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Axebeak

MMCJawa's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber. 4,184 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Sarcasm Dragon wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:


*Shrug* As if I care what Golarion has as fluff. I play RPG line, not campaign line.

Pish posh, silly Milo, didn't you here? You aren't even allowed to be on this forum unless you conform to every word of Golarion fluff in every book ever. How dare you suggest you could discuss the Pathfinder RPG on the Pathfinder RPG forum? It's not like there's a separate forum for Golarion players, right?

Questions dealing with alignment, undead, Gods, etc. all require some setting context to answer, because they are very much setting relevant questions. It doesn't have to be Golarion of course, although on the Paizo forums that is probably going to provide the most common ground and is maybe most relevant to the ruleset.

If we are talking about Midgard, Forgotten Realms, or Eberron, than the answers to those questions are going to be different than the answers for Golarion. Obviously You can have good liches in at least the latter two settings, although mechanically I believe most are considered different creatures and not "true" liches


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Werthead wrote:
Quote:
That's another hole with these awards, they don't include self-published titles.

As said above, they do. Most of the fanzines are certainly self-published, and there are no rules against self-published books.

Quote:
And as a cynic, I wonder just what the response to Game of Thrones would be if Vox Day wrote it. Let's postulate a world where Martin kicked off about 90 or so from a heart attack; we take all the manuscripts for Game of Thrones to an alternate world and give them to Vox Day to publish through whatever his publishing house is.
Day wrote a GAME OF THRONES rip-off novel. It was terrible.

This just makes me insanely curious...


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Really, the reason people associate the books with sex is because it exists in them - unlike earlier works, such as the wheel of time, A Game of Thrones included words like "penis", had sex in the early parts (which caught attention) and touched on subjects such as incest and rape in an unflinching manner. It never had the... shall I say sticky feeling that the show oozes with.

Just for the record, plenty of earlier works of fantasy have had sex in them. Probably including the word "penis", though I don't particularly recall.

To be honest, the violence, or his particular take on that, is more distinctive than the sex. That's what I've usually seen called out as the change from other fantasy. Though I'd say even that is exaggerated.

Explicit sex in epic fantasy? Could you provide examples?

And to hear Martin speak of it, he seems to feel that people complain much more about the sex than the violence. I heard him say in an interview that he can describe an ax splitting a head in two with no problem, but mention a penis entering a vagina and suddenly he gets flooded with angry emails.

GRRM has said that Swords and Sorcery type novels were an important inspiration, and I don't think they have been shy on the sex and violence. To be fair I really haven't read a lot of older non Tolkien fantasy, so someone else would be better informed here.

GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire sort of was a crucial turning point I think in modern fantasy. His was the first complex, long epic series to incorporate gritty elements and to also make ALL the money doing so, without which Abercrombie, Lynch, Rothfuss, etc wouldn't have emerged. But I think there was already a trend in that direction. Memory, Sorrow, Thorn by Tad William clearly provides an antecedent for ASOIF for instance.

And I will go ahead and firmly agree with you that the show really does double down on the sex and violence in a way that book doesn't. My eyes roll so hard every time we get a brothel seen, and me and my friends have been genuinely angry over the last two seasons about the sexual violence inflicted on several main characters, things which hurt the narrative and never occurred in the book


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if you are using laser guns and such, I recommend checking out the Technology Guide, which is also on the PRD. It has rules for a lot of stuff like that. Also the Iron Gods adventure Path in general has a lot of stuff and ideas that would work well with post-apocalypse type settings


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BB36 wrote:

What it always comes down to is just how "flavor full" do you want your games?

Is Negative Energy "evil" and Positive Energy "good"? If so, then why is "Too much Positive Energy too much of a Good thing" causing one to explode?

My own conception of negative energy is that it's neither good nor evil, and the best analogue for it is radiation. Radiation isn't good or evil, but overall you don't want to pump large quantities of it into the environment, nor do you want to hang out in a place loaded with it.


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YES the revisited series LIVES AGAIN!!!

sorry this is my favorite campaign setting series, and I always thought a Darklands-themed book made obvious sense. I think the books that take a different angle than just a creature type generally come out better, so I have high hopes for this book.


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yeah wondering if this will have info on the Caligni, the 0HD darkfolk race in the upcoming Bestiary 5.


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Set wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I confess, I love their are no Mind Flayers or Beholders in Pathfinder :-)

Love mind flayers. Never liked beholders or those gith races. Good riddance to those modrons! Giant space hamsters were less silly!

The only loss from 3.X monster IP I still mourn is the displacer beast. I have a weird love for those guys.

I agree with you except on the Modrons. For some reason I find them more endearing and interesting than the current LN outsider races.

Oddly enough I think Mind Flayers fit Golarion (what with all the space elements) than they do Faerun.


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thejeff wrote:

Assuming you're talking about the infamous Dinosaur Hugo story, I didn't get that one either. Didn't seem particularly good or particularly SF to me. And to most of the voters, since it didn't actually win.

Short version: It's because they've become more literary, not more SJW.

No No no..."T-rex Troubles" is part of a series of dinosaur "erotica" available on Amazon (which were lampooned a couple of years back). The author also wrote "Ravished by the Triceratops" and "Taken by the Pterodactyl". I would link but I suspect its NSFW :)

Basically, based on comments about Sad Puppies having to actually "reign in" Vox, and Vox's stated goals, I am guessing that the strategy this year might just be to rig the nominations with, at least in part, absolutely loathsome, poorly written dreck which no one regardless of political affiliation thinks deserve an award.

As for the actual story the Sad Puppies love to complain about, I've never read it. However I don't really see the big deal as the story didn't even actually win, it was just nominated. So clearly the Hugos are not so biased as they claim.


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So last night with dinner I watched [b]The Battery[b]. I remember hearing about this movie ages ago, but had never seen it on the streaming services or on DVD, and I remember being curious about it.

Basically...a pair of former baseball players wander around the woods of post zombie apocalypse New England. (No there really is nothing else to the greater overall plot)

Spoilerly review:

I felt this movie was less an actual movie than a Indie rock music video, and its probably one of the slowest movies I have ever watched, to the point where I could tune out or go to the bathroom and characters would still be brushing their teeth or dancing or walking or whatever it is they were doing. The zombies seem (most of the time) to be a minor inconvenience, and since they are slow zombies one questions why they even resulted in an apocalypse. In fact the zombies are almost completely absent other than a couple here and there, except for the climax...where for no particular reason they show up en mass.

This, combined with the fact that at least one the protagonists spends half the movie sulking...makes it really hard to become invested in their story. Not that there is much a story.

There were some good ideas here. A good chunk of the movie is devoted to a sequence of the characters trapped in their station wagon surrounded by zombies. My understanding is this was the original idea for the film, and it shows...everything leading up to that feels like filler. There is also another scene that really does a good job of illustrating the isolation that another character is feeling, which I won't spoil because it was genuinely one of the few original decent WTF elements of the movie.

The movie tries to avoid being a bog standard zombie apocalypse movie, so I will give it credit there. But unless you have a craving for more hipster protagonists in your zombie movies, or really like indie rock/folk music, I can't really recommend it.


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I finished the Old Mars anthology. It was a pretty solid anthology but I think I might consider the Old Venus a better book. At least with Old Venus, you had a lot more variable interpretations of Pulp Venus. (Water World, Lethal jungle, weird primeval wilderness, etc), whereas Old Mars almost entirely went with one trope, dying desert world. It also felt like there was a bit more freedom to explore different types of stories in Venus, whereas Old Mars tended to either run with very Bradbury-like stories or Barsoom-esq stories.

Currently reading Ellen Datlow's most recent best horror of the year anthology. The last few years I have found her selections a bit stronger than Stephen Jones, who has a longer running "best of" horror series.


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I'd say Molthune works okay for Germany.


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I agree with the above. I have the Cerulean Seas setting, but really its more underwater rules than actually a setting book (say like the Inner Sea Guide). There are lots of really good rule systems and some variant classes that work well for underwater games.


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Also it seems like the Paizo solution to "Undead are 99% evil" and reconciling them with tropes about good undead often seen in fantasy fiction, is simply to create outsiders/constructs which for all purposes function the same way but are not undead.

the companion for the spiritualist class is effectively a ghost, but counts as an outsider. Similarly, the Prana Ghost is an outsider which also pretty much fills the "ghost for good reasons" niche


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Milo v3 wrote:
Pan wrote:

If I was writing the story over the years the lich would forget their "greater good" mission and it simply wouldn't matter any longer. The lich would move on completely oblivious to morality and simply be evil.

At the 350 year mark a band of adventurers would convince the lich to look into its past and remember why the lich was on that journey. The lich then defeats the greater evil but as a result destroys itself thus restoring its soul and being redeemed.

Why would simply being immortal change someone core identity so completely? Especially only in a couple hundred years. Why would they forget the whole reason they became the monster they are now? Why would they forget the purpose they potentially damned their immortal soul for? Do lich in your setting have severe memory issues? If anything, a lich memory of why it became a lich would be better, since memory is represented in this game through knowledge and intelligence checks, and lich get a bonus to mental stats.

I think you could have an evil lich who still was "devoted to a good cause". but the descent into lichdom and subsequent loss of humanity would profoundly alter how they pursue that goal. I lich for instance devoted to finding a cure for how horrible plague would be more likely to use live vivisection, or experiment with modified versions on unwitting villages to study mechanisms of contagion. A lich devoted to stopping some evil god from being released might take a proactive approach, and wipe out any village that might contain worshippers, or hunt down and kill the people that the prophecy foretold would bring about the gods release while they are still babies.

Basically with noble lichs, I think you get into "Stare into the Abyss long enough and the Abyss stares back into you" and "The ends justify any means" plot tropes.


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Milo v3 wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Sure, just blithely ignore the fact that in order to choose the path, you were a mass murdering SOB who killed tons of innocent people in horrific ways to get there to start with. You're talking about someone who was essentially a sociopath on the order of Jeffrey Dahmer or Hannibal Lector combined with a megalomanical power fixation to boot.

Those kind of people don't simply wake up one morning and decide to become angels. In fact, they never do.

What if they became a lich only to stop a greater evil that they have prophifised to defeat... but in 350 years. So they used lichdom to ensure they would be there, and in the time between now and then, simply continued to commit good acts to try and redeem their "For the greater good" evil acts.

Note: This isn't a hypothetical to just make an extreme example, this was an NPC I've used previously.

Well...no one here is going to show up and tear up the sheet with the Lich's stats on it. If you want to run a home game with a good or neutral lich, that is fine.

Personally I would never run a lich like that, as I prefer the Golarion fluff. That the process of achieving lichdom involves evil acts that result in the utter loss of humanity in the individual performing those acts. To me, choosing the path of lichdom implies a priori that the person is evil or become evil. I see that as different from a sapient who accidentally/against there will becomes undead like a ghoul or vampire, who at least initially I would expect to keep their alignment.

The folks who maintain those beliefs either fail the process or quit, or pursue any of the various other methods that magic users can have access to that lets them live longer, either literally (immortality, transfer of consciousness into a construct, polymorphing into a long-lived creature, hibernation, messing with time, reincarnation, cloning, etc) or metaphorically (finding a worthy individual to pass your goals down to, or establishing an organization to continue your work after your demise)


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Valantrix1 wrote:
Unfortunately, when I think of grays, I think of the Asgard from Stargate SG-1, so they don't terrify me at all. Frankly, none of the monsters have ever frightened me in the slightest. Although, watching In Search Of way back when gave me nightmares about bigfoot for a bit.

I watched shows like Unsolved Mysteries and such as a kid, and Grays scared the absolute crap out of me as a kid. I think whether you find Gray


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Lord Snow wrote:

If these are one's consideration, it is strictly better to nominate books you know you want to read in order to increase chances of them being included in the PDF bundle.

If there is a book I really want to read, I usually do so. Although I might go ahead an enter a ballot this year and just vote without nominating any books, and read the final contestants (assuming Vox doesn't load the ballot with books like "T-rex Troubles" that is).


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sunbeam wrote:
thejeff wrote:


After the nomination, when the controversy hit the media, I think a lot of casual fans got more serious about it. I suspect, but can't prove, that vote went mostly anti-Puppy. I know it prompted me to become a supporting member and vote. It will be interesting to see if that carries over to nominations next year. There's more awareness of how important they are.

Joking aside, I guess this isn't my fight anymore. I go to the bookstore a lot, and always check out the fantasy and sf sections when I do. Just picking up books and reading the blurb they usually seem like a bunch of dreck. So the idea of reading through this stuff to find things I want to nominate isn't very appealing.

So I guess you win this minor battle in the overall culture war. Because I don't think this is me anymore, and I'm not going to pick a fight just to pick one (that is a metaphor).

Besides the culture war is kind of binary in nature, and I can tell you I do not like a lot of things about both sides.

Well...and this is absolutely not meant to be mean or snarky at all, but if you are not reading brand new science fiction or fantasy (or only picking up a book or something a year), than you shouldn't be voting or nominating Hugo works. I don't vote or nominate because while I read a lot, its often older books or collected anthologies. I can't provide any sort of meaningful sense on what should win.


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Caineach wrote:


stuff

We must be interpreting tone far differently in the same articles. I have to say I have been paying attention to this since the situation first blew up this past spring, but read older articles by the major folks in Sad Puppies. I still pick up a ton of aggression and martyrdom tactics in those earlier posts.


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Beale has stated that he pulled Gamergaters into the fray, people who didn't really have any interest in the Hugos. Of course I have no idea how successful he was at that or how much of that is exaggeration. The $40 buck entry fee is probably sufficient to keep a lot of internet trolls from all political spectrums from voting for the lolz. Comparing Slates, Beale's is the definite winner, but there was overlap with the sad puppies, and Beale would have probably only needed to get 40 or so voters to only vote his slate to rig the nomination process. Given the size of Gamergate (and presumably all sorts of hate groups that Vox know doubt taps into), I don't think finding 40 people is that unreasonable.

If I were to guess the extra votes this year during the actual voting for the Hugos mostly came from more casual fans who are either sad puppies or dislike said group, but in prior years didn't have enough interest to vote.


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Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
eventually
Quote:
inevitably cycle down into

I.e. they didn't start that way. This thread asks the question of whether ANY liches can be non evil.

The stuff you're quoting explains why multiple hundreds of years old liches might be evil, but it doesn't explain why week old liches would be evil, because "eventually" hasn't happened yet. The only explanation for the week old liches being evil seems to be that "they're lonely / workaholics" or something.

Although again, I can't speak to what may be mentioned in carrion crow.

Again though, the guy who became a lich last week also completed a series of ritualistic acts of such depravity and horror that he was catapulted from mortal wizard to immortal lichdom.

Those specific acts are left vague because they vary by the lich and also to let GMS have room to design a backstory relevant to the group playstyle and content rating.


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Caineach wrote:
Please, a significant portion of the people who joined did so just to say FU to Vox Day. Next year they will try to do something to prevent him from "ruining" the awards. They will probably try to get people to rally behind an established author who normally publishes a reading list. Next year is going to be a bloody culture war.

Next year the nomination process will be the same as this year. Any change requires voting at the next Hugos I believe.

At any rate has anyone actually seen the proposed change? The proposal I saw seemed pretty fair, in that it actually allows a lot less bias into the nominations than the current system. Basically each vote for a category counts as 1 point. You can divide that one point up 5 times if you have 5 books you want to nominate (or 3 or 4 or whatever), or you can only nominate 1 book, in which the nomination get the full vote.

Under that system, you can't stack the deck via slate voting. However that cuts both ways, and any sort of voter block with an agenda ("SJWs", puppies, Trufans, or what have you) would likely only be able to get a single work into each category.

That system really sounds like a win for the Sad Puppies, unless this is really not about representing diverse fandoms, and it is REALLY about making sure only one sort of fandom wins.


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Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Both Correia and Torgersen were nominated for the Campbell (which is done by the same clique as the Hugos). Torgersen had been nominated for a Hugo as well. All before the Puppies started.

WorldCon is a small clique in the larger SF/F world, but not so much in an exclusive sense.

And as Correia routinely points out, Torgersen was nominated after already being a multiple time NYT best sellers, while many of the nominees are virtually unheard of by the public. As this has routinely been advertised as a fan favorite award, why are top grossing works with the largest fanbases not making the cut?

NYT bestsellers are already rewarded for that accomplishment, by having piles of money to sleep on.

At any rate...do we want to make the Hugos about what is successful? Because profitable/popular doesn't necessarily equal good. I am going to make a leap and say that none of the people following this thread think the Twilight series is that great, or deserving of a special award. Based on the above logic though, every single Twilight book should have earned a Hugo, because clearly they have a large fanbase and are popular.


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thejeff wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Yes, but the award doesn't advertise itself as favorite of a niche group. It advertises itself as favorite of all of fandom. Until they resolve that disconnect, they are going to have problems.

"Fandom" is a specific term. It's not "anyone who likes SF/F"

Yeah there is absolutely no such thing as a single fandom. I don't know why anyone would claim otherwise. Hell, I got into Fandom clashes online before I even graduated high school (B5 vs Star Trek!), so I don't know why other people don't realize this. From a book standpoint, you have so many books released per year that its almost impossible to keep track of a single subgenre, nevertheless all of fantasy and science fiction. People gravitate to the types of books they enjoy the most, whether that is supernatural romance, Star Wars novelizations, or Hard science fiction.

At one point the Hugos did pretty much represent all of Fandom, but that is because the field was small enough that someone could realistically have read or at least be familiar with most of the works being published. That's not the case anymore, and I think the way forward is just to acknowledge that and start up separate awards, or try to get new award categories put in.


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There is an issue of free will and choosing Good or Evil, which in my opinion only makes it more likely that your Lich is going to be evil.

Going by Golarion canon, the ritual to become a lich requires extensive research and the commitment of horrible depraved acts, unique to each ritual. Thus anyone going for Lichdom and suceeding at the task is going to have been okay with who knows what sort of depravity. Even if they were good...the very act of researching Lichdom ensures they won't be by the end.

I mean at least vampires and ghouls can be turned against their will. Liches only come into being by an individual choosing to be evil.


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sunbeam wrote:

I wonder if there is any way to set up an alternate fandom. What's the point of having everyone in the same house at this point?

Personally I want nothing to do with Scalzi. And if you are a fan, what would we have to talk about really?

Time to split things up. Then everyone can be happy.

Um...there are already many many fandoms, and it was never unified. You have the Twilight fans, the YA fiction readers, Potter fanatics, Lovecraft disciples, Urban fantasy readers, military science fiction contingent, epic fantasy diehards, etc. That's just books...and doesn't get into all the Trekkies and browncoats, or the Comic fans. Sure some overlap. But the fanbase has probably been too large for everyone to fit under a single umbrella since the 80's, if not before.

I admit that is sort of what irritates me about this whole situation. There is a lot of arguing (both sides) over who are fans and who are not. In particular I get really annoyed when I read puppy editorials that seem to imply that their fans (and there opinions) reflect a majority opinion. Because attached to that is often a subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) suggestion that I am some sort of poser. The Hugos rather easily showed that particular opinion to be wrong (well the majority idea, not the poser thing :) ). I have no problem believing that Correia and folks have a large fanbase, but they are one of many competing fanbases, and they certainly don't speak for my opinion and evidently they don't for the worldcon folks.


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Oh....I really want to see the Pyramid, but it hasn't showed up on the streaming services I am part of. Good to hear it is good.

If you liked In the Mouth of Madness, I can also recommend Prince of Darkness. That movie also inspired a bestiary 4 critter. I think The Thing is an amazing monster movie personally, but I think Carpenter has done better.

Also, Amazon Prime has The Thing on the Doorstep, which is a super low budget yet faithful adaptation of that story.


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Sun Kil Moon wrote:
I tried to keep up in this thread but might have missed it - is there going to be a pawn collection made from this?

I don't think this is going to include a lot of npc stats/new monsters (and probably none), so I really doubt.


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:
Vox is also tied to Gamergate, which taps a similar vein of anger...
Gamergate is actually quite a different beast - for one it is much much (much) bigger than the Puppy Wars (is that a name people use? it's stuck in my head for some reason and I wonder if I've read it somewhere or came up with it myself), so classifying Gamergate as a single front is borderline absurd. The puppies...

I don't want to go back into dissecting Gamergate. They're not the same thing, that's certainly true. In addition to what you've said, Gamergate got much nastier, with more doxxing and threats, etc.

That said, they're both aspects of the same culture war and Vox Day is both backing Gamergate and drawing Gamergaters into the Puppy Wars.As he said:
Quote:
At this point, #GamerGate is about more than games now. It is a Schwerpunkt in the ongoing cultural war for the West. And the gamers of #GamerGate are the only defenders of freedom and Western civilization who are counterattacking and causing enemy casualties.
that's the thing - he may be bringing Gamergate into the Hugo controversies, but that's a one way street. I'm fairly confident saying 99% of Gamergaters have no idea what the Hugos even are. And if they did know, many of them would disagree with Vox's stance on the issue. So I wouldn't cast the Puppy Wars as part of the same conflict, even if the sides fighting it are minor factions in Gamergate. It's not so much a skirmish in the greater war as a similar, smaller scale conflict that happens concurrently.

I don't want to touch Gamergate with a ten foot pole (because discussion of that topic here leads to madness and thread closure), but Vox has admitted to recruiting gamergaters into the Hugo voting process, voters who almost certainly know nothing about the Hugos or read anything on the rabid puppy roster.

Which makes sense in the context the rabid puppy slate dominating.
I would hazard the Sad Puppy voters probably were less unified in their voting since presumably that crowd were at least somewhat familiar enough with the field to have different tastes.


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I think we "non-puppiers" have in this thread said that there is some underlying truth to the Sad Puppies claims...we just don't agree that there is any sort of organized conspiracy behind it, nor is it politically motivated. And the attempt by some on the puppy-side to make it about politics rubs me the wrong way, especially since I don't really agree with a lot of the beliefs/arguments on that side of the political spectrum

Personally I suspect it's less politics and more a bias towards more "literary" works, and an overall bias against certain subgenres of the field (Urban Fantasy, etc).

Had the arguments always been couched in the terms of literary versus popularity, I don't think the situation would have blown up like it did. I also think it wouldn't have drawn in the rabid puppies.

That's why Flints piece is really worth reading. He really is mostly in agreement with the Puppies, but he doesn't drag politics or conspiracies into the affair.


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Pan wrote:
"Thrill me" -Det. Cameron

That movie might be my best personal example of a movie that freaked the hell out of me as a child (I was afraid that the brain slugs laired under my bed, but then profoundly dissapointed me when I realized it was a (good granted) horror comedy upon. watching it a few years ago


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Hey James,

Seen any good horror movies lately?


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we do have occult skill unlocks in Occult Adventures

In all honesty, Unchained only came out this spring. I would expect tons of new material relating to those rules until a year after release, since by that point the developers might have a better idea of what is worth supporting and what isn't.


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Nightmare Lords also work


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yeah if the Ghoran and Android are both in, I sort of assume Monkey Goblins, Syrinx, and Lashunta are in as well.

With Skinwalkers plus the already announced new races, that's 9 right there, so might not be room for many more new races (especially since Shabti and Triaxians are also a possibility...)

Of course some of the above might also just get reprinted in Inner Sea Races, which might negate the need for them to be in Bestiary 5


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reading the zombie thread above, it occurred to me we don't have anything like this. Maybe this will just be me talking to myself, but I would think their are enough folks here who watch horror movies that we can actually keep a thread going on the subject

Anyway...as far as movies go, I am a huge horror fan, and I probably on average watch something like a hundred a year. Especially with the wonderful world of Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu at my fingerprints. This past weekend I watched three or four (no spoilers below, but brief descriptions)

Spring
This honestly might be one of my favorite horror movies of the year. A young man deals with the loss of his mother from cancer and an arrest warrant due to a drunken assault by high-tailing it to Italy. While there he ends up falling madly in love with a mysterious and gorgeous genetics graduate student doing research on the local population. Eventually we find out that the woman is way way more mysterious than the guy could imagine.

This movie might be unique in being the only true Horror-Romance. It's basically "Before Sunrise...but with body horror". The cinematography is amazing, and I dare anyone not to want to visit Italy after watching the movie. The two leads have amazing chemistry, and the movie manages to make their relationship authentic, to the point where even someone as curmudgeonly as myself is rooting for them.

Treehouse

I sadly can't recommend this as highly. A couple of teens in missouri break the curfew enacted in a small missouri town due to a series of child abductions. Venturing out into the woods they end up coming across one of the missing teens, terrified and hiding out in a treehouse. A long siege begins between the teens...and something in the woods

The movie started out fairly strong, and takes a lot of setting up creepiness of the antagonists. The movie then seems to take exceptional glee in demolishing every trope related to this genre of movie, resulting in a completely lackluster finish that literally ends without even finishing the final act...

Spoiled filled rant:

As it turns out...the menacing "creatures" end up being a trio of possibly inbred redneck teens, whose mom died and pretty much resulted in them being free to kill and torture for lolz. However they are probably the least imposing redneck/inbred mutants/teen killers ever put on screen. For one...at least two of them are running around in turtlenecks and slacks. Secondly it seems they wanted to make some of them a bit disfigured, but maybe didn't have the money to do so? Also...its pretty clear that (probably "realistically", given the backstory)the murders suffer some degree of mental impairment. Given how easy they also manage to go down...by the end they completely lose any sense of menace or threat. And then the movie ends with a random declaration of love between the two characters, an amazing coincidence that gives them ASSAULT RIFLES, and we cut to black with them going to hunt down the lead killer.

So much potential (It's a pretty well shot movie), just flushed down the drain.

Creep

Well this movie certainly lived up to its name by being creepy as hell. A photographer is contacted through craiglist by a man dying of cancer who hires him to shoot a video for his unborn son. However the guy become increasingly sketchier over the course of the day, and of course things are not what they appear to be.

This movie just...gets under your skin, as the weird relationship builds between the photographer and his client. Its not a gory movie, but the judicious use of a cheap furry wolf mask more than makes up for that...Definitely one of the most disturbing movies I have seen in awhile, and possibly the cause of my lack of sleep last night.


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Kthulhu wrote:

I think the virus zombie variant has become the most prominent because it's actually the most horrifying, if you think about it.

Voodoo zombies only propagate through voodoo rituals. Whereas virus zombies are the type that propagate through any of the normal means that a virus can be transferred...they're much more in line with an apocalypse than are the voodoo variants.

Even worse on a personal level, it also means that even the average layperson can understand at least the basics of what is happening to them, but they're still powerless to do anything about it.

Viral zombies do work better if you are going to take on apocalyptic or survival horror. But Voodoo zombies can be pretty horrific if you play up the idea of becoming someone's puppet, or having some third party in general mess around with your head. It's really in how you want to play that angle.


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Ultimately...I mean at the end of the day the reason we continue to get generic zombie movies is that they are easy as hell to make. You can pull one off with relatively minimal make up and effects, and they are "simple enough" in behavior that you can pretty easily pull people off the street/friends/relatives and have them do a convincing job acting the part. And there are pretty much an infinite number of iterations you can do with zombies. Zombies on a Boat! Zombies on a plane! Zombies in a bathroom! So it's a really adaptable horror trope.

Wraiths are cool...but to pull them off you are really moving into expensive CGI effects, and I suspect you need a bit higher level of story telling to make them work.

Personally when I browse through netflix and such, I get ecstatic whenever I find a horror movie that tries a monster that just isn't zombies/ghosts/demonically possessed. I still hold dearly to the belief that the 80's were the golden age of horror, because you just had so much variety of films, and people finally had the practical effects and freedom to pull them off.


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To me its not so much giving zombies new powers. I am fine in seeing more different types of movie monsters, including undead. To me the interesting element is what they do with the zombies in the context of the movie.

Compare Contracted or Dead Girl with any of the standard "zombies trap people in confined location". Those movies manage to use zombies in a complete novel way that is pretty horrifying.


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well it sounds like they changed the voting system to prevent someone from taking the full roster. Sad/Rabid puppies will still be able to get nominations , but maybe only 1 or 2, not 5. That won't go into effect until after the next Hugos

I am sort of predicting that Vox double down with the next Hugos, and I could totally see him rigging all the categories for failure (nominating only Sci-fi originals for movies for instance). Vox is not really "aligned" with the Sad Puppies, and wants to see the total destruction of the Hugos.

Personally...I just don't read enough right now to meaningfully contribute to the Hugos, and a lot of "new books" I do read are still a few years old. If my reading output did go up, I would totally vote for the Hugos.


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Beale/Vox...well lets just say he really really really doesn't help help the Puppy cause. The Sad Puppies have done a very half-hearted job I think of distancing themselves from him, which is problematic because a close examination of the slate shows its Vox's that one, not the Sad Puppies.

As for sales figures, all they say is quantity moved, not quality. Sometimes the two intersect, but a lot of time they really don't (See: Shades of Gray, Twilight, Da Vinci's code, various blockbusters movies, etc). I also don't know if they really reflect a wider readership. A lot of people who read Twilight probably didn't go on to read anything else in fantasy or horror, except for maybe a few similar series like the Vampire Diaries. A lot of people read King or Koontz without ever glancing at another Horror book. and so on and so forth.


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I thought this was a good write up of the current state of affairs from Wired

Who Won Science Fiction's Hugos, and why it matters.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
They did NPC Codex II, they just put orcs in it and called it Monster codex

yeah but that is not what people are requesting...


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I agree with thejeff

GRRM has a great piece on his blogs about this controversy, including a history of the Hugos. There HAVE been controversies in the past a few times with voting, but mostly they were rare instances that maybe only effected a few votes

To me...I just don't see the point of faking the system to get your book nominated. There is no cash prize, and "Hugo Awarding Winning" is at least in the short run not going to cause a spike in book sales. In contrast flooding the nominations has a good shot of alienating fans, and giving you a bad reputation amongst the editors/publishers/authors in attendance. That's going to hit your bottom line because its probably going to negatively impact your ability to collaborate or sell your work.

And...honestly for those really into the Hugo...having an award you didn't earn would feel like a hollow victory, no different than a doctorate degree from a diploma mill. There wouldn't be a whole lot of pride in the win.

I am an avid birder and here in the US the ABA maintains voluntary "rankings" of birders. I (or anyone else) could enter whatever number of species seen into the rankings, and no one would check it. I could rocket myself up as a top birder in the country, pretty easily. But pretty much people don't do that, and I don't do that, because the real satisfaction of birding is seeing the bird. I would imagine the real satisfaction for an author in winning the Hugos is knowing that something they poured their hearts into was beloved by the fanbase.


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Hama wrote:


Because it makes no sense. Emperor was just one figurehead in a vast, monolithic bureaucracy. His death would mean an immediate few weeks of disarray and then the Empire would go back to everyday. After all, grand moffs and moffs ruled most of the Empire in his name.

I think you accidentally outline the exact reason why the empire should fall about. The imperial Moffs and admirals largely already were operating quasi-independently. With high command largely dead or disorganized, they would no doubt turn against each other, or at best, not operate as an organized front against the Rebellion. It wouldn't be that difficult for the Rebel Alliance to carve out large chunks of territory.

At any rate...I don't think the "Empire" is even still around in the new movies. The stuff leaks only names the First Order, and rumors say that we have something like a cold war going on between something like the Imperial Remanent and something like the New Republic.


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by the way, if anyone wants the raw data on the Hugo nominations, you can see it here

It's aggravating to see who would have made it on had the slate not been rigged. The big "Hydra reveal" episode of Agents of Shield for instance would have been nominated had the slate not forced Grim on. and there are some pretty good writers that also got bumped off in the short fiction categories, like Patrick Rothfuss and Elizabeth Bear.

Orphan Black wouldn't have even made it to the nominations if the slates hadn't screwed up and put a 2013 episode of Supernatural on their list. Although on the other hand, I am not sure the absence of the puppy slate would have even changed the movies which were nominated, looking at the full roster of nominations.


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Lord Snow wrote:

They have been announced, and I thought in light of some recent controversies it would be interesting to look at how they penned out.

NO AWARD was chosen for five categories: novella, short story, related work, editor sort form, editor long form.

Personally I'm pretty sure using NO AWARD in this way was not the intentional spirit of the law when the option was included in the process, but then neither were voting slates, so there's that.

In the categories that weren't bombed, it still seemed like the slate didn't really get anyone through, with best novel going to a Chinese author best novelette to a Dutch, and best graphic story going to a comic about a woman. Speaking of which, two female writers walk away with a hugo this year, G. Willow Wilson for the graphic novel about Wonderwoman and Laura J. Mixon for fan writer.

On a personal note, I have to highlight Orphan Black taking a hugo for dramatic representation. The show may be somewhat confused (or at times downright unintelligible) when it comes to the overarching plot, but dammit it deserves recognition somewhere for the unbelievably good delivery on the premise of a single actress convincingly playing half the cast of characters. I think that in this day and age it is increasingly silly that Doctor Who is such a consistent winner with barely any cimpetition when in reality many SFF shows outperform it in every meaningful way. Happy to see Orphan black getting a nod.

On the other hand I am equally sad seeing Guardians of the Galaxy winning the movie category. The movie was good times and fun to watch, but it beat Interstellar, which I consider to be maybe the finest SF film of the 21st century (so far...) and I can't help but viewing it as a serious missed opportunity.

Yeah...looking at the slates, the categories that were almost entirely composed of Puppy slate candidates were pretty much No Awarded. I am fine with that and not entirely surprised.

Glad to see Orphan Black win and not Doctor Who. I am really really behind on Orphan Black, but yeah...the acting from the series lead is amazing and worthy of the show getting the vote based on that alone. Doctor Who is a bit better with Capaldi, and season 4 of GoT was pretty solid..so had they won I wouldn't have been too put out I think. Mostly my angst again Who is based off of how many they have won, to the point where any show really doesn't stand a chance. Now if Grim had won, I would have done some table-flipping

Interstellar for whatever reason earned a lot of science fiction fan angst, I think largely because people totally interpreted some scenes in that movie. So I think it was doomed from the start. As far as the other movies go, I think Winter Soldier is a better movie than Guardians, but only by a margin.


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I have to confess being extraordinarly interested in threads that get modded, which half the time increases with Chris Lamberts description of why the thread got modded.


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Kthulhu wrote:


Aside from 4th Edition, I don't really know of any other RPG that handles errata in this way. Most use it to fix typos and other similar mistakes; they don't make actual changes of substance (I'm sure someone will have examples that show that RPGs do it too, but it definitely doesn't seem to be the industry default).

I am not sure how many rpg games are really comparable to Pathfinder. The errata method used by Paizo really only works with the assumption of widespread internet, so its not something I would expect to see prior to the 3.0 era of gaming. Games that are relatively rules light don't need errata since GMs are expected to have more leeway in deciding things. And a lot of other game companies either have really slow production cycles and low staff, making errata difficult to produce, are small scale enough that they can sell batches of rules in a beta format and then update/errata them afterwards (this seems in line with what Dreamscarred does), or mostly focus on adventures, which again seldom need errata.

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