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Issues with Work Makes Freedom

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Chaemera

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« on: <12-28-10/1947:54> »
This is a de-railing thread. Please, bring your problems here instead of hijacking other threads.

The spirit barrier - the very thing that contained those ghosts within the area instead of letting them roam free - is forcefully destroyed although treasure hunters (see also next point) or other non-spirits were never unable to enter the region ... Bad research on game mechanics?

You're the GM of your game, you explain it. Was it a case of poor understanding of the mechanics on the author's part? Probably. Is it a legitimate complaint? Yes, he calls it a spirit barrier, then has it stopping people from entering. Then again, maybe Tetsuo Shuumatsu is a free spirit, so it was effective against him. And, perhaps, his "cabal of sorcerers" bringing down the barrier "opened [the] treasure trove to the public" by bringing to the world's attention just how much the Silvestrines had slipped in their vigilance. Me? I think it's bad research.

Since the treasure hunt adventure hook (including the part about "ghost-busting") is about everything we get as to why (but not how) the barrier was destroyed, the author leaves us on the one hand with once again free roaming spirits and all the ramifications connected to that and on the other hand more or less forces us to make up an even larger story about what happened to the Sylvestrines and the true reasons for the barrier's destruction. The latter I personally find extremely unattractive for a gaming supplement ... even without the additional weight that the Holocaust-theme imposes.

You're right, it's not the GM's job to answer difficult questions about what happened to the various organizations involved in a four paragraph plot hook.. It's not like you play this game to be creative or anything. Look, sorry for being snippy, but seriously, you're complaining about being compelled to answer a mystery, last I checked, that's the job description.

What you call "minor artifacts" are in terms of the SR rules not just ordinary foci but even unique enchantments. And in that they are not at the bottom of magical extravganza (where "minor" things could be expected) but at the top ... and they are given a prize tag that's laughable
And while we're at it, these "minor artifacts" come with two very new properties that don't fit with the rest of the magic rules, not even with the very open rules on unique enchantments:
They came into existance neither through the use of the enchanting skill, nor other distinct magical occurrances ... and even stem from a time where usable magic still hadn't returned to the world. While the tides of mana sure allow for (permanently) imprinting the region with a background count even in times of an ebb, there's just no precedence for items like that. I even tried the Alchera approach of magical constructs gaining a physical representation, but that would again call for dual nature and it sure as hell would come off as another (very tasteless) nazi-zombie-horror if I even remotely suggested that the events at Auschwitz are linked to rituals and magical happenings that resulted in such items being created ("possibly" even at the will of the nazi scientists? ~puke~)
The mentioned scalpel has positive properties similar to a weapon focus (DV increase) without any negative ones (like the dual nature), which makes it (as a template for similar items) superior to even previously described unique enchantments like that sword in Digital Grimoire.

You're absolutely right, this is a pretty big break from the norm. But, how many years have passed? Isn't magic continuing to wax in the world, thus causing more unexplained phenomena? Aren't all these kinds of questions things a gamemaster should be answering for his particular group?

But, yes, probably would've been better to leave out entirely.

Apart from all that it's very obvious that the background research on Auschwitz wasn't done too well either, since one would not expect to see such a magical scalpel from someone who is known for delegating all the cruelties. And no the "it's magic" approach just doesn't chime there.

Are you familiar with the terms "poetic license" and "alternative history"? Easy answer, maybe in SR's 5th World, the man was a little more hands on. This one is a non-issue. After all, they've got a San Diego shipyard making aircraft carriers, and you don't hear me complaining that the naval yard there hasn't been in the "making" business for quite some time.

So my honest questions to you: Are you really willing to blame all that on SoE's introduction of terrorizing ghosts in that area? Are you really saying that the new section only added a potential for profit (via minor artifacts)?

Nope, this article could have been better, but it also isn't something worth getting this bent out of shape over.
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Kot

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« Reply #1 on: <12-29-10/0356:18> »
I still find that whole part disturbing, so, it's not going to happen in my games. The barrier is weak, but holds, and there are no 'artifacts' there. That's it. EOT?
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
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Cochise

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« Reply #2 on: <12-29-10/0513:17> »
This is a de-railing thread. Please, bring your problems here instead of hijacking other threads.

Then I'd suggest that you also refrain from "snippy" or "snide" comments as well ... and better reword that anonymous "hijacking"-charge as well, since particularly I only anwswered to something that was already there ;)

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You're the GM of your game, you explain it.

I just wonder how I am supposed to do that? Since you're obviously so keen on "artistic license", I'd rather hear your explaination, preferably one that answers the following questions:

1. Which obviously quite powerful faction (single entity or group), most likely with high magical ressources, would want the barrier to be brought down to either let something out or something else in and what is the motivation behind it, apart from the treasure hunt?
2. Why would such an entity be referenced in a book about "WAR!" and not in a book with a "Threats"-like theme?
3. If your explaination has something to do with a "WAR!": Where are the details for that?

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You're right, it's not the GM's job to answer difficult questions about what happened to the various organizations involved in a four paragraph plot hook.. It's not like you play this game to be creative or anything. Look, sorry for being snippy, but seriously, you're complaining about being compelled to answer a mystery, last I checked, that's the job description.

Actually I don't believe in the honesty of you saying "sorry" there, so don't expect me to be polite from now on either. And no, it's not the GM's obligation to fill whatever can of worms a supplement writer opens. It's not my obligation as GM to answer questions about a more or less unamed, but extremely powerful entity that suddenly pops up out of thin air and puts (technically even heavy) focus on a region that was more or less a historical side note before. It's also not my obligation as GM to give such answers in the context of something titled "WAR!". I could be interested in giving such answers in the context of a "Threats"-like book, but then I'd surely expect more than a four paragraph "plot hook" to begin with.
And one of the big problems with your position that the GM is the one who has to do that job is the fact, that such large "holes" in the general gaming universe ultimately drive each group's universe far away from it, once an author finally finds the time and / or need to fill the blanks. I'm all for blanks on a low scale to allow individual character development, but holes within metaplot level are just terrible.

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You're absolutely right, this is a pretty big break from the norm. But, how many years have passed? Isn't magic continuing to wax in the world, thus causing more unexplained phenomena?

The question is at what speed such events occur and of course again it's the question if such things should really come with a supplement that deals with "WAR!"?

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Aren't all these kinds of questions things a gamemaster should be answering for his particular group?

That heavily depends on the implications a certain development has for the overal gaming world. In this particular instance we have to deal with mundane but still magically enhanced material. Something like that would be another holy grail for magical research within the gaming universe. Why stop with a standard stainless steel scalpel (that rusted anyway) if you could combine the effect with a vibro-blade? Or at the low end, why not try to replicate the magical improvements on ordinary things instead of using high-tech materials? While I might find an individual answer as to why the megas aren't swarming Auschwitz "right now" in order to find out as much as possible and certain megas surely not being averse of putting "innocents" under similar conditions that might or might not have produced thes atrifacts, those question would still remain unanswered for the gaming universe in general ... and that just leaves me with the question: Are they actually aware where they are taking this game?

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Are you familiar with the terms "poetic license" and "alternative history"? Easy answer, maybe in SR's 5th World, the man was a little more hands on.

Ah, so now the divergence of the SR-Universe occured way before the prevously established time? Sorry, "poetic license" is far to often an extremely bad excuse for bad research and "peotic license" is usually given in places where style actually is better than substance. I find it rather hard to see anything of "style" in the whole section to award such a license. Your reference to an alternate history is additionaly amusing to me, since so many products of the current line (but also from the previous edition) tried to unmake the alreday established alternate history by introducing rather stupid copies of developments in our own world and in order to make it work even the crazy "Crash"-Szenario was invoked for a second time.

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This one is a non-issue. After all, they've got a San Diego shipyard making aircraft carriers, and you don't hear me complaining that the naval yard there hasn't been in the "making" business for quite some time.

The question here is: Does said non-operational shipyard tag along implications for the metaplot once some ill-informed writer decides to get it back in business?

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Nope, this article could have been better, but it also isn't something worth getting this bent out of shape over.

Bent out of shape? ~shrug~
I guess that accusation comes from the same end where the snippy parts came from ...

Chaemera

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« Reply #3 on: <12-29-10/0621:05> »
This is a de-railing thread. Please, bring your problems here instead of hijacking other threads.

Then I'd suggest that you also refrain from "snippy" or "snide" comments as well ... and better reword that anonymous "hijacking"-charge as well, since particularly I only anwswered to something that was already there ;)

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You're right, it's not the GM's job to answer difficult questions about what happened to the various organizations involved in a four paragraph plot hook.. It's not like you play this game to be creative or anything. Look, sorry for being snippy, but seriously, you're complaining about being compelled to answer a mystery, last I checked, that's the job description.

Actually I don't believe in the honesty of you saying "sorry" there, so don't expect me to be polite from now on either.

Cochise, you're right. At the time I wrote this response, I was frustrated, not just with the continuing arguments in non-War! threads, but with RL issues as well. That's no excuse for losing my cool & making an ass of myself and now, let me sincerely say that I'm sorry.
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Kot

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« Reply #4 on: <12-29-10/0934:27> »
Guys, i beg you to keep your cool, and don't go arguing over this. Let's keep thins civil, and discuss this. I know that's the moderator's role, but i can't really stand back and watch a flamewar brewing on this matter.

Yes, the whole story is crude, and not taking into account that the fall of the Spirit Barrier would cause a huge turmoil in southern Poland, as the ghosts would possess anything they could, and spread chaos on a national scale. That would be as bad as the Crash 2.0, and would have repercussions in neighboring countries. The Polish government couldn't possibly survive this intact, and the catholic church would certainly take the rest of the blame. Imagine Chicago, but without the nuke, not contained, spilling malicious entities all around... And we're only speaking of those that aren't chained to the camp. Now, let's say some of those even worse - like the ghosts of ss tormentors kept in the crematories by their former victims - manage to get out. It would be even worse.
That'd be like a small Scourge, or a Shedim invasion. Probably wiping out many brave mages that would try to stop it.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."