You know what I hate? The word ‘supers’.

A lot of superhero role-playing products call superheroes ‘supers’.

This seems to be because DC and Marvel jointly claim a trademark on the phrase ‘Super Hero’.

That claim seems to this non-lawyer to be pretty far-fetched (a bit like McDonalds and Burger King claiming to own the word ‘burgers’). But that’s not the point. The point is this:

No one calls them ‘supers’.

No one. Not ever. Not even the role-playing designers who use the term in their products. The term doesn’t even appear in the Wikipedia article on superheroes.

EDIT: I was wrong. Apparently The Incredibles did. Still, that movie doesn’t seem to have brought the term ‘supers’ into common use outside of RPGs. It seems more likely to me that RPG creators’ main motivation in using ‘supers’ is fear of being sued, rather than wanting to use the term that The Incredibles used or that they usually say ‘supers’ rather than ‘super heroes’.

It makes me think of spam that I used to get trying to sell me ‘meds’.

Game designers, if you’re terrified of Marvel and DC, make up something like ‘science hero‘, which has its own retro charm.

PS Superheroes superheroes superheroes superheroes.

Another publishing idea

Further to this post, a couple of people have said that I should do a book or ebook of my posts about Teleleli.

It would be largely the same as what I’ve put on this blog, but more organised, and illustrated.

What do people think?

It’s not something I could do straight away because, even though it wouldn’t require any writing or much editing, I’d still have to decide on illustrations, layout, the cost to print it if it was a book rather than an ebook and so on.

Various observations on matters sexual

That which we call the ‘missionary position’ is, in Teleleli, known as The Congress of Serpents.

It is rumoured that some wizards who are well-versed in the ways of the extra dimensions Yafir and Yiraf have invented a series of non-Euclidian sexual positions.

There is a type of robot which can both disassemble itself, and have sexual intercourse. As such, they have invented sexual positions with no equivalent among biological creatures. It is not known why they were so designed. It was not to serve as concubines to creatures of flesh, since they utterly refuse to do so. Nor do they reproduce in this fashion. Some speculate that they are intended to drive humans and similar beings mad with envy.

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I found this collection a while ago. It’s of Sherlock Holmes stories by authors other than Arthur Conan Doyle, most of which go in the direction of science fiction or fantasy. It might seem like putting the ultimate logician in a situation with no obvious logic would defeat the purpose of the character – and yet, for me, it works.The most famous story from this collection is probably Neil Gaiman’s A Study In Emerald. The non-free version apparently has several more stories.

Do any RPGs get more lethal as they go on?

It seems strange to me that D&D, as with most RPGs, starts you off with a difficult task (a 1st level character surviving) and then moves you on to an easier one (a higher-level character surviving).

It doesn’t seem like it’d be very difficult to achieve the opposite: just make the lower-level monsters weaker and the higher-level monsters stronger (or the equivalent for other genres).

My memory of video games (I haven’t played for a long time) is that you started off with easier tasks and they got harder and harder. Your character might have gotten extra abilities as you played, but the increase in danger more than compensated for that.

Then again, it could be argued that the normal way to play video games is by using the ‘save game’ feature to ‘resurrect’ yourself whenever you die. So maybe video games as played didn’t actually get harder.