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Vod Canockers wrote:
I think she works (worked?) as a law professor in later life. In the future, you might want to use her as a better example.
Kingpinmaker, Game N + 2, Part Two
So, the rest of the night was taken up with the Assault on Devil's Tor, which, like a lot of encounters that I make up rather than stealing from Paizo books, suffered from a lot of flaws in design. These were compounded by a few flaws in execution, for a very long, frustrating fight.
Barbie led them to the secret tunnel into Devil's Tor where the party, precariously picking their path through a floor of razor sharp stalagtites (? -mites? whatever), upset a
I had originally planned on them encountering a bat swarm, and then was going to reward Genny's player with a giant heaping pile of bat guano from which to make gunpowder, but the Black Goblin's player received a package from Frog God Games earlier that day and in it was a copy of Tome of Horrors 4. I decided to teach the Black Goblin a lesson about his profligate ways and decided to use a monster from the book, found stirge swarm and, voila!
Well, those stirges f*@$ed them up good. I think only one, maybe two, characters avoided their blood drain and poor Giles O. Beck, I think it was, lost 10 points of Con! There was much gnashing of teeth and consternation, especially with the movement reduction, and the party was only saved when Symoreel pulled out some spell I'd never seen from one of the splat books that created a mini-maelstrom of electricity like out of Terminator 2 that drove the stirges away.
Finally, the party found themselves near the bottom of a giant crater in the middle of Devil's Tor. Below them, they could see a giant pool of white putrescence; above, they could see a winding path to the top of the tor, some caves, and two shelfs near the top that jutted out into the center of the crater.
From one, they could glimpse the harpy from the earlier encounter, banging a ritualistic rhythm on some drums; on the other they could see a wooden scaffolding. As the party scouts watched stealthily from the bottom, they saw two flying strix carry out a naked Toby Poodlecock and hold him in place as a eight-foot-tall strix wielding a nasty-looking falchion tied him to the scaffolding so he was spread-eagle, facing down, his lashed limbs the only things keeping him from falling into the roiling puddle of poo.
By the banging of the drum, and the gathered strix celebrants the party scouts could make out, they realized they didn't have much time. Potions of invisibility were quaffed, the stealthy party members started stealthily sneaking ahead, and the clanky party members waited and readied their ranged weapons.
And then Brother Makao stepped out into the crater and rolled a 1 on his Stealth check. Now, I know that a 1 doesn't automatically mean a failure, but Brother Makao didn't have a very high Stealth modifier and the players all drew in their breaths in nervous anticipation...so I had the strix notice them, interrupt the ritual, and attack.
Here's where all of the design flaws came into play. First off, I am nowhere near good enough of a DM, nor mathematician, to pull off a 3-D fight with many different layers and over 20 combatants. Second off, I had looked up some irl tors and had come up with a height of 800'. The party started the fight 500' below where the sacrifice was and, in retrospect, never had a chance. Third off, I had forgotten to tell Barbie's player a couple of things. Fourth off...well, I could mea culpa all day but essentially:
An invisible Giles started climbing directly up to the shelf with Toby. Barbie and Genny snuck out and started walking the path that led around the edge of the crater. An invisible Esmerelda snuck out after them. Brother Makao stepped out, tripped, and dislodged a large rock that crashed down the inside of the crater, alerting the strix. Brother Makao starts running DOWN the winding path towards the poo, hoping to distract the strix from the sneaking party members who were already climbing up the path. Buck Rogers, clanky as all get out, followed him down. I don't remember what Symoreel did.
For the first couple of rounds, the strix attack Buck and Brother Makao down below. The giant strix cleric summons a gigantic vulture demon which menaces the party doing some kind of crazy dance before Esmerelda dispels it to shouts of victory. The harpy flies out and sings her captivating song. Giles climbs invisibly. Genny and Barbie reveal themselves and shoot at the harpy. More strix show up, but attack Genny and Barbie. Symoreel blasts the harpy with a fireball The giant strix cleric casts some more spells. More strix show up. Giles, this entire time, climbs invisibly.
At some point, Barbie realizes that there are two different types of strix, ones with a blackish-blue coloration and ones with a purple-red coloration, like her dear George. Then she realizes that the next band of strix warriors flying down are LED by George! Ohmygod! They squawk at each other in strix as the demon-summoning and fireballs exploding all around them and Barbie learns that the all the strix tribes of Devil's Point have been strong-handed together into a giant confederation of all the winged devil tribes that is ruled over by--a cult of Pazuzu! But George isn't happy about this, and he is easily persuaded to call upon his brethren to revolt against the tyranny of the Black Talons! Birdman revolution!
Meanwhile, Giles keeps climbing. Around this time, Brother Makao, who has the Run feet and can move at 250' per round starts running up the path. Barbie and Genny jump on the backs of Symoreel and a strix and they start flying about, fighting Black Talon strix in mid-air.
Meanwhile, the eight-foot tall demoniac of Pazuzu with the falchion has been preparing his ritual sacrifice of poor Toby Poodlecock and, as Giles finally, invisibly makes it to the top of the ledge, disembowls poor Toby whose entrails spill out dangling down into the crater. The demoniac plays in Toby's viscera and blood and channels Toby's ebbing life power into summoning another vrock! which would have been a lot more ass-kicking if Esmerelda hadn't dispelled it again! Huzzah!
Anyway, I know there's a lot I'm missing in here, for example, at one point Buck Rogers summoned an angel, but to wrap it up, demoniac of Pazuzu kills Toby, flies away. The party, with their new friends in the Red Banned Band, kill all the Black Talons. Giles spent most of the game climbing the wall and Brother Makao spent, I think, four or five rounds just running. Design flaws. :(
Vod Canockers wrote:
I don't think Bill Ayers ever went to prison. I may be wrong, but IIRC, like most members of the Weather Underground, charges were dismissed against him after the FBI admitted to breaking the law so many times in chasing him.
I clicked over to my hotmail account and found that a comrade had recently posted this article on our googlegroup commie club!
Yes, I know.
But what Alexander makes clear (imho, anyway) is that the change in rhetoric was a conscious policy of certain segments of the ruling class to maintain the racial caste system in the United States by changing the language after the abolition of Jim Crow. If it also pitted white workers against black workers, well, even better.
I highly recommend taking it out of the library.
Left off at "Billy Budd"--I've read it before; plus I saw that Sopranos episode so I know it's all about sublimated homosexual desire anyway--and turned to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
I'll probably be using it to politroll quite a bit in the near future.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
So when I wrote this, I was lying. I hadn't yet finished the first chapter,
Now I have and all I can say is if you like reading Comrade Anklebiter's posts on American history and race relations, you will probably enjoy this book. Starts with Bacon's Rebellion, moves quickly through Reconstruction, the defeat of the Southern Populists, the erection of Jim Crow, penal servitude, the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement backlash, Reaganism and ends up with a delightful quotation about how "In so doing,"--she is referring here to Slick Willie's 1994 crime bills and welfare reform--"Clinton--more than any other president--created the current racial undercaste."
As for Comrade Jeff's question above, Alexander locates the birth of "law and order" rhetoric among Southern segregationists as a rallying cry against the Civil Rights Movement (the passages where she quotes Southern segregationists about civil disobedience and crime being one and the same thing should raise the nape hairs for the anti-police faction of the thread), traces it through the Republican Southern Strategy, the Nixon administration and the Reagan years* and the declaration of the War on Drugs, two years before the crack epidemic (which, Alexander claims, was mostly overblown by the Reagan administration and a servile press), Willie Horton and Ricky Ray Rector.
So, Citizen Pres Man was right: somewhere after 1973.
"For example, when Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign at the annual Neshoba County Fair near Philadelphia, Mississippi--the town where three civil rights activists were murdered in 1964--he assured the crowd 'I believe in states' rights,' and promised to restore to states and local governments the power that properly belonged to them. His critics promptly alleged that he was signalling a racial message to his audience, but Reagan firmly denied it, forcing liberals into a position that would soon become familiar--arguing that something is racist but finding it impossible to prove in the absence of explicitly racist language."
Focus on this finger: [Makes obscene American gesture]
I'll leave to the pedants whether they feel it is worth arguing about "starvation" vs. the following:
“'He had eaten almost nothing at home,' Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup."
"Last year, an estimated 10 percent of Greek elementary and middle school students suffered from what public health professionals call 'food insecurity,' meaning they faced hunger or the risk of it, said Dr. Athena Linos, a professor at the University of Athens Medical School who also heads a food assistance program at Prolepsis, a nongovernmental public health group that has studied the situation. 'When it comes to food insecurity, Greece has now fallen to the level of some African countries,' she said."
"Now, several of Evangelia’s classmates are frequently hungry, she said, and one boy recently fainted. Some children were starting to steal for food, she added. While she does not excuse it, she understands their plight. 'Those who are well fed will never understand those who are not,' she said." (all from the first NYT article).
In the meantime, I shall amend my original statement that irked Citoyen Banker's Mouthpiece so:
No, I've never been to Portugal, but I am wondering how wise a choice it is to join the EU when so many of their member-states' populations are being given the choice of emigrate or be evicted, go dumpster diving and risk passing out from hunger which, of course, isn't anything like starvation.
I had heretofore been unaware of this story:
Anyone want to cover the kid killed in the Wal-Mart for playing with a BB gun?
I wonder if you have lost track of the exchange, Citoyen. You said "nobody starves in EU," hence the pictorials.
I'm not really sure how pointing out that there is poverty and hunger in even richer countries is a counterpoint, but, then, I rarely understand what you're saying.
For the record, I also don't have a mobile phone even though the comrades keep telling me to get one. Apparently, it's easier to plan picket lines and paper sales with one. I prefer e-mail.
"Nobody starves in EU!" crows Citoyen Banker's Mouthpiece.
"More children in Greece go hungry" reports the New York Times
"The hunger line now starts in Spain and Portugal" sez Portuguese philanthropist reports The Guardian
EDIT: Woops, fixed second link.
Well, your "soft-bellied communist" screed sounded like the letters by 15-year-olds I used to read in punk rock magazines complaining about Rage Against the Machine's major label record contract.
Anyway, I don't buy $30 RPG books, but if I did, I'd make sure they were printed in the People's Republic of China.
No, I've never been to Portugal, but I am wondering how wise a choice it is to join the EU when so many of their member-states' populations are being given the choice of emigrate or starve.
But you may be right. International financial capitalism, or, imperialism in V.I's phrasing, doesn't really leave many options for weaker, client countries. IIRC, he covers that in Chapter 5: Division of the World Among Capitalist Associations.
That's the most ridiculous bullshiznit I've seen in quite a while, Citoyen Banker's Mouthpiece. How old are you?
A bit old--and possibly out-of-date, I wouldn't know--but Forbes, the Capitalist's Tool on Ukraine:
“The preconditions of the IMF’s stand-by agreement appear to have yoked the new government to an austerian death march. At the least, we hope a forthcoming European agreement might facilitate Ukrainian emigration to Western Europe to keep this geopolitical pressure cooker from exploding.”
says the awesomely-named Vlad Signorelli, who, despite his given-name, works for the Bretton Woods Research in Mt. Tabor, New Jersey which I doubt (but could be wrong) is a hotbed of Putinesque propaganda.
How long ago was it that the Portuguese government advised young people that if they wanted a future they should leave?
That's 7.1 billion euros in one field in one year, Citoyen Banker's Mouthpiece. I wonder, but don't know, how many billions they spent on French and German armaments in previous years.
Citoyen Banker's Mouthpiece wrote:
If you're so much supportive my dear Anklebiter maybe you can give me a bit of money, or accept to back me up for a loan. I'll pay back with smiles.
Earlier this year, I lent $300 to a co-worker that I'm never going to get back, so I'm afraid I can't lend you billions of euros for you to spend on my products, Citoyen BM. It's true, though, I am quite supportive of Greece cancelling their debt...and other things.
Which investment? It was just for the country to raise to the level of others, we asked them back nothing in exchange but to modernize their country. After 30 years they still can't raise taxes in their own country!
I'm always a little unsure of who you mean when you say "we". The entire continent of Europe minus Russia? All of Europe minus Greece? Or are you speaking on behalf of the banks of Europe?
Anyway, here's an interesting paragraph from the African anarchist (admittedly, years-old) article:
"The fact that continued self-interest is driving the French and German ruling classes’ position towards Greece, can be seen in the fact that while demanding that the Greek state cut social spending, no demands have been made for it to cut its military spending. The central reason why is that the Greek state is the largest purchaser of weapons from Germany’s arms industry and the third largest customer of French military exports. Consequently, the French and German states have placed no brakes on the level of the Greek state’s military spending. Thus, the Greek state has continued with high levels of military spending: in 2010 alone it spent 7.1 billion Euros on its military."
I don't have the knowledge or interest to go digging around in the financial press about the arrangements of French and German capitalism but if the French and German arms manufacturers aren't in some way connected to the French and German banks (a la Comrade Lenin's pamphlet), I'll stop posting in this thread.
[Laughs politely at Citizen K(e)rensky's exhibition of wit]
Btw, Alex, I was wondering if you'd like to explain to Citoyen Spawn why you let him down so badly back in '17?
[Directs K(e)rensky's attention over to Spawn; leans back and motions for the Gray Gardeners to remove K(e)rensky from the thread]
Always late to the opposition's line, I didn't realize they went ahead with the Rhino defense. Further googling led to a handy he-said/she-said chart whose accuracy I couldn't vouch for:
Due to a lack of active politroll threads that have derailed into arguments about the Founding Plutocrats, I am forced to link this here:
I should say, before I actually, you know, read what I am linking, I have been a partisan of AH over that slave-raping hypocrite TJ for over two decades now. I wonder if it's for the same reasons...
If they absolutely, positively cannot stand each other, create a semi-autonomous region in the Eastern Ukraine, without outright splitting into separate nations, which is more trouble than it's worth.
Funny. I thought that was what the "pro-Russian separatists" (and Sexy Putin, for that matter) were arguing for the entire time.
Yes, investment abroad and then getting repaid through the slashing of the living standards of workers and pensioners is pretty much a standard imperialist tool at this point.
If this is imperialism then imperialism is "good" for people who benefit from others' money!
I'm certainly willing to agree that the USSR didn't practice "capitalist imperialism". I'm just not convinced that "communist imperialism" is really that much different for those being taken over by it. If we make an exception for the USSR not really being communist, I suppose we can make one for China too (imperialist takeover of Tibet and attempts at influence elsewhere.) In fact it seems that, kind of like non-communist nations powerful communist ones tend to try to extend that power and influence in basically the same ways. Weaker nations, both communist and otherwise aren't as imperialist, but that's due to lack of ability as much as anything.
I'd imagine that in some ways you are right. Sense of national humiliation, frustration at lack of democracy, etc., etc., I'd imagine are, indeed, pretty similar.
The maintenance of a higher standard of living, for example, among the Polish working class in the seventies and eighties--if that is actually true--compared with impoverishment lived in by, say Latin American peasants, during the same time period points to the differences.
Comrade Jeff wrote:
Near as I can tell, the basic pattern goes back well before capitalism, though the term came along later. "Imperial" Rome, anyone?
Sure. There are other definitions.
Comrade Lenin wrote:
Colonial policy and imperialism existed before the latest stage of capitalism, and even before capitalism. Rome, founded on slavery, pursued a colonial policy and practised imperialism. But “general” disquisitions on imperialism, which ignore, or put into the background, the fundamental difference between socio-economic formations, inevitably turn into the most vapid banality or bragging, like the comparison: “Greater Rome and Greater Britain.”
Well, they did give us the word "chauvinism."
Bumps commie propaganda article about evils of France:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Couldn't find the book I wanted to read next (or a copy of How the Irish Became White for that matter), so I read the Introduction and first chapter of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and, although I'm not sure yet, I think the answer to your question might be in there somewhere.
Kingpinmaker, Game N+2, Part One
Thankfully for the party, and Symoreel in particular, Genny's player came to the next game. Shaking off the effects of the harpy's captivating song, being carried in a bag and being tossed by flying strix from 20 feet in the air, Genny finally collected her wits as the strix attempted to pick her up again. She slashed through the bag with her new +2 short sword and made mincemeat of her strix captors.
She revived Symoreel and they flew back to the rest of the party. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth and bemoaning the fate of the poor Poodlecocks until Barbie finally piped up that she thought she knew where the strix were going. Turns out Barbie, in her sordid past, had spent some time living with the strix of Devil's Point and had even, for a time, taken a hadnsome winged devil for a paramour, whose name, she told the party, was un-prounounceable in their tongues, but whom she called "George." Anyway, Barbie had spent a good two-and-a-half-weeks vacationing with George at a romantic strix getaway which, of course, was the Devil's Tor (mentioned above), and that she knew a secret way of getting into the winged devil hideaway without being seen.
What she didn't mention was that George had taken her here, screwed her silly for ten days and then flew away in the middle of the night, not even leaving her cab fare.
The party made preparations to undergo the trek to Devil's Tor.
At some point, while I was conferring with Barbie's player alone, outside, trying to remind him of all the cool backstory he had devised for his character and then, apparently, forgotten after I went and made use of the hooks he had given me, Omar the D&D-Hating Terrorist stepped out for a smoke and listened to us talking.
After a while, he interrupted, saying "So let me get this straight: You guys play this fantasy game where you play wizards and knights and fight monsters and shiznit, and you [points to The Black Goblin] choose to play at having birdman lovers?"
"Well," I said, to clarify, "He's playing a woman."
"What, that's supposed to be better?" responded Omar, "Because he doesn't have a gay birdman lover?" [Shakes head]
"I knew D&D was racist but I didn't realize it was homophobic, too!"
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Apparently, they won the same day after I left. Nobody wants goblins holding picket signs in front of their day center.
The workers united/Will never be defeated! The workers united/Will never be defeated!