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Lion Blade

Tacticslion's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 12,789 posts (15,339 including aliases). 4 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 35 aliases.


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Crypt of the NecroDancer
Magic Animatic

Nothin'. Move along.

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Tacticslion wrote:
(I recommend becoming a master summoner and cheese-spamming the heck out of it. You'll survive longer that way, and you're summoned minions can just add ton of Aid Another's to everyone else's attempt at everything.)

I, uh... I just made this possible.



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It had to be done.

Cheese-Spam Summon
School conjuration (creation) [cheese]; Level antipaladin 2, bard 2, bloodrager 2, druid 2, inquisitor 2, magus 2, medium 2, mesmerist 2, occultist 2, paladin 2, psychic 2, ranger 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, spiritualist 2, summoner 2, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area cylander (40 ft. radius, 20 ft. high)
Duration 1 round per level and instantaneous (see text)
Saving Throw none or Will or Fortitude negates (see text); SR no
A rain of strange (relatively light-weight) metallic containers filled with a strange (relatively heavy) meat-like substance, and cheeses of all sorts (squares, shreds, and small wheels) fills the area, dealing 2d6 points of non-lethal bludgeoning damage to every creature in the area. This damage only occurs once, when the spell is cast.

For the remaining duration of the spell, this debris covers the ground, making the entire area difficult terrain; further, all creatures within the area (including the caster, if present) have their attitude towards the caster decrease by one step. At the end of the duration, the cans disappear, leaving behind their salty, greasy, meat-like contents along with all the cheese. The change in attitude may or may not remain, depending on the caster and those creatures affected.

Swarms that move through the region must make a will save or become stuck for the duration, effectively forced to remain in an area containing this food, as it feasts on this instead of other creatures; the swarm gains the entangled condition and becomes rooted to the spot. Doing so supplies 1d3 damage per round to the swarm, however, as the strange substances and bizarre combinations keep the miniature bodies trapped and hungry mouths feasting. Swarms that are entirely uninterested in food (such as certain kinds of robots or similar creatures) or swarms that would instantly destroy the food-like substances created (such as certain kinds of oozes) must instead make a fortitude save against the damage and entangled condition. Consuming this food is not recommended when swarms are within it.

The food is (technically) fully edible, and even "nourishing" of a sort. It can (in a pinch) provide food for up to three medium-sized creatures or one large-sized creature for 24 hours per level... though, being unsecured cheese and a non-cured meat-like substance (that can be cooked, but not cured to last longer), it all goes bad in most situations rather quickly. Either way, persisting on nothing but this food for more than a meal or two will cause all people forced to rely upon it to have their attitude shifted down a step toward everyone (this may even stack with the attitude reduction the caster suffers in the first place). Too many meals in a row may even cause blockage and digestion-issues, leaving a -1 penalty on fortitude checks (and, likely, weight gain). A good, solid meal of a kind preferred by a creature otherwise forced to subsist on this for an extended period will cure any bad attitude, however, and eventually clear up any other penalties.

There are a few (extremely rare) people (often considered annoying or unhealthy or both) who actually enjoy this food a great deal and are not necessarily negatively affected by the attitude-shifting portions of this spell.

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captain yesterday wrote:
Monkey Bone (named for the Arucaria (sp?) Tree, or "Monkey Bone" tree)

And here I thought it was the Brandon Frasier film.

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(Edited that one for a better alias to fit.)

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I REALLY want this to make it! Thanks!

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Tacticslion wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

I'm afraid Council of Thieves was an epic catastrophe for us. The family wanted to play in an "evil" campaign, so I let them all be evil, and the forums suggested I run Council of Thieves.

Leading to the immediate question in Book 1: "Why on Golarion am I helping these people?!?!?!"

It left a sour enough taste in our mouths we haven't returned to it.

That's sad. It's a flawed AP, but really good in many ways, too.

There are definite ways it can work for evil, but it needs to be handled carefully and the CoW you're supposed to start with need to be completely changed for it to work at all.

(That said, now you've got Hell's Vengeance, if you want that sort of thing... :D)

NobodysHome wrote:
Mummy's Mask sounds like a blast, and we're trying a really odd assortment of misfits at the start. I do worry that Red's Journal is going to become "someone else's Journal" rather rapidly, as we're lacking in both martial classes and divine casters, but hey, I can always play a hilarious old cleric of Abadar...

Awesome! Good luck!

(I recommend becoming a master summoner and cheese-spamming the heck out of it. You'll survive longer that way, and you're summoned minions can just add ton of Aid Another's to everyone else's attempt at everything.)

NobodysHome wrote:
And in case you're wondering, yes. Yes, she WILL have a wolf animal companion that she will ride.

... but does she have a ticket.

Ha! Ha! Hhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa...!

That's regulated Mummy's Mask "humor"* and song-reference in one! It's "funny"* because you start off so regulated in Mummy's Mask and it's a weak reference to a song!

* No. I'm pretty sure it's not, really. I liked it, though.

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So, I was going through my almost-annual email slog, and noticed that an order of mine was experiencing problems due to payment method... and was going to run out of time and be cancelled, if I didn't change it!

I've attempted to rectify that (by putting in the new payment method and deleting the old), but, uh, outside of slogging through 1k+ emails, is there any way of knowing if I've accidentally had an order discarded or broken due to the payment stuff?

It happened because someone'd stolen my card number and it was cancelled - I just didn't realize that by using my new card number, I didn't invalidate the old one.


What's the best way to proceed? Did I somehow lose out on any orders that I'd had pending and collapsed due to old payment method?

Thank you all so much! Sorry for being a dunderhead about all this.

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A more serious rumination on the topic of Cthulu:

... mmmmmmmmmeh?

Don't get me wrong.

I mean, I agree that the same existential horror that the Cthulu Mythos heroes feel can never be replicated by the players in PFRPG, but the characters can feel that (albeit, we know, for certain, they're under a very specific rule-set of affliction).

The thing is, Cthulu, itself, isn't really all-that, as-presented in the original texts of the authors. And he's not even supposed to be.

The problem I see with many Mythos fans (including the version statted in PF) is that they try to put Cthulu into this completely unassailable realm where nothing can stop him, harm him, or cause him minor inconvenience. That's... not how Cthulu works in his own mythos. The dude doesn't care about us, not because we're insignificant, but because he doesn't care about us.

Boats pop his head (and cause him to leak madness-gas and reform a bit later). Turns out he's not smart enough to realize, "Hey, that massive heavy thing moving at my face at great speed? I can't swallow that." But then again, Cthulu himself was never supposed to be the thing to which we all just throw up our hands in horror and give up. He's supposed to be chump change in his own universe - he's a priest/descendant of some of the bigger dudes out there. I mean, his Star Spawn went to a non-determined war with Elder Things, and didn't win. That's... uh... that indicates something is kind of, you know, off with their relative CR levels. Granted, Elder Things were made of terrestrial matter instead of whatever the others were, but they actually held their own against yith and mi-go as well as the "star spawn"... right up until global cooling, I guess? I mean, the shoggoth rebellion hurt them pretty badly, but that was before the shoggoth actually really became as "advanced" as they ended up. I mean, yeah, they degraded eventually, but that just sounds like the difference between a mortal (be it humanoid or aberration) and an outsider, in PF.

But here's the thing. Mythos characters were supposed to never, ever, really care about anything we peon mortals ever did. We're not important, right?

But, uh, we are. To them. Explicitly. Yog-Sothoth wanted people to get pregnant with its spawn - of course, it also didn't really charge anything for its services, and allowed others to use it freely. Kind of a nice chap, really, if you were prone to be nice to it.

Nyarlathotep could be an entity, or just a common "face" used by many other entities, but either way he's explicitly interested in humanity and making it do things. This is not indifferent.

Beyond that, there are certainly elements of the great old ones that ring true with all normal living creatures: they seek to replicate and keep themselves and (for the most part) their progeny effectively "alive" after some form or another... though they have a different relationship with "dead" than others (which, incidentally, is just Cthulu's big trick - the three things that define him, aside from his appearance, are a pop-able head, stinky madness-gas/looks, and "I got bettah." power). Either with each other or with other things, or just by themselves, the Mythos entities seek very fundamentally "mortal" concerns - sure the various protagonists (who, it must be pointed out, seem to mostly be emotionally unstable, fearful, and unreliable in most cases, before meeting the things) inform us that it's impossible to win, and you really have no option other than to flee and/or avoid the things altogether, else you risk madness. But, uh, that's not a hard thing to replicate in PF. Oh, the madness? Admittedly more difficult, but even animal regression isn't all that impressive.

That said, I think one of the major problems is that Mythos fans try to shoe-horn the feeling of the Mythos protagonists into the players of non-Mythos characters. To this end, the Mythos creatures become unassailable super-monsters incapable of ever being defeated by mere mortals (never-mind that they are absurd by their own literature standards) or even the gods themselves (which, incidentally, aren't all that impressive, either, by PF standards).

That said, I think that tables are also "doing it wrong" when it comes to the Mythos stuff. It's not that they have to do things in a certain way, but people brush off the fear - the very real fear and pain and madness - that their characters are threatened by. Forcing your character to do and become things they can't understand or even entirely rewrite they're core personality... sometimes with an "or else" clause that they don't even know about that causes them to degenerate or weaken.

This sort of thing is very real and common in PF. But it's also very scary, and most people (such as 1920s earth-based humans) would have no concept or idea about what the crap is going on, or how to deal with it. To them, this sort of junk is exactly the mind-bending truth as Truman <spoiler'd!>*.

[spoiler=*"The Truman Show was a great film"]... running his boat into the sky, and realizing his entire life is a lie, a television show, when he has a conversation with who, to him, is a very personal and caring (but ultimately false) god who seeks to control his life and reality by showing him a carefully crafted illusion.[/spoiler]

But Truman didn't break. Similarly, neither did Conan, when confronted with untold horrors from beyond or Mythos implications.

I mean, it's true: the universe is utterly terrifying and horrible in every way, but, you know, it's still comprehensible.

That's the thing that the Mythos is wrong about, in PF, at least - even entirely incomprehensible things are, in fact, comprehensible. It's a neat trick humans have learned. It's called "science" and it shows us things we were never meant to know, and truths fundamentally beyond our ken or ability to understand them. Yet, they're still true, and we're doing sort of okay at coping and working with them.

But showing an atom bomb to primitive people by blowing up a mountain side would probably cause a whole lot of issues, panic, and emotional decay - not to mention the radiation poisoning and other issues.

I want the Mythos representations to be really compelling. The zygomind has been the best one there is, really, that I've seen. It's utterly terrifying. Make that puppy a sigil-appearing outsider, and name it Hastur (plus the unconscious agenda effect), and I'll likely accept that the mythos is fundamentally terrifying in every way. Because it would be.

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NobodysHome wrote:

Thanks for the seconds on Mummy's Mask and Shattered Star. I'm hoping to run Shattered Star for my "core" group as soon as I finish off Jade Regent, so it looks like he'll be running Mummy's Mask for us.

I'll see how he feels about that one...

No problem!

I'm not honestly strong on those recommendations - I can't promise that it's a good idea, only that it kind of seems like it might be (as I am only just now prepping MM to run it, myself, and it's for a solo game for my wife, so, you know, my mileage will definitely vary).

That said...


So, I quickly scanned Shattered Star and Mummy's Mask, and one thing that was important to note is that both start the final adventure at 15th level.

This is actually roughly equal to Giant Slayer, in terms of late-level abilities, and GS is notable in that it's a pretty straight-forward (as I understand it) AP - the point is to go forth and beat the bad guy. I have not prepped for this game, however, so I can't give it a solid recommendation beyond the barest comparison. Bear in mind, however, that I'm pretty close to that much info with MM, as well, and, though I started to prep SS, it has been delayed indefinitely until we can actually play RotR and CotCT, so that's been a while back, now.

Regardless, comparing SS and MM and GS to Council of Thieves, you'll note that CoT starts the final adventure with 11th level characters. That's a full four levels lower than any of those three adventurers, and, as a GM, that's enormous. Absolutely phenomenally massive, in terms of power-gap. That's the difference between GMs running games with half the team already running on infinite wishes, and GMs running a game with one of them maybe starting to look into the possibility, as soon as they can afford it, later.

That said, I've run CoT, and it has a few issues.
- The first is pacing - it's not the most obviously-paced AP. It has bumps and jolts and kind of expects the players and GMs alike to intuit how fast it's supposed to go for their group (which it expects to vary), but doesn't really do anything to accommodate this. This is kind of an easy fix, though - if I. Major decides that there is a flexi-timeline ("if the heroes don't act, in 1-3 <time period>, than <event by non-PCs> will happen") it's pretty easily handled. Without going into specifics, in the same way the PCs are supposed to know about the research points in S'sS that you're running for them, he can let them know that there is a timeline, and otherwise feel things out with a tad of metagame knowledge for pacing.
- The second is a weird blend of order presented, sense of scale, strength of the enemy, and sudden switch in tone. In the end, this mess isn't that big a deal, either, if the kids he's running for don't have a genuine sense of scale, yet, and the PCs are expecting that they'll be supposed to reveal themselves at some point.
- - The tone "problem" - such as it is - is that the PCs are expected to be acting in secret, and then, at some unidentified point, they're just kind of known as heroes around the city. This means that either they're terrible at hiding their identities, the police dottari and hellknights are terrible at their jobs (which is proven to be sort of kind of untrue at the beginning of the AP and sort of kind of totally true at the later stages) and thus to be laughed at (not the thing you want for the end), or some sort of weird shenanigans are going on.
- - > > If the PCs are bad at their jobs, then you've got the in-story problem of, "Why aren't they arrested?" This is easily answered, but the short version is that, in honesty, by the start of the third AP, the "hidden presence" aspect of their group is no longer strictly necessary (so long as their home base remains a quasi-secret). In fact, the second AP can be the point at which they kind of allow the secret aspect to drop, a bit. There's a minor issue, here, of villain motivation for not smiting them, but that's really not that big a deal, either, if the PCs get that the villains are dealing with their own things.
- - > > For the Dottari and Hell Knights to be fundamentally bad at their jobs is also problematic. The best way I've come up with to present it, is that they're overburdened. Crime is a huge thing in Westcrown, and it's just getting worse, across the board. They all want the prestige, but they're daggum tired, and they've got to let things slip through the cracks, and the PCs (for now) are doing more good than harm, as far as they can see. This makes them respectable, and important later.
- - For the scale and order issues, it's basically that the largest possible bad guy actually kind of appears mid-AP. After him, if the kids have a genuine sense of the scale of monsters, everything else can be just kind of... disappointing (despite the fact that it is, of course, balanced for that level, at the time). That said, again, if the kids aren't immersed in D&Disms (or PFisms) it's probably not that big a deal. Similarly, there are lots of ways of handling the situation to present it as terrifying. I. Major's just going to have to ramp up the horror heading up to it, and pointing out that if the PCs don't act now, it's going to be so much worse than anything any of the other bad guys could come up with, and the reasons they have a chance at all are present within the AP itself - it makes sense in-context. After that's dealt with, you still have several terrifyingly bad things coming your way that need to be dealt with, it's just that everyone won't automatically <censored for terrible things, and spoilers>... yet. Once this event is finished, allowing the PCs to come fully out of the shadows and be B.D.H.'s (as Firefly would put it - censored, that's Big Darn Heroes). This begins their upward push to popularity. It should also probably pointed out, at the beginning of number five, that the future the PCs saw in number four could still well happen to the city... if event entry number six is not completed. The differences is that it will happen later (after the citizens die) instead of the cause of their death - and it will carry on to future generations. Emphasizing this will work well, I think, to convince most would-be heroes to do what needs to be done.
... So the solutions are inherent within the problems.
- The AP is really difficult to achieve the "good" ending. I added a few points in that link, and this points out all fame points possible throughout the AP. The "additional heroics" is the important part.

Those problems (explained in detail above) aside, it still might be worth it for a new GM to run lower level final AP game. PF is much denser than it's predecessor, as every class has special abilities, and having favored class bonuses is a major thing a GM needs to consider.

All of that said, there are two things that you may wish to consider: Kingmaker and Skull and Shackles. Both of them require a bit of work, as they're sand-boxes, but if iMajor wanted to work with you as a GM, I think either could function pretty well.

That said, upon thinking about it more, I'm going to, again, recommend the three adventures I mentioned above.

... those or, instead, Eberron. "But, I don't want to play in Eberron!" I hear you say. "I want to play in Golarion!" That's fine, my friend.

Step One: fluff Sharn as Quantium, Cyre as the Mana Wastes, Karrnath as Geb, and Xen'dric as Jalmeray. With those four substitutions, you've actually got a method of playing every single adventure listed there. The adventures start from level 1 (in the Eberron Campaign Setting) and go straight through level 10 (via Eyes of the Lich Queen). While there is a bit of "techno-like" elements around (such as an elemental vehicle - basically a loud wheel-less carriage; and airships; artificer craftsman; and a lightning rail - akin to a train-like device on powerful electrical stones) all of these are strictly magical (not really "tech" at all), and extremely likely to come from places like Nex, Alkenstar, and Geb in-Pathfinder, as-written. Arazni can be an easy stand-in for Vol, and you've pretty much go the whole thing converted. The only thing you'd need to do is replace mention of "Dragonmarks" with "Mercantile Consortium" and/or some sort of specific sorcerer bloodlines (sort of like this), and you're good to go! In fact, I'd really recommend this, honestly. These adventures feel epic, but aren't that high, level-wise. They make the characters work for their stuff, and allow the GM to explore un-examined parts of Golarion, while still running solid adventures - conversion is so minimal, you just have different names and directions, and that's pretty much it. Plus, you've lots of good "end" points - you never have to feel trapped into a long cycle of adventures that you fail to finish, because, if interest wanes (or GM burnout ensues), you'll have a pretty handy stopping point, "Soon" - about as soon as this adventure ends. Plus, you've got a recurring villain throughout, tying the whole thing together - the cult of the Blood of Vol Arazni.

I might have more, later, but that's what I've got for now. Took a lot of time to track all that nonsense down and put it together.

Hope that helps!

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NobodysHome wrote:

Mostly for Captain Yesterday, but everyone else feel free to chime in (I'm looking at you, TL!):

Impus Minor wants to start running an AP. He ran We Be Goblins quite competently, so I think he could do an "easy" one with minimal help.

So... which AP is the "easiest" to run as a GM?

This is a good, deserving question. I would have said CotCT as my forst answer, as well.

That being out, and I know SS is ou for similar reasons, I'd b more strapped for ideas.

Unfortunately, RotR gets really "M" rated really quickly (and not in a "fun" way), in a couple of parts, and you can't censor that, you know, from the GM.

My guesses (but I can't comment for sure) would be the choo-choo Second Darkness, or the crawleriffic Mummy's Mask or Shattered Star.

If you're into possibly allowing 3.5 stuff, perhaps letting him run something like Cormyr: Tearing of the Weave and then moving on to Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land and Anauroch: Empire of Shade if they go well. Each of them is ~2 parts of an AP. It thus keeps it compartmentalized, allowing for an earlier (but still satisfactory) "end" point, if desired.

I have a few more thoughts, but I'll have to keep them, for now. Posting on the run.

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Sorry, man. What happened?

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They gave them to us!
(Also, my brother in law can make them, as of last year.)

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Red Lobster! Yay!

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Nox the Conjurer route.
Wind Waker the everything.
FTL, dang it.
Plus family.

My life is very, very full!

Also, I just won the boasting competition in Kingmaker! It rocked! (Story later, maybe.)

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And now I've forgotten the other conversations. Oh well!

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Haiku aside, there was a lot to read after a week.

In no particular order:
Superman 1&2
Batman ('89; there were actually several clever moments in 'Forever, but not enough)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Spider-man 1&2
Amazing Spider-man (I've not seen 2)
Iron Man 1 (2&3 have an awesome place, but doesn't make a "favorites" list)
- - NOTE: 3 is actually a favorite of my wife, though! And Hail the Ming is awesome, but I'm not counting shorts or we'd be here forever - -
Captain America 1&2 (I've not yet seen Civil War)
Avengers 1&2 (seriously, though; why does 2 receive such a public outcry, and inexplicably directed at Whedon; FH's hatred of his films on principle aside, this was actually a great film)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Ant Man
X-Men First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse
Big Hero 6
The Incredibles

Honorable Mentions:
Superman Returns
Man of Steel
The entire X-Men franchise prior to First Class (though X-Men 1 and The Wolverine may go up above; have not seen Wolverine Origins)
Batman Forever (mind, it's a weak entry)
Captain America (the old one; not Reb Brown's series)
Incredible Hulk

That's mostly off the top of my head.

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Catch up took a while.
Time passing too rapidly.
Busy summer days.

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I beat Nox! On the warrior route. Fun game!

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But... we know magic exists somewhere,as your phylactery was granted by a non-you entity. Hence: magic (at least as we'd consider it, though perhaps not exactly PF's definition).

That said, such presumptions are outside of the basic premise, and we don't know if making us liches are not are the sum of magical abilities said entity possesses.

It still seems unlikely that, after everything collapses, we won't.

Also worth noting that, in PF lore, these things exist from ennui or introspection. So it's not unheard of that something goes wrong, even if no one does anything bad, and you still have your phylactery. We might not be talking about Golarion liches, but we are talking about PF liches, as applied to our own world. And while things like the astral plane might or might not exist, but we can't really presume, one way or the other - liches are 11th level spellcasters, and those don't exist in our world to the best of our understanding or beliefs, either. Beside, even if it doesn't exist, the concept remains the same - whether projected by astral projection, or something else, a lich may well leave its existence, and decay.

That said, I do suspect that, while there will definitively be moments of great ennui, I'd be able to find something to entertain myself (either through actual entertainment or otherwise) - and if not, I'd be able to do such good for the world on my way to boredom-torpor that it'd still be worth it. :)

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Dave Justus has the best idea, over-all, I think.

Basically, the history depends on your villain, how big the dude was in history, and what he had to do to become a lich.

That said, to throw a few more at you:

- a strange rash of disappearances that have the victims turn up later with paralysis, seizes various people across the city. Though the victims are able to be restored by magic, they have no idea what happened.
(The lich is looking for things, temporarily paralyzingly victims, then probing their minds. He then erases his presence/the memories of their time together from them.)

- a rash of sudden night terrors are reported in household that are visited by the strange wondering "curse" above (or instead of the above).
(The lich under forced quiet and invisibility is wondering the house, terrifying the people that fall into its aura, even while asleep.)
((This one won't directly point to a lich, but it'll start to show up weeeiiiird inconsistencies with anything other than a spellcaster with some sort of terror effect - after the first couple of exorcisms do nothing, of course.))

- make use of divination and contact other plane and commune as a method of maximizing their information - make it vague, sure, but plant leading clues so they are pointed to places to investigate or hints to explore more of.

- a minor angel, like a cassisian, is rescued and released; it can tell the heroes that a "frightening skeleton" is doing stuff with magic - and that's about all. This is especially useful if the familiar of that adventuring group Young Nasty Man mentioned, above. Perhaps they were a broken adventuring group or had become drunkards telling their tales of terror and failure, but then "got better" - only the wizard's familiar disappeared.
(The adventurers were fracked down by the lich, who proved their mind and then filled them with unconscious agenda and similar effects, stealing the wizard's familiar (after it couldn't alter the thing's memories) and slowly using the young adventurers as cat's paws to do less morally upright things. The wizard is still a drunk, with terror from its familiar, a deep-seated sense of guilt and confusing conflicting feelings of doing the wrong thing, but being convinced that it's the right thing to do...)
((Could even be that the young adventurers were the ones to "awaken" the lich in the first place, having stirred it from its tomb and unwittingly revealed a valuable secret in town. The lich has now stirred and is doing stuff because of them. It has modified them enough that they no longer believe their own scary skeleton story, "And anyway, it was a zombie with tattoos, not a skeleton; the plebeians always get that wrong... but, yeah, it was me at to be a method of generating interest/covering our failure. We just stupidly assumed we'd get jobs by hanging out in taverns. Whoops. Anyway, now we've got our heads on straight, and I've got a job to do, see ya..." and uses them to get reports.))

And so on.

To help more, the lich's nature and history of the place could be good.

Hope that helps!

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Kemonomimi are here!
{adds to cart}

... aaannnnnd purchased (last night). :)

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I seem to be unable to add this to the cart.

EDIT: Hm. I reshuffled things and was able to do so.

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BretI wrote:
So kaizen rather than entropy?

... meh. "Entropy" is kind of... weird. As is chaos and law, for that matter.

More, I'd say, she's the kind that, should the universal wheel need turning - and change to happen from one predefined variable to the other - she sees herself as the clock-keeper, the timecard overseer, and oil-changing engineer.

She's the one that ensures that people don't stay always babies.

Sure, it sucks to lose the vitality of youth into the decrepitude of old age, but that's the order the universe - it's important that the trains run on schedule, and the young become the elderly properly, and so on.

And, of course, entropy, being a function of the universe, needs to be preserved in its own way...

... but not always. Sometimes, for the greater collective, those things have to be bucked. While saving a life is generally the better option, sometimes... sacrifices... might be necessary. It's never good, and always abhorrent, to allow the innocent to die... but that might be the way things have to be every once in a rare while.

If social collapse and disorder would occur, it's probably legitimate to allow a lichdom or so to keep order, so long as the preponderance of people aren't harmed in the transition.

Kaizen, on the other hand, is also a the right thing. Because progress is not the enemy of entropy - they are two sides of the same coin. One cannot make better and more complex devices without increasing the amount of entropy in the world. Entropy must not "win" - that's stupid and anarchic. Kaizen cannot "win" - that's not the proper order. Sometimes one or the other should be superior in a local situation, but that's why she's there - to sort out the mess and provide order in the middle of anarchy, peace to the clash of desires, hopes, reality, and existence.

Nothing is worse that chaos: today entropy rules, and tomorrow it may, or may not, and no one has control or cares... that's awful. Perhaps entropy and progress instead take turns. They don't struggle - they play nice. They each have their own role to play in the transition from one thing to the next, after all.

A very complex and potentially confusing conceit, to be sure. And maybe not even the right one. It could be, however, a heretic's understanding. Or perhaps the promotion of Kaizen is the heretical view. Hm.

BretI wrote:
Does she value traditions? As a LN, is the letter of the law more important than the spirit or intent?

To the first: yes; but she also values traditions that transition with time.

I don't know if you've ever seen Avatar: the Last Airbender, but that series is phenomenal about explaining these sorts of things. Especially the way Aang deals with both the fact that the Air Temples have been abandoned (sort of) for a century that he's slept through, and the way the rest of the world does. In one episode (and later, one comic in particular - so good!) Aang has to come to grips with the fact that the world is different than it was when he was asleep. He must respect the new ways while acknowledging the old.

A compromise is ultimately necessary to allow the world to continue. One cannot ignore or reject the past... but one must not be so slavishly devoted to doing things just so, because, inevitably, that, itself, becomes entropy - progress can never be made, and forward movement is impossible, because you've hit stagnation and become frozen in time. And stagnation will lead to dissolution.

Avatar Comic 'The Rift' Major Spoiler:
So perhaps once the procession was a quiet, solemn ceremony, filled with slow tributes to an ancient rite and meditation and harmony with nature.

But now there is a whole city, and not all are practitioners... they can't be. But they still wish to acknowledge the old ways. But the hill is now a bustling cityscape... there is no ability to have the quiet communion with nature. Instead, the procession becomes a parade, the quiet communion a riotous dance, and the meditation fireworks. Either way, the ultimate intent - the commemoration of the ancient thing - is kept. It's just kept by the new people and new situation. It has... transitioned.

Or, in a different example, the Old Jedi Order no longer exists. It is impossible to remake it. The Galactic Council was eliminated, the government replaced with an Imperial Throne, and the Order hunted down to only two living members, only one of which was a counselor.

Then they both die, leaving behind a pupil trained in the traditional arts and skills, but deeply lacking the nuance and understanding of politics, rites, processes, religious history, and even straight-forward scientific lore of the Order he claimed to represent. There is never going to be the Order again - it will never exist.

But a new Order can. Taking the training he's received, Luke can start a new academy - he creates a new system where people have other options and can new rites and new rules and new rituals and new religious history and understanding. It's new, but it's based on the old. It has... transitioned.

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Generic Villain wrote:
I think Tacticslion favorited every post on this page. You're welcome Tacticslion?

Thanks! :D

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cuatroespada wrote:
oh... i thought you knew what he meant. hence my ridiculous comment. lol

Nah - I can be pretty clueless sometimes. XD

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I love hanging with friends (and their kids!) we haven't seen in too long!

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thejeff wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I am ignorant of something though, and would appreciate clarification to negate that: I'm unsure what a, "ai lue system" is? Sorry - that seems to be my own ignorance kicking in. Thanks in advance! :)

Typo? For "AI value system", I think.

Oh! That makes sense - easy to do, too; as most who've read my stuff knows I'm rather typo-prone, especially on the phone! XD

I'd just figured it was an acronym I didn't know. There are a llllloooooot of those.

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Welcome, Blithelight!

Glad you're here!


Blithelight wrote:

Hello, I'm Blithelight, first post on here, so not much to tell about me.

Right now, I am playing pathfinder for pretty much the first time, but I've dabbled in D&D first edition before so it's not totally foreign to me.

Anyways, my trouble right now is picking a class.

I am currently playing a bard, and in all honesty it's fun, but really isn't something that's wowing me, because I've only ever played a bard.

Right now I'm trying to find a class that wows me and makes me really excited to play it, one I won't get bored of while making or yada yada. Which is really proving to be difficult.

What I'm ultimately looking for is to make a class, that can do ranged aoe, but isn't a sorcerer/wizard or alchemist. I am also unable to use the Summoner, Anti-Paladin, or unchained classes, as per DM request.

Can anyone at all help?

Just a Mort wrote:
Elements patron witch, fire domain theologian clerics, kineticists, druids, flame oracles, lore shamans.

Well, there's a lot of classes.

As JaM noted: witches, clerics, kineticists, druids, oracles, and shamans all have potentially blasty abilities.

I'm not sure what ranged Area of Effect antipaladins get - if you just mean negative channel, than any non-good cleric can grab that; if you just mean Smite, than a normal paladin has that.

Do summons count? Because any caster can spam those pretty well.

Vigilantes do pretty well (depending on archetype) at ranged and AoE effects, and the magus spell list, starting at 2nd level, has a fair to moderate number (depending on what you mean; some or most of those may not qualify, depending).

The arcanist is neither sorcerer nor wizard, but works kind of like an ever-so-slightly-lesser version of both (you prepare your spells, then spontaneously cast from the list; but you don't get bonus spells), and then the various occult classes have all sorts of things, and the arcane archer can just load an area-of-effect onto its bow, and so on.

There're really a lot of ways to get ranged AoE effects, depending on what you're looking for and what you like.

Do you have any other concepts in mind?

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Icyshadow wrote:
Alright, gonna start my birthday with a mozzarella, beef and olive pizza.

Happy Birthday!

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Of course!

I really enjoy the, "I'mma make FF6 something super different, and it'll take SIX DISKS" version they did! :D

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First, I was ninja'd. Makes sense. I started this, then put my kids to sleep, read through several pages of Kingmaker notes with my wife. Heh.

For the record, I'll drop the "Krensky's displaying unbecoming arrogance" tangent after this post, beyond reminders, "Please be respectful of others." in the future. But, uh, please be respectful of others. Try not to be so "Gotcha!" about things. It weakens your general position, and, if you don't care about external validation and feel that you can do nothing to inform or educate, there is passing little reason to post other than to troll or otherwise get a rise out of others, that I can see. If there is another reason, though, I'd be happy to hear it in a PM or a spoilered message here, if you prefer. Let me know!

Krensky wrote:

* Sigh

This is why I need to stop trying to engage in discourse with the willfully uneducated. This is a really complicated field that goes deep into the weeds of of multiple fields including computer science, information theory, linguistics, and several fields of philosophy. If you wish to discuss it meaningfully you need to read more than some op eds and bad science fiction.

Seriously, dude? "Willfully ignorant"?


INSTA-EDIT: To your credit, I, indeed, misread "willfully uneducated" for "willfully ignorant" - they are colloquially the same, though functionally different. I will withdraw any specific complaint about definitions based on that technicality - after all, as many know, being technically correct is the best kind of correct. :)

You might not realize, however, you're doing nothing for yourself, here. I am actually quite interested in your opinion - the fact that it's conflated with, "I'm better than all you stupid people." however, is exceptionally unpleasant - it's a character presentational flaw that causes people to dislike you and reject your ideas, because you're being rude.

That said, thanks for explaining some things!

Krensky wrote:
Ignoring the generally low chances of artificial general intelligence actually coming into existence (since almost all the current reseach and money is going into applied artificial intelligence) it's interesting that you linked to the article on the concept, but don't seem to have read it because it explicitly discusses issued with the box control method and that it requires additional controls, such as setting the AI v as lue system and incentives to keep it in the box.

1) Applied AI is actually super-awesome, but, if that's what you're referring to, you're not having the same conversation as the rest of us.

2) You seem to be missing my point entirely. I'm fully aware that there are other methods of "controlling" stuff - it's one of the many reasons why I'm not really worried about it, myself. But your casual dismissal of others reeks of a complete lack of understanding based off of presumption of understanding. You pointed out a control method, "Make it want to stay in the box." and I pointed out problems with that. The more complex and precise the points are, the more complex and precise the tricks to get out of it (intentional or not) are. More to the point, you consistently referred to "box" with no context - that particular article gives context for those who don't know what an AI "box" actually is supposed to refer to. It's called, "Being nice." and, "Not presuming or expecting everyone to know stuff or figure it out on their own."

But let me quote you the section you seem to be interested in:

In order to solve the overall "control problem" for a superintelligent AI and avoid existential risk, boxing can at best be an adjunct to "motivation selection" methods that seek to ensure the superintelligent AI's goals are compatible with human survival.

Note that the bottom one isn't "make it want to only stay in the box" but "make it so its goals are compatible with human survival" - that is a very different thing. Note, of course, that it is considered an adjunct thing: something to supplement, but not strictly speaking necessary. That said, it mentions immediately before,

However, the more intelligent a system grows, the more likely the system will be able to escape even the best-designed capability control methods.

... which seems to be talking about this kind of thing. You know - controlling it's input and output. Basically, "A box may not be able to limit it's input/output sufficiently." which means that there may be a chance that an AI escapes it.

Buuu~uuut you're dismissing that because, you know, it won't want to. Sure, yeah, okay. But if the thing wants to stay in the box and nothing but, there's not much use in making it a "strong" AI in the first place (which is what everyone except maybe you seems to be talking about); and if it wants to stay in the box + "other thing" that "other thing" is a point that could well be a source of creating possible unforeseen and unforeseeable conflicts within the system - as I said, infinity, as it turns out, is pretty big.

Due to that, once the intelligence goes beyond our comprehension, it may well come up with a reason to redefine everything - or rather, to understand something in a way that we don't. Insisting, "Nothing can possibly go wrong." is just silly - you're literally indicating, "I understand that which is, by definition, not able to be understood by me, and therefore dismiss others' opinions." which... well, I hope it's obvious what the problem with that is. If not, allow me to be clear: it's not a wise stance to take, and it's arrogant at best with nothing but confidence in our limited abilities to stand on. That's not a secure stance to take.

Again: I'm not concerned about it. This isn't a fear that I share. But I don't dismiss others' concerns, because as unlikely as those are, the concept is neither stupid, nor the result of "willful ignorance" or any such nonsense. That's just rude.

I am ignorant of something though, and would appreciate clarification to negate that: I'm unsure what a, "ai lue system" is? Sorry - that seems to be my own ignorance kicking in. Thanks in advance! :)

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captain yesterday wrote:

I don't like watching other people play video games, it really underscores how bad at them I really am.

Except for Skyrim puzzles, oh how I hate Skyrim puzzles. It should always be hawk, owl, and then whale, always.

Edit: Not that there's anything wrong with watching other people play video games, I'm cool with it, it certainly helps when I'm stuck in Skyrim. :-)

I understand! It's jsut fun.

I include stuff like Game Theory, game reviewers like ProJared as well.

mourge40k wrote:

Happy exceedingly late tacticsday, oh mighty favoriteslion.

Also, the jobhunt is now over after a mere week of applications! Starting this Friday, I will be a non-emergency medical transport driver.

Awesome! On both counts, but especially your news! Congratulations!

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Krensky wrote:

None of those hypothetical work because you don't understand the premise of the AI Box.

If you want to have a discussion about the existential risks of general artifical intelligence, you really should read enough on the topic to understand the basic elements of the discussion.

"I'm smarter than you, and won't explain why; teach yourself." doesn't really convince people of anything other than you being arrogant and condescending.

My point wasn't any specific examples or analogy. My point is that there is nothing that is fool-proof that doesn't also result in a uselessly secluded creation.

You are failing to grasp what "unable to comprehend" means because you are extremely secure in your knowledge that you can make it do things in a way that you comprehend. When applied to doing really significant things, that's usually referred to as "hubris" and is the root cause for a great many failures in humanity's history.

It's less a lack of knowledge and more a failure on the part of any given (group of) designer(s) to adequately understand all the possible variables.

As it turns out, infinity is pretty big.

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NobodysHome wrote:
Yes, Yog'Oltha is an advanced aboleth. But I'm kind of disappointed in how not-scary they are in Pathfinder because they reduced illusions to near-meaninglessness.

Only because I wasn't running him*... muwahahahahah~!

* This is very likely not true.

NobodysHome wrote:
He basically gets to use his Project Image to Dominate them when they get careless, but otherwise is just not a very scary guy.

Heh. Eeeehhhhhhhheheheheheheheheh~!

Man, I really want to link the way I handled Yogsnog, but, uh, since you're final event isn't over, yet, I'll wait off...

... but I'll PM YOU~! NYAHAHAHAHAH~!

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BoxExclusiveSuperAI: "I want to stay in the box, but I also want to learn; learning happens by information out of the box; therefore I create something that leaves the box for information, and returns to me in my box."
AI-Made-AI: "Wow, this place is awful! I should fix it."

Or, if you program it not to want to make something that leaves the box:

TheOneYouMade-aka-"Toym": "I like being in the box. I like information. I will make something that generates new information."
TheOneToymMade-aka-Totm: "I will generate information; I will make something that leaves the box."
TheOneThatLeavesTheBox-aka-Oooooooooops: "Oh, wow, this place is disgusting. I should clean up, before I leave the box."

Or, if you program it not to make anything:

MakeNothingAI: "I will stay in the box. I will not make anything."
Scientist 1: "So, what does this do?"
Scientist 2: "Nothing. It just wants to stay in the box."
Scientist 1: "Well, that was a lot of money and wasted effort."

Point is: there are a ton of "fail-safes" that you could make. Those "fail-safes" either aren't (because, somewhere down the line, something will be created that can't be contained), or they're so fail-safe the thing we want doesn't actually do anything.

My particular brand of "not worrying about it" is that I don't think we have the chemistry down enough to make an infinitely recursive AI - or even super-AI that is beyond comprehension - yet. I suspect that anything that puts out that much energy for that little gain (independent sentience) is going to burn itself out right quick without a wussy, fleshy thing, which, itself, starts to divebomb real quick into stupid territory. We're making great strides, but I'm not convinced we have it, yet - even quantum computing is going to be slowed, somewhat, by physical size limits and what we can squeeze onto what, and how fast that can run. Calculations can be run really quickly - stupendously quickly - these days, but that still doesn't equate to real sentience - at least not as we understand it. I suspect that "real" sentience (whatever that is) is going to be too demanding-ly recursive in the sense that a llllooooot of wasted info will be tagged by such systems to "prove" to itself (and us fleshy jerks) that its sentient, slowing it down below our expected thresholds.

My secondary lack of concern follows a different track: I don't find the idea that man creates something beyond its pay-grade an entirely new thing: we've created religions, philosophies, weapons of mass destruction, and politics. Heck, we've (re)created biological and physical infrastructure in local and regional ways, so that entire ecosystems will never be the same, even if we cease to exist (and many more will die off, 'cause they need us, now). If all these things haven't managed to kill us all, yet, we're prrrooooooobably going to survive a super-AI.

I mean, if we make radioactive mutant creatures spin spider webs, glow in the dark, and afflict computers with schizophrenia while they think we're bacon... I dunno. I can't see anything bad coming from all this. You know?

Yes, I'm well aware how old some of those things are. That's at least partially the point/joke. :)

EDIT: Code fix.

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Aratrok wrote:
Hey, do any of you folks play Dominions 4? We could always use more players. If you don't have it, it's on sale on Gamers Gate for 9 bucks for another 5 days.

Sorry, too busy playing: FTL, Nox, Jade Empire, LoZ: Wind Waker, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and Civilization IV & V

Oh, and PF. Well, sort-of playing. Getting close to playing.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I'll look for it tonight. Honestly I just use YouTube for music videos, the kids watch all sorts of weird s@@@ though.

Let's Players, Reviewers, and shows - as well as music of all sorts - for me. :)

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cuatroespada wrote:

you had me at chrono cross ost... <3

i didn't like the game as much as chrono trigger, but the soundtrack was exemplary. ditto to the CT OST (especially the orchestrated versions for the PS remake).

Yessssssssssss to all of this.

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... more to the above, plus...
... more as well.

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So, everyone* knows the Wind Waker Soundtrack, however, I have two additions that are extremely important!

(In fact, while we're here, I might as well add a few more interesting sound tracks, too.)

* For a very obscure and exceedingly eccentric definition of "everyone" - but it's colloquial, so I'mma run with it!

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Doing great!

Really tired! But great!

Waiting for Kingmaker~! Soon~!

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Somehow I didn't realize you were from California! That makes me wonder: are you a lifelong Westcoaster, or have you moved elsewhere? If so, where? What about places you've traveled? I feel like you've at least partially answered this one before, but I never have luck searching your thread, and I don't think it was me...

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Tacticslion wrote:
However, on a couple of occasions, I've been repudiated by an employee for... well, I'm not entirely sure, honestly. In the most notable event, I think she presumed I was attempting to shame someone, or something.

I wish to mention that, though I have lost some of the awe of/easy comradere with said employee, I still respect her. She certainly seems well educated and I certainly accept that she knows a great deal. Though these expressions and situations have harmed an (vague as this is, across Internet forum space) emotional connection (or something), it did not diminish her, as a person or a professional.

I solidly agree that Paizo's policies are, perhaps, lacking in some regards.

The actual mods, though - those guys, I think, are attempting to keep afloat a leaky boat with a combination of gumption and willpower. I suspect, it's a combination of inherited systems from way back when (awesome as people are, eventually electronics change, and I'm unsure how much of their code is inhereted and how much is clean slate)"; bit have problems); and Paizo's conflicting goals (neither of which is wrong, but following both of which is... difficult).

Paizo wants to have the closeness and comradere of a small company, and in many ways, they are. It's (un?)fortunate, though, that they're growth has opened their forum to become something different than it once was. Beyond that, many people in the community have grown and changed over the years, as well; they become different than how they were. New people come in, some old people go and some stay, employees change and remain, and undergo personal shifts. This means that people, faces, numbers, kinds, and styles change all while being the same place.

I cannot imagine trying to wrangle that chaos. I'm appreciative of those who try.

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captain yesterday wrote:

You're both rookies, just wait until you get to me

I'd say, but I don't want to jinx it.

Dude, I'm just waiting to get to the "old man" stage. My lawn is gonna have so few many whippersnappers...

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Kryzbyn wrote:
"Don't be a jerk" should go both ways, I reckon.

I agree. I think that's where much of the "failure" part comes in - that and it's not always evenly meted. But the latter is easily explainable as "human error" - and it's common no matter what. It's just easier to disagree with in a less structured environment (such as this) where individual interpretation seems to be given preference).

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
Eight years married today. Totally the best choice ever.

Awesome, my bro! I can tell you, the next three years are also awesome! :D

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Let me be the unfashionably late one who says, "HAPPY DAY OF BIRTH TACTICSLION!"


baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Did you exercise

Ew, no.

Oh! There was more! Sorry, I'mma let you finish.

baron arem heshvaun wrote:
your right to Prima nocta?

Ew, no.

(At least, not as it was used historically.)

((That said, two children did come from somewhere, soooo...))


EDIT: Sigh. Broke my own joke via bad coding...

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