Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Opposed downtime actions and risk

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    Eliel

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    Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Sun 15 Mar 2009 - 14:54

    So, in my first read-through of the new booklet, I was sure I read that cautious and reckless actions had an effect on the the opposed roll on opposed actions (in addition to the initial effort roll). However, when re-reading the book again I can't for the life of me find where it says that. Does anyone know where this is mentioned in the rules or am I just remembering incorrectly?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 16 Mar 2009 - 13:51

    I think you're remembering incorrectly.

    To my knowledge, the only effect that Cautious actions have is that they -1 from all die rolls on the Effort dice; and Risky actions add +1 to all die rolls on the Effort dice. For opposed actions, once you've done that roll for the intial Effort dice, risk or risk management have no effect on the opposed roll.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Mon 16 Mar 2009 - 17:04

    Ok. I will mention that cautious/risky also have an impact on how noticable a secular event is after the action is complete. That one I could find in the book.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 16 Mar 2009 - 20:27

    Yes. That is a textbook definition of a 'risky' action, I should think.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Mon 16 Mar 2009 - 23:07

    So other than the chance that a storyteller might call one twinky again (I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'), is there any downside of always declaring actions that just use SP or Mark generating resources as cautious. I mean since there are no dice rolled anyways, why not just say it's cautious and get the higher difficulty on others investigating what one has done?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 9:20

    No, there is no downside. However, there is also no upside. There is no benefit. In fact, you can't call an action Cautious that doesn't use dice; cautioun/risk *only* applies to actions which use effort dice.

    I don't understand your last comment. You could allocate two Spies, say, to a Hunt, and have the Opposed Roll be your target's Defense versus 6 (Spies give you +3 to certain actions). Or you could allocate two SP, and have that Opposed Roll be your target's Defense versus 2. Or you could allocate 6 cautious Effort to the action, and have the Opposed Roll be your target's Defense versus whatever you get on the roll (probably 3-4).

    I'm sure there's "no good reason", mathematically, to allocate anything other than resources/SP to an Opposed action, particularly if you only take Cautious Actions. I just think that would make it much less fun.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 14:00

    To use your above example, If I allocate just 2 spies to an investigate action, I get 6 marks regardless of if I am doing it normal/reckless/cautious. It seems the opposed action is unchanged as well.

    Here's where the being cautious comes into it. My investigation creates a "secular event". Let's say I'm investigating spiedoniel. Spiedoniel realized he's being spied on. He choosed to investigate who has been spying on him. He is not actually investigating me, he is investigating the secular event of him being spied on. The difficulty of investigating a secular event is 5 if the original action was done normal and 8 if it was done cautious.

    The same would hold true on other actions as well. Let's say I use just secular power to create a Hellhole. There is no effort going into this, just SP. There is no downside to doing this cautious. The upside is that if later, other Fallen are mad and someone wants to find out who created the Hellhole, the difficulty is higher for them to find out what happened (if they investigate the change right away the difficulty is 8 rather than 5, if they wait a month it is 15 rather than 8, and if they wait 2 months it is impossible rather than 15).
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 14:40

    Generating automatic marks with no risk (using SP/Resources), you're right, has *no effect* on the opposed test.

    Risk *can* play in to the difficulty for investigating a secular event (it's going to be much easier to investigate a Secular Action that is obvious (you know who's involved, you know what they're doing) because the action accumulated Risk. That being said, if the Secular Action was covered up by Machination, it would be much more difficult.

    There are many things in play, and trying to nail down one example where 'all else is considered equal' is pretty tough.
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    Jordan
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Jordan on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 19:59

    My understanding is that you cannot dictate if SP or resource marks are cautious or risky; they would therefore default to being 'normal'...if you're looking for a 'downside', I suppose that's it (a small price to pay for auto-marks if you ask me).

    Now, the twink in me wants to work the system and designate one cautious effort along with my SP or resource marks to any important action that would create a secular event. Is that loop hole worth suggesting revising the system to set the difficulty of a character created secular event to be something different - maybe either the defense of the initiating character or the number of marks generated by the initial action (cases can be made for either way)....initially, I'm leaning to no...but I haven't fully worked my head around this issue. In the grand scheme of things, it seems pretty much moot since you could always Machinate the action to cover it up.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 20:01

    Is it wrong that Mike's post made me blush?
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Tue 17 Mar 2009 - 23:38

    Part of my problem is that I've read over Machination literally (and I actually mean literally here, not that "literally" people use when they are using hyperbole) over a dozen times and still can't fully understand how it actually works.

    As for the SP or resource marks not being risky, my understanding was that it was the action itself that is cautious/reckless not the individual expenditures on said action. If I use only SP this month on an ongoing action but next month I plan on using effort, can it be done as cautious? What about an action like predom or rehab where it's ongoing but there is no way of knowing when it will be complete. Does effort have to be spent in the first month in order for it to be cautious?

    OK so I think what I'm getting at is that if Trent is going to do anything with the downtime system, adding rules is the last thing he should be doing. I kept hearing about how I was going to just love the new changes to the downtime system and all I saw changing was that an already overly complicated system got even more complicated.

    While I disagree with the tone of how he wrote it, Trent had, at the beginning of the combat section on Ranged Combat, a paragraph that basically said his system for guns may not be the most realistic but that's ok because guns shouldn't be the focus of a LARP. He then has half a column of rules for ranged combat. I think the same should be said of the downtime system. Kingdom Come is trying so hard to be comprehensive that it has over 20 pages (not counting guide section of the book) of mechanics devoted to downtime. Unless I have completely missed the boat on this, I didn't think downtime was supposed to be the focus of KC.

    This post is going in a different direction from what I originally intended but I really think KC needs to have simpler downtime? The more rules there are in a game, the more it encourages players to be twinky (ie exploit those rules). Every time you try and patch a loophole by adding an additional rule you will usually create 2 more.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 18 Mar 2009 - 9:36

    Duly noted.

    I disagree with you, but I will mention your concerns to Trent. As I've said before, I find the downtime system in KC is simple, easy, and manageable. I certainly don't think Trent has attempted to patch any loopholes by adding rules. He's added rules to provide new arenas to gameplay. The new rules added to the Secular System were not added to patch loopholes (the only new rules added, in fact, are the Predomination actions and effects). In fact the core downtime system didn't change at all.

    KC was *always* meant to have an extremely robust downtime system. It's up to each Storyguide whether they choose to use the downtime system at all. Just like in any other RPG or LARP, the rules are there as guidelines. When you run a KC game, you can choose not to do downtime at all, or you can choose to use the robust system in the book. Or you can choose to create your own downtime system. I happen to really love the downtime system in the book (all 20 pages of it!) and so it's the one I've chosen to use. I'm not saying you've missed the boat; I am suggesting that the downtime system *was* designed to be a major part of the game. I don't know about it being the 'focus'. It certainly is for some players. **And there's nothing wrong with that.** KC provides for that.

    I understand that you don't like the downtime system. I understand that you think it's too complex. I disagree with you.

    To answer your question, though: Yes, there is a Difficulty associated with Investigating a Secular Event.

    Secular Events are created whenever you take a Secular Action. It's a method of making it possible for other people to Investigate what you are doing. The Default Difficulty for Investigating a Secular Event is Moderate (5). For a Secular Event created as a result of a Risky Action, the Difficulty is Low (2) to Investigate it. For a Secular Event created as a result of a Cautious Action, the Difficulty to Investigate it is High (8). PLUS, the longer you take to Investgate something, the more difficult it is. The Difficulty raises by one Rank each month the Secular Event is not Investigated. If that Difficulty rises above Epic (15), it is impossible to Investigate, but you may take a Research Action at Epic (15) Difficulty to attempt to find out about it.

    Machination is fairly simple.
    Correction: *I* think Machination is fairly simple.
    I will only talk about the mechanics, since I suspect what's tripping you up is some of the flavour text included in the writeup.
    Machination provides re-rolls for any Opposed Rolls the original action would have generated. So if you take a Machination Action to cover up your Predomination Action, you will gain re-rolls on the Opposed Roll for an Investigation of that Predomination action. If you take a Machination Action to obfuscate your Hunt, you will gain re-rolls. If you've used Machniation and someone Investigates your action, Machination gives you re-rolls to keep it a secret.
    Machination provides a heightened Defense bonus. Depending on what level of Difficulty you achieve, you get a +1 - +4 Defense, either to a specific action or to the Machination (the cover-up) itself. This also increases the Difficulty of Investigating the Secular Event your action becomes.

    In its most condensed form, Machination provides re-rolls and gives bonus marks to Defense.


    Last edited by cenobyte on Wed 18 Mar 2009 - 13:41; edited 1 time in total
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    Jordan
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Jordan on Wed 18 Mar 2009 - 13:38

    cenobyte wrote:Machination provides re-rolls for any Opposed Rolls the original action would have generated. So if you take a Machination Action to cover up your Predomination Action, you will gain re-rolls on the Opposed Roll for Predomination. If you take a Machination Action to obfuscate your Hunt, you will gain re-rolls. If you've used Machniation and someone Investigates your action, Machination gives you re-rolls to keep it a secret.

    While I dislike the clunky mechanic of machination (I feel a character investigating someone who is using machination should get a chance to 'see through' the machination on the initial challenge, but mechanically this is difficult), I STRONGLY dislike and VEHEMENTLY suggest that machination ONLY PROVIDE RE-ROLLS FOR THE OPPOSED CHALLENGE TO COVER UP THE MACHINATED ACTION. And NOT to the underlying action itself. I can understand throwing red tape around the investigation of an action. However, I see NO justification that said red tape would somehow make the underlying action more successful (or increase its probability of success). Perhaps I misread your post or the intent, but if I didn't, could you please provide some rationalisation for how this works?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 18 Mar 2009 - 13:40

    It's my understanding that Machination provides re-rolls on investigations taken against the assigned action.

    I was unclear.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 3:38

    I certainly don't think Trent has attempted to patch any loopholes by adding rules.

    I can point to quite a few examples of what I'm referring to, but the one most specifically at hand is "a character must put at least one effort (not Secular Power) into an action in order to mitigate risk (basically, there has to be a die roll in order for risk to be generated at all". Now while this doesn't actually say an all SP action can't be cautious (it just says that the risk won't be "mitigated"), I would think that probably over half of guides running the game would interpret it that way (which I believe is the case for Providence). This is an additional rule that serves no purpose other than patching up the situation where all actions done with just SP should be done as cautious because there is no downside and it makes investigating the Secular event more difficult.

    It's my understanding that Machination provides re-rolls on investigations taken against the assigned action.

    Umm the big red booket says investigating a secular event is an unopposed action which means there is no opposed roll for their to be a re-roll on. Does machination convert it from an unopposed challenge to an opposed one?

    Machination provides a heightened Defense bonus. Depending on what level of Difficulty you achieve, you get a +1 - +4 Defense,

    Secular Events don't have a defence, they have a difficulty. Assuming the answer to the previous question is yes, is the base defense equal to what the difficulty would have been had the action remained un-machinated? Since defence on unopposed actions don't have "ranks" like difficulties do, does the defence on investigating a secular event also increase as time goes on, and if so by how much. Since secular events become untraceable once their investigating difficulty goes above 15, does the same hold true with a defense above 15?

    Default Difficulty for Investigating a Secular Event is Moderate (5). For a Secular Event created as a result of a Risky Action, the Difficulty is Low (2) to Investigate it. For a Secular Event created as a result of a Cautious Action, the Difficulty to Investigate it is High (8 ).

    In group actions do all participants need to have the same risk level? If yes, what happens to their actions if they are submitted with different risk levels? If no, which person's risk level determines the difficulty in investigating the secular event? In either case, is this in the rules somewhere?

    Similar question for ongoing actions. Does the risk level have to be the same each month? If I start an ongoing predom action as cautious but find it is going too slow, can I switch to normal or reckless the following month? If I can, what is the difficulty for investigating the secular event?

    I guess this leads back to my original point about taking cautious actions when just using secular power. Let's say I'm doing an ongoing predom action. This month all I'm using is secular power but at some month in the future I may use effort. Am I allowed to do this action as cautious? If it ends up succeeding before effort was spent, does the action stop being cautious once it succeeds and the secular event difficulty drop to 5 or will it be 8 because the action itself was originally cautious?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 9:07

    Eliel wrote:I can point to quite a few examples of what I'm referring to, but the one most specifically at hand is "a character must put at least one effort (not Secular Power) into an action in order to mitigate risk (basically, there has to be a die roll in order for risk to be generated at all".

    That's actually not a rule change. Nor is it an additional rule.

    Eliel wrote:This is an additional rule that serves no purpose other than patching up the situation where all actions done with just SP should be done as cautious because there is no downside and it makes investigating the Secular event more difficult.

    Actually, it doesn't. It's not necessary to assign a safety level to SP actions, unless you're thinking that someone's going to be Investigating you. And even then, you might as well do a Machination, which will lead them away from the truth for at least a month, and thereby raise the Difficulty of their Investigation action.

    Eliel wrote:Umm the big red booket says investigating a secular event is an unopposed action which means there is no opposed roll for their to be a re-roll on. Does machination convert it from an unopposed challenge to an opposed one?

    Dave, Investigation is *always* an opposed action. The opposed part is where the Difficulty comes in.

    Eliel wrote:Secular Events don't have a defence, they have a difficulty.

    Investigating a person = Defence
    Investigating an event = Difficulty
    And no, the base difficulty is 8 (providing the event doesn't have a huge impact on the story, it wasn't a cautious action, Machination re-rolls weren't successful, and no time has passed. Normally the base difficulty would be 5, but at least one month has passed if you're Investigating a Machination. And Machination adds to that Difficulty). Essentially, Machination is 'hide' for Actions.

    Eliel wrote:Since defence on unopposed actions don't have "ranks" like difficulties do, does the defence on investigating a secular event also increase as time goes on, and if so by how much. Since secular events become untraceable once their investigating difficulty goes above 15, does the same hold true with a defense above 15?

    Investigations are *always* opposed rolls. Always. Your Defense for the Opposed Roll on an Investigate is equal to your Secular Power. The Difficulty for the Opposed Roll on Investigating a Secular Event is dependent on : whether the original action was paired with Machination, how long ago it happened, how integral it is to the story, and how risky the action was.

    And Secular Events are never 'untraceable'. After they reach an Epic Difficulty (15), you can take a Research Action to try to find out information, at Epic Difficulty (15).

    Eliel wrote:In group actions do all participants need to have the same risk level?

    No. It's better if they don't. Heh. Better from a Storyguide perspective.

    Eliel wrote: If no, which person's risk level determines the difficulty in investigating the secular event? In either case, is this in the rules somewhere?

    Each person's risk is totalled for Group Actions (it's always better for the players to take cautious actions when doing group actions). That total is applied to the action.

    Yes, it is in the rules under "Group Risk", in the Secular System, which is near the "Group Actions" paragraph.

    Eliel wrote:Similar question for ongoing actions. Does the risk level have to be the same each month? If I start an ongoing predom action as cautious but find it is going too slow, can I switch to normal or reckless the following month? If I can, what is the difficulty for investigating the secular event?

    No, Yes, and it depends on all of the above mentioned things. As a base I would most likely calculate the Risk over the term of the Action.

    Eliel wrote:I guess this leads back to my original point about taking cautious actions when just using secular power. Let's say I'm doing an ongoing predom action. This month all I'm using is secular power but at some month in the future I may use effort. Am I allowed to do this action as cautious? If it ends up succeeding before effort was spent, does the action stop being cautious once it succeeds and the secular event difficulty drop to 5 or will it be 8 because the action itself was originally cautious?

    It will depend on all of the above factors.
    You can do the parts of the action on which you spend Effort as Cautious Actions. If someone wants to Investigate the Secular Action created by your Predomination Action, the Difficulty will be assessed in the month that Investigation is taken.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 16:57

    Jill you have said at least a half dozen things in your previous post that directly contradict the book you sold me. (or the book is just misleading/confusing which in my mind is a greater problem)

    The clearest example is:

    Jill:
    Investigation is *always* an opposed action.

    Big Red Booklet:
    The difficulty to investigate a Secular Event is normally an Unopposed Action
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 18:38

    You could allow for the chance that that is a typo, and that it's supposed to say "Opposed Action".

    This is why the "Big Red Booklet" is considered an unbound galley; it requires further edits, which I thought we'd already established.

    Investigation is an Opposed Action. Since I don't know the page number that passage is from, I can't say much more about it. I also can't find it in my copy, so it would be helpful to know where it says that so I can make sure it's corrected.


    Last edited by cenobyte on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 18:52; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : The rocking of the ship the steady roll from side to side, had not disturbed the cask on the desk nor the oil lamp on the side table. The charts, laid open upon the desk, gave a good indication of where the ship had been several days ago,,,)
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 23:42

    It is in the section on Secular Events. P.224 1st column, under the heading Secular events, 2nd paragraph.


    Last edited by Eliel on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 12:36; edited 1 time in total
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 19 Mar 2009 - 23:44

    Ah.
    I scanned that section and didn't see it, so when you do have the page numbers, I'll make note of the edit.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 12:36

    Page # added.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 14:35

    Thanks, Dave.

    As mentioned, that is a typo. Everywhere else, I believe, it is clear that Investigation is an Opposed Roll.

    Keep in mind that the "Big Red Booklet" is an unbound galley and is still being edited. It is *not* the finished product, so there are still typos and grammatical hiccoughs that will be addressed when the book goes to press.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 14:42

    So i re-read it and I'm even more confused if it's a typo. It reads that "investigating... a secular event is unopposed unless there is a machination". If it's supposed to read "is opposed unless there is a machination", that makes even less sense.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by cenobyte on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 14:44

    We'll talk about this in person.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Opposed downtime actions and risk

    Post by Eliel on Fri 20 Mar 2009 - 15:13

    ok.

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