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Nomi's debatably the main character inasmuch as the show has one (well, her and Will anyway). She does a variety of things...not always well when they're outside her area of expertise, but she's proactive and very competent in her area (though the later point applies to all eight main protagonists).
Additionally, Nomi's mother shows up about one more time after the second episode. And nobody else is awful in remotely the same way.
pH unbalanced wrote:
Just as a historical note, while I can't speak for Sleepaway Camp (and indeed believe this explanation to not apply to it), both Buffalo Bill and Norman Bates were based on real killer Ed Gein...who did in fact do things like dress in human skin (and was not trans), and keep a shrine with his mother's corpse in it. And did a lot of other really disturbing things.
That's not to say that it isn't an issue, I'm just noting that, historically, those movies didn't grow out of some fear of trans people, but out of a real story about one very sick guy.
You should also consider doing some research on less socially conservative places that meet your other criteria.
For example, I live in Missoula, Montana, and while it's almost certainly not exactly the bastion of tolerance somewhere like San Francisco can claim to be, it's a pretty socially liberal city by most standards and certainly extremely so by the standards of Montana. And meets most, if not all, of your other criteria. I mean, the job market is less than good, but living costs aren't super-high and there's plenty of wilderness real close to the city.
I'm not necessarily arguing you (or anyone) should move to Missoula specifically (though I certainly like it here, and the only bigotry any of my LGBT friends have had here that I've heard of came from a Saudi exchange student).
I'm simply making a note, for both you and other people considering a move, that even if you can't afford to go to New York or San Francisco, if you're living somewhere super socially conservative there are places that, if not as supportive as the big names, are still quite a bit better than where you are now.
If you actually know that two people are monogamous, then it certainly is rude to ask them to break that promise. I just don't agree that you can safely assume what other people's relationship agreements are without asking.
Agreed completely, which is why I suggested asking about that rather than assuming anything specific.
Or that it's reasonable to believe that someone is asking you to break a promise when they have no way of knowing whether you have made one.
Believe? Oh, yeah, that's be unreasonable. But I'm not talking about them actually believing that that's what is going on. I'm talking about their emotional reaction to being asked, which is definitionally irrational, and can be very unpleasant if it makes them feel that their honesty/trustworthiness is being called into question even if they know logically that that's not the intent.
Clarifying the situation first avoids that potentially unpleasant emotional experience on their end, and thus seems worth doing. There are certainly other ways to avoid provoking that reaction (the one you noted previously where your friends introduce the nature of their own relationship in detail, for example)...but my point is that you need some such prep-work/buffer in order to avoid potentially causing some emotional pain.
It's probably more sensitive to ask about that subject before hopping right into the propositioning, though.
That's honestly pretty much what I'm advocating here.
You can also insult poly people very successfully by assuming that their partner is the gatekeeper of their sexual choices or has any say over them. That's guaranteed to be highly annoying to a subset of poly folks who do not wish to be treated as the property of their equal adult partner(s).
Oh, absolutely. Which really just reinforces (to me at least) the idea that asking how people's existing relationship works before hitting on them is the right order of operations in most situations.
The only way to know whether you're making an insulting assumption in either direction is to ask. Or not to ask, if it's not socially appropriate to do so, and then refrain from making any invitations whose politeness is contingent on knowing that stuff.
This is, to be clear, precisely what I'm advocating doing.
A brief thought exercise. Does a same sex invitation also require a higher level of assumed consent to be polite? How about if it's to or from a trans* person?
No. Or at least it shouldn't.
But many monogamous couples invest a lot in, well, the idea of commitment and of being monogamous, and feel that the assumption that they might break that commitment is insulting. I actually feel that to be quite understandable, as, for a monogamous couple, infidelity is breaking a promise, and breaking promises is bad, thus the feeling they get that someone is assuming they'd break theirs is understandably unpleasant.
That's obviously not necessarily what the intent of such an invitation is, but it is how such an invitation can be perceived and is a legitimate reason to be upset in and of itself.
Any similar reason to be upset about being hit on by someone trans* or of the same sex is pretty necessarily rooted in prejudice (and I don't feel bigots should be catered to), but the feeling that someone is accusing you of breaking your word (or a willingness to do such a thing) isn't necessarily rooted in any prejudice against poly people, and is thus worth making accommodation to.
The lowest level of assumed consent in mainstream society is for a cis/het male to ask a female. Even if he does not know her orientation, her cis/trans* status or her level of consent to be asked, most people will assume that it is okay for him to ask her on a date.
They will? Not in the groups I associate with. At least not universally.
It's probably more true of society generally, I suppose...but even there I feel like it's not even all that accepted among women, only among men.
This is both true and unfortunate in many ways. Not really what I'm talking about though.
The question to ask isn't whether this is true - we already know that it is. The question is whether those of us who are capable of more rational and respectful thought should be actively working to dismantle this meme. I do think it makes more sense to encourage a basic standard of courtesy that does not depend on your orientation when asking anyone for any form of intimacy.
I agree with this. I also still maintain that 'being in a (possibly monogamous) relationship' isn't precisely an orientation, but a different circumstance that should probably be accounted for somewhat separately.
The big issue with that list can be summed up in one word: Skills. They're mentioned, but not in reference to the Warpriest's problems.
The Inquisitor is one of the best skill classes in the game, the Hunter and Ranger aren't far behind, and even the Druid and Oracle have more skills than the Warpriest. Only Clerics and Paladins do as badly on that front, and their advantages over the Warpriest are pretty obvious (full BAB and being a 9th level caster, respectively).
Which means that, while in-combat the Warpriest is solid, outside combat they need to burn precious spell slots to even be relevant (and are worse at it than Clerics), and while as prepared casters they can do that better than a Hunter or Inquisitor...the fact remains that they need to while the Hunter and Inquisitor don't. So...they're theoretically slightly better outside combat than Paladins but nobody else. That's...not a good place to be for a 3/4 BAB Class.
That, combined with those Classes tending to be on-par or only slightly behind in-combat makes for little reason to play a Warpriest in any game with significant non-combat elements.
Ancient Mai is, indeed, only implied to be a dragon in the TV series. In the books, the White Council is human wizards only, and thus a Dragon wouldn't even be allowed in it.
And, actually, Lea is looking after Harry due to a combination of a deal he made with her, and more importantly a deal she made with his mother to look out for him. But yeah, his mother wasn't Fae at all (at least not by blood), she just had allies among them.
As for whether Molly could take a member of the White Council itself...maybe (though I suspect not). She sure as hell can't take two, though.
Eh, it's entirely about context. I agree with you absolutely that you just don't go unicorn hunting on posted ground. But in a social context where you can be sure that everyone present is aware of the culture, it is no more reasonable to tell poly people not to seek partners there than it is to tell gay people that they can't ask a same sex person for a date. The standard that should be applied is whether any flirting is appropriate in this place at this time, not who is directing it at whom or how many.
Well, sure. It's definitely all about context. I'm pretty exclusively referring to dealing with people who you don't know well and met in a venue where polyamory/open relationships are far from universal.
Different levels of flirting are appropriate at different venues. If it helps, most of the poly folks I know preface their asking by telling about themselves, their relationship status and what they are seeking. If the person they are telling is compatible and interested, they can say so. If they do not express such interest, then it's left as a friendly social introduction.
Which is wonderful, and sounds perfectly polite to me (at least in most cases), as well as serving many of the same functions as my suggestion.
I'm not trying to attack poly people or anything like that, just noting that hitting on a potentially monogamous couple you meet in a bar or club is generally kinda rude in a way that hitting on single people (even ones completely unattracted to you) usually isn't. And thus that a little more care should be taken while doing so.
It's not so much about who is asking how many people of what gender and orientation as how respectfully the invitation is handled. Also how respectfully a "no thanks" or no answer is accepted. There's friendly, sensitive and tactful ways to express an interest in someone, and there's aggressively horrible ways to do it that can leave people feeling threatened, harassed or violated. I think that the orientations and genders of the people involved matter a heck of a lot less than the social context and sensitivity of the invitation.
I agree entirely. The manner in which you proposition someone is very important as well, and I'll note that I never said otherwise.
Telling ANYONE that they shouldn't dare to seek a partner, flirt or try to connect with other people just because they aren't cis/het/mono is a pretty slippery slope. Yes, there's times and places that flirting isn't appropriate, and it's almost always uncool to explicitly proposition someone for sex before you're pretty sure they consent. Unless you are actually in a venue where consent is already given at the door, blatantly walking up and asking for sex in so many words is probably a social error regardless of who is doing it to whom or how many. Explicitness should be titrated to the known level of consent, which is either negotiated in advance with the individual or a function of the venue.
Again, agreed entirely. Perhaps the best way to put what I'm trying to say is that I feel that in most contexts couples that aren't known to be non-monogamous have an inherently slightly lower level of 'assumed consent' in this regard, given the prevalence of monogamy, and that a few extra measures to find out their degree of consent for sure are thus warranted.
I'm certainly not saying that hitting on a couple (or even one member of a couple in front of the other) is never appropriate, I'm saying it generally requires either slightly more knowledge of the couple, or care in the doing, than hitting on a single person.
As a simple, small, buff I make Sacred Weapon last minutes per level, not rounds. I also make both it and Sacred Armor Free Actions to activate.
This helps Warpriest action economy quite a bit (ie: allows Sacred Weapon and Armor to get used) and delivers a small buff without changing things too much.
I add a few other abilities as well, but that's more based on my buffing of Fighters than anything else.
Westcrown (in Cheliax) has been suggested as a good city for this sort of thing. As has Korvosa. Both of those have APs set there (and Korvosa has a masked hero named Blackjack). Both of those are Adventure Path locations though, and might want to be avoided for that reason.
Riddleport and Kaer Maga both work excellently in terms of having plenty of built-in corruption and criminals, and lack the AP problem (Riddleport shows up in an AP, but isn't changed by it), but might have a somewhat diferent feel than Gotham per se (Riddleport is a pirate haven and Kaer Maga is really weird and exotic).
Magnimar is portrayed as a bit less dark than Gotham, but has closer to the same vibe, and certainly isn't without a pretty substantial criminal element. That's probably the one I'd go with.
Of these, Kaer Maga, Magnimar, and Korvosa have city books, while Westcrown and Riddleport have gazetteers in the APs they appear in.
While I'm not entirely disagreeing with what you're saying - social context is everything - it's just not a matter of "We're in 'MURICA, and everybody in THIS country is monogamous." That's really not going to be everyone's experience.
Well, no, of course it isn't. Hell, it's not even my experience in a lot of ways (a fair number of my friends are poly or in open relationships, actually, now that I consider it I think it's more than half of those in relationships)...but I'm also pretty sure that none of my poly friends get offended when they're not asked for sex or when they're asked whether they're monogamous. So...my suggestions harm nobody and help some people (those who might take the proposition wrong).
More than half of my friends are some flavor of poly, so the social norm in the culture I actually live in and experience day to day is that it is not insulting if someone asks politely if you are open to dating, sex or some form of intimate play. If you don't happen to be of a compatible gender or orientation, or aren't interested, or aren't poly, you say "naah, we're not down for that." No harm done, as long as the person asking was courteous and not creepy and totally respects your right to say no.
I have no issue with this, and that's fine in an existing social circle where the rules are pretty clear, but more generally, and when dealing with those outside that circle, I feel a certain amount of pre-checking the situation is both polite and warranted.
The folks I hang out with understand clearly that it would be no more appropriate to take these social norms out into mundane space than it would be to bring a platter of ham and lobster sandwiches to a bar mitzvah. It's the "when in Rome" thing. You don't proposition people or even ask their preferred gender pronouns and orientation at work or at a social event that is for Aunt Mabel's 70th birthday rather than for queer Pagan poly activists. You don't have to agree with other people's taboos in order to be appropriately respectful of their cultural traditions.
Right. To be honest, that's basically where I was going with this. Generally speaking, when dealing with people you don't already know well, there are certain societal norms that should be respected even if not agreed with.
I already live in a space where it doesn't matter what gender asks to share sex with what number of people of what orientation. That's my actual day to day social and cultural experience. We're all perfectly capable of respecting other people's taboos in places where it's polite to do so, but that doesn't mean their way is objectively right or better. Or that ours is. Ours looks weird to them, and theirs looks weird to us.
I agree entirely. My point was, more or less that asking someone who's in a monogamous relationship to have sex is sometimes rude, asking whether they're in a monogamous relationship is rarely rude, and not asking to have sex is almost never rude. And that erring on the side of politeness is usually a good plan.
And, in the part you quoted, that I'm not sure if we really need a society where monogamous couples getting propositioned out of nowhere isn't rude. I think a society where the question "Are you guys exclusive?" isn't ever rude would be more than sufficient.
What sucks is being dismissed like we don't exist or like we're doing it wrong. It would be nice if the respect went both directions.
Oh, I agree entirely. Like I said, next step in marriage equality: Polygynous Marriages being legalized.
Multiple marriages don't really require changing much of anything if everyone involved legally counts as married to everyone. The numbers get bigger (you get 1/3 of the stuff when you divorce your two spouses, etc.), but the basic principles can remain almost entirely the same.
If person A can be married to B and C but B is not married to C...that gets more complicated. That doesn't seem particularly legally necessary to me, though.
Firstly, yay marriage equality! :)
Now, on to getting polyamorous marriages legalized...
Speaking as someone who's been in an open relationship (not that I wound up taking advantage of it, but still)...I disagree. I basically disagree because asking a person in a monogamous relationship to have sex is generally considered rude in our current society, while not asking to have sex with someone is almost never rude.
If you're in a situation where you have two options, one of which is possibly extremely rude and the other of which is almost certainly not, I feel you should pretty generally go with the sure to be non-rude option.
Besides which, asking someone if they're in a monogamous relationship is way less rude than propositioning them...so why not lead with that? The only reason not to do it that way is if you assume they aren't monogamous. Which is a strange assumption in most contexts, and a bit offensive if it's assumed purely based on the couple's sexual orientations.
Now, if you have other legitimate reasons to believe the couple is in a non-monogamous relationship (like being at a swinger's club or something), well, that's another matter entirely, but in most social contexts the assumption should probably be that a couple might easily be either monogamous or might not, and if either's possible, propositioning them without ascertaining which is true is likely rude and should be avoided.
Theoretically, there could easily be a society where propositioning a monogamous couple wasn't considered rude...but that's definitely not the society we're in, and I'm not sure trying to make this society into that one is either appropriate or necessary.
My own first impression is actually similar in many ways (though I'll note that Avengers lack Weapon Training or any equivalent).
Also, in fairness, what struck me was how easy it was to fix the basic chassis up a whole lot by giving them an equivalent to Studied Target (ie: a scaling attack/damage bonus). That on top of their other features really helps a whole lot.
They could use a bit of other powering up, too, but nothing too difficult.
And remember, Paizo has a history of releasing the most conservative (ie: weakest) version of a Class in their first playtest (Mark Seifter noted doing precisely this with the Kineticist), presumably since that way any changes are powering the Class up, not down, and because it makes sure there are no hidden synergies that break things completely.
So...I don't disagree that the Class is too weak (it most certainly is), but I'm less annoyed about it, at least for the moment.
Extra Anchovies wrote:
Yep. You're right...that's a lot less good. And kinda weird.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Anchovies is correct. Of course, with the likely Int at level 16 if you focus casting, you'll likely have 2 more at most spell levels, possibly 3 more 1st (though you'll have to have pushed for the 30 to get 2 more 6th and 3 more 2nd).
Huh. That's not the way I was reading that at all. Interesting.
Those numbers are spells prepared the way Arcanists do, meaning they can actually cast way more spells than that per day (6/6/6/6/5/5 by 20th, actually). They can cast that one 6th level Spell they get 5/day by 20th level...and switch it per day.
You can Cold Ice Strike 5/day (before Int bonus spells) at 20th, if you like.
Extra Anchovies wrote:
That's pitifully bad. The casting specializations should have the full 5/5/5/5/5/5 of the other 6ths-casters.
That's spells prepared the way Arcanists do, meaning they can actually cast way more spells than that per day (6/6/6/6/5/5 by 20th, actually). They can cast that one 6th level Spell they get 5/day by 20th level...and switch it per day.
Let's examine something here:
A Vigilante (Avenger) 3/Slayer 10 vs. a Vigilante (Avenger) 13:
Their stats and base Feats are identical (we'll say they use two-handed weapons), and they have the following Talents:
Straight Vigilante: Armor of Silence, Signature Weapon, Combat Skill (Power Attack), Heavy Training, Mad Rush,
Slayer: Weapon Training, Ranger Combat Style (Power Attack), Combat Trick (Heavy Armor Proficiency), Fast Stealth, Evasion, and (as his Avenger Talent) Armor Silence.
The Slayer has, with Studied Target, +3 to hit and +1 damage, plus 3d6 Sneak Attack, and +8 HP over the Vigilante. He has a flat +3 to a wide variety of skills which stacks with his +4 to one of his choice and to Intimidate from Vigilante. He has a better Fortitude Save and possesses Evasion. He can also Stealth at double the speed of the Vigilante.
The Vigilante can transform into his Vigilante Identity as a Full Round Action instead of by taking 5 minutes, has a larger area in which his bonuses from Renown applies, gets +6 to Gathering Information, and +4 to two skills the Slayer doesn't (though actually, with Studied Target, the Slayer probably gets +3 to them most of the time). He has a better Will Save. He saves some money on not having to buy Mithral Armor (assuming low Dex), and can Pounce, albeit at great cost (-6 AC hurts).
That's...not looking good for the Vigilante. If you can get everything good the Class grants with a two or three level dip...there's a problem there. The only thing the Vigilante remotely has going for him over the multiclassed character is Pounce, and that's a very risky tactic the way it's set up (and can be gotten a couple of times a day with items...Quick Runner's Shirt and Stagger-Proof Boots).
Actually Arcanists have the same number of spell slots of a Wizard. They just get spells a level later like the Sorcerer, that DOES get more spells.
The Wizard gets more per day from Arcane School, and that number is certainly more than the Arcanist's spells prepared per day.
But among the 6/9 casters, there's no difference between prepared and spontaneous in number of slots and progression.
Well, in terms of spells per day, Warlock Vigilantes don't have such a difference either. Actually, they have more spells per day than a Magus.
In a sense the Warlock already compensates by getting the 6/9 of another spell list without mitigating factors, while the Bard and the Magus have their lists with unique spells or ones at a discount (e.g. the Bard gets Overwhelming Presence as a 6th level spell).
This is true, but I'm not sure it's sufficient.
Also, the Zealot takes from the Inquisitor and he's spontanoues too, sot in his case the abysmal number of slots is unjustified.
Well, that depends on whether their other abilities make up for it. At the moment they probably don't, but I'd rather see additional non-spellcasting advantages than improved spellcasting.
Still, a talent tax is sad anyway, given that you may need to already burn half of your talents if you want to leverage your spellcasting. You may end up being a Magus without class features at this point.
This I agree with. At least for Light Armor...a talent for Medium wouldn't be the end of the world.
It stil has 6/9 of another spell list without any spell at discount and feels awkward like the warpirest. At least the Hunter got the Ranger spell added to its list.
6/9 of the whole Wizard list is pretty solid, though. I mean, even delayed access to part of the best list in the game is very nice to have.
Uh...he's saying they currently fall short, not that he wants them to.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree that that makes something wrong with the class. He can still function perfectly well within the playtest rules as written, if you choose to remake him as a Vigilante. As Vencarlo he treats NPCs in his community (presumably Old Korvosa) as one attitude category more positive, and as Blackjack he gains a +6 Intimidate bonus within 9 miles of Old Korvosa. That sounds about right to me; no particular reason that all of the serfs and peasants of Korvosa would treat Vencarlo as anything special (many of them probably look down on him as nobility), and 9 miles is pretty much sufficient to cover the entirety of Korvosa.
Well, it's not like it's very wrong. I'm just suggesting upping the maximum community size. That's...really not too big a change.
And not being able to effect all Korvosa with the full effect when the rules specifically note that Blackjack (and indeed Vencarlo Orsini) are respected city-wide is indeed a problem (though hardly the end of the world).
There are still the Fame/Reputation rules from Ultimate Campaign.
Yeah...but if you have an ability like Renown right there in the class, you probably shouldn't need to use them.
Yeah, in terms of combat, just looking at how it would change my Blackjack build (currently mostly Swashbuckler)...
We're talking -2 to hit, -11 damage, +3 Will Save (but loses Charmed Life), +9 skill points (which is nice), -1 HP, the loss of all Deeds (which is awful), and an AC penalty.
Even with a Greatsword instead and wearing Plate...that only recoups damage to a net loss of -4.5 and AC to about equivalent (and necessitates most of his Talents be spent on it).
Both versions also lose Gloves of Dueling, which really hurts.
Without a boost, I'm not seeing any real reason to go with more than one or maybe two level of Vigilante. I mean...you get the basic ability at level 1, and a Vigilante 1/Swashbuckler 8 (or Vigilante 1/Barbarian 8, or whatever) is flatly better than a straight Vigilante 9.
This is admittedly less true of casters, but even there, unless you really want Dual Identity a Bard or Inquisitor is almost universally better than the Vigilante at, well, most things.
Well, it's Arcanist casting (ie: the best each of prepared and Spontaneous). So there's that.
And you still get 5 Talents and way more skills and skill advantages than a Magus...but yeah, some combat bonus would be nice on all the Vigilante Specializations as well.
pH unbalanced wrote:
That implies to me that there ought to be a talent that synergizes really well with Feinting. There isn't a class that really has that shtick at the moment, and it would be a good way to increase the effectiveness of the things that feed of of denying foes Dex to AC.
Even then, you shouldn't have to invest a talent in a certain baseline of effectiveness. Now if Stalker (or Vigilante in general) automatically came with Greater Feint and the ability to feint as a Swift Action...that'd be a different matter. And a functional accuracy increaser.
Maybe more complicated than it needs to be, though.
I wouldn't use Blackjack as the measuring stick by which the class (or any of its myriad abilities) function or don't function. At least as regards renown:
Well, Blackjack really only comes up as regards to Renown. And if the character you immediately think of when you think of the Class, from the official world, can't be built with that Class...something is wrong with the Class.
And besides, Blackjack aside, I see no reason a high level Vigilante shouldn't be known throughout a 100k citizen city like Absalom or Goka. Indeed, I'd think that being known throughout such a city should very much be an achievable goal for a Vigilante PC.
1) The Blackjack identity has been around for centuries, and is larger than one man.
Sure...but if the Class doesn't let you play legacy heroes, there's a serious thematic problem given how common those are in the fiction this is clearly designed to emulate.
2) He may well be known throughout the entire city of Korvosa, but his activities are largely restricted to one or two city blocks worth of areas in which he gets his bonuses; outside of that, he is known but either regarded skeptically, or because he isn't active there, just doesn't have the same sway. This is an interpretation that could certainly be represented by the playtest rules.
This runs right back into the above point where if a Class literally can't be used to create the most obvious character who could be an example of that Class in the world's fiction...something has gone wrong.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Also that one feature granting a pounce at -4 AC in addition to charge negatives should really get looked at again. For a class with such weak offence having -4 AC on your one good trick for damage is uneccessary.
This is probably fair. Barbarians get it with no downside and two levels earlier after all. Of course, it has prerequisites...
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Also Hide in plain Sight should also be a talent on the avenger instead of just the Stalker. Maybe at level 10 or 12.
I'd actually be inclined to argue the Avenger having less Stealth stuff if anything. That's not a universal vigilante feature in fiction, after all...
You can already get accuracy boost through Surprise Strike talent: bonuses to hit when foe denied Dex to AC. Granted it is slow to boost )wish the progression was more fluid or higher)
It's actually really hard to deny foes Dex to AC. It pretty much happens in the surprise round and that's it. +3 to hit foes during the surprise round is not the kind of Class Feature you can rely on to be effective in combat (though it is potentially nice).
Perfect Vulnerability (8th lv talent) is 1/foe, but targeting touch AC is nice. Helps with accuracy.
1/day Talents being needed to hit do not a balanced Class make...
That'd be an interesting way to do it. Not sure it's the right route to take, but it'd certainly help if done properly.
Well, the current version is a little underpowered on the combat side of things, but assuming that improves...
It's a skill character, specifically a Stealth/Face character that can also fill a solid melee/ranged weapon-user role, and dabble pretty effectively in offensive spell-casting if you like.
At the moment, the lack of combat capability makes that a bit hard to fully realize, but there's a history of Paizo playtests erring on the side of underpowered, and it's easy to change...so I'd imagine that'll definitely be fixed in the final version.
Re-reading that, it comes off as a bit negative. That's not really my intent. I'm just much better at analyzing structures looking for flaws than I am at paying compliments.
So...I really like the Vigilante conceptually and think the basic structure and most of the Talents are very sound for the most part...I'm just not seeing how it can manage to be on par with a Slayer or Inquisitor or Bard (the three most comparable Classes) in combat.
Plus noting little bits of mechanical weirdness, of course.
So, I'm currently running a CotCT game, where the players have just rescued the hero Blackjack. So...this Class is probably getting some playtesting at least to the point of rebuilding that character as this class. But first, some initial observations:
Firstly, this is a really interesting idea. I like the base Class chassis for the most part, and definitely like the modular nature of the Specializations. So, let's look at those two things separately:
As someone else noted, it's seriously weird and off that Intimidate isn't a baseline Class Skill for a Vigilante.
Dual Identity is interesting and fun. I like it. That said...the jump between 5 minutes and one full round at 13th level is seriously weird. It seems tailor-made to have an intermediate '1 minute' level at 7th.
The last sentence of Dual Identity is also unclear, I'm pretty sure it's intended to mean you can't Scry for Blackjack and find his secret identity...but by a strict reading, if you know his secret identity socially and have met Blackjack and you Scry for either one, you can find the other if they're out and about. That's pretty clearly wrong.
Renown is a real problem in making Blackjack. He's explicitly a 9th-10th level character known throughout Korvosa (a city of 16k people or so). The Renown rules also make it impossible to be 'The Hero of Absalom!' even at 20th level...which seems off. Frankly, it seems like the maximum community size should be higher and there should maybe be more than three categories.
Loyal Aid is weird, and I think perhaps counter to the theme, which is clearly to be just about any costumed adventurer. Some very clearly don't have that particular advantage. Beyond the Gather Information use, their abilities are also ill-defined. Heck, there's not even a duration listed.
I'll begin by saying that I like how Avenger works for the most part, and like Zealot and Warlock a lot.
But Stalker has this problem where, the vast majority of the time, they're like a Rogue, only slightly worse. And not an Unchained Rogue, the corebook version. I mean, they have better skills (though less of them) and a better Will Save...but lack Evasion, and have much worse Sneak Attack. Frankly, they're on par with Slayers in most ways (even socially...a Slayer can use Studied Target to be real good at social stuff) except with (by 20th level) -10 to hit, -10 HP, and -5 damage. Their Talents aren't nearly good enough to make up for that disparity.
They need to poach some form of accuracy enhancer (possibly the Unchained Rogue's Disabling Strike, or the aforementioned Studied Target) or they're gonna be really underpowered compared to, well, most things.
Avenger suffers a little of the same problem, with Full BAB and Fighter Feats not really making up for Studied Target and Sneak Attack both when comparing them to the Slayer. Their Talents go further to making up for it, but they still need an accuracy enhancer. It's also a bit sad that Avenger lacks Acrobatics as a Class Skill given that a lot of characters who should be built as one of them have it.
Warlock and Zealot do a lot better, but their spells known are a bit more limited than any existing casters, meaning they could stand a bi of a power-up...so I'd actually advise a general accuracy booster for Vigilantes in general. Something on par with Studied Target. After all, that got given to Inquisitors in an Archetype...why not these guys?
So...short version is: Looking over the Specializations, I think the base class needs an accuracy booster of some sort.
This said, we are media bombed almost constantly with messages about how women are supposed to be the helpless, simpering rewards for the real heroes. You literally can not escape it. That's a pretty serious problem.
I think you're exaggerating a bit, though I do agree with the general gist that this trope is an ongoing issue.
Absolutely true. But there's no need to replace one pretty toxic idea with one that's slightly less so but still toxic when you can replace it with an entirely non-toxic idea. And I suggested an obvious one.
It isn't a matter of which is worse so much as which is more common. It is a very good thing that people finally figured out that blackface isn't cool or funny, though I'm not sure most quite get *why* it's not cool to use skin color as cinematic shorthand for "entertainingly stupid sidekick".
I think they mostly get it by this point...
Sadly, we are still pretty much in the blackface era when it comes to female characters in fantasy literature.
Again, I'd argue you're seriously exaggerating the degree of problem here. Name a work of fantasy fiction from, say, the last ten years that uses the 'Damsel in Distress' trope straight, without likewise presenting women who are more active. You can probably come up with one or two, it's still very much a thing, and you'll certainly be able to come up with many more that are still in common circulation despite being a bit older...but in the last ten years? I'll bet I can come up with more works that outright defy that trope than you can that play it straight.
That's not to say it's not a problem, just that it's one gradually on its way out.
We'd expect Zutha to have the +2 CR from being an Azlanti with greater point buy (20 or 25) and having fantastic wealth/gear, though.
Probably, though I was actually taking high stats into account. Which means you only need something that reduces his CR by 1 to fit in some Mythic Tiers.
I agree that the 'damsel in distress'/'princess in need of rescue' trope is both too common and in need of being changed.
But...well, making handicapped people the victims of a similar trope doesn't really help. It's much easier and better to just make anyone who needs to be rescued be in a situation most capable people couldn't escape.
Think of every movie involving a gang of criminals where they break one of their number out of prison. Prisons are much easier to break into and rescue someone from than to break out of (just due to resource access). Being rescued in such a context doesn't imply incompetence of any sort on the rescued party's part...just that they were at a severe disadvantage due to the situation they were in and thus needed help.
That's the sort of rescue/aspect of the rescue that should be more common/emphasized in stories like this. So for example, why can a hero slay the dragon when the princess was helpless? Well, he's got a magic sword. She didn't, and killing a dragon with your bare hands is a bit of a tall order, especially if, say, chained to a stake. So it's the fact that the hero wasn't the one captured and had access to the right equipment that allowed him to rescue the princess, not an inherent difference in capability. Then you make that distinction explicit in some fashion...probably partially by making her competent both pre-capture and post-rescue.
And the linked video definitively didn't have a gender-biased version of the captured princess trope. The prince is in the exact same position as the princess and every bit as willing to throw himself at his savior. That has its own potential unfortunate implications, but it really doesn't reinforce any gendered dynamics of the situation. Which makes objecting to it on that basis a bit odd.
Why do you all hate artists? What makes music not a useful skill?
Music is beautiful and wonderful...but if you're in a dangerous situation, bering a brilliant musician is not generally much help. Y'know who has skills that are useful in such situations? Everyone else. Hacking, driving, fighting, lying...everyone has something. Except for Riley.
I actually quite like Riley and find her an interesting character...but she's sorta underutilized and doesn't demonstrate a particularly useful skill set in any of the situations presented.
Every other character starts the show with their life mostly together. They know what they are doing and where they are, and then s*&# hits the fan for them. Sure, they have issues of their own, but most of them are things they could cope with on their own. Riley starts the show lost, barely coping with her daily life, still not over trauma, with her suicide attempts not as far behind her as she would like. The season finale is Will convincing her that she needs to cope or she will kill him. And she gets him to safety. I suspect the season 2 Riley will be very different from season 1.
I actually agree to a large extent. And both hope and expect that will be the case, but that doesn't exactly retroactively solve the problem, it merely solves it going forward.
Hmm, part of me wonders, as Ungarato was insanely powerful due to being mythic, whether or not Zutha himself had some mythic power as well. Supposedly not, because he's beneath Karzoug in power according to word of god, but part of me seems to believe that Runelords abhor the idea of having servants that are more powerful to them in some fashion.
Eh...he could be a CR 20 as a 17th level Wizard with the Lich Template and 2-3 Mythic Tiers. That's still below Karzoug in power. And even by about the margin you'd expect.
That's possible, though even there Capheus seems almost as good as her, with an almost instinctive control over his ability and a lot of instinctive skill at contacting the others, both intentionally and not.
She does seem better at coordinating the full group, mind you, but that's nice rather than essential.
Ah, that's right. I forgot that storytelling has to backseat to avoid tropes involving women.
Eh. That's a tertiary reason I like the idea at best.
I mostly just like the idea of, if anyone dies, it being the most genre defying, which would be Will.
Frankly, I think that's better storytelling than having Kala or Riley die, since people won't be expecting it, and because as a whole I think people like him more, which really increases the impact...which is particularly important in making us empathize with the profound loss the others are suffering.
I'm not gonna assume that anyone will die.
But yeah, if someone has to, Riley's a good choice. That and Wolfgang and Kala getting together would make for a nice role switch between Wolfgang and Will in terms of angst, and her character is likely the least developed and useful.
That said, if someone does die, I actually hope it's Will. Don't get me wrong, I like Will and he's very useful indeed but his death would make sense logically (as a heroic sacrifice to protect the cluster from Whispers) and narratively. Specifically, I think killing the closest thing we've got to a single protagonist would be very cool, allow for Riley's character to actually develop and become useful and interesting, as well as not being a helpless woman dying (which has unfortunate 'stuffed in the fridge' implications).
In my experience it's very possible to play characters smarter than you, just a lot of work. What you do is prepare. Work out contingency plans, research details of how their capabilities work, and come up with long-term and short-term ways to use those to your advantage.
Meanwhile, in-character, the character in question came up with those plans you spent all that effort on on the spur of the moment.
The fact that we often have 10 minutes to think through what our characters only have 6 seconds to think through definitely helps in the same way. If playing a low-Int character, you shouldn't take that time making complex tactical plans, as a rule, if you're playing as someone with Int 24, you likely should.
The rules also help a little with knowing things specifically, via Knowledge checks and such.
High Wisdom is pretty easy to roleplay as being strong-willed and perceptive, since those have mechanics that govern them almost completely. The 'common sense' part is harder, but talk to your GM, they may be willing to advise you to rethink terrible ideas if you point this out.
High Charisma is hard to actively portray if you don't have at least some in real life...but not impossible, and the rules do a lot of that work for you anyway, given how social skills work. Yeah, you may not be the best talker in the world in real life, but put a bit of effort in and a 38 on Diplomacy ought to help with that.
And finally, this one may just be me, but I doubt I'm unique in this, and just trying to roleplay someone who's better than me at something actually helps me perform better at that task. Obviously, this is purely a psychological thing, not an actual change in my capabilities...but I can get seriously 'in the zone' on my cunning plans or charming banter if playing the right character. Heck, I've learned at least one real-world skill permanently from playing a character in a LARP.
When you say serial killers have become more common, do you mean in media or in real life? If the former, then that's kinda creepy.
I meant the latter, though I suspect both are true. And yes, the fact that they're becoming more common per capita is deeply worrying.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
That does sound like a most interesting course Deadmanwalking. You got time to share more of its content?
Sure. Though we're getting a bit off-topic here...
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
In the media the causes and indications of being a serial killer are settled and everyone familiar with crime TV knows them. If you actually read the science its much more clouded. The childhood trio of setting fires, torturing animals and bed wetting I think is pretty true, beyond that... experts differ.
This is very true. Even the so-called 'homicidal triad' you mention isn't by any means set in stone. Most have at least one of those things, but that's as far as it goes with many. A history of being abused as a child is pretty close to universal, though.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Of course you don't want to turn serial killers into attractive figures. And if you watch crime TV you would think there was one on every street corner. Serial Killers are rare, even in the US where I believe they are more common. If you are killed by a criminal its thousands of times more likely to be an idiot or drunk driver than a serial killer. But that does not make good TV [television, though it probably would not make a good transvestite either.
Yeah, they're really rare comparatively. I think the fascination mostly comes from the 'Why?' If someone kills someone else for money, or by accident, or in a fit of rage, or out of jealousy, people mostly understand why. Serial killer motivations are a bit trickier.
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
That's also very possible.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Hannibal Lector isn't exactly someone who's pronouncements should be taken as gospel anyway.
In regards to other people's psychoses? Yes he is, that's sorta the whole point of him as a character in some ways. He's a monster, but he's very seldom wrong about that sort of thing.
And besides, it's Clarice who notes trans people as not violent. Lecter just agrees.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
This is completely true, and a real problem with current media involving serial killers. I'm a Psych student, and I actually had a class on serial killers and their presentation in media specifically. Very interesting class.
It's weird looking at media's evolution of serial killers from pitiable and pathetic creatures (see the classic film M, for example) to the omnicompetence of Hannibal Lecter, Jigsaw, and similar characters.
It's also a terrible trend in media because the primary motivation of serial killers is power. They're people who feel so utterly powerless in their day to day lives, or at least did when younger (having been abused as a child is pretty much universal among them), that they seek power over someone by killing them, and then become addicted to the rush it grants. They're usually pretty pathetic in a lot of ways, really.
But as we make serial killers more and more into some kind of superhuman monsters in media, the more becoming one almost has to appeal to people already inclined in that direction. This might be one reason that, while violent crime in the US has been going down for a long time, serial killers have been actually becoming more common. There obviously haven't been any detailed studies on this possible linkage specifically, but given the studies there have been on media's ability to create changes in behavior, the predominance of superhuman serial killers in media is deeply worrying.
Wolfgang was able to fight that guy Lito was fighting without breaking him (Sun probably would have snapped him in two, and the last thing Lito needs is murder or attempted murder charges levied at him).
Eh. Sun was a competitive fighter, she knows how to fight without doing too much permanent damage. She usually doesn't bother in the context of the show, but that's more due to those mostly being the kind of fights where you shouldn't hold back.
And besides the guy was a professional criminal, he'd never press charges, and even if he did, he'd lose as Lito claimed self-defense (due to having a history of violence while Lito had none, as well as Lito having a friendly witness) and Lito would get major machismo points with the public. It probably wouldn't even go to trial.
There was some other stuff I was thinking of when I wrote it, but I've forgotten it now.
Really? Because prior to the last episode, I don't think anyone borrows his skills at all aside from the example mentioned above.
I just binge-watched the show over the last few days and really enjoyed the hell out of it. I did feel like it was left very incomplete with no sense of real closure (which is what a lot of Set's complaints amount to)...but then, I expect we'll get a second season, so I'm less upset than I might be.
As for Wolfgang being separate from the rest, he is, and the last couple of episodes really explore why in a way I find really neat, and don't think wold be nearly as cool or effective if we hadn't only seen him in a relatively relaxed and friendly environment for most of the rest of the show.
Someone mentioned earlier that only one person could use the abilities of a cluster member at a time. That's...inaccurate, I think. Sun and Capheus both fight with her skills simultaneously, for example.
On Sensates being bad at killing: Yeah...that's a complete load of crap, people in general are mostly bad at killing, but Sensates certainly don't seem any less inclined to be killers than anyone else. As others have noted, Jonas is just flat-out lying there. Or possibly merely mistaken, I suppose. There are a number of indications that, while 'on their side' in at least some sense, he's not precisely trustworthy, and he and other Clusters appear to disagree on a number of issues.
I've gotta agree that Riley is...less useful than most others this season. Everyone else has useful skills (Capheus and Kala a bit less so, but Kala's are probably gonna be very handy going forward, and Capheus is at least an excellent getaway driver and has been very emotionally supportive for several of the others), but Riley hasn't demonstrated many as of yet (she's decent emotional support, but Capheus is probably better). Hopefully she'll be more helpful going forward. She might easily have skills that haven't really come into play yet, after all (since her story has mostly been self-contained and all we know from it is that she can't fight and is an excellent DJ).
I'd partially disagree. I don't think anyone ever borrowed Wolfgang's skills for anything Sun couldn't have done. He has skills she doesn't, but they're never actually borrowed by anyone.
They would be pretty screwed without Sun, though. And, to a lesser extent, Will.
Now, for spoilers. These spoil the last episode.
I'm pretty sure Whispers is not, in fact, lobotomizing his own Cluster. Indeed, he can't be. The ages don't synch up. What he's doing is a lot scarier: He's figured out how to surgically leave a Sensate a blank slate...giving him host bodies to possess and do what he likes with, since he's looked them in the eye. His own Cluster is fine, and presumably all as evil as he. Some may well be dead, given his age and lifestyle, but we have no idea how many.
As for Will's 'ghost girl'...were people not paying attention to the flashbacks? She's pretty clearly a fellow Sensate he saw Whispers kidnap or murder when he was a child (he was warned not to look whispers in the eyes by her and narrowly avoided it that time). Probably murder, actually. Sensates clearly see other Sensates they're connected with with even post-mortem sometimes. She'd be from another Cluster, but not necessarily one we'll ever meet (heck, they might all be dead).
In the last episode Whispers notes that he hates games, and Jonas responds "Really? I love them." That's an awesome, and ominous, line. He's totally not helping our protagonists out of the goodness of his heart...he has a long-term plan in motion that they're useful for.
Wolfgang is a nice, sweet, guy, and shouldn't be nearly so hard on himself. Being a killer doesn't make you a bad person in and of itself. I'd like to note that I love his arc...which is very quiet and self-contained and shows what a nice, normal, guy he is in day to day life before the reveal of exactly what a dangerous man he is at the end. That's really nicely done, and wouldn't work nearly as well if people were borrowing his skill set, since we don't know the full extent of that skill set until near the end. It also makes logical sense, since he's afraid to open up because he thinks people will see him for the monster he believes himself to be.
Capheus isn't taking Sun for granted per se. Not once he figures out what's going on, anyway. Frankly, I think she helped him the second time mostly to vent her own rage. Must've been cathartic. And...Capheus expected to die both times he went up against the gang, help or no. He just had things he was willing to die for both times. As for the gang going after his mother...what gang? The crime lord who ran the area is alive and well, has a whole organization with cops on the payroll, and they're leaderless. Those are all dead men. Or on the run, I suppose.
Lito might, or might not, get outed. If he does...he'll deal. Even if it deep sixes his career, he has a wonderful relationship and plenty of money. So who cares?Well, obviously he does, but as a viewer? Eh.
Sun is getting out of jail within the next month. Not legally, of course, but a prison break is not a difficult feat for the Cluster working together as the final episode demonstrated. That facility was probably more difficult than the prison Sun's in, to be honest. And if there's anyone that all the rest owe for her help, it's Sun (okay, Wolfgang doesn't owe her...but everyone else does).
To some degree, but even in the movie, Clarice says something like "But transsexuals aren't violent." followed by Lecter saying "Billy's not a real transsexual, though he thinks he is. His pathology is infinitely more savage." and goes on to describe his pathology in detail.
It's really pretty explicit.
It does also call (at least by implication) being trans a pathology, and that's unfortunate, but that has to do with the book and movie's age, and is hard to blame them for (given that it was considered a pathology in the psychological community at the time, and thus that's what Lecter would've referred to it as).
So last night Netflix recommended me Sense8 and I watched the first few episodes. Its a modern sci-fi series about a group of 8 people who have gained the ability to share eachother's senses. One of them is a gay man in the closet and another is a MtF transgender lesbian. Massive trigger warning for the treatment of her after the first episode, she does not get along with her mom at all.
Sense8 does feature a really positive portrayal of a trans character, though, along with several quite positive portrayals of gay characters. Which is cool. Her mother is never portrayed as anything but utterly terrible for her attitude.
It's also a really fun show, IMO.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Trans women are presented in the media as killers, it started with "Silence of the Lambs" as far as I know, quite often. I don't know of even a single instance of this happening in real life. There probably is one or two, but as for trans people being inclined to serious crime... certainly not.
In fairness, it's explicitly noted in Silence of the Lambs that Buffalo Bill is not actually trans. People often miss that, and it certainly doesn't help at all with there not being sympathetic trans portrayals in media, but there was specific and explicit reference to that fact, so at least they put in some effort to combat that particular idea.