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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 19,451 posts (20,289 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 7 aliases.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Rosa Parks did not face jail because of her religious beliefs, but on the color of her skin, and the limitations society sought to enforce upon her based on that skin color.

See previous discussion about 'religious beliefs' now being 'whatever the heck I want'... ergo Rosa Parks could have asserted a 'religious belief' that all people should be treated equally. Voila, jailed for religious beliefs.

That being said, I was just pointing out that we remember the heroes of various civil rights movements. Not the villains. Not suggesting that the details of each case were parallels to Kim Davis.

Well, it would be fair to say that MLK was jailed for his religious beliefs.

OTOH, we do remember "Bull" Connor. And George Wallace.


OTOH, modelling how the oceans absorb heat is one of the more complex areas and one that's been surprising recently.
The oceans have also been soaking up a lot carbon as well as heating, resulting in acidification and problems of a lot marine life. I don't know if that process has affected how they absorb heat or not.


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Blackvial wrote:

why watching the news this evening I can only think of one reason why the judge decided to put her in jaii instead of levying a fine like the aclu wanted and that is that he probably thought the fine wouldn't be a punishment to her because there has been talks of other people being ready to pay the fine for her. the money coming from a go fund me account or a rich donor.

thejeff wrote:
Was it ever? (human decency or sense).
maybe years ago, before the last 2 generations

What? Back when gay bashing was cool?

Honestly, in many ways and despite my despair over humanity we really are improving. But it's damn slow and painful.


Rednal wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
you need to remember this, most modern Christians like to cherry pick what biblical laws they like to follow
Not most... ALL. I don't think there has been a single human being who has followed the entirety of what the Bible says in well over a century. At which point, the 'religious beliefs' each person has chosen to adopt are virtually synonymous with their own personal preferences and prejudices.
There are also discussions (lots and LOTS of discussions) on which laws apply - to wit, most Christians don't believe the laws of Leviticus apply in whole, but a lot of people aren't entirely sure which ones they SHOULD pay attention to. Most lean more towards the New Testament (which is a lot nicer, and looser, than the Old Testament), but it's true that a lot of Christians tend to pick out specific verses, often taking them out of context, in order to support their pre-existing beliefs.

Divorce (or at least remarriage) was considered a sin by most groups well into modern times. It's not a matter of Old versus New Testament.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
you need to remember this, most modern Christians like to cherry pick what biblical laws they like to follow
Not most... ALL. I don't think there has been a single human being who has followed the entirety of what the Bible says in well over a century. At which point, the 'religious beliefs' each person has chosen to adopt are virtually synonymous with their own personal preferences and prejudices.

I think you're overly generous.

I don't think there has ever been a single human being who has followed the entirety of what the Bible says. Nor do I think there ever will be. I don't think it's possible. Without very careful interpretation it contradicts itself regularly.

OTOH, in many cases, it's not so much a matter of cherry-picking as interpretation and since almost everyone is taught what the Bible means rather than encountering it fresh with no preconceptions and working strictly from the text, that interpretation is always going to be driven by culture and history.

Thought experiment: Select and isolate a dozen or so small human populations. Convince them that the Bible is the Word of God, but give them no other context, background or meaning. Leave them alone for a few generations with the Book. See if any of the resulting religions resemble each other or any known form of Christianity.
I doubt they will.


CBDunkerson wrote:
thejeff wrote:
To be fair to her, she apparently converted/was born again/had the appropriate come to Jesus moment after all that. Her extreme religious convictions came after what I'm sure she now considers her sins.
Mmmm.... okay, so let's look at a more recent example. No doubt, now that she has 'found God' (was he hiding?), she has also 'refused to participate' in the sin of adultery being committed by people seeking a marriage license after a previous divorce. Right?

I was thinking that too, but that's part of it.

Divorce isn't a new change. Interracial marriage isn't a new change. Women being equal partners in marriage isn't a new thing. Well, they're all relatively new, at least as common practice, but she's not so old as to have been raised without all of them around her. Her particular sect may or may not approve of any of them, but she's used to them, so they're no big deal.
Gay marriage is new and shocking. It's evil and it must be stupid.

This is of course stupid and hypocritical and not really religiously based - since she's not enforcing all of her doctrine, just bits of it.

But it's a good thing too. This is a test case. There'll be a few more. Then it will stop and same-sex marriage will continue and some people will grumble and a few will protest and by and large no one will really care. It's over. They've lost. These are the last stragglers.


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Blackvial wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
Drejk wrote:
As it was predicted, it seems that she was counting on this to make her "martyr".

Well, I'll play Devil's Advocate (amusingly enough) on her behalf.

She believes in a God who will send her to Hell for endorsing gay marriage by issuing gay marriage licenses. The state has ordered her to do so anyway. She has 3 choices:

(1) Obey the state and issue the licenses. This is unacceptable as a fundamental violation of her faith.

(2) Avoid obeying the state by resigning. I can see her seeing this as a tacit acceptance of the state's orders. I can see her as thinking, "Why should *I* have to quit *MY* job when I'm in the right?" Either way (faith-based stance or selfishness), this was unacceptable as an option to her.

(3) Go to jail to stand up for her beliefs.

She chose (3), and as I said from the beginning, I don't want to discuss the morality of her decision, but I do feel she made the "right" choice for herself, not out of any sense of martyrdom, but out of a sense of, "This is the only option I have that allows me to uphold my faith."

I suppose that Option #4 - a sober reexamination of her personal faith through the lens of a shared understanding of common human decency - was too much to hope for, hm?
common human decency is just like common sense, its not so common anymore

Was it ever? (human decency or sense).


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
No. This is a different situation than your hypothetical. The proper answer for her, if she believes her duty to God conflicts with her sworn oath to do her job is to leave her job. That would resolve the conflict. She would be in violation of neither.

Actually, she'd still be "not obstructing" a sin when she could actively obstruct it.

If she resigned, someone else would simply come along and issue those licenses --- which of course, is a sin (in her worldview). Therefore, she needs to remain in that job as an active obstruction for as long as possible. Her duty to God demands that she prevent sin, not simply watch it.

I'm not sure even she claims that. There are lots of gay marriages going on all across the country, she's not actively obstructing them. Of course, she may think that.

At the very least, there remains a difference between, as Orthos suggested, a law that forbids a religious duty, with no legal way around it and taking an oath that requires you to do something against your faith, but that lets you both not break your oath to God and not act against your faith by resigning.
I would hope at least you'd agree that swearing such an oath, intending not to keep it is not something believers should do. This case being an exception because the conflict only arose after she swore the oath.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Orthos wrote:
It's very easy, with that mindset, to see how that oath is irrelevant because - in her mind - she's being asked to do something under her oath to man's law that contradicts what God's law instructs and prohibits. In such a circumstance, coming from that position, breaking man's law is the only correct answer.
...and yet somehow she managed to bring herself to get divorced three times and have two children out of wedlock. Making 'God's law' seem a lot less inflexible in some circumstances than in others.

To be fair to her, she apparently converted/was born again/had the appropriate come to Jesus moment after all that. Her extreme religious convictions came after what I'm sure she now considers her sins. Unlike some religious hypocrits I could name, who were eventually found betraying their own principles even while preaching them.


David knott 242 wrote:

I think there is really only one sound solution to this problem Since the problem is confined to a single county, let people go elsewhere to get their marriage licenses until the legislature can come back and fix the problem, and let Ms. David sit in jail until then. Do the same with any other county clerks who follow her example -- I doubt that enough will do so to pose more than a minor inconvenience until the state legislature can deal with the issue.

Any other approach would create more problems than it would solve.

The problem Kentucky has is that they gave one person in each county the authority to issue marriage licenses -- and thus the authority to gum up the works at any time for any reason. Does any other U.S. state do that? My guess is that there are a small handful that do so, and the other states with that setup have just been lucky so far.

It's actually pretty common, as I understand it. It's not that there's only one clerk signing forms, it's that the County Clerk in charge of the office refused to let her subordinates do their job.


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Orthos wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
First of all, assuming she did in fact take the oath of office as described in the Kentucky constitution (a fun read - makes you wonder why everyone was busy shooting one another back then), she has already violated an oath she swore to God - i.e., to faithfully execute her office "according to law." Her "Heaven or Hell" choice has already passed.

Not necessarily. In cases like this where the law conflicts with the orders of God (or a person/group's interpretation of such, if you prefer that wording), God's will is superior and the one to be followed.

For example, if a law was made that prohibited all travel on Sundays whatsoever, that required everyone to stay in their homes and for the streets to be permanently empty until X-o'clock Monday morning or whatever (Yes I know, ridiculous law that would never happen, just an example, work with me here), it would still be a moral obligation of a worshiper who believes in the "upon the first day of the week is the day we are required to gather for the acts of worship and services" to travel to wherever their local congregation chose to meet on Sundays to participate in the worship, even if that required them to break man's law.

It's very easy, with that mindset, to see how that oath is irrelevant because - in her mind - she's being asked to do something under her oath to man's law that contradicts what God's law instructs and prohibits. In such a circumstance, coming from that position, breaking man's law is the only correct answer.

Quote:
Second of all, the paperwork she's supposed to sign does not endorse or even permit any marriage to take place. It merely certifies that the couple in question has met the legal requirements of Kentucky law to become married. So her "religious freedom" is not being burdened - she is not required to endorse the marriage in any way. It's not compelled speech, and she's not saying she likes it; she's checking a box that
...

No. This is a different situation than your hypothetical. The proper answer for her, if she believes her duty to God conflicts with her sworn oath to do her job is to leave her job. That would resolve the conflict. She would be in violation of neither.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The judge apparently skipped the fines and sent her straight to jail.
All's well that ends well.

Not quite ended yet. There's an argument that, without her approval, even if her deputy clerks sign off, the marriages aren't official. I doubt it'll hold up, but it's another hurdle.


Caineach wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Caineach wrote:


Except thats not how the paperwork actually works. The paper they are actually signing has her name on it, under her authority. You can't legally sign under someone's name if they have explicitly said you don't have the authority to do so.

Hmmmm.. I think we may have gotten some wires crossed here. There's two issues to me.

Point 1 is my decision to decide if someone is being a complete and utter prat or someone holding to a misguided morality that they genuinely believe in. -I will stand for freedom of religion and use my religion to tell you what to do- is such rank, disingenuous hypocrisy that it catapults them into the deep end of prat.

Issue 2 is what to do about it legally, in the long run. I'm all for individual rights as long as they don't cause more trouble with other individual rights. Jokes to the contrary aside, public workers are still people.

A legal option to have conscientious objectors to signing forms by changing how the forms are filled out seems doable. I mean if her name is rubber stamped on the things before the clerks sign it, taking off the requirement for a rubber stamp seems to lead to a win win. They don't all have to go through a one person bottleneck and the clerk can say "let me get someone that can sign that for you"

If that's not how the paperwork works, then make it work that way.

As Orfamay says, that requires changing the laws. Laws take time and impetus to change. Until very recently, there was no impetus, so, now that there may be, it will still take time.

And frankly probably isn't necessary. She's in the process of being slapped down. The same may happen in a few other cases as they come up and everything will settle down and life will go on. People will get married and that's what really matters.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


No one in the county has the authority to "deputize" anyone to do any such thing. There are two people authorized, by State statute, to sign marriage licences, Ms. Davis, and, in her absence, the county executive judge.

If the state actually cares about the religious rights of the individual clerks then they can change that statute.

They're not "individual clerks". "Clerk" here isn't "one of those ladies behind the counter". It's an elected position. She heads the County Clerk's Office and has a staff working for her. Who actually can also sign marriage licenses, if I understand correctly, but as she's directed them not to, which she can do because she's their boss. She could have directed them to sign if her only objection was doing it herself, but she apparently believes that is also against her religion, since she would still have the responsibility as the official in charge.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

The solution here is so easily solvable that I can't tell if the county is deliberately picking a fight, or is just amazingly incompetent. (very, very hard to tell the difference between malfeasance and incompetence with government...)

An individual clerk doesn't have to sign anything but the county does.

If someone asks a clerk that doesn't want to sign it, they get someone else.

If the clerk is the only person there that can sign marriage licenses, deputize the guy in the map room, the janitor, the mayor or whoever.

edit: hey, i was only one post late this time.

She's not an individual clerk, she's the one in charge. Even if she doesn't sign herself, her name appears on the license so she has directed her subordinates not to sign.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fiddlers Green wrote:
I would take it a step further and argue that to the extent that the moral philosophy of the majority formed the true basis of their judgment (as opposed to an analysis of previous case law and the intent of the letter of the Constitution)
This is different from every other case... how?

Or more accurately, the Justices use both. Their knowledge and understanding of the law and their own moral philosophy. And they have always done so. Every Supreme Court decision you disliked: They did so. Every Supreme Court decision you liked: They did so.

It's just less obvious when it lines up with your opinions.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
[A] State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. Certainly it can, and plaintiffs did so in the instant case. More to the point, so did the various district judge, when they found, repeatedly and with argumentation, that there was "no rational basis" to exclude same-sex marriage.

Sort of aside from the legal argument, but the idea that the current meaning of marriage is one that has persisted in every culture throughout human history is itself nonsense.

Marriage has taken many forms in different cultures throughout history. The most obvious and most commonly cited is polygamy, but the more recent and in many ways more relevant change is the gradual ending of coverture. Without marriage becoming legally a partnership of equals rather than a means by which a woman's legal rights and obligations were subsumed by those of her husband, same-sex marriage wouldn't make any sense. You'd have to determine who in the couple was the husband and who was the wife, because those were legally different roles. The last of those laws in the US wasn't repealed until the late 70s.


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Sissyl wrote:
Gaberlunzie: The referendum was a sham, and put in effect a ban which went above and beyond what was voted for. And if you claim the "nuclear lobby" removed it, please explain what the "nuclear lobby" actually did, who did it, and who makes up the "nuclear lobby". I would say it is far more correct to say that the ban was removed through our normal democratic process. I mean, claiming the "nuclear lobby" actively pushed through the removal of a ban they have yet to use the removal of, years later, that is pretty odd.

Ummmm, Sissyl?

Sissyl wrote:
Sweden has had a ban on developing new nuclear technology for ages, only recently removed, instated by the environmental lobby.

please explain what the "environmental lobby" actually did, who did it, and who makes up the "environmental lobby".

Wasn't that pretty much Gaberlunzie's point? I know almost nothing about this situation, but you did with "environmental lobby" exactly what he did with "nuclear lobby". And it's not the first time.


"What would make my character's backstory more interesting?" is not what he was saying.

He was saying, as you quoted: "People aren't saying 'I have this really awesome character concept, but I just can't find the rules, classes, and/or feats to make it work. Here's the story, help me make it a reality.' ”

You're arguing against something that wasn't said.


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FiddlersGreen wrote:
thejeff wrote:

There is no actual first amendment conflict here. The court will show that. There is no reasonable 1st amendment consideration that allows a government official to use religion to not only not perform her duties, but also prevent her office from carrying them out. If this was one clerk saying "I won't do it, go to the next window", that might be arguable.

Beyond that, your argument is that if the Court determines that a law (or regulation or other government action) is in conflict with the Constitution, the Court should not act, but should wait for Congress to pass a law? Mind you, any Congressional action would be subject to Court challenge anyway. Would the same argument have applied to Loving vs Virginia? A decision even more controversial at the time and to which the same religious objections could have been raised by at least some churches of the day.

We will need to agree to disagree on whether there is a first amendment conflict. My stance is that there is a conflict was created by the court overstepping their bounds, creating a situation in which Ms Davis should probably have resigned. My further point is not that the court had no jurisdiction, but that they based their judgment on factors that were for the legislature rather than the judiciary to consider. In other words, I think a fair reading of the judgment shows that it was an act of judicial activism rather than proper legal reasoning. Hence the same argument would not apply to the case of Loving v Virginia.

Furthermore to my knowledge there is no tenet of Christianity that would support an objection to the decision in Loving v Virginia. Whilst things have changed, it is historical fact that America was founded on Christian principles, one of which was the proposition that all men are created equal. But then I also I do think the American pledge is due for a revision as I do not think the current American public generally holds the notion that America should be a "nation under God". But then those are points of religion and politics, rather than legal procedure.

As you suggest, whether or not there is a tenet of Christianity that would support an objection to the decision in Loving v Virginia is irrelevant. Some Christian churches of the time claimed there was. Some (though much more fringe these days) still do. It is very much not for the Court to decide that certain claimed religious beliefs qualify as actual religious tenets and others don't. That's a route that no one should want to take. Whatever your religious belief or lack there of.

The Court found that the Constitution required same-sex marriage to be legal. The Court earlier found that the Constitution required interracial marriage to be legal. As I said, at the time, that was a very controversial decision, decried by many as judicial activism. The legal grounds of the decision were different, but the reaction and much of the argument was the same.


AntiDjinn wrote:
KenderKin wrote:


So to determine weaknesses of a skeleton is DC 11
and to Determine weaknesses of a giant skeleton is DC 17

PC: "Holy water has worked in the past against skeletons"
DM: "Yes but this is a giant skeleton and you failed your roll"

So throw it and see what happens. Either they are vulnerable or they are not. The knowledge check doesn't determine whether or not the holy water will do damage; it determines whether or not you expect it to work.

Yeah, but if you know out of game that they're vulnerable "trying it" is problematic. That's why we have knowledge skills in the first place.


Gisher wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Who is President Obama's boss? Who is Justice Scalia's boss? Who is Senator Cruz' boss?
Michelle Obama, the Pope, and Donald Trump?

Actually in Cruz's case it appears to be one Robert Mercer.


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Chris Lambertz wrote:
How big your inbox gets after taking 3 days off is kinda lame. I swear the bottom is here somewhere...

Just delete it all. It's mostly spam anyway.

Anything important they'll send again.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
I always found it interesting that the county clerk is using the 1st amendment to violate the 1st amendment's establishment clause

I don't see any violation of the establishment clause. There is no state religion being created (there is much more to Christianity or Catholicism than marriage laws).

My legal opinion would be that the legalisation of same-sex marriage in America should have been done through a legislative instrument rather than a court-ruling, precisely because it inevitably creates conflict with the first amendment Constitutional rights. It does not help the legal process to pretend that the conflict does not exist. Rather, the hypothetical legislative instrument would have needed to address what recourse a person in the position of or a similar position as the clerk in question with due consideration to her first amendment rights.

That said, I also think that the clerk's best option under the circumstances would have been to resign from her position and contact her elected parliamentary representatives about having a proper bill put forth. There was no way she could not have seen that this would happen. The proper channel for her to protest against the mis-steps of the judiciary (if that was her intent) would be through the legislature, not through her current course of action.

I reckon anyone with a basic understanding of legal theory should be cringing at the current state of affairs in the US concerning this issue. If anything, this whole legal mess provides a case study to the rest of the world for why such a strident change to the law should be handled by the legislature rather than the judiciary. In the first place, under the fundamental legal notion of the separation of powers, the high court overstepped their bounds at several points in the judgment that legalised same-sex marriage. The US is a DEMOCRACY, not a KRITARCHY.

Short version: the whole state of affairs is an embarrassment to all parties involved.

There is no actual first amendment conflict here. The court will show that. There is no reasonable 1st amendment consideration that allows a government official to use religion to not only not perform her duties, but also prevent her office from carrying them out. If this was one clerk saying "I won't do it, go to the next window", that might be arguable.

Beyond that, your argument is that if the Court determines that a law (or regulation or other government action) is in conflict with the Constitution, the Court should not act, but should wait for Congress to pass a law? Mind you, any Congressional action would be subject to Court challenge anyway. Would the same argument have applied to Loving vs Virginia? A decision even more controversial at the time and to which the same religious objections could have been raised by at least some churches of the day.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:


That said, I really doubt she'll win.
She will win... she'll become a cause celebre among the fundamentalist crowd, get hundreds of thousands through a fund me campaign, and become a regular on the Fox news talk circuit.

I'm oddly cool with that, in the same way that I'm oddly cool with the Flat Earthers paying other Flat Earthers to tell each other that the Earth is Flat. The further the Christian RIght crawls down its own self-referential rabbit hole, the more out-of-touch it will appear and the less influential it will become.

The more time, energy, and money that the Christian Right are spending fighting lost causes like the War on Christmas and the right of public employees not to do their job, the less time they'll have doing things like trying to privatize social security, eliminate health insurance, repeal the fourth and fifth amendments.

Have you seen Ross Douthat's column in the New York Times on "The End of the Republican Party"? He's a card carrying conservative who is deeply concerned that "the right-of-center electorate is ripe to be split by a third party spoiler, or multiple such spoilers over the next few cycles, in which case the Republican losing streak in presidential elections could be easily extended from five of six to eight of nine" and give the Democrats a free hand at shaping national policy while the Republican party "is reaching a level where fundamental transformation might become inevitable."

He's concerned about it. Given my deep and abiding distaste for almost all of the post-Reagan Republican policies,.... I welcome it.

I'd welcome it too.

OTOH, pundits have been predicting the end of the Republican party since 2008 (or even 06) and they now control the Senate and the House. Demographics and long term trends aren't in their favor, but they've been very good at holding on against that.


Anzyr wrote:
Mykull wrote:

I just took 20 on searching the Advice forum. I looked at the twenty most recent posts about character builds. Only three of them mentioned anything about their character's story. The other 85% wanted mad dps, most powerful [INSERT CLASS HERE], best [INSERT CLASS HERE], etc.

So, people aren't saying, “Hey, Paizo Community, I have this really awesome character concept, but I just can't find the rules, classes, and/or feats to make it work. Here's the story, help me make it a reality.”

How are we supposed to help them with *their* story? Or do you believe it makes you a better roleplayer if you get your story from an online community?

People help with numbers, because numbers are easy to help someone with. If someone says I want to be good at X, Y and Z, we can help them get the numbers to be good at X, Y, and Z.

I understood that hypothetical request to be "Here's the concept/backstory for a character - help me find mechanics to make it effective."

In other words, help with numbers, but in the service of a non-mechanics derived concept.

I've seen it around here, but it is pretty rare. And is often derailed by suggestions to do something else entirely because it'll be more powerful.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:


That said, I really doubt she'll win.
She will win... she'll become a cause celebre among the fundamentalist crowd, get hundreds of thousands through a fund me campaign, and become a regular on the Fox news talk circuit.

Well, in that sense yes.

Not the actual court case though.

And whether it's her plan or not, I'm sure knowing she's got the support helps keep her from backing down. I'll bet jail time does it, though.


nosig wrote:

I actually have more problems with mind-control Magic than with slavery. I've been thinking of running an Andoran with a Crusade against this sort of thing.

charms, command, unnatural lust, control spells maybe even summon spells

Directed against enemies who you'd be otherwise trying to kill, I don't have a big problem with them.

Even against innocents in extremis - charming the loyal guard to let you past so you can stop the assassination attempt on his boss, for example.

Wantonly used for your own advantage, not so much.


There's a hell of a difference between "EVERY character in ANY way connected with another more powerful character who tells them what to do" and property. Even milder forms of slavery.

Even indentured servants knew it would end and generally had more legal protections than slaves did.

Admittedly that difference does get narrower in older and more brutal societies - serfdom isn't far from milder slavery in many ways. In some despotic states everyone is officially the ruler's property.
In such cases though, the actual slaves in those societies are even worse off. More restricted at least, even if some elite slaves did live in better conditions.

In other words, no ones using a brush as wide as you pretend or as narrow as only American chattel slavery.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And if you look at the beginning of the Three Musketeers, that's exactly what Dumas does - he tells (and shows) us who D'Artagnan is. Where he's from, a bit of his background and personality and then immediately how he reacts to situations. Which is, admittedly, usually by challenging someone to a duel. But by that point, you understand why.
Which is exactly why you need to see the player play his character, and see how he RPs and how he reacts to situations -- and not just look at the numbers on the character sheet up front and say "dirty powergamer!" before you get a chance to see that other stuff.

Agreed. Though, as the post you responded to and quoted said, asking the player about the character is a partial substitute. If you get nothing then but mechanics and DPR, it's a really good clue.


Actually, it's also possible and probably more likely that even if her case is upheld, any licenses granted while it was in process wouldn't be vacated. She would just be able to stop again.
Even in states where courts ruled that same-sex marriage wasn't actually legal and licenses had to stop being granted, the existing marriages were (sometimes?|always?) allowed to stand.

That said, I really doubt she'll win. At any level. As apparently do the courts, since they wouldn't issue the injunction. Admittedly, likelihood of her prevailing is only one consideration.

As for the actual licenses, they'll soon be issued. Most likely she will cave to the contempt hearing, possibly before a fine, possibly after. She certainly won't sit in jail for 3 years. If she does, as you said, someone else will be issuing those licenses.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
I wonder what this "movement for someone to ENFORCE that ruling" would look like, in your opinion.

I suspect it looks like that contempt hearing. :)


LazarX wrote:
MeanDM wrote:
Technically, I believe, that her case hasn't yet been heard on the merits. What's made it's way through the court of appeals and up to the Supreme Court was her request for an injunction or stay allowing her to legally deny licenses while the case makes it's way though the court.
And they said that they will not hear the case, which ends the matter as far as the Supremes are concerned. The lower courts retain the ball.

It ends the request for injunction. The SC has not said it will not hear the actual case, because the actual case has not been resolved and they have not been asked to hear it.

The question now is a) What does she do now that she has exhausted her legal options?
b)If she illegally refuses to grant licenses while the case is pending, what action does the court (federal or state, as appropriate) take. It can hold her in contempt and impose either fines or hold her in jail. Interestingly, if she is imprisoned, I think she would count as "absent" from her job and the responsibility for issuing licenses would pass to someone else.


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Quite often you still do. (Or the module author does, if you're using one).

Sometimes that's disguised - You know the DC to jump a 15' pit for example. But that's often backwards, it's a 15' pit because you wanted that DC.


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Kullen wrote:
yronimos wrote:
"...she just kicks ass!"
For real! I mean, look at that stupid "d'Artagnan" character. Got nothing going for him except being a swordsman. What does he do when Dumas the DM gives him a social encounter? He challenges the NPC to a duel. So Dumas tries again, and he does it again. And Dumas tries again and he does it again! Stupid player never got the hint! And to think the campaign went on for like five volumes!

If the player described D'Artagnan in terms of personality and the other things yronimos suggests and didn't just respond with "He's really good with a sword", than I'd agree.

And if you look at the beginning of the Three Musketeers, that's exactly what Dumas does - he tells (and shows) us who D'Artagnan is. Where he's from, a bit of his background and personality and then immediately how he reacts to situations. Which is, admittedly, usually by challenging someone to a duel. But by that point, you understand why.


Seth Dresari wrote:
That Bounded Accuracy thing sounds cool, but it also takes the uniqueness out of certain items, traits and/or feats that provide bonuses to certain skills, including but not limited to circumstance bonuses.

It wouldn't work imported into PF as is. There's too much else dependent on it.

I don't think it's quite as limited as Bluenose suggests. I believe there are other ways to get a few more points on bonuses, though the advantage/disadvantage mechanism replaces most of them.

But the basic concept of limiting how high you can stack the numbers certainly holds.


Aranna wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

I think you may have causes mixed up there. Higher temperatures cause more water in the air, but more water in the air doesn't really cause higher temperatures -- the amount of water vapor humans can dump into the air is nothing compared to the amount of additional evaporation a tenth of a degree increase in global temperature would "naturally" produce.

The actual causal path that I can see is :
1) Increased atmospheric CO2 causes increased global temperature
2) Increased global temperature increases absolute humidity through natural evaporation
3) Increased absolute humidity and increased temperature intensify the water cycle.

I wasn't actually looking at temperature at all there... just, 'more water in the air = more water coming out of the air'.

Also, yes, the amount of water vapor humans dump into the air is tiny compared to the increased water vapor content due to global warming.

That being said, more water vapor in the air DOES cause higher temperatures... because water vapor is a very powerful greenhouse gas. This effect can be observed in the difference between how quickly temperatures drop at night in a desert vs a very humid area... the desert temperature will quickly plummet because there is very little water vapor blocking the escape of heat while the humid area can remain hot all night as the heat just can't escape to space due to the water vapor greenhouse effect.

This water vapor feedback effect (i.e. more heat from CO2 greenhouse effect = more water vapor in the air = more heat from water vapor greenhouse effect) is actually one of the largest feedbacks (the other being albedo shift from ice and snow melt) pushing up the total warming. Doubling CO2 on its own would only cause ~1.2 C warming, but with the additional feedback add-ons (mostly those 2) it goes up to ~3 C.

So I am right to worry about them switching all cars to steam emissions instead of carbon emissions?

No. Because as has been said before, more steam doesn't lead to more water vapor. More temperature leads to more water vapor, which leads to more heat in a feedback loop, but just evaporating more water saturates the atmosphere and you don't get the kind of long term effects you get from adding carbon. The carbon builds up, because the atmosphere isn't already saturated with carbon.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

OK. That vaguely makes sense. I think I'm going to need to reread Feng. :)


Matthew Morris wrote:
nosig wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I will confess, in a society with brothels, devil worship, demon worship, followers of gods of assassins, and of course the entire D/s overtones of one of the recurring characters, that exploring the aspects of slavery disturbing people makes me... amused.

one of the aspects of Roman Slavery was that if a slave of a Roman Citizen was freed, he/she became a Roman Citizen. This was a big deal in a time when most of the population of an area were NOT Citizens (who had a bunch of Privileges/Rights that Non-Citizens did no). So, a question arises, what is the status of a freed slave?

In a society that has slavery, there are rules/laws/customs that deal with all aspects of it. How do these differ from place to place? Are slaves treated differently in Osiria than the would be in Qadira? Clearly there would be differences in how they are treated in Katapesh and Cheliax.

edit: It is funny that you should mention brothels... I was thinking that I have had more trouble at a PFS table with the "profession" of my courtesan PC than with the "profession" of my slave PC.

one thing I liked about Pirate's Promise is it actually talked about what happens after the slaves are liberated by the Eagle Knights. It points out that most slaves have either very specialized skills, or no skills at all. They also have no family, no support, and no resources. The Novel Andorans at least have a system of helping the freed slaves.

For my PCs that don't have an issue with slavery, they truly believe that by owning them, they teach them skills and a trade, and make their lives better.

I'm curious if anyone thinks about the logistics of the anti-slaver movement. It seems like it often is:
1. Kill all the slavers
2. Free all the slaves
3. ???
4. Feel good about ourselves.

Mayim (my Liberty's edge PC) has not dealt with slaves yet, but I can picture her spending as much gold to free a slave as my other PCs have buying them.

So what do you do with the slave that tries to escape? Let him go and hope he can take care of himself? Hunt him down and punish/torture him?

Yeah, how to prepare slaves for a free life is a question. Keeping them as slaves is not the answer.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grill (1990), though it's clearly a set-in-the-future sci fi novel, nevertheless has a pretty strong current-day urban feel. As a point of interest, it's also got a nice bit of homage to Piers Anthony's Macroscope (1970), using a trope later made famous by Palahniuk in Fight Club (1996).

Okay, I missed that, though I haven't read Cowboy Feng in awhile. What was the homage to Macroscope? (Or the trope in Fight Club for that matter.)


Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:

OTOH, powergamers do exist. The multiclassing approach he's talking about was more of a 3.5 thing, since PF boosted the base classes, but in some cases it's still real. People really do plan out builds for power with little concern for the character reasoning behind it. They do look for unexpected synergies between different classes or between class abilities and feats or spells or any other powers.

These things do happen. They're not a figment of anyone's imagination.

Can you point me to anyone who suggested otherwise? Because what I keep seeing happen in discussions like these is this:

Bob: If you do X, it's a pretty strong indication of Y.
Alice: No it's not, there are LOTS of reasons to do X, and most of them are the opposite of Y. My whole group X's every game and there's only one Y among us.
Carl: Well it's not like Y doesn't exist; they totally do, and that's definitely the thing that needs to be focused on right now, much more than Bob's assertion that Y is almost always the reason for X.

Shows up on both sides. You'll note that several of my prior posts on this thread were of the "Lots of books doesn't mean a thing".

But no, no one's explicitly suggested it, but there's an awful lot of dismissiveness.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


I imagine it's a phenomenon similar to how someone can know that racism is bad, but if they drive through a new part of town and all the pedestrians are black they conclude it's a "rough neighborhood" and try to avoid it, and don't even know that's how they came to that conclusion.

EDIT: Or like how there was a study where a man and a woman would have a conversation, and they'd both think the woman did most of the talking, when actually (per the recording) the man did most of the talking.

People are pros at cognitive dissonance.

I don't think either of those are cognitive dissonance though. Those are really just subconscious assumptions kicking in. Far less of what's going on in our heads is really conscious rationality than we tend to think it is. Most of our "thinking" is just rationalizing decisions and presumptions we've made for subconscious reasons.


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Jiggy wrote:


Related (I think) to this is the fact that I keep seeing posts (seems like more lately, but I could just be noticing them more) where people say nasty things about others, then end with a one- or two-line disclaimer about it's totally okay for you to be the kind of dirty worthless scumbag I just finished describing. And if you take offense, I'll come down hard on you, because I just said that it was totally fine for you to be that way, so how could you possibly take offense?

Or the ever popular "If you think I was describing you, then you obviously match the description. If not, I obviously wasn't talking about you, so in either case, you have no right to be offended."


Matthew Downie wrote:

I find fudging is a useful tool for weak GMs (whether underprepared, lacking in improvisation skills, or lacking in system mastery). Does the death of this NPC fatally derail your plot? Fudge it so they survive. Did you accidentally create an encounter that guarantees a TPK? Fudge it so the PCs can survive. Did you allow a player to create a PC who can trivialize all opposition? Fudge in some resistant enemies.

The better you get, the less you need it. Once you have enough confidence in your abilities, get rid of the GM screen and roll the dice openly.

Yeah. Once you've more confidence in your abilities, it's easy enough to fudge without changing die rolls. :)


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OTOH, powergamers do exist. The multiclassing approach he's talking about was more of a 3.5 thing, since PF boosted the base classes, but in some cases it's still real. People really do plan out builds for power with little concern for the character reasoning behind it. They do look for unexpected synergies between different classes or between class abilities and feats or spells or any other powers.
These things do happen. They're not a figment of anyone's imagination.

Particularly convoluted character designs are a warning sign for that. Not a certainty of course and nowhere near as simple as "X number of books is over the line", but a warning sign.

It's a sign of focus on the build game part of Pathfinder, which isn't exclusive to the actually playing the game part, but does suggest a lesser interest in that. If you're looking to run a different kind of game, one more focused on actual play than on how cleverly we can build characters, you might have problems show up in play.


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137ben wrote:
Mykull wrote:
Upho, each class has its own particular niche. There is a great deal of fluff before the mechanics of each one. When one pulls from many different sources, one is generally indicating that they care less for the motives and drives behind that class than they are interested in the one cool mechanic that is derived from a dip into that class. That is just one way “a player that creates his/her PC 'by pulling from a lot of different books' tell you [me] that the player is likely 'much more interested in ROLLplaying than ROLEplaying”?

Great, now you're making even less sense. Someone who just wants a powerful and versatile character isn't going to dip several classes; they are going to build a single class wizard. That's one class from one source. Maybe they'd use the shaman class instead, but they sure as heck wouldn't multi-class out of it.

If you're going to make up examples of someone using multiple rulebooks to create one character, at least try to pick examples that have a reasonable chance of occurring.

Even with a single class wizard, they're likely to pull feats, traits, spells and items from other books. Unless they're intentionally limiting themselves to one source.


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Mykull wrote:
Upho, each class has its own particular niche. There is a great deal of fluff before the mechanics of each one. When one pulls from many different sources, one is generally indicating that they care less for the motives and drives behind that class than they are interested in the one cool mechanic that is derived from a dip into that class. That is just one way “a player that creates his/her PC 'by pulling from a lot of different books' tell you [me] that the player is likely 'much more interested in ROLLplaying than ROLEplaying”?

Or a sign that they have a particular character concept in mind that is best represented by parts from different books.

And of course, it's pretty easy to get up to 6 books these days. An archetype from one book for a non-core class from another already gets you 3. Grab a feat from somewhere else and a couple spells or items from elsewhere and there you are - 6 books without even multiclassing.


knightnday wrote:
thejeff wrote:

But "I've been GMing a long time and people keep asking me to run" is a valid response to "If you GM like that all your players will leave". Big difference between that and "I'm a grognard so I'm right".

More generally, I'm all in favor of communication about playstyle, most of the time. Fudging, I'm less clear about. While I see the point, fudging, whether of dice or anything else, works much better when it's not visible to the players.
If it's going to provide a better game at all, it's going to do so when the players don't know it's happening. Once you see behind the curtain, it's much less effective. Nor do I think that done subtly and rarely it's nearly as obvious as some claim.

I agree on the gming time and being right.

As for fudging, the danger I've run across is that the players start being trained to expect it. They expect to be saved no matter how foolish a choice they make; the nice GM will always find a way to save them.

The same goes for fighting the Big Bad. After a while, you stop trying as hard because you know that if the bad takes damage or is in a tight spot, they'll somehow get away or get fully healed via fiat.

Like anything, it should be used sparingly.

Definitely sparingly.

The thing is, I like having interaction with enemies before the final confrontation. It humanizes them, makes things more personal. It's usually best if it can be done socially without the party realizing they were talking to the BBG until later on, but having him rant at them a bit and leave them to his minions is also a trope for a reason. I'm willing to put up with a little handwaving to make that work.
Again and again in a real fight with the baddie? No.


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But "I've been GMing a long time and people keep asking me to run" is a valid response to "If you GM like that all your players will leave". Big difference between that and "I'm a grognard so I'm right".

More generally, I'm all in favor of communication about playstyle, most of the time. Fudging, I'm less clear about. While I see the point, fudging, whether of dice or anything else, works much better when it's not visible to the players.
If it's going to provide a better game at all, it's going to do so when the players don't know it's happening. Once you see behind the curtain, it's much less effective. Nor do I think that done subtly and rarely it's nearly as obvious as some claim.


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Aranna wrote:

Oh yeah, to share a little wisdom from the dumb girl in the room.

We ALL want a better planet, you both just disagree on what path gets you there. If you want to actually convince him CBDunkerson then you need to take him seriously. Take his points and without being abrasive show him where he is wrong. Kinda like my steam issues... still I do wonder if dumping thousands of tons of extra steam into the atmosphere wouldn't create more storms as that water seeks condensation? Just a thought from the dumb girl.

In theory it might, locally. It won't affect global warming, since it'll precipitate out. Whatever it does will be a short-term localized effect.

You also need to compare however much steam we're generating with the amount of water that evaporates from the world's oceans. I suspect it's much less and since it can't accumulate in the atmosphere, there's no long term additive affect, like there is with carbon.

As for ThaX, it's been a long time since he's shown any willingness to talk or be persuaded. He drops in, throws out a few talking points and vanishes. His next post rarely addresses anything said in response to the previous one. It's just another set of talking points.

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