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August 6th, 2011

Pathfinder Characters

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Shilandra Daliandos Summoner in the service of the Pathfinder Society and her Eidolon, Golus
Lien Taliosa Oracle of Sarenrae in the service of the Pathfinder Society
Tolkar Thion Magus in the service of the Pathfinder Society

August 4th, 2011

(no subject)

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Shilandra Daliandos Summoner of the Pathfinder Society and her Eidolon Golus
Surif Kalishim Summoner of the Pathfinder Society and his Eidolon Ykial
Lien Taliosa Flame Oracle of Sarenae, in service to the Pathfinder Society.

July 3rd, 2011

My choice of Faith.

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I have decided in part because of having read Lee Strobel's the Case for Faith among other reasons that have occurred in the past month or so to come back to Christianity. This decision was in part precipitated by the fact that at some point I had invariably become Agnostic instead of staying with my former belief in the Celtic Ancestral Gods (if you can even call them Gods at that). For some reason I had come to the conclusion that there simply is not enough evidence to prove one way or another the existence of Gods in general. However after numerous months of watching how happy my sister's faith in God had been making her, and how happy the rest of my family seemed to be with their faith in God I decided to at least give Christianity a second chance. In doing so one day while I was with my Sister at a book store I decided to buy Lee Strobel's the Case for Faith and give it a good old read. Now while I know there are several Atheists who would be extremely perturbed by what is said in the book, I personally felt that the book made particularly good sense.

Shortly after starting reading the book I decided to check out one of the local United Methodist Churches and eventually decided to go through the adult re-confirmation courses just to see if what I remember from when I was a child was in fact accurate to what I believe nowadays. So I will hopefully be accomplishing that around the time of Labor Day.

While I have some doubts about things like the Doctrine among numerous Christians about Homosexuality being a grievous sin, a friend of mine who is also a Christian, has discussed the matter with me and explained the issue in such a way: "The idea is to understand the difference between a doctrinal issue and a kingdom issue (issue of salvation)." My personal opinion is that the most common understanding of Homosexuality among Christians is one that is purely a doctrinal issue as from what I can tell from what I have discovered of the Bible is that the word most often translated as Homosexual or Homosexuality in various passages in the Bible actually refers to something quite different from the modern concept of Homosexuality. It actually refers to something more similar to the concept used today to refer to Bisexuality. Basically it is referencing a Greek and Roman Tradition of older men taking young boys as slaves whom they will then have sexual relations with, while at the same time the older men also have wives or adult female slaves with whom they also have sexual relations with. At least that is seemingly what the word in Greek from the New Testament's references to Homosexuality means. I have no personal comment on the Leviticus references to Homosexuality, but I would remind people that Leviticus is the self same book that suggests that Rape is perfectly fine so long as the Rapist pays for the Dowry of the woman and then marries her or something to that effect. So I tend to put a great deal less stock in the morals preached by Leviticus when it comes to translating it to modern times. I also tend to think that we should be drawing inspiration from the Bible, not living by it as if it were a literal law book for modern living.

May 8th, 2011

TolanSky: http://www.pwcalc.com/b0a22f3cc6e15460
Veilana: Yet to be published
Daearena: Yet to be published
Auraweaver: Yet to be published

November 2nd, 2010

Larry Nevin's Disk

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I just learned something interesting about the Great Disk of Larry Nevin and the Origin of Mana as it relates to Magic. Essentially, Mana is a term to denote a specific quantity of non-renewable energy in the form of Magic as it is tied up in the land (a planet). This energy is what powers spells, summonings, etc.. in various games, fantasy books, and other things. But it was first discussed in detail by Larry Nevin. And in one of his book series he explores the concept by having his protagonist create a disk that manipulates the surrounding mana fields to discover why magic grows weak in some areas and stronger in others.

This disk of course was inspiration for the Magic the Gathering Design Team for the Alpha, Beta, and other early sets who ultimately drew heavily upon Larry Nevin's concepts. They not only borrowed the idea of Mana and it's ties to the land... but also the concept of the disk, even going so far as to name their version of the disk "Nevinyrral's Disk" an the first word of which is an anagram of Larry Nevin.

October 18th, 2010

Rage against the Machine

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Okay, so a couple of Policy Decisions that Wizards of the Coast (The Company that makes one of my favorite Games, Magic the Gathering) has made recently has a large group of people upset. These decisions are as follows:

1.) They changed the Legacy Banned List to include the banning of the card Mystical Tutor this decision was weakly justified by this article which left many in the legacy community scratching their heads. I will discuss this more in detail shortly.

2.) They recently announced a change in the policy to the way Tournament Organizers can operate by limiting Premier Events to being available only to Tournament Organizer's who are affiliated with a Store that sells Magic the Gathering Product. (more on this here). This means that any area without a local game store is left high and dry without the ability to run Premier Events such as Friday Night Magic or Pre-Releases for new sets.

Okay now on to my Rants. Let's start with the first thing on the list of problematic decisions as that was the first of the two to actually occur. The banning of Mystical Tutor ultimately came as a shock to many people because many people did not consider the card to be the main problem. What they considered the main problem in the decks it was primarily featured in were Ad Nauseam and Entomb. However regardless of the fact that Wizards Justification (Which I will explain in a moment) was a little lack luster, the banning of the Tutor was probably the right call in order to weaken both of the decks in this situation.

As far as Justifications go, Wizards did a couple of things wrong. First off they Drew their first example of a deck that abused Mystical Tutor from 3 years prior to the actual date of the banned list being updated. While I admit Grand Prix Flash (the tournament where it was first really heavily abused) was problematic. They had already addressed that deck by banning Flash so they really didn't need to bring up that sour grape again. Further complicating matters was that the only modern tournament that they seemed to draw any evidence towards the banning of the tutor from was Grand Prix Madrid. All this would have been fine if they had said they had studied additional tournament results and come to the same conclusion, but the rest of their argument was based on two fallacious pieces of information:

1.) They tested the two types of decks that they were concerned about in the Tournament Practice Room on Magic Online, where while there is a huge amount of variation, it cannot be said it is of tournament quality play skill. It is definitely a casual environment. Or at least it was last time I played in it which was right around the time the banning took place.

2.) They discussed something they called a "Gentleman's Agreement" where in people agreed that it was okay to play these mystical tutor based decks in High Level Competitive REL events, but not in Normal REL Events at the local level where they agreed to play decks that are more fun. I can attest from personal experience that this agreement does NOT and never has existed.

Onto the issue regarding Tournament Organizers. There is an extensive thread regarding this issue on MTGSalvation explaining various people's points of views on the issue. The key issue regarding it is that there are places around the world that are not within a reasonable driving distance of a local store that will be unable to run Premier Events because of this policy. Additionally several College Campuses will be without Premier Events because of this Policy causing the playgroups in both situations to either disband, or stagnate due to the lack of the ability to garner interest in and transportation to the more popular types of tournaments. I have a fear that if this decision is not modified, that WotC will be losing several long time players of the game, and losing several potential new players of the game because of it.

October 11th, 2010

[T1.5] Scorpion

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So a Friend of mine came up with a new deck idea, he calls it "Scorpion" the original deck list is as follows:

LANDS:
4x Mountain
5x Plains
4x Plateau
4x Arid Mesa

CREATURES:
4x Boros Swift blade
4x Deftblade Elite
4x Goblin Grappler
4x Kor Duelist
4x Stoneforge Mystic

EQUIPMENT:
2x Umezawa’s Jitte
4x Infiltration Lens
1x Basilisk Collar
1x Sword of Light and Shadow
1x Sword of Fire and Ice

ARTIFACTS:
4x Chrome Mox

SPELLS:
4x Swords to Plowshares
2x Path to Exile
4x Lightning Helix

I liked it alot, enough that I wanted to try the deck out a bit. However I wanted to try a different card in the list out. What I wanted to try out was the card Goblin Gaveleer. To that end I am testing the following list:

LANDS:
4x Mountain
5x Plains
4x Plateau
4x Arid Mesa

CREATURES:
4x Boros Swift blade
4x Deftblade Elite
4x Goblin Graveleer
4x Kor Duelist
4x Stoneforge Mystic

EQUIPMENT:
2x Umezawa’s Jitte
2x Infiltration Lens
2x Darksteel Axe
1x Basilisk Collar
1x Sword of Light and Shadow
1x Sword of Fire and Ice

ARTIFACTS:
4x Chrome Mox

SPELLS:
4x Swords to Plowshares
2x Path to Exile
4x Lightning Helix

SIDEBOARD
3 Burrenton Forge-Tender
2 Enlightened Tutor
2 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Aura of Silence
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Thorn of Amethyst

Unfortunately it will take me a bit of time to get the decks components together to enable me to play it. However I should be able to get the majority of the pieces within a month or two, and definitely have the components by the end of december,

Level 85 SMN

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So I finally hit the BIG 85. This is the highest level that can currently be achieved by a character in Final Fantasy. So I am now working on other things in the game aside from leveling. Should be interesting.

September 21st, 2010

Level 75 SMN

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So several days ago I managed to finally achieve Level 75 Summoner. I am still working on achieving Full Merits, but we shall see how that goes.

August 19th, 2010

Final Fantasy XI

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Between today, yesterday, and the day before I have installed, updated, and reactivated the PlayOnline Viewer and Final Fantasy XI. Along with finding and joining a new Linkshell and making a few new friends on the game. I am hoping to be able to become a permanent addition to the linkshell so long as I don't ingratiate myself from the linkshell by opening my mouth too much.

Among some of the finer points is that I learned that the Promyvions no longer have Max Level Limits set to them. As well as finding a partner to level up with should I need it. I also found out the finer points of leveling Summoner in this new environment along with scholar. So hopefully I should be able to make some movement along that line.

Very much looking forward to continuing this game.
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