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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
You guys are following me and mocking me now?

It is what they do... welcome to the community?


Here’s my would-be attempt... though I can’t really say that. Writing at my leisure without the pressure and strict deadline isn’t the same as what the superstars did.

Anyway, any feedback is welcome.

Platinum Sharks:

Platinum Sharks

Alignment: LE
Headquarters: Kerse, Druma; The Ice Diamond. This angular palace of white marble and glass resembles a giant cut diamond.
Leader: Ariani Drysor (The Smiling Shark)
Structure: Mutual Company
Scope: National
Resources: Real property, liquid assets and equity worth millions of gold piece across Druma.

The Platinum Sharks mutual investment company was founded by Ysblenn Aur in 4639 AR, shortly after inheriting his parents’ infamous usury business. Within a decade the detested syndicate transformed into the most powerful company in Druma. There isn’t an industry within its boarders that they don’t have a hand in, if not control. Its members include the wealthiest and most talented businesspeople in Avistan. Though an investment from the Platinum Sharks means ceding significant control of a merchant’s business, it virtually guarantees market dominance.

Structure and Leadership
The organization of the Platinum Sharks is structured so as to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, loyalty and personal wealth for its members. The executive, a rotund middle-aged woman known for unflappable cheeriness and consummate ruthlessness, and the board of investors, a small group of wealthy venture capitalists, comprise the top tier. Below them are the membership committee and the enforcers. The third tier is composed of various analysts, advisers and administrators. The bottom tier includes clerks, guards, and domiciliary staff. All members are vested in the organization. Everyone contributes to the investment pool and shares in the revenues (and losses) to some degree.

Goals
The Platinum Sharks seek to amass wealth and power by owning a portion of every successful business and valuable commercial asset within Druma. They provide clients with capital in exchange for equity in and limited control of their business. Generating the highest return on investment is the organisation's goal. They have no qualms about doing whatever most effectively achieves this goal. The enforcers ensure clients and members alike comply with their contract terms through threats or violence and stimulate dividend income by nefarious means, such as espionage and sabotaging clients’ competitors.

Public Perception
Financial superstars in a wealth-obsessed culture, the Platinum Sharks are admired or reviled, but never ignored. Belonging to the organization is so prestigious even low-level members are revered on the same level as merchant lords. Their regular use of heinous tactics is Druma’s biggest open secret. More dubious though, is the perfunctory manner most members treat the Prophecies of Kalistrade’s behavioral restrictions.


If the lawful alignment requirement is removed, adhering to a code of honor doesn’t really make sense anymore. And without the code a paladin isn’t really a paladin in the assumed setting. ‘A deity chose this person to be a paladin why?’ ‘They are automatically well respected and trusted why?’ ‘The church has thier back above all others why?’ Ect.

Ignoring the setting issue, without a code of conduct the class will be overpowered in many, if not all, games. Paladins get so many powerful perks to balance the fact that they can’t use highly effective, but ‘dirty’ or ‘dishonorable’ or ‘cheating’ tactics. Take away the code and a paladin running with a party of rogues, wizards, ect. is comparable to a gnoll running with humans, gnomes, ect. (assuming a setting where gnolls are treated the same as humans for RP purposes).

To get around these issues, I suggest writing up a code of conduct for chaotic paladins and still not allowing them to be neutral on the chaos/law axis. Maybe they can’t make oaths, sign agreements, or follow orders - or something of that nature. Sure, following a strict code is lawful, but if that code requires chaotic behavior I think it works.


To the OP’s general question, can paladins kill on sight only because of a creature is a certain race. No with exceptions - evil outsiders and the like, kolbolds no. On the other hand, if there is no reason for the paladin to know/believe kolbolds can be anything but evil, I’d be lenient. Give the character some moral guidance - from a mentor, divine dream, or something - so he’ll know better next time.

To the posting community at large, I have a question: What exactly is stupid, tactically or otherwise, about not killing sleeping kolbolds just because you can? What is it I’m not seeing here?


RonarsCorruption wrote:
One of the best ways to learn a new word is to use it in context. phlebotomist's gloves is exactly as meaningful as Steve's gloves. If it were used inside the item "The phlebotomist can draw blood from his target as a standard action...", that's much different, because it can be understood that at least in this case a phlebotomist is someone who draws blood.

I agree. Obscure words are fine in item’s name, if the description... describes what it is :) well enough that readers can get it without a dictionary search.

It is not a bad idea to heed tips like this from the judges though. And I see their point on this one. Ideally, the name gives the reader an idea of what the item is and does. As much as writers love recondite words (see what I did there :P) , they are at odds of the basic purpose of the name.


Spanky the Leprechaun is BANNED! for making me think of mini moon pies. They're the perfect size!


FireHawk wrote:
I think this has been answered but Im tired. Is there a reason the number is not given?

I can’t speak for the judges, but… The conventional wisdom on this type of thing is you always want your contest to seem popular or business successful or whatever. If you reveal the numbers then…

A) It may not meet everyone’s expectation of ‘popular’. Kind of kills the hype.
B) It can be compared to similar contests by other organizations and may not measure up. Kind of diminishes the prestige of winning.
C) It can be compared to past years and, again, may not measure up. Kind of makes it look like the popularity is waning and gives the impression that its old news or something else has gone wrong.

As long as they the numbers are growing, expect them to mention that a lot. And without giving actual numbers they can always say ‘more than last year’, ‘record breaking’, ect even if the number only grows by a small amount. But if the number goes down they will go mum or fall back on ‘we never give out numbers’.

There is also an even more cynical aspect. People may not trust the numbers or suspect padding. For example, if they say there were 1,500 entries. That seems a little too ‘round’ to be true. Best to avoid that type of thing.


Swallow that grain of salt and dive in…

Azmahel’s Rusting Dust :

The seed of this idea falls under ‘why doesn’t this already exist?’ for me.

It could use some simplification – maybe have it target a square without the splash damage… Or leave it as is and up the cost a bit to avoid spamming.

My main issue is that it only makes metal objects fragile, which is all but useless. Broken would be better IMO.

Motteditor’s Mirror of many images:

Another reason for characters to be paranoid of mirrors is always good in my book.

I agree it is more a NPC item. It requires too much set up for my tastes.

The power pushes the limits, but it is expensive enough to make up for that I think. Overall, I see a most characters not bothering with it. Or if they do, turning the game into ‘find a way to effectively use this item’ game. Personally, I hate that.

AHalflingNotAHobbit’s Astrolabe of Great Deeds:

Really difficult to for an adventurer to utilize, but that is an easy fix – make it smaller and less time intensive.

The, “astrologically auspicious date on which to undertake a specified task,” bit is a GM headache. But I love the, “+10 untyped bonus to any d20 roll they are required to make towards completing the specified task” part. It isn’t an auto success, and when the fate of the world (plot) rests on a roll, this is an item every character/party/GM wants.

The different bonuses for ‘regular’ skill checks and skill checks for money seems a bit wonky. Something else for the GM to determine – what counts as a “mundane prediction”? But as far as GM discretion goes, this is an acceptable level I think.

TarkXT’s Kimono of Terrors Unleashed:

Whoa, that’s rough. At first I thought I was reading it wrong or there were some unfortunately placed typos. Then I wondered if this was a troll item, lol. No offense meant, just one amateur’s opinion… How disturbed would a character have to be to wear this thing? For most parties I’ve seen this isn’t even an auto-sell. It’s a sell or destroy? Good roleplaying opportunity there though. :)

Also, I want a magical snuffbox now.

RonarsCorruption’s Measurer's Window :

I like the fortune telling flavor. I also personally like pretty items.

I’m confused as to how it works. Does, “the owner of the window may attempt to view how a particular course of action will affect that target over the next month.” mean an action taken by the viewer, the viewed, anyone?

Also, it is a disappointing that the best benefits are not to the viewer, more of an NPC item. Maybe that is a personal taste thing though. I’m not sure.

The biggest issue I have is it is open to some pretty extreme abuse. The limitations are negated by simply spending another round viewing someone.

Shirokitsune’s Beyond The Strings Of Mortals:

Cool monk flavor. All of these abilities would make great ‘monk talents’.

I’m uneasy with the idea of an item granting so many permanent additional abilities. On one hand, all the limitations (cost, 30 days of study, ki point costs) do a good job of making up for that. On the other hand, should any wondrous item grant that many class features, for that cheap, without even having to carry it around? I’m not quite convinced.

Bottom line, I see this more as the beginning of a cool monk archetype than a magic item.

JSollars’ Helm of the Bighorn Ram:

I really like this item.

Unnecessary nit picking here… Does everything HAVE to glow or something similar just because? :P (I know, I know for RPG SS – YES!

Osuracnaes’ Figurine of the Elysian Host:

I like the three faces thing. Lots of good setting flavor.

It does have a lot going on, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. My issue is, for me, the whole does not equal the sum of its parts. Each power is somewhat lack-luster on its own for the investment (price, standard action – assuming it is in hand), and you’d pretty much have to build a character around it to take full advantage of its versatility.

Set’s Pickled Monkey Ninja:

Forgive me but… Would rice paper hold up to the pickling process? :)

AdAstraGames’ Cloak of the Cobra:

Cool cobra flavor. Very distinctive.

That is some nasty nasty poison dealt by ‘free’ attacks. Seems too powerful for 3 times a day to me. I’m currently playing a character in a 3.5 game with a spell similar to this – more reliable, less devastating. Based on that experience, I’d be reticent to make this available to all characters. Just a little too close to a win-win scenario for a meleer.

Michaeljpatrick’s Entropic Mirror:

Useful. Nice visuals that, while not necessary for the effects to make sense, don’t feel tacked on just because.

Is the price a typo? Without going through the motions of pricing it myself. That seems really high! I guess that is from the unlimited uses. But for that kind of money, it just doesn’t seem worth it.

I really like the temporary broken mechanic. It screams innovative design to me. I’d love a cheaper version of this without the ray spells.

IRISHMIKE’s Helm of Power, Lesser:

Personally, I hate experience points (or character points or whatever) as currency like this in RPG design.

Trying to put my personal problems aside, an item granting limited wish is either huge GM headache, player headache or both.

Also, for me, this is a case of ‘in order to make it do something I really want, the hoop-jumping and drawbacks must be so severe that it becomes something I’d never want’.
Cool idea, but I don’t think anyone could actually make it work. Good on you for trying though. :)

Standback’s Dreamsnare Shroud:

Kudos for the summoning shadowy sandman creatures from your dreams idea. Neat.

I also like the ability to add a random eidolon evolution to it. Good dreamy-flavor and just this side of being too fiddly for my taste, considering it is a once a day thing.

But the keeping up with what creatures you’ve encountered and their HD each day, 10% chance you lose control of it every round, what you conjure up each day for getting the buff/debuff, keeping up with the buff/debuff is too much bookkeeping for me. Then on top of all that, if used in conjunction with another spell it all works differently. I almost get a headache just thinking about it. :P

It is a good job of making it all fit together thematically, but as game design it is just. so. complicated.

Seven T. Helt’s helmet of headlessness:

Unique for sure. Definitely in the ‘how do they come up with this stuff?’ for me.

Its benefits are certainly powerful. Overall I feel the design balances them with high price and drawbacks and doesn’t leave obvious exploitable loopholes.

It’s a little NPC only and plot pointish, but I don’t really care about that much personally. My big issue with this one is the theatrics don’t fit the benefits thematically. Just one amateur’s opinion… When I think of all the possible magical benefits of being headless and all the magical theatrics that could result in benefits this item grants, they don’t match up. I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m simply not “superstar” enough?

IvanSanchez’s Bracers of the extra fingers:

Another ‘why doesn’t this already exist?’ item for me.

The price is arguably too cheap when you start to think of the possibilities, but that’s an easy fix.

Personally, I don’t see this as a ‘spell in a can’, but probably smart to play it safe on that front for RPG SS considering its main draw is being downright useful for most any character.

It could use some additional restrictions so items it holds won’t count as being held for activation purposes and such. I also wonder if it doesn’t need some kind of weight limit or something.

+2 DRaino Liar's Mask :

I really like this item.

A mask that a belt buckle is weird, but an easy fix.

Useful as all get out and the abilities mesh together well thematically. I personally like how it is an ‘undercover’ item and the “nevermind” command word is clever without making my eyes roll. :)

Anthony Adam’s Whispering Sandkeys :

The seed of this idea falls under ‘why doesn’t this already exist?’ for me.

Useful with proper balancing limitations, for the most part. I really dislike that you need the name of the lock’s maker, too fiddly and restrictive for my taste. I’d also add a little more to close the ‘I’ll just make a permanent copy from the sand key somehow’ loophole or only allow it to be used immediately.

This was fun. I enjoyed reading everyone’s rejects. Lots of great ideas. Thanks for putting them out there.

Good luck in the competition.


IvanSanchez wrote:

Don't think Gypsy. Think Varisian. As in "Fan of the Varisian Dancer". Much more Golarion-ish.

This might be nitpicking, but I would also change:

This works as hypnotism, except that 5d6 HD of creatures are affected, the casting time is 3 rounds, and the effects last as long as the user is waving the fan in sight of the affected creatures.

You're not just carrying the item, you're using the item. You're not a carrier, you're a user.

Thanks for the tip on Golarion’s closest gyspy analog. The nitpicks on terms and wording is also helpful.

AHalflingNotAHobbit wrote:

My understanding is that the word 'gypsy' is fine in the states, but non-PC in Europe. (I had never heard of the term 'Roma' until I moved out of the US.) Personally I wouldn't have risked it, especially since there are probably better names that don't reference real-world ethnic groups.

I think the last power has some potential--it might be a good starting point for a pretty sweet low-level item.

Playing it safe was my thinking also, so I came up with another name. I was just curious if I was being needlessly paranoid. It is one of those words that - in the US at least - doesn’t necessarily reference the Roma people or have a negative connotation, but those connections are there. Thanks for the transcontinental perspective.

I like the idea of breaking out the last ability into an item of its own. The first draft of that power included some benefits that temporarily negated the ill effects of partying – immune to being sickened and that kind of thing. (Party in a Fan, lol) But mismashing cleric and wizard spells just didn’t feel right with everything else it has going on. On a separate item though, I think it works.


Master Of Ceremonies’ Hand Fan (a.k.a Fan of the Gypsy Queen; I’m curious if use of the word ‘gypsy’ is un-PC. Thoughts?)

Aura strong enchantment; CL 18th
Slot none; Price 25,000 gp; Weight 1 lb

Description
The possessor of this intricately painted silk hand fan gains a +2 competency bonus to all charisma based skill checks for as long as she holds or carries it.

Once per day, the carrier can fascinate an audience by twirling the hand fan. This works as the hypnotism spell (Will DC 16) except as noted. 5d6 HD of creatures are affected. The casting time is 3 rounds. The duration is concentration.

In addition, the fan has a second special power, usable once per week. A carrier with at least 5 ranks in Perform (dance) can perform a fan dance that facilitates merriment and goodwill. The attitudes of creatures within 30ft who witness the performance are improved by 2 steps toward the dancer and 1 step toward all other creatures. This is a mind-affecting charm effect. Activating this power requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted performance. The duration is 2d4 hours (D).

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, hypnotism, mass charm monster; Cost 12,500 gp


Massively disappointed, but unable to really get angry.

The U.S. government has been doing this BS for-ev-er anyway. It is wrong, but making it legal makes sense on some level. Before, low level underlings that did the dirty work were punished or imprisoned while the real offenders were impervious to any of that. In a way, this law at least makes it fair and slightly more transparent.

Still sucks though.


Skeletons with eyes? BANNED!


Try showing it to other players and getting their okay first.

Or spring it on the GM right before the game in front of the whole, if it is something short like a feat or spell. “Hey, what does everybody think of… blah blah blah? I’d like to try it out next level.” At least make someone know what they are rejecting.


Never underestimate the Boomers’ death grip on pop culture.


Demonskunk wrote:
LazarX wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Seems to be a really good arguement against entering if you want to one day publish it yourself.
But quite frankly, if you can't cut it in Superstar, you're most likely never going to publish commercially anyway.
Well that's certainly... supportive.

Yeah, way to be a dreamkiller LazarX.


Anyone who thinks mohawks on helmets is acceptable… BANNED!

Anyone who’s helmethawk seconds as some freaky combover-scarf-thing… Unbanned, then REBANNED!


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I disagree that singing isn't what American Idol is about. Appearance and presentation is part of the American Idol competition, but you can't actually believe that "ability to sing well" isn't a critical part of the competition.

I think this sums up the cause of my initial misunderstanding pretty well and convinces me I was wrong. There is probably nothing that could be added to the rules that would have avoided it.

Someone who watches American Idol and sees a talent competition where great singers are then differentiated by mojo or popularity or style or whatever to determine the winners is probably incapable of conveying what talent means to those that don’t. There is simply such a fundamental different idea of what is compelling that only seeing what they mean in practice will make me get it.

Will I win next year? I can hope, but probably not statically speaking. At least I won’t be one of the entries that makes the judges surprised (again :P) that I thought a useful, desirable entry that didn’t break any of the “auto reject” guidelines had a good chance. Or say, a better chance than something that didn’t, but had a lot of flash and moving parts. That’s the learning process.

I want to give the judges what they want. You are the experts. I have no issues with your judgments being superior to mine or losing or any of that. Only trying (and failing it seems) to convey that for some, well me anyway, it wasn’t about ignoring the rules and tips. It was about misunderstanding what the contest was really about despite genuinely wanting to.


All I am trying to say is that if you make it clear what are looking for in the contest rules and description, you are more likely to get it. And if you don’t, it is silly to be surprised when you don’t get what you want.

American Idol is a good comparison. Billed as a singing competition where singing ability, is not what the judges are really looking for. Again, nothing wrong with that. But… for the Idol judges to then be surprised about contestants assuming singing is the talent being judged, at least for the first round before the public voting starts. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, anyone who watches Idol can easily figure out singing isn’t what it is about. I’m simply pointing out, there is no reason to give contestants and viewers the impression that it is. Or maybe there is a reason that I simply don’t understand. Either way, don’t be surprised when people get the wrong impression.

It was wrong for me to expect the rules and guidelines of RPG Superstar to tell me what the contest is about. I get that now.


Set wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Eric Hindley wrote:
... you wonder why it wasn't already in the game.
+1 this. For me at least, this is the golden goose: to design an item that everyone reads and then thinks "Why doesn't this already exist?"

This actually has been my bugbear. I tend to think along the lines of 'why the heck *aren't* there any magical holy symbols,' or 'magical wizard's spellbooks,' or 'magical bardic songsheets,' or whatever, and, in my (admittedly limited) experience, that doesn't cut it for Superstar, which isn't about creating a whole new classification of 'sorcerer bloodline talismans' or whatever, so much as a single evocative item.

Just because you've come up with the Great American No-Brainer Utilitarian Item that every person eligible to use it would snatch up in a cold second, doesn't mean that it's as sexy as a silk papoose that has an animated dead monkey ninja in it.

While I'm sure many of us would like to add a seventh 'must-have' item to the 'big six,' and have everyone exclaim 'why didn't we do more magical scabbards before now!,' RPGA Superstar might not be the best venue to unleash that upon the world.

This. So much this. Looking at last year’s winning items only a couple of them would qualify as Why don’t we already have this? items. Even those are pretty situational.

The winning strategies are more along the lines of, That would look cool! and How do they come up with these things?.

My rookie mistake was going off of what the rules and guidelines state, instead of what types of items the judges actually vote for. A dumb move on my part.

A lesson I learned in high school, unlearned in higher academia and unfortunately had to relearn: write for your audience and the audience (except researchers and professors apparently) rarely make it clear to what they really want up front. It is something you must intuit for the most part.

To be fair, the judges of RPG Superstar are extremely transparent, give lots of great feedback and one doesn’t have to search very hard to figure out that the ‘rule of cool’ is second only to the dead line and word count. However, it is still too easy for contestants to believe fundamental design principles are more important than it factor.


Really wishing I had read this thread and last year’s top 32 before submitting… doh! My bad for thinking the contest rules and Sean's Consolidated Advice Thread would give me a good sense of what the judges are looking for. That thread even advises against this, but I fell into the trap of taking Sean’s #27 as more ‘cover our ass’ and ‘not to stifle creativity too much’ instead of ‘the one piece of advice you should really take to heart’.

I think there is a real disconnect with some constants and the judges on this. On what “superstar” means. We are thinking Adele. The judges are thinking Brittney Spears. We (try to) bring polished to a shine, but the judges prefer glammed-up with sparkle. Glitter will distract from some egregious flaws.

I’ll know better next time. Please take my word that I immensely appreciate the judge’s tips and tricks and this isn’t meant as whining or a gotcha. I’m trying to explain why I don’t really get why Clark is so amazed by the blandness of some entries. Personally, I was under the impression that an item that is useful, desirable, and publishable quality (with minimal editing) was the main goal. Then the most interesting, unique and downright cool of those would make the final cut. Looking over last year’s top 32, I see that it is it is really more the reverse. Only about 10% of the winners would have been top picks using those criteria. (I realize this is somewhat unfair to say without being privy to the rejected items. This nothing more than my impression, based on the info I do have.)

Nothing wrong with that of course. Just putting it out there that I, as a first time participant, did not realize this until seeing the winning items. I would say that this failing is mostly mine. Clearly, anyone with this notion should have done more extensive research. On the other hand, there is no reason for the rules not to give a more accurate understanding of what the judges are actually looking for. “Superstar” may seem self-explanatory, but as my Adele vs Brittney comparison and meh entries illustrate, it really isn’t.

Thanks for the further clarification. I only humbly suggest that it be explicitly stated from the get go.


In no particular order…

Yuengling

Dos Equis

Stella Artois


Darkwing Duck wrote:
The thing is that the Bible DOESN'T say that homosexuality is wrong - at least no more wrong than Hamburger Helper - and there are plenty of churches which are open to gays (even gay people in leadership). So, when people say that they don't like it because the Bible tells them it's wrong, that's a lie. In fact, they don't like it just because they are bigots.

I’ll admit I haven’t read much of the Bible. Even if it does say that I still agree, that is not why they are so horrid to gays. It is just a lame excuse.

It is easy enough to disagree with someone’s “lifestyle” as they call it, without being cruel. If every spouse or partner that parents didn’t exactly approve of was banned from family holiday gatherings, the tradition would never have been established.


A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
He evicted homeless people from their shelter to make room for a ceremony to remember homeless people who died in large part from lack of shelter! Come on now.

That is not what happened. He made every effort to handle the issue peacefully. They were warned repeatedly what would happen next. They didn't listen.

Furthermore, they shouldn't have been living in the park. That park is city property, meaning it is there for the whole city, not just OWS, Not only was it not rightfully theirs to live in, letting them stay was a public health and safety issue.

As for the rest, I vehemently disagree. I don't think free speech should be a legal excuse for violating other people's rights to have a solemn ceremony.

There is no right to have people act as you wish in a public space.
I disagree wholeheartedly. There is every right to regulate how public space gets used. That's why you can't yell f%!~ in the middle of a city park.

You got me there. I should have added, “up to the point I infringe on your rights”. Which do not include disagreeing with you or yelling those disagreements or cursing or interrupting whatever ceremony you have planned.

Take note your rights are guaranteed by the same document as mine. If you remove my guarantee, you also remove your own.

Then we are both in the same boat we started in. Except that boat is adrift on deadly waters.

You really think someone with more money and power than you won’t come down on you, as you would on me?

You know, I doubt the mayor really wants a whole ceremony highlighting the city’s homelessness issue. Wonder what happens to your right to a solemn ceremony then?


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


EDIT: Fine, I'm done. You just say everything I've got to say, Comrade Opal.

Aw, no Comrade. Now I feel bad.

It is not your fault. They are making it too easy. :P


Darkwing Duck wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Also, to conflate Citizen Pres Man and Citizen Duck's arguments:

If law enforcement were trying to maintain access to the bridge for emergency vehicles, stopping the march in order to arrest protesters seems pretty counterintuitive.
.

How do you think they should have cleared the road - with high pressure fire engine water jets?

Or you know... like... um... I don’t know... LET THEM PASS.

*durst off hands* “Wow that little problem took care of itself.”

Ignoring them wouldn't have gotten them out of the middle of the road.

And blocking them does?


A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
He evicted homeless people from their shelter to make room for a ceremony to remember homeless people who died in large part from lack of shelter! Come on now.

That is not what happened. He made every effort to handle the issue peacefully. They were warned repeatedly what would happen next. They didn't listen.

Furthermore, they shouldn't have been living in the park. That park is city property, meaning it is there for the whole city, not just OWS, Not only was it not rightfully theirs to live in, letting them stay was a public health and safety issue.

As for the rest, I vehemently disagree. I don't think free speech should be a legal excuse for violating other people's rights to have a solemn ceremony.

There is no right to have people act as you wish in a public space. That is what private property rights are for.

A mayor doesn’t get to decide what rights citizens do or do not have. They are laid out in the bill of rights – the document he swore to uphold before becoming mayor... Even if he warned them he was planning to.


Darkwing Duck wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Also, to conflate Citizen Pres Man and Citizen Duck's arguments:

If law enforcement were trying to maintain access to the bridge for emergency vehicles, stopping the march in order to arrest protesters seems pretty counterintuitive.
.

How do you think they should have cleared the road - with high pressure fire engine water jets?

Or you know... like... um... I don’t know... LET THEM PASS.

*durst off hands* “Wow that little problem took care of itself.”


A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Apple:

Theres a few problems with relying on the people we elect to shut off free speech, allegedly on our behalf

1) 51% of the population does not have the right to use the police to tell 49% of the population to shut up. The ability to express your opinion is a right of the individual, and cannot be suppressed by other individuals, even if there are more of them.

2) Government is hardly an accurate expression of the will of the majority, given how often politicians lie and how various interest groups corrupt the process.

3) The first thing any politician does with the ability to declare speech inflamatory is to stop people from saying bad things about them. Even the true stuff. ESPECIALLY the true stuff, gaining himself an unfair advantage in the next election.

Again, I'm not arguing for no free speech protection, I'm arguing for no absolute free speech protection, such as the first amendment. France, Germany, Britain, Australia, and Canada all get along just fine with having general free speech protection that still allows inflammatory public behavior to be outlawed.
And America gets along just fine (relative to these other countries) with the first amendment and for quite awhile now.

No, we really, really don't.

Quote:

Please explain how a mayor being shouted down for being a hypocritical, self serving douche brings our country down?

Let's start with the fact that they interrupted a solemn ceremony to do so. Let's continue with the fact that the mayor never did anything wrong in the first place.

Please explain how these counties are so much better off.

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He evicted homeless people from their shelter to make room for a ceremony to remember homeless people who died in large part from lack of shelter! Come on now.

If some attendees want a solemn ceremony, nothing wrong with that. But what they want has no bearing on others' right to not be solemn in a public space.

The basic thing you are missing is that a mayor doesn’t get to decide what rights citizens do or do not have. They are laid out in the bill of rights – the document he swore to uphold before becoming mayor.


A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Apple:

Theres a few problems with relying on the people we elect to shut off free speech, allegedly on our behalf

1) 51% of the population does not have the right to use the police to tell 49% of the population to shut up. The ability to express your opinion is a right of the individual, and cannot be suppressed by other individuals, even if there are more of them.

2) Government is hardly an accurate expression of the will of the majority, given how often politicians lie and how various interest groups corrupt the process.

3) The first thing any politician does with the ability to declare speech inflamatory is to stop people from saying bad things about them. Even the true stuff. ESPECIALLY the true stuff, gaining himself an unfair advantage in the next election.

Again, I'm not arguing for no free speech protection, I'm arguing for no absolute free speech protection, such as the first amendment. France, Germany, Britain, Australia, and Canada all get along just fine with having general free speech protection that still allows inflammatory public behavior to be outlawed.

And America gets along just fine (relative to these other countries) with the first amendment and for quite awhile now.

Please explain how a mayor being shouted down for being a hypocritical, self serving douche brings our country down?


pres man wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
pres man wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
pres man wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I'm still waiting for the evidence I'm wrong so you can prove it to me. Give me a situation where OWS is causing the blockage of roads like you've been harping on. And show me how it is different from any other demonstration.
Wasn't this a situation that arose pretty early on?
According to what I've read, including the video that Citizen Pres Man has linked, it was the cops that blocked the bridge in order to arrest the protestors.

Still there are protesters on the bridge in the traffic lanes. It is not just a bunch of cops that just decided to close off the road for the hell of it and a bunch of drivers that are getting held up.

I mean, if you want to say the cops caused the situation like some have said (suggesting the cops told the protesters to take the bridge and then arrested them for it), that is one thing. But there is no doubt the protesters are there and not just the cops.

The protestors, according to your source, were traveling across the bridge – which isn’t illegal as far as I know – to get to the OWS protest – which may or may not have been on a road. The cops are the ones blocking the bridge and not allowing travelers to cross.

They are in the car lanes. Seriously, you are blocking all the car lanes and you don't think that is a problem. "As far as I know, blocking all the car lanes is not illegal." Really?

Edit: Also there was a pedestrian walk that the protest got off of to block the traffic lanes.

The police are the ones blocking the flow of travel.

People are peacefully traveling across the bridge. The police use violence to stop them from moving forward. The cops are blocking traffic. If pedestrians using the bridge is illegal, seems silly but fair enough. (not saying illegal = not right, that is another discussion)

But if the reason it is illegal is so traffic is not impeded (your claim?), then what sense does it make to stop the pedestrians from moving along toward their destination - off the bridge presumably?

While if the goal is to impend citizens from attending a protest, the police’s actions make perfect sense.


pres man wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
pres man wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I'm still waiting for the evidence I'm wrong so you can prove it to me. Give me a situation where OWS is causing the blockage of roads like you've been harping on. And show me how it is different from any other demonstration.
Wasn't this a situation that arose pretty early on?
According to what I've read, including the video that Citizen Pres Man has linked, it was the cops that blocked the bridge in order to arrest the protestors.

Still there are protesters on the bridge in the traffic lanes. It is not just a bunch of cops that just decided to close off the road for the hell of it and a bunch of drivers that are getting held up.

I mean, if you want to say the cops caused the situation like some have said (suggesting the cops told the protesters to take the bridge and then arrested them for it), that is one thing. But there is no doubt the protesters are there and not just the cops.

The protestors, according to your source, were traveling across the bridge – which isn’t illegal as far as I know – to get to the OWS protest – which may or may not have been on a road. The cops are the ones blocking the bridge and not allowing travelers to cross.


Sorry GeraintElberion. I was having a comedically-challenged moment.

Though if someone says god, Jesus, aviating pasta dishes, ect actually told them anything, my advice would is the same.


Not being a Reverend, I advocate making your mother live with the consequences of her choices. Stop enabling bad behavior. Stop giving in to bullying and dirty tactics.

Don’t go to Christmas dinner. Tell anyone who asks why.


GeraintElberion wrote:

So, this is cool is they're homophobic because of their christianity but what if they're homophobic because a unicorn told them to be homophobic?

Who can help me then?

Well, I’d say we don’t really need to worry about that too much. The odds are overwhelmingly against it ever coming up.

But, a mental health professional would be my best guess.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for this. While I don’t agree with the implied conclusion that you should reward this type of cruelty from a parent, I still approve of the letter. When dealing with christians, this seems like a possibly effective approach.

Maybe a few parents are homophobic because of their religion, but I’d say they are a small minority. I think most just use scripture as a crutch. It isn’t like they’d be a-okay with a gay daughter, if only those few lines in the bible weren’t there. And it isn’t like they insist everything else in the bible be followed to get invited to Christmas.

If you can take away the crutch, then they have to really think and do some soul searching. Then eventually realize there really isn’t a good reason to act this way towards your child (or anyone) over the gender of the person they love.

When you have a book that tells you what is right and wrong, you don’t need to ever actually understand the meaning of either. It can be easy to never develop the ability to reason, empathize, compromise, or basically, get the f!$& over your damn self for an evening.

To be clear, I’m not saying all religious people are like children who don’t comprehend why hitting their playmates is wrong beyond the fact that they may get in trouble if caught. I’m saying religious people have the prerogative to be that way. For those who are morally stunted, turn the book back around on them and maybe that dormant part of their brain will kick into gear.

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Also, I want a rainbow tree now.


Darkwing Duck wrote:
Don't kid yourself. OWS will, at its best, achieve the same [as Woodstock], but it won't achieve anything more.

Just for context of where you are coming from, Baby Boomer?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You know what does hurt people, is hurting people? Having our livelihoods and right to pursue happiness stolen away so the 1% can rule over us like slave owners.

I don’t think anyone disagrees that no one should deliberately block emergency vehicles that are on their way to save lives. Can we also agree that every person willing and able to work should be able to do so, for a wage that allows them to feed, house and clothe themselves and their family? Because that is not what we have right now.

Ya’ll are so worried about the risk of someone getting hurt, but what about the millions that are hurting right now.

There are soooo many intelligent, hardworking, ethical people now that can’t afford the ambulance ride to the hospital. I personally know 2 people who called friends to come get them and take them to the hospital, literally risking their lives, because the ~$6,000 bill (just for the ambulance ride) represents almost half of their annual earnings before taxes. Both work full time jobs.

Public safety is an important concern, but you are not looking at the risk in context. How many people die, get sicker, go hungery, turn to crime, commit suicide, ect ect ect as a direct result of our systems staggering inequalities. And for what? So the 1% can add another zero to their personal wealth!

Setting fires and blocking roads carries a public safety risk, but the economic and political system as it is now creates and exponentially greater risk to more people.


A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
TOZ wrote:
What law, exactly?
Have you noticed that, despite all the claims by OWS about illegal police behavior, there hasn't been a single lawsuit over being dispersed? Ever notice that police break up protests all the time without being sued? There is a reason for that.

You mean like this one?


leo1925 wrote:
Lastoth wrote:
Hey, fighter, carry this!
That.

Yep.


bugleyman wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:

We are the 99%!

The system is set up to REQUIRE cheating to be near the top. Business students are taught this on a daily basis. Business leaders admit it on a daily basis.

The fact that deregulation, bribery and cronyism has made cheating and dishonesty the smart, even heroic, thing to do...

I agree, except for the last part -- there is nothing heroic about it. Quite the opposite, in fact. :(

The really sad part is that to the most successful (read: sociopathic) among us, traits like integrity, forgiveness, and kindness are contemptible signs of weakness.

I agree with you 100%. I was trying to say that making exorbitant amounts of money through amoral dealings and unfair practices is seen (incorrectly) as heroic. Think of the memorials every news agency did of a certain recently deceased CEO (RIP). Nothing wrong with doing the stories in principle, but the tone was all wrong. Not to belittle what he did, but based on the coverage you’d think he had contributed something truly meaningful to this world.

Can anyone name one person who is celebrated by the media at that level for doing something actually heroic or good for society?

And it isn’t just the wealthy sociopaths among us that hold having and displaying wealth as the basis for worship. We all do it. Some buy into it more deeply than others, but we can’t escape it. The system and society is set up so we have to support this attitude to some degree. That is capitalism and that is the basis of civilization. The problem we currently have, though it is nothing new, is that the limits of basic decency are not there to provide a balance and we all buy onto it.

There isn’t a person here who can say they’ve never showed off a new gadget, garment, ect to their friends that exploited disadvantaged people (pretty much anything you buy) without feeling an even a small pang of guilt.


zylphryx wrote:

Additionally, it showed he was not "able to turn it off", as he kept telling Andrea to do, when it became personal. Rick, on the other hand, was able to do so and did so without diving off the deep end beforehand.

I don't really see it as a contrived plot device, just additional character development.

Fair enough. It seems like that is how most people read it.

I just didn’t buy it. Anything about it really, but mostly that he has “it” to turn off. He has never shown care for anything beyond his ego. The closest he came was barricading coma Rick and telling Lori he was dead, which is pretty weak. On the other hand he is pretty consistently showing his lack of humanity. Besides, like he really hasn’t had to shoot any zomified people he knew at this point.

If it is character development, that is SOME development considering it wasn’t brought on by anything as far as I can tell.


We are the 99%!

The system is set up to REQUIRE cheating to be near the top. Business students are taught this on a daily basis. Business leaders admit it on a daily basis.

The fact that deregulation, bribery and cronyism has made cheating and dishonesty the smart, even heroic, thing to do gets us where we are.

Stay strong protestors!

That are going about it in the smartest way I think. Teamwork, hardwork, staying independent and refusing to accept a label.

Charismatic leaders are easily corrupted or disappeared. A group while not as efficient at taking specific actions are more difficult ignore and defeat. It is simply a better long term strategy.

Simple messages are easily corrupted and mocked. A broad idea that the majority agrees with, not so much. That is how you generate momentum and keep the perspective of the young and disenfranchised in the news cycle on every topic on every issue. Taking up a specific cause restricts your influence.

I don’t think OWS is doing it right because someone planned this strategy. It is just the natural temperament of the millennial generation.


Death is too good for this guy.

I would love to hear how this is being spun within NK.

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Being a American, I also wonder how many of our beloved CEOs and politicians would act that different if they had the opportunity. Thinking about it, the way they act now is only different in degree. A large degree, but still.


While I understand why you feel cheated, I can’t feel bad for you. Well maybe a little because it is probably not your fault your expectations were so off. To be clear it wasn’t your GMs fault either, though a hint about summoning would have been nice. That is the only homebrewed restriction I see.

You can take it from us or find out the hard way, but teleporting straight to the lich buffed out the ass knowing exactly what to expect from scrys to watch summoned monsters battle it out is not fun.


I didn't buy that Shane wouldn't rekill her. They just played him too off the rails up to that point and wasn’t he the one that was sure she was unsavable? Wasn’t that almost exactly what he expected? When the alpha-wanna-be throwing a rage fueled tantrum is proven right, they do NOT get all quiet and meek. More likely he’d visibly enjoy shooting her up a little too much, horrifying anyone who was considering signing up for team Shane.

I get it was set up that way so Rick could step up and prove he is the strongest leader, but it felt very staged and not true to how people act.

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My favorite is Dale. He is the only one who has a really clue. Seriously, if people started listening to him, they’d all be better off. I would say he just needs a little hardening, but I think my issues are caused more from the writers protecting Shane than anything. Not really buying that Glenn wouldn’t kill Shane to save himself. The guy has threatened to kill him so many times and is just an all around loose cannon.

Andrea is second. She is the only adult without anyone she feels obligated to take care of which makes her the most interesting, I think. She is the only character that has shown any growth as a person. She is careless, but not dumb and quite the badass. If she gets some confidence and learns to listen to Dale – hopefully doing the dirty work that he won’t – she will be 1.

Daryl, Rick and Glenn are tied for third. They are useful without a bunch of banal drama, though Glenn is slipping on that front. He is lucky his genuine sweetness makes up for it.

Lori. Oh Lori. I want to like her so bad. She is the only one who will stand up and forcefully speak sense to these people as a group. Everyone else is all about whispers in secret and go along with the loudest yeller in ‘public’. But overall her character is not written very believable. People aren’t drama queens one day and understated pragmatists the next. Her motivations and personality in general make no sense.

Carol is a little on the dull side, but realistically the best able to cope with the current situation given her history. It makes sense that she’d doesn’t have much personality outside of being subservient and sad. I hope she comes out of her shell at some point before getting killed off though.

T-Dog. Poor T-Dog. Please do something with T-Dog. He isn’t even the token black guy at this point. He is more a token chick without breasts to wave around, or the lack of strength to be the damsel. This oddly doesn’t stop the writers from finding all sorts of “creative” ways of making him need saving though.

Shane can be fun to hate, but has the opposite problem as Lori’s character. Everything he does makes sense more or less. But the way everyone reacts to him doesn’t. The guy has clearly become a domineering rage junky with the emotional range of a teenage mass murderer. Okay Rick is an idiot with bigger things on his mind. And Andrea is going through a f+$@ these people phase right now, but everyone else? HELLO. He hasn’t opened his mouth without psycho-douche falling out for awhile now. And so easy to manipulate if anyone cared to use him for the one thing he is good at. Oh, that’s right at the least believable times; he gets all pacifist so Rick can step up and do the only thing Shane does well better. Right.


Abbasax wrote:
I totally misread this as "Where do you get your election cleavage" and I was very confused.

Ha. Sounds like a Daily Show bit.


PBS mostly. It can be dry and a bit out of touch in a well-off fogy way, but it is more news and analysis than entertainment and sensationalism. If you want to watch a speech or debate, it is the only station where commenters don’t talk over the candidates. They cover pretty much everything about the race without wallowing in the mudslinging. They get great guests and the interviews last long enough for nuanced discussion, but the round table shows can be annoyingly snippy and short.

Also,

NPR Just to get the basics driving to and from work.

Aljazeera English They report from a uniquely global perspective for a global audience, but this makes their US election coverage somewhat limited and secondhand.

Democracy Now (website ) They are a progressive nonprofit show with independent reporting. They have a professionally underground style, if that makes any sense. They always have a unique angle, stay focused on the issues and report stories no one else does.

The Young Turks (website ) They are a progressive web show. They are pretty much a talk radio show with video. Mostly commentary. Unabashedly opinionated. A little ranty. A little funny. A little silly. They are unpolished but honest, smart and usually fair. One can’t always be entirely fair in a good rant or joke (or a bad joke).

Stewart and Colbert You really need to get the extended clips on the web to learn much, but they call it like it is. It is refreshing. It is hilarious. I find them much more fun to watch after who’ve gotten the news. More comedy than news source.


A monster based off a giant honey mushroom (linky) like the one in the Malheur National Forest.

Only it has magical powers that allow it to rule the forest, can pull things into the earth and its disease works on nonplants.

CR: ~18?

Thanks. You're awesome.


stardust wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:

Oooo Ooo. Name and shame. Your friend is lame.

Okay, so I may be a little more concerned for my personal amusement than giving good advice...

However, I think this is one of those instances where the result would be the same. Protect the community, not the cheater - you can’t do both.

Good Luck.

Just to clarify, his friend's not the cheater. His friend is just someone playing the game with both him and the cheater, and he doesn't want to rock the boat, so to speak.

To clarify my post, I got that.

Letting cheating slide AND asking your friend to put up with it for you, lame.

hogarth wrote:
GoldenOpal wrote:
Oooo Ooo. Name and shame. Your friend is lame.
Shut up! I..he is not!

Sorry hogarth. I’ll shut up now.


Fair enough Kirth and thejeff.

I had no idea (and am dubious) that $12 mil turns into 1.2.

As far as not being able to live anywhere or have a job. Put any random address in the sex offender locator. You will see that that is completely bogus.

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