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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    So I guess, I would say if specialties are the only options for feats--no matter how balanced they are against each other--I would be disappointed.
    Mearls has specifically said that one of the modules will allow a level of character customization on par with 3.5, meaning you'll be able to pick your feats freely whenever you get a new one.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    But there is a lot of room for Players who don't or can't optimize in D&D 3.X.
    There is room for groups who don't or can't optimize, it's when it start to diverge between individuals that the problem begins.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Madfellow View Post
    Mearls has specifically said that one of the modules will allow a level of character customization on par with 3.5, meaning you'll be able to pick your feats freely whenever you get a new one.
    a) I'll believe it when I see it. If there is anything this play test has shown thus far, it's that WotC RnD Testing seems to be rather quick to change its mind or direction. At this point I don't put a lot of stock in promise that "it's coming."

    b) Even that isn't enough. I don't want 3.5 level customization because that had dead levels for many classes and even more choice-less levels. I want 4E level customization.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    Even that isn't enough. I don't want 3.5 level customization because that had dead levels for many classes and even more choice-less levels. I want 4E level customization.
    That's been promised too.

    And while yes, the playtest has changed directions multiple times by now, that was all IN RESPONSE TO PLAYER FEEDBACK, aka the whole reason they're having a playtest in the first place. All of the major design goals have remained consistent.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    a) I'll believe it when I see it. If there is anything this play test has shown thus far, it's that WotC RnD Testing seems to be rather quick to change its mind or direction. At this point I don't put a lot of stock in promise that "it's coming."

    b) Even that isn't enough. I don't want 3.5 level customization because that had dead levels for many classes and even more choice-less levels. I want 4E level customization.
    During PAX they said that they will eventually allow for 3.5 multiclassing, that is choosing what class you level when you level up, not some kind of level 1 hybrid thing. However, they did mention you would likely go into modified versions of the classes that are a)not so frontloaded, and b)give relevant abilities even if the class is taken at a later level.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    And while yes, the playtest has changed directions multiple times by now, that was all IN RESPONSE TO PLAYER FEEDBACK, aka the whole reason they're having a playtest in the first place. All of the major design goals have remained consistent.
    This. Very much this. Once again, I sort of get the impression that many people have no clue how a play / design test is supposed to work. I don't necessarily blame this on the individuals, if you're not involved in a field with such testing cycles, you wouldn't usually know what to expect. I do lay some of the blame though on modern computer companies who have abused the term "Beta [Test]" far too much. When Google or Facebook or even Blizard roll out "Beta Tests" these days, they're not so much bug and testing releases as they are either marketing stunts, a way to release an incomplete or lacking software and avoid the criticism ("Hey we told you it was a 'Beta'"), or they're early stress test releases to iron out some release day bugs a head of time (like the D3 beta). In all of these cases, the developers aren't really looking for a lot of feedback, because the path has already been set in stone. Which is also why usually the feedback you give doesn't get much changed.

    By comparison, it seems to me that WotC is doing a real play test here, in the original sense of the word. In this case, the constantly shifting systems, the changes that don't quite mesh to exactly what people are saying is missing, the dropping or inclusion of obvious nerd-rage items (turn undead etc) make much more sense. They're all things you do in a real test to try and suss out the truth behind what people really want. Coincidentally, I happened across an excellent video that explains a lot of this last week. So if the only "play tests" you've ever been in before this have been Google style marketing / stress test releases, you should take a gander at this video right here to get a better understanding of the goals here. Some of the seemingly inane things WotC are doing with this play test might make a bit more sense.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Madfellow View Post
    That's been promised too.

    And while yes, the playtest has changed directions multiple times by now, that was all IN RESPONSE TO PLAYER FEEDBACK, aka the whole reason they're having a playtest in the first place. All of the major design goals have remained consistent.
    "In response to player feedback" actually means very little, since I have no idea whether my desires are the majority, the minority, or even really being transmitted to the developers. They have their own way of reacting to things and perceiving things, so there is no guarantee that something they previously "promised" can't end up being left by the wayside, if, for example, it interfered with some new design goal they thought up.

    I also have a hard time really confirming that "the major design goals have remained consistent" when those goals rely on things that haven't been revealed yet (and thus cannot be tested as to whether or not they are actually functional and accomplish their stated goals). For example, it is promised that we'll be able to make encounters as long/tactically interesting as we want, yet there are no real tools to aid DMs in creating elaborate and interesting encounters, only short and mind-numbing ones.

    In short, I will believe it when I see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    During PAX they said that they will eventually allow for 3.5 multiclassing, that is choosing what class you level when you level up, not some kind of level 1 hybrid thing. However, they did mention you would likely go into modified versions of the classes that are a)not so frontloaded, and b)give relevant abilities even if the class is taken at a later level.
    3.5-style multiclassing doesn't have anything to do with what I'm talking about, and in fact I don't even really like the concept of it.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I don't particularly care what WOTC says their design goals are. However, I can see what's in the previous playtest, and what's in the current, and what is on the message boards. From that, does strike me that WOTC is changing the game in the direction that the majority of commenting players want.

    Because, you know, doing the opposite would be rather silly
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I don't particularly care what WOTC says their design goals are. However, I can see what's in the previous playtest, and what's in the current, and what is on the message boards. From that, does strike me that WOTC is changing the game in the direction that the majority of commenting players want.

    Because, you know, doing the opposite would be rather silly
    Keep in mind the majority of D&D players don't go on unofficial forums, and players who how things are going are no where near as vocal as those who dislike something.

    Also we have seen very little in the playtest, so their stated design goals are pretty much all we have.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    Coincidentally, I happened across an excellent video that explains a lot of this last week. So if the only "play tests" you've ever been in before this have been Google style marketing / stress test releases, you should take a gander at this video right here to get a better understanding of the goals here. Some of the seemingly inane things WotC are doing with this play test might make a bit more sense.
    I can't help but notice that one of the things said in the video was "don't try to explain to the player what will eventually be in the game." The designers (Mearls in particular) have been making a lot of promises, however, which is dangerous water to tread.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Also we have seen very little in the playtest, so their stated design goals are pretty much all we have.
    On the contrary. We have seen very little in the design goals (which tend to be either trivially obvious or meaninglessly vague) so the lengthy playtest is pretty much all we have.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    So far all their goals have been in contradiction with each other, so I really don't know what they want to do. But that doesn't matter much as what they have shown so far is frankly crap.

    Sure there are some good ideas, and even implementations in there that don't stink to high heaven, but when your core mechanic is so poorly designed, it doesn't matter. You can still add bells and whistles and pretty ribbons, spray it with perfume, but it will still be dung. Nice smelling dung, but still dung.

    If they scrap a lot of 5e as it currently stands, they have a short amount of time to get out a good product. I doubt they are even considering that though, so I'm just hoping it fails and burns quickly so more talented people can take a shot at 6e.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Tehnar View Post
    If they scrap a lot of 5e as it currently stands, they have a short amount of time to get out a good product. I doubt they are even considering that though, so I'm just hoping it fails and burns quickly so more talented people can take a shot at 6e.
    Why do they have a short amount of time? I thought we were talking about roughly two years before release?

    Yes a loss of (4-5?) months will be hurt, and that is 20-25% of the estimated release time, but I am sure that Wizards wants to make this is done correctly for the sake of their market share and their bottom line, as this has huge implications for the future of D&D, both because of the fractured player base and because they themselves put a huge stress on it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    As a sidenote, I recently bought the 1st Edition AD&D premium re-prints. Going in-depth would require quoting large portions of the books, but let me just say that reading these threads alongside them is hilarious for all the wrong reasons.

    For example, the debacle about magic items, and how it isn't enough for the text to state that magic items are rare if the tables don't support it. I dare you, go ahead and read what Gykax wrote about the issue in 1st Ed DMG. You'd be surprised. Or not.

    It's amazing how far things can come in 30+ years.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dublock View Post
    Yes a loss of (4-5?) months will be hurt, and that is 20-25% of the estimated release time, but I am sure that Wizards wants to make this is done correctly for the sake of their market share and their bottom line, as this has huge implications for the future of D&D, both because of the fractured player base and because they themselves put a huge stress on it.
    My assumption is that the books will hit the market at the end of 2013. Taking 6 months for printing and distribution that leaves them about 8 months time. Which is barely enough. Sure taking longer to make it, may make a better product, but it also gives time for competition to catch them offguard.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhound View Post
    IMHO, in 3.5, much of the issues of non-magic classes vs. magic classes. It's really that simple. It's as if the game was designed by two sets of teams, one of which worked on magic and the other that didn't, and they created classes using different benchmarks.
    I'm inclined to think that's pretty much exactly what happened. Noncombat characters are for players who like tracking encumbrance and agonizing about how many of their 75 starting gold pieces need to pay for food and whether they can afford silk rope instead of hemp. Whereas magic is for people who want to research a 4th-level spell that lets them Fireball their enemies for half holy damage and half unholy damage while also producing the effect of Limited Wish with a shorter duration and no XP cost, which is totally balanced because they can only cast it if they have scales from a shocker lizard as a material component and their opponent doesn't make a wiggly-woggly sign with a giant foam finger while they're casting. There's just no way you can cater to the nostalgia of AD&D wizard fanboys, while at the same time having a perfectly balanced mundane-action system like the one that's designed to give Jump Check results which compare realistically with Olympic records. Or at least there's no way to do it without making the classes advance at drastically different rates, so wizards really do have to spend three times as long learning the skills of level 1, in terms of years played through in-game rather than just the dice you roll for your starting age (meaning that if you were statting up a level 1 wizard, your buddy might be statting up a level 12 fighter who's been adventuring the whole time you were learning how to pronounce "zordphij").

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Tehnar View Post
    My assumption is that the books will hit the market at the end of 2013. Taking 6 months for printing and distribution that leaves them about 8 months time. Which is barely enough. Sure taking longer to make it, may make a better product, but it also gives time for competition to catch them offguard.
    Based on statements around GenCon 2012 that we were at least 2 years from release, your assumption would seem to be incorrect.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    The skills and mindset required for optimization is something I've never had, this makes it hilariously easy to outpreform me as a DM.
    It sounds like what you "needed" (in the sense that this might have prevented you from having such bad experiences) was to have a very supportive GM who will talk everything over with you, not hold you to poor choices that you made without understanding them, and be very comfortable with the idea of changing things as necessary to ensure that you have fun. I'm fairly close to being such a GM, though from how (understandably) bitter you sound, possibly not close enough. But there are a lot of people who are not so much as home with my "hand-holding" GM style, I've found...possibly even a majority that prefer to be able to prove themselves more independent, wanting to operate within a defined structure (I'm extremely prone to on-the-spot houserules of things I never thought of before, and that's a big no-no for a lot of players) and "earn" their victories with the understanding that the GM is, if not adversarial, at least impartial. Something that I just haven't ever been able to do, given that I have a very narrative focus (the bugbears don't beat you up just to kill you, but to drag you back to the evil cleric's lair so he can speechify while you come up with a plan to defeat his mad schemes) and am very much not comfortable with killing players after they've spent weeks fine-tuning a character.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    As a sidenote, I recently bought the 1st Edition AD&D premium re-prints. Going in-depth would require quoting large portions of the books, but let me just say that reading these threads alongside them is hilarious for all the wrong reasons.

    For example, the debacle about magic items, and how it isn't enough for the text to state that magic items are rare if the tables don't support it. I dare you, go ahead and read what Gykax wrote about the issue in 1st Ed DMG. You'd be surprised. Or not.

    It's amazing how far things can come in 30+ years.
    So, I'm seeing mention in the text of the Christmas Tree effect, and "Monty Haul" games (page 92, right column). I definitely didn't encounter the first term until the internet, despite playing a lot of ADnD 2E. Was this the first in print occurrence of either of those terms?

    I also like how the following paragraph calls "killer dungeons" "a travesty of the role-playing adventure game." So if you didn't already know that the Tomb of Horrors was not intended to be the sort of module you'd just drop into your campaign willy nilly...

    Although ADnD 1e could probably have been better formatted. It'd have been nice to have the section on placement of treasure and magic items just before the section on treasure and magic item generation and descriptions. Just when scanning the books "Wall o' Text" readily comes to mind as a descriptor. It works if you read top to bottom, front to back, but not as well for easy browsing.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    From what I understand, that "travesty" is one of the most beloved dungeons ever, specifically because of what a murderwheel it was....

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    For example, the debacle about magic items, and how it isn't enough for the text to state that magic items are rare if the tables don't support it. I dare you, go ahead and read what Gykax wrote about the issue in 1st Ed DMG. You'd be surprised. Or not.
    Based on the fact that 1E games are mostly known for magical item overload, I'm guessing that Gygax wrote that items should be rare? Kind of like exactly what WOTC is doing right now?

    I haven't played 1E, but I do recall the first introduction to 4E, where the dev team also said they wanted to reduce the reliance on magical items; and we all know how that one played out.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    From what I understand, that "travesty" is one of the most beloved dungeons ever, specifically because of what a murderwheel it was....
    It's iconic, since it's a "killer dungeon" that is obvious even to non-gamers in exactly what makes a killer dungeon. It was also originally a tournament module, which are ALLOWED to be near-impossible. The problem is when people drop that "iconic" module/style of dungeon into regular play unannounced.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    That's putting it mildly. The guy cursed monty haul games into ninth hell. The irony being, of course, that what followed was involved tables for random generation of magic items.

    Also, remember it was 1st Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. D&D had existed before that. 1st Ed AD&D books are about 30% of actual gaming content, 70% Gykax's treatise on how everyone was doing things wrong and what to do to fix them. More irony follows since all the points he adressed are still debated on the net and complained about in regards to D&D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    That's putting it mildly. The guy cursed monty haul games into ninth hell. The irony being, of course, that what followed was involved tables for random generation of magic items.

    Also, remember it was 1st Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. D&D had existed before that. 1st Ed AD&D books are about 30% of actual gaming content, 70% Gykax's treatise on how everyone was doing things wrong and what to do to fix them. More irony follows since all the points he adressed are still debated on the net and complained about in regards to D&D.
    Bingo. It's interesting to compare "Gygax as viewed through his writings" with "Gygax as often viewed", and "Gygax in real life" was probably a different entity altogether. Take for example his comments in the very start of the DMG about how you should absolutely change rules that don't fulfill the purpose of your campaign, just make sure to understand the ramifications and possible ripple effect on gameplay first. This conflicts directly with some stories I've heard tell of him being, shall we say, a "real stickler for the rules in all cases," which again conflicts with stories I've heard of his actual at-home gameplay.

    Heck, the section on distributing magic items specifically says that he regrets just having the magic item tables, and not cautioning DMs on the importance of moderation, placement and randomness of magic items, and the intent, meaning, and spirit of the game.

    I seriously love having picked up the reprints, so great to look through and compare what's in them with what I THOUGHT was in them. Well, I could probably do without the MM, it's kinda less "treatise on design intent and methodology" and more "statblocks I don't think I'll ever use."
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I'm the opposite, to me, the monsters will probably be more useful. I was actually disappointed, because my other experience with old D&D is mostly with BECMI, which has much greater ratio rules text to old man ranting - I was expecting similar rules density from the PHB and especially DMG. Overall, the core 1st Ed AD&D had way less rules than I thought or remembered.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by huttj509 View Post
    I seriously love having picked up the reprints, so great to look through and compare what's in them with what I THOUGHT was in them. Well, I could probably do without the MM, it's kinda less "treatise on design intent and methodology" and more "statblocks I don't think I'll ever use."
    Ah, but it has gratuitous nudity! (Not to mention it was very revelatory to learn exactly why looking at a nymph causes either blindness or death. Thanks, Gary.)

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Bingo. It's interesting to compare "Gygax as viewed through his writings" with "Gygax as often viewed", and "Gygax in real life" was probably a different entity altogether. Take for example his comments in the very start of the DMG about how you should absolutely change rules that don't fulfill the purpose of your campaign, just make sure to understand the ramifications and possible ripple effect on gameplay first. This conflicts directly with some stories I've heard tell of him being, shall we say, a "real stickler for the rules in all cases," which again conflicts with stories I've heard of his actual at-home gameplay.
    Sometimes it's also a matter of people latching on to one thing said and not paying attention to the message as a whole. People take Gygax's statements about how strictly the rules should be kept to mean following RAW to the letter, rather than looking at his other writings which explicitly encourage DMs to decide on a rule or change them as they see fit. In reality the message was less "Stick to RAW" and more "Stick to whatever rules you decide to use."

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Ah, but it has gratuitous nudity! (Not to mention it was very revelatory to learn exactly why looking at a nymph causes either blindness or death. Thanks, Gary.)
    Um, there's no picture in the ADnD 1E MM for the Nymph, and no text to explain the saves other than "unearthly beauty."
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by huttj509 View Post
    Bingo. It's interesting to compare "Gygax as viewed through his writings" with "Gygax as often viewed", and "Gygax in real life" was probably a different entity altogether. Take for example his comments in the very start of the DMG about how you should absolutely change rules that don't fulfill the purpose of your campaign, just make sure to understand the ramifications and possible ripple effect on gameplay first. This conflicts directly with some stories I've heard tell of him being, shall we say, a "real stickler for the rules in all cases," which again conflicts with stories I've heard of his actual at-home gameplay.
    Most of the stories about being a stickler for rules or a killer DM or the like come from either tournament play or TSR legal wrangling. I can't find the exact quote right now, but Gygax was quoted at one point saying something like "if you make any house rules, you're not playing D&D anymore." As with 1337 b4k4's comment, that wasn't a pronouncement that you're Doing It Wrong if you houserule your own games, in context it was talking about how one of the points of AD&D was to standardize the rules between tables more, and if you're playing a con game or a tournament you really need to provide a consistent experience.

    2e was, in addition to all of the politically correct "convince the media it's not Satanic or dangerous" revisions, essentially an attempt by TSR to write Gygax's influence and "voice" out of the AD&D rules. Because of this, a lot of Gygax's comments in articles at the time were in reaction to TSR's changes to the rules not fitting his vision; he had planned to make things more like 1e UA, with a more robust skill system, faster character creation, different classes and subclasses, etc. So a lot of the "rulings, not rules" quotes from him were in reaction to TSR 2e not doing some of the simplifications that he wanted, Gygax's supposed dislike of psionics actually stemmed from him wanting to make the AD&D rules slightly less fantasy-specific to enable multi-genre games and move the psionics to a specific genre rules module (kind of like how the 1e DMG has conversion rules for Boot Hill and Gamma World characters), and stuff like that.

    Much of this was in Dragon articles or online articles I can't access at work, but two interviews of his I could find that describe some of this are here and here, for those interested. It's interesting how much 1e and Gygax's planned 2e mirror all the 5e marketing speak, as Frozen_Feet said: modular design, simplified chargen, compiling the "best of" material from before into one edition, all that kind of stuff is what Gygax was talking about in the late 80s. And given WotC's track record, it'd be interesting to see whether they or Gygax would have done a better take on it. I know who I'm betting on.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
    You can just call me Dice; that's how I roll.


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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Feb 2007

    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by huttj509 View Post
    Um, there's no picture in the ADnD 1E MM for the Nymph, and no text to explain the saves other than "unearthly beauty."
    Well if looking at a nymph caused blindness or death, how would you know what one looked like to draw a picture of it?

    (am I explaining the joke here?)

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