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  • #46
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    *sigh*



    I've never particularly gotten these two particular arguments given what the rest of the gamelines get up to I mean, Vampire alone makes Beast look rather tame, with an active faction having a much more openly gorier and fucked up "Be the monster you are" mentality, an actual "I'm going to hurt to teach a lesson", sin-and-judgment faction, a "You can be an even BETTER monster" faction, a fedualistic blood-addicted-serf-making faction, and The Carthians as your nominal "I mean, at least their not the bad guys" protagonists. Mage, Mummy, Demon, and Hunter* also wear their "You know, we're kind of fucked up" badges on nice and proud, and Werewolf, Changeling, Promethean, Geist, and Deviant often only get away with it because of the other half.
    In my experience, when you get to it, the argument is less that Beasts are rewarded for being evil but more they are rewarded for being a petty sort of evil who is uncomfortably like RL evil and abuse. Other lines do evil but either there is some sort of twisted grandeur to it, or it is engaged with a level of metaphor who makes it safe to engage.

    What detractors don't like is you can burn someone for being a jaywalker, stalk a woman in the streets, frighten children because you can and all that sort of things for Low Satiety meals. You will never meet a vampire or a dark sorcerer IRL but plenty people who do the actions proposed as Low Satiety meals for kicks and giggles.

    The feeding example in the corebook is generally used and I understand why. It is a textbook case of disproportionate retribution and nobody will empathize with a monster who strangles you almost to death for being a bully. The Ready Made Characters suffer also from that. They are for lack of a better word, mundane and unambitious.None of their Aspiration deal with the supernatural or provide plot hooks tied to being a Beast.

    It's one of the great tragedies of the game I think. Unlike what detractors say, it is trivially easy to make a group of Beasts who are neither abusers nor assholes but whose Hungers can be plot hooks of their own. But the corebook and even the Player Guide does not help you to do it.

    To give my Ready Make Characters as an examples, we have.

    A Collector who hungers for forbidden knowledge and steals dangerous grimoires and items from other supernaturals
    A Ravager who hungers for the destruction of plots and conspiracies and "innocently" tears through the webs of cults
    A Predator who hungers for the thrill of hunting dangerous prey and so turned to Hobgoblins, Reapers, Revenants and basically anything from Night's Horror's books
    A Tyrant who hungers for the coopting of cults and works to turn the servants of supernatural beings into his own Mystery Cult, gaining their fealty
    A Nemesis who hungers for the punishment of those who trangress primal taboos and thus hunts kinslayers real and metaphorical.

    You notice only the Nemesis approaches their existence with something approaching the Lesson culture and the Lesson is taught not to their victims but to society in general and it's not the point of the feeding. The point of the feeding is trangressors need to be punished.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by ganonso View Post

      In my experience, when you get to it, the argument is less that Beasts are rewarded for being evil but more they are rewarded for being a petty sort of evil who is uncomfortably like RL evil and abuse. Other lines do evil but either there is some sort of twisted grandeur to it, or it is engaged with a level of metaphor who makes it safe to engage.

      What detractors don't like is you can burn someone for being a jaywalker, stalk a woman in the streets, frighten children because you can and all that sort of things for Low Satiety meals. You will never meet a vampire or a dark sorcerer IRL but plenty people who do the actions proposed as Low Satiety meals for kicks and giggles.

      The feeding example in the corebook is generally used and I understand why. It is a textbook case of disproportionate retribution and nobody will empathize with a monster who strangles you almost to death for being a bully. The Ready Made Characters suffer also from that. They are for lack of a better word, mundane and unambitious.None of their Aspiration deal with the supernatural or provide plot hooks tied to being a Beast.

      It's one of the great tragedies of the game I think. Unlike what detractors say, it is trivially easy to make a group of Beasts who are neither abusers nor assholes but whose Hungers can be plot hooks of their own. But the corebook and even the Player Guide does not help you to do it.

      To give my Ready Make Characters as an examples, we have.

      A Collector who hungers for forbidden knowledge and steals dangerous grimoires and items from other supernaturals
      A Ravager who hungers for the destruction of plots and conspiracies and "innocently" tears through the webs of cults
      A Predator who hungers for the thrill of hunting dangerous prey and so turned to Hobgoblins, Reapers, Revenants and basically anything from Night's Horror's books
      A Tyrant who hungers for the coopting of cults and works to turn the servants of supernatural beings into his own Mystery Cult, gaining their fealty
      A Nemesis who hungers for the punishment of those who trangress primal taboos and thus hunts kinslayers real and metaphorical.

      You notice only the Nemesis approaches their existence with something approaching the Lesson culture and the Lesson is taught not to their victims but to society in general and it's not the point of the feeding. The point of the feeding is trangressors need to be punished.
      I don't really see the "realistic abuse argument". Vampires cause relationships VERY reflective of abusive ones, including sexual abuse. And just because it's through the "bite" doesn't really do anything to make it easier to swallow. Promethean has disquiet, which makes people hate you for seemingly no reason, which is exactly how prejudice works (and yes I mean without taking into account a culture that perpetuates it).

      I don't see how flipping a car to show someone he's not save is any less "escapist" and "unreal", than biting someone to essentially make them a slave addicted to you.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by ganonso View Post

        In my experience, when you get to it, the argument is less that Beasts are rewarded for being evil but more they are rewarded for being a petty sort of evil who is uncomfortably like RL evil and abuse. Other lines do evil but either there is some sort of twisted grandeur to it, or it is engaged with a level of metaphor who makes it safe to engage.

        What detractors don't like is you can burn someone for being a jaywalker, stalk a woman in the streets, frighten children because you can and all that sort of things for Low Satiety meals. You will never meet a vampire or a dark sorcerer IRL but plenty people who do the actions proposed as Low Satiety meals for kicks and giggles.

        The feeding example in the corebook is generally used and I understand why. It is a textbook case of disproportionate retribution and nobody will empathize with a monster who strangles you almost to death for being a bully. The Ready Made Characters suffer also from that. They are for lack of a better word, mundane and unambitious.None of their Aspiration deal with the supernatural or provide plot hooks tied to being a Beast.

        It's one of the great tragedies of the game I think. Unlike what detractors say, it is trivially easy to make a group of Beasts who are neither abusers nor assholes but whose Hungers can be plot hooks of their own. But the corebook and even the Player Guide does not help you to do it.

        To give my Ready Make Characters as an examples, we have.

        A Collector who hungers for forbidden knowledge and steals dangerous grimoires and items from other supernaturals
        A Ravager who hungers for the destruction of plots and conspiracies and "innocently" tears through the webs of cults
        A Predator who hungers for the thrill of hunting dangerous prey and so turned to Hobgoblins, Reapers, Revenants and basically anything from Night's Horror's books
        A Tyrant who hungers for the coopting of cults and works to turn the servants of supernatural beings into his own Mystery Cult, gaining their fealty
        A Nemesis who hungers for the punishment of those who trangress primal taboos and thus hunts kinslayers real and metaphorical.

        You notice only the Nemesis approaches their existence with something approaching the Lesson culture and the Lesson is taught not to their victims but to society in general and it's not the point of the feeding. The point of the feeding is trangressors need to be punished.
        1) I feel like your framing of the issue inherently as evil says a lot about the approach taken here.

        2) I am in serious disbelief if you don't think the other monsters have a petty level to their monstrosity that's both expressed in book and in gameplay.

        3) Go back and read the other gamelines, and read with an eye for Does This Remind You of Anything. Accusing Beast of being too real just because it doesn't allegorize as much is missing the small scale moments the other monsters act on, and it certainly escalates into bigger things

        In Chronicles, you play as a monster. You do it because you both want to have fun being the monster and conflicting with being a monster and what that means. The only thing Beast does, that other gamelines don't*, is be pretty upfront about that fact, and leaves it to you to decide what that means for yourself.

        *Well, almost-THe Ashwood Abbey of Hunter is a compact that spends it's time having fun by hunting down monsters and doesn't bother with other pretenses-and if the people at your table look around at each and go "Hey, uh. Does this....remind you of anything?", then Hunter has completely done it's job.


        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Feminine pronouns, please.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
          1) I feel like your framing of the issue inherently as evil says a lot about the approach taken here.

          2) I am in serious disbelief if you don't think the other monsters have a petty level to their monstrosity that's both expressed in book and in gameplay.

          3) Go back and read the other gamelines, and read with an eye for Does This Remind You of Anything. Accusing Beast of being too real just because it doesn't allegorize as much is missing the small scale moments the other monsters act on, and it certainly escalates into bigger things

          In Chronicles, you play as a monster. You do it because you both want to have fun being the monster and conflicting with being a monster and what that means. The only thing Beast does, that other gamelines don't*, is be pretty upfront about that fact, and leaves it to you to decide what that means for yourself.

          *Well, almost-THe Ashwood Abbey of Hunter is a compact that spends it's time having fun by hunting down monsters and doesn't bother with other pretenses-and if the people at your table look around at each and go "Hey, uh. Does this....remind you of anything?", then Hunter has completely done it's job.
          1 My point is that Beast detractors often present the game's problem as rewarding evil behaviour but they are generally more concerned, even if they don't express it that way, with the evil being both realistic and petty;

          2 Depends on what you mean by petty. The exemple feeding is more visceral IMHO than anything not antagonist'related in the other gameline.Perhaps it's my players but I never saw non-allegorized small-scale evil on their part and don't remember any in the books.At least against mortals, there were plenty of "ruining this vampire's life because he snubbed me in Elysium".

          3 That doesn't change my argument like at all. The other gamelines allegorize their evil and notably their feeding. The Kiss of the vampire is generally textbook rape if you remove the metaphor and as Storyteller if the groups is ok with it I describe it as such if the victim did not knowingly consent.But it's not textbook rape because it's allegorized.

          Beast repels players because at least some of the examples are things that resonate with their experiences. It's not even grave or grievous things, it's just that "Tyrants are your asshole coworkers who lords being promoted in your place" is not a great selling pitch.


          Note that I'm just analysing what people I presented the game and lent the corebook and internet reviews say. I find it interesting that my Chronicle group and my local game association found more problems with Low-Satiety meals than High-Satiety ones, and among them are people who played a game of Slashers. And indeed in-game they pursued only High-Satiety meals. The "I may be a monster but I'm not an asshole" was their explanation on why;

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          • #50
            Originally posted by ganonso View Post



            Beast repels players because at least some of the examples are things that resonate with their experiences. It's not even grave or grievous things, it's just that "Tyrants are your asshole coworkers who lords being promoted in your place" is not a great selling pitch.
            I won't argue the 3 points made before because I feel that's directly for Arcane, but I have to say that most monsters ARE assholes, and not for the sake of metaphysical food.

            Vampires often own businesses put the workers into addictions to work unfair hours and stuff. That's an asshole thing to do

            Werewolf packs can be run as businesses, and the companion book "the pack" makes it VERY clear they are assholes due to their nature. And unlike Tyrants, they simply are like that because they think there should be alphas and betas, not some need for metaphysical food

            Changelings of the autumn Court need no explanation

            Demons make pacts, taking your whole life off a deal you don't understand. They lie, cheat, steal. And they will without a doubt sacrifice your life simply because they believe their freedom is more important than yours.

            Mages do asshole things all the time for Obsessions. And they don't even have to be big ideals. One can be as simple as "ruin this person's life so he may Awaken" or "merge ephemera and flesh". And you may go "but that's fantasy". That doesn't change its being and asshole and it's still, if not more, horrible than what else could be done.


            Off those examples, I think the issue is that everyone KNOWS the corebook did a terrible job presenting Beasts. It's a generally agreed upon census. It's just claiming beasts are somehow worst rankles the fanbase because it's blatantly false.

            As you said yourself. Your players had no issue making "healthy" beasts. Beasts are ultimately trying to find their place in the world, and a metaphysical one that could spread in the very mind of humanity itself. But to do so, they must have an actual effect in the real world. So yeah, many will get jobs that allow them an easy meal so that they make be fed well, rather than be ravenous or starving.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
              I won't argue the 3 points made before because I feel that's directly for Arcane, but I have to say that most monsters ARE assholes, and not for the sake of metaphysical food. [...]

              Off those examples, I think the issue is that everyone KNOWS the corebook did a terrible job presenting Beasts. It's a generally agreed upon census. It's just claiming beasts are somehow worst rankles the fanbase because it's blatantly false.
              It's quite true that all the other CofD gamelines have protagonists that do horrible things to people, and that Beasts are not, objectively speaking, the worst of the monsters. The reason Beast repels people so much more than the other lines is - none of the other lines have passages in their core book that seem to justify what the protagonists do, but Beast's does. I'm willing to believe, by now, that those passages were the result of incompetence, not deliberate intention ... but they're still there.

              And in one way that implied approval from the narrator gets in the way of the game's fun. A big part of the pleasure of playing at transgressing boundaries, after all, is the knowledge that you'd be in the wrong if you did such things in real life. Passages that imply such behavior is not wrong, but justified, work against that knowledge and thus weaken the enjoyment. They make the game feel less like exploring the mind of someone unlike yourself, and more like fantasizing about behavior you'd secretly like to do for real, but haven't the nerve for. It's the difference between playing the role of a murderer in a drama, and indulging in dreams of being a murderer.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post

                It's quite true that all the other CofD gamelines have protagonists that do horrible things to people, and that Beasts are not, objectively speaking, the worst of the monsters. The reason Beast repels people so much more than the other lines is - none of the other lines have passages in their core book that seem to justify what the protagonists do, but Beast's does. I'm willing to believe, by now, that those passages were the result of incompetence, not deliberate intention ... but they're still there.

                And in one way that implied approval from the narrator gets in the way of the game's fun. A big part of the pleasure of playing at transgressing boundaries, after all, is the knowledge that you'd be in the wrong if you did such things in real life. Passages that imply such behavior is not wrong, but justified, work against that knowledge and thus weaken the enjoyment. They make the game feel less like exploring the mind of someone unlike yourself, and more like fantasizing about behavior you'd secretly like to do for real, but haven't the nerve for. It's the difference between playing the role of a murderer in a drama, and indulging in dreams of being a murderer.
                Yeah and I agree. The presentation is bad and needs to be improved. I'm just stating that regardless of the corebook seemingly approving of it, many people have spread the idea that Beasts are non empathetic monsters that do what they do simply because they can rather than needing to do it

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
                  The reason Beast repels people so much more than the other lines is - none of the other lines have passages in their core book that seem to justify what the protagonists do, but Beast's does.
                  I really think this needs more citation and less restatement.

                  First off, how do you really justify the claim that none of the other core books make attempts to justify what the protagonists do?

                  VtR never justifies the way vampires corrupt human society to make their feeding easier and their nature secret (from common knowledge anyway) as the lesser evil compared to what the Strix or Belial's Brood would do unchecked?

                  WtF never presents the Uratha as justified in hunting humans as long as it serves their spiritual duty to preserve the balance between spirit and flesh as a good thing?

                  Etc.

                  It's a pretty big, and I don't think easy to support, claim that the other games don't present some pretty nasty stuff as justified for the protagonist characters to do.

                  I also have seen lots of attempts to "show" that Beast is significantly bad about this, but it always seems to involve cutting things out of the presented context (like ignoring an earlier or later passage that contradicts the "justification" as valid).

                  Yes, Beast needs a rewrite. But a good rewrite isn't going to come from reflexively addressing surface or second hand impressions.
                  Last edited by Heavy Arms; 08-23-2021, 05:00 PM.

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                  • #54
                    As that old drum of mine goes, Beast has everything it needs to be good, it just needs to be presented right.*

                    THing of the matter is that a lot of people who read Beast and get that initial bad impression-which no fault, again, I get it-are not going to be the people who can really execute on that presentation, but they often think they are.

                    As for the still ongoing claim, I'm sure I've spelled out the ways every gameline is casually monstrous and skips right along doing it without a call out. In fact, I think I've done it at least twice already.

                    Beast, again, is primarily unique in that it openly calls it out, and in fact makes it a major theme and struggle. And that's not a fault on the other games, the other games need to address their own themes and ideas and conflicts-but it must needs be said that the other games do it, and part of the point of Beast, along with Hunter, is calling it out like it is.

                    And you know, it really doesn't take a lot of deep thought to see that pretty plainly. Yes, I benefit from having sunk way too much time into this franchise, but it's kind of a neccesary factor of buy-in that a certain amount of "trusting the reader"/hand-waving to distract from it to get people to buy in to a game about playing a monster that's pretty easy to see from the word go.

                    So I hope I can be forgiven when my skepticism raises my eyebrow every time this comes up by someone who swears Beast is just that different. If anything, I'm both surprised no one actually brings up the fact of how archetypal Beast is for the Chronicles methodology and would be really surprised if someone ever did.

                    *which is not to say that some new material can help strengthen it-see the Hero stuff I'm working on getting into the game as an example-but Beast doesn't need to radically change what it is to work.


                    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                    Feminine pronouns, please.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post

                      It's quite true that all the other CofD gamelines have protagonists that do horrible things to people, and that Beasts are not, objectively speaking, the worst of the monsters. The reason Beast repels people so much more than the other lines is - none of the other lines have passages in their core book that seem to justify what the protagonists do, but Beast's does. I'm willing to believe, by now, that those passages were the result of incompetence, not deliberate intention ... but they're still there.

                      And in one way that implied approval from the narrator gets in the way of the game's fun. A big part of the pleasure of playing at transgressing boundaries, after all, is the knowledge that you'd be in the wrong if you did such things in real life. Passages that imply such behavior is not wrong, but justified, work against that knowledge and thus weaken the enjoyment. They make the game feel less like exploring the mind of someone unlike yourself, and more like fantasizing about behavior you'd secretly like to do for real, but haven't the nerve for. It's the difference between playing the role of a murderer in a drama, and indulging in dreams of being a murderer.
                      Im just kinda floored by how judgemental this comes across....

                      I'm also not sure what the difference is being found between the basic justification of a Beast needing to feast or die, a vampire needing to drink blood or go insane, or a werewolf needing to hunt and consume essence or die.

                      There also seems to be an assumption that having a justification for an act makes it morally or ethically correct. So I'm mostly left confused...

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Paradim View Post

                        Im just kinda floored by how judgemental this comes across....

                        I'm also not sure what the difference is being found between the basic justification of a Beast needing to feast or die, a vampire needing to drink blood or go insane, or a werewolf needing to hunt and consume essence or die.

                        There also seems to be an assumption that having a justification for an act makes it morally or ethically correct. So I'm mostly left confused...
                        If anything, Beasts tend to be more morally and ethically grounded (not more moral or ethical, mind, just grounded) because trying to find a place where it works in a community (or the simpler and flawed version in lesson culture) makes them more directly accountable for their monstrosity, vs everyone else who is distracted by their core conceits. A Beast doesn't get to say things like "I just need to get home" or "the wolf must hunt"(and may we take a second to point out how that line is as fucked up as it is true?), and so instead has to make place for themselves, and either have it survive the scrutiny of their community....or be powerful enough to say "Fuck you" to the conseqeunces.

                        And what's really terrifying, for Beasts, is that the road to the former can often end up needing the latter at points in the process of figuring it out.
                        Last edited by ArcaneArts; 08-23-2021, 07:43 PM.


                        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                        Feminine pronouns, please.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by ganonso View Post

                          In my experience, when you get to it, the argument is less that Beasts are rewarded for being evil but more they are rewarded for being a petty sort of evil who is uncomfortably like RL evil and abuse. Other lines do evil but either there is some sort of twisted grandeur to it, or it is engaged with a level of metaphor who makes it safe to engage.

                          What detractors don't like is you can burn someone for being a jaywalker, stalk a woman in the streets, frighten children because you can and all that sort of things for Low Satiety meals. You will never meet a vampire or a dark sorcerer IRL but plenty people who do the actions proposed as Low Satiety meals for kicks and giggles.
                          To return to an old drum I keep beating: Yeah, and the easy way to contextualize this problem with the original presentation is that it's appropriate for a more powerful and long-established character than fresher/more Kinship-oriented characters.

                          It's easier to make the heightened effort to pursue a High-Satiety meal or help your non-Begotten broodmates feed at low Lair ratings, because your hunger doesn't scale as quickly as it does later on. It gets harder the longer you've been an active fear-spreader with a built-out stronghold in the human soul, because the lighting bill comes more and more often as time goes on and you have much less time before you start drawing attention in a big way.

                          The feeding example in the corebook is generally used and I understand why. It is a textbook case of disproportionate retribution and nobody will empathize with a monster who strangles you almost to death for being a bully. The Ready Made Characters suffer also from that. They are for lack of a better word, mundane and unambitious.None of their Aspiration deal with the supernatural or provide plot hooks tied to being a Beast.
                          "It's easy to ignore the mundane side of the game and spend all your time on the supernatural side of the game" is a recurring problem with most of the franchise — lord knows it's made running Changeling difficult in some ways — but "mundane and unambitious" is the baseline state of the game for most characters before they dive into forbidden lore and get big ideas that build on the base of the Maslow hierarchy. Most other games' Y-splats or base template gives them a secondary goal to work towards, but no Sin-Eater starts with a Cause Touchstone, and no Deviant with a sense of self-preservation is going to have qualms with ruining people's lives even if they don't deserve it.

                          The main thing is that Beasts get most of that from their own ambitions or the magical-political affiliations of their kin. Their power comes from lower-tier universal ideas from the world-soul, and the world is petty and unambitious at the level of "it's scary to think about what might make me break my vow of poverty" or "what if somebody finds out I'm having an affair?" or "there's a monster in the woods." The setting of the Chronicles of Darkness is built on a foundation of petty avoidance of pain in objective or relative terms — it's what many Ministries of the Seers perpetuate for power in Mage, it's what the Law of Suffering is in Mummy, it's the Beast in Vampire, it's the superstructure that Vices are built on, and that all is what every Beast is built to be able to engage with no matter their higher ambitions.

                          Chronicles 3rd could do better with highlighting this mechanically, but the vast majority of the franchise's fiction is only tangentially concerned with the fact that the things being dealt with are magic versus the fact that they're dealing with mostly bad people inhabiting a world where magic enables bad behavior. Beast's fumbled early execution does not undo the facts of its preceding context and, as mentioned before, none of us has a time machine to make that initial bad presentation go away.


                          Resident Lore-Hound
                          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                          • #58
                            I think this stuff is conflict stirring for no good sake.


                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                            • #59
                              Sir, you don't give any evidence to the contrary that he is wrong somehow.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by ryu238 View Post
                                Sir, you don't give any evidence to the contrary that he is wrong somehow.
                                Don't got the time, studying for exams. Though I understand your point

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