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Emmisary of Immanence

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Everything posted by Emmisary of Immanence

  1. Now that’s someone we haven’t seen for a long time, and stories I’m not sure I could even find on Wayback Machine anymore. Wow. —Alorael, who hopes all is well and his forbearance from trotting out ancient Spiderweb memes is appreciated.
  2. I'm a couple of editions out of date on Geneforge, but Shadowrun has at least the very basic framework of shaping built in the form of the rigger, the archetype that relies on operating drones, sometimes in semi-autonomous small squads. The trouble is that that part of Shadowrun has historically been clunky and miserable. Maybe 5E has cleaned it up? Cyberware and gunplay actually aren't a problem; it's easy enough to reskin the former as self-shaping (or take it out) and Geneforge has always had magic acting as tech. There would be no problem with a baton instead of a pistol and crystals instead of grenades. The other system that seems more intuitively obvious is summoning elementals and spirits, but that's mechanically simpler but also a balance nightmare and probably too mechanically simple to cover the variety of shaping well. —Alorael, who sees no reason that Geneforge couldn't be done with a heavily-modified d20 derivative. The problem is the heavily modified part: building a points system for much more detailed summoning, and balancing it, would be a large undertaking. It's been superficially brought up here before, and it usually falls apart because getting shaping to act and feel like Geneforge is so far from slapping new flavor and tweaks on any existing mechanics.
  3. Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. I would say it lacks a certain something that her more famous Ancillary series has. It still has a detached narrator who is extremely reliable about facts and unreliable when it comes to introspection. I was prepared to dislike it by getting it un-recommended to me, but I found it quite charming. It captures a mythic and even mythological atmosphere well, and the fact that it's a transparent rehashing of another work with a twist and an outside perspective doesn't detract anything. —Alorael, who also finds that it's one of those books that makes him really want to play the tabletop game adaptation, but there isn't one, and it's not something where even the bare bones of how to make one seems obvious. That's praise.
  4. Crystal Souls. GIFTS. Vlish. Do your worst, MyHeritage. —Alorael, who doesn’t mean it. Please be kind, AI overlords.
  5. I started changing my name daily in protest of getting to 1000 posts without a custom title, and Drakefyre kept moving the goalposts to keep me as Postmaster General. Drakey hasn't been admin since... 2008? I've given myself a custom title eventually since I don't think anyone else has the permissions to do it. —Alorael, who went for a walk down memory lane for that one. It gave him some laughs and some feels, and some of that walk went to times before feels were nouns.
  6. I find this flattering but also concerning. We now have data for Bayesian influence on Slartiferous production, and I'm afraid the upper bound is terrifying. —Alorael, who finds this scramble excessively challenging. The next time you should obviously do better at pleasing the unpleasable.
  7. I try to collect every trowel and put them in a pile. Those unsellable trowels know what they've done! —Alorael, who hopes for a better Geneforge economy in the remake. The individual shop limits are more annoying than interesting.
  8. I'm working in the hospital where, as everyone has publicized, we're having to be cautious and stretch supplies as we run low on personal protective equipment. We're all on edge, getting snippy in between medical teams, and everything not essential has been canceled. —Alorael, who could do with some working from home. It'll happen when he ends up quarantined, probably.
  9. Honestly, I think that one is its own curse. But granted, they are now living, thinking, feeling individuals who live and die by the thousands at the whims of neglectful children. —Alorael, who wishes for a cure for cancer and the common cold.
  10. Lord of the Rings is the ur-fantasy trilogy. The Silmarillion is quite intentionally like reading someone else's take on the Bible and Beowulf. —Alorael, who has picked up the Quantum Thief. It's delightfully impenetrable in the beginning.
  11. Hello and welcome! "Leave your sanity at the door" is the traditional greeting. —Alorael, who regrets that the forums have gone quiet enough that pondering why they're depopulated is one of the most recent posts.
  12. I can see Dorikas and the Darkside Loyalists given more emphasis and screen time while still leaving Rentar-Ihrno as the main or deuterantagonist. I also think Rentar-Ihrno could get more development. She goes from an interesting extremist in limits in A2-A3 to a literally damaged monster in A4. I think there's room to play more on the Loyalists' and Rentar's shared enmity for the Empire and how that spills into Avernum, too. —Alorael, who does think that's a pretty big retool. But it could leave the structure of the game intact while just being more and different words in some places. Jeff is pretty good at words. As long as the GIFTS don't become the secret masterminds behind everything.
  13. Neither of those are tests, exactly. I will be taking boards, the 9 hour marathon test that says I'm a doctor. Well, no, I already have an MD, but boards let me be an independent doctor. Well, not that either, because I've already been independently licensed for a couple of years. So, uh, it lets me say I'm boarded. That's good, I think. —Alorael, who has only two things to lose by failing. The lesser is the financial cost of having to sign up and take this thing again. The greater is the emotional toll of having to sign up and take this thing again. There's little practical consequence.
  14. Economic Left/Right: -6.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.59 —Alorael, who has been stable over time. He's drifted less than one point on each axis from what he remembers as his position when he first took this test years ago.
  15. It's been a long time, but I recall So You Want to Be a Wizard being a good trilogy that then kept going with extra books that were fine but not quite up to the standards of the initial ones. I'd put the Black Company in that list, too, actually. —Alorael, who has had all non-academic reading on hold recently while cramming for his big test and also trying to get some academic writing done. On the plus side, if all goes well, no more big tests for him for at least a decade!
  16. I think the rise of non-forum social media is the major contributor to the lack of new faces, while the older members have other things going on in our lives, so there's an overall slow trend towards less activity. We'll see if there's a substantial reversal after Queen's Wish is released, even temporarily. I've felt like recent releases haven't created as much General activity as was once the case. People come to ask game questions, if they don't just stick to Facebook, but not to talk about their political leanings or form meme cults. —Alorael, who also thinks it's self-perpetuating. Many people, him included, are more inclined to respond than to initiate discussions. If the first posters (not first reply "FRIST POST!!!" but real beginners of threads) aren't around, nothing gets started and no number of potential participants actually make a discussion in which any can participate.
  17. Multivac Ken Burns 227 chitrachs wearing a human suit King Arthur The Doctor of Doctor Who (any or all) Benjamin Franklin An arbitrary Mind from the Culture Lord Havelock Vetinari Cardinal Richelieu (real or Three Musketeers) —Alorael, who doesn't belong on this list and asks to be omitted.
  18. I think we are talking about the same Dark Castle, just not here. —Alorael, who isn't talking about Dark Castle at all, or at least wasn't until just now.
  19. Spiderweb's first Ikonboard first opened on March 24, 2001. Today marks these forums' 18th birthday. We're grownups now, and it's time to put aside childish things and focus on the important stuff, like escaping from caves, fighting tyrannical regimes, and optimizing character builds. —Alorael, who will take a moment to remember some good threads long past and some people, now moved on to pastures with better themes, who are hopefully doing well.
  20. Queen's Wish is actually the origin story of the Empire. —Alorael, who now understands that the Empire isn't only nameless because there's no reason to name the only game in town. It's also because it's named after a PC, and of course there's no way to accommodate all the names. Thus, its eponym is lost in the mists of time and myth.
  21. Just to throw off your groupings, I'm going to say that it didn't really do much for me. I'd say I disliked it more than I liked it, but I didn't hate it. —Alorael, who fears this will simply have him removed from acquaintance pools entirely so as to maintain clarity.
  22. "Fiction" is mostly used to mean "writing" here. Playing a roleplaying game with D&D as the rules set in the Dragonlance world is obviously fiction, but it isn't writing. And that holds up generally: we all know that video games aren't real, but Avernum and Geneforge are rarely described as works of fiction. Even movies usually aren't, exactly, beyond the "all characters and events depicted in this film are entirely fictitious" disclaimer. Fiction just is, without any modification, assumed to mean written literature. —Alorael, who won't go into the possible layers. "The Tearing of the Bodice" in Exile/Avernum 3 is a work of fiction that is, itself, fictional, as it exists only within the fictional universe of Exile/Avernum. Which is a good thing, really, because it sounds abominable.
  23. I think there's a difference between good hub design and bad, or lazy, hub design. In E3/A3, you can go about your business quite freely, and dealing with plagues will get rewards from surface towns, but you also have reason to go back to Anaximander for the big rewards. Which makes sense, since he's nominally your boss and it's worth having some tie to make you remember that you're an Exile/Avernite, not just a random band of adventurers. In Nethergate, you again have a boss, and interestingly a largely open world with a linear plot. You need to check in with your boss to do new things, but again, it's not forced. You can go wherever, and even do many different things, without any return to the hub. Starting in later Geneforges, and even more noticeable in Avadon, the quest hub merges with the gatekeeping function. You have to complete quests to access new quests and also new stuff. The two get inextricably linked, which makes the mechanic of going home, trawling for new quests and content, and then heading out again become, well, mechanical. I think that's much more of a problem than having a hub in the first place. —Alorael, who actually likes the design idea of having places that you return to rather than abandoning all old areas in favor of new ones. Avadon doesn't always do it gracefully, but it does it, and that produces more of a sense of investment in a place (both Avadon itself and the areas you visit and revisit on quests). A home base and a home cast of characters are useful plot elements. They just need to feel like plot more than mechanics or the game loses story and starts feeling like a return to town in Progress Quest.
  24. To me it looks like a medieval map made by people who have inexact measurements and inexact cartographic skills. Quite a few of those are oddly blocky and distorted. —Alorael, who at least doesn't see any forking rivers. The world-building powers that be will brook no bifurcations.
  25. Please don't reply in threads that are six years old! —Alorael, who has no objection to your comment except timing. But the discussion is long over and most of the participants are long gone.
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