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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13,375 posts (14,170 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Da'ath wrote:

So, I took a look at 5e's basic rules via PDF. Nothing really jumped out at me as great or terrible - just different - until I hit the exhaustion rules. Once I read the rules, I went back and checked the authors, specifically rules development, and saw a familiar face from the brilliant (in my opinion) design team that did Star Wars Saga Edition (SWSE). The SWSE did one major thing that I felt was not-so-brilliant - one might so so far as to say game breaking, and it looks like it has made it into 5e - a death spiral Condition Track, in the form of the Exhaustion rules.

We had to House Rule extensively to remove this completely horrible idea "feature" from our SWSE games, as it essentially gives each character and opponent (PC, NPC, and monster) around 6-7 effective Hit Points against certain builds.

Is this an optional rule or is it a standard rule? How common are effects which cause exhaustion, in the form of spells, class features, and so forth?

I don't have the PHB, but in the basic rules the only things that cause exhaustion are Forced Marches and lack of food and water. No spells. No abilities. Nothing else.

So far I don't see any signs of a death spiral.


No, there's no reason to think there's racism at work in Ferguson.

Obligatory: No that doesn't justify rioting and looting. It's sure as hell a good way to instigate them though.


Kryzbyn wrote:
black guy resisting arrest, taunting and then rushing the attempted arresting officer who has a gun drawn over 20 paces away = stupid.

Assuming that's what happened. Always believing the leaked version of the cop's story = stupid.

Unarmed black teen pulling away when the cop grabs his neck through the window, then running when the cop fires, stopping and turning to surrender when the cop starts firing again and finally being shot down with his hands in the air = murder

There are also plenty of other cases of very sketchy shootings of black men where the cops rallied round. Mostly they can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be murder and thus, correctly, the cops in question aren't convicted. But not being able to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt isn't the same as proven to be fine and still leaves a lot of room for problems.


master_marshmallow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Strawman is Strawman.

Perhaps, but I still don't understand what you mean.

What do the particular limits you disapprove of have to do with either power gaming or caster/martial disparity?

I fundamentally don't understand the connection you're making and I don't think you've tried to make it clear.

Quote:
Is caster-martial disparity a thing? When power gamers limit their resources and give martials the exact same packages they give casters, then yes. In asymetrical games where 'balance at all costs' is not the #1 priority of the DM/PFS house rules, you may find martials to be much more enjoyable.

More specifically, how would you change the "packages" given to martials to lessen the disparity? What kind of asymetry makes martials more enjoyable?

Martials, simply put, require more resources to run as effectively as casters in 3.x.

They all have a minimum of 3 priority stats, the physical ones, and that doesn't even mention taking away from the role playing ability of a character needing to dump mental stats to get there.

Martials require more gear than casters, weapons, armor, and other items that allow them to mimic the things that casters do. When the game mechanics require investment in one resource, and class abilities require investment in the others we end up with a serious problem in game design.

Games that give martial characters more resources (higher stat pools, more starting wealth) are inherently more balanced than those that give all characters the same baseline (20 point buy, 150 starting gp) and the problem is that players see the opposite as true because "BaLanCe!!!!"

Note that I never said anything about rolling stats being better than point buy. That is misleading and misconstruing of my point.

The game isn't balanced, and I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is making the game less balanced by limiting player resources under the guise of making it more balanced. It's a farce.

Well, I'd say that starting wealth is largely irrelevant, since at low level the balance is already in the martials favor. It's long term wealth that's the problem and that's as much under the players control as the GMs. Though I'll admit that WBL does push in the direction that would probably be the default anyway: roughly equal division of the spoils.

And it was your "obligatory point buy is the devil" line that made me think you thought rolling was better.


Kryzbyn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Mixing up the terms prejudice and racism.

Happens every damn time.
What distinction do you draw? (Other than the obvious one that someone can be prejudiced about things other than race.)

Racism is prejudice against a person's race codified.

Any given person can be, and usually is prejudiced about something. This either comes from too many coincidences/life experience, or BS prejudices passed on from others that you accept at face value because the source was trusted.

When it's a group of people in power that share a specific prejudice passing laws against a specific race, that's racism.

I could be wrong, but this is the difference to me.

Is it only "passing laws"? Or can a prejudice supported by a sufficiently large number of people in a less formal fashion still be racism? To take an extreme example, much of the activity of the Klan at various times was illegal, just socially acceptable. Lynchings weren't legal.

Redlining is far more than a personal prejudice, but wasn't legally enforced. And in various forms persisted at least up until the housing market collapse.

I used passing laws as an example of codifying a situation.

I think enforced prejudice by people in any position of power is racism.
On an individual or very small group basis it's prejudice, even if that individual is a representative of a group in power.

Cop pulling over someone for driving while black = prejudice
Redlining by a mortgage company = racism

Cop shooting a black man because he thinks black men are scary dangerous thugs: Prejudice.

Police department whitewashing it as a good shoot: Racism.


EntrerisShadow wrote:

OK, this is a bit of a tangent, but that attitude irks me. Going beyond GenCon, just overall, this irks the hell out of me. For one thing, it assumes white America cares about what is happening to minorities. (One look at the overwhelming disparity in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson illuminates nicely that, on the whole, they really don't.) Your advice actually is great in the context of an actual dialogue between two parties in a disagreement. But that's not the context we're speaking of.

But the really bothersome part is that it's ultimately saying that the onus is on those people who have historically been oppressed. (Again, not just black people but women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, Native Americans, and so on.) After years and years and years, how could people who have had no wrong done to them and - even if they'd not personally contributed, silently benefited from the system that perpetuated it - have the unmitigated gall to say, "Now I'll listen, but only if you watch your tone"?!

These are difficult things to hear, and I understand the resistance. But it's our responsibility to get over that. Just like the "privilege" you used - Growing up poor, my first response to white privilege was, "That's a load of crap! I haven't had ANYTHING easy!" Of course, when I actually read what was actually meant by white privilege and how it applied, it's indisputably true. Sorry if the language isn't dressed up enough not to offend, but we're not talking about a term that says all white people think this way or act that way. Just a term that means being born white in America comes with certain unfair advantages, which it does.

Go slow. Be nice and respectful and eventually the man will give you want you want. Go slow. Don't ask for too much. Don't let him know you're hurt and angry.

Be sure not to offend anyone.
Quote:

You keep on saying "Go slow!"

"Go slow!"
But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Desegregation
"do it slow"
Mass participation
"do it slow"
Reunification
"do it slow"
Do things gradually
"do it slow"
But bring more tragedy
"do it slow"
Why don't you see it
Why don't you feel it
I don't know
I don't know

Missippi G+*!&!n

It's always the same. It's always gotten the same response. And it's never worked. Power concedes nothing without demand.


Vlad Koroboff wrote:
thejeff wrote:
communist pretensions

Define your terms.

Ask JohnLocke, I was referencing his post, that I quoted.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Strawman is Strawman.

Perhaps, but I still don't understand what you mean.

What do the particular limits you disapprove of have to do with either power gaming or caster/martial disparity?

I fundamentally don't understand the connection you're making and I don't think you've tried to make it clear.

Quote:
Is caster-martial disparity a thing? When power gamers limit their resources and give martials the exact same packages they give casters, then yes. In asymetrical games where 'balance at all costs' is not the #1 priority of the DM/PFS house rules, you may find martials to be much more enjoyable.

More specifically, how would you change the "packages" given to martials to lessen the disparity? What kind of asymetry makes martials more enjoyable?


Krensky wrote:

It's like referring to a person as an animal or an ape.

It's true, but it's so charged with meaning and history separate from the scientific meanings of those words that it's not a good way of doing anything other than pissing people off.

So, it's true, it's absolutely vital to talk about, but we can't talk about it at all bluntly.

Do you have any suggestions for talking about the problem of what-we-are-not-going-to-call-racism in the US, that won't offend or scare off white people who aren't already aware of it?


Caineach wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

When he says "racism is everywhere", he really isn't saying that all whites are KKK members. That shows a gross misunderstanding of the quote and what he was getting at. What he was saying was that this is a deeply rooted, subconscious social problem. That we've done things for so long a certain way that we don't even realize we're doing them. For most people, the default is a white male because that's just the way things have been. This isn't malicious and that's why it is so terrible. It's because we don't realize it that it is so pervasive.

In the Diversity in Fantasy panel that paizo did at Gencon, they talked about how they had someone actually count out the spread of ethnicities and genders because they would skew towards white males by default. This is a problem that can only be fixed when you take an introspective look and realize that everyone has it, white or not.

When someone uses a phrase like "racism is everywhere", they may be what trying to say that, but that is not what the audience is hearing. It is shows a complete lack of knowledge about the target audience and how to effectively communicate with them. Most people don't have the vocabulary to discuss the issue the way they are wanting to. As was pointed out upthread, most people do not consider not getting harassed by cops a privilege. Instead of actually discussing it on a level that will engage them, it immediately turns the audience off. No amount of berating them about ignoring an issue will ever bring them back.

It is a great way to turn potential allies into enemies.

It's funny because the term "privilege" was introduced in order to do exactly that: Talk about the pervasive racism without accusing white people of racism.


JohnLocke wrote:
Vlad Koroboff wrote:
JohnLocke wrote:


I don't really think the USSR was a very good example of communism, at all.

USSR actually was socialist country,but there never was a communism.

Also,even as socialist country for the last half of it's existence it was not...very good.
Except for scientists and their families^^
Socialist, sure. But the USSR failed as a communist entity - there was never a dictatorship of the proletariat, for example. It's brought up as a failed communist experiment but in reality it's communist pretentions never got beyond a revolutionary seizure of power.

The same is true of every other communist country isn't it? Or are there actual examples you could point to where communist pretensions got beyond the revolutionary seizure of power?


Wojciech Jaruzelski wrote:

Lenin on Imperialism: The "Too Long; Didn't Read" Version by Doodlebug Anklebiter

Lenin defines capitalist imperialism as follows:

"(1) The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital and the creation, on the basis of this ‘finance capital,’ of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital, as distinguished from the export of commodities, acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves; and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.”

Of course, there are other, non-Leninist definitions.

I remember, not too long ago, reading my old comrades' articles on Solidarnosc back in the early eighties and I was struck by their claims (which I never attempted to verify) that the Soviet Stalinists had a conscious policy to keep the standards of living in Poland higher than they were in the Soviet Union proper.

I don't know if that was a specific thing for Poland (Gierek?, Gomulka?, name from the past keep appearing, uncalled for, in my memory!), but I remember thinking that it was an interesting reversal of standard imperialist practice.

I'm certainly willing to agree that the USSR didn't practice "capitalist imperialism". I'm just not convinced that "communist imperialism" is really that much different for those being taken over by it. If we make an exception for the USSR not really being communist, I suppose we can make one for China too (imperialist takeover of Tibet and attempts at influence elsewhere.) In fact it seems that, kind of like non-communist nations powerful communist ones tend to try to extend that power and influence in basically the same ways. Weaker nations, both communist and otherwise aren't as imperialist, but that's due to lack of ability as much as anything.

Near as I can tell, the basic pattern goes back well before capitalism, though the term came along later. "Imperial" Rome, anyone?

I'll also grant that given an actual world-wide socialist revolution and the withering away of the state, imperialism will wither away along with it. Until then, I think it's more a characteristic of states rather than economic systems.


Vlad Koroboff wrote:
thejeff wrote:
= Oxford Dictionaries=

I say again,we speak commie language here.Yes,we have a different definition of imperialism.No,it is by said definition does not apply to soviet republics.

Because imperialism is the final stage of capitalism,and communism is not capitalism.
But wait,there's more.Your definition would be wrong in case of Soviet Union,because,as you said,it's the policy to extend country's power and influence...
And this is not even remotely goal of socialist revolution.

So, when the Soviet Union took over other countries and expanded its power and influence, that was something else entirely than when non-communist countries do it? Is there a name for that thing then?

Which is what I said originally, by the way. I still suspect it looks pretty much the same to the other countries being taken over.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vlad Koroboff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


Putin is an imperialist
Well,OBVIOUSLY!Because you are either that or commie.

Apparently it's called something other than "imperialist" when commies do it. Cause I suspect it looks much the same to the pawns.

And there are other options. Is Sweden Imperialist? Just to pick a random example.

Sweden is a county in the impeiralist state of EU, and a willing henchman and asskisser for NATO.

BTW, I don't know of any even self-proclaimed commies that have acted in an imperialist way. Granted people like Stalin where horrible dictators and I in no way excuse their horribleness, but imperialism isn't really what they did.

Much like fascism, imperialism isn't just "bad things" - it is a specific sort of bad thing.

Quote:
Imperialism, as it is defined by the Oxford Dictionaries, is a policy of extending a country's power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means

What else would you call the USSR's approach to the Warsaw Pact nations and other countries that fell under it's sway during the cold war? Or that it tried to shift into it's orbit?

Even the SSRs could be seen as the colonization part of Imperialism.

What's the distinction? Is there a different term for doing this kind of thing when your country is officially communist?


master_marshmallow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

A big thing that I notice, especially when it comes to the specific kind of crowd who bothers to join internet forums about TTRPGs, is that most of them don't even realize the extent to which they power game and limit themselves. An inherent part of power gaming is to limit your resources and see how much you can get out of it, and so a lot of times you see players and DMs talking about lowering the scope of their games by limiting their resources to their players mainly out of fear. These are the guys who are heralding 5e as the greatest thing ever for its simplicity and balance.

Pathfinder is not balanced, I don't want it to be. Could some classes get more umph to make them more enjoyable? Absolutely. Is caster-martial disparity a thing? When power gamers limit their resources and give martials the exact same packages they give casters, then yes. In asymetrical games where 'balance at all costs' is not the #1 priority of the DM/PFS house rules, you may find martials to be much more enjoyable.

Also, obligatory point buy is the devil statement.

I'm not sure what you mean by "limit their resources" in this context. Are you talking about balancing casters with martials by giving martials better stats or more gear or something else entirely?

Because I'm not really sure that "everyone starts at the same point" is really a power gamer thing.

Nor, despite your obligatory statement, does rolling stats address this problem. There's nothing to stop the guy who rolls extra well from playing a caster.
Or I have no idea what you're talking about. Which is quite possible. :)

Limiting resources can come from anywhere. Point Buy, limited books allowed, limited magic items, WBL. All of these are constructs put in place to impose limits on the players, usually because the players will push that limit anyway.

Typically I rarely see players who power game and push the limit and when I do, we retire the character.

But what does any of that have to do with either power gaming or martial/caster disparity?

Rolled stats are just another limit. And there are always some limits on magic items or WBL. I suppose you could play a game where you just assigned stats as you please and selected whatever magic gear you wanted with no concern for cost. You could also drop the level/class system and just give your character whatever abilities you pleased, if you really wanted to remove the limits.


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Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Caineach wrote:
He is basically calling all the white people at the con slave masters

This is where I lose it. How do you get that out of the post?

original article wrote:
It was a surreal experience and it felt like I had stepped into an ugly part of a bygone era, one in which whites were waited upon by minority servants.
If the minorities were servants, the whites are masters. It is passive-aggressive and makes pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him roll their eyes and tune out the rest of his article. Because if he is going to open with crap, why bother reading the rest.

servant <> slave

Black people playing a mostly servant role to wealthier whites lasted long after slavery ended. It's still not uncommon, at least in some settings and parts of the country - though now that few people have house servants it's more common at expensive hotels and other event type things. It really is disturbing when you notice it. At least for me.
But it's very much an emotional thing and I think it's a good way to start. I don't think it says anything in particular about the whites in the picture, other than possibly that they're oblivious to it, probably because they're focused on the gaming.
As I've said all along, I don't think this is far more a reflection of systemic racism in society than it is GenCon's fault. I'm not even sure it's gaming's fault, though there are things gaming can do to encourage more minority participation. I'd read "gaming has made little room for people of color" as "as done little to actively encourage minority participation", rather than "actively excludes".

This is what I meant earlier about having to take everything he wrote in the worst possible light.

I ask again, if every discussion of race issues in the US has be phrased to make sure there is absolutely no blame ever laid on white people and that no white people are made uncomfortable by it, then how are we every going to get anywhere?


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pres man wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Sadly, it seems like none of the politicians from the president to their local council are are aligning themselves with the people of Ferguson, and many are aligning with the police. I think the police will back off until the spotlight fades, then it's payback time for making them look bad!
To be honest, I doubt the people of Ferguson are monolithic in their opinions. I would guess that there are many that are fine with the police activities. I wouldn't be surprised if those people also tended to vote more often, thus politicians might be "playing" to their bases.

And while we're guessing, I'd guess that most of those that are fine with the police activities are the ~30% white people in town, since they're not the target of those activities. Not all of them and not only them, of course, but that's how I'd bet.

And yes, I'd expect them to vote more often. I also expect they control most of the political levers of power, party apparatus and the like, making it hard for the newer black population to get access even if they did vote in larger numbers. Low voting turnout is often mentioned in the context of Ferguson's largely white government, but it's not so often mentioned that all 3 mayoral candidates in the last election were white. Maybe they don't vote so much because they don't see the point?
Of course in the long run, more black voters would probably lead to more black candidates, but that's a harder argument to make when the short term results don't seem to matter.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

A big thing that I notice, especially when it comes to the specific kind of crowd who bothers to join internet forums about TTRPGs, is that most of them don't even realize the extent to which they power game and limit themselves. An inherent part of power gaming is to limit your resources and see how much you can get out of it, and so a lot of times you see players and DMs talking about lowering the scope of their games by limiting their resources to their players mainly out of fear. These are the guys who are heralding 5e as the greatest thing ever for its simplicity and balance.

Pathfinder is not balanced, I don't want it to be. Could some classes get more umph to make them more enjoyable? Absolutely. Is caster-martial disparity a thing? When power gamers limit their resources and give martials the exact same packages they give casters, then yes. In asymetrical games where 'balance at all costs' is not the #1 priority of the DM/PFS house rules, you may find martials to be much more enjoyable.

Also, obligatory point buy is the devil statement.

I'm not sure what you mean by "limit their resources" in this context. Are you talking about balancing casters with martials by giving martials better stats or more gear or something else entirely?

Because I'm not really sure that "everyone starts at the same point" is really a power gamer thing.

Nor, despite your obligatory statement, does rolling stats address this problem. There's nothing to stop the guy who rolls extra well from playing a caster.
Or I have no idea what you're talking about. Which is quite possible. :)


Hama wrote:

Thejeff, are you saying that minorities who are targets of racism cannot be racist themselves?

And, yes, people seing racism everywhere are usually racist too.

It doesn't mean that they are not right to an extent. I'm sure that there were racist people at Gencon, after all, as much as we wouldn't want tgem to exist, they do. But to see things and immediately conclude the worst is irrational. And unfair.

No, I'm not. And I don't see how you get that out of my post.

I'm saying he's being attacked and vilified way out of proportion to anything he actually says.

As a rule of thumb when someone talks about racism being everywhere, they're not talking about all white people being like slave masters or the KKK. Especially when they then describe what they're talking about

Quote:

“The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that...

Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on.”

You may want to argue that not all of that should be called racism, but you can't argue that author is accusing you of being a slaveowner whenever he mentions the term.

So in that sense, when someone says they see racism everywhere, they're probably including themselves. Which doesn't mean they "hate whitey".


Krensky wrote:

Wait... so we can't interpret George's statement even slightly negatively because, racism, but he gets to interpret everything in in the worst way because, racism.

Everything George says as signs that the gaming hobby is racist (or has a racial problem or has a racial problem or however you want to gussy and dog whistle it up) is pretty much completely outside the ability of the hobby to address.

There are enormous issues with racism in American society. There is a marked racial disparity in our hobby. These things are almost certainly linked. That dos not mean the hobby has racism issues. We need to recruit more people to the hobby period. Recruiting from demographics that have traditionally been underrepresented is good sense because diversity is good and the traditional demographics are getting picked over.

None of that means the convention or the hobby has the sorts of racism issues the article and some in this thread are insisting exist. But let's humor them.

How do you suggest...

Damned if I know. I haven't been to GenCon. I don't know the first thing about running a convention. I don't even agree with most of George's conclusions. As I've said again and again. But the attacks on him have been all out of proportion. Starting with Larry's.

People are accusing him of calling all attendees slave masters and of making up all the prejudice he's experienced inside his own head. He's been called a racist here.

*:
(Hey that was Hama, at least the first time. Interesting in light of:
Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves.

Larry ridicules him for wanting positive images that look like him in his gaming, but that's exactly what Paizo has done with the iconics and other art. And why they've said they did it. From what little I can tell, Larry would object to that as "message fiction"

I think his reaction is justified. I think his analysis and prescription, what little there is of it, is way off.

Yes, I think there's little GenCon can do about most of this. Maybe enforce their rules on Nazi paraphernalia. There's more that gaming companies and stores and even clubs and individuals can do. Both to make the atmosphere more welcoming and to actively try to get more minorities involved. Of course this is being done by some, Paizo among others.


Naraku666 wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Undecided. I'll collect both, unsure if I'll switch to DDN. But my game isn't strictly PF, more like 3.X. A combo of 3.5, PF and house rules. I plan on picking up the final DDN rules on release. Regardless, I'll collect both. I like my reading material :)
first of all isnt it DnD not DDN?

D & D Next


Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.
Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.

I would add to this that players who enjoy D&D 3.5 and 4e are predisposed to liking feats, even seeing them as essential to the game.

I've had enough conversations with people who are critical of 3.5 and 4e to know that Feats=Good is not a uniform opinion of TTRPG players.

True. There may be experienced gamers who've developed opinions about feats in previous systems who will apply those opinions, rightly or wrongly, to 5E. I suspect most of those who don't like feats will also be making other fairly drastic changes to the system. Enough to remove them from the default category.

I continue to believe that new players will look at them and think "Oh cool, more stuff I can do" and not realize the problems with them, if there are any, until they have more experience.


meatrace wrote:

That's one of the areas that needs serious reform: where fines and taxes go to. This is a good example, why on earth would the money from traffic tickets go to the police to hand out the citations? Shouldn't it go to the state DOT? Same with criminal forfeiture. It just creates perverse incentives for police.

Another example is in education. In most states (if not all?) that I know of, public schools are financed by property taxes at a local level, meaning regions with higher property values get better schools/better equipment/higher teacher:student ratios, etc. Which is, of course, the reverse of what it should be where the poorer children need more individual attention. Even if you don't think that progressive policy is right, I can't even fathom the argument that justifies anything other than a flat $/student across an entire state.

I apologize if that derails it, but I see similarities in those policies.

It's not entirely clear, but I think the fines go to the general municipal budget. Which sounds better on the face of it, but it just pushes the incentives up to a higher scale.

I do completely agree on the school funding through property taxes issue though. Also poor towns often have to raise property taxes to keep functioning, making things even worse. (And then exempt businesses from them in hopes of attracting employers, but that's a separate rant.) There is also federal money and many (most? all? I hope it's at least many.) states do add funding as well. But it still falls most heavily on the poorer areas.


Krensky wrote:

People seem to be conflating the con staff and the convention center staff. GenCon LLC only has control over the former. Unless you can show evidence of people being turned away from volunteering because they're not white then the convention is not excluding them from the con staff.

As for the convention center staff, what would you have them do? Go to the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County and say "We're not coming back unless you hire more white people?"

As for encouraging more people of color to attend, how exactly should GenCon do that? Or encourage more diversity in the hobby?

Show me one example of someone being barred from the convention due to racism. One snub of a designer by the convention due to complexion.

We get that. No one here is making those kinds of accusations. Even A.A. George is only saying that if you squint and take everything in the worst possible light. Other than the part about encouraging more people of color to attend.


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Fergie wrote:
As much as I like the idea of a jail "sit-in", I think that tactic stopped working once we entered the tough-on-crime era. The problem is that detaining people, especially for a period of a few days, is just not that expensive. It gets even cheaper if you do a really half-assed and crappy job of running a prison. I don't think you could ask people to spend more then a day or two under those conditions. Also, I'm guessing that since 9/11, they aren't strapped for cash. If they really need the money, Homeland SSecurity would love the chance to erect some new detention facilities.

In Ferguson? Police are big business. The police write an inordinate number of minor tickets and bring in ton of money in fines. Along with a bunch of tricks to keep adding additional charges.


Thelemic_Noun wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.
Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.

And they'll look at the core book and go "That looks good" and allow feats. Assuming they're not strongly warned against using them in the PHB.


Tacticslion wrote:
The suggestion is there for the use of those that want it, but the baseline presumptions of the game are that it's not used.

Hmmm. I doubt that. Or at the least I think it's a foolish presumption on their part if so.

I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games. It will be interesting to see what they do in the rules for their organized play.


Caineach wrote:
He is basically calling all the white people at the con slave masters

This is where I lose it. How do you get that out of the post?

If some white people are going to be that sensitive, how can they ever be reached?


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Hama wrote:
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?

There would be, if anybody actually called you racist.

To be absolutely sure of this, I went back through this whole post. The only person to ever outright be called racist was people saying the tor.com writer was racist. To be fair, thejeff did a couple of pages ago point out some of your arguments echoed right-wingers in the US, but nobody called you racist. Again, going back through, the only time I actually SAW the charge of racist leveled against someone, it was the tor.com writer.

I believe I actually said "echo US white racist rhetoric", but that was in service of the point that "commenting on another countries racial issues is a mine field".

Which I had hoped would make it clear enough that I wasn't calling him racist.


Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.

Or he knew he was Portuguese but did not know that it was legally considered Latino. Latino is usually used to refer to people of Latin American decent. I'm willing to bet a large portion of the population does not realize that people from the Iberian Peninsula are considered Latino, even people with ancestors within 1 or 2 generations from that region. I've even seen different discrimination against Portuguese people than other Latino groups in areas like Cape Cod, where Portuguese people have a significant enough presence to be a distinctly noticeable group.

Oh, I'm sure he knew he was Portuguese, or rather Portuguese-American since he was born in California, but that doesn't mean his cultural experience wasn't basically white. And now he's using his legal* Latino status as a platform to bash other Latinos for noticing discrimination that he never had to deal with, implying that they're just being overly sensitive for having trouble with racism when he's a Latino too and never had any problems.

It's a real slimeball move and drags my opinion of him a lot farther down.

I could be wrong of course.

*That's assuming that's even true. Everything I found says that Latino, at least in the American usage, is for people from Latin America, not from Europe. Hispanic includes those from Spain (and possibly Portugal) and is often used interchangeably with Latino since there's large overlap, but isn't quite the same. Both terms are broad, confusing and have varying usages.


mechaPoet wrote:

P.S.: With regards to Correia's race: I do realize that Correia identifies as Latino. However:

-I saw the picture of him on his website. He's more or less white-passing, which is another form of privilege (the first article I link to specifically uses the phrase "white skin privilege" at one point, and that seems relevant). Which isn't to say that his opinions as a non-white don't count or something, but I still think he's a huge [redacted].
-I'm a little confused about how being Portuguese makes you Latino, but it's not something I feel remotely qualified to talk about, so I'm gonna leave it alone. I got the impression from Correia's article that he was equating the two, but it's not like there aren't both Portuguese white people and Portuguese PoC, so, again, dropping it.
From one of his other articles:
Quote:
I suppose this is what I get for being a Wise Latino. (a term stolen from Sonya Sotomeyor, since that was around the same time that I was filling out some EEOC worksheets at my Military Industrial Complex job and discovered that Portuguese was legally considered Latino by the Department of Labor).

I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.
Uh...did you perhaps miss that Larry Correia is, in fact, a 'person of color' (though he apparently hates that term)? He's Latino. So...this statement? This does not make as much sense as you think it does.

He's Latino, but he also mentions not being "easily identifiable" (apparently a reference to some offensive NPR program). That obviously doesn't mean he isn't Latino, but if people don't perceive him as Latino he may still pick up some of the white privilege or if you prefer, miss out on some of the discrimination aimed at minorities.

Edit: Apparently this post is the worst kind of racism (worse than lynchings?). Because obviously racists discriminating against Latinos check everyone's genetic heritage before deciding which individuals to harass.


Krensky wrote:

But we're talking about people not being allowed to purchase a GenCon badge or volunteer at the convention because they're not white.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

So how is GenCon racist again?

That's your definition? Anything less than that is OK? Or is maybe some other kind of bad, but not racism?


Peter Stewart wrote:


Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

You instantly alienate the very people who you need to convince to act, and thus undermine your entire cause.

mechaPoet wrote:


And on a final note, y'all need to stop with this whole "rational arguments are good and the opposite of emotion, which is bad" nonsense. It's just b@&!+!~%.
Then you further undermined yourself by arguing that emotionally charged arguments are somehow as valid as logical and rational arguments. Frankly, that's demonstrably untrue. They may be better at motivating those already inclined to support your position to near-term actions, but in every other way they are demonstrably inferior to a logical and rational argument, and antithetical to the basis of western civilization as a whole.

And by the way, isn't your instant alienation an emotional response to his choice of words, rather than a logical and rational consideration of his argument?


Peter Stewart wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

This "complex bundle of problems" is essentially the underlying racist structures of America. Correia's dismissal--his ability to ignore and dismiss this--is basically the definition of racial privilege. Having privilege isn't about getting everything handed to you on a platter because you're in the right social category, or saying your accomplishments don't mean anything. It's about how you don't have to constantly deal with oppression on a daily basis, and often not even being aware of it.

The "people who have nothing to do with it" don't exist, because of racist structures that make you either oppressed or privileged. I don't care how much you "don't care what skin color someone is" or "judge people only on their merits as people," America as a country is filled with inequality baked into nearly every aspect of its construction. Paizo is committed to diversity in gaming, and I love that--it's probably the main reason I'm still interested in Pathfinder. But their drive to increase their inclusivity is an acknowledgement of the inequality that women and PoC encounter in gaming spaces and representation. So they've done some good, but they could take it further. And I'm not saying that they haven't done enough, but obviously there are still people who feel uncomfortable at large gaming conventions because of the lack of people who look like them--a lack that's based on racism and sexism as social/economic/etc structures. And Correia seems more interested in attacking than discussing this, let alone trying to address any sort of change that could be had.

Yeah, see, you just made my whole point. I could go on and on, ask you to explain, for instance, how you'd rationalize the tremendous rise in out of wedlock births and the break down in the nuclear family within the African American community following the Civil Rights Movement, but I don't really care. I completely tune you out the moment you start accusing me of oppression and privilege.

You instantly alienate the very...

Well then, is there a way to talk about these things that won't alienate you? Because these things are real and they remain a serious problem in this country. They need to be talked about. I'd be perfectly willing to drop the term privilege and maybe even racism, but I suspect that it's actually the concepts that bother people and whatever terms are used to replace them will quickly become equally problematic.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
It's also worth noting that a lot of things that you can't do in Pathfinder until you take a feat to be able to do it (ie, one of your vaunted choices) are possible in 5e without the need to burn a feat. You don't have to make the choice, you automatically get it for free.
I, personally, don't consider the fact that the new system is more reliant on magic story time non-rules to be a plus. Some people would disagree with that. That's cool. As I've stated a couple times, I don't even really look at them as the same game, any more than I would consider Star Wars Saga Edition to be the same game as the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game. They do different things in different ways and appeal to different audiences for different purposes.

How the hell is "You don't need a feat to do this" the same as "magic story time non-rules"?

And of course they're not the same game. Who's made that claim?
They're related, so there are points of comparison, but they're certainly not the same. Much like 3.0 wasn't the same as 2E. Or 4E wasn't the same as 3.5.


Ssalarn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I have discussed repeatedly how the core mechanics and design philosophy (with its limited numbers of feats over 20 levels and small number of class decisions) is built around giving players far fewer choices over their adventuring career than Pathfinder, 3e, or 4e.

System A offers you two choices: a $20 coupon to Wal-Mart, or a $20 coupon to Target.

System B offers you 16 choices: a $20 coupon to Wal-Mart, or your choice of 15 guys who will punch you in the face.

Is System B automatically a better system due to offering more choices?

That's a ludicrous comparison and not at all accurate. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the messageboards have distorted the idea of "trap feats" to ridiculous levels. There are actually very few trap feats in Pathfinder, and most of the ones that truly are get fixed when the design team is made aware of them (like Prone Shooter).

There are situational feats, and I consider that a plus as Pathfinder is a robust gaming system capable of supporting all manner of playstyles. Say I want to make a heavily armored chariot driver. In 5e I could maybe take a feat that gives me Heavy Armor proficiency and a +1 to (I believe, book's not in front of me) Strength at level 4. Alternatively, I could play Pathfinder and take 1 feat to give me heavy armor proficiency, one feat to make me a better pilot/driver, a stat point to whatever stat I want, and numerous skill points to fine tune and customize my character to whatever I want him to do.

There are very few actual trap feats in the sense of feats that are completely useless. There are an awful lot of feats that are really only useful as part of a specific build designed to take advantage of them. But often they require you to spot the hidden combination that makes them actually useful. If you don't, they either look pointless, which isn't too bad or they look generally useful at first glance, so newbies take them because they fit the concept but don't realize how much better other options or specific combinations are.

And then there are the feat taxes and the chains. In many cases you get trapped if you don't plan your build out from the start and take feats that aren't very attractive, except that they let you take other good feats later.

Pathfinder has a great build game. For those that are into it, that's wonderful. For those who are more interested in actual game play than in character design, it's not quite so wonderful.

Personally, I'd rather have a robust gaming system that let's me play all sorts of characters without necessarily so much mechanical differentiation, rather than one that requires different complex builds for every concept. I'm also amused at the common claim that PF is so robust you can build anything you want contrasted with the joy at the concepts that can be made with each new rulebook.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

From 3E onward, multi-classing for a martial was fine and even advantageous. Multiclassing for a full caster was insane before they thought of the '+1 to spellcasting level' for PrCs, and still limited after that. PF nerfed even that option by denying learning new spells as part of that '+1 level' mechanic.

Meanwhile, 5E has finalyy tackled multiclassing casters in a way that previous editions never even attempted. It is better, because there is no competing mechanic to be better than!

How effective the 5E multiclass mechanic for casters will be in the long run, I don't know yet, but I'm confident that it will be better than nothing.

How do they handle multiclassing for casters? I've only seen the basic rules so far.


Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

Correia's argument, that the overwhelming white majority is a result of momentum from the early days of the game's existence, is a pretty strong answer for that. I doubt that anyone will prevent anyone from joining the stuff because of their ethnicity, and I doubt that most people of ethnicity fell they wouldn't be welcome because of their skin color.

Just for comparison, imagine a man arriving to, I don't know, a knitting convention or something, and discovering that the place is predominantly populated by women. Would be pretty funny of him to accuse those women of hidden sexism, I think. There's nothing about knitting that makes it into a hobby males should be excluded from except for social norms - exactly like roleplaying games and ethnic people.

If his issue is that the social norm is for white people to play roleplaying games, then he is complaining to the wrong crowed. If he somehow blames roleplayers for not being inclusive enough, I think he is being unfair and irrational. Either way, it's hard to take him very seriously.

As I said I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions. There are a number of reasons that can be imagined for the racial demographics of TTRPGs in general and GenCon in particular and not all of them require active racism on the part of anyone involved.

That said, it's still got be disturbing to be at an event where everyone who resembles you is picking up the garbage. As I said, I've noticed that in some places and been bothered by it and I am white.

I also don't read the A.A. George post as accusatorily as Corriera did. But then I tend to see racism as common, pervasive and a matter of degree rather than as "You are EVIL!!!"


Kolokotroni wrote:
thejeff wrote:

In fairness, in the tor.com article it wasn't racism just because the convention hall staff were minorities, but because of the contrast between the majority minority facilities staff and what he perceived as the overwhelmingly white attendees.

Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

But that's a distinction that Correia slid right over.

Mind you if anything, it's not racism on Gencon's part or even on the convention center's part, but just a reflection of the racism in society that traps some in situations where such jobs are the best they can get.

Its perfectly fine to see the a bunch of minorities working as janitors/food servers/security guards etc and a bunch of white people with enough disposable cash to fly to indianapolis for 4 days to indulge their hobbies and see a reflection of a biased and racially unfair society.

Its fine to comment on that fact.

Its not ok to say that those people at that convention and the community they are involved in are themselves racist because of it.

If the article had framed it the way you did, it wouldnt have gotten th reaction. He assigned societie's racial bias specifically to gencon, when gencons lack of diversity is more a symptom of the greater ill then anything else. And in the process, he insulted alot of people, including Correia.

Is it a bad thing that many minorities cant do better then minimum wage jobs despite genuine effort to make their and their families lives better? Yes, it is. Does that make someone racist for picking up a burger at McDonalds? No.

Agreed, but my point was that Correia ignored that contrast, split it into two separate parts and went off on how stupid it was to be surprised that the staff was mostly minority.


In fairness, in the tor.com article it wasn't racism just because the convention hall staff were minorities, but because of the contrast between the majority minority facilities staff and what he perceived as the overwhelmingly white attendees.
Now, I wasn't there so I can't comment on his perception of the attendees and I don't think I'd draw the same conclusions, but it's not quite the same as "it's racist that the staff was minority". I've seen that kind of thing in other circumstances and once you notice it, it is disturbing. And I can imagine how much more so it must be when your appearance matches the staff, not the guests.

But that's a distinction that Correia slid right over.

Mind you if anything, it's not racism on Gencon's part or even on the convention center's part, but just a reflection of the racism in society that traps some in situations where such jobs are the best they can get.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

My comment relates only to Adams assumption that Hama is white so that auto = privilege.

Ask the Japanese about their privilege over the Anu or resident Koreans, or any non Han Chinese or the Hutu and Tutsi, or Fijians and Indians, or Brahmin and Dalit.

Yeah, I get that, though it was actually EntrerisShadow, I think.

Race and privilege plays out differently in different cultures. And Americans do tend to be blind to that and to assume that it is all about them.

OTOH, the original articles are both talking about race in a specifically US context. And some of Hama's comments echo US white racist rhetoric. I guess the lesson might be that commenting on another countries racial issues is a mine field?


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

This is a problem Americans tend to assign their cultural and racial baggage, to the rest of the world. There is an attitude what happens in the US applys everywhere else.

When you accuse a Serb or a Hungarian, or a Croat or a Greek of being privileged because of their skin colour you are being very ignorant of thousands of years of occupation and oppression and slavery. But hey they are white and everything must be easy and good for them because that's how it is in the US.

OTOH, when they're commenting on racial attitudes within the US and dismissing the struggles of oppressed groups in the US, maybe they should take the same advice.

And even within the US, white privilege doesn't mean everything must be easy and good.


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Hama wrote:

I'm a Serb. Trust me I know something about discrimination. And yes, I'm white.

Refusing to accept that you are inferior, or that you should be ashamed of a geographic accident or melanine content in your skin and a bit different skull structure is not pride. It's common sense.

People who think they are better because they are of a certain skin color and facial features are entitled pricks.

When an entire society has been structured for centuries to reinforce your inferiority, it's not common sense to refuse to accept it, it's a radical notion.


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
The fear is allowing dex to damage with two weapon fighting, clearly.
I agree, though apparently they forgot about Saw Tooth Sabers...this REALLY makes me want to play a red mantis assassin!

This is the part that bothers me most about it: It's already open that you can do 2WF with DEX to damage if you're jump through the right hoops and use the right toys, you just can't do it with many of the flavors people want to use.

The power gamers won't care, they'll just use it if it's worthwhile. Those who care about the flavor will be screwed, but they weren't the ones going to abuse it anyway.


ShadowcatX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Since they're being killed at about 500 times the rate, thousands of palastinians are also flee.. oh wait they can't!
Bet they wish they'd use those building materials building bunkers rather than tunnels.

The building materials used for the attack tunnels wouldn't shelter a fraction of the Palestinian population.

And they wouldn't be needed if Israel wouldn't bomb clearly identified UN shelters.

Of course that's OK because rockets were found in some other UN facilities that weren't being used as shelters and besides some suspected militants were riding by on a motorcycle.


Vlad Koroboff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


Putin is an imperialist
Well,OBVIOUSLY!Because you are either that or commie.

Apparently it's called something other than "imperialist" when commies do it. Cause I suspect it looks much the same to the pawns.

And there are other options. Is Sweden Imperialist? Just to pick a random example.


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Irontruth wrote:
JohnLocke wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
JohnLocke wrote:
Some have criticized Russia, claiming they have regional aims beyond their own borders. To that, to the west, I say: f+*+ you. Yes, f#$+ you for daring to have the gall to criticize Russia for having a foreign policy that protects them in their own region of the globe. F$+@ you for not once raising questions regarding Washington's global aims - policies and actions designed to keep a very few rich and everyone else broken, divided, exploited. Russia could have rolled over the Ukrainian border a dozen times already, declared a no-fly zone, annihilated the already-weak Ukrainian and neo-nazi forces attacking the ethnic Russian populations - that they haven't is a sign that Putin is more statesman than warmonger. I understand that this is hard for Americans who like to kick ass and kill sand-ni@@ers and commies to get.
See, I'm with you on pointing out the evil things that the US does around the world. But don't pretend that Putin is some how "saving" people. That just makes you sound naive at best.
Meh. Who cares how you think it makes me sound. Putin has acted as peacemaker far more often than a certain President promising change has done. He negotiated an agreement with Syria regarding their chemical arms last year that totally deflated Obama's desire to strike at them. He's helped Iran get back to the bargaining table re: their peaceful nuclear energy program, stymieing America's desire for war. He's resisted the temptation to use military force in Ukraine. He's no angel, but the m!%~@$#$~*!$ is a statesman and a strategist.
He also negotiated a rest in peace agreement with 100,000 to 200,000 Chechen civilians.

See? He brings peace.


Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

@ thejeff

Golarion is regarded as a rather dark setting by many people when all its components are gathered together. All miscarriages being the unfortunate and premature end of a mortal soul worth the consideration of at least one deity seems to match up rather well. We are talking about a world where there is literally a nation of devil-worshippers that the rest of all the Inner Sea nations have tolerated the existence of for a long time. To say nothing of voluntary worshippers of Rovagug, vivisectionists surgically uplifting animals, expendable peasantry, and afflictions that can turn people evil (vampirism, lycanthropy, various curses/spells although these all have an element of GM fiat involved)

People doing horrible things, or even in a fantasy world, evil deities doing horrible things is to be expected. Something like 20%-30% of all souls not actually being born and thus being "wasted potential, destroying a worthy soul's opportunity to fulfill its destiny", seems a bit harsh as the natural way things work.

Of course that's assuming real world estimates hold and you could blame it on some Golarion equivalent of Original Sin, perhaps Rovagug's influence on the world.

It also seems a bit odd to consider such a common "death" as losing the ability to fulfill destiny. Seems a pretty weak destiny if it's that easy to thwart. Maybe dying before birth was destiny.

Also that statement does not use the term pregnancy or define when the soul is present. It could be at conception. It could be at implantation. It could be at the more traditional quickening. Or even later.


LazarX wrote:
Josh M. wrote:
Crisischild wrote:
People don't appreciate that board games/tabletop games/TCG's of all types are incredibly expensive, reducing their possible market by quite a bit. What was the ACG with standard shipping, 48$? And you wouldn't be able to play Pathfinder with just the ACG.
This is an important point. It's difficult to be a "casual" RPG player and pay full price(or LGS equivalent) meaningfully for the hobby. Whereas CCG players can pick up a couple of booster packs, some card sleeves, buy some decent singles, etc for half of what a RPG book alone costs.
Actually the cheapest way to be a casual RPG player is web based games right now. You've even got web based MMO's like Wartune and Marvel Heroes, as well as the Hidden Item and store management genre. And you can play the bulk of them with no cash outlay at all.

Or join a home game where you can use other people's book until you decide you want to shell out for your own or learn about the SRD.

You really don't have to pay anything.

Even if you buy the CRB, you don't have to keep up with all the other product.

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