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RE: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)

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  • Soylent Green
    I wouldn t read too much into it, but yeah. What I find works for me for ongoing campaigns is to refresh DPs every in game night, assuming the player
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 5, 2011
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      I wouldn't read too much into it, but yeah.

      What I find works for me for ongoing campaigns is to refresh DPs every in game night, assuming the player characters go home, have a shower and get a decent night sleep. So if the adventure spans two days the player will get a full refresh some time mid session.

      The fact is I don't use Compels all that much. I've tried, I'm just not wired that way. I just can't pack that much drama and complications into a single session and I don't like the notion of watered down compels that have no teeth. So the overnight  refresh keeps the players in DPs  but I find still respecting the relative balance between weaker high refresh characters and powerful low refresh characters.

      But most of all I find it a good pacing device. I often find in urban adventure time get's really compressed. Player characters just keep going, one day merges into the next with no real sense of time passing. But with overnight refreshes, the players do that for me. When they notice they are low on DP and start making considering that maybe they can wait till tomorrow to confront the mobster boss I know the system is working.   


      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@...
      Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 11:42:23 -0700
      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)

       

      Those two are somewhat contradictory, aren't they?
       
      John McMullen (Young old coot)
      jhmcmullen@...

      From: Soylent Green <gsoylent@...>
      To: icons group <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:22 PM
      Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)



      The catch however that Starting Determination is also the main balancing mechanic. A simple trained hero like Batman, the theory goes, can fight side by side by Superman because of his larger Determination Pool. If Determination is flowing like water that kind of goes out of the window.

      Sure, Superman still have to earn the DPs by having his Challenges Compelled. But that just translates to more screen time for the player, after all the Challenges he chose are meant to be a sign to the GM saying "These are the things I want to see happen in game."  

       


      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@...
      Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 10:21:09 -0700
      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)

       

      Both Gareth and Steve have said that Determination flows "like water" so when playing, they apparently give out lots of determination and the players spend lots.

      As experience, you give out *Starting Determination* and they spend *Starting Determination*. Unless somebody does something ultrafantastic, really special, I give out starting determination about a point every two sessions. Other people might be different--if they stunted and did things a lot (or obviously need to improve their characters) then I might give out more. (I'm very lenient that way.)

      Even though I'm miserly about starting determination, I'm positively profligate about straight determination. I try to make sure that they have Determination Points so that they can do cool things. And the pay-for-stunts by the rules-as-written lasts for the first ten times they use a stunt; after that, it's one point of starting determination, and they have it for free, forever more. (I am toying with allowing stunts as bonus powers during random roll creation, though I haven't thought of a good way to handle them during point-buy creation.)
       
      John McMullen (Young old coot)
      jhmcmullen@...

      From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@...>
      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 12:57 PM
      Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)

      Okay, I understand the difference quite well now.

      Well, I seem to have a problem. Unless I give a lot of Determination during the game so that my players can do stunts, they're going to complain I changed the system (because as I already stated, they stunt A LOT)

      How much Determination can I give during a session ? without giving TOO MUCH ? In your example, you use Determination for a variety of things, and for example I like the Determined Effort, it's what they often do with karma in MSH. But if I don't give enough Determination, they won't be able to play like this, nor use as much stunts as they're used to.

      I'm infamous in my gaming circle as "the GM who's always trying new systems for already-running campaigns". I'd like this transition to go smoothly so I can prove them it was a good idea to change.


      --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...> wrote:
      >
      > Well, I can do the Starting Determination versus Determination thing.
      >
      > Determination is how many Determination points you currently have. Starting Determination is the minimum number of Determination points you start a session with. Some examples will make it clearer, and others, chime in if I've gotten something wrong.
      >
      >
      > Let's use UltraGuy and FlyingMammalMan. Both of scads of challenges so they get lots of Determination throughout the game, okay?
      >
      >
      > UltraGuy has oodles of powers and a Starting Determination of 1.
      >
      >
      > FlyingMammalMan is a well-trained normal with a Starting Determination of 4. (He has a couple of powers as devices, but they count against his Starting Determination. If he had no powers and no abilities over 6, his Starting Determination would be 6.)
      >
      > So: those are their Determination levels at the start of the campaign: 1 and 4.
      >
      >
      > The campaign starts off with a bang, almost literally: bomb threat from the Quizzor, in a stadium, police can't get there in time. Since UltraGuy can fly and has super-speed, they decide that he will get people out. With his super speed, the GM says, sure, he can get 100 people out a page, but there are 15,000 in the stadium (the game is poorly attended). FlyingMammalMan will use his detective skills to figure out where the bomb has to be. He has the Epithet Country's Smartest Investigator, so he rolls against his high Intellect of 6. He gets -5 and has no idea (6-5=1, and the GM says that's not enough).
      >
      >
      > Next page. While UltraGuy is getting people out, his wife phones and needs him Right Now--she's being threatened by a bad guy. He looks around and even though it means he'll be in trouble with his wife later, he figures he's gotta get these people out. The GM gives him a Determination point for the hard choice, so now he has 2 Determination, FlyingMammalMan has 4.
      >
      > FlyingMammanMan rolls again, this time saying he wants a Massive Success (5 levels). He rolls a -4 (because his dice suck tonight, so 6-4=2; he needs three more levels to get a Massive Success, so he spends 2 Determination. (He declared he would before he rolled, and he has enough Determination.) He figures out from the audio of the phone call it must be in the basement at one of the four corners (only place where you get those echoes or something). Bonus effect? The GM says he's at the right corner. UltraGuy gets more people out.
      >
      >
      > Next page. Movement, and FlyingMammalMan takes an additional -1 to spot the bomb. He doesn't, suddenly realizing that his dice suck tonight.
      >
      > Next page,  he decides he's going to go for a Major success on spotting the bomb and rolls a +5, so he sees it and sees the wire. He pays 1 Determination point *anyway* because he's declared a Determined Effort result, so now he has 1 Determination left. He says, "Using my Intellect of 6 and my Military specialty because I was a bomb disposal expert in the military" (the GM notes that; it's never come up before, and allows it; with the right justification, he'd also have allowed Electronics or Weapons). UltraGuy still has 2 Determination and FlyingMammalMan has 1.
      >
      >
      > The session ends without more Determination being earned or spent because it's an example. The next session starts, and UltraGuy still has 2 (his Starting Determination is 1, and he has that 1 he earned), and FlyingMammalMan has 4, because his Starting Determination is 4.
      >
      > Does that help?
      >
      >  
      > John McMullen (Young old coot)
      > jhmcmullen@...
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@...>
      > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 9:49 AM
      > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: MSH Karma
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I know this isn't directed at me, but...
      >
      > I'm sorry if you felt excluded. I just addressed him first because of the karma rules, the rest of the post was aimed at anyone interested.
      >
      > >
      > > Well, it's two *starting* determination, if I'm reading it correctly.
      >
      > yes. I have a really hard time to understand the difference actually, but I gather they are way more important than regular Determination.
      >
      > However, since the Power Stunts cost one starting determination too if you want to get them permanently, I still feel they're totally overpriced. Maybe that's the MSH player speaking. maybe the ICONS system doesn't encourage players to buy their stunts permanently.
      >
      > But I know this is goign to disgrunt my players enormously. They almost always use their powers through stunts.
      >
      > >
      > > And it's really tough for my players to spend that starting determination, because determination points have proven to be so useful in the game, they really don't want to give up the edge they get from having some determination points in-pocket, as it were. They often don't start spending some until they have earned some. (That's not always true, but currently I am generous with determination, so it balances out.)
      > >
      > >  
      > > John McMullen (Young old coot)
      > > jhmcmullen@
      > >
      > >
      > > ________________________________
      > > From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@>
      > > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 8:48 AM
      > > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: MSH Karma
      > >
      > > Hey Gsoylent,
      > >
      > > I know, I know, it's more than a year later, but :
      > >
      > > I'd really like to continue my MSH game with ICONS but my players are a bit cranky about the changes. I think the reintegration of karma would work great in that regard.
      > >
      > > Did you, by any chance, defined a definite "rule" for it , I would very much like to see it.
      > >
      > > Also, I had a read to the UnVerse protocols experience system, but I have trouble understanding it. Maybe your karma system would be enough ?
      > >
      > > What's buggering me in the vanilla ICONS is how easy it is to crank up your powers to maximum. Only two Determination to get a new power level...? And on the other hand, to "validate" a stunt, you need to waste 1 Determination ? it doesn't seem really fair.
      > >
      > > For info : we don't play with randomly generated characters.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "gsoylent" <gsoylent@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Okay this is just a half-baked not fully costed idea to reproduce the Marvel Super Heroes Karma Economy in Icons that just came to me.  It replaces the existing Determination Points for Challenge Compels system.
      > > >
      > > > Heroes can earn Karma based on their actions. The amount of Karma is the same as stated on the Karma rewards charts from MSH.  For instance:
      > > >
      > > > Robbery, Stop/Prevent   - 10 Karma
      > > > Defeating Rank 7 (Incredible) Foe  40 â€" Karma
      > > > Un-heroic actions cost Karma.
      > > >
      > > > Challenges are given Karma rewards rather than DPs. The Challenges replace the MSH "Personal Commitment", "Weekly Award" and "Good Roleplaying" rewards. Their Karma reward values should probably be increased a bit too ("Personal Commitment" for instance is only 5 Karma).
      > > >
      > > > Karma is paid at the end of each scene, rather than the end of the session.
      > > >
      > > > Karma can be used to buy DPs.
      > > > With  50 Karma a player can buy a one-use (non-refreshing) DP.
      > > > With 500 Karma a player can buy a refreshing DP.
      > > >
      > > > All other advances costs are in DP as stated in the book. Note only refreshing DPs can be used for advancement purposes.
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >     http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >     http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >




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    • wee_ree_cat
      You all helped a lot, thank you. Something that popped up while reading your answers : in the book, it s just said that One area were you may improve
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 5, 2011
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        You all helped a lot, thank you.

        Something that popped up while reading your answers : in the book, it's just said that "One area were you may improve characters is increasing their starting Determination (the value that refreshes at the start of a new issue)."

        But... they don't say HOW ! the following is just a way of spending them on new powers and such...


        --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "Seamus" <sotp_seamus@...> wrote:
        >
        > Another important thing to note here is that Starting Determination is what is on the sheet between issues, more or less. If you have more than your minimum at the end of an issue, you go into the next issue with that amount. If it's below your minimum, you start with your minimum. So Airborne Rodent Man, if he has 0 at the end of the issue, starts with 4 (assuming that's his minimum), and Nietzsche Quote Fella, if he ends with 6, starts the next issue at 6 (even if his minimum is 1).
        >
        > This means that Airborne Rodent Man will often want to use all of his Determination before the end (unless he's saving up for a new power), and Nietzsche Quote Fella will want to hold on a little more tightly.
        >
        > The payoff is that Airborne Rodent Man will do cool things with his Determination, much like those crazy detective types in the comics. On the other hand Nietzsche Quote Fella will do cool things with all those Powers he has, plus the fact that he wants circumstances to constantly tag his Challenges and Aspects if he wants in on the Determination economy.
        >
        > Slightly different from old-school Karma, but if you think of the Karma chart like Aspects that everybody shares it makes a little more sense.
        >
        > I hope I helped. :)
        >
        > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Soylent Green <gsoylent@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > The catch however that Starting Determination is also the main balancing mechanic. A simple trained hero like Batman, the theory goes, can fight side by side by Superman because of his larger Determination Pool. If Determination is flowing like water that kind of goes out of the window.
        > > Sure, Superman still have to earn the DPs by having his Challenges Compelled. But that just translates to more screen time for the player, after all the Challenges he chose are meant to be a sign to the GM saying "These are the things I want to see happen in game."
        > >
        > >
        > > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        > > From: jhmcmullen@
        > > Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 10:21:09 -0700
        > > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Both Gareth and Steve have said that Determination flows "like water" so when playing, they apparently give out lots of determination and the players spend lots.
        > > As experience, you give out *Starting Determination* and they spend *Starting Determination*. Unless somebody does something ultrafantastic, really special, I give out starting determination about a point every two sessions. Other people might be different--if they stunted and did things a lot (or obviously need to improve their characters) then I might give out more. (I'm very lenient that way.)
        > >
        > > Even though I'm miserly about starting determination, I'm positively profligate about straight determination. I try to make sure that they have Determination
        > > Points so that they can do cool things. And the pay-for-stunts by the rules-as-written lasts for the first ten times they use a stunt; after that, it's one point of starting determination, and they have it for free, forever more. (I am toying with allowing stunts as bonus powers during random roll creation, though I haven't thought of a good way to handle them during point-buy creation.)
        > > John McMullen (Young old coot)
        > > jhmcmullen@
        > > From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@>
        > > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 12:57
        > > PM
        > > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Starting Determination (was MSH Karma)
        > >
        > >
        > > Okay, I understand the difference quite well now.
        > >
        > > Well, I seem to have a problem. Unless I give a lot of Determination during the game so that my players can do stunts, they're going to complain I changed the system (because as I already stated, they stunt A LOT)
        > >
        > > How much Determination can I give during a session ? without giving TOO MUCH ? In your example, you use Determination for a variety of things, and for example I like the Determined Effort, it's what they often do with karma in MSH. But if I don't give enough Determination, they won't be able to play like this, nor use as much stunts as they're used to.
        > >
        > > I'm infamous in my gaming circle as "the GM who's always trying new systems for already-running campaigns". I'd like this transition to go smoothly so I can prove them it was a good idea to change.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Well, I can do the Starting Determination versus Determination thing.
        > > >
        > > > Determination is how many Determination points you currently have. Starting Determination is the minimum number of Determination points you start a session with. Some examples will make it clearer, and others, chime in if I've gotten something wrong.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Let's use UltraGuy and FlyingMammalMan. Both of scads of challenges so they get lots of Determination throughout the game, okay?
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > UltraGuy has oodles of powers and a Starting Determination of 1.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > FlyingMammalMan is a well-trained normal with a Starting Determination of 4. (He has a couple of powers as devices, but they count against his Starting Determination. If he had no powers and no abilities over 6, his Starting
        > > Determination would be 6.)
        > > >
        > > > So: those are their Determination levels at the start of the campaign: 1 and 4.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > The campaign starts off with a bang, almost literally: bomb threat from the Quizzor, in a stadium, police can't get there in time. Since UltraGuy can fly and has super-speed, they decide that he will get people out. With his super speed, the GM says, sure, he can get 100 people out a page, but there are 15,000 in the stadium (the game is poorly attended). FlyingMammalMan will use his detective skills to figure out where the bomb has to be. He has the Epithet Country's Smartest Investigator, so he rolls against his high Intellect of 6. He gets -5 and has no idea (6-5=1, and the GM says that's not enough).
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Next page. While UltraGuy is getting people out, his wife phones and needs him Right Now--she's being threatened by a bad guy. He looks around and even though it means he'll be
        > > in trouble with his wife later, he figures he's gotta get these people out. The GM gives him a Determination point for the hard choice, so now he has 2 Determination, FlyingMammalMan has 4.
        > > >
        > > > FlyingMammanMan rolls again, this time saying he wants a Massive Success (5 levels). He rolls a -4 (because his dice suck tonight, so 6-4=2; he needs three more levels to get a Massive Success, so he spends 2 Determination. (He declared he would before he rolled, and he has enough Determination.) He figures out from the audio of the phone call it must be in the basement at one of the four corners (only place where you get those echoes or something). Bonus effect? The GM says he's at the right corner. UltraGuy gets more people out.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Next page. Movement, and FlyingMammalMan takes an additional -1 to spot the bomb. He doesn't, suddenly realizing that his dice suck tonight.
        > > >
        > > > Next page, he decides he's
        > > going to go for a Major success on spotting the bomb and rolls a +5, so he sees it and sees the wire. He pays 1 Determination point *anyway* because he's declared a Determined Effort result, so now he has 1 Determination left. He says, "Using my Intellect of 6 and my Military specialty because I was a bomb disposal expert in the military" (the GM notes that; it's never come up before, and allows it; with the right justification, he'd also have allowed Electronics or Weapons). UltraGuy still has 2 Determination and FlyingMammalMan has 1.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > The session ends without more Determination being earned or spent because it's an example. The next session starts, and UltraGuy still has 2 (his Starting Determination is 1, and he has that 1 he earned), and FlyingMammalMan has 4, because his Starting Determination is 4.
        > > >
        > > > Does that help?
        > > >
        > > > Â
        > > > John McMullen (Young old coot)
        > > >
        > > jhmcmullen@
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > ________________________________
        > > > From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@>
        > > > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        > > > Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 9:49 AM
        > > > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: MSH Karma
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I know this isn't directed at me, but...
        > > >
        > > > I'm sorry if you felt excluded. I just addressed him first because of the karma rules, the rest of the post was aimed at anyone interested.
        > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Well, it's two *starting* determination, if I'm reading it correctly.
        > > >
        > > > yes. I have a really hard time to understand the difference actually, but I
        > > gather they are way more important than regular Determination.
        > > >
        > > > However, since the Power Stunts cost one starting determination too if you want to get them permanently, I still feel they're totally overpriced. Maybe that's the MSH player speaking. maybe the ICONS system doesn't encourage players to buy their stunts permanently.
        > > >
        > > > But I know this is goign to disgrunt my players enormously. They almost always use their powers through stunts.
        > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > And it's really tough for my players to spend that starting determination, because determination points have proven to be so useful in the game, they really don't want to give up the edge they get from having some determination points in-pocket, as it were. They often don't start spending some until they have earned some. (That's not always true, but currently I am generous with determination, so it balances out.)
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > ÂÂ
        > > > > John McMullen (Young old coot)
        > > > > jhmcmullen@
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > ________________________________
        > > > > From: wee_ree_cat <wee_ree_cat@>
        > > > > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 8:48 AM
        > > > > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: MSH Karma
        > > > >
        > > > > Hey Gsoylent,
        > > > >
        > > > > I know, I know, it's more than a year later, but :
        > > > >
        > > > > I'd really like to continue my MSH game with ICONS but my players are a bit cranky about the changes. I think the reintegration of karma would work great in that regard.
        > > > >
        > > > > Did you, by any chance, defined a definite "rule" for it , I would very much like to see it.
        > > > >
        > > > > Also, I had a read to the UnVerse protocols experience
        > > system, but I have trouble understanding it. Maybe your karma system would be enough ?
        > > > >
        > > > > What's buggering me in the vanilla ICONS is how easy it is to crank up your powers to maximum. Only two Determination to get a new power level...? And on the other hand, to "validate" a stunt, you need to waste 1 Determination ? it doesn't seem really fair.
        > > > >
        > > > > For info : we don't play with randomly generated characters.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "gsoylent" <gsoylent@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Okay this is just a half-baked not fully costed idea to reproduce the Marvel Super Heroes Karma Economy in Icons that just came to me. It replaces the existing Determination Points for Challenge Compels system.
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > > > > Heroes can earn Karma based on their actions. The amount of Karma is the same as stated on the Karma rewards charts from MSH. For instance:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Robbery, Stop/Prevent  - 10 Karma
        > > > > > Defeating Rank 7 (Incredible) Foe 40 â€" Karma
        > > > > > Un-heroic actions cost Karma.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Challenges are given Karma rewards rather than DPs. The Challenges replace the MSH "Personal Commitment", "Weekly Award" and "Good Roleplaying" rewards. Their Karma reward values should probably be increased a bit too ("Personal Commitment" for instance is only 5 Karma).
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Karma is paid at the end of each scene, rather than the end of the session.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Karma can be used to buy DPs.
        > > > > > With 50 Karma a player can buy a one-use (non-refreshing)
        > > DP.
        > > > > > With 500 Karma a player can buy a refreshing DP.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > All other advances costs are in DP as stated in the book. Note only refreshing DPs can be used for advancement purposes.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > ------------------------------------
        > > > >
        > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >   http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > ------------------------------------
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Â Â http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------------------------------
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        >
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