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Kelandon

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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Kelandon

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    The "than anyone else" part is a bit overbroad; judges and various other officials generally can officiate marriages as well. So there is a parallel, totally secular system.
  2. Kelandon

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    Other than adding a modifier to the term "marriage," is there any other separation that you would want? Because I don't really understand what you mean other than that we don't use separate words for the two concepts (except when we do).
  3. Kelandon

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    Yeah, not so much. The federal government sometimes prohibits discrimination in its own ranks more broadly than it prohibits in private employment (and occasionally vice-versa as well — it can exempt itself from federal antidiscrimination law). So no, there's never been an explicit general federal ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, or discrimination in public accommodations, or (as far as I know) anything else. People have tried to pass a federal ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the last few efforts have failed. Generally, blue states have such a law, so I suspect expect that it will pass at the federal level the next time that Democrats have unified control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Not just possible — this is essentially the system that we already have.
  4. Kelandon

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    There's kind of a long way between recognizing same-sex marriages and enacting an antidiscrimination law stripping tax exempt status from nonprofits that discriminate in their services on the basis of sexual orientation. Heck, we don't even have a federal antidiscrimination law that expressly bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that's a lot less of a leap. So the slippery slope argument here, like most slippery slope arguments, seems grossly overwrought.
  5. Kelandon

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    I've said this before, but making up definitions of terms is worse than employing standard definitions of standard terms. Even if you just lift definition out of Wikipedia or something, you'll still have something a little more plausible than something that you made up yourself. And it looks like these political definitions were basically just made up, rather than drawn from some outside source. And I get that there is some value in maintaining continuity with past survey questions, but how great is that value when the questions themselves aren't very good? Do you want to keep asking a biased/unclear question over and over again for comparison's sake? If the question is invalid, the comparison is also likely to be invalid. Also, just as a general reminder, italics, bold, and all-caps convey emphasis. If you fill up your post with these kinds of emphatic markers, you seem like you're shouting.
  6. Kelandon

    Resting

    That is presumably holdover text from a previous version in which resting was still a thing. That's been changed; you don't need to rest anymore. Just enter any friendly town.
  7. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Yes, that is the point that I have been making. Hey, what a great example! It's probably true that these loosely Echoes-linked TM scenarios are about as related as NH is to Bahs/Ex/The Magic. But that Chessrook44 did in fact choose to play Nobody's Heroes in chronological order between Exodus and The Magic. So to the extent that doing that made sense, it also makes sense to do TM scenarios in order, at least the ones with plausible Echoes tie-ins (particularly RoR and maybe Canopy and Settlers). I honestly can't tell if you're joking — I honestly can't tell if the last handful of posts have all been some kind of elaborate and evidently successful attempt to troll me — but if you aren't, look to my previous post, where I did exactly this. If you want more detail, I can dig into the scripts if I have to, but it's there.
  8. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    So, by way of example, Roses of Reckoning takes place in the same world as MA/E:R, a thousand years later (though it was released earlier) and on a different continent. They're both within the extra-canonical historical structure established by TM's BoE scenarios, and they occasionally call back to that structure (a lot more explicitly in RoR). I think the various "tiger" (i.e., rakshasa) references in Canopy place it in the same universe also, but I'm not sure. (I honestly have a lot of trouble following what is going on in Canopy, so there may be more direct connections to the Echoes continuity than that.) I'm pretty sure Settlers is also intended to be within the same universe (you're working for the Empire). I have no idea if Emerald Mountain has anything to do with TM's broader continuity, and it doesn't appear that Bonus Army or Aphobia directly connect. The connections aren't very strong (they don't share characters), and it doesn't really make a big difference if you play them in order, but several of them are related.
  9. Kelandon

    Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    Wonder Woman does also have a traditional representation going back decades, so they're not writing on a blank slate. That's not to say that they couldn't change her appearance, just that it would be a bigger lift because of her history. I guess they change characters' appearances/backgrounds somewhat regularly, e.g., the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was changed from Asian to Celtic, but I think that's not a particularly good practice. But one doesn't have to change anything in order to feature characters who look different from the ones who've already been featured. I know less about DC comics, but I do know the X-Men series well (at least through the late '90s), and I would've loved to see, e.g., the Storm/Forge romance from the '80s as the central plot of a movie. It was a great story, better than some others that have been featured, but the lead would have been a black woman, and the main supporting actor would have been a Native American man, so I guess this was not where they were going. I've read that next year's New Mutants movie is going to be an adaption of the Demon Bear story (which is awesome) and, true to the original, it will heavily emphasize Dani Moonstar (who I think is a great character). Dani Moonstar is Native American in the comics, and they actually cast a woman who is part Native American. And we're getting a Black Panther movie next year, too. So the studios are finally starting to move on this, albeit way too slowly.
  10. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    True, and that's more or less what Chessrook44 said at the time: To which Dintiradan responded: Which Chessrook44 definitely saw; he replied: So no, it's not because the information wasn't available or Chessrook44 didn't realize the information was available.
  11. Kelandon

    Another GUI enlargement attempt

    My recommendation would be the layout of the most recent picture, but change the main view to 1.5x, increase item fonts 1.5x, and shrink the action icons to one row (like in the third iteration) and move them under the item list.
  12. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Nobody other than me two months ago in this thread, you mean. To be clear, I don't really care what order you play scenarios in (even if I think it's weird). I'm just still in the "pointing out when you say things that are wrong" mode.
  13. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Tarsus, you're still misunderstanding me, but I don't know how to say it more clearly. I'm not saying that playing MA before E:R is pointless. Obviously it's not. I'm saying that starting TM's BoA scenarios at MA, rather than RoR, is weird if you intend to play everything in order. I don't remember the specific connections, but I don't think it's entirely true that TM's other BoA scenarios have no connection to each other whatsoever; at a minimum, they're basically all set in the Echoes universe.
  14. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Okay, but that's sort of the wrong way around. I'm not saying that E:R and MA aren't related; I'm saying that almost all the other ones are related also. EDIT: At a minimum, starting at MA is sort of like deliberately playing Icewind Dale before playing Baldur's Gate. It's not wrong, exactly—they're not sequels, although they are in the same setting and the later makes a little reference to the earlier—but it's odd, at least when you're otherwise fairly insistent about doing things in order.
  15. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I've basically said this before, but I don't know where you got your "play in order" lists from, and your source doesn't seem very reliable. I don't remember Echoes: Renegade well enough to remember whether it is a direct sequel to Mad Ambition, but it is part of the Echoes series, and just about every other TM BoA scenario is also part of the Echoes series. So I don't know in what way it makes sense to think of Mad Ambition and Echoes: Renegade as parts of a series but not, say, Canopy or Roses of Reckoning as parts of the same series (and as earlier installments in that series). As I said before, TM's plots are such that I'm not sure it really matters, but this approach to scenarios is weird.
  16. Kelandon

    Another GUI enlargement attempt

    I have no problem with the pixellated graphics, but the smallness of the text is not great.
  17. Kelandon

    Grand Poll -- category suggestions

    The quoted text.
  18. Kelandon

    Grand Poll -- category suggestions

    I'm not sure, but this may be the first time I've gotten one of your references.
  19. Kelandon

    Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    I mean, sexualization and violence in video games are trends that go back to at least the '80s. They've gotten more extreme as games have gotten more elaborate, but they were there a long time ago. (Was that what the scare quotes were intended to indicate? It seemed unclear.) It's hard not to notice when two-fisted fury is directed at you.
  20. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    This is a good idea, at least when it's something that's preventing you from making progress. Many game-killing bugs in BoA are actually fairly trivial for designers to fix if we know about them — it's just that we often don't. This is especially so when we designed on Mac and you're playing on Windows. In response to certain situations with certain scripts, Mac BoA will function perfectly fine and Windows BoA will crash, which means that there are all kinds of crashes that Windows players experience that Mac designers have no idea about unless they're reported to us. For example, telling Mac BoA to erase a character that doesn't exist does nothing. In Windows BoA, it causes a game-killing crash (at least some of the time, possibly all of the time). It takes literally one very simple line of code to fix this; just check if the character exists before erasing it. But if you're a Mac designer, you might have no idea you have to do this unless Windows players report their crashes (and report them fairly precisely) to you. There are a lot of situations like this. Also, Thralni, if you need any sort of advisory assistance with a scenario, I'd be happy to help. I haven't actually played WtRM, but I could.
  21. Kelandon

    Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    This is a myth. People who weren't really looking at the data said this, not people who were. There have been big polling misses in history, but this was not one of them. I think it's pretty fair to say that trans people are significantly over-represented here on Spidweb compared to their numbers in the general population. There are more trans people here than I've ever met in my life, and I grew up in San Francisco in the '90s and '00s. Are the trans people here all trans women? I can't say I've been keeping track, but it seems sort of imbalanced. (I vaguely recall reading somewhere that it's imbalanced in the general population too, that trans women are several times more common than trans men, but I don't know if that's actually true or if that's just something that someone said once.)
  22. Kelandon

    Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

    A couple of possible additional factors: * The Spiderweb community has leaned to the left from the beginning. (This may have something to do with the premise of the early Spiderweb games, too.) * Although we've tolerated some nastiness in the past, hate speech has been explicitly prohibited (and that prohibition has been enforced) for as long as I can remember.
  23. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    Somehow, I think I've gotten to the point where the core of Chapter 1 is designed. I haven't tested the very end of it, but everything that needs to be made is made, so it's just a matter of fixing bugs and balance. There's still a fair amount of side material to make, too—I'd say what is made is between two-thirds and three-quarters of Chapter 1—but I'm holding off on the side quests of that until I get (at least) to the end of Chapter 2. So I should probably do that last bit of testing and call Chapter 1 done for the moment. But I felt like making more stuff, so I moved on and designed some towns for Chapter 2. I also made up a bunch more names, knowing that I will need a gazillion more to keep going. (At the moment, I'm making up lists of names and then drawing from the lists when I create new characters.) One thing that Chapter 1 is missing is a big moment at the end. Basically every other chapter (including the Prologue) has some major plot development/twist at the end—I can't wait to write the end of Chapter 2/beginning of Chapter 3—but Chapter 1 is entirely missing that. It basically just ends with, "Well, you did those things. Good job. Let's move on." Each of the things that you do has some significance, but there's no wrap-up to the chapter as a whole. At some point, I need to come back and see if I can punch it up a little. I'm trying fairly hard not to have a part that lags, like the Mount Galthrax part of Bahssikava or the Strange Cave part of Exodus—both of which were there for reasons, even if those reasons were not entirely apparent at the time, but both of which I think lost energy relative to the rest of the scenario. My goal in Homeland is just to keep building, chapter after chapter, until it all explodes in blood and fire.
  24. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Chessrook44 posts videos with a nearly 2-week delay (i.e., what you're seeing is something that he did almost 2 weeks ago), so presumably he's referring to something that he won't post for another week or two.
  25. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    At one point this past week, I was looking for something someone said on CSR about either Bahssikava or Exodus (something to the effect of, "Me no like so many words! Me want crush things and steal loots! Murrrrrrr! Bad scenario 0/10") and I ended up skimming all the CSR comments on Exodus. Man, screw those people. Like, almost every single one of them. I remember now why I got so frustrated that I decided never to make Homeland. Anyway, lots of alpha testing! I've designed the skeleton of the main quest line for Chapter 1, and I've now tested most of it. One of the unanticipated results of the combat slowdown is that Repel Spirit, where it can be used, is relatively very strong. In general, the combat slowdown consists of giving 50% immunity to all types of damage (except poison/acid, at least in Chapter 1) to every monster and reducing the damage that the monster does, but Repel Spirit does unblockable damage, so it's unaffected by immunities. This makes it relatively twice as strong as it ordinarily would be. This was not something that I anticipated, but it seems right; I've always thought that Repel Spirit ought to do a lot of damage to undead, since it targets only undead (and, at high levels, demons), but it doesn't do much damage by default. But right now, Chapter 1 is a little undead-heavy and you end up using Repel Spirit too much; I'm going to change that for the next run-through. Alpha testing will be the death of me. I've refought some of these combats more times than I care to think about. Even the simplest little things have bugs in them, or unanticipated balance issues. But I think I'm getting a lot of that stuff straightened out early on. I've also replayed the Prologue several times now, and I love the Prologue. I hope I can get Chapter 1 to that point, but the Prologue is already there. Tiny spoilers follow.
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