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jocundthejolly's page

749 posts (753 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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DrDeth wrote:
Robert Carter 58 wrote:


So I've been looking for ways to mitigate that.

Two solutions I've been playing with should I GM again are this.

A) run a E6 (or more likely E8) game. If you're not familiar with this variant, it's D&D/pathfinder played the same as always but players stop leveling once they hit a level cap the GM determines- level 6 typically though the GM could set it higher (I prefer 8). Advancement there after is only by a feat. So it stops rule bloat to a certain extent. You advance to level 8 or so, then every so many xp's the PCs earn feats.

Bah. E6 would be going in the opposite way from AD&D. AD&D had VERY powerful characters (I have one demi-god and two Immortal heroes, for example). Sure, D20 has 'rule bloat" but E6 does nothing to trim RULES, it trims PC power, and allows the DM to run a game without thinking too much.

An 18 ability score was special, though. It doesn't mean anything any more. I never liked the power up that came with 3E, the routine ability score increases. It's possible to go too far in lifting restrictions.


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Pupsocket wrote:
Claxon wrote:


Also, stealing isn't definitively evil. If anything it's chaotic, but not really evil. Unless you're stabbing or threatening people to get it.

No, it's Evil as a baseline. You are f#@@ing over people who have done you no wrong to benefit yourself. That is the very definition of evil. It's the shallow end of evil, and you can get away with a lot of stealing before losing your Neutral or even Good alignment, but it's still Evil.

But most heroic thieves are either subsistence thieves (Aladdin), where actual survival is the motive, not gain at the expense of others, or community champions fighting an oppressive regime (Robin Hood).

I think context is required. Cleaning out a poor person's few coppers for fun or just to be sadistic is evil. Stealing trifles from a rich person to feed a starving kid, not so much. I think there is a difference in kind there, not just a difference in degree.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But is altruism ethical? Ayn Rand would vehemently disagree.
Shortest turn around between asking and answering your own question ever.

OQ, depends how you define altruism. In my experience, people who like Ayn Rand often resort to caricatures of altruism or straw men (e.g., altruism means destroying yourself). But it is a marvelously complex phenomenon that primatologists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists have devoted many lifetimes to studying, fruitfully I think.


Kahn Zordlon wrote:
Private individuals and enterprises are what's important, not special interests and bureaucrats. Let the government starve, atrophy, and be seen for what it really is.

The chief defender of our rights, and of capitalism?


Probably reread some of my favorite MR James tales as the year dies. I don't know any better literary terror. Maybe something new also. I've been waiting to get my hands on Susan Hill's Small Hand and Dolly.


Does anyone read "THUS BEGINS THE SEEMINGLY HOPELESS QUEST OF A SIMPLE MAN AGAINST THE GREATEST POWER OF EVIL THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN"
without a groan nowadays?


Here is d20srd's official list

http://www.d20srd.org/faq.htm


Benrislove wrote:
Mergy wrote:
ArVagor wrote:
Paz wrote:
Griffin Rider wrote:
As a hard and fast rule "a" proceeds a word that starts with a consonant.
I'll be sure to remember that when referring to 'a NPC'.

Touché...

While we're at it, can we please stop saying/writing "an history"? Damn Brits...

"An history" is correct though. Both are "a history" and "an history" are technically correct.

this is actually not true.

written a history, or a historic event is always correct. H is now a vowel sound.

SPOKEN An historic or an history CAN be correct if your accented speech patterns cause you to pronouce the "I" sound first.

an 'ISTORIC event can be correct when spoken that way, or when quoted (obviously) but it is never correct in written english. H is not a vowel sound.

though it is "considered" correct due to how commonplace the usage is. the majority of texts use the appropriate article usage because historic doesn't start with a vowel sound, unlike hour.

http://www.betterwritingskills.com/tip-w005.html

I wonder if this issue is partly baggage because ancient Greek had rough breathing and smooth breathing for words which began with vowels. History, for example, which comes nearly unchanged from Greek, and hippos (horse) start with rough breathing iota in Greek, which we write as initial h, while words like icthus (ichthys, fish) have smooth breathing.


I'm working on MFAs in Poetry and Translation.


George Crumb comes to mind, especially Night of the Electric Insects from Black Angels. There were a couple of pieces in Eyes Wide Shut, a section of Musica Ricercata by Ligeti and something by Pook that were unsettling. I also like Rachmaninoff's The Isle of the Dead.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'm helping run a 16-hour environmental test today. Wish the EPA were shut down...

I read that some Superfund stuff is closing down. We work-studiers are still getting paid AFAIK, for now.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jocund, so how far are you willing to take the argument that we have to base public policy on the fundamental concept that human beings are irrational, over emotional and act hastily?

I mean can we talk about how many human beings are killed every year by automobiles? Motorcycles? Bicycles? Ladders? Stairs?

Or is this argument only applicable to guns?

I think the government should do its best to balance competing rights, in this case your right to do what you want vs other people's rights to life and safety. I don't think anything you named is usefully analogous to guns.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

There are deeper philosophical questions involved in this question (as with most societal questions) than "should the government allow citizen X to own/do thing Y."

It boils down to an issue of personal responsibility and respect. A society that believes its population can not be trusted with guns already has far deeper problems than guns.

Trust, respect, and personal responsibility aren't really the issue. The issue is that human beings have accidents, make poor decisions, have distorted thoughts, become overemotional, act hastily. And that weapons often act as an accelerant. They often potentiate violence (make bad situations worse). I'm not convinced by arguments which are essentially,"If humans would be perfectly rational everything would be OK. Therefore, guns are not the problem."


Samnell wrote:
TanithT wrote:
I do not understand gender policing. Really, really do not understand it, on any level.

I think there's a tremendous amount of insecurity involved. Everybody knows that traditional gender roles are artificial, very silly, and hopelessly narrow. No one wants to actually live like that all their lives. Given that, you either admit it and try to be who you actually are and risk ridicule and censure, or you join the gender police. Or you stand aside and silently support the gender police.

Plus, of course, certain people benefit tremendously from traditional gender roles and many will not lightly yield their advantage.

That said:

TanithT wrote:
Neurotypical humans are basically monkeys who are completely at the mercy of their monkey instincts and who rarely have the capacity for rational thought or behavior. That is the only conclusion I can really draw here.
I find when I proceed from an assumption quite similar to that I predict behavior much more reliably than when I do otherwise.

As far as I know "What a piece of work is a man..." is not ironic, but I have a hard time reconciling it with the intelligence of the writer and the character.


This thread started to get political, so the side discussion needs a new home.


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I value Lovecraft as a major non-anthropocentric writer. As much as I like the Western canon (and I really do like it), the Western tradition is almost fetishistically anthropocentric. So it's a big deal, and very refreshing, when this enormously influential writer comes along whose work says that humans are not the center of the universe. We're not the best, the most powerful, the most interesting. There might be godlike entities out there, but unlike the deities of most religions they aren't much interested in humans. In fact, they don't necessarily care about us at all.


I'm interested in cephalophod intelligence. Cuttlefish and close relatives are the invertebrate intellectual giants, and/but the last common ancestor of mollusks and primates/cetaceans/other smart vertebrates was waaaaay back so it's a different model for the evolution of what we call intelligence.


Gorbacz wrote:
Sebastian wrote:

Going away implies they still exist. Dragon and Dungeon have been gone for many years, notwithstanding the use of those labels for website articles by WotC.

It is a shame that subscription based periodicals isn't a successful business model. Someone should give Paizo a heads up before they waste more time and money getting Pathfinder up to isse #100...

Pathfinder APs are 600 pages books divided into 6 smaller books so that you can spread steady revenue across the year and juggle author workload better. They're not really periodicals, despite being periodicals. You don't get them next to Hustler and Guns Monthly.

Hustler and Guns Monthly are going the way of dodo bird, and so is anything that shares the shelf with them ... which would have been Dragon, if it continued to exist in print.

Maybe Juggs can be on its own shelf.


LazarX wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
No, not looking for medical consultation, merely just hoping that by my example I cause others to look at those of us who have these and other emotional/mental issues in a brighter light. I have medical consultants aplenty with degrees all over their walls, so while I thank everyone for the advice, I was really hoping to start a dialog about how the individual and the public see mental illness.
The great social problem is that mental illness does have a particular social stigma attached to it. It both contributes to the problem and prevents many people who desperately need help from seeking it.

Especially for men. Also, in the US treatment for mental illness is upside down: the people who need it most often don't get it, while many people who really don't need an antidepressant are taking one, and it's often prescribed by a doctor who doesn't have specialized training in diagnosing and treating mental and behavioral illness.


Some whales have vestigial hind limbs.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
How evil stealing is really depends on how much you hurt a person. Stealing from corporations and rich folk doesn't really hurt them. It's more of an ethically quandary. It's when you steal from someone that is really going to suffer from it that it gets evil.

You also have to consider the emotional experience of the victims. Being threatened with grievous bodily harm or death is terrifying and traumatic. Inflicting that on someone is evil, even if you don't inflict physical injury on the person.


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I'd like to see waterproof editions. I like to do some reading in the bath. Steaming bath, Pathfinder tome by candlelight. Delicious.


phantom1592 wrote:
Werthead wrote:
Quote:
What does "feels like Star Trek" actually mean?
On a serious level, I'd say that the presiding features of STAR TREK are optimism (the future is a better place than today), the favouring of diplomacy over war but not being afraid to use force in self-defence and the positive use of technology to improve quality of life.

I never watched a lot of DS9... but I hardely EVER got that vibe from it.

Everything I saw was a grimdark 'war is hell' kind of feel to it. The morally ambiguous thrived and even the security officers were bitter.

Maybe that just left the strongest impression on you. I don't think I was the only fan who, by the end of the run, was groaning over yet another Ferengi comic relief, conservative/capitalist send-up episode.


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blithe olinguito!


Werthead wrote:


I think a big problem with both VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE was that they were just more 'ships in space' shows when DS9...

Well, yes but Voyager had a series-long plot arc (crew trying to get home from the butt end of the galaxy).


Aberzombie wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
But..but..lofts!!!
Pfff...:lofts are too small for we Texans.

I hear interesting things are happening in Mineral Wells.


littlehewy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

"Anything goes" in a home game? Why is that?

This is a useless character. Nobody wants that around.

Even worse, it is a SELFISH character, because it forces the other players to cover for him and the GM to pull his punches lest he die in the first session.

As well, the aforementioned "Why would a group of elite adventurers, out to save the town/city/nation/world bring this useless schmuck with them?" aspect DEFINITELY applies.

It's a bad idea. In game, out of game, crunch-wise, AND roleplay-wise.

That would be true... if everyone thought, and enjoyed the same things in their RPGs, as you do.

But it's not true. It's just your opinion, presented as fact because you're extrapolating your interests and mode of thought onto everyone else.

But, I'm sure there are more than a few RPGers that think the same way you do, so this concept really needs to be presented to a group for consideration in the interest of group fun times. In some groups, this PC would be fine. In others, not so much.

In PFS, I wouldn't even try :)

Well said. I see Rynjin's side, but some people are being aggressively opinionated. Maybe the stars are right and some country gentlemen and their servant save the world (where some Dunedain hardbutts might have failed).


CWheezy wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:


Since that's not what he said, or even implied - there's a difference between saying, "It's balanced because it's old," and "Even though it's old, it's still balanced," (which is what he implied) - I find it ironic that you called out Kirth for making derogatory and unconstructive remarks.

I actually have no idea how else to read

Quote:
I do not question whether something that has been around a long time may have balance issues. I know better than that.

Because it says there he does not think about things that have been around a long time might have balance issues.

Even chess grandmasters know that chess has problems

Emanuel Lasker wrote:
The fatal hour of this ancient game is approaching. In its modern form this game will soon die a drawing death
Which is why variants like chess960 were created

Getting off-topic, but that's not a balance issue. The idea behind chess variants is to restore the primacy of analytical and creative problem-solving in a game which has become to a great extent a contest of preparation and memorization, even at the club level. Fortunately the draw death of chess doesn't appear imminent, even now. At the top level, one now sees more "suboptimal" openings, played to avoid heavily traveled theoretical lines.


Andius wrote:

For me, the main disadvantage I want to see CE settlements have is little to nothing in the way of formation combat skills. I mean honestly, what kind of chaotic evil group can line their guys up in a well ordered formation and work in perfect harmony with the guy next to them? That takes discipline, trust, patience, and a whole slew of other traits I don't think many CE character's posses.

I think this could be the main balancing factor. If CE settlements have a disorganized mob while other alignments have a well organized army it's going to make it very hard for them to take or defend their settlements.

They'll still be able to be good bandits / assassins / generally bad people but their towns will have to hold on through overwhelming numbers and/or not ticking any large and organized forces off enough to come root them out.

Lesser crafting / economic skills would be fine too as a chaotic evil settlement is the kind that would have an economy propped up on stolen goods as opposed to one run by hard work and sound policies.

What I really don't want to see is (high reputation) chaotic evil settlements not have the skills they need to operate well on their own, or in a disorganized mob.

Regarding combat formation: it could work if there are strongmen bullying the troops, or perhaps bullying and providing incentives. You may find organization and cooperation distasteful, but if you have a modicum of intelligence you might stomach it because you realize that you can get more out of your raping and pillaging that way.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Krensky wrote:
It's amazing how many people mistake rudeness for egalitarianism

Strangely, most people seem to think I'm pretty polite despite my not using "sir" or "ma'am."

I don't think I need a "sir" after "pardon me" or "please" or "thank you" to make it polite.

And you avoid misidentifying the person's sex. Also, for all you know the person you are talking to might be a transsexual. It's taking us a while as a race to catch up to the fact that human sex isn't binary.


A buddy and I always used to talk about how RPGing would be a great educational vehicle. Good luck, hope you don't get any flak from dbag parents about violence or the Satanism nonsense.


Nicos wrote:

There was this special formation where they advanced like a "tortoise" with their shields covering all the angles.

A feat that allow that to avoid AoE woudl be great, because otherwise a bunch of AC 30 gys with low saves still can be easily defeated by gliterdust.

Testudo, neat word.


Fig wrote:

Having lived in Detroit, I take a certain level of offense to the thread title.

This was a long time coming. If you have a chance, look at a lot of the reporting done by WDET and Michigan Radio.

The bigger matter was what was going down about 6-8 weeks ago. Long story short, the city owns a number of the assets in the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), nationally recognized as one of the top ~5 collections in the country. Being in the financial situation Detroit was in and being under emergency financial manager (EFM), the EFM had to look at all the assets to attempt to create solvency. Had the DIAs collection been put up for auction, the DIA would have effectively been destroyed: no contributions would make their way into the DIA if there was a chance they could be sold off to pay municipal debts. Read more here.

Sorry if it came across disrespectfully, not at all my intention. Just meant to say matter-of-factly that the city is in dire straits. I was horrified to read about the DIA.


Reading for fun a well-written mystery set in Nairobi called Hour of the Red God. For MFAs in Poetry & Translation reading (sort of simultaneously) Robert Creeley, Louise Glueck, Carl Phillips, Brian Henry, Friebert and Young, and some essays by Levertov.


Not unexpected but still sad.


Andrew R wrote:
JonGarrett wrote:

The medical part was my mistake. I was misinformed.

THAT is my only real issue here, the media as a whole is all about misinformation on this.

The media is/are profit-seeking corporate capitalists. They will say whatever they think will make money. The idea that they push a liberal agenda is bunk.


TheAntiElite wrote:

The moment he started stalking Trayvon is the moment he became the aggressor.

Obviously, the mothers thought the darkie was more of a danger to society than the failure cop. Now their precious snowflakes won't have to be scared of the evil darkie-thug-hoodie-wearer!

There aren't enough words in the English language to convey my disgust at the verdict and hate of the circumstances. I'd lapse into some Spanish for good measure but someone might shoot me for speaking in tongues/'PLOTTIN' IN BEANER SPEAK 'GAINST AMURRKINS'.

I thought he would be convicted of manslaughter but I am confident the jury made the right decision. I consider Zimmerman responsible but ultimately the prosecution simply didn't have enough evidence to fill in the blanks and create a narrative. There's a blank between the time Zimmerman got out of the car and time he killed Trayvon, and we have no way of knowing what happened during it. Did he shoot him in cold blood? Maybe. Did Trayvon attack him? Maybe. It's clear that there were inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story, even outright lies. But still there wasn't enough evidence to put him away.


I would say a clavier of some kind would be more appropriate in most fantasy settings, maybe virginals or something. Early keyboards were small, portable instruments that could be placed on a tabletop to be played. The colossal piece of furniture we call to mind, the iconic Steinway concert grand on the stage at Carnegie Hall, had to wait for technical innovations in the 19th century (and developments in musical thought and practice).


Josh M. wrote:

Am I crazy for thinking that the gaming world is entirely big enough to have a peaceful coexistence of both PF and DDN? Does it really have to be a "Paizo needs to come out with GUNS BLAZING" kind of thing?

If anything, DDN is the one that needs to pull out all the stops and make a big show on release. Paizo did their job. They picked up the fans that D&D dropped off.

3.5e died 5 years ago, I find it hard to believe there are really any holdovers who haven't either already tried PF, or made their decision to not play. There are always exceptions, but I find it hard to think there are that many people still on the fence. I play PF and I'm not even a fan; my 3.5 group all moved to PF, so it was either move with them, or give up gaming.

As for "trying to get new players," Paizo should already be doing that. No need to wait until DDN launches, to then make some kind of special effort. The effort should be constant.

I personally think it'd be a bigger, bolder move for Paizo to not release anything the month DDN comes out. Or if they do, let it be a "normal" release like whatever next module in an AP or something. D&D is the bigger brand name, and trying to p*ss all over it's parade when it does finally show up, is going to look trite and openly instigating.

I'm sorry, I'm a hopeful optimist, I'm just trying to avoid another edition war as much as possible, and that's all this is shaping up to be.

Of course there is competition but it's a misconception that Paizo wants D&D to fail. Has ever wanted D&D to fail. D&D failing is terrible for the hobby, which is bad for everyone, Paizo included.


Steve Greer, though I think he is semi-retired.


Calybos1 wrote:

The more options you provide for players, the more complexity the GM has to deal with.

"More options" is not always a good thing; a balance must be achieved. Just like the art of good writing is cutting away all unnecessary words, the art of good gamecrafting is cutting away all but the most essential rules.

If only we could decide what "unnecessary" means. You seem to take a utilitarian view of language and gaming. Pound gave an exercise to at least one of his students which involved removing "unnecessary" words from Shakespeare sonnets. Something remained, the propositional content I guess, but not much worth looking at. As far as gaming, if you have fun playing a class I don't see how it is "unnecessary." I agree that more is not always better. But neither is it necessarily worse.


I know there are many writers and aspiring writers (educated people generally) on here, perhaps this is of interest. Expert response here .


Oliver McShade wrote:

Cleric service an idea, was more a throwback to Old Basis D&D, i think.

When D&D red box set came out, you could play a Cleric. But no gods, or Deities were listed in the first three original box sets, of the baseline game. In Fact, the fourth box set, was based on the player advancing into becoming Immortals ( aka deities ).

If you wanted gods, you had to buy the Game setting box set: Dragonlance, Forgotten realms, Grayhawk, or Mystrea.

Even in 1st ed AD&D the first Gods Hardback book, read more like a monster manual. Were the gods could be outright fault, battled, defeated, and even killed by mortals.

......................

Another way to look at is

1) Gods all powerful = cleric get there power form the gods = If your a mortal, your noting more than a flesh-bag of mostly water, and just another ant for the gods to step on.

2) Gods are just illusions = Cleric have the power, they just do not know it = The gods are the creation of the hope/dreams/nightmares of the clerics, so in other words.... The gods get there powers from the collective energy's of the Clerics and followers. When the cleric and follower disappear, then so do the gods.

3) Gods are immortal, but not all knowing. = They are just long lived creatures/aliens/people. Clerics get there power from there faith and believes, which has nothing to do with the immortal creatures poising as gods.

4) All of the above, very from land to land, world to world, or city to city.

I kinda like 3. Something like the gods in the Homeric epics, though perhaps not so commonly and directly involved in mortal affairs. They remind me of mob bosses in those: you say the right words, build the temples, do the hekatombs, pour out the libations, etc. If someone disses you you call in a favor like mass slaughter or plague on your enemies.


The Evil Corporation transcends genre. Weyland-Yutani is the first one that comes to mind, but I'm sure you can think of many non sci-fi examples.


Drachasor wrote:

Drachasor is sorry about the mistake, Serum.

The point I'm trying to make is that starting with simple words and sounds like "hi" and "leave" and "bye", it is rather ridiculous to propose Ghost Sound can't produce such things. It can apparently make music, bird calls, etc. It's simply hard to imagine that it can do all that, produce all the sounds of speech, and yet somehow not form words.

Elinor, we've been over this. "Intelligible speech" is not a game term, it's a descriptive phrase. It doesn't have to appear in any particular way in a spell for that spell to be able to produce speech.

The argument is basically that ghost sound can produce speech because it can make virtually any type of sound, including the sounds of talking, singing, etc. Understandable words fit in there perfectly. Many of us think it is the equivalent.

I think the problem is that you are thinking about speech in an atomistic or reductionistic way. "Volume of sound" strongly suggests to me that the spell is intended to create a gestalt sound effect, if you will. As others have said, similar to the sound you recognize as a bunch of people talking when you walk into a mall, bar, stadium, etc. Intelligible is not a useful word here. Theoretically, you could capture all those sounds and isolate the units of meaning. But the sound is not intelligible in any meaningful sense to the casual hearer.


Think you should rewrite this:

"Though not as strong with magic as a wizard or sorcerer...."

As soon as I see that I think,"Why would I want to play a third-rate arcane caster?" Actually, rewrite that whole second paragpraph. Something's wrong if a class writeup says that the class is wimpy or simply inferior.


Libertarians and conservatives, can we agree that it should be illegal to market kid guns?


If anyone is up there now, hope you are OK and staying safe.


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MendedWall12 wrote:
The sad, or happy I guess depending on your table, thing is that this game can descend into entendre entirely too quickly. Something as simple as, "He unsheathes his longsword," can send the wrong group, or the right group depending on your table, down the unrecoverable road to perversion. Heaven forbid somebody brandishes a shortsword; their masculinity will be called into question for eternity.

It's hard to talk about rods, wands, and staves without eliciting some snickering.


Soldack Keldonson wrote:

I 'get" neutral good - you do the right thing by a greater moral code.

I "get" Lawful Neutral - you follow the law regardless of the outcome.

So what is Lawful Good? Both? You follow the law because the law is good? But isn't neutral good, following a "law" of moral goodness...

For example...

The law says that slaves are property. What does a Lawful Good person do with that?

Believing that social organization conduces to human thriving doesn't mean believing that every law is good. Take Princess Leia, for example. Her goal is to eliminate a system of political and social organization which is oppressive and destructive and replace it with one which is not. There's nothing inherently contradictory about being a lawful good rebel.

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