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Everything posted by Goldengirl

  1. Last year, I said I wanted to make ganache truffles by the end of the year, and I did. This year I'm going to make some good chocolate mousse.
  2. If only the election results would come out as quickly as these poll results
  3. Serviles are just humans with lil trunks, huh? Not what I was expecting. The Cockatrice has to be "earned," maybe as a special quest reward?
  4. Extraversion - 36 Agreeableness - 53 Conscientiousness - 24 Neuroticism - 75 Openness to Experience - 88 These are all pretty big shifts from my past score. Years of therapy, cognitive development, and a fancy new gender will probably do that to a person.
  5. I'm just going to sidestep the conversations about sexual dimorphism and gender essentialism above, except to say that you should consider that there may be other reasons why statistical breakdowns of differing gender achievements happen for reasons like social factors and cannot be reduced to biology. I hope that there will be some type of nonbinary/androgynous/agender option, especially if we're putting in gender options for each class (which should happen).
  6. The Battle Alpha more or less matches my imagination, big hair punchy ape type critter. (Incidentally, that was more or less my imagination for what a Thahd was, too, though not as big obviously). I was also thrown by the fact that Glaahks will now have some ranged magical attack. What's next, delicious Glaahks? Jeff has been making games as Spidweb since I was born, I trust him to be able to give a solid estimate of when the game will be released. I'll be excited to play through Mutagen in the new year! Combat-zones, IMO, are not empty. They just rely on a different form of storytelling, one more driven by the atmosphere and the setting than by dialogue. For example, in the original G1, I only played the demo, but the haunting emptiness of a lot of Sucia Island, and the feeling of exploring a post-apocalyptic society, was far more established by the "empty" zones than by the bustling towns. Alhoon, my suspicion is that the "unnecessary words" that get cut aren't going to be the sort of "flavor text" that you cite as an example, but rather reducing repetitive text or rewriting sentences with messy grammar. I'm a lot more excited to see the Takers get more airtime. I think that having the rest of the series written will give a lot more substance to their hatred of Shapers. The fact that Serviles are a magical slave race is obviously enough to justify violent resistance, but there is a lot more material available that we can see after having explored Shaper society and seeing instances of corruption, airs of superiority, wealthy Shaper warrens contrasted with poor villages, and abuse of creations.
  7. As I said in the other thread, the G1 factions mostly differ in their position on liberation for creations, and how that liberation should be protected. Later games introduce factions that are anti-Shaping, so something like that could be an option. A foreign faction outside of the Shaper Empire is another possibility.
  8. I guess our sense of scale is different. In Krizsan Province, there are people who talk about when the province was settled. Granted, it was the last one to be settled, but that still means that it hasn't been so long. I'm also fairly certain people in A3 refer to Valorim as a frontier, directly. I think when we can talk about centuries of settlement, then we can say that settlement is more established. Adding on to the discussion of QW, it's definitely mostly just about getting vassals, not settling, and in that sense is more of a traditional imperialism. The entire central part of the continent is literally a settler colony, though.
  9. I had never considered that feature, but all of Jeff's games are relatively new, settler colonial societies. Central Terrestia in Geneforge is described as being under Shaper control for hundreds of years, but Eastern Terrestia is more recently settled. I was very interested with the indigenous themes that were brought up in G5 and wish those had been expanded on. Valorim is also described as being recently settled, and Avernum obviously is a very new society. Queen's Wish follows this trend, literally (re)starting the process of colonization and conquest. Avadon is the only game I can think of that doesn't have that feeling. Even when these games have old, established metropoles, they're never where the action takes place; it's always at the frontier. I haven't finished QW yet, but the vast majority of the game is set in Sacramentum, not Haven proper. Aside from an assassination, Avernum takes place entirely at the frontier, or even the frontier of the frontier. Geneforge 5 explicitly avoids sending the PC to the Nodye Coast or Lethia Province, and we only get a glimpse of the Shaper Citadel.
  10. New factions, huh. That sounds really interesting, and has my mind reeling with possibilities. The Obeyer - Awakened - Taker continuum seemed very complete in terms of servile rights. I wonder if there will be something like an anti-Shaping, proto-Trakovite faction? (They definitely wouldn't have that name!) Maybe some more diversity around the Sholai? Goetesschhh making his own version of the Barzite/Rising faction from GF2? Very exciting.
  11. Lu Xun is really good, and one of the nice things about him is that he deals in short stories. Thus, you can either devour his oeuvre fairly quickly, or savor each tale and still go at a reasonable clip. The definitive work that I'd recommend here is R. Keith Schoppa's Revolution and Its Past: Identities and Change in Modern Chinese History. It lays some foundations with the founding of the Qing Dynasty and the Macartney Embassy from the British in the late 1700s, but it's mostly focused on the 1800s through to more or less now. It's definitely a textbook, but it's got a narrative focus, is well-written, and focuses on a lot of the different stress points that led to the failed and successful revolutions in recent Chinese history. I've also returned to Dian Murray's Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790-1810, which, among other figures, covers the legendary Zheng Yi Sao (alternatively known as Ching Shih).
  12. This was the first book of Spence's that I read, and I cannot emphatically recommend it high enough. The added benefit, since it's about the literati, is that you'll get plenty of good literary recommendations from reading it. The May 4th movement at the end of World War One was one of the brightest moments of cultural production in modern Chinese history, for example, and it is enlightening to see the perspective of such a turbulent period of time from the fall of the Qing Dynasty, through the establishment of the People's Republic. Lu Xun, a master writer from that time, has been in my mind a lot lately. Lu recalls a discussion with a friend who urged him write, in which he explains that he is fatalistic about the future of China, Perhaps all of humanity, now, is in such uncertain times.
  13. I managed to snag some books from the library right before the order came from the governor's office to shut the libraries down. Have been savoring Time is the Thing a Body Moves Through, by T Fleischmann, which is nice. It's very literary, a mixture of prose and poetry and poetic essay. I get the feeling I'm reading it too quickly instead of doing a close read, but I always have that feeling with poetry. Anyway, it's nice, it's about the art of Felix Gonzales-Torres, how that art made the author feel, life as a queer and trans person, among other things. The more fantasy type book I've been going through lately is Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. It's a YA book that I've loved ever since I was younger, set in a world that is very unique and distinct from any other fantasy world I've encountered. The illustration is breathtaking, as well. The series is also, imho, able to grapple with some pretty heavy concepts effectively.
  14. I've considered playing through Geneforge, but it just feels too topical. I know diseases mostly aren't what gets Shaped, but they're nevertheless present. I've excluded Avernum 6 out of hand as well for this same reason. Fortunately, Jeff mostly doesn't seem very interested in diseases as plot devices; they're harder to kill with swords and fireballs, I suppose. I'm in Washington state, where the governor just issued extra restrictions for our shelter-in-place order. Fortunately, I am still allowed to go out one (1) time per day for exercise purposes, walking my dogs. My pets have really been highly supportive of these quarantine measures, which I'm sure they think are entirely for their benefit.
  15. Maybe it's cliche to see if anyone is devoting time that they may be in lockdown to playing thorugh Spiderweb Software games. I, after all, am mostly not doing that. But, that said, what are y'all doing with your time in lockdown/shelter in place? And if you aren't in lockdown (because you have to work, presumably), what are you doing with the free time you have? Aside from looking at some of my old games nostalgically, I have been reading much more voraciously than I have in a long time, calling my governmental representatives to beg for bailouts, and calling pretty much everyone in my phone contacts list.
  16. You are a: Communist Anti-Government Bleeding-Heart Libertine Collectivism score: 100% Authoritarianism score: -17% Internationalism score: 0% Tribalism score: -100% Liberalism score: 100% That'll do, I suppose.
  17. What a time it has been! Thanks for sticking through, even when people (myself included) got frustrated with your antics.
  18. As I said, Krugman had some very non-specific analysis. My own non-specific analysis, inspired by Krugman's analysis of "republican facades,' is that the power of the presidency has expanded dramatically to the point where it has overgrown the rule of law, already. By and large, Congress has not worked to contravene this.
  19. From an electoral standpoint, trying to remove Trump's mandate to be president seems moot. From a political standpoint, strategies of how to resist Trump's policies and goals is far more productive. re: rule of law. Paul Krugman recently compared Trump's presidency to the fall of the Roman Republic. Krugman's analysis seems pretty non-specific, here, and if anything just makes me think of how executive power has been ballooning in size historically since the onset of the Cold War, which is what uniquely gives presidents the ability to be more influential than they have been previously. Obama used them to pass policy through an obstructionist Congress, and Trump may use them for the same purpose if he is unable to effectively garner support among all parts of the GOP.
  20. I wouldn't be surprised if the Drakons were working on this in the shredbug facility, and only started working on that after the Presence failed to be controlled. I would say that the Presence really only makes sense in the Mera Tev / Okavano Fen, otherwise it simply doesn't make sense how it would make it to the Foundry.
  21. In all fairness, the Clinton campaign is joining in on the effort in Wisconsin.
  22. It's hard to not feel this very personally, as a poor trans woman and left activist. So, my comments will remain brief. Suffice to say, likeability is a crucial feature for a good president, even beyond just public appeal. The president is also the face of US diplomacy, after all, and no one can say that that doesn't require skill. The president also is the face of their political party, which means that they are instrumental in maintaining party discipline. In both of these applications, I think Clinton would have been far more skilled than Trump.
  23. Well, fixing the island-hopping issue with the boats would be a great start. Retconning the second Shaper continent would be a good idea, too.
  24. Since finishing my undergrad in the spring, I've taken a short break from reading non-fiction to catch up on more light reading. I've been working my way through the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, which is really refreshingly honest and light and just plain ol' witchy fun. I've got a long list of books to read after that, but I'll mention those as I get to them!
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