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It's all about action economy. A familiar gives you extra actions: holding extra stuff for you, picking things up off the ground, etc. And if you take an improved familiar and invest ranks in Use Magic Device (arguably one of the most versatile skills in the game), you get access to every 1st-4th level spell in the game thanks to wands, which require a flat 20 UMD check to operate. I play a wizard, not a magus, but I don't care what class you're playing -- having a familiar hitting an enemy with a 1st level spell from a wand every round is awesome. Grease, Ill Omen, Faerie Fire, Entangle, Silent Image, Ray of Enfeeblement -- even if the save DC's are low, these spells still can make life harder for the bad guys and turn the tide. Not to mention the option of having it sit on your shoulder with a cure spell wand. Familiars are crazy good.
You might check out the elementalist schools from the Advanced Players Guide as well. I play an air elementalist, and have loved it through 11 levels. One selling point: you only get a single opposed elemental school, and even that can be removed after 9th level with Opposition Training (the arcane discovery from Ultimate Magic).
Mush as I love Paizo and the gaming it enables, I just don't worry that much about this stuff. My view: All indications are that the company is strong and continues to produce new stuff I want to have, sometimes in ways I wouldn't have predicted. I'm particularly pleased that the minis line continues to prosper. But speaking selfishly, even if Paizo stopped printing anything new tomorrow, I have so much already published stuff to work through with players that I'd have a lifetime of gaming to look forward to. So at this point, from my p.o.v., it's all gravy.
I want to second the Large and Small spriggans; that would be SO helpful.
Erik Mona wrote:
If I may be so bold: When you're done, pal, just give me a call. I'm ready! =7
I know there's no pleasing anyone, but given how confident I am that you share the same collecting bug that we do (one of us, ONE OF US!!!) and have at least as long a list as any of us has of minis we still want to see, I imagine it would be hard to walk away.
I'd also like an official explanation for how low-light vision works in moonlight/starlight, and this thread seems like a very efficient place to put it. There's a throwaway line at CRB 564 to the effect that creatures w/ low-light vision can see by moonlight as well as they can by day, but it's always seemed weird to me that this piece of info is buried at the back of the book and not mentioned, for instance, in the elf's racial description, so I'd like to know for sure that that's the rule. (And does starlight count then as dim light?) Illuminate me!
Dave Gross wrote:
I was thinking this too. A whole volume for rules lawyers would find a market, I think.
Ah, that's good to know! I haven't visited that website before, and so didn't realize it was PF official material. That makes it much more of an option!
Though I should add that I'm more worried about their getting the message out than about their reading our thoughts. We don't treat telepathy as a constant detect thoughts effect; if you aren't seeking or responding to telepathic communication, in our game you aren't broadcasting.
We're talking serpentfolk, so they've got telepathy 100', plus they're immune to mind-affecting effects, so I'm not going to be able to mess directly with their minds that way. The spell Cuuniyevo listed is cool, but I'm not going to be able to use 3PP stuff, so I'm out of luck there. I'm thinking that antimagic field is looking like the only option for now, which feels pretty unreliable. (One move outside the radius of the field, and the jig is up.)
My party's getting ready to invade an enemy stronghold where all the critters can use telepathy to communicate with each other, which is going to make maintaining the element of surprise pretty difficult. I know that an anti-magic field will suppress telepathy, but is there anything else (short of unconsciousness and/or death) that will do it?
I skipped about 50 posts, so sorry if I'm no longer on point, but based on how things look from my admittedly small, distant vantage point on things, the prospects for TTRPG's is pretty good right now. I'm part of a generation that's got young kids now, and we're worried about our kids staring at screens all the time. D&D/Pathfinder give us a chance to a) play with our kids in a way that doesn't (centrally) involve screens, and that they can learn to do for themselves without adult help, and b) spend money on stuff we want to spend money on anyway and justify it as bonding material for the family. ($2,000 for a Dwarven Forge city set? Crazy! But it's for the children? Well, if we must....) (Not that that's me....)
I'd call this reveal a hat trick; all 3 minis look great! Cat-thulhu is absolutely right that most people can't afford the old WotC gibbering mouther in any quantities, and it's a reasonably common monster in published adventures, so I expect there's a lot of demand for it -- and that's without even factoring in just the coolness of the monster and the mini. I also agree that we're overdue for a Large snake. It's always possible to use snake minis that are from dollar stores and the like, but it's nice on occasion to have something sized just right and on a base like the rest of the minis, and this is a lovely scuplt and paint job to boot. And the conjurer is just great. I find myself pitying the office plant he seems about to obliterate, though....
I sell catfolk minis with decent regularity. The one tengu from Pathfinder sells indifferently, but the old kenku minis from WotC do pretty well (probably because they tend to run cheap.) There are several prepainted tieflings on the market, and most of them still do well. There are only a couple of named Aasimar, and they sell well, but honestly aasimar are pretty easy to sub for unless you're looking for something particularly flamboyant, and then you're probably going to need to paint your own anyway. But then again, there's the sheep factor to consider, and if you had a couple minis with "aasimar" in the title, that might sell a few extra. (And prevent a few other sales when people who could totally use that mini for their character say, "But my character's not an aasimar!" o.O)
If the requests I get from customers are any indication, the market could use more half-orcs, particularly a couple spellcasters, and ratfolk should get a nod. (Wererats would work if they were smaller.) I also tend to think that a tengu that looked more martial (maybe a magus?) would do pretty well. Maybe a grippli or two would go over well, and some vishkanya would be nice.
Yep, I've commented before on the ridiculousness of the Red Mantis not being represented yet. That's inexplicable to me.
Those are great! Even though I'm pretty sure I fall into the hard-core collector category, I never mind having more PC's; it gives me a wider range of stuff to use for NPC's, it gives my players a wider range to choose from, and as a reseller on the secondary market, it enables me to satisfy more customers. I particularly love heavily armored minis for exactly the reason you mentioned, Erik: they can often be anybody, elf, half-orc, human, male, female, whatever, so they appeal to players with all sorts of characters.
Just throwing out an idea here that I wouldn't expect to go anywhere, but is it conceivable that instead of doing a 3.5 AP like CotCT or Second Darkness as a hardcover, they could instead re-release it as a normal 6-part AP, but updated for Pathfinder and re-tooled a bit to smooth out rough edges and fill in gaps? Would people buy it a 2nd time in that format? I know I would, but I'm regrettably a hopeless victim of the completist disease.
Re: the advisability of using AmFs, it depends, right? If the big bad is a caster like a wizard who has no other way of hurting you other than his spells, it may well be a huge net gain to cast AmF, on yourself or (if it's in fact allowable) your familiar, get in close to the caster, and then let your martial types walk up to him and beat the tar out of him while he can only stand there and take it.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
The two men were expected to end their *sexual* relationship once the eromenos got old enough, but that didn't mean their *relationship* ended, and in fact there were celebrated cases of erastes-eromenos pairings that remained close for decades. Though who knows whether they were still having sex or not? Or whether the older male was always the penetrator? We don't even know for sure that that's what happened when they were still expected to be sexually active. There's what the ideal model suggests, and there's what actually happened, and we don't know much about the latter.
Also, w/ respect to Foucault, his work on ancient sexuality is largely (and avowedly) derivative on K.J. Dover's _Greek Homosexuality_. And more recently, James Davidson's _Courtesans and Fishcakes_ and _The Greeks and Greek Love_ have challenged a lot of Dover's/Foucault's interpretation, especially about the connection between masculinity and penetration. Worth a look if you're into this material.
Actually, the Classical Greeks who thought Achilles and Patroklos were lovers argued about which was erastes and which eromenos. They wanted to make the more stereotypically manly Achilles the erastes, but they were confronted by the clear statement in the Ililad that Patroklos was the older of the pair, and so would be expected to be the erastes. Different ancient authors handled the situation in opposite ways.
Adolescence hit later in the ancient world. It's the same dynamic that now has girls menstruating years earlier than they used to.
But you're right that hair growth was an important marker.
[Warning: I teach a university course on this material, so I could get really pedantic. I'm going to try to control myself.]
It's a bit more complicated than this, though you're right that the Greek homoerotic relationship was typically not between equals; there'd be an older male (the "erastes", or lover) who was expected to be sexually attracted to the younger male (the "eromenos", or beloved), who was expected *not* to be sexually attracted to the erastes. Also, the Classical Athenians made several distinctions that shaped how they reacted to various relationships. Age was important; younger boys were not appropriate targets for "legitimate" eros, though exactly what constitutes "too young" is a bit controversial. James Davidson, one of the foremost scholars on the topic, asserts that to be legitimate targets, young men needed to be about what we would consider 18. (The ancients didn't track birthdays like we do; it's complicated :-p)
Also, the way in which the relationship was conducted mattered a lot; was it exclusive? Was it long-term? Was it discrete? It's true that the eromenos (the younger man) could lose his citizenship rights if things went badly, but it appears that for that to happen it had to be established that the young man had acted like a prostitute, for instance by overtly trading his affections to a series of different men for a price. It also would count against him if he appeared to positively want sexual activity with his lovers for the sake of the sex itself. (A useful analog is the ideal Victorian woman who was supposed to lie there and allow unspeakable things to be done to her for the sake of God and England.)
So, if the erastes and the eromenos were discrete about their relationship (which didn't, btw, require them to hide the fact of the relationship), had an exclusive relationship over a long term, and kept up the appropriate appearances concerning who was desiring what, the relationship might not only not do any harm to the standing of either party, it could actually make them objects of public approval.
Like I said, it's complicated.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Classical Athens is not at all the same where these matters are concerned as Mycenaean Greece. And there's nothing in the Iliad to suggest that Achilles and Patroklos had a sexual relationship; much later, Classical Greeks saw that relationship through the lens of their own cultural assumptions, and couldn't imagine Achilles freaking out so much about Patroklos' death if they weren't lovers, but that tells us more about the Classical Greeks than it does about Homeric sexuality.
And for the record, I'm not ideologically troubled if Achilles and Patroklos were lovers; I'm just saying the text doesn't support the claim.
Between your entry and Chris', I'm going to have a hard time casting my vote!
If I had made the final round, I was actually working up a concept pretty similar to this one: something set in an isolatable part of the Court of Ether, with an opportunity to ally with svirfnbelin nearby. Love me those dark fey. And I really like what you did with this idea, and particularly the way you worked your material from earlier rounds into the adventure; I would have been nervous to do that, but you made it all work.
I think the orphne is an awesome dark fey, and would love to see it developed. And I really love the villain's motivation and tactics; tormenting a hated nemesis in undeath is wicked cool.
You've been one of my favorite contestants from the beginning, and I had you pegged for the Final Four from the start. You've come on strong in every round, and I've also always appreciated your positive and judicious presence on the forums. And I think it's just awesome that you've done all this as a first-time designer; you must just have creativity coming out your ears, but you also seem to be able to master the gritty parts quickly too. It's great that you took the step into designing, and whether you win the contest or not, I hope you'll keep at it!
Between your submission and Monica's, I'm going to have a hard time casting a vote. I really liked this entry, from start to finish.
Personally, I wasn't bothered by the timer; I like sandboxy adventures a lot, but for me there biggest problem is they can easily let a party do an encounter a day, which means they can use up all of their daily resources all at once without having to worry about leaving something in the quiver for later. (I've had a lot of problems with this DM'ing Kingmaker.) Putting the party on a timer removes some of that problem. By maybe tweaking the amount of time a bit and choosing the sorts of threats they face judiciously (it isn't that hard to steer clear of monsters that do ability damage, for instance), it should be possible to make this work. Even if the party did face threats that could weaken them long-term, won't they have a well-equipped and supported army to return to? And won't that army have some healing available for them? I think it's totally doable.
I loved the dimmix and the dragon, btw. I seem to have a limitless appetite for dark fey, and the dimmix is a great concept. The phobic dragon reminded me of an old article from Dragon magazine about dragon madnesses that I always thought was cool.
You were one of my picks for the Final Four from early on, and you haven't disappointed at any stage. I think you've got great chops as a designer, and I hope to see lots of published work from you eventually, whether as Superstar or whatever!
I love it that you centered an adventure on the Bellflower Network, since that's always seemed to me a very flavorful part of the Golarion world that hasn't seen a lot of development in published Paizo products. I don't mind the railroading particularly either, although I worry that your set-up leaves a lot of room for the PC's to go off the rails at the beginning. I like the Group Survival system too, and think that could be fun to apply. My biggest concern, though, is that some of the materials at the end just don't feel particularly well integrated; the derro elements in particular sort of came out of nowhere.
I don't think I'll be voting for this one, but your stuff has been fun to read throughout, and I hope we'll see you start publishing soon!
I'm pretty much on board with what others have been saying. It felt to me like you were having a hard time deciding how sand-boxy to make the adventure, and ended up not tying everything together strongly enough as a result. I also agree with earlier posts suggesting that you'd have been wise to play up the whole "special brew" angle more prominently throughout; I myself would probably have tried to find a villain or antagonist of some kind that wanted the secret ingredient for its own purposes, and made that a big part of the adventure.
*Could* round 1 be something other than an item? Obviously it has to be something short. Feats are probably too bitty. Artifacts seem to me to invite disaster. Maybe a spell?
And Owen, let me also join the chorus of gratitude; it's been a super fun ride, and you've done a wonderful job. I won't even hold it against you for voting against me twice ;-)