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TSR's Amazing Accounting Department Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019 05:14 AM
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Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

Friday, 28th June, 2019

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

  • 03:58 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned Orius in post How to Teach a GM to be a Player?
    ...r, at some point or other I've forced most of my players to play just about every RPG I can get my hands on. Some of my fellow GMs tend just to prefer D&D. @Sword of Spirit : I totally agree with you. Thanks for the great suggestion about asking the GM what can be done to help out. The next time I'm a player, I think that's a fine thing for me to try out. I'm also a kindred spirit when it comes to problem solving. I also have a pretty hard time sitting quietly when the GM is distracted for what seems like half an hour. On one occasion, I was known to have created and played out a 15 minute subplot with another player while the GM was up to something else. When the GM found out what had happened, the GM wasn't terribly impressed. I still get ridiculed for that, and it was years and years ago. @Luce : Another great idea. Playing a different system sounds like it could work really well. Some players turned GMs have a favorite, but I think it would be something good to try out. @Orius : I tried. :P @Vyvyan Basterd : Kudos on that. I've been called a terrible player on more than one occasion, and sometimes by players who I really respect. I have to admit that I sometimes earn that title. As for attention span, I guess I've also had that problem. In one particular game, I actually became less and less engaged in the game until the point where I stopped reading (an unrelated book) and wandered off. It was actually kind of embarrassing seeing as I'd begged everyone to play, but I just couldn't keep my focus on the game. Throughout the 5 hour session, I was a 0-level farmer the entire game forced to be a servant to a crazy old wizard. Apart from failing miserably at the basest of tasks, I wasn't really allowed to do much. I guess you could say I was spoiled by playing 1st level heroes all the time, and that it was a great role-playing opportunity. However, there wasn't even a single battle in the entire time I was playing (and I'm still 0-level in that game as far ...

Thursday, 6th June, 2013

  • 12:22 PM - pemerton mentioned Orius in post AD&D 2nd vs 3.5
    playing a 2e fighter or cleric or thief is much the same as playing their 3e versionsAgain, this is something on which we have different responses. I find a fighter quite different in 3E for the reasons I mentioned earlier. And I tend to agree with Orius on the cleric and thief.

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Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

  • 02:28 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Orius in post TSR's Amazing Accounting Department
    Yeah, TSR had a lot of momentum from D&D, which is probably why it took them a bit over 10 years to finally burn out after Gary left. Yeah, and Gary for all his flaws, seemed to be a fairly savvy businessman. Still, it's a very difficult thing to scale a company up from small to medium sized and, from what I've heard of folks who run companies, one reason it's so hard is that you're always only a few bad decisions away from disaster, especially if your expenses are high, which, evidently, was what happened at '90s TSR. And I'm aware of that bit about WotC -- and I'd add that they've had far fewer stumbles than TSR did during that time. The biggest weak spot they had was during the release of 4e and the big flop over pulling the .pdfs not long afterwards, and even that wasn't anywhere near the idiocies that TSR was doing. I think it's really important not to let hindsight bias creep in. TSR certainly made a number of bad decisions and seemed to have truly messy internal politics, bu...

Saturday, 29th June, 2019

  • 03:27 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Orius in post TSR's Amazing Accounting Department
    The more I read about TSR's history the more I wonder just how it held together as long as it did. A senior professor I knew in grad school had done a good bit of work on the topic of business failures. Especially a company that had a killer product generated by a founder can often last a long time on the momentum started that way, which can cover for a lot of business shenanigans. But yeah, TSR sure did seem to have some real problems along the way until they finally died. It may be hard (and sobering for those of us of a certain age) to realize, but WotC has owned D&D for nearly as long as TSR. TSR went from 1974 to 1997, so 23 years, and WotC has owned it for 22....

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - TBeholder quoted Orius in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    Core yes. But I'm talking core, and splats, and PO, and that's not even getting into supplements. Well, yes. PO was a fair attempt to sort this mess, but too rushed. And had some otherwise good components made needlessly clunky (Severity rolled separate from damage, Character Points rather than costs in XP). The crusaders handbook and the Viking handbook were phenomenal. I can go on. HR series? Yes, good stuff.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 12:48 AM - MNblockhead quoted Orius in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    WARNING SPOILERS - Shouldn't have to state it on this thread (I don't read it until I've seen the newest episode) but since I'm un-commenting parts of a spoiler commented block, I figure I should give a warning up front. I called it last time: Teaching their son that females are inferior is problematic when the kid's got to interact with other species with different values, and it's a shame the episode didn't touch on that. That was a major theme of the episode and this was used as an intro and the conclusion. Not sure how much more they should have done. I think the balance is about right. It is easy to seem a bit ham-fisted about these things. I rolled my eyes at the Dolly Parton stuff, but I think it was both the episode's touch of Seth, and a bit of comic relief. I did initially, but we see this even in earth history. Things that were taken deadly as part of religious dogma become children's stories and stories for kids become cultural touch stones. I've certainly found t...

Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 06:16 PM - Dausuul quoted Orius in post Vecna v Acererak v Larloch? Who's The Most Powerful Lich?
    Don't count out Acererak, his ritual from Return to the Tomb of Horrors involved merging his consciousness with the Negative Energy Plane itself so he could control any undead anywhere in the multiverse whenever he wanted. Any undead here to me means just that -- even guys like Strahd von Zarovich, Lord Soth, Azalin, and yes, Larloch get to be Acererak's puppet if he succeeds. When the PCs finally confront him, he just needs to absorb three more souls to achieve this, which he might very well get from the party. Every lich has an insane scheme to achieve ultimate power. And every lich that shows up in an adventure or novel comes within moments of completing its insane scheme, only to be foiled by adventurers at the last minute. As I said before, Acererak gets style points for having more cool and interesting schemes than most; but, Colonel Xykon's Secret Recipe notwithstanding, style does not translate into actual power. Where power is concerned, you get zero credit for a failed scheme, n...
  • 04:38 PM - Iry quoted Orius in post Vecna v Acererak v Larloch? Who's The Most Powerful Lich?
    Don't count out Acererak, his ritual from Return to the Tomb of Horrors involved merging his consciousness with the Negative Energy Plane itself so he could control any undead anywhere in the multiverse whenever he wanted. Any undead here to me means just that -- even guys like Strahd von Zarovich, Lord Soth, Azalin, and yes, Larloch get to be Acererak's puppet if he succeeds. When the PCs finally confront him, he just needs to absorb three more souls to achieve this, which he might very well get from the party.He never would have succeeded. There were way too many powerful beings who can and would stop him. The only way to reconcile it is to assume the adventurers that beat him were knowingly or unknowingly part of the plan to stop Acererak.

Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 06:03 PM - Nutation quoted Orius in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Actually, the two biggest joke characters on the show were critical here -- the only time it seems Gordon isn't a complete fool is when he's flying something (and speaking of plaid... ;)). There were a few too many long shots that hit their mark for my taste. But, we already know Gordon is likely the best pilot in the Union, so we do have the foundation for two of those crazy attempts. (Or three. Putting a human in a Krill fighter?) The Orville should have been vaporized as soon as Kaylons were no longer in charge. That should have been easily noticed. Leaving aside those quibbles, though, damn they spent a lot of computer power on the final battle mayhem sequence. I particularly liked the image of one Union ship scraping against another. There were other unique shots as well, much more imaginative than "ship takes a bunch of energy hits and blows up".

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

Friday, 8th February, 2019

Friday, 1st February, 2019

Friday, 25th January, 2019

  • 07:19 AM - Nutation quoted Orius in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    I never bought the claim in the Star Trek universe that the Federation had evolved beyond money, and I don't buy it here. (Have we heard of this before on The Orville?) Replicator technology makes most resource shortages disappear, but it's still damned efficient to have a means of tracking the exchange of value. It never occurred to Ed to point out that the stars aren't going to look the same from other worlds, and thus the signs that allegedly rule Regor II don't exist on other worlds. Hell, the planet's other hemisphere probably shouldn't have the same signs. For that matter, the stars don't remain in the same place forever; the Sun doesn't occupy the same place it did in the zodiac when Western astrology was first developed, and this planet has had their system longer. They haven't noticed how the stars move especially with their tracking satellites? But then, they think astrology works instead of being the pseudoscience it actually is, so their methodologies are probably all sus...

Monday, 21st January, 2019

  • 07:03 AM - billd91 quoted Orius in post Magic items in AD&D, making them and getting them.
    Honestly, it should be somewhere in between. I think I prefer 3e's approach, but compared to AD&D it definitely feels overpowered at times. Wands for example, maybe would be better balanced if the number of charges were reduced by a factor of 2-4. In the 2e DMG, base charges for a wand are 1d20+80, but most of the time, found wands only have about a dozen uses (to be fair, the DMG DOES state that found wands will typically have far fewer charges). I'm thinking of just adapting some of 5e's approach to basic magic item creation like potions and scrolls in my 2e game. Wands are a particularly notable example because in 3e, virtually any spell can be put in one - a distinct contrast with 1e/2e where the wands covered a narrow slice of magical spells, often odd utilities that weren't even regular spells or combat. This is why, I think, 1e/2e never really had the same problem with spell casters (mainly wizards) encroaching too far onto other class (mainly rogue) territory. A wizard could ...

Friday, 18th January, 2019

  • 06:26 PM - Nutation quoted Orius in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Pretty good episode tonight. It was a pretty good take on the Enemy Mine plot. The Space Orcs were an interesting element too. And the B plot with Gordon was handled well too, I'd say maybe even better than Trek usually does. They fooled me - I did not recognize the returning actress (understandably). The final gesture (letting Teleya go) was predictable, but how they got to that point was very good. Gordon was quite in character. Humor should emerge from the natural behavior of the characters, and this is an instance. OTOH, I will not be sorry to see Warburtun's character leave. He was an example of forcing humor to happen.

Thursday, 17th January, 2019

  • 07:57 PM - lowkey13 quoted Orius in post Solo: A Star Wars Story on Netflix
    I liked it. Don't really know why people don't like it besides petty nitpicking. So, I'll give it a shot. Let me start by saying there is some good stuff in here- 1. Alden isn't terrible as Han. 2. Woody is ... fine. Good, even 3. Lando is spectacular, and L3-37 is entertaining. The movie is perfectly cromulent. And that's the first issue. It's ... fine. But completely unnecessary. We have to start with that basic problem; part of the amazing greatness of Star Wars is that there is stuff, just off the screen, that isn't explained, and doesn't need to be. And, to the extent that is filled in later (a la Rogue One) then it needs to be compelling stuff! And Solo isn't awesome, or compelling. It's just kinda there. There are no real stakes (we know Han and Lando will survive, we know about their future relationship) and everything in it ranges from decent to groaningly unnecessary (the original of Han "Solo") to somewhat disturbing and unnecessary (Chewie eating people). Th...

Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 08:32 PM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Well, tonight's episode was fairly twisted. Moclans just keep getting weirder and weirder. Maybe it's just me, but there's something about Bortas and Klyden arguing in their deep monotone voices whenever they have marital problems that I find unintentionally hilarious. And I knew as soon as that pizza turned into goop there was a porn virus lurking about. And when the episode wasn't wallowing in juvenile humor, there was that pretty good B-plot about the doomed people on the dying world. It's breathtaking how this show can hit so high and so low in the same episode. Something that occured to me last episode is just how interesting alien designs on this show gets. Sure, Alara goes for the fairly standard rubber forehead, but there's a lot of creativity otherwise. I don't think that it's unintentional ;)

Friday, 17th November, 2017

  • 10:59 AM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville - Season 1
    Ah, FOX scheduling strikes again! Okay episode this week, never been a fan of these types of episodes though. Crazy Claire was entertaining, as well that scene for all those arachnophobes out there, and LaMarr's clown phobia was funny. Interesting twist at the end. Biggest missed opportunity was whatever holodeck simulation Gordon and LaMarr were about to run, especially after Bortas showed up with a powdered wig and pistol too. I really wanted to see what they were going to run, because Gordon comes up with some pretty zany stuff in there. Just guessing: Burr-Hamilton duel?

Friday, 10th November, 2017

  • 08:53 PM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville - Season 1
    Yeah, the critics hate it, but the audience seems to like it. Sure, there's a lot that's silly and lowbrow, but it's done a pretty good job of following in Trek's footsteps. I enjoyed it from the start, it's just a fun show to watch. Honestly, it's been too long since there's been any decent space opera like this on TV, people say there's too much dark Sci-Fi and the audience is enjoying this as something fresh. To me a lot of what's on broadcast TV seems to be lots of superhero stuff, and while that's not bad, this show's a great change of pace. Sure, there's a lot of puerile humor, but they've done pretty well with social commentary stuff; the Social Media World episode was the sort of thing you'd see back in the TOS days or the classic Twilight Zone. This week's episode wasn't too bad either, though I found the plot twists to be pretty predictable. It still delivered well. I had a feeling that Lowe's character was kind of manipulating Kelly somehow, and it was pretty funny whe...

Friday, 13th October, 2017

  • 11:47 AM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville - Season 1
    I wonder if McFarlane plays D&D, because someone pulled out one of the dirtiest tricks in the RBDM playbook here. Krill kids? That's just nasty. Always chaotic evil? I thought it was a pretty good episode. Yup, typical Star Trek style moral quandary. I enjoyed it very much. I have to wonder now if the same moral question comes up every time that they engage a Krill ship? And to the resolution: Can you say, "Pop goes the weasel"?

Friday, 6th October, 2017

  • 11:57 AM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville - Season 1
    Nightfall was the first thing that came to my mind when they opened that up. And I found the "Boom, bitch!" line to be hilarious. Mostly because I was thinking just how badly out of character that would be for someone like Worf or Tuvok in that situation. Tonight's episode was pretty good too. I think the Mr. Potato Head scene was one of the funnier ones so far. While something like the leg as a response was predictable (it was going to be something hugely inappropriate), it was still funny to me. I thought that the whole thing played out like a TNG episode, barring the comedy relief. Reminded me a bit of the Matt Frewer episode of TNG.

Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

  • 01:56 AM - Ryujin quoted Orius in post The Orville - Season 1
    It was entertaining enough, had a pretty strong Trek vibe to it. The characters feel more, I dunno, real? than the crew members from the modern Trek series. But then it's got Brannon Braga as one of the producers (is that why we have a holodeck scene in the first episode? :]), and the doctor played Kasidy Yates on DS9, so that just ups the Trek vibe (come to think of it, didn't that head scientist guy play Bashir's dad too?). Those bad guys look like a mis-mash of several "bad guy" Trek species too. I did have one horrible, horrible thought about 10 minutes into the show though. IT'S ON FOX From where I sit Brannon Braga being involved isn't a ringing endorsement either.

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