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Wax Golem

Aubrey the Malformed's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 7,670 posts (20,611 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 13 aliases.


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Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Interestingly, though, the trajectory followed the Quebec referendum quite closely - see this. So it's maybe not that surprising.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

No worries - it's been a pretty quiet weekend on all my games.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Exactly - which is why all parties have agreed to implement further devolution for Scotland and have reiterated that. But it has also turned into a broader discussion about what to offer the other devolved assemblies and, by far the biggest element, the English who have no assembly of their own, while Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs all have a say in English affairs that is not reciprocated by English MPs.

However, Salmond has half a point in that there isn't STRICTLY a need to offer anything to the English while Scottish devolution could go ahead without necessarily conflating the English situation with it. But there is a strong political logic to linking the two, especially as the English are beginning to get restive. Salmond doesn't have to think about the English, Cameron does.

He also has a half a point in that Cameron has set a trap for Labour and outflanked UKIP, so Cameron's combination of the issues is pretty naked party politics rather than lofty idealism - although so is the "do nothing" position of the Labour party, and anyway, that's just the cut-and-thrust of politics. Salmond would do exactly the same if the boot was on the other foot, so his whining is pretty hypocritical.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The referendum was less than a week ago. Salmond was saying the Scots had been misled the day after. More like sour grapes than anything else. The parties haven't even had a chance to discuss what they are going to do next.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

4 am reading of first past the post Headscratch

Hmmm.. how is this different from winner take all? I'm missing something here.

Perhaps we are at cross-purposes - I thought you were saying we didn't have a first-past-the-post system here in the UK, when we do.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
I don't foresee an English parliament (in a sense, there already is one) but rather some kind of technical voting settlement for West Lothian issues.

Problem is, it could really make life hard for a Labour government if they didn't have a separate assembly for England to decide English issues. If they simply deny Scottish MPs the right to vote on English legislation, then a Labour governemnt probably couldn't pass most of its policies. It'd be a political disaster.

And London will dominate, come what may. Frankly, with a higher population and much higher GDP than Scotland, they deserve their own assembly (though that would probably be bad for the rest of the country).

I think the solution would probably be to pass national policy and then, afterwards, have regions tweak it.

The vast majority of British law is applied nationally at the moment and I don't see that changing.

Councils have a certain flexibility in taxation but it does not require a separate vote for each county.

I'm not saying that this is an ideal solution but it is a perfectly manageable one for Labour.

It seems equally likely/unlikely that the Conservatives will try to engineer English-only laws to drive through policy.

The British people are fine with bumbling along with some funny traditions but tend to take against extreme gamesmanship. I can't picture a US style conflict politics thing working here.

I'm not really sure how that will work. And I'm not sure your assertion about British law is necessarily true - education and plenty of other stuff is decided on a devolved basis. And what does tinkering mean in this context - do you have a model you are referring to?

Councils can move council tax up and down a bit but most of their revenue is a central government grant, I believe.

I'm not convinced by your bumbling through comment either. The rise of UKIP suggest the tolerance for bumbling through in general is pretty low, especially where this bumbling seems to benefit a few people and leave others behind. The referendum has been an extremely obvious event that will cause people to notice the disprity, especially since the story is fanned by on ongoing process to devolve more power and the wrangle between the Conservatives and Labour (both fairly self-serving, but I suspect Labour will come off looking worse since there is an essential fairness in devolution for England too whereas Labour's blocking tactics are nakedly about retaining power at Westminster). UKIP has adopted this as an issue too. I think when times were much easier there was less pressure and the West Lothian question was not an issue under Labout given its whacking great majorities. With everything that's gone on over the last few months, I think the genie is out of the bottle (to wax cliched).

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ya'll have more than two parties, and you don't have the US's winner take all system that makes two parties neigh inevitable.

If two of the are playing tug of war over there, a third can hop in as a tie breaker. Here? The rules make it VERY hard to move the rope and tying it to a flagpole is pretty easy.

We still have two big parties and a winner takes all system - our first-past-the-post system makes smaller parties' lives difficult. The coalition we have is fairly unusual in UK terms. Power has alternated between labour and the Conservtives since the war.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
yellowdingo wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
Somewhere Mel Gibson is yelling, "SLAVERY!"
So what went wrong? Did anouncing the referendum a year ago cause a massive number of loyalists to move north to take up citizenship in scotland and thus topple the vote?

No - this happened, accroding to this pollster.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
I don't foresee an English parliament (in a sense, there already is one) but rather some kind of technical voting settlement for West Lothian issues.

Problem is, it could really make life hard for a Labour government if they didn't have a separate assembly for England to decide English issues. If they simply deny Scottish MPs the right to vote on English legislation, then a Labour governemnt probably couldn't pass most of its policies. It'd be a political disaster.

And London will dominate, come what may. Frankly, with a higher population and much higher GDP than Scotland, they deserve their own assembly (though that would probably be bad for the rest of the country).

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Werthead wrote:
If you asked someone from Manchester or Yorkshire if they were culturally the same as someone from London or Kent, it would really not go down very well.

My wife is from Yorkshire, I'm from London, so I know what you mean. But still, these people have all been English for well over a thousand years. Most people have absolutely no idea about Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The same isn't true of the Welsh, Scots and Irish. I don't see there being a real entusiasm for regional assemblies - they'd be little more than glorified county councils. Attempts at regional devolution got nowhere under Labour, nor did the city mayoralities under the Conservatives. Labour, of course, is probably more in favour of regional assemblies as they expect to dominate some of those in a way it simply couldn't a national English assembly (though arguably they could consider WHY they would struggle, though I suspect Milliband doesn't want to think that far).

Theyu could also be seriously divisive. Already, we are beginning to see the whole edifice of how public spending and the funding thereof is beginning to be questioned as a result of the referendum and promises of devolution and transfer of taxation powers. See an intersting article by Robert Peston, the basic gist of which is that England largely pays for extra government spending in the devolved regions, and if taxation powers are also devolved it puts into question whether English taxpayers want to pay that anymore. However, tax transfers are also the glue that hold together a country and economy - part of the reason for the problems in the euro zone is the half-way house of the same currency (and monetary policy) but no fiscal transfers to troubled regions (unlike, say the federal system of the US or, indeed, the Barnett formula here in the UK). Now, when you say "England" in the this context, you are really saying London and the South-East. Imagine London deciding, under devolved powers, it doesn't actually want to pay for the largess of a regional government in the North-East, nevermind Scotland...

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

On the other hand, a family might be a distraction from said duties. It depends on the specific deity, I suspect. A paladin of a god of hearth and family might encourage it, or alternatively require a paladin to retire from battle and look after their progeny. But an austere god of righteous battle might consider it forbidden, or be all up for the arrangement where the church pays. Ater all, not all paladins necessarily believe the same things.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Huh? That makes sense, except for the first sentence.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

At the OP - it's wrong. You're just leading that goddess on, you'll get her pregnant, and then you'll just ride off, leaving her to look after the baby while you go adventuring. You'll probably get killed, and even if you don't it'll still be a single-parent family, the kid'll go off the rails, and with divine powers and all it'll probably end up some uber-bad guy causing misery and suffering to entire dimensions. That's so irresponsible, I'm surprised you are even considering it. It's looking pretty Chaotic at best, probably Evil. Keep it in your trousers, keep the faith.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The two poster children for "post-democratic" government are China and Singapore. They are both pretty different but effectively they allow business a relatively high degree of freedom but with the rights to political expression limited. It's effectively a bargain between the rulers and the ruled - keep your mouth shut and we'll make you rich. The problem with those models is that a grwoing middle class generally wants more than just food on the table. Singapore is relatively uncorrupt, as it pays its government ministers very well, and it's ministers are generally very competent. China is very corrupt, but has the coercive power of the Communist Party and police state. The supposed benefit on post-democratic government is in getting stuff done. However, a lack of accountability could lead to a lot of the stuff done that most people, except a small coterie, don't want. It effectively ignores individual rights in the interest of government policy.

I'm not really that up on Viktor Orban, but in general I don't see too many countries in Europe being generally keen to make such a pact with their ruling classes. The one, main strength of democracy is to allow change without violence - even with all the compromises and dodgy-looking deals, if you can throw the buggers out if you don't like them at the ballot box, it saves you having to have a civil war. The Scotland thing was a case in point - because the UK has a very strong democratic tradition, we could handle something like the Scotland referendum and were willing to put something this fundamental to the people. A failure to handle these things right (like we did, arguably, in Northern Ireland) leads to violence. Pretty much everyone in the UK would prefer to let Scotland go rather than have to fight a war to keep them against their will. As it is, the referendum has been run, and the result accepted by all sides.

As for Orban, there are plenty of people who don't think the way he does in Hungary, I'm sure - he just doesn't want to have to listen to them or cede power to them democratically. Which is probably a bad idea, in the long run.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I don't think there's a genuine correlation between the size of a polity, its accountability to the people and its level of corruption. Montenegro is hardly the epitome of clean government. The Catalonian independence movement has taken a hit as Jordy Pujol, it's leader for years, has just been found out as having illegally salted away millions of euros in Switzerland. And local politics is often much more corrupt than national politics, because the level of scrutiny isn't there. I think "small is beautiful" is a line peddled by a lot of nationalists but they are still as inclined to cut deals with business as larger countries - possibly more so, since a small country is easier to buy than a big one. What really matters is the strength of institutions and civil society.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Of course, a lunatic drunk is just the role model Scotland needs.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Werthead wrote:
Quote:
By that argument, the Belgians, Catalonians, and Ukranians should get a vote as well.

That's why the Scottish referendum has been massively condemned in Spain and doesn't seem to be going down well in a lot of Europe (or Canada for that matter).

Quote:

I don't think there is much of an appetite for regional government in England. Beyond an excitable minority in Cornwall.

Lots of people just see it as an extra layer of government.

I've seen fairly widespread support for it if it benefits those regions. If it doesn't, then no, it doesn't make sense. But it has become a far more popular idea in the last few years, particularly due to the viewpoint that London and a very small number of other areas (including, ironically, Scotland) have benefitted massively from the economic recovery whilst other parts of the country are in destitution. Whether a regional government can help with that problem or not is another question, but there is a perception it might.

First - thanks goodness! Better for the UK, better for Scotland, better for England.

Second - I'm not so sure about regional parliaments. Scotland, Wales and Nortern Ireland are separate countries in the Union with strong regional identities which differentiate them from the English majority. I don't really see that for, say, the North-East, West Midlands, and so on - they are much more administrative divisions than regional identities. I DO see plenty of scope for an English Parliament, since the English are the only ones not to have one, and the logic of Devo Max to Scotland will have to be applied across the country. Cameron has hinted at something to address the West Lothian Question, but it's not clear what it might be.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Also, consider the scenario that Scotland says "Ta ta, losers!" and refuses to take any debt or compromise in any way. The UK could retaliate by refusing to support the Scottish banking system. Then you'll see capital flight, first from interbank lenders but then possibly retail bank runs. Either way, it'll have a severe knock on effect on the Scottish economy, especially as they won't actually have the reserves to shore up the system, in sterling or any other currency (remember that £100bn they need). Business would begin to fail, those that can will leave, and no one will want to invest in Scotland. Economic activity dives, unemployment shoots up, putting further pressure on the public purse. Even if the Scottish government could borrow, it'd cost them so much under this scenario (bear in mind, this is pretty nuch a repeat of what has happened in Europe because of the weakness of the banking sector) that it wouldn't be worth it except under the direst situations, and doing so would put them in a debt sprial they could not climb out of (think Greece). So you are looking at a potential meltdown of the system before they've even got started. And with not a shot fired. Now, the Scot Nats could do it, but it'll be a pretty Phyrric victory, and I don't think it's what anyone voting for independence would really want to envision, all for the benefit of tweaking the UK's nose? Which is why they won't do it, and will negotiate.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The army won't intervene. This isn't Russia/Crimea. It's not even worth discussing.

But I'll say it again - the Scots want stuff. They want the pound, they want currency union, they'll likely need to borrow money from us to shore up their banking system. They can't really say "Ta ta, losers!" and not expect there to be some very significant economic repurcussions. The risk to business of that sort of situation will be bad for both parties but it'll doubtless be worse for Scotland. Starting everything from scratch would be incredibly expensive. The EU would likely not welcome them with open arms - Spain's hardly going to want to see that precedent.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Salmond seems to think that he can refuse to take the debt as a bargaining chip to get a currency union, but I'm not seeing that. Renenging on their debts would leave the Scottish government with a credibility problem if they wanted to borrow in their own name.

Actually, this is among the less likely negative consequences. Sovereign countries have the absolute right to repudiate debt, and it happens on a semi-regular basis. The banks are actually prepared for that,.... and generally deal with that kind of issue on a going-forward basis. (To do otherwise would be to commit the sunk cost fallacy.) The question is not how debt was handled in the past, but how debt will be handled in the future, and there's no reason to assume that Salmond's handling of debt which he did not incur would match that of debt which he did.

It's fairly common -- if I remember the history correctly, about half the time -- for a revolutionary government replacing a heavily-indebted old regime to sweep the books clean. The problem is generally that such revolutionary governments tend not to have strong enough economies to continue to run without substantial foreign aid. That's less likely to be a problem for Scotland.

How the debt was handled in the past, though, is normally how ratings agencies assess what might happen in the future, at least to some extent. A country that repudiates its debts will therefore look less trustworthy and not good for the money. It might not lock them out of the market (though it might) but it might increase the cost of borrowing substantially. The effect is not permanent but it would be an inauspicious start.

Quote:
Quote:
In the end, there needs to be agreement at a (UK) national level for Scotland to go - legislation, probably quite a lot of it - which means that the deal needs to be basically fair or the remaining MPs may not approve it.

Well, if Scotland declares independence, Westminster has two choices. Recognize it, or send in the Army.

"We don't accept it" isn't among Westminster's options unless the Scots agree to that.

You are assuming a lot more active role for Westminster than may be justified. An independent Scotland is under no obligation to pay attention to Westminster up to the point where Betty Windsor decides to send in the Coldstream Guards.... and I don't see that happening.

Scotland isn't independent after the referendum, it's the start of a process moving towards independence, which requires the consent of the rest of the UK. If they vote yes, I don't think there is any likelihood of Westminster saying No - we are a democracy, and the parties have agreed to stand by the result, and Scotland would have a democratic mandate. But there is a lot of stuff to do before they actually get independence. And they want stuff from us, namely a currency union. There's also talk they'll need £100bn of reserves in to shore up their banking system, which the UK will have to lend them. So the price of independence is currently unclear. Bearing in ind that the rest of the UK is paying as well as Scotland, there will need to be some give and take otherwise Scotland could find itself in trouble if the UK decides to cut up rough. So paying attention to Westminster, and negotiating in good faith, is very much in their interests post-Yes. A unilateral declaration of independence would probably send Scotland down the pan, given how many unresolved issues it leaves (banking, currency, debt, security, and so on) which would create such a bad business environment that it'd take them years to recover. For a country with a large state sector, I can't see how they would avoid a really horrible recession. So I don't see that happening either. What I see happening is messy compromise, as usually happens in the UK.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

:-))

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Ah, sorry, I misread your first comment. I read "I'm pretty sure you do live in a parallel universe", which I took to mean "You are off with the fairies" when you actually wrote "I'm pretty sure we do live in a parallel universe", which suggests we don't have a common frame of reference. Apologies - different nuance (though I suspect you wouldn't disagree with the first interpretation either, given our differing political views). That said, I dunno, I think it's a bit sad if you're suggesting we can't communicate meaningfully, even if we don't agree.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Arguably, we all occupy our own individual parallel universes. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that dialectical materialism is pretty bogus. So you tell me.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

That's totally hilarious. It's like the writers live in a parallel universe.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
DM Klumz wrote:

I'm afraid Salmond knows exactly what he is doing.

He's a politician trying to create a political environment he can dominate.

He's turned a "Yes" vote for independence into a "F@CK THE TORIES" vote, and a "No" vote into "You're not a patriotic Scot" vote.

Should Salmond 'win', he will manipulate public opinion so that Westminster can be blamed for the inevitable failure of the "Scottish Utopia" he spun during the referendum campaign. [He learned to do this by watching the way the current Westminster government blames the last government for the Banking collapse.]

Salmond is a canny man who is as deceitful as any other politician.

I say this as a card carrying socialist, of Scottish extraction, living in London, who would be sad to see Scotland go.

If Scotland leave, we shall ALL be poorer for it and the man who made it happen will come up smelling of roses!

There's a lot in what you say. Although I doubt he'll be able to blame the English forever if an independent Scotland nosedives - that'll get old pretty quickly. All political careers end in failure, etc.

Something else interesting - what'll happen to the Labour party in an independent Scotland? I suppose they'll have to form a separate party, but I've got no idea if they are doomed or likely to be hegemonic rulers if the SNP stumble.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Calex wrote:

I think this vote will fail. We've seen this here in Canada with the whole Quebec debate. If they separate it'll destroy them before they can get off the ground.

1) Britain can justly insist they take on their share of the UK national debt. BANG! New country is now instantly broke.
2) All utilities that serve Scotland from other areas now must cross a national border to do business. BANG! All phone calls to the rest of the island are now long distance. BANG! All power and fuel supplies that cross the new border need to be re-negotiated as international trade agreements. BANG! All goods sold or imported are now subject to NORMAL (not even punitive) trade tariffs. The economy is dropped back into an instant depression.
3) And what about those people that live in Scotland but work at what will then be a new international border? BANG! They'll suddenly need new passports and hafta file for work permits just to keep the jobs they have. Again nothing punitive- just simply applying the same rules that are used by any foreign national trying to work in the UK.

And the list goes on- Social services? why would Britain fund foreign hospitals? Correction services? No way will they pay for prisons in another country. Military? Not a chance of Britain writing off billions in military assets without an argument. Tax agreements? Extradition treaties? It would be an unmitigated mire for decades.

If they go independent, it's not really in the UK's interests to ruin Scotland. And Scotland will continue to be part of the UK for at least 18 months (possibly a lot a longer) while the details are hammered out. But on the other hand, it's important to get a fair deal. I'd be very surprised if tarriffs and whatnot were imposed - it's not something that Britain has full control over as trade policy is largely determined at EU level. But there are a lot of issues - primarily around the debt and the currency but also dividing up national institutions like the Armed Forces, BBC etc. From what I'm reading, eighteen months, as suggested by the Scot Nats, is extremely optimistic as a timeline.

Salmond seems to think that he can refuse to take the debt as a bargaining chip to get a currency union, but I'm not seeing that. Renenging on their debts would leave the Scottish government with a credibility problem if they wanted to borrow in their own name. And annoying the UK like that would probably lead to a rapid deterioration in relations which would not be in Scottish interests. In the end, there needs to be agreement at a (UK) national level for Scotland to go - legislation, probably quite a lot of it - which means that the deal needs to be basically fair or the remaining MPs may not approve it. While Scotland might have a democratic mandate for independence, it's not necessarily at a price of screwing over the English who'd have to agree the details.

And I really don't see the UK going into a currency union when we've already seen how that works on the continent - the Bank of England is against it, and all the Westminster parties are against it, and I'd be amazed if the thought of bailing out Scottish banks at English cost - when bailing out our banks inflicted a severe recession on us just recently - would remotely fly with the English voting public. But it's also unclear the extent to which this is all a bargaining chip anyway. Salmond is pretty canny, to say the least. The idea of keeping the pound is to reassure wavering voters. If and when they get independence, there's no going back so it doesn't really matter after that politically as to whether they get the pound or not. It could be presented as a perfidious plot by the English and also given up in exchange for something else (where the maritime borders are drawn for oil purposes, for example). I would imagine their long-term interests would be to have their oown currency and monetary policy anyway - Salmond is an economist, so he must really know this.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Yeah, and you're OK for an Aussie. But I don't think that I'm not entitled to challenge his assumptions when they seem deeply patronising to me.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'm not talking about specific ideologies, I'm talking about him personally. You can be as lefty as you like, but dismissing members of the working class as morons seems an odd thing to do for an avowedly left-wing person to do. Don't you think? Unless you are an elitist who really thinks the working classes are all so moronic they need "leadership" from a benificent middle- and upper-class.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Sending Scotland broke is how the English forced the union in the first place. See the Darien disaster.

Um, I think they sent themselves broke with Darien. The Act of Union was England bailing Scotland out. The Scots were quite grateful at the time - well, the Scottish ruling classes, anyway.

Actually, Darien is a classic example of how it can be perilous to be a small country. It's not all that different from Ireland and Iceland.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
'white van man' is a moron
Spoken like a true liberal.
An examination of why this person is/isn't an idiot would be more enlightening.

The dismissal of people who have different opinions to yours as morons is actually pretty illiberal. It's about him, not them. He is a typical lefty elitist who assumes that they must be stupid when actually they have their own interests which don't coincide with his, thereby demonstrating his contempt for the people whose interests he claims to have in mind.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The whole thing is interesting. I don't personally see an independent Scotland being very liberal given the strong streak of intolerance the Yes camp has brought to the party. In the event of independence, Scotland will potentially be up s#$& creek financially and the effect won't be much more benign in the rest of the UK. Moreover, if they do get independence, they can forget about currency unions and all that stuff - the English voter will not be tolerant of special pleading after being told for the last couple of years how he's been grinding Scottish aspirations into the dirt, oppressing a proud nation, blah blah blah. In the longer term, of course, Scotland could be a very successful smaller nation IF they run their affairs properly. But I don't see that happening. Salmond has been engaging in Fantasy Economics and after the party there would be an almighty hangover. And since the other strand of Scottish nationalism is a repudiation of everything that has actually pulled the UK out of the economic scleroticism (if that's a word), namely the liberalisation (yes, that word again) of the economy under Thatcher and (a bit) Blair, I honestly don't see them becoming the Singapore of the North, more likely the Greece. But time will tell.

I personally expect a narrow vote of No. But not confidently. On the other hand, if it's a spur to getting a fairer deal for England, without a bunch of Scottish MPs deciding stuff for us we can't decide for them, then it may be improve democracy for all. I personally have no problem with Devo Max for Scotland provided the English (and Welsh, and Northern Irish) get it too.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
'white van man' is a moron

Spoken like a true liberal.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Core? Do you mean the PHB? The shaman is in, I believe, the PHB2. What's in the DS book isn't the full class description.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

OK, if you want to play a shaman, come up with a character concept and let me know. Do you have the relevant books?

As for the deific nature of the sun, it's a god if there is a sun god (like Pelor).

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Well, divine casters are totally out with respect to Dark Sun - the gods are dead. But a shaman is possible if you prefer - they are primal casters.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Th'Kal, if you are going to disappear for a couple of weeks it would be helpful if you could let us know in advance. I appreciate you can't always do that, but it makes dealing with the situation a lot easier if you can. This isn't the first time.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

By the way, I suggested a while back that Furio train out his lvl 1 daily for Brutal Strike (which is a lvl 1 Fighter Daily in the PHB) given that Furio never uses his Daily attack at all (and not very surprising, given it's pretty weak). I notice he hasn't done so, which I assume is an oversight given Heathy's been busy lately - you might like to do it fairly soon.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Looks like Th'Kal is back anyway, though the issue with Irivis persists.

The other advantage, of course, of not recrtuiting is that they can come back as and when they are able without the issue of role duplication and excess party members.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

OK, we've not heard from either Irivis nor Th'Kal for around about a month (since before I went on holiday). Characters without players slows things down a bit, so unless they show up in the next 24 hours or so I'll write them out (they can be assigned to a different guard detail or something). In that unfortunate event, do we want to recruit replacements. At the moment the party (excluding them) consists of:

Gart (Leader)
Furio (Defender)
Arakan (Leader/Striker)
Jareen (Controller)

That's the party roles more or less covered, albeit a little light on the striking and heavier on the leading/healing. Do we want to recruit, or leave the party as it is, since it would be reasonably viable? Recruits would be strikers, I would assume (both Irivis and Th'Kal are strikers) which would increase the offensive punch of the party. But a smaller party means a shorter turnaround time for individual turns and probably a faster overall game.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Wimps.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Oops, for got to change the sharing settings.

Thom, are you in the UK yet? Dropped you a text message.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Actually, the best way to get into a game is to run one. And the second best way is simply to keep an eye on the Recruitment section and apply as and when.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

As I said above, it's unusual for a controller to be dishing out lots of damage. Their metier is really debuffs and then letting someone else tidy up the mess. If you over-egged the controllers then that would probably get ugly fast, given they generally have area effects.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'll be honest, I'm extremely surprised a controller could really do enough damage to take down the PCs like that, unless I'm missing some important detail or fiendish synergy you came up with.

But that aside, you are right that the combats would go differently with a different party set-up - the alternative you describe - striker-heavy, low on control - is exactly the set-up for my real-world 4e party. And they perform in exactly the way you describe - the fighter tanks the boss while the strikers knock down the side-men as quickly as they can to reduce the damage potential.

It's hard for me to comment beyond that because we've been playing the same campaign since 4e came out with the same characters (they are now, believe it or not, finally 30th level, playing all the way from lvl 1) so I don't have much comparative experience. But when strikers are light on the ground (because their players are absent) the combats are certainly longer and the damage levels way lower. But you've commented before that your party excell in controlling a single adversary, so solo monsters get obliterated, but struggle if you throw in some minions. (My lot, the issue is a bit simpler - they are totally crap at ranged combat so almost everything is about melee. if you want to mess with their heads - not so much now at this level, but certainly at the levelyou are talking about - you gave them a flying adversary.) I suspect every party has its weak spot. When we next play 4e (assuming we don't go 5e - I don't really want to and I don't think the other do either, so far) I expect it'll be something else.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Cool - finally got the shop up and running?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

As an aside, I think the hubris thing might be a bit overused. If you have a high INT, low WIS character, then fine. But I find it hard to believe an NPC with a high WIS would be doing the hubris thing, cos it ain't wise.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

This is a problem primarily for the DM, rather than the players. The players aren't privy to the NPC's stats so they won't know the difference (generally) between what the NPC could do and what the NPC actually does.

There are, in my view, legitimate reasons for NPCs not to optimise their attacks due to personality quirks - it's called roleplaying, and the DM has to do it as well as the PCs. Some NPCs won't be intelligent enough, or won't be wise enough to do what is most appropriate to swiftly obliterate the party. Also, the DM has pretty much perfect knowledge of the situation, including the abilities of the PCs, which an NPC actually wouldn't in a real situation. It is easy for a DM to determine how to kill the PCs, but for the NPC this is likely the first (and last) time he meets them. And NPCs may also not wish to nova on PCs if they have potential concerns about conserving spells and powers - after all, eve if the DM knows that there isn't anyone else coming, does the NPC?

It also depends on the extent to which one sees the game as a means to perfect one's craft in game terms, otimising offnsive potential, or to represent real living people who are capable of making bad decisions. Of course, these is nothing that says that one has to be sub-optimal in order to roleplay well. But on the other hand, it certainly can end up that way. Most players would balk at imposing something like that on themselves, but it is legitimate for NPCs (provided it isn't overused).

In the end, this is a slightly more sophisticated version of "Do you fudge to save the PCs". But NPCs doing dumb stuff in combat is, arguably, a tool in the DM's arsenal to bring to bear for both roleplaying and characterisation as well as for mechanical reasons.

Consider, for example, the ending of the film The Vikings (which I'm sure most of us have probably seen) where Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis are fighting it out on the top of a castle. Kirk has Tony on his back and raises his sword to plant the killing blow. But he has also just been told that Tony is his half-brother. He pauses, weapon raised, and stares at him for a moment. As he hesitates, Tony stabs and kills him, then turns to Janet Leigh and says something like, "Why didn't he strike?" Now, that's far from optimal behaviour from a game perspective, but it's seriously dramatic storytelling. That also has pride of place in RPGs as well as optimisation. Life isn't like chess.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Sounds like you've got your time planned out. London the following week might be easier.

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Meriden is practically on the outskirts of Birmingham, so that's quite a way. Are you flying in to Birmingham airport (as that's down the road from there)? Whereabouts in Coventry are you going to be?

Qadira

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Ha! It's like we're meant to be together. I live in Rugby, the next town from Coventry.

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