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Old Marm

DeathQuaker's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter. 5,903 posts (8,284 including aliases). 6 reviews. 5 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.

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Not especially powerful, but for people who want to try to play a ranged rogue....

Feat: Long Range Sniper
Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Weapon Focus in any bow or crossbow, Sneak Attack class feature
Benefit: When attacking with the weapon with which you qualified for this feat, you apply sneak attack damage anywhere within your weapon's first normal range increment, as long as sneak attack damage would otherwise normally apply (e.g., creature is not immune to precision damage and is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC).
Normal: You can only sneak attack creatures with ranged weapons within 30 feet.

I think that renders one of the sniper's class abilities obsolete, along with the sniper's goggles, but still.

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I tried posting earlier and my phone ate my post. Anyway...

A key issue is budget. Especially if you want to do something truly "D&D-esque" with lots of different races (lots of makeup, prosthetics, and CGI), monsters, and magic (lots of CGI, which gets very expensive--more than you think--and I disagree with the poster above, you need more than mere pyrotechnics to get off many proper spells and magical effects convincingly). Game of Thrones is a miniseries which can get a slightly larger budget--and they are still lower fantasy so not a lot of huge effects (that I know of, I haven't seen much of it). Note a lot of shows featuring magic are contemporary urban fantasy--e.g., Supernatural or, for an older series, Charmed, because they don't have to do costumes and special sets on top of special effects. Doing it all is costly. Herc and Xena got away with their cheesy effects because it was the 90s and the camp factor helped (even if Xena in particular did get quite dark at times).

Unfortunately, a lot of times an audience for "genre fiction" expects movie level SFX and cinematics even in TV shows. For example, there is a subset of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D audience who is disappointed they aren't seeing Avengers-level superpowers and action every week, but you can't do that on a TV show budget (there are other audience subsets of that show that like or dislike it for other reasons, I am just touching on the one that is relevant to the discussion here).

For a fantasy show this day and age--especially an ongoing, major network show--you'd have to really manage expectations quite a lot, so people don't come in expecting Harry Potter or LOTR.

I think it'd be doable but it would be hard to convince a network to carry it.

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As I think about it... I think the people who feel upset by it... based on what's been said here... is they feel that they and their hobby is being disrespected.

It's not probably what the speaker intends, but they hear a phrase that in the context they are familiar with ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit" for example), the semantic connection they make is they and their hobby is accused of being something two-dimensional and childish.

It's not a logical reaction--it's the kind of immediate reaction one gets from context, before logic can be applied. It is what it is.

Just arm-chair psychoanalyzing why in this case the knee-jerk reaction is often a negative one. (And the negative reaction is reinforced when they are told they are being laughed at for having a negative reaction--shaming and humiliating someone is only going to reinforce the sense of being disrespected and encourage a non-civil, conflagrationary discussion. If one didn't care, of course, one would say nothing.)

So the more people behave respectfully when they use whatever words of choice they want to use (yeah, I know, respectful gamers, ha ha), the more likely it will probably become accepted over time.

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As an aside, I first heard "tank" in 1994, when I'm pretty sure MMOs didn't exist yet. So I'm always puzzled why people say it's an MMO term.

Maybe one day "toon" will be as ubiquitous and we won't remember where it properly came from. But until then, it still greatly catches me off guard, because PCs in a tabletop game have absolutely nothing to do with cartoons, and there's a logic disconnect for me. I also agree it sounds derisive and derogatory (much like murderhobo, a term I dislike far more than toon for reasons mentioned upthread), and suggests to me a disinterest in roleplaying.

All that said I'm not gonna berate a player of mine for using the term, provided of course they are a polite, committed, valuable contributor to the game (same foranyone else). And as long as, of course, everyone understands what the player means.

Don't expect the phrase to catch on in the group, though, because it still, to my way of thinking, rather nonsensical. The way the synapses hook it up in my brain, it's not calling an automobile a car, it's more like calling an automobile a roller skate. They're vaguely related, but could not, at least generally, be mistaken for each other.

But it's not some great sin either.

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More thoughts:


On the surface, the overall action and progress of events was fun to watch.

A lot of little details frustrated me. The writers are good at big picture, but the devil's in the For example:

-- When Ollie, Sara, and Roy encountered Slade, he said "I'm not going to tell you where Thea is," and then Ollie knocked out Slade and called the police, my immediate assumption was -- okay, so they've recorded Slade talking about Thea to prove he is a suspect. Otherwise, they'd have no reason to call the police.

And yet... my presuming they were smart enough to do that was faulty (I have to keep reminding myself: everyone on this show is an idiot).

- So apparently Lance just agreed to arrest a guy based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Also, I don't know why Lance couldn't just say to the Detective (who I thought was dead? Am I thinking of someone else?), "I received an anonymous tip Thea Queen was seen with Slade Wilson and we went to investigate, and brought him in for questioning." Even if he was suspected of talking to the Arrow, they'd have no more proof than... well, the Arrow had.

- And (*sigh*) Roy was right--given the vigilantes had no evidence whatsoever to provide to the police, it made no sense that they called the police and they would have been much better served to capture Wilson and keep him hostage somewhere. Now, Bjorn above is right, Deathstroke needs to be winning in the short term--he needs to be an awesomely credible threat. I just wish they threaded the pieces together less shabbily.

- Sara was around her dad constantly this episode. The cops know that Lance is associated with the Arrow and, from the Birds of Prey episode, the Arrow now has a masked female associate of roughly Sara's size and shape. If they did have any common sense (which fortunately you cannot presume in this show), they would quickly put 2 and 2 together.

- On a broader issue -- speaking of Sara, we STILL have not been told what the Lance family officially knows about Sara's return. Quentin knows everything. Dinah knows that Sara had a psycho assassin ex girlfriend because said assassin kidnapped her. Laurel, more briefly, also saw the ex-girlfriend and the end of that confrontation. But Sara is also keeping her identity secret from Laurel (and Dinah, even if she's now off screen). So... what did she tell them? I was an ex-assassin's kept companion for five years? I met the crazy lady with the bow at a truck stop in China and she gave me a ride home?

- No matter how much Oliver was distracted, and no matter how stupid Oliver generally is, I still have trouble crediting him with the level of stupidity required for him to think that there would be no problem with him making Isobel CEO pro tem. Even though she had convincingly made herself a bit kinder and gentler in their last few encounters, not only did their whole interaction start with her attempting a hostile takeover of Queen Consolidated, but also HER NAME IS ON THE F*!+ING LIST. It was shown prominently several times in Season 1. Did the creators actually forget that? Oliver is supposed to have memorized that list--he didn't suspect maybe, just maybe, one of the people involved in the Undertaking might, just might, have ulterior motives?

(OTOH, if the creators actually didn't forget that Isobel is on the List, and they're just intentionally writing Oliver with the deduction skills and memory capacity of a mentally-crippled snail, is Merlyn somehow also connected with Slade/was Slade aware of/also involved in somehow with the Undertaking?)

- Kind of curious why Slade didn't just tell Thea also that Ollie was the Arrow. Although he may be milking that in a way that Ollie is forced to tell Thea himself later.

Okay, rant done. Things I did like:

- Slade is a magnificent bastard, even if his primary motivation is still utter and complete fabricated nonsense.

- Sara's slide down the dark side in the flashbacks. I still wish there were fewer flashbacks than there are (they are my least favorite aspect of the show--I really prefer a much stronger focus on the present day, and I thought the last mostly-flashback episode "The Promise" was like watching paint dry), but at least there's some interesting character development there from time to time.

- Laurel learning the truth about Ollie -- which I think will also cement any doubt she had that Sara is the Canary (again, at least assuming any of the characters have basic levels of reasoning skills and common sense, which is clearly NOT safe to assume). Although really I kind of expected her to be less shocked than she acted. (Also, seriously, Laurel, you need to f$&!ing move already. Also, why didn't you look through the eyehole on your door like you usually do? They have blocked you to do that several times, outlining your careful nature, so you not doing that this time seemed really OOC. Also, why am I addressing a fictional character directly?) There's also a great bit of brilliance in Slade telling Laurel this, because it means Laurel has the information that might free her father (although I have a feeling Quentin has suspected who the Arrow is for a long time).

- Moira, always Moira, evil and sympathetic and lovely. Susanna Thompson is an amazing actress. Unfortunately, I'm starting to get a feeling she's going to get killed by the end of the season.

- The fight between Ollie and Isobel in the board room was really unexpected and awesome. The show really excels when it focuses on action. Isobel is also very smart and I kind of hope she survives to remain a villain on the series for awhile (especially as she now has succeeded in getting the company).

Even with the ranting above--mostly venting--I am looking forward to seeing what happens next. Overall very much liking how things go and I think the last several episodes in particular have been handling the ensemble aspect of the show much better so I look forward to that hopefully continuing.

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While I don't think you need to level to have fun, I think it makes sense and makes for part of the story to get better at the things you do as you go along. In fact, I think it breaks verisimilitude worse if you never improve, than if you "suddenly" get better at something. The "suddenly," to me, is reflective of your practice/experience finally paying off as something "clicks" and you're finally noticeably better at it. For example, IRL, I practiced a certain bow technique on the violin for ages once, and for weeks it felt like I just wasn't improving, or only improving very slowly; then one day, I noticed my technique was much improved--if I were a character in a game, I finally gained enough XP to buy that rank in Perform (String Instrument). In game it just works the same way--albeit in an abstract matter, in that a whole bunch of things improve at once, but I'm willing to accept that for convenience's sake--it is a game, after all, and sometimes it's just easier to abstractify certain things. But I always assume that whatever it is you advance in as you level is reflective of things you are doing in character--and in fact in my games, if you, say, for example, want to learn Dwarven on your next level, I want to hear you tell me you're reading a dwarven-Common dictionary at camp or getting the party dwarf to teach you. It just needs to be a passing sentence, it doesn't have to be deeply played out. I just want the player to be able to say at all times where his or her improved abilities come from.

If you don't like the "all at once" aspect, I think somewhere around here there's a link to Sean Reynolds' house rules on a more gradual leveling system (so as you get toward the next level, first you might raise a skill, then later, your BAB goes up, etc.). At least I think that's how it worked.

Other systems use a XP point buy system to buy up abilities one at a time (like I recall in oWoD that you earned a few XP at a time, and you used those to buy individual powers and skills rather than gaining a "level" where all those things went up at once). And those systems are cool. But I think sometimes leveling is easier (it's also easier to back-check math if you think something's wrong on your character sheet).

As for running a game with no leveling or very slow leveling, if your players are on board with it, do as you please. Despite all I've said, I'd probably be interested in such a game as long as I knew the GM was good and that the character was at least a few levels in so I could have enough room to round out skills and develop a combat style, etc.

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I'm sorry I haven't seen this thread earlier either.

I'm sorry for that inappropriate penis joke I made one time. Actually, I'm not sorry for the joke itself, to be honest, but I regret any offense taken.

I'm sorry I only bought one cupcake today and didn't have enough to share with the boards. (Don't ask me how that would be possible, but I am still sorry. (However, if any of you ever come to my hometown, I will buy you an Iced Gem cupcake, or a dessert of equal or greater value.)

I'm sorry I blather on too much sometimes.

I'm sorry about the secret violent fantasies I have had regarding certain individuals.

I am sorry for ever participating in any rogue or monk thread.

I am sorry for sometimes knee-jerk flagging a post.

I am sorry for not speaking up sometimes, and I am sorry for speaking up too much sometimes.

I am sorry.

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I empathize with the OP's frustration with gamer commitment, but I must say for me personally, I think making an actual contract takes things a bit too far -- and implies an inherent distrust on behalf of the GM's part that I think would sour the relationship between GM and players. I would also think that the players have the right in the case of the use of a contract to offer their own contract to the GM that he has to agree to certain expectations they have of him.

Let me be clear, however, that if this works for the OP and his players, more power to him. I just wouldn't use something like it, and I probably wouldn't play a game with a group that used one.

As regards the commitment issue:

Up front, I tell my potential players that I expect them to give me warning when they cannot attend -- emergencies of course will be forgiven. I tell them that if they repeatedly do not show up to game sessions, they will be asked to leave the game so I can make room for another player. People who do not show up will have characters botted. By making my expectations clear before the campaign starts, my players dig what I am expecting, and normally the people who sign up for my games have no problem showing up to game.

Regarding time, we set a "doors open" and a "play starts by" time. Everyone is encouraged to arrive between "doors open" and "play starts" time. At "play starts" time, play starts, even if not everyone has shown up. Again, expectations are set, reasonable, and met. I don't need anybody to sign anything -- if they've agreed to it ahead of time verbally, I trust them to do it, and I haven't been let down.

Everything else has never needed to be really dealt with, apart from asking players to do their homework. I'm running a game with a bunch of people relatively new to the system and after several sessions where they were still asking about basic character mechanics they had lots of time to learn, I told them I needed to spend less time as GM telling them how to play their character when they should have it in front of them and plenty of time between games to read their class entry, and more time running the game, and if I found myself spending the whole time reminding people of basic class abilities, I would stop running. I also offered in the same breath to run separate tutorial sessions to anyone who asked and to go over character sheets or class abilities at times that were not during the game session. The players have responded by memorizing their class abilities.

So I can be firm about things but it feels to me to take things too far to make people sign a form, and I would feel very strange about it -- I trust and like my players and generally as long as all of us are clear up front about our expectations of each other, there's really no problem. General courtesy and common sense take care of many of the other issues.

And I can't imagine restricting players' abilities to look up rules -- generally I find that helps rather than hinders, and again with a group of newbs help them learn the game. Indeed, often someone looking up rules is directly to help me out. If someone is ARGUING with me about a ruling, I'll ask them to accept my ruling for now and then we can investigate the controversial issue and come up with a house rule we can agree upon for next time, and I've not had problems with players agreeing to that either.

As for possession of materials, I expect everybody to have their character sheet and access to dice (they can borrow if they don't own their own). Can't imagine what else they'd have to have. I put my core rulebook on the table for those who do not have access to their own or who are not accessing the PRD via laptop or phone (two of my players are blind so they use their laptops with screenreader software to navigate their character sheets as needed).

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Just for what it's worth -- y'all are entitled to your opinion -- this is why I'm also a bit frustrated with the development of Slade's motivation....

- Slade's interest at ALL in Shado seemed to come out of nowhere. They meet, Shado and Oliver hook up, and suddenly one day for no apparent reason Slade stares at Shado longingly. And he never really does anything about it. I might have forgotten some key moment of characterization, but I remember very few interactions between Slade and Shado that showed any sort of real relationship there--in fact I think most conversations Slade and Shado had were about Oliver, not, say, about each other--just kind of a random and frankly shallow fascination. Then suddenly she's his One True Love. I don't really grab onto WHY he likes her, how she's touched him, what he sees in her other than the fact she's the only female on the island before Sara shows up.

- Not to mention, Slade IIRC mentions early on he has a wife and child at home. Where's she in all this? Why doesn't he give a s~$# about her? Could be it wasn't a happy marriage or whatever, but it's never really covered.

- The way Slade found out about her death and decides to blame Oliver feels ridiculously forced. All someone had to say was, "Ivo had them all tied up, with guns pointed at Sara and Shado. They got into an argument, suddenly Ivo was about to shoot Sara, and when Oliver reflexively jumped in the way, he shot Shado." But they never give him the straight story, it's all deflection... and it's all deflection to force Slade to misinterpret.... and it makes no sense. It's plain old bad writing. Mind, dialogue quality has never been Arrow's strong point. But I hate it when there's an obvious wallbanger "why didn't you just say...?" and they never do...

- Shado seems to be treated more as a symbol of something than as a character. I don't feel like Slade actually respects her as a human being, he just treats her as an object for him and Ollie to fight over, and I can't understand or at least relate to that level of rage over an object.

- Slade seems a pretty badass guy with complex motivations. Ollie has f$+*ed up their chances of getting home a few times, and Slade has gotten hurt on Ollie's behalf several times. In fact, there's the very obvious fact that Slade technically died to protect Oliver when Oliver was doing something stupid. He can have any number of reasons for disliking Ollie that have been far better developed on the show, but for some inexpicable reason, "you let the girl I liked who I never did anything with or showed that I liked her until suddenly it was important to the plot die." And frankly, I'd respect it a lot more if his motivations were "You got me killed and exposed me to a dangerous experimental drug that now rules me," rather than "you were there when a female character was put into the proverbial refrigerator for me."

-- Yes the Mirakuru heightens emotions and especially rage but it also seems like a man who can very cleverly plan a plot to take over Starling City and have lots of money and do lots of things is someone who can also over several years be able to rationalize past GRR ARGH GIRL.

- Merlyn's motivation was also "my female SO is dead so I'm killing everything." Ivo's motivation is "my female SO is dead so now I'm torturing everything." Now they're just recycling the same damn plot with Slade. It's stupid, and it underserves men, villains, and male villains to be only able to give them the motivations of 1) girl in fridge or 2) sociopath (see: Sebastian Blood).

IF the story were written well, but it smacks heavily of very lazy writing that very heavily draws from very overused cliches, and they're neither being creative nor interesting with it. In fact it's very largely just the Merlyn plot entirely redone with a different actor, and with the focus on Ollie rather than the city as a whole (City killed my wife, Ollie killed my... girl I sort of knew and I stared at from a distance sometimes).

That said, I think it's fun to watch the fighty funtimes and I'll follow along for the fun of it, but this show does not write character depth or motivation well and I will never expect it to. It plays on cheap tropes to make the plot go, and people who are satisfied by cheap tropes will be happy with the acting, I'm happy with the pretty people and the fight choreography and the occasional awesome that accidentally happens from some of the characters like Quentin, Moira, or Sara.

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Write this down Arnwyn: I agree with you.

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Vamptastic wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
tumbling stealthily and wriggling through tight spaces. Small size is a must.
That's what she said!

Well, her name is "Miss Deep." (Quote from the OAV: "I hate my handle. It makes me sound like a porn star."

Looking at Shadowdancer, I think the earliest you can take it is 6th level (because you need 5 ranks in a skill before qualifying). But bard or rogue (or its alternate, ninja) would work certainly... I think Tacticslion's suggestion of just being sneaky sneaky (with a lot of Escape Artist) is probably the way to go. The harder choice is... bard with a lot of escape/invisibility spells, or rogue because of sneak attack (at this power level, you can't reach into someone's chest and squeeze their heart to death, but an attack that targets vitals is going to have to come close enough). Sandman bard gets sneak attack but not until 5th level, which doesn't seem worth it, and they're basically Pathfinder's spellthief which doesn't really suit flavor wise. I think for Miss Deep I'd go with ninja for no trace and the ninja tricks vanishing trick and fast stealth. Not sure for Kitty.

Are there any phasing spells in Pathfinder?

Not quite... there's stuff like gaseous form and passwall which work along those lines.

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I'd love to play in any superhero game, fantasy or otherwise, but yes, it would be fun to do a fantasy themed game based on these folks.

Actually, the characters I really want to play are from Read or Die/R.O.D the TV, which is a Japanese animation, but it's basically an anime's take on Western action genres (it is a glorious smashup of superheroes, spies, and conspiracy thrillers, with an added literary theme and a good general dose of WTF). And the characters in it are basically superheroes, most of whom have paper shaping powers...

The scroll master wizard archetype was basically DESIGNED for it.

I want to be Maggie, although she'd be the hardest to stat out... scroll master conjurer, I guess, maybe with a dip into something to reflect her stamina and bodyguard duties. Or a summoner with a paper armored eidolon.

Hmmm.... tying into Read or Die (Miss Deep) but also going back to the Big Two U.S. Comic companies... Marvel (Shadowcat)

How would you do a low level character based on someone themed on intangibility? What would you perhaps sub in?

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Vamptastic wrote:
Bane, I'd put him as a Brawler, mixed with an Urban Barbarian. And one round of (al)Chemist, to give himself Venom, which gets him all 'roidy.

Ragechemist, I do believe, might perhaps be appropriate.

Since Thor is someone everyone makes a Dwarf(which makes me laugh), why not Diana? Of course if we're going with the made of clay thing, why not make her a divine golem/construct, or better yet, reflavor the Android class? Although, that hit to Charisma would be problematic.

Well, she's clay made into human flesh and given a soul. Constructs don't work because they're both mindless and soulless. I picked oread because it has the earth flavor but she still has emotions and a soul, which is really important for a character one of whose key traits is embodying love (at least in the versions of her I personally find worth considering).

Thor gets dwarfed since dwarfs are Nordic in mythical origin, but so, in fact, are elves. If Diana's from Greek mythology, the mythical races from that mythos are centaurs, satyrs, and nymphs... and oh, an earth nymph would in fact be an oread. ;)

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Zonugal wrote:

* Wonder Woman: Elven ‘Two-Handed Fighter’ Fighter 5

Why elf? Member of a seemingly immortal race? Otherwise they seem rather flimsy to represent an Amazon.

Course... now I'm thinking about races for Diana... if you wanted to go the clay made flesh route.... would that make her an oread? Slow speed doesn't suit her (maybe a dip in a fast movement class to speed her up to normal or take the fleet feat), but if you gave her crystalline form, she'd end up looking kind of like the DC 1 Million version. Replace SLA with treacherous earth, stomp on the ground, make it rumble.

I'd also still stick her with Ranger because she's supposed to be skilled and have empathy with animals. Fighter of course has its obvious arguments/benefits.

Other people......

Zatanna... Words of Power spellcaster? I mean caster, duh, but that'd get the flavor.

How about villains?

Poison Ivy, Oread with the fertile soil alternate ability... sorcerer with the verdant bloodline (I looked at druid first but realized the verdant bloodline's abilities suited her better).

Harley, acrobat rogue?

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Rather than a bonus (as many traits already offer bonuses to saves, etc.)

"After eating a hearty meal, you are fortified for work and adventure. You gain the benefits of the Endurance feat for one hour. If you have the Endurance feat, you gain an additional +1 bonus to all checks and saves affected by that feat for an hour instead."

If you do feel the need to qualify "hearty meal" (though you don't seem to), I'd suggest something like "a serving of dwarven trail rations, a good quality meal served at an inn, or a serving from heroes feast, or roughly the equivalent of any of these. You gain the additional benefits of meals that grant bonuses or boons as normal."

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Vamptastic wrote:
SwnyNerdgasm wrote:
default wrote:

Superman I was thinking Sorcerer with FANTASTIC ability scores, though I was imagining him as 6th.

It gives him access to
-Scorching Ray
-Haste/Expeditious Retreat
-Protection from arrows/energy

But all those abilities come from his race, so in order to do superman correctly you'd need to create a Kryptonian race
Not if he were the Pathfinder version. Think of this as an alternate universe Superman.

Yeah, I think the idea of this is the spirit of the hero, not the letter. That's why I went a little nuts by making all of the F4 elemental-blooded heroes... the idea of the F4 IS that they are the 4 elements, this is just a new interpretation.

So what is the essence of Superman? He is not quite "one of us." He is physically powerful. He is kind, he is a "boy scout"--honorable and self-disciplined. He is often said to draw power from another source (such as the sun). He naturally feels drawn to use his abilities for good. He has a plethora of strange supernatural abilities to augment his fighting ability. His natural fighting ability is good but not necessarily the best compared to people raised a warrior all their lives (think, say, maybe 3/4 BAB rather than full). When he does fight, he's known for a powerful punch and for grappling the enemy.

Not too worried about making him fly... after all, at his inception he could only "leap tall buildings in a single bound" (Superman is the original sufferer from power creep).

I like the others' choice of aasimar for race. He is a little bit something else, a little bit one of us, and there is something at the core of him that is very pure and good.

Let us fluff his ability to cast daylight once per day as a power that emanates from his eyes. If he chooses, he opens his eyes and light comes from it, bright as day. (This also ties him to the sun theme he often has.) Not yet heat vision, but wait... he also takes the Heavenly Radiance feat from the Advanced Race Guide, which gives him an extra use of that ability, and at 5th level, he can chose to turn his daylight ability into searing light. And this can be a benign, helpful ability or an attack ability.

I'd not give him any alternate racial abilities -- all seem appropriate (and I'd keep Skilled because of the bonus to Perception, which echoes, however faintly, his super senses, and Diplomacy suits his style).

Now as to class... honestly, I wouldn't argue strongly with those who have selected sorcerer for the reasons stated.

But my whacky proposal is... monk. Not as super martially oriented as the full BAB classes, it still allows the character to pack a punch, gives him fast movement, and high jump, which are, however low-level, echoes of his powers in his golden age form. It also gives him a source of innate defense (Monk AC bonus) and given that much of Superman is actually defensive character (he can't be hurt) the monk's superior saves and immunities suit the spirit of the idea. There might be some archetypes that might make this work better (qinggong might add flexibility) though some of the ones that I liked best conceptually for him replace high jump which I wouldn't want to get rid of (unless the replacement was some kind of graduation to flight).

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I don't mind the layout except it makes it hard to see new posts to a thread. Aesthetically, it looks nicer, IMO, but it is less practical.

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One thing I'd want is for combat to be a very real thing. Unless you're a trained, fully-combat class, getting stabbed with a knife or shot with a gun should be a scary thing. And even a 20th level Half-Orc Commando should look at a pack of goblins as a potentially scary thing. Ideally, I wouldn't want a PC to have more than 10, or maybe 15 hitpoints except for extreme circumstances. And I'm not even sure on the hitpoints thing, it doesn't seem fast and potentially brutal enough.

If you want to look at d20 Modern for inspiration, note they used the Massive Damage Threshold (MAS) concept -- your MAS was your Constitution score, plus bonuses from abilities or feats.

If any lethal damage exceeded your MAS, you needed to make a Fortitude save versus massive damage or die/be dying (can't remember which). Nonlethal damage worked with MAS as well--if nonlethal damage exceeded MAS, you saved or were unconscious, IIRC.

That means an attack that deals a mere 10 points of damage might have a good chance of killing an average human, even if his hit points are much higher. Likewise someone skilled with unarmed combat could set up a knockout blow very easily.

People who often criticize the damage levels of weapons in d20Modern tended to ignore this rather crucial shift in gameplay. It could, depending, actually be much more lethal game, and firearms could often easily take out an average human in one shot with a decent damage roll, regardless of HP or character level.

You may not want to use that exact system, but something to consider.


That's all I got for now. I'll ramble more about this tomorrow. Anyway, who's with me?

I've been working on a "Pathfinderized d20 Modern" in my spare time for awhile, but I'm afraid my intention has been focusing on using the Pathfinder RULES as part of an attempt to revise d20 Modern, which I liked for being default-set on contemporary (or future) Earth, and I'm more interested in a generic d20-based system for use in a wide variety of campaigns.

I don't play that much in fantasy Golarion save for PBPs here and I'm not that much more interested in a technological one. However, I've often assumed I am in the minority and that what most people actually want is a Might and Magic style magic meets crazy tech urban fantasy world, so you are likely to garner a lot of support.

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Vamptastic wrote:

DQ, I love that She-Hulk. Would you make her a Half-Orc? Or just a giant green human?

I think she was turned giant and green by her cousin, who is in my book an alchemist with the ragechemist and vivisectionist archetypes (they can be stacked as they don't replace the same abilities).

But half-orc could work too.

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That would have been 5. :)

But if we're adding extended family.... and since I already did She-Hulk, then how about the recent Future Foundation guardians....

Medusa - Witch with prehensile hair

Ant Man - Hmmm.... this is weird, and I realize most of his powers were at least originally equipment based, but.... I'm going to make him an ifrit with the alternate racial ability efreeti magic which allows him to cast reduce person and enlarge person once per day (which he uses on himself). I'm going to give him a dip into blight druid for vermin empathy and some low level magic, and then level him as rogue as he was originally a thief (and good at it).

Darla Deering - I'd probably ignore the Thing Suit (or give her equipment that increases her strength), and just make her a bard with the celebrity archetype. She might actually be more powerful in Pathfinder than in her world. ;)

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Wonder Woman... skilled but fully martial and lightly armored, so I'd say ranger. Dip or trait gives her Acrobatics as class skill (maybe dip into new Brawler class for better unarmed combat and Acrobatics). Lasso proficiency. Wears gloves of arrow snaring and has lasso enchanted with compulsion effect. And a tiara boomerang, because.

Black Canary.... brawler.

Huntress... ranger,ranger/rogue, or slayer

Oracle... fighter/diviner

She Hulk... Barbarian with lots of ranks in profession barrister.

Fantastic 4... oread barbarian, ifrit sorcerer with elemental bloodline, sylph sorc or bard with focus on invisibility and abjuration, and undine wizard or alchemist.

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Is there a reason Paizo couldn't use a smaller grid on the same size map, so the space thing is not an issue? Maybe leave the 10 ft marks darker but use a lighter indicator for the 5 ft squares within?

It also strikes me that perhaps module designers should be asked to not use maps that are so huge it causes scaling issues--if its something hard for the GM to use then it shouldn't be in a module, as the whole point of modules is to make life easier for the GM. Frankly, if Paizo's modules are creating extra work for GMs (like 5 hours to make a map usable for the game) then they're doing it wrong.

I recall a recent session where 10 foot scaling caused a whole bunch of confusion for players and GM alike.... and it was an intended combat map... and the confusion really made the scene both slow down and break down. In the module's climax no less!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Haladir wrote:
kind of writing chops that a freelancer nerds to write good adventures

Most apt typo ever. :)

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KSF wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
That's the thing that drives me crazy. The people who say it's "religious freedom" that should drive anti LGBT laws conveniently ignore all the religious groups that support LGBT rights, perform same sex marriages, etc. (and there are increasing numbers of those). They never seem to fight for OUR religious rights along with their own.
Y'know, I'm an atheist, but it really bugs me when anti-LGBT people attempt to co-opt all of religion, or all of Christianity to their cause. A lot of the people in my life who are supportive of me have religious beliefs of one degree or another, and have been supportive of LGB folk as well.

It bugs me too!

It also hurts our outreach too. Because some groups claim to essentially represent all of Christianity or religion, people unfamiliar or unwilling to be familiar with religious ALSO tends to lump us in one basket. Which just shuts down communication on all sides.

It doesn't help that for some reason media coverage tends to be of the anti-LGBT groups and seldom of the other side. I don't know if it's because they draw more controversy, they have more money, they write better press releases, or any or all of the above. There are also ostensibly more of them perhaps... but it seems like increasingly a) there are more and more pro-LGBT religions, and b) even in religious communities whose formal doctrine has anti-LGBT elements, many individual members and clergy alike are pushing for change in those areas. I think the first time I remembered them getting widely acknowledged was when the Pope said "Who am I to judge?" -- and that's huge. But that's the crest of a wave that's been rolling for a good long time and continues to move forward.

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KSF wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:

I have not read the preceding posts, due to being quite busy in life at the moment. Sadly, I have to deal with more immediate concerns at the moment.

However, I don't remember seeing this mentioned earlier, and I apologize if it was. But, a Kansas bill is effectively trying to sneak through segregation legislation that would allow for businesses and employees at all level, from government on down, to deny people service simply because of their sexual orientation. All they have to do is claim religious beliefs, and even if they're a government employee they can deny service.

So, it seems a new tactic is being tried... specifically, attempting to pit freedom of religion from the First Amendment against people's sexual orientation. And it definitely would not take much to expand this to trans people and those who are bi.

That's already been stopped. By the Republicans in the Kansas Senate, apparently.

Thank goodness it's been stopped.

I have to wonder... if there were such a law where I was... since discriminating against LGBT persons is against my religion, could I sue someone firing me for religious reasons as a violation of MY freedom of religion?

That's the thing that drives me crazy. The people who say it's "religious freedom" that should drive anti LGBT laws conveniently ignore all the religious groups that support LGBT rights, perform same sex marriages, etc. (and there are increasing numbers of those). They never seem to fight for OUR religious rights along with their own.

And of course what individuals practice privately should not affect a public organization's or government's hiring policy. (There are fortunately and unfortunately grey areas with religious organizations.)

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Qunnessaa wrote:
The thing is, as I understand it, cis people generally don’t examine the connections between their subconscious sex, their lived sex, and their gender. (Borrowing, very loosely indeed, Serano’s terms.) It all fits together, so they don’t have to.

While I identify as female and am biologically female, I have examined those things, so what does that make me?

I may not have examined those things in the way a transgendered person does, but I have examined those things. Sometimes I've wondered why I do identify as female, even though so many things I do or like are classified by society as "masculine." So yes, I have looked at my subconscious identity as it relates to my physical identity. I've imagined my life as a male sometimes. I haven't always liked my body (I do now), though not in a way that I imagine transgendered people struggle with their physical body versus gender identity. I have checked myself to say--do I want to make some kind of change? I've just come back with a firm "no." And the older I get, the more certain I am about this--perhaps that makes me very lucky--even as I see various aspects of my and just about everybody else's gender as fluid.

Sex and gender expands across a massively, hugely, mindbogglingly large and complicatedly woven spectrum of biology, spirituality, emotion, and social construction and expectations. Many cis-gender people (by which I mean people whose physical sex and emotional/spiritual/social gender match) are challenged by encounters within this spectrum. Just not in the same way as transgender people. And certainly, cis-gendered persons have to put up with far less hate/ignorance/confusion on various matters related to gender than transgendered persons do. But they probably "closet" many of the questions they ask about gender and identity -- indeed, a lot of the viscerally hateful reactions against transgendered persons comes about because it tends to provoke questions about gender identity within others as well (which is NOT an excuse for the hatred, which is still b&+*&++@ and means that we just need to be more open to talking about gender across all lines--and in fact start wiping some of those lines out). Likewise there are genderqueer and people who identify as androgynous or genderless who also face a whole different set of questions and challenges. The challenging, complicated sex/gender amoeba engulfs everybody. Some more than others, but it hits everyone.

Cis-gendered people never ask, never question, never explore gender and sex and what it does and what it means to them? Hell no. I would venture to say most people do, maybe all (though some would be terrified to admit it). The degrees to which vary, the reasons vary, but that is just part of being human. To suggest otherwise would be to suggest to my ears that cis-gendered persons aren't actually human at all. That I, in fact, am not a human being. Turnabout of sentiment is fair play, perhaps?

No, I don't know what it's like to be transgender. I don't grasp how transgendered persons work with, explore, deal with their gender identity. And I do know I have cisgender privilege which makes certain things easier for me. But I do work, explore, question, and deal with my gender identity in my own way. It absolutely is not something that's just "there," unchanging and unquestioned.

To make up another silly example, despite the social pressures to conform to gender norms and, perhaps, a slow expansion of trans issues into public consciousness, I haven’t heard of many cis people who, having been rebuked with the idea that they should be “a proper woman” or “a real man,” sought professional care to make sure they weren’t really trans

I've been rebuked for not being ladylike or girlish enough if that's what you mean, especially in my youth, but I haven't felt the need to seek out professional care on that front no, as I've largely been fairly certain the problem is the people rebuking me. I am who I am.

As an aside, I did, as a very small child, declare I wanted to be a boy when I grew up, but that was because when boys were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, they were encouraged with whatever answer they gave, whereas I got argued with "Wouldn't you want to be a wife and mother instead?" And I thought--truly thought, at the age of four or so--that you had to be a boy to be whatever you wanted. So it was a sort of social dysphoria rather than an internal identity crisis. When I saw Wonder Woman running across the TV screen, I realized girls could be whatever they wanted and that these grownups with their trick questions were full of s~!! and decided I was okay as I was. Again, I guess I'm lucky. (Also, I guess my actual gender identity is "Wonder Woman." ;) )

Again, I do not think for a second my experiences of exploring or questioning gender or physicality are anything like a trans-person's, and I don't pretend for a second anything I may have experienced resembles a trans experience, as it certainly is not. I also think a transperson doesn't know what it's like to have explored, struggled with, or felt gender or sex the way I do.

((But for what it's worth, a talented transperson of any gender identity, cis-male, genderqueer or androgynous person, are all welcome to play me on TV in spite of our varying personal histories, just provided they all have an equal shot at the role and the best performer gets cast.))

I am in fact certain part of the human experience is we all explore and struggle with gender to some extent, in each our own unique ways. I pray that means someday, as we all grow more aware of the questions we ask of ourselves and others, that we will as a society grow increasingly compassionate towards each other, so that hatred, oppression, and violence related to all kinds of gender issues comes to an end and relegated to history.

If I have said anything in here in ignorance that reads as offensive, please correct me.

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Jaelithe wrote:
Adjule wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Adjule wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
2. Most magical armor and clothing resizes to the wearer. I think a lot of people house rule this and it might have been the truth in some edition or another. This is another convenience factor, and to be sure the PCs get treasure they can actually use so we don't have to conjure up magic marts. Exceptions would items that are clearly designed for a very specific creature/purpose -- the magical crown of the Cloud Giant King will only ever fit a Huge-sized humanoid's...
If I remember right, this has always been the way it happens. Mundane equipment doesn't resize, but magical does. So, if you have a party of all gnomes or such, and only fight humans, the gnomes could still use all of the magical equipment dropped by the humans they kill.

It's been written in and out of various editions. I look and see and it is in Pathfinder now but seem to recall it wasn't always... or maybe that was some past edition that I am confusing it with. Or perhaps even another GM's house rule that I thought was RAW, and adjusted back to RAW thinking I was house ruling. I do know I have played games where the GM insisted the items would not resize. Maybe I'm thinking of weapons. Weapons resize too.

At any rate, it is always true regardless in my games, even if we switched to a system where it didn't explicitly say so. Like I said they were fairly small rules anyway.

Could be a house rule you are remembering. All I know for certain is magic items resized to the owner in 3rd edition, so I assume Pathfinder carried that rule over. But, always better to house rule it in just to make sure.

That's a rule for convenience, and one I actually hate. Armor that magically re-sizes itself as a standard feature? Give me a break.

I understand, though, why people who want to de-emphasize certain aspects of play would prefer it.

In my world, not just my rules, magic items take enough time and materials to make that they are going to make them be able to last beyond one wearer... otherwise it would be a waste. The hereditary armor and sword of the great lord in wars generations past can be wielded by his chosen heir, a halfling advisor who always served at his side. The halfling loses his magic ring but the elf warrior finds it and can use it in his stead, even though his fingers are a totally different size and shape. So yes, it is not just a meta-adjustment--story wise it is something considered standard by design, and most magical craftsmen are expected to design their items to work in this way, save for items made for very specific purposes. In particular, in my world, lower level magical gear (+1 weapons and armor) is common gear for war in well equipped armies, so it needs to be able to be designed to be used by the masses without requiring special adjustment as one soldier gets killed and the next soldier put on the line in his stead receives it. Not going to go further into detail as the economics and such of the world are boring but suffice to say I think it works from a fluff perspective, not just from the perspective of making things easier for players.

Besides there is basic magic that cleans and magic that creates, magic to adjust to the wearer's measurements is not out of the question.

Of course should you choose to do differently in your games, by all means. Different worlds, different standards. I respect other people's play styles, and would not discount or dismiss someone else's ideas by huffing "give me a break" simply because that idea doesn't appeal to me personally.

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Regarding initiative... my general experience with doing it every round is that it slows combat itself down (as everyone has to take time to roll and then possibly to readjust plans). I'd also rather keep the rules for delaying/readying/etc. which requires keeping the same order. I've encountered little abuse on that end of things.

The combat event sounds interesting if you wanted to shake things up. I'd try it probably if there were an easy digital tool to access so it wasn't one more thing I was trying to keep on the table.


And since I'm posting in this thread again...

I remembered I have a few house rules that I forgot about that are rather basic and largely just for convenience...

1. All magic items that are not artifacts are auto-IDed. No rolling for every item, no spending six years post combat going "can we use this yet?" "no we don't know what it is yet." Besides artifacts, exceptions are items that normally by the rules would be obscured or not fully revealed by a skill check + detect magic, such as an item obscured by obscure objects, or things like, a ring of air elemental command still looks like a ring of feather fall. A cursed item that is supposed to ID as something as innocuous still does so as well (although I rarely use cursed items, if ever).

This saves massive amounts of time and the only "challenge" it removes from the game is more of an annoyance--it has never served me as GM for the PCs not to know what they've found, honestly.

2. Most magical armor and clothing resizes to the wearer. I think a lot of people house rule this and it might have been the truth in some edition or another. This is another convenience factor, and to be sure the PCs get treasure they can actually use so we don't have to conjure up magic marts. Exceptions would items that are clearly designed for a very specific creature/purpose -- the magical crown of the Cloud Giant King will only ever fit a Huge-sized humanoid's head. But that +1 studded leather the goblin lieutenant was wearing will totally resize to fit the elf who looted it.

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I could have sworn I posted to this when it was first brought up but unless I'm blind, I didn't. So:

Well, like others--ultimately, I want what's most useful. If dropped gear isn't ultimately useful, then I will prefer to craft.


I have to say, when I think about my favorite items that have come into my PCs' possession were all, effectively, drops. Whether it was the random magic Swiss army knife my treasure hunter found (they may not be Superstar, but I loved that thing), or the gift my cleric's church gave to her of a holy quarterstaff, it was all GM-given.

I like the surprise of it. I like things I wouldn't THINK I wanted or needed, but when I get them, I can't imagine my character without them. Oftentimes what I plan for my character is nowhere near as FUN as what I find for them.

BUT the key here is the GM making the effort to include treasure in the game that is either designed specifically for the PCs, or otherwise just so NEAT you wouldn't want to do without it.

Whenever we've just ended up with random treasure nobody could really use, that's disappointing. The same staff wielding cleric was once handed a mace of disruption. "Use that, you're the cleric." "Well, but I use a staff. I have weapon specialization in it. The mace'll be good versus undead but otherwise I do more damage with the staff." (Fighter/cleric. Also, different edition.) It feels disappointing when the stuff you find isn't something you're not sure you can find a use for, or doesn't have interesting flavor to it.

So compared to random stuff I can't use, I'd rather craft it. But there are very few items I felt excited about crafting. I think the only thing I ever did get excited about crafting was... well, actually same cleric, they killed a dragon and she harvested scales to make armor with. But what was exciting about that was the story of the defeat of the dragon as part of that. If I had just decided "I want to make +2 red dragonhide etc." just because I felt that was what was useful, I would have been nowhere near as excited about it. I was excited about crafting it because it was something my character had earned and it was fun.

The root of it is I guess is I want a story out of it. And for it to be useful. I guess I'm high maintenance.

So rather than drops vs crafted...

I would say well designed drops > crafted and pertinent to story > crafted because practical > random drop that isn't interesting or useful.

I guess even with all this I'm in the minority. I get really excited about the treasure I write up for my parties and think I've done a good job coming up with stuff everyone can use and will want to and then two-thirds of the time they sell/trade it all anyway. I guess I have to get better at that and/or accept some people just want to go to the magic mart/magic crafter's guild.

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Human Fighter (Cad) 2/ Rogue (Pirate) 1 [HP 10/27 | AC:14 F:12 T:12 | CMD 17 (18 t,st; 20 di, gr, 21 dt) | Save F:+5 R:+4 W:+0 | Init:+4 Perc:+6]

I felt at the time, the speech I had posted in the prior post was a good, heroic rallying speech. Roleplaying isn't about monologuing at length and dominating the page with effectively self-congratulatory text. It's about making the words you post in character count, whether few or many, and I feel I did that in the original post I had made. For me, I felt the reroll just better reflected my roleplaying but did not need to add to what I felt already worked. I also didn't want to unnecessarily dominate the scene I was sharing with Thorn just because of a lucky roll. That to me would feel like gloating, and stealing some of my teammates' spotlight when a number just happened to turn up good for me.

I also was fairly new to the time at the game and didn't want to write an additional, long post in case I had messed up and we weren't supposed to spend HP during that introductory scene.

And given Barcas was trying to run two separate scenes in between murder cases, I doubt he had much time at the time to notice much of anything anyway.

I didn't expect anyone to make a big deal of the roll--it's just a number--the only reason why I brought it up now was because the GM declared a condition I had met earned something that I didn't know about prior.

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Interesting episode. Liked it except for one thing....

WHY oh WHY are they wasting Alex Kingston's talents and Dinah Drake Lance's name on this useless simpering victim plot device TV mom? What the ever loving hell????

Other thoughts (spoilers):


Nyssa was fascinating. Loved the actress. I liked that she was a sympathetic psycho b&%$!. And badass as hell.

Speaking of psycho b&!$~es... I actually feel sorry for Laurel, a little. DON'T TAKE THIS AS A DEFENSE OF HER ACTIONS. I am not defending her. Girl needs several quick shots of reality to the face, and stat. But I also try to see things from the character's point of view, and this is what I see: Girl has been nearly killed, kidnapped, invaded all too often. Most people check on her once to see if she's okay, but then leave her alone. Lance tries but he will still quickly ditch her for a phone call from work. She seeks solace in drugs and alcohol in lieu of friends and family. This makes her jumpy, paranoid, and even more isolated (addicts tend to go out of their way to isolate themselves, including behaving terribly to people they care about). Friends of hers turn her onto the fact that another friend of hers seems shady, and she starts to suspect him of terrible things. She's actually right, but her other behaviors have destroyed her credibility. Whole thing makes her more jumpy, paranoid, isolated. She's forced to kill a man, which nobody checks in on her about even though that in itself is traumatic. Dad tries to trick her into going to an AA meeting which is the most moronic thing you can do--those don't work unless the addict wants to go, which is something Lance himself should know. (What's scary is the writers are very good at writing how addicts behave but suck at writing anything to do with recovery, which may be darkly telling.) Plus I think Laurel was really looking forward to personal time with dad--where maybe she would have opened up--an instead was made to feel fooled and betrayed. She goes on a bender. Gets poisoned hallucinates Sara. Mom comes to see her. Then disappears. Dad almost tells her what's going on, but then ditches her and basically tells her to literally and figuratively stay in the dark, alone. She follows. In the end what she sees is Dad and Mom doting over Sara--and at this point she is the only one who didn't know Sara was alive. She feels left out, betrayed, again made to feel a fool. She lashes out at the easiest target, Sara.

Again, this is not to defend Laurel's actions-she massively needs to learn to take responsibility for her own issues--its just to draw out the line of where she's going. I understand why she's acting the way she's acting. And I look forward to seeing her either slowly crawl out from the bottom and come to grips with things, or just go totally psycho b#$#& evil. Either would be entertaining. if she can't be the Black Canary, why not the White Canary?

Also on b%+$$es: Moira for evil overlord of Starling City. Helllsssss yessss. I love Felicity but I still loved Moira's smooth smack down of her more. F&!% Slade, forget Merlyn, who al Ghul? Fyers, Rochev, Ivo, whatever. Moira Queen is THE best villain on this show hands down and I love her and I want to be her minion.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:

As DM, I'd override the use of the obscure rule if I deemed it cheese. If instead I thought it brilliant thinking out of the box I'd delightedly watch as my best laid plans squeaked and ran away/blew up.

Back on topic.

Way back, in the mid-80's, my DM had planned an excruciating series of episodes in which my paladin, who'd been bitten by a wolf, would do terrible things as a were-creature—things he didn't remember upon returning to human form—thereby losing his powers through no real fault of his own.

He began describing my first transformation.

"You observe with horror as your fingernails lengthen into claws and ..."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do."

"No, I don't. You're narrating my loss of humanity and change into a werewolf, right?"

"Well, you've ruined the mood, but ... yeah."

"Paladins, as you know, are immune to disease. Lycanthropy is a disease. Therefore, my paladin is immune. Nice try, though."

"I'm going to interpret it as a curse."

"In other words, a magical disease. Still immune."

The other two players were also split, one agreeing with the DM and the other with me. Little did we know that we'd stumbled on a serious bone of contention within the game, one that would divide participants for decades.

As I recall, that game session ended abruptly, as he wouldn't back down and I refused to play a compromised paladin simply because he didn't like the character class and had searched high and low for something with which to be childishly punitive.

(Interestingly enough, I believe Paizo's paladins are expressly immune to lycanthropy.)

It is a disease. Paladin laughs it off.

Actually, in Pathfinder it is listed as curse, not a disease. Paladins are immune to magical diseases like mummy rot, but lycanthropy isn't listed under diseases, it's listed under curses.

A Pathfinder paladin could however cure himself of the affliction if he had the remove curse mercy, I believe.

Sorry for the derail.

As a GM, I had planned several pathways to a certain area, but all of course required overcoming certain hazards or being detected in some way. They were in a cave where a stream was flowing down from a hole in the wall. That's when the cleric announced she was casting wind walk and they used it to fly through the hole, avoiding most encounters. They did have to get a long way around to where they were going, but I had actually designed the geography, without realizing, that that was a valid way to get where they were going. I rolled with it, though--I'd forgotten the cleric had that spell and figured it was a clever use of the spell.

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Disclaimer: references to "you" in this post are general and do not refer to any real person, living or dead. This is not a response to any one person but to the gist of much of this conversation in general.

I'd say anyone here takes a risk in talking about and moreover judging people in terms of the demographic they belong to. The admins of this site are going to err on making sure all people feel welcome, and if someone states an opinion on a type of person that makes that type of person reading this board feel unwelcome or offended, then that opinion is going to be silenced. Yes, that in its own sense becomes an exclusive policy, but the policy as I see it is basically to exclude those who would exclude others.

Besides, if you're going to denigrate, judge, or otherwise condemn (even if subtly) someone for belonging to a certain demographic (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, religion), then in my opinion you have given up your right to complain about being judged yourself -- you get done unto you what you do to others. If you, whether explicitly or complicitly, advocate for the oppression of others, even if you think you're morally or ethically obligated to do so, you don't get to yell "help, help, I'm being oppressed" when people turn around what you want to do to other people back on you.

And if you really want to talk about that kind of stuff, there REALLY are better places for it than a website for a game company anyway.

There is not, or shouldn't be, a risk to talk about ideologies, political points of view, etc. as long as it doesn't get into judging individuals. For example, I think people can discuss the economic benefits and flaws of increasing the minimum wage, as long as it doesn't get into insulting rich people or poor people. Or discuss whether sodas containing high fructose corn syrup should be banned. Or discuss a movie that's out, or a book, or whatever. You could even talk about what a given religion, or political group, or other ideologically based organization believes--just so long as it stays away from judging what people of a given group described.

Now, can we utterly eliminate judgement and bias from the way we talk? No. But I think there are guidelines that can be drawn and we can do our best to respect our differences.

Me, I just wish there was more straight up kindness and empathy on this board. There is a lot of bitterness, a lot of bitterness in this thread and elsewhere, and we take it out on each other far, far too often--and take personally often that which isn't meant to be personal. That doesn't do us or Paizo any favors.

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Hama wrote:
The only thing you'll get is that if you disagree on moderating decisions you can write a message or an email to moderating staff, which I am pretty sure just goes to the spam folder and is never read.

We are going OT, but when I have emailed Paizo, I have always gotten a reply.

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:

DQ you are one of the wisest, calmest, most eloquent speakers for sanity and a fair go for all, on these boards....

But LotR books boring, NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't tell me you are one of those people I have a sad face now :-(


If it makes you feel any better, I still greatly admire Tolkien's medieval scholarship and poetic translations.

As to other things on this thread, I wholeheartedly approve of Hellknight Thatcher.

Also someone brought up the RED movies, and now I want to play a character based on Victoria.

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Orthos wrote:
unclevanya wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:
How about Fin Raziel, from the movie "Willow"?

Hell yes.

And Fin Raziel vs. Bavmorda makes the fight between Gandalf and Sauron look like a tea party.

Uh Oh DQ, you made the big mistake on geeky parts of the internet, Never Say Anything Is Better Than A LOTR Character. Run, run while you still can!

So saying that LotR was one of the most boring series of books I ever read would be a bad idea?

Bring it, nerds!

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unclevanya wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:
How about Fin Raziel, from the movie "Willow"?

Hell yes.

And Fin Raziel vs. Bavmorda makes the fight between Gandalf and Sauron look like a tea party.

First Gandalf doesn't fight Sauron so I have no idea what you mean.

Whoops! I mistyped, being in a hurry. I meant Saruman of course. I hope given time you can forgive my paraphasia.

Let me put it this way: in watching Willow vs watching the movie adaptation of LotR, I enjoyed watching Fin Raziel more. I was not evaluating or comparing power levels. Your mileage may vary.

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Aaron Bitman wrote:
How about Fin Raziel, from the movie "Willow"?

Hell yes.

And Fin Raziel vs. Bavmorda makes the fight between Gandalf and Sauron look like a tea party.

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Seems like most of the old ladies I know are badass, so your monk and wizard are stupid. This is fact.

Seriously though, it is uncommon, yes, and it's kind of a shame. Most of the old ladies in traditional fantasies are witches who live in candy houses and eat children and the like.

Video games, as much as they seem to usually have to be the ones to catch up with the times, have done more for Badass Old Lady Liberation. There's Kreia from KoTOR2 (she could rip Gandalf in half and eat him for breakfast, and possibly would depending on the mood she was in) and Wynne in Dragon Age.

In d20 based RPGs, I'd say people avoid playing older characters to avoid age penalties (or as Tormsskull notes, insists on playing one for the boosts to mental stats), beyond anything else. I've certainly used elderly NPCs.

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Hmmm.... if I were to stat them out....

Captain America - I'd probably go with Paladin with the Sacred Shield Archetype. Because LG guy with a magic shield and all. I agree with above that in a way cavalier would be better, but the mount ruins it for me.

Iron Man - Synthesist Summoner with the battlesuit being the eidolon

Hulk (or rather, Bruce Banner) - Alchemist with the vivisectionist and ragechemist archetypes and the Master Chymist prestige class.

Thor - Not sure, maybe LG Magus with a lightning theme?

Black Widow - This may seem weird, but I might go for bard, probably either the street performer archetype because of its deception and disguise themes, or the detective archetype because of true confession and eye for detail amongst other things. The bardic performances and spells help round out her versatility (IIRC in the comics she's a bit superhuman, just on the low end of the superhuman scale). Just add a good combat feat tree on top of it.

Hawkeye - Ranger or maybe if using ACG Slayer, with a dip in another class or trait to get him Acrobatics as a class skill.

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This is very strange, I just typed a long post and then it's not showing--even though I see "last post by DeathQuaker at xxx" (before I posted this one). Unfortunately, I did not copy paste the post just in case as I often do. Did it just get eaten?

ETA: Someone suggested I look in my post history. It is there, so here it is, FWIW:


To the OP: It sounds like you handled the situation as best you could, given the circumstances, and you and your friends' personalities. Given he is a longtime friend, I think giving him an opportunity to apologize was appropriate. The only suggestion I might make is that if he gets hostile again, would be to ask him to go into another room to discuss it, rather than do it in front of the other players (who clearly did not want to be involved).

I might have done some things differently, but on the other hand, I think I can distinctly say I don't have players that would act like that, all in terms of asking to play a banned class (I do have players push for unusual ideas for sometimes, but they usually take no for an answer without much fuss), metagaming and whining when not allowed to metagame, and in heatedly telling me to eff off when I make a rules call. I guess I am lucky. I can recall my days in gaming clubs and running demos at stores where I might be more likely to run into someone that might act like that, but it's been awhile.

If I DID have someone who acted like that, I would probably also ask them to leave the group if this was typical behavior or they were being especially disruptive. Not because someone shouldn't say "f#!% you" to a GM specifically, but because that level of hostility over a pretendy funtime game isn't welcome at my table. A player also saying that kind of thing to another would not be tolerated (and I might even be more angry about it). (Now: disclaimer: my friends and I are potty mouths, and I am fairly certain we have said the "eff you" to each other on various occasion, but generally in some level of jest, not to truly hurt. If someone said or appeared they were really hurt by that, an apology would indeed be expected--and likely given.)

Now, in the specific circumstance of the archetype, I would make clear that I may use the archetype for NPCs from the darklands, but as the PCs are not from the darklands it is not available to them. So the player would know to expect that they may encounter the archetype even if I have disallowed them to use it. If the player felt that was unfair, I would probably change my NPC concept to something else. (Back in 3.x there were some Prestige Classes I thought worked well for big bads and such but weren't appropriate for players; normally as I was clear about this, my players did not give me trouble for it and I used it sparingly).

HOWEVER, a big reason I'd feel free to share this with my players, and I trust my players not to metagame. And, archetype issue aside, the fact that the argument started over his basically insisting he should be able to metagame is an issue that hasn't been touched on much in my brief scan. You were right to make him roll and he should have accepted the result, and yes, certainly some Knowledge checks can and should be that high. If this is a common issue, you might want to chat about metagaming with the group -- and remind the players that avoiding metagaming is for their own enjoyment, to discover the story as it goes along.

If it shows up on its own later, please flag this as a double post.

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TOZ wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
TL;DR: Don't quote jerks, and in fact don't reply to them period.
This is horrible advice. I would have no one to talk to if everyone followed it.

I'm not seeing the downside here...


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Bill Dunn wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


For both of you, I'm not the person you need to convince. I'm just a...

I'm not out to convince anyone, just a thought I wanted to share because it made me less uncomfortable around here when I considered it as a possibility.

You're not alone in your concern. It has crossed my mind too, particularly when an offender post is deleted along with responses and other related posts. Often, those other posts do have some nuggets of good information in them and, probably, weren't flagged even though they too felt the axe.

Well the "easy" solution to that is not reply to people who have made an offensive post. I put "easy" in quotes because apparently few have enough self control to avoid this kind of situation, as simple as it may seem.

Message board rule zero: don't feed the trolls. Then your post won't get deleted and the offender won't start the flamewar he wanted to.

The other trick is if you MUST reply, don't quote it. They will delete any post that has quoted a post they feel they need to delete, no matter how Pulitzer-prize deserving the post beneath the quote is.

I do wish they would edit posts rather than delete them, the way other boards do (edits are noted in another color that others cannot post in, like red, so people know they have been modded), but they've stated several times that they're not going to do that.

TL;DR: Don't quote jerks, and in fact don't reply to them period.

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Andrew R wrote:
Flagging seams like too easy a tool to silence opinions, doubly so if it is against a mods personal opinions. Debating the content is far more adult and honest than winning by whining and mods need to think hard about if they are deleting for actual content violations or personal reasons. same goes for the "personal attacks" violations, i have too often seen one side allowed to attack and the other side crushed if they respond. I like the mods being able to be part of the conversation and share opinions, but they also need to allow opposing opinions without abusing authority to silence what they might be personally offended by.

Flagging doesn't silence anyone. It draws attention to a post of question, and then the staff confer with each other as to whether it's worth deleting, and then they act on it--or not. If it's obviously inflammatory ("I think all men stink and should die") then they probably don't need to confer on it.

I've flagged posts that were left intact (and probably should have been, upon reflection)

It isn't an instant ostracization tool (especially since no one can see what posts are flagged except the posts you yourself flagged).

If you see "one side" being picked on, flag the "other side" yourself, or email The thing about this system is everyone participates. If you don't use the system or want it taken away, you're actually taking away your own voice.

While you and I likely read different threads, I do have to say, the only time I personally have ever seen "one sided" deletion has been where that one side WAS violating the rules, and the other side was not. The only time I've seen staff delete someone else's "disagreeing" post was where someone WAS saying something blatantly homophobic, sexist, or racist (ETA: or otherwise some kind of personal attack), which is clearly against the rules. I for one am delighted such muck is not tolerated here. If Paizo is unfair or one-sided for keeping the bigots at bay, than hurrah for unfairness and one-sidedness. This is a gaming forum--in my opinion absolutely not the kind of place to encourage inflammatory "debates" (over real world issues)---and frankly, I think people who want to engage in such debates should do it in person with other individuals to whom they can say what they have to say to someone else's face, not on the Internet, where not only can things be easily misinterpreted, but the person who can post most frequently wins and the cowardly hateful can hide from the people they are insulting and degrading.

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Orthos wrote:
I have been to forums where "real world" topics like politics and religion were banned (and posting about such things were a warnable offense).
As have I, and it happens to be my preferred manner of seeing to the subjects in question. Obviously Paizo feels differently, so the only remaining option is to avoid such topics myself. Which makes the hide buttons a godsend.

I think the sites which ban "real world topics" are smart to do so.

But I think sites which allow them shouldn't disallow anyone from posting to them, at least not based on who they are on principle and who they work for. Obviously if you're banned from the site for breaking the site rules, that's different--you agree to the terms and conditions of the site when you get an account here, you break those terms and conditions, you know the consequences are coming.

To me, either you don't allow the topic at all, or you allow the topic and everyone gets a voice (save those whose posts are deleted for breaking the rules--and it's been made clear here you can flag and report staff just like you can any other member of the community).

And I think you, Orthos, are probably smart to avoid most of those discussions regardless. :)

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Auxmaulous wrote:

I would rather the moderators stay out of the heated/controversial threads if they do not cover Paizo product or edition warring.

To me the core issue is when a moderator (who is human, and will take a stance on one side or another) is posting and moderating in non-paizo product thread and is either deleting posts that they dislike or is being zealous of maintaining "off topic" moderation when a post deviates from the subject matter is dear to their personal beliefs.

IMO (and this is just my opinion) - the safest and most consistent way to go would be if moderators stayed out of non-paizo product discussions and just moderate the forums - for language, post that break forum rules and to eliminate attacks/insults on other posters.

Example: Right now we have more than a few gender-roles/gender politics threads going on simultaneously and some of the regular posters in those threads are Paizo staff. I understand that this issue are near and dear to most if not all the staff here, but is it really necessary for the staff to both post in and moderate threads that are already volatile/hot-button issues? Is it necessary for Paizo staff to post in these at all?

At best this comes across as unprofessional and at worst it looks like some of the staff posters are using the threads here as a soapbox to convey their personal views and those that don't stay 100% on top of the moderators immediate discussion are quashed.

Not saying it IS SO, saying that's how it LOOKS to some of us.

You guys (staff) have all the power here.

If this forum is going to allow discussion of real world topics like gender, religion, and politics, then NO ONE should be silenced on the subject. That includes the Paizo staff. And my sense is what you are asking for, between the lines, is certain people to be silenced, and I do not find that cool at all. And it is in fact antithetical and detrimental to the idea of "open discourse" that you and other posters were advocating for earlier in the thread.

As for moderators getting hotheaded and deleting something perhaps they shouldn't--my understanding is that that most of the time, staff consult with each other before deleting a post. Even though one person does it, usually it is the result of several staff conferring on the issue. There may be instances where someone's kneejerk deleted something when they shouldn't have but I sincerely doubt that is very much the exception to the rule. Should a staff member ask someone else to go through and do the deleting, even if multiple people agree on it? Possibly? But it might create more work for them that isn't really necessary.

And otherwise--I strongly feel, either everyone gets an opinion--or no one does. I have been to forums where "real world" topics like politics and religion were banned (and posting about such things were a warnable offense). Often, honestly, for good reason, unfortunately. But if you're going to allow hot button topics to be discussed, then I think it's only fair that everyone gets a chance to participate if they want to, and especially the people who effectively own this sandbox.

You may dislike it, but it's entirely your choice to be here. You can accept your choice, understanding that means you may have to put up with staff you dislike and opinions you don't want to read, or make another.

Peter Stewart wrote:

I don't think the suggestion was that Paizo mods and designers stop posting. The suggestion is simply that when moderation is required on a thread in which a given mod / designer is already posting that it be handed off to another mod to deal with from that angle. I think that's a pretty good suggestion.

I believe Berik was replying to Auxmaulous's post above, which says, "the safest and most consistent way to go would be if moderators stayed out of non-paizo product discussions and just moderate the forums" and "Is it necessary for Paizo staff to post in these at all? " -- To me that is a very clear suggestion that they do not post at all in certain threads.

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I follow the rules/guidelines for alignment, which state

PRD wrote:
Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

It is a tool, not a straitjacket, it is a broad range, and no one is ever completely consistent. If more people paid attention to this, there'd probably be fewer alignment arguments. :)

Regarding the "go against your alignment unintentionally..." I agree so far as intent is the key issue. With the scenario of the rogue sneak attacking the goblin, you could bring up an issue of the rogue making assumptions that led, however unintentionally, to murder... but on the other hand, if the rogue felt he was truly in danger and was doing the best thing to protect himself and his party, then it either wasn't an "evil act" or otherwise it was sufficiently "grey area" it by itself is not going to have a lot of consequences (other than the obvious consequence that the party has lost a potential ally). And of course the big thing to remember is that a single act against alignment does not result in an alignment shift---so that even if you ruled that the rogue did an evil thing, he would not suddenly become evil for this one mistake.

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Bill Dunn wrote:

I think the moderation gets a bit overzealous at times, particularly with off topic posts. Conversations drift, tangents appear and then get reabsorbed. I'd say they shouldn't really concentrate on off-topic posting with deletion, rather, just by chiming in with an attempt to redirect back to the topic at hand.

The other topic in which moderation bothers me is the paranoia over edition warring. I've seen entirely moderate criticisms aimed at 4e draw the edition war accusation from moderators. That's a bit too sensitive.

Edition-warring chased me away from another gaming message board, even though that one was otherwise more strictly moderated. I can understand a desire to be overzealous in preventing that. (ETA: that is preventing people in general running away from edition warring.)

Gorbacz wrote:

Bag of Devouring

The "problem" with SKR pretty much boils down to:

X: So, as far as I can see the feat Y was designed by somebody who went through a failed lobotomy, which is actually a job requirement for working as a designer at Paizo lolololol.
SKR: Well, at least ours was failed, you had a succesful one apparently.

I am not going to name names because I do not want to turn this into a "this poster/this staff member is a bad guy," any more than it has become, but I have seen far more civil conversations where some Paizo staff members actually were the ones who were doing the baiting, not the community member. This happens much less frequently then it used to, thankfully. But when it does happen, it DOES make the Paizo staff look unprofessional. I HAVE seen stuff like:

Poster X: *in reasonable, civil tone* Why does feat do X?
Staff Member Y: Well because of very vague reason.
Poster X: *still in reasonable, civil tone* But doesn't your vague reason contradict this more specific ruling here?
Staff Member Y: Look, stop arguing, it is just the way it is, and all posts about this from now on will be deleted!

Or sometimes, perhaps more accurately, you do have idiots like the ones Gorbacz cites, but ALSO the reasonable poster, and the reasonable poster is completely ignored while the staff member decides to argue with the idiot.

There's also stuff like... I remember one time that troll guy whose name I've forgotten but he liked to use the funny gas mask avatar, and he was actually behaving himself for once, and three different staff members started trollbaiting him when otherwise the conversation would have remained civil.

The ONLY REASON I am noting this in any terms at all is because while on one hand, I get uncomfortable with some of the calling outs on this thread, but on the other hand, I am likewise uncomfortable with the taking of sides and the general attitude on these boards that if you disagree with Paizo staff, you are a terrible person, which I feel your post perpetuates, Gorbacz--you're painting the situation with a much, much too broad brush. Not all people who disagree sound like what you're saying, but sometimes some staff members have still chosen to take offense (instead of say, ignore it or do something else if they were getting frustrated). I'm not saying that staff members shouldn't get frustrated, but frankly, at least I do personally hold them to a higher standard of post style because they are not just representing themselves and their opinions, but the entire company they work for. I was trained in customer service, and I was trained that if you are speaking up in a public space in your workplace (and this board is both a public space and part of some people's workplace), you represent "the team" at all times; I hold myself to that standard at work so I tend to hold other people to the same when I observe their behavior.

Honestly, either way, it's definitely NOT a good thing for community members to pile on any given staff member. But blind fanboy defense isn't really the right reaction either. (ETA: I think what I am trying to get at is I don't think it's right to discount other people's complaints especially if they feel hurt, even if the same time we are both bothered by some of the call-outs in this thread.) Probably really best not to bring it up either way, and report issues privately, the more I think about it.

Look, we're all human beings here, and everyone's going to make mistakes. I've got my issues with some posters here, staff and community members alike; I'm sure there are staff and community members here who have their issue with me. If I think there is something bad enough, I will flag it, or I will write to webmaster@ or and share my concerns. That's probably the best, most productive thing we can do in any case.

Hopefully something up there made sense.

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Moderation is hard, and I feel the Paizo staff do their best. I don't always agree with the moderation but 99% of the time I get why they delete what they do. Honestly, I am one of the people who wishes moderation was more aggressive, but I respect why Paizo remains in, what is my opinion based on other boards I've been to, a more "hands off" approach, coming in only when someone's being a right nozzle.

The problem with zero moderation is that the people who are the loudest and most obnoxious and/or who can post the most frequently chase away the people who just want to have a nice, civil discussion. This happens here, in my opinion, often enough, even with the moderation that is here. If you've got poster A, who is just trying to share some ideas civilly and kindly, but they've got a job/life where they can post once a day, and you've got poster B, who aggressively shoots down everything anyone says that disagrees with him and takes other posts out of context to turn things into arguments, and they have a job/life where they can basically just sit on the message boards 24/7 ready to jump on every single post that comes after his and perpetuate his trolling.... poster B WILL chase poster A away eventually, because poster A realizes he will never have a chance to be heard amid all the noise poster B and others like him are making.

I have absolutely no problem with the "risk" of silencing/quieting down poster B if it means poster A gets a better chance to be heard, and the moderation here helps make stuff like that happen.

TL;DR: in my opinion, the moderation here doesn't limit discourse. It actually helps real discourse happen, by making sure the little guy gets heard rather than drowned out by the trolls.

Even then, in some threads here, the aggressive, bullying posters who post nonstop still "win" most of the time. That's not discourse, it's just a shouting match.

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