Psychopomp, Shoki

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Xenocrat wrote:

Smoke grenades in front of their position, the same way real world infantry/armor screens movements when they have no cover or concealment.

Or just throw it in front of you and leap frog towards them on consecutive rounds if they're far away. All they can do is pick a square to shoot at random and hope you're there with a 50% miss chance. Or leave their cover to get line of sight on you.

Smoke grenades grant concealment, not total concealment.

Hi everyone,

I just figured it out, and haven't found any post about it: A 12th level Skald can grant energy immunity to the whole party. Against two energies, but with the Undying Word archetype, you can grant it to all but force at level 15.
You need Energy Resistance (multiple times), Greater Energy Resistance and Energy Absorption and restart your song every round to rage cycle.
Each round, your teammates will absorb entirely one elemental attack and convert one third of its damage to temporary hit points. Then, absorb half of a second elemental attack, apply their resistance and then their temporary hit points, roughly negating the damage. They will also ignore all small elemental hits (flaming weapons, burning condition) thanks to their resistance. So, affecting them with an energy attack will be nearly impossible without putting the Skald down. Your teammates will bath in lava!
I don't know if I find that overpowered or just funny. Granting energy immunity to all energies is quite powerfull, but you end up being quite a one trick poney.

HammerJack wrote:
use the 16 bulk for a medium creature

This rule means that a combat drone with a ridding saddle can't be mounted by a medium creature before level 7 (considering it carries no weapon on his own).

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The bulk system only works for items. A creature hasn't a bulk number. That's the reason why mounted combat rules completely ignore bulks and only speak of size.
In that case, I think it's a typo, and the target should be either a 1 bulk item or a construct.

Shinigami02 wrote:
And then there's Mystics. The Mystic trade-outs are a bit of a mess, and IMO a bit larger of a loss than pretty much any other class has, making them horrible for taking archetypes.

I tend to disagree. Losing your 2nd, 4th and 6th level Improvisations for an Envoy is basically killing it completely before high levels. Roughly, you start playing at level 8, and become efficient at level 12.

For the Mystic, the 4th and 9th level replacement are free (Connections Spells are bad for most of them and Healing Touch is even worse). The Connection Powers really depend on your Connection. You are trading your Connection for your Archetype, which seems to be a fair trade to me.
The 2nd level one is hard. You'll need to play around it.
The Connection Skills malus is also very bad.
So, only 2 of them are really annoying, and it's not that hard to find an Archetype not modifying both of them (at least).

I also think Mystic is the only class bringing something new to your party. And considering noone is specialized in Wisdom-based skills (unless the Operative has Wisdom as secondary attribute) I would go for a full caster, with as much Wisdom as possible.

If you don't want to play a Mystic, I think there is space for a heavy hitter, either Soldier or Solarian. It looks like you could use an extra character on the frontline, as the Vesk can't handle everything on his own (especially with only one healer behind).

Xenocrat wrote:
It does not give you that. It gives you an enhancement bonuses to Dex/Strength ability checks and skill checks. That's not entirely useless in combat (+1 on acrobatics checks, yay?), but it's of no help hitting, damaging, or dodging things.

You're right, I read it too fast. It's still a bit usefull (even if it's less usefull than what I read).

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Archetypes have one big flaw which can't be removed:
- Soldier asks for a few feats to get an archetype in. Feats are part of the Soldier, but not much of it. And you can get feats in the normal way.
- Envoy loses Improvisations. Improvisations are all the class gives you, and there is no way to get them out of the Envoy class features.

So, currently, for one class you don't lose much for another one you lose everything.
It would have been balanced if Soldiers were losing their fighting styles instead of feats. Or if Envoys could give up normal progression feats for Archetype features (actually, thinking about it, that would be awesome, trading feats instead of replaced features).

You are recognizable, but you can still appear as a human. The difference between noticeable or not.

Polymorph 1 is nice. It gives you +1 Strength or Dexterity, depending on the size of the creature you choose. That's for the combat part.
It gives also a swim speed (not incredible, but always usefull).
And you can use it as a disguise, to appear as another race (I like to be able to polymorph the whole group as humans, as it's the most common race and the less likely to raise an eyebrow).

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Just give your players the choice between the archetype feature or the class feature for each of them. That way, archetyped characters won't be far better than non-archetyped ones.

Garretmander wrote:
As you get further in, you'll realize this interpretation makes magic missile the perfect counterspell.

Magic Missile can't disrupt spellcasting.

"Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails."

Haste is a situational spell. In some circumstances, it's the best spell for the job (combat with a lot of movement, or if you need to get to the sniper on the other side of the canyon). But it's not usefull on a regular basis. It's a good candidate for a Spell Gem.

I agree with Garretmander, they should stack.
I also find it quite extreme, +20 to a skill check makes an autosuccess even without being trained.

Haste is mostly useless. Mystics, Technomancers, Envoys, Mechanics and Operatives don't get much out of it. Only Soldiers and Solarians have access to more full attacks thanks to it. So, if you have a party with a lot of Soldiers and Solarians, Haste is awesome. But in a standard party, you won't even lose an action to cast it.

Slow is the best save or suck in the game. It was good in Pathfinder, but in Starfinder, it's among the rare spells which has been improved, making it a clear no-brainer.

- A slowed character can't make attacks of opportunities and can't move and attack in the same round. So, you just have to avoid enemy melee characters and they won't do anything during 7 rounds.
- Spellcasters can't move and cast spells, so they have to risk an attack of opportunity if they want to cast (there are spells with no attack of opportunity, but they are low level spells mostly).
- An enemy can't switch weapon and attack unless he has Quick Draw. So, if an enemy has a rifle in hand, you can safely go in melee range, and he'll take an AoO or don't do anything.
- Flying creatures can't attack unless they have perfect maneuvrability.
- It takes a full round to stand up from prone or reload a gun.
- Enemies can't full attack (and when you know how easy it is to hit in Starfinder, it's nearly 50% less damage).

Considering that it's a multi target spell, asking for a Will saving throw without being mind-affecting...

Strangely, I would go Solarian. Weapon Solarian, with a fire katana or something like that. I would max Strength, and would ignore Dexterity, to stay in line with the very offensive way I see samurais. I would also give him quite some Charisma, because, in my opinion, a samurai is charismatic.
Lawful Neutral or Good. I'd play him as a ronin (as there are no daimyos in Starfinder). Very quick to draw his sword and protect his teammates.

Acnolowgia wrote:
What do you all think?

If you have to increase an AP level by 1-3, it would be ok. Above that, the AP will start having issues. High level characters don't face the same challenges the same way.

Level 1 characters may have to jump over a pool of acid. Level 15 characters won't, so increasing its size won't work.
A bunch of CR1 scoundrels attacking trespassers is logical. If they are CR10, it becomes far less logical.
Asking level 1 PCs to perform an errand is ok. Level 15 PCs will just disregard it.
Facing a CR1 space gobelin is normal. Facing a CR15 one isn't. Players should not expect every space goblin to be a space goblin overlord.
Asking for a DC15 Diplomacy check to find information about someone who's not actively hiding is not the same as asking a DC30 Diplomacy check about the same person.
And so on...

Gronnigan Conroy wrote:
Also, I don't necessarily think that you have to lean into the Dex penalty. Sinking a couple of points into Dex to counteract the penalty is fine... you'll never be the most dextrous as a Nuar, but it's less important with Heavy Armor and melee or throwing weapons.

If you put a few points into Dexterity, you basically play a bad race/build combination (you'll have a better build by playing a Human, which is the most polyvalent and basic race). It doesn't mean it's bad (I have some characters who are in this case). But it's something important to take into account.

Claxon wrote:

It also doesn't help that flying at all prevents full attacks (hovering is a move action, or swift if you have perfect maneuverability, but full actions require the use of your swift action).

This is actually something that my group struggles with remembering to do correctly, because we played too much Pathfinder where the rules were more lax for flying. Denying full round actions is a big deal.

Haste, Envoy's Hurry, Hit and Run Fighting Style, there are a few ways to circumvent this issue. You should encourage your group in choosing one :)

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WatersLethe wrote:
I'm trying to find a way to make Sword and Pistol somewhat useful.

With Opening Volley, on an opponent which hasn't acted yet. You move next to him, attack with the pistol (no AoO as he hasn't acted) then attack with the sword, getting only a -2 if the pistol previously hit.

It's more funny than really efficient.
Another solution is to use Graviton Pistol to get the enemy next to you, and then attack him with your sword. Very situational once again.

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Mystic spell list is based on Pathfinder's Bard and Cleric spell list.
Fly was a wizard spell back in Pathfinder, and then ended up in the Technomancer spell list.

That's the only reason.

Gazragar wrote:
So, as the title suggests - what suggestions would you all give for a good melee build?

Nuars have a malus in Dexterity. If you compensate it, considering the useless +2 in Intelligence when it comes to melee, you will have a subpar melee character.

So, I would give him an 8 in Dexterity, and build around that. He will have no range options on his own, and low AC.

I see 2 ways of building around that:
- Drone Mechanic with a range drone. So depending on the situation, you can either full attack with the drone or with your character. I would avoid going melee against very big baddies, and focus on the drone in these circumstances. At high level, you can take a combat drone with a saddle and the flight module, so you charge on your flying drone, which is quite funny.
- Technomancer. Junksword and Overcharge Weapon allow you to be very violent in melee, for hit and run tactics so you avoid to stay in melee with your low AC and hit points. And Technomancer gives you tons of spells for range situations.
Also, the Intelligence bonus is very cool for both Mechanics and Technomancers. And you have a role in shipcombat, despite your low Dexterity.

Nimor Starseeker wrote:
Circumstance bonuses came up in my group recently, and I’m still not sure about this one, but I’m more in favor of letting it stack.

Well, nothing stacks by default. You can't be double flanked, you can't have double concealment, have twice the same spell or condition. I would not understand why you can have twice Harrying Fire.

Freeloader215 wrote:
Anecdote: I am a PC in a dead suns campaign. Mystic Overlord connected focused on mind effecting/debuffs. Anyone who played dead suns can tell you that's not an optimal build for that AP for spoiler reasons.

I'm playing Dead Suns (just finished the third part) with a pure caster Mystic Overlord and it's a very valid build for this AP. My impact in combat is on par with our Operative.

Not having a better option than Wisp Ally or Harrying Fire is, in my opinion, an issue.

Freeloader215 wrote:
Ok, follow up, harrying fire say it provides +2 to the next attack, would the next attack consume all instances of harrying fire despite only providing a +2 bonus?

Yes. It would be a house rule to consider there are "instances" of Harrying Fire. Also, it may generate future rules issues if you start going that way (if a monster is double stunned, does it last more rounds, for example), so, I wouldn't rule it.

Also, if your whole party is using Harrying Fire but your Soldier, you are in a very strange situation. Most classes can shoot on their own, and it's more efficient than Harrying Fire.

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Freeloader215 wrote:
Question 1 - What is the soldiers circumstance bonus to hit?

Your Soldier has Harrying Fire (from 3 sources) on the target, so he has +2 to hit.

Harrying Fire is a state, like Flanked, Fatigued, Flat-Footed. You can't "double flank" an enemy, even if you have 2 sources of flank. It's the same for Harrying Fire.

Actually, it's up to you.
When your character cast a cone or line effect, you start it from one of your character corners and it extends away from you. That's why you are not affected, because you are not in the area of effect.
In case of Spellshot, you start it from one of the target corners and it extends in whatever direction you choose. So, you can either include or exclude the target from your area by the choice of corner/direction.

Garretmander wrote:
When creating an NPC that uses weapons, you give them the weapon. With all the weapon's stats. It doesn't need a FAQ when that's already the rule.

Monsters from the bestiary are not following NPC creation rules. And I completely agree that we should apply all the weapon special properties. It's more something that is missing.

Also, things like ammunition and usage are very important (especially with weapons like Shirren-eye rifles).

Current system forces DMs to search for weapons in the rules to properly play monsters. It defeat the concept of having simple stat blocks.

specimen700102 wrote:
Sounds like the monster in question is the gatecrasher which has the ability to wield two-handed weapons in one hand and ignore the unwieldy rule.

Obviously not, but it's an interesting creature, in that it tend to go in the logical rule direction we have followed.

avr wrote:
While it's not RAW, is it possible the monster was just big enough that a melee weapon which is unwieldy for a human or vesk wouldn't be unwieldy for it?

Actually, it's RAW. Monster stat blocks are supposed to contain everything about the monsters. As monsters are not following the PC rules, the weapon properties are not supposed to be carried over to the monsters.

Jhaeman wrote:
I assume all the statistics and qualities of a weapon carry over (examples: critical effects, range increments, capacity and usage, and special qualities like archaic, unwieldy, analog, etc.) even when used by an NPC (whether a playable race or not).

That's what I call the logical interpretation: using character rules for monsters using weapons. It allows the DM to handle situations like: An enemy is disarmed and takes whatever other weapon lies next to him.

In my opinion, it should be added to a FAQ. With a few rules for specific cases (disarmed monster using another weapon is the one coming to my mind, as there are proficiency questions, for example).

BigNorseWolf wrote:
An unwieldy weapon cannot be used as part of a full attack. using a second wieldy weapon (un un wieldy weapon?) wouldn't help that.

That's the whole point: Is it unwieldy? :)

RAW, it's not, RAI, it must.

Shields are supposed to be rare in a space opera setting, not extremely common. So, I agree they are too easy to use. And at high level, they give an absolutely enormous AC boost (+2 without using an action). Considering how hard it is to just get a +2 to anything in SF, I would really reduce the tactical shield bonus when you don't use a move action to activaly use it.

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We hit an issue yesterday while playing an SFS adventure : There was a monster with a Swoop Hammer, but nowhere in its stat block was an indication of the Unwieldy special property of the Swoop Hammer.

At first, we thought that being a monster we should apply the stat block and consider he was able to wield the Swoop Hammer like no character could. But then, we realized that he could also have a range weapon, and because the stat blocks never give precision about the number of hands necessary to wield a weapon, he could full attack with both a Swoop Hammer and a rifle despite having just 2 arms.

So, we ended up with the logical solution of using the Swoop Hammer Unwieldy property despite not being specified.

If it was intended for the monster to use a Swoop Hammer as a "wieldy" weapon, then, it should have been specified in its stat block, to avoid any discussion. And if it was just something forgotten, then, a FAQ entry indicating that monsters using weapons are using the stats of the actual weapon the players can use unless something is specified in the stat block would be nice, in my opinion.

Claxon wrote:

Conversely, as someone who isn't playing a character with that long of range or especially a melee character this sounds like the worst thing ever and I would absolutely hate to deal with it in the group.

Both on my team and against.

First, you can have a sniper rifle yourself. Being bad with it doesn't mean you can't use it. When my mystic is in a ship she's not much usefull than you would be.

Also, you can think of something to do in such case. You know it can happen, so why haven't you something to do? It's like complaining because your character can't do anything in a ship, and do nothing to change that matter of fact.

Different things you can do:
- Smoke grenades (in counter sniping)
- Spell Ampoules to give bonuses to your sniping teammates
- Spell Gems (with a weapon fusion to use them) to help your teammates
- Covering or harrying fire with a sniper rifle

The game give you lots of things to do actually.

Tiktik "Overclock" wrote:

If Starfinder damage bonuses were to adhere to that rate they would be something more like:

+2 at 3rd
+3 at 6th
+4 at 8th
+5 at 10th
+6 at 11th
+7 at 12th
+8 at 13th
+9 at 14th
+11 at 15th
+12 at 16th
+14 at 17th
+16 at 18th
+19 at 19th
+21 at 20th

Currently, if I consider a 16 starting Strength Soldier and Melee Striker Gear Boost, the progression is:

+1 at 3rd
+6 at 6th
+9 at 9th
+12 at 12th
+20 at 15th
+24 at 18th

So, it's higher than your progression. To get these numbers, I have considered the Soldier was taking Melee Striker Gear Boost everytime he had to take a Gear Boost (yeah, I know, it's not authorized, it's just a simulation of a character who is taking only melee options everytime he can).
And it's the important part. In Starfinder, specialized characters are not doing 3 times the damage non specialized ones do at higher levels. You have to take more options in your specialty to stay specialized. I personally find that to be a good thing. It allows polyvalent characters to stay competitive at high levels.

As Hammerjack pointed out, kits. The scanning one is hyper usefull. same for the aura reading one. But most of them are extremely nice.

Dented Kasa. In my opinion, the best magic item in the game. It simply makes you immune to critical hits, so, basically unkillable. And it's cheap.
Kinetic Converter is also absolutely life saving, but can't be used in SFS.

Healing serums MKI. You should have very quickly dozens of them, so you don't care about hp damage between fights. As soon as level 5, you need a dozen to be out of harm's way.

Ammunition :D

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Sniper rifles are just filling a niche situation. They are no weapons to specialize in, just a tool you can sometimes draw to solve a problem.

Also, there are a few classes which can act at long range. Soldiers and Operatives thanks to sniper rifles, Mystics and Technomancers thanks to summons (air elementals run 500ft per round) or fog cloud. And the Envoy can still heal his comrades. So, a sniping battle is far from a boring one, especially if you find a few things to do with the short range classes (protect civilians, open the locked door, whatever).

In my opinion, a sniping/counter sniping fight with a few objectives to fulfill during the fight can be a tremendous amount of fun.

Ravingdork wrote:
It's been mathematically proven on these boards that nukes can't usually destroy a wall on their first try.

I agree. I think nuclear missiles are not nuclear bombs. They are not meant to destroy cities, but to penetrate a heavily armored ship. These types of weapons are supposed to pierce through the armor and inject inside the ship a deadly effect, in general an explosion, but it can be a shockwave or a projectile. So, using them like a standard explosive would not be very efficient, hence the ridiculous amount of damage compared to what a real nuclear bomb should be doing.

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Pantshandshake wrote:
*patiently waits for a "Can we tape 15 nuclear warheads to a detonator" thread*


Luckily, a little knowledge on nuclear bombs dismisses this issue as the first bomb to explode destroys all the other one. To work, all bombs need to explode at like a nanosecond of difference. DC 60 Engineering check to make it work.

Nuclear weapons are not doing that much damage. 50d8 (200 points on average) and that's if you hit on a focused point, not in an area.
I would personnaly let my players use nuclear weapons if they want to destroy a door, a wall or something like that. But if they want to nuke a town, I'll kindly remind them that they don't have access to capital ship nuclear warheads (these ones must be pretty rare).

Claxon wrote:
You're only looking at optimizing two things, I'm looking at it from the perspective of optimizing the overall character.

Not at all.

I consider that your main attribute is more important than your secondary attribute. So if you want to "pump" points from one attribute, it's better to do it on the secondary attribute rather than the main one.
Anyway, we won't agree. But I highly encourage you to compare a build using this paradigm and one using yours, look at every level brackets and decide which one is definitely better from level 1 to 12 (we can even do it on your Soldier, if you want, as an example).

Claxon wrote:
Sure I could be more optimized and hit 5% more often and deal an extra 1 or 2 points of damage (and be slightly better at Athletics).

It's actually a big difference. At level 1, it means around 20% more damage output with a tactical doshko and 25% with an ember flame one during a full attack.

A +1 to your main attribute bonus is a 10% increase in combat efficiency in general, but Strength gives a better bonus thanks to the damage increase.

And it doesn't change what I said earlier, instead of going 16 Strength, 12 Intelligence and 14 Dexterity (or whatever secondary attribute you have chosen) you should have gone 18 Strength, 12 Intelligence and 12 Dexterity. Maximizing your main attribute is the optimized way at level 1 (unless you know for sure your character will end his adventuring career between level 8 and 10).

Of course, I'm only speaking of optimization. If you see your Soldier that way, then there's no objection I can raise.

Tiktik "Overclock" wrote:
However my objection is to the damage bonuses you get from class features which completely fail to follow that curve and ultimately seem to be practically meaningless because of it. Why do I care about +2 to damage when I am dealing 5d10+my level in damage?

They do follow the progression curve. +2 * number of feats you have at high level = +2 * number of feats you have at low level.

And thus avoid non specialized characters to see their damage output drop too significantly compared to specialized characters. Like in Pathfinder where most fighters don't even care taking a bow considering that their damage with it quickly drop to non existent.
So, a specialized character always have 20% more damage output than a non specialized one. It looks legitimate to me.

Claxon wrote:
If your primary attribute is strength, it does little for your overall character to have an 18 in strength vs a 16.

Thinking more about it, I came to realize it's actually a bad advice. You exchange a +1 in your main attribute for a +1 in your secondary attribute at every level but levels 5-9.

Just take an example, take an 18 and a 12 against a 16 and a 14, increasing both attributes at every 5 levels. Between level 5 and 9, you'll have a +1 to your secondary attribute. Before level 5 and after level 9, you have a -1 in your primary attribute for a +1 in your secondary attribute. It's a 1-1 exchange. It's bad at short term, and bad at long term.
So, unless you know you'll play mostly in the level bracket 5-9, it's better to start with an 18 at first level.

Claxon wrote:
Kind of, but your math doesn't show the full story.

Maths never tell stories :)

To me, it really depends on character types. Operatives, pure casters and range soldiers have no issue starting with an 18 in their primary stats and have absolutely no point in not doing it.
Multi attribute characters will have harder time. It's the choice of having a quite unbalanced character at low levels which goes more and more balanced by taking levels or having a balanced character from startup with a glass ceiling at some point.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except NO ONE is Zo! at first level.

You understood my sentence literally?

Claxon wrote:
I would actually argue that all of the classes in Starfinder are generally design around starting with an 16 in their "primary" stat rather than an 18.

This is not exactly true. There are diminishing returns as soon as you go over 10.

A 12 is better than a 10 at levels 1-19 but not 20 (95% of the time).
A 14 is better than a 12 at levels 1-14 and 20 (75% of the time).
A 16 is better than a 14 at levels 1-9 and 15-19 (75% of the time).
An 18 is better than a 16 at levels 1-4, 10-14 and 20 (50% of the time).
So, if you have two 16 instead of a 14 and an 18 on a level 1 character, you actually don't gain that much out of it, you exchange a +0.5 in your main attribute for a +0.75 in your secondary attribute.
It also greatly depends on the level you start playing your character and the level you will stop playing it. If you start at level 5, having an 18 as a starting attribute is clearly a bad idea as you'll get a bonus out of it later and for 30% of your level progression (if we consider you go up to 20). If you start at level 1, you immediately get an advantage out of it, and will certainly have more than half of your character progression with a bonus.

Weapon (Versatile) Focus doesn't apply to Explode weapon. Or, to be more accurate, only to the DC 5 attack roll, which is a 2+ with or without Weapon Focus after level 2.

As a DM, I apply Versatile Focus to starship weapons. Without that, I find this feat a bit underwhelming, especially if you have ways to choose your equipment (Starfinder Society for example) and as such you know you won't end up with a good weapon in the wrong category.
The kind of feat I'll take at high levels on a standard Soldier build.

Weapon focus, on the other hand, is a first pick on most of my weapon characters (unless they need Proficiency and Specialization).

Looks to me there's a mistake in the number of spells know of your second version or the archetyped Mystic.

Xenocrat wrote:

That's never been in dispute.

The novel issue he's raising is whether if you pick an archetype that replaces your 6th or 18th level abilities as a mystic you immediately start delaying your connection powers. I've never seen anyone argue that before. It would mean a hypothetical archetype that provided only 2nd and 18th level abilities would deny you your 3rd level connection power and delay them your entire career. I don't think that's the intent.

Sorry, I misunderstood.

I agree with you. All archetypes specify that you "don't gain something", and we understand it's at the level we gain the archetype feature.
So, I would rule it the same way for Connection powers and spells.

Yeah, I lost my temper and can't remove or edit my post. Anyway, the content is what I think, I just badly rolled at Diplomacy.

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