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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher's page

560 posts. Alias of diana ratcliffe.


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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.

It sounds like the sense of something 'off' that spooks animals and the like. You don't actually have to spot anything definite to trigger the fight-flight reflex. I'd use perception to notice 'animals seem spooked' if there are any, or 'the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up', or something similar. Then probably spell craft to realise there's some bad magic around.

Where was the sea level?

In what context do lizardfolk refer to humans as pink?

Have they always done so, or is it since Sargava was colonised? Did lizardfolk and humans get on after a fashion before, and did the colonists upset the status-quo?

White Northern Europeans quite notably turn lobster-pink when exposed to too much sun, and some never tan (probably most Ulfen for starters).

And, if we're more or less comparing to British Victorian colonists, I believe they tended to stick to British fashions rather than dress for the heat, so they'd be quite pink too. (And collapsing from heat-stroke quite often.) Endure elements wouldn't be available to all and sundry.

So it might have reasonably have first applied to pale-skinned colonists in Sargava and then spread to other humans over time.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Personally, I'm a lot happier with the wind farms and fields of solar panels we have appearing here in Kent, UK, than I would be with nuclear power stations. They don't produce nuclear waste and there's no risk of them blowing up if things go wrong. I'm old enough to remember Chernobyl very clearly, and the extent of the fall-out.

Just wanted to point out that (a) nuclear plants do not "blow up" -- although one did melt down, which is an entirely distinct thing; (b) Chernobyl was the direct result of a known design flaw that was corrected in U.S. reactors and not Soviet ones.

I would be very shocked if the UK could ever gather enough sunlight to meet more than a tiny fraction of its energy needs through solar. Even with wind thrown in, you're not even coming close. So, if the options are to turn off all the lights, burn a lot more coal, or keep a few nuclear reactors, what's the best choice of the three?

Solar panels can probably make a bigger contribution than you think. It seems feasible at least in the South to put enough solar panels on the roof of your house to provide all your domestic electricity and feed some surplus back into the grid (and nobody can turn your lights off). And there are a lot of domestic properties in the South of England. One of the local schools has 1 wind turbine that I believe also runs a surplus. Thousands of households contributing to the grid instead of draining it is surely more than a tiny fraction.

I haven't looked for the figures, though, or the breakdown between commercial and domestic, and I'm feeling too lazy to look for them when I'll probably be told they're unreliable anyway.

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Personally, I'm a lot happier with the wind farms and fields of solar panels we have appearing here in Kent, UK, than I would be with nuclear power stations. They don't produce nuclear waste and there's no risk of them blowing up if things go wrong. I'm old enough to remember Chernobyl very clearly, and the extent of the fall-out.

Haladir wrote:

Probably about half of my PCs have been female, and a few of those have been bisexual or lesbian, but it very rarely comes up in play. I'm currently playing my first gay male PC, and his sexuality really hasn't come up in play either, aside from the gender of his lost love.

(On a side note-- why do so many PCs have dead parents/siblings/lovers in their backstories? I'm guilty of it too!

Everyone has or had parents and it's an easy/lazy way of explaining them away so that you don't need to interact with them. Otherwise why don't you ever visit them or ask them for help or go and help them? They're also not at risk of becoming GM plot device.

Rynjin wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

As for Pharasma, it may not be so much that she doesn't care as that it's not her responsibility.

So what you're saying is Pharasma is the deific equivalent of that guy who looks at a car wreck and does nothing but film the accident even as the car catches fire and the people inside start dying.

"Lol, not MY problem, that's what firemen are for!"

Sounds pretty awful to me, even if it isn't technically evil.

Assuming she is doing nothing. It depends on the consequences if she stops what she's doing. What if other people will die instead if she helps?

Perhaps the equivalent of Atlas looking at it and saying "Someone else will have to help with that - I'm holding up the world here!'

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Nethys is, I'm thinking, too completely obsessed by magic to even notice. And magic is used for good things as well as bad.

As for Pharasma, it may not be so much that she doesn't care as that it's not her responsibility. There are afterall 8(?) good aligned gods. We ask our undertakers to undertake, (if that's a word), not go around healing people or rescuing them - we have doctors and nurses and rescue people as well. It seems to me that her tasks - dealing with the births and deaths of mortal souls - doesn't leave any time for any other concerns.

Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man is about what happens on Discworld when Death is sacked and the few days before a new one forms, when nobody dies...

Tonya Woldridge wrote:

It is worth noting that you must own the resource the item is from. In this case, you would need a copy of the Advance Class Guide. PDFs or book version counts. You then need to bring this resource with you when you play your character.

Welcome to PFS!

How does this apply if I want to play a PFS play-by-post? Obviously, it's not possible to prove ownership.

Then again, I've been considering creating a PFS character for pbp for a while now, but not having a scenario or any other PCs to co-operate with, I'm finding I can't even decide on a class.

I just can't resist...

Monty Python

FLite wrote:

Also, remember that false knowledge can be more common than true knowledge.

To take a "real world" example, to kill a vampire, you need to:

Stake it
Cut off the head
Bury it under a cross roads
By exorcising the body
By recreating their original funeral
By filling the hole in the back of their neck with their hair.
(I seem to recall more, but these are the ones I could find fast)

Probably only a couple of these are true.

Many years ago (playing AD&D) we encountered vampires and wound up trialling every rumour we could remember (I recall they all involved cutting the head off). There was something about lemons, and my Magic User summoned some, but the magic in the region was whacky, and she wound up buried under a cubic metre of them! Fun times :)

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thejeff wrote:

Thanks. No details on the grading in the summary, but still good to see a bit more detail. At least I've got something to reference next time it comes up.

I'd like to suggest that the teachers doing this are completely unaware of it. That's what some of the other bias studies show. It's not like they think girls shouldn't be good at math so they're purposefully down grading them to discourage them, but that they know girls aren't good at math, so their actual perception of the work changes.

Human minds are funny things and nowhere near as rational as we like to think they are.

What my ex-husband said about marking lab books, was that he would recognise the hand writing, and when an explanation wasn't very clear, he found it hard not to think, 'I know this person understands this', or not, and mark it up or down based on them and not their work. Which is obviously open to bias. I suppose at least he was aware and tried not to.

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Rynjin wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

So, Orfamay, did I get you right:

Everyone wants to get into higher education, particularly STEM, but not-white-men are blocked from doing so.

Everyone who is not a white man ends up working in a job they didn't want.

Everyone works the same hours, and still not-white-men get lower salaries.


It isn't "blocked" but "discouraged."

A recent study (published in the last month or so) demonstrated that teachers of middle school math graded assignments with girls names lower than the exact same paper with no name. Likewise, they graded assignments with male names higher than the exact same assignment with no name.

The cultural bias is real and really does discourage young girls away from STEM fields and young boys into STEM fields.

...How is that even possible? It's math, it's either correct or incorrect.

I thought that once, too. Then I actually had some to mark! You generally try to give some marks for the bits that are right but sometimes what was written was so convoluted you couldn't work out what they were saying at all.

Silver for were creatures, a stake through the heart for vampires, at least. I would think 'trolls regenerate' is up there too.

My first line of defence as GM, though, is to describe the creature, not name it. So they'd see 'a Large humanoid creature, about 10 ft tall' (if that's the right height), and then they can make knowledge rolls, and 'the wounds look to be closing', rather than 'it's regenerating'. I would hope if they're sent to look for trolls specifically, they'd also be told the hazards.

(It helps, actually,that I don't have tokens for everything, so they can't assume that's the actual creature.)

Earthbeard wrote:

The problem with any real world analogies, is that we have vast swathes of information and education available to ourselves, that, in a faux-medieval style magic world, they probably don't.

The reason we all know silver vs werewolves, is purely down to pop culture (or a Common monster DC, i.e 10 or lower).

Trolls are such a menace to anyone, without the correct knowledge to deal with. That fire kills them should be fairly common knowledge, imho, or at least the common ways to deal with regeneration?

Other stuff is nicely and decently dealt with via various Knowledge checks, though revealing pure rules versus fluffier aspects, is one I've always felt a little uncomfortable in siding for one side or the other! I feel it cheapens the game or story by flat out stating a save mod or AC, but agree that using a fluffier message can sometimes lead to massive problems in interpretation.

They still had bards and story-tellers and singers and such, though. For example, a lot of myths and fairy tales were oral, and only survive because someone wrote them down before they disappeared. We watch telly and listen to the radio. Pre-radio, everyone would to any (live) performances that were on.

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Not all thinking is philosophy?

Because, believe me, there is nothing philosophical about my thoughts if, for example, I tread on a d4 in bare feet!

BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:

Your rhetorical definition that philosophy=bad and discarded philosophy is precisely as disingenuous as if I were to define science as only bad and discarded science

The definition of philosophy I'm using is that its investigation of the universe done chiefly by speculative means.

So you think there is no place for speculation in science or maths? You'd be wrong on that. Admittedly, the speculation is followed up by working out how you might test speculative ideas, but it still has a place.

In fact, mathematical staples, like proof by negation or proof by contradiction seem to me to both be essentially speculative - i.e.. what would happen if the thing we wanted to prove was actually false...

According to wiki:

In Scotland, 10% of the population have red hair and approximately 35% carry the recessive redhead gene. In Ireland as many as 10% of the population have red, auburn, or strawberry blond hair. It is thought that up to 46% of the Irish population carry the recessive redhead gene.

I don't think comparison of anything to the prevalence of red hair is helpful

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

Where and how are you fitting maths in this?

World most complicated game of Jenga?

Math is math. You need it to understand reality but it is not itself reality. The physics people tell me they need what the math people do, so I'll take them at their word. The equals sign provides a trash can of sorts and objective ways to test if you're wrong (though I do find the whole multiplying negative numbers methodology suspiciously arbitrary...)

I think this is the stumbling block in the arguments, then.

Because maths is absolutely fundamental for understanding physics (speaking here as a totally unbiased pure mathematician, of course :) )
but philosophy and mathematics are also historically intrinsically linked. Many of the ancient greeks, like Thales and the Pythagoreans were both mathematicians and philosophers, and many skills, like making logical deductions, are common to both.

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