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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 19,038 posts (19,857 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 7 aliases.


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ZZTRaider wrote:
Totes McScrotes wrote:
Depends. If the Alchemist with mutagens and buffs starts outshining the Barbarian in melee combat all around then yes, there's a problem. But for the most part it's nothing you can't solve in-character, through roleplay. Hawkeye and Black Widow were perfectly valuable members of the Avengers even if they were outshined at every turn by the rest of the team.
Hawkeye and Black Widow do have writer fiat in their favor, though. They essentially have a DM taking extra care to make sure that they get to shine, too.

Nor do they actually have players to get upset when they can't keep up with the big boys.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Beyond that, we're coming up with fantasy societies. Not quite "because dragons", but since you can create the gods in a PF world and decide how they influenced history & culture, it's pretty easy to arrive at any kind of culture you want. As long as you're within the broad outlines of human nature.
You can do that, but to me, it's the worst of both available approaches. The group is still stuck the real world headaches, but unless you, at the very least, an outline of detail of every god, culture, and the full history of the world before you even think about introducing that world into play, it's going to fall flat in the area of what players can do about it and it's ramifications if they so choose. Very few published worlds are that fleshed out, and far fewer custom worlds. To develop the sheer number of cultures even a small world would have in both the past and the present is not nearly as easy as you make it sound, especially when you start to consider the interactions between them. It can be done, but to do well and in a fashion that makes the entire exercise worth it it really difficult and holding it all together once the players get a hold of it and start to work within it is even harder.

Then you can't do it. And you can't do it whether or not you want them to hate LGBTQ people or not.

I mean, what's the alternative? Is it more realistic and less disruptive to have a world with magic and active deities with all sorts of different views and other sentient species with their own psychologies and histories and still have it all turn out just like medieval Europe? Without Christianity or anything to play that role, but with all the same mores and attitudes? Except the class structure. And maybe some of the sexism. We'll handwave all that away without worrying about it, but not the LGBTQ prejudice. That's beyond the pale.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
If you are playing in a semi modern game, it doesn't require a lot of change or a big movement. The rest of the pieces that make it plausible in the game and possible in the real world are already in the background. If you are trying to play in a pseudo medieval world, like most D&D worlds, it does require something else to change as well.
'Pseudo medieval' in what sense? Because most D&D worlds are polytheistic, which is a much larger difference from real-world medieval society than anything involving LGBT rights specifically, and, given the religious justifications often used for anti-LGBT bigotry, could easily excuse and explain such a difference in that as well.

The same kind of argument would also lead towards enforcing the sexism and enforced gender roles found in European medieval society. But that's often dropped, nowadays without much trouble.

Or the strongly enforced class structures which are almost always ignored or at most nodded at and are a far greater shift from real medieval society than anything to do with LGBTQ rights.

LGTBQ prejudice is forced in because it's still controversial in the modern world and medieval attitudes are an justification, not a requirement.


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Samy wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Think of them as being closer to, oh, a natural disaster.

Ah, the Galactus perspective. I see what you're going for.

I'm not sure I buy that line of reasoning in a strictly D&D alignment context, though. In that specific context:

* they are sentient creatures, and decide what they do
* they are willing to kill other sentients just to advance their own cause

In a purely D&D alignment context, I think that pretty much fits the definition of Evil.

Now, if they only killed others in self-defense, that might be another thing. I haven't read much Lovecraft, so I can't say I know much about how the creatures usually behave.

Also, since the AP will largely feature low levels, we also have to think about how those worshipping the creatures behave. Do they try to just burn candles and chant hymns in a cathedral somewhere off to the side without hurting others (Neutral), or do they try to capture people for human sacrifices (Evil). Even if the Cthulhus themselves were Neutral, the people worshipping them could easily be Evil.

More like, "They kill, corrupt or drive mad other sentients just by their very nature and presence, often without even noticing the other sentients are there."

The Cultists are often blatantly evil, that's certainly true. Also often deluded about what will happen to them, should their plans come to fruition. Of course by that time, they're generally warped and mad anyway.


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LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

You guys also overlooked that they changed the base age from 60 to 20 -- so it is still possible to create a character of any class of any of these three races who is below middle-aged.

The screwy thing with this errata is that the random rolls added to the base age are unchanged, so (for example) anyone playing a dhampir wizard and randomly rolling a starting age would roll 10d6 and add it to 20, which gives a result of anywhere from 30 to 70 with an average result of 55.

Presumably what they forgot to include is that you're supposed to us the human random formulas as well.
Great. The errata needs errata.

Then someone will drop a comma, and the errata to the erratta, will need errata.

Presumably those responsible have been sacked.

Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
But me? I'm not necessarily suggesting bringing a 'movement' into games at all, I'm suggesting having LGBT people exist in the setting with a minimum of prejudice. Again, this doesn't require a 'movement' or the setting to have changed at all (especially if the setting is either one I make up or one that already has such people).
If you are playing in a semi modern game, it doesn't require a lot of change or a big movement. The rest of the pieces that make it plausible in the game and possible in the real world are already in the background. If you are trying to play in a pseudo medieval world, like most D&D worlds, it does require something else to change as well. While it sounds simple in theory, getting society to a point where even a minimum of prejudice is possible takes a general shift in attitudes that is either caused by other events or changes or that change will be the trigger for other changes and events. It most likely means that the prejudice has simply shifted to something else, which could end up triggering someone else to insist that on that topic being made prejudice free, or it requires getting rid of prejudice completely; either way, the chances of there not being other very real changes in the fictional world are slim to none once you introduce even one real world issue into it. If you can convince the rest of the group to accept just that one change and not try to introduce others, I envy you. Every group I've been in has always had that one person that would take a move like that on the DM's part as license to do it themselves, just to see what havoc they can cause.

Why? Why does removing prejudice against LGBTQ people in a setting have to mean removing all prejudice entirely? Is it possible to do in one culture in the world, but not all of them? Could cultures actually be different and not all based on medieval European norms?

On a higher level, how do you avoid introducing real-world issues? Isn't having prejudice against LGBTQ people a real world issue, just as much as not having it? Or having sexism? Or having racism? Isn't it all real world issues?


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Yeah. That, but without the snark.

Sure, it's always part of the story. No, it doesn't matter what (unassigned) orientation the nameless mooks the PCs slaughter would really have had.

That doesn't mean it isn't a political act to assign orientation in those stories. Whether it's a deliberate choice to include LGBT characters to promote inclusion or whether you just make all the couples that come on stage straight because that's the way things are.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wait, let me get this straight, are you saying that the very existence of LGBT people in the setting or their existence without prejudice is somehow more of a political statement than the existence of straight people? Because that's a hell of a claim, there.

Heteronormativity. To be fair, the existence of LGBT people in the real world or a least their uncloseted existence is a political statement in a way that being openly heterosexual isn't.

It shouldn't be political and it's getting less so, but it definitely is.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Arcane Addict wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I do find it interesting to contrast the attitude in that thread that nothing bad's being said and it's just open discussion and Paizo is censoring us and the posts over here saying it's triggering and exhausting and "multi-day anxiety" attacks and people staying out of it to avoid the conflict.

The very "shutting down of dialogue" that's cited as a reason not to moderate is happening, but for the opposite reasons and in the opposite direction.

Your first sentence confuses me a bit. Would you mind parsing it a bit?

I think thejeff is referring to claims made within the thread (and in many others) that the sort of discussion the mod team often cuts off or redirects elsewhere on the boards doesn't hurt anyone and should be allowed everywhere because it's just discussion and no one's being silenced, and contrasting those posts with posts in this thread where people are talking about being exhausted and anxious about it, and deciding not to post there anymore because they don't feel safe or are too drained.

I got fed up and stopped participating a while back, and I'm not even trans--I suspect it's enormously alienating, frustrating, and/or painful for a lot of people who are.

A lot of what took that thread south, I think, was posts that can sort of be boiled down to people responding to others saying something hurts them with, "but it doesn't hurt me, so I don't see why we shouldn't keep doing it."

And the particular backlash of "Now you're hurting me by silencing me."

Not admitting they're driving away voices that need to be heard. I've learned a lot from your posts and from Crystal's and both of you have backed off from such discussions. Which is perfectly understandable, but makes me sad.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I feel I'm missing something. Has Paizo introduced another LGBT+ character? What's this thread you guys are mentioning?

Not to my knowledge.

The thread is here, and it's in theory just a general discussion of LGBT characters and issues in RPGs and how people include/treat them.

It's obviously drifted into real-world stuff a few times and is probably potentially triggering for some people in a variety of ways. I don't feel it's as bad as some people here seem to, but then I've been participating in it.

I do find it interesting to contrast the attitude in that thread that nothing bad's being said and it's just open discussion and Paizo is censoring us and the posts over here saying it's triggering and exhausting and "multi-day anxiety" attacks and people staying out of it to avoid the conflict.

The very "shutting down of dialogue" that's cited as a reason not to moderate is happening, but for the opposite reasons and in the opposite direction.

I don't see most of that thread as too bad, but then I'm a straight, cis guy. In a way, it's all academic to me, not personal. Which is why I try to listen, even when I don't really understand.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...no. Paladins persecuting people on any consistent basis for anything but truly awful behavior (or allying with truly terrible people and things) get to be ex-Paladins. Period.
Tell that to all the goblin villages that have been destroyed over the years by paladin PCs and the players that controlled them that simply assumed that the evil alignment was enough to wipe out entire villages of goblins or orcs or whatever else they found that radiated evil but were largely minding their own business. Virtually nobody stops to ask the goblins or orcs their views, so everyone assumes the paladin must be in the right. Not all that different from real life history where few bothered to ask the persecuted or defeated their opinion of the matter, and simply took the word of those who we now label persecutors but to themselves and their contemporaries were doing the best they could to make the world a better place. When more people started asking questions more and had regular communication with the groups historically persecuted, opinions changed pretty quickly.

And those paladins fall. At least in my games.

Paladins may be involved in destroying humanoid villages, if and when those particular groups have been posing a serious threat. Much like paladins might be involved in destroying a bandit camp. Either way solutions will be sought that don't involve wholesale slaughter.
Unless we're in a setting where said humanoids are literally creatures of evil, but that's a different concept.

The "PCs go wipe out dungeon full of a humanoid tribe complete with families for no particular reason" trope in D&D/PF needs to die a quick death and be forgotten. And frankly, though I've seen it talked about on line, I haven't seen it in an actual game in decades.


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LazarX wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

You guys also overlooked that they changed the base age from 60 to 20 -- so it is still possible to create a character of any class of any of these three races who is below middle-aged.

The screwy thing with this errata is that the random rolls added to the base age are unchanged, so (for example) anyone playing a dhampir wizard and randomly rolling a starting age would roll 10d6 and add it to 20, which gives a result of anywhere from 30 to 70 with an average result of 55.

Presumably what they forgot to include is that you're supposed to us the human random formulas as well.

Great. The errata needs errata.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Yep. And all the "completely free speech is the highest good in all situations" stuff is so unexamined, but I lack the energy and patience to untangle it for the 900th time. :-/

As often happens, xkcd sums up my take on that quite nicely.


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Crystal Frasier wrote:
.

Aah. Very good Crystal post vanished before I could respond. :(


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

For the record, on the subject of 'social justice warriors' and the rest of that, I'm mostly in agreement with the substance of what Ashiel is saying, though in terms of terminology I dislike the use of the term 'social justice warrior' in most contexts. Too much baggage and different and conflicting definitions.

I'm cool with Ashiel using it since it's been defined very specifically above. :)

The problem is "social justice warrior" is almost exclusively used as an attack phrase. It doesn't really mean anything. Even with Ashiel's definition, it just turns into a way of accusing people of meeting that definition.

Much like there may well have been too much "political correctness" back when that phrase went mainstream, but it was quickly co-opted and used against any attempts to counter racism or sexism.

And to extend the metaphor - In any metaphorical conflict, you need both diplomats and warriors.

Nor am I sure why "equity" is preferable to "justice".


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Ashiel wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
However, these aren't the sorts of things I usually see trigger warnings posted for and honestly they're pretty damaging anyway since treating traumatic stress involves facing things and facing them in fiction is probably one of the most therapeutic ways of dealing with things I can think of. Roleplaying is cool like that.

I just wanted to point something out about this part: Yes, facing things can be a way of treating traumatic stress. Yes, roleplaying can be good for that, though usually therapy roleplaying isn't much like game roleplaying. Nor are most GMs psychiatrists or their players patients. Roleplaying something traumatic, without warning, preparation and training, isn't likely to be therapeutic and is probably just going to be unpleasant, if not actually damaging.

Trigger warnings are absolutely not damaging in the sense you're talking about. They let the person choose whether to face the stress and prepare for it if they do choose to.

I have some problems and some agreement with the rest of your post, but I really dislike the idea of GMs thinking they're justified in pushing trauma on people as some form of amateur therapy.

Wanna try re-reading that again?
Ashiel wrote:

I generally try to get a feel for what's acceptable for the playerbase I'm running for or give alerts for things that crop up in the games I'm GMing.

...
But it depends on the audience.
...
So audience communication is a big thing when dealing with anything super intense.
...
I also ran the scene ... a side-thing when she was separated from the party when it was just her participating (because at least two of the other players would have probably felt uncomfortable with the torture and abuse).

I also said these aren't the sort of things I usually see trigger warnings for. Honestly, I see them for stupid stuff more often than not. I'll be honest and say I think trigger warnings are stupid. That's my opinion and while you're not required to share it (which is a good thing) I will need to have a reason to change that opinion. Thus far, I find myself in a position where I have more reasons to dislike trigger warnings and the effects of them than not.

But it's fun talking about. In the meantime, I need to start writing about Jeo's moms.

But the "stupid stuff" isn't the "traumatic stress" kind and doesn't need even amateur therapy, so there's no danger there either. Since you specifically said, "traumatic stress", it seemed clear that you were talking about the more serious kind and I really wanted to push back against anyone thinking they should be using their RPG as therapy for any serious issues. Especially without informed consent from the players.

Since you also say you do give trigger warnings ("alerts for things that crop up in play") or at least are sure to know your audience well enough to know what will be a problem, it seems we're really only arguing about where we should draw the line between super intense things that need warnings and stupid stuff that doesn't.


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Ashiel wrote:
However, these aren't the sorts of things I usually see trigger warnings posted for and honestly they're pretty damaging anyway since treating traumatic stress involves facing things and facing them in fiction is probably one of the most therapeutic ways of dealing with things I can think of. Roleplaying is cool like that.

I just wanted to point something out about this part: Yes, facing things can be a way of treating traumatic stress. Yes, roleplaying can be good for that, though usually therapy roleplaying isn't much like game roleplaying. Nor are most GMs psychiatrists or their players patients. Roleplaying something traumatic, without warning, preparation and training, isn't likely to be therapeutic and is probably just going to be unpleasant, if not actually damaging.

Trigger warnings are absolutely not damaging in the sense you're talking about. They let the person choose whether to face the stress and prepare for it if they do choose to.

I have some problems and some agreement with the rest of your post, but I really dislike the idea of GMs thinking they're justified in pushing trauma on people as some form of amateur therapy.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I like the idea of the cha mod replacing con, dex, or wis mod for a save.

It still lets an already SAD character become even more so. Not a great idea. With that, an Oracle or Sorcerer can dump everything but Cha (and Con for hp.)


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ShinHakkaider wrote:

What really got me reading DC books initally were Wolfman & Perez New Teen Titans, Mike Barr's Batman and the Outsiders, Mike Grell's Warlord and Levit's Legion of Super-Heroes.

Then Crisis happened and was AWESOME. Then Byrne's (who I was a HUGE fan of at the time) Man of Steel / Superman / Action Comics run. Then George Perez on Wonder Woman and then Giffen/Bierbaums on Legion of...

In my case: Then Crisis happened and was AWESOME and screwed everything up. The Titans went into decline, partly flailing around with Wonder Girl who'd never known Wonder Woman. The Legion kind of imploded, again with the loss of Superboy. Both Infinity Inc & the All Star Squadron fizzled with the loss of Earth 2.

The new Wonder Woman was really good. The Giffen/Bierbaum Legion was good, but uneven and ultimately doomed.

Crisis originally hooked me on DC and simultaneously trashed much of what it had led me to love about DC. I'm still bitter. :)


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Voin_AFOL wrote:
LazarX wrote:
We ARE a culture that holds violence as an accepted first solution for problem solving. And we're the most gun happy people on the planet

Oh really? Caught word of what's been happening in the Middle East or Africa or Mexico or South America or South-East Asia lately for a while now?

So let's cut the self-flagellating "Westerner guilt" delusions already. Today's America is pretty darn tame in comparison to places where actual wars of genocide rage on this very moment, where they drag people out of their houses and behead them in the streets.

The rate of all sorts of violent crime in the U.S. (murder, rape, etc) has actually been on a steady decline for a while now. The difference is with modern media and telecommunication you just hear more about the stuff that does happen.

The U.S.A. has has exactly 1 revolution in its history, and it was a resounding success that gave birth to a nation that has more-or-less increasingly made progress over the years.

We also had 1 major civil war (only one on a scale big enough to matter, anyway), and the cultural wounds from that healed remarkably quickly in comparison to similar event in other countries.

I'm not interested in self-flagellating "Westerner guilt", but I'm also not interested in whitewashing our history or present.

If you think the wounds from the Civil War healed quickly - or have healed yet, for that matter - you're missing something. Read up a bit on the "Lost Cause" or the Klan or the ubiquitous Stars and Bars. We really are still dealing with it. And with the consequences of the slavery that led to it.

And while we don't have wars raging on our streets and violent crime is definitely down, we are still the most gun happy people on the planet (or in the close running at least). We seem to feel the need to have them at all times, even though violence is down.

This certainly isn't the worst place to live. Far from it. Far even from the worst country to play the role of sole superpower. But lets not close our eyes to the flaws or pretend any criticism is claiming we're the worst either.

Way the hell off topic again. If you want to go farther with this, we should take it to Off Topic.


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MMCJawa wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
So, real men are the ones who revel in violence? A very American observation.
I detected a fair whiff of sarcasm in that post you are commenting on...

Poe's Law.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
No worries, but it's the potential reliance on historical precedence to exclude them from existing that makes me bristle.

Honestly, I don't see how historical precedence could be used to exclude them. They're here now. They were there then.

It's one thing to say, "I really don't want to hear about your determined seduction of so-and-so. In short, you are successful; we fade to black." It's quite another to say, "You can't play a homosexual/transgender character, because they're not historically verifiable." That's so far beyond unreasonable I'm not sure how I'd respond if a DM told me that.

Now saying, "You're a hero(ine). But declaring your love for this person who happens to be the same sex as you in the Dauphin's throne room isn't the brightest idea in the world" is reasonable, historically speaking.

The fact that some don't like that is, frankly, TFB.

Depends on the situation. It could make a very nice emotional capstone for a campaign. There would have to be a very good motivation and the Dauphin would have to owe you. Not be done lightly, but it could work.


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LazarX wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Not really. The gods in Golarion, outside of Razmir, are notorious for NOT making public statements on their positions. There are at least two factions of Sarenrites that are in violent disagreement, yet the goddess continues to supply the priests of both with spells.
Quasi-historical, meaning using real world religions, not Pathfinder gods.
I don't see where that makes any difference. Or have their been any public statements by Jehovah, Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, that I've missed?

It's the merging of real world monotheistic religions and their claims to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God with the kind of access to the divine that PF magic (and especially divine) magic gives you that causes the problem for me.

In a polytheist world like Golarion, the Gods themselves are fallible. They can disagree amongst themselves and are not the final word on anything. And even there violent clashes between sects of the same religion bother me - unless it's that religion's thing. Certain gods might even encourage it.

It's harder to accept when it's an actual Supreme Being giving His blessing to what most of us now consider to be evil. Leaving aside the sexuality side, do Clerics participating in slavery remain in good standing? Is the Inquisition really the will of God? Or does God not actually withdraw his favor for sinning?
How do different religions work out? Are the Christians, Muslims and Jews all right about what God wants? When you can actually ask, how does that work?
Does God not actually take a stance on moral issues? Despite every Church ever claiming the opposite?

Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.


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Aranna wrote:
Wait... People actually play as someone who wants to switch genders?! Why? Why not start out with the gender you want to play as?

Because you want to play as someone who wants to switch genders? Because you want to play through the experience of both deciding you want to change and of how that changes you?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:


  • More CO2 -> higher sea levels -> spurred growth for corals, etc. due to new habitat -> more CO2 sequestered in CaCO3 -> cools back down (-)
  • More CO2 -> more acidic oceans -> dying reefs -> less CO2 sequestered -> warmer climate.

    Not to disagree with your larger point, just one of the sadder consequences we've already seen.


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    For those talking in terms of pre-modern or historical settings, I hope it's not just LGBTQ issues you avoid on those grounds. Women's lib is modern too. As are modern attitudes towards formal class structures. Widespread acceptance of slavery and/or serfdom. Noble classes with more legal rights than the masses. All or most of it understood to be ordained by God.

    It's not just one, still controversial, subset of the differences between the modern world and a historical setting that beyond the pale, right?


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    GreyWolfLord wrote:

    Take this 97%, I explained it already. The source of the number and what it represents is pretty simple (32.6% with .7% as the disagrement would be 97%, or more accurately 97.85%). I have no qualms with something like that. However, with twisting of stats it becomes something it is not in the hands of politicians. This is about an opinion of someone...anything that deals with opinions instead of science...if someone states it's at 97% be very WARY of it.

    It's like an election, any election that states 97% of people voted for this one guy...something is instantly suspected of being illegally manipulated. A vast majority can be believeable (even perhaps up to the 80th percentiles at times), but something that major...always be wary of it.

    In addition, as I said, NO SCIENTIST (at least one that is worth their PhD, which should be all of them...but you never know) would EVER state something of such a soft nature (physics, math...those are hard. Biology, geology, earth science, atmospheric sciences...those are softer...opinions...those are EXCESSIVELY SOFT IN NATURE) near anything close to being as such an absolute (like 97%). You have a bigger deviation just in what is happening in regards to climate change (much less it's causes) among scientists than 97% in any case. Heck, you can't even get 97% of physicists to agree upon some facets of gravity...and if you can't get them to completely agree upon...

    You wouldn't get 97% to agree on all the details most likely, but that's not what's being asked about climate change either. I'd bet you'd easily find 97% of biologists supporting evolution or 97% of geologists supporting plate tectonics. That's a lot closer to "supporting human caused climate change" than internal debate within the field about the exact mechanics of gravity.
    Quote:
    There are some pretty majorly bad things happening this very day, but you know what, no one knows about them (did you know how many animals have gone extinct in the last 6 months?). Why...because they are too busy mocking Al Gore and others for saying Manhattan would be underwater right now instead of dealing with the REAL problems that are occurring this very instant and are having some very REAL effects on nature and the world. These are problems addressed in many of the same papers and predicted as what and how they would happen (did you know the California drought was predicted YEARS ago?)...but everyone ignored them because...the politicians stole the show and pointed everyone towards extremes for sensationalism instead of the reality of what was going to happen.

    The people mocking Gore aren't the ones who'd be dealing with the REAL problems anyway.

    We've been through the "Al Gore and others for saying Manhattan would be underwater right now" thing before in this thread and unless some better evidence turns up, he didn't say it.


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    DM Under The Bridge wrote:
    Take the claims that "An estimated 2 to 5% of the population is transgender" (source: http://www.transgenderlaw.org/resources/transfactsheet.pdf). This has not happened before. This wasn't the case in your grandfather's time and it wasn't the case before that. Their rise in numbers is new and very much a late modernity phenomenon, unless you can prove at least 2% of a previous culture's pop was transgender previously and in the relevant contexts (third gender islanders doesn't matter if a game isn't set on those islands. Would you not agree?).

    That claim is far higher than anything I've seen elsewhere and doesn't seem to be sourced to anything. Numbers I've seen are much lower, topping out at 0.5% or so. The larger number might be referring to anyone with any degree of gender dysphoria - gender fluid or genderqueer rather than transgender perhaps. Of course, those would be harder to see in the historical record.


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    DM Under The Bridge wrote:

    A long post, I hope those that read get something from it. I thank you for reading as it took 9 minutes to write.

    As the dm they can run a game vastly different to our own current existence, where our social politics and attitudes we might have do not hold sway. I think it is one of the great potentials of roleplaying that we are not just stuck playing ourselves right now in this time or limited in playing people of late modern attitudes. Instead we can control characters in very different contexts to what we are used to. Of course we don't have to fight off goblin invasions (although that might be similar to the life of a pest control officer) but it goes far deeper than that into very different times or completely non-Earth settings.

    I support Jaelithe and his position that in running games located in a historical setting the beliefs will be of that time and place, and not of 2015 wherever and however we find ourselves now, and will not include certain groups that are active today.

    Some will not like this, the attempt to be and play quite authentically (or even just partially authentically) in settings that are not familiar and everyday in attitudes and social politics. I am glad there are games that offer something different to our norm, and that is also what I try to bring in my many games. If there are problems with acceptance then words such as "this isn't the world we are used to" can help players to understand they aren't confined to the familiar but they also aren't located in the familiar (one of my players was struggling to play a medieval Japanese fisherman turned bandit robbing people along the silk road, but they learned how to make it work and developed a character straight out of the old story Water Margin).

    One of the problems I find with transgender npcs being put into many games is if the setting is pre-modern and in that it is pre-anomie and pre the questioning of gender norms, roles and identity their inclusion, even as minorities, makes very little sense. If you are running a...

    Transgender goes back long before modern times. Some cultures had specific roles for those not fitting as male or female. Even in western history there are cases that may fit. If, as modern science suggests, gender dysphoria is a medical condition with disconnect between physical sex and mental gender, that's not caused by "modern questioning of gender norms or roles", it's far more fundamental than that. That questioning may make it more acceptable to be open about it and to try to transition rather than hide & suffer. It may even make it more likely to realize why you're miserable.

    OTOH, as I said, some cultures recognize other genders already and it would be easier - even without modern medical treatment.


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    Jaelithe wrote:
    Kalindlara wrote:
    Kobold Cleaver wrote:
    Obviously, there's an agenda: Paizo wants to write a setting where all minorities are represented, and has built their setting's traditions around this, and is willing to put aside some realism to make it work. I'm not sure why "agenda" would be a positive or negative quality. It's just what Paizo's chosen to do.

    The word "agenda" often seems to imply that it's a deviation from something; e.g., there wouldn't be all these POC/LGBT/etc. in my fantasy world if not for their agenda.

    What's often forgotten is that excluding these things involves an agenda as well.

    No, it doesn't in the least. Not including something does not imply exclusion, but could have to do with it not occurring to you, it not being appropriate in context, or other reasons that haven't occurred to us. It does not have to mean, "Mua ha ha, let's keep those people out." Posts in this thread are all the evidence one needs of that.

    Paizo's policy of inclusiveness is in its way both laudable and a prudent manifestation of political correctness and business savvy, considering its primary marketing demographic. I tend to doubt that we'd see as much of this were it conclusively proven to hurt sales. It's a business, after all.

    "Agenda" is a loaded term. It's probably best to leave it out.

    It is quite possible that someone is not including LGBT people because it hasn't occurred to them. That goes away once they start talking about it. As for them not being appropriate in context - there have been LGBT people throughout human history. However quasi-historical your setting it, it makes sense to have them in it. It might also make sense to have them be closeted and persecuted, but that's your call.
    It gets more complicated when you have divine powers bestowing power upon the worthy - then you have to decide whether the attitudes of the day qualify as worthy in the eyes of that divine power. And not just LGBT people or those who persecute them, but also those who support slavery or torture or the inquisition or serfdom or sexism or racism or all the other horrors of the past that religious authorities of the day often stood behind.


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    Painful Bugger wrote:
    It's as much a non-issue in my games as race, fictional prejudices aside, and its never brought up. I'm of the firm belief that any explicitly sexual topics should be avoided or lightly touched upon as it makes things at the table awkward depending on how specific people will react to it. Not everyone you'll game with can handle this with grace and maturity. If a player, me as the DM, told me that their character is gay or trans the most they will get out of me is "okay that's fine, what's your alignment. The monster is casting something." I had enough headaches with how people behaved in my games before in inappropriate manners that I just sandbag that line of thinking.

    Do you allow characters to do things like flirt with the waitress or the princess they just rescued?

    Obviously it's fine and very common to keep anything explicit out of the game or at least at "fade to black" levels, but that doesn't preclude some level of romance.


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    Jaelithe wrote:
    thejeff wrote:

    OTOH, if the one doing so is a great hero, obviously favored by Allah, just having saved the realm from the forces of evil, it might not end so badly. Not a good way to start your career though. :)

    One of the drawbacks to running a quasi-historical game, at least using something like the PF system, is that you have to decide what God thinks of such things in your world. If the religion considers homosexuality sinful, as it tended to do historically to one degree or another, are they right? Is that reflected in a cleric getting or keeping his powers?

    Crying anything but the call to prayer in that situation is not likely to end well. During the time I was stationed in Turkey, a US Air Force NCO in a drunken stupor did just that, breaking into a mosque, ascending to the summit of the minaret, and doing his worst imitation of a muezzin, bad mouthing both Islam and the Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal—founder of modern Turkey and something of a Moses-George Washington amalgam to Turks—at the top of his lungs. After begging him to come down, an oskir shot him dead and he toppled to the ground. When the US commander demanded of his counterpart an explanation of what he planned to do about the soldier's actions, the Turkish general replied, "I'm going to give him a medal for showing restraint and asking the man to come down three times before shooting him, when he would have been justified in killing him immediately. He profaned Islam and the Ataturk."

    Actually, I really don't have to decide for Christians in this era. As clerical celibacy for singles had long been the required (though often not the practiced) norm (since at least the late fourth century and likely earlier), it wouldn't matter if one were hetero-, homo-, bi- or transsexual: You're not having sex of any kind without it being a sin unless you're married ... and since this is a period in which marriage to someone of the same sex would likely not even be considered because of the social stigma and...

    Well, a foreign infidel doing so certainly wouldn't go over well. A local Muslim Hero of the Realm, possibly an Imam himself, having just publicly saved the city from a djinn with the aid of miracles, announcing his homosexuality in a less blasphemous fashion, might actually provoke a change in the faith rather than just be shot out of hand.

    As for the Christians, that gets to my larger point: If you're using something like PF, where clerics and other divine casters get and lose their powers from God directly, then you have to actually decide for your setting what God thinks of it. And that's going to affect the social stigma. If the Church doesn't censure it because God doesn't censure it, then it wouldn't be a problem. If the Church censures it, but in error because God doesn't, then it's a valid thing to play out - reforming the faith. If the Church and God both censure it, then that's another thing entirely.

    All of this ties directly to why I'd be uncomfortable with even a quasi-historical game with nearly as much access to divine power/contact as PF has. It's too easy to poke directly into big questions and demand answers. Not just this, but plenty of things that religions has approved of that are pretty sketchy by modern standards - The Inquisition, the divine right of kings, slavery, etc, etc.
    A quasi-historical game without explicit divine magic/intervention doesn't raise the questions as directly. It's much more possible to see religions as misinterpreting or falling into corruption.


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    Jaelithe wrote:

    Thor's been my favorite super-hero since I was about eight or nine. (I still hear the guy who voiced him for the Incredible Hulk and the Marvel Men series, and consider that the truest voice of Thor.) Before that, I had the standard Superman obsession until about three, followed by Spider-Man until exposed to more of Marvel's stable, at which point and subsequently Thor had and will have my allegiance. (I've grown progressively more indignant at his dilution and figurative emasculation over the last decade-and-a-half or so.)

    My bias in his favor likely disqualifies me to rate the two films in which he's the primary protagonist.

    Then, again, even I didn't much like the second one.

    I actually quite liked both Thor movies, the second probably more than the first. Despite there definitely being things I didn't like about each.


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    Kthulhu wrote:
    Samy wrote:
    Personally I don't think fiction should sanitize away all trigger issues. I think there should be tools in the toolbox provided also for those DMs and tables who want to deal with issue X or Y, just as long as the vast majority of the content presented is safe for all.

    Couldn't agree more. If Paizo is going to try to wipe away anything that someone might find offensive, they might as well shut down now. It doesn't matter how blandly inoffensive you try to make something...there WILL be SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE who takes offense to it.

    If you make it TOO blandly inoffensive, that someone will be me.

    There's a very long way between "these days I'm firmly of the opinion that unless a story *must* involve rape, it probably shouldn't" and "wipe away anything that someone might find offensive". I don't think you need to worry.


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    Mr. Bubbles wrote:

    Woah wait hold up, so not only are you guys saying gender roles or gender identity do not exist in Golarion, but it's impossible for a "transphobic character" to be a "hero" or anything more than some mud-farming a&%%~&@?

    Doesn't that seem... You know... Kind of boring? History is rich with examples of a*#!@+@s-turned-heroes, or people becoming paragons of a gender-specific ideal or hell, people breaking out of their gender roles to become something great.

    When you say bigots = bad, gender roles do not exist and men = women in everything forever and ever, you're eliminating a hell of a lot of depth you can explore with not just a character concept, but with your own setting.

    At least the good thing is you guys can't force DMs to portray the setting - even if it's "your" setting - to exclude these things from their game, which seems like the ideal stance to take on this issue; worked for Jade Regent when you guys said "All NPCs are assumed bisexual until stated otherwise", should work here.

    Still, it would help to know *where* gender roles exist in Golarion, how they exist, and what kind of races or nations feel about people who don't fit into the gender binary.

    No. I don't think anyone's saying that at all.

    Though I would say that bigots are bad. Isn't that almost a tautology? Though obviously bigots can have other good qualities, but their bigotry is bad.

    Beyond that, most of the rest is left as "bigotry is rare, women can do anything" more so that players can play characters of different races, genders and orientations without having to deal with prejudice, because it's a game and it's often not fun to do. It's left possible, but somewhat vague, to have such prejudices in various places so that players can play with facing and overcoming prejudice themes if they want to, but they're not forced to by default.

    Specifying "*where* gender roles exist in Golarion, how they exist, and what kind of races or nations feel about people who don't fit into the gender binary" would mean if you wanted to play a female barbarian from the Mammoth Lords, for example, you'd have to play breaking out of your gender role whether you wanted to or not.


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    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    thejeff wrote:
    I don't even begin to know how to respond. There's a fundamental gap here I'm not seeing.

    Its the space between my ears.

    Offers otoscope

    Quote:
    Whether there are gender roles or not, a women crossing one of those gender boundaries doesn't become a man. A female soldier doesn't become male when she joins the army. Nor does who she wants to sleep with change that.

    Thats correct. But combine ALL of the following

    Gender is different than sex
    There is no gendered behavior
    There are no gender roles

    Then what is gender? It seems to have been left as almost a null set.

    In this context: Gender is the sex in your head. When it doesn't match the sex in your body, there is internal conflict - the body doesn't match who you are. Gender Dysphoria.

    Changing the body, with hormones and possibly surgery alleviates that. Theoretically a magical transformation could remove it completely.

    But it's an internal thing, not directly fitting a societal role or expected behavior, though it can tie into those.

    Disclaimer: That's my understanding from outside, much of it gleaned from discussion here. If it's wrong or phrased badly, assume ignorance, not malice.


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    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Tormsskull wrote:
    The best solution is to put out a best effort at balance, and then leave it in the hands of each GM and each group to make the rules fit their group. And that is what Paizo did.

    I would counter-argue that the Paizo staff are so used to the gentleman's agreements and unspoken nerfings and so on that they aren't even consciously aware of them anymore. Most of those guys started playing when I did, and from what they've reported they play the way we used to, so I can totally sympathize. But the downside is that, since the unspoken fixes are second nature, they're never pointed out in the rulebooks. Down the line, people are not able to see where those practices are, in fact, being used to sidestep massive imbalances that are written directly into the rules.

    I think they therefore make no effort to balance anything at all, not even a token one, and that "The DM will fix it" is more a guiding principle than a last-ditch resort.

    I think that a fair amount of the fanbase has been brainwashed into thinking that "The DM fixes everything" is the most divine, noble principle ever enshrined -- to the point where they actively want the rules to be as imbalanced as possible, to give them more opportunity to enact that principle. I also think that a fair proportion of those aren't honest enough to admit it -- maybe not even to themselves -- and therefore claim that there is no imbalance to begin with.

    OTOH, it's unclear to me how much these problems come up in novice games. They seem to me more linked to a certain kind of optimization/build focused game. Really it's only when the guy playing the caster starts figuring out all the God Wizard tricks that you really run into problems.

    If you and your buddies pick up the game for the first time and start playing characters like your favorite fantasy characters, you're generally not going to see the real problems. At least until high level. Which your early campaigns aren't going to reach most likely.

    It's the combination of experienced players who don't get the gentlemen's agreements that breaks things.


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    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    thejeff wrote:
    One obvious approach would be to have something from the transman's past come back to haunt him. Family or other people who knew him as a woman and don't accept that he isn't.
    Ok, but if there are no gender roles, there is no gender behavior, and gender identity is completely separate from orientation, what would being known "as a man" or for that matter, "as a woman" even mean?

    I don't even begin to know how to respond. There's a fundamental gap here I'm not seeing.

    Whether there are gender roles or not, a women crossing one of those gender boundaries doesn't become a man. A female soldier doesn't become male when she joins the army. Nor does who she wants to sleep with change that.

    Do you identify people as male or female only based on their jobs?

    I get that there can be difficulty getting that across in a text story or more so a module, without being heavy handed, but are you really arguing that being known "as a man" to your family for example wouldn't mean anything in the absence of strict gender roles?


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    Mr. Bubbles wrote:
    Liz Courts wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    How does one show identification as a man for a stereotypically male dominated profession like an adventurer where acting like "just one of the boys" is almost the norm?
    Why are you making the assumption that adventuring is a male-dominated profession?
    Why are you assuming it isn't?

    More importantly, how does being trans have anything to do with working in a "stereotypically male dominated profession"? Gender roles aren't gender identification. A woman isn't a transman if she wants to take a stereotypically male job. A transman isn't less of a transman if he wants a stereotypically female job.


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    Lou Diamond wrote:

    I myself am a Climate change Skeptic, not because i fundamentally disagree with the science because I do not trust it at all, scientists on the left and right both rely on grants and most grants are given by governmental organizations who have a left wing bias or by Energy producers who have a right ward bias.

    The scientists that I feel are non-polluted by grant money are the Russians. They Study climate change because of how it relates to their bastion sea geostrategic submarine deployment theory, which depends on sea ice thickness levels in the Arctic ocean.

    NOAA blew a big hole in the global warming science movement when it recently released a 15 year global temperature study that found that there had been no rise in global temperature in the last 15 years but a slight drop of .5 of a degree in average world temperature. Real science
    Observation and reporting opposed to modeling.

    I know I shouldn't try to reason, but: Would that be this study?

    NOAA wrote:
    A new study published online today in the journal Science finds that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as or faster than that seen during the latter half of the 20th Century. The study refutes the notion that there has been a slowdown or "hiatus" in the rate of global warming in recent years.


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    Jacob Saltband wrote:
    Anzyr wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:

    In their defense Anzyr, it only seems unfair if the group is keeping track of the value of equipment characters get.

    In the playstyle they're using, the only person keeping track of this stuff is the GM. The players get what they get, and they either like it or petition the GM to give them the opportunity to acquire what they do want.

    Why would the group, competent adventurers who are out for profit, not keep track of the value of their haul? I honestly can't wrap my head around this. (Around their group's PCs not keeping track, not your post.)
    Not everyone has mercenary mentalities. The style 'we' usually played was that the group was long time friends and magic items werent considered cash until no one wanted them. Maybe thats a meta-game reason I dont know.

    Exactly. "adventurers who are out for profit" is the breaking assumption here.

    Yes, if your motive for adventuring is profit, then not splitting the profits fairly is hard to understand.

    If you're on a quest to stop the witch queen from plunging the world into eternal winter, for example, dividing up the gear for maximum group effectiveness might be a higher consideration.


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    Obviously the real definition is "Anyone who started playing before me". Possibly including "Me and those about the same time".


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    Jacob Saltband wrote:

    OK heres a question....

    How long has the disparity been around. Is it more of a recent thing or has it been around all along?

    All along. Though it was different before 3.0.


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    Anzyr wrote:
    RDM42 wrote:
    Anzyr wrote:
    Jacob Saltband wrote:
    Anzyr wrote:
    My caster getting the same share of the treasure as any other character is not a guideline.
    How much share of treasure each party member gets is PURELY up to party agreement.
    And that agreement is that everyone gets equal shares.
    When did you get appointed to make decisions and agreements for other gaming groups?
    Just stating the obvious really. Would someone take less then a equal share in real life? Of course not. Why would you? But I guess your group can give the fighter 2 shares if you want. I hardly think you can call that the norm though.

    If you're a group that's more focused on achieving goals than getting loot, it makes sense to divide loot to make the party most effective than to focus on dividing equally. Most intuitive when dividing up useful found items, but there's no reason not to apply the same approach when considering what to buy.

    Of course, that might lead to buying more force multipliers for the casters and leaving the martials home.


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    Just a Guess wrote:
    GreyWolfLord wrote:
    knightnday wrote:
    So you are in effect saying that people are lying about how long they have been playing? I mean, yeah, not all of us were baking cookies for Gary for the first game, but it really isn't hard to have been playing for X amount of time. It's a matter of being alive and having run across the game. I'm curious what "proof" you'd be interested in?

    NO, I'm not accusing anyone of lying.

    I'm just saying, when I look at who was originally playing, and all those who CLAIM it, the numbers don't add up.

    You have numbers of people who have been playing RPGs from all over the world?

    I think he's talking about the "originals". Like those who played in Gary's first groups and the like. Maybe up to those who started with OD&D before Advanced or Basic came out. Which is still a fairly small number, but guessing by what little I know of print runs at least in the 10s of thousands, so it would be hard to say the numbers don't add up.

    Even so, I'd say that most of those talking about their long experience are probably not talking about OD&D, but AD&D, which can still be nearly 40 years now. And there were a lot of people playing that. Probably more then than are playing RPGs now, so it doesn't really make any sense to talk about those numbers not adding up.


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    Voin_AFOL wrote:
    Zhangar wrote:
    Being able to criticize your government without being imprisoned/tortured/killed for it is a relatively recent development in most cultures, and not the case in broad stretches of the world.

    Speaking freely is simply the natural state of being. Censorship of speech is an unnatural agenda imposed on us by an outside force. It had to be invented.

    Just like life is the natural state of being for a living thing, and murder is a disruption of that imposed by an outside force.

    America didn't "invent" freedom. It didn't invent life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. It didn't invent the ability to speak, think, worship, or love freely, or the right to protect oneself, or to not be enslaved.

    Those are simply the natural states of human life that have always been inherent in our species from the very beginning. No government has the power to "give" them to us - they are ours from the start. And no government should ever have the power to take them from us unjustly.

    What the U.S. Constitution was intended to do was to keep a government from taking away those things. That's what the warlords of old "invented" - cruel ways to take away what had always been ours, so that their reign of bullying and lies of legitimacy could continue.

    These aren't new ideas. Sure, putting them into treatises and declarations of independence might be, but as George Orwell said,
    "We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

    How low of a state of affairs is it when we have to actually say that no government has the right to persecute someone just for criticizing them? That anyone in a political position who cannot handle criticism is an insecure coward unfit for the job? These are obvious things.

    Perhaps, but it still was a radical concept. And one that even the US didn't fully implement for a long time, despite the Constitution.

    And it has nothing to do with being an "insecure coward", though perhaps with being unfit. It's a very real threat to those in power.

    You can talk about natural states and inherent rights all you want. If you claim it was "invented", it was invented back in prehistory and has been with us ever since.


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    Bloodrealm wrote:
    Gorbacz wrote:
    Ah, the good old "inclusiveness hampers creativity" argument, or "is there a really, really, REALLY good story enhancing reason why this bartender isn't white?".

    That's nowhere near what I'm saying, and you know it.

    I'm not saying there should need to be a reason for it; I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying there should be reason to call attention to it if you do so (like if the character was cursed and shares the story with you, or they have a story that happens to mention it, or if it's just physically obvious and a PC asks). I don't think a character description is going to include "Yeah, this messenger you just met that's going to give you the envelope with your orders in it is human, pretty tall, has brown hair, he's wearing some beaten-up-looking chainmail, has a light mace hung on a loop on his belt, and over his chainmail he's wearing a tabard with the words I'M A TRANSSEXUAL, ASK ME ABOUT IT messily embroidered in a circle around the royal army's emblem in blue thread. He looks to have been waiting here for a while, and so seems happy to see you've finally arrived." and I doubt in casual conversation they'd just blurt out "So, you're on your way to the Scary Forest of No Not-Scary Things, then? By the way, I used to be a woman." It instead would probably be something written on the sheet the GM has, and you could probably find out with a check to gather information just like finding out where his homeland is or what food he hates. Drawing undue attention makes something seem weird and sets people on tangents. It shouldn't be something super-important; it should be just another fact about the character, like their sexuality or their blood type, unless it's relevant. To use your bartender analogy, it would be rather jarring for a character in a movie to go up to him and say "So, what's it like being Asian?" rather than interacting as normal, or for him to bring up a big backstory about "I was always ostracized at college because everyone told me 'Koreans can't be...

    So in other words, it should be done the way Paizo's always done it with their various diverse characters?

    Yes, it could be done in a bad, ham handed way. Or it could be noted for the GM as part of the characters history and get revealed to the players as it comes up in play or if it comes up in play.

    But, as Jessica says, if you're going to bother doing it at all, it should be set up to be likely to come up, otherwise why bother? What's the point if no one's going to know about it? So use characters where there's going to be the chance for it to come up.


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    Part of it of course is simply the odds. There's a lot more straight guys out there than gay ones. If I'm a straight guy and 5 out of 5 women I hit on are gay, I'm doing something wrong. If you're a gay guy and 5 out of 5 guys you hit on are straight, that's really pretty likely.


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    Bandw2 wrote:
    MrConradTheDuck wrote:
    Jacob Saltband wrote:

    Heres the reason why I dont have a problem with the fighter as is and the fighter needing/using items to better fight the tough fights.

    Bruce Wayne.

    also maybe Tony Stark.

    Except Bruces and Tony's WBL is 100X that of their peers who, unlike the them, can just do those things they needs their toys for.

    It's like if Doctor Strange just got a bunch of money and gadgets on top of his extreme, godlike power. Now replace "like" with "totally is." and you see why your argument is pathetic. Now if Fighter got built in 100x WBL there'd be no argument and this wouldn't be a thing. But they don't. And it is.

    not only that but they still have the writer on their side.

    And that's probably the most important part for the more human characters in team books. Either they get shortchanged and left out while the powerful characters deal with things or the author sets up problems for them to deal with while the demigods fight it out.

    Neither of which works well in party based D&D.

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