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Elan

Zherog's page

Contributor. 1,485 posts (1,488 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Nom nom nom!

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If I recall, it starts about a month before GenCon typically.

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Gotta like when you're described with lyrics from a Thin Lizzy song.

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Mathius wrote:
So I found some think odd in the math of ships. Gaining hull locations makes it more expensive to carry cargo until size 6. After that it decreases forever. Bigger is not better until size 18.

Hmmm, interesting. Would you mind sharing your math? It'll save me the time of having to go and reproduce it. ;)

Quote:
By the size rules a size 1 ship would not be colossal even with the extra length I grant to ships. A size 2 ship only qualifies because of the extra length.

This is correct, and is an... unfortunately remnant from the very original draft I inherited. There was so much I needed to re-do and fix that I just took for granted that all Locations were Colossal without verifing it.

After it was pointed out to us shortly after the book was released, Lou and I decided that we'd leave it as-is and continue to treat each Location as Colossal. (And do note: the ship as a whole isn't really an entity; even in combat, it's broken down to Locations.) We decided that because it as so embedded in the book by that point, but also because we opted to do away with the size penalty to AC anyway.

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I also want to start dex at 11 so that ships of up to size 4 can have maintain average maneuverability based on dex. It also means that a sleek size 2 ship made of darkwood can have a perfect maneuverability and that is just cool in my book.

Very reasonable. In fact, quite nifty.

Quote:

I did some math with drop maneuverability classes and it turns out they are good idea. The things I thought it would change are better served by simply starting with a dex of 11.

Also discovered that sleek hulled ship can not carry itself without going into a medium load if darkwood or silk ropes are not used. With silk ropes the light loads can be as low as 108 on a 6 hull ship.

I think I will solve this problem by reducing the weight of rigging to 1000 pounds.

I'd love to see the math here, too, if you wouldn't mind. If it's easier to show the math by sharing a spreadsheet, and you don't mind, you can send it to me at zherog at yahoo dot com.

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Never say never, but I wouldn't expect entire adventures - especially stuff the size of RA or Sword of Air, for example - to be designed with Mythic rules built into the base assumptions. Maybe you'd see mythic rules used on a specific encounter to make a monster or NPC more than the players expect. But you're right, tossing Mythic into something like Rappan Athuk from the ground up would change the entire "feel" of the adventure.
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I think there's some interesting areas we can explore with Mythic rules. I don't think products like Rappan Athuk, Slumbering Tsar, Sword of Air, and so on are the places to do that exploration.

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So as promised in the "State of the Onion" thread, here's a place to chatter about Dunes of Desolation - the next in FGG's line of environment books, this time looking at deserts. The book is written by Tom Knauss. Currently, the book is about 98% or so done development, and the parts that are done are in layout. We're waiting on some small tweaks to the maps, and then it'll be a wrap from the development side.

I'll use the thread to keep everybody up to date on the progress, and maybe I'll sneak in some peeks as well. In the short term, here's the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: A Desert Primer
  • Chapter Two: Desert Travel
  • Chapter Three: Desert Hazards
  • Chapter Four: Skills and Feats
  • Chapter Five: Desert Equipment
  • Chapter Six: New Monsters
  • Chapter Seven: Spells
  • Chapter Eight: Archetypes
  • Chapter Nine: Faiths of the Desert
  • Chapter Ten: Child's Play
  • Chapter Eleven: King of Beasts
  • Chapter Twelve: My Blue Oasis
  • Appendix: Random Desert Events and Monster Encounter Tables

Chapters 10-12 are new desert-themed adventures.

It was asked in the other thread about whether it was "worthwhile" for a S&W player to pick up this book. As I said there, questions of "worth" are really up to each individual to decide. Hopefully between now and the release of the book, the discussion and sneak peeks excite the S&W crowd enough to make a lot of them say it is worthwhile.

More to come...

--John Ling
Lead Pathfinder Developer

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Howdy. Some interesting ideas. I would need to dig deep to look for issues and such, but here's a few quick comments back. Maybe this gives you more to think about, or even new ideas.

Mathius wrote:

Some ideas that I am kicking around but do not have worked out just yet.

1. Half locations for castles that are only 1 deck tall. This way you can add them for just 1 hull location.

I don't see an issue out of that; I would just leave it as 20x20 and not worry about it, though. Just use the top 10' for the railings, moorings for sails and beams, and so forth.

Quote:
2. Make minimum speed for a sailing ship 3. It can still go slower in tactical sense by striking sails or sudden deceleration but if you can not make a minimum base speed of 3 then the ship may not be sailed.

As a house rule, I think this is completely OK. For the book itself, our goal was to allow flexibility with a half an eye toward realism. And so allowing for a ship to have a speed of 1 or 2 was something we wanted to allow, even if it would really suck that your ship is as slow as a dwarf (in the case of speed 1).

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3. If a sail is struck (2 rds 6 crew or 1rd under the leadership of a mate) it will no longer contribute to speed but the ship will not lose dex. This would allow the navigator to use a different maneuver and still slow the ship.

I'd be curious to hear how this plays out - whether it gives the Navigator more options or less, for example.

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4. If a one is already clumsy and would lose another class they instead lose 1 speed and take an additional -2 on prof sailor checks. The opposite if one goes above perfect.

Again, this is an interesting idea. I'd love to hear how it plays out if you try it.

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I thought it was ridiculous that a the most cost efficient way to transport cargo was by using 1 hull and 2 rigging and weigh it down with a heavy load and a broad hull. With these rules a cargo hauler would have to be size 12 before it could be made out of reinforced oak with broad hull and carry a heavy load. A normal hull can not carry a medium load until size 2 and heavy until 4. Sleek hulls allow heavier loads to be carried sooner as does darkwood but I am not sure what the most efficient carry is yet.

So, when you say "size 2" or "size 12" and so on, I assume you're referring to the number of Hull Locations. If you meant something else, I apologize for misunderstanding.

A ship with 1 broad Hull Location and 2 Rigging Locations has a Str of 35 and a Dex of 11; the base weight of that ship is 6,000 lbs. (3,000 for the broad Hull Location, 1,500 for each Rigging Location). A ship with a 35 Str has a light load of 25,536 lbs, a medium load of up to 51,072, and a heavy load of up to 76,608. So that's the math for 1 Hull Location ship; whether that's the most efficient or not probably depends on how you define efficient, I guess.

Let's do a few more: 1 regular Hull Location and 6 reinforced oak broad Hull Locations.

1 Regular: This ship weighs 5,000 lbs., has a Str of 31 and and Dex of 11. It's light load is 14,688; medium is 29,376; heavy is 44,064.

6 reinforced oak broad Hulls: This ship weighs 24,000 lbs before any cargo or such is put aboard. Its light load is 66,432; medium is 133,864; heavy is 199,296.

So I think either I'm completely misunderstanding you're point, or you're missing something in the rules that makes you think a reinforced oak broad Hull can't carry a lot o' cargo...

Quote:
I am also considering scrapping maneuverability entirely and having the dex mod effect profession sailor checks with penalties to speed if dex goes below 1 or over 23. Since items that effect maneuverability would instead grant + or - 4 to dex AC and reflex would be easier to get. Some items may be changed to instead add to speed or prof sailor checks of some combination.

Well, first, Dex can't go below 1. (Page 11, Dexterity: "Regardless of the number of Rigging and Hull Locations, your ship’s Dexterity cannot be less than 1.")

That aside, Maneuverability rating is, in effect, nothing more than a bonus or penalty to Profession (sailor) checks to make the ship move in a way other than a straight line. A Clumsy ship gets a -10, an Average ship gets a +0, and a Perfect ship gets a +10, for example. If you swap those for the actual Dex mod, your checks are going to be easier for ships with low Dex and harder for ships with high Dex.

For example, as designed a ship with a Dexterity of 2 has a -10 to Profession (sailor) checks; if you ditch that and go with the actual penalty, it would instead have a -4 penalty. So any checks are that much easier.

Conversely, if your ship has a 21 Dex, it gets a +10 to Profession (sailor) checks, while the Dex score itself would grant a +5. - making checks harder. (If you can get the Dex to a score of 32 or higher, this system would result in a better bonus.)

So, with all that: you are, of course, free to house rule as you like. But be aware that we designed everything around what exists - we expect most ships to have a penalty of -5 or -10 for example, and we expect very, very few to ever have a +10 bonus. So changing this system would affect (for example) the DC of all the checks on Table 6 (page 14).

Quote:
Thinking adding MW rigging that can add +1 to +5 on sailing checks and a rudder that only helps the navigator.

MW rigging is a fantastic idea, though I wouldn't go above +1. I'd also suggest lowering the weight. Anything above a +1 ought to be magical in nature, in my opinion.

As for the rudder... that's sort of funny. The original files I received had the option to buy a rudder. I asked Lou about that, assuming that every ship had one. He agreed - every ship would have a rudder, so no need to list it separately. So we took it out. Our base assumption is that every ship has a rudder.

However, it's also an ideal piece of the ship to enchant with magic to get amazing effects.

Quote:
Broad hulls 25 feet wide and sleek hulls a 15. All ships gain and extra 10 length on the front and back of the ship but it is all structure and grants no internal space.

Different sized locations will probably work OK at your table, but for simplicity we went with everything being 20x20.

I don't see any problem with declaring all ships to have an extra 20 feet of length in unusable space - 10 on the fore and 10 on the aft. The only caveat I'll give you there is that if your players are building the ship from scratch, make sure to charge them for it - don't give that extra structure away for free.

Mathius wrote:
Thanks, I am trying to find a way to make 6 hull ship broad without dropping the speed below 3. I think ship location that reduces the penalty for a heavy load from 3 speed to 2. I think that if I do it right a broad hulled size 8 ship will be the most cost efficient but smaller ship will be cheaper.

Hmmm... If your ship has 6 Hull Locations, you're entitled to have 5 Rigging Locations. So let's use all of 'em.

This ship has a base weight of 25,500 lbs. Its Str score is 40 (30 +6 Hull Locations +4 broad) and a Dex of 9 (10 +5 Rigging -6 Hull). Its base speed is 7, into the wind speed is 3, and with the wind speed is 14. It has a light load of 51,072; a medium load of 102,144; and a heavy load of 153,216. If we burden her with a heavy load, she takes a -3 penalty to her base speed - so this falls within your parameters - it has 6 broad Hull Locations and the base speed is 4.

My hunch is that this statement on 11 is causing the problem:

Quote:
Dexterity (Dex) = 10 + the number of Rigging Locations – the number of Hull Locations. A ship’s Dexterity will be further modified by whether you opted to build with Sleek (+4) or Broad (–4) Hulls.

(emphasis mine)

This is incorrect, and is a relic from a draft prior to the final version. Broad Hull Locations grant a +4 bonus to Str and reduce maneuverability rating by one step. Sleek Hull Locations reduce Str by 4 and increase maneuverability rating by one step. Table 3 on Page 10 - and the accompanying text - is correct.

Mathius wrote:
Why do engines not add to dex? By current rules one may not build an engine only ship larger then size 9.

Why do you say so? I can't find anything that was intentional about this. Remember this rule on Page 11:

Quote:
The Dexterity of a ship determines its maneuverability rating. You also apply your ship’s Dexterity bonus (but not penalty) to the Armor Class (AC) of its Locations. Regardless of the number of Rigging and Hull Locations, your ship’s Dexterity cannot be less than 1.

(emphasis mine)

So I can build a ship with 20 Hull Locations and 0 Rigging Locations. It's Dex score is still 1. Given that you were very specific about 9 Hull Locations, I suspect maybe you're missing this passage. But if it's something else, please let me know.

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*note to self* When sending Chuck ransom notes, threaten to add more tables to the next manuscript if he doesn't comply...

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Wow! Not only did Marc cast summon author; so did Wolfgang.

So, why no capstone? I'd love to give some elaborate tale about balance and such, but the truth of the matter is simply that when I converted the class from 3.5 to Pathfinder, I just didn't think of adding it. I was so concerned with making sure all my Spots and Listens and Searches became Perception and that all my references to tracking were updated and everything else, I just never thought about adding in a special ability for 20th level. And the fact that my "play test" never got that high probably didn't help, either.

As a quick patch, I would say adding the ranger's Master Hunter ability is a good fit for the elven archer and the variant classes. The following (off the top of my head, so not developed or edited - keep that in mind) also fits for the mystic, and could fit for the others with some tweaking:

Rain of Arrows (Su): At 20th level, the mystic archer's connection with the spirit world is formidable. A number of times per day equal to her Charisma bonus (minimum 1) as a full round action she may make a single attack against a foe at her full base attack bonus. While in flight, the arrow mystically transforms into a hail of ammunition, striking all enemies within 20 feet of the original target. The archer makes a single attack roll and compares that to the AC of each target. The archer then rolls her damage once and applies that to all targets successfully struck by the rain of arrows. Precision damage, if any, only applies to the initial target.

That can probably use a tweak or two; seems a bit powerful (though it is a 20th level ability, so it has to compete with meteor swarm, implosion, and mass suffocation among other spells that have multiple targets).

So, there ya go. Just an oversight. And two possible solutions.

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So, some feedback and comments and ideas and musings and ball-busting (aimed at Lou, of course) based on my experience working on the project and getting my group started on a Razor Coast campaign.

Power Word Unzip wrote:

That said, there are some issues with the adventure as written that didn't help. For one thing, Jalamar's stat block isn't reflective of the buffs he commonly casts on himself prior to battle. It's easier for me as a GM to subtract buffs as they expire or are dispelled than to add them (especially when my own knowledge of divine spells isn't as up to snuff as my understanding of arcane ones). This is why barbarian stat blocks--and often other casters--presented in published material already have their rages and other abilities baked in from the start. I really wish Jalamar had been treated in this way.

Additionally, by 9th level, most parties have access to some pretty useful spells, like air walk and fly (or flying mounts, in the case of our group's necromancer). Guys with swim speed vs. guys with fly speed is a no-contest match in most cases: The fliers win. Never mind the extreme level of buffs the PCs had coordinated among themselves.

The first is interesting - as a GM, I prefer the opposite: I want the base stats, and I'll add whatever modifiers I need based on spells, potions, class abilities, etc. Now, that said... if the PCs are going to always encounter the NPC with the buff active, then it should be baked into the stat block. For an easy example (that may or may not ever happen): a 12th level wizard with Extend spell and extended mage armor prepared should just have the +4 armor bonus added to her armor class. but if there's a chance the spell isn't cast, the potion isn't consumed, etc. then I just don't want them in the stats. (As an alternate, again speaking as a GM and not a designer/developer, mentioning, "If Billy Bob casts all these spells, his armor class increases by +6, his melee attacks increase by +4, ..." and so on is a good compromise for me personally. I always put NPC stat blocks onto a Word doc, so I can just make those tweakes eaily.)

I don't have my books, or even my "working files" handy at the moment. So I don't recall specifics of Jalamar's stat block. But if there is a chance (even small) he couldn't cast his string of buff spells, that would be why they aren't baked into his stat blocks. That doesn't mean it's the right way to do it, of course.

On the second point, I will completely take that one on as my shortcoming. I typically account for that when building NPCs (and even monsters). Flight is definitely a game-changer, and even in groups that don't min-max, it's available no later than 5th level or so (wild shape, fly, etc.) Now, that said, my answer to "the PCs can fly" isn't always to make it so the NPC or monster can also fly. A strong ranged attack, the ability to summon a strong flier (demon, devil, etc), special attacks such as breath weapons, spells, and so on are all ways to deal with flight on some level.

So, Jalamar should have had something. If he didn't, that's my design failure - even though Lou is good enough to stand here and absorb the heat from it.

*

PWU wrote:
So, now I have a few months off to concentrate on my writing... but who am I kidding, I'm already planning the next story arc of Razor Coast. When we come back to play through Ring of the Kraken, there will also be an expedition to find Tarath-Vreen's laboratory and a grand hunt for Garr Bloodbane's treasure; remnants of the cult of Dajobas will still haunt the Razor Sea; old enemies will arise as new perversions against the will of the gods; and many, many more grand adventures will doubtless be had on the high seas.

(emphasis mine)

Don't forget that Dajobas will likely seek out a new dalang to serve his interests in the Razor. It won't happen immediately, of course. But if enough time elapses you can bet he'll have found a new dalang and will begin rebuilding his cult. :) What better way to shock the PCs.

*

Lou wrote:
c. Organize the bulk of the hooks for each adventure option, by NPC and level. If the party is 6th level and talking to Old Craw, the following hooks, rumors and whispers can be learned. Turn these into NPC reference sheets (the Old Craw sheet, the Bonedeuce sheet), the GM can pull out and keep handy as a guide to playing the NPC -- and any given level of the adventure -- to drive the story at the same time. A sort of cheat sheet for playing the NPC depending on what level the party is currently. One for each major NPC and a few blanks for NPCs the GM creates.

I just found this yesterday, actually. If you download the community use package from Paizo that has the character sheets, in there is an "NPC Sheet." It was bloody brilliant! It had all sorts of places for the GM to record hooks related to the NPC, his/her allies and enemies, boons the NPC can give, his/her back story, and so on. I'm shocked I somehow didn't see it before - I know I've downloaded that package previously. But it'll be making its way onto my gaming flash drive so I can use it regularly.

So the point of mentioning it here is that there's no need to reinvent the proverbial wheel. (Though, of course, it could possibly be improved.) Go grab that kit and take a look, because that sheet right there is your starting point.

Lou" wrote:
Any other thoughts or suggestions? Have I gone mad (again) or does the above sound like an improvement building on the current approach?

Again? That implies you were mad and got better, my friend. ;)

As somebody who opted to run Razor Coast from 1st level - because this is actually my first chance to GM a Pathfinder game, amazingly, and I wanted to see the game play from the start - I'm wishing the books had more hooks, tidbits, etc for 1-5 levels. Sure, I can make up my own stuff or plug in other stuff from other publishers. But I'm a lazy son of a b*+*+, and if I can have my published product do 80% of my work for me, I find that preferable.

And so, if you're thinking of revisions and/or new material I think that's a place to explore.

*

brvheart wrote:

3) This does make it a lot less sandboxy. To be honest both games have stagnated to a certain extent and are progressing very slowly. Part of that is from player turnover but it is partly from the design. The flow doesn't seem to be there at least at the beginning levels.

4&5) These kind of go together. Yes, it does create a lot of page flipping with the manner in which things are organized especially when dealing with a specific NPC. One can do searches on the pdf, but that doesn't help when trying to run from the book at the table. I think your ideas on reorganization are good ones.

Right now I am looking for a way to revitalized my campaigns so they don't fall apart under their own weight. I think this is a great product, but somehow I am not getting it done for them? I am trying to get them go out and get the information, follow up on leads and not lead them around by the nose. Maybe I have to give more direction?

brvheart wrote:
Did that the first several sessions. Problem is we are now about around session 14 or 15 and all but one are still level 5 with only one original character who is level six. Several have died and others have left the game.

So, a few things here.

First, a lot of players just aren't used to the "sandbox" idea. They expect, at some level of planning, that the GM has a set of tracks they need to follow. And when those tracks just don't exist, a game can break down to the players waiting for the GM to nudge them a certain direction. I'm finding this with my group, to an extent, even though they're only 2nd level now. I toss out various hooks and tidbits through interaction with NPCs and such and wait for them to take the bait so I can reel them in. (My group is 7 PCs, some vets and some newer; some "power gamers" and some "beer and pretzel, just wanna hang out" players.)

My players were, really, paralyzed by their options. Even the vets. They were waiting for me to dangle the ultra-obvious hook of "here's where you go next" and it just didn't come along. Finally, one of the more experienced players messaged me and asked what we needed to do to get moving. I told her just grab a hook and sound confident that she thought it's what the group should look into. Don't discuss if it was where to go, or what others thought. Simply state, "I want to go investigate X."

That worked. Her confidence in X being "right" lead to other players jumping on the bandwagon. So part of your solution for stagnating might be to put the tracks back into the game, just for a bit. Find a player you trust and get that player on-board with moving without rails. It might be enough to get the game flowing again to just have one player make a decision.

Second, the other thing I find that helps is to re-state all the current hooks they have out there. First, I try to send a game summary a few days after a session wraps, to document who they met, what they did, and so on. (One of my players recently took over this task for me - on his own - which is fantastic. Now all I have to do is make minor edits (spelling of names, slight tweaks to what he remembered as facts, etc) and they have their game summary.) It serves as a neat little campaign journal, but it also serves as a place to remind them of what options they had.

The other thing I do is spend the first 5-10 minutes of any game session reviewing the previous action. "Last game, your captain sent you as part of a boarding crew to investigate the wreck of the HMS Hubris. There you met an odd elf, but you couldn't tell if the goblins you fought worked for him or if they were somehow holding him captive. The elf thanked you for rescuing him, regardless of what the situation really was, and told you he was searching for the fabled star of the sea. His captain, who commands the Icy Moon, dropped him here to search the Hubris and will be returning in a few days. He informed you the captain of the Icy Moon had bad intentions for the weird - and supposedly powerful - gem, and that he wanted your help to overthrow the captain and search for the gem without him. After discussing it with your capatain, her gunnery mate told a tale that the Icy Moon is cursed - that the captain of the ship cannot leave her decks. Ever." blah blah blah.

We seem to only be able to play once a month or so, thanks to various schedule conflicts. So this summary helps bring them back to where they left off and I can use it to remind them of various hooks that were dangling previously, making that bait fresh in their mind. It's still up to them to take the hook, but at least now it's fresh in their mind.

And then my last suggestion for you: force the action. If you can't get a player to build the tracks for you, and summarizing doesn't lead somebody to grasp a hook, then simply bring the action to the players. A bar fight. A bloody corpse washed up on shore, with signs of shark bites but also other wounds. A ghost ship spotted a mile off shore. Angry Tulita protesting some new rule meant to supress them. Whatever. Find an inciting incident in the book, or devise your own that leads to a path you think they'll enjoy. Basically, if they won't build the rails, you need to do it and hope they then pick up the tools and keep building from that point.

*

PWU wrote:
The reference sheets are a really good idea. A comprehensive index would be much, much better, though. There were times running this when I'd've killed for an index, especially when I had to conjure up a scene on the fly because the PCs took a turn I wasn't expecting and I couldn't find some crucial supporting information that I knew was right there in the book.

Well, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Make Lou work on both for you! :)

PWU wrote:
Page references for the adventure options would have also helped out greatly. Yes, you can achieve this by reading through and adding sticky notes/tabs, but if you're like me, you cringe at the idea of marring such a beautiful book with potentially-damaging adhesives.

The only problem with page references is keeping them accurate as layout moves around. It's not impossible of course. But I can't count the number of times I've seen complaints about a product like, "The section on elf mating habits on page 37 that directs you to see the spells on page 98 is wrong! Those spells are actually on page 99! OMG! You ruined this product for me!!!11!!!one!!" So adding them is a double-edged sword, really. They're a lot of work to maintain, and if even one is wrong people will complain - loudly - about the error. But if they're done right, they're a godsend to somebody who needs to reference material.

Of course, getting it to work right is Lou's issue, not mine. ;)

*

Feros wrote:
I refrained from laughing at that as they were not in really serious danger except for the first fight which had them split into three groups and spread out all over the ship in two battles.

Don't they know the first rule of gaming is Don't split the party? Sheesh!

I'm a fairly harsh GM - PCs die in my game; there is no fudging of dice to save somebody. But far and away, even though my groups rarely split up the majority of deaths happen while they do so. My wife is so traumatized by it that she even suggests everybody stay in one room at the inn whenever possible! :)

*

Much like Lou, I've enjoyed reading what's been shared in this thread - even though I've been way quieter than him. Despite the fact that I'll willingly bust his balls any chance I get, I'll say that what he did with RC is downright amazing. Nick's original adventure was good. Very good. Lou very much took it to 11, so to speak. Maybe even 12. The fact that it can be improved doesn't surprise me - group think is a powerful tool, after all. But I think it's fantastic that even folks who are offering suggestions on improving the organization are recognizing the work and effort Lou put into this. He deserves all the plaudits he gets for this one!

(Also: I see via peview that the "Contributor" tag has finally shown up on my name. Yay!)

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In my opinion, it's hard to go wrong with anything from Rogue Genius Games.

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Thanks for sharing the details, Steve. I was going to look them up when I got home.

So, using the new info...

Time Undone: So, you can't kill 100,000 people by standing at mid-field in Camp Nou. At 20th, level it looks like 35 targets would be the most you could get - and that requires all your foes to line up in a neat, orderly line for you. Mechanically, I still don't like the reversing of the past 24 hours, though I understand why from a flavor standpoint.

Steve wrote:
...and at times others who were witness to their deaths express surprise at seeing them alive.

Witness: I thought you died?

Victim: I got better.

Transnute Elf to Orc: When I wrote my comments above, I thought the spell should have the evil descriptor, but didn't say anything - again, I was only commenting on the details that were available. So, seeing the spell details I stand by my previous comment that there's nothing wrong here.

True Love: I have even less issue with this spell after seeing it. I'm a little iffy about wish or miracle not being able to end it; otherwise, I really don't have an issue - especially since it's mind-affecting enchantment spell, which lots of creatures have bonuses for (elves, monks), and plenty of spells and other effects give bonuses or outright immunity (mind blank, etc).

So yeah, I see even less wrong than I did the first time looking. *shrug*

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So, two disclaimers up front before I get started. First, I'm friendly with Rite Publishing owner Steve Russell; so by all means, keep my potential bias in mind. Second, I do not have the product in question, nor do I - at the moment - have access to a site such as d20pfsrd.org to look them up. I'm basing my replies on what you've provided.

OK? Okay. Let's move along...

Liam Warner wrote:

I finally got a look at some spells to see if this was worth buying (was hoping for more utility/out of combat spells) and well . . .

9th level spell: Does 10 points of damage per caster level with a ranged touch on EVERYTHING in its line of sight, fort save for half. If destroyed you are consumed right down to the soul (nothing short of a deity with time portfolio can bring them back) and all actions the destroyed creature did for the past 24 hours prior to being hit are undone.

The only bit of this that bothers me is the final piece. Frankly, the rest seems perfectly OK for a 9th level spell to me under normal circumstances. You can certainly contrive ways to kill 100,000 people with it (stand at midfield of Camp Nou in Barcelona during a match, for example). But under normal circumstances you're looking at 17d10 damage to, what? A dozen or so foes, with a Fort for half.

Then, toss in the presumably hard-to-acquire focus item.

I think the spell is entirely manageable, except the "undo actions from past 24 hours" line.

Quote:
6th level spell: permanently turns an elf into an orc (with an alignment shift to evil) with no desire to return to being an elf, fort negates touch attack.

So, it's a 6th level bard spell. So a minimum of 16th level character to get this. It requires a touch attack and grants the target a Fort save. I'd have to read how it's worded, but it's possible - maybe even likely - that dispel magic, greater dispel magic, break enchantment, and/or remove curse all would undo effects.

Meanwhile, wizards, sorcerers, and druids all gain access to baleful polymorph at 9th character level. That has a range of close (not touch) and allows a Fort save. Failure turns the target into a 1 HD animal, and requires a Will save or lose class features and such.

I'm not seeing the issue with this one...

Quote:

6th level: 400 + 40/levle range any two humanoid creatures, will negates (if not in direct combat the DC gets a +5 circumstance bonus otherwise even if they're in combat its just a NORMAL save), permanent duration. Subjects become obssessed with each other (regardless of race or sex) and wont do anything to harm or take advantage of the other. If they can't physically touch for more than 24 hours they become sickened, if one dies the other becomes sickened, after 7 days nauseated (may also apply if they don't touch for 7 days) and after a month (again could apply if merely seperated) they become nauseated and disabled. It can be dispelled but ONLY if both creatures are touching and in the spellcasters presence otherwise it states no mortal magic can do this. Admitedly both subjects need to fail their save but if they do there's no way for them to break free or stop needing to be with each other.

so is it just me or are all the spells in this so horribly overpowered and broken?

So, it requires two saves. If both saves are failed, the two targets want to be near each other. And, hey, Look! That's convenient, because if you want to dispel it they have to be near each other. And again, based on the actual wording, I would question if wish or miracle couldn't be used to also end the effect.

This spell, effectively is one of three things. It's a plot device for a GM to set up an adventure ("bring the two together because they can't do it on their own"), it's an amusing effect cast by a PC. (though granted, it certainly could thrash some GM plots. but guess what? Lots of spells can thrash GM plots.) Third, it's an annoyance the GM places on a PC during an adventure, essentially putting a timer on the adventure from that point onward.

Maybe my opinions change if I see the actual wording of the spells. But as you're describing them, they just don't seem that terrible to me outside of the "undoing 24 hours" aspect of the first one.

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As promised, here are some Harthagoa stat blocks, building him based on the PF kraken rather than the 3.5 kraken.

First, just a straight conversion, taking the kraken and adding the half-fiend template:

Spoiler:

Harthagoa CR 21
XP 409,600
Male half-fiendish kraken
CE Gargantuan outsider (aquatic, native)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +29
<RULE>
AC 34, touch 7, flat-footed 33 (+1 Dex, +27 natural, –4 size)
hp 330 (20d10+220)
Fort +23, Ref +13, Will +12
DR 10/magic; Immune cold, poison, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 32
<RULE>
Speed 10 ft., fly 20 ft. (good), swim 40 ft., jet 280 ft.
Melee 2 arms +28 (2d6+12/19–20 plus grab), 8 tentacles +26 (1d8+6 plus grab), bite +28 (2d8+12), 2 claws +28 (2d6+12)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (60 ft. with arm, 40 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+10), ink cloud, rend ship, smite good 1/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th)
3/day—darkness, poison (DC 21), unholy aura (DC 25)
1/day—blasphemy (DC 24), contagion (DC 20), desecrate, destruction (DC 24), horrid wilting (DC 25), summon monster IX (fiends only), unhallow (DC 22), unholy blight (DC 21)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 15th)
1/day—control weather, control winds, dominate monster (animal only) (DC 26), resist energy
<rule>
Str 34, Dex 12, Con 33, Int 23, Wis 22, Cha 25
Base Atk +20; CMB +36 (+40 grapple, +38 trip); CMD 49 (51 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (arms), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Multiattack, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +24 (+16 when jumping), Fly +22, Intimidate +27, Knowledge (geography) +26, Knowledge (nature) +26, Knowledge (planes) +26, Perception +29, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +26, Stealth +12, Swim +43, Use Magic Device +27; Racial Modifiers –8 Acrobatics when jumping
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ tenacious grapple
<RULE>
Environment any ocean
Organization solitary
Treasure triple
<RULE>
Ink Cloud (Ex) A kraken can emit a cloud of black, venomous ink in an 80-foot spread once per minute as a free action while underwater. This cloud provides total concealment, which the kraken can use to escape a fight that is going badly. Creatures within the cloud are considered to be in darkness. In addition, the ink is toxic, functioning as contact poison against all creatures caught within it. The ink cloud persists for 1 minute before dispersing. The save DC against the poison effect is Constitution-based. Kraken Ink: Ink cloud—contact; save Fort DC 31; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 1 Str damage plus nausea; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Jet (Ex) A kraken can jet backward as a full-round action, at a speed of 280 feet. It must move in a straight line, but does not provoke attacks of opportunity while jetting.
Rend Ship (Ex) As a full-round action, a kraken can attempt to use four of its tentacles to grapple a ship of its size or smaller. It makes a CMB check opposed by the ship’s captain’s Profession (sailor) check, but the kraken gets a cumulative +4 bonus on the check for each size category smaller than Gargantuan the ship is. If the kraken grapples the ship, it holds the ship motionless; it can attack targets anywhere on or within the ship with its tentacles, but can only attack foes on deck with its free arms and can’t attack foes at all with its beak. Each round it maintains its hold on the ship, it automatically inflicts bite damage on the ship’s hull.
Smite Good (Su) Once per day as a swift action the half-fiend can smite good as the smite evil ability of a paladin of the same level as the half-fiend’s Hit Dice, except affecting a good target. The smite persists until the target is dead of the half-fiend rests.
Tenacious Grapple (Ex) A kraken does not gain the grappled condition if it grapples a foe with its arms or tentacles.

Then, because just about anybody can take a standard monster and slap on the half-fiend template, I went a step further to give people something truly special. I added the advanced simple template,increased his HD by 50%, and increased his size. The CR I have here is probably low; if this were a true turnover, I'd look a lot closer at it. But for this, it should be close enough.

Spoiler:

Harthagoa on Steroids CR 24
XP 1,228,800
Male advanced half-fiendish kraken
CE Colossal outsider (aquatic, native)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +47
<RULE>
AC 34, touch 5, flat-footed 31 (+3 Dex, +29 natural, –8 size)
hp 585 (30d10+420)
Fort +31, Ref +22, Will +18
DR 10/magic; Immune cold, poison, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 35
<RULE>
Speed 10 ft., fly 20 ft. (good), swim 40 ft., jet 280 ft.
Melee 2 arms +36 (4d6+14/19–20 plus grab), 8 tentacles +34 (2d6+7 plus grab), bite +36 (4d6+14/19–20), 2 claws +36 (2d8+14)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft. (60 ft. with arm, 40 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+10), ink cloud, rend ship, smite good 1/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 30th)
3/day—darkness, poison (DC 24), unholy aura (DC 28)
1/day—blasphemy (DC 27), contagion (DC 23), desecrate, destruction (DC 27), horrid wilting (DC 28), summon monster IX (fiends only), unhallow (DC 25), unholy blight (DC 24)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 15th)
1/day-control weather, control winds, dominate monster (animal only) (DC 29), resist energy
<RULE>
Str 38, Dex 16, Con 38, Int 27, Wis 26, Cha 30
Base Atk +30; CMB +52 (+54 disarm, +56 grapple, +54 trip); CMD 67 (69 vs. disarm, 69 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (arms), Improved Critical (bite), Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Swim-By Attack
Skills Acrobatics +36 (+28 when jumping), Fly +32, Intimidate +40, Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (geography) +38, Knowledge (local) +23, Knowledge (nature) +38, Knowledge (planes) +38, Knowledge (religion) +23, Perception +47, Sense Motive +38, Spellcraft +38, Stealth +20, Survival +23, Swim +55, Use Magic Device +40; Racial Modifiers –8 Acrobatics when jumping
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ tenacious grapple
<RULE>
Environment any ocean
Organization solitary
Treasure triple
<RULE>
Ink Cloud (Ex) A kraken can emit a cloud of black, venomous ink in an 80-foot spread once per minute as a free action while underwater. This cloud provides total concealment, which the kraken can use to escape a fight that is going badly. Creatures within the cloud are considered to be in darkness. In addition, the ink is toxic, functioning as contact poison against all creatures caught within it. The ink cloud persists for 1 minute before dispersing. The save DC against the poison effect is Constitution-based. Kraken Ink: Ink cloud—contact; save Fort DC 39; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 1 Str damage plus nausea; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Jet (Ex) A kraken can jet backward as a full-round action, at a speed of 280 feet. It must move in a straight line, but does not provoke attacks of opportunity while jetting.
Rend Ship (Ex) As a full-round action, a kraken can attempt to use four of its tentacles to grapple a ship of its size or smaller. It makes a CMB check opposed by the ship’s captain’s Profession (sailor) check, but the kraken gets a cumulative +4 bonus on the check for each size category smaller than Gargantuan the ship is. If the kraken grapples the ship, it holds the ship motionless; it can attack targets anywhere on or within the ship with its tentacles, but can only attack foes on deck with its free arms and can’t attack foes at all with its beak. Each round it maintains its hold on the ship, it automatically inflicts bite damage on the ship’s hull.
Smite Good (Su) Once per day as a swift action the half-fiend can smite good as the smite evil ability of a paladin of the same level as the half-fiend’s Hit Dice, except affecting a good target. The smite persists until the target is dead of the half-fiend rests.
Tenacious Grapple (Ex) A kraken does not gain the grappled condition if it grapples a foe with its arms or tentacles.

Note: The Swim-By Attack feat can be found in Tome of Horrors Complete, from Frog God Games

In both instances, I recommend GMs plan his treasure carefully, and make use of it. He should have an ass-ton of stuff and so should take advantage of that. Stat boosters, armor boosters (his AC is a bit low), wands, staves, etc.

Also, if you use him, don't forgot about his dominate monster ability. He should almost always be encountered with a bevy of animals to serve as meat shields.

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Zherog wrote:
Thanael wrote:

So the Fiend Below, Harthagoa, was converted from 3.5 to PF as "a unique, new creature that closely mirrors the 3.5 stats born of from adding a [3.5] half-fiend template to a [3.5] Kraken.".

Who will be the first to upgrade this to a PF kraken with the PF half-fiend template? Or will FGG be so kind and post this version of the CR21 Harthagoa as a web enhancement maybe?

I'll put it together. Might take me a few days, since I have other stuff that's due soon...

I'll be throwing this together this weekend. I plan to do a bit more than just take the PF kraken and applying the template; expect some Hit Die advancement and other tricks to make one bad-ass mo-fo. I'm figuring he'll be CR 23, maybe 24. After all, anybody can take a monster and apply a template; I'll give you a bit more than just that.

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So happy to see this one come out. When Wolfgang approached me at GenCon last summer to work on this, I was giddy at the idea.

So this class came about entirely because one of my players wanted to play an archer, but didn't really like the flavor of the ranger. She didn't want a lot of favored enemies, and didn't want an animal companion. But she liked things such as combat style, tracking, and the various "woodsy" features of the ranger. She knew fighter could give her some feats, and that rogue could give her some skills and neat tricks like sneak attack and evasion. She also knew there were some nifty prestige classes out there. (This is probably a good time to mention: the class was originally designed in 3.5.)

And so she looked at all that potential multiclassing, and had a small panic attack. So stepped in and built her a class that had the stuff she wanted, but kept things fairly straight forward. In fact, the entire reason the class is named "elven archer" is because she was wanted her character to be an elf. Honestly, had she wanted a half-orc, the class would've been the half-orc archer from the start. And, honestly, I'm glad she went elf because when Wolfgang talked about putting together KQ20 he mentioned it was a loose elven theme. "Hey! I have this class. You interested in seeing it?" And so was born the published version of the elven archer.

*

One of the things I wanted to do in this expanded version was steer it away from just being about elves. My original article in KQ20 had a paragraph about how to adapt to other classes, so this was my chance to stretch that idea a bit. And so this product has the halfling sling master and the dwarven crossbowyer - two different racial classes that use the basic chassis of the elven archer, and swap a few things out. I had a grand time coming up with "sling tricks" for the halfling, to be honest. On top of that, I also created the mystic archer, a class for any race that melds archery with mysticism and arcane energy to do some nifty things. My favorite? Using an arrow as a dimension door effect.

I didn't really get to explore everything I wanted. At least in depth. As publishers often do, Wolfgang put me on a word count limit. So there's also two archetypes: the royal guardian, sort of an urban-themed tweak; and the plains rider, which takes mounted archery and gives it some love.

*

And there's other goodies. Cool feats, alchemical arrows, an arrow made from a dragon's tooth, new spells (LOTS of new spells), new magic items.

My other favorite feature in here is an idea Wolfgang planted in my head when I started - the arrow tracking sheet. Never lose track of how many arrows of different types you possess again. The sheet is designed to allow you to fill in numerous different types and keep track of what you have, and what you've used.

*

Anyway, I've talked a lot. I'll happily answer questions. I'm really excited to see this one finally out, and thankful to Wolfgang for giving me the opportunity. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful editing work of Amanda Hamon. She was a pleasure to work with - she kept me in the loop for any important changes she was making, to make sure I was OK with what she was doing. It's always a pleasure to work with the folks over at Kobold Press!

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Fire as She Bears is the name of the book. "Fire as She Blows" is something about Lou's personal life that's best not discussed on the forums...

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Kthulhu wrote:
What exactly are the 8 indulgences? I get that they are supplements, but can someone provide a list with a brief description? Thanks.

Sure.

"Art of the Duel" by Craig Shackleton presents historical information about dueling, both with blades as well as pistols. (Craig has actually been in the news lately up in the Toronto area because of his expertise in the field.) After going over the historical aspects, there are some new weapons and new feats.

"Blood Waters" By Greg Vaughan is a 7th level adventure set in the Razor Coast. It's designed to fit into the campaign, without being absolutely necessary. There are places within the book, though, where it'll say, "Hey, here's a good place to put Blood Waters." Blood Waters takes PCs under the waves with some great encounters.

"Dajobas, Devourer of Worlds" by Nick Logue presents all the info you need about, well, Dajobas - an evil god bent on destroying everything in the world. Along with the usual god text, there's a new domain, info about his followers, a new monster, some new feats, and some magic weapons. There's also a prestige class so you can make your villains even more frightening.

"Death Beneath the Waves" by Wolfgang Baur is a look at running adventures underwater. It goes over the rules, expands them a bit, gives the GM ways to lure the PCs there. There's some spells to help PCs cope with the environment, and a wicked nasty CR 11 critter to challenge your PCs once they're there.

"Mysteries of the Razor Sea" by Nick is an adventure designed for 1st level PCs. It's a fantastic intro to some of the lore and such of the Razor Coast.

"Shrine of Frenzy" by Brendan Victorson and David Posener is a 7th level adventure that deals with cultists of Dajobas and the superstitions of the native people, the Tulita.

"Still Waters" by Rich Pett is a 6th level adventure that takes PCs into the marsh. Good depth and the typical creepy feeling Pett injects into his adventures.

"The Warrior's Way" by Nick goes into depth about the Tulita, natives of the Razor Coast. Some feats, items, and lots of flavor and background.

Those are quick summaries, anyway. There's good stuff in all 8.

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Heart of the Razor = unlocked! Woohoo!

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Woohoo! We broke $60K!

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I'm willing to bet that same list applies to the names I called you. Well, maybe not - my list was probably better. I'm more creative than you. :P

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Anybody have any extra brain bleach? blargh...

--John Ling

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Mr. Swagger wrote:
Is there a link to the kickstarter?

No, because the kickstarter doesn't start until December.

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As somebody who worked (hard) on this product, I'm tickled by the review. Thanks, Endz.


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Better. Now go make me a sandwich!

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For those who have looked but not chipped in yet (or for those who might ant to raise their pledge), I want to take a moment to point out that Erik has gone and tweaked some of the higher priced pledge rewards. In particular, I think he's insane with what he's giving out for the top pledge level now.

For $500, you get dinner at the Palomino restaurant in Indy during GenCon for you and up to 3 guests, up to a $500 tab. Dinner will include me and Erik, and he'll invite along everybody else involved in the Production of Fractured Phylactery as well. We'll talk about the adventure, gaming in general, the industry, what it's like to be a super-sexy freelancer (I'll have to let somebody else answer that, though). Whatever.

But... you also get: PDF copies of Fractured Phylactery, Citadel of Pain, and All Stars Take on the Mega Dungeon; a signed (by me) print copy of Fractured Phylactery that you can pick up at GenCon; the Mega Dungeon map pack; four rolls of gaming paper; and print copies of Citadel and All Stars!

Frankly, I think Erik has lost his mind. ;)

Thank you to those who have pledged. And thank you to Lou for sharing his soul with Leander. I'm sure we can work something out to get it back later...

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Hey! Watch where you poke that thing! Some of us are hiding in here!

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Glad to hear folks, overall, are digging the elven archer class. To address a few points that have come up:

-- on playtesting: Yes, it has years of playtesting. The class was used in my home game for quite a while. (And yes, it started as a 3.5 class.) When we started our game, my friend liked rangers but wanted more to go with it, such as bonus feats and sneak attack. We talked about multiclassing and moving around in a bunch of classes - including 3 different prestige classes! - but in the end, it was just easier for me to build her a class that had what she wanted.

-- on the d8 Hit Die: Two reasons, but both come back to balance. First, the elven archer draws abilities from several classes, including ranger, fighter, rogue and arcane archer. It gains a lot of benefits from that mumble jumble, and so I opted to go with a die size that was (more or less) in the middle. Second, the other full BAB classes are (for the most part) melee-centric, and so they need the higher Hit Die for survivability in combat. The archer wants to be out of melee (though close combat shot lets them function in tight spaces eventually). Since they're not really built for going toe-to-toe with the monsters/villains, it made sense (to me at least) to keep their Hit Die down one step.

-- @Paul Watson "Elves are better than you" syndrome: I understand your point, and it's something that concerned me a bit, too, with taking the class from my home game to the published realm. Frankly, the only reason it was the elven archer in my home game is because my friend wanted to play an elf. If she had said she wanted to play a half-orc, it would've been designed as the orc archer. That said, I did take some time to include "variants" in the write-up, such as tweaking the racial requirement (or removing it all-together) as well as some quick ways to make it apply to thrown weapons and/or to crossbow snipers. Still, I do appreciate that the class isn't for everybody. However, if you read it and like the "crunch" pieces, there's really no mechanical reason you couldn't just drop the racial requirement and tweak the "fluff" slightly to suit your needs.

Cheers!


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