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Alzrius's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,042 posts. 70 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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So it's been confirmed that Supernatural will not only have a season 12, but a season 13 as well, with Jared and Jensen both signing on for both upcoming seasons. Moreover, "The CW president even admitted that he is an avid fan of the show and will continue to renew the series as long as the lead actors will reprise their roles."

Looking forward to it! (Even if this last week's episode was utterly forgettable.)


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Aaron Whitley wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:
Um... I'll give you the sword, but the phoenix didn't fight the basilisk directly. He brought Harry the sword, and when Harry got injured and poisoned in the battle, the phoenix played cleric by saving him. But only Harry did the actual fighting, IIRC.
Fawkes blinded the Basilisk by pecking out its eyes.
Which had the added benefit of removing its ability to turn someone to stone. So at that point the basilisk is essentially a giant venomous snake.

And even then, it was still able to take Harry out (even if it was taken out in the process); he was dying before Fawkes cried on his wound. That's further grist for the "low-level characters" mill.


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And so it begins...

EPIC POETRY BATTLES OF PATHFINDER!


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On the issue of gaming in the Potterverse, a blog that I like wrote up a two-part series of articles about this. The first deals with the setting's basic assumptions about the magic-using population, while the second deals with how magic works in that setting.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
.... as was discussed in the article i linked:

I know; I've read that article many times. That's why I brought it up here, since your post didn't otherwise mention it and it's a valid point worth noting (especially for anyone who doesn't want to click the link and read the entire article).


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Orfamay Quest summed it up pretty well. I'd also add that class-level based systems tend to be bad for character conversions anyway, because the segregation of various powers among certain classes at certain levels can wreak havoc on attempting to build a reasonable facsimile of a character that wasn't originally made with those class levels in mind. You'll usually end up with some powers being missing, while other powers that don't reflect the source material end up being part of the build anyway.

The result usually ends up as a character conversion that's only somewhat recognizable, and quite often is sub-par compared to a character of similar level that was made by working with the system, rather than having to fight it to get what you want.


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Another excellent piece of poetry!


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
But it's not satire of the concept that 'pretty women are only good as eye candy', it reinforces that concept to satirize 'Sex Sells' marketing.

Leaving aside questions of putting forward a particular idea as "reinforcing" it in the minds of the readers, I don't believe you're correct. The poem opens and ends with an in-character notation of the people telling the tale admitting that they went for looks over ability, and hence they're what's being ribbed here.

Quote:
I object to that usage of a noxious stereotype to oke fun at something else. I find it in poor taste.

I believe that your premise is incorrect here, and so leads to an incorrect conclusion.

Quote:
Where in the poem does she do anything not based on sex?

Nowhere; that would undercut the context of the poem.

Quote:
You could have a poem that delivers this message. It would have the same first verse, and maybe the same last one. The rest would involve her actually being competent (and maybe people being surprised by that, or refusing to acknowledge it)...but that's not what this poem is like.

Again, I don't agree with your assertion that the only way to poke fun at the underlying stereotypes made with reference to Seoni is to have her character in the poem undertake competent non-sexual actions. Indeed, I believe that would undermine the message, rather than reinforcing it.

Quote:
This poem is absolutely propagating the assumption in question.

There's absolutely nothing within the poem itself that supports that assertion, and quite a bit that contradicts it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The problem is that, given that Seoni has, to my knowledge, not slept with anyone ever, and certainly with no more than one or two people (and is in an ongoing comic series where that sort of thing does happen to other people)...that's just as bad.

Hence why it's satire, rather than holding itself to be a true and accurate representation.

Quote:
Assuming a woman (even a fictional character) is promiscuous, and utterly worthless aside from as a sex object, just based on the fact that she's scantily dressed is a large part of the problem with the poem, IMO.

The poem is poking fun at the people who make that assumption, and used Seoni's character (e.g. her looks) as a basis for it, rather than propagating the assumption itself.


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I quite enjoyed this poem, and this thread reminds me of the quote from Wayne Gerard Trotman, “It is impossible to be truly artistic without the risk of offending someone somewhere.”

EDIT: I also think that this poem is actually satirizing Seoni as a character, rather than making a comment about women. There's a reason why the "saucy sorceress" in this poem never once casts a spell. (That and, you know, the entire last stanza.)


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Adjule wrote:
And while I thank you for the link to the 3.0 SRD, Alzrius, that has to be the most atrocious thing I have ever seen. But thank you nonetheless. But if you are looking for a more readable one, this one looks better.

It does indeed. Thanks for finding that, I was pretty sick of relying on those cumbersome .rtf files. They're good for personal archiving, but not so much for quick reference.


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Adjule wrote:
Is there a 3.0 SRD out there somewhere?

Yes, there is.


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Another winner! You really have a talent for these!


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rabindranath72 wrote:

You have a good point about the shifting of policy from adventures to rules. I say "shifting" because I recall the main motivation which convinced my group to move to 3e, was Peter Adkison stating that "there won't be any additional rules beyond the three core books, but only setting and adventures"; his idea was essentially to return to the early 1e days. We know that the late 1e stuff was published essentially to save TSR's bacon; and similarly, although the introduction of 3.5, (as stated by Monte Cook) was planned from the start only to fix errata, it actually became a big overhaul (and with all the subtle changes, it's difficult NOT to think they did it to get people to buy the books all over again.)

When Adkison left WotC, apparently the people who took the reins didn't quite agree with his view.

They didn't, but Adkison and co. honestly thought that they would, as said by someone who was there at the time.


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rabindranath72 wrote:
The unbeatable encounter in the module drives home the point that not every monster encounter should be solved with violence, and that fleeing IS an option. Looking at the encounter distribution table in the DMG we also learn that most of the encounters should be challenging, not cakewalks; so the idea of "balance", meaning that all encounters should be beatable, is NOT really part of the game.

There's a great article about encounter design in Third Edition that talks about this - including noting this very encounter - over at The Alexandrian.


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Very clever and very funny! And definitely the sort of thing I'd expect to hear bards singing in the game world!


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I've written a small (and long overdue!) update to this series of articles, covering the Core prestige classes!


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Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot!


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Dragon78 wrote:
I would like to see a Rarity episode that has nothing to do with her store, fashion, crushes, or social climbing.

Wasn't that what we got in Rarity Investigates! (and for that matter, her role in Gift of the Maud Pie)?


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WOOT! Amazon Japan has just put the tenth volume of Overlord up for pre-order! The book finally releases as of May 30th!


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Arloro wrote:
Sounds like a Scythe Falcon. Is this from Slumbering Tsar? CR 2 Animal. It has Scythe wings which have an ability called dismemberment. Upon a critical hit, instead of multiplying the damage you roll a d6, and cut off the corrosponding limb (1 head, 2 right arm, 3 left arm, 4 right leg, 5 left leg, 6 torso savagely cut).

This sounds like it might be it; some Googling says that this is from the original Creature Collection, which makes me wonder if it was ever updated in the v.3.5 revision of that book, or maybe the compiled Tome of Horrors for Pathfinder.


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So I'm trying to remember a monster that I know I know, but my brain refuses to identify. It was a bird with a very low CR (something like CR 2) that had vorpal wings, allowing it to potentially behead an opponent on a natural 20...or something like that.

Does anyone remember what this is and what book it's from?


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TaliaKirana wrote:

Talk about things I thought would never happen.

Official MLP tabletop RPG announced.

Okay, so I watched the video in the link that Talia posted up above - or rather, I watched the part that was about the MLP RPG (starting at about 42:00 in the video, and going for about a half-hour) - and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much the designers seemed to know about the series, and by some of what they let slip about how the game will be made. It was enough to turn me from being nervous about this to being excited for it.

Some highlights from that interview are as follows:

  • The RPG will be called "Tails of Equestria."
  • It will be released as a hardcover book, not a boxed set.
  • It will not make use of miniatures (that is, this won't require miniatures to play).
  • The character sheets will be for earth ponies, unicorns, pegasi, and "draw your own." Each character sheet will have a space to draw a picture of your character (the three pony races will have a basic image to embellish, and the "draw your own" will have a blank space), as well as a second space to draw your cutie mark.
  • Characters will have the option of starting as a pony that's already obtained their cutie mark, or as a blank flank and discovering their cutie mark during the course of the game.
  • "Nobody can start as an alicorn."
  • Characters will have three stats: Body, Mind, and Charm.
  • As part of character creation, you have a d4 and a d6; you pick which of these are associated with your Body and Mind stats (they didn't say what determines Charm).
  • There's no "class" for characters; what you are is determined by your race and your special talent.
  • Your level of talent is determined by the size of the die you roll. An ordinary unicorn has a d6 for Telekinesis; Twilight Sparkle is described as having "a d12 or d20."
  • Similarly, pegasi automatically receive a d6 in the Fly talent, while earth ponies automatically have their Body die increased to the next die size.
  • Each character chooses a personal talent, as well as a personal flaw.
  • Your Body stat will determine your Stamina points, which are the game's version of hit points.
  • Making an action that's opposed by another creature (e.g. hoof-wrestling) is determined by opposed rolls. Trying to accomplish a task against a situation (e.g. kick down a door) is made by rolling to equal or exceed a target number.
  • The game uses an "exploding dice" mechanic. More specifically, if you roll the maximum value on a die, you may then roll the next larger die, and keep whichever result is better. This can happen cumulatively, so if you roll a 4 on a d4, and then roll a 6 on a d6, you can go ahead and roll a d8, keeping that value if it's higher than your 6 from the d6.
  • The game will include stats for personalities from the show, including the Mane Six, Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna.
  • The game will include an introductory adventure; adventuring will include being sent on missions by the Cutie Map.
  • Supplementary materials will include things such as character sheets and a GM screen.
  • The designers mention that they're willing to receive proposals from RPG writers who want to submit other supplements for publication.

I think this sounds like a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see the finished product!


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So having just watched the latest episode, did anyone else notice that the show is now disagreeing with itself about the shape of Equestria's western coast?

(I know this is a symptom of having an old and a new official map, but the change to shape of the continent was entirely unnecessary, in terms of making it match what the show has said.)


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ZUFF! PAN!! SNUH! BORT! POOO! NEWT! MINT! ZAK!


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I seem to recall that their powers were at least partially based on...

Spoiler:
being made to host pieces of the soul of the demon D'Spayre.


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I really want to know if this fits into the wider continuity of the MCU or the X-Men movies, or is just going to be stand-alone.


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Orthos wrote:
That and, at least I surmise, there's some level of solidarity. I would be very very surprised if there were not several Paizo staff members who were part of the community on the other site in question. There's a lot of overlap in the interests, behaviors, politics, and preferences between the two groups.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees this.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

How does that saying go again?

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

-Eldridge Cleaver (thank you Google!)

"If you're not with us, you're against us" goes back much further than that, and has been said in many forms by many people.

"Each man must choose between joining our side or the other side. Any attempt to avoid taking sides in this issue must end in fiasco."

-Vladimir Lenin


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Also ported from that thread:

thejeff wrote:
Except that of course in most of the described cases there is no "accused". There is no named individual. There is no accused asserting the accuser is a liar. These are not in any meaningful sense "particular accusations". There is no person being punished with social opprobrium. How do we punish the "balding, middle-aged man behind the counter", when that's all we know?

Presuming that we're still discussing that particular Tumblr blog, there is indeed an accused; however, they're kept anonymous so as to accuse the larger sub-section of a particular community as a whole. It's not that "there are the occasional jerk in gaming (just like everywhere else)" it's that "gaming has a white male terrorism problem."

This simply moves the accused from an individual to an entire community, which is indeed then held accountable with social opprobrium. There are reasons why people still think poorly of gamers.

Quote:
They are stories of things that have happened to various women. The only accusation is that this is common enough in the gaming community to be a real problem.

Which indicts the whole for the actions of less than the whole. This is worse than accusing a particular individual, since it maintains that everyone is a particular demographic is part of the problem unless they can put forth that they're somehow exempt from this (which usually invites contempt, as Rysky's post shows).


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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a series of folks.

The excised content...IS PEOPLE!


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Dragon78 wrote:
So what are everyone's hopes/ideas/dreams for this season?

In terms of plot development and characterization, I'm not sure I really have any; for the most part, I'm happy to let the show do its own thing in that regard, since - having come to enjoy what the show has put forth thus far - I don't think that they'll make any changes that would be so radical as to undercut what they've done up until now. Watching the characters be themselves, and do what they do, is already enjoyable enough that I'm happy to let them keep doing their thing.

What I am looking forward to is more world-building and revelations regarding the setting's internal logic and consistency. The more we find out about how things work in that world, the more fun I find it to be.


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Caineach wrote:
Waiting time between episodes allowed the suspense to build pretty well.

While I do agree that there are some series that work better in small doses over time, rather than binge-watching them - KonoSuba was one of those - there's a very heavy asterisk there in that such designations are entirely personal, speaking to an individual's personal tastes rather than any sort of objective criteria for how the show is "best" viewed.

...at least, I think so.


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So I started watching Erased ("Boku Dake ga Inai Machi") last night. I only planned on watching one or two episodes, but the series hooked me so hard that I ended up watching the entire thing in one sitting. It was just that good.


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Tectorman wrote:
I always love it when we get to see them expand their range like that, even if it's just borrowing one of their friends'.

My favorite one of those was seeing Rainbow Dash's impersonation of Twilight in The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone.


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atheral wrote:
I saw it. I was expecting them to play the Magi's gift trope a bit more straight.

I agree; I was waiting for it to come out that Maud had traded Boulder away in order to get a similarly last-minute gift for Pinkie.

Quote:
It was pretty good, I do get the impression they are trying to really wrap up the beginning stories of the Mane 6 this season.

Can you expound on this? I'm not sure what you mean (no spoilers if this is in reference to future episodes, please!).

Quote:
I predict the season ending being a setup to launch Guardians of Harmony.

Spoiler tagged for those who don't know what this is...

Spoiler:
...which I think is all of us, isn't it? Last I heard, all that had been confirmed were some new figures and (I think) a comic series based around this. What it's actually about is still unknown, or at least that's what I'd heard. (My guess is that it'll be the subject of next year's feature film.)


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Dragon78 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Freehold DM wrote:
**spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Trying to parse Celestia's statement of "The birth of an Alicorn is something Equestria has never seen!" so that it means that there have been natural-born alicorns, they've just been from outside of Equestria, strikes me as being overly parsimonious. Even if we ignore that it's never been clear if Equestria was meant to refer to the geographic area (e.g. the continent) or the political area (e.g. the country), it seems fairly obvious that she's making a statement to emphasize a natural-born alicorn being heretofore unknown, rather than trying to parse that it's something that's never happened there but has happened somewhere else.

Even if that were true, the very next line is Luna saying "it" - which I think we can all agree is a reference to an alicorn being born rather than made - "is beyond even our understanding." Given that there's nothing that looks even remotely like parsing or qualifiers there, that would seem to definitively eliminate any ambiguity in her meaning, which is that there are no natural-born alicorns prior to Cadance and Shining Armor's baby.

(I expect a few people will say something along the lines of "but if it was the circumstances of their own births, then of course Celestia and Luna wouldn't know about that," which strikes me as very flimsy reasoning; it's dubious that they wouldn't remember whether or not they were alicorns during their earliest memories, let alone that nobody would have talked to them about their early years.)

There's also absolutely nothing that I can recall that definitively establishes that Celestia and Luna were born prior to Equestria's founding. The closest that we have is that, at the beginning of the Hearth's Warming Eve play, Spike says "Once upon a time, long before the peaceful rule of Celestia, and before ponies discovered our beautiful land of Equestria, ponies did not know harmony." That's it, and that only establishes that Equestria was founded "long before" the "rule" of Celestia, not when she and Luna were born.

Finally, insofar as The Journal of the Two Sisters goes, I'm honestly somewhat glad that this seemed to fly in the face of it. That book has always been a terrible resource that was not only non-canon, but created more problems than it solved. At this point, there are almost no secondary materials that are reliable; only what's in the show itself can be counted on.

(There are two exceptions to this that I know of. The first is the original map of Equestria, produced as a poster, which is actually shown in the show, which "is shown in Pinkie Pride during Cheese Sandwich's flashback in Cheese Confesses. A portion of the northwestern area of the map is also shown during Daring Don't. The full map appears again near the end of Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, when the Rainbow Power is first used." Rather ironically, the updated map, from an artbook, is actually non-canon, because it shows that the western coast has changed shape - the so-called "undiscovered west" - so that it conflicts with the map shown in the show itself.

The second exception is early in The Mane Attraction, when Twilight mentions the connections that Pinkie Pie made while "organizing the Ponypalooza Rock Concert," apparently in reference to the chapter book about that same event.)


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TaliaKirana wrote:
Kind of annoying to not even be allowed to say the titles outside of spoiler boxes.** spoiler omitted **

I can understand that, but I want to mention that I do appreciate it.


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atheral wrote:

It had a few interesting tidbits:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I must have blinked...where did we see a changeling?

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Nuku wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

This one could have easily been a 5 part episode.

I am getting tired of evil unicorns, when are going to see evil pegasi and earth ponies.

Much like non casters in pathfinder they seem to be a bit underpowered in ponyfinder. As important as it is to a society to be able to grow food, it just doesn't rate as a CR for an evil villain.

Hey now, Ponyfinder gives plenty to earth ponies, and our iconic wizard is an earth pony, though our most popular one is the earth pony fighter, go fig!

Not to say we don't have other ponies too. Our paladin is a unicorn, and a druid pegasus for optimal weather control.

To reiterate, the link that Flutter provided doesn't represent how earth ponies are statted up in the actual Ponyfinder game that Nuku linked to.


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Talia, your enthusiasm is unimpeachable, but I'd like to mention that even episode titles can be spoilers. Please put the titles inside the spoiler blocks going forward.


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
As long as they aren't stinkin' fake gamer geese...
I was unaware that geese played RPGs.

We just had someone talking about their all-duck group, so are gamer-geese really that surprising?

Besides, it's not the geese that are the problem, it's the fake gamer geese, who are usually frickin' ugly ducklings trying to pass themselves off as special little swans, etc.

EDIT: Yes, I know that ducks aren't geese, or swans. I apologize for showing my mammalian privilege.


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Thanks to everyone who's suggested series so far!

On a differing note, how about a game of Lost in Translation. This is where we've noticed jokes, idioms, or other particularities in the original Japanese dialogue that weren't translated (either in the dub or the sub).

(This isn't my saying that the translators did a bad job; a lot of the time, these are things that simply don't translate into English very well, and the translators made the decision that doing so would have been more trouble than it's worth.)

I'll start off with two (one of which I've mentioned previously):

KonoSuba:

Spoiler:
Kazuma frequently calls Aqua a "useless goddess," as the English subtitles translate it; that's accurate, but doesn't make it clear that he's making a pun. What he's actually calling her is "damegami." This is a portmanteau of the words "dame" ("no good/useless/hopeless") and "megami" ("goddess/female deity").

Overlord:

Spoiler:
Shalltear frequently ends her sentences with "arinsu." The contemporary use of this word - a dialect of "arimasu" (the verb "to be," but only for inanimate objects) that was initially used by the prostitutes of Yoshiwara in Edo (old Tokyo) - indicates that the speaker is a lascivious or sexually hedonistic woman. Shalltear's use of it is a way of giving us insight into her character via her speech pattern.

What other subtle nuances in an anime are you aware of that have passed beneath a translation's radar?


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Freehold DM wrote:
Friends, for good or ill, we do not live in a poly society. While some may experiment with it as a lifestyle(or even say they're bringing it back), our society is a monogamous one. Any guesstimates with respect to what such a life could be like are just that. It is not worth detailing a thread in a different topic about. I'm not saying the phrase should never be mentioned again, just that deep conversation on it is what we have PMs for.

Freehold makes a good point, especially since Paizo has a tendency to lock threads that go too far off-topic, and I'd hate to see that happen here.

To that end, I'll instead ask: since this cour is about to end, and since I haven't been watching most of the new stuff that's come out in the last three months (since I prefer to watch shows at my own pace, rather than one episode per week), what are some good anime from the last cour that I should look into? I've already queued Erased, but what else?

(Notwithstanding KonoSuba, Utawarerumono: The False Faces, and Gate, which I've been watching despite the enforced down-time.)


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thejeff wrote:
Yes, but the original claim was that with polygyny the number of children per woman drops. Everything since than has been based on that claim.

This is flat-out false.

The original claim was that it "reduces childbirth." At no point does Sissyl say anything about it being "per woman."

Quote:
As you stated in your first post on the topic "My understanding is that, in a polygamous (specifically polygynous) relationship, the number of births per woman is reduced."

Again, you're moving the goalposts. Sissyl's original claim was an unnuanced statement that it reduces childbirth; with no qualifier or explanation, that statement seemed to be talking about overall birthrates. Hence, I pointed out that this was only true with regard to number of children per individual women, rather than the number of children born overall.

Quote:
That's a direct contrast with your 20 men & 20 women scenario.

That's because that scenario was meant to rebut your idea that polygyny necessarily reduces the overall number of children born. All of my posts on this topic have been consistent in pointing out that that assertion is baseless.

Quote:
You are correct that if the number of births per woman doesn't drop, the overall birthrate won't and I've put that as a disclaimer in several posts.

But you've failed to admit that, even if the number of births per woman goes down, if this is counterbalanced by the total number of women giving birth going up then the overall number of childbirths need not be necessarily reduced.

Quote:
Birthrate is "births per women" because there isn't anyone else giving birth.

You've been holding that the salient statistic is the number of children per individual woman. I'm pointing out that the more germane statistic is the total number of live births in a given population...which is the actual definition of "birthrate."

Quote:
I suppose there could be some compensatory increase in the number of births that women with no co-wives have, but nobody has suggested that. Instead both your earlier post and TOZ's focus on the number of children born to the men in the polygynous relationships, ignoring the relationships that don't exist because more men can't find wives.

You're misunderstanding the point; the greater number of children for men in polygynous relationships is meant to be a contrast to the lower number of children per women in polygynous relationships. The reason that contrast is worth pointing out is that it rebuts the idea that overall birthrates are falling, and therefore puts the lie to the idea that polygamy "reduces childbirth." The reason for that is that the total number of women having children goes up as a compensatory factor.

Quote:
In your X & Y equation, we've agreed that Y drops since the women in polygynous relationships have less children each. Why, in this scenario, would X grow?

You're introducing a sly double-standard here, in calling the increase in the X variable into question while maintaining that the decrease in the Y scenario will be a given. I didn't "agree" to that latter supposition, but rather noted that it was the case in the article I linked to several posts ago, alongside the notation that the X variable had also increased (by way of the article pointing out that, for a man, one additional spouse meant an average of six more children).

The reason the X variable increases is presumably the same underlying reason that the Y variable decreases; we can speculate as to what that reason (or combination of reasons) are, but that's largely immaterial, since those results have already been observed.

Quote:
I've already commented on the obvious exception of a skewed ratio between the sexes. If there are less men than women, polygyny would likely raise the birthrate - X would grow to offset Y, at least until the excess women were matched up.

Which isn't really relevant to the conversation, since everyone else is talking about a scenario predicated on there being no such skewed ratio between men and women available.

Quote:
Is there some direct logic I'm missing here or are you just saying that it's theoretically possible that more women would remain unmarried in a monogamous society? Or that those women in monogamous relationships in a polygynous society would have more children than they would in a monogamous society? As far as I can tell, those are the only ways to offset the women in polygynous relationships having less children on average.

You seem to be missing the point that the rate of children born to individual women in polygynous marriages doesn't happen in isolation; it happens largely because more women are having children overall within said marriage. Hence the notation before about why men who have an additional wife will have, on average, more than one additional child.

To be fair, that's giving us results without going very deeply into why that's the case, but that doesn't in-and-of itself call those results into question. My presumption would be that, since fewer men in a polygynous society get married (as you've noted), the social impetus to get married - and thus overall marriage rates (and, correspondingly, the rate of women who have children) - are higher in such a society.


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thejeff wrote:
If you're in a micro society with only 1 man and an arbitrary number of women, the birth rate will be much lower with strict monogamy. In any reasonable population there will be roughly the same number of men as women, therefore you won't have cases where all the men have 5 wives and thus a higher total birthrate.

This argument is a strawman, in that it's arguing against the idea that polygyny leads to a "higher total birthrate," which is an argument that no one in this thread has made. Rather, the opposing side in this particular debate is arguing against the idea that polygyny necessarily leads to lower total birthrates than monogamy, on a societal level.

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Instead you compare between one fifth of the men having 5 wives with one child each and all the men having 1 wife with 3 children each.

This is a completely arbitrary ratio, set up to create a scenario with less overall children on the side of the polygamists, despite the fact that there's nothing that necessitates this.

Now, to be fair, TOZ's ratio was also arbitrary, but that's because he was showcasing the flaw in Sissyl's declaration that fewer births per woman necessarily means that birthrates have gone down overall.

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Polygyny leads to some men not finding wives. The greater degree of polygyny, the larger percentage of men will not have wives. That's why the overall birthrate drops, despite those men who have multiple wives having more children than if they were limited to one.

Again, you haven't conclusively established that the overall birthrate drops.

Under a polygynous system, some men won't find wives, that's true, but it doesn't necessarily affect the overall birthrate. In a scenario with 20 men and 20 women, if 1 man marries all of the women and has a single child with each of them, that's the same number of children as there would be if each woman marries a different man and subsequently has one child.

The issue of how many men do or do not get married under a polygynous society has comparatively little to do with the overall birthrate. It's not completely unrelated (hence why the average number of children per woman tends to go down in a polygynous marriage), but the more relevant factors are how many women are having children (call that variable X) and how many children they're having (variable Y). Even if one variable goes down, it can be compensated for if the other one goes up.

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In some outlying situations with a surplus of women (or a shortage of men, depending on how you look at it) the outcome may vary. That's not likely to be stable though.

As demonstrated above, one doesn't need a surplus nor shortage of either sex to vary the outcome.

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Note: This argument relies on the claim that individual women in polygynous societies have less children. Further it wouldn't apply in anything like the same way to modern, more equal, polyamourous relationships.

There's no reason why this wouldn't necessarily apply to contemporary polyamorous relationships, since that would depend on the relationship in question.


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Sissyl wrote:
Soooo... The women give birth to fewer children, but this is more than compensated for by the ones popped out by the men?

I'm going to presume that you didn't read the link that I provided, because it speaks to this pretty directly:

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Unsurprisingly, the men who acquired lots of wives also produced more children. For each additional spouse, a man could expect about six more kids. Each wife in the relationship could expect to produce an average of one fewer child for every additional wife.
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Childbirth rates are always only counted in births per woman, as far as I can tell. That drops, there are fewer children born.

EDIT: I was going to type a longer response here, but TriOmegaZero covered it much more concisely, in that it's possible for the children-per-woman ratio to drop while still having more overall children born if the total number of women having children increases past a certain threshold.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved),
I dunno; in my opinion, it would depend on the business. If your business model hinges on unjustifiably destroying other people's health, happiness, and well-being, then I don't particularly care about your work, sweat, and dreams.

"Any contractor working on that Death Star knew the risks involved."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl's assertion was true overall, though not necessarily for all subgroups.

There's nothing to indicate that Sissyl's assertion is true overall. Moreover, you alluded to this yourself in a previous post:

thejeff wrote:
I'm not actually sure how strong the evidence for birthrate dropping is [...]

Hence, that particular assertion remains very much in doubt, particularly since there's been no evidence shown to support it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

True, but irrelevant in the context of the post you were replying to. Sissyl certainly seemed to be talking about effects on a societal level with "To maximize that, you need monogamy. For the jews and early christians, lower birth rate was terribad."

Even you said "doesn't necessarily indicate that overall birthrates have dropped", which doesn't make any sense if you're only talking about men in polygynous relationships.

The relevance was perfectly obvious, in that it pointed out that Sissyl's assertion was only true within certain contexts, and that, by extension, wasn't necessarily true overall. Hence why, in an instance where polygamy would "reduce childbirth" (as the original assertion claimed), we can demonstrate that that's only the case for a particular group(s) while not being the universal truism that it was presented as.

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