Yep, the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts is up there with the classic moments of cinematic fantasy. Sad to hear he's gone, but he lived to a ripe old age and his films certainly gave me a lot of pleasure and influenced a lot of my personal interest in fantasy and the sort of imagery I took from it.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
I would argue it is almost, if not always, the person you are walking away from. Gaming is a social activity so the only reason to walk away is if it isn't fun. And even then, without the histrionics.
Big Lemon wrote:
I personally think walking out of a game like the OP suggested is just silly. I can understand it more if there are personal animosities added to the mix (not that that makes it right, but makes it more understandable) but there are better ways of addressing the issues than stalking off into the night. Sometimes issues cannot be resolved to everyone's satisfaction but people should be able to discuss the issues like adults, and then decide if they wish to stay for subsequent sessions. Walking out mid-game because the DM did something you didn't like is just juvenile. Though the vibe I'm getting is that most of these incidents happened when the players were teenagers or, at least, younger, which sort of makes sense.
Depends on what is fun for the group. Because PbP is slow, there can be a temptation to speed things up. But the party, obviously, don't know what you know. Kingmaker is itself odd for PbP - I tried to run it as a PbP and got frustrated and gave up. The exploration element is quite slow and potentially repetitive, and what could go past fairly quickly in face-to-face takes forever online. But because exploration is fairly key to the whole AP it is probably no a good idea to skimp it unless the players are getting bored.
Aardvark Barbarian wrote:
To reiterate the point above, 4e is less rules-intensive than than 3e, yet supposedly according to the OP it encourages roll-playing because of its inherent design and concomitant "culture". Yet I assume he doesn't believe that of PF, and even if he did a lot of people would have issue with that. My experience of playstyle between different rulesets is that it boils down entirely to the preferences of the players. Some people just aren't that into roleplaying compared with the tactical aspects of combat. I too have never played WoD but then I've never been attracted to the whole dark-eyeliner thing that sort of went with it. So the differences could easily be about players with different play preferences (possibly including sub-cultural identification with the WoD-Goth axis v D&D-power gamer axis) selecting the games which suit them more than the games moulding player behaviours through mechanics. There's a whole evidential problem here. Frankly, it will be very difficult to prove it either way without some proper work and I doubt an anecdotal discussion here will make much dent to the issue (any more than previous ones have over the years). Not that it's not fun to discuss once in a while, but I don't expect a firm conclusion.
Remember that each use of this ritual "uses up" a surge from someone. In other words, if the participants give up four surges the recipient gets three. So in your example above, Arakan and Jareen gain three surges and two surges, respectively. Also, Ruscer's surge number may not be accurate, which makes it important to update your character sheet, though I expect he spare a surge.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Y'know, Kirth, you always mention his banging goddesses when the subject of Elminster rears its head. I can't help thinking there's some issues there for you to work through. Just sayin'. For me, I can't stand the way he talks, and the fact he's nearly named after a town on Dorset.
On the broader issue, I agree totally that super-powerful characters are much more interesting as character hooks than anything else. Facing off in combat against a god seems a silly use of a god, all other things being equal.
I would say though that I don't think you need to have "any significant insight into gayness - the struggles, prejudice, the scene or lifestyle" to just include a few gay people. They don't have to be the focus, they're gayness doesn't have to be the point or even really relevant to the plot. Just there, doing normal people things.
I think if I could do something interesting with it in a fantasy setting, I think that would be fair enough. As a possible example, David Gemmell dealt with homosexuality in the setting of hellenic/hellenistic Greece (in passing, but not shied away from) in his Lion of Macedon books (though not the Trojan ones, if memory serves). Some sort of cultural/economic twist in the context of the fantasy society, perhaps. But in the end I (and probably quite a lot of players) am not really terribly interested in the issues, frankly. In the limited time available, I'd rather be thinking about campaign plot, adventures, encounter design and so on. Maybe some sort of historical research to get ideas. In the end, sexual tokenism is quite a long way down the list of priorities - NPC sexualities of any persuasion are normally not an issue and therefore not mentioned. And given the potential touchiness of the subject, I'd want to do it properly and have my players engage with it, and it's probably not worth the hassle when all we really want to do is kill goblins and have a laugh. Not everyone's game is like that, of course, but a lot are, and I doubt they are bigots either.
As an aside, I also have to say that while Paizo has moved with this, I've been getting the impression that most (not all) of the gayness in their products seems to be girl-on-girl (I could be wrong, but it's my impression) which slightly smacks porn-y type scenarios catering to male heterosexuals rather than serious sexual politics. Which suggests that again you have to be careful with this stuff if you are serious about it.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
I think the difference he is making is that between an indivual with bigoted views and a cultural milieu in which may not condone, but may not exactly discourage, bigotry in people across the board. I think that's quite an easy disctinction to make. If I might take a different example, I've noticed that disabled kids have begun appearing in lots of children's programmes on TV (here in the UK, anyway). This helps other kids get used to the idea that not all kids are able-bodied, and are otherwise normal except for their particular issues - i.e. they are just kids. Before you hardly ever saw that - certainly not when I was a kid. Simply not bringing up the fact that there are disabled kids in the past didn't, in my view, make all of the previous programme makers anti-disabled bigots - it was more a factor of time and place. But their inclusion now makes (hopefully) anti-disabled bigotry less likely in future. And I think you need to get a bit careful with slinging the B-word around, since you can probably otherwise be labelled as some sort of anti-minority bigot by simple omission of the minority du jour, and then it just starts getting a bit silly and reductionist. I've never included Nepalese in my games - am I an anti-Nepalese bigot? I've also, as it happens, never included homosexuals - but my players are all heterosexual (as far as I know) married men who want to pretend to kill goblins, not break down the barriers of society. And as a non-gay man myself, would I really be doing it justice when I really don't have any significant insight into gayness - the struggles, prejudice, the scene or lifestyle - without maybe coming up with some stupid crude stereotype? On the other hand, if it's good for other people, it's fine with me.
Ah, OK. It sort-of comes out the same in the wash, but useful to know. I didn't see a definitive reassignment of the healing surges - can we please get that down so we can all agree on where the situation now is. Perhaps someone should make a decision for the greater group, based on what works out best, to be ratified by the party as a whole?
I must confess, I didn't think this was a spoiler. I thought this was out ages ago, and I don't even follow these things closely. And anyway, it'll be all over the place in a few days, so anyone seeing the movie will doubtless know the identity of Cumberbatch's character unless they elect to sit in a hole between now and the movie release. So while we all enjoy a bit of nerd-rage these seems pretty small beer to me.
The ritual can only give surges to one participant, as far as I can tell. However, there's nothing stopping you doing it more than once - you have time. Also, the person doing the ritual must sacrifice a surge, so doing it twice will cause Jareen to lose two surges. If people are happy to sub him a couple of extra surges, we are all good.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
It depends. I've found that a very useful way to build up quite a challenging encounter is with artillery minions in support. They are generally very accurate, do reasonable damage, there's lots of them and because they don't stand next to the PCs generally last a lot longer than melee minions, thereby racking up damage for several rounds. Concentrated fire from artillery minions on a controller or striker will actually give the PCs a dilemma - bash minions and let the solo rampage, or bash solo and have the minions pour fire on the squishies. But in the end, solo encounters are problematic. To be honest, the best way to deal with it is probably for solo monsters to do a lot more damage than necessarily seems healthy for the PCs, so even the occasional hit will given them pause, with better defences but maybe lower hp so it doesn't grind. But then things are swingier. And even then it might be a let-down.
On the other hand, they had a fatality on the next encounter where they had to fight more than one enemy. Could be they are tricked up best for anti-solo work - there still exists a trade-off, potentially. Killing solos is pretty easy a lot of the time so perhaps they aren't that optimised.
The big issue with solos is really the lack of actions coupled with being the only target. That said, from an encounter design perspective it may be sensible to have some mooks in with the solo. Not just minions, but standard monsters. From memory, a lvl X solo plus two lvl X standards should be about a lvl X+2 encounter - tough but not overwhelming for lvl X characters. Playing round with the levels can give you different mixes and numbers. That would be probably a challenge to most parties. I hasten to add I haven't tried this, but I'm thinking that perhaps it's time... Anyway, just because it says "solo" they don't have to enter the stage alone.
I typically find solo encounters a bit anti-climatic. This was an area of the game where the concept moved ahead of the design and took a while to catch up. Even then I get the impression they are hard to get right. Oddly, one of the better solo fights we had was against a hydra (at early paragon level) but it was a old one jury-rigged to do more damage. They killed it quite swiftly but it hurt them.
I think solos often suffer from limited attacks and vulnerability due to being a lone monster being subjected to the effects of several PCs at once - basically another way of stating the controller issue Ylissa mentions. Plus they can't be in more than one place at once, unlike multiple monsters. Arguably, as well as multiple attacks solos need ways to throw off control effects as well - the reason for the +5 bonus to saves but maybe not sufficient by itself. I think some of the more modern dragon designs have this.
You must have seen the director's cut.
The weaknesses of the prequels were (1) scripts and (2) acting. The actual story arcs themselves could have been a lot better if they had sorted that. And Jar Jar, of course. One would hope that if it's done by someone else then possibly they can apply quality control that they probably couldn't to Lucas himself.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Btw, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, I was all for overthrowing and then executing them, too.
I alway love how every communist always says, "Of course, I wouldn't do it the way Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot... Wel, every other communist leader did it." So much for the lessons of history.
I think you'll find for most British people, this was about defending British interests and citizens. I think strayshift is thinking with 20:20 hindsight - in the 80's there was very little prospect of oil, the technology wasn't there, and nor was any oil discovered. It's still arguably isn't now. And I don't think the UK government would get much of it anyway, th government of the island owns the rights to the oil as far as I am aware. Sorry if his cousin suffered but he signed up for the Marines voluntarily.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
That being said, I would still like to see Margaret Thatcher hung for war crimes.
Even though you don't think it was a crime. Hmm...
It's low-hanging fruit, but... Stalin killed a hell of a lot more people, as did Mao, as did Pol Pot, as did...
Well, if you are suggesting that somehow Thatcher wanted and encouraged a war, I thinks that's misguided. The Argentine invasion was a big surprise to the UK government. Plus there was a principle at stake - the right of British subjects to not be invaded by hostile powers - which probably had something to do with it as well. That she took advantage of it for electoral purposes - of course she did, that's what politicians do.
One of the things I find amusing about the Argentinian claim is how the British are "colonialists" when in fact the claim by Argentina on the Falklands is not due to "Argentinians" being forced off the islands (assuming they were forced, which is dubious) but because Spanish colonisers were usurped by the British (Argentina at that time didn't exist, being a colony of Spain). Plus no one was actually harmed by the British take-over of the islands - no massacres or nasty diseases - which is more than can be said for the Spanish conquest of South America.
But it is true that the legal basis is questionable on both sides, which is why neither side has been very keen to take the matter to UN arbitration. In the end Kirchner is a populist who is running out of options, so she is busy trying to distract the populace with this stuff. And the Pope is entitled to his views, which are probably not remarkable given he's Argentinian - it won't make any difference to UK policy either way.