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Hitdice's page

3,129 posts (3,378 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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thejeff wrote:

None. Which is why it's the reductio ad absurdem example, but the basic problem of linear perception is real.

The encounter distances do help, though I'd say they're equally unrealistic - as you suggest. The longest I saw was plains - max of 1440' (6d6*40). At which point you're never going to be able to see it anyway.
I guess you just roll the encounter distance and say you spot it 6d6*40 = 800 feet away whether it's a colossal titan or a tiny pixie.
Unless it's using stealth, in which case you start from there applying the usual Perception rules.

I think the mistake here is assuming that a Perception check is the only way to sense something in game. This point of view is no doubt influenced by my move to 5e, which is infinity times less granular in its skill rules.


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thejeff wrote:
Akkurscid wrote:

If it ever came up I would have to rule the Sun is not a fine detail and neither are the mountains forests or oceans so don't require perception checks to find.

Seeing a man in the middle of the road 10 away from you does not require a perception check.

But how far away does the man in the middle of the road require a Perception check?

Or a giant or a dragon, for that matter.

That's the problem. Regardless of the thing you're looking at and regardless of the skill of the observer, there's only a 200' distance between impossible to miss and impossible to see.

I mentioned this towards the end of the last thread, but I certainly won't blame you if you had nonsense fatigue at that point. The rules for maximum encounter distance are listed by terrain type in the wilderness rules, not the perception skill description. I'm not arguing that those maximum distances are any more realistic than the perception modifiers, but rolling perception with a +528 to the DC to spot something a mile away isn't an issue. It's just that if an object can be seen from a mile away, the GM shouldn't ask for a perception check.

I mean, I think colossal dragons have a stupid-high stealth bonus, but realizing that the little tiny silhouette up in the sky is a red dragon and not an eagle strikes me as a Knowledge (Nature) check.

EDIT: I've done some reposting and deletion to respond to a more concise point. I don't think a guy standing in the middle of the road ever requires a perception check. That's like using a perception check to see if a PC knows where his chair is or falls on his butt, you know?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Just because R'hlor can grant/teach magic doesn't mean its a god ray.

Indeed; according to both Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion there's no next world, just oblivion. From what I remember of season 3 Melisandre had specific question for Dondarrion about meeting the Lord of Light, and he's all, "There is no Lord of light, only blackness."

In both the books and the TV show, I find it very interesting to parse the difference between the function of magic in the world and the character's beliefs and folklore about magic.


Hodor. :(


Sterculius (wikipedia gives a different primary spelling) was the roman god of feces and fertiliser. Do with that what you will. :)


SmiloDan wrote:

Finished Visitor by CJ Cherryh.

** spoiler omitted **

Now I need to finish Zero World by Jason Hough.

And then 2 more library books before I order Tracker by CJ Cherryh.

I just finished Visitor and, dude, you ain't kidding! I was all, "A spoiler who doesn't recognize spoiler or spoiler? Oh spoiler."


6 people marked this as a favorite.

You can type in caps all you want, but everything you've said aside from pointing that some spells have alignment descriptors is your opinion of how spells with alignment descriptors should be handled in play. I don't think your stance is objective, I just think it looks that way to you because you're standing at the center of it.


Y'know Walsh, if you'd offered this example before 18 pages of ranting about anyone who's less absolute in their opinion of alignment than you is doing it wrong, I would have felt much less need to digress into nonsense about Star Wars.


Of course a campaign where all the goblins are good is just as simplistic as one where all the humans are good. One where the alignments are varied enough that they players have to come to grips with that fact that no single descriptor equals "evil and therefore safe to kill" is more sophisticated than either. (I mean sophisticated the way Mozart compositions are more sophisticated than Hot Cross Buns, not sophisticated as in a guy in a tuxedo drinking a martini.)


Well, we've included all the other hyperbole situations, so I don't see why we should avoid goblin babies. What about knowing asking someone to cast infernal healing on you so you ping as evil in order infiltrate an evil cult and learn their plans? :P

On the one hand, it's useful to point out the lack of relevance of corner cases; on the other, if you're running a campaign even one level of sophistication beyond "kill the humanoids so the villagers are safe," you going to start running into corner cases pretty often, so you might as well excise that part of your brain with hypotheticals.


Well, sure, but what was The Mystery of Chopper Base, giant spiders? Giant f**king spiders?! I was killing those things at 1st level! :P


Isn't most of the ends vs means disagreement about whether a spell with the (evil) descriptor can be used to Good effect? Infernal (and Celestial) healing are particularly interesting cases because the description of both state that there is no long term effect on the target's alignment.

I guess I'm saying that if a Paladin had Infernal healing cast on her, I'd expect the player to role play it as an icky, icky experience, but I wouldn't consider having the paladin fall, or require her to seek atonement.

Yes, even in Golarion.


I was happy to see Gem Dragonborn on Kobold Press today. :)

I mean, I'm not going to buy the supplement until WotC finalizes the psionics rules, but that's just because I'm a cheapskate. God, I suck. :(


I haven't read the AP or the player's guide; what happens if you drink mint tea at night?


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Forty years doesn't seem like enough time to establish much of a tradition. Especially when you've got stuff like Empire of the Petal Throne so early in RPGs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If we're talking solely about RPG settings, rather than the fantasy genre in the various entertainment media, then this whole conversation is a bit pointless. I mean, not to be a jerk about it, but the answer to any problem you have with more popular/bastardized/gonzo settings is to find 4 or 5 people who share your tastes and run games set in your idea of a classic fantasy setting. You'll be enjoying yourselves just as much as the people playing Starships & Spacemen.


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Don't antiquated, outdated old farts only recognize lawful, neutral and chaotic as alignments?


I forget, are we discussing real world morality, or D&D alignments at this point?


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Hitdice wrote:

C.S. Lewis christianized fantasy contemporaneously with Tolkien, so there's that, in terms of "serious reading" too.

Edit: If there's one person who ghettoized fantasy and science fiction, it's probably Hugo Gernsback. Nothing against the guy, but he's the one person who first decided that fantasy and science fiction were two different things, and fantasy was for lesser sort of mind. I mean, look, none of the science fiction from that age uses modern principles, but the fantasy is still totally fantastic.

Indeed, Drahliana, I've read the Prelandia series. Have you read Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany? :)

I have the large paperback with illustrations. One of my favorite stories is the one about Jack.

Distant Stars, with the Michael Whelan cover? And the one about Jack is "Prismatica"? My mother read that story to me when I was sick in bed at a young age.

Later, I read Empire Star until I got to the illustrations, figured I'd finished the piece, and walked away. Much, much later, I read the entire story and, reaching the conclusion, realized that the illustrations had probably been at the center binding, and there was still a good 50 or pages that I'd missed. I'd never finished the story as a child, but having done so as an adult, I'm not willing to say I would have understood it at that age. Hell, I'm not entirely sure I understood it as an adult!

Simplex, complex, multiplex. :)


C.S. Lewis christianized fantasy contemporaneously with Tolkien, so there's that, in terms of "serious reading" too.

Edit: If there's one person who ghettoized fantasy and science fiction, it's probably Hugo Gernsback. Nothing against the guy, but he's the one person who first decided that fantasy and science fiction were two different things, and fantasy was for lesser sort of mind. I mean, look, none of the science fiction from that age uses modern principles, but the fantasy is still totally fantastic.

Indeed, Drahliana, I've read the Prelandia series. Have you read Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany? :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

What weird is, The Hobbit was published with a year of the first Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser story, which features what I can only describe (granted, in modern vocabulary) as an artificially intelligent smart house as the monster.

I know exactly what people mean when they say classic fantasy, I just think the genre's always been wider than that. Literally always. Like, literally literally always, from the time when we started differentiating between science fiction and fantasy.

Edit: Oops, make that 2 years.


Small "r" redemption, not the divine kind. Like the kind that gets you double money for your empties in Michigan.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't know, I found Theon much more sympathetic in the book.

Book stuff spoiled, even though we're past it at this point:
Reek is introduced as a POV character, and when you realize who he is and what he's been through since the fall of Winterfell, you're all, "Day-um, Theon, all is forgiven!" Watching it episode by episode in the TV version got a bit desensitizing.

The calculation he does about not revealing Jeyne Poole's identity to Mance feels more redemptive too. When he rescued Sansa, it felt contrived, maybe because she's such a central character, maybe because his actions were so directly related to his past sins. Doing everything he could to get Jeyne away from Ramsey, when Ramsey's abuse is the only thing they have in common, felt less self-serving on his part.


HWalsh wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
When you sacrifice your values YOU are no longer good.
What if Evil sacrifices its values. Is that good?

Not always.

A Lawful Evil character who loses an honorable duel and then tries to backstabbing the hero under the guise of congratulating him is still evil.

However a father who had walked a path of evil, following a code designed to only gain himmore and more power who sacrifices his life and power to save his son is quite good.

This from the guy who didn't want talk about Star Wars?


To be fair, they didn't actually show the dogs ripping her apart. Not that that the sound effects weren't more than enough.


It's not that I'm going to favorite every single post from now on, it's just that the last few have made good points.


"Promise me, Ned . . ."


I haven't played the AP, but I assume "customized to match any clerics in the party" means "worships the same god as any clerics in the party." Ergo, the level loss seems like a bit of a dick move.


Lemmy wrote:
Was anyone honestly surprised by the final scene of the episode?

I watched season 1 before reading the books, which I then read before season 2 began. Nothing past Ned's beheading has honestly surprised me. Let me say, I was very, very surprised by that one; up until the moment Joffrey asked for his head, I fully expected Ned to take the black, team up with Jon to rescue uncle Benjen, north of the Wall, and finally lead the Watch south to rescue Arya and Sansa from the Lannisters.

But in the space of 5 seconds I reevaluated my expectations for the series, and nothing has honestly surprised me since. Thrones is much more a "I wonder if they'll," rather than a "I couldn't believe they," proposition at this point.

Wait, I tell a lie. in book 5, when Roose shows up and tells Ramsey to just chill the f**k out, I was all, "Roose Bolton is the voice of reason? That's surprising!"


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooh, that's some nice rules lawyering, BNW! :)


Well, so there's that then!


Werthead wrote:
Christopher Priest's novels don't really have unreliable narrators, more like unreliable universes (although THE PRESTIGE is probably the most straightforward book he's ever written) :)

I'm not saying you're wrong, but given Alfred Borden's journal, you know? (No, I don't dare even spoiler it.)


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KitsuneSoup wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I guess that would depend on how common spell casters with Detect Evil are in the games you run; in your example, only 2 of them can actually tell. Wouldn't the majority of the population say "Evil? A wizard used Infernal Healing to save me when I was savaged by an owlbear. An owlbear, I might add, which Holy Joe the Paladin and Granola Steve the Druid both agree totally isn't evil; nuts to Paladins and Druids!"

Owlbears are animals (INT 2). You wouldn't use the same argument on a wolf that attacked you; it was just acting like a beast.

If you remove the ability to detect alignment, then moral ambiguity can exist in a game, yes. To truly do that correctly, you have to remove all spells that directly affect good or evil (so no dispel alignment, holy word, etc.). Once you do all that, you can then begin to debate the nature of good and evil. :)

Just acting like a beast? That sounds like Druid-talk to me!

I don't think you'd have to remove all those spells given that a minority of the population that has access to them to begin with, but then, I don't think NPCs know their own alignment.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I guess that would depend on how common spell casters with Detect Evil are in the games you run; in your example, only 2 of them can actually tell. Wouldn't the majority of the population say "Evil? A wizard used Infernal Healing to save me when I was savaged by an owlbear. An owlbear, I might add, which Holy Joe the Paladin and Granola Steve the Druid both agree totally isn't evil; nuts to Paladins and Druids!"


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I never watched Clone Wars. I don't think I read any of the novels after Splinter of the Mind's Eye.

Regardless, how's this for a compromise: if you were running a Pathfinder/d20 Star wars mash-up, would you have alignment requirements beyond the light side/dark side mechanics for Jedi classes?


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:


Plasma swords can be used to kill cleanly. Force Lightening, if I recall correctly, specifically targets nerve endings to make the subject feel excruciating pain.
And yet Obi Wan didn't go to the dark side when he cut off Anakin's arm, chopped off his legs, and left him to slowly burn to death next to lava, obviously screaming in agony?
Did he enjoy doing it? Was he the aggressor?

Okay - but how is that any different from using force lightning to defend yourself?

Using force lightning to defend yourself is more akin to deliberately choosing the most savage and brutal response to a situation when other means surfice. You can not calmly defend yourself with Force Lightning, it needs to be triggered by rage. No matter why you're using it, you're traveling the path to the Dark side because of this.

Savage and brutal? I don't know about that. I've seen people force choked to death, and I've seen people cut in half with a lightsaber, but I've never seen anyone actually die from force lightning. :P


Kirth Gersen wrote:
TarSpartan wrote:
Isn't Shadowland the one that completely ripped off D&D's magic system, assigning levels to spells and such?
Not the one I read. Maybe another novel with a similar/identical title?

No insult but you missed a bracket there. :)

Edit: Redundantated!!


I nominate The Prestige by Christopher Priest. (The book, not the movie.)


TarSpartan wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Bear in mind that Corwin narrates the whole first 5 books, and that he is quickly established as an unreliable narrator. It seems likely that his truthfulness is not directly proportional to the book number, but rather remains a bit questionable throughout.

The only modern fantasy with a better use of narrator unreliability I can think of is Peter Straub's Shadowland, ** spoiler omitted **

Isn't Shadowland the one that completely ripped off D&D's magic system, assigning levels to spells and such? It's been decades (cripes, I'm getting old) since I read it, but that's what stood out to me the most.

I think you might be talking about Jack of Shadows by Zelazny (again!), but that was a novel collected and edited together from short stories, the earliest which predates D&D.

Or maybe you're talking about a different book altogether; no harm, no foul. :)


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I also have no problem with the Jedi code being an arcane quasi-legal belief system that's been translated through several languages to exist in many concurrently extant iterations. :)

Edit: That's small "a" arcane, not PF magic-type arcane.


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I have no trouble whatsoever with the idea that the Jedi/Sith divide is across the Law/Chaos axis, rather than the Good/Evil axis, but then I felt the OD&D/Basic three alignment system was perfectly functional.


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thejeff wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
What people aren't allowed to take the world-building and metaphysics more seriously than Lucas did, just because he made up the story? :P

You're allowed to do whatever you want.

My real point is that Star Wars works despite not being even vaguely rigorous about this kind of thing.
I'm not at all sure that the kind of philosophizing that makes Jedi just as much the villains as the Sith (or as the Emperor, since the Sith were basically just a word until the prequels) actually improves the story.
Mind you this would be a better argument had the prequels lived up to the original trilogy, but I'm still pretty sure that's not why.

In much the same way, Pathfinder works as the adventure game it's designed for despite (and possibly because) of its failings at world simulation.

I get what your saying about Star Wars not being rigorous about it, but I think that's a difference between movies and RPGs. Every Star Wars RPG I've ever played has much more robust light side/dark side mechanics than D&D/PF alignment.

Forgive the stupid question, but how would the philosophizing make the Jedi just as villainous as the Sith?


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What people aren't allowed to take the world-building and metaphysics more seriously than Lucas did, just because he made up the story? :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
thejeff wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:

Now...if you want to debate *why* having your soul coated in evil tends to make you behave in a vile manner, then we have an interesting conversation.

Perhaps evil is like a heavy metal for the soul. Evil poisoning being equivalent to lead poisoning. Chaos to mercury poisoning.

We've touched on bits of that earlier, but foundered again on "The rules don't actually say that it does".
I'm just surprised at the lack of Dark Side references. After all - why would force lighting be inherently more evil than stabbing someone with a plasma sword? It makes the same amount of sense.
Because it takes rage to use Force Lightning, and emotion is a conduit to the Dark Side.

But that's just more arbitrary words. Why do you need rage to use force lighting? Why does emotion lead to the Dark Side?

Which also pushes the "Is the Dark Side evil?" question.

Going by the lore and the RPG materials, essentially to be a proper Light Side Force user, you essentially have to be going for the Vulcan ideal of Kohlinar. Emotions,both positive and negative are a distraction from the Light Side's ideal of serenity. The method of Force Lightning involves feeding off your internal rage, so that's about as Dark Side as you can get.

Being of the Light side has nothing to do with being good. A Force-using assassin who maintains a cold level-headed demeanor can be just as much a light-sider as Ben Kenobi.

Whereas even love or righteous anger leaves you a servant of the Emperor, for reasons I've never understood.

But I'm pretty sure that interpretation exists only in the EU stuff, not in the original conception or movies. Probably largely because of fan arguments like this one. :)

Yoda does caution against strong emotion in Empire; it kind of gets immediately rolled over by fear leading to hate and hate leading to the dark side, but it's there. I would have loved it if the prequel trilogy had explored the Jedi code as repression is the key to enlightenment, but we got space hippies instead.

Why is my first post on the thread about Star Wars? Because I've been following it for all 9 pages and I still can't tell if we're discussing players not understanding the repercussions of their characters' actions, or whether or not an evil alignment is a valid character choice.


If I was a dog and I saw what happened to the horses, I'd run. Like a whipped hound, actually. :P

I just want to know what happens next week. I think Melisandre might just look like that when she's alone and relaxed.


Never mind, I'll just embarrass myself more. Suffice to say, I misunderstood your earlier post.


Jessica Price wrote:

Welp, this thread sure is a lot of dudes talking about us, and congratulating themselves for being enlightened enough to have women in their groups, rather than to us. Or better yet, asking questions and listening.

I'm unclear as to why anyone would think that men's opinions on women in gaming groups are relevant or needed. You don't get to decide whether we belong here. Anything you have to say about women as a monolith--whether we make good GMs, whether we make good players, etc.--is ignorant and inaccurate as we're not a monolith. Any discussion of how to make gaming tables welcoming to women should be led by women. You shouldn't be trying to speak for us. So I'm not sure what purpose discussions talking about us as if we're some sort of exotic animals serves.

I mean, if you take gender out of it--"blue-eyed people in gaming groups--what do you all think?"--the absurdity starts to become apparent.

I started playing RPGs right around the time the sexes at my school started self-segregating; up until I was 11 or 12, we all just did stuff, but right around the time I started playing D&D, boys started doing boy stuff, and girls started doing girl stuff. (Don't look at me like that, I listed the sexes in alphabetical order, not order of precedence.)

In this day and age, there's no question that children who are as old as I was when I first played D&D have access to the internet. I think it's useful if boys who come to the Paizo message boards read testimony from grown men, about how females (sorry, Jess) of any age should be welcome at the gaming table.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not saying my opinion as a male gamer is more relevant than your experience as female gamer.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.

In some ways, age really is just a number. Even if a whisky changes over the years, it might not be for the better. That said, older whiskys will always be more expensive, because you're paying for the storage space for all those years.

Most American whiskey is only aged 2-6 years, with few being aged for 10+ (15+ is exceptionally rare in America).

Just seeing this now.

I expect older whiskeys to at least have a more complex aroma (if that makes sense) than their younger selves, but the 15-year-old Glenlivet is basically the same as the 12-year-old, although it may be a little smoother.

Still, it is not a bad whiskey. And it beats the Green Spot, which I was looking forward to due to high praise. Maybe pot still whiskey is not for me.

Does it taste sort of hoppy or something? I'm not saying I'd turn down a sample, but it sounds like weird, weird flavor combination.


Knott C. Rious wrote:
Eu vou digitar em Português em vez de Latim porque ninguém vai notar a diferença. Hah!

Digitar, that prolly has something to do with fingers, right?


Lemmy, not trying to being a dingus here, but was "haud" a typo or something?

. . .

Bibamus, moriendum est, that's my latin motto. :P

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