation role playing gamer. I know because I’ve played RPGs with three generations of his family. More

Meet Junior Justice (I) – Lightning Lama

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From soccer player to superhero in the blink of an eye… More

Meet Junior Justice (I) – The Wraith

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When a secret society of mystics imbued an ornate vase with a portion of their power, they had no way to know with whom that power would eventually reside – only that the higher being the mystics served would ensure that the owner would be worthy to wield it… More

Meet Junior Justice (I): Deep Freeze

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Continuing with the stats for our Silver City V&V campaign, we now present our player characters. First up, yours truly, with some yah-dah yah-dah backstory added at no extra charge. More

Adding breadth to a superhero RPG campaign’s world

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When I began running a Villains & Vigilantes RPG campaign for my twins I had the happy idea of linking it to my solo V&V campaign from the early 1980’s. This allowed me to give instant depth to our campaign – our world immediately gained a history which stretched back a quarter century (later expanded still farther back into the past by the introduction of Golden Age hero Jack Victory).

But after an adventure or two, I decided that my world needed breadth as well as depth. I wasn’t happy with Silver City being the entirety of our campaign universe; after all, our hometown isn’t even the second largest city in Maryland, much less a major metropolis. It stands to reason that Baltimore (called Calvert in our game universe) would have its own superhero team, which I decided to make THE pre-eminent group of supers on Earth-1. More

Meet the Justice Federation: Ruby

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Last, but certainly far from least, in our series about the Calvert MD superhero team the Justice Federation, we bring you a profile of everyone’s favorite queen of magic (and pop culture): Ruby!!! More

Meet the Justice Federation: Revenant

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When computer programmer Ronald Fredericks left his home to drive downtown with his wife and infant daughter, he had no idea that his life was about to be altered forever… More

And a whole lot more “GI Jive”

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This site looks to have everything that archive.org has, and then some: More

Meet the Justice Federation: Crimson Guardian

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When forest ranger Rick Allyn went out on call to investigate a reported woodland fire, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever… More

Meet the Justice Federation: Halcon

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Eduardo Graywolf, born of mixed Native American/Mexican-American parentage, doesn’t speak often (and never of himself) which makes his words carry more weight on the occasions when he decides to open up a bit. The source of his metahuman abilities is unknown; Eduardo attributes his powers to “the blessings of the Great Spirit”. More

Meet the Justice Federation: Ishtar

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In the late 1990’s, a new heroine appeared in Calvert, Maryland; a woman who not only fought against criminals, but also against the “mad dog” amoral street vigilante “heroes” who had been dominating the costumed crusader scene for the previous decade. Purported to be the ancient Babylonian goddess of love and war, the woman called herself Ishtar. More

Meet the Justice Federation: Doc Falcon

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While the Crimson Guardian is the Justice Federation’s commander out in the field, the real brains behind the operation belong to Dr. Everett Falcone, a.k.a. Doc Falcon. While not a founding member of the Justice Federation, Doc has proven his mettle in a crisis so often that even Ishtar defers to his judgement. More

Meet the Justice Federation: Bluestreak (redux)

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Talk about an eleventh hour save! Mere days before the twins moved out of the house for their freshman year of college, we were able to play one last session of Villains & Vigilantes, thereby bringing the campaign to a logical stopping point. There are still loose ends a-plenty, but we did get to finish the “Jack Victory Returns!” scenario which had been hanging fire half-completed for more than a year. More

Sixteen adventure seeds for World War II era supers campaigns

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Late yesterday I was looking at the search terms people used to find this blog, and one of them instantly caught my eye: More

Hideouts & Hoodlums encounter charts; Steel & Glory update

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I left out a house rule for Hideouts & Hoodlums in my last blog post: player characters don’t die until they reach -10 H.P. As I said, I’m pretty anti-”PC mortality”.

The new issue of The Trophy Case, the quarterly H&H newsletter, came out the other day; you can get your free copy at RPGNow. I found this item from the newsletter kind of curious: More

More about that “hypothetical question”

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I remember kicking back with a particular issue of Conan the Barbarian around thirty or thirty-five years ago (in the glory days when Roy Thomas was writing it); I don’t recall the exact issue number. But I do remember a brilliant little bit of business which Roy included in the story. More

A hypothetical question about a superhero RPG

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Today I’m going to ask a hypothetical question which I’m sure will make a reader or two uncomfortable. More

Old-school Superhero RPG Bonanza

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For those of us who are too busy, too tired, or just plain too unmotivated to try to learn and absorb the megalithic rulesets of many present-day superhero roleplaying games (yeah, Hero System and Mutants & Masterminds, I’m looking at you here), or the baroque complexities of the procedures contained in the recent crop of “storytelling” RPGs (in my opinion, Capes should be retitled WTF? Supers), there are plenty of excellent alternatives available. And, in most cases, the price is right: free or dang near so. More

Meet the Justice Federation: Bluestreak

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Today we’re kicking off the Villains & Vigilantes profiles of the world’s greatest superhero team: The Justice Federation! Based in Justice Tower (the former Crusader Citadel) in Calvert, Maryland’s Inner Harbor, the Justice Federation has been keeping the world safe for more than a decade. We’ll begin the profiles with one of the Federation’s founding members, wisecracking speedster Bluestreak. More

Villains & Vigilantes – Bridging the gap between the 1980’s and the 21st Century

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The status of our Silver City Villains & Vigilantes campaign is somewhat in doubt. The kids and I haven’t played the game in over a year and, with the twins heading off to college in just over three months, it’s not terribly likely that we’ll be able to tie up all the loose plot threads even if we went back to playing regularly.

Our problem is an embarrassment of riches. I’m a lifelong game collector and it seems like a new game catches somebody’s eye practically every week; there’s just not enough time to play everything we’d like to play. More

Some observations inspired by other blogs

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I’ve been reading some pretty interesting posts on other blogs lately, some really good items which have caused me to reflect a bit on my own gaming experiences over the last 30+ years. More

Meet the Paladins: Luna

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For our final profile in our series on The Paladins, Silver City’s 1980’s superhero team, we’re proud to introduce you to the lovely Luna! More

Meet the Paladins: Traveller

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The story of the third member of the original Paladins is almost a Greek tragedy, and full elaboration would require a book. Instead we’ll have to content ourselves with a brief description and stat listing for the most ill-starred member of Silver City’s “hard luck hero” team of the 1980’s: Traveller. More

Meet The Paladins: The Brain

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Who says heavy metal music will rot your brain? In the case of Andy Paulus it turned him into a superhuman genius. More

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