Torchbearer #3: Crash

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Nico's best friend, Timodemus, is a competitor in the pankration, the deadly martial art of ancient Greece. Timo is the hot favorite to. Table of contents. But overall, I enjoyed the intrigue, as well as the dark humor.

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It has all the authenticity of a bunch of plastic flowers. I had to give up and delete it, a real joke , A New Yoik accent trying to set the scene in Ancient Greece, the voice characterisation something akin to Rocky Balboa. Maybe he should stick to what the yanks are good at, herpes , hot dogs and friendly fire.

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Written by: Gary Corby. Narrated by: Erik Davies. Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins. Critic Reviews "[Corby's] best thus far Corby integrates the political intrigue of the day with fair-play plotting and welcome doses of humor. Fans of Steven Saylor's Gordianus novels will be enthralled. What members say. No Reviews are Available. Sort by:. Most Helpful Most Recent. Nico is then commissioned by the city of Athens as well as the Judges of the Games to uncover any evidence complement to or contrary to this.

I loved virtually everything about this book. I was proud of myself for recognizing many of the terms and titles used in the book, both with the architecture and people. Klymene, Markos, Gorgo and Pythax were all side characters that stood out to me. Although come to think of it I don't think Markos is a minor character, but all the same these characters brought more believability to the plot and didn't feel like fluff.

Nico and Diotima were great. I liked that Nico wasn't a perfect person. Too often in stories the main character is shown to have no faults and no pitfalls. This generally doesn't bother me as much as it bothers others, but I can definitely appreciate a story that doesn't fall into this. Nico fumbles over his words, doesn't come to logical conclusions as quickly as others, and misses options that others don't. Diotima, on the other hand, is the one with no flaws. Her only real flaw mentioned in the story is her family history, but since that's not something she can alter I don't really count that.

Regardless of her inability to do anything wrong though I really enjoyed her character. It's probably fair to say that since I'm female I'm biased to like her simply because she was an independent woman in a time when there wasn't much room for independent women. Same goes for Gorgo. The actual mystery was great. I had deciphered some of it, but the final big "bad guy" was one that I didn't guess at until the very end. That alone made me love this book that much more: I tend to guess how books will end and I'm usually pretty much spot-on.

In this case yes, I got the minor parts correct, but I had little idea as to who was the main antagonist. Which made it that much sweeter. Sacred Games by Gary Corby is a phenomenal book, one that I'm definitely going to keep and reread in the future. I received this in a First Reads giveaway. View 1 comment. Jan 17, Colleen rated it really liked it Shelves: whodunnit. Best of the series so far!

Returning from their assignment in Themistocles' court, married without permission, Nico and Diotima are at the Olympic games, trying to persuade their respective families to agree to the union and solve a murder. The slain is a Spartan, the accused is an Athenian, and he's got just a few days to figure out who the culprit is! A l Best of the series so far! A little eyebrow raising over the prostitute part with the annoying but super smart kid brother Socrates also helping the investigation , but I think the book just needed a moment of Socrates to show how with torturous logic a clue.

The murderer is also pretty obvious I think, but still a fun mystery. May 13, MAP rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , fiction , mystery , ancient-times. Another solid addition to the series. Aug 23, Marfita rated it liked it Shelves: period-mystery. This sort of thing is right up my alley. Socrates and I have been an "item" since the mid'80s.

Temple is the one who complained that my plays seemed to have sprung fully grown from the forehead of Steve Allen. Fair enough. The clues were laid out a bit too obviously, but I enjoyed the thoroughly researched background and will certainly read more of these as This sort of thing is right up my alley. The clues were laid out a bit too obviously, but I enjoyed the thoroughly researched background and will certainly read more of these as I can get my mitts on them. Looking over the Dramatis Personae pardon my Latin , I was a bit miffed at the pronunciation guide but later found the note on a previous page where Corby admits they don't match ancient pronunciation, so he's off the hook.

If he'd killed him during their fight, it would have been okay. Pericles - totally not ruler of Athens, no no, we're all equals - wants Timo cleared whether he's guilty or not. The Spartans choose Markos to prove Timo did kill Arakos. Whatever the solution, it's bound to lead to a war between Sparta and Athens and plunge Hellas into chaos.

Can Nicolaos save his friend and prevent a war? Will his and Diotima's father ever agree on a dowry so they can make their marriage official? Tall orders, indeed. Corby follows up the story with notes on what was real and what wasn't. Cool beans. Feb 10, Sophia Johnson rated it liked it. It was an interesting book, which, like the others in the serie, also managed to teach me historical facts and it was a nice way to learn about Ancient Greece. Jun 19, Jane Irish Nelson rated it really liked it Shelves: historical , mystery.

Nicolaus and Diotima consider themselves to be married, but since his father and her stepfather can't agree on Diotima's dowry, they disagree. They have all gathered at Olympia for the Sacred Games, where Nico expects to only be an observer. But when his old friend Timodemus is accused of murdering Arakos, a Spartan athlete, and Timo's competitor in the pankration, Nico is appointed as one of the investigators into the crime. Since both Nico and Timo are Athenian, a Spartan, Markos, is also appo Nicolaus and Diotima consider themselves to be married, but since his father and her stepfather can't agree on Diotima's dowry, they disagree.

As they investigate, along with Diotima and Nico's younger brother, Socrates, they seem to always be just one step behind the murderer. Can Nico solve the mystery in time for Timo to compete? Enthralling story, full of fascinating facts about life in Ancient Greece. Good characterization, showing that while times have changed, people's natures really have not.

Highly recommended. May 30, Clay Kallam rated it really liked it Shelves: mysteries. This is actually a 3. Since I'm very interested in the time period, I enjoyed "Sacred Games," which chronicles the adventures of one Nicolaos as he solves a murder mystery at the 80th Olympiad. Gary Corby has created an engaging protagonist and surrounded him with interesting complementary characters his wife Diotima and his brother Socrates yes, that Socrates, but just a boy , which make This is actually a 3.

Gary Corby has created an engaging protagonist and surrounded him with interesting complementary characters his wife Diotima and his brother Socrates yes, that Socrates, but just a boy , which makes the series this is book three a fun read. The plot has enough twists to keep the pages turning as well, so all in all, it's a worthy effort.

And the more you're fascinated by the details of life in ancient Greece, the more worthy you'll find it. Dec 22, Cel Jel rated it really liked it. Another very entertaining book for Gary Corby set in Ancient Greece. The Olympics have rules that when broken lead to the conditions to start a war. A fledgling democracy does not want war, and so when a death occurs a new competition is added to the Olympic Games.

Reading the authors note after the book is fascinating, for having heard of one of the societies and a bit about its way of life, more was revealed in this book. Well worth a read. Mar 11, Susan rated it really liked it. Corby weaves in lots of info about Ancient Greece as his detective solves a crime at the 80th Olympic games. It was quite timely for me as the winter Olympics were being held coincidentally at the same time I was reading this book. But apart from that, I found this book, 3 in the series, to be much better written than the previous one.

Mar 15, Sally rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery. Every time I read a book in this series, I feel like I'm taking a mini vacation in ancient Greece. This time, the plot takes us to a murder mystery at the Olympic Games as Niko and Diotima are in a race against time to prove their friend's innocence before rising tensions between Athens and Sparta cause a war to break out. Aug 19, Vilo rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. I don't always post every book I read in a series, but this series just gets better and better. I especially love that author Gary Corby always includes a comprehensive what is true and what I invented section at the back.

So many details and the era comes alive. Dec 19, Sylvia Dugan rated it it was ok. I found this story dragged quite a bit with too many details about the customs at the Olympic Games and too much emphasis on sex between the characters involved. A little is good, a lot gets boring. Didn't matter what your hit points were it literally has an attack that instantly kills you.

It was a running gag that whenever I got to that hallway I'd make a big speech in the raid group:. You have battled against the Black Dragonflight and slain Onyxia. And in recent months you battled Deathwing and the Old Gods which controlled him. Now, now you face your most dangerous foe! That's right.

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The above NPC instantly kills you. Doesn't matter how powerful you are. A giant Snail Tauren are about as tall as the stone block behind it instantly kills you.

Grief much? I thought I was very respectful with my answer to the OP. I am not here to shame anybody if they don't want to do end-game content. The OP did not ask for advice; they asked for a specific change to the post 50 game for some of their characters, not all of them. The OP is not a NewB, you can tell that from reading their post. Their request is no different than the XP Shut Off that you oh so sweetly told them to use; note, not told them about, but told them to use, something I'm pretty sure they already new about.

EVERY game.

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Create Content for your Favorite Games. Click here. English Choose a language for shopping. High hopes rested on consumers who would embrace the Volt as the car they were begging Detroit to build. Nicolas Dedual rated a book it was amazing.

In all of them, ALL of them, a difference in level means a difference in power. And in every single last one of them, any two players of the same class, archetype, role, or equivalent if the system has those who is at the same level, has roughly the same degree of power. In systems without levels, that used a point-build system, significant differences in point totals mean significant differences in power. A Shadowrun Street Samurai fresh out of character creation is no match for a Street Samurai with a career total of Karma earned. Two characters with the same advancement, generally have the same power.

Minecraft does not have levels. You are not "a level 15 miner" or "a level 8 carpenter". Even with the later addition of pseudo-RPG progression, it's a serious case of apples-and-apricots to compare it to CoX's level advancement system. To appropriately challenge, say, a 40th level character A generic Freakshow thug, or a Rikti foot soldier - if they're both 41st level, they are the same power level.

The Cosmic-scale "storyline" hero would fare no better against the Freakshow thug than against the Rikti foot soldier. Even though, in a logical narrative , that Rikti soldier would wipe the floor with any DOZEN Freakshow mooks - and therefor, a Hero that regularly faces dozens of Rikti soldiers, would have to face a hundred or more of the mooks to even get near to breaking a sweat.

Which means, "40th level" would have to mean different things for the Cosmic hero, than it does for the Street hero. That means an entirely separate advancement track, and a separate combat-effectiveness scale That's more than just having separate storylines. Doing otherwise just is not workable.

It's not merely impractical, it's physically impossible. Some of them are playing PL 15 or 16 heroes, the ones who go off into space, other dimensions, and so forth. It can work, just fine, yes. But, here's the trick: if you play for a while? Those teenagers will increase to PL 9, then PL Inevitably , just as a consequence of playing the game. So, the character who was once a 13 or 14 year old green-as-grass newbie sidekick nervously taking on muggers, armed robbers, and the occasional drug dealer in his neighborhood, will eventually be one of "Earth's Mightiest Guardians", calmly handling extradimensional incursions and alien invasions around the entire world, and possibly beyond.

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One thing they will not do, is stay Power Level 7 and 8. Another thing they will not do, is still be dealing primarily with petty criminals at Power Level You are still mistaking "the size of the stage" with "the power of the opposition and the heroes who rise to meet it ". That may be fine and dandy that a snail one shots people but without a plausible explaination on how it does that nobody will like or possibly even accept the narrative.

Holy shit, dude.

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I just don't get how you are having such a hard time understanding this. I -get- your perspective. I'm saying that it is self-limiting. Try to grasp mine. Don't try to make up your own version of mine with a bunch of rules about how characters would 'need to be limited' or whatever. Read what I'm writing, right now, take it in, and try to understand it. Some stories would be 'Cosmic' or 'World Class Heroism' at level 1. Some would be Street or Neighborhood level stories at level Maybe you pick how you interact with different Glowies in missions based on a selection of different options, wouldn't -that- be cool?

Maybe your character isn't a bomb-defusing expert so you have them cover their eyes with one hand and cut a wire at random. Heck, if we wanna go cartoony maybe there's a chance that animation doesn't work -right- and your character gets zapped but the bomb is still defused.

A Hyuck! And your Superstrong Brute character Mr. Or you have to fight a bunch of pylons around a super-reactor in a starship to keep it from having enough speed to obliterate planet Earth when it crash-lands. But for every other function it's still just another door mission for a level 1 character. The NPCs hit you as level 1 characters. You hit them as a level 1 character. Still level 1. Just a different narrative scale. Winvincible is still chucking bombs into the sun and stopping runaway trains by standing in front of them and gritting his teeth really hard as the "Glowie Interaction" for that mission.

While Rorshabee's player is instead flipping the switch to force the train's brakes to go into "Magnetic Lock" mode or something else to stop them. At level 21 they decide to have a fight. They're both level 21 heroes and they hit each other like it. There's no mechanical difference between the character's power levels because it's a game and there's no Narrative Scale in PvP.

Batman v Superman all over again. In another 10 levels they're friends and sometimes they team together. Rorschabee goes to space to help Mr. Winvincible fight the Rikti off. They're a stronger NPC Group, narratively, than the level 1 alien jerks that Winvincible fought 30 levels ago Rorshabee disarms half the bombs the Rikti are planning to drop on Paragon while Mr. Winvincible flings the other half into the sun.

It doesn't make sense that Rorschabee doesn't get completely and utterly pasted by the first Rikti Rifle Blast that hits him. Maybe they missed. Maybe he has Kreeptonight in his belt which makes the blast not destroy him. At some point the narrative -has- to bend to the gameplay, but it doesn't need to invariably bend to the gameplay all the time forever.

At level 50, Rorshabee and Winvincible PvP again. They're both level 50 characters. They hit each other like level 50 characters. The PvP still has no narrative because it isn't a story it's two people beating each other and telling whatever story they want about it. Afterward Mr.

Winvincible joins Rorshabee to help Back Alley Brawler He's in a wheelchair, 80, and basically Oracle at this point Regulate the drugs in Kings Row by flinging the vats of Superadine into the sun and punching some Skulls with all his cool superpowers but for handwavium's sake he's pulling his punches so as not to paste the street thugs 'cause he's a hero and not a jerk. Again, sometimes gameplay is more important than narrative but it doesn't have to be the winner of every single fight.

You get all the benefits of a game in which characters level up. You get to be a "World Class Hero" from level 1. You get to be a "Street Level Hero" at level You can even start out as a 'Street Level Hero' who throws Bombs into the Sun and eventually decides to start doing some of the World Class Hero content when you get to 20 and -only- World Class Content after you hit The players who want Street Heroes are happy. The players who want World Class heroes are happy. Do you now understand my perspective that you can tell much more "Comic Relevant" stories in an MMO by letting the Narrative Scale exist separate from your character's level?

There's no plausible explanation why the Snail one-shots people. No plausible explanation why the Tigers in Pandaria are -massively- stronger than the Tigers in Stranglethorn, either. But people tend to laugh about it and accept that it's just a matter of Game Mechanics trumping narrative 'cause it happens, -sometimes-. But it doesn't have to happen -all- the time. It doesn't have to be the default. That's all I'm saying.

No, you obviously don't get my "perspective". CoX is a game, first and foremost. Not a comic, not a novel. And there are just some things that cannot be done within a multiplayer gamespace - no matter how cool the stories would be. No matter how hard anyone might wish otherwise.

I have. Very well. You want the game to support stories where a character never grows above "street level" heroism, and also support stories where characters grow to be solar-system-saving paragons. And you aren't willing to use the tools already provided for that very thing , in the form of turning off XP before the "street level" hero's power outgrows the setting you want him to remain in.

What I've been trying, repeatedly, to tell you is: it just is not possible. You might as well stare at a stream in real life and beg it to flow uphill; your results will be about the same. And, again I tell you: this is physically impossible in an MMO. You would need to have multiple separate games, sharing the setting but not the actual playspace. Cosmic heroes and Street heroes would not be passing each other in the same zone, each headed for their own personal-narrative-scale missions.

Again, water, uphill, same results.

The Tigers in Pandaria are a good forty or fifty levels higher than the Tigers in Stranglethorn. What happen is, Rorchbee sidekicks up to Winvncible's level. Because Winvincible has been levelling up steadily all along, and recently ding'd You keep saying that it's "Not Possible" but I'm outlining how it could be done within the narratives of a single game space that Winvincible and Rorshabee both share.

Repeating "It isn't possible" doesn't -make- it impossible. It doesn't actually change anything. You just do not understand my perspective. Do you know how I know you don't understand me? Because you're putting it back into the terms that you -do- understand. Terms that fit your explicit perspective and ignore mine. Because you're saying "The Pandaria tigers are higher level" and not considering how ridiculous a concept that actually is, narratively speaking.

AT ALL. I'm done repeating myself on this topic to someone who is going to continually talk down to me, thanks. Honestly, I don't think I have the requisite skills to communicate the idea in a way that you will understand, at this point. So I'm just going to write this whole conversation off. You keep saying that it's "Not Possible" but I'm outlining how it could be done within the narratives of a single game space. You're outlining a pipe-dream, "why can't we" scenario. But you haven't explained how the systems , the parts "under the hood", would work.

And sees a bunch of alien-looking dudes she's never encountered before. They show up as being her level Meanwhile, in the next zone over, Winvincible sees a bunch of Freakshow-looking villains - and he's never faced anything like them, he's been busting alien heads for fifty levels. They show up as being his level And, hey, then there are the PvP zones. If there's no difference "because PvP zone" Are all the Cosmic heroes nerfed into being feeble kittens compared to their usual power level?

I bet they'd LOVE that! And, I bet they'd love that just as little. In a human-run game with multiple groups, each playing in a different real-world space at a different real-world time In a computer-run game, with everyone playing at the same time, in the same virual space No, I've been using those terms, because they are shared between us. Terms that refer to systems in the game, are terms that we both understand in the same way. There's no need for me to re-invent the wheel, when there's already a stack of perfectly good ones sitting right next to me.

Specifically, look again at how you did not understand or refused to accept that within that rules set, Power Levels are a completely OBJECTIVE scale , and you absolutely could not have PL16 "street level" heroes and run a remotely plausible game. So, yes. I fell back on commonly understood terms from a mutually-known source. Sue me. Nor 40th level. Nor even 30th level. They're in their teens, maybe edging into the low 20s.

Because those are the power levels appropriate for a "street level" Narrative Scope. Superman doesn't spend his time stopping muggers. Oh, he WILL, if he comes across one. But he doesn't patrol every alley of Metropolis looking for them specifically and especially. Because his personal power is so great, that it is best spent on threats only he, or those like him, can deal with. Spiderman, OTOH? Especially soon after a reboot? Mostly looks after his own neighborhood, and the surrounding city.

He absolutely DOES patrol the streets and alleys specifically looking for muggers and similar low-level criminals. Because that is what is most appropriate for his level of power , at that stage in his career. He's not going to be taking down Galactus on his own - that's a job for the Fantastic Four.