I like the concept for a large scale dungeon crawl. E Gary Gygax and Rob J Kuntz, amongst other early pioneers of the game made their specific dungeons (Castle Greyhawk & Maure) major parts of their campaign. I've tinkered with my own 20-level dungeon on/off for years. Strangely, I've never subjected any of my players to it, but that will probably change before long. I hope your players enjoy the "crawl."
While in hindsight, the four opponents we faced when I elected not to be 'thrown' into combat, probably wouldn't have posed a serious threat, I didn't know this at the time. It seemed more prudent to have Agent J soften up the opposition at range before charging in with dudads hanging, than to do so immediately when they were at full/near full HP. The Pit spell that Haru dropped likely would have put the opponents out of my reach also (unless of course I ended up going down into the pit along with them)...
I wasn't aware that Hour of the Knife had a sequel. I assume it is online (as I've never heard of a published product to that effect). What is it called and where can it be located?
I think Ravenloft and horror games in general have a certain amount of 'rail-roadedness' involved. I don't see that as entirely bad. I think many elements of Ravenloft involve the feeling of the players that "the villain is really in control," and that their available options is at times compromised. I think that adds to the suspense of the game. Not necessarily a bad thing. My players are all to familiar with it...
The best parts of Feast are the Old Kartakan Inn and Dominiani's estate. Very unnerving places.
The Fraternity of Shadows website contains reviews for every product ever released for Ravenloft, and would give you a thorough review for most of them. More than worth a look.
I think the Gazetteers are rather bland and long-winded. If you get the 'Red Boxed Set', the 1997 Core Book, and/or the 3rd Edition Core Book, you can largely dispense with the Gazetteers, unless you want painful detail on the domains. The one thing the Gazetteers do have is the stats on some of the domain lords in 3.0 edition stats, which is readily convertable to Pathfinder stats, if you're using Pathfinder. The product Secrets of the Dread Realms has some domain lords stats for 3.0 Ed. also. Don't bother with the 3.0 RAVENLOFT Players Handbook or the Dungeon Master's Book. They both merely retread what the Core Rulebook for 3.0 already has. The Children of the Night series are just premade 2nd edition monsters with story lines, and not necessary, unless that's what you're looking for. The Van Richten guides are worth getting however. All the adventures are in 2nd Edition (with only several exceptions). You'll get differing opinions depending on the person reviewing. The adventures I think are the best are: Bleak House, The Evil Eye, Castles Forlorn, and Hour of the Knife (my players personal favorite). The adventure Feast of Goblyns is also very good, and a good one to start with. I recommend it. A fair number of adventures aren't very remarkable, so buy with care. Several are absolutely lousy, avoid these: When Black Roses Bloom (1995), Circle of Darkness (1995), Thoughts of Darkness (1992), The Shadow Rift (1998), Adam's Wrath (1994), The Awakening (1994).
Ravenloft is (and should be) an RP experience, and a character grind. Prepare for both and tell your players to leave their favorite characters at home...
I'm sticking with the Ranger 1/Ftr 9. He'll just be semi-religious...
I was really close to going with a 'Scots-Dwarf' though. The thought of a red headed dwarf in a kilt, beating mooks like red headed step children was kind of appealing...This guy wears a kilt. He just isn't a dwarf and doesn't have red hair. Hopefully, he'll still beat the opposition in like fashion, or failing that, at least survive to try another campaign in another ten years from now...
Turin the Mad wrote:
You are correct. This is my surviving character from the Red Hand of Doom campaign of 2005/6. I started playing this character in 1992 in 2Ed. He was a cleric previously. He was previously known as "the Lonesome Friar." I guess he was 'lonesome', because you greased most of his companions in the Village of Hommlett and later in the Red Hand, and other adventures... He only reached 10th level, so he was the perfect level to use in Jade Regent, part whatever...
I think OJ is MIA for tomorrow.
I used Red stars to indicate that the monster/Non-Player-Character in question dealt a killing blow/spell/action to the character in question. Yellow stars were infrequently awarded for an 'assist' (meaning one monster/NPC did an action that was directly related and absolutely vital to another monster/NPC being able to grease the character in question). Green stars were awarded for Cheesy character demises (when things weren't entirely fair for the character in question), and Silver/Gold stars were usually reserved for 1-hit squishes, or other incidents of spectactular-character-annihiliation or 'Solo' kills where the monster/NPC wastes the character(s) in question without any help/assistance. (Since a lot of monsters traditionally operate without "help", I usually reserved gold/silver stars for memorable PC demises).
Turin the Mad wrote:
The Multi-colored stars are such a nice touch. It allows the players to see your system of classification for their character demises. A very moving yet organized tribute to the fallen... My players were so thrilled...
Talking Skull wrote:
Man, I can't even get those clowns to respond to an email half the time. If they would educate themselves on all things Pathfinder, that would be great. Then again, it would be great if the Washington Wizards basketball team won a playoff game for the first time this century. Both may be equally probable... Having "classic party roles" to me just means having the basic spells and fighter typically assumed by the designers to be present in order to overcome the objectives that many of your published adventures will assume you can do. When you've got a troupe of exotic character classes, you may not have access to some particularly necessary spell or ability, which ends up being crucial to completing some task or surviving. My comrades don't seem to grasp that concept. I'm just trying to cover the bases and cover our rear ends...
If they'd take suggestions from me, I might be able to help, but when I attempted that a few days ago, I was told to go fly a kite. Turin, in the event I need to have my character get the hell out of dodge super fast, I need a Wand of Dimension Door in the first treasure stash we find on the 22nd. Even if it only has 1 charge in it...
Whether Haru can put into practice what you've just stated is the twenty thousand dollar question. I hope he is as savy with his summoner as you are, cultist.
I believe I have convinced Agent J to go with a wizard rather than a Sorcerer. If so, then we've covered the arcane character class, and the summoner becomes icing on the cake.
Turin the Mad wrote:
A human cleric loses 2 presumably from CHA as compared to the aasimar. Keep in mind the high CHA score your character will need to have an 8th level cohort ... or be prepared to accept having a lower level cohort.
I may try to stomach an Aasimar, but I am going to make the aasimar Neutral aligned. Never been much for Aasimars.
Turin, you make numerous good points and suggestions. The main hitch however, is the most vocal player in the group "isn't interested in powergaming," (ie. also known as planning and surviving). The rest don't respond to my emails any more than yours. That said, if you're running the AP as scripted, they have no room to gripe when they get greased repeatedly. I alone will reserve that right, because I tried to prepare (them and myself) to little avail...
I will be using a Human Fighter/Ranger rather than a Dwarf. I will attempt to get a cohort of cleric pursuasion, either a human also, or an Asimar. I think the odds of having a cleric in the group are slim. And even then, it would likely be "OJ" playing the cleric, and his grasp on the mechanics of the Pathfinder system are basically ZILCH...
Turin the Mad wrote:
Please forgive the rant, but that's just it Turin. What Sufficient buffs from PC Casters? Haru's Summoner can add ABSOLUTELY ZERO in the way of Buff or Healing spells in that venture. He will have to purchase all of his efforts to that end (potions, scrolls & wands), as will the rest of us, because he's opted for a character class that has no spells on their list that can heal, buff, etc. All he can do is summon critters and create pits. If Agent J goes with a Sorcerer, the same will largely be true. The spells these types of casters can select are far too limited. We will all end up going bankrupt continually buying wands of Cure Serious Wounds. And that's assuming that any of the players were smart enought to select "Use Magic Device" skill ranks, to be able to use Clerical wands. Please assist me in encouraging "OJ" to create an actual cleric. Failing that, I will look to immediately secure a henchman/hireling cleric, who helps me personally. I am prepared to take the Leadership feat if needed in that venture. I regret the potential need for & presence of additional henchman/hirelings; as they further clutter the field of battle and add even more time and complications to combat encounters (as does all the Summoned minions of 'Fu Manchu'). Not what I wanted, but I've got to survive, given my fellow players rejection any notion of teamwork or sensible selections of characters. This is the end result of players who select "Flavor of the Month" character classes, as core members of the adventuring party (PCs). Summoners, Alchemists, Bards, etc. should be reserved for '5th wheel characters' (a 5th character, in support of a Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, and one other standard PC class). It's looking like an entire group of 5th wheel characters, which is more likely to end up as bankrupt and Chop Suey in short order...
I think we're already on a leg down in this Jade Regent campaign. Having a Summoner and a Monk on board is less than optimal. I don't know why players look at the rulebooks, and select character classes that offer less than others. The monk I understand, given the player, but the summoner... I'm trying to pursuade the other two remaining players to actually play a wizard and a cleric. Imagine that... Given my track record, I probably shouldn't be surprised if they show up with a bard and an Alchemist. Yesterday, I attempted to enlighten the player of 'Fu Manchu' that he does in fact have an almost non-existant spell list, and can basically only summon things, and hope his Eidolon Attack Doggie can keep hordes of (I am surmising) evil Samurai, Ninjas and Oni from oblitterating his character. Naturally, I was UNsuccessful in every respect...
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
At the original poster, I wouldn't have done anything differently. After giving them a fair appraisal as to what they could expect, and they chose to ignore your recommendations, you were absolutely right to mop the floor with them. Good for you.
While you have to compromise with your players to keep them happy and around for a prolonged game, when you as GM tell the lads how it is, and they choose to ignore your advice, then the gloves come off, and the consequences are what they are. That is a "referee GM." You impartially apply natural consequences of player choices. "Guide GM's" as Monte Cook refers to them, candy coat things and provide lavish player-friendly RP sessions where the group always comes out on top, no matter the insane risks the players take or the bad decisions them make. Nonsense. That type of DM'ing isn't even D&D.
Given time and consequences, they'll either figure out that they've got to play intelligently by the rulebook, and use basic common sense decision making skills, or they're going to get greased repeatedly. And if they don't like this, they're going to need to go look for a GM that's going to run the game the way the players dictate to him. Hardly a game at that point, and with no real risk, you're playing something other than d&d/Pathfinder. At that point, Recommend Candyland or another GM to your players in that case...
Scott Betts wrote:
I beg to differ. The moment you determine that any portion of the Constitution can be significantly altered, any/all of it can be altered, and all of the rights and protections that it extends can be altered or removed also. People have clearly misinterpreted the intentions of the founders in the past, but I oppose altering it in its present form.
Nicos, I find your view regretable. Why should you not have the right to be adequately armed, in order to defend yourself. Do you really believe anyone who would seek to rob you or do you harm in some way is going to be concerned with the law prohibiting having an unauthorized weapon on their person? They won't, and they will be armed. Why should you be at the mercy of someone who would do you harm. I comprehend that to some on these message boards, that sounds strange or extreme. I deal with people in prison on a daily basis who have used weapons & firearms in the commission of crimes. It happens every day. In today's world, I would not tell you that you should have to beg a government for the ability to protect yourself.Limitations are not the same as prohibitions. I don't oppose limitations on certain things. I am not in favor of minors having firearms. Brain formation does not complete until the early 20's. Life experience also helps in improving one's decision making skills. If you're an adult, and not an immediate threat to yourself of others, carrying a knife shouldn't be an issue for your government to intrude on.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Quite the contrary Bill. I used to work 60 hours per week. I now typically put in about 50 per week. They're not more industrious than I am. In many semi-socialist & outright socialist contries in Europe, workers work for 32-35 hours per week. That's it. France is an example of this. The French government under Sarkozy tried to move the hours French workers work up to 35 hours per week from 32, and there was a massive uproar in many cities in the country and some rioting. The French, and the Europeans in general (except for the Brits and the Germans) want to work 32 hours per week, retire at age 55-60, and be supported by their fellow countrymen with a buffet full of entitlement programs, and have pensions that pay 75%+ of their salaries. Simply put, it is financially UNSUSTAINABLE, and completely entitled. That is why europe is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. They simply cannot pay for all the things they want to "give out for free." Not because they work too much. Rather, they want to take it easy and live 'La Dolce Vita.'
You may not be talking about any specific diagnosis disqualifying anyone from gun ownership, but that doesn't mean that our friends in Washington won't be. And do understand, if the word Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Antisocial PD, Avoidant PD, or any of a number of "serious" diagnoses are on a person, someone will deem you "unfit" to have a gun. Whether or not you're currently needing a TDO/Committment won't matter, though anyone meeting TDO criteria would certainly be prohibited from gun ownership, and I wouldn't even necessarily oppose temporarily "removing" firearms from someone who meets criteria for a TDO (Temporary Detainment Order). If someone meets TDO criteria, they are a risk to harm themselves and/or others, and clearly shouldn't have guns. Existing laws on the books already address this. Whether or not these are enforced probably varies. They (the laws) may vary from state to state also. I'd also favor existing laws which temporarily deny gun ownership to anyone convicted of domestic violence against a spouse or a partner, as those individuals are "more likely" to use a weapon in the immediate aftermath of being arrested.
Giant, Hvordan stor de tils. I've got family in Norsk and Sweden. Does it not bother you that your government can tell you whether or not you are allowed to have a measly three-inch bladed knife? Do you really want your government to have that kind of power and authority over you?Less poverty? You pay 60%+ in federal income tax. What's the point of going to work when 2/3 of your money goes to someone else. Living there, I'd opt to sit at home and watch the Swedish bikini team, instead of going to work. And at 60%+, i wouldn't have enough to pay the divorce attorney when my wife caught me looking at the Swedish bikini team... and it isn't FREE. You pay for your health care. 60%+ of your gross pay from your job pays for it, and for the "free" health care of everyone else who doesn't work.
I don't buy Schumer's statement, because I don't believe he means it, he won't follow through on it, and he's previously stated the opposite time and time again. You can ridicule me for saying that, but hard core Dems and Republicans do this routinely. I've seen it for twenty plus years. But I tell you what, try enforcing the existing laws on the books, which you neglected to address in your recent post, and let's see if those do in fact work, before passing any new laws. Only makes sense, and as the government has previously shown, they likely won't enfore many, if any, new laws they pass henceforth either. Maybe the existing laws will work. Can't say they won't if you don't try first.
I'm speaking to what the Senator from New York has stated over his career in the Senate, some of which I was there to personally hear him state. Furthmore, passing laws, which you then don't enforce, and only respond by calling for more laws, suggests to me that the end goal is passing laws as much as it is stopping behavior.
And though he's not a politician, he's got a show and people listen to him. MSNBC host Ed Schultz stated “Why should anyone own an assault rifle ?” and followed it up by saying “it's the confiscation of these types of weapons that counts and will have an impact.” He continued with, “The NRA needs to state the case why assault weapons are needed by anyone,” and “a Glock pistol qualifies as an assault weapon," which is new to gun owners and Congress which didn’t include handguns in its previous assault weapons ban.
Schultz talked of changing the Constitution, stating “We are the Constitution and we as a people can change whatever we want. Get ready Dude !”
Betts, for the sake of time I can't specifically respond to each thing you commented on regarding prior post(s) that I made, on your Saturday evening post. I'll attempt to address them in the following:
Yes, I did work at the Senate, and enjoyed it immensely. Though I disagree with the Majority Leader of the Senate on a number of issues, he is one of the nicest people you'll ever come across in Washington. I was previously the president of a University College Democrats organization. I've had experience with politicians and activists on both the left and on the right. Politically, I am an independent.
Regarding "mental illness," consider who decides what is considered ‘mental illness’? The APA (American Psychological/ Psychiatric Association) does, and in an indirect sense, society and American culture do. Historically & Currently. The APA are capable of Being swayed (and historically have been) by outside factors, and the culture at large. Thirty some years ago, homosexuality was Recognized by the APA as a mental illness, and classified so in the DSM with a mental health diagnosis. Would you support that diagnosis? Probably not. The APA, just like any other group of people are fallable and able to be swayed by The times and circumstances, and the culture they find themselves surrounded by. They also are not elected Officials, and I have concerns about their findings being used as justification to create legislation that will limit the freedoms of law abiding citizens. Furthermore, the Constitution doesn't guarentee the right to keep and bear arms, only if you pass a mental health exam, or can prove that you always keep your gun in a gun locker/safe. Any responsible person should want to do that (law or no law), but I don't agree that you can legally make this a criteria for gun ownership. Additionally, how would you "force" anyone to get mental health treatment or follow up and verify that they have/are "in treatment" so that they can keep their firearm? How would you have Firearm ownership privilidges restored, if they have previously been taken away?
But notwithstanding whether the APA is right or wrong, those who favor gun control are seldom even attempting to justify why they would use a Definition (past or present) that the APA comes up with for mental illness to try to legislate guns. If the gun control advocates or the government want to deem ADHD (DSM Code 314.01), or "Parent/Child Relational problem" (DSM-Code v61.20), or Adjustment Disorder (DSM-Code 309) for minor problems or transitional issues, as ‘Mental Disorders’ to deny people their gun rights; and there are enough votes in Congress to pass it, who is stopping them? Only the Supreme Court. And depending on who's currently on the bench, that may be a rubber stamp for the folks on the left or the right.
With the changes in diagnoses we are seeing in the psychiatric/psychological community, soon 25-35% Of the U.S. population may well have a "chronic mental health diagnosis". Even more significant, ANYONE could potentially have a 'diagnosis', if you were to deem short term stressors or crisis, or minor mental health conditions as ‘mental disorders.’ Short-term stressors and brief crises already have diagnostic Codes in the DSM-IV/TR, as do minor diagnoses (like the three examples I just listed above). And more could be forthcoming in the DSM 5 which is due out in a year or two. The potential here exists for gun control advocates or the government to decide that anyone with, for example ADHD, shouldn’t have access to firearms. The potential for the U.S. Government to then arbitrarily determine that huge segments of the US population are “mentally unfit or higher risk” to own firearms is not such a stretch as one might think or hope, if there is enough public fervor to motivate a lot of less-than-inspired politicians to go along with it in hopes of re-election or political capital.
You previously mentioned the notion of "blame anything but the guns." I suspect that there are those who fit that label, though I don't think I qualify for that honor. I would pose the question to you, of whether or not you are a ‘blame nothing but the guns’ person yourself. Or am I misunderstanding you? The fact that many people (whether or not you are one is incidental) will not even consider that the movies, music, video games, the lack of morality/religion, or other factors in the culture at large, could be contributing factors to these mass killings/shootings should be equally troubling (and in my judgment) a more troubling phenomena. There have been 6 incidents of mass murder at schools in China since the year 2010. None of those incidents involved the use of firearms. Knives were the weapons used in all 6 incidents. A total of 21 children were killed in those six incidents in China. Forgive the smart-ass question, but how would gun control laws have stopped those?
I think that there are a lot of angry and bad people in the USA and abroad, who think they are justified in harming others, just because life sucks or to get what they want, whatever that might happen to be. Numerous incidents of mass violence, both with and without guns, have occurred for decades. Gun control laws address one type of weapon used to commit this violence, rather than the larger picture. "Mental illness" is another factor in that picture. Many who focus on mental illness as the primary cause of gun violence seem to be primarily concerned with society's perceived view of the perpetrator himself and his mental/psychological reason(s) for harming others exclusively, and in the process largely ignore (intentionally or not) everything else in society that may be influencing the individual. Hence, it's almost as if hard-core gun control proponents "don't want" there to be any other factors that contribute to murderous behaviors, because that would require society to take a look at those other factors, that we don't particularly want to look at or acknowledge.
Chuck Shumer-D New York is one senator who wants total elimination of private firearms. Bernie Sanders-I Vermont, is probably another. They won’t state that in public, because to do so is not viewed politically favorable, even in heavily progressive states like New York & Vermont. But I've heard and seen enough from politicians, constituents, activists and lobbyists to convince me that some politicians do have that as their ultimate goal in mind. They do it incrementally, passing new gun laws, and then not enforcing the ones they’ve passed. When the next tragedy happens, then come more calls for gun control laws. Would it surprise you that in the first 4 years of the Obama administration, prosecution of gun crimes are DOWN by 40%. It shouldn’t. That’s the strategy. It was used during Bill Clinton’s time in Washington also. There was a two year period during that time when there were only about two dozen federal prosecutions of federal gun charge violations. Despite his calls for greater gun control, including a new assault weapons ban that extends to handguns, President Obama's administration has turned away from enforcing gun laws, cutting weapons prosecutions some 40 percent since a high of about 11,000 under former President Bush. If you are not going to enforce the laws on the books, why are we talking about a whole new wave of new laws. Admittedly, the conservatives are similar on other issues. They will give you a mainstream, sensible rationale for the actions they take, but yet harbor much deeper agendas for why they do what they do, because they don’t want to be viewed as “extremists,” even though they are (that may or may not be a bad thing, depending on the issue in question.)
Scott Betts wrote:
It is important. What you're suggesting is intellectually dishonest.
Guy Humual wrote:
If your wife is depressed and their is a handgun in the home then yes I'd advise against that. She is far more likely to kill herself with a handgun then say an overdose of sleeping pills. Households that have fire arms have higher successful suicide rates then households without them because firearms are so good at what they're designed to do.
You are (respectfully) factually incorrect. Women are far more likely (way far more) to commit suicide by taking an overdose, than by using a firearm. Statistics are clear on this. Men over the age of 50 are the most likely to kill themselves by using a firearm.
Scott Betts wrote:
Equally troubling is your notion that no person would never intentionally want to harm others, and any instance of them doing so, would have to indicate some sort of mental illness. Some people are willing to harm others. They're not mentally ill. They just do some very terrible things. Many liberals seem terrified of making "moral judgments" of people and/or their actions.
A bit more on that last statement, in requiring that a "clean bill of mental health" be given for any gun owner, you are placing a great deal of power in the hands of a mental health therapist, who's personal opinions for/against guns would potentially be used to uphold/deny a person's constitutional rights. That is unlikely to hold up. Furthermore, with the federal government currently in the position to take greater oversight of the health care industry, through the president's Affordable Care act, it would potentially place oversight of mental heath treatment (through mental health parity laws) in the hands of the government. A mental health therapist, working for the government, telling people they can't have guns. Not good.
Betts, your statements are so loaded with condescending and personal attacks, as to me loathe to answer them. To suggest that I am not competent in my work in psychology is ridiculous. It is however par for the course for many liberals however to demonize and marginalize others, when their (liberal) arguments don’t hold up. You’ve done that nicely. You continue the common practice of pointing to a few extremist nuts and then attempting to liken all conservatives to them. Using that same logic, I should be comparing you to Stalin or Che Guevara. I won’t do that.
You stated: “Never mind. You're the blame-everything-but-the-guns sort. It's not possible that a culture that fetishizes guns and marginalizes mental health issues is responsible for this, to any degree.”
You stated: “No, in your mind it's because we took God out of the classroom.”
You stated: “I can show you thousands of secular atheists who don't perform these types of atrocities, but you have absolutely no problem blaming this on a lack of God in our lives.”
You stated: “You're a HUGE hypocrite. You don't care about respect. You're just upset with me and the others calling for gun control in this thread because you don't like gun control. It's clear that you have no issue politicizing any of this.”
You stated: “To what? Evilness? That's your incredible explanation? That there are people who are just evil and there's no other explanation, no underlying mental health problem that might result in their committing crimes like these? No, it's just evil?
You stated: “We've done loads of research on gun control and its consequences. Additionally, we have countries around the world with much stricter gun control laws than ours, many of which have lower crime rates and whose citizens are very thankful for the lack of guns.”
You stated: “No, there really aren't. I've never met a single person who wants to ban private ownership of firearms. And, like you, I've worked in D.C.. But probably unlike you, I worked for liberals. And there still wasn't anyone who wanted to take your guns.”
You stated: “and they use tragic events such as this in an effort to forward their goals of eliminating all gun ownership incrementally. Which is TOTALLY different from what you're doing, which is encouraging us to put more guns in schools.”
You stated: “And you think this is a good reason to avoid further gun controls? When a crazy adolescent decides to go on a rampage and finds that guns are so easily accessible that all he has to do is take them (including a Bushmaster Type M4!) from his OWN MOTHER, you don't think there's a problem there? No?”
You stated: “A good start would be laws that require a clean mental bill of health for the gun owner and all others in the household before a license to own a weapon is granted (and don't act like that's a huge deal; most animal shelters have more stringent requirements for adopting a dog than what I'm describing). Not to mention yearly re-registration of firearms, and laws that hold you accountable if a gun you own is improperly secured and is later used to commit a crime.”
The black raven wrote:
Raven, my statements are not intended to offend you. They are facts. If you take them as offensive, then that's regretable.
Many lives have been saved by the lawful use of firearms. Check the internet if you want details or specifics. Simply put, the police don't get there fast enough. Do they ever get there fast enough? If your preference is to be at the mercy of the madman with the gun, hoping the police arrive to save you, that's your choice. The criminals have guns. Pass all the laws to ban them you want. All it does is limit you. Not them.
Guy Humual wrote:
Many of the deaths in WWII did not occur during combat. I think you can consider those "violent crime." Some occurred when the SD showed up after the Germans had left the area in question, and started killing civilians. By most estimates, the SD killed roughly one million people. Or in concentration camps (6 million plus, not in combat) or Soviet Gulags. Or ask the German people who were forced out of the countries they lived in following the end of the war, and had to walk to Germany. Most were women, children, and seniors age 55 plus. Out of roughly 15 million who made the trek, two million died, many were killed by & others were raped or victimized by the inhabitants of those countries the Germans left. Would you consider those millions "combat casualties"?
Angstspawn, I've been to Europe, and I've got family members living in 7 European countries at present. There are significant cultural factors present in the USA that lend itself to the higher rate of 'gun violence,' than in Europe at the current time, I will grant you. Historically however, within the past 100 years, Europeans have killed MILLIONS of their fellow countrymen with guns, rather than ten thousand per year here in the USA. Consider that, before you are overly harsh on the 'gun-happy USA.' Further, Europe has been able to create vast social safety nets and crade-to-grave welfare states to help "protect individuals", because Euopean countries are not obligated to pay massive amounts of money for national defense. The USA does that. We guard Europe now, just as we have done since World War II. This leaves Europe financially able to enact massive government funded support systems to help its citizens, that we don't have here in the USA. And sadly, you're still on the verge of bankruptcy without help from Germany, and heaven help us, the gun-happy USA...
"Evil" refers to the value judgment placed on the actions of individuals. The term is not intended to "explain or excuse" why these actions happen. However evil does exist, even if the secular world of psychiatry doesn't talk about it often. Given that Europe is largely agnostic at best and athiest at worst, I can understand why you don't subscribe to the term. And since you've already got an abundence of scietists in Europe, perhaps you ought to look for a priest instead for an explanation. Assuming there are any priests left in Europe...
Any amount of gun violence is wrong and unfortunate. That does not mean that outlawing gun ownership, or passing counterproductive gun laws which do nothing is the answer. I have done evaluations/therapy with literally HUNDREDS of young men/women, ages 14-21 who have used guns in commission of crimes, including murder. To date, only ONE (1) of those individuals LEGALLY owned the gun he/she used in the commission of a crime. The rest either stole the firearm themself, or bought it illegally/on the black market from someone else (who likely stole it) and then sold it illegally. How does gun control of law abiding citizens stop this? IT DOESN'T. As I stated in a previous post, some 'gun control' that is already on the law books is appropriate and helpful in preventing certain individuals from getting firearms. I have no problem with these. However, the emotional reactions from some following these tragedies has the potential to result in legislation that does FAR MORE than most would hope to see done about the "problem of gun ownership." Going too far on gun control is not a good thing.
The majority of the individuals who perpetrate horrific crimes, like the ones we saw in Colorado and now Connecticut, are social outcasts, who have a history of family problems, are under employed, socially isolated and ostracized, have bleak futures and employment prospects, have poor coping skils, little of meaning or value in their life, and have little/no religious faith or background (which gives moral reasons to NOT harm others. I'm not talking about religious Nuts who think that they are justified in harming others because of their religion.) Perhaps this is the problem we should be focusing on, rather than the weapon they choose to use. People killed with weapons other than guns are no less dead. The common factor is the person who committed the crime.
A "personality disorder", which is what news agencies in the USA are saying the shooter had in the Connecticut incident had, is a term used by the American Psychological Association to 'scientifically' classify people of a rather unpleasant sort who have PERSISTENT MALADAPTIVE PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS. These individuals are not born that way, as personality disorders are not hereditary/genetically based. They are acquired through life and learning, primarily in the early years of a person's life. Abuse and neglect are primary factors in later development of personality disorders. "Having a personality disorder" does not justify bad behavior (any more than "evil" does). It merely signifies that bad/maladaptive behaviors are more likely to be present in the person in question.
I recognize that many on these boards are very distressed about the events of yesterday in Connecticut, as are we all. A terrible event that defies description. I think that some posters calls for stricter gun control measures were unfortunate and rather ill timed (and I am referring particularly to poster Scott Betts). I would expect those calls from certain politicians and celebrities so soon after this type of tragedy, but I was disappointed to see it so soon on the Paizo message boards. Regrettably, these types of tragedies often become “opportunities” for strong proponents of stricter gun control measures to promote their ‘agenda.’
You (Scott Betts) ask the question, why do these shootings happen. You have had gun ownership by a significant percentage of the American population for decades, but you did not see these type of mass-shooting incidents 20, 30, 50 years ago, like you are seeing them now. But how many people are asking questions about the direction of the culture of the USA, the breakdown of the American family and the effects of divorce on children and adolescents, the replacement of a religious based morality with that of a secular-progressive “morality” where overt religious life is ridiculed and belittled, the unbelievable rates of illegitimacy across all demographic groups & the problems of drug use & irresponsible sexual behaviors, the role of 1st person shooter video games on adolescents (or adults), the effects on individuals and the culture at large of music, television and movies that glorify and promote not only extreme violent behavior, but glorify it and remove any notion of consequences or responsibility from ones actions or choices.
Potentially all of these above factors (and many others not listed) were factors here, but we here silence from many in the world of TV/media, and even on these message boards. The only familiar drum beat we hear is that of more gun control. In your original posts (Scott Betts), you scoff at the idea of arming a “Mrs. Henderson” to prevent such an incident from occurring. Yet there area likely some professionals in a school setting who could handle such a responsibility. Further, hiring an armed security guard at every school would go a long way to help with this also. Metal detectors in every school building might also be merited.
I am not inclined to fault ‘mental health’ on this. I perform psychological evaluations (for my job) on adolescents and adults who are incarcerated. I can show you thousands of clients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders who don’t perform these type of attrocities. Evil people do them. Whether they have mental health problems, or use guns, knives, bombs, etc., is secondary.
The problem with legislation in Washington is Unintended consequences. I previously worked for the U.S. Senate in Washington DC and worked around legislators daily. I observed first hand that on a daily basis, there are literally countless examples of problems created in Washington for the rest of the country, because politicians fail to comprehend what the long term effect of their current actions will be on the rest of the country. Many laws passed to regulate various aspects of American life, business & society have far more reaching ends than the originators ever intended.
Furthermore, what the current president and members of congress state that they seek to do (in the form of legislation) and what actually ends up actually occurring in the wording (and therefore, the ultimate result) of that legislation is often quite different. You may want “more reasonable” gun control in this country, but there are many people who want no private ownership of firearms in this country, and they use tragic events such as this in an effort to forward their goals of eliminating all gun ownership incrementally. That is why the ‘gun crowd’ is perhaps justifiably concerned about the immediate calls for gun control measures.
I would contend that no amount of gun control would have altered the situation here. The perpetrator (shooter) of this terrible incident did not own the guns he used. He stole the guns he used from another law abiding citizen, (his mother, who had obtained those firearms legally and lawfully), whom he subsequently murdered with those very guns. How would more gun control laws have thwarted that? Unless you (or others) are talking about denying the shooter’s mother from obtaining/owning firearms in the first place. And that would clearly infringe on the law abiding citizens Right to use/own firearms under the 2nd amendment. That is why the ‘gun crowd’ is concerned about this incident. The existing laws on the books are adequately establishing a waiting period, and preventing people with criminal records, serious mental health problems and those who are involved in domestic violence situations from legally obtaining firearms. I'm fine with those prohibitions. None of those criteria however apply to a criminal like this person, who stole firearms and used them to kill others. More gun control won't solve that.
Brother Faust the Elder wrote:
The game was a really good one. Quite chilling and sinister, which I like. What made it even better was that I was almost convinced that I was going to make it out alive, only to have it snatched away from me in the end, in horrifying manner. It was WONDERFUL. I only wish I could replicate this sort of event in the future on some of my past and future players also. Ineptus, get those dice ready!
I had hoped to pursuade Haru to get to some woods ASAP and drop the comb, hoping that might save the rest of the group. Sadly, he elected to shoot at the hut. I don't know if there were trees close enough by to count as 'woods' that he could have possibly gotten to, but I didn't survive long enough to find out, as I got impaled to the damn floor by some alternate ego/psycho-b***h version of Baba Yaga.
Humorously enough, every time I have tried to help one of my comrades in trouble in this campaign, I have died horribly. Therefore, in the future, I proudly say: Screw Altruism! It's every rat bastard for himself from now on!
On a GM'ing note, folks, Call of Cthulu is wonderful. There are NO Character Levels. Characters have ONLY about a dozen Hit Points, if they're lucky. The players are desperately trying to save their bacon in EVERY game session! It's fantastic. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN RUNNING THIS TYPE OF GAME SYSTEM YEARS AGO!
I currently play in a 1 session per month Call of Cthulu game in Woodbridge, which is about 20 miles south of Arlington. Eventually, I'll probably resume as a GM in a Pathfinder campaign. If you're interested in either, let me know.
Brother Faust the Elder wrote:
Does that mean?a) We complete the campaign in less than six months.
b) We have missed enough clues/material that we won't be able to achieve the objectives requisite for success.
c) The players will throw in the towel for reasons yet unknown.
d) You will finally tire of our idiotic & inadequate attempts to get through ten minutes of game time without buying the farm, and you'll mercifully throw in the towel in our behalf.
I very much regret the absence, but it could not be helped. I was at home all morning & afternoon with my children. The Mrs. actually appologized not only to me, but (to me) to the other participants in the group for my absence. That is unprecedented. The good result is that it likely bought me an additional 6+ months to attend the game. The Mrs. had been pounding the drum for me to get out of the game by early 2013. My leash has apparently be extended for a little while longer... I look forward to continuing in December.