Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Wax Golem

Aubrey the Malformed's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 7,769 posts (20,910 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 13 aliases.


RSS

1 to 50 of 7,769 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Qadira

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

That spider was a deathweb (Bestiary 3) advanced a couple of sizes and a lot of HD, plus the futility gaze weapon, using the rules at the back of the Bestiary 1 for advancing monsters. They might need a little bit of calibration - it should have been a CR 12 but I reckon that was a bit more than that. On the other hand, Improved Vital Strike really made that bite dangerous - the base damage was only 4d8+20-odd, but the feat made it 12d8.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Sue is probably my favorite bit in the Dresden books.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Some people love it. It certainly has its strengths as well as weaknesses. But you need endurance.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
Unlike what most people think, I actually don't find the sex scenes in game of thrones to be gratuitous.

My comments weren't an inference of you being a prude, more I was trying to find a situation I had where I found some stuff a bit gratuitous as an illustration.

And yeah, the series is totally gratuitous. Though I found it ironic they left out Tyrion's sex scenes, and put in some that weren't in the book (in fact, inventing a whole character, Ros, pretty much for the sole purpose of having gratuitous sex).

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Orthos wrote:
This might be a matter of taste, as well. In my opinion, like Aubrey, Mab's description made much more of a mark on my memory, and I am far, far, far more in favor of over-description than under. I honestly wish Butcher would use that style more, myself. But if that doesn't appeal to you, I can see why you might be a bit irked by its use.
Over-description is something like Gormenghast. The Dresden novels are nothing like that.
I'm not familiar.

It's by Mervyn Peake, who was a British illustrator. Gormenghast is a huge castle occupied by a bunch of eccentrics and grotesques, and muder and skulduggery ensue. Nothing mch happens as Peake spends a lot of time describing people, describing the decor, and so on. There were three books - Gormenghast, Titus Groan and Titus Alone (I think). They came out in about the 1960s and were very influential at the time - for example, on Michael Moorcock - and there is a (fairly incoherent) BBC drama based on the first two books. I tried to like it, I really did, but just couldn't finish the first book.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
This might be a matter of taste, as well. In my opinion, like Aubrey, Mab's description made much more of a mark on my memory, and I am far, far, far more in favor of over-description than under. I honestly wish Butcher would use that style more, myself. But if that doesn't appeal to you, I can see why you might be a bit irked by its use.

Over-description is something like Gormenghast. The Dresden novels are nothing like that.

Qadira

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Period!

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

My language certainly horrified my midwestern colleagues.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

This reminds me of the Game of Thrones books. I've not spoilered it, as it has been in the series now as well as the books from years back, but in case you are bothered, you have been warned.

In the books, there are quite a lot of sex scenes involving Tyrion and his girlfriend Shae. Pretty explicit ones, and since the relationship covers two-and-a-half books, in the end I was thinking "Do I really needs all this dwarf sex?" - it all felt a bit gratuitous. However, it actually made sense in the end, because what those scenes were doing was demonstrating how enamoured Tyrion is with Shae and how he really wanted and needed her. So in the final denouement at the end of Book 3, when he finds her in his father's chambers and she's simply swapped her alliegance, it makes perfect sense that his sense of jealousy and betrayal led him to throttle her to death and, indeed, to go on a kill his father. So what seemed a bit like gratuitous sex was in fact setting up for this big scene at the end, and making sense of it from Tyrion's viewpoint (not to condone - murder is BAD, kids - don't do it!).

Likewise, Mab is a very significant character in Harry's world - he now works for her (well, OK, I'm waiting for the next book to come out in papaerback, but as of the last book he did) - so her entrance is a big deal. Her sexiness and danger are quite important, in that context - if she was just written briefly, that might not make so much sense.

Similarly, there's only ever been, to my recollection, a single sex scene in the Dresden books. And that served a purpose, since it was when he and Susan conceived their daughter. Likewise, there's a lot of attention paid to Molly, but then she's a very significant character too with lots of stuff going on there. And Murphy and so on. Even the female vampire was a recurring character up to book 3, and her attractiveness was in contrast to her horrific real appearance. And Harry's brother usually gets his clothing and haircut mentioned.

So some of this stuff can be seen as prefiguring. Characters develop from the early books. Butcher's writing develops too - much less of the Chandler pastiche as things go on. And it seems to me that at least some of it is authorial strategy with significant characters and subsequent payoff.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Serves him right for being a defiler. ;-P

Qadira

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

Cool idea, makes life easier.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Debatable about the ogre being better. I'd completely forgotten about the ogre, I still remember Harry's first meeting with Mab in his office. Mab is supposed to be beautiful. It's show, don't tell. "She was beautiful" is pretty lame. And she's also a super-powerful fey and an ongoing character. I think that demands air-time.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:

No, you people are going too far. Harry is most definitely in possession of some sexist world views - I recall an inner monologue he had at some point where he explains how women magic wielders are so much more dangerous than men because of how seductive and manipulative women are.

There are some moments in the series that are certainly a bit cringe worthy. However, I am capable of separating character from author and I think the sexism is mostly Harry.

I'm not an American, and Butcher is a very American author. Even in the Codex Alera, the characters feel very American. The way I see Dresden is as having old world courtesy of a Midwestern variety (based on what I've seen of people based in and around Lansing, Michigan, which I've visited a few times). In comes out in the way he treats his mentor and foster father (name escapes me), calling him "Sir" (I've never called my dad Sir) and generally being very polite. The treatment of women under that code could be seen as chivalrous or condescending, depending on your viewpoint. It's probably both. The extent to which this is separate from Butcher is moot since the authorial voice, and Tavi's attitudes, in the Codex Alera wasn't really very different at all from Harry's. Butcher is, of course, from the Midwest, like Harry.

<shrug> You'll be amazed how much women are happy to be condescended to when you are giving up your seat to them in a crowded train. So I find it hard to take this too seriously. It might be a bit antedeluvian but there are much worse ways for sexism to manifest than overt politeness to half the population. There are also a large number of powerful female characters - both good, bad and ambiguous - in the Dresden books. Compare with Tolkien, where they barely exist, or something ghastly like Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant, where the pirate queen can't orgasm except in a rape scenario.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:

I agree that it's not an issue of page count being stolen from the story. It's just that in the middle of a fast paced read that flows naturally from scene to scene with a generally economic use of words, everything comes to a screeching halt when you encounter a page and a half describing what some lady is wearing to every excruciating last detail. It gets in the way, and whenever it happens (about 2 - 3 times per book so far) I just find it distracting.

Example from Summer Knight: (description of Mab).....

Bear in mind, there is a degree of genre cross-over with the Dresden books, especially early on when the Private Investigator aspect is more important. That was probably more a conscious apeing of Raymond Chandler rather than Butcher being a bit of a slobberer.

And Mab is an important character. I personally think that it's a good thing when an author gives you lots of good description, especially about characters, so you can see what the author is seeing in their head. It beats, "This blonde chick was sitting in my office. Nice t!ts."

Qadira

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

Hey Will, did you change your cavalier order? That's strictly against the rules, but I think your new order is a much better fit with your character so it's cool. However, if you want to do stuff like that, please ask first as it's something that should be discussed first.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Personally, I'm 43 and I haven't really stopped thinking about women. Maybe both me and Mr Butcher are having midlife crises.

Qadira

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

"It was brown and slightly crumbly, a few tantalising fragments scattered across the pristine white of the plate. The gentle craggy ripples on the surface intrigued me, called me to reach out and feel its rough yet sensual touch under my fingertips, to draw it to my mouth. Dark drops of chocolate gazed at me knowingly like the eyes of a sultry temptress, knowing what I wanted, and that this was where to find it. My breathing quickened, my tongue nevously licked my lips. I wanted it, yet I hated it too. Damn diet...."

Qadira

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

OK, here's a look at your other defences:

Fort is 20:
10 base
+2 for being a fighter
+2 level
+4 CON
+1 inherent
+2 item
(-1 as item and inherent bonuses don't stack - or rather, they are both enhancement bonuses)

Reflex is 16:
10 base
+2 level
+1 DEX
+1 gladiator
+1 inherent
+2 item
(-1 as item and inherent bonuses don't stack)

Will is 15:
10 base
+2 level
+1 WIS
+1 inherent
+2 item
(-1 as item and inherent bonuses don't stack)

Hope that helps. And you still haven't changed that useless Daily yet.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
(for example, the tendency to describe what every pretty female looks like/is wearing in tiresome details)

That tends to be Molly. I guess he's a visual writer and, presumably, prefers visualising the pretty young female characters more.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:

When trolls are given a professional forum...

the more you know...

The review seemed mainly driven by jealousy than anything else. Storm Front is, of course, Butcher's first published book and it certainly isn't perfect. But then again, he noticably hones his craft in the next few books, so the review is out of date anyway. I'm not enturely sure when the review was written, but Storm Front is a pretty old book by now.

Qadira

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

Furio, you might want to look at your AC - it seems to be too low. My rough calculation is 17, and I might have left something out.

EDIT: in fact, it seems to be 18. That's:

10 base
+2 level
+1 DEX
+1 inherent
+1 gladiator
+3 hide armour

Might come in handy. I might check your other defences later but the wife is telling me I need by beauty sleep.

Qadira

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

By the way, I'm afraid you can't select Spirit of Vigour as a feat. It has a prerequisite of having the Elemental Spririt class feature and you went for the Protector Spirit. So Th'Kal doesn't get 5 temporary hit points and you need to reselect a feat.

Qadira

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

Hiya - good trip?

Qadira

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

Well, it's down the DM and the player. Some DMs are persuadable.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

You don't get to be old in Athas without being pretty tough.

Qadira

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

He's tougher than he looks - mainly because he has the Toughness feat.

Qadira

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

Ah, no - it's 12 plus your CON score, not your CON bonus (so if your CON is 16, it'll be 28 at first level) - plus the further 5 per level after 1st.

Any reason for this sudden concern about your hp?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Touche, comrade.

But it's all relative.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

I think what mechaPoet means is:

In (insert Campaign Setting year) ("Victoriana Reckoning" or similar) to St. George's Hill (proletariat district AF5, topographic feature 12b, Smokedarque Quarter)
A ragged band they called the Diggers (1d20 commoners) came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
(,inquisitors and warburghers), they defied the laws
They were the dispossessed
(steampunk subculture reference akin to Planescape use of "berks") reclaiming what was theirs.

"We come in peace", they said, "to dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common and make the waste ground grow
This earth divided we will make whole
So it may be a common treasury
(decanter of endless water, permanent mythic global sanctuary spell) for all"

"The sin of property we do disdain
No man has any right to buy or sell the earth for private gain
By theft and murder
(and steam powered zeppelins) they took the land
Now everywhere the
(steam turreted ballista mounted) walls (and fierce geargolems) spring up at their command"

"They make the laws (and pneumatic harpoon firing cogbows) to chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven, or they damn us into hell
We will not worship the God they serve,
a God of greed
(and maybe clerics unless this is a no-magic/Godless setting) who feeds the rich(rich parents or friends in high places trait) while poor folk (friends in low places, poverty stricken traits) starve (gaining the starving condition)"

"We work (full round action, fatigued condition) and eat together, we need no swords
We will not bow to masters, nor pay rent
(or give haemotax) to the lords (and other assorted metaplot BBEGs)
Still we are free, though we are poor
Ye Diggers all, stand up for glory, stand up
(from prone, incurring AoO) now!"

From the men of property...

Well, I doubt that's precisely mP's point, to be honest. None of that has much to do with British imperialism, it's more to do with movements such as Chartism and the Tolpuddle Martyrs which largely pre-date the actual period typically associated with steampunk, which is normally more around the 1890s (a lot of it is barely in the Victorian period at all). mP's point seems to be more around colonialism and its perceived impacts on post-colonial states (which conveniently forgets the fact that the main reason they are poor is because their native rulers pursued stupid economic policies (e.g. India) or presided over kleptocracies (e.g. most bits of Africa) post-independence).

But the thing is, we all play a game which is set in a predominately medieval world. Do we have to endure lectures about how terrible it was in the feudal period - arbitrary justice, constant wars, disease, childhood mortality, suppression of women, unaccountable rulers, serfdom, relgious perscution, brutal punishments - every time someone wants to talk about that? Every time someone wants to talk about the Wild West, does that mean I'm honour-bound to start going on about the treatment of native peoples - reservations, massacres and military actions, deliberate infection with smallpox, and so on? Or do I just want to get a life and enjoy some escapist fun? History is full of people being sh1tty to one another - people need to get over it without trying to score points. Every period is full of this - we have ISIS, child abuse scandals, and much more in the modern day. If I'm going to play some sort of modern day thing, do I need to go on about that too?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Why? I'm a computer geek with a physics background. I'm perfectly capable of recognizing and laughing at much of the bad science and technobabble. I still think it's science fiction and enjoy it for what it is without demanding strict scientific accuracy. It's fiction. Story is the important part.

None of my comments are about it being wrong to to like the less rigorous (for want of a better term) science fiction. And frankly, it's not like I go around going, "Hmmm, it's good, but is it really science fiction." Science fiction is a shorthand for all of this stuff, from Star Wasrs to Star trek to Philip K Hamilton to Arthur C Clark to Isaac Asimov. I've enjoyed it all. I think the subject arose because the OP was questioning some science in a book, and whether that translated into genre-specific issues or not. Which it does. At some level, writing science fiction with bad science in it, or indeed a blithe disregard for science, sort-of invalidates the term. Which is why some people have tried to find alternative terms for it, like technofantasy. But definitional issues don't translate necessarily into enjoyability issues. That is where story comes in.

Qadira

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

Got the global head of department's secretary sitting next to me today. Meaning the global head of department might be swinging past from time to time. So I might be a bit quiet during the day.

Qadira

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

Got the global head of department's secretary sitting next to me today. Meaning the global head of department might be swinging past from time to time. So I might be a bit quiet during the day.

Qadira

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

Got the global head of department's secretary sitting next to me today. Meaning the global head of department might be swinging past from time to time. So I might be a bit quiet during the day.

Qadira

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

Got the global head of department's secretary sitting next to me today. Meaning the global head of department might be swinging past from time to time. So I might be a bit quiet during the day.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
mechaPoet wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
Just remember kids, when it comes to steampunk, there's nothing less punk than British imperialism and colonialism.
The British were hardly the only imperialists of the era. Belgium, France, Germany... And during the period, America was busy dealing with its "problems" with the natives in the West. It is a period with an ugly side - like every period in history. Doesn't mean we have to wallow in it though.
I mean, the current world we live in is still influenced by and heavily built on the imperialism and industrialization of the empire that the sun never set on. But yeah, I guess you don't have to "wallow" in it. You also don't have to be punk.

If you say so. I think it's probably a lot more influenced by WW2 and the conflict between two superpowers right now. But then it's porobably also influenced by the Roman Empire. Or the Carolingian. Or the Khmer. Depends on your perspective. But you're just trying to make some sort of point to yourself, so I'll let you get on with it.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
mechaPoet wrote:
Just remember kids, when it comes to steampunk, there's nothing less punk than British imperialism and colonialism.

The British were hardly the only imperialists of the era. Belgium, France, Germany... And during the period, America was busy dealing with its "problems" with the natives in the West. It is a period with an ugly side - like every period in history. Doesn't mean we have to wallow in it though.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
I think the funniest revelation in this entire conversation is that, at least according to Elter and Aubrey's definitions, I'm apparently not a sci-fi fan at all, or at least a very minimal one. Everything I enjoy about sci-fi apparently falls better under sci-fantasy or futuristic fantasy genres. I guess that means I learned something today?

By your own admission you said you don't know much about science (pretty obvious, since LazarX's comments are actually schoolboy physics, not treknobabble - the Heisenberg principle is one of the prime objections to teleportation a la the energisers). You like the trappings of science fiction, but you don't have the background to recognise what is and isn't. Like 90% of the readers, probably, to be fair. I don't think it's a problem either. But rather than get annoyed, you might consider this an opportunity to consider the genre a bit more deeply, rather than just go, "Cool! A ray gun!" If you feel so inclined.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Quote:
What science fiction does is take some real world scenario and extrapolate it. A good illustration would be Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison (made into the film Soylent Green) which projected fears about overpopulation in the 1970s (when it was written) and extrapolate a what-if. So the "scientific issue" doesn't have to be technological, it can be a social trend (in fact, science fiction is very often just that). But pseudoscience is just that - pseudo, not real. Stuff like Star Wars doesn't address scientific issues - it's just escapist fantasy. Probaly most cinematic science fiction (with a few notable exceptions) is like that.

See, that's not the definition I'm used to seeing used for sci-fi. Maybe I just hang out in the wrong crowds.

What's always defined "sci-fi" for me or anyone I have discussed the subject with is "fiction with modern or futuristic setting". If it has computers and robots, it's probably sci-fi, unless there's blatantly magic or other supernatural stuff, in which case it's sci-fantasy.

Beyond that is just the sliding scale of hardness. Hard sci-fi is the more realistic, the more complex, and the more rules-intensive; soft sci-fi is the "it's technology, it just works, don't gotta explain jack".

That makes Star Wars science fiction, despite the notable lack of science. These are, to some extent, pseudo-academic distinctions, but I have also read science fiction authors who stated that this was their view. They aren't necessarily agreed by everyone.

A writer (now deceased) called Bob Shaw had quite a neat example to illustrate. A guy is on an asteroid, being hunted by his deadly rival in the vacuum. If the guy catches his rival unawares and shoots him, that doesn't make is science fiction because you could have exactly the same scenario in a western, fantasy, ganster genre. So what makes science fiction distinctive? Let's say he catches his rival, who taunts him at a distance out of range. But our hero realises that, on the asteroid, gravity is low and so he can shoot further. So he takes advantage of that to shoot is rival. The difference - the scientific principle around gravity is critical to the solution to the story. (Bob Shaw also pointed out this wasn't exactly the most compelling story, in and of itself.) Which is why, on this basis, Star Wars is pretty much not science fiction - the scenario would play out pretty much the same in a lot of different genres. 2001, on the other hand, is most definitely science fiction.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Caineach wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

What you are talking about is bad science. But that is in no way a sole feature of steampunk. A classic example for me was in The Matrix, where humans were supposedly used as batteries to fuel the evil supercomputer through body heat. That was such garbage. The amount of energy that needed to be expended to feed the humans would be less - much less - than that generated by their body heat. The supercomputer would have been better off, y'know, with a normal battery (and it would still have to charge it). And that certainly affected my interest in the story once this Big Reveal was made in the film.

But I don't think quoting examples of shoddy understanding of some basic physics invalidates the steampunk genre. There's good and bad steampunk. I think you are mistaking crap writing for a feature of the genre. Instead, I suggest you consider reading some of the good stuff (well, better, anyway).

Original idea was that they were wired together and used as a giant supercomputer, but that got thrown out because most of the audience wouldn't understand it when it came out.

I was surprised that they didn't go for that at the time - it seemed much more logical. Ah well, nothing like Hollywood for under-estimating the audience.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:

Speaking for myself, I'm pretty much the opposite of you and Aubrey, Elter. I don't care for hard sci-fi. I don't really enjoy fiction that goes out of its way to "get the science right", because I feel it distracts from the story and challenges my suspension of disbelief. I'm a much bigger fan of the softer ends of the sci-fi scale, where there's a little pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo for flavor purposes but the author doesn't step away from the story from time to time, or worse puppet through one of the characters, to explain the number-crunching that makes everything tick.

That doesn't make it any less sci-fi - it's still got the scientific backdrop and lacks the blatantly supernatural effects that are associated with the fantasy genre. It's just far toward the softer end of the hardness scale.

And then there's sci-fantasy, which deliberately blends the two, combining open supernatural/magical properties with technology, either working together a la Magitek or as competing or cooperative forces side-by-side. This is probably closer to where Star Wars fits, along with things like Final Fantasy games.

It probably helps that I'm not scientifically-literate enough to catch when something doesn't make sense. For example, Aubrey's complaint about The Matrix never even phased me.

That's debatable. Star Wars was mentioned above in this context. Star Wars is often classed as techno-fantasy, because although it has the trappings of science fiction it's really unscientific mumo-jumbo. Personally I wouldn't class it as science fiction. Science fiction isn't about people showing off, nor does it require a profound understanding of particle physics. What science fiction does is take some real world scenario and extrapolate it. A good illustration would be Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison (made into the film Soylent Green) which projected fears about overpopulation in the 1970s (when it was written) and extrapolate a what-if. So the "scientific issue" doesn't have to be technological, it can be a social trend (in fact, science fiction is very often just that). But pseudoscience is just that - pseudo, not real. Stuff like Star Wars doesn't address scientific issues - it's just escapist fantasy. Probaly most cinematic science fiction (with a few notable exceptions) is like that.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with liking techno-fantasy, of course. It boils down to taste. A lot of steampunk (to get back to the original subject) is probably techno-fantasy only the techno bit is 19th century. I like plenty of that stuff. And trying to tie everything down into categories is, ultimately, a mug's game. A lot of "hard SF" set in the far future, particulalry written as of now, is fairly techno-fantasy-ish, what with FTL drives, antigravity, instantaneous comminications, and flying across a solar system in a couple of days. Who cares if you enjoy it (and I do)? But when something sticks out (like my Matrix example - and my background is in biological sciences so that's probably why I noticed it) it'll grate some individuals, especially if it is being called "science fiction".

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

As thejeff says. Steampunk is a setting (or a series of settings with some shared trappings, which may be more or less fantastic, depending). They will have different basic underlying assumptions about what is and isn't possible - and why. Some will be purely scientific - like The Difference Engine - and some really won't, with the tricky stuff handwaved or even explicitly magical. And some will be well-written, and some not.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

What you are talking about is bad science. But that is in no way a sole feature of steampunk. A classic example for me was in The Matrix, where humans were supposedly used as batteries to fuel the evil supercomputer through body heat. That was such garbage. The amount of energy that needed to be expended to feed the humans would be less - much less - than that generated by their body heat. The supercomputer would have been better off, y'know, with a normal battery (and it would still have to charge it). And that certainly affected my interest in the story once this Big Reveal was made in the film.

But I don't think quoting examples of shoddy understanding of some basic physics invalidates the steampunk genre. There's good and bad steampunk. I think you are mistaking crap writing for a feature of the genre. Instead, I suggest you consider reading some of the good stuff (well, better, anyway).

Qadira

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

No problem.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
ElterAgo wrote:

Ok, I've never really gotten into the steampunk thing. I can kinda see the attraction but it just doesn't have that much appeal to me. I would guess because things just don't work like that. I'm too much of an engineer for a lot of what is described.

But a couple of my friends were discussing it and had various (and self contradictory) opinions on how it was supposed to work. So I wanted to find out what it was supposed to be.

So which is it supposed to be?

  • Magic and engineering working together for greater effect.
  • Magic strengthening the materials so they can contain the steam, pressure, and heat can be contained. Magic in the creation of item, but nil in using the item.
  • Almost no magic involved at all. The effects are almost entirely non-magic in creation and/or use.
  • Something else entirely?

If it was the first one, I could buy into it. But most people seem to argue that is more like the second or third items. Sorry those just don't work.
I don't care how much you strengthen the steel container. There is a limit to how much energy you can get our of compressed air. And it won't be enough in the handle of your cane to drive a 6" steel spike through a 1/2" of plate armor.
It doesn't matter if you make a 10' mechanical extension for your arm. Your shoulder isn't capable of applying sufficient leverage to sword fight effectively at that distance.

1st, you are fine with magic, which really isn't at all how things work, but not with steampunk? I'm being facetious, of course - it is too close to your day-to-day experience that you can see the flaws, whereas no one knows how magic works... Because it doesn't.

But I think you misunderstand steampunk. It's not a mechanical concept, it is a setting. Everything else comes from that. Steampunk, in its original guise, is much more like an alternate take on Victoriana. It need not be magical, it can be instead science fiction (you could argue that War of the Worlds would be steampunk if written today), often extrapolating from scientific dicoveries of the era to see "what if" - an example woulf the The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, which posits a Victorian computer age based on Baggae's engine. So in many ways it's not about magic, it is about science.

It has moved more away from an explicitly Victorian setting with other authors. And example (a good example) would be China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, which has an urban, sort-of industrial setting and Victorian sort of tech but which also has weird monsters and is definitely an alternate setting, not historical Earth. Another example (and a bit more light-hearted) would be the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding, which has fantasy elements (alternate world setting, "daemons") but is more explicitly science fiction.

I think these sorts of books have been influential in the creation of "steampunk" campiagn settings (Eberron, Iron Kingdoms, to name a few). Of course, since a lot of these are bolt-ons to systems like D&D, PF and so on they tend to have greater magical elements since these are already inherent in the systems.

Qadira

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

Sure, no probs, it's your character.

Qadira

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

The inherent bonuses are on p209 of the DS book (Fixed Enhancement Bonuses, strictly speaking) which make up for the lack of magic items.

You look fine with your At Wills.

Any of those feats would be a good choice. There is also a feat to allow you to make basic attacks with your spear off WIS, since you mentioned it. Debatable how immediately useful that will be, since you would be most likely to be attacking with powers, but it could come in handy on occasion.

You will have five survival days, a few more javelins. Re magic items, I'll check what other people have and provide through the game.

On your sheet I would calculate the actual To Hit and damage bonuses. You don't want to have to work them out each time, it'll be a drag.

Qadira

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

Spring Renewal Totem looks fine.

Qadira

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

You are missing:

- a feat
- a 1st level At Will attack power
- you haven't added your racial bonuses to your stats
- we haven't given you a Background bonus
- you also have inherent bonuses to AC and attacks as this is DS
- you have incorrectly assigned you Vigorous Spirit feat to INT instead of WIS

Re the racial bonuses, goliaths get a +2 to STR and a +2 to either CON or WIS (the option to take WIS is not in the PHB2 but was added later).

Re the Background, I suggest you take the Geographical background Tablelands - Land's Guardian. This allows you to take a +2 bonus to either Diplomacy or Endurance, or to learn the Thri-Kreen language.

A couple of comments re you stats. You have taken the shaman secondary stats, INT and CON, and split the different so they are the same. You have also added your 4th level stat increases to each of INT and CON.

It's often a mistake to try to have three main stats. Every four levels you get to increase two stats by 1. You need to maximise WIS, as it is your attack stat, so it should be increased on every occasion you get the chance to maximise your effectiveness in combat. The secondary stats sometimes come into play in combat as some secondary effects may work off them (e.g. like "If you his you shift the target a number of squares equal to your INT bonus") but often powers don't reference them. Interestingly, the Animist Shaman powers don't seem to bring the secondary stats in much at all - everything works off WIS.

So I would consider choosing one of the secondary stats and sticking with it when the stat increases come up every four levels, i.e. either INT or CON (personally, I'd go for CON as it's more half-giant-y but that's an aesthetic rather than mechanical consideration). You might also want to consider rethinking the stat array you chose if you only want to emphasise one of the secondary stats.

Qadira

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

On weapons, shamans are proficient only with simple weapons and the longspear. You don't get to use large weapons (unlike in 3e) as a half-giant. You also can't use shields. But the longspear is a decent 2H weapon (reach, 1d10 damage) so I'd advise that. As you get a bonus to STR as a half-giant I'd consider going with a heavy thrown simple weapon like the javelin.

Qadira

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

Tenro:

Spoiler:
You might be motivated by revenge rather than by being sent. And finding a bunch of well-armed warriors might be just what the witch-doctor ordered. And yes, a ravaged village wouldn't be much to get back to. Longer term motivation might be more problematic but on the other hand hopefully defilers dropping rocks from the sky might be sufficient.

Re equipment, let me think about it a bit. Magic items don't drop off trees in this setting but that doesn't mean you won't have something. I'll look at the others and see what they have to make a comparison. However, you should assume you have a magic totem of lvl 5 or below - I'll let you know about the rest.

1 to 50 of 7,769 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.