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Jiggy's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 20,614 posts (25,002 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 37 aliases.

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Okay, gonna step in and get things moving here...

1Wall2Keep: 1d2 ⇒ 1

Yana closes her eyes in thought for a moment, clearly sifting through the arguments presented. Presently, she speaks:

"Wood Creek needs action more than it needs perfection. An imperfect solution that gets enacted in a timely fashion is better than endless debates. For that reason, I'm making the call. We will harvest lumber from the northern forest to build a town wall."

She pauses ever so briefly, probably for emphasis on the finality of her decision, then speaks again. "Now, with that settled, I have a job for you. Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to do any public speaking on the topic. However, as I'm sure many of you know, the trees on the outskirts of the northern wood aren't really big enough or strong enough for the wall; the lumber will have to be harvested from deeper within the forest. As I'm sure you also know, the deep interior of the northern forest can be a dangerous place: monstrous predators inhabit the area, bandits or small war-tribes sometimes wander through or make temporary camps, and there are even rumors of a secretive and fiercely territorial clan of warriors based in an unknown location within the woods. As a result, and also because we don't want to cause excessive damage to the forest itself, we can't just send our loggers in blindly."

She scans all your faces, as though looking to see if you've guessed what she's about to say.

"I'd like to send you all on a scouting expedition into the woods. You would need to find one or more suitable spots for harvesting, make sure they're clear of major threats, and report back with a viable set of directions for getting there and back safely. Naturally, I will contact a relevant expert to consult with you on the details; I can probably have a meeting arranged by this afternoon. Then, probably setting out tomorrow morning, you can begin your expedition. Upon successful completion of the task, you will be paid two hundred gold pieces per person—which of course," she adds with a wink, "would be billed to our noble friend as part of the project's expenses. While you're gone, I'll do a bit of public relations work and use your excursion as a rallying point to get the village united behind the project. Will you accept this task?"

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Different game, different GM. I'm playing a high level (well, high for PFS) character who uses lots of buffs, especially when expecting trouble. Honest player that I am, I diligently and conservatively track the time spent since buffing up, right down to knowing the order in which my buffs went up, always rounding partial minutes up to full minutes, and keeping careful tabs on the actions announced by all my tablemates.

Eventually, we're about to open a significant door, and a fellow player (likely also mindful of a buff or two), asks the GM how long we've been in the dungeon so far. Figuring that the GM has enough to track already, I decide to speak up and say that it's been about nine minutes, so folks will probably want to re-cast their minute-per-level buffs if possible. I'm just about to open my mouth, when the GM announces in total confidence, "You guys have been here about an hour."


Did you query it? (Or was he the kind that takes questions as challenges?)

Taking questions as challenges (or taking challenges, even in clear black-and-white, as mutinous insubordination; and so forth) is fairly common among the leadership culture of PFS, in my experience. So I just declared my re-casting of certain buffs (the ones that were actually about to expire) and moved on, quietly moving forward with a correct game state, relying on my knowledge that the GM wouldn't bother to verify anything.

The weird feelings that resulted from repeatedly needing to use devious methods in order to play honest and ethical games were part of why I quit PFS. :/

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Well, somebody got the "0XP and an amulet of health" option. It was a dragonborn sorcerer with 13 CON. I think they seem satisfied. :)

Everyone else landed in various parts of 3rd level, with the highest being someone whose final XP total was 2300 (so just a few encounters from 4th level) with gloves of swimming and climbing.

We'll see how this goes!

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@Cedany - I hadn't really noticed before, but I looked in my GMG and you're right, the most description we get is "this cloak". So sure, go ahead and have a different water-themed pattern to the cloth. :)

@Everyone - A word about the stat line: First, even though the field in your profile is labeled "Classes/Levels", please don't actually put your class and level in there, since that just clutters up the field with more info that I have to visually scan past when I need to see something. Similarly, there's no need for your Initiative to be in the stat line, since I can save a batch of dice for initiative and not have to reference that. So, what DO you need to have in the stat line? Here's the minimum:

Armor Class
HP (current/max)
All six saves
Perception bonus
Either your Athletics bonus or your Acrobatics bonus (since this is what's often opposed by an enemy shove or similar effect)
Your three words of personality

That's the minimum requirement. I also highly recommend using that space for tracking Inspiration, spell slots, and other X/day or X/rest resources. I've found it very helpful as a player to have that information there, but if you'd prefer to keep it in your profile, that's fine too.

Speaking of profiles, remember: although you don't need to copy your spells/abilities' text verbatim, I should never have to post to ask you a question about how something works. I should always be able to find all relevant information in your profile.

Once everybody's got their characters about ready and its clear which way we're going for the first leg of this adventure, we'll get started. :)


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Yesterday began a vacation in which my wife and I are suspending our diets. Had Subway for lunch and frozen pizza for dinner. Planning to go out for breakfast. For lunch today... who knows?

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Belafon wrote:
I think a big concern to a lot of people is that there's no way to know that these private reprimands are happening. So it seems like nothing is happening.

Well, that's one facet of the issue, but it's bigger than that.

For one thing, it's not just about making sure reprimands happen, or needing to see them happen. More significantly, it's also about listeners being given valid advice/direction/imperatives.

Imagine you work in an office, and one of your coworkers (whether you're aware of it or not) regularly takes home office supplies, uses company resources for personal stuff, and so forth. In a case like this, "reprimand in private" makes sense. Somebody finds out about the behavior, reports it privately to their superior, the matter is addressed in private, and it's resolved. It would be completely inappropriate to call a team meeting to point out the behavior. This is where "reprimand in private" is valid, and working as intended.

But now imagine that your office has a communal bulletin board over by the water cooler, for your whole office's use. Now suppose that one of your coworkers—someone with some perceived clout, such as a team leader or even just a veteran employee who often volunteers at fundraisers—keeps putting up unauthorized notices that are against office rules. Maybe illegal betting pools for sporting events, maybe "tips for new hires" that encourage unethical practices, or other calls to action for fellow officemates that are completely inappropriate.

Now, it would still be completely inappropriate to call everyone into a meeting to point fingers. But shouldn't management at least take down the illegal postings and maybe even put up their own post reaffirming the correct procedures? Privately telling the person to stop putting that stuff up, but then leaving it there where employees who might not know better will take it as valid guidance and never doing anything to contradict it, is completely ridiculous.

But last I saw, that's exactly how PFS was being handled. Certain ranked/titled individuals can put inappropriate imperatives out there for others to find, other like-minded VOs nod along in agreement, and anybody who speaks up against them is labeled as a troublemaker who's not to be listened to. And then it's all left there to be read by anyone searching for guidance on the topic, looking like it's the right approach.

It's not really about whether the people get their private reproach or not. There's a bigger issue that the toxic ideas are left there to continue seeping into the community's collective culture. It's like privately telling someone to stop pooping in the kitchen but then leaving the mop in the closet. It doesn't really matter how the reprimand is handled if the poop is left on the floor.

So that's one important aspect of the issue that "we can't see the reprimands" fails to summarize. Another important issue is effectiveness. The ability to see the reprimand happening is faaaar less important than the ability to see results.

For example, there was one particular VO with whom I repeatedly clashed on the forums whenever he would assert/defend an unacceptable position and I would speak up about it. It happened a lot. I would even get PMs to my account here from people who were reading along and wanted to thank me for "being the only one willing to stand up to him", up to and including offering to buy me a drink in thanks.

Meanwhile, theoretically, he's being talked to in private.

But it kept happening. Eventually, the PMs I would get from random readers shifted from expressions of gratitude to advice that he wasn't worth my time because he's demonstrated for years that he won't listen to reason. This was an ongoing issue, and was still an issue when I abandoned PFS.

So was he being talked to in private? Maybe, maybe not. But who cares? Nothing changed. It doesn't matter if he's getting emails from the Campaign Coordinator every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays; if the behavior never actually changes, then what difference does it make? And that VO wasn't the only one whose behavior was never successfully modified; I could offer quite a list of folks who maintained unmitigated trends over time.

If Tonya wants to maintain the policy of private reprimands, that's completely fine... as long as it works.

Really, the only problem with "invisible discipline" is that it's accompanying a lack of results. If unacceptable directives were removed/contradicted and unacceptable behavior was effectively corrected, nobody would complain that the process wasn't fully visible. It's only because there are no clear results that the invisibility of reprimands is able to make it look like nothing's being done at all. If there were tangible results, invisible discipline wouldn't look like a lack of discipline.

Anyway, that's a bit of a wall of text, and probably not organized very well since it was just off the top of my head, but hopefully it helps clarify the issue at hand. :)

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
DoubleGold wrote:
My arguement is that the consequences are largely up to the DM
Funny, when I DM the consequences are up to the game rules and the results of the dice. I try to make the monsters act according to their intelligence and aims, rather than to artificially maintain a certain challenge level.

Same here. If I wanted the results to be up to me, I'd be writing a book, not running an RPG.

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Tacticslion wrote:
I hhhhhhhate [redacted]. I really didn't think I would all that much - most enemies aren't that big a deal, really, even the evil ones, but he has sunk so low, so quickly, in my estimation... nope. He is awful.


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Today is the LAST DAY of recruitment. If you're interested but haven't finished your submission yet, get it in before you go to bed tonight! :)

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Nothing's final 'til recruitment closes. :)

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Okay, after thinking it over a bit, I'm going to go ahead and shorten recruitment. I've gotten lots of quality submissions, and there's no need to leave this open for another week just to wait.

Recruitment will remain open through end of day Wednesday, October 12th. If you're still interested in submitting a character, please do so by then. I will announce a party the following day.

Thanks for all the great submissions!

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If you resolve every action by moving a Jenga block, and your character dies if you knock it over; is that "old school" or "new school"?


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Eben TheQuiet wrote:
Don't be so jealous.


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The first thing to understand is that Pathfinder is a game in which wealth/gear is an integral part of character advancement. In a sense, gold is a second XP track.

Monsters, enemy NPCs, and other challenges are written with the assumption that you meet certain benchmarks (both numerical and otherwise) by certain levels of play.

Of course, as you've noticed, there are a LOT of magic items in Pathfinder. And, sadly, a great many of them either fail to help you meet any reasonable benchmarks (numerical or practical) or are redundant with other items that are cheaper or are more potent for the same price.

So here's a guide for you:

First, the "Big Six":
Cloak of Resistance
Ring of Protection
Amulet of Natural Armor
Ability score boosters

How do you navigate these? I recommend that you write down your items from the list; for your ranged inquisitor, it would look something like this:
Cloak of Resistance
Ring of Protection
Amulet of Natural Armor
Belt of DEX
Headband of WIS

Next, you look at what you already have in each spot, and write down the cost of the next "upgrade" for that item (or the cost of buying the item, if you don't already have one). For your 2nd-level character, it might look something like this (prices pulled from memory):
Bow - 500gp (masterwork composite longbow)
Breastplate - 200gp (masterwork)
Cloak of Resistance - 1,000gp (+1)
Ring of Protection - 2,000gp (+1)
Amulet of Natural Armor - 2,000gp (+1)
Belt of DEX - 4,000gp (+2)
Headband of WIS - 4,000gp (+2)

Now, look at how much money you have. Buy the cheapest item you can afford from the list. Mark it off, and write down the next increment and its price. Repeat this process until you can't afford anything else on the list. For example, if right now you have 900gp, you would first buy the masterwork breastplate, marking it off and writing in the price of a +1 breastplate. Then, with 700gp left, the cheapest thing you could afford is a masterwork bow, which you would then purchase, mark off, and note the price of the next step.

Then, when you have more money later, you revisit the list and repeat the "buy cheapest, mark up" process. This will keep you up to your numerical benchmarks.

But then there's the practical benchmarks. This involves making sure you have solutions to various obstacles you might encounter, such as being able to deal with enemies against whom your primary tactic doesn't work. This involves having arrows of different special materials, having a backup melee weapon in case you're cornered, being able to clear conditions like blindness, being able to traverse geographical obstacles (like cliffs, ravines, or rivers), and so forth. Since Pathfinder is a game with a spell for everything, you're going to end up carrying lots of scrolls and potions, so don't be surprised by that. Unfortunately, I can't really give you a formula on this one; you've kind of got to feel it out. However, what you might do is check out what level certain spells come online and be able to counter them. For example, a spellcaster could permanently blind you as early as 5th level, so when you're at the point that you might face a 5th-level spellcaster, you want to have a potion of remove blindness.

Finally, you and your party will want to have an item-based means of restoring HP between fights. Pathfinder was designed with the intent that healing spells can't keep up with damage, in order to facilitate combats that move toward a conclusion rather than being endless slogs against enemy healers. The side effect of this design decision is that spell-based healing is insufficient to keep a party going. That's why most parties keep a supply of wands of cure light wounds: after a fight, somebody grabs the wand and taps people until they're in good shape. This will be an ongoing investment, but a necessary one.

Best of luck in your campaign!

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Yup, it was actually a batch of greenish potatoes that prompted my research. Apparently, a potato exposed to enough light will think it needs to start up a fresh plant, so it starts producing chlorophyll (which is where the green comes from). But this same process also produces more of this toxin.

But even in non-green potatoes, the toxin apparently exists (especially in the skin). And I was eating, like, a pound or more of potatoes for every single meal for almost two weeks straight, the latter half of that time with the skins on them.

My digestion had been calm enough for a while that I thought I finally found a "baseline" for some experimentation and was just about to add something else to my diet, when I started to be a little sick again. I had eaten one green-skinned potato (but peeled it first), so I thought I'd do some research.

And now I'm eating rice instead. :/

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Even with the list of submissions so far, I'd already be hard pressed to narrow it down to 5-6 PCs... and there's still more than a week of recruitment left. Cripes, I'm gonna have some hard decisions to make.

Still, that's a good problem to have. :)

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I learned a thing!

Apparently, potatoes contain a toxin (especially concentrated in the skin) which is normally no big deal, but if you eat lots and lots of potatoes you can accumulate enough poison to start hurting your gut.


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Reference for myself, character submissions so far:

Narnel Falerathon, elf monk.
Cedany, human wizard.
Corson, human paladin.
Felthis Stonecleaver, dwarf rogue.
Enzio, ???????
Torbar, dwarf druid.
Crax Craghorn, dragonborn sorcerer.
Holly Berrythwaite, halfling paladin.
Jango Silverstring, halfling bard.
Pavel, human druid.

So that's:
2 druids
2 paladins
1 wizard
1 sorcerer
1 bard
1 rogue
1 monk
1 unspecified, unless I missed something.

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Jiggy wrote:
The beef-tater train continues to chug along; morning, noon and night.

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Thread title wrote:
What happens to Adventurers who don't prepare?

They cast their spells spontaneously, of course.


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The beef-tater train continues to chug along; morning, noon and night.

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More ground beef, potatoes and salt. Yay.

But later this month my wife and I are planning a "stay-cation" that will involve taking a break from this damn rigorous diet for a few days.
*crosses fingers that nothing goes wrong*

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
None of the wizards I have ever played worn pointed hats or robes.

They should. It's a matter of practicality, and here's why:

First, the robes. When you're invisible (as tends to happen when you're a wizard), things you pick up don't immediately become invisible, and therefore give away your location. However, if you tuck the item away in your invisible clothing, the object becomes invisible. Having billowy robes gives you more leeway than pockets on what sizes/shapes of objects you can do this with.

As for the cone-shaped hat, that one's a bit more complicated. See, the most dangerous thing for a wizard is to have your magic taken away, which generally comes in the form of an anti-magic field. Wizards need a way to protect against this. So what do you do?

You get a teepee (a cone-shaped tent) and cast shrink item on it. Refresh it every couple of days. Now you have a teepee that you can wear as a hat. Should you find that you've run afoul of an AMF, the spell on the teepee-hat will end, returning it to its natural size. This means that suddenly there's a full-size, open-bottomed tent above your head. Gravity does its thing, and now you're standing in a tent.

As a result, there is no longer any line of effect from the point-of-origin of the AMF to your wizardy self, meaning you're no longer affected. You can now teleport to safety. And make a new hat.

That is why wizards wear flowing robes and pointy hats.

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Damn, I need to move to Seattle.

Where I live, you can have summers over 90F for multiple extended periods, and winters as low as –25F (before windchill) for multiple extended periods.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:

In the environmental rules, characters are expected to make fort saves each hour they spend in temperatures above 90 degrees.failure inflicts 1d4 nonetheless damage. 90+ degree days are the norm in summer for much of the world.

Your average farmer has 10hp and a fort save of +1. The farmer will fail over half his saves. On a day with 10 hours of heat, that means collapsing unconscious. A mildly unlucky day is fatal.

A month of weather like this would kill most of the population.

You can tell these rules were written by modern Pacific Northwesterners where a day that touches 90 is hell on earth, to be hidden from underground, in a pool or air conditioned spaces.

You'd think that, until you look at the rules for cold weather. Put it together with the hot weather rules, and you realize that the authors must have been living in like an environment suit or something.

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Nope. Parmesan is actually one of the worst things I can eat.

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An upgrade today: my potato/beef/salt dish is topped with chopped broccoli.

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Breakfast and lunch were both the same mix of potato/beef/salt that I had for lunch and dinner yesterday. Dinner tonight may or may not be the same thing. But cripes, after the last several days, the taste of simple meat and potatoes is downright heavenly.

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Yes? So? you'd prefer I talk about defecation? Urination? Obliteration? Negation?


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Aren't we drifting a bit from the topic of forum moderation with this whole "who's offended and why" thing?

Yes, sometimes a person is legitimately offended and the speaker needs to adjust their behavior, so we can't just dump all the power in the hands of the speaker.

Yes, sometimes a person claims to be offended in an effort to silence the speaker's opinion, so we can't just dump all the power in the hands of the listener.

Yes, sometimes a person is offended and the speaker claims that the cry of offense is just an attempt to silence the speaker's opinion, but really it's the speaker trying to silence the opinion of the listener, so I clearly can't choose the wine in front of me.

Isn't that part of why we have moderators in the first place? Remember when this thread was about coming up with ways to improve the methods and/or tools of the moderation team on this particular forum?

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Thursday, my entire consumption for the day consisted of about three cups of bone broth (with salt) and a few tablespoons of applesauce.

Friday, I had maybe a couple of cups worth of applesauce all day.

Saturday was about the same as Friday.

Sunday was a couple cups of applesauce and two potatoes (with salt).

Today, breakfast was a potato with salt. Lunch was a potato with salt and a little bit of ground beef.

Stupid stomach flu. :(

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knightnday wrote:
There are expectations that mods should leave their bad day or personal likes/dislikes at the door and comport themselves professionally, but when it is suggested that posters do the same you'd think that we're asking for the moon.

Nobody's suggesting that it's unreasonable to ask posters to behave themselves. I'm suggesting that (at least a good portion of the time) they think they already are. I don't understand how you got "asking posters to behave is being treated like asking for the moon" out of "posters don't realize they're not already behaving".

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knightnday wrote:
Self-policing cuts down on their work, cuts down on misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and makes the place better overall.

It's generally not a matter of people failing to self-police, so much as it's a matter of people thinking that X is acceptable when it's not.

For example, there are folks who honestly believe that sarcastic hyperbolic metaphors are a normal, reasonable way to express your displeasure with something (i.e., "This book is a train wreck; who's getting fired over this?" instead of "There are some very serious issues in this book.") They then respond to people taking offense by assuming the listeners aren't open to "honest criticism" because (in their minds) that's all they gave them. This isn't even all that weird, really; plenty of families and tightly-knit friend groups communicate this way regularly, without getting hurt. But just because I know better than to bring out in public the same sass I give my brothers at a family reunion, doesn't mean everyone does. And if nobody tells them, how can they self-police?

Another example would be the all-too-pervasive "I'm just calling a spade a spade"/"If it quacks like a duck, etc" mindset (wherein the speaker honestly believes, for example, that if it's factually true that you started with both an 18 and a 7 on your sheet then you really are a powergaming munchkin and there's nothing wrong with calling you out on it). Speakers in such cases are already honestly self-policing, they're just wrong about what's actually acceptable. And if the only people telling them it's not okay are the ones they're calling a "spade"/"duck", then they think they're doing nothing wrong (and might even think they're doing some kind of public service).

"People need to self-police" doesn't help much when nearly every unacceptable post was written by someone who thought they were self-policing.

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Chris Lambertz wrote:
I have some reservations about a public-facing "moderated posts" tab causing folks to start looking for problems on accounts for which the problems have been long resolved.

That's why the idea was that only the account holder would be able to see that tab. It would not be public-facing. Just like I can't go to your profile and look at your Private Messages tab, but it still exists.

Hope you feel better soon! :)

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Kalindlara wrote:

It bears mentioning that having to explain each moderated post in great detail, rather than a single blanket explanation for a moderated thread, would significantly increase the workload involved. Having to label portions of each post would add further to this. With the departure of Liz Courts, the moderation staff now consists of a single person (with aid from Sara Marie in Customer Service), who also has to handle a lot of the web side of product management.

This proposal would require a great deal of added labor. In addition, it would involve the creation of another text filter (for the red text), which requires short-term added labor from the web team.

Additional staff could be hired to address this... but that takes money. Given that Paizo is effectively competing with their own freely-available material (via Archives of Nethys and others), I suspect that price increases are something they'd very much prefer to avoid. ^_^

This is not to cast judgment upon the proposal's merits. It's simply a reminder that the labor involved has to come from someone.

There's a reason that highlighting posts was listed under "Bonus Round" in my proposal. ;)

Seriously though, I don't think anyone's asking for a labor-intensive solution here (at least, on the part of the moderators). Even just adding the tab, once the feature is put in place, would actually reduce workload (albeit very slightly). Furthermore, switching the system from "click this button to remove the post" (or whatever the current moderator-side functionality is) to having two buttons (one for "remove as offensive" and one for "remove as reply") would produce zero extra work for the moderators.

Yeah, getting it set up will take some labor from the tech team, but you're never going to find a zero-additional-work solution for anything. At least the extra work in this solution would be upfront-only (rather than ongoing) and would just be a tweaking of existing infrastructure rather than building something from scratch. I think we could do a lot worse, you know?

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Undyne the Undying wrote:
So what's your favorite anime?

That's a really broad question. Lately I've been keeping up with Re:ZERO (though it just finished), Orange, and Sweetness & Lightning. I've also previously enjoyed One-Week Friends, Sword Art Online I & II, Erased, Flying Witch, and (some seasons more than others) One Piece.

You'd probably like One Piece, SAO, and maybe Re:Zero; they've all got a good bit of action (Re:Zero a little less than the others). You might not be so crazy about Orange, Flying Witch, or Sweetness & Lightning, which have no sort of "action" whatsoever.

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Tacticslion wrote:
More on topic: did you know I'm playing Kingmake and loving it?

Cool. That's the one where you build and manage a whole kingdom, right? Doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but I'm glad you're having fun.

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Undyne the Undying wrote:
Although the other day she made some joke about anime maybe being fake, like they were works of fiction or something. But I know she can't really have meant it.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I have no idea how viable this is, but it does appear that there is often resentment when a long post has been deleted – especially when it isn’t a problem on its own but is rather buried within a problematic series of posts or quotes one. Since it’s possible to retrieve such length posts, I’m presuming that a “deleted” post is actually still visible to moderators. If it were possible to make it still visible to the person who posted it (but perhaps in green or something to save confusion) that would make it easy to salvage the lost material. I realise this would allow people to just cut-and-paste deleted posts back in immediately, however perhaps there could be two categories – hidden (from everyone but moderators and the poster) and deleted (as it exists currently) if you thought that was a risk? Or maybe this could combine with the earlier point and “green” users could see their deleted posts but amber/red users couldn’t?

Here's an alternative idea:

So, you know how people's profiles already have multiple tabs (Aliases, Posts, Favorites, Favorited by Others, etc)? What if there were another tab, called something like "Moderated Posts", wherein were listed all the posts that user had made that were later deleted by the moderators? (Obviously, this tab would only be viewable by that user, not by just any passerby who checked out their profile.)

This actually addresses several issues:

• "Casualty posts" (long, good posts that got deleted because of one line or because of being a reply to an offending post) can have their contents easily retrieved without having to contact a moderator to ask for the text. Less work for both parties.

• There's already an issue that folks don't always follow along closely enough to realize that their posts were deleted, and therefore they have no reason to alter their future behavior because they don't know anything's wrong. The presence of a "Moderated Posts" tab in their profile still isn't much, but it's at least an extra chance of discovering that there's an issue. Even better if the "(X new)" thing could be put on that tab.

• If issues have accumulated over time, the poster can't really claim ignorance or say that a suspension/email was out of the blue, when there's a seven-page list of moderated posts right there at their fingertips.

• If a poster gets surprised by moderator actions that they don't understand, they have the convenience of being able to re-read their exact words in an attempt to understand where they went wrong. Maybe they read it and realize they were coming off much more harshly than they meant to. Or even if they still disagree with the decision, at least their first email to Paizo staff can be more focused/specific (i.e., "I reviewed the post and the strongest language I used was [phrase], which doesn't seem that bad to me. Can you help me understand this moderation action better?") instead of a vague "I don't know why this was removed"/"It was getting too heated"/"I wish I remembered what I said" type of exchange.

Would something like this be feasible to implement?

Bonus Round:
What if, when deleting posts, the moderators could highlight or red-text parts of a post, or otherwise tag/label it, such that someone viewing their own history of moderated posts could immediately see what was considered unacceptable in their post?

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Thanks for taking the time to give my posts a read-through. There is one point I would like to address further:

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
While I agree with the need for change, I also believe in "praise in public, reprimand in private". So I try not to call people out in a public forum unless it is egregious behavior that must be set right. But know that I do see what happens and am addressing it in a manner that hopefully results in improved behavior while not undermining PFS organization as a whole.

I recall the same policy from when I used to be active in PFS, under Mike Brock's leadership. Based on the same experiences that eventually drove me to abandon PFS, I really have to question the validity of that policy (or at least, of how it's being implemented).

For starters, what counts as "egregious behavior"? I recall a thread once in which some new piece of content or FAQ or something was being discussed, and a 5-star GM declared that he would not allow such a thing at his table. With the topic in question having been clearly affirmed by the Design Team as legal (as opposed to being a gray area), and being PFS-legal, I pointed out to him that he wasn't allowed to "rule" against it at a PFS table. A Venture Officer then stepped in with something along the lines of "I'm sure he's just reacting out of shock and doesn't intend to actually prohibit a legal build from a public table." The 5-star GM then explicitly stated that he absolutely intends to illegally ban such a character from his table, PFS rules be damned. There was no intervention against this. Apparently Mike Brock did not consider explicit assertions of intent to cheat as sufficiently "egregious behavior" to warrant any visible action at all.

Do you?

Additionally, what impact does public silence on unacceptable behavior have on those who are newly learning the culture? Those who are just beginning to GM will often come to the forums for tips and advice, or just to hear from the veterans about how PFS goes. It's one thing if a bunch of nameless forumites has an argument on the internet, but if various toxic attitudes are coming from people with titles and emblems, that's something else. Whoever the seemingly "highest-ranking" poster is in a thread, their attitudes are the ones that new GMs are going to read and take as PFS-endorsed. As a result, if the only "ranked" opinions are the toxic ones, that's what newbies are going to learn PFS is about.

For example, suppose a VO recommends adding extra monsters to "deal with munchkins". If the Campaign Coordinator steps in and asserts that no, it's not okay to modify encounters like that; then the newbie GM's takeaway is that it's not okay to modify encounters like that. Or if there's at least other VOs challenging the first VO's recommendation, then the reader can at least see that there's some controversy there and at least some portion of leadership is against encounter modification, so they're likely to tread carefully. But if every member of leadership other than the errant VO remains silent, then the reader naturally concludes that the official PFS stance is that you "deal with munchkins" by adding monsters.

That's how toxic attitudes spread: by letting them be presented to the public, with the voices of authority figures, and be completely unchallenged. Even if we're optimistic and guess that after enough "private reprimands" the original offender changes their tune, what do you do about the dozens of GMs who have already adopted the original toxic attitude and begun applying it at their games (and spreading it to others)? Do you have an action plan for cleaning up that mess? How do you plan on putting better ideas into the community's heads to counteract what was disseminated, unchallenged, at the hands of the VOs/GMs that you didn't want to contradict in public?

Now, let me be clear: I'm not calling for you to figuratively crucify offending parties, or in any way "get after them" or whatever one might call it. I'm just saying that toxic attitudes should not be allowed to have the loudest public voice; that's where the damage comes from. If a VO advocates cheating or belittles the creators of effective characters or whatever else, you wouldn't necessarily even have to address the person directly; you could just post something like "It is absolutely not allowed for a PFS GM to add monsters or otherwise tamper with an encounter; see the Guide for more details." That way, you haven't directly confronted any given person in public, but you've still stepped in to keep the toxic voices from being the strongest in the thread. But when you (and other, fair-minded VOs/GMs) say nothing in response to toxic assertions, the toxic assertions are left with all the authority.


Look, I'm going to go ahead and say something uncomfortable here. My degree is in psychology, and as such I have some familiarity with dysfunctional relational systems (such as families). And unfortunately, the PFS leadership culture bears a chilling resemblance to the classic image of the family of an alcoholic.

First, at the root of it all, you've got the person with the drinking problem. This role is analogous to the leaders spreading toxic attitudes (such as through verbal abuse, elitism, advocacy for GMs-are-above-the-rules mindsets, etc).

There's usually one or more family members who then minimize the alcoholic's problem, by saying things like "He's not as bad as he used to be" or otherwise downplaying the issue. This is the folks who respond to disillusioned players with "I swear, actual PFS games aren't like this; it's just the internet".

There's also usually someone who tries to ease intra-family tension by keeping people laughing. You've got these folks in your ranks as well: when an issue comes up and starts some heat, certain VOs/GMs will come in and start joking about beards or bacon or whatever else they can think of (to "defuse the tension"), ultimately derailing the discussion until people stop trying to talk about the issue.

Then there's the "quiet one", usually one of the alcoholic's children, who just sort of doesn't engage and tries to silently distance themselves. These are the VOs/GMs whose solution to the PFS forum's famous toxicity was to just not visit the forums anymore (which I suppose includes me, since I left altogether).

There are other common roles as well, but I think you get the idea. While the person engaging in the toxic behavior continues unabated, all the people around them try to keep things running smoothly on the surface (such as by easing the tension with laughter or assuring the public that things aren't that bad), but fail to actually address the root of the problem. As a result, all these behaviors that look like a good idea to the people involved (because defusing tension is good, right?) actually end up perpetuating the problem; the sociological term is "enabling", because all these coping mechanisms serve to take away the consequences of the alcoholic's behavior, thus making it feasible for him to continue doing it.

I hate to make such a serious analogy, but the dysfunction in the PFS leadership culture really is that deep and systemic, and appears to function according to that model: everyone trying to direct attention away from what's going wrong, thus keeping it from ever getting fixed.

If you want to change for the better, you're going to have to throw out whatever methodology isn't working and try something else. Or as one of my professors used to tell his clients, "If you keep on doing what you're doing, you're going to keep on getting what you've got."

I hope this helps, and I'd be happy to do anything else I can.

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Tacticslion wrote:

Are you doing okay?

In general, I mean?

Meh. Yes and no.

Most aspects of my life are going great. My wife is happy, my lifestyle is reasonably comfortable, I'm gaming in some form or another somewhat consistently (PbP helps here), etc.

On the other hand, I'm more than two months into an extreme diet trying to find solutions for chronic digestion problems I've had for nearly ten years. The diet is so restrictive that I have to cook literally all my food from scratch, which means that a LOT of my previously-free time is devoted to cooking and shopping. I haven't been to my meatspace D&D game since starting the diet, as it's a weeknight and I'm always either cooking, shopping, or resting up from all the cooking/shopping (with "resting up" including things like "actually talking to my wife, about something other than food"). So that sucks.

Yet despite all the sacrifice and hard work, I'm no less sick. Like, maybe you've heard of an "elimination diet", where you cut your meals down to really basic stuff and then add one thing to see if it makes you sick, then remove it again and introduce something else, and repeat until you've identified all culprits? Well, even that functions on an assumption that the baseline diet that you're adding things to is one where you're not getting sick. The whole point is that you see if a given food item moves you from "not sick" to "sick. Trouble is, in over two months I still haven't found a diet on which I don't get sick. That makes it a lot harder to figure stuff out.

It's like trying to do laboratory experiments without a control group. While sick.

So... yeah.

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I thought this thread was for asking Jiggy questions, not for trying to invoke one of Jiggy's aliases over and over again.

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I've been following along for a while, and haven't wanted to comment since I don't know Ashiel very well and wasn't part of the thread from which all this originated. However, within the context of the discussion of moderator actions and people's experiences with them, I'm seeing some meta-issues that I think are getting in the way of productive discussion on certain points. Maybe I can help enable some more satisfying communication here? Or maybe not. But I'm going to try anyway.

Let's talk about experiences and interpretations.

Your experiences are the events and actions which you directly and personally encountered, as well as your own emotions and actions arising in response to those events.

Your interpretations are the conclusions you draw based on your experiences in an attempt to understand those experiences. They are not the experiences themselves, but rather the beliefs you form about your experiences.

Let's look at some hypothetical examples:

Example of an experience:
My rent was raised by $30/month this year, as it has been every year for the past decade. I felt upset because I don't know where that money is going; my apartment has not been upgraded or renovated recently, nor has the building itself.

Example of an interpretation:
My landlord keeps jacking up the rent just to line his own pockets. Obviously he's just being greedy, since none of the extra money is being put into upgrading the property. Perfect example of corporate greed.

See the difference? In the first example, it's all about the events and my feelings: the rent increase and lack of renovations are specific events that happened, and the feelings are owned up to as being my own. By contrast, the second example (despite still referencing the experience) is talking about things I can't know: the landlord's motivation and the bigger picture of events that I've extrapolated from the limited data of my experiences.

This distinction is important. Why is it important? Because of the ethics of responding to experiences and interpretations of others. If I share my experiences, then it would be very rude and dismissive for someone to deny them. It's generally not considered okay to deny someone's experiences. However, if I share my interpretations of those experiences, it's a different story. Nobody is morally obliged to accept my interpretations as valid. Once I've crossed from experiences to interpretations, I'm just another commentator just like anyone else, and folks can contradict me all they like.

This is where the conflation of experiences and interpretations seems to be short-circuiting communication in this thread. Folks are telling stories in which they deliver a mixture of experiences and interpretations (or in some cases, deliver interpretations and refuse to relay the exact experiences even when asked). Then when listeners question the interpretation parts of these posts, the authors react as though their experiences are being denied. This triggers a downward spiral of miscommunication and hard feelings, with each side becoming more and more convinced of the other's wrongdoing.

Please, let's be clear and explicit about when we're talking about experiences and when we're talking about interpretations and be fair and honest about which ones our listeners are replying to. This thread will go much better that way.

Thanks. :)

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DrDeth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I had been under the impression that "grognard" was a dismissive and somewhat ageist term, and thus I try not to use it. Am I mistaken?

Yes you are mistaken, it is a badge of honor.


Sure doesn't seem that way when used by folks who don't self-identify as such. But I'm glad to see this thread is going in a more positive direction than I first feared when I saw the thread title.

Carry on, then.


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I had been under the impression that "grognard" was a dismissive and somewhat ageist term, and thus I try not to use it. Am I mistaken?

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Heh, my wife and I sometimes watch while eating dinner, and I sometimes run into issues with looking at my plate/bowl and missing the dialogue. :P

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

New grievance:

Somebody recruiting for a game says they want "adults", which they define as being 30+ years old. Though I myself qualify (yay?) I have friends who own their homes and have successful marriages, stable careers, and happy children; but who apparently don't count as "adults" yet just because they were born later than AD&D was.


It may not be "adults", but I kind of understand their reasoning for doing a 30+ cutoff. I am f+!*ing tired of people skipping D&D games because they're hungover.

Uh, the exact terminology isn't the issue. It's the assumption of a threshold between tiers of maturity at the age of 30. Those same friends I mentioned earlier who are under thirty but are raising kids and nurturing marriages while working successful careers, are also not missing engagements due to hangovers. Meanwhile, here at work I'm surrounded by dozens of folks aged 40-65 whose primary recreational activities mostly center around just sitting at home drinking.

The grievance I have is not the use of the word "adult", but the use of ageism as a lazy alternative to the legitimate assessment of people's actions.

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I might steal the Bot-Alias idea, next time I start a new campaign. Maybe even frame it as a meta-villain whose fuel source is player tears and PC blood. ;)

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SorrySleeping wrote:
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
In Pathfinder society, you see characters needing things all the time: ranged weapons, ways to deal with swarms, ways to get around pits or climb stuff.
How does a non-magic user deal with swarms?

At low levels, alchemist's fire. At levels where 1d6 damage is no longer relevant, you've just got to hope your flying wizard buddy who's not threatened by the swarm in the first place still likes you.

Or if you have the right splatbook, dropping a chunk of your WBL on a swarmbane clasp will let you damage swarms normally with weapons.

Also what are the rules on attacking a swarm with a weapon? I've had GMs go both ways, in that you only attack a single creature in the swarm, dealing up to a set amount of damage, never being able to destroy the swarm even on a massive dice roll. I've also seen where a swarm is just a "normal" enemy and dealing damage can cut out multiple creatures inside the swarm.

That's in the Bestiary. Here's a LINK to the PRD page.

"Swarm Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or less causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells."

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So here's an interesting thing:

I just recently discovered that I have a "gift pass" available on my account, such that I could give someone a free two days of Premium membership (no credit card required, it tells me), so they could try out some anime streaming commercial-free.

If anybody has grown curious now that they realize Japan's animation industry produces more than just unrealistic martial combat, feel free to shoot me a PM and tell me what kinds of genres/shows you like, and I'll come up with one or more recommendations and (if I still have it by then) send you the "gift pass".

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