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Alzrius's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,132 posts. 70 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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@BigBadFighter Im m.class rogue/ranger, so meet my rust monster animal companion #level20problems #NicheUnprotected #RoguesDoItFromBehind


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Lvl 20 rogue mad cuz I can still replace him with Gr. Weapon Spec., some ranks in UMD, and wand of knock. #level20problems #NicheUnprotected


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lol. NPC plebs I knew at lvl 1 just gave 50 gp to kill goblins. Gobs gave 100 to leave em alone. Oh well, CN here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #level20problems


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So my keen holy g. touch longsword +5 can beat DR 20/cold iron, epic, and good on Pazuzu but not DR 5/bludge on a skeleton. #level20problems


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Hafta use gate cuz plane shift can't handle my familiar, cohort, followers, constructs, animated undead, and party members. #level20problems


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My stupid holy champion power is auto-ending my smite evil whenever I use it to whack an evil outsider. Sucks! #level20problems


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I absolutely don't get folks' love for kitsune or any other anthropomorphized race. But that's just me.

Oh yeah? Well I don't get why I keep reading your name as "DungeonmasterSoCal," so there!


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Here's the latest blurb (and picture) about Tails of Equestria, the MLP:FiM RPG, that was in the latest newsletter from River Horse, the game's developer.

The link in that picture went to the game's Facebook page, but rather oddly that picture isn't there (at least not yet).

I'm becoming slightly nervous about the game. First the cover spotlights three standard fantasy classes (fighter, wizard, and thief/rogue), and now it's highlighting a new creature that's presumably a monster to be fought. I know it can be difficult to make a role-playing game (or rather, story-telling game, as they're calling it) about solving friendship problems with understanding, empathy, and respect, but I really hope they don't turn it into a game focused around fighting monsters and taking their stuff.


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So I did some checking, and I can now confirm:

Spoiler:
This blog entry has the correct number of "na's" in the title.


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atheral wrote:

I'm probably going against the grain here when I say I didn't care for the song this week. The general plot of the episode was fine, but the end felt super rushed with Shining and Cadence doing such a rapid 180 after the song.

For a Spike center Ep. it wasn't the worst but I thought Gauntlet of fire was a much stronger story for him.

This episode was a very mixed bag for me, and some of that was due to the points you raised here. The song, to my mind, wasn't very good. I think that Cathy Weseluck was a bit hamstrung by trying to sing in a voice so different from her own, but also by the fact that the lyrics seemed rather middling. I liked the use of "why can't a changeling change?" in the refrain, but the rest of it was so-so.

That said, I honestly thought we were going to get a sequence of Sunburst inventing a detect changeling spell, and I'm glad we didn't. That would have been much too much of an "over and done" on the changeling's only useful ability (at least when Zecora did that, it was in an alternate universe...and apparently wasn't infallible, since there were changelings already in her hidden village).

But there seemed to be a great deal of dialing back on the parasitic nature of changelings in this episode. First was the confirmation that feelings of friendship are sufficient to love insofar as feeding them goes. Moreover, it's now stated that the zombification that Queen Chrysalis had Shining Armor (and a few other ponies) under was due to "a spell" and not a side-effect of having been fed on (though to be fair I'm not sure if that was confirmed in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, so maybe that's not a retcon).

But what I really didn't like was Thorax's idea that, if he brought friendship back to the rest of the changelings, that they wouldn't have to feed on others anymore. That...really rubbed me the wrong way. It was like having a vampire who says "from now on, we can just have vampires feed on each other and leave humans alone!" The entire point of a parasite is that it can't get what it needs from its own kind. Even raising that possibility felt too convenient to me.

I did like, however, that we got to see Spike making a difference for the better again (even if he did stumble a bit in doing so). He's really been bringing it this season, first in the premiere, then with Princess Ember, and now here. That's some solid character growth for the little guy.


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Sundakan wrote:
I saw it, but was very unimpressed with what I saw of Kingdom of Magic, so didn't give it a further look. Something just felt...off about the second season as compared to the first. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but a combination of the voice acting feeling somewhat different, to the animation being off as well, an apparent shift in tone, and of course COMPLETELY IGNORING the end of the first season because apparently it was non-canon and they wanted to get back to the proper plot made me watch a couple of episodes and then drop it.

So I just realized that the post of mine that this is in response to was also deleted, making it unclear what series is being discussed here.

To fix that: this is in regard to my mentioning that Netflix is currently hosting Adventure of Sinbad, a spin-off of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (and its direct continuation, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic). As the name suggests, this tells the story of the adventures that Sinbad had as a young man.


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Krensky wrote:
Both of you compleyely missed the point.

I don't believe I did, but if you disagree then I'm interested in hearing your opinion on the anime under discussion. What do you think the point of it was?


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thejeff wrote:
Alzrius: The proper response here to moderation issues is to contact the moderators and ask. They have restored deleted posts on occasion.

That's what I did. Or did you mean privately?

I've seen public responses to moderation here before, and can't recall any particular admonishments that such responses should be done privately, so I didn't take that to be an issue.

Quote:

Just reposting a removed post (and continuing the deleted back and forth - or was the previous post also a repost?) is just asking for trouble.

Flagged.

Neither of those were reposts; I rewrote my initial response to Aranna's points in a way that was designed to be less confrontative while still speaking to the points under debate; given that Liz had seen fit to leave that particular response of Aranna's up (as well as one of mine before it), it seemed self-evident that the debate itself was permissible.

Likewise, the second post was a complete rewrite (and I stated upfront that it was a rewrite) of my thoughts on the series in question, rather than a word-for-word repost.


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So for no reason that I can fathom, my previous review of Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne ("Rinne no Lagrange") was deleted. I'm going to presume that this was some sort of mistake, since there's no way that it violated any of the forum rules, and do my best to rewrite it.

I'm of the opinion that reviewing something is a process of asking the following questions about a particular work: 1) What goals did it set for itself? 2) Did it succeed at meeting those goals? and 3) If so, how artfully did it achieve them? If not, then why not?

To my mind, Lagrange was a coming-of-age story that wanted to focus on themes of (deep and meaningful) friendships and self-affirmation as one enters the world. However, I'm of the opinion that it failed to meet those goals, largely as a result of how it utilized external opposition to try and represent internal tribulations. I say "how" there because the idea of having external circumstance be reflective of personal growth is far from a new idea. Rather, the issue was that Lagrange simply didn't do this very well, to my mind.

A twenty-four episode series, Lagrange is the story of a high school girl named Madoka. When she's suddenly tasked with piloting a mecha - and use it to defend against two galactic kingdoms whose war has just arrived at the Earth - she eventually becomes friends with the princess from each kingdom (who themselves break away from their homelands), using their mecha to bring an end to the war while trying to also navigate their everyday lives.

The setup here is presented rather well; the initial episodes make it clear that while Madoka, Lan, and Muginami are all initially well-adjusted teenage girls, as their circumstances suddenly change each of them has a personal crisis that needs to be overcome. For Lan and Muginami, this is based around separation from their family up until that point, forcing them to figure out who they are apart from their extended social network. More notable is Madoka, who goes through this transition without any sudden transition, and as a consequence needs longer to figure things out.

This is where the story of "adolescence-turned-adulthood" tries to tie into themes of friendship. All three girls are fundamentally alone at the beginning of the series; while this is highlighted when Lan and Muginami are separated from their respective kingdoms, Madoka's isolation comes into focus in a way that more directly connects to the show's main theme of growing up: for her, the realization is that she's been acting the part that her older cousin invented for her as a coping mechanism to deal with her (Madoka's) mother's death. It's in realizing that she can't maintain this identity after high school ends, since it's not her own, that Madoka's pathos comes from.

The reason I don't think that the series is very good, however, is that it tries too hard to telegraph its message. For Madoka, the answer to this problem is not so much to create a new sense of self (the way that Muginami and Lan do), but rather to come to own the identity that she's had up until now. Rather than act as a member of the "Jersey Club" - the single-member school club that she's in whose activities are to go around doing good deeds - because that's how she was taught to act, Madoka makes the conscious and deliberate decision to do so because that's who she wants to be.

This determination is presented in terms of her being essentially unstoppable - not just on the battlefield - but in the face of almost every problem she faces. While we do see instances of her having self-doubt, these are comparatively few and far between. Instead, most of what we see is Madoka blazing a way through any and all opposition.

By itself, that's not a problem; there are lots of shows that use pesonal determination as fuel for overcoming an external situation. The problem comes in the form of the show throwing Madoka against problems that shouldn't be able to be solved via simply being headstrong...and then she solves them anyway. The most egregious example of this is that she manages to single-handedly end the war between two galactic-scale civilizations by indignantly declaring that their leaders should...not so much sit down to talk, but open their hearts and share their feelings with each other (or she'll beat them up).

This, for me, was the single greatest failing of the series. War, especially at that scale, shouldn't be something that can be ended (let alone instantaneously ended) by just making their leaders hug it out. Moreover, the idea that only the pure-hearted determination of a teenage girl can see that, let alone make it happen, was more than my suspension of disbelief could handle.

The end result was to make Lagrange into a show where everything revolved around its main cast to a degree that the narrative didn't seem to adequately support. Ultimately, Madoka seemed to triumph over her foes not so much because she had an ultimate mecha at her disposal, or even because she had determination that became a source of power for that mecha, but simply because she wanted it more than anyone else...whether it was combat or emotional virtue. The former is plausible, whereas the latter is not (at least to me).

Ultimately, this was the series single greatest failing, and why I wouldn't recommend it. When the main character can bring an end to macro-scale sociopolitical problems because she can emotionally-overbear the opposition, the show isn't one that I think is worthwhile.


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Aranna wrote:
It isn't that I ignored your explanation it's that I reject it. Only people with deep close friendships aren't loners?! Huh? That makes no sense.

It makes perfect sense; you can be alone in a crowd of people, and be a loner even if you have numerous acquaintances. That is to say, you misunderstood what I said; see below.

Quote:
A loner is "a person who prefers not to associate with others." to quote the dictionary. They all associate with others freely and clearly enjoy it.

The dictionaries that I looked in both included that a "loner" can be someone who is alone - regardless of reasons - and not just someone who wants to be alone.

In the case of Lagrange, that very clearly applies to Madoka, Lan, and Muginami, as they are alone in the sense of having no close friends before they find each other. They have casual acquaintances, sure, but that's quite clearly not enough.

Quote:
Also I begin to see what you clearly missed that gave you the impression about talking about it working.

I didn't miss what you indicated; rather, I don't think it carries the same significance that you seem to be assigning it.

Quote:
Spoiler:
In the dialogs between the Kings and Moid at various points you can piece together that the only reason he stopped the war with De Mitrio is because he thought he had lost... NOT because he feared Madoka punching him... the whole punch thing was just for humor. So in essence Madoka's efforts just gave him the way out from having all the various factions attack him after his plot was revealed. But that changed when Moid gave him a way to open the portal without the girls. And he immediately attacked again.

Spoiler:
The issue with the "punch thing" is not just for humor. It's the summation of the fact that Madoka and her friends have gained greater military strength, and are threatening to use it unless Dizelmine and Villagulio make up with each other personally.

Now, it's true that Moid convinced Dizelmine to go back on his word, but that ended up concluding in exactly the same way. Madoka went in, battered her way through the situation (albeit this time via Yurikano), and forced her will on the situation, which was "everyone WILL be friends with each other...or else!"

In both cases, Madoka used force to demand - not peace between the two factions - but a state of personal friendship between their leaders.


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Liz Courts wrote:
Removed some back-and-forth posts. Agree to disagree folks—this is a topic that's full of varying opinions, which may not be shared by all folks. Don't make it personal.

...and how exactly did my review of Lagrange, by itself, fall into the category of "back-and-forth" posts?


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I talked about this a little over in the "What are you currently binge watching?" thread, but I'll go ahead and expand on my review here.

One of my perennial issues with single-cour anime series is that it can be difficult to fit everything into only twelve or thirteen episodes, particularly if it's an adaptation of an existing work. In that case, the show will either need to resign itself to telling just a fragment of the whole story, or compress things down to where it can all fit into the episodes that it's been allocated. In the case of Beyond the Boundary ("Kyokai no Kanata"), it honestly feels like they tried to split the difference, and in the end satisfyingly accomplished neither.

A twelve-episode series, Kyokai is set in the modern day, where creatures called youmu - invisible to normal people - bedevil the population, and are hunted by Spirit World Warriors, people with supernatural powers that fight them. The story revolves around Akihito Kanbara - a half-human/youmu who is immortal - and Mirai Kuriyama, a Spirit World Warrior who is exceptionally powerful, but is both insecure and an outcast.

I won't go too deep into the details of the plot, as it's a fairly tight narrative that's built around a series of events happening with the local youmu even as Mirai - a newcomer to the local area - gets to know Akihito and his friends.

I do have to give the show credit, as it does a surprisingly good job at juggling disparate elements, both in terms of tone and presentation. Where the former is concerned, the show deals with some fairly heavy drama, and yet is able to also deliver humor adroitly, which I attribute to the fact that it knows to keep the two separate. For example, when a revenge-driven girl from Mirai's past shows up, out for blood, the show doesn't try to break that up with comedic antics, letting the drama play out without undercutting its seriousness. Instead, it segregates the comedy for when, as an example, the group tries to confront a youmu with a skunk-like defense by...singing and dancing at it.

Moreover, the presentation works because the show deftly flips back and forth between characterization and plot advancement. The main thrust of the show is the relationship between Akihito and Mirai, and it pushes this forward both by giving them plenty of interaction - both with each other and other people - but also by pushing forward a web of intrigue that undergirds the serious situations in which they find themselves on more than one occasion.

(In fact, the show even goes so far as to give them signatures, with Akihito unfailingly going ga-ga over girls in glasses, while Mirai has a catchphrase: "How unpleasant!" ("Fuyukai desu!").)

All of this makes it a shame that the show quite clearly can't do everything it wants to. Ultimately, the background events that set the plot in motion are only ever hinted at, with no clear answers forthcoming. While this doesn't hurt the impact of the show's resolution, there is a sense that it could have been a lot more enjoyable if we'd been given a greater peek behind the plot's curtain. Given that there's a few OVAs and a movie or two for this series - none of which were on Crunchyroll - I suspect that these at least try to fix this.

Overall, Beyond the Boundary is a good show that's straining at the edges of what it wants to do. It's a shame that the anime - based on a light novel series that only had three volumes - couldn't quite manage to pull off the landing, when everything else about it was nicely polished. Still, it's one of the better shows out there, and it's worth a watch.


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Aranna wrote:
- Also once the girls start meeting people at the school it's made very clear all three are very popular. So I again have no idea how Alzrius got "loners" out of the show at all?

You seem to have deliberately ignored my previous explanation here, which is that I was using that as a shorthand for "lacking in any deep friendships prior to having met each other." That they're "popular" has nothing to do with that.

Indeed, one of the driving themes of the show is that all three girls feel isolated from others because they're letting themselves be defined by the roles that other people have constructed for them. As with most "coming of age" stories, the show is about them breaking free from that so that they can define themselves, and in doing so form strong bonds with others of their own volition.

Quote:
- Last correction is again confusion over Alzrius's statement that everything is resolved by forcing people to talk it out. In fact the ONLY thing ever resolved by such action is the relationship between the girls themselves. Ultimately such an attempt ended in complete failure.

I don't believe that this is correct. Quite the contrary, Madoka ends the war between La Garite and De Mitrio by essentially forcing Villagulio and Dizelmine to sit down and work out the issues that they have with each other because of their personal histories, threatening to beat them up if they don't. Moreover, this attempt is a complete success

Spoiler:
even when Dizelmine backslides on his agreement, Madoka is able to make him recant afterwards. Things only escalate after that due to Moid's betrayal.

Beyond that, I disagree with virtually everything you've said about the show, as the characters are two-dimensional and everyone falls in line with the Mary Sue (to use a loaded term) protagonists. It's a frustrating watch that, in my opinion, leaves its viewers with only a sense of irritation to break up the boredom. Obviously, your mileage varied, but I wouldn't recommend this series to anyone.


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In my case, I watch a lot of anime via my Crunchyroll premium subscription. I pick a show and then watch it fairly quickly, moving onto the next one without hesitation. I try to watch a good mix of genres, and often go blindly (or at least, on nothing more than the series' description) into a new series.

The most recent one I finished (about two hours ago) was Beyond the Boundary ("Kyokai no Kanata"). It was...okay.

The premise is that, in the modern world, invisible monsters called "youmu" infect people, whereas there are also "Spirit World Warriors" - humans with the power to detect and defeat these monsters - who hunt them. The story revolves around a half-human/youmu boy who is immortal, but is otherwise an ordinary high school kid living an ordinary life...until an insecure-but-powerful Spirit World Warrior girl shows up to kill him.

It wasn't a bad show, but the plot is quite clearly cramped by being twelve episodes, and there's a lot of background setup that's hinted at but never given adequate exposition. Similarly, quite a bit of the secondary plot threads are only given cursory treatment at the end of the series, which burden the overall sense of resolution and mar what's otherwise an adequately fulfilling love story.


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MMCJawa wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Right now I am binging Clone Wars.
I didn't binge watch it, but I thoroughly enjoyed Clone Wars.

Yeah I like that it actually fleshes out the background of the Star Wars Universe, brings in a lot of cool stuff from the EU into the new canon, and really does a better job foreshadowing Anakin's fall and the Empire's rise more than the actual prequels did.

Only thing that sometimes confuses me is the episodes being out of order.

You may be interested that there was an official listing that placed the episodes in chronological order.


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How come I can't get no Tang around here?


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So, in an effort to move things along...

I've long held that how adroitly a story is told is far and away more important than any question of how innovative it is. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's nothing new under the sun, I do think that originality is overrated, compared to the quality of its presentation. Hence why I found myself enjoying Golden Time, a twenty-four episode romantic comedy/drama.

The cliché element to Golden Time is found with its main character, Banri Tada; specifically, that he's an amnesiac. Having experienced a traumatic brain injury just after graduating high school, he spent a year in the hospital having lost all of his memories from prior to his accident. Having left recovery, and feeling no connection to friends and family that he doesn't remember, the story begins with him enrolling in the college that he was accepted to just before graduating.

The other half of the story is the girl he meets there, Koko Kaga. An effervescent blonde, Koko is initially stuck on her childhood friend (who, in an amusing inversion of the classic trope, is not only sick to death of her romantic overtures, but has no second thoughts about her later on) before Banri manages to start a relationship with her, with the show being about their story.

On a surface level, it's easy to compare this series to Friends, in that there's a core group of six characters, three guys and three girls, with the largest drama being around one particular pair of them trying to make it work as a couple. Of course, that comparison is only skin deep, as Golden Time sets up mini-arcs within the main overall narrative of Banri and Koko's awkward romance (and make no mistake, it is awkward - for example, the two of them have the most hilariously-bad attempt at a "first time" since Yamada tried it...see what I did there?).

These mini-arcs, however, are what make the show so enjoyable. If it had become stuck on a single major theme (e.g. "will Banri ever get his memories back?" or "If he does, what will that do to his relationship with Koko?"), then it would have been far more boring than it was. Instead, the plot feels like it moves forward at a brisk pace, as the group tries to deal with immediate issues while still moving forward with their lives.

Perhaps the greatest example of this is the (slightly dissonant) supernatural element that pervades the middle of the series. In this, we see that Banri is "haunted" by the ghost of who he was before his accident. There's a vague implication that the accident was so severe that it caused his soul to leave his body, and that the memory loss is merely a side effect of this, but it's never clarified. This angle, which fades away (for a reason that is thankfully made plain fairly quickly) as the show moves on, could have been more odd if the supernatural angle was played up more heavily. But instead, it's used almost as a metaphor for the issue of Banri's past refusing to stay buried, even when he wants nothing to do with it.

The show isn't without its imperfections, of course. The most egregious of these is that the other supporting cast members can sometimes feel superfluous. That is, they can sometimes come off as being exactly what they are: vehicles to move things along for Banri and Koko. What highlights this isn't so much that they play too hefty a role in helping the errant duo, but that the sections that focus on their own lives can come across as somewhat disjointed and incomplete in comparison, as though the show were trying to hard to say "see? These guys are fully-fleshed out characters with their own lives too!"

(And God help you if you play a drinking game with people saying Banri's full name. I have no idea why, but it seemed like people kept saying that a lot!)

Overall, Golden Time was a fun little rom-com with interesting (main) characters and a smart sense of pacing. If you like love stories with a nice dose of drama, you could do a lot worse than this show.


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rabindranath72 wrote:
Indeed it was meant to simulate the AD&D mechanics in a more flexible framework; due to how the XP tables worked in AD&D, in a multiclass character one class was never more than one level behind another; you couldn't "dip". I think the designers did a very good job.

I agree, though it's worth noting that this was counterbalanced by the fact that multiclassing was strictly reserved for demihumans (with a few very rare exceptions), and they had to abide by the level limits for each class they took. Humans, on the other hand, could only dual-class.

Quote:
The maximum level difference is 1, and the reduction is 20% for each class. So, we can have a gnome illusionist 10/rogue 1 with no problems (as illusionist is favoured), but a fighter 10/rogue 1 would incur a 20% penalty on XP. And a fighter 10/cleric 5/rogue 1 would incur a 40% penalty (as both cleric and rogue are more than one level apart from fighter.) This discourages excesses in multiclassing, again probably to retain the flavour of AD&D (niche protection.)

In the case of a fighter 10/cleric 5/rogue 1 - where none of those were favored classes - wouldn't that have been a -60% penalty? That is, you'd be whacked for the disparity between fighter and cleric levels, whacked a second time for the disparity between fighter and rogue levels, and whacked a third time for the disparity between cleric and rogue levels.

It's also worth noting that part of what made prestige classes special was that they never counted towards XP penalties. This was a hidden benefit to them that was ironically reversed in Pathfinder, since the nature of a favored class bonus changed into something you gained for sticking with your original base class, rather than a penalty that could be avoided with your favored class or a prestige class.

Quote:
Unless you started as multiclass at 1st level (the 3.0 DMG allows multiclass characters from the get go) I used the optional training rules in DMG, so getting a level in another class just to "dip" wasn't a cheap option.

I didn't know about that rule in the 3.0 DMG. I'll have to look that up later.

Quote:
A lot of the limitations that look arbitrary, have actually a specific reason to exist, and most of the time the reason seems to retain the "flavour" of AD&D (something that people like me who still plays AD&D and BECMI appreciate.)

To be fair, I'd like to think that those reasons were clear to people who had a fair amount of AD&D under their belts when they started with 3.0. Certainly, it was clear to me from the get-go that that's what they were trying to do.


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Lemmy wrote:

Wait... Was that... A 2nd episode of Re:Zero that doesn't make me feel miserable every step of the way?!

I almost can't believe it!

Now... If only Subaru could see that Rem is best grill... All would be perfect.

I thought that episode eighteen was incredibly powerful. The sheer humanity of that episode, as Subaru finally hit rock-bottom, and finally began to climb back up, was awe-inspiring. It really cemented what I already knew: that this show is one of the greats, at least for me.

But yeah, I called complete BS on him not declaring his love for Rem right there. At this point, she should mean far and away more to him than Emilia ever did.


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Woot! That's very generous, especially for such a great-looking product to boot!


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Bill Dunn wrote:
Meh. Seems like a sarcastic style choice to me more than contempt. It's not like they don't have footsteps to follow in. Ben Croshaw's been doing it in a far more over the top manner since when - 2007?

I'm not familiar with Croshaw's work, but reading over this particular review doesn't suggest "sarcasm" to me, as there's no particular ironic aspect to what's being said. Rather, it's the writer expressing general contempt for this game in particular, its genre in general, and the entire subject (e.g. video games) as a whole.


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Belle Sorciere wrote:
I don't know why I came back to this trainwreck of a thread

I also don't know why you came back, but c'est la vie.

Quote:
but no - they might have once in your estimation expressed contempt for their audience

Leaving aside that that's just the most notable example, I'm quite confident that my estimation of their contempt for their audience is an accurate representation of their views.

We're talking about a review of Rock Band 4 that included lines such as:

"I don't care about rock music."

"Look, sometimes in this job you gotta cover games you don't really give a stuff about."

"All video games are stupid, of course."

This is the person who the video game news company sent to review the rock 'n' roll video game; someone who doesn't care about rock music, thinks video games are stupid, and openly admits he doesn't care about this game in particular. But that's not at all contemptuous of their audience?

Quote:
(and let's not even get into whether and how much I disagree with that).

Which raises the question as to why you'd bring that up if you don't want to debate that point, but whatever.

Quote:
It doesn't seem to be a habit

I disagree.

EDIT: To elaborate, Polygon has a habit of being uncaring at best, antagonistic at worst, towards the industry they cover and the fans that they serve. Again and again, from their incompetent Doom review to their Bayonetta 2 review that penalized the game's score because the reviewer didn't like how the main character looked, all speak to that.

Quote:
and this is basically just an attack on their credibility because you don't like what they had to say.

It's more correct to say that this is you defending their poor credibility because you like what they had to say.


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Nicos wrote:
So?, you don't need to be of Japanese culture to create an Anime-style cartoon.

This presumes that anime is a "style," which I don't agree with. Just because you create an animated work that bears superficial resemblance to the common perception of the majority of Japanese animation does not, unto itself, make it an anime.

Quote:

Or to be a black guy from brooklyn/harlem to create hip hop.

Would you insist that only black people from brooklyn or harlem can create hip hop?. Because an statement like that is of the same style as saying that only japanese people can create anime.

I'm not sure why you're leaving the Bronx out of this, as hip-hop has very strong roots there, but that aside, I believe that your analogy is fundamentally flawed for the same reasons as I mentioned above. That's because "hip-hop" is a genre - a category of art based on stylistic criteria - whereas "anime" is not. Indeed, the fact that there are so many anime out there of various genres, ranging from action to comedy to horror to erotica and so many others, makes it self-evidently futile to use that as the basis for coming up with an all-encompassing definition of what "anime" is.


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NenkotaMoon wrote:
This thread is the work of an enemy Stand user.

ORAORAOROAORAORAORA!!!


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Lemmy wrote:
My only point is that I see "anime" as an art style

We'll need to agree to disagree then, as I find that definition to be fundamentally unable to encompass things that I believe are self-evidently "anime" (e.g. the Crayon Shin-chan example again).


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Nicos wrote:

Individual people and not cultures create the art. It's true that people are influenced by the cultures and themes in his surrounding.

But Anime have been in the TVs around the world from a long time now. People that grew up seeing plenty of Anime can take anime as their main inspiration for their own art.

Individual people are the atomic units of their culture. Simply watching "plenty" of works from a culture foreign to your own, even if you find inspiration in that, isn't the same thing as being a member of that culture.

Quote:
Though, defining Anime as "works of animation made by and for Japan" is a workable definition I don't find it to be a particularly useful one.

Why not? It strikes me as being better than any alternative offered so far. "Visual style" isn't helpful because there are anime with highly distinctive pictorial elements that look nothing like other anime (e.g. Crayon Shin-chan). "Thematic elements" isn't helpful because there are large numbers of anime for which any particular theme(s) aren't found. If we hold that the term "anime" is describing something specific, then what other definitions could be considered?


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Lemmy wrote:
Sure, you can take that position... I just vehemently disagree with it. It seems pointless and xenophobic to me.

It's only xenophobic if you label it with bigoted sentiment like "one of the inherent characteristics of anime is casual sexism." That's not the same as noting the particularities of a culture that are reflected in their popular works.

Quote:

Sailor Moon wouldn't bee any less anime if it had been written and produced by a French author/company... Naruto would still be anime if it had been produced by a Brazilian author/company... And the same goes for One Piece, Death Note, Dragon Ball, etc.

Just because certain themes aren't as popular in a certain region/culture as they are in others doesn't mean those themes couldn't be used somewhere else.

I don't believe it's a question of "themes," per se. Rather, it's a recognition of the fact that cultures, like individuals, are a unique gestalt of their history, values, characteristics, and myriad other factors, and that this is reflected to some degree in the art that they produce. When the country in question is Japan - and the medium in question is animated work - we use the shorthand term "anime" for that.

The idea that the uniqueness that comes from this is something bad is a view I personally reject. Yes, those differences can be used as a point of hatred and divisiveness, but that's a perversion of their strengths, rather than being an inherent quality of them. By that same token, suggesting that that uniqueness is false (e.g. thinking that any recognition of differences between groups is inherently bigoted and needs to stop) and should be torn down does a disservice as well, since it throws away something special just because it could possibly be corrupted to a bad end.

Hence why I believe that "anime" is a term that applies only to works of animation made by and for Japan, and that's okay.


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Lemmy wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
If Akira Toryama was named Roberto Silva and was born and raised in Brazil when he created DBZ, would that mean DBZ is not "anime"?
That's actually part of my point.

So what is your point, exactly? I$m legitimately curious now.

To me, your previous post sounds like you were defending the notion that a show who has the art style, narrative format and tropes commonly present in anime still won't be anime if it's not produced in Japan.

That's certainly a legitimate position to take on the issue.


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Sundakan wrote:

1.) Grappled Grendel and ripped his arm off.

This is an ability unavailable to a Pathfinder martial. In fact, it's only available to f!&@ing Grendel in the rules.

I have to nitpick here. The called shot rules for an arm state that, in the event of a "debilitating blow," then "If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the arm is severed or otherwise mangled such that only regeneration or similar effects can repair it."


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
All that does is change the one spell you need to cure it, which doesn't get to the root of the poster's problem. The poster who seems to have no problems with wounds, dismemberment, posession, most forms of insanity, or even DEATH itself cured by a single spell, seems to have problems with this ONE particular condition being curable. And this is in a game which does not generally even have trauma as a standard condition.

"Asking a question" does not equate to "having a problem." That you think is does seems to be a recurring problem of yours. That's fine, except that then it makes your problem into my problem, and that's problematic. As such, please be more respectful with your problem-posting in the future; I trust you have no problem with that?


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Alternate title for Re:Zero episode 17:

"Yes, It Can Still Get Even Worse"


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There's a famous quote by Dorothy Parker that I'm fond of (originally made in reference to Katherine Hepburn's acting): "a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B." Now replace "emotions" with "plot-progression," and you'd perfectly summarize my feelings about Isuca, a ten-episode urban fantasy series (there's also an OVA, but as it's not on Crunchyroll, I haven't seen it).

Isuca is the story of Shinichirou Asano, a high school student who falls in with a petite blonde monster-hunter named Sakuya Shimazu, after she saves him from being eaten by a yoma (which the subtitles call "specters"). After an initial misadventure where Sakuya realizes that Shinichirou is overflowing with spiritual energy - and, moreover, can somehow infer the true names of yoma, making them easily bound - the two of them work together (along with a small cadre of others) to try and figure out who's summoning yoma and why.

Right from the get-go, this show seems to be somewhat cognizant of how generic it is, and so wastes absolutely no time in establishing its two main draws. The first is that there's slightly more blood and gore here than you'd expect; this never ventures into - or even comes close to - guro ("grotesque") territory, but rather that we get the occasional arterial spray when a background character becomes food for a monster.

That's a minor point compared to the series' second go-to, which is that the girls in Isuca get naked, as well as end up in compromising positions, with notable regularity. Sakuya's clothes get shredded in battle several times, for example, and Tamako (being a nekomata; that is, a two-tailed cat yoma) simply prefers to go around naked even when she's in human form. (As if to drive the point home, the ending sequence is both of these girls completely naked - save for Sakuya's stockings - in various positions that just barely manage to cover their naughty bits while still showing their bodies off.

Of course, this last point is somewhat hindered by the censoring, which makes sure to block out any instances of bare breasts, but is also very hesitant to even allow for a panty-shot. Worse, it's often hideously unsubtle about this, often simply putting floating patches of darkness over the offending nudity. I haven't seen censoring that nakedly obtrusive (see what I did there?) since the broadcast version of Kodomo no Jikan.

All of that is a shame, because this show desperately needs the naked girls to help distract from just how full of holes the plot is. It's one thing to not resolve the main plot line - while not ideal, leaving things with a "we've won...for now" cliffhanger is acceptable - but it's another thing to toss out several particular threads and then ignore them.

For example, when Shinichirou speaks Sakuya's true name, we're told that that means that he's become her master, with the implication being that if he directly orders her to do something, she literally can't disobey...and yet, that's never touched on after its initial presentation. Why does the main villain want to hurt Sakuya so badly? She says her reason, but never provides the context necessary to have her answer actually make sense. What exactly is Sakuya's grandmother? That last scene of her questions that are never answered. And why oh why does one of the supporting characters wait until the series is three-fourths of the way through before saying "oh hey, that villain we've been fighting? The one whose identity is a complete mystery? Do you think the fact that her magic is identical to our clan's centuries-old rival clan, who's heretofore never been mentioned, is significant at all?" I won't even get started on that whole "yoma drain life-force, which causes extreme pleasure as a side-effect" schtick that's used in the first few episodes and then never mentioned again.

I could go on (e.g. if Shinichirou can share his spiritual energy with the girls via kisses, super-charging their powers at no danger to himself, then why doesn't he kiss all of the girls during the extremely-difficult final battle?), but at this point I think I've made it abundantly clear how weak of a show this is. Ironically, the actual execution isn't half-bad; the characters are likable enough and the plot is actually rather brave in its dogged determination to ignore its own internal inconsistencies. Oh and hey, the (censored) boobs.

Ultimately, Isuca is a show that's undone if you pay attention to details. It knows this, but takes a "don't sweat the details" attitude, instead being content with having its female cast members nip-slip and panty-shot their way to the finish line, along with a few wannabe-edgy bits of violence. It's earnest, if not very talented, and makes for an okay distraction when you want a series that's as pointless as it is short.


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Alzrius wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Man... Re:Zero can get really freaking dark sometimes... I enjoy the series, but the latest episode was... emotionally exhausting. X(
Very much so. When I first started watching the series (mistakenly thinking that it only had one cour), I binged on the first thirteen episodes. In hindsight that was a mistake, because the series puts so much punch into its plot and characterization that it works better if you take it a few episodes at a time to let what happens digest.

So Crunchyroll is now streaming Re:Zero Breaktime, a series of three-minute shorts with chibi (super-deformed) versions of the characters (much like the Pure Pure Pleiades shorts from Overlord). These are openly being presented as lighthearted breaks from the main series' heavy presentation, though so far they seem more "cute" than "funny."

Eleven are up so far; I have no idea if there's more to come or not.


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Belle Sorciere wrote:
Also, I don't see how your quote discredits Polygon for all time.

Leaving out the hyperbolic "for all time," it demonstrates disdain for the topic that they ostensibly cover. That, in turn, hurts their credibility. It's the same reason why ESPN doesn't say "all sports are a waste of time, of course."

That's just one of Polygon's recent issues; I won't even get started on the fiasco that was their review of Doom.

Quote:
With such standards in place no media would be remotely credible.

No, I don't believe it's unreasonable to have a standard of "don't hold your core audience in contempt."


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Stone Dog wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
It's shaped like a tree, it's got branches on it!
It's shaped like a star with a little flame inside it!

I can almost hear a shoggoth on the roof.


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Krensky wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I got curious about Susei no Gargantia... But I'm not a fan of series about giant robots... So I lost interest. :/
Whigh is funny, because it's not a show about giant robots. It has them, but that's not what it's about.

Krensky is correct; Gargantia isn't a giant robot anime as that genre is usually defined.


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Belle Sorciere wrote:
The point being that Ghostbusters isn't being discussed as a flop.

Consider the source. You cited Polygon, the video game news website that once said "all video games are stupid, of course."


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Rednal wrote:

What, was there not enough incest in GXP? XD

(You think I'm joking. Then you see the series' Family Tree.)

Hm, I should pester AstroNerdBoy to update that; it doesn't have Kenshi in there.


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Krensky wrote:
If it's Genimar, well, that has something to do with the water near the Masaki shrine and the hero being related to 'gods'. Or something. It's a Tenchi show, don't think too hard about the relationships and how everyone is related.

Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (I can't call it by that awful "War on Geminar" name) was where the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series lost its luster for me.

The Tenchi series - or at least that continuity - primarily works based on the strength of its cast, which is absolutely required because the plot is typically thin-to-nonexistent. As such, going with an entirely new cast is a serious risk, one that Seikishi Monogatari wasn't able to capitalize on; its characters felt like a collection of tropes more than unique, interesting individuals.

(GXP pulled this off because director Shinichi Watanabe - the famous "NabeShin" - knows how to make a credible comedy series, and that held things together while we got used to the new cast, who were actually rather fun to watch; ironically, this ticked off series creator Masaki Kajishima enough that he's rewriting GXP in a series of novels.)


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"Get ready to be in the black...and blue!"


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Greylurker wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So, is the Gargantia anime any good?
Yes it is and it doesn't quite go the way you originally expect it to

Very much so.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Given that there does seem to be a physiological component to it (much like how painkillers like aspirin have been shown to reduce the intensity of emotional pain), I suspect that straight-up healing spells would help with the intensity but not solve the problem.

That was my initial reaction as well, until people pointed out the broad language in greater restoration, which I hadn't noticed before (game-play has conditioned me to think of the restoration spells as being purely for dealing with fatigue/exhaustion and ability damage/drain).

Looking at this some more, it seems like there's a continuum of effectiveness that healing magic would have on such a condition, but because there aren't strict game rules in this regard there's quite a bit of ambiguity for most specific magical remedies.


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Claxon wrote:
What I am saying is, "Does PTSD qualify as an insanity?" PTSD isn't even a game term. PTSD is a mental disorder, does it also qualify as an Insanity?

Depending on how one interprets the "similar mental effects" clause of greater restoration, it might be something of a moot point with regards to what is and is not insanity.


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There's no particular mechanism (at least in first-party materials) that I'm aware of for modeling trauma (e.g. PTSD) in the Pathfinder rules. My guess would be that it could be modeled via mental ability score damage/drain, or possibly the madness/insanity rules, but that's just a guess.

In that case, would spells such as heal or restoration be able to fix trauma instantly?


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Lemmy wrote:
Man... Re:Zero can get really freaking dark sometimes... I enjoy the series, but the latest episode was... emotionally exhausting. X(

Very much so. When I first started watching the series (mistakenly thinking that it only had one cour), I binged on the first thirteen episodes. In hindsight that was a mistake, because the series puts so much punch into its plot and characterization that it works better if you take it a few episodes at a time to let what happens digest.

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