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Alzrius's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,061 posts. 70 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Astral Projection wrote:
To enter one, you leave the Astral Plane, forming a new physical body (and equipment) on the plane of existence you have chosen to enter.

You do, in fact, occupy a physical body while using Astral Projection to enter another plane.

Trap the Soul is one of the few ways to stop a high level wizard meddling with the world from the safety of his personal demi-plane.

I kind of thought the original question was about the floaty version in the astral plane, not the meaty copy on another plane. So, if I'm in the astral, what happens?

Sorry, that was me being unclear. I was referring to what happens when someone using astral projection exits the Astral Plane and goes to another plane (where they form a new body), since that's 90% likely where you'd find someone using that spell anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Snowlilly wrote:
Astral Projection wrote:
To enter one, you leave the Astral Plane, forming a new physical body (and equipment) on the plane of existence you have chosen to enter.

You do, in fact, occupy a physical body while using Astral Projection to enter another plane.

Trap the Soul is one of the few ways to stop a high level wizard meddling with the world from the safety of his personal demi-plane.

By that virtue, a temporal stasis, imprisonment, or even flesh to stone would also work, right?


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Sundakan wrote:
2.) Naruto retains some very good moments and SPECTACLE in their fights. The sheer scale of the battles is enough to be engaging. But there is quite a lack of strategy in much of the latter half, and the plot meanders a lot. ESPECIALLY the bits with Sasuke and Naruto's obsession with saving him.

With regard to the meandering plot and lack of strategy, this is definitely the case insofar as the filler material goes - that's unsurprising, as filler is handicapped right from the get-go - but I don't think that that's true with regard to the main post-timeskip plot. It might be a little bit slow to ramp up, but once it does it really takes off.

Naruto's obsession with saving Sasuke is somewhat eye-rolling, but... (I'll spoiler this next part just to be safe):

Spoiler:
...it gets better because we see Naruto slowly growing out of this. It's never expressly stated as him giving up on that goal, but we do see him maturing away from it as the series goes on, largely when his repeated attempts to save Sasuke end in failure every time. This culminates in some personal losses for him, and he slowly comes to realize that 1) he can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved, and 2) it's not just about Sasuke, it's about everyone who loses someone they care about.

This eventually turns him into a much more palatable character, although it takes quite some time for him to get there. (Even better is that Sasuke's character arc goes through a number of very believable changes which, rather gratifyingly, have almost nothing to do with Naruto at all.)


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Sundakan wrote:
I agree it was a somewhat jarring shift, but very much to the benefit of the manga.

You and I are really going to need to agree to disagree here. :D

That said, I think you're explaining your points very well; I'm replying mostly because I'm quite enjoying the conversation.

Quote:
Harem shows, on the whole, are obnoxious and generally pointless (none more so than Love Hina).

I'll admit that the harem genre seems to have more than its fair share of sub-par shows, but I attribute this to those shows repeatedly making the mistake of pinning everything on fan-service while ignoring things like characterization and plot-development. Fan-service, in my opinion, works best as a layer of frosting, rather than a foundation upon which a show is built.

Quote:
Crafting a situation where the existence of the harem makes sense (such as they being part of a very large adventuring company) is something more should do.

I would have agreed with this a lot more a few years back. I used to be of the opinion that establishing plausibility for how a situation like that could develop was the most important thing (e.g. buy the premise, buy the bit).

Now, though, while I still think that's important, I see that as being more of an aspect of each individual character than something situational. It's not so much a question of circumstances as it is why the characters involved reacted to their circumstances in the way that they did.

Quote:

It also avoided the main problem that Love Hina had: why is this group of girls so hot for a worthless loser like Keitarou?

Negi at least has many admirable qualities. Bordering on Mary Sue territory sometimes, but you can see why girls fall for even a creepily young person who is intelligent, focused, determined, and powerful.

Also a fair point; the whole idea of a main character who is "ineffectual but kind...and that's enough," is one that I do think is overrated (though going too far in the other direction is just as bad).

That said, I think there's a salient point to be made in that these qualities - that is, being focused and determined, etc. - is only applied to areas of problem-solving, and not to romantic relationships. In Negi's case, this is lampshaded by his being too young to fall in love, but the end result is the same: the center of the harem is entirely passive with regards to the girls around him, and they in turn seem to remain doggedly in love with him despite their feelings being continually unrequited. I find that that grows stale very fast.

(Incidentally, you should check out the Magika no Kenshi light novel series I mentioned a little while ago, as it has both very smart circumstances and a more proactive main character.)

Quote:
I think the source material is pretty solid, at worst par for the course for shonen action shows, and does IMO have one of the best ways of handling the "dangerous forbidden technique" I've seen and quite a few fights involve the protagonist actually OUTSMARTING the opponent instead of overpowering them. It's closer to Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter (though not as good) in the way it handles its fights than Dragonball Z and post-timeskip Naruto.

It's been forever since I read the Negima manga (and I stopped at vol. 30), but I found the tactical aspects of the fights to be less about outsmarting and more along the lines of the story making up new rules mid-fight for the heroes to use to win. While I've only seen a few movies for YYH and nothing of HxH, I think that post-timeskip Naruto did have some very intelligent fights (albeit virtually all of those were ones that didn't involve Naruto himself).

Quote:
The fanservice elements are pretty cringey on the whole, but the same could be said for 90% of fanservice in ANY series, most of which somehow manage to pull it off even worse.

I don't think most of them were worse than Negima. Quite the contrary, Negima seemed to be quite keen on the "quantity, not quality" philosophy in that area, which I feel is exactly the wrong tact to take (though again, that's apparently a common mistake where fan-service is concerned).

Quote:
It would NOT be at all hard to adapt it into a successful anime series, particularly if they skipped or trimmed down chapters 4-~40 and just started with Negi's introduction and went straight to some of the more action-y parts of the early chapters (exploring the insane library, the school trip, etc.), leveling out the curve from "Harem comedy" - "S$@! just got real in .25 seconds flat" to "Light-hearted action series" - "S@#& got real-er". - "Now it's really real for real".

If it got its head on straight about keeping one vision for what it wanted to be, and stuck with that from beginning to end, then that would definitely be an improvement. But I question how much I'd like it even then, because it's very clear how much the series favors its heroes in terms of handing them superior numbers, easily-acquired powers, and moral certitude (or at least a lack of any serious bevy of doubts) all as a package.

Quote:
It's a series that as an action show is IMO at least as good as Naruto or Bleach, and I'd say better than their latter halves. It's kind of weird that it's not more popular even disregarding quality since for a lot of otaku it's two great tastes that taste great together.

There's much to indict Bleach on, but I think that Naruto gets a worse rap than it deserves. If you cut out the filler material, the post-timeskip stuff is actually better than the preceding material, to my mind (certainly the main character becomes more likeable, to my mind).

Quote:
You can't tell me that in a world where shows like High School of the Dead were intensely popular, an adaptation of this series could never make it.

And yet that's the world we're living in.


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Sundakan wrote:
As a tangent, given the overwhelming popularity of both Shonen action and fanservice Harem series', WHY by all that is holy is there not a good adaptation of Negima! Magister Negi Magi?

I agree with Bjorn that the source material isn't very good, but I disagree as to why.

Negima initially portrayed itself as the spiritual successor to Love Hina (and given a few easter eggs, that might have been more than just spiritual). Love Hina itself was less than perfect - to me, its cast became the embodiments of various tropes to such an extent that it inhibited showcasing who they were as characters - but it still managed to become an archetype among harem shows.

Negima initially posited itself as being the same but taken to a whole other level, what with having a harem of over thirty girls. But then something happened...the series underwent a genre shift. It became less and less romantic/sexy hijinks and more and more shonen action/adventure. This, at least to me, was a deal-breaker.

They key here (again, to me) wasn't due to what it started as, nor what it became. I like harem shows, and I like shonen action/adventure shows (for the most part). The problem was that it tried to change its tone; this is something that as a rule is extremely difficult to pull off, because once your audience has bought the initial premise, changing that underlying premise is essentially you pulling the rug out from under them. The show is no longer what they signed on for, and now you have to sell them on why they should stick with you even after you snatched back what you initially sold them.

I've seen shows that have been able to do this. Negima wasn't one of them.

EDIT: I also hated the fact that the series kept portraying the good guys as being the opposite of underdogs; "overdogs," if you will. If you have the heroes being consistently more numerous, more powerful (to be fair, Negima usually split the difference on this one), and receiving more popular support than the villains, then I find it incredibly hard to root for them. Heroes feel heroic when they're struggling against unfavorable odds, and yet Negima just kept giving advantage after advantage after advantage to its ever-expanding cast of good guys. It was boring at best, irritating at worst (since it meant we had to listen to the heroes bemoaning their situation despite having virtually everything in their favor).

Again, some shows can get away with having the protagonist be far and away greater than all of their opposition, but Negima wasn't one of them.


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I'm uncertain if a trap the soul spell would be impeded or otherwise affected if you cast it on the astral body of someone using an astral projection spell.

Mainly, this is because trap the soul says that it also pulls your physical body into the gem, but in this case your physical body is presumably on another plane, far outside of the spell's range. In that case, what happens? Does your original body get pulled in even though it's on another plane? If not, does the spell work on your soul/astral body? What if your original body dies after you've been trapped?


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Freehold DM wrote:
I f&*!ing love koihime musou. But that's because I play the game.

Yeah, the game is undeniably better than the show.


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Adapting a work from one medium to another often entails having to make alterations to the presentation. Sometimes the reasons for these changes are self-evident, and other times they leave you scratching your head in confusion over why they did what they did. In the case of Koihime Musou ("Love Princess Unmatched"), it had elements of both, but leaned quite a bit more towards the latter.

The anime version of the eroge of the same name, Koihime Musou is a thirty-six-episode anime divided into three cours of twelve episodes each. My experience with the original games is limited, but from what I can tell each cour is loosely adapted from the three versions of the game (from what I can tell, the subsequent games in the series are expansions to the original, rather than sequels).

I use the word "loosely" here for a reason; while the anime keeps the setting and characters from the source material, it jettisons almost all of the plot elements, only to find that it has very little with which to fill in the gaps. That's the major reason that I've spent the last few paragraphs harping on how the anime isn't the game; in firmly deciding what not to be, the show struggles to define itself.

The basic outline of the show is that it's the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (e.g. set during the turbulent times of China in the late second century), with all of the major characters being presented as beautiful girls. To this end, the show puts most of its emphasis on Kan'u, showing her early travels through the countryside as she tries to figure out how she can make a difference for the better. During these wanderings, she falls in with Chouhi, Koumei, Chouun, and pretty much everyone you'd expect from the "Shoku" faction of the novel, as well as having meetings with almost every other major player from the original Romance story. Later episodes take more latitude in spotlighting other characters.

Unfortunately, this large cast comes at the cost of any actual plot or character development. Kan'u and her sworn-sisters never actually engage in the large-scale fighting that was the subject of the original Chinese novel. The warring that the titular three kingdoms are supposed to be engaged in has been pushed so far into the background that it's only referenced obliquely, with the characters making reference to "these turbulent times" more than once. (Naturally, this completely precludes the game's meta-plot about time-travel and parallel universes.)

So given everything that the show isn't, what is it actually about? Well...not very much. In terms of genre, the show is essentially a low-grade comedy series. The gags are fairly nonstop, and usually of middling quality at best (e.g. the running joke about people saying to Kan'u, "Wait, you're the famous 'Black-Haired Bounty Hunter?' But I thought the rumors said that she was supposed to be a real beauty!") What fight scenes there are make absolutely no attempt to create any kind of dramatic tension, nor visually impress. Instead, we're just supposed to laugh over things like the recurring thugs who get continually launched into the air Team Rocket-style, or Chouun's obsession with menma (pickled bamboo shoots), or Enshou's combination of complete incompetence and unwarranted arrogance, etc.

The show does have one other thing going for it, that being the ecchi factor. The show treats this as largely being yet more fodder for humor, and so is fairly casual in its presentation. In this regard, the series straddles keeping these vaguely-naughty bits in-character (e.g. some of the girls needling each other about the size of their boobs or being lesbians, etc.) and meta-contextual (e.g. the many times we get scenes of the girls bathing). Of course, these latter scenes are censored with pervasive steam-clouds, which further weaken one of the show's few remaining draws.

The end result is a show that has very little going for it. A paper-thin plot combined with a wide cast of one-note characters makes for a show that's lacking in substance. To be fair, the series is eminently aware of this, but rather than taking steps to address it seems to take an attitude of "why try hard?" Ironically, this works in its favor, as it helps to lower expectations.

Overall, Koihime Musou isn't so much a bad anime as a lazy one. If you go into it expecting nothing more, then there are certainly worse shows to kill some time with.


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So I'm not sure how many people have heard about this, but on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court made a 5-3 ruling in Utah v. Strieff.

Up until now, the "exclusionary rule" - the rule that says that evidence which the police gather illegally cannot then be used in a court prosecution - applied to instances where the police stop someone without a "reasonable articulable suspicion."

However, the new ruling says that if the police stop you even without any such suspicion, evidence that they subsequently seize could still be admissible. According to Justice Thomas, writing for the majority, this won't cause police overreach because the threat of civil suits will keep them in line.

There's a good op-ed about this over here.


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Pure fanboyism here, but I keep hoping that Dragonball Super brings back...

Spoiler:
...the Super Saiyan 4 transformation. It was one of the few things that I liked about GT, and it's a shame to see it being lost with the rest of that series almost certainly being de-canonized. Obviously that wouldn't happen with the heroes, but saiyan villains could potentially bring it back; hence why I kept hoping that we'd see it with the universe 6 saiyans, and now I'm hoping that we'll get that with Black Goku. It's unlikely, but hope springs eternal.


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I have to say, Bayonetta 2 was one hell of a great game, even without getting Bayonetta 1 for free with it.

Also, still playing the heck out of Hyrule Warriors.


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One of the characteristics of many harem shows is that they don't feature an actual harem, per se. That is, they typically feature a cast of three or more girls (having only two is a love triangle, rather than a harem) simultaneously competing for the same guy, rather than a featuring a stable polyamorous relationship between one guy and multiple girls.

Magika Swordsman and Summoner (Magika No Kenshi To Shoukan Maou) is one of the latter.

Magika is a light novel series with eleven volumes to date, and is ongoing. While there is a manga adaptation (which is receiving an official English translation), there's no anime that I'm aware of. At least, not yet. That said, the light novels have been translated into English via the fan community.

Set in the near future, Magika features a world where magic has come back, and completely changed everything. Everyone has at least some magic power, which can be used for defensive purposes, which is important because magic pretty much always trumps non-magic, making things like guns useless. Beyond mere physical enhancement, however, is summoning magic - the ability to bond with an astral entity (virtually always a god or spirit from a mythology), that allows for the use of stronger magical abilities. Only a few people have this, all of them women (since women naturally have greater magical affinity than men).

As a result of this, every country has exalted those who contract with its native mythology, becoming theocracies. The sole exception is Japan, where rather than the native mythology, the summoners contract with the spirits of the Lesser Key of Solomon.

It's against this backdrop that we meet Kazuki Hayashizaki, the only male to receive a summoning contract. Moreover, his contracted spirit isn't one that's among the seventy-two spirits that form the Pillars of Solomon.

It's not a spoiler to reveal that Kazuki's contracted spirit, Leme, is actually the incarnation of the Lemegeton (e.g. Lesser Key of Solomon) itself, as this forms the central premise of the series; Leme lets Kazuki use the powers of up to seventy-two other spirits, but his ability to do so is entirely dependent on how the girls contracted to those spirits feel about him. In essence, his power is directly tied to how many girls are in his harem, and how they feel about him.

It's this contextualization that really helps to ground the series, in terms of making everything adhere to the internal logic it presents. Kazuki, for example, is initially extremely leery of being a "harem king" - as Leme terms him - but given that summoners are needed to fight magic beasts (e.g. animals that have gained too much magic power and mutated) and rogue summoners, he quickly comes to realize that he needs to establish himself with multiple girls if he wants to have enough power to do anything.

Moreover, the eleven volumes (and counting) give the series enough room to spread this contextualization to other areas that a tighter focus would be hard-pressed to answer, such as why Japan's summoners don't use the native Japanese mythology, what mythology America's summoners use, or even what really constitutes a "mythology" in the first place and how that relates to these astral entities. There's some well-considered world-building here, even though it's doled out in small bits over the whole of the novels.

While I wouldn't go quite so far as to call the series lighthearted, it's far from being grim. The adventure portions of the series do stray into drama and tension with credible ability, for example. But the series never loses sight of the fact that it's home is in the harem genre. Even leaving aside the illustrations being focused primarily on beautiful girl after beautiful girl, the series placed a great deal of focus on Kazuki meeting new girls and increasing his "positivity level" - a handy numerical ranking that Leme gives him that lets him see what girls like him and how much - with them.

Overall, Magika is not just one of the better harem series around, but can credibly be called one of the best. Its adventure-focus means that it never gets completely lost in the sexy hijinks, while keeping said hijinks at the narrative forefront of the story and developing them as things progress (by the last couple of novels, Kazuki's relationship with the girls with the highest positivity level are very nearly pornographic). If you're a fan of harem stories, this one should definitely go in your reading list.


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Judy Bauer wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:
I'd be interested to see whether there's been any change in the 19 years since that study was published, given how much more time people now spend reading online content, which is much more "they"-friendly.

Lo! I was just reading Stephen Pinker's The Sense of Style (tl;dr: linguist analyzing writing style advice based on linguistic data and a panel of folks who work on dictionaries), and he says

Quote:
Experiments that measure readers' reading comprehension times to the thousandth of a second have shown that singular they causes little or no delay, but generic he slows them down a lot (Foertsch & Gernsbacher, 1997; M. Liberman, "Prescriptivist Science," Language Log, 2008).

If that's the sum total of what Pinker says about this citation, then he's leaving out quite a bit of context.

The citation here is for a 2008 paper (the M. Liberman citation) that looks at the Foertsch & Gernsbacher 1997 paper and then compares it to a 2007 paper (A. J. Sanford & R. Filik, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60(2) 171-178, 2007).

In his paper, Liberman relates that the Foertsch & Gernsbacher paper determined that the singular they didn't impose any extra cognitive load as compared to "stereotype-mismatched pronouns (e.g. "truck driver … she" or "nurse … he")"

Liberman then goes on to compare this to the 2007 Sanford & Filik paper, which looks at "The plural pronouns they and them are used to refer to individuals with unknown gender and when a random allocation of gender is undesirable. Despite this apparently felicitous usage, “singular they/them” should raise processing problems under the theory that pronouns seek gender- and number-matched antecedents."

Liberman notes that Sanford and Filik's data shows the following:

Quote:

For him or her with a singular antecedent, the average was 1380 milliseconds, while for them with a singular antecedent, the average total reading time was 1414 milliseconds — a 34 millisecond difference! This difference was statistically significant, at least when the times were compared segment by segment. But the time for reading all three segments was only about 2.4% slower on average.

In contrast, him or her with a plural antecedent required an average of 1521 msec to read all three segments, while them with a plural antecedent took an average of 1315 msec, or 206 msec faster. That's a difference of about 16%.

In other words, using "they" after having already established the presence of multiple people was faster than using a singular pronoun - whether male or female - after having established the presence of multiple people. Liberman further notes their conclusion:

Quote:

While the use of they as a genderless “singular” referential pronoun in certain contexts certainly occurs and does not seem to cause problems of felicity from the point of view of casual observation, some processing difficulties were nevertheless observed in our eye-tracking study. Earlier researchers (Foertsch & Gernsbacher, 1997) found that with neutral, apparently genderless, antecedents like someone, or a runner subsequent clauses referring to that individual by he or she, or they, revealed no reliable disadvantage in the case of using they. On the surface, this might be taken as compatible with the position that there is indeed no processing disadvantage to using they as a genderless singular. In the present experiment, we increased the sensitivity of the design in two ways. First, we used continuous eye-tracking, enabling more subtle measurement of any possible patterns of disruption. Secondly, we compared the effects of genderless referential plural antecedents with that of genderless singular referential antecedents. On total time for the pronoun region, we observed a strong, conventional, number-mismatch effect, such that plural pronouns created less processing disruption in the context of plural antecedents than in the context of genderless singular antecedents.

This result is compatible with the view that after encountering a plural pronoun (they, them), a search is initiated for a plural antecedent in the mental representation of the discourse and not for one that could be either plural or singular. So where does this leave the singular use of they/them? Since it is in common use, we suggest that although it gives rise to a mismatch, it is rapidly accommodated as an acceptable deviation. This is quite unlike the case with singular pronouns in the context of plural antecedents, because these are not in common use and, we claim, do not make sense without making an inference like “he or she refers to just one of the plurality in the antecedent”.

Most important, however, seems to be Liberman's ultimate conclusion after looking these papers over:

Quote:
But crucially, despite references to questions of usage, these papers are mainly oriented towards a debate among psycholinguists about the nature of pronoun processing, not towards a debate about pronoun usage among providers of writing advice. And as a result, the experiments don't directly address the issue that really matters in most practical cases — how should you refer to a non-referential singular indefinite antecedent ("anyone"; "a student"; etc.) when you need or want to leave sex unspecified? To be relevant to this real usage debate, experiments would need to test they against "he or she" (or "she or he", or "that person", or whatever); and would also need to check systematically for the cognitive load imposed by attempts to use he as a default pronoun.

So the idea that "singular they causes little or no delay, but generic he slows them down a lot," as Pinker notes, is eschewing a very large degree of data, to the point of not accurately representing the results...which don't really speak to the issue of wanting a non-gendered singular pronoun that isn't confusing anyway.


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I've long been of the opinion that the absence of something good in a show doesn't necessarily make it a bad show. There's a difference between an actual instance of failure, in any particular regard, and simply not doing something very well. That's the difference between a series that's genuinely bad versus those that are forgettable in their mediocrity.

This latter category is how I would categorize Linebarrels of Iron (Kurogane no Linebarrel). (I should also note that, in the English title, there really doesn't seem like there should be an "s" in "Linebarrels." That's because not only is there no such sound in the original Japanese, but the actual Linebarrel in the show is unique. But I digress.)

A twenty-four episode series, Linebarrels takes place in the extremely near future. It begins when a perpetually-bullied young man, Kouichi Hayase, is killed when a giant mech falls out of the sky and crushes him. Resurrected by the guilt-stricken (and very beautiful) female pilot, Kouichi finds that his newfound lease on life has not made him into the pilot of that mech - the eponymous Linebarrel - and in doing so dragged him into a war that's just breaking out between KATO-KIKAN (a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world) and a small group fighting against them.

While the initial premise isn't anything to write home about, it's the execution where the series really fails to deliver. I enjoyed the fact that, once Kouichi finds out how much power he's been given, it almost immediately goes to his head, resulting in him lashing out at anyone who opposes him, regardless of the collateral damage, while pontificating about justice. That struck me as more interesting than his instantly becoming an archetypal hero.

Unfortunately, the show never develops that - or really much of anything - to its full potential. Once Kouichi is made to realize the error of his ways, the show largely develops into a situational comedy with periodic action/adventure breaks. Virtually every cliché you can imagine is utilized, such as the villain who self-confidently says that everything is going according to plan no matter what setbacks he suffers, the hero unlocking new powers with his mech when he becomes utterly enraged, several female characters all pining for Kouichi in their own way (the tsundere leading lady, the spitfire female mech pilot, the warm and caring other female pilot, the childhood friend who's good at cooking, etc.), and even a beach episode with a giant octopus monster.

The worst of these is with characters dying (or about to die), only to be revealed to actually have survived/be rescued/be resurrected later on. That particular bait-and-switch is pulled on us several times over the series, to the point where it becomes more unexpected for characters to actually stay dead (which only happens rarely).

The end result is a series that feels not so much bad as simply paint-by-numbers, and so is rightly overshadowed by other series that have done it better. I read on Wikipedia that the anime for this took a large number of creative liberties from the original manga, and while I haven't read the manga, the anime doesn't seem to have benefitted from having gone so far astray from the source material.

Ultimately, Linebarrels of Iron is such a low-impact show that it's not only not very good, but isn't even very bad, either. It's just sorta there, and can be overlooked with absolutely nothing noteworthy being missed for having done so.


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You don't need to worry, the chart you're thinking of using is entirely Open Game Content; that's why it's on that site.

The link you're referring to is slightly antiquated, but still has the 3.5 SRD on it; it's now under the "d20 System Archive" link on that WotC page.

As a note, the page with the defense bonus isn't from the 3.5 SRD anyway, but rather from Unearthed Arcana, which had a lot of its text made Open Gaming Content. As such, you need to include it in your Section 15 of your publication.

To keep it simple, your publication would need to reprint all of the text on this page above the words "END OF LICENSE."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Yeah well. Even still.

Did Dean finally punch God in the face?

Spoiler:
Nope. Rather, Dean treated God pretty much the way someone would treat a deadbeat dad who suddenly walked back into their life.

Appropriately enough, God said to Dean flat-out, "Don't confuse me with your dad."


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I recently finished Doc Martin: Practice Makes Perfect, the novelization of the first season of the BBC hit show Doc Martin.

I was pleasantly surprised by how the author wrote the book, as he unexpectedly downplayed certain elements from the first season while tying others together more tightly than the show's episodic format. Neither of these was overwhelming, but combined with narrative exposition about what the characters were thinking, it made it just different enough from watching the show that it felt like a fresh take on things.


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TaliaKirana wrote:
Yeah, I loved that scene with Rainbow Dash ** spoiler omitted ** that everyone else seems to despise. Thought it was the funniest thing I've seen in quite some time.

People despise that scene? I can understand it being hard to watch if you're a fan of Rainbow (e.g. seeing someone usually so confident acting so insecure), but that aside I thought that it was highly amusing.


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So I have to say, after last week's episode being so incredibly mediocre, this week's turned out to be one of the best in recent memory.

Spoiler:
The fact that the show openly acknowledged that Chuck was God wasn't exactly a revelation, and the episode smartly didn't treat it like one. Instead, it wisely gave us an expose on God's character - brilliantly self-referential by having God want Metatron to edit his autobiography - and it really did a fantastic job.

The show has established for a while now that God no longer cares about his creations, and they played that one up here for all it was worth. The idea of God being sick of everything, not even in an angry way but simply so thoroughly uncaring, is such a great angle. It's not one that I've really seen before in most productions that portray God. The part where Metatron breaks down and tearfully asks God why he left them all, only for God to flatly reply, "because you disappointed me. You all disappointed me," was pure gold.

This also showed us that the character of Metatron still has a lot of depth to him. This episode made reference to him in every aspect we've seen, from his being a lover of stories to an evil God-wannabe to a pathetic human, and even showed that at his core he still cared about humanity. It was great.

This episode showed very well why I'm still excited for the show so long after people say that it's "peaked," and why I'm looking forward to future seasons.


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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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