« first day (1491 days earlier)   

12:00 AM
(VTC as too broad :P)
DnD generally
You want a chargen app that can support making characters across all 5+ D&D editions?
maybe not all. Just one would be fine :)
Which one?
ummm... 3.5-5? Maybe..?
Im new to all the DnD stuff. Only ever played IK and Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader
12:03 AM
@BESW Sounds like a job for the Pencil(TM) app used in combination with the Paper(TM) app.
@Ben Are you making a character for a game, or making a character to try to learn the system?
For a game
@Ben So which edition is the game using?
I'll find out...
@Ben Good plan :P It makes a big difference. It's probably worth pointing out that most chargen apps will let you make a character without understanding too much about the system, but sooner or later you're probably going to have to read up on the system.
That'd be important. Each edition of D&D has a unique character creation process. They share some major elements, but an app is going to have to be able to support the process your game is using.
(For the record, I'm not aware of any free apps that do chargen with D&D-specific mechanics.)
But then, I haven't looked very hard.
12:07 AM
3.5 as it happens :)
Free or not, I'm not too fussed :)
The whole thing looks relatively comprehensive, but it's unlikely to make things easier for people who aren't familiar with the system.
Wizards themselves made a nice D&D4 generator, and Hero Lab is a nice generator app for computers, haven’t tried their iPad app.
@BraddSzonye He's looking for an Android app for 3.5.
Yeah, just brainstorming.
...yeah, not two minutes in and it let me take a prestige class at level 1. If you're looking for a guide to help you learn character building, that app is not it.
12:14 AM
Hero Lab isn’t web-based unfortunately.
It’s a very cool product, although I never quite made it work for me.
I've always done it manually, so I don't know. That said, I really do recommend doing it manually.
Found one! D&D 3.5 Character Builder
@Ben That's the one I just reviewed above.
It assumes you know all the rules: it'll let you do things that defy the rules and won't point out when you do.
(This is probably going to be common to most 3.5 character builders, as 3.5 is a complicated exception-based system with intricate exception interaction.)
Ahh ok no worries. I'll be doing this closely with the GM anyway, so I'm sure he'll keep me on track ;)
Yeah, most character builders are nice if you already know how to build a character yourself, but mostly useless otherwise.
The D&D4 character builder was a nice exception.
It was robust enough to tell you if you’d broken the rules, usually.
12:29 AM
All character generators need to have their math double-checked.
Q: My question is not answered there. How do I get rid of the blue banner?

FlammaSomeone thought this question could have an answer on this another question. It hasn't. Actually, the latter question is about splitting dice and dodges in Vampire, while the one I asked is about something that Werewolf seems to do differently, or explain differently that all the other WoD gam...

1:05 AM
@BraddSzonye Which sounds about right, since it doesn't try very hard to do those other things.
2:03 AM
@Lord_Gareth I was thrilled to discover new posts in your blog and I found the deli story excellent. :)
(If I was logged in I'd probably give those reblogs a heart thingy too)
2:18 AM
Powered exoskeleton designed for fighting fires or, as TV Tropes points out, fighting "the vengeful, hellfire-fueled ghost of Smokey the Bear."
@Miniman Intended to write "rather than just the tags." Thanks for correcting me.
@Smurfton Even then, I'm not aware of any need to include the name of the system in the question other than the tags
If you've got a source, I'd be interested to see.
No, it just seems better to me.
I don't think that you should need to look at the tags in order to answer the question.
2:26 AM
Smurfton is right, but we've adopted a convention contrary to that in that people don't tend to mention the system in their question if it's in the tags.
@doppelgreener "I don't think that you should need to look at the tags in order to answer the question." Even this?
Yes. Tags are meant to describe the content of the question. They're there for classification. If you're using the wizard tag whilst talking about your character and you haven't mentioned they're a wizard, you'll get confused queries in comments and either the description will get added or the tag removed.
We shouldn't rely too heavily on tags or titles to convey the question we're asking.
System tags are an exception. I think around the time I joined, the moderators were trying to encourage us to do this - mention the system AND tag it, not just tag it. But we seem to have adopted a different convention that wouldn't pass for other kinds of tags.
They're an exception because we handle them as one, but they're not an exception because of it being better that way necessarily. I think it would be better to describe and tag the system always, personally.
In conclusion: we don't have a really firmly enforced policy, but it's best to give the information crucial to your question as clearly and forthrightly as possible. If that means duplicating information in different fields sometimes, that's okay.
2:36 AM
So... I'll not mention it in the future, but will continue stating the game in the question, then.
Not really necessary in the title though: most of the time that just clutters things up.
considering that systems tags tend to function as language tags do on SO...SO is usually reliant on context to pick up language
@BESW So... back to hell fire-fueled ghosts. That looks pretty awesome.
It does.
Also, [takes notes for future adventures].
Have you worked out where the water is coming from on the left arm?
2:46 AM
to those members of chat on a flagging campaign on answers in comments and generally shitty comments in general: thanks!
A mod! I must flee this place!
why? have you done something wrong perhaps?
@Smurfton also, stop answering in comments, please.
@trogdor No, but mods in chat are rare and generally a signal of site conflict.
@Miniman Trogdor remembers a couple years ago when Brian was in chat as much as I am.
2:48 AM
I do indeed
but mostly I was pulling his leg
But yeah, answers in comments dodge the voting system: they can't get sorted, evaluated, or accepted, they can't get improved, and when left on closed questions they make the querent liable to not improve his post so it can be re-opened--thus depriving the site of better answers, and training the querent that quality questions aren't important.
@BESW I approve!
@BESW Fair enough.
@Smurfton See here for a perfect example of how not to do it.
Why has that not been deleted?
2:56 AM
It's a meta-side post, and the rules there are a lot more loose.
@Smurfton Because it's meta, I assume. Leaving it there with huge negative score shows that it is wrong. In a sense it's actually adding information.
Meta sites are for structured discussion that would be inappropriate on mainsite, and the discussions aggregate into policy. Seeing the policy suggestions which are rejected is thus a valuable record of the evolving policy process.
I'm gonna leave this here before I delete it, since I might turn it into a staple comment
It would be useful to note which RPGs you're playing. From the original revision, it sounds like you might actually have your own simplified thing going on to assist freeform roleplaying, rather than any established system, so if that's the case it would be useful to mention that too. This makes us aware of the constraints (or lack of constraints) in what you're using, and how the mechanics and system ethos could influence the player into this behaviour and how those same things can be used to influence them, to whatever extent is applicable. — doppelgreener yesterday
Also yeah discussions and answers and partial answers in comments all fly on meta
3:15 AM
Literate frog gargoyle. http://t.co/XE1obIlSYy
Do you just search the internet for cool stuff?
No, I've established a set of feeds so that awesome stuff comes to me unbidden.
The literate frog gargoyle is a re-tweet from Ursula Vernon, while the firefighting power armor is actually a side benefit of researching this answer.
@BESW Wow, I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention Lensman on the Internet before. That takes me back.
It pops up occasionally on scifi.se.
@BESW It's one of the SEs that I occasionally think about visiting, then realise I would never have any questions to ask.
3:23 AM
It's not often a fun place to be, I'm afraid. I hang out in the chat and occasionally answer a Doctor Who question.
@BESW Hey, it's not like it's in the category of "SEs that I'd try to be a contributing member of if the quality standard wasn't so damn low."
The majority of the questions are "do a Google for me and summarise the results" (like the power armor one), with a lot of "the order I experience things in must be the order in which they occur" and "if I can't imagine something, it doesn't exist," with a handful of "prove a negative for me."
So you're saying it should be in that category?
And every so often the site meta erupts with vitriol over defining the scope of "science fiction" and "fantasy," resulting in arguments like "Cartoons and political satire don't count."
(Seriously, there are arguments that Gulliver's Travels and Wizard of Oz aren't fantasy because they're satire.)
@BESW Wait, Wizard of Oz is satire? That just doesn't sound right.
3:28 AM
(Also every so often someone goes "Eew, I don't want candy-coloured ponies next to my science fiction.")
@Miniman It is, actually! Really obvious satire sometimes, especially the later novels.
@BESW The separation (or lack thereof) of scifi and fantasy annoys the hell out of me every time I enter a bookshop. I like them both, but I really think they are separate categories.
But for a first-book example: The Emerald City is not green, but everyone believes it to be green. The Wizard found it easier to pass a law that everyone in the city should wear green goggles than to actually make the city green.
@BESW I can see your point, but I'm pretty sure they were intended as kid's books. (How recently I've read any of them is not relevant to this issue.)
@Miniman They were absolutely written for kids. That doesn't make it impossible for them to be satire any more than being fantasy does.
Political interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz include treatments of the modern fairy tale (written by L. Frank Baum and first published in 1900) as an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic and social events of America in the 1890s. Scholars have examined four quite different versions of Oz: the novel of 1900, the Broadway Play of 1901, the Hollywood film of 1939, and the numerous follow-up Oz novels written after 1900 by Baum and others. The political interpretations focus on the first three, and emphasize the close relationship between the visual images and the story line...
Adults tend to buy things more often if they can find some enjoyment in it as well.
3:32 AM
@BESW True enough, I suppose. Thanks for shattering those illusions.
@BESW I don't think that anyone would say that Aesop's Fables are fantasy, so there's no way that anthropomorphic candy-colored ponies count as science fiction/fantasy because of anthropomorphism alone. Not that I plan on arguing this.
@Smurfton Talking candy-coloured pegasi and unicorns that worship an immortal who is literally responsible for raising the sun and moon every day through conscious effort, in a world with dragons and bad David Bowie puns?
@BESW Do you happen to have an electronic copy of the notes for that game and/or would you be terribly bothered if I ran it at a convention at some point?
@Emrakul The Cthulhu Dark adventure I ran yesterday? I'll type 'em up for you.
@BESW Talking candy-coloured ponies doesn't make it fantasy, but worshiping an immortal who is literally responsible for raising the sun and moon every day through conscious effort, in a world with dragons does.
3:39 AM
@BESW I learned some of this in a history class
"because of anthropomorphism alone"
@BESW Ahhhh, that's kind of you. You sure? Don't want to impose!
I would personally argue that the anthropomorphism does make it fantasy
@Smurfton "Candy-coloured ponies" is relatively common synecdoche for the My Little Pony franchise.
talking animals don't typically exist in the real world
3:41 AM
I count seven billion of 'em.
it is pretty low fantasy if that is all you count though
@trogdor Wait, what?!?
Beaten to the punch again...
there are like,... birds,... that can be taught to speak
@Miniman ;)
and certain primates who can use sign language if, again, they are taught to
3:42 AM
@trogdor I'm more frightened by the idea that there are birds using humans as tools to master their environment.
@Emrakul No problem.
@BESW It's just perfect for a three- to four-hour time slot for a group of four people.
@Emrakul More importantly, you counted them?
@Miniman Every. Last. One. [maniacal glance]
@trogdor I don't see it that way unless there are also human characters. Dr. Dolittle is fantasy, but Br'er Rabbit is not. Whatever.
3:46 AM
I do still see it that way, it's mostly a matter of opinion
I won't say you are wrong, just that we disagree
At the end of the day, the edges of science fiction and fantasy are very fuzzy and can't be sharpened up without losing a lot of the usefulness of the categories.
I can see reasons for this idea too, If everyone in the story is an animal, and they all speak, there isn't any reason for them not to speak
Unfortunately, when sf.se tries to tackle this, we get a lot of users who feel that their edges are less fuzzy and more useful than others', and aren't willing to allow that necessary wiggle room for the terms.
the reason they speak is because the human audience of the story needs to understand them
@trogdor Noooo! That way lies madness!
3:48 AM
even if it isn't, I see no reason to argue with someone or tell them they are wrong over a simple difference of opinion like this one
Reductio ad absurdum: A book is not a particular genre if its genre elements only serve the readers. Books exist to be read, thus all elements of all books exist to serve their readers. Ergo, books are genreless.
@BESW I would suggest that many books contain elements strictly to serve the author
@Miniman It's a flawed phrasing, but I hope my point is clear.
@BESW Oh, absolutely. I just wanted to make the point that there are professional authors using the same flawed paradigms as the worst fanfiction writers.
And its conclusion is actually true, though from a different approach: genre is a sorting mechanism for consumers and analysts. It's usually totally divorced from the book's actual content. "Young adult" fiction is a great bald-faced example of how genre is more about the consumer than the product.
3:53 AM
Obviously, only the contents of a book would ever have a genre. Paper doesn't convey information, so it will never have a genre.
Science fiction and fantasy are lumped together partly because their edges are fuzzy, but more importantly because their consumers are lumped together.
I should look up while I'm typing more often.
And this is why, I think, people get upset at having My Little Pony in the SF&F site: it's not that they're really so upset about MLP being considered fantasy, it's that they're being placed in the same category of consumer as the target audience for MLP.
@BESW Oof, that was very neatly tied up. Well played.
[bow and a flourish]
The notion of identifying oneself as a consumer of a product is close to the heart of a lot of this sort of drama, from SF&F.SE's scope debates, to GamerGate, to D&D edition wars.
When we define ourselves by our consumer habits, we can't evaluate changes to the product we consume--or criticism of it--objectively, instead reading them as personally directed to us as individuals through our act of consumption.
4:00 AM
@BESW Hmmm. That I need to think about. For example, my dislike of D&D 4e is based on my preexisting prejudices that in turn came from negative experience.
@Miniman Oh, I'm not at all saying it's the only cause, or even a cause.
I haven't paid any attention to GamerGate whatsoever, so I can't use it as an example.
Just that this attitude makes it harder for groups to have objective conversations about things because many of the participants in the discussion equate discussing the thing to discussing themselves.
Consumer identity colours the conversation in nigh-inescapable ways.
@BESW I understand your point, I'm just having trouble coming up with an example from my own experience.
Actually, never mind.
@BESW I feel like starring that as well, but I just starred one of your messages. Stop being so good at expressing yourself! (and making arguments. That too.)
4:03 AM
@Miniman You may be lucky enough to have escaped the cult of consumerism relatively unscathed.
@Smurfton counterpoint: i make a story about humans and elves and adventures with talking spiders in the forgotten realms. then i make a story about just the elves and talking spiders in the forgotten realms. then i make a story about just the talking spiders in the forgotten realms. then i make a story about talking spiders, no particular setting. then i make a story about talking ponies.
at what interval does it stop being fantasy?
(i have no idea personally if or when it does)
@BESW No, I just found one. The gradual but inexorable move for Nintendo from a target audience of serious gamers to pretty much whoever they can get (but 5-10 year olds specifically) offends me on a personal level.
I don't actually know the Forgotten Realms setting.
it's a D&D setting
which is, y'know, massively high fantasy and all that
(which is the important bit)
@doppelgreener Also a classic example of scope inflation.
4:05 AM
@doppelgreener Practically speaking, it stops being fantasy when your publisher puts an "Ages 5-10" label on it. [sigh]
@BESW probably XD
Seriously, I've read some very upset authors on having no control over the marketing of their books, resulting in books getting totally misrepresented because some tangentially related genre was calculated to sell more that quarter.
Genre is an impolite fiction constructed by the distributor and the analyst.
It is often a very useful fiction, but genre is neither immutable, nor inherent, nor natural.
For example: I'm reading a GM guide for running horror games.
It breaks down horror by its tropes ("The Bad Place," "The Grotesque," "The Serial Killer," and so forth). Then by the kind of scare it imparts ("Dread," "Terror," "Gore,"). Then by setting: high fantasy, sword and sorcery, gothic horror, western horror, UFO horror, and so on.
Then the talking spiders alone are no longer fantasy... according to what I said. When the animal becomes a stand-in for a person, with the type of animal giving it immediately assumed traits, it doesn't seem like anyone considers that fantasy. If you start calling Reynard the Fox, Aesop's Fables, or Br'er Rabbit fantasy, I'll be a little confused, but it is true that talking animals aren't possible.

I guess this means that a story about Elves that do not do magic can be not-fantasy, but I've never seen a story involving them acting like that.
These are great categories, and really help me wrap my head around horror campaigns. But it really serves to show how as a genre, "horror" is effectively useless.
@Smurfton Just because a story is allegorical, metaphorical, a fable, contains a moral, or is otherwise a parallel of the real world does not mean it is not a fantasy.
4:19 AM
@Miniman Are the examples that I gave Fantasy, in your opinion?
Are the Chronicles of Narnia not fantasy, then? Does the fantastical nature of Lord of the Rings depend utterly on whether you believe Tolkien's claim that its obvious World War allegory is entirely unintentional?
In Greener's example, while the final story is only about talking spiders, it is set in a world that is explicitly high fantasy with wizards, elves, dragons, and so forth. Does it stop being fantasy just because none of the wizards, elves, or dragons make a personal appearance in that particular story?
@Smurfton I'm not sure. I can see arguments either way for those specific examples. I just wanted to establish that the presence of allegory does not, in general, rule out fantasy.
They both are fantasy, in my opinion.
@BESW yes.
I don't intend these questions to be rhetorical: they're important questions that I don't think can ever be definitively answered, but are nonetheless useful to consider.
I've seen an argument that any story whose fantastical elements can be explained away rationally is not fantasy: the Wizard of Oz film, then, is not fantasy.
@Smurfton That's exactly the point. It's an entirely subjective question. But ruling out Aesop as fantasy solely because it is allegorical is hardly fair if you don't make the same ruling for every allegorical story.
4:24 AM
Oh! I missed one, sorry. No, the fantastical nature of Lord of the Rings does not depend utterly on whether you believe Tolkien's claim.
One of the wonderful things about fantasy and science fiction is that they are genres which definitionally push at their own boundaries.
@BESW I understand that argument, but it's ridiculous. Alice in Wonderland could be said to have the plot - 1. Alice falls asleep. 2. Alice has a dream. 3. Alice wakes up. - but in many ways it is fantasy in the purest sense.
Also, I'd say that works should definitely be able to speak for themselves. Tolkein can claim whatever he likes. It doesn't change what he wrote.
@Miniman Agreed.
For every wall we erect to say "this far, and no further, shall be fantasy," someone will write a story which tacitly asks, "But what about this?"
@Smurfton So you're saying author intent is irrelevant, and whatever meaning you choose to extract from a story is its true meaning?
4:26 AM
@Miniman Wasn't that because Fantasy was looked down upon at the time?
(And then there's magical realism, which gives SF&F aneurisms.)
@Smurfton Looked down upon by whom, and what are you saying the effect of that was?
@Smurfton I could choose to see the underlying message of LotR as "All rings should be thrown into volcanoes." Is that its true meaning?
@Miniman Yes? It can be argued, but the author's argument has no effect. I believe in Death of the Author
The mid and late 1800s English-speaking world was all about vampires and ghosts and the contact zone between the rational and the dream.
@Miniman I don't think that message is supported by the work, given that many rings are not thrown into volcanoes.
4:29 AM
@Miniman Only if you can't be convinced otherwise. It certainly makes discussions in English classes easier.
...I think the "death of the author" thing is predicated on a false dichotomy.
@Grubermensch How about - "Never trust a man with a hood on?"
@Miniman But then there's Strider in the Prancing Pony.
(As I recall, dwarves are all about the hoods.)
4:32 AM
Ok, fine. "The correct way to distract the opposing side in a war from covert missions taking place in their territory is to throw away the lives of as many soldiers as you can get your hands on."
And now we're back to the WWI analogies.
Which are very much a product of the author.
@BESW The point I'm trying to make is that if you reject the intended message of a creative work, you open it up to any interpretation that a case can be made for.
@Miniman So? If the intended message and the interpreted message (after arguing in a group) are not similar, you probably have a bad writer.
I honestly have no idea what book Miniman is referring to there.
Aye. In high school I wrote a well-sourced essay about Treasure Island as an allegory for the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis. It was patently ridiculous, but easily supported.
All of this dodges the central issue, though--as most literary criticism does because there's usually not a good answer in the offing except "because it's fun"--which is why we're digging for hidden meanings in these works.
4:39 AM
@BESW Having just read Doctor Dinosaur's introduction, this seems very relephant
That, and to increase literacy.
The Death of the Author approach is based on the assumption that we're only able to find meaning within ourselves: the work we analyse serves only as a mirror to reflect our own ideas back at us with a different filter on.
@BESW Now there's a mean question. "Why are people so desperate for LotR to be a metaphor for WWI?"
@BESW I think I read that in an annotation on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Any reason why WWI, by the way?
Surely the defeat and coming back of Sauron would work better with WWII (totally ignoring Austria-Hungary)
Sauron even died soon after Frodo got within a few miles of his eye.
Reasonably supportable readings of LotR as containing World War analogies see it not as a literal re-imagining, but that it contains elements, moments, and philosophies deeply rooted in Tolkien's experience of both Wars.
4:46 AM
Any war metaphor is unsupported by the fact that the 'good' side waged total war with nothing less than extermination as the goal, though.
@BESW Oops, just read this. Which is considerably more believable.
Hey, I now have a question for sf.SE: Do the Orcs in LotR count as sentient?
@Smurfton Yep, why wouldn't they?
The Scourging of the Shire is particularly indicated. The hobbits are (even JRRT says so) stand-ins for the British rural farmer, who went to war in alien, hostile places with few friends, lost many of his friends, and when he returned victorious, eager to go back to his old life--his homeland was irreprably changed.
@Smurfton Sentient or sapient? Big difference, usually used improperly.
@BESW What's the difference?
They're definitely sentient, and there's no reason at all to think they aren't sapient.
4:49 AM
@BESW This is something that always irritates me.
Self aware versus thinking creatures?
Sentient = "able to perceive and feel."
Sapient = "capable of intelligent/wise thought."
That's why we're homo sapiens: "wise man," "thinking man."
@Smurfton The fact that orcs make rational decisions based on their immediate environment would be enough to define them as sapient.
@Miniman I didn't realize that they ever did.
Any examples handy?
@Smurfton I hate how this is going to sound, but have you actually read the books?
4:52 AM
No. I've watched the movies once.
...the entire bit where Merry and Pippin are being dragged around by the orcs... ...that time Frodo and Samwise pretended to be orcs to fool patrols....
We get to hear casual orc conversations, debates about tactics and strategy, and arguments over when to eat people.
...the arguments of the orcs over the correct course of action throughout the whole Cirith Ungol section...
Okay, then.
@Miniman No offense taken.
Yeeah, you miss a lot of the WW inferences if you just watch the films. Instead Jackson played up the Industrial Revolution imagery. Which is also there in the books.
@Smurfton That's good, it can be a touchy point for a lot of people.
4:57 AM
I mean, he cut out the Scourging of the Shire entirely.
To be honest, I watched the movies long enough ago that I was wondering whether those were parts that I just didn't remember, or if they were only in the books.
@Miniman The question is a bit less accusatory if you don't include "actually".
@Smurfton Good call, when I asked I was assuming you had (I think because of all the discussion there's been of them.)
I know enough to understand and put two cents into an argument that's not really about LotR, but using it as an example, so it's understandable.
@Smurfton In the Scourging of the Shire, Saruman (who didn't die by falling off a tower, but instead ran from Orthanc like a scared puppy) and Wormtongue found their way to the Shire where they forced the hobbits to industrialise the Shire. When Frodo and Sam finally return home, they have to confront Saruman and drive him off.
5:07 AM
It's a really poignant bitter-sweet finale where the soldiers finally come home to find that home isn't anything like what they'd remembered.
The parallels with soldiers returning from the World Wars to find that wartime changed Britain too are hard to ignore, but it's certainly not the only parallel which can be drawn.
5:20 AM
No more Dungeonscape. At least not as WotC-funded 5e thing.
Hi , I Need some help
@Magician OUCH.
@user11948 Hello!
Hi can u guys help me with a simple Mathematica code
I used it long ago and now I think I might be doing some silly mistake
5:31 AM
Maybe. What do you want to do?
Not to be rude or anything, but
@user11948 There might be someone here who could answer, but you should know that the StackOverflow chat would probably get you a better response.
Anyways, I'm off home.
might be a better place to try.
6:06 AM
@BESW That was just like magic! I suppose that's a moderation privilege?
Room owner, yeah. I'm not a mod.
Oh, no. It's just a room owner thing.
Did anything interesting yesterday? (It's morning for you, right?)
6:14 AM
@Nash076 there should be a movie where the avengers team up to rescue spider man from sony
I don't know the context there.
@Magician That makes me very sad. I'v been beta-testing the web client.
Q: How/should we stage an intervention?

Brian Ballsun-StantonThere is one querent, intentionally not identified here, who likely needs a "you may want to reconsider how you go about gaming." While any individual question from this querent isn't horrible, the pattern of questions paints a picture of someone who isn't actually having that much fun dealing ...

It's not very surprising though, the application is full of bugs. I had high hopes, though. They seemed to have a deent support structure.
I'm not surprised Trapdoor have failed to deliver, their lack of a track record has been brought up as problematic from the very start. It's WotC that failed to hire someone competent to have a product ready by the time PHB shipped that disappoints me.
6:18 AM
That question is interesting. No idea, myself. Would be neat if said querent didn't realize and contributed.
6:35 AM
@Magician Yea. The DMG (and last core book) will be out in about a month and the web client (which was intended to service every device that isn't an Android tablet or an iPad) still can't generate legal level 1 characters.
Ugh. Instant rule lookup character sheet that's doesn't work on mobile devices is just... not useful.
7:07 AM
Good morning.
@BESW Congrats on the restraint shown on Meta.SF&F.
@lisardggY [bemused]
It's the line between "He might honestly be trying to be friendly and failing utterly" and "But that doesn't excuse any of this!"
@Emrakul Here's my notes. You will probably want me to expand on some of it, and you should definitely re-watch Horror of Fang Rock and write your own notes from it.
Man, this question is still attracting weird responses.
7:48 AM
@Khashir Cool it with the comments, please. They aren't for back and forth chatting, that's what this chat is for.
@BESW My thanks! I might try twiddlybits on this, but overall this looks wonderful.
8:15 AM
53 rep till i can see vote counts
8:25 AM
I've gotten significantly better at drawing straight lines!
8:58 AM
> you can tell a lot by a womans hands, for instance, she has hooves? horse.
- twiabpaianlatfwnogf on tumblr
9:34 AM
I wonder how useful a 'flag' for "X Y problem" would be on ses like Stack Overflow
Probably not very
10:09 AM
@Emrakul I'd be happy to go over it with you some time if you want.
11:08 AM
Ok, for those who buy books on drivethru, when a product is pay what you want... how often do you pay the suggested price?
also, $60 for PDF core rules makes me want to return to being a filthy pirate again
Buy it cheaply if your not sure its any good, then buy it for a friend again if you think its worth more.
I'm still rolling my eyes at the idea that pdfs should be considerably cheaper than hard copy. It makes a kind of gut sense, but it makes no rational sense at all.
@Mourdos That is pretty much my mindset for the fate books i just got
The same amount of effort went into designing, playtesting, writing, art, and layout: the actual printing costs are minimal in comparison. The only savings you're really gonna get from selling PDF over hard copy are in overhead and shipping.
(In fact, if anything a good PDF publication has more effort going into layout.)
@BESW [citation needed].
11:19 AM
@BESW Considering the majority of the cost, according to white wolf who sells their books considerably cheaper by pdf... the majority of the cost is in producing the phisical good? yeah it makes rational sense. Now a 500 page core book professionaly produced even as a pdf shouldnt be $5... $30 is something more reasonable. $60 is straight out
As in, yeah, it's the dead trees, printing, shipping, storage, store markups that you save on. But I'm not sold on the idea that that's negligible.
Quality printing adds $70 to this price.
@Magician Oh, I'd never say they should be sold for the same amount, but it's a lot more complicated than the "PDFs are free money" attitude I usually see.
Granted thats a huge book, and the $100 version is high quality printing.. the content is only $30 and thats reasonable
There's a wide range of pdf prices out there. From $5-10 to $30+, for the same type of product. It's different marketing strategies, of which PWYW is one.
11:22 AM
I'm less arguing that making books is cheap, and more that making PDFs isn't a ton cheaper.
And yeah, PWYW is an advertising/marketing gimmick. Canny businesses like Evil Hat plan their budgets expecting basically no income from PWYW itself, but counting on PWYW to whet peoples' appetites for associated fixed-price products.
Reading Evil Hat's quarterly statements in the immediate wake of Fate Core going public, you can almost see their eyes bulging out at the PWYW numbers.
I will just name the products. GURPS PDFs for core rules are overpriced. the PDFs are exactly the same price as the printed books. I would expect... a 5% reduction in cost at least
There's also cutting out the middleman to consider - less of a chain between the producer and the buyer. So, yeah, pdfs aren't by any means "free", but it's silly to say it's reasonable to charge the same price for them as for the physical book.
Fundamentally, it's up to the producer to charge whatever they feel like charging, and it's up to the buyer to refuse to pay the same price for digital and physical goods.
I just get my back up when I think (erroneously in this case) that people believe PDFs are effortless. It's kinda my bailiwick.
This whole post-scarcity economy transition is going to be rough.
@BESW Point them at Onyx Path's blog next time you encounter that. they are pretty transparent about what it takes to make a game
11:28 AM
Good PDF design (like Evil Hat's) is remarkably rare, and the practical infrastructure to support unlimited eternal downloads (like DrivThru does) is nowhere near as simple as people think.
and they are pure PDF except for kickstarter rewards
And lets be honest, DriveThru was invented to sell white wolf's back catalog. WW/OPP are kinda who you should look at for the business model
(as an example... because PDF supply is essentially infinite, and has lower cost of production, you can reduce your margin a little, on top of making the produced product cheaper due to no dead trees, and make up in volume.)
(while we're in example, I have to note that demand, on the other hand, is certainly finite)
When supply exceeds demand, prices (should) go down
11:53 AM
To a point, of course. While the current global market is notoriously unconcerned about such things, one of the sticking points in the RPG economy is the inability for creators to earn living wages off their work. Gareth does quality work that's well-received, but the money he can earn off it is trivial compared to the time and effort he puts in: it's effectively still amateur hobbywork.
The problem is by no means limited to the RPG workforce, but it's an unjust paradigm which is particularly easy to see in our microcosm.
I am pretty sure the only way you can actually make a living writing RPGs (and nothing else) is to have a Hasbro or Paizo building security badge in your possession.
@halirutan Hi! What brings you to this corner of the Stack?
@BESW Someone moved 72 messages from our Mathematica room to this room and I was curious :-)
Oh, yes. That was me. [wave]
Justin Achilli (developer of VtM) has a day job, always has. He wrote the second best selling RPG of all time
(If you combine all versions of D&D and pathfinder into one)
11:59 AM
@BESW And the only RPG I know is the Rutschnoi Protiwotankowy Granatomjot from Battlefield and I couldn't believe they make a room for this.
@halirutan This is one of the most consistent active chats on the Stack, so people looking for a chat room see us at the top and wander in; often they don't realise that the Stack contains quite such a diversity of topics, so they think any Stack chat will be able to help them.
@halirutan Heh. This is the Stack chat for tabletop roleplaying games, like Dungeons and Dragons.
ANNNNDDD Dungeonscape is dead
@BESW Ahh, I see. So you moved it into our chat. Now it makes sense.
@halirutan try Rocket Propelled Grenade.
... I earned 251 rep today. And can still earn 149 more. yup. this is a good day
12:08 PM
@JeorMattan But you know that's only a backronym? :-)
@JoshuaAslanSmith It seams that WotC does not want any software to support its product lines. I can't figure out why
... other than trying to push their videogames like NWN online
@halirutan never thought of that, but fine. it is more of a translation, anyway.
@JeorMattan I honestly didn't even know any of the two names until ten minutes ago.
@Tritium21 that rings pretty hollow
Dungeonscape was pretty bad
see my comments in the 5e room for a bigger breakdown
sigh this 4e question make me sad
A: Are there mechanics for a PC to pull a levitated PC?

Joshua Aslan Smith4e is not built to handle this kind of simulationist play. While inventive, this kind of approach goes against the balance, and design intent of 4e's combat and class systems. Levitate gives you a big advantage by moving you out of melee range, but its at the cost of your ability to move horizon...

12:22 PM
Is commenting "You may want to break that up into multiple questions" a good idea?
Q: Shadowrun 5th ed Drones running silent

ShadowspazAlright so, I titled this after running silent because that was my original problem. All I wanted to do was make a sniper who dabbled into rigging for a couple of MCT-Fly drones. So I figured I need them to run silent a majority of the time so people aren't able to tell that the bug on the wall i...

Can't you give them instructions?
Its a large number of questions in that
It also needs an edit for the profanity
In the edit review queue
That is why I can't review it, your edit is waiting :P
12:29 PM
I just gave the final approval on the profanity edit, you're clear to proceed.
12:41 PM
Note for potential ARRPG adventure seed: "theraputic cloning" means growing new organs to replace failing ones. In Roboverse, it might mean something a little more... ambitious. And possibly psychotheraputic.

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