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Executive Editor

Therrux wrote:
Hey James would you ever consider making the first pathfinder chronicle into a pathfinder tale?

For the most part, we tend to focus on stories set in Golarion's present, simply because it lends to the sense of immediacy. That said, "why is X that way?" stories are also fun, so I'd certainly consider it!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Therrux wrote:
Hey James would you ever consider making the first pathfinder chronicle into a pathfinder tale?
For the most part, we tend to focus on stories set in Golarion's present, simply because it lends to the sense of immediacy. That said, "why is X that way?" stories are also fun, so I'd certainly consider it!

Hmm, maybe a Tale about a Pathfinder Archivist going over the chronicles, categorizing and editing/researching? Maybe even experiencing them if occult mechanics come into play?


Would you want to write a Neila avanory novel?

Am I the first person to ask you this?

Executive Editor

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doctor_wu wrote:

Would you want to write a Neila avanory novel?

Am I the first person to ask you this?

You're the first person to ask for a solo book! Though lots of people have asked to see her come back.

As it turns out, I really want to bring her and Salim back together in a third book, because she's been up to a lot of interesting things since Death's Heretic, which will result in a very different dynamic than Salim would expect... :D

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Yes. Do this thing.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm running an Iron Gods game for a group of 11/12 year olds. Any advice on how to keep them engaged?

Executive Editor

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Simeon wrote:
I'm running an Iron Gods game for a group of 11/12 year olds. Any advice on how to keep them engaged?

Fight things! Shoot things with lasers! My memory of roleplaying at 12 was that it was pretty much all about the combat and the excitement of seeing what monster's just around the corner. Overall, my best advice is just to observe them as you play—if they start getting distracted, skip past whatever you're doing and bring on the next thing you think they'll like. (This is how I run for adults as well!)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

So your issue of Pathfinder: Origins was my favorite (I just got them this week). It was a very interesting take on a paladin. Any interesting stories about playing a paladin from you?

Executive Editor

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Will Huston wrote:
So your issue of Pathfinder: Origins was my favorite (I just got them this week). It was a very interesting take on a paladin. Any interesting stories about playing a paladin from you?

Thank you! I really wanted to show that a paladin (and especially Seelah) could be a champion of righteousness while also being an understanding, relatable person. So often people play paladins as jerks, or at least really stiff and awkward, and I wanted to show that LG can be (and perhaps *should* be) much more like somebody you'd want to get to know. :)

And as for playing a paladin—I actually can't remember any! I'm sure I did when I was younger (I used to make new characters practically every game when I was a kid), but it's not a class I've spent a ton of time with as an adult... which is one of the reasons it was so much fun to write Seelah!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

B) Yes! It's probably easier that way, honestly. There are tons of awesome online publications where everyone works remotely. Just look up cool online magazines and follow their links to *other* cool online magazines, and you'll find somewhere interesting that responds favorably to your offer to read slush! (Some of my favorites are places like Lightspeed, Nightmare, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Escape Pod/Podcastle/Pseudopod, and so on.)

With Lightspeed closing its slush pool "indefinitely" recently I was wondering: do you have any other favorites/suggestions besides the ones above?

Executive Editor

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Alayern wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

B) Yes! It's probably easier that way, honestly. There are tons of awesome online publications where everyone works remotely. Just look up cool online magazines and follow their links to *other* cool online magazines, and you'll find somewhere interesting that responds favorably to your offer to read slush! (Some of my favorites are places like Lightspeed, Nightmare, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Escape Pod/Podcastle/Pseudopod, and so on.)

With Lightspeed closing its slush pool "indefinitely" recently I was wondering: do you have any other favorites/suggestions besides the ones above?

Hmm! Let's see: Shimmer, Clarkesworld, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Apex Magazine.

Honestly, I've been out of the short fiction game for a little while, so I'm not 100% current, but those places have all done great work!


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

Have you heard about torus-shaped planets? We haven't found any yet, but apparently the math suggests that if a planet had enough spin, to provide the centrifigal force to balance out the gravity, hypothetically it could form into a torus rather than a globe. I'd heard about it a bit back, but If Planets Were Donuts by Artifexian had me intrigued in it as a possibility for a location, given the speculation involved. Of course, it is kind of unlikely, but it's fun to think about.

I also liked Other Planetary Systems and If Earth Had Rings by the same individual. Anyways, thought of you thanks to all the love you gave Distant Worlds and thought you might be interested in viewing the videos, even if they lean towards hard science...I certainly found it interesting to consider. A setting with a hot jupiter that has three to five habitable moons (possibly even one of them being a toroid) seems particularly fascinating to me, and reminds me of Bretheda in particular...a shame we probably won't get any more information anytime soon about it, but I understand most people are more interested in Golarion.

Now that that's done, on with the questions!

1) So, what do you think about the notion of a toroid planet with life on it in a fantasy or science fiction setting? Interesting, or just too weird/silly?

2) If you were told by your superiors you could start work - with the assistance of others, of course - on a hardcover on par with the Inner Sea World Guide to cover any one of the planets in Golarion's system - excluding Golarion, naturally - as a setting in its own right, which planet would you pick, and who would be some of the people you'd most want to help you work on it? Focusing on just a part of one of the worlds is fine too.

3) What are three astronomical bodies (black holes, quasars, brown dwarfs, etc.) that you find particularly interesting and fascinating?

Dark Archive

James, what do you think of the idea that each galaxy has a different planner cosmology?

Executive Editor

Luthorne wrote:

Have you heard about torus-shaped planets? We haven't found any yet, but apparently the math suggests that if a planet had enough spin, to provide the centrifigal force to balance out the gravity, hypothetically it could form into a torus rather than a globe. I'd heard about it a bit back, but If Planets Were Donuts by Artifexian had me intrigued in it as a possibility for a location, given the speculation involved. Of course, it is kind of unlikely, but it's fun to think about.

I also liked Other Planetary Systems and If Earth Had Rings by the same individual. Anyways, thought of you thanks to all the love you gave Distant Worlds and thought you might be interested in viewing the videos, even if they lean towards hard science...I certainly found it interesting to consider. A setting with a hot jupiter that has three to five habitable moons (possibly even one of them being a toroid) seems particularly fascinating to me, and reminds me of Bretheda in particular...a shame we probably won't get any more information anytime soon about it, but I understand most people are more interested in Golarion.

Now that that's done, on with the questions!

1) So, what do you think about the notion of a toroid planet with life on it in a fantasy or science fiction setting? Interesting, or just too weird/silly?

2) If you were told by your superiors you could start work - with the assistance of others, of course - on a hardcover on par with the Inner Sea World Guide to cover any one of the planets in Golarion's system - excluding Golarion, naturally - as a setting in its own right, which planet would you pick, and who would be some of the people you'd most want to help you work on it? Focusing on just a part of one of the worlds is fine...

1) Seems awesome to me! And hey, we've already had Ringworld and things around in the genre for a long time, so people are probably used to it.

2) Oh man! This is a hard one. Off the top of my head, I think I'd be choosing between Verces, Triaxus, Akiton, and Castrovel. In the end, though, I think Triaxus is probably the best standalone setting, just because of the dragon-riding!

In terms of who I'd want working with me—honestly, everyone in the editorial department is here because they have awesome ideas. Plus picking just a few publicly would be a pretty jerky thing for me to do. So instead, maybe I'd just have them all fight to the death to see who's most passionate about the project, and decide that way. That's kinder, right?

3) Black holes ('cause duh), tidally locked worlds, tidally heated worlds.


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

Yeah, but Ringworld was artificially created...though artifically created worlds are also pretty awesome.

And obviously, death matches are always the kindest option.

So, how would you feel about a planet that was flung away from its original host star due to an unstable orbit, wound up finding a black hole and managing to enter a stable orbit around it, and tidal heating from the insane gravity of the black hole heated its interior enough to melt its oceans and result in life thanks to thermal vents from geothermic activity? I know, insanely unlikely, maybe even impossible, but! I-it's cool, right?

Executive Editor

ulgulanoth wrote:
James, what do you think of the idea that each galaxy has a different planner cosmology?

In Pathfinder we assume that all the galaxies are part of the same cosmology, but I think the opposite approach is just as interesting! It lets you tell some really weird, interesting stories that the consistent approach doesn't.

Executive Editor

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Luthorne wrote:

Yeah, but Ringworld was artificially created...though artifically created worlds are also pretty awesome.

And obviously, death matches are always the kindest option.

So, how would you feel about a planet that was flung away from its original host star due to an unstable orbit, wound up finding a black hole and managing to enter a stable orbit around it, and tidal heating from the insane gravity of the black hole heated its interior enough to melt its oceans and result in life thanks to thermal vents from geothermic activity? I know, insanely unlikely, maybe even impossible, but! I-it's cool, right?

APPROVED!


What kind of life forms could live on a tidally lock planet near a black hole?

Executive Editor

Dragon78 wrote:
What kind of life forms could live on a tidally lock planet near a black hole?

I feel like Luthorne has probably got you covered there—he's put more thought into the idea than I have. :)

That said, I agree that, presuming the nearest start is far away, you'd have creatures that are getting their energy primarily from tidal heating, and thus looking to things like deep-ocean creatures around geothermal events is a really good start, rather than the sorts of photosynthesis-dependent creatures we're all used to.


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

Yeah, a lot really depends on the story you want to tell, in all honesty. It's an incredibly unlikely scenario in the first place, and it depends how realistic you want to be. But we do have creatures who subsist off of the material and heat produced from our own thermal vents deep beneath the ocean, so it's not completely out of the question, especially if perhaps the planet once had life on it in the past, some of which managed to survive by going dormant, ala tardigrades or water bears, if you prefer. Of course, you could go whole hog, especially in a fantasy universe, and have one or more races who put themselves into stasis and managed to use either magic or high levels of technology when they thawed out to create something they could survive in beneath the water, or even the rise of creatures somehow magically empowered by intermittent bursts of Hawking radiation, lifeforms reminiscent of strange and alien antennae reaching above the icy waters, hungering, or even crazy crystalline life that acts like plants and drills down to the molten magma, channeling heat throughout the planet, with life forms subsisting off the crystal itself...and so on and so forth. Which is best? Depends on which you thinks makes a more compelling story, right?

Plus you can certainly tweak the scenario...imagine, for example, the above situation, but the black hole actually formed from a star that was in a binary system, and its sibling managed to survive the supernova, resulting in a captured planet that actually has some sunlight to work with, orbiting both of them, resulting in some pretty interesting shifts depending on which they're closer to at the time, as the black hole and star orbit the same point in space, perhaps resulting in something like very complex seasons changing...but yeah, a totally different scenario, that! I do like to think about the mythology that might have evolved in such a scenario if intelligent life came about...after all, we freaked out enough over solar eclipses, so what would result in a world where people saw some sort of nega-sun seeming to temporarily devour the sun probably pretty regularly?

But this is all just fun speculation...hope you don't mind me tossing in a few thoughts on the subject, James! Hmm, better ask some questions to keep things on topic...

1) What are three of your favorite real world mythologies, and what do you like about them?

2) What are some of the first books you can remember reading as a kid?

3) Which do you like more, Triaxus in winter or Triaxus in summer?

Executive Editor

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Luthorne wrote:

1) What are three of your favorite real world mythologies, and what do you like about them?

2) What are some of the first books you can remember reading as a kid?

3) Which do you like more, Triaxus in winter or Triaxus in summer?

I absolutely don't mind people throwing in their own thoughts. :)

1) Hmm... while I really like learning about new mythologies, I'd say that the ones I return most to are pretty classic, simply because they're what I could find information about when I was a kid.

Far and away, my favorite mythology is Judeo-Christian, especially the oldest-school versions... there's just something about angelic rebellion, the book of revelations, and the speech patterns we've all internalized from the scripture that really appeals to me. Everything about it just feels really creepy to me. (Ironically, the parts involving Jesus are the ones that interest me the least... I'm most intrigued by the old stories in which humans are basically just pawns for giant unforgiving forces.)

After that... I think Norse mythology is really cool, just because the gods are all kind of jerks who don't really care about humanity. And while Greek/Roman mythology is interesting and I've read a ton about it over the years, I'm going to have to give the third spot to Egyptian mythology, for simply having awesome aesthetics in their art :D

2) If you want to go waaaay back, probably IF I RAN THE CIRCUS by Dr. Seuss. But in terms of novels... I loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, Jurassic Park, the Guardians of the Flame series by Joel Rosenberg... those were all around 2nd or 3rd grade, I believe.

3) Triaxus in summer, probably. If only because I've already written about Triaxus in winter, and thus it holds more unknowns. :) But also, summer allows a much larger variety of environments, rather than having everything snowed over constantly, and it's cool to have that palette to play with. (That said, I already set it in winter, so clearly I like that version as well!)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi just wondering what ever happend to the novel that was to feature Zae, Appleslayer and co?

Dark Archive

Since Triaxus is in winter-mode in the Pathfinder timeline, will it be set to summer-mode in the Starfinder timeline?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I suspect this thread will get a lot more popular in the days to come. ^_^

Congratulations on the new position!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Given Salim's condition, what are the chances of him having a Starfinder Tale?


James-

Congrats on the Starfinder line; I'm really excited to see what you guys at Paizo come up with. Speaking of which:

I know you've said that the Hyperion Cantos were something of an inspirational source for Distant Worlds, but are you familiar with the Deathstalker series by Simon Green? I'm personally not too keen on the way he writes his characters in that series, but for sci-fi/space opera world-building, it can't be beat.

Executive Editor

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Hi just wondering what ever happend to the novel that was to feature Zae, Appleslayer and co?

I'm working on it right now. :)

Executive Editor

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Thanks for the well-wishes, folks! Things are super crazy right now as we get the massive beast that is the Starfinder project rolled out in earnest, but it's really exciting finally being able to talk about it!

Oh, and I haven't read Simon Green before, and Salim... well, he *probably* isn't around in the Starfinder era, but it's pretty tempting to imagine, isn't it? :)


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

Not sure if you can answer this yet, but can you comment on the likelihood of lizardfolk (the ones from Akiton), maraquoi (from Marata), reptoids, sarcesians, trox (whether the originals from Nchak, the descendents of the modified versions that wound up enslaved on Golarion, or both), urogs (from Dykon), and vercites being core races in Starfinder? Or perhaps the centaur-like creatures from Arkanen, the kalo from Kalo-Mahoi, or the thin humanoids with light-absorbing skin from Thyst? I think a 0-HD formian caste would also be neat, but trox could serve as an insectile race...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Rysky wrote:
Given Salim's condition, what are the chances of him having a Starfinder Tale?

By then he's become the Face of Boe.

Executive Editor

Luthorne wrote:
Not sure if you can answer this yet, but can you comment on the likelihood of lizardfolk (the ones from Akiton), maraquoi (from Marata), reptoids, sarcesians, trox (whether the originals from Nchak, the descendents of the modified versions that wound up enslaved on Golarion, or both), urogs (from Dykon), and vercites being core races in Starfinder? Or perhaps the centaur-like creatures from Arkanen, the kalo from Kalo-Mahoi, or the thin humanoids with light-absorbing skin from Thyst? I think a 0-HD formian caste would also be neat, but trox could serve as an insectile race...

I can't say anything yet, sorry! Stay tuned. :)

Liberty's Edge

And while you're at it, why did Aroden die?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is a question that, despite my burning desire to have answered, you almost certainly can't answer yet. Besides the FTL bequeathing AI will there have been any major deific shakeup?

I'm expecting:

  • Huge Buffs to Desna, Sarenrae, Zon-Kuthon, Brigh, and most anyone with the Void domain
  • Minor Buffs to Zyphus, Gorum, Abadar, Rovagug
  • Minor Nerfs/Thematic Changes to Torag and Alseta
  • Major Nerfs/Thematic Changes to Gozreh, Erastil, The Green Faith, basically any "nature" themed deity
  • Major ?????? To Groetus. What does he do when his favorite planet to loom over is gone?

Creative Director

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Gark the Goblin wrote:
And while you're at it, why did Aroden die?

Bad milkshake. Left it in the fridge for like a week, but didn't want to throw it out, so...

Creative Director

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Alayern wrote:

This is a question that, despite my burning desire to have answered, you almost certainly can't answer yet. Besides the FTL bequeathing AI will there have been any major deific shakeup?

** spoiler omitted **

Yes. :)

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Is Gorum going to be like a Decepticon in Starfinder?

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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DragoDorn wrote:
Is Gorum going to be like a Decepticon in Starfinder?

He transforms into an Amazon Fresh truck.

Scarab Sages

Are there any new classes on the horizon? Also are there any areas of Pathfinder you'd like to explore more?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Without going into specifics, when designing Starfinder are you starting from a big picture, universe-down approach? Or are there a few smaller scale elements you know you want and you're building up from there?

How do commercial/corporate requirements for the line impact on the design process? Significantly? Trivially? Not-at-all-that's-a-developer-problem?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Why the decision to announce Starfinder over a year in advance? Are you trying to create anxiety in people? Enjoying all the speculation and requests?

And most importantly, has the team decided what genre of sci-fi stories they want to tell?

Best of luck!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

In City of Strangers you mention that Elias Sayer of The Strapping Lad (and the Tallow Boys) holds egalitarian views on the profession of sex work, that Rosaline "Madame Rose" Merithane does not share.

What, exactly, ARE those views? What are they arguing over?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Hi James

I asked this in the Starfinder forum but...

Quote:

I generally run most of our campaigns but leave the choice of game system and adventure to my players. That said, I'd really like to give starfinder a shot (our history with science fictiony games is pretty poor).

Consequently, I'm looking for a one-paragraph summation of Starfinder - themes, genre, whatever...that I'm hoping will inspire them to choose this for an upcoming campaign. Is there an "evevator pitch" summary somewhere? A broad-strokes description of what the game is going be like?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Will we ever learn more about the mysterious child-goddess(es) of Ankar-Te in Kaer Maga?

Liberty's Edge

Hey James,

If you'd had the radiation rules set (from the Technology Guide) when you wrote Distant Worlds, would you have given the sun a similar effect?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

While trying to find a name for my Vigilante devoted to The Last Prince of the Eldest (a Vilderavn that got "demoted" to a mortal) a friend brought up the Rook.

Which got me looking over the Lost Prince's stuff. Was the connection between his symbol, a crumbling black tower (in chess, a Rook) and his sacred animal the Raven (a Corvus, of which a Rook is as well) intentional?

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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BMovieMonster wrote:
Are there any new classes on the horizon? Also are there any areas of Pathfinder you'd like to explore more?

Starfinder will have a bunch of new classes. :)

In terms of areas of Pathfinder I'd like to explore more, I just finished a First World book that's coming out this fall, so that's one of my bucket list items! But right now, most of my attention is really turned to the other planets in the system.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Why the decision to announce Starfinder over a year in advance? Are you trying to create anxiety in people? Enjoying all the speculation and requests?

And most importantly, has the team decided what genre of sci-fi stories they want to tell?

Best of luck!

Genre: Most of them! If we do this right, you'll be able to play Alien and Event Horizon as easily as Star Wars and Fifth Element. :D

And we decided to announce it so far in advance because we wanted to do it at Paizocon, surrounded by a bunch of hardcore fans, rather than at some convention where only a portion of the audience gives a hoot.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

In City of Strangers you mention that Elias Sayer of The Strapping Lad (and the Tallow Boys) holds egalitarian views on the profession of sex work, that Rosaline "Madame Rose" Merithane does not share.

What, exactly, ARE those views? What are they arguing over?

I'm sure I knew at the time, but I actually don't remember! Perhaps he's more into having his staff be happy and empowered and calling the shots—it would certainly make sense, since his workers are also espionage experts.

Sorry I can't be of more use. :)

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Will we ever learn more about the mysterious child-goddess(es) of Ankar-Te in Kaer Maga?

I kinda hope not. I always saw that as a present to GMs, in that it's something you can make whatever you want!

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