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Arbane the Terrible's page

445 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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countchocula wrote:
err back to the topic vargouilles I hate them with a passion flying a medium to hit that has an annoying poison a evil scream and hopefully it never kisses you

Ooohhh yeah. My group (of three adventurers) came one failed save away from a TPK from _one_ of these things. (edit: AND a swarm of some sort of OTHER evil flying heads) That was scary.

Tharasiph wrote:


1-Free Arazni from servitude as an evil being in Geb and free the humans in Geb from a horrible fate.

2-Stop the Devil influence in Cheliax

"The natives will greet us as liberators!"

2 people marked this as a favorite.
boring7 wrote:
Running from combat means not getting XP and munnies. If anything, the GM should be cackling gleefully at your foolishness.

You're _supposed_ to get XP for 'overcoming' enemies. Decapitating them to gain their Quickening is supposed to be optional.

Eltacolibre wrote:
heh not like it matters, in actual play the dwarf in our group does an average of 200-300 damage every round with PA. I Seriously just buff the dwarf fighter and sit back and relax. It doesn't matter whatever kind of enemy or boss we are fighting, when he just smashes them dead, occasionally cast crowd control for the lol.


...What level is he and how on earth does he do that kind of damage?

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Barathos wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Because this is a fantasy game, not a superhero game?
People who want superhero characters should just play Mutants and Masterminds.

Yes, I certainly wouldn't want a warrior with a magic hammer, a guy who gets superstrong when mad, a genius archer, an acrobatic superspy, or a guy in magic armor in MY Pathfinder game.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I, too have played a witch and didn't seem to have any trouble pulling my weight. (And we were mainly fighting undead, too. Thank you, Summon Monster spells.)

I don't mind witches having a 'fairy tale' feel, I just with they had some more Glinda the Good options to go along with all the Baba Yaga stuff.

It strikes me as a bit funny that the people who study the workings of magic for power (Wizards) are bad at using magic items compared to the improvisers (Sorcerers) and the fakers (Rogues).

I'd be interested. I like in Boulder, so it's not too far.

I'm in Boulder, and thinking about starting up a game. What stuff do you like?

Rynjin wrote:

Shaving 5-15 points off each hit isn't useless.

DR can really f#@% up characters who aren't primary combatants, or use multiple small hits (such as TWFers, or archers without Clustered Shots).

QFT. Last session, my group's monk would've been hosed if he'd been alone. (Fighting a minotaur with Stoneskin.) He could do a little damage per hit, but not enough to beat it. Thankfully, the rest of the group got a few good hits in and it surrendered.

And in a previous game, our Summoner's eidolon was worthless against a Succubus. All those attacks, and none did 11+ damage....

Speaking of the Blackened curse, the game I'm currently in had an oracle with that - his backstory was that his hometown had been destroyed by a rain of fire from the sky and a demonic assault. As he tried to flee, a metallic demon sprang from the ground and clutched his hands, burning them horribly. He somehow got away, and found that he now had firey powers... Sadly, the played had to drop out before we could see where that was going. (Metal mystery - despite having middling strength his character always wore heavy armor and gauntlets.)

My character in that campaign is also an oracle - Battle/Legalistic. She's a fight-happy Viking type who wants to be a valkyrie when she grows up, and (appropriately) gained her powers in the first big battle she was in.

I had an idea for an Oracle I'd like to try someday - a 'Witch'. No, they don't use the witch spell list, but how ELSE would you describe someone who got magic powers after performing a blood sacrifice (calm down, it was only a rabbit), in front of an ancient monolith to unknown gods on a moonless night? (Probably Dark Tapestry/Tongues, or similar.)

You could just ask the players "Make sure you give me a reason why your character would work for the Order of Luna against the True Flame." Why do all the work yourself?

Kthulhu wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Sacred Geometry was a single Feat. The rules for, and oversight over, class design are a whole lot different.
From what I can tell, the rules for class design basically say "If it ain't a spellcaster, F@#* IT!"

More specifically, it's something like "If you want to do something cool, it requires

1: a feat
2: a spell
3: a class feature
4: a magic item
5: you eating an Attack of Opportunity."

pickin_grinnin wrote:
In real world magic systems (not saying I believe they work) from various cultures, you typically don't see things like battle mages.

That's because (as far as I know) no real-world magic system is a working substitute for heavy artillery.

pickin_grinnin wrote:

Getting back to Pathfinder, magic using classes are not inherently more powerful or effective than those that don't use magic, because I design and run my games (and entire campaigns) to make sure that a couple of classes don't dominate everything.

For example, there are just as many opportunities to shine (or fail) as a rogue or fighter as there are for magic wielders. I take things like hand gestures, vocal components, line of sight, etc. into consideration. When intelligent enemies figure out who knows magic, they target them in appropriate ways. Many of the challenges I present simply can't be solved with any of the existing spells. Etc. etc. In my games, actual roleplaying and creative, intelligent decisions will typically get a character much further than simply relying on class-based abilities.

How do you manage to keep the spellcasters from short-circuiting entire plots out of combat?

"Bob's been poisoned! We need to find the antidote before-" "Neutralize poison".

"We need to reach the top of Mount Murder to-" "Fly."

"We have to figure out who killed Dr. Lucky-" "Speak with Dead."
"The murderer was masked, so-" "Divination."

"The princess is cursed, and we need to-" "Remove Curse."

And so on, ad nauseam.

I know a lot of these magic short-cuts can be thwarted... but only by OTHER MAGIC.

Anzyr wrote:
I'm talking about fantasy settings as a whole. When's the last time Aang traded his unborn child's life to bend? Where is there any indication of the sanity damage that Merlin took?

Airbending isn't magic. Merlin is the son of a demon. (And Aang is Kung-Fu Jesus - the normal rules don't apply to either of them.)

Magicians are rarely protagonists in classic mythology - they're advisors to the REAL heroes, or the villains.

Anyway... fantasy settings a whole. The Black Company has some severely screwed-up sorcerers in it (Howler comes to mind), and a few who really managed to dance through the minefield successfully (The Lady).

Faust is the classic 'sell your soul' wizard. Along with all those people, guilty or not, who got used as kindling in the late Middle Ages.

Jack Vance's wizards (You know, the ones D&D's spellcasting was inspired by) generally couldn't keep more than three or four spells memorized at once, so they had to be good at swordfighting and running away as well.

Discworld wizards spend a lot of time NOT doing magic, since doing too much of it has a non-trivial risk of causing runs in the fabric of reality.

Plenty of fantasy wizards die when a spell they cast or a creature they summoned gets out of control - that's not impossible in PF, but it's REALLY tough to do.

In fantasy RPGs:
Using Call of Cthulhu magic will drive you insane.

Unknown Armies magic requires insanity in the form of an all-consuming obsession.

Sorcerer's only magic is to summon demons, doing so makes you less human, and you have cajole them into doing what you want.

Exalted's Sorcery is potentially world-changingly powerful, but it's long, time-consuming, exhausting, and occasionally risky rituals (and the Essence-powered tricks the other Exalted can do are just as powerful, and a lot faster).

Shadowrun magic is physically tiring to use, as is GURPS's default system.

Ars Magica has immensely powerful magic... and being able to do it makes most normal people want to run away or kill you. (And every player in that game is expected to make a mage character AND a few mundane sidekicks to play.)

There are plenty of ways to do magic in fantasy and fantasy RPGs besides the Caster Omnipotence that Pathfinder inherited.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:

Ghost of Christmas Past: Ghost Cleric of Pharasma 13.

Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? Pretty sure you can't be both of those things at once...

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.

It doesn't, really. "Heavy cost" is things like your soul, your sanity, or your firstborn child. Spending a round and some powered ruby on a spell isn't heavy by any stretch of the imagination.

Scythia wrote:

Ok, here's an attempt at a half-Valkyrie.

** spoiler omitted **

Very cool, and pretty close to what I was thinking - thanks!

lemeres wrote:

But can we name some neutral outsiders for a bit? Axiomites (living math equations), inevitables (axiomite's robot army), psychopomps (skeleton-y things), proteans (snakes with a shapeshifting and uncontrollable bent), and aeons (weird creatures symbolizing dualistic abstract concepts).

This is a lot harder than 'he has devil horns', 'he has feathery wings', or 'he has fire for hair'.

Very true. It just sees to me that D&D/PF tend to give short shrift to Law vs Chaos these days (which is funny, since back in Basic D&D, Law/Neutral/Chaos were the only alignments given - 'good' and 'evil' were only mentioned separately of those in AD&D.)

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If you're going to make magic a sub-optimal solution, it helps if the spellcasters have something useful they can do BESIDES spellcasting. (Unlike a D&D wizard who without spells is a glorified Commoner.)


Just don't let your laugh lack elegance.

I had the random idea for a half-Valkryie, but I don't know what sort of stats/abilities they should have.

Shifty wrote:

OK I'll chime in with why witch and why CHA.

The inital model I had was one of a deep down Louisiana voodoo type - which is VERY much a 'Witch', and every bit a valid an incarnation as a bunch of crones with pointed hats. That theme is out of keeping with a Sorc or Bard; the Witch is a pretty classic fit based on the sorts of Hexes Curses and other flavour they bring to bear.

Why CHA?

Well it's more about their ability to read people, convince people, and trick people, as opposed to being a 'party leader'.

Sure they could use Magic to do that, but it lacks a little...sophistication - for my liking anyway.

And also why a high CHA, well, if you've seen those Creole women...

If you're OK not using the Witch spell list & hexes, how about a Juju or Bones Oracle?

They can call themselves a witch just as well as anyone else. They made a deal with.... something... for power, and their Oracle's Curse is the price they paid.

ElterAgo wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
There's more square footage of gaming table than I have square footage of bed to sleep on. Could your dice maybe land on the table? I feel like I should install rails like in bumper bowling.

I know a guy that absolutely has to shake his dice for a good 10-15 seconds. Then he always throws them up so at least 1/3 of the time the bounce off the table.

The more important the action the longer he shakes them and the higher he throws them.

Been there, done that, lost the dice under the sofa.

My recommended fix if it's a problem is to bring a game that comes in a shallow box - all dice must be thrown in the box.

Usual Suspect wrote:

Okay; now I know where you're coming from. Yeah, there are a lot of cool looking abilities/concepts that are really just ways to nerf a character or waste a feat. But they shouldn't cripple a character the way they often do.

I play a dervish dancer paladin in PFS and getting to third level was painful. The character was almost worthless as a second level character with weapon finesse as my only feat so I had to play her as using a rapier until I was high enough level to take the Dervish Dance feat; but then I lost bonus damage on crits because one of my traits still required a scimitar for bonus fire damage. I'm sure that if I'd stuck with using the scimitar at low levels just for flavor I would have really ticked of the table half the time if I couldn't hit the broad side of Magnimar.

I think this is an inherent problem with level-based games. If you want your character to do something cool and unusual, be prepared to spend the first X levels of your career as an unformed larva that MIGHT manage to pupate into your original idea if you survive long enough.

wraithstrike wrote:
Arbane are you not able to do 11 points of damage at level 1?

Level one, sure. It's the levels AFTER that where I don't see where all the extra damage is supposed to be coming from.

My group's currently level 6 going on 7, and the GM insists on giving all the enemies bonus HP because he thinks we're 'too strong'. :-P

Consider the Divine Protection feat at level 5. A nice fat bonus to all saves.

Undone wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:

Objection. The builds given here are not 'average'.

Either that, or every single person I've ever played Pathfinder with is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at optimization. (Which is admittedly not out of the question.)

The latter is more likely.

Okay, edjumacate me, sensei.

Take a character who's NOT a maxxed-out Barbarian with a support buffer, and show me how to get these kind of numbers.

For example, I've got a Battle Oracle who can manage to eke out about 22 DPR (when she hits), going up to about 32 when buffed. This is at LEVEL 6. Obviously, I am a hideous gimp.

(18 strength, power attack, greatsword. Buffs are Enlarge Person, Bull's Strength, Divine Favor, and Prayer.)

What am I doing wrong, aside from not playing a barbarian whith a buffbot?

(And the other members of the party are a witch, a rogue, a ranger, and a monk who tends to be our best hitter. YES, WE ARE SCREWED.)

And nope, nobody in the group can cast Haste. I am counting the XP 'til Blessing of Fervor. :-P

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bear in mind that BigDTBone's chart is high average damage. Like for a full BAB Class focused on it. For a whole round, not just one attack.

Okay, that makes slightly more sense, but still... Okay, at level 1, a barbarian can manage about 15 damage on average. That makes sense. Where's the next +5 coming from at level 2?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the words of Al Bruno III: "I'll use my bard music. Do I get extra XP for not actually singing?" "Good lord, yes."

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Objection. The builds given here are not 'average'.

Either that, or every single person I've ever played Pathfinder with is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at optimization. (Which is admittedly not out of the question.)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I like to fool around with the names of (traditionally nameless) mooks, instead of, say, 'mook #1'.

Bob & Weave.

Ace, Deuce & Trey.

Cough & Drop.

Meaty, Beefy, Big & Bouncy.

If anyone's got any more ideas...? : )

Lily, Rose, Iris, and their brother, Herb.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:

I can't really think of any situation where I would list "Your players are enjoying themselves; this must be stopped" among a list of recommended techniques for running a game.

A horror game?

You might want to up the rating on Toppling Spell metamagic a bit - Spiritual Weapon and Spiritual Ally are both [force] spells, and if the GM will allow you to use Charisma instead of Wisdom (Seriously, why has this not been updated yet?) to hit with them, they could be quite nice with Toppling Spell.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For simplicity of math, maybe '3d20, drop highest and lowest'? That should make 1s and 20s much rarer.

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
here are the list of problem abilities i have seen, whether they are spells or passive abilities or whatever, spells offer access more reliably to more people

Witness the TVTropes (WARNING: Do not follow link without lots of spare time) list of Story Breaker Powers. There's a spell for almost EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. (In D&D3.5, take out the 'almost'.)

In an actual story, if a wizard is a major character, there's usually SOME reason they can't just use their magic to solve every problem.

atheral wrote:

I watched the first episode of Cross Ange, I was expecting somthing more akin to Chika or scrapped princess....needless to say I wasn't prepared for that episode, especially the ending...still going to watch it though.

I watched a bunch of first episodes with a group. We managed to get about five minutes into that one, and unanimously decided "nah". So we watched something else.

I went back later and watched the rest, and in retrospect, I SHOULD'VE STUCK WITH "NAH".

Trigger Loaded wrote:

It's something to consider: Do adventurers exist as a concept in one's campaign world? And if so, how are they treated?

On RPGnet, Jurgen Hubert came up with a setting specifically to justify the small bands of wandering adventurers: Doomed Slayers. I think it's pretty good.

Trigger Loaded wrote:
Strangely, I don't recall a lot of setting where adventurers are treated like heroes and celebrities. I've seen quite a few where adventurers are treated like they're two steps removed from dirty criminals and tomb robbers. (Or treated like they are dirty criminals and tomb robbers.)

I guess your players like having their characters shat on from a great height at every opportunity?

Logically speaking, in a 'really' quasi-medieval world, anyone allowed to carry weapons and wear armor on a regular basis would either be nobility, or work for nobles. [sarcasm]And we all know how player-characters LOVE getting ordered around by their social superiors.[/sarcasm]

bookrat wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Sounds like "Why the hell is this a feat? Does that mean I can't get a circumstance bonus to an Intimidate check by breaking the wall with my fist? WTF?"
This is another feat I'm going to turn into a "don't need a feat to do it, auto applies to anyone who wants to use it."


Blasphemy. Don't you know the rules? ANYTHING cool a character wants to do must be either a feat, a skill-check, or a spell. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Kthulhu wrote:
It might be amusing if the Paizo staff started applying the same logic to magic spells that they do to non-magical elements of the game. Save some page count too, when Jason Burlman took out all the spells that he's not able to cast in real life.

:D Hopefully, he'll follow the same methodology as this guy.


As someone pointed out another time the Caster Supremacy Issue came up, another way fighters got screwed in the changeover from AD&D to 3rd ed was saving throws - at least in 1st ed, Fighters either had the best or second-best saves against _everything_. Since 1st ed just had straight save rolls for most things, this meant that high-level fighters might not cast spells, but they were very hard to affect with magic if they didn't want it. Not so in 3rd/PF....

Lucy_Valentine wrote:
But yes, having built a gonzo magic system, it really behooves the designers to build the society that exists in conjunction with it from the ground up. Which is going to be hard, considering. So, we totally agree. :-)

It should probably resemble Eberron more than Merrie Olde England, I think we can all agree...

Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Not sure anyone really even uses this anymore but I'm excited to be back on the project. Looking forward to responses from the community.

It's the only Oracle guide I'm aware of, so I'm happy to see you're updating it. Thanks!

Atarlost wrote:

Any real solution should be to reduce caster narrative power. Players with narrative power are incompatible with the AP model.

If you want real narrative power you don't want to be playing a RPG. You want a grand strategy game. If you want narrative power and power progression you want a 4X game.

I have to fervently disagree with this. The strength of RPGs over other pastimes is the degree to which the players get to change the shape of the story. If the PCs can't affect the narrative except by grinding along on the treadmill, I might as well go play Final Fantasy XXI or watch a movie instead.

APs are understandably somewhat on rails, but they're not the be-all and end-all of RPGs.

Atarlost wrote:

The last thing that should be considered acceptable is the GM trying to run strategy games for the rogue and fighter while the cleric and wizard complain that they aren't getting to play the game.

Best solution I've heard for this: Let the sidelined PCs' players take the parts of important NPCs.

Time to hit the comics shop, then!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM. wrote:
The problem with magic in PF is that spells are designed to be superior to the whatever other options. It is the way it was designed and the way is still done with every new book.

YES. I can think of no places in PF (except possibly straight weapon damage) where Muggles Do it Better. The devs seems to have thought that limited spell slots per day would be enough to reign in the spellcasters, and I see no evidence that that is the case.

Cerberus Seven wrote:
Eh, more like magic was designed to be balanced in the game but by different standards. It has its own unique set of restrictions and laws meant to curtail ridiculous power inflation.

What are those? Aside from 'Wizards can't heal', I'm having a hard time thinking of ANY limits to sufficiently high-level magic.

Think about how much damage a character takes on the way to 10th level.

If you WANT them all to look like Freddy Krueger, then scarring rules are a great idea.

sunshadow21 wrote:
There's a reason that Elminster rarely uses his magic directly; the raw power of higher level magic is just as likely to be turned against the caster as it is to solve the problem the way the caster expects, with a myriad of possible results in between those two extremes as well.

Actually, the REAL reason he rarely uses his magic directly is because if he did, the story would be over on page 3.

In another system you might be right, but D&D3.x/PF magic (aside from Wishes,) is usually VERY safe and controlled.

DrDeth wrote:

Nothing a fighter can do to render a entire adventure irrelevant? Ha. " while he's talking I fire an arrow at him. Hmm, natural 20, confirmed." BBEG is dead, one shot, one kill.

Adventure over.

That's what you get for making a BBEG with a Constitution penalty.

Kolokotroni wrote:
And you are completely mistaken. I just told you how to make martial characters and magic character have equal potential within the framework of dnd. Give the rogue a theives guild. Automatically. At x level, he gets the 'henchmen' ability. (SNIP)

Which isn't bad, but not every rogue player wants to be Don Corleone. Some would rather be Carmen Sandiego, and steal mountains, or the thoughts out of their opponents heads.

So there's also the 'crank a mundane ability to fairy-tale levels' approach, but that offends the people who want REALISM in their game about elves and fireball-flinging wizards.

Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, he may start the process, and deliberately drag it out or twist it to test the caster and the party.
That's an interesting interpretation of "lawful good" you have there.

Lawful Good people can use legalistic screwage if they think their target deserves it.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Right up until the DM throws you into a situation where highly specialized spells are required, and you don't have them.

If highly specialized spells are needed, odds are good that the non-casters are just as screwed as the sorcerers.

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
I'm kind of boggled at the thought that a character who makes a save on a 6 or higher is thought of by his player as being bad at making saving throws.

Eh, that's still a 25% chance of failing.

If an architect has 25% of their buildings fall down....

There's been more than one issue out? (I haven't been keeping up.) The first one was fun.

Bave wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:

People have survived falls from miles in the air in real life.

Just throwing that out there.

As for the whole Caster Supremacy Argument, there are ways a fantasy RPG can rein in the spellcasters - the problem is that D&D 3.X used NONE of them except finite spell slots. D&D-style magic is, for the most part, fast, convenient, cheap, and safe. Heck, at least in AD&D, some spells could backfire badly. (Haste aged you, Polymorph could kill you, Teleport had a small risk of teleporting into solid rock...) So we're stuck with wizards with no limitations, and non-casters with no useful abilities because REEEEEAAAALISM.

So, if we actually want the snivelling peasants martial classes to stay relevant after level whatever, we have two unpalatable options:

1: Beat spellcasters with the nerfbat until they scream for mercy, then beat them some more.
2: Give up in the futile and wrongheaded pursuit of 'realism', and give martial classes the sort of abilities seen in Exalted, some of the whackier myths, or at least a high-budget kung-fu movie.

Ah yes, because those Paladins and Archers really seem to be struggling. I have seen more dragons and demons get one rounded by archers than I have by casters.... true story.

DPR is not the only measure of character ability. A halfway-smart caster can completely short-circuit a LOT of plots in a way that no mundane character ever could.

Murder plot? "Speak with dead" (And possibly Raise Dead, if anyone cares enough.)
Someone's poisoned, and we need the anti-"Neutralize Poison" oh, never mind.
You must cross the Desert of Woe and reach the Forbidden Temple of - "Teleport" DAMMIT, STOP IGNORING ALL MY ADVENTURES!

Consider a succubus. The save DC on their Dominate Person is 23. A 7th level fighter has a mighty +2 for their base will save. If they don't have sky-high wisdom, a good cloak of resistance AND some luck, the rest of the party now has TWO huge problems to deal with.

Zhayne wrote:

One single die roll should not have that great an effect on a character or a combat.

What's bizarre is that D&D Pathfinder otherwise knows this. We have hit points specifically so that it's much less likely for a big hero's career to get cut short by a single bad die-roll, but the designers are totally OK with a blown save meaning death.

And VampByDay: My sympathies. What kind of jackass GM lets someone makes up a character just to kill them, instead of just saying 'play something else'?

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