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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 24,153 posts (25,075 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Wrath wrote:
Games like World of Warcraft, Rift and Everquest all have amazingly high magic worlds and have a magic mart setting. Nothing about those settings diminishes how magical the world is, yet all of them basically encourage you to continually upgrade gear.

I think there are two conflicting goals being considered here. The more fantastical we make the world, the less fantasical any given aspect of the world will be.

A city where everyone travels around on magical beasts and flying carpets, and most rich people have a genie servant of some kind, might be an evocative place, but in that city, acquiring a magic lamp will become a relatively mundane event.

Or we could go in the low-fantasy direction. You can have a world where magic potion that gave someone the ability to turn invisible was an incredible and shocking discovery, as long as you first make the world a gritty Game-of-Thrones type place.

There's probably a Conservation of Wonder effect at work here.

It's not just the amount, but also how codified the magic is. Whether in world or in the game rules. It's hard to evoke the wonder when the details of the spell are laid out on page 357.

Even in the low-fantasy world, that potion of invisibility may be a wonder to the characters, but it won't be to PF players.


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DrDeth wrote:

No it was a response to a question i asked him a year or so ago, about whether or not the standard 4 PC party of wizard, cleric, rogue, Fighter was common enough that bandits etc would KNOW to hit the wizard first. The answer was no, they wouldnt not without knowledge ranks, since adventurers are so rare your party is the only one they have ever encountered.

Of course you're the only group they've encountered. Bandits rarely survive encounters with PCs. :)

DrDeth wrote:

So, the answers dont really contradict one another. Adventurers, as in a party of heavily armed multiracial people, all with class levels- is very rare or unique.

Adventurers= a party of heavily armed often multiracial people, all with class levels, willing to do quests for glory and loot. Not usually on a payroll.Usually fairly independent. Usually mostly Good aligned.

It's just not common for a elf wizard, a dwarf fighter, a halfling rogue and a human cleric to join together for this sort of stuff.

Based on that description, I've rarely played an "adventurer". It's the "willing to do quests for glory and loot" part. Outside of congames or organized play, we've always had more personal reasons for doing the crazy things PCs do.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, in a world in which teams of people regularly delve into ancient ruins and similar, take everything even remotely valuable that's not nailed down too hard, and return to town looking to hock half the stuff, there would be quite a lot of money to be made in catering to whatever they're looking to buy, since they're taking money out of the ground/a dragon's horde/whatever and putting it into the local economy.

I mean, if you're the guy who mass produces haversacks, that's a lot more lucrative (and safer) than actually going into the dungeon yourself.

In a world in which adventurers are common, and making magic items isn't hard, magic marts are plausible (and more or less inevitable.)

Mind you, I prefer a world in which "adventuring" isn't a common profession and rarely involves just going into ruins for loot.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Dr Deth wrote:
Sure, if you wanna play super low magic then play Iron Heroes, magic is a integral part of D&D.

I agree, magic is integral to D&D. I think the OP believes that too and the loss of that wondrous feel to magic, with so many of these systems, is what engendered this thread.

Scythia has mentioned more than once that she allows all rules + 3pp in her game. Whatever the player wants to play, and then works with it. My approach seems parallel except I'm not so interested in the splat books or 3pp. I just want to know what the player wants out of their PC in the game and together we can build that.

Parallel to this is the way I actually run a game. It is less a railroad than it is a road network. That's what I prep for but if the players want to they can go "off road".

However, nothing like a "magic mart" will ever appear in my campaign without it being some sort of plane-hopping adventure. Even then it's unlikely.

There's often some confusion in the use of "magic mart" in these discussions. One approach takes it literally: There is a big store with all the available magic items neatly lined up on shelves with pricetags. The other uses it as a metaphor for items being regularly available for purchase, but they're likely scattered throughout the city - some in various shops, some held by private individuals or groups who might be willing to sell. Both approaches can use the same availability by price & settlement size found in the rules.

I've rarely seen anybody use (or even really defend) the first, with the possible exception of high level extraplanar shenanigans. I've often seen it attacked.


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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

The Technomages of Bablylon 5 are merely tricksters with Shadow tech. Their tricks are effective against the ignorant, but to advanced creatures such as the Vorlons, (who would exterminate them on sight), and the Shadows, who can turn them off at will.) Which is why they pretty much ran off into hiding when the war started to heat up.

Which is why in my headcanon the Technomages aren't connected with the Shadows at all, they're the descendants of servants of one of the other "First Ones" who left the galaxy a long time ago. The animosity with the Vorlons comes from the Technomages doing everything they can to keep the remaining "magical" artifacts left behind by their creators out of the hands of the Vorlons and Shadows.

Honestly, the "reveal" that the Mages were former servants of the Shadows irritated the hell out of me. Every. Single. Thing in the universe did not have to be connected to the idiotic, whiny little pissing match between the Shadows and the Vorlons!

That wasn't actually in the show right? Even Crusade?

I don't remember it at all.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

The first Avengers movie worked because the individual characters all had their own storylines in other movies, and finally, BAM! you get all of them at once. It's a lot of investment and buildup for a big finale. But now they're all there, and there's nowhere left to go. Just adding MOAR! random superheroes to the mix, like it will make a difference, still makes any post-Avengers I mashups a letdown for everyone who isn't a comics geek.

From an outsider's viewpoint, the Marvel universe seems to me to be absolutely overrun with superheroes now; it's amazing there's room for anyone else. When Iron Man stops for a cup of coffee, the barrista turns out to be MegaBarrista, who is ALSO a costumed superhero! (And all the other Starbucks employees worldwide are agents of Hydra, of course.) Keeping the X-men separate, in their own little universe, is helping to mitigate that somewhat (yeah, I know it's contractual rather than strategic, but it's also a stroke of good fortune). Keeping Spiderman and all his assorted supervillains, and Fantastic Four and their nemeses separate helps, too.

But fans love cross-over stuff and new characters, so it's constantly a losing battle to keep the number of superheroes to a reasonable level. I'd argue that they're already way past the point where any non-comics fans know or care who 9/10 of the existing MCU superheroes even are anymore. Killing them off in droves might help that. Call in an exterminator to deal with the superhero infestation!

DC is sadly following suit. The Nolan Batman movies were good because he was more or less self-contained. Adding Superman to the same universe makes Batman pointless and obsolete, but, fine. Full Justice League only works for a cartoon. Trying to make a series of movies starring EVERY DC HERO EVAR!!! would be an exercise in onanism on their part. But if it makes money, that's good enough, I suppose.

If the Nolan movies were good because they were self-contained, I assume pretty much all previous superhero movies were good for the same reason? That's pretty much always been the setup before the Marvel movies. You might have a team (X-Men, FF), but they shared an origin and a purpose, not a bunch of solo heroes teaming up, like the Avengers or the League.

You may not like the way it's going, but Marvel's new approach to superhero movies has been a far bigger success than anything else ever done with them. Functioning as a brand it's also let them sell movies and shows with characters who would never have gotten greenlit in the past - some of them excellent.

I'm certainly not coming at it from an outsider perspective, so I could be biased, but judging by how well they're doing, I doubt all the non-comics geeks have been driven away.


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For the same reason they don't do that with any character: it's the person in the suit that matters.
In comics, they often play around with supporting characters taking on the heroes role, but that's mostly as contrast for the main character. There have been exceptions, but that's the general rule.

Some bozo gets the armor? He's not a drop in replacement. Why should the Avengers trust him? Hell, Tony was out of the suit as much as in it in most of the movies.


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MendedWall12 wrote:
H&W wrote:
3. The OSR games were based on sword and sorcery literature. In these stories, happy endings were uncommon, strange and vicious creatures flourished, weird magic was the norm, and protagonists were less hero and more mercenary in bent.
It was my understanding that the original D&D was based very heavily, if not exclusively, on Tolkien's Middle Earth literature. Some of the qualities of the races still owe their legacy to this material. Which I find widely different than mercenary instead of hero, and uncommon happy endings. It's possible the old school revival modules were based on a different set of literature, but that would have been a break from the canon that spoke to the origins of the game itself, and could have been a bias of those people partaking in the revival, more than an owing the original material.

According to Gygax in Appendix N, the main influences on AD&D were "de Camp & Pratt, R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt."

It's possible he was downplaying Tolkien's influence. There were some legal issues, IIRC. And some things drawn directly from Tolkien, most obviously halflings.
Still the early stuff does have a very strong mercenary flavor. Go down to the dungeons for loot. Hire minions. Eventually build strongholds and get followers.


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WormysQueue wrote:

thejeff wrote:
Note that I was deliberately using an extreme definition in that post
Sorry for having taken this a bit out of context, I didn't mean to imply that you share this opinion and didn't even imagine that it could be taken this way.

Not just that I don't share it, but that I don't think it's common enough to be a big factor. It's not actually fair representation of self-proclaimed grognards any more than "painting the target as a hopeless old fogey, dreaming of his lost youth and shouting "get off my lawn"" is a fair picture of what others mean by the term.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Why play a modified pathfinder where you've gutted the entire system to fit your view?

Because it's much less overall work to take an existing system that has a lot of rules, then proceed to trim or alter in order to fit what you need, than to try to come up with rules for naval combat or non-standard PC races out of whole cloth.

I mean, a significant part of the appeal of pathfinder is that there are three dozen classes and hundreds of race options, each which have archetypes or alternative features. So the rules exist to support what you want, for the most part. I mean, even if I'm playing a different game (in the D&D family, I run 13A a lot) I will often look to pathfinder's considerable volume of rules in order to figure out stuff "I want my grandfather to be a fire elemental" might look like in a PC race.

It's even less overall work to take an existing system that has more of what you need than to trim or alter a rules heavy game to fit.

This. Especially in rules heavy systems, I often find that changing rules tends to have a cascade effect. Changing A means that there's now a problem with B. The fix to that affects C and D and trying to fix those leads to more issues.

As Jiggy says, just banning some particular items or abilities doesn't usually have that effect. Making basic rules changes does.


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Bluenose wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Problem is that all this magical garbage heavily interferes with all kinds of interesting storys that are not the standard D&D/Pathfinder story. I mean, just think about all those stories included in Appendix N which actually translate very badly into an D&D3.5/Pathfinder kind of play.
I'm not sure Appendix N stories translate well into any version of D&D. Maybe low-level B/X or AD&D 1st edition, but that's a stretch.
Appendix What?
Apoendix N is the section of the 1st edition DMG that lists sources of inspiration for the game. It's a pretty broad selection, but if anything should be feasible in the game, that's what was being aimed at.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
But just for some perspective. Fafrd and the Grey Mouser are known for their deeds and the names of their swords. But those named swords aren't constant companions, they're just the names they give to whatever blade they are holding at the moment. They go through a lot of them in the course of their stories.
Appendix N, relevantly, includes Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories. If you want to emulate stories of that type, I'm not sure recent versions of D&D would be good choices (outside parts of the OSR).

And as you said earlier, I'm not actually sure any version of D&D really did. Not without some serious restrictions and house rules.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Problem is that all this magical garbage heavily interferes with all kinds of interesting storys that are not the standard D&D/Pathfinder story. I mean, just think about all those stories included in Appendix N which actually translate very badly into an D&D3.5/Pathfinder kind of play.
I'm not sure Appendix N stories translate well into any version of D&D. Maybe low-level B/X or AD&D 1st edition, but that's a stretch.
Appendix What?

Apoendix N is the section of the 1st edition DMG that lists sources of inspiration for the game. It's a pretty broad selection, but if anything should be feasible in the game, that's what was being aimed at.


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Readerbreeder wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:
I'm now extending my break from Bede to race through The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, and quickly increasing my list of authors to read more of.

Thanks for pointing this out; I love short fiction and am always looking for more good stories. A quick question, if I may: the description the link leads to seems to imply that James Tiptree Jr. is a woman. Is it a pen name, and if it is, am I the last SF fan to know? :)

Probably. :)

It was a big thing, some 40 years ago.

I also just have to say that skimming quickly, the juxtaposition of Mastodonia and The Mammoth Book led to some incorrect assumptions.


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Terquem wrote:
I hate the concept of the "Boss Fight"

Well, if you prefer a different term, feel free. I was just trying to distinguish serious climactic fights from the more common easier ones. Stipulate for these purposes that not all fights are designed to be equally challenging, so when I'm talking about chance of TPK, it's in the ones that are designed to be more so, not the speedbumps.

More generally, the basic concept of "Boss fight" is pretty hard to avoid. "Climactic battle" is pretty much a staple of adventure fiction going back as far as you please. You can play around with or subvert it, but it's hard to avoid it entirely and have a satisfying resolution.


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Kennypngn wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:

Problem is that all this magical garbage heavily interferes with all kinds of interesting storys that are not the standard D&D/Pathfinder story. I mean, just think about all those stories included in Appendix N which actually translate very badly into an D&D3.5/Pathfinder kind of play.

There are times in Pathfinder that you find weapons with stories. Take the Goblin Hero that wielded the magic longsword he took from a human. He was known by the other goblins for that weapon. Now a PC might look at it and think ooh bonus to attack and damage. But if you turned around and made it so that other goblins from that tribe, or that knew that hero, recognized the sword, the story can suddenly add little bonuses here and there without you having to alter the campaign set in front of you. Just as GM make the occasional goblin shaken for a round or two upon seeing that sword.

"OH NO, that's blah blah blah's sword...you, you actually killed him?"
Then, just to keep things interesting, have another fly into a rage when he sees it
"I know that sword! You thief!"
This could be used in multiple campaigns, the Titanmauler Barbarian that thinks a named Ogres hook is cool and keeps it, the wizard who finds a useful wand that a winter witch wielded..etc...etc

You can do that. But regardless of the story attached to it and how cool the GM or even the players think it is, the game mechanics push you to upgrade.

You're not going to keep using that +1 goblin longsword when you can replace it with a +3 Furious longsword. Even if it doesn't have a cool story.
Gear needs to upgrade with the characters. There are multiple ways to do that - the simplest of which is the default: Find or buy better gear.


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DrDeth wrote:
Kohl McClash wrote:

Except 3x and PF systems were built with the intent of characters needing a certain amount of plus gear and weapons to fight the rising AC and to hit of monsters. So inevitably as a player you were looking for the next plus in the next big city cause you knew you'd need it for the next book in the adventure path.

I think that's why I got burned out with 3x / Pathfinder, I found myself as a player looking at my +2 ring of protection and wondering if I can trade it in on the +3 in Absalom or whatever large city we were near. I wanted an AC 30+ or I'd be mince meat soon.

Altho the Christmas tree is a nice general rule of thumb, there's nothing so hard and fast about it. I mean, sure you dont wanna suck, but if youre 1 to even 4 AC behind the curve, you just spell up or use tactics. I mean maybe the other player is above the curve on AC, but you concentrated on rods for spells instead.

It's never been a significant issue in any PF game I have played in.

If you're behind in something because you spent your cash on something else, that's one thing.

If the GM has dropped WBL or doesn't allow you to trade in/buy magic items and so you're wildly behind par, that's something entirely different.

It sounded to me before like you were saying the GM could just fix all the problems with magic stores and Christmas tree effects just because he's the GM and controls things. I still don't see how you do that.


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DrDeth wrote:

5E is no more a solution than houserules are.

You're the DM, you can control the magic. You can do that in a OD&D game and in a 5E game.

Mechanics matter.

How do you solve the problem without changing rules systems or making house rules?

Obviously, you can simply ignore the rules for WBL/treasure and item availability (though I'd say you're already close to house rules there), but that then goes on to change the expected balance of the characters.
A 10th level fighter whose only magic item is a +1 dagger isn't the equivalent of a WBL geared out 10th level fighter. Possibly worse, depending on how you're passing out gear for them to use, they can be up to par in some areas and well below in others.

Gear is basically a separate experience track in 3.x. It should run in parallel with actual level. I'm not sure that was the best approach, but it is how the game mechanics are set up.


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Well, if you want to have an actual campaign, you can't have more than a tiny minority of encounters have a significant chance of being a TPK. Because odds add up and if even one boss fight per level has even a 10% chance of TPK, you don't get very far.

Now, they can seem tougher than they really are, but they can't actually be tougher. If they are, the campaign ends in a TPK.

Even too much of a chance of a single (unraisable) death leads to the kind of thing Set describes. That final encounter can be nail-biting, but it really should very rarely lead to actual death.


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Crusinos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
John Napier 698 wrote:
We must really be Grognards if we have trouble remembering where a specific table came from. :)

Or we're just talking about 1E. I'm pretty sure half the house rules in use back in the day were just because never found the proper rule (or just misunderstood it, since it was incomprehensible).

Or didn't feel like cross-referencing eight different books just to adjudicate a single action.

Came up a lot toward the end of 3E, too. I don't think we used anything remotely close to how the ruleset was actually written by the end of that edition.

Honestly an awful lot of the confusion of 1E was in the core books, particularly the DMG (and the split between what was in the DMG & the PHB.) Both the organization and the actual language were ideosyncratic, to say the least.

To add to that, only the GM was supposed to read the DMG, so anything he misunderstood, he taught to his players as he understood it and so they thought that was official. Often even after they started GMing and actually read the text - it's easy to continue misunderstanding something when you already "know" how it works.


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Set wrote:
thejeff wrote:
That looks like it's out of 2E. I'm not sure if there was a similar table in 1E.
The 1e Deities and Demigods (which is the only 1st edition book that remains within reach, after all these years) has the 19-25 charts near the beginning, and a 25 Dex is indeed a -6 to AC.

Because of course it does.

Who wouldn't think to look there.

John Napier 698 wrote:
We must really be Grognards if we have trouble remembering where a specific table came from. :)

Or we're just talking about 1E. I'm pretty sure half the house rules in use back in the day were just because never found the proper rule (or just misunderstood it, since it was incomprehensible).


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Freehold DM wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

Not following Wonder Woman, but I am interested in this 'two year plan' for REbirth. Looks like Action Comics, Titans, The Flash and Wonder Woman are the flagships for that.

I'm enjoying Deathstroke, well except for Jericho's apparent bisexuality.

?

If you thought that man was straight in the 80s, you missed something.

Or maybe not

George Perez wrote:
While Marv and I did discuss the possibility of Joseph Wilson being gay, Marv decided that it was too much of a stereotype to have the sensitive, artistic, and wide-eyed character with arguably effeminate features be also homosexual. While I think that may or may not have been a righteous concern, we did establish the character as heterosexual throughout the series.


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CBDunkerson wrote:

I see electric vehicles spreading in three stages;

1: Early adopters - A small percentage of people willing to pay extra for novelty / bragging rights / drag racing wins (a big selling point for Tesla apparently) / whatever. We are currently in this stage.

2: Day to day vehicle - Families with multiple vehicles will very likely begin to buy an electric for the short daily commute and keep the SUV for longer range family trips. Likewise, big city cab companies, local post offices, pizza delivery stores, and everyone else that does a lot of short range driving and seldom/never needs long range would likely switch over. We're right on the cusp of this stage with reasonable mass market electric vehicles starting to come out.

Just to point out that hte cabs & delivery vehicles don't really work as electrics. The individual drives are short range, but they drive a lot without the time off to recharge. Those vehicles tend to put on the miles really fast.


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0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Thanks. I looked up the City of Strangers thing.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
In later appearances, she's been treated as more trans and less drag queen, though it's not clear how much that's an actual change in intent for the character and how much just a change in how she's presented. They did specifically change to using female pronouns for her.

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WormysQueue wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I think that's a somewhat different angle. It can certainly be fresh and different from standard D&D without being progressive or inclusive in a political/social sense.

That's the way I see it as well, so I agree with you on that. It's just that I don't want to dismiss all points made by Werebat just because he mixed them up in his original post.

And one thing that I'd really like to know is, why Werebat (as, I take it, a non-caucasian earthling) feels better represented by the Eberron humanoids in Darguun than by the actual existing culture-equivalents of his ethnicity in the Golarion setting. I have some ideas about it, but I'd rather not make any wild guesses.

So Werebat, if you're reading this, I'm honestly interested in this topic.

Can't speak for him of course, but I wonder if it's an Uncanny Valley kind of thing? The existing culture-equivalents might be too close to ignore, but far enough away to feel right, while the more distinct Eberron can work as a metaphor without being close enough that the differences seem weird?

Or of course, there could just be no close equivalent in Golarion. I've got no idea what Werebat's cultural background is.


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Do they really focus on the Sczarni that much? I know they were a PFS faction, but beyond that?


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Hythlodeus wrote:
I also want to add that a lot of Sinti, Yenish or Lovari are not really a fan of being called 'Romani'

Yeah, I'm at least vaguely aware of that. Is there an acceptable overall term?


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Rysky wrote:
The Sczarni are only a small group (group, not an ethnicity) out of the entirety of Varisians, who make up a good 1/3 - 1/2 of the population of the continent they are on. They're basically the mafia, yeah, but they're a small number, not the entire race. And even then, mafia=bad, yeah, but i don't really see that as a racist and cartoonish caricature.

Beyond that, while there's a stereotype of Romani as thieves, it's very different from the organized crime approach of the Sczarni.

That said, I can see how it would bother some. Wouldn't go as far as "massively racist" or "cartoonish", but maybe not the best choice.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

V has been casting Prismatic Spray for a long time now.

V has also cast Power Word Blind (Level 7) and Stun (Level 8).

I think you missed my post last page gents.

V has been casting Prismatic Spray for 3 years in real time now.

Saw it after I posted, but left it up to point out it was in the most recent strip.

I figured V had used something 8th level, but couldn't think of anything offhand.


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Perhaps you could actually spell out what you mean. I've got no idea who you think is "depicting people as massively racist and cartoonish stereotypes" or what examples you have in mind.

Everything you've said in this thread is in such generalities I've got no idea what you're talking about.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
My mistake then, expert person. I still am not clear how if he's 13th level, that no one else is on par with that. I mean we don't see V casting 7th spells right?

Prismatic Spray, in this very strip.

Yeah, they're pretty much up there. I'm not sure if we've seen V cast 8th level spells.


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Chemlak wrote:
Rednal wrote:
In the past, we have repeatedly had to throw out what we thought was "true" because of new information. There is no particular reason to believe this isn't going to happen again. XD
While that's technically true, violations of the conservation laws are on the level of "s~#$, you mean the rules of physics doesn't work the same in Houston as they do in Beijing, and they're completely different on the moon, and different again inside the sun? Oops, how did we miss that for 400 years?"

Well maybe.

Or maybe there's some other factor we don't yet understand and working it out will make sense of why we missed it and why the rules of physics do appear to work the same in Houston, Beijing, on the moon and in the sun.


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0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Depends on how you define 'Progressive' [I am certainly not a fan of economic policies labeled such.]

I'd say Eberron's treatment of the gods as 'maybe yes maybe no' is pretty progressive.

Paizo tread very lightly in any criticism of economic policy, and non-personal politics in general. We get that Nazis are Bad (Cheliax) and old empires are Decadent (Taldor) but kings and nobles are not all Bad. Lively competition is Good (Andaron, Absalom), maybe reign in the unfettered chase for cash (Druma, Katapesh).

It's quite small c conservative, with maybe a bit of Star Trek utopia. Races tend to be content if they know who they are and are stoic or enjoy it (Gnomes, Halflings and the phlegmatic and generally satisfied Dwarves) or if they live in a post-scarcity environment (Elves of Kyonin, Pathfinder Society pretty much).

I applaud Paizo for trying to fit many political systems in without deliberately advocating one or the other. Sometimes it is writ large for the sake of the story, and sometimes it is an interesting microcosm of politics. I especially like the River Kingdoms/Galt border, where old-fashioned feudalism meets failed revolution.

Golarion is pretty mid-right centrist and it works well enough to describe an imperfect world. It is good that they have gone all-in on racial and sexual politics however. In a world with polymorph and Aasimar and weird, weird people, it is fitting that most people are becoming indifferent to these things.

I'm not sure how much that's "mid-right centrist" and how much that's just trying to fit in mostly medieval/renaissance politics since those are fantasy staples.


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Werebat wrote:

Eberron is far more inclusive of race and culture than Golarion, regardless of "intent".

There is no question that Paizo really TRIED to be inclusive, or progressive, or whatever adjective you want to use to mean "accepting of and welcoming to people with traits outside of the mainstream".

That isn't what I asked about, though. I asked about which setting really WAS more inclusive, not which one TRIED to be more inclusive.

WRT the LGBTQ community, Golarion offers officially LGBTQ NPCs in positions of power and authority. WRT women, Golarion offers female NPCs in positions of power and authority.

But Eberron does that too. Changelings are by their very nature physically genderfluid, able to become male or female, cis-gender or trans-gender, or anything along a whole spectrum of sex and gender, at will. Warforged are asexual beings (and I am not certain that even Golarion has featured any overtly asexual beings in positions of power and authority) who (mostly) lack gender.

Meanwhile, Eberron's version of the Catholic Church is run by a young woman, the Blood of Vol was founded by a female, and there are several nations and Houses led by females.

So these are mostly a wash.

Now imagine that you are a foreigner, a non-White foreigner, sitting down to play an RPG.

Both campaign settings let you play humans of various ethnicities and cultures. While some of these may superficially resemble real-world ethnicities and cultures, none are exact matches, so this is a wash.

But look more closely. One of the campaign settings features humanoids -- people -- whose identity as people is so denigrated that they seem to exist simply to be killed by the heroes, their lives, land, and property forfeit to members of the PC races by virtue of their race. These people have little or no culture to speak of, no history of import, no contributions to the world they live in. They are "critters" who exist to be slain by their racial superiors.

The other setting has those same...

I guess if you think that "inclusive by metaphor" is better or more important than "inclusive by inclusion", then Eberron wins? That seems to be your focus.

I know I've seen a lot of people talk about how pleased they are to see direct representation in Golarion - particularly LGBTQ people, but others as well - the black iconic paladin has been cited, for example.
I've never anyone LGBTQ complaining about the lack of a fantasy race that matched their orientation/gender identity. I could have missed it, of course.

But if that's the approach that works better for you, that's great. I don't think it really needs to be a competition.

I also think you're handwaving away a lot of differences as "that's a wash", but I'm not enough of an expert on Eberron (or Golarion for that matter) to speak to details.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:

One of the problems in the US is that there's no way for the Speaker of the House to bring recalcitrant members of his own party in line, but there's a problem in the UK Parliament that there are no ways for the local riding to bring pressure to bear on an MP who doesn't seem to care about his constituents.

As an aside, many of the methods that used to exist to reward or punish members in the US have been removed, largely as "good governance". "Earmarks" being a recently removed example. It's been argued fairly persuasively that this at least exacerbates some of our recent problems.


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Sissyl wrote:
Most referenda are held as advisory, meaning they have no legal weight. I imagine this is one such. The price to pay for ignoring it remains, of course, which Theresa May will find unless she follows through. All in all, she needs to decide if staying in the EU is worth her future career.

She also needs to decide if leaving is worth her future career. The backlash when this doesn't work out like all the rosy scenarios suggested is likely to be harsh.

And it's not even just her decision. Would Parliament pass such an act, even if she called for a vote? She's in a hell of a bind.


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Werebat wrote:

I've been discussing with friends which of the two campaign settings -- Pathfinder's Golarion and D&D's Eberron -- is the more "progressive"? By this I mean which one is more inclusive and inviting for a wider spectrum of players.

For example, Golarion clearly appeals to the LGBTQ community, with NPCs who are specifically LGBTQ.

On the other hand, Eberron has an entire race (changelings), who are by definition genderfluid beings who can choose to be physically male, physically female, and/or of any sexual orientation and gender identity.

Meanwhile, Eberron goes to great pains to explain that no monster is "always" a given alignment, and nonstandard alignments for humanoids such as goblins and orcs seem to be very common, as opposed to Golarion, where goblinoids and orcs are much more likely to be "evil" and savage.

Moreover, Eberron gives these humanoids rich cultural histories, and does not resort to relegating them to being the "other". It would seem that those of different cultural identities in the real would might be more comfortable playing in the Eberron setting, where "humanoid" races (who are thinly veiled fantasy stand-ins for people of ethnicities other than Caucasian) are treated with more dignity and respect. Goblins in Golarion are fire-obsessed lunatics, while in Eberron they once ruled an empire and are in fact the "first people" of the campaign mainland.

What do you think?

I'd say a world that gives you the opportunity to play actual humans of different races and cultural identities is at least as progressive as one which relies on humanoid races as thinly veiled fantasy stand-ins. Golarion certainly isn't flawless, but I like its approach better than "You want to play someone from a traditional Arabic-style culture? Sure, our Arabs are lizardfolk. You can play one of them."


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swoosh wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
The way you can tell is that none of Eberron's changes are the kind that have produced the backlash from recidivist players the way Paizo's have.

Most of the backlash I've seen regarding Paizo races have had very little to do with progressivism though. More like "these goblins are too comical" type complaints.

In fact Paizo plays most of its stuff pretty straight, so outside ouliers like that I haven't really seen any sort of backlash (or at least 'recidivist' backlash.) Certainly not as much as I've seen people complain about some of Eberron's eccentricities when it was new.

Most of the regressive backlash to Paizo hasn't been about races, it's been about the individual characters. NPCs of various LGBTQ flavors.

Different context.


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Crusinos wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

I'll take it seriously the day they actually stick it on a probe and try it out...

And then if it works, I'll start demanding a Pluto orbiter.

They won't do that until they figure out how it works. After all, the last thing you want is to find out too late that the engines you just sent up generate black holes in zero gravity. And when you can't explain the physics behind how something works, you can't rule that out.

You don't understand scientists at all do you?

Of course they'd build one and try it just to see what happens. How else are they going to find out how it works? Or if it works.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Crusinos wrote:
Simple solution: The third law of thermodynamics as science understands it is wrong. It's not the only one, but it's the most glaring example.

The third law? ("The entropy of a perfect crystal at absolute zero is exactly equal to zero.") What the frack does entropy have to do with it?

The laws that this breaks are Newton's third law and, perhaps more importantly, the law of conservation of momentum. The second is more important because conservation of momentum is tied to one of the Noetherian symmetries. We can prove mathematically that if the laws of physics are consistent across space, then momentum is conserved -- which means that if the Em-drive works as advertised, then the laws of physics are not the same everywhere in the universe. (And since space and time are hard to separate, the law of conservation of energy is likely to vanish, too.)

... and boy will that put the cat amongst the pigeons when the astrophysicists start working the implications of that one out.

I mean, yeah, it's possible that any given scientific theory as we understand it is wrong, but conservation laws are like a knitted sweater; when you start pulling seriously on a snag, the whole thing unravels.

It's still far, far more likely that we're seeing experimental error here.


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Irontruth wrote:
So, there's only one actual definition and we're all using the same one then.

I don't understand.

Are you also using the literal one where only actual greasepaint and deliberate mockery counts? Because I wasn't.


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Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
I think that's an excellent idea. I would love to stop having people accuse me with strawmen of their own creation.

How about we all drop it and not in the passive aggressive "I'll stop because you're wrong" way either?

I suspect that a lot of this go-round is due to Aranna using a different definition of "blackface" than I am, or I suspect you are. Makes it hard to communicate.

Are there two types of blackface?
From earlier
Aranna wrote:
Black face is when an actor smears black paint over their face to look like a caricature of a black person. This is accompanied by extremely stereotyped acting to highlight the negative aspects of the race they are insulting.

IOW, only the actual literal original minstrel show version.

The more metaphorical use for any portrayal of a black character by a white person isn't what she's considering.


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Irontruth wrote:
I think that's an excellent idea. I would love to stop having people accuse me with strawmen of their own creation.

How about we all drop it and not in the passive aggressive "I'll stop because you're wrong" way either?

I suspect that a lot of this go-round is due to Aranna using a different definition of "blackface" than I am, or I suspect you are. Makes it hard to communicate.


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John Napier 698 wrote:

I have an interesting side point to consider. If Star Wars: Rebels is considered canon, in that it is owned by Disney, does that mean that Grand Admiral Thrawn is also canon? Being that Thrawn is a character in Rebels Season 3.

And if Thrawn is considered canon now, does that mean that any work that contains the Grand Admiral is also canon, at least until a decision is definitively made?

No.

Luke is Canon. Not every work that contains Luke is canon.

Thrawn's appearances in Rebels are canon. Appearances in non-canon works are not.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I find it incredibly hard to believe that someone could see this as positive in any way without being indoctrinated to do so.

Check out this Washington Post article

During an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, Carl Higbie said a registry proposal being discussed by Trump’s immigration advisers would be legal and would “hold constitutional muster.”

“We’ve done it with Iran back awhile ago. We did it during World War II with the Japanese,” said Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and until Nov. 9, the spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

Of course what we did to the Japanese in WWII was later found unConstitutional

Fergie wrote:


The big difference I see today is that at least half the country (hopefully even more) finds racist, sexist, and other types of bigoted policies abhorrent, and as demographics change, this is more true everyday. I can't say more without this becoming too political, but there are people in every town and city who won't tolerate fascist garbage, and will fight against it.

I would have agreed a couple weeks ago.

Things can swing back. We seem to be in something of a backlash period at the moment.
It's also quite possible for the effects of those demographics changes to switch. One common way to achieve higher status in a racially divided society is to join those at the top kicking those down at the bottom. Abuse can teach the abused to abuse, instead of teaching them to accept others.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

Not exactly an LGBT thing, but I have something that's kind of scary. I'll try to keep it short. This is the closest thread I have to anything that might offer support in regards to this though, which is why I am posting it here.

This is a REAL thing happening in our time, and it is actually relevant.

George Takei, who is normally known in regards to his LGBT activism, has spoken in regards to this.

Georg Takei - Have we learned nothing?

Now, right now they are talking registry, though they had an open reference to a precedence being set by the Japanese internment camps of WWII.

There are those of you who may know why this might send a cold chill stabbing through my heart.

Some may not realize how close to your home this can hit. I don't want to think overly about it, but when I do, it scares the wits out of me.

I hope the internment does NOT happen. I don't know if the US would be any different with people now than in the past. When it happened before, very few were willing to stand up for the Japanese-Americans and offer them shelter...I don't know if there is anyone that someone could turn to today, if it were to happen under Trump.

I know we offer support for those in these forums, but how prepared would those in this thread be to actually helping someone in what could be life/death and property if internment becomes a reality in the US in the near future. Be aware, helping someone could result in prison time, a felony conviction, loss of property and health, and perhaps also being interred. It's bad ramifications for those who help.

However, if it happens, this is perhaps one of the worst forms of discrimination that could occur against another group that we've seen, with the exception of attempted genocide. I'm very worried that when that time comes (if it does) no one who is not affected will stand up against it. These people will need a LOT of support...

Another response to such talk of registries - from the head of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League:
Quote:
that if one day in these United States, if one day Muslim-Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim.


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John Napier 698 wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

At present I do a lot of solo traveling. In the scenario described in this thread, I would have to quit doing that. After all, "Never split the party!"

"What? We split the party? Oh, man. We are so screwed!"

"Let's split up. We can be spread over more ground that way."


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John Napier 698 wrote:
John Napier 698 wrote:

"Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time."

( An extra 300 XP for knowing who said that quote and the movie it came from. Come on, step up. )

Since it has been over an hour, the answer, class, is Ben "Obi-wan" Kenobi from Star Wars Episode 4. Nobody gets the bonus XP.

You missed my earlier post. Perhaps it was too subtle.

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