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Hitdice's page

2,720 posts (2,964 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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Y'know Dan, there's a variant noble background feature in the PHB that gives you 3 commoners as retainers. Maybe there could be some sort of feat that grants them HD and proficiency bonus advancement?

Hitdice negated as a concept? I'm standing right here, dude!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That's all cool, DigitalMage, but if we're going to follow gamer etiquette, first we have have a five hour argument about the difference between a samurai and a bushi, 'kay?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was just glad to see someone aside from myself mention Dhalgren. :)


ZOMG Samnell, dumb it down a bit for the rest of us, will you? I prefer books featuring rocketships and rayguns, okay?

. . .

Y'know, back in the early 80s, some publisher rebooted the Tom Swift series as science fiction. God, those books were awesome; a redhead (platonic) girlfriend, an "Amerindian" sidekick and a robot named Aristotle, but best of all? No complicated words to look up!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I really, honestly, think that, if Anathem was more culturally present than, say Twilight or the The Hunger Games, the world would be a experientially better place, at least for me on an individual level.


Treppa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Samnell wrote:

Got a recommendation out of the blue for Ancillary Justice. Different board. Wasn't even talking books. Guy just PMed me because he thought I'd like the second book in the trilogy. Of course you have to read the first before that.

So far the military scifi aspect isn't utterly alienating, which is nice. Quite like the protagonist.

I actually quite liked both of them. The second a little more than the first, which is apparently uncommon.

I found that the whole genderless SJW thing that had everyone up in arms is far less emphasized than rumour had it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick unto death of one aspect of a book (politician, event, article) being blown all out of proportion and being made the entire story by the Highly Offended Few. Honestly. Can't we take a subtle, nuanced look at the world? Between the blowup about the genderless narration of the Ancillary books and the ruckus about Atticus Finch's paternalistic attitude towards blacks in Watchman, I'm wondering if anybody bothers to, you know, read the actual books and look more than skin deep.

** spoiler omitted **

Subtlety and nuance are too much work! I just want to shout insightfully pithy bons mots about books I haven't bothered to read, it's easier!


Smilo, I'd love it if you'd put a downloadable version up somewhere so I could print it and peruse it at my leisure. If that's too much trouble, I totally understand, but I'm a dinosaur, so I prefer that sort of thing.

That said, I like what I see. Just don't ask me about specifics, 'cause I've read everything through the filter of squinting-at-a-screen. :)


Harry Dresden? Oh pish, I far prefer Stephanie Plum! I mean, if you want that sort of thing and you've already memorized every single one of Robert B. Parker's Spenser books.

The Jesse Stone stuff is pretty good, but there aren't like forty books in the series or anything . . .

87th Precinct? Never heard of it, but I'm pretty sure Alfred Hitchcock wrote the script for The Birds. :P


Samnell, if you're in the mood for near future, non-military scifi combined with urban fantasy of some kind, you might enjoy Vurt by Jeff Noon. Like, a lot. I found that the follow up books in the series paled in comparison to the first, but the first was FRICKEN EXCELLENT!


Caineach wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

I'm quite excited about Incredibles 2, actually, since Pixar refused to do a sequel unless they had something perfect.

A few thoughts...
The Last Unicorn had plenty of annoying songs, what with the late '70s band popping in every so often.

You're cherry-picking your favorites from the past and your least favorites from the present. The Frog Princesses had a new addition to the best villain song list- no mean feat. And if you want a beautiful animated movie, watch The Secret of Kells. Heck, The Secret of Kells could be my argument on its own.

I'd say kids movies these days do a better job of not treating them like kids. Big Hero 6 actually deals with grief, and Frozen has a villain who isn't presented as such at first.

As for voice actor quality, I couldn't really say. I tend not to notice it much. I'd probably consider Scar one of the more stand-out examples, and that's '90s. For Studio Ghibli, the English dub on Gigi in Kiki's Delivery Service was an excellent cat voice.

The group that did the Secret of Kells has done one called the Song of the Sea, about a selkie. At some point I need to get around to watching it, since the Secret of Kells was so beautiful.

Me three for Secret of Kells! It's just a beautiful, beautiful movie. CGI is a treat for the eyes, but I love me some stylistic 2D cell animation.

Edit: When I think of bad, bad animated movie adaptations from my childhood, I'd like to nominate The Black Cauldron. I read The Chronicles of Prydain when I was 10 or 11, and absolutely loved them. I mean, I was young, and I, like, experienced the mythic hero story of Taran. But before I was even finished reading the series, I heard that Disney was making a movie adaptation of the the first two books, and I got really, really excited. Then I saw some pictures of the disneyfied Gurgi in some magazine (World, I want to say, but don't quote me on that) and even at the tender age of 11 I was all, "This entire enterprise is going to be a travesty!"

Three decades have not changed my opinion.


Really, nothing? Personally, I feel like it's the 2nd compared to the 1st, and I remain willing to watch the 3rd.


Set, that's true of just about every song Cohen's ever written, imnsho.

Having seen the whole series, I wonder how much time Pizzolatto spent on the season one script as compared to the season two script. I saw an interview in which McConaughey mentioned having the entire script to work with, suggesting that Pizzolatto had been working on it for who knows how long, whereas season two feels like it was written more quickly.

Of course, that opinion is colored by an interview I heard with Matthew Wiener, where he said that the Mad Men pilot didn't get produced for years and years, so he had a lot of very specific ideas about casting when the finally went into production. Thinking it over after last night's episode, it occurred to me that a show like True Detective, with a new cast every season, only benefits from that sort of long term preparation in its first season, rather than for the whole run of the series.

Anyhow, I actually quite liked the finale, I'm just not sure it had to take seven episodes to get there, if you see what I mean.

Burnett's the series Music editor or whatever, but he doesn't cover the theme song; it was The Handsome Family for season one and Cohen for season two.


Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (or at least the third of the novel's three sections) describes a technologically advanced society which lives in an orbital habitat recolonizing the earth's surface 5,000 years after an apocalypse. The first two sections describe the apocalypse and the experience of the survivors, but the third section sounds like what you're looking for.

No, I'm not going to spoiler that, because it's nothing you can't read on the book jacket flap.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
I've heard that writers are only allowed to make up one name with an apostrophe in it as long as they work for Paizo. Have you used your apostrophe yet?
Near the start. Cyth-V'sug.
Does Paizo have the same sort of rule about hyphens, or are you just using those things like a kid spending pennies at the candy store?

No special rule. Hyphens are always available to make compound nouns, even if they're Proper Nouns.

The problem with putting an apostrophie in a name is that it doesn't actually do what most fantasy authors think it does.

Have you ever read Reamde by Neal Stephenson? 'Cause that's sort of a really huge issue about halfway through the book. :)


James Jacobs wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
I've heard that writers are only allowed to make up one name with an apostrophe in it as long as they work for Paizo. Have you used your apostrophe yet?
Near the start. Cyth-V'sug.

Does Paizo have the same sort of rule about hyphens, or are you just using those things like a kid spending pennies at the candy store?


Doodles, just read Picnic on Paradise already, will you?


Werthead wrote:

I think we can safely say this is definitely happening: both sides have spent way too much money in legal fees alone to wimp out now, and Hasbro clearly want (rather unedifyingly in their desperation) a DC/Marvel/Star Wars-style mega-franchise, which D&D rather uniquely fits.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hopeful of the end product being any good, but we are going to see a big-budget movie based on an RPG hitting the screen, which is kind of crazy. In fact, if Hasbro were bonkers enough to help raise $220 million for the Battleship film, I wonder what they're going to bet on a movie based on something that has actual stories attached to it. It'd be rather insulting if it was much less.

Oh, I totally think it's definitely happening, my point was that I have been SEVERELY disappointed by the production values of every single D&D based movie (yes, that includes Mazes & Monsters, starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks) thus far.

. . . I remain hopeful. Willfully hopeful!


Werthead wrote:

Tremble mortals, and despair. The mighty armies of Hasbro and Warner Brothers have lined for battle. Their lawyers prepare to unleash litigious fury and, oh, hang on, they've all kissed and made up.

So yeah, Warner Brothers and Hasbro have unexpectedly joined forces with the redoubtable Courtney Solomon and have greenlit an official D&D movie set in the Forgotten Realms, with proper money and (hopefully) a decent director behind it.

That just happened.

. . . Interesting; I've been disappointed so many times before that I can only remain curious, rather than actually get my hopes up, but interesting nonetheless. Just, not so campy as the Transformer franchise, please!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Limeylongears wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
I have also been reading 'Titus Alone' by Maeve Gilmour
I thought Mervyn Peake wrote the original trilogy himself, and his wife only the sequel, Titus Awakes?

He did. I wrote 'Alone'; I meant 'Awakes'

Poetry.

Hey Kirth, you think that deserved a footnote? :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Purchased it, read it, enjoyed it. :)


I suppose transhumanism in a d20 system depends on your definition of baseline humans. Maybe norms have 10 ability scores across the board and never gain any class levels whatsoever. Or maybe norms can only gain levels in NPC classes, and all PCs are transhuman sheerly by dint of their level advancement. Or maybe norms are martial classes and caster classes benefit from a sufficiently advanced tech.

I guess what I'm saying is, if anyone out there is running a game where Gandalf and Ben Kenobi start at first level and gain enough levels to face off against the Borg queen, I wholeheartedly approve!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really want Belkar to draw Durkula into the circle of truth to interrogate him in front of witnesses, but Rich is too smart a writer to answer my hopes up with such an obvious solution.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, never forget Clarke's old saw about any sufficiently advanced technology . . .


So, at the risk of James Jacobs coming to my house to beat me up, a lot like Lovecraft?


Seveneves was awesome. Pure, unadulterated awesome. Reading that book was like mainlining freebase awesome all weekend long.

. . .

Oh man, I hope I can find something to read before the DTs set in!


ZMOG, Dan*, pick up the psionics UA; the Mystic class needs to be playtested by lost-in-the-crowd-casualty-replacement PCs! :)

*Or "Smilo," whichever you prefer.

Edit: Also, the Mystic class advancement only goes up to level 5 thus far, and if all the campaigns you play have surpassed that level, that's just on circumstance, MANG.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Kadir beneath Mo Moteh.


It was a joke, PA, 'cause Kal ninja'd my post. :)


A lot of the difference in customization has to do with the two systems different treatment of feats. In 5e feats are optional, and replace ability score increases when used. 5e feats are also much more broad, with each feat granting multiple effects. (Feats aren't included in Basic, so you'll just have to trust me if you don't want to buy the PHB.)

Though personally, I think most of the complaints about lack customization come from the fact that 15 years of d20 OGL has resulted in an amount of supplemental material that 5e, being a year old, just can't match.

Also, 5e has no ninja class; Kalshane, take note. :P


I found that the first Bones kick starter was so "worth it" that I got many MANY more minis than I had planned on, so in the second (and third, now) I went for the $1 Foot in the Door contribution. But, yes, if you want to get a mini collection started in one fell swoop, Bones kick starters will do it for you. Very good value for the contribution amounts.


Treppa wrote:
Trying to get Go Set a Watchman downloaded. Squeeee!

I'm very curious about that one, but I feel like I'm going to have to wait a year or two for the hubbub to die down before I can give the book an unbiased reading. If I hear one more NPR puff piece about how it's just the worst thing ever that Atticus Finch supported segregation later in life after everything that's gone in South Carolina this summer, I'm just gonna start punching white people, and that's coming from a white guy.

I got ahold of Seven Eves by Neal Stephenson, and want to read it, but am afraid the book may get the better of me.


Judy Bauer wrote:
A Pig of Cold Poison—lots of exciting archaic/dialectal terminology and horrifying early "medicine"!

Have you read the Wolf Hall series by Hilary Mantel? The plot synopsis you linked sounds . . . relevant, I guess is the best way to describe it.

I actually haven't read the books, but I really enjoyed the BBC dramatization on Masterpiece. Y'know, 'cause watching TV is easier than reading, look, whatever!


TOZ wrote:
Krensky wrote:
North Star isn't fantasy...
WTF difference does that make? Is he not an anime fighter that people can take for reference in their games?

Also, until the entire surviving population of the Earth in living through a post apocalyptic drought, I'm gonna put it in the fantasy category.

ZOMG, they're already living like that in California; The End Is Nigh!


Krensky wrote:
Hitdice wrote:

Fist of the North Star? I'll see you that and raise you a Lone Wolf and Cub! (Fine, it was manga dramatized in live action, no anime involved, but it's one of the greats, right?)

Edit: That was handed off from TOZ, back before I was ninja'd. /sigh

And it's a historical action drama, not fantasy.

I'll freely admit that there aren't any wizards or magic in the story, but there are plenty of examples of Itto Ogami displaying supernatural combat prowess.


Fist of the North Star? I'll see you that and raise you a Lone Wolf and Cub! (Fine, it was manga dramatized in live action, no anime involved, but it's one of the greats, right?)

Edit: That was handed off from TOZ, back before I was ninja'd. /sigh


Are we talking about RPG systems, or settings?

I feel that systems are designed with core mechanics as standard since the late 90s/first millennial decade. Gone are the days when (D&D) you'd role a d20 for combat, a d% for some skills and a d6 for others. Gone too are the days when (Traveller) baseline human character have one set of ability scores, but aliens replace Social Standing with Social Level, Caste, Charisma, Sense and Caste (but, like, different castes, don't worry about it), Psi (actually, any character you generate rolls for psionics, but it's recommended to play an intendant or noble if you're going Zhodani), Party Standing or Curiosity. (Darrians kept the baseline human ability scores, which feels like a real missed opportunity; given how transparently they were space elves, you think they would have replaced Social Standing with "Elfness" or something, but I guess at that point whoever wrote the alien modules had just had enough.)

Fantasy settings, on the others hand, have to be pre-industrial; the more I think about it, that's the one differentiating factor between fantasy and science fiction. Of course, the more I think about it, the more sure I become that RPG settings always ALWAYS blur the dividing line. At this point I feel like RPGs can't really have a standard setting. Just in order to break even, you have to account for stone age Quest for Fire characters adventuring alongside The Ship Who Sang cyborg types. Then again, I'm the sort of gamer who watches Michael Clayton and starts thinking about adapting it to D&D when it really should (obviously!) be Top Secret.


Krensky wrote:

Um, I'm not sure you quite understood me.

Throne of Blood is Kurasowa's adaptation of MacBeth to feudal Japan.

Shannara is massively derivative, most especially the early books, of the style and broad plot of Lord of the Rings. Intentionally and unapologetically so since Terry Brooks freely admits he was inspired to write the first book by Tolkein's work.

Another example would be critiscing Clueless as being derivative of Jane Austen's Emma.

They are well crafted, entertaining fantsies. Sure, they don't really innovate, but not every great book needs to.

What's funny is, while watching the trailer I thought, "Filmed in New Zealand? Starring John Rhys-Davies? An orc type with piercings all down his nose? It's as if the producers decided that derivative of Tolkien was a feature, not a bug!"

I'm impressed by the trailer, and plan to watch the series when it airs. It remains to be seen if it end up on the top shelf with Games of Thrones, or the one in the middle with Turn, but so long as it's not another Salem, I'll be happy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

. . . Hic!


F**KING AUTO-CORRECT!!1!


Y'know Logan, that's maybe the most mature thing I've ever seen anyone do on the internet. :)

As for the playtest (which I have not, in fact, yet had the chance to play test) I'm glad to see that psionics aren't simply a spell point equivalent of cancan casting. Beyond that, time will tell.


Kalindlara wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

That's not fair.

They're also weird fetish fuel.

Some sort of BDSM thing?

(Kind of makes sense. They've sold and sold and sold, after all, and there can't be all that many Objectivists knocking about...)

More, um... nonconsensual. Like, female protagonists being roughly taken (despite protests).

(I would put a trigger warning on that... but apparently people get triggered by trigger warnings. Irony!)

I've only read The Fountainhead, but in the introduction Rand describes Roark as the ideal of Objectivist masculinity, and then halfway through the book he rapes the female lead. I'm not talking about different social mores in a different time, I'm talking about Dominique saying "I've been raped," later in the course of her narrative. I finished the book, but I could never quite get past that one.

Then, after I read about noted comic book artist and Objectivist Steve Ditko removing his endorsement from a biographical art book because the interviewer was "anti-Ditko" (I didn't even know there were pro- and anti-Ditko factions; I suppose that makes me anti-Ditko) I sort of decided that if you have to abandon your family while fleeing the Russian Revolution, you either come up with a social theory as nut-job bizarro as Objectivism, or die or grief and survivor's guilt.

Speaking of Rand, I think I'll reread Sewer, Gas & Electric by Matt Ruff, that's a fun one.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Actual reply, when I request a book not be destroyed:

"What do you care -- you've already read it!"

(Sad headshake)

That right there is how the Dark Ages happened !!!!!111!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anyone who breaks the binding loses their borrowing privileges! Hell, I don't let people manhandle my comic books like that, and most of them are staple bound . . .


Tanith, I don't mean to be disrespectful, or snarky; I certainly don't think you're doing it wrong, but I'm very curious as to how a marriage between multiple parters would function legally. Same sex marriage never required changing the legal function of marriage, where including multiple partners would. I'm thinking particularly of pre-nuptual agreements and divorce.

I'm not saying multiple partnership shouldn't be accorded legal status, but that I think one of the reasons same-sex marriage gained federal recognition was because it was simply including same sex couples in an existing legal status. Hell, don't ask me, maybe all I'm saying is that getting bigamy decriminalized is the first step.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Just heard about the SCOTUS decision; WOOT!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I read some reviews before I saw the season premier, and was completely unconfused when I watched it, despite having heard only that it was too fragmented and nihilistic for the human consciousness to comprehend. This one has me just as intrigued as the first did, but I think it's important to remember how little the first season premier (that is, just the first hour of season 1) defined. I think the lackluster reviews are a result of reviewers comparing the emotional-closure-gestalt-experience of having seen the entire first season with the vast, open-ended WTF?! of having watched only the first episode of either.


Kajehase wrote:
When writing his novel about William Shakespeare, Nothing Like the Sun, Anthony Burgess only used words that appear in texts written by Shakespeare - and he did it on a typewriter.

Did Burgess do that on purpose, or was it just that Shakespeare had used so many words that "vocabularic range" wasn't issue? (I assume the typewriter thing is A historical artifact.)


Orfamay Quest wrote:
xavier c wrote:
TOZ wrote:
xavier c wrote:
According to natural science we are all slaves to our genes and there is no freewill and there is no morality. So what?
Do you mean that you have experienced slavery and found it to not be a bad thing?
No i'm saying According to natural science we are all slaves and there is no freewill and there is no good or bad.

Really? When did you talk to natural science?

Because I'm fairly sure he/she/it said no such thing.

Just "it," Orf, just "it."

SCIENCE WILL NEVER BE GENDER SPECIFIC!!

(Sorries to Katie!)


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Weird theory: The gods of the north are real. They just happen to be that one wizard looking through the weirwoods. What if the other gods in the series are just powerful wizards, Like Rhlor looking through fires and communicating with his followers?

That is interesting, if only because we've seen Bran warg into a weirwood to receive visions of the past and future. I was as interested to see that when the warlocks of Qarth gave Dany a vision of the iron throne, it was Joffrey's interior decoration, which she had no way of knowing about.

Mel seems to be a pretty unreliable prophet; every time she sees a vision of banners aflame, she assumes it means victory for the red god, whereas given the the track record in Westeros, it's just as likely that everyone's gonna die in a house fire. :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Magnets. How does they work? Therefore, fantasy.

Remember Elfquest? It had a magnet and magic! But the magic was more like psychic powers, and then at the end it was revealed that the elves were aliens all along, and you knew it was science fiction because in their original form the elves only had one nostril. One nostril!!

Look, it's been like 30 years, I'm not going to spoiler it.

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