Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
"My sense is that most of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk."
I'm particularly confused by the line: And with them, meaning will be lost and our ability for articulation of the finer points of thought. For a self-proclaimed lover of words, you think the guy would be able to construct better sentences.
re: house, i'm prepared to put up with house being an arsehole, i'm just concerned that the bet plot will be used as a vehicle to validate his shitty opinions.
I have a DPhil in Applied Trope Recognition.
The above being Liz Bourke's review of Theft of Swords, wherein some folks in the comments contend that historians are not qualified to review fantasy novels. Or academics in general.
I guess I'd better change my career path...
At this point, the only thing really left to do with the show is to keep your expectations lowered, ignore the Patient of the Week, and enjoy the interactions between the main cast.
I think it's what Language Log would call an eggcorn - the alternative spelling makes a kind of intuitive sense if you imagine dessert as being the reward you get for eating your main course, then it follows that "just desserts" would mean "the reward or punishment you deserve for your actions, be they good or bad." Also it creates some absolutely *adorable* mental images. "For your crimes, you are sentenced to EVIL PUDDING."
It's also one of those strange two-word phrases you get in English where an otherwise *totally obsolete* word ("desert" as a noun meaning "thing which is deserved") is preserved as part of a collocation. Like "woe betide".
Boggled I googled it up and discovered "just desserts" is the incorrect phrase and that I've been using it wrong all this time when I should've said "just deserts."
ENGLISH Y U NO LOGIC
(Yes yes, "deserts" etymologically rooted in "deserves," but...)
Wow, D&D is so complicated. Just listening to this discussion, it sounds like you need an undergrad-level understanding of calculus just to build a character.
That's why we have Lady Blackbird. It was specifically designed to play while getting progressively more drunk through the evening, I think. And if that was the design goal, it succeeded beautifully the one time I played it.
Well, at least it isn't Starfleet Battles, which requires a comprehensive set of range tables just to fire photon torpedoes.
One thing I find interesting is how the rogue has developed from being mostly the traps and locks guy, through the 3E hotchpotch stealth/assassin/trapfinder/whatever but totally not always a criminal, to being a skirmisher in 4E. I'd like them to have a more concrete idea of what they're doing with it, which is not to say lock it down, but think it through. The 3E version attempted to offer every "rogue" archetype through skills and abilities, but had core abilities (agility, sneak attack and trapfinding) that only made sense for certain archetypes. Even alternate ability builds (he says, checking Pathfinder) always retain sneak attack as the core of the class, which says a lot to me. The other three main classes are a lot less locked down, I feel, though monks, barbarians and druids have the same sort of specificity.
I can see an optional skill system working. The yes/no model and the granular model probably balance out overall, and the other one could just be "5 points for Moderate Interpersonal Skills" (60% pass) or some such so they're fairly equivalent. I suppose the other option would be to just pick an allocation of skills and have the chosen ones level up with you, effectively ignoring skill points.
On the other hand, I think it's more likely that skills won't be optional - but the precise skill system you use might be, if you see what I mean. So everyone gets an allotment of skill points whatever happens, but depending on precisely which skill system you're working with you might be using them to buy nonweapon proficiencies of a fairly simple "either you have 'em or you don't" model, or to buy levels in a number of broad skills covering a wide range of pursuits, or to buy levels in a bunch of very granular skills geared mainly towards dungeoneering.
The skills for dungeoneering are certainly finer-grained than Profession: Butler. As a matter of interest, assuming you were going to use the 3E skill system for some reason, what non-dungeon skills would you like to see? From things you've said previously I get the impression you wouldn't want to get into "social combat", for example (correct me if I'm wrong). Just a finer breakdown of existing ones, or something else?
However! My point was allegedly that 3E wasn't the first complicated skill system out there, and I think that stands regardless of whether NWPs are intrinsic or not. When they wanted to discuss how you did stuff that wasn't combat, the 2E devs offered a complicated set of rules for "skills" and their use. Certainly my impression of reading the 2E rulebook was that their take was: "here are the NWP rules, but if they look like a hassle, you could wing it using broad skill categories, or just use player knowledge", rather than "BTW here are some other rules you could find useful but we don't expect you to use them really". They just were careful not to make them compulsory. However, someone found NWPs sufficiently useful and well-used to make them core for the next edition. I suspect it's one of those examples of Ruleset Creep you sometimes mention.