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      Logging in   05/10/2017

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by measuring circles

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About by measuring circles

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  • Birthday 06/20/1949

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    Skribbane and sniping pedestrians.

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  1. Spiderweb games are on sale right now at Good Old Games (scroll down a bit through the list). You can pick up the first two entries in the Avadon series for $2 each, all six of the original Avernum series for a total of $1.19, or the whole Geneforge series for $3. If you've been waiting to finish your collection, now's a good time! —Alorael, who brings you this reminder in case your shame at your incomplete collection has kept you from answering the Grand Poll. Nethergate is still on you, though.
  2. Freedom of speech allows religions to have ceremonies for, and recognize, marriages that are not legally recognized or binding. This isn't just academic; this happens, although not all that often. So the distinction already can exist. Where the problem exists is significantly in trying to keep civil and religious marriage equatable even if they aren't necessarily equated. Whether that's a reasonable or good goal is, of course, a matter of dispute that often aligns with the social values liberal-conservative axis. —Alorael, who can see some tempers flaring a bit in this thread. Please remain polite. In particular, no demonizing people for political affiliation or painting with too broad a brush. Keep accusations of bigotry down and disagree with statements, not the fundamental nature and moral value of your interlocutors.
  3. For the list of things that one can be a fan of I bemoan the lack of a N/A option. There are things I simply have basically no opinion on, and other things I have a strong negative opinion on. Why am I deprived of my opportunity to loudly make my complaints known? —Alorael, whose overwhelmingly most frequent mode of transportation is his own two legs. But he went with public transit, because he's pretty sure he takes the train more than he takes taxis or Lyft/Uber. And since his bike has been stolen and he has no car, there's not really another option.
  4. Freemium can be obnoxious, and it can make for a miserable pay-to-win competitive environment, but the core idea is that you pay for more of the product. Compared to selling your data, or spyware, I think it has much lower potential for unavoidable and secret evil. —Alorael, who can see the argument that the users/players who get sucked in and dump more money than they really can afford into freemium are victims. But they're victims who also made a choice. And as partly self-inflicted evil goes, freemium rates far below plenty of other things that have made headlines.
  5. Businesses offer free services because they're still making money from them somehow. Sometimes it's by directly making money from the use of the service. Sometimes the revenue is advertising; sure, that only works by customers spending money, but it's not like they lose anything. And sometimes the service is essentially a loss-leader: it's good enough that users will donate, subscribe, or buy the add-ons to the free version and make money. —Alorael, who has no idea what model Discord uses. So he did some looking, and it seems to be trying to go freemium. Despite the sneer that goes along with the term after countless awful free to play games, freemium is a perfectly good and benign model.
  6. An argument could be made that where one's thoughts go and how one respond's based on that says something meaningful. You can set up an implicit bias-like version of the test where the questions are flashed quickly and you have to give a response without putting time and conscious thought into it. —Alorael, who would actually find it very interesting seeing how closely unconscious political leanings and manifest beliefs differ. He'd bet largely not by much, but here and there there might be surprises.
  7. You are a: Communist Pro-Government World-Federalist Bleeding-Heart Progressive Collectivism score: 100%Authoritarianism score: 33%Internationalism score: 100%Tribalism score: -100%Liberalism score: 67% —Alorael, who thinks that's about right. He's been called all of those, except "world-federalist." But he's happy to adopt it as a proud label or possibly shouted epithet.
  8. It's very hard to come up with any theory that matches all possible classes. There's an argument for the G5 PC being Monarch, but the PC can be a servile, and Monarch isn't. —Alorael, whose personal theory is that the G5 PC was a moderately powerful but not particularly noteworthy rebel until Rawal got his hands on the poor soul. The PC isn't someone who went through Sucia-style Geneforging and isn't someone of endgame PC stature because he or she could, in the end, be taken down by sufficient pile of mooks.
  9. There's always Unity, but no, there's nothing really like Blades of Exile/Avernum in terms of accessibility and ease of use. Even if you don't want more modern graphics that kind of scenario design tool has always been a fairly rare beast. —Alorael, who doesn't see why this would have to be kept off the forums. It's wrong to show up and start pitching a product. It's okay to ask for something relevant to forum interests and have someone publicly help you out.
  10. There have been previous attempts of various thoroughness at making tabletop Avernum, mostly based on d20. I don't think there was ever much effort to playtest. I know I'm not volunteering. Legally, I think Spiderweb doesn't care if you make a fan game until and unless you start independently distributing it, especially if you're selling it. If you're even thinking about that you need to talk to Spiderweb. All that said, Avernum as a setting is one that's interesting and that I've mined for tabletop ideas. Avernum game mechanics are fairly bland, don't actually reflect the setting very well, and aren't particularly friendly to tabletop. You're thinking about what is, as best I can tell, an attempt at a ground-up new rules system. There are many, many, many systems for fantasy, or fantasy-friendly generic systems. They run the gamut from ultra-cruncny to rules-light. Other than mimicking Avernum's mechanics, which I already think isn't particularly laudable in itself for a tabletop game, what are you going for? If you can articulate a niche that isn't served that you're designing for, then you have reason to bring your own iteration on the generic-ish fantasy game to fruition. —Alorael, who for the record thinks D&D/d20/Pathfinder hits very close to the mark on having mechanics that match the world of Avernum. A few tweaks on spells, mostly to limit thinks like teleportation ruining the entire concept of Avernum, and you're pretty much good to go, with the advantage that you didn't have to create a new system and you have one lots of people are familiar with and like. And he says this as someone who isn't a huge fan of D&D/d20/Pathfinder, generally.
  11. In case you didn't notice, it happened, or is in the process of happening. Links are definitely broken right now. —Alorael, who plans to remain hunkered until further notice.
  12. We're going to be upgrading to a newer version of the forum software (IPS4) in the next few days. One quirk of the upgrade is that usernames are going to be replaced by publicly displayed names (PDNs, the name that's visible to everyone). You can log in with that, and continue to change it if you want; you will also be able to log in with your email address. This is a warning. If suddenly you find that your username doesn't let you log in, try your email address or PDN. And if you have problems with that, contact the mods/admins. —Alorael, who also expects the usual new-software bumps and rough edges. Speak up if there are any issues. This thread will eventually be pinned, but for now it won't be so that anyone whose eyes just skip over pinned threads will notice this in a timely fashion.
  13. I'd say you have a fair sense of how Geneforge and Avadon go. Both are built on settings with big structural problems, and you are probably part of the problems. You don't get to have the clean do-gooding of Avernum. Geneforge does eventually let you find an ending that isn't bleak and that's probably for the best for most people (with a lot of argument among players about which ending that is!) but it's not clearly and unarguably heroic. I do think Nethergate might fit your tastes better. There's a faction choice, but you make it in the very beginning during character creation: play as Romans or as Celts. And either way, you're heroes. Maybe a little more so as Celts, since the locals generally get along with you better, but there isn't the same realpolitik current through the game as in Spiderweb's later offerings. —Alorael, who also wouldn't mind a return to something a little more optimistic. He's all for choices and consequences, but that doesn't have to mean always choosing among shades of gray. And there can be factions that disagree about the best path forward without being enemies or advocating ends justifying horrible means.
  14. Not as far as I'm aware. Not even all of the ghostly enemies, just definitely undead ones. —Alorael, who supposes it might work on demons. Sadly you won't encounter any. Actually, that might not be a "sadly" sort of thing.
  15. I think Jeff can't hope to compete on graphics. He can throw a moderate amount of money at the problem for no benefit or huge amounts of money for questionable benefit; his games just aren't pretty and making them so would be a huge investment. Where he does have an advantage is a built-up brand. He's not in the boat of yet another unknown release on Steam. There are people watching for his releases, and there's good word of mouth. That's a huge thing for a tiny business. Granted, I'd appreciate prettier game. I think there's a lot of room between high-res 3D fancy stuff and the honestly ugly, not-quite-cartoony graphics Spiderweb has been using. But I don't think Jeff really gets all that much marginal utility out of making things prettier. —Alorael, who sees graphics as one of the huge cost bottlenecks of games. Programming is a skill, but you can learn it. Writing is a prerequisite to story-driven games. But it's hard to get those qualities recognized if your art is no good, and even a rather bad game will still get a lot of attention if the eye candy is eye-catching enough.