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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 12,831 posts (13,602 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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1) This isn't actually true. Casters, particularly magic-users, started off slow (when they were very weak), but caught up and passed fighters until very high levels. By 7th wizards were actually ahead and didn't fall behind again until something like 16th.

2) Saves were a big part of the difference, but it wasn't so much the difference between good and bad saves, but that saves went up and DCs didn't. It was actually easier to resist spells at high level, even level appropriate spells.


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Irontruth wrote:
Krensky wrote:

Sorry. I don't see how accepting Israel being a theocracy and apartheid state and giving up rights and claims against the government that drove them from their homes and cramed them into ghettos and claimed everything of value in both Israel and the West Bank is reasonable.

Perhaps it's a new definition I'm unfamiliar with.

Because you're connecting dots that aren't connected.

The insistence on a Jewish state is one of protection, because in every other country in the Middle-East, Jews have been stripped of their property, deported or murdered, to the point that essentially there are no Jews living in any country in the region except Israel.

Israel took Jewish refugees from every country in the region.

Why not have all those countries take a proportionate number of Palestinian refugees?

And before you jump on me for supporting this (cause I don't really), this is just pointing out what the stumbling block to negotiation is. Israel FEELS like it is constantly under siege, even if it necessarily isn't any more. The only way to get them to lower their guard is to make the region more tolerant and less militant against them.

While there's certainly truth in that, turn it around. The Palestinians feel like they are occupied and oppressed while the Israelis continue to take their land. The only way to get them to stop striking back is for Israel to lessen the occupation and the oppression and begin to remove the settlements.

In all honesty, the Palestinians are in far worse shape and have far less options. Why must it be up to them to make the first move to make their occupier FEEL better?


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Lord Snow wrote:

Most peace talks revolve around a return to the '67 borders or some revised version of them that would be accepted by both sides, so in that vain I'm referring to all of the settlements, not just those that are illegal in Israel as well as everywhere else.

And about your suspicion that Israel won't remove the illegal settlement - maybe so, maybe not. Personally I think that the settlers themselves would return to Israel on their own, given that none of them even know Arabic and they would have no chance to integrate into any Palestinian society. Staying means that even if they won't get lynched right away (a very real possibility), all the privileges they used to have at the expense of Palestinians would disappear. Many of them could be tried and sent to jail for various crimes. Even if they don't, their life style would degrade dramatically.
Any sane agreement would include the removal of those settlements. If you don't believe that Israel is capable of sanity... well, that's an opinion, but not one that I can respect very much.

No, obviously if the land goes back to Palestine, the settlers leave. I just don't believe that deal will happen, unless Israel is practically forced into it. '

As near as I can tell, much of Israel's political maneuvering over the past couple decades and several administrations has been dedicated to avoiding any real peace deal while looking like they're seeking one. It's actually pretty impressive.


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Angstspawn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There was no Israel during WWII, so obviously no Israeli citizens were in the concentration camps. OTOH, many who survived the camps, or who escaped but lost relatives there, did come to Israel, so in that sense Israeli citizens suffered in WWII.

Many also went back to their former countries or some other.

I like the concept of suffering by adoption (it's a very profitable concept of empathy)... but it makes no sense.

Israel was smart, no question about it but Israel is not among the countries who suffered from WWII. It just welcomed (and not always well) people who did.
Anyway, if it's still working so far, it would be stupid not to continue to use it, isn't it?

As you say, Israel is not among the countries who suffered from WWII. As I said, Israel did not exist during WWII.

What Andrew said was "Israel learned from it's peoples suffering in WW2". Many of the people of Isreal, particularly in the early years, had lived through, fled from and/or lost relatives to the Holocaust. To suggest that the people of of Israel did not suffer in WWII is beyond nonsense.

That some of them may have learned the wrong lesson from that suffering is a tragedy of it's own.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Yes, I didn't really grasp what Citizen Sweetman was saying earlier (as I said, this is a dense thread) but after listening to Rabbi Siegman about the "mind-boggling hypocrisy" (maybe a paraphrase), I am pretty much done listening to any American apologists for Zionism, fake leftie or otherwise.

That being said, I posted out of an emotional response to listening to Rabbi Siegman. I am not any more pro-Hamas than I was before. I'm just more anti-Zionist.

That I'd agree with. Despite what some may think from my posts here, I'm not at all "pro-Hamas". I do think they're more pragmatic and willing to deal than people give them credit for - despite the evil crap in their Charter.

They've been willing to deal with Fatah and even offer long term peace deals to Israel, as well as shown themselves able to keep the shorter term ones.
In a way, I suspect they're trapped. They've got enough hardliners that if they moderate too much without getting anything out of it, they'll fracture, or create openings for Islamic Jihad and other even more extreme groups. And they may be more useful to Israel as the bad guy than in any kind of deal, so they can't actually get any concessions.


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Irontruth wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

I read a piece written by a Danish member of parliament today, which in some ways sums up the situation for the Palestinians.

I've quickly translated it for everyone to read:

Quote:

"It's all the fault of Hamas!" That's something you hear often in these days. Hamas is a terrorist organization - and there's some truth to that. "As long as Hamas rules in Gaza there will be no peaceful solution. The Palestinians must elect moderate leaders - not until then can they live in peace."

Just a hop on over to the West Bank where Fatah - the more moderate Palestinians, rule.

What has Israel done to demonstrate to the Palestinians that moderate leaders make all the difference?

Here 2.7 million Palestinians live clumped together in an area the size of Funen (Danish island). You see, it also needs to house the 500,000 Israeli settlers - and, of course, safety zones, walls and such lovely things. Over the last 20 years more than 15,000 Palestinian homes have been removed to make room for more than 50,000 new Israeli homes. UN reports that boys aged 12-14 are being detained/incarcerated. Israeli military has a massive presence and a frightening wall more than 400 km long cuts through the area. It separates Palestinian villages, cuts people off from their farm land and forces people to subject themselves to military examination and even life threatening delays at check points. In the Danish debate it's not unheard of to describe the situation in the West Bank as apartheid-like conditions.

That politician's statement contains an error which is pretty big. There are no Israeli settlements in Gaza. None. When Israel unilaterally decided to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, they forcefully removed all Jewish settlers.

Even at the height of Jewish settlement in the strip, there were fewer than 7000 Jews living in Gaza, not 500,000.

There certainly are still lots of settlers in the West Bank.

No error. He's describing the West Bank, not Gaza. He's doing so as an illustration of the peaceful solution that Gazans could expect if they forsook Hamas and violence and elected moderate leaders.


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Besides, the whole idea that "Take out the casters" is a valid response to Aux's concern's with the system is ridiculous. Magic and casting classes are a huge part of the feel of D&D and have been from the very start. As far as I can tell, Aux wants a lower powered, grittier version of D&D, not one with huge chunks ripped out and thrown away. Being able to play lower powered casters is part of the appeal.


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Arturius Fischer wrote:
TheJeff wrote:

Well, a) Israel is a party to the Convention.
b) Hamas is not. But as Gentle Giant says, that's because they're not allowed to be, not being a state.
c) That doesn't matter, because the Conventions cover the case of non-state resistance movements.

Again, Israel is the Occupying Power. That makes it different than a war between two states.

Again, read the terms. Being a party to the convention does not mean you need to abide by it to enemies who are not. That covered area applies to those areas as well. As long as they aren't actively trying to wipe out Palestine itself, they are technically abiding by the terms. It's a very Lawful Neutral approach. Kinda a-hole-ish, but if you have some other plan for dealing with the situation when people who live to kill you are trying to find ever more clever ways to do so, I'm all ears.

Only nation states can be parties to the Convention. That's what it is. It's a treaty between states. Hamas is not a state. Nor is Palestine. Neither of them can sign the Convention. That does not mean any signatory has a free hand in dealing with non-state actors.

I suggest you read the terms, particularly the sections on Occupations and on Resistance movements.


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Vlad Koroboff wrote:

In other news,yesterday's battle near Shakhtersk was GLORIOUS.

Reports upwards from 200 tanks and APCs used from both sides.
City,somehow,still there.

And this, not the pro-Russian propoganda is why Vlad creeps me out: Battle is not GLORIOUS. Battle is real people dying and being crippled.


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I almost wish I'd seen more of it. I was playing a lot of Call of Cthulhu in the later 80s. It would have been amusing to have fundies tell me that was ok, as long as it wasn't D&D.


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Arturius Fischer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Beyond that, these are accusations by the IDF. Which is not exactly an impartial 3rd party. The UN claims the weapons found in a vacant school recently were the first time.
Hmmm... are the accusations by Hamas an impartial 3rd party?

No. Of course not. The UN, HRW and Amnesty are however.

Arturius Fischer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There is little to no hard evidence supporting the IDF's claims, other than that there is rocket fire from within Gaza.
Rocket fire being, apparently, not hard evidence.

It's hard evidence of rocket fire, of course. It's not hard evidence that they're shooting from schools, hospitals or other protected areas. Which is what is disputed.

Arturius Fischer wrote:


thejeff wrote:
Frankly, what they should do is not conduct military operations in a dense urban environment...
An overly simplistic approach toward a complicated subject. Perhaps terrorists shouldn't launch rockets at people who are willing to go to war over it? See--equally simplistic.

Yes, the part you left unsnipped is an overly simplistic approach.

Nonetheless, you're correct that terrorists shouldn't launch rockets at Israel, but Israel's approach is counterproductive if what they want is to reduce rocket fire. In addition to causing high civilian casualties, they've also drawn far more rocket fire by ending the truce than they'd seen total in the months preceding the current conflict. And set back any progress towards moderation.


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Arturius Fischer wrote:


TheJeff wrote:
They've been accused of firing rockets from near civilians, storing weapons near civilians, having civilians on/in buildings Hamas was using, etc.

That is, in fact, exactly what using them as human shields is. They count on the Israelis not firing into those areas because they are hiding among the population. And it's not just accusations, those things have actually happened. Sometimes it even works. Sometimes it doesn't.

The difference, as you've pointed out, is that Israel considers this to be wrong and is willing to prosecute their own people who do it. When has Hamas...

A) The point of the first part of the argument was to differentiate it from the direct analogy of a guy shooting at the soldier from behind a civilian, where the soldier is in direct threat. Given the effectiveness of the rocket attacks, maybe teh rockets are closer to a militant shooting a rifle at a tank from behind a civilian.

Beyond that, these are accusations by the IDF. Which is not exactly an impartial 3rd party. The UN claims the weapons found in a vacant school recently were the first time. There is little to no hard evidence supporting the IDF's claims, other than that there is rocket fire from within Gaza. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have investigated and not been able to confirm. Despite this Israel has been bombing protected sites for years. There is actually a process for handling these situations under the Geneva Conventions and it has not been followed.

And yes, Israel has prosecuted it's own soldiers. Twice, after a good deal of publicity. And, as I said, it's given them a slap on the wrist.

Israel can't be at war with Hamas. Not legally. That's the point. They can fight them, but they can't be at war with them. Legally that matters. They have obligations and responsibilities that they are ignoring and violating.

Frankly, what they should do is not conduct military operations in a dense urban environment unless seriously threatened. Not use attempt to provoke Hamas into open conflict for political advantage. Not use the excuse of looking for kidnapped teens they already know are dead to rampage through the West Bank. Not try to assassinate Hamas agents and kill a dozen civilians when you screw up (that was before the current mess, btw). Not do all of this as Hamas and Fatah are working on a reconciliation and unity government, while Hamas is doing it's best to hold to the last peace agreement and is likely to moderate even further as well as play an overall lesser role in the new government. Because what it looks like they're doing is trying to stop that.


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taldanrebel2187 wrote:

Drow are a race of chaotic evil demon worshipers. Anyone that knows what they are will probably draw their weapons or kill them on sight. Those that don't will still get a creepy vibe, and probably deny them entrance. It's a case of BUT I WANT TO PLAY DRIZZT.

The "get more information" attitude gets the town burned down. Red dragons are chaotic evil. You don't negotiate with chaotic evil in fantasy games. You kill it...

Shooting at the dragon that might just be passing by also gets the town burned down.

Even if it is evil, it's probably worth trying to avoid a fight. Or try to set the fight up on your terms. Probably worth casting defensive buffs while you wait to see if it's going to attack the town, though. And start getting the non-combatants undercover. And bucket teams.


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taldanrebel2187 wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
Jeven wrote:
Is it practical to attempt to parlay with every monster you meet, on the 1/1000 that it might be good?

No, but it's "Good".

No, it isn't. Good is not stupid. Good heroes would not sit there and look at a Red Dragon flying above their town. They would shoot it down and kill it.

BUT WAIT GUYS IT MIGHT BE GOOD. JUST WAIT. LETS TALK TO IT. Sorry, don't make me laugh.

Actually, what Good heroes do is nothing to attract it's attention while it's flying above their town. If it attacks, kill it. If it flies by, track it and get a force ready to deal with it, outside of town, away from civilians and property damage. Send for help, if you can. If it's willing to talk, talk, unless you're sure it's a threat (even to others) and sure you can handle it.

That's because Good isn't stupid.


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captain yesterday wrote:
it isn't evil to kill Drow on sight..... if its Drizzt Do'Urden that guy's time has gotta be up right?

That's the best argument yet. Actually, Drizzt's alright, but it's worth killing any other ones just on the off chance they're Drizzt clones.


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Better_with_Bacon wrote:


When hobgoblins come into a town to loot and pillage, that's 'evil'
But when humans go into an hobgoblin village to loot and pillage, that's 'heroic'

I'm sure the hobgoblins might disagree with that philosophical outlook.

When humans go into an hobgoblin village to loot and pillage, that's 'evil'.

When humans go into an hobgoblin village to stop the hobgoblins who've attacked the human village , that's 'heroic'. If they loot and pillage while they're there, that's part of the game.

I can't remember the last time I played a game that involved sacking humanoid villages for the fun of it. Probably something like Keep on the Borderlands, back in middle school. The vast majority of modules I see today make sure there's a suitably heroic motivation to back up the desire for loot and xp.

Hell, I even played one homebrew game awhile back where we rescued the lizardman village from the evil elven slavers.


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Lord Snow wrote:

@Anklebiter - I think most of what you said in your replay to me is reasonable. I did misread a couple of things in that article (honestly, once I saw that line that quoted the Hamas twitter claims, I just shook my head and, perhaps prematurely, decided not to take it seriously because it didn't seem to take reality seriously).

However, I do think you cheat once in your replay -

Quote:
As to your hypothetical question, I have no answer, because as a lifelong opponent of imperialist militarism, I would never voluntarily serve in an occupation army. If drafted, I'd either follow the precedent of the refuseniks and refuse to serve, or the Bolsheviks and organize for international proletarian socialist revolution within the army.

We are discussing military ethics. The whole context of the discussion is an attempt to discern which bastard is doing what horrible thing currently. The line I'm holding is that I feel that the IDF is being treated unfairly - that it is blamed for it's actions, when often there simply is no better way to accomplish it's objectives, and no army would really fare much better in there situations. By the way - while I am not as anti military as you are, I would have never agreed to fight or kill anyone, especially not in the kind of circumstances as in the current war.

So dodging a truly difficult question (the kind of question that unsophisticated, normal, frightened kids in uniform - that is, IDF soldiers - face now every hour of every day) with a noncommittal "can't answer because I'll never be in that situation" is not a serious response. The entire point I was trying to make is that things are not as clear cut as that article made them out to be in the question of civilians purposefully grouping around Hamas operatives to protect them.

Of course much of the worst of this isn't done by "unsophisticated, normal, frightened kids in uniform", especially ones in imminent danger from Hamas operatives being shielded by civilians, it's being done by airstrikes and missiles and artillery, generally from a nice safe distance. The kids on the ground aren't so much the problem. Though there were some nasty incidents in previous operations and I'm sure more will come to light in the aftermath of this one.

Nonetheless, it's not the soldiers I blame, it's the leaders - political and military. They set the objectives. They know how the operation will go. They know that any military operation in this kind of urban setting will have a high civilian toll, even without human shields. They also know that it's futile, militarily. Mowing the lawn, as it's been called. Even assuming this was about the rockets, peace deals slow the rockets to a trickle, offensives bring far more. Of course, that's not the point, just an excuse.


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Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

And you've proved my point. Monsters that are just there for you to kill aren't very interesting.

If you run into soldiers from an opposing nation, you can bribe them, insult them, cooperate against a common foe, or challenge them to a tug of war. There are options there.

Yes, you can still interact with other players and with NPC's. You're right. But see how that works? You're interacting with the non-automatically evil parts of the game....

Hell, you can do the same with the automatically evil ones too. Maybe not the tug of war, but you probably can't do that with a patrol from a nation you're at war with either.

You may be justified in automatically killing them because they're evil, that doesn't mean it's always the best strategic or tactical choice. Maybe you want to question them. Maybe you want to disguise yourselves and infiltrate. Maybe you want to follow them back. Maybe they can be bribed - evil certainly isn't immune to corruption. Maybe they can be tricked into fighting another group.
And of course all that is the same whether they're evil because they're racially evil or evil because these particular ones are evil.

If you think the only thing possible to do with evil monsters is just kill them on sight, you're sorely limited.


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Necromancer wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

An interesting thing about demon: "demon" comes from "dæmon" which from "δαίμων" (daímōn). The term demon has, over the years, been vilified thanks to Christian influence (whether intentionally or not) in English.

Demons were never "always evil" entities. That's a bone I've had to pick RPGs for years...

And by "never" you mean "always in the English language", just not in the root languages it comes from.
I mean the word encompasses a group of entities too large and variable to lump together into an always-evil category. It should have been used in place of "outsider" in my opinion.

But not in English usage, correct? Certainly not in modern English common use.

Besides, demons were in the game long before the category "outsider" was invented.


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Necromancer wrote:

An interesting thing about demon: "demon" comes from "dæmon" which from "δαίμων" (daímōn). The term demon has, over the years, been vilified thanks to Christian influence (whether intentionally or not) in English.

Demons were never "always evil" entities. That's a bone I've had to pick RPGs for years...

And by "never" you mean "always in the English language", just not in the root languages it comes from.


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Set wrote:
bob_the_monster wrote:
Drow seem to be pretty much universally reviled in lore.

In Golarion, 99 out of 100 people don't even know that Drow exist, let alone that they are evil demon-worshippers who probably eat babies and kick puppies and grind up and snort rainbows. (And the 1 in 100 who do are high ranking elven leaders, are part of a secret society like the Lantern Bearers, or have just completed Second Darkness, and are 15th level or so.)

The elves have kept the existence of the Drow secret from all other surface races, and there are entire elven communities that don't even know that they exist (the forsaken elves in the Mwangi Expanse, for instance, are a continent away from the nearest Drow community, which is almost 1000 miles to the north, and across an ocean).

So, yeah, anyone who has their character freak at the sight of a Drow and goes to kill it is either playing someone who psychotically attacks *any* elf (or humanoid, or living creature, or whatever) on sight, and is probably playing an evil and / or insane character, or is a meta-gamer, and should be shunned with great shunning.

If you're not playing in Golarion, or in a version of Golarion in which Drow have invaded the surface world or something, and are widely known as bad mofos, then it's at least not meta-gaming any more, although it's still a bit squiffy to murder folk because other folk of that skin color once did something bad, under the assumption that some people, color-coded for your convenience, are only for killing.

It might be a good *idea* to kill them on sight. But it probably won't be a good *act.*

Morality and pragmatism aren't always comfortable bedfellows, which is one of the many reason that doing the good thing is rarely the same as doing the easiest thing or the safest thing.

Some courage may be required, to walk the moral road.

Yeah, pretty much this: "Why are you killing the funny looking elf?"

OTOH, if you are aware of what Drow are and don't want to take any chances: Attack first, kill if you can't take them alive. Then use Speak with Dead to find out what's going on and then Raise them and apologize if you made a mistake.
Magic makes ethics more complicated. Or simpler. I'm not sure which.


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LazarX wrote:
Wizards is in this game to make money. So is Paizo. You don't run a company any other way because rent needs to be paid, and people have to eat. Even Paizo answers to people who hold stock in the company and expect a return on investment. That's the American way. it's also been the way since we stopped expecting hunter gatherers to feed only themselves, and we entered into a goods and services exchange.

Paizo's privately held, isn't it? Is it venture capital or actually owned by Lisa (and the other founders?).

If it's just them, it's a very different setup with different responsibilities than WtoC.

Obviously, as I said before, they need to bring in enough to pay the bills, but that's very different than being focused only on the quarterly profit statements.


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Craig Bonham 141 wrote:
Trust? I don't trust any company. Companies (with very few exceptions) exist for one singular reason, to make a profit. Any ethics they exhibit usually exist only due to limitations of law.

That's more and more true the farther up the corporate food chain you go. All businesses need to make enough revenue to stay afloat, pay their workers and the owners, that's certainly true.

But for many small businesses, especially in what's esentially a niche hobby market, profit is far from the only driver. Even many brick and mortar mom & pop businesses are more in it for the love of doing what they're doing rather than to drag every last possible penny out of it. As long as they make enough to keep doing it, that's enough.
Paizo is still a private company. They're not responsible to shareholders and driven by quarterly earnings reports. Obviously, they want to make money, but they're still at a scale where it's possible to have ethics, rather than just business decisions. Their treatment of LGBTQ issues in the game is an example of this. I don't believe that's a cold money motivated business decision (though they might well have backed off if the initial tentative moves had obviously hurt them), but a reflection of the personal beliefs of the owner and management.

WotC is not in that position. They're owned by a large corporate company who can't care beyond the profit numbers. That's the way it is.


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memorax wrote:
thejeff wrote:


And when a business screws me over, even if it's in a perfectly legal fashion, I reserve the right to be upset about and not give them my business anymore. That, even more than the letter of the law, is how you get businesses to behave well.
True but good luck trying to get them to behave unless one has the money to do so. Boycotts only work if a majority participate. Not to mention does that mean that because Drivethru made the mistake of selling Wotc pdfs without their permission. That you will no longer give them your money either. Wotc pulled the pdfs yet Drivethru where the ones that started the entire mess in the first place.

As I understand it, Drivethru had permission to sell the PDFs. If they did not, that would be an entirely different story. WotC pulled with less than a full day's notice permission to sell PDFs from all it's online resellers along with their right to distribute even to those who had already purchased them. There was no mess other than the standard panic about people sharing/pirating digital content.

But you're right, I don't have any real expectations of getting them to behave. All I can do is patronize companies that treat me better.


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memorax wrote:

While I don't agree with Scott on everything. I do think unlike many posters on the boards he tends to be more rational and logical than most. Like it or not he is correct. Legally Wotc were in the right. Drivethru had no business selling the PDFs if they were not allowed. Morally not that much. Except morals don't pay the bills at the end of the day. Nor a accepted form of currency at any bank.

Business is not FAIR. That's why we have the 995 vs the 1%. Do I wish it were different yes. I don't think it's ever going to change. I would have done the same thing with the PDFs. I would have given a week at most three days. Then pulled the pdfs.

And when a business screws me over, even if it's in a perfectly legal fashion, I reserve the right to be upset about and not give them my business anymore. That, even more than the letter of the law, is how you get businesses to behave well.


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MMCJawa wrote:

I think a lot of people will go over to 5E for simplicity reasons, but not for the "simplicity" reasons Werebat cites. 5E, within the core rules, simplifies a lot of things like magic and and number tracking. From what I can gather, a lot of people who really like 2E/1E find 5E closer to what they want than Pathfinder.

I really doubt people who like the complexity of Pathfinder, but dislike the number of books, are going to be all that happy transitioning over to 5E. Mainly because 5E will almost certainly start cranking out more player options, and within 2 or 3 years will have just as "bloated" rule set as Pathfinder. It would really seem to me that the most obvious solution if you don't like all the rules is to reduce the number of books at one's table.

There's certainly a temptation to shift because of the current lack of "bloat", but it will be a shortlived change.


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Orthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Taperat wrote:
You keep talking about 'rules bloat', but what about that is so off-putting to you? Why specifically is it more advantageous in your opinion to have less options? And as far as OP combos are concerned, what is your definition of OP? Outside of the Summoner, all of the additional rules Paizo has released feel solidly balanced (at least to me). In fact, it has kind of been disappointing to me overall that Paizo hasn't released MORE unique base classes and useful prestige classes, but I understand it's in the interest of maintaining balance and staving off power creep. And the fact that Paizo devs prefer archetypes to prestige classes.
Personally I think the bloat and power creep in PF isn't really in classes, but in feats and spells and even equipment. An example would be all the ways for a sorcerer to get more spells (favored class bonuses, pages of spell knowledge, Paragon Surge (even the nerfed version)).

And even these are not really all that bad. Some of the spells are a bit out there, though I personally haven't had any problems with them. I'm not sure what feats or equipment seem broken, but I admit my tolerance threshold for such things is much higher than some - for example, I never understood what the big fuss about 3.5's Shock Trooper feat was, but apparently it caused a lot of serious freakouts at some people's tables.

I kind of agree on the Sorcerer bit, though being as big a fan of spont casters as I am I really like the favored class bonus for extra spells (other than my usual gripe of "yay more nice things for humans, just what this game needs", neatly solved for my group by opening up favored class bonuses regardless of race); since I always houseruled to let pearls of power be used by spont casters anyway, the addition of the pages of spell knowledge didn't change my game at all.

I'm not even saying that it's that bad, just that looking at classes isn't where the bloat/power creep is in PF. It's almost unavoidable, not because new options are more powerful, but because just adding more options and more combinations of options makes for more powerful characters.


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Taperat wrote:
You keep talking about 'rules bloat', but what about that is so off-putting to you? Why specifically is it more advantageous in your opinion to have less options? And as far as OP combos are concerned, what is your definition of OP? Outside of the Summoner, all of the additional rules Paizo has released feel solidly balanced (at least to me). In fact, it has kind of been disappointing to me overall that Paizo hasn't released MORE unique base classes and useful prestige classes, but I understand it's in the interest of maintaining balance and staving off power creep. And the fact that Paizo devs prefer archetypes to prestige classes.

Personally I think the bloat and power creep in PF isn't really in classes, but in feats and spells and even equipment. An example would be all the ways for a sorcerer to get more spells (favored class bonuses, pages of spell knowledge, Paragon Surge (even the nerfed version)).


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Let's say I thought the original goals were a little bit loftier and I wouldn't count that towards filling them.


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Oh good lord. If you're counting alternate ability score generation , that's been a feature since AD&D. That's not modularity.


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Buri wrote:
thejeff wrote:

We're not talking about keeping things for decades. We're talking about something you could have bought yesterday not being in the companies download library tomorrow.

Hope you got the warning email.
So, I bought the product and had a chance to download it. How was I wronged? Just because it wasn't up the next day? That's immaterial. Unless there was a binding agreement (read: in a legal agreement and not some marketing slogan on the site) that you had with DTRPG then there's zero guarantee. That's a universal truth in business. If there were a binding agreement, then you'd have grounds to sue.

As I said before, it was perfectly within WotC's legal rights.

It was still a jerk move and it's understandable that people were (and still are) upset about it.


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Buri wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

That's extremely disingenuous of you. There's a big difference between "decide who distributes their products" and "make unavailable something that has already been paid for."

Furthermore, this is precisely the sort of argumentation for which you're constantly taking others to task.

It is technically, financially, and practically untenable to expect a resource to exist forever. Paizo and/or Pathfinder won't always be around, and neither will the PRD. I guarantee it.

Anyway, for some comparison here's a timeline of editions:

d&d: 1974 (3 years)
ad&d: 1977 (12 years)
d&d2e: 1989 (11 years)
d&d3e: 2000 (3 years)
d&d3.5e: 2003 (4 years)
d&d4e: 2007 (7 years)
d&d5e: 2014

pf: 2009 (5 years)

If the time that a company keeps a product available and supports it determines how much trust that company has, then Wizards is still way above Paizo with an average product lifespan of 6.7 years and two whole editions for lasting over a decade. Since 3.5 worked with 3 that shifts their average produce lifespan to 8 years counting them together. The actual problem is a perception and entitlement one.

The PDF thing sucks, but, and this has become acutely important of late, no company is going out of their way to ensure your individual, personal best interest. Not even Paizo does that. You bought the product and got your copy. To keep that copy in the same place and expect nothing to happen ever is, as I said, untenable. The folks who bought them were responsible for their upkeep. Get a thumb drive, keep a zip file locally, and since I'm doing timelines, Dropbox became a thing in 2008: use it.

We're not talking about keeping things for decades. We're talking about something you could have bought yesterday not being in the companies download library tomorrow.

Hope you got the warning email.


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Gorbacz wrote:
The funny thing about the 3.5 gaming crowd, which makes up the vast majority of Pathfinder player base, is that they, for the most part, embraced the vast sea of options. Pathfinder isn't the only RPG out there, it even isn't the only iteration of D&D out there, and I can pretty much bet that all those people who prefer lite gaming hardly ever touched 3.5, let alone Pathfinder, and are out there happily playing OSR retroclones or whatanot.

A lot may have dropped 3.5 then picked up again when PF started and didn't have a vast sea of options. And then got turned off again as it expanded. That's essentially what I've done.

Lack of splat bloat and "lite gaming" aren't really the same thing. I doubt anyone who really prefers lite systems goes for the retroclones. D&D's always been a rules heavy system. Older versions just had some rules gaps and didn't have the character building mini-game. In many ways AD&D was a more complex, rules heavy game than PF, when it came to actually playing the game.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Personally, I think sites which were distributing others' PDFs should have made it clear that they werent guaranteeing the downloads would be available in perpetuity.

That doesnt really relate to the trust issue though - people trusted WotC not to pull the rights of distribution and WotC betrayed that trust. They had the right to do what they did, but given other RPG companies allow sites to offer perpetual downloads, wasnt it reasonable to assume WotC would also?

Trust isnt about doing what's legal it's about doing what's expected.

There's also a difference between "guaranteeing the downloads would be available in perpetuity" and "You won't be able to get them tomorrow".


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Nathanael Love wrote:

Also, optimized core only PCs already easily out power-level as written APs. Have since AP 1 onward, because you know-- APs are written for middle of the road level of optimization, not for power gamers, so that argument if pretty faulty as well.

Obvious exception exist, like Bonekeep, but if you think the average group was really on the same power level as the average AP at any point in the game you are sorely mistaken.

I think you sort of contradict yourself there. I suspect the average group really is on the same power level as the average AP. I suspect the average group is closer to middle of the road level optimization than to power gamers.

Possibly not the average gamer who hangs out here and posts about APs, but there are a lot who don't.


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Scott Betts wrote:
Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
You should know, if you own a computer and I assume you do, that computers break down. They may not have deleted them from people's hard drives, but they DID keep them from redownloading the files if the computer crashed, which is what happened to me. And I asked WotC if they could get me a download link to the files I purchased and they said no, that I would have to buy it again.

Maybe next time, back your files up? If you were under the impression that DTRPG was your backup, because they'd promised you that your files would be available there forever despite them not being able to make that promise, why aren't you upset at them for making a promise they can't keep?

Quote:
No, but giving them permission to sell it THEN choosing to remove it just so they could make more money is a total d-bag move to anyone with a moral compass. And no, I don't care about the legalese, so feel free to keep that to yourself.

"Spare me the legalese" is, in this case, just another way for you to say, "I don't care about the factors that actually make this DTRPG's fault, I only want to hear about the things that allow me to continue to believe that WotC is solely to blame!"

Quote:
I'm not being an apologist, I just believe in KEEPING WHAT I PAY FOR!

You paid for a PDF. You got to keep it. Your computer's hard drive failed and was utterly unrecoverable? That sounds like the sort of thing that could happen to an actual possession!

Are PDFs real products that you own, giving you the rights of ownership? If yes, then you have to accept responsibility for their loss! Or are PDFs licenses for a service? If yes, then that legalese suddenly becomes critically important, because the terms of the license (not what you believe in your heart of hearts!) dictate what you're entitled to!

You don't get to have it both ways.

WotC was well within their legal rights to do so. That's not in dispute.

WotC was a jerk to do so, especially they way they did. I suppose that could be in dispute, but you don't seem to be disputing it, just trying to deflect blame.


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Scott Betts wrote:
Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
Scott Betts, I respectfully disagree on this matter. Why did WotC allow them to sell them in the first place if they were going to reneg and snatch them away?
Because they wanted people to be able to buy PDFs? They didn't freaking delete them from people's hard drives. They simply removed the license for DTRPG to distribute them, which forced DTRPG to stop allowing customers to re-download the PDFs - again, because they made a promise they knew they weren't licensed to keep.

And they did it with something like a days notice, which was sleazy.

If they'd still pulled it, but had given a couple of weeks or a month, I bet it would have blown over.


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
The aforementioned edition-changing was nothing but a blatant money-grab, which I tend to despise. If a company is going for a money-grab, make an exciting NEW book for an EXISTING ruleset people love, don't discard an old one and expect people to but a new one (The books of which are a bit thinner in most cases but cost just as much or more... WUT?!)

If only they'd never gone to 2nd Edition and just kept putting out exciting new books for AD&D!!

Oh wait. If only they'd never put out AD&D (or BECMI) and kept putting out exciting new books for the original Chainmail version.


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I think the trust issues come more from things like dropping the OGL and cutting online access to PDF libraries than from actual game mechanics.

Putting out good game mechanics won't help with those issues.


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meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Close.

1) The violence is being committed whether hamas exists or not

2) Any plan which starts with "Violence will not happen" is an impossibility.

Except no one expects your version of 2 to happen. The Israeli's aren't stupid, they know violence is a possibility. What they want is mechanisms to stop it and find those committing it.

Hamas doesn't do anything to stop rocket attacks. They hand out order forms for more rockets.

You're right, no one expects #2 to happen, which is why Israel is so obviously disingenuous when it claims it won't negotiate until it does.

What they want is genocide, pure and simple. If they wanted to stop it, they'd find and close the tunnels on the Israeli side.

Sorry, but there are no good guys in this conflict, just bigger bullies.
Israel got a bloody nose and came back with a glock.

Let's not go too far. If Israel really wanted genocide, they'd have it.

My best guess is that Israel (or rather the Israeli government) would prefer ethnic cleansing to genocide, but is basically happy with the status quo of a divided hostile Palestinian enemy. It's good for domestic politics. As long as some groups of Palestinians act like terrorists, Israel can do pretty much as it pleases without losing to much international credibility (or essentially US support). Rocket fire can be tolerated, it's not doing any real damage and it keeps the population scared and angry.

The real threat is a united Palestine getting too much international support.


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Irontruth wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Close.

1) The violence is being committed whether hamas exists or not

2) Any plan which starts with "Violence will not happen" is an impossibility.

Except no one expects your version of 2 to happen. The Israeli's aren't stupid, they know violence is a possibility. What they want is mechanisms to stop it and find those committing it.

Hamas doesn't do anything to stop rocket attacks. They hand out order forms for more rockets.

Now that's nonsense.

When Hamas wants rocket attacks you see hundreds per day. When Hamas doesn't you see dozens per month. They do something to stop it. Even Israel agreed they were doing their best during the truce.
No, they don't and can't stop them entirely.

Yes, they continued to rearm during the truce. They don't trust Israel either.


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Werebat wrote:

OK, I'm confused. Why was a post I recently made pointing out how the use of a certain word was offensive to the differently abled? I see plenty of support for the GLBT community here on the Paizo fora, but when someone makes offensive comments about other groups that are discriminated against in our society it is verboten to call them out on it?

I had thought that Paizo strove to be respectful and inclusive of ALL groups, not just a select one or two favorites.

It was probably removed along with the post it referred to and the one that referred to.

The whole sequence got tossed at once.


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Irontruth wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Stop fighting back. Disarm. Stop protesting, even nonviolently.

The palastinian government cannot take any of these actions.

Fighting is being done by individuals. They have very little central control over them.

If israels blocade isn't keeping weapons out, the palastinians can't either.

The Palestinian government can't stop the protests. They don't have enough police, the police can't mobilize from one area to another, and they don't have the jails to hold them all.

and then, as you point out, their lives will STILL suck, and they'd still have to wait for israel to act. Even granting the palastinians the ability to do all this (which they don't have) you STILL need to wait for Israel to do something to stop the oppression.

Yes it can. Hamas can stop digging tunnels. They can stop smuggling weapons into their territory. They can stop paying out money to the families of suicide bombers.

While I agree they could stop digging tunnels and smuggling weapons, are they actually still paying the families of suicide bombers? In fact when was the last Palestinian suicide bombing?

If you're only talking about families of past suicide bombers, I doubt that would have any effect on current conflicts, as long as they aren't generating more.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

What puzzles me though, is how you guys talk as if Israel is the only side doing anything wrong. They aren't. Other sides are actively engaged in perpetuating this conflict also.

I'll try to explain why I'm so hard on israel. In addition to what Freehold said try this exercise.

Finish the following sentence.

In order to end the fighting, the government of the Palestinian areas can ______________

Stop fighting back. Disarm. Stop protesting, even nonviolently.

The last is only necessary if you consider Border Guards shooting teens "fighting".

Of course, they would have to crackdown very hard on other factions within PAlestine to pull this off.

None of this would end the occupation, get Palestine a state of there own or stop the expansion of the settlements. It's likely it wouldn't even stop Israel from arresting (or even assassinating) Palestinian "terrorists". At least not for years to come.

Of course, the flip side of that is "In order to end the fighting, the Israeli government can ______________"

As far as I can see there's little they can do that will stop the rocket attacks in the short run.


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Necromancer wrote:

cringes at wacky decisions following Disney acquisition

And people wonder why I prefer DC.

DC's had it's own string of wacky decisions particularly since the New 52. And most of their criticism has been after the actual events, not just based on the announcements.

They've also lost several high profile creators to Marvel over some of their editorial decisions.


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Irontruth wrote:

At the same time, the 1967 borders create massive security problems for Israel. Large sections of the country are within 10 miles of the border (target-able by rockets}. Lack of water security. Ceding their very legitimate claims to land.

There never has been a "Palestinian state". Prior to WW1, it was part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. From 1918 to 1948, it was controlled by the British. From 1918-1922, the size of the mandate was Israel+Jordan.

The "Palestinian state" existed in name only, when the surrounding Arab nations invaded Israel, took land (Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights) and declared it part of the All Palestinian government (all in 1948).

In 1967, Israel took back land that it had been given by the British in 1948 (but invaded the day after the British left, literally).

Jews took land from Arabs.
Arabs took land from Jews.

Everyone lives on stolen land. Everyone.

Now design a peace agreement that doesn't legitimize one sides stealing of land.

F#** legitimizing one side or the other. I don't care. I don't care that there's never been a Palestinian State.

How about "design a peace agreement that doesn't leave the Palestinians living in a non-viable land that Israel keeps taking more of".
You know the actual Palestinians living there now. Can we worry about them? Yes, and the Israelis too. But not who stole land from who decades or centuries or millenia ago. What happens to the actual real live people there now?


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Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
That's cool that YOU consider it part of Israel. I must have missed the day they announced you to be the arbiter of these things.

More point and less sarcasm would be appreciated.

When you're criticizing someone's statement like you were you aren't the arbiter either. If you want to say they're factually wrong you're setting a pretty high bar that you haven't reached.

His implication is that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel. All adult citizens are allowed to vote in Israel.

No. His implication, as clearly understood by everyone except you is that Israel controls the lives of large population that are not citizens and do not vote.

Actually, you probably understood it to or you'd be attacking the "more than half the adult population" part as well as the "can't vote" part, since the Arab citizens of Israel are far less than half the population. His statement only makes sense if he's talking about the Palestinians, since that's the only way the population numbers are even close.

It's not the borders themselves, it's that any agreement based on borders from any one specific date will essentially formalize some form of violence against someone. There is no ideal period to reach back to and say "ah, that's when it was good, can we go back to that?" Which is what all drawings on maps are trying to do, except that every line is based on some form of violence against someone.

Peace will be forever out of reach until at least one side decides to give up using violence. But neither side will, because the other side won't.

Let's say you and I are in a fight. I hit you, and felt justified doing it. Now, you feel justified hitting me. I know you're going to do that, so I feel justified defending myself. You of course feel justified defending yourself.

Yeah. I get it. Basic feud logic.

Of course, it's not just that, but the situation Palestinians have to live under in the name of Israeli security and the slow but constant growth of settlements and the web of roads and other support structures that seem designed to ensure that Palestine is not viable.

As for borders, I agree than nothing is ideal. By pointing at the 67 borders, I'm not trying to say "This violence was legitimate and this violence wasn't." Just that that is a set of borders that might make a viable Palestinian state. The current ones certainly don't, as you have said. The alternatives are to start from a previous set, make up something entirely new, not based on current status or history, or just accept that Palestine is not viable and will have to remain occupied and controlled by Israel indefinitely. That seems to be your preference. Arguing about what's legitimized by any particular set of borders is little more than a distraction from the position that Palestine cannot be viable because Israel refuses to let it be so, not because of anything inherent to Palestine or the Palestinians.

And yet there is no other way to peace.


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And that's the point. It doesn't really matter how they're made or how many there are. You want enough of something that will roll to make a 10' square difficult to walk through and you want the cost low enough that people will use it.
Call them whatever you want. If you're happier thinking of them as marbles or glass beads, go for it.

It's not a medieval economy simulator. It's a role playing adventure game.

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