Jack Thompson : Please commit suicide

Everyone in the States has heard of the ESRB if they play video games. The Entertainment Software Rating Board is a non-profit, self regulatory board essentially started and owned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). They assign ratings to video games to give parents a better idea of the content of that video game. They also help enforce industry adopted advertising guidelines. Also according to their site they some how help with online privacy. (Not sure how, didn’t read that in depth about that one.)

Everyone in the States has heard of BestBuy, one of the larger electronics retail distributors. They sell everything from digital cameras, CDs, DVDs, computers, monitors, and sound systems to RAM, Hard drives, washers, dryers, and World of Warcraft. That is to say they sell everything electronic and that includes video games and other software.

This might lead you to ask what do these two have to do with each other? Technically very little. Unless of course you add a self aggrandizing and egotistical lawyer into the mix. Enter Attorney Jack Thompson. Who is Attorney Jack Thompson? By all means please pause here to peruse just a little of his many articles online. Yes, I realize that to read just those three sites might take hours, so I hoped that you only skimmed them or were already familiar with him. Let’s move on to the point…

If the ESRB are guidelines, and not laws. If Bestbuy tries to follow those guidelines, that once again are not laws. And if oh say dear old Jack decided to send his 15 year old son to Bestbuy to purchase a “rated M” game… how would anyone in their right mind think that they can sue Bestbuy, AND the ESRB! Oh hey wait I know! Jack you have violated the ESRB guidelines by allowing your son to purchase a “rated M” game! You should also add yourself to that lawsuit!

For fuck sake, disbar him please. I’m sick of hearing about this guy.

The TV and movies children watch, the video games that children play, the music children listen to and the books or magazines that children read are the responsibility of their parents to police. Not law enforcement agencies, and certainly not you. So shut the fuck up and go commit suicide since that is what you’ve done to your political and law careers.

Civic Duty and Realms Rant interwoven

There is a little thing called civic duty. Arguably one could call it sense of community obligation. There are several ways to discuss the same topic. It all boils down simply to if you are truly a member of the community. If one skates the edges of responsibility to the community and or one does not participate in the very community centric events, are they truly a member?

What is community?

Websters dictionary (here defines Community like this:

com·mu·ni·ty
Pronunciation: kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē
Function: noun

1: a unified body of individuals: as a: state, commonwealth b: the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself c: an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society e: a group linked by a common policy f: a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests g: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society 2: society at large3 a: joint ownership or participation b: common character : likeness c: social activity : fellowship d: a social state or condition

Community is a group or organization of individuals that share something together over a course of time. This can be something as simple is monthly meetings to support your local Linux Users Group (LUG) or something as diverse as the players in a Live Action Role Playing Game (LARP). Community is the responsibility of everyone in it for the betterment of, continued success of, and continued existence of the group or whole. Simply this means that if you are a member of the group then you are expected and responsible for some or all these things.

Let us use a current day example. Heinlein wrote about civic duty, and civic responsibility in his book Starship Troopers. Where to become a citizen one had to participate in public services and/or serve a term in the military. To get the right to have a voice in the way things are run, to be able to vote, you have to be a citizen. This purposely creates a divide between those willing to serve and those who are not. If you are not willing to, or have risked dying for the cause you do not understand what it means to be a part of the community (in this case citizen).

One could draw a parallel between this style of “government” and the current ruling class in the Realms today. To become an event holder and have the right to vote at the EHC takes more then just the decision to become an event holder. It takes the dedication to a minimum level of attendance as well. This is a service to the community. You not only have thrown an event using our community rule system (and hopefully it was a good one), but you have attended a certain amount of other events which helps the community as a whole.

One could possibly argue that the minimum attendance meant a lot more when it was instituted. When there were 24-30 events a year it was a lot more to commit to and attend 6 events in that time. Now that there are more events in the year 36+ it is a lot easier to make it to and attend those 6 events.

Which brings me to point one of this dissertation. The definition of requirements to vote at the EH should be changed. It should be brought more in line with what it initially meant or it should be changed to better reflect the current level of community.

Simple fix: Up the number of events that must be attended in reference to event calendar average. If the average events have gone up in the given year from 24 to 36 then six should be changed to nine. (this is of course a vast generalization and does not reflect the actual numbers beyond gross estimation.)

Pros: None that I can think of. However fewer cooks in the kitchen may result in less time spent at the EHC meetings ever year.

to be continued…

REALMS: Necro 6 replacement 2008 v1.3 w/ Archetypes

After reading some comments and suggestions I took a few minutes to re-write this again. I tore out the flaws as I felt that it made the spell overly complex with the addition of archetypes.

SIMPLE: Create Soldier (Necromancer 6)

Uses: 1*special (see below) – Verbal: 40 words, and a full explanation
Material: A willing player to NPC the soldier, garb, mask.

This spell creates or summons a creature to do the spell casters bidding. This creature is completely loyal to the spell caster and will not directly seek to harm them.

Upon learning this spell the spell caster must pick one of the following archetypes for their soldier.

• Undead – The soldier is considered undead and must follow the Undead Caveat. They can be held back by both Protection from Undead and Protection from Enchanted Beings spells. Additionally soldiers that are undead cannot be raised by Raise Dead, Combat Raise Dead, or Potion of Raise Dead Spells, or Cry of Life. Additionally Call the Soul does not work on them. Undead Soldiers automaticly have the immune to poison and disease option and Heartiness option once for free.
• Construct – The soldier is some sort of Golem (flesh, bone, armor, etc) is an Enchanted Being and must follow that caveat. They can be held back by Protection from Enchanted Beings spell. Additionally Soldiers that are Constructs can only be raised with the Repair Item spell. Their limbs can be repaired by Repair Armor. They cannot be raised by Raise Dead, Combat Raise Dead, or Potion of Raise Dead Spells, Cry of Life, Create Zombie, or Create Undead. Repair Magic Item will fix a scalped Construct, but not return it to life (you will also need a repair item). Construct Soldiers automaticly have Heartiness and immune to poison and disease option once for free.
• Elemental – The soldier is some sort of Elemental (earth, air, fire, water, shadow, etc.) is an Enchanted Being and must follow that caveat. They can be held back by Protection from Enchanted Beings spell. Soldiers that are Elementals cannot be raised by Create Zombie or Create Undead. They cannot purchase armor. Additionally Call the Soul does not work on them. Elemental Soldiers automaticly have the immune to poison and disease option and magic resist once for free.
• Special – The soldier is something else. Come up with something creative. If you spend points on any spell like abilities below the soldier is an Enchanted Being and must follow that Caveat. Otherwise they are not considered enchanted. They can be raised just like a player.

Each time the spellcaster learns the spell they gain 4 points to construct their Soldier from the following table:

* One 18″ dagger 0 pt.
* Primary Weapon 1 pt./ft rounded up
* Secondary Weapon 1 pt./ft rounded up
* Shield 2 pt.
* Armor 1 pt./pt. of body armor (max 3 pt.)
* Regenerating Armor 3 pt./pt. of body armor (max 3 pt.)*
* Regeneration 3 pt.*
* immune to poison and disease 2pts.*
* Heartiness (as spell) 1pt.
* Poisoned Weapon 4 pt. (for 5 swings of “poison” per event)*
* Diseased Weapon 3 pts (for 5 swings of “disease” per event)*
* Armor-Piercing 4 pta. (for 5 swings of “armor piercing” per event)*
* Magic Resistance 2 pt. per point*

* denotes a spell like ability

No more than 12 points can be spent on the creation of a soldier.
• If the soldier does not use the free dagger, 18″ can be subtracted off the length of its primary weapon. If the soldier’s only weapon was 3′ 6″ long, it would only cost 2 points (2′ plus free 18″).
• A shield costs 2 points, no matter how large it is.
• Every point of body armor counts towards each hit location.
• Body armor can be repaired though use of one Repair Item spell per hit location unless noted other wise in the chosen archetype.
• A soldier may not have more than 3 points of body armor, and may not combine regenerating armor and normal armor.
• A soldier’s regenerating armor repairs itself when the soldier is Raised (as specified in it’s archetype), Regenerates by use of the Ability, or if the soldier lies down without attacking for a 60 second count. Taking this ability makes the Soldier considered an enchanted being.
• Regeneration allows an un-scalped soldier to regenerate after 120 seconds. Also see the Regeneration Caveat.
• Magic resistance works as per the Abjurer path spell Resist Magic (the soldier may choose when to use it), except that the points may be stacked.
• Soldiers may not use any weapons or armor not specifically granted them through the point system, and may not use magic items, except for potions, which it may administer, as directed.

Every 4 points that are used to construct the soldier also gives it an additional 50 blows before it is considered ‘scalped’.

If a Undead of Elemental soldier is scalped the spell ends. An un-scalped soldier may be healed and raised as normal.

Casting Create Solder uses up 1 casting per 4 points spent on the soldier. The spell caster must record in his spellbook the build for their soldier(s).

Pool System Information

The Pool System in it’s present incarnation was created on Sunday, September 30th 2007. This section of the web page is devoted to publishing it, and information about it in a forum where everyone can see and read it publicly.

Additionally the Riders for the Pool System were created on the same day at the same time. Although they are presented here together please do not mistake them for one proposal. The Pool System is a single proposal, and all the riders are their own unique and separate proposals.

Thank you,
Dave Dolph, Mike Amend, Jason Gray, Dave Hayden and Neil Tozier.

Pool System Riders Spells

Alphabetical by Pool with Riders. If you can think of a better way to make this more readable please let me know.

First: Cure Disease, Disrupt Light, Detect Magic, Heartiness, ID Creature, Identify, Immunity to Poison, Light, Pas, Protect Item, Speak, Speak with Dead, Repair Armor, Zombie Walk

Second: Death Watch, Deep Pockets, Dream, Heal Limb, Potion of Armor Repair, Protection from Boulder, Protection from Magic Missile, Protection from Undead, Repair Item, Zombie Send

Third: Commune with Spirit, Create Zombie, Disenchant, Enchant Armor, Enchant Blade, Feign Death, Fortune Tell, Group Animate, Group Healing, Potion of Heal Limb, Protect the Soul, Protection from Missile Weapon

Fourth: Call the Soul, Create Poison, Enfeeble Being, Eviscerate, Mystic Forge, Potion of Create Zombie, Protection from Melee Weapon, Purity, Raise Dead, Séance

Fifth: Armored Cloak, Circle of Protection, Combat Raise Dead, Create Undead, Disrupt, Find the Path, Magic Missile, Poison Weapon, Potion of Combat Raise Dead, Protection from Magic, Repair Magic Item, Transmute Self

Sixth: Armor-Piercing Weapon, Circle of Healing, Create Potion, Create Undead Soldier, Familiar, Protection from Enchanted Beings, Regeneration, Regenerate the Scalp, Silver Weapon, Vision, Banish Conjured Being

Seventh: Assassin’s Blade, Create Magic Weapon, Cry of Life, Divine Knowledge, Embrace Death, Intervention, Lightning Bolt, Power Potion, Resist Death, Resist Magic, Transformation

Pool System Spells

Alphabetical by Pool. If you can think of a better way to make this more readable please let me know.

First: Cure Disease, Disrupt Light, Detect Magic, Heartiness, ID Creature, Identify, Immunity to Poison, Light, Pas, Protect Item, Speak, Speak with Dead, Repair Armor, Zombie Walk

Second: Death Watch, Deep Pockets, Dream, Heal Limb, Potion of Armor Repair, Protection from Boulder, Protection from Magic Missile, Protection from Undead, Repair Item, Zombie Send

Third: Commune with Spirit, Create Zombie, Disenchant, Enchant Armor, Enchant Blade, Feign Death, Fortune Tell, Group Healing, Potion of Heal Limb, Protect the Soul, Protection from Missile Weapon

Fourth: Armored Cloak, Call the Soul, Enfeeble Being, Eviscerate, Group Animate, Mystic Forge, Potion of Raise Dead/Create Zombie, Protection from Melee Weapon, Purity, Raise Dead, Séance

Fifth: Circle of Protection, Combat Raise Dead, Create Poison, Create Undead, Disrupt, Find the Path, Magic Missile, Poison Weapon, Protection from Magic, Repair Magic Item, Transmute Self

Sixth: Armor-Piercing Weapon, Circle of Healing, Create Potion, Create Undead Soldier, Familiar, Protection from Enchanted Beings, Regeneration, Regenerate the Scalp, Resist Magic, Silver Weapon, Vision,

Seventh: Assassin’s Blade, Banish Conjured Being, Create Magic Weapon, Cry of Life, Divine Knowledge, Embrace Death, Intervention, Lightning Bolt, Power Potion, Resist Death, Transformation

REALMS: Necro 6 replacement 2008 v1.2

This is a slightly re-written version of my revamped Create Soldier proposal that I originally posted on Realmsboard last November. This has nothing to do with the Pool System Proposal or the Riders attached to that. This is an independent proposal that I thought that I would share with the community since someone mentioned that the current version of Create Undead Soldier was very broken.

— start spell desc —
Create Soldier (Necromancer 6)
Uses: 1*special (see below) – Verbal: 40 words, and a full explanation
Material: A willing player to NPC the soldier, garb, mask.

The spellcaster’s player needs to find another player who is willing to play the soldier(s) and must supply that player with garb and a mask that allows other characters to realize what they are seeing is a construct of some kind.
This spell calls a soldier to do the bidding of the spellcaster. The spellcaster may only have one soldier in-play at any time. Soldiers are not considered to be undead unless advantages/disadvantages taken below change this state. Soldiers are considered to be enchanted beings. (see the enchanted being caveat)

When this spell is first cast, the spellcaster has to decide what the abilities and disadvantages of the soldier are. Once the soldier has been summoned once, the spellcaster can only summon that particular type of soldier, unless he learns the spell again, in which case, the spellcaster may summon a more powerful soldier, or may build a second soldier in their spellbook. The powers of the current soldiers must be written in the spellcaster’s spellbook. If the spellcaster unlearns a use of the spell, the soldier he summons becomes weaker, and must be adjusted accordingly.
The soldier is completely loyal to the spellcaster. It requires no payment for its service.

The soldier has to obey all the same rules for weapon lengths as all PCs do.
A spellcaster may take one disadvantage per learning, to construct his Soldier, however the extra point must be spent on the soldier that the rest of the points are spent. Unless specified otherwise each disadvantage can only be taken once per soldier:
• Disloyal Soldier: The soldier while loyal to its spellcaster will attempt to circumvent orders by being literal, slacking off while the necromancer isn’t paying attention, and/or talking back to and arguing with their spellcaster.
• Undead: The soldier is considered undead and must follow the Undead Caveat. They can be held back by both Protection from Undead and Protection from Enchanted Beings spells. Additionally soldier that are undead cannot be raised by Raise Dead, Combat Raise Dead, or Potion of Raise Dead Spells, and are immune to poison and disease.
• Weak Aura: Magic weapons (but not the Magic Missile spell) are considered armor-piercing vs. the soldier. Additionally wounds inflicted on a soldier by magic weapons cannot be regenerated from, but the soldier can be completely healed through an expenditure of a Create Zombie or Create Undead spell. Healing a soldier does not transfer ownership of the soldier to the spellcaster. It remains loyal to the spellcaster that created it.
• Demonic Infestation: The soldier despises the living, especially healers. Any time they have a “healer” path spell cast upon them, they will kill the healer, and proceed to into an uncontrollable rage killing everything and everyone around them, including friends.
• Unfailing Memory: The soldier remembers all the other times that s/he has been summoned and is not happy about it. While similar to disloyal soldier, they will not attempt to circumvent orders. They will however bad mouth their “caster” at every opportunity, and relate the casters secrets (if they have any) to others in the area. Examples of a secret would be scalping PCs, clandestine international incidents, etc.

Each time the spellcaster learns the spell they gain 4 points to construct their Soldier. For each learning currently in the spell casters spellbook the spellcaster may take one of the disadvantages from the list above to get another point to spend on their soldier. The spellcaster may also spend points gained from disadvantages to purchase special abilities from the following table:

  • One 18″ dagger 0 pt.
  • Primary Weapon 1 pt./ft rounded up
  • Secondary Weapon 1 pt./ft rounded up
  • Shield 2 pt.:
  • Armor 1 pt./pt. of body armor (max 3 pt.)
  • Regenerating Armor 3 pt./pt. of body armor (max 3 pt.)
  • Regeneration 3 pt.
  • Poisoned Weapon 5 pt. per weapon
  • Diseased Weapon 3 pts (for 5 swings of “disease” per event)
  • Armor-Piercing 5 pt. per weapon
  • Magic Resistance 2 pt. per point

No more than 15 points can be spent on the creation of a soldier.
• If the soldier does not use the free dagger, 18″ can be subtracted off the length of its primary weapon. If the soldier’s only weapon was 3′ 6″ long, it would only cost 2 points (2′ plus free 18″).
• A shield costs 2 points, no matter how large it is.
• Every point of body armor counts towards each hit location.
• Body armor can be repaired though use of one Repair Item spell per hit location.
• A soldier may not have more than 3 points of body armor, and may not combine regenerating armor and normal armor.
• A soldier’s regenerating armor repairs itself when the soldier is Raised with the Create Zombie spell or Create Undead spell, Regenerates by use of the Ability, or if the soldier lies down without attacking for a 60 second count. Taking this ability makes the Soldier considered an enchanted being.
• Regeneration allows an un-scalped soldier to regenerate after 120 seconds. Also see the Regeneration Caveat.
• The poisoned weapon, diseased weapon and armor-piercing abilities may not be used on the same weapon. Taking these abilities also makes the soldier considered enchanted.
• Magic resistance works as per the Abjurer path spell Resist Magic (the soldier may choose when to use it), except that the points may be stacked.
• Soldiers may not use any weapons or armor not specifically granted them through the point system, and may not use magic items, except for potions, which it may administer, as directed.
Every 5 points that are used to construct the soldier also gives it an additional 100 blows before it is considered ‘scalped’. A 5 point soldier needs to take 300 blows before being scalped, while a 15 point soldier can take 500 scalping blows. If a soldier is scalped the spell ends. An un-scalped soldier may be healed and raised as normal.

The Banish Conjured Being spell (7th circle Abjurer) scalps a soldier, ending the spell.

Although each learning of the spell give the spellcaster points to create his undead soldier they do not have to be spent on one soldie, however all points learned from a single casting must be spent on the same build. Casting this spell expends 1 casting per 5 points spent on the soldier (rounded up).

For example (all three examples assume that the caster took a flaw to get 5 points per learning): Johnny Fifth the Spellcaster has learned the spell three times. He has taken one flaw per learning and has 15 points to construct his Soldier(s). He decides that he wants one really powerful Soldier and spend them all on one build. It will take all three castings for him to cast the Soldier.

Sarah Diverse has also learned Create Soldier three times, but has decided to build three separate soldiers. She spends her points to build three 5 point separate builds. Casting her 5 point soldier only expends 1 casting.

Shaun the Dead has three learnings of Crete Soldier and wants some versatility. So he spends the points from two learnings on one build, and invests the points from the third learning into a second soldier. Which gives him a 10pt Soldier and just in case it gets obliterated a 5 point soldier that he can call.

— end spell desc —

Pool System Proposal (RFC Part 2)

In addition to the main proposal here are the list of riders that we are proposing to further balance and re-tweak the system slighty:

— start riders —

The following are Rider Proposals that will be attached to the Pool System
Proposal. We feel that the following changes are essential to balancing
existing spells in a pool system.

Potion of Armor Repair
– Reduced to 5 uses
– Reasoning: it is transferable and faster then Repair Armor

Armored Cloak
– Moves to the 5th circle pool
– This keeps the spell in the same space as it would be in a 1-point
buy down system. Damage mitigation is a perk of fighters, and this change
balances against that.

Potion of Raise Dead
– Now a separate spell in the 5th circle pool
– Rename to Potion of Combat Raise Dead to reflect its nature
– This balances it against combat raise dead

Potion of Create Zombie
– Now a separate spell in the 4th circle pool
– This balances it off other ~Scombat raise~T spells

Create Zombie
– Moves to the 4th circle pool, bumped up to 4 uses
– The verbal now requires 20 words

Group Animate
– Moves to the 3rd circle pool

Resist Death
– Can no longer be stacked with Armored Cloak

Resist Magic
– Moved to the 7th circle pool
– Unlimited uses, need to lay on back to recharge
– Players will now have to choose between protection from physical or
magical damage

Banish Conjured Being
– Moves to the 6th circle pool

Create Poison
– Moves to the 4th circle pool
– Now 5 uses

Spell Progressions:
– Spells are now learned in the following paths 1-6, 1-7, 1-6

The following three proposals are not Riders necessary for the Pool System
proposal, but we feel that they further balance existing spells:

Create Magic Weapon
– Add text which allows for the creation of a magic arrow

Protection from Enchanted Beings/Undead
– Add the following text, You cannot be holding a weapon or spell
prop while casting this spell.
– This emphasizes the defensive nature of this spell, and addresses
concerns over what constitutes and aggressive action.

Circle of Protection
– The material component of the spell will be a white rope no longer
then 10″

We want to know if this type of system would work, so please give us
whatever feedback you can. If you are uncomfortable sending something to the
public list, please forward your comments along to me
(slaaderguardian@hotmail.com).

If you think you can make a build that breaks this proposed system, we want
to know about!

If you have other Riders that you would like to see attached to this
proposal please let us know about those too!

Thank you in advance for your comments, concerns and suggestions,

– Dave Dolph, Neil Tozier, Jason Gray, Dave Hayden and Mike Amend

Pool System Proposal (RFC1)

This past Sunday several of us got together at Dave (Vawn)’s house to discuss the viability of a zero cost (or no cost) buy down magic system for the Realms. Below is the core concept of the proposal, feedback requested:

— start email —
At its core the Realms has always been a skill based fighting system, and
the other elements of our game have been balanced against that fundamental
concept. With that in mind we have developed a proposal that will convert
our current spell system into a pool-based system.

A pool system offers the following benefits:

1) The opportunity to balance spells based on a shared power level as
opposed to path balance.
2) The addition of new and creative individual spells without the need to
force entire schools of magic into the system, rearrange existing spells, or
drop existing spells.
3) Added versatility – defined as being able to further customize your
character’s spell list.
4) Renewed interest in the spell-system as a means for character
development. You could utilize the spells we have to build the character
you’ve always wanted.

We recognize that a pool system would give more “power” to buy down spell
casters through added versatility, but we feel these casters retain their
balance with other spell casters and fighters.

The basic proposal would require two core changes:

1) The removal of all spells from their specific school (Healer, Shaman,
Channeler, etc.), so that they are all now grouped into a pool at their
current circle.
2) The reduction of Armor-Piercing Weapon to 3 uses per learning. This is
due to the fact it can be taken more times within the pool system. The
spells uses need to be lowered to maintain balance.

We want to know if this type of system would work, so please give us
whatever feedback you can. If you are uncomfortable sending something to the
public list, please forward your comments along to me
(slaaderguardian@hotmail.com).

If you think you can make a build that breaks this proposed system, we want
to know about!

Later this evening we will be sending out a second e-mail with a series of
rider proposals that will be attach to this main proposal. We feel that
these riders address certain balance issues that arise as a result of
pooling all spells.

Thank you in advance for your comments, concerns and suggestions,

– Dave Dolph, Neil Tozier, Jason Gray, Dave Hayden and Mike Amend

— end email —