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I look at it this way: oil is a finite resource. As we tap out the easily-pumped reserves, we end up having to spend and risk more in order to extract less and less. That can't go on indefinitely. Coal has a similar future.
I look at other countries, who have read the writing on the wall and are investing in the future. I notice that Norway put most of its North Sea oil profits into renewables research, for example.
I look at the collapse of Detroit, and the rest of the Rust Belt, and I worry about American jobs, long-term.
I want to see the U.S. get a leg up on the future. I want our know-how to put us on the front lines of future energy production methods, and our people to be building the materials and infrastructure for it. I look at Tesla cars and see something that's 100% made in America and is also, quite probably, the future of automotives -- and the same company has also improved battery storage technology by generations. That's the kind of stuff that made the U.S. great, and will keep it that way in the future. I want us to be designing and building turbines, and solar cells, and nuclear plants, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet.
Digging for more meagre scraps in the dirt and whining about how we wish the world hadn't passed us by isn't going to do that.
Forget about the climate; I believe in renewable energy because I believe in America.
Or an M-16, for that matter. There's a reason our guys in Vietnam were abandoning their service weapons as soon as they captured an enemy rifle.
Not long ago people would ALSO quote studies that showed that children reared by homosexuals were connected to pedophilia, rape, and other negative connotations.
Wow -- it's almost as if we're able to learn stuff over time! Imagine that!
As soon as all your hypothetical "new, improved" studies showing no statistically-significant societal issues with polygamy are released, then sociologists can compare them with the previous ones already completed, and see if the old understanding has been overturned, or if the new one is trumped-up, or maybe some of each. At that point, you can present the argument you're trying to make. Until then, you're presenting wishful thinking as fact.
DM Wellard wrote:
The uniqueness of the Lovelock viewpoint is that it is holistic, rather than reductionist.
In other words, instead of relying on pesky stuff like science and data, he makes s@** up.
I'm fairly well convinced that humans are contributing a great deal to climate change.
Jester David wrote:
There have been hoaxes and environmental false alarms before. Global cooling in the 70s. The ozone hole. Nuclear waste. All never got bad. And the other panics. Y2K was a non-event. The Cold War didn't end the world. We haven't run out of oil.
Ozone hole: real, not a "hoax" or "false alarm;" we fixed it by action.Nuclear waste: still a problem, just one we don't have the will to face head-on.
Y2K: A lot of programmers worked a lot of OT to make that a non-event.
Cold War: What if Kennedy, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, had listened to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and launched a preemptive strike? That was a close call, not a "hoax" or a "false alarm."
Oil: Haven't run out yet, or for a while to come, but the stuff isn't limitless.
In essence, the firearms rules took a broken mechanic designed to help wizards bypass high ACs and gave it to a ranged fighting class
If you're actually upset that they took something from the already-omnipotent wizard and gave it to a lowly martial class (under more limited circumstances, to boot), then you and I are definitely not playing the same game.
I don't understand the standpoint of Roberts' dissent when he bases it on the claim that "one man-one woman" has always been the definition of marriage for all people across all time periods. Aside from it being factually wrong*, it would also seem to be irrelevant. The majority decision isn't changing any definitions; it's throwing out a supposed "reason" for violating equal protection as being insufficient demonstrated as being a necessary/appropriate one.
*Marriage was often, in the past, and still is, in some places, between one man and any number of women; or between one man and an underage girl (as is still notoriously the case in Yemen); or (in at least one society in Nepal), between one woman and a number of brothers.
Scalia's dissent is typical for him -- a lot of bombast and Chicken Little, but very little actual substance.
Thomas' dissent started off good, insofar as he actually attempted to start with a basis of actual Constitutional law. Unfortunately, then he sort of went off the rails into some mousehole he only thinks he found, and the whole thing goes nowhere. I would very much like to see where he'd have ended up if he'd stayed in sight instead of suddenly ducking into a broom closet, as it were.
The only kids that tend to bug me are the teenaged ones. There was a multiplex near our former apartment and it would be mobbed with them at all times, wandering in and out of movies at random, talking on phones, filming movies with their phones, taking selfies in front of the screen with their phones, throwing popcorn at each other, yelling and giggling, etc. The first time, we thought it was an aberration and complained; on subsequent visits, we realized it was just how that place was. We pretty much gave up on seeing movies out after that, until we discovered that blessed oasis that is the Alamo Drafthouse.
Crying babies? Yeah, they might cry for a limited period of time, but it seems like mostly they just sleep through movies. And they haven't yet developed cell phone addictions. So they don't bother me much. Obnoxious teenagers spend all their time in school sleeping in class, so they're up all night making movie-going miserable for everyone else -- and they can't go 15 seconds without playing with their goldang i-phones.
As former Paizo designer Sean K Reynolds said in an article, precise class balance is neither possible nor totally necessary.
With all due respect to SKR, he inhabits a world in which all people play Magical Tea Party anyway, and can't really think outside of that box.
There are a number of methods of balancing classes, of which he seems to be aware of only one or two.
1. Make all classes roughly the same, then change the names of stuff. 4e went in this direction, but it's not the only way of doing things, and in my opinion it's not really the best way of doing them, either.
2. Enforce niche protection. 1st edition had a lot of this. Traps killed whole parties, in some cases with no save. Only rogues could disable traps. Ergo, you needed a rogue. Hp loss killed fighters. Only clerics (and to a much lesser extent, druids and paladins) could heal hp. Ergo, you needed a cleric. Etc. One way to do this in 3e would be to remove a lot of spells and hand them out to the people whose niches they're stealing -- for example, remove find the path, locate person, discern location, etc. as spells and make them ranger class features instead, so that now you need a ranger to track and find stuff. Remove spider climb and invisibility as spells, and instead make them things that a rogue can do using the Climb and Stealth skills. Etc. This kind of interdependence can be good, but it also potentially leaves you in a situation in which you get a TPK every week that Bob can't make it, so that's not a good deal.
3. Establish benchmarks. Figure out what challenges you want present at what levels, then design classes with those goalposts in mind. If you decide that 9th level is when they start ignoring long journeys, then wizards can get overland flight at that level, fighters can tame griffons or pegasi at that level, and rogues can activate flying carpets at that level. If you decide armies are obsolete at X level, then wizards get widened fireballs at that level, barbarians can rage and kill whole armies, and bards can inspire enough people to fight as an army for them. The idea is not to make them the same, but to make sure they're competent in the face of the benchmark challenges, albeit in their own different ways.
4. Give up. This is the "solution" that SKR is advocating, because (1) is boring, (2) feels like a step backwards, and (3) takes a lot of work, so people throw up their hands and yell sour grapes.
M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
With the battle-madness on him, Uro is more like a ravaging tempest than a humanoid being. With hardly a pause in his deadly tempo, he wrenches his axe from his latest victim, steps rapidly to the side -- avoiding the edge of the grease with a nimbleness that belies his huge size -- and then takes a massive stride forward, swinging the axe in a cleaving arc.
Critical Damage: 4d8 + 22 ⇒ (4, 4, 7, 2) + 22 = 39
The scything blade shears through the monster's carapace as if it were a candy shell rather than exoskeletal armor; the bug's soft innards spray in all directions as the force of the blow flattens its body and nearly cleaves the thorax in half. One leg feebly twitches, but it's apparent that the thing is quite dead.
60 points of damage in one blow at 1st level! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new world record!
You were born before 1912? Because "sword and planet" was coined to cover stuff like ERB's Barsoom stories. And "science fantasy" has been in general use since 1950 or so.
To follow up on this thread, I just asked Mrs Gersen if she remembered John Carter. She said, "I vaguely remember that everything and everyone in it was pretty unremarkable. Wait -- is that the one with the doggie? I liked the doggie."
So, three years later, Kitsch's role has been eclipsed by a CGI dog.
The existence of the Gate spell doesn't mean that you can just have whatever you want wander into the game and the GM/other players just have to shrug helplessly and let it in.
I have to agree here. If I think it would be really cool to play R2D2 (I don't, for the record, but just pretend), and the other players gave me that look and all said, "Dude, that's totally lame," it's my responsibility to suck it up and think of something else. And it's the DM's responsibility to say "You heard 'em, Kirth, it's 4-to-1 against."
Just a Guess wrote:
Notice the plural "they" (bolded). When you have a group of 5 people, all five people -- the group as whole -- should have some input into deciding what they want to play. Not any one player, not any one DM. Each individual person can either submit to the group consensus, or bow out. So if we have 4 people interested in one thing, and one person who refuses (per Saldiven's quote I was replying to), the problem is with that one person. Even if that person has declared himself the DM. Because (again, in my experience, there may be conflicting cases) he will soon end up an ex-DM, because he's making it clear that he's running a game for himself alone, and not for any of the other 4 people.
If a player doesn't like the game the GM has proposed, he can choose not to play.
Emphasis mine.And also:
unless you ignored what I'd proposed for a campaign
See, you keep referring to "what you proposed" in the singular, nor is there any indication of player input there. If I'm misreading that, it's because you're miswriting it.
as long as all the people joining the party agreed to the theme.
I think this is the operative statement, and where the disagreement comes in. For my part, I consider "agreement" to include discussion, suggestions, and so on -- where everyone gets a chance to explain what they're looking for. Other people consider "agreement" to mean acceding to what the host has already decided.
Likewise, I think there's an awful lot of disagreement as to what constitutes being appropriate to the "theme." I felt that a desert paladin potentially had a lot to offer to a pirate-themed game, whereas thejeff felt that it was totally inappropriate.
Which again brings us back to what "agreement" means. For many people, the DM says "Not approved! Try again!" and "agreement" means that the player obeys. For others (such as myself), "agreement" means they sit down as a group and discuss the options -- Will the paladin be a disruption, or will he go along with shipboard raids? Are the other players all wanting to play evil black-hearted pirates who keel-haul innocent civilians, or are they just stealing from the really bad guys? Etc.
Just a Guess wrote:
Guy1: For next time we meat I can cook a meal for you. What I have to offer is...(names 10 meals)
OK, first off, if the "meal" is the PC, then the DM isn't cooking it. The player is. You're telling him not to.
If, on the other hand, the "meal" is the campaign, so far only myself and one (1) other person that I can recall has offered more than one alternative. So this "10 offerings" is an outright lie, if you're trying to represent the majority here. Because most people are in fact saying something a lot more like this: "This is the one meal I am offering. You are expected to being a side dish -- but not whatever you want; I have to approve it. If you don't like any of that, I don't want you here. None of the other guests have a say, either. In fact, the only reason I'm allowing you here at all is that I hate to eat alone."
If you are saying that you, personally, offer 10 different campaign options and only move forward with a game when there's agreement on them, then you and I are in no way arguing here -- we're on exactly the same side. It's the options and the agreement that I'm looking for, not whether every person gets everything they want.
The differences are pretty important, but again, of course people on the DM-is-God camp will, as always, gloss over that.
Which I absolutely wouldn't do, unless you ignored what I'd proposed for a campaign and insisted on no changes to your concept.
It wouldn't get that far -- if you'd previously ignored my input and insisted on "proposing" a campaign that didn't allow for what the players wanted, I'd have already left the game.
Remember that this particular go around on this topic started with Anzyr's stance that he didn't have to compromise and a GM who didn't let him play a bow tied pony alchemist regardless was a bad GM.
I'm not Anzyr. But if I showed up at your table and you jumped on anything I presented with both boots because you were afraid I might be Anzyr -- then, yes, I'd definitely exercise my right to not play.
I do think a GM should compromise.
Again, "obey me or don't play" is not in any way a "compromise."
I also think players should compromise.
As do I. In fact, I think I've tried to make that clear in every post.
I was trying to focus on cases where it wasn't possible not because I think GMs shouldn't compromise, but because there wasn't even agreement that there could ever be a problem.
It's always possible, if the participants have even a modicum of respect for one another. If they don't, they shouldn't be playing together -- but that's very much an interpersonal thing, not a game role responsibility thing.
I did mention the guy wanting to play a burrowing scavenger right? he left because I said no and he should probably play something with arms and that wants equipment.
(shrug) I would have let him try it (subject to the rest of the table's agreement), and seen whether it was really all that disruptive.
Sure it is. But most often they're not incompatible with the game or the other characters, so much as they're incompatible with what the DM personally pre-imagined. That's not at all the same thing, and I don't think we should pretend it is.
Are paladins cool with land bound robbers as well?
The question for me is whether they're only robbers because the DM tells them they have to be, or they're not allowed to play. Back to the one jerk, vs. the whole table, again.
Anzyr feels each player can override all the others. I disagree.
Most people feel the DM should override all the players at will, and in fact is "cooler" if he does so as arrogantly and as unyieldingly as possible, because you "have to teach them a lesson." I obviously disagree very strongly.
I feel that everyone should be on the same page as the majority, regardless of claimed "status."
And before we get the usual ad nauseum repeats of the stale and absurd old argument that "it's always only exactly one player who is actively trying to be disruptive by playing something as inappropriate as possible, that's also blatantly against all the rules of the game, and everyone else at the table hates them for it," well, just kick that guy out. He's being a dick, and that has very little to do with what's "appropriate" for your precious setting, and more to do with him just being a dick.
But most of us don't really play with people like that. So when Bob shows up to the Skull & Shackles game with his desert specialist paladin, the best option is not to immediately rip up his character sheet and yell at him. A better option might be to see how he plays it -- if he's at all sincere about the game, it will more likely play out as I outlined above, and will likely make for a better party and a better game overall than just having four yes-men trying to out-pirate each other.
Canonical example: If you're playing Skull & Shackles, bring a character who wants to be a pirate. Your desert specialized paladin can wait for another game. (Note that S&S can be adapted to work for characters who don't want to be pirates, but if the rest of the groups wants to play pirates, then don't bring someone who doesn't fit.)
Wait -- what's wrong with the desert paladin? He spends a lot of time cautioning the others to mercy and so on, but they're not actually evil, and his lawful outlook means he needs to be a team player, not go all lone wolf. He stays with them as long as they're privateering from other pirates, as a net good. And when they end up marooned on a desert isle, everyone is REALLY glad he's there to help them find food and water and so on.
I'd say he could fit very well in that game.
A DM doesn't need any other reason than "I don't want them to."
In my experience the person with that attitude is more accurately an ex-DM, because the players bail for a game with someone who actually respects them as friends/fellow humans, and is willing to run the sort of game they want to play.
During the initial Pathfinder playtests, I advocated that the monk be redesigned along a ranger- or paladin-like chassis: full BAB, and spontaneous half-casting ("ki powers") to include stuff like feather fall (slow fall), expeditious retreat (fast movement), slay living (quivering palm), and so on. It got shot down, HARD, on the basis of "backwards compatibility," but there you have it.
The Black Count by Sam Reiss, about the father of Alexandre Dumas père. Slightly worried by the amount of hyperlatives used about the book's subject in the introduction.
My understanding is that they might be warranted -- Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie became general-in-chief of the French armies for good reason. This is a guy who had heated disagreements with Napoleon himself and got away with it. Not bad for a former slave!
If you don't think he's responsible for modern Fantasy's use of Elves and Dwarves, then it makes sense to not think he's responsible for the nonhuman protagonists. But it's hard for me to see how it makes sense that he shaped one but not the other.
What I'll very readily concede is that Tolkien, for whatever reason, inspired a lot more intense fan-worship -- and certainly a longer-lived fanbase -- than any of his predecessors. When the "John Carter" movie came out, some people were pretty excited, but there was none of the screaming and foaming at the mouth when the story was slightly altered or one character removed, for example. And I daresay very, very few people would have sat through three John Carter movies (say, one for each of A Princess of Mars, Gods of Mars, and Warlord of Mars) that were each 3 hours long! But people did exactly that for Peter Jackson's LotR movies.
This fact suggests to me that the reason we have so many games that slavishly adhere to human/dwarf/elf/hobbit parties (and not human/dragon/alien parties, a la "Doc" Smith) is not Tolkien's originality, but rather his popularity. The only thing groundbreaking about his work was the extent to which people came to idolize him (I obviously don't share this feeling, but I equally obviously can't help but be cognizant of it). His success in that regard was so great that it clearly inspired generations of copycats, both novelists (*cough* Terry Brooks *cough*), and in popular RPGs.
Two claims were made:(1) Tolkien was the first to put Elves, Dwarves, Humans, etc. together. That was refuted by referencing Norse mythology, which already included all of those elements together.
(2) You claimed that Tolkien "pretty much brought in nonhuman protagonists." That's easily refuted by referencing Orion, Chuchulainn, early Comics, et al.. Even if we specifically look at nonhuman protagonists in an "adventuring party" format, Tolkien-as-originator is easily refuted by referencing Oz, Doc Smith, ERB, etc.
Your new claim, that JRRT made them "more the focus of fantasy," seems a bit too vague to address, unless it can be expanded upon. (Also note that "good" and "bad" are subjective value judgments that I'm not discussing here. I'm trying to look at factual claims, and whether they're supported by evidence.)
I find it particularly funny since Tolkien pretty much brought in the non-human protagonists.
Even if we gloss over Ben's example of Oz as "children's stories," there's still a large pre-Tolkien swath of nonhuman or half-demihuman protagonists in more "serious" literature.
It's also useful to note that contemporaneous with Tolkien was E.E. "Doc" Smith, whose Lensman series (starting 1937) features a human, a dragon (Worsel), a Rigellian (Tregonsee), and an N-dimensional alien (Nadreck) as what amounts to an adventuring party.
In comics, the original "Human Torch" (1939) was an android created in a lab; other explicitly nonhuman protagonists followed.
I'm inclined to house rule that if you meet the DC exactly (e.g., score a 15 when leaping across a 15-ft. pit), then you roll an Acrobatics check at the same DC to fall forward, instead of stumbling back on landing. (Of course, if your check exceeds the pit width by 1 or more, you make it no problem.)
If you've ever watched a long jump competition, there's always some poo schleb who has a good jump ruined by falling backwards when he lands. The chances of this are very low for better long jumpers (mirrored by the fact the second check after scoring low on the first one is quite unlikely, and is less likely the easier the jump is) -- and really good ones will never fall backwards at all except in extreme cases (e.g., take 10 to exactly clear a pit, then take 10 to fall forward).
PIXIE DUST wrote:
"Elves are like humans but prettier, lithe, masters of magic and live forever", "dwarves all have beards and love ale and are smiths and ect", "Humans are the under dog race that lives shorter lives than everyone but took over because "Human spirit" and stuff",... Those were engrained very powerfully after Tolkien.
Tolkien ripped all that off from Norse mythology and other earlier sources, pretty much wholesale.Beautiful, immortal magic elves? Check.
Bearded dwarves who are supernaturally-awesome smiths? Check.
Humans, short-lived individually, but who are destined as a race to outlive even the gods? Check.
Maybe, instead of +1 to any stat per 4 levels, stat increases could be tied to the classes themselves, as class features? That way, the MAD classes could get much better stats over the course of their careers, without getting a huge bundle up front and then multi-classing out.
As a baseline, maybe the wizard keeps his +1 Int per 4 class levels.
I see this as a subset of what might be termed the Special Snowscape Syndrome. Sometimes the DM won't even bother with historical accuracy, which at least, as a standard, is equally accessible to everyone.
Player: "So, I rolled up my fighter, but I'm 1 gp short after buying gear. Can I get a quiver with a few arrows missing and reduce the cost that way?"
Now, if the player in question has agreed to the campaign, yeah, he's SOL -- he needs to get rid of that bow. But it nevertheless remains a mystery to everyone except the DM why bows somehow can't exist.
"Oh no the dice was cocked!"
When you make an absolute statement, such as "everyone cheats," providing a few examples of cheating does not prove your statement. Providing a few examples of not cheating does, however, disprove your statement.
Be careful speaking in absolute terms unless you can actually show that there are no exceptions.