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Atgxtg

Alternate Chargen Test Challenge

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Yeah, I noticed that with standard chagen. If someone has a skill at 10 to start, it is not a good choice to "raise to 15" as the "+5 to any skill" would give the same result. The "raise to 15" option is obviously much better to use on a skill at a lower value. For one PK, who was squired to a Saxon ans was allowed to take Saxon skills instead of Cymric ones, the "raise to 15" was much more useful for low skills like Horsemanship and Sword than for higher skills, like 2H Weapons.

Oh, and whwere the Stat/2 method should really make a major difference is with characters that are started off as squires. That's a whole new can of worms.

 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Oh, and whwere the Stat/2 method should really make a major difference is with characters that are started off as squires. That's a whole new can of worms.

Not necessarily a problem. If the skill choices and picks later on are supposed to reflect the training the squires receive, then someone starting as a newly-minted squire (at 14, since I think it should be 7-14-21) could start with just the default skills, and perhaps with some skill points (the 10 skill points the new knights get at chargen?) to allow minor customization from the start. Then you could just pile on regular winter phase options (so experience checks + 7 yearly trainings) in play. This should result in squires that are roughly comparable to starting knights in 21, although with possibly some more skills and traits from experience checks. Which is, I think, a fair compensation for having paid a 'second-fiddle' character through those years.

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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Once again, I'll point out that I'd love to see other ways to address this issue. While there are some people who think everything is just great the way it is now, the consensus had seemed to be that APP is a dump stat, most PKs max out SIZ,  and DEX isn't important. Considering how chargen has been going for my groups in KAP5+, I'm considering just giving the PKs 24 points to spend between SIZ and CON and dropping DEX, STR and APP.

You're right about APP, which is a real shame, since 'beauty' is a pretty (ha!) important theme in the romances. Maybe give a slightly disportionate Glory bonus for it? It wouldn't be the first time people got a bit of a boost in fame for simply being attractive. Also DEX, but aside from setting base combat skills according to it (maybe with +s and -s based on culture?) I don't have a good idea.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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6 hours ago, Morien said:

Not necessarily a problem. If the skill choices and picks later on are supposed to reflect the training the squires receive, then someone starting as a newly-minted squire (at 14, since I think it should be 7-14-21) could start with just the default skills, and perhaps with some skill points (the 10 skill points the new knights get at chargen?) to allow minor customization from the start.

Agree here.  This also takes care of any problems for cultures without squiredom. They just start at 14 and go from there.  Agree with minor customization.

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18 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

And play an older edition, as the double feint tactic was removed from KAP. If I still existed, I probably wouldn't even have brought DEX into the conversation. It will still be a poor cousin to SIZ or CON, but Double Feint did keep DEX quite useful and relevant. But, apparently it caused problems. 

I didn't know that, because I didn't buy any of the 5.X editions. I didn't notice big differences with 3rd edition when I looked at it in my FLGS.

One of my players raised his DEX to 20 just to differentiate his knight from other PKs, as he feared any weapon other than a sword would break too easily at high level.

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12 hours ago, Mugen said:

I didn't know that, because I didn't buy any of the 5.X editions. I didn't notice big differences with 3rd edition when I looked at it in my FLGS.

Oh, okay. Then just to get you on the same page as the rest of us this idea is just for KAP5 which has some differences from KAP3/4. The double feint was removed, supposedly because PK couldn't use it due to the DEX penalty (which I never though should apply to the double feint, as it didn't apply to weapon being usef for the double feint), and becuase NPC PIcts were using it to slaughter PKs.

12 hours ago, Mugen said:

One of my players raised his DEX to 20 just to differentiate his knight from other PKs, as he feared any weapon other than a sword would break too easily at high level.

I used to have a Roman Character who made heavy use of the tactic. Some big bruiser would laugh off the gladius/dagger and it's -1D6 damage only to have the weapon bypass half or all of his armor. 

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20 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

You're right about APP, which is a real shame, since 'beauty' is a pretty (ha!) important theme in the romances. Maybe give a slightly disportionate Glory bonus for it?

THat was one of Moriens other suggestions. Replaceing the flat 10 points of glory awarded for minor crtical rolls to an amount equal to the character's APP. It's a minor difference but over time it could add up. But setting the social skills at APP/2 would only be a minor difference for most PKS, but give Lady characters a nice boost to their courtly skills. 

20 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

 

It wouldn't be the first time people got a bit of a boost in fame for simply being attractive. Also DEX, but aside from setting base combat skills according to it (maybe with +s and -s based on culture?) I don't have a good idea.

 

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On 7/20/2019 at 3:37 PM, Morien said:

Not necessarily a problem. If the skill choices and picks later on are supposed to reflect the training the squires receive, then someone starting as a newly-minted squire (at 14, since I think it should be 7-14-21) could start with just the default skills, and perhaps with some skill points (the 10 skill points the new knights get at chargen?) to allow minor customization from the start. Then you could just pile on regular winter phase options (so experience checks + 7 yearly trainings) in play. This should result in squires that are roughly comparable to starting knights in 21, although with possibly some more skills and traits from experience checks. Which is, I think, a fair compensation for having paid a 'second-fiddle' character through those years.

Let me see if I'm following you here. 

So a starting squire would being with his phsical skills (basically the same ones as the knghtly skills) at DEX/2, or about a 5 instead of a 3, then advance normally from there. That seems okay but...

 

I'm wondering about the player who starts with a high DEX, say 17-19 in chargen, and begins with physical skills in the 9-10 range. It could work out to a nice headstart, but then, the lower scores in the other stats should offset that somewhat-especially with the -3 to SIZ and STR from age.

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10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Oh, okay. Then just to get you on the same page as the rest of us this idea is just for KAP5 which has some differences from KAP3/4. The double feint was removed, supposedly because PK couldn't use it due to the DEX penalty (which I never though should apply to the double feint, as it didn't apply to weapon being usef for the double feint), and becuase NPC PIcts were using it to slaughter PKs.

It didn't occured to me either that DEX penalty was to be applied on Double Feint...

But isn't DF a stance (*) and nullified by defensive or berserk stance ? That's how I undestood it. As such, it's easy to counter someone that uses it consistently.

(*) sorry if it's not the correct word, my rulebook is not only 3rd edition, it's french 3rd edition...

 

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11 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'm wondering about the player who starts with a high DEX, say 17-19 in chargen, and begins with physical skills in the 9-10 range. It could work out to a nice headstart, but then, the lower scores in the other stats should offset that somewhat-especially with the -3 to SIZ and STR from age.

The difference between DEX 16 and DEX 10 is 6 stat points = -1d6 in damage and -3 hitpoints, assuming +3 SIZ and +3 STR. So yeah, the DEX character squire would likely have only 4d6 and skill defaults 8, compared to someone who prioritized DMG with damage of 5d6 and skill defaults of 5. However, the primary weapon skill would likely be 10+ for both, as it would be a priority for both. Where the DEX 16 guy benefits is that he can afford to be a reasonably good at Horsemanship, Lance and Sword right from the start, whereas the DEX 10 guy would be forced to make some choices, as he wouldn't have enough skill points in the beginning to be good at all three. In fact, he would need pretty much all of his points just to reach the default level of the DEX 16 guy.

But isn't that what we want? That there would be some point in making a DEX guy instead of a SIZ guy?

 

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5 hours ago, Mugen said:

It didn't occured to me either that DEX penalty was to be applied on Double Feint...

That was the reasoning behind removing it, as was explained to me.

5 hours ago, Mugen said:

But isn't DF a stance (*) and nullified by defensive or berserk stance ? That's how I undestood it. As such, it's easy to counter someone that uses it consistently.

Terminology aside, only fighting defensively and all-out attack/berserk cancel each other out- although they have been modified in later editions too. Fighting Defensively no longer does damage on a critical success.Apparently some players were taking advantage of it in an offensive fashion. by fighting defensively when they had high modified skills to get a better chance of doing damage than they would otherwise. 

 

 

For example, let's say two average knights, both with Sword 20 are fighting. Normally each would have a 50% chance of winning a given round of combat, as thier skills are equal. But if one knight fought defensively, he would have an effective skill of 30, and critical 55% of the time doing damage. Even when he doesn't critical, his lowest result would be an 11, meaning that he can only lose and take damage, when he rolled a 9 or less (45%) and his opponent rolled a 10 or greater (55%), or about 25% of the time.

I've read that this was one of the arguments against the +5 when unarmored bonus knights got, and why Greg eventually decided to remove it, and it might be tied in with the double feint thing. An unarmored knight in the above situation would have a modified skill of 35, critical on a 5 or greater (80% chance) and with a minimum result of 16 could only lose and take damage when he rolled a 4 or less (20%) and his opponent rolled a 5 or greater (80%)  or 16% of the time.

 

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4 hours ago, Morien said:

But isn't that what we want? That there would be some point in making a DEX guy instead of a SIZ guy?

Yes, I think so. It's just trying to figure out if what he actually gets is what we think he gets, and the ramifications in play. I think that the high DEX character will be at a disadvantage for damage, probably a serious one at first due to stat loss for being young, as well as having fewer hit points. But he should be more rounded in combat skills at the start, which could mean:

 

  1. Faster Advancement towards Knighthood: Getting the required skills up to 10 or more would be possible for some PKS by age 15.
  2. Potentially higher skill scores overall: A higher starting score means the squire could max out a skill at 15 sooner, and have more chances to improve the skill above 15.
  3. More rounded Combat Skills: With a higher default and 5 points of free extra training per year, the squire should easily have high or even max scores in multiple combat skills. A DEX 16 character who just puts all 5 points into one knightly skill each year could have six knightly skills at 13 without normal training and practice.  Just a few years of training and practice could make these all 15s and leave the player with some extra training and practice for other things.
  4. Potentially a more rounded character overall: If combat skills are higher, then the player might be free to spend more points from Training & Practice on other skills. 
  5. Potentially the ability to catch up in SIZ, STR and CON: Since Combat skills will start off higher, and will get 5 points of additional knightly training each year, a high DEX character could opt to spend his Training & Practice on improving SIZ, CON and STR, and could conceivably catch up with the high SIZ characters here. But, the reverse is true as well, so it mostly balances out.  
  6. Potentially being able to raise traits and passions in order to net more glory or qualify for a bonus: With the knightly skills covered, the player can afford to spend some training time elsewhere. 
  7. Potentially being great at many skills: A high DEX, high APP squire could start with high skill scores across a lot of skills. This could make the character very useful as he would probably be the first or second best in the group at just about everything. That could mean a lot of little glory awards for skill successes, discovering more things during an adventure, and generally having more options open to him. This could really help if the players is working towards an officers position or some such. 
  8. Potentially not being able to improve anything with the 5 points per year in extra training due to having all the knightly skills maxed out at 15: I have to stop and do the math here, but I do wonder if a high DEX character who focuses on his knight skills early on could max all his knightly skills out by age 16 or so and then have no place to put the 5 extra points of training.

All in all it seems like a good idea.

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31 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Terminology aside, only fighting defensively and all-out attack/berserk cancel each other out- although they have been modified in later editions too. Fighting Defensively no longer does damage on a critical success.Apparently some players were taking advantage of it in an offensive fashion. by fighting defensively when they had high modified skills to get a better chance of doing damage than they would otherwise.

I had in fact two regular players in my Pendragon player, the one with DEX 20, and another, who fought defensively most of the time. :D

I guess the other would have done so if I had understood the rule correctly and let him fight defensively and use Double Feint...

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On 7/22/2019 at 10:39 AM, Mugen said:

I had in fact two regular players in my Pendragon player, the one with DEX 20, and another, who fought defensively most of the time. :D

I guess the other would have done so if I had understood the rule correctly and let him fight defensively and use Double Feint...

Only if he knew enough to do it. I've been running KAP since KAP1 back in the 80s, and no player ever took advantage of any of those rules or options. Most players didn't uses the double feint that often, although there was a 20 DEX PK who did; no one went into a fight without armor if they could help it; and they only fought defensively when they felt a greater need to defend themselves. So I think we played it mostly as it was intended, not how it worked out mathematically.

 

But I also think that there is a bit of power escalation going on between KAP4 and KAP5 so some things become more pronounced. 

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I was kind of confused on the whole DEX does nothing other then movement thing. 

So I went back and checked my KAP 5.2 corebook and found things it did very quickly such as the information below.

Balance, Climb, Jump, Sneak,and Throw pg. 97-99

Other uses Dodging, Brawling, Grapple, Evasion

So it is already effectively five skills and it helps with movement and it is used for four different combat tactics so I'm  not sure why it needs to do anything else to be useful?

 

Edited by tenchi2a

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26 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

So I was kind of confused on the whole DEX does nothing other then movement thing. 

So I went back and checked my KAP 5.2 corebook and found things it did very quickly such as the information below.

Balance, Climb, Jump Sneak,and Throw pg. 97-99

 

All of which are edge cases in most scenarios not specifically built for them (such as the blade bridge); and all of which receive armor penalties to DEX rolls. 

The point remains that if you are a knight, wearing armor most of the time and doing your knightly thing, you have no use for DEX. If you are a scoundrel in the forest, doing things no honorable knight would consider and giving to the poor to salve your conscience, then yes, DEX is grand!

Also, in these cases (as with APP) the absence of DEX is overpowered by skills themselves. 

So the question is: can setting skill level 'floors' through high DEX and/or APP create reasonable scenarios in which emphasizing those attributes would appeal to certain players? (For me, the idea of a skill-monkey squire on the fast-track to greatness sounds quite appealing, as does a skill->Glory APP machine.)

 

--Khanwulf

PS. Thanks Atgxtg for reviving the discussion. Looks like the board is more active now and brings more points of view. 

Edited by Khanwulf

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1 minute ago, Khanwulf said:

All of which are edge cases in most scenarios not specifically built for them (such as the blade bridge), all of which receive armor penalties to DEX rolls. 

The point remains that if you are a knight, wearing armor most of the time and doing your knightly thing, you have no use for DEX. If you are a scoundrel in the forest, doing things no honorable knight would consider and giving to the poor to salve your conscience, then yes, DEX is grand!

Also, in these cases (as with APP) the absence of DEX is overpowered by skills themselves. 

So the point remains: can setting skill level 'floors' through high DEX and/or APP create reasonable scenarios in which emphasizing those attributes would appeal to certain players? (For me, the idea of a skill-monkey squire on the fast-track to greatness sounds quite appealing, as does a skill->Glory APP machine.)

This response is still not making me think any change is needed.

As to me a knight is not suppose to be a DEX character and has never truly been in any other game I've played in were this area has always been the outlaw/rouge types playground.

I just don't see the point of trying to change the whole game to make two stats more useful, and I am never for fast tracking character growth.

I look at it like this, if you don't like the system in place but you like the setting you can always use GURPS or mod it for you favor system.

I will leave it at that since I don't see a point in this exercise.

 Not just speaking my piece and leaving just not going to be posting for any other reason then a direct response. 🙂

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Tristram did the whole outlaw in the forest thing, so it's not entirely true that no knights do this sort of thing. There are some other 'outlaw-knights' in folklore besides him (Fulk Fitzwarin comes to mind). Mainly the game has not supported this sort of thing, but we shouldn't reject these stories as inauthentic, because they assuredly are.

Interestingly, many episodes in the romances specifically involve the knights being unarmored (there are multiple incidents in Tristram's life, but Lancelot caught in Guinevere's bedroom is another) and yet forced to fight. Having a decent DEX and some cunning are pretty important in these circumstances, and may well be the difference between life and death. I'd argue that these sort of stories, i.e, 'unprepared knight faces overwhelming odds' stories are so common that the fact they don't come up in the game is more an oversight than an intentional thing.

Certainly they happen to the players in my game, whether escaping from an angry husband, an ambush inside the castle, or some other underhanded attempt by some low villain.

PS. Of course, a high-DEX, high-APP knight may be precisely the sort of fellow to be caught in some lady's bedchamber away from his equipment... So the answer to my mind, is make a story that corresponds to what the PK is good at and wants to do. His friends can help with his escape, but the initial situation is perfect for this kind of character.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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14 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

I just don't see the point of trying to change the whole game to make two stats more useful, and I am never for fast tracking character growth.

The problem is that those two stats are given the same weight (i.e. cost) in the character generation as other three, more useful and important stats. Thus, a player who spends more of his attribute points on DEX and especially APP (which currently serves no game-mechanical role whatsoever) gets a worse character out of it, through no fault of his own. And like Atgxtg has pointed out, not only does this impact knights, but it also makes Lady characters suffer even more, since DEX and APP are where they are supposed to be better than men (also, Roman cultural bonuses).

If there is no point to these stats, just set them at 10 and take 20 points off the distributed points. If they are rolled randomly, then no biggie, since you are not laming the rest of the character.

As for fast tracking character growth via higher defaults from DEX & APP, this comes at a cost of lower SIZ, STR and CON. In other words, there is a cost to it. It is not a free lunch. Sure, the average default is a couple of points higher (5 instead of 3), but I don't see this as a big problem, compared to the problem that it solves (APP is useless and DEX is only of limited use for a knight, mainly the balance rolls, which in turn are rarer if you make a high SIZ char instead).

11 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

PS. Of course, a high-DEX, high-APP knight may be precisely the sort of fellow to be caught in some lady's bedchamber away from his equipment...

While I agree with you in Gamemaster perspective, it is not so by RAW, unfortunately. Unusually high APP MAY give a bonus at GM's choice to Flirting, but the Flirting skill value is more important. And sometimes the Lustful of both parties. Glory bonus up to Glory/1000 can also swamp whatever APP bonus there might be, although this bonus can also make the skill itself unimportant, which I very much dislike. I also emphasize the 'Unusually High APP'. Is this 16+? Well, it would mean that APP 8 - 15 would be functionally identical, so why not have APP 8 since it doesn't matter unless you are really willing to commit?

Having APP set the default for courtly skill and hence allowing pretty people have higher skills at lower cost means that the APP effect is already 'baked in' to the skill level. Someone who is not that pretty must be awfully witty and charming through effort to have the same skill, i.e. has spent more skill points on the skill or gotten more experience checks.

Edited by Morien

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Anyway, all BRP derivative I know have characteristics that have more mechanical weight than others, which always makes point distribution character creation systems problematic.

That's why I dropped every characteristics except POW and CON (for MP and HP, respectively) in my own simplified version of RuneQuest.

Edited by Mugen

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Just a thought I had while skimming this thread through: instead of a floor, how about physical and social skills having a cap equal to DEX or APP x2 or x1.5 or something? It wouldn't be a huge disadvantage for people with average attributes, but if you want to get really good at certain skills then you have an incentive to build up those attributes.

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7 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Just a thought I had while skimming this thread through: instead of a floor, how about physical and social skills having a cap equal to DEX or APP x2 or x1.5 or something? It wouldn't be a huge disadvantage for people with average attributes, but if you want to get really good at certain skills then you have an incentive to build up those attributes.

Putting a hard cap is just too much IMHO. But it could replace the 15 threshold in the winter phase : if your skill is superior or equal to DEX or CHA, you need to spend 1 whole year to augment it.

But some skills are not tied to DEX or APP, and a character with DEX above 15 would raise his skills to 20 very quickly.

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2 hours ago, Mugen said:

Putting a hard cap is just too much IMHO. But it could replace the 15 threshold in the winter phase : if your skill is superior or equal to DEX or CHA, you need to spend 1 whole year to augment it.

But some skills are not tied to DEX or APP, and a character with DEX above 15 would raise his skills to 20 very quickly.

Average DEX 10 guys would be screwed. Or if it is 15 or DEX, whichever is higher, then DEX 5 - 15 are all equal, and only DEX 16+ plays a role.

You'd want to use something like (DEX/2)+10. This way, you'd get penalty for low DEX and bonus for high DEX, with the average at 15. And still need DEX 20 to actually get all the way to 20 quickly. This would nicely explain all those young Le Bel Inconnu types. :P

I think this was being discussed earlier and I had some criticisms of this approach. I couldn't find the thread and my comments quickly, though... I think this might be TOO good, though. After all, you are gaining a major advance advantage very quickly in Sword, Lance and Horsemanship, even ignoring other skills, so this might be an overpowered approach compared to DEX 10.

Let's take DEX 10 (cap 15) and DEX 13 (cap 17). Both start with 15 in those three skills, and we ignore experience checks for now. It takes DEX 10 six years to get those three skills to 17. DEX 13 needs only one year (and a bit), which means he gets five more years to make up for his lower stats (3 yearly trainings) and is left with two extra yearly trainings above the DEX 10 fellow. So yeah, this would be a bit too powerful, I think.

EDIT:

If you do consider experience checks, then chances are that DEX 10 would manage to get a +1 in those skills during the 6 years, so he probably would need a bit less, probably around 4 years. Meanwhile, DEX 13 fellow might get a +1 during that first year in one skill, hence managing to get to 17 in all three. This gives him only a 15% chance to get additional experience gains, but having three skills and three more years to do so, chances are that he would get at least one additional +1 increase, leaving one skill at 18. This would then require the DEX 10 fellow to spend additional year to catch up. So instead having a two-year advantage, the DEX 13 fellow would have a one-year advantage.

However, this quick thought experiment (i.e. I didn't do careful math) considers only those three skills. If DEX influences other 'vital' or 'important' skills for the knight, DEX becomes even more powerful. Hunting would be an example of this. Dancing would help at court, although I wouldn't label it as important, let alone vital. Additional weapon skills would be much easier to raise to high values.

Finally, each 2 points of DEX under this system allows you to increase those three vital skills easily by additional point each, whereas another knight would require 3 years of training. If we look at an edge case of DEX 19 (limit 20), he can spend 3 years to get all three skills to 20, something that would take DEX 10 guy probably around twelve years or so, during which it is likely that the DEX 19 fellow, apart from getting all the benefits of high DEX (mainly excellent balance) and having caught up in other stats, has also gained an experience increase or two, and hence rejoices in a skill or two at 21 instead or 20.

So yeah, without running this through some example cases, my back-of-the-envelope calculation is implying that this would make DEX too powerful. The counterargument could be that he would be working with -1d6 damage in comparison most of this time, but on the other hand, having Skill 20 vs. 16 ought to balance this out somewhat.

 

Edited by Morien
added experience check consideration

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