What are the greatest Core mods of Year 5?

What are the best Year 5 Cord modules?

  • COR5-20 Phantoms on the Bright Sands by Tom Kee

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-19 Retribution

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-18 Kusnir by Stuart Kerrigan

    Votes: 3 6.5%
  • COR5-17 Time's Tide on Bright Sands by James Dempsey and Bruce Paris

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • COR5-16 Here Comes the Sun! by Pierre van Rooden

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-15 Immortal Longings by Mike Hinds

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • COR5-14 All Roads Lead ot Rauxes by Chris Chesher

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • COR5-13 The Price of Power by Craig Hier

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • COR5-12 Return to the Undercity by Christian Alipounarian

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • COR5-11 Dark Deceit on Bright Sands by Chris Chesher

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-09 Gateway to Bright Sands by Theron Martin

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-08 Clipping Wings by Shawn Merwin

    Votes: 8 17.4%
  • COR5-07 Rings within Rings by Rainer Nagel

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • COR5-06 Blood on Bright Sands by Creighton Broadhurst

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • COR5-05 A Marked Man by Matt Maddy

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • COR5-04 Desecrators of the Lord’s Tomb by Bruce Paris

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • COR5-03 Atonement by Theron Martin

    Votes: 12 26.1%
  • COR5-02 The Voice of Reason by Pierre van Rooden

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • COR5-01 The Stone Man’s Missive by Ron Lundeen

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • None, I hated all of them!

    Votes: 19 41.3%

  • Poll closed .

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WizarDru

Adventurer
D'karr said:
And a somewhat undeserved "bad rap" at that.

I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder. I don't think it has that bad of a rap...but my personal experiences with the RPGA have not been stellar. I think one of the most amusing things was I somehow got a player's character in enough trouble that he was going to have to appeal to the local Council of Three (or whatever the exact term is) to get released from Greyhawk's jails in my very first RPGA game.

In all fairness, I think the RPGA is OK. But it fell short of what I'd hoped for, and the experience is very variable, depending on your group.
 

SgtHulka

First Post
In my opinion, Year 5 was much better than Year 4. Here are some reasons I feel that way:

1. More "classic" enemies. Norkers, Hobgoblins, Orcs, oh my. The only other time *any* of my characters met any of those three creatures was in the Year 3 Core "When Orcs Attack". I'm so sick of fighting evil human cultists.

2. Mass battles. I'd been getting sick of "APL 2 -- 3 Warriors and a Cleric, APL 4 -- 3 Fighters and a 2nd Level Cleric, APL 6 -- 3 2nd Level Fighters and a 3rd Level Cleric" etc. Previously it seemed like every encounter capped out at 4 enemies. In Year 5 there was one module at APL 2 that involved 12 Hobgoblins. Finally cleave became a worthwhile feat!

3. The Pomarj.

4. Environmental effects (Sandstorm)

5. The bringing of several "classic" Greyhawk enemies to major plots (Rary, Robilar, Turrosh Mak (sp?))

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to play Rauxes or Times Tide, so I couldn't able to vote for them. I did vote for Marked Man because I felt it was better paced than ninety percent of LG mods. It started with a battle, had a battle in the middle, and a battle at the end. I wish more modules were paced that way -- instead of 3 hours of investigation leading to a series of back to back battles at the end. Also, Marked Man introduced the "unofficial" Pomarj story arc, which has continued into Year 6 and I really like.
 

Anthraxus

Explorer
I enjoyed playing and judging Rauxes probably the most of them all. The Bright sands mods were pretty good, too.

RPGA experience is pretty variable. It depends on the local area, mainly. But, you can always sanction your home group to play, if you can get 4-6 people together.
 

MerricB said:
However, sanctioning home games is... simple. Really, really simple. You need a Herald+ level DM and 4-6 players, and the ability to tell the database where and when and what you'll be playing 5 or more days in advance.

The one *tricky* bit is getting membership cards for those who aren't members, and that generally just requires you to get someone nearby to send you some cards/applications.

--------

A home game is a private affair for only you and your friends.
The statements above the line tend to illustrate that the statement below the line is both absurd and utterly delusional.
 

Firebeetle said:
Only 12 actual voters (since 14 put the non-commital vote down) out of over 200. Yeah, it's a little surprising. I thought RPGA would be far more widespread than that.
Perhaps because the RPGA is quite superfluous to actually playing. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be BENEFITS, just that the RPGA does nothing for me that I can't do for myself.
 

Siriak

Explorer
Man in the Funny Hat said:
Perhaps because the RPGA is quite superfluous to actually playing. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be BENEFITS, just that the RPGA does nothing for me that I can't do for myself.


I respect that many people on this list have a well-established local gaming community or group that they play with. In fact, I am envious. I must say, however, that the RPGA is certainly not superfluous to my playing. My job sends me to places that don't always have a solid gaming base. With RPGA, I can keep my characters over an extended period of time and play in LG when the oppurtunity presents itself. Also, I love convemtions.

I know the RPGA is certainly not for everyone, but, I think is deserves some credit as well. Meeting some guys at an RPGA convention is what got me back into 3rd edition after a long hiatus from D&D.

Vince
 

pogre

Legend
Firebeetle,

I am/was certified to RPGA modules - did the test and all that.

Could you give me some advice on how to run a RPGA open game? I enjoyed running some RPGA modules at GenCon, but I'm not sure how to get something like that going locally.

I have a great home group, but I would not mind running an occassional RPGA event to share.

Feel free to PM me or answer in this thread.

Regards,

pogre
 

Lucias

First Post
It's too bad you only picked core mods. The triad here in Dyvers, especially Joe Selby, really went all out to make Year 5 the climax that it was meant to be. Pulling together plots from every year and tying them together in a great struggle which I know my group loved. Year 5 was just a great year in Dyvers. Year 6 started well, but we've lost some of our best triad...we'll see how it ends up.
 

arscott

First Post
Here are the ones I've played/run, and my feelings on them:

COR5-20 Phantoms on the Bright Sands by Tom Kee
Tom Kee is the head of my local triad and writes many of our mods. This one is classic Tom Kee: Fun, Straightforward, and Tough as hell.

COR5-17 Time's Tide on Bright Sands by James Dempsey and Bruce Paris
Nonsensical, railroady, and needlessly lewd. The only fun part of this mod is commiserating about how horrible it is with your friends.

COR5-16 Here Comes the Sun! by Pierre van Rooden
I personally didn't enjoy this one, mostly because it caused my character to suck in exactly the sort of situation where he should have shined--and part of that ineffectiveness was inserted to set up a railroaded conclusion. And while I can enjoy mysteries, the breadcrumbs in this were too big and obvious.

COR5-11 Dark Deceit on Bright Sands by Chris Chesher
If you play only one bright sands modules, let it be this. Not only because it's a good mod (some fun puzzles and combats), but also because it explains a whole lot about what's going on with the bright sands storyline.


COR5-06 Blood on Bright Sands by Creighton Broadhurst
Bleh. For something that's supposed to be a grand introduction to an important adventure path, this adventure was pretty boring. Spends way too much time saying "hey, check out what I can do with sandstorm" and not enough delivering a good adventure.

COR5-03 Atonement by Theron Martin
Mixed feelings about this one. It's a much better mystery than I've seen before in an RPGA adventure. When I ran this, my friends were in "push through the boxed text to get to the important combat" mode, so they didn't quite solve the entire mystery. But if they really push, they shouldn't have that much trouble solving the mystery (though I recommend taking more than four hours when you play the mod). My only real complaint is that the boxed text in unnecessarily wordy (and since it can contain clues, tough to summarize or paraphrase)
 

Firebeetle

First Post
Lucias said:
It's too bad you only picked core mods. The triad here in Dyvers, especially Joe Selby, really went all out to make Year 5 the climax that it was meant to be. Pulling together plots from every year and tying them together in a great struggle which I know my group loved. Year 5 was just a great year in Dyvers. Year 6 started well, but we've lost some of our best triad...we'll see how it ends up.

Hey, I'm in Dyvers! I've only gotten 27 actual responses out of hundreds of views, I presumed a poll on local mods wouldn't draw a lot of response. I'm surprised at the response and I'm surprised at the referendum on the value of RPGA.

Having said that, what do you think are the top modules of Dyvers Year 5 (or anybody else that cares to join in.) Here are the mods.

DYV5-01 Setting in the West by Tom Christy, Derrek Burrows, and Mason Mines
The lost fragments of the Niadeen Codex have been recovered. Adventurers and mercenaries are summoned to escort the final fragment of the ancient book to Leardyn Manor and to guard the ceremony where a new leader will take on the mantle of the Hierarch of the Ring of Steel. Meanwhile, enemies gather from across the Flanaess to prevent the transfer of power. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 2-12.

DYV5-02 Rising in the East by Joseph L. Selby
Six years ago Her Excellency Larissa Hunter, Magister of Dyvers, appointed the Seffren and Herall families to the easternmost fiefs in the Free Lands of Dyvers as a reward for their loyalty. Greyhawk City would no longer be able to subvert Dyvers gentry for their own machinations. But the magister is gone now�. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 2-12.

DYV5-03 Dining With The Dragon by Kevin Elmore
With civic tensions skyrocketing and accusations of slave traffic increasing, Lord Darian Kesser calls together the entire Gentry Council at a banquet in his city manor. Those people who wish to bring Kesser's dark activities to light ask you to take advantage of his divided attention and infiltrate his manor so that the truth may be revealed. A time-sensitive adventure for APLs 2-12.

East vs. West by the Dyvers Triad
The most critical interactive in the history of the Dyvers region.
In the wake of tragedy, the fate of the City of Dyvers lies on a knife's edge. Powerful forces seek to take advantage of the situation, and there are few that can hope to stop them. What can you do to keep the city from falling to ruin, or worse? An interactive experience for APLs 2-18.

DYV5-04 No More by Joseph L. Selby
No magister. No government. No peace. No hope. No Dyvers. Not any more. The City of Sails stands on the precipice. The only thing keeping it from being lost to history�is you. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 2-12.

DYV5-05 Riposte by Joseph L. Selby
As foreign troops once again enter the city, the announcement spreads like wildfire. All able and willing volunteers are to report to the docks immediately. The entirety of the Free Army, Free Marines, and Navy has been activated. The largest Dyversian military force ever assembled crosses the Nyr Dyv to the Empire of Iuz as the City of Sails goes to war. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 2-12.

DYVINT5-05 Old Debts of Old Wicked by the Dyvers Triad
In CY 592, 10,000 people lost their lives in Dyvers� Great Dock Fire. Three years later, it has finally been revealed that the Empire of Iuz started the fire as reciprocity for House Kurault�s aid of the Shield Lands� efforts against the empire. Like hammer and anvil, the Free and Independent City of Dyvers and the Restored Holy Realm of the Faithful of the Shield Lands have joined forces to show Old Wicked that even a god must answer for his transgressions. And after years of fighting, the first domino falls as the entire Flanaess begins to unite behind those nations that have struggled against the empire for so long. A Dyvers-Shield Lands Cross-Regional Battle Interactive for all APLs. This interactive is not meant for those characters that are not willing to participate in sustained combat.
Interactive running only at MageCon South

DYV5-06 Matters of the Heart by Joseph L. Selby
As the siege against the forces of Iuz rages, the Gentry Council approaches you with a request. The demon-cambion Kurault has been located. You are asked to cross the border into the Empire of Iuz to exact justice. Rogues and Rangers will excel in this adventure. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 12-18.

DYV5-07 End of the Line by Joseph L. Selby
Reward the faithful. Punish the wicked. Reciprocity in the Free Lands. An adventure for APLs 2-12. It is highly recommended that players first participate in Dyv5-01, 5-02, 5-03, and 5-04. A Dyvers regional adventure for APLs 2-12.

DYV5-08 Casualties of War by Joseph L. Selby
With success against the Empire of Iuz, the return of the Dyversian armada, and the reestablishment of the Gentry Council, Dyvers finally has time to rest and take account of the past year. With so many great deeds, did anything fall through the cracks? Or worse, anyone? A Dyvers regional adventure and denouement of the 5-year story arc for APLs 2-12.


DYV5-09 What Know You of Peace by Joseph L. Selby
For the first time in four years, all three trade routes�the Velverdyva-Tuflik-Fals, the Nyr Dyv, and the Gnarley Road�are open and unobstructed. Merchants return en masse and Dyvers remembers that she is a mercantile city, not a warrior state. Can there be peace at last? A new Dyvers regional story arc for APLs 2-12.

And the intro mods:

DYVINTRO5-01 Maraven Inn by Joseph L. Selby. Original Concept by Dean Waltenberger.

With the docks restored, ship traffic to Dyvers is increasing, taking more of the Navy resources. Slavers are taking advantage of the lessened patrols, raiding merchant ships near Eastgate Island. A Dyvers Introductory Adventure for 1st-level characters.

DyvINTRO5-02 A House, A Door, A Dilemma by Eric Paul Price

The city of sales, the city of opportunity, but only it seems so if you're already experienced or know someone. Unfortunately, without knowing someone or being experienced already there are few opportunities for the would-be adventurer. Perhaps today will be different. A Dyvers Introductory Adventure for 1st-level characters.

DYVINTRO5-03 Nature's Child by Eddie Montague Jr.

An ally from the Gnarley Forest has asked for the temple of Obad-hai�s blessing upon his child, and they need someone to chaperone the child from the forest back to the temple. A short trip through the Gnarley to escort the child to Obad-hai�s temple can�t be too difficult for a group of adventurers can it? A Dyvers introductory adventure for 1st-level characters.

DYVINTRO5-04 Exoneration by Kevin and Crystal Elmore

It is not unheard of for adventurers to be hired to retrieve an item from the sewers under the city of sails. It is a little unusual when the Dyvers Sewer Patrol needs a group of daring adventurers to enter the dangerous tunnels. An introductory module for 1st-level characters.

I really enjoyed Exoneration, chasing after one particular Gelatinous Cube in the Dyvers sewars was thrilling and amusing at the same time.
 

Firebeetle

First Post
Man in the Funny Hat said:
Perhaps because the RPGA is quite superfluous to actually playing. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be BENEFITS, just that the RPGA does nothing for me that I can't do for myself.

Things I personally can't do for myself:

A.) I can't take my character to any one of numerous conventions and special gatherings that occur weekly and sit down with a bunch of strangers and still have an excellent, balanced game session without the RPGA. Usually more than one session.
B.) I can't network with other players and DMs locally from my home table without the RPGA. It took me three years to build my group, it probably would have taken a month, maybe two, had I started going to RPGA gamedays. Man, I'd love to have those years back.
C.) I can't select from a very long list of free games without the RPGA.
D.) I can't judge seven slot at Gen Con for a room and a pile of swag without the RPGA.
E.) I can't have lasting effects from adventures (the Adventure Record), short of house rules, without the RPGA.

There's more, but there are plenty of reasons to game with RPGA. I have my home campaign as well, but I definately enjoy my RPGA experiences.
 
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Firebeetle said:
Things I personally can't do for myself:

A.) I can't take my character to any one of numerous conventions and special gatherings that occur weekly and sit down with a bunch of strangers and still have an excellent, balanced game session without the RPGA. Usually more than one session.
B.) I can't network with other players and DMs locally from my home table without the RPGA. It took me three years to build my group, it probably would have taken a month, maybe two, had I started going to RPGA gamedays. Man, I'd love to have those years back.
C.) I can't select from a very long list of free games without the RPGA.
D.) I can't judge seven slot at Gen Con for a room and a pile of swag without the RPGA.
E.) I can't have lasting effects from adventures (the Adventure Record), short of house rules, without the RPGA.
As for A) to indulge my own little rant, I do not believe that ANY game is EVER balanced one PC to another. Balance is an illusion/delusion. Even identical characters get played quite differently by different players under different DM's - even when running identical adventures, etc. But that's just me. And I've attended exactly 2 conventions in 30 years. Still, I could bring characters and play in games that do not require the same... conformity and have just as good a time. Yes?
As for B) that would be the single greatest advantage I could see to joining/participating in RPGA events.
C) I've been making my games up as I go along pretty much since I first started DMing so I don't need a lot in the way of D&D adventures. If it's games other than D&D you're talking about, well I consider myself lucky to have time to play even a fraction of the various games that I have NOW. A steady supply of more games that I won't ever get around to is of no value to me.
D) Again, I don't attend Cons - time, money... time...
And as for E) I must confess I'm not sure what that means, or at least I can't see why it would be a selling point to me given the above.
There's more, but there are plenty of reasons to game with RPGA. I have my home campaign as well, but I definately enjoy my RPGA experiences.
And again, I'm sure I would as well were I a member. Still, there is something about such meta-game structure, formality... conformity being applied to D&D that has always bothered me. I understand the reasons for it, but I just don't care for it.

[/derail]
 

qstor

Adventurer
Arnwyn said:
Ah. Nope - the RPGA has gotten a pretty bad rap around here.

There's numerous old threads on the pluses and minues of the RPGA. I'd suggest that you take at look at them. It's not for everybody.

Mike
author of Year 6 Core
 

kaomera

Explorer
I'm not wanting to de-rail this thread, but the only way to sign up for the RPGA is still to show up at an actual event, yes? Also: is there any way I could possibly retrieve the membership # I would have had several years ago? (Do they expire?)
 

NiTessine

Explorer
Man in the Funny Hat said:
And as for E) I must confess I'm not sure what that means, or at least I can't see why it would be a selling point to me given the above.
After every Living Greyhawk adventure, you are given an Adventure Record, a sheet of paper marking down the experience points and gold you gained during the adventure, how many Time Units it cost you (a character has 52 Time Units per year), the treasure you found, plus... other effects. These other things include the favours and disfavours of different people or organizations, access to new feats, magic, items or prestige classes from the accessory books, as well as stranger stuff, such as bases of operation, long-lasting blessings and curses, and seemingly inconsequential things that may come in play during a later adventure. The adventure record also notes where in the Flanaess an adventure took place and has the coat of arms of said region. They look pretty, and the memories stay with me longer.

There are a couple of reasons I play Living Greyhawk. Firstly, we have a moderate-sized player pool over here, and it's nearly always possible to get a game going at even a short notice, provided it's an adventure that hasn't been run three times already.

Second, the adventures make the world feel like it really does live. In adventure series, there are consequences to your actions that may impact later adventures, and events of different adventures and story arcs can have long-ranging effects in many places.

For example, at GenCon UK 2005, they played the Reclamation of Scant, a big special event where some 40 groups played a series of short special missions where they drove the Scarlet Brotherhood forces from the capital of Onnwal. The city was destroyed by a magical effect set off by the Brotherhood commanders, but the Red Brothers were beaten and Onnwal was free. Now, in 2006, we in the Principality of Naerie, whose region lies down the coast from Onnwal, are seeing some influx of Scarlet Brotherhood refugees, fleeing from Scant. Our local SB undercover agents are getting panicky.

Third, it allows me to get a game going even while I'm on a holiday, and it's assured I get to play a new adventure, thanks to the regional system. I've thus far done this in Netherlands (Sunndi) and the United Kingdom (Onnwal). That particular character can't really return to the latter one anymore, though, on account of having a standing death sentence...
 

kenobi65

First Post
kaomera said:
I'm not wanting to de-rail this thread, but the only way to sign up for the RPGA is still to show up at an actual event, yes? Also: is there any way I could possibly retrieve the membership # I would have had several years ago? (Do they expire?)

Pretty much, yes, that's the primary way to join.

However, membership doesn't expire anymore (it became a free lifetime membership in 2002), and so, your number is probably still in the system, if you indeed did register at some point.

Anyway...

I haven't played many of the 595 Cores, but I did enjoy Time's Tide and Clipping Wings quite a bit.

As several have noted...there aren't a lot of hardcore RPGA/LG players here on EN World (or, if there are, they're pretty quiet). IME, any RPGA-related thread attracts a few comments along the lines of, "I played once, I HATED it", and this thread already has a few of those.

For me, RPGA is my opportunity to actually *play*. I DM for 3 home groups, all of which suffer from a lack of other players being willing / able to DM. I love DMing, but I love playing, too. In my RPGA play (both online and F2F), I've met a lot of good gamers, and made a lot of good friends. In the interest of truthfulness: I've also met a small number of really bad gamers, whom I'd avoid playing with again. Fortunately, in roughly 200 or so sessions of RPGA play, I can count those bad players on both hands.

Also, a couple of other explanatory notes on "Core" versus "Regional" modules in LG:

If there's a sufficient number of RPGA players in a particular area of the country or world, LG assigns that area to a "region" for Living Greyhawk. For example, the states of Illinois and Indiana are assigned to the region of Verbobonc, while the United Kingdom has been assigned to Onnwal.

Each "region" has a group of volunteers (called the "Triad") who administers play in that region. Primarily, each region is allowed to produce a number of adventures each year that take place in that region. In order to play a particular regional adventure, you have to actually *be* in that region, at an event organized by someone in that region. Thus, if you want to play a Verbobonc adventure, you have to be in Indiana or Illinois. (The exception to this: a very small number of big conventions, such as Winter Fantasy and GenCon, offer limited opportunties to play events from other regions.)

Core adventures, on the other hand, generally take place in areas of the Flanaess that aren't assigned to a particular region, and they can be played by any LG player, anywhere in the world. (And, if you live in an area that doesn't have a big RPGA presence, and thus doesn't have an LG region, you're limited to playing Cores.) As someone has already noted, you can also play Core modules online (something that you're not allowed to do with Regionals).
 
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smerwin29

Explorer
Just as a less tangential tangent, let me say that writing a good RPGA adventure, especially a Core adventure, is difficult. I've tried to describe writing one to my peers who write fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and this is the closest I could come: it is an ugly amalgam of short story, interactive fiction, science manual, user manual, and drama (a play).

Having run countless campaigns in various role-playing games over the past 30 years, I have enjoyed creating adventures for my players in home campaign. Writing adventures for mass consumption, especially RPGA adventures, requires a much varied skill set and is a whole different ballgame.

It is amazing and wonderful, and sometimes scary, to see how much at the mercy of each DM you are as an author. Unless a player actually goes back and reads the adventure, what they are really judging when the critique the experience is the DM rather than the adventure itself. There are certainly methods to writing the adventure that make it easier for the DM to run it as you envisioned the play experience, but it is the DM who has to bring the NPCs to life, run the combats fairly and wisely, lead the PCs through the "story" of the adventure, allow the PCs to deviate when applicable, etc.

I've been blessed to have played under a lot of great RPGA DMs early in my RPGA experiences, and the chance to play the game and then read the adventure taught me a great deal about how to write adventures that help DMs create fun games.

And yes, the RPGA isn't for everyone. And no, the RPGA isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But for me, at least, it has been an incredible ride, a great springboard into doing freelance writing and editing for a number of gaming companies, and just a darn lot of fun.

Shawn
 

Arnwyn

First Post
qstor said:
There's numerous old threads on the pluses and minues of the RPGA. I'd suggest that you take at look at them. It's not for everybody.
I have absolutely no idea why you quoted me. Where do you think I got my statement from?
 

Firebeetle

First Post
pogre said:
Firebeetle,

I am/was certified to RPGA modules - did the test and all that.

Could you give me some advice on how to run a RPGA open game? I enjoyed running some RPGA modules at GenCon, but I'm not sure how to get something like that going locally.

I have a great home group, but I would not mind running an occassional RPGA event to share.

Feel free to PM me or answer in this thread.

Regards,

pogre

I've changed names pogre, but you were quite helpful to me once. I was the "d20fool" who is a teacher and had my job challenged by playing D&D (does someone have the link for the full story?) If you'll remember, I vowed to start a gameday so school age players could play. So I have.

That's a great idea pogre. I think the advice thing is such a good idea, I've started a whole thread on it.

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?p=3199200
 

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