Profile for madrigan


Recent posts

AuthorRecent posts
Geneforge 5 - May Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #29
What I'd like out of my War Trall is for it to block incoming missile and magic attacks -- like it would know it can take a ton of damage and would automatically shield the other creations with its body. This could make a War Trall / Wingbolt combination very effective.

Just for coolness factor, it would be cooler if instead of hurling rocks, the Trall bowled them along the ground. Maybe the attack could have a greater chance to stun to stimulate the enemy being knocked off their feet.

Also, since it is very strong and already has a bag with apparently limitless volume, I'd like it to carry some of my gear.

[ Friday, May 09, 2008 08:45: Message edited by: madrigan ]
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Geneforge 5 - May Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #24
I know I'm the only one, but I really like the War Trall. Who doesn't want a giant ape with a bag full of rocks?

I would like it if flying creations gained some sort of benefit from their ability to fly, though.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #31
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:


If you want my opinion, it's that democracy is all a bunch of idealistic claptrap on the part of its supporters and cynical manipulation on the part of its leaders. If George Washington had declared himself King of America, I don't think a damn thing would be different in the average American's life today -- or at least, the differences we'd observe wouldn't follow any predictable pattern.

I agree that it wouldn't follow any predictable pattern. I disagree that it wouldn't make any difference in people's lives. You're right insofar as certain norms have to exist in a country before democracy can function. But democracy, and voting, change those norms in unpredictable ways, often taking them in directions they could not have taken without the democracy and the electoral system.

Authoritarian governments do not act, domestically, the same way that democratic governments do. There are bastards in democratic governments, of course. But in a democracy the norms are different, and the norms change in different ways than in a dictatorship.

I admire your cynicism on this topic, because I used to share it, but not everybody who is idealistic about democracy is spouting claptrap, and not every leader in a democracy is a cynical manipulator.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #29
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

[quote=madrigan]
[qb]The term in question is not "political system." It is "politics."

That, too, is defined broadly.

quote:
A definition of either of these terms which erases the differences between Microsoft and the United States is not broad, it is vague. It is not standard practice among political scientists to use vague definitions. It is standard practice among political scientists to define terms in ways that enhance understanding. A definition of "politics" or "political system" that does not allow us to distinguish between a corporation, an office, a country, and a group of friends at the movies would never be utilized by any political scientist.
You're just factually wrong, but your reasoning is also flawed, which is more interesting. "Politics" is defined so broadly by political scientists in order that other terms can then be differentiated from it. Within that broad class, "governmental politics" can be defined as a particular category.

There are useful reasons for broad definitions. (And they're broad, not vague, because they are inclusive, not unclear.)
[/quote]The usefulness of inclusivity diminishes as it increases past a certain point. I've mentioned a few times on this thread that there are multiple definitions of these terms. Where we differ is on the usefulness of the overarching, very broad definition you seem to favor that includes this vast range of groups and organizations. I say it's useless. You don't. Oh well.

Simply stating that someone is "factually wrong," or that "political scientists disagree with you," does not constitute an argument. I don't find your actual argument convincing, and also, I can't remember the original topic of this thread. I think it was something about Ron Paul.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin Salmon:

quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

All large democratic systems have political parties, because people naturally organize themselves to work towards a common goal -- even if that goal is fairly ambiguous as in the case of our very large parties in the U.S. Each party needs to choose a candidate, therefore, there will be a primary system. If we didn't have the parties, we could have dozens or hundreds of candidates for president, each with a tiny constituency. No candidate could receive enough votes to confer legitimacy. But that would never happen anyway unless we banned parties, which of course would be a bad idea.

I would change the system, though. The current primary system is incredibly unfair and inefficient. People in every state should vote on the same day, or days, in April or May. You count the votes and there's your nominee.

Who is talking about banning parties? All I want to see is the primary system changed so that we have the option in the general election to vote for the best candidate for the job. The current system elects a polarized candidate. You say a lot of stuff about things, but the effect is lost on me, sorry.

No, I'm sorry. I meant for my post to be more personally relevant to you. What changes do you have in mind? You wrote, "Maybe someday we can move away from a system of primary elections that favor party over participation." And that means what, then? We keep the parties, but they do not play a role in the nomination process? Do you want more parties? Me too. But the presence of political parties is what keeps the electoral system from falling into complete disarray.

Not everyone gets to vote for the best candidate for the job, because not everyone believes the same person is best. That is why we have the election. To narrow the candidates, we need the primaries. To have the primaries, we need the parties in their current role.

As for polarization, what is the problem with that? Everyone thinks they're right. Only one person can be elected president at one time. Therefore, there will always be people who feel that the president is beyond the pale ideologically. At this time, we have in the U.S. a party who feels that ideological purity is more important than actually running the country, therefore, we have more extremists in the government than usual. But polarization is just part of the process. Politics is war, and someone loses, and they're never happy about it.

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 08:11: Message edited by: madrigan ]
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #22
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

But a definition of the term that cannot make a distinction between the power relations at a corporation and the power relations in a country is useless. I also do not think that it is useful to insist on a definition of a term that so contradicts the common, social understanding of the term that it makes understanding more difficult.
You may not think it's useful, but you're in disagreement with standard practice among political scientists. The phrase "Political system" is intentionally defined to be broad in political science.

The term in question is not "political system." It is "politics."

A definition of either of these terms which erases the differences between Microsoft and the United States is not broad, it is vague. It is not standard practice among political scientists to use vague definitions. It is standard practice among political scientists to define terms in ways that enhance understanding. A definition of "politics" or "political system" that does not allow us to distinguish between a corporation, an office, a country, and a group of friends at the movies would never be utilized by any political scientist.

A definition is not a concept. A definition defines. If you want to argue that there are multiple definitions of politics, fine. That is obviously true. If you want to argue that there is only one definition, and that it includes Microsoft and the United States without allowing for a distinction between the two, then you are arguing for a useless definition, and you can tell Donald Kinder I said so.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #19
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

I'd say that the American political system is very different from the "politics" of a family or a corporation purely because the scale is far, far greater, and because the United States is a democracy. Families and corporations are not democracies. I see how all of these could fall under a very broad definition, but very broad definitions tend not to define, and are therefore not very useful.
Okay, since you're such a stickler for narrow definitions, give us a simple, non-arbitrary definition of "democracy" that includes the United States but excludes the Microsoft Corporation. I'm honestly not convinced that one exists.

(And don't bother talking about voting; in the scheme of things, voting is only a minor, peripheral element of the political process. The results you get by holding elections aren't all that different than the results you'd get in a dictatorship with the same power relations between individuals and groups -- unless of course those power relations are such that the development of a voting system becomes inevitable, in which case voting would be an effect of the political state of affairs, not a cause. Overlaying a voting system onto a given political milieu will not in itself make it any more or less democratic than it was before.)

I agree that voting is not sufficient to bring about a democracy. But it is necessary -- or, if you want, an actual, fair and free voting system is necessary. Zimbabwe, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan have elections, but they're not democracies.

But first, back up. Are you arguing that the situation in the United States right now -- the laws, the status of various groups, the economy -- would be exactly the same if we had a dictatorship? If George Washington had declared himself king, history would have unfolded in exactly the same way? If there had been a Communist overthrow of the U.S. government during the 1950s, nothing would be different?

Perhaps you will say that if Washington had declared himself king, then this would have been the outcome of a difference in the power relations from what actually occurred. But this makes all of political history inevitable, and you know it wasn't. Power relations are not deterministic, any more than economics is deterministic. Events are complex and there is a strong random factor.

The voting system itself changes the "power relations between individuals and groups." It is not only an outcome of pre-existing relationships. It is odd that a group of powerful rich guys got together and built a system that reduced their power relative to the least powerful, but they did, and it has happened in many countries. People and groups do not make decisions based only on power relations.

We were discussing the definition of "politics," not the definition of "democracy." In a democracy, the individuals in the government are elected to serve the people. At Microsoft, employees are hired to serve Bill Gates. It is the exact opposite of a democracy. Do you not see that difference? Seriously. Bill Gates can fire any employee he wants. George Bush cannot "fire" a citizen. It is completely different.

I don't have a particular definition of politics in mind. There is no single, 100% accurate definition to fit all cases. But a definition of the term that cannot make a distinction between the power relations at a corporation and the power relations in a country is useless. I also do not think that it is useful to insist on a definition of a term that so contradicts the common, social understanding of the term that it makes understanding more difficult.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
What will scare the heck out of McCain in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #17
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin Salmon:

Maybe someday we can move away from a system of primary elections that favor party over participation.
All large democratic systems have political parties, because people naturally organize themselves to work towards a common goal -- even if that goal is fairly ambiguous as in the case of our very large parties in the U.S. Each party needs to choose a candidate, therefore, there will be a primary system. If we didn't have the parties, we could have dozens or hundreds of candidates for president, each with a tiny constituency. No candidate could receive enough votes to confer legitimacy. But that would never happen anyway unless we banned parties, which of course would be a bad idea.

I would change the system, though. The current primary system is incredibly unfair and inefficient. People in every state should vote on the same day, or days, in April or May. You count the votes and there's your nominee.

quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I wouldn't say that's true. Plenty of people go through life without ever voting or even having a political opinion. The United States suffers chronically from people like this.
A lot of people don't vote, but the problem with many people's opinions is actually worse than you describe. They have opinions about things that are political, but do not relate those opinions to the political system or to the government. They don't realize that there is a larger public sphere in which issues are debated and policy solutions reached or at least suggested. They just have these free-floating opinions about health care, jobs, whatever, but are politically invisible because they don't understand how one becomes involved in the system, or even that there is a system you can be involved in.

quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

It's not so much apathy as a feeling that there isn't a real choice, and if there was, you're vote wouldn't matter...
I think that it's the other way around. Your vote matters, if you are actively involved in the system and work with others to have influence. If you are apathetic and do nothing, you remain politically isolated and don't get the choices you want. Politics is about group decision-making, and political victory is a collective effort. You have to engage with the group to accomplish anything. I do think that a lot of people are very narcissistic and want politicians to talk very specifically about their problems in their neighborhood, or want politicians to validate their feelings. But politics is about the whole country and how it should be managed, not about the people on your street and if you feel like the politician would like you.

quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust :

I suspect this will become even more visible once the democratic nominee is chosen. The supporters of the other candidate will feel cheated, and may not vote in November as a result...
I think this will be very rare. Obama and Clinton are way, way closer to each other than either is to McCain. I was an Edwards man all along, but I'll be voting for the Democrat in November no matter who it is. It is not possible for the Democrats to nominate someone as bad as McCain.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

It's actually not uncommon to see definitions of political systems that are intentionally so broad that they apply to families, corporations, etc
I'd say that the American political system is very different from the "politics" of a family or a corporation purely because the scale is far, far greater, and because the United States is a democracy. Families and corporations are not democracies. I see how all of these could fall under a very broad definition, but very broad definitions tend not to define, and are therefore not very useful.

[Edited for spelling.]

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 03:27: Message edited by: madrigan ]
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Gender and RPGs in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #49
I think this is the most intelligent group discussion of a gender-related issue I've ever seen on a forum of this type. Most political blog comment threads would probably have burst into flames by now.

I'll play either gender. Playing a male hero can help one think about masculinity if one is inclined to think about it. You're creating a character who will be legendary, or mythological, within the game world, and of course myths and legends transmit many of our general ideas about gender. I do think that playing the other gender is more of a stretch, if you're someone who tries to really take the perspective of the character.

My best Avernum character was Hrolth, a female barbarian who was hot death on a stick. I loved her so much in A4 that I recreated her for A5 and then named my G4 Shock Trooper Frolth as they have the same character image. Years ago a male in our AD&D 1st Ed. group played a female character, which at the time seemed rather brave. He did an excellent job at playing her in a way that seemed female but not stereotyped.

I think that RPGs of all types tend to reflect the sexism of society. This is true of any cultural product -- film, tv, movies, comics, whatever. At the same time, RPGs, especially paper RPGs, tend to be played by young males who may be more socially awkward than the average. This certainly was true of me. Insofar as the games present women in the endangered damsel/chainmail bikini mode, they probably don't help young guys who already have problems interacting with girls/women. But I agree that the games have made a lot of progress since I was a teenager during the eighties.

I think it is entirely appropriate for RPGs to present the full range of sexual identities. First of all, because it's fair and inclusive. Second, because that's what the RP is for.

[edited for further explication]

[ Friday, May 02, 2008 03:28: Message edited by: madrigan ]
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Future Series - What Would You Like? in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #67
I'm late to the party, but I don't want classes and I think the traveling system in A4/5 is great. I like being able to take a character's skill progression in any direction I want, and to change direction suddenly. I also like the continuous map. I like being able to return to places I've already been, for historical purposes or to defeat an enemy who whupped me the first time. I think that the continuous map better portrays distances and helps one feel that one has actually traveled.

A sci-fi game would be nice, or a John Woo sort of modern action setting. I would also play a humor game for sure. But when Jeff reworks A1-3 I will be all over that.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
I don't want to be a woman! in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #4
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

... with man boobs?
Pecs! They're called pecs, ok??? :)

Or, he's wearing an inverted backpack or something.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
I don't want to be a woman! in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #2
Just play as a woman. It will broaden your horizons.

Or, pretend the image is of a longhaired dude in a kilt.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Geneforge and Online Play in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #32
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

More realistically, rather than making a whole new game, somebody could implement major Avernum and Geneforge NPCs as MUGEN characters.
I don't think there is a Mac version of MUGEN. Which isn't a reason not to do it, but it would be a bummer for me.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Geneforge and Online Play in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by GVDT:

Who would be playable in such a game?

I would want to play Pol, obviously. Pol vs. Dorikas! Busy busy! Or maybe Hrickis.

It could combine some aspects of RPGs with the fighting genre -- you would choose a side (Avernum or Geneforge) and then create a fighter using a simplified version of the character design from the RPGs. I'm thinking along the lines of the NBA Hangtime arcade game, in case anyone else remembers that.

You would fight the NPCs, who would become unlockable as you progressed.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Geneforge 5 - March Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #68
quote:
Originally written by Faint Piping of Two Demoniac Flutes:

Shaping is the single, greatest possibility of progress in the Geneforge world. The problem is Shaper society, not Shaping. It shouldn't be eliminated because it has proven costly. It is no more or less corrupting than any other form of power.
I don't think any society has had success with an outright ban on something people really want -- booze, dope, prostitution, guns, pornography, information, or whatever. You can't make things disappear, but you can manage the effects.

Shaping is kind of like smallpox with an upside. It's very dangerous, but if you eliminate all of it, then you won't have a way to fight someone who rediscovers it. But, unlike smallpox, shaping can do a lot of good.

It common for the law, and social ethics, to move at a slower place than technology. Shaping and magic are probably far more disruptive than any technology we've ever developed in the real world. Nonetheless, it's entirely possible that the society we see in Geneforge could develop a legal regime and an ethical framework adequate to the management of shaping as well as magic. But the success of any such framework ultimately depends on reaching a general consensus that most people will be able to live with. This is difficult to achieve on a large scale without democratic institutions. From what I've seen at this stage, as a newcomer to the Geneforge setting, forming a republic does not seem to be an option any of the factions are considering.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Geneforge and Online Play in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #11
I don't have the money or the time to play an MMORPG. Jeff's games are perfect for me -- not expensive, one-player, easy to learn, well-made, good replay potential, don't require cutting edge hardware.

It would be funny to have a Streetfighter style Avernum vs. Geneforge game, though.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Shaper monarch graphic in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #9
quote:
Originally written by Gandalf the Purple:

Precisely. I believe it is a pretty standard G4 Editor upgrade. The one I use also has Unbound and Golems for Ur-Drakons and Ur-Glaaks(sp), respectively.
Thanks everybody. But why replace those graphics at all?
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Shaper monarch graphic in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #6
quote:
Originally written by orange[s:
]
I might be misinterpreting your question, but shaper monarch is a shaper, not a drayk, so his graphic will of course be of a robed shaper.
I may not be asking right. I'm using MicroPhage's editor, so I have access to all the creations. So I hit the button to create something and up comes the screen with the little pictures and descriptions of the creatures. Each one has, as you know, a "+" button that shows the enhanced version of the creation. For the drayk, it shows the purple lizard, and says that it is called a shaper monarch.

If I choose that creation, what appears next to my character is not a purple lizard, but that red robe guy.

Maybe this is an inside joke from MicroPhage that I don't get because I haven't played G1-3?
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
When Jeff remakes Avernum... in General
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #15
Avernum II: The Quickening
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Shaper monarch graphic in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #3
quote:
Originally written by Gandalf the Purple:

The Sarasphillia editor also has a "shaper monarch", but he looks like a normal red-robed shaper. Is that what you are referring to a cloak?
Yes, it could be a guy in a red robe. But I think he's supposed to be a giant purple lizard. That's what he looks like in the creation selection screen.

[Edited for spelling.]

[ Thursday, April 17, 2008 04:07: Message edited by: madrigan ]
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Shaper monarch graphic in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #0
Why is the graphic for the enhanced drayk, the "shaper monarch," of a guy in a cloak? Is it because I'm using MicroPhage's editor?
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Absorbing creations: necessary? in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #3
Thanks. The thahd is not as tough as I thought it would be. I guess I shouldn't have named it. So far the fyora and the artila are still useful. I might try to keep the fyora through the game for role-playing reasons -- because you don't just dismiss your loyal sidekick. The other two, maybe not.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Absorbing creations: necessary? in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 15001
Profile #0
Is it possible to play through the game without absorbing any creations? I'm barely into the game, not quite up to Dilame which I know is there because of my first, aborted attempt. Now I have a Shock Trooper with a Fyora, an Artila, and a Thahd. For further detail, I am trying to get through without using any canisters because I plan to talk my way through as many encounters as possible.

Ok, so, can I succeed just improving the creations I have now and adding to my Essence as I go to get more creatures? Or are these low-level creations going to get so out-of-date that I have to destroy them to make higher level companions?
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00