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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 11,625 posts (11,628 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Rysky wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Good isn't a restraint on behavior. I would strongly question the "good" of people who see it as such.

Strongly disagree with you.

A Good person, a person who is Good, doesn't do certain things. This doesn't mean that they are foolish. This doesn't mean that they aren't aware of them. A Good person knows that they could cheat or use underhanded tactics to gain a benefit, but won't.

To be Good is to be aware of what you *could* do then choose not to do it.

Being aware of what all you could possibly do and choosing not to do it because you don't want to is very different than not doing something because "Well I'm [insert alignment here] so I can't".

I'm glad somebody understood what I was saying.


Good isn't a restraint on behavior. I would strongly question the "good" of people who see it as such.


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Klara Meison wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
So what happens now? Do we stick with the worlds/settings we know are borked from the beginning due to loyalty or try to create something new on the ashes of lessons learned?
I like to do a little of both!
Do you ever delegate any of your GMing responsibilities to your players? If yes, which ones and why? If no, why not?

Not usually, but it depends on your definition of GMing responsibilities. According to...Ultimate Campaign I think, supposedly the GM is supposed to run things like animal companions and such, but I've never done anything beyond point out when characters need to use Handle Animal for some things but otherwise let players play their own minions.

Leadership is usually optional. My players tend to like my NPCs (yay!), but if they want total control (including RP) of their cohort that's fine too. That said, Leadership is frequently unnecessary since my players tend to end up collecting an entourage in a more organic fashion (by being heroes and making friends with similar goals).

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EDIT: Also, what's your favourite icecream flavor?

Strawberry and/or Vanilla.


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Freehold DM wrote:
So what happens now? Do we stick with the worlds/settings we know are borked from the beginning due to loyalty or try to create something new on the ashes of lessons learned?

I'm gonna agree with Tacticslion, that one doesn't preclude the other. For example, there's kind of a running gag that you can't spit in Faerun without hitting an archmage. A setting doesn't have to be 100% nailed down to be fun (I'd dare say that few are in fact).

That said, consistency is a virtue, and so while we're flexing our creative muscles, practicing to be better than what came before is a noble goal, worth doing even if we sometimes fail at it, because the effort to be better is never a wasted effort.


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Well, most of it is a question that needs answering on a case by case basis. Though as far as wish is concerned, it's not what it once was. It's mostly good for replicating spells, which isn't really any more impressive than having a daily coupon for some spellcasting services at a metropolis (it can't replicate top level spells so every spell you can replicate can just be grabbed at a metropolis). Wish was nerfed really hard coming into Pathfinder (you can't wish for wealth directly, though you might use spell mimicry to perform some other slower forms of wealth production), you can't wish for magic items, and after you've got your inherent modifiers, there's not a whole lot left to do with it. Especially since wish efreeti SLA or something has a really low caster level and save DC (not super useful in combat after a while).

Eventually it kind of like in FF8, where you got that weird extradimensional merchant who you can buy items from and stuff while you're out of town. >_>


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Cheliax was doomed the moment someone thought it was a good idea to use a pit fiend to power their fireplace.

Also, wtf? It's impossible to get a pit fiend onto the material plane without either a super high level diabolist, or a gate spell, so do you march your way into Hell and capture a lord of hell so you can put him in your basement?

Yeah, Cheliax was doomed.


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Klara Meison wrote:

This whole thing gave me an idea for a campaign about a conflict between hell and heaven, where hell is realistic, pragmatic and generally "good", while heaven are the actual antagonists, conservative to the absurd and using arguments like " but we are good, we can't do anything bad or wrong , we even detect as such" while slaughtering thousands of innocents.

Meanwhile hell is building hospitals and pushing education on the material plane because they want more innovative mages improving everyone's lives. Demons go to taverns and theatres too, you know, and enjoy a good play as much as the next commoner.

Guess something positive came out of this, at least.

This loosely reminds of some stuff from the Angel Sanctuary manga, which is about (in a part) an archangel that rebels against heaven to aid demons because she cannot stand the level of arrogance and corruption present in heaven and their oppression of demons (some of which aren't particularly dangerous either).


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Perhaps interestingly, and more importantly, teaching them that hurting, oppressing, and killing is wrong likewise prevents asinine stuff like throwing fireball spells in town is something you should avoid doing, even though it doesn't have the [Evil] tag.

Make them more likely to be people who aren't going to club a sorcerer over the head because they used infernal healing to heal little Tina's dogbite, but more likely to react harshly when the bard uses suggestion to get big Jeb to hand over his wallet.


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Klara Meison wrote:

>When you're basing things in reason, their hold is much stronger than if you just say "this is wrong". A child who has been taught that infernal healing can be used because it does no harm, but that they should not hurt, oppress, or kill others, is going to be far more resistant to the incubus because they will be able to judge whether or not what he's selling is okay.

I don't have the article at hand, but I remember reading an amusing study that looked into this. They found out that plain " X is wrong, no I won't explain why " arguments actually encouraged the behaviour they were meant to discourage, and quite significantly at that. Just thought this was relevant enough to mention.

This is actually why I explain why things are wrong to my little brother, or have traditionally (he's about to turn 18 and he's got a good head on his shoulders). He's pretty resistant to peer pressure (which is something that some studies have indicated is a side effect of explaining/arguing things with children) and he is quickly able to call BS when some of the authority figures in his life say things like "Being gay is wrong", because he was taught to reason. Not taught to just accept some dictation as to something is right or wrong.

I strongly believe the reason the dictation morality fails so utterly when it does is because there is no reasoning behind something being wrong, or at least no reason taught, so the only reason you're not doing it is because you were taught it was wrong. And when you do something that you were taught was wrong and it doesn't hurt you or others, it shakes your conviction that anything else you were taught was wrong actually is. Suddenly you have the "Preacher's Daughter" trope where they're raised up "right and proper" and then turns into a wild hellion, binging on booze, drugs, reckless sex, and shoplifting.


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KitsuneSoup wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
KitsuneSoup wrote:
The real problem with all of your arguments, Ashiel, is that they are all based on, "Whatever, I don't care what the fact is, I have a truth."
Citation needed.
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All that matters, to me, is that my character is altruistic, protective of life, and concerned for others, and avoids hurting, oppressing, and killing whenever possible. If my character is going to go to Hell because she went around casting infernal healing on people, so be it. She's only all the more altruistic for damning her own soul to save others, and thus more heroic to me.
That is Truth versus Fact. Nothing wrong with it, just the way it is.

Then you clearly misunderstood the entire post that was a part of. I wasn't saying that it wasn't evil by the rules, I was saying that if that is the reason the character is "evil", then I don't care, just like I don't particularly care about "team blue" or "team orange", and thus wouldn't care about being evil and the character would still be just as heroic and awesome to me as I originally intended.

I would care about being evil if it were for reasons. I generally prefer characters that are good because of the things good characters are defined through (altruism, concern for others, protecting life), and I generally dislike characters that hurt, oppress, or kill without reservations.

What I was saying is that if this is the reason, then I don't care if the character is "evil" aligned, because the alignment doesn't matter anymore. It's just a game statistic that doesn't actually reflect much about my character beyond her sudden immunity to unholy blight, and hey, that's cool with me since unholy blight is a common weapon of my enemies.

I never suggested that she wasn't legally evil within the system. I was pointing out a reason I see that as a flaw of the system. So my argument hasn't been factless or even fact-questionable, it's just the facts. If being "evil" doesn't actually make you a bad person, why should I care?

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I'm going to pause you for a moment here.
You're quite right about it being a new concern about digital media and IP issues. It's still theft, which is ethically incorrect. The only question is and always has been "What do we do about it?"

The problem is that it's debatable as to whether or not it is theft. Because theft involves taking something from someone. For example, if a wizard looks at a statue of a piece of art, and says "Hey, Genie, I like that statue. I wish for an exact copy of that statue to put in my living room", he has just committed "piracy" by creating a copy of a thing that was not his. He did not take the statue from the person who owned it, and so when the guy who owns the statue says "Hey, you stole my statue!" the wizard looks at the guy and goes "Lol, whut?"

Which is why it's a new issue. It is something we are faced with that had not previously existed before. It is the ability to, essentially freely, create copies of things. And the moral question is about whether or not that hurts anyone, because to many people, it's not theft.

That's why many people wouldn't steal a jar of pickles from a store, but they would have no issues magically creating a copy of that jar of pickles and eating them. And being told "That's stealing, it's obviously wrong, don't do it" isn't going to convince them because their response is "No it's not, it obviously isn't, and get lost".

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False equivalency, for reasons mentioned in my posts.
No false equivalency detected. I am discussing the need to understand and accept the consequences of your actions, not whether or not those consequences are correct.

It's a false equivalency because "I'm happy to steal food" involves hurting, oppressing, or killing others. Casting protection from good and infernal healing factually does not. Being happy to be punished for being altruistic is not the same thing as being happy for being punished for doing something that was hurting someone else.

This isn't complex.

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It's exceedingly humorous that you not only committed slippery slope fallacy, but you did so while also using the phrase slippery slope.
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No slippery slope fallacy detected. My example states that in a world in which Evil is Real, Evil must be tempered with education, something you had not mentioned. I provided the middle ground, which you had not.

No, it's traditional slippery slope fallacy. You posed that healing a child with infernal healing would eventually lead them down a path of jumping on the incubus bandwagon, which is actually more of a leap than saying killing flies will mean you'll grow up to be a serial killer.

Again, if the children are taught not to hurt, oppress, or kill, then they will be able to discern whether or not it's okay. If you tell them "No, the adventurer was wrong to cast infernal healing on you because it's evil and that's why", well, THAT will make them more likely to jump on the incubus bandwagon because it's arbitrary and it was clearly so beneficial.

However, if they're instead taught that hurting, oppressing, and killing others is wrong, they're much more likely to avoid spells like death knell, unholy blight, and things that...y'know...hurt, oppress, and kill.


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KitsuneSoup wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Same with good, but because they are altruistic, protective, and concerned with furthering the dignity of others.

I can definitely accept that piracy might be evil because of the argument that it harms. I cannot accept that it might be evil just because you tell me it's wrong. People have to do better than that.

Oh, that's easy. Ethics does not play games. Piracy is by its definition theft. You are performing an informed action that is causing harm to another person. That is evil.

I'm going to pause you for a moment here.

That actually is the debate. Digital piracy is a new thing that people are dealing with. It's not theft in the traditional sense of theft. It is the free creation of a copy of something without consent. It is not equivalent to walking into a store and stealing a jar of pickles, because if you do, you have taken a jar of pickles from the store and they have one less jar of pickles.

It is functionally equivalent to being able to walk into the store, take a picture of the pickles that magically becomes a real jar of pickles, and eating those pickles, leaving the original jar on the shelf. To very many people, this is not theft and equating it to traditional theft isn't going to convince them because they see it as comparing apples to pizzas.

So the real question is, does taking a picture of the pickles hurt people. So it really does come down to whether or not it harms people, or whether or not it helps people. And that's where the water becomes muddy and why there are reasonable people on both sides of the debate. One could argue that by creating a copy of the pickles rather than buying it, you are hurting the store because they didn't sell pickles and you're not supporting the people who picked, jarred, and shipped the pickles for purchase, and that may also lead to them going out of business and not making any new flavors of pickles.

However, there are many counter-arguments that are just as valid. Because the person who copied the pickles may not have been able to afford the pickles, or wouldn't spend money on those pickles if they couldn't just take a picture, which means a sale wasn't lost and so no harm was done. If the person then shared his pickle copy with someone who hadn't tried pickles and they like the pickles and go buy some pickles themselves, a net gain has been made for those peddling the pickles. Or that seeing the person eating copied pickles may draw attention of others watching them eating them, or hearing them talk about how great pickles are, and make them decide to go out and get themselves some pickles. And of course, sharing is caring.

So much of it comes down to the morality behind copying works of others, which is a can of worms in its own right. For example, it could be said that playing a video game in public is a breach of copyright because you are performing or displaying the work publicly, in much the same vein as publicly airing the Star Wars films can be a breach of copyright. Many people would have no issue with watching Lets Plays on youtube, but you're not supposed to make public showings of copyrighted material...usually. >_>

So is everyone watching people streaming on Twitch immoral? Uh, I sure hope not. Is everyone streaming on Twitch immoral? I guess it depends on whether or not you consider a breach of copyright immoral, rather than the breach of a legal document intended to enforce fair trade standards in the same way monopolies are regulated.

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The real problem with all of your arguments, Ashiel, is that they are all based on, "Whatever, I don't care what the fact is, I have a truth."

Citation needed.

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That's fine, and there's nothing really wrong with that viewpoint if tempered with an eye toward society. For example, when you say, "I'm happy being in hell for casting evil spells because I'll know I did right", that's similar to saying "I'm happy for being in jail for stealing food, because I know it was the right thing to do." Sure, Jean Valjean, you might be able to justify it to yourself, but you are still committing evil (and interestingly, Valjean himself never disagreed with the fact that he was a bad person for stealing bread, he just said he had to do it).

False equivalency, for reasons mentioned in my posts.

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The slippery slope in a world where Evil Is Real is that when those children you're healing by 'just summoning evil' need also to be tempered by (in-character) conversations about how it's okay to steal 'little bits' of evil for good purposes. Otherwise, when the incubus shows up and goes, "Hey, you think healing was impressive, check out this other thing!" the children will have no reason to believe that they shouldn't accept it.

It's exceedingly humorous that you not only committed slippery slope fallacy, but you did so while also using the phrase slippery slope.

When you're basing things in reason, their hold is much stronger than if you just say "this is wrong". A child who has been taught that infernal healing can be used because it does no harm, but that they should not hurt, oppress, or kill others, is going to be far more resistant to the incubus because they will be able to judge whether or not what he's selling is okay.

Because they can look at death knell and say, "Y'know, that's great and all, but you just killed something for the purposes of increasing your power. That's very different from that healing thing that sorceress did for my leg, so I want none of it".


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justicar347 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


The only way that a near rational argument can be made is to make up a series of what-ifs and speculations that basically aren't true, or at least there's no way of verifying they are true, and would be wholly subjective to the setting that was involved. You could make up a scenario where casting protection from evil gives an angel wings somewhere in the cosmos, or that casting infernal healing somehow strengthens the cosmic forces of evil in some nebulous and undefined way, but at that point it's "yeah, cool story bro" material.

Isnt this who'e thing made up? You know, the magic and demons and stuff? So what if a book comes out that explains that that is why X is evil?

Firstly, it's clear that I'm speaking in context. Since a lot of people like making Star Wars references in this thread, I'm going to break it down for you.

If I said that in Star Wars, the reason that the dark side is sometimes known to have a corrupting influence on people was because it invites invisible gremlins into your brain who turn your eyes yellow and make you poop lightning from your hands, I would be making it up, because there's nothing in the subject material that supports that. Just like there's nothing in the subject material that supports the idea that casting infernal healing means god kills a kitten somewhere, or that casting protection from evil makes babies laugh and angels get their wings.

This should be obscenely obvious.

Secondly, it would matter as far as the campaign setting was concerned (because such an explanation would likely be Golarion specific), but it would in fact help to have a reason. And it needs to be a concrete reason, not a nebulous "it might make the forces of whatever stronger when you draw energy from those planes that are already infinite".

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Actually, it kind of has, though not in a pathfinder/paizo book. Maybe it has and I missed it. Anyway, in an old D&D 3.0/5 book they did address that. I think it was Book of Vile Darkness or Exalted Deeds. While discussing evil spells and undead it made specific mention that those are evil because they let more evil influence into the world regardless of the intent of the caster. One could argue that was then, this is now, but I think for a philosophical discussion that is sufficient unless something more recent over rules it. At the very least, I think it makes a stronger argument for design intent. That or an adequate explanation to a mechanical feature post fact.

Well, I don't particularly see a pair of optional splatbooks that were explicitly noted to be targeted at a minority of the playerbase (noted by the books themselves) who wanted to run a very specific type of campaign that (frequently) deviated from the actual core rules of the game as the authority on alignments. Especially when those books (most notably the Book of Exalted Deeds) are actually rife with things that are defined as aspects of the opposing alignment (to the point that they even give exalted classes in those books spells that the BoVD tagged as [Evil]).

I think it has even less bearing on alignment in Pathfinder, given that the book was from two editions prior to Pathfinder (3.0). And since the contents of those books are in fact overruled by the more recent rules on alignment in the core rulebook, they essentially have no place in this discussion. That said, if you want to tread down that aimless path, I do own both books (regretfully, actually, because they were a waste of money) and so I'm able to discuss their (lack of) merits if we absolutely must.

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As to the use of internal healing, well I think that falls into the perview of corrupting influence. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," could be taken litterally here. I'm sure the forces of good and morality and sunshine and puppies will look the other way that one time if you have to save that orphan, but is it so unreasonable to think that constantly, willingly, calling on Hell's power might result in a kind of soul strain?

Cast protection from evil a few times. It is for all observable purposes the equal and opposite effect. Patch that soul right up, because that's apparently how it works. Just smear enough blue paint on yourself until you're team blue again.


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HWalsh wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
justicar347 wrote:
Consider pirating things online. Objectively, it is stealing, but people come up with all kinds of ways to justify it. Imagine, though, if before downloading something there was a popup sign from the websie that said "just so you know, this is moraly wrong no mater what you tell yourself." People would be pretty unhappy with that because it would force them to choose between the thing they wanted and what was objectively right. That is why people do not like [evil] spells.
Consider that a real argument can be made for pirating online to hurt people, and those that consider it not a moral issue primarily seem to think that harm doesn't exist.

The thing is, that argument can be defeated. I work in game design and I know piracy is a big deal. One of the things I do is work on DRM so that games can't be pirated. However, one of the huge debates I've seen, even at things like GDC, is exactly how much harm is being done.

This is actually sort of the argument against DRM.

One side says, "If it is good people will buy it. People who aren't going to buy it anyway are not going to buy it if they can't steal it. Since there is no physical loss of inventory, IE if someone taking it doesn't impact someone else able to buy it legally, and if the person who is taking it was never going to buy it in the first place even if they couldn't steal it, was there any actual harm done?"

This is an actual thing that is discussed.

Yes, which is why I said that an argument can be made. I didn't say if the argument was correct, merely that it is debatable, and that debate primarily comes down to how harmful it is.

Skipping the Leisure Suit Larry bit 'cause it's not relevant to my response.

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I dislike theft of digital things (those weren't digital, the internet wasn't a thing back then, people would buy them, then share the disks) because I think it is disrespectful to the company and creator.

However, the argument of it is wrong because it inflicts damage is really nebulous. It can potentially do so. It might not. There are even arguments that pirating spreads awareness of a product and can lead to a sales increase. (I really hate those arguments.)

You probably hate those arguments because they're difficult to prove wrong. I myself have in fact seen the very phenomena of piracy leading to additional legal copies of a thing (in greater numbers than the individual instance of that piracy), and increasing awareness within different circles about a thing, and works in much the same way that the System Reference Document has been the giant force that has kept Pathfinder going. So when people see instances where this happens firsthand, they are likely to become more open to the idea that piracy isn't destructive.

They're also difficult to prove right since it's hard to collect enough data to say if they're 100% certain as to whether or not piracy actually improves sales of a product or serves as free brand recognition advertising for the company, but people see it happen frequently enough to know that it does happen.

Hence why there's a debate about it. >_>

A debate I see both sides of. A debate that makes points on both sides.

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You shouldn't pirate, not because it inflicts harm, we can't prove it does, you shouldn't pirate because it is wrong.

Kind of the same reason why you shouldn't cast Infernal Healing.

This is where I just cannot agree with you, because you're making a statement as an authority, but you are not. You haven't made a case for why it would be wrong, or why someone should choose to not do it, besides just stating that it is wrong.

In the same way that people can eat pork, romantically love someone of the same sex, marry people of a different ethnicity, go to work on Sundays, have women with equal rights as men, not murder people because they've become apostates, and thousands of other things that are considered "wrong" merely because someone says they are, you can expect such deep and compelling arguments such as "It's just wrong, it doesn't need a reason" to be swiftly and promptly ignored by the reasoned, because such an argument simply is not reasonable.

Which is why I actually like the core rules on alignment. It makes it very clear what good and evil is from a moral perspective. You can make a very clear case for why things like slavery, sexism, racism, theft, murder, torture, sexual assault, and pretty much all the bad things in the world are evil. Because they hurt, oppress, or kill.

Same with good, but because they are altruistic, protective, and concerned with furthering the dignity of others.

I can definitely accept that piracy might be evil because of the argument that it harms. I cannot accept that it might be evil just because you tell me it's wrong. People have to do better than that.

I could tell you anything is wrong. Even things that are good. If I can't actually provide you a reason why it's wrong, you should very well ignore me.


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justicar347 wrote:
Consider pirating things online. Objectively, it is stealing, but people come up with all kinds of ways to justify it. Imagine, though, if before downloading something there was a popup sign from the websie that said "just so you know, this is moraly wrong no mater what you tell yourself." People would be pretty unhappy with that because it would force them to choose between the thing they wanted and what was objectively right. That is why people do not like [evil] spells.

Consider that a real argument can be made for pirating online to hurt people, and those that consider it not a moral issue primarily seem to think that harm doesn't exist.

However, the argument here is "it's evil", "why?", "because it is". Which means that even if it's true within the rules, it just doesn't matter to anyone who's actually concerned with the morality of their character rather than the title of their character's morality.

Hence, pointless.

The only way that a near rational argument can be made is to make up a series of what-ifs and speculations that basically aren't true, or at least there's no way of verifying they are true, and would be wholly subjective to the setting that was involved. You could make up a scenario where casting protection from evil gives an angel wings somewhere in the cosmos, or that casting infernal healing somehow strengthens the cosmic forces of evil in some nebulous and undefined way, but at that point it's "yeah, cool story bro" material.

It has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to use evil powers and justify it. The justification doesn't matter. Because of being evil doesn't really entail actually being evil, then why shouldn't I be evil? Either way I don't do any of the things I'd rather people not do, and I don't have to stop doing all the great things that I would, so the alignment doesn't matter. It just means you get to play a heroic goodguy while also getting to be a stronger alignment.

It's a win mechanically and narratively. Y'know what, in hindsight, this is great. A free pass against all spells your enemies are using for being the same heroically altruistic protective concerned character that you were always is just a strait buff. Here here, let's have it for blue & orange morality. :D


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Also, as for whether or not someone would cast something like magic circle against good or anything upon a similar vein, I'd like to note that in the core rulebook you see things like Abyssal blooded sorcerers picking up spells like unholy aura as a bloodline power (which means they just get it because of their heritage, it's not a chosen spell).

Said spell...
Affects everyone in a 20 ft. radius around you (up to 1 target/level).
It applies a +4 bonus to AC and +4 bonus to saves against creatures of all alignments (not just vs good); so there's a reason to cast it right there and affect your whole party with it if possible. It also functions as a protection from good spell when it comes to blocking mind-control, and deals Strength damage to good creatures who attack you, and provides SR 25 vs good-aligned spells/creatures.

There's plenty of incentive to cast this spell frequently in combat, especially if your team has minions, animal companions, or whatever, because while a full heroic party may have maxed deflection/resistance gear, being able to drop a +4 AC/saves onto all your summoned monsters and/or secondary helpers is a good deal.

Similarly, a celestial blooded sorcerer is probably going to frequently employ magic circle against evil a lot since it's a spell they just get. Even if the sorcerer would otherwise be evil, this spell is likely to get lots and lots of use.


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Klara Meison wrote:
How would you price a permanent cantrip item? Rules for magical items put the price at 0, which seems rather silly.
Core Rulebook - Magic Items: Item Creation wrote:

Spell Level: A 0-level spell is half the value of a 1st-level spell for determining price.

1 Such as a luck, insight, sacred, or profane bonus.
2 If a continuous item has an effect based on a spell with a duration measured in rounds, multiply the cost by 4. If the duration of the spell is 1 minute/level, multiply the cost by 2, and if the duration is 10 minutes/level, multiply the cost by 1.5. If the spell has a 24-hour duration or greater, divide the cost in half.
3 An item that does not take up one of the spaces on a body costs double.
4 If item is continuous or unlimited, not charged, determine cost as if it had 100 charges. If it has some daily limit, determine as if it had 50 charges.

So if a 1st level item has a cost of something like 1 x CL x 2,000 gp (permanent item), it would cost 0.5 x CL x 2,000 gp or effectively CL x 1,000 gp.

You would then modify the cost based on the duration of the spell in question.


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HWalsh wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
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So yeah, I can judge someone for that, that, by definition, is not good.
You can judge anyone how you like. I just won't care because I've no reason to care about your judgments, since I only care about the opinions of the reasoned.

That word: "Reasoned" You don't know what that word means.

My *reasoning* is simple:

We know the spell is evil.
We know casting the spell is an evil act.
If you routinely do evil acts then you are not good.
Ends don't justify the means as far as morality are concerned.

Putting aside the ends and means argument, which is an argument unto itself (an argument I don't think the alignment rules supports you in either, since the alignment rules are quite clear on what is good and evil, and the only reason that killing orcs to save people is because the ends actually DO justify the means for Paladins to even exist), my contention with your response to my post was that you are claiming an authority based on...nothing.

That's it. Nothing. You're literally basing your argument on lots of "what ifs". Well, y'know, we can literally make any argument we like that way and try to justify it to ourselves and others. It's the same way that people can argue that gay people cause earthquakes and similar stupidity.

That's what I mean when I say it is unreasoned. It is, factually, no different than me saying that you shouldn't do *anything* because a *bad thing* might happen. You shouldn't give money to the poor, because it might make them a target for muggers. You shouldn't park under a tree, because an elephant might knock the tree down on the car. You shouldn't have a different moral standard than myself, or you'll end up in Hell.

Back it up, or don't. That much is simple.

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And, look, to be honest, you and I have been in morality threads before. I don't care about your opinions either to be honest because I don't think that you are a very reasoning person either.

If a character really wants to help heal people, they can learn to do that. Become a Cleric. Become a Collegiate Arcanist and learn Cure Light Wounds. Become a Paladin and Lay on Hands. We can go on and on and on, heck, learn UMD and get a level 1 wand.

But casting Evil spells just because you don't care if its evil or not, then arguing that your actions aren't evil, makes no sense. It doesn't make a character heroic to do so, especially if the character doesn't actually believe there is anything wrong in it and thus doing so should merit no punishment in the afterlife.

The idea that, "I cast Infernal Healing to help people and that is good!" Is nonsense when there are other ways to heal people. The argument, "Well I am a Wizard! This is the only way I can!" "Learn another way. There are tons of them.

Instead what you are really saying is: "I want to Heal People but can't be bothered to learn a non-evil way. So I will justify my actions because this way I don't have to give up any power to do so."

That isn't good. That isn't making a sacrifice to help people.

This is exactly why I said it doesn't matter. If the only reason it's evil is just because it is, then it doesn't matter. See, in the actual alignment rules, evil means hurting, oppressing, and killing things. Those are what it means to be evil, and if you're evil because of those things it's because you actually did something that defines you.

Because it means you routinely hurt people. And you oppress people. And you kill people. It says something, very strongly, about who you are as a person and your actions.

But if you're evil because you can cast infernal healing as one of your sorcerer spells, well...so what? I don't care. It wouldn't stop me from inviting you to my child's birthday party, or babysitting my children, playing D&D with you, or being your friend, or my holding you in esteem, or just generally viewing you as a great person. You might ping on detect evil checks but you aren't actually evil as far as I'm concerned because you're not out there hurting, oppressing, or killing.

In normal D&D, I tend to dislike evil characters because hurting, oppressing, and killing are pretty universally reviled things. Being evil means you are a bad person who does bad things. Not that you're simply acting like a normal person but wearing the wrong uniform.

For the same reason, I like good characters, because I respect and admire characters that are altruistic, protective of life, and concerned for others. Being good means you are a good person who does good things. Not that you're simply acting like a normal person but wearing the right uniform.

But, if it's just how many celestial badgers you can poop out in a day, or how many times you used magic circle against evil as the circle used to conjure an earth elemental, it's pointless. It has little to no narrative value to the character, and so I simply don't care.

"You're character is evil!
"Why?"
"Because she cast infernal healing a lot."
"Oh, okay."
"Doesn't that bother you?"
"No. Not really. Because if that's the reason, it doesn't matter."
"Why doesn't it matter?"
"Because she's still a good, heroic person, to me, and now she's also immune to unholy blight spam that the demons and devils she fights usually fry her with."


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HWalsh wrote:
Not really. Remember Paizo can, and has, done retcons in the past. Heck evil spells actually changing your alignment is a retcon. In the end, the character willingly did evil, knowing it was evil, and still kept doing it.

Yes, because my point was that it doesn't matter anymore. It's blue vs orange. I don't care about blue or orange. So the character will just continue to follow their moral compass and the alignment on their character sheet can just fall where it may, because it matters less than the clothes she chooses to wear.

Further, basing morality on unknowns and/or future retcons is dumb, because until anything actually surfaces that supports it, it's all hypothetical. It's as fruitless as saying something stupid like "Eating cheese will destroy the world, and while I cannot prove that it will destroy the world, it might one day in the future, and if it does, it will be your fault, because you ate cheese willingly while there was no evidence".

It's that dumb.

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So yeah, I can judge someone for that, that, by definition, is not good.

You can judge anyone how you like. I just won't care because I've no reason to care about your judgments, since I only care about the opinions of the reasoned.


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HWalsh wrote:

In that case though your character is acting, pretty much, either amorally or they are acting out of ignorance.

They *know* the spell is evil but *do not know* why the spell is evil. Namely they don't know what the spell might be doing that they don't know about, also known as, they don't know the reason the spell is evil.

This could be out of hubris, for example, "I don't see why it's evil so I am going to do it anyway! I do what I want!"

False on pretty much all accounts. She's acting very morally, and she does in fact know why the spell is evil. Because like all evil aligned spells it is either using the raw essence of evil to repel its opposite, or it is calling or deriving power from a creature that is from an evil-aligned plane.

Also, she is by definition, acting very moral. In fact, she is not willing to compromise on her morals.

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Then, of course, if the backlash of... What does that character do once they find out that the spell does something horribly bad? Namely that it causes people to die, or that it somehow bolsters the forces of evil in a way not previously known. Do they sit back and go, "Ho-hum, I didn't know. Tee hee. I guess I'll stop now."

(Which wouldn't work because the comeback response would be, "You knew the spell was evil when you cast it, people tried to tell you it was evil, and you kept doing it anyway you monster.")

Or do they have a crisis?

Except that the spell doesn't do anything except what it says it does. That's how magic works. You can't judge others, players or otherwise, for stuff you made up, or nebulous maybes and what-ifs. Don't be dumb.

That's about as valid as if I ran out and told two guys they can't be kissing each other because "You don't know what sort of things this will bring about, and even though I have no evidence for it, what you're doing is wrong because it doesn't fit my head-cannon".

There's nothing that verifies the claim that casting protection from law somehow empowers the forces of chaos, or casting magic circle against evil to trap an elemental means an angel somewhere gets its wings. So...that's a dumb argument.

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Me... If I found out that I had been hurting people my whole life because I refused to pay attention to facts... I'd be in a bad place.

Fact? I don't think that word means what you think it means.


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I've gotta go to work so I'll try to make this short.

The moment protection from... makes someone more that alignment is the moment I stop caring about alignment. At this point, the alignment on my character sheet is as pointless as whether or not my character chose to wear blue or orange today.

At which point, it just won't matter. I'll go ahead and save that dying child, because that's the right thing to do. I won't care if it means that eventually my alignment reads "Neutral Evil" on my sheet because the good actions are never weighed against the evil actions by many people, because it doesn't matter.

All that matters, to me, is that my character is altruistic, protective of life, and concerned for others, and avoids hurting, oppressing, and killing whenever possible. If my character is going to go to Hell because she went around casting infernal healing on people, so be it. She's only all the more altruistic for damning her own soul to save others, and thus more heroic to me.

If alignment doesn't matter, then I cease to care what alignment I have and just do whatever anyway.


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Tels wrote:

The problem in Pathfinder is Paizo seems to have taken a much different view on what the commoner is. I mean, cutthroat lawyer is 9th level according to the NPC coded.

You know, in looking through NPC Codex again, it'd be amusing to generate a world based on the stats of NPCs in the codex. Like play in a campaign where the law firm down the street also happens to be one of the deadliest groups of warriors in the town. Where the Princess only needs rescuing because she wants to be rescued. Where the 2nd level city guard calls upon the local tavern for backup (barkeep and barmaids).

Truly, a crazy world.

Yeah, Paizo's NPCs seem to have little to no sense of scale. According to the gamemastering NPC gallery, your average prostitute is a heroic character. >_>

I guess my views have mostly been colored by the original D20/D&D system, and d20 commentary stuff like the Alexandrian.


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What's in the box? wrote:

Ok, so with that being said... How does a lvl 1 commoner react to the omnipotence of adventurers?

You rarely encounter a peasant who shows primal fear to the lvl 3 sorcerer but burning hands is more fatal than an elemental hug.

This actually came up in the last big campaign I ran. In the latter stages of the campaign, the heroes who were doing normal stuff back at 1st-3rd level had grown into powerful forces through the trials they had faced, so when they returned to their lands, they hadn't really realized it but they were like new people returning, and they were in many ways very scary.

In fact, the very order that sent them on the mission, began to question if they were a threat to the security that their order provided to their country. Their templar council was concerned that the party's Paladin and Templar Sorceress had become so powerful that they would be a dangerous threat if they went rogue, which was true.

At one point, the two (who were having some relationship issues that needed to be worked out) were training in a large cathedral (the church has a militant presence, so they have a large training area, kind of like a dojo, on the back side of the cathedral). While the two were sparring, they began revving up the pace of their fighting to a point where the two of them were actually struggling against each other. The intense power between the Paladin and the Sorceress resulted in a number of the high council and the other members of their order coming to watch. Most were terrified of what they saw, and the council was highly concerned (and also rather scared, honestly), because it became very obvious that if the Paladin or Sorceress decided to no longer be good guys there was nothing that their superiors could do about it.

Even back when they were 6th level, they put the fear of god into a criminal ring as they effortlessly trounced a large ambush consisting of a bunch of 1st level warrior thugs and mercenaries.

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This may be a side point but do your players ever encounter OTHER players? Like how often Is another NPC not an NPC?

I noticed that even when watching Grimgar (which I still recommend but it definitely softens in appeal as it continues) when the Goblin Slayers go out to 'hunt' there is NEVER another adventure ring group to be found...

Have you ever planned a Heist and just as you were started the alarm was sounded and a rapscallion gnome comes bolting around he corner with arms full of loot?

Or gone to save the princess in the tower to finding the guarding dragon slain and tousled sheets but no damsel (in distress or otherwise?)

Not saying it should happen ALL the time but... We can't be the only adventurers out here... Right?

Right. The other adventuring party is a pretty longstanding trope in D&D but it doesn't get a lot of attention these days. I've had players encounter other parties (in fact, a friend of mine had a character saved from Mummy Rot because they encountered a party with a healer that was heading to the same dungeon).


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Put another way, the fire elemental's 2d6 fire damage is a scale that indicates how crazy hot it actually is. It's not hot enough to melt stone and you could trap it inside a stone room (at 1/2 energy damage, the fire will never pierce the 8 hardness of the stone), but most normal people with between 1-12 hit points are in serious danger.

Which is what a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around. 2d6 damage is actually a lot of damage for a normal person to take. A single 1d8 arrow actually has a pretty decent chance of killing the average person without rolling a critical (it's likely that it will drop them to 0 or fewer hit points and they will likely bleed to death without help).

Which makes it all the more epic and fantastic when your 20th level barbarian leaps off a 60 ft. cliff and buries his axe in the skull of the Tarrasque, then proceeds to engage in a one man versus cataclysmic terror, only to beat it into submission (because the Tarrasque is going to get spanked like a four year old in K-Mart by a 20th level martial).


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Klara Meison wrote:

>if realism is done properly, it makes the world feel more alive.

Although, to be fair, for some incomprehensible reason a lot of people I talked to didn't feel that way. It's almost like they want their fiction with glaring plot holes the size of titanic. And when you try to ask questions like "But why didn't Gandalf use eagles from the start? Would have saved the party a whole lot of trouble.", expecting a nice conversation where both sides try to find an in-universe reason for why that happened, they instead get pissed and try to accuse you of being a soulless husk of a person who can't enjoy anything in their life.

Well, the thing is, realism is a bit of a spectrum. In your example before, you assumed being on fire would be instantly fatal and thus 40d6 points of damage. Thing is, 40d6 points of damage is a scale in d20, and that equates to an average of 140 damage.

Now even dividing for half damage due to being energy, that means the fire elemental leaning on a stone wall would begin instantly melting the wall into bits (dealing about 62 damage / round of exposure to the stone) which would be crazy insane hot.

And this is where the scales and spectrum come in.

See, heroes in D&D aren't realistic. They're supernaturally tough. They're the sort who get hit with a giant's mallet and get thrown fifteen feet down a ravine, climb back up pissed off, and ready for more.

Normal people in d20 have like 3-6 hit points. Normal people are like commoners and are traditionally assumed to have an average of +0 in their Constitution and take average Hp for their hit dice. Which means that 2d6 fire damage from a fire elemental is very lethal if it gives them a bear hug. It will burn them so badly as to cause them to die in a span of 12-18 seconds of exposure.

Similarly, being set on fire (such as with an oil or alchemist fire) is usually 1d6 damage, for much the same reason. A normal person can survive a few rounds of being on fire, depending on how engulfed in flames they are, and live to tell about it, but it's a risky business.

However, a high level D&D character could arm wrestle with the fire elemental and the fire elemental would bemoan that the character was squeezing too hard.

Which is where the fantastic element comes in. If we're talking about gritty realism, heroes would never leave the realm of "I shat myself to death because the river water was dirty" and into the realm of "I attempt to suplex the balor!", which is more or less why we have little abstractions like these.

:P


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
P.s. Wrote this and accidentally pressed "Cancel" instead of "Submit Post". Blessed be Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C and heightened fine motor skills on an adrenaline rush I got when I realised browser was about to delete the whole thing.
Someone recommended me the Lazerus addon. If my post gets eaten, it lets me recover it. :)
Lazerus for life. I can go back months and find old things I've written.

I think you were in fact the one who recommended it to me. :P


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Klara Meison wrote:
P.s. Wrote this and accidentally pressed "Cancel" instead of "Submit Post". Blessed be Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C and heightened fine motor skills on an adrenaline rush I got when I realised browser was about to delete the whole thing.

Someone recommended me the Lazerus addon. If my post gets eaten, it lets me recover it. :)


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Just another little update. Since I broke the magic chapter into multiple parts (the magic chapter itself which discusses things shared by most magic subdisciplines like duration; range; areas; targeting; concentration checks; subtypes; etc, versus chapters on things like spellcasting and psionics which give information specific to those disciplines), I'm currently working on the spellcasting mechanics which includes things like descriptions for magic schools and explaining things like spells per day, spells known, prepared spells, etc.

Something I wanted to share was that "spellbooks" are getting standard, codified, rules for determining things like price and value of spellbooks based on storage capacity, and some information about making sturdier spellbooks or making spellbooks out of unusual materials.

What this means is that creating custom spellbooks for flavor purposes has never been easier. If you want your campaign's spellbooks to be secret scrolls handed down through your ninja clan, you can do that. If you would prefer to carry around strips of paper with single spells written on them rather than a book, you can do that too. If you want your dwarf to carry amulets with little rune tablets on them that store spells, you could do that too.

Spellbooks have a base value, weight, and sturdiness based on the capacity of the book. These can be quickly modified based on materials. For example, by default a spellbook has 0 hardness and 1 hp / 10 pages, and weighs 0.02 lbs. per page (or 1 lb. / 50 pages). You can do things like add bindings or make a book out of an exotic material (a list of materials is given), so if you ever wanted to know what the cost and weight of a spellbook with 200 pages bound in a mithral case would be...well, now you can.

I'm also going to include some material on special kinds of spellbooks, such as tattoos or familiars.


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Greatswords aren't left in the people that are hit by them. Too expensive :P

Heheh, indeed. :P

Mostly what I was getting at was basically that in real life, if you're hit with a greatsword, you've probably got a gaping hole in your favorite torso, which usually comes with unpleasant side effects such as a rapid loss of blood, or organs falling out of your body. :P

But we gloss over that sort of thing because it's just a fun abstraction (and quite frankly, being an adventurer would just involve never getting hit). In much the same way that arrows, bolts, darts, and similar weapons would likely lodge themselves inside you and cause you to die of infection later (it's my understanding that historically, arrows didn't kill nearly as surely as infected arrow wounds did, mostly because archers frequently stuck their arrows in the ground on battlefields).

I won't say that I don't steal some ideas from reality however. Fighting certain creatures in my campaigns can be more of a hassle than usual, since goblins often intentionally wipe their arrowheads in feces to be little s***s (no pun intended) and cause infections to people they hit with them. Since goblins are often smaller and weaker than the other races they find themselves in conflict with, they'll often use stealth + shortbows to haze foes and large beasts before running away and/or hiding, and wait to thin the ranks over time as people or prey succumb to infections (similar to how komodo dragons bite herd animals and then wait for the infection to ruin them).

Oh, I know, I was mostly being facetious...mostly.

Realism can easily ruin a game if you go too far down that rabbit hole, I guess.

It definitely ruins the fantastic elements of the game to be sure. I mean, in D20, it's actually factually a thing that your high level barbarian can get snatched up into the jaws of a dragon, and while pinned in his swordlike teeth, the dragon then exhales his breath that is so hot as to be able to instantly completely destroy a full suit of full plate to the point it's not even armor anymore (in less than 6 seconds, imagine how ****ing hot that would have to be to melt a suit of full plate down to not plate mail in less than 6 seconds) all over your barbarian.

And your barbarian gets pissed about it, forces the dragon's mouth open and slams him with his battleaxe to show his disapproval of the whole thing.

If a gritty RPG is the thing, well, the fantastic elements of D&D would just be right out. There really isn't any prayer against certain types of enemies if "reality" got in the way but they were still magical monster thingies. I mean, a fire elemental could just grab you and that would be the end of things. Most heroes would die a few days later after they caught an arrow that got infected despite not dealing any serious damage. The #1 killer in the realms would probably be diarrhea. :(


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Yeah it'd wreck outsider teleporting hard. Their weight limit is a hugely limiting factor to their teleportation. It's also the reason that I gave Mariliths the undersized weapons property when I was rewriting them. Turns out that using large-sized weaponry makes it near impossible to actually teleport unless they're completely naked.

6 large longswords = 48/50 lbs.

This means it's essentially impossible to let them carry around loot for the PCs to get when they defeat her. And that sucks. Loot is cool. :(

So I gave her the undersized weapon quality and so her weapons usually average around 24 lbs. instead, which is plenty of room left to decorate her in lavish doodads, baubles, and bling, which is not only awesome to loot but makes the marilith quite a fashionable enemy to engage. :)


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Greatswords aren't left in the people that are hit by them. Too expensive :P

Heheh, indeed. :P

Mostly what I was getting at was basically that in real life, if you're hit with a greatsword, you've probably got a gaping hole in your favorite torso, which usually comes with unpleasant side effects such as a rapid loss of blood, or organs falling out of your body. :P

But we gloss over that sort of thing because it's just a fun abstraction (and quite frankly, being an adventurer would just involve never getting hit). In much the same way that arrows, bolts, darts, and similar weapons would likely lodge themselves inside you and cause you to die of infection later (it's my understanding that historically, arrows didn't kill nearly as surely as infected arrow wounds did, mostly because archers frequently stuck their arrows in the ground on battlefields).

I won't say that I don't steal some ideas from reality however. Fighting certain creatures in my campaigns can be more of a hassle than usual, since goblins often intentionally wipe their arrowheads in feces to be little s***s (no pun intended) and cause infections to people they hit with them. Since goblins are often smaller and weaker than the other races they find themselves in conflict with, they'll often use stealth + shortbows to haze foes and large beasts before running away and/or hiding, and wait to thin the ranks over time as people or prey succumb to infections (similar to how komodo dragons bite herd animals and then wait for the infection to ruin them).


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Klara Meison wrote:
Let's assume something funny is going on then. Suppose a player proposed a custom weapon concept to you - a special weapon designed to let non-mages prevent teleportation attempts. I can imagine some sort of heavy crossbow made of lead for extra weight, that shoots a single barbed arrow attached to a steel cable. Arrow lodges itself in the wizard's left buttcheek, and since it is attached to a steel cable that is attached(not tied, mind you, then arrow and the cable would be separate objects. I am thinking of something like welding.) to a really heavy crossbow, wizard can't teleport. Would you allow that, or would you consider this unbalancing?

Firstly, apologies for being two days late on the reply. :o

What seems to be described is some sort of harpoon item that seems explicitly for the purpose of snaring a foe, so that would take care of the "arrows don't stick in people" issue. From the sounds of it, it also would seem that the item would be explicitly used to anchor someone by using their carrying capacity against them (as a lead crossbow would be ****ing heavy as **** (@_@) ), so sure, why not?

Since you've brought this up, I think I'll need to address this in d20 legends because a definitive answer is much harder to come by than I originally thought and IMHO, that's a bad thing. I'll have to include some details about the teleportation subschool about what sort of things 'porting can free you from and what sort of things it cannot.

Because, interestingly, I'm no longer sure that you can teleport out of a Net (it's not clear as to whether or not the net's requirement for a Strength check to move a distance greater than the rope the attacker is holding takes priority over magical forms of movement or not), and I think you probably should be able to teleport out of a net (because you're traveling through the astral plane, not the physical world) but at this point I'm really not sure (honestly, this will be filed under "other things to address alongside freedom of movement").

So thanks. :D

As an aside... I'm not actually certain that using an anchor would stop many of my mages. My 7 Str mages quite typically have the best carrying capacities in our groups. My "witch" Agatha I've mentioned on the boards lots of times had a 7 Strength, but thanks to things like muleback cords, ant haul, and shapeshifting, at one point the party pondered whether or not it would be worth climbing a tower to fight the BBEG at the top when Agatha could have just pushed the darn thing over.

We opted to raid the tower for the lulz. :)


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I think the reason comes from the level of abstraction. There's not really any reason that an arrow should cause additional bleed damage if a greatsword doesn't, especially if the latter actually causes more actual damage.


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Speaking of teleport as surgery...

One of my favorite offensive psionic powers is dissipating touch which is a damage dealing "psychoportation (teleportation)" power that deals damage by literally using teleportation to unmake your body without reassembling it, teleporting chunks of the victim without the rest of them.

It would be a lot like Scar from Full Metal Alchemist. You literally just grab onto someone and tear them apart on a molecular level. It's a surprisingly decent damage power because it's non-elemental, so short of the target having dimensional anchor cast on them or failing to pierce spell resistance, there's not a whole lot that stops the damage.


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:

In your opinion, when does a character's inventory begin and when does it end? Teleport-like spells only work if you are carrying less than maximum load, so if a wizard is carrying a backpack with a big rock(heavier than his maximum load), it won't work. But what if an enemy tied that rock to a net with hooks and threw it at the wizard? He can't very much unentangle himself from the rock, but can he teleport without it?

EDIT: ...Also, why is Tacticslion favouriting every post? Is this a local thing? I wanted to ask this for some time.

Generally, I'd allow the character to simply decide to leave items behind. A good rule of thumb would be, if the item is considered attended by the character (and thus subject to the character's defenses), it's probably your item. Generally speaking, I've never heard of anyone considering a net or similar item "attended" by its victim so I'd go with that. :P
How about an arrow sticking through a wizard's arm? Can Teleport be used for some forms of surgery?

That's a good question, and I think the most honest answer is that the system is a bit too abstract for it to really come up. By default, ammunition that hits a foe is considered destroyed and being struck with a ranged attack (piercing or otherwise) doesn't actually become lodged into a character.

For example, being struck with an arrow doesn't require a Heal check to remove the arrow before you can recover from the wound naturally.

A similar question came up a long time ago, when it was wondered if you somehow attached at antimagic field to an arrow (such as an Arcane Archer using imbue arrow) wouldn't that ruin anyone that was shot with the arrow since they'd be stuck in the field until the arrow was removed. The answer was simply that unless something funny is going on, arrows don't actually stick to enemies after the initial shot.

That said, thinking about it a bit while getting ready for work, I think it's one of those questions that due to the way the system works has no 100% certain answer. I think if the item actually contributes to your load then it should probably work, though I see the stone w/ hooks on it to be akin to a variation of a net or entangle spell (both have additional stipulations about movement outside of the entangled condition).

If the item was written so that as long as it was latched onto the character it counted as being carried by the character, then RAW, teleport couldn't do anything for them.

So, having thought about it further, I guess the answer is "it depends". :P


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Klara Meison wrote:

In your opinion, when does a character's inventory begin and when does it end? Teleport-like spells only work if you are carrying less than maximum load, so if a wizard is carrying a backpack with a big rock(heavier than his maximum load), it won't work. But what if an enemy tied that rock to a net with hooks and threw it at the wizard? He can't very much unentangle himself from the rock, but can he teleport without it?

EDIT: ...Also, why is Tacticslion favouriting every post? Is this a local thing? I wanted to ask this for some time.

Generally, I'd allow the character to simply decide to leave items behind. A good rule of thumb would be, if the item is considered attended by the character (and thus subject to the character's defenses), it's probably your item. Generally speaking, I've never heard of anyone considering a net or similar item "attended" by its victim so I'd go with that. :P


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I would just like to go on record saying "Rewriting the magic system (to be more modular) and spells (so, so many spells Q_Q) sucks".

How do you find the willpower to do that, by the way? Avoid procrastinating?

Typically I do most of my heavy writing while listening to music on repeat. Also if my mind is feeling a burnt out and I can't think anymore, I'll play a hentai game or watch some porn for a bit, then go back to writing.

Lately I've been listening to...
Throne, Heroes, Glory & Gore, Heroes, Wildfire, Impossible, Claritycraft, I Wish I Had An Angel (Most anything from Nightwish, though this and Nemo are my favs), Fire Inside (I've found myself pretty fond of this suicide sheep channel), and lots of random stuff.

I'll pick one and loop it for a while while typing.

>Also if my mind is feeling a burnt out and I can't think anymore, I'll play a hentai game or watch some porn for a bit, then go back to writing.

That's...quite open of you. Thanks for sharing?...

*Shrugs* I try to be honest so, since it's usually a way I'll let my brain chill for a bit after the words start running together on the screen, I said as much. :P

That said, lately the enemy of progress is Stardew Valley and DotA. Truly, these are the overlords of my wasted time. :P

Quote:

>I've found myself pretty fond of this suicide sheep channel

Have another suicide sheep channel with good music then.

Thanks. :D


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That said, procrastination is my eternal enemy. It's easily my worst character flaw, and while I intend to work on that...I haven't gotten around to it yet. :P


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I would just like to go on record saying "Rewriting the magic system (to be more modular) and spells (so, so many spells Q_Q) sucks".

How do you find the willpower to do that, by the way? Avoid procrastinating?

Typically I do most of my heavy writing while listening to music on repeat. Also if my mind is feeling a burnt out and I can't think anymore, I'll play a hentai game or watch some porn for a bit, then go back to writing.

Lately I've been listening to...
Throne, Heroes, Glory & Gore, Heroes, Wildfire, Impossible, Claritycraft, I Wish I Had An Angel (Most anything from Nightwish, though this and Nemo are my favs), Fire Inside (I've found myself pretty fond of this suicide sheep channel), and lots of random stuff.

I'll pick one and loop it for a while while typing.


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I would just like to go on record saying "Rewriting the magic system (to be more modular) and spells (so, so many spells Q_Q) sucks".


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Klara Meison wrote:
What is your opinion on the Tippyverse?

Last I checked out Tippyverse, I remember thinking it made sense. It seemed to take a lot of things to their rational conclusion and whether it's your cup of fantasy tea or not, it's a good exercise in thinking about how things introduced into the game affect the world at large.

I've discussed some similar, but noteably milder, things on my blog before. Mostly remarking about things such as how magic solves the energy question, since you can create infinite sources of magical energy; be they simple things like repeating shocking grasp generators, to things like permanency + wall of fire. Magic equates to free energy in the very least, as it breaks certain fundamental laws of our reality. You can create energy and matter where there was none before. Even if your equate things like fireballs as something like channeling the elemental plane of fire, you are still dealing with energies of a factually infinite plane of existence (ergo, infinite energy for all practical purposes).

So the question is, how does magic influence your world? Tippyverse is one example of an author of the setting who took it to the extremes (and honestly, it's a rare example of something that is not only extreme but reasonably so).

While I've never GMed a Tippyverse campaign or adventure, I've used it as a learning tool for designing my own campaign, because to me, the thing that makes a fantasy setting truly fantastic is how the fantasy elements change the way people in those worlds live compared to our own.

For example, in my campaign setting (Alvena), the world once existed in a sort of Tippyverse state (essentially high magitechology) before it was brought to ruin by a cataclysmic war between their material plane and the burning hells. So now the world is in a state of recovery, which includes finding ancient technologies and lost artifacts and re-inventing things that were commonplace in the ancient world (que adventuring parties exploring ancient ruins looking for magic shwag, oh yeah!). However, the world is still very magical in ways I feel make the world feel uniquely alive.

For example, there are small settlements all over the world. No climate is truly unlivable given the effort. Small settlements in deserts are supported by adepts, or using manufactured create water items to sustain the population, marking little points of life in regions that are otherwise arid wastelands.

Further still, even the architectural norms are a bit different in Alvena. Kiln fired bricks are one of the most common building materials found in the world, partly because of the ease of creating them in mass, but also because they are flame retardant, and in a world where some random teenager discovering their innate sorcery might involve burning down Rome, using dry wood and thatch isn't an ideal building material if it can be avoided. Castles may appear to have "hats" on them, which consist of slanted rooftops with murder holes and hatches, to protect against aerial invaders and dragons.

Similarly still, running water isn't particularly unusual in areas that are "civilized", though their method of achieving running water may vary from place to place. One example was a village that had a central water tower and lots of little wooden chutes that deliver water throughout the town from the central point (causing the town to have what appeared to be series of wooden pathways above the buildings). A bit crude but it meant most people had access to clean water on demand.

Quote:
Have you ever tried running a campaign in such a setting? Did any of your players ever try to begin the reformation process into the tippyverse-lite in any of your games (e.g. mass teleportation to solve travel safety, create food and water traps to solve hunger,...)?

Well, I don't think they ever set up mass travel ports. That said, they have often pushed the limits of several campaigns I've ran. My brother's lich once grew himself a family in a lab, built a settlement for his fellow repitilians to integrate into the cultures of the core races, and built an underground trade tunnel network to discourage highway banditry (essentially making a sort of precursor to a subway system), though that was made mostly the old fashioned way with kobold miners and the help of some dire badgers.


Kryzbyn wrote:

After a year or so of playtest...

I present The Dragon Knight!

Cool. I'll check it out soonish. ^-^


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Icehawk wrote:
Personally I think being tired should apply the penalties of the lullaby spell. Exhaustion and fatigue are all about physical fatigue. I can run a lot while on no sleep, but my attention span suffers and I may nod off very easily. Eventually I'll just pass out if I want it or not cus my body will force it too whether it likes it or not.

This is one of the reasons I want to revise the fatigue and exhaustion conditions in D20 Legends. Mostly because fatigue and exhaustion, in reality, affect things like your concentration and awareness, and cause you to make mistakes you wouldn't normally make.

As a result, I'm leaning towards making fatigue and exhaustion work in a similar fashion to conditions like shaken, where you have some penalties across the board. They will likely apply penalties to a caster's concentration checks (which is used to cast spells in this system, so being fatigued would make it harder to cast spells effectively, causing you to fall back on using lower level spells).

I would have also added some flavorful, but usually mechanically unimportant debuf-e.g. being tired would force you to make DC 15-ish will saves every hour to not fall asleep if you are doing something non-stimulating (standing watch at night would be a good example), with stacking bonuses on the check for drinking coffee, walking around, splashing water in your face, etc, etc, etc.

Although, on a second thought, this might be the sort of thing best left to the GM, and not hardcoded into the base rules.

Actually, that seems like a pretty good idea. It would solve the issue that's existed in D20 for a while. Specifically, that characters don't ever have to actually sleep and if they don't mind the exhaustion penalties can pretty much be awake 24/7, even without magic items such as a ring of sustenance or similar.

Making it similar to other environmental effects, where it becomes progressively harder to remain awake seems like a pretty good idea. Kind of like how holding your breath starts at DC 15 and adds +1 for each previous check (meaning that eventually you will need to breathe, even if your Fortitude is godly).


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Icehawk wrote:
Personally I think being tired should apply the penalties of the lullaby spell. Exhaustion and fatigue are all about physical fatigue. I can run a lot while on no sleep, but my attention span suffers and I may nod off very easily. Eventually I'll just pass out if I want it or not cus my body will force it too whether it likes it or not.

This is one of the reasons I want to revise the fatigue and exhaustion conditions in D20 Legends. Mostly because fatigue and exhaustion, in reality, affect things like your concentration and awareness, and cause you to make mistakes you wouldn't normally make.

As a result, I'm leaning towards making fatigue and exhaustion work in a similar fashion to conditions like shaken, where you have some penalties across the board. They will likely apply penalties to a caster's concentration checks (which is used to cast spells in this system, so being fatigued would make it harder to cast spells effectively, causing you to fall back on using lower level spells).


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I forgot about the Dex to damage thing. That makes it a lot less one-sided. :o


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Tels wrote:
You may be happy to know that in the upcoming CotCT Hardcover, they are releasing a Korvosa variant of the psuedodragon specifically to address the issue of imps vs psuedodragons. Supposedly, the idea of Korvosa comes from James Jacobs homebrew setting where pusedodragons are 'beefier' or something like that. I dunno, perhaps they were better in a fight in 2nd edition when he started building his campaign setting?

I'm not really sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I think it's kind of a cool idea. On the other hand, it feels weird to force "the mighty pseudodragon, found nowhere else except Korvosa, so that we can deus ex this encounter". Even then, how much of this encounter is going to be left up to the PC's doing vs the newer pseudobeefs, I wonder.

Hmmm...I guess time will tell. :o

Mind you, I'm not wholly against PCs getting help from the NPCs (I'd ideally hope that the PCs are the deciding factor in an encounter though, whenever possible, otherwise there's not much point for them to be there if it's not somehow advancing the narrative) so maybe it'll work. I'm just kind of funny about verisimilitude and making exceptional pseudodragons just to make a poorly designed counter work a little better feels really weird to me.

Seems like a less hamfisted way to go about it would be to have a few guards armed with silver weapons and the like around in the area (who could share some of their weaponry with the PCs) and have the pseudodragons take more of a support role by using their blindsense to point out which spaces the imps are in while the party members and the guards do their thing. Maybe even someone with faerie fire or glitterdust (when combined with the psuedodragon's blindsense, you'll pretty sure to hit with it).


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Since I haven't forgotten about the best & worst encounters bit, I'm still going through the options. At the moment, I think I've got it narrowed down to a certain encounter that I think is super garbage, but the post explaining why it's garbage is going to be pretty long.

However, so you know what to expect, in the same fashion as with the worst homebrew encounters, I'm going to be basing my judgment on a few factors.

1: The concept and/or narrative of the encounter. Nonsensical encounters are going to be worse than those that make sense. If the encounter requires you to suspend a lot of disbelief, or leaves the party very confused as to why it was even a thing, that's not a good sign.

2: How valid is it mechanically. Nonsense mechanics, blatant rule breaking, getting common rules wrong, or drastically misappropriating the encounter design system (especially if you try to "fix" that misuse with hamfisted ad-hoc adjustments) are going to land you a lower score in this category.

3: How interesting / fun the encounter is. Perhaps the most important part. If the encounter isn't at least fun, interesting, and reasonably challenging, that's a strike against it. If the encounter is breaking the first two rules and still manages to be abhorrently bad from an interest level, it is exceptionally bad for the encounter.

There's a few dishonorable mentions from games I've GMed, intended to GM, or played in.

Jade Regent
Jade Regent #1 actually had two encounters that really ground my gears.

Spoiler:
In Jade Regent, the party eventually makes their way to a keep that has been overtaken by some badguys. They slaughtered the people living inside, including the guard, and then made the place an improvised base of operations or somesuch.

Two wrongs do not make a wight
The first encounter that really bothered me was with the former captain of the guard. He had risen as a wight because of his brutal murder ('cause people do that sometimes). However, despite being intelligent (wights are actually really smart), and despite no badguy in the keep having any way of controlling him, the wight is nonhostile to his murderers in the keep and has nothing better to do than mindlessly attack the PCs. Adding insult to injury, a fairly large amount of space is dedicated to explaining this guy's backstory, only for none of it to ever be a thing in the game itself and he's just a generic goon.

Adding more injury to insults, the wight is described as wearing his plate armor that he died in, but you're told just to ignore his equipment and armor, running him as a generic wight from the bestiary with no bonuses or penalties for being decked out in armor. *Angryface*

Comments: I actually adjusted this encounter when I planned to run the game. I tossed 1 warrior level on the wight, counted his damned armor, and had him lurking about the keep trying to figure out how to best take his revenge for the murder of himself and his people. Initially unfriendly towards the party, the party could attempt to convince the wight to join forces with them in defeating the denizens of the keep in an enemy of my enemy sort of way. If the party succeeded, the wight would allow the party to leave the keep unmolested.

Suicide Family Squad
In the same keep, there's a family of ogrekin who are just squatting there. They're unrelated to the badguys in the keep, and their motivation is they just want to be left alone instead of driven out of yet another home. Their relationship with the badguys in the keep is more or less "don't bother us, we won't bother you". The main NPC is a rather motherly older sister figure who sees it as her duty to protect her "family" because they just want to be left alone.

However, they're expected to fight to the death the moment they encounter the party because they don't want to leave this place they're squatting at (which had just been explained wasn't actually very important to them for any reason) and don't want to be evicted. All care as to the safety of her kin aside, they just really want to engage in some serious suicide vs adventuring party.

Comment: When I was planning to run this game, I modified this encounter too. The ogrekin there only became hostile if the party became hostile and were simply unfriendly otherwise. It made no sense to me that the ogrekin could squat there with a bunch of foreign tengu and evil badguys who they didn't have any relation or care for, but were so insane as to attack a bunch of armed individuals on sight out of a simple fear of being bothered. I also made it so that the party could try to ask them questions if they got on their good side, since they were more familiar with the keep (and given the way my party's roll, they might have helped them find a home if they asked what they were doing in the keep. Who knows?).

Curse of the Crimson Throne
Curse of the Crimson Throne is actually the first Paizo AP that I ever got and I gotta say it's one of the the standards by which I measure most things, but it's not without its flaws. There's one encounter in the first AP that has become a bit notorious and I have to wonder what was the author thinking.

Spoiler:
In CotCT #1, just after the first adventure, the game becomes significantly less linear and revolves around certain encounters and scenes that can occur leading up to the next on the rails adventure portions (I approve :D). However, one of those encounters...

An Imp-ossible Encounter
The encounter takes place while the party is wandering about alone, when a pack of imps who have escaped over time from the local mage college see them as being an easy mark for "wealth and mayhem" and decide to attack them. Four (4) imps attack the party out of nowhere.

At this point in the adventure, the party might be 2nd level. Four imps are CR 6 and a pretty hard CR 6 at that (above the "epic" APL+3 mark). Imps have 13 Hp, DR 5, fast healing 2, a nasty (for its level) poison, can shapeshift, and at-will invisibility. The combination of fast healing, DR, and invisibility means that it's trivial for them to just zip out of melee when they're in danger and heal up, only to return for more pain. They're also too fast for the party to flee from (50 ft. fly speed w/ perfect maneuverability).

A party of 2nd level characters is going to get brutally pillaged by this encounter, and if the party didn't make it to 2nd level, doubly so. Because they have at-will invisibility, they will always get the surprise round and they can get into some poor fool's square without provoking because of it. Their AC, speed, and attacks are well poised to walk over a party.

The "solution" was that the writer said a half-dozen pseudo-dragons will come along and help the party mop them up, and then fly away when the encounter is over. Which is great in theory, except it's morbidly obvious that the person writing it has never even looked at the pseudodragon monster entry, aside from maybe admiring the cool picture while paging through the Monster Manual.

The Pseudodragon literally cannot hurt the imp. Even if all six dragons leaped onto a single imp, or a hundred, they couldn't ever actually defeat that imp or even wound it. It's impossible for them. Even on a critical hit, they cannot deal more than 1 point of damage, and they can't pierce the imp's DR, and the imp is immune to their poison, they are so much weaker than the imps that they have little prayer of successfully wrestling with the imps, and they're at a significant disadvantage to the imps in terms of AC and to-hit rolls, and the imps can tear them to pieces (d4 damage, the dragons are vulnerable to their poison, etc).

It's literally impossible for this encounter to go as the writer describes it going. What will actually happen is, at best, a PC dies, along with a half dozen pseudodragons, while the rest of the party flees for their lives, and (likely) worse is the party doesn't realize how utterly screwed they are until it's far, far too late.

Paizo even released a custom feat to "fix" the encounter on their blog (yay, I'm sure 90% of the owners of the book thought to look on the blog for an update), but their fix was a feat that only worked for pseudodragons that made their natural attacks count as silver (because apparently they sharpen their nails on shingles that have bits of silver in them or something, I forget). Oh...what a fix. They can now deal a whole 1 point of nonlethal damage to the imps (for those paying attention, nonlethal damage heals alongside normal damage when an effect heals you, so if two pseudodragons hit an imp for 2 nonlethal damage, and a PC hits an imp for 2 damage, and the imp fast heals 2 damage, the imp now has 0 lethal and nonlethal damage).

Thanks for the fix. ಠ_ಠ


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I think I fell in love with a lot of the reptilian races because of how cool the yuan-ti seemed in the 3E MM.


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Aliizsa Sylvari wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

Incidentally, the moat important qualities for that character are "is a gnome", "has normal feats", and "PC wealth". It'd be almost exactly as effective as a warrior of the same level.

That's equal parts amazing and depressing.

Aratrok wrote:
the moat important
Aratrok wrote:
moat
Nagaplz.

That's racial subtype profiling. :P


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Well, while the magical enhancements don't seem to work based on the slot rules, any nonmagical effects of wearing multiple armors would still occur. So parade armor would still give bonuses to Diplomacy, for example. That one armor that grants DR vs...something (I forget what) would work, etc.


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So I guess our hypothetical fighter is pretty much SOL on the under armor thing. He could still wear it, but the top armor turns off when you put it on, making it a moot point.

We'll just have to go with a fortification buckler instead and eat the -1 to hit while using our reach weapons and bows. Very painful since our to-hit is already bad for a martially focused character (mostly because competing martials like Barbarians and Rangers not only have better ability scores, but have better class features).

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