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Ashiel's page

9,265 posts (9,268 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Trimalchio wrote:
I like to run that evil has a corrupting influence, good is similar but people tend to speak of goodness as 'uplifting' etc, but in the more general formulation that using the powers and tools provided by [alignment source] has a small tug effect on those using it, if only that access to such things generally comes from interacting with such entities or invoking such powers tends to attract such forces.

That could be cool, but you always have to deal with the logical conclusion, which is the hard pill for most (even those advocating these things) people to swallow. The logical conclusion being that if it does have a pull on your alignment, even a small one, then ultimate it means you can just buy your alignment.

It's just a matter of how many castings does it take. 10? 25? 50? 100? When you realize that it means that crafting a wand of protection from evil means you are bottling 50 acts of good and putting it on sale for 750 gp. And most people when presented with this fall back to "but evil is more influential". Then it becomes "why?", and we spiral again.

Further, if it makes you more X, but you still have free will (which alignment doesn't remove) it basically poops all over the point of alignment and makes it both cheap and shallow. It doesn't really matter if you're evil, because you might have gotten there being a pretty average person overall, you just happened to be a bloodline sorcerer who used their bloodline magic regularly.

You basically end up in a world where alignment no longer has a lot of meaning in terms of who a person is, it's mostly about which element he picked. It's down to fire mage vs frost mage. There's not really any reason for good to be against evil so much as you're against some of the things that evil does that are actually harmful (like murdering) but you're not really against all evil (because Mordrin's Tireless Oxen service "60% off this weekend" isn't exactly worthy of your time).

One needs to address this in an in-universe way, come up with some good mechanics, and make it work in a sense that doesn't seem dumb at the end. The closest I've seen to these is corruption mechanics like Taint or Sanity.


Anzyr wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
LazarX wrote:

I don't believe that alignments are mirrors of each other.

A good character can indeed taint himself from over use of Evil-Aligned spells. The reverse isn't true because it's always harder to progress towards good and very easy to fall towards evil. And the overall act and character intentions in total should be factored in. If the evil wizard intends to enslave angels to murder orphans, it's an even more evil act than if he intends to do so with demons despite what descriptors may be in play.

On the other hand, if magic itself is tainted the way it is for the Mark of the Red Death setting, than any spellcasting, no matter what descriptor runs the risk of tainting the caster.

It actually isn't harder. It's traditionally been thought of as harder, but all you really have to do to be a good person is be a good person. It's entirely possible to be a good person who used to be a bad person. You just have to not be a bad person anymore. That can be hard for some people because being bad fills something in their lives.
And let's be honest here, Evil is a real time commitment. Those puppies aren't going to kick themselves!

Indeed. For many people, evil is not the easier path to take. If anything, for me, it seems like being Evil is kind of a big deal since it means that you fairly routinely engage in hurting, oppressing, and/or killing. If you're evil because you are evil, you are a much better villain.

If your being evil is because you use oils of infernal healing like a cheap cologne but are otherwise a pretty average or even enjoyable person, it really kills it for me. My good characters aren't going to be interested in defeating an "evil" necromancer who's running a skeleton-ox rental service. My good characters are going to be interested in defeating an "evil" necromancer who's doing something like trying to enslave the local populace or is kidnapping people to "borrow" their souls and using them as power sources to fuel his eldritch abominations (kind of like how golems are made).

Y'know. I want evil to be evil. Not just wearing a different color.


LazarX wrote:

I don't believe that alignments are mirrors of each other.

A good character can indeed taint himself from over use of Evil-Aligned spells. The reverse isn't true because it's always harder to progress towards good and very easy to fall towards evil. And the overall act and character intentions in total should be factored in. If the evil wizard intends to enslave angels to murder orphans, it's an even more evil act than if he intends to do so with demons despite what descriptors may be in play.

On the other hand, if magic itself is tainted the way it is for the Mark of the Red Death setting, than any spellcasting, no matter what descriptor runs the risk of tainting the caster.

It actually isn't harder. It's traditionally been thought of as harder, but all you really have to do to be a good person is be a good person. It's entirely possible to be a good person who used to be a bad person. You just have to not be a bad person anymore. That can be hard for some people because being bad fills something in their lives.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's actually much more like the whole "Do Clerics need a God?" question (since the answer to that is "No, unless you're playing in Golarion, in which case yes.")...which also seems perfectly appropriate for this Forum.

Firstly, assume that if I didn't respond to something in your post that I'm quoting, it's because I agree with you (at least mostly, for example, AFAIAC, enslaving is bad regardless of what spells you're using).

And you're right. It is exactly like "do clerics need a god?". By default, in 3.x/PF, no they don't. You can most certainly house rule it as such as Golarion does (I actually dislike that Golarion does because it bars the path for things like divine analogs of spiritual practices in our own world that are no god-oriented from having a place in Golarion, which strikes me as odd since Golarion seems to pride itself on hijacking as much from different cultures as possible).

And I have 0% to contest with people that say things like:
"I like a campaign where evil has a corrupting influence"
"In Golarion, casting an [Evil] spell is a minor act of evil"
"My game is based on the crusade-era earth with magic, so buying your sins away with magic deals is a thing"
"I think it should be like this"
"I think it shouldn't be like this"

What I have a problem with, and what I still continue to argue against is the posters who present their house rules as RAW, call those who are for following the rules (because they just freakin' work if you're not butchering them) "inane", "silly", or "anal". When you start declaring things that are not in the rules as the rules then I'm going to say something about it.

If you want to talk about your specific campaigns, house rules, or ideas for house rules (I'm all for coming up with some sort of system for corruption / anti-corruption, sure) then I'm on board. I'll even contribute to it. However, that is not what has been presented here.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Alignment of the person cares about what they are DOING. To act consistently withen a given alignment. It says nothing about the tools that you use to do that. This is where the evil as an objective force comes in, because evil is an element, similar to how FIRE is an element in D&D. Using and being are two different things.
Not necessarily. You're forgetting about the story that started modern fantasy in the first place. No matter your intentions - any use of The One Ring was corrupting upon the user. Less than if you used it to kill innocents? Yes. But still corrupting.

The one ring was an Intelligent/cursed magic item. We actually have rules for the corrupting influence of such things or their ability to influence you.

You might also forget the story that started binding fantasy, where King Solomon uses a magic ring/seal to bind demons to serve the forces of good (or what the story considered good, I'm not interested in getting into that today).

Oh, and then there's Star Wars, and there was this book I read when I was nine that I can't remember the name of, and have you ever played Devil May Cry? But Call of Cthulu...


Trimalchio wrote:
way to prove my point, and also thanks for telling me how i play without actually ever having played with me, stellar.

Kinda vague. Can you elaborate? Can you point out where I misunderstood your position?

Because from what I gathered reading your post, using anything that is typed as evil is the same as DOING evil. Yes? That is what you were saying, right? That's kind of the whole crux of your argument, I think.

And consistency is a thing. So said Paladin would fall for "doing evil" by "using evil" for using an evil creature (the BBEG's rival) to further the cause of good (something that the protagonists in the D&D cartoon actually did in the episode where a badguy was trying to obtain ultimate power by wreckin' some unicorns and stuff, so they told their own arch-nemesis about the bad-guy's plan, and those two baddies fought it out while they saved unicorns), because that is consistent with what you describe.

Again, neither of these things are supported by the alignment rules. You are effectively resorting to rule 0 for your argument (which means it has already failed) because you are citing the GM being the arbiter of alignment but neglecting the consistency part in the same paragraph.

As for "thanks for telling me how i play without actually ever having played with me, stellar", was it not you yourself who said:

Quote:

Sometimes people are beyond inane and silly in their comments and beliefs on what is RAW or RAI or how to read a RAW sentence etc etc

...
I'm sure a philosophy majors can read that sentence to mean whatever they want, but I already have my philosophy degree and am more interested in playing pathfinder then spending a redux of 4 years of undergrad.

That's a pretty good analog to the hypothetical gamer-talk I posted earlier. Another good analog, perhaps even better is this one by Gaberlunzie:

Gaberlunzie wrote:
Look, if you're completely literal and anal about reading the rules, you might come to the conclusion that [evil] isn't evil. You might also come to the conclusion that hit dice isn't hit dice. But then the alignment rules don't make any sense at all, since they become an extremely limited check list of do's and don'ts that have no resemblance at all to what we usually consider the words to mean

I have little to go on other than your own respective words.


Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
GM: "Um, it's so obvious! You just don't understand how obvious it is that it has always been a thing and I don't need rules, because it's so natural a conclusion that if you weren't being an overly anal rules lawyer you'd agree with me."
It's only funny to you because you haven't actually had a GM, in all seriousness, say this to your face.

Oh believe me, I've had my fair share of bad GMs. In fact, I'd attribute a large amount of my best features as a GM to simply doing all I can to not be like some of the GMs I've encountered. :P

And I get enough similar responses on the forums as well to believe that my experiences with this sort of mindset are not isolated incidents. For example:

Quote:

Sometimes people are beyond inane and silly in their comments and beliefs on what is RAW or RAI or how to read a RAW sentence etc etc

...
Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-aligned planes or with the evil subtype should have the evil descriptor.

I'm sure a philosophy majors can read that sentence to mean whatever they want, but I already have my philosophy degree and am more interested in playing pathfinder then spending a redux of 4 years of undergrad.

Notice the subtle but important distinction between what I've said and what this poster has said. I've noted that the arguments put for are absurd for X, Y, and Z reason. This poster says the PEOPLE who disagree are "inane" and "silly" for doing so, and doesn't actually explain why.

The poster then points out the bit about consistency.

Quote:
" In the end, the Game Master is the one who gets to decide if something's in accordance with its indicated alignment, based on the descriptions given previously and his own opinion and interpretation—the only thing the GM needs to strive for is to be consistent as to what constitutes the difference between alignments like chaotic neutral and chaotic evil. There's no hard and fast mechanic by which you can measure alignment—unlike hit points or skill ranks or armor class, alignment is solely a label the GM controls."

That's right. I never said that the GM didn't have to weigh in on things. What I did say was that the rules say the GM is supposed to use the descriptions for what is the indicated alignments and be consistent. Remember the consistent part? Yeah, most of these folks are being really, really inconsistent, which means they're still breaking this and creating problems where non exist.

And then, here's the big one.

Quote:
Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-aligned planes or with the evil subtype should have the evil descriptor.

At this point the poster confuses using a thing with both being and doing a thing. According to the poster's made up rules, a Paladin fighting with a big demon grabs a +1 unholy axomatic sword off a nearby slain devil would suddenly fall because the sword itself is evil, regardless of the Paladin's usage of it or the Paladin's alignment.

See, here's the thing. The Paladin is Lawful Good. The sword is Lawful Evil. Why is the sword lawful evil? Because the sword draws on Lawful and Evil powers. However, wielding said sword does absolutely nothing to someone's alignment beyond how they use it. The sword even has special mechanics for individuals with opposed alignments wielding it, and it inflicts a temporary negative level on the person wielding it, not corrupt them (and the Paladin can probably afford to take the -1 to hit and saves for the +2d6 damage).

Alignment of the person cares about what they are DOING. To act consistently withen a given alignment. It says nothing about the tools that you use to do that. This is where the evil as an objective force comes in, because evil is an element, similar to how FIRE is an element in D&D. Using and being are two different things.

By this poster's argument, if a Paladin used an evil creature to his advantage the Paladin would fall. For example, if during a strategy meeting the Paladin said "We know his Rival, McAlsoBad, is going to be attacking his compound on this night, so while the two are dealing with each other, we should slip in the back and prevent his chance for escape", the Paladin just fell. Why? Because the Paladin used something with an Evil alignment (in this case, a person, by using him as a distraction against the BBEG).

So yeah, be careful to have identify the spell cast on every potion you find, because it might be magic aura'd to look like a cure light wounds potion, then bam, your Paladin falls. Sucks to be you. What a devious trap!


Deadmanwalking wrote:

All Good Acts are not equal. All Evil Acts are not equal. Therefore, enslaving angels with a [Good] spell is still Evil even if [Good] spells are Good acts, because enslaving an Angel is way more Evil than using such a spell is Good. It'd be even more Evil if they did it another way...but only a very little bit.

And besides, imprisoning them is a Magic Circle Against Good, which is an Evil Act. So, the spell to summon them (a Good act) and the spell to bind them (an Evil act) cancel each other out, leaving your intent and what you ask or make them do as the determining factor in the summoning's Good or Evil.

You're acting like, if you consider casting aligned spells to be acts of that alignment, you can torture and murder people and atone by casting Protection From Evil a bunch. Which is like saying you can torture or murder people and then atone by being nice to all your waiters, or other exceedingly minor Good acts. It doesn't actually follow at all, because torture and murder are really major acts of Evil, while casting an Aligned spell is a really minor act of the alignment in question.

So tell me, how much GOOD or EVIL is a spell worth? If casting said spells are so minor that casting protection from good is the equivalent of not tipping your waiter, why the **** is it even worth arguing about?

Meanwhile, if you're arguing that casting a spell means enough that it will change your alignment, then which spells are the most potent. Is it caster level (do you become more evil by being a better caster?), is it spell level (does a heightened 8th level protection from evil make you more righteous than a 3rd level magic circle against evil)?

Also, for the record, you can imprison an angel with a magic circle against law, or chaos, it doesn't require an anti-good circle, so the two don't assuredly cancel each other out as you claim, but oh wait, you just pointed out how inconsistent your argument is because you claim that casting magic circle vs good equates to casting planar binding [good] but there's no real explanation as to why. So how does that work? I mean, if I decide I want to enslave an angel and I toss a magic circle against chaos as my circle and then cast planar binding [Good] I've netted good here, but I'm also enslaving somebody which is also evil, so is my alignment now "Lawful Neutral Jerkface"?

What if I use magic circle against evil to soul-trap an elemental (a sentient elemental spirit of human-like intelligence) and then I cast protection from evil three times? I'm most consistently acting "good" more than I'm consistently acting "evil", and the alignment rules care more about consistency than anything else.

That said, the alignment rules do mention spells.

Alignment Rules wrote:
All creatures have an alignment. Alignment determines the effectiveness of some spells and magic items.

Gee, nothing there either. :(

Quote:
The idea that you can is a reductio ad absurdum and a bit of a straw man, and not appropriate when having a civilized discussion.

Oh no, see, I most definitely can. I'm not straw-manning, I'm attacking the opposing position as it has been presented, and I most certainly can reduce it to its absurdity because that's what it is. Absolutely absurd. It has no backing in the rules, those citing the non-existent rules cannot even maintain consistency within their own arguments, and have to create rules for their created rules to keep up this conversation. Thus far they have been able to cite NOTHING from the rules that supports their case, have committed several logical errs, and the best they have managed is "You can play it like you want to, but it's not a house rule, I swear" or "The devs told me I could!"

A civilized discussion generally involves the opposing side presenting a point that has evidence for it. I'm still waiting for said point, so we'll see what happens if we ever get that far.

Quote:
Not precisely if playing in Golarion. Champions of Purity does, in fact, explicitly state that in Golarion, casting an Evil descriptor spell is a minor act of Evil. So...yeah, that's a thing. That being the case, and several posts by people at Paizo confirming that that's the way they run things in Pathfinder generally, and it's one of the most reasonable House Rules to implement even in a non-Golarion game.

The "Golarion Campaign Setting" board is down the hall and to the right. Please be careful not to trip over any social injustice threads on your way there as the halls can be quite harrowing.

As for house rules, I agree 100% that it's as good a house rule as any, but it requires a lot of work to make any sense at all. The name of the game here is consistency. If you're going to implement a house rule like that you should probably also determine a measured scale for how it works, or at least figure out how much X you become when you cast an X spell. This sort of thing works pretty well with some sort of taint or sanity system in play that relies on it as a fundamental part of a campaign, but if we want to discuss that (I might even throw something together for said people), we'd need to do it on Homebrew forum, and we'd need to step lightly as there's usually someone up to some mad science over there. :)

Quote:
All that said, even in a game where casting Infernal Healing is an Evil act, doing it to save an innocent life or the life of a friend is enough of a Good act to more than compensate for all practical purposes, IMO. A Paladin would still fall from it, because, y'know, they fall from even the smallest Evil acts in service of the greater Good...but basically nobody else should have a problem.

Fun fact. In Pathfinder, a Paladin is not barred from casting spells with the [Chaotic] or [Evil] descriptors as a cleric is. A Paladin with Unsanctioned Knowledge (the feat) can learn a few spells of the Chaotic or Evil descriptors and cast them as Paladin spells without problems. I guess that's why it's unsanctioned!


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Pretty much. It's difficult to justify evil spells somehow weighing more than good spells when they are entirely equivalent to one another. Doubly so when you consider that the idea of spell-weight is a made up mechanic for a made up mechanic. That's how stupid this argument is.

Caster: "I cast magic circle against good"
GM: "The taint of evil corrupts you and you become more evil"
Caster: "...No I don't,"
GM: "Yes, you do,"
*discussion ensues*
Caster: "Fine, I cast magic circle against evil as well"
GM: "You become a tiny bit more good, but it's outweighed by your evil"
Caster: "Wtf? How do you determine that?"
GM: "Determine what?"
Caster: "What rule are you using to determine that one spell means more than the other, or any of this alignment bull-patty anyway? Is it based on spell level? Caster level? The heck man?"
GM: "Um, it's so obvious! You just don't understand how obvious it is that it has always been a thing and I don't need rules, because it's so natural a conclusion that if you weren't being an overly anal rules lawyer you'd agree with me,"
Caster: "...You're just making **** up as you go along aren't you?"
GM: "...Yes."


Kthulhu wrote:
Better a bestiary with some monsters I don't like than no bestiary at all.

Well the catch is that it might not be better if it turns out a huge majority of the monsters are ones you don't like (especially if the rest are redundant or mediocre) as it could dissuade you from buying it, or lead to buyer's remorse.

In truth, I myself don't really even make use of the vast majority of the expanded bestiaries as I have no real use for most of the monsters given what already exists (the core rulebook with ogres, ogre magi, trolls, hill giants, and the elemental giants already had enough giants with enough variety that you could create and build tons of varied giants just by changing their equipment around, changing their feat paths, or giving them different class levels, especially since most of the classes are disassociated for them) and that's before you consider what you can do with templates and HD advancements.

I'd personally like to see a book that's actually legitimately useful and makes being a GM easier. One of the biggest things I seriously miss about the 3.5 MM (and a reason I still often use the 3.5 MM with some conversions) was the animal and vermin chapters in the back. When a bestiary is printed, we get animals sat with the regular monsters, one page of information, full art print, etc. The problem is, it does NOTHING to help with actually making use of the book.

In 3.5, you had a special animals chapter in the back. It lists the statblocks and a brief description of the animal and what similar animals the statblock can be used for. The vermin chapter has full statblocks for vermin ranging from tiny to colossal, making using different kinds of giant spiders and such super easy.

In the PF bestiary, we got a medium giant spider, and a little tiny table that tells you how many HD other versions have, but little else, which requires you to reverse-build the monster down for smaller versions and it doesn't give GMs any information on how their poisons and such scale (which can be daunting for new GMs who need the bestiary the most).

I wouldn't mind seeing some new generic (note I did not say "simple") templates for helping GMs repurpose existing creatures for certain environments or themes. For example, planar templates that make small changes to creatures to make them more environmentally sound on certain planes are pretty nice (some of this has been done with templates like celestial, fiendish, or shadowed).

There's even a part of me that thinks it'd be pretty sweet to have a book that instead of a bestiary presented lots of classed variants of existing creatures, similar to one of the latter MMs in the 3.5 line, except that be the entire book (instead of actually being a bestiary), but given Paizo's history with making NPCs for using in campaigns (the god-awful Gamemastering NPCs spring to mind) I'd probably be nervous about that as well (though the NPC codex seemed pretty good so I'm not entirely without hope).


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
Actually, using Ashiel's interpretation you are asking people to just go to hir and get the "ok not ok" list of what's evil and not. Casting evil spells isn't evil (despite devs confirming the obviousness of it), consciously lending great magic power to a demon lord bent on genocide isn't evil (despite common sense saying it is) and killing orcs isn't evil (despite the alignment rules explicitly saying it is).

Actually, I'm not asking you to go to me for what's evil and what's not. See, we have the alignment rules in the core rulebook for that. See, where I get my argument concerning alignment rules is (oddly enough) by going to the alignment rules. Crazy, I know. See, here's the thing...

Alignment Rules wrote:

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings.

...
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

So we've got the core of good and evil here. It's pretty simple yet encompassing, because you can figure out what is good and evil with these very universal concepts.

Meanwhile, Neutral is between these two extremes and a neutral character is described as acting without bias towards one or the other. Which is what I was saying concerning the orcs & paladin bit. The Paladin is protecting life (good), however to do so he is killing (evil). So he's showing no bias in either direction, so killing in self defense is neutral. If he was putting himself in harms way to protect someone else from the orc, he's being altruistic (good), while protecting life (good), and killing (evil), but the bias is towards good in this case. That's why those valorous hero sorts tend to be good guys.

Meanwhile, giving gifts to a demon bent on genocide is not innately good/evil because giving gifts to anyone is not good or evil. But why are you giving this gift? Is it just out of a sense of altruism (because you're showing some sort of extreme love for everything); is a bribe to convince said demon to pull back on the genocide; is it an attempt to befriend the demon and be a good influence on it; is it to convince the demon to give you power; is it to further the demon's genocide because you really hate those other guys?

You're over complicating it. The alignment rules are intentionally simplistic while being reasonable. Things are not just arbitrarily X according to the core alignment rules. For example, in previous editions using poison was considered evil arbitrarily, which made no sense since it meant that using tranquilizers or ability-damaging poisons were evil, even when using them generally meant doing less evil (disabling an enemy with poisons generally means you can defeat them without slaying them), which is why a checklist of each individual tool or action being a set alignment is a terribad idea.

Much easier to just use the method of tracking the norms of the character's activities based on what the alignment rules declare as the core precepts of the alignments.

Quote:
Of course, once you've reached a certain part of arbitrariness nothing becomes self-contradictory because everything is on a case by case basis with no continuous guideline, but it still makes the game extremely hard to understand even in cases that would normally not be considered difficult questions (such as the example of the demon lord above).

Not in the slightest. It's in fact the opposite of arbitrary because it allows you to use basic principles ascribed to the alignments to easily weigh whether anything was good, evil, or neither. Arbitrary is what you are describing, where X is always Y because it is X, where it does not take into account the circumstances and/or activities with X.

Again, in this arbitrary world you describe, casting Holy Smite and nuking a bunch of commoners, or enslaving angels, and so forth is GOOD because no matter how you are using those spells, it is good and making you more good. In my game (the one using the core alignment rules), wiping out a bunch of commoners with holy smite isn't even remotely good, not even a tiny bit. Further, enslaving angels is quite horrible. Crafting golems likewise makes you a jerk. Turning someone into a ghoul and using necromancy to enslave them is abominable. Mind-screwing someone into being your minion with enchantment spells is likewise dirty pool.

However, turning someone into a ghoul as a pseudo-raise dead and leaving them with free will? Not evil (maybe even good if you did it to save them). Casting infernal healing out of a sense of altruism? Good! Casting fireball at a group of orcs because you were paid to? Bad! Animating a bunch of dead corpses to water your bushes? Lazy (but neither good nor evil)!

See how easy this is? And it never deviates from just practical logic. I can rationally explain every reason why it is and is not evil in any given case, and I can do it by citing the alignment rules. It doesn't require me to say the alignment rules don't work, it doesn't require me to add to the rules what isn't already described there, and it doesn't require me to create any strange exceptions in the rules that make you scratch your head. It allows every version of evil, Evil, and [Evil] to exist in the game at the same time, and you can still have deep and complex characters that aren't even close to being cookie-cutter.

I think your problem with alignment comes from user error.


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kestral287 wrote:
lemeres wrote:

Well, blood transcription can highly encourage pseudo vampirism, and nightmare can be considered a form of torture.

Generally, outside of the cut and paste template nature of some spells like summoning, most spells labeled as evil tend to be sketch, and have few uses outside of sketch things.

So this should be more of an argument about whether a particular spell deserves the evil descriptor (ie- they are, by their nature, too sketch to that you would feel proud taking about them with your LG clergyman)

Part of the problem is that "sketch" is kind of a flexible term. For example-- Animate Dead. If a character uses it to revive a T-Rex (a wild animal-- is desecrating its corpse really significant to anybody?) to use as a mount, in what way is it evil?

Now, Animate Dead to revive all the dead folks who were laid to rest in a local cemetery, sure. That's almost certainly evil. I'm sure one could find a situation where one could defend even a Paladin's right to cast the spell in the local graveyard without falling, but it'd be a pretty narrow set of circumstances or a pretty odd Paladin.

Funny thing...technically doing anything to a corpse is not evil. There are TONS of things you can do to a body that are socially unacceptable, gross, and down right icky and squicky, but a corpse is an object that is no longer a sentient creature. Its soul has departed. Animate dead doesn't entrap a soul and stuff it back into the corpse to be a slave to the caster, it's actual effect is closer to some sort of magically created automaton, as the creatures it produces are mindless, incapable of having an alignment other than Neutral (per the alignment rules, though they are incorrectly given an alignment), and the spell has no dominion over the souls of anything.

If the spell was changed to actually yank the soul of the afterlife and enslave it, sure, it would be heinously evil. Well, right up until you decided to use it to give people their lives back anyway ("Okay, you're an immortal fast zombie. Sorry, raise dead is above my huckleberry, but this is pretty close. Anyway, please enjoy your free will that I'm granting you and have a nice day"), then it would just be freakin' awesome. :P

However, nothing in this little 3rd level spell would imply that it does or has the power to do anything to the creature's soul. It's entirely focusing on the corpse (a soulless, lifeless object, incapable of feeling pain, like a dead piece of metal), filling it with a sort of energy, magically granting it a semblance of life and controlling it. Skeletons and zombies have more in common with golems, except they are more morally upright than the construction of a golem (because golems actually require you to do evil to create them, while animate dead merely requires you to use an evil power, which as we have just discussed is not the same thing).

Now create undead and greate greater undead I would buy, as it turns the creature into a sentient undead creature (and the ones that it turns them into are generally ascribed to be undead versions of the original person inhabiting the body), but those spells also don't give you any natural enslavement over them, though it does suggest that doing so is an expected strategy as it notes using other methods to control them (such as command undead or control undead), which again is evil because oppression is naughty.


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Marroar Gellantara wrote:

Who said [evil] wasn't related to evil? I just pointed out that [evil] is not used in NPC stat blocks to mark alignment. The letter E is used in that case.

You are the one that suddenly felt the need to defend the idea that [evil] means evil after reading the Evil subtype.

Marroar is 100% right. The [Evil] subtype doesn't even make you actually evil. All creatures have an alignment. Some creatures have an alignment subtype. Those two do not even have to match (but usually do). The subtype has no influence over the actual alignment or personality of the character in question, but it does have a mechanical influence over them in the sense that their alignment is treated as X (where X is the corresponding subtype) for all effects based on alignment, in addition to whatever their actual alignment is.

So if a devil decided to become Neutral, they still ping as evil outsiders on detect evil, and holy smite still doesn't harm fallen angels because it explicitly doesn't affect good creatures (and the [good] subtype makes them count as good creatures even if they aren't), and if you whack an inevitable who's turned chaotic with an anarchic weapon, they're still going to take extra damage.

If anything it actually points out that while alignments are actually tangible in the game, literally being a force of their own, they are also divorced from the core concept of alignment that is based on your actions and/or persona, existing as two distinct but related things.

The most telling bit is this here:

Alignment Subtypes wrote:
Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is.

Because alignment and alignment subtypes are related, but they are also not the same thing. :P


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
Look, if you're completely literal and anal about reading the rules, you might come to the conclusion that [evil] isn't evil. You might also come to the conclusion that hit dice isn't hit dice. But then the alignment rules don't make any sense at all, since they become an extremely limited check list of do's and don'ts that have no resemblance at all to what we usually consider the words to mean (like, giving magic staffs of eternal torture and damnation to a demon lord intent on genocide isn't evil, but slapping an attempting murderer is).

Actually, it's not. Alignment has no check list of dos and don'ts. The 3.x/PF alignment system is one of the cleanest systems of morality that you'll find. It's very simple and strait-forward, and it's near universal in its concepts. It details what constitutes as aspects of *insert alignment here* such as altruism being good, killing being evil, etc.

It explicitly and rightfully doesn't make any hardcoded alignment things and recognizes that situations matter. A Paladin who slays an orc while protecting someone (including himself) is not acting in keeping with evil (but nor is he actively acting in keeping with good). Fortunately there's this big ol' middle ground between the extremes.

On a side note, giving powerful gifts to a demon bent on genocide isn't evil itself. At least, the gift-giving is not. It's irresponsible, and probably stupid, but unless you gave said gift with the intent on furthering the fiend's schemes, you're not becoming more evil than you would have for giving your friend a chair for Christmas and then said friend using the chair to bludgeon someone to death makes you a murderer. Giving it to a known chair-bludgeoner might make you pretty dumb though. :P

Quote:

If you're not completely anal about counting them word by word, evil means evil and obviously so, and _even the developers have come out and said it_.

I'm all for not being too literal and legalistic about these things, what I'm annoyed with is how arbitrarily people apply it to reach their preferred conclusions; we should be super-literal and legalistic about the alignment rules not explicitly saying "casting evil spells is evil" - despite the devs themselves saying what can be basically paraphrased to "well, duh, that goes without saying", but at the same time we should include various other things not listed in the alignment section as aligned actions because it makes sense.

It's not about legalese vs making sense. What you propose is absurdity. When presented with the absurdity, you blamed the alignment rules for being broken while citing rules that don't actually exist in said rules.

Step back and take responsibility.


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
But it doesn't say those hit dice are the same as the hit dice referred to in the sleep rules, just like it doesn't say the evil in the alignment section is the same as referred to in the infernal healing spell.

Hit dice are defined. Unless it defines a separate kind of HD, then HD are HD.

Quote:
Evil being evil is obvious. If they argue that evil isn't evil, it's very valid to make a parallell to another game term.

You're missing the point. It has little to nothing to do with whether these things are or are not evil. It has everything to do with whether using them makes you evil. That's the part that's driving people nuts.

If I, as a Neutral-aligned cleric cast holy smite to destroy my enemies, it is treated as [Good] aligned for game effects. Protection from good will ward against it (even though I'm not a good caster), detect good will see it like a star in the night. Dispel good can dispel the effects. But if I'm not actively doing good with it, MY ALIGMMENT IS NOT CHANGING. In fact, I could actually be casting this spell and BECOMING MORE EVIL because I'm mowing down lots of commoners with it (who still take 1/2 damage).

In a similar fashion, a Paladin who picks up a +3 unholy sword doesn't fall for swinging the sword. Sure, the sword itself is [Evil], but what he does with it determines what HIS ALIGNMENT is. That much is clear by the actual alignment rules.

The onus of proof is on you now, because you are inventing mechanics that do not exist.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Ask yourself this. Should summoning celestial badgers make you go to heaven? Should you be able to buy away your sins with a UMD check?
To be fair, it's pretty unclear even by RAW to how high degree using a magic item is similar to casting a spell. By default, it seems spell-like abilities are considered as spells unless otherwise mentioned, while items are different from spells unless otherwise mentioned. Though the rules aren't clear at all on this.

*sigh*

Ring around the rosie...

Core Rulebook (again) wrote:

A spell successfully activated from a scroll works exactly like a spell prepared and cast the normal way. Assume the scroll spell's caster level is always the minimum level required to cast the spell for the character who scribed the scroll, unless the scriber specifically desired otherwise.

...

Potions are like spells cast upon the imbiber. The character taking the potion doesn't get to make any decisions about the effect—the caster who brewed the potion has already done so. The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect).

The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target.

So now that that is out of the way...

Quote:
In the rest of the post I largely agree with you that the implementation of good/evil spells is very badly done. I don't mind it being in the game, but it should make a lot more sense than it currently does.

It really isn't. There are a lot of problems in 3.x/Pathfinder, but this is a false one. This is users making up a problem and then complaining about it. The rules are actually much clearer and I'd dare say amazingly sane and fair when it comes to alignment, the rules never once say anything about spell-tags changing someone's alignment, etc.

It's inventing a problem to **** about. I'm just calling said people out for that, because I'm quite frankly tired of it.


On the HD subject by the way...

Core Rulebook-Classes wrote:
Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character's level or Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on the total number of levels or Hit Dice a character possesses, not just those from one class. The exception to this is class abilities, most of which are based on the total number of class levels that a character possesses of that particular class.
Bestiary-Monster Advancement wrote:
Next, add the class levels to the monster, making all of the necessary additions to its HD, hit points, BAB, CMB, CMD, feats, skills, spells, and class features. If the creature possesses class features (such as spellcasting or sneak attack) for the class that is being added, these abilities stack. This functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial Hit Dice.
Core Rulebook - Classes: Every Class wrote:

Hit Die: d12

Hit Die: d8
Hit Die: d8
Hit Die: d8
Hit Die: d10
Hit Die: d8
Hit Die: d10
Hit Die: d10
Hit Die: d8
Hit Die: d6
Hit Die: d6

While every level in a class explicitly provides an additional hit die, it's even possible to have more or less HD than your actual level. This is most commonly seen with monstrous characters, where your HD can be more or less than your character level.

Apples and Oranges, I guess.
Still, you might want to find a different argument. The alignments rules don't agree with you and neither do hit dice rules. I would recommend some casual reading.


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:

That you seem to claim - without any rules support whatsoever - that putting evil in brackets makes it lose the meaning of evil, doesn't mean it is so.

You could argue that it is hinted at as the intent of the rules, but it is in no way written in the rules.

My rules support is the definition of descriptors. Because you interpret it a different way does not mean I am wrong.

You may interpret it that way, but that doesn't mean it supports it.

For example, I could argue that Sleep doesn't work on a 1st level character, because the description of Hit Dice doesn't state it determines the effect of spells. I could say that clearly the usage of HD in the Sleep spell is different than the definition of Hit Dice since that refers to the number of dice used for calculating hit points, not the resistance to spells.

No, you actually could not, because it specifically notes that those levels provide hit dice. Notice how in literally every class entry it tells you which hit die the class provides?

Quote:

And since the rules don't say a 1st level character has four or less HD (in the Sleep sense), sleep doesn't work.

Kind of like how you argue that evil as described in the descriptor section isn't the same as the evil described in the alignment section.

Getting obvious rules wrong as part of your argument is probably not a good place to start. Again, classes explicitly provide hit dice each level. If they did not, then you would always have less than 4 HD even at 20th level.

Further, the alignment rules specifically note what does affect your alignment. Despite the fact there are many spells with [Alignment] descriptors, and many, many instances where they would come up in the game (such as casting protection from law to ward against devils), spells are not mentioned anywhere in the actual alignment rules. Further, in the rules governing spellcasting, it is never stated that casting spells makes you more/less a given alignment.

100% of everything that is put forth about casting [X] makes you more [X] is not found in alignment rules at all. It's made up. A fabrication of people who never actually read the rules, or in some cases, people with some semblance of authority trying to inject their house rules into the core and make the game less user-friendly for everyone else.

However, those tags do mean something. They have mechanical effects. For example, if you cast detect law, you are going to sense spells like magic circle against chaos. If you cast dispel good, it will affect spells with the [Good] descriptor. If you cast protection from evil on someone, it's going to protect against unholy blight even if the cleric casting it is Neutral.


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alexperience wrote:

Certain spells have the tag "evil" (without quotes) right next to the school of magic.

Three examples are Animate Dead, Blood Transcription and Nightmare.

Please note not all Evil aligns spells are from the school of magic Necromancy, however, it seems the majority are, just not all of them. It has been ruled at our table that the consistent use of such spells will result in an alignment shift.

My question to you is, should it?

Thanks for your time.

Ask yourself this. Should summoning celestial badgers make you go to heaven? Should you be able to buy away your sins with a UMD check? If the answer is NO, then similarly casting spells tagged with [Evil] will not make you more evil, any more than casting fireball makes you, the caster, more on fire because it has the [Fire] tag.

Imprisoning angels with Planar Binding is a [Good] spell to boot, which means if you have an evil wizard enslaving angels, it would actually make him more good to be doing so.

The alignment rules themselves (located in the Additional Rules chapter of the core rulebook) make no mention of spells having any effect on alignment. The only things that have an effect on alignment unless specifically noted in the effect's entry are what you DO as a character, not what you use.

If you are altruistic, protective of life, and respectful of the rights of sentient beings, you are doing and being Good. If you are hurting, oppressing, or killing, you are doing and being Evil. What spells you use has 0% effect on your alignment. What it DOES have an effect on is what spells you can cast as a cleric from your class spells (which doesn't even directly relate to your god, since a Neutral-aligned god cannot grant Lawful spells to a Chaotic follower, even if they're handing out lawful spells like candy to their Lawful and Neutral followers).

If a wizard casts infernal healing to save someone's life and becomes more evil for doing so, then your GM is quite literally doing it wrong as he is acting 100% contrary to what the rules actually say on the matter.


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AndIMustMask wrote:

not sure how that's all that threatening actually--by the time level 5 spells roll around i'd be surprised if the fighter didnt have at or close to AC25 before dex/dodge bonuses.

seems like he could force through it in a single round with only 5 damage or so, unless you stack it very densely in a narrow passage or something.

of course it does tie him up quite nicely while you rain spells on him and/or the rest of the party

It's not the damage that's important. It's the fact it's more or less full lockdown. It's a shapeable spell which you can drop onto people, and curl it around if you want. You can happily box someone inside of it, and you're right, the wall offers you no protection at all (no cover, no concealment, nada).

It's a wicked spell indeed. It can end entire encounters very easily, and greatly tip the scales in most others.

The simple fact is the Fighter just doesn't do anything during the fight. It's a full-round action to TRY to force your way through it, which is a Strength-check against a very difficult DC) to move through it a tiny bit, but the spell covers an absolutely massive amount of area.

Though this is just a wicked spell all around. I've seen it used to wreck flying creatures, aquatic creatures, land creatures, and pretty much anything that has no problems teleporting through it or ignoring it via incorporeality or something.

I suppose something like resilient sphere would work just as well for a Fighter though, since the Fighter has the worst saving throws of all the core martials, which translates to: "Make a bad save against a good DC or sit out the portion of the game that is the only place you might contribute something meaningful from your class".


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
*casts wall of thorns*

I had to look it up because I don't play Druids.

That should have an [evil] descriptor. Like, wow.

Why so? Because of how much of an evil "I win" button it is? :P

Yes. ;_;

Seriously, 10 minutes to cut through 5 feet. Full-round actions to move through it at all. They may as well just tell you it's pointless.

Oh but it gets better. It specifically allows druids and rangers to move through it unimpeded (an exception to the usual woodland stride not allowing you to move through magical growth) which means that you shan't escape Mr. Bear, but Mr. Bear can escape you!

Oh, and the fact the plant growth spell interacts with it in very specific (and cruel) ways, such as increasing all the DCs by 5, and making it thicker. XD


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
*casts wall of thorns*

I had to look it up because I don't play Druids.

That should have an [evil] descriptor. Like, wow.

Why so? Because of how much of an evil "I win" button it is? :P


Wow, Fighters? Lame. :(


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Blaphers wrote:
But whatever you do, don't take normal challenges and artificially inflate their difficulty just to keep things interesting. The lock on Bob the Fletcher's hut isn't going to suddenly be a masterwork adamantine lock with compass in the stock just because Al the Arcane Trickster wanders into town with a +40 Disable Device modifier. That's just another way to invalidate their investment--they could have simply not spent those ranks and the lock would have been simpler.

PREACH IT!!! (Q_Q)


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Actually, I'm talking about the Sacred Band of Thebes, who actually defeated the spartans and was a military force composed of 300 men, or more appropriately, 150 gay couples, with older/younger pairing being the standard. Yep, they crushed the Spartans.

And being gay was part of the strategy. It was their love that ensured that they wouldn't break and abandon their fellows. It was their fighting to protect their love. It was their fighting to show off to their love. They fought as a lover would for their other.

As a fun exercise, the next time you hear someone talking about gay marriage rights, just think that gay couples whipped the snot out of the guys Master Chief is named after. ^_^

Do we REALLY wish to tempt their wrath!? ಠ_ಠ


Undone wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

IF you're going to do double BAB, you're going to have to have the second set of BAB used for something other then hitting stuff.

I.e. paying for Expertise, Power Attack, Stalwart, or some increased move or save option.

Just doubling ability to hit? Ugh.

==Aelryinth

No no, the intent was BAB and all the bonuses that go along with them.

Level 2 Power attack is at -2. Level 6 its -4. Dazing assault at level 11 would be DC 32 exct.

Probably the best reason to never do something like this, ever.


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Jaçinto wrote:
Honestly I think every class is fine and I know people that love rogue and fighter and monk. They don't play to beat the game and optimize, they play to experience the story.

Which has nothing to do with a class. Class is a game mechanic. It has nothing to do with a story beyond what it lets you mechanically do in game that facilitates the story you want to tell. The only reason to pick Fighter or not pick Fighter is for mechanical reasons (because it sure as heck isn't the fluff).

Quote:
It's the journey, not the destination. Easy wins just feel like suck.

You're right. Easy wins do feel kind of sucky. The bad guys agree with you. It's really boring to have spent your afternoon watching the heroes scaling each level of your tower, anxiously and excitedly watching as they overthrow each of your diabolical traps and slowly proving themselves worthy of facing you and your elite at the top floor; this is the moment you've been waiting for; this is SHOW TIME!

...CRAP. Nevermind, false alarm, it's a fighter. *casts wall of thorns* GG.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Why does additional female PCs mean the game will suddenly shift to "sexy adventures"?

That is just as likely to happen with a group of any ratio of male/female adventurers.

Hell, you could all be male Spartan soldiers, and the hot and heavy nights would be beyond number.

The most epic fighting force to have ever existed was composed entirely of homosexual male couples. They were chosen specifically because they were both highly skilled, and highly gay, and were encouraged to love each other; and that bond gave them a morale edge that just refused to break, even when they were eventually slain to the last without surrender; and the commander of their enemy army wept at their death after their display of valor and unity, and demanded that no ill be said of them.

So...yeah! :D


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Lynk wrote:
Immediately start referring to them as your "Harem". . .

Better yet, introduce yourself as THEIR harem. Let that sink in for a bit.


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Zhayne wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:


3) Steal underpants.
I didn't realize they'd created a Panty Raider rogue archetype.

It's the only rogue that's good in play. :P


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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
it would be courteous to at least act mature until you have a rapport. Basically, don't be the first person to blurt out "That's what she said."

I keep telling her that, but she doesn't listen! (Q_Q)


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Sissyl wrote:
Indeed.

Cid was a jerky Tsundere (he acts like he doesn't like her, but he really does; yes Cid, like dwarves, is Tsundere). That's just kind of how it goes. It's too bad when people miss the reality of it because they're wearing tinted goggles, because there's a lot of interesting facets to human interactions.

Another thing that bugs the hell out of me is fact that the arguments in videos like Anita Sarkeesians, is that they are biased, and factually untrue. Why? Because if you apply the criticisms evenly across both genders, then the entirety falls apart. But what she does is ignores all examples of the same when it's a male character, only applies it to female characters, and then acts like there's some grand conspiracy going on when she only talks about instances where female characters are in these situations.

Like the Damsel in Distress bit. This is her definition of a damsel in distress, taken from a transcript of her first video.

Anita Sarkeesian: DID-1 wrote:
As a trope the damsel in distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest.

Notice that to be qualified, you must be female. Thus if a male was in the same position, it gets a pass, because it's not a woman. Instantly, from the very first definition, shows the logical consistency problem. If you're only going to count one sex, you're going to end up with obviously skewed numbers.

For example, Hal Emmerich from Metal Gear Solid pretty much fits right into the Damsel in Distress definition, except he (theoretically) has a penis.

Continuing on, in her second video...

Anita Sarkeesian: DID-2 wrote:
As a trope the damsel in distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and then must be rescued by a male character, usually providing an incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest.

Again, qualification requires specific gender. Everyone from Hal Emmerich to Cloud Strife to Mario falls into this definition, and several female characters serve as the rescuer, but those characters like Aya Brea and Tifa Lockheart don't get to count as the heroes either because they're not men (and for it to work, according to Anita, it must be man rescuing woman or it doesn't get counted).

It's sexist against both genders. It doesn't give credit where it is due and it's biased based entirely on gender. If you're a woman, by her position, you don't qualify to be a counterweight because you're a woman, and if you're a man in distress, you don't qualify because you're a man. Likewise she doesn't even discuss the man saving man or woman saving woman things that crop up as well.

It's just a steaming pile.


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Lemmy wrote:
Well... I don't think I'll be playing FF7 again anytime soon... Or any game in the FF franchise, to be honest... I think its combat mechanics aged poorly and I lack the time and patience to play a game with 120 hours.

As far as the combat mechanics go, I've found that it's highly amusing to set the battle speeds of the game to their maximum, and in some cases change the battles to active. In some of games (especially VII with it's very smooth battle system) it makes the ATB system much more exciting. I recently replayed VII and IX (I never finished 9 because my old PS1 was literally played to death and died during my playthrough of it, so I've been playing it using my computer and being reminded of how freaking amazing and detailed old games were) and it's very helpful, though the delay in actions in FF9 is much more noticeable, whereas in FF VII it's very smooth.

Quote:
BTW, FF6 is the best of all! FF7 is great (but overrated). FF8 sucks! FF9 is great (but underrated), FFX is okay. FFX-2 is pretty bad. FF12 had the most fun combat mechanics but was "meh".

I love both FF6 and FF7 for both the story and gameplay. I've been really enjoying FF9 thus far because of the setting and beautiful details, and the gameplay has been pretty awesome too (I really like the interactivity with the world, and even little things like finding a few gil on the ground are oddly satisfying); however, I gravitate more towards FF2, FF5, FF6, and FF9 because of the character customization that those games provide. One of my biggest complaints with FF9 has been the lack of active influence on how you play in your battles. Most of the customization comes in a variety of passive support skills; whereas in FF5 you had job-classes which could be selected or even mixed in some cases; FF6 had the esper system which allowed you to customize your magic loadout and/or growth of your characters, and FF7 had the best system IMHO with its materia-system where you could redefine any character's purpose and capabilities (and the level of depth in the combat was incredible).

I've been trying to replay FF8 as well but it's hard. Not hard as in difficult gameplay, but it's really hard to get into it, mostly for the reasons you cite. I've never gotten particularly far into it for a variety of reasons, but the junction system was less than super thrilling for me, and I wasn't particularly interested in any of the characters. I loved Cloud in FF7, but Squall was just kind of there. Quistis and Zell I really liked though. I should give it another go however.

Quote:
Sissyl wrote:
What really stinks in FF7 is Cid's treatment of his female assistant. I mean, ewww.
Yeah, he was kinda of an a$!$!$#. Although it wasn't because she was female, IIRC. (Admittedly, I don't even remember what happens to her).

Yeah, it was because she kept him from going ahead with the mission, and he cut the launch because she refused to leave the room with a possibly broken oxygen (or maybe it was fuel) tank and told him to go ahead and launch as she didn't care if she died. He aborted the launch because he didn't want her to die.

It's also worth noting that for the most part, Cid was kind of an asshat to everybody. He's got a mouth on him that makes Barret look like a nun, and a will to use it. When you return and actually fly in the rocket, the oxygen tank malfunctions and Cid finds that she was right. IIRC, I think he apologizes if you return but I can't recall.

The long and short of it is A) he wasn't a dick to her because of her being female, B) he was a dick to everyone, C) their relationship was amusing because it looked like they would hate each other but were actually pretty close, D) she was so nonchalant about everything and that contrasted yet complemented his overbearing and excitably loud attitude. The only person who was going to hang out with Cid in their own time was in fact going to be someone with very thick skin (and she was that person).

Their mutual character interaction was a lot deeper than "I man, you woman, fix the g*~!!#n tea, ug". :P


Lemmy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Aeris Gainsburough (FF7). If you've played FFVII for about 30 minutes you might think Aeris is a "damsel", since there are evil government guys after her and the main character is supposedly supposed to "protect her". If you've played for more than 30 minutes, however, you'll find that she actually ends up doing more of the escorting than the main character during her period of "needing rescuing". She's basically Jesus. Even when your team defeats the BBEG, she's the one that saves the world.

She also made me cry when I was a kid...

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah. I had nightmares for a while after that. Not nightmares of fear, but separation anxiety / loss nightmares.

And yes, she was incredibly strong. If you know how to build up limit breaks, you can easily have your 3rd tier limit breaks before you reach the Gold Saucer, without even doing a lot of grinding. The easiest place for me, IMHO, for building limits and making some fair cash early on is in the mithril mines just after you get across the Zolom swamp with your chocobo as I've pointed out here and here.


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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Tifa Lockheart (FF7). Tough as nails, independent, and she ends up rescuing her love and the main character, helping him to overcome mental illness and paralysis that he cannot on his own. In addition to being integral to the entire plot, she's intelligent, strong willed, and courageous.

Oh, well I didn't know you were going to go to other games to get your examples, but yeah Squaresoft is pretty awesome... although, I will say that (and it's why I quoted Tifa) a woman I am no longer friends with hated Tifa, mainly cause as tough as she was, she was also in your face DD's compared to every other female character in FF7 being much smaller chested. I mean, I like Tifa don't get me wrong, but I did kinda see her point.

I'm going to share a secret with you. People have different bust sizes. Strange, I know. Another, even greater secret, is that there's nothing wrong with big breasts, or the women that have them. Tifa also had brown hair, and auburn eyes. It was scandalous.

It amuses me how a woman can hate another woman, or the depiction of another woman because of her bust size. Perhaps it's jealous insecurity, or the hatred of sexuality? I dunno. All I know is, if that woman hated Tifa because of her cup size instead of who she was as a person, then her opinion doesn't matter to me anyway.

There's nothing wrong with being sexy. Cloud and Barret are sexy. Why is it only women who have a problem with other women being sexy? I don't have anything against Cloud for being sexy. Or Barret. Or Rufus. Or Sephiroth.

Quote:
As for Parasite Eve, OMG I love Parasite Eve! I even have the DVD of the movie (yes, the movie, if you haven't seen it you should. It's based more directly on the book (the games are sequels to the book), and it's therefore the story of what happened in Tokyo right before Aya and her sister had their accident and needed organ transplants...)

I haven't seen the movie, but I go back and replay PE I from time to time. I've been meaning to play through PE II, but I just can't get into the gameplay portion nearly as much. I prefered PE to be PE, not Resident Evil the RPG.


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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:

a wife who cheats on her husband with the yoga instructor, a daughter that works as webcam girl and calls herself "Tracey Suxx" who later tries to get into porn movies, etc. The point is, even among ALL the bad portrayals of everyone, there isn't a single non-sex based portrayal of women in that game.

And now, it bears saying I have no problem with strippers, prostitutes, porn stars, especially not webcam girls... but when that along with a cheating wife (oh and she's an ex-stripper whose husband bought her implants even before she quit and married him) and an ex-FIB (GTA world's equivalent of FBI) agent who once dated and slept with a thug to get close to his operation and ends up dead is all the game has

So 4 x 3 = 12

Spoilers Beyond This Line
Aeris Gainsburough (FF7). If you've played FFVII for about 30 minutes you might think Aeris is a "damsel", since there are evil government guys after her and the main character is supposedly supposed to "protect her". If you've played for more than 30 minutes, however, you'll find that she actually ends up doing more of the escorting than the main character during her period of "needing rescuing". She's basically Jesus. Even when your team defeats the BBEG, she's the one that saves the world.

Tifa Lockheart (FF7). Tough as nails, independent, and she ends up rescuing her love and the main character, helping him to overcome mental illness and paralysis that he cannot on his own. In addition to being integral to the entire plot, she's intelligent, strong willed, and courageous.

Agrias Oaks (FFT). Agrias is a Holy Knight that serves as the lead bodyguard of Princess Ovelia. After discovering a conspiracy involving the church and the royal family and an ancient evil, she joins with the main character. She is far from eye candy, is honorable, disciplined, and one of the strongest characters in the game.

Miluda (FFT). A freedom fighting rebel fighting for equality between the peasantry an the nobility. She is courageous and principled and dies fighting for her beliefs. Despite being a minor character in the grand scheme, her death influences the other characters deeply (altering the perceptions of the protagonists and jarring their faith in the system).

Altima (FFT). The end boss and most powerful enemy in final fantasy tactics. An angel of death and destruction, she commands all the Lucavi. She's basically a cosmic superbeing with attitude. She is the strongest single enemy that you can fight during the course of the game.

Side Note: Female characters in FFT are actually stronger than their male counterparts because they have more tactical options in the game, including several female-only weapons, accessories, headgears that grant incredible status buffs and in some cases literally makes it impossible to be slain (one of the perfumes gives you constant re-raise, which means you auto-revive when killed by HP damage).

Aya Brea (Parasite Eve). Despite being sexy in a lot of ways, Aya is pretty much the opposite of everything resembling Anita's complaints, though I suppose "violence against women" might be a thing since there's stuff trying to kill you (Aya) the entire game. She's a police officer that ends up fighting through hell and back to protect people, and she's tough, smart, relatable, and wears t-shirt, jeans, and a leather jacket through most of the game. She generally ends up saving all the damnsels (read as "everyone" and "mostly men") throughout the game, and if you complete the EX content, the only time she's ever saved by anyone in a fight she couldn't conceivably win was through the help of another woman, her sister.

Mitochondria Eve (Paraite Eve). The villain of parasite eve. Basically carries out and effectively succeeds at her plan at pretty much every step of the way, and is only able to be contested and defeated by Aya. She basically wrecks everybody. She's also pretty damn cool.

Emilia (Saga Frontier). Is framed for the murder of her fiance and sentenced to life in prison in one of the many realms. Along with two of her fellow female friends, ends up escaping through their ingenuity and combat skill. Goes on to look for the one who framed her and killed her fiance, eventually tracking down the culprit to find a bit of a surprise waiting. Regardless, she's also a pretty epic lady, and so are her two main buddies. She can also recruit a number of other powerful female friends of desired.

Asellus (Saga Frontier). A human girl who is captured by a powerful mystic, the ruler of mystics, known as the charm lord. Due to a blood transfusion from the evil charm lord himself, she becomes a half-mystic, and inherits abilities associated with it. She is to be one of his concubines but decides to leave instead, where she ends up on a whirlwind adventure across the realms while being hounded by lots of minions of the charm lord, and eventually ends up rescuing a human girl (who begins Asellus' story by reciting the tale of her). She has three different endings, wherein she can either decide to live as a human, go on embracing her entirety (IMHO the best ending, YMMV), or embrace the mystic lifestyle (in which case she overthrows the charm lord and claims all of his concubines as her own, and is kind of a jerk).

Terra (FF6). A mysterious woman with magic, initially ends up being the #1 interest of a corrupt empire due to her power. She initially suffers from amnesia due to the effects of a mind-altering device used to try to control her, which results in her being rescued, but mostly so her rescuers can beg for her help. Later her memory returns and you find that she's a grade-A badass superpowered awesome-folk.

Celes (FF6). A former general of a corrupt empire, she was branded a traitor after she protested the horrors that their nation was inflicting on the world. A powerful magic knight, she is rescued on accident (one of the other main characters happens to be passing through and releases her), but she quickly becomes the big deal in the subplot where the two are involved, being both potent at melee and magical combat. Her unique runic sword ability and magic expertise is pretty necessary. Later she is responsible for reuniting all the heroes to save the world.

Quistis Trepp (FF8). A professor at the Balamb Garden institute that trains the SEED special forces for which the main character is a member of, Quistis is the main character's senior, instructor, and outranks him initially. It's also noted that she is something of a prodigy as she is very accomplished for her age. She's also damn skilled with a violin, and generally instructs you on how things work early on. She eventually opts to go with you rather remain an instructor. She also possesses a coed fanclub called the Treppies.

That's 12 female characters who are awesome, not portrayed in bad ways, and/or not presented as sexual objects. That's just from one developer's games alone (Squaresoft).

And here's a bonus one. While GTA is pretty rotten all around (intentionally), you might find more suitable with Miss Bonnie McFarlane in another of Rockstar's Titles: Red Dead Redemption; or the wife of the protagonist. Both are really great characters, and neither of them have anything to be ashamed of. John Marston's wife was a saloon gal (as in a prostitute), but if you consider who Marston was, he wasn't exactly a polished pearl either (but as Marston and his wife show, having a past that neither is proud of isn't the measure of your worth in the present; though honestly I have nothing against strippers or prostitutes, regardless of gender).


AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


I would dare bet that for every game you can point out a female character that is a "sex object" or "victim", I can point out 3 female characters that aren't, or 3 male characters that are (or some combination in between). I'm going to bet on a 3 to 1 basis, just based on the games I've played since I've been alive. And I think 3 to 1 is a really "safe bet" as I think that it's actually probably easier to list more, but I'm assuming...

Okay, I'll take this challenge, Grand Theft Auto V (Online not included because women portrayal in that is entirely on the player) GO. (Don't get me wrong, I like GTA5, but when it comes to the game's portrayal of women, it's pretty bad)

Oh, and just to clarify how I am presenting this, I am putting every woman I can think of from the game on the "bad" side, so tell me who should be on the "good" side.

I haven't played GTA V. Can you be more specific? Do you have a character name? Telling me "GTA V's portrayal of women is pretty bad", that's kind of vague, and the first thing it makes me think of is "GTA's protrayal of everybody is pretty bad". It's kind of a running gag. If you turn on the radio in pretty much every GTA game since III that I have played, you are treated to a hilarious parade of the worst examples of human beings and intentionally poor stereotypes. It's a game series that has little old ladies that call people douchebags when they pass you on the sidewalk.

But since I haven't played GTA V specifically, I can't really comment on it. Do you have some video examples, or a link to a character description? My brother has GTA V, so if you can give me a few days, I might be able to answer more adequately after I do some research (and by research, I mean playing the game, and you won't even have to donate to a kickstarter for me to do it).


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Aranna wrote:
Will this happen overnight? Of course not. But doing something simple like removing sexism would definitely encourage the change sooner. Do you really NEED every girl in your game to be a sex object or a victim? Of course not. Can some of the girls fill this role without it becoming sexist? Yes. But show us as people... not all girls are victims. Girls can also be heroes.

Um, do you...play hardcore games? Assuming we're talking about non-casual games, I immediately think of non-casual games I've played.

Almost All RPGs Loaded with awesome females who are rarely around for mere sex appeal and/or victim roles. This ranges from most any classic Squaresoft titles through the Baldur's Gate Series through modern RPGs like Dragon Age Origins.

Almost All Fighting Games Virtually every fighting game has several female fighters, most of which tend to be just as good and powerful as their male counterparts. One of the most oft-criticized for blatant sex-appeal being Ivy from Soul Calibur, yet she is one of the strongest characters in most SC games. Fighting games in general don't generally have a lot of character depth for male characters either (and are also exaggerated to various levels of idealization).

FPS like Battlefield You spend your entire time running around unable to see your character. When you do, they're covered in body armor. Sometimes (like in the Halo series) you aren't even human. The first spartan you see in the Halo animation movies is a...

Racing Games Games like Dirt, Grid, etc...well, you're in a car.

I would dare bet that for every game you can point out a female character that is a "sex object" or "victim", I can point out 3 female characters that aren't, or 3 male characters that are (or some combination in between). I'm going to bet on a 3 to 1 basis, just based on the games I've played since I've been alive. And I think 3 to 1 is a really "safe bet" as I think that it's actually probably easier to list more, but I'm assuming that maybe I'll be surprised.


Speaking of which... *runs off to play UMVC3 with his brother*


Lemmy wrote:

Pfff... Tekken is the best Namco fighter!

...And Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is the hypest of fighting games! ^^

Street Fighter vs Tekken never existed and shall not be discussed. :P

Ooh, I love UMVC3, and I'd love to play that some more. I generally play Morrigan, Trish, and Virgil (kind of a devil team, I guess? :P).

I reeeaally love Morrigan. :D

I just bought SC V off Xbox live for $15.99. I asked my brother about IV or V, he said V, so that's what we got for now (I might get IV after my next paycheck or something).


Rynjin wrote:

Yeah, pretty sure I played it with a friend after my Gold ran out before, and that I've played with Silver members.

I actually haven't played V a whole ton (played IV a LOT though), so it'd be cool to play it with somebody. I don't like what they did to Yoshimitsu (they swapped his moves around a bit, some to different button combos. Damn you muscle memory!) but it's fun.

Unfortunately I didn't get to play IV (my brother said it has some serious balance issues, and he says this as the guy who always wins mind you, as he's very good at playing Sigfried and SC II Nightmare), but I didn't play it just because I didn't own it and was busy with other stuff at the time. I've actually been somewhat unimpressed with SC V's character roster, though I enjoyed the character creation options in it.

My favorite to play is Lizardman-combat style, followed by Nightmare and Sigfried, Mitsurugi, and Ivy is pretty cool too but I frequently end up making bad decisions with her (need way more practice with her). The girl with the orb and the one with the giant chakram (I can't remember their names as well as the others because they're newer SC characters) are too complex for my shotokan-brain. :P

I'd love to try SC IV and might see if I can find it at a used game store or something since the character roster looks way more interesting IMHO. Honestly if they remade SC II with character creation options I'd die happy. :P


Rynjin wrote:
Buy an adapter for like $40. You don't need Gold to play SC online.

Wait, really? O.o

Now I am so much more interested in buying a copy of Soul Calibur V now, instead of just playing it when my friend brings her copy over. :o


Rynjin wrote:

I'd play 4 or 5 with you if you play on Xbox 360.

More on topic, I won't say the gamer culture is all inclusive, it has its share of both white knights and misogynists (both sexist in their own special way), bigots and other categories of a*%$@%*, but then...what group doesn't?

It's not gaming culture that's at fault, it's culture, full stop.

I do play on Xbox 360. I sadly don't have Xbox Live, or else I'd be playing waaaaay more frequently. :P


Nevermind, my brother's going out with a couple of his friends, so no SFIV practice today. Q_Q


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Christina Hoff Sommers the Feminist. A feminist of a different era. A feminist I can agree with, get behind, who has integrity, honesty, is ethical, and insists on using reason and logic to determine course of action and policy. A woman who believes in equity for everyone. Someone that I would be proud to stand beside, with a strength of character I would admire in anyone.

Quote:
I love how you think her message to girls is good in any way. Basically she is telling us to shut up and accept sexism as legitimate because that is what "male gamer culture"?

Far from it. In fact she describes the gaming culture as being one of the most inclusive where aspects such as race or gender take a back seat to ability; one that actually matches what I've seen at the gaming expos in my area. Nobody excludes women. We like seeing women sit down next to us, grab a controller, and dive into games with us. What doctor Sommers has pointed out is that there is no evidence that video games or the subculture is making men racist, misogynist, or homophobic. In truth, evidence suggests that "millennial-male" growing up constantly exposed to video games are actually more inclusive and less prejudiced than any before them.

She is also fair, because she looks at it from across the coin. How would women feel if men started attacking female-centered shows, magazines, and so forth in the same fashion people like Anita Sarkeesian have been attacking the gaming culture.

She also remarks on while the ratio of hardcore gamers is 7 to 1, there is a small but distinct and cool group of women that make up that other 8th; and she notes that games don't care about your age, sex, ethnicity, race, or sexual preference. Gaming is one of the places that you can honestly and without doubt have both sexes compete and thrive in, such as Marie-laure Norindr (or her handle "Kayane"), or perhaps you've heard of Kayo Police? She's actually beaten Daigo's Ryu with C. Viper. It was epic to watch and a close match, but she seized a commanding lead with a rather brutal and relentless claim on his life bar. Heheh.

Quote:
So that makes it ok? The message she is sending is 'Sorry girls go back to your beauty magazines and stay away from gaming that is a boy thing'. I LIKE gaming IS it SO WRONG to want some representation in the hard core gaming area? Even miss male character is a huge step in the right direction. I don't expect flowery dialog in a FPS game even if they include a girl avatar option... I just want the avatar option (the dialog can come in RPGs). Let more girls enjoy gaming in a less sexist way and I suspect over the years it will become less and less one sided gender wise. Contrary to popular belief we would love to blast some bad guys to let off steam from time to time... just give us the chance without all the angry attacks from the internet.

I wonder why there's suddenly this backlash from male gamers? I'm sure it couldn't be because of the divisive righteous anger of people in response to crap like Anita Sarkeesian's sexist and fundamentally flawed line of reasoning, and the storm of media controversy painting it all as "women vs gamers" (which is really freaking insulting by the way, because there are a lot of women gamers, and trans-women gamers by the way).

...crap, now after talking about the match between Daigo and Rayo, I have an urge to play some fighting games. I've been kind of itching to play some Soul Calibur lately, but the girl I usually play with is out of town, and it's her copy of Soul Calibur that we play (she brings it over and we play on our X-Box). I should see if I can dig up my copy of Street Fighter EX+Alpha (my sister and I used to play that game all the time) or Soul Calibur II (my sis used to play this one with us frequently as well) since it'll play on my sister's Wii; but my sister has been hanging it with her boyfriend in all her free time so; I guess I'll need to ask my brother if he'd be down for some Street Fighter IV, or see if my buddy Jay wants to play (he might bring over his copy of SSFIV-Tournamnet-whatever it was).

Actually, if you have Hamachi, we could probably play Street Fighter Alpha II via ZSNES netplay features. Wanna play?


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thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
So how many male privilege equal one able-bodied privilege? You would just have to set up an exchange table and then you could mathematically assign levels of victimhood to everyone! Even better, this could be tracked online like the stock market prices so you could be certain to have a spot victimhood value that depends on the current changes in the various victim labels! It would be equally applicable in precisely every situation! Just think of the efficiency gains inherent in not having to wonder if someone is more or less a victim than you are!

Look up intersectionality. They don't add up or replace each other. There's no "victimhood value" involved.

A rich black woman is obviously better off than a homeless white male. No one is arguing otherwise. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't still have to deal with racism and sexism.

Doesn't mean he doesn't either. Which is where the underlying problem with your position rears its ugly head. It's only racist when it's against a non-white, and only sexist when it's against a non-male. A bigoted double-standard if there ever was.


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Aranna wrote:

Hold on there this is hypocrisy.

You are demanding an impossible standard for real feminists while giving men who would never help women get an equal share the pass.

...whut?

Quote:
You can only argue so many issues before your viewpoint becomes diluted and irrelevant.

"The (unmolested) data shows that there is some unfairness. Let's fix it," isn't exactly spreading your viewpoint very thin. You must have an excessively cynical view on the capabilities of the conscious human mind.

Quote:
I would LOVE to see the reaction you would get if you said "shut up and also help all those other people who are suffering too like Latinos, disadvantaged white children, or women" to all those mobs fighting for equal rights for blacks. I have never met a real feminist who didn't care that some boys were being mistreated and if presented with an opportunity to make things better wouldn't have hesitated to do so. BUT those little steps forward that Dr Sommers likes to point to as proof we should all shut up would NEVER have happened without real feminists bringing those issues forward. Sexism is the single largest -ism facing the world today not just for the appalling treatment of women in third world countries but also the way we are still treated here at home in the first world. The time for us to shut up will be when inclusivity and equality is the NORM not the outlier. It gets real annoying being a real feminist when on one side you have fake feminists like Dr. Sommers saying every thing is roses and the other tiny few but VERY vocal extreme feminist man haters out there making bad press...

Dr. Sommers was a feminist when feminism actually meant something. The woman is a 60 year old professor of philosophy and ethics (something a few feminists today could definitely use today). She represents a purer, uncorrupted, brand of feminism that is based in rational thought and higher standards of data collection and presentation.

I'm sorry she has been too busy doing things like trying to help ensure the equal quality of education and open discussion for students in America, rather than tackling the real feminist issues like how oppressed Princess Peach is.


Coridan wrote:
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round

Given the female nudity, we can probably chalk this up as yet another of the potential female love interests saturating APs.


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thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Male Privlidge implies that its a 1 way street: that everything is better if you're male. This is simply not the case.

I'd say it means you're better off overall. Not in every single way. There are always exceptions.

And just to point at one thing, tied into the point about feminism fighting against gender roles in general: It's feminists who've been pushing to let women into the military and into combat roles in particular. Not trying to keep themselves safe and get men blown to smithereens.

That's right. And some of them are honest about it too, like Miss Sommers who has also been pushing for better education in schools for boys who are getting an unfair shake. She's being real. She's being honest, and the ones who like to throw around words like "patriarchy" do what they can to shut her down for it.

How are those feminists doing on rectifying those other problems? How many of them are going to line up and demand to be put on draft lists if it ever comes to that? How many of them are going to insist that the floor be raised for those males that BNW points out; the ones who end up homeless or struggling? How many of them are fighting for the rights of fathers for their children, or rallying against the injustice of the legal system in regards to men vs women?

*crickets chirping*

I see women like Christina Sommers and Karen Straughan and I am impressed. I can agree with them and they make good sense. And they do it with reason and integrity.


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JurgenV wrote:

Thanks Ashiel, i thought maybe i was being oversensitive reading that the same way.

Words matter, they have meaning and set the tone. A single word can make the whole page have a different meaning or tone.

You're welcome. I was involved in an incident of child molestation that went unreported (I was the child, I hope that much is obvious) and will go unreported (I think the situation was complicated and I harbor no ill will towards the other person), but it, along with accounts from my grandfather, and knowing other people who have been subjected to certain things, that these things do happen.

While I'm not upset with thejeff or even mechaPoet themselves, I will say that that particular exchange did upset me. It upset me that mechaPoet just reduced your experiences into fuel to toss out the word misogyny again because the apparent quota of hypocrisy had not been met today. I recognized how that would make me feel if someone had said "Oh well you were a little boy, molested by a woman -- it doesn't happen enough to matter / it was because of hatred against women / you were a boy so you must have enjoyed it". I've had at least one friend who became privy to my experiences who said it would have been worse if it was a man who molested me or if I was a little girl. It didn't make me feel very nice, I'm sorry to report.

I'm not asking for pity, or sympathy, or any sort of righteous anger against anyone for any perceived wrongs. What I am saying is I think that the world is complex and rarely black and white, and I sympathize with you, and I believe that your experience matters and is just as important as anyone else's.

I believe we need to focus on being more inclusive, tearing down our false walls, and attacking the problems directly. People are complex creatures and we need to let them be more open, more free, and help everyone. Some of this involves forgiveness, and all of it involves honesty.

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