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contradictions in fiction

Having spent my Barnes & Noble gift card with some great online discounts, I received my copy of the 4th Edition Manual of the Planes and Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead today.  Already I've found a contradiction between pages seven and nine from Open Grave:

If "revived" in the proper fashion, the animus can rouse the body in the absence of a soul.  (This phenomenon is what makes it possible for creatures that were never alive, such as constructs, to become undead.)  (Chapter 1: Undead Lore, Origins, Soulless Undead, Page 7)

All undead were once living beings, in that they had a soul.  Soulless constructs do not and cannot become undead.  (Chapter 1: Undead Lore, Physiology, Page 9)

Er, hello?  Is it possible for things that were never alive to become undead or not?  They're two pages from each other, people!  Shame on you, Julia Martin (Lead Editor), for not spotting an obvious error.  OK, so not everyone edits for content so much as the technical things, and I haven't run into any glaring grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors yet.  So kudos on that, as the other books are so chock full of basic errors it seems like no one bothered editing them at all.  (I'm picky, of course, but years of anxiety-ridden editing will do that.)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
heron61
Jan. 23rd, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
I worked on that book, but thankfully, I didn't write either of these sections.
aekiy
Jan. 23rd, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
You mentioned that, and that's actually why I bought this one. (I don't normally buy D&D books unless they have a substantial amount of rules information, such as races, classes, items, paragon paths, et cetera.) I was actually curious, which parts did you write?
heron61
Jan. 23rd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Chapter 1: Introductory Spread, Outlook and Psychology, & Shadowfell and Raven Queen

Chapter 2: Campaign Arcs & Artifacts

Chapter 3: Introductory Spread, Overview of Undead Lairs, & Small village graveyard Lair (the 2nd level village with the ancient crypts nearby)

Chapter 4: Golems (assigned to me), Pale Reavers (wholly my own invention), & Kas (assigned to me)
aekiy
Jan. 23rd, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I had a feeling those parts of Chapter 1 were yours! Thanks. I look forward to reading the other portions.
heron61
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm now intensely curious, what makes them look like my work?
aekiy
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure, exactly. It just read like you wrote it, though I hadn't read "Outlook and Psychology" yet; I skipped ahead to "The Shadowfell," since I'm playing a shadar-kai in a game we just started. (She's the D&D equivalent of a follower of Kali; the essential concept was to make the Gothiest character ever, though her personality isn't so Goth as her setup as a dark-pact warlock with all the "dark," "phantom," and "shadow" type rituals.)

I guess there's just something about some of the phrasing you use and the way you present ideas; I'd been guessing at which parts were yours and which weren't, and it looks like I was right with what I'd read so far.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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