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unclevlad

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  1. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    One thing that has struck me for a while now...if you're not in the US, you wouldn't probably be aware of this, but ever since late August, there's been an absolutely enormous push to vote.  Make sure you register.  Make sure you vote.  By networks, by sports leagues, on social media.  National outlets and local messages.  It's been ubiquitous and unceasing.
     
    Not objecting, just noting.  I've never seen anything close to this level of effort, especially SO far in advance of the actual election.
  2. Sad
    unclevlad got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    No one will deny there's that side;  what we believe is simply that the pushback will be far, far stronger than you think.  
     
    We still have outright deniers that Covid-19 is nothing, that the whole thing is a hoax.  No matter what Trump does, his approval rating barely wavers.  QAnon's conspiracy theories are slowly infiltrating more mainstream outlets.  Trump has obliterated the integrity of the CDC and FDA...and down the line, this will still resonate, as even when we get, say, a "climate change is a major issue" report, it'll be blasted as a political document supporting the Socialist Green agenda.  (Conflating the inflammatory rhetoric I'm hearing every day from the Republican candidates here.)  
     
    Truth has already lost, and I see no path to bring it back.  There's no dividing line any more;  there's a dividing Grand Canyon.
  3. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Coronavirus   
    Yah, the story never says masks are LESS effective;  in fact, the CLEAR implication is that if it IS more infectious, then masks are MORE important.
     
    The headline is the type endorsed by the Sales Manager.
  4. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Pariah in 2020-2021 NFL Thread   
    Perhaps, but the fact that the Bills, Raiders, and Cardinals are all 2-0 suggest there's a definite nip in the air down there...
  5. Sad
    unclevlad got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Coronavirus   
    Of course.  The political appointees have pulled this BS repeatedly.  It's the same song and dance with the school reopenings, and probably, if we wasted some time trying to remember, any number of other incidents.
     
     
  6. Haha
    unclevlad reacted to Starlord in 2020-2021 NFL Thread   
    Deflategate 2?
  7. Like
    unclevlad reacted to Grailknight in Auto Fire & Damage Shield Which First?   
    That's great for your game.
     
    Keep in mind  that we are answering questions for new posters here. Better they should learn the actual  RAW first and then expose them to house rules.
     
    Because, in general, everyone's house rules are different. NOBODY'S house rules are wrong in their game but using them to answer questions about RAW always is.
     
    Though I may be tilting at a windmill, I want to grow HERO and that can't happen without promoting the game as published and then explaining the ways to customize it.
  8. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Grailknight in Drain of Resistant PD (or ED) -- is this a thing?   
    This is overplaying the SFX, IMO, especially given that it's explicitly stated to NOT do that.  See p. 196 under PD, ED.  It also runs afoul on the Resistant Def side, because it partitions something that can't be partitioned...the rPD versus the rED (and whatever else was bought that way).  If you buy Variable Special Effects, I could see allowing suppressing one or the other *except* that you're still breaking the Resistant Protection into chunks that aren't normally allowed.  

    The rules are clearly intended to be VERY narrow when it comes to adjustment powers.
  9. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Starlord in In other news...   
    Back in HS, one of our dogs started developing seizures.  Things were OK for a while, but spiraled out of control in extremely short order.  She had to be...yes, euthanized.
     
    The term for killing a horse after a broken leg (the legs are critical to a horse's circulation, I understand, so it's a much more serious injury than for most animals) is...euthanize.

    So, no, consent of the subject is definitely not implicit in the term.
     
    But hey, is it all that surprising?  It is conservative as heck;  it's cruel and unsympathetic.  That's ok with me, in that I think it will do nothing but lead more people to leave the Church.  It's not that I have objections to religion per se...but the institutions are far more problematic.
  10. Haha
  11. Haha
    unclevlad got a reaction from Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Oh, so you're gonna run for office!!!  Seems kinda late to get your name on the ballot....
  12. Haha
    unclevlad reacted to Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I sink into the mire corrected
     
     
  13. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Wait a sec...it can't be.  California's become Gorgoroth......

    Tennessee can be the Dead Marshes.
  14. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Coronavirus   
    With a big heaping helping of "they're scientists, what do they know?"
  15. Sad
    unclevlad reacted to Cygnia in Coronavirus   
    College Athletes Show Signs of Possible Heart Injury After COVID-19
  16. Like
    unclevlad reacted to BoloOfEarth in Coronavirus   
    "Waiting to happen"?!?  Have you never heard of Florida Man?  Florida is an ongoing train wreck, with new trains coming in every once in a while just for sh**s and giggles.  That their collective response to coronavirus is potential lunacy should surprise nobody at all. 
  17. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from ScottishFox in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    But not among a subsection that has no clue about the environment, and views everything like this through rose-colored blinders.  Wild Areas Must Be WIld!!!!  <sigh>  They go ballistic because...yeah, going on in, thinning trees and undergrowth, maybe even doing a controlled burn (PROPERLY, let me specify...controlled burns have gone out of control) will disturb all the little creatures that are there!  They don't even consider the consequence down the line.
     
    I still remember...rather a LONG time ago...pine beetles took out a fairly large chunk of trees that happened to be on public lands, technically.  Nothing was done...so there was...gosh, I don't remember...probably few thousand square foot chunk of dead trees, with dried out needes, with pine sap pushed forward because that's how the trees fought back.  The branches would've been bone dry too;  the trunks would go up like an inverted matchstick from the sap.  So several households got together and cleared them all out...before a major fire did, one that would've practically...probably even literally...have exploded within minutes to cover the entire area.  And then spread.
     
    I believe several of Colorado's fires have similar stories;  getting in to clear out what NEEDS to get cleared out, is often made much more difficult than it should be.
     
     
  18. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Grailknight in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    But not among a subsection that has no clue about the environment, and views everything like this through rose-colored blinders.  Wild Areas Must Be WIld!!!!  <sigh>  They go ballistic because...yeah, going on in, thinning trees and undergrowth, maybe even doing a controlled burn (PROPERLY, let me specify...controlled burns have gone out of control) will disturb all the little creatures that are there!  They don't even consider the consequence down the line.
     
    I still remember...rather a LONG time ago...pine beetles took out a fairly large chunk of trees that happened to be on public lands, technically.  Nothing was done...so there was...gosh, I don't remember...probably few thousand square foot chunk of dead trees, with dried out needes, with pine sap pushed forward because that's how the trees fought back.  The branches would've been bone dry too;  the trunks would go up like an inverted matchstick from the sap.  So several households got together and cleared them all out...before a major fire did, one that would've practically...probably even literally...have exploded within minutes to cover the entire area.  And then spread.
     
    I believe several of Colorado's fires have similar stories;  getting in to clear out what NEEDS to get cleared out, is often made much more difficult than it should be.
     
     
  19. Like
    unclevlad reacted to archer in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I would like complete silence from national Democrats on speculations about who a President Biden would nominate to replace Ginsburg.
     
    There's not a name which could be brought up by them for discussion which wouldn't be twisted to Trump's benefit.
  20. Haha
    unclevlad reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Variation of an old joke which I saw updated on YouTube: How many Trump supporters does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. Trump just says it’s screwed in, and they’ll all stand in the dark and cheer.
  21. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Duke Bushido in SFX's Result Uncertainty   
    Another aspect of the extensive use of the RP, or allowing manipulation of the power skill, is that it creates an uneven playing field...not based on the characters, but on the players.  And how creative and they are, specifically.
     
    The extreme example here is Images.  If the player's good at thinking on the fly, the illusionist style is generally FAR more effective than against a pretty straightforward thinker.  It's the same comparison as the smooth talker using his patter to get past security, versus the guy who's out of his depth, either because he's not got great personal skills, or maybe because he's unfamiliar with the situation.
     
    And it's not like we're saying you can't ever do it.  One of my most memorable sessions at Gen Con was that my character HATED!!!!!! his father.  (Yes, for THAT reason.)  So, boom, all of a sudden, I see him across the clearing.  Grunts between me and him.  So I tell the DM I'm cutting my bloody damn way through those grunts!!!  So he gave me a Cleave on the fly...in 2nd Ed D&D where Cleave did not exist.  Just because the grunts were nothing, and the fight between the two of us was a Very Big Deal.
     
    We were both in the low single digits when I got the last strike in...dropped him into major negatives...and I figured at that point the adrenaline rush would evaporate...so I collapsed.
     
    I might buy the Power Skill use as mentioned, but I personally would say that it's modified by the active point cost.  And if you miss the power skill roll?  The whole power fails.  Spend the END.  I'd also be more inclined to let you do things if you've shown dynamism in the power you're trying to use...like, if you have a single target Blast and a Radius Blast, I'd probably let you try for a Cone or Line from time to time, on the fly.
  22. Thanks
    unclevlad reacted to Duke Bushido in SFX's Result Uncertainty   
    Oh yes; yes.  I believe he will. 
     
     
     
     
    I agree, but have to point out (not to you, obviously, but for the sake of conversation) that there needs to be a concession to playability and "fitting in" with the rest of the characters.  By concept, you stellar core should be completely indestructible.  Now obviously, with enough points, we can achieve a very reasonably facsimile of that.  It is equally obvious, though, that we shouldn't.    I mean, Every combat is going to become "Quick!  Hide behind Star Man!"  or "Why do the bad guys just keep running away from us?"    Wonderful for crime prevention, I suppose, but not a lot of fun (after the amusement novelty wears off, I mean).
     
    I went through this for a couple of _decades_: my very first character was a brick, and really enjoyed the role-playing aspect of the game.  Accordingly, the rest of the group kept saying "No!  You have to play Power!  We _love_ that character!"  So even while campaigns changed and everyone else made new characters periodically, I kept getting roped into playing the same brick.  There are only so many places a brick will spend points, logically.  Twenty years-- and let's remember that this was way back-- college years at first, and single men after-- when we could play three nights a week, and run weekend-long marathons.  By the time I _finally_ convinced the GM to let me just kill off the character and start fresh,-- well, I won't bother with what his stats were at the time, but really:  "indestructible"  and "irresistible" were both accurate adjectives.   And truthfully?  I _hated_ it.  During the first campaign, he was fun.  Even the second and third, he was fun, and there was the novelty of the GM letting me run a character that totally outclassed the rest of the party.  Eventually, I was just window dressing:  I wouldn't _do_ anything because it mean no one else would get to do anything (why roll your security systems to trick the keypad when a STR 245 will _probably_ open the door without any real issue).  And no one bothered with worrying about defenses, because they'd just hide behind Martin Power.
     
    It wasn't until I finally got to make a new character that everyone understood that it wasn't that one particular character they were in love with:  it was that I could _commit_ to the character via roleplaying, and _become_ a fully-realized character.  _That's_ what they were in love with.....
     

     
     
     
     
    I _completely_ agree with you!
     
    However, we first have to be honest enough with ourselves to acknowledge something.
     
    Something related to this, actually:
     
     
     
    And us.
     
    This board.
     
    Other Players.
     
    Other GMs.
     
    You know: Us.
     
    We derive a lot of fun out of statting things up in the system-- characters, cars, gypsum wallboard, 1/8" thick single-strength plate glass-- you name it; someone at some point has sat down and statted it up.
     
    People drop by (here or in person, at your table, at a convention, wherever you might have this conversation:
     
    So how do I build X?
     
    How many times do you see "you should," "you have to," "you forgot about," etc, etc in those suggestions?
     
    Yes; you see a lot of "well you _could_" and "have you tried," but how much "you need to" do you see, followed up by multiple sources of agreement?  How many times have you seen Advantages and Limitations expressed as something that you "need" X or Y in order to model your special effect?
     
    What would help, I think, is that we stop pushing them as _necessary_, and instead, after the questioner has his answer-- say "you could probably combine Energy Blast and extra movement into a single attack using Linked or Triggered so that they go off as one"-- and let that person then decide if this power actually _does_ routinely (like every or almost every use) have any special effectiveness of drawbacks _as he sees it working in his head_.
     
    If it does, then suggest to him _NOT_ that "you need this" or "that" or you "can't model what you want."  Frankly, if I tell my GM I don't want my power to work under a midnight moon, he'll stick with that whether I take that as a Limitation or not. 
     
    We should instead suggest that Limitations are cost-saving mechanics he can apply to a power that he already sees as being limited.   Just because I decide my power is "laser beams" doesn't mean that they will lose drastic amounts of efficiency when I go SCUBA diving.  If I _want_ the power to work that way-- if I have already decided that the power will work that way-- then suggest that there are cost-saving bonuses available to someone who has decided to voluntarily limit the efficiency of his power.  We need to _stop_ saying "Well, lasers don't work nearly as well two hundred feet underwater, so you're going to have to take a limitation to model a proper laser."  We need instead to ask "do you see this power having any drawbacks or can you imagine and circumstances under which it might be less efficient, or even unavailable?"  The work from there.
     
    Same thing with Advantages: we should ask "do you see this power being more effective that someone else with the same base power?  How so?"  If that "advantage" is something relatively minor and derived from his special effect, state quite clearly (and as pridefully as possible):  "Oh, that's something you should just be able to do;  the distinction between mechanics and special effects is the strength-- the cornerstone upon which the system was built!"  For example:
     
    "Well, he shoot fire, so I thought "hey, he should be able to light cigarettes and lanterns, and maybe dry out his clothes if they get wet or warm up his teammates if they get frozen...?"
     
    Instead of saying "No; stop; you're wrong.  I count at _least_ three minor Transformations _and_ a Life Support (versus cold): Usable by Others.  You will have to build and buy those separately--"
     
    The response should be more along the lines of "check with your GM, but those all sound pretty minor-- little "spotlight on me" moments that either won't come up a lot or will have very little impact on the game.  Check and see if he thinks you should actually have to pay to give yourself cancer or provide yourself with foul-smelling feeble light.  These are more like side effects of your special effect."
     
    if the answer is "well, I want him to shoot like a _column_ of fire!  Like be able to fill up the entire hallway with his flames!"
     
    Then we can respond with something like "Okay; that's cool.  You might want to look at Area of Effect as an Advantage to your standard power.  There are options there that will let you do just that."
     
    I know the standard answer to my stance on this (I bring this up every few years) some variation of "we don't do that!  We only tell them what they need to make the power they are asking for!"  Sure.  I absolutely accept that we all believe that; really I do.  But when you start telling him what he "needs" based on his special effect before he even decides what advantages and limitations he wants the power to have--- well, that's influential.  People don't ask folks questions when they believe those people have a lesser grasp of the subject than they do.  Even if none of us claims expertise, the fact is these questions are asked because the questioner _considers_ us to be more knowledgeable, better versed, -- _experts_, at least in comparison to them.  (for the record, this is why I _always_ start any answer to a 6e question with "I'm not as familiar with 6e as most folks here" or words to that effect:  I am _not_ as familiar with it, and don't want anyone thinking my suggestions come from a place of intimate knowledge).
     
    When we say "need to," "have to," "must," and "should" to someone who considers our opinions better grounded than his own...,    Well, that's _powerful_.  It sticks, and ultimately it influences the way the questioner will view the process _forever_. 
     
    So the overbuilding thing?  _We_ started it, ultimately.  Not on purpose (I don't believe), but by letting our exuberance (damn!  I really thought there was an "H" in that!) overwhelm our caution: we get so excited to provide help or provide answers that we don't pay enough attention to _how_ we package that help and express those answers.
     
    Even the examples we point to can have influence on a new player.
     
     
    CAUTION!  I AM GOING TO _REFERENCE_ A DISCUSSION HERE.  PLEASE, I _IMPLORE_ ANYONE STILL READING, DO _NOT_ MISTAKE THIS WITH AN ATTEMPT TO _REVIST_ THAT DISCUSSION!    From the very blackest parts of my heart, THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING!
     
    I believe you were here for the last big blowout discussion of Shape Shift.  You remember my stance on it, I'm sure (let's not revisit it), and I even posted a published write-up-- to my knowledge, the first ever published write up-- of a shape shifting character, written up by one of the co-creators of the game.  It did not influence my stance, but it _did_ reinforce it: when one of the authors does it the same way you do it, you tend to feel like you fell into a sweet understanding of the rules. 
     
    Several years later, a different author of a later edition-- thereby, "one of the authors of the game" created an actual shape shifting power.  I can't remember if he published an example of a character other than the example in the text (not a complete character, though    ), but I _promise_ it would look radically different from the one I put up.
     
    So which do you show to someone who asks "I'd like to see an example of how to do this"?
     
    Remember that what he sees will affect how he does it from that point on-- possibly even more than anything we could say: after all, _this_ example was created by "the guy who wrote the rules."
     
    (Sure, we can revert to "well, which edition are you playing," but even then: there is no reason that _both_ methods can't work in any edition, _except_ for that which has influenced how you think about creating something.)
     
     
    Anyway, already _way_ longer than I had meant to be, but this problem, above all others, is something I feel does not get enough attention nor enough thought:
     
    The problem-- the creeping increase in rules and "must" and "can't"---  it's us.  We are the creators of the problem we are wrestling with.
     
    If only we had listened to Pogo all those years ago.....
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The above I presented as something of an analysis.
     
    This I present _entirely_ as opinion:
     
    I don't like Power Skill.
     
    I protested it before it came out, and I don't use it to this day. 
     
    (okay, those are facts, but the opinion is coming, I _swear_ it is!  )
     
    I personally feel that Power Skill makes the SFX problem worse:
     
    For one, it reinforces  (since it's free now, it's not quite the reinforcement it once was, but the absence of it entirely would solve the problem it presents.  Hunh.  I guess that's actually true with _anything_ that presents a problem, so let's just forget some accidental tritisms, if you will...    ) the idea that there _must_ be a mechanic.
     
    The idea that there _must_ be a mechanic reinforces the idea that there _must_ be a cost.  Mechanics cost, right?
     
    It _denies_ that even if your special effect absolutely _demands_ a certain thing, there's no chance it will actually happen unless you have the right mechanic.   If my special effect is spraying glue onto my opponents, there is absolutely no chance that I will be able to glue a poster to a wall if didn't buy (or, in the free edition, write on my character sheet) this one mechanic.  
     
    I feel that Power Skill reinforces the placing of mechanics _over_ special effects as opposed to complementary to them simply be introducing a mechanic to see if your special effect can be used to do something that just makes sense to _everyone_ at the table:
     
    Okay, even though the criminals have boarded the chopper, the boat full of drugs is still sitting out there, waiting to be picked up.  The diesel continues to spill from the holes Tommy Gunn put in the fuel tanks.
    "Oh!  I want to destroy the boat so they can't get the drugs!"
    From here?
    "I want to shoot my fireballs at the spilled diesel to light it on fire!"
    Roll to hit
    "I hit!"
    "I haven't told you--"
    "Natural 3, Dude.  I _hit_"
    "Okay; you hit it.  Roll your Power Skill."
    "What_?"
    "Dude, that's an Energy Blast you're using, not a match."
    "It's a fireball!  It is literally a large ball composed entirely of fire!  Fire ignites diesel!"
    "Well, that doesn't mean that you know how to make your fire land in just the right place to cause ignition, or that you can make the _right kind_ of fire--"
    "Wha-- Are you _serious_, Tony?  The right kind of _fire_ to ignite a diesel slick?!"
    "Well, it _is_ an energy blast, and setting something on fire would _usually_ require a T-Form, which you don't have--"
    "Yeah.  Look, I've got work in the morning.  I think we're good.  I'm gonna scoot on out now...."
    "It's only fifteen points per die!"
    "Good night, Tony!"
     
     
    Sure; I confess it's a super-simple, overly-obvious example.
     
    But some of the discussion of SFX versus mechanics on this very board lead me to think it's not a-typical, either.
     
     
    In much the same way that we are all, ultimately, responsible for loss of clarity on SFX, I think Power Skill shares some responsibility, too.
     
     
     
  23. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from Duke Bushido in SFX's Result Uncertainty   
    Yeah, he's gonna have fun in the water, isn't he.
    I built a character with 2 diametrically opposite multiforms...one was a stellar core (sort of), the other was solar wind (alternate desolid from APG, always on).  The stellar core...I think the last build was 3 levels of APG shrinking (think 1 1/2 levels of regular shrinking, so ~ 1/3 height)...and around 8 levels of DI.  Yeah...2' 2", 2500 lbs.  Density's in the 250 range.  This is Always On (in this form).  What does that suggest?  INSANE hardness and toughness, getting this material to shift would be...not gonna happen.  Well, he can, but that's different.  Deforming it with a blow?  HA!  So he's bought down to 0 PD and 0 ED, and has damage negation, resistant defenses with no advantages, and a good-sized chunk of rPD with both hardened and impenetrable.  It's kind of a pain to build to meet the concept because, if you're trying to honor the notion, the defenses need to be REALLY high, at least IMO.
  24. Like
    unclevlad got a reaction from archer in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    But not among a subsection that has no clue about the environment, and views everything like this through rose-colored blinders.  Wild Areas Must Be WIld!!!!  <sigh>  They go ballistic because...yeah, going on in, thinning trees and undergrowth, maybe even doing a controlled burn (PROPERLY, let me specify...controlled burns have gone out of control) will disturb all the little creatures that are there!  They don't even consider the consequence down the line.
     
    I still remember...rather a LONG time ago...pine beetles took out a fairly large chunk of trees that happened to be on public lands, technically.  Nothing was done...so there was...gosh, I don't remember...probably few thousand square foot chunk of dead trees, with dried out needes, with pine sap pushed forward because that's how the trees fought back.  The branches would've been bone dry too;  the trunks would go up like an inverted matchstick from the sap.  So several households got together and cleared them all out...before a major fire did, one that would've practically...probably even literally...have exploded within minutes to cover the entire area.  And then spread.
     
    I believe several of Colorado's fires have similar stories;  getting in to clear out what NEEDS to get cleared out, is often made much more difficult than it should be.
     
     
  25. Haha
    unclevlad got a reaction from Pariah in The 2020-21 College Football Thread   
    They can't if California and Oregon state governments don't release the restrictions.

    Overall, tho...anyone else notice several teams are questioning whether they can play...or outright cancelling?  Already?  Just flashed that Penn State has 50 positive tests among its athletes...about 1 in 15 of them.  Ohhhhh but they're gonna continue to push to play!!!!  Couple other schools have reported a fair number of cases in the football program and that's led to question marks about continuing.  Several games have been cancelled, or at least postponed for several weeks.
     
    What the Big 10 did was fold under pressure, as neatly and completely as the Clippers did.
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