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579 posts. Alias of diana ratcliffe.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Question Mister James Jacobs:

If you had to pick 5 album to listen to while going to Mars which would they be?

The Wall

Dark Side of the Moon
A Passage in Time
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
And a Liszt album that included the Hungarian Rhapsodies and Mazzepa... which I would spend all my Mars free time trying to learn to play.

I'm just catching up on your thread after real life interfered with my browsing, and wanted first to say how sorry I was to hear you'd needed to step away from it for a while, and thank you coming back to it. I appreciate it a lot.

Now my question - have you seen the film 'The Wall' and if so what did you think of it?

(My daughter finds Goodbye Blue Sky terrifying).

I know you don't like musicals, does that extend to biopics about musicians, like Ray, or La Bamba or Amadeus, where the music's an intrinsic part of their lives?

Does Shimmy do what my cat Hercules does sometimes, which is when you're on the computer at home, demand your attention by lying down across your wrists and the keyboard so that it's almost impossible to type? (I love him but he has his moments)

Ah. I missed that announcement. More bad news for my budget :)

Do you mean The Villain Codex? Which is still there.

Arakhor wrote:
In the UK, "Asian" is shorthand for Indian, Pakistani, Kashmiri or Bangladeshi (I may be forgetting a couple), presumably on the basis that there's no early way of knowing which it is is without prior knowledge and it would be far more offensive to get it wrong than to simply elide the issue.

And I don't believe we use Hispanic at all.

Certainly Spanish and Portuguese are European.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Therrux wrote:
When you watch horror movies do your roleplaying instincts kick in and force you to think of the best way to handle whatever terrifying monster the hero is up against? Ex. "Don't use a baseball bat against that zombie, grab the axe instead! It will bypass it's DR!"

Do you ever see someone going off on their own to investigate and want to shout "Noooo! First rule, don't split the party!"

Set wrote:
Crater Labs wrote:

I can't speak to writing with Chronic Fatigue or Depression, though I *can* say that, for me personally, removing distraction like the Internet and TV helps more than I care to admit. Which is hard because my computer is the easiest place for me to write.

This is my bane.

I've got three things I 'should' be writing, and they sit and sit and sit, while I surf the web or binge-watch shows on Netflix or whatever. Fortunately, at work, there's no Wi-Fi (and I don't have a cellphone), so between breaks and lunch, I've got about an hour of time each day I *can't* go online, and can get some writing in, if I don't fire up the solitaire...

The downside to that is that the internet has become so integral to my writing. I am completely addicted to being able to check something about geography or culture or whatever online, that I feel like I've hit a wall when I'm writing something and realize that I can't 'look something up real quick.'

Gosh, the excuses I'll find, instead of developing some self-discipline. :)

I sympathise - my house was at its cleanest ever when I was writing up my PhD thesis. That was was before there was an internet, though.

A long, long time ago, I can still remember

when we used to have to go and do the dusting or the hoovering or clean all the windows ...

I've also been trying to write stuff and struggling, which annoys me as I was once pretty good, but I'v realised a couple of things.

One is that I'm trying to write much longer stories over longer periods of time, which means I need a much better understanding of the characters, the setting, and what's happening around them. Like what time year it is. And I don't have any experience of doing that

And then I'm starting to write scenes, perhaps someone reaching a decision or two or more people interacting, and I don't have a clear picture of where they are. I think, before I try to write the full scene, I need to decide where it happens (indoors or outdoors, furniture if any, what a scene setter would need to know for a play), what time of day or night it is, the weather, if there's sunshine coming through the windows and so one. Then where the characters are - how close, sitting or standing, holding anything and so one. And why they're here - are they passing through (where are they going?) or doing something or waiting for something to happen (if so what)?
Then perhaps I'll stop stalling if for instance they look around whilst thinking, because I have no idea what they might be looking at. Or they put something down and I suddenly need a table for it.

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James Jacobs wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Oh wise Tyrannosaur:

1. Have you seen either "The Shallows" or "Purge: Election Year" yet? I have seen the former but not the latter, so curious on your thoughts?

2. On a horror related note, are there specific themes or topics that just really get under your skin and creep you out, even as someone I assume is a hardened horror reader? Personally I find the idea of losing control of your own actions (ala the puppeteering in Carrion Comfort or the basic premises of Neuropath) terrifying.

3. Somewhat similar question, are there certain things which completely turn you off/sour you on a horror movie/book? I don't mean like basic craftmanship type of things (bad writing/acting, cheesy effects, etc), but rather topics you would just prefer not reading or watching. Since my parents got a new small dog I find I don't really like watching anything where a pet cat or dog dies (Especially if its played for humor).

1) Saw "The Shallows" and it was incredible. One of the best shark movies I've seen, one of the most intense PG 13 movies I've seen, and overall just a great movie. LOVED IT. Haven't seen the latest Purge movie yet... might do that today or tomorrow but I'm not sure.

2) Absolutely. Clowns are high up on that list.

3) Absolutely. Musicals sour me to horror. As does mixing it with disrespectful comedy. As does disrespecting the genre.

Are there any parodies or satire that you like?

Would you agree (or disagree) with the idea that sometimes genres get so cliche-ridden they're crying out for parodies to be made?

The look on my daughter's face when the party including her wizard pc walked into the study in a long abandoned wizards' house and I described the huge (paper) phase wasp nest (we were playing 3.5) and the shreds of torn-up scrolls and books that were left...

The brief panic when the party were burning said wasps' nest and I said "The ceiling's starting to char..."

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Werthead wrote:

But I don't think there's many people, apart maybe from the most insulated Leave campaigners, who genuinely don't believe that this decision has profoundly damaged Britain's social cohesion, sense of national identity, economy and political landscape.

I think it was already badly damaged and this has exposed that fact.

I'm sorry about this...


4 people marked this as a favorite.

If you are asexual - you are not alone

I tested it once - put a tiny drop on the tip of my finger and just touched my tongue to it.
Like putting your tongue in a match flame

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

UK (modern fantasy's loyal homeland): 16


Canada (C'mon, Tiny little Britain's got you beat by more than double!): 7

Since the population of Canada's about 35 million and the UK's is 64 million, that's about right :)

(Just outside) Canterbury, UK.

Do covers of 'Summertime' count when there are so many?
This one's by Big Mama Thornton

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess it depends?

In my own case, I was the instigator in introducing my kids to the game. Hence, my responsibility to teach myself to GM and them to play as best as I could. I would not have tried though, without having been a player (1st edition) a couple of decades earlier. When I learnt primarily by watching a couple of sessions and then asking to join in. They also had experience of building characters for the Neverwinter Nights games.

I don't think it at all reasonable to hand a player the core rules and expect them to learn them, or be able to build a character, whatever extra books you give them. That's why there's the Beginners' Box. Note that an objective with that is to get everyone actually playing as fast as possible.

I introduced my kids' grandma by playing 'We be Goblins' and giving her the pre-generated fighter, and she coped splendidly - it was, however, a one-off, and I don't suppose she picked up on much of the mechanics, and certainly not on building characters. However, what matters is, we all had a lot of fun.

If somebody decides they want to learn, then they will probably have the motivation to do so. If someone else is pushing them to join in then that person has a responsibility. Even so, I think it's everyone's responsibility to accept that there's a lot to learn, and new things at every level, and the best way to learn is through watching and by play. And accept that beginners (or even quite experienced players) are going get things wrong from time to time.

Jordan Gray on 'The Voice (UK)'.

Seems a bit premature, as she didn't get through on her blind audition, but I'm wondering if, on the last of the blind auditions on Saturday, they won't fill all the places, and she'll be picked up by a judge then.
This would seem to support that.

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19 Bowie albums are now in the UK albums chart, 10 of them in the top 40. I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head who has enough good albums to make that even possible

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Dragoncat wrote:
Krensky wrote:

I always find it funny when people say they can't read Shakespeare.


It's a play. It's not supposed to be read.

Go watch the movie.

Tell that to all the English teachers who do an entire semester analyzing one of them...

My class started by having a proper outloud read through. It needs to be spoken.

thejeff wrote:

I actually like Harry Potter. But I tend to have a soft spot for children's/young adult literature and can enjoy it for what it is. It's far from great literature and I had my issues with it, but it was good, light fun.

I found the first two books were excellent for my kids for bed-time reading. (Luckily they were old enough to read the later, longer ones for themselves.) The things that make a book good for personal reading pleasure are quite different to those for bed-time reading (when, for instance, the last thing you want is a page turner or to keep them on the edge of their seat (or mattress or whatever).

I've tried and failed to read Jane Austin

I've tried and failed to read the Thomas Covenant books, which everyone else seemed into when I was at University (longer ago than I care to think about).

Sissyl wrote:

The lead cause of death in Western countries is cardiovascular disease. Traditionally, this meant half dying of heart attacks. Half of the rest were cancer. The biggest ones were breast, prostate and lung cancer.

These last two decades saw advances in cardiovascular disease outpace cancer research. Applied science saw the CV deaths go down more than cancer deaths. So, yes, more of us die from cancer, simply because we were protected from dying from other causes. See... People have this tendency not to live forever, whatever you do. The mortality rate is still unmoved at 100%.

However, one aspect of this bears noting. Average age at death is going up. We survive our fifties and sixties and live to seventy far more often today. This is the culling, depending on genetic and environmental factors. If you get to seventy, you can have another twenty five years today, just like the romans had some people reach sixty, and after that often getting quite a bit older.

Alan: Thank you. You were a great actor and humourist. We are poorer for your passing.

You think Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (both 72) and Paul Mccartney (73) are safe for a few years then? I hope you're right.

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Ithsay the Unseen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
I've logged several hundred hours on typewriters, I do not miss them.

For the most part, I agree... but I have some nostalgia for the SOUND of typing with a manual typewriter.


How about this? :)

Silver Machine

I'm considering deafening myself with Hawkwind now. Ill have to watch for when the neighbour's out!

If you're thinking of using monsters with higher CRs, look at how much damage they might do on a critical hit and compare it with the HPs of the PCs. You probably don't want a high risk of a 1-hit kill, especially if the players are beginners. A higher numberof low CR creatures is safer in this sense.

If you like comedy-dramas, I can recommend 'The Wrong Mans' and 'You, me and the apocalypse'.

It's technically allowed as far as I know, but with a penalty of -4/-4 (with Two-weapon fighting) because neither is a light weapon, it doesn't seem very practical.

Special Materials - Dragonhide can be used to make hide, banded, half-plate, breastplate or plate armour. It doesn't list studded armour. It doesn't protect you from the energy type, but adding the protection magically is cheaper. No other benefits.

As far as I know, it's principally used by druids who can't wear metallic armour

As studded leather? I don't know. I think the major use is as a non-metallic breastplate for druids. It'll be masterwork, at least. And possibly look good. And seriously annoy any dragon of that type you meet...

That happened to one of my pcs once - the backpack failed, and so did a potion of oil of etherealness and so did a packet of diamond dust. Quick jaunt through the ethereal plane, all sparkly...Brilliant! (This was decades ago though, well before Twilight.)

What state of repair does the temple appear to be in? It's reasonable to expect that vermin, for instance, will move into ruins. If they're absent that might be a clue that things are not as they seem. If things are exactly as expected that might also be a clue.

No. The HP and hardness for materials or objects are specifically if you are trying to break that object. It's relevant for sundering shields or weapons, breaking things like containers or doors, cutting ropes and so on. I suppose, for studded leather armour, it would be used if the item wound up left in a building on fire or some such.

thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Most people try to blame linguistics or dialect when they use the wrong words. "I could care less" usually ends up there. "Literally" is another. Doesn't make it any more correct. There is a limit beyond which linguistics works as an argument, but neither is there yet. It is the old bandwagon fallacy: Lots of people do something, so it must be right/true/a good idea.
Except "lots of people say something" is exactly how linguistics works. That's how language changes.
But until ENOUGH people do so, it is still quite wrong.
Enough people certainly use "I could care less". And have for a long time.

I don't think that's the case in the UK. It will depend where you are.

The number of people doing so will be different in different countries. So it's right in some countries but not in others.

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This is the British olympic diving champion, Tom Daley. And yes, he's very good looking, but what really makes him stand out is that big friendly smile. You have to allow for personality.

What conclusions are people drawing from the rapid melting of the ice-caps?

Not that I know of. But your AC assumes you're trying to avoid getting hit. If you're standing still, perhaps take a penalty equivalent to having a dex of 0.

Archae wrote:

i think this is just something we won't be able to come to some sort of even view on. thank you for your input though.

You think he is as evil as they come

I think he is just he is some form of neutral. A darker type of hero than some would allow

i mean yea he does some evil things, but he does just as many good things.

just because one does something evil or is willing shouldn't condemn them to the evil alignment immediately

Lots of times, people have gone into complicated situations with the best of intentions, and done terrible things. Hence the phrase: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

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But children are mostly treated differently according to their (perceived) gender from birth (babies dressed in 'girly pink' as opposed to 'blue for boys'), so "boys like sports" is implied before they can even walk, and reinforced by the choice of games adults play with them (talking to dolls or playing catch with balls). It's a distinction that occurs very, very early and is very pervasive.

What will he do about dissenters? People who aren't criminal in any way, but simply want to govern their own affairs?

To what extent will new laws impinge upon peoples' ordinary lives? Or how and with what beliefs they rear their children? How (harshly) will laws be enforced?

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Sissyl wrote:

Russia knows WWIII is not going to be kinder on them than on anyone else. They are a poor country, in poor shape regarding production and civil society. Getting involved in a serious war would quickly see them in a very precarious situation. Not to mention, the West would quickly unite against them, and China would love to see a chance to carve out a piece of them. It is not a winning concept for them either.

Regarding shooting pilots... It is not something you should expect going in that your opponents will follow the rules of war, unless they are representing a nation, and often not even then. It is quite simply a very bad idea to eject in the wrong place.

Staying on a plane that's going down isn't a viable option though.

Ed Reppert wrote:

"You can't create artifacts."

Fair enough, but they had to come from somewhere. So where do they come from?

Read as "PCs can't create artifacts". (Maybe they can if they reach 20th level.) Nor can anyone that they might be able to commission one from.

Deities can, so can Baba Yaga, creatures having suitable mythic powers, maybe by accident in bizarre circumstances...

How about "you misunderstood me", or better still, 'I must have not explained clearly" and try again?

People are posting from all around the world, with different beliefs and assumptions. Mistakes will be made. And people sometimes either can't explain themselves clearly or grasp someone else's point of view. It doesn't mean it's malice, just different viewpoints.

Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I am pretty happy that this thread (and, it seems, the Paizo community overall) is proving an island from the bigotry I've been seeing from other people I know. Paizo's community doesn't agree about much, so that's actually a pleasant surprise. I always brace myself reading this thread for a "the refugees should fight off Daesh themselves instead of asking us to do it" poster. Hasn't happened yet.

This is just so horrible, and one of the greatest tragedies from it is going to be the ensuing backlash against an already very poorly treated minority.

Not to nitpick, but that "minority" is the second most popular religion in the world, with over a billion (close to two billion I believe) adherents.

Which is part of the reason why Muslim radicals are such a big deal. They currently make up something like 1% of the total Muslim population...but nobody knows which of that percent is poised where to do what. Which is where the paranoia and panic comes from. Close to two billion "potential terrorists"...and no concrete way to weed out the ACTUAL ones from that crowd.

Muslims are FAR from a minority in any realistic sense, and that's exactly why knee jerk anti-Islam reactions are so dangerous. Setting aside that bigotry is clearly not a good trait to have, it's also not practical.

At best you look silly by saying "I hate roughly a third of the Earth's population", at worst you turn the innocent ones against you by making them fear for their lives and legitimize the extremist propaganda.

Even if it were somehow the right choice, genocide of Muslims isn't exactly a feasible option. There's simply too many. So people need to just deal with it.

Also, IS have declared a caliphate over the whole Islamic world, the vast majority of whom do not want them or their version of Islam. We're just not hearing much about their attacks in Islamic nations.(They also, apparently, intend to retake Spain.)

Detect magic can detect a 'lingering aura' after the magic source dissipates (from d6 rounds for faint (3rd level spell or lower) up to d6 days for overpowering (10+ or deity level)). As long as the spell is running, and a little after, there should definitely be an aura detectable with det magic, which can be identified with knowledge arcana. It shouldn't matter what the source is.

Trekkie90909 wrote:

My rules-fu regarding the spell Magic Aura:

Magic Aura specifies that it affects "Target: one touched object weighing up to 5 lbs./level"

The description further specifies that "You alter an item's aura so that it registers to detect spells (and spells with similar capabilities) as though it were non-magical, or a magic item of a kind you specify, or the subject of a spell you specify."

Now, since you're targeting the item with magic aura, magic aura is included under its own effects, since it is now part of the item's aura, so we continue to:

"If the object bearing magic aura has identify cast on it or is similarly examined, the examiner recognizes that the aura is false and detects the object's actual qualities if he succeeds on a Will save. Otherwise, he believes the aura and no amount of testing reveals what the true magic is.

If the targeted item's own aura is exceptionally powerful (if it is an artifact, for instance), magic aura doesn't work."

So the only way to determine that magic aura has been placed on the item is to cast identify on the item, and then succeed on a will save.

Where this line of thought breaks down:

At the very end of the spell description there is the following line: "Note: A magic weapon, shield, or suit of armor must be a masterwork item, so a sword of average make, for example, looks suspicious if it has a magical aura."

Which seems out of place unless the spell detects as a magical aura regardless of its own verbiage, so YMMV.

Regarding Illusions: By strict RAW, yes detect magic would foil all magical illusions the caster can see, since they would have illusion auras. There's a little room for fudging, since the caster might only know that the illusion aura is coming from a direction, or a group of objects, rather than the specific illusionary object itself, but that seems beyond the intended scope of the cantrip to me. I personally require a will save, as otherwise the spell "true seeing" is redundant, or meta-issues arise.

Smash-and-grab raids, where you might concentrate on grabbing anything with a magic aura.

A magic aura on a non-masterwork object suggests it might be a decoy. It would be prudent to check for contact poison as well.

I have a question:

did the 'crazy scientist' trope originate with Dr Frankenstein (and perhaps Dr Jekyll)?

Because I think 'mad Dr Frankenstein' is more akin to 'mad hatters' than mental health issues.

Hatters were 'mad as hatters' because the processes they used involved mercury and they breathed mercury vapours, which are very, very bad for you. And I've always felt there were at least elements of 'what had Frankenstein (or Dr Jekyll or any scientist using chemicals, probably not safely) been breathing'?

If you encounter someone apparently irrational, the questions you're likely start with are are they drunk? Or drugged? Or poisoned? In a world with magic they might be cursed. Perhaps a belief that little men are spying on them isn't paranoia but actually creatures spying on them (a soul-bound doll would be good for this). Malnourished in some way (vitamin deficiencies can have bad effects)? Sleep deprived?
There are lots of potential mechanisms for 'crazy' without getting into mental health issues.

(I've written 'apparently irrational' because if someone is hallucinating or delusional their actions might be entirely in view of what they're perceiving.)

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The 'first modern British' vampire story is 'The Vampyre', written by John William Pollidori, who was, for a while, Lord Byron's personal doctor. A documentary about them and the Shelleys (when Mary wrote Frankenstein) claimed that the Vampire (Lord Ruthven) in this story is pretty much based on Lord Byron. (Another Lord Ruthven, in a story written by Caroline Lamb, is definitely based on Lord Byron.)
Byron was, it seems, very attractive but not a very nice person.

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