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3:00 PM
@Shokhet A big difference, without looking in detail, is that that question states an explicit goal: science as we know it, disaster causing mass human death within maybe half a year while astronauts in orbit survive.
 
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A: Enchanting a cannon

MourdosThe system of magic references (pathfinder) has a lot of impact on my answer. Magical Ammunition: Mages craft ammo, keeps them safe There are endless uses for lobbing spells at the enemy. Siege engines ammunition even has their own section in the rules because of its versatility. You could make...

 
@MichaelKjörling And the cannon question isn't "give me everything that I can do with magic in a warzone," it's "what can I do with a cannon, using magic system Y?"
 
@Shokhet The problem is "almost anything"
 
@Mourdos "Using magic system Y"?
 
See the big list. Thats off the top of my head
That is all pathfinder-ish
In fact, when I get home I'm going to pull out my 3.5 Heros of Battle book
so that I can pull out the rest of the suggestions it makes
 
3:04 PM
Oh.................I thought the OP mentioned pathfinder, didn't realize that was not the OP..............
I agree, as phrased it's too broad, but could be made better if he limits it to a specific system of magic
 
At which point, it needs to be migrated to RPG.SE
because its not a worldbuilding question
Its a games question
 
@MichaelKjörling That's interesting, as I understand it HNQ scores based on number of votes and answers vs the original ask time of the question - so that particular question must have had a big burst of upvotes on both Q & A and got onto the list...or something like that
 
I don't like the bit about "assuming a system like pathfinder"
a) Magic in 3.0 thru 3.PF is extremely varied in power. and b) Its something the average person shouldn't be assumed to have knowledge of.
The quesiton would be marginally better off if it talked about trying to keep magic users away from the frontlines
 
@Mourdos So then maybe a brief description of the relevant points of "magic theory"?
@Mourdos That would also be good
 
The problem is that it is still a broad question.
 
3:10 PM
Even within a specified system of magic?
 
If you define it as "pathfinder", then its a RPG.SE rules question
And still possibly too broad
There are two issues with th question
 
@Mourdos That's like saying "how can I do X with programming language Y" is too broad.....
 
No, programming languages have patterns and strictly superior ways of doing things.
There is normally a definitive best answer, at worst, two.
 
@Mourdos In most systems of magic, you can't raise the dead.
 
We have no criteria for establising effeciency
"Its MAgic"
Says who?
 
3:12 PM
damnit, I know the perfect answer to that tech without aggri question and no time to write it :(
 
You can in pathfinder.
 
A lot of books I've read (DW Jones, Eragon) have a system of magic theory -- how it works, what you can do with it.
 
@Shokhet I disagree with this statement so strongly that I can't express it. "In most systems" is non quantitive.
 
I call that "magic theory"
 
Sure. If he writes up an entire magic theory, the question is then "How do I make a better cannon with technology X"
technology X being an explained magic system
That is probably fine.
 
3:13 PM
If I get time this evening I'll see if I can ask that cannon question in a non-off-topic-way
 
@Mourdos In JK Rowling's system. In Christopher Paolini's system. In a whole bunch more that I can't think of off the top of my head
 
But pathfinder's magic system isn't a system, its a list of spells.
 
@Mourdos I'm not familiar with it, so I can't say
.....but if it's a list of spells, why isn't that a hard limit to what you can do with magic?
 
@Shokhet I'd rather not get into a long discussion about how big a list of spells there are.
 
56 secs ago, by Shokhet
@Mourdos I'm not familiar with it, so I can't say
 
3:15 PM
And how many magic items there are. And how there is no real unifying rules as to what can do what.
 
@TimB tip for people joining us now: there are lots of interesting questions that are not on the front page; browse for your favorite tags and look at those. Just because a question has answers, even an accepted one, doesn't mean there's nothing more to do there.
 
@Mourdos As I said, the cannon question does not specify a system of magic. If it did, I don't think it would be too broad.
 
Actually, it talks about pathfinder.
Even if you included only that system and not system like that of Pathfinder it would be too broad.
 
@Mourdos Actually, didn't see that
 
But my main objection is that it is an ideas generation question.
SE is about solving problems.
 
3:16 PM
@Mourdos So then I think the question is fine (given my non-existent knowledge of pathfinder)
 
"Give me ideas" is not a problem.
 
@Mourdos Hm....
 
yep, I think that's the fundamental issue here
 
If the question specified
 
although having said that
we've embraced quite a few "give me ideas" questions
 
3:17 PM
If the question specified
29 mins ago, by Danny Reagan
So, easily repeatable, cheap, portable, reliable, etc
 
Yes, but most our "give me ideas" are not also paired with "anything goes, because its magic"
 
would it be better?
 
No.
 
Why not?
 
so it's not "give me ideas" that's a problem in of itself. It's the fact that the idea space is so unlimited.
 
3:18 PM
Because those words are meaningless without a base for comparison.
An example
 
hmm, I marginally disagree there...those words would help
 
Is a spell that teleports someone cheap?
 
but they aren't enough in of themselves
 
We don't know!
 
@Mourdos Depends on the system of magic
 
3:19 PM
YES.
 
So if that would be specified, along with criteria like the above, would you agree that it's a good question?
 
I'm out of here for now. I expect you people to "Be Nice" and settle this well before I show back up later ;)
 
@TimB Why not?
 
The problem is that "anything goes" (magic) is fairly incompatible with " give me ideas"
Especially when you use pathfinder ( very wide power spread, from making a small light, to encasing the world in ice and killing everyone, dependent upon interpretation and not actually a magic system, but a list of spells )
 
@Mourdos Forgetting pathfinder (which I don't understand) why shouldn't limiting your question to a specific type of magic solve that for you?
I don't understand pathfinder
 
3:22 PM
Limiting it to a specific type of magic should be fine. But it has to be a very tightly defined type of magic
 
Let's swap that out for Harry Potter magic, then, just for the sake of the argument
Can't bring people back to life, you need a wand, and need to use very specific spells. Now what?
 
ignito canonballum!
 
As far as I am aware, enchantments were not used as much. If you go down to the basic spells that we saw used, then you would simply use death spells, not cannonballs
 
harry potter doesn't really have a system of magic
 
It has a list of spells :P
 
3:23 PM
@TimB I know, and I didn't really like that.....I figure that most people here have read it, though
 
The problem with magic, is that it is never really explained. There is no way to know efficiency.
 
Want to swap that out for Paolini's Eragon, then?
@Mourdos It is, in Eragon
 
Eragon, now, I can do.
To a degree
@DannyReagan Sorry if I came across too strongly with that comment. Was trying to make it clear, not aggressive.
 
Energy for the magic comes from the magician him/herself, words (in old language) help focus the energy (but may be unnecessary)
 
Because the Eragon magic system is actually a system. It states that it takes a much effort to do the thing as it would take to do it yourself.
All you save is time.
At which point, you have to ask what takes the most time and least effort to do.
 
3:25 PM
So what could Eragon do with a cannon?
 
Little.
 
the issue with the question is that you need to narrow it down...but then it becomes an RPG.SE question. i.e., "I have a cannon and a level 7 wizard, with X feats and Y time. I need to destroy a castle wall, what can I do"
 
@Mourdos Give it a little extra push?
 
@TimB That
Why does pushing a cannon ball help?
 
however
 
3:26 PM
Eragon couldn't do anything with a cannon
 
I think it can be made on topic
 
@Vulcronos Why would you say that?
 
I'll see if I can do anything tonight/tomorrow
 
The best thing the mages could do to help a war effort, they did in the books.
They made lace, because it normally takes a LOT of time, but no real physical effort.
And they sold it to fund the war
 
@TimB What do you think could be done?
@TimB I might do it, myself
 
3:28 PM
@Shokhet I say that because there is so much energy in a cannon ball he could really add much.
 
@Mourdos Right.....but there was also a lot of military magic that went on in there.
 
Best he could do is probably make it explode on contact with the ground.
 
41 mins ago, by Tim B
whack a delayed blast fireball into each cannonball, job done :D
 
You can do that without magic as well, but sure.
The problem with magic on a cannon is "why are you wasting it on a cannon"
 
I don't think it is wasted
First you can cast magic on a cannon before the figth
 
You could make 50 cannons over time before the fight starts then contribute in the fight itself
 
I was going by pathfinder.
 
Or if you have limited mages, you can keep them out of the fight and safe behind the cannons they cast on
 
@Vulcronos That works, I guess (admitting ignorance to pathfinder magic system)
 
@Shokhet Basically the problem needs re-framing completely, if I had the solution now I'd say it but I don't. It needs changing from "what things can I do with this" to "what are the consequences if we do this".
 
3:32 PM
My problems with the question are manyfold.
 
@TimB Hm....
 
@TimB Yes. That takes it from idea generation to cause and effect.
 
@Shokhet pathfinder is basically D&D tweaked a bit. You have a list of spells at different levels and wizards cast X spells per day
 
And the asker can specify what was done by the enchanting.
 
@TimB I'll admit ignorance to D&D rules as well.....I've never played.
But I'll accept what's written here as more or less accurate
 
3:33 PM
The closest I even saw to a casting system (rather than a list of spells) was the 3rd party Chaos Mage, which made spells on the fly.
 
@TimB Oh. Oh, wow.
 
That is probably less than half the spells :-) And then you hae all the items with "special effects" that they made up randomly.
 
The page just keeps scrolling down!!
@Mourdos Less than half!?!?!?
 
Some are duplicates between lists
Cleric/Orcacle and Druid are probably the most different lists
using a differnt type of magic
 
3:36 PM
Wow. Does anyone play D&D without a rule book on the table?
 
I can mostly
We use the online rules for quick lookup, but most characters don't have access to all the spells at once :P
Also, the system spans from "fighting off bandits" to "fighting gods and saving the multi-verse"
And then there is epic (if you use the 3.5 backwards compatibility...)
 
Oh. It's a really big game.
 
Yes. Super, super big.
 
How long does the average game take, start to finish? (or do the games never finish?)
 
Depends on how long you want to go for
They recommend 4-5 hours per session
 
3:38 PM
most characters (especially at low levels starting out) only get a few spells they can cast - and they are all level 0 and 1 and for that class
 
13 "encounters" gets you a level (by the book), and there are 20 levels
but xp gain can be slower or faster. And its basically as long as the campaign lasts.
 
So .....260 "encounters" to get to the highest level?
 
Some people have been playing the same games for multiple years, some do "one shots" that only last one session
 
(what's an "encounter"?)
 
lol, this conversation could go on for a while :p
 
3:40 PM
An obstacle/problem, or combat
Yes
An encounter is something the players have to overcome or avoid
 
in general RPGs focus on the story - the process - not the destination
 
^
 
i.e. it's not like a computer game where hitting level 20 is the goal
the goal is to play the game
 
Well, for most people.
 
and often you have multiple in-game objectives
but the focus isn't on grinding levels
 
3:40 PM
I once played a game were all we did wasw come up with characters for a few weeks
 
@TimB So.....it's really really big game, that's also really really complex
 
and get the DM to ban something from them
@Shokhet It can be
 
@Shokhet yep - but it does a good job of easing you in gradually
 
@Mourdos DM = ?
 
@TimB What heresy is this? ;)
 
3:41 PM
There is a reason why there is a stack exchange that is dedicated to roleplaying games
@Shokhet Dungeon Master, also sometimes called ST (story teller), GM (games master)
The person running the game
 
@Mourdos Yeah.....I was kinda surprised that didn't stay in beta, like Poker did
 
controls the monsters, narrates the NPC
 
@Mourdos Ah, thanks.
@Mourdos NPC = ?
 
RPG is a massive and broad topic
 
this is a game I'm running
 
3:42 PM
@Mourdos I'm starting to see that.....
 
Non player character
 
@Mourdos Oh. I may have actually known that before.
 
Basically, think of a book that focuses around a group of people
 
I started the game in February - we ran 1 to 2 sessions a week until about a month or two ago where we took a break for a while
now we looking at starting it again
 
Or, say, an anime
The DM/ST/GM is the author, except that the main characters decide their actions (and have a chance of failure)
 
3:44 PM
@Mourdos Hence the "role-playing" part (if I got it right)
 
Actually, a really simple version of a RPG is roll for shoes
Possibly the simplest version of an RPG you will find.
There are even 2 questions about a game that is seven bullet points long.
 
@Mourdos Hah :)
 
We play it in the RPG.SE chat occasionally. They have a dice roller in their chat rooms.
 
@Mourdos And they're even pretty highly voted at 15 and 11 points
 
My favorite lightweight system is SLUG (Super Laidback Universal System)
 
3:46 PM
@Mourdos Nice! Dice roller in chat sounds cool.
 
Its rules are: Describe your character, get the ST to agree. Roll some dice and let the ST decide what it means when you try something.
 
@Mourdos So basically....it's the ST telling a story based on random dice rolls?
 
and what the players decide to do
Yep.
 
Do the actions need to be consistent with dice-roll numbers?
 
There is a system called dungeon worlds that uses narrative elements to decide what you roll.
That link explains SLUG
 
3:48 PM
@Mourdos *reading*
 
" It was years in the making, and contains both American and Metric units for complete user-friendliness." - Hahahaha
It is doubtful, however, that Grok will ever get the radio to work again.
 
Interesting, real simple......I don't have any six-sided die, though
 
Roll anything :P
 
or use an online dice roller
 
3:51 PM
Oh, six sided I have....
when someone specifies the number of sides on a die, I think it's something out of the ordinary
 
The last D&D campaign I was in (which ran several years) was run by a first-time GM. He announced it as a "beat up monsters and take their stuff" style game, but he recruited players who were into character development and story, so we got story and characters. Over time there was the slow reveal that his world was carefully (and niftily) designed, and that enhanced it even more. I loved that. (This is the game where I published an in-character journal, which someday I hope to do more with.)
 
Like the ones from wizards.com
 
role-players always specify the numbers of sides on a die :)
 
Oh man, in the time it took me to type that lots of other stuff went by. Sorry for interrupting. :-)
 
"roll 1d6" is so much more specific than "roll one die"
don't be sorry, interruptions are cool :p
 
3:53 PM
1d20+2d6+3
:-)
 
@TimB farir enough. also sounds cooler.
 
or geekier....
 
@Mourdos have you ever encountered "Dogs in the Vineyard"? This is the most "we'll kind of use dice to inform the story, but we're going to mainly tell a story" game I've seen. Very cool.
 
Barbarians get the d12 for hit points, and the battleaxe gets it for damage
 
in a week or two I'll be recruiting for the restart of my game if anyone is interested
 
3:55 PM
Turns out that the Paizo (who make pathfinder), don't understand the term ally as definded by themselves.
Ally includes the person using the ability or spell.
 
@Mourdos Spell-caster is his own ally? ....that's what I understood from that.
 
So an ability that reads "whenever you score a critical hit in combat, your allies can all make an attack of opportunity" is more amusing
@Shokhet yes
We manged to make a character who triggered his own attacks about 13 times in a row
Had a lot of luck
but was hilarious
It isn't supposed to work like that, we are pretty sure
 
I can imagine a bunch of people thought that wasn't very fair
 
Well, all the players enjoyed it
 
Then it's completely fair :)
 
3:58 PM
The big monster that took almost 400 damage wasn't (the damage of the players weapon averaged about 20-28)
The monster being run by the DM
And then to add insult to injury, I put it to sleep
Boss fight, eh?
( That wasn't "I put the dog to sleep" that was literally, I made it fall asleep. )
 
Save or suck for the win
 
 
2 hours later…
6:28 PM
Hi. The "what is your process for creating a city" question feels a little like an opinion poll to me; it's asking 'what do you do" more than focusing on the problem to be solved. I proposed an edit that I think fixes it without damaging anything else; I'd appreciate it if people who can review edits would take a look: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/1882
 
I like it
 
And there it is.
 
Thank you.
 
7:23 PM
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Q: Blacklist the [life] tag

ShokhetSo, based on prior discussion, we've removed all of the life questions. Based on that discussion, I changed the tag wiki to say: The community has decided that this tag is too ambiguous. Use the tags from the wiki excerpt ( biology and lifestyle ) instead. And the wiki exerpt: Plea...

 
8:15 PM
Asked a question. Would appreciate a review from the experts.
1
Q: Enhancing the Golem of Prague to compete with modern armored vehicles

Danny ReaganThe Situation: The year is 2014 and the city of Prague is under siege. Cut off from supply, the city prepares to defend itself with whatever is at hand. The Jewish community offers the services of as many Golems as they can make, but are concerned that they will be ineffective against modern wea...

 
8:45 PM
I like it personally. Essentially it looks like we are designing some sort of walker. I vote for ATAT.
also, any answer that doesnt include flamethrowers is WRONG.
:)
 
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Q: When should we recommand deletion of an answer?

VincentWe have a couple of mediocre answers in the review queue. They are more appropriate as comments. Right now, I just skip them in the queue and I ask them to clarify the answer. But they might never answer. When is it appropriate to delete answers?

 
9:05 PM
@DannyReagan Interesting question :)
Not a Golem expert, but would love to see answers to that question!
 
9:17 PM
I'm wondering if anyone who was part of the magic discussion earlier today would agree with this:
in V'dibarta Bam, 5 mins ago, by Shokhet
I think the maskana was, if you can limit the field (either science as we know it, or a specific brand of magic), and can tell me why one thing would be better than another ("easily repeatable, cheap, portable, reliable"), then it's on-topic
(maskana = conclusion)
 
ok, that question is definitely on topic :)
the golem question that is
liking it
 
@TimB Though there's been some discussion in the comments about exactly which modern vehicle we're discussing.
I agree, it's a good question.
 
9:52 PM
How about this one?
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Q: How much can Eragon lift?

ShokhetIn Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle ( the Eragon books ), magic works in a very specifically defined way. A magician can only use magic as far as his own bodily strength would be able to take him/her. (For this reason, it is impossible to raise someone from the dead because that takes more...

 
10:07 PM
I think these questions illustrate the problem with asking good fantasy based questions
look how many comments for clarification we have on the golems one
and that was a well thought out and well asked question
 
10:25 PM
This person needs some guidance.
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Q: Ressources for building a farming system

Mystra007I have been looking for source materials related to farming and building a farm system, but I can't find any. I'm looking for: what type of crops grow in what type of climate. When the planting season is for each type of crops. When the harvest season is for each type of crops. How many ti...

@TimB
 
@DannyReagan I've added a comment, and voted to close in the meantime so it has a chance to be edited before answers start coming in
 
@githubphagocyte Agreed. I have voted as well
 
11:08 PM
Right, had a shot at a cannon question - lets see if people think it's too broad etc
there;s a secondary question too but trying this one first
 
11:29 PM
It feels like it would get a better answer on Sci-fi (The eragon one), just because they are likely to be more specific as to how it actually works. But I like the question. Mostly I'm wondering what happens if you dropped something as you lifted something else. Ala Discworld.
 
@Mourdos a comment on the question now clarifies that the eragon story is just an example, and only the qualities described in the question apply
 
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