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Wolfthulhu wrote:
Big Jake wrote:
I consider movies based on books to essentially be re-makes, and should be included in this type of discussion. Even if the latter one isn't a remake of a previous movie, they still go up against each other when compared critically, sucessfully, or which ever.
Sure, but when has any movie been better than the book it was based on?

Bladerunner was better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Carrie the movie was better than Carrie the novel.

Matthew Morris wrote:
Ok, guess I'd better add one. I liked the Shining Miniseries over the original movie.


And if we're counting TV series, then the recent Battlestar Galactica is much better than then the original.

Bill Dunn wrote:

I think there are versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers better than the 1956 version. The 1978 version, for example.

Very different movies, but I liked them both.

k3ndawg wrote:

The original Thing was a pretty decent movie, especially considering the amount of money spent on it and the fact that it was made in 1951.

John Carpenter's version was indeed radically different version. But perhaps because of that, it's a fantastic "reimagining" (to coin a Hollyweird term) of the original movie.

The original Thing move was a very poor adaptation of Campbell's chilling short story "Who Goes There?" and the second version was a much better adaptation. And a much better movie all around IMO. It suffers from the "extraterrestrials are unbeatable demons or gods" meme that ruins a lot of science fiction movies, though.

Love time travel. I use variant B. No possibility of messing up the past or creating a paradox, and the ability to travel in time is usually a plot device rather than something under PC control, so no worries on that score either.

How about the plasma ooze from Bestiary 3? Its round, hot, and luminous. And the sun in the real world is made out of plasma...

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Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
question: wasn't the skeleton neutral in a past edition of the game?

In AD&D skeletons and zombies (and all mindless creatures) were Neutral, because they were incapable of making moral or ethical decisions.

DeathQuaker wrote:

To me, the ridiculousness of the scene was that what appeared to be a SWAT team reacted--within a ridiculously short time --to a security guard's emergency call that their cameras weren't working at the local city archives, and that they spotted someone who may or may not have been the vigilante (given they only glimpsed him for a second). A team of heavily armed and armored officers charged to engage a single person invading a file room, and, though no hostile action had been taken at them that I can recall, began spraying burst fire--through a shelf-crowded room full of paper--at one the intruder with little warning.

I think that the SWAT team's reaction was to the presence of Arrow rather than to the theft of files. The police want "the vigilante", bad. And know that he is very hard to handle.

havoc xiii wrote:
No they attacked twice and then all was quiet for 50 years. And the second attack was a full colonization force.

In the book or the movie? I never read the book, but in the movie I think that they attacked only once, were defeated by Mazer Rackham who killed their queen, and then not again for 50 years.

Either way, it scarcely seems like they were bent on exterminating humanity 50 years later.

MagusJanus wrote:

I am failing to see how destroying a species bent on exterminating us is spiritually primitive.

I think the point is that the Formics were NOT bent on exterminating us. In the 50 years since their first attack, they never attacked again. Its allowable in some situations to use violence in self defense, but one should use the least violent means available, not the most.

Digitalelf wrote:

In 1st edition, all of the pictures of them showed them with scales, horns, and rat-like tails... Here is the description form the 1st Edition Monster Manual:

1st Edition Monster Manual wrote:
The hide of kobolds runs from very dark rusty brown to a rusty black. They have no hair. Their eyes are reddish and their small horns are tan to white. They favor red or orange garb, Kobolds live up to 135 years.

(emphasis mine)

So given that, I have never understood why people recall them as ever being the least bit "dog-like"... Except maybe, maybe, their description in 2nd edition, but even that clearly states they have scales, horns, and rat-like tails...

Sure, but in the pictures in the 1E Monster Manula, they also have canine muzzles and noses. They are scaly little dogmen.

Derailing the game session for an argument (unless brief) is a bit selfish, IMO. Unless everyone there was involved in the argument. Don't bore your friends.

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thejeff wrote:

We've been treating addiction as a crime and a moral sin for decades. Where has it gotten us? Which worked better? Prohibition or AA?

I could be wrong, but I think that AA also treats alcoholism as a moral failing. At least it insists that the alcoholic is responsible for his situation.

thejeff wrote:

Start treating it as a medical problem not a criminal one and maybe we'll make some progress.

Maybe. I'm not sure that this problem is simple enough to solve with just one strategy. Excessive criminal penalties are counter-productive, but a simple medical approach may not reduce the number of addicts by itself.

There's no spell that I won't use on the PCs.
There are spells that I wouldn't use lightly, but none that I wouldn't use ever.

My first was the final episode of "City of Death", seen on public TV in Troy, New York in 1980 or 1981.

Kalshane wrote:

My only familiarity with Kalibak is from the DCAU (Michael Dorn!) where he was the natural son of Highfather who was given to Darkseid as part of the peace treaty between their peoples. (Darkseid's son Orion was given to Highfather in return.)

I remember him being strong enough to slug it out with Superman, but not enough to beat him. I also remember him not being able to fly, which Superman used to his advantage (sometimes hilariously.)

In the comics, Scott Free (Mr. Miracle) was Highfather's son, exchanged with Darkseid's son Orion in a pact to end the war between New Genesis and Apokolips (which begins again when Scott escapes from Apokolips to Earth). Kalibak was also Darkseid's son and Orion's half brother.

Kalibak in the comics was super strong and super tough. A police detective named Turpin takes him down by channeling all of Metropolis' electric power through him, which knocks him out - but doesn't kill him. I presume the origin of club is that it was forged for him by the munitions factories on Apokolips, but I don't know if this was ever revealed in the comics explicitly.

I think that the force bolts did impact damage and the nerve beams caused pain.

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Hama wrote:

I don't get people. They choose to get offended over content in a game.

I mean, how do you get offended over something inside a game? It is a work of fiction. Just like a novel only more collaborative. And as do novels, it doesn't express opinions and attitudes of the authors, but of the characters.
So when I make an innkeeper a vile, sexist pig, that doesn't mean that I am such as well.
In my humble opinion, people who choose to get offended are so wrapped up in their self-image, that they can't see past it. And the problem is not the sexist innkeeper or the GM, but the player.
I am sorry, not every setting is a happy fun land filled with bouncy unicorns and free of prejudice. Either get over yourself or don't play in such a game.
Unless something is made specifically to insult a specific player, and it almost never is, I don't get what the big deal is.

Well, a novel (or a role-playing campaign) actually do express the opinions of the author (or GM), but I take your point that individual characters aren't the author/GM's mouthpieces, and may express opinions that the the author or GM might find abhorrent or laughable.

If your players want a game where nothing troubles them or hurts their feelings or offends them, that's their prerogative, but they may be in the wrong group.

IMO, the thought of playing in a game where every NPC (except, presumably, the villains) has the same enlightened ideology is kind of repulsive. This sort of thing is what made the first few seasons of ST:TNG so weak.

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williamoak wrote:
(and as you indicate Gregh, it does not take into account the possibility of self-destruction). A good share of those elements will be impossible to evalute until we have a larger sample size.

Actually, it sort of does; the rightmost term is usually a lifetime of sorts - the length of time the civilization will emit signals. If civilizations swiftly destroy themselves with nuclear war, environmental disaster, or swiftly retreat into virtual worlds, then L would be short.

Sissyl wrote:

I disagree on the species distinction, though. It doesn't matter one whit if you're talking about a certain race, or a certain species.

We know that "all humans of race x are evil" is nonsense, due to experience. We have no knowledge of any race of nonhuman sentients, so we can't really know whether or not there can be an inherently evil species.

Vincent Takeda wrote:

And yet my poor microorganisms lives coming to an end are not murder, for their death was never my intent.

I'm not telling anyone they have to agree with me. The OP asked for an opinion and I'm giving mine. Disagree to your heart's content. I'm not here to convince you.

My personal definition of murder both in and out of game is that intent to kill plus success equals murder. My definitions operate on a different scale than simple absolute unqualified legal terms.

Sure. I'm merely offering my own opinion also.

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Useful stuff

Thanks, Evil Midnight Lurker.

Vincent Takeda wrote:

For me murder and killing are the same thing. How protected you are from the legal penalties of such behavior varies from species to species, race to race and region to region.

By the definition 1 of the OP

Murder with intent. Even non Non deliberated non premeditated.

See a bear? Attack the bear with intent to kill the bear? Thats murderin.

Self defense against a bear that thinks its also protecting its babies from your invasion into its territory? Unless your intent is to beat its butt blue until it runs away, Its murderin. I rarely see the non lethal damage rules used especially against wildlife.

Hunting is murder. War is murder. Fishing is murder. Chopping down a tree is murder. Picking a flower is murder. Mowing your lawn isn't murder because when you mow your lawn your grass doesn't die. Sometimes its sanctioned by local authorities, sometimes it's not.

Murder with intent means "I'm gonna kill that thing' and then you do. War doesnt undo murder, hunting licence doesnt undo murder. Calling it hunting doesn't remove the 'kill part' or the 'intent part'.... In modern society the law won't let you hunt an elk outside of season or fish without a licence, or hunt wolves in alaska without a license. You cant hunt people out of season either.

Its murder alright. Killin humans and killin kobolds and killin cows and chickens and killin trees and killin flowers and stomping on bugs, killing in self defense, and even 'putting something out of its misery' and euthenasia are all murder (intent to end a life followed by ending it), (some legally justifiable or with mitigating circumstance, some written off as survival of the fittest or 'the natural order of things' or in the case of bugs or picking flowers something that maybe isn't even frowned upon or encouraged) but each is weighed differently by both morally and legally by both the society and the individual. I laugh that vegetarians think being vegetarian isn't murder on the grounds that what they eat doesnt cry or scream or bleed...

Your immune system is killing a large number of microorganisms even as I write this. A definition of murder in which every single person who ever existed is a murderer isn't very useful, or logical IMO.

To speak to the OP, killing creatures which are irredeemably evil isn't murder. Killing the enemy in a state of war isn't murder. Slaughtering orcs is murder if orcs are capable of choosing to not be evil. If they are irrevocably evil then destroying them isn't murder.

IMC, I don't regard it as within my purview as a DM to forbid the player characters from fighting each other. As long as the players are mature enough to handle it, I won't interfere.

I don't have a problem with an author's politics, unless the book shoves it in my face. Chine Mieville is a communist (a belief system that I find highly objectionable) but I can still enjoy (some of) his books.

As a player, I hate in when I know that "the fix is in." So as a DM, I don't fudge, unless I think that I've made a mistake. The players are free to bite off more than they can chew, and if they are losing they had better have a way out. If they end up winning a tough battle, good for them! They'll get lots of XP and they may get a rich treasure - plus the satisfaction of knowing that they won fair and square.

Starstone. No not the Pathfinder god-making meteor, but this one.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
knightnday wrote:
And with this, we roll back around to the argument from the other thread(s) that the amount of time/energy/thought invested is equal or equivalent in any way, shape or form.
So you are saying that as a DM, you wouldn't be okay with a series of unlucky dice rolls meaning the death of your setting?

I don't now if he's saying that, but I would say it.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
If so, and if it's just a matter of how much time and energy was put into the setting, then this would imply that the more time and effort players put into their characters, the worse it is to kill them off arbitrarily. Is there a point at which someone has put enough work into their character that it crosses the line and it's now bad to randomly kill off their character? What about the other side of the line, with DMs? If a DM doesn't put enough work into crafting a setting, is it okay to kill off their setting?

Games like D&D and Pathfinder already make it harder for your character to die as you spend more time and effort. As your PC goes up in level, its harder to kill them (and easier to bring them back if they do die).

Also, if a DM doesn't put enough time and effort into a setting it does tend to die (he loses his players) and no die roll can save it.

GoldEdition42 wrote:
I want my half-halfings! I will call them quarterlings.

Surely someone who's half halfling and half human would be a three-quarterling? ;)

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The first Lovecraft book that I read was "At the Mountains of Madness". I loved the depths of space and time that the book plumbed. Even at that age I knew that the universe was immense and that world was billions of years old. HPL knew that to, and used it to his advantage, along with other scientific themes. In comic books, pre-human races looked just like humans, or nearly so. In "At the Mountains of Madness", the pre-human race isn't even bilaterally symmetric, and is described so clearly that the picture that I drew of one resembled the illustration that Erol Otus drew of them in Deities and Demigods.

Also, living in New England meant that many of the stories were set relatively nearby, and references to actual things (like the VT floods or the Moodus noises) added to my enjoyment.

Stabbald wrote:

Why on earth would they do that? I wonder how many Mythic Adventure books they would sell if they wrote their flagship mythic campaign without the need for you to buy one?

Were you expecting a free hardcover? Sounds like a great way for Paizo to make a profit.

If you're not willing to support the company and buy a product completely intended to be used with the campaign, a fact that has been clear for like a year, then I don't see how it's rational to complain when you don't get as much out of the adventure as those that do support the company.

I don't think that Story Archer is expecting "a free hardcover". At least, nothing he wrote seems to indicate that he is. He's expecting that a product that he bought is usable without buying another book beyond the core rules. That's not an unreasonable expectation, IMO. Adventure paths regularly include stuff from non-core books, but with enough explanation that they can be used without those books.

Set, Lazarx, Kthulhu, - you all seem to have had a lot of problems with paladin PCs! IME, the chaotic neutral thug is the most common problem character, not the guy who wants to play a paladin.

To speak to the original post, would the barbarian's player be open to the idea of your PC trying to convert him? If so, there's a lot of role-playing potential here. If this would just annoy the player, you can simply state that that's what your character is trying to do, but don't spend game time on it.

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mplindustries wrote:

I have literally never seen a Human in AD&D, for example, because they got absolutely nothing racially except a higher max level cap which everyone ignored anyway.

Your experience is different than mine. Most (about 60%) characters in my AD&D campaign are human. OTOH, I do enforce the level caps.

To speak to the original post, I have no objection to characters of an exotic race; I think that it adds spice. What does bother me is the "adventuring party as traveling freak show" trope. If everything is exotic, nothing is.

In HPL's story, the Yithians didn't travel in time physically. Their technology allowed them to swap minds with, e.g. a modern day human. The Yithian's mind would inhabit the modern day human's body while the human's mind inhabited the Yithian's body tens of megayears in the past. It was time travel, but the huge gap of years and the relative helplessness of one human mind in a strange body surrounded by a whole civilization of super-intelligent Yithians eliminated any possibility of time paradoxes.

Sissyl wrote:

Civil war was a bloody travesty. They take one of the most classic X-men plots, dealt with in 1986, I believe, as the "current era" part of the "days of nightmare past" storyline. The registration of mutants. It was painted as the central issue for whether there would be tyranny or freedom if the mutant registration act passed. Then they make it far more encompassing, in that EVERYONE with superpowers needs to be registered, not just mutants, and simply plop it down into a mega event. Then they tear both Tony Stark and Peter Parker to shreds, let the X-men sit on their butts, let the pro-registration side imprison people without trials, indefinitely, WITH torture, in a negative zone prison - AND have the guts to tell us that "there isn't a right side"???

And... afterward, things remain virtually unchanged. Apart from a few comments about registration in Brand New Day, I really don't see the difference.

Yeah, it soured me on Marvel, could you tell? It's about as pitiful as something like that could be done.

After Civil War I read the Skrull invasion books in hopes that Tony Stark and Reed Richards would be revealed to be Skrull impostors. No such luck.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Add me to the list of people who miss the entire DCU.

Me, too. I stopped reading DC as a result of the reboot, and I stopped reading Marvel as a result of Civil War.

Andrew Turner wrote:

It's really hard to critique a show you've not seen, but I think I can glean a bit from the comments posted here--

In the novel, the real story is:

** spoiler omitted **

I didn't get that impression at all. In the novel

the dome was created by the equivalent of bored alien kids tormenting ants - with humans as the ants. Not because of any particular traits of the townsfolk.
Maybe its just been too long since I read the book?

I'm 53 and run a weekly game and play in another.

I once had a player who had a serious B.O. problem. When he wanted to ride to a convention with us we had a talk with him about bathing and deodorant. There's no way to sugarcoat it, but you can say it without being mean.

Lord Mhoram wrote:
Selgard wrote:

2) The Stand.
The first half of the Stand is absolutely stellar.
The calamity, the recovering from it, the survival. people finding each other, and all that jazz is just awesome reading. There are alot of characters and so its sorta slow going trying to get to know them all but its well worth it because of all the sheer surviving thats getting done and all the various ways folks do things. You see good, you see bad, you see morality done away with just to survive. Its awesome.
** spoiler omitted **


Just the opposite here.

** spoiler omitted **

The books from him I just couldn't stand - Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, Cujo. There were more but those three I couldn't finish.

I loved The Stand. And the 2nd half is not a total departure from the 1st. Randall Flagg appears before the superflu. I also liked the other 3 books that you listed, though.

I do think that Cell sucked, though. And I found the last Dark Tower book a great disappointment.

As a DM, I adjudicate the consequences of PC actions. I try to do so fairly and logically.

IMO, Good actions tend to lead to good consequences more often than Evil ones do. Not always, but on the whole. So I don't do anything consciously or specifically to promote Good actions or punish Evil ones - but. e.g., if you go out of the way to save the shrewish, bigoted innkeeper from a pack of vampires she may treat you rather better afterwards.

A player called Phil who played with us for a few months (or maybe a year - this was back in the eighties) showed up to the game one day and told the DM that he was moving away and this was his last game and that he wanted his PC to go out with a bang. We were in the Underdark when we heard baying hounds. Soon we were confronted by an Archdevil or Duke of Hell and his retinue, hunting on the Prime Material Plane for sport. The terms were "Choose a champion to fight me in single combat. If I win, I get his soul. If I lose I leave this Plane. If you don't agree I'll kill you all."

My PC, the party leader, was ready to throw down rather than surrender one of number to the Nine Hells, but that's when I was made aware of Phil's request. I acquiesed (although my PC, a lawful good cleric, would never have done so). It was, of course, Phil's PC that fought the devil- and lost, to be dragged down to Hell. That's one way to go out with a bang, I suppose...

Jester David wrote:
I have NO idea how many feet are in a year or yards per mile.

1760 yards per mile. For "feet per year" you're on your own!

Jester David wrote:

But there's nothing common sense about Farenheight (and Googling is a pain because then you need to figure how to spell "Farenheight").

I'd LOVE for the temperates to include a reference to Celsius. "... roughly 98 degrees F (32 C)".

Actually, Farenheit (while it may not be familiar to you) is a pretty common-sensical scale. Very roughly, temperature of 0 degrees F is about as cold as it typically gets in the temperate zone, 100 degrees F is about as hot as it gets in the temperate zone. Seventy degrees is room temperature.

I use C in my work (another physicist here), but F when I want to know if I'll need a sweater.

Jeffrey Palmer wrote:

Feeling kinda dumb, but am I the only one having trouble reading the "overland" hex map 0E? For example, Izamne (awesome by the way!) is located at hex 13R, which is a blank space. Even Ques Querax (listed at 3H) is just a blank spot. I was assuming that these locations fell on the passage routes at the "major and minor encounter areas) outlined on the map. Am I not reading it right? Are all those mysterious extra 0's on the map (i.e. 0, 00, 000) throwing me off?

Any help is appreciated!

Neither 13R nor 3H is a blank hex. Each has a dark-outlined hex. 3H has three primary passages connecting to it.

The numbers along the bottom and sides of the map refer to hex rows, they are not rectilinear coordinates. The hex row labeled "3" begins at the bottom of the map and extends northeast. The 8th hex in that row (which is also in row "H") is 3H.

Does that help?

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captain yesterday wrote:

it seems like it happens a lot in RPGs where people decide that their character should be a racist misogynistic d-bag, and then use the "but its in my backstory" card when i ask them about it

why does every Barbarian or other fringe type PC have to be like that?
i'm all for coming up with compelling backstories, it makes my job easier. racism and misogyny is not compelling, its just offensive and tends to put gamers in a bad mood when the Barbarian wont listen to the wizard PC because "she's a southern wench"

I haven't really seen this. Its not too common in my neck of the woods I guess.

That said, a person might create a character with flaws that he will grow out of as he learns more of the world. Many years ago I created a character whose whole mindset was based on an article in Dragon ("The Elven point of View"). As a result he had somewhat bigoted attitudes towards dwarves. After meeting and adventuring with dwarves, these attitudes began to change. For me it was just a role playing thing.

Maybe the misogynistic barbarian will change his tune after the wizard saves his bacon?

In my copy of this book page 144 is followed by page 161. Is this a known printing error?

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

This is why he is ignored in favour of Superman when it comes to being 'the first superhero'; he had no superpowers!

Plus, the Phantom first appeared in comic strips, Superman first appeared in comic books. Superman is the first comic book superhero. Depending on how you define the term, Gilgamesh might be the first auperhero written about.

IMC, if a PC commits a crime in a city and there's evidence pointing to him, city guards will typically be sent to arrest him. If the PC (and/or the whole group) slaughters those guards they all become outlaws. More guards will be sent after them, and eventually fairly powerful people will be also. The group may have to flee the city, or go into hiding, or pay a huge bribe (depending on what sort of place the city in question is). Or they might end up taking over the city (if they are very powerful themselves).

While it might end the AP if one or more PCs are imprisoned or killed, it doesn't have to end the campaign. Imprisoned PCs could get a chance to escape before being maimed/executed/whatever. And PCs fleeing the city might find other places to adventure.

I prefer subtitles - but dubbing isn't evil. Theft, murder, etc are evil, dubbing is just wince-worthy.

When setting up for a combat, I draw what they can see.
The rest I describe, sketching only if the players can't visualize something.

If they want a map of the dungeon, they need to make it, not me.

The ahuizotl from Bestiary 3 is Aztec, as is the tzitzimitl from the same book. The shadow giant from the Inner Sea Bestiary certainly has an Aztec look/feel.

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