A paladin just joined the group. I'm a necromancer.


Advice

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I know it's an old cliche, but this mess just happened to me. Like the title says, I'm a true neutral occultist with a necromancy focus. My buddy just joined at level 6, and he's rolling a paladin. I was excited to take animate dead next level. Now I'm not so sure.

What's the best way to make the two play nice in the same party? Is there a mechanical solution to the problem? Alternatively, how can I circumnavigate his ire?

Relevant comic.


Since pathfinder considers animating dead an evil act it makes it difficult to play a necromancer in a party with a paladin. About the only way that I see is if you go the route of a white necromancer and forgo animating dead and a lot of other classic necromancy spells. There is still enough spells that you can focus on other things, but this is going to seriously crimp your style.

If I where you I would talk to your buddy and see if he is willing to play a different class and alignment. A lawful neutral war priest with the champion of the faith archetype would be give him most of the things he wants, without overly limiting you.

My group has always gives the first player precedence in the case of a conflict. Since you were there first he should be the one to change.


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Take Animate Dead. Pump up your Stealth and your Bluff. Lie to the Paladin. What he don't know can't hurt him.

Always lie to the paladin.


Ask your GM if he can help defuse any conflicts. For example, he could say that in his campaign world, animating corpses is no more evil than dismembering living sentient beings, or 'smiting' as they call it.

Alternately, ask to be allowed to rebuild your character to focus on more socially acceptable necromancy, such as an Enervation or Boneshatter specialist.


A lot depends on how you want to play the character. If they're respectful - say, asking the dead to come back and assist them, or perhaps using magic to extract service from criminals - it may be much easier to work in. ^^ Don't forget to talk to the Paladin's player, and try to figure out ways you can compromise.


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"This is my friend, Gerald. He gets cold very easily, so that's why he's covered in blankets and robes. He also has halitosis, which is why it seems like he smells so much. Don't mention it, he's sensitive."

Real talk, this phrase is included as a "get out of jail free" for these exact situations in the Paladin's code of conduct:

Quote:
Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil.

As long as the campaign has a BBEG or some major threat that you're helping to deal with, you should be fine, although the paladin might shoot you some dirty looks. Just make sure you discuss the implications OOC as well.


If the paladin has a reasonably smart player, he'll be fine with the occasional evil-ish spell from a non-evil guy, so long as you're all after the same more-evil opponent.

I mean, his character might yell at yours or what have you, but his options are pretty much leave the game or play Lawful Smart.


Alternatively, I believe Blindness/Deafness is a necromancy spell.

Silver Crusade

If he is the standard wis 7 paladin,you can probably get away with a b#&*!@$# story like: "oh, i made a promise to billy, the skeleton of a once mighty warrior, that i'd let him out of the ground more often to continue his fight against evil."

Usually the naivety of the average paladin leads to comedic moments, at least im my experienes.


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Hi tall folk, maybe i can help.

First of all, a couple here have just said about talking to your friend. That should be your first option like..."hey man, i was planning to play a necromancer and you knew it, could you please play something that wont try to kill me if i turn some undeads?"

Your second choice is just to play it. Take animate dead and just use it like it's a normal thing for you. If the paladin rages on just tell him that's the way you use magic. Maybe you can stick to the neutral alignement if you use the undeads only for good purposses (the goal justify the means). And if he tries to stop you just stop the game and show your cards. "i was playing a necromancer and you decided to play a paladin, i think you should adapt him so then we all can play what we want".

If avoiding that spell is not that terrible for you, then focus in other necromancy spells, wich are a lot, or speak to your DM to see if you can create an alternative version of animate dead that uses a different sort of energy. Maybe animating corpses with good energy and say that there are redeeming souls trying to earn a place in heavens? i dont know, just let your imagination fly


I can Sympathize with the original poster on this, I had a Dragon Bloodline Sorcerer planning to go into Dragon Disciple and a new player joined playing a Paladin of St George the Dragon Slayer, this has left my planned build in question now...


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

A lawful neutral war priest with the champion of the faith archetype would be give him most of the things he wants, without overly limiting you.

Well that's a spectacularly cool option. He's a new player though, so I worry a bit about all the moving parts of the warpriest class.

I also threw the gray paladin archetype at him as an option. I wonder if there are any other mechanical solutions to this problem?


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"Fine, how about this. I only animate the corpses of evil badguys, and you get to bless or invoke Pharasma or pour holy beet juice on them when I'm done. Good enough, choir boy?"

(It may or may not be good enough for choir boy.)


Scrapper wrote:
I can Sympathize with the original poster on this, I had a Dragon Bloodline Sorcerer planning to go into Dragon Disciple and a new player joined playing a Paladin of St George the Dragon Slayer, this has left my planned build in question now...

Sounds a little like the setup for Dragonheart. : D If he weren't a paladin, you could get a pretty nice racket going with him "slaying" you repeatedly to the undying gratitude (and generosity!) of local villagers.


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Don't try to fix this in game.

You were already a member of the party, and the paladin joined later.

New party members have a social obligation to integrate themselves without causing problems. They have broken this social contract and are positioning themselves to cause in game problems because of their out of game class selection. They could easily play a religious warrior of a deity without using the paladin class, which has innately disruptive qualities to it.

Talk to the paladin player about this issue, and if that doesn't help talk to the GM.

You were there first, the other player should simply select one of the many other classes that can still do "holy warrior" role.


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Claxon wrote:

Don't try to fix this in game.

It's all good. The party was three Int-based casters before he showed up asking for a class "that's not too complicated." I was actually the one who suggested paladin or cleric. He was the one who asked for alternatives. I believe the phrase was, "I like the way paladin plays, but I want something that won't conflict with the necromancy."

Pala-bro is a good dude. I'm just trying to help him find that workable alternative.


You're a necromancer traveling with a party of adventurers; if the paladin really has problems with the necromancer and how he behaves, he'll probably leave the party, as he will invariably find himself at odds with the party. If the GM allowed this to happen, the GM might have some conflict and resolution as a plot point in mind, but if the GM doesn't have that in mind, the GM should probably have told the paladin's player, "There's a necromancer in the group. I think it's for the best if you play a different class. Have you considered playing either a warpriest, cavalier, or inquisitor?" (depending on the paladin player's preferred mode of play, of course)

It wouldn't be difficult to re-tool the paladin as any one of the aforementioned classes, and if the paladin's player was looking for something that is "not too complicated" to play, I would have suggested a rogue, fighter, barbarian, or slayer instead of a paladin or cleric. It sounds like, based upon the party makeup, that you needed a "meat shield" and healer, and the paladin (or cleric) fills both of those roles. It sounds as though your party could possibly use some re-balancing in general.

Best wishes!


DRD1812 wrote:

It's all good. The party was three Int-based casters before he showed up asking for a class "that's not too complicated." I was actually the one who suggested paladin or cleric. He was the one who asked for alternatives. I believe the phrase was, "I like the way paladin plays, but I want something that won't conflict with the necromancy."

Pala-bro is a good dude. I'm just trying to help him find that workable alternative.

Hmmm....interesting conundrum. Well, one option would be for you not to animate the dead when he can see, then you can say, you didn't animate, merely saw the undead and decided to control them till they've fulfilled your objective and then he can send them down. As the Paladin class states, they can work with evil as long as it is to fulfil the purpose of ending an even greater evil.

If the Pala-bro is as good as you say, it could lead to some interesting role-play.


It sounds like the Paladin needs to take Oath of Lawful Fun


You could also (if a home game) reflavor animating dead to be non evil. It'd be like steel in that it can do good or evil.

Liberty's Edge

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Turambar wrote:

Take Animate Dead. Pump up your Stealth and your Bluff. Lie to the Paladin. What he don't know can't hurt him.

Always lie to the paladin.

What he does know could hurt you.


Kill the paladin and raise him. Sound's like your friend was asking for it when he joined a party with a necromancer on it


Conceal Spell, Angelskin garments, and/or White Necromancer class (for retraining).


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Was there no group discussion about party cohesion before someone brought a paladin?

Shadow Lodge

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DRD1812 wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Don't try to fix this in game.

It's all good. The party was three Int-based casters before he showed up asking for a class "that's not too complicated." I was actually the one who suggested paladin or cleric. He was the one who asked for alternatives. I believe the phrase was, "I like the way paladin plays, but I want something that won't conflict with the necromancy."

Pala-bro is a good dude. I'm just trying to help him find that workable alternative.

First suggestion: work with the GM to help the paladin tolerate the necromancer. Greystone's "Bigger Bad Evil Guy" technique is probably the easiest, especially if the only evil thing you do is the act of casting animate dead.

Second suggestion: bloodrager? It's a full-BAB class with some magical abilities based on charisma. Good melee damage, can be quite tanky, and relatively simple. Depending on what appeals to him about the paladin, the bloodrager can be (1) Lawful Good, but not quite as hardcore about it (2) heavily armoured via the Steelblood archetype (3) endowed with celestial power (4) self-healing via the spelleater archetype. Note also primalist plus lesser celestial totem, which goes well with spelleater. I'm happy to help you work out a specific build with more details about where to aim.


Omnius wrote:
Was there no group discussion about party cohesion before someone brought a paladin?

Obviously not.


"I don't approve of your tactics, necromancer. What you do is an abomination to me, Iomedae, and life itself. But what we face threatens to tear the world asunder, and though I do not approve, I recognize the value you could bring. Limit yourself to those we have already judged as unworthy of respect, and you may continue. After all of this, you will answer for what you have done."

Rodric, Holy Tactician of Iomedae


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Note that the Occultist power "Necromantic Servant" does not use Animate dead, and thus does not have the evil descriptor! Hell it doesn't even need a body to make the skeleton out of, so its more of a crafted construct than desecrating someone's corpse.

I mean sure it creates a minion with an evil alignment, but it is mindless, follows your orders, is temporary, and has 0% chance to go free. So basically nothing could possibly go wrong. =)


Saleem Halabi wrote:

Note that the Occultist power "Necromantic Servant" does not use Animate dead, and thus does not have the evil descriptor! Hell it doesn't even need a body to make the skeleton out of, so its more of a crafted construct than desecrating someone's corpse.

I mean sure it creates a minion with an evil alignment, but it is mindless, follows your orders, is temporary, and has 0% chance to go free. So basically nothing could possibly go wrong. =)

Oh totally. That's what I've been doing so far, having skipped lesser animate dead in favor of false life for my second level slot (me and my skele-bro have been the melee dudes thus far, while the arcanist and gunslinger/wizard provide support and range). It's just that the actual animate dead spell promises to bring me skeletal T-Rexes (T-Rexi?) and similar. That's the mechanical silliness that I'd been excited to finally try out.


Weirdo wrote:


Second suggestion: bloodrager? It's a full-BAB class with some magical abilities based on charisma. Good melee damage, can be quite tanky, and relatively simple. Depending on what appeals to him about the paladin, the bloodrager can be (1) Lawful Good, but not quite as hardcore about it (2) heavily armoured via the Steelblood archetype (3) endowed with celestial power (4) self-healing via the spelleater archetype. Note also primalist plus lesser celestial totem, which goes well with spelleater. I'm happy to help you work out a specific build with more details about where to aim.

Nicely done! This may be the solution I was looking for. It's admittedly a bit harder to run than a paladin, but it's a damn sight easier than warpriest.

I think you've layed out the build pretty nicely already. Power attack / furious focus / who-cares-what-else-you're-effective-enough-already should complete the build. Cheers!


I still vote for the white necromancer. Then, on top of everything else, you can confuse the paladin. :P


Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:

Ask your GM if he can help defuse any conflicts. For example, he could say that in his campaign world, animating corpses is no more evil than dismembering living sentient beings, or 'smiting' as they call it.

Alternately, ask to be allowed to rebuild your character to focus on more socially acceptable necromancy, such as an Enervation or Boneshatter specialist.

The last time I was in a campaign like this, the situation was that the world was going to be destroyed by a demon lord. The necromancer was our most powerful arcane spell caster. We needed her, so did the Paladin. Like when Buffy the Vampire Slayer accepted Spike the vampire's help starting in the second season.


Turambar wrote:
Take Animate Dead. Pump up your Stealth and your Bluff. Lie to the Paladin. What he don't know can't hurt him.Always lie to the paladin.

Necromancer: "They're summoned, uh, xenomorphs!"

<paladin stares at shambling zombies><has encountered zombies before and needs no Knowledge check to identify them><detects Evil><receives +20 on his opposed roll versus necromancer's bluff attempt>

"My brother, I have reason to doubt thy word...."


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It sounds like the thread has more issues with Lawful Stupid Paladins than the OP. ;)


Redeemer archetype is pretty good for supporting getting along with your morally challenged friends and teammates, if he doesn't mind being a half-orc (or if your GM is lenient about racial restrictions).


step 1 ask gm to just remove paladin code from existence
step 2 get gm to say yes to step 1
step 3 enjoy yourselves, game is now playable with no inter party conflicts and every one can enjoy themselves due to paladin code no longer being a think


DRD1812 wrote:

I know it's an old cliche, but this mess just happened to me. Like the title says, I'm a true neutral occultist with a necromancy focus. My buddy just joined at level 6, and he's rolling a paladin. I was excited to take animate dead next level. Now I'm not so sure.

What's the best way to make the two play nice in the same party? Is there a mechanical solution to the problem? Alternatively, how can I circumnavigate his ire?

Relevant comic.

Well there are several different scenarios that could play out only one of them will actually allow you to both play your characters.

1.paladin tries to smite the party because there is a necromancer in it(either dead party or dead paladin either way some or most people will need new characters)
2.paladin doesn't join the party because there is a necromancer in it(paladin player needs to make a new character)
3.paladin joins the party but you cant to any of the things you want to(your character then leaves the party)
4.paladin joins the party you are breaking his code constantly he stays he falls
5.paladin joins the party you are breaking his code constantly he leaves player needs a new character
6.paladin joins the party kills you because you are a necromancer you need a new character
7.dm throws out current paladin code, either replacing it with a new one(either that of a deity or some custom make one) or worst comes to worse just flat out remove it, every one gets along together and can play their characters


Anguish wrote:

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.

^--- This! LOL


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Anguish wrote:

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.

^--- This! LOL

except that brakes the paladin code as written.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Do not target other players in our community and argue about their answers in an advice thread.


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doomman47 wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Anguish wrote:

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.

^--- This! LOL
except that brakes the paladin code as written.

Not exactly.

Code of Conduct wrote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Necromancers got you down? Fine, don't work with them. Work the the rest of the party. There's no divine restraining order in place. Paladins aren't even obligated to punish anybody who does something they don't like--even if they commit an evil act--long as they do not "harm or threaten innocents". Meanwhile, as Anguish mentioned, instead of working with the necromancer, the paladin can work on the necromancer.

If the necromancer starts murdering villagers and raising them as slaves, yeah, there's gonna be a problem. That's the sort of thing that should be discussed beforehand during the "what kind of game are we playing?" phase of pre-game setup.


blahpers wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Anguish wrote:

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.

^--- This! LOL
except that brakes the paladin code as written.

Not exactly.

Code of Conduct wrote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Necromancers got you down? Fine, don't work with them. Work the the rest of the party. There's no divine restraining order in place. Paladins aren't even obligated to punish anybody who does something they don't like--even if they commit an evil act--long as they do not "harm or threaten innocents". Meanwhile, as Anguish mentioned, instead of working with the necromancer, the paladin can work on the necromancer.

If the necromancer starts murdering villagers and raising them as slaves, yeah, there's gonna be a problem. That's the sort of thing that should be discussed beforehand during the "what kind of game are we playing?" phase of pre-game setup.

still brakes the a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code part of the code given enough time the either the paladin flat out cant continue going with the party or they fall either way is not good at bringing cohesion to the party.


doomman47 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Anguish wrote:

This is easy.

Step 1: Out-of-game you come to an agreement that you're all looking to have fun without stomping on one another's fun.

Step 2: The paladin in-character spends the duration of the campaign trying to redeem your necromancer. Not kill. Not harm. Redeem. Every time your necromancer raises an undead, the paladin has a talk with you. He just accepts that you're a long-term project.

Problem solved.

^--- This! LOL
except that brakes the paladin code as written.

Not exactly.

Code of Conduct wrote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Necromancers got you down? Fine, don't work with them. Work the the rest of the party. There's no divine restraining order in place. Paladins aren't even obligated to punish anybody who does something they don't like--even if they commit an evil act--long as they do not "harm or threaten innocents". Meanwhile, as Anguish mentioned, instead of working with the necromancer, the paladin can work on the necromancer.

If the necromancer starts murdering villagers and raising them as slaves, yeah, there's gonna be a problem. That's the sort of thing that should be discussed beforehand during the "what kind of game are we playing?" phase of pre-game setup.

still brakes the a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code part of the code given enough time the either...

I agree with Blahpers. The Paladin can travel with someone who's evil only if they "aren't actively" or "have recently" committed evil acts that offends their morale code. The alignment system isn't supposed to be like this "end-all-be-all" code of conduct that players are supposed to act all the time, but rather it's supposed to be this is how I've acted recently.

Blanket statements of Paladins cannot group with Evil Necromancers is like wading neck-deep into lawful stupid territory. I remember one time I was playing a Chaotic Surge Wilder who wasn't fully in control of his psionic powers, and as part of the backstory and role playing, my character could level small towns by having nightmares; my character was also emotionally immature due to this, and constantly at the throes of emotion in combat, so rather than reduce a target to negative hit points, he would disintegrate them into nothing sometimes on accident (Chaotic Surge Wilders roll a 1d4 when they Wild Surge, if you get a 4, it's like a +12ML boost in damage). We had a Paladin in the group who would chastise and berate me for committing such awful acts, but it didn't violate his code to continue traveling with me.

We had an altercation with the Town Guard once, and they were hauling me off to jail. I casted an ice missile (5 targets) just to brain them enough to put me down, and I killed them all on accident. I even accidentally killed civilians with an AoE attack because I was tricked by an illusion. I caught a lot of flak for this from the Paladin, but my intention wasn't to commit evil acts.

So if the Necromancer is raising the dead from the evil enemies you've killed, then using those to kill other evil things, the Paladin can stomach that. He's not happy, but he's not violating his code. If the Necromancer casts Circle of Death and Cloudkill in the middle of a market place, then uses those corpses for his undead army, then the Paladin would snuff out that Necromancer by any and all means because it's an atrocity.


Sara Marie wrote:
Do not target other players in our community and argue about their answers in an advice thread.

Actually, Sara Marie, this is an advice thread, which means that if somebody gives an answer that is inherently untenable, such as simply getting rid of an inconvenient class restriction that is a pivotal part of the entire class, this SHOULD be pointed out so that the person asking for advice - or anyone else coming here for suggestions on a similar issue - don't think that this is actually a feasible course of action. As a Piazo representative, you should be FAR more concerned with the insane suggestion of doing so than the person who politely pointed out the flaw.

Grand Lodge

My advice is simple. Talk to your GM and see if he considers casting spells with the [Evil] descriptor an evil action. There is nothing that inherently says they are, and one reason that descriptor exists is as a limiter of clerics (they CANNOT cast spells with descriptors of alignments opposite their deity's.) Further, while this isn't a good case of rules or lore but more of making such a campaign work, the Pathfinder Society doesn't consider casting [Evil] spells an evil act.


Hey, I suggested the White Necromancer, which literally removes the evil descriptor from it. :P


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Zarius wrote:
Actually, Sara Marie, this is an advice thread, which means that if somebody gives an answer that is inherently untenable, such as simply getting rid of an inconvenient class restriction that is a pivotal part of the entire class, this SHOULD be pointed out so that the person asking for advice - or anyone else coming here for suggestions on a similar issue - don't think that this is actually a feasible course of action. As a Piazo representative, you should be FAR more concerned with the insane suggestion of doing so than the person who politely pointed out the flaw.

Then target the talking points, not the person. And yes, there were direct attacks on the person.

And at the point where you are arguing with the mods about how they should be moderating, perhaps it is time to step back from the keyboard.

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