Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fraud at Fraud Factor

Lets make this quick.
FraudFactor.com is claiming Israel has experienced the equivalent of 23 September 11s.

This is done by making every Israeli death count for 60 American deaths to "adjust for scale".

The problem here is an issue of scale. If 4/5 people die in a car crash, that is not the equivalent of 80'000 September 11s when "adjusting for scale", yet using the above methodology, it is.

What annoys me here is that he is using it to push forward one side of the argument with mathematical wizardry. Ignoring important points such as that there have been more deaths in Palestine than in Israel, and that Palestinians in Palestine are an even smaller group than Israelis. (Hey does that mean every Palestinian death is worth 1.4 Israeli death? I wonder if he still uses the wizardry in that direction).

There are times when this sort of math is appropriate. In terms of economics for example, it matters more how much money each person has in a country rather than as a whole (A population of 1 million will not have the same amount of money as a country 300 times bigger). When it comes however to comparing the value of human life, it's not the same thing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DND Campaign for January

To The Noble Allies of Alaeth,
Under the Authority of the Senate Grand,

At the behest of High Senators

The Mighty Kojuk, High Senator of War.
The Wise Brittlewisp, High Senator of the People.
The Lawful Dashiel, High Senator of Justice.
The Divine Krikt, High Senator of Faith.
The Voice Arala, Speaker of the High Senate.

Your presence is hereby formally requested at the meeting of the Senate
Whole, one week preceding the Aleathian Half-Moon celebrations.

You shall be expected to bring a token of your fealty to Alaeth.
You are called forth as a representative of your people and any agreements bound by you shall also bind those you represent.

You shall be expected to reaffirm all current oaths and bonds to Alaeth.
Should you be unable to attend, a replacement shall be provided for your presence. Should you fail to appoint a replacement, all current agreements with Alaeth shall be unbound.

Your messenger has been given all information deemed necessary for your visit. You will be expected to bring your own guard of no more than two persons, and any provisions they may need. You are also allowed to bring a single companion. Adequate provisions have been given to your messenger for yourself and one other, however you may enrich this as you see fit. Consider this document your official rite of entry into the Grand Hall when you arrive.

Yours in Honor,
Voice Arala, Speaker of the Senate Grand.


Other details:
Characters start at level 6.
Characters start with 13'000Gp.
Each Character is given a free item of the DM's choosing.
Each character is given a free home worth 1000g in a homeland somewhere in the world.

Current Player Characters:
An Awakened Dog (Ranger/Fighter).
A Mindspy. (Not definite).
A Dwarven Defender or Minotaur Barbarian. (He's undecided).
A Swashbuckling Pirate/Rogue Half Elf.

The already given magical items are: A Handy Haversack, An Adamantium Dagger, A ring of Fast Healing 1, Hand of Glory, and "Schroedinger's Box" (Summons undead cats). Oh and a free "Glamered" enchantment on one piece of armor.

Dungeons and Dragons

Well, I'm hosting a DnD game finally, and the preparation has turned out to be more than I expected.

I figure I'm going to use the blog to weekly update on the progress of the party. For now though I'll start with the setting. I didn't want your stereotypical good vs evil campaign, so the "theme" is law vs chaos.

The setting is in the midst of a war between two empires.
The first empire is led from a City-State called Alaeth.
A Chaotic Neutral Democratic State, based loosely on Mayan and Greek history.

The second empire is led from Raccassamedi. Another City-State. Lawful Neutral Monarchy.
Based loosely on Middle Eastern / Ancient Egyptian history .... as imagined by Jules Verne.

The population of Alaeth encourages the breeding in between races. All people are not equal in Alaeth and the more diverse your background, the more esteemed you are.

The population of Raccassamedi views it the opposite way, feeling that more is lost than gained from such relationships. Socially it is entirely unacceptable to be a half breed, however officially they are at no disadvantage.

I have a globe I've set up so the entire world is a playground for the party.
There is potential for sea travel, there are several different potential environments they can trek into, each is basically done in enough detail that I can keep them busy for 2 weeks until I can build up the rest of the environment they're exploring.

About 1/4 of the map is ruled by Raccassamedi.
About 1/4 is ruled by Alaeth.
About 1/4 is Neutral.
About 1/4 is Sea.

There are 4 Metropolises completed.
There are 3 dungeons.
There are at least 40 set encounters spread throughout the map. About half are move able.