Alchemist

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Doctor Raziel Windrunner wrote:
Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, since it is not radioactive and would not produce dangerous waste products.

This sort of thing just goes to show the ruling class's idiocy.

Oh look, you have a potential Seer? I know, we should have this guy who can see glimpses of the future with no physical augmentations go work in the mines!

You know, instead of, say, the fusion power plant where he can touch each coworker on the way in to work and find out if the place might undergo a meltdown or something due to some missed detail.


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Last two episodes have been amazing.

The YouTube Planet was like an episode of TOS done with modern themes. Also the guy doing stupid jokes finally got repercussions for acting stupid...I just wish that had happened to the pilot.
My niece pointed out she thought it was strange that they used only text and video, no text+image memes like in the real world. Even she was like "Just hack the feed!" until they (logically) did it.

Also, it's good to know the Union isn't the UFP and doesn't get extreme about a Prime Directive--and that if you screw up and do something dumb on an alien planet you'd best be prepared to deal with the consequences.

---

Isaac is best Space Dad. While I was kind of surprised at the low-key stereotyping (the one black lady is a single mom? Really?), the episode had heart.

The Doctor was already my fav side character and Isaac tied for fav bridge crew, so getting them together was great.

Both the writer and actor of Isaac's character did a great job, and the latter did exceptionally well at making something with no face very emotive. It was good to see the character progression, and even better that it sort of made them into a little family unit. Again, Isaac is best Space Dad... his literal mind makes him great at Dad Jokes too!


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27) The PC's are travelling across the battlefield when they encounter a ragged group of footmen with bloody weapons who march toward them. Assuming the party doesn't attack, the group stops as their leader pulls out his pristine officers blade and kneels before the PC's, offering their surrender.

About a minute after this encounter starts, the sound of hooves announces the arrival of a squad of another country's cavalry which forms a circle around the other groups. They demand the lives of the footmen and reject any offers of surrender. They recognize the PCs as heroes/adventurers and would prefer not to fight them, but orders are orders.

Does the party accept the first groups offer? Do they defend them from the second group? Or do they talk their way out only to let the second group slaughter the first.


I wish Capaldi had a well-written season to enjoy. Put me in the"It's not the actor, but the writer" camp.

Clara was great until she became a companion, then went downhill fast. I liked Bill. Her orientation was a plus because it meant no more Doctor/Companion romance arc trash. Aslo the actress does "wide-eyed wonder" really well.

Moffat is a love-it or hate-it kind of guy. He always tries to do grand super plots. Thats perfect for Christmas episodes, new villain one-shot, or multi-Doctor specials, but it's really bad for trying to do entire seasons. Not gonna miss him, but if they want to drag him out for specials, I'm OK with it.

The new Doctor actress does not impress me much. I don't really care about the Doctors gender, and it's been well established earlier they can change. Also the actress has down good work before. Its simply that she does not have much respect for the character itself. Tennant, Smith, Capaldi... all had great reverence for the Doctor. Still, if the writing is good, they should be able to pull it off.

River should stay "dead". That being said , she is a time traveller, so they can always bring her back at another point in her timeline. One advantage of this show is you can always being back fan favorites!

A K9 cameo would be great. Bit too goody for continuous episodes, but knowing it's around or perhaps off adventuring with side characters would be cute.


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Its going to be like Game of Thrones soon...
I present to you Mercer, Sower of the Space Tree, Satan of the Starlight, Space Vampire Hunter, Killer of Krill.

As for the warship thing... no. I don't care if they are space aliens, they don't get a pass for using kids as (human) shields. Especially while raising them as child soldiers. If they knowingly bring children into a military vessel going to war, the moral burden is entirely on them. Even their Super Nuke and murder religion are not as repugnant as this facet of their culture.

So... good job to the writers on that part, I guess. I officially hate them now, where before they were just funny rubber forehead aliens.


Indeed he is. Certainly the cutest.

At least in the most recent episode Crystal mentions that teleporting tires him out quickly. I was just going based on his limited intelligence (dogs are bad at math, and his masters aren't specifying how close they were supposed to land) but their explanation works too.. he was rushed and getting more and more exhausted with each hop. If he teleported 4 people, going there and back on each trip... well, that would explain it a little.

Currently most of the Inhumans are acting like total asses, with the exception of Karnak and Gorgon. Black Bolt is doing better but seems remarkably "passive" despite being their leader. I'm going to give them credit and assume his nature is to try and understand things and work them out and that he simply doesn't handle being rushed well. I'm liking him more and more over time, though.

The rest of them, Maximus included, can all hang for all I care. Seeing them in action is like watching a red-on-red battle. Fun to watch, but Im not invested in them much.


Can these vamps go Gaseous? If so, Forcecage isn't going to slow them down long....


Vidmaster7 has the right of it.

None of this plot makes sense when they could just establish a "colony" on Earth. Someone had to build Attilan at some point, so they have the knowledge and means to do it again.

Their caste society even helps. Keep the people essential to running Attilan and let the others have the choice to work there in other possible positions or to travel to Frontier Town on Earth. The disenfranchised would have a way off, and once they've proven whether or not a colony works, they can replicate it as necessary.

Plus, this way they could then make a haven on Earth for the Terran Inhumans. Heh.. could even call the colony Haven. Find some resource on Earth that Attilan needs and import that so there's motivation to keep the peace as both sides would benefit.

Could even have Maximus be the "Duke" or "Baron" of the place if he wanted and let him try building his own, more egalitarian society.

Also... I think Lockjaw is doing a great job. He is still just a dog. To hit Hawaii repeatedly from the Moon is no small feat.


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It's getting more and more sci-fi as it sheds some of its comedy.

That being said, I can do without the divorce jokes, and finally we get an episode that has none. The frat bro thing was overdone a little, but I'm OK with it as this IS a comedy show first and foremost.

There's absolutely zero reason those two should have been picked for that job. That being said, if they didn't, we wouldn't have an episode--and this sort of thing happened on STTOS all the freaking time... why does the bridge crew go down on away missions, again?

I like the leg callback, as well as the holoemitter callback. It's good to see some continuity, even if not not being used to its full extent (The Orville would be one of the most OP ships ever if it was).

The "noncombatant" issue was mildly unnecessary. It was a warship, one transporting a WMD, with the intent to use it. All bets are off. I wonder if this issue will come up again the next time they have a space battle against a Krill ship? For that matter, I wonder if the end result of this episode will be in making them less of a threat thanks to the knowkedge gained.

I like the religious approach. That idea was floated early in the episode and it's good to see them trying to address it. For people who wonder about the aliens motives, remember that there are REAL WORLD mainstream religions whose adherents might think that non-human sapients are without souls too.

For me, the only thing I dislike about this series is that tries too hard to be comedy and sci-fi. If they took the comedy elements out and focused on the sci-fi then it would be on par with series like Star Trek. On the other hand, if the series were more focused on comedy and using the sci-fi as something to spoof, it would also be pretty amazing (Galaxy Quest, the series!). I hope they find a niche to settle into eventially, because they could go either way but seem... lost.


No divorce jokes?!? I can't wait to see this tonight. It only took them like six episodes, but still.

I havent seen it yet, and want to avoid spoilers, so I'll just ask indirectly. Is the enemy ship a warship? Does it have large weapons and go picking fights? Because if it does, then it morally doesn't matter who is on board it, it is a valid target in a fight. If there are special circumstances (it's stolen, the crew committed mutiny, etc) it can get hazy, but I won't know that yet until I see it


The use of time travel in any sort of medium not based around time travel almost universally destroys any semblance of reason or sense in the rest of its plot, or the plot of its entire series. Writers use it as a cheap trick for temporary gain.

The rare few exceptions, like Dr Strange, work because they go out of their way to 'contain' the time travel to a very specific purpose, with strict rules and limitations. In Strange's case, he is prevented from ruining the timeline both because of how the time travel works, and because of the existence of the very organization he works for.

The other exceptions work because they split from the main continuity to tell a story isolated from the original--like the Star Trek movie reboot.


He was pretty terrible at perspectives. Which is ironic, all things considered.

This episode was much more Star Trek than goofball comedy, even though we had that with the leg. The leg joke was funny, even more so when you realize how much effort Isaac went in hiding the thing in a completely random location. Knowing that they could regenerate the leg with contemptuous ease sort of reduced the impact of Episode 3, but it seems we are well past that now. I hope this 'prank war' isn't just a one-off.

It was also really nice going almost half the episode before the ever-required divorce jokes came up.

This 'felt' like one of the time travel caper episodes of STNG. I liked Seth's character's approach to dealing with temporal paradoxes, because usually they try to treat it with kid gloves and only end up making it worse.


That's exactly what happened.

Looking forward to tonight, though. Still more fun than ST:D.


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On Trek, when it was good, the writers tried to represent both sides as fairly and equally as possible, or at least in such a way as you can legitimately understand and appreciate the motives of the side they disagree with, even if they've carried it to the point of being ridiculous. In many cases, some weird oppressive thing turns out to be some useful advice or command from the past that's become some religious-like truth over time as its origins were forgotten.

In Orville Ep.3, they didn't even bother to ask "Wait, why does your culture do this?" until halfway through the episode. We never get a good answer other than "Guess Moclans are just sexist for no reason, lol". There's so many ways they could have given them some legitimate reason where the viewer could be like "Hmmm, they have a point" but instead they use silly arguments and make them into caricatures... and then have the end decision go the opposite way you'd expect.

I don't expect much better because "comedy show" but also because Ep.4 was so much better that it seems like they are improving.


This show is like some weird live-action version of Family Guy set in a Star Trek-esque universe.

It seems like it's having issues trying to decide whether it's a sci-fi show with comedic elements or a comedy show with sci-fi elements.

The first two episodes completely over-used the failed marriage gags. We still have them now, but thankfully they are fading into the background. With each new episode we move ever so slightly away from the comedy more toward the sci-fi elements. Which is good, because maybe the unintentional comedy will go away too (hello six+ people running through ankle deep water with no cover not getting mowed down by 16 warrior aliens in cover.... or just Hugging The Donkey).

Episode Three seemed to be some sort of backwards social commentary on Transgenderism where the writers weren't quite sure which side they were on, if any. It's good to see the main characters reach an ending that's not 100% comfortable for them, even if the entire conflict is meaningless in the end (it can be resolved with 12 seconds in med bay).

Episode Four could have been a particularly humorous episode of Star Trek TOS and I loved it. If this is their goal and not just a transitory state, I would be perfectly happy. This is better Star Trek than Star Wars Discovery has been.

A major plus is the characterization. Seth is good at this sort of thing, and while I may not remember all their names perfectly, there are at least six characters that I like... and that's impressive being that I hate his and the wife character. Each has their quirks and vastly different personalities.

Other minor good things are that they didn't go with the best of the best. The ship is a smaller no-name vessel people haven't heard of, the crew are either misfits or the few hyper competent people there to keep the others from dying in stupid ways. The reactions of the non-silly side characters who expect the Orville crew to be professionals before realizing they are fools is a treat, too.

Will definitely keep up with this show.

EDIT: Non-SILLY. Not sure what autocorrect was thinking.


Pathfinder system.

People say it's a pain tracking the HP, but they're doing it backwards. You track the DAMAGE, not the health.

The Stamina / HP system is similar to the Vitality Point / Wound Point system of Star Wars D20. It makes sense in a universe based on movies where most weapons can easily kill in one hit.

It makes less sense in Pathfinder-style games.

Something I never understood is why someone had to make this abstraction to begin with. Why CAN'T the dragon-punching demigod shrug off a stab from a peasant's dagger? What's wrong with the shape shifting druid in bear form having arrow shafts sticking from him like porcupine quills while he continues to maul the brigands?

What makes me angry are the silly rationalizations of Hit Point representing luck or skill, but then the healing mechanics failing to use the same mechanical logic. Yes, the Cleric has a harder time healing the more experienced and powerful guy. Why? If HP were representing skill and luck, then healing would scale to the target's level and not the caster. Instead, it just becomes proportionately weaker over time.

The 'bonus' HP also make PC's twice to three times as tough as before. BasicLly the same as getting two Hit Dice per level as far as HP is concerned. This is... excessive in a universe where healing is baked in to the system and so easy to achieve.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
They don't add up the same way PCs do. That doesn't inherently mean they don't add up.

Yep, when I'm talking about the rules players use and then the monsters don't follow those rules, that would mean the monster stats don't add up.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Right. But by the same token the Space Pirate Crew Member has a +8 to hit, which is way higher than is even possible for a level 1 PC. They're going by somewhat different standards.

+1 BAB, +4 Dex, +1 Weapon Focus. Possible +1 enhancement if this was a Masterwork weapon in PF, which it obviously isn't.

Yep, different math.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That doesn't mean their stats bear no resemblance to the reality PCs live in.

Good thing nobody ever claimed they didn't resemble them, then.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
so if you want to give some different weapons that makes a real difference and is easily done. Or different armor, though in both cases too much of a change might necessitate a change in CR (though that fact's exactly the same as it always has been).

Changes some damage dice, maybe adds some special status or something depending on the weapon. Sure. Again, that wasn't a part of the argument, though the bonus "but it's a monster!" damage certainly is.

The armor doesn't matter. The purpose of Armor is to modify Armor Class. Look at the example statblock. The armor is just fluff.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I get the distinct impression that Class and Racial Templates are real things and have real meaning.

Monsters don't have real classes any more. That went the way of Hit Dice. It's just the statblock. The chassis variants might modify it, but I double the Racial Template is going to matter all that much.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Because that's not quite how that works. There's a generic stat line that gets modified by things to properly reflect how that class/race/whatever works.

Which puts it clearly in the category of 'not normal stats', yes.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Except that all those matter. Weapons determine damage, Dex determines Intiative, its class and race effect its stats, etc.

Sure. Dex counting for Initiative clearly means it matters a great deal, despite it no longer applying to Armor Class, Saves, Skills, etc.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Except it's nowhere near that simple, I'm pretty sure.

Doubt it. They're just using modified (likely refined a bit) rules from an existing Pathfinder book. It is likely very simple, which is what they aimed for.


Lord Fyre wrote:
They could also be pulled into the bay.

Not according to the Starfinder rules, they can't. A Medium size category ship can't get a sufficiently large cargo bay.

In TV show terms, sure, they could probably finagle things to put one in there.

David Knott 242 wrote:
I would base the size category of Serenity on what it can do, not its listed physical dimensions. Since it can carry two Shuttles and land on a planet, it would have to be size Large in Starfinder terms. Obviously, a party of 1st level characters would be unable to build a starship like that -- so I would probably follow Arturius's suggestion to replace the Shuttles with Lifeboats and make the main ship a Transport as a compromise.

Eh, sure, if you want a ship "inspired by Serenity", then that would be fine. If he's trying to make it as close as possible to the actual thing, his current approach works well.

1st levels wouldn't Build it at all. They'd acquire it somehow. The BP thing is just an abstraction. Maybe they get it on loan, are recruited by someone with the ship, find it in Smiling Smitty's Salvaged Starship Spot, or perhaps they pull a Doctor Who and steal some old museum piece that the caretaker kept in working order.

David Knott 242 wrote:
Of course, we do have evidence that the crew of Serenity are not 1st level characters -- two of them are military veterans who survived a brutal battle several years before the series began, and most of the rest clearly had extensive prior adventuring careers as well.

^^ This. The only 'newbie' characters were the doctor and River, which is why they serve as the 'viewpoint characters' for the audience. This can be replicated in-game too by having experienced NPC's handing the major functions until the players get up to speed or the GM wants to have them disappear so the players can 'inherit' the ship.


Even if your DM doesn't allow your Drone to fulfill a role, it can still use its skills for Aid Another actions, I would imagine. Won't work with gunnery and such, but helping out other skills for use of the Sensors, piloting, engineering tasks, etc. May not be much, but it's not detracting from your own actions.

Keante wrote:
But I do think this is on the right track for RAI. I don't think the game wants you trying to apply normal attack or damage bonuses to gunnery checks, for example. Or speed enhancement bonuses to your ship speed.

Irritating. I rather like the idea of being able to use Weapon Focus on Starship Weapons, or allowing your insight or divine attack bonuses to help with your gunnery as well.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's...not quite like that. I mean, they still use the same gear as PCs and have the same stats, how those stats interact with skills, to-hit, and AC is just a bit different.

Do they? Monsters don't even have normal stats anymore, just the bonuses. The attacks, skills, and saves don't add up at all, and the equipment doesn't seem to matter.

Look at the Space Pirate Crew Member listed in the OP. Notice its armor is a 'second skin', which is +1 EAC and +2 KAC. It has a +4 Dex bonus. Second Skin maxes at +5 Dex, soo.... what's going on here? He should easily be 15 EAC and 16 KAC.

What's going on is that the monster is just a 'skeleton' of stats with descriptional fluff. It could be a Vesk or a Human or it could be in power armor or whatnot, but it's just a 'generic' statblock.

Why bother with the 'normal' stats at all if it's just got assigned attack, damage, AC, and HP for its CR?

That's why it's an MMO Monster. It doesn't really matter what it looks like, or what it carries, or what its stats are, because it's got about the same numbers no matter what. Oh, you might some variety in ones with a special ability or attack, but they are functionally the same chassis, and they probably break down into simple categories like Melee, Ranged, Caster, and Support.

They should have saved time and just put that into the main book. Would save a lot of time with the modules (IE: "CR 5 encounter made of 2x CR2 Melee and 1x CR2 Ranged")

Gorbacz wrote:

That's not the sole reason. The ability to quickly design NPCs and monsters on the fly based on CR, the shorter and easier to read statblocks are other factors that led to this decision.

Quickly designing NPC's is alright, but once you've made some, they exist forever. As new Beastiary-equivalents, NPC guides, modules, etc, come out, more and more become available with zero work. Plus, as a GM, the ones you make exist forever too. I have dozens leftover from 3.0 that I can dust off if I need in my PF games with only minimal adjustment.

Shorter and easier-to-read statblocks don't require that change either. Just put down the most important details. Which at this point is basically Attack+, AC, Saves, and HP.

---

Still, none of my complaints matter too much in the end since we can just Rule Zero it and build NPC's the "normal" way. It's just irritating that this is hailed as some 'new' way of doing things when it's been done before in games with simpler rules. One of the great things about Pathfinder is that the rules are detailed and have some complexity.


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Soooo... MMO Monsters. Got it

Having separate math for players and everything else is one of the main things that made me hate 4th. Best thing 3rd did was unify the math for everything.

Hiruma, thanks for that link. It lets you see how their line of thinking slowly changed over time to come up with this system, and it's an interesting read, even if I disagree with the conclusions and results.

If the problem is that Mind Control results in one player destroying the party, the issue should be fixing that flaw, not re-writing the laws of the universe to change the result.


They are not full shuttles.

There is no interstellar travel in the Verse, it is all one giant solar system. By Starfinder rules, those shuttles qualify as Lifeboats. You can get 2 Lifeboats for a single expansion slot.

Furthermore, there isn't a full 'bay' for them, a contained area where they can dock and be maintained. A shuttle 'bay' would have these features. If you are dead set on them not being Lifeboats, then jiggle the rules a bit to say they are shuttle docking points, but that refuel, repair, and maintenance requires the Firefly to land or the repair crew to embark in spacesuits and tethers to conduct those activities outside the ship.


The omission of key stats and feats is really irritating.

I like knowing how many Hit Dice my monsters have. The CR implies it is 2nd level, as you've pointed out Soldier 2 seems to be about right.

OK, so, it's knife is at +5. +2 is BAB, +2 is Str, the other is?
Both its ranged attacks are at +8. +2 is BAB, +4 is Dex, what is the other +2 from? Some sort of specialization? The grenades and the pistol are in separate groups, as is the knife, but they all seem to be getting some weird bonus.

How did it get Piloting to 10? Even assuming class skill, that's 2 ranks with +3 class bonus, along with the +4 dex for a total of +9. It's not boosted enough to qualify from Skill Focus.

The AC should be higher. The saves are wrong across the board (Con should be higher, Reflex WAY higher, Will lower).

Some can be inferred. +8 Init with a +4 Dex bonus? Sounds like someone has Improved Initiative.

If we had the details, this would be a lot easier.

There are only two alternatives that make sense:

1) We don't have enough details yet to know and they aren't sharing yet.

2) The NPC's are all "MMO Monsters"--IE: They have stats for their level and the physical appearance doesn't matter at all.


Rysky wrote:
Hillary put files into folder A instead of folder B in the filing cabinet in one of the most secure rooms in the world.

I think what you were trying to say was "misplaced". However, outside your gross misapplication of the term, it really hould be written out like this:

"Tens of thousands of E-mails marked for specific use only on specific networks to prevent rogue actors or other nations from getting them. Then puts a server in a private residence and uses it to transmit them. Ignores markings as to their classification, then willfully removes said markings. Withholds said stored data after being ordered to turn it over long enough to delete it and destroy physical devices which contain it. Lies about doing so, lies about the markings, lies about telling other people how the markings work, lies about asking for help to lie about it, gets upset when rogue actors and opponents (unsurprisingly) gain access to the information, gets more upset that it was one in her own group that leaked it (and then potential leaker conveniently gets robbed to death), blames accessed information on actions of another party, blames political opponent for bringing it up or suggesting said wronged party should provide it after it has been taken, claims that doing so is a top-level national security risk while completely ignoring she already did that herself and was the one who made the risk possible in the first place, completely ignores the fact that she did it and tries to misdirect attention away from this fact."

There. FIFY.

Rysky wrote:
Trump is a delusional bigoted nutjob who has no idea what he's doing who has ran multiple companies into the ground multiple times,

Single digit failures, triple digit successes, often in specific economies where 50/50 is considered good. Now said guy who has 'no idea what he is doing' just turned the enemy's propaganda wing on itself to his advantage like freakin Sun Tzu.

Meanwhile, the praiseworthy 'competent' one claims half the population is deplorable and rails against Nazi Frog memes.

Yeah. competence.

Also, 'bigoted' no longer has meaning. When it's used against 'anyone one side doesn't like', that tends to happen. Decades of prominence in the public eye, nary a peep. Runs against Democrats, immediately branded 'bigot', 'homophobe', 'racist', 'dark', etc, etc, the whole deplorable pile.


Scott Betts wrote:

Okay!

Here's Hillary Clinton's Politifact scorecard
Here's Donald Trump's.

OK, so when you define "Basic Facts", it is "Whatever Poltifact tells you it is at the time?" Oh man, that's rich. It's good to know that you have a single website from which you derive your objective truth.

Good job. Politifact says she has more 'true' claims. What does that tell us? Does that tell us she is not corrupt, didn't do pay-for-play, didn't delete specific data, didn't lie about being under sniper fire, didn't use the Clinton Foundation as a way to manipulate bribes, etc, etc?

No, it just tells you that a certain website says more of her claims were 'true'.

I don't need to make claims about Politifact's "bias". I could, but that's low-hanging fruit. I much prefer for you to logically look at your claim and realize how silly it is. Probably won't happen, of course.

But it's OK, you're doing the whole claim, shame, and proclaim bit right there in your own post, and you did it multiple times, in order!

But here, if it helps you: Yes, I hate the Democrat party. It is the absolutely most corrupt organization in the USA today. Yes, I hate the Republican party, with particular focus on those who were for unnecessary wars and an extra helping for those who just bent over for the opposition to run roughshod over what the R's claimed to want to protect (while instead trying to find a way to profit from it like jackals). No, I'm not an Conservative. Yes, it's insulting for you to call me one. No, I don't care, because you are simply misinformed. Yes, you're a fool for doing so, because in your worldview there is the binary of "Us good" VS "Them bad" with no in-between, so you can't even comprehend that there's anything else on the spectrum.

The rest was you rambling against an ideology I don't have. Good on you. Did you enjoy burning that straw man? I'll fetch some marshmallows if you like.

Scott Betts wrote:
But your anger and frustration aren't a substitute for facts.

But your Politifact isn't either. It must be hard for you, when 'fact' is in the name, and it should be so 'obvious'.

Scott Betts wrote:
]I mean, it's not really our strategy (in case any of you would like to read our actual plan

Claim superiority: 'I have Politifact, I must be right!'

Shame dissent: 'Don't you dare point out that it might be biased, you're a fool if you do!' (Esp note how this doesn't contradict any facts, lol.)
Proclaim victory: 'Democrats are better in every way!'

Thank you for proving it is, in fact, your strategy. I appreciate it when you are so obvious. This is why you are not Inner Party, you're incapable of higher-level deception. You're too honest to be evil. There's hope.

---

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You don't have a main point, and that's the problem.

Ah, so, basically as opposed to offering up any counter argument at this point, you just dismiss the other side. Do you, perhaps, then attempt to shame them by saying their system is old and discredied?

You do. Surprise, surprise.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Your problem isn't that it's loaded or biased it's that its accurate.

Of course. Everything you disagree with is 'biased'. Everything you agree with is 'accurate'.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You want me to decide who the real christians are?

Nope.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

This is the very error you're denying.

Todd stole an ice cream
James burned down an orphanage.
Both people are bad.
There is a vast difference between having a point of view (that you can't actually deny) and making stuff up out of whole cloth.

Trust me, your error is worse.

Nominee A bribed, spied, deleted, lied, extorted, failed at the job when it was critical, tried to cover up countless mistakes, failed at doing that, and resulted in people dying and is part of a group which has done so for a long time.
Nominee B says mean things and people that support A call him words that end in -ist and -phobe. He doesn't lead the opposition by their choice, but because he defeated them, and has already edged out the other version of A's group.

Clearly B is worse, by your reasoning.

There is a vast difference between having a point of view (that you can't actually deny) and ignoring reality on the ground.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Democrats are trying to get through a system where they try to change things,

Oh really? What are they changing that's meaningful, I mean, aside from people that provide them with money?

Is it the cities they've had dominion over for decades, with people they claim to want to represent, all the while allowing those places to fall into further squalor and disrepair?
Or is it, I dunno, maybe all the unnecessary wars and conflicts they seem to encourage, while proclaiming that it's the other side's fault? Then blame the other side or an old enemy when evidence of this is provided, rather than, I dunno, realize what they did should be the focus?
See, this goes along with 'progress'. Progress is change in a direction meaningful to those who initiate it (or who write the history of it).
Doesn't necessarily make it good for everyone else who's not part of their system.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
but need enough corporate money to get elected.

That's nice. Which candidate has more corporate money behind them, again? Which one has almost the entire media working for them?

And why is that necessary? I mean, how did it get into such a position where that is required?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Evolution is true. Global warming is real. Trickle down economics doesn't work. We need to pay people for the money we spent. Deficits are lower under democratic presidents than republican ones. One party starts there, one doesn't.

Wait...so... "global warming" and "teaching evolution" are more important than upper portions of the government functionally committing treason? And then people want to expand that?

Wow.
Also, when you have a decade and a half 'pause' in something, while decades ago people claimed it was going in the other direction, well, that's not global warming, merely climate change.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

One side vowed to end citizens united.

The other hired the lawyer that got citizens united made law to be their campaign manager

So, that thing you disagree with, that the other side 'won' on, you're upset about that, and how dare someone try to replicate success by hiring the person who helped make that happen?

Welp.
Also, I seem to recall that it's fairly easy to get a Super PAC like Correct The Record to do your attacks for you, doing double duty in allowing more money to come in while also making it possible to attack an opposing candidate without having yours get its hands dirty.
You can ask Sanders all about how that worked out when it was used on him. I mean, it's almost like the system was rigged.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You're not genuinely arguing here. There is nothing behind the posturing. The razzmatazz isn't even that good.

Indeed, I should have Appealed To Authority---err, I mean, Politifact. It apparently works for Betts.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
As happy as that would make me...

Of course it would.

---

Berinor wrote:
Progress is a pretty generic term that can mean making headway on a specific task or moving society forward (with the implication that forward is closer to an ideal society).

Indeed, I totally agree.

It does matter, of course, who is the one deciding what 'forward' means, or for that matter, whose version of an 'ideal society'. Like saying what the definition of 'is' is.
In any case, it's fair to say that the actual meaning of words often is quite different from what some people mean when they use them. Pick, say, I dunno, any of the modern 'phobias' that are thrown about with aplomb when accusing half a nation's people of being deplorable. The actual term is completely different from how said people use it.
I just wrote 'progress' as how the more extreme Leftist elements actually use it. For them, it functionally means 'our side is winning', and they hope the 'unaligned' don't notice this fact.

Berinor wrote:
ideas like "we need to remove all regulations from businesses because the free market will prevent exploitative behavior" with which I merely disagree.

I'd put that last as extremely disagree, but I see your point and agree with it.

---

Guy Humual wrote:
To put it bluntly people think that same sex marriage is a sin

And they are correct in their view, as it is religious in nature. Note that this isn't an 'objective' correctness, but a 'subjective' one. Sins against God are entirely different from sins against Papa Government.

That also doesn't necessarily mean that it should be the same view as the pluralistic society as a whole which is responsible for the welfare of all its citizens, not just the religious or non-religious or differently-religioned.

And it certainly doesn't mean that crimes against such people they dislike should magically have a worse sentence than the exact same crime against a different target.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
This is really going out of your way to make a random insult seem like an actual response to the point.

Indeed. I can tell you went out of your way to addres the main points instead of minutiae.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
only holds if "similar beliefs" isn't christianity but a specific form of christianity that tends to earn that dislike with what they say about members of religious minorities and the LGBT community.

If you're using such a loaded, biased description of 'The Other', note it applies equally well to your example.

Those who have a 'specific form of christianity that ignores all its precepts that disagree with their political ideology, earning the dislike of any who disagree with them'.
There. Now both sides are biased. Good times.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Republicans push those issues in order to get votes for the thing they actually care about: funneling more money to the rich.

Your clearly missed the part where the Democracts push their issues to get votes for the one thing they actually care about: Funneling more money to their rich.

If you want to throw down about it, it's fairly easy to find out which side has more rich, and by what degree.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
While democrats aren't free from the occasional idiocy or taking a good idea too far republicans are deliberately divorcing themselves from basic facts

Basic facts like what Confidential or Secret means? Basic facts like who tried to delete the papertrail exposing their corruption, including the use of hammers on devices that had it? Basic facts like getting bribes for positions of power?

No, no, please go on about which side is ignoring more 'basic facts', this is delicious.
You're right about them not being idiots, though. Their level of corruption is efficient and well-refined compared to the idtiot R's on the other side the aisle.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The us is definitely bad. But it's not have the guy running against you shot in broad daylight bad.

No, it's just that, through absolutely-unshakeable coincidence, some people 'accidentally' crush themselves with weights or any who leak sensitive data just so happened get robbed to death.

---

Scott Betts wrote:

And here I was, thinking this forum might actually be completely free of Trump supporters.

Still some progress to be made, I guess.

You're just proving that definition of 'progress' I listed to be true.

Thank you.

---

Guy Humula wrote:
It's the new popular narrative that the voters are wrong. The DNC are right, Hilary is great, but the voters are wrong. The exact opposite of how elections work.

Standard techniques from that side. Claim superiority, shame dissent, proclaim victory.

Doesn't really work as well as it used to, though.
What's better is when the Outer Party doesn't realize how much the Inner Party is making from their support and devotion. What's worse is how many don't care.

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MMCJawa wrote:
People predicted early on that Obama would be a one term democrat.

His opposition was Mittens and McCain. Anyone who made the prediction while knowing this at the time they were running against him deserves scorn. Indeed, it's extremely rare that a standing President fails to get re-elected. They have to do something rather impressively bad for that to happen.

MMCJawa wrote:
One, because despite what some people may think I actually believe she will be a competent president

Why, yes, if she does such a bang-up job at President as she did as Secretary of State, there will be much 'progress'.

MMCJawa wrote:
Secondly demographics are increasingly making it difficult for a standard republican to win the office of president.

Yes, which is why it's blindingly obvious why the Democrats support the importation of more Democrat voters. They certainly won't win the demographic battle by having more kids than their opposition.

It's no wonder the Inner Party lives in gated communities with paid hirelings to defend them with firearms while publicly they speak out against such things as complaining about living with the consequences of one's choices and gun control. Woe betide the one who dares to question this stance... claim, shame, and proclaim!


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Snowblind wrote:
This seems like a weird thing to say given that, well, Trump.

Why yes, it is, given the opportunities he's opened up to those whose genders, races, and beliefs have been discriminated against. It certainly wasn't the Democrats pointing out how the Democrats were screwing them over.

Hitdice wrote:
Trump's reactionary to the progress Clinton's talking about. Consider that the DNC had a muslim athlete introduce a muslim gold star family whereas Tim Tebow declined an invitation to the RNC.

Considering her idea of 'progress' is "off a cliff at full speed while taking bribes to speed along, lie about, and cover it up", I'd say that's a good thing.

Considering they also had the father of a certain shooter there, ignored the Gold Star family their designated candidate lied to while holding the other up as an example of her integrity, and they tend to dislike those who have similar beliefs to Tebow... yeah, you kind of have to wonder what they define as 'progress' on a meta level. Well, it's not that hard, call people who oppose their views 'deplorable' words, then sic the base on them. 'Progress' is when they win, no matter who it hurts.

If it's any consolation, I don't think Trump really gives a rat's rear about what Mitch McConnell wants. Mitch is out for his old establishment, a relic of a bygone age. Whoever wins this election will see it torn down around his ears.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Democrats are racist but they are more subtle than Republicans.

They are not more subtle at it.

They are more efficient at it. It is baked into their institutional control, as can be easily seen by looking at the areas they control and abuse it the most. They generally just tend to be loudest at pointing it out in their opponents, because they think it takes the focus off them. For their minions, this is true. For everyone else, not so much.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
DEMOCRATS HAVE THEIR OWN BASKET OF DEPLORABLES

The Democrat 'basket of deplorables' is meta in that it applies more to the words they use. Everyone who disagrees is racist, sexist, xenophobic, or whatever the current -ist or -phobe of the month is, used over and over until the point of meaninglessness. When Hillary said that, it showed two things. 1) She's utterly intellectually bankrupt. 2) She's foolishly divided the country into 'her people' and 'everyone else', with the latter to be hated. Bad move when your opponent is being all inclusive all of a sudden.

Lest you think I have a love for the Republicans (what with all this Democrat-bashing), don't bother. The Democrats are extremely efficient in exploiting the law and every institution they can corrupt. The Republicans, on the other hand, are the least competent group of whiners and surrender monkeys ever to fill an American political party. They lost their balls decades ago and despite calling themselves "Conservative" have been nothing more than a weak set of brakes on their opponent's goals.

The best thing about this utterly amazing election is that it will end with either one (if Hillary wins) or two (if Trump wins) of the political parties becoming an utter smoking ruin of its former self, forced to adapt to the times and realign their politics along that of the real-world--or be replaced by one that will.

Or, you know, the conspiracy theorists will be proven right, nothing will change in our national policies, and we'll have 100% proof that they were two faces of the same lying beast. But even if this were true, nobody would act on it anyway.

Either way, the old system (either the mechanics or the illusion) is done. Glorious.


HolmesAndWatson, it's been a long time! Sadly, my internet access has been restricted the past few weeks, so I've missed some of the fun.

If you don't mind, I'm going to dump some various opinions and explanations here. No criticism toward what other people do, but perhaps a small bit of reasoning.

Before I start, I'll say this: The "Good Old Days" of the 1st Age of RPG's were good more on a meta-level than a rules level. As the Wheel of RPG Time turns, and Ages come and go, we see these contrasts wax and wane in a little dance, ever destined to come full circle back to where we started.

5th Edition, which I like from an objective point of view, is something I will never subjectively involve myself in simply because I like my options too much. While it's great for new players to get into, and I certainly don't hate it (unlike 4th, which can die in a fire), from my perspective it seems to be a simplistic, streamlined version of the game I'd play only for a one- or two- session minicampaign.

As far as I'm concerned any 'looseness' with the rules claimed to be an advantage is missing the point of the more rules-capable systems out there. The DM has Rule Zero, and even the basic rules of 3.5 and PF are willing to hand out free 'bonuses' to creative characters. Having more options gives you more options, and having less takes them away.

I will always prefer having more options, unless there is a pressing need not to. In such situations where it's easier to get new players into it, or I want a faster, more streamlined game due to time constraints, I'll happily give it a go.

---

RANDOM ROLLS

I haven't ever used random rolls for stats in my games in over a decade. And I never will.

This a relic of the Dark Ages, and be consigned to a museum. In the real world it's analogous to those old stockades and torture implements used by the Inquisition.

Maybe it's a personal thing, but I think players should have equality of opportunity. Staring out, they are all given the same rules and the same options to choose from, and if they end up in vastly different places, well, it was their own decisions that led them there, and that's perfectly fine.

Random rolls can be fun for short sessions where people want the 'Old School Experience' for a time, and assuming no one gets totally shafted with their rolls, it might be entertaining. But at some point, the shadow of Envy will loom over the party, as the have-not grumble and complain about the haves. And it will happen, because there is a bell curve to these things, and the guy who gets high stats in what he needs will invariably be looked upon with jealousy by the one who didn't. It's best the game doesn't progress this far, instead the players keeping it to a short campaign where they can have that Old School Experience to remind themselves how good they have it now.

It's a bit like a Renaissance Fair, really. You enjoy some of the creative things about the past and some stuff inspired by it, but in the end you can go home and not have to wipe with a curved stick or piece of corn cob, and don't brush your teeth with a twig or hike to work or die of dysentery or catch scurvy due to low access to fruits in your diet.

---

For a similar reason, I don't like the 'minimum stat requirements'. Sure, that made sense in the past where some stats really didn't impact your abilities that much. But in modern times where the ability modifiers are the bread-and-butter of your class abilities, the 'stat minimums' already exist in a softer, less glaringly obvious form. Yes, you *could* play an 11 Int Wizard, but you're going to be behind on getting your second-level spells and if anything you cast has a saving throw, well, gods help you.

But if someone wants to go ahead and be sub-optimal because that's just the character they want to play? Well, they can still do it, more or less.

Furthermore, it turns the 'nonstandard' core classes (like Barbarian and Monk and Paladin and such) into 'miniature Prestige Classes' where you have to have those minimums even to enter. No one can be terrible at their job, but when some of those lag behind the basic core classes--despite requiring better stats--you something is wrong with your system.

People can implement this in their games if they wish, but it doesn't make since in a 3.5 / PF type setting where such requirements are already functionally baked into the ruleset as part of the math.


They would have, I imagine, what most modern societies tend toward having: A fiat currency.

Basically, the currency has value because the government says it does, and people accept that. Generally only works in societies with a powerful central government.

If that's not the case, then I imagine the currency would not be made of a valuable material, but would serve as an exchange scrip for something that has value.

I imagine that, were it not electronic, it would be a small, complicated, hard-to-replicate token that could be altered by the government to represent a variable amount of currency as necessary. Alternatively, the money tokens could be a composite, where they 'attach' to each other to form bigger tokens, which represent that increased value but are just as recognizable. Think 'pieces of eight', but instead of chopping them up, you combine them to bigger pieces or twist them a certain way to break them down again.

As it's a futuristic setting, the material it is based on that serve as as the exchange would have to meet several criteria. You'd have to have something that is useful for advanced technology, durable, doesn't decay or get consumed, but is actually necessary to put into things rather than have massive stockpiles of it around.

Thus, it would probably best be a metal not used for armor, but pliable and ductile. Good in conductivity, not very reactive, and capable of using in tiny amounts to achieve a goal but in such a way as that there are massive amounts of it needed due to the size of the advanced society. It should be instantly recognizable even to untrained eyes, fairly easy to find on a large level without going through unnecessary efforts (so, say, material normally found on random meteorites that only occasionally enter a planet's atmosphere is right out), but not so common as for it to be devalued. It should probably be as low as possible on the periodic table as to fit these requirements as well.

There's only one material that comes in mind that fits these criteria perfectly.

Gold.

Thus, I think these recombining 'pieces' of currency would be backed by 'gold', and could be described by the government that issues them as the "Gold Piece".

So... inherently valueless "Credits" or the "Gold Piece" seem like the most likely choices.


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What TheJeff said. So much.

Of all the things SciFi tramples on (dissipating the massive heat radiation any starship would create, placement of decks on a ship relative to the ships direction of travel, square cubed law for inertia and ship movement, assumption of massive if not infinite amounts of free energy, amount of life in the universe, etc, etc), picking on FTL as unrealistic is just silly.

But, most importantly:

Quote:

If I have a way to teleport to Alpha Centauri that takes no perceptible time to me, it's perfectly reasonable with no violation of temporal causality for it to put me at Alpha Centauri at a time that will be observed from my starting location 4.3 years from when I left. It's also reasonable that if I immediately return the same way, I'll only have been gone for moments and 4.3 years later I'll see myself arrive at Alpha Centauri. (Assuming I've got really strong telescopes and a really big ship or make a really big explosion when I get there.)

There's no travel to the past involved. No backwards time travel. No violations of causality.

This. All the 'time travel from FTL' complaints conveniently neglect the fact that the time travel can only happen in one direction. Some of the sillier examples ignore the speed entirely by throwing in another section involving absolutely instantaneous travel, the decry the non-instant FTL as violating causality.

---

As for the Dominion of the Black VS Cthulhu, my bets on Cthulhu. While it's nice to just say "He's now a slave somewhow", I think it would be much more interesting if they were trying to keep him asleep. Like a sizeable portion of humanity is put into a Matrix-machine (as it was intended, using brains as processing power, not how it was edited for the movies, using bodies as batteries) whose sole purpose is to generate a dreamlike 'fake world' to keep him distracted and sleeping while the rest of the place is turned into one of the Dominion's flesh farms.

Turning him into a simple tool doesn't really make the Dominion look all that super awesome. It looks more like a cheap shot to boost one mythos as the expense of another. Bit like when Batman fans write a Batman VS Superman story, and require the latter to be relentlessly stupid so the former can win.


The US system is designed on both sides to prevent any 'interlopers' from getting enough votes to really matter. The differing ways various states handle the Electoral College just reinforces this.

As for Sanders, it doesn't matter if he claimed earlier he would support Hillary instead. What he did was reprehensible.

He ran as the Anti-Establishment candidate on the Left and held on long enough for his opponent to be removed for legal reasons--but that ended up not happening (surprising everyone who didn't believe the system was rigged). Afterward, he turned around and threw his support (and all the money he raised from those who believed in him) behind the most Establishment person that has played the game in the past decade and a half. Sure, maybe it was 'working toward his goals' in the best way he could, but believing that the person he's supporting would actually follow through with it? Really?

Is it a surprise he did this? No, unless you thought he would actually follow through on the morals he claimed to have and the promises he made. His credibility is gone.

MMCJawa: The Republican Party has effectively been nuked from orbit. Now the question is: Are they the survivors of the fallout who will try to rebuild a functioning society with the numbers they have left? Or are they the radioactive mutants who will mindlessly swarm the one they failed to take down before in a bid for vengeance?


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Become a Lich with none of the nasty costs?

Sign me up in a heartbeat, especially if it's 3.5 or PF rules. There's a few spells that enable Undead to become temporarily living (one was even posted here). They are mostly to disguise they are Undead, but they also allow them to do things living creatures do, like eat, sleep, etc.

Besides, if I've got levels in Wizard, that means Magic Jar, and that means all those limitations are actually temporary inconveniences. Magic Jar means I can possess someone else's body for a time to do those things. It doesn't even have to be malicious. It can be totally consensual. Here, you want me to double your strength for a day or turn you into an animal for 24 hours so you can see what it's like to fly like a bird or swim like a shark? Well, first you gotta let me borrow your body and hit an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Liches don't even have to be skeletal. This process sounds right efficient, so you'd be keeping the look of your 'original' body if you wanted to. Tammy's use of Gentle Repose will keep you looking as young as your original death. Even then, it really doesn't matter that much. If you want to look pretty, there's two entire schools that can help you accomplish that--Illusion and Transmutation.

As for what 'good' you can do in the world, hey, take them Magic Item Crafting Feats and start producing things that horribly violate physics. Using a bit of conversational ideas over in a Starfinder thread, that means you can help NASA or its European Equivalents by producing Decanters of Endless Water for a perfect 100% efficient reaction-mass drive for spaceships. Want to end world hunger or eradicate plagues? Well, you're basically a one-being harbinger for the Tippyverse, in reality.

I know a friend who'd be happy being a Ghoul if it meant he could be undead in reality. Being a Lich? That's a no-brainer. ;)


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There's a reason the "Tacked On" last season felt "tacked on".

Because it was.

The original show was supposed to be 5 seasons, but they were told around 4 that it wouldn't be.

So--they sped things up to complete the metaplot. About halfway through, they were told that they would, indeed, have a fifth season after all.

You know, after they had written in all the major plot points.

This sort of 'tacked on' feel happens the exact same way in SG-1 at the beginning of Season 9. The main metaplot of the series is complete, but they have to find 'newer', 'badder' bad guys and it turned into Fargate, SG-1 with the cast.

---

Don't see why you couldn't use D20 Modern for a quick Stargete D20 game, honestly. You have all the 3rd Ed / Pathfinder / D20 Modern stuff to pull from for creatures and whatnot.


Farscape was a great series... on its own.

Stargate SG-1 was an amazing series... on its own.

When the latter absorbed the former and became Fargate, that's when it went terribly downhill.

As soon as the main arc with the Goa'uld was finished, they should have ended the series. The silliness with the O'ri and all that extra nonsense could have been a completely different show in the Stargate multiverse.

It would even have been stronger as a 1-3 season series that focused on its own main plot arc. Babylon 5 proved that such a thing worked well if done from the outset, which is one reason Star Trek: Deep Space Nine aped it and turned out so well.

---

Warhawk 7 mentioned, quite many days ago, that the Stargate series does well for conversions.

Not only the team aspect, but the Gate system itself works wonders for giving players new things to do. Since it can go potentially anywhere, but is always anchored at a 'home base', the DM can send their players on all sorts of adventures.

I admit, I cribbed it for my own games somewhat, where there are stone circles with Teleportation effects that allow heroes to move from one to the other if the know the combination of runes. Works great for skipping unnecessary travel back, and if they want to do something completely crazy, they can always enter random sequences until something works.


That is a really good idea. It makes perfect sense and is similar to a system that they already have. If they take that approach, there's less clutter in the Core book, and it's still an entirely optional system.

Probably make it easier to work with SFS too. Don't have to worry about the mechs unbalancing a game they are normally not a part of.


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XLordxErebusX: Well, yes, using gold for non-electronic construction is a silly idea.

HOWEVER, for electronics, Malwing is right. Silver is technically one of the best conductors, but it corrodes easily. Gold is pretty close, far closer than copper, and doesn't corrode at all. It's exceptionally good in that role, so long as there isn't enough current to heat it up too much. But for small things, like connectors? It's amazing

That being said, just because it's a space-faring campaign, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to have the same technological base than the real world does. It's entirely possible that gold will be much more common in their circuits and other electronic technology, to the point where it retains value as an exchange medium for that very purpose. A great increase in technology dependent on it will make it valuable enough for such use.

The fact that it also lets use keep GP as a currency, even in an altered form, is just a bonus.

I'd rather have GP than arbitrary 'credits' anyway.

Plus. it's funny to imagine a bunch of characters in power-armor charging up a hill of cracking gold-plated circuit-boards as they attack the Cyborg Red Dragon in its lair. ;)


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Voss summed this up pretty well.

I think of most fictional giant mecha that must fight on a planetary surface, and then I think of a 4-man party of 16th-20th level D&D/PF characters, and the latter would smoke the former every time. Spellcasters causing earthquakes and meteors to rain from the sky (nevermind piles of Extended, Maximized, and/or Quickened Fireballs), Fighters destroying them with anti-construct weapons, Barbarians raging and just cutting through them (or wrestling them down), etc, etc.

High level PCs are functionally no different from superheroes, after all.

But... that's where my agreement ends.

Using Mecha in D20 doesn't set up bad choices, it merely requires making good ones. The examples Voss gives are indeed rather bad ones.

Fortunately, having done a D20 Mecha campaign before (using D20 Modern + D20 Future), I've had some time to think on this.

The main problem is defining how the mecha works.

Near as I can tell, going by sci-fi movies and anime, there are two different kinds of mecha--the Hard Suit and the Booster Suit.

WARNING: MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT IN SPOILER SECTION!

Spoiler:

--

The first is what I call the Hard Suit. It's a system that the pilot climbs into and controls like a vehicle. It doesn't matter how strong he is or how fast (in speed terms), the Mecha has its own muscle-equivalents and set speeds. This tends to be the most common Mecha in Western fiction, although there are plenty of examples on both sides. Anything from Battletech to Voltron to the Imperium's bigger machines in Warhammer 40K go here. The smallest example would probably be the Power Loader from Aliens.

Advantages of the Hard Suit is that, since it replaces most of the character's stats, it helps set an 'even' level for everything, and balance is fairly straightforward. In addition, it lets you treat the mecha as a giant pile of gear, and it's not too hard to set a 'price'. Finally, the character's investment is minimal... aside from inherent things like BAB which you can't change, most of a Hard Suit's abilities would be based on the skills and feats of the pilot. Some equivalent to a Pilot skill along with perhaps a Proficiency gained by a class or Feat, and the character is good to go. Thus, the entire party can participate in mecha, going on a joyful rampage of destruction, and then go back to their old characters when that part is done. Might even give them some options for playing something 'a little different' in a campaign.

Disadvantages including making it a bit difficult to adjudicate mecha VS non-mecha fights. IN addition, as mentioned, sufficiently high level characters or monsters will utterly trash suits suitable for 'lower levels', or all suits for that matter if they aren't balanced. Usually, this results in more work for the GM, as they need far more of them (or at least an expandable skeleton template) for the campaign. Personally, I balanced these by making 4 'tiers' similar to the power levels of the characters: Civilian (or Industrial), Military, Advanced, and Prototype. These correspond to the 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20 level brackets of the characters. It works... but obviously I had to do a bit of work for it to function.

---

The second is the Booster Suit. The pilot doesn't so much climb into it as it is 'attached' to the character. It's basically a suped-up power armor. Whereas the Hard Suit has its own stats, the Booster Suit primarily enhanced the stats of the wearer. Put a low-level janitorial schlub in it, it's not going to be useful in a fight (although might be good for a comedy scene). This tends to be more common in Eastern fiction, but you never know. You have small stuff like a Guyver suit on one end, while on the other end of size you have the Gurren Lagann (which wins a special award as its power level is decided by CHARISMA and Wisdom). Western examples range from Tony Stark's Iron Man armor for the 'normal' sized, to the slightly larger mecha found in Avatar, then all the way up to the Jaegers of Pacific Rim.

Advantages of the Booster Suit is that the character can now go against challenges much greater than they could before. Level balance is more-or-less respected within the same category so long as similar suits are worn... and if not, you just use the 'extra WBL by level' rules already existing in the game. This makes the mecha-vs-not fights a little easier to adjudicate. The characters being played are functionally the same characters, but with bigger numbers, so it's almost like they get to be 'higher level' for a short time while the mecha fights last. Furthermore, this one's fairly easy to price, too, as you're basically putting together a bunch of magic items into one. Lastly, the armor auto-scales for level, as it's just boosting stats, so the high level party fighting a lone high level guy in a Booster Suit can be a decent fight.

Disadvantages include things like 'defining the requirements to use them'. For the Hard Suit, this is the skill or proficiency. In the Booster's case, it can be more complex. In most such fiction, there's a reason such wearer's are rare. In some cases its because you must have enough of a certain stat (Strong enough to control it, Dextrous enough not to hurt yourself, etc), your mind must work a certain way (min Int or Wis), you must have belief in yourself or your cause (Cha). In other's it's because you have to have some physical gene or quirk to be able to use the special equipment. Or, sometimes, the suit just has to be able to 'recognize' you as a valid pilot (Tony's suit has security so only he can use it, you have to be 'related' to the Eva to pilot it, the Big must judge you morally worthy, etc).
Because it is a super-sized boost to a character, the player has to make more choices, and has to decide when they get class abilities if its good for them in normal mode, booster mode, or both. This either results in them being good in one or the other, or decently good at both but behind in the category another specialized in. Obviously, with little or no requirements, this isn't as bad of a problem.

A unique disadvantage to Booster Suits in fantasy games with Mecha is this: What do the Spellcasters do? This requires a bit of extra work, either making magitech items that convert spells into effects, or for working out some sort of system, both with lore and game mechanics, that lets the spells 'scale up'. Alternatively, allowing buffs and debuffs to have an enhanced effect on the mecha works, but then you have issues where some spellcasters without them might be at a disadvantage or build toward a style they don't want to play.

---

As always, there are a few weird exceptions to the rules now and then, usually by the more extreme mecha examples.
Some work on an AI or are alive, and can pilot themselves if necessary (Eva's, Iron Man's "Iron Legion", etc). This can apply to either category, but requires a little bit more work on the part of the Booster Suit, as the controlling intelligence or program has to be statted out in more detail (the Hard Suit version is basically a BAB, saves, and a Pilot skil. It's lot more complicated for Booster Suits).
Usually these are also the same kind that can sometimes work against their own pilot if they do something the mecha 'disagrees' with. They may also act independently if their pilot is threatened somehow, even outside the mech!

---

If Starfinder has mecha, these are the kind of problems they'll have to think of and solve. While each has advantages and disadvantages, people will argue for one over the other.

Personally, I prefer to go with both. Sadly, that's even more rules they'd have to write and try to balance.

As such, I kind of doubt we'll be getting them in the Core Rulebook.

That being said, I do hope they address an entire book for them (as well as one for Starships), as that would make me quite happy!


SwampRatKing wrote:
Drone ships are a fantastic idea.

Thank you.

To be fair, one doesn't have to go entirely with one idea or the other, either.

You can easily do both at the same time. If a person doesn't want to control a drone/fighter, and would prefer to do the Main Engineer thing, you can totally let them. Or if they don't want it to be that complicated, they can easily be a turret gunner. Works better on small ships that only have one or two, since you can assign the turrets specific targeting stats and even have enemies attack them directly. Thus, its functionally a 'drone', just one that's 'attached' to the main ship.

This should give the players some variety, too. Maybe the beatstick Fighter or Sneak Attacking Rogue/Assassin doesn't want to do melee combat anymore, and wants to do the ranged thing. Cool, he can be a Drone for the fight. Maybe the Archer/Gunslinger has a pile of ranged feats and wants to show off his abilities in the main ship. Cool, he can push one of the NPC's out of the gunner's turret and take over. This works better if there's a Ship Weapon Proficiency feat or class ability that lets them apply their 'normal' feats to these upscaled weapons. Oh, guy took Rapid Shot and Point-Blank Shot and all that? Let him be in the rapid-fire blaster turret. Or perhaps he took the Vital Strike style of feats? Let him hop in that high-damage railgun on the ship and smash things with a vengeance.


The fiery dagger trick won't work in Pathfinder, as someone has to wield it, activate it, and continue to wield it before it goes out. Plus, it's only 1D6 fire, roughly equivalent to a torch. Would take awhile. Plus, you'd still need supplies of water and parts to repair the thing.

The Decanter of Endless Water on the other hand, is a perfect physical space drive, as it has an unlimited supply of reaction mass and projects it on its own. Strap lots together and you have a good engine, or use individual ones as 'maneuvering thrusters'. There's no moving parts, nothing to maintain. You just activate it and let it rip. Well, obviously you have to anchor it and whatnot.

The thing is, if you're going that route, you have to make sense with the magical and technological worlds. Older D&D editions, there were no 'elements' as we know them. Everything was made up of some mix of 'classical' elements such as Air, Earth, Fire, and Water in different proportions. So... how do you do electrolysis in such a system where Oxygen and Hydrogen don't exist? You have to make decisions as to what works and what doesn't.

To be fair, with the Decanter, you don't even have to electrolyze it. You just make a turbine and point the Decanter at one side and watch it spin. That just shows that the cheap Magic stuff would easily alter a technological world in crazy, crazy ways.


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BattleStargate Universe was pretty good. The first few episodes, anyway.

What started with an amazing premise and art direction, loaded with possibilities, soon got really repetitive, really fast.

Oh look, the Mad Scientist who thinks he's better than everyone else and has betrayed people repeatedly wants us to trust him. Maybe things will be different this time? I mean, he wouldn't do that five times in a row, right?

Oh, those military people? They must be bad, you can't trust them to lead. It's not like they have an organized structure where people know what to do and who to listen to. Let's us, as a group of random, unaffiliated civilians, convince others that we should be in charge even though we have no plans and will begin turning on each other at a moments notice. We'll screw things up for awhile, the military guys will un-screw it, then we'll start this process again.

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It IS much like a Pathfinder AP, though, I'll give you that. I think you have that backwards in that it would serve as a great inspiration for a campaign IN Starfinder. What with the stellar exploration, this can be a way to do it. Don't even have to bother with piloting ships and whatnot if the party doesn't want to.

At low levels, you explore this space-bound mega-dungeon. As you get higher in level, you can start exploring the worlds and places it stops by. As you go up, others start attacking or trying to board or whatnot, and then you have the 'reverse dungeon' where the bad guys are kicking down the doors to your home and you have to defend it. The best thing is, whatever part the party tends to like more you can throw back in there. The ship big enough? Well, they can never fully explore it, so at higher levels there can still be convenient dungeons on-board. They like the planetary exploration? Give them more of that. They want to start dealing with other spaceships, well, they can find the controls for the turrets or finally gain access to a ship's hangar, and BOOM, there you go.

Thanks for the idea. Totally going to do this. ;)


Likely, it'll be the same as what we have now. Straight up healing via spells or abilities, in probably the same form that we're used to. As the setting DOES have magic and deities and whatnot, there's no reason this would have phased out.

Alternatively, a healing-based class might look something similar to a Chirugeon Alchemist. Class abilities for skills and fighting, with the ability to pass 'class-based' healing potions to buddies. If they don't keep the old Vancian magic system in the game (and I see no reason for them to get rid of it, as this is more Dragonstar than Star Wars), this is the most likely approach. Personally, I'd like to see a dedicated 'support' class that does stuff like this without having to be equal to the others in combat.

Other possibilities include changing the HP system around. The old Star Wars D20 had 'vitality points' (aka Hit Points) that would refresh at an hourly basis instead of a daily one. Using their version of Heal (Treat Injury, I think) allowed them to do a 1/day nonmagical heal, as well as double the health gained from normal rest. Characters could refresh easily between fights in a day unless the combats were back-to-back. They might do something like this, but I doubt they want to overhaul the core mechanics. Instead, we might see something similar, perhaps a "life cocoon" or a "healing chamber" or the like that functionally causes this effect (you restore HP at much closer interval). In the 3.5 days, there were ways of stacking 'daily natural health recovery' (a magic bedroll, a certain spell that creates a resting space, summoning an Elysian Thrush, and a Bard spell, if I remember right... that's 5x normal healing in a day, 6x for full rest... at a HP per level, that means everyone but the party tanks are easily able to recover without expending monetary resources beyond the bedrolls). Starfinder might just do something similar.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

If death doesn't involve a character we care about, or hate enough, than it's not a significant death. Serenity was the closeout of a series that had already been canceled out of existence that would never be run again. So yes, I'm all for making bold moves especially when there isn't going to be any tomorrow.

And yes there was a good reason for him to die... it's called being in the middle of a warzone with Axe Crazy Space Berserkers.

So, lemme get this straight... killing a character randomly in all defiance of pre-established logic is a 'bold move' that makes it 'better' when you don't have to worry about sequels? Gotcha.

There was no good reason for it. It was established that Reavers like to do horrific things to live prey, which is why they don't just blow up ships for no reason. The Serenity had crippled engines, had just faceplanted onto a planet, was in a tunnel facing away from their foes (so good luck getting out), and was clearly going nowhere. So, naturally, it's totally in-character for them to fire a giant harpoon at the cockpit of the ship, rather than just 'robble robble' up in there.

Not only does it not make sense with the characters, it doesn't make PHYSICAL sense, either. Where did that attack from from? How did it get down in the tunnel? Where were the guys who fired it immediately afterword?

It was a cheap gimmick, nothing more.

Shisumo wrote:
Honestly, price tags for basic ship models are almost beside the point from a gamist perspective. In a space-based setting, ships are either a plot convenience to allow the PCs access to the worlds of the story or, at best, something like a friendly NPC. Whether the PCs should have a free ship at 1st level is really a function of what kind of adventure the GM is planning to run.

This.

Spaceships aren't a 'giant piece of gear' that has to factor into the players' WBL. They are part of the plot or they are a separate system with its own balance issues (ie: the cost of the vessel relative to the enemy's, or the like).
The DM can come up with plenty of ways to give them ships at level 1 if s/he wants to. And if not, they can just be carried around until they get one.


It was some harpoon-like weapon fired from an impossible angle against a crippled, grounded ship in a tunnel simply for a quick 'gotcha' kill to a main character for no reason.

Didn't make me laugh, but was a definite facepalm moment. Joss does some clever stuff most of the time, then he does some really dumb things.

I could see there being something similar in Spelljammer or possibly even this new Starfinder, as a way of 'grappling' an enemy ship so it can't escape from a boarding operation or the like. That would assume it's more on the Fantasy side, though. If it's on the Sci-Fi side, it doesn't really make sense (at best, you'd use transporters or boarding pods).


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It's pretty much the same issue focused when characters are on a sailing ship. Each character can fulfill a different role, or each player can be given something else to do or dice to roll for a specific task. The "Ship as one giant PC, with players working as a team" is generally how ships WORK.

If you want it to be 'smoother' or 'faster' or whatever, you have to give a specific goal. What do those terms mean to you?

You'll find in most SciFi / Space Opera shows, most of the crew isn't directly contributing to the fight. Oh, sure, Ensign Snuffy is making sure the hyperspace capacitors are properly charged and not damaged, and Sgt Shootem has a marine crew ready to repel boarders, but we don't see that very much. Even the main characters often aren't all directly contributing. What are Princess Leia and C-3PO doing on the Millenium Falcon in a fight? Not much, that's for sure.

So if you're running the game or wanting one that meets your requirements, you'll have to be a bit more specific.

Personally, I'd talk with the players and find out how they would be interested in working together for it.

If everyone wants a specific role, such as engineer and pilot and gunner and whatnot, then the "Giant Team PC" that is the default works fine (though you MIGHT want to add more options. Personally I take the D20 Future AND Star Wars D20 character spaceship roles options and smush them together, so all the side roles have plenty ways to help).

On the other hand, if EVERYONE wants to fight and shoot guns, the DM should consider them getting some type of Drone Ship (small party) or Carrier (large party) and the players planning out their characters accordingly. This way, each person gets to control a ship, even though it isn't THE ship, and everyone gets to fight as normal on the battlemap. Of course, this will slow things down, just as more PC's cause combats to take longer.

This Starfinder reminds me a LOT of the old Dragonstar. I hope it is a spiritual successor to it, because that setting was quite interesting. I do, however, hope they give us better ship-to-ship rules than we've seen in prior Pathfinder supplements.

---

"Levelling" a ship is an interesting concept, but how would it be done? A system of 'upgrades' and purchases that make the ship bigger or more capable? Or are you referring to a 'living ship' that has Hit Dice and whatnot, and actually 'grows' over time (like a Dragon)?


BigDTBone wrote:
TOS pretty well borked Cochrane all by themselves. He was the human who invented warp drive and he was from Alpha Centauri. So yeah... anything TNG did with that was an improvement.

Yeah, it's totally impossible for humans to travel a handful of lightyears to colonize nearby solar systems the hard way, prior to the discovery of Warp Drive. No science fiction has ever attempted that before.

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Hama wrote:
Honestly, never liked TOS in the least. Movies, yeah. The series I just couldn't stomach. Possibly because I grew up on TNG.

Eh, depending on how old you are will really affect your point of view when it comes to TOS. Many of the social issues are non-existent now, and so many other science fiction shows have 'borrowed' from the ideas in TOS and expanded on them in countless ways that the TOS shows likely seem quaint nowadays. Obviously the effects are highly outdated.

Didn't stop it from being the progenitor, or handling issues much better than, oh, Voyager or Enterprise.

Hama wrote:
Conduct? Dude? Their future was gone. They had to bring it back. They were surprisingly moral and ethical about it. I'd have incinerated worlds to bring my timeline back.

If I knew that 'my' timeline would replace the alternate 'wrong' one, morality would cease to be an issue as "that" timeline would be erased. Unfortunately, ST:NG has shown that this doesn't work, and such 'alternate' timelines still exist, so we'd likely both be horrible monsters accused of countless war crimes against humanity/sapience. Woops.

---

I don't expect much of this new series, both with how irritating it is with each new 'interesting' show being on another special network, and with how they are attempting to 'mess' with pre-established universes.

The one good think that the New Trek movies did was outright state in the movie how they were in a separate timeline, and go from there. Don't like what happens? You can safely ignore 'that' universe. So all the crazy wackiness and plot holes that ensue don't affect the 'main' timeline, and I can stomach their ridiculousness.

If they did a new show, I'd like for them to do the same thing. Sequester the "Rodenberry" era Treks into their own timeline (the 'first'), squeeze Voyager and Enterprise into the 'second' verse (DS9, being awesome, can stay in the original timeline with TOS and NG), make the movies into the 'third', and then decide what to do with these others... either their own 'fourth', or place them into Two or Three, depending.

Of course, that'll never happen.


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Article wrote:
because we got an entirely different version of the villain (Lex), which ended up being one of my favorite parts of the movie.

Article writer credibility == Zero.

Zack Snyder wrote:
we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?”

Yeah. "Fun." It must be terrible if they had to keep track of all those characters. I imagine if he directs Justice League he'll have to kill half of them off because there's too many in the pantheon, right?

I had wondered if the people who made this movie actually cared about the source material. The more I read, the more I realized they didn't.

Article wrote:
Later in the film, when (SPOILER NAME REDACTED) crashes to Earth after being launched into space by Superman, a member of the military personnel goes out of their way to say the area is uninhabited. So at least Snyder learned some lessons from Man of Steel.

Or he learned from the hackjob English translations of the original Dragonball Z. That scene and the Mad Max-esque running vehicular gun battle--both through the streets of Gotham--did double duty for defecating all over Batman's character, too.


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I agree with Hama on Lex.

My main problem with Luthor was that he was goofy. You have this super serious, grimdark film involving worldshaking events and forcing the two greatest DC superheroes into a fight. The tone is dark, the action is done in the literal dark, and there's almost no humor the entire time...

...and then you have Luthor running around like an ADHD autistic kid on a sugar rush. The guy who is supposed to be the mastermind orchestrating it all.

It wasn't until someone mentioned the Joker that... yeah... HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE JOKER. Pick a new guy to be Lex, give all the science-y scenes to him, and all social plot-moving stuff to whoever is to play the new Joker. Then the goofy weirdness makes sense instead of jarringly not fitting in to the rest of the film. Or just simply make him the Joker and replace the sciency bits with a minion. Perhaps even have that minion be Lex, who snuck on to the team to study the alien tech. Whatever.

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JoelF847, don't try logic on this movie, it won't work. As soon as Batman says the equivalent of "I have to kill this guy, there's no other option!" he's already ceased to be Batman. Even in storylines where the bad guys steal his plans to neutralize the Justice League, every single one of them has some 'wiggle room' time to allow him to fix the situation before it turns lethal in case he made a mistake (and, to be fair, he never thought he had to use those plans at all).

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Mark Radle, that's nearly three hours of video. Can you sort of cheat and give us the times we should skip to for the important bits? Or is that just to be informational in general?


Marvin Ghey wrote:
I always had Batman when discussing this hypothetical matchup, so I guess I was validated, lol.

Awww, man, bringing this up is never a good idea. Nothing starts comic book nerd-fights faster than this sort of thing.

Personally, I didn't see it as much of a fight.

Spoiler:

Batman is all like "I am going to kill you now!!" and is trying to straight-up murder Supes after making him weaker and trying to humiliate him.
Superman is all like "I don't wanna fight you, I need your help!" and is trying to get Batman to see sense (which even Alfred failed at) the entire time.

The only reasons Bats doesn't get rightfully creamed is because Supes isn't trying to kill him and is thus holding the Idiot Ball in the fight.

Spiral Ninja, thanks for that link. I missed some of those. That WAS a pretty good list of 'WTF Moments'.

Spoiler:

No, Nuclear ICBM's can't hit people-sized objects in space. Or any objects in space, for that matter, their guidance systems and programming simply aren't made for such a thing. Incidentally, nuclear explosions outside an atmosphere are remarkably less impressive than ones inside it.

A couple don't make sense, though.

Spoiler:
Supes changing celebrity status kinda depends on how many people are around. He rescues Lois at night and smooches her on a corner, no problem with not many people seeing him. I'm sure at least one random person caught in on their phone and YouTubed it, but that's not necessary for the plot. Also, I can see how millions think he's a savior while there's always some fringe element of kooks who are protesting his mere existence. That sort of thing happens in reality.

Aquaman blowing up the RPV camera sub makes perfect sense. He's claiming his territory and telling people to GTFO. He makes a point of just smashing the camera and not killing the 'parent' sub, so it's all good. He didn't exactly start with an attitude of "Friendly" toward surface-dwellers, after all.


Hama:

Spoiler:

Nice try, but still doesn't work. The alien arrival and the battle lasted more than just a few minutes. In addition, I'm pretty sure Wayne tech is connected to or actually OWNS many of the satellites and detection systems that have been tracking the Kryptonian ships in orbit. He had plenty of advance warning.

I'd buy the "He didn't have his Bat-Gear with him" line of argument except for two things:
1) He's Batman, and he makes sure he has a spare suit at hand at nearly all times. If this was 'beginner' Batman, I could chalk it up as inexperience. But a two decade veteran whose going into the hometown of a known Super? No.
2) Alfred can remote-pilot his vehicles. Alfred looks at the spaceship on TV, says something like "Oh, bother, it seems as if Master Bruce is going to be a hero again...", then fires up the drone controls and flies him the Batwing with special gear.

Benchak, yeah, that was silly in the Nolan movies too, especially since there were plenty of times he did fight in bright lighting. On reflection, though...

Spoiler:
I can make a case for Doomsday needing to be at night... as he's part Kryptonian. If they fought him in the daylight, spear or no, he'd have murdered them all.

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