stuart haffenden wrote:
Does protection from evil prevent the confusion effect from a Gibbering Mouther?
Presuming it was in place before the gibbering started, then yes, it should.
Protection from Evil wrote:
Second, the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person. This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires. While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. This spell does not expel a controlling life force (such as a ghost or spellcaster using magic jar), but it does prevent them from controlling the target. This second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion.
Gibbering Mouther wrote:
Gibbering (Su) As a free action, a gibbering mouther can emit a cacophony of maddening sound. All creatures other than gibbering mouthers within 60 feet must succeed on a DC 13 Will save or be confused for 1 round. [/b]This is a mind-affecting compulsion insanity effect.[/b] A creature that saves cannot be affected by the same mouther's gibbering for 24 hours. The save DC is Constitution-based.
I think the default assumption of the Paizo staff is that unless specifically stated otherwise, the iconics should be considered bisexual.
According to James Jacobs, there's one gay male Iconic, one gay female Iconic, one transsexual Iconic, and one bisexual Iconic (and that there could "well be more"). That implies that the remaining Iconics, notwithstanding those "more," are heterosexual.
Ansel C. Krulwich wrote:
Nope. Cleaning (or soiling) an object persists after the hour duration.
You're probably right, but some raving dork could look at what's there and say "nope, it says what it does lasts only for 1 hour."
Jon Goranson wrote:
I didn't see anything like the 3E Deities and Demigods for Pathfinder. That defined gods, in terms of how many avatars they could have and their relative power levels. I think it was in FR specifically that the gods got their power from the number of worshipers they have but Deities and Demigods might have done that as well.
To specify, in Second Edition this was said explicitly, not only for the Forgotten Realms, but for all deities (as a universal position, this is best demonstrated in Planescape, e.g. On Hallowed Ground).
In the 3E Deities and Demigods, the book laid down in its initial chapter the idea of gods as empowered by worship vs. the idea of gods having their power independent of worship. It then said that the "Core D&D Pantheon" (e.g. the Greyhawk gods) were independent of mortal worship for their power (which I personally didn't like).
What I'm saying is that nothing like that exists based on what I have read and responses here. So, why do these powerful beings care about the mortals on Golarion? Why do the deities give mortals that worship them part of their power?
This is a perfectly legitimate question, and it's been asked here previously. Unfortunately, the only answer James Jacobs has given us is "It's a secret; we're not ready to talk about it yet."
Ansel C. Krulwich wrote:
For an hour, and then they get wet again when the duration wears off.
More seriously though, the example may have been lacking, but the basic idea is still true. Prestidigitation and unseen servant can do a lot, but there's also a lot they can't do, such as stopping you from having unpleasant dreams and assuring that you have an uninterrupted night's sleep, or fix a toothache (for more than an hour).
Neros, you bring up some good points. As I see it, there are really two things that you're bringing up.
The first one is a general (and valid) complaint that, from an in-game standpoint, there don't seem to be many arcane spells that have non-combat applications, whereas many cleric spells do have such applications.
This is true if you look only at the spells in the Core Rulebook. While I suppose that you could color this as part of the differences between divine and arcane magic, it does - as you noted - seem odd that a wizard can conjure up energies for attacking and defending, but nothing else. How is it that someone can use a fireball but not cast a spell to dry their clothes when they get wet?
There are some third-party products that have (what I think are) excellent solutions to this, including some great free resources. I posted more about this on my blog, but unfortunately Paizo's filters make the existing URL not work; as such, if you click on the following link: From Somebody Else's Cutting Room Floor, and then click forward to the next article, "B*%!# be Cantrippin'" you'll find it there.
As to the second part of your question - what's the general difference between arcane and divine magic - well, there's also a blog post for that, in this case a series of them: It's a Kind of Magic.
Hopefully those help!
I'll confess that I was thinking of "encounter" as being another way of saying "side trek," which is, to me, a short adventure. As it has a background/opening, main sequence of events, and results of success, that seemed like a reasonable conclusion to draw.
That said, my apologies if I somehow misunderstood something fundamental in the design of this product.
I disagree with Pupsocket's analysis; characters who are restricted in their choice of armor are, in a word, restricted - why go out of your way to further exclude them?
Likewise, there's no functional distinction between a character that chooses not to wear heavier armor, and a character that can't wear heavier armor; the end result is the same in each case, so why try drawing distinctions between why they're doing it?
I recognize the desire not to create things that can easily make up for one of the arcane spellcasting classes' biggest apparent drawbacks, but that's a false assumption, since A) those characters already have alternative options, B) you're tying it to BAB anyway, and C) trying to exclude those classes can lead to unexpected consequences (e.g. a fighter that's multiclassed with some arcane spellcasting levels couldn't meet the prerequisites for Pupsocket's feats).
Personally, I suspect that the best bet here may be to crib the feat tree that does this exact thing from Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer.
Err...if psychic powers are not magic, than what are they? I would say anything that is supernatural or otherwise not grounded in science (which despite some claims, psychic abilities are not) is magic.
The answer to the question of "if psychic/psionic powers aren't magic, then what are they?" is, of course, "they're psychic/psionic."
If that sounds like a tautology, then remember that it's no different than saying "What is magic? It's...magic, of course," which is what most explanations of the nature of magic tend to be.
Pathfinder doesn't usually go so far as to talk about the sources, nature, or characteristics of various non-natural abilities - beyond a vague nod towards the (still rather vague) implications from previous editions - so that's roughly all there is to go on.
(That said, the previous editions made it clear that arcane amgic was ubiquitous extradimensional energy, divine magic was a god's power granted to a mortal, and psionic powers were one's own directed mental energies.)
I think it's slightly different. I believe that there's a general perception among GMs, and some players, that Paizo materials are "balanced" (with rare exceptions) and that third-party materials are "unbalanced" (with rare exceptions). Of course, this is ironic since most people struggle to define what "balance" is (most going for a "I know something's unbalanced when I see it" approach).
As near as I can tell, this is rooted in the idea that Paizo, as a business with fill-time employees, rigorously playtests their material and puts it through some sort of nebulous "quality control" process, whereas third-party publishers are perceived as being people writing stuff as a hobby during their free time, and release material as soon as it's written, with no oversight of any kind.
Needless to say, I think that this gives Paizo too much credit, and third-party publishers not enough.
Big Lemon wrote:
The implication I was going for was that this person is constantly inquiring about PV and NPC breasts they are probably looking for a type of game I, and my regular players, are not interested in having.
That implication wasn't understood by me.
I've had at least one female player who, when asked to describe her character, made mention of her PC's breast size. It wasn't salacious, and it wasn't a recurring topic - rather, when telling everyone what her character looked like, she made sure to mention that her character had big boobs. (Though, to be fair, there was no mention of the shape of her armor.)
Your post made it sound like that was the sort of thing that you'd take great offense at.
(Also, for what it's worth, some people prefer to run their game as an erotically-charged sexventure.)
Not to hijack the thread, but it seems that Alzrius' links could work for all kinds of races and templates. Liches, vampires, Ogres, various giants, etc etc.
Quite right, Vamptastic. For example, there's also an article on the Eclipse blog about using the same process to build a minotaur PC.
I know of two free third-party resources that tackle this.
The first is a fairly straight conversion of the succubus monster into class levels, over at Necromancers of the Northwest.
Before I mention the second, it has to be put in context. I'm currently using Eclipse: The Codex Persona in my game. This is a free supplement for point-buy class (and race) design, which is 100% Pathfinder-compatible. The author has a blog where he posts various builds and takes requests, including how to build a succubus PC.
Given that the character is designed with a point-buy system, it's easy to remove or downgrade the things that are causing you trouble, mainly those high DCs and access to certain unlimited spell-like abilities.
Big Lemon wrote:
I think if I'm playing a game and a player is taking steps to describe how his character's armor emphasizes the breasts, or asks if other characters' armor does, we are going to have more significant problems.
Would you still have those problems if a female player were the one saying that her character's armor emphasized her breasts? (I ask because you said "his character" in your post.)
Just to be clear, are the add-ons (e.g. Way of the Wicked book 7) something you have to purchase before the Kickstarter is over, or after it's finished?
Paizo typically uses third-party material only for monsters, and it's not hard to see why.
Paizo has already used other 3pp content in their products, such as many monsters from Tome of Horrors Complete and other similar 3pp products.
I think the real shame is that Paizo will almost certainly never use Dreamscarred Press's psionic materials in their products.
The reason for this is understandable, of course. Paizo typically uses third-party material only for monsters, and it's not hard to see why. Using an NPC with psionic rules would require that they include the write-ups for any psionic powers the NPC used, as well as for related feats, psionic items, racial information (if they're a new race), and how psionics work (e.g. augmentation, limits on pp expenditure per power, etc.).
They can't simply assume that everyone will go to the d20PFSRD and look that material up. Hence, while I suspect that Paizo has no ideological issue with using DSP psionic materials, they'll almost certainly never do so.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Could you post some specifics in regards to this? What powers are you using; it sounds like you're using a lot of mind-affecting effects - which is not unusual for psionics - and those tend to be "save negates" rather than having a diminished effect on a successful save?
This thread has inspired me...
What Fighters Do (with apologies to Sesame Street)
What do fighters do all day?
Bravely fighters adventure through
Mobile fighters stay on the move
That's what fighters do all day
Bravely fighters adventure through
Phalanx soldier fighters raise up their shields
That's what fighters do all day
Bravely fighters adventure through
Roughriders fight mounted
That's what fighters do all day
Darn. Epically ninja'd, I was.
As a geek, growing up as a geek who was fairly well read, literate, and had a wide vocabulary, I've always been aware of the alternate meanings of rape. Rapeseed, for example.
See, this is the sort of thing that the tourism bureau of the Land of Rape and Honey has to put up with all the time.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I don't think we're in disagreement.
I'm not sure I agree.
But carry it out a little further -- just as the rules are silent on whether or not boiling water will burn you, the rules are also silent on what factors influence the design of armor.
The rules aren't silent on what factors influence the design of armor, though. The Craft skill check is detailed (to say nothing of the nature of the armor itself, as per its game rules).
In the real world, boobplate could kill you; this is something that you might want to thing about if you are trying to run a relatively realistic world with hard (plausible) physics.
Insofar as running a game world with hard (that is, real-world) physics, certainly. But Pathfinder (which is what I've been using as the example in the discussion thus far), and D&D by extension, is not that game.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I wanted to call attention to the last sentence in the above quote, because it underlines what I think is the flaw in your counterargument.
The game rules don't address any of the things you mention - that places it outside of the issue of "the rules are the physics of the game world." The Bestiary doesn't state, either implicitly or explicitly, that what it (and future volumes) contains are the sum total of life-forms in the game world. The rules don't deal at all with questions of cooking (save for the occasional skill check), and so it's not a question of "rules versus realism."
To put it another way, the relevant issue is areas where the game rules (create results that) conflict with real-world physics, not where the game rules are silent on an issue of said physics.
That said, I will admit that perhaps I should have amended my previous statement to "the game rules are the physics of the game world for the things they detail; otherwise, default to the real world."
So the baseline that I use is that Pathfinder (or D&D) physics is roughly like real-world physics unless magic specifically intervenes, and in the case of human-crafted artefacts, magic is relatively rare and uncommon. More people have chickens in their yard than Roc chicks; a peasant's draft horse is shod with iron, not adamantium; and if you make a wall of brick, you don't need to enchant it to make it fireproof, but if you make a wall of wood, you do.
That doesn't speak to the examples I raised before about barbarian night vision or a monk using tongue of the sun and moon.
Hence why I said "I suspect" (to denote that this was my belief), and "many, if not most" (to denote that there were some for whom that wasn't true). That said, I don't think that the majority of the people are upset about this as a purely technical issue; I believe that the majority are arguing as a political issue, framed in the discussion of physical realism in armor.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Fair enough. In my experience, questions of realism are usually shorthand for historical accuracy; e.g. no, the Vikings didn't wear lorica segmenta, 'cause,... well, they just didn't, that's why. There aren't any women priests in the Catholic Church, 'cause,... well, there just aren't. There's nothing that kept Roman matrons from enjoying popcorn at the circus except that popcorn was a New World plant.
I don't disagree with you here; while most fantasy role-playing games take some (if not many) of their trappings from medieval Europe, that's still only a cosmetic relationship, and so not (in-and-of itself) a cause for the "effect" of why things are the way they are in the game world.
On the other hand, there's a fairly good reason why Roman matrons didn't enjoy death cap mushrooms that transcends mere historical accident. I think "kills you when you use it" is a pretty robust explanation for the widespread absence across time and space of both death cap fritters and boobplate.
The issue I have here is that the game world often, if not usually, has a very casual relationship with real-world physics (this is primarily, but not completely, due to magic), and so articles such as the one that the original poster linked to seem "selective," by which I mean that they've found a very minor area of the game to critique for its cognitive dissonance.
The underlying understanding (insofar as I recognize it) is that the game rules are the "physics" of how the game world works, rather than demanding strict fealty to real-world physics. Now, obviously that can cause some problems at a micro level, but if you don't look too hard (that is, don't intentionally attempt to find a disconnect between the game rules and how things would work according to real-world physics) then things work just fine for the most part.
Now, this can certainly be twisted. One can state that plate armor is plate armor - in that it provides certain mechanical benefits and penalties - and any alterations to it are purely cosmetic, with no game-related functions. This is what I've previously called the representative view of the issue.
On the other hand, you can twist it in the other direction, such as by stating that a character is taking a movement penalty because they've developed terrible blisters from walking, since they've never purchased new boots over ten levels of game-play. This is an (admittedly somewhat exaggerated) example of the "verisimilitude view" from the article linked to above.
Insofar as Pathfinder is concerned, I prefer (and I'm of the opinion that most other players feel similarly) to give more leeway to the game rules, rather than demanding strict adherence to real-world physics (e.g. representative, not verisimilitude). I say this because the game rules unto themselves are full of (non-magical) examples of things that fly in the face of how things work in the real world.
For example, barbarians who get so angry that it makes them see in the dark (the night vision rage power, which is extraordinary) or monks that can speak to any living creature, regardless of the language involved (tongue of the sun and moon, which is extraordinary). If characters can do things like this without any kind of supernatural assistance, why is unrealistic armor a point of contention?
This is without even getting into the idea that enchanting boob-plate armor erases the issues with wearing it, simply because "it's magic."
Ultimately, I suspect that many, if not most, of the people who dislike boob-plate are being somewhat disingenuous if they say that their only reason for this dislike is its unrealistic nature - I believe that their dislike is political; that is, that they have ideological issues with women depicted as sex objects in a manner that (by the real-world physics of that armor) compromises the utility of the gear that they're using.
That's nothing unreasonable or otherwise objectionable about that opinion (at least to me); I just wish that they'd state that that was the reason instead of making a polemical about the "unrealism" of the armor.
Gary Teter wrote:
Just as an FYI about the moderation here. We have a strict, 100% no-exceptions policy on our messageboards that you can use the word rape only to refer to sexual assault. I don't care about any other historical meanings of the word ("raped the countryside"), they are not acceptable here.
Nuts, and here I was going to start a thread on The Fantasticks.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I feel the need to clarify my original post.
I equated "dumb" with "badwrongfun" because both are value judgments, in that you're indicting that which someone else enjoys, something I find does little except encourage attitudes of defensiveness and vitriol.
When I mentioned things that were "unrealistic" however, I was attempting to invoke instances of discussing the problems or issues with something in an objective manner - that is, without any discussion of the qualitative merit of a given thing.
In that regard "unrealistic" was meant to be shorthand for "has significant problems/drawbacks if you attempt to create/use this in the real world, to the point where they defeat the intended merit of said thing."
There are articles that explain why something is unrealistic.
There are articles that explain why something is dumb, and you're having badwrongfun if you like it.
Which one does the article linked to in the first post fall under?
As part of our continuing series on using Eclipse: The Codex Persona to make Pathfinder-compatible versions of existing characters from various series, we take things to the realm of video game ultra-violence! Presented here is Scorpion, as he was in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon!
This was a minor issue, but I was doing a search in the spell database on d20pfsrd.com before, and an odd thing happened.
I was searching only for abjuration spells, only from the Core Rulebook, and for some reason Protection from Energy was listed last, despite the rest of the spells being in alphabetical order.
Any idea why that was happening?
By the by, for those who are interested in learning more about Living Greyhawk, definitely check out BDKR1 The Unofficial Living Greyhawk Bandit Kingdoms Summary (Volume 1) (or, if you're so inclined, its Kindle edition).
Personally, I enjoy thinking of the bard's inspire competence as being something like this "motivational" speech.
Bard: I'm using inspire competence. 'Cause they're messing around with...messing around with...b%#@&in' about that Perception check you shot, some monster don't wanna be Intimidated, somebody keeps messing up a Bluff to feint, some lock you're trying to pick, so forth, let's talk about something important. Are they all here?
GM: All but the wizard.
Bard: Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important. Put that healing potion down! Healing's for finishers only! You think I'm f+++in' with you? I am not f&@%in' with you! I'm here from the Outer Planes. I'm here from Mythic levels. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. You're the fighter?
Bard: You call yourself an adventurer, you son of a b*+#$?
Rogue: I don't gotta listen to this s%!@.
Bard: You certainly don't pal 'cause the good news is you're DEAD! No more me using healing magic on you! The bad news is you got, just one adventure to regain your life, starting with this encounter, starting with tonight's first fight. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good! 'Cause I'm adding a little something to this adventure's treasure count. As you all know, first prize is a ring of protection +5. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a dagger +1. Third prize is you're dead. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got adventure hook. We paid good money for that map! Get to the dungeon and clean it out. You can't finish the adventure you're given, you can't finish s*+$, you are s+#@, hit the bricks pal and beat it 'cause you are going out!
Fighter: The adventure hook is weak.
Bard: The hook is weak? The f*@$in' hook is weak? You're weak! I've been in this business 15 levels!
Rogue: What's your character's name again?
Bard: F@@+ you, that's my character's name! You know why mister? Cause you rode a horse to get here tonight, I flew in on an advanced celestial hippogriff! That's my name! And your name is you're wanting! You can't play in the BBEG's dungeons? You can't finish them? Then go home and tell your wife your troubles! Because only one thing counts in this life! Kill them and take their stuff! You hear me you wannabe Mary Sues?
ABC. A, Always, B, Be in, C, Combat. Always be in combat. Always be in combat. AIDA. Act. Initiative. Direct. Attack. Act. Are you doing something useful when it's your turn? Initiative. Are you trying to go before the other guy? I know you are 'cause it's finish or walk. You win the fight or you hit the bricks. Direct. Have you figured out where you can best make a contribution to the party in this fight? And Attack. AIDA. Get out there. You got the monsters coming in, you think they came in to get out of the rain? A monster don't walk in the room 'less he wants to KILL YOU! They're sitting out there waiting to die and you their treasure. Are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it? What's the problem, pal?
Rogue: You, boss, you're such a hero, you're so rich, how come you're coming down here and wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
Bard: You see this sword?
Bard: That sword costs more than your horse! I made 970,000 gp last year, how much you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing! Nice guy? I don't give a s!#&! Good father? F!@@ you, go home and play with your kids! You want to work here, finish! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you goblin-farmer? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on an adventure? If you don't like it, leave! I can go out there tonight, the materials you got, make myself 15,000 gp. Tonight. In two encounters. Can you? Can you?
Go and do likewise. AIDA. Get mad you son-of-a-b&+@#! Get mad! You know what it takes to finish adventures? It takes brass balls to finish adventures. Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there, you pick it up, it's yours, you don't, I got no sympathy for you. You want to go out on those adventures tonight and finish, finish, it's yours, if not, you're going to be shining my shoes. And you know what you'll be saying. Bunch of losers sitting around in a tavern: "Oh yeah, I used to be an adventurer. It's a tough racket."
These are the new adventure hooks. These are the Adventure Path hooks. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away! They're for finishers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer your question, pal: Why am I here? I came here because the GM asked me to, they asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and retire your f+@~ing character because a loser is a loser.
*everyone gains +2 to skill checks*
In fairness, there are some obvious fixes that could occur that would go a long way to improving the game.
Counterpoint, there's nothing even close to a consensus regarding what these "obvious fixes" are, nor is there any way to measure how much they'd improve the game.
Trying to fix everything will never happen.
Yes, but again this is because there's no real way to even measure if something is in need of fixing, let alone any real agreement on how to fix it.
Personally, I think there should be more discussion about the difference between problems inherent with the system (e.g. the game mechanics) versus problems arising from how people use the system.
Hugo Rune wrote:
I don't recall it either, but there are a lot of Greyhawk products (particularly early ones) that I don't have, and I don't read fan-written material.
Even so, that's a very interesting rule about the levels of the general population.
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
They're not unaccounted for; they're the people who're 21st-level.
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
There can't be the same number of male and female Iconics; there are twenty-one Iconics altogether.
Eleven for the Core classes.
Long story short, you should stat up characters however you want because it's a game and we're all just trying to have fun. If someone wants to stat up Conan as a 15th level ninja and 5th level bard, that's their prerogative.
No argument there; that part should be understood to the point that it goes without saying.
The first paragraph here seems to be reiterating the same thing that I was saying previously: that when trying to make game stats for characters from literature (or other media), you want to try and create stats with the most fidelity possible to the source material.
It's the second paragraph where you lose me, mostly because of the implicit assumptions that it presents. It presumes that you know how the author "intended" the character be portrayed in the context of the game world - e.g. that Howard wanted Conan to be the toughest warrior in his world - and that you should work to properly execute this authorial intent when making stats for the character in any other setting.
I'm not saying this is a bad idea per se, but if the goal is to recognizably recreate a given character in a game system, it loses something using this methodology. If making Conan in the Star Wars setting, for instance, you'd need to give him fighting skills (and, by extension, weaponry) to defeat Yoda, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and pretty much everyone else - while that's a pretty badass image, it's hard to recognize Conan as Conan if he's single-handedly overthrowing the New Jedi Order.
Far better, I think, to stat them up in any system so as to best represent what they can do in the original source material, if only to stop them from being a completely different character that merely happens to have the same name.
As for Gandalf, no, I'm not going to provide exact citation because I don't care enough about this debate to thumb through the whole of the Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion, the Histories of Middle Earth, and Unfinished Tales to find the page numbers for the dozen or so places it's explicitly pointed out that the Wizards are not allowed to use their full power on Middle Earth. They were sent by the Valar to lead through cunning, wisdom, and inspiration, not to match power with power. That doesn't mean they didn't have considerable power at their disposal; if they didn't, then the order to hold back would have been unnecessary.
That's your prerogative, but if you want to say that the material backs up your point, it's usually bad form to then say that you can't cite where exactly it does that (especially if you then say there's a dozen places that it's made explicit, but can't even loosely reference one).
As for guessing the author's intent, yes, that can be problematic. Unless it's been explicitly spelt out by the author in one form or another. And fortunately, Howard and Tolkien were rather talkative authors. They wrote several letters, commentaries, and answered several interviews regarding their work and their characters.
This goes back to "citing your sources" above; it also goes back to the question of their "intent" needing to be framed by their intent as it pertains to the setting, rather than being of universal intent. If Howard had imagined a high-fantasy setting like Golarion, could it not be said that he wouldn't have had Conan being the mightiest warrior in that world the way he did in Hyborea?
I continue to disagree with the implicit assumptions here. While obviously there needs to be some sort of common understanding at the most basic levels for any kind of communication to occur, saying "there's a point where the intent is obvious" is a dangerous claim to make, since such a thing is usually impossible to quantitatively identify (much less get everyone to agree on).
That's without even getting into the idea of what defines a "landmark, defining character" in fantasy fiction.
Likewise, none of that touches the aforementioned idea that the author's intent is framed by the particular setting they set up, and so is (in my mind) deliverately grounded by the author themselves as being particular to that specific setting. Howard never (to my knowledge) indicated that Conan was the strongest fighter anywhere, any-when, in any possible reality or existence, be it real or imagined. He was the best fighter in a very particular time and place, and even then much of that was based on luck and circumstance rather than any particular skill (since there are times when Conan faces some sort of martial setback, needing or electing to flee rather than fight).
That particular stance also makes it relatively impossible to develop any sort of comparative basis between characters (which is one of the high points of using game mechanics to define them), which in turn makes most, if not all, forms of comparison moot. If Siegel and Shuster intended Superman to be the greatest warrior in the world for the DC Universe, and Howard intended Conan to be the greatest warrior for Hyborea, are we then to say that Superman and Conan are of equal combat ability, and a fight between them (in all its glorious fanboy-ism) would thus be a draw?
That's what that sort of thinking seems to lead to, and it doesn't seem correct.
Personally, I prefer this explanation (this is written as a guest piece on a blog; the blog's original owner's interjections are in italics):
My understanding is that there is one gay male Iconic, one gay female Iconic, one transgender Iconic, and one bisexual Iconic. Given that, the default assumption appears to be that the rest are heterosexual.
My personal opinion on the matter is based less on what a character can and can't do within the context of a narrative story(which often doesn't mesh well with the combat system of a d20 game), and more on what the author's intent for that character was.
That's a very slippery slope to try and ford. Even presuming the author clearly makes their intent known about the exact nature/degree/"level" of their character's abilities and powers, bringing it into the realm of game stats requires a level of objectivity against what those game stats represent unto themselves.
Howard's intent for Conan was, essentially, for him to be the greatest martial warrior within his setting. Now, if you were to just stat up the setting of Howard's Conan, he may well only be a level ten character. Or if you were to bring Conan from Hyboria to Golarion, he may well only be a level ten character. But if you were to simply have Conan in Golarion or a similar high magic/power setting, then he would be towards the upper tier of power; high teens if not a twenty.
My thinking is that a character's stats should reflect their level of power as best represented in the original material, which means that it reflects the setting their from.
If Conan is the greatest martial character in Hyborea, and that's best represented by his being level ten, if he then somehow wound up on Golarion he's still be level ten - when you move a big fish to a bigger pond, it doesn't grow proportionally to match the new pond; it just has to deal with the proportionally larger fish that live there.
Can you cite a source for this, please?
It also fails to take into account the Silmarillion, which features characters(not Gandalf specifically, granted) performing feats that arguably fall into epic level territory. The Lord of the Rings takes place during a time when magic and great power were leaving the world, but it was not always so.
While diminishment is a strong theme in Tolkien's works about Middle Earth, looking at a single "snapshot" of a character means taking their abilities as they were at that time - Melkor-Morgoth would clearly have very different stats from his original incarnation to just before his final defeat, since he'd lost so much.
That said, while there might be a few instances of epic-level material (e.g. Melkor breaking the world more than once), most of what's in the Silmarillion seems to be, at most, in the mid-teens or so, I'd say.
And again, going back to the intentions here, Tolkien's intentions with Gandalf were for him to be, for all intents and purposes, among the most powerful beings on middle earth. He's limited in the use of that power, yes, but he still has it at his disposal in the most dire circumstances. Were I to simply have Gandalf in Golarion/random high power setting(again, as opposed to statting up Middle Earth specifically or bringing Gandalf to another setting from Middle Earth), I'd make him a level twenty...
Again, it's dangerous to assume that we know what the author's intentions were; it's best to rely on what they actually wrote, rather than trying to interpret things.
Saying that Gandalf has a hidden reserve of power that he never tapped is extremely iffy, since he apparently wasn't willing to use it at any point (including when the Balrog killed him), which makes it useless in a practical context.
Long story short, stat up characters based on what they do, not what you think the author wanted for them.
Utterly disagree. Nice to read though that someone can see several hundred miles over two mountain ranges. Shall simply cease to argue against stupidity.
So in other words, you don't have any answer for any of the following:
1) That Gandalf flat-out says that causing a fire will reveal him to any "to see" it.
2) That he indicates that it might reveal others who are there also.
3) That he doesn't seem to be indicating the Mouths of Anduin so much as other non-specific mouths (the difference with the capital versus lowercase "m").
4) That his statement about how far the flame can be seen might be hyperbolic anyway.
5) That there are no other indicators that spellcasting "creates a magical signature" and numerous other indicators that it does not.
...but your response is "oh, he's saying that it can be seen at the literal Ethir Anduin."
Neither of you have any right to suggest that someone other than yourselves is being stupid. You are, however, right to cease posting here if that's the best level of debate you can muster.