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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 20,949 posts (21,829 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
tony gent wrote:

Hi all just wondering what you think the name old school gaming means to you ?

Is it just a reference to how long someone's been gaming or do you think it describes a style of play.
Your thoughts please
It's a term over40's use when we want to impress you with our age. It includes mythical beliefs such as the idea that gaming and gamers were better when THEY were younger. That more primitive ways of creating games and characters were better.

It's also a term the young kids these days use when they want to bash the old grognards and the dumb ways they played those primitive games, which couldn't possibly be as good as today's shiny new ones.

Which is of course an odd argument to find on a Pathfinder site, since that's running on a 15 year old chassis and even D&D has had two major new evolutions since then which means it must be much better now.


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Seems to me a Crystal ooze would be the natural answer here. :)


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Tormsskull wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
There are two definitions being discussed here. You want to assert that yours is the real definition, and that the other is a fabrication that was invented in order to achieve a specific goal. The one you're asserting is a fabrication is the product of looking at the actual components of the word. You are asserting that your definition is somehow more primary than that.

Its not about real definition versus fake. Its about a commonly understood definition from an early era of the game's history versus the definition that evolved among some groups over time.

Jiggy wrote:
And the reason we should believe that your definition is more primary than the one based on delving into the roots of the word itself is because that's what you were told when you started playing?

You can believe whatever you choose. I'm not trying to win converts; simply provide another viewpoint.

The question is what is role-playing? I contend that the term was fairly unambiguous during the eighties and early nineties within the hobby. The term became muddied as some sought to redefine it in later years.

Honestly, I'd say very little was unambiguous during the early years of the hobby. I don't recall a "roleplaying == talking in character" usage in my groups. An association maybe, but nothing so strict.

In the early days, the hobby was pretty fragmented. A lot of people played and without the internet, many of them had little contact with other gamers. They developed their own habits and approaches from the rulebooks and modules.
Hmmm. Maybe I'll go back at look at the intro in the original PHB, just to see if roleplaying is actually given a definition in there anywhere.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:

We know the plans get to Leia.

We don't know how or if the people involved survive.

I mean it's Disney, so they're not going to kill everyone, but still.

I've never found the "but we know how it's going to end" complaint persuasive. Of course we know how it's going to end. In broad general terms, just like we know how every action movie is going to end. The hero beats the bad guy and gets the girl. Even in the cliffhanger action scenes, the question is how the hero escapes, not whether or not he escapes.

It's the journey and the details that can be surprising, not the final outcome.
I hear 'We already now how it ends' complaints and the only thing that flashes through my mind is "So you've never watched anything a second time?"

I mean there are some stories where there's the ending really is a big reveal and spoiling it would hurt the experience. A lot of twist ending stories and the like. Action-adventure space opera flicks aren't really that kind of movie.

Even those movies you can often enjoy a second time, because the second time through you can reassess all the clues and hints that are pointing at the twist you know know.
For some reason, I'm thinking Usual Suspects as my example here. It's a completely different movie once you know the ending.


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Orthos wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Pity that wrinkle was dropped from Pathfinder. :(
I disagree. Removing flat xp costs from crafting and the death of familiars was one of the best changes pathfinder made.
Seconded. My players never touched crafting and would essentially lock their familiars in boxes never to be seen again after level 3 in 3.5. PF has allowed them to make use of both without feeling like they'll be ganked in the XP at any moment.

Also makes it viable to drop XP entirely and level by fiat, which I sometimes prefer.

Definitely a good design decision, as much as I like the basic concept burning XP for such things.


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WormysQueue wrote:
The rest has probably to do with my rather pessimistic world view. In my mind, there is no such thing like an idealistic government. There is only corrupt. That's also part of why I don't believe in the past of Golarion having no gender issues. Fairy tale stuff and utterly unbelievable to me. And no interest in playing things like that.

Not no gender issues, but also not a deep traditional "Women are subject to men" history either.

Honestly, it adds more complications than it takes away. If there was such a history, what happened? Was there a feminist movement? Is it still going on? What stage is it in?
Is it the same across different cultures and even more so different races? Did all the major races have roughly the same kind of unequal history?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd also say, even if it seems obvious, make sure the guy playing the halfling's okay with your elf sneering at his character. Sure, it can be great arc as the elf comes to appreciate his little buddy over time if everyone's on board for it, but it can be frustrating for the other player if he doesn't want to deal with that in character.
Well, yeah. I'm not sure I've every played with anyone that fragile, but it doesn't hurt to be sure.

I don't know about fragile, but I've played a few characters (dwarves & halfling, IIRC) who wound up being the constant target of short jokes and similar things. Mostly semi out of character. Didn't ruin the game and I didn't rage quit or anything, but a constant irritation.

Or, perhaps as a more likely issue: Someone playing a sexist character and directing a lot of that at the female character in the party (played by a female). That's likely to hit closer to home. Again, can work, but not always something you want to deal with.

It's much like setting the game in a sexist or racist society. Sure, struggling to overcome prejudice can be a good arc, but it's not always the arc you want to play. Someone playing a bigot character can impose that on another player and that's not cool.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Wait, she was on a diplomatic mission TO alderann. Wasn't naboo her home planet?

She was adopted and raised on Alderann. Naboo wasn't invented until the prequels.

I think the diplomatic mission (which was probably just a cover story anyway) was from the Senate to Alderann.


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The Minis Maniac wrote:
Odraude wrote:

I think when doing shades of gray, people tend to go quickly towards ultra violence and sexual violence to make the world seem gritty. I prefer more atmospheric and less on the nose showings of gritty fantasy settings that many people don't normally go for. Paranoia and mistrust, hopelessness, hypocrisy, sociopathy, famine, apathy, class war, bigotry... I feel these and more really add to that atmosphere one is looking to for a darker world without going straight to the jugular. Just remember that even in these dark times, there should still be some good people the PCs can trust.

I personally like to focus on a group's lack of empathy combined with hypocrisy to make compelling villains and that feeling of despair.

I get the whole GM treating darker or grey settings as a club against certain players. I think that is a bad GM thing. Moral ambiguity along with flaws and mistakes of society and people make things interesting for the players. But I have heard stories of the creepy GM victimizing a female player through bad GMing, and we all know thats awful. But if there is some misogyny done right where the player can slap it in the face and say I'm so much stronger. Then I think it CAN make an interesting plot. But we just need GMs to stop being creepy.

It can make an interesting plot, but so can many other things. It gets boring if every female character has to deal with the same plot.


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Caineach wrote:
Hama wrote:
You're asking too many questions for a comic book show.
No. The plot writers decided to use time travel and s!$~ty sudo--logic to justify bad writing.

I'm amused by "sudo--logic".

Logic you have to accept because the speaker has root access?


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Snorter wrote:

If IP protection and copyright is important to you, you may want to check out the Goodman Games back catalogue, for the d20 sci-fi western campaign setting 'Broncosaurus Rex', especially the guide explicitly for velociraptor PCs and NPCs.

While it was written for D&D, possibly 3.0 Edition, it would show if what you've written is at all similar to what's been done before, and if it is, how much you'd need to tweak the names and file off the serial numbers, to avoid repetition or confusion.

OTOH, if you haven't looked at it and you've developed it independently, there should be no copyright concerns.


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Hama wrote:
Interesting. Our bread must taste sour to you guys...

Mind you, if you're just using the sugar to feed the yeast, most of it gets digested and doesn't really change the flavor of the bread.

Sour taste tends to come from a different process, not just the lack of sugar.

That said, basic American white bread has way more sugar (or actually corn syrup) than is needed for that.

It's not actually hard to find good textured or non-sugary bread, it's just not the most common mass produced variety.


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Jiggy wrote:

Here's an interesting thought exercise:

The GM says that an angry mage-hunter points his sword at your character and asks if he's a spellcaster. You declare that your character answers "no". Do you need to make a Bluff check? Why or why not?

Assuming I'm playing PF, yes, if the character's a spellcaster, because he's lying. No if he isn't, because he isn't lying.

Possibly some edge cases where the character mechanically casts spells, but has refluffed things so that he doesn't think of them that way, though that's iffy, since even in world they'd still be identifiable as spells to anyone watching, barring feats or other abilities to mask that.

Not actually sure what the interesting part of this is or how it's relevant.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Hama wrote:
Yeah I've heard that most of your bread contains sugar.
Mass-produced pre-sliced bread does, but there are several bakeries that are either stand alone or contained in groceries that have fresh bread without high sugar content.

Even homemade bread generally includes some sugar for the yeasts to eat.


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Krensky wrote:
Hama wrote:

I did, however, drink a bottle of bud lite. How do people get drunk on that?

Anyway, both peanut butter and maple syrup can be bought here, I'm gonna do that once and tell my experiences here :)

No idea. I assume they just drink lots and lots of it.

Ignore Kullen, they are clearly either insane or allergic and bitter. Peanut butter is wonderful. As for maple syrup, imagine a much thinner cross between honey and vanilla and that's... close. You want actual maple syrup, not 'pancake' or whatever.

If you want to be a gourmand about it, you probably want Grade B maple syrup. Which is counterintuitive, since Grade A is usually the good stuff.

I'd also add that I prefer peanut butter that's just ground up peanuts rather than the more commercial mostly sugar/corn syrup versions.


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Jiggy wrote:

Well, I'm not saying that in order for roleplay to be enabled, the production of your character's parameters have to be the result of a step-by-step process in the rulebook.

If part of how you defined your character was by asking yourself a series of questions (like "What would you do anything to protect?", etc), it doesn't matter whether that list of questions was in the Character Creation chapter of the book, listed on the preprinted character sheet, or scribbled on a piece of paper you keep in your wallet for whenever you make a character for any system. The point is that you ended up with some defined parameters, and roleplaying means playing to those parameters.

At least, that's all that matters to my definition of "roleplaying". How much of the parameter-determination has to come from the players' own initiative might say something of the quality of the system, but that's a different topic. ;)

Fair enough.

Most of mine never actually get written down and develop out a vague idea I start with and trying to be consistent with previous actions in play.
I generally prefer that, so usually consider systems that don't force much to be higher quality. :)


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Kullen wrote:
How does one square the "racist characters bad!" sentiment in this thread -- that goes far beyond the article the OP cited -- with "Ooh! A goblin tribe! Let's slaughter them and steal their stuff!"?

There are many different kinds of fantasy racist:

Fantasy racial supremacist: "We should enslave the elves, but exterminate the gnomes, because gnomes make lazy slaves. Go humans!"
Fantasy racial segregationist: "I respect elves, but they should stick to their own lands. If humans and elves mix, you might get half-elves, which are an abomination."
Accurately prejudiced: "A red dragon, it's probably evil! Let's kill it and take its hoard!" (The only acceptable sort of racist PC in most games.)
Inaccurately prejudiced: "An elf, he must be evil! Let's slaughter him and steal his stuff!"
Friendly but prejudiced: "I like half-orcs. They make great frontline allies. Much braver than me. I like dogs and horses too. I'd never vote for a half-orc, of course - just as I wouldn't vote a horse into office - but they're splendid fellows in their own way."

In worlds where the fantasy races are actually alien and not just humans in funny costumes, it may just not be a good parallel to real world racism.

"Elves make good allies and trading partners and we're happy to have them visit, but they really don't think like we do and neither of us is happy living with the other full time. There are always tensions and misunderstandings we just can't get past."

Which sounds like some of the nicer real-world justifications for racism, but the difference is that in a fantasy world they can actually be true.


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DM_Blake wrote:
Shroud wrote:
Deadmanwalking has pretty much hit the nail on the head. Far, far too many people are using modern day and historical monotheism as their basis for deciding what a "highly religious" person would do.....which is monumentally wrong. Golarion is a polytheistic world, just like ours was for most of our history. During that time you saw almost zero instances of religious dictatorships and persecutions. Polytheistic religions venerate ALL the gods, however, an individual priest might only directly serve the interests of one god.

Except they don't. They only venerate their pantheon's gods and they slaughter ruthlessly every neighboring civilization that worships a different pantheon. Consider how the Nubians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, each of whom had their own pantheon of gods, all conquered Egypt who had a different pantheon of gods. A Greek soldier, for example, might have prayed to many gods during that sea voyage and campaign of conquer, not just one god - because he believed in the whole pantheon equally and prayed to whichever god was useful at the time (Poseidon to keep him safe at sea, Ares to win the war, Zeus to bring in clouds to block that blasted sun, Aprhodite to turn the heads of the hot Egyptian babes, etc. In other words, they worshiped the ENTIRE pantheon.

Pathfinder's "pantheon" is barely a pantheon at all. Where's the cleric who worships the whole pantheon (which would probably let him choose any alignment AND any domains, even opposing domains like Good and Evil)?

Instead, it's a list of gods who have various relationships with each other (friends or enemies or whatever in between) and are individually worshiped by followers who usually pick one and virtually ignore the rest - that's not how historic pantheons worked.

It would be closer to compare the "pantheon" of Pathfinder/Golarion to say it's more like the Earthly "pantheon" of Yahweh, Buddha, Allah, and Krishna. It's a list of gods who all seem to coexist but their followers only pick one...

Yeah, it doesn't really match either real world monotheism or polytheism. Though I actually assume that most non divine casters in Golarion will do just as your Greek soldier did - pray to whichever god is suited to the situation. Actual priests are and often were even in real polytheism dedicated to one of the gods, which doesn't mean their opposed to all the others, just not focused on them.

And often in the real ancient world when cultures with different pantheons met they adapted their gods to each other - identifying the storm god of your religion as being the same as the storm god of ours.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Just this morning I was thinking about how brilliant it was for Herbert to introduce the Butlerian Jihad into Dune. Of all the tech that's hard to predict that far into the future, computers have got to be #1. Hell, computers today actually do way more than what a lot of SciFi authors in the '80s anticipated them doing centuries from now! The Jihad wipes out that concern in one stroke, and seamlessly fits into the quasi-religious cultures he's presenting. Bloody genius.

I have to admit I've got a soft spot for all the old 40s/50s sf where the hardbitten engineer space heroes whip out there slide rules to plot courses through the galaxy.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
Krensky wrote:

No Sith Lord other, maybe, than Darth Bane ever really followed the Rule of Two.

It was more of a Guideline of Two.

That isn't shocking - the Sith ARE the villains of the story. What are rules to the bad guys, besides another obstacle in their way?

Of course the Sith barely existed in the original trilogy - no mention in the movies, though Vader was called a "Dark Lord of the Sith" in the novelization.

No more information about Sith. No indication that "Darth" was a Sith title. Much less any Rule of Two or the rest of what's grown up since the prequels.


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DM_Blake wrote:

Historically on earth, we rarely see a "priest" (et al.) assume a secular political leadership position. When we have, that political organization (kingdom, country, etc.) began immediately making changes such as persecuting and/or outright removing members of other religions and passing laws that insinuated their religious beliefs into the lives of every citizen over which they ruled. I don't know if it's 100% true that it happened this way every time, but I don't of a historical precedent where it didn't.

Arguably, I can't see how that wouldn't happen. If the U.S. elected an actual priest as president (which has never happened that I know of), it's hard to imagine that priest-president actually believing the following:

"Well, my god is the one true god. All others are false and anyone worshiping them is a heretic. And my religion is the one true religion and all others are false. But that's OK, we like heretics, false religions, apostates, and other tools of the devil, so I won't ever try to reform the misguided people, educate them, or convert them. Despite the fact that I have devoted my life doing exactly that and have not abandoned my faith, my title, or my obligation. I will allow the misguided heretics that I sword to protect to just live their lives of false heretical beliefs and I'll do nothing to save their souls or actually protect them in this matter, despite swearing to protect them. Now that I have two oaths, one to god, and one to country, I simply refuse to exercise my righteous faithful beliefs in my political office as president. Ever."

It just wouldn't happen that way.

Even if his intentions are pure and guided by the most beautiful and holy purpose, and all he wanted to do was save people from the devil that truly believed will take their souls, even if he never flaunted his religious viewpoint for personal gain and only thought of the people he could help, could save, for reasons of his purity of heart - he would do it. He'd have to.

He'd be too conflicted not to.

Could it happen? Is it possible that a priest could hold secular power and NEVER blur that line? Sure, anything is possible. But history and logic tell me it won't happen, so I deem the chances are low enough that I definitely would never bet on it or expect it. Quite the opposite.

Without delving too deeply into real world politics, I think it would depend very much on the religion and the person.

While the US hasn't an religious official as president as far as I know, we have had various ordained governors, Congresspeople, mayors, etc. As have other secular countries. The results haven't been as uniform bad as you suggest. Partly because our system has checks built in to prevent individuals from making such drastic changes, but also partly because even many religious officials, especially those brought up in a secular country, don't actually want to force others to believe or may believe that such forced belief wouldn't actually save them.

And that's in our world of monotheistic beliefs. In Golarion, where different gods are all real and hold sway over different aspects of life, there's no reason they can't be even more cooperative.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Dal Selpher wrote:
And here I was just thinking a scroll mishap resulted in a brief, fiery explosion.

In that case, the scroll located a creature alright.

I am not sure it a huge dinosaur will help with the rat swarm though.

Well it will certainly draw the attention of the various people on board.

Most likely be ripping the ship apart due to just being too damn big to fit.

I doubt that's what actually happened though.


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GM_Beernorg wrote:

Likely feels safe, or at least more comfy than in a bright area. Our white deaf cat Zoe has similar feelings it seems, as she loves going under any blanket me or the wife are using, making space for her is officially called "making a buggie yurt" as her nick name is Zoe Buggie (as in, bugs us for petting and constant attention)

Upside, kitty bed warmers, green, reusable, and non-toxic :)

Downside - occasionally pointy when you roll over unexpectedly.

I'd somehow tangled the sheets so she couldn't get out and was woken by a frantic cat trying to claw her way out through either my arm or the sheets.


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I think you're just reading the same text with different emphasis.
Putting the dividing line at different places between Canon & not Canon.
Your "a canon, but not the canon" maps pretty closely to GWL's "Movies were core Canon, show was next, then books, then games & comics"

Just more finely divided.


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Herpdiddle wrote:

I have nothing at all against characters like this existing.

That being said, I don't want tokenism to become a common thing in Pathfinder. The chance of a person being asexual is very low. The chance of a person being both significant (such as a famous artist or political figure) and asexual is even more so. As long as the character has more depth to them than "the asexual one", it could be an interesting character trait.

Has Paizo ever done that? With all the non-white, gay, lesbian, trans characters they've used, have any of them been tokens?

Why does this always come up, as if Paizo is suddenly going to turn around and take exactly the same kinds of characters they've been using for years, but now do it badly?


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Norman Osborne wrote:
If Kilgrave's mind control is accepted as a precedent, then the concept of "reasonable doubt" suddenly becomes "NOTHING is illegal".

Or, you accept that "I was mind-controlled" with no supporting evidence doesn't introduce reasonable doubt. In order to do so you would have to actually have to show such evidence. Circumstantial evidence of such wouldn't be that hard to come by, once the basic concept is allowed. In Hope's case, for example, proving Killgrave gave the orders to kill her parents would be practically impossible, but proving she was associated with someone who could control minds wouldn't be. Back track her to the hotel they were in and the restaurants they'd eaten at and everywhere else they went and collect testimony of people Killgrave had ordered to do things - like feed them without paying or any of the other petty orders Killgrave gave on a whim.

What's the alternative in a world where mind control is possible? Just ignore it and punish people for crimes they commit even when controlled?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


I'm thinking Finn has the Force virus.

"Force virus"? It's contagious?


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Irontruth wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

World long jump record (which we should note are under conditions specifically designed to allow for good performance) is just under 9 meters.

Longest recorded jump of a kangaroo in the wild (ie, not optimal conditions, and also not an "athlete" or "trained" animal) was 13.5 meters.

Do you have a source for that record?

Most websites, such as...

National Geographic
Wikipedia
Discovery Channel video

all cite a distance of 8-9 meters or 30 feet.

The only spot I can find which cites your distance is a grade school history/english teacher who answered a question on Answers.com.

Now, I accept that 8-9 meters probably isn't the record jump for a red kangaroo (remember, there are other kinds of kangaroos, tree kangaroos for example are no where near as good at jumping while on the ground). The record jump probably hasn't been recorded, seeing as there are probably hundreds of thousands of kangaroos that no one ever sees.

But, seeing as I can find 3 fairly reputable sources for the 8-9 meters (or 30 feet)... is it SOOOOOOO ridiculous for me to use that number when making my comparison? Is it so ridiculous, that we have to make implications about my intelligence or ability to debate this topic? Do we really need to pull out debate rules and go on and on for over a page, because I said that 8.95 meters is similar to 9.1 meters?

Seriously, it was an off-hand comment. It wasn't meant to be taken super seriously that we needed to f#%*ing go into full research mode for this. If I had known that you guys were going to freak the f#$% out on this, I wouldn't have made the comment.

I'm willing to drop this stupid, stupid aside if you guys are. But I will continue if you insist.

Those sources seem to refer to common leaping distance. Would you say that's a common jumping distance for humans?

That said a quick search of "Longest recorded jump of a kangaroo" got me
13.5m or 12.8m (verified)
43 feet
42 feet

Basically you're comparing human records to average kangaroos.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'm guessing you've never had to question your identity. If you had, then you would know that being told by everyone around you-your parents, your teachers, complete strangers that you overhear in passing-that what you feel isn't real and is only a phase you need to suppress until it's over is a pretty unpleasant feeling, and having those ideas affirmed by the literature you try to escape from it all with just rubs salt in the wound.

Or how affirming having those ideas countered by literature can be. Especially when there aren't any other positive voices in your life.


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Alzrius wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
You can deny that media has any effect on culture all you want, that doesn't make it any less true.
You can pretend that it's true all you want; that doesn't make it so.

In the strict narrow sense you want to make it, you're right.

Playing violent games doesn't make you a murderer. Seeing a homosexual scene doesn't infect you with "The Gay". Nonetheless, people do draw on stories for their understanding of the real world, just not in as direct and obvious a manner as you reject. That's the point of stories. That's why we've told them throughout history and prehistory.


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Ashiel wrote:

I'm curious what people's opinions of men who disguise themselves as women to be more alluring to other men who aren't homosexuals are, and if said men would receive as much hate in this case.

Similarly, I wonder if someone used illusion magic in Pathfinder to appear as a different gender, if it would send folks like thejeff into a tizzy.

Since I've been called out specifically here, I'd point out I'm hardly in a tizzy, especially now that I've got a better idea what the actual scene is like. A little creeped out by it, isn't exactly a tizzy. I'd say the "OhmiGod it's being censored" crowd is more of a tizzy.

That aside, illusion magic in PF to appear as a different gender, I've got no problems with.
Illusion magic to appear as a different gender to seduce someone is problematic, but I'd have no problem with it in fiction or game as long as it's presented as problematic and not as "seduced in disguise but afterwards changed orientation" either as Gay Conversion Sex or as Homosexual recruitment.

"men who disguise themselves as women to be more alluring to other men who aren't homosexuals" isn't really a thing. There are trans women and there are cross-dressers and there are guys who are attracted to them, but they know what they're getting into. There certainly are trans women who get beaten or killed because straight guys thought they were being tricked into being gay, so lets not push that idea any more than absolutely necessary. Which it isn't.


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Lemmy wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
The number of people in this thread complaining about "censorship" is really concerning.

What is really concerning is that people still think sparing someone's feeling is more important than allowing the free market of ideas.

Something offends you? Don't buy it. Support stuff that pleases you. Don't force or pressure others to stop using whatever it is that you find offensive. Truth and freedom of choice are far more important than hurt feelings and political correctness.

So, if their changes offend you? Don't buy it. Support stuff that pleases you. Don't force or pressure others to stop using whatever it is that you find offensive.


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Terquem wrote:

You know, sometimes, in literature, forms of fiction of different sorts, a character we like goes and does something we think is wrong, something we know is wrong

and suddenly we find ourselves asking

"Why did they do that?"

And that's cool. Especially when the author addresses that.

But it's a different thing when the answer is "Because the author didn't think it was wrong".
Or as apparently in this case has a character react in a way that's right out of some of the nastiest anti-lesbian tropes.

But yeah, as a general statement, apropos of nothing, that can be a great moment in fiction.


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spectrevk wrote:
I don't like that the scene was in the game in the first place, but you don't get to pick and choose when to be anti-censorship, IMO. Leave it in with a disclaimer about "cultural differences", or allow the option to remove it, but when a third party starts deciding what we are and are not allowed to see, we all lose :(

It's hardly "third party" or really censorship at all. It's the company that's translating the game for the US market. They've got the rights to change it as they please. They're not being forced to do so by anything other than their good taste and sense of what the market wants.

And seriously Japan? WTF? How is that even close to okay as anything but some evil mind control option?


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Tacticslion wrote:

Tangentially relevant, anyway: blasters v. bullets. (EDIT: as everyone in TFA uses blasters.)

I think he's missing a very, very salient point: bullets leave holes in ships. Only suicidal idiots would carry them on ships in space. Otherwise, it could well be a solid theory. I'm curious what you guys think?

Do blasters not effect material objects?

Any reason they couldn't damage ship walls as easily as bullets?
I'd also assume most ship's outer hulls are fairly resistant to small arms fire.


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Cavall wrote:
Well I didn't realize every question would be "how do I murder it" or yes it would be a less useful fact.

If you're in a fight, yeah, that's probably pretty much it. With a side order of "How is it likely to try to murder me?"

In some cases, things like "These creatures are usually peaceful, unless <plot related condition>" can actually be more useful than combat data. Listen to your GM, if he does this.


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OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Cavall wrote:


Even facts like "they are tribal, and likely travel like nomads" are still facts.

But probably not "useful," which the skill description specifies.

Pulling a monster at random from the Bestiary, I think it's definitely "useful" to know that a minotaur's strongest save is Fort. It's probably not useful to know that it's immune to a maze spell if no one in the party is capable of casting that spell. It's probably useless, because it's obvious, that it is a Large monster and that it uses the greataxe it's self-evidently holding.

And the fact that "most modern minotaurs [...] believe that they are not divine mockeries but divine paragons created by a potent and cruel demon lord named Baphomet" is probably pretty d--n useless, even though it's a fact.

I agree. While it is up to the GM what facts are recalled by the check this shouldn't be used for douchebaggery. On a successful check I always give the players the name of the creature and one piece of useful information.

Also there are some things that the average person should just know. For example, most people are going be able to identify a Wolf by sight and probably know they usually travel in packs even if they have no ranks in Knowledge (Nature) and therefore can't even attempt a check.

Simplest way to handle that in the rules is to assume that such creatures are Common, so DC = CR+5 = 6. Less than 10, so possible untrained.

I also tend to give out some of the non-useful interesting fluff for free with a successful check - at least on monsters that everyone doesn't already know by heart.


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DM_Blake wrote:

Others have quoted the rule.

Here's how I use it:

The DC listed is the DC to identify what a monster is. If you exactly hit this DC, you know that's an orc, or a griffon, or a dragon, or whatever. Given just that, it's fair for players to assume their characters know some very basic general stuff (e.g. dragons fly and have breath weapons and like to eat meat and hoard treasure) but not specific abilities (such as SR or resistances or SLAs, etc.).

For every 5 they beat the basic DC they get to know one useful thing. The big question is, what is a "useful thing"?

" A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information"

The listed DC officially gives you one piece of useful information. Just like every 5 points thereafter. By itself, the name is not sufficient.

I'm also leery of letting them assume they know things. That's sort of what the Knowledge rules are designed to handle.


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Chess Pwn wrote:

I always view it as the questions simulate the area of focus the character had when studying.

Mages are very interested in SR, energy resist and Saves, Mundanes aren't.
Mundanes are interested in DR, Poisons, non-obvious abilities, while mages don't interact with those all that much and thus don't find them important.

While I've always assumed players asked questions they knew OOC they wanted the answer too. "It's a troll? What are its defenses?" "It's a basilisk? How about special attacks?"

Otherwise you tend to get a lot of 'useful' answers like "No SR", "no Energy resistance", etc.


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Christopher Rowe wrote:

Ask, ask, ask. Questions, questions, questions. This is a continuing source of frustration for me. Where did this--apparently world-wide--interpretation of the monster knowledge check subsystem as being dice rolls that result in some number of questions that the players can ask come from? Is it from 3.0 or 3.5 (I never played those)?

The rules in the Core Rulebook are clear, if brief: "You can use this skill [one of the several Knowledges] to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster's CR, or more. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information."

The words "ask" and "question" appear nowhere in the rules. They're not even IMPLIED in the rules.

When a player wishes to make such a check, it is the responsibility of the GM to set a DC, and then to adjudicate what constitutes useful information about special powers and vulnerabilities and supply one or more "bits" of such information. That is ALL the rules support.

There is no rule saying players can ask questions. That is a common method by which GMs determine what information a player will find useful.

It has advantages and disadvantages.


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Just to clarify something Deighton said: You don't just give the creature type abilities, in the sense that "all undead have ...." The juju zombie is a special case, because it's a template and thus the creature keeps its original abilities. You wouldn't get the original creatures abilities if they were class-based, though you'd get racial abilities it had to start with and you could get the special abilities it gets from being a juju zombie, in addition to the normal undead ones - resistant to fire, immune to cold & electricity, for example.

It's generally considered polite to give the most distinctive abilities first and/or what you suspect will be most useful. Judgement call of course.

I also like to give out basic CR info - often phrased in terms of the encounter design guidelines - "One of these would be an Average fight for you guys. There are 5 of them." Especially in sandboxy games, where I might well be warning off the encounter entirely.
It's never made sense to me that you should know details like "Needs acid to stop regeneration" without knowing things like "Eats novice heroes like you for breakfast".


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Drejk wrote:
What [if] the new rewrite of spells used different format of presenting information about spell? Go the Call of Cthulhu way where all the information about spell is just contained in the description? Introduced an assumption that all spells have casting time of 1 action unless noted otherwise and a standard range unless noted otherwise?
Drejk wrote:
Does the fact that, in each case(save the name and the exact material component), the game mechanics in those five lines appear in the SRD on existing spells mean that the terms are in effect Open games content, even if the spell is not?

Only Wizards can answer that. And unless they are willing to do so in advance, trying to do either of those things (or probably any other workaround you can think up) comes with risk.

But maybe I focused a bit too much on those 5 lines—really, my point is that if you're deriving your work directly from Wizards' copyrighted materials that have deliberately not been made Open Game Content, you run a pretty high risk that your work could be considered a derivative work, which violates their exclusive rights.

J.K. Rowling can't stop me from writing a book about kids in a wizard school, but if that book contained entire chapters paraphrased from Harry Potter, I'd expect to be hearing from her lawyers.

Though haven't the various OSR clones made use of both the OGL and the game mechanics exception to duplicate much of the content of older editions in exactly the way we're talking about?


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mourge40k wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Similar to how Dr.Doom honestly believes the world would be a much better place if he were in charge.
Except we have had it proven to us a few separate times that this isn't a delusion on Doom's part, but the honest truth. It's not like Frank, who's really just a jackass in his own right. The occasions where Doom has ruled, he makes wherever he's in charge a better place. Actually, pretty sure that's why Latvaria loves him so much.

Except of course for the times it's been shown that Latveria loves him so much because they're terrified not to.

It's been played both ways over his 50+ year history.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

On the entire two men romance idea...I don't mind it, just please don't have it shouting out what sometimes appears in Hollywood films where they make it blatantly obvious the ONLY reason it's there is to be PC and hence the relationship is VERY unrealistic.

However, I think it's more likely they are aiming for a hetero type romance..

As opposed to the oh so realistic Hollywood hetero romances?

That said, I didn't see any signs of it in the movie. And plenty of Finn's attraction to Rey, though far fewer signs of reciprocal interest from her.
But we saw more from Finn's point of view than from hers.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ah. Yeah, I always thought Herolab needed more than just the OGL anyhow for some complicated legal reason about licenses or somesuch.
Much like you can't make computer games using OGL material - which keeps Paizo from licensing a computer game that actually uses the PF rules.
That's a misconception. The old d20 license had prohibitions against "interactive game" software, but the OGL has no media restrictions; in fact, the OGL's Software FAQ specifically addresses how to do it.

I stand corrected. On both issues.


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JoelF847 wrote:
Misroi wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I realized something that has been bugging me about the movie yesterday (in addition to the things I've previously listed). One of the big reasons that the threat of Kylo Ren seems diminished is that he was beaten pretty handily at multiple points in the movie. Ren turned his force mind probe back at him, Chewbaca bowcasts him, and then he's beaten in the climactic lightsaber duel and is only saved by GM fiat (crevasse opening between him and Rey).

In comparison, Darth Vader is never beaten until the end of RotJ, and every time he appears the good guys are in serious trouble. Even when his TIE fighter is hit at the end of ANH, he's sent off away from the battle, but he's clearly out there and not injured or beaten.

They've said that Kylo Ren will grow into a more serious villian, but at the same time, Rey and company will be growing in skill and experience as well.

While he's on the Dark Side and wear a mask, I wouldn't put Kylo Ren on the same level of Vader. He's presented as a more sympathetic character right in the first movie, and I don't think he'll be as much of a big bad as the series goes on.

Vader was a guy firmly on the Dark Side who had a tiny spark of light in him. Kylo is much more conflicted and seems to be more of a hostage of the Dark Side than anything else. I think that will play a big role in future movies, and I welcome the shift - it would be a shame just to copy the story beats of the first trilogy, after all.

That's pretty much it. Vader is the Villain Realized, while Kylo's story appears to thus far be a Start of Darkness. This movie was him vacillating between either the Light or Dark Side, and he made his choice upon that bridge. The Force is strong with him...but he is not a Dark Jedi yet.
I get that, and if this were the Kylo Ren spinoff movie, that would be neat to see. However, he's TFA's big bad, even if the pulls a Vader at the end and redeems himself and kills...

Different story. Different kind of villain. Worked for me. We'll see how it goes.

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