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GM Niles wrote:
The timeline here suggests a bit over 50 days. Not all of that time was unattended, but it seems like he laid there on his own for a good long while. He also recovered remarkably well for a guy who should have more than a month of muscle atrophy.
Rapid collapse is a genre convention the show seems keen on. Part of what interests me about FWD is seeing how well they can sell that. I'd probably keep watching just for the characters (and I watch The Walking Dead for that) but I'm very curious to see how much thought went into the end of civilization.
Gay Male Inhuman
Insufficient rum. Insufficient sodomy. Surplus lash. Boards went down halfway through writing this. I saved the text, but the rolls will be different now. I'll go through and try to correct everything, but let me know if there's weirdness.
Galin dared the ladder and cultists gathered above. He scaled it and found himself nearly surrounded by enemies, pressing past and taking a cudgel to his shoulder as he approached the priestess with the glaive. He thrust his blade deep into her side.
With an enemy before them and their best efforts made, the mongrelfolk cultists fall back to the east, down a narrow tunnel and toward a barricade.
Back with the noncombatants, Saito remained on his guard and declined to join the rush up the ladder just yet.
Mongrel AoO: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 4 + 1 = 18
Mongrel AoO: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 4 + 1 = 21
Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Dire rat AoO: 1d20 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 + 1 = 15
Dire rat AoO: 1d20 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 + 1 = 10
Glaive priestess AoO: 1d20 ⇒ 8
816 damage has got to be a typo. :) I see 1d6 weapon, 1d6 holy from blessing, plus a crit for another 1d6 and doubling the str bonus, so 8 on top of that. Is the blessing damage an exception to the general rule that +dice damage isn't multiplied on crits? Or is this some house rule I made to crits and forgot about.
Some guy named Samnell, ages ago wrote:
I think we all forgot that one. :) It's not a huge issue right now, but probably will be when things go mythic. Anyway, looks like Galin should get:8 damage from the base hit (including his blessing) + 3 extra from the crit (taking the better of the two rolls) +4 more for str, adding up to 14.
Or house ruled:
Eh, since we all forgot about the change, I'll go with the standard for now. 14 to the priestess. Neither would be enough to drop her, but she's hurt pretty good.
Abelard's next. Order is Yridhrennor, Priestesses, Theran, Steave, Galin, Cultists, Saito, Abelard, Rats.
Ladder Climb details: This ladder is a DC0 climb check and only 10 feet high. No need to roll, just count your climb movement at double cost.
The woman with the crossed swords icon is the one with the glaive.
Opted to write up the rest of the chapter. A great deal of it is just more detail on the first part, but there's also banking stuff and things about trade realignment.
I am still this boring:
Main burden for lowcountry planters: old mortgages. Reduced income almost matches decline in COL. Soil good and cotton coming back, plus lowcountry crop not in competition with upcountry, so income usually enough to make payments. Especially so for rice. Some lowcountry planters still unlucky, yields not high enough to make up the difference and handle boom-era mortgage payments.
Other lowcountry problem: mosquito. Slaves apparently immune to worst kinds of malaria, but often sick, sometimes died, from weaker strains. Severe along the Savannah. James Henry Hammond, Jr: “the mortality on the River … is a drawback to the otherwise certain profit of our fine and fertile land.” Samuel Patterson, Charleston Rice factor: “It was never expected that the number of their people should increase- If they could keep up the force-which in many cases they could not do-it was all they hoped.”
Slave morbidity&mortality severe drain. Many plantations could swing natural increase enough to sell off extras at a profit. (Like Upper South ended up doing.) In lowcountry, births rarely > deaths. (Puts keen interest in keeping open, and later re-opening, Atlantic trade in perspective.) Costs in replacement slaves, medical bills, and lost labor.
White vulnerability to malaria also an issue. Forced reliance on hired overseers. Hard to get the good ones to come to lowcountry and risk themselves. Those who came often got sick, died. If you could get a guy willing to risk that, than he also had to take status loss: overseers members of “an inferior, degraded caste”. Some could make it big and turn planter, but lowcountry situation made it rare. “Needy wanderers” who took job not skilled or educated sufficiently for “intricate, technical, delicate” rice and sea island cotton. Regular “gross inefficiencies and expensive accidents”.
Absentee planters plus bad overseers made for bad gamble, however popular. When planter supervised, less accidents, better yield. Contemporary estimated 10% boost in gross, minimum. Direct supervision increased in 1820s, but most still went absentee. Even with planters on hand, limited improvement due to years absence and personal ignorance. Even sea islanders running high end cotton ended up leaning on overseers.
Crux: lowcountry planters large capitalists “who often despited the painstaking care and economy which a capitalistic enterprise requires.” Management seemed too Yankee. Instead preferred conspicuous consumption: fie wine, summer resorts. More debt meant a bigger show, not cutting back.
Malaria & currency shortage set limits on production, but seldom caused bankruptcies. Planter culture required extravagance, shunned practicality, looked down on overseers. This pushed the unlucky underwater.
Younger generations had limited options. Older planters could not set kids up from lack of funds. “Honorable” professions: law, medicine, religion, overcrowded. Well-bred refused “despised” careers as merchants, overseers, mechanics. Instead drank & idled in Charleston.
All of this looks like a disaster, but not so. Rice remained leading crop. Yields & prices stayed in the black for whole decade prenullification.Whitemarsh Seabrook says rice “a much more certain crop than Cotton, liable to few diseases, less likely to be seriously affected by physical causes, and but seldom subject to ruinous fluctuations in price.” Lowcountry cotton planters lean on Kinsey Burden-style cotton as hope for 1830s. All the same, lowcountry still one of wealthiest groups in nation.
Upcountry cotton planters. Lowcountry guy short on cash now and then. Upcountry “impoverished.” Currency contraction+overproduction of short staple cotton drop prices 71% 1818-1829, only 49% drop in COL. Tarrif hurt here, keeping up consumer prices but not cotton, but didn’t do the whole job.
Poor yields add to low prices, courtesy of depleted soil. Upcountry land less worn out than eroded. Rain+hills. Plowing accelerated process. By 1832 piedmont full of deserved fields. Those still worked worked for less.
Some upcountry skipped off to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana for new land and lower cost. Those who stayed behind stuck under mortgages. One issue of Edgefield Hive: 9 columns of sheriff’s sales. Could sell everything and not pay back debt.
Southwest lands huge competition, but not only issue. Advantage: except along Savannah, upcountry plantations could count on slave increase for some income. Sell occasionally to make mortgage, give to kids to set up. One guy claims cash value of increase 10%+ of income. With cotton low, % could be higher. Slight exaggeration of Benjamin F. Perry: “the greater part” of slave profits “from their increase, which is very considerable. At this time they sell well, and always bring their value at sheriff’s sale, whilst everything else is sacrificed.”
Longterm slave profits cushioned against cotton fluctuation, let careful prosper still. Secret to success: limit risks, keep yield high, mortgage down, grow own supplies. Plow and drain properly against erosion, fertilize and rotate fields for steady crop. This and debts avoided, planter insulated from currency issues. Grown your own and don’t pay consumer prices. Guy preaching this, George McDiffie, started 1821 with 300 acres and “only a few slaves”. By 1841, he had 5,000 acres and 175 slaves despite years of “extremely low” prices.
McDuffie method against the grain of boom-era thinking. Most uplanders spent the good times going for the biggest possible score. No sense raising corn with cotton at thirty cents a pound. Plenty of land, so no care about wasting it. Profits always going up, so why avoid debt?
Depression hit and the gamblers left exposed to worst of it. Importing food, clothes, supplies meant he needed cash now scarce that low cotton prices could not get him. Erosion left him without soil to even sustain past yields. External forces put the squeeze on. But go the McDuffie way and supplement with slave sales and you could still manage. Just few did.
For same reasons as McDuffie, yeomen usually depression-proof. No debt, by definition raising own supplies, largely independent of boom & bust.
Pre-1819 and steamboat, 1000s of wagoners went down from upcountry each harvest, carrying staples to Charleston, going home with supplies. Center of Charleston economy upper King Street, along neck (connection of peninsula with rest of state). Retailers met wagons there, bartered for goods before going into town for repairs from emchanics.
1819-23, wagon trade shrunk in face of steamboats. Down to quarter of past size. By ‘28, wagons rarely came. At fall line, string of towns grew up, economically significant for first time: Hamburg, on Savannah across from Augusta, GA, Columbia on the Congaree, Camden on Wateree, Cheraw on Pee Dee. Cotton to here by land, some sold there, rest consigned to Charleston merchants. Old Charleston retail center nigh deserted, land value cut in half, grass growing in streets.
Some retailers moved up to fall line towns, Hamburg or Columbia, others to East Bay. But commerce went to fewer hands, squeezing out bulk with the end of petty bartering. Making the move required cash or credit few could raise. (Currency contraction again.) Fewer purchasers in town meant prolonged slump.
Steamboat also hurt Charleston mechanics. White laborers suffered from decline in uplanders into town. Then made worse by competition from free blacks. 1810-20, free black population of city almost doubled, jobs declined with number of men seeking them rising. Whites at disadvantage further because community looked down on manual labor, hated free blacks. To maintain what standing they had, and self-respect, whites had to charge almost twice what blacks would for same work. Also could not obey orders (like a slave) or “obtrude” (solicit) without reducing themselves to level of blacks. By late 20s, free and slave artisans driving whites out of city, getting foothold inw hite-colllar clerking jobs. By ‘37, nonslaveholding mechanics almost forced out. Poor, “rabid racists” often degraded in own eyes, mechanics keen for revolution. More so even than retailers.
Steamboat good for East Bay merchants. As much cotton still going through, decline in “petty” King Street retail put more control over planters in hands of merchants. Columbia merchants often relied on East Bay finance. Economic power concentrated in East Bay.
East Bay prosperity hung on stable amount of trade through Charleston. Very secure. City’s decline as merchant center relative, not absolute. Commerce not decreasing, but only not going up as fast as other ports. More bales than ever in 1832. SC rivers didn’t reach like New York, New Orleans, or Mobile river systems did. Direct import from Europe down, but compensated by indirect import through NY. Many East Bay merchants were agents of European firms pre-20, so not a big shift for them to become agents for NY later.
Bottom line: Charleston mechanics & retailers suffered, but commerce constant and East Bay rich as ever.
East Bay good times not reaped by SC at large. Some trickle-down, though. East Bay financed railroad to Hamburg, to keep their shave of Savannah river trade. But this the exception. No substantial reinvestment in SC economy. Instead successful merchants emigrants from North or Europe, who went home with their fortunes to escape yellow fever, aka “stranger’s fever”.
Outsiders in control fmost SC commerce. Yankees owned most of shipping, bulk of insurance, dominated upcountry peddling. Profits spent outside state, further draining away specie. One of biggest consequences of plantation focus in the boom.
Gentry made things worse with migration. Every summer, spent over $500,000 outside state. Every year, emigrants from upcountry took away cash to Southwest.
Tariff final blow. Customs at CHarleston collected over $500,000 for feds than spend in SC. Another specie outflow. SC exaggerated tariff effects, but between keeping consumer prices up and draining money out contributed to hard times in early 30s.
Specie drain made worse by lack of banking in upcountry. Moneyed economy in fall-line towns wanted banks, yet banking expansion lagged far behind trade.
In 20s, SC’s four private banks all in Charleston and controled by East Bay. Banks issued few long-term mortgages, financed trade via short-term loans to merchants. Merchants convinced that NY goodwill required reliable SC paper money, so very tight rein on issues. Branks of Bank of US, also in Charleston, managed by East Bay and used resources to rpobide bills of exchange on other cities.
Bank of the State of South Carolina, owned and operated by state. Branches in Charleston, Georgetown, Camden, Columbia in 20s. Two upcountry, but not much cash going into piedmont. Charter limited loans to no more than twice capital. Required to bestow equally on upcountry (who needed it) and lowcountry (usually didn’t.) Most of bank’s funds locked in long-term plantation mortgages. Bank thus limited to farm loan office, few new loans for entrepeneurs.
President of bank, Stephen Elliot. Rice planter+botanist. Made limits worse by managing bank like a tidewater aristo. Advocated divorcing paper from specie and issuing rag currency based on land values, alarmed conservatives. But in practice Elliott no radical. One of most tightfisted banks in country. He could issue paper only by calling in old debts. He refused since debtors were peers. Renewed loans instead of foreclosed. Genteel culture beat radical theory.
With so little paper in the upcountry, planters ended up using depreciated dollars from NC and GA. Money very unstable and increased exposure to fluctuations. Worse still, could not pay SC taxes with them. Had to use SC notes, which commanded premium when buying GA or NC dollars. Hording in vicious cycle ensued. Currency contracts more, taxes harder to pay, could be as damaging as booms and busts from wildcat finance.
Especially serious problems in fall line towns. New trade centers needed short-term loans, could get few. Forced to borrow from Charleston banks, controlled by East Bay. They required sign-off of Charleston merchant on all notes. Merchants wanted 2.5% interest for services, which Columbia passed on to planters. Upcountry bled either way. No banks in Hamburg, so they borrowed from Augusta, which then gained advantage in controlling upper Savannah trade. Cheraw’s had same problem.
Legislature tried tof ix bank problem. Early 20s Hamburg and Cheraw get charters. “Irresponsible” businessmen capture Cheraw bank, which fails a few months after opening. Henry Schultz, founder of Hamburg, opened his own bank instead of take on specie-paying requirement from state. Issued paper based on cotton, not gold. August crushed him.
Mid-20s severl bids for charters, but private banks compete with state. Private bank profits enrich individuals, whereas Bank of State gave ~100k each year to treasury. Legislators torn loyalty to Bank of State and need to expand upcountry.
‘26 and ‘27, leg tries compromise. Offers chance to buy several million of stock in Bank of State, if million subscribed. State would get previous invesment, profits. Private subscribers add to capital and get proportionate share of new profits. More capital would go to piedmont.
Compromise did not take into account private interest. Charleston merchants no wish to invest in loan office, every reason to fight piedmont banking. Upcountry merchants wanted bank of their own, not chance to split with upcountry planters. SC planters more into paying off mortgages than buying bank stock. Requisite million never came, state withdrew offer. SC ended 20s with same bank system as entered.
Heavy specie drain + poor upcountry banking limited currency, deepened piedmont depression. Hard money shortage partly due to colonial SC economy, but no economic reason why upcountry banks not chartered, why aristos so extravagant, why Charlestonians could not regain control of own banks. Exaggerated scarcity of currency was another way which SC helped weaken itself by bad economics.
By 32, SC began campaign to revive economy. Upcountry a few experiemnts with horizontal plowing, drainage against erosion. At tidewater, summer villages multiplied as planters came home to supervise operations. Carolinians begin working to retake East Bay. By ‘32, Columbia got private bank charter, Hamburg had bank of State. Good signs, but absenteeism, idle younger sons, slovenly planting, and poor banking persist still.
Campaign against tariff “most articulate expression” of SC’s desire to end avoidable aspects of 20s depression. Nullification came at transition in SC economic history, fury in part about nullifiers doubts about achieving “aggressive, efficient capitalist system”. Often declared tariff double bad: bounties to Yankee merchants as well as SC drain. Rhetoric “scarcely concealed” fear that South would not have equal share with Yankee business in nation’s future.
Deeper economic cause of nullfiication: indigence of Carolinians in 1000s. All around state, citizens risk loss shops, alnd, slaves, focus anger on tariff. White mechanics, degraded and failing against black labor, retailers, poor thanks to end of wagon trade, piedmont cotton sucking down low prices and yields, all hope tariff change would save them.
At SC tidewater, rice + cotton, like most planters, cursed tariff. Yet pushed tariff crusade to revolutionary extreme where most South would not follow. Question not whether lowcountry against tariff but why and why in so strong a form. Minority feared bankruptcy or for kids to have economic reason to risk war for the change.
But most rice and luxury cotton planters prosperous in 20s. Sea islanders expected better in 30s. From economic POV, planters in lowcountry hardly had reason to go for broke. Their crusade not about personal deprivation.
Gay Male Inhuman
I expect to see you on the Weather Channel with that bike you have that transforms into a broom.
ZOMG Samnell, dumb it down a bit for the rest of us, will you? I prefer books featuring rocketships and rayguns, okay?
I did go back and make notes to keep the players straight. Freehling writes mammoth chapters divided into shorter sections, which can be really nice because you know when he changes the subject but can also get annoying.
Since I really, truly am this boring:
Notes from Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina 1816-1836 by William W. Freehling.
Chapter Two: A Spotty Economy.
Could be depression. If so, would follow that SC whites against nullification would have had not suffered the downturn, or done so less severely. Turns out that to a degree, that’s true. Nullifiers included:
Upcountry cotton planters
All hurt by the depression. By contrast, Charleston merchants and mountain yeomen not hurt much and opposed nullifiers. But two exceptions: Lowcountry rice and long-staple cotton planters “overwhelmingly” nullificationist but “somewhat prosperous”. If it was just profit, one would expect their indifference or opposition. More at play.
Depression comes in 2 stages, persists longer than boom.
2) Decline in prices (cotton) due to overproduction. Doesn’t hit as many commodities as first stage, but consumer prices steady. Thus falling incomes hurt more. Debtors feeling pinch from deflation hurt worse thanks to low incomes in late 1820s. Upcountry cotton hit hardest thanks to its own overproduction and high debts.
Offset between falling price and COL easier to see in hindsight. Declining incomes feel like losing ground despite purchasing power. Cause for controversy all the same. But rice planters could see good incomes all the same. ~3 cents per pound was typical pre-1800 price and remained typical price through 1854. High prices of 1816-9 boom abnormal, let down but not crushing. Decade before controversy rice planters got roughly average prices.
Yields steady because swamps renew themselves. Easy to fertilize when needed. Robert Barnwell Rhett (famous nullifier, fire-eater) boasts losing 1 crop in 11 years. Praises steady prices. Not a guy feeling the pinch. Bankruptcy scares of first stage depression mostly false alarm. Expected rice profits 8% per year, aside benefits like food, servants, house. Rare for rice planters to actually go under, even if occasionally cash-poor.
1820s consumers sick of the screwing around. Best quality commands premium, but regular, main, and santee drop 45% 1819-22, against just 35% drop in COL. Caterpillars eat several mid-20s crops. Poor quality + better factory processing come close to closing quality gap between staples.
Lowcountry cotton planters clean up act. More fertilization. Plantation land reclaimed and returned to use, especially Edisto Island. Poor soil still issue, some planters abandon lands, but production and quality increase in 20s so not controlling. Lots of complaints about uncultivated land, but most vacant plantations actually inland tidewater given up when growing rice closer to ocean/on rivers turned more profit.
Return to quality kept lowcountry long-staple out of competition with upcountry short-staple. Independent uses, so price decline only 15% (1822-9) for lowcountry, vs upcountry 36%. COL drop 22% same period. Lowcountry cotton like rice: price drop barely more than COL drop.
Sea island planters worried about finance more than rice guys anyway. Income probably lower than for rice than was pre-1818-19 boom. Caterpillars and soil+fertilization not issues at all for rice, but problem for cotton. So still looking for ways to make mortgage. Late 20s Kinsey Burden experiments and gets silkiest lowcountry fiber yet. Sells 18,000 pounds in ‘26. $1.10 a pound. Next year gets $1.25. Everyone wants to know how. He almost sells secret to SC legislature for $200k. 1830, everyone thinks it’s a tufted seed. By ‘32, most islanders, many mainlanders growing superfine. But need seed and good soil to make it work. Many got good prices, but failed due to poor yield.
Failures matter for nullification? No. Not clear until after 1832 elections and quick successes just as much nullifier as others. Burden big nullifier himself. Main thing: lowcountry nullifiers not desperate, but actively experimenting and hopeful.
I wrote it as reference to myself, so it's far from my best prose, but it's there. Note that this is only the first four sections of the chapter. Thereafter Freehling gets into talking about SC's lack of capital and the ways that the planter culture exacerbated it as well as drills down in a bit more detail on some case studies.
Two days and two chapters into Freehling, though I confess the second was deeply confusing. I should probably go back and make a South Carolina politics & economy cheat sheet. Going into the crisis you have:
Upcountry Staple Cotton Planters
Each one of these had a different experience with the economic dislocations of the 1820s, ranging from a small pinch that irritated more than hurt (rice) to a dip that prompted many of them to get their acts together and stop being obnoxious tools (long-staple cotton in the lowcountry). Guys used to ship their cotton, which was the good stuff used for lace and other luxury products, stuffed with dirty material, stained cotton, potato skins, rusty knives, whatever. They thought they were recession proof and had the world by the balls.
The upcountry felt the squeeze very badly since they were over-mortgaged. The whole state suffered from a shortage of hard money, which many state policies made worse, but the upcountry cotton planters were really on the rack for it.
Then you get into the mechanics (skilled labor in 19th century parlance) who saw their jobs going to a growing free black population and were increasingly unable to compete because of both economics and cultural things. (They could not advertise without a serious blow to status, since free blacks advertised.) And the merchants were being bought out and edged out by northerners.
Plus all the rich whites were dealing with the problem that they culturally loathed anybody who worked in any profession that wasn't planting, law, government, or clergy. Exploring options would have meant a massive status drop but those professions were all full to bursting.
It's a tangled mess and I'm sure half of this is wrong. You try sorting it out while you're starting to drift off. :)
But there is a nice aspect of it, aside the learning. In 1966 Freehling hadn't yet developed his love of nicknames or inclination toward private cant that make passages of Road to Disunion so hard to parse.
That I am in some small way spiting those people by reading this book is a pleasure and a privilege.
Gay Male Inhuman
Saito Samson wrote:
Ok...so the hiatus list stands at Yridhrennor & Steave (until the 20th) and Saito (until the 25th). Noted. :)
Finished Gallagher a couple of days ago. Started in on Stampp's Causes of the Civil War. I saw it described years ago as essentially a book that presents every possible argument and asks you to pick one, but it actually appears to be a survey of the historiography of the question up to 1991 with major primary sources included. So that's neat.
There were also arguments along the lines that from the patriarchs' narrative they knew that Yahweh created separate types of people and separated them. They might all be human (though a minority of proslavery authors clearly thought in species terms and didn't see black people as human, the argument against them was essentially that it was unbiblical) but that didn't mean they should mix. The sin of Ham (actually Canaan, but they mostly thought it was Ham for some reason I don't know) and all that applied.
The peopling the world narratives do play into that kind of thing. They don't have the familiar racial categories, but they are very much in the vein of "these people are descended from this inferior ancestor and therefore we're better". The people in question happened to map really well to the political situation in the Levant at time of writing. In fact, that's one way we date them. :)
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I understand the love for Pratchett, but don't share it. He relies on the same general brand of humor as Douglas Adams (whose novels I also didn't like) and, to some extent, Monte Python (whom I also don't think are all that funny).
I tried, but I detest the guy's work. Same with Adams. I can take Python in small doses, but every time I tried to watch a full episode I found the experience utterly tedious. Actually dozed off once.
Since I had Eric Foner's Reconstruction open anyway:
Eric Foner wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
My immediate reaction was "JFC, white America. This s&&$ again?"
Gay Male Inhuman
Abelard Lassmar wrote:
The main human religion also had good points. It would have had genuinely evil antagonists from which it really did protect people as well as people who were more its victims...and victims who decided to take the fight back to them. But it would have been pretty hard to play a non-human in areas where it had cultural hegemony. I envisioned some halfling ghettos (since they're still half-human and might potentially be cured some day) but not much for other typical PC races.
Gay Male Inhuman
Abelard Lassmar wrote:
I'm a sucker for moral complexity. :)
My on-again, off-again homebrew project involved a world where every divine cast detect evil and it revealed a true and correct result...given the theology of the caster. So for most people it would ping the usual stuff, but also catch anybody anathematized by the main religion and/or practitioners of religious movements it considered evil even if the difference didn't involve something we'd usually see as an ethical matter.
Then I made most of the religions ethically diverse with a mix of makes-sense-to-us morals and more esoteric concerns that either only made sense in their particular frameworks or were clearly wrong or arbitrary by our standards. The dominant religion of the setting believed that only humans were ensouled and all else were a mix of monstrous beastman, devious fairies, damned infernalists, or divinely accursed. Halflings were the latter, imagined as humans who had through some ancient perfidy earned the eternal wrath of the gods. Thus they were marked, diminished, and separated from the fellowship of humanity for all their generations to come.
But that kind of thing is probably a bit demanding for a regular D&D/PF game, unless religious politics are the whole point. I like the idea, but I'm not totally sure I'd want to run Divinity School: The Boot Leathering. :)
Gay Male Inhuman
Theran, Clan Silverlight wrote:
I knew this was all a scheme to make me crap more potions. I will not be deceived!
I'm totally deceived.
Gay Male Inhuman
Forgot to say that Steave is at 0 hp. Bad GM. No horrifyingly racist 19th century primary sources for you today.
Badguy ACs: 13 T11 F12
Galin stepped forward and struck, but the mongrel he chose parried his blade well short of its doing true harm. The weight of cudgel prevailed, this time, over skill with blade.
Saito is next. Order is Theran, Steave, Badguys, Galin, Saito, Yridhrennor, Abelard.
Ended up starting Elizabeth Varon's Disunion! The Coming of the American Civil War 1789-1859. Got a really good session in before my brain threw up and insisted I had spent too much time with it. It's really good, though her presentation style is a bit backwards from what I'd prefer. She likes, so far, to take ostensibly unrelated issues and drill down to slavery, where I prefer to take slavery and build up to them.
Gay Male Inhuman
In the early days of 3e, I was running a Sunless Citadel PBEM. Entrance to the dungeon involved climbing a rope down 50 feet. At one point a character, who in backstory was a failed paladin, was leaving the dungeon in a hurry and slightly ahead of others.
He fell. On the druid below. Cause of death: falling fallen paladin. Almost killed the paladin too. Player wrote a post where he looked heavenward and cursed my name. In-character. :)
Book-free since I finished Baptist. Got into it with a guy I'm pretty sure got his degree circa 1950, or pledged Kappa Kappa Kappa, over at Reddit AskHistorians. The kind of guy who knows a whole lot about militaria and likes to quote Shelby Foote, but suddenly goes super general when confronted with non-military details. Asked him states' rights for what and he answered with a quote that amounted to "just because". Frequent reference to modern-day political tropes didn't help his case either. Way to live the military historian stereotype, dude. Could not think of a civil way to ask him if he knew that bedclothes don't make for the best headgear, let alone eyewear.
Might have otherwise yielded the point, but the best he could offer me were lots of handwaves and one popular work to make his case. Refused to engage much of anything I said to him, even when I went out of my way to quote direct passages from professionals. Turned my frustration with him, and my disinclination to flip the table and dive for his nuts with teeth bared, into a night of furious research that turned up a particularly condemnatory Calhoun quote (full letter not online, damn it) and the order of several books I wanted anyway. In the next few weeks I should have
The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Stampp. Never read anything of his and I'm getting one of those reprints that seem to have been popular in the early 90s. Looks like it's an essay collection, so it might be a good window on the late-50s historiography. Incorrect plural in the title, of course.
The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary History, one of the newer standard anthologies of primary sources. Got it cheap.
The Confederate War by Gary Gallagher. Examines the motivations of Confederates in general. To judge from a few of his presentations I've seen, I expect a hefty chunk on that slavery now, slavery forever guy that everyone wants to pretend is an abolitionist in disguise. You know, the traitor we put on stamps instead of a tree for some reason that eludes me. (Gallagher's explanation of the rep: "People don't read.") He also has a book on the Union that does the same, which I'll get to eventually.
Those books got me a bit guilty about not frequenting the local bookstore, especially Gallagher since he's definitely still in print, but the used books were pretty cheap. So I went to the bookstore with a longshot, William W. Freehling's Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 from the mid-60s and Elizabeth Varon's recent Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859. Expected no love on Freehling (last reprint, 1992) and was sure I'd get Varon.
They found both. I walked out rather lighter, and happier, than expected. Damned if I know which I'll crack first.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
He's not really wrong, exactly. It's one of those things that depends on your definition of capitalism*. The profit motive absolutely created slavery, which then required a justification. So we invented race to do the job. There's a pretty clear transition going on in the Chesapeake over the late 1600s from a world where at least some black men could own property, sue whites in court and win, and so forth. That kind of thing would be unthinkable in the Virginia of 1750 or 1900. The punchy summary is that racism (read as exploitation) created race (a fixed class of people imagined as destined for and requiring exploitation).
Those definitions are all a bit technical and not quite what people ordinarily mean, but I think they're a bit truer to how the systems have generally worked.
*The new hotness in the field right now is slavery & capitalism studies which generally cut against the grain of various Marxist interpretations that understood slavery as pre-capitalist.
Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:
You have three perfectly good NPCs you can use before you start wasting summons. Teofil will never see it coming. :)
Gay Male Inhuman
Steave Rojerz wrote:
Steave reverently picks up the mirror-bright silver scale and looks at it from a few angles. He wonders it if is from Terendelev the Ancent.
Steave receives a sense of profound sadness and determination when he touches the scale. The memory of a long-ago crusader flashes through his mind, standing in curtains of lightning and gales of magical frost but remaining unscathed.
The scale can grant resist elements, but only vs. cold or electricity, three times a day.
Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:
sorry about the lack of a ranged touch attack on the spell... kiddies were demanding to be educated... or somesuch.
It's fine. What you forget, I can always roll. For example, I noticed Yridhrennor forgot to declare pledging himself to Lamashtu by means of interpretative dance and synchronized trepanation. :)
Gay Male Inhuman
Steave is sure that something has gone badly wrong with the Wardstone. The rifts are something out of the Worldwound...or the Abyss.
It's bad. The demons have complete surprise. Most of the crusaders are still on their backs. People are dying by the dozen. The enemy has destroyed Kenabres' chief fortification. It might take a miracle to safe the city now...or Terendelev slaying the Storm King. Demons often rout when their masters are bested.
Steave saw too many people to ever help at once. A few crusaders fought a desperate rearguard in an alley, children cowering behind them and vrocks circling overhead. Babau flickered about the plaza, slaying and gone in the same breath. Mobs of dretches clashed with youths barely old enough to take their crusader oaths. The ground heaved and a well-dressed merchant began to slide toward a fissure. Roars sounded above and a cold wind blew as Terendelev breathed frost on the Storm King, much of it flashing to steam against his burning body.
Steave opens his divine senses and of pure malice hammered into his skull. He reels, feeling the thick taint of the balor lord above and whatever happened in the Kite even with their great distance.
Steave got hit with overwhelming evil is is stunned for a round.
Maybe I should wait for three or four days to heighten the antici...
Bah, I'll be cruel enough all the same and by indulging in this one cruelty now I give up time that I could spent on multiple simultaneous cruelties.
The selections are:
Robert Henry wrote:
Have you thought about running a home brew game set during the civil war in a fantasy world. I have this half drow-half-farie two gun shootist scout I want to play. Seriously a black wasp -winged wild Bill Hickok
I suspect that my fantasy version of the Civil War would be way too dark to have fun gaming in.
At least someone will understand if I inadvertently post a wall of text about literacy in the nineteenth century. :)
If anybody's curious and boring in similar ways to how I am (middle 19th century US politics & slavery, mostly), the blog is here. I am a terrible self-promoter, but sometimes I do recognize good excuses.
Hello! I’m Samnell, or I’m wearing his underwear, or possibly some other Samnell and/or underwear combination. Best not delve too deeply. I propose, as the thread title suggests, to run the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path for four to five gestalt PCs who will become mythic, with an outside option for six if I really can’t decide between a few. One of these spots is bespoken, so there’s room for three or four, maybe five, others.
With gestalt PCs. And mythic. Both. Together. Am I a crazy person?:
No, I am not a crazy person. My last therapist may have written that in his own blood, but that’s still an official judgment. There will be significant modifications to the more problematic aspects of the mythic rules, many swiped from posters here, with an eye toward still having fun without being able to splatter Iomedae with blood from the bowels of the Abyss when you attack Deskari, miss, and slightly graze the air. Cool powers are fun, but they’re much less fun when they reduce any challenge to the initiative roll.
If I am not a crazy person, then who am I to think I can run this thing? This will be my first PBP as the all-quivering horror behind the great cardboard wall, but I’ve been running games online since 2000, mostly via email. My current projects are a Second Darkness game (early in book 5) and an all-Hellknights Carrion Crown (late in book two). I tried Wrath with some of my regulars, but it didn’t quick click. I still like the big ideas and Paizo has these nice PBP tools, which a friend of mine recommends highly. So here I am, a bit inspired by Acid Milk Hotel’s late Wrath game where I was a player, to give it another go. How are you?
This is WotR, but I’ll change some things:
It would be shifty, or something else spelled roughly that way, to advertise a Wrath game and then run something radically different. I don’t plan to do that, but I do reserve the right to spindle, mutilate, expand/shorten, and all the other usual GM prerogatives. I’ll certainly adjust foes. All this probably goes without saying, but I’ve gone and said it anyway because I really wanted to write the first sentence of this paragraph. You can still trust the advice of the player’s guide when planning your character.
Non-rules things to include with your PC:
Each PC should come with a paragraph, more if you like, of backstory. This should explain how and why your PC is in Kenabres, their relation to the crusade, and give me an idea of their personality.
Additionally, please give me at least one goal that your PC hopes to achieve in-game. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, but should be something important to him or her.
Finally, give me an idea of what mythic path you intend to pursue. This needn’t be final. I’d just like it as a heads-up for when the time comes. Despite the fact that you are gestalt, you will only get the one path unless you buy access to another through some mythic ability.
Ready for rules?:
You can draw on any Paizo content you like, aside playtest stuff, but I reserve the right to say no if something seems out of whack.
PCs should be made with the gestalt rules, available at this finely crafted link. We start at first level and will level up based on hitting various story milestones rather than by XP accumulation. Please be sure to wrestle your PC into the normal Paizo statblock format for ease of reference.
Generate your PCs with 25 point buy. Feel free to avail yourself of the calculator here. You may reduce no more than one ability score below 10, before racial modifiers.
You may play any non-evil alignment that you like, provided you can play it in a way that doesn’t constantly cause needless strife. It’s fine to have some RP tension in the party, but when things really get to the point of players at cross-purposes everyone tends to lose out.
PCs begin with the maximum gold specified for their class to spend on gear, keep, give to poor orphans, or whatever else you’d like. You can stretch that gold (but not the orphans) further through the use of crafting skills. Assume all pre-game rolls are successful. During the game, item crafting and item crafting feats are fair game. There will be significant periods when you are not racing any particular clock and can take time out to invest in making things and other pursuits.
PCs begin play with two traits, one of which must be a Wrath of the Righteous campaign trait. They’re in the Player’s Guide. The campaign traits make certain assumptions about your mythic path and then give you an extra benefit for choosing the “right” one. Ignore those. Traits will function the same way regardless of your mythic choices.
I have long disliked the flavor of a continental-scale common tongue. The common tongue of the crusade is Taldane. Most people in Mendev who deal with crusaders often will have at least basic competency in it, but at home most speak Hallit. You get Taldane for free and can choose Hallit as a bonus language, unless a Mendev native. Natives can have both for free.
Rather than roll for hit points, at each level just take your maximum. Foes in this AP tend to hit hard.
Norms and Expectations:
I plan for a post a day. If it’s been roughly that long and I haven’t heard from you, I may bot your PC in the interests of keeping things moving. I know from experience that it’s really easy to get into a waiting loop in online games.
Please list key stats (current/total hit points, ACs, saves, initiative, perception) on the little text bar under your alias. You can include more if you want, but those are the big ones that I’ll likely need from everyone all at once and rather often so having them in the thread is very convenient.
I’ll roll combat-beginning things like perception and initiative, as well as anything else that would benefit from immediate resolution. So if I throw a fireball at you, I’ll roll the saves. You are free, and encouraged, to write flavor text for how you dodged and made your save or how you failed to do so. I’ll do all these rolls in the open using the dice commands. I’ll probably bury the lot of them in a spoiler and just put descriptive text outside it to avoid making walls of numbers. That does mean that the dice gods may cruelly frown upon you, even lethally, but I think that mythic PCs will end up with plenty of built-in plot armor. If it comes to that point, I will make raise dead and its cousins readily available.
When you do something that requires a roll from an NPC, like casting a hostile spell, I’ll roll that save. There are too many conditional bonuses, resistances, and immunities that might come into play to frontload a listing of them all and at times the PCs should be surprised by them. When foes come loaded with buffing spells and the like, I will do my best to remember to indicate that in their descriptions under the premise that active magical effects in close proximity generally have some visible manifestation.
I aim to be a bit more forthcoming with ACs, as they tend to be all-or-nothing affairs. Thus you should ordinarily be able to resolve things requiring attack rolls in the post with your declaration. You’re encouraged to flavor your hits and misses how you like. Most of the time, I plan to outright give you the hit point totals of your targets so you can know right away if you did them in or not. For important NPCs and monsters, I’ll keep the hit point total hidden but plan to give you general descriptors of their condition like “unharmed” and “near death”.
Please try to get along, at least so far as the game threads go, OOC. We’re going to be spending a fair bit of time together.
I’m new at this medium and will probably screw it up. Be patient. :)
General House Rule:
One of the big issues I’ve read about with mythic is that you get multipliers on top of multipliers to your critical hits, plus it becomes easier to make crits, plus you get much bigger modifiers to be multiplied. Some more than once. My fix for that is a global change to crit rules:
When you confirm a critical hit, you do not roll twice and you do not multiply your non-precision damage modifiers. Instead, a crit translates into an automatic maximum damage roll, to which you add your modifiers as normal. If your crit multiplier is greater than x2, you get 50% more weapon damage per point. So x2 gives the base 100%, x3 brings you to 150%, x4 to 200%, etc.
This isn’t going to come up for a long while, but here are the high-level basics of my changes. I can’t foresee every possible combination and reviewing every ability in the book would be tedious even by my standards. I plan to establish some basic principles instead and then we’ll work through things together.
So here are those basic principles:
Mythic power will regenerate at the rate of 1d4 points per day. Completing a mythic trial will grant an immediate additional recovery roll.
Abilities that give you additional actions do not stack with one another. You can only have one extra of anything per round. When you can buy an extra action, it will cost you 5 mythic power and at least a swift action, possibly more depending on the ability.
The “cast any spell on your class spell list for free” abilities will cost you a swift action to expend the mythic power. They further cost 1 mythic power per spell level. If compatible with metamagic, the cost is determined by the spell’s adjusted level rather than its base. They also require the normal action necessary to cast the spell. These are over and above any restrictions in the text.
You can get off more than one spell per round by metamagic, or by casting spells which already permit it, but not by use of mythic abilities.
Abilities that bypass energy immunities and damage resistance will not do so, but will retain any other functions.
Abilities, notably mythic power attack and vital strike, which allow you to multiple your damage modifiers do not do so.
If anything's unclear, question away.
Submissions are due at 5 PM, Eastern Time, April 17, 2015.
My Bible includes this provision:
The Book of Samnell, 1:1-6 wrote:
Thou shalt patronize the businesses of bigots unimpeded by their hatred, under the smiling eye of the state, and call forth from the state wrathful castigations should they deny you. Further thou shalt take pleasure in their lamentations. On hearing them thou shalt go unto the internet and learn of their taboos, that thou offendest them most.
Where's my freedom of religion? I want me some American values!
I was just watching this video of one of Eric Foner's lectures and he had this worthwhile point about private business vs. state action. Helpfully, there was a transcript. Sorry about the dodgy formatting. Did my best.
Eric Foner wrote:
The thing I've never liked about the argument around the science of human sexuality is that it presumes human sexuality requires some kind of special justification.
"It's what I'm into and I'm not hurting anybody doing it" more than suffices for heterosexuals.
But I know I'm dreaming. Things like enjoyment of life and consent don't inform the other side's position on much of anything. I'm sure one of them will be along with a form for me to fill out approving of his or her sex life directly.
It's the argument used in Loving v. Virginia too. Just in case anybody missed what happened to the segregationists.
I'm not inebriated but am perverted enough for a crowd, I think. Or at any rate I was reading the Complete Book of Necromancers last night. That's got to count for something.
Reading for Foner's class has taken up most of my time. I haven't finished either of these because they weren't entirely assigned and I wanted to juggle the assignments better rather than power through. Also suspect future chapters for the class on the war itself.
Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis. This book is amazing. It's got everything. Slavery in Africa. Enslavement of Slavs in Spain and Italy. The origins of antiblack racism. The abolitionist movement in the British Empire. Haiti. It's like a candy store but with slavery.
The Republic in Crisis by John Ashworth. Started with grand claims about being a new interpretation that placed slave resistance at the center of the narrative. It hasn't lived up to the hype, though it does have a lot more intellectual history than the standard survey of the same material. It suffers badly from spending more time alluding to events so it can skip ahead to reaction to them rather than explaining what happened, which is fine for me but I suspect would leave readers taking it cold with barely a high school level understanding of the major issues. There's room for books like this, but William W. Freehling did it much better, if in about five times as many pages and without handling the Northern side.
Probably not going to buy it:
Need to get back to:
I could make some suggestions from nineteenth century American political writing if you really want to corrupt your internal monologue. Sometimes it's very darkly funny when a random proslavery argument just pops into your head, with most of the key phrases as direct quotes.
Does make me very happy that telepathy isn't real, though. I'm socially unacceptable enough without the extra help.