Chad Perrin: SOB

19 October 2008

Mage class: now usable as a Wizard variant

Filed under: RPG — Tags: , — apotheon @ 12:39

This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.

In Replacing the Wizard, I explained some reasons for reworking the Wizard class, including an attempt to restore game balance with the Sorcerer class and correct issues with suspension of disbelief with the arbitrary, in-character inexplicable magic system. A couple of different approaches I’ve taken were sketched out in general terms, one of which involved an Alchemist class, and the other of which was the Mage class variant to the Wizard.

As of today, a document containing enough detail about the Mage class to make it usable as a Wizard replacement in Pathfinder RPG now exists. It should (hopefully) be self-explanatory for Pathfinder RPG players.

It’s trivially modifiable for use with D&D 3.5 as well. To adjust it for use with D&D 3.5 as a replacement for the Wizard class, simply do the following:

  • Ignore the Arcane Bond and School Power Class Features.
  • Add the Summon Familiar Class Feature to Level 1.
  • Replace the d6 Hit Die with d4.
  • Use the standard Wizard list of Class Skills.
  • Use the standard Wizard list of weapon and armor proficiencies.
  • Obviously, where the Mage class document refers to the PRPG Beta, you should refer to the D&D 3.5 Player’s Handbook instead.

The stuff about Level 0 on the advancement chart is related to a variant rule I’m working on. You can basically just ignore it, moving relevant Class Features into the Level 1 row, if you don’t want to try to figure out what good the Level 0 row is to you.

16 October 2008

GNU/Linux vs. Open Source Software

Filed under: Geek,Liberty — Tags: — apotheon @ 02:53

In some respects, the worst enemy of open source software — the ideals, the commercial success, the mindshare, the development success, and the widespread use of open source software — is GNU/Linux.

While I’ve had similar thoughts in the past, the reason it came to me in this particular manner today is pretty simple:

I was reading a few entries in a (well-written) Weblog I had not visited recently. Some of what I read related to open source software development. I looked at the categories listing for that Weblog and saw that there was no general-purpose open source software category — but there was a Programming category and a GNU/Linux category.

When your focus is on “GNU/Linux”, and you mostly equate “GNU/Linux” with open source goodness while doing your best to minimize or ignore the rest of the open source world, you look to people still working and playing in the closed source world like a religious fanatic. Worse yet, you are basically falling into the same “everything’s a competition” trap that is endemic to the closed source world; you are, in short, shutting out a lot of open source software as though it was in some kind of competition with your GNU/Linux world. Unfortunately (and people are only now just beginning to wake up to this fact), that’s endemic to the controlling, copyleft aspects of the GNU/Linux phenomenon.

When I see some GNU/Linux monotheist complaining hypocritically about the way many MS Windows users don’t seem to realize or acknowledge there are other OSes out there than those offered by Microsoft, and the way many MacOS X users don’t seem to realize or acknowledge there are OSes out there other than those offered by Microsoft or Apple, I have to laugh — because the alternative is to cry.

As an unabashed advocate for copyfree over copyleft, I’ll argue the benefits of copyfree licensing and the detriments of copyleft licensing until the cows come home under the right circumstances. When I’m arguing with someone who thinks that “that GPL stuff is for hackers, and that makes it untrustworthy”, though, I’ll still argue the merits of open source as a whole (in addition to pointing out the misuse of the word hacker to refer to a malicious security cracker) and pretty much leave the bickering over open source paradigms out of it. I might recommend PC-BSD instead of Ubuntu (for technical as well as licensing reasons), but I’ll also happily defend Ubuntu against spurious, fallacious arguments from the pro-Microsoft, pro-Ballmer, pro-DMCA crowd. Why, oh why, must the GNU/Linux types so often ignore the existence of any open source world outside of the mainstream GPLinux collective?

13 October 2008

Obama and McCain: in bed with Wall Street

Filed under: Liberty — Tags: , , , — apotheon @ 02:48

I received the following in an email a little while back:

Here is a list of top corporate PAC contributors to OBAMA... is it any
wonder Obama was for the bailout!?

*Goldman Sachs* $739,521
UBS AG $419,550
*Lehman Brothers * $391,774
Citigroup Inc $492,548
Morgan Stanley $341,380
Latham & Watkins $328,879
Google Inc $487,355
JPMorgan Chase & Co $475,112
Sidley Austin LLP $370,916
Skadden, Arps et al $360,409
Wilmerhale Llp $383,024
National Amusements Inc $432,169
Microsoft Corp $429,656
University of California $697,506
Stanford University $341,399
Harvard University $501,489
Time Warner $375,063
Jones Day $309,960
University of Chicago $294,237
General Electric (NBC) $290,584

Bought and paid for. Obama really representing the best interests of his
donors isn't he?

I really love this website:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

BUT WAIT!

To be completely fair and biased let's look at who were the top
contributors to McCAIN.

*Merrill Lynch *$349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
*Wachovia Corp* $147,456
*Goldman Sachs * $220,045
*Lehman Brothers* $115,707
*Bear Stearns* $108,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
Bank of America $133,975
Credit Suisse Group $175,503
UBS AG $141,365
Blank Rome LLP $153,426
PricewaterhouseCoopers $163,670
AT&T Inc $183,663
US Government $152,118
Greenberg Traurig LLP $145,737
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher $120,246

Any wonder he voted for the bailout too?

Source:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006424

Does this make you mad? It makes me FURIOUS! We have two whores who are
running for the presidency. If you vote for either Obama or McCain you
will be perpetuating this special interest nonsense. If you vote for
Obama or McCain you are part of the problem because you will be
approving of these unconstitutional actions by giving them your vote.

If you are liberal consider voting for Nader instead. If you are
conservative consider voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party
or Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party.

Regardless, please send this e-mail around to everyone you know who
plans to vote so that they will know there really is no difference
between McCain and Obama. They are two cheeks on the same ass. A vote
for them is a vote for more of the same. If you want real change vote
for someone who isn't going to whore themselves out and rape the
American taxpayer.

Note that I haven’t verified this information myself. I do not attest to its accuracy. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t accurate, though.

I thought about pointing out that the Libertarian Party isn’t a conservative party, so saying you should consider voting for its candidate just because you’re on the conservative side of the fence is kind of inappropriate. Normally, one should suggest that liberals may vote for either the Green Party candidate or the Libertarian Party candidate, and conservatives should vote for either the Constitution Party candidate or the Libertarian Party candidate.

This year, however, the LP nominee is Bob Barr. In the ’90s, he was one of the core neocons in the Republican Party, and it looks to me like he still has some strong leanings in that direction even though he presents himself as a Born Again Libertarian now. Hopefully, in four years, we’ll get a real libertarian candidate again (like Badnarik in 2004).

Thanks to Joseph for sending the email along.

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