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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 15,930 posts (16,729 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Fourshadow wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

It's not at all difficult to run a campaign where the sexuality of PCs doesn't matter.

-Skeld

Skeld's right! You just need to ask anybody who brings up those filthy topics to leave your house right now. It's thaaat simple. Duh!
Yep. All games must be family-friendly in my group...which consists of myself, 3 of my 5 sons and a few of their friends.

Note that "sexuality" does not have to be non family-friendly.

Romance is sexuality. Parents are sexuality. The married couple working the bar is sexuality.

It's not the same as "sexual activity".


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Well, what should we do exactly to 'not ignore' that trend, if indeed it is a trend?

Depends on whats cropping up.

The most important thing I've seen with taking political correctness too far is with ADD. If you take 4th graders as a singular population the average boy scores about 2 standard deviations below the average on attentiveness even though they're normal... for a boy.

Quote:
I'll assume for the sake of the argument that women are in fact on average more nurturing by nature, and ignore the possibility that men and women are equally nurturing as a result of socialization, but what exactly is that supposed to mean for our society?

That if you wind up with more women as home makers and elementary school teachers you don't try to change it?

a) I'm not a expert on statistics, but does it really make sense to say half the population is two standard deviations from the average?

b) The problem with not trying to change it is that wouldn't the same thing be true with the situation 50 years ago? Or 100? In every generation, there have been people arguing that the current gender distribution of occupations was the natural one. There have also been other people trying to remove barriers, whether formal legal ones or informal social pressure ones and so far it's continued to work - women have continued to move into occupations they used to be rare in.
Have we finally reached the natural state and further attempts to make sure that women have equal opportunities are in vain? How do we know the people claiming that now are any more right about it than those 20 years ago?


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Lemmy wrote:

There was talk that fanservice make men see women as nothing but sex toys, that it has a subtle but real negative effect on young women and and that it should only be done "in moderation". There were comparisons between fanservice and racism and homophonia, FFS.

1- There is no evidence that fanservice (or even porn) makes anyone sexist. It's a claim as empty as saying that video-games and rock n' roll music make people violent.
4- If you think a cartoon showing overly-sexualized fictional characters is as bad as thinking less of people just because of their ethnicity or sexual preference, then you really need to lower your consumption of PC-Holier-Than-Thou Koolaid...

1) These claims seem to get perilously close to saying that media or literary portrayals have no impact at all. That mass media has no effect on shaping culture or individuals. There's a lot of space between that and "violent video games don't turn people into murderers".

4)Fanservice (of the kind we're talking about) is sexist. It's an aspect of sexism. It's putting women's bodies on display draw male eyeballs. And money.
Is it, all by itself, the moral equivalent of all of racism or homophobia? No. Of course not. It's an aspect of sexism, so it's equivalent to an aspect of racism. Parallel to the way black people were portrayed in film and tv, rather than to all of racism.

Anime has some differences from Western sexualized portrayals. The anime girls are sexualized with plenty of shots designed to titillate, but are otherwise often competent well-developed characters. Western equivalents tended to be just there to be seen or for the male leads to rescue. That's been changing, but the differences are interesting.


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squankmuffin wrote:

Thanks for the Xcard idea. That could really help, actually. It wouldn't be too hard to work it in with breaks and things... we're quite flexible on breaks anyway, so it wouldn't be a big deal. And, as I said, other people have noticed so one of us could do it if it happened again.

The "player doesn't want to make a big thing about it" is more of a "player would rather people didn't know >thing< occured" than "player is being overly passive". It's tricky...

GM takes it as a bit of a joke, I think. GM isn't malicious. Just missed some subtext on this one.

I know "trigger" can be very much overused, but it's fairly valid in this case.

Another option, especially if the player in question really doesn't want to have >thing< associated with them, is to tell the GM you're not okay with it. That you don't want it in game, leaving the other player out entirely.


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Rhedyn wrote:

Something about the word trigger just sets me off.

Now answer this question: Are you obligated to use the word 'trigger' less because it discomforts me?

If whatever is "triggering" your friend could be in a PG movie, then the answer of what your GM should do about it, should be the same as the answer to the above question.

Depends on the reaction.

If for some bizarre reason you really do have serious panic attacks when you hear the word "trigger", you're damn right I'd avoid using it around you. If you find the word mildly irritating I won't, though I'd probably try to use other terms cause I'm a nice guy.

Not likely to come up in a game, since I don't think verbal description really set her off, but I've got a friend with a severe snake phobia. As in Throw you at the snake to delay and run screaming.
Snakes can appear in PG movies, but do I have an obligation to not surprise her with fake snakes, videos and pictures of snakes? I don't know about obligation, but I'm pretty much of a jerk if I do.


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Mark Hoover wrote:

A lot of people say "don't change my backstory because..." and suggest many reasons. I think the main reason is fear. The character is the one thing the player has full control of and if the GM changes some detail of the backstory it usurps that control.

But does it?

Luke Skywalker was destined to be a moody Jedi from the start. Why? Because he struggled with his feelings of vengeance against Vader BEFORE he knew that was his dad. Did the reveal change the story? Sure, but did it change LUKE? I think in the end his build remained intact but perhaps the character's motivations got knocked around a bit.

Modifying the backstory doesn't HAVE to mean changing the character.

I still feel though that changes should be worked out with the player. This is after all a coop game where the story is woven with the group. If however the GM wants to take a saintly father figure and make him a coward or a murderer, this only modifies the story. Your character remains firmly in your control.

Think from another angle: GMs can change any NPC from good to evil or back at a moment's notice. What if the sheriff that's been your patron this whole time was just using the party to wipe out her competition? Now that the monsters and goblins are cleared out the sheriff reveals she's secretly a dragon blooded sorcerer, a dragon disciple and has ties to a tribe of kobolds that have been living in the sewers while creating inroads into the local mines.

Suddenly the party returns from a mission out of town (that was supposed to kill them all) and finds that the kobold underlords have enslaved the town and put everyone to work in the mines. Their patron the sheriff is sitting on top of a mountain of fresh gold and the PCs would be hard-pressed to go toe-to-toe with her.

That's entirely in the purview of the GM. The players have no input on that, it modifies the story greatly and doesn't change the characters at all. Moreover it adds a new wrinkle that annoys some players and really grabs others. Why?

Because some...

It's not always about "fearing change". Nor does it necessarily have anything to do with a mechanical build.

Drastic changes to a character's backstory can and probably should affect the character. Having everything you believed about yourself kicked out from under you is going to do that. This can be a fun roleplaying experience or it can be a disaster, depending on whether you want to play out that experience. The same thing can happen with in-game experiences, of course, but the player has more control over those - though GM abuse of the PC's loved ones is hard to stop.
I've had characters become just miserable to play - guilt, depression and loss aren't fun things to play, especially if you're at all immersed in the character. And that was largely through their own actions - in reaction to GM plotlines, of course.

Things like the "Your child has become a vampire and you have to kill her" suggested above can really easily cross the line.


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TOZ wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Off topic, but since it was mentioned, one significant issue about poverty is how rich people and poor people view money.
You know, I bet we agree for completely different reasons.

Yeah, rich people view it as a tool to get more money. Poor people see it as a way to get food and a place to live. Really rich people see it as a status marker.

This isn't some philosophical difference. This is based on entirely on how much you have.

Now when you get to the middle class, and actually have some disposable income, the difference in how you view it philosophically might make an actual difference.


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DominusMegadeus wrote:

The problem with stopping after you hit it big is that you can afford a small house of your own and feed yourself (10gp/month) for 80 years (9600 gp) with the wealth you have by level 5 (10,500 gp).

That's if you completely retire and don't even bother to be a blacksmith or fix wagon wheels or something.

Yeah, adventuring for money always seemed like a silly idea in PF. It's an obvious starting motivation, but you're set for life very early on.

In games with less of a power (and thus loot) curve it can make sense, especially if you're encouraged to waste it in one fashion or another. The average sword and sorcery protagonist comes away from the story with a pouch of gold, enough to keep the wine flowing in the taverns for a few weeks and he doesn't carefully horde it to buy better gear for the next mission.


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Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
As for education being an end to itself, that is a ridiculous premise - education for the purpose of education is worthless.

Wish someone had told me that when I was reading all that Plato and Shakespeare.

Damn them! How dare they suggest that thinking is worthwhile!

If you were reading Plato and Shakespeare for the purpose of reading Plato and Shakespeare, then you were doing the opposite of thinking - you were absorbing without thinking.

I don't even know what that means.

Reading classic literature for its own sake is the opposite of thinking?


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Aranna wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
You mean the younger generations who haven't grown tired of the stories because they haven't seen them yet?
I am new to comics... the two I am following with interest are Ms Marvel (the new one, Kamala Khan) and Thor (the new Thor, the woman). I don't want to read about the dusty old heroes who held those names before, they don't matter... well Thor might later when he eventually reclaims the hammer, but for now this is her book. I may not be tired of the old stories, I am just not interested in most of them. I want a new hero. Someone I can read about as they grow into the role. It's people like me that will grow or kill the comic industry; we the new readers, the old readers are a shrinking group clinging to an ever smaller set of old fashioned heroes. This is why they want to reboot everything yet again. They want us to fall in love with the old heroes, so they are wiping the slate clean. Cleaning away their histories and restarting them anew. But I think that would only accelerate the alienation of old readers. I know some of you think my idea of just retiring the old to clear room for the new is a bad one. And I wonder, do you really prefer your old heroes to be reset? I mean you old fans should probably be the ones to decide the fate of your heroes reset or retired? Either way it seems the comic companies will give me my new stories. Which way is easier on you guys?

Forgive me, but judging by sales figures, I don't think you're typical, even of a new comics reader.

That said, everyone has their different tastes. As we can see by your experience, there are books out there for you, even without retiring the old heroes. (Well, Thor had to lose the hammer, but he's still around, certainly didn't retire from age.) If those newer titles actually do better and sales on the older titles drop enough, I'd expect older heroes to be dropped and replaced. In fact, we have seen that with many second string heroes. Though their sales eventually drop and the originals are often brought back.
That's all fine, I'm happy with it. (If not with all the individual choices. :)

What I don't think is a good idea is a blanket policy of retiring all heroes on a time schedule, regardless of their popularity.

I think reboots are really orthogonal to the real-time question. You could have reboots even if they decided to age in real-time. In fact, I'd expect it, since that would be the only way to bring back old heroes and I know they'd eventually do it. You could, in theory, have non-real time comics without reboots. Characters and teams can change to keep up with the times without actually changing the backstory. They've done it many times.

I also think you're wrong about the habits of new readers. I really doubt that new readers ignore the old characters. The ones that they were introduced to in cartoons and movies. The ones that still remain the best selling comics, often in multiple titles. Nor do all the old readers only read the classic heroes. Personally, most of what I'm reading is outside the Big Two, but I have been picking up the new Thor.


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Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER.
Very rarely; usually, the hospital writes it off if they can't collect the money.

Technically yes, but the hospital still has costs associated with that care. Those costs are passed on to those patients who can pay. Including you.

Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Collect unemployment.
Nope. Businesses pay into unemployment insurance.

Which raises the cost of doing business. Which costs are again passed on to customers. Like you.

Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Go to high school.
High school is a joke, and no small part of the reason is because it is free for the students. It has degenerated to the point that a high school diploma is an award for staying awake for 12 years.

Never mind. You're against public education at all. (Or maybe you think public elementary school is okay?)

Still, no point in discussing this with you.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.

The problem is that good engineers get paid six-figure salaries plus good benefits and in order to get engineering faculty the college has to pay competitively to private.

The pressure is even greater in computer science.

Same with medical faculty.

Where's the competition for Lit professors? It isn't there of course but the Union puts enormous pressure on the college to pay equally for academic tenure.

Which means, outside of a few specialized fields, college professors are way over paid. Hence the college bean-counters solution to use scabs... er I mean, adjunct or associate staff.

Most universities these days are much more administration heavy than they were in the past. Much higher percentage of the budget not going to faculty.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

That's another problem I see in the university system. Someone gives a test and the highest score is a 56. This enables the teacher to adjust the grades on a bell curve and avoid grade inflation. HOWEVER...think about what that means. It means the brightest and most brilliant student in your class...didn't even learn 60% of what you taught. They don't even know enough about what you just taught to be knowledgeable!

That's an absolute failure to teach right there. Sure, it keeps grade inflation down...but it also reflects that no one leaving that class knows WTH it was about.

It means nothing of the sort.

Unless you make the assumption that learning everything taught in class = 100% on the test. Which is a natural assumption to make, but doesn't always hold.

I had a physics professor back in my college days and he did that. He explained to us that he could design tests to put the average anywhere he wanted to and liked to put the average around 50%, because that gave more room to differentiate between the good students, rather than everyone being clustered above 80.

Maybe the 56% means no one learned what was taught. Maybe they did learn what was taught, but didn't extrapolate beyond what was taught into things they could have figured out on their own.

Grade inflation has nothing to do with grading on the curve or the relationship between the percent of answers you got right and the letter grade you finally get. That's far more likely to be tied to the difficulty of the test.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sure, it would be great if they could reliably turn out new characters that hit those heights, but they can't. And there's no reason to think that getting rid of the mainstays would change that.

Simply continuing to rely on the existing characters isn't going to help them any though, as the mainstays aren't all they used to be. This thread alone has talked about 2 different Batmans, 3 different Robins, 2 different Spidermans (+ a fair number of variants on Peter Parker's base story), 2 or 3 Green Lanterns, 2 Captain Americas, 2 Thors, and there was recently an entire multipage thread on the different X-Men over the years. All of that is before you get into the movie versions of all of these and other comic book characters. Trying to talk about any of these as if there is a consistent core character and story anymore for any of them is already extremely difficult. And it's just going to keep getting hard to justify the claim as time goes on. There is already less demand that Batman has to be Bruce Wayne or that Spiderman has to be Peter Parker. Done right, retiring Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne permanently is entirely plausible in that environment, especially if they couple it with the reprinting of the classic stories that feature the retired character that allow current readers to experience both stories without having to worry about continuity questions.

Short of a radical and complete reboot for everyone and literally starting over from scratch, I just don't see them doing much with the existing characters other than continuing the slow slide into a smaller and smaller niche. The older characters won't simply disappear over night, but they can and will continue to lose relevance across the general population, especially given the shifts in ages and cultures our country is facing. Let's face it; while Steve Rogers and Clark Kent made a very good Captain America and Superman for their time, everything about them is based on a time and an ethos that simply does not exist anymore....

I think the competition from other forms of entertainment is what's hurting comic sales. I don't think ditching their still top characters is going to fix that.

If Superman and Captain America aren't relevant anymore, why have they just had blockbuster movies? Why are they still top selling comics?


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N N 959 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

]If the player persists in saying, "I never pee because the rules don't say I have too", I might eventually apply penalties. More likely I'd just tell the player to stop being an idiot and stop playing with him if he persisted.

Or have his bladder rupture.

I'm at a complete loss as to why you think the GMs job is to make sure the player declares/concedes his character has used the bathroom? Is there some sort of unfair advantage a player receives for declaring such a thing?

Honestly, 99.5% of the time I'd just ignore it. Only if someone made a point of insisting that his character never needed to go, because the rules didn't say so, would it come up at all. At which point I'd laugh and tell him he still did, even if it wasn't covered in the rules. Only if he still persisted in arguing would it go any further.

Consequences for a player being an idiot.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quark blast wrote:
Educating kids beyond their INT is like giving me course work on quantum theory - it's a demonstrable waste of time and money. However well intentioned.
Right, but for all but a few people that have severe handicaps there's something thats not beyond their int that will give them a better life than burger flipping. They might not design their Flipsomatic robot replacement but they can learn how to fix it.

Somebody's got to flip the burgers. Or do all the other menial tasks.

We need to make that not a horrible life. I mean, it's a horrible mind-numbing job no matter what. We don't have to compound that by also making people doing it live in poverty.


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Quark Blast wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:


The real problem is keeping education away from the less intelligent. The poor/rich-divide argument has no merit.

Except that our current plan is largely based not on "intelligence", but on wealth/poverty.

Both on cost of college education and on quality of pre-college education.
Not true. If you're poor - like poverty line poor - you can get a full ride scholarship. Several from my public high school have/are doing just that. The one's the current system screws over are the ones that aren't quite middle class and not exceptionally intelligent (but still above average) - no free tuition/books/subsidized housing for them. They take it on the chin.

If you're poor, you face an awful lot of challenges just getting the basic education needed to be accepted to college in the first place. Best predictor of education attainment is wealth/poverty level.


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Matthew Morris wrote:

I think part of the problem with the 'big' characters is that, for better or worse, the companies are reluctant to disturb the status quo for long periods of time.

Most of the "Cap isn't Steve Rogers" storylines I've read for example, highlight that Steve Rogers is Cap. Bucky-cap is different than Steve, but the Man without the country storyline years ago showed that Steve is still Cap, even without the logo. The ideals that he represents don't go away if he's not in the red white and blue.

Likewise, John Walker's stint in the uniform in the 80s was showing that the uniform doesn't make the man.

Bruce is still Batman, even if you take his resources away. Dickbats, like BuckyCap, is different. If you had Buckycap, or Dickbats or SamCap for that matter, as Cap for ten or 15 years, you might find that they come into their own. (I think both Steve and BuckyCap could hold their own stories, as could Bruce and Dickbats, but I'm not in the industry.)

(Dick Grayson is the exception it seems, as he had a long and successful career and book as Nightwing, where Sam, Rhodey, John Henry, etc, never really got out from their 'sidekick' status. Which is a shame as I like Falcon, War Machine and Steel)

X-Factor's success, and niche, in the past has been that PAD could run with the characters no one wanted, and make them into characters people want. PAD redefined Quicksilver in one page with his PMS (Pietro Maximoff Syndrome) in X-factor, and he took Multiple Man, Rictor and Shatterstar and made them unique and interesting. (Shatterstar for frak's sake!) Likewise, when the previous incarnation of X-Factor ended, other writers actually fought over Monet. You'd never see the Powers that Be risk their 'a-list' characters under such revision. Even when it works (Another example would be PADs run on the Hulk, radically redefining the character) eventually status quo seems to rear its ugly head.

(Aside, I'm hoping Marvel keeps Wolverine dead for at least 10 years. Laura coming into her own, and...

They might come into their own, but I'd rather they did it as Dick did - in their own right, rather than in someone else's costume. I'd rather see Nightwing than Dickbats, other than in fairly short runs to show how he handles it and contrast with Bruce.

The problem with the big characters is that the status quo is popular. If the status quo stopped being popular, if people really did stop liking Peter Parker as Spiderman, Kal-El as Superman or Bruce Wayne as Batman and stopped buying those books, then the status quo would change. As long as they remain the popular characters, that's not going to happen - not as more than temporary storylines.

Which is fine by me.


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Lemmy wrote:

Why do we need to change old characters? If the new generation brings completely different characters, they are no longer the characters I love. If they have the same personality of their predecessors, what's the point of having a new generation?

It's not just a rehash of old stories. Every now and then we get truly great re-imaginings of the character and truly creative stories.

Besides, it's not a rehash if you're seeing/writing it for the first time, and not every reader/writer has been around since the golden age of comics.

I grew up loving the stories that star Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne and Kal-el (all of which I'd have never known if comics progressed in real time). If I stopped reading comics for a while and came back to find out all my favorite are dead/retired, I'd probably not even bother returning to comics.

Which isn't to say the alternate universes where the heroes are retired and replaced can't also be fun, as long as they stay as alternates.


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CWheezy wrote:
I think thejeff is just repeating what I am saying back at me, lol

Except I disagree with you.

By the time you reach 15th level each character in a 4 person party could have found around 480000gp worth of stuff. Twice WBL. Not 960000gp, which would be 4X. Since they will have missed some and used some up and sold some for half price and kept some, this should put their actual wealth at that point around 240K.

What I think you're saying is that they put in 4x as much, so that if you found it all you'd have 960K, which you'd sell to get 480K, but since you'll only find half of it and sell it all you'll be on track. Is that right?


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Aleron wrote:
Yeah, I love using character back-stories during games but there is also a disclaimer right at the start about it.

I'd be interested to see how you phrase this disclaimer.

"Thank you for putting all that work into writing the background, but now I'm going to ignore everything you wrote and rewrite it as I see fit"?

"I'm glad you created a background for the character you want to play, but now I'm going to turn it into the character I want you to play"?

I think that one was more in reference to "I'm going to use your background, which might include threats to or death of NPCs in it", rather than "I'm going to change everything.


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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
LazarX wrote:
First time I ever heard about the issue was from a NYC "Man's Rights" group which put for the notion that manspreading is as essential a right as breastfeeding. (Something which had been a focus of heated debate some years past.)

Surely this is an exaggeration. Hopefully they are not serious.

I am afraid I have little interest in the men's movement. Its not that I disapprove, its just not for me. I read Iron John ages ago, but don't buy all the Jungian stuff.

And I went to one meeting of a group called "Men Against Sexual Assault", partly prompted by a friend nearly getting raped. It seemed to me it was a bunch of the men in Brisbane least likely to commit sexual assault talking about how to prevent it. Great aim, less so the execution. If I feel the need to get in touch with my masculinity I do martial arts.

The modern Men's Rights Movement may have spun off from the Jungian Iron John stuff, but it's a very different animal.


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Krensky wrote:

I wasn't referring to "Wow theyre hot, I'll be in my bunk" as much as "Aieee! What has been seen can not be unseen!"

I suppose I should sit down and flip the sentence around a bit so the logic more clearly indicates that.

In the meantime, put some clothes on, damn it! ;)

Generally, once you've been in the nudist area for awhile, it wears off, you stop freaking out about it in either direction and go on with whatever you're doing there.

Once nudity isn't a rare exception, it stops being a big deal, even if it is some dude's fat hairy butt.


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Sissyl wrote:
Thejeff: The problem of basing it off economic need is that it becomes an economic drain on the person in question. Take the hemophiliac. Should he be forced to spend every dollar he might ever get his hands on to survive, with the state only going in when he absolutely can't survive without help? Is it reasonable that a poorer hemophiliac should have to pay far less for the exact same treatment?

That's often the way it works in the US. Or did at least. There was an exception for those who needed kidney dialysis, they went automatically onto Medicaid. Possibly specific exceptions for other things, though I don't know about hemophilia. Otherwise, you only got government medical help if you were poor enough to get on Medicaid. Though you might have a job that got you good enough insurance.

ACA makes that a little easier, but I'm not sure how much.

Ideally, from my point of view, health care is best treated on a universal basis - which means government involvement the whole way. Experience and the examples of other countries shows that provides much better outcomes than the patchwork the US has now. Cheaper too.

For hemophilia specifically, I'd rather not see the economic drain, though it's pretty much the same argument for universal health care in general.


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Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Doesn't seem like a problem to you guys that a significant part of the population has extra expenses simply to deal with the absolute basics. If there is a disparity, shouldn't this be compensated via taxes?

Sissyl is trolling the statist liberals here, not actually thinking taxes should pay for extra food for larger people.

More generously, using a Reductio ad absurdum argument to hopefully make us realize that government shouldn't be doing so many of the things it is doing.

You know me so well, thejeff. Thank you for understanding. It's not quite the truth, however. Regarding how society should deal with different people having different needs, it is a complex issue whatever way you look at it. Thing is, BOTH views that "men should pay more for eating more food" and "you should pay the same since you're paying for a service" are quite defensible. Unless, of course, you take the approach that any different needs are the sole responsibility of the one with those needs. Hemophiliacs are an interesting case: The substances they require to survive are famously expensive, weighing in at millions per year. If you DO want the state to pay for that, you also have to decide on a point where it's not the state's business anymore, and further, you need a justification for the point chosen.

I am not quite as much of a Randian as some people here think I am. There are very legitimate areas the state should pay for, via taxes. I just find it strange that larger people get no sympathy from the liberal statists, when so many others do.

I do think people should be able to get enough food to survive and even thrive on, even if that requires government help. I don't think the finickyness of basing that assistance on individual size, metabolism, and whatever other factors go into caloric needs is worth the cost - in both money and intrusiveness. Much better just to make the assistance high enough that even the larger people will do alright.

As for hemophiliacs (and others with high medical costs, dialysis partients are the classic example), we're talking people who will not survive without help. If we do have the resources, that's a pretty straightforward case for the government stepping in.


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Randarak wrote:
I always wanted to hit Damian. With a chair. Arrogant little bastard.

He was, wasn't he.

The best times with Damian were when the facade cracked and you got to see the kid underneath.
The abused kid, desperate for his father's approval, with no clue about how to earn it. And Bruce with no clue about how to show it either.
Him finally bonding with Dick and even being willing to admit it. Almost.

I don't know if I'd say I liked Damian, but there was some really good stuff done with him and he played off the other characters very well.

I don't think he'd have worked well in the long run - he'd need to learn and grow up and I don't think he'd be as interesting that way. Worse if he didn't. Of course they're bringing him back, but I'm just going to pretend that's not real.


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Lemmy wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Doesn't seem like a problem to you guys that a significant part of the population has extra expenses simply to deal with the absolute basics. If there is a disparity, shouldn't this be compensated via taxes?

I'd rather we all had as few taxes as possible and everyone were able to pay for this stuff by themselves... But that's too unrealistic an expectation, so the government does have to provide free education, health care and other basic needs (sadly, the quality of public services varies quite widely from place to place).

If the only extra expenses someone has to afford is paying a bit more for bigger shoes or having to buy a second serving of fries, then that person is doing fine. The problem is when they can't afford to pay for food, potable water, electricity, health care, education, etc.

I don't mind paying more if I consume more. That's only fair. I just prefer to pay straight to the producer rather than paying the government, who then pays the producer.

Sissyl is trolling the statist liberals here, not actually thinking taxes should pay for extra food for larger people.

More generously, using a Reductio ad absurdum argument to hopefully make us realize that government shouldn't be doing so many of the things it is doing.


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Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:


'Busy' is the adjective that people keep applying to this GM, and I can't help but feel that 'busy' GMs need to stick to core PF only, never permit anything from 3.5, 3rd party, adventure paths/modules not currently being played, etc. If you don't have time to even talk to players outside of the game, you certainly don't have time to look into how those players might try to break your game. And breaking the game is the only reason players ask for stuff from outside sources.

You keep talking about this being from 3.5, which is true, but I really suspect most people wouldn't even think about it that way. Just that it was from a Paizo Pathfinder source. Says Pathfinder right on the cover, it's just that meant something different back then.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If you can squeeze over to make room for someone else to sit rather than stand, do so, even if you're less comfortable that way.
I stand so someone else can sit? How does that work out.

I said "squeeze over". If you really can't do that, then you can't. But everyone else in this thread is saying "Just ask", so I assume most people can.


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MagusJanus wrote:


And, actually, it's biologically impossible for corn to feed the world; humans don't possess the correct enzymes to digest corn. So, to be perfectly accurate, the wasted portion of the corn output is the portion humans eat.

And by the way: "humans don't possess the correct enzymes to digest corn"? Bwah-hah-hah!

Tell that to the Southern Native Americans. It was only a staple of their diet for thousands of years.
Corn does have a high cellulose skin, which we don't digest well, but properly chewed or ground we digest most of the kernel just fine.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Want? No.

If you "needed" the space, you wouldn't be able to make room when asked as others are saying.

That does not follow at all. Need comes in levels. I need oxygen more than I need to not do a rendition of a certain Tchaikovsky ballet but I still need both.

That guy posted above needs both seats. Whether he needs the entire two seats or if he can squeeze down to 1 1/2 seats is pretty meaningless.

Also, if its a matter of want instead of need, whose wants are more important? The women fit in the car, so by your own argument they don't need the space either. How do you compare them? More importantly since you're taking it upon yourself to tell someone else to correct their behavior your argument that their behavior is wrong needs to be better than two people want something so you can't have it. Saying that its X amouont of square feet per person ignores physics, and even making it proportional to size ignores ergonomics.

Hell, I "Need" to lie down and stretch out over three or four seats and throw my bag on another one. Who are you to tell me your need to sit at all is more important than mine to lie down?

If you really absolutely cannot physically fit in one seat, that's one thing. Other than extremely obese people, that's not generally true. If you can squeeze over to make room for someone else to sit rather than stand, do so, even if you're less comfortable that way.


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

That being said, I couldn't help but came back and post this one:

MTA Raises Fares Due to Budget Constraints, Has Money To Stop ‘Manspreading’

"New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced it is raising bus and subway fares due to budget constraints, a week after spending over $76,000 to stop 'manspreading.'"

Thanks, feminists!

While amusing, their budget is in the billions. That ad campaign had no effect on raising fares. It's a rounding error.

Given their apparent problems with overcrowding, if the campaign has any actual effect, it might actually help their budget problems.


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Arturius Fischer wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
It's more like, "you deserve X amount of space to talk, to walk, to sit, to be," and that amount differs based on a person's gender.

Or it, you know, differs based upon a person's size, since no two people are the exact same size or take up the exact same space, despite some people thinking that everyone should.

Of course, since there DOES tend to be an 'average size difference' between genders, some could instead think it's all a plot by 'the patriarchy' to oppress women by denying them an equal (non-adjusted) space and thus relegate them to 3rd class citizens or something. I dunno, I'm not up on all that hip lingo. What gets me is when it's called 'sexism' because the Accused doesn't think the same way as the Accuser and thus must be clearly wrong and/or doing it on purpose as part of a nefarious plot.

The clearest proof it's not some grant sexist plot by 'the patriarchy' (aside from Occam's Razor) is simply that if it WAS, the seats would all be Lazy Boy recliners with twin cupholders and built-in TV remotes. Or, if you prefer seriousness, seats about 1.5 times as big, which would incidentally give more room for women to be comfortable too. Hhhmmm.. Such a system doesn't really sound all that bad, come to think of it.

No one is saying it's some great sexist plot by the patriarchy or that the Accused is doing it on purpose as part of some nefarious plot.

That's a complete strawman.
Mechapoet has explicitly stated it's largely "most likely non-malicious in intent and unconscious".
Which doesn't mean it isn't worth trying to correct.

Arturius Fischer wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Concerning the bolded portion, which method would you consider more effective at correcting this issue:

1) Silence
2) Sharing information

3) Politely asking them to make room so that you can sit down. You're in a public social space. It's perfectly reasonable to use (and expect) social interaction to achieve your goals.

Which works for guys. And would work for women too, but it's harder. Men are, as has been said, generally larger and those taking up the extra space are probably on the large end of that. That makes them more intimidating and less approachable. Further women tend to be, as a result of nature, of socialization, or simply of good sense and caution, less aggressive about approaching strange men.

So most of these guys would probably move for women if asked, but women are less likely to ask than men.

As a result of the same gender dynamics we're talking about in the first place.

Maybe don't wait to be asked? If someone comes in and there isn't a lot of room, take the initiative to make space.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mechapoet wrote:
This is an observed, repeating, constant rift between how men and women behave in public space.

People are entitled to what they need. Need more space, take more space.

Yes. Men and women act differently in public. They are different. No patriarchy required.

Need? Yes.

Want? No.

If you "needed" the space, you wouldn't be able to make room when asked as others are saying.


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Freehold DM wrote:
LazarX wrote:
There may be biological reasons for some folks to spread out. It does not apply to the vast majority of those I see spreading those lower wings.
unless you are checking the meat and two veg of everyone you see, I am going to place this firmly in the bs category.

Seriously? Is this really a thing? Men really can't sit with their legs together?

How come I, who am a man for the record, possessing the relevant parts, have never noticed?

I'm not exactly a small person and I do tend to sprawl out when I can, but if it's crowded, I am still quite capable of making room without fuss or trouble. It might be less comfortable than sprawling, though not really for any reason related to my genitals, but not so much that I'd put other people out for my comfort.


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Terquem wrote:
What I can't seem to figure out, is how it is that when it comes to "planning" players are zealous in creating characters and disinterested in any other sort of planning that might come their way. Heck, in most of my games I can hardly even get the players to talk to each other, let alone hope they will come up with a plan, even to open a door.

Because PF is a character building game with an annoying interactive part bolted on. :)


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LazarX wrote:
I'm not so sure that manspreading is a gender issue as opposed to a general decline in civic values. Most manspreaders are essentially men who eschew the notion of common courtesy to their fellow passengers, if not actively revolting against it.

Given that there have been campaigns against it (under other names) and other bad subway behavior since before I was born, I doubt it has anything to do with a "general decline in civic values".


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

Well, they have had several Flash's and Green Lanterns and their time span of popularity seems around 10-15 years.

Aging character out doesn't seem to big of a problem to tell the truth...though maybe do it as a every 2-3 years = 1 year of comicbook time.

That way, with Spiderman from the 60's, he'd be around in his 30s now, which actually isn't that much off the mark (he's no longer in highschool, was married, even graduated from college I believe and had a real job!). Of course, that's before they tried to make it so that a aged PP could act like a high school student (riiiiight) with the OMD crud.

It would make more sense for him to retire and live happily ever after with MJ than some of the stuff they've pulled recently in Spiderman (though granted, for a while it was Doc Ock instead of Peter Parker's consciousness).

I don't have a problem with the idea of growing old and handing off to a new generation.

Until the New 52 reboot, we had Batman having aged gracefully, Dick Grayson going from Robin to Nightwing and finally becoming Batman himself. Bruce Wayne becoming a huge head of a Batman inc. group where other batmans would be organized in other cities...

Of course, that sort of just...disappeared with the New 52 reboot and Bruce Wayne was just being batman again.

But it's an example of the gaing and handing off the cloak....up until the New 52 and I think shows it could work with aging characters handing the cloak off to new characters.

Except not really. Batman stayed about the same age and was acting as Batman again. Dick only became Batman when Bruce was dead, though he did stay in the cowl afterwards. The Batman Inc thing stayed around through the transition. Most of the Bat family stayed basically intact. The only real change was Dick went back to Nightwing.

Batman's a great character. Dick's a fun one, but he doesn't have the depth that Bruce does. I would really have hated it if Bruce had retired in the 60s and died in the 80s and I never got to read any of it. (Since I'd assume strict aging, retiring characters policy would forbid reboots.)

Bruce is Batman. Others can take the role for a storyline, mostly to see how things would be different, but he's the iconic character. He can't be replaced.


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ShinHakkaider wrote:
That being said. There are GOOD retcons and there are AWFUL retcons. All retcons are not created equally...

Certainly. It's hard to extrapolate from fiction, where there isn't a "player" involved. It's more complicated and riskier when you're changing the backstory of someone else's character without consulting with them. Something you think is really cool may break the character's underpinnings.

Or it may work out just fine. Just something to be very careful with and be sure you know the player well enough to know what's actually important.


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

La Principessa likes to talk. A lot. Made me buy a cellphone and everything.

Anyway, when I was still in Brooklyn, she was talking about some dude in New Jersey, a steward in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and some of the difficulties that she's been having trying to recruit him to the revolutionary vanguard party. She tends to go on, and on, and on, at length, and I tried to quickly interject something about telling him about the work my NH commie club has been doing in solidarity with striking Communication Workers of America (CWA) and IBEW workers at FairPoint here in New England and she flipped out.

[Paraphrase] How dare you interrupt and speak over me?!? Rant, rant, rant. It's rude, self-centered and obnoxious. And you have to ask yourself, would I be interrupting if it were a man speaking?

So, I bit my tongue, apologized and listened to her rant for another five minutes. Then she winded down and started talking about something else entirely. Then she started talking about whatever was going on on Facebook. Finally, she says, "Oh wait a minute, what were you trying to say?" So I tell her and she brightens up. "Oh, I totally forgot, that's an excellent idea!" Yeah, I f@@~ing know.

Anyway, got back to NH and asked told Mrs. Comrade about it. "Oh no, Doodlebug, you do that to men, you do that to everyone."

See? I may be a rude, self-centered, obnoxious jerk, but I'm not a rude, sexist, self-centered, obnoxious jerk.

Just for reference, that's pretty common. As I understand it, men tend to interrupt and talk over both men and women, while women are less likely to. It's not sexist by intent, but does tend to wind up with women's voices being drowned out, particularly in meetings and the like.

Individual exceptions apply, of course. We're talking general trends here.


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Galnörag wrote:

A quick illustration of the last point:

Luke: My father and mother are dead, my Aunt told me so. My father died in the great war, he was an amazing pilot.
...
DV: "LUUUUKE I AM YOUR FATHER"
Luke: "Nooooooooooo"
...
Luke: "Hey Leia, remember 2 episodes ago when I was totally trying to make out with you... Yeah so we are brother and sister."

I suggest not waiting until after they get married to drop the reveal though.

It can work. It works better in literature, since it's usually set up from the beginning and there's no "player" who made the character one way and then got it changed out from under him.

Peter: My Uncle Ben died because I didn't think it was my problem. I learned from that that with Great Power comes Great Responsibility."

Villain: <rips off mask> "You fool! I'm your Uncle Ben! I faked it to get away from you and your insipid Aunt and back to my criminal career!"

Or in an actual comics story, revealing that Peter's parents really hadn't died, but were secret agents or something. Which went over like a lead balloon and was eventually retconned to be imposters, IIRC.


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Galnörag wrote:

Should a GM change a back story, my gut reaction is no, but approve yes, since a player could attempt to in effect leverage great power, wealth, or allies into their story and then attempt to make unreasonable use of them in game. Being historically good friends with the innkeeper and to leverage that friendship for a little information is cool, but being the grand dukes favourite nephew and getting a phalanx of soldiers to assist you at the drop of a hat, maybe not appropriate.

Once the background is created, it should be mined for gems the GM can use to engage the player in the story, the aforementioned blacksmith's daughter is kidnapped, not unremarkable NPC child #67. Or killing the characters wife/child. Sure the player may have had a character development arc he was thinking of, and it might upset them if that was disrupted, and a reasonable GM might inquire of the player if such a plot development would be acceptable, but once the PCs partner is slain, the PC is given a slew of role playing opportunities to explore, revenge, sadness, a quest to resurrect her, a journey into the underworld. Or worse, what if she has been turned into a vampire, now the player is forced to destroy the monster that was once his partner.

Moreover, the characters background is how the character perceives it. He make think he was all chummy with a NPC, but maybe that NPC really didn't like it. Or perhaps he witnessed a crime or a trauma, but it didn't really happen the way he remembered it. The outcome can be a nice plot twist, and an arc for the character to reconcile their past with the truth.

First, there's a difference between the GM and player working out changes so the backstory fits the campaign, usually before the game actually starts and the GM unilaterally changing things that the player thinks are actually there. The first is fine and probably a necessary step. The second is almost always a bad idea.

Second, your "mining for gems" is exactly why people start making loner characters with no attachments. Everything you suggest involves threatening or actually harming the PCs connections to make the PC react. That's a valid tactic, but way overused.
Sure, it can lead to roleplaying opportunities, but maybe the player doesn't want to play a character in deep depression over the loss of a child. Or the self-loathing that comes from having to destroy a lover. Not all roleplaying opportunities are good ones. Tragedy is rarely fun to play through and can easily lead to less inmmersion and investment in the character - since the character is miserable and who wants to deal with that.

Finally, treating the character's background as an "unreliable narrator" can work and is theoretically legit, but doing so with things that are thematically important to the player risks breaking what made the player interested in the character in the first place. Be careful.


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Sissyl wrote:
Again, as Aranna says, age is a good concept that would keep things fresh.

I see lots of people say this and I don't see why.

"Fresh", I suppose, in the sense that good characters get thrown away every decade or so and replaced with copies. Or dropped entirely, I guess, in the hopes they can replicate the magic and create completely new characters that will stick and become iconic.

Not to mention even more continuity, since everyone will have predecessors and parents to keep track of. Who will inevitably show up every so often in the hero role because some writer/editor wants to use them again.

Would it really be a good thing for comics if all the iconic characters were long dead or retired? Most of us wouldn't ever have seen the main DC heroes. Unless they still rebooted everything, at least at the start of the Silver Age.


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wraithstrike wrote:

I guess I should also contribute a peeve or 2.

As a player, players who talk too much in character. You do not need to talk to every NPC in existence, nor tell them your life story.

As a player, GM's who show favortism. I don't mind the new guy getting a pass for not knowing a rule, but when a certain player has different rules than everyone else that is annoying.

As a GM, players who quit the game, and don't let anyone know they quit.

As a GM, when they do something nonsensical and then complain about the results. Most of the time I let a player live with their mistakes, but sometimes I let them know what they are about to do is very bad idea.

RL example which I may have used before:

Player-->I am going to dump constitution, make a melee character, scout way ahead of the party walk right up to the mid/mini boss and his minions and proceed to threaten them. Then when I will also be the one to start combat

Me--> <face palm>

Rest of the group--> <face palm>

Then they go save him, and I pretend like they somehow know he is in trouble, just to avoid him not being able to play for the next 2 or 3 hours.

I think I see the problem. :)

Seriously, I'm about as non-lethal of a GM as I know, but I make exceptions for suicide.


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Aranna wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Here is a thought. Why not let these heroes age?

Spiderman was introduced in 1962... 53 years ago. The amazing spiderman should be in his early 70s. We should be reading about his amazing grand children. This way the stories stay fresh without constantly having to alter the universe.

Because writing out popular characters due to old age isn't good business. You wouldn't get really cool new generations of characters, you'd get new universe reboots whenever characters started getting to old to fill their roles.

Well, except for Thor. He'd still be around. :)

But you don't have to write them out... they can just pass the title on to a new generation. Heck you could even have specials where the old timers come out of retirement now and then for some epic event.

Passing the title on to the new generation is writing them out. Those characters stop being the hero and you get to see if a different character (same hero name and maybe costume, but a different person) can carry the title.

And of course they would keep dragging the old timers out all the time anyway. And killing them all off every so often to get them out of the way. Then bringing them back because some new writer/editor wanted to use them. See DC's handling of the old JSA for decades.


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Aranna wrote:

Here is a thought. Why not let these heroes age?

Spiderman was introduced in 1962... 53 years ago. The amazing spiderman should be in his early 70s. We should be reading about his amazing grand children. This way the stories stay fresh without constantly having to alter the universe.

Because writing out popular characters due to old age isn't good business. You wouldn't get really cool new generations of characters, you'd get new universe reboots whenever characters started getting to old to fill their roles.

Well, except for Thor. He'd still be around. :)


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deusvult wrote:

In home games I ban the "my parents were killed when I was little" backstory. I flat out don't allow it.

I make you be more original than that.

I'd go even further than that as a blanket policy statement. I'd say that depending on the campaign it's not only appropriate for a GM to influence the PC's backstory, but aspects of the mechanics of the character.

OTOH, if the GM is of both the "You must give me backstory with family members and loved one" and the "Now I will torture and abuse them" persuasions, well then I guess you know to walk away from the table.


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Sissyl wrote:

Well, if it is the fact that nothing in your backstory can be changed, a misunderstanding of your character, reinterpreted, expanded or otherwise changed, indeed INCLUDING THINGS YOU NEVER TOLD THE GM WERE IMPORTANT TO YOU, the ONLY sane response for the GM is to avoid your backstory entirely, like the plague, and not try ANY sort of plotline connected to it. After all, any sort of idea touching on it might change something you consider sacrosanct, leading to you getting the GM to stop GMing, mid-session if necessary, right? Honestly, at that point it is probably better not to use backstory at all.

A large part of it is whether you see it as "screwing with the player".

Which is the flip side of "I'll do whatever I want with your backstory. Including killing or torturing everyone you've ever cared about or turning them into enemies and monsters or making the whole thing a fever dream that never really happened. Because I'm the GM and I can!!!"

The answer of course is to communicate. Talk to each other like reasonable adults, make it clear what's important and what isn't and what's put in explicitly as hooks for the GM. Not to fight over who has the rights to control it.


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Sissyl wrote:
I think it is important to distinguish between what the character thinks his background is and what it really is. It is right up the fantasy alley, after all: You are not the son of a pig farmer. In truth, you are the lost child of a great knight yadda yadda. I wouldn't contradict the backstory... But the backstory is a perception, not the objective truth.

There's a distinction as well between what the character thinks his backstory is and what the player thinks the backstory is.

One is fine to mess with, the other may not be. I rarely go into great detail in backstory and often leaving gaping holes where a GM could insert stuff without problems, but some parts are likely to be important to the character I want to play. Mess with those at the peril of destroying my interest in the character.

If I made the character the son of a pig farmer because I wanted to play with the theme of "strength coming from humble origins rather than bloodlines" and you make the character really the lost child of a great knight, you've just torpedo'd me.

Be really careful about being sure you know what the player thinks is important and what he wants before mucking with his backstory. Ask, if you're not absolutely sure, giving away as little as possible to keep the surprise of course.


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Alright. Alright.

I'm done. I promise I'll let it lie for awhile at least.

Can't promise I won't fail a save against a new post in a couple days and jump back in though. :)

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