[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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materpillar
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Post by materpillar » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Re the First Law - I get it. I've heard similar complaints about the ending and I understand, but to some degree that's grimdark - oh you wanted a happy ending? Sorry, that doesn't happen in the real world, it ain't happening here. That sort of vibe. But yeah I understand how you feel about it. It left me with mixed feelings.
It's less the grimdark of it I mean I just recommended 1984. It's more that I was reading some of the character's chapters and I was like "neat". Then, I read another characters chapter and it was basically "character 1 is dumb, we're doing this instead" and it felt like it invalidated everything that I just read in the previous chapter. I just found this rather frustrating personally. It's been a while since I've read these books though, that's how I emotionally remember them. They were interesting books though, don't let my nit-picking get too overblown here. I just don't jump to recommend them before the other things I've recommended.


Prince of Thorns though. AGHaBLARGHaBLARG. I wish I could unread those. There's only two books/series I wish that upon. The Prince of Thorns Series and Thirst by Pyotyr Kurtinski.

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Post by cryogen » 7 months ago

Adding my most recent reads to this thread, I recommend Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, by Octavia E Butler. Certainly in the category of dystopian future books, and eerily foreshadowing for the current political climate.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Prince of Thorns though. AGHaBLARGHaBLARG. I wish I could unread those. There's only two books/series I wish that upon. The Prince of Thorns Series and Thirst by Pyotyr Kurtinski.
I don't hate many series, but I hated the broken empire from start to finish. Where Abercrombie wove some violence into his stories naturally and made it seem relatively innate, Lawrence throws it in your face. Same with gratuitous rape scenes, and the story itself is stupendously predictable and cliched.

I was part of a grimdark fiction readers group on FB a while back, and they just lapped him up. He was in the group too, so there was a real air of sycophantic adulation about the whole thing. He just isn't that good of a writer and they adored him, without any indication of it being justified to my mind. The books were just truly, truly average at the very best I could offer them.
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Post by Sanity_Eclipse » 7 months ago

My only minor contribution to this current topic would be a book I read back in my middle school or high school days (grades 6-8 or 9-12, for non-Yankees), "Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor" by Carrie Bebris. Forgotten Realms universe, WotC fittingly enough.

From what I remember of the story, it kicks off with this thief lady named Kestrel getting drunk, and drunkenly agreeing to help (what would become a pretty typical DnD party with her inclusion) investigate a forgotten city, or retrieve some kind of artifact. I remember enjoying it back in the day. Fairly typical DnD, probably high fantasy stuff.

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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
It's very weird to me to hear ASOIAF describe as having graphic sexual content. I'd definitely not disagree with that in regards to the show, but the books were... well, GRRM is not good at that sort of scene other than writing that they happened. Lots of fade to black/quick mentioned in passing. Granted, I didn't think Kushiel lived up to its reputation, so that might just be a me thing.

Another good series for anyone looking to pick up something new is The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne (frist book is called Malice). It kind of just sits in the middle of the grimdark/noblebright dichotomy, but it's a pretty good high fantasy epic.

Red Rising is also a pretty good sci-fi series, though I can't comment to the sequel series. I'm not sure how to describe it beyond that because I don't really read a ton of sci-fi, so I am not familiar with it's sub-genres. It's like a space opera meets fantasy-style heroes journey?
I actually just finished up the John Gwynne series, both his original quadrilogy and his trilogy sequel. Very excellent reads that touches on some nicely adapted Biblical elements. I very much appreciated it as a deeply religious person since it hearkened on themes and elements I really appreciated. The magic system is very much a support to the story, and not the overarching point of it.

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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Airi wrote:
7 months ago
It's very weird to me to hear ASOIAF describe as having graphic sexual content. I'd definitely not disagree with that in regards to the show, but the books were... well, GRRM is not good at that sort of scene other than writing that they happened. Lots of fade to black/quick mentioned in passing. Granted, I didn't think Kushiel lived up to its reputation, so that might just be a me thing.

Another good series for anyone looking to pick up something new is The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne (frist book is called Malice). It kind of just sits in the middle of the grimdark/noblebright dichotomy, but it's a pretty good high fantasy epic.

Red Rising is also a pretty good sci-fi series, though I can't comment to the sequel series. I'm not sure how to describe it beyond that because I don't really read a ton of sci-fi, so I am not familiar with it's sub-genres. It's like a space opera meets fantasy-style heroes journey?
I actually just finished up the John Gwynne series, both his original quadrilogy and his trilogy sequel. Very excellent reads that touches on some nicely adapted Biblical elements. I very much appreciated it as a deeply religious person since it hearkened on themes and elements I really appreciated. The magic system is very much a support to the story, and not the overarching point of it.
I've heard good things about that series too. Might have to give it a go next time I'm in a bookstore. Our selection in NZ is not great in fantasy sci fi, but this series I know we have.

I also though ASOIAF was fine for graphic sexual content. There's one passage with The Mountain, but otherwise I was ok. I have read American Psycho though; the only book I've ever bought that I had to produce ID for, and with good reason. Extreme graphic violence and sexual content. It's a great literary read in many ways but it does hit you in waves - you go 'ok maybe that's enough of this book for a week or so'.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

so, if i use Nine Lives and Solemnity it's another way to prevent damage to the player right along with getting around the exiling issue?

I also love the ruling on the gather page:

"If more than one source deals damage to you at once, prevent the damage from each of them and put that many incarnation counters on Nine Lives, even if this causes more than nine incarnation counters to be on Nine Lives. Leave it to cats to abuse loopholes."
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

Re: Mark Lawrence

I'd agree that Broken Empire is easily his weakest series, but I thought his other two trilogies were well done. Book of the Ancestor in particular was really good, imo. Even though I quite liked the trilogy by the end, I do 100% get why people hate Broken Empire, however. I just wouldn't necessarily knock his other series based on BE, as the other two definitely have a different vibe, and protagonists whose entire personality isn't "I'm an awful person".
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Anyone excited for Ready Player Two? I already have my pre order in for the audiobook. I must have listened to the audiobook for Ready Player One something like 10 times now. God that movie was a let down :(
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
Anyone excited for Ready Player Two? I already have my pre order in for the audiobook. I must have listened to the audiobook for Ready Player One something like 10 times now. God that movie was a let down :(
I like the movie. Oddly, RPO is one of the few books I own multiply copies of. Kindle and Paperback.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

I love watching R/mtgfinance freak out over the reprinting happening in Zen.....
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
Anyone excited for Ready Player Two? I already have my pre order in for the audiobook. I must have listened to the audiobook for Ready Player One something like 10 times now. God that movie was a let down :(
I like the movie. Oddly, RPO is one of the few books I own multiply copies of. Kindle and Paperback.
The movie....... was like..... ok. It just let me down that they had to cut so much and improvise because of access to a lot of the characters and games specifically. I would probably only rate the movie at like a 6-7/10 though to be honest.
Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
I love watching R/mtgfinance freak out over the reprinting happening in Zen.....
What specifically are they freaking out over? I did hear there was some printing issues to be expected for things outside of the normal packs and commander boxes but I think really that is fine. Most things during covid have not gone smooth.
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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
What specifically are they freaking out over? I did hear there was some printing issues to be expected for things outside of the normal packs and commander boxes but I think really that is fine. Most things during covid have not gone smooth.
There are various historical reprints to be found in random boosters, and one is an unglued plains.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

I remember back in the day when they put some really spicy old stuff in some random packs of a new set. There were things like Mishra's Workshop and stuff that they put in packs. That was something like 8-10 years ago when they did that.

Its funny what causes stirrs in people buying packs. It really doesn't cause Wizards much to throw a few thousand dollars on doing that and then the pure hype train that follows and pushes sales of said set. The funny thing about un lands is they aren't reserve listed so wizards can technically just print new ones. Back when they did the reserve list stuff I believe they bought existing stock of those cards to circulate.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
Anyone excited for Ready Player Two? I already have my pre order in for the audiobook. I must have listened to the audiobook for Ready Player One something like 10 times now. God that movie was a let down :(
I like the movie. Oddly, RPO is one of the few books I own multiply copies of. Kindle and Paperback.
The movie....... was like..... ok. It just let me down that they had to cut so much and improvise because of access to a lot of the characters and games specifically. I would probably only rate the movie at like a 6-7/10 though to be honest.
Yesh i'd rate th movie about the sam
Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
I love watching R/mtgfinance freak out over the reprinting happening in Zen.....
What specifically are they freaking out over? I did hear there was some printing issues to be expected for things outside of the normal packs and commander boxes but I think really that is fine. Most things during covid have not gone smooth.
Like tstorm said,it's the historical reprints, yesterday I saw a thread about the unglued plains, the poster mainly didn't understand how it makes sense from a business view point to reprint that card. Others however are decrying how it makes it less collectible or "one of a kind" type of thing.

Honestly at this point I would love to see the RL revoked just to watch the ensuring Firestorm
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

I am of the opinion that nothing in magic represents a stable investment. I own magic cards because I want and need them to play the game. I know that some invest in this game but given how wotc greed has been of late it seems very suspect to do so.

Buy cards when they get reprinted and are cheap and don't complain when something is reprinted.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

I'm resisting the urge to post "all lives matter" or "All buildings matter" on every 9/11 post i see today.....
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
I'm resisting the urge to post "all lives matter" or "All buildings matter" on every 9/11 post i see today.....
911

Random side note, its weird that 9/11 is so talked about on the internet given it was kind of just a US tragedy. Just saying from the standpoint that there are a lot of more horrible things that happen that don't get near the annual attention.
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Post by materpillar » 7 months ago

SocorroTortoise wrote:
7 months ago
The best thing I read recently was I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, Tim Kreider's essay collection. I'll strongly recommend that, even if essays aren't something you usually go for. He's a very erudite writer and he's got some good stories included in this collection, though I enjoy his style enough that I think I could read work about nothing and still have fun with it.
Do you have some more non-fantasy book recommendations? I could use some wider experience.

I've read and really enjoyed Glass Castle and The Last Lecture. I'd highly recommend both of those books. I'm currently also working through C.S. Lewis Signature Classics which I've found myself learning a lot from. He has a significant amount of similar religious beliefs to me but expresses them waaaaaaaay better.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

I'd strongly recommend Ta-Nehisi Coates _Between the World and Me_ -- and in a completely different vein, Dan Norman's _The Design of Everyday Things_ :)

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Post by Dunharrow » 7 months ago

Do any of you have commander cubes? I was always interested by it. I am now thinking about it more (especially with the new partners). I think I would copy the Commander Legends structure (20 card packs, 2 picks at a time, lots of partners to make drafting smoother).

Those of you who already have them - how were you doing the drafting? Do you plan on modifying it?
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Dunharrow wrote:
7 months ago
Do any of you have commander cubes? I was always interested by it. I am now thinking about it more (especially with the new partners). I think I would copy the Commander Legends structure (20 card packs, 2 picks at a time, lots of partners to make drafting smoother).

Those of you who already have them - how were you doing the drafting? Do you plan on modifying it?
I don't have one currently but I did one in the past. My biggest input would be one of three things all pertaining to the same thing. If you don't know and closely trust everyone who will ever be interested in playing with your cube then build it cheap or use proxies. I built a fairly decent one not using much of any restraint on cost but then I realized that the random pickup player was real awkward when I didn't know them that well. You are lending out your own cards for others to play and even if they don't steal your cards you need to trust them not to bend, crease, spill, or bridge shuffle your cards.

After having done one myself, I would suggest putting some level of price point cap on cards in the cube or proxying things that are worth more. It is a lot of fun but having my own cards on the line made me have less fun with it.

As to how I did mine, I would make some commander packs ahead of time and draft those and then draft out the cube after the commander draft. I have heard of others who put the commanders in the packs as well and with partners I could see putting them straight into the packs potentially given the commander legends option of The Prismatic Piper. (if you are unfamiliar everyone always has access to use piper as a commander when drafting commander legends).
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

Dunharrow wrote:
7 months ago
Do any of you have commander cubes? I was always interested by it. I am now thinking about it more (especially with the new partners). I think I would copy the Commander Legends structure (20 card packs, 2 picks at a time, lots of partners to make drafting smoother).

Those of you who already have them - how were you doing the drafting? Do you plan on modifying it?
@cryogen would be your go to guy
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Post by cryogen » 7 months ago

Dunharrow wrote:
7 months ago
Do any of you have commander cubes? I was always interested by it. I am now thinking about it more (especially with the new partners). I think I would copy the Commander Legends structure (20 card packs, 2 picks at a time, lots of partners to make drafting smoother).

Those of you who already have them - how were you doing the drafting? Do you plan on modifying it?
Well I'll echo ISB with the proxies and worrying when you draft with people you don't fully trust.

My cube hasn't been touched in well over a year, maybe two at this point. But all the details are in the post, which is linked in my signature. I am also intrigued by the Commander Legends structure, so at some point I plan on moving to the drafting two cards at once style. Unsure how many cards to include per pack though. I'm also going to see what I think about the new partner commanders and whether I want to force them in my cube (I made a push to get a lot of planeswalkers and run with an optional rule that you could draft them as your general, but I haven't actually added any to my cube). If you have any questions, please feel free to hit me up and I can give you what little insight I have based on my own experiences.
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Post by Dunharrow » 7 months ago

@cryogen @ISBPathfinder
So I drafted like this once too - draft the commanders first then regular boosters.

I felt really locked into specific colors after the commander pack.

That's why this way of drafting seemed so interesting to me - so much easier to change colors later on.
I guess we'll see more when the set comes out, but I am really curious to know if people will be adopting this method of drafting or if they will stick with the commander pack method.
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