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> [SoA2064] SOTM:2064, State of the Munchkin
toturi
post Nov 2 2004, 06:55 AM
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So what are the new SOTA munchkin CharGen builds circa 2064? I can foresee some new builds like the social adept with a ton of dice and TN-x and the super Anchored witch. What about you guys?

EDIT: By the way, it is SOTM 2064. :D

This post has been edited by Adam: Nov 8 2004, 03:56 AM
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 07:29 AM
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Here's one that I threw together without even really trying. Now adepts get to completely and wholly dominate social encounters, too. [dry]Yay.[/dry]

Build Points (125): Magic 25, Race 0, Attributes 54, Skills 31, Resources 15
Attributes: Body 3, Quickness 5, Strength 2, Charisma 6, Intelligence 5, Willpower 6
Active Skills: Athletics 3, Etiquette 6, Intimidation 6, Negotiation 6, Pistols 4 (Savalette Guardian 6), Stealth 3 (Sneaking 5)
Knowledge Skills: Acting 4 (Improvisational 6), Psychology 5, Underworld Politics 5; two more of choice at 5 or any variation thereof
Edges & Flaws: Friendly Face, Good Looking & Knows It, Good Reputation 2; Dark Secret, Infirm 3 (decadent). I'd also go with two Connected edges and some more flaws, but I like flaws so.. whatevah.
Adept Powers (Geased): Commanding Voice, Cool Resolve 2, Improved Reflexes 1, Improved Senses (Hearing Amplification, Select Sound Filter 5, Spatial Recognizer), Kinesics 3, Linguistics, Voice Control
Implants: Cybereyes (alpha; Cosmetic Modification, Flare Compensation, Image Link, Low-Light, Eye Light), Datajack (Transducer), Smartlink-2 (alpha).
Contacts: Two Level 1 plus 100,000 nuyen in additional contacts
Resources: Middle Lifestyle (2 months prepaid), Vashon Island Actioner Line Suit, Form Fitting Full Body Armor, Secure Jacket, Savalette Guardian (Persoanlized Grip, Suppressor, Heavy Barrel, Spare Clips, Smartlink-2), Heavy Pistol Ammo (Capsule Rounds with Pepper Spray, EX Explosive, Regular), Pocket Secretary, decent car, whatever else.

Unstoppable at fast-talking his way past anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way, and more than capable of taking down anything he can't fast-talk his way past. If I wanted to feel really dirty, I'd throw in SURGE Changeling (+5) and Dual-Natured (-5) to give him free access to Aura Reading and Astral Projection (Aura Reading = Magical Skill) then score Masking as soon as he initiates the first time.

As soon as he can score enough cash, it's only a simple Etiquette (9) Test with his 9 dice in order for him to snag cultured Tailored Pheromones 2. He can even score AV Ammo with equal ease (and now with +4 dice). Things just proceed to get uglier and uglier when he spends the Karma he earned getting that cash to initiate.

Not happy with those rules at all. Social encounters were one of the few areas where mundanes excelled at. Now that equality has been completely obliterated.
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 07:37 AM
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yep, all the mundane faces are about to get their jobs stolen by the fifteen or so face adepts that exist.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 2 2004, 07:39 AM
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Because we all know that only 1% of Shadowrunners are awakened.

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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 07:49 AM
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regardless of the percentage of Awakened shadowrunners, i'm still willing to bet that the number of face adepts is pretty low.

at any rate. my favorite munch idea so far is to convince the GM that Small Unit Tactics is a social skill (higher skill allows you to communicate more effectively; the skill seems to have absolutely nothing to do with actual knowledge of tactics, from a mechanical point of view) and then take IA: SUT over and over again.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 07:51 AM
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Screw it then. Let's introduce some of the following powers since it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot due to the small percentage of adepts in the game. It's all good.

Gunbunny Munchkin
Cost: 1 (Level 1), 2 (Level 2), 3 (Level 3)

The adept is a gunbunny munchkin and can blow stuff up really, really good. Each level reduces the adept's target number for any two Ranged Weapon Skills they choose and grants +1 die on all Ranged Weapon Success Tests. Additionally, apply a +2 modifier to the Concealability of any weapon the adept is packing (including magical and technological tests). If two adepts with Gunbunny Munchkin are in proximity of each other, they can mystically exchange ammunition or some other stupid thing just so this power can match all the capabilities of Kinesics.

Mojoslinging
Cost: 1 (Level 1), 2 (Level 2), 3 (Level 3)

The adept magician is a god of working magic. Each level reduces the target number on all Sorcery and Conjuring tests the adept magician makes as well as granting +1 die on all Magical Skill Success Tests. Additionally, apply a +2 target modifier on any tests made to detect the adept magician's astral signature. If two adept magicians with this power are in close proximity, blah blah blah.

Technomancer
Cost: 1 (Level 1), 2 (Level 2), 3 (Level 3)

The adept is a god of technology. Each level of this power grants a -1 target number modifier on all Electronics and Electronics B/R Tests the adept makes as well as granting +1 die on all Technical Skill Success Tests. Insert two more minor abilities here, one granting a +2 bonus on detecting the use of technology.

Hacker Aficianado
Cost: 1 (Level 1), 2 (Level 2), 3 (Level 3)

When it comes to decking, nothing stands before the awesome might of the adept with this power. Each level of Hacker Aficiando grants a -1 target number modifier on all uses of the Computers and Info Sortilage skills as well as a +1 die bonus when using any Technical Skill. Such an adept also grants a +2 bonus to their Masking score while decking, and two adepts with this power who are in close proximity can yakity yak yak yak.

etc. When you add them to your game, be sure to make it so that the adept can use Improved Ability with the related skills, too. Grade A game balance.
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 07:55 AM
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wow, you're right. saying that there aren't enough face adepts to put mundane faces out of business is exactly the same as saying that adepts should be more powerful because there aren't many of them. dude, do you even think before you post stuff like this?
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 07:57 AM
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There aren't enough adept deckers to put mundane deckers out of business, so why not include the horribly broken Hacker Aficianado power? There's also not enough adept magicians to put normal magicians out of business, so why not include Mojoslinging? There's certainly not enough adept gunbunnies to put mundane gunbunnies out of business, so why not include Gunbunny Munchkin? etc.

It's exactly the same argument and a pathetically ridiculous one at that.

EDIT: But if you and Kagentenshi were trying to say something else with those comments, I apologize. Please feel free to explain if that's the case, because rarity is no excuse for broken game balance.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 08:10 AM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Nov 2 2004, 01:49 AM)
...higher skill allows you to communicate more effectively; the skill [Small Unit Tactics] seems to have absolutely nothing to do with actual knowledge of tactics, from a mechanical point of view...

Err, it's mechanically a combination of the two. Someone with Small Unit Tactics can be the best communicator the world has ever seen (high Charisma and Social Skills), but he's not going to grant any significant advantage to his team due to his crappy understanding of tactics. Likewise, someone with Small Unit Tactics 1 might be the greatest tactician to ever grace the land (high Intelligence and Military Knowledge Skills), but if he doesn't have the ability to affectively communicate his orders to his team, it's not going to mean a whole lot. Those who learn to do both well (high Small Unit Tactics skill) get the biggest bang out of their buck.

This post has been edited by Doctor Funkenstein: Nov 2 2004, 08:12 AM
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Bane
post Nov 2 2004, 08:20 AM
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I guess the issue here is that, realistically, 1% of the population is Awakened. However, how many GMs enforce those rules for their players during character creation?

Regardless of their rarity, there's nothing stopping a player (except the GM, of course, but let's ignore that for the moment) from making their character a social adept. I think Doc's issue is that he sees no reason not to make any Face an adept because of the "ridiculous" advantage kinesics gives them.

Ironically, my most recent munchkin character happens to be an adept specializing in daytime-infiltration, i.e. Disguise. If I can ever figure out how those rules work (from SOTA:63) then I might even play him. He most definitely takes advantage of everything being complained about in this thread thus far.
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 08:22 AM
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it should be noted that you've apparently misread Kinesics. the power does not grant extra dice to social skills, it adds extra dice to Charisma success tests tha the character makes in social situations.

your argument sounds nice, but it doesn't jive with the way things actually work out. ranged weapon skills, mojo-slinging, tech skills, and decking are all pretty common in most games; in any game that includes them, you roll skills related to those lots and lots of times every game session. -3 to two ranged weapon skills is a really big deal, because a gunbunny adept will probably roll his ranged weapon skill 10-15 times per game session (to fabricate from whole cloth a number based on the current contents of my ass). that's less true with tech skills, making your technomancer power almost plausible. social skill rolls, however, don't happen a whole lot. most encounters that require them, you roll once or maybe twice and that's it; there might be one or two such encounters per session. for that reason, social powers should be a bit more beefy than, say, gunbunny powers.
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Bane
post Nov 2 2004, 08:37 AM
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That's pretty typical for an adept power -- all of the IA work the same way.

As far as I can tell, that small distinction only makes a difference if someone is rolling an Opposed Test against that skill. I don't see any situation in which that would happen with Social skills.

Also, justifying the cost/effects of a power based on how often it's used is somewhat faulty (as I think has been mentioned). While what you say is true in most games, perhaps there are games where the opposite is true? I do agree with what you're saying, but it's just not a very pleasing justification. Personally, I find all of the new powers, including Kinesics, to be quite balanced. Yes, Level 3 is going to make a character into a Social GOD. It's also going to make him extremely specialized. Those 3 Power Points could just as easily go into something more universally applicable like Improved Reflexes, Improved Senses (a LOT of them), etc. If a character wants to play the uber-Face, more power to them. They won't be doing much else.
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 09:41 AM
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games in which the opposite is true will invariably involve specialized houserules anyway. witness games which focus on any single area, in SR--find me a Matrix-only game without houserules, or a gunbunny-only game, or a magic-only game. SR does not bear up very well, when one looks too closely at any of the diverse fields it covers.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 2 2004, 01:37 PM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Nov 2 2004, 02:49 AM)
regardless of the percentage of Awakened shadowrunners, i'm still willing to bet that the number of face adepts is pretty low.

But I'm willing to bet that the number is now almost equal to the subset of players who both would otherwise play a mundane Face and who now have SOTA2064.

Mundane faces aren't obsolete in the world of the game. They're just no longer good choices for player characters.

~J
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GunnerJ
post Nov 2 2004, 03:09 PM
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Looking just at the names of the powers without seeing their description, I'd say one of the developers wanted to make Abelard Lindsey but couldn't find any way to do so with standard SR rules.
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Moon-Hawk
post Nov 2 2004, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
But I'm willing to bet that the number is now almost equal to the subset of players who both would otherwise play a mundane Face and who now have SOTA2064.

I think this really nails the issue, here. No one is saying that face adepts will remove mundane faces from the gaming world. They're saying that face adepts will remove mundane faces from the gaming table. There's no reason to play one anymore. The rules for face adepts make them SO infathomably superior that if you're going to play a face, there's one way to do it.
Of course, any character can still have a few social skills, but compared to these new social adepts, it'll be hard to call them a face, anymore.
I think that's more what people are worried about.

The thing that worries me is ever-so-slightly different. Magically active are 1% of the population, but there are more in the shadows. Fine. Whatever. Initiated magicians are supposed to be a rarity, but the rules hardly support this, and the modules support it even less. Almost every module magician is an initiate. And in any campaign I play initiation is the first thing any magician does. I'm starting to veer off topic, but my issue is: will every fixer and every Johnson in the modules start being a social adept, whenever they want things to get "serious"? Every module writer will want to use one, and if everyone uses one, they're fragging everywhere. Then what happened to our tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of 1%? But hopefully it won't be an issue.
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Edward
post Nov 2 2004, 05:10 PM
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Persona;y I donít see a great problem.

Adepts with guns and a small amount of cyber are the best with there chosen class of gun but donít have much else. Melee adepts are not usually much good at ranged or social and the social adept just listed was an average combatant at best (no melee skill at all).

Adepts are now able to be the best at more things than they where but still have a problem managing competence in more than one secondary skill.

A mundane face with all other arias as tertiary at best is no longer something anybody would play. That said I would never have played one anyway. Face/Decker or face/mage or face/rigger or combat/tactician/face are all fare more fun because you have something to do when your not negotiating. And the social adept tends to lock you down just as the pistol adept or the stealth adept or the mele adept did.

Edward
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
But I'm willing to bet that the number is now almost equal to the subset of players who both would otherwise play a mundane Face and who now have SOTA2064.

eh, that really depends on the character concept. if you're playing a straight face, sure, you'll probably want to go adept. decker/face? not so much (and if you tell me that all you need to be a decker is a 'jack and the Computer skill, i will punch you in the face).

i don't understand the whole thing where now, adepts and mages are 'taking over every aspect of the game', though. i mean, before SOTA:64, adepts could be good at combat, sneakery, mobility, and what, exactly? "social encounters were one of the few areas where mundanes excelled at" my butt. how about rigging? decking? tactical command? technical monkeyology? hell, even before SOTA:64, adepts and mages had the advantage in the social department, in that they didn't take that +1 or higher TN mod on social tests for having cyberware.
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Deadeye
post Nov 2 2004, 06:24 PM
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I may be off base here, but it seems to kinda boil down to the old question of magic vs. technology. All things being even, a mojo-slinger or an adept will smoke a mundane without breaking a sweat. Thats why it MAGIC; it gives them an edge. If you are the most charming guy in the world but the dude next to you is magically influencing peoples emotions (ala the old Troubadors in ED) then, sorry, but you're going to loose out.

Now, when you throw technology into the mix, it kinda evens things out, but that's the point. The magic cycle is repeating itself, but this time around there's technology to even the score a bit.

That's how I see it, anyway.
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Tanka
post Nov 2 2004, 06:39 PM
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Deadeye: A Magician/Adept will smoke a regular mundane. Give that mundane Wired Reflexes 3 and a Smartlink and the mundane will hose both the Adept and the Magician on his first action. (BF Adept, BF Magician, assuming neither have hefty combat pools/barriers/et cetera.)
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 06:57 PM
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Uhm, tanka, adepts can meet and beat Wired Reflexes 3. Hell, they don't even need to bother with it; Quick Strike will smoke the samurai no matter how insanely high he takes his Reaction and Initiative. Quick Strike + Improved Ability: Pistols 6 + Remington Roomsweepers loaded with shot + Ambidexterity 4 = Dead Group of Anybodies.

QUOTE (mfb)
i don't understand the whole thing where now, adepts and mages are 'taking over every aspect of the game', though. i mean, before SOTA:64, adepts could be good at combat, sneakery, mobility, and what, exactly?

Why do they have to be able to make anything else obselete? That's three significant portions of the game alone.

QUOTE
"social encounters were one of the few areas where mundanes excelled at" my butt. how about rigging?

That would be one of the few other areas. And note the emphasis on the word "excel." Not "match." And when I personally say "excel," I mean "through the use of implants" even though adepts can take the same implants just as easily.

QUOTE
decking?

Ditto.

QUOTE
tactical command?

Disagreed. Unless you're playing in a niche game where a GM is allowing access to milspec cyberware, and a player is willing to pay out the ass for what ends up being a minor boost to a rarely-used skill anyway. Otherwise, they're matched in their options.

QUOTE
technical monkeyology?

Other than Task Pools, only barely. Adepts have access to Microscopic Vision (a TN bonus always trumps extra dice) and their advantages in the stealth department allows them to get into position to use their skills more easily. I'd put that as a "match" overall, though based only on skill it's a "ditto."

So yeah, one major area, one average area that's usually delegated to NPCs, and one minor area that's only a marginal advantage to mundanes. Joy of joys. Combat, Stealth, Speed, Mobility, and now Social, Artistic, and Technical areas are their domains. Might as well throw the rest in there, too, and get rid of mundanes as players completely.

Afterall, that's what it was like in Earthdawn, right?
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Tanka
post Nov 2 2004, 07:03 PM
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I believe he was going for your "run of the mill" Magician/Adept, but that was my take.

I was also going under the general assumption that Adepts suck straight out of chargen. They are typically good at one thing and one thing only, but do eventually branch out after earning some Karma.

However, generally, cybered mundanes are better than magically actives for a little while. Eventually they get outclassed in their chosen field of expertise (save Riggers and Deckers, as there are no Adept equivalents for those), but that tends to be the case.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 07:16 PM
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Might wanna check the second post in this thread. A face who's just as good in combat as a sammy, and who could be even better if he really wanted to (I just like Commanding Voice and Voice Control; ditching both of those'll let you get Improved Reflexes 2). In another thread I showed a starting adept who was good at melee, ranged, and social encounters.

When an adept is a specialist to the point of being a munchkin at character creation. But they can be generalists, too, while being only moderately abusive compared to their mundane counterparts.
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mfb
post Nov 2 2004, 07:43 PM
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Quick Strike is nice until you get an L wound, doc. that's a pretty major liability; i'd put Wired-3 as beating that. and adept's can't take the same implants "just as easily", since doing so directly reduces their adept abilities. even if they geas the loss, that's not anything close to the ease with which a sam gets cyber implanted.

you're also neglecting the part where adepts have a much harder time maintaining multiple areas of expertise. a mundane can easily be proficient in tech and social skills, high-end in combat skills, and still have enough left over for some vehicle stuff, simply because they don't have to spend karma to upgrade their 'edge' (cyber). adepts have to stretch every point of karma they get just to stay competitive in the one or two fields they've chosen to excel at; branching out beyond that can only be done at a cost to the adept's main function until you reach the 200 karma mark (or thereabouts).
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 2 2004, 07:55 PM
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Oh please. The only advantage cyberware grants when you upgrade it is that it allows you to implant more implants or improve their abilities. That's identical to the improvements an adept undergoes as they advance. They then have alllll that same cash the mundane is burning on their implants surgery to either buy lots of SOTA gear or convert it to Good Karma (individual GMs not withstanding)... the latter of which they can use to "upgrade" their adept powers that much more (no upper barrier) or improve their skills or attributes just like the sammy can.

My example of using Quick Strike was for a niche counterargument. Tanka was pitting a sammy with Wired-3 (which I've never seen a starting sammy take, ever, due to the cost and Essence loss -- talk about a one trick pony). If the adept chose to do so, he could do the exact same thing and get an even bigger bonus by geasing it (whereas the sammy, even getting it as used alphaware, has to also get a Reflex Trigger and only a 20% discount on the package; the adept is getting a 25% discount and no Stress). So now we have an adept with 2.25 full points of Power Points he can spend on other abilities whereas the sammy has only 1.83 points of Essence to blow.

Mundanes do have a wider selection of "cheaper" (Essence-wise) implants they can get and can, very easily, be very broadly generalized. In fact, I actually prefer playing mundanes. But that doesn't mean adepts suck compared to them, nor does it mean that they can't be generalists, too. They just have the option of being insanely specialized, too. That's an advantage not a disadvantage.

The 200+ Karma baloney is only if you want an adept to be unbeatable in every category compared to a mundane. They can more than keep up from the start of the game. Feel free to hunt down the thread where I listed the other starting adept and pit him against a starting sammy specialized in melee, ranged, and social encounters and see how he fairs in comparison (keeping in mind the adept was designed to be a playable character).
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