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Comment It felt like a lot of arm twisting (Score 1) 88

A few weeks ago Steam started redirecting activity to a message about giving them a mobile phone number that you had to oblige/skip to get to what you were trying to reach. Then a couple of weeks later it got more aggressive. Then they started offering small discounts to anyone who gave a number. Then came the warning that without giving up a phone number they were going to hold purchased items (virtual items like trading cards and TF2 hats) for three days. Even if their intentions were simply to reduce scamming, it felt like a whole lot of pushy coercion.

Comment Re:Maybe they're playing a different RPG than I am (Score 1) 321

Which is why I find it uncomfortable when a GM resorts to the aforementioned rule.

For a game that runs any real amount of time a GM eventually has to. For very simplified systems the rules are more open ended and vague, which inevitably means more responsibility on the GM to make judgements. But, even on a very bloated and complicated system like D&D 3.5 edition there are plenty of cases where the rules don't cover bizarre technicalities or overlap in ways that simply won't make sense. Off the top of my head, a rogue can pull out a tower shield, gain total cover from standing behind it, and automatically succeed at a Hide check. There are nigh-impossible shenanigans a wizard with a very low CON score could attempt to wind up with a higher amount of HP than what's normally possible (though it would be unlikely to happen and wouldn't be worth the trouble). And there are a number of rules, especially in the expansion books, that straight up say to consult with your GM for a decision on what the benefits of your choice would actually be.

Of course, I'm sure you speak of Gygaxian bullies that create meatgrinder deathtraps for his amusement or excessively railroady ones who behave like the DM in this comic, but the fact of the matter is that someone needs to run the material, and that someone needs to know all the secrets without giving them away and make judgements for edge cases in the rules or to balance things out for a more enjoyable experience. Those last two words are important, because it can be very easy for GMs to become selfish or mean.

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 321

I notice a lot of uncreative D&D players like to have their cake and eat it too in this way. D&D is about going into a dungeon, stabbing a dragon in the face and taking its money, but people want to feel righteous about doing it which leads to the rise of a bunch of pretenses about heroism. But, a lot of people just aren't that good (nor do they truly want to be) and would prefer to be themselves, yet focused on the Just Evil races which have basically been flagged as targets you don't have to think twice about the morality of wiping out. Creatures that are ugly, were born irredeemably evil, and have nice things you'd like for yourself; creatures just made for falling onto your swords.

In all fairness, in my early DMing days I'd quickly discovered that morally ambiguous scenarios descended into party in-fighting really quickly, so if you want a thinker's D&D campaign it would be wise to make sure your players are all on the same page enough to avoid that sort of party unmaking.

Comment Re:Undertale (Score 1) 321

I enjoyed the game but I have to concur that it was extremely heavy handed in its approach. You are in a setting where several monsters are openly and actively trying to kill you, who will yet also be outraged and begrudged if you defend yourself against these aggressors. Worse, it is not enough to jump through hoops to avoid killing, you have to go out of your way to befriend boss monsters in order to progress on a pacifistic path. Dishonored was much more my style for overcoming adversaries without killing them.

Comment Re:So what's the alternative for geeks? (Score 1) 536

That too is the absurdity of trying to place restrictions on sexbots. The people who will most use them are the people who weren't especially sought after anyway. The smooth alpha types were never going to spend money on sexbots, they can attract anyone they care to for sexual purposes. Why should anyone care how the bottom-of-the-barrel demographic get their fixes if they bother nobody, and with this technology will be even more likely to leave alone the people who are repulsed by them?
...that said, I admit that I'm pretty certain that if the technology is allowed to develop unhindered, sexbots will be just like video games, personal computers, and the internet. In the beginning it will be a niche community of enthusiasts willing to navigate all the quirks and conditions of owning one, and once the technology gets sufficiently advanced and convenient, it will become more accepted and possibly even widespread.

Comment Re:To the U.S. gov, it has now become (Score 1) 286

I think the goal post started in this thread was that callously killing innocents and pissing on other cultures makes a faction seem more monstrous and inhuman in the eyes of the spectators. In fighting the people who do that, the US needs to take care to be better than their opponents, not simply mightier.

Comment Re:Truth be told... (Score 1) 149

The psychological examination of terrorism has shown the good news that it's not really linked to how poor, religious, or mentally unstable the people are. The poorest countries are not the ones that create the most terrorism, many terrorists are educated and middle class or higher (with respect to the countries they came from, anyway), and unsurprisingly, a lot of terrorists aren't devoutly religious. Terror cells require secrecy and organization, so while crazy guys might seem easier to persuade to do crazy things, they have the drawback of being a liability to whatever plan is being hatched.

The bad news is that the most common link is entirely too common: angry young males ranging from their late adolescence to their 20s. The demographic that commits the most violent crime of any variety. Doing something about angry young men who feel they have nothing to lose and are willing to hurt people for a cause is going to be a bit complicated.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 306

"And this is why only a small tiny fraction of rapes ever end up with someone ending up in jail. Your word vs hers", and without evidence, you can't throw someone in it.

Are you kidding? It is quite the opposite. The accusation alone creates a scandal that smears the name, image, and reputation of the accused while the accuser is kept anonymous, and heavens forbid the accused is famous it becomes a scandal the media guarantees they will never live down. Many prosecutions succeed based on "her word" alone, and even of the ones that don't, the stigma haunts the accused for the rest of their lives and the journalists that made a lot of noise about the accusation will make far less about the acquittal.

Mind you, I am not saying a victim's identity should not be protected, but either both should get privacy or both should have their names revealed. The way it stands now makes a false accusation entirely too potent.

Comment Re:Take a bus, sometimes (Score 3, Interesting) 324

In places like that there is an abundance of inexpensive garbage filled with very stimulating ingredients and an uphill battle towards the less available, more expensive, all-natural options. This is why there's a bizarre regulatory mess in South LA about curbing the number of fast food joints all packed into a concentrated area.

See in this video where the chef teaches some kids how to make home made breaded chicken breast, but they still find the McNugget more appealing. It reminds me of Dave Chappelle's old sketch about the rich kids having grape juice where he only knew "grape drink."

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