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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 19,459 posts (20,298 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 7 aliases.


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It's a favorite of mine. Attributed to the physicist Wolfgang Pauli as "That is not only not right, it is not even wrong."


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thaX wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:


thaX wrote:
I see things like this in the news and wonder how anyone believes anything he or his ilk say.
Yes, if you base your world view on propaganda then everything you say is completely logical. It's just that you are logically responding to a fantasy world.

I am glad we agree on something, though what that fantasy is may be different according to our point of view.

Is there some sort of change in the global environment? Why, yes, all the time!

Did man make it worse or can they make it better? Inconclusive and likely did not and can not.

I ask again: Do you disagree with the scientific understanding of greenhouse gasses and how they affect temperature?

Do you disagree with measurements showing the rise in carbon (one of those greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere, roughly tracking the increase in human emissions?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Scythia wrote:

So, bearing false witness by breaking her oath (most likely sworn on a bible), and theft by way of drawing a salary for a job she refuses to do.

Those who think themselves righteous are rarely so.
So, the exact people who claim to have a monopoly on "objective morality" are the ones who are most comfortable lying, stealing, etc. -- because they can just turn around and re-interpret scripture and/or claim to have a revelation or repentance or whatever. Fascinating.

Lying for the Lord has a long and distinguished history. :)


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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.


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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.


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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).


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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."


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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.


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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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memorax wrote:

No one saying never ever alter DCs or occasionally make it harder for the players far from it. It's when it's done all the time. Unless the group is really new to rpgs. Trust us we know it. For the most part players are understanding. If it happens consistently and constantly chances are the players are going to leave. Or not even bother chasing down the BBEG. If skill ranks or dice rolls don't matter to a DM because he or she wants to tell her story. No matter what were not going to make a wasted effort.

As for what it says in the books on what Dms can do it can say to the ends of time that the DM is god. Some players dare I say most are not going to put up with a DM who abuses his right as a DM. Reference every edition of D&D along with any other rpg. If the players are not having fun and feel frustrated at the table pointing to some "holy text" in the DMG is not going to make us suddenly feel like were having more fun . I think some in the hobby forget or ignore that it's supposed to be advice and not the gospel truth on being a DM.

Players aren't going to put up with a lousy GM, if they have any choice.

Whether that GM is fudging dice rolls, changing DCs, or playing everything strictly by the books. I've had good and bad GMs who did both.


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There's also a tendency for people to grab onto the one example of something a GM does and assume the entire game is nothing but that.
Bend the rules once to keep a BBG alive and obviously the entire game is nothing but the GM reading a story to you.

I've played with GMs who've done similar things on occasion and still let the players drive the plot off in entirely different directions. I've also played with GMs who'd never dream of fudging any rules or combat results and still road you right down the rails to their planned end.

I can tell you which I had more fun with.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Larkspire wrote:

Point buy is better because it's fair.

Random rolling is too much like real life :D , No one wants to play a s%!# hand....or be arbitrarily outdone by some luck sack.
I've played since 1st edition...and the options just keep getting better.Let us not forget the disappointment of realizing that the turd you just rolled won't qualify for Ranger...the class you wanted to be...because of the ability score requirements.
There was a time when "Role-playing" WAS customization...i.e. it's all you had to customize with.
With the advent of non weapon proficiencies...and later, feats the player gained a new way to enjoy the game...by trying out different mechanical builds and combo-ing abilities in new ways.
The game now has synergy.
Personally, I love to see a new build come together over the course of a campaign.
the fact that the games mechanics can be explored and enjoyed in and of themselves, is a feature, not a flaw.
OTOH, that so much of the creativity is now invested in the build has its drawbacks. It often seems you can't be as creative during play. That cool idea you came up with - there's a feat for that and if you don't have it's pretty pointless to try.

Indeed this is a huge flaw in the current system. Feats are restrictive rather than supplementary.

A feat should enable you to do something crazy freaking awesome or make you significantly better at something you can normally do.

Right now most feats [except caster feats that is >_<] tend to restrict simple things someone should be able to do.

Yeah, right now there's far too many things locked behind a feat or ability-gate that really shouldn't be. I think my favorite example of that is Helpless Prisoner. Yes, it takes a feat to bluff a guard into loosening your bonds after you've been captured. And only gnomes have the racial skill to do it.

With a potential penalty. And it might backfire. And it doesn't even get you out, but just gets a bonus on the escape check.

Not the Worst Feat Ever(tm), but only because the competition is stiff.

The official rules for using the feat are probably harsher than I would have house-ruled trying to do it without the feat.


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And this is why I really don't like 3d6 in order.

We've got my -8(actually lower, since I've got a 5 Cha) point buy equivalent character, along with Rynjin's 25 pb character.

At this point, I really am just going to get him killed off and reroll.

1E DMG wrote:
While it is possible to generate some fairly playable characters by rolling 3d6, there is often an extended period of attempts at finding a suitable one due to quirks of the dice. Furthermore, these rather marginal characters tend to have short life expectancy -- which tends to discourage new players, as doesn't does having to make do with some character of a race and/or class which he or she really can't or won't identify with. ... it is recommended that the following systems be used.


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Yeah, it's all cool and tough and old school and everything until you actually play it.
Str: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 1) = 7
Dex: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 2, 4) = 9
Con: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 1) = 7
Int: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 6) = 12
Wis: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 6) = 13
Cha: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 2, 1) = 5

Plus the whole thing about not being able to pick what character (class or otherwise) you want to play, since the stats are in order.

Of course, the simple solution is just to get your characters killed off quickly until you get a decent set of stats. Take the DCC approach.

It might be fun to combine 3d6 (not in order) with the everybody rolls picks from the set of rolled stats approach.

Btw, I think you're the guilty stronger character and I'm jealous weak one. :)


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Orthos wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I love roundabouts. Often I'll go around a couple of times just to relax and have plenty of time to figure out which exit to use.

I've got no idea how the multilane ones work though. Don't you just get trapped in the inner circle?

Why would there even be multiple lanes in a roundabout? Is there something in the middle that people want to go to?
I've only seen them as connected to multi-lane roads, and the outer lanes of the roundabout don't go all the way around.

Well, the outer lanes do go all the way around, but you're not supposed to use them to go all the way around. At least the ones I've seen.

If there are North, East, South and West entrances to the Roundabout, you'd use the outer lane to go from North to West or possibly to South, but the inner optionally for South and definitely for West or a U-Turn. OTOH, the guy coming from the West needs to do the same, but shifted by one, so the outer loop goes all the way.

At least that's how two lanes are supposed to work. And seems to me you're still crossing traffic to get from the inner to an exit.

Paris apparently has a 12 lane rotary and I don't even want to know.


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I love roundabouts. Often I'll go around a couple of times just to relax and have plenty of time to figure out which exit to use.

I've got no idea how the multilane ones work though. Don't you just get trapped in the inner circle?


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Bill Dunn wrote:
AntiDjinn wrote:
Knowing your party's take 10 numbers for various skills is a great tool for a DM to set the DC's for a skill check or encounter. The take 10 number is that "just under 50%" mark for a DC. It is also a good way to waive a roll entirely when there is no reasonable way a trained person should fail a check (or when you didn't intend for a specific minor dice roll to derail an entire adventure): "If you are trained in knowledge, local, then you have heard of this guy" is the same as saying "The DC on the knowledge local check to recognize his name is under your take 10 for the skill so we don't have to wait while you pull out your phone, boot up your dice rolling app, then spend 30 seconds staring at the screen and doing math in your head before telling me the result."
I agree that knowing a PC's take 10 results can be helpful because it does allow a GM to waive rolling lots of situations. But I wouldn't use it to set the DC itself, at least not very often. I'm in the camp that DCs are what they are and should be set independently of the specifics of the PCs as much as possible.

Yes and no. To some extent you have to design what things are to match what the PCs are capable of. The sheer glass wall shouldn't become a DC 15 just because the PCs are low level, but at the same time you have to take into account that the sheer glass wall is a absolute barrier at low level and only a minor annoyance at high levels.


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Aranna wrote:
One thing that I came across when doing climate googling is that CO2 is a mild greenhouse gas... the extreme greenhouse gas is water vapor. So WHY on this green earth are environmentalists pushing Fuel Cell engines which produce STEAM?! Isn't that like saying "We can save the world from this heat spell by Burning Everything to Ash?"

Yes and no. There are more factors involved.

Simply put, air can only hold so much water vapor. Add more and it just condenses out. Carbon has no such limitation (or at least we're nowhere near it, I'm not sure).

Methane is also a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon, but it also doesn't stay in the atmosphere as long. The problem with carbon is a long-term one. The carbon we're adding to the atmosphere now will be warming the planet for centuries.


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Even beyond that, it's not really relevant whether the cool scene is required for the plot or not (In the airship case, there may well be another way to forward the plot - to track the airship down or otherwise intercept the bad guys later).

It's still a cool pulpy scene and having someone fall to their death with one missed roll isn't a cool pulpy way to resolve it. Nor is everyone deciding not to bother because you guy probably won't make the jump and they don't want him to die or be left out of the next session.

That's why you apply the fail forward approach. Consequences for failure, but consequences that lead to another exciting scene rather than instant death.


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That's not the intent, as I understand it.
Take 10 isn't supposed to be a minimum. It's not supposed to be the better of Take 10 and a roll. You get your choice and stick with it.
Reactive Perception checks, for example. You don't automatically get a 10 and then roll if that doesn't make it. You can't retry Knowledge checks anyway, so it doesn't make sense to Take 10 then automatically roll if it fails.

In some cases, without time pressure, when you can try again, you could Take 10 and then roll if that doesn't work.


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thaX wrote:

To the Levy at New Orleans, there was a planned levy system that was to be put in place by the team of engineers approved by the federal government that would have held by diverting water around the city. That was halted because of environmental concerns of displacing a particular species from their habitat if the water would have been diverted. The then current levy that failed could not hold the pressure that the diversion would have eased.

Why is it being looked at from three to five year intervoles. As another has pointed out three pages back, the 30's was hotter than anything we are experiencing now, it was the hottest decade in record.

Well, the poster then didn't offer any support for the 30s being the hottest on record either. Poking around a little bit, the source for that seems to be record highs in the US in the 30s, still surpassed by the last decade or so, but more importantly not global.

As for the levees, without more information, I can't even find anything to debunk. I can point at the wiki entry claiming funding, rather than environmental problems:

Quote:

From 2001 through 2005, the Bush administration battled with Congress to cut a total of approximately 67% from the budgetary requests from the Corps of Engineers for levee augmentation projects in the New Orleans area, but ultimately settled with Congress on a 50% cut in these budgetary requests. In February 2004, Naomi stated that, "I've got at least six levee construction contracts (in the New Orleans area where funding has been cut) that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about US$5 Million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."

Even as the Bush administration was cutting the Corps of Engineers' budget, many were criticizing the administration for not cutting the budget more. The New York Times, in particular, published several editorials criticizing the large size of the $17 Billion Corps budget, and called for the Senate to cut, "pork," in S. 728, which would have provided $512 Million in funding for hurricane protection projects in southern Louisiana.


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Samnell wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
the very D&D-named Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia
One of my colleagues and I took the schoolkids on a field trip there once. I don't recall it being particularly dismal, though. And maybe it was a dry day, but the section we were in wasn't too swampy, either.
It was named back when Europeans considered American swamps basically wet Mordor. They thought you got malaria and some other tropical diseases by breathing miasmas*, not from mosquitoes. So even the air was trying to kill you in there.

Well in fairness, even though they had the mechanism wrong, swamps were damn unhealthy places to live. That it was bugs instead of bad air doesn't really change that.


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Orthos wrote:

Bikes are a road hazard. They are incapable of keeping up with the flow of traffic, obstruct the road, and as you said are a risk by their presence.

At the very least, a cyclist should stop and get off the road until traffic has passed.

In other words - biking on the road is banned.

Except possibly in the most deserted places. Stopping and getting off the bike every time a car is spotted is far riskier than just continuing predictably. And it's not always even possible to get off the road.


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Orthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Sidewalks, especially busy ones, are not necessarily safe places for a bike to ride, depending on how many people and objects are on the sidewalk and the state of disrepair and so forth. in some jurisdictions you're actually supposed to walk your bike when on the sidewalk, not ride it.
Sidewalks also don't always exist.

My opinion on that is that if there are people on the sidewalk, yes you should get off the bike and walk it. "No bikes on sidewalks" is a stupid law (though that's not an excuse to break it, I would highly support efforts to repeal it), and any bike rider who doesn't get off and walk when pedestrians are in the way deserves the assault charge coming to them.

If there is no sidewalk, walk in the grass.

If there is vehicle traffic, get off the road and ride; if you can't do that, get off and walk the bike.

So road bikes should be banned, basically. You also shouldn't be able to walk anywhere in the winter, except in those places with nice sidewalks. Or at all in places without walkable grass by the roadside.

Currently the law treats bikes as vehicles and puts them in the road.


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Sissyl wrote:

So if various parts of the environmental lobby have advocated all these things, and I don't see any particular squabble among them about any of it, I can't claim any of it is true?

Get over yourself.

Fact remains, the environmentalist lobby is quite willing to take very big risks, and make us all pay huge sums, to save the world from climate change.

Or, I suppose they aren't, either, ZN?

It is very interesting that ANY sort of argument about what the environmentalist lobby is trying to do gets shot down by "that's not at all what they want, and if they do, it's just a small group".

Primitive reasoning.

Not primitive reasoning. You're basically saying "Some extremists within the environmental movement make suggestions that don't mesh with some other suggestions from within the environmental movement."

Those arguing for near term global scale geo-engineering efforts are far from mainstream environmentalists. Those arguing against nuclear power are much more mainstream, but certainly not 100%. Overlap between the groups hasn't been shown and it needs to be if you want to make accusations of hypocrisy or whatever it is you're claiming.

And frankly if you haven't seen squabbles about orbital lenses it's because you haven't been looking. Or possibly because it's so fringe that no one's even bothering to fight it.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Sidewalks, especially busy ones, are not necessarily safe places for a bike to ride, depending on how many people and objects are on the sidewalk and the state of disrepair and so forth. in some jurisdictions you're actually supposed to walk your bike when on the sidewalk, not ride it.

Sidewalks also don't always exist.


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I believe it's:

Quote:
When Durkon next returns home, he will bring death and destruction to us all.

Though we don't see the actual prophecy, just the report of it to the high priest.


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Sissyl wrote:
So, if we have all this temperature rise, and nuclear energy doesn't emit CO2, why is the environmental lobby against nuclear power? Aren't we at the point where we need to grasp every single straw available to us? Considering that we could extend the fissile cycle extremely far into the future through the use of breed reactors. It just seems extremely counterintuitive, is all.

Because it has other problems. Because it's even slower to build up nuclear capacity than wind or solar, especially if you're taking the precautions needed to mitigate the other problems. Because "the environmental lobby" isn't a single unified thing.


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Rennaivx wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Orthos wrote:
As for bikes... I could rant for hours about bikes but it'd just piss people off so I'll spare us all the frustration.
And anyone who rides road bikes could rant for hours about cars.
As someone who mostly walks I can rant about both :-)
Here's one of life's most fundamental truths: when it comes to getting from place to place, everyone that's not you is an idiot. :)

George Carlin: Everyone driving slower than me is an idiot. Everyone driving faster than me is a maniac.


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Sissyl wrote:

The military and their deindividualization programs... Seriously. When you end up in a horrible situation, one that scars you, the things that make you an individual are what keep you sane. The collective instead sends the useless piece of itself, discarding it for new recruits. True story, the military in the US has spent uncountable billions trying to find out what separates those who get PTSD from those who do not. With absolutely no answer in sight. Maybe, duh, you should let people remain individuals? Or, failing that, I dunno, pay them a decent pension if you scar them for life?

Bluh.

Maybe. Though I agree with the decent pension part.

I'd want to see some research backing up the "deindividualization" allows people to get PTSD. People outside the military exposed to horrible situations also get PTSD.


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Orthos wrote:
As for bikes... I could rant for hours about bikes but it'd just piss people off so I'll spare us all the frustration.

And anyone who rides road bikes could rant for hours about cars.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:

I'm a clumsy cyclist and me struggling to get the bike moving for a second or two after a legal stop is still just as annoying to motorists if not more so. I still do it though, if other folks have right of way.

In other words, there's no way to win.

Also, I have no idea how passing through the lot of a gas station that's currently open could possibly be trespassing. People pass through every day to get gas, that's the point of a gas station lot. People pass through to turn around on roads. Arguing, doing a three point turn in someone's private driveway is more likely to be "trespassing" even though you're only there for three seconds and just to turn around. A law like that would be unreasonable, and doesn't appear to exist where I live.

The "Gas Station Right" is illegal in many places, but it's a specific law, not trespassing.


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Krensky wrote:

And that attitude is why no one like bicyclists.

Stop signs are not optional because you don't feel like spending the calories to regain your speed.

Lot cutting isn't illegal everywhere, but it is in lots of places under the motor vehicle code and it really isn't a stretch to call it trespassing elsewhere.

OTOH, it's very common for cars to make "rolling stops" at stop signs as well, when there isn't traffic. Bikes getting down to the same speed are barely slowing down. :)

I ride with a hefty dose of caution, but I certainly don't stop and put my feet down at every stop sign. Unless someone else has the right of way, of course.

In fact, if someone else is coming, but I have the right of way and stop completely anyway, they're likely to be even more annoyed, since it'll take me noticeably longer to get through the intersection.


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I am kind of curious as to the source of the "Katrina affected the global climate" claim. That one's out there, even by denier standards.

At least I can look at the temperature claim and see that it was true, if you pick the right starting years and play a few tricks with averages, though it's getting harder with every passing record year.

BTW LazarX, each year isn't hotter than the one preceding it. There are ups and downs, even in the 5 year average, but the overall trend is definitely up. 2014 was a record and 2015 is on track to be another, though that could change. 2013 wasn't as hot as 2010 though and 2011 isn't in the top 10.

When you look at something as large as overall climate change, you don't single out a single day, month, or year, it's the average trends which tell the tale, and the average is going UP. For every step it takes back, it's moving 2-3 forward.
Granted. But that makes the phrasing you chose doubly unfortunate. Not only was it wrong, but also irrelevant.... And you know why.
Aren't you mixing people up now? It was ThaX that said
thaX wrote:
Hurricane Katrina changed a lot of the weather pattern ten years ago,
, LazarX said
LazarX wrote:
Hurricane Katrina did not change our weather patterns. Hurricane Katrina, and storms like Sandy are THE RESULT of our changing weather patterns.

No. The other topic. LazarX said "but when you look at the overall curve of averages, each year, including this one is still hotter than the one preceding it." True in essence since trends are rising, but not every year hotter than the previous. Most likely just badly phrased.


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Otherwhere wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

As such, I can understand why someone would "artificially" raise skill DCs so they're still challenging. I think it's misguided, but I don't think it's railroading. Actually, I think people are really doing the OP's GM a disservice here with their exaggerated examples. He's not making these tasks impossible. He's making them require decent rolls (15-20). Basically, he's trying to insert artificial challenge to keep things 'interesting'.

But skill checks aren't supposed to be interesting. Most of the time, they're supposed to be shortcuts. It's not graceful, but it's how the system is built. Screwing players out of their skill ranks is a very clumsy attempt at fixing it.

It's is a balancing act, to be sure. I want to respect my player's choices to invest in a particular skill - but it's hard to pin down the reason behind their doing it that challenges me. Is it to "win the encounter"? or is it to realize a character? I prefer the latter, but have run into the former and do my best to not knee-jerk "up the DC to frak that guy!" when I GM.

Not always easy, especially when it trivializes encounters. Player: "Oh, that's a DC 25 trap? I'll just Take 10 on it." GM: S@+*!! I totally forgot his +15 + bonus on Disable Device! In game, it's too late. Prior to the game, however, I will make sure to put in a few DC 28+ traps. How else does the Player get to experience any value in investing in their skill if it becomes a mere hand-waving "yeah, your success is automatic, so let's just move on" unless they get a chance to roll every now and then?

Possibly because they don't want to deal with traps and just want to hand-wave them and move on?

Of course the answer here is simple: Ask them. Don't try to divine their motives from their skill numbers, just ask them what they're looking for. You may still not want to give it to them or it may conflict with what other players want from the game, but at least you know.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
There is consistency between games, and consistency between sessions. You do not want the exact same thing your character did last session to be resolved differently in this session.

Rarely do you do the "exact same thing".

Some level of consistency is nice, but locking everything down to a strict mechanic for this particular case, where this particular case is determined by abstracting away a whole ton of detail anyway, isn't always the best approach.
And then the rules approach leads to exceptions for the corner cases and special abilities to negate them or turn them to your advantage and suddenly you can't do it at all effectively unless you've built your character to exploit it.


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I am kind of curious as to the source of the "Katrina affected the global climate" claim. That one's out there, even by denier standards.

At least I can look at the temperature claim and see that it was true, if you pick the right starting years and play a few tricks with averages, though it's getting harder with every passing record year.

BTW LazarX, each year isn't hotter than the one preceding it. There are ups and downs, even in the 5 year average, but the overall trend is definitely up. 2014 was a record and 2015 is on track to be another, though that could change. 2013 wasn't as hot as 2010 though and 2011 isn't in the top 10.

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