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Laurefindel's page

3,306 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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I know I'm not in majority, but I really Love Chronicles of Riddick, which is kind of a sequel.

Empire Strikes Back. Most sequels reuse the same music or variations of. The musical themes of Star Wars really come into their own in Empire, a rare feat in any sequel.

Shrek II. One of the only sequel that really holds to its original IMO (along with Aliens)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Temple of Doom is a good sequel, but Last Crusade is magnificent.

oh, and Army of Darkness, if we can consider it a sequel to Evil Dead.

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Toy Story II, and III for that matter

Back to the Future II and III aren't quite as good as I, but they are really good sequels nonetheless

Aliens of course. It has been stated, but it's worth repeating.

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Beastmaster is not broken, at least not in a "vacuum". Its abilities work well as a set of abilities and as an extension of the character.

But coming from 3.5 - or even observing how summoned creatures work - the animal seems rather devoid of a life of its own, which I would say "feels" wrong rather than being broken.

I would have been happier with a concentration mechanics, whereas the beastmaster "casts" its beast into action and then requires concentration to keep it active.

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Dire Elf wrote:
Laurefindel would probably think my sheets look dull, but I want to be able to find information on it easily.

Dull but clear trumps pretty but unusable.

But I do expect more than just clear from RPG companies with established graphic design departments.

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What grids my gears is when you have to defend the premise of your thread. For example...

Thread: Need Advice with Potatoes

OP: I've got these potatoes. Should I boil and mash them, or cut them and fry them in oil?

Answer #1: Why are you using potatoes; carrots are so much better anyway.

Answer #2: Raw keeps potatoes abstract, and that's the way it should be.

Answer #3: You're playing in a game with DRAGONS and MAGIC! Why are you bothering with potatoes!

... and then you spend your energy defending the premise of potatoes, knowing that you'll never get even close to know whether to mash or fry them.


[edit] Oh crud, I just notice there are four pages of posts I haven't read. This probably came up before...

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Here's the updated version.

Feel free to report mistakes, and your comments are welcome.

I started a new thread here for the 3rd draft, but for the sake of those who dotted this one, here it is in full:

The Knight-Errant
The paladin’s code is a hard one to withhold. It demands no less than a lifetime of absolute dedication and doesn’t allows for the slightest excess of conduct. Those who manage to live by this code are remarkable heroes indeed, but not all succeed. Those who fail to live-up to these standards lose their honor, the confidence of their order, the favors of their gods and their faith in themselves. When a paladin falls, the very foundations of their soul shatter. Some quest for atonement, some others retire in disgrace. A few even give-in to their heart’s dark desires and forever turn to evil…

Then there are those who refuse to yield despite their tarnished honor. Picking up their fallen weapons, they do not abandon their allies, their faith and their cause. These are the knights-errant, paladins no more but great heroes still.

Role: The Knight-errant is a warrior first and foremost. He is both defensively and offensively strong, buoyed by the strength of his convictions. Ex-paladins are the most likely candidate to multiclass as knights-errant as special advantages are granted to them when taking levels in this class. However, this class is also apt to fit other classes (or character concepts) with a defined alignment, code of conduct, order or any other requirement of honor that was broken or somehow violated. Hence it may also include ex-cavaliers, ex-clerics, ex-monks and others. It is also possible for a character to start as a knight-errant from 1st level if this class fits the character’s concept.

Alignment: Knights-errant are often Lawful for the requirements of fidelity make it hard for non-lawful characters to embrace this class. That does not preclude such however, and the class faces no alignment restriction.
Hit Die: d10
Class Skills: Craft (Int), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility), Knowledge (religion), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival and Swim (Str).
Skill ranks at each level: 2 + Int bonus.
BAB: good
Fort: good
Ref: poor
Will: good
Spells: none

level 1: Acceptance of fate, oath, taboo, zeal 1/day
level 2: Oath ability
level 3: Inner strength
level 4: zeal 2/day
level 5: Bonus feat
level 6: Inner strength
level 7: zeal 3/day
level 8: Oath ability
level 9: Inner strength
level 10: zeal 4/day
level 11: Bonus feat
level 12: Inner strength
level 13: zeal 5/day
level 14: Inspiring presence
level 15: Oath ability
level 16: zeal 6/day
level 17: Bonus feat
level 18: intimidating presence
level 19: zeal 7/day
level 20: Redemption

Class Features
All of the following are class features for the Knight-Errant class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The knight-errant is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Acceptance of Fate (Ex): Once he has accepted his failure, the fallen paladin trades in all his ex-paladin levels for knight-errant levels on a 1-to-1 basis. Unlike the swift and traumatic transformation of the antipaladin, the passage form ex-paladin to knight-errant is a slow process taking weeks, sometimes months to occur.

Paladins choosing to become knights-errant cannot regain lost paladin abilities via an atonement spell, nor can they exchange ex-paladin levels for antipaladin levels; the knight-errant has relented any former glory to atone or bargain for darker powers. It is in the acceptance of his fate that the knight-errant finds the strength to carry on.

Oath (Ex): Upon taking his first level in this class, the knight-errant swears the oath that will guide his actions for the rest of his adventuring days. Unlike the paladin’s strict code of conduct, the knight-errant’s oath is a broad directive without specific edicts, granting the knight-errant a number of special abilities.

Taboo (Ex): With each oath comes a taboo; a self-imposed condition that the knight-errant undertakes to remember and respect his oath. At first level, the knight-errant must select one of the following taboos. If the knight-errant violates his taboo in any way, he loses all benefits of his oath for 24 hours.

Anonymity (Su): The knight-errant removes his coat of arms, changes his appearance and abandons his former name to sever himself from the person he once was. Leaving his past behind, the knight-errant seeks redemption without fame or distinction. This self-denial makes the knight-errant hard to read via magical means. The effect of this taboo is identical to an amulet of mind shielding.

Asceticism (Su): The knight-errant swears off all pleasures of the flesh such as fine food, alcohol and lovers. This contemplation teaches mental resilience. The knight-errant is immune to sleep and charm spells.

Charity (Su): The knight-errant will not refuse any requests for aid or alms. He must divest himself of any wealth not immediately needed, giving it to those that do. The knight-errant must give 25% of his personal wealth or downtime between adventures. In doing so, the knight-errant keeps his conscience strong and clean, gaining one extra daily use of his inner strength ability.

Exile (Ex): The knight-errant leaves his past behind – literally – by leaving his homeland and living the life of a vagabond, never to settle permanently in any country or organization. In his wanderings, the knight-errant learns from many cultures, gaining the ability to communicate with any humanoid creature. However, the accent and mannerism of the knight-errant always betrays him as a foreigner.

Forsworn Weapons (Su): The knight-errant has forsworn the use of any martial and exotic weapons, instead vowing to use only simplistic tools to defend himself and attacks his foes. The following list constitutes the only weapons allowed to the knight-errant: club, hatchet, quarterstaff, dagger and sling, in addition to any improvised weapons he may come across. This narrow focus allows the knight errant to channel his inner self, gaining the ability to cast greater magic weapon on his own weapons once per day as a cleric of his level.

In addition, the knight-errant treats all these weapons as a single group for the purpose of weapon specific feats such as weapon focus or improved critical. Upon acquiring this taboo, a knight-errant automatically re-trains any weapon related feat to fit this group of weapons.

Forsworn Armour (Ex): The knight-errant has forsworn the use of armor of any sort (but may still use shields and other protective magic items). This has given him insights he would not have had otherwise. When unarmored and unencumbered, the knight-errant adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a knight-errant gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four knight-errant levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

Forsworn Mount (Ex): The knight-errant has sworn to go without mount, cart or carriage. This has improved the knight-errant’s stride and endurance. Add +10 feet to the knight-errant base speed. In addition, the knight-errant is gains a +4 morale bonus on Fortitude saving throws when performing a forced march.

Zeal (Ex): Once per day, a knight-errant can declare that he is fighting for the fulfillment of his oath. Bolstered by his convictions, the knight-errant’s melee attacks deal extra damage equal to his level. This ability remains in effect for a number of rounds equal to the knight-errant’s Charisma modifier and affect all attacks against any number of opponents until the duration expires. The knight-errant can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.

The knight-errant gains additional benefits with this ability based on his sworn oath, as indicated below.

Inner Strength (Su): Starting at 3rd level, the knight-errant can draw on his reserves of inner strength to shrug off a condition that weakens his abilities. The knight-errant can remove one condition at 3rd level as specified by his oath, plus one additional condition every three levels beyond 3rd, to a maximum of four specific conditions at 12th level. The knight-errant can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

Oath Ability (Ex or Su): Upon reaching 2nd, 8th and 15th level, the knight-errant gains new abilities based on the oath that he has vowed.

Bonus Feat (Ex): At 6th level, and at every six levels thereafter, a knight-errant gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats. The knight-errant must meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats.

Inspiring Presence (Ex): Upon reaching 14th level, the knight-errant has proven that one can fall and rise again, inspiring his friends’ to greatness. As long as the knight-errant is conscious and visible, all allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. In addition, allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls made as part of a charge.

Intimidating Presence (Ex): Upon reaching 18th level, the knight-errant’s inspiring presence improves further, striking doubt and fear in his foes. Following a charge led by the knight-errant, all enemies within 60 feet receive a -2 penalty on all attack rolls until the knight-errant’s next round. This ability is a fear effect.

Redemption (Su): At 20th level, the knight-errant has finally redeemed his past actions and may seek atonement for his fall from grace. While the knight-errant cannot regain his paladin levels this way, he may ignore his taboo’s limitations while conserving its benefits. Reunited with his patron deity, the knight-errant gains DR 10/evil and immunity to all compulsion spells and effects.

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The following oaths represent the most common sworn vows by knights-errant.

Upon taking this oath, the knight-errant swears to protect the innocents, the weak and those who are in distress. This oath is popular among paladins who fell by choosing between two evils, usually to the detriment of friends or innocents who lost their lives in the process. The knight-errant may not have lived up the code as a paladin, but never again will he let down his friends and those who count on his sword and shield for protection.

Oath of Protection:

Zeal (Ex): A protector knight-errant is stalwart in his defense. Whenever a protector knight-errant declares his zeal, he receives a bonus to his armor class equal to his Charisma modifier in addition to the bonus to damage granted by this ability.

Inner Strength (Su): The protector knight-errant can rely on his reserves of strength to stay alert and ready to protect his friends and wards. When using this ability, the knight-errant automatically recovers from the sickened condition.

    At 6th level, the protector knight-errant can also cure the diseased condition.
    At 9th level, the protector knight-errant can also cure the nauseated condition.
    At 12th level, the protector knight-errant can also cure the blinded and deafened conditions.

Oath Abilities: A knight-errant who pledge to the oath of protection gains the following abilities as he increases in levels.

Zealous Shielding (Ex): Starting from 2nd level, a protector knight-errant may extend its bonus to armor class provided by its zeal ability to an adjacent ally. Upon reaching 11th level, the knight-errant may protect two adjacent allies this way. This bonus last for as long as the knight-errant’s zeal ability is in effect.

Mobile Sentinel (Ex): Upon reaching 8th level, a protector knight-errant may take a 5-foot step to intercept an opponent moving toward an ally. This may put the knight-errant in a position to make an attack of opportunity or intercept the straight line between a charging foe and its target. When a protector knight-errant intercepts a charge this way, he becomes the new target of the attack.
The protector knight-errant can use this ability once per round.

Redirect Blow (Ex): At 15th level, a protector knight-errant can make an attack of opportunity to redirect upon himself a blow aimed at an adjacent target. The protector knight-errant thus becomes the new target of the attack and may receive damage. This ability must be declared before the attack roll is made. The attack is made against the knight-errant’s AC and defenses, even if the creature could not normally reach or attack the knight-errant. The knight-errant loses any cover or concealment bonuses when redirecting the attack. Attacks that do not use an attack roll cannot be redirected this way.

Upon taking this oath, the knight-errant swears to undertake a quest for some cause, ideal, item, or person. Regardless of the object of the quest, it is a representation of an idyllic concept that can never truly be achieved, even if the quest starts with a realistic goal. This oath is popular among ex-paladins whose fall was caused by their own pride or other personal flaw. Through these quests, the knight-errant hopes to regain much of his former glory and purity.

Oath of Quest:

Zeal (Ex): A questing knight-errant is both focused and strong willed. Whenever a knight-errant declares his zeal, he receives a bonus to all his saving throws equal to his Charisma bonus in addition to the bonus to damage granted by this ability.

Inner Strength (Su): The questing knight-errant can focus on the object of his quest to gather inner strength when he feels weakened. When using this ability, the knight-errant automatically recovers from the fatigued condition.

    At 6th level, the questing knight-errant can also cure the dazed condition.
    At 9th level, the questing knight-errant can also cure the exhausted condition.
    At 12th level, the questing knight-errant can also cure the stunned condition.

Oath Abilities: A knight-errant who pledge to this oath gains the following abilities as he increases in level.

Healing (Su): At 2nd level, the knight-errant can surrounded himself with a healing light, gaining fast healing 1 whenever he declares his zeal. This causes the knight-errant to heal 1 point of damage each round as long as he is alive and his zeal ability is in effect. The amount of healing increases by 1 point for every three knight-errant levels he possesses.

Divine Bond (Sp): Upon reaching 8th level, the questing knight-errant reunites with his bonded weapon or mount during one of its quests (or forms a bond if he had never made one before). This ability is otherwise identical to the 5th level paladin’s ability of the same name. The exact figures of this ability are calculated retroactively from 5th level.

Purity of Body: Upon reaching 15th level, the knight-errant gains immunity to all diseases (including supernatural and magical diseases) and poisons of all kind.

Upon taking this oath, the knight-errant swears to take revenge on those he deems responsible for his fall. This oath is frequently taken by ex-paladins who lost their paladinhood through the manipulations and treacheries of others. Knights-errant who swear this oath are often driven by a slow-burning bitterness, allowing them to track down these individuals, foiling their plans, and confronting their emissaries. As with the oath of quest, this oath usually evolves into a perpetual fight against similar deceitful organizations and societies, long after the initial perpetrators have been brought down by the knight-errant.

Oath of Retribution:

Zeal (Ex): An avenger knight-errant is determined to bring his enemies down. Whenever a knight-errant declares his zeal, he receives a bonus to his attack rolls equal to his Charisma modifier in addition to the bonus to damage granted by this ability.

Inner Strength (Su): The avenger knight-errant can rely on his resolve to overcome moments of weakness. When using this ability, the knight-errant automatically recovers from the shaken condition.

    At 6th level, the avenger knight-errant can also cure the staggered condition.
    At 9th level, the avenger knight-errant can also cure the frightened condition.
    At 12th level, the avenger knight-errant can also cure the paralysed condition.

Oath Abilities:[/i] A knight-errant who pledge to this oath gains the following abilities as he increases in level.

[b]Sworn Enemy (Ex): From 2nd level, the knight-errant declares a specific group of people or creatures as his sworn enemy in accordance to the subjects of his oath. This is a much narrower category than a ranger’s favored enemy. Possible sworn enemies include nationalities, ethnicities, groups, tribes and organizations within a given subtype of humanoid creatures (evil human cultists for example). Possible sworn enemies also include evil outsiders, evil dragons and undead. Against these enemies, the avenger knight-errant gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against the selected group. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. An avenger knight-errant may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.

Zealous Smite (Ex): Upon reaching 8th level, the avenger knight-errant’s zeal ability improves when targeted against his sworn enemy. When the knight-errant declares his zeal against such creature, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the knight-errant possesses and automatically bypasses any DR the creature might possess. In addition, while zealous smite is in effect, the knight-errant gains a deflection bonus equal to his Charisma modifier (if any) to his AC against attacks made by the target(s) of the zealous smite.

Grim Determination (Ex): Upon reaching 15th level, the avenger knight-errant becomes so focused and determined that he becomes immune to all mind-affecting spells as long as his zeal ability is in effect.

Upon taking this oath, the knight-errant swears to withhold the tenets of his faith above any other cause. The knight-errant’s may have lost its honor, but he has not forsaken his god, goddess or celestial patron. This oath is popular amongst ex-paladin who felt torn between their code and their religious doctrines, knowing that unhampered faith will allow them to succeed where they have failed before. Many such knights-errant multiclass as clerics or inquisitors.

Oath of Piety:

Zeal (Ex): Stalwart in his faith, a pious knight-errant knows that his soul is well guarded. Whenever a knight-errant declares his zeal, he becomes immune to charm and fear spells and effects for as long as the ability is in effect.

Inner Strength (Su): The pious knight-errant can channel the might of his god or goddess to help himself. Firm in his religious belief, the pious knight-errant can cure three conditions at 3rd level, and three more every three levels thereafter.

    At 3rd level, the pious knight-errant can cure the fatigued, shaken, and sickened conditions.
    At 6th level, the pious knight-errant can also cure the dazed, diseased and staggered conditions.
    At 9th level, the pious knight-errant can also cure the exhausted, frightened and nauseated conditions.
    At 12th level, the pious knight-errant can also cure the blinded/deafened, paralyzed and stunned conditions.

Oath Abilities: A knight-errant who pledge to this oath gains the following abilities as he increases in level.

Enduring Faith (Su): From 2nd level, a pious knight-errant gains the ability to cast orisons (0-level spells) from the cleric spell list. A pious knight-errant can prepare three orisons per day. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again

At 4th level, the pious knight-errant’s divine magic improves further, gaining the ability to cast spells like a paladin of its level.
A pious knight-errant must choose and prepare his spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, a pious knight-errant must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a pious knight-errant’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the pious knight-errant’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a pious knight-errant can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is identical to that of a paladin. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Paladin indicates that the paladin gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, the pious knight-errant gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

A pious knight-errant must spend 1 hour each day in quiet prayer and meditation to regain his daily allotment of spells. A pious knight-errant may prepare and cast any spell on the paladin spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

At 4th level and higher, the pious knight-errant’s caster level is equal to his pious knight-errant level – 3.

Channel Positive Energy (Su): When a pious knight-errant reaches 8th level, he gains the supernatural ability to channel positive energy like a cleric. A knight-errant can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his charisma modifier and uses his knight-errant level as his effective cleric level when channeling positive energy. This is a Charisma-based ability.

Inspire Inner Strength (Su): Upon reaching 15th level, the pious knight-errant can whisper inspiring words of determination to an afflicted ally. This ability allows the pious knight-errant to use his inner strength ability on an ally within 5 feet as a standard action.

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The knight-errant is a 20-level alternate base class allowing a fallen paladin character to exchange her ex-paladin level for knight-errant levels on a 1-to-1 basis. While similar to the 3e D&D’s blackguard and the Pathfinder RPG’s antipaladin in this regard, the knight-errant is not meant to create a villain; this class attempts to create a tragic hero with a troubled soul on a life-long quest for redemption, serenity or peace.

This class assumes that the gaming group is comfortable with the idea that a paladin may fall and still progress as a player character of comparable strength . This class was created with the purpose of offering a middle ground between complete atonement, and total abandon to the forces of evil.

Credits go to Dabbler for the original design of the class. The original idea of this class was discussed in this thread.

Since there will probably be some minor alterations, the link to the most up-to-date google doc is here.



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well hello there post monster, have seen you in a while!

MMCJawa wrote:

As a fan of the Horror genre, I find Alien to be the best film of the genre. It may seem predictable now, but really it invented a lot of the horror tropes we see commonly in genre films, especially the "haunted house in space" trope, as well as reinventing horror aesthetics and monster design.

I tend to think Aliens is not only over-rated but would have probably worked better as a unrelated movie. It was "lets make a vietnam war movie in space!". I don't think its a bad movie, but I said over-rated.

Agree on the first part, but I truly believe that Aliens was just as influential for the sci-fi thriller genre as Alien was to space horror. So many tropes take their origin in Aliens, and I'd say its one of the success of the Halo series (replace Ripley with Masterchief and you have the UNSC, down to ship aesthetics and Apone/Johnson sergeant).

I give as much credits to Aliens as I do to Alien - and by that I mean that I consider both movies as masterworks of their own (sub)genre.

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Alien Resurrection was actually quite popular in my circle of friends, probably because it felt so much like a RPG party of player characters. Where Aliens felt like a troop of Imperial Guards from the Warhammer 40 000 setting, Alien Resurrection was Space Hulk meets Necromunda (this movie actually inspired a Necromunda RPG campaign now that I'm thinking of it. fun times!)

The feel of Alien Resurrection was different for sure, but so was Alien 3 compared to Aliens, which itself had a different feel from Alien, so it didn't bother us much.

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Dragon78 wrote:
In fact if they at least left Newt alive then we could have a new trilogy with a different main character.


Newt as the new (adult) protagonist backed-up by "uncle" Hicks would have been the perfect way to update the franchise without straying far from the previous Alien lore.

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I'm digging 5th edition with the same kind of enthusiasm I had discovering 2e AD&D some 20 years ago, which is saying much. That's a pleasant surprise since the playtests left me rather cool about the whole D&D next thing.

In no order, these are the things i like best:

I can learn and teach the game easily to any type of crowd, be it veteran players or my 7 years-old kids. Even the Beginner's Box wasn't that straightforward (although I still think this was a turning point in RPG history and I will always love Paizo for that).

Choices and options are meaningful both in themselves and in relations to each others. One of my main criticism of 3.5 was that it takes a significant level of game mastery to see how relevant a +1 to hit is compared to a +2 damage or a +1 to one kind of save etc, and the only reason why the Beginner's Box will never be completely kid friendly.

5th edition is easily customizable, and houserules are less likely to crash the game like the house of card that late 3.5 was. Judgement on the fly, rule twists affecting a single scene, plug-and-play subsystems work better here than in any other iteration of D&D since the "advanced" series.

Low level threats can be used much longer into the game thanks to bounded accuracy. I had my doubts at first (especially concerning skills), but now I'm a convert.

Things are loose enough yet the guidelines are precise enough to play the game in the style/genre/ambiance that works for your group. Heck, even sword-and-sorcery and low-magic can work with minimal adjustments.

Settings are less threatened to fall in the Tippyverse paradigm thanks to a better iteration, scaling and distribution of spells. Magic is still a bit too flashy and many spells are still too "out there" for me, but the urge to find a low(er) magic setting is much diminished by 5th ed default magic.

Pathfinder art and layout is still best, but 5th edition is pretty darn good. I especially like that fact that items can be visualized with an illustration or a evocative description. My biggest complaint: when will RPGs publish a character sheet that doesn't feel like a fraggin' tax form?

So anyhow, there are more but these are the main elements that work for me.

So come-on Paizo, impress me with Pathfinder Unleashed!

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as for alignment, I'd coin Dash as CG (doesn't think the rules apply to him. Uses powers against her sister in a "no powers!" zone/game/houserules, consciously pushes boundaries to see how far he can go before getting caught).

Where Dash is the Incredible who most likely to "go deep", violet is the one looking after the group. She isn't the kind of protector that becomes the target like Bob, she acts in shadows to strike at the most opportune moment, usually to thwart the plans of the bad guys in an unforeseen way. I hesitate between LG and NG, but I could see her developing into a LG character.

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Tacticslion wrote:
I mean, I guess I never put it in the same context as the others, because it was so blatant and heavy-handed throughout.

Yes, its an obvious trick, but a coherent trick with other characters nonetheless.

The whole movie is about transformation; its not a trick really, its (one of) the theme of the story.

Both Violet and Dash (and even Jack-Jack for that matter) change their view on things after their adventure.

At the beginning, Violet is shy in her outlook and relationship, but also in the way she handles change and her powers. It's about confidence of course, but she goes from "better be small, better be protected, better be overlooked" to "others will know I'm there and I will move forward to protect my family". That doesn't prevent her from being invisible, but her powers go from hiding to allowing her brother to run.

Dash goes from "I wish I could show the world how I'm the best" to "I'm good with fronting as close-second"

The movie shows Bob and Helen after they have been transformed. For Dash and Violet, it shows the transformation itself.

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Claxon wrote:
The answer is, don't use physics. This is a game, not a reality simulator.

I agree with the "this is a game" part, but...

Physics, even if its a made-belief set of physics rules, are require the make the world coherent. Otherwise things fall upward, except when they fall toward what's red, cold makes you catch fire, or whatever.

Whether we like it or not, the game is a reality simulator. We have (many) books full of rules that regulate how we can play this simulator, even if the fantasy reality is different from ours. I agree that there is a sweet spot where the in-game world feels similar enough to our reality for us to relate to our character, but not close enough to make the fantasy element disappear for non-conformation with the Laws of our world.

And we need to accept that this sweet spot, this comfort zone is different for all of us. If coherency or verisimilitude with our world is not important for you, that's cool, but please don't shut this conversation down because you think different from the OP :)

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I disagree that the game revolves around CR. CR is a scale. Scales can be translated.

It means that not 100% of the monster manual will be usable. Considering that not all 100% of the magic item section or of the spell section will be used either, it's not unfair. The game doesn't have to be used in whole; very few games ever do so anyways.

And if a CR 15 dragon TPKs a party of 20th level characters, then CR 15 becomes a new benchmark. There nothing silly there. Not more than a medium-sized fighter slaying a Colossal dragon with a sword barely long enough to pierce through its epidermis anyways...

It's all in the expectation of how super you want your character to be, but there are no ways that you can disguise a high-magic game as a low-magic one; it needs to become another game. This is perfectly possible to do with Pathfinder, but I can understand that some people will prefer if the book bares another name.

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Personally, I don't have a big problem with Ye Olde Magic Shoppe. I actually like the curio's boutique where local wizards get their pickled basilisk eye or whatever spell component they need. That this place sell potions, a few scrolls, half a dozen magical rings and trinkets and one or two magic swords doesn't bother me.

However, I dislike the Magic-Mart "if it exist in the multiverse, we'll deliver it within 30 days!" type of magic shop where characters can treat the magic item section of the core rulebook as an online catalog.

Magic can still have a place in a lower magic setting. All I ever wished to do in my games was to turn the magic dial from "9" to "6" or "7".

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Usual Suspect wrote:

The Goblin's Mug

A cheep and rowdy drinking establishment on the edge of town where any 1st level group of adventurers can get a beer before harrowing off to kill more goblins.

goblin muggers...

Good one!

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There's also Goldorak (Grendizer)

Cheesy as hell and probably pretty bad by modern standards, but I remember it being one of my favourites at a young age...

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- Ulysses 31
- Les Mysterieuses Cites d'Or (Mysterious Cities of Gold)
- Albator (Captain Harlock)
- Captain Flam (no idea how good this really was, but it left a strong impression on me as a kid)

If long features are allowed:

- The Flight of Dragons
- The Last Unicorn
- Les Maitres du Temps (Masters of Time or Time Masters?)

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I may be old school, but I though it was the DM's job to be the arbitrator. A game is always gonna be tailored for its players, and that implies arbitrary decisions.

Whether the DM is a dick or not is another question.

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Much of my friends' suggestions and critiques have been made into the final edition.

I'm not saying that my friends are the sole responsible of the final product, just that some people do have the impression that their input was taken into account.

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rainzax wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

At first there were two pools of hit points, like a simplified vitality/wounds system, whereas non-wound damage would heal quickly over a short rest and completely overnight.

Then there was Evil Lincoln's Strain houserule, bringing everything under a single pool of point.

Finally there was only hp and a "wounded" condition blocking rejuvenation of HPs to half.

any chance you'd care to briefly weigh or summarize pros and cons of each?

It's a balancing act between a rule we can relate to as human beings and ease of play at the table.

All three versions assume that hps are abstract representation of your your ability to withstand both tangible injuries and the exhaustion that one undergoes in combat. In other words, lost hps are not all cuts and broken bones, but nor are they all just huff and puff.

Having two distinct pools of points have the advantage of being clear, and its easy to give them two different healing rates. However, it skews balance at low levels either because PCs are extremely fragile (if you just divided their hp in two pools) or relatively resilient (if you basically duplicate their hps in two pools). Monsters have the same "problem". From experience, the problem balances itself around 5th-6th level and amplifies again around level 10th-12th where powerful PCs and/or monsters can be one-shotted with a good critical. That made for a very narrow sweet spot.

Evil Lincoln's Strain/Injury is much better and immediately solved that issue since all damage ultimately goes to the same pool, but with different qualitative. The concept is a bit more abstract and hard to "grasp" than having two separate pools but it worked much better in the D&D/Pathfinder frame, especially for monsters for whom you can just ignore that rule without unbalancing the PCs.

E-L underlying concept was great but it could be simplified with a simple "wounded? yes/no" condition. You miss on the "how badly are you injured" but you gain in eliminating bookkeeping.

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David Bowles wrote:
I'm mostly dismayed at how much play testing and development went into 5th and that the final result is so underwhelming.

David, stating your opinion is one thing, trolling is another... please cut it out.

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Didn't follow 4th ed much, but there was a line called D&D Essentials IIRC that attempted to appeal to lovers of 1st ed D&D, mostly through presentation and aesthetics from what I've gathered.

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Regardless of what I think of the lightsaber (or light-longsword), I've got to admire the fact that they got everyone talking about it. Same with that bowling droid; whoever made this teaser gave us enough material to talk in every forum of discussion that exist on the internetz.

So despite the histrionics, this teaser (and the lightsaber) is a true masterpiece!

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I for one enjoy the strip-down-ness of 5e. 3ed/Pathfinder was/is getting so darn heavy that it ceased to become stronger system and started to collapse under it's own weight.

Mind you, 5e is bound to suffer from the same fate; after years of new feats, new backgrounds and new path/subclasses, character creation and class optimisation will get heavier. But the fact that you get one choice of background, one choice of subclasses and four feats (five if human) over your 20 levels (assuming the feat optional rule is used), paired with the bound accuracy concept ensuring that you don't need to hoard +1s to get to your DC40 checks, should keep things under some degrees of control a bit longer.

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The caster can move away from melee and cast. Only, he'll have to accept the opportunity attack (or whatever it is called).

The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.

I don't know all the spells yet, but I'm sure there are spells that boost movement and/or allow you to levitate/fly/teleport out of range and/or slow your opponent and/or protects you enough for you to last in melee and/or spells that are cast as a bonus action after you disengage.

These are not available at low level, but even casters are able to fend off enemies in melee at low levels.

As for the rest, I'm sure a 5ed group without a martial character is still less screwed than a 3ed/Pathfinder group without a caster.

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Otherwhere wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Wizards kept it for themselves;
Except that it is also available to: the Inquisitor; the Alchemist; the Bloodrager; the Magus; and anyone with the Luck or Destruction domain...

that's because Wizards and Magi are under the same syndicated union. Inquisitors blackmailed them so they had to let it go. Wizards had had an eye on the witches for a while, but they never saw the alchemist coming. Lack of clear vision really, they should have had.

Bloodragers, well, who's gonna tell them they can't have true strike? Clerics with Luck domain acquired it as a misplace item in a wizard's garage sale, a stroke of chance you might say.

That leaves Clerics with the Destruction domain. CLearly these guys are OP and should be removed from the book!


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
A Low Magic campaign is when the Players and GM look at the levels of magic presence in the default Pathfinder rules, think "too much", and try to turn it down a notch.

Indeed, it does not have to be more than that.

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Undone wrote:
tony gent wrote:
Laurefindel has hit the nail on the head there is plenty of magic in lord of the rings it's just much more subtle than the normal gamers version which is a fireball in the face
Except for the part where Gandalf casts fire seeds. That's pretty overt.

Gandalf casts a bunch of spells, including overtly offensive ones (especially in The Hobbit) and makes a powerful display of magic in LotR against the Wargs before attempting the pass of the Caradhras and entering Moria (and also on Weathertop, although it happens "offscreen"). It could be argued that Gandalf is capable of more "overt" magic but restrained himself not to write "Gandalf is here" in big letters in the sky for Sauron to see. Gandlaf is undeniably a power and one of the most "flashy" magic-user in Middle Earth.

But characters like Gandalf don't make or unmake a low-magic setting. He is part of the setting and representative of the fact that in this setting, there are many magical elements sprinkled here and there, some powerful, some less, some overt, some covert, but he is not representative of what the inhabitants of this setting are or can aspire to be. Even if we say that Gandalf is what a player character (as an extraordinary inhabitant of the setting) can aspire to be as the pinnacle of spellcasting, it remains relatively tame compared to a typical D&D/Pathfinder game. That's enough to say "low-magic" for me.

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There's more to the LotR low-magic-ness than failing to teleport the ring to the Cracks of Doom.

There's the ringraiths taking months, if not years to find Baggin's home (or the Shire for that matter).

There's Gandalf failing to fly-out/jump-out/dim door out of Saruman's tower.

There's Radaghast having to search into the wild for Gandalf (and given that he eventually did implies that there is some magic involved, just no scry or message spell).

There's Gandalf relying on a busy innkeeper to relay a message of utmost importance.

There's Gandalf wishing for warmer socks, which any prestidigitation spell would fix.

And there are many more. But there's undeniably magic in LotR. Lots of it too, but it has a lower tone, more subtle uses and less far reaching scope. It's not used as much as a tool or yet-another-app on your i-phone. LotR is one example of low-magic, but not the only one.

Low magic is not about removing magic from the game, it's about reducing its scope.

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While I admit my experience is anecdotal at best, much of "calibrating" a low-magic game is done by choosing the player's opponents wisely.

The quickest element to "break" in a low-magic game is the CR of monsters, which does not always consider some of their abilities that would otherwise be easily circumvented with magic (like flying, high DR, etc). A certain balance can be kept by judiciously choosing adversaries.

In my case that was not a problem, because one of the reasons I went for Low-magic was to be able to use "basic monsters" longer. With AC remaining somewhat stable, your orcs are still going to be a threat even if the players are now much more efficient to kill them and withstand their attacks.

When a giant shows up, the players know better than to face it in melee without some kind of strategy. When the wivern attacks, they know they'll have to play it defensively and ready attacks until it comes within reach.

The magic that do exist is much more fearsome because saves are that much lower. In low magic, you need to assume that spells affect their target in general, but sometimes target make their save (rather than the other way around).

In most cases, the solution to the problems raised by low-magic exist within the system, except they are not often used because they are seen as sub-optimal. Only in a low-magic game will you see a ranger wear full plate for a battle because the boost to AC is worth the non-proficiency penalty and the loss of features...

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DrDeth wrote:
But since both PF and IH are D20, what do you need from PF to run a D20 low magic game?

That's a legitimate question. Iron Hero is a good product.

People like familiarity. Perhaps IH doesn't feel enough like Pathfinder; actually, IH has a very distinct vibe. Would Pathfinder still feel like Pathfinder once you remove X, modify Y and add Z is yet another legitimate question. Still people are attached to their favourite product and well, people are not always rational about that.

I like your posts and you bring some very valid point to the conversation DrDeth, but sometimes it sounds like "you'll fail, don't bother trying".

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Gaberlunzie wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

Really GOOD coffee IS a life changing experience!
Obligatory link

Good one!

Heterodyne Coffee anyone? (be sure to read the following two pages!)

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Petty Alchemy wrote:
Halt! You're in the general area of our alchemists!

...and for you citizen who are witnessing the arrest, we'd like to remind you that the yellow seats are situated in the splash zone!

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Tarantula wrote:
Just seems like archery is the name of the game at that point. Kill them before you can take damage.

Or stealth/ambush. Or destroying the bridge on which they stand. Dynamics would change all around. That's kind of the point.

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Terquem wrote:
the more I realize that what I really want to experience, through D&D or Pathfinder, is the adventure itself, and not the details of how each little thing can or cannot be accomplished.

That's a fair and valid statement.

Speaking from a DM's perspective, the details of how things are accomplished does have an impact on the adventure I present to my players, so it does matter to me.

Perhaps it has less to do with me being a DM and more with me having a genuine interest on the mechanics or RPGs. Such things always fascinated me somehow, and I love games that present a simple but thematic rule or mechanics that reinforce the theme and feel of the game.

5th ed has a few thematic rules like that which I admire for design's sake (because I haven't played a 5th ed game yet).

[edit] 3rd ed and Pathfinder are getting a bit old and heavy now, but it has quite a few key design elements I love. The triple saves of will/fort/ref was good mechanics and a good "innovation" IMHO.

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I not a fan of players insisting on playing evil (or acting like immoral ass**** or playing "neutral-badass" just to impress other players).

I find the enjoyment of doing depraved things disturbing at best, loathsome in most cases.

I can understand (and enjoy) characters struggling against their worst nature, or going into a momentary fit of madness, but there needs to be an intent of redemption somewhere.

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I'm not here to compare who did what better, but 5th ed general simplification is freshening. I'm starting to like 5th ed concept of concentration spells more and more.

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Malwing wrote:
Additionally, how would you feel if there was a full on E6 or low magic product?

I would love such a thing as a Player's guide to Low-Magic Setting or something, ideally something official from Paizo (for support) or a quality non-campaign-specific third party product. Almost made it myself, a few years ago.

Basically a product that proposes 2 or 3 different approaches to Low-Magic, with a few alternate rules a la Unearthed Arcana but otherwise assuming core rules.

I have a feeling much of it could be achieved by achieved by giving casters alternate sets of spell lists, pruning spells to match a vision of "how magic works in fictive setting A, B and C" and attributing the RAW core spells accordingly.

Much can also be changed through re-fluffing existent material, but this reskin must be guided with a certain vision of things.

I wished that had been created.

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Game Master Scotty wrote:
My oldest is almost ready to swim on her own, allowing her mother and I to convert her room to RPG storage.

"So college next yeah eh? Not to put any pressure on you honey, but your mom and I have plans for your room..."

[edit] Oh, and I realise I never congratulated the parents properly, so congrats to Tacticlion and Lady Firedove!

Having a kid in neo-natal isn't easy, but your child is in as good care as you can wish to be. Make sure to give us news when you guys are all under the same roof.

Speaking from experience, keep a budget for (small) treats to buy on the way, if you can afford it. That's going to be a lot of commuting which can become a chore (which you don't want "seeing your baby" to become). A little something for yourself, your better half or the nurse at the hospital can go a long way keeping this joyful.


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Those are cardinal sins!?!

The only "sin" I can understand would be "purposefully ruin the fun of your players"

If any of those "sins" contribute to make the game more fun for all, I say go for it!

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We shut down the factory about 7 years ago.

It means however that the whole family is about to be in age to play RPGs. Soon my older son will be able to take upon the GM's mantle and start gaming with its brother and sister.

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As mush as wikipedia can be trusted as a reference, the wiki page on science fiction is an interesting read, nothing among other things the difficulty to state what science-fiction means.

So let's see what it has to say on the Steampunk subgenre...

wikipedia wrote:
Steampunk is based on the idea of futuristic technology existing in the past, usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Popular examples include The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, Bas-Lag series by China Miéville, as well as Girl Genius web comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio, although seeds of the subgenre may be seen in certain works of Michael Moorcock, Philip José Farmer and Steve Stiles, and in such games as Space: 1889 and Marcus Rowland's Forgotten Futures. Machines are most often powered by steam in this genre (hence the name). Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil is seen as inspiration for writers and artists of the steampunk sub-culture.

[edit] Brazil and Girl Genius; interesting. They seem to broaden the definition to "science in the past" over than "super steam-powered engine", up to Dieselpunk or alternate history when gas-powered engines replace steam.

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Science-fiction doesn't need hard, working science. It just mean that the "fiction" part applies to element of science as well, not only to the plot.

"fictive-science" might have been a better word?

Star Wars is a strange beast, but it can be coined as science fiction because much of what is fictive about it concerns "science". It could be argued that this fictive science is not the main focus of the story and therefore should be another literature genre, but since science fiction and fantasy are often grouped together in libraries / merchandised together / publicized and aimed at the same general public, the marriage of the two genres in Star Wars is a natural one IMO.

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James Langley wrote:

Not sure if this is the proper category for this.

Anyway, I would like to know of my fellow adult gamer-sorts: how do you find time to game?

Hey James,

I'm just gonna echo some of the things mentioned above, in point form because I'm doing homework with the kiddos...

- Taking care of your family is important. Having fun as a dad is important primordial. Participating in the household tasks/routines and giving some slack to your wife is important. Having a hobby outside the work/sleep/baby routine is also important.

- At this point you may have to choose your battle. You may not be able to play twice a week, have hockey nights with the boys, hang-out at Moe's pub with Lenny and Barney and sleep-in every morning because you're so darn tired from partying all night. In other words, your college years are gone, but all is not over.

- If gaming is important to you, then make it a priority to play. Tell your wife you want to make it a priority to play. She's allowed to tease you, but let her know you shouldn't have to feel guilty about it (that last point is actually pretty darn important).

- Consider playing outside your house, gaming IS disturbing to baby/kid bed routine (I don't mean outdoors, I mean in somebody else's home). If your house is big enough you may consider soundproofing a gaming room but if your home is more modest, try to find a new host.

- Be ready to make compromise. Sometimes it may mean just playing board games at home with a few friends and sending them home early, or starting at 10pm. Sometimes it means cancelling this week because your wife is at the spa with her sister. Sometimes it means watching hockey with the boys instead, because playoff!

- Point is, your social life might not "just happen" with a 18 month old baby. You'll need to put efforts to maintain it, but its possible and definitely worth it.


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Orthos wrote:

Pretty much what Laure said.

Here's a test that I think works well: Google the comic Girl Genius and read it, at least the first couple of chapters (it's quite long, so I don't expect you to read the whole thing for the purposes of this one test). If the basic idea of the setting - that people with the innate "Spark of Genius/Madness" can make technology do things that should otherwise be impossible - is too far-fetched for you to follow, I'd say about 90% of steampunk will rub you the wrong way as well. The last remaining 10% or so would be the "hard science" versions of the genre, if they exist.

I LOVE!!! Girl Genius. Hands down my favourite webcomic, and one of my top comics/mangas/bandes dessinées ever.

It's setting is a bit appart from SteamPunk however (more Napoleonic/Habsbourg Empire era than the typical steam-age Victorian) and closer to the "sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic" trope than the typical "20th-century-technology-but-running-on-steam" / Jules Verne inspired.

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It has to do with suspension of disbelief, the rest is (mostly) irrelevant.

Typical fantasy accept that magic and dragons exist. If you refute that, much of the setting collapses.

In steampunk, you need to accept that steam engines can be LOT more efficient that what we know they can be. Be it purely mad science or a combination of magic and technology, it doesn't matter. If you can can't work with that premise (and I wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't), than steampunk isn't for you.

Same applies to many other settings involving technology. Even if you leave the whole Force thing aside, there's no way we can take Star Wars seriously on a science basis. Steampunk is like that; but in pseudo Victorian Europe.

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Fabius Maximus wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
That was the case with Firefly. The Train Job was a good episode but a poor pilot IMO.
'The Train Job' wasn't Firefly's pilot. It's the second episode. I agree that it would be a bad pilot. The real, feature length pilot is called 'Serenity' (like the movie) and sets up the characters nicely.

My point exactly; the actual pilot, serenity was aired after The Train Job which effectively acted as the "revised" pilot. Something about the network people thinking serenity was too slow paced or something, and so The Train Job was commissioned instead.

Fabius Maximus wrote:
The problem with Rebels is that the second episode was as bad as the first one.

That's too bad. I haven't seen the second so I can't make an opinion.

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