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Really dude? Have you managed somehow to NOT notice that Fitz is full-tilt crushing on Skye?
Eh, Skye pays attention to Ward, Fitz gets snippy. Ward saves Simmons, Fitz gets snippy and spends 1 minute at the end of an episode talking to Simmons about it, and then an entire episode with Ward working through their issues.
It's pretty obvious which of those three people he's obsessed with and territorial about, and it ain't either of the women, since Fitz only gets that way when SquareJaw McActionMan is in the mix. :)
I seriously doubt that's what the show-writers meant to portray, but Fitz has devoted far more of his attention to what Ward thinks of him than what Skye or Simmons thinks of him... (at least, according to the writers priorities, shown on screen)
I imagine they'll course correct eventually, but for now, it's just terribly amusing.
At shows beginning, it seemed foreshadowed;
But, the *expected* pairings rarely happen immediately, if ever, so May + Ward switches things up, leaving room for a Fitz + Skye hookup, or, eventually a Simmons + Mikelok relationship (although old time Whedon fans might think that looks like a redo of the Gunn + Fred pairing).
Soapdish, or as we say in Ausrtia, Kopfgeschlagen.
Yes, indeed, great movie!
Ross Byers wrote:
Natural Armor, because it seems to correspond with a monster's CR more than the supposed toughness of skin.
That's pretty interesting.
My own quibble with natural armor is how it's handed out. Lizardfolk, troglodytes and sahuagin, for instance, are perfectly able to wear armor, and yet have a ridiculous +5 Natural Armor, which makes them crazy high AC foes at low levels (and by the time their AC is appropriate, they are a huge waste of time to use...). It also tends to make attempts at using them as PC options (primarily lizardfolk) potentially overpowering, since a racial ability of '+5 natural armor' pretty much blows away 'race hatred, +1 to hit orcs.'
Robert Brookes wrote:
Thanks a bunch, James. We're definitely on the same page regarding the resurrection thing. I appreciate the really quick answer.
[tangent]Along the lines of someone being cursed to *have* to attempt to save vs. beneficial spells (such as healing), perhaps said criminal was cursed in such a way that he would always accept a resurrection spell (or always forget the terrible results, which wouldn't be out of line with the notion that some petitioners totally forget their previous lives...). So it would be something very specific to this one circumstance and not something anyone could do, so that one could eat the cake, and yet still have the cake.
Nobody has any business telling you how to raise your kid to grow up in a world that is *provably* more dangerous to him, than it would be if he were white.
It's like telling your daughter not to get in a car and go somewhere she doesn't know (and can't easily leave by calling a cab or whatever), with guys she doesn't know well, and not to accept drinks from strangers. That's not teaching her that every man is a potential rapist, it's just common sense.
As part of that older fanbase, who has many longboxes of comics from the 80s, 90s, etc. and yet cannot find a single comic to put on my pull-list (after decades of having over a dozen monthly must-haves), I can assure you, I'm not being catered to.
We've been pretty much abandoned, most decisively by DC, that attempted to streamline their continuity once with Crisis on Infinite Earths, only to get a little shaky on the dismount, and has decided instead to throw it out completely with the New 52.
If I were being catered to, there's be a lot more one-and-done storylines, in which all sorts of stuff happens *in a single issue,* and huge mega-events, like the Great Darkness Saga, or the Judas Contract, might take *four whole issues,* and not six issues of talky-talk *just to set up* (and then end with a bunch of super-peeps leaping at each other in a two page spread, in lieu of an actual *action scene*). There'd be about 600% less murderous killing sprees of teenaged heroes, and infinity percent less people being raped and set on fire.
And there's still be some black Avengers, like the Black Panther, like the Falcon, like Monica Rambeau (whatever the heck she's calling herself this week), like actually existed in the 'old days' in the comics, and have yet to appear in the shiny new cinematic Marvel universe.
Heck, the shiny new cinematic Avengers-verse couldn't even have a super-powered *woman* in it, so any notion that the stuff 'catering to' the younger demographic and not us old fogeys is somehow more inclusive (despite having less super-powered women *and* less black / Asian / etc. characters than almost any iteration of the comic book Avengers, ever) falls flat on its face.
And I don't blame any of that on the younger generation either, since these decisions, both in the comics and in the movies spun off from them, are being made by 40 year old white men, such as Avi Arad, who, after the failures of Catwoman and Elektra, said, 'This proves that audiences don't want to see movies about strong women,' instead of what he *should* have said, which was, 'This proves that audience don't want to see movies that suck.'
Abyssal Lord wrote:
Why not bring back old faves like the beholder and the illithid under slightly different names...the eye beast and the mind slayer?
Some 3PP have already done so.
As for why Paizo does not, possibly some combination of;
Consider some collaboration with any player(s) you might have, to see if there's a particular sort of god that appeals to them. (Not just 'I want a god that has the elven curve sword as a favored weapon, and grants access to the Liberation and Travel domains,' but actual *concepts.*)
Other than that, I'd go with the setting basics to determine what is 'needed.'
If I'm using alignments, I should have at least one option for each alignment (LG, NG, CG, etc.), making for nine gods right there.
If I'm using a planar cosmology out of D&D, including multiple upper and lower and elemental planes, there should probably be a god for each one, including oddballs like the plane of shadow or first world or elemental plane of X or even perhaps the astral or ethereal planes. If one or more planes exist, but don't have a god in charge, perhaps there's a specific reason for that. The positive energy plane, for instance, could be the residence of the sun-goddess, or it could be the primal wellspring of creation, sort of like a never-ending Big Bang of light, life and creative potential, that the gods all tap into, but so intense that even they cannot truly master. The negative energy plane could be the pit that contains the ever-hungering light-hating primal Apophis or Tiamat or Tharizdun or Rovagug of the setting, trapped on the event horizon of oblivion, and scrambling to get out and continue it's apocalyptic rampage to return the universe to the peace and serenity of unending darkness, or it could be too dangerous for even the gods of evil to do more than skirt the edges carefully and deploy their nets to catch stuff being drawn into it to be annihilated, and therefore saving for themselves any scrap of power that would otherwise have been lost.
Various real world mythologies have common archetypes, such as 'skyfathers' (Odin, Zeus, Indra, Ukko) or 'horned gods' or 'earth mothers' or 'maimed gods / wounded kings' or whatever. If you want to add a mythic sort of element, the elemental plane of air could be ruled by an old bearded thunderbolt tossing sort of fellow, whose body is as mutable as the clouds, who isn't strictly Zeus, but borrows elements from him (with one-eyed storm giants serving as his 'cyclopes' and forging his thunderbolts?).
Mixing and matching, one could have an 'earth mother' who is the primary Neutral goddess of the setting, and also the god overseeing the material plane (explaining why her petitioners tend to reincarnate, rather than go on to various outer planes, like the worshippers of the skyfather or the angel of light or the dark prince of the hells). Various gods should also have ties with each other, like the gods of the Egyptian, Norse and Olympian pantheons, and not just be nine to twelve to twenty complete strangers. The Earth Mother and the Skyfather might have had a fling, and the god(dess) in charge of the plane of earth could be their child. The gods in charge of the First World and the Plane of Shadow might be siblings, one wild and full of (sometimes dangerous!) energy whimsy, the other dour and sinister in demeanor, if not any more 'evil' than the other, allowing them to serve not only as family, and helping to make this collection gods into a cohesive inter-connected pantheon, but also as choices for Chaotic and Lawful clerics (and seelie and unseelie fey).
While I love Roger Moore's demihuman deities (particularly Aerdrie Faenya, Arvoreen the Defender and pretty much the entire Gnomish pantheon), I'd steer away from making different gods for different races. That way lies madness in a game setting that might have humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, kobolds, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, dark folk, drow, many types of fey, multiple categories of dragons, nagas, centaurs, tengu, merfolk, sahuagin, sphinxes, dopplegangers, vampires (and other intelligent undead), boggards, various giant types, gnolls, lizardfolk, elementals, angels, demons, devils, azata, archons, aeons, genies, daemons, multiple types of lycanthrope, etc., etc. Madness, I say! At that point, it's probably easier to allow cleric PCs to pick any two domains and be done with it, since the setting is going to have 10,000 gods anyway (assuming that any species could have a minimum of one god, and, for more populous / less organized races, such as goblins, would, realistically, have *hundreds*).
I'd be more inclined to have *some* of the common gods be more popular suitable among certain races or cultures, and perhaps be depicted in the temples of that race as a member of their race (and be called by the race-language translation of their 'common' name). Where this can be an issue is with a smaller set of gods, as suddenly, the token god of chaos and evil suddenly becomes the predominant god of a plethora of very unrelated races, with very different areas of concern. (The god of CE demons being the god of CE goblins, gnolls, lycanthropes, dragons, orcs, etc. gets a little busy and can muddle themes, something to consider, and a possible reason to follow the Golarion mold and have at least *two* options for each alignment type, so that not every LE race or culture in existence is pushed towards worshipping Asmodeus, for instance.)
If you have the 'Mithril Membership Superscriber' tag (which doesn't show up on your screen unless you have it, so that the hoi-polloi don't know who is or is not a member), your FAQ questions are answered immediately, and, once a year, Lisa comes to your house to tell you a story.
And we won't discuss the [redacted], because the first rule of [redacted] is that you don't talk about [redacted].
(Hint, redacted does not mean 'secret forum.' It's way cooler than that.)
I thought The Ultimates (the team, not the line) whole schtick was they were terrible, monstrous, unlikeable people that also happened to be heroes? (Well, except Thor. Ultimate Thor was still a decent guy for an eco-terrorist.) All I know is that by the end of the first run, Cap and Thor were the only ones I didn't hate, and Ultimate Cap was still a bit of a dick. I didn't bother reading anything more after that.
That's a completely valid point. Thor and the Wasp were pretty much the only characters that weren't some level of jerkish (Fury, Cap, at times), creepy (Wanda and Pietro) or deeply damaged / messed up (Banner, Pym, eventually Barton).
Eh. The perils of a comic book universe written by a writer who has expressed contempt for the entire concept of 'heroes' and wants to 'deconstruct' them.
I liked the New Universe (particularly DP 7 and Psi-Force) and the 2099-verse (particularly the X-Men 2099), but this Ultimates thing, not so much. The only thing I liked about Ultimates was that it kept those writers away from the 616 universe, so that the 'real' Captain America didn't turn into a jack-booted thug, and the 'real' Hulk didn't turn into a cannibal rapist.
I felt the same way when Rob Liefield left Marvel to help form Image, wishing him all the luck in the world on his new Youngblood venture, so that he never came back to Marvel and got his grubby little paws on my beloved New Mutants again. :)
Fey and Kytons seem to get along famously in Nidal, through the Umbral Court and Shadow Plane, but there's less fey/devil (or fey/demon) connection baked into Golarion, that I've seen.
Still, this is Golarion, not [insert other game world here], and the fey Eldest, their 'gods,' include two Lawful Neutral exemplars (Imbrex and Magdh) and only three Chaotic Neutral / Evil ones (Count Ranalc, the Lantern King and Ragadahn), so the fey of Golarion are *much* less weighted towards chaotic (and evil, obviously, since they have two evil gods and zero good ones, with even their non-evil gods having Domains like Darkness, Death, Destruction and Madness) than in some other settings.
So, exactly one episode after Laurel seems to be flying off the rails, she's pulling it together. (It feels longer, because of the Olympics break, obviously, and I kind of think that was a good time for a break, because, these two episodes back to back might have felt a little whiplash-y in the characterization.)
I do feel kind of like Ollie and Sara hooking up last episode (all of maybe ten hours ago in-universe, even if was last month for us viewers) was force-rushed just to give Laurel something to yell at them about this episode, but I'm willing to overlook that.
Gosh, that face. Laurel is looking more and more like the Joker, ever episode.
Here I go with a tentative first draft:
This looks like a good code, actually.
A *cleric* of Gozreh can be Lawful Neutral or Neutral Good, and still function according to the tenets of Gozreh, and a worshipper of any god can be any alignment at all (since they aren't clerics), so someone who borrows from the LN and NG-friendlier aspects of Gozreh's faith should be able to maintain a LG alignment.
Natural law, and a powerful resistance to that which is considered unnatural, would make sense to be a priority of the lawful aspects.
(Note that 'unnatural' in a game setting where an entire class of creatures is *naturally* powered by negative energy, and where fey and elementals and genies are all extra-planar visitors, unnatural to the material plane by pretty much any definition of the term, are present on summon nature's ally lists and considered 'natural,' to druids... So, like many words with no hard and fast definition, you get to decide what is 'natural' and 'unnatural' to a follower of Gozreh yourself, cherry picking whatever creatures you think are pretty or icky, such as dinosaurs (unnatural anachronisms!), elves (invasive alien species!), aberrations (obviously!), magical beasts (corruptions of nature!), all undead, fey and outsiders, etc.)
Someone who focuses on the 'good' of nature could have a somewhat harsh sense of justice, considering nature to be ruthlessly fair and unbiased, playing no favorites and affording neither preference nor pettiness in it's actions. While some individual event might seem cruel or unjust, nature itself is never so, and provides what is needed, without mollycoddling the weak or foolish.
Alternately, and more kindly perhaps (although there are plenty of ruthless genocidal dicks out there being Paladins, so being kindly is hardly a class requirement...), they might also see themselves as the balancing factor, for when the uncaring storm, merely a natural event, and neither a force for good or evil, rains down on the just and unjust alike, offering shelter and succor to those who have goodness in their hearts. A 'more good' sort of Paladin than the game strictly requires could see themselves as the sheltering hand that protects the worthy from the storm, and a provider of medicine, sustenance, etc. bringing the gifts of the natural world (such as herbs for medicine or fish or game or clean water for sustenance and survival) to those in need, as well as defending honest folk from unnatural forces, corruptive entities, natural disasters (which are more Rovagug's bailiwick than Gozreh's), etc. I personally prefer my Paladins on the 'less evil / genocidal' end of the spectrum, so I'd go with this, over the harsher concept in the previous paragraph, which feels more LN-ish.
The Pathfinder Core rules don't forbid or encourage this sort of thing (Paladins of non Lawful and / or Good gods), but the Golarion *setting* so far, textually, only provides Paladin codes for about half of the LG, LN and NG gods (there are no Paladin codes for twelve of the LG, LN and NG gods in Gods & Magic, or the dozens of other options among the Empyreal Lords), which can be interpreted to mean that any not already covered are off-limits. It's possible that Pathfinder Society rules have some written text forbidding Paladins of Desna or Gozreh or Pharasma (who, frankly, is *far* more thematically suitable to have Paladins than Shelyn or Irori, despite being Neutral-in-name-only) or whomever, but that's not something you need to worry about if you aren't planning on playing this character in Pathfinder Society play.
As long as your GM is okay with it, go for it. (Individual Paladins varying from 'Paladins of Asmodeus are go!' to 'No Paladins at my table, 'cause I'm sick of all the PVP.')
That was indeed changed; in Pathfinder the power of deities is not dependent on its worshipers, nor do they require them to survive.
And it's definitely best not to go down that route, since, logically a dragon god, which might have hundreds of worshippers, and a goblin god, who might have *millions* of worshippers, shouldn't be drawing their power from sheer numbers of worshippers, and the whole notion that some creatures souls (slow breeding elves, for instance) are 'worth more' than other creatures souls (faster breeding humans) is just all sorts of mine-field-y.
Souls entering the afterlife equaling power for their gods also creates the awkward situation where a paladin kills a tribe of orcs *and makes the evil orc god stronger.* (While one who takes prisoners and converts them to the worship of her good god is both weakening the evil gods *and* strengthening the good gods, soul by soul, which would make for a very, very different sort of game than one where paladins get XP for killing evil, not for converting evil to good.)
Active worshippers and / or souls being *a* thing that some gods may draw power from, in addition to other things, such as their home planes, or the elemental or natural or spiritual power of their domains, as well as other undefined (and perhaps even undefinable) intangibles seems a better way to go.
Zhaan, Crichton and Aeryn Sun (and Pilot, of the 'muppets') were my favorites, and everyone else, kind of 'meh.'
As for Highlander, yes. There can be only one. I liked the series, for the most part, but am much happier in my own little world where there was only one Highlander movie, ever. Also only two Alien movies, and no 'Chronicles of Riddick' sequel to Pitch Black, and only a couple Predator movies, and only the one Crow movie, and only one Prophecy movie, and Stargate Universe kept going for four seasons and the Battlestar Galactica reboot died in pre-production...
Really, it's more of an Alternate Universe I'm in, at this point, and I'm on a barge in the middle of de Nile, in sun god robes, with thousands of people screaming and throwing tiny pickles at me.
And that's my movie quote.
"Are you on top of a pyramid, in sun god robes, and thousands of people are screaming and throwing tiny pickles at you? No? Why am I the only one who has that dream?"
Great Beyond <- We know a fair amount about great metropolises of the Great Beyond like Dis, but what about Axis? What should PCs encounter along the way if they journey to the Boneyard to petition Pharasma for something?
Axis deserves it's own book, eventually, as a planar metropolis along the lines of the City of Brass or Dis, but expanded beyond all of the above in the sense that it's not really just a big city on some other plane, but more like a plane unto itself that is just one big honkin' city.
More like the Plane of Gears, in the Midgard setting, it's not just a big city, it's a world/setting unto itself, that is covered with streets and buildings.
Jason Nelson wrote:
True. I thought Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man were both very good, and Spider-Man 2 I think is one of the best supers movies ever. SM3? Bland. Not terrible. Just kinda... blah. It tried to do too much and ended up hitting each note in a desultory fashion that never really resonated.
My problem with Spider-Man 3 was that, whether or not they are the sort of people I envision as Harry Osbourne or Eddie Brock, both James Franco and Topher Grace chewed up the screen (in a good way) with their characterizations.
And then the Sandman, sucking the energy out of every single scene he appeared in, lifeless, boring, kind of depressing with the whole 'wah, my daughter' crap. Bad enough that he was *in* the movie, and utterly irrelevant for most of it, but the two *really interesting* characters, both actually tied to Peter/Spider-Man, in multiple different ways, are bumped off, leaving behind sir mopes a lot, who doesn't really have any connection to anything in the story and just sort of shows up for the big fight at the end because Venom somehow knows who he is and what his drama is and invites him to come beat up Spider-Man with him and he's all like 'uh, okay, I guess there's nothing good on TV anyway.'
Just, inexplicably bad.
Still. At least I remember it. Amazing Spider-Man? I honestly couldn't remember who the villain was, until I looked it up and saw a picture of that terrible CGI Lizard stomping after him. Gah. I thought I'd forgotten. I didn't realize that I'd deliberately suppressed the memory...
FF1 at least tried. Some great casting (Ben and Johnny), some good casting (Reed) and some not so great (Sue and Victor). They even tried to have a cool 'teamwork' scene at the end, combining their powers to defeat Doom. FF2, not so much, with the 'teamwork' being 'let's give the most popular actor's character the powers of all 4 and have him beat Doom!' and then 'let's have the FF stand around while an NPC saves the planet from Galactus!' Bad.
FF1 at least played with some FF themes, like 'family' and teamwork and the various interpersonal dynamics. Johnny or Sue, either one, being adopted, shouldn't really change that, since the relationship between Johnny and Sue has never been as important (IMO) to the group dynamic as the relationships between Sue and Reed, Reed and Ben (as 'best friends'), and Ben and Johnny (as gadfly & favorite victim). If this new FF movie wants to address the same themes, there's no reason why one of a pair of siblings being a half-sibling, or adopted, should change that relationship. If they were raised and grew up together as brother and sister, then the relationship can be the same as it would be if they were genetic siblings.
I'd be far more concerned with a younger Reed. Reed's characterization seems far more tied to his age and sense of being 'the adult in the room,' than Johnny's is to his skin tone.
Grey Lensman wrote:
I care more about the X-Men, I mean the Wolverine series reverting, in the hopes of actually getting an X-Men series next time.
I kinda hope the opposite. The longer Marvel doesn't have movie rights to the X-Men, the more Avengers movies I get to see that aren't dominated by Wolverine.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Dan Savage points out now Satanists will be free to persecute Christians, based on the language of the bill...
Oh, Arizona. You just made it possible for a Muslim to refuse service to someone for violating a tenet of Sharia law and somehow, inexplicably, made Glenn Beck right that there's a movement of 'creeping Sharia-ism' in this country. You're like the kid who shouts 'Who farted?' to draw attention away from his own fart.
First one, said to Priscilla Presley, IIRC.
"The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There's never stopping in a white zone."
"Don't you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!"
Turning right on red is legal in my state, so I actually get REALLY pissed at out of staters who don't comprehend that. F#!&ing FIBs.
Same here. Sitting behind someone in the right hand lane, just waiting for a light that will never come and holding everyone up behind them, can be frustrating. It's worse when they *aren't* an out-of-stater, and are just nincompoops.
I don't generally use my horn, because I think it's rude (especially when someone honks their horn *after* something, as if it's there just to express their displeasure, and not to serve as a warning), but people who cause me to get trapped in line for another light-cycle tempt me. :)
The other part of "corrupts" is that their job brings them into repeated contact with the worst of society and it's easy and natural for them to see that worst in everyone. Thus everyone becomes suspicious. A cynical attitude, seemingly justified by the scum they deal with regularly.
There is that, and yet, they're also human. I know from my own cop / judge / prosecutor / etc. friends and / or relatives that, once the uniform is off, they roll through stop-signs and go 75 in a 65 and put additions on their houses that violate local ordinances and ignore things (like side jobs doing other stuff, like house painting or automotive repair) on their tax returns that would be a pain in the ass to mention, and, I'm sure, hundreds of other 'crimes' that, in the big picture, nobody really cares that much about, like jaywalking or making a right on red or letting their dog run around at the park without a leash or letting their teenager have a glass of champagne with them on New Years or sharing a joint with their spouse once a year on their anniversary.
It's impossible for them not to see *everyone* as a potential crook, because they know from their own lives and families and friends that everyone *is* a lawbreaker, to some degree.
I wonder if priests (particularly those who take confession, like Catholics) have a similar problem, having people come in week after week and regale them with a litany of sinful thoughts and deeds, exposing them to the secret 'dirt' in everyone, and leaving them, like Mother Theresa, at the end of her life, flatly stating that a lifetime of service to the Church has left them not even believing in God anymore.
Sort of a "Hell is other people" situation, where exposure to the ugliness we all carry around leaves those who make a living unable to avoid such exposure being rubbed raw emotionally and kind of hating everyone for being so disappointingly human, leading to cops seeing everybody as crooks, and priests seeing everybody as sinners, and psychiatrists seeing everybody as crazy.
Anywho, back to 'CIS privilege.' It's interesting how much, as a white straight dude, I find myself disliking the assumptions that come with being identified with such, and how I even find myself knee-jerk disliking the term 'CIS' in general, finding it off-putting and dehumanizing, in a way.
Which, yeah, isn't irony, because I'm well aware that there are huge populations of people (everyone, ever, really) who have had a bewildering assortment of labels slapped onto them that come with assumptions and generalizations that nobody wanted, whether that label was gay or Jew or immigrant or peasant or cripple. Even labels that someone might embrace, like Catholic or conservative or Communist or American gets associated with stuff we don't want people to think about us, leaving us in an awkward position of hopping in bed with what turned out to be a pig, leaving people looking at us funny, and us scrambling to disentangle ourselves from said pig and explain how we are X, but not Y, or are 'one of the good ones.'
Like the fifty or so gender labels now available on Facebook, or the murky 'race' options on the Census forms (that are increasingly useless and outdated), it seems that adding yet more labels like 'CIS' are part of a problem, not any sort of solution. (Much like Caesar deciding to render the senate impotent and irrelevant by *increasing* the number of senators, so that their power was diluted.)
Naturally, like so many problems that aren't considered problems until they start affecting middle-class straight white dudes, it's been a long time coming, and perhaps CIS then becomes part of the eventual solution, of making obvious even to the labelers how absurd (and inaccurate, and, ultimately, dehumanizing) the labeling has become, leading perhaps, in an ideal world, to us freeing ourselves from these cartoonish shorthand one-size-does-*not*-fit-all labels.
Is it appropriate to start a thread to mock one particular poster?
There's a fine line between laughing with and laughing at.
In this case, it's probably up to yellowdingo to tell us when he feels that we've zipped right over it, and gone from having fun with his penchant for petitions (and the occasionally lively discussions they can sometimes provoke), to belittling or deriding him.
This sort of thread does definitely ride right on the line, 'though, and one humorless prat mistaking it for a 'take free shots at another poster!' thread and posting something obnoxious could bollix it all up and get it shut down. Being the internet, that's probably inevitable, sooner, rather than later...
(Like the chuckleheads posting parting shots at SKR in the thread about him leaving. So classy.)
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
and you're just reaffirming my original point. I dunno why Laurel would start drinking, given that she had some (I think) bad experiences with her dad drinking.
If everyone learned from their parents / friends / etc. mistakes, then nobody, in the world, would ever drink, smoke, shoot up, drive while texting, have unprotected sex, ride a motorcycle, etc.
It's hardly unrealistic that someone with an addiction problem would fall into an addictive pattern, despite knowing that a parent had a similar problem.
It only happens every day, millions of times, after all!
Indeed, it can even serve as an excuse, if the person relapsing is convincing themselves that it's not an actual choice they can make or fight they can win, but is 100% genetic or inevitable or whatever, part of their character or physiology that they might as well just accept, since it's not curable.
And just because one person has beaten a problem (such as myself, avoiding the alcoholism that took my dad out of circulation for 30 years), doesn't mean that their experiences means that 'I did it, so it's totally easy! Everyone else must be weak and pathetic!' It just means 'I did it. Yay me. Fingers crossed that I can keep on doing it.'
As we learned in Psych 101, attempting to hold others to the standards we have set for ourselves, is a sign of sociopathy, or, worse, solipsism. (It's also bad for the self-esteem, because you're belittling and selling short your own accomplishment, by saying, 'Well, if I can do it, anyone can do it, and if they fail, they must suck and be deserving of contempt!' instead of saying, 'Hey! I did it! I have the strength to beat this!')
It's also setting up for a big fall. Having contempt for others failing at a task you've accomplished robs you of the *power* and self-worth necessary to fight a problem when it arises, because, logically, if people who fail are weak and pathetic, then, if *you* drink too much one night, and realize you've crossed a line, suddenly all that 'weak and pathetic' judgment comes right back to bite you, as you end up holding yourself in contempt. (Barring a psychotic-break level of cognitive dissonance, where it's totally okay for you to get smashed, but when other potential alcoholics tip back a bottle, they are being all unworthy of compassion and stuff...)
And self-loathing is not your friend, when trying to pick yourself up out of anything.
Taking your own power to control your life and choices, and throwing it away like that (by claiming 'anyone can do it!') is never a great plan.
Every now and then I got to comic book message boards, or, shudder, political message boards, or boards relating to various onlines games I'm playing, and, because I'm always looking for low-carb diet options that aren't boring, recipe boards.
Other than the recipe boards, which are gloriously free of such things, this message board seems to be one of the best on the internet (and the only one related to 'fannish' stuff) for *lack* of flames and vitriol and overt 'ism' and general dick-ishness.
On an internet where DC, Marvel, WotC, White Wolf, Sony, Blizzard, etc. are constantly changing (or flat out abandoning) their own message boards, and the noise-to-signal ratio is like 90%/10%, I've pretty much always found the Paizo boards to be a restful oasis in a swirling maelstrom of crap.
I've seen moderator freakouts on messageboards ranging from Steve Jackson Games to White Wolf to EverQuest, where the moderator went on banning sprees *because someone on the forums proved them wrong about something.* (In the WW case, it was because he'd just banned a bunch of people for breaking posting guidelines *that he forgot to actually ever write in the actual posting guidelines,* and when this was pointed out to him, he started a fantastic rant about people having no honor! And the less said about Abashi and 'Alchemy is working as intended,' the better.)
I've seen tiny hints of humans behaving badly here, like someone at Paizo *repeatedly* encouraging posters to take pot-shots at ravingdork for his 'Paizo needs to get its house in order' thread, which itself seemed to be a reaction to a 'posse' of groupie posters rushing from thread to thread harshly criticizing people and quoting authority on those who wanted to play Pathfinder, but didn't necessarily want to use all of the *setting-specific assumptions of Golarion* (making it at least as much the fault of the posters who dragged their 'authority' into it, using his words to bully anyone who disagreed with them). But that's long past, and I've noticed that RD no longer seems to be an open target for un-moderated abuse.
This has been, and remains, one of, if not *the* friendliest online gaming communities I've been lucky enough to have been a part of, despite there occasionally being some human behavior that is less than robot-like in its perfection, 'cause, humans, not robots, and stuff.
I actually kind of prefer a little bit of human feeling, in company employees. I much rather have Sean Reynolds show up and say something un-diplomatic, than know that the employees won't post here at all, for fear of something they wrote being taken wrong, or used to 'gotcha' someone later, or turning into Flame War MMMDCCLXXVIII.
There are a few Paizo employees that seem to have been completely burned by posters *freaking out* that they had an opinion on something like a TV show or comic book (as if, by taking a position at Paizo, they are no longer allowed to express an opinion on anything in popular culture, ever again, and that expressing a snarky opinion on a *TV show* is exactly the same thing as insulting everyone who ever watched it), and have just walked away, and I feel that the community is poorer for that.
The boards do have the usual internet community issues, where being a fan of X seems to draw the ire of fans of Y, as if one can't *possibly* like both 4E *and* PF, or watch both Agents of SHIELD *and* Arrow, or character X fans getting into Sharks vs. Jets interpretive dance-offs with fans of character Y, because if you like Captain America/Kyle Rayner-John Stewart/Rogue/Dean, you have to hate, hate, HATE Iron Man/Hal Jordan/the Scarlet Witch/Sam.
But that's just Bickerson intertube tribalism, and, thanks to advances in computing is pretty much guaranteed to outlive the human race.
A hundred thousands years from now, aliens sifting through the rubble of our civilization will be wondering why it was so terribly important to us whether Bella ended up with whatshisname 1 or whatshisname 2.
Matthew Pittard wrote:
I wouldnt associate Apep with Water. Water is the spring of life in a country like Osirion and Apep seems more associated with death than life. Likewise I wouldnt neccesarily associate him with any animals bar the dangerous ones: crocodiles (and their paizo created alternate versions: mega croc!) and snakes. Since there is no croc domain, Scalykind is the closest fit.
I'm just going with what little we have on him in Osirion, Land of Pharaohs.
Apep represents the hidden dangers that lurk just below the surface, the deadly whorls and eddies that drown and swallow, and the prowling crocodiles and river serpents that prey on those that venture too near the water's edge. Apep is the raging rapids, the boundless flood that inundates and sweeps away all that mortals seek to build.
So the Water imagery is pretty baked into that, although, re-reading it, my faulty recollection that hippos where among the dangerous river beasties he's associated with seems off. Crocs and snakes, which means that Scalykind is far more appropriate than Animal. Woo!
If we look to Set as an example, not only was he the God of War.. he was also the God of Chaos, the desert and foreign influences. All things with a negative impact.
Let's not look to Set as an example. :)
Especially not as a god of Chaos, since he spent so much of his existence standing on the prow of the sun-barque fighting the *actual* snake-god of Chaos and Darkness, Apep, Devourer of the Dawn, only to later get conflated by lazy foreigners with Apep and / or Typhon**, and darkness, and snakes, and wanting to eat the sun, and for that portrayal to serve as his defining characteristic in Robert E. Howard novels, Marvel comic books and Vampire the Masquerade...
Given their near universal support of maat, *most* of the Egyptian gods would be some shade of Lawful. Rules-breakers like Set and Isis might have fallen to Neutral X (and gods portrayed as outsiders or hedonists, like Bast or Ptah, on the cusp between Lawful X and Neutral X), but Chaos (defying maat / going outside the natural order) was far more 'evil' to their mythos/pantheon/whatever than what we'd call actual Evil (cruelty, violence, slavery).
Like most mythological gods (particularly the Greeks and Norse), almost none of the Egyptian gods acted particularly 'good' as we would define it (forcing us to 'grade on a curve' and pick the least overtly evil by modern standards to call 'good'), since the ancients didn't seem to be overly concerned with notions of how 'lopsided' their pantheons would look when gamers tried to slot them into made-up alignment categories thousands of years later. :)
**Interesting how many cultures have great seas of primordial darkness that contain serpent-gods of chaos that want to destroy the sun and bring the universe back into darkness. Tiamat. Apep/Apophis. To a lesser extent, maybe even Typhon or Jormungandr.
That's one funky thing about Apep-in-Golarion, is that he's pretty much in the slot where a mythologically-tied Tiamat would go. The more he gets solidified into that position, the less likely we are to ever see Tiamat, as he's pretty much taking her schtick. (Which could be deliberate, as Tiamat in fantasy role-playing is pretty much locked into the expectation of a five headed chromatic dragon, like we saw on the cartoon.)
That's probably the potentially coolest thing about Arcadia being set on Golarion. It's automatically got *thousands* of years of history, and, unlike, say, Osirion or Qadira, which are more strongly 'Egypt' or 'Persia' flavored, Arcadia could likely to be *very* different than the pre-contact Americas. Just like Andoran borrows *an* idea from the founding of the United States, but actually isn't even close to an attempt to faithfully recreate a fantasy US, a part of me is hoping that Arcadia is *way* more advanced in some areas, and perhaps even, in some places *more advanced* in some ways than some of the Inner Sea regions.
For the most part, the less 'Maztica' / colonials vs. savages it turns out to be, the more I might like it.
A Katapeshi / Thuvian variant of Kitsune, associated with jackals and heat mirages and trickery, crying like a lost child to lead people astray in the desert and get them lost, or an Arcadian 'coyote-trickster' version, statistically no different than 'eastern' Kitsune, but with different legends and assumptions, could work.
They could even take human form and spread disinformation about their nature in areas they frequent, so that the locals 'know' about the skulking chupacabra, who steal livestock and small shiny objects, completely unaware that there are no such creatures, only the tricksters, who spread lies and blame their own actions on mythical beasts.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
An unbreakable fighter BBEG that doesn't dump Int and Cha to 7, with some decent gear, minions (even if only Leadership and a bard cohort),
As an NPC, A Fighter BBEG shouldn't have to pay for those cohorts and minions with Charisma or Leadership, anymore than Karzoug had to spend any point buy, feats or other personal resources to have that big blue dragon sitting behind his throne (on the cover of the Gamemastery Guide), or Queen Ileosa needed to buy Leadership to have a bunch of high level Gray Maidens working for her.
While a non-spellcasting BBEG is going to lack a lot of personal 'get out of jail free' cards that a spellcaster would have, there's no reason to give up all the freebies that are handed to spellcasting BBEGs, independent of their class abilities, such as tons of minions (and castles, and whatnot) that they didn't 'pay for' out of character resources.
Fighter, Monk, Barbarian, etc. can be fun things to strap onto a monster big bad, such as an awakened iron golem, or vampire or similar undead. Even making the fighter a drow can provide much-needed spell resistance.
Without a creature type providing some immunities (as you'd get from being undead or a construct), or templates like half-fiend (that add SR, as well as some immunities), or a situation / location that provides a measure of protection (fight occurs in a wild magic area, or in a sandstorm or whatever that forces concentration checks on casters, but doesn't affect him) a single fighter has problems with being taken out by an unlucky roll against magical offenses he's got no innate defense against (particularly those affecting will saves or reflex saves, which he probably won't excel at).
Reversing the traditional encounter, with a big bad spellcaster surrounded by expendable non-spellcaster mooks, and having the evil warlord surrounded by a cult of expendable adepts and low level clerics or oracles, using their spells to support / heal / buff him (and hinder foes) could be a fun twist. I had an encounter with a hobgoblin chieftain whose tribe captured goblins and forced them to study to master adept spellcasting. Those who failed (90% of them, easily, even after several generations of trying to selectively breed the successes and improve the odds), got killed in front of the others as 'incentive.' Those who succeeded were taken away and treated like kings (by goblin standards, anyway) and encouraged in the development of their adept abilities. Once their learning seemed to have plateaued, they were led away to the hobgoblin spellcaster in charge of this program and ritually killed in such a way that their little bodies became bulb-headed staves with tiny withered arms, retaining their spellcasting abilities, and usable as some combination of stationary 'healing stations' or carried around as 'magic staves' by hobgoblin spellcasters (who never brought such items into the goblin 'training area,' because they didn't want the goblins to figure out the endgame...), or, for the chieftain, strapped to his breastplate, so that as he fights, a pair of 5th level undead goblin adepts fused to his back are casting buffs and cure wounds on him.
That's just one (macabre) way a single class fighter could have some low level spellcasting support, without necessarily having actual spellcasters standing right next to him.
Other means could include possession (ranging from demonic to being the host of an intellect devourer), or having an intelligent magic item that casts a few useful defensive or abjuration spells, or that can counterspell and 'eat' magic thrown at it's host 1/round, like a magical version of Deflect Arrow.
The last time I used a single class Fighter as a 'big bad' was in 3.5, running through a Freeport-centered series of adventures. He used a reach weapon that caused bleeding wounds, combined with Combat Reflexes (to get lots of AoOs), Combat Expertise (to 'turtle up') and Whirlwind Attack (to open bleeding wounds on everyone in the area). A small encounter area meant that almost everyone was in reach of his Whirlwind Attack and / or Attacks of Opportunity, and defensive items (cloak of resistance, ioun stone of absorbing a few levels of spells), combined with poison and cure potions and smokesticks, meant that he tried to get everyone bleeding and / or poisoned, and then go defensive while they took damage from those effects (punishing them with AoOs if possible, even when not taking attack actions) and throw down a smokestick and eat some potions under the relative safety of concealment, if he took too much damage.
It was a reactive encounter, by design, meant to involve stamina and preparation on the part of the villain, as I'd been burned earlier in the campaign by all-or-nothing TPK-in-a-bottle encounters with color spray or sleep spells against 1st level parties. I wanted something that wasn't just 'Round 1! You die, or it dies! Round 2, argue over loot!'
Cosmo's Girlfriend wrote:
On a related note, I blame Cosmo completely for Byron. UGH. ... Byron.
Wow. Even for this thread, that's harsh.
I wouldn't even blame Cthulhu for Byron.
I even hated how long it took him to die. It was freaking obvious when he began talking, but he just kept talking, for, like, *ten minutes,* about how he wasn't... zzz.... sorry, dozed off, he's still not dead?
And then let's have five minutes of reaction shots as we see how *shocked* everyone is that he finally ran out of breath and did what he said he was going to do, *two commercial breaks ago.*
And then all the characters I liked had to act like they were simply devastated that this this floppy haired schmuck they'd just met was dead, which cut into my celebration.
I'll totally blame Cosmo for Marcus, 'though.
And for that hands-fluttery cringing flower they hired to replace the kickass sarcastic original actress for Na'Toth. I don't know if it's Cosmo's fault they didn't get to keep the original actress, or if it's Cosmo's fault that the replacement was such a meek little mouse, but I'm gonna play it safe and say, 'Yes, to both.'
The best TPKs have been in Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia, where it's not entirely unexpected for one or more of the characters to freak out and blowing up everyone in an overreaction. (Or, in the case of Call of Cthulhu, a woefully ineffective reaction that kills the entire party, and doesn't really do much more than inconvenience the Thing that caused him to blow a San check...)
A fun one in D&D was in the Temple of Elemental Evil. My fighter got eviled-up by a magical item, and chose as his first 'attack the party' action to say, 'Hey, I think this is magic. Can you tell what it does?' and toss it to the wizard, taking her out of the fight (she didn't turn evil, but was knocked out for some reason), while he turned and attacked the cleric, whom he took down pretty fast. The remaining party member (a paladin or ranger, IIRC) had 4 hit points left when he finally beat my fighter... So close to a TPK!
We used psionics more in 1st and 2nd edition than we did in 3.0 and 3.5. 2nd edition psionicists were kind of fun, particularly after The Will & the Way introduced some flexibility.
None of us had a thematic problem with it in 3.X, since, really, the psionic system was a *far* more appropriate system to model the sorts of 'magic' one sees in the greater majority of fantasy novels, shows, movies, etc. than the Vancian 'mnemonic' system and obviously science fiction-y spells like clone and time stop (and old-school stuff like distance distortion and duo-dimension and black holes of annihilation and 33,000 cubic foot expanding fireballs, which kind of made it so that anyone who hated sci-fi in their fantasy obviously was never gonna play D&D anyway), it was just that nobody really wanted to play one, so we never got around to learning the rules.
(Same with binders, truenamers, the OA classes, etc. Nobody cared to play one, so we never learned the rules. There was no actual dislike of those systems or their flavor.)
Cosmo's Girlfriend wrote:
Agggh! I am reading the Psi Corps trilogy right now and all I want is for Bester to be the misunderstood antihero!.... BUT HE IS NOT AND I AM SAD BECAUSE HE'S JUST A SOCIOPATH. sigh. I blame Cosmo for this.
Bester was awesome. Like the Mayor, on Buffy, he was a *fun* bad guy.
"I'm going to beat you like a piñata."
I blame Cosmo for seasons three and four of Babylon 5 being so good that season 5 ended up kind of boring by comparison.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Beat me by 28 seconds, you ninja bastard.
"Black blood of the earth."
Against the Giants / Hill Giant Steading.
Most of the stock characters had a couple of doses of dust of disappearance, so they went invisible and unintentionally split up (since none of us could see each other). The cleric and magic-user were two who did not and stayed together. In some sort of comedy of errors, the cleric and magic-user arrived in the dining hall just as the invisible rogue, ranger and fighter were setting up to backstab the dozen or so giants in the feasthall (along with their chief).
The doors open, the magic-user says, 'Oh wow.' and casts confusion, which, per the rules, affects the lower HD PCs in the room first, and not the giants, and the PCs immediately start attacking each other, etc. while the giants enjoy some free rounds of attacks on them.
After several rounds of this, the rogue finally gets the glorious roll of 'attack caster and his party' on the confusion check, since he's itching to murder the magic-user for hitting him with confusion. The same round he charges, the cleric puts up a blade barrier to stop the giants closing in on his position, and the rogue has *exactly* enough movement to make it into the blade barrier, but is still 10 ft. from the magic-user and gets no attack. Next round, he rolls, 'wander away' on the confusion chart and turns around to walk away (but then takes another round worth of blade barrier damage and dies).
By this point, the fighter and ranger have been murdered by the dozen giants, while bumbling around and getting only a round worth of attacks between them (thanks to the confusion). The magic-user is down, having taken too many giant-thrown boulders to the face, and the only one left standing is the cleric, who Word of Recall's out (taking the unconscious magic-user with him).
Pretty much the second encounter, after a sleeping guard in the front room, and we have a TPK in module 1 of what was to be an epic run through G1, G2, G3, D1, D2 and Q1.