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Huh. I just downloaded Heidi from PG, along with an anthology containing Benito Cereno. I'll hit those right after I finish a re-read of Moby Dick.
I also downloaded the autobiography of an executioner along with several books of strange folklore and military gear/tactics. They might be useful in-game.
I downloaded the ePUB of P&P&Z (sounds like a sandwich) from the local library and just finished it, silly thing that it is. The best part is the reader's guide at the end. Now that I know it's permissible to take a classic novel and embellish it with a few new sentences and a sprinkling of changes, my first book will be out before too much longer!
OK, the best part is when Elizabeth lops off Lydia's head, except she doesn't really. But didn't we all want to? Confess!
Celestial Healer wrote:
So... Dawn of the Dreadfuls, Dreadfully Ever After, or Classic Regency romance now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem?
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I could do that but don't want to be haunted by the ghost of James Thurber.
Cayden help us.
Celestial Healer wrote:
I really enjoyed them and was disappointed to find only two Christie mysteries available on Project Gutenberg.
And I'm sure that can be arranged, CH.
Read 'Heart of Darkness', 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Sense and Sensibility', and have moved on to 'Agnes Grey'. I need to return to 'Moby Dick' and 'Heart of Darkness' though, because I'm finding what I read affects how I write. I'm sure Wayfinder doesn't need the story of a poor but virtuous and spirited half-orc girl's adventures with beaux and balls.
Policing is a difficult job. Unfortunately, arming police with Pentagon-surplus materiel has not made it easier for day-to-day activities. Most of their work does not involve responding to heavily-armed, desperado bank robbers as happened in LA. Most involves routine checks and petty crimes. Tear gas, body armor, rubber bullets - these all serve to separate the police from the people they serve.
What happened to the community policing effort, where patrolmen got out of their cars and walked a beat to get to know their people? I believe that was proved to be effective, but we seem to prefer to give communities three-quarter of a MILLION dollar war vehicles rather than pay the salary of a few more officers to support community policing.
You'll notice that unrest in Ferguson de-escalated last night when Captain Johnson of the highway patrol took charge. He walked around in shirtsleeves, talking to people and encouraging the community cleanup efforts (which have arisen spontaneously from locals wanting to keep businesses in their community). He did NOT have his men point live weapons at crowds. There's general, broad agreement that police in Ferguson mishandled the reactions to the Brown shooting and escalated the situation themselves.
Maybe now that details have been released in this morning's press conference (why did it take DAYS to get the sequence of 911 calls when the police handling Robin Williams' death made that information public the same day?)there may be some backlash, but much of the unrest was caused by lack of information. Leave an information gap and speculation will fill in the details, generally destructively.
And I bow out. The information is out on the internet for those interested. People who won't read and learn are certainly entitled to their opinion, but that doesn't make them right. If they want to learn about Ferguson, let them go there and meet the people. I have. Have you?
The situation in Ferguson is quite complex and cannot be dismissed by calling the locals 'animals' nor by accusing every individual policeman of malice or wrongdoing. It's best to start from positions of common ground.
Police are entrusted with the use of lethal force to keep the peace. They should and must be judicious in its use and held accountable. Their mandate is to protect and serve the communities that pay them - everyone in the community.
Looting and destruction is wrong and criminal and those who did it should be arrested and prosecuted.
Peaceful assembly and petition to redress grievances is lawful and proper, as is the exercise of a free press.
I seem to have heard that before. But where?:
The Freedom of Speech, and of the Press, and the right of the People peaceably to assemble, and consult for their common good, and to apply to the Government for a redress of grievances, shall not be infringed.
Police should be responsive to their constituency and disclose information as appropriate, particularly in cases of lethal force.
In addition to the above, realize that a significant portion of the population is sociopathic, with no empathy towards their fellows.
So, in any large group (like a police force or crowd of generally peacable protestors), you'll get a portion who have no regard for their fellows - at all. They will happily do whatever they can get away with to benefit themselves, as long as they feel they can get away with it.
If they are in a position of power, they will misuse it if they can. If they are in a confused crowd at night, they will grab what they get for themselves. This does NOT mean that the majority of police are bad, evil, racist, or psychopathic. Nor does it mean that the majority of the protestors are looking to destroy their own community. It means there are bad people who need to be dealt with, lawfully. Painting police and protestors with the broad brush of sociopathy is not at all helpful.
The police need to identify and arrest bad people - including other bad police officers. People need to know they are being protected and that they need not live in fear of their protectors.
The situation in Ferguson went wrong in so many ways that it's difficult to list them all. Many journalists have done a fine job of reporting and analyzing what they saw, and that's all available on the internet for those who care about facts and are interested in learning what really happened.
What's hard for me to admit and also hard to deny is the frightening treatment of ordinary people by police. If I had not seen some of the dashboard and body cam footage of horrible police behavior, I would have found the victims' stories unbelievable. But I've seen compliant people being battered while the arresting officer yells "Stop resisting! Stop reaching for my weapon!" for the benefit of the recording. I've seen them shot. I've seen them beaten. I've seen mentally ill people dragged by their feet while their head bounced down a staircase while onlookers yelled in horror that they had called the police to help this person, not kill them. Children are being tazed and handcuffed.
This is utterly horrifying. We'd have little to no knowledge of this without dashboard cams, body cams, and smartphones. The recording needs to be expanded so the truth can come out. Police who abuse the populace must be discovered, charged, and removed from authority altogether. They are undermining the public trust and directly contributing to volatile situations. Instead, 1033 gives them weapons of war to escalate their abuse. The situation needs to be addressed. Please determine the attitudes of your elected representatives and let your voices be heard at the ballot box. This must stop, or Ferguson's unrest will be everywhere.
Apparently of fifteen thousand African Americans in twenty thousand pop Ferguson only fifteen hundred voted.
I'm not sure which election you're discussing nor what point you're trying to make, but 10% is about average in Missouri.
Numbers without context are pointless.
Nixon (Jay, not Richard) pulled the St. Louis County Police from the area and replaced them with the state highway patrol captained by a man who grew up in the area.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is an excellent news organization which is doing a good job of covering Ferguson's troubles and linking to other news coverage as well. It can be viewed at stltoday.com.
Ferguson is one of the communities immediately surrounding St. Louis City and located within the County of St. Louis, along with 90 or so similar communities. The population is working-class poor and primarily (67% or so) black. It's home to Emerson Electric as well as many other small businesses.
I've played with the St. Louis Community College orchestra at Florissant Valley, located at West Florissant and 270, just north of the hot zone. I had no fear driving in the area or stopping in local businesses. This is not a derelict urban wasteland run by gangsters; it is a low- to middle-class community full of decent, hard-workng people. People who are having loaded guns trained on them and tear gas fired into their back yards by those who vowed to serve and protect them.
The DoJ and FBI are both investigating the initial shooting, and the state police are coming in to relieve the locals tonight.
Methinks Ferguson authorities had no idea of the national scrutiny they would receive and are flailing in their responses. They have not responded to FOIA petitions or lawsuits for information filed by major national organizations and seem to think they can get by by simply ignoring them. What on earth they thought they were doing arresting local aldermen and national press is beyond me.
As segregated as St. Louis is, I'm pleased the violence hasn't spread further and that the people in the community are generally peaceful and helpful.
Through judicious selection of wonderful, brilliant people as Facebook friends, I seen little criticism of Robin Williams as a coward for taking his own life, but I'm sure it's out there. It's the typical reaction of people who have never been depressed. Suicide is selfish. It's cowardly. It's a sin.
There is some tiny bit of merit to this view. Suicide hurts those left behind, hurts them very badly. It's the final act of desparation to end unbearable pain, succumbing to a horrible disease. As for sin, I leave that to your own religion or morality to decide.
But that judgemental view of suicide needs to be turned on its head. Mr. Williams struggled against depression for many years. He fought it for decades. He should be credited for that fight, not reviled for ultimate surrender. His death points out that depression is an equal-opportunity disease. It knows no boundaries of race or sex or status. Those with money for treatment succumb, as do those who have no resources.
Robin Williams left behind a huge body of brilliant work. This is true of many others with mental illnesses. Though their minds are affected by unbalanced chemistry and their lives sometimes spin out of control, some of our most brilliant artists, writers, and statesmen grappled with mental illness during their lives. Their accomplishments should be viewed with awe in light of the constant struggle to live.
It's not only the gifted who fight that battle, though. There are tens of thousands who struggle to get out of bed every morning, to hold down jobs, to tend to families, to simply maintain a semblance of sanity and functionality. They may or may not have access to support and treatment. They may not even realize they have a treatable mental illness. They may self-medicate with legal or illegal substances. But they are all fighting, in their own way. If they are alive, they are still fighting their demons. And for that, I honor them as well. Sometimes, day-to-day living is a huge accomplishment.
I hope Mr. Williams' sad story triggers some level of compassionate and intelligent discussion about the scourge of mental illness. If we are moved to ask friends who seem down how they *really* are, encourage others to get professional help, offer a sympathetic ear, or reach out ourselves to call for assistance, then his death will have done a great service for the world. Admire his life for its brilliance and generosity. Honor his end with compassion, understanding, and outreach.
A grease spell covers a solid surface with a layer of slippery grease. Any creature in the area when the spell is cast must make a successful Reflex save or fall. A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Acrobatics check. Failure means it can't move that round (and must then make a Reflex save or fall), while failure by 5 or more means it falls (see the Acrobatics skill for details). Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.
I'm missing where walking across grease makes one flat-footed. The spell specifies that creatures not moving are not flat-footed, but that does not mean that creatures that are moving are flat-footed. They have the appropriate condition based on their save. And walking successfully across grease means they are simply walking, albiet at half-speed. [As I read it.]
Oh, of course, feinting:
PRD, definition of AC bonus wrote:
If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to AC.
Paizo specifies in condition definitions that Dex bonus is denied vs a modified Dex bonus. Even if your Dex is -4 due to entanglement, you can still move and thus react to a blow. Fatigued is similar. Give the benefit of the doubt to the person who would be on the receiving end of the sneak attack, because SA can be devastating.
As you noted, running, greased+moving, and tumbling characters are perfectly elegible for sneak damage.
Also, climbing: "While climbing, you can't move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)." But not flying: "You are not considered flat-footed while flying."
You know, I've read that sneak attack description a thousand times and never noticed the wording or that it might be confusing. What fun! Since I'm building a rogue PC for the first time since Pathfinder came out!, it's very handy to have this little reference. I hope other people find more such conditions. LOTS more!
EDIT: If you really want to have some fun, figure out who is denied Reflex saves.
Bonus-wise, their utility is not limited to pinecones, but also includes dog 'problems', bones, small animals, insects, toys, pets, and neighbors.
Aaron Bitman wrote:
I checked, and all I have is the complete romances of d'Artagnan. I thought with 3000 plus pages and the title 'Dumas' French Literature' that it would be his complete works. But no...
I read a bit about Dumas pere and he was described as being unquenchable once he began talking about a favorite subject. I guess he was that way in his writing, too. Some works published under his name are known not to be his, and others were written with another author. Still and all, he's one prolific guy.
Female Humanish Very little class but on the level
Holes in the stomach hurt. I found a lap chole to be incredibly debilitating. I went in feeling fine and could barely walk 50' without my knees giving out an hour afterwards. It's amazing how every fricking part of your body connects with the ab muscles, even toes.