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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masakan View Post
    Because I didn't think I was. and are candles of invocation and the like really that strong? I seldom even heard the name.
    You were, and they are. Candles of invocation are cheap items that allow you to cast one of the most powerful spells in the game, and they're available to anyone that wants them. You could, in any spare moment, use them to break the game utterly as any class. And, of course, as I pointed out, these items don't even need to exist for your restraint to be necessary. After all, your arbitrary low tier class could transition into a high tier class at any point, and not doing so in a quest for power is about as irrational from an in-game perspective as a wizard in-game not using the power they already have. Granted, it becomes more rational every level, but there are definitely a lot of opportunities you pass up over the course of a game.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by EisenKreutzer View Post
    It happens to the best of us, my friend.

    On the bright side, you can now safely enjoy the Wizard class and it's particular flavour and options without feeling like you are playing the game wrong. :)
    I'm still gonna be a little leery eyed but at least I won't jump to conclusions. Can't be too careful ya know?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    You were, and they are. Candles of invocation are cheap items that allow you to cast one of the most powerful spells in the game, and they're available to anyone that wants them. You could, in any spare moment, use them to break the game utterly as any class. And, of course, as I pointed out, these items don't even need to exist for your restraint to be necessary. After all, your arbitrary low tier class could transition into a high tier class at any point, and not doing so in a quest for power is about as irrational from an in-game perspective as a wizard in-game not using the power they already have. Granted, it becomes more rational every level, but there are definitely a lot of opportunities you pass up over the course of a game.
    ...Cast Gate for only 8,400 Gold
    And Stuns for 5d4 rounds if they succeed?! wait succeed?!
    What the actual chicken nipples of will ferrel?!
    Last edited by Masakan; 2015-10-09 at 07:38 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Wait a minute... Did I just use calm, rational discussion to convince someone of the validity of my arguments... On the internet..?
    Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
    This is Æl-Ceald, an ice-age fantasy campaign setting. Updated!

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by EisenKreutzer View Post
    Wait a minute... Did I just use calm, rational discussion to convince someone of the validity of my arguments... On the internet..?
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
    I'm obviously overpowered.
    Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
    This is Æl-Ceald, an ice-age fantasy campaign setting. Updated!

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by EisenKreutzer View Post
    Wait a minute... Did I just use calm, rational discussion to convince someone of the validity of my arguments... On the internet..?
    HEY! I'll admit when I'm wrong....you just gotta know how to get it to click with me. That's kinda how I am.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    As a DM I have to come up with a character before I build them. So far more often then not it's completely flavor with technical magic thrown in to support it.

    But I mean, if the game doesn't have what I want, then I can create it. So *shrug*.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masakan View Post
    ...Cast Gate for only 8,400 Gold
    And Stuns for 5d4 rounds if they succeed?! wait succeed?!
    What the actual chicken nipples of will ferrel?!
    D&D is a really weird game sometimes. To touch on the broader point, I think we all have our limits, and those limits are all different. For example, I clearly like druids, which are high power, but I tend away from stuff like greenbound summoning, venomfire, planar shepherds, and acorns of far travel. I would look upon a person using those things, and think them perhaps too powerful. In this sense, things are less about restraint, and more about comfort. It's not that I'm restraining myself from using assume supernatural ability. It's that I'd feel less comfortable, and wind up less happy with my character, if I used it. Anyways, I'm just glad that things seem relatively harmonious nowabouts.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
    Thats highly quotable, by the way. Mind if I do?
    Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Are you some sort of Wizard?
    This is Æl-Ceald, an ice-age fantasy campaign setting. Updated!

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Even beyond not knowing that certain options are available, there are also ways to have in character reasons to not use certain powers.

    For example, in one game I'm playing a swiftblade (just went epic...yay), and she doesn't use dominate monster, mindrape, or any other form of mind control. This is not because of some ignorance of these options (in fact I have mind blank up to protect against some of these), but because the character feels it is morally against it. Likewise she doesn't shapechange into nonhumanoid forms, due partially to a rather tramatic experience she had with an unwilling polymorph effect, and partly because she wants to always be able to wield her weapon item familiar. The limits I place on my character are just as arbitrary as the limits people place on themselves in real life, but a characters limitations (both real and self imposed) are just as defining as their strengths.

    This is the same campaign where my character "broke down" and used a very dangerous time travel spell in an emergency that concerned the state of a small section of the universe. And this game changing power didn't have a negative effect on the group's enjoyment of the game, it ENHANCED it. We got to have a time travel episode which "didn't happen" (so the absent player didn't technically miss anything), I got to kill a time travel copy of the DPMC with a week of in game prep time, we accidentally duplicated an artifact held by the original DMPC traveling with us, and the secret organization I work for probably now knows my character is capable of doing this. I've also used foresight to look into the past to help solve mysteries, routinely teleport the party around the universe, have used scrying to make finding a lot of NPCs trivially easy, have added cool effects to gear for my whole party, and throw around buffs like candy. I've got 17th level wizard casting, can cast a spell as a supernatural ability once per day (yay no components), have extra actions, and am frankly the strongest member of my party (even standing next to our incantatrix, but mostly he chose the NPC spellcaster class to base his casting). But I'm also aware of the metagame concern of overshadowing other players. I want to play WITH my friends, so I make sure to help my Warblade buddy shine when combat comes around, and don't try to force magic to brute force through things that my factotum buddy can solve. And my DM has tailored the campaign to allow each member to have some time to shine.


    People restrain themselves from using the best of their character's capabilities all the time, and there are many reasons for doing so (some of which are not even intentional). Hell, THE DM is already restraining himself by not just killing everyone with rule 0 at the start of each session. D&D is a cooperative game, and cooperation very often requires concessions, and not breaking the game with phenomenal cosmic power is on of those concessions you make (spoken or not) when you agree to play the game.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by EisenKreutzer View Post
    Thats highly quotable, by the way. Mind if I do?
    By all means. You'd be my third today.
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masakan View Post
    Then yet another question, Why bother with anything else? Just from your description alone it makes almost everyone else feel pointless.
    Why play anything at all? Absolute power is only a goal for some characters. For others there's martial prowess, political clout (bard, cleric, and beguiler all do it better than wizard), "fat stackz of lewt!!," and so on. Then, of course, there's the players' goal; fun. Some people find the complexity of running a wizard, nevermind running it well, mind-wrecking. There's nothing wrong with just wanting to put axes in heads.

    .....aaaand yet none of them sans druid can do it as often.... I Think you fail to realize that what makes wizards a step above everyone else isn't the fact that they can use magic...It's the fact that they will effectively have an answer to any encounter you do. And I'm not talking about stunning the boss and leaving it up to the others to clean up oh no...I mean out the gate from turn one. All that matters is how often they can do it, which is why i consider sorcerers more balanced. Yes they can do everything wizards can but unlike wizards they have an actual limit, and they cant just replace spells whenever they don't like em anymore.
    It's a limiter simple as that.
    Wow, no. Wizards have the sharpest limits on their power precisely because they can have all the silver bullets. You have to expend resources on gaining new spells (outside of the basic 2/ level), protecting your spellbook, and on any special spell bits (foci and components). Other classes (save the archivist and the poor, poor wu-jen) just get their magic, no muss, no fuss, and only have to pay for spell bits. Wizards even have fewer spells per day than most other casters unless they're willing to give up whole schools of magic.

    Where in the world did you get this notion?

    Hell, except for the artificer (who can be shut down -hard- by even a half-baked DM) and StP erudite (who is just silly levels of unfair), most of the T1's and T2's are on more or less even footing where power is concerned. The T1's pull ahead because of versatility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Masakan View Post
    Idk the fact that you have to choose to limit yourself kinda rubs me the wrong way.....maybe I'm approaching this from the wrong angle.
    You as a player have to limit yourself to not be a d-bag. Your character isn't necessarily limiting himself intentionally at all. Upper level magic is a realm of closely guarded secrets and research that may or may not pan out anything useful. The player may know what the wizard doesn't but the wizard doesn't know what he doesn't know unless he's seen another wizard or sorcerer do it before.

    Edit:

    Oh, and in answer to the thread topic, I go both ways. Sometimes I come up with the mechanics first and build a character around it. Other times I come up with a fun character then build around that. In either case I try to make the character as fun and powerful as I can within the limits of the concept.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2015-10-09 at 10:21 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Hell, except for the artificer (who can be shut down -hard- by even a half-baked DM) and StP erudite (who is just silly levels of unfair), most of the T1's and T2's are on more or less even footing where power is concerned. The T1's pull ahead because of versatility.
    Eh, I'd argue that Archivist is better than wizard due to getting actual class features, and the fact it can get any divine spell (which, with some use of cooperative crafting or use of Southern Magician, can be literally every spell), and can get them at lower levels by fishing around various spell lists. Of course, when dealing with as much power as both of them have, the difference is kinda hard to notice (it's the difference between infinity and infinity+300).
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post


    You as a player have to limit yourself to not be a d-bag. Your character isn't necessarily limiting himself intentionally at all. Upper level magic is a realm of closely guarded secrets and research that may or may not pan out anything useful. The player may know what the wizard doesn't but the wizard doesn't know what he doesn't know unless he's seen another wizard or sorcerer do it before.

    Edit:

    Oh, and in answer to the thread topic, I go both ways. Sometimes I come up with the mechanics first and build a character around it. Other times I come up with a fun character then build around that. In either case I try to make the character as fun and powerful as I can within the limits of the concept.
    Yeah I was effectively thinking with a metagaming mindset without even realizing it.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    Eh, I'd argue that Archivist is better than wizard due to getting actual class features, and the fact it can get any divine spell (which, with some use of cooperative crafting or use of Southern Magician, can be literally every spell), and can get them at lower levels by fishing around various spell lists. Of course, when dealing with as much power as both of them have, the difference is kinda hard to notice (it's the difference between infinity and infinity+300).
    This doesn't seem to be a disagreement?

    Or did you misread artificer as archivist?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Hooray, yet another bait thread.

    See Stormwind fallacy?

    Personally, I prefer both.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    This doesn't seem to be a disagreement?

    Or did you misread artificer as archivist?
    You were saying that all the t1 were on more or less equal footing, except for artificer and erudite. Your only mention of Archivist was mentioning they have to jump through the same annoying hoops as wizards. I was questioning that Wizards and Archivists be on equal footing, due to Archivist being able to do literally everything wizards can do, and then some.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    For me, I generally start with a concept and try to make it work mechanically. I do a lot of theorycrafting that starts off with the basic idea of the character and plots out the build from there. I have a folder full of these characters, most of whom got no farther than the generally idea because... well, D&d 3.5E and my mastery thereof have their limitations, or because the idea really just looks like "generic class X" after I file the serial numbers off. By doing this, I can have my cake and eat it, too - I can play a fun and interesting concept, like my inspiring paladin or the polar barbearian, and have it work out reasonably well because I've thought it through without falling into the trap of a dead-end build that doesn't even execute its own gimmick well.
    The internet's been a big help with that, as I can raid handbooks and ask questions on the forum to get advice from people who aren't me and thus have different (in some cases, outright superior) knowledge of the game... even though half the time you have to wade through a pile of "Play a crusader!" responses whenever you ask about a paladin build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Masakan View Post
    And Second you serious? That's not the case?
    Very much not the case. In point of fact, knowing how to break the game through wizard abuse helps me avoid doing it on accident. I'm just good enough and have enough free time on my hands to flip through books and find all kinds of cool spells and the like, but not quite good enough to realize which ones will result in a character effectively terminating a campaign until the cat's out of the bag.
    To hearken back to your pistol comparison, knowing the ins and outs of the weapon also lets me know where the safety is and not accidentally shoot my (soon to be ex-) buddy in the buttocks, and the familiarity with it helps me realize that maybe wandering around popping off shots just because I can is a really bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneVoid View Post
    See Stormwind fallacy?
    Dude, that's not the Stormwind Fallacy. He asked whether you start from mechanics or fluff and which you prefer more. In no way was he asserting that they're on a zero-sum sliding scale.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    For myself, character creation definitely starts with flavor. I get the idea of being some kind of hulking wild savage, or a slick urban trickster, or code-bound recluse. From there, creation often goes in the direction of finding what classes or races can do those things and complement each other.

    Certainly, though, the choices I make aren't entirely based on flavor - if I want a campaign where I can be a cat, as an example, then while the Catfolk race is certainly more "cat-like," the tibbit race offers a very useful ability that actually turns the player character into a cat. However, since both satisfy the "cat" part of my goal, I would probably choose which one would be most useful to what the cat will be doing. As a rogue, the Tibbit would probably be better. As a ranger, the Catfolk would probably be better. So, while what I wanted for flavor led me to a certain set of choices, it comes to the technical mechanics that ultimately helps me refine my choice.

    If you want to play as a "giant" (but not a "Giant") then there are a wide bevy of options, some of which are not even in the Large category. Making a choice purely based on flavor might lead you to picking "Giant" or "Awakened Cat," which are fine choices and should not be diminished for their flavorful additions.

    However, as a player, you might find that the rules which mechanically and technically govern the choices you made without regarding those mechanics can effect severely impact growth with respect to a character with a high Level Adjustment, or that the rules governing what animals can and can't do don't change just because the cat is smart now. He still can't open doors or manipulate locks or even write notes, or otherwise do a vast number of the minor things that handed characters can accomplish.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Yeah, you can either start with mechanics and figure out flavor to go with it, or start with flavor and find mechanics to match it. Top-down or bottom-up. Ideally, they both end up in the same place.

    You can see where the game's designers did this, too. Classes like Mystic Theurge and Duskblade clearly weren't made to match a resonant fantasy archetype the writers had in their heads, they were made to explore mechanical design space. Same with pretty much the entire Incarnum subsystem. On the other hand, I could easily believe something like Knight was designed top-down.

    Personally, in my experience, building a character from the top down is extremely difficult to do in this system. You need to have a really strong grasp of the game's mechanics in order to get them to properly reflect the character's story, and on top of that, you need to be able to make an educated guess about where the campaign and party dynamics will take you as well. It's all too easy to build a character as an expert sniper with an aloof, detached personality, only to find that when game time rolls around, you end up charging into fights head-on instead of setting up ambushes, biting every quest hook instead of playing it cool and staying unattached, and being generally ineffective as a damage-dealer instead of efficiently assassinating your targets with well-placed arrows. Seriously, I'm pretty sure it's, like, a law that that happens to at least one player in every group.

    The best ways I've come up with for avoiding it are to either start with the mechanics and leave their flavor details flexible at first so I can play the character for a while to get a feel for what they want to be; or to recycle an older character whose personality I already understand.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2015-10-10 at 02:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    You say that as if all players didn't charge into fights head-on and bite everything that even kinda looks like a quest hook.
    Sometimes they bite it metaphorically... but only sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Duskblade clearly weren't made to match a resonant fantasy archetype the writers had in their heads
    I'm sorry, I agree with the rest of your point, but spellsword is a classic. Admittedly, most of them work more like the PF Magus, but Duskblade was the first real gish-in-a can class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    You say that as if all players didn't charge into fights head-on and bite everything that even kinda looks like a quest hook.
    Sometimes they bite it metaphorically... but only sometimes.
    And yet they still try to write their characters' backstories as if the opposite were true. Ah, players. They never learn, do they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I'm sorry, I agree with the rest of your point, but spellsword is a classic. Admittedly, most of them work more like the PF Magus, but Duskblade was the first real gish-in-a can class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You made Eldritch Knight cry. Are you proud of yourself?
    Yes. Characters should be able to accomplish their fantasy archetype before level 7 (most builds will require Wiz 5/MWP granting class 1/EK X). Seriously, the back half of the game sees next to no play.

    Oh, and you still can't be armored with EK.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    And yet they still try to write their characters' backstories as if the opposite were true. Ah, players. They never learn, do they?



    You made Eldritch Knight cry. Are you proud of yourself?
    Eldritch knight is a good class to polish off a build...but holy hell is it boring.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Yes. Characters should be able to accomplish their fantasy archetype before level 7 (most builds will require Wiz 5/MWP granting class 1/EK X). Seriously, the back half of the game sees next to no play.

    Oh, and you still can't be armored with EK.
    Duskblade still isn't the first proper gish in a can. I think that dubious honor belongs to the Hexblade, back in 2003 (assuming we're discounting the divine classes like Cleric). After that, the Battle Sorcerer and Psychic Warrior were both from 2004. The Duskblade didn't come around until 2006.

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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Why discount divine classes? Druids wearing Wild armor and Wild Spell already got pretty much all the melee and magic that could ever define a gish.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Duskblade still isn't the first proper gish in a can. I think that dubious honor belongs to the Hexblade, back in 2003 (assuming we're discounting the divine classes like Cleric). After that, the Battle Sorcerer and Psychic Warrior were both from 2004. The Duskblade didn't come around until 2006.
    Okay, let me rephrase: Non-sucky (discounting Hexblade) gish in a can of a non-controversial system. Because some people,for no readily apparent reason, hate psionics and everything connected to them. Including poor Soulknives, who aren't even bloody psionic!
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    ... Because some people,for no readily apparent reason, hate psionics and everything connected to them. Including poor Soulknives, who aren't even bloody psionic!
    It's all the polysyllabic pseudoscientific terminology. It just feels too much like science fiction for me to really like it in a fantasy setting as much as I should.
    Last edited by Solaris; 2015-10-10 at 03:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Technical or Flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Okay, let me rephrase: Non-sucky (discounting Hexblade) gish in a can of a non-controversial system. Because some people,for no readily apparent reason, hate psionics and everything connected to them. Including poor Soulknives, who aren't even bloody psionic!
    Meh, Battle Sorcerer isn't unusable. At higher levels it's probably better, given that it casts from a better list. Sure, spells known aren't great, but it's not hard to expand your repertoire with runestaffs and Arcane Disciple and the like. Generally inferior to a standard gish build, but as far as in-a-can goes...

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