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Charlie Brooks's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 383 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:

I'll just state that I interpreted the adventure notes dramatically differently than your GM did. Yes, there are a couple of places where the NPCs talk amongst themselves, but not a ton that I recall, and I definitely didn't interpret them as that bossy or overbearing.


Charlie Brooks wrote:
You've mentioned the Wrath of the Righteous NPCs, but I'm not seeing it.

Two different issues. The NPCs talking to each other does not equal the NPCs taking over the game (unless the GM chooses to have those conversations run on). And again, it's very easy to just cut those conversations. None of them are plot-essential.

In other words, I still fail to see how the NPCs in Wrath of the Righteous are stealing the PCs' thunder.

Minor Wrath spoilers:
If anything, the first book runs the risk of being a babysitting quest since they are crippled. Beyond that, the PCs have mythic power and the NPCs don't, so it's very difficult for any of them to overshadow the PCs.

Charlie Brooks wrote:
I imagine that the heavy-handedness of the NPCs depends largely on how the GM interprets the text

Bolded yet again.

Seeing quite a bit of "blame the DM/stupid DM" in many of these responses. Makes sense why people would want to avoid this echo chamber.

I'm not suggesting a "blame the GM" attitude. But it is worth noting that the GM has control over how long those conversations go on or even whether they're role-played out or just summarized.

Following the cues in the first book of Wrath of the Righteous, I ended up having two instances where the NPCs talked to each other. Neither lasted more than a minute, and both involved PC interaction as well. Had there been no interest in the conversation, I could just as easily have cut the scene down to, "Horgus says something to Anevia and she flips out at him."

That's the power of a GM. It doesn't mean that a GM who lets those scenes run on is a bad GM or anything of the sort. It does mean that those scenes are very much open to interpretation. There is no boxed text that has the NPCs talking and no script to follow. How far those scenes run on is up to the GM and, to a lesser extent, the PCs.

The exact preferences in this vary from table to table. If you want to argue that the adventure didn't give the GM enough instruction, that's another matter. But, having both read and run this adventure, I can tell you that there is no point in the text that really pushes for a long scene where the NPCs talk to each other and the players just watch.


What’s the tally? :

-Bad GM/DM is the cause

Not what I'm trying to imply. I'm saying I interpreted the text differently, and my run-through of the game went much more smoothly. There are plenty of times that I've misread an adventure or interpreted in a way that became an issue in my gaming group, and I like to think that doesn't make me a bad GM.

-Poor reading comprehension

Also not what I was implying. Text can be interpreted in many different ways. My interpretation was extremely different than the interpretation of the GM in question.


-Implied Homophobia/bigotry

-Bad guy NPC write-ups are important TOO! (yet no one was arguing against that)
-You must be a computer gamer/mmo fan
-Rollplayer vs. Roleplayer

I'm going to assume these are in response to something somebody else said, or else there is a major communication breakdown between you and I.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

However, since you request specifics...I'll go into light detail...

** spoiler omitted **...

I'll just state that I interpreted the adventure notes dramatically differently than your GM did. Yes, there are a couple of places where the NPCs talk amongst themselves, but not a ton that I recall, and I definitely didn't interpret them as that bossy or overbearing.

I imagine that the heavy-handedness of the NPCs depends largely on how the GM interprets the text, but I will also note that the adventure includes ways to reduce almost all of these longer interactions to a simple Diplomacy roll and that the forward of the adventure path emphasizes that while they're hoping to provide interesting NPCs, the PCs are supposed to get the limelight.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
Paizo's inclusion of a trans character/Ameiko/X NPC does not trump the fact that they are breaking one of the most important rules of adventure writing: The players should be the stars of the story - not an NPCs with a super-interesting background.

I'm still trying to figure out which of the NPCs in which adventure paths are the "stars" of the story.

Again, I can see an argument for Ameiko in Jade Regent, even though she really isn't necessary for most of the adventure path and isn't even assumed to be going on the adventures with the PCs.

Other than that, I'd like to know who is being referred to here. You've mentioned the Wrath of the Righteous NPCs, but I'm not seeing it. In my GMing experience, the background write-ups were useful in determining personalities and interactions. Horgus's background was especially useful, since it turned what would have been a one-note jerk NPC into somebody that, even if the players didn't like, they could respect to a degree.

Now, do we need the two-page writeups on the NPCs? Not necessarily, but you could argue the same thing about the writeups on the cities of the adventure, on the gods that don't always have a direct influence on the adventure path, or even much of the descriptive text in the adventure itself.

I mean, jumping way back to Rise of the Runelords, one of the more memorable encounters in that adventure was a pair of goblin pickle thieves. There was a good chunk of text devoted to those pickle thieves that could have been reduced to, "2 Goblins, 6 hp each," but I for one appreciate the background. Maybe it shows up in the game, maybe it doesn't. In my opinion, the adventure paths are partly about giving an adventure but also partly about inspiring future adventures or ways to go off the beaten path. The NPC writeups are a part of that.

Ally NPCs should not steal the thunder of the PCs, plain and simple. That's why all of them should have smaller write-ups to be expanded (or not) by the DM.

First, I don't think that emphasizing certain parts of your statement in bold is all that helpful. It's basically just the same as saying something louder, which doesn't make people inclined to agree and which doesn't work as well as providing evidence/examples to back up the claim.

Second, I again disagree with the suggestion that all the NPCs should have smaller write-ups. I've found the write-ups to be quite useful. Without them, there's a good chance that Anevia turns into a generic rogue who doesn't draw much interest from the players, and Horgus is a one-note jerk without much depth. Admittedly, I can take time fleshing out the NPCs that I want to emphasize (and I do), but an adventure path is supposed to make things easier on the GM. That includes giving some good ideas to expand upon and some interesting backgrounds to the NPCs.

In short, I will grant you that some people would prefer to see the NPC descriptions used for something else, but I disagree that they're useless to players and GMs. In my opinion, they're no more useless than the "Adventure Background" section at the start of a book or the "Continuing the Campaign" bit at the end of a path.

And I certainly don't agree that the NPCs are stealing the player's thunder, because I haven't seen any examples of them being presented as GMPCs/Mary Sues/whatever in the actual adventure. In fact, the notes in Wrath of the Righteous and Jade Regent both go out of their way to point out that the NPCs should not steal the PCs' thunder.

voska66 wrote:
It just comes off as the token gay couples and I find it kind of offensive actually. It's kind of hard to explain but it's like they are exploiting homosexuals. Like I'm part native and they used to do it in TV show with the token Indian way back the day. It comes off as stereotypical. Just reminds me of that.

While it may be hard to explain, I'd kind of like to hear the explanation (maybe in another thread), since I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this.

Mikaze wrote:
But how could anyone consider Ameiko a GMPC? She's been likable as hell all through our Jade Regent campai-

You totally won't find me complaining about Ameiko. The whole reason I did Jade Regent was because one of the PCs got a crush on Ameiko when I ran the first session of Rise of the Runelords, so I wound up jumping paths so she could get more time with the group.

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I think it would help if some examples were given of these plot-driving, order-giving, Mary Sue NPCs.

Really, there's only one NPC I can think of that can really be considered plot-essential in the Adventure Paths I've played. That would be Ameiko in Jade Regent, and even she can be written out by the end of Book One if desired.

As to the argument that there could be more adventure if there were fewer NPCs, you could make that same argument about the city descriptions, the magic items, the articles on gods, or the fiction in each volume. But the adventure paths have never been designed as 96-page adventure modules. They've always had that supplementary material, and I would argue that's a large part of their appeal.

I'm running both Jade Regent and Wrath of the Righteous, and while all the extra NPCs makes for some extra work on the GM's part (since I have to give them scenes so they don't just fade into the background), I don't think they're a major problem in the adventure paths.

If you're GMing the game, you can pretty much dispense with any of the NPCs you want. None of them from my reading so far are all that plot essential. Even Ameiko, who is definitely the most plot-essential NPC, can be removed in the first book if desired.

I think the issue will have more merit if future adventure paths design themselves around the assumption that the NPCs are playing a major part in the story. Right now, it seems like they're helpful additions but not necessary if you want to just remove them.

My setting has a mad scientist NPC who has long awaited a chance to re-emerge. Thus far, I have been able to introduce his niece as an alchemist, but I'm hoping these rules will give me what I need to bring him back in his full insane glory.

In my experience, trail rations are usually just window dressing on a character sheet (as is a bedroll, winter blanket, tent, et cetera).

But I've run games where characters are stranded in a desert, where they have to book it across country to warn people of an approaching army, and even one where a thief character camped out for several days in a palace's secret passageway. In all those situations, keeping track of rations becomes relevant.

How far into the adventure are you?

If it's a really uncomfortable situation and you've already introduced the relationship, maybe it's not a bad idea to just have Irabeth and Anevia stay in Kenabres for whatever reason. As far as I know, there's nothing in the adventure path that 100% requires them to be with the group.

LoneKnave wrote:
That reminds me, I wouldn't mind % miss chances gone. It's an extra roll+an extra layer of complexity for calculations+an extra layer of defense vs poor martials... Maybe as a /day class ability, bt not something that can be literally always on.

Agreed. I always wince when a player rolls a crit but forgot to roll the miss chance first.

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I just ran the encounter with Vegsundvaag and had the PCs negotiate a situation in which the villagers paid a year's worth of tribute to the dragon. Not an ideal situation for the villagers, but the PCs were kind of ticked that they initially sided with Tunuak.

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lastgrasp wrote:
Having not read the ELH could you combine Mythic & Epic together? Do the two systems work at all with each other? Could you be Level 25 10th tier character using both rule sets? Assuming you were mixing 3.X and 3.P

I'm not sure about the fighting gods question, but from my reading of the Mythic rules you could definitely combine them with Epic rules if you wanted. For that matter, the very brief post-20th level rules found in the Core Rulebook also work fine with Mythic rules.

One of the things I really appreciate about the Mythic rules is that they graft on pretty well to any post-20th level advancement rules you might want to use. That's pretty convenient for me, since there were already a couple 22nd-level characters in my setting. But those guys are still bound by the laws or mortality. As I run the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path, they can help out here and there but will eventually be dwarfed in power by the PCs even if they technically remain at a higher level.

I would put money down that 5th edition will have no OGL. I think the whole culture of WotC has changed over the past decade, and while there may be some OGL supporters, I'm betting a lot of people there blame the OGL at least in part for 4th edition not being what they expected sales-wise.

I find that most of the adventure paths can be adapted to fit a shorter campaign pretty easily. For example, you could make Rise of the Runelords a local threat to Sandpoint and end right after book 1 if desired. Similarly, Council of Thieves could cap off after The Infernal Syndrome with some adaptation.

If you want to get through the plot as written, kicking advancement up to the fast track and then cutting some encounters would be fairly easy. While I love the adventure paths, I find that there are always some grindy parts that seem to be placed there just to get the PCs enough XP to level up and continue the story.

Just wanted to say - I ran a session of The Hungry Storm this weekend, and the fight with

Tunuak, a possessed Naquun, and the hoarfrost spirits

was one of the best I've seen in a published adventure. It kept the PCs on their toes as they kept having to adapt to new situations, it challenged them in a way they hadn't been challenged yet in the campaign, and had enough interesting terrain to make combat maneuvers like bull rushes and trips a viable option in the fight.

The combatants who could turn invisible used their abilities early and often, which frustrated the characters but not the players. During and after the fight, the players mentioned that it was an excellent fight scene, even when they were on the verge of losing.

I've got nothing big to add, but I just thought a thumbs up to the designers was in order. That is an excellent fight/set piece, and I would love to see more encounters like it in future adventure paths.

Just like the title says: do you use a GM screen? Why or why not?

tl;dr version:

The GM screen is one of the traditions of RPGs, but it's one I very rarely use.

I had a discussion with my wife about the Mutants & Masterminds GM screen and how useful I find it, but I usually run games with it flat on the table so I can access the information when I need it while not creating a divide between GM and players. When I run Pathfinder, I never use a screen.

GM screens are certainly useful, but in high school I started gaming in places without tables, such as living rooms and bedrooms. While I now game at tables more often than not, I usually keep very loose notes and trust the players not to look at the stuff they're not supposed to. When I do need to make a roll in secret or hide something, I just lift a notebook to function as a temporary shield.

My wife, who started playing with me well after I stopped using a screen, stated that she hates screens because she feels more like it's the GM versus the players when one is up.

So what are you thoughts on using a GM screen?

My main disconnect with the premise of this thread is that I don't see why it's so hard, if you want to limit your game in such a way, to just say, "Nothing except the core races in my game."

I had the same disconnect when people used to talk about the proliferation of options in D&D 3.5. Is anybody really going to get angry and/or quit a game because they're not allowed to play their half-fiend warforged ninja/scout?

Well, I guess there's certainly somebody like that out there, but I haven't met them in any of my gaming groups yet.

And if you can set things as you like them in your campaign, does it really matter what other people are doing in their games? I might be missing something, but the whole argument strikes me as similar to complaining about all the different ice cream flavors out there because you prefer vanilla or chocolate only.

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Meh, call me crazy but I think players should be able to play what they want.

Quite honestly, $50 isn't too bad a price point, except that D&D traditionally requires three books. If that model holds, the price goes up to $150 for the core books - not bad for those who definitely want to buy into the game, but not good for those who are on the fence.

The weakness in the argument that $50 or even $150 is well worth the price because of the hours of entertainment it provides is that there are already many other alternatives. I can already have the same fun that D&D provides while running any previous edition (all affordable and easily obtainable) or Pathfinder, which I already own. The playtest, while looking good, hasn't convinced me that the game offers anything new that I don't already get through playing Pathfinder.

If WotC wants to catch players who are curious but not yet committed, they need some sort of inexpensive buy-in that can get people hooked. Now, that doesn't have to be the core rulebooks - it could be the starter set (although their track record with those is poor), it could be inexpensive PDFs, or it could be something else entirely. But most people see the three core books as the entry point, so WotC is going to need to emphasize that things have changed if they want to catch a wider audience.

A lot will probably depend on how they release the game digitally. When Pathfinder came out, I was initially going to pass, but the $10 Core Rulebook PDF convinced me otherwise. The big discount at the time on also helped a lot.

If WotC is going to price the core rulebooks that high, I hope they release one heck of a starter set. A good starter set can probably up the amount people are willing to spend. Otherwise, people who are already on the fence are probably going to balk at a possible $150 buy-in for three rulebooks.

Given the current state of the rules, I don't know if rules for levels beyond 20th are necessary.

What would be the goal of such a product? To allow characters to do the crazy high-level stuff that such play is supposed to provide? That's already more or less covered by using Mythic Adventures + high-level play.

Would it be just to remove any sort of hard cap on the game? In that case, the Core Rulebook has brief guidelines about post-level 20 play. Sure, they're not terribly robust, but they easily allow for characters to reach levels 21-23 or so while finishing a campaign. No huge epic abilities involved, but again there's Mythic Adventures for that.

It seems to me that the feel of an epic-level game could be handled quite easily by playing a game to 20th level and then giving the characters mythic power. That would basically do what the epic level rules of 3rd edition D&D wanted to do, but the math would work out better.

If Paizo did do a post-20th level play book at some point, it would have to be markedly different in feel from Mythic Adventures. I'm not sure what the game needs that such a book could add.

Matthew Boehland wrote:

Well, there's also a later Adventure Path that has ** spoiler omitted ** originally from Runelords as a major character as well (though I could see just changng their name in Runelords making them a different character if you wanted to play it second)

Anyhow, we're running through RotR now, so sounds like I'm good for later stuffs. Thanks for the replies!

If you're referring to Jade Regent, the very first volume has advice on how to replace her with another character if needed.

Most adventure paths I've read have extra time built into them somewhere for crafting purposes, et cetera. It would be pretty easy in most cases to add side adventures or maybe even an ongoing subplot in between chapters.

In Council of Thieves, for example, each chapter has the potential for long breaks in between where something else can happen. In Jade Regent, the caravan journey can be paused for a sidequest.

I think I'd prefer that approach to a campaign a bit more, since it provides the feeling that there's a lot more going on at the time than just stuff which is relevant to the adventure path.

I think I'd prefer a spell points system, but it's not something I'm desperately looking for in Pathfinder.

Overall, I think it's probably best for Pathfinder not to deviate too far from what's gotten them so much success in future versions of the game. There's a reason why the game is so popular, and the mechanics, clunky as they can be sometimes, are a part of that reason.

Story Archer wrote:
The point I made in my post was that when that couple was introduced it hardly raised an eyebrow for me at all... its when the second gay couple was introduced as main NPC's (and those are the only two prominent relationships thus far, no?), THAT'S when it started to feel both forced and little excessive.

I guess I'm still not quite in agreement. Maybe my mind will change as the adventure path unfolds, but it doesn't necessarily strike me as a bad thing to turn social norms on their head once in a while. And having a second gay couple in there once in a while helps to avoid the perception that there's a token couple just tossed in there to meet some arbitrary quota.

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My long and rambling thoughts on the subject

I really don't think it's a big deal. If you don't like it, just change Anevia's backstory slightly.

I don't like that people are considering it to be Paizo ramming some sort of agenda down people's throats. There are transgender gamers out there - should they never have an NPC who has a similar identity without it being considered part of some agenda?

About 1 in 10 people in the real world is gay, transgender, questioning, or has a similar nonconventional sexual identity. I doubt that Paizo's products even approach that number thus far. As far as I know, Anevia is the first transgender NPC introduced in the line. I don't think that's excessive at all.

Icyshadow wrote:

@Mark Hoover

That's the first time I see someone use the Pathfinder pantheon outside Golarion.

I am honestly surprised about such, but I'm glad it works out for you and the group.

I know a couple of people who use the Golarion pantheon for their settings because they don't want to bother writing up their own pantheon.

Honestly, if I didn't play in a setting that predated the Core Rulebook, I might well have snagged the default pantheon for my campaign world, too.

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I'm in no hurry for a revision, but if we're just talking about what we'd like Pathfinder to look like, my thoughts would be something like this:

-Cut down on the number of situational bonuses (i.e., "+2 to save versus poisons," "+1 to Perception checks based on hearing," "+2 to Spellcraft checks made to identify magic items"). Don't eliminate them - just ask whether something really needs to be situational or not. (i.e., Could "+2 to save versus poison" be replaced by "+1 to Fortitude saves"?)

-Toss the Fly skill and find another way to handle flight in combat.

-Merge Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft.

-Get rid of encumbrance or find a simpler way to track it. Saves me the trouble of having to handwave it away.

-Smooth out attacks of opportunity a bit more.

-Decrease the need for items that just give a magical plus to something. Maybe magic weapons only get a +1 or +2 and then any more powerful weapons would be represented through special properties. Lower save DCs so cloaks of resistance aren't a necessity. Maybe add a defense bonus that rises with level so rings of protection don't need to be a thing. Reduce the need for these items so they're nice to have but aren't needed by those who would rather use their item slots for something more interesting.

-Move prestige classes to an Advanced Player's Guide revision or something. They're cool, but not necessarily needed in the core anymore.

-Change the presentation somewhat, taking a cue from the Beginner's Box where possible.

That is, of course, just stuff that would fit my gaming preferences. I'm not in a hurry for a new edition, but when there is one I hope it will be more tweaks and changes rather than rebuilding the game from the ground up.

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To each their own, but I've run my home setting in Pathfinder for years now with no issues. Running a Pathfinder game with a homebrew setting is no harder than running a D&D game with a homebrew setting.

At the request of the rest of the group, one of the PCs in my campaign recently bought a horse for overland travel. She initially didn't want to buy it, but now she's become very attached to the steed. However, we're at 13th level, so area attacks tend to be a huge danger to the poor thing.

Because the player is so attached to her horse and the damage is only going to get higher, I'm thinking of revealing that the horse is actually an intelligent creature with class levels. I'm thinking maybe it was awakened by a druid or is a polymorphed pegasus or unicorn. However, that still leaves me with the need to explain how such a creature wound up on the market for only 75 gold pieces. Obviously it was hiding its true nature, and has now grown close enough to the PC to reveal itself.

Any suggestions for a cool backstory that I can give to this horse for my next session? I'm sure the player will get a kick from the revelation.

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DeathQuaker wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:

While you could argue that you an artist can interpret the panels in many different ways, it's also worth noting that DC editorial has been extremely narrow-minded in their interpretation of how things should be as of late.

For example, editorial mandate has stated that Batman never sits down. When Paul Jenkins wrote a scene where Batman was sitting down, he was told he didn't understand the character.

Source? I'm curious to know where this came from.

Link from Bleeding Cool

Associated quote from Paul Jenkins:

I would like to relay an editorial comment that I received near the end of my time writing the Dark Knight New 52 series. In one scene, I had written that Batman is sitting on a rooftop during an intense conversation, close to a person who has been injured. The editorial comment: “We’re not sure you are “getting” the character because it’s common knowledge that Batman never sits down.” This, mind you, after I had made it clear I was not going to rewrite material for the umpteenth time after it had already been approved.

Perhaps Jenkins is being disingenuous with his retelling of the situation, but it's also worth noting that he is but one of many creators who have left DC citing such editorial interference.

While you could argue that you an artist can interpret the panels in many different ways, it's also worth noting that DC editorial has been extremely narrow-minded in their interpretation of how things should be as of late.

For example, editorial mandate has stated that Batman never sits down. When Paul Jenkins wrote a scene where Batman was sitting down, he was told he didn't understand the character.

With that in mind, I think there's probably a narrow subset of what DC is looking for in this contest.

Whedon's got a point. However, I think that one thing Empire shows is that if you are a good enough film, you can get away with committing that kind of sin.

Whedon's made his own share of mistakes, but I don't see anywhere in the article where he claims to blameless as a filmmaker. He can recognize his own mistakes while pointing out his issues with other franchises at the same time.

Steve Geddes wrote:

Were the different experience level progressions supposed to be in the interest of balance?

I thought they were just how the early designers thought the different classes 'should' progress, not an attempt to make the weaker classes level faster than the stronger. (If it was a balance attempt they seem to have had a peculiar view of which classes were 'weak').

I honestly don't know what the thought process behind the XP charts was.

Magic-users progressed incredibly slowly at first, when they were at their weakest and least useful to the group. Then, when they reached high levels and became dominating in battles, they progressed faster than fighters. At around 9th level a fighter would be a full two levels behind a magic-user with the same amount of XP.

There was also the situation where the XP needed to advance at high levels flattened out but monster XP kept increasing for higher-level challenges. The result was that you actually advanced much faster through the levels as you got higher level, especially if you used the 1 gp = 1 XP rule.

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I don't see how there's any real race to "win" GenCon. I'm sure that Paizo will do plenty of business next year even with 5th edition taking most of the press.

And I'll agree with everybody else who wants WotC to succeed with this edition of the game. It will be especially nice if they follow through with their goal of general compatibility, since that will mean that I can yank anything nice I see in 5th edition and port it over to my Pathfinder game.

Off the top of my head, some of the race/class dependent things are:


Fighters, barbarians, and monks get a keep;
Rangers get a cabin and a chance to become the guardian of a community;
Paladins become members of the Order of the Radiant Heart;
Clerics can get one of three churches, depending on their alignment;
Druids get a grove;
Wizards and sorcerers get the chance to teach apprentices;
Thieves get a guild;
Bards get to manage a playhouse.

All of those are independent of what kit you choose, which makes mechanical different but doesn't affect play beyond that.

NPC Romances:

Only humans, elves, half-elves, and halflings (and, in one case, half-orcs) get romance dialogue.
Viconia (the drow cleric NPC) won't enter into a relationship with elves, but will with half-orcs.
Men get three ladies who may fight over the PC's affection, women get one guy.

That's all in Baldur's Gate II. The story doesn't really split in the first game, except that you need a thief in your party for a certain set of quests in Baldur's Gate and good/evil-aligned NPCs will leave your party if your actions stray too far toward the other alignment spectrum.

There is some equipment that translates from a saved Baldur's Gate game to Baldur's Gate II...

such as:

The gold pantaloons, which can be combined with the silver pantaloons in Baldur's Gate II and the bronze pantalettes in Throne of Bhaal to great a giant metal mech;
If you get Drizzt's swords in Baldur's Gate, he'll take issue with it when you meet him in Baldur's Gate II;
A few other pieces of equipment (don't know which ones) get randomly placed in the starting dungeon for you to pick up again in Baldur's Gate II.

At the time it came out, I personally didn't care for Baldur's Gate I and made a new character for II. Then, when I got about halfway through II and realized how awesome the whole saga was, I went back and started up the first game with the intention of playing one character from the beginning on.

Unfortunately, the Enhanced Edition has hit a pretty big roadblock due to some issue between Overhaul Games and Atari. Overhaul has been forced to stop working on it due either to Atari's bankruptcy problems or a royalties issue, which means that the latest patch and the sequel itself is in jeopardy.

Although I guess it is worth noting that you can apparently import your Enhanced Edition character into vanilla Baldur's Gate II as long as you aren't using one of the new kits like the shadowdancer or dragon disciple.

I might be of a minority opinion, but I actually felt that Nick Fury (as he exists in the mainstream Marvel Universe) was one of the few white characters whose race was integral to the character. This was only due to historical precedent, since Fury began as Sergeant Fury of the Howling Commandos in World War II and I'm pretty sure that due to the time period a black character wouldn't have been able to be in that position.

Then again, it is worth noting that the Howling Commandos did have a black character on board when the comic came out, and this was an intentionally historically inaccurate move by Lee and Kirby.

Regardless, I guess it's a moot point, since the Sam Jackson Fury isn't the Nick Fury from mainstream comics*. Even ignoring the World War II backstory, he doesn't have the same attitude or demeanor as classic Fury. He does, however, work pretty well within the movies he's in. Thankfully, he's not really the Ultimate Nick Fury either, since he has yet to be that morally repugnant. He's his own incarnation of the character, and I think he's done a pretty good job with that incarnation so far.

*(Well, he technically is now, since old Nick Fury has been replaced by Nick Fury, Jr., who is modeled after the movie version of the character.)

Matthew Morris wrote:
Not htat familiar with BP myself, but which of the two wrote the bit about Wakanda having the cure to cancer, and Black Panther basically tells the world "No, you can't have it."

That was Hudlin.

Hudlin also wrote an alternate universe tale called "Black to the Future" (no, I am not kidding, and yes, Family Guy did come up with that title first) in which the Avengers try to take over the world because they're all racist and the Black Panther saves the world by forcing America to make him President.

If there is anything to be learned from Hudlin's time on the title, it is that racism goes both ways and it is always terrible.

Matthew Morris wrote:
On topic, I don't know the actor, but to me, there'd have to be a heck of a good actor for a 'race lift' (Yes, MCD was a heck of a good actor in Daredevil.)

I think the crux of the argument is right here. The problem isn't so much that people dismissed the idea of Glover as Spider-Man based on his acting strengths, but that a lot of folks didn't even want to see him considered based on his race.

(And yeah, Michael Clarke Duncan ruled as the Kingpin. It's a shame his talents were wasted in that movie.)

magnuskn wrote:
Uh, no, I did not say that, so your entire rant is based on your own wrong impression of what I said. I just hated that they killed Peter Parker over there, because he was a better character than his 616 version.

I agree with this. When they announced the death of Ultimate Peter Parker, my reaction was, "They're killing the wrong one." The Ultimate Universe had a Parker who was heroic, while the mainstream Marvel Universe has a self-centered manchild who I think has been pretty unlikeable and unheroic for almost a decade now.

Also, I personally did support Priest's Black Panther. It's a damned shame that he was replaced by Hudlin and I wish Priest would write for Marvel again, he was excellent.

Priest's Black Panther was awesome. Hudlin's, on the other hand is perfect to bring up in a conversation about nerds and racism, because it's one of the most racist things that mainstream comics has seen since the Silver Age.

I think he's got a point. There were a lot of ignorant comments on the matter. Given the outrage that already existed when they made the Kingpin black in the Daredevil movie (and that later came about when they made Perry White black in the Superman movie), the notion that nerds are some super-enlightened group that doesn't discriminate is laughable.

That the people who get enraged at turning a white character black didn't bat an eye when Bane was played by a white guy in the Batman movie is even more telling.

Honestly, there are some characters whose race is so integral that it should not be changed. For example, I wouldn't want to see Luke Cage played by a Chinese guy. However, those characters are fewer and farther between than some people think.

The thing with most of the white male superheroes is that they were white and male mostly because that was the assumed default in the 1960s (and, honestly, is still the assumed default in the industry today). For most characters, their race can be changed without affecting the rest of the character. If you ask people who Peter Parker is as a character, you'll get a lot of answers, but almost nobody will say, "Caucasian." Peter is an everyman, and that everyman can be just about any race out there, especially in a setting as diverse as New York.

With all that said, I do think that it's worth noting that the reaction to Glover was not necessarily indicative of the majority of nerds. The Internet is not the place to gauge majority reactions, and a vocal minority should not be assumed to be indicative of nerd culture in general.

But yeah, racism is still totally a problem in our society, and there are plenty of racist nerds out there.

I guess it's worth mentioning that the United States and several other first world countries have the capability of solving a lot of the problems in our real world, and yet those problems continue to exist.

If you're going to attempt to apply realism to a fantasy setting in this regard, it's probably good to look into why our real world is not some sparkling utopia. Presumably, many of those same hurdles would exist for this hypothetical high-magic setting.

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Here's the thing that I think would prevent most resurrection spells from becoming common in Pathfinder:

"The subject's soul must be free and willing to return."

I imagine that about 99% of people who die wouldn't meet that qualification.

If you've lived a good life, you go to heaven, which is a damned sight better than living in a world where the things that will try to kill you or make your life miserable sometimes literally include the floors, ceiling, and air.

If you've lived a bad life, I'm doubting that folks like Asmodeus are going to let your soul walk out of Hell just because some 9th level priest waved a diamond over your corpse.

Played by the book, I think resurrection spells would be a waste of money for most people.

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Is there anything wrong with just letting D&D have its day? I'm betting that Pathfinder is successful enough that Paizo probably doesn't need to worry about what D&D is doing.

Moreover, the next edition of D&D looks like it's shaping up in a way that will make it easy to convert adventures to Pathfinder and vice-versa. If that's the case, I hope the game succeeds, and I imagine a strong D&D brand could mean good things for Pathfinder, since the adventures and world material Paizo produces could then be used by both Pathfinder and D&D players.

Overall, Paizo is probably best sticking to their own (very successful) business plan, and I for one hope that the next edition of D&D does very well. I couldn't care less whether I'm playing the world's best-selling RPG or the 2nd best-selling RPG. Hopefully, both will be fun.

I give XP after each encounter.

I don't think I'm going to run a game anytime soon that does away with XP, since my players like the accumulation, seeing how far till the next level, et cetera.

Haven't seen the film yet (and probably won't for a while), but...

In the Post-Crisis reboot of Superman, John Byrne decided that Superman couldn't just have a code against killing, but that it had to come from somewhere. So he wrote an issue that ended with Superman killing Zod and his cronies in an admittedly extreme situation where they had destroyed all life on an alternate Earth. The decision haunted Superman for quite some time, and he vowed never to kill again.

I personally think it was some dumb reasoning on Byrne's part (who has had his share of dumb moves in his career), but it's not like the film just decided that this Superman should be a killer. It gels with his comic book history, unfortunately.

Chris Mortika wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
Yep, put me in the boat of folks who were a fan of Coulson before he died. His appearances in Iron Man 2, Thor, and especially the short films made him very endearing.
Short films?

There were a couple little segments on some Blu Ray releases that served as extra features. They're now on YouTube somewhere, I would imagine. The two I know of that had Coulson in it were "The Consultant" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Thor's Hammer." The latter gives him a pretty badass moment.

Yep, put me in the boat of folks who were a fan of Coulson before he died. His appearances in Iron Man 2, Thor, and especially the short films made him very endearing.

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