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Messages - Tjaeden

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Suggestions Box / Re: Poll 2/23/07
« on: February 28, 2007, 08:01:16 PM »
Before this poll came out, a friend of mine asked me what a 6 hour Connect 4 match would like...  who would be the world champions?  Then I said it might be like speed chess.  It kind of disappointed him.

Site News / Re: Call for Articles: Give us your love
« on: February 28, 2007, 07:59:16 PM »
So who/how/where do we officially submit a review?

I <3 D&D books, and other RP literature - my library looks like the shelf at a hobby store  :)

Rants and Stuff / Re: Losing a Pet...
« on: February 28, 2007, 07:53:20 PM »

That was beautifully written and definately put a lump in my throat.  I dread the day of losing my Hazel, but I know that having her in my life will out weigh the eventual heartache.

It's not that loving a pet is the experience, Tink, it's having something love you unconditionally - everyday its with you.


P.S. Headed to the park!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: February 28, 2007, 07:40:42 PM »
I think the commands / awakening are only for "kinetic" actions.  All example we have read show "things" that are commanded with breaths to perform physical movement.  Lifeless may get more complicated, but only because the human body is the most complex moving organism.

You couldn't Command a Lifeless to write poetry - but you could Command one to make writing motions.  Maybe even copy things.  You couldn't Command a plant to bear seeds, but you could Command one to drop/disperse them.

Regarding my earlier posts, I came up with something wonderfully elegant and simple today.  Check it out.

Magic - as written in a story - is either:

1. an Art form described as a science.  This is how 90% of fantasy describes magic.
2. a Science described as an art form.  This is what I think Brandon has done in Warbreaker. 

Trying to interchange the two within a story will lead to confusion.  Not officially deciding on one or the other is about the same.  Characters within a story debating the two I think would be okay.

If this was applied to Vasher's chapter where he tries to teach Viv, we have #2 being presented as #1.

Again, this goes to Brandon's literary intent and to what he is trying to create within his world.  I think that his eloquent writing so far on Breaths leads to #2, even though he prefers #1 (as evident by his article on magic rules).  He can do either - its his world.  The poet in me aches for something beautiful, and the Iridescent Tones comes as close to magic as true Art as I have ever read.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Expedition to Ravenloft
« on: February 28, 2007, 05:34:39 PM »
There is an official D&D podcast put out by a few WotC guys - their discussion about this was insightful and pretty interesting.

I would like to either run/play the module beofre I comment on whether or not it was worth the money.


Role-Playing Games / Re: review: Complete Mage
« on: February 28, 2007, 05:30:03 PM »
Other than the first 1/4-1/3 of the book rehashing on what typical evokers have for lunch and what conjurers prefer to wear as underwear, I think this is a worthwile book for any player/DM group.

The reserve feats are hands down a great way to break the normal D&D mode and speed up games (granted, most are for hack 'n' slash adventures, they are generally balanced). 

The magical places as rewards are really interesting, and worth a look.  Too many times players are focused on gold and DM's often forget that Titles and Land are treasure, as well.

I'm not much for prestige classes - as far as casters go, Archmage and Incantatrix pretty much rule day.  Many of the new PrC's are geared for specific campaign functions, which is cool.  The ones in the CM, just like CA, are geared for that function.

The new spells are simply amazing.  It is definately not another list of different colored fireballs.  The new feature of having overlapping spells give added bonuses it great - but the offensive versions are really flavorful.  The only drawback, is that those are not viable for casters with limited spell selection.  However, there are a few spells, when cast twice in a row have an added effect.  Both mechanics are perfect for Wizard and Sorcerer-type classes.

All in all, I give this book a 7/11 (why not 11?) and a must buy for *anyone* who plays *any* kind of casting class.

S.N.E.A.K.S. / Re: Character Descriptions
« on: February 28, 2007, 03:29:34 AM »
Hey, Archon - you were are in no way the "Archon" mentioned by my background.

Unless that was *your* daughter at that party last weekend...


Table-Top Games / Re: The return of Talisman
« on: February 26, 2007, 08:57:10 PM »
I have the original and all the pieces.  It's a rather simple game as far as they go.

Now, they need to re-print Outpost and the original Civilization.  Those are good games.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: February 26, 2007, 08:32:21 PM »
I love the ongoing discussions of the nature of Awakening.  Most of the time, I would fall right in and begin dissecting every little nuance and introducing my own hypotheticals.

However, there is something that bothers me about the whole thing.  And I want to say that it goes back to the naming of the magic system- "BioChroma."  It's scientific name implies a scientific nature that we all want to immediately get into and apply to real world physics.  There is definitely nothing wrong with that.  In fact, if this were Mistborn, I'd be all over it.  But within this story, it just doesn't fit.  Vasher's chapter teaching Vivena was as cliched as any other magic system being explained by "the-teacher-telling-the-new-student" method.  Technical terms are thrown out there like new toys from Sony given to a 3 year old.  All flashing lights and noise - but in the end it's just another thing to slobber on.

Why I think it doesn't work is the way Brandon writes about it:  what and how it deals with colors - its just too poetic.  This system is so unique, elegant, and beautiful, that the same old treatment of the "rules" just won't work.  I've read Brandon's article on how magic systems should have rules (or at least the harder systems).  This system can have rules, but the technical terms and treatment by Vasher just don't mesh with how the magic is delivered.  I keep thinking of those art commercials that were on TV awhile back.  Without art, the children that would come home would be boring and dull.

For example, what about a daisy?  Just a simple beautiful flower we can all picture one (I hope).  But what if it was constantly referred to as Bellis perennis - its scientific name?
Just for a moment, stop thinking about the colors as chemical (pigments) or physical (refracted light) and instead think just of the colors.  For example, what if we had a cup of blue?  It would be like touching music (from the Rhapsody series).

Breaths, as written, are some kind of Emotional Investment of Life.  Whatever "Life" is, it takes the form of  color.  It likes to fill containers made for life (things have to be humanoid, for example). 

Constantly, Brandon repeats that the colors were not brighter, just more rich.  Like turning up the saturation on your TV.  But there is not physically more of something - only people with enough Breath are able to see the changes.  He also compares the seeing of colors as an art style.  When describing the palaces of the gods, and more importantly - the Artisan's Script.  I think this is our biggest clue to the nature of this magic system. 

The only physical change is the greying.  Where does the color go?  That is the question driving the science part of the debate.  But what if Awakening is an art form?  What if the mind sees the color shift as a measurement of beauty?  What if, when forcing Breath into an item, the inherent magic of that item is suppressed?  Not removed, or taken, but hidden?  Things closest to Life are easier to Awaken, i.e., they take less breaths.  "Filling a container" as Vasher says may not be the right analogy.

So, a red awakened shirt appears grey because its own innate power (minuscule, most likely) is suppressed.  But it can move.  There is magic, another beings emotional life power, animating it.  This power is strong enough to override the item's basic designed function (which may explain shapes). 

That's my take on it.

What we Know for Sure
Two things are needed to Awaken: 1) Breath, and 2) Intent.  It seems a given that 1 breath (your starter kit) is not enough to do much.  It seems plausible that you could store it, as Vivena did, and become a "Drab."  So, collecting Breath from others is important - an Awakener needs more emotion/life/whatever, just to do cool magic tricks.  The second thing, Intent, leads to Commands.  Its not just enough to know a command, but you have to form the intent in your mind.  Vivena's first awakening proves that the knowledge of Commands is not needed (just easier).

Site News / Re: Introduce yourself - right on!
« on: February 14, 2007, 08:23:32 PM »
Hello, my name is Justin Reinhardt.

Currently I teach high school English (10th and 11th grade), I have my BA in English, with minors in History/Anthropology.  Starting my grad work in the spring - going to test the waters and head for a Masters in Creative Writing.

Officially, I have written little - but over the years, I have written hundreds of pages of D&D material and some things for other games (Lots of Shadowrun, too).   Poetry and short stories (fantasy) kept me going through college, when Diablo II, and later World of Warcraft didn't relentlessly eat away at my time.

Like Dragonfly and Dreamking, I followed Brandon Sanderson's working over to this wonderful forum.  Something about wasting time reading always appealed to me.  I have read tons of fantasy (some sci-fi), so if anyone ever wants something recommended, I'm your guy.  And if I don't know the book/author, point me in the right direction and I'll read it.

Thanks for having such a kick ass forum!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: February 14, 2007, 07:38:42 PM »
This is Lightsong.  Remember, our last chapter form him was the short two paragraph one. 

Rename EOUL to "Mr. How can we forget"?  It was so cruel...  I don't think any TV show ever had a cliffhanger quite like Lightsong did. =)

I love what the repetition of the word "perfect" does for Lightsong's character.  It definitely shows us that his mind set has changed, that he realizes what his "god-hood" has cost.  I love the character even more.  "Die.  Die so we can keep believing."  - That sent a shiver threw me, and I think that one thought sets in motion the revealing (or soon to be) of what the priests are really up to, how the whole system works.   A clue to Lightsong's past!  Nice touch. 

And it ends with a man who doesn't want to be a hero taking up the burdens of responsibility - defiantly how Lightsong should have went.  However, I'm kind of sad that it looks like it will be in such a bloodthirsty way.  I kind of liked the detective story (which, what happened to that?).  I thought that had more character building potential then the command of the zombies.

Video Games / Re: Burning Crusade
« on: February 14, 2007, 07:32:58 PM »
Sorry if I touched a nerve there Spriggan  :-\

I'm still kind of new to the forums - just making small talk, as they say.

Umm...  *thinks of other video games*  How about the Soulcalibur II vs Soulcalibur III debate?  Or how FFXII fell victem to the MMO's on PCs and copied FFXI to the console?  Is the Civ4 engine really that much better than CivIII?

That's all I can think of.   :)

You can't compare a D&D gold piece with our world's economy.  Our gold prices are determined by the supply (what is mined, stored, released from mints in various products) and what is demanded (jewelry, various cords/connectors). 

If everyone in the world had a small piece of gold (or even easy access to it) it would be very cheap (not worhtless, its still a useful metal).

The problem with D&D economies (other than being static without some good DM work) is that a common laborer (1st level commoner with 4 ranks is one skill, and a +2 modifier) makes 1sp/day.  That is all the information given about how to run a whole economy.  There is nothing about scaling, inflations, flooded markets, or rare materials.

However, all that being said - the average player (and DM) really gives a crap about real world economic rules and just wants to cash in the 12,345gp worth of gems to get a +2 sword.


Video Games / Burning Crusade
« on: February 13, 2007, 08:19:59 PM »
Haven't seen much WoW news/reviews on these forums in a while.

Anyone been playing the Burning Crusade?  (World of Warraft, 1st expansion)

I have found that the expansion not only built on what made WoW good, but the enhanced zone terrain graphics, the new PvP objectives, and the expanded crafting really made this game go beyond my expectations.  I know other games may look prettier (GuildWars is nice) but the playability and the sheer number of things to do in BC is amazing.  My only regret is that once a player passes the level limit of the original world, the only reason to go back is for the Auction House and the Trainer (and you don't need them at max level).

So, anyone else play? If so, send me a tell - Tjaeden (70 Human Mage-Allaince) on Burning Blade (PvP Server)
Oh, and "WTB [Spellcloth]!"

Happy Gaming!

S.N.E.A.K.S. / Re: Rules and Conventions
« on: February 13, 2007, 08:07:53 PM »
So "Ova" is not the first post?

Can you link/elaborate please?  (I am hoping to do some number crunching,  ;) )


Your PDF link was really cool.  How many positives and how many negatives can you have?  Are they equal? (I actually saw more weaknesses that I wanted than powers, heehee.)

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