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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,117 posts (4,347 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 11 aliases.


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Evil? No. A little weird? Sure, particularly for bring up in a game at the local game store. It's not every player who wants passersby to label him a pervert for having a sex toy be a prominent aspect of his character.

There was once a player I knew who had a superhero character named Phallus. He had growing powers that, ahem, didn't always work, especially around women he found attractive. But at least we were playing in private and not in a game store.


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Quark Blast wrote:

"4d6, drop lowest, in order" would almost certainly result in a party that was suboptimal.

Typically, each PCs primary stat would be 12. So, rolling my dice...

Paladin with a STR of 13 and a CHA of 8
Sorcerer with a DEX of 15 and a CHA of 9
Cleric with a WIS of 10 and a CON of 7
Rogue with a DEX of 11 and INT of 8
Wizard with a INT of 16 (hey, that's actually useful!) and a DEX of 12
Barbarian with a STR of 12, a DEX of 12 and an INT of 14

...you get some PCs that are playable (meaning at least potentially heroic) but as a party these guys suck.

I guess that if he let you pick your PCs class after rolling stats it would be slightly better but having everyone forced to play some incarnation of "Nodwick" is only fun if the group buys in to the concept first.

When you roll in order, the usual expectation is that you will be picking your class after your stats. It's not really a question of hoping the GM "lets" you do so. There is a reason, by the way, that the chapter on stats appears before the chapter on classes.


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Robert Carter 58 wrote:
Tomos wrote:

Socrates.

Gandhi.
Gandhi was a lawyer before he lead his people, Socrates was a great teacher. Definitely not commoners. Experts at least.

And probably a little warrior for Socrates as well since he was supposedly a Peloponnesian War veteran.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Well, I'd say it's a quite a big cat that ate WotC's market leadership for lunch, but YMMV.
Paizo has been the market leader... while D&D was all but dormant. I wouldn't be surprised if Paizo finds themselves kicked down to #2 very quickly after 5th edition's release.

I expect it will, for a time. How long depends on how well 5e does. Even 4e had its hands full with the Pathfinder competition since PF was showing up well right during Essentials, before D&D 4e was dormant.


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Josh M. wrote:


If the players have the books containing the extra options they want to play with, what's wrong with just looking over their books? This is how my group did things for years. No one DM was expected to own everything. So long as the player has a copy on hand, what would be wrong with that?

Sometimes that isn't as convenient or the analysis not as thorough as being able to review the new material in detail and at leisure. Depending on the nature of the option to be added, I might take a while to really dig into it. If it was just a feat or new piece of equipment, reading over the text once or twice would probably suffice. But if the player wanted me to add a new class like the summoner, I'd want more time with the materials and that requires more than just skimming it over at the gaming table the night we play. In such a case, I would require photocopies of the pages at the very least, and perhaps a loan of the book for a week or so.


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kinevon wrote:

Hmmm. How about having cast a true strike?

Quote:
You gain temporary, intuitive insight into the immediate future during your next attack. Your next single attack roll (if it is made before the end of the next round) gains a +20 insight bonus. Additionally, you are not affected by the miss chance that applies to attackers trying to strike a concealed target.
Probably not...

It runs into the same problem - inability to see the target. Attacks of Opportunity events presume that the character can see that their target has dropped their guard, enabling the free attack. Keep that in mind and these questions become fairly easy.

Your regular attacks may ignore the concealment, but in order to make use of the opportunity he gives you to make an attack, you have to see that he gives you one in the first place.


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I generally ban anything I don't own on the basis of "if I don't have it at my convenience, I'm not going to be able to review and understand it appropriately enough to run with it."

Other than that, I'm pretty open with what I allow. I do, however, support any GM's effort to ban anything they want as long as they have a rational explanation for it other than "because I said so". I think GMs should have a lot of leeway in establishing what works with the setting since they will be the one dealing with it the most.


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Thomas Long 175 wrote:


I wasn't aware "buy a wand and have a single person put a single point in UMD" was system mastery. I thought that was the basics.

It's really not, particularly when dealing with players who used to play lots of older-school AD&D when wands were decidedly more difficult to make.


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Jaelithe wrote:

Jason, could the orcs and Smaug be guided and kept in the loop by Sauron from afar? His powers are greater than any other in Middle-Earth, and we know that only such as Galadriel possess the might to block his vision. The dragons are a creation of Melkor, thus Sauron might well have insight into communicating with and controlling them.

Meh. It would depend on too many suppositions that the movie will never explain. Sauron isn't supposed to know about the ring being found until he captures Gollum and that won't happen for some decades yet. Thorin and Co. are just not important enough for his attention. It's all just padding for a trilogy going too long and with Jackson and co-writers working well below their potential.


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K177Y C47 wrote:
A freaking basketweaver is not going to go out and slay a dragon...

And moisture farmers aren't going to become galaxy-liberating mystic warriors, barmaids aren't going to become heroes, blacksmith's sons aren't going to become king, Civil War vets turned prospectors aren't going to become planetary warlords...


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Scavion wrote:

I think its weird that people don't want better designed classes and actively promote that we shouldn't try bringing weaker classes up to par.

I think that really is a misreading of the issue that people bring up when they say that claims of fighter and rogue uselessness and weakness are exaggerated. It's not that we don't think adding a couple of skill points to the fighter would be bad. It's not that we think scaling some combat feats better so they advance with the character level would be bad.

Rather, it's that doing so isn't absolutely necessary as much as they could be reasonably welcomed options since, in our experience, we're doing just fine despite the so-called deficiencies of these classes. So we may be picky about what changes we think will actually help matters without damaging the overall flavor of the game.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:


I find it very sad when a game is structured so that one person's fun and another person's are mutually-contradictory. I'd rather the baselines were similar, so that we could all play together.

Even if the baselines were identical, you'd still have people whose game styles were incompatible. So I don't see it as a problem because baselines differ, rather, I think it's because some people have incompatible ideas of a good time.


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Terquem wrote:
anyone that is put off by the rendition of an upright walking, bipedal, human sized, Dragon headed, winged (or not), fire breathing, sentient, heroic, weapon wielding, five fingered (with opposable thumb), fantasy character, because it has breasts, is being, in my opinion, a bit ridiculous

Oh, I don't think so. I can easily see a legitimate criticism against the need to put breasts on a lizard woman to pander to juvenile male desires.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:


I give JJ & Co. props for being honest with their customers, but that honesty has more or less ensured that I'll never buy a PF book. Maybe an AP that I can convert, sometime when I have more money to throw around. Paizo is responding to someone's needs, but they ain't mine. :/

Of course they're not responding to your needs. They're respoding to mine and I'm keeping them busy.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I can't imagine a game company telling anyone what they want, though I've heard this complaint aimed at various companies before. I mean, they all do their best to sell their games, but telling us what we want? Sounds like a fan-reaction to whichever company makes the game that he or she happens to not like.

You've never heard of advertising? Companies tell people what they need and want all the time.


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Aaron Bitman wrote:


zagnabbit wrote:
The beauty of Greyhawk is stasis. It's always the same year until you play.
Um... what? I must be misunderstanding you. Greyhawk's been changing constantly. Materials like "Fate of Istus", "Greyhawk Wars", and "Die, Vecna, Die" made significant changes in the setting, requiring new editions to get all the updates. For instance, the "World of Greyhawk" boxed set was set, I think, in the late 570s CY. (My set is at home, where I can't look it up.) "From The Ashes" shows a very different world in 585 CY, due to the aforementioned Greyhawk Wars. "The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer" shows lots of changes from that, leading up to 591 CY.

I think this underscores that Greyhawkers typically take a different approach to the campaign setting and canon than fans of other published settings (with the possible exception of the Third Imperium for Traveller). With early materials being fairly sketchy for a long time, Greyhawk GMs have thrived on taking a framework of a campaign world and making it their own. And that includes feeling confident about accepting or flat out rejecting canonical developments that come later like the Greyhawk Wars or anything to do with the overuse of Vecna.


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I don't suppose we could dispense with calling the other side of the debate whiners or blaming them for why your side "can't get nice things"? Those are the attitudes that spawned the edition wars - dismissing and belittling other people's opinions. People have different opinions. We can respect that and disagree without being a jerks, can't we?

Personally, I like relying on Ex abilities for martial character and consider many of them to be some pretty damn nice things, indeed.


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cnetarian wrote:

Except it doesn't really work that way.

Take a level 1 medium ranger with a great-axe attacking an AC 21 foe without a feat applying to the attack. With a STR of 14 the ranger will hit on a 18+ and do 3-14 points of damage, while with a STR of 18 the ranger will hit on a 16+ and do 5-16 points of damage - the 18 STR ranger hits not 10% more often but TWICE as often as the 14 STR ranger as well as doing more damage. Even against an AC 10 opponent the STR 14 ranger will hit 70% of the time versus the STR 18 ranger's 80% hit rate, meaning the 18 STR ranger is about 14% more likely to hit, or 14% more effective against AC 10 opponents.

Actually, it does work the way Sgt Spectre says and it works the way you lay it out here. The difference is perspective. If the 14 Strength ranger is doing nothing but comparing successes, then your perspective dominates. But if he's not - if he's looking at all outcomes - then Sgt Spectre's perspective dominates. It's up to the GM to help manage those expectations and perspectives because they can crop up whether you use point buy or rolling for stats unless everyone ends up being built the same.


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It's important to not only notice that invisibility may increase your stealth check, but that you can ignore that modifier in situations where other senses may be particularly important. If the observer doesn't actually have direct line of sight on the invisible sneaker, just roll against his normal check to hear him - he can't see him anyway.

I think it's fine for invisibility to include a steep bonus for stealth. We're extremely visual creatures. Information enters the brain and is processed 30x faster via sight than via hearing so situations in which the eyes should be engaged but are fooled by the spell should be extremely confounding. But situations in which that is not the case (out of sight anyway, creatures that are arguably more attuned to sound or vibration or even scent), shouldn't include that modifier.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Because it becomes the optimal strategy.

A strategy in which you can expect to do as well or better 55% of the time and give it up isn't one I would call optimal. Taking 10 isn't optimal in any sense except for one - it saves the game time which allows players to get more done while still having their PCs do things that are time consuming. Take the case of carefully making your way through a dungeon - wary of traps. Without Taking 10, you could have the trap-searching PCs make a perception check every 5 feet - that would be a very slow moving game. Or the trap-searcher could say "I'm Taking 10 as we're going along. My trapfinding modifier is a +13."

No muss. No fuss. The GM reveals anything to be found by a DC 23 or lower, springs anything with a DC 24 or higher. And, best of all, the game flows.

But really, if I Take 10, I'm mitigating the risk of failing at relatively routine and easy tasks for my skill level by positively inviting failure against anything significantly challenging. That's no optimal strategy unless I'm always slumming in adventures well below my level.


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Marthkus wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
I think the issue is how vague the bolded portion is, at least to me: So can I tell you all about military command structure and procedure, but it is less clear on whether or not I could use it to know how to build a military grade road or know the names of all the high ranking military officials in the kingdom next door.

It's up to the GM.

Gaps in the rules that the GM has to fill in are not a rare thing.

It's kind of a necessary thing, really. Tabletop RPGs have such unbounded scopes that it's pretty much impossible for any rule set to cover every eventuality.

For profession skills, if it seems pretty reasonable that a character with Profession (x) would have special insight into the question because of their skill in X, then consider allowing the use of the profession skill as an alternative to other skills.

Knowledge (Geography) is a great skill for knowing the lay of the land which may help your soldiers pick the most defensible ground. But a skilled soldier can probably assess that too and may know examples of how it was used in the past (which a character with Knowledge (History) might know too). I'd consider casting the geographer's results in more formal style than a soldier's which I would make more colloquial.

Ultimately, skills can overlap a great deal in PF - this is a good thing because it means PCs have multiple avenues to get to relevant information and keep a good story going rather than run into dead ends or troughs of indecision.


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I won't be switching. But if I like 5e enough, I'll add it to my repertoire and it will get some play. Hopefully, enough to justify the expense.


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Itchy wrote:


2: "Happy Halloween ladies! Nuns. No sense of humor."

Highlander.


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Even in a crusader city, there will still be a market for sex and secrets - so the presence of a Calistrian bordello or other Calistrian communities seem perfectly reasonable to me.

As far as sexual issues of the religions go, I would expect:
Asmodeus to be pretty blatantly male-dominating
Erastil to be generally disapproving of anything not "conventional"
Gorum might expect abstention before a fight so as not to expend vital energies before the more important pastime of going to war
Zon-Kuthon probably doesn't respect safe words
Urgathoan adherents probably promote the spread of STDs, so watch out there
Shelyn probably promotes the beauty of the experience rather than rushing through a quickie
Desna probably promotes adventurousness and doin' it outside under the stars
Cayden Cailean probably looks on alcohol as an aphrodisiac (but not to the point of promoting date-rape because, let's be serious here, he's a fundamentally decent guy not a bastard)
Irori probably practices extreme tantrism
Abadar is probably also very conventional, particularly within marriage arrangements

But for the most part, sex and sex morals are probably secondary concerns for most of them.


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Neither is more important, ultimately, for game design, but they tend to be most useful for different questions. Statistics may tell you whether or not something has the same mechanical power as another option, but they can't tell you whether it's usable or cumbersome in play. They also can't tell you whether or not a trade-off between power balance and usability is worthwhile from a player's perspective. Those questions require gameplay experience.


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For the citation, check page 23 of the playtest document. Under the Hex section, it tells you the save DC of hexes is 10 + 1/2 shaman level + Wis mod.


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WPharolin wrote:
I hope if I ever write a rules book people aren't afraid of posting "WPharolin hates X" threads for fear that I'll take everything they say personally. That's called criticism, and be it scathing or constructive, it's useful. With exception to the "ZOMG they must be retarded" I think it's silly to say that what these people are expressing is anything other than exaggerated dislike. Maybe I'm running solo in this mindset but I don't see criticism as a personal attack and welcome and encourage any and all feedback people have of the work I do, whether good or bad.

Well, there's posting criticism and there's posting criticism like a jackass. There's a difference.


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Ssalarn wrote:


Nothing in the rules allows for that interpretation. Ride checks cover things the rider does, Handle Animal checks cover things the mount/AC does. I welcome you to go reread the appropriate skills.

Charging is an attack, regardless of whether you swing a hoof, or a sword, or nothing at all at the end of it, it is still an attack. Again, go check the Combat section of the CRB and you'll see that it is specifically listed as such. The only way to command an animal to perform an attack is with the Handle Animal skill, which takes a move action if it is not an animal companion.

Nothing in the rules allows for that interpretation? This doesn't suggest that at all?

d20pfsrd on Ride skill wrote:
Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for horses or ponies trained for combat.

I'm not sure I know what to say about your assertion. It seems crystal clear to me that the ride skill allows a character to control that mount in battle.

I might agree that you need animal handling if you aren't riding the horse yet still want it to kick the orc's head in. But that's not charging in riding a horse.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:

So... what's to stop a PC from buying a trained hippogriff or other non-traditional mount and flying around on them as long as that aren't making that creature the focus of their mount or animal companion class feature?

(ninjaed by PeachBottom who must type faster than I)

Which is where other weird inconsistentcies resultign from this come in. An NPC elven archer who wants to fly around firing his bow just needs to drop some cash on a griffon and an exotic saddle. As long as he doesn't want his griffon to join him in combat, he doesn't need anything.

Reginald the 20th level Griffon-riding Cavalier however, with Goldfeathers, his kingly lord of griffons, forgot to take Monstrous Mount Mastery and needs to stop and dismount if he wants Goldfeathers to be able to take to the air :P

So... the cavalier who previously had horses, camels, boars, dogs, ponies, and wolves on his class mount list and couldn't actually have a griffin in that class feature anyway (at least not without the GM kitting something up) now, thanks to the presence of a couple of feats, have rules to do so so they not only have a flying mount but one that advances with their class feature? Those dirty bastards at Paizo - how the hate flows from their keyboards!


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With respect to the questions bobbling around this conversation, I start with the primary job of the GM, making sure my players have a good game. If they've agreed to play Curse of the Crimson Throne based on my pitch, then I have a few things I need to do. I need to make sure the group can have a successful campaign together. If that means telling players to redesign to fit the group better as far as combat optimization goes, I will do so. If that means advising them about major gaps in their capabilities, I will advise them. I won't force particular solutions, though I may make recommendations. For example, if they don't have any healing capabilities, I will tell them that may be a problem... And leave it to them to devise a solution. That may mean one of them steps up to fill the gap by taking levels in a healing-friendly class. It may mean one plans on taking the leadership feat (yes, I have no trouble with PCs with leadership). It may mean they rely on an NPC hireling for a while.

Alternatively, if they want a more sandboxish campaign, I will advise them to seek out adventures that don't seem to require resources they don't have. For an all-barbarian party, that may mean boisterous combat, lots of travel by land, focus on situations with other fighting NPCs or big game animals. For an all arcane caster party, that may mean lost magical secrets, weird extra-dimensional realms, and seeking out masters from whom to learn new magics. But for Curse of the Crimson Throne, I would strongly suggest more class diversity if we wanted to continue with that particular campaign.

Without my advice when I think they need it, I beleive I would be failing in my primary job as GM.


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There seems to be a fair amount of contradictory information floating about. The link offered above says the plaintiff was 17 when he met Singer, which I think would make him of legal age for sex in Hawaii, where that abuse was alleged to have taken place. Others say he was 15.

The issue of drugs, alcohol, and violence are troubling, but I think there are other factors at work here that also concern me. Someone like Singer, being openly gay, is particularly vulnerable to allegations like this. There are some fairly hedonistic gay subcultures within the US that have older gay teens willingly participating (as they pretty much always have) but where their willing participation is, by modern definition, abusive. If this lawsuit gains traction, participating in those subcultures, even infrequently, could have gotten even more dangerous. This whole case could even fuel more smears against gay men as predators.


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If they were rolled up by players, I'd let the stats ride. I think the furor over uneven stats at the start is more than a bit overblown. These character will tend to get an additional +1 or +2 over most of their compatriots' die rolls - and that's not that big a deal as far as I'm concerned.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I literally can't imagine how tradition can outweigh positive change in the mind of a traditionalist.

You might consider the idea that "positive" change in a game's system is a subjective judgment. From your point of view, a particular change like wizards casting healing spells may be a positive change. But for others, it's a negative change because it dilutes one of the factors that makes Pathfinder different from other games that don't put as much emphasis on a character's class. And that's without even getting into the issue of putting yet more magical tools in an over-broad wizard's toolkit (something that's already an issue in the game rules).


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He does not take the penalty if he chooses to forego the extra attack from wielding the second weapon.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
So who cares if the separation of healing magic from wizards is a tradition? It's D&D/Pathfinder's tradition. And that's good enough.
Truly, you Lawful types are a different species. ;)

There's no point shilly shallying around the issue. The game has sacred cows. They are part of what gives the game its distinct identity. What's the point in killing them? If you don't like them, play something else. If you must change them, change them at your own table. Why gripe to the rest of the fan-base?


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
There really isn't any justification for it, at all, other than some bizarre nostalgic tradition-suck that mandates keeping clerics in the game.
What would the game look like if there were no armored divine casters, and all spellcasters were squishy and there was only one spell list?

1) Boring, or

2) Like a different game.

So who cares if the separation of healing magic from wizards is a tradition? It's D&D/Pathfinder's tradition. And that's good enough.

Andoran

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Male Halfling Paladin 3 | HP 24/25 | AC: 20 /T: 12 /FF: 19 | F: +8 /R: +6/ W: +8 | CMB +4 | CMD 15 | Speed 15 | Init. +3 | Perc. +3 | S.M. +7 |

Know: Religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Odo gives Tanselle's question some thought before coming up with an answer. "I bear an iron scimitar because it is effective against demons, not for its utility against the undead. I do not believe it will be either more or effective against such creatures as any blade of steel. Of silver's effect, I know relatively little. I have some silver bullets for my sling that I bought for suitable emergencies, but I figured that would be more an issue with devils than undead."

"I will say this - the forms of undead suggest certain things. How do you make a walking skeleton bleed or pierce it's lung with an arrow? A deep penetrating wound would do little, I expect, compared one that smashes its bones. And against undead without solid form, ghostly apparitions, I fear nothing short of magic will do for how otherwise do you cause bodily harm to that which is without a body?"


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I don't believe that black people or women are less intelligent or intrinsically less capable than white people or men. This used to be believed, but we've moved beyond that.

So, why do black people (for example) need extra help? Why do they, as a group, get lower grades? It's not because they are less intelligent, but because of social, economic and cultural factors.

I fully support the idea of levelling the playing field by providing programs that allow a good education for all. But it would be wrong for this help to be aimed at 'black people', it should be aimed at those whose socio-economic circumstances would prevent them getting that education, since that is the problem not skin colour. And I support this even knowing that the majority of those who would benefit from such programs are black.

Because the skin colour should not be the basis of how we treat people.

But since skin color did determine how we treated people, leading to centuries of negative discrimination that has a real effect on people today, we set up ways to ameliorate those problems targeting the people who are affected. That's not "reverse discrimination," which is pretty much just a privilege-protection whine. It's remediation. And considering there are still areas of the United States working pretty hard to marginalize black people despite the deranged assertions of the Supreme Court, I certainly don't think we're past the point where we can consider those remediation programs no longer necessary or appropriate.

Now, it may well be that the poor people, in general, deserve remediation as well considering the exploitation they've suffered (and continue to suffer) at the hands of economically and politically dominant classes. But you may notice that most industrialized countries have programs for that too.


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I see the backlash is alive and well with some posters on this message board.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I don't think the way forward is to replace those things with a Good Ol' Girls Club, or to deny marriage to straight people.

We are also so ridiculously far away from either of these things that bringing them up really is propping up a straw man.


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Lost in Translation is probably my favorite.
I'd say Ghostbusters probably ranks second.

I have to say I really admire him for not only stretching beyond his comedy roots but also really being in control of his career. He seems to be enjoying his life, not mired in some rat race of feeling obligated to work or do jobs he doesn't want to do.


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Dazylar wrote:


Who knew a Marvel blockbuster would enlighten me to American military history? I like that...

Some of those Marvel guys are pretty literate.


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RainyDayNinja wrote:


Because a large segment of the boards (e.g., all the Americans) haven't had a chance to see it, and might come here expecting discussion in anticipation of the movie.

You have to expect that's the risk you take - stumbling on to an unobscured spoiler - whenever you get into these discussions. If you really want to avoid spoilers, you have to take the responsibility for doing so.

I was just involved in a discussion about this on another site where someone felt that the latest developments in Walking Dead were spoiled for him before he had a chance to watch the episode in question. Personally, I found it simple to avoid the spoilers because I don't watch the show at all, am not interested in it, and don't participate in message board discussions about it (which was ultimately his downfall). So whatever surprise it has remains unspoiled for me (not that I care). The main point is - his own behavior is what put him at risk of having the surprise spoiled for him. If you want to be serious about not having something spoiled, refrain from discussion groups about it until you've seen it or are ready to risk having it spoiled.


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Karl Hammarhand wrote:

Right the point was it had a cartoon, several print magazines, news articles good or bad that indicated people were interested. Whether it was kids buying the product and magazines with a much bigger proportion of their disposible income or parents concerned about what their kids were doing it was the thing. It was the 'it' happening.

Now it's just another hobby and most of the kids that were playing d&d are now playing ghost ops or halo or surfingporn.

It's not bigger now. Even with the OSR it's fading. When d&d puts out another weekly cartoon I'll consider it to be growing.

It's not a question of raw size. It's a question of how niche or mainstream the hobby and its related activities are. There may have been more players in the 1980s fad stage, but it was never a mainstream hobby, nor were its related activities. The MMORPGs didn't exist. Fantasy, D&D-ish movies were few number. There was only the D&D cartoon on the television. Those several print magazines all had relatively little reach.

In the decades since, while active players may have declined, there's a much wider body of former players than there was in the 1980s, extending the familiarity of the game in the public at large. Fantasy movies are a lot more common. Fantasy conventions and cosplay are more common. RPGs have appeared in at least 2 sitcoms in recent years. There are regular TV shows that are fantasy-based. Kids engage in a lot of free-form role playing on internet forums. Millions of people play MMORPGs and games like Diablo.

From where I'm observing things, the difference between when I started playing in 1981 and now is huge. If we think of the RPGing and its influence as a shadow, the umbra may be a little bit smaller since the current player base isn't as big as the big fad heyday, but the penumbra is much bigger.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

I have no hidden agenda. I doubt Kirth does either. My only point was Monte Cook admitted in this article that certain choices in 3.0/.5 were presented to players that are better than others, on purpose.

The piece I quoted supports it, and nothing else said further down refutes it either.

So, really, how is it taken out of context, since the context IS some options in 3.0/.5 are better than others, on purpose?

And since the value of many choices depends on context, I would expect there to be some choices better than others. The wrong inference to make, and the point at which Monte's text is taken out of context, would be that those choices are the D&D equivalent of "Timmy" cards.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

Deth, are you honestly arguing that everyone stays 1st level, and therefore 3.0 Toughness is a good feat for the game as a whole? That it's design is superior to the PF Toughness feat? If so, I don't know what I can possibly say to you.

I've read the Alexandrian's response you quoted, and view it as Apologetics, not analysis.

I think the PF toughness feat is superior to 3e's, but it does so at the cost of additional complexity. That complexity isn't hard for most of us to handle, but it's certainly not as simple because you're no longer simply adding 3 hit points. You can also no longer apply it more than once, something you could do in 3e.

What you don't seem to recognize is that not every campaign nor every creature in a campaign is the same or put to the same use. For example, for a one-shot convention game with pre-gen characters, simpler options for feats and other game choices are superior to complex and conditional ones. The player doesn't need as much system knowledge to handle the character.

Similarly, for a GM who has to handle or build multiple NPCs and monsters, simpler options and options that can directly add to the calculated bonuses are easier to deal with than situational and conditional choices as well.

Some of these choices that are dubbed weaker by the internet peanut gallery can also be good choices for a GM to use for NPCs because they're not at the higher end of power. They provide a utility without creating the overpowered combinations that we don't really want our NPCs to have. So if some exotic weapon is, rule for rule, weaker than a martial weapon - that doesn't really matter to the GM when his NPC uses it. That NPC is unlikely to survive the encounter anyway - he doesn't have to live with the consequences of having a weaker feat for multiple adventurers. He's there to play a particular role now.


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memorax wrote:


If a player with a weakness to lead is a minor one and gets 5 extra points to spend during character creation. Either he roleplays the disadvatage or loses the 5 points. Having to alter his character no exceptions. Or if a player has 5 experience points can buy off the disadvantage. That's why I tend to like point based systems more. No loopholes like roleplaying to get around a characters negative aspects.

Where's the loophole? There is no loophole. The PC with the lower charisma has paid for something to compensate and continues to pay because, if he had a better stat, his investment in diplomacy would pay off even higher than it does.

If a character doesn't buy up his Dexterity in Hero (or even sells it down), he's going to suffer by having a lower combat value than other characters. Are you going to prevent him from buying combat levels to compensate for it? It's the same basic thing.


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thejeff wrote:
The unrealistic isn't the idea that a character could do that, it's the idea that it's at all common for a player to build a face character with a heavy charisma dump.

Because sometimes that's how the game develops organically and someone takes on the burden of being the faceman even if they aren't naturally charismatic? Because sometimes players roll their stats rather than use point-buy to generate them? Because sometimes playing a dwarf faceman is fun? Because sometimes playing the guy who had to earn his skill is better than the person with inborn ability?

Not everyone plays to optimize a positive Charisma mod and high diplomacy skills.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its not an either or thing. You snag a scoll, you put it in your bag and you're good to go.

Sounds to me that the problem is less the spells obsoleting skills than the easily obtained scrolls and wands. When you had to be 7th level and go on a quest to get the necessary and wacky ingredients to scribe a scroll, you were a lot more judicious what you put on that scroll.


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memorax wrote:


They can both roleplay. The one with a lower cha has a penalty to his diplomacy skill. Sorry getting around the penalty of low stats with high skill points does not get used at my table. His diplomacy skill would be at 5 as I add in a -5 penalty to the skill roll. The character with the high cha also has less of a chance to succeed at diplomacy because of a lack of skill points.

I love these almost unrealistic examples people use. How often does the player with a cha of 5 boost his diplomacy skill with so many ranks. How often does a character with such a decent score in cha not boost his diplomacy. If people want to make characters with low attribute scores go right ahead. Don't expect every DM to allow you to ropleplay with them effectivelty. Want to cheat the system by ignoring low stats through roleplay and skill points go right ahead. I'm not the DM to do it with.

What's unrealistic about it? The low charisma character has invested in training to overcome his natural deficiencies. He's not getting a better modifier to use diplomacy for free or just because the player role plays better - he's getting it because he sunk a lot of work into it in the form of skill ranks.

Piling on an additional -5 seems pretty shady to me. The low charisma character is already hampered with the lower modifier compared to someone else of similar training. If the naturally talented guy with the high charisma decided to just get by on his good looks without actually spending any effort, that's his hard luck if my diligence enables me to excel past him despite less inherent talent.


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Udinaas wrote:


We were fighting an Orc cleric and some of his minions in the ruins of a tower. The Cleric managed to blind our magus. A couple of turns later the cleric, with his minions falling around him, retreated the only way he could: up the stairs and out of the tower. The magus, full of rage at being blinded, followed while the rest of us were still engaged with the minions. He got to the top of the tower and listened to try to figure out where the cleric was. The DM made him roll perception, and he failed. He went tearing off towards where he believed the cleric was, and ran right off the top of the tower. The fall brought him to negative hit points and he was bleeding out. We ran outside to save him, and the cleric got away.

Certainly nothing wrong with that. But then, the magus did set himself up for it by blindly running off the edge of the tower.

Contrast with this situation:
The characters encountered an skeletal dinosaur. The rogue tried to maneuver around it on her first action and failed on her tumble check (which was, admittedly, ungodly high compared to the thing's CR). The AoO was a crit threat and I confirmed it. Then I rolled the damage and, without knowing how many hit points the PC had left, I decided that the damage was really just too high for the first attack of the encounter so I decided not to add a few points of the skeletal dinosaur's strength bonus and didn't roll the negative energy damage the thing also had. The rogue limped away with a couple of hit points left when she otherwise would have been killed, trying to do handle the combat intelligently, because I happened rolled a 20 on my first attack roll.

It was still a hit. It was still a crit. It just didn't do quite as much damage as it could have based on what I rolled. The PCs still got the message that the skeletal dinosaur was a dangerous enemy and simply rolling out the damage was not going to work well for them. I didn't know how many hp the rogue had when she got hit so I figured the damage could still take her down… but it would be more likely that she'd still be alive if unconscious and would be savable… if the skeletal dinosaur didn't manage to gore them all to death first. But by fudging, the point was made and the rogue could still move away under her own power and no TPK ensued.

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