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Sorcerer Question

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Pherrit, May 19, 2017.

  1. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    Yeah, I've seen some pretty bad GMs in the various "Official" game groups. Both with Pathfinder Society and with Hasbro's Adventurer's League. Good GMs seem to be hard to find. Lots of arrogant jerks think they can GM.
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    It's not a bad system, but it's not a good one either. If I wanted to play D&D, I'd go back to Pathfinder, but the age of D&D is done as far as I'm concerned.

    The amount of better systems to choose from is almost staggering at this point. The only thing that's selling now is the brand name and diehard fandom.
     
  3. Stuntman Gems: 5/31
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    With each edition of D&D, it addresses some issues in the previous one, but adds new issues. I personally liked each subsequent edition more than the previous one with the exception of 4E. I personally liked 4E, but everyone else I play with hated it.

    I never looked into Pathfinder much. Just glanced through some manuals and it appears very similar to 3/3.5 to me.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    That's because it is 3E...
     
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    Isn't that what they did with the warlock, not the sorcerer?

    Anyways, back on the original topic, I never had a problem with the sorcerer having too many spells, it always seems I don't have enough slots.
    Cutting the number of spells would just make it so you have crippling hard choices. yes, it would make the wizards a more viable option, but only by making them less bad.
    If anything, you should increase the number of spells available to paladins, rangers, bards, and to a lessor extent wizards (but still increase them).
    Maybe give plain wizards one more spell per level so they top out at 6 instead of 5? That would put them somewhat on par with sorcerers discounting bonus spells.
     
  6. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    Stuntman, Pathfinder was developed by Paizo - who were the final publishers of the actual paper versions of the "Dragon" and "Dungeon" Magazines for WOTC. When WOTC announced the switch to 4E Paizo refused to change over so their rights to publish the mags were pulled. But they'd spent a few years learning the ins and outs of 3.5 and thanks to the 3.0/3.5 legalese that allowed anyone to publish "official" material for those games IF you made sure to include the proper "this material is designed for D&D owned by WOTC" page - Paizo is still publishing material for their customized version of 3.5. It's a neater system in that it gives the player a lot more customization options. For instance Sorcerer's are no longer locked into the theoretical draconic heritage of 3.0/3.5, they can pick a magical heritage that powers their instinctive magic - and each heritage comes with it's own advantages and disadvantages.

    I am with you on 4E, it's a really cool tactical game that actually gives the classes the tools to fill the roles they've always theoretically had. It was the first edition where some classes weren't effectively second-rate classes depending on level and stuff. I still play the game with a fairly large group on the odd Friday nights locally. Right now we're dealing with Orcus' attempt to steal deific power from The Raven Queen so he can become the God of Undead. We are in the final stages of Death's Reach getting close to the final battle.

    I am playing a female Drow Bard and former worshiper of Eilistraee (in 4E Eilistraee was killed by Lolth, and later resurrected by Mystra - though she's no longer catering to her priests - most of whom switched over to Corellon while she was dead). She says "we like to celebrate our love for Eilistraee by dancing, and dancing is more fun with music, so I play the music." ;)
     
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  7. Stuntman Gems: 5/31
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    WickedPrince: Another player who liked 4E! Awesome! I would have loved to play a 4E campaign. I love the tactical rules. I actually like the multiclassing in 4E as well. The main reason is that the fighter/wizard multiclass in 4E was easier to make effective. AoE marking looks to be something that can work. Alas, I didn't get to play that character more than a couple of times.

    I had a 3E fighter/sorcerer multiclass build. I had to work hard to make him so that he wasn't useless. Had to research a lot of abilities and spells to find some combo that makes it worth while to play such a character. I only got to play it once and I think I was around level 6 or 7 with no prestige class. If you are too casual in your build, you end up making a useless character which is what my friend did.

    My one major criticism with 4E is that the tactical combat caused the people I game with to have to break out of role playing mode and into a chess playing mode. My group didn't like that. It was an extra layer that although I really liked, didn't go well with my group. It took a while for me to realise that. My last 4E game, I did away with the grid and just did free form combat. I knew the characters well enough to understand what each character would do tactically. My group liked how I ran that session more than anything else. No more counting squares. If I think you can reasonably reach the target and attack, I let you. If you gang up on a target I make judgement calls on things like sneak attack and flanking. Combat went a lot faster and the session story line flowed so much better.

    The one thing about 4E is that I feel I needed a detailed map for every battle. In that last session, a battle occurred in an area I had not anticipated. The enemy ran into a warehouse because he was trapped in an area. The warehouse had piles of crates, so we had a 3D battle. One player had a character that has a spell that can push. When he hit, I let him push the enemy off a raised platform because I deemed he was close enough to the edge for that to happen. No need to actually count squares.

    5E can be played with a grid, but it was much easier to manage if you didn't use a grid. It was also a more compact system. What I mean is you don't need to deal with feat chains like in 3E. Feats in 5E were individually more useful and combine multiple 3E-like feats into nice packages. No more researching not very useful feats to take that combine into something awesome in the end. You do lose the finer granularity when customising your character. However, I didn't feel that some of the granularity was all that useful. No one goes part way through the 3E TWF feat change and thinks that almost being half-decent at TWF is the character they want to play.
     
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    I agree that 5E makes each choice feel more intense, which is fun. 4E is definitely rules-crunchy which can mean players feel that RP is less meaningful, but the skill-challenge system from 4E gives some options for converting RP into skill tests with successes building to a conclusion rather than simply having one person RP stuff that often his character wouldn't be that knowledgeable about or skilled at and just letting them win. It's complicated but if done right it can give players a sense of a challenge overcome.
     
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  9. Stuntman Gems: 5/31
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    The skill challenge system is quite interesting. I don't think I really used it when I played 4E. I just wasn't comfortable. The adventures I used were all of the older editions ones back to 1E that I converted to 4E. They didn't have any such skill challenge encounters and I just wasn't comfortable making any that fit the adventures. Somehow, I think it would have made my group hate 4E even more than they already did. The role playing part being converted to numbers would probably not go over well.

    The skill challenge system did not make it into 5E. 5E handled skills like 3E which is what I'm comfortable with. I feel that when you have role playing skills, it is best to minimise the dice rolls. A DM I play with had a lot of role playing in his games. We could go a few sessions without even rolling a single die. There are many role playing moments where rolling dice does not add to the experience and can event take away from it. He told me about a game he ran where they were all ready to play this big dragon fight. Then one of the players pulled off an epic bluff. The DM didn't even bother rolling a die because it was such an epic move. In my experience, the most epic moments in D&D did not involve dice.
     
  10. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    Pure role play is all good and well, and my groups have always done a lot of that, but I disagree that the dice should be minimized for it. Social encounters are encounters like any other kind and the characters are either good at those or not, just like they are swinging their sword around. The problem with D&D is that it's incredibly combat-focused and rules-focused, so not only are social encounters largely underdeveloped, you also have very little room for narrative play with a system like D&D, unless you handwave the rules (but then you lose your foundation).

    That's one of the reasons why I much prefer narrative systems where the amorphous form of social encounters plays with the rules instead of against them. Of course, if you want a more structured battle of wits, you're ultimately gonna have to resort to some set of rules or another, and so far I haven't seen one I had fully enjoyed yet. I'm currently working on one for Cypher, but my simulations have yet to yield a satisfying result.
     
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  11. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    I'm with Keneth, most of the worst min/max offenders I've seen were "RP" enthusiasts who would build combat monster characters by stripping their mental/social traits and then expect to be allowed to automatically carry off grand schemes that their character could not possibly have imagined let alone think through or pull off; but they felt they should get to ignore all of that because of "RP." IMHO if you build a character with the mental/social skills of an artichoke, RP it. IF you get a grand idea, pass it along to somebody whose character is more suited. That's how I always play it when I am a player. I don't try to dominate the game by expecting everybody to ignore the fact that I built a moron who constantly has sparks of genius and social acumen that put the party specialists in those areas to shame - "because of RP!" Forcing them to make a few rolls to reinforce their RP and then having them fail die rolls because their character skills sucked reinforces that this is how they built their character. I might bend rules a bit on behalf of somebody whose character is competent but they got a bad roll at the worst moment - but even then - crap happens. Bouncing back from your failures is part of the roleplay. Too many "RP" people think that RP means "Always Win." As a GM my main rules are: 1> provide a reasonable challenge; 2> keep it fun.

    Had a player in one game who built her toon as a total combat monster and then said "oh, my character is a Master Cat Burglar" - so I looked at her character sheet and saw that she was sub-competent in all of the base abilities that she'd need, and completely unskilled in the skills she'd need: and suggested she revise. She refused: "I built my character the way I wanted, and besides: RP!" So I told the other players that her character constantly blathers about how awesome a Cat Burglar she is, but when faced with the simplest locks/security she just stands there staring at it like a stone completely unaware of what's going on around her or she starts tearing into stuff that has nothing to do with any reasonable burgling attempt - obviously in some misguided idea that tearing the tires off the car helps hotwire it. They/the other players figured out that it was all in her imagination, and SHE was really upset that I didn't give her loads of freebies because of a background that included that one single sentence. But the people who built characters that were actually competent in the required skills got to do their stuff.
     
  12. Stuntman Gems: 5/31
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    I've played most often 2E and before where the social skills were not that well developed in the rules. The incident with the dragon being bluffed was back in AD&D or Basic D&D back in the 80's. I don't think stuff like that happened often. It's not like they constantly bluffed dragons and beholders left right and centre. I think it was a one of event from what my friend told me. Most of the time, they probably did fight the dragon. In the P&P games I played in the past few decades, I only encountered a dragon once and we did fight it.

    Most of the games I DM'ed were in 3E/3.5 where I did make use of the social skills when appropriate. The 5E Adventurer League adventures specifically mention them in certain encounters. For my home game, I generally convert older (pre-3E) adventures to the current system. These older adventures did not include any skill checks for social encounters.
     
  13. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    I started with the very first printings of 1st Ed AD&D, so yeah I know that the skill and social tools weren't really there until 3E. But I've also played a lot of other games that had hard-core rules for all sorts of skill challenges. The White Wolf Games systems for instance had a very wide customizability. Their games were "designed" as storytelling and RP tools and I had a lot of fun running them. With the rare exceptions of the people who couldn't be bothered to learn any rules other than the "Golden Rule: ignore the rules if it means telling a great story." - which they assumed meant THEY could ignore the rules for self-aggrandizement when-ever they wanted.

    I've toyed with revamping some old material for the newer games after seeing one or two well-done ones. The most I've done though was stealing some old maps and completely restocking them with different monsters and encounters.

    A few years back a friend revamped the entire "Against the Giants" himself for 3.5 for a home-built setting that was essentially fantasy Europe centered in Scandinavia. His takes on a lot of the encounters where pretty crazy, but fun. I got to pull off my most epic gaming moment ever in that game with an elven Scout/Wizard/ArcaneArcher. Our main Arcanist gave me an old wand of Ice Storm. In his game the Grey Elves were filling in for the Drow - which may or may not have existed in his world. We ran into a group that was "involved" with the giants we were fighting at the time - lead by a very powerful wizard. Once we'd dealt with his compatriots and had him surrounded he quickened Invisibility, then cast Flight then took off. Our GM was "well I think he escapes unless somebody can See Invisible" - My turn was right after and I said "not so fast" and GM was "your an archer, what are you going to do about it?" so I turned to our main Arcanist and asked him "how far can he have flown?" since I knew that this was a spell on his characters spell list he'd know exactly how far the enemy wizard could have flown in the time he'd had. I looked in the directions I could see and measured out the distance - there were two choices including right over our heads and back the direction we'd come. I guessed the other way, took out the Ice Storm wand, and dropped the storm dead center of where he most likely was - then told the GM "I'm watching the ground for spilled blood and listening for yelps of pain" - being that perception skills were my main forte and Ice Storm doesn't require a hit nor gives a save - I got both the blood and the "ouch!" - so I called to the rest of the party "he's right there!" - everybody who had ranged area attacks dropped them on him. He barely survived until his next turn. I knew he wouldn't be in the same spot, but I dropped another Ice Storm there just to be sure - and he wasn't. Everybody else was at a loss until our Paladin who had been standing right next to the enemy wizard before he'd tried to escape decided "what the heck, I'll swing wildly over my own head" - he rolled a Nat20 and managed to get through the miss chance, and the wizard dropped right on the paladin's head - dead. And we got loot. And OUR arcanist was VERY happy he'd given me that Ice Storm wand because he got most of that phat loot. Several of us had some entertaining moments during that game: like the time I was running across the ceiling with my Boots of Spider Climbing when a dragon flew in, snatched me from the ceiling, and then said "dodge this" while holding me in his teeth and then breathed. I would have been dead when I hit the ground, but our Cleric had one of those optional spells where he could insta-cure somebody who was in dire need IF they were in range - he barely was able to save me. Thanks to a couple of his clerical buffs the cleric also got to one-round on another dragon completely solo - he got like four or five attacks while enlarged - including a confirmed critical that did a TON of damage.

    Anyways, just because an old adventure doesn't include social/skill encounters doesn't mean you can't creatively invent a few, even perhaps tweak something that's already there for it. 5E makes stuff like that pretty easy IMHO, if a player tries to Social an encounter, just have him make skill tests vs the targets will-save+10 or so depending on how insane what the player is trying is.
     
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    I've only played P&P 2E, and we kinda wished at times there were social skills implemented. However, we didn't really want it to be that important a mechanic. Mostly we had to just RP it and convince the DM who would decide if we succeeded or not. However this was hampered by our own social skills (or lack of, especially in my case). So my Bard with 18 Charisma might have a harder time persuading that noblewoman than the 10 CHA thief because the other player (not character) was more suave.

    Anyways, in 2E the only mechanics I recall, and bear in mind my group broke up 20 years ago last month, was the "reactions adjustment" and the Charisma statistic.
     
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    Yeah I remember those attribute modifiers/bonuses. They didn't help much because there wasn't even a hint of a mechanic for how to use them, and they were pretty pitiful even at the upper end. I also remember creating charismatic characters because I admired people and fantasy characters who had a better social acumen than I had, and then found I couldn't play them properly and that the "system" didn't really reward my characters talents over my own. I still argue these points with GMs of the newer systems. My character may be smarter, wiser, more charismatic than I am - this is reflected in their stats just as are the physical stats. I don't have to have an 18 strength myself to play a character with that high a strength, so why should I need an 18 charisma to play a character with an 18 charisma? If the GM tells me to try to RP it, I tell them to RP that their NPCs believe that I have an 18 charisma - because that's the way the rules work.

    Here's a little secret. WOTC started out as a company named Bard Games. Back during their beginnings they produced two game settings: "Age of Atlantis" was their first: it was set during a period in pre-history when Atlantis was still THE power in the world. One of the PC races was the Druas who looked like standard drow elves, but they were a pacifist nomadic people with no homeland. There were legends that they came originally from a place called Talislanta, which had disappeared after some sort of catastrophe, and the Druas were wandering the world trying to find their way back home. The second game Bard came out with was "Talislanta" - which for many years heralded itself as the Fantasy RPG with NO ELVES. Now what makes all this interesting? Two things: Talislanta used ability stats that actually were your modifiers; so for instance you might have a Strength stat of -1 if you were weaker than average, or a Intelligence stat of +2 if you were very smart - these modifiers applied to all rolls regarding that stat including skill checks relating to that stat. Talislanta used a mechanical system based on the roll of a modified D20 - you added attribute and skill and other modifiers to your D20 and compared it to a DC. That last part should sound familiar to those who have played 3rd Ed or anything more recent, because that basic mechanic is what WOTC changed the D&D system to when they completely over-hauled it. They made it a bit simpler than the core system of Talislanta by translating that game's systems that included partial successes and stuff. In Talislanta your roll could be modified by opponents stats - for instance in combat you subtracted your opponents defensive stats. If your net roll was <=5 you failed completely; 6-10 was a partial success: in combat it was a glancing blow that did half damage, for other skills you succeeded but it took twice as long as normal, or some other benefit was affected; 11-19 was a full normal success; 20+ was a critical success: in combat you did double damage, for most other checks the time was halved, or some other benefit was doubled: for instance a spells duration could be doubled. But basically the modern D&D mechanic is a simplified form of the old Talislanta mechanic. It was simple and it allowed an imaginative GM to figure out new ways to apply it to just about any given situation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  16. Stuntman Gems: 5/31
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    There was one RPG that I played once called Villains and Vigilantes. The interesting thing about this game was that I was told to estimate my own Strength, Intelligence, etc. and my character has those ability score. The idea was that I was playing myself, but with super powers. I only played it once, and never heard of it again. At least, it makes role playing somewhat easier as you don't have to play above your mental abilities.
     
  17. WickedPrince Gems: 5/31
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    Your estimated abilities anyways, I remember doing those a few times, when friends would decide to run a game based on us playing ourselves as game avatars and then morphing them via the game mechanics. My friends never had a high opinion of me so my characters always sucked - because who-ever was running would insist on a "realistic" estimate of our abilities, which meant that they'd override my own estimate based on what THEY believed was a correct estimate - by the time they were done I'd be sub-human. :D
     
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    That was my problem as well. The thing is, some of the RP of the dialog could be quite fun, but the problem was that I am not good at social interaction, and so was penalized in the game because of that.
    IF I had to put down my own stats, at the time 25 years ago I would have put something like
    STR 12 or 13
    DEX 7
    CON 8
    INT 16
    WIS 9
    CHA 5

    These days, I've come to realize that I've let myself go, and since February have been trying to get myself back into shape, although I'm not making much progress. I'd say my stats are probably
    STR 11 (I'm still stronger than many people, but can't lift as much as I used to. Maybe I used to be STR 13)
    DEX 5 (flexibility has gone to hell)
    CON 6 (my endurance is lousy these days, I've started working on it, but I've only added about 2 minutes more aerobic activity before I'm too out of breath. I've REALLY let myself go, about the only thing I can do is bike a little over 2 miles but less than 3, then I must rest for 30+ minutes. Any other physical activity leaves me winded after 10 minutes).
    INT 16
    WIS 10 (older and wiser. Adjust how the above one is)
    CHA 5

    Because of my low CHA, it hurt playing high CHA characters, and yes, I agree with the sentiment that I don't need 18 strength or dex for my characters to benefit from those stats, yet I seemed to need 18 in the mental stats to benefit from them.
     
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    I know I've become physically decrepit too, but part of that I don't have a lot of control over - I broke my neck in four places about nine years ago, I was lucky that the permanent damage isn't really bad, but it's there. My agility for instance is crap because of the damage - I get intermittent bouts of physical weakness and uncoordination because the damage is interfering with my control. And I didn't know until I was around thirty that I had asthma pretty much all my life. Nobody else who had asthma was around to see me having an attack until then to recognize my asthma attacks as what they were - so that limited my endurance. I'm not severe enough that I ever ended up in the hospital for it though or I would probably have been diagnosed earlier. Physically I've always been kind of a wreck - skinny poorly-coordinated little kid with bad lungs. And as a young adult gamer I wasn't a lot better back then. And because I was kind of socially-interested/anti-social I didn't always express myself very well so people underestimated my intelligence. I made friends easily because I was a friendly person who tried to be outgoing sometimes, but I was still socially awkward at the same time. There used to be this big argument about what had more influence on how we turned out: Nature: meaning our genetics, or Nurture: meaning how we were raised and educated. My Nature was very social, my Nurture was totally anti-social so I was always kind of at war with myself. I really like interacting with people and making new friends, but at the same time I'm always a little fearful of how mean people can sometimes be and I'm afraid of doing something that will set them off.

    But the games were supposed to be about pretending to be characters that were different from ourselves, and when my gaming friends would start trying to push my atrophied/awkward social acumen against my characters I'd argue. The reason why you have a Charisma stat at all is so that your character can be more socially-adept than the player is. Heck most of us gamers GAME because we don't really fit with normal people socially so we hang out with other similar people. So almost NONE of us gamers has a charisma that approaches 18, most of us can't even accurately IMAGINE somebody with that level of charisma because we've never interacted with somebody like that.

    I picked up one of those Pedometers with the hopes that I could use it to push myself a bit more slowly, but for me even reading the stupid directions is too much effort. :D
     
  20. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    Nature vs. Nurture runs deep into our psyches. We mistake the simplicity and clarity of Nature arguments for strength, but often they are weakness.
    Nature is straightforward, simple and accessible, while acknowledging Nurture is tiresome, complicated and involved.

    To exaggerate, for clarity:

    Believers in Nature-type arguments believe in static reality, as fixed as a painting. They see reality as depicted in a "final state", and draw on concepts of origin, belonging, and unchanging identity to rationalize their beliefs. The current de facto state of affairs creates a sense of de jure legitimacy. People are entirely responsible for their life achievements, and entirely accountable for the problems they created their lives. Common catchphrases: These are the way things are. It's the nature of things. It's how I am. I'm just stating the facts. It's genetic / natural selection / evolution (the meaning of these terms has been heavily distorted).

    Believers in Nurture-type arguments believe in an emergent reality, as malleable as clay. They see reality as a snapshot of a dynamic event, and allow for a great deal of leeway for environmental influences/events, agency for improvement, and unrealized possibilities. They do not agree that the current de facto state of affairs gives any de jure legitimacy whatsoever, because stasis is effectively stagnation. People are usually only partly responsible for their achievements and failures in life, and it would be unfair to hold them entirely accountable without considering circumstances. Common catchphrases: Things change. People change. It's a skill I gained through experience. It's how I am *now*. Never give up on others. That was then, this is now. You never know.

    Notice the difference between the powerful, hard-hitting allure of Nature-catchphrases, and the wishy-washy, indefinite uncertainty of Nurture-catchphrases? Simplicity is alluring. Clarity is attractive. Indecisiveness and uncertainty seem weak. But it is nothing of the sort: Only the most robust minds will even attempt to include nurture considerations in their reasoning, due to the complexity involved.

    From my descriptions, it should be obvious that I lean far towards Nurture*. Online, I often find myself arguing against Nature-type reasoning, strongly advocating Nurture. Of course, reality is a mix of both Nature and Nurture. But if you are perceptive to these concepts, you will find that a large majority of people claim Nature arguments so matter-of-factly, that they mistake it for truth and reality.
     
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