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Samnell's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 3,603 posts (3,892 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 9 aliases.

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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.

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Having read a few novels and good sections of a few other history books in the interim, I finally finished The Half Has Never Been Told. I have really got to figure out a way to do my not-immediately-blog-related history reading without it feeling like it's piling up on top of the research.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
She's wicked into intersectionality so it was only a matter of time before the subject of black sci-fi/fantasy authors came up.
Check out some of W.E.B. DuBois' more speculative stuff, as well. And as a plus for the Doodle & fellow travelers, Wikipedia tells me "Du Bois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and he was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life."

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.

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Gay Male Inhuman
Saito Samson wrote:
Samnell wrote:

So much paranoia! It's like you have reason to suspect foes lurking about.

Wha?! What a weird, untrue, accusation...




*whistles innocently*

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Gay Male Inhuman
Saito Samson wrote:
Because it will prolly come up, perhaps even very soon lol, what's your policy on replacement characters, Samnell?

Planning on giving a balor a bear hug in the near future? :)

Same level, mythic tier, and typical wealth by level ought to do it.

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Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:

As for opening locks and skneaing.. Yridhrennor has "open/close" and a ton of spells (some of which allow for invisibility). Traps can be solved with summonses :)

You have three perfectly good NPCs you can use before you start wasting summons. Teofil will never see it coming. :)

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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.

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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. :)

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Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:

i can.. um..see thigns really far away. And, um... do battlefield controls! Oh, i can probably summon something that can heal us... eventually

And look good doing it.

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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.

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Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:

.. I just realized that my pic looks like Viserys! NOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOooooOOOOOoooooooo

So...does that wake the dragon?

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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:
Abelard Lassmer
Clan Silverlight
Korina, Daughter of Yog-Sothoth
Saito Samson
Steave Rojerz
Yridhrennor Aradhaelon

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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.

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Yuugasa wrote:

By the gods I don't believe in, a blessing from the heavens! (if the heavens were real)

Wrath of the Righteous, that adventure path I've always wanted to play, run by Samnell, my #1 blogger crush! Some things are so good I can't believe they are real!

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.

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Dave Herman wrote:
This appeals to my desire to try crazy things. I'm currently thinking Slayer/Inquisitor follower of Erastil. Or maybe Bloodrager/Cavalier. Or Swashbuckler/Rogue. Or Summoner/Ninja. Can I play 20 characters?

You can play infinitely many characters...but only one in this game. :)

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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.

About Me:
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.

Mythic Stuff:

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.

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Aranna wrote:

The religious reasoning is obvious. Nowhere in the Bible does it say being black (or any other race) is being sinful against God. It does actually say that about Gays.

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!

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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:

Now, one other thing about this language is it applies to states, right? No state may do this, that, or the other thing. What about individual or private discrimination? Can a restaurant refuse to serve you because you're black? That's not the state, right? The state is not doing that. I mentioned this before that Senator Rand Paul last year said, well, you know the Civil Rights Act of 1964, yes, if banning racial segregation mandated by law is -- then sure,
the 14th Amendment, you can't do that.

But what about private discrimination? He said, that's bad, I don't approve of it, but that's not state action. This is the "state action" principle. State action. One of the worst constitutional
concepts, I believe, that ever has been built into our jurisprudence
by the Supreme Court. We will see down the road how it goes in.

It creates this false dichotomy between what they call de jure and de facto discrimination, let's say, discrimination by law and discrimination by individuals. And even when the Supreme Court upheld the Civil Rights Act of 18 -- of 1964, banning private
discrimination by public, you know, by restaurants, hotels,
they did not do it under the 14th -- they were afraid to do it
under the 14th Amendment, because of that state action clause.

They did it under the Commerce Clause. A black guy is trying to drive around the South selling Fuller Brushes. He can't find a motel. He can't find a restaurant. That interferes with commerce, so therefore Congress can ban it. That's absurd. That's not why they passed that law, so guys can go around selling Fuller Brushes.
They passed it because private discrimination is a -- is itself a
stigmatization of certain groups of American citizens and ought not to be allowed.

And moreover, every single private -- it's not a question of whether you have someone in your home -- every single restaurant, every single hotel is licensed by the state, is protected by the state.
You think when fire breaks out they're going to say, hey, I don't want the fire department because I'm a private place. No. They rely on the state. They're regulated by the state. The distinction between state and private is much murkier than the jurisprudence has, you know, has led us to believe.

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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.

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Drejk wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Guy on the radio was saying that it's not discrimination because "I can't marry a dude either, so it's even."

Oh, well what fools are we, then. Ridiculous.
I thought that utterly dumb pseudo-excuse was completely refuted already...

It's the argument used in Loving v. Virginia too. Just in case anybody missed what happened to the segregationists.

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Tinkergoth wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
Hello. My name's Limey and I've started reading Gor books again.
Crowd of Inebriated Perverts: HELLO, LIMEY!
Is one goblin really a crowd?

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.

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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.

Coming up:
The Counter-Revolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina by Manisha Sinha
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Foner.

Probably not going to buy it:
The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Document Collection. Couldn't order a copy from the local bookstore and Amazon wants quite a lot for a thirteen year old collection of primary sources, some of which I know from lectures that I've read already. I iron-assed my way through the whole damned Appeal of the Independent Democrats, TINY print, and this thing only has an abridgment. If assignments were by document name, I wouldn't even think of getting it.

Need to get back to:
Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era by Nichole Etcheson.

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Another obstacle to more reading.

I hope the books will forgive me while I nerdgasm and try not to be too creepy where Eric Foner might see.

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Limeylongears wrote:

I haven't, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for that one. Thanks!

Just to be clear, I don't find myself thinking while reading Thongor, "Yeah, it's *OK*, but how, how I wish there was more genocidal racism in it" I imagine I'd be pretty disturbed if I ever read, say, The Turner Diaries

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.

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samerandomhero wrote:
So the horde side is quiet but has spikes of activity, I believe more are getting active on it. Sean routinely hops through and one of the members of this board is active on it. I will leave it to him to decide if he wishes to announce himself.

*looks to both sides*

I suppose that's me. :) Full confession:

Oodledoodles, goblin warlock
Eatstheveal, tauren druid
Momorka, orc shaman

Been thinking about getting the warlock into some flex raids on reset days. His ilevel is in the high 540s (mostly upgraded timeless gear and LFR drops) so I think I'm geared enough.

My Ally 90 turned out to be a character that I've never gotten the hang of playing so he mostly comes out when we do transmog or other runs of older instances. Currently working on a hunter with the expectation that she might become my new ally main and see more action.

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Hitdice wrote:
The problem is, Kirth has such an bad footnote habit that he'll go to some really ugly places to get his fix. Look, Kirth, this isn't an intervention, but just answer this question for me: When's the last time you enjoyed yourself without reading any footnotes?

Not cool, man. Don't get between a guy and his footnotes.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Samnell wrote:
How, in the name of my best bud Satan and my own personal torture cellar, does this jackass account for the precious little democracy and freedom which prevailed in the most Christian of continents, Europe, between Constantine and the Enlightenment?
He claims (with a straight face) that after Rome fell, Christian monasteries preserved all remaining knowledge and goodness, until it could spread to the rest of Europe again.

So the Christian roman empire was a model of democracy and freedom. Then after the Christian barbarians destroyed Rome and established their own Christian kingdoms, they stopped being Christian and only people in the monasteries were Christian. They apparently reproduced by budding. They never had secular authority. And they had to wait until the power of institutionalized religion was pretty thoroughly broken and subdued by the state until new Christians arose outside the monasteries.

That is so stupid that I think that trying merely to conceive of the scenario may have permanently damaged me.

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I know I will regret asking. I know the stupid will burn me so. I blame this all on frying my brain on Kansas census rolls today, tallying up what each qualified voter said was their state or nation of origin.

Kirth Gersen wrote:

He cherry-picks some partial quotes from the American founders (including a number that have been shown to have been outright fabrications); from a Christian Chinese guy he met once; and himself in a previous book (yeah, I read the footnotes) -- then uses these to supposedly support his claim that Christianity is both a necessary and sufficient condition for democracy and liberty.

How, in the name of my best bud Satan and my own personal torture cellar, does this jackass account for the precious little democracy and freedom which prevailed in the most Christian of continents, Europe, between Constantine and the Enlightenment?

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Chris Hedges accused of plagiarism.

It couldn't happen to a more sanctimonious guy.

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
While I was growing up I was amazed that the country that had this as their defining statement ever had slavery. But it is unreasonable to expect perfection. It is simply our job as a society to move toward perfection. Even though we never expect to be perfect, the struggle toward it makes us better and better, and that is enough.
It was somewhat contentious, even in it's time but because of the problems of passing the Declaration of Independence which basically required not just a majority but a unilateral commitment from each of the colonial states. It was a statement of war against the King and the southern states wouldn't sign without the express promise of slavery not being outlawed. Much of the northern and midatlantic had already abolished slavery, though many slaves still existed in the north by good old boys looking the other way. One of the few constitutional clauses that couldn't be ammended was the requirement that no laws hindering slavery would be passed federally until sometime in the early 1800's.

Minor historical derail:
In 1776, all thirteen colonies had slavery and none had abolished it. Pennsylvania was the first state to abolish, in 1780. Massachusetts slavery was invalidated by a court decision in 1783.

The institution never quite caught on so well in New England as it did in the South, for the obvious reason that the South had the prime tobacco land. Outside the southern colonies, slavery also did pretty well in New York and New Jersey. New Jersey still had 16 slaves on the books due to its very gradual emancipation law in 1860. They didn't even pass that law until 1804.

Those laws left lots of slaves in place, to serve a term before freedom and liable to be sold off into a jurisdiction with more slavery-friendly laws before their freedom dates came. Between legal cutoff dates and mandatory service to a certain age, most states outside New England still had residual and superannuated slaves up until the 1840s when separate legislation freed the lot.

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Time to bleed one more goat!

But I'm out of goats?! Nooooooooooo!!eleven

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*looks at list*
*scrolls a bit*

My item!

*hugs a goblin*

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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Do you often pose like that, Sam?

[Crosses fingers]

I don't normally wear that much clothing when I pose.

Rothfuss and I are of similar girth (and also given name, as it happens). His hair is a little bit lighter, quite a bit curlier, and more resident on the head. Given what is on display, I suspect that the hair he has on his head is simply distributed in other locations on me. Perhaps if he can be induced to shave, it will transpire that we share a single supply of hair and mine would redistribute.

But black boxer-briefs? No. Ok, maybe in spandex but that's a for special occasions kind of thing and I drape my glorious corpulence over things far too often to call it special.


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I think I would have respected the last episode more if it ended with 20 minutes of every named character still living putting a gun in his or her mouth and pulling the trigger. That would have been a fitting, even kind of beautiful, end to the series. It certainly would have been more honest than the version we got, where everyone went off camping.

But I do have a soft spot for Adama & Roslin's final bit.

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Travis Walton "UFO Guy" wrote:
What color was the helicopter? You need to know the color of the helicopter.

For reference:

Unmarked black helicopters: World Government. Best stay inside.
Blue: Sheriff's Secret Police. They'll keep a good eye on your kids, and hardly ever take one.
Complex murals depicting diving birds of prey: We don't know, but a few months back they took all the children. Then gave them back, much better behaved than before. So probably ok.
Yellow helicopters: You're screwed. Believe in a smiling God.

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Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

So... is complex software. Check.
Complicated software has vulnerabilities. Check.
Therefore likely has some vulnerabilities. Check.
Ergo, the ACA is bad. Wait...what?

Actually, I think the logic continues from '...has some vulnerabilities' (sure, as you say)

to: therefore, people will die, because Obama

And then pick back up with 'Ergo, the ACA is bad'

If you can't follow that, you must be willfully blind!

You guys, Barack Obama was just here. He grabbed me by the neck and lifted me out of my chair and slammed me down on my bed. I tried to explain that, while I'm sure he's an accomplished lover, he is not my type.

Obama would hear none of it. He pressed his fingers together, like he was going to make a karate chop, and then just slammed them into my abdomen, fingertips first. Before I could even process what happened, Obama pulled out, my appendix in hand. I'll never forget what he said next, hand dripping with my blood as he stood over me:

"North Korea hacked and gave you appendicitis. Put a band-aid on that, drink some Robitussin, and take two aspirin. You'll be fine. And get a haircut, hippie."

Then Obama threw the bloody appendix in my face and climbed out my window into a flying bidet that, as I understand it, became Air Force One as soon as he mounted the thing and blasted off. I got up to get the band-aid and realized that he took my Lego C-3PO on the way out.

Gotta call dick move on the 3PO, Obama.

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I know I'm coming to this late, but wouldn't arachnocapitalism be a system where the rich systematically feed the poor to hordes of ravenous spiders for their personal entertainment?

I can't see any rightist going for that. They'd be too jealous of the spiders.

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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The library system has finally proffered up Who Wrote the Bible?, which will be the last (for now) in the series of Comrade Samnell recommendations.
This Who Wrote the Bible? shiznit is as good as all the reviewers say it is. It's a bit older than The Bible Unearthed and accepts that whole "David-ruled-a-united-kingdom-that-split-in-two" agitprop, but it gets way more into other things like D&Desque internecine church politics with the Aaronids and the Shilonites squabbling over high places and statues. Way cool.

Circa 2002, I was talking to a Jehovah's Witness about how the different accounts of the plague in Kings and Chronicles tell a really interesting story about the evolving theology of the day. As I get about these things, I was quite excited. I mean, it's HISTORY!

He took extreme offense at the idea of theological diversity in his holy book and so spent half the time griping at me and the other half just staring blankly. I'm reasonably sure that his brain inserted Chronicles' additions into the Kings version and just ignored the rest. Bummer.

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thejeff wrote:

Not to mention that a flat 20% rate (or even the 15%) would be a huge tax cut for the majority of the rich. Even those relying mostly on capital gains would at worst break even.

And a massive tax increase on the poorest. The ones already working full time and relying on food stamps.

Is that really what we want?

Past experience with flat tax fans has suggested to me that this is their preferred outcome.

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Here is what I found.

Edit: A little more info.

I think I have moved to hyper perplexed... Why do you keep doing this to yourselves?

When you design a system of government to be broken, break it, and then hope politics doesn't happen so no one notices how thoroughly broken it is this can only be expected.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
The guy that "jumped out a window" had the back of his skull bashed in before the fall.

By CIA standards, that's practically consensual.

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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

To revisit this:

Samnell wrote:
Wes, have you listened to Welcome to Night Vale?

Yes and it's AMAZING!

I am gradually catching up while infecting the rest of the office.

If you're not listening to this, you are missing out on something you would very much enjoy.

Why do you think you don't deserve to enjoy things?

I look forward to the influx of beautiful hair, dog parks, and vague, yet menacing government agencies into future Pathfinder products. :)

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:

I support a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. I used to be much more permissive on it, but repeated interactions with gun owners and advocates, online and in person, have given me more than sufficient reason to dismiss their good judgment.


When you hear from enough people who expect to use their personal arsenals to overthrow the government, you eventually realize that they're living in a fantasy world, are dangerously paranoid, or both. I take them at their word: they really believe this stuff.

Ok, keep on believing it. But people who really do believe this stuff clearly aren't in possession of the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit.

Full disclosure: I, obviously, don't think my hypothetical gun would or should be used to overthrow the government or that I have any realistic hope of doing so. Any such attempt would just be an especially reckless attempt at suicide by cop, at best. But even with that said, I don't think that I possess the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit. I'm not sure any human being has it. Thus I don't own a gun, even though I live in a fairly gun-heavy area and have, if not in the recent past, been a victim of violence.

Of course the whole pacifism thing is an obstacle too, but I don't think pacifism is required to know the limits of human judgment.

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I support a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. I used to be much more permissive on it, but repeated interactions with gun owners and advocates, online and in person, have given me more than sufficient reason to dismiss their good judgment.

But if we must preserve the evil of private firearm ownership, then I consider this a worryingly permissive system:


1) Anybody seeking to possess a functional firearm, or one that could easily be made functional, must not just complete a safety course but also a rigorous mental health examination. Anything less than perfection on either and you can't get a gun. Ever. The state picks the shrinks and is free to set as ludicrously exacting standards for the safety course and mental health exam as it likes. Failure of either results in a lifetime ban on possession and ownership.

2) A thorough background check must be completed and any past infractions, criminal or civil, result in rejection of the application and a lifetime ban on possession and ownership. If you can't drive the speed limit, why should we trust you with a machine designed only to kill?

3) The permit would have to be consented to by all local, state, and national law enforcement authorities. This consent may be revoked at any time for any reason.

4) The applicant would have to demonstrate a bona fide need for the specific firearm sought. If self-defense is claimed, the applicant must first demonstrate a present, credible threat to his or her life which cannot be remedied by ordinary police protection. If the permit is sought for hunting, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she cannot afford meat from the grocery store. Recreational shooting and collecting are expressly not sufficient cause.

5) No permits will be issued for handguns or other easily concealed weapons, or weapons that can fire more than once without being manually reloaded, whatsoever.

6) All permits are subject to regular renewal at least once a year which works the same as applying for the permit originally did.

7) If a permit renewal is denied or revoked, any and all associated firearms and ammunition must be surrendered immediately.

8) In the event of any criminal or civil charges against the holder, the permit is automatically revoked. If you are tried and acquitted, you can reapply afterwards.

9) Firearms and ammunition may only be purchased from state-operated dealers and may not be resold. A dealer may not be located in any jurisdiction which elects to forbid it and firearms may not be transported across jurisdiction lines by private individuals.

10) Every discharge of a firearm must be reported to at least the standard currently required of police officers who discharge their weapons.

11) State officials issued a firearm in the course of their duties must surrender it immediately on the conclusion of those duties. Police must turn them in at the end of their shift, for example.

12) No firearms may be permitted in public places, permit or otherwise, or at any gathering of more than five people except at the state dealerships and, if all the jurisdictions concerned choose to permit such a thing, state-operated shooting ranges.

13) By accepting a permit, one accepts the maximum possible penalty and liability for any crime or infraction involving the firearm covered in the permit for as long as the firearm is possessed. (So if you shoot someone with it, it's always premeditated murder and you're going away for the maximum sentence, etc.) If the firearm is stolen, it must be reported immediately and a substantial (say not less than a hundred thousand dollars) fine paid. If someone stole your gun, you obviously did not have it safely and securely stored. Thus a stolen firearm would result in an immediate lifetime revocation of all firearms permits and the consequent surrender of all firearms.

14) All firearm permits are for one and only one firearm. Under no circumstances may multiple permits be issued to the same person or to multiple people living in the same household.

15) All firearm permits and their holders must be registered in a national database. A searchable index of this database must be kept available to the public on the internet at all times.

16) No firearm permit may be issued to any person living within one mile of any school, playground, or other place where minors regularly congregate.

17) By accepting the firearm permit, one also consents to regular inspections of one's firearm storage and safety to ensure that one is being a responsible gun owner. Some of these inspections will come on a regular schedule and others as surprises. They can take place at any time of the day or night.

I'd gladly hear if there are any loopholes I left open so I can close them.

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Fergurg wrote:
Set wrote:

'Morally acceptable,' in the context of this thread, is going to be what Erastil or Sarenrae or Zon-Kuthon or Gozreh or Calistria thinks of a given relationship. They are the arbiters of morality, for Golarion, and their opinions may well vary *extremely,* making it kind of a wash, since you can probably find a faith, or a culture, that embraces or rejects *any* given person's nature.

Zon-Kuthon as an arbiter of morality? I'm scared! Hold me (but in a nonsexual way)!

Of course he is. Don't you think his followers look to him for moral guidance? I'm playing a cleric of his right now that surely does. The Midnight Lord is the god of love and beauty to him and he, as a sacred duty and act of great compassion, wants to share that love and beauty with the world. Together he and those who he helps make a joyous noise unto the heavens. Through the act they are exalted and approach the divine in holy ecstasy.

I have a lot of fun with the fact that, since this is fantasy, his conceptions of love and beauty can be taken as humorous. But then I make sure to subvert that too because ultimately, he is a very bad, very disturbing person who has an E in his alignment.

It's a given that a person who worships a god takes moral cues from that deity and that deity's teachings. That's part of how religion works. Not all of them will cover the same issues as morally meaningful. Not all who do see the same issues as morally meaningful will agree on how they are or what one ought to do when presented with them.

Just like they do on Earth.

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thejeff wrote:

Except that it would have needed to come through Harry's eyes, since the whole thing was Harry POV.

So, not only would she have needed an excuse for Harry to know about it, but she'd also have to include a tract about what the Wizarding world thought about homosexuality.

It's not quite as simple as it seems.

Now I'm going to spend at least half an hour thinking up hilarious ways for Harry to walk in on Dumbledore and a boyfriend I'm tentatively casting as Ian McKellen. Or maybe he uses a pensieve loaded with Dumbledore's memories and gets a really hot time from back in the day.

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If magic actually worked, by which I mean it had real and predictable effects, it would simply be another form of technology and we would understand it via science just like we do heat or magnetism. There is no choice to make.

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Let's assume, just to be maximally charitable, that Assad did the chemical weapons strike.

Any attempt to punish Assad for using chemical weapons will involve killing large numbers of civilians, something he wouldn't mind at all. That's how cruise missiles, drone strikes, and honestly military intervention in general work. (We'll kill some low-ranking military people too, I suppose. They at least signed on for the in harm's way business.) So we propose to punish a guy for murdering a bunch of his people by murdering a bunch more of his people. On the theory that, maybe, even if it does not deter him it will deter others from using chemical weapons if they know that the US and UK will totally have their backs and help them with the killing by other means.

There are, of course, far less destructive means to accomplish that goal unless the assembling of large piles of corpses is an indispensable part of the plan. We could, for example, have a precision-target strike to kidnap Assad and haul his ass to the Hague. That would, I know, be hard. But isn't minimizing the number of innocent people we kill worth a little difficulty? A CIA agent with a garrote, if our bloodlust really has to be sated, works just as well. Either one of those would actually serve as a potential deterrent, as they would make it clear to the actual policymakers that their personal safety is at stake if they go chemical.

I don't support either of these options, but they are both much less murderous in design and probably in execution and the killing involved in both would be targeted at actual belligerents rather than poor bastards with the wrong street address.

Or we could do something really crazy and try to do the best we can with a very bad situation. Given the practical constraints and the profound limitations of military solutions, nations of good conscience should do all they can to facilitate the evacuation of Syria and the resettling of its refugees in some safe, decent place where they can, with the help of their new hosts, rebuild their lives. We couldn't save everyone, I know. Not everyone would have the means to leave or be in a place where they were able. Not everyone would want to leave. But for those who just want a stable, decent, freer society we have plenty of wealthy nations that should be happy to help them out and go on crowing about how virtuous they are for doing it.

It wouldn't be cheap and there would be difficulties in implementation, but I bet the long term cost would be a lot less than the blood and treasure of a war.

This will not happen.

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Scott Betts wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Gosh. That is even worse!

If you are a freelancer, you will write according to our politics.

That is positively monstrous. Thanks for the clarification Jessica Price. You are cool.

Freelancers literally are working for Paizo. Why would it be "monstrous" to enforce that they follow Paizo's guidelines?

Don't be ridiculous.

That ship has sailed. The opportunity has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the choir invisible. It is an ex-possibility.

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