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Topics - Engine

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Masked Man Robs Convenience Stores With Klingon Sword
Clerks Recognize Sword As Batleth

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Colorado Springs police are looking for a man who hit two 7-Eleven convenience stores early Wednesday, armed with a Klingon sword.

The first robbery was reported at 1:50 a.m., at 145 N Spruce St. The clerk told police a white man in his 20s, wearing a black mask, black jacket, and blue jeans, entered the store with a weapon the clerk recognized from the Star Trek TV series.

The robber demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount.

A half hour later, police received a call from a 7-Eleven at 2407 N. Union Blvd., where a man matching the previous description entered the store with a similar weapon. He also demanded money from the store clerk. The clerk refused and the robber "transported" himself out of the store on foot.

Both clerks described the weapon as a Star Trek Klingon-type sword, called a "Batleth."

Neither clerk was injured in the robberies.

Officers are reviewing the surveillance tapes from inside the store but Lt. David Whitlock said he does not plan to release the video or photographs "at this time."

Media and Inspiration / Nehalem
« on: November 11, 2008, 02:31:23 pm »
Anyone who pays any kind of attention to the PC market knows that Intel's new microarchitecture, i7, is on the way. [i7 is set for release on 17 November, which is either an amusing coincidence, or a bizarre strategy.] It brings with it a host of improvements, not least of which is the inclusion of the memory controller on the processor, the elimination of the front-side bus, and several new power-reduction methods. Oh, and it's fast. Properly fast.

The question, then, for anyone looking at a computer right now is, "To wait, or not to wait?" Early adopters are going to face $300 mobos and processors [for normal humans] in the $250 to $550 range, [Core i7-965 Extreme Edition: $999. Core i7-940: $562. Core i7-920: $284.] plus the need for not two, but three sticks of DDR3. You're looking at 150% to 200% increase in cost for a 25 percent increase in single-thread performance, and up to 100 percent increase in multi-core performance...which, for most real-world applications, will be closer to 10-20% increases.

Still, the alternative - right now - is to build Core 2 Duo [or Quad, if that's your thing]. Sure, there'll be big price breaks, but will they be worthwhile, considering you're buying right at the dead end? Yes, your PCI-Express cards can go to a new machine, and your SATA drives, but motherboard, processor, and RAM...those are gone.

Do you think it's worth it to buy Core 2 once the price breaks come, or would you hold off until the early adopter premium is done with?

And what do you think of Nehalem in general? Is its QPI clever? Is it time for the return of hyperthreading? How about these near-Prescott TDP levels? [That's one of my greatest concerns, given my focus on silent computing.]

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / GURPS
« on: October 21, 2008, 09:26:28 pm »
If I wanted to play - or GM - GURPS, where would I start? What books should I read, and where should I begin? Is there a "main book?"

Media and Inspiration / Missing Forum
« on: August 01, 2008, 03:21:51 pm »
edit: Never mind; figured it out.

Nisarg is dead. Long live RPGPundit!

Media and Inspiration / The Rights of a Sockpuppet
« on: July 24, 2008, 11:28:43 am »
Since this thread has gone so far off-topic, I thought it only appropriate to open a new one to discuss Pundit's behavior in banning a user for having forgotten their password and not responding to his challenge within 24 hours.

Quote from: RPGPundit;227739
It has to do with all of the factors put together: the fact he was an admitted sockpuppet...
"Sockpuppet" means, "someone who forgot the password to their old account they barely used?" I'd rather assumed a different meaning. Could you be more clear about the sockpuppet guidelines here, and precisely what the administrative actions one can expect are? I think banning - essentially, the ultimate reduction of freedom of speech on a forum - is a serious matter, and I'd like to be as informed as possible in regards to actions I might take which would lead to that eventuality.

Quote from: RPGPundit;227739
...didn't reveal his other ID...
Is there a sort of 24-hour grace period, after you admit you had an account here previously whose password you've forgotten, after which you're banned and thus unable to do so? Perhaps you might consider extending the "answer any question RPGPundit has" grace period, in the event people don't have an opportunity to check the site daily.

Quote from: RPGPundit;227739
If someone who hates you from some other site comes to theRPGsite for no purpose other than to annoy you and names themselves "Engine-Douchetard", you would be well within your rights to ask me to do something about that.
Oh. You have a very different idea of what constitutes "freedom of speech" than I do.

Quote from: RPGPundit;227739
Seriously, it really is very inconvenient to have to delete these extra lines at the end of your posts. Could you please add your signature to your signature?

[edit: And now I see the previous thread has been locked! Is this what passes for "freedom" on this forum? Forget your password, don't tell us your old account within 24 hours: get banned. A thread moves off-topic: don't request that discussion be taken off-topic, administratively force is there. Talk about RPGPundit in a less-than-flattering way: lock the thread. This isn't the freedom I know.]

Media and Inspiration / Conservatives and Guns: The Continuation
« on: June 19, 2008, 10:28:55 am »
Continuing from this locked thread:

As to the question, no, I do not think so. I am in a suburb of Chicago. The neighbor in question is a construction worker on many areas down town. Several other shooters were similarly conservative in their political and social views and some more "urban" than me.
I'm not sure how one gets "more urban," but living in a city, or even having lived in a city for a long while, does not make one urban! I live in the city, and even look, generally, like I belong here, but I'm as far from a city boy at heart as you're likely to find. There's a lot more to the urban/rural divide than where someone lives now, including where their family lived.

You're not native to the Chicago area, are you? Are you native to America, now that I think of it?

So, no, I do not think it is a rural issue.
Your own personal experience in this case may not be, but in case I was not clear, there is an urban versus rural, liberal versus conservative correlation, as well as an urban/rural, no-gun/gun correlation.

I do not assume that conservative equals dick but you might.
I'm conservative, and I don't think I'm a dick. In fact, that's so completely not what I said that I don't know why you even said this.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / [4e] Healing
« on: June 06, 2008, 09:32:20 am »
By my reading of the rules, which is admittedly offhand, when the party performs no strenuous activity for six hours, they all regain all hit points. Now, I know that HP are not intended to be a sort of perfect mapping of injury, and that it's an abstract measure of ability to continue functioning, but could someone tell me what happens if I get my leg cut off? Does it just heal in six hours, or is there some separate set of rules for "injury" versus "damage?"

Moreover, does everyone in the game universe use the same mechanic? In other words, if Farmer Josephias is beset by bandits while tilling, does he regain all his lost hit points while he cowers for six hours in the valley?

How many of your players [or "your fellow players"] voice act at the table?

I've been thinking lately about how different our games are from others'; this is probably because Paul and I started roleplaying together 20 years ago, and have basically just picked up players along the way, most of whom weren't previously roleplayers. As such, we don't have a lot of cross-group interaction, so we do things our own way. But a few months ago, we were playing in front of some other roleplayers, and their jaws dropped when our players started using distinctive vocalizations [and taking actions that fucked the character or the game, but were in-character; that's apparently rare, also].*

Of our, say, four regular players, three always voice-act. [Two have been actors, and both have done improv.] One always tries to, and sort of aspires to getting good enough to always do it. And our GM was an actor, and did improv a lot with me. For us, it's part of the escalation from rollplayer to roleplayer, if you take my meaning; the better you get at taking on the role, the more portions of that role you take on. [Always short of, you know, grabbing swords and acting shit out. LARP is fine, just...not for us.**]

Do you voice act at the table? If not, why don't you? Is it a bridge too far into LARPland? Do you just not have the ability to do a different voice for every character? Has it just never occurred to you? It feels like a lot of people here have player-centric games, and not character-centric games, so it seems to me like a lot of them wouldn't bother, but I just don't know.

*One witness said to Paul, after about five minutes of the players talking to each other in-character, often in heated tones, "You just let them do this?" Paul wasn't quite sure what to say, since these characters would likely have been doing exactly what the players were doing with them, and thus thought it was the GM's job to let them do it.

**Now that I think about it, this may well be because of Paul, who could not possibly LARP, since his ability to be "fake-deadly" is just fucking awful. He's broken more people's bones accidentally than I have on purpose.

I see a lot of comments about "traditional" fantasy roleplaying, and while I get the impression different people often mean different things by it, I've tried to sort out what it is people are complaining about, and why its absence is a problem.

Take the "archetypal character" sort of traditional discussed recently. Is there a great deal of value to be had out of playing standard fantasy archetypes, the disowned ranger, the bearded wizard, the halfling thief, ad nauseum? What sort of game do you get out of this, and why do you enjoy it so much?

Another way "traditional" is used indicates a desire to return to a simpler style of play, one in which the challenges raised are, for instance, traps and monsters, and not moral ambiguities and political conflicts. I've played very little of games which are "traditional" in this sense, but I don't see how you'd get much out of it for a very long time; after all, how many monsters can you kill for treasure before it gets a little, you know, same-ish? At that point, might you not as well just be playing computer games with the same friends? [Which is what we do when the overwhelming urge to just kill shit without serious plot or thought comes along.]

I'm trying to ask the questions in the most value-neutral way I can, because I won't learn anything if people just show up and start yelling. I really would like to know why these particular styles of gaming are valued, because currently, I do not.

I would also like to understand why "traditional" is held to be a value-positive term: I see it used most often to mean, "The Right Way," with all "new" ways of playing being not just undesirable, but really shitty. To me, a game full of dungeon crawls and monster-slaying is personally uninteresting, but I don't really think less of the person who plays that game; why is it that someone who plays a "nontraditional" game is not just different, but a son of a bitch who needs to be taught a lesson? [I guess that boils down to the "Why do people try to convince others that games suck?" question.]

What is "traditional?" Why is "traditional" better, without discussion of any other issues, than nontraditional? Or do you just happen to like it more?

So, I'm new to the whole "talking about RPGs" thing. I don't have a television, or a radio, and my internet usage is down to slashdot, HardOCP, and a few forums. My point being, it's hard to hear about new things without help, and even then, you often don't get the whole picture. For instance, I've heard 2 things about Pathfinder, basically that it's excellent, or that it's awful.

So, what is it? I don't mean, "Is it good?" because that's not a meaningful question [although I welcome opinions, as well...once you've delivered the facts]. I mean, is it a regularly-published adventure line for GMs, being followed up with an RPG of its own? I've been to the Pathfinder web site, and that's what it's told me, but so much of what I want to know simply isn't available there: who is it intended for? What sort of subject matter does it explore?

More significantly, the sort of things that will never be on the web site: is this just dungeon-crawling, adventuring? Specifically, is it what so often gets called "old-school" or "traditional" gaming, which seems largely to be monster-to-monster, trap-to-trap? Or are there metaquandries, like moral choices, do you save the victim or chase down their attacker, are goblins redeemable, what is the nature of the evil gods, that sort of thing? Do the players drive the direction of the game by their character's choices, or does the GM set them on a path they're expected to follow with some degree of closeness?

I'm not here to judge Pathfinder as "Good" or "Bad." I'd just like to know if it's something that's up my alley or not. In that spirit, as much factual information as possible would be helpful; personal opinion is welcome, but please, temper it. [I'm getting a little worn by all the interpersonal interaction at the expense of useful roleplaying discussion; does it show?]

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