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Steve Geddes wrote:
Indeed. So, let's not go back to the early 90s for solutions. It would be far easier to make pdf system that can make a "binder" for "loose pages". Sure, you won't get the feel of holding it like a book in your hand... but the binders never did that either.
Another problem that the binder system carried was this: The first Monstrous Compendium was a binder. Second and third were loose pages for that binder. IIRC, #4 was a binder too, the Greyhawk expansion. After this, nobody knew which to make into binders. In total, there were fourteen (I think) expansions, and each binder held four. Two binders were made. In Sweden, where I live, three-ring binders are truly rare, we use a four-ring system instead (for the A4 paper size instead of folio format, I think), so I had too many loose leaf expansions, the ones I crammed together (Spelljammer, Ravenloft and Dark Sun, hmmm?) had nothing much in common, I had to make new holes in the pages, and I did manage to track down one extra three-ring binder after long searching. Blugh.
The Vet will kill one newb every five blows. Until that happens the first time, the four newbs get to make twenty hits, give or take a few. Next five blows, fifteen for a total of thirty-five. Next five blows, ten for a total of forty-five. Finally, the final newb gets to make five blows against Vet before dying. Grand total is fifty blows, not enough to kill the Vet. I may have missed something here, admittedly.
Fantasy or not, you did not answer the point: That each disallowed defense, whatever the body making the judgement, lowers the standards of evidence. Thus, this law explicitly, clearly and indisputably is a lowering of criminal procedure standards. You are of course welcome to show how they don't, if you can.
thejeff: You know I didn't say women should adapt alone. In fact, I meant both sexes equally in all these suggestions: If people stayed away from booze parties, men and women, a lot of rapes would not happen. If people left abusive or dangerous partners, whether men or women, the same would happen. If people called the cops when situations turned ugly, men or women, the same again. But really, if you think those suggestions are so terrible, please tell me something else people can do, outside the legal system, that would help the situation. Every little bit helps, right?
Since no one is getting thrown in jail here (or added to sex offender lists or any other criminal punishment or record), I don't understand why you keep harping on it. I would love to see more actual rapists in jail, but it is fundamentally a very difficult crime to convict for, so I don't know of a good way to do that, while still preserving the presumption of innocence. This is a good compromise, because it will at least separate the victim from the assailant...
And since you can't have more rapists in jail while still preserving the presumption of innocence, well, tough, but presumption of innocence must go. This law is an expression of EXACTLY that.
Imagine this: Someone accused you of a crime, say, murder by pistol. You feel pretty confident that you'll go free, because you never held a gun in your life, you never met the person in question (and indeed have no idea who he was), you have an alibi where dozens of people saw you give a lecture on the opposite coast the time the murder was committed. Then, once you get to court, you are told by the judge that you are not allowed to bring up any of these points in your defense, ESPECIALLY not your alibi. You are of course allowed to prove you didn't murder him, but not using any of those defenses.
Would you say the standards for criminal procedures had been lowered in such a situation?
Because if they have, every disallowed defense lowers those same standards.
Rape, like many other crimes, is difficult to prosecute because there are no witnesses, usually just the two people in question. This leads to few convictions, because the legal principle is "beyond reasonable doubt". So, you need to show that not only were the two in the same place, not merely having intercourse, but that the victim did not want to have sex at that time. Good luck with that. Hospital can't really help with that last criterium unless there was a struggle. Given this, it doesn't exactly come as a surprise that few convictions for rape happen.
However, there are different conclusions to draw from that. First, you can draw the conclusion that if the legal system really can't do the job (which is arguable), everyone needs to be careful and adjust for it. What would that mean? Well, primarily, don't go to booze parties, leave alcoholic and emotionally dysfunctional partners, call the cops if the s%## is hitting the fan. The other is easier: Relax the evidence needed to convict someone of rape, possibly demanding that the accused prove their own innocence, thereby shifting the entire burden of proof to the defendant and breaking with centuries of legal tradition. At least it looks better on paper: Assuming an equal number of reports of rape, you get a higher percentage of convictions. That these people were before the law changed tried in court and it was found that "beyond reasonable doubt" was not achieved, well, too bad. Now we have better statistics.
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.
Yes, brilliant. In theory.
In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.
And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.
thejeff: What this kind of rules does is, even if you discount what Kelsey wrote, that it puts two prospective lovers in a situation where the question of trust becomes even more difficult than it already is. I saw an article some time ago stating that many young people choose to film their sessions of intercourse to have something to fall back on if it should become a legal matter. See, the alternative is to have nothing at all. Add in prohibitions of filming people younger than seventeen and various other laws, and it seems to me that there are a number of politicians who want it to be impossible for people to feel secure in having sex before they are eighteen. At least in states where age of consent is below eighteen, this feels like a very odd situation.
Also, no. If you are claiming this change is a good one, it falls to YOU to explain how we should see the fact that false accusations will lead to more convictions with the new rules. You can't turf that over to someone else and then wash your hands of it. Changes like this WILL lead to more people who have been falsely accused getting sentenced. Is that okay? What do we say to that? I am waiting for an answer.
And no, sanity doesn't in general enter into this. As I told you in another thread, we had a politician actually campaigning to remove trials in cases of rape - because it was so emotionally tough for the victim. You have been accused of rape, go directly to jail, do not collect 200$. Given this, and the fact that people accused of rape will under laws like this have to prove their innocence, no, this is a development that is gravely unhealthy.
And it doesn't matter if you claim not to say that it doesn't matter if innocents are sentenced and punished. It is the sum of what you say.
Because you don't see it as a problem that innocents are punished. It really is nothing new from you. Rape brings more problems than other crimes because the US has all these laws about registration as a sex offender. Please do not pretend otherwise. Further, it is not only possible but highly likely that there are false positives as well as false negatives in this context, as in all other similar situations. What the progressive leftists want to do is merely to shift those numbers to get more convictions - if this means innocents are punished, well, who cares?
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. =)
If someone rapes another, that is an individual doing a crime that hurts the victim. If someone makes a false accusation, and the victim gets punished for it, that is the STATE hurting the victim. Claiming these two cases are mostly the same thing by comparing the false positives and false negatives completely ignores the fact that a false accusation uses the state's powers to hurt someone else. This is a problem, because the state has so much power to hurt someone living there. At its most basic, it's a question of whether innocent people are safe from the state's coercive and punitive powers living somewhere. Whether enough rapists are punished for their crimes is a different matter, but in most Western legal systems, a lesser issue. You know, rather let ten criminals go free than punish one innocent?
False accusations are a widespread legal problem, because you can just not rape someone so as not to be punished for it, but you have no recourse when facing a false accusation. There is no course of action you can follow so as not to be accused and punished.
Shackled city. Two years or so in. Our resident halfling sorcerer chose an unfortunate prestige class: Fire elementalist. From that point on, everything, literally everything that was at least vaguely threatening in the campaign, was immune fire. (Don't do that to a player) However, one encounter is with six aberrations. Everyone thinks they are in serious doo doo. The player in question checks his Knowledge (dungeoneering) and finds that these critters aren't even fire resistant. He maxes initiative and tosses in a fireball that covers the entire room where the monsters are. More than half his dice roll sixes. He does enough damage that even those that save go down. Everyone looks at one another, and the player says, "Well, what are we waiting for, let's keep going."
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.
The point of FFVIII is the storyline and the mysteries involved. The stuff people are still discussing some 15 years later. Squall is too emo, yes. Selphie is too perky. But what people usually don't realize is that the grinding can more or less wholesale be replaced by card refinement, which is a far quicker process.
I should add that it is going far too far to say that having sex with someone who is drunk is rape. There are obvious cases where it is, such as if they're unconscious or just way, way too drunk, and there are situations where it's pretty guaranteed to be okay, such as two people drinking together in preparation for sex, but there is also a gray area in between. Healthy policy to avoid rape, miscommunication leading to a legal situation, and so on, is naturally to avoid sex with alcohol. However, I would say that most people's experience in the area is that alcohol is more common than not when it comes to sex, at least in the going out and partying situation. What you need to ask yourself is to what degree alcohol invalidates someone's given consent.
Violent criminals are not like everyone else. They are people with severe empathy dysfunction, bad impulse control, or both, generally. These are handicaps you really don't understand from the popular science image of them. Try it. Try to imagine yourself surrounded by people you can't understand, indeed, never have been able to understand what they are feeling, but who treat you badly because they think you are a creep. Or imagine that every thought about something you want means you act on getting it... Only to be faced with the consequences of having done so after the fact. Imagine your life having been like this as far back as you can remember. Not quite your life, is it? To quote a good movie, it's pretty f@**ing far from okay. How common are these defects? Well, one in ten, maybe, at some level of the handicap.
So... If you were to exclude these people from the statistics, who would be left among the perps? A lot of drug/alcohol situations, which are an artificial way to get the above handicaps. Beyond that? People in situations of extreme pressure. Psychosis, severe anxiety, other personality disorders, confusion, all are things that bring about the above, and slightly increase the risk of violence. See, normally functioning people generally don't enjoy beating or raping people. Part of the definition of normal.
A consequence of this, then, is that you need to be careful about who you are around. You need to be even more careful who you get drunk with. This goes equally for men and women, by the way, before you claim it is victim blaming. Be careful. Take precautions. Leave if the party gets too drunk and take your friends with you. If s~*$ is starting to happen, call the cops. If your husband or wife has a serious drinking problem, leave them unless they deal with it.
Aranna: As you say, there are Anitas out there who WILL complain about anything that even vaguely smells of sexism. They are the ones pushing this internet meltdown. Hence, no, you really can't adapt in a sensible way. They will not be happy.
Claiming there has been no outrage about Seoni's clothes is not as I would describe it, not really. There have been outrage in an number of threads about it, a mainstay of every discussion about gender here.
One of the things that made people angry about Babylon 5 was that in one episode, Garibaldi had to help his old flame, a beautiful woman who had ended up in trouble, and had no stomach for fighting. As Straczynski put it, "not everyone is a fighter". And this is the show that gave us Ivanova and Delenn, and generally took it quite seriously to show women as complex, realistic characters from day one. It didn't help. Nor will adding in a number of realistic and plain clothed women distract these anger-peddlers from the extreme sexism of Paizo's Seoni. It is exactly the wrong time to make any sort of change when the hunt is on.
It is a good thing that you have a more moderate view of it, that you understand that it is going to take time, that at the end of the day, economics will enter into it. I wish all the screamers could take your position, Aranna.
The truth as I see it is that a) games are wish fulfillment and may need to distinguish between male and female demographics to function as that, which may not be all a bad thing, and b) games ARE getting better, beyond the stupid cardboard cutout characters for both men and women. That doesn't mean ALL of them are, of course.
I don't often favourite Scott's posts. Feels kind of iffy.
However, Aranna, you put a few questions above:
How does requesting a female option come across as "Your games are bad"?
Come now, the feminist wyld hunt in question has been falling over itself in trying to hammer home the message that there isn't a single shred of value in the gaming industry products. It wasn't the demands for a female option, it was the extremely vocal and toxic views that got the message understood as "Your games are bad". I find most AAA titles less than stellar, usually due to the unthinking action, the substandard writing and so on, basically everything but the graphics is weak. The exceptions are what is worth playing, and they do still exist, thankfully. I certainly don't mind having male and female options if they are possible to make, but honestly, Aranna, would Planescape: Torment have been a better game with a female protagonist? At the very least, it's a complicated question.
How does it threaten you to include us in the fun? Why does gaming with a girl seem SO threatening to boys?
Everyone is welcome. Have been so for a good, long time now. But a subculture is an entity with its own principles, value systems, thoughts, perceptions and so on. Gamers are no exception. Join in if you want, and work toward the change you want, but understand that such change needs to come from shared experiences, discussions and so on, according to how the subculture does these things. Enough women in gaming and gaming will change with most people happy about it. Women, especially non-gamer women, TELLING gamers that they are bad, evil people (dried husks, wasn't it?) and need to change what they like, that isn't going to go over well, just like it wouldn't in regards to any other subculture.
And trash talking? I assume you mean calling out the sexism in certain titles. IS sexism so much a part of your fun that making tiny little changes ruins the WHOLE experience of gaming?
I remember seeing a number of interviews in the "alien sideboob" controversy in Mass Effect, where a number of morons of various stripes were doing their level best to get their fifteen minutes of TV time by claiming a game they had never played was horrible because it revolved only around sex, all the time. These people aren't satisfied with "tiny little changes", and you know it, Aranna. Right now, the core of the conflict is about "who has the right to say what should and shouldn't be in computer games?", and the wrong answer to that question WILL lead to bad places. For comics, it was the Comics Code (read that until you understand it if you haven't already). In short, it sentenced an entire medium to pathetic writing, bizarre restrictions and elementary-school level plots, turning it to sanitized drek for decades (the views of Tracy Hickman notwithstanding). We do NOT want that, but it is still where a voice for complying with the wyld hunt will lead.
In short: This is a case of very much ado about nothing. It doesn't matter that these people like to stroke their ego by claiming that the gamer culture is dead. New things will happen, and eyes will find other things to look at. The hunters have no stamina for a sustained assault, and time will prove them wrong in a month or two. It may even be that they are right, that there is too much sexism in gaming. The sad fact is that even if we think so, the worst thing we gamers can do right now is agree with them. That would be giving them the authority they claim.
So how many male privilege equal one able-bodied privilege? You would just have to set up an exchange table and then you could mathematically assign levels of victimhood to everyone! Even better, this could be tracked online like the stock market prices so you could be certain to have a spot victimhood value that depends on the current changes in the various victim labels! It would be equally applicable in precisely every situation! Just think of the efficiency gains inherent in not having to wonder if someone is more or less a victim than you are!
Rich miners that give gifts that are just as dangerous as if they actively try to hurt you, that want your women and are skilled enough in smithwork that they can barter it for sex with a goddess (!), that NEVER forget the merest slight, and have a thing for dangerous deals, chopping off heads and were originally created from Ymir's corpse worms, that's norse dwarves. On the other hand, the myths generally don't say much about beer, beards, armour, axes, clans, stamina, valour in combat, scottish accents, or any of the classic dwarven traits. They are short, usually seem to live in groups of under a dozen, and generally vile. It is very much an open question if they have women whatsoever.
I whitelist, I don't blacklist. I set up a campaign, and I make sure to include enough options for decent variety. Everything among those options has a place in the world, provided by me. Everything else is right out. No weirdo ARG races, and ESPECIALLY no "race of one" super special snowflakes. If a player makes a good case for including something and it fits (no classic gnolls in a court intrigue campaign), I will work with the player to include it setting-wide. With classes it is easier, but I often want to change things up like replacing arcane magic with psionics and the classics may not be there. No gunslingers or witches, both are horribly designed classes.
If we consider what motivated the crap starting ages table in the first place, I would say that it's one of two things: Either some nerd thought that since elves live for hundreds of years, their adolescence and childhood must remain the same percentage of total lifespan that a human does, or they considered it important that you could play elves that got to say things like "I may look younger than you, but I actually taught your great-grandfather how to fight."
In Drakar och Demoner, a swedish BRP game of the 80s, the problem was even bigger. The description of elves stated that they could live forever, and that some were as old as thirty thousand years. EVERY SINGLE ELF PLAYER I talked to drew the conclusion that 30000/3=10000 years old was a brilliant starting age for elves, just like 60/3=20 years was for a human.
I find the table to be b+~##~#*, a leftover of how someone had a bit of unluck when thinking that somehow has remained in the game for various editions now. It leads to moronic problems, it is never adressed, and it rules out younger elf characters which would be a rather interesting proposition.
The problem with the BoEF wasn't that it had porn illustrations, but that the illustrations were BAD, sometimes hilariously so. The actual rules were somewhat decent, though forced into the general d20 structure of the time, meaning feats and (most annoying) prestige classes. That said, it's not a style of playing that's easy to find players for, and arguably, the book failed at what it wanted to do.
Love and Sex in the Ninth World manages in its 13 pages to do a better job, I'd say.
For me personally, my dump stat is strength. Nothing wrong with my intelligence though, and people seem to listen when I talk and turn to me when they need someone to decide something. Generally, though, I'd say 20 point buy is being quite generous.
But healing and buffing can be done by anyone. There is no save DCs involved, no SR to beat, nothing. It feels like you're bringing someone who really shouldn't be in the fights you intend to pick, just to free up spell slots for the leader. I think that's a sorry way to handle something that should (and could) be so much more. YMMV, of course.
The problem I have with it is that it usually increases complexity for little reward. Hear me out, please. No matter what you do, your cohort is going to be at least two levels beneath you. If you're 7th, it will be 5th. 14, it will be 12. It may not sound like much of a difference, but it's quite significant in play. As soon as the opposition is above your party level, it will have at least three levels/CRs on your cohort. That is right at the limit for where they really don't have much power to influence the encounter. And that's without counting the extra equipment your cohort is going to need to be effective. Note that this is quite intentional: The power gained from taking the feat should match that of taking some other feat.
So, you really have three options for your cohort (if you get to build it): You can make it über-specialized for some facet of combat, like a damage-dealing barbarian or something. Or, you can make it a character focusing on doing something that generally improves combat, in particular buffing or healing. Or, finally, you can make a character that doesn't even enter combat, but crafts items or contributes to your character's spellbook with the spells it gains from leveling.
Neither of these is satisfactory. The first will be a character that can contribute to combat in some few situations, mostly against weaker enemies that you could ROFLSTOMP anyway. The second will be dead the second an enemy focuses on them. The third is pure, unadulterated munchkinism.
If you also add in mythic rules or in some other way raise the power level of the group, you are leaving what cohorts can do far behind in the dust.
I don't have an easy solution. It seems to me that Leadership SHOULD be able to work, and contribute to the experience, but that doesn't seem to be the case as it stands.
Lord Fyre wrote: