[Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Tarot on February 14th, 2010, 9:34 am

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Tarot's Scrapbook

I am going to be mainly using this scrapbook as a place to store half-baked ideas. You are free to contribute half-baked ideas of your own. Oh, and I'm going to show off some advanced bbcode usage, as well. Feel free to incorporate these examples in your own CS/threads/etc.

Current projects:

  • Finishing Sahova
  • The city of Nyka
  • Alchemy
  • Malediction
  • More worlds
  • More skills
Tarot's thread tickets: sold out. Not accepting any more threads for the time being unless I promised you one. Sorry for the inconvenience!
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Kadurro on February 15th, 2010, 6:40 am

Fantastic, now I have a place to spitball magic theory.

First off, I was told by Goss that when using Projection to do things with physical objects (specifically, wielding weapons), that you couldn't alter your astral body to have yourself projecting multiple limbs, but instead, you could only have as many as your physical body has. That's not to say you couldn't make your ten fingers long enough to be all tentacle-ish, but you wouldn't be able to use a finger as you would an entire arm. At least, that's what I think she said, it was a while ago...anyways, what would happen if you learned Morphing? By changing your physical body, does your astral body change as well? And would morphing into something with more arms allow for more weapon-wielding with Projection?

Second off, what's Malediction?
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Tarot on February 15th, 2010, 9:34 pm

From the Projection article...

While lesser wizards Project ethereal versions of their limbs, the expert can transform them into shapes that are more suitable for the intended use. For example, he can turn an arm into six smaller tentacles for picking up as many items at the same time (of course, power is split accordingly).


So yes, you can do that at Expert.

About Morphing, the astral body tends to return to its original state when you leave your morphed body. I'd say the method above is the correct one for the kind of Projection you want to do.

Malediction (name subject to change) is a world magic that turns someone's body parts or remains into magical items. It's going to be cool!
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Kadurro on February 16th, 2010, 3:27 am

Malediction sounds awesome! I can Leech the hell out of everything, and then turn into a giant face-grabbing weapon of sorts!

Thanks for clearing up that bit of Projection. I was trying to figure out how Dual Wielding and Weapon Proficiency would work into using weapons with the astral body, and things got complicated.

Also, for your enjoyment, one of my favorite Tarot decks. :D
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Kadurro on February 18th, 2010, 8:53 am

Today's Question
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You said that the astral body reverts to its original state, as it leaves a morphed body. I'm guessing that when you use Morphing, your astral body shifts with your physical body, but when you use Projection, your astral body is no longer bound by the constraints of a physical body, and so it snaps back to the body's original form. Also, I assume that the "original state" is the state of the physical body of the user, since losing your body's arm makes you lose your astral body's arm as well.

So, would it be safe to say that the defining "shape" of your astral body is strictly dependent on your un-magically affected physical body? If someone who uses Projection becomes an undead entity, such as a Nuit or a member of The Returned, and obtains a new body, will their astral body change to reflect their new body? Will they have to take the time to "learn" how their new astral projection works, and if they're a Nuit, will they have to "learn" for each body, or is Projection something that one only has to learn once, and then will be able to use competently, regardless of how many bodies that person circulates through?
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Tarot on February 28th, 2010, 11:01 am

Sorry for the late reply. :)

I'd say your astral body is the one you were (re)born with, and should basically unchanging unless you learn to shape it. In the case of Nuit and Returned, I'd say it would be the shape of their current host body, if nothing else for the sake of simplicity. Synchronization in the Nuit may very well mean adapting the astral body to the new shell.

Awesome deck, btw. I'm in love with the 8-bit feel! :D
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Hunter on March 3rd, 2010, 12:09 am

Can't wait to learn this "Malediction" of yours! Sounds AWESOME!
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Tarot on March 23rd, 2010, 4:34 pm

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I don't often blog about myself, mostly because I enjoy sharing my thoughts about the game and how to improve it and that usually takes precedence in my mind. This is one of those rare exceptions. Today I received something of a minor shock from the unparalleled human talent for backstabbing and deceit. I can't say it hurt me, because frankly it's not important enough to really count in the long term. It just creeped me out and I've been thinking about it since this morning.

Some of you may know I am in the final stages of my PhD. I have written several papers in addition to my thesis. My tutor and I sent them out for publication on some major scientific journals over the past months. Just last week, we got one accepted. Still, we knew the toughest challenge was another journal which is basically the most famous and influential in its field. If you get an article published there, you know you are doing something right, okay? For those unfamiliar with the process, the journal's editor-in-chief sends your manuscript to other experts who give anonymous reviews. Of course, when the community is not very large, it's always the same people reviewing each other's work. Anyway, they had sent the manuscript back once with a lot of criticism and suggestions for improvement, which we took into account and resubmitted.

So, a few days ago the revised article comes back from the second round of reviews. The original reviewers were satisfied with the changes and recommended the article for publication. But lo and behold, there was one more reviewer, maybe one who had too busy to submit his stuff the first time. I don't know the details, of course. The review is one of the most painful reads I have ever had to endure. It manages to be insulting and sarcastic on so many levels while being written in a wordy, exceedingly formal and polite tone. You have to hate the patronizing voice with which the reviewer throws us a bone saying they are sympathetic with the "many hardships involved in writing an article" (read: don't even bother, dumbasses) and that we may be "confused" at the sheer volume of criticism raised by the original reviewers (who, again, were okay with the changes and recommended us). The last point of the list of changes was that the authors "first need to realize how inadequate their work is, before they can work on improving it." I swear this is the first time someone writes in a review that I need to fully understand how badly I suck before I can dare to look up from the filthy gutter where the Reviewer took pity of me in His wisdom. The review mentioned that the work needed "at least two or three passes" before it could become remotely presentable. Meaning, no matter how much we revised the paper, it just wouldn't do.

Very little of this was constructive. It was very vague (all about the form, nothing about the substance), personal and gratuitous - so much so, in fact, that the editor-in-chief is entrusting the final decision on the next version to his associate editor, with no more reviews. This is a step often taken when an editor senses a very biased reviewer or one with a conflict of interest. I know I've made a few enemies (involuntarily). I know people have had to change their research topic because my work killed theirs. So this may not have been completely unexpected.

Anyways, today my tutor and I met to discuss what to do with this paper. We were trying to profile this anonymous person. It was clear it wasn't a native English speaker; in fact, the wordy, incredibly formal style is one you see every now and then in Indian writers. Then my tutor, the old fox (he really is, I have to give him that; he's got high-level street smarts), notices the report was a PDF file. A piece of advice: never make PDF files when you're trying to be anonymous. Those files store a lot of hidden information that people sometimes don't know about. Years ago, the Pentagon released PDF reports to the public after erasing names and other classified information… only for everything to be in plain sight with a simple copy-paste. Today, a PDF got our anonymous referee. The original name of the file, complete with the person's name, was still in the PDF metadata. And my eyes went wide.

I spent some months abroad a couple years ago, as it's mandatory for my PhD program. The boss of the department there, the man who welcomed me there and offered me coffee in his office and was all smiles and jokes and pats on the back and "How's your tutor doing?", the man with that grandfatherly charm about him, always funny and brilliant around everyone, he was the same man who wrote all those hateful things. His name is featured in big letters on the thanks and acknowledgements section of my thesis. I cited several of his papers. Given the length of the review, this man sat down in his office and set aside several hours of his life to systematically destroy my work in the most scornful way possible. I was left speechless. I liked that old man.

I am a polite guy and called this person a Judas. My tutor was more colorful, and probably more correct. I don't know what this was all about, but it must have been petty as I have done nothing wrong to this man. Some people are just like that, I suppose.

So yeah. This is for you, traitorous swine. :finger:
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 23rd, 2010, 4:44 pm

One of my friends is a research professor at KU Medical, and he tells me that it's common for grad students to have a sort of culture shock the first time they try to get their research published.

They come into a scientific field assuming that scientists are all dispassionate truth-seekers who will go wherever the data leads them. The reality is that scientists are human beings - political agendas, desires to protect their jobs, egos, and just overall pettiness. This tends to manifest itself in trying to get published in journals. The research infringes on someone else's work who is a friend of the editor's. One of the reviewers ends up being contradicted by the work. Etc. Etc. He's said some students even leave the field altogether after having this experience.

I, personally, don't have too much of an analogy in my own field, but he's helped me to understand what a severe emotional impact it can have when your work is rejected because of some of the stuff, above.
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Re: [Tarot's Scrapbook] The Stacked Deck

Postby Tarot on March 23rd, 2010, 4:59 pm

So very true, and I am indeed leaving, though for unrelated reasons also related to the scarce academic opportunities in my country. :) My published papers are near the double digits, though, and this was the very first time I got such a biased review. I guess I was just lucky until now.

Thanks for the comment!
Tarot's thread tickets: sold out. Not accepting any more threads for the time being unless I promised you one. Sorry for the inconvenience!
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