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Charles Evans 25's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,192 posts (10,011 including aliases). 16 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 70 aliases.


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Grumble, grumble...
Blinking Wrexial, the Risen Deep and Sol'kanar the Swamp King.
Black creatures, thus not qualifying for 'non-black' creature removal.
Flipping annoying creatures which swampwalk...

Urborg is nice, but Commander decks with 40 lands in already hardly need more land.
Hmm. Maybe pull the 'Temple of the False God' (uncommon) and put in 'Urborg' (Legends, uncommon).


Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:

Thanks again for all the new comments, pugwampies and all. :)

Mark, I'm glad to be able take another crack at this again. Hopefully I'll achieve non-eligible status as well this year.

Now, of course, you get a 'special' review...

;)


I regret to report that the following does not make sense to me:

Harvestweal wrote:
...The shining blade bypasses the hardness of any wood or vegetable matter, even that which is alchemically treated, a special material, or magical in nature...

I just googled a selection of images of a 'sickle' to check I wasn't thinking in error of some other implement, but came up picture after picture of items with a crescent shaped blade that had a handle affixed.

I just don't see how an item with a blade that shape is good for sundering, for example, a door or a castle gate.
Using a sickle on quarterstaffs, bow-staves, and very small trees, yes - all of these being items which the blade will naturally fit around.
Roughly circular objects with a diameter considerably larger than the chord (mathematically speaking) of the sickle blade or large flat objects, which at best the point will get stuck in, no. You need something with a different shaped blade to tackle those - an axe ideally.
From a point of view of common-sense, the item requires a limitation on the dimensions of objects it can be used to practically 'auto-sunder' - unless there's something or other in the rules already about using sickles to sunder items, in which case my apologies for the minor nitpick (it's been a while since I looked at the rulebooks) and carry on as you were...


Upon reflection, and reading some of the later posts in the thread by the designer, I retract the 'I would baaaaaaaan this item like heck!!!!' statement of earlier.
I reserve the right to refer to it by the nickname of 'Pugwampi's Poking Stick' though. ;)


Browman wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

If I were a GM I'd ban this item at my table or give it one-of-a-kind-artifact-status. As a commonly available item I could see it reducing too many high-level combats to which-side-throws-a-javelin-and-mind-control/death-effect-first.

Javelin/monster-summon-mook combination, that is; as earlier posters have observed giving something dangerous the saving throws of, say, a beetle is exceptionally advantageous to opponents.
As the designer has stated, you only share the roll not your pluses. So all summoning low level monsters will do is increase the probability of a bad roll.

If that is the case, then it seems to me to be at odds with the entire 'shared fate' doom/ominous 'vibe' of the item which the name and the first few lines of item description (very) successfully establishes.

It also seems to me that in that case it may as well be called 'Pugwampi's Poking Stick', since all that it's usually effectively likely to do is to force a single (enemy) target to take the worst (1-20 result) of two (d20) dice rolls. (Well unless several enemies are obligingly lined up in conga-line formation in a 5 foot wide corridor, so that multiple enemies might get hit and increase the number of rolls.) :D


Charles Evans 25 wrote:

If I were a GM I'd ban this item at my table or give it one-of-a-kind-artifact-status. As a commonly available item I could see it reducing too many high-level combats to which-side-throws-a-javelin-and-mind-control/death-effect-first.

Javelin/monster-summon-mook combination, that is; as earlier posters have observed giving something dangerous the saving throws of, say, a beetle is exceptionally advantageous to opponents.


And the clown-squad are back to being thrashed by Australia, this time in the fifty over format. Unsurprising for the clown-squad against Australia, playing in Australia.
Still, at least under Morgan they managed to beat India in Australian conditions the other day.
Can't see the clown-squad winning the upcoming world-cup, though, if they couldn't win today at Hobart against an Australian one-day squad hit by injuries and with a captain out on a one-match suspension. The clown-squad are almost certainly going to end up playing the Australians somewhere in an elimination match if the clown-squad make it out of the group stages, and the clown-squad aren't going to win that match, based on the two most recent clashes.


If I were a GM I'd ban this item at my table or give it one-of-a-kind-artifact-status. As a commonly available item I could see it reducing too many high-level combats to which-side-throws-a-javelin-and-mind-control/death-effect-first.


Further to my previous post, 'Genesis' (Rare, Judgement set) is another possibility for a 'Devour for Power' modification.

*****

On to 'Counterpunch':
This deck flatters to deceive.
If it gets a 'lucky' opening hand and first few draws, against mana-jammed or otherwise absolutely useless opposition, it can look spectacular.
It unfortunately tends to fall apart against competent opposition which gets good starts - or some of the time just starts better than it. In one dry run game I played with the 'Counterpunch' deck Ghave was a non-issue in proceedings and the deck was powerless to prevent its other big creatures from getting chewed up by a Ramses Overdark/Dragon's Shadow combination in a black/blue/white deck. ('Counterpunch' deck puts big (high casting cost) creature into play, and opponent puts Dragon's Shadow out of their graveyard into play enchanting said creature. Opponent taps Ramses Overdark. Big creature dies and Dragon's Shadow goes back into opponent's graveyard. Opponent optionally uses Minamo, School at Water's Edge to untap Ramses Overdark, ready for the next victim...) Counterpunch's 1/1 tokens in the meantime fall victim to Deathbringer Thoctor (Thoctor with one counter on removes counter to exterminate 1/1 token; demise of 1/1 token puts counter on Thoctor; Thoctor removes counter to take out the next 1/1 token...) or to other nasties (for example: Ascendant Evincar; Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite; Tibor and Lumia). And the deck's 'designated' commander, Ghave, Guru of Spores, does not fly. The latter would not be such a problem if the deck had an otherwise solid defence against fliers, but counter-flier measures are somewhat thin on the ground, and one 'dry run' game ended with the 'Counterpunch' deck being taken down by an opponent's commander dealing 21+ damage in combat by means of repeated attacks that were flying and only blockable by black creatures (had Teneb been the 'Counterpunch' commander in that game, things might have gone differently...)
As to modifications, thus far my tinkering with 'Counterpunch' has been limited. If Ghave hits play and 'comes off' (or Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, does likewise, for that matter) the results can be spectacular.
At present I have removed:
Spawnwrithe (Rare)
Awakening Zone (Rare)
Alliance of Arms (Rare)
Storm Herd (Rare)
Cobra Trap (uncommon)

At present I have inserted:
Requiem Angel (Rare, Dark Ascension)
Tolsimir Wolfblood (Rare, Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Decree of Justice (Rare, Scourge)
Duneblast (Khans of Tarkir)
Even the Odds (uncommon, Future Sight)

On the Rare front I'm tempted to remove the Hornet Queen due to the three-points-of-green in the casting cost, to either put the Storm Herd back in or to insert a new card with removal options (such as Crime/Punishment (Dissension) or Utter End (Khans of Tarkir).
On the uncommon front, I'm not entirely confident about Even the Odds; other possibilities are Midnight Haunting (Innistrad) and Suture Spirit (Eventide). Every test game I played with the Cobra Trap that the deck 'came with' in hand, though, it ended up being essentially a casting cost six instant for four 1/1 tokens at a point in the game where either there wasn't enough mana available to cast it, or where four more 1/1 tokens which did nothing exciting were absolutely pointless. The alternate casting cost condition of the Cobra Trap never triggered at a time when it was in hand and would have been useful. Thus to my mind the Cobra Trap is dead-weight in the deck.
I'm also in two minds over the deck's Acorn Catapult. So far whenever it's come into play it's ended up being almost exclusively used to shoot the deck's own creatures to make squirrel tokens for Ghave or Vish Kal to eat.


Overlooked 'Jwar Isle Refuge' in previous comments regarding 'Devour for Power'. The deck, as sold, has means to regain 1 life, when the Jwar Isle Refuge (a land) comes into play.
Within the limits of my own collection (most of it older stuff) have tried to come up with some modifications to the deck whilst trying to stay loosely 'on theme' (sticking things in graveyards) and like-for-like as far as rarity of cards go.

I removed:
Dreamborn Muse (Rare)
Patron of the Nezumi (Rare)
Scythe Specter (Rare)
Grave Pact (Rare)
Living Death (Rare)
Oblivion Stone (Rare)
Fact or Fiction (uncommmon)
Spell Crumple (uncommon)
Nezumi Grave Robber (uncommon)
Rise from the Grave (uncommon)
Artisan of Kozilek (uncommon)
Desecrator Hag (common)
Slipstream Eeel (common)
Sign in Blood (common)
Unnerve (common)

I inserted:
Doomgape (Rare, Eventide)
Dimir Doppelganger (Rare, Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Simic Sky Swallower (Rare, Dissension)
Elvish Farmer (Rare, Fallen Empires)
Plaguebearer (Rare, Exodus)
Whetwheel (Rare, Future Sight)
Dimir Guildmage (uncommon, Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Duskmantle Guildmage (uncommon, Gatecrash)
Trygon Predator (uncommon, Dissension)
Spiny Starfish (uncommon, Alliances)
Diabolic Servitude (uncommon, Urza's Saga)
Golgari Brownscale (common, Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Thornweald Archer (common, Future Sight)
Lim-Dûl's High Guard (common, Alliances)
Stinkweed Imp (common, Ravnica: City of Guilds)

As with the 'Heavenly Inferno' modification, I'm not sure it's the best like-for-like (by rarity) set of replacements that I could have made, and not all the 'replacement' cards have come up yet during dry-run play tests, so I'm not sure how effective they are. On the uncommon side, Deep Spawn (Fallen Empires) and Trophy Hunter (Ravnica: City of Guilds) are both possibilities for insertions; on the common side Essence Warden (Planar Chaos) if the environment seems survivable to such things; Sheoldred, Whispering One (Mythic Rare, New Phyrexia) might be a possible replacement for Wrexial, the Risen Deeep.
I'd have been tempted to get a Will-o'-the-Wisp in, on the Rare front, if I had one.
I'm not sure how Diabolic Servitude got left off the original list, since in the event that enemy decks can't do anything about it, it can get very annoying.
As far as cards with buyback go I considered (but did not include) Disturbed Burial (common, Tempest), Capsize (common, Tempest), Forbid (uncommon, Exodus), and Mystic Speculation (uncommon, Future Sight). The two points of blue in the main cost were factors weighing against the inclusion of either Forbid or Capsize.

Edit:
The three 'applicable' Chancellors from the New Phyrexia set are additional possibilities for Rare slots; although to my mind probably uncastable from hand, unless the game goes on for quite some time with no land destruction, they are large creatures and do have 'you may reveal if you get this card in your starting hand' effects. They are Chancellor of the Dross (black), Chancellor of the Spires (blue) and Chancellor of Tangle (green).


Correction to previous post:
'Devour for Power' has 33 creatures, not 32. I had the deck laid out and counted 'Brawn' as an effect, not a creature.
Possibly 33 and a half if you count the 'Svogthos, the Restless Tomb' land as a creature, too, although that latter won't do a Mortivore much good for the creature count in your graveyard, or come back with a 'Living Death', etc.


Finally got around to digging the 'Devour for Power' deck that I've had for a while out of its box and dry-testing it.
The mana-base is fairly solid (although at 40% land with some of those being common Ravnica guild lands, plus signets, it should be).
The deck has problems, however:
1) It has no obvious means, in deck, of regaining lives. That means that even in a commander game, starting at 40 lives, it is very definitely 'on a clock'.
2) It has very few low casting-cost creatures (and some of them are two points of same-colour mana creatures, making them difficult to get out early in the game, even with the rather generous mana base). This means that that clock will already be run some of the way down, before the deck gets a creature out, in most multi-player games.
3) It has only ONE creature in the casting cost four or lower bracket actually able to either fly or to block fliers. This runs the life point clock down even further.
4) It has some very big creatures, but by the time that any of the larger creatures come out (or grow to dangerous size), the life point total of the player may already be so low that instead of creatures being able to go on the offensive, they have to sit back in defence, because one or two solid attacks coming through mean game over.
5) The deck only has 32 creatures. This means that some of the deck's cards relying on 'good' creatures being in graveyards are relying either on opponents having such ones in theirs, or resource-heavy combinations to cycle some of the own deck into the graveyard whilst opponents basically allow it to happen. The 'recommended' general for the deck, 'The Mimeoplasm' suffers particularly from this. (And some cards that the deck contains such as 'Living Death' are dubious to use if your opponents have gone through more creatures than you.)
6) Some of the cards in the deck work at potential cross-purposes to the overall theme of the deck - e.g. the 'Nezumi Graverobber' removes cards from graveyards and requires a graveyard being completely empty to allow it to 'flip'.
7) Whilst containing plenty of ways to annoy opponents, such as 'Syphon Flesh' and 'Gravepact', all too often cards which kill opponents' creatures or otherwise deplete their resources (such as by 'milling' cards from library) do so either randomly or leaving choices to them, allowing them to sacrifice the 2/2 Grizzly Bear, so that they can smack you back with the Mana-Charged Dragon at the next opportunity that they get. Apart from the 'Avatar of Woe' the deck contains very little which can be used to *selectively* pick off the potentially most damaging/threatening enemy-controlled creatures. Meanwhile, some of the creature cards with potential to annoy your opponents such as the 'Extractor Demon' positively *beg* to be targeted for spot-removal by your opponents, both so that the effect will go away, and so that it won't be there in the way as a potential blocker when they come rolling in to smack you for milling several turns' worth of their decks away.
*****
Fixes?
I'm not sure what fixes to recommend for this deck, without a major rebuild. Out of the provided possible 'generals', I'm most inclined to use Vorosh, simply because Vorosh is a big flying potential blocker that might just get deployed in time for blocking-duty before the life points situation becomes critical.
The Artisan of Kozilek seems to me almost pointless, since without an Eldrazi drones power-base, it's almost impossible to play before the life-points run out normally, and doing clever things involving getting it into the graveyard and combo-ing off with other cards seems to me somewhat hit-and miss and/or assumes opponents completely incapable of or unwilling to interfere.
And I'm not sure why the Dimir Guildmage didn't make it into the deck, given that other Ravnica block guildmages turned up in other decks in this particular 'commander' series.


Nooooooo! He was one of the few good (current) Australian test batsmen that the (non-female) England team had worked out how to (usually) get out cheaply!!!!
On a more sombre note though, my sympathy to all his friends, his family, and his team-mates.


Death in Heaven:
???

Edit:
Okay, it was a spectacle, but it looked to me like it had been written on the basis of providing a spectacle, and not necessarily to make much coherent sense.


Dark Waters:
Without going into spoilers, bwahahahahahahahahahahah!
I'm not absolutely convinced the villain-of-the-week was being truthful as to their identity at the end, although if said villain was then it puts an interesting light on some of the things they did earlier in the episode.


DM Barcas wrote:
And then they follow it up with what might be the single worst episode in years. There was almost nothing redeemable about that episode.

If you're referring to 'In the Forest of the Night' it was fun children's television, at its most fluffy and 'awwwwww'. You may very well have seen future stars there, as child-actors.

Now as to whether it's Doctor Who?...
(The immediately previous two episodes, 'Mummy on the Orient Express' and 'Flatline' both seem to have had the same writer, 'Jamie Mathieson'. 'In the Forest of the Night' was apparently written by 'Frank Cottrell Boyce'. Different writers, different styles of story.)


Erik Mona wrote:

My dream is to do a huge Absalom hardcover with tons and tons of interconnected NPCs. I absolutely love Uncaged and would really love to do something like it for Pathfinder.

I have a feeling that Katapesh might have more scope for the bizarre in characters/personalities - and feature considerably fewer potential continuity banana-skins than Absalom for the writers/editors of such a book to have to worry about slipping on.


Mummy on the Orient Express

Spoiler:
So much for Clara's big 'you suck, I'm out of here' scene at the end of 'Kill the Moon' the previous week. Despite her 'I-don't-think-I-can-put-up-with-ever-travelling-with-you-again' declaration we didn't even go one episode without her. Out of universe, I wonder if it means the scriptwriter had no idea what had gone on in the script for the previous episode? One of the hazards of having multiple writers, maybe... And another episode about soldiers. Fast becoming the biggest theme of the season, after the ubiquitous Clara.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:
...For all that know, though...

Ahem. Sorry about that. That should have been '...For all that I know, though...' Eczema on hands giving me trouble at the moment. Anyway, carry on with the previews/teasers.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Trying to be vaguely on-topic regarding crossbows/bows, then if

Quote:
... the differences between bows and crossbows are cosmetic as far as the rules are concerned...

presumably crossbows and longbows are identically priced too. If they aren't, but they're otherwise functionally identical, practically everyone (NPCs and PCs) are going to end up using the cheaper one, bar the odd character with a weird fetish for the more expensive weapon.

Variants in the price of a basic weapon are irrelevant to PCs after about level 2 in PF, but the prices still serve as a way to push NPCs into various wealth categories.

Frex:
* A group of poor bandits might only be able to afford scale mail (50 gp, AC +5) instead of chainmail (150 gp, AC +6).
* As a show of wealth, a baron might splurge for breastplates for his guards (200 gp, AC +6) instead of chainmail, even though for most characters they are functionally the same (breastplate's +3 max Dex bonus only matters if your Dex is 16 or higher, otherwise chainmail is just as good at +2, and the –4 ACP only matters compared to chainmail's –5 if your guards are doing something fancy like climbing).
* A more frugal baron might just buy chainmail, saving 150 gp per guard, and decide to pay his guards more to ensure their loyalty.

Lotsa stuff you can do with little differences in gear costs.

But crossbows and bows are weapons - they're not there to look fancy, but to kill/subdue people. It seems to me that if a crossbow and a bow have the same ease of use, the same range, the same rate of fire, the same accuracy, and dish out the same damage to a target hit, then practically everyone ought to be using the cheaper option if there's any difference in price; if for no other reason then on the grounds that the cheaper weapon allows you to outfit more impressed (or hired) men/women with it (or to spend it on other stuff like the baronial castle or pretty looking armour which makes the wearer feel more secure).

It seems to me not to make economic sense for two weapons identical in effect to be in use at broadly similar levels in a game world unless the price of them is identical too. (Well not unless governments or other powerful organizations are involved... 'you will not buy those cheaper foreign Kojivini crossbows here in Smooglewood, but will pay twice the price for our own Smoogle bows' or maybe 'the Vorgonian bow is undoubtedly considerably cheaper than any crossbow on the market, and at least as effective; unfortunately the method of making them is a jealously guarded secret of the Church of the Heretic Egg Boilers, and they only make the weapons available to their members and affiliates'.)
Edit:
For all that know, though, bows and crossbows may be identically priced in this game though, in which case carry on... :)


Trying to be vaguely on-topic regarding crossbows/bows, then if

Quote:
... the differences between bows and crossbows are cosmetic as far as the rules are concerned...

presumably crossbows and longbows are identically priced too. If they aren't, but they're otherwise functionally identical, practically everyone (NPCs and PCs) are going to end up using the cheaper one, bar the odd character with a weird fetish for the more expensive weapon.


Irontruth wrote:
the David wrote:


Ofcourse, then there is this. Yes, shooting five or six arrows per round is breaking the laws of physics. At most, you could shoot 1.2 per round. (And that's without needing to aim. Add in the stress of battle and you would come out even lower.) Arguing that a longbow can shoot 5 arrows per round and a crossbow can't is ridiculous.
Guy shoots 10 arrows in 4 seconds and hits his target.

(Edited)

(off-topic)
Spoiler:
I found an archery thread on the Steve Jackson Games forums where some of the members discuss Lars Andersen and his technique: *Link*
General consensus there seems to be what Lars is doing is showy rather than combat-effective.


GM Xabulba wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

While New Who has certainly had more romantic sub plots than Classic Who I don't think any of them approached "Mills & Boons" level, assuming that essentially the same as Harlequin romances. Much closer to the romance plots common in most adventure fiction.

I didn't actually like the Rose/Doctor love affair, largely because it added a certain validity to much of the old fan slash speculation and really set the Doctor up in the role of "creepy old man using his flashy time/space ship to pick up chicks". Which he really never was in the Classic series.

River Song, despite some issues with the storyline, worked much better, since she was much closer to a match for him.

In Human Nature/The Family of Blood the Mills & Boon element of the story was actually the main-plot, as far as I recall...

But is was John Smith not the Doctor who was involved in the Mills & Boon element.

Nevertheless, that was two episodes which were about little other than romantic doings of the lead character, played by David Tennant. In the midst of a run of episode after episode where romantic sub-plot was the theme of the day beneath whatever the villain-of-the-week was. Or at least that's the enduring impression I have.

There was a time when meaningfully gazing into someone's eyes on Doctor Who usually involved hypnosis, quite often carried out by The Master.
At this point, I'd like to see a lot less soap-opera-in-time-and-space, and a lot more adventure-in-time-and-space; Less tragic my-heart-is-breaking-tinkly-music moments and more tense dun-dun-dunnnn or full orchestra wooo-wooo-woooooo moments.


GM Wulfson wrote:
No, not unique. They just operate under a different name. Here in the states they're referred to as Harlequin romance stories.

Ah right. Different company name, probably for tax and/or copyright reasons or something.


thejeff wrote:

While New Who has certainly had more romantic sub plots than Classic Who I don't think any of them approached "Mills & Boons" level, assuming that essentially the same as Harlequin romances. Much closer to the romance plots common in most adventure fiction.

I didn't actually like the Rose/Doctor love affair, largely because it added a certain validity to much of the old fan slash speculation and really set the Doctor up in the role of "creepy old man using his flashy time/space ship to pick up chicks". Which he really never was in the Classic series.

River Song, despite some issues with the storyline, worked much better, since she was much closer to a match for him.

In Human Nature/The Family of Blood the Mills & Boon element of the story was actually the main-plot, as far as I recall...


Legendarius wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

(edited, original series episode name corrected)

Regarding the latest Episode, 'Kill the Moon' (warning, overtones of rant in places):
** spoiler omitted **

Although oddly I didn't find River-Song very Mills & Boon at all; possibly because she seemed more of a 'woman of action' than anything else...

Who are Mills & Boon?

'Romantic fiction' produced on an industrial scale in terms of titles and authors. Probably count as 'light reading'. Strangely attractive hairdresser/orphaned heiress/hospital nurse meets wealthy Arab prince/builder with Adonis-like body/hunky doctor, and in face of some apparently insufferable problem (prejudices/awkward parent/political situation) they still end up as 'an item'.

I thought given the space that they occupy book-shelves here in the UK that they might be a universal phenomenon, but maybe they're unique to the UK.


(edited, original series episode name corrected)
Regarding the latest Episode, 'Kill the Moon' (warning, overtones of rant in places):

Spoiler:
Aaaand I hope that that's the last that we see of Clara. After several seasons of Amy and Rory, following on from large doses of Rose and - to a lesser extent - Martha, (with Donna as all too short a break) maybe now we can get back to storylines which aren't cluttered up by 'romantic' sub-plots. I'm not convinced that the latest developments on the moon in 2049 would fit in in the continuity of what the original series had going on in 2070 in the 'The Moonbase' story, and as Clara herself all-but-pointed out it's rather odd that something on such a scale could happen to the moon with people that they've subsequently met not mentioning it, but I'm prepared to put up with a certain amount of handwaving if the rest of the season - and ideally most of the next couple of seasons - stay firmly out of Mills & Boon territory. Unfortunately I suspect that Moffat and company are rather addicted to their Mills & Boon sub-plots, and it may turn out that they can't last even until Christmas before either bringing Clara back or photocopying in some near-identical replacement. That 'someone trying to put us together' regarding the newspaper advert in the first episode of this season rather suggests to me that Moffat probably has some grand-plan to bring Clara back and resume the Mills & Boon status-quo in rather short order... :(

Although oddly I didn't find River-Song very Mills & Boon at all; possibly because she seemed more of a 'woman of action' than anything else...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
A person's side in this debate seems, in some measure, contingent on whether that particular reader would prefer a brilliant continuation/conclusion after a lengthy delay, or a passable one in more timely fashion.
I think thats based on the false assumption that more time spent on it equals a better product. In fact if anything the reverse seems to be true. Getting the product faster has at least an equal chance of making it better.

This reminded of part of a conversation in academia in Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers...

Chapter 22 wrote:
...And that reminds me. Miss Lydgate's History of Prosody was marked PRESS with her own hand this morning. I fled with it and seized on a student to take it down to the printers. I'm almost positive I heard a faint voice crying from the window about a footnote on page 97 - but I pretended not to hear...

The conversation which is taking place is fictional, but I suspect that the situation arises in real life. Some writers keep on tinkering with something, making endless genuine improvements, even once something is more than sufficiently suitable for publication; it needs a firm hand from someone in their orbit to finally get said opus out the door...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
...Generally, from what I've heard from various authors, I'd expect that the basic roadmap is laid out, which often includes a fairly detailed conclusion. The exact path used to get there is usually more general and the details will often change as characters come to life and evolve...

Actually, according to the 'LITERATURE' section of the TV Tropes 'Writing by the seat of your pants' page, there are some quite well known authors who apparently *don't* (if the tropers have their facts right) always have where a story is going to go planned out...

;)


Also on the subject of other writers finishing a series, Tor/Orbit Books brought another writer in to finish 'The Wheel of Time' series off, after the original writer died.
Stella Gemmell finished the 'Troy' Trilogy, after David Gemmell died.

Edit:
And in cases of what TV Tropes refers to as 'author existence failure', it seems to me that the readers and the publishers have as good a reason as any not to deliver the latter parts of a series, and yet it's clear to me that 'conclusions' of both Wheel of Time and the Troy trilogy have been delivered in spite of such losses.


thejeff wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

It seems to me that if a book comes out with specifics on the cover such as 'part 1 of 3', that that's on the publisher for making such a promise, not the author.

If anyone 'owes' the fans to produce it's the publisher, not any specific author involved in the project.

Nonsense, in the vast majority of cases. Obviously there's a legal contract between the author and the publisher, but that's not the issue here.

The author is doing the writing, the plotting and the structure. If the story isn't complete in one volume, it's on the author to provide the continuation. The author sold it as a series.

What is the publisher going to do? Hire another author to finish the story? In most cases, they legally can't. Novels aren't normally work-for-hire. The author (or the estate, if the author dies) holds the copyright.

There are cases where the publisher prevents the story from being finished: lack of sales may allow them to cancel contracts in some cases, or the publishing house may fold and tie up publishing rights in legal limbo.

But if the author isn't finishing the story, that's not the publisher's fault.

(edited, expanded slightly)

I quote James Sutter from his opening post on his thread:
James Sutter wrote:
...While Paizo doesn't publish epic novel series, the parallels between something like that and Adventure Paths are numerous. :)...

James Sutter sees parallels between publishing adventure paths and novel series. And I'm pretty sure that there have been instances when, if a Paizo Adventure path writer didn't look like delivering an installment in a timely fashion, that Paizo went ahead and and found another writer to finish or do the job.

And in Paizo's novel line I'm certain that it's been said that for reasons of unfortunate events Elaine Cunningham was unable to complete Winter Witch, so Paizo enlisted Dave Gross to help finish the novel off.
To my mind publishers clearly can see that a product is delivered to readers - Paizo do.


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It seems to me that if a book comes out with specifics on the cover such as 'part 1 of 3', that that's on the publisher for making such a promise, not the author.
If anyone 'owes' the fans to produce it's the publisher, not any specific author involved in the project.


(edited: qualification)
Further to my earlier post, I'll add that it's nice if an author of a novel series makes arrangements with a publisher for something to come out after the author's own demise, if necessary, to wrap a series up - for example Curtain by Agatha Christie, for one of her detective series.


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James Sutter wrote:

I wrote an essay over at SF Signal about what series authors like George R. R. Martin owe their fans (partially to rebut Neil Gaiman's famous "George Martin is not your b*#%+" post), and I thought some of y'all might have opinions on the issue. While Paizo doesn't publish epic novel series, the parallels between something like that and Adventure Paths are numerous. :)

What Authors Owe Fans

Isn't an adventure path a multi-part game though? I'd have thought that in some senses that produces a different method of interaction between the user(s) and the product than the interaction between the user and a novel.

That might also result in different expectations of a product (an potentially of the context in which said expectations may be set).
All of which might feed into whether James Sutter, Adventure Path writer, would have different 'obligations' (perceived or otherwise) to his customers than James Sutter, Novel writer.


(edited, reworded)
Doctor Who, episode 4, 'Listen':

Spoiler:
And yet more paradox-y time-travel. It's getting to point where things are so tangled that the whole thing's in danger of a meltdown in terms of making any kind of overall sense, short of the producers 'resetting' practically everything 'New', with Eccleston's Doctor waking up on satellite 5 and thinking 'Urgh, what a horrible dream... Now down to business: How do I beat these Daleks?'


GM Xabulba wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
GM Xabulba wrote:


Almost every thing in your post has spoilers, please be respectful for those of us who haven't seen it yet.

I thought that these days episodes were airing the same day (or even the same time) overseas as in the UK? (There was certainly a lot of tarantara in the UK media to that effect when The Day of the Doctor came out.)

And with the episode title being 'Robot of Sherwood', to say nothing of (at least here in the UK) the trailers, the BBC hasn't exactly been subtle on the 'This Will Have a Robin Hood Theme!!!!!' front... :D
True but some of us don't have the time to watch it on the day it comes out. The trailers did reveal a lot but the un-spoilered part of your post reveled ** spoiler omitted **.

With respect:

Spoiler:
Nowhere in my post did I say what happens to the sheriff in the end. I implied that I was expecting him to be shown seemingly shuffle off this mortal coil with a very specific end result, and indicated that that turned out not to be the case. Yes I did reveal that a character turned out *not* to be in an episode, but I do not consider that a major spoiler.

I apologise if that spoiled your viewing experience, however. :(


Hmmm. (Possibly inspired by the earlier women's match?) Eoin Morgan led the England men to a twenty-twenty victory over India to wrap up the England summer.
Nice to see Morgan back in the runs... :)


GM Xabulba wrote:


Almost every thing in your post has spoilers, please be respectful for those of us who haven't seen it yet.

I thought that these days episodes were airing the same day (or even the same time) overseas as in the UK? (There was certainly a lot of tarantara in the UK media to that effect when The Day of the Doctor came out.)

And with the episode title being 'Robot of Sherwood', to say nothing of (at least here in the UK) the trailers, the BBC hasn't exactly been subtle on the 'This Will Have a Robin Hood Theme!!!!!' front... :D


3-0 to the England women, and they take their series in a clean sweep!
(Mind you, South Africa got within 8 runs of the England total this time, before running out of overs.)
Lauren Winfield in the runs today for England (74 from 60 balls).


Third episode (Robin Hood episode). No 'Missy' section this time (I was more than expecting the Sheriff to get one, but it turned out that that was not to be the case). Went on about 'The Promised Land' instead. (Is 'Promised Land' supposed to be Gallifrey, maybe, since as of 'The Day of the Doctor' it turned out it might not have been 'permanently' blown-up/time-looped/whatever after all?)

Spoiler:
The shooting an arrow into the exterior of the spaceship to somehow magically put it into orbit bit where it could apparently blow up 'safely' made little sense to me, even by Doctor Who standards, unless it was supposed to be a magical arrow????

I thought the episode was halfway-decent, but (at least for me) it could have been done better if the Robin Hood portrayal had been slightly less played-for-laughs, and done with slightly more gravitas.


Annnnd, England women take their twenty-twenty series with one game still to play, with a win by 42 runs. Charlotte Edwards scored seventy-five not out (off a mere sixty-one balls at that) in the England innings.
And that is how an England side successfully plays one-day cricket (or whatever twenty-twenty counts as).


Hah! The England women continue their usual beat-down service. They beat South Africa by nine wickets in the first game of their twenty-twenty series yesterday!
:)


????? ! ?
Australia have lost a one-day match to Zimbabwe.
Okay, playing on Zimbabwe's home turf, and the Australian captain picked up an injury when he was going well, which must have impacvted the Australian final score, but still...
*Link*
Either that was one dodgy pitch or Zimbabwe seem to have found a good bowler or two from somewhere by the look of the scorecard.
Nyumbu: ten over one maiden, thirty runs for one wicket.
Williams: ten overs, two maidens, twenty-one runs for two wickets.
Mind you, some of the others weren't so economical; Chatara went for fifty-six runs off his eight overs, and didn't bowl any maidens or take any wickets....


Hama wrote:
I'm kinda getting bored with daleks. For supposedly indestructible masters of extermination, they get obliterated every five episodes or so. Sure they always survive, but still.

They didn't get obliterated this time.

It was on Russell T. Davies' watch (as producer), to my mind, where the dalek stories got really silly, with them coming up with ever more grandiose plans and supposedly being all wiped out (only to subsequently come back through yet another loophole) every other season.
To give credit to him, Moffat's overseen several episodes where the daleks didn't all get wiped out or where insanely high stakes were involved; in one (Victory of the Daleks) they even arguably got the better of the Doctor.


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Second episode was interesting. I would have liked it better if Moffat hadn't slapped in that 'Missy' segment. I have a nasty suspicion that we're going to end up seeing one of those per episode now, with someone who's 'killed' during interaction with the Doctor, until it's revealed that 'Missy' is either the Doctor's insane daughter and/or an evil alter-ego/future/alternate Clara.
(It seems apparent that it's someone with access to the Doctor's timeline.)


India (men) continuing to show all the style and panache that so mysteriously disappeared in the last matches of the test series.
Another thrashing by them of England.
Cook seems to have given some of his bowlers a few too many overs, but given what options the selectors gave him to use against this India side, his best hope once India won the toss and inserted England was for his side to make a big score - which it failed to do against the Indian attack.
Nice to see Cook get forty odd, but a shame it wasn't more. :(


Nope. Just a sprinkling of rain; nowhere near enough to save England from being bowled out for 161 in the thirty-ninth over, way short of their target.
:(


Men's one day series, England VS India, second match:
Well, that was a pathetic England performance with the ball. Woakes had a good start, but then India (especially Raina) virtually murdered the England bowling 'attack', Woakes included.
The fact that India can do *that* in a one day match leads me to suspect that at the very least they were sulking and/or couldn't be bothered to do any more than go through the motions in the last two tests, and probably made the England test side look better than they might be.
Half time thought based on the match so far: Well, at least England can't be whitewashed now in this series, the first match having been lost to rain. They're certainly going to lose this one unless the middle order produce something incredible or Hales does something astonishing.

Edit:
Hmm. Rain arrived in Cardiff - another 'no result' impending?


That said, Peter Capaldi seems like he might bring some gravitas to the role. And having sat on the sidelines and watched everyone else get all the action in Musketeers he actually got in on some horse-riding last night (unless it was a stuntman double, of course)...


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I miss the Sylvester McCoy/Sophie Aldred era, when there was some depth and complexity to how the Doctor and his companion interacted...

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