Wise Meerkat's page

40 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


McGurk wrote:
I am currently doing some research on lighthouses and the one thing that is eluding me is the range of light of all the different kinds of ways that lighthouses illuminated the coastal and sea areas. Help!

I made nautical charts many years ago, so I can tell you that lighthouses are not designed to illuminate the coast or the sea. They are designed as "aids to navigation", or in lay terms they provide a fixed point of light that a pilot can aim a ship at. They have 3 colors, white, red and green, at least the one I charted only came in these colors. White was visible the farthest, to about 3 nautical miles. But this was not the important feature. If there were hazzards, like rocks, the light would not be visible over the rocks. So, you could only see the light over safe area. The different colors were for more complex navigation. For example, white is safe for 2 NM in to 1 NM then it is hazardous. Navigate to a red sector and continue toward shore. Some lighthouses have upwards of 16 sectors.

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Thanks, Wise Meerkat. I'll mention it to him, but that looks like it would be more than two hours away, so I don't think he'd be willing to drive that far.

I've never been to Lockhart, but I am 65 min. from Half Price Books in San Marcos if there is no traffic. I'm not on Paizo every day, but I will look at this thread for the next week or so.

We have a group that meets in Cibolo TX. It is farther than Austin, but the people are way better :) We game at my house with the kids running 'round, so I would need to meet him first. But, we might have an opening soon. Let me know if he is interested.

Tarren Dei wrote:

EDIT: Okay, I looked at Wikipedia now. I bet most people can't name all the countries with a population over 1,000,000.

Does Texas count?

Patrick Curtin wrote:


Big government has been pounding away at the issue of poverty for decades in this country. Has the poverty line shifted any? If a program has been in effect for 40 years and accomplished nothing, shouldn't it be reexamined rather than expanded?

If you look at the percent of children living below the povety line for the past 25 years Go to Census Poverty Chart,you can see that Regan and Bush I averaged about 19% of all children living below the poverty line. Clinton pushed that up to about 21%. Bush II managed to bring it down to 16% for most of his time in office, although it is trending upward.

Lilith wrote:
Anybody know how San Antonio's doing? They're far enough inland that it should be okay, but I'd like to know (news reports seem okay). :)

My part of SA (Cibolo) did not even get any wind gusts. It was a big weather non-event. Local shelters took in almost 10,000 refugees. San Antonio, the city to visit while your hometown is having extreem weather.

cinderember wrote:

1. It would not be named "Pathfinder." I mean "Dungeons & Dragons" at least has nostalgic appeal, and nifty alliteration. Pathfinder sounds like either a crappy sport utility vehicle or a really bad viking movie, not a role playing game. What's in a name? A lot! There are a lot of people put off by the name alone...and you just don't want that! Change the name...why does it have to match the magazine? I say you hold a vote. You say this game is for gamers by gamers...then let them name it!/QUOTE]

"Ruins & Rakshasas"?
I agree that people who are put off by the name are probably not going to come onboard and try it out. Thus, not a huge hue and cry to change it. But come on now. Do you really think that leting gamers name it that we will get something better.

cinderember wrote:

2. Trash that race line up sketch or nuke the gnome with the ice cream sunday on her head. It looks terrible. Its one of the first pics you see, and I would just assume to close the book and walk away than see more of that. The rest of the art is fantastic. Why is the first art you see so darn terrible and practically silly?

Not the most diplomatic way to say this, but I agree.

cinderember wrote:
3. At the release of the final version, have people trade in their 4.0 crap for credit to get the hardcover of <What will hopefuly be the RPG formally known as Pathfinder>. I was duped into buying that load of garbage that is 4E, and feel a little obligation to that $100 pile of worthless and defiled paper. Hey, if I can get $10 credit towards pathfinder for it, its damned worth it. Then you can make a bonfire and roast hotdogs or something.

OK, you got burned on a bad purchase. The problem is that Paizo is not responsible for you buying 4e. You might try to get WoTC to give you a refund. Contact your State Attorne General and file charges against them. They claimed that they were selling D&D. You paid $100 expecting D&D. What you got was not D&D. False advertising.

cinderember wrote:

4. Format the spells a little better. It still looks a bit sloppy with the lines and such. I do not personally know what would make it better (I am not an editor by any means), but something is still off with that section. The rest of the book is perfect. Someone should teach the yahoos at WotC how to format a page...even the page numbers wander off occasionally in 4E.

Agree for the most part.

Steve Greer wrote:

To readers that were checking this one out as we went, it's officially done. Fork in it.

For anyone interested in actually reading the novels I based this off, it was two books by Greg Bear called "The Infiniti Concerto" and the "The Serpent Mage".


I don't get to post at this site much, but when I am here I always like to check out the "Campaign Journals." This was a really neat story and you wrote about the game with great talent. I liked it so much that I discovered the name of the book, Songs of Earth and Power, and started to read it. I just got past the part where he kills the bad boyfriend. A good read so far. Sorry this game had to end for you, but I will definately read any future journals that you post about your games.


The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Championship last night. I am taking the whole family down to watch the victory parade and celebration on Sunday.

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:

Interestingly enough, Tyralandi Scrimm made me. I found out about James Jacobs' AoW playtest, and thought I should check it out. What I found was the messageboards, which caused me to open the proverbial can of time-monopolizing worms, and the rest (as they say) is history...


Tyralandi Scrimm is to die for!

Fatespinner wrote:
Bill Lumberg wrote:
That will only be one of several exciting events at this year's "VatiCON".
If they seriously tried to hold a gaming convention in the Vatican, I might be tempted to sell my car just to have enough money to go. That would be AWESOME!

Holy Lands - Deluxe Edition

The distinctions between Holy Lands and other RPG's (role-playing games) are its
keys to excellence. First of all, Holy Lands stands alone because "real" Christianity
is the fundamental faith of the character, not some allegorical fantasy faith in a
polytheistic (multi-god) world. The character believes in, proclaims, and fights for
God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the "real" message of eternal salvation. Next,
the challenges the characters face are based on high-fantasy evils (demons,
sorcery, and dangerous rogues) that have a primary mission of destroying the
Church and Christians. It raises the story to an epic level where evil fights for
tyrannical dominance and good (the Christians) oppose these forces with might and
Miracles to create and maintain peace.

The bottom line is that Holy Lands is a Christian role-playing game. The
uncompromised Christian elements of the game masterfully combined with fantasy
wonder make it stand head-and-shoulders above its competitors. With a clear
position, a clear message, and a clear conscience, Holy Lands remains an icon for
Christian adventurers everywhere. From temptation to Miracles to preaching to
destroying evil, this game is the answer for Christian gamers who need a higher
level than the other games offer out there.

... The only role playing game endorsed by the pope (in Rome.) This is actually a real product that you can buy, but not at Paizo.

RANT I hate my wife's cats!!! All other cats are ok.

1 Byzantine Catholic (me), 1 Methodist (wife), 2 Southern Baptists, 1 Christian (not sure of denomination), 1 Jew, 1 druid.

My wife and I teach sunday school at her church. We find no conflicts between our faith and playing D&D.

I am not sure if the guy who claims to be a druid really has a religion, but he always asks us to thank him for making it rain.

I played a jestor. It was not as much fun as I expected. When he died, I rolled up a rogue.

Fake Healer wrote:

Was there something in particular that made you feel like this community needed a lesson and if so, what?

just curious, I thought we were doing pretty well....


People tend to use the label "retard" more than I would like. I don't post very often, but read the boards several times a week. About two weeks ago there was a post in the rant thread about "social retards". My son has Asperger's Syndrom: "Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills... (T)hose with AS are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying." http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/aswhatisit.html

He was kicked off the school bus because kids teased him and called him retard. "By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area." http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/aswhatisit.html
My son consistently scores at the top of his class in stardarized tests, but is mocked as a "dummy" because hand tremors prevent him from writing (an aid does most of it for him at school.)

"Retard" is a very charged word and I do not enjoy reading it, especially if I had to deal with the school that day. We have stuff like @$$ to not offend people, but "retard" is not filtered. Please use a different word.

I don't want to single anyone out, because most posters are very nice. I would just like to point out that word choice does matter.


Nermal2097 wrote:

Where I am at the moment is thinking about classes and what would be viable in a chinese based campaign. Monks will be a given but what about paladins or bards? Druid is the one class that seems to be right out but the whole shapeshifting thing seems like it could work given some oriental myths. I am willing to allow some japanese into the mis but I want it mostly feel like china. Also does anyone know of any decent D20/OGL books that deal with gunpowder weapons i.e. feats, skills, classes?

Jade and Steel: Role Playing in Mythic China by Avalanche Press is has some good information specific to China. It is a little light on crunch, but coantains some good ideas. The book assumes that only humans will be allowed, because it is historical, not fantasy. It is only about 50 pages, so it does not take long to go through. I would try to find a used copy if possible, because it might not be exactly what you are needing.


Lilith wrote:

Oh, and it appears Gamma World has made the transition to d20 - that sounds like such fun!

Dang...now I wanna run a postapocalyptic d20 game...:)

I bought all the GW stuff except Beyond the Horizon. Good stuff at an affordable price, at least that's what I told my wife <grin>. I have a world idea and most of Cryptic Alliances does not fit well into it. Others may find it useful. My biggest problem is that half my group refuses to even try GW or d20 Modern. And, yes, you need d20 Modern to run GW. There is some free GW stuff available on the web, but I like to make my own stuff. I would love to run or play Gamma World. It would be awesome to see GW supported in Dungeon or Dragon, even if it was once a year. I understand that White Wolf is now the publisher so it will not happen, but I can dream.


Edit: I live North of San Antonio (Cibolo) if anyone is interested in a GW game.

I tried this in college once. I converted a lot of the equipment to pseudoAztec. Leather armor was jaguar skin armor, chain mail was woven feathers with the hollow stems filled with gold dust, swords were wooden with onyx teeth. Most of the players thought it was weird but ok, but one guy made fun of everything. All his sentences started like, "Even though I look rediculous in the stupid bird armor, I ..." Absolutely no intention of having any fun in the setting. We tried it twice and then I gave up.

Aberzombie wrote:

And lastly (for now anyway) I hate poorly designed road systems. But in defense of civil engineers, it is kind of difficult to see into the future and tell how population density will fluctuate over a given region.

It's not civil engineers who do population projections, it's demographers. Civil engineers get paid way more money and design roads, not road systems. Road systems are designed by committee, usually with meddling by elected officials. What you need (generally) to determine the carrying capacity of roads are household size, employment by location, and number of trips. The only things that makes the process difficult are privacy laws which keep well meaning public servants from doing their jobs. I am not a stalker, just tell me the average number of trips by car that you household makes in an average day. Tell me how many employees you have, it is not a trade secret.

Of course, elected officials have to approve the numbers, so the whole process is busted anyways. "I don't want my district to show a decline in employment." "My constiuents don't want to loose their small town feel. Move some of those households to a different location." We are talking about a 30 year forecast. Your small town will have over a million people in 30 years. And, you just took all the science and statistics out of the modelling process. Nobody ever tells a chemist, "Keep your trade secrets inputs constant, but change your output to gold so that I, as an elected official, can take all the credit for bringing gold to the people." That is alchemy and is not tolerated in hard science. Why do people accept it when billions of highway dollers are spent on bad projects every year. Please don't hate the demographer or even the engineer, rage against your local elected officials. They are the ones who screw up the process.

I hate not being able to post rants from work.

I hate air pollution, please walk or ride a bike.

kahoolin wrote:

To imagine you're someone else is as close to being them as anyone can ever get anyway, so why is the stat needed? All it does is randomly restrict the kind of person you're allowed to imagine you are.

That's why role-playing's fun, you can act differently. If you make an effort to act like a charming bard then...

Why is the stat needed?

I am introverted and shy. I cannot dominate a conversation. I find it difficult to disagree with someone, especially to their face. I take a -10 to intimidate because of some early life experiences.

I want to and like to play bards. It allows me to explore places I could never go in real life. I can be a suave, articulate, and sexy character.

Without the cha stat roleplaying would be like:

ME: I go up to the good looking girl and say, "Um hi... um can I buy you a beer or something?"
DM: She tells you, "Bugger off!" and slaps you.
ME: I just wanna get laid. Can you let me hook up with the hot chick just once? I really am the swashbuckling hero.
DM: She knows you are a geek.

With the cha stat:

ME: I go up to the good looking girl and use diplomacy to make her like me. I rolled a 16 +8 is 24. I say to her, "Um hi... um can I buy you a beer or something?"
DM: She smiles and says, "That would be nice."
ME: "After you finish that beer, you wanna go back to my room for some dessert?"
DM: She likes you, but you need at least 30 to get some on the first date. "Why don't we just talk for a while?"
ME: "OK, what do you want to talk about?"
DM: You spend d4 hours (rolls a 3) making small talk. You get no useful information.

With charisma, I can be a social outcast and still have fun playing bards. I like the challenge of devising elaborate plans that rely on social skills to overcome in game obstacles. If I could do this in real life, I would be a US representative (until I had enough experience to become a lobbyist.)

Nobody asks you to prove you deserve an 18 str by lifting uber heavy stuff, why should you have to talk like Jessy Jackson to get the benefits of an 18 cha.


Do you have a digital map that you can put online or email? I would love to see your world. I could offer feedback if you like. I have a BS in geography and have worked in mapping industries for 13 years. Of course fantasy maps are different than the governmental stuff that I work with.

I was going to put a long post about how I make new worlds, but I think you are beyond this point. I would like to mention that I assign creatures early on in the process. That way, I know that I want Yak Folk and orcs and demon worshipers and can leave room for them without doing major rework later.


punkassjoe wrote:
A couple of questions, what was your con and dex? How many beers, and how many tankards juggled at once?

15 con, 16 dex (4d6 arrange to taste.) I drank 16 tankards of beer and juggled all the empties. Because of the house rule of dex - beers to keep juggling I would have had to roll a zero to juggle the 17th. DM basically said that 16 was my drunken max. Didn't matter tho, because I passed out immediately after the 16th tankard went into the juggle.

I tried this trick a few times after that and could never juggle more than 9 or 10.

In 2e I played a Dwarf fighter/thief who had the juggle skill. We were in a tavern and I ordered 4 beers, then drank them. Then I started juggling the empty tankards. DM ruled that I had to roll con or lower on d20 or become drunk. I kept ordering more beer and having the serving girl pour it down my throat and toss the empty into the juggling ring. After about 8 or 9 I became drunk, which resulted in a dex - number of beers consumed roll to continue juggling. Also, con or lower or pass out. I had to roll low 2 times after each beer! After the 16th beer, I had to roll a 1 or fail the juggle. A 1, I was the god of juggling. Then I rolled a 20 and passed out, immediately. Twelve years later, people still talk about the greedy dwarf who could juggle drunk. Not a major victory, but great fun, and tons of role play XP.


D&D, any edition is about social interaction with people that you enjoy telling a story with. That said, I miss 1e most because my brother had more imagination than anyone I have met since. I miss 2e because the DM was really good and the people were a blast. In 3.5 our games are not as good, because the stories are not as good. But, the fun is still there because I get 5 hours every 2 weeks to hang out with great people who want to escape the real world. Actually, the games of vampire dark ages were a blast too, even though I had no idea what the rules were. Only d10s made dice simplier. Have fun, enjoy your friends, and get your kids gaming as soon as possible. It will give you some memorable family moments.

My 2 cents!

I played in a game where the Forgotten Realms were being "terraformed" a few hundred square miles a day. After investigating we found out that a purple dragon, which had never existed in this reality, had been reforming Toril into a strictly lawful place. Rivers ran north/south or east/west. Trees grew 10 feet apart. Etc. An ancient red dragon, which was forbidden from time travel, flung the party back in time to a place where only the most ancient of beings existed. The rest of the party proceeded to kill the purple before it could ever exist in our time. I was a bard. I managed to seduce a couple of ladies who called themselves Sune and Lolth. Much fun was had. After the purple was slain, the red pulled us forward in time where the land was restored to normal. I worte psalms and prayers to Sune and Lolth, both of whom threatened to modify my manhood if anyone found out about what happened. I destroyed all my poetry and never told a soul. One of the best games I ever played in.


I hate that I have to miss my D&D game on Sunday. I have to go to Seattle for training that I do not want. It won't even help me get a better job.

I hate that my wife has to NPC my cleric. We only have one healer and the DM wants him to come alnog, even if I am out of town. I just know that he will end up dead.

I hate rolling up new characters. Should it really be called "rolling up" if you use point buy?

I hate when the DM uses nothing about the character backgrounds that he required everyone to write up. Don't complain that we have no motivation in character if you havn't botherd to read the motivations we supplied. Yes, I CAN be a recovering alcoholic and a cleric of Pelor!

I hate insurance companies and bill collectors.

I hate illegal logging.

And... to the poster who likes most of the world because of the beers they produce, how about a little love for:
Shiner, Texas - home of Shiner Bock and just a short trip down the road from me
Latrobe, Pennsylvania - home of Rolling Rock and the near where I first learned to play D&D


I tried perform: comedy one time, but it was not really believable because I am not funny. The other players refused to take the inspire courage bonuses. It did not last long.

My favorite bard "instrument" was the puppet. I had craft: puppet to make any new or unique puppets that I wanted. I had to perform: puppet show to have my "bardic music" work. Inspire courage became the party puppets routing some monster puppets. Fascinate was a puppet show with my trademark puppet, a blue dragon that was also a masterwork hand crossbow. Inspire competence was the character puppet performing the task. You get the idea. And I always had a weapon (blue dragon), because the guards never make a puppeteer hand over all his puppets. Additional bolts were carried as spears by certain puppets. I never had to resort to this, but I always knew that I could make shadow puppets if I was ever really desperate.

You could have a secret society that observes the PCs without interfering in their business. Society members could drop healing potions or take out enemies from the shadows. The PCs only catch glimpses of the members and are not able to make contact. You could have a subplot dealing with why these guys are always hanging around/ trying to capture and question one. The party could be part of an ancient prophecy to explain why the society is interested in them.

Our DMs often limit the available races to just one, usually human. Thus, encountering a dwarf or elf NPC is something special. Whole quests have revolved around proving that elves do exist and finding one of their cities to deliver a message.

That said, the most memorable mini-campaign was where the DM limited everyone to halflings. We all (4) played rogues. We were stealthy, ambushed alot, and maxed out use magic device. It was a blast.

My wife and I are always sibs. We tried married once, but that was not fun for anyone but my wife. Strangers does not work either, as we always end up hooking up. A good friend of mine is usually my cousin. Various other PCs and NPCs are also cousins. One other player is always a dwarf that we pick up along the way. His clan usually owes our family a favor. The last player is always some weird race that just hangs out at our family house. It works for us and is more realistic than we meet at a bar.

Dr. Washington - San Antonio TX. He saved my wife and daughter with one operation. Comic book heros have nothing on surgeons.

I love making the backstory for my characters. I never do orphans or village was destroyed by orcs because they seem too overused. I am currently playing a human cleric of Pelor. (I wanted to play a kobold cleric, but the DM disallowed it.) He was unemployed and refused to help out at home, so his parents threw him out. One night he was out drinking until dawn. Drunk as a skunk, he witnessed the most magnificant sunrise and immediately pledged himself to Pelor. He has no wealth and little gear. He has no contacts within the church and just makes up scripture as he goes. Quite funny really. He is tall and muscular like an average NBA basketball player. It helps me to look at real people to visualize physique. Random charts take the fun out of character gen for me, but most people do not get into back story as much as I do.

We played a game one time where the initial stats were the average of what the group thought your stat as a player were. We ended up with a bunch of physically average characters with 15 or 16 Int. This did not last long, because we played ourselves all week and most of us wanted to be something more as characters.

STR 12
DEX 11
CON 11
INT 15
WIS 14
CHA 11

Average income is not as important as outstanding bills. All my money goes toward medical bills for the wife and kids.

I love dungeons, I hate dungeon crawls. I need a reason to enter a dungeon other than the BBEG at the end has $$$. And, why does the BBEG have to be in the last room? Let me bust in and surprise him and let him do a fighting withdrawl for the rest of the adventure. He would have an advantage, because he knows the layout of the dungeon and can use this to his tactical advantage. My group could be calling for his surrender or vowing to bleed the life out of him. Lots of verbal exchanges as well as missle exchanges. Give me a chance to use some of those skills that I dumped points into. Have a parallel path and let me race the BBEG to the prize at the end. Give me 8 ways to succeed. Linear adventuring is bad; dungeon adventuring is good!

Thanks everyone. These are all great ideas. I found the orcish shot put in sword and fist. I will have to see if the DM will allow it without the -3 penalty. I don't mind spending the feat on exotic weapon if it lets the character grow into what I imagine.

Thoth-Amon the Mindflayerian wrote:

Nothing is more fulfilling that making a runt (mentally and/or physically, in appearance or disability, intelligence, race, etc) that becomes powerful, for in the end, success is your best revenge.

I actually go out of my way to make exceptionally weak characters Thoth-Amon

I also love to play weak characters. I love the challenge of using tactics to overcome situations, rather than always having the fire power to blow through a situation. Besides, my wife is a munchkin and it irks her when my runt has more kills than her uber archer.

I have never played a 3.5 cleric, but I want to make a kobold cleric. I have some ideas, but could really use some advice. He starts life as a slave and is resolved to his crappy life until he finds some old religious text. He memorizes the text because he is afraid to be caught with contraband. He becomes an ardent believer and fashons a crude holy symbol out of natural materials, probably soap stone. By the grace of his god he escapes and pledges to help free slaves to the best of his abilities.

Can someone suggest a god to follow and domains to take for a FR campaign? I want to be NG and NOT a follower of Kurtulmak.

Also, I would like him to use a shot put as a weapon. There is something about 2 hops and whipping the tail around as part of the spin that seems to make this a perfect choice for a kobold. Is there stats for using shop put as a weapon in a book? If not, has anyone ever used a shop put and made up stats for it?

Thanks in advance.

Pays homage to Timon in the Lion King. Every time my wife tells me how much better my life is since we got hitched I reply with, "A wise meerkat once said, "In short our pal is doomed.""

In any fantasy world, I would be the pathetic shop keeper that is constantly being screeched at by the evil harpy wife. I would have 27 children all with diapers that need changing. I would never have enough money. The closest to saving the world that I would come would be selling a +5 holy avenger for 25 gp because I could not cast detect magic. And my wife would have even more animal companions - CATS. Cat hair everywhere.

I really have a good life here at d20 present.

My group emails the DM in between sessions with actions that are specific to character development. Then the DM has some prep time to work the character goals into the story. In our current campaign, my bard specializes in performing with puppetts. I had been spending most of my city time performinf for the children of rich people and making some serious cash. I also performed every tuesday at the orphanage. Something was killing farmers and the city has a huge influx of orphans. The DM caused me to notice that some of the orphans were on the streets. I confronted the cleric in charge of the orphanage and he said that they are so full that the older kids are being put out on the streets. I adopted 4 of the ruggers and now they help with the puppett shows. As a personal side treck, before every extended adventure I have to find a baby sitter for these 4 kids and I am responsible for the trouble they cause. It is much more fun that just saying, "I restock supplies and perform shows for the two weeks we are in the city."

What I am saying is try to make each character feel special. Give them motivation beyond killing everything in the next dungeon. And, let the DM know what your character wants to do, even if he warps it and sticks you with 4 little brats.