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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. 10,612 posts (10,615 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
xeose4 wrote:
Or the too-common storyline where the male main character never once has an emotional connection with any male companions and doesn't bat an eye when a male character he'd been adventuring with for years gets hurt or killed, because then he wouldn't be a "real man" (since real men don't have emotions).
OK, I'd like to know what you've been reading because this bears little resemblance to what I've read, with the possible exceptions of Howard, Lovecraft and Eddison.
NCIS?

In all fairness, NCIS is really stupid. We have it to thank for depictions of brilliance such as two idiots, one keyboard and the lady who has more hours in a day than god.


Coriat wrote:
Quote:
I didn't intend to imply that it was the actual Sargon of Akkad. :P

*whispers*

I, uh, I kind of figured it must be some internet guy stealing his name, yeah. ;)

Although the alternative would be kind of awesome.

You may have inspired an adventure now. I'm kind of picturing a grouchy old undead guy that wakes up, goes out, and is appalled by these newfangled ways and decides to try to change everything to be back in his/her day where X race was enslaved, Y gender had specific roles, and Z religion was a legal requisite, and then the heroes stopping him/her. :)


Coriat wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I've also listened to a lot of "feminists". I've also listened to a lot of anti-feminists (Sargon of Arkaad [maybe mispelled] is probably a good example

Sargon of Akkad must feel really strongly about feminism, to come back after 4200 years.

That said, if that mask of his is representative, I may not be able to resist listening to everything he says. Can't say no to those badass Mesopotamian stylized beards.

Sorry, I was referring to a person by the YouTube username 'cause I don't recall the guy's name off the top of my head; similar to how other users that have strongly contested modern feminism have usernames such as Thorium or Thunderf00t (though I would hardly call Thunderf00t anti-feminist so much as I would call him anti-stupid and it just happens that the lines cross with people like Anita Sarkeesian).

I didn't intend to imply that it was the actual Sargon of Akkad. :P


Wow. This slipped under the radar. :o


Zurias wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Metaphorical warriors? I don't know actually. Firstly, the difference between warriors and diplomats is primarily sphere of operations (physical vs. social)rather than any actual difference in methodology, and metaphorical conflicts are almost universally within the social sphere already.

Technically, most real-life conflicts do involve both—we haven't been very big on "Kill them all and salt the earth" wars for a while. You pummel 'em, then send in the diplomats to convince them they don't need another pummeling.

Not to say that this is the best strategy, or that it applies to metaphors.

Clearly you have not been paying attention to how that dentist is being treated. People are stalking him, his family, his children, the business...it's sickening...

Dentist?


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TheJeff wrote:

Why? Why does removing prejudice against LGBTQ people in a setting have to mean removing all prejudice entirely? Is it possible to do in one culture in the world, but not all of them? Could cultures actually be different and not all based on medieval European norms?

On a higher level, how do you avoid introducing real-world issues? Isn't having prejudice against LGBTQ people a real world issue, just as much as not having it? Or having sexism? Or having racism? Isn't it all real world issues?

Prejudice itself is a real world issue and it is derived from fear and resentment. For example, most campaigns do not take issue with half-orcs because they have green or gray skin (though they may be collectively known as "greenskins" or something as a crude descriptor), it usually comes from bad experiences with orcs and the fear and resentment they harbor towards them.

Now, one might wonder what that has to do with any form of sexuality (or religion, or anything else), but the wise Charles Xavier has taught us that people fear what they do not understand. I can say from first hand experience that most people do not understand homosexuality or transgenderism (I've had to explain or advocate for both plenty of times). People by the large are also prone to assuming the worst when left to their own devices which leads to yet more problems. Look at the crazy people who think that homosexuals are trying to turn everyone else into homosexuals and bring down society as we know it. It's false, stupid, and irrational, and it's a whole lot of fear of the unknown.

Human beings, for better or worse, are prone to associating things collectively. If you're a girl and go out with a guy and he lies to you and breaks up with you to go date the hot new cheerleader, you are more likely to associate his bad behavior with being a male (because you are female) without thinking that your former BFF Becky stabbed you in the back when you got to highschool and dumped you for the cool cheerleader clique. That wasn't because Becky was a girl (because you're a girl and you know) but because Becky was being a jerk. Now even if you've met lots of jerk ladies, if you mean a few more jerk guys than not, then it likely colors your perception of all males even though your sample group is far too small to actually make the call and you likely won't even evaluate girls (some do invert this trope, which has led to my sister believing girls to be naturally jerkish backstabbing monsters, though I've tried to explain that frequently people just suck regardless of gender).

It's the reason that tieflings are frequently discriminated against in my campaign. They are rarer than normal people, they are different enough that they seem "other" to people, and in some cases they catch a lot of flak because of the religious ideologies of mainstream religions. It's not because one day someone decided "Hey, let's not like tieflings anymore", it's more subtle and nefarious than that because many of the racists don't see why they are wrong or wonder why no one else can see that those folks with the fiendish touch shouldn't be in the same bar as everyone else.

It takes a higher cognitive awareness and reasoning ability to combat these sorts of crude base tricks of the mind and expose them for what they are. How a society treats any given issue will usually depend on the collective consciousness of the society and how entrenched these base instincts towards others are.

Meanwhile, Dr. Suesse's "The Sneeches" should be required media for every human being ever.


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Aranna wrote:
Why do you listen to the Anti-Feminist?

I don't listen to "the anti-feminist" (there are plenty of them out there, which I'll get to shortly). I listen to a more oldschool feminist who is well reasoned, honest, and interested in getting into the facts. She very well may be against this newer wave of feminism but then so am I since I appreciate things like truth, honesty, and reason. When I watch her videos, I don't find myself navigating a minefield of poor reason, logical errors, and trees hiding in forests. I find that I can respect her which is a lot more than I can say for a lot of today's feminists.

I do believe that she has an issue with what's usually called "third wave feminism" because "It cheapens the whole point" is probably the most encompassing description of everything the movement stands for and does more harm than good, creating division where none would have been by crying wolf all over the place. I imagine that she's probably pretty irritated to see her community go to the dumps like that.

But I do listen to her. I've also listened to a lot of "feminists". I've also listened to a lot of anti-feminists (Sargon of Arkaad [maybe mispelled] is probably a good example, though he makes some good points now and then).

Maybe that's the problem. I listen to everyone and then weigh all that I've found and make my judgments that way, rather than not watching anyone who I think disagrees with my limited understanding of reality. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that this scene from vengeful spirit princess sums up everything and giftwraps it with a remarkably accurate speech.

This is what hatred looks like.


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TarkXT wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Maybe if the rules team actually did something crazy like discuss the rules, why they wanted to change them, and so forth, people would be more receptive.
Trouble is the player base has a hard time being civil talking over thigns even amongst themselves. And given the comments here I for one wouldn't want to leap into the acid bath when a bucket of salt looms overhead.

I do it all the time. It's good for the soul. :)


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Zhangar wrote:
And people wonder why Mark's the only dev team member that even bothers talking to the message boards. =P

Nobody ever wants to take credit for starting the fire. I've found this to be a very bad policy when making rules however. When you cannot explain or justify the why, you must expect people to assume the worst. It's human nature.

Maybe if the rules team actually did something crazy like discuss the rules, why they wanted to change them, and so forth, people would be more receptive. However lately it looks like they don't actually care about the game anymore and haven't even cracked open their own books since the FAQs are an utterly disgusting mess.

When you don't interact with your community other than to release questionable changes, often with no apparent reason, how else do you expect to be perceived?


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...no. Paladins persecuting people on any consistent basis for anything but truly awful behavior (or allying with truly terrible people and things) get to be ex-Paladins. Period.
Tell that to all the goblin villages that have been destroyed over the years by paladin PCs and the players that controlled them that simply assumed that the evil alignment was enough to wipe out entire villages of goblins or orcs or whatever else they found that radiated evil but were largely minding their own business. Virtually nobody stops to ask the goblins or orcs their views, so everyone assumes the paladin must be in the right. Not all that different from real life history where few bothered to ask the persecuted or defeated their opinion of the matter, and simply took the word of those who we now label persecutors but to themselves and their contemporaries were doing the best they could to make the world a better place. When more people started asking questions more and had regular communication with the groups historically persecuted, opinions changed pretty quickly.

On a side note, goblins and orcs don't even radiate evil.

EDIT: Nor do hobgoblins, bugbears, ogres, or drow.


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"Fear and anger only make it grow faster." - Prince Ashitaka of the Emishi.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Your campaign is weird and I want to watch it on the television.

Would you believe that all that stuff is minor side stuff in a campaign that has revolved around a young woman's quest for revenge, a paladin's quest for justice, a child's quest for a family and place she belongs, and demonic forces conspiring against the world? :)


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thejeff wrote:

But the "stupid stuff" isn't the "traumatic stress" kind and doesn't need even amateur therapy, so there's no danger there either. Since you specifically said, "traumatic stress", it seemed clear that you were talking about the more serious kind and I really wanted to push back against anyone thinking they should be using their RPG as therapy for any serious issues. Especially without informed consent from the players.

Since you also say you do give trigger warnings ("alerts for things that crop up in play") or at least are sure to know your audience well enough to know what will be a problem, it seems we're really only arguing about where we should draw the line between super intense things that need warnings and stupid stuff that doesn't.

I don't check about content because of "triggering" but because of enjoyment, not because I'm concerned they can't handle it. Not everyone enjoys grimdark material and if everyone would rather play something more lighthearted then that's what we'll do. Someone doesn't need to be "triggered" to simply not enjoy something and that's what the goal is, to enjoy the game and story.

However, trigger warnings I most frequently see on things not intended for entertainment but academia and I feel that's a poor idea. Especially given how I've seen them used. If you want start another thread about it and link me, we can talk about it at length. In the meantime, this feminist explains most of my issues with it fairly well.

Quote:

And to extend the metaphor - In any metaphorical conflict, you need both diplomats and warriors.

Nor am I sure why "equity" is preferable to "justice".

Because the goal is education, re-education, and equality. However, by definition, while Justice has involvement in moral equality it is also concerned with doling out retribution, rewards, and punishments, which frankly do very little to quell unjustified hatred and can sow seeds where none existed prior.

Equity has no such association with rewards and punishments but instead is about true equality. It's much easier to douse the flames of hatred and isn't likely to create new hatred where non-existed before, but I've seen many, many examples of people who were completely neutral to the subjects soured to social reformations because of the ways in which those things are being handled.


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Jeo's Mothers - Jugeum and Feiya
Sex both female; Orientation bisexual (or something like that); Occupation assassins for oni shogun
Biography Not a whole lot is currently known about Jeo's mothers and I'm not going to reveal much of it here since the campaign is still ongoing and my players read this thread. However, it's important to note that Jugeum, Feiya, and Jeo are kumiho, a nine-tailed fox demon from korean lore that - unlike kitsune - are pretty much just known for being monstrous people-eating shapeshifter demons.

Jugeum and Feiya (along with several other kumiho) are the prized assassins and possessions of an Oni Shogun that is a powerful force in the criminal underworld. These fox-spirits go where they are told, kill who they are told to kill, like loyal dogs. Jugeum, however, is the most headstrong of the kumiho and is prone to periodically escaping from her home and wandering around causing mischief and enjoying bouts of freedom prior to being reclaimed and punished in some way. Feiya is significantly less headstrong and has been more accepting of their situation and spends her days reading books and studying about the world when she's not tasked with killing some enemy of the shogunate or other. Over the years the two shapeshifters found themselves close and eventually intimate with one-another.

In our campaign, it's fairly common for kumiho to abandon their young to fend for themselves for their youth with no clear understanding of what they are. In Jeo's case, her mother Jugeum (who carried her) did this out of an unusual display of altruism. However, when she found that she was going to give birth, her usually selfish attitude was replaced with a desire to give her child a chance at real freedom. So when it was about that time she slipped away once again and wandered far away and gave birth before abandoning the child where the oni were unlikely to find her before she was captured again.

The oni lord she served was angry that she hide away what was his by right but there was little that he could do for she intentionally placed the child where they would be carted away and so she didn't actually know where little Jeo was either so mind-tricks and such weren't going to easily divine her location from her. So for many years, prior to Jeo's return, Jugeum and Feiya continued their daily lives and didn't spend much time being intimate for fear of another incident like Jeo cropping up and the oni claiming their son or daughter.

Later, when Jeo was an adult, she encountered Jugeum accidentally (in combat if I recall) and the two ended up in a scrap before transforming into fox demons and being like "wtf!?" and thus the family was partially reunited. Jugeum hurried Jeo and Aliizsa out of the area after the ninja assassins were dispatched and insisted that Jeo had done a very bad thing trying to find them as the oni lord would now be interested in reclaiming them and Jeo to. Since Jeo spent her youth as a slave before murdering a guard and escaping to roam the forests for a while, she was in no way interested in being somebody else's slave (seems a recurring theme for her, first she was the slave of a dirty old man, so she escapes, then goes back and watches the old guy kick the bucket with a heart attack - which she learned later was due to poisoning, only to become marked for slavery by a vampire, then by an oni lord...screw this!).

Eventually the oni lord's oni warriors came to reclaim Jugeum and Jeo, which occurred at the same time as a demonic attack made to attempt to seize Aliizsa after Vandread's defeat (which led to the party fighting lots of demons and oni fighting the party and each other). Along with the team of oni was Feiya who had been hand-picked to bring them back, perhaps out of spite since the lord knew the two were fond of one another, perhaps because he figured Jugeum would be more likely to listen to Feiya request her return.

Feiya appeared from nowhere using her spirit-magics and made a huge hole where Aliizsa's favorite torso was supposed to be before throwing her to the ground nonchalantly before trying to capture Jugeum and Jeo. What she wasn't aware of is that Aliizsa is a vampire and Jeo is a tough cookie. Jeo turned her into a pile of burger meat and Aliizsa stood back up and was about to grill the remains (which would have slain the regenerating kumiho) but Jugeum stopped them in desperation and begged Jeo not to kill her. When questioned why, the answer was:

"Because she's your father!" ~Dun-dun-duuuuuun~

Gonna pause here because I gotta go to bed to get up for work in the morning.


Cyrad wrote:
Sexuality is almost never relevant to my games. It's just really awkward. Even heterosexuality can easily get creepy and make people uncomfortable at the table.

I am required by nerd law to link this.


Freehold DM wrote:
interesting, ashiel. Verymuchso.

Well there's at least no confusion about what I'm talking about when I say SJW, so agree or disagree we're at least on a better footing for understanding each other, right? (^_^)

Anyway, on to Jeo's mothers...


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Qaianna wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Since most of that is outside of the breadth of this thread (or I would expect it to be), I'm going to simply say that whether or not I agree or disagree with any of that, it only means that discussion and discourse should occur, not be stifled. I've had my share of talking with people that are neutral to hostile concerning many subjects surrounding homosexuals, bisexuals, transexuals, and aesexuals (and a few other groups of people) and you want to know what has never helped?

Being a dick to them. Even if it's a righteous sort of dickery. Reason and discussion has a better success rate than giving them reasons to retaliate when cognitive dissonance kicks in.

Letting everyone speak is important. I've no interest in social justice warriors. They can stay off my lawn. I prefer social equality diplomats.

Hate to bring this up, but I've seen a few too many times where people used the 'social justice warrior' label as a way to try and stifle discussion. (Disclosure: quite a few I hang out with would prefer 'social justice cleric' or 'barbarian' or 'sorceror' when being called that.) Essentially, 'oh, we don't need to listen to <positon>, as the ones talking about it are just social justice warriors trying to play victim' or some such. And this can easily turn into an atmosphere where one feels intimidated into NOT having the discussion. I think that's the hardest part of anyone trying to moderate a discussion, to be honest -- making sure that it can take place. (And hopefully avoid dropping into labelthink or whatever you call it when you just label something to make it go away.)

That's a fair point so let me clarify the context.

To me, when I think of a "social justice warrior", it by definition to me means someone who is actively pushing a particular social agenda, usually forcefully, who is prone to using any means necessary including but not limited to: misinformation, browbeating, shaming, insulting, bigotry, harassment, propaganda, zealotry, and in some cases literal violence. Essentially, the warriors are at war. It's not about reason, equity, or logic, it's about winning the war by any means.

It has become quite the ugly word around the circles I frequent (which are probably among the most chill and accepting circles I know of). It implies a sort of social violence not merely in name but by the people that carry the badge. I've never once met a SJW (particularly self proclaimed) that I thought wasn't a bit unhinged.

So I'd opt to field a different unit. A social equity diplomat. Entirely different purpose.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
But I think maybe people aren't sure whether the OP is joking or serious

It's just funny. :D


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Qaianna wrote:
It's always good to get a feel for how things like that will be treated, even in the innocent 'flirting leads to fade to black, then note on nightstand' scene. If nothing else, I'd rather not have to start adjusting my character's armour a few months after she enjoys an NPC's company ... and if nothing else it'd help to have an idea how it'll be treated in-game (whether 'what'll you name the baby', 'get some herbs at the apothecary across the street from the brothel', or 'go have fun'). And while the female PCs would have the more immediate game effects, even a male PC would like to know whether or not he'll end up as the groom in a blunderbuss wedding.

Humorously, despite the side-themes relating to romance, relationships, orientations, shapeshifting, etc, there have only been two moments where characters actually had a fade to black. One instance was with the party's rogue and a drider he met (he initially tried to woo her in an attempt to steal her jewelry but then couldn't bring himself to do it after he thought about how she'd feel so he decided to forget the jewels and earnestly party with her that night), the other was Aliizsa (which is all kinds of messed up and I'd really not like to delve down that rabbit hole right now).

Don't have any mechanics for the usual side-effects but might homebrew something if one of the PCs was actually interested in things like being a mom or dad or something.


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Rosita the Riveter wrote:
I'm sorry, but I can't see the victim worship culture from where I am. When rape victims are still frequently accused of having buyer's remorse or dressing in an inappropriate manner, bullied children are frequently told to just get over it, dead transpeople get misgendered, unarmed black kids who get shot are demeaned as criminals who deserved it, and people frequently deny that institutional racism and sexism aren't still prevalent, it doesn't really seem as though victim worship is our problem. I'm trying to get a feel for what your argument is, because it sounds to me like you want to say people on the recieving end of transphobia need to just shut up and deal with it, and I know that isn't the type of person you are or what you believe.

Since most of that is outside of the breadth of this thread (or I would expect it to be), I'm going to simply say that whether or not I agree or disagree with any of that, it only means that discussion and discourse should occur, not be stifled. I've had my share of talking with people that are neutral to hostile concerning many subjects surrounding homosexuals, bisexuals, transexuals, and aesexuals (and a few other groups of people) and you want to know what has never helped?

Being a dick to them. Even if it's a righteous sort of dickery. Reason and discussion has a better success rate than giving them reasons to retaliate when cognitive dissonance kicks in.

Letting everyone speak is important. I've no interest in social justice warriors. They can stay off my lawn. I prefer social equality diplomats.

Quote:
This reminds me of an episode of Law and Order: SVU that I watched. I was bothered and angered by the story and felt righteous indignation for the character. That's kind of the point though (I was pissed for days thinking about the episode as it resonated strongly) as it made me feel and think about things (it's also one of the first instances where I found some of my less aware family members feeling strong feelings about these things instead of just thinking "weirdos").
That might be a method of facing pain that works for you, but what works for you...

As I said before, it's about knowing your audience and asking what they're comfortable with if you're planning on including any sort of themes that are dark. Even adults sometimes want to just save the princess of the dragon for mushroom kingdom, but we'll need another topic to whine about how terrible that is. :P


Scythia wrote:

Ashiel

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks! :D


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thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
However, these aren't the sorts of things I usually see trigger warnings posted for and honestly they're pretty damaging anyway since treating traumatic stress involves facing things and facing them in fiction is probably one of the most therapeutic ways of dealing with things I can think of. Roleplaying is cool like that.

I just wanted to point something out about this part: Yes, facing things can be a way of treating traumatic stress. Yes, roleplaying can be good for that, though usually therapy roleplaying isn't much like game roleplaying. Nor are most GMs psychiatrists or their players patients. Roleplaying something traumatic, without warning, preparation and training, isn't likely to be therapeutic and is probably just going to be unpleasant, if not actually damaging.

Trigger warnings are absolutely not damaging in the sense you're talking about. They let the person choose whether to face the stress and prepare for it if they do choose to.

I have some problems and some agreement with the rest of your post, but I really dislike the idea of GMs thinking they're justified in pushing trauma on people as some form of amateur therapy.

Wanna try re-reading that again?

Ashiel wrote:

I generally try to get a feel for what's acceptable for the playerbase I'm running for or give alerts for things that crop up in the games I'm GMing.

...
But it depends on the audience.
...
So audience communication is a big thing when dealing with anything super intense.
...
I also ran the scene ... a side-thing when she was separated from the party when it was just her participating (because at least two of the other players would have probably felt uncomfortable with the torture and abuse).

I also said these aren't the sort of things I usually see trigger warnings for. Honestly, I see them for stupid stuff more often than not. I'll be honest and say I think trigger warnings are stupid. That's my opinion and while you're not required to share it (which is a good thing) I will need to have a reason to change that opinion. Thus far, I find myself in a position where I have more reasons to dislike trigger warnings and the effects of them than not.

But it's fun talking about. In the meantime, I need to start writing about Jeo's moms.


FLite wrote:
Actually, it doesn't say it becomes more complex. It says it gets harder to determine. That could indicate that it gets smoother and *less* distinct.

In any case your skull is actively changing its physical shape because you're gaining character levels.

I think we should just assume it's becoming diamond-like to help you survive swan-diving into concrete from the edge of the atmosphere at mid-high levels.


I think you're missing the point. The point isn't that the skill exists, it's that it literally says that your brain changes the shape of your skull and that it's keyed to your level in a way that your skull becomes more and more warped and difficult to fathom as your level increases.

Hence the joke picture where at 1st level the skull looks normal and at 20th level it looks like a xenomorph. :P


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Rosita the Riveter wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
What I am angry at is the politically correct bullcrap that keeps us from having discussions as mature, rational, capable adults. We do not need to hide ourselves away and you and no other should feel afraid of saying something wrong. If anything, I hope this shows why trying to be overly sensitive is a veritable minefield in its own right. I'm tired of nonsense like trigger warnings. I'm tired of not being able to talk about the unique circumstances of transgendered people in D&D/Pathfinder/fantasy-mish-mash. I am not, however, tired of your metaphorical voice. It deserves to be heard.
At the same time, we also have to be careful, because, while political correctness can and does go too far, anti-political correctness is all too often just people getting pissed off because they can't make jokes about chicks with dicks fooling unlucky guys into sex without getting called out anymore. There is merit to the idea of trying to be respectful of people.

I'll agree with that. Political correctness might not even be the correct term for what I'm trying to describe. I'm trying to describe an insidious form of public censorship based on browbeating anyone who says anything against the status quo, mixed with an unhealthy dose of competition at "who's the biggest victim". A horrible senseless world of buzzwords rather than context.

Everyone deserves a voice (for the record, another trans friend of mine who is currently doing very well with her hormonal therapy actually likes those jokes and she is amused by Mr. Ackbar). If we encourage reason foremost, people may not misuse their voices as often. Jumping down people's throats because they said an ugly word (real or imagined) isn't going to help anyone. It sure won't turn what is probably someone neutral to your position into an ally. I've watched people in the LGBT community on these boards bully and browbeat people who were neutral until they didn't want to be on the boards anymore when meeting them in the middle and talking about stuff even when it was tough stuff, even when we've discussed it before way too often.

Quote:
It can go too far, and you are right that people need to make a deliberate effort not to be too sensitive, but being considerate of others feeling and experiences is a virtue, not a vice.

I agree. It's a virtue, but it should not be some sort of social law that will require recompense because someone chose to be offended by something innocuous. It's a virtue, not a requirement, and that's a good thing. Sometimes people just need to grow up. You can call me any name under the sun until your face turns blue and purple and it won't phase me. In very rare cases are these sorts of things legitimately people attempting to be offensive and honestly I think this victim worship prevalent in our culture right now is both embarrassing and destructive to our ability to function as rational well-adjusted human beings (in other words I think it makes us look stupid and be stupid).

Quote:
As for trigger warnings, I do agree with you that they are overused, but they have their place. As a storyteller, I like to cross lines. Portraying a story where a transwoman got violently gangraped and then sexually mutilated in a manner that will lead to a slow death in the hospital would be something I'd do.

This reminds me of an episode of Law and Order: SVU that I watched. I was bothered and angered by the story and felt righteous indignation for the character. That's kind of the point though (I was pissed for days thinking about the episode as it resonated strongly) as it made me feel and think about things (it's also one of the first instances where I found some of my less aware family members feeling strong feelings about these things instead of just thinking "weirdos").

Quote:
That kind of content is something that does need some awareness of who the audience is, because if you pull that sort of graphic content on somebody you didn't know was a rape victim, it could be a very unpleasant situation for everybody.

I generally try to get a feel for what's acceptable for the playerbase I'm running for or give alerts for things that crop up in the games I'm GMing. Generally speaking, my games ran for adults (and my brother who's still a teenager but he's a smart cookie) tend to often feature graphic depictions of violence, mature themes (in the game with Aliizsa, Klari, Myriel, Carrius, Jeo, Miranda, and Victoria I've mentioned, the party actually infiltrated an underworld brothel filled with illegal slaves, and Aliizsa purchased a twelve year old prostitute from the establishment because she didn't want to leave her there), and so forth.

But it depends on the audience. Naturally I don't run games like that when I'm running the game for children. My brother played his first D&D at the age of 4 or so and the game was basically knights and peasants in a cartoon sort of fashion with sometimes bumbling villains and everyone gets rescued and stuff. Getting feedback from your players and asking what sorts of things they'd be okay with ahead of time is a pretty good idea in most cases, or giving some sort of general rating like movies with PG, PG-13, R, etc.

For example, in the same game, Aliizsa ended up in a situation where she was forced to watch one of Vandread's minions (a sadistic woman named Tess, who became excited by inflicting pain) dissecting a woman while she was alive, trying to use the horrific sight to awaken an evil power lurking within Aliizsa that Vandread was trying to cultivate. This involved Tess using healing magics to keep her from dying and conscious while she split her open and rummaged around in her ribcage like she was looking for her cellphone in a purse (Aliizsa ended up killing the woman by exploding her head because she was screaming to make it stop). During an altercation during the scene, Vandread decided that perhaps the best way to cause her demonic power to emerge was not to make her indulge in suffering to to make her suffer, so he even attempted to sexually assault her for no other reason than to try to hurt her mentally until her demonic persona emerged (it didn't work though, as he got flaming-kicked in the face and thrown across the room).

(Side Note: Aliizsa's a demon goddess whose soul was born into the body of a mortal child, but in the process she lost all of her memories and her demonic powers fell dormant in the process. Vandread learned that through exposure to intense suffering he should be able to awaken her power and intended to use it for his own purposes.)

Perhaps oddly, Aliizsa player told me that Vandread has been one of her favorite characters in the campaign and hopes he returns for round II at some point (and there's been some hints that his evil is not easily quelled, even in death). She found him provocative, charismatic, and terrifying in ways that she was very fond of.

So audience communication is a big thing when dealing with anything super intense. I also ran the scene with Vandread, Tess, and Aliizsa as a side-thing when she was separated from the party when it was just her participating and another friend of ours who was a member of the group watching (because at least two of the other players would have probably felt uncomfortable with the torture and abuse).

However, these aren't the sorts of things I usually see trigger warnings posted for and honestly they're pretty damaging anyway since treating traumatic stress involves facing things and facing them in fiction is probably one of the most therapeutic ways of dealing with things I can think of. Roleplaying is cool like that.


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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Your brain affects the shape of your head. This is determined by your hit dice. As you gain levels, your brain and head change shape.

Thanks Whaizo!

Now you have proper reasons to shape your head a la Geiger! Presumably this is one of the promised horror touches to the work.

Did you see the skull shaping feats by any chance which pretty much complement this?

Mostly just been skimming the book (and shaking my head with dismay) with some friends of mine but when we came across this little piece we were like "omg, your brain now changes the shape of your head as you gain levels". It's not even a special mechanic it's just everyone.

Like a 1st level Fighter's head is normal. A 20th level fighter's head has been so contorted by his brain that it's almost impossible for low level people to make heads or tails of it with their skill. Not because of some sort of mind reading, no, actually your head changing shapes.

It was just too hilarious not to post about.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
An apology:

Ambrosia, *pats*, believe me when I say that the last thing I want from you is an apology. I want you to say whatever you feel and I'll listen to it and if I don't agree with it, I'll tell you so and I'll tell you why. I'm not, nor was I, angry with you at any time during your post.

What I am angry at is the politically correct bullcrap that keeps us from having discussions as mature, rational, capable adults. We do not need to hide ourselves away and you and no other should feel afraid of saying something wrong. If anything, I hope this shows why trying to be overly sensitive is a veritable minefield in its own right. I'm tired of nonsense like trigger warnings. I'm tired of not being able to talk about the unique circumstances of transgendered people in D&D/Pathfinder/fantasy-mish-mash. I am not, however, tired of your metaphorical voice. It deserves to be heard.

I want you to say what you will say. If I disagree, we can talk about it and let good reasoning be our guide. I'll treat you like a human being, you treat me like a human being, we both win, we both learn. I'm wearing my big-kid pants and if I can't handle having a conversation with you then I honestly cannot handle much of anything and definitely shouldn't be playing or running a game that deals with far worse things matter o' factly.

So I don't want you to feel like you need to apologize (but thank you anyway). Just smile, be happy, say what you feel the best you can and we all win. Occasionally we'll need to step back and re-evaluate or take a breather but that's just part of learning to deal.


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More NPCs and Stuff

Victoria
Sex male->female; Orientation bixesual (favors males); Occupation badass
Biography: Victoria was up until recently the right hand agent of an incredibly narcissistic vampire lord. Serving as a manager of his other vampire concubines, chief assassin, and in some cases diplomat, Victoria is among the most powerful vampires that the party ever encountered, paled only by her lord Vandread himself. Victoria eventually rebelled against Vandread after she became progressively more disillusioned as to Vandread's care for her, with the final straw being when Vandread ordered her to kill one of the PCs (her "sister" in the coven) for insubordination. This led to the PCs eventually rescuing her and appointing Victoria as the new matron of their coven.

Victoria was born "Victor" and male but realized very early on that didn't and went on to liv a modest existence as a do-it-yourself trans woman. In short she lived as a woman and passed well though she dealt with a lot of stigma and misunderstandings with her family and neighbors which led her to distance herself from them and her romantic life was more or less non-existent out of both a sense of fear and uncertainty and so she never became intimate with anyone.

Now to partially understand Victoria, you must understand the madman that is Vandread. Vandread is an egomaniacal, power hungry, narcissistic badguy who views himself as a divine being (he's really cracked in the head). He also "collects" women and all of his vampire thralls are female, save for Victoria, but that's because Vandread was fooled by her. After he turned her and found that she was physically male, he suffered a cognitive dissonance and insisted that he could see her for the woman that she truly was and he insisted that she leave any semblance of her former life behind as one of his brides. Enamored with her vampire thrall and also believing that she found someone who truly saw her for who she was and was not only willing to accept her but insistent that she be herself she was very happy for a time. She had not yet realized it was in service to nurse the dissonance he felt by being attracted to her.

Victoria spent the next fifty years or so learning how to best serve her new master and lover, which included developing her skill with psychic power and unarmed combat until she was his deadly assassin. However, over time her adoration of Vandread began to wane and she slowly realized that he was a very selfish individual. However she had no life to go back to even if she could escape him and as the years waned she doubled her efforts to be the best he could want at everything, fearing that she would cease being his favorite and lead to him casting her aside in favor of a new flavor. For a long time, she served him without fail...until the PCs came along.

When the party was sent to Vandread to barter for information about the criminal underworld's slave trade, they were set up by the vampire and placed right into the hands of the slavemaster they were searching for, where a dockside ambush in a warhouse was waiting. To ensure that things went smoothly, he assigned Victoria to assassinate the party on behalf of his client the slavemaster. Easy enough task, or so she thought. However she had never met anyone like the party and had never met a Paladin before.

As the party was making quick work of the slavemaster's hired thugs, Victoria watched from atop a stack of crates next to the slavemaster, growing more and more amused with their apparent strength. When the slavemaster, nervously watching his men being dispatched effortlessly by the party, grabbed her and shouted "Do something, you have to protect me!", Victoria gripped his arm tightly and with a steely glare through her hood informed him that she wasn't there as his bodyguard and if he ordered her again she would kill him herself. He spent the rest of the combat cowering and looking for an escape route as she dropped off the crates to engage the party.

She opened with a ferocity that demonstrated that somewhere inside she really loved the thrill of combat. During the fight she attacked Myriel who, being an inquisitor (not the class) rather than a warrior (not the class) had little hope of defending herself from the vampire assassin. However, the battle was rapidly turned around when Anklebiter the party's barbarian goblin leaped on her, bit her, and then full-body suplexed her. Now grappled and on her back looking up, the party's Paladin ran over with his longsword and introduced her to what is known as a Smite. She barked obscenities as he blasted her into bits with his sword before she panicked and dispersed into a swarm of bats, but not before Jeo, the party's...shapeshifting archer thing doused her in alchemist fire and gassed her. They followed her back to the nightclub where the vampires were and found her recovering from her injuries and looking dejected at her failure.

(Just to show how freaking awesome my group is, they just nodded and walked past Victoria and into Vandread's lair to chew him out for setting them up. A lot of parties would have seen Victoria and tried to beat her down again and stake her or something but they were just too cool to do that.)

After the party left (Jeo chewed Vandread's head off and startled him with her force of personality, though as a result was marked as a target of Vandread because his ego couldn't handle having her, a woman of all people, being so authoritative and threatening towards him and he decided he must have her for his coven, which lead to later encounters with the vampire's servants and eventually Vandread himself) they returned to their mission and Victoria had to deal with her failure, and would so later in the capital city back in their homeland when she was tasked with retrieving Jeo and Aliizsa (the party's vampire PC), and she failed again. With each failure, she lost more and more favor with Vandread as she feared but became more and more disillusioned with her situation until eventually she opted to willingly be defeated a final time which would result in her execution, rather than turn her sisters (Aliizsa and Miranda) back over to her lord.

Of course the party had a different idea. They whupped all of them down and then saved Victoria, then after staking Victoria in a chapel somewhere where Vandread would assume her dead. Later they organized a templar raid on Vandread's mansion where they braved his house of horrors and eventually confronted the lord himself. While Carrius dueled with the vampire, Jeo and the others prepared to nuke him with a magical sunlight weapon she crafted in preparation for the battle (essentially a high-DC sunburst). After they defeated him, the vampires in his mansion were defeated and taken into custody for judgment by the Templar order (which the party interceded on their behalf). In the end, Vandread's mansion was seized by the order and turned over to the party to house the vampires under certain stipulations (the vampires essentially had to register with the templar, were assigned a sort of case worker, were required to follow certain rules, were essentially under probation and surveillance, etc; which is pretty good for them since they were just going to dust all of them initially).

Victoria was made head of the coven and she now remains at the mansion overseeing the wellbeing of her sisters in a city that hates them. As a final act of love before the party had to leave the city to go deal with another looming threat, Aliizsa and Jeo brewed an elixir of sex shifting and gifted it to Victoria. It was pretty freakin' shweet.


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Crystal Frasier wrote:
I usually display a mix of relationships in my home campaigns, but generally follow a Bioware-style "Everyone is bi" approach. Some of my players want to pursue fantasy romances with NPCs, in which case I leave most of the details to them--essentially an NPC they're in a relationship with becomes a secondary/supporting character they mostly direct (thus far, none of my players have never tried to drag their NPC romantic partners into combat, or exploit their resources, or otherwise use them as anything but a narrative springboard, but I imagine I'd nix it pretty hard if they ever did). And lord knows assuming all mono-gendered monsters (harpies, satyrs, succubi, ect) are pan expands their usefulness.

I usually determine an orientation based on the character and various factors based on their circumstances and that's their default. However, since sexuality isn't necessarily binary even for those that identify as heterosexual or homosexual therein lies the potential for exceptions (using the previous NPCs as an example, Klari wasn't interested in men at all until Carrius), so it's harder but not impossible.

So for example, let's say we have an NPC. We'll call him David. David is heterosexual. A female character approaches him and asks him to go out with her on a romantic date and makes a Diplomacy check. If a male character approaches David and makes the same request, the DC is going to be much higher but it's potentially possible.

Quote:
On the other hand, I do include a lot of genderqueer, agender, and gender fluid characters among outsiders and shapeshifters like dopplegangers; it's limiting to think creatures without a permanent physical body would limit themselves to a fleshy concept of gender. Dopplegangers specifically in my home campaigns consider it unusual to prefer being one specific sex.

Ditto. :)

One of the PCs in the campaign I've been pulling NPCs from has two mothers. They (including the PC) are shapeshifters.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I don't want to derail this into a moderation discussion, but I think at least part of the problem here is the boundaries between real life and RPG/campaign world verisimilitude are very thin. This isn't a discussion about necromancy, consorting with demons, or paladins falling... topics that are clearly fictional and fantastic in our real world. Trans* people deal with both overt threats and insidiously subtle microagressions to their mental and physical well-beings on an often multiple-times daily basis (and too often, from L&G people and allies). It may not be readily apparent how exhausting and taxing on personal resources it is. That's not any kind of accusation against anyone here; that's just Real Life.

So is murder, theft, maiming, death, etc. We talk about these things regularly. We're adults here, we can act like it. We don't need people to hold our hands, y'know?

Quote:
For those on the outside looking in and/or theorizing about trans* NPCs/PCs, an imprecise and unempathetic choice of words (out of ignorance, everyday human fallibility, or otherwise) can come across as rude, insulting, an attempt to invalidate their self-identity, and even triggering.

I'm going to say that people saying triggering has become pretty darn triggering to me. Firstly, it's destructive, because learning to cope and deal with problems requires you to face them and y'know, cope. Turning a blind eye or closing your eyes and hoping it will go away helps no one and it weakens us as individuals. It makes us seem like we can't handle reality and have to be babied. It's really irritating.

And yes, innocuous things can come across as rude and insulting. Just as I find it rude and insulting for people to imply (or seem to imply, if the implication isn't intentional) that because of my state as a human being (however mixed up by comparison to a cisgendered person) requires me to be babied or things censored for my benefit. The thing is, aside from my telling you my thoughts on it, it is your right to decide whether or not to change it and if you don't, I am free to walk away or ignore it since it's not directly altering my way of life. Trigger this, trigger that, whatever. Part of being an adult means being able to handle that sometimes things are squicky, sometimes we don't like how others think, and sometimes we're reminded of bad times and our own insecurities. Then, as adults, we deal with it with the best grace that we can.

Quote:
If posts are routinely wacked, perhaps it would behoove the poster to carefully re-read and consider their choice of words or line of thought instead of blaming "overly-sensitive" readers/moderators/the "PC Police", etc. Please consider using the same tact and empathy posting on this topic as you would discussing racism or slavery/human trafficking.

It's funny you should say that because the campaign that I'm pulling the NPCs from actually involves lots of racism and slave trafficking (the mission that Klari and Myriel were on was an attempt to thwart, uncover, and bring down a humanoid trafficking organization that was operating in their country and their neighboring country; meanwhile the poor treatment of several races - particularly tieflings and high elves - was a common theme). Similarly, in Golarion, there are many instances of racism and slavery (Cheliax springs immediately to mind).

Given that we can freely discuss racism (by species, subspecies, ethnicities, etc), slavery (halflings, ulfen, etc), torture, murder, ritual sacrifices / murders, pedophilic and hebephilic sexual assault (read the bestiary lately?), sado-masochistic sexual assault (that bestiary), incestuous familial abuse (adventure paths), necrophilia (more adventure paths), and potentially worse things fairly matter o' factly, it actually bugs the hell out of me as a transgendered person that I cannot talk about the mechanics and challenges and conditions that affect transgendered characters in Pathfinder from a crunch standpoint (such as discussing the pros and cons of the elixir of sex shifting) without having the posts removed for...*crickets*

We can talk about all of those terrible things just fine but no, we're too taboo to talk about frankly, or worse, too fragile to handle it. *groans*

Okay, I'm done now. I just really needed to get that off my chest.


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RDM42 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Remove a wizard's spellbook from them before they've prepared their daily spells and they'll be more useless than a naked fighter. Both classes are SOL though.

actually unless they used all their spells from yesterday i'm pretty sure they keep them.

could be wrong though.

also we deviated from the core expectations specifically to show that they were gear dependent.

Regardless, the spell slots and ability to memorize spells is the class feature, not the filled slots. You want to presume an equipmentless fighter, you get to presume a wizard or sorcerer with empty spell slots.

Sorcerers don't have empty spell slots.
Yes they do. If a sorcerer has cast his number of spells per day, what does he have left?

Cantrips, bloodline powers, etc. And the sorcerer can simply rest for a few hours and regain all of his effectiveness.

A warrior cannot rest-off the suck.

Not that gearlessness matters since that's a crazy-different game than the one being discussed. It's also apples and oranges since once class' features are all but useless without gear while another classes' are augmented by gear.

For a few hours? No ring of sustenance. Rest for eight hours. With the Kobold taking arrow shots at them.

Again, cantrips are at-will and do not run out. Several of them will also have usable school powers. Or the wizard can just jump the kobold in melee since there's not much strength difference between your garden variety kobold and a wizard, the kobold has a size penalty, the wizard (probably) has more hit points. Afterwords, the wizard rests and regains the ability to function.


That said I hope the thread is still going when I get home from work. I want to continue talking about homosexuality and transgenderism in my campaign but it'll take a bit to write about Victoria.


RDM42 wrote:
But why do you get to presume he has spells left to cast?

Because if he has already cast them then he's already done. The naked warrior hasn't even started yet.


RDM42 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Remove a wizard's spellbook from them before they've prepared their daily spells and they'll be more useless than a naked fighter. Both classes are SOL though.

actually unless they used all their spells from yesterday i'm pretty sure they keep them.

could be wrong though.

also we deviated from the core expectations specifically to show that they were gear dependent.

Regardless, the spell slots and ability to memorize spells is the class feature, not the filled slots. You want to presume an equipmentless fighter, you get to presume a wizard or sorcerer with empty spell slots.

Sorcerers don't have empty spell slots.
Yes they do. If a sorcerer has cast his number of spells per day, what does he have left?

Cantrips, bloodline powers, etc. And the sorcerer can simply rest for a few hours and regain all of his effectiveness.

A warrior cannot rest-off the suck.

Not that gearlessness matters since that's a crazy-different game than the one being discussed. It's also apples and oranges since once class' features are all but useless without gear while another classes' are augmented by gear.


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Another fun fact is when you have wizards who just prepare more low-level spells and are still effective. Anyone ever have wizards, such as NPCs, who don't have great Intelligence scores? I have. You can't cast spells of X level of higher where X is your Int-10, but you can still fill all those spell slots with more low level spells.


RDM42 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Remove a wizard's spellbook from them before they've prepared their daily spells and they'll be more useless than a naked fighter. Both classes are SOL though.

actually unless they used all their spells from yesterday i'm pretty sure they keep them.

could be wrong though.

also we deviated from the core expectations specifically to show that they were gear dependent.

Regardless, the spell slots and ability to memorize spells is the class feature, not the filled slots. You want to presume an equipmentless fighter, you get to presume a wizard or sorcerer with empty spell slots.

Sorcerers don't have empty spell slots.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Remove a wizard's spellbook from them before they've prepared their daily spells and they'll be more useless than a naked fighter. Both classes are SOL though.

actually unless they used all their spells from yesterday i'm pretty sure they keep them.

could be wrong though.

I later stipuated "a wizard that used all their spell slots"

Spell mastery + eschew materials means you're probably still pretty damn awesome.

EDIT: You can always prepare read magic and Spell Mastery allows you to choose Int mod x Spells to no longer need your spellbook for, and the feat can be retrained periodically when your Int modifier is raised again.


Yeah the crane wing thing sucks. :|


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Here's a few instances of NPCs (all from the same campaign) that (more or less accidentally) also have "odd" sexualities, but those things are otherwise minor except as they pertain to the character's and their world and/or their personalities. Most of this information was only privvy to the PCs because they either spoke with them at length or asked OOC or found out more during the game.

Myriel; Sex female; Orientation strait to bisexual; Occupation inquisitor;
Outward Myriel is cold and calculating. She tends to be quiet, reserved, and constantly sizing up everyone around her. Initial interaction with her typically makes her seem aloof or somber and she never displays much emotion in any way. She was assigned to the party's paladin, Carrius, as an assistant during their investigation, fresh out of the chapel where she was training to be an inquisitor. However, Myriel has a dark secret that she shared with Klari (see below) and later with Carrius during a rough period when they were feuding. Myriel fell in love with a young man in the village near the cathedral she was training at, but during her interactions with him she discovered he was associated with the heretical branch of the religion the inquisitors were trained to ferret out and arrest. Yet for all her training she could find no fault in this man, merely earnest sincerity and goodness. When she discovered that there was going to be an inquisition on the village she went to warn him but accidentally led them directly to him. Realizing the situation they were in, the young man feigned an act of anger for her betrayal to make it look as if she had been investigating him rather than being friends with him. She kept silent as they took him away for fear of reprimand. She was made an inquisitor earlier than she would normally graduate due to her "impressive natural talent" and good senses for, to her horror, she found they had no idea that he should have been a suspect and their inquisition was to follow up on unrelated leads.

Myriel blames herself for his capture and silently curses her cowardice because she let him be dragged away in chains - even if it was his intention - when she had essentially betrayed her order. She is an inquisitor that lost her faith and has been promoted on a lie. She has a fair amount of personal demons thanks to this. It has made her exceptionally accepting of even things that their order considers evil, up to and including accepting a vampire into the party's care, noting "We're all monsters in our own ways, some just hide it better than others". An adage born out of both her personal guilt and ability to sense the emotions and thoughts of others which has led her to recognize that even the nicest of humans have some very unsocial thoughts.

Myriel's sexuality is mentally driven more than not (albeit there has been the suggestion that she finds mariliths and other multi-armed women attractive based on a comment by Klari when they were studying an enemy that they were going to be dealing with) as she entered into the realm of bisexuality when she became close to Klari and the two eventually became lovers having been growing close through silent conversations between their psychic bonds.

Myriel became a rival of Carrius the Paladin that she was assigned with when Carrius tried to woo Klari only to find her upset and confused when he extended a romantic word. Carrius then found out from Myriel that they were involved and had been for a while, and when Carrius got indignant about it, Myriel made him angry by remarking that the two had already slept together (albeit she later apologized for taunting him like that even if he was being headstrong). Myriel and Klari were probably the closest that Carrius ever came to having a Paladin-crisis as he seriously considered staying his hand if Myriel was in danger so that she would vanish from the picture. However, he rose above such base jealousy (see Victoria below).

Klari; Sex female; Orientation homosexual to bisexual; Occupation battle sorceress;
Klari is Carrius' childhood friend and best friend and has been since a young age. She was an orphan peasant that was taken in by the order and later determined to have a gift with mentalist magics and thus her studies shifted from squire to melting stuff with her will. She's brilliant, open minded, and delightfully dizzy. She's prone to acting the fool or light hearted when things are overly serious and sometimes comes off as a bit dense or foolish (but she is anything but and can be very serious sometimes). Klari had some very bad experiences in her youth as an orphan involving males, including one of her teachers that to the best of her knowledge went unpunished. Carrius, however, was always her besty despite it though he was pretty oblivious to her experiences as it took years before she told him about it (which she spit it out in the middle of an argument that ended with the two of them reducing a building to rubble in a sparring match). Being psychic as well as Myriel, the two quickly became friends after being assigned to the same mission as Carrius outside of their country and then became more.

Klari's loyal to the order for the most part but lacks the spiritual or religious fervor of Carrius and doesn't care enough to have the guilt that Myriel feels, which is part of what led to Myriel confiding in Klari during their travels. Klari has even came pretty close to giving the order the finger on occasion and walking away and her exceptional psychic power has been a subject of concern amongst the ranking members of the order simply out of fear that she could go rogue and pose a threat that the order would have trouble dealing with (she could literally level a city block or slaughter countless soldiers if she stopped holding back) even if they do have no reason to assume she is anything other than loyal. Klari is also loves a fight because it gives her a chance to unleash some of her fire. Klari can be prone to explosive shows of force with poor restraint when her friends are threatened.

Klari's life became more complicated when just after beginning a (thus far good relationship with Myriel) Carrius (who was unaware of the two's relationship and pretty naive about relations in general) confessed his feelings to Klari. The one guy she has ever been really close to and he decides to drop that one on her while they're out of the country, on a mission, and while she's in a relationship. The thing is, it wasn't a certain "No" and that was confusing to her too which was disorienting as she wasn't interested in men but she was interested in Carrius (chivalry bizzes). This led to an awkward love triangle between the three of them which eventually resulted in Klari asking Myriel to expand their relationship to include Carrius (one of Klari's mentors had two husbands so she figured it's unusual but not unheard of) and Myriel agreed. However, Carrius turned them down as he wasn't certain as to how he felt about an arrangement like that, which actually made Klari angry with him for being so selfish and led to the two having a case of frosty shoulders for a bit.

The two later worked their differences out when they dueled in the training room in the grand cathedral, reminiscing about old times when they were kids and then working their frustrations out going at each other with everything they had. The ensuing fight nealy collapsed a portion of the cathedral and caused a rather large scene as onlookers gathered to see what may as well have been two gods fighting before them until Klari pushed herself into unconsciousness and Carrius picked her back up.

The three of them have worked out their differences and are now closer than ever. Klari and Myriel are still a couple but Carrius is now just their friend. Carrius' new love interest is Miranda, a freed vampire that idolizes the Templar order, whom he took on as his squire against the wishes of the order. At first Klari was concerned but she's grown to like Miranda as well (because Miranda and her bat familiar Peggy are awesome-sauce).

...Ugg, I'll need to postpone the rest of this until tomorrow as I need to go to bed to get up in the morning. (-_-);


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Kalindlara wrote:
Just a note on "fights to the death": I don't have a quote right off the bat, but I believe it's been said that the reason was word count/page space. It's an easy entry for a GM to tweak, and it saves space for more flavorful info.

That's fair. I think that's also part of what makes certain things seem a bit forced. GMs could easily add such details to their games in either case, but in some cases these specific details with no relevancy or support make them feel more tacked on when it's not relevant at all.

A certain high ranking noble and her bodyguard? Their sexual attraction to one-another has an influence on the story (mostly in terms of facilitating loyalty and bonds). Random lad or lass whose's statblock could be summarized as "relevent stuff, also I'm gay" is not particularly helpful. It can even be kind of irritating as it goes a step beyond simple tokenism (at least I think so) in that making a note of it just goes to show that it makes them different somehow.

If someone walked up to you and was like, "This is my friend John, he plays the guitar. This is Kevin, he plays the drums. This is Frank, he's gay", it would seem pretty jarring right? It's like "wtf is that relevant"!? It also further paints them as the other unless you include that sort of information on most every NPC, since you didn't feel the need to note that John was heterosexual or that Kevin hasn't ever showed any interest in either sex.

I include all sorts of bizarre details in NPCs in my games that PCs probably will never know about unless they ask (including friends, family, romantic partners, moments that shaped their childhood, etc) but I don't put it on paper unless it's important to the game in some way.


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Cerberus Seven wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

A Fighter's Unarmed Strike will damage a stone wall the same way a Wizard's Fireball will.

That's to say, it won't. Sorry.
The depressingly hilarious truth is that it actually would. There's nothing by RAW that specifically excludes such an effect from damaging a stone wall, just that since it's energy damage and not obviously something that works particularly well against stone, said damage is halved. So, an average damage fireball doing 35 damage would be halved to 17, reduced by 8 because of the stone's hardness, and actually get through to do 7 damage to the wall, or 20% of the spells initial effect. That's compared to 0% from the fighter's fist, since RAW specifically prevents him from doing anything of the sort.

This reminds me of a game I ran a long time ago that reached epic levels. This was 3.5 but without some of the cheesier elements and mostly unoptimized charcters. However, in this one scene in a tower, one of the party's wizards (it was a big party with mostly casters plus a barbarian) the guy who loved fireball type spells chucked a bigass fireball with some metamagics attached to it (maximize, admixtured to acid, etc) into a room full of baddies.

Well the baddies snuffed it...along with the floor, the ceiling, and the walls. There was just a big hole left where everything was supposed to be, because the damage so utterly rocked the walls and stuff that it just broke everything. In 3.5, acid and sonic damage were not halved before applying hardness as in Pathfinder, so he just dealt nearly 200 damage to the inanimate and unattended objects and environment (they don't get a save) and vaporized 'em.

The barbarian was like, "OMG, that was the most epic and cool thing! We don't even have to find the staircase down to the next level now!"


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I find having a solid ruleset leaves me more time for cooperative roleplay as I don't have to spend time working around the rules instead of with them.

This may be the most wonderful sentence ever uttered.


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LazarX wrote:

No, they're symptomatic of a problem of being a game publisher. People expect perfection out of a company run by humans, and gamers have absurdly high standards evaluated by moving goal posts.

The criticism is not appropriate for the Vigilante Playtest because THE ENTIRE PURPOSE of releasing it was for players to pick it apart and FIND problems or issues that were missed or not conceived of. That's why it's called Playtest or Beta. No one was charged for downloading it, nor was anyone required to do so.

The playtests are a farse anyway though. I mean Paizo intentionally released a nerfed version of the kineticist class for the playtest instead of the actual version they were intending, rendering the whole thing moot. Similarly, in previous playtests for things like Ultimate Combat, I realized that Paizo's open playtests were just publicity gimmicks.

Whaizo. Just Whaizo.


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Landon Winkler wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
What I'm not seeing is why it matters that this giant is gay - what will the players notice or encounter that will make it an interesting or different experience compared to a heterosexual giant? That's...
If the Encounter plays out as a simple fight, then probably not much. But it might not. There's plenty of ways any encounter can play out.
Wow, you know, I never though of that. It will depend on the group. But let's also take a step back. The game is predicated on combat - much more of the rules are about hurting people than not. Typically, problems will be solved through violence. I've yet to see an AP where you talk your way through a dungeon. So the sex lives of those with limited life spans can be quite pointless. Even their personal motivations are so much window dressing when their tactics block states they will immediately attack intruders. Even if they are captured, their sexual orientation is likely to be the last things the PCs will ask about while questioning them.

I don't think my players have ever skipped an entire dungeon, but just last session in my Reign of Winter campaign, they talked their way through 7+ encounters. And, to support that play style, it's extremely important to know NPCs' motivations.

Even when we're solving things with combat, relationships can be extremely relevant. Killing someone's employer will evoke a very different response than killing their spouse, after all.

Going back all the way to Burnt Offerings, there are relationships that can be used to remove opponents from combat. Sparing someone's romantic interest in this case is not just a roleplaying hook, but actually a superior tactical option.

In addition to the other benefits, including homoromantic relationships means players can't rule out that option immediately if you're fighting a group of all men or all women.

Cheers!
Landon

Though in the sake of fairness, it's hard to use that as a justification when the APs involve lots of suicidal NPCs who don't seem to care about anything in their lives.

If I had a time for every encounter that had "fights to the death" for some trivial reason I'd throw a pizza party. I mean, you need to have NPCs who act like people before you can use acting like people as a point, right?


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Rysky wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Moreover, as I said above, when Paizo did it the first time, I was totally down with it then too. But it has morphed over time and repetition into simply a bland assumption about a lack of prejudice, or indeed any view, positive or negative, at all.
And why, in a fantasy word where people go to in order to have fun and enjoy and be people they're not, or be the person the real world doesn't allow them to be, is this a bad thing?

My first guess is because that's how all sexuality is. I think we'd be lying to ourselves if we said that even heterosexual sex wasn't controversial. All sexuality is controversial. Some more than others but don't for a moment think that heterosexual sex in its myriad of circumstances isn't controversial as well.

Sexuality at its root is both a simple and a serious thing. Even the characters views on it can relate to you information about their personality and outlook. It can be completely irrelevant or a crux of a character's biography. When I rolled a hedonistic priestess of Urgathoa (of the arcanist class) a while back, her sexuality or more specifically her lust and willingness to indulge in her lusts even when they conflicted with societal expectations while she remained proud of her ways was an integral part of the character. However, if it wasn't for the fact that her lifestyle (including but not limited to her sexuality) wasn't openly embraced by those around here, it would have been entirely pointless.

If I'm playing in a game, if everyone just acts like everything is par for the course it really kills both the verisimilitude and the reason to even include it ("it" in this case being any aspect of your character, be it sexuality, height, weight, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, religion, etc).


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Gohaken wrote:
That sounds awesome... I'd love to see it.

Back in 2012.

Quote:

I apologized for being a cocky @ss when I read back my post today, but it was too late to edit it. Or I would have.

My personal issue is I default to cocky @ss, and have to work hard to reign that in. But hey, I'll admit it. And it doesn't make what I'm saying any less valid.

Don't quit on my account. I find it amusing.

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Cute.

And true. As Rynjin noted:

Rynjin wrote:

None of those characters has the utility and flexibility requisite of a Tier 3 character.

High Tier 4, perhaps.

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I don't think overpowered is appropriate here. Certainly not my terminology.
I was confused by your statement here:
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I get banned from playing monks at most tables cause people get upset at how unbalancing / effective they are.
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We differ on this. I thoroughly enjoy PFS.

And you may.


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Rosita the Riveter wrote:
We had a pretty long thread about this a couple years ago, and much has happened in the LGBT+ world since then. So, I'd like to posit the question again.Do you portray these topics in your games?

Yes.

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If you do, how do you do so? Are you happy with the way Pathfinder Adventure Paths and Modules handle the subject?

Pretty indifferent. The only APs and modules I've read (far from all encompassing) either didn't make much of a deal of it or mentioned it and then forgot about it. I haven't seen one where it's actually something more than scenery.

Scenery is important though.

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So, to me LGBT+ issues are part of the social fabric of the setting, and have a large role in urban culture and politics. What about you guys?

There is no all encompassing answer for my campaign because things like this vary from person to person, region to region, culture to culture, and subculture to subculture. General attitude could vary from street to street in a given city.

In the region that I've been running my campaign in lately, heterosexuality is the most common, with homosexuality being less frequent but at least mostly socially acceptable (though it can stir rumors of gossip and prejudices do exist). It's less acceptable within noble households because of certain traditions but more commonplace among those who don't have familial obligations to sire or bore heirs and the peasantry. It's relatively common to find it in companies of adventurers, mercenaries, sailors, pirates, or anyone else more or less responsible for themselves and aren't beholden to typical societal norms.

One example would be Klari and Myriel, a pair of Templar in the current campaign I've been running. They are close friends of the party's Paladin. Myriel is a Templar Inquisitor who uses psychic powers to hunt heretics, monsters, and criminals (that's the idea anyway), while Klari is a Templar Sorceress (who uses psychic powers to wreck stuff, she also has a sword and it's cool too). Both are members of a religious order of knights and priests, of which there is no problems with homosexuality among its members who are encouraged to be accepting and encouraging of love in all its forms (when they're not being bigots towards tieflings and heretics).

Transgendered characters are a bit rarer and are often met with confusion. There's a character, a vampire named Victoria that's physically male (until recently). Her disguise check was strong enough that she was pretty indistinguishable from a female to pretty much everyone. She lived as a woman, identifies as a woman, etc. Her actual sex didn't really come up much and she was prone to seducing unwary men in the nightclub that her lord governed. After royally whupping her in several fights over the course of the campaign, the party saved her from the vampire lord who was looming over her and one of the PCs got her, their "big sis" an elixir to make passing less necessary.

A lot of this varies though. For example, further north among the barbarian tribes homosexuality or more specifically bisexuality isn't even an open secret and is more or less an assumed given by a lot of their members, and their experimentation begins early in life. Further southwest, homosexuality is a taboo. Southeast, nobody gives a crap as long as you're educated and contributing to your undead utopia.

Speaking of romantic couplings, marriage varies greatly from people to people as well. In the bi-friendly barbarian tribes marriage is more for lineage and contracts so it's virtually always heterosexual as it's about heirs, though lifebonds are a similar tradition that they have and are not mutually exclusive with one-another (a man could, for example, have both a wife and mother of his heirs and his bonded male lover). In some areas it's pretty tit for tat with no restrictions at all. Some communities find it less odd than interspecies relationships (half-x races or couples aren't always met with the best mindsets), others find it a terrible and despicable thing.

Of course, it's like everything else: religion, polygamy, race, nationality, ethnicity, heritage, social class, wealth, etc. You can find someone who has a problem with it, someone who supports it, and a lot of people who don't give a damn either way.


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Gohaken wrote:

Man, you really should get out more.

Do you like, not dip anything with Barb or Fighter or something? Are your Monks and Rogues all pure classed?

Humorously the last time I posted a monk on here, it didn't look much like a monk and it caught a lot of flack from certain people on these boards about it being borderline cheating.

For the record, said monk was in fact a barbarian/fighter/monk wearing lots of heavy armor because the most effective thing I realized I could do with the monk class was to ignore all the flavor and fluff and ignore the armorless stuff entirely, generally fought with weaponry as opposed to unarmed strikes, etc.

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I get banned from playing monks at most tables cause people get upset at how unbalancing / effective they are.

Congratulations. Please, teach us the ways, sensei.

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FFS you're saying "Fighters are crap"... ummm, right. Lore Warden hits tier 3. Titan Fighter is just... interesting; I haven't fully tested it out, but it opens up some options.

It's so sad to see people talking about tiers when they don't even know what they mean. :(

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Unchained Rogue is very, very good. Old Rogue? Doo doo. Black Market Connections doesn't do much good if you are dead, or couldn't get the wealth to spend in the first place. Core Rogue is way worse than Core Fighter -- try playing some PFS Core Only and see how it rolls out, it ain't pretty.

PFS doesn't really concern me as it's a mishmash of house rules and is not wholly compatible with even the core rulebook.

I'm also not very impressed with the unchained rogue.

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Sword & Board Fighter, as loathed as it is, actually doesn't lose much being stuck with core since a lot of the shield feats are there. Core Rogue looses pretty much everything that attempts to fix that class.

Sword & board is my go-to melee style with most martials. I thought by this point that was public knowledge but I guess I've been away from the boards at the moment.

In any case, I really want to hear about these overpowered monks and fighters. We had another poster who often remarked about their awesomeness. I don't desire to return to those dark times but I am legitimately curious about these fabled things. Unfortunately there's more supporting evidence for Bigfoot than there is for overpowered core monks but I will continue to dream.


137ben wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


I'm going to stick mostly to core to make this as universally true as possible.

Congratulations! Your post is my 1,000th favorited post!

Do you want the new car?

That's awesome. (^_^)

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