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12:15 AM
@BESW wait what?
Also ethereal creatures are wierdly always white; why is that? Why not light green or blue or aubergene?
@BardicWizard I'm attempting to make a joke about the British use of the brand name Hoover as a verb meaning "to vacuum."
@BardicWizard There's a lot of academic speculation going into that, and nobody really agrees. There's some speculation about, like fog and clouds. But generally it's largely culture-specific depending on the kind of thing associated with ethereality (we usually think of it as ghosts; that's not always the case elsewhere), though there are some interesting cross-cultural coherencies with, specifically, stories of "white ladies" associated with grief and loss.
@BardicWizard yeah, the Ghostly Visage effect in NWN is actually a bit bluish, for instance
But in modern popular/WEIRD culture, etherealness is strongly linked to the undead and is probably tied to whiteness via a tradition of using white sheets for burial shrouds.
Or using a white or light-colored outline to indicate that something is translucent/invisible
We could speculate about the influence of Pepper's ghost on stage and film depictions of the ethereal, as light-colored objects in the blue room will show up more clearly in the glass.
And Pepper's ghost is probably also a strong influence on the association of the ethereal with the undead, as well.
A lot of the folklore that was being drawn on for fiction, depicted ghosts as solid when they're there, and dressed pretty normally, but prone to vanishing (think of the Prom Queen ghost and similar variants, or Hamlet's father).
12:31 AM
Morning all
How are we today
@BESW I think the color of burial shrouds actually is a very good explanation indeed -- you see quite a few stylized depictions of ghosts that are kind of the sheet over a half-round form with the eye and mouth holes cut in it
@Shalvenay The bedsheet ghost is actually very recent though, in comparison to the tradition of burial shrouds.
@BESW ah, interesting
12:41 AM
Like, seeing the dead in a burial shroud specific to your culture is an ancient shared experience, but you won't find a bedsheet ghost in popular fiction until about 200 years ago. Hamlet's father was in his armor, and that was pretty standard for ghosts of the time.
Q: How can live fire exercises be made safer?

Stephan KolassaMy group is in Waterdeep, and our wizard would love to help train the world-famous griffon cavalry, especially in evading fireballs. That is, he wants to hurl fireballs at them that they need to evade. I think this kind of live fire exercise is eminently worthwhile. (A nice spectacle for the popu...

The space between popular fiction and folklore is a bit interesting, and makes such discussions difficult.
You might look up the Hammersmith ghost murder case.
But BW is asking about etherealness, not ghostliness, and those are two distinct though overlapping concepts.
A lot of burial shroud ghosts are quite solid.
(And a lot of White Ladies aren't ghosts OR ethereal at all!)
@BESW Well that gave me an idea... A more modern-day mummy if you will
Most mummies are absolutely a variant of burial shroud undead. I would advise caution about the extreme ease of mummy stories becoming really unpleasant stories about exotifying and vilifying foreign customs, desecrating foreign corpses, and glorifying grave robbers.
12:58 AM
Well my idea wasn't anywhere along there. Was thinking more about mob hit victims etc. Along the lines of "The Crow" type.
That does sound more palatable.
(Mummy stories aren't a folkloric tradition; they emerged directly out of the marriage of Orientalism and spiritualism in the age of grinding up dead bodies to make fancy paint.)
1:58 AM
Q: How could you animate farm equipment to do field work?

Darth PseudonymIn Eberron: Rising From The Last War, the nation of Aundair is described as a place where arcane magic is commonly used to perform everyday tasks, almost Harry-Potter-esque in some ways. In the Gazetteer, on page 103, it says: Magic permeates many aspects of Aundairian life -- more so than other...

@HotRPGQuestions Traditional or digital animation?
2:35 AM
@BESW yes
@BESW applies to ghostliness too, though to a lesser extent
(I was considering quoting the Alice in wonderland movie, the animated one, and asking “Not pink, not green, not aquamarine?”)
2 hours later…
4:29 AM
I need an opinion.
What do people think of a pre-genned character that has no name?
E.g. "Her you go Ted, your character is the Barbarian"
"Cool, what's their name"
"The Barbarian is their name"
Is that the default name? Can the player change it to something else?
Well it's kinda part of the character's story - they are from nowhere, they are not there to make friends, etc.
I mean, if they want to I wouldn't stop them
@Ben Does that box the player in quite a bit RP-wise though?
Does it?
IDK it just seems a bit strange to me. I think as a player and fellow player I would find it disconcerting.
4:35 AM
How are they from nowhere? Did they suddenly pop into existence?
I would argue no. In fact it'd probably be the opposite. They have a vague backstory, but depending on how the party bonds, if they want the Barb to bond with the rest of the party, they can come up with stuff?
Also, what happens if there's another barbarian in the party or elsewhere interacted with?
@Rubiksmoose This is for a game where all the PCs are pregenned
Ok so there are two different things here. One is to leave parts of a character concept blank, to be potentially filled in later. The other is to impose that parts of the character concept must be blank. And I'm unsure which of the two you're talking about.
Ah well that answers part of mine.
4:37 AM
@MikeQ I think it's the former.
Well, the former would make sense
I'm not going to say "no, you must not bond with anyone ever"
Aha. So you're preparing the mechanical aspects, and you let the players fill in the name and fluff stuff? That seems pretty standard.
So they actually do have a name, they just aren't telling anybody and that could be revealed later?
Or did they pop out of the womb and the mother named them "The Barbarian"?
I'm a big fan of characters that are incomplete and the blank bits are left to be discovered during play; I do that with my own characters, but I think it's especially good for pre-gens.
Yeah, so basically the idea is I hand out the PCs; the Paladin, who was the son of the king, the Death Cleric that has come to cleanse the uprising of the corrupted dead, the Ranger that has been sent by the elders as order by the prophecies, and the Barbarian, who... just happens to be here? Why? Who are they?
[Mystery abounds]
Here's the thing though, I think that good setups involve lots of reasons for the characters to be pushed together. Putting something in there that deliberately potentially pushes them apart seems like it could be counter productive especially depending on the inclination and experience of the player
Like, being aloof and mysterious is already pretty much the default problematic RP setup for a character.
4:41 AM
@Rubiksmoose So then they need the implication that they are here for a reason, but I'll leave that up to the player
You could ask the barbarian's player to write some bond that connects them to at least one of the other player characters.
The idea is that they're all here for the same reason, even though they never knew each other beforehand. Bonding will/should ensue
Or is that too much of an assumption
I'm just not seeing what this bit adds. Sure the character can (And should) come up with things that pull them towards the party, but you are giving them something right off the bat that is fighting that. Depending on the experience of the player they could run the other way. And again, I'm just not sure what it adds to suggest that direction for a character.
It's been my experience that "Bonding will ensue" is a major red flag for party dynamic problems.
4:43 AM
Could the barbarian also be sent by some sort of elders?
@BESW this
And yeah, starting at the point where the adventurers meet each other tends to be a bit jarring in terms of opportunities to bond, if that's what you're going for
Maybe they're already there (i.e. where the adventure takes place) and have been already, they know a bit about what's going on but not much - all they know is that they need the backup
@Rubiksmoose "And then Neil says something funny" only works if you've actually got Neil.
@Ben Individual character backstories aside, what is the actual premise of the adventure?
4:46 AM
I find that bonding and group forming is one of the hardest bits of D&D group starting. I like to remove barriers and give opportunities for the bonding to take place. This seems like erecting (overcomable) barrier without really adding anything?
This is my Diablo game
I don't know why I didn't mention that already lol
The game allows for player-genned chars, but I also want a party of pre-genned so they actually mimic the in-game chars
Ok, so there's <evil thing> lurking within <dungeon>, and the adventurers have gathered to do something about it. Pretty typical D&D quest setup. Couldn't they presumably bond and choose their motivations beforehand?
The Warrior, Aidan; the Ranger, Moreina; The Sorcerer, Jazreth; (and some additions - Xul the Necromancer, and the "Barb")
Maybe I should take a step back. What are you hoping to gain by suggesting that the player just go by "The Barbarian"? What makes the idea appealing to you? What are you hoping it adds to your game?
@Rubiksmoose I don't really have that. The thought has come up because the barbarian from Diablo 1 is officially unofficial - and has no name but is recognised as partaking in the events of D1
4:54 AM
Does the status of the barbarian in official Diablo lore have impact on your game?
@MikeQ Only in-so-far as every other character does.
Gotcha. Well my take is that I think it would nudge players potentially in the wrong direction and be kind of weird to play with and doesn't seem to add much (if anything). I wouldn't say no if someone suggested it at my table right away but we'd have to talk about why they wanted to do that and how to avoid the pitfalls before I bought into it.
One of the most important parts of adapting material from one medium to another, is recognizing which bits are too insignificant to the overall experience of the material to spend a lot of time with if their translation is troublesome.
Understandable. There are a lot of things that I have adapted from the original game - All the vendors serve no purpose in D&D, and outside of their vendor role in the game, they have very little character, so I have re-adapted that to give them more involvement in the "story"
If the Barbarian having a name wouldn't take away from the fundamental Diabloness of the experience, then the namelessness is a meta joke that can be left out if it's not working.
5:04 AM
So maybe then I could give the character a name, backstory, etc, but suggest to the player that they can keep it secret if they want to. That would then be ab better way to handle it?
I'd be inclined to leave the name blank and ask the player to either write one in or decide that the Barbarian isn't telling.
But give them a backstory?
Where they came from, why they're here, etc
I guess it depends. How important are preestablished backstories to your players and to what you are trying to setup?
@Rubiksmoose For the pregenned characters - very
Haroom. Why not just leave the Barb as the "if you want to make up your own stuff, this is the pre-gen for you" option?
5:07 AM
For the player-genned, it's important but they don't need to come up with anything specific; a motive at most
@BESW Well that was the idea
@Ben Then I'd say give them a backstory or (As BESW suggested) just leave all the narrative stuff blank and have them come up with it before starting.
Either way you get a backstory and name before starting so you start at the same point.
If you want to do some work, make a multiple-choice sheet Apocalypse World style, maybe even options from the other characters' backstories.
@Ben This is kinda the part that is confusing me. it seems like you are trying to make a pregen but have the player generate half of it?
@Rubiksmoose I give them a Barbarian char sheet with no name, Ideals/bonds/flaws, and the only backstory is that they're here for a reason. The player fills in the blanks.
They have all their stats and skills etc
Which seems like a reasonable option as long as you have someone who is willing to do that stuff at the table.
5:14 AM
@Rubiksmoose If not I can come up with something
I honestly don't see a huge difference between you writing somethin up before hand and having the player make it up at the table as far as endpoints. It really just comes down to player preference as long as you are confident that the story needs will be met sufficiently.
So I think either way you should be good hoenstly.
Ok, cool :D
Thanks for the input everyone
No problem :) hopefully it was helpful
Yeah it gave me some good direction on how to both achieve, and properly handle something I wanted to do :)
4 hours later…
9:20 AM
I noticed a 13th Age question on Friday or Saturday, can't recall which
didn't have the time to answer it then so I answered now
...turns out 1) 13th Age questions can kinda linger 2) the rules for it aren't written quite as clearly as I remembered
9:34 AM
Yeah I mean, I'm so used to poring 5e rules and knowing their caveats that I'm kinda lost whenever I need to justify rulings for non-DnD but DnD-ish systems like 13th Age is
In this case, the method of how a character selects the spells they can cast are somewhat... weirdly presented and leave at least one big open question that I'm SURE I have the answer for, somewhere
9:47 AM
On further reflection, there might be some implicit assumption by the writers that the players are already somewhat familiar with DnD and therefore some things don't need to be 100% explicit
3 hours later…
1:01 PM
@KorvinStarmast I don't want to go to the main site yet so I'm asking you first
Do you recall if there's a rule in 13th Age that casters can choose the same spell twice in order to use the same Daily spell twice a day?
@kviiri I don't remember seeing that as an option.
@NautArch Haha, you were even faster x)
The idea of picking the same Daily twice to use it twice a day really rings my bell though. I wonder where it came from
But I think I'd be okay with that if someone wanted to invest
I'm a bit on the edge, I kinda like the extra push towards diversification but I don't think there's an inherent issue if the player really wants to do it
yeah, that's my thought, too
I mean, if they really really want, sure. But I'd recommend against.
1:13 PM
@kviiri As I looked through my bard stuff, I don't recall seeing that. but I'd need to check the book.
Debating on adding new SAC support to relevant questions. My answers are in full agreement and I"m not sure I need to add the published ruling.
And given that I've not agreed with some of their other rulings, i'm not sure.
@NautArch If you feel it improves the answer, then go with your gut is what I'd suggest.
@KorvinStarmast I don't think it does
1:41 PM
@KorvinStarmast aye, thanks!
So I bamboozled my DM last night
King in the city was just murdered, and they have a democratic monarchy. Party has an ally they want to be elected queen. Enemies of the party conspiring to take the throne.
I take my Bard to the biggest bar in town. Play fiddle with the band for several hours, pay the bar keep piles of gold to have an open bar for the evening.
Build significant rapport with everyone.
I should mention this is the dwarven capital.
I retire to the bathroom and disguise self into a charismatic looking dwarf fella. And I start my rumor campaign. I heard the enemies of the party had something to do with the king's death. DM: "Roll persuasion for your rumor telling". Rolls a 30.
Part 2 of the plan - my dragonborn friend was at the banquet where the king was murdered, he starts telling people that he saw money change hands between the enemies of the party right before the king was killed
Rolls 26 on persuasion
I change back to my human bard and stand on the table and propose a toast - to the enemies of the party for announcing their candidacy for the throne, something that was supposed to be a secret.
By morning the entire town was talking about how the enemies of the party murdered the king and conspired to steal the throne.
2:01 PM
I love that. Sounds like a properly bard-like thing to do
2:19 PM
Oh, that's some great scheming.
Why use assassination when you can use character assassination
There were better potential jokes about bards using fake news to sway an election, but I don't think any were chat appropriate
My DM was expecting a pedestrian evening at the bar.
2:36 PM
@ThomasMarkov GMs can’t predict player actions, unfortunately. Expecting something to happen is the best way for players to do the exact opposite
@ThomasMarkov Started off Rime. Lots of fun so far! The combat was actually the least interesting part of the session.
@NautArch Ive only got two players so I started them at 3rd level
Ive still almost killed them twice in two sessions.
@ThomasMarkov I've got 3. STarting at 3rd is a must.
It's crazy difficult.
@ThomasMarkov Party approaches a crossroads. Straight ahead is a mine entrance, where the DM has several nasty surprises and reams of notes. To the right is a ramshackle castle represented by 3 fat notebooks at the DM's feet. To the left is a barely discernable path leading apparently to nowhere
Party: We go left
@JohnP That basicalyl happened to me. I prepared for the two potential encounters. Group asks if there are still deliveries from the pre-encounters and I proceed to quickly prep so they can do it.
2:40 PM
@doppelgreener - Sorry - removed your post for reading continuity.
@ThomasMarkov What town did you start in? Also, should we move to another room to discuss to avoid spoilers?
We can move, maybe make a Rime room
@JohnP fair :D
3:02 PM
@doppelgreener Still weird seeing you in black. You enjoying retirement?
I see you dropping them delete votes :P
@ThomasMarkov hey, if a mod wants to go in and reopen, then I'll finish up the work. I wasn't going to, but with the hammer reopen, I felt it was necessary.
I smashed delete on those answers several days ago haha
I was on the fence. But if that's how we want to do this, then I think we need to be more proactive in downvote/deletes.
Actually, moving this to main, is that okay?
Oh, sure.
3:08 PM
6 messages moved from Rime Room
3:23 PM
oh, on the army question? fine cleaning up job
@doppelgreener Yup! I really do hope this gets the community more on top of this...but i'm not holding my breath.
though, wrong/bad answers that are heavily downvoted also have instructive value
("don't do this" "bad answers be ye warnede")
But then we fall into the issue of potentially needing close the question.
which i'd rather not do
i doubt it'll change things if 10 years of history haven't changed things, but i mean, we did handle this question just fine
we've got a couple of good answers and the bad ones were downvoted into oblivion correctly
@doppelgreener that is also true (and sad)
3:28 PM
Possibly odd question for a mod to ask, but do LQ flags -> LQ review not end up with appropriate action for (blatantly) unsupported answers?
@doppelgreener Those of us who are inclined can also try and be more vocal in comments with those types of answers. But "I like this idea, i'll upvote" is a really hard action to stop.
@NautArch being on HNQ like that question was never helps
@doppelgreener never :) Although Mod-action to delete isn't necessarily a terrible idea, either.
rather than waiting on users. If mods see something, do something :P
As we've said, mods are just users. Shouldn't be afraid to do those actions.
@Someone_Evil good question
Almost a common room post it-note: It's much easier for us to see things if they're flagged :)
3:32 PM
@Someone_Evil So I should go back to flagging? I had been told previously not to flag but downvote only.
@NautArch yeah but we've been down this road before and lemme tell you, liberally using deletion on posts generates no shortage of complaints of "censorship!" and "mod corruption!" and "depose this mod, they're abusing their power!" and so on, especially when it's someone who arrived here via HNQ
it's exhausting and not something to rely on mods to correct
removing from HNQ helps a ton and just requires one almost-invisible action
@doppelgreener damned if you do and damned if you don't.
But if we can't rely on the community, and the mods have the power...
I guess it's a matter of whether or not the tsurris is worth end goal
well, i'll gesture again to the question working out fine, and i did just mention the "remove from HNQ" option
@NautArch I don't know what the context for that previous feedback is, but most of the LQ flags are handled by review. If you feel a post should be removed for reasons that process handles, do flag
@Someone_Evil I've flagged comments as needing support and been told not to do that and to comment/downvote if I want.
3:41 PM
Using a custom flag?
@Someone_Evil I think so. But should I use a standard one (if so, which one?)
Wait, does the LQ flag not exist, or am I just not able to cast it?
@Someone_Evil i think you can only cast it on negatively-scored answers
@doppelgreener Ah, that seems correct
@NautArch if i may venture: since an answer being unsupported is something a regular user can handle by simply asking for support, it normally doesn't warrant escalation. if it is escalated, the most the moderator would likely be doing is leaving a simlar comment to what you or another would leave. something like "this has been unsupported for days and the author has declined to add any citation" is however something worth looking at.
@JohnP i forgot to respond! yes. :D
it's weird being in black too, it's not a very traditional color for a doppelgreener
3:47 PM
@doppelgreener sure, but most times the community upvotes those. Getting ahead is what I"m trying to do. I'd rather just mark it to be looked it and have the post notice added.
Comments and downvotes are the most important tools for dealing with this though. Custom flags are better for things like: "This question is drawing problematic answers, take it off the HNQ so we get the time to deal with it?" (purely hypothetical example of coarse)
Otherwise, I've got to constantly be checking everything. And that seems unnecessary.
When there is a process and post notice for needing support.
And maybe if the community starts seeing that notice, that'll slow the roll on upvotes.
@NautArch personally i saved the post notice for egregious cases
I think that's problematic to be fair. Unless we're okay with how the community is upvoting unsupported answers and keeping those answers around.
@NautArch therein lies the life of a mod: they're having to constantly check things, which leaves them with less time to do things the flagger could have done.
and, if you don't have time, well, leave it for someone else to respond to
but if you don't have time, bear in mind the moderators will have several other things to do and limited time to do it, so they may not have time either
3:50 PM
@doppelgreener why not both?
I should probably throw out the pro-forma reminder more often. It's just a little bit more awkward when there's a diamond on it. But it did seem to help get ahead of the issues (and also remind voters, cause they're a big part of the picture)
I also can't figure out if we should be flagging or not flagging. I"m getting conflicting information.
Heck, a diamond mod could also leave the comment. As you've said, the diamond is more meaningful.
@NautArch Welcome to systems with humans in them :)
@NautArch ok, let me put it this way: ten people each raise ten flags saying "hey this is unsupported", expecting the moderator to, i don't know, add a comment saying "please add support." individually, they are saying "the moderator only has to write ten comments." but the moderator has to write one hundred comments, as well as reading up to one hundred answers, instead of each person just writing ten comments.
so moderators build a habit of, like, not putting themselves in the position where they have to do that.
maybe that's not the best choice
3:55 PM
personally, that wasn't something i could keep up with when I was modding. the flagger has already spent the time reading this answer to discern whether it's supported or not, and they're likely an expert on the context in a way i am not because they understand what the answer is saying in a way I do not. I am the least appropriate person to be writing the comment; they should be doing it.
The only thing I have is a loudspeaker attached to my name, but I can apply that after the user has written a comment if need be.
And when I was trying to keep up with every flag like this, I made some bad calls in how to respond to the answer and phrase the comment, and the few times I was challenged with "but I did support my answer", I couldn't fully tell whether they had or hadn't in order to respond to them.
all of that means — the only times i felt i should receive a flag regarding an unsupported answer would be the times that it was literally at a stage or severity where no one user could act with the weight a moderator could, and the moderator action was needed. "this isn't supported" in an ordinary question from an ordinary user making an ordinary kind of unsupported answer isn't that stage or severity.
i only applied the post notice when the answer warranted extraordinary attention, possibly because of the egregiousness of its claims, or the role of the user who posted it in our community and their capacity to set an example—and me needing to show this was not a good example to set. or, perhaps the question was attracting multiple bad answers so i needed to start sending stronger signals to answerers.
There is literally a pre-canned flag response of 'Does not require moderator intervention' (or similar) for what @doppelgreener is saying
Moderator tools are often quite heavy, so the only moderator action we can take is more extreme than is needed to nudge something towards correctness. In that case the flagger is better off doing some community moderation themselves
@AncientSwordRage and when that flagging doesn't elicit change?
what do you mean? flagging in and of itself doesn't elicit change
4:21 PM
@NautArch I feel ive been told the same thing.
5:09 PM
Never thought I would write an answer about sexing dragons. But I did.
Hey, @ThomasMarkov I was reading your answer about determining the gender/sex of dragons and I noticed it only dealt with biological sex and not gender. Is the assumption here “all dragons are cisgender/don’t have a concept of gender”? I was confused
@BardicWizard I added a section at the bottom addressing that.
> If you are in a position to ask a dragon without being roasted, dragons are sentient persons and deserve as much respect as you would give any other person. There may be cases where their gender identity does not match their biological sex, so you should ask politely to be sure.
@ThomasMarkov I didn’t see that, oops
@BardicWizard No worries, I added after the initial submission.
and dragons are probably the worst sentients to misgender since they can roast you alive
If i were a dragon i would finally stop getting misgendered by my classmates all the time since i could roast them alive
5:12 PM
I can already imagine a quest involving a dragon that's so tired of being misgendered for 500 years they've taken to terrorizing the region, and can be pacified by educating the populace about respect.
@ThomasMarkov I need to run that. Especially because October is queer history month
I moved the bottom section to the top.
I think the poster was probably asking about sex specifically, rather than gender, but I think its a good idea to address both.
Also, queer dragons would be amazing to see in official products
I wouldnt be surprised to see one show up in Critical Role
It's a bit presumptious and humanocentric to assume that gender in draconic languages is anything at all similar to that in Indoeuropean and/or Semitic languages. Odds are the concept may not exist for dragons at all.
5:18 PM
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica That's fair. And the 3e Dragonomicon was published 17 years ago, and we've come a long way as a society since then, I think, so it's not surprising it isnt addressed at all in that volume.
Or exists but is more similar to, say, the genders of Swahili, or some Australian languages.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica Do you mind if I add this quote to my answer?
@ThomasMarkov Please do, but let's brainstorm on it together.
Or at least elaborate.
@NautArch why would you flag if there wasn't something that needed changing?
5:22 PM
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica What context do you think needs to be added to this statement?
@ThomasMarkov What I mean is, for example, it's not implausible that draconic language A has 2 genders (animate and inanimate), draconic language B has one gender (and some nouns have it and others are genderless, like in some Nordic languages), and draconic language C has five genders - one for words starting on vowels, one for words starting on voiced consonants, one for words starting with unvoiced ones, and two for less easily classified ones.
With none of them having anything to do with the social category that Englishmen tend to confusingly call by the same word starting with the letter g.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica i wrote a constructed language (sort of, I made up words when I needed them) where gendered pronouns were weird; the first part was a sound that was a sort of primary gender category (female, male, non-binary, agender, genderfluid) and the second was a secondary gender that was more individual expression. Nouns and verbs weren’t gendered, and the word for grammatical gender and social gender were very different
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica i want to speak language C
@BardicWizard That still seems to be doing a lot of . . . combining . . . between the social, the linguistic, and the biological, based on the way you describe the examples.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica I’m simplifying. There were 200+ pronouns for gender as the social construct and the linguistic gender was nearly nonexistent
i wrote out maybe 10 of the pronouns total
@ThomasMarkov Is the original question about the linguistic, the biological, or the social?
5:28 PM
The question asks about gender, but definitely seems to be intending to ask about sex.
Q: How do you determine a dragon's gender?

Michael ShopsinHow do you determine the gender of a dragon, without resorting to asking them? A number of published D&D adventures have dragons in them (natch), clearly identified as male or female. However there is no information on how people know the gender of a dragon. I'm asking about the Forgotten Realms,...

By virtue of assuming the possibility of knowing without asking, it seems to be asking about sex.
@ThomasMarkov Ugh, question unclear.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica Yes. That's why I decided to move my section about just asking them to the front.
@ThomasMarkov 'Asking them' implies social. But biological terms used in the subsequent question imply the question is about sex. Answering in line with how to address them implies linguistic.
Context: the most important part of the question
Even for biological, I'd still go with Ask First tbh
5:31 PM
@Someone_Evil hear hear
@Someone_Evil Asking may or may not be rude and lead to being burned.
But we also should recognize it is a complex issue and be patient with people and try to teach rather than rebuke.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica Right, important caveat in my first sentence:
> If you are in a position to ask a dragon without being roasted
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica Jumping straight to "hardware inspection" may be ruder and lead to being severely burned
@ThomasMarkov You may be in a position to ask without being roasted, then get roasted afterwards once the dragon finishes listening to your asking.
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica that is why you always ask while bringing tribute
5:33 PM
@Someone_Evil Well duh, don't touch a dragon, you don't want neither the negative nor the positive reaction!
The bad part of me really hopes the poster is playing a horny bard who doesnt want to accidentally seduce a male dragon.
@ThomasMarkov Does the dragon have Polymorph Self and the willingness to use it?
Because judging by the number of suspiciously humanoid dragonblooded casters running around in Daendoland, a lot of dragons are.
More seriously, back to the original answer:
Getting a clarification on the question is likely to remove the need for a three-pronged answer.
5:51 PM
For a three-pronged approach though:
1. As an euphemism for sex, the answer stands. Keep in mind that asking may or may not be met with roasting.
2. For the euphemism for the social box, be careful about assuming that dragon social boxes are at all similar to human ones. Also, asking still may or may not be met with roasting.
3. For the actual linguistic meaning, be careful about assuming that draconic languages are at all similar to human ones in terms of their features. Though if they don't, asking is *probably* unlikely to get you roasted, but may get you ridiculed if you're supposed to
@vicky_molokh-unsilenceMonica the ability is called change shape ... polymorph turns the caster in to a beast not a humanoid.
@KorvinStarmast IIRC that varies with edition, and the mainsite question is not specific to 5e (I'm mostly saying this because I've stopped myself pointing that out already)
@Someone_Evil OK, fair point.
Highly off-topic, but does anybody here still play Pokemon Go? (I just started again and am happy to add some friends)
@ThomasMarkov not sure how you came to that conclusion
You said you think the correct interpretation is that "You can reroll dice, unless it is specifically forbidden." I'm going to have to strongly disagree on that assertion on the grounds that You cannot reroll a die is the normal rule, otherwise the ability to optionally reroll would not need to exist.
5:58 PM
Fertilization inside the female body doesn't require externally obvious anatomy, though. Most birds get by without it. I recall determining the sex of immature chickens to be reasonably-paid skilled labor, the last time I saw an employment ad for one in a newspaper a couple decades back. On the one hand, obtaining that skill (if necessary) is probably more difficult with dragons, and on the other, asking the chickens usually isn't a successful option. — notovny 2 mins ago
Nice to see a Rifts question pop back up, we seem to have a new user contributing ...
This made me chuckle quite a bit^^
@Rubiksmoose As comment go, it needs an up doot!
@Rubiksmoose Also, chickens breed much more rapidly than dragons, and so have a larger sample size to "practice" with
Funny thing, I work in the chicken industry.
I know all about sexing chickens.
6:04 PM
@ThomasMarkov That is probably the most specific expertise I have ever seen used on this site.
6:58 PM
@Rubiksmoose I do!
Nice! My code is 1735 4500 6302 if you wanted to add me :)
(open invitation to anybody else as well)
Me and my then-SO had played a lot of Ingress before. I kinda lost interest quickly because it felt too much geared for compulsive gaming tastes, she was quite obsessed over it at one point (probably related)
@kviiri My wife has caught the pokemon bug in a similar way
She got a mild pneumonia which got her to drop Ingress a few months before Pokemon Go became popular
I was super obsessed with both PoGo and Ingress. My brother-in-law roped my wife and I back into PoGo last month after 4 years away lol
7:02 PM
We kinda agreed to "never again" so we started Geocaching instead x)
...turns out, that can get addicting too.
@ThomasMarkov ;-)
Geocahcing is very fun. At least no microtransactions though!
@Rubiksmoose Geocaching.com has premium membership but at least you can't pay more than the annual fee for it
I suspect I could become addicted to literally anything if presented in the right way to my brain XD
@Rubiksmoose I don't get to travel as much as I like, so without creating new geocaches, it quickly got old for me
7:04 PM
Yeah, I liked Geocaching about until the point where... I realized there are caches where the literal objective is to fulfill a challenge like "log a cache every day for a year"
That's actively anti-fun for me
Yeah I can see how that would be the case
@AncientSwordRage Also this.
My SO, IIRC, scored a streak of over 500 days, often by going out caching late in the night and logging two caches in quick succession, one before and one after midnight. I guess some people'd've cheated and not mind exactly when midnight was, but she was way to conscientious for that. If she found a cache that she wants to log for tomorrow at 23.45, she waited until midnight to log it
500 days is crazy impressive no matter how you cut it
That, among a couple of other features, is why I have a really strenuous relationship with the hobby and am unsure if I ever want to resume it despite loving the whole walking outside aspect. I just... associate the hobby with a lot of stuff I hate
I don't think Pokemon Go logs consecutive days and I'm glad it doesn't
someone in this project has transposed $ and { to turn a template string into a non-template string and then updated the test to reflect that
so ${foo} -> {$foo} means the test went expect(foo).toEqual(3) -> expect(foo).toEqual('{$foo}')
mind blown
7:15 PM
I think I get it lol
And somebody needed some more tea when doing that XD
I'm as bad when it comes to 'snapshots' but I'll leave it at that unless someone wants to ping me in NAB(BPOOTB)
Oh the rare full acronym!
Well we are now Pokéfriends lol
wooop woop
lol at JuiceLee BTW
7:49 PM
Q: Responding to the Lavender Letter and commitments moving forward

Teresa DietrichI want to start by acknowledging the hurt and exhaustion that the members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies have experienced in our community as moderators and users. We have read the Lavender Letter internally and repeatedly discussed how we can support you in the future. I was fortuna...

@eimyr i read the name and suddenly had the kid singing that song in my head again. great choice
Am I missing something? Is this response coming a year after the letter was originally posted?
@ThomasMarkov yes it is
Am I correct to observe cringe inducing irony here? From the Lavender Letter, "We are hurt at how long it has taken for us to be heard, and hurt by how now that we are being heard at all, it has been tainted by mishandling by Stack Exchange, Inc, causing the community to be doubtful of our goals."
And then an entire year later SE responds.
i wouldn't be surprised if people made such observations in answers
but, i am personally happy there is a response
and honestly my impression as an insider (i'm one of the people they consulted with) is that it took a while in part because they were taking time to make sure they got it right
i mean, it still took a while longer than it should have, but after things happened too hastily a year ago i can't blame them for wanting to take care around it this time
good things happened, but some of them happened quicker than other parts were ready to respond
Thanks for the perspective.
8:08 PM
@doppelgreener Believe it or not, but me & my girlfriend had this discussion about Lasers and Feelings and I went "You know, we don't have to play a hack that's been made already, we can just take two vaguely orthogonal words, like Lasers and Feelings or Guns and Glory or Potatoes and Molasses..." and we looked at each other and we knew a game needs to be made.
@ThomasMarkov On the bright side? If it's a year old thing, it'd be so easy to just drop the issue and hope it blows over. Answering to something that would be easy to ignore arguably demonstrates more genuine commitment than answering to something more urgent.
I haven't been personally subject to any abuse, direct or indirect from Stack Exchange so my opinion and experience shouldn't be taken to override those of those who have... but I generally try to steer clear of shaming people from trying to redeem themselves and correct their actions. Starting with myself.
(on the other hand, I do concede that organizations are not privy to the exact same assumption of good faith that people are)
8:23 PM
@RevenantBacon I found Darth's explanation compelling and have deleted my answer.
I noticed.
thumbs up emoji
People are impossible
@BardicWizard Do tell
@doppelgreener What have I missed, because it seems like they just needed an apology? I don't see what they've done? It's entirely possible I've missed something obvious and critical
@BardicWizard and yet ::gestures::
@ThomasMarkov teacher changed the formatting requirements for the essay an hour before the due date
8:38 PM
When was it assigned?
instead of being 10 to 12 point font it now has to be 12 point but page limits didn’t change
@ThomasMarkov friday at the end of class
I’m just frustrated i have to cut 8 lines
In less than an hour
I'd leave it tbh.
If I was confident that it was changed at the last second, I'd leave it and appeal if I got points off.
1 hour later…
9:46 PM
Heya @YaakovEllis, fancy seeing you here :)
@Someone_Evil hi there
Anything in particular bringing you here? (you are of course free to lurk should you please)
10:18 PM
@BardicWizard But they are all we have. (Suggest a quick look for the Up With People theme song to cheer you up)
Full disclosure: a friend of mine toured with Up With People in the late 80's
@KorvinStarmast I’m doing fine now, just frustrated. I submitted my essay after frantically editing for an hour and I’m using my (sort of) free time to make tortillas so I can relax (I’m singing through most of Ruddigore at the same time which also helps)
@BardicWizard Tortillas = comfort food. I just toasted one with shredded cheese when I got home. Yummy.
11:01 PM
@KorvinStarmast a really good soft corn tortilla = amazing :) one can eat those just out of hand
11:17 PM
@KorvinStarmast I like them straight off the comal with butter. I love the recipe I use bc it’s got a pretty simple ratio and we keep the ingredients on hand pretty much all the time
@Shalvenay Definitely. I make flour tortillas since we don’t keep dried corn on hand but they're still my favorite thing to eat

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