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Gabe

Samnell's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 3,381 posts (3,534 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 8 aliases.


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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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Decided that I'll try an archery-oriented inquisitor with the Eternal Emperor concept.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Exalted Ash and Flamey GM,

Would an inquisitor of the Eternal Emperor be legal? Idea is that he hails from Po Li, but realized that the council of oracles is never going to actually name a new emperor. He looked into things and the king of Lingshen is the obvious choice of the Heavens.

If so, what domains would he have to choose from?


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Dotting for interest. Thinking something martial.


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GM 8574 wrote:


There will often be times of combat in snow, which will have difficult terrain implications. If you take feats to overcome this, or find/make equipment to do this, then such a build is possible. Or, you could take another track initially, and retrain later when equipment that makes it more possible is available.

Ok. Could make the investment, but I think I'll play it conservative and try a ranger going for dual-wielding instead. Haven't played a ranger in ages.

I'll probably have everything together tonight or tomorrow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

GM 8574,

Tentatively thinking of an acrobatics-focused rogue, but the Player's Guide has me a bit worried with its references to difficult terrain. Am I reading too much into it, or will the game often feature battles and other situations where I'd be sucking up big penalties?


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Dotting for interest.


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thejeff wrote:
Samnell 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.

I don't think it presumes any such thing. Any more than any other research into human psychology or behavior.

Of course "It's what I'm into and I'm not hurting anybody doing it" suffices. (Or should and those for whom it doesn't aren't usually swayed by science anyway).

That doesn't mean it's not an interesting area to research. Science doesn't and shouldn't do "That's the way it is. No need to question it."

How and why sexuality develops - a-, bi-, hetero-, homo- or anything else.
Same with gender identity.

It's not the research that I object to. It's the particular argument.


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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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Finished I Don't Want to Kill You a few days ago, wherein Our Hero concludes the character arc of his first three books and is set up for an ongoing series.

After reading three of these, I'm pretty confident that about half of each one is a really solid book. Usually either the middle part or the beginning, however, is very repetitive. I suppose it's because they're meant as mysteries, but I tend not to like the legwork portions of mystery stories either.

I think part of the generic problem there, since I had this with early Dresden Files books too, is that most mysteries I've read seem to amount to the investigator going around and interviewing obvious people to put together details which are available to anybody doing the interviews. Since that's the case, and the police are often very much involved, it raises the question of how they haven't done the work. It might also be that I can only really tolerate noir conventions in parody.


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"So Claiborne capitulated." The Half Has Never Been Told by Ed Baptist. Subject of controversy back in September, as the reviewer for The Economist considered it hard on slaveholders. Said review featured a picture of a character from 12 Years a Slave who was brutally raped in the movie and declared her "a valuable commodity".

Baptist's line refers to the controversy over whether New Orleans would accept thousands of French slaveholders and their human property, late of Haiti and then Cuba, into the city. They did so in defiance of several federal laws including the prohibition on the import of slaves from abroad.


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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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Righteous, can we use alternate racial traits?

Decided that blasting with sorc levels against demons was probably going to be an exercise in frustration, so I'm re-concepting as a human arcanist/oracle. I'm interested in this one:

Dual Talent Some humans are uniquely skilled at maximizing their natural gifts. These humans pick two ability scores and gain a +2 racial bonus in each of those scores. This racial trait replaces the +2 bonus to any one ability score, the bonus feat, and the skilled traits.


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Dotting for interest. Tentatively thinking about an oracle/abyssal-blooded sorc. Born tainted by evil (which to his mind would include his oracle curse) but trying to do right by Iomedae.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If anybody's interested, the present Humble Bundle o' Books has anthologies of Harlan Ellison and Jack Vance among its offerings. Never read Ellison before tonight, though I've been aware of him for ages. Can never decide if I'd like to be his friend or want to strangle him.

I read "Repent Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman and I Have No Mouth But Must Scream all the same. Decent reads, but I feel like both have become so much a part of the geek canon that I've been through them before. I get the same thing about lots of classic movies. Proceeds go to Pat Rothfuss' charity, which forwards it to Heifer International.

On a lark, I put the things on my tablet's Kindle app rather than fiddling with PDFs and now I feel conflicted because I think I prefer the Kindle reading experience to the nook app I use...but Amazon is definitely more evil. Bummer, that.

Either way, I needed another break from reading about the nineteenth century.


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Started the sequel to I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster. It's decent so far.


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Samnell wrote:
Started I Am Not a Serial Killer last night. Read almost 200 pages last night.

Finished it. Hilarious to tense and a bit paranoid to deeply disturbing. I think it lost a bit when the genre shifted. The middle bit felt a little like a kids' horror book, which didn't really fit with the opening or the conclusion.


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Started I Am Not a Serial Killer last night. Read almost 200 pages last night.

I think that means that I like it. The protagonist's internal monologue is amusingly similar to my own, which works well with a running joke that a friend and I have that I'm actually a sociopath because I don't get socializing and think about how he'd look nice without his skin.


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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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Greetings, Paizonians. Been noodling about running Mummy's Mask for a while, possibly as a PBP, but life intervened some time back and put that on hold. Life has ceased intervening so I come here seeking advice, like it says on the tin. I haven't yet had time to read the whole thing, due to that life intervening business, but I'm sure some here have and I'll take any advice. :)

I think that I'd like to run it in a homebrew setting that recasts things a bit, but keeps the spine of the AP intact. In kicking around ideas for that, I remembered my deep, abiding love for the 2e Complete Book of Necromancers and it occurred to me that the metaplot of the mini-setting therein seems very close to the plot of the AP. So I'm considering smashing them together. The tentative idea is to set the back half with the wilderness exploration on the jungle island of Sahu. Hakotep, who will probably get renamed, would be entombed there. If anybody is familiar with the CBoN and wants to chime in there, that's also welcome.

Once I got on looking at similar themes, I realized that Age of Worms has the same themes. The BoN even as a Cult of Worms! So I might strip-mine that to augment Mummy's Mask as well. I don't think that I'd import full adventures, but maybe pieces here and there to spice things up. Advice also welcome here.

If anybody's curious, broader context of the homebrew follows but isn't really too important to the individual adventures:

:

Instead of Osirion, we have a coastal desert that's fairly North African. It used to be part of an empire, but that empire fell apart a few centuries ago, giving way to warring city-states that share a common culture. That culture includes a strong dislike of arcane magic and an indigenous, animistic religious tradition that teaches they must refrain from certain activities (like arcane magic) and engage in various ritual behaviors (like properly entombing their dead) and sacrifices. The various rituals, some of which are fairly unsavory, both serve to lull the Sleepers and renew the bindings upon them. If they fail, they may wake Sleepers, unimaginable horrors that ruled the land in the mythic past before being bound to sleep in their great tombs. Hakotep is variously the Herald of the Sleepers Return, their last high priest, or the last Sleeper bound. Scholars disagree.

The religion has no unified hierarchy and its chief practitioners are not priests but rather what are politely called god-touched. Through various means, these souls are cursed with the attention of the Sleepers's dreams and so realize strange powers at great personal cost. Some of them are initiated into it, but others just get born that way. So they're oracles unwittingly empowered by those they work to keep asleep. :) Alongside them maybe some variety of desert druids who minister more directly to the pastoral needs of the people.

Alongside these faiths are a couple of religions from outside the region that have caught on, one worshiping a the-dead-must-stay-dead kind of death god and another kind of mendicant charitable group of flagellants. Both cribbed from the Book of Necromancers.

Around thirty or forty years ago, the area was conquered by a vaguely Roman power with its own religious traditions that are somewhat at odds with the Sleeper-oriented faith of the natives. The pseudoRomans believe that the dead must be cremated and their ashes stored in modest columbaria, lest they come back as vengeful undead horrors because only blessed flames can free the soul from its body. They took over after a legate was slain during a dispute with the local aristocracy that involved the arrest of a mystic who the legate placed under his protection. It's a very murky affair, but being the pseudoRomans are a prickly, expansionist power they took it as sufficient casus belli to conquer the region in the name of the Republic's honor.

These pseudoRomans do not consider themselves obligated to respect indigenous religious practices. In fact, they consider many of them utterly evil. The Sleepers sound like literal demons, and burying the dead just means offering them up as slaves to whatever bound demons that these "savages" worship. Thus they have chosen to open the tombs of the land to reliable, trustworthy citizens and those vouched for by citizens, in order to demonstrate the power of their rule, the folly of native religious practices, and separate out the undead and other true evils and their cultists from the mere "deluded fools" who the creepy god-touched have taken for a ride. In this, they have the uneasy help of the death god's religion, since they really would like to make sure any undead get cleaned up.

The Isle of Sahu (Book of Necromancers again) sits somewhere off the southwestern coast of the region, historically part of it but long abandoned to pirates and various jungle tribes. PseudoRoman rule hasn't quite extended there in practice yet.

TL;DR: Give me all your advices!


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Limeylongears wrote:


I've also started a blog about kakky fantasy novels, which can be viewed here. Anyone expecting Samnellesque levels of research and erudition needs to prepare themselves for a great deal of disappointment.

Meh, that guy's overrated.


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

Finished reading THE DRAGON REBORN (WHEEL OF TIME #3), next objective is FALLEN DRAGON a standalone by Peter F Hamilton. I need a break from fantasy for a few weeks, and I haven't tried Hamilton yet, so a standalone science fiction by a new author sounds like a good idea to me.

THE DRAGON REBORN thoughts:
** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

:
One of the books, I think Crossroads of Twilight, only has Rand appear for a line or two in the epilogue. As the series goes on it becomes more common for one of the three idiot hayseeds to sit out a book like this. I think Rand has it the worst, since involving him always risks advancing the plot, but Mat is absent for an entire book and Perrin sticks his nose in only once or twice in Fires of Heaven.

I enjoyed the series overall, but when main characters go MIA for no reason it can get very frustrating.


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Jean-Paul Sartre, Intrnet Troll wrote:

I don't mean to dissuade you. It wasn't terrible, it was just kind of blah. It was pretty much everything you've ever heard about it and not much more. Wordly attachments are bad. Do your duty. Be virtuous. Life is transient. Worldy attachments are bad. Now I'm going to go invade this country over here and take their people into slavery and concubinage. (It might not say that last part.)

Stocism always struck me as a philosophy of the extremely privileged and moderately self-aware. Contentedness comes easiest to those who have all the worldly comforts they could ever want.


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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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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Due to a lack of active politroll threads that have derailed into arguments about the Founding Plutocrats, I am forced to link this here:

Reading Hamilton From the Left

I should say, before I actually, you know, read what I am linking, I have been a partisan of AH over that slave-raping hypocrite TJ for over two decades now. I wonder if it's for the same reasons...

Not much to argue with there. I could nitpick it quite a bit, but a short piece doesn't have room for all the details. The summary of the origins of the Republican Party isn't quite right (It's about half right.) but it's pretty far from the main idea anyway. I might have included some facts from the constitutional convention that push the framers so far over to the Hamiltonian side on the role of the state that the traditional account of them isn't remotely sustainable, but that's also reaching a bit beyond talking about just Hamilton himself.


Gay Male Inhuman

Still here. :)


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


The latter is what I wasn't sure about. Coolioolio.

Anyone can watch, or you gotta sign up?

Ah I see. It started today, but yeah it's free and open to the general public. Not sure if you can still register, but it's all of filling out an online form. There's talk about photo ID and crap, but as long as you audit it doesn't actually ask for that.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:

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.

I'm not sure what it means, but coolio.

I think it's funny to mock myself over how much I'm into Eric Foner. :) I'm taking an online course "from" him, but it's really lectures he recorded last year.

...now if I actually met Foner in person. Yeah, that would be horribly awkward. But maybe I would get a nerd tan off his historian halo.


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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:


Hum. The mental indigestion I got from reading Nesta Webster was bad enough (or when somebody lent me William Cooper's 'Behold A Pale Horse'... Or when I made the mistake of reading the Protocols... Or the SCUM manifesto...

I can't read anything from SCUM without cracking up. I know she meant it seriously, regardless of her later defenses, but it's literally what I would expect from a parody. Also I keep getting images of the episode of Venture Bros. that had a character quoting from it in a Scooby-Doo parody.

Other news: Got to the start of real fighting in Bleeding Kansas. I was previously under the impression that John Brown was responding to the start, rather than initiating things himself. Turns out prior to him one had mostly isolated incidences of violence against people, if a bit more against property, and only a few murders. Very revolutionary vanguard of him. Writing about it all will be challenging as well as fun.

If I'm honest, I don't get too worked up over people murdering slaveowners. But random dudes who voted for the proslavery ticket? Sure, they're evil but I don't know that they're massacre material. Then again, Brown is the same guy who went into Kansas and came out with slaves he personally freed and escorted all the way to Canada. He freed more slaves in one raid (I think eleven.) than the entire white antislavery movement had in twenty years. Right now I think he's a sane, heroic terrorist but that's going to take quite a bit of writing at. Complicated dude.


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Tinkergoth wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

Influential Books List Betrays the Fact that Most Adults Don't Read

Man, if that poll saying 23% of Americans don't read a book in a year is even close to accurate, then wow. Even my mates who claim they "don't read for fun" get through at least a few books in a year, even if they are historical stuff or biographies (it's not for study purposes, so I count it). Personally I get through at least one book a week, normally more (but I tend to re-read a lot of stuff) and most of my friends get through one a week too. I can't even imagine going for a year without reading a book.

It's hard for me to even count anymore. I probably only read two or three fictions a year and a few more non-fictions, but I do quite a bit of reading for my blog (which is both research and for-fun reading) that skews things. I tried to set myself aside an hour right after the daily writing to read, but that ended up being an extension of the blogging time past when I previously had the satisfaction of having finished for the nonce. Even I need a break from history now and then.


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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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Read the lyrics to John Brown's Body today. Much better than the generic religious war song based on the same tune.


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Checked my phone today. No missed calls, no messages. Guess my books on Bleeding Kansas aren't in yet. Sit down with the Howard Report and start in.

Phone rings: "We have your books."

I set aside the blog and ducked out to collect them. Got home and dug into Nichole Etcheson's Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era. I skipped ahead and read the chapter on the election of the territorial legislature, where she picked many of the same illustrative incidents out of the Howard Report that I did...and then added several new ones. And it's well-written!

This is not what I expect from non-fiction, especially on the usual margins of the field and on a subject that last got a survey like forty years ago...and it's short. Also by pure coincidence, it's precisely the same form factor as the book that shipped with it in everything except width.

Fun times. :)


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Good news, bad news from the GM.

Good news: Wow, he's gotten lots of interest.
Bad news: Possibly more interest than he can handle if he accepts everybody.

It's a good problem to have but an awkward one to fix. He informs me that his solution is that everyone is welcome to put forward a PC, but he may have to turn some people away to keep things manageable.


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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

I've been reading Louisa May Alcott's gripping sword-and-sorcery saga Little Women.

Just got to the part where the paladin (Beth) and the barbarian (Jo) have met up with Sir Laurence and they stormed the Moffat Castle to rescue Meg. When Beth rammed the candelabra through Ned Moffat's skull in revenge of his horrendous treatment of Hannah, the loyal family slave, I almost wept. Can't wait to see what they get up to in the Slough of Despond. I bet Mr. Brooke gets his.

[Rough sketch for a re-write of Little Women.]

I need to rewrite Moby-Dick so Starbuck strips naked halfway through and eviscerates everybody who thinks they should stick with Ahab, covering himself with their blood and going about with teeth clenched, telling anybody who asks that he's becoming a legend in the minds of the men he hunts but all he can feel is the warm blood of the kill trickling down his skin. Then he cuts himself out of the book and goes off to do the same to John C. Calhoun.

Because there needs to be more fiction where a naked man cuts open Calhoun.

Also went to the bookstore today and ordered up Nichole Etchseon's Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era and Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke's Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border.


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Hi, Paizonians,

I have a friend who has decided that he wants to run a Council of Theives PBEM. A real friend, not the kind of friend one has when trying to ask the doctor if it's normal to have something odd happening in a private place. I am not running the game, but will be playing in it. He's shy and doesn't want to post here. :)

The yahoo group is at this finely-crafted link.

If you want to know how to make a character, you can also go straight here and read the chargen, but the action will actually take place on the list. He's old-fashioned that way. Gory details of his contact information are also there.

Here's how he describes the game:

Samnell's Shy Friend wrote:

You’re a bunch of average Joes with as checkered pasts as you want caught in a vast web of dirty dealings, double crosses, and deceit in the corrupted underbelly of a once-grand city. Trapped as you are in the shadows between the forces of light and darkness, you can’t hope to solve the city’s problems, all you can do is try and make it a little lighter shade of gray.

Welcome to Westcrown, the City of Twilight.

The Crown on the Bay is your home. You've laughed, cried, sweated, and bled just to scratch a few coppers together to get another mug of hard milk to make you forget the killing fog, the rampant crime, the curfew, and the dirt a poor schlub like yourself has to put up with at the hands of the powerful and wealthy. So, when a sultry and dangerous looking woman named Janiven approaches you with a proposition you can’t refuse to join her little brigade, you’re more than willing to join the cause to satisfy your own personal agenda of revenge/justice.


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Lord Snow wrote:


Hah, he probably didn't, the guy's a mormon or something. It's interesting that in each of his books he invents different fantasy curses and uses them instead of real ones. And, indeed, Sanderson's writing style is the weakest thing about his books so I can see what you mean - but I still consider him a very capable story teller. Also, it's not like Jordan's prose was ever really impressive or anything, so I don't think losing that is such a big deal...

Jordan's prose was never a wonder of the world, but I do think he was pretty careful with his style. There are a few places in the late books, even aside the swearing, where Sanderson is so far off from it that it took me out of the story for a moment. It wasn't bad exactly, but the contrast was so sharp for me that it felt like a passage from some other novel got shoved in.


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Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Celestial Healer wrote:
Volume 4 is about where I gave up on Wheel of Time. Maybe 5...

Stop now! For God's sake, stop now!

At some point you'll have too much effort invested in the damn thing and you'll feel obligated to finish it.

I hear the last few books are good...

Things are ok through Book 6, though much more political than they have been, but then things go pretty badly off the rails. Seven and Eight are just dire, though Seven is kind enough to at least keep to the formula of having a nice, fun battle at the end. Nine is a marked improvement, even including the kind of things that used to get one excited about the books, but then ten is little more than an extended reaction shot. For the entire cast. Eleven gets things back on track and feels very much like one of the books from earlier in the series, with a strong sense of things coming to a head and the more obnoxious subplots generally working themselves out.

The last three are solid reads, but Sanderson provides many moments where it's painfully obvious that Jordan had nothing to do with the prose (the events, sure, but you know you're not reading any of his writing in these passages). It's at its worst when the cast try to swear. Jordan's characters always use fantasy swearing, but they use it with roughly the same rhythm that real people would use real world profanity. Sanderson clearly does not get those and he pushes pretty close to mad libs in trying to fit the swearing in. One gets the impression nobody has ever cursed at him.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:


Yeah, the report was written in 1856. They actually sent a panel out from Congress to Kansas to question the witnesses, so it's a great collection of firsthand accounts. Some of this stuff is so wild you'd expect it of a party of adventurers gone off their meds.
[Whistles a familiar melody]

Now you know why I blew up your starting town so quickly. :)


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thejeff wrote:
Samnell wrote:

If I'm honest, I'm really reading this: Report of the special committee appointed to investigate the troubles in Kansas,: with the views of the minority of said committee.

So far there's been hostage taking, a guy chased into a river at gunpoint, broken windows, a battering ram at a door, an attempt to literally bring a house down on the heads of the people inside, and a threatened decapitation...by hand.

The sad thing is that my first thought was "What's going on in Kansas now? How did I miss this kind of escalation?"

Then I realised it was you and probably a pre-Civil War reference.

Yeah, the report was written in 1856. They actually sent a panel out from Congress to Kansas to question the witnesses, so it's a great collection of firsthand accounts. Some of this stuff is so wild you'd expect it of a party of adventurers gone off their meds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I'm honest, I'm really reading this: Report of the special committee appointed to investigate the troubles in Kansas,: with the views of the minority of said committee.

So far there's been hostage taking, a guy chased into a river at gunpoint, broken windows, a battering ram at a door, an attempt to literally bring a house down on the heads of the people inside, and a threatened decapitation...by hand.


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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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Detect Magic wrote:
Are these guilds still active?

They are. I know some were doing raiding on Alliance just today, though the usual time there is inconvenient for me so I don't put on an appearance often. Horde is less active but people do come around.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Meant to get back to Lovecraft. For a combination of boring life reasons, and a well-timed Humble Bundle, I ended up digging into the Transformers comics instead. Never read them before and I've only ever been a peripheral Transformers fan.

Optiums Prime makes terrible decision.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, I forgot and posted with my PBP alias. Everyone point and laugh. :)

Kirth Gersen wrote:


Anyway, the point of my comment is that the writer, Nic Pizzolatto, grew up in Lake Charles, so he knows exactly the kind of twisted s@+& goes on there -- very, very close to what you were saying, although I have no idea what or where your own hometown may be.

I can imagine. It doesn't look like or sound like my town, but I can't see much from the first few episodes that would be all that out of place here. Cohle's ghost of a town comment is very fitting.

Kirth Gersen wrote:


"" wrote:


I'd like the potential for it to turn open-ended and if they have the natural reaction of wanting to burn the whole place to the ground then that does limit things.
Yeah, I get that a lot, too, with some players. If it's a small town, you can always have the same kinds of creepy stuff going on in a lot of the neighboring towns, so all is not lost. If it's a major city, well, that makes it that much harder to burn down, so that's something.

That's true; I could use the whole county. One of the players lived here too, so there's a lot of potential for little in jokes like making the site of his former home the scene of a human sacrifice. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just finished The Rhesus Chart. S$&& went down. I'm a bit bummed that we didn't get to see some of it, though.

Now I think I'm back to a Lovecraft collection. A friend has been bugging me about an idle notion I had to run a Lovecraftian game based on my hometown, informed by the kind of vicious hatred and bleak realism that only a lifetime resident could possess.


Gay Male Inhuman
Reckless wrote:

update Twitch notes

for some reason, I get Super-Speed as 18 (speed 15 minimizes to a cost of 6 apparently), not 17.

I'm not sure at this point how I did the math either. I think I might have just treated the flaws as a straight -10 off the top. Forgot about the flaws for extra ranks rule.

Speed is 1 point per rank. I think the first flaw should take it to 2 ranks per point. The second to three. Which would mean those five ranks cost 2pp.

So...
Initiative 4
Quickness 8
Speed 10
Extra speed 2
24pp total. Pricier still, if I've done this right.

I think I might be starting to chase my own math tail, so let me try it again from the ground up. Initiative and Quickness can stay as-is. I like him right around mach one as a safe speed, give or take a bit. It's a benchmark to work from, anyway. The internet tells me that's around 750 mph.

If I've read the rank & measure table right, an hour is time rank 9. I need to get from there to speed rank 17. 17-9=8 ranks of superspeed. Anything above that is all gravy and seizures. I still like madness of Speed 15 for the high end.

So I need to make 7 ranks of speed carrying the two flaws. Speed's a 1 point effect, so two -1 flaws bring it to 3 ranks per point. Rounding down, let's call it 6 ranks of dangerous speed. 2 points cost, DC 16 to resist seizures.

Putting it together:
Enhanced Initiative 4 (+20 to init), Quickness 8 (30 minutes -> 6 seconds), Speed 14 (8,000 mph) Unreliable & Side Effect on 6 Speed.
Side Effect: Affliction 6 (Fort DC 16). Conditions: Dazed (absence seizure/"blanking out"), Stunned (tonic-clonic/grand mal seizure), Incapacitated (Status epilepticus/continuous seizure)

4 initiative 4 points
8 quickness 8 points
8 safe speed 8 points
6 seizure speed 2 points
=22

I'm not sure which of us is right at this point. :) Any ideas? I'm can just go with the 18 points but I don't want to take advantage. The fix to twitch fighting (removing Str from the damage) will free up 4, which is most of the deficit by itself. I can trim a skill or two, possibility an ability, and make good on the rest.

Reckless wrote:


it looks like you spent 7 on defenses (2 Fort 5 Will)

I forgot to knock my Will defense down a point when I reduced his awareness. Will fix in the next revision.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I prefer a digital copy when referencing something, such as looking up rules. For casual reading I prefer an actual hard copy.

I'm just the opposite. For pleasure reading, I'm fine with having just the PDF. I mostly buy disemboweled tree carcass fiction to help support my locally-owned independent bookstore. For reference, it's got to be paper. That said, many of my referencing needs go to dusty out of print histories that are unlikely to get a PDF copy and less likely still to get a good one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Samnell wrote:
Hitdice wrote:


Samnell: Dude, you want The Hotel New Hampshire; That's the Irving book (or movie for that matter; it's no wonder Rob Lowe's life was ruined by a sex tape!) you want to read.

But...so many books! I just finished Elminster Must Die, which was fun. But I've also got Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast (about blockade duties off the coast of France in the Seven Years' War, naturally) to finish. And a Lovecraft collection that I bought on the strength of the endnotes. And the new Laundry Files book is out...

I need more hours in the day.

Yes, but does Elminster Must Die hit the ** spoiler omitted **

If possession via magic counts, it does indeed.

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