Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Now Available: 'Iron Lady'

Heiress Doris Parker was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, a fact that only came to light after her death. NUELOW Games proudly presents Iron Lady, a chronicle of Parker's initial steps down a path of vengeance-fueled brutality and murder. (The story of how we came to publish this book can be found in this previous post at the NUELOW Games blog.)

Art by Bernard Sachs
The book contains sections of Parker's life adapted to comics by Bernard Sachs & Dan Zolnerowich, direct excerpts from her diaries selected by editor Steve Miller, and rules for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters that lets you bring Doris "Iron Lady" Parker to your gaming table. (Because, let's face it... most player characters in RPGs would probably be labeled as serial killers, too.)

Click here here to see previews or to get your own copy for this landmark publication. The book can also be purchased at RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, and DriveThruFiction.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Voodoo Queen

Voodoo Queen (first appearance in Police Comics #10, 1942)
Art by Alex Kotzky
Xali Garou was raised from a young age to be a spiritual conduit that is key to many voodoo ceremonies. After leaving the sleepy little bayou village of her childhood for the excitement of Empire City, she fell in with a group of criminals who used voodoo as part of their methods. Assuming the loas were pleased with such things--or they would step in to stop it--and liking the luxuries the ill-gotten riches were getting her, Xali became an active participant in the crimes. She rose to a leadership role in the criminal syndicate while also assuming a prominent role in the local community of Creoles and Haitians who practiced the religion of Voodoo.

Xali, together with the gang's chief voodoo priest, concocted a scheme of blackmail and intimidation where they targeted rich citizens who were secret or open believers in voodoo; they demanded large sums of money from several believers, and then killed those who refused to pay in manners that appeared to be voodoo curses. This both swelled their coffers and the ranks of followers of the local Voodoo cult.

A secondary motivation for this plot was to lure the superhero Manhunter into the gang's clutches, so they could offer him as a sacrifice to the spirits (and so eliminating a hindrance to their operation while gaining favor from the voodoo spirits). There was never any doubt in Xali's mind that he would come to them, because they were so obviously behind the voodoo murders.

But on the night they sprang their trap for Manhunter, and they waited for him to arrive, Xali became filled with an irrational impatience and hatred toward her co-conspirators. Believing they had failed to properly execute her orders, she lashed out at them and in the ensuing fight, she was killed. When Manhunter arrived on the scene, the voodoo temple was engulfed in flames and the criminals had mostly already killed each other.

Xali the Voodoo Queen's downfall happened because the loas were not pleased with the gang's criminal activity. Her erratic behavior on the night that should have been the gang's eve of triumph and victory was caused by one of the spirits she had channeled earlier staying behind and pushing every paranoid instinct that she possessed--until she finally snapped. (Although Xali died that night, her story did not end there. She will return in another few posts as we bring the A to Z April Blogging Challenge to a close next week.)

Here are stats for the Voodoo Queen in the ROLF! game system

(aka Xali Garou)
Brawn 19, Body 18, Brains 5
   Traits: Nimble, Spelling
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dance Move, Seduce, Spellings (Bad Touch, You'll Only Hurt Yourself), Strike Pose
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Ceremonial Garb (Bikini AND Armor, barely covers nakedness, absorbs 1 point of damage). Whip (Medium Melee Weaponj, deals 2 points of damage).

And when I get some feedback from L.L. Hundal, this is where there will be rules for...


Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Unknown Soldier

Unknown Soldier (first appeared in Our Flag #1, 1941)

Unknown Soldier is a mysterious figure about whom little is known. He is presumed to be an American, but, in truth, no one even knows for certain whether he is one individual or a group of them who share the identity. Even reporter Thelma Gordon whose investigation into the Unknown Soldier led to a brief physical relationship with him, never learned his real name nor got any confirmation whether he is one or many. (In August 1943. the United States Secret Service and War Department  requested that Gordon stop all research into the Unknown Soldier. She complied, but abbreviated versions of her notes on the Unknown Soldier were included in her memoirs, My Life Between the Capes.)
   The public appearance of the Unknown Soldier was in April of 1941, during a massive Nazi bombing raid on the British Isles. At that time, he wore a blue uniform with no insignias or designs and a blue mask. A few months later, he appeared in the United States, wearing a brown uniform with five stars on the chest. His mask was yellow... and he wore tight shorts and black riding boots. (In her book, Gordon noted, "I can't say much for his fashion sense, but he filled those shorts nicely.")
                                                              Art by Art Saaf (left) and B. Currie (right) 

   Whether he was one or many, the Unknown Soldier fought on the side of the Allied Forces in World War 2,.He was generally found on the home front, battling Axis spies and agents, as well as exposing their hidden allies sympathizers in the halls of power who sought to weaken the democratic nations from within. He usually worked closely with both law enforcement and military officials, and he seemed to have the backing of at least the United States military -- hence the demand that Gordon stop her research into his identity and how he came to be who is he was (or they were).
   The Unknown Soldier appeared to have some degree of invulnerability, superhuman strength, and the ability to fly. He could also spin through the air fast enough to create a mini-tornado with himself as the eye of the storm. He also carried a specially-designed gun that fired explosive rounds instead of normal bullets.
   The Unknown Soldier fought Axis forces in Great Britain and all over the United States and Canada from 1941 until June of 1945--after which time he disappeared as suddenly as he had arrived on the scene. He remains unknown to this day, seventy years later. In fact, all records relating to Unknown Soldier are so highly classified that both the U.S. and British governments deny they even exist.

We're going to keep him mysterious, but whether he's one or many, he has the following traits, if viewed through the lense of our OGL d20 Superpowers system.

   * At minimum, he possesses the following Minor Power feats: Flight, Invulnerability, Speed, and Strength (which are all described in this post).
   * At minimum, he possesses the following talents: Resistance to Harm (from the Invulnerable tree) and Speed I, Speed II, and Speed III (from the Speed tree),

Additionally, the Unknown Soldier who wore the short-shorts and stars on his chest must possess this feat:

Shameless [General] 
You keep your cool in situations where most others would either be ashamed, embarrassed or painfully self-aware.
    Benefit: +2 bonus to Bluff and all Perform skill checks.
    Special: If the character has 5 or more ranks in Perform (acting), this feat grants a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy skill checks.

Special Note: L.L. Hundal contributed to this post. The Shameless feat is presented under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced accordingly. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Thelma Gordon

Thelma Gordon [first appeared in Pep Comics #5, 1940]
Art by Harry Lucey
Thelma Gordon was a journalist who was the friend and lover of so many superheroes during the 1940s that Pat Patriot once sarcastically referred to her as a "cape cuddler."
   Beginning with Rainbow in 1940 (whom she, initially unknowingly, stole away from her best friend Elsie Norris), Thelma was romantically or sexually involved with over twenty superheroes and mystery men. During every one of these involvements, she assisted them in their crimefighting but never donned a costume herself. At one time a society columnist and obituary editor, Thelma began mixing business and pleasure to became one of the nation's foremost reporters on the lives and activities of masked champions of justice.
   Among Thelma's more noteworthy relationships (in rough chronological order) are the aforementioned Rainbow, the Falcon, Comet, the Hangman, the Press Guardian, Bulldog Denny (whose engagement broke up as a result of their affair), Firefly, Scarlet Avenger, the Green Knight, Dynamic Man, the Voice, Red Rube (until she realized he was actually a 14-year-old boy who mystically transformed himself into an adult slab of beefcake), the Hood, Black Kitten (the female version, rumored), the Unknown Soldier, the Scarlet Arrow, Black Cobra (the straight one), the Menace, the King of Darkness, Mr. Satan, Spacehawk, Mighty Man, and the Daisy (alleged).
   In March of 1950, shortly after the rumors of her lesbian affair with the Daisy began, Thelma was found brutally murdered. The prime suspect in the killing was inventor Jill Trent. Jill's name was cleared when the Daisy and some of Thelma's ex-lovers (Hangman, Rainbow, the Voice, and the King of Darkness) investigated and brought her real killer--the mad scientist Dr. Dread, an enemy of both Trent and one of Thelma's former lovers, the Firefly--to justice.
   Her posthumously published memoirs, My Life Between the Capes, (edited by the Press Guardian and Red Rube, as in his secret identity Red Rube grew up to be a journalist and editor himself) remains one of the most insightful books on the superhero community during the 1940s, despite its more salacious aspects and how it avoids revealing too many secrets of the men she knew and loved.

Brawn 13, Body 15, Brains 7
   Traits: Irrepressible Optimist, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Dodge, Seduce, Strike Pose, Withering Insult,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Fashionable Dress (Clothes). Purse (Small Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage). Notepad (One-shot Ranged Weapon, deals 1 point of damage).

Special Note: In actually published comics, Thelma Gordon was the girlfriend of the Comet. After he was killed by gangsters, she began dating his brother, the Hangman. Everything else in this post is the original invention of L.L. Hundal and Steve Miller (with a tip o' the hat to Owen K.C. Stephens for helpful advice).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Silver Lady

Silver Lady [First appeared in Space Adventures #42]

Art by Steve Ditko
The Venusian known on Earth as the Silver Lady is celebrated by the military intelligence services on three planets--Venus, Jupiter and Mars. She is a life long member of the interplanetary militant movement Girl Scouts of Jupiter, but she generally relies more on the hypnotic powers of her race instead of brute force.
   In 1961, the Silver Lady was sent to Earth as part of a joint Venusian/Jupiterian/Martian mission to curtail Earth's expansion into the rest of the solar system, while at the same time hindering the development of weapons and technology that could effectively defend against the eventual Jupiter-led invasion of Earth.
   The Silver Lady began her mission by securing a job at a television station in Florida. Through the power of mass-media, she used her alien mental powers to weaken the minds and resolve of the male engineers and scientists working on the American space program at Cape Canaveral. She soon ran afoul Captain Atom, a superhero in the employ of the United States federal government. He didn't take the threat she posed completely seriously, so he deposited in Russia where she could, as he put it "work her mischief" without harming American efforts.
   Throughout the entirety of the Cold War, the Silver Lady was trapped behind the Iron Curtain. She didn't mind, however, as weakening one superpower's space program was the same as weakening another in the eyes of her commanders. By 1995, she had made her way back to the United States, and once again plied her seductive alien ways to weakening American efforts in space exploration and technological development.

Brawn 18; Body 16; Brains 5.
   Traits: Alien, Hive Mind, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Hypnotize, Seduce, Web of Healing.
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Space Cape (Armor, absorbs up to 1 point of damage), Thigh-high Boots (Armor OR Leggings, absorbs up to 1 point of damage). Dagger (Deals 1 point of damage).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Reefer King

Reefer King [first appeared in Dynamic Comics #16, 1945]

Art by Gus Ricca

Jack "Reefer" King was a drug dealer who operated a large marijuana farm on the outskirts of Guardian City from 1933 to 1945. A botanist by education, he was cultivating his own special brand of more powerful pot before it was commonplace, rolling his own reefer cigarettes and selling them to musicians and artists in the area. In some users, Reefer's special pot caused violent episodes or even permanent psychosis. Reefer's strain of marijuana was also more addictive than others, causing his customers to become devoted "regulars."

During World War II and the cigarette shortages caused by rationing, Reefer hit upon the idea of distributing his wares through tobacconists and drug stores throughout the city. After a dozen or so less-than-scrupulous retailers took on his wares, drug-addled teens and adults triggered a crimewave across the city. Teenaged superhero Yankee Boy began investigating. Although Reefer tried to hid his tracks by murdering shopkeepers who had carried his cigarettes, Yankee Boy traced Reefer to his farm and brought him to justice.

Brawn 13, Body 12, Brains 4
   Traits: Coldhearted
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Double Strike, Murderous Mitts,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor). Sickle (Medium Melee Weapon, deals 3 points of damage).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quino

Quino [First Appeared in Wham Comics #2, 1940]

Art and Writing by Frank Thomas

Quino is literally the Father of Saturnian civilization. He is a scientific genius who was an advisor to the last of the Sorcerer Kings of Atlantis. As the ancient gods began to turn against the Atlanteans, Quino devised scientific means to save the continent and its people from their wrath. The king feared Quino would anger the gods further, and he wove a powerful spell that transported Quino and all his inventions to Saturn where he expected Quino to perish.

Instead, Quino used his science to survive. The same means that he had intended to use to save Atlantis allowed him to create a safe zone in which he could live. An unexpected side effect of this artificial environment was that it slowed his body's aging process to a near standstill, extending his already long Atlantean lifespan from two centuries to several millennia.
   To keep himself busy, he devised a means to extend his life-supporting environment to a series of interlinked valleys in one of Saturn's mountain ranges. Longing for company, he then applied a combination of magic and super-science to create a race of humanoids that over the millennia he guided into a peaceful civilization that rivaled Atlantis in greatness.

Eventually, Quino became a little homesick for Earth, but the Sorcerer King's magic still barred him from ever returning there. He created the Master Viscope and X-Rayscopes and beginning in 1812 A.D,, he devoted much of his time to studying Earth and the civilizations that currently existed on it. He was saddened that his own people appeared to have been entirely wiped from existence, but it troubled him even more that there seemed to be even more unhappiness on the planet then ever before. As he watched, humanity developed greater and greater capacity for harming each other, and he decided he would intervene.

He chose one of his best and brightest assistants, Solarman, to travel to Earth and mitigate some of the suffering there. Using Quino's Vacuum Ray Projector, Solarman traveled back and forth between Saturn and Earth, making his first trip in 1940. Quino mostly had Solarman intervene on relatively small scales, fearing that the ancient gods might otherwise notice that an Atlantean still lived and come after him and the race he had created. Solarman assisted the people of Earth until 1983 A/D., after which he retired to focus on his own growing family on Saturn.

By the late 23rd century A.D, Quino's people were contacted by explorers from Earth. Few Saturnians had any interest in the universe outside their own planet, but a few joined in humanity's exploratory efforts... and the overall peaceful and intellectual nature of their civilization came to influence many leading scholars on Earth.

Quino continues to guide his people, and he ocassionally shares his super-science with the people of Earth, Mars, Venus, and other major cultures in the solar system and beyond. He remains fearful of the gods, however, sensing that they are still out there and that they may yet return.

Aside from Solarman, the most famous of all Saturnians is Dork. In the 26th century A.D., he befriends the mysterious spacefarer known as Spacehawk. When Dork , Spacehawk and other allies are thrown back in time to the year 1941 A.D., Dork seeks out Quino. The scientist subjects the time-lost heroes to the same treatment that slowed his own aging process, so they too could enjoy near-immortality... and possibly survive long enough to see their homes and loved ones again.

QUINO (Male)
Brawn 11, Body 13, Brains 8
   Traits: Improv Master, Jolly, Speller, Irrepressible Optimist
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Infectious Good Cheer, Run Away!, Spelling (You'll Only Hurt Yourself), Walk and Chew Gum.
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Atlantean-style Robes (Armor, absorbs 3 points of damage).

Special Note: Quino was featured in Solarman's one and only appearance in Wham Comics #2. Aside from the detail that he's from an advanced and peaceful civilization on Saturn, and that he sent Solarman to Earth, everything else in this article is the invention of Steve Miller.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nang Tu

Nang Tu [First appeared in National Comics #13]
Nang Tu has lived for so long that she has no clear memory of her childhood, or the time before she gained what is essentially immortality. For untold centuries, she guarded the isolated Temple of the Man-Eating Spider and the magical All Seeing Eye that was embedded in the forehead of the giant Khotan Buddah statue in the temple's inner sanctum. She also served as the high priestess for the cult devoted to the Man-Eating Spider god.
   In 1941, playboy adventurer, sorcerer, psychopath, and superhero Merlin the Magician (aka Jock Kellog) came to Nang Tu's temple, intent on stealing the All Seeing Eye. In the process, he killed all the priests in the temple, including Nang Tu, and destroyed the structure with a magical explosion. However, since she was unable to die, Nang Tu spent decades of suffering, impaled on a spear and buried under the ruins of the temple--reviving and then being painfully killed by the spear Merlin drove through her body and the crushing weight of the rubble, over and over.
   In 2002, explorers in the employ of the Parker Foundation came to the isolated valley where the temple had once stood. While searching the ruins, they came upon Nang Tu and brought her back to their headquarters in the United States. Here, she was nursed back to health, with her body recovering faster than her mind, as she had been left deranged by sixty years of torture. When she regained control of her mental faculties, she swore her alleigance to the Foundation and her rescuers... but she is secretly investigating Jock Kellog's fate and family. She intends to avenge the destruction of the temple and religion she served for so long by ending Kellog's bloodline in as brutal a fashion as possible.

New Material for d20 SUPERS (an ongoing project at NUELOW Games)
The following feats and talent trees are possessed by Nang Tu (10th level Dedicated Hero/10th level Charismatic Hero). In addition, she has access to magic, as described in NUELOW's Feats of Mysticism & Magic.
   Everything from this point forward in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

You heal more quickly than the normal person.
   Benefit: Regain 1d6 hit points per hour of rest, 1d3 if you are active.
   Special: If you have the Immortal talent, this feat stacks with the hit point regeneration.

When dealing unarmed damage  to a foe, either through a scratch or a bite, you poison your foe.
   Benefit: If you successfully hit and inflict at least 1 point of unarmed damage on a living foe, you poison your target. You determine the effect of the poison when you choose this feat. In all cases, the target may roll a Fort save (DC12+1/2 your level (round down)+your Constitution bonus) to negate the effects. A new save must be rolled each time you score a hit.
   Lethal: The target suffers 2d4 hit points of damage every minute until the venom is neutralized, until he or she dies, or until the venom runs its course. The effect lasts a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.
   Paralyzing: The target cannot move for a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.
   Weakening: At the end of the round upon which you first struck, the target's Strength and Constitution attribute scores are reduced by a number of points equal to your Constitution bonus. The reduction is temporary and lasts a number of minutes equal to your Constitution bonus.

You are immortal, either in appearance or in fact.
   Unaging: You remain the age you are when you select this talent. You can still be aged by extraordinary, magical or supernatural effects. Further, you no longer need food or drink to survive, although you still feel hunger and thirst.
   Immunity: Select a type of damage from the following list. You are immune to all damage of that type. Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, Piercing, Poison/Venom, Magic.
   This talent can be selected more than once. Each time it is chosen, a different immunity must be specified.
   Prerequisite: Fast Healing, one other Minor Power Feat. One talent from the Invulnerable talent tree.
   Immortality: If you are are reduced below -10 hit points (dead), and your body would still be able to function save for the wounds, you immediately begin to recover hit points at the rate of 1 point per minute. You remain unconscious until you are restored to +1 hit point. Wounds to not heal, and if the damage is from an ongoing source (such as a spear lodged in your body, or a rock crushing parts of it), the damage that originally brought you below -10 hit points must be re-rolled). Immortality in such a circumstance can be more of a curse than a blessing.
   Prerequisite: Immunity

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jay Brooks

Jay Brooks [first appeared in Sparkling Stars #29, 1947]

Jason "Jay" Brooks was a hardboiled social worker who took on worked with teens who were slipping into lives of crime. He charged for his services, but would often waive his fees for cases he found particularly interesting, or for families who were in dire financial straits. He was also something
   Before serving in WW2, Brooks had been a vice detective in Empire City. Upon returning home in 1945, he set his mind to rescuing those who might be tempted into lives of crime instead of incarcerating them once they were already corrupted. He ran his freelance "social work" business until 1954, occasionally teaming up with the likes of Jill Trent and the King of Darkness. He was eventually forced out of business when a boy he had been trying to help was killed by gangsters and his parents filed suit against him.
   Brooks did not give up his crusade to make the world a better place, however. He relocated to Los Angeles where he adopted the costumed identity of White Flash. He had several team-ups with Black Cat until an injury forced him to retired from the superhero business in 1958. He then went back to school, got a social works degree, and picked up where he had left off. He worked for L.A. Youth Services until his retirement in 1972--with the reputation of being the toughest social worker to ever walk the mean streets of South Central.

Brawn 20, Body 13 (includes +1 Hat Bonus), Brains 5
   Traits: Hard to Kill, Irrepressible Optimist
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Debate Philosophy, Dodge, Murderous Mitts
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor). Fedora (Hat, +2 to Body while worn).

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for the Green Lizard

Green Lizard [first appeared in Smash Comics #8, 1940]

Art by Arthur Pinajian
When Gregory Winters' family lost its fortune during the stock market crash of 1929, the teenager when from riches to rags almost over night. He soon turned to a life of crime with a speciality in robbing the homes of the rich, since he knew their schedules and habits and was able to hit houses while they were away. He would often find incriminating or embarrassing documents and photos while on these raids, so blackmail became an increasing part of his business.

By 1940, he was at the head of a small gang, operating secretly under the codename Green Lizard. In the spring of that year, he embarked on a new and daring venture: The kidnapping of wealthy men and extorting their friends and families for money in exchange for their safe return. He chose his targets by working as a manservant for millionaire John Blaine, whom he had targeted as the final payday in this venture. (Winters was smart enough to know that something this aggressive would attract too much attention from law enforcement, so he had set himself a limit of five victims.)

Unfortunately for Winters, Blaine was a personal friend of the superhero known as Invisible Hood--and Winters' grand plan came to a premature end.

Brawn 22 (includes +1 Hat Bonus), Body 13, Brains 5
  Traits: Coldhearted, Dead-Eye
  Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Double Strike, Murderous Mitts, Withering Wit
  Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Nice Suit (Clothes), Green Mask (Hat, adds +1 to Brawn when worn). Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Flor

Flor [first appearance Jet #3, 1951]
Art by Al Williamson
Flor was born to laborers in the colony of Titan, destined for a life of backbreaking work in the mines feeding the hungry industries of Earth. Her natural beauty attracted the attention of the colony's governor who brought her to his palace as a concubine. Here, Flor met Della May, and together they plotted to gain their liberty by first killing the governor and his wife and then joining Titan's flourishing criminal underworld.
   The young women grew close as they gradually became important and feared criminal masterminds, going from partners to friends to lovers. Together, they wove a network of smugglers and pirates that was a challenge to the system's oppressive Earth-based government and a rival to the somewhat less-violent Venus-based smuggling ring known as the Brotherhood of Space.
Art by Al Williamson
   Flor had the reputation for being able to acquire anything and kill anyone if the price was right. She took personal delight in torturing to death anyone who failed or offended her. One survivor of her wrath told a tale of how Flor and Della once made love as the blood of prisoners who were being sliced to death by robots rained down upon them.
   Flor hated the Earth government and all its functionaries, and whenever it didn't interfer with her business she would lend support to rebels who opposed it. She had an even stronger hatred for the bounty hunter nicknamed Space Ace, as he foiled more than one of her schemes... but she hated the crew of the Space Rover and their captain Tara even more. Not only had Tara and her crew assisted the Brotherhood of Space in stopping Flor from gaining a foothold on Venus, but Della once expressed the opinion that Tara was "sexy in that little uniform she wears."

FLOR (Female)
Brawn 23, Body 17. Brains 11
   Traits: Coldblooded, Nimble, Same-Sex Preference
   Combat Manuevers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Disembowel, Dodge, Double Strike, Murderous Mitts, Seduce, Strike Pose, The Look, The Walk,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Ray Gun (Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage that ignore armor). Whip (Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that tear away clothes. After 10 points dealt, a character who is wearing Clothes (not Armor) is dressed in tatters that barely cover nakedness).

Special Note: L.L. Hundal, co-creator of the ROLF! game system contributed to this entry. For more on Flor's enemy Tara, see NUELOW Games' Tara, Marauder of the Spacelanes.

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Eve Adams

Eve Adams [first appearance School-Day Romances #1, 1950]

Eve Adams' parents were killed when she was 14, and she went to live with her aunt Aunt, Adeline Adams, in Peoria, IL. Adeline was a rich heiress who spent her time traveling the globe, so Eve was raised primarily by the servants at her aunt's lavish home.
   When Eve graduated from high school (a year early), Adeline told the girl to delay entry into college and instead join her on her trips to the far corners of the globe. Adeline would occasionally arrange for Eve to take a class or two in the world's great universities, but they rarely spent more than three months in one place. Adeline referred to Eve as an "exchange student" wherever they went.
   Despite her frumpish appearance and seemingly conservative attitudes, Eve noticed that her aunt frequently showed surprising liberal--and even libertine--attitudes on more than one occasion.  Aunt Adeline also seemed to be equally at ease in high society and in hives of scum and villainy... and she seemed to know people at all levels of society.
   On her 19th birthday, Eve learned the truth about Aunt Adeline and the globe-trotting she engaged in. Eve was on a date in Melbourne, Australia, when the charming young man she was with attempted to kill her. She barely escaped with her life, and she found her aunt just in time for an entire team of assassin to descend upon them. Adeline dispatched the assassins with shocking ease--and then revealed to Eve that she was an agent of an all-woman, U.N.-sponsored intelligence organization that she was hoping to induct Eve into--and that the world travel was part of that process. She revealed to Eve that she had been doing missions at each of their stops during the past few years, and that now that her cover had been blown, they would be returning to New York City and the group's headquarters so Eve could begin her real training.
   Within the year, Eve left her aunt's tutelage and assumed her role as a hunter of international war criminals and evil masterminds while masquerading as an early member of the jet-set. During the 15 years she was an active agent, she crossed paths with the likes of Kismet the Man of Fate, Princess Pantha, Lady Satan, and even the immortal guardian of justice Spacehawk. She later became one of the chief instructors of female agents who kept the world safe during the 1970s and 1980s.

EVE ADAMS (Female)
Brawn 22, Body 18, Brains 6
   Traits: Improv Master, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers:  Basic Attack, Castrate, Dodge, Murderous Mitts, Seduce, Strike Pose
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Hi-Tech Body Suit (Armor, absorbs 2 points of damage) OR High Fashion, suitable for the place and climate she is presently in (Clothes). Small Knife (Melee Weapon, deals 1 point of damage). Small Pistol (Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor).

 Special Note: Eve Adams and Aunt Adeline were featured in early issues of School-Day Romances and Popular Teen-Agers from Star Publications. The revelation of Adeline's connection to a secret U.N. department, Eve's tragic past and exciting life as a spy herself weren't revealed in the series. They are the invention of Steve Miller.

Are you ready for some baseball?!

The baseball season has started in the United States, so this seems like a perfect time to mention the NUELOW Baseball Special!

The Baseball Special contains d20 rules for bringing baseball into your OGL Modern games, a baseball-themed ROLF! Battle Scenario that pits Super-Fan vs. Team Mascot. The booklet also includes the comic strip "L.L. Hundal's Guide to Baseball for Europeans," with art by Samm Schwartz. It's everything immigrants and those who are just-barely American (like Hundal & Miller, respectively) need to understand the Great American Pastime! (Well... at least we think it's all you'll need.)

Click here to see previews of the NUELOW Baseball Special, or to get your own copy for a fraction of what it costs to even get to a ballpark these days.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Dana Eerie

Dana Eerie (fist appearance [sort of] Eerie #5, 1952)
Dana Eerie is the only child of famous stage magician Jonathan Eerie. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her father raised her alone. By her mid-teens, she was his chief assistant and preparing to become a magician in her own right when he retired. But on a windy October afternoon, her life changed forever when her father insulted a genuine witch by doubting her powers and accusing her of being fraud. The witch, in turn, placed a curse on the person Jonathan loved the most--Dana.
    Since that day, Dana's life has been filled with all manner of monsters. No matter where she goes, or what she tries to do, she is either pursued by or comes into contact with undead creatures, demons, and psychopathic killers.
   Shortly after casting the curse, the witch made it clear to Dana that if the girl ever in the same room as her father while she is under the curse, he will be drawn into hell itself, Only the witch can lift the curse, but she refused to do so until Dana's father admits that supernatural forces exist in the universe.
   Now, Dana travels the world, fighting the monsters she is constantly beset by while searching for the witch so that she may force her to lift the curse. She is also staying one step ahead of her father, who is trying to find her, so that he can see that she receives treatment for what he believes is a mental disorder.

Brawn 20, Body 17, Brains 5
   Traits: Improv Master, Nimble, Same Sex Preference
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Dodge, Double Strike, Run Away!, Strike Pose,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Various talismans to protect herself from evil spirits (Stuff). Pistol (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor). Silver Dagger (Small Melee Weapon, deals 1 point of damage).

Special Note: Dana Eerie is an original character inspired by a fact mentioned by an editor at the Public Domain Superheroes Wikia. He or she pointed out that the same drawing of a frightened woman (originally by Sid Check) was used on thee different covers. The editor further pointed out that all issues of Eerie, save two, featured a young woman being menaced by monsters. When A to Z April is over, I'll be posting some notes for Dana Eerie adventures inspired by those covers.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Caleb Ketchum

This character write-up is being posted as part of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. The RPG stats are for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game.

Caleb Ketchum (first appearance: American's Best Comics #26)

Caleb Ketchum was a university chemistry professor who developed a compound that was generally safe for the environment, birds, and mammals, but deadly to most insects. It could paralyze humans and other mammals for brief periods if they were exposed to extreme doses, but otherwise it had no effect on them.
   Ketchum dreamed of making millions in his own pest extermination business, but business was slow and his compound was expensive to produce, as it used the expensive chemical cacobane as its main ingredient). Not wanting to be branded a failure. he joined forces with gangster Dan Haley and they used his compound for a variety of robberies by rendering guards unconscious. Ketchum and all of Haley's gang were eventually brought to justice by the superhero Black Terror.
   Ketchum died in prison in 1954, but his daughter Dorothy discovered his the formula for his compound while going through his personal effects, as well as research notes that indicated it would cause insects to grow to gigantic size if it was used upon them without the presence of cacobane in the mixture. She used the formula in an attempt to avenge her father's death by unleashing a hoard of giant insects on Salt Lake City, Utah in 1955. Her insect army was defeated by Fire-Man, and she was killed in the battle.
   Sixty years later, in 2014, a masked crimefighter using paralyzing gas and calling himself the Exterminator emerged on the scene in Guardian City. This man is secretly Hyrum Wallace, the great-grandson of Caleb Ketchum. After finding Ketchum's formula in a trunk of effects that once belonged to his notorious grandmother, he decided to use it for good.

Brawn 14, Body 12, Brains 5
   Traits: Coldblooded
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Run Away!, Strategic Bleeding
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Cacobane Gas Gun (Ranged Weapon, no damage but forces up to 2 opponents to make Brawn ATT checks. If the check fails, they lose all actions are are completely defenseless for 2d6 rounds)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Bill Foster

Bill Foster (first appeared in Wonder Comics #1, 1944)
Bill Foster was a mechanical genius and pioneering computer engineer who invented the first true artificial intelligence. In 1944, he was abducted by Nazis and brought to Germany where, under duress, he perfected a robot he had been designing. His creation, named Mekano, was primarily remote controlled by an operator, but Foster also equipped it with an advanced, self-learning computer that quickly developed self-awareness and a loyalty to its creator. Together with Mekano, Foster rescued himself, his assistant Tommy, and investigative reporter Sandra Kent, from the Nazis.
   Foster went onto developing advanced weaponry for the U.S. War Department (including "smart bombs" that recognized exact targets before detonating). By 1960, he left government work and entered the private sector. He became one of the leading developers at the Toybox, a Parker Foundation-funded hi-tech firm providing technology for superheroes and extra-government organizations.

Art by Bob Oksner

Brawn 21, Body 15, Brains 7
   Traits: Dead-Eye, Improv Master, Mad Scientist, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Bitch Slap, Dodge, Knock Out, Murderous Mitts, Run Away!, Walk and Chew Gum
   Important Stuff/Worn Wielded: Ray Gun (Small Ranged Weapon, six shot, deals 5 points of damage that ignore armor).

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Atoma

This year's A To Z April here at NUELOW Games once again focuses on obscure public domain characters. We're going even more obscure this year, as we (well, probably mostly me, Steve Miller) will be giving NUELOW bios and ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game stats for sidekicks, love interests, and Frienemies of the characters we either described last year or are considering producing collections for in the future. First up...

ATOMA (first appearance Joe Palooka #15, 1947)
Atoma was a historian and rebel from the 25th century. She spent her childhood under the oppressive regime of the Mighty Chief, studying the ancient history of the United States of America, Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, and other of the world's great democracies, dreaming of some day living in such freedom. When she came across the memoirs of 20th century chemist and inventor Dr. Dusty Rhodes, she recognized herself within its pages and resolved to make sure events recorded in the book came to pass. She further decided that she would make sure that the Mighty Chief's government fell in the process, to be replaced with a society where all lived equal and free.

Atoma illustrated by her creator, Bob Powell

ATOMA (Female)
Brawn 29, Body 15, Brains 7
   Traits: Coldblooded, Martial Artist
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Fly (only when wearing her flight suit), Murderous Mitts, Seduce, Strike Pose, Withering Insult.
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: High-tech Flight Suit (Armor, absorbs 3 points of damage. Grants Fly Combat Manuever while worn). Atomic Ray Gun (Small Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage that ignore armor).

NUELOW Games titles are on sale at the usual outlets!

In observation of April Fools Day, all NUELOW Games releases are on sale at the usual outlets. Now is the perfect day to get that book or game supplement you've been on the fence about.

At RPGNow -- all of our listings are on sale!
Just one of the titles that are available!

At Wargame Vault -- all of our listings are on sale!
Just one of the titles that are available!

At DriveThru Comics -- all of our listings are on sale!
Just one of the titles that are available!

At DriveThru Fiction -- all of our listings are on sale!
Just one of the titles that are available!

At DriveThruRPG -- all of our listings are on sale!
Just one of the titles that are available!

After Midnight tonight, it won't be April 1st anymore, so don't delay! Get your NUELOW Games purchases now!