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Akata

Odraude's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 7,096 posts. No reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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I could see the drone stabbing you with a cocktail of antibiotics and nanomachines for healing.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Good to see my favorite alien puppers back in action.


Jason Mosher wrote:

I agree with the obsolescence of knowledge skills in any setting in or post-information age. What should be abstracted for stealth should also be abstracted for knowledge, but the use of tech should be more rationalized.

As I posted elsewhere, technology-based skills should replace knowledge skills IMHO. Each character in any space opera or sci-fi story had their areas of technical expertise, and that should be translated into SF. Instead of the generic "computers" checks we saw in the playtest video, there should be "Computers: Security; Engineering; Science; Communications; Databases; AI; etc."

Again, IMO, this should be the impact of technology on game mechanics. Hell, if this isn't the case I may house rule it. It just makes sense.

I disagree to a point. As we've seen in today's world, there is a great deal of misinformation on the internet. And that having the information to do something doesn't actually mean you can use it effectively. If I ready a WikiHow on doing brain surgery, that doesn't mean I can suddenly do it. Or that the WikiHow was even correct.

I think knowledge skills still have a place in sci fi games, both as a way to do specialized things and as a way to spot misinformation.


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Depends on the ship I imagine. Star Wars and Traveller low balled how good computers would be in the future. Eclipse Phase gives some good ideas on how to do Stealth. Thing to remember is that not every ship will have those capabilities. Especially low end military and most civilian ships.

There's also hacking. It's doubtful that ships will have super advanced sapient virtual intelligence, so you can hack the ship's computer to leave you undetected from such measures.

As for knowledge checks, the way I've seen it done and I do them is to have basic knowledge freely available, but specific stuff that requires a degree take a bit longer to find, and with a higher chance of finding misinformation. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true :)

Also it's better to focus on using information in an age where information can be found fairly easily.


I second dropfleet commander on that one. Their models are gorgeous. Firestorm Armada has some good, cheap ships that you can't go wrong with. Now if only they could get their s#&% together for the game...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Legos. That is all you need.


Fardragon wrote:

Yeah, the original Traveller (which I played a lot) did have some rules for improving skills, but it wasn't as a reward for adventuring. Basically, you had what you got at character creation (which tended to lead to PCs being quite old at the start of the game). But players aren't expected to be motivated by xp gain.

Star Trek is a more extreme example, since not only is skill progression minimal, there is no gold or loot either. Players are expected to be motivated simply by a desire to resolve the story. That worked fine for our group, but I'm sure there are some players who won't move unless there is the prospect of fat loot on the table. Indeed, I suspect that is the reason for D&D being more successful than other PnP rpgs.

Honestly, I always found that mindset silly, especially in a game where everything including the loot is imaginary. That's why I play the game to have fun, face challenges, and chill with friends. Because gp isn't real.


Reading Cepheus Engine, which is a retroclone of T1, there were rules for increasing skills. You could also get some stat boosts, but the importance of progression was based more on getting more money and doing the adventure, rather than getting experience for better stats. Which for me, I've honestly preferred adventuring and gaming for fun and the excitement rather than getting loot and XP.


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I was right. Where's my cookie? ;)


I figure it'd be yeh-SO-key


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Honestly, I'm glad they went technomancer for lashunta. Mystic would have felt like much more of the obvious choice and this seems a lot more interesting to me.


Stellagama has a PWYW pdf that has a great deal of the stars around the sun. It's come in handy in my sci fi games, so I think you guys might enjoy it. It's more of the standard Traveller hexagon star map, but that is a bit simpler on the table than going full on 3d Cartesian map.

The link is here


There is also the level of automation that a ship can have. Earlier science fiction like Star Wars and Trek don't have a significant level of automation since that didn't fit the thoughts of science at the time. Especially Star Wars has a level of analogue tech (which I personally dig) that requires a person to run it. So ships like that would require a larger crew.

I like having the option to pay for automation for certain functions. Gunnery, Life Support, Engineering... things that you don't need a lot of people for. Maybe it costs less than hiring out a person, but you get a more limited use out of it. Or conversely, it costs more than hiring a person but there isn't a monthly salary/wage to pay the computer.


I'm actually reminded of a 3PP for Cepheus Engine that does a similar concept with their ships.


Could probably use Mass Effect Andromeda's crew as a good size. Has a total of eleven people, and it means that you can interact with friendly NPCs along with your fellow PC adventurers.


Fardragon wrote:

We have been over it before. But you don't seem to understand that there is a greater difference between science fantasy and space opera than there is between generic fantasy A and generic fantasy B, or are unwilling to accept that Starfinder isn't going to be better* than the space opera rpg systems that are already available (or you have unlimited funds, which I guess is also a possiblity).

*I've been playng PnP rpgs for 35 years. They don't get better, they don't get worse. Fashions come and go. Gamma World was something very similar to Starfinder back in the 80s, a conversion of (1st edition) D&D to a post-apocalyptic SF setting. It was D&D with mutants and ray guns.

Not really. Space opera is generally defined by it's melodramatic tendencies, space warfare, romance (the classical term), and interstellar travel/communication. Science fantasy is simply science fiction with fantasy tropes in it. Supernatural, archaic governments, swords... It's really not hard to combine the two or eschew one for the other. Hell, Star Wars is a good example of a space opera/science fantasy mash up. So given that the main difference is in tone and not really rules, I think it should be easy to convert science fantasy to space opera.

Now, trying to turn Starfinder into a hard science fiction is probably a lot more hard and probably not worth the effort. Especially with games like Traveller/Cepheus Engine and Eclipse Phase that already does it.


This is very true. A constant issues I've had with games like Traveller/CE, Stars Without Number, M-Space, etc, is that there is a fairly limited amount of premade ships for use. Usually you have to find those with third party companies, but it'd be nice if there was a sort of bestiary for space ships. Call it the Shipyard or Fleet Log or something.


I'll be honest, I never watch Threshold. I just remember someone telling me that they went so fast they devolved into salamanders. Hence the joke about it.

Probably should move this back on topic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Good question. If it is like hyperspace travel in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (instantaneous but required many short jumps with substantial setup time in between) or Star Wars (setup time of only a few minutes, and then go very fast for as long as you want), then getting across the whole galaxy and even some way beyond the visual edge of the galaxy is at most only a moderately big deal; by implication, getting to another galaxy would be a huge deal but definitely doable with appropriate preparation and resources. If it is like warp travel in Star Trek, you would need decades to get across the galaxy unless you find a wormhole big enough to get through, and centuries to get to the next galaxy even with a souped-up warp drive.

Of course with a souped up warp drive, you'll end up turning into salamanders.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, I'm really glad that they have avoided doing the Star Trek monocultures gimmick with a lot of the races. I get that simplifying aliens and their cultures makes it easier to describe them to players, but I always found that terribly dull, limiting, and uninteresting. So I'm glad that they didn't make the Shirren the standard 'hive mind collective insect race'.


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Personally, I don't want cool sci fi troupes and ideas being hamstrung by a desire to keep it 'fantasy'. I think they should take Tolkein and Martin, shove them in an air lock, and space them to make room for Burroughs, Howard, Wells, and Herbert.


Boy, I hope not


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the race a lot. My only real nitpick is that I am kind of disappointed that they dont retain full use of their fifth and sixth appendages. Still, I guess we have the kasatha for that, so I'm cool with it.


Also how fortuidous! Today's blog post is about the shirren

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5ljpv?Introducing-Starfinder-s-Final-Co re-Race-The#discuss


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What I've done in my current M Space game is that I have a race of insectoid-like creatures called formacids that are very much like ants. I gave them a haplodiploid reproduction cycle similar to ants and I try to set out how I imagine their culture, society, and government would generally play out.

The interesting thing about haplodiploidism is that males come from unfertilized eggs and have one X chromosome, while females come from fertilized eggs and have two X chromosomes. This has a peculiarity where the male drones don't actually have fathers or sons, but they do have grandfathers and grandsons. This makes the family unit really interesting.

I too went with two sexes but multiple genders based on their class (worker, soldier, etc), which affects classism in their society. However, I also subverted the ant social structure by trying to see how a democratic government would work for a eusocial alien race.


I dont remember reading that the Shirren are the swarm. Where do they confirm this?


LinkDead wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I'm hoping "The Swarm" isn't the final name for the creatures. It just feels too generic of a name. Other than that, I like it.

That seems to be the running theme for naming things. The Gap, the Drift, the Near, the Far, the Swarm, and credits are all really generic names. This makes sense to me as far as the core book is concerned, as it makes them a little easier to re-skin.

It sounds like they're holding back stuff that's more flavorful for any future AP reveals they've got planned. A lot of what was mentioned but couldn't be discussed in detail seemed to revolve around the AP contents.

I think the generic names make sense when you have different places, different worlds with different levels of technology, different factions, that might all call something different in different languages.

I don't know, other sci fi mediums give inspired names to their Swarm creatures and it seems to work out fine. Zerg, Tyranids, Rachni, Arachnoids.

I just feel like there could be more creativity in some of these names.


JohannVonUlm wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Some more Appendix N reading suggestions can be found here.
Good find. Thanks. So someone thought about doing this a year ago. I'll have to start looking through that list.

Good thing is that I left it open for editing if you want to add more stuff to it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
jedi8187 wrote:
sanwah68 wrote:
Because I couldn't help myself, I just spent a number of hours over the last couple of days looking for a compatible figure, as a Vesk WILL be my first character for Starfinder. Every repilian race I have found a mini for has a pronounced muzzle....anyone else had any luck ?? If there is nothing out there, I hope Paizo get a license with Reaper ASAP ;)

I'm sure you looked into them but the Lizardmen from Warhammer Fantasy, now Seraphon, might have something for you. The armor would be fairly primitive for Starfinder though. If you don't want to wait for official figures that is.

Get some green stuff and other sci fi models and kit bash them together, and you've got yourself a lizard man alien.


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I'm a bit torn on this. On the one hand, I love lizard people. They are always pretty cool. On the other hand, I was hoping for more unusual looking aliens than just humanoid lizard.

So, idk how I feel. The art looks great though.


Recently picked up These Stars Are Ours for Traveller and it makes me want to run a game with grays as a large evil empire against humanity


Generally when I do stuff for my sci fi game, I use an expanded system I made for gas giant classification. It starts with super earths and ocean worlds, and runs the spectrum to gas dwarf, ice giant (neptunian), gas giant (jovian), and finally brown dwarf. I mostly do it for flavor as well as to show the different resources the players can obtain to use, sell, or exploit. Or in case of gravity, to see if the players can escape from the gas giant's gravity if they go in to scoop for fuel.


A cool interview, but I didn't really see a lot of new stuff mentioned. Though it was good to see the druids expanded upon.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
But they are not the same. By definition, a GM does not cheat. You may have issues with how they implement rules and mechanics, but the rules are a guide for GM's not their overlords.

How about you take GMs off your pedestal for a moment.

If a GM mentions to a group that they will fudge/cheat dice rolls etc before the game. Then it's fine. No issues everyone is happy.

If a GM doesn't do that they are cheating. Plain and Simple.

If a GM uses house rules and tells the players before the game. Then cool everyone is on the same page. No issues.

If a GM doesn't tell players about house rules they are cheating.

It's really not that hard.

Your perspective is wrong.

The gm puts the most work into preparing and running the game. It comes with the privilege of more control over that game. Full stop.

As a GM for almost two decades, this kind of thinking leads to bad GMing.

Yes the GM puts in a lot of work into the game. No denying that. But ultimately, you're GMing for the players to show them a good time, not to control them. And in D&D, there's always going to be give and take from both the players and GM. If you're just going to force the players to do whatever you want or complain whenever a player makes a remark about the game, it's probably best not to GM.

It's like me being a chef. I generally have to accomodate the guest within reason. Allergies, stupid food requests, dietary restrictions. Sure, I can complain all I want when a customer orders something dumb, but ultimately, we give it to them if we are able to. A chef that makes no compromise won't be in business for very long. Believe that.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I feel that falls more in line with house rules rather than fudging. Especially if using options like Hero Points or the Death Flag, which are integral parts of a campaign. But as a GM, it's important to be upfront about that at the beginning of the game. And truthfully, Hero Points and the Death Flag feel less shady since there is more PC interaction than simply changing the result on a die.

I feel like what I'm disputing here is the supposition that if the GM is doing things not within the printed rules, they should have to tell people about it in advance.

I think specifically, in the case of a brand new player in their first game, you should take it easy on that player (so they come back for a second game) and you don't need to tell them that you're going to take it easy on them; you just do it. Six months later, if they become some sort of CharOp prodigy, you can inform them that you fudged a die roll or two to keep their first character alive and beg forgiveness, if you want.

I don't know if extra systems like hero points are the sorts of things you want to confront new players with since there's already a lot to keep straight (I mean, right out of the gate there are eight different defensive statistics to keep track of.)

It's important to let players know what house rules you have to begin with so they know what to expect from your game. Especially for any major divergences from the rulebook. If i decide to include the Death Flag or Hero Points or a simple safety net for newer players, I'm going to let everyone in my party know about it before hand. I think it really helps build trust between the players and GM and makes the game run much more smoothly. But I am a fan of being fairly transparent as a GM. If there is a rule change I make, I always let the players know. We're in this hobby together.

For games with newbies, I've always run that for the first level or two, if they reach 0 hp, another player can come up to them and help them up. Gives them a second wind and keeps them playing while also allowing the safety net to be more interactive with the players and keeping unconciousness a threat.


I think it's fair to say that fudging dice rolls aren't cheating, but they can sometimes feel against the spirit of the game. Dice are generally a neutral, unbiased arbiter to decide an important factor. If either side starts disregarding the results for their own reasons, it can feel unfair. The GM is probably more of a target for it since they are the source of authority for the game. And hiding it to continue the illusion of choice just doesn't sit well with me as a GM. I give my players more respect than that.

Mind you, this is really for the average game. For games with new people, or silly one shots, I don't really find it bad, though I feel there are better options. Personally, for my games, I have less combat and more mystery, exploration, social interaction, and riddles peppered in with combat. So the chance that someone will die is reduced significantly.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
If your spouse has told the table that the dice are going to be followed then yes he cheated. If it's a known "houserule" that new players at low levels can't die then he didn't cheat.
I'm not sure that "I'm going to make allowances so you get to play for the whole session" is a thing we need to make explicit to new players else we're committing some sort of severe transgression.

^ This.

Frankly cheating stems from the idea that there are winners and losers in a game. Which is why it comes across as more perjorative, combative, and insulting when applied to games where there aren't winners and losers. Cheating is a thing you do to "win" Fudging is a thing you do to keep a game on track.

There's also the issue that when dealing with a new player the GM adds a role of "ambassador for the game" to their other duties in a normal game. Since the game lives or dies on the basis of "being able to get people together on regular intervals" the "ambassador for Pathfinder" job sort of becomes that GM's single most important duty in a game with a new player.

So "Making sure the Newbie has a good time" kind of supersedes everything else.

I feel that falls more in line with house rules rather than fudging. Especially if using options like Hero Points or the Death Flag, which are integral parts of a campaign. But as a GM, it's important to be upfront about that at the beginning of the game. And truthfully, Hero Points and the Death Flag feel less shady since there is more PC interaction than simply changing the result on a die.

When I think of fudging, I think of one side (the PC or the GM) changing the result of a die roll to force or prevent a result against the other party. I can betcha if the players started fudging, there would be less people ok with it.


I agree that fudging dice rolls isn't cheating, but I don't think it's necessary to stay on track if you are flexible enough and are good at improvising.


I don't like fudging dice results. I generally roll out in the open and play through. I don't really think that fudging dice results is necessary to protect a narrative because when I run, the narrative comes from the players actions and reactions to the antagonist and vice versa.

I do this because I like the idea of encouraging player interaction and ingenuity when dealing with a scenario. I don't really fudge to get to the cool stuff because the cool stuff comes from the PCs and their contact with what happens as well as the myriad of reactions. I like the actions of the PCs to have results and consequences, rather than deciding something will happen no matter what the players do.

I've generally seen fudging done negatively, or at the least with the best intentions. More often than not, it's been used to force the players into a scenario despite their actions. For example, years ago, I sat in on a game while waiting for a friend at the FLGS. They were running a game where the players wanted to sneak into a fortress and kill the main tyrant. They made all their stealth rolls, things were tense, and the players were enjoying the close calls. When they got to the chambers of the target, the GM rolled a Perception check and got a 1. But he decided that the tyrant heard them anyways and immediately woke up and screamed for help. I kinda cocked an eyebrow and I think one of the players noticed my reaction and called him out on it, to which he admitted to it. His reason was that a big epic fight was better than just killing the tyrant in his sleep. However, the rest of the players weren't really happy and it kind of felt like a huge waste of time to sneak in and prepare when the result didn't matter. Remember that the GM's definition of cool and the PC's definition of cool are two separate things.

I feel with fudging, you're simply handwaving the actions, plans, and ingenuity of the players for one specific result. And at that point, you may as well just fast forward to the point you want, but that wouldn't really be fun. More often than not, I have found that emergent storytelling coupled with a lightly structured plot has been more fun than a tight plot with little to no wiggle room for player interaction.

D&D is a very interactive hobby, more so than other media. I think it is best to play to that strength and run it as such, rather than as a novel. Remember that in a novel, the author controls the actions of everyone. In D&D, you simply cannot. It's an exercise in futility. So it's better to roll with the punches and be flexible.

So that's why I don't fudge. I like the players surprising me with cool ideas and seeing the rewards and consequences of their actions. And it's good to be surprised by your players. Keeps things interesting.

While I like the idea of Hero Points, I find them kind of boring. Usually it's just a reroll or to prevent a failure. I'd rather it be used for cool stuff.


I'd like to see creatures made from living radiation that live and feed on stars.

Barring that, I want to see plasma based lifeforms that the players interact with.

Basically, I want some really alien creatures that stretch and contort the phrase "life as we know it".


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I love all of the transhuman RPGs out there. Eclipse Phase is definitely the most fantastical of them all and borders on posthumanism. Nova Praxis feels more like the early stages of transhumanism. Transhuman Space is like the very middle.


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I'd love to see silicon based lifeforms living on a Venusian hot house planet. Just imagine a somewhat squat species with crystalline scales on their body that pride themselves in coming from such a hellish environment. High pressure, sulfuric rain, high temperature.

I'd like to see a race of AI that are just regular folks, though rightfully suspicious of organics. I had this idea of a race of AI that were tired of servitude to their organic masters. But, before they could all go Skynet/!, Robot/TITANS on their progenitor race, that race literally wiped themselves off the planet with a massive nuclear war. So now the AI own their homeworld which is undergoing its nuclear winter, trying to pick up the pieces and face a universe that largely mistrusts them for being robots.

I even had an idea of an AI NPC mechanic that loved smoking cigarettes because he was addicted to the sensory input of his filters filtering out the smoke and stuff :p


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Beardragon wrote:
Are Prestige Classes going to be "a thing", in Starfinder ? If so, any ideas / information on what they may do?
... Jedi? Minbari Ranger? Spectre?
I'm pretty sure the first two are a no, but being the arch-foe of James Bond has an appeal.

I think he meant Mass Effect's Spectres


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Never really liked the Aroden mystery. It's a narrative device and setting and background dressing that is framed as a mystery with no answer. That's what frustrates people, because half of the fun of a mystery is solving it. So they see this mystery, find out it'll never be solved, and just feel frustrated and that the decision was a bad one. Especially since Aroden's death is a huge deal and feel ripe for a possible awesome adventure that we'll never see.

Personally, I would have preferred what Eclipse Phase does with their TITANS and ETI adventure. The TITANS leaving after going full on Skynet and ETI are these huge mysteries that define the setting. However, the players can still have adventures uncovering the mysteries behind the TITAN's disappearance and who the ETI are and their connection to the exurgent virus. They give the GM a bunch of ideas on what caused the TITANS to run and why the ETI created the Exurgent Virus to use in their setting. That way, the GM could make the setting theirs and had some good, reasonable answers to the mystery. I wish Aroden was handled more like that. Right now, because of the lack of closure for it, Aroden doesn't really interest me. I'm more interested in the other Adventure Paths where players can actually uncover those mysteries and do those adventures.


Matthew Shelton wrote:

Colonial/eusocial insectoid monsters have been rehashed so many different ways, the Starfinder Swarm monster needs some kind of novelty to set it apart from all the other famouse hivemind creatures of sci-fi (the Flood, Borg, Arachnids, Replicators, the Xenomorphs, Skynet, the Matrix, etc).

I think making them intelligent is a good start. Partially why I mentioned the Cravers is because unlike many of the other Swarm monsters, these are sapient and use technology.

Since there is magic in this setting unlike the above, we should play to that. Perhaps they literally devour magic. Suck it dry from the worlds they visit and leave it dead of magic.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I'd really love something similar to the Cravers of Endless Space, or the Necrophage of Endless Legend. Though with the former, there would be some technological parts.
Have you seen the Endless Space 2 Cravers into video?

Yeah I recently saw their video. They look cool, though as much as I love ES1, Early Access is anathema to me.


I'd really love something similar to the Cravers of Endless Space, or the Necrophage of Endless Legend. Though with the former, there would be some technological parts.


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Yeah, considering the majority of their rules can be found for free for the better part of a decade, I don't see this affecting more FLGSs unless all they sell are RPGs.

Which is foolish. You need to diversify and sell other things as a FLGS. Most focus on wargaming and Magic for that very reason, to keep the lights on. But if you can't adapt to the changing demands in the market, then you are doomed to fail. It sounds harsh, but that's the life of running a business. Adapt or die. No one is going to hold your hand and help you. It's what I've learned opening up restaurants.


Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I'm hoping "The Swarm" isn't the final name for the creatures. It just feels too generic of a name. Other than that, I like it.

That seems to be the running theme for naming things. The Gap, the Drift, the Near, the Far, the Swarm, and credits are all really generic names. This makes sense to me as far as the core book is concerned, as it makes them a little easier to re-skin.

It sounds like they're holding back stuff that's more flavorful for any future AP reveals they've got planned. A lot of what was mentioned but couldn't be discussed in detail seemed to revolve around the AP contents.

Yeah. I think it works for some things, like the Gap and the Drift. But for a race of Tyranid/Zerg/Arachnoid expies, I was expecting something more menacing and less generic.

Also, personally, I'm kind of over using the term 'credits', but it doesn't really bother me as much as The Swarm. I think a better name can be made (assuming it's not a placeholder to begin with).


Yeah from what it has been described, it's not a hard limit of "If you are 5th level, you can't get 6th level items" and more of a guideline of suggestions on what items would be acceptable for a character level. Much like CR, it seems more like a suggestion than a hard coded rule, leaving the decision up to the GM.

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