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Wax Golem

Aubrey the Malformed's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 8,270 posts (23,038 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 14 aliases.


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OK, I'm off until Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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OK, I'm off until Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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We are going to Kent for the long weekend. By the way, did I notice you've got a more permanent academic job now?

OK, I'm off until Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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OK, I'm off until Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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OK, I'm off until Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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Hay-on-Wye is about ten miles from my mum and dad (they are on the south side of the mountain, Hay is on the north side). It's a nice town, though it has come up in the world. We visited maybe ten or fifteen years ago and there was nothing to do except visit these really over-priced second-hand books shops. More recently we visited again, they've got nice cafes and restaurants and stuff. The second-hand book shops are still over-priced, though - I wouldn't buy a book there. The trip over the mountain along the back road between Hay and Abergavenny is breathtaking, though - fantastic views.

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Tenro wrote:
Britain sounds like a strange place.

How come?

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Nice - Ludlow's not so far away from where my parents live (they are in Herefordshire rather than Shropshire - also a nice county and worth a visit, in case you haven't). We are off to Whitstable in Kent. Ironically, despite coming from Surrey, I've barely ever set foot in the next door county (and now I live nowhere near there in the Midlands) - hence after forty years finally a trip there.

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Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet over the last couple of days - busy at work. Secondly, I am on holiday (again?!) from Thursday to Monday. However, it's the last one this year.

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Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet over the last couple of days - busy at work. Secondly, I am on holiday (again?!) from Thursday to Monday. However, it's the last one this year.

The Exchange

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Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet over the last couple of days - busy at work. Secondly, I am on holiday (again?!) from Thursday to Monday. However, it's the last one this year.

The Exchange

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Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet over the last couple of days - busy at work. Secondly, I am on holiday (again?!) from Thursday to Monday. However, it's the last one this year.

The Exchange

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Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet over the last couple of days - busy at work. Secondly, I am on holiday (again?!) from Thursday to Monday. However, it's the last one this year.

The Exchange

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Hi all, just to let you know, I am going on holiday again (what! again!?) for a week from this Saturday until next Saturday.

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Hi all, just to let you know, I am going on holiday again (what! again!?) for a week from this Saturday until next Saturday.

The Exchange

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Hi all, just to let you know, I am going on holiday again (what! again!?) for a week from this Saturday until next Saturday.

The Exchange

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Hi all, just to let you know, I am going on holiday again (what! again!?) for a week from this Saturday until next Saturday.

The Exchange

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Hi all, just to let you know, I am going on holiday again (what! again!?) for a week from this Saturday until next Saturday.

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I think we can go with claws on his hands. The slam can be his tongue attack (which isn't exactly in the spirit of the rules but is legal in the letter) - sort of a beefed up frog tongue, perhaps, but not sticky (yet). If you want you can add his 1pt evolution to his tongue to give it reach, like he has now.

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Not sure, let me check - I didn't look in a lot of detail at the Unchained eidolon rules.

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I don't think that's necessary. The reason I'm interested in the Unchained summoner is because it's a nerf of an over-powerful class to bring it in line with the baseline (whatever that is). I'm not interested in change or experimentation for its own sake. If people want to go Unchained, I'll certainly consider it - I don't own the book, however I've been gleaning information from the PFSRD.

On the eidolon thing, I wondered if a water elemental might be appropriate for Ghroth since he looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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If you are going sorcerer, we can come up with some sort of reason, maybe when you have your mythic apotheosis. Maybe your essence can merge with Ghroth's, creating a more powerful gestalt blah blah blah. Something like that, anyway...

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It's up to you. If you are going sorcerer don't bother because it becomes more obvious at higher levels and you might not get there. Effectively, they made some quite potent spells lower level for the summoner - like Haste, which is 2nd level for a summoner, meaning it is available to a summoner at 4th level, but including plenty of others. In the Unchained version, these are put up a level, so Haste is a 3rd level spell again, available at 7th level. So these things won't come into play for a couple of levels.

That said, I am a bit torn about losing the summoner. A sorcerer would have much greater flexibility, and as a primary arcane caster having spells available up to the highest levels in the party, instead of capping out at 6th as both Sol and Hannik currently do, would be important for facing down some epic baddies. But... I kinda like Ghroth, albeit I don't necessarily welcome an overpowered version.

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I think I'll just move people as seems appropriate, based on your description.

Also, discussing Hannik: the summoner has been given a bit of a rewrite in the Unchained rules. Basically, the original summoner appeared a bit over-powered (which doesn't seem entirely unreasonable - Ghroth pretty much owns this combat and Hannik will get access to spells like Haste at 4th level under the current version). I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind converting Hannik and Ghroth to the Unchained version, albeit that it's basically a nerfing? You can find it on the PFSRD (or just type the appropriate query into Google. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Paizo has critical mass behind it and has cultivated its brand assiduously. It is probably one of the best, if not THE best, supported system in terms of additional content, in particular adventures. So while there may be problems with the system it has lots of people playing it and lots of stuff for them to play.

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And there I was thinking this was about transhumance.

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If you were 1st level when you cast them... No.

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As you will have noticed, I've been a bit quiet the last few days. Nothing wrong, just chilling. I'll be back to it tomorrow.

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As you will have noticed, I've been a bit quiet the last few days. Nothing wrong, just chilling. I'll be back to it tomorrow.

The Exchange

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

As you will have noticed, I've been a bit quiet the last few days. Nothing wrong, just chilling. I'll be back to it tomorrow.

The Exchange

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

As you will have noticed, I've been a bit quiet the last few days. Nothing wrong, just chilling. I'll be back to it tomorrow.

The Exchange

No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

As you will have noticed, I've been a bit quiet the last few days. Nothing wrong, just chilling. I'll be back to it tomorrow.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
thejeff 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.

OTOH, Paizo very rarely presents a gay character as just "This character is gay." Even if the PCs don't question them about that (and why would they?), they may question them about other important NPCs and at that point the fact there's a relationship, straight or gay, becomes important.

Yes true, they always express it as "A is in a relationship with B (and maybe C)", which is certainly more useful under the circumstances from an RP perspective.

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Yes, but in the end it is a question of degree. Otherwise it's "Orc 3 is a Scorpio. He recently lost his mother, and has turned to writing poetry to express his feelings..." I guess I'm questioning the degree.

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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.

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Kalindlara wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
People like me?

Sorry if my statement came off the wrong way. Your post took the position most associated with straight/cis/white/male - if I've misrepresented you, I apologize.

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. It's not really an examination of attitudes to homosexuality, it's a denial that there might be any issues at all. So there is no "cultural" aspect to it at all, which might make the issue interesting from a dramatic perspective or give it some sort of link into the broader world. So when it gets mentioned it is free of cultural context.

The thing about this is, it might seem "more dramatic" to someone who's not in one of those marginalized groups. But people who live with that oppression might not want to experience it in their escapist fantasy roleplaying game.

I've actually added some of those elements back into my version of Golarion, since a player wanted some of them as part of their story. But, I'm glad they're not the default.

Does this make sense?

Yes, it makes perfect sense. And I didn't take offence, nor intend to give any. I'm not suggesting that gay prejudice should be added to a setting to give it "a bit of bite" unless people are comfortable with that. I guess the approach to homosexuality in Golarion is a bit like the approach Paizo took to the rest of Golarion - a little bit of something for everyone. That includes a permissive, non-prejudicial approach (not just to sexual orientation) - which is arguably quite a nice place for your characters to live. And with so many dangers in the world, throwing prejudice into the mix in order to add a bit of drama is arguably redundant.

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thejeff wrote:

And yet again it's "sex" as motivation as opposed to romance or any other such thing. I haven't read the Giantslayer AP. Is the "menage a trois" described just as such or is it a three-way relationship?

If it's just a casual sex scene you might stumble across, yeah, it's probably irrelevant and kind of tacky. If it's a relationship that motivates the villains, that's entirely different. Even if the players never find out the details, the GM may be able to use it for motivation and NPC reactions - how they react when one of the three is threatened or killed, for example.

So yes, I do find in both real life and fiction, sex tends to play a pretty strong role as motivation in relationships, particularly romantic ones. Important that much literature throughout history focuses on it.

From memory, it's more an arrangement than real love. It gives you an insight into the guy's mentality, I suppose. I think the term "ménage a trois" is not used and, of course, there is no on-screen sex. But for a relatively throw-away NPC it seemed a bit odd. As an isolated example (I think there are others, even in just that volume) it might be quite an interesting angle but Paizo rather over-play it, which is more my point. I don't object to the existence of homosexual relationships in Paizo products as such, or indeed sexual relationships generally, since they are a very primal motivational force. I guess I'm less impressed with their liberalism these days and more finding it a bit salacious since the existence of these relationships, but not the consequences or actions that stem therefrom, seem to be the main interest of the authors/editors.

Yknow, sort-of "Woo-hoo! We got a gay giant in there! Let's all hi-five each other in the office and bask in the glow of our right-on-ness!" 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 what I feel is lacking. And that is why I feel it is a bit of tokenism.

That said, I do accept Kalinlara's argument about normalising the perception of homosexuality in society at large. I don't expect all references to homosexuality to be stripped out, that's not what I'm talking about. I just wish it could be contextualized a bit more. Right now, the approach is (probably for commercial reasons) a cautious balance between the occasional reference against the risk of alienating large sections of the potential audience with a gay AP, or something like that. Which again, is fine as far as it goes, but when these issues are discussed some of us might find it a bit bland.

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Kalindlara wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Homosexuality isn't something I deal with in my games. Sex isn't something I generally deal with in my games. If it is, it is generally in the context of a joke. My RL group wouldn't be interested in this stuff, they are much more interested in narrative drive and getting to the dungeon on time. You have maybe a bit more scope in PbP as the RP can be good in that medium. But, to be honest, I don't think my players are crying out for gay content and I'm not crying out to give it to them. The subject isn't all that interesting to me, and RP'ing such themes can be pretty icky and difficult to get the tone right without it turning stupid. I don't have the sureness of touch or the motivation to try.

The Paizo angle is interesting. When they mentioned in passing in AP1 the gay relationship between two very, very minor NPCs in Sandpoint, it seemed an interesting break from convention. Homosexuality exists and I don't think, in this day an age, there is anything wrong in acknowledging that in a work of fantasy fiction/RP. There isn't any need, for example, for there to be prejudice against gender or sexual orientation in such a setting, which is nice (if simplistic).

But I think they've maybe banged the drum a bit much over the years and have made it look a bit tokenistic now, as lots of NPCs over the years seem to be gay or bisexual now with little relevance to the actual adventure. As a player, I really don't care who that NPC is sleeping with if his or her main role is to die horribly under the blades of the characters. I also look a bit askance as a lot of the NPCs who are described will inevitably be villains, and so a lot of the NPCs gays are villains. While I am sure that negatively stereotyping villains as gay, or gays as villains, is not Paizo's intention, it can look that way sometimes. And sometimes, people have other motivations than the sexual ones, even depraved evil NPCs.

Remember that "gay content" doesn't have to mean "explicit sexual content". Do your PCs ever flirt with barmaids, or rescue damsels-in-distress, or fight succubi, or anything of the sort? If so, those themes are already present in your campaign.

As for representation, it's very easy to see it as "tokenism" when people like you have been the assumed default for years. For those who are finally being represented, it can mean a great deal more.

Also, not every enemy's role is to die in every campaign. A lot of groups are very keen on redeeming foes - that information is very useful for those GMs. And of course, well-detailed foes are a lot more interesting to read about.

I'm not sure about the villain statistics right off the bat, but I can't remember that many LGBTetc characters who are actual villains. Queen Ileosa, the two from The Half-Dead City... can you refresh my memory on others? LGBTetc allies seem more prevalent.

People like me?

Yes, you are right up to a point. But I'm aware that this isn't explicit sexual content. What bothers me more is the relevance, much as Irontruth mentions immediately above. Why do I need to know about the crypt giant with the ménage a trois going with the undead priestess of Urgathoa and some oracle elsewhere in the complex (an example from Giantslayer)? Chances are very high that they will not be encountered together. Even if they were, they probably won't do anything terribly relevant to their sexualities while interacting with the PCs (which will be extremely likely to involve sharp pointed objects). It's nice to have some background on NPCs, of course. But unless it's going to come into play, it really doesn't matter. It instead looks a lot more like a desperate attempt to be right on, which is faintly embarrassing. The example used doesn't really involve homosexuality. I just wondered why I needed to know about the sex lives of minor NPCs.

If it's relevant, I am completely cool with it. I have read The Steel Remains trilogy (well, the first two anyway - third is on order) by Richard Morgan and the lead character is a very gay man, with some full-on gay sex scenes (Mr Morgan tends to get quite anatomical). But it's relevant, so it's fine - I'm not disgusted or put off, it makes perfect sense in the context. In other settings (for example, the two Lion of Macedon books by David Gemmell) homosexuality has cultural roots and discussion and exploration thereof is fine.

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. It's not really an examination of attitudes to homosexuality, it's a denial that there might be any issues at all. So there is no "cultural" aspect to it at all, which might make the issue interesting from a dramatic perspective or give it some sort of link into the broader world. So when it gets mentioned it is free of cultural context.

So that just leaves you with sex (homosexual and heterosexual) as some sort of character motivation in his or her interpersonal relationships. There's nothing wrong with that as far as it goes, but it is done generally for minor NPCs where the actual impact on play of their sexual orientation is negligible. Which leads me to the conclusion about tokenism. I guess you'd expect some NPCs to be gay, just by statistical chance. With most, it won't matter.

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Homosexuality isn't something I deal with in my games. Sex isn't something I generally deal with in my games. If it is, it is generally in the context of a joke. My RL group wouldn't be interested in this stuff, they are much more interested in narrative drive and getting to the dungeon on time. You have maybe a bit more scope in PbP as the RP can be good in that medium. But, to be honest, I don't think my players are crying out for gay content and I'm not crying out to give it to them. The subject isn't all that interesting to me, and RP'ing such themes can be pretty icky and difficult to get the tone right without it turning stupid. I don't have the sureness of touch or the motivation to try.

The Paizo angle is interesting. When they mentioned in passing in AP1 the gay relationship between two very, very minor NPCs in Sandpoint, it seemed an interesting break from convention. Homosexuality exists and I don't think, in this day an age, there is anything wrong in acknowledging that in a work of fantasy fiction/RP. There isn't any need, for example, for there to be prejudice against gender or sexual orientation in such a setting, which is nice (if simplistic).

But I think they've maybe banged the drum a bit much over the years and have made it look a bit tokenistic now, as lots of NPCs over the years seem to be gay or bisexual now with little relevance to the actual adventure. As a player, I really don't care who that NPC is sleeping with if his or her main role is to die horribly under the blades of the characters. I also look a bit askance as a lot of the NPCs who are described will inevitably be villains, and so a lot of the NPCs gays are villains. While I am sure that negatively stereotyping villains as gay, or gays as villains, is not Paizo's intention, it can look that way sometimes. And sometimes, people have other motivations than the sexual ones, even depraved evil NPCs.

The Exchange

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Well, I draw my own maps. Of the combat encounters, one was in a small copse or wood, one was on a mountain path, one was in a pine forest which also had giant burial mounds, and the last was by a stream. For inspiration, I actually read an old mountaineering book about Nanda Devi, which contained a lot of stuff about travelling in mountainous terrain.

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In my PbP here my guys had quite a long tramp through the mountains from Fort Rannick, much like your lot. I used it mainly for a bit of description - climbing up glacial valleys, that sort of thing - but you might consider something other than giants (they will get plenty of those at Jorgenfist). How about being stampeded by a herd of mammoths? They also disturbed an ancient giant burial ground and got attacked by a giant wight. I also threw in a roleplaying bit with some stone giants who were opposed to Mokmurian, which was useful for a bit of foreshadowing and passing on information they didn't necessarily have already.

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Intense? Sounds awful...

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OK, enjoy - going somewhere nice (or somewhere horrible for a change of pace)?

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Just in case anyone was feeling cheerful.

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Nice to be back!

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Hi Heathy. Let us know if and when you wish to return, the game is always open.

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OK, I'm outta here! See you all Sunday after next.

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OK, I'm outta here! See you all Sunday after next.

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OK, I'm outta here! See you all Sunday after next.

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OK, I'm outta here! See you all Sunday after next.

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