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RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter, 2014 Dedicated Voter. 190 posts (3,195 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 25 aliases.


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Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Dust of Fantastical Terrain
Aura moderate transformation; CL 11th
Slot none Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Scattering a full flask of this ashy dust creates gigantic growth of the surrounding landscape as it warps to the imagination of the flask bearer. Pebbles rumble into boulders, mushrooms and flowers bloom to the height of full grown men, and saplings burst into mighty trees, all of them twisting and stretching into fantastical shapes.

As a full round action, scattering the dust creates the gigantic growth effect in a circle with a 30 foot radius, a half circle with a 45 foot radius, or a quarter circle with a 60 foot radius. The growth occurs like a wave from the point of the scattered dust, a smooth flowing change that does not harm any creatures in the terrain. Each object in the terrain may be enlarged and sculpted, fine detail is not possible. Passageways may be included between dense objects. The changes to terrain are permanent.

The amount of growth per object cannot exceed two size categories. As an example, a tiny object like a mushroom can become medium in size like a human, but not large in size like an ogre. No object can be enlarged to gargantuan or colossal size. The dust cannot create gem quality stones or precious ore, nor can it create types of minerals or plants that did not already exist in the terrain.

The dust does not enlarge creatures of any type. Creatures made of plant, earth or stone must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or be sickened for one round by the warping sensation.
Craft Wondrous Item, move earth, plant growth, stone shape, wood shape; Cost 3,000 gp

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I blame Cosmo for the future creation of the worst Christmas song ever, "Donkey Santa Baby Daddy"

1 person marked this as a favorite.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yep, infinite parallel cosmos, all populated with Cosmos, and for that I blame Cosmo

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I blame Cosmo for infinite loops.

I also blame Cosmo for all Cosmos being his offspring, which produced Cosmo, an infinite loop (goto line 1)

2 people marked this as a favorite.

why stop at Jersey, I blame Cosmo for the Cosmos

Yep, that's right, our community is different from other companies and what would be unacceptable from a big box is ok by me from Paizo. My order is late too, but the warehouse and customer service people are working hard and learning from this exercise and that's good enough for me. I will defend them, it's a company that's learning and growing, they're trying to do the right thing as evidenced by the OGL gaming info you get for free without ever buying a single thing from them, and for that I'll stand by them through thick and thin. This thread is for showing some appreciation and that's what I have for this company, Thanks Paizo, don't worry if my order is late, I know you're trying and I'd rather get a late order from you than a timely order from a big box company.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Hey Vic, I noticed the article at Publishers Weekly says the contest closes March 1st and it does mention the round format, but it doesn't mention that the entries for the first round have to be submitted well before March 1st. An edit to that article might save a bit of frustration for a few newcomers.

Still 10 hours? So 9pm PST for those of us still working on it? Woot!

Diablo Rojo by Boneyard Beer company, very good on tap for a red beer, not the IPA I prefer, but still very good!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cosmo's Girlfriend wrote:
...blame Cosmo for not getting a kitten

What?!?!?!?! Cosmo! This is worse than Donkey Baby Daddy, if ANYTHING could be worse than that! On behalf of humanity, I demand that you go out and adopt a kitten now! And if that doesn't work, then I demand on behalf of the Decline of Western Civilization that you go out and adopt a kitten now!

I think it's both, there's a ME in TEAM, but I'll also sacrifice Everything for a teammate, in the military sense, and the real magic in RPGs happens when you find a way to incorporate both of those ideals into the game.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Has anyone ever seen Bulmahn and Cosmo at the same time?

On a related note, I blame Cosmo for all conspiracy theories.

#3 is intriguing (and I must admit that I've wanted my first attempt at GMing PbP to be the original Ravenloft I6 module, one of my all-time favorites)

Fabius wrote:
The stuff doesn't taste like anything.

I had read that as 'unique', but now I understand that it literally doesn't taste like anything, thanks for the correction as that would have been a disappointing discovery

Kelsey wrote:
I keep hearing good things about Sierra Nevada

My favorite, I routinely max out the recycling bin with 144 bottles of Pale Ale, this a fine brew!

Fabius wrote:
I had a Krusovice (Czeck black beer) today. A remarkable experience. The stuff doesn't taste like anything.

Added to my list based on your recommendation, I shall try this forthwith.

as I just discovered after canceling my cable service, the Mohu flat antenna is fricking awesome!

a Devil of a time?

Jaelithe wrote:
Eventually, I think someone will even with the pads.

It happened just last week to a high school kid, in a game the team was losing 60-6, here's the Link

Gary wrote:
Does a chronic sleep debt lead to Alzheimer's in later life?

I can't remember if it does?

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Clark wrote:
...I learn a lot from the contest, too. I really do. There are so many things to take away from participation in an event like this, all you have to do is turn a critical eye on the process and think about it...

This has been one of the best parts of the contest for me and I've learned much, much more from reading the feedback on everyone's entries rather than just from the bit of feedback I've received. Every year there are really good submissions that don't make the cut, and even the ones that do advance still receive constructive criticism. Taking the time to digest that feedback has greatly improved my understanding of what a company is looking for in a freelancer and what makes for a good designer. Getting any feedback from a publisher is great, but getting to read everyone's feedback is amazing and it's what makes this contest so enjoyable, IMHO.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Create a New Race per the builder in the Race Guide?

Create a Downtime Event per the Ultimate Campaign book?

Chases, Haunts, and Hazards, all from the Advanced Topics section in the GameMastery Guide?

Fabius wrote:
You also seem to have no idea how intense and nerve-wrecking a penalty shootout is.

How uninformed of you to make an incorrect assumption like that, I've been watching the quality leagues (you know, EPL, Spanish Primera, and Bundesliga) for many years, as well as watching the major tournaments, so yep, I've seen plenty of nerve wracking shootouts. Having a game decided by 1 on 1 in a team sport is lame, almost as lame as Matterazzi, but not quite. :P

Fabius wrote:
What would you suggest as an alternative?

After the first extra period go to golden goals and add a second ball to the pitch, then keep adding another ball every 10 minutes until someone scores. It would be crazy, wild, and chaotic, officiating would be non-existant, but man would that be fun to watch :)

More seriously, eliminate offsides and alternate set pieces from set marks such as 30 yards out, that way the whole team is involved in each play and the action continues. Have a clearance line, maybe 40 yards out, and if the defending team clears than it flips to a set piece for the other team. First team to score wins.

as someone from the northwest who has BBQed in the snow, it has been pointed out to me that I'm a Blue Neck

words I learned from reading fantasy novels: Hirsute

and love the Night Court reference, that show was great!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I blame Cosmo for Donkey Baby Daddy

He's more like Tory Belleci than an actual bull, but your point has merit, so henceforth I'll let the barbarian minotaur get some form of an uncanny dodge bonus per that episode of mythbusters, though only if he loudly states "Rynjin! and lifts his beverage in toast prior to rolling the check.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Muad'Dib wrote:
Player A wants to play a Minotaur. Now as a GM I need to adjust every single social encounter. That's fine for a game or two but I just can't keep it up over the course of a campaign.

I'm actually doing exactly this right now for a home group. It has been a challenge, but it's been well worth it terms of a memorable campaign and story. Certainly it wouldn't be suitable for every group and game, but with some creativity it can be great. Point in case, when the party entered a backwater village the people feared the minotaur, but one timid farmer approached them with a sob story of how ol' bessie the ox just passed away and he couldn't plow his field and all the other farmers needed their animals to take care of their fields, and, well, maybe, would a kind adventurer like said minotaur be willing to drag his plow through the fields for a day or two? Probably not what the PC had been thinking his heroic minotaur would be doing to gain acceptance in the village, but an option none-the-less that made for some entertainment at the table. Plus, the 'bull in a china shop' has worked really well, make a Dex check!, half his loot has just gone to paying damages thus far. And, as a GM should, that PC still gets plenty of chances to shine as a hero, monstrous or not, so he can still fulfill the vision he had for a minotaur barbarian when he made the character.

Great post, Matt, and thanks for bringing the topic back to Cinematic Scenes by using the duel in The Princess Bride as an example of how we can bring those scenes to RPGs.

feytharn wrote:
The replicants dying words in Blade Runner

That is one of my favorite movie moments from one of my favorite movies, and there are bunches of great cinematic scenes in Bladerunner. What makes that scene so powerful is what AD mentioned earlier about all the buildup and character development that led to that moment. It didn't need special effects or tons of action, it was great because it was the culmination of a great story (Phillip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?).

1 person marked this as a favorite.

is it already alright to put all and right altogether? and if not, then why are altogether and already already all right?

That scene from Gallipoli defined tragedy for me as a 10 year old. My grandfather took me to see the movie during a visit and I had tons of questions after that, I can still remember him telling me about the truths of war and how awful it was.

Stuffy Grammarian, aka Kirth wrote:

etc. = et cetera (Lat., "and so on").

ect. = short for "ectoplasm"?

Doh! though now that I think about it Slimer from Ghostbusters was pretty memorable, so maybe ectoplasm does apply?

Great stuff everyone, keep it coming!

I've found that my favorite RPG adventures involve cinematic scenes and I was looking for inspiration from any media source that other people have found to have great cinematic scenes. What are your favorites and why do they stand out to you?

(please, don't criticize other people's choice of favorites, let's just talk about what we like)

16 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't get:

Why the swag bags at gaming conventions don't include deodorant as a standard item.

Orthos wrote:

Encounter Level is the calculated difficulty of the entire encounter. CR is the difficulty of the individual monster.

Multiple creatures adding together increase the EL of the encounter - there's a chart on it in the Gamemastery section of the core book.

Thanks, Orthos, my third printing of the core book just uses CR in that section, but I remembered seeing EL somewhere, so I went back to the Legacy of Fire AP and found EL and CR both being used exactly as you described.

please someone correct me if I'm wrong, I think EL is Encounter Level and it is the same as Challenge Rating.

I do think it's about what sells, the magazines and what-not media outlets will put out an image that makes their product sell the best. I saw on another thread discussing if Paizo would ever try to acquire license to Dragonlance or Darksun and it was noted that they already identified with magazine products that when the cover of the magazine advertised an adventure for one of those systems then the sales dropped for that issue, thus Paizo wouldn't want to license those products because even in our hobby it is simply about what sells the best for the business. Look at magazines on the rack at the check out counter next time you get groceries, you're bound to see Kim Kardashian on the cover of something, that girl's butt is huge, nothing like the coat rack image that people associate with super models, and she's on the cover of those magazines because she is very attractive and it helps sell the magazines. There is a sort of chicken and egg thing here, does the concept of beauty get created by industry, or does the industry publish current concepts of beauty to increase sales, and by publishing those images do they create the concept of beauty? Regardless of how that plays out, the idea I would like to re-enforce and that I truly believe, everyone is beautiful, and industry be damned!

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

When we're all tired of looking up 10 different rule aspects for a single check, we just decide around the table what number sounds good, then the guy/gal rolls and we move on, totally invalidates tons of things, but it keeps the game moving and keeps the table happy. It should be noted that this is with a group that has played together for going on 10 years now and everyone is easy going and mellow.

Professor Farnsworth, Scientist wrote:
puts Yellowdingo back in the Schroedinger Box and bombards him with radioactive mangoes, Bieber remixes, and nonstop reality television programming

So we're all a radioactive mango away from being in Schroedinger's Box? Dang it!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

For those wanting to get some practice prior to this year's contest, I saw this thread yesterday in the Compatible Products from Other Publishers section. Not only can we work up our item design skills, but we can earn the equivalent of a cheeseburger for doing so! That, my friends, is a win-win situation.

AD wrote:
5. Why do people get so upset and angry about an activity that they are presumably doing to relax and have fun?

I took some real time to consider this, as I just recently encountered a thread that did make me angry, and after really searching through my own feelings it was because I was afraid. That was hard to admit at first, but the truth of the matter was that fear led to my anger. In this case, it was fear of seeing damage to my favorite hobby, RPGs, through assertions that RPGs are inherently racist. To me, this was the exact same as the dialogue in the 70s and 80s that people who played RPGs were advocating witchcraft and devil worship. I started playing RPGs when I was 12 and had the great sorrow of losing close friends who could not accept my new hobby based on that perceived view of witchcraft and devilry in the hobby from people who were projecting their own fear onto RPGs, which I believe is similar to modern claims that RPGs are racist. Luckily, I found many great friends with the same hobby of RPGs, but the initial loss of friends was very hurtful and I still get afraid when I perceive the same type of witch hunt mentality occurring again, and I'm afraid for the young people of today that are just getting into the hobby and the prejudice they might experience in this era the same as I experienced as a kid. I want to express a deep appreciation for the comments made by Wesley Schneider in that off-site forum, they calmed my temper, helped me to understand the importance of the valid dialogue that should occur, and provided a great example of how to approach issues like this that make me afraid. There are still a great many things that I want to say about that conversation, but I do not want to take this thread off topic and I hope that anyone with those concerns will take them to a new thread. I'm just addressing the basic question of "what makes you angry about a hobby that should be fun" and my answer is my own Fear.

Every culture has standards of beauty and people always try to exploit those for profit. Those people don't care about the health or moral implications, they just want to make money and they've identified a product that sells. The reason that product sells is what we should explore as a society, and the best thing we can do is to not buy that product and instead buy into a product that we do find healthy, both physically and mentally.

OMG, I just tried to look up a Canadian model that is natural and beautiful as an example, and the top 10 list of 'plus sized' models from Oddee popped up a window saying "If you enjoyed this article you might also like... 20 Ugliest Celebrities". I can't believe that just happened, they directly jumped from large models to ugly celebrities!?!?!? Honestly, I didn't realize how bad it was for women, that was just a horrible example of the industry. (the model I was trying to find was Christina Schmidt by the way, and she wasn't on Oddee's list)

To stick strictly on thread regarding a place in the Paizo boards for this discussion, it should be noted that Wesley Schneider already spent considerable time responding to the original blog on that page. To ask if there is a place on the Paizo boards for this discussion without acknowledging the time and energy that an editor-in-cheif at Paizo already contributed to the discussion seems unfair.

Frankly, I found Wesley's comments much more enlightening than the blog itself, but they should be taken together.

AD, I understand and no hard feelings. I was just trying to give you some feedback, one of the things that always bugged me in creative writing classes was the lack of constructive criticism. Really, I meant it about generalizing a population being a bigger turn off to me as a reader than the color of skin. I have put down books without finishing them because of a perceived lack of depth, I've never put down a book because of skin color. Arslan by M.J. Engh is a great example of a book that is hard to read at times because of both racism and abuse, but is a powerful story with depth.

AD - Yes, the story and the author are two different entities. 'A' does not equal 'B' in this case, even if they do turn out to be the same.

That's a different question than I answered earlier, I provided feedback to your three questions in regards to a story you were writing:

AD wrote:

1. Is it a problem if my novel's protagonist and the people he represents are fair-skinned and the invading barbarian marauders who rape, pillage and murder at will are dark-skinned?

After you think about that one...

2. Is it a problem if my novel's protagonist and the people he represents are dark-skinned and the invading barbarian marauders who rape, pillage and murder at will are fair-skinned?

And after you think about that...

3. Is it a problem if there are ANY discernible racial differences between the victimized people and the invading barbarian marauders who rape, pillage and murder them?

And again, this is a sincere question that I wrestled with for months as I was writing the book. I would love to hear some thoughts on this.

You asked for thoughts on this and I provided my chief thought: that I would be more concerned with a story that lacked depth from generalizing the bad guys, rather than be concerned with the color of skin. I even said that I didn't think your story would lack depth as you wrestled with those concepts in your original three questions. It was a response from one creative writer to another, not an attempt to argue.

Kolo wrote:
You are saying that in order for a story to be good, there MUST be a representation of the 'not so bad' guys in the evil army. However if the story isnt ABOUT the evil army, but instead about those opposing it, there isnt an available perspective to demonstrate those individuals. To those being invaded, the army is one massive unified killing/maurauding machine.

This is close to what I'm expressing, but you still have to drop the 'not so bad' and replace it with the word 'individual', that's very important to the discussion and a point that is still being missed, it's not about good or bad, it's individuals. Let's tie that back to Tolkien and orcs for the purpose of this thread, (even though my point was made only as constructive criticism to AD about his questions on human groups because I felt bad that no one had responded to him on what was a valid question for an author to be asking). Merry and Pippin escape from the orcs into Fangwood because the orcs start arguing, one wants to eat the hobbit's legs, the other says No, we're following orders and bringing them back unharmed as captives. Two very different individuals in the same army, both being portrayed as evil, but the individuality of those characters makes the orcs seem much more believable as a group to me the reader.

In regards to the invading army appearing as an unified group to the people being assaulted, Yes, I'm sure that is the case throughout history and I agree with that statement, but that has nothing to do with the comments about true individuality in that group. An author has the luxury of multiple perspectives and I do believe good writing doesn't ignore the ability to use those multiple perspectives.

AD wrote:
I am sincerely asking how a writer can depict a conflict of cultures in modern literature without running aground on the shoals of supposed conscious or unconscious racism.

We need to make a basic assumption here first, the conflict is not about racism. In that case, I think that showing motivations for war other than racism would be the way to achieve that goal. Per the modern era, the motivation of economics for war is much more powerful than racism, but still some individuals will embody racism in that conflict.

AD wrote:
Is simply writing a story with an invading army that rapes and pillages their victims impossible to do in a non-racist manner UNLESS I deliberately create some "good guy" invaders for the specific purpose of avoiding accusations of racism?

Again with the 'good guy' thing in the bad army, No, this isn't required. But if this is just about avoiding racism accusations, then show that another motive is stronger, such as greed, otherwise the accusations are likely to fly, Heck, they'll probably fly anyways, but at least you can point to the true motivation as depicted in the story. If you show a motivation in the story, you'll spend less time telling people what the motivation was later.

Poink wrote:
So, then it is okay for him to have an army of bad guys in general, as long as he portrays that not all of the individuals in that army are of the same mindset? Or, as you put it, showcase their "individuality"? That is not only highly unusual to expect that, but unnecessary.

Tolkien did exactly that, and with monsters rather than humans, see the comments above about the orcs. I don't see where you can claim in good faith that it would be 'highly unusual'.

Poink wrote:
If you only wish to consider the color of the skin of the people in his army to real-life people as related to the actions they perform, you can do that, but you will be missing the trees for the forest….To say that the author's work would either be of low-quality or racist for not portraying the ideals/thoughts/motivations of some individuals in a predominantly evil army that happens to have some attribute that is somewhat similar to a real-life race is nonsensical. But, as the Burger King slogan goes, have it your way.

I never suggested anything even remotely close to this regarding racism, and I even said that color would not be a problem. Your insinuation is rude and immature and shows that you failed to read my post and try to understand it. I responded to AD about what would be a perceived problem for me in regards to his three questions and never was racism a part of that. I took the time to read your post and even favorited it, because I considered the valid points it offered, show me the same consideration if you want to have worthwhile dialogue. You, sir, owe me an apology.

Kolokotroni wrote:
So in order for a story to be 'good' it must represent and highlight the 'good guys' in the evil invading army?

Again, misrepresentation of another person's comments, where did I say you must highlight good guys in the bad army, that's you jumping to conclusions. Show individuality, maybe one barbarian doesn't like the killing, but does it to feed his family back home, while the guy next to him enjoys spilling blood, those are very different individuals.

It has Nothing to do with overall impact on the army as a whole, again another jump to conclusions, and to suggest that members of an army don't still retain individuality in thought is foolish, some dudes get brainwashed, but not even close to all of them.

AD wrote:
So if we say that depicting an invading army as wantonly pillaging, raping and killing the victims is a "problem" is that saying that we cannot write a novel that depicts actual human behavior in a factual and historical manner? Because to do so is "racist?"

AD, that's misrepresenting what I said and you know you're doing it, I emphasized the word EVERY and I'm doing so again, because you failed to include that key point in your response. In my opinion the story will be Shallow if EVERY member of an entire army has the same mindset, and that doesn't represent a single army in the history of this planet. Suggesting there is no individuality and variety of opinions in ANY group of people would be a display of pure ignorance. People are individuals and if your story fails to represent them that way then it isn't very good.

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