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Satyr

Kirth Gersen's page

26,269 posts (27,338 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 15 aliases.


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The Dude Lebowski wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
I think its called the suck effect when you think too much about Don Henley's music. Sucks reason right out of your head.
{nods, slides Orville a white Russian}

Get out of my cab!


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JoelF847 wrote:
Midnight Texas coming this summer on NBC is based on a book series, not a comic book, and it looks like it could be fun.

Unfortunately, I didn't like "True Blood" at all, so more from the same author is more stuff I'll avoid.


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I don't know if it's Mandela Effect or people actually changing songs, but I keep hearing stuff on the radio, and keep thinking, "Wait... that's not how it goes!"

Example: On the classic rock station, Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter" came on. It used to be on the radio all the time when I was graduating high school, and I remember an ABC structure, with C being the chorus. The "B" part went something like "I'm learning to live without you..." and had some other lyrics. But when I heard it on the radio, it was a straightforward ABAB, with B being the chorus. Am I imagining this? Is my brain going so far as to supply imaginary lyrics?

I have a similar problem with the rhythm guitar on ZZ Top's "Legs." I remember it being a lot less peppy and annoying than I keep hearing it. Will have to find Eliminator in my box of cassette tapes, find a tape player, and see if I'm imagining things.

In the meantime, I've stopped listening to the classic rock station, because it's starting to wig me out.

EDIT 1: One mystery solved.
EDIT 2: And the other one, thanks to Wikipedia: "A radio edit version cut out about 1:40 from the LP version including omitting the 'I'm learning to live without you now, but I miss you baby' and skipped directly to 'I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter'."

So, not the Mandela Effect. Just bad radio.


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With a 2-year-old at home, I end up watching way more children's movies than I would otherwise prefer. Baby Gersen's latest favorite is The Lion King, which I hadn't seen in 20 years, and I was dismayed upon re-watching it. Here's a synopsis:

Everything is awesome and perfect under the monarchy, until a populist usurper lets in all the illegal immigrants, who immediately become welfare queens when the state forces the lionesses to hunt for them. This fails, and everyone has to stand in Soviet-style bread lines. Meanwhile, the heir to the monarchy becomes convinced by the church that his eating grubs with the hoi-polloi is somehow bad for fabric of society. He goes back, and the new religious monarchy kicks out all the illegals and builds a wall, and prosperity magically comes back through the power of trickle-down economics and removal of church-state separation.

I was surprised to find how disgusted I was, and have since been trying to steer her to other movies. Luckily, she seems to have re-kindled her interest in Minions, which, while also pro-monarchy, at least plays out from the viewpoint of the proletariat.


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Also, while this thread was quiescent, I finally got to see S1 of "Ash vs. Evil Dead." Let me start out by saying that I'm a big fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy, and expected the show not to come close to living up to it.

I was wildly wrong in that expectation.

The show was everything a sequel to the movies should have been -- in that regard, I liken it to Max Max IV (which I also thought would be a letdown but instead ended up being one of my favorite movies of the decade).


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... and the answer to my last answer is, "Yeah, OK, so maybe Cthulhu is real, too."


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Mrs. Gersen somehow acquired a moldering copy of The Quest for Simbilis, the only authorized non-Vance sequel to Eyes of the Overworld. Eager to read more of the adventures of Cugel the Clever, I anticipated finishing it in a sitting. Unfortunately, I fell asleep partway into the first few pages -- when you have a 2-year-old, Easter egg hunts can be exhausting.


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I liked the max. damage tables in the 3.0 Dungeon Master's Guide. Not clear on why they were omitted from 3.5 and Pathfinder, but, basically:

Spell Level - Max Damage (single target) - Max Damage (multiple targets)
1 - 5d6 - 5d6
2 - 10d6 - 5d6
3 - 10d6 - 10d6
4 - 15d6 - 10d6
5 - 15d6 - 15d6
6 - 20d6 - 15d6
7 - 20d6 - 20d6
8 - 25d6 - 20d6
9 - 25d6 - 25d6

The divine spells tables were similar, but use 1/2d8 instead of 1d6.

Anyway, these might be helpful in explaining why we don't normally have 2nd level spells that deal up to 18d6 damage.


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Kajehase wrote:
Kajehase's scale of spy novel "realism" from top to bottom: Le Carré --> Len Deighton --> Ian Fleming --> James Bond movies

I'm a big fan of Alistair MacLean, but, man, his spies stay awake for weeks at a time, get knocked out and come to seconds later, ready to run across the decks of ships during force 10 gales for the fifth or so time, and as long as they find a shot of whiskey after that, they're back up and at it again. Then, having made a series of implausibly brilliant deductions, the main character will invariably say, "If only I hadn't been so stupid!"


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My biography speaks for itself.


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Eal Longwalker wrote:
The law is an ass.

If you want to encourage substandard foreign rip-offs, sure. Do you happen to be a big fan of Harry Potter and the Leopard-Walk-Up-to Dragon?


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Doodles and Samnell will no doubt be interested to hear that the new Incrementalists has a secondary storyline set during the Bleeding Kansas crisis, with John Brown as a side character. It's starting to seem like Brust will eventually try to draw parallels to the 2010 unrest around SB 1070 in Arizona (featured heavily in the novel's main storyline), but I'm not clear on how that's going to work yet.


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thejeff wrote:
But yeah, I get it. I even agree. I just think it's going to be far more possible to push Democrats to get better, even while they're in power, than to survive Republicans in power. Or to have some kind of miracle occur and replace Democrats wholesale with some non-existent better politicians.

If "they're not as bad as the other guys" means they never need to do better, then there's no push. On the other hand, if we do push them to do better, then they in fact become the "non-existent better politicians" we're looking for.

thejeff wrote:
Nor do I think that turning away from social issues or civil rights issues to focus on economics either practical or moral. The problems there are also serious and real.

They are. Fortunately, though, I really don't think it's a zero-sum game. I truly believe that we can focus on the economy and on civil rights both. The only way those goals become antithetical to each other is if we let them be.


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If a passing score on a test is 60, that doesn't mean 40 is "just as bad" as zero. It does, however, mean that neither one of them is even close to passing.


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I just looked up my CEO's 2016 compensation. It's not even that impressive, compared to what big companies' CEOs rake in. But if you cut it in half, that's still far more money than I could possibly spend in a year, even going gonzo bonkers with it. Take the other half and put it into the company, and he could have postponed (or avoided altogether) laying off something like 100 or 150 of my former co-workers who are now looking for work.

On the other hand, give half my salary to someone out of work, and now both our families are in pretty bad shape.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
So what is the walk? Increasing minimum wages? Establishing a floor for the tax rates of the wealthy?

Minimum wages are nice, but decreasing the gap between $20K and $50K/year isn't going to massively spur the economy, considering that $50K worth of buying power continues to dwindle in comparison with inflation, and won't ever keep up. If I get a raise of about 2% a year on average, compared to 3% average inflation, in 10 years I'm making, effectively, 90% of what I used to. That's been happening, overall (ignoring fits and spurts), since the New Deal.

Massively reducing the gap between $20K or $50K a year, compared to $5,000K or $50,000K a year, is what really needs to happen.

In simpler terms, globally it's less important if a scientist makes twice what a janitor does (it matters to the janitor, but not to the scientist, and not to the economy as a whole). It makes a huge difference when the CEO makes 1,000x as much as either of them, because that's 999 fewer working janitors and scientists, and/or 999 janitors' or scientists' worth of money not changing hands in the actual working marketplace.


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Hitdice wrote:
Kirth has never said that.

Shhh. Everyone is allowed "alternative facts," remember? As long as you're not quite as bad as the Republicans, you can do whatever you want without reproach.


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Progress updates:

  • Bestiary is finished except for undead.

  • Regarding spells, I've made fantastic progress on showing how to build spells, starting with low-level "seed spells" and applying existing metamagic feats. We did that with evocations early on, but now I've worked out all the fog spells, darkness spells, teleportation spells, figments, glamers, polymorph spells, and a lot of others.

  • Combat chapter still needs a lot of work. I don't like the actions as they're listed, but it's too hard to make the [Strikes] and [Stances] work if I change them to what I'd been thinking.


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    Knight who says Meh wrote:
    I know it was said sarcastically but typically, the people I see saying they're all the same are people who want to vote republican but for whatever reason, don't want to admit they are republican.

    I haven't actually seen that, but I won't claim it doesn't exist. On my part, "I wish the Dems were a lot better on wealth gap" means just that. Reading that to mean "all the same" is tempting, but inaccurate.


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    To keep house cats from killing rhinos, scaling feats are nice. "At BAB +6 or greater, you can also apply your Dex modifier in place of your Str modifier for damage with melee attacks," keeps the kitties from overrunning Monster Island, and also keeps the archers from being the only viable combatants.


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    Ridiculon wrote:
    True, but it's not like they get that for free. They have major playstyle restrictions to keep them from being the combat gods they could be

    That was the argument back in 1979. It was bad then, and it still is. If a person is playing a paladin, in general they already wanted that playstyle, so using it isn't much of a restriction. But, more importantly, in 1e the paladin was "fighter + lots of extra goodies." In PF, it's an entirely separate class, and it's pretty well-balanced even without any playstyle restrictions. So what started off as a bad idea has become an unnecessary distraction.


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    Ridiculon wrote:
    The system is not designed to handle combat with a single stat

    And yet full casters do just fine in combat with a single stat.

    If you want to make everyone multiple-attribute dependent (MAD) and keep them that way, cool beans.
    If you want to let some people be single-attribute dependent (SAD), then let the others do so as well.
    If you want to argue that the status quo is perfect, people will disagree.


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    (Shrug) Depends on how you prioritize issues. Generally, only diehard Democrat supporters say anything like "they're all the same, right?" (sarcastically). Other people say stuff like, "they're the same on this particular issue which I think is particularly important," or, "Democrats are better on issues X, Y, and Z, but even worse than the Repubs on issues A and B."

    Or, to match your level of sarcasm: If you want to claim you're the only person who doesn't ignore reality, than stop ignoring reality.


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    Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
    I hate to be pedantic

    I love to be pedantic!


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    Feral wrote:
    I've been in too many games where the party uses the 'need' model and 90% of the party's wealth ends up on the fighter.

    And that's about the fairest distribution I can think of. The casters have actual class features that matter, so they don't really need gear except a component pouch/spellbook/holy symbol. The fighter does need gear, and desperately so -- he can't do his job without it, and a lot of it.

    If you have a rogue, too, the best distribution is probably 45% fighter, 45% to the rogue, and 5% each for the cleric and wizard. Magic is how things gets done in this game. If you don't get it from your class, you need to get it from gear. So the gear needs to go to the people who actually need it. If you have more than half of the party are mundanes, fire some of them and hire some casters.


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    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    DM Jam wrote:
    Thanks man. After multiple pediatrician visits this weekend, then spending a chunk of last night at the ER, they figured out what's going on, so now she should be on the mend and I can gain a few more sanity points back.

    Ugh, I feel for you, mon frere.


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    Kajehase wrote:
    In Robert Jordan's 15-book fantasy series The Wheel of Time, the character Nynaeve tugs her braid 60 times, with a full 3rd of the braid-tuggings occurring in the book The Dragon Reborn.

    The most common phrase in Lee Child's 21 (and counting) Jack Reacher thrillers is "Reacher said nothing." It is so prevalent, in fact, that author Andy Martin used it as the title of his book on Child and the writing of Make Me (Reacher #20; the phrase appears 21 tines in that novel alone, even excluding minor variations like "He said nothing.").

    My favorite:

    Lee Child wrote:

    "We don’t want the book rights."

    "Why wouldn’t you?"
    "I’m too busy and he [Reacher] can barely write his own name with a crayon."
    Reacher said nothing.


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    John Woodford wrote:
    (And thanks for the correction, Kirth; I didn't know of any recent ones, even though Movie 43 doesn't look like something I'd enjoy.)

    As Scythia pointed out, The Onion Movie (2008) was better. Steven Seagal spoofs himself in one of the skits, which for me was alone worth the price of admission.


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    Downloaded the new Incrementalist book, by Brust & White, last night. Can't wait to read it!


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:

    @ Kirth, don't suppose you need a field assistant?

    Unfortunately, right now, with all the oil company geologists having been laid off, there are about a zillion applicants for every position. I've also hit a point where I'm chained to my desk inside most of the time -- a huge bummer for me.

    That said, if my current Sith apprentice gets tired of being in the field all the time, there may be an opening after all.


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    The main difference between working under those conditions and doing leisure is that, for work, the bosses back at the office (who aren't out in it) assume you'll be equally as productive as when conditions are perfect. So you can't usually take a break or get in out of it if it gets too uncomfortable. You're also often faced with tasks that, while very easy at a table indoors, become nearly impossible in the wind and flooding rains (for example). I'm also usually managing subcontractors who may not be fully acclimated, so the health & safety of the field team, always a top priority, becomes even more critical.


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    Knight who says Meh wrote:
    Yeah but how is any of that helping Kirth?

    That's exactly where the modern Democratic Party keeps falling down.

    Dems: "We're helping the working class!"
    Local People: "How, exactly? None of us are seeing it."
    Dems: "Well, you're all bad people anyway, so we don't need to talk to you except by making snide remarks."

    Trump: "I'll Make America Great Again (TM)!"
    Local Pepple: "How, exactly? You people never do."
    Trump: "No earthly idea! I've never been able to fix anything, and run all my companies into the ground! But I'm listening to you, and I understand your concerns."


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    Endzeitgeist wrote:
    without care, the right tools and serious trekking experience, it can be pretty dangerous out there - cold, scalding pits of water, brutal wind, uneven floor...

    I've spent much of my career working outdoors in hostile conditions in all climates -- scorching deserts, dust storms, swamps, 60 mph winds, sub-zero blizzard conditions -- so I was a little less worried about that aspect than most. (Also, my tour package had supposedly included it.)


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:
    so you are the guy that does still drive when it snows in Texas, and wonders what the big deal is LOL.

    Are you kidding? The way people try to drive in the snow around here, I'm the LAST person who would venture out on the road with all of them slamming and sliding around at ridiculous speeds.


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:

    The only thing Rochester, NY does not have vs. Iceland is volcanic features, and well, our glaciers kinda left a while ago...otherwise, we NY rust belt folks know all about snow, cold, wind, and treacherous conditions.

    Of course, Kirth is a Texan...

    That white stuff is called snow Kirth...::ducks::

    I grew up in Troy, NY, and recently spent 3 years in Pittsburgh, so I know snow!

    My best friend growing up ended up settling in Rochester. It's a nice city! And Jay's Diner is not-to-miss.


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    Endzeitgeist wrote:
    On another note - whom did you meet? Perhaps I know the guy!

    Fellow named Sebastian, goes by "Vinz Vik" on Facebook. We met on a tour of the Egil Skallgrimsson brewery, then led our tour group to a local bar where we all got completely blotto. He was a fantastic drinking companion!

    I started out trying to speak German (I was born in Germany), but was ashamed to discover I'd forgotten pretty much all of it -- I couldn't even carry on a simple conversation. Thankfully, like all Germans, our new friend was totally fluent in English.


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    Greylurker wrote:
    I remember in Kingmaker they have a Jabberwock with Vital strike feats and they have it use them with its Eye beams.

    And its BAB is high enough to push that to 60d6. Which is actually semi-reasonable for a CR 23 challenge, if you think about it, because that's equivalent to fighting an actual demigod. A party of four 19th-level full casters will win, because things like displacement are just as effective against rays as they are against swords, and energy resistance spells are low-level and easy to come by. Unfortunately, martial feats like Vital Strike are great for everyone except martial characters, who can never achieve a fraction of the potential that casters and monsters do.


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:
    I just want to go to Iceland. Glaciers, along WITH volcanoes, YES PLEASE! :)

    They wouldn't let me on the glacier because they claimed the nearest volcano *might* erupt.

    Meh.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I was shocked in Iceland when I realized I had a better knowledge of the Sagas than most of the locals -- seeing where they took place was a huge draw. More apropos to EZG's last post, though -- the very best part of my 2014 Iceland trip was meeting a long-haired German metal musician in black.


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    BobTheCoward wrote:
    It is a narrative, shared experience. As long as all players are having fun, there is no "good" or "bad" build. It certainly isn't a concept that can be "proven."

    You're absolutely right -- if that's the experience the players are all looking for. Some groups, believe it or not, really enjoy hardcore tactics and strategy and that's the kind of shared experience that they expect. So if one person "shares" a team member that has to be carried, or gets the whole party killed, that person has produced a bad build for that particular game.

    Likewise, if everyone is playing a happy furry and they just want to romp and play, someone bringing in a super-optimized hunter-killer has a very bad build for that game.

    Granted, most games fall somewhere in between, but there is still a very wide spectrum. So we (all of us) really, really need to remember that playstyles are not universal, and that the game is meant to support ALL of them, not just our own.


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    There are a number of things I dislike about Vital Strike, some of which BWO already discussed, but I think the main one is that it's an obvious feat to give monsters -- especially given the damage dice some of the Bestiary 1-5 critters get, out of proportion to their size. But if the DM does the obvious thing and swaps out Improved Critical and Power Attack on a seps for Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike, it deals 9d8 bite damage (plus poison) and you either start killing melee PCs more often, or else you have to start softballing encounters to keep from doing so. Granted, an experienced DM would probably avoid doing that, but that same DM would probably wonder what the feat is actually supposed to be for.

    I've long advocated that Vital Strike's damage dice increase would be better as a set number of dice, say +2d6/+4d6/+6d6 at BAB +6/+11/+16. That way you could still use it on monsters, but a halfling with a dagger would get just as much mileage out of it.


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    I have no pets. I have two adopted sons who happen to be cats, but no "pets."


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    We've asked after him in my Aviona PBP, but haven't heard from him. He was such an important part of that campaign from the very start (2011) that we sort of unofficially allowed the PBP to end, mid-combat, in his absence.


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    Do you mind if I dot this thread?
    Oh, wait, I already did it!


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    Aberzombie wrote:
    Oreo is a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet creme filling in between, and (as of 1974) are marketed as "Chocolate Sandwich Cookies" on the package in which they are held. The version currently sold in the United States is made by the Nabisco division of Mondelēz International. Oreo has become the best-selling cookie in the United States since its introduction in 1912.

    Many of us grew up thinking of Hydrox cookies as "Oreo ripoffs," not realizing that the Oreo cookie itself (1912) was actually a copy of the 1908 Sunshine Hydrox. As an added bonus, the Hydrox was Kosher, unlike the original Oreo.


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    Hitdice wrote:
    kept saying "Shibe" all the time

    Are you trying to say "Scheiße"? You're hurting my eyes!

    Trivia: a native German speaker in my day would almost never use it by itself except in the sense of "worthless" ("Das ist doch alles Scheiße!"). For cussing, it's more fun when combined with other words. ("Hundescheiße" is a favorite).

    In the days before battery key fobs, searching drunkenly for one's car, one might exclaim "Wo in der Teufel ist mein Scheißauto?!"


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    Hitdice wrote:
    Look, whatever, her lettering is flowery at the best of times, it just looked like there was a capital B in the middle of the word, okay?!

    When I was in high school we hosted a German exchange student, with the goal that the next year I'd go there and take advantage of the opportunity to apply to retain my German citizenship (the plan failed because the guy turned out to be a dick, but never mind that). Anyway, he saw a vending machine selling Mr. PIBB and immediately exclaimed, in disgust, "What is this 'Mr. Pissss'?!"

    The moral: sometimes a B is just a B, not a ß. It's only an Eszett when it is!


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    thejeff wrote:
    I'm still pretty sure Thuringia does show up in some old S&S. Some Conan rip-off. Maybe one of the ones someone else finished? Or maybe one of Lin Carter's.

    Thongor of Lemuria.


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    P.S. Swarms are done. They work nicely as a template, and then add racial HD to taste:

    Spoiler:
    A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature. A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes an attack of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

    To create a swarm, start with an animal, vermin, etc. as appropriate, then apply the Swarm template and possibly additional racial HD.

    SWARM TEMPLATE (CR +1)
    hp: Reducing a swarm to 0 hp or less causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack (no wound categories). Swarms are never fatigued, exhausted, staggered, or reduced to a dying state by damage. A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not reform until its hp exceed its nonlethal damage.

    DR: 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.

    Immune: flanking, precision damage, targeted effects (see below)

    Weaknesses: 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.

    Melee: Swarms don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has "swarm" in the Melee entry, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

    Swarm HD Base Damage
    1-5 1d6
    6-10 2d6
    11-15 3d6
    16-20 4d6
    21+ 5d6

    Face: 10 ft. x 10 ft. For larger swarms, use multiple contiguous 10’ x 10’ swarms.
    Reach: Swarms do not threaten creatures, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack.
    CMB ―; CMD ―
    Special Atks: distraction (see below)

    Attributes:
    vermin: Str 1, Dex 15, Con 12, Int ―, Wis 11, Cha 4;
    animals: Str 12 (-4 per size below Small), Dex 15, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 4.

    Feats: Some feats work differently for swarms:

  • Swarms with the Improved Grapple and Vital Strike feats do not gain the ability to grapple normally or constrict, but do gain the cling special attack (see below).
  • Swarns with the Finishing Blow and Vital Strike feats can apply the effects against any helpless or nauseated victim (this simulates the “consume” ability from the Bestiary).
  • Whirlwind Strike (for extraordinary abilities) and/or Battle Touch (for supernatural or spell-like abilities) allows the swarm to apply a [strike] effect to its swarm attack, potentially affecting all within the swarm.
    ---
    Cling (Ex): If a creature leaves the swarm's square, the swarm suffers 1d6 points of damage to reflect the loss of its numbers as several of the pests continue to cling tenaciously to the victim. A creature being clung to takes Vital Strike damage at the end of his or her turn each round. As a full-round action, the ants can be removed with a Reflex save (Dex-based save DC). Any amount of damage from an area effect destroys all clinging creatures.

    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that takes damage from a creature with the distraction ability is nauseated for 1 round; a Fort save (Con-based save DC) negates the effect. Within the area of a swarm, spellcasting, concentrating on spells, or using skills that involve patience requires a Concentration check at the appropriate DC (plus 2x spell level, if casting).

    Immune to Targeted Effects (Ex): 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 if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind.


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    Pan wrote:
    I'm guessing you present yourself in a confident and opinionated manner so you appear like a natural leader.

    Or, if no strong leader is present, the Bull Goose Loony runs things.

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