Custom Setting Rules

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ValhallaGH
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Custom Setting Rules

#1 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:39 pm

Hey all. This thread is for sharing your various setting rule creations.
Ones you use, ones you don't use, what they're for, and any useful advice for anyone else that is looking to add to their campaigns.

Here's a couple I created to make the Aftermath of Extras more interesting or setting appropriate.

Bloody Mess
Extras have a -4 to all Aftermath rolls.
Purpose: Make combat significantly more dangerous for "ordinary people", and allow for gory descriptions of damage and Incapacitation, without increasing lethality for player characters and other Wild Cards.
Notes: Largely removes the question of what to do with injured or captured foes from player consideration. Rapidly dwindles the ranks of allied Extras.

Old Wounds
Success on an Aftermath roll results in a permanent wound. A Raise provides a temporary injury. Two Raises lets the Extra escape Incapacitation unscathed.
Purpose: Caused allied extras to have more interesting Incapacitation, with the chance of losing a limb or eye, acquiring a trick knee or permanent stitch in the side, or other effect of their battles.
Notes: Interesting effects when combined with Bloody Mess. Can be a pain to track with large numbers of Incapacitated foes. Since only Extras have Aftermath rolls, has no effect on Player Characters.

And a popular classic.
Against Cannon, No Man Is a Hero
Player Characters may not spend Bennies to Soak damage from a Heavy Weapon. They may spend them on an Incapacitation roll caused by such damage, however.
Purpose: Remove the possibility of a character being shot by a cannon and surviving.
Notes: Heavy Weapons become insanely dangerous. Player Characters with Heavy Armor should probably be allowed to Soak.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#2 Postby Myrmicus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:59 am

Heavy Strength :
Any attack with d12+5 or above Strength (character strength or powers strength such as telekinesis or matter control) is has the heavy weapon modifier.
Purpose : Mainly used for SPC. It aims to make super strong attacks more efficient. It seems logical that a character able to lift 2500 pounds can pass through heavy armors.
Note : It is derived from the SPC2 rule that turn any 1000 pounds object into a heavy weapon. A Strength d12+5 can lift 2500 pounds, which equals the pure strength necessary to lift 1000 pounds + the weight of the object. I came up with this custom rule when seeing that a "heavy weapon attack melee" trapped as "super strong hits" would cost at least 7 Power Points (One level in Attack Melee (2) + Stackable (2) + Multiple Attack (2) + Heavy Weapon (1))

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#3 Postby Sitting Duck » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:12 am

ValhallaGH wrote:Bloody Mess
Extras have a -4 to all Aftermath rolls.
Purpose: Make combat significantly more dangerous for "ordinary people", and allow for gory descriptions of damage and Incapacitation, without increasing lethality for player characters and other Wild Cards.
Notes: Largely removes the question of what to do with injured or captured foes from player consideration. Rapidly dwindles the ranks of allied Extras.


That seems excessive. A -4 is nasty for a Wild Card, but it's brutal for an Extra, who doesn't have a Wild Die to help out. Maybe reduce it to a -2.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:04 am

Heavy Strength is interesting. It lets a certain level of cyborg punch through power armor. Neat.

Sitting Duck wrote:That seems excessive. A -4 is nasty for a Wild Card, but it's brutal for an Extra, who doesn't have a Wild Die to help out. Maybe reduce it to a -2.

Brutality was the point. Even Vigor d12 extras are going to fail (and die) 58% of the time; a typical Vigor d6 extra is going to be dead 86% of the time. Normal people shouldn't be getting into combat, since they'll get very dead.
Player shoots someone with a handgun? You can describe how his chest explodes in a gory mess, and not worry about the oddity of that guy rolling a 7 on Aftermath, because "I got better." Not for all games, not remotely, but for certain campaigns (anything in the Warhammer universe, many anime series, a supers setting where bystanders die spectacularly, etc.) it sets the correct tone.


Bruises and Pain
Non-lethal attacks do Fatigue damage.
Purpose: Tie non-lethal damage to a different game mechanic, one that can incapacitate characters even faster, and one that can recover much faster than the default five days per natural healing roll.
Notes: Inspired by the Bumps & Bruises rule. Makes non-lethal damage ineffective against Extras. Makes non-lethal damage highly effective against Wild Cards.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#5 Postby SteelDraco » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:14 pm

These are the setting rules for my Iron Kingdoms game:

Power Points Recharge: All Arcane Backgrounds regain Power Points at a rate of 1 Power Point every ten minutes, rather than the standard of 1 Power Point per hour.
Multiple Languages: Characters begin play fluent in their local language, and gain a number of language points equal to half their Smarts die.
  • For one language point, characters have basic competency in a language. They suffer a -2 penalty to all skill rolls using that language (such as Persuade rolls) and take quite a bit longer to get their point across.
  • For two language points, characters are fully fluent in a language.
  • A character can spend skill points from an advance and during character creation as though they were language points (so you could advance one skill and get basic competency in a language for one advance, or become fluent in a language for one whole advance).
Power Compatibility: Magic is magic in the Iron Kingdoms. There are no modifiers for using powers on another type of magic, such as is normal with the Dispel or Detect/Conceal Arcana powers. A Morrowan priest can attempt to use Dispel on a Greylord’s wizardry without suffering a penalty based on one using AB (Miracles) and the other using AB (Wizardry).

And for my upcoming Fallout game:

Bottlecaps: Bennies are replaced by Caps, of which there are three kinds (White, Red, and Blue). There’s a different document that details how these work. Any Edges, Hindrances, and so on that impact Bennies instead impacts Caps.
Extra Fatigue: Everyone has three levels of Fatigue (rather than the normal two levels).
Minions: Some NPCs are somewhere between an Extra and a Wild Card. Tough Minions take wounds like a Wild Card, but don’t get a wild die on their rolls. Competent Minions get a wild die on their rolls, but take wounds like a normal extra.
Radiation Resistance: All characters have an additional derived stat, Radiation Resistance. It starts at 2 + ½ Vigor, and is modified by such things as race, Edges, and gear. Radiation sources deal radiation damage (ranging from 1d4/hour for a relatively minor radiation source to something like a horrific 3d10/round for standing around in nuclear waste). Radiation damage equal to or higher than your Rad Resistance causes a level of Fatigue; every 4 over your Rad Resistance causes an additional level of Fatigue. Fatigue caused by radiation does not go away over time, but can be healed, usually by RadAway or the assistance of a wasteland doc.
That’s Rough, Buddy: Any Wild Card (hero or NPC) that draws a Deuce for their action card draws a Cap. This only takes place when they actually have to act on that Deuce (not if they’re on Jet or draw another card with Level Headed, for example).

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#6 Postby DoctorBoson » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:12 pm

Myrmicus wrote:Heavy Strength :
Any attack with d12+5 or above Strength (character strength or powers strength such as telekinesis or matter control) is has the heavy weapon modifier.
Purpose : Mainly used for SPC. It aims to make super strong attacks more efficient. It seems logical that a character able to lift 2500 pounds can pass through heavy armors.
Note : It is derived from the SPC2 rule that turn any 1000 pounds object into a heavy weapon. A Strength d12+5 can lift 2500 pounds, which equals the pure strength necessary to lift 1000 pounds + the weight of the object. I came up with this custom rule when seeing that a "heavy weapon attack melee" trapped as "super strong hits" would cost at least 7 Power Points (One level in Attack Melee (2) + Stackable (2) + Multiple Attack (2) + Heavy Weapon (1))

I'm particularly fond of this one, actually. I wonder if this is one that might work its way into the game, or maybe make it a generic +1 Modifier for any power that causes damage.

I personally use a setting rule for Variable Knockback, where it's no longer a flat 2d6" knockback for a big attack, it's now either the greater of your strength modifier above d12 (+2, +4, +6, etc) or your level of an attack power. Level 1 (or +2 to Strength) uses 2d2, Level 2 (or +4 to Strength) uses 2d4, etc, up to a max of 2d10; the Enhanced Damage modifier on ranged attacks can increase this up by one die type. Knockback damage is capped at 10d6 (same as falling damage). This is just a consistency thing for me, because I'm really persnickity about this kind of thing.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#7 Postby Clint » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:53 pm

DoctorBoson wrote:...or maybe make it a generic +1 Modifier for any power that causes damage.


It would be a lot easier to just use the +1 Heavy Weapon modifier on Super Attribute (Strength)... not to mention more balanced against other damaging effects. ;)
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#8 Postby Alrik_vas » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:51 pm

Bennys Bennys Bennys (Savage Rifts, but mostly since that's all I run)
Rule: When you score 3 or more exploding dice on any roll, you regain a spent Benny. You do not build up more than your maximum, and the number of Bennys that can be regained is capped by your normal amount per session. (so normally you can regain 3 Bennys this way)
Purpose: I forget to award Bennys for good roleplaying (I'm terrible), so this is a good compromise.

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#9 Postby SeeleyOne » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:28 pm

There are a ton of neat ideas here. I use some of them.

We do the extra Fatigue (to make it 3 and equal Wounds).

We also do "Two's Blues" which gives a benny for drawing a 2 (we do not do Joker's Wild). The bennies that I usually give out are all blue, so it also fits as a sort of play on words.

We give one attribute point per rank for free, and you cannot actually buy any with an advance until your third legendary advance. The first attribute point is at character creation.

We have initial Hindrances totalling 4 points, whether that be four minor, two major, or the usual one major and two minor.

We use Values mostly as they are described in War of the Dead. Basically they are similar to bennies (similar, as there are some key differences that I do not want to share for copyright reasons) but are tied into something that the character values. I recommend checking out War of the Dead. My group did not like it all that much, as it is pretty railroady at the start, but it has some great things to use anyway. Still, even with their complaints, it was successful in converting them to Savages.

All characters begin with the following skills at d4 for free: Climbing, Evasion, Fighting, Healing, Intimidation, Investigation, Notice, Persuasion, Shooting, Stealth, Streetwise, Taunt, and Throwing. They are considered to be important enough for normal game play that no character should be without them (even at the meager d4).

Some campaigns might remove Intimidation and Taunt from the list of skills that a character invests in. With this optional rule, they remain on the character sheet as skills, but their die value is always equal to the die of the skill’s attribute. The character’s Intimidation die is always equal to the character’s Spirit die, and the character’s Taunt die is always equal to the character’s Smarts die. We have found that people will use these skills more and not feel like they are wasting their points on them.

We only charge half an advance to learn a new skill. We found that with the full advance that people were reluctant to learn new skills. Furthermore it lead to a silly disparity between character creation and advancement that encourages people to have many skills at d4 just for the long-term "discount".

While still modified by Race, Hindrances, and Edges, a character’s initial Pace is a derived Trait instead of being a flat 6. Base Pace is half the character's Agility added to 3.

We like to use 25 xp per rank instead of 20. I understand that Shaintar also does this, but I started doing this before playing Shaintar. The reason is that there are a crap-ton of things that we want to get with each advance and this helps to spread it out a bit longer. As a player I tend to have to choose between (at least) three things that seem like a good choice for my character.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#10 Postby Freemage » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:30 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:

Purpose: Tie non-lethal damage to a different game mechanic, one that can incapacitate characters even faster, and one that can recover much faster than the default five days per natural healing roll.
Notes: Inspired by the Bumps & Bruises rule. Makes non-lethal damage ineffective against Extras. Makes non-lethal damage highly effective against Wild Cards.


Are Extras immune to Fatigue? I'd think it would make more sense to simply have a full level of non-lethal damage immediately incapacitate an Extra (as if it were a Wound), but then automatically survive Aftermath rolls (or, if you want a chance for accidental death, they gain a +2 to the Aftermath roll).

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#11 Postby Freemage » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:06 am

Here's one I'm considering:

Resist Temptation--At a Cost: "Roleplay" Hindrances (that is, those without a strict mechanical effect--Greedy, Arrogant and Overconfident are all good examples) can be held at bay (typically for one Encounter, though a "fresh" temptation might necessitate further expenditures) by giving the GM one of your Bennies. Note--this is not just 'pay a Benny', but rather, "Give the GM one of your Bennies to add to his pool."

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#12 Postby galu » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:51 am

I use two house rules.


1. "roleplay hindrances"
Mostly for the hindrances which don't have a mechanical effect, but should be roleplayed by the player. Stuff like greedy, womanizer, gambler, etc. When GMing, I usually offer a benny when the PC intentionally makes her life harder with the hindrance.
Example: let's say the party is holed up in a cabin in the woods, with werewolfs outside. The PC with the "Habit: smokes" hindrance can declare that his smokes are still in the car. If he goes out to get the pack, I will award a benny. (he used his hindrance to frame an interestnig scene)
Example 2: in sword&sorcery the "evil temptress" is usually lost on players (everyone knows the lady is a witch/hag/etc), but if there is a barbarian with womanizer hindrance, who goes in for a kiss, I award a benny.


2. number of spells in high magic settings
(stolen from Mini Six): wizards learn 2 powers per the level of the spellcasting skill dice. (2 powers with d4 skill, 4 powers with d6 skill, etc.) They can leave known spell slots empty (they usually have 8-10 picks as novices, and often they would prefer to wait with their free picks till seasoned or veteran rank).


3. For modern games, we added an edge similar to followers and named it network. (idea ripped from Night's Black Agents)
Novice edge, no prerequisites, all PCs get the edge for free.
The PC has five NPCs who know him, and help with smaller things. Stuff like offering a place to sleep, lend a used car, treat wounds, act as a snitch, help with money lanudering. These are specialists in a certain field, useless in combat, and are not always available.
The five NPCs don't have to be named at character creation, it's just five slots. Their speciality and name can be decided during play.
Compared to Contacts: the help offered is much smaller scale, but much more varied.
Example: let's say the party doesn't have anyone who could decide if a painting is a sham or real. They can just invent a contact: Prof. Lia Papini, professor of art history in Mantova.


edit
+1: custom encumbrance
For every step of the strength die, a PC can carry one large item without encumbrance. Brawny gives +1.
Large items: shield, armor, every weapon which deals a minimum of d8 damage OR is two handed. (special case: plate armor is 1 item per type. A metal breastplate is 1 large item, a full plate with all parts is 3 large item)
Small items (lockpicks, deck of cards) don't have encumbrance, very large items (the Ark of the covenant) count as more then 2 large items, decided by the GM.

Example:
A wizard with d4 strength can carry a two handed staff (large item, because it is two handed) OR a light armor (large item) with encumbrance.
A viking with d8 strength can carry 3 large items (d8 battleaxe, shield, light armor).
A woodsman with d6 strength can carry a longbow (two handed, so large) and a light armor. Backup weapons should deal d6 damage to avoid encumbrance.
A fully armored knight (full plate 3 large item, shield + long sword) needs either d12 strength or d10+brawny. Alternatively, with not taking a shield, but taking a two handed battleaxe, the knight can get away with d10 strength, or d8+brawny.
A street samurai with d8 strength can carry 3 large items (d10 katana, two-handed assault rifle, light armor).

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#13 Postby Sitting Duck » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:45 am

ValhallaGH wrote:
Sitting Duck wrote:That seems excessive. A -4 is nasty for a Wild Card, but it's brutal for an Extra, who doesn't have a Wild Die to help out. Maybe reduce it to a -2.

Brutality was the point. Even Vigor d12 extras are going to fail (and die) 58% of the time; a typical Vigor d6 extra is going to be dead 86% of the time. Normal people shouldn't be getting into combat, since they'll get very dead.
Player shoots someone with a handgun? You can describe how his chest explodes in a gory mess, and not worry about the oddity of that guy rolling a 7 on Aftermath, because "I got better." Not for all games, not remotely, but for certain campaigns (anything in the Warhammer universe, many anime series, a supers setting where bystanders die spectacularly, etc.) it sets the correct tone.


So cut out the dice and just say that Extras die when Incapacitated. After all, how often does an Allied Extra have a Vigor higher than d8? Pretty much never.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#14 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:26 am

Freemage wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:Purpose: Tie non-lethal damage to a different game mechanic, one that can incapacitate characters even faster, and one that can recover much faster than the default five days per natural healing roll.
Notes: Inspired by the Bumps & Bruises rule. Makes non-lethal damage ineffective against Extras. Makes non-lethal damage highly effective against Wild Cards.


Are Extras immune to Fatigue? I'd think it would make more sense to simply have a full level of non-lethal damage immediately incapacitate an Extra (as if it were a Wound), but then automatically survive Aftermath rolls (or, if you want a chance for accidental death, they gain a +2 to the Aftermath roll).

Extras have as many Fatigue levels as Wild Cards (two). Which is why this is weaker against Extras; do one Wound then an Extra drops; do one Fatigue and the Extra is still fighting.
The result is that everyone drops at the same speed to non-lethal damage. Do three levels of Fatigue and they're going down, Wild Car or Extra, because they just went from Fine to Fatigued, Exhausted, and Incapacitated.

Sitting Duck wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:
Sitting Duck wrote:That seems excessive. A -4 is nasty for a Wild Card, but it's brutal for an Extra, who doesn't have a Wild Die to help out. Maybe reduce it to a -2.

Brutality was the point. Even Vigor d12 extras are going to fail (and die) 58% of the time; a typical Vigor d6 extra is going to be dead 86% of the time. Normal people shouldn't be getting into combat, since they'll get very dead.
Player shoots someone with a handgun? You can describe how his chest explodes in a gory mess, and not worry about the oddity of that guy rolling a 7 on Aftermath, because "I got better." Not for all games, not remotely, but for certain campaigns (anything in the Warhammer universe, many anime series, a supers setting where bystanders die spectacularly, etc.) it sets the correct tone.


So cut out the dice and just say that Extras die when Incapacitated. After all, how often does an Allied Extra have a Vigor higher than d8? Pretty much never.

Sure, but they can still Ace, and random survivors are more fun than a pile of corpses. This rule would be used because a GM still wants random survival, but want it to be significantly rarer. And yeah, toning it down to only a -2 would give similar results.
But a GM that's intending to narrate all the aftermath doesn't need a Setting Rule for that.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:29 am

Freemage wrote:Here's one I'm considering:

Resist Temptation--At a Cost: "Roleplay" Hindrances (that is, those without a strict mechanical effect--Greedy, Arrogant and Overconfident are all good examples) can be held at bay (typically for one Encounter, though a "fresh" temptation might necessitate further expenditures) by giving the GM one of your Bennies. Note--this is not just 'pay a Benny', but rather, "Give the GM one of your Bennies to add to his pool."

So in addition to missing out on the RP chance to earn a benny for their RP hindrance, they're having to use their bennies to add to the common GM pool?
That's either brilliant or evil. Regardless, it is a fine rat-bastard GM move. :twisted:
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#16 Postby Freemage » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:05 am

ValhallaGH wrote:
Freemage wrote:Here's one I'm considering:

Resist Temptation--At a Cost: "Roleplay" Hindrances (that is, those without a strict mechanical effect--Greedy, Arrogant and Overconfident are all good examples) can be held at bay (typically for one Encounter, though a "fresh" temptation might necessitate further expenditures) by giving the GM one of your Bennies. Note--this is not just 'pay a Benny', but rather, "Give the GM one of your Bennies to add to his pool."

So in addition to missing out on the RP chance to earn a benny for their RP hindrance, they're having to use their bennies to add to the common GM pool?
That's either brilliant or evil. Regardless, it is a fine rat-bastard GM move. :twisted:


I'm a firm believer in giving the players enough [censored] to [censored] themselves with. :evil:

And it interferes less with player autonomy than, "No, you have to ignore the fact that your friends can't handle the swarm of Extras because the Big Bad is over there, sneering at you contemptuously."

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#17 Postby Mavis » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:09 pm

Well I am going to be the odd one out. I play the rules pretty much as written.

The only thing I do is use the concept of Legendary Fate Chips from Deadlands Reloaded in any campaign where I want to give the PC's some plot armour. These give +2 to any roll or allow the reroll of any dice roll. I do not allow them to be exchanged for an experience point. These are only earned for performing truly legendary deeds or fulfilling epic personal 'quests'.

Incidentally other than the first session I have never used the proper Deadlands Reloaded Fate Chip rules. All my poker chips were different colours and it was just too confusing, seeing as we were learning all the Savage Worlds rules at the time, for a player to remember that a red poker chip was white, a green poker chip was red and a black chip was blue. We have always used the default Savage Worlds bennies rules since and it seems to have made no difference.

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#18 Postby Ndreare » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:28 pm

A house rule I have been using across all Savage Worlds games is replacing the strength table with one that doubles strength for every two steps. This makes every step a 41% increase.
I have also replaced the size table with every step doubles mass. So a size 3 creature with humanoid build would be about twice human size and 8 times human mass.

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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#19 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:49 pm

Another old one, courtesy of Zadmar.

Better Soaking
Failure, nothing happens. Success, eliminate one wound. Raise, eliminate two wounds or all but one wound (if more than two wounds). Two raises, eliminate all wounds.
Purpose: Increase survivability against freakishly high damage rolls, without invalidating more normal damage results.
Notes: Quickly becomes broken in campaigns where characters can reliably have a +4 or more to Soak rolls. Supers is a prime example, but you'd encounter similar problems in something like Savage Rifts or some sci-fi settings.


@Mavis. I don't use most of my suggestions, because they don't fit my campaigns. This thread is intended as a resource for players and game masters to share tools they use to make their campaigns feel correct. Also for the sharing of cool ideas.
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Re: Custom Setting Rules

#20 Postby Mavis » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:18 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:@Mavis.This thread is intended as a resource for players and game masters to share tools they use to make their campaigns feel correct.


Yes. I thought I had.


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