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Posts posted by Toth

  1. 18 minutes ago, Arakasi said:

    Yeah if you had the 3 action system that’s 2. I mean all low level modern d&d is far harder at low levels than mid/high. Mainly because one random hit can take you down far easier. That’s true for both 5e and both editions of pathfinder. But yeah glad you had a fun time and didn’t wipe.

    Both our combat encounters were ambushes where we took out our opponent piling on them all together during a surprise turn, we didn't even get to roll initiative or whatever Pathfinder uses. We very nearly had a third encounter where a guard caught us setting up a trap, but I managed to divert him with Ghost Sound. Yes, I took the goblin wizard. Trying to get into the barn proved quite difficult when we noted it was locked and nobody picked the rogue. Our fighter lost two fingernails trying to pick the lock, causing much amusement. In the end the DM threw us a boon and let the cleric burn a hero point to get the hint that we could just dig our way in.

  2. Just came back from a convention where I had my first ever pen & paper game with a group of strangers in a one-shot. It was a game of Pathfinder (which I can appreciate a lot considering I had bought Pathfinder/Starfinder a while ago in a Humble Bundle anyway). We were a party of four unarmed lvl. 1 goblins tasked to raid a village for weapons and chickens. Went actually quite well since we avoided fair combat at all cost, but instead were only sneaking around, setting traps and killing two guards in ambushes, raiding a barn in between. We were too stupid to find the chicken coop and bailed after getting the amount of weapons we needed to get, but success is success.

  3. 1 hour ago, horangi said:

    That was a fun watch.  Kinda unfair to pit four people with no experience with split control against a single back-stage person with, presumably, Total War experience.  Cringy 'women cant do strategy' comment at the beginning by the 'general' only to have him make just about every mistake possible while the woman was actually seeing opportunities but being ignored.  I laughed out loud when they ordered their cavalry to charge the center mass of the enemy legions with their own infantry charging behind the cavalry, preventing them from breaking and regrouping.  Shambolic performance all around! 

    To be fair, it's not like the show is intended to be competitive. It's actually quite ambivalent. In some episodes the opponent throws the team a boon bumbling around and falling into the most harebrained most telegraphed 'ploys' they had come up with, while at other times they go quite viciously about dismantling a comparably well coordinated team even though they did things mostly right. Still, there were some quite triumphant episodes. At the top of my mind I can think of the Teutoburg Forest battle with a team essentially going through the entire thing in one tight battle formation, clubbing down the attacking Germanics piecemeal.

    The show actually inspired me to create a few lessons in a similar style, tasking my students to roleplay their way through historical battles and analyze the circumstances of the era. Mostly as a bit of a fun breather at the end or the beginning of a topic. Already did lessons around the Battle of Austerlitz, the Battle of Ilipa and, fittingly, Pharsalus.

  4. 13 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

    Rome Total War was such a game changer in its time that they partnered with the History Channel for a show called Decisive Battles which aired in 2004, where they used the game's engine to depict the battles they were discussing.

    And don't forget the British show "Time Commanders" with Richard Hammond of later Top Gear fame as a host and historians like Mike Loades as advisors. It was such a uniquely insane concept of a game show where teams "commanded" people playing historical battles in the Rome: Total War engine while the historical advisers would explain tactics and technology of the time. Great fun. They did a three episode revival special a couple of years ago where they played Napoleon, Rome II and Attila with much higher production values.

    Well, I guess I myself eventually have to try and get back into the franchise. I utterly loved Rome I and played all its various mods and somehow nothing really captured the magic of stuff like Europa Barbarorum back then again. I played Medieval II a lot as well, but somehow despite all the praise never as much as Rome and also didn't dabbled much with mods. I somehow had a bit of a problem with how much of the game boiled down to throwing cavalry at everything and I also in my first ever playthrough had some rather ghastly pathfinding breakdowns that caused whole units to suicide jumping down walls or somehow dying in droves getting stuck on enemy siege engines and I never forgave the game that.

    Empire I played somehow inexplicably far more than Medieval, even though my very first playthrough also felt infuriating because of the dumb AI getting strokes at all the map clutter or when pathfinding through needlessly complicated forts. But at least shooting stuff worked and Napoleon was a marked improvement as well, even though its more linear campaign caused me to only play through it once and then never touch it again.

    Oddly, I... have Shogun 2, but never really played it. I had serious trouble running the game, which was two computers ago, but never got around trying it again.

    The next game I then played was Warhammer 2, which I had a lot of fun with, especially with the vast variations between the different factions. Warhammer 3's faction don't really interest me however. I also got Total War Troy from the Epic giveaway, but as I said, the game didn't run very well and I ended up just briefly fooling around in my Penthesilea campaign.

    Ah, I just remember I also bought Attila in a Humble Bundle, grabbed the Belisarius DLC and played that... well, until I got Italy, but then somehow wandered off. Never played the main game. Also never picked up Rome 2 either, despite the setting being very much to my liking. At some point at Empire I had started to resent its 'gameified' development and how uselessly fragile infantry became and that essentially if you don't want to have ludicrous casualties in every single stupidly fast engagement, you should just sit on your ass shooting things.

    Three Kingdoms would interest me a little however, so I will see when I get it at a great discount...

  5. 11 hours ago, kiko said:

    Have you considered a running group?

    Nah. I really don't like letting anyone see me work out. My anxiety makes me stop in my tracks immediately. I guess that's why I am so annoyed by my coworkers hanging out doing sports every week as that's really something I can't make myself join.

  6. 1 minute ago, Ran said:

    Infantry types could include ax men, kopesh wielders, club guys, lancers. Skirmishers could include archers, slingers,  javelin men, throwing clubs. Chariots could be of various types -- archery of course, predominantly, but no doubt there'll be heavier shock varieties.

    I was only trying to make fun.^^ Having written a story myself about the battle of Kadesh, the setting does indeed intrigue me. And I do find ancient warfare with all the local technologies and eccentricities far more interesting than any more modern ones where everyone follows the same developments. Granted, I still haven't played much with Troy, mostly because the game ran really badly on my system for some reason (which I found odd, given how Warhammer 2 ran perfectly on it...).

  7. 2 minutes ago, Kalnestk Oblast said:

    I see this more as a specific commander of that area trying to cover their own ass. 

    If that was the case, it's odd that it got spread around so extremely quickly in social media at the same time as the air bombardment pics and various simultaneous declarations of victory. It all seemed very intentional to me. I'm not thinking Russia's troll networks all work for the same backyard border guard commander.

  8. I've been following the news cycle of this troll maneuver with cautious skepticism. From the beginning it was clear that Ukraine wasn't going to make a genuine attack into Russia, but instead it was a raid to force Russia to shuffle enough troops to defend their borders again, which in turn could very well open up weaknesses where Ukraine can guide their counterattack into. Well, that and obviously embarrassing Russia so much that the loss of Bachmut would get pushed out of the news cycle, instead invoking all the meme armies of the west by making a satire of Russia's modus operandi of 2014.

    HOWEVER, I was absolutely startled yesterday when Russia posted these ridiculously staged pictures as well as grainy air bombardment footages from god knows when to instantly declare victory over the 'Russian rebels'. Are they so scared shitless of their own population that they instantly had to waste effort to create these utterly unconvincing clown fakes instead of, you know, just neutrally stating that they are engaging the 'rebels' and using the fog of war to declare that they have dispersed? Because right now, these ludicrous declarations of instant victory countered by dumbfounded statements from the Ukrainian side that there hasn't been a concerted counterattack yet only manage to make Russia look even more desperate and weak than if they just said no comment. We are talking about only 50-100 dudes causing havoc after all. So Russian troops are now shoveling for propaganda shoots instead of, you know, shooting at those? I guess we can consider ourselves lucky. Granted, I'm still hoping they manage to withdraw in order and without great casualties before Russia remembers their air strike capabilities on their own ground.

  9. 27 minutes ago, karaddin said:

    Given how much there is to catch up on, you can at least decide it's safe once they find it in the manga lol. The anime will be there by the time you catch up.

    Granted, I hadn't watched much Anime at all recently, so there is plenty of other stuff to catch up on. I'm also not really that interested in Shounen demographic shows either.


    Looking at my last posts here, it's time for a recap of the last two years. Higurashi Gou/Sotsu unfortunately turned out to be a horrific shit show despite the underlining idea being decent. Very sad about it as it was set to tie together the entire When they Cry Franchise. It's especially frustrating because one girl I met through the Madoka Magica mobile game and with whom I watched the show with another board member from here together... cut off all contact specifically because the queer-bating of Sotsu and its complete erasure in a stupid spin-off manga infuriated her to the point that she doesn't want anything to do with the franchise anymore and somehow that also meant not wanting to talk with anyone who shared that fandom. Quite baffling, but also a testament to just how horrible it was.

    The Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record finale was absolutely fantastic however. At least I liked it. She didn't either, also because one of her favourite characters got still her slightly OOC game ending even though just about everything was changed and vastly improved.

    Last year I then went very main stream and watched SpyxFamily. Just an absolutely lovely feel-good Anime decent humor (even if you need very strong suspension of disbelief to stomach its zaniness). Still have to catch up on the second season though. Ended up buying a (stupidly overpriced) Lucky Bag at a convention.

    Well... there is also one more Anime that I... kind of looked into. I explained the fallout of that in the History in Books thread over in the literature category. But yeah, looking for shits and giggles into what sounded like the most fucked up premise of last year's Anime season was quite the rabbit hole. I ended up watching a few episodes of that Harem Labyrinth Isekai thingy, expecting the absolute worst and finding... myself very conflicted. Because the story started out astonishingly honest about its protagonist being a rapist with an absurdly self-serving mindset who constantly justifies his horrific behavior by saying "That's normal here!" and "I'm still treating them nicely" while portraying his 'partner' be absolutely terrified of him. That combined with the implication that he's a bullied loner with crippling trust issues who ends up in a fantasy game world and is so thoroughly distrustful to the point of buying sex slaves and turn them into an adventuring party because the idea of talking to other adventurers and joining them doesn't even cross his mind. Unfortunately it never at all catches that it's a fantastic premise for a nasty deconstruction of that ever present Isekai genre and instead goes deep into the unfortunately expected other extreme of an absurdly unrepentant power fantasy, with the girls he rapes inexplicably falling in love with him. Yes, really. I abandoned it after a couple of episodes and skimming the manga, but had a few very nice in-depth discussions on Reddit with others who felt the same hope for a deconstruction and the same confusion about that hope being immediately crushed.

    In the end I wondered whether I myself should just go out of my way and write an Isekai deconstruction with a "sympathetic" villain protagonist gaslighting himself into thinking he's a hero despite traumatizing his companions with his actions born from the idea that as an Isekai protagonist, but with that veil ripped away from him after a while and having to face the fucked up shit he did. Heck, I even ended up writing up a few pages of brainstorming about its setting...

  10. 7 hours ago, karaddin said:

    It's never going to be for everyone, and I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong for not enjoying it, but I just don't think this is remotely a fair criticism. He's known how this ends since he started, he definitely gets caught up in the exciting new things he's creating in each arc and that's how the story bloats from 5 years to 30, but its not pointless, its not filler and once you're looking back at it from the other side all of those details enhance where the story is at rather than detracting from it in the way filler does.

    Also the anime certainly has its rough moments in terms of pacing and if you're watching from a streaming service, which I assume you are if you're looking at it in terms of "seasons" you're going to also catch all the actual filler the anime inserts to avoid catching up to the manga and those are an entirely different story to what I was saying above with one exception. If you're ever inclined to give it another chance, try looking up the "One Pace" fan edit which cuts all the non-canon material and speeds up the pacing a lot. It's not perfect and it definitely has some issues with music matching, but at the very least its significantly shorter than the full anime lol.

    Amusingly, just a few weeks ago I had a tiny flashback to our conversation when a few students after the lesson tried to pull out of my opinion on certain Anime they liked and One Piece was one of them. I gave them the same answer that I gave to you back then.

    Well, I saw the Anime on TV because streaming wasn't a thing when I was a kid, so... I got the whole filler and pacing issues on top of endless reruns of the same episodes. This thoroughly soured me on the show. And until I finally hear that they finally found the bloody treasure I won't even consider giving it another try (hypocritical still has to catch up on the last 300 episodes of Detective Conan as well XD).


  11. 9 hours ago, Madame deVenoge said:

    Also, yes, we should all get outside more, and despite my arthritic knees and spine, I’ve been jogging three miles a few times a week. This is helpful.

    Ah yes, no. I didn't mean for sports. I'm also jogging three times a week again, for whatever good it does me. Talking more about me going back to try finding stuff to do where I can practice socializing some more. Case in point, turns out that thing I was asked in a Discord to come to was indeed a full-fledged convention and not the geek meetup at a youth center to which I in the end never went to. Turns out "Respawned" and "Respawn" are two different events by the same organizer. So I will go to that next Sunday and see whether I'll be able to have a conversation or two.

  12. 25 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

    I described it like pen pals (had one from France in HS). Mostly one where I found sane people around the world to talk about politics and sports with to try to learn. Still a head scratcher to me how someone couldn't see why you could become friends with people here, even if you've never met them in person. To each their own I guess, but some of you have been more honest and real with me than people I've know for ages. 

    Truth be told, my only friends are from here, but I'm an outlier and don't count.^^

    But yea, full agreement with Mme deVenoge, it's a specific combination of the shared interest in the same kind of stories that somehow also leads to relatively similar views on the world here as well as the anonymity. Heck, I'm only this honest about what's going on in my life here specifically because I'll never have to meet anyone here in person.^^

    15 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

    I'm sorry to hear that, mate.  There's a lot wrong with the way dating works currently, and stuff like this is the worst part.  Being sociable is hard work for me too, you aren't alone in that. 

    Well, I guess it was simply dumb to try in the first place. I really should stop panicking about my age and focus on getting more outside.

  13. 4 minutes ago, ThinkerX said:

    Supposedly, the Wagner mercenaries are claiming to have captured Bakmut or whatever it is called. 

    Claim is, this gives Russia a bridgehead...but if Russia sends a bunch of troops and difficult to replace toys there, doesn't that just make them a target?

    Pretty much this is why the Ukrainians are at the same time bragging about rolling up the Russian flanks. Even if they can't really encircle the city, they can now bomb the Russians with artillery when they try to advance from the city. Ukrainians also claim they still hold a slim strip at the outskirts, so I guess there will still be some fighting anyway.

  14. I guess I can be just quietly glad that I'm born male and somehow missed the memo about what this puberty stuff was supposedly about. But hey, at least that also means no stupid hair on the chest and in the armpits...

    Btw, I also deleted the dating apps yesterday again. I thought I had better pictures this time around, but getting three likes in almost two months in total and all of them immediately unmatching is just... well, I guess I dodged putting even more pressure on myself forcing myself to be sociable, so there is that.

  15. To me it's interesting to know the range difference between the missiles F-16s would carry and Russian S-400 batteries that would endanger the F-16s. According to Wikipedia, the S400 usually has a range of 240 kilometers. The AGM-158 JASSM used by the F-16 has at its baseline configuration a range of 370 km. Sounds safe enough to use against stationary targets, but I somehow get the impression that other far more limited missiles are being used for close air support missions, which is what I believe what Ukraine needs the most to shield their offensive.

    Case in point, I'm just seeing that the AGM-158 JASSM has identical combat role of the Storm Shadow supplied by the British...

  16. 49 minutes ago, dog-days said:

    A number of times you've described your mother belittling you and undermining your confidence in your ability to function as an independent human being, and it's sounded very much as though this is not something new, but something she has been doing for many years. 

    Sure, but these last months nothing of the sort happened and I'm still an anxiety riddled mess. I still react quite wounded whenever she's nagging about stuff I did or didn't do, but I suppose it's normal that a mother unthinkingly criticizes tiny stuff.

    I guess there is also two things she picked up that further fuel my anxiety. For one she starts to curse and grumble to herself when doing chores by herself, which I always take as an indicator I have to drop everything and help her because I think she's grumbling about me and expects me to do something, but unlike previous instances where it was indeed to tell me I should get up and do stuff, now she claims she picked the habit up from her coworkers who do it all the time and I shouldn't worry about it, it's just to release steam. The other thing is that now sometimes when she enters my room when I'm working at the computer she may crane with her head over my shoulder to look at something that caught her attention on my computer screen (apparently because her eyes are becoming worse) and then complains about me recoiling and tensing up about it, saying I shouldn't act like this because it's not like she cares what I'm doing.

    And yet those instances are far in between. Most of the time she genuinely just wants to talk to me about stuff she picked up on TV or at work (or look out of my window or check on the cat or the time on my clock or putting away stuff in the drawer...) and reacts unhappy about why I'm almost never saying anything in response, just being tense and silently waiting for her to go away. It's like all my current anxiety runs on accumulated resentment and that is the part I have to overcome in order to come to true acceptance. Because as it is I fear if I ever get into a relationship with someone, I'd similarly just be searching for stuff to resent and reasons to withdraw. I can't live like that. So I'm trying to not minimize all my tabs anymore when she enters and treat it as normal so that my anxiety has nothing to feed on. Similarly I should really stop complaining about her and treat her like she's the source of it when my anxiety at this point is constant at home and her presence just conveniently triggers it.

    I mean, I really need to save that money up and get it done with the house for things to improve, there is no other way around. For my application at the Japanese school I got a rejection and then the school put up a new job advertisement for specifically one of my subjects a couple of months later. So I'm assuming this mean they clearly saw me as too crappy because of my horrible grade in my final exam of teacher training and so going abroad will be very unlikely. Even though, oddly, I just this week received a mail from a school right down the street I applied to in 2019 with the principal asking whether I'm still interested, so that gives me a slight confidence bonus (though there is no way in hell I will go to a school that causes half the neighborhood to recognize me, even if it is quite well regarded).

    1 hour ago, dog-days said:

    Imagine if you had a female friend with a father that regularly put her down and acted in emotionally abusive ways. She talks about saving up her money for several years, possibly neglecting opportunities and support that could help her, in order to buy a larger house that she and her father could live in together. How would you react? 

    Knowing myself, I'd probably be quite worried, but I am also aware that I simply can't change anything. Complaining just makes things worse for my mental health.

  17. 1 hour ago, dog-days said:


    @Toth, I really hope you try therapy before buying a house for you and your mother. Otherwise to me it sounds as if you're planning to go to prison, lock yourself in and throw the key out of the window. 

    That's quite a harsh take on things. I've come to focus on how it's the most financially sensible decision and with it, there will be enough space and separation that I hopefully won't have to deal with her every three minutes as it is currently the case. Not to mention that this is in large part my anxiety taking over and feeling constantly cornered and criticized rather than something she intentionally does to put me down.

    Though I am also very worried at the moment about my long-term feasibility as a romantic partner. If I am this unable to function with my mother around, I can't see it work much differently moving together with someone else and fear I would also just accumulate points that frustrate me about a potential girlfriend and become unreasonably defensive and avoidant.

    Yes, I'm dumb, I know very well I shouldn't dwell on my loneliness and think about situations I won't ever be in.

    But heck, three months ago I even sabotaged my joining that group from another forum that plays Dead by Daylight, focusing so much on how that game makes me miserable and how we sucked at it and then dropping out and cutting almost all contact when I started to notice how my mind shifted from "God, we loose every match, it must be my fault" to "I'm horrible at this, but they are ignoring my calls for more teamplay as well" and wanted to avoid resenting them. Apparently I'm just all resentment, all the way down and need to isolate myself from others to avoid it.

  18. 10 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

    Apologize to me? Lol, no chance. She seems to want me to beg for forgiveness, and after I said I'm sorry several times crawl a bit more. Which I would have done even though, like Zabz said, we might be oil and water on something key. It fucking blows, but the sun will come out tomorrow. 

    Whoa! Yeah, better sleep this off and hopefully tomorrow you can laugh about the absurdity!

  19. 2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

    Looks like I'm probably back to the Losers' Lounge in need of a drink. Oh well. Such is life. This one will leave me scratching my head for a while, but all you can do is pick yourself up and try again.

    For real? I'm still hoping somewhat it's still you being so taken aback that you are interpreting it in the worst possible way and she will come back apologizing after she calms down.

    Then again, this somehow sounds like... 90% of online dating exchanges where even the tiniest mistake in how you present yourself can get you shafted. If she's really interpreting trying to relate with personal experience as narcissism of someone she barely knows, I'm almost inclined to say good riddance. You don't want to walk on eggshells for the rest of your relationship.

    (though I'm now also taking note that it's apparently extremely common that people will be immediately suspicious because of this... god, it never surprises me how hard this all is)

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