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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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Just "it," Orf, just "it."
SCIENCE WILL NEVER BE GENDER SPECIFIC!!
(Sorries to Katie!)
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
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.
Yes, but let me just say that "rightful" is a fuzzy-edged concept in Westeros, to say the least.
Book and TV series alike, it would appear that the War of the Five Kings has ended rather conclusively in favor of the extant monarch in King's Landing; then again, they haven't really handled the Iron Isles on TV, have they?
Look, don't ask me, I don't trust genre conventions (or even the previously established plot, for that matter) when it come to Game of Thrones!
ZOMG, Dolorous Edd wasn't at the stabbing! Never mind Mel, Edd could, like, stumble over his body and nurse him back to life, and Ser Allister would be so ashamed of himself, that, um, I guess he'd, like, blame it all on Ollie and let Mel burn the kid at the stake, or something?
. . .
Sometimes, it gets sort of hard to find a happy ending for the TV series, but a few more minor characters have survived thus far in the books.
I don't mean to be snarky (well, not that snarky), but weren't you going outside every single existing parameter of the rules when you invented the Thief class back in 1974? I don't understand why a person who invented new material that early in the game's use would be a proponent of limitation rather than experimentation.
I...I don't know what to think about that ending or the EW interviews with the producers and Kit after the episode. I don't know if I am being trolled by the showrunners or if I need to flip every table in Michigan right now.
Given the show's increased body count as compared to the books, I'd start looking for tables. I'd stick to the mitten though; the way I hear it, those yoopers are worse than wildings!
Doodles, Kindred is probably the least science fiction-ey of Butler's stuff. You want the Xenogenesis trilogy, or the Patternmaster series. Actually, wait, if you want something that pinkos can wax [insert whatever emotion you types get off on; socio-economic melancholia, I guess?] try The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents.
Random(ish) question relating to setting integrity and whatnot: Does anyone here play in a group where different people run games in the same campaign world? That is, with revolving GMs who detail the world? I haven't lately, but I have in the past.
Of course, I'm one of those GMs who gets bored with my world map every couple of years and redraws it, so my setting integrity bar is set pretty low.
I am thinking that we will need a 3 hour episode to wrap up the stuff they need to, cause I am not seeing a single hour being able to do it.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I was pretty impressed with how concise the Hardhome scene was. They could have made it a single scene episode ala episodes 9 of season 2 and 4 (The Battle of Blackwater and the Battle of the Wall, in case I've got the numbering wrong), but instead . . .
Episode 8 had new characters (all the wildings who spoke at the negotiation), new information (it's been mentioned as lore in the books, but I think this is the first time valerian steel killing the others just like dragonglass has been introduced as a concept) and plot points (the Night's King [thanks for the info, BNW, I'd forgotten] isn't just some weirdo who transforms sacrificed Craster-sons, he's a dude with an agenda, and probably the BBEG of the whole series).
The TV adaptation did all that in a half hour or so. D&D (and their staff of writers, fine) do a very pithy adaptation. I really wouldn't put it past them to cram a lot into the season finale.
I'm thinking Theon will remember his name in time to help Brienne rescue Sansa and flee to Castle Black. Sansa will tell Jon Snow that Bran and Ricon are still alive. Jon and Sam are all like, "Dude, we know, but Bran's above the wall." Davos, who's still there 'cause Stannis sent him, goes, "I've lost Shireen to that crazy burn-them-at-the-stake witch lady, but never again! Brienne, let's go rescue Ricon, I'm worried about his king's blood liability!!"
At that point, the TV show's plot development will be very close to that of the books. How much they can fit into a single episode depends on the pacing, but I think there's room for a dragon riding Khaleesi in the hour I've just described. :P
I mean, I'd be perfectly satisfied to watch a 3 hour season finale, I just don't have enough popcorn in the house. :)
Just for looks, I think; having Jon show up at the head of the refugee wildings, and get into a 700 foot staring contest with Ser Allister Thorne to open the gate, is much more dramatic than just showing up in Castle Black's courtyard. Speaking of whom, I love what they've done with Thorne this season. It seems like his loyalty to the Watch outweighs his hate of Jon, which, when you've established him as such a sonofab@&$#, is character development gold.
Then again, (and you'll know what this means if you know what it means) "For the Watch!"
I guess it's in the vital statistics section where there's no mention of weight increasing with level? :P
Edit: What's funny is, today's Unearthed Arcana at the WotC site has variant rules for Vitality in place of hit points; I'll be right over here re-inventing the wheel lol.
My problem with HP = meat has always been that characters don't increase their bone and muscle density as they gain hit points, however wacky the physics of the D&D world have to be to account for falling damage. Although, in the time it took me to write the previous sentence, I've decided that I'm perfectly fine with CON = meat, and a house rule allowing critical hits to do the regular weapon damage as Constitution ability damage.
Marc Radle wrote:
In the books, Tyrion hasn't yet met Daenerys face to face; as I remember, he and Jorah are outside Mareen with an army laying siege to the city, when Tyrion, in his last POV section, gets a terrific idea for how to impress Daenerys.
The scene with Drogon in the arena takes place earlier the book. There's at least one scene where Selmy (still alive) is running the city in Danys' name, while the nobles argue that she's portably dead, from being eaten or dropped by Drogon, and he thinks, "I'm pretty sure she was riding that dragon, and Targaryens don't really fall off of dragons." The book ends with a Dany POV section at Drogon's lair out in the Dothraki plains, where Danys says, "The Dothraki really didn't respect me after Khal Drogo died, but I bet a big huge dragon changes their minds."
Sleeping on the couch with your underpants on, though, right? Seriously, it's important an important question if your roommates come home early . . .
You've just reminded me of the first time I saw The Last Samurai, when Tom Cruise delivered the line, "You have no idea what their weapons can do!" That movie purported to be historical, but I was all, "Actually, in that era, I'm pretty sure the Japanese were very familiar with the various uses of gunpowder."
Historical accuracy vs fantasy plausibility is always an interesting proposition, but here in the land of RPGs, I think we should put more value on plausibility than accuracy.
From everything she's said, she's just going to keep writing Foreigner until she keels over in front of her word processor, like O'Brian and the Aubrey-Maturin series. (Though I imagine O'Brian dying at a typewriter, 'cause he's old school.)
I have, since my last post on this thread, manage to get ahold of The Goblin Mirror, which I enjoyed.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Video games in middles school?! In middle school, you should have been reading Philip Jose Farmer's werewolf (um, and a lot of other stuff) porn. That's what I was doing!
Sorry, what was that about a lifelong psychological impact? Well, I think I turned out fine, so I guess I don't recognize the premise of your question!