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Have a good night John.


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Not that kind of good night! ~puts my scales back on~


Sharoth wrote:

I figured that someone here might be interested in this.

Humble Bundle Old School RPG Bundle

I figure that it is worth the $20 for the whole bundle.

Cool!

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:

Kamelot's one of those bands that you immediately want to turn off the moment one of their songs comes on...

...unless they're performing with a guest artist, in which case they're amazing.

They're really one of the weirdest bands ever. How can you be SO bad when you're performing on your own, but SO good when performing with anyone else?

I know a few bands who are pretty mediocre with their songs. But are utterly amazing live.

Scarab Sages

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On the topic of gift giving, it was my father's birthday yesterday. I'm visiting him this weekend.

What do you give a man in his early sixties? He generally doesnt want gifts. He hates fathers day because of the useless gift giving.
So I'm just going to get him a bag of apples, because he loves eating those.


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We had the big final fight of book 3 of Ruins of Azlant last night (after a frantic call to Goth Bard because I'd lost Nobody's Home Phone number, so NH could help with a spell rules clarification).

Spoiler:

Teensy Valeros's cleric, since his domain is Exploration, has an ability called "Door Sight": You can lay your hand upon any surface and see what is on the other side, as if using clairvoyance. Using this power takes 1 minute, during which time you must be touching the surface you want to see through. You can keep looking for as long as 10 minutes with each use of this power, but must touch the surface and take no other action the entire time. The surface cannot be thicker than 6 inches plus 1 inch per cleric level you possess. You can use this power a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

And since Val can read really well now and is tracking his own spells and resources in his binder during our sessions (once again, let's hear it for the beauty of pharmaceuticals), he insisted he use this ability before opening the door for the boss fight.
But what was on the other side of the door was not the actual monster, but an illusion spell that *looked* like the monster, who was hiding.


It was a little disappointing. The PCs are supposed to be level 10 going into it, but they weren't quite there and I just ran with it anyway, figuring they'd probably survive. The problem is, the way the encounter is written handicaps the monster. Hobbles it, really. Which I didn't understand until it was kinda too late. WW said that next time, I should just max out the monster and let it do everything it can do, regardless of what the book says.


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Woran wrote:

On the topic of gift giving, it was my father's birthday yesterday. I'm visiting him this weekend.

What do you give a man in his early sixties? He generally doesnt want gifts. He hates fathers day because of the useless gift giving.
So I'm just going to get him a bag of apples, because he loves eating those.

I think that's perfect.


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lisamarlene wrote:

We had the big final fight of book 3 of Ruins of Azlant last night (after a frantic call to Goth Bard because I'd lost Nobody's Home Phone number, so NH could help with a spell rules clarification).

** spoiler omitted **
It was a little disappointing. The PCs are supposed to be level 10 going into it, but they weren't quite there and I just ran with it anyway, figuring they'd probably survive. The problem is, the way the encounter is written handicaps the monster. Hobbles it, really. Which I didn't understand until it was kinda too late. WW said that next time, I should just max out the monster and let it do everything it can do, regardless of what the book says.

*clears throat*

*looks side to side*

I agree with WW, to an extent.

*understands he doesn't know WW personally and has had no communications with him, just going off everything he's heard about WW's playing habits from NH and LM, finds himself in the rare position of agreeing with WW on one of these*

*realizes he's going into 3rd person for no real reason*

*continues anyway*

With the caveat that I tend to DM some higher-powered campaigns (not necessarily higher level, but my house rules tend to inflate PC survivability a touch and give people a reason to not stand anywhere near a martial character), I have no issue with maxing out every single creature's HP throughout the campaign. Sometimes it means fights with mooks take longer than you want, and sometimes it makes absolutely no difference what-so-ever. But my players know that I do this and they fully realize that this is the only real rules advantage that I give to the baddies that I don't give to the PCs.

As far as letting the big bad do anything the big bad is capable of doing regardless of what the book says...yes and no...and for me the difference is going to be due to your audience. For WW, sure, he can generally handle the idea that there's a good possibility of throwing the character sheet through the shredder if you go no-holds-barred with the big bad. Are the kids ready for that yet? Are they able to handle the possibility of their characters getting killed before they've even had the opportunity to take an action? Make a big bad that is, for all intents and purposes, unable to be hit with their normal tactics and they aren't completely ready to come up with something new on the fly? I mean, I've ran into plenty of adults who genuinely feel that this kind of stuff is unfair to their characters, and sometimes it can be.

I haven't read that particular section of Ruins of Azlant yet, so I don't know what the ramifications of pulling no punches really would be with that specific encounter, but as a general rule I simply question what kids in their first campaign are going to be ok with versus what Dad is going to be ok with.

My campaign with Zelda's two younger kids with that campaign has kind of stalled due to various reasons.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Sharoth wrote:

I figured that someone here might be interested in this.

Humble Bundle Old School RPG Bundle

I figure that it is worth the $20 for the whole bundle.

Cool!

Stone me, that's good value, and just my sort of thing. Bought!


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Since LM didn't spoiler, I won't, but she told me what the monster was, and it's one of the most overrated monsters in the game; every time I've run one I've wondered, "How did this pathetic thing get such a high CR?"

So given that it's already an over-CRed monster, hobbling it on top of that is just sad.

What I find really interesting is that Shiro's been giving us CR or CR+1 encounters throughout his campaign and they've actually been hard fights with him using the creatures right out of the book. I think it's just giving them decent tactics and good terrain instead of typical AP nonsense ("The PCs open the door to find an arcane caster in a 10'x10' room").

I'm not surprised her fight was a walkover. Totally overrated monsters.


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Vanykrye wrote:
lisamarlene wrote:

We had the big final fight of book 3 of Ruins of Azlant last night (after a frantic call to Goth Bard because I'd lost Nobody's Home Phone number, so NH could help with a spell rules clarification).

** spoiler omitted **
It was a little disappointing. The PCs are supposed to be level 10 going into it, but they weren't quite there and I just ran with it anyway, figuring they'd probably survive. The problem is, the way the encounter is written handicaps the monster. Hobbles it, really. Which I didn't understand until it was kinda too late. WW said that next time, I should just max out the monster and let it do everything it can do, regardless of what the book says.

*clears throat*

*looks side to side*

I agree with WW, to an extent.

Clearly, Vany has been replaced by a pod person.

loads shotgun

WHERE'S THE REAL VANY, YOU NO-BELLY-BUTTON-HAVING BASTARD! ME AND REAL VANY NEED TO GET RIBS(or whatever they serve at that place he was talking about)!!!

More seriously, its WW. Give the monsters a combination of steroids and aggression issues and he'll be happy.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.


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Hello Paizo, long time no see!

While I've been gone I've started a Leadership Club with some local peeps (gotta prep for Sunday's meeting...), and I've finished the Wheel of Time! Don't know if I'll like the TV adaptation, but looking forward to trying their feminine focus.

What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?


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I've been replaced by a pod person, apparently.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.

They're great puppet masters and being behind-the-scenes villains. Once they're actually in real physical danger, it just doesn't go well for them.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?

We have a new house! Eastmark, Ray and Signal Butte. We should have you over!


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Hello Paizo, long time no see!

While I've been gone I've started a Leadership Club with some local peeps (gotta prep for Sunday's meeting...), and I've finished the Wheel of Time! Don't know if I'll like the TV adaptation, but looking forward to trying their feminine focus.

What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?

I lost my hammer, like yesterday, so that's still pretty fresh.


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Vanykrye wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.
They're great puppet masters and being behind-the-scenes villains. Once they're actually in real physical danger, it just doesn't go well for them.

You want to know who else makes a good puppetmaster?

Vampires!

And, they have the added benefit of not sucking.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Hello Paizo, long time no see!

While I've been gone I've started a Leadership Club with some local peeps (gotta prep for Sunday's meeting...), and I've finished the Wheel of Time! Don't know if I'll like the TV adaptation, but looking forward to trying their feminine focus.

What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?

Very little, Mr. Mushnik.


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Allen Frog, Vampire Hunter wrote:
Vanykrye wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.
They're great puppet masters and being behind-the-scenes villains. Once they're actually in real physical danger, it just doesn't go well for them.

You want to know who else makes a good puppetmaster?

Vampires!

And, they have the added benefit of not sucking.

Actually vampires tend to suck a lot. If they don't, they rarely end being enemies...


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No aboleths in Starfinder.

Just saying.


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Hello, everyone.

Supposed to rain heavily here. Stupid clouds, stealing all my Sunshine.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
lisamarlene wrote:
Woran wrote:

On the topic of gift giving, it was my father's birthday yesterday. I'm visiting him this weekend.

What do you give a man in his early sixties? He generally doesnt want gifts. He hates fathers day because of the useless gift giving.
So I'm just going to get him a bag of apples, because he loves eating those.

I think that's perfect.

Yeah, NHs comments about gifts really rang home. I'd like to give my dad a gift. Because I love him.

But thing he needs are either so mundane (groceries), or expensive/too specifik. I know he needs a new chainsaw chain for cutting his firewood. But his chainsaw is an older model and only takes specific types.

Luckily we're all very down to earth and just giving him groceries works perfect as a gift.

Scarab Sages

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Starship Captain Yesterday wrote:

No aboleths in Starfinder.

Just saying.

That is what they want you to think anyway


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captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.

I think the Jacobsaurus favors them, which would be why they're so predominant in Golarion's history.

I don't mind aboleths, but I think they're weaksauce lore-wise. They need to be much more alien in mindset and motivations, but they come off as infighting/squabbling, non-Xanatos-gambit-y, over-hyped, too mundane baddies, like the Dunning-Kruger version of Mythos lite.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.
I think the Jacobsaurus favors them, which would be why they're so predominant in Golarion's history.

I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with him being co-author of one of the best 3.5 edition books, Lords Of Madness...

Quote:
I don't mind aboleths, but I think they're weaksauce lore-wise. They need to be much more alien in mindset and motivations, but they come off as infighting/squabbling, non-Xanatos-gambit-y, over-hyped, too mundane baddies, like the Dunning-Kruger version of Mythos lite.

Their illusion abilities don't really feel like something fitting eldritch abomination out of time. Effective use of illusions requires familiarity with the intended subjects and a degree of mutual understanding that contradicts their ancient nature.

Their mucus and slime feel like a weak prank versions of abominable transformations that an elder being could impose on a humanoid.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of aboleths, why Paizo has such a hard on for them, I'll never understand.

in the Freehold! Campaign Setting, aboleths are one of the few creations of the god Surrusus. Originally created to soothe his loneliness, they are almost as hideous as he is, and just as maliciously intelligent. They would be a greater threat to the world, however they are painfully aware that they cannot exist outside of their environment.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Hello Paizo, long time no see!

While I've been gone I've started a Leadership Club with some local peeps (gotta prep for Sunday's meeting...), and I've finished the Wheel of Time! Don't know if I'll like the TV adaptation, but looking forward to trying their feminine focus.

What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?

HEY MAN!


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One of my proud moments as a GM was to have the kids in the Serpent's Skull game consider an aboleth a recurring, significant menace, when really all I did was run him to run like heck and hide behind illusions whenever they saw him, because otherwise they would have one-rounded him.


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NobodysHome wrote:

One of my proud moments as a GM was to have the kids in the Serpent's Skull game consider an aboleth a recurring, significant menace, when really all I did was run him to run like heck and hide behind illusions whenever they saw him, because otherwise they would have one-rounded him.

I had a character one-round him when they cornered that guy i a gift, but he was just so daggum irritating before he remains one of the more memorable fights from that book to this day because of illusions.

I think Drejk is spot on about their mechanics - the idea of the creature is so much superior to their mechanical representation that it’s hard to make them work right.

I think their abilities could be entirely worthwhile, but their set in a setting and among creature that outstrip them on most comparisons. Illsuiosns can be beaten by low grade spells, for example. Yet, hypothetically, one could imitate about half of what happened in the Cthulhu battle with one (and now, of course, I want one named “Khuth-huu’luu” with an amphibious flesh guardian golem suit it sits/beds itself atop with little slimy wings - BAM, book recreated! ... well, almost) but it’s lack of compulsion or options does hamper it significantly.

I also think that if they expanded a few of its treatments into full-fledge advice their abilities might come off better. Tying lore directly to these would be good, too, as Amby suggested.

Basically, I think they’re fine, they’re just not used quite in the way they should be - or at least they don’t feel like they’re being used quite int the way they should be. Compare to the mindflayers - those were creepy because they were inherently antithetical by nature - they eat your brain because they need to. Aboleths are just slimy jerks you want to avoid.

It also helps that mjndflayers are slavers... but they lack domination abilities. Instead they use their charm power and natural diplomacy to make you like it and agree to unreasonable demands.

Also, you know, they gotta eat your brain at some point. So that’s just looking over you while you are best buds.

EDIT- ugh; keep accidentally submitting this before I’m done.


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Well, I wasn't around between AD&D (which I quit in disgust) up through 3.5, so I'm sure they had good reason to do so, but:

(1) Introducing Protection from Evil as catchall immunity to ALL charms, compulsions, and dominates flung by evil critters, and
(2) getting rid of the whole, "Illusions can damage you if you fail your save"

turn aboleths from terrifying monstrosities into running jokes. I wonder whether aboleths predate those rule changes?

EDIT: I did ask for advice on how to make them more effective, and one of my favorite bits was, "Have it dig a pit and put an illusion over the pit so that the PCs fall into it."
In other words, turn my CR 7+ aboleth into a CR 1/2 aquatic kobold. If that's what it takes to make them effective, they are sad indeed.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Well, I wasn't around between AD&D (which I quit in disgust) up through 3.5, so I'm sure they had good reason to do so, but:

(1) Introducing Protection from Evil as catchall immunity to ALL charms, compulsions, and dominates flung by evil critters, and
(2) getting rid of the whole, "Illusions can damage you if you fail your save"

turn aboleths from terrifying monstrosities into running jokes. I wonder whether aboleths predate those rule changes?

EDIT: I did ask for advice on how to make them more effective, and one of my favorite bits was, "Have it dig a pit and put an illusion over the pit so that the PCs fall into it."
In other words, turn my CR 7+ aboleth into a CR 1/2 aquatic kobold. If that's what it takes to make them effective, they are sad indeed.

Pretty sure I remember a picture of an aboleth in my 2nd Ed Monster Manual.


EDIT: ninja’d by Vany; the below was in response to NH

Hah! That might have come from me.

The illusions don’t do damage thing is potentially quite frustrating, yeah.

The fact that they have so few indirect options for damage. It was funny - the biggest danger was the part that was done by its enslaved oracle setting traps and undead that it hid everywhere, and it was predominately the fact that it was hidden, as it wasn’t too deadly on its own.

In some way that makes it an ideal mastermind, but in others it’s just a little sad - I don’t think I’ve ever really seen its dominate ability properly used in an adventure. Realistically, they should have 30 creatures dominated in short order over ten days and thus be followed by at least thirty guards at all times. In practice they’re usually alone or with one or two jerks, and that’s about it.

Shadow Lodge

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Vanykrye wrote:
(can't remember the 2nd female singer's name - the one between Tarja and Floor - but it was back then)

Annette.

Also I'm with Scint, Kamelot is easily one of my Top 10 groups of all time in the symphonic and power metal subgenres.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've never heard of them.

I diverged from metal into punk, grunge and hip hop fairly early though.


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I have an Opinion.

My Opinion is: grunge is still metal.

In other news, I have had Turkish food and a nice pint of mild, so I feel alright.

Shadow Lodge

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captain yesterday wrote:

I've never heard of them.

I diverged from metal into punk, grunge and hip hop fairly early though.

All three of which are genres I just don't care for.

I moved from American rock and metal to European metal to power/speed/symphonic metal instead.


NH (and/or anyone else): I’m thinking about a formula, but I’ve forgotten the name of it... and the math of it...

The basic problem is such:

I can create a single cone of X size (in this case 500 ft., but that doesn’t really matter).

I want to have a single cone “on top” as it were.

I can use any number of cones to create other shapes below, but they need to have a bigger area and to be just as wide as the widest point for each step below the one above and be solid from below.

As an example, I can’t stack a cone on top of another cone. I can stack it on top of four cones: three in a tight triangle and a fourth inverted and fitting the previous three (as an example - I’m pretty sure that’s the “tightest” I can make layer 2). Layer three must be bigger in area than layer 2, but should be as small as possible.

I remember seeing someone discuss this (rather, something like it - I think they used pyramids) once in a geometry class I took, but geometry (like chemistry) was always super annoying to me, soooooo... I don’t think I’ve ever used this since.

Is there a simple formula you know? Or will I have to just do really annoying shape work?

(I’m going to about 60k feet - so one-hundred twenty iteratives - I’m just hoping for a non-manual way to tell me how many I’ll have by then; In an effort to prevent widening, I’m cheating a bit, and allowing “increasing stacking” - so I can actually use the filled in triangle of section 2 twice; use the square I got for section 3 [made of four cones with a cone in the middle] thrice, and so on. Fundamentally, however, that shouldn’t change the basic formula beyond regular adjustments. Though given my current state of mind, I dunno, guys. I might just epic fail.)


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Tacticslion wrote:

NH (and/or anyone else): I’m thinking about a formula, but I’ve forgotten the name of it... and the math of it...

The basic problem is such:

I can create a single cone of X size (in this case 500 ft., but that doesn’t really matter).

I want to have a single cone “on top” as it were.

I can use any number of cones to create other shapes below, but they need to have a bigger area and to be just as wide as the widest point for each step below the one above and be solid from below.

As an example, I can’t stack a cone on top of another cone. I can stack it on top of four cones: three in a tight triangle and a fourth inverted and fitting the previous three (as an example - I’m pretty sure that’s the “tightest” I can make layer 2). Layer three must be bigger in area than layer 2, but should be as small as possible.

I remember seeing someone discuss this (rather, something like it - I think they used pyramids) once in a geometry class I took, but geometry (like chemistry) was always super annoying to me, soooooo... I don’t think I’ve ever used this since.

Is there a simple formula you know? Or will I have to just do really annoying shape work?

(I’m going to about 60k feet - so one-hundred twenty iteratives - I’m just hoping for a non-manual way to tell me how many I’ll have by then; In an effort to prevent widening, I’m cheating a bit, and allowing “increasing stacking” - so I can actually use the filled in triangle of section 2 twice; use the square I got for section 3 [made of four cones with a cone in the middle] thrice, and so on. Fundamentally, however, that shouldn’t change the basic formula beyond regular adjustments. Though given my current state of mind, I dunno, guys. I might just epic fail.)

He's speaking in tongues, again.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
What happened to everyone here in the past couple months?
We have a new house! Eastmark, Ray and Signal Butte. We should have you over!

Wooo, congrats! I'll drop you a line, probably next week, unless you beat me to it!


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Captain Thor wrote:
I lost my hammer, like yesterday, so that's still pretty fresh.
Vanykrye wrote:
I've been replaced by a pod person, apparently.

So Cap has lost the one weapon capable of defeating extraterrestrial vegetables at the same time Vany becomes one...

Coincidence? I think not.


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About to clock out. Good night, everyone.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Acording to wikipedia aboleths firs appeared indwellers of the forbidden city


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Woran wrote:
Acording to wikipedia aboleths firs appeared indwellers of the forbidden city

I didn't get a chance to look at my earlier books last night before heading to Zelda's.

We're taking the kids to House on the Rock today. For American Gods fans, yes, the place really exists.

EDIT: But 1980 is when I first started playing D&D. My cousin and high school friends never used them, so I don't have any memory of them until much later.


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My girlfriend wanted us to try some kinky stuff, and asked me for me safe word. I said it was "Meatloaf", because that means "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that."


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Captain Yesterday, FaWtL 6 News wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

NH (and/or anyone else): I’m thinking about a formula, but I’ve forgotten the name of it... and the math of it...

The basic problem is such:

I can create a single cone of X size (in this case 500 ft., but that doesn’t really matter).

I want to have a single cone “on top” as it were.

I can use any number of cones to create other shapes below, but they need to have a bigger area and to be just as wide as the widest point for each step below the one above and be solid from below.

As an example, I can’t stack a cone on top of another cone. I can stack it on top of four cones: three in a tight triangle and a fourth inverted and fitting the previous three (as an example - I’m pretty sure that’s the “tightest” I can make layer 2). Layer three must be bigger in area than layer 2, but should be as small as possible.

I remember seeing someone discuss this (rather, something like it - I think they used pyramids) once in a geometry class I took, but geometry (like chemistry) was always super annoying to me, soooooo... I don’t think I’ve ever used this since.

Is there a simple formula you know? Or will I have to just do really annoying shape work?

(I’m going to about 60k feet - so one-hundred twenty iteratives - I’m just hoping for a non-manual way to tell me how many I’ll have by then; In an effort to prevent widening, I’m cheating a bit, and allowing “increasing stacking” - so I can actually use the filled in triangle of section 2 twice; use the square I got for section 3 [made of four cones with a cone in the middle] thrice, and so on. Fundamentally, however, that shouldn’t change the basic formula beyond regular adjustments. Though given my current state of mind, I dunno, guys. I might just epic fail.)

He's speaking in tongues, again.

fills super soaker with holy water

It's okay, we got this.


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Vanykrye wrote:
Woran wrote:
Acording to wikipedia aboleths firs appeared indwellers of the forbidden city

I didn't get a chance to look at my earlier books last night before heading to Zelda's.

We're taking the kids to House on the Rock today. For American Gods fans, yes, the place really exists.

EDIT: But 1980 is when I first started playing D&D. My cousin and high school friends never used them, so I don't have any memory of them until much later.

HOLY S$&*!


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Tacticslion wrote:

NH (and/or anyone else): I’m thinking about a formula, but I’ve forgotten the name of it... and the math of it...

The basic problem is such:

I can create a single cone of X size (in this case 500 ft., but that doesn’t really matter).

I want to have a single cone “on top” as it were.

I can use any number of cones to create other shapes below, but they need to have a bigger area and to be just as wide as the widest point for each step below the one above and be solid from below.

As an example, I can’t stack a cone on top of another cone. I can stack it on top of four cones: three in a tight triangle and a fourth inverted and fitting the previous three (as an example - I’m pretty sure that’s the “tightest” I can make layer 2). Layer three must be bigger in area than layer 2, but should be as small as possible.

I remember seeing someone discuss this (rather, something like it - I think they used pyramids) once in a geometry class I took, but geometry (like chemistry) was always super annoying to me, soooooo... I don’t think I’ve ever used this since.

Is there a simple formula you know? Or will I have to just do really annoying shape work?

(I’m going to about 60k feet - so one-hundred twenty iteratives - I’m just hoping for a non-manual way to tell me how many I’ll have by then; In an effort to prevent widening, I’m cheating a bit, and allowing “increasing stacking” - so I can actually use the filled in triangle of section 2 twice; use the square I got for section 3 [made of four cones with a cone in the middle] thrice, and so on. Fundamentally, however, that shouldn’t change the basic formula beyond regular adjustments. Though given my current state of mind, I dunno, guys. I might just epic fail.)

(1) I don't recognize what you're trying to do at all, so I have no name for it.

(2) I took the "lazy mathematician's approach": The first layer has 1 upward-facing cone, the second has 3, and the third has 7. As this is an area-increasing problem, it should be represented by a quadratic. Since 3 points determine a quadratic and I have (1, 1), (2, 3), and (3, 7), my initial formula for "base cones" is x^2 - x +1. it's important to note that this doesn't work for x=0, where you get 1 cone instead of 0.

(3) If you want the total cones in a layer, you just have to notice that the inverted cones are equal to the number in the previous layer, so it's x^2 - x + 1 + (x-1)^2 - (x-1) + 1, which simplifies to 2x^2-4x+4. Since we were using x-1 and we know that x=0 doesn't work, we have to omit x=1 from this equation. But testing, we get
x=1 (do manually): 1 total cone
x=2: 4 total cones (correct)
x=3: 10 total cones (correct)

(4) If you want the total number of cones from x=1 to x=n, you have to calculate
T = 1 + Sum(x=2 to x=n)(2x^2-4x+4)
Being lazy, you can just Google the formulas and find them here.
T = 1 + 2[n(n+1)(2n+1)/6 - 1] -4[n(n+1)/2 - 1] + 4(n-1)
T = (2/3)n^3 - n^2 + 7/3 n -1

Testing,
n = 1 gives 1 total cone
n = 2 gives 5 total cones (4 in layer 2 + 1 in layer 1, so correct)
n = 3 gives 15 total cones (10 in layer 3 + 4 in layer 2 + 1 in layer 1, so correct)

So if I understand your problem correctly, you would seem to have a formula for cones per layer and total cones.

Give it a try on paper for layer 4 and see if it all checks out and you're good.


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And for the record, Kamelot managed not to be the worst band on stage last night, which was a significant achievement for them.

Battle Beast started the evening, and of course with Noora's energy and charisma dominated the evening. I still have no idea why they never headline. They are just plain out-and-out awesome, and their sound was the "cleanest" -- whoever was doing their sound board knew what he/she was doing. Shiro surmised that Battle Beast was the opener just to prevent them from outshining the headliner.

Sonata Arctica came next, and it was sad: Technically, they were spot-on: Excellent instruments, clean vocals, and while their sound mix wasn't as good as Battle Beast's, it was still perfectly competent. Unfortunately, for me, their songs were all snoozers, and their frontman was just out-and-out boring. It was like having a Southern California surfer with a Finnish accent saying, "Hey, dudes! I wrote this on the bus ride down while watching the sunset, and I really feel I captured the angst of California traffic, so I'm hoping you like it."

Kamelot started their set with a couple more snoozers, and I honestly could have nodded off at that point. And, similar to what Vanykrye said, their sound mix was horrible. Someone needs to be fired. When the first two bands have a nice, clean sound, and your vocals are being drowned out by your keyboardist, your mixer needs to go. However, as they kept playing their frontman got more energetic, the songs got better, and by the end I had to admit they'd played 3 or 4 real bangers and I'd gotten my money's worth from them. Which is high praise for Kamelot from me.
But yet again, their best performances were when the frontman shut up and let their token female sing (she had talent, but it was like they were ashamed to have her show up the frontman so she was offstage for most of the set).

Kamelot could be a great band. They just need to replace their lead singer and mixer. That's easy, right?


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Well, they already have replaced their lead singer. Roy Khan left for personal/health reasons years ago. Tommy Karevik joined in 2011 or 12. And I did prefer Khan's voice.

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