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ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Did the artist ever do any of those "How to Draw..." books? His name and style look familiar (even if it's a deliberately simple style.) I'm not much of a Scooby Doo fan, but Meddling Kids looks like something that would be fun to run for kids. Then add in more Dark Heresy until the lines blur and Daphne becomes a psyker.

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ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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unseenlibrarian posted:

They mean the MMO, and it's an Empire quest, so the light and dark side options are...relative.

Basically: Sith lord gives you a quest, tells you to talk to his underling. His underling is like "Okay, the dosage he's prescribing would drag this out for weeks and cause vast amounts of unnecessary suffering. I mean, that his thing, he's a sith, and they're all cackling murder wizards. No offense. But we're under orders to get this done quickly and cleanly, so here, up the dosage, kill them without the suffering and let's get this over with, goddamn."

(The Underling's real motive is that doing things his sith boss's way is killing his career, so, uh...yeah.)

I remember that quest! Writing a whole society of Sith has to be one of the dumbest things in the Star Wars EU. I finally settled on explaining it to myself that the entire rest of the population was trying desperately to keep things together and clean up after whatever Sith Master wanders through and decides to murder half the popoulation to re-upholster his speeder.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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unseenlibrarian posted:

This is pretty much canon if you play an Imperial agent, who keeps having giant wrenches thrown into carefully laid secret agent plans by cackling space murder wizards and having to clean up after them.

ETA: I think at one point one of your dialogue choices when dealing with a sith is literally just to sigh and not say anything.

Lightside Imperial Agent was, far and away, the most fun I had in SWTOR.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I actually own Spycraft 1.0 and remember being really excited about it. I had a great scenario written up for my table and was trying to land somewhere between being Goldeneye and Metal Gear Solid (the gameplay, not the insanity.) I called my friends, we rolled characters, I even passed out the "manuever cards" to the driver and made sure everyone else had something to do, the tech guy needed to hack a laptop during in the car, the solider could pop out of the sun roof. And then I opened the game with a car chase. Because spy movies start with a car chase!

Our four hour play session involved two cars and two motorcycles driving about ten blocks. I haven't included a chase sequence in a game since. And I'm still bitter about it.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I vote Magician look at that sauve chap!

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Just listened to the Horrortoberfest review of The Rage: Carrie 2. ...Is... Is that just somebody's game of Monsterhearts?

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Tatum Girlparts posted:

The decent ones do, it's usually how you can tell the good from the bad, if they spent like ten seconds to think of high school drama tropes to fit their 'cool monster idea' it's usually at least ok.

Wait, Monsterhearts does involve actual, verifiable, supernatural events? I've been under the impression that all of it existed on a magical realism level of metaphor and the characters strictly exist as normal teens that are just being described as movie creatures. Although, now that I say this, I'm pretty sure the answer is "you can play it either way, stupid cis-het."

I'm a feminist and a straight-ally, but I feel like I am so very not the audience for Monsterhearts. I'd never decry a work for pushing a medium in a new direction, but I just don't get anything about this game. But the quantity of content its seen here, and the praise its received elsewhere suggest that I've been doing a disservice by sticking to the tired old murderhobo games I and my group enjoy. I'm just not sure how I could pitch to them, "Okay, so, instead of being swashbuckling Space-Outlaws, we're going to be transgender Frankensteins."

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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ZeeToo posted:

Ark of the Covenant

In the interests of power gaming and unadulterated munchkinism -- Can I fashion the Ark to something? Say, a battering ram to be wielded by Levite Priests, and force opponents to touch it in order to melt their faces? And would that be a melee touch attack?

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I own this book and never used it or any part of it. Money well spent there. I don't know what I was expecting, but I'm guessing it was along the lines of a much closer re-translation of WoW to the tabletop.

While I played it, I honestly enjoyed WoW's PVE. Shadowfang Keep really sold me on the idea, and the many, many nights I spent leading Karazhan raids hit what I like most about tabletop games. I don't think I'd ever go back to WoW. It's different enough to be an alien game to me now. But I can't find much vitriol for the concept of this book.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Asimo posted:

Off-brand not-Vault Boy continues to be absolutely and unintentionally hilarious. :allears:

He vaguely reminds me of those awful Not-Calvin-Pees-on-Thing stickers on white people trucks.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Vanishing Point is a pretty darn good game and we're glad to have found it. Whether or not it's a total ripoff of Neverwhere is a different discussion. It's insane steampunk weirdos fighting and getting into goofy victorian intrigue on Planet Brain.

I!' not even through your rundown of races yet, but I have to ask. Who the gently caress let tumblr write an RPG?!

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Hey look it's Stormbringer! Has anyone read any Moorcock stuff? We sure haven't and now absolutely never will for sure!

I've been big fan of your series for a while because I absolutely love the insanity that comes out in bad RPGs. Just wanted to let you know I really dug this episode (being a little loopy with a cold meds might have helped). I'm throwing in on your Patreon (my first) to help keep the servers on fire. It's what Chaotic Neutral Jesus would do.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Plague of Hats posted:

I waffle on whether the RPG industry is especially worse than most other, similar hobby industries, but I think there is a vital thread of sexism that distinguishes Williams' reputation from a hypothetical man in the same position that's not unreasonable to bring up when someone briefly dumps on her.

It doesn't matter if tabletop gaming is quantifiable more sexist than other media. It's valid to counter critique anti-Williams screeds for sexist undertone. From what I can tell, she's no longer emotionally invested in nerd stuff of any kind (source: cursory googling,) but wether that's because she moved on or was driven out by an environment toxic to anyone not a SWM is irrelevant. She's more complex than the nepotistic capitalist she's demonized to be.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Can anybody elaborate on the idiosyncracies of the Japanese tabletop gaming scene? I've heard a lot of hearsay and some "Japan is weird LOL." But I've also heard stuff like non-d6 dice being really hard to acquire. I'm willing to accept that it's just more niche than in the West but I'm fascinated in the way it's evolved.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Mors Rattus posted:

...wait, what? No one ever actually believed Gulliver's Travels was true. Pliny's humanoid species, maybe, but that's an entirely different thing.

That's actually a little hazy. Gulliver's Travels was an early novel and was originally published as satire without crediting Swift.. A lot of knockoffs followed it, because it became quite popular and there are accounts of people apparently believing it to be a true account. How many of those people were idiots that, if they were born today, would have been the sort of people that believe themselves to be Harry Potter characters waiting for their owl.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Caster supremacy, I think, can often be better phrased as "high level caster supremacy." I rarely run games over level 10 for exactly the reasons mentioned, somewhere along the line we decided that The Hobbit needs a sequel that turns into Dragonball Z or Heavy Metal. And I totally get why that's appealing to some folks, nothing wrong about it. But at the point that the PCs stop being recognizable as mortals, the story really loses me. And I'm sure there are dozens of counter examples to prove to me that low level spell casters after 3rd edition are just as overpowered, but anecdotally, my table has managed to keep things relatively stable by having stories conclude before plot-device magic gets into player hands.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:

I picture it as being pretty tongue in cheek late 80s action. Basically that weird Hasselhoff music video making the rounds right now mixed with The Last Starfighter and Silverhawks.

Then again, I do love William Gibson, especially if we can fit some of that Villa Straylight stuff from Neuromancer in there.

Re: Space 1989: Ooh ooh, pick me! Introducing (dredging up?):

http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Modempunk

I did some of the initial fluff work when this started as a thread on /tg/. It's, admittedly, a pretty barebones construction and not really deep enough to provide a full write up for. But this is the relevant section (and the entirety of the world building:

Modempunk posted:


ATMOSPHERE NOTES:
Keep the hardware (and the tone) firmly in the 1980s.

Home computer monitors are usually two- or four-color, but adapters can be made to allow televisions to be used as screens.

“Portable” computers weigh at least 5 pounds.

Pop culture is essentially the same in this world as in ours - the same cultural figures, brand names, etc.

The kids have come up with a lot of novel workarounds for technology limitations. The players should have some leeway with regard to what their electronics can do. Floppy disks can hold as much or as little as the story calls for.

Electronic bootlegs are lower quality than “official” media, but they’re free and uncensored.

I ran a very, very brief game of this and its something I'd like to return to. For me the most important themes are youth and punk-rebellion. So the culture war becomes a hotter and more oppressive. My central setting was a mall, with an arcade and a Radio Shack being the PCs haunt. It was fun, but I'm not sure how much staying power it has. As an interactive medium, I think its easy for everyone to be going in different directions and have a different, it might be better served by the slower and more descriptive capacity of forum-play. I also doodled a short story in the setting, but found it felt too nostalgic (for a time during which I was postnatal) and cheesy.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I've only listened to the Cheese Dude's (sp?) intro, completely cracked up and got some very strange looks from the other late night shoppers at the grocery.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Come get your hot fresh Top Secret review! It's our third time cracking open an old TSR box, and I'm literally amazed to find this thing on the "Best of TSR lists" on the internet. It's insane.

I was going to submit this for Afterthought (my being Nick E. Cheeses afterall), but this isn't really a question or discussion topic, it's just me being a despicable grognard telling stories about that-one-time-at-D&D. Partially embellished, but in keeping with the truth, with regards to HERO System, the tale of Sunspot!

My group was kinda worn out of Sci-Fi and Fantasy and I had been eyeing HERO System at our local nerd store at the time. The book was XBox huge, all black and green and dense with the promise of sweet, sweet rules. I bought it and unveiled it to my table with all the awe and scared laughter it inspired. It took about three weeks of us parsing through it to have even a vague understanding of what was even the gently caress.

I write up a game of "Low-Rent Supervillains", ala Dr. Horrible or Venture Brothers. Three of my four players have tried, as best they could, to make reasonable characters. I think we had a sorta-Iron Man, and a vaguely-Cthulhoid girl, and maybe a bard? And then there was Sunspot.

Now, HERO System has several, repeated warnings throughout that it can be broken wide open with the lightest tap in the wrong spot. I think it's completely reasonable for the system to be as broad as it is, that the GM has to be given a greater amount of fiat power.

Sunspot's player had figured out enough of the system to build a single superpower. A point-blank energy-projection Area of Effect attack with the "Hole in the Center" (that's the real name) modifier that made him immune from his own power. And he poured all of his character creation points into it. But what he didn't buy was the ability to do this trick more than once per day, because that increased the cost geometrically. After he was done, Sunspot had the power to vaporize a city block. Once a day.

So the party is robbing a bank to get the money to fund a bigger scheme. Sunspot is bluffing the security with his power, finally everyone gets fed up. So, having reached an impasse, the party evacuates everyone to a safe distance. Sunspot goes up to the vault and proceeds to roll every die in the immediate vicinity.

The police arrive, with a fire ladder, as Sunspot is now trapped, like a Loony Toon, on a spire of foundation, in the middle of a crater. The vault, the bank, the road up to the window of the Starbuck's having been consumed by Sunspot's plasma. And people complained about the 5-minute Wizard.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:

Those manta rays appear to just be renamed Ixitxachitl. Remember them? Evil vampire manta rays? 30% of them are clerics?

Just wanted to let you know that I've ordered myself up a :krad: Cheese Dudes shirt. I'm a consumer whore!

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I have now swaddled my undulating mass in a Cheese Dudes shirt. I hope this is how they remember me. Bearded, and touting fantasy escapism and dairy foods.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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The Difference Engine, Last Exile, the Iron Kingdom rpg are all fine. This is the sort of cog-foppery that makes me want to throw my hobbies out and learn more about sports and lifting heavy things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps3G2hAVN3c

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:

Haha holy poo poo, this is great!

We're actually both here listening to it, recording Afterthought and our first chunk of bonus content for Patreon today.

By the way, I'm running a one-off Jurassic Park game soon using Dread (the Jenga RPG.) Mashing it up with Netrunner's Jinteki biotech corporation.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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FMguru posted:

The card game is an adaptation of their early Rise of the Runelords adventure path campaign.

Has anybody done a write-up of Runelords? I ran it a few years back and it was really solid (if you can forgive it being Pathfinder.) In before :justpost:

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:

We continue to talk AD&D a little before answering a bunch of weird listener questions in today's Afterthought.

If I can make a suggestion about the fakey expletives in Blimpleggers. I think it'd be funny if words like 'jorq' were really, really, vulgar in-universe. To the point that "Motherjorqer!" isn't just something you shout because you're a salty sky-pirate, but something that even other blimpleggers treat as being equivalent to rattling off a string of explicit, unabashed accounts of gorily and vilely violating someone.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:

Hey guys who are listeners, when we first started talking about the Blimpleggers setting, did you picture it as being a standard fantasy setting with a prohibition twist, or a 1920s prohibition-era setting with a fantasy twist?

Definitely the later. And maybe with a some of China Mieville's Bas-Lag thrown in for puissant effluvia, but you don't have to?

If I can ask, what kind of physics were you thinking for the air vehicles? Like, strictly, real-world rules for flight, or some particular caveat why they work, or purely fantastic and we shouldn't care about why? Are they all blimp and airplane shaped, or more like submarines and naval ships? I ask because you've mentioned being a plane-nerd before so I wouldn't hold it against you if you needed to grog out about accurate flight physics.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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No objections to that. I always prefered the Fighter / Rogue / Mage dynamic more without a dedicated healer. And, despite being a filthy Pathfinder player, I totally agree with Warlords and martial healing. Shouting at someone to restore hitpoints is perfectly fine.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Doresh posted:

Dark Eye

I remember playing Blackguards a couple years back. I wanna say that was based on this system. I really wanted to like the game, because some of my tertiary knowledge of TDE made it pretty appeal. Unfortunately that game was a slog. Happy to see your write-up though!

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Here's an Afterthought episode we just posted. It's pretty neat, we interview the author of one of the micro RPGs we covered in the previous episode, but also have him stick around to answer our ludicrous listener questions. It's James D'Amato, the host of the way, way, significantly way more popular show than ours, One Shot Podcast.

I've got to indulge a nerd social fallacy here. And by that I mean defending a nebulous concept that wasn't attacked, but an alternative was praised. I'm going to speak up in defense of crunchy systems, that I feel got ragged on in this last Afterthought. I don't want to be an apologist for systems with hundreds of skills or allowing broken spellcasters. But there is a level of engagement in playing with character options like talents and equipment, especially with large, well designed catalogs to choose from. I think that's a reasonable way to be entertained by a game, even with the availability of short-form versions of that mechanic like the 4th Edition Board Games or competitive implementations like Star Wars Imperial Assault.

I like micro games as rules-lite designs, I can easily get non-gamers like my sister to play Everyone is John. That's good for the industry and the community. But I find Powered By the Apocalypse to be almost obsessively elegant. It's like a Kubrick movie for you or a Radiohead album for me. I get why its good, I really respect the craftsmanship and I just don't care. (Yeah, I said it, I don't like most of Radiohead.) Specifically, for really, really modern designs like Fate (which I also like) and PWBTA, I find myself thinking "If I wanted to write a story, I'd just write a story." I guess it's just personal preference then, that a looser rule set for me engenders less creativity and problem solving.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Night10194 posted:

I'm also fond of crunchy systems, it's just much rarer to find a crunchy system done well because it takes a huge amount of care and playtesting. Neither of these usually happen in the industry.

Points that I will not contest. I think it's also much easier to make fun of bad crunch because bad crunch becomes ridiculous while bad... sponge (? PBTA isn't really fluffy is it.) Bad sponge becomes boring unless it's so out of its mind insane it becomes Nobilis.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Hey everyone, here's Afterthought 15. We don't event want to pretend to remember all the Fantasy Wargaming stuff, so we get into games that have disappointed us in big ways in the past, then answer questions, cover the poll, and baselessly insult Plague of Hats. Also at one point we give masturbation material recommendations to a kid. All in all, it's a total win.

Who... Which side was which in the edition wars analogy? Also, I sent you an email about writing for Blimpleggers. Because every RPG needs endless tracts of prose only tangentially related to the rules.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Hey, System Mastery chums, your continued pestilence and woe fills me with sadness as I await your dulcet words. My week has been nothing but burning servers and capitalists angry about all the burning servers. So, when you can, an episode would be quite a relief.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Prior to Pokemon, there was little traction for the headlines that made Mantis Shrimp memetic.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Fallorn posted:

Who sources his sausage from a halfling street vendor.

Someone who counts among his or her equipment a small, but vicious dog.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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I don't read many books cover-to-cover, but the books that I really enjoy I will end up reading the whole contents thereof. I just tend to flip around the setting and fluff stuff ala encyclopedia research more than read it straight through like a novel. I do have this only d20 Cybernet book (a not-that-great Cyberpunk game in d20) that had a narrative running through it and I read all of those on a lark once.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Midjack posted:

Blue green lasers? Or is that Car Wars?

No, no, it couldn't have been Car Wars. Those lasers don't work in smoke and are the size of four grenades.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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Clearly the answer here is to slather it in Powered by the Apocalypse, call it a "hack" and let it be crowned high-prince indie darling.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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theironjef posted:



Hey hey, it's Legacy: War of Ages! I think this one may have already been covered by someone else here, but we wanted to talk about it anyway!

Here, look at this rad art:



Okay, shame on these guys for ripping off Neuromancer. At least they didn't abuse Red Star, Winter Orbit or Hinterlands, because those are my very favorite Gibson pieces (and I'm a huge Gibson fanboy.)

But... did they actually LIKE Highland 2?! Because this is Highlander 2. It's just missing General Katana and the planet Zeist.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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From a game design perspective, there generally needs to be a balancing mechanic and "you go crazy and then die" is a lot more immediately interesting than some of the alternatives. OGL Cybernet, an unremarkable d20 cyberpunk system from Green Ronin sort of described being over-aug'd as just being less and less emotionally present. Not because your soul is being eaten, but because more of your life is spent doing things to serve the machine. It takes time for your cybereyes to boot up, and when they do, it's 100% perfect vision at all times. You might be stumbling-bleary-rear end drunk, but you're still seeing the world normally and disconnect from it because it's not what you expect to be seeing. Your cyber legs never tire, or at least not for hundreds of miles, and you forget that you're even supposed to. There's also an element of body-mod addiction at play, at a certain point you turn against the meat, maybe you feel that it holds you back or you stop identifying as a human at all.

I think a lot of futurism, I hesitate to call it fiction, is coming from Elon Musk-worshipping-STEMlords. The type that only eat soylent because it's "more efficient" and pop hundreds of supplement pills to survive until "the singularity." Cyberpunk is my favorite genre because, when it's done right, it can penetrate the inequality that will be present in a future built by these folks. Augmentations are cool, prosthetic limbs are too, but to tell interesting stories, we have to be able to talk about them as more than just a perfect solution to life's problems.

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ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

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The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.
--William Gibson*

*Gibson doesn't actually claim this quote, but it's apparently sourced The Economist, December 2003.

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