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1,514 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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A lot of positive reaction here. I have mixed feelings about this show though.

The setup seems clunky. I mean the whole premise with an evil aunt, and a jail of kryptonian (or just space villains?) sent to earth.

Reminds me of some off brand show I used to watch where each week the protagonists had to retrieve another evil artifact and lock it away.

I thought the actress looked perfect for the role though. Of course we are going to have to ignore why everyone can't just see she is Supergirl.

Not that she has a problem telling just about anyone.

Some good things in this, but the writing will have to get better. Also wondering exactly why they used Toyman, or at least a guy with his name, in this.

If possible I would drop Communal Mount, and replace it with Communal Protection From Evil. When you want that one it's probably best to hit everyone. And when you get to the point where you have Teleport... you really think you will summon Mounts much?

As far as replacing first level Protection From Evil, well there are good ones even at first level. I'm partial to Unseen Servant, I've always found lots of uses for this even at higher levels. Plus it is cool to have.

Hmmm did you have room for UMD in your build? You could get some of the first level spells on wands (Mage Armor, Shield, Expeditious Retreat).

The UMD wouldn't really matter I guess you could give them to the gnome and label them as animal use only.

Nice writing on the story. Want to ask though does the human cavalier have a plan for dealing with dungeons or other such areas where mounts can't be used, or even taken with you?

I've seen all kinds of things mentioned concerning mounts in other threads (spells, "companion armor," feats like Narrow Frame).

Wouldn't bother me personally if there were a lot of situations where you couldn't go mounted, but I wouldn't like not being able to bring my companion at all.

Surprised no on mentioned Chains of Light.

They get a save every round, but it is a reflex save. Depending on the opponent you have a good chance of taking one thing out for a few rounds.

And since I am ranting inefficiently... the poor Legion of Super Heroes. Please bring them back with someone good who has a plan. No more half the team in the 20th century or anything.

Personally I wouldn't mind seeing them just start up with some version of the world seen in the Justice miniseries. It might be the 70's league, but what they've been rolling out the past decade or so isn't working.

Or else just go back to what we had before Superboy Prime started punching reality.

I am so sick of these events. Convergence. Flashpoint. Crisis on Whatever.

Marvel had What If? and DC had elseworlds. Surely that and limited series would be enough to explore different themes instead of this change everything every year or two.

I'd agree with the criticism of whatever continuity this new universe has.

But something that irks me is the whole Bruce Wayne is dead/finding himself/lost in time/has broken back, so someone else has to be Batman.

They've done this at least three times in the past two decades. Enough. Get another idea.

Solid, Ring of the Wingman.

Made by a Haunted Curse Oracle of Battle who was failed by one too many "comrades" in the heat of battle.

Missing his nose, after one such incident, he swore he would come up with a way to keep it from happening ever again.

And he did. The ring is intelligent and the firm ally of anyone wearing it. However it is also suspicious of any companions the wearer might have. It is prone to petty insults and belittling insults.

And gossip. By Gorum, does the thing gossip. Nothing is ever good enough for it, any action by a party member will be relentlessly questioned.

Unless you are the one fortunate enough to wear it. Although many former wearers were relieved when it finally passed from their finger. Over time the comment "Aren't you glad I'm here?" got to be too tedious for them all.

(I'd have had it made by a wizard, but I get tired of them getting to make everything. Oracle wouldn't be able to get force sphere though without raising the dc)

Viking Fighter archetype gets Intimidate as a move action at 2nd level. Might work into something you are doing.

Never saw that before. But I was thinking about someone moving across the sky in staccato "jumps."

Kind of like a personal version of Project Orion.


I haven't made a kineticist yet, but I've been looking at some of the material.

Does the following make anyone else's inner 13 year old giggle?

"Flame Jet

Element(s) fire; Type utility (Sp); Level 3; Burn 0

You shoot a burst of flame behind you as a standard action, propelling you up to 60 feet in a straight line, including into the air; any movement upward costs double. If you end your turn mid-air, you fall on your next turn unless you use flame jet again."

Because I am getting a definite mental picture of what using this would look like as a real scene you were observing.

Please tell me it has a sound effect.

Something that hits me is you get hit in the face with this kind of stuff when you put mechanics on things.

Like a ghost isn't some kind of mysterious thing from beyond. You know exactly what beyond is, and the ghost is just something that has the incorporeal property and some abilities that are defined.

Games like this aren't like a book or a story. Personally I think this is a problem, but don't see how you would ever solve it with a gaming system.

You might as well ask why you are at it why anyone would bother to follow a religion without a great afterlife setup.

Power in your lifetime? That's small potatoes compared to forever in a great place. I mean what's the game plan when you die if you are evil?

Since people can and have traveled to these afterlifes and come back, well there isn't much mystery there.

The Pugwampis with a First World Summoner are utterly insane.

And will drive your GM to madness.

My mistake, I put down channeling, when I meant the Mass Inflict Spells. Your first Oracle level you decide whether you know all the Cure spells, or all the Inflict spells.

Actually I guess you could just make sure you took the Cure spells as ones you know, at least some of them. To use the confusion feature, you have to select the Inflict spells, not the Cure. Though you can select Cure spells like a normal Oracle spell known, like all the Cleric/Oracle spells.

Forget anything I said about the channeling and feats, that was a mistake.

As far as the martial build, you get:

"Prophetic Armor (Ex): You are so in tune with your primal nature that your instincts often act to save you from danger that your civilized mind isn't even aware of. You may use your Charisma modifier (instead of your Dexterity modifier) as part of your Armor Class and all Reflex saving throws. Your armor's maximum Dexterity bonus applies to your Charisma, instead."

Your charisma can give you AC and reflex saves, so you can kind of treat dex as a dump stat. There are even traits that let you substitute other abilities in place of dex for initiative. Whether you can do that for charisma, I don't know. I've seen several builds on these boards with traits like this though.

You also get:

"Gift of Claw and Horn (Su): As a swift action, you gain a natural weapon. The natural weapon lasts for a number of rounds equal to half your oracle level (minimum 1). You must choose a bite, claw, or gore attack. These attacks deal the normal damage for a creature of your size. At 5th level, your natural weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus. This bonus increases by +1 at 10th, 15th, and 20th level. At 11th level, you gain two natural weapons at a time. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier."


"Form of the Beast (Su): As a standard action, you can assume the form of a Small or Medium animal, as beast shape I. At 9th level, you can assume the form of a Tiny or Large animal, as beast shape II.
At 11th level, you can assume the form of a Diminutive or Huge animal or a Small or Medium magical beast, as beast shape III. At 13th level, you can assume the form of a Tiny or Large magical beast, as beast shape IV. You can use this ability once per day, but the duration is 1 hour/level. You must be at least 7th level to select this revelation."

There are several builds floating around these boards that make melee monsters with this Mystery. You'll just have to search for Lunar Oracle on the boards.

Personally I think the Animal Companion might be a better way to go, at least emphasizing him. You get plenty of buff spells. But everyone probably takes the Animal Companion revelation, regardless of what they are doing with this kind of Oracle.

As far as Moonlight Bridge goes, the wording says:

"You summon a bridge of moonlight. The 10-foot-wide span touches the ground at a point adjacent to you. It can extend from this point in any direction for 10 feet per oracle level. "


""Should the bridge be attacked, treat it as a wall of force."

So you could conceivably make a bridge going up into the sky directly inf front of you. Wall of Force. Or one starting by you and going 20 feet left, then 20 feet forward, then 20 feet right, ...

Or have it start at the ground in front of a doorway, so the door can't swing open. And even if they cut away the door they still have your Moonlight Bridge in front of them.

I think a lot of DM's would be hesitant to interpret this this way.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Do you realize that this is all an entirely contrived scenario, isolated from the entire rest of the game, engineered from the start to prove a foregone conclusion? You're trying to prove there's something wrong with the game by setting up a situation that would never, ever, occur in actual gameplay - therefore, your claim that this "proves" that wizards are too powerful and fighters/monks/rogues aren't powerful enough is completely groundless.

Nah, there are games where people actually do things like this.

Look at ENWorld in their Storyhour section. There is one called "Tales of Wyre," (though I think the characters are in multiple threads now). It was 3.5 when read through it, they may have gone to Pathfinder later.

Long running campaign, very knowledgeable players and DM. Early on a character called "Mostin the Metagnostic" ran away with everything. So it seems like everyone in that campaign plays a caster now.

Tons and tons of posts on the campaign. I got bored with it when it seemed like "Mostin builds a prison in the core of the planet (with an explanation of what spells he used), Mostin imprisons Demon Lord there, etc" rinse and repeat.

I'm not sure the trick the OP put up is one that campaign ever used, but trust me they did all kinds of funky stuff.

I think you are going to have to make a decision as to whether you are going to channel negative energy and use the Touch of the Moon revelation.

"Touch of the Moon (Su): The exact effects of this revelation depend on whether you cast inflict or cure spells. If you cast inflict spells, these spells carry with them the taint of madness. Subjects who take damage from your inflict spells are also subject to confusion, as the spell, except the duration of this effect is a number of rounds equal to the level of the inflict spell. The save DC against this effect is 10 + 1/2 your oracle level + your Charisma modifier. Alternatively, if you cast cure spells, these spells are potentially more effective but entirely in the target's mind. Whenever you cast a cure spell, you can cast it as though it were enhanced with the Empower Spell metamagic feat by expending two spell slots, except these hit points are temporary. This does not increase the level of the spell. Hit points healed this way expire after a number of minutes equal to half your oracle level. You must be at least 7th level to select this revelation."

This is really powerful if you build around it, like with Selective Channeling.

Aside from that you can easily be a melee monster yourself, and have an animal companion that is pretty fierce as well.

You don't have enough feats to go all three directions though.

BTW, this revelation:

"Moonlight Bridge (Su): You summon a bridge of moonlight. The 10-foot-wide span touches the ground at a point adjacent to you. It can extend from this point in any direction for 10 feet per oracle level. The path persists until you have crossed over the bridge or for 24 hours, whichever is shorter. You may summon a moonlight bridge a number of times per day equal to your Charisma bonus. Should the bridge be attacked, treat it as a wall of force."

Is either ungodly powerful, or merely useful, depending on how you and your GM interpret it.

Most of the revelatons are good or really good. Some of them are pretty situational or require the right enemy though.

Rosgakori wrote:

I liked this episode just fine. Only thing that bothered me was the ** spoiler omitted **

Jay Garrick, oh yes.

Well your spoiler didn't come through, but about that...

There was a scene with Cisco and that character that kind of makes you wonder if that is really all that there will be with the mentioned character.

Because if it isn't, why did they put that scene in there? Cisco had never seen him before, and suddenly he has one of his "spells?"

I will say I kind of groaned when...

To heck with this spoiler nonesense. When Atom Smasher's hood conveniently rolls back so Joe and Cisco could conveniently ID Atom Smasher as the dead Rothstein... Well wasn't that contrived. Then it rolls back into place?

Clumsy writing to me.

I thought this episode wasn't good at all.

Really clumsy. Didn't like the Atom Smasher effects at all.

And does Barry actually have a secret identity? Everyone seems to know it, and doesn't mind discussing things right in the middle of a police station.

Show had "it" last season. Maybe it was the nature of the script or something, maybe things will mesh going forward.

I also don't like what appears to be the "formula." Latest threat from alternate dimensions or something as opposed to accelerator fallout.

It worked last season, but they had the Wells thing as an ongoing thing. He won't be around like that this season, so what will they replace that with?

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You could have a whole pantheon.

Andre, God of Giants
Roddy, God of Pipers and Rowdiness
Rick, God of Rudeness and Ravishing
Adrian, God of Exotica
Hulk, God of Mania
Hillbilly, God of Jimness
Sheikh, God of Iron and Guardian of the Desert
Flair, God of Nature and Boyhood
McMahon, Evil God of the Underworld and Dark Schemes
Ricky, God of the River and Steamboats
You can tell my knowledge of wrestling dates to the 80's.

Hmmm you could have mysterious outsiders "Unsanctioned Foreign Objects" in the game.

And Steroids, the food of the gods.
Sorry if that was of no help..

MMCJawa wrote:

It's just a horrible idea, because it intentionally hamstrings your properties. Gotham wants to be a show about Batman, based on how they need to cover every single aspect of the mythos, but it comes off as stupid or weird by forcing a super young Bruce Wayne in the show

I think you are right. I want to like this show but I can't. Things would have worked a lot better with a 20 something Bruce who is about to become Batman. Then at the end of season one a bat flies through the window.

Only reason I keep watching this show is to see what Bat villain shows up. I do not want to see Nygma descend into madness over the course of several years. I want the Riddler ASAP. Same with Penguin.

Right now it is a police procedural basically.

I guess we don't know if he is going to stay dead (thought someone said the actor who played him was busy with another show), but killing off that kid as a prospective joker? If someone can do it and pull it off, you are nutty to write them out, unless forced. You have no guarantee any other actor could really pull it off.

LazarX wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

My take is it wasn't a problem with the APG summoner and the powerful eidolon, and definitely not a problem with the spell list.

To be sure the eidolon outshone fighters (though what doesn't?) and it was very strong compared to other classes at low levels. But in the long run the usual suspects (wizards, etc) outclassed the summoner.

That "long run" never happens in the vast majority of campaigns that end around 12th level or before.

I'd say 12th level qualifies for the "long run."

I also think that isn't a very good argument. Because if you take that at face value it is the same thing as saying well forget any 7th or higher level spells, or class features, because the game ends at 12th level (or whatever "most" games make it to).

That stuff? That stuff is only in there because some high level encounters could have an opponent of that level, or there is the odd spell effect you will encounter somewhere.

My take is it wasn't a problem with the APG summoner and the powerful eidolon, and definitely not a problem with the spell list.

To be sure the eidolon outshone fighters (though what doesn't?) and it was very strong compared to other classes at low levels. But in the long run the usual suspects (wizards, etc) outclassed the summoner.

I think the problem was "summoning," at least with the master summoner. This class slowed things to a crawl. Not only with the decision of "what" to summon, but what you did with it when you did.

You could literally double or triple the number of opponents in a fight, put them in odd places, that sort of thing. Pathfinder is already super-cumbersome with combats, and this just made it a lot worse.

Other classes can do the summon thing in one action now. Clerics can be poke-priests to some extent. But master summoner did it better than anyone, and that duration on the summons made things... a lot more wonky with prep time.

Maybe master summoners deserved to be the absolute best summoners compared to priests with all they give up in comparison.

But the problem is still there with some classes that weren't nerfed in the Unchained book. Not to as great an extent.

I think the whole "summon" mechanic is broken to some extent. Maybe not with a guy that says in combat "Hey I have Summon Monster VII memorized! I'm going to put an... earth elemental... right there. Let me look up the stats."

But the guy that has all his pokey's on a rolodex with spell like and extraordinary abilities cross-referenced is still going to be a gamebreaker if he is so inclined.

VampByDay wrote:

I have a friend who has a PFS White-haired witch that is really good. He had to do some Janky stuff to get her there, but the character can just about out-grapple anything. And since SHE isn't grappled while grappling with her hair, it can actually get pretty disgusting. Like: Grapple with hair-Next round, pin with hair (as a move action from greater grapple) and still cast spells (that don't provoke from the grappled dude.) I don't know all the specifics of the character, but here's what I remember.

Gnomish White-haired witch. Worship's Falayna (and has the celestial obedience for the bonus to CMB/CMD)

Early levels, she made ready use of things like Chill touch and Defending bone in combat, allowing her to be up front. She used mage armor and had a mithral buckler so that she had a 0 armor check penalty (so no penalty to attack rolls) and 0 Spell failure.

She eventually got the ability to constrict with her hair (I forgot how, a feat from melee tactics toolbox, I think) which stacked with the White-haired witch's pseudo-constrict.

She picked up all she needed from White-haired witch at 5, and then took a single level of Bloodrager, then went into Eldrich Knight, which upped her BAB (and thus her CMB/CMD)

Her first level feat was improved unarmed strike, then she got improved grapple, greater grapple down the line somewhere . . . etc.

Basically, he purchased everything he could to buff the ever-loving crap out of his cmb/cmd. Dusty Rose Ioun stone in a wayfinder, there was an enchantment somewhere that she got . . . Amulet of Magic fang (or mighty fists, or whichever one adds to your hair's natural attacks/damage.)

Character was pretty strong by level 10. Out-grappled a Devilfish at 5, A large Magma Elemental at 7, and A Tetori Monk one level higher than her at 10.

I don't see how this character can stack enough bonuses to really do well at grappling. Maybe with spells somehow (they fix everything).

But stuff gets godzilla sized as you level, so unless you are facing a rival adventure party or something, I don't see how it works.

I always though it would be a cool way to "get a blast from the past."

Reading it things don't seem to have a time limit.

So even your first and second level party can face a comprehensible threat that has been sleeping in the tombs of Osirion for thousands of years.

See that 1st level Osiriani alchemist that built tombs? He took security seriously. And the only way he could be sure is if he did it personally.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The problem with playing an inquisitor is his WIS. Even playing a dwarf or other race that gives a WIS bonus he is still only at 13 WIS. Any spell with a save is going to be too easy to resist. A ranger gets some spells but mostly buff and utility spells. The original post specifies stats already assigned so I am assuming they cannot be swapped or modified other than by racial adjustments

My take on things is partial casters usually use spells without saves or concentrate on buffing.

I'd say Magus. You have limited spellcasting anyway. If you pump 4 points into int, get a tome somewhere, or a headband you'll be able to cast the highest level spells you'll ever get anyway.

Or Warpriest if you go dwarf, you'll get 13 wis after racial adjustments. Same story with a partial caster class and the casting stat.

You would be one socially inept, homely, character though.

claudekennilol wrote:

@sunbeam I don't understand...the synergy starts working at lvl 6 as soon as you can get vital strike. And before then greater weapon of the chosen works for the single attack you already have.

I was talking about using the Sacred Weapon enhanced damage dice feature. If your whole thing is leveraging Vital Strike, you are just plain better off with a two-handed weapon with good damage like Greatsword.

Although if you pick some weapon like a dagger or starknife, you could still get a lot more benefit from Vital Strike than you would otherwise.

And it didn't hit me before, but looking at that Greater Weapon of the Chosen thing, you have to use your deities favored weapon correct? Which means some deities wouldn't be very good using it.

Chess Pwn wrote:
with warpriest use Greater Weapon of the Chosen feat. Vital strike is a bit better for the warpriest as he can gain it before he actually has a second attack. You'll want something that can make your weapon Actually bigger (like enlarge person) and something that makes it Effectively bigger(like lead blades or impact). Use either a greatsword or oversized bastard sword. Maybe look into one of the Titan classes (barb or fighter) as a dip to be able to use even bigger weapons.

Do you gain anything from that later on though? It is problematic to build something that only comes online at 15th level, but at that level the medium Warpriest sacred damage is 2d6, same as a greatsword.

This Sacred Weapon feature is a little wonky as regards the base damage feature. Unless you are trying to enhance damage from something like shuriken or hand crossbows you are better off for a long time ignoring it and going for the greatsword.

It doesn't hurt you ever, but the synergy just doesn't seem to be there for a vital strike build. Well maybe at level 20 or something, but that isn't that useful.

I was tinkering a little trying to come up with something the Warpriest Sacred Weapon feature would be good for.

Then I started to think about builds I have seen that used the Vital Strike line. I know there is a druid build where you turn into some kind of hippo. And I think I've seen something with some kind of ooze.

It's pretty clear you want a big base damage on your weapon.

But what kinds of things has it been used with, aside from shape change trickery?

And if someone has an angle on using these feats with a Warpriest I'd love to hear it.

That is a very interesting spell for metamagic feats and spell perfection.

I'm sure you could break things better another way with those though.

Have they ever clarified this spell on the boards here?

The thing is so vague that you have to have the dm adjudicate things. Since they removed the "piece" of the creature requirement, it seems like you can do anything just about.

Including the Tarrasque. Or you BBEG opponent. You can simulacrum him without having met him and ask all kinds of questions.

Of course that is stupid, but it's not like the spell indicates you can't. Most dm's would 86 that for good reason.

What is more interesting to me is you could simulacrum something that could conceivably exist.

Like a gynosphinx Paladin with the half-celestial template or something.

Or a sorcerer named Fred who just happens to have the utility spells you always wanted but couldn't be bothered to learn.

In the beginning I (like 2000 or so) I thought the skill was for people to do things like train a pack of wolves to attack, or to train a Griffin to be a mount.

I'm not sure I have ever seen an example of a Fighter who trained a Griffin or other magical creature to be a mount. Never seen a low level Fighter with his pack of wolves either.

To be honest though I am really sick and tired of all these little checks that you have to do to play exactly as the rules are written. If you do you have to make checks for all kinds of crap.

Unless it is cinematic or something like standing on the back of a running horse I don't bother anymore. Even then I have to pull things out of my butt.

It irks me about the flying mounts though. That is pretty bog standard fantasy, but have you ever seen a module or anything where McGuffin the Fighter has a Griffin mount he raised from an egg and trained to be a mount?

Or his gigantic Python that lurks in his cave? That's the kind of thing I expect to see from someone with say a +15 Handle Animal check. Or calming down a pack of guard dogs in a medieval junkyard.

Greylurker wrote:

Something happened to Bruce Wyane, don't know what, So Commisioner Gordon is currently Batman using a mechanized Batsuit. Bruce has reappeared but apparently everything about his life as Batman has been erased from his mind. He currently runs a youth center for troubled kids.

Neither of these situations applies to the Justice League comic where Superman is still at full power, Batman just became a new God after stealing Metron's chair and Lex Luthor is a member of the JLA.

Dick got outed to the world by the Crime Syndicate, so he has stopped being Nightwing and is now Dick Grayson, secret agent.

Is this selling? All that seems like an elseworlds story.

Yeah, I know the first thing I do when my secret identity has been exposed is to become a secret agent. It's not like anyone would recognize you without a mask, with that story being splashed in the tabloids. And my parents having been killed by a sniper on a trapeze, and then becoming the ward of one of the world's wealthiest men? Gosh no one should know me from Adam, I'm as anonymous as a Kardashian.

And Bruce. Poor fella doesn't know he was ever Batman. Hmmmm should I pay him a visit? Kind of awkward, what do we talk about?

Not been following DC since Flashpoint. From what I've seen the art is general is not to my tastes, and the stories sound stupid.

They could have done anything at all in the 52 reboot, and these are the kinds of stories they come up with?

Had enough, these guys are running on narrative fumes. DC needs new blood desperately. However they do it, they have got to find someone who can produce like Alan Moore or Gaiman at this point.

And personally I don't care how well his career is going, and in a sense how he sells. To me Johns has been a disaster for this company. Give him the reins more or less and this is what he makes?

I guess the cleric is a gnome or dwarf.

But how do the elf and human have darkvision? Is it something to do with Mythic rules?

Lord Snow wrote:

I can see a connection between you not reading ASoIaF and you believing it would have been accepted poorly if written by Vox Day. Frankly, and I say this as a big Martin fan, A Game of Thrones is ten times better than anything else he's written before, and A Storm of Swords is in some ways probably better than any other fantasy novel I've read. If all you know of the books is their pale and increasingly distorted shadow that is the HBO show, I can see why you aren't very excited about it.

Yeah, I haven't read the books. Don't get me wrong I think the series is very good for what it is.

But I also think that if it didn't have "blood and boobs" it wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as it is. It would make a very interesting PBS kind of thing (though without the money for all those actors and sets), but it wouldn't have the mass audience it has without all those hot young things popping up nude in Littlefinger's bordello or whatever from time to time. (You might catch an old guy on the "throne," but not flashing a lot of skin.)

And it is a similar thing with the violence.

My point being I don't think Martin is indulging his political sensibilities or worldview in this work (unlike Goodkind). It's a pretty reasonable stab at telling a realistic story in this kind of world.

But if Vox Day (insert anyone with views you find as reprehensible) had written something like this? The usual people would be all over it. Incest, gratuitous violence, subjugation of women, etc.

thejeff wrote:
And comics? At least the Big Two are far more editor/management driven than any F/SF books. Even the story length is focused these days on fitting into trade paperbacks.

Maybe so, I really hadn't thought about that. Apparently a lot of things I think I know are dated.

But to pull things from the past, you started seeing odd panels here and there about two years or so before Korvac popped up in the Avengers.

The Hobgoblin story came out in bits and pieces over a couple of years, before it got messed up when David killed off Ned Leeds.

Daredevil had roughly 4 or 5 years before he settled up with the Kingpin after the Kingpin ruined him.

I remember Excalibur had like a two year or so run where the team went through alternate realities before they returned to the base Marvel Universe. Okay that was way dragged out, but still.

Lot more Marvel there than I would have thought.

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That's another hole with these awards, they don't include self-published titles.

I hope this isn't meandering, but I think that focusing your work into forms that are marketable now, can kind of affect the quality of what you are doing.

To me when you are writing something it is as long as it needs to be to tell a story - and no longer.

I think a lot of fiction, particularly in this genre is bloated, and gets stretched way out. Not only as phone book sized novels, but in series.

If a book I really liked back in the day, Lord of Light by Zelazny, were published today I think they would have forced him to make it longer. And I think it would have been a worse book.

So I guess I am contradicting myself somewhat. I'm not keen on the kind of things literary types look for, but I also think marketing can affect a book from a storytelling viewpoint for the worse as well.

I was kind of struck by all the Martin adulation I've seen online. I was reading him during his Tuf Voyaging/Dying of the Light/Wildcards days. I never bothered to pick up any of his Game of Thrones books because I was totally burned out by all these long series when it started. The same goes for Jordan and Goodkind (though I don't think Goodkind is really that good a writer, his first one was ok, then it dragged on and on - advances be damned, it has to end sometime). I'm still not reading it (Game), HBO is more than enough for me when want some of that.

And as a cynic, I wonder just what the response to Game of Thrones would be if Vox Day wrote it. Let's postulate a world where Martin kicked off about 90 or so from a heart attack; we take all the manuscripts for Game of Thrones to an alternate world and give them to Vox Day to publish through whatever his publishing house is.

Man I bet that would be a feeding frenzy. I can feel the winds of deconstruction across the dimensional boundaries.

To me comics are the best medium for stories taking their natural length. You know the book will be around (well sometimes) long after you are off the book. So you can tell a story in one issue, two, three, have it running in the background for years, whatever the editor will let you get away with.

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Lord Snow wrote:
Some ends justify some means

I take it you would be the one to decide that?

thejeff wrote:

After the nomination, when the controversy hit the media, I think a lot of casual fans got more serious about it. I suspect, but can't prove, that vote went mostly anti-Puppy. I know it prompted me to become a supporting member and vote. It will be interesting to see if that carries over to nominations next year. There's more awareness of how important they are.

Well darn it. That is a no win situation. If I get a membership and vote, just to cancel your vote, then I am giving $40 to worldcon for that privilege.

Joking aside, I guess this isn't my fight anymore. I go to the bookstore a lot, and always check out the fantasy and sf sections when I do. Just picking up books and reading the blurb they usually seem like a bunch of dreck. So the idea of reading through this stuff to find things I want to nominate isn't very appealing.

So I guess you win this minor battle in the overall culture war. Because I don't think this is me anymore, and I'm not going to pick a fight just to pick one (that is a metaphor).

Besides the culture war is kind of binary in nature, and I can tell you I do not like a lot of things about both sides.

Lord Snow wrote:
Tell you the truth, I'd rather read about gun crazed monster slayers than about people trying to figure out their gender IN SPAAAACE, at least most of the time.

Thing is, that possibly could work. Most of the time when someone does that they have an issue they want to crank on. But it is possible that it might be something they've put a lot of thought into.

Maybe even both, but it doesn't seem to be common.

When I have a little more time I am going to download those Hugo pdf's and put up the nominating figure and the vote totals going back to 2005 or so. Might be instructive. (Wonder if worldcon attendance is in there too?).

Interestingly some of those drill down pages have the details on how many votes were cast electronically, and how many on paper. For all the years I've looked at evotes dwarf paper ones.

Also as a point of interest the lowest figure I saw for nominating votes was around 1100 one year.

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thejeff wrote:

So basically, you've got one site where someone openly provides a slate and says "to nominate them precisely as they are" for the purpose of sticking it to the SJWs and boasts about tapping GamerGate for followers.

And then of course the other side could be doing the same thing or worse, but there is no evidence. Some blog discussions about good books. Some authors posting which books of theirs are eligible.
Sure, someone could do the same on the left. But there's no evidence that they are.

Here's the previous years numbers, btw. 5950 voters this year. 3,587 in 2014. 2122 nominators this year, 1923 in 2014.
You could look further back easily enough.

Ah, evidence. If things happened as I speculate, where would be the evidence?

Looking at the web page, Sad Puppies started in 2013. I'm uncertain as to whether they had any effect that year, but they certainly did in 2014.


2015 - 5950 votes, 2122 nominators
2014 - 3587 votes, 1923 nominators

Okay it would be informative to pull up these numbers for years previous.

But I have a question. Is the discrepancy between votes cast and nominators a feature of this system somehow? Because honestly I don't understand this. I'd think they would be a lot more in synch. I'm not sure how it would play out, but I'd almost expect that you would have more nominators than voters in any given contest. Of course you would have to pull the numbers for previous years (that site you linked to only had two years for the Hugo, 1939 I think was the other).

So 2015 (and 2014 too) had more votes than nominations.

So what happened, the Silent Majority decide to take a stand?

This whole thing is a quandary for me. I'm all for light hearted fun things like John Carter, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, even Tarzan. I'm all for serious things that make you think.

But I can't imagine wanting to read anything called "Monster Hunter Nation" (okay I guess it is the name for a series of books, but whatever).

And I definitely don't think a story about someone who comes out as gay to their parents because if you lie you get rained on is worth reading in any way. Maybe I'm wrong, but we all have our filters and this sounds just plain dumb. But just to muse, maybe some authors could pull it off. But not it's not likely this was the case for this story.

Heck I turned around one day and found I wasn't really reading science fiction anymore, hadn't done it in years. Last series I saw I was interested in was something about Neanderthals evolving in a parallel world and a crossover, but I didn't pick it up.

Krensky wrote:

You don't think he couldn't find 150 to 200 people at various right wing haunts or troll hang outs willing to spend $40 to stick it to the SJW and such? Really?

Go to the Hugo's site and look at the nominating data for the past few years and then look at the success rate of the Sad vs Rabid Puppy slates.

Just when a person thinks they have said all they care to on a topic.

Do you really have that much of a blind spot?

I have a point to make, and I think it is fairly obvious. Let's modify your sentence:

"You don't think he couldn't find 150 to 200 people at various left haunts or troll hang outs willing to spend $40 to stick it to the Puppies and such? Really?"

The beauty is you don't have to be organized. Just put it in the right place, and you'll get some small fraction of people to take it upon themselves. And these Hugo numbers are so small it doesn't take much.

I think it would be interesting to compare some numbers from this and previous Hugos. Things like:

1) How many more votes were cast this time than previous Hugos.

2) How many people were actually in attendance. This is a weaker measure of things but still an indicator I think. Of how many people who have never been into this sort of thing, then suddenly decided to get involved.

3) How many of those votes were actually real people. I keep harping on this, but no one seems to be much interested or think it is important.

But as an example one of the things that came out in this recent Ashley Madison thing is that virtually no women were involved in the thing. Most of the female profiles on that site were generated by Ashley Madison to rope in the sheep... I mean paying members, almost all male.

You might say duh, that's obvious. But things look pretty obvious to me with this Hugo mess as well.

If you want I could provide you with a list of left wing websites. I wouldn't call them troll sites, but they are fairly popular and I've seen plenty of extreme rhetoric on them. Interestingly my opinion is most of them aren't really what they come across as when they write.

They get involved in the "two minute hate" and get carried away with emotion. Happens on all these boards, whatever political angle, whether they are political or not.

You know thinking about this whole thing, the smart thing to do is just to forget about Worldcon and the Hugo. Come to think of it, leave the World Science Fiction Society too.

No matter what you do, you are essentially forking over money to the organizers of the event, no matter the point you are trying to make.

Just totally abandon the thing. Keep your money and do whatever with it. Form an alternate convention, an alternate award. Just leave it behind.

I guess that's all I have to say about this.

But in closing something is very odd about this whole Beale thing. He's an obscure figure, yet somehow manages to corral more votes than the founders of the thing he co-opted? And while neither was famous, they were surely a lot better known than him.

Something doesn't add up about this.

Torbyne wrote:
I am quite fond of the Horizon Walker for the three level dip giving you at will dimension door. With some finagling and maybe a spot of retraining you can grab the Dimensional Agility line and be Nightcrawler. Its not the most OP thing ever by far but.... BAMF!

They really nerfed Horizon Walker from my viewpoint in the translation. In 3.5 the dimension door was every 1d4 rounds. Here is it 3 + con or wis bonus or something.

I had all kinds of cool things to do with the Horizon Walker in 3.5. For example a feather fall ring. Dimension Door up, then bamf across the sky. Go up when you lose altitude.

I will say somewhere along the line I got into an argument about this in a group. Someone claimed that you could not dimension door to a spot where you could not stand or something. There was some kind of text somewhere he showed us too, though it might have been that summoning creatures thing they did to stop people from using the mount spell to drop horses on people. But we decided to allow you to dimension door into the sky if you wanted.

But in Pathfinder you can only be Nightcrawler for like 7 or 8 rounds a day or something effectively.

I think they ought to have one that starts with characters of about 10th level and goes to 20th.

Actually I think they really need to get about four or five groups of playtesters together and do a couple of months of testing of high level play in Seattle. I know they can come up with that many in that town.

Have the devs dm it, and the players pulling no punches with combos and tricks.

Because I think high level play in this system is fundamentally broken in a lot of ways.

To the original poster, I think the problem is that magic is too easy in the 3.x system.

It probably has been in all the iterations of d&d. I've seen the kind of things the Tippyverse covers going back to 1e. But 3.x is the most magic biased of any d&d system so far.

Look for one of their recent reboots, DC hired Michael Moorcock to give them advice on ... I guess how they should handle magic in their universe. He told them "Magic has a price." They promptly never bothered to do anything with the advice they paid for but whatever.

The Tippyverse stuff doesn't come up in myths and legends because the storytellers didn't want to tell that kind of story (usually I guess). The same for writers of fantasy, though almost every fantasy story I've ever read somehow uses the "Magic has a price" concept in some way. But in the end the writer almost always doesn't want to go there. For flavor purposes.

When you codify what magic can do you open yourself up to the Tippyverse. The old myths and legends are really vague about what magic can do. But good old 3.x isn't.

So if you are playing 3.x type systems, you just have to make a gentleman's agreement not to go there.

Or you are going to be doing so much tinkering with the system that you have a whole new one.

I wonder if there is any way to set up an alternate fandom. What's the point of having everyone in the same house at this point?

Personally I want nothing to do with Scalzi. And if you are a fan, what would we have to talk about really?

Time to split things up. Then everyone can be happy.

thejeff wrote:

If so, then you want to read Vox Day, since it's the Rapid Puppies who were successful in filling the nominations, not the Sad ones.

Yeah, but are the Rabid Puppies real? Look I had never heard of Vox Day or Theodore Beale before any of this.

But reading that one link on the previous page, the one with the Beale interview...

He happened to be at his villa in Italy, when the interview was conducted by phone. Now I'll take it at face value, who knows though maybe it was some kind of gag or something.

But if he has that kind of scratch (note that doesn't mean he is swimming in Bill Gates money), and he didn't make the money from writing (and not many people ever do, you'd have to be in Rowling or Meyer's territory I guess to do that).

Have you ever thought that Rabid Puppies might not be any more than Theodore Beal?

I don't know if it was on this thread or another but someone was speculating that Beale had neonazis or something that registered to vote. Seems like a stretch to me, but whatever.

But we live in a world where you could order a $1000 dollar cocktail in Manhattan (circa right before the '08 crash). The simple fact is I think the Rabid Puppies voting effort could have been duplicated with as little as $20,000. But face it, that is chump change to some people. If you have 10 million or so, why not spend $50,000 on a lark?

Something doesn't add up about that guy. But I guess it doesn't really matter.

Although I will add that it is a practice now to employ people to spin things on message boards. Hard to imagine the kinds of organizations and people that do that being interested in the Hugos.

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