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Kirth Gersen's page

23,858 posts (24,646 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.

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6 people marked this as a favorite.

Mykull, your post is demeaning, passive-aggressive, and inappropriate by turns. Calling other people liars, when you have no basis for that conclusion other than emotional jerk reflex, is not OK. Telling people they're doing things you personally find odious and unforgivable, and then saying "but that's okay," isn't okay.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Irontruth wrote:

Just a reminder, scientists can now directly measure how much CO2 is impacting temperature.

I think the importance of this fact has been overlooked.

Naw, the article contains "science" and hence is automatically wrong because conspiracy theory.

8 people marked this as a favorite.

As an old 1e grognard, I think the disconnect is this:

Back in the day, there weren't any actual rules for most of the stuff the characters did -- or at least not any consistent ones (unarmed combat charts in the DMG, anyone? Swimming rules in the A4 module of all places?). So, for the most part, they made up a character with a very limited set of defined abilities, and you spitballed the rest.

There's a lot of freedom in that approach, because the only limit on what you could do was the player's ability to sell the DM on it. To many people, though, this damaged verisimilitude, and made the whole process seem adversarial, because it generally meant the whole game was a frustrating, protracted session of "Mother May I." Everyone wanted to be the DM so they could tell everyone else what they could and couldn't do.

In 3e/PF, there are rules dictating what you can and can't do (sadly, the rules dictating what martial characters can't do seem to have gotten out of hand, but that's another story). This means that the player can't just say, "Before I go into the ball I put a flower in my lapel -- maybe it will give me a bonus to Diplomacy" -- because they know it won't. However, Paizo, seeing this, has probably released a convoluted trait, archetype, or feat chain somewhere that DOES let you do that. So that's where the 15 secondary rulebook references come in.

TL;DR: In a system like Pathfinder, with actual rules for everything, you have to expect that people will make use of them. If you want a system in which you just declare stuff and ask the DM if it works, something like Amber Diceless is ideal for that.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
I don't like giving out my government name in situations I don't need to give it, but if the name they ask for has to be my government name, I need to know that, so I know which name to give, thanks

"So, you admit to using an alias? I believe you must be a terrorist. Come with us, please."

2 people marked this as a favorite.
lucky7 wrote:
People saying that "You can't change the Second Ammendment". I respect your conviction, but yes you can. For evidence, you need only look at a little thing called Prohibition.

Most people can't even spell "amendment."

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Samnell wrote:
Since I really, truly am this boring...

To me, it's fascinating, not boring. I hope you'll post more!

Mrs Gersen is from South Carolina. When we were dating, I began to suspect that she was only dimply aware that the Korean War and Vietnam Conflict weren't part of WWII (for example). I said, "OK, I understand you were born after Vietnam, so you don't remember it, but didn't they at least teach this stuff in high school?"

She replied that her year-long high school U.S. History class started sometime in the mid 1800s and ended sometime before the end of the Civil War -- i.e., a year-long class bemoaning the "War of Northern Aggression," and pointedly not even mentioning the fact that the South actually lost.

Apparently her Biology class was even worse.

Teacher: "Who in here believes in evolution?"
(Mrs Gersen raised her hand.)
"And who believes that God created mankind?"
(Everyone else raised their hands.)
Teacher: "Well, that settles it, then!"

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aranna wrote:
Then they will ALL seem pretty good at role playing to the newbe while everyone is starting at square one with zero roll playing experience in the new system. I suspect when people get older and they lose that fire to optimize the 10th new system, they can still pull out decades of skill at role playing and wow the table even if they are not slaughtering their opponents anymore.

To some extent that's true... but again, only to an extent. My brother plays the piano, the drums, the bass, the cello, the guitar. I play nothing. We once found a flute-like recorder somewhere -- an instrument neither of us was familiar with. He could play it, after a fashion, after about a minute. I was totally unable to get it to produce recognizable sounds.

On the other hand, I've played 1e, 2e, Basic, 3.0, 3.5, and 5e D&D; plus Gamma World, Boot Hill, Top Secret, Traveller, James Bond 007, Amber Diceless, and a number of other systems. Houstonderek at one point wanted to start a Shadowrun game, and he lent me the rules. I had never played or read them before, but after skimming them once, it was pretty clear to me what combinations would work and which ones would totally gimp my character -- and that's without consciously trying to figure that out. Someone with less experience with different systems would probably not know what to even look for.

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
I don't mind if people want to powergame, but I do mind when they want to powergame my character for me. Play your PC your way and I'll do mine my way.

Then again, there are are pretty good reasons why random Peewee Little League players aren't drafted by the Yankees.

If you're playing an Everyone Wins Happy Funtime Game, in which "scary" encounters are at a CR below your level, then non-optimized characters are the order of the day. If some dirty "powergamer" shows up and starts actually using the rules to his or her advantage, he'll curbstomp the opposition, upstage the rest of the party, and generally ruin the game. That's why Michael Jordan spent the late 80s playing for the NBA, rather than trying to pass as a schoolkid and playing at the local YMCA. So, yeah, you definitely SHOULD mind if someone wants to "powergame," in that context.

On the opposite end of things, imagine all the other players all want to play Age of Worms -- an AP in which only a highly-optimized hunter-seeker team has any chance of survival. A purely "role-play" character with no abilities outside of basket weaving takes up a membership slot that is desperately needed to carry its full weight and then some. Refusing to allow anyone to help you "powergame" your basket weaver is, in that context, nothing more than a drama-queen move designed to destroy the game.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aranna wrote:
The reason I think people think of them as opposites is because people tend to focus more on the side of the game they like more. So a guy who loves optimizing is going to spend more time developing his Roll play skill and less time on his Role play skill, or vice versa for the Fluff guy.

That makes logical sense, but the overall time that people spend on the game varies wildly. In general, what I see is that some people devote a lot of time to the hobby -- when they're not playing, they read rulebooks, and they make up a bunch of characters that they may never play, and maybe they draw sketches and work up backgrounds, etc. The proportions might differ slightly, but in general, the total amount of time they devote to the hobby is large, and they therefore develop both skills a lot.

Other people are far more casual -- the ones who are in it just to hang out or whatever. They devote comparatively little time to developing either skill, and therefore tend to be lackluster at both.

Say a group of 4 players spends 8 hours/week playing together (assume half and half "role" and "roll"). But Player A also spends another 4 hours at home on rulebooks and another 12 on characters. Maybe Player B has no life; he spends 12 hours on rulebooks and 8 on characters. And maybe Players C and D spend 0 hours outside of the game.

Player A might have developed his "role-playing" more than anyone (16 hrs/wk), but his rules-savvy is also quite good (8 hrs/wk). Player B is way ahead on "roll-playing" (16 hrs/wk), but really isn't too far behind on "role-playing" (12 hrs/wk) either! And they're both far, far better at BOTH aspects than either of the other players who spend very time on either skill (4 hrs/wk).

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If you expand skills so that you can do really cool stuff with them -- if and only if you have "x" number of ranks as a class skill, then class skills mean a whole lot more than just +3 to the check. You can then tailor the class skill lists based on which cool abilities you want each class to have access to.

The spider climb spell could then be rewritten as follows: "For the duration of the spell, the target treats Climb as if it were a class skill. If it is already a class skill, the subject treats it as if he/she had an additional 3 ranks," or something like that. Same with invisibility vis-a-vis Stealth, and freedom of movement for Escape Artist, and charm person for Diplomacy, and doom, cause fear, scare, fear, etc. for Intimidate, and so on.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am deeply saddened that I've read only maybe 4 or 5 of the stories in that list.

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I've posted on this a few years back:

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Overwhelmingly, the people I have at the table who are good role-players are also good at practical optimization. The people who are lousy at optimization are also the exact same people who don't get into the role-playing aspects, either. Maybe I've just been really lucky, but I've seen this as a pretty consistent trend over 30 years of gaming. There have been exceptions -- Houstonderek's original Pathfinder group had a guy who loved the role-playing part and really hammed it up, but had zero grasp of the rules -- but that's been relatively rare (that same group had me and Derek on the good-at-both end, and also a guy who made the least effective characters I've ever seen, and also seemingly never had a hint of a personality or backstory for them).

I feel that I should also mention Andostre's character Agun, whose personality quirks (some part of his backstory, some organically grown as a result of adventuring experiences) and character effectiveness are actually mutually-reinforcing, rather than antithetical to one another. That doesn't happen by accident, and it doesn't happen by lopsidedly favoring one over the other.

For example, we start off: Agun is a dwarf who enjoys cigars and whiskey a bit more than average. He maxes out ranks in Appraise to simulate his knowledge of the quality and antecedents of these comestibles. Agun is also the party wizard; he selects detect magic as a cantrip and becomes an ace at identifying magic items -- an ability the group was in desperate need of. Agun's interest in apprasing objects, however, often leads him to be callous about his fellow party members, viewing them as objects as well. This would normally be a detriment to character-party effectiveness, but Andostre handled it this way: as a result of some interaction with a magic fountain druing an early adventure, Agun becomes extremely wary of using magic on himself, but sees the advantages of magically-buffed teammates, and has no qualms using magic on them. Andostre, realizing that our houserules rules make casting in combat extremely difficult, weaves together Agun's personality quirks with his disinclination to be a direct combatant, and makes Agun the party buffer. Casting spells on his compatriots and sending them ahead is exactly what Agun would do as a result of his personality and experiences, and exactly what Andostre wants him to do in terms of character effectiveness.

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KoolKobold wrote:
Hmm...I think I understand. You're saying to make her optional, yet the campaign will take a slightly different turn if they don't enlist her help? I think I can work that around...

More or less, with emphasis on the "optional." I'd make her an easy "win" button for one specific problem or scenario -- one which is NOT central to the campaign. Whatever that problem/scenario is, there should be other ways of dealing with it, but they're all a lot more difficult/dangerous.

What you want to avoid at all costs is a scenario in which "you must get this NPC's help or the entire campaign stops." In fact, I find that's pretty good general advice -- avoid insisting on there being only one solution to a given problem or obstacle.

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Freehold DM wrote:
What is luzianne ice tea?


Luzianne tea.

And their coffee with chicory is second only to French Market.

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Preferring a game where casters and martials are not equivalent doesn't mean preferring "a game in which "CR" is a completely meaningless term" though, it just means preferring a game in which a level 15 wizard is not CR15 (or a level 15 fighter isn't).

Yeah, I'd OK with things if "fighter" was specifically called out as an NPC class, so that a 15th level fighter with NPC gear is considered a CR 8 or so encounter, rather than a CR 14 one as is currently supposedly the case. (That leaves plenty of room for a martial PC class that actually is equal to the wizard, that could be used as an equally effective villain, and that people could actually play and feel like equal contributors to the party. If for some reason you want martials to always be inferior, you could just not use that new class.)

But pretending that a 15th level fighter and a 15th level wizard are either:
(a) encounters of equivalent difficulty, as bad guys; or
(b) equal contributors to the party, as PCs
Is a matter of willfully wearing blinders.

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Fergie wrote:
How a level X Fighter compares to a level X Wizard as a single monster encounter is borderline irreverent.

If this is correct as written, I agree, except I'd remove the word "borderline."

However, if you meant to say "irrelevant" rather than "irreverent," I totally disagree.

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Some thoughts, even though I'm banned!

  • Not a fan of weapon groups -- I think one of the current fighter's issues is the need for specialization. If you expand it to "all weapons," the only difference is that he can also competently use a dagger in a grapple or a bow against flying guys, and those are good things.
  • This one is from Stuffy Grammarian: The plural of prowess is not prowess'
  • Promptitude: This is nice, especially the quick draw part, but it still doesn't allow the fighter to keep up with diviners, etc. when it comes to initiative. A scaling bonus might be better for that purpose.
  • Prowess: Obviously, I like the idea of fighter talents, but I think they should all be clearly better than feats -- if they're the same value, just restore the bonus feat progression and make the prowess choices into fighter-only feats instead. For example, you have a 14th level prowess that's nowhere near as good as the pounce ability that cats get at CR 2; I see no reason that a feat shouldn't be able to cover that, and I wouldn't even cry if barbarians and paladins could take it.
  • Some of the relative values seem off. For example, I'd never pick the ability equip a shield as a free action, over the ability to save my allies from Reflex effects. Some of the greater ones (e.g., Jarring Defense) are extremely situational and not likely too see much use compared to, say, immunity to poison and disease.
  • I like keeping the same names for identical abilities. "Vigilance" is uncanny dodge; I'd just call it that.

    The Main Thing
    The revised fighter still lacks out-of-combat solutions to typical problems, and still lacks narrative power -- he still has no class features, beyond simply killing stuff, that change the story arc.

  • 9 people marked this as a favorite.
    Xexyz wrote:
    Regardless, there's nothing anyone can say that's going to change my opinion on the matter, so there's really no point in debating it.

    This is something I can't understand -- regarding this matter or any other one. I'm ALWAYS open to changing my mind if better evidence is presented.

    Is Pathfinder a religion for you, that you're required to believe, by blind faith, and refuse to consider any evidence to the contrary?

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Haladir wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Upstate New york. Where is it?

    If you live in the city, upstate is wherever you can no longer stick out your arm and get a yellow cab.

    If you live in westchester, upstate starts at bear mountain.

    If you live near bear mountain upstate starts at Albany and is divided by "the thruway" running east/west.

    If you live in Albany upstate starts at the Adirondack park.

    And if you live in the Adirondack park upstate is known as "Canada."

    And if you live west of the Adirondacks, "Upstate" is a stupid and useless term used only by people who live in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island which means, "anywhere in New York State that isn't NYC, Westchester, or Long Island."

    When I lived in Troy, NY (just north of Albany), we used the term "Upstate" specifically to emphasize that NY State was not affiliated with NYC (aka "part of Jersey!"). Long Island and Westchester were part of Connecticut, as far as we knew.

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    Hell, my daughter is 10 months old and won't stay in a stroller or high chair. She somehow ended up with Skill Focus (Escape Artist) as a bonus feat.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Darklord Morius wrote:

    Yes, they want flowering titles and praises;

    How i do:


    Dear Mark,

    Annexed with this mail is the requested service's budget, awaiting for reply.


    How they want;



    Mister Mark Silva

    Dear Mark,



    They are idiots, then -- in their model, all that excess crap is an active impediment to efficient reading of the email. That would drive me freaking nuts. (The only thing to quibble with what you do is misspelling "sincerely," which 9/10 of people would never even notice, but my alter-ego isn't Stuffy Grammarian for nothing!)

    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    So, apropos to the thread title, martials do need better things, and for reasons that don't have to do with real-world crossbow mechanics?

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Started Jim Butcher's Storm Front. I've never read any of his stuff, and I knew the Dresden ones were real popular, so I figured I'd give it a go. By the second page, I thought, "Wow, this is like a Laurel K Hamilton ripoff..."

    So I looked it up, and found this:

    Wikipedia wrote:
    In 1996 he enrolled in a writing class where he was encouraged to write a novel similar to the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton, rather than the more traditional high fantasy that had been his focus in the past, as Butcher had previously stated that he enjoyed the Anita Blake series. Despite initial resistance, he wrote the first book that semester, closely following the instructions of his teacher, author Deborah Chester.
    Jim Burcher wrote:
    When I finally got tired of arguing with her and decided to write a novel as if I was some kind of formulaic, genre writing drone, just to prove to her how awful it would be, I wrote the first book of the Dresden Files.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Steal anything you like:

    HD d10; BAB full; skill points: 4+Int mod/level
    Good saves: Fort, Ref, Will (Making bravery apply to Will saves has always seemed like an inefficient means of addressing his poor will save.)

    1: Combat Expertise, feat aptitude, war master's edge +1
    2: Bonus feat, bravery I
    3: Mettle, personal weapon +1
    4: Bonus feat, stamina I, strong stomach I
    5: Battlefield control (10 ft.), war master's edge +2
    6: Bonus feat, bravery II, onslaught of blows
    7: Combat mobility, personal weapon +2
    8: Bonus feat, stamina II
    9: Battlefield control (15 ft.), war master's edge +3,
    10: Bonus feat, bravery III, tactical commander
    11: Personal weapon +3, warlord
    12: Bonus feat, strong stomach II
    13: Superior battlefield control (20 ft.), war master's edge +4
    14: Bonus feat, bravery IV, cheat the fog of war
    15: Indomitable will, personal weapon +4
    16: Bonus feat, supreme vital strike
    17: Battlefield control (25 ft.), war master's edge +5
    18: Bonus feat, supreme warlord
    19: Desperate resolve, personal weapon +5
    20: Bonus feat

    Feat Aptitude (Ex): When selecting a combat feat, the fighter can ignore one of the feat's prerequisites.

    War Master's Edge (Ex): Combat is the fighter's stock in trade, and he's better at it than anyone. At 1st level, his training provides a +1 insight bonus to attacks, CMB, damage, initiative checks, and AC/CMB. In addition, his armor check penalty is reduced by 1 and the max Dex AC from armor increases by 1. (i.e., weapon training + armor training + initiative bonus.) The bonus provided by this ability increases as shown in the table.

    Bravery (Ex): At 2nd level, the fighter is immune to effects that cause the shaken condition. For more severe fear, the effect is lessened by 1 step (cowering -> panicked -> frightened -> shaken). The severity is reduced by 2 steps at 6th level, by 3 steps at 10th level, and a fighter of 14th level or higher is immune to [fear] effects.

    Mettle (Ex): As evasion, but applies to Fort/Will effects.

    Personal Weapon (Su): At 3rd level, the fighter selects a single weapon (not type of weapon) at the start of each day. That weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus when wielded by the fighter. If already +1, the fighter can increase its enhancement bonus by +1 or cause it to gain a +1 equivalent weapon property. The additional enhancement bonus to this weapon improved as shown in the table.

    Stamina (Ex): At 4th level, the fighter's endurance training renders him immune to effects that cause the fatigued condition. If he would normally be exhausted, he becomes fatigued instead. At 8th level he is immune to exhaustion.

    Strong Stomach (Ex): A fighter is inured to the sight of blood and the stench of corpses on the battlefield. At 4th level he is immune to effects that cause the sickened condition; if nauseated, he is sickened instead. At 12th level he is immune to nausea.

    Battlefield Control (Ex): At 5h level, the fighter gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat. In addition, he can choose to reduce his movement speed by 5 ft. for one round in order to extend his threatened area by 5 ft. For every 4 levels above 5th, he can trade an additional 5 ft. (up to his maximum movement speed). Enemies who have not seen the fighter use this ability are not necessarily aware of it.

    Onslaught of Blows (Ex): A fighter takes no penalty on iterative attacks (thus, a 16th level fighter attacks at +16/+16/+16/+16).

    Combat Mobility (Ex): At 7th level, a fighter can take a full move and still full attack. Movement and attacks can be interspaced as the fighter sees fit, but all movement must be taken in 5-ft. increments. This ability also allows the fighter to make a full attack at the end of a charge.

    Tactical Commander (Ex): Starting at 10th level, the fighter can spend a move action in order to grant allies who can see and hear him the benefits of his War Master’s Edge, but at only half his normal bonus.

    Warlord (Ex): At 11th level, the fighter’s prowess and renown are is such that he can assemble an army eager to serve under him. This requires 1 week and provides personnel as if the fighter had the Leadership feat (if he or she already has the Leadership feat, the effects stack). The newly-assembled army remains until the purpose of assembling is fulfilled, or after 1 month of inactivity in any event.

    Superior Battlefield Control (Ex): Starting at 13th level, as a free action the fighter can designate any portion of his threatened area as difficult terrain.

    Cheat the Fog of War (Ex): At 14th level, the fighter’s instinctive awareness of tactics and battlefield positioning is unmatched. He can deduce which effects are illusory and which threats are real, even from magically-concealed enemies; this counts as true seeing, but is an extraordinary ability that cannot be dispelled. When faced with a projected image, the fighter can deduce the actual location of the caster.

    Indomitable Will (Ex): A fighter of 15th level or higher under an ongoing [mind-affecting] effect may attempt an additional Will save each round to end the effect. If the effect does not normally allow a save, the fighter gains a Will save (DC 25) to end the effect.

    Supreme Vital Strike (Ex): Starting at 16th level, as full round action the fighter can make a single melee or ranged weapon attack that deals base damage equal to the normal weapon base damage x his fighter level. Effects like lead blades, etc. follow the normal rules for adding multipliers (e.g., a 16th level fighter with a lead bladed longsword deals a base 17d8 damage with this attack).

    Supreme Warlord (Ex): Starting at 18th level, opponents with a CR equal to half the fighter’s level or less must save vs. Will each round (DC 10 + the fighter’s level) spent in combat against him. Failure indicates that they are so awed by his prowess that they throw down their arms and surrender to him; if he or his companions continue to attack them, they flee if possible (a dishonorable fighter can use his battlefield control ability to impede their retreat, allowing them to be slaughtered). If their surrender is accepted, the fighter can spend a move action to recruit them to his side; this change of allegiance lasts for as long as they remain within his presence.

    Desperate Resolve: Starting at 19th level, the fighter no longer automatically fails saves on a natural 1.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Anyway, today's lunch was com thit nuong bi hot ga, rice with pork and a fried egg, at the Vietnamese place near the office. The waiter started at me in shock when I ordered, then grinned hugely and said, "Your pronunciation is VERY good!" -- which makes me happy, since I don't know any Vietnamese at all except for the names of foods, and maybe a swear word or two.

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ssalarn wrote:
    I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

    If you gave crossbows reasonably high base damage, and then had them automatically grant the effects of the Vital Strike feat chain, based on the user's BAB, they'd be reasonably good for casters and for martial guys -- the former due to the simple proficiency and decent starting damage, and the latter because of the scaling damage by BAB.

    For example, imagine a heavy crossbow did 2d6 damage. In the hands of a 1st level fighter or 1st level wizard, it deals 2d6 damage. In the hands of an 11th level wizard it deals 2d6 damage, but in the hands of an 11th level fighter it deals 6d6 damage.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    NobodysHome wrote:
    It is utterly appalling how many pairs of people refuse to extend us the same courtesy, even after they've seen us do it. They just keep walking abreast, taking up most of the sidewalk.

    This drives me ape-s*@*. When I was younger and a lot meaner it never bothered me -- people would see me coming and step aside; even a crowd would often part like the Red Sea. Now that I'm old and inoffensive, people just walk over me without noticing.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Jiggy wrote:
    I think you misread his post. He said his boss wants his emails to say "Dear So-and-so" like you're talking about, but then also lead off with an additional "To So-and-so" before that salutation.

    I thought that at first, too, but his clarification "But, isn't this already answered in the 'To' space in the e-mail???" led me to believe that, no, he meant the "To: So-and-So" in the email header (which, as stated, appears just above the body of the email). Preachy or not, sometimes it's necessary to point this sort of thing out to people.

    Our office manager once actually had to explain to one of the newer people why mass email invitations like "come2the dnstrs conf rm @2 4 mtng with ceo" are not really appropriate -- especially if the CEO in question is on the "cc" list.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Darklord Morius wrote:
    Today i discovered why my boss keep saying my e-mails are "subpar". They want me to write on it to whom the e-mail is for.

    Workplace emails differ from texts to your friends. In general, you are expected to start the email with a salutation to the recipient, and to sign your name beyond just relying on the signature block.


    Your Email wrote:


    The results of the recent sampling have been tabulated; please see attached. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to let me know.


    Yes, it's quite true that the sender, recipient, and paperclip icon indicating an attachment are all right there to see. But that's not the point. The point is that, within the body of the email, you're taking the time and effort to interact with the recipient almost as you would as a person, rather than as if you are simply an auto-send function on a machine.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    On the highways here in Houston, it's especially bad because the slow drivers always seem to clog up the middle lanes. People in the left lanes are going at the speed limit or slightly above, so that anyone who wants to pass the slow traffic ends up passing them on the right, which is dangerous as hell because that's where all the people are trying to merge on and off of the highway. It's not a coincidence that we have one of the highest rates of vehicular accidents anywhere.

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    I disagree.

    GMW's bonus TYPE is "enhancement," but it does not actually grant the weapon an inherent enhancement bonus -- only a temporary one. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the GWM does not penetrate DR the way a "real" magic weapon does.

    If you have a +1 defender and cast GMW +5 on it, you defend at +0 or +1 (only), because the GMW spell doesn't change the actual weapon's real properties. However, you'd gain the temporary +5 from GMW no matter how much of the actual bonus you're defending with -- "non-stacking" bonuses overlap, they do not supersede one another. The sword doesn't become +6 (stacking), and likewise it doesn't actually become a +5 defending sword (superseding). It stays a +1 defending sword, but has a temporary enhancement bonus to attacks and damage of +5 for as long as the spell lasts.

    DMBlake's interpretation uses superseding bonuses, rather than overlapping ones. Dekalinder's interpretation does, too, in a sense.

    In no way can a +1 defending sword be used to defend at +5 by casting GMW on it.

    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    Here's a crazy thought... what if rangers were actually really good at tracking? By which I mean that locate person, find the path, discern location, trace teleport, et al. stopped being spells, and become ranger class features instead?

    What if rogues were really the best at rogue stuff? So that invisibility, spider climb, freedom of movement, et al. stopped being spells, and became rogue class features instead?

    Or, if those abilities should be available to everyone, then so should the caster-only tricks.

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Zhangar wrote:
    Random thought: A pretty easy house rule to enable "I want lone dudes to kill entire armies" is to get rid of automatic successes and automatic failures.

    Standing still and killing mooks is something everyone can already do, and it's sort of the least important part of the game. I've said this before, but I'd like to see "benchmark" challenges for levels x, y, and z, and see different ways that different characters could meet that benchmark.

    For example, overland flight and teleport are 5th level spells. That says to me that, by 9th or 10th level, PCs are not intended to really have to worry about overland travel anymore. Which means that, by that level, every fighter should have a griffon steed or something, every rogue should have a carpet of flying, and so on -- without having to spend additional wealth, feats, etc. on it. If they can't do that by rule (rather than by DM largesse), then the rules are uneven in that regard.

    It would maybe be OK if one or two benchmarks could only be met by one or two classes, if there were others that were limited to other, non-overlapping classes. For example, fighters can't bypass terrain without magic help, but wizards correspondingly have no direct means of killing armies. But instead, we have a game in which "standing still and killing stuff" is the one benchmark everyone can reach, and "anything else" is a benchmark that fighters generally always fail to reach by RAW, and that rogues can't meaningfully reach past 4th level or so, etc.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I think the answer was posted 3 years ago in this thread.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Heh. I walked into our IT department the other day, dropped my company iPhone on the desk, and announced, "I know you guys aren't supposed to help me with this, and that I'm supposed to have a HelpDesk ticket or something (which I don't), but if you can't make this g#$$+* thing work right now I'm going to take a hammer to it."

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Hell with that. I'm an explorer, like Indiana freaking Jones, and also a child of the '70s. I want to need a machete to find my way out.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    The Green Tea Gamer wrote:

    Let's see, boards complaints that I haven't experienced? The biggest one that comes to mind:


    Heh. The group I recently joined said this when they were interviewing me for a spot at the table. "Look," they said, "We've read your rules, and we like them, but we're not using them. We've heard good things about 5e, too, but we're not playing that. Not enough support. And we loved 2e, but we're not playing that, either, because we already switched to 3.0, and 3.5, and PF. We're tired of learning new systems. So we're not playing anything except Pathfinder and maybe some board games. You in?"

    On the other hand, last I heard houstonderek had switched to 5e and was perfectly happy with it. I'm not sure, but I don't think he ever did get a Shadowrun game going, though.

    So I think it depends on the group, and the alternatives.

    The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
    My two biggest optimizers roleplay the most, my two who don't optimize? They roleplay the least.

    That's been my experience, too, with nearly every group I've ever sat down with.

    14 people marked this as a favorite.

    I started posting here during the magazine days. It was a tightly-knit community, Paizo's APs (Age of Worms was finishing up, people were gearing up for Savage Tide) were top-notch, and people like James and Erik, whose names we all knew, were always posting. I switched from other systems to 3.0/3.5 solely to play in the Dungeon adventures without having to convert between systems.

    After playing Savage Tide, it was clear that martials weren't keeping up at mid- to high-level, but the game was still fun -- mostly because the adventures were so imaginative.

    When the print magazines were cancelled, it was a sad day for everyone here. Rise of the Runelords was launched, and I unhesitatingly became a charter subscriber.

    Eventually 4e was announced and Paizo did something we thought was audacious at the time: they'd make their own 3.5 variant. A lot of outsiders showed up for the playtest, and a lot of them had a lot of the same suggestions about how to fix the existing, well-known problems with 3.5, but their posting style was often sarcastic and confrontational, and we all hoped they'd go away. And they did, but unfortunately so did their suggestions.

    After the Core Rulebook was released, it was clear that none of the problems with 3.5 -- ones that I'd seen in play but didn't want to believe existed -- had been fixed. My home group played, and we were mostly rules people, and we were finding that we were putting too much effort into fighting the rules, and had too little left for actually playing. So we started tweaking them, and eventually rewrote them all -- new action economy, martials that kept up, multiclassing that worked, a lot of extraneous sub-systems standardized. But despite the tweaks, it was still essentially Pathfinder, and we still bought and used Paizo adventures, and it was all good.

    With time, though, the divergence between their rules and ours has grown, because the design philosophies are so opposed.

    I find that I no longer really want to play Pathfinder -- too much effort as a DM to get it to work, and too much effort as a player to get the mechanics to even vaguely support most character concepts. I'm sitting with a new group now that uses PF as a base because they're tired of new editions, but even they have a number of house rules to keep the game from being too far off from what they want to play, and the DM strenuously enforces a 2e "feel" and playstyle, and so it's still clear that we're fighting the system, not working with it, in order to get the play experience we want.

    So that's where I am. I'm here because I've been here so long I think of the Paizo boards as a home away from home. I still like their adventures for the most part, which is what drew me to here to begin with. I just don't really dig their game rules.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Limeylongears wrote:
    I have also been reading 'Titus Alone' by Maeve Gilmour

    I thought Mervyn Peake wrote the original trilogy himself, and his wife only the sequel, Titus Awakes?

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I still fill out character sheets with a pencil, so I'm not the guy to ask!

    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    GreyWolfLord wrote:
    Not that anyone who really is a scientist or concerned with the science seems to be reading the thread.


    I'm currently a professional hydrogeologist. Incidentally, in the 90s I designed and taught an experimental high school course on Atmospheric Science & Climatology, in cooperation with the NASA Langley Research Center.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Cerberus Seven wrote:
    These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

    Fighters should graduate into mythical status as they gain levels into the double digits. A 17th level wizard is like unto a god, given the things they can do. I see no reason that a 17th level fighter shouldn't be a demigod.

    If you don't want those kinds of abilities, stick to lower levels. If you want fighters to be mortal all the way to level 20, really what you're doing is making each of the lower levels pull double duty -- so do the same for the casters (which means only 1 free spell/level for wizards, and they'd finally get [maximum] 5th level spells at 18th level).

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Freehold DM wrote:
    But after that lantern...whatever it was, if that schmoe can be jordan, why can't this guy have a chance to f%## up a movie?

    I really liked Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. What I didn't like was that the directing, storyline, pacing, script, and cinematography all sucked moose dick.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Dr. Evil wrote:
    Using these "lasers," we punch a hole in the protective layer around the Earth, which we scientists call the "Ozone Layer." Slowly but surely, ultraviolet rays would pour in, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
    Number Two wrote:
    That also already has happened.

    One man's hyperbole...

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    RDM42 wrote:
    Well, of course - if you design the scenario to specifically take away all salient class features from the fighter but leave the wizard or sorcerer the use of all of his ...

    Sadly, that describes almost every scenario in D&D except (a) a toe-to-toe stand still slugfest, or (b) an antimagic zone.

    8 people marked this as a favorite.

    Wait... it requires a specialized 20th level fighter, built specifically for that purpose, to defeat a kobold?

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Wrath wrote:

    Kirth talks about the hidden rules breaking at tables like that is the only reason people don't see this issue he has.

    Classic mistake of assuming everyone plays the same way.

    What about those of us who don't play that way yet still see no issue?

    So far, pretty much all the people who see no issue have agreed with the list of "gentleman's agreements" (aka "secret rule-breaking") that we're talking about -- whether overtly or in terms of their own play lining up with what I'd outlined. Every cry of "our DM fixes it" is a point in that category.

    But I don't in any way assume that everyone plays that way -- indeed, my point is that the different outcomes are a direct result of different playstyles. Some people play by straight RAW, for example. Those are, overwhelmingly, the people who do have a problem with the disparity. I don't think that's a coincidence.

    And there are people like me, who have no problem because they've constructed written house rules to address the problems.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    That's a favorite down here in Texas. Any day the temperature falls below 60oF, I know with near-certainty that 99% of everyone I meet will say, apropos to nothing, "How's that for GLOBAL WARMING?!"

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Tormsskull wrote:

    If we were aiming for a completely realistic experience here, the PCs would be killed with virtually no chance of survival as soon as these evil and very powerful enemies learned of their existence.

    That wouldn't be fun, so we don't do that. We assume that the PCs escape notice or there is some plot reason why the evil guys don't just show up and wipe the floor with the PCs.

    Or, ideally, we have a set of written rules in which the means to gain advance knowledge of enemies, and the means to wipe them out preemptively, are not abilities that are explicitly handed out at level X.

    In other words, that don't include the stuff we know we're not going to allow anyway.

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Tormsskull wrote:
    Is "the enemies/NPCs can use your same tactics against you" out-of-rules consequences?

    The very poster child. A perennial favorite is the "don't use scry-and-fry, and the bad guys won't either." The fact is, the rules give casters the ability to do that, and the logical extension is a game world in which the winners are the ones who do it first. No one would logically hold off just because someone else might gain the ability "in a few more levels." No one would specialize in other, less effective forms of warfare (like hacking your way past minions with a sword). It's totally absurd, from an in-game standpoint, but it's an agreement that most people hold to anyway.

    But it doesn't HAVE to be that way -- and this is my point. For example, I have a written house rule, that X number of inches of solid stone breaks teleportation and scrying effects. Now scry-and-fry on the bad guy in the dungeon is a no-go. Likewise, him doing it to the PCs in their castle is a non-starter. As an added bonus, we now have a logical explanation as to why the landscape is littered with castles and dungeons, which would otherwise seem fairly pointless. And, best of all, the rule is in-place before play begins, so everyone is on the same page, and it doesn't pop up arbitrarily or inconsistently. I'm at a loss as to why the actual rules don't have anything similar, and instead require people to "just say no" to what is otherwise a totally rules-legal tactic.

    Whenever possible, I believe that the written rules should support the game you want to play, not work against it.

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