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"For the glory!" - Get unbelievably, horribly dirty, such as being drenched in dragon intestines, cuddling with a herd of otyughs, or diving into sewer water.
"THIS!!! IS!!! SPARTA!!!" - Fail an important Diplomacy check in a spectacular manner.
"There is always plan A." - Spend at least an hour making a complex plan for something, only to abandon it immediately in favour of "get in, kill everything in the way, get what we came for, and get out."
"Express elevator to Hell, going down!" - Visit Hell.
"Only way to be sure" - Throw at least twenty fireballs from a flying position.
"Only 99 left to go" - Kill a *murf.
What has changed is that people want to listen to the exact songs they want, when they want them, without spending a s*!&load of money, and without the hassle of DRM and handling physical products. With streaming services, they can have it - to the point where it is now what is expected. Not providing this would at this point be marketing suicide and the companies know it. Cue cries of BUT PIRACY!!!11one, but the fact of the matter is the business changed due to people's expectations. It is possible this change came about because of piracy, but it's not something that can be undone today.
In practice, it means that the old model of sponsoring a few big artists and bands, through very lucrative contracts, aiming for few but mega-selling albums and thus less money spent on marketing... is dead. Given the opportunity, people are far more eclectic and nuanced in listening habits. I don't see this changing.
I think that is too much excusing. If nothing else, that is a way to make it an issue. Asking "how do you identify, gender-wise?" is not rude, and I have found that many are happy that it was not made an issue. If someone gets angry, that is when you tell them about the form of questions and why.
How did it go?
Meh. This is not a situation for negotiation. When the dice start thinking it is acceptable to ruin things for you like this, it is time to take off the kid gloves. Punish the dice. Find the most egregious offender and execute it in front of the others. I find that hammers work well. Once this is done, you will find the dice roll VERY well a period afterward... But after things start to sag again, another example is needed. Get new dice to replace those lost, and treat those VERY well. Do this, and you will have shown your dice that they serve you, not the other way around. You should be able to reach 10.5 quickly, maybe even a little bit more.
Don't forget the Animate Rope spell. Also we should start figuring out how many atonement spells you all will need for getting this entangled with a chaotic evil being.
Honestly, I am thinking after participating in this thread, the succubus might be in need of an atonement as well. What IS the evil counterpart to this spell, by the way? Detonement? Harald's efficient blink puppy kicker?
A strong character that needs to hold back to not outclass your character means, even if it never does a single thing to be overbearing, that the entirety of your character's existence, motivation, struggle, whatever you call it, becomes meaningless in a single stroke. If Superman is with us, why doesn't Superman solve every problem with the villains? Your character becomes a supporting cast character in Superman's story... and feels completely irrelevant.
Reality is not as firm as we think, or want to think, it is. It is enough to be tired to see illusions, i.e. False sensory input building on something real. This is the twig against the window you see as a hand from a bit away. Even more strongly, hallucinations (genuine false sensory input) happen often to people falling asleep and waking up. Add in drugs, various reactions to sensory deprivation (listen to enough white noise and you WILL hear voices, especially if you expect to), various traumatic experiences, severe anxiety disorders, light versions of psychotic disorders, and so on, and you will realize that there is more than ample opportunity for the human brain to use the canvas we call reality as a sounding board. If we expect to see something, stand to gain from doing so, or want to see something, that is what we will see.
kestral: I think the answer to this can be clearly expressed best by the old adage about why people don't like the Forgotten Realms: Because there are dozens of ultra-high-power NPCs running around. Basically, since these exist, why don't they always deal with the current world-shaking crisis? What space is there for a hero in the presence of all those giants?
The central issue is this: Alice and Bob are out adventuring, fighting tooth and nail against an evil orc chief. Setbacks, crises and difficulties abound, but in the end, Alice and Bob manage to kill the orc chieftain. The year of struggling, the death of Charlie, the intrigue to make the threat known, the wounds, the uncertainty... it all feels like it MEANT something. Why? Because they fought through it all and won through their own skill and determination.
Now Alice and Bob hear of a new threat. A necromancer has risen in the North and needs to be fought. So they recruit Dave, a wizard. Dave is a massively powerful spellcaster, far beyond Alice's and Bob's growing skills. After this becomes obvious and leads to a conflict within the party, he tells them "Don't worry, I will only use my full power if it becomes absolutely necessary. The rest of the time, I will stay at your level."
That should have improved things, but didn't. See, as soon as anything seriously threatened the party, Dave blasted it, flew them through it, conjured something to solve the issue, at one point he even went toe-to-toe in melee against the blackguard and didn't break a sweat in killing it. See, Dave knew there was a serious risk this enemy might kill one or more of Alice or Bob, and thus it was "absolutely necessary".
They did kill the necromancer (or rather, Dave did). After this, Alice and Bob retired from adventuring.
Documentation is important later in a slow process, and it's good that you're seeing progress. Congratulations. And caring how you look is human, not narcissistic. Talking about it in a place like this is sharing good news, not being narcissistic. =)
I have been gaming for ages by now. I have done the extreme power character so many times that I find it a) too easy, b) usually boring to chew the rules that hard, and c) unnecessarily disruptive to a campaign which usually ends up with the GM flubbing the challenge for some participants (either challenge the power freaks and kill the others or challenge the others and bore the power freaks). I want my characters to have weaknesses, and if someone exploits these in interaction or story-wise, that is usually the sign of something that I will enjoy playing.
Sure, the rules system allows for freakishly strong characters, usually these are good at only One. Single. Thing. Glass cannon is a thing. Players who make these tend to whine insufferably if their One. Skill. can't be used in an encounter, say, a trip master who encounters an ooze. See, it's not just the mechanically strong build, it is also about players trying to shape the game to give the player in question maximum returns for the build. Other characters are designed to be so overwhelming (say, in damage output) that the GM has to adapt every encounter to counter tactic X or see the character flush it down the drain, which is also a drag after a few encounters. Encounter variety is a significant part of the interest in playing the game, at least for me, so anything that limits that, I will consider a problem.
Finally, the idea that it's a good idea to have a mechanically superior character, but not use it fully so as not to annoy the other players, is frankly a pitiful one. The only sense this makes is if you are so afraid of "losing" that you MUST have an answer for precisely everything. I can understand that playing with a "killer GM" may lead you to this perspective, but really, give it a rest. Relax, calm down, nobody is going to kill your character to show they are superior to you. And so, if you have a character that can kill any monster in the four manuals in a single blow, CONGRATULATIONS. YOU WON. Now let's put that character in a permanent retirement demiplane somewhere and make some new ones that can actually be challenged.
Laws are not necessarily lawful. Repeat that until it sinks in. Why must every alignment thread always rehash the same boneheaded arguments? Lawful laws are those that promote order, predictability and procedure, and strengthen organizations. Chaotic laws do the opposite, i.e. Break down order, predictability and procedure, and strengthen individuals. A law saying that the king can have anyone he feels like killed is the very epitome of a chaotic law. It is... Getting grating to hear the usual cries of "paladins must follow every law waaaaaaah".
Bluh... This again. EVERYONE has rules they live by. Everyone. The difference is where people find these rules. A lawful person gets these rules from an external, strictly codified source like a religious text, while a chaotic person thinks more in terms of traditions and an internal list of principles to juggle. These two do not match. A lawful person will consider a chaotic person dangerous specifically because they do not have a codified set of rules and are therefore unpredictable, something very problematic to a lawful person. A chaotic person sees the lawful person as dangerous to the freedom of action of the chaotic person, something the chaotic person isn't going to just accept. There is no common ground here, but these characters can work together on a case by case basis, because they share a more important goal, or because they respect one another.
It doesn't hurt me to consider those people vile for what they did. I have no problem feeling empathy, letting people close, caring, showing kindness, or anything positive. What remains is a sad, sad conviction that I am basically worthless. This, too, has gotten better, but it exists, and will probably stay with me all my life. Someone doing that to me is not someone I have to forgive, or would feel good about forgiving.
There is a current story in Sweden about a woman who was contacted by her bully twenty years after the fact, and asked to perform a stand-up comedy act at his pizza joint. She is decently successful today as a comedian. When she got this mail, she said basically that "I could have taken ten grand to tell everyone there about what you put me through, but I won't." However, she managed to unintentionally miss blurring his name in one location when she published her answer on the net. This caused an internet meltdown between the "you have to forgive and move on and not publish his name" and the "bully scum are subhuman s%!! who deserve everything they get" crowds. It is interesting to watch the outpouring of support for her, even if she did apologize for publishing his name.
What we need to see is the good cops starting to throw their bad cop colleagues under the bus and speak out about police corruption. A decent problem reporting system that doesn't get people threatened by the cops would also be a good idea. What many people don't realize is that accepting transparency and accountability lets you avoid having everyone judged by the behaviour of "a few bad apples". Ideally, this would not be necessary because the police sorted these things out in a way that worked already - but that is not the case. Trust is difficult to repair in all situations, even more so for people with power.
56. "Boom today!" (Trigger detonation from two extradimensional spaces)
Simon Legrande wrote:
The only code I follow is my own. I may agree with you sometimes, but don't think that means I agree with you about everything. Don't tell me what's good or evil, right or wrong, I'll decide that myself. I have no use for the oppressiveness of governments trying to tell me how I have to act. I do have rules that I believe in though and I'll always follow my rules. I treat every individual I meet as an individual regardless of where they come from or what race they are. I live my life as it comes to me, the only meaning is the meaning I give it.
This is what I woud call a textbook case of Chaotic Neutral. You have a firm rejection of external rules, and in every situation you look to the individual first, most and only. The rules you live by are your own.
84. So that... and this took some work to figure out... the only realistic way to become high-level fast enough for your tastes was to adventure. And now, ever since you started by killing some goblins a while back, it's been like you're on a path of adventure. For now, you're Neutral... but that's all going to change once you finish the big quest ahead. Heh heh heh. You are going to be the biggest, baddest wizard around, and nobody's going to be able to stop you... It is going to be just glorious. Some would say "the world is your oyster", but that's wrong. The world is not an oyster.
The central issue here is the fact that people get punished (expulsion is not something most people enjoy, right?), but it's touted as an "administrative action" or some s#%@ like that. Worse, it's specifically designed to handle the cases where someone is NOT convicted of rape in the legal system. Presumably people get expelled if they get convicted of rape, no? This law allows a "second strike" against someone who was not convicted, with different, very much laxer, requirements for punishment.
Second, while it's important that rape victims go get checked at the hospital, there is a misunderstanding as to what can actually be shown. Sum total, such a check can determine whether violence was used and whether sexual intercourse happened. Possibly, with whom. Just like the accused can say "She said yes", the victim can say "he threatened me and I didn't dare struggle".
But hey, anything to get more people in jail, right? Proving your innocence is going to be a giant stride forward toward a society where the state gets to chuck anyone they feel like in jail.
I did that monstrous compendium crap for positively YEARS. Eventually, they got it into their heads to simply print a classic monster book, the Monstrous Manual. This became a smash hit. Now, it was a good book, but it wasn't THAT amazing. I suspect that the main point in its favour is that it did away with the looseleaf system.
Terquem: Normally I am all for being humble, you know me, right? However, in this case, no. A looseleaf/binder system is an objectively bad idea. I am sorry if you thought differently; being wrong is not the worst that could happen to a person. =)
For the love of all that's holy, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT publish more monster info as binder looseleaf. *shudder* It was a horrible idea then and is a horrible idea now. Even the seemingly okay idea about making a binder with the actual creatures your homebrew/campaign uses is meaningless because massive sorting work and because non-included monsters on the back page will get included. And that's without counting the torn pages...
This has always been my take, really. Pratchett began as a journalist. You need something to drive you in that line of work. In every book, then, it has been a question of caring or not caring, and to my mind, perhaps the best example is Small gods.
Chief exquisitor Vorbis, the most brutal and terrifying man around, expert in every kind of pain, is given a very lonely afterlife, lasting until Brutha dies, who is able to guide Vorbis away from loneliness by accompanying him along the way.