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Deadmanwalking's page

RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 8,124 posts (8,317 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 2 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
I can see it being annoying for the math. Recalculating numbers without features you take for granted.
This is where I could see the spell providing the largest problem. Rarely do character sheets have the space for, or do players take the time to note down, what every single +1 or +2 bonus they have to their attack/dmg/saves is and where that bonus came from.

But that's the thing, the spell doesn't effect Weapon Focus, Iron Will, Two-Weapon Fighting or any other 'always on' Feats. Only 'activated' ones.

So unless you've forgotten what your bonuses are when not Power attacking, no recalculation is necessary. You just can't use any optional Feats.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

The Green Tea Gamer wrote:

Oh yeah, this is true of me too. I'm currently running two games and playing in two others. One of the four is Pathfinder. Now, some of that is me (I'm running one of the non-Pathfinder games, after all)...but as the two non-Pathfinder games I'm playing in indicate, not all of it. And I don't exactly live in a bustling metropolis, y'know? Well, maybe by Montana standards...

The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
-My former GM pulled no punches and gave no special rights to his girlfriend. In fact, her character was the first to die. I do the same with my wife, (although I helped design her character, and I'm a dirty min-maxer, and so she's been hard to take down).

I've sadly seen this kind of favoritism happen. I've also seen it not happen, but I've seen it a couple of times.

The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
-Players like my NPCs, and ask them to join up GMPC style without prompting. I build them all intentionally weaker than PCs, and they do not Mary Sue at all.

This has been known to happen in my games. I think the distinction is whether the GM thinks of them as 'their PC' or not. If not, things are good, if so there tend to be problems.

I haven't ever had any alignment debates either. Not during play anyway.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Both are good enjoyable shows.

Neither's the best show ever, but they're both fun and are certainly both putting me in the right mood for the Firefly RPG game I'm to play in shortly.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Things I've Learned From RPGs In General:

Some vocabulary, plus the ability to do simple math quickly in my head.

Very god reading comprehension. I partially credit RPGs with my 800 on reading comprehension on the SATs.

A basic grasp of tactics and the effectiveness of surprise attacks.

How to organize, motivate, and lead people (I GM a fair bit). I've actually gotten pretty good at this one.

A fair amount of persuasion and social skill (it's hard to tell how much of this is really from gaming, and how much from other stuff...but gaming certainly hasn't hurt).

Acting skills. The only thing I learned in my college drama class was how to project properly, since I pretty much had the rest down.

How to tell a story, and what elements make for a good one.

That I'm much better at structured social interaction than the unstructured kind.

That I'm really reliable when people are depending on me. At least in person.

Things I Learned From World oOf Darkness LARPs Specifically:

Almost nobody ever actually pays attention to what's going on in any but the most cursory fashion. If you do, you rapidly get a reputation for knowing everything. (Note: I was playing a Nosferatu).

Good help is really hard to find. No, really, reliable employees/subordinates? Rare as hen's teeth.

How to manipulate and deceive people. Not that I do so in real life, but knowing how is actually pretty handy for spotting other people doing such things.

That many people who prefer theatrical LARPs (ie: ones without padded weapons) enjoy manipulating and deceiving people. In some cases the game is a release valve and they're great folks outside it. More commonly, they're just terrible people who are every bit as manipulative and self-serving outside the game as in it. This one is why I don't LARP any more...

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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The people. Always the people. Playing a well-designed game with bad people is...sometimes okay, but nowhere near as fun as even a mediocre game with great folks.

That said, rules are still relevant, just not as much as players. A game with well-balanced rules can take what would otherwise be a mediocre GM and some good players and make an amazing game, while a terribly designed game can leech all the fun out of the experience of actually playing the game unless the GM makes a really heroic effort to overcome it.

For example, let's take spotlight time:

A player who's a spotlight hog and insists on everything being focused on them while refusing to let other players shine is awful, and much worse than most rules problems. But a game with well-balanced rules can help to restrain such a player, while a game with poor balance between certain options can enable them and even make players who had no intent to do this do something very like it accidentally. Of course, if it's accidental, it's fixable with a bit of effort (ie: character rebuilding or the like) while something intentional is much less fixable.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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sunshadow21 wrote:
And yet even the Greeks had noticeable hard limits on their acceptance of homosexuality; the modern day push for equality in the marriage arena would have been squashed fast and hard.

Yes, but that's because marriage was a contract explicitly dealing with inheritance and children, as opposed to a reflection of love and partnership like today. In that cultural context, marriages without the possibility of children didn't make sense.

sunshadow21 wrote:
And the point of being intolerant elsewhere is part of my point. There will always be some kind of flash point where tolerance no longer is considered necessary. This is true of any culture, real or fictional. If anything, fictional ones have more such points simply because those are the points that tend to be the focus of stories. Having a society be tolerant of LGBT (or any other specific matter) simply shifts the point of where the intolerance is going to lie.

Sure. But as noted, there's no reason that those prejudices can't be focused on areas that are highly different from those in the real world.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Especially in a typical D&D world, developing communication and education enough to get the majority of the population tolerant of that one issue is going to be challenging enough; developing it to allow multiple such movements, such as what we have in the world today, would be nearly impossible, and yet, none of the individual movements in our world would have nearly the clout they do without the presence of the others providing background support. You can change the world to make it possible, but when even Eberron is already considered non-standard, and even Eberron level of development would struggle with the scope of what you would have to cover, you're basically looking at a representation of the modern world, taking the bad with the good.

But, again, who says there are any movements at all? With objectively righteous deities in the setting telling people that this particular prejudice is wrong, who says there need to be?

Society might just accept that sort of thing as normal. After all, if the Gods endorse it...

sunshadow21 wrote:
I would say the prejudice isn't forced, but questions about it still remain very valid, and until we have a society in the real world that can successfully resolve those question without collapsing under it's own weight, which our own society is very much in the process of doing, the questions will remain valid.

Wait...are you arguing that accepting LGBT people, or even being accepting in general inherently causes society to collapse?

Because that is a hell of a claim to make...and one I'd need some actual evidence to take remotely seriously.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Simply making a world where those questions don't exist is not going to satisfy the majority of players out there. If it satisfies your own group, that's great, but don't expect it to be a widespread phenomenon.

So you're saying that most people cannot and will not accept that a society can actually function with LGBT people being accepted? And would object to a game where it did on grounds of realism?

Because people who feel like that are firstly not a majority by any means, and secondly people I don't want to play with in the first place.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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sunshadow21 wrote:
You can do that, but to me, it's the worst of both available approaches. The group is still stuck the real world headaches, but unless you, at the very least, an outline of detail of every god, culture, and the full history of the world before you even think about introducing that world into play, it's going to fall flat in the area of what players can do about it and it's ramifications if they so choose.

You're vastly overstating the problems here. I've both done this in a setting and seen it done in official setting books. It's not that hard.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Very few published worlds are that fleshed out, and far fewer custom worlds. To develop the sheer number of cultures even a small world would have in both the past and the present is not nearly as easy as you make it sound, especially when you start to consider the interactions between them. It can be done, but to do well and in a fashion that makes the entire exercise worth it it really difficult and holding it all together once the players get a hold of it and start to work within it is even harder.

Not really. Okay, a whole world might be tricky, but half of a continent is about as much as you need and I've seen it done many times, and done it a few. It's not that hard, really.

sunshadow21 wrote:
The problem is basically the complexity of how each individual detail interacts with the rest of the world and controlling any ripple effects. For an example of this, look at 4E; the individual systems were great, but in none of the 4E games I played did they mesh well in actual play, and that is a large reason it struggled where 3.x/PF didn't. The individual pieces of PF aren't always that great, but they mesh well together and the end result is a system that can manage the stresses of multiple expectations for the system at least as well as any other D&D system that came before or after it.

This is true with complex details that don't work together. "The Good-Aligned Gods approve of love in all its forms." is a detail that fits well with most existing RPG settings, and is also extremely simple.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Building a world around a particular focus (in this case, LGBT issues) requires being prepared to tie pretty much every single detail of that world, no matter how mundane into that focus, and that is not something that even most veteran DMs that have been running since D&D first released would find easy or quick. is including a single line to the effect of 'there are no notable prejudices in the matter of sexual orientation' or even easier simply mentioning the mayor of a town being married to another man 'basing an entire setting' around it?

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Ashiel wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
xeose4 wrote:
Or the too-common storyline where the male main character never once has an emotional connection with any male companions and doesn't bat an eye when a male character he'd been adventuring with for years gets hurt or killed, because then he wouldn't be a "real man" (since real men don't have emotions).
OK, I'd like to know what you've been reading because this bears little resemblance to what I've read, with the possible exceptions of Howard, Lovecraft and Eddison.
In all fairness, NCIS is really stupid. We have it to thank for depictions of brilliance such as two idiots, one keyboard and the lady who has more hours in a day than god.

[tangent]Stupidity aside, NCIS actually has a fair amount of grief displayed for male main characters who die. Gibbs is emotionally austere on the surface, but they go pretty in-depth into how broken up he is when friends and family die.

It being a murder-mystery show, they rarely display much emotion for the case of the week, but that's a different situation.[/tangent]

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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sunshadow21 wrote:
If you are playing in a semi modern game, it doesn't require a lot of change or a big movement. The rest of the pieces that make it plausible in the game and possible in the real world are already in the background. If you are trying to play in a pseudo medieval world, like most D&D worlds, it does require something else to change as well.

'Pseudo medieval' in what sense? Because most D&D worlds are polytheistic, which is a much larger difference from real-world medieval society than anything involving LGBT rights specifically, and, given the religious justifications often used for anti-LGBT bigotry, could easily excuse and explain such a difference in that as well.

sunshadow21 wrote:
While it sounds simple in theory, getting society to a point where even a minimum of prejudice is possible takes a general shift in attitudes that is either caused by other events or changes or that change will be the trigger for other changes and events.

Assuming that we're talking about a general change? Maybe, though I'm not sure there's a lot of evidence for that. But we're not necessarily talking about a general change. The Ancient Greeks were fine with homosexual behavior despite being hideously intolerant in a lot of other ways. Ditto Japanese culture for much of their history.

sunshadow21 wrote:
It most likely means that the prejudice has simply shifted to something else, which could end up triggering someone else to insist that on that topic being made prejudice free, or it requires getting rid of prejudice completely; either way, the chances of there not being other very real changes in the fictional world are slim to none once you introduce even one real world issue into it.

Again, I'm not sure if there's a lot of evidence to support this contention.

But even if it does result in other prejudices, it could result in those prejudices being completely alien to those found in our own society. Men being seen as overly emotional while women are expected to be stoic being an example I used earlier. Or heck, just the standard racial prejudices between humans, elves, dwarves, and so on.

sunshadow21 wrote:
If you can convince the rest of the group to accept just that one change and not try to introduce others, I envy you. Every group I've been in has always had that one person that would take a move like that on the DM's part as license to do it themselves, just to see what havoc they can cause.

What? I'm really confused. How would players change things about the setting? Or are you just complaining they'd argue for changes? And what sort of changes are you even talking about?

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Deighton Thrane wrote:
I'm still curious on how other people plan on building their mediums. And if anyone's found a use for them that can't be filled by any other class. Also I'm not crazy about the spirits favored locations and am curious how people are going to run this in their home games.

Well, in addition to the generic places, the rules do note that each spirit has a specific place they're associated with. I'd definitely let a player make some sort of Knowledge roll (Local or History, probably) to know where such a location might be in their vicinity for the spirit type they want.

Assuming I don't ignore it entirely, of course.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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I like Pathfinder. If I didn't, I'd play something else.

I run a fair portion of the games I'm involved in and am currently running a Cinematic Unisystem game set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as a Curse of the Crimson Throne game using Pathfinder. I'm also playing in a game of The One Ring (about to take a hiatus and do Star Wars d6) and will shortly be dropping a D&D 5e dungeon crawl game (the system's okay, but dungeon crawls bore me) to play in a game of the Firefly RPG. And that's actually a fairly standard cross-section of my gaming patterns for the most part, at least in terms of diversity.

So...yeah, its popularity isn't what brought me to Pathfinder (I barely touched 3.5...I mostly did White Wolf games and Unisystem stuff during that era). I play Pathfinder because it's a fun system, warts and all, and while complex, is also a pretty fun game to do mechanical tweaking and theorycrafting on. There are certainly issues (martial-caster disparity being the most obvious), but that doesn't mean the game isn't both well-done for the most part and fun to play. That also doesn't mean I don't play around with the system (my House Rules document is 12 pages at the moment), but I like it.

I prefer it to 3.5 due to the more interesting classes and greater incentives to single-classed characters (I disliked every optimized character having 7 Classes and the like), and what I feel is a slight lessening of the martial/caster disparity and what I feel is generally somewhat better balance (which is admittedly not saying much, but still).

And then there's the setting. I love Golarion. The setting is expansive, fun, and even pretty internally consistent. I like the Gods, the nations, the cities, the fiction. You name something about the setting, I probably like it. :)

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:

Ah, thanks for the explanations, everyone.

I don't think I'll be joining the fray on that one. I'm pretty sure that if I were to talk about my settings (which are basically "everyone is LGBT+ in one way or another"), I'd get ridiculed or called a SJW. I think "queering" traditional narratives, setting types and archetypes is really important, but it seems like that's not a position likely to be understood.

I'm on board with it!

I really want to see a version of The Maltese Falcon with a sexuality-flip (plus gender-flips as necessary), for example (much like the race-flipped versions of Othello). Y'know, everyone who's straight in that piece being LGBT and vice versa?

It's a particularly interesting example because so much of the cast (sadly all villains) are, in fact, gay, and it's even set in San Francisco. The piece is just begging for this treatment, really.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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sunshadow21 wrote:
True, but my personal view is that if you are going to bring something like the LGBT movement into my game, and only that movement, I'm not interested. You get all the real world headaches that come with it and none of the, what is to me, interesting part of exploring it's full ramifications. Either leave it out entirely or be willing to accept that others may have other views on that or other similar matters that are not in complete agreement with your own that they would feel deserves the same amount of game time and focus as what you care about. I wouldn't automatically look for other points of view or issues to bring in to cause trouble, but I certainly wouldn't hold back if something else came up either, because the DM had already opened the door.

Who's suggesting bringing the 'LGBT movement' into games without ramifications? All the people I've seen suggesting something like a movement have been very interested in the ramifications.

But me? I'm not necessarily suggesting bringing a 'movement' into games at all, I'm suggesting having LGBT people exist in the setting with a minimum of prejudice. Again, this doesn't require a 'movement' or the setting to have changed at all (especially if the setting is either one I make up or one that already has such people).

sunshadow21 wrote:
If one person decides that they can bring the real world into their game, everyone else at the table should have the same ability.

Indeed! But how is being LGBT more of a 'real world issue' than being heterosexual and cisgendered? Because that's the part of this I'm really unclear on.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Now, in most cases, that's not going to be a major issue because I doubt people will bring these kinds of topics up in a public game, and a private game is probably going to be amongst friends anyway, but it is a point to consider when considering how to present it and when that cannot be ignored.

Why wouldn't they bring it up casually in a public game? I've certainly done games at Cons and the like where my character hit on women in passing...why couldn't he hit on men? Why would that somehow be a different category of action?

sunshadow21 wrote:
If one is willing to accept the risk of other real world issues leaking into the game, those topics can be a very enjoyable game, but the second it starts to clearly push one side over the other, and the entire group is not 100% behind that push, it needs to end immediately. If the entire group is okay with it, by all means, let loose and go to town; just don't be surprised if everyone else at the table does too and in ways that may not be entirely what you wanted or expected.

Wait, let me get this straight, are you saying that the very existence of LGBT people in the setting or their existence without prejudice is somehow more of a political statement than the existence of straight people? Because that's a hell of a claim, there.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I feel I'm missing something. Has Paizo introduced another LGBT+ character? What's this thread you guys are mentioning?

Not to my knowledge.

The thread is here, and it's in theory just a general discussion of LGBT characters and issues in RPGs and how people include/treat them.

It's obviously drifted into real-world stuff a few times and is probably potentially triggering for some people in a variety of ways. I don't feel it's as bad as some people here seem to, but then I've been participating in it.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

sunshadow21 wrote:
Tell that to all the goblin villages that have been destroyed over the years by paladin PCs and the players that controlled them that simply assumed that the evil alignment was enough to wipe out entire villages of goblins or orcs or whatever else they found that radiated evil but were largely minding their own business. Virtually nobody stops to ask the goblins or orcs their views, so everyone assumes the paladin must be in the right. Not all that different from real life history where few bothered to ask the persecuted or defeated their opinion of the matter, and simply took the word of those who we now label persecutors but to themselves and their contemporaries were doing the best they could to make the world a better place. When more people started asking questions more and had regular communication with the groups historically persecuted, opinions changed pretty quickly.

Yeah, except of course for the fact that I've literally never played a game where that happened and Paizo's never written an AP or adventure where it did either. And if a Paladin did it they'd fall in a heartbeat (especially since, as noted, goblins mostly don't radiate Evil).

When my players fight goblin war bands that are in the process of attacking either them or innocent people.

The fact that some people have a playstyle involving some pretty ugly stuff when examined doesn't mean that the setting or game system, or their morality, is built with that assumption in mind, or that most people play it that way.

Obviously, a GM can allow a Paladin to get away with that sort of stuff. A GM can allow a Paladin to get away with, oh say pedophilia as well, if they like. That in no way even implies that the game or its morality system endorses pedophilia. It instead implies that the GM either hasn't thought it through, thinks that behavior is right, or doesn't give a damn about the morality system actually being objective.

sunshadow21 wrote:
If people want to make these kinds of arguments in why certain game elements need to change, they have be to willing to consider the full effect that those changes would logically have beyond the immediate topic. Our own world shows quite clearly that one question leads to another, and if encouraged the way that some people seem to in their games, would eventually force those on both sides of controversial issues into a position similar how in the real world increasingly anyone trying to claim to support or oppose anything on moral grounds risks alienating a lot of people who may well treat their arguments as very confrontational at best and flat out persecution at worst.

This assumes that the game world itself is changing, which is a huge assumption. The game world, having been designed recently, can easily have always been like this, or can be ret-conned to have been so if designed longer ago.

Now, if you mean that a society that's accepting of LGBT stuff must be self-aware and inclined to be accepting of other things...that's a load of pure b##~@%&&. Many societies in history have been accepting of one thing (considered 'normal' by that society) and highly intolerant of others (seen as 'deviant' by that society). Which is which has more to do with the history of the society than any real logic.

sunshadow21 wrote:
The problem that questioning specific issues while trying to retain the overall societal structure or relying on popular support has always had is that those tactics can get out of control very quickly, burning those who rely on them just as much as those who were the original targets. I would have considerable difficulty playing in a campaign that tried to cherry pick the precise consequences the DM desired while completely ignoring the presence of other, less pleasant side effects. Challenging society and making meaningful changes without causing a dozen unintended side effects can be done, but it's much easier with a long series of smaller actions; the larger any individual action or change is, the harder it is to control.

Again, this assumes that the society is changing in-world, which while it could be interesting, is a completely unwarranted assumption.

sunshadow21 wrote:
If the DM wanted to run in anything even remotely resembling the traditional D&D model and change something as massive as open social acceptance for the LGBT community, I would also expect them to be open to players wanting to play characters that challenged the very existence of the gods, claiming that divine magic wasn't actually any different from arcane magic and that the priests were simply brainwashing the populace to think that it was, and even the alignment system itself. I would not expect those challenges to automatically succeed, but trying to claim the absolute definitions of the alignments after already changing other large chunks of the assumed society and not accepting any gray area would not fly with me. I have no problems with stories that focus on change or that reflect current beliefs, but once you open that can of worms, you have to be willing to explore it all the way, whether you personally are comfortable with where other people take it or not.

Firstly, who says you can't play such a character? Rahadoum verges on such things in Golarion, for example.

But secondly, again, this assumes that the society in the game world has been anti-LGBT previously...which is once again a completely unwarranted assumption. It's easily possible for the society to have always been fine with such behavior as endorsed by the Gods (if you have LGBT deities in the pantheon, for example) while the worship of those same Gods was not to be questioned. And have both have been true for the last thousand years.

sunshadow21 wrote:
It's mostly older groups that have the same players that have played together and not with much of anyone else for all of these decades, and may not have even moved to newer editions, but they are still out there, and the point remains valid. Even PF maintains it on an official level with drow and undead being automatically evil, with virtually no room given for being even merely neutral. There are canonical Neutral Drow and Undead in Pathfinder, and the books focusing on both note this. They're rare, but absolutely existent.

And nowhere in the actual books does it say either of those creature types is entirely Evil.

sunshadow21 wrote:
And that is my biggest gripe with a lot of people who support these social causes. They ask a very specific question, basically demand the one answer they are looking for, and then don't care about any of the other fallout from that question and answer. I don't mind people asking the question, but people have to understand it's never as simple as one question and one answer. If people would understand that and act accordingly, I would have a lot less issue with all of the current social causes being pushed in our society.

Are you talking in-game-world or in-real-life here? Because, again, in-game-world, there's no reason things couldn't have always been this way.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Empiricist Investigator is perfect for this in just about every way. Probably True Neutral and possessing the student of Philosophy Trait (allowing him to ditch Charisma and still have amazing social skills...two things that make a lot of sense together for the self-effacing but extremely cunning Methos).

Yeah, Methos would Sneak Attack, but Studied Combat/Studied Strike do that well enough all on their own.

Really, no need for gestalt, just go Empiricist Investigator.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Adahn_Cielo wrote:

@Deadmanwalking: I think Marshall is the less sucky because, like someone pointed out in the Occult Adventures page (I think it was Rinjin?), you have to be nominally in charge of the party: the face won't have problems convincing the now influenced medium that yes, he is the head of this merry band of adventurers, but that the party Cleric sage advices had always worked, and the face's honeyed words always swayed people.

Just because you're the party leader doesn't mean you can't defer to more qualified people, or that you have to make all of the decisions yourself: sure, you have probably to get considered a little more so to not upset the Marshal spirit, but it's on a whole different boat than DID YOU JUST INSPIRE COURAGE ME OH DON'T TRY TO TRICK ME I KNOW IT'S ALL AN ABOLETH CONSPIRACY AND THAT YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO CAPTURE ME ALIVE YOU DISGUISED SQUID-PERSON.

This assumes you can get the party to agree that you're in charge. If you can, you're absolutely right that it's a lesser penalty. If you can't, then you lose most of the bonuses your spirit gives you and get a penalty on top of it.

Trickster is bad, but at least you keep your own bonuses.

Another issue is that it's pretty easy for a Trickster (or any non-Marshall) to avoid getting the penalty, while a Marshall gets it just by using what is, for him, a basic class feature.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

Adahn_Cielo wrote:
By the way, is it just me or the influence penailities are vastly apart for severity? The Marshall is a nuisance at best (luckily, as the Marshal seems like the spirit that likes surging the most), but the Trickster is utterly backbreaking.

Marshall isn't too bad if you're the party leader, if you aren't it actually sucks a lot.

As do most of the rest, actually.

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Go Dex + Cha as your prime stats w/Weapon Finesse and maybe Slashing Grace and you can easily alternate between most of those options on a daily basis, which is potentially very cool. Or do the same with Str + Cha and heavier armor.

The Champion in particular makes a very solid melee combatant due to Spirit Bonus.

At 8th level, you're talking +9/+9/+4 to hit with +5 damage from Class (+10/+10/+5 with +6 to damage if you've got Spirit Focus), and gives all his allies +2 damage as well. A Fighter at the same level is +9/+4 to hit with +3 damage from Class (including Weapon Specialization), while a Barbarian is +10/+5 for +2 damage from Class.

That's really nice, actually (and combined with a spell list having access to Haste and Mirror Image). The Barbarian and Fighter have compensations comparatively, but the Medium is very much on par. Guardian trades offense for defense, but is likewise pretty neat (Invulnerable Rager level DR).

Alternately, you're a pretty solid backup spellcaster as a Hierophant or Archmage (heck, from level 7 on, you can cast Haste as a 2nd level spell), and you can dabble in Trickster at need to fill in any skills the party lacks.

Marshal is a little trickier to use properly and I'm not sure I've got my head wrapped around it yet, but given the usefulness of the rest, Medium is a very solid Class.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 9

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thejeff wrote:
The problem is "social justice warrior" is almost exclusively used as an attack phrase. It doesn't really mean anything. Even with Ashiel's definition, it just turns into a way of accusing people of meeting that definition.

As TheAntiElite notes, I've seen it used completely unironically by people as something they consider themselves. So...clearly differing definitions.

thejeff wrote:
Much like there may well have been too much "political correctness" back when that phrase went mainstream, but it was quickly co-opted and used against any attempts to counter racism or sexism.

That one's still got different definitions depending on who you ask, too.

thejeff wrote:
And to extend the metaphor - In any metaphorical conflict, you need both diplomats and warriors.

Metaphorical warriors? I don't know actually. Firstly, the difference between warriors and diplomats is primarily sphere of operations (physical vs. social)rather than any actual difference in methodology, and metaphorical conflicts are almost universally within the social sphere already. Secondly, way too many people take the tack that if they are 'warriors' the point is to attack the enemy's soldiers, which is not generally productive behavior. Attacking their ideas? Sure, that's a solid plan. Attacking people who simply believe that way on a personal level? Not appropriate or productive.

As labels go, it has a real tendency to legitimize some really ugly behavior and reinforce an 'us vs. them' mentality that is really bad.

thejeff wrote:
Nor am I sure why "equity" is preferable to "justice".

As Ashiel notes, there are reasons why that could make sense. Personally, I'm cool with 'justice', though.

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For the record, on the subject of 'social justice warriors' and the rest of that, I'm mostly in agreement with the substance of what Ashiel is saying, though in terms of terminology I dislike the use of the term 'social justice warrior' in most contexts. Too much baggage and different and conflicting definitions.

I'm cool with Ashiel using it since it's been defined very specifically above. :)

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thejeff wrote:

Though the line does blur: It's certainly reasonable in a harsher world than the modern one to make criminals and war captives work - everyone has to work to survive. There aren't the resources to keep prisoners idle.

OTOH, as you move towards profiting from these prisoners, there's a temptation to make the laws harsher to have more labor or to fight wars to get more prisoners.

Oh yeah, that's immoral. But it's immoral because you're now changing the law to enslave people not because of the nature of forcing prisoners to work.

It's certainly a worrisome potential consequence of the practice, but those exist for imprisonment as well...and are practical concerns leading to moral ones rather than moral ones per se.

thejeff wrote:
Overall though, I agree. I'm perfectly willing to play in a world where the local culture considers slavery and torture acceptable. I'm not willing to do so in one where they're not evil on the meta-level of alignment.

Yep. That's the line I draw too.

thejeff wrote:

Edit: And just to wrap around to the topic: The same applies to LGBTQ issues. I'm happy playing in a game with cultural persecution of LGBTQ (or sexism or racism, etc) as long as it's not treated as a good or even neutral thing on the metalevel. There's a difference between "These evil people are prejudiced and even these ignorant ones over here aren't very accepting" and "Yeah, the paladins are burning another **** at the stake".

Assuming of course that players are on board. Sometimes it's fun to play with the "overcoming prejudice" trope. Sometimes it really isn't.

Yeah, I feel similarly in terms of requirements. Though, as noted, I prefer my fantastical settings to have prejudices that have less in common with those in the real world.

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The term 'plotsexual' amuses me. :)

That said, it's almost never the case for my NPCs...I go way too in-depth into the history, personality, and, yes, sexuality of my NPCs to leave something like that undefined, and if I want a character to be a potential love interest, I build them with an appropriate sexuality. That has to do with my simulationist/world-building tendencies more than it being a better solution, though.

I also think it's a great idea for published NPCs.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Not much difference between the two; just a a matter of opinion. Paladins attacking heretics is not to the paladin's view persecution, it's just their job. Obviously those viewed as heretics are likely to view it quite differently. Paladins persecuting people on any consistent basis for anything but truly awful behavior (or allying with truly terrible people and things) get to be ex-Paladins. Period.

And killing someone in self-defense or as an execution for a crime or atrocity is very different from doing so over a difference of opinion.

sunshadow21 wrote:
A DM could easily combine the two phrases without the players having any notable recourse.

I'm not sure what this even means in context.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Similarly, torture is quite prone to engender completely different opinions based on which side you are on, but both heretics and torture are reasonably common themes in D&D.

Yes...but persecuting heretics and torturing people are both things only Evil people do, as a rule (or at least will make people evil prety rapidly if they keep doing them). Even if there are exceptions to that, they're rare and seen as bad things.

sunshadow21 wrote:
Slavery isn't much better once you exclude the harshest, and clearly, evil forms of it; treating criminals or prisoners or war as slaves is another fairly common D&D and general fantasy trope.

Handcuffing someone and locking them in a cell because you feel like it is wrong. Doing so because they've been fairly convicted of a crime is not. Ditto forcing them to work for you.

You keep acting like these situations are equivalent when they aren't. Like murder and self-defense are morally equivalent. It's...kinda messed up, actually.

sunshadow21 wrote:
The only real difference is what point of view to choose to look at it from. Traditionally, the game and real life society has looked at from the view of the person doing the action. Real life modern day society tends to look at it from the point of view of the person being acted against. People who want to bring that point of view into the game most certainly can, but it is going to yield far different campaigns and stories than traditional stories and points of view usually produce.

This is a load of crap. Many people have a codified set of moral principles they abide by regardless of whether they're the one acting or being acted upon. Hell, that's what having a consistent set of morals is. And modern attitudes and codes are easily brought into most fantasy worlds with little change to most plotlines if you accept the change in fundamental circumstances (ie: there not being a government you can go to for protection or help in many if not most places).

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Totes McScrotes wrote:
d100% 01-96 would be straight. Reality is hetero/cis normative.

That sort of statistic is a little problematic because all the research is done in today's society where many people are reluctant to admit to any non-heteronormative desires.

Particularly, a lot of people who identify as straight might well be at least a bit bisexual and not wanting to deal with the stigma associated with that.

Which in no way means straight, cisgendered, people aren't a pretty big majority (we really are), but another cultural context might well up the number of self-reported LGBT people by a fair bit.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
DM Under the Bridge wrote:
Sarenrae has a bet going with some of her handmaidens as to which sect will come out on top.
I'm guessing she's "Chaotic Good" just like Gorum is "Chaotic Neutral"?

Actually, for the record, it's the opposite. Sarenrae is the Goddess of Redemption. She's trying very hard to give the warlike slavery-tolerating factions of her Church in Qadira a chance to redeem themselves before she is forced to step in and handles the situation (possibly with cleansing flame). She may already have waited too long because she's too merciful, but that's the rationale according to James Jacobs, whose word is controlling in instances such as this. I believe Inner Sea Gods mentions something about this as well...

And she's Neutral Good, again for the record.

LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.

Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At most, they might get an answer from a highly placed intermediary.

There are magical ways to get a pretty good idea. Phylacterties of Faithfulness and the Commune spell leap to mind immediately, for example. So random people might not know such things, but the higher ups of the Church certainly can and will if they care to ask.

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@DM Under The Bridge:

You never clarified what you wanted me to cite. Please do and I'll cite away.

Aranna wrote:
Wait... People actually play as someone who wants to switch genders?! Why? Why not start out with the gender you want to play as?

Uh...them being the gender they desire to be doesn't mean they aren't trans*. Playing someone born in a male body who's since used magic to arrange to be physically female is still playing a trans* character even if that all happened in their backstory.

And that's on top of all the reasons people have already mentioned to play a pre-transition character.

To put it another way:

What you're asking is similar to asking why anyone would play a character who is poor (or grew up poor) rather than one who is rich, or one who had abusive parents rather than wonderful ones. Sometimes people want to play someone who has had to deal with adversity in their life, and possibly even still is dealing with it.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
As the dm they can run a game vastly different to our own current existence, where our social politics and attitudes we might have do not hold sway. I think it is one of the great potentials of roleplaying that we are not just stuck playing ourselves right now in this time or limited in playing people of late modern attitudes. Instead we can control characters in very different contexts to what we are used to. Of course we don't have to fight off goblin invasions (although that might be similar to the life of a pest control officer) but it goes far deeper than that into very different times or completely non-Earth settings.

Absolutely! But a lot of people very reasonably don't enjoy playing in settings where they must deal with the same tiresome issues they have to deal with (ie: prejudices that they see regularly in real life). That's not an absolute rule, but for purely fantastical settings, it's actually a bit odd, and rather boring, to have their prejudices based on our own. Unique and odd prejudices from our perspective (such as men being seen as overly emotional while women are expected to be stoic) are much more interesting, and keep people from feeling oppressed or excluded by the game world.

That doesn't need to be universal, especially in games based on a particular historical setting that aim to hew closely to it, but for more fantastical games, I don't see any reason a lack of the prejudices common in our society and history shouldn't be the norm (and often replaced with a different, more interesting, set).

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I support Jaelithe and his position that in running games located in a historical setting the beliefs will be of that time and place, and not of 2015 wherever and however we find ourselves now, and will not include certain groups that are active today. do I. When doing an explicitly historical game that cares a lot about historical accuracy, anyway.

However, if you're using Pathfinder I tend to think you've categorically left any semblance of historical accuracy behind given how Wizards, Clerics, and levels work...

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Some will not like this, the attempt to be and play quite authentically (or even just partially authentically) in settings that are not familiar and everyday in attitudes and social politics. I am glad there are games that offer something different to our norm, and that is also what I try to bring in my many games. If there are problems with acceptance then words such as "this isn't the world we are used to" can help players to understand they aren't confined to the familiar but they also aren't located in the familiar (one of my players was struggling to play a medieval Japanese fisherman turned bandit robbing people along the silk road, but they learned how to make it work and developed a character straight out of the old story Water Margin).

Putting oneself into unfamiliar cultures can indeed be very entertaining. Doing so with fantasy cultures perhaps even more so.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
One of the problems I find with transgender npcs being put into many games is if the setting is pre-modern and in that it is pre-anomie and pre the questioning of gender norms, roles and identity their inclusion, even as minorities, makes very little sense. If you are running a pre-modern setting anything close to being historical then including transgenders in significant numbers sounds like historical revisionism (my group of today was there!). Of course to get around this you can make your own setting where we see transgenders far earlier in modernity, or even in pre-modernity. Then Jaelithe is absolutely right and what we see is an example of a push of "their real world socio-political agenda" to get their people in places and times when they did not exist.

This really depends on the place, era, and what you mean by transgender. People choosing to live as the other gender has actually been a rather common thing in several tribal cultures (including many Native American ones), and the idea of a third gender is also fairly common in some (India leaps to mind). So...depends on when and where you're discussing.

Additionally, the evidence is pretty definitive that being transgender is a physiological issue based on the baby receiving incorrect levels of various hormones during pregnancy. So saying that people wouldn't have been transgender in another era is, in some ways, like saying people wouldn't get cancer...a bit of an unlikely theory in regards to a purely physiological issue.

Now, as to whether they'd actually do anything in the way of transitioning or living as the other gender...that's a bit of a different question, and will be based on culture and era as mentioned above, but people feeling like they were a different gender than their biological sex have almost certainly existed throughout history. Portraying them is thus perfectly reasonable historically, if not necessarily likely to be particularly obvious.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I found paizo creating and placing a trans orc into one of their adventure paths to be very odd. Orcs are short-lived, focused upon reproduction and there has been no indication of gender dysphoria in orcs previously. Orcs are so hetero they hurt countries with their numbers. The trans orc came across as tokenism, but one in which didn't fit with the setting that has been presented, but I suspect it will fit with the changing setting into which Golarion is becoming.

Wait, what? Where was there a transgender orc? If you're talking about Wrath of the Righteous, that has a transgender woman married to a half-orc woman...but that's really not the same thing as what you speak of for a host of reasons.

Additionally...high birth rates and a lack of homosexuality are not necessarily linked. At all. Saying they are doesn't even make a lot of sense.

In fact, the most popular evolutionary theory on the persistence of homosexuality in the gene pool that I've heard is that, in tribal societies where everyone is related, it's extremely beneficial to the tribe (and thus gene pool) as a whole to have some people who pretty much don't have children so that if any children become orphans there's someone to take care of them who doesn't have to split resources or attention with their own children. Given the violence seemingly inherent in orcish behavior and their high birth rates per mother, having such people would be even more likely to be useful, and the number of homosexual members of that society might even be higher.

Which is all a bit beside the point, since all the current evidence supports being transgender as pretty much unrelated to being gay, and (to reiterate) to it being basically a physiological issue based on the baby receiving incorrect levels of various hormones during pregnancy. Something that could easily be as common among orcs as anyone.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
One can deny there is an agenda, but paizo have been very clear in what they want to represent and add in the future (and they certainly defended placing the trans orc even though it did not fit with orcs as they had been presented).

Oh, Paizo has a clear and explicitly stated 'agenda':


Paizo has, from day one with a black female Paladin as an Iconic and a gay Paladin in the Sandpoint gazetteer tried to strongly indicate that anyone and everyone can be heroes in Golarion. That whoever you are, people like you are awesome, and are out there doing amazing things in the world they make.

That's it, as far as agendas go, and frankly a pretty good one to have. I certainly support it.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
People will change and run the settings in the way that they want to run them, but not every group of people or identity is going to be in every setting or game. Trans especially do not fit into certain historical settings and thus they don't fit into many historically located games. Some have said that it doesn't come up. If it isn't there then it is unlikely to come up. Thank you.

As noted, this is not precisely correct historically. And thus something of an agenda in its own right if applied to remove people from history who were actually there. And not a very good agenda is that's the intent.

Now, I doubt that's your agenda or intent, but it's nonetheless a real risk of banning things on the basis of 'historical accuracy' without doing some in-depth research on what you're removing.

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The Alkenstarian wrote:

That being said, I do not believe in the use of the "token gay best friend"-trope, and I would be just as likely to portray a gay man as an utter git, as I would a straight man. The LGBT community has every bit as much propensity for being bad-guys as anyone else.

The main thing is that no one in my stories are bad guys because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. These things are non-issues unless they come up naturally in conversation. My current group of players have met a total of two homosexuals, one bisexual and one transgendered character in the campaigns I'm currently running and none of them know, because it's never come up.

Yeah, this is an important note. I've definitely had LGBT villains as well as more positive portrayals. People are people and some of them are terrible regardless of other factors.

Actually, now that I think of it, I don't think I've ever had a trans* villain. Or played one as a PC, come to think of it. Huh. Maybe I'll do one of those at some point...

The Alkenstarian wrote:
The world is rarely an all-accepting, all-benevolent place. I long since stopped believing in the inherent goodness of humanity and I don't see why it would be any different in a fantasy-setting.

Well, obviously. But being LGBT specifically doesn't inherently have to be one of the things they're prejudiced against. No society is perfect but the degree and nature of that imperfection can vary widely.

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It depends on the setting. In a modern-day setting, I portray LGBT stuff more-or-less how it is in the real world, at least I hope I do. I usually also throw in at least a positively portrayed LGBT character or two (not really tokenism, I tend to stat large numbers of NPCs and try and make them statistically accurate to the population...I'm weird), though admittedly the players often don't actually find out their sexual orientation or gender identity, or only hear about it incidentally in passing. After all, there are usually other things going on...

In fantastic settings with established norms in this regard, I'd generally stick with said norms (for example: most people in Golarion don't care about your sexual orientation), though I guess I might change them, or more likely make a point about their injustice, if those norms are particularly unpleasant.

When making up my own fantastic settings, I try to put elements of such things into the mythologies and cultures of the world I create (the Orc God of Law and Death in my most recently created Pathfinder world is gay, for example, resulting in judge and undertaker as the stereotypical professions for gay men in orcish culture, and gay people being generally seen as a bit overly Lawful). As the OP notes doing, I too find it interesting to create societies that view such things in very different ways from what we're used to, not necessarily in a universally positive fashion, but in ways that cause very different attitudes and views than those of our own society.

All that is when GMing, of course. When playing, well, I sometimes play characters who are of different sexual orientations than my own (I'm basically straight)...I'm not sure what else you can really do to portray LGBT topics as a player.

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Mulgar wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some posts. Debates about firearms don't belong in this thread or subforum.
135. Calling down the glittery wrath of the Robot.
136. Not being as liberal as the Robot.

Nah, the robot's fair. We were off-topic and the whole discussion got deleted, not just one side.

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Bandw2 wrote:
yes they are, outside DnD inspired stuff, they are the ones that constantly resist the foul mental attacks of the enemy.

Well, that's why I gave them a Good Will Save. Stalwart is a bit beyond that, and is available to the Unbreakable archetype anyway.

Aelryinth wrote:
to be more accurate, they TRY to resist the foul mental attacks of the enemy. It should be noted that Conan never won a mental contest with Thoth Amon...but Thoth got interrupted by Conan's allies every time (fatally, the last time).

Well, Conan's pretty clearly a Slayer (possibly with a Barbarian dip) rather than a Fighter, so perhaps not the best example...Slayers have low Will Saves, after all.

Aelryinth wrote:
Say, Deadman, I've seen those fixes before. :)

Well, yes. :)

Aelryinth wrote:
You should probably post some of your house rule changes that apply, also.

I already mentioned allowing moving and two attacks from TWF. Most of my other house rules aren't hugely relevant to my Class fixes (though allowing Cha instead of Wis on Will Saves does help Fighters and Rogues a bit, I suppose).

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Seems useful to me. 2 Claws, a bite, pounce, and flight on an ankylosaur, for example, is still very possible (and everything but flight by level 8).

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My Self wrote:
I know you said something about Stalwart later, but how come a caster (inquisitor) gets Stalwart, but not a fighter type? It would make sense for a Fighter to get it as part of their base progression.

Eh. Fighters aren't thematically quite that strong-willed, and I think it makes them too powerful mechanically as compared to, say, Slayer when combined with my other changes

My Self wrote:
I really like the 10-foot step thing.

Me, too. I was very pleased when I came up with it. :)

My Self wrote:
I was thinking that Rogues could get a Swashbuckler-type stacking AC bonus.

I generally feel that Debilitating Injury does a pretty sufficient job in this regard, at least when combined with high Dex (which basically all Rogues should have).

My Self wrote:
Maybe(?) also bonus Sneak Attack damage if they only take one sneak attack in the round. So at 1st level, Sneak Attacking is normal, at 8th (when you get your first iterative) you can make a single sneak attack for +1d6/level as a standard action instead of +1d6/2 levels. At 15th, it becomes +3d6/2 levels as a standard action.

Eh. I allow people to move and make two attacks with TWF, which makes this less of an issue and doesn't seem to unbalance much of anything.

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2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite. Fighter, Rogue, and Monk fixes are below. The Fighter fix is much more extensive (and bleeds over into the ACG Classes with Fighter elements...I can expound on that if anyone's interested) mostly because they didn't update it for Unchained. The Monk fix might get significantly updated or modified at some point.

Fighter: The Fighter receives 4 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level. They receive Knowledge (Local), Perception, and Sense Motive as additional class skills as well as a Good Will Save Progression. They do not possess the Bravery Class Feature, receiving the following features instead:

Man of the World (Ex): At 1st level, a Fighter defines his role in the world outside of combat, whether as simple farmer, gladiatorial champion, professional soldier, or pampered aristocrat. He picks one skill to add to his class skill list, and then selects one skill from that newly expanded skill list. When using this skill, the Fighter may add a +1 bonus. At 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter they may apply this bonus to an additional Class Skill, and the bonus increases by an additional +1, to a maximum of +5 (and five skills effected) at 20th level.
Trained Reflexes (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Initiative checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.
Quick Healer (Ex): At 3rd level, whenever the Fighter is subject to magical healing that cures hit point damage, he heals 1 additional point of damage per Fighter level he possesses. Additionally, he heals double the normal amount of hit point and ability damage per day of natural healing or from uses of the Heal skill. This ability does not affect fast healing or regeneration.
Martial Mastery (Ex): At 4th level, each combat feat the Fighter has that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus) can be used with all weapons in the same weapon group.
Courageous (Ex): At 6th level, a Fighter reduces the severity of all fear effects that are applied to him by one degree (so shaken effects go away, frightened effects are reduced to shaken, and panicked effects are reduced to frightened). The conditions still technically retain their normal severity for stacking purposes (and only for stacking).
Mobile Warrior (Ex): At 8th level, a Fighter gains a +10 foot bonus to movement speed, and may make 10 foot steps instead of 5 foot steps whenever a 5 foot step would ordinarily be allowed. He may also make 5 foot (though not 10 foot) steps in difficult terrain.
Resilience (Ex): At 10th level, a Fighter can shake off the physical effects of certain attacks. If he makes a Fortitude saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he instead avoids the effect entirely.
Always Ready (Ex): At 12th level, the Fighter can always act in a surprise round even if he does not notice his enemies, though he remains flat-footed until he acts.
Indomitable Will (Ex): At 14th level, a Fighter gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, and this feature is identical to the Barbarian Class Feature of the same name.
Warrior's Eye (Ex): At 16th level, the Fighter is constantly aware of the battle prowess of those around him, as well as their current health, from subtle cues of movement and expression, and knows both the Base Attack Bonus and current Hit Points of all people he can see.
Combat Mastery (Ex): At 18th level, a Fighter is never considered an unaware combatant and is never considered flat-footed (though he may still lose his Dex bonus to Armor Class). Additionally, he is considered to always roll a 20 on initiative checks.

Archetypes that replace Bravery, replace the Trained Reflexes Class Feature instead.

The Unbreakable Fighter gains Improved Resilience on Fortitude Saves at 13th, as Resilience stacks with Stalwart.

Lore Wardens replace Quick Healer and all instances of Armor Training with their listed Maneuver Mastery progression. They replace Trained Reflexes with Expertise, Courageous with Know Thy Enemy (which they receive at 6th level), Resilience with Hair’s Breadth (which they receive at 10th), and Indomitable Will with Swift Lore.

Monk: Monks use the stats provided for the Unchained Monk, but retain their Good Will Save progression.

Monks can recover Ki via meditation, at a rate of their Wisdom modifier in points per hour.

All Archetypes are allowed, with those that replace Still Mind receiving whatever ability replaces it at 4th level, and those that replace nonexistent Class Abilities or others that have been moved costing Ki Powers within one level of the ability they replace (you get the ability when you lose the Ki Power). Abilities replacing Flurry of Blows may change and are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Rogue: All Rogues use the statistics shown by the Unchained Rogue, and they receive an additional instance of Rogue’s Edge at 1st level. Ninjas also do so, though they continue to replace the Class Features they usually replace.

Rogues receive the following Class Feature:

Rogue’s Expertise: At 1st level, the Rogue gains a +1 bonus to all skills in which she possesses Rogue’s Edge. At 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by an additional +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

Trapfinding explicitly allows the Rogue to find and disable spells that are left in place, such as Magic Mouth or Sepia’s Snake Sigil. The DC to find a spell not listed as a trap is 20+Caster Level, and the DC to disable is 25+Caster Level. No XP is inherently received for disarming such spells.

The Ki Pool Rogue Trick grants a full, Ninja-sized, Charisma-based, Ki Pool with all the appropriate uses (and remains available). On the other hand, Ninjas may buy Evasion as a normal Ninja Trick, not an advanced one, and Rogue and Ninja tricks are more or less interchangeable (as are the advanced versions). Rogue Ki is often called Guile instead, but is mechanically identical.

The Swashbuckler Archetype receives any one Combat Feat instead of only being limited to Martial Weapon Proficiency.

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The PFS version of Yoon is Small Sized and has no other mechanical changes.

Also, Yoon and Gom-Gom are awesome and adorable. I like 'em. :)

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Rednal wrote:
I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the iconic looks left-handed in that picture - hooray for the little details of inclusion!

Iconics sadly lack handedness (or are all ambidextrous) because they often need to flip art.

And I'm most interested in the Overwhelming Soul. I like playing characters with good Int and Cha and that sounds like the way to go for a Kineticist who meets those criteria. I'll have to have a look at what it gives up Burn for...

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The first episode is really slow, but that's sorta an inherent problem with the series premise.

If you're going to have a premise involving 'our eight main characters lives are changed profoundly by the events of this show' you have to show each of the eight having their normal life for at least a bit...and with eight of them, getting seven or eight minutes a piece of that (a very short time when you think about it) takes a whole episode.

The show really picks up after that, though. The second episode is a little slow, though not as bad as the first, but the third picks up a lot and the pace either maintains or speeds up from there.

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Rynjin wrote:
That's one of the weaknesses of the show. You don't really get any attachment to a lot of the characters and it's easy to forget some of them.

I disagree. At least for the main eight. You get to see enough of all their lives and who they are to get pretty invested in them. Debatably this is at the expense of more plot advancement, but I feel they do a pretty good job of making you like all eight of them.

Only a few non-members of the cluster get anything approaching similar treatment (Amanita, Hernando, Capheus's mother, Felix...maybe Daniela or Jonas), but the core eight certainly get enough screen time for most people to get invested by the end of the season.

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This is pedantic and off-topic, but Alain is actually LN, not CN. Just for the record.

On Topic:

Meligaster is awesome as a character, I am very pleased with his existence, and I kinda want to bludgeon him to death with a shovel.

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It's more the latter. Iconics are not necessarily 1st level characters, indeed, they're sorta 'Schrodinger's Characters' being every level simultaneously.

Also, Hakon tagged along and recorded things rather than actively participating for the most part, I think you could do everything in his backstory at 1st with some lucky rolls. Harsk is another matter, of course...

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thejeff wrote:

And from what I've seen, the way to change their viewpoints isn't to debate them or argue with them or anything like that. It's to let them meet different people and see that they're not monsters. Debate might change minds, sometimes. Finding out that their sweet little niece is a lesbian or that the nice young man who lives down the street is gay works much better. Not always, but far more often.

Or, in this case, that gay marriage is legal and all the horrors they've been told to imagine don't happen. Just like they haven't happened in any of the states where it's already legal.

The propaganda campaign will continue, but it's fooling less people year after year.

This is absolutely true. Debate is a much less effective tactic than this one. Of course, this one can be a bit hard to orchestrate, especially on a wide scale.

Basically, I see no reason why this strategy and debate are mutually exclusive.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I did not see this coming!

Ooh. That's really neat!

Go EEOC! :)

And yeah, as thejeff notes, the logic seems to be that if you're even paying attention to what gender they are in regards to their partner you're discriminating. So a company might be able to fire anyone who dated women, but if you only fire women who do it, that's clearly gender discrimination.

I have no idea if it will stand up either, but it should be interesting to see.

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Jessica Price wrote:

Not really.

First, I don't know that we need to "properly combat" homophobes on the "battlefield of ideas." I mean, what's the point? They've already lost everyone younger than the Boomers, and debate doesn't change people's minds. In fact, presenting people with facts that contradict a closely held belief actually makes them double down on the original belief.

Combat on the battlefield of ideas is primarily a spectator sport. It's not generally about convincing the particular person you're arguing with, but those witnessing the argument. And if you don't understand and impute untrue motives to the people you debate, you lose legitimacy even among those who otherwise agree with your major points.

I also think you're overly optimistic about 'anyone younger than baby boomers' being accepting. I'm under 30 and have met plenty of people my own age or younger who are pretty homophobic. I think you may be making unfounded assumptions about the opinions of everyone due to living in a primarily liberal community. I'd likely do the same, as I live in one as well...but I've lived in conservative communities as well. They're a very different place. I still remember being the only person in the room at a college event who believed in evolution...

There's certainly a majority support for LGBT rights in the younger generations, but it's not anywhere close to a consensus, and given the tendency of people of particular political ideologies to cluster, there are whole states where it's likely the minority.

And such clustering is actually part of the problem. If you and others casually dismiss one whole side of the argument as lying when it's clearly not as simple as all that, that actually increases that side's perceived legitimacy in the eyes of those who have dealt with it previously, and only widens the cultural divides between the different sides of the issue, which causes real problems in the long term, such as with the children of those people. Even if you hate your father and disagree with him utterly, if you know him to be honest as the day is long, it's hard to side with people who say he's not only wrong, but lying. Especially if the implication is that he's lying with a sinister agenda.

Assuming the opposition is arguing in bad faith when you lack evidence of such, while often true, is not a spectacularly useful assumption in debate, as those who already agree with you might agree with the accusation, but it'll alienate a very high percentage of people who don't agree or are neutral on the issue.

And refusing to understand the other side of the issue is a great way to 'Other' them and stop thinking of them as complex people with both good and bad points, which leads to all sorts of badness on a grand scale. I'm sure you personally wouldn't do this, but it's one of the major consequences of widely accepting the idea of not needing to understand the opposition. And one I'm really concerned about in our culture as a whole, and thus feel the need to argue against. I believe that it's vital we not lose sight of the basic humanity of our opponents and dismissing them as pointlessly malevolent without considering how and why they believe as they do is a great way to lose sight of that.

Jessica Price wrote:
The useful debates going on are between people who already agree that gay people deserve equal rights, but disagree about what that looks like or the best way to ensure it.

Those debates are certainly more productive, yes. Debates with people with really abhorrent views are more preventative than anything. Their purpose is to prevent people from believing that the abhorrent view is normal or acceptable, and to single out reasons why it isn't legitimate. In short, to keep people who observe the debate for falling for the aforementioned propaganda.

That's not progress as much as it is damage control, but it's still a good idea.

Jessica Price wrote:

Plus, I disagree with your assessment of their beliefs. I've known plenty of people who oppose equal treatment for LGBT people. I have some in my family. Their religious/political beliefs, as far as I can tell, aren't the cause of their disgust--they're the rationalization of it.

They may not be entirely honest with themselves, either, but they are being disingenuous.

That's...not how the term 'disingenuous' is used in general discourse. It's used almost exclusively for intentional dishonesty, not merely lying to yourself. I mean, I agree that a whole lot of the attitude taken by most homophobes is pure rationalization, but that doesn't make it disingenuous in that term's normal usage.

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Neurophage wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It seems to me that people like to point out Paizo employees making comments around the likes of "Martial characters can't do that, because it is physically impossible."
I actually have never seen that.
You don't remember that time a Paizo employee (I don't remember who. Maybe Jason B.) made a blog post about how their inability to catch a mouse in their hand after tying the cord to their wrist was proof that fantastically-skilled Gunslingers shouldn't be allowed to use weapon cords to shoot their guns multiple times in one full attack? Personally, my problem with the weapon cord nonsense is that I don't see a problem with them reloading their weapons even when their hands are full because reloading a pistol while juggling another is just stylish.

Uh...he was kidding. It was a throwaway joke, not the actual justification or reason for the change.

Just for the record.

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Nefreet wrote:
The Blog wrote:
Seltyiel debuts as a pregenerated character in volume 13 of Pathfinder.
Would anyone that owns this be willing to copy and paste his statblock into a PM for me? I'm working on making a character sheet for him.

That stat-block is gonna be for a Fighter/Wizard (and eventually Eldritch Knight) rather than the current Magus version, which might be a problem there depending on what you're aiming for.

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Belabras wrote:
Actually, what would an Inquisitor of Cayden be like? Some kind of brewmaster beer taster, quality inspector?

More likely an operative who does shady stuff like freeing slaves,hunting deserters, and fighting evil on the down-low. The Caydenites in 'The Patch Man' would be an excellent place for an Inquisitor, for example.

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Usual Suspect wrote:

Considering the threats, abuse, and bullying I went through growing up I'm not particularly sympathetic to the Religious Right on this subject. And what I experienced was very mild compared to too many people in our community. Members of our community are bullied until they commit suicide or are brutally attacked and killed on a regular basis. You don't hear about straight people committing suicide because a bunch of gay people harassed them for years; or gays setting up a straight person and leaving their dead body in a fence.

However, I agree that such behavior by people on our side is still not right. I just can't muster sympathy for the people that actually harm us anymore.

Entirely reasonable. I'm not especially sympathetic to homophobic people who get treated that way either (I'm admittedly more sympathetic to some other right wing people when they get attacked similarly), though as you note, such attacks remain wrong.

I'm not really trying to instill sympathy here, just point out the rationales behind their behavior and the reasons it's really not disingenuous per se.

One needs to understand how people view the world if one wants to change such viewpoints or properly combat them on the battlefield of ideas, after all.

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thejeff wrote:

See, you're right and wrong at the same time.

Yeah, a majority do believe it, but they believe it not so much because of the bullies on the left, but because there's an organized propaganda campaign dedicated to making them believe it.

I wouldn't dream of arguing that organized propaganda campaigns don't play a part. They most certainly do, and I never intended to imply otherwise.

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Jessica Price wrote:
Yeah, sorry, I have a hard time believing that they genuinely can't see the difference between not being allowed to control other people's behavior and being bullied. I think that some of them may not see the difference between someone telling them what they just said was homophobic or bigoted, and being bullied, but I can't believe on the larger scale--on the legal scale--that they genuinely believe anti-discrimination laws and initiatives are bullying.

Many of them think that homosexual behavior is fundamentally wrong and harmful on a profound level and that allowing it is deeply bad for both the people who do it and everyone around them. So...yeah, they do think that making that behavior more acceptable is bullying 'right-thinking' people who are merely trying to stop that immoral behavior.

They're wrong, of course, but it's a real attitude and needs to be understood to be combated properly.

To use an analogy:

What if the government suddenly passed legislation preventing, say, known drunk drivers from being prosecuted or discriminated against (like by having their license taken away, or being sent to AA) for their behavior? Would you be okay with that? Would it be acceptable that people doing something wrong were being told it was okay and you were suddenly treated as crazy and prejudiced for thinking that such behavior was morally wrong and harmful to both themselves and others?

Now, that's obviously not a good actual comparison as far as the behaviors go, given that drunk driving is actually deeply immoral for a host of reasons while being LGBT is not (and is debatably not even a behavior per se)...but it's an accurate summation of how many religiously homophobic people feel about homosexuality. They legitimately believe that it is both a morally wrong and deeply harmful behavior. Probably not as bad as drunk driving (depending on who you ask), but certainly in the same category of immoral, risky, and harmful behavior.

Given that belief, feeling that they're being attacked and bullied for a perfectly reasonable objection to immoral behavior is entirely understandable. Wrong, since the behavior isn't actually harmful, risky, or immoral, but understandable.

Additionally, many see it as a 'foot in the door' situation, and as an attack on their religious liberties. Those in that category think that they have a fundamental right and a religious duty to be bigoted and that legislation preventing this is actively immoral (for reasons gone into above) and a restriction of their ability to practice their faith on par with being told they can't legally donate money to their church any more or otherwise being forced not to practice important tenets of their religion (not being allowed to marry would, ironically, be a good example). And that since such a fundamental part of their religious belief is being outlawed, more such restrictions can and will inevitably follow.

And I noted, some of them really do get verbally attacked, not just get accusations of bigotry as such. Up to and including 'I'm gonna come to your house and murder you for what you just said' kinda attacked, and by people who are either LGBT or supporters. Whether that's bullying is a bit debatable, given power disparities involved, but it's certainly unpleasant and understandably makes them feel bullied. And feeling that way on a personal level is definitely gonna get them thinking in the right mindset to see people with the same attitudes applying them on a larger scale as a larger version of the same thing as the personal attacks on them.

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Jessica Price wrote:
My thoughts exactly. I'm increasingly having trouble as seeing it as anything other than intentionally disingenuous.

I've actually gotta strongly disagree with this. As Shadow Knight 12 notes, these people are (from their perspective) being attacked and are losing ground. They have less power than they did, and their ideas are widely decried as morally wrong or otherwise unacceptable.

From their perspective, they are being bullied.

This is only added to by the tendency of such people to participate primarily in discussions with those who already agree with them, creating something of an echo chamber effect and leading them to believe that their own ideas are far more widespread than they are. And if that's the case, they reason logically, many people must silently agree with them but be too scared of public censure to speak up.

So those people are clearly being bullied, too. That's not mostly true, but it's definitely part of their beliefs and the world view/narrative they subscribe to.

And finally, there's at least one level where they're right. There really are people on the left, especially on the internet, who bully people about all kinds of things, leaping on any perceived deviation from 'the right way to think' and accosting and threatening them in ways that are profoundly unpleasant and abusive. If you've been personally bullied by someone who supports gay rights, it becomes a lot easier to believe that there's a systematic pattern of such behavior going on, and one with a very specific agenda. Those who are most outspoken about their anti-LGBT beliefs are more likely to come in for this sort of thing, too (since even people who wouldn't normally engage in such behavior might be more inclined to do or accept others doing such things in what they perceive as retaliation), only reinforcing their own 'martyred for speaking the truth' victim narrative.

So many of the more outspoken among them likely have personally been attacked in unpleasant and unacceptable 'bullying' ways about their beliefs. Which is likely to make them much more inclined to believe that such things are the norm, and thus buy into the narrative/world view mentioned above. Heck, it even lets them point to evidence that such things happen, if done online or in some other venue with records.

With those three things working in concert, it's no wonder that many people with anti-LGBT beliefs feel under attack. And, indeed, they are under attack, and losing. Being under attack just doesn't inherently make one the victim, any more than a genocidal dictator fighting a defensive war to keep his hold on his people is the victim.

They're not in the right on the issues. At all. Not for a second. And the power imbalance between many of them and most of the people on the left more inclined to use bullying tactics makes saying they've been 'bullied' a rather inaccurate statement in most (though almost certainly not all) cases. But they're almost certainly sincere in their beliefs when they say that's what's happening, and there's even an element of truth in their statements.

So, calling them disingenuous is inaccurate, and likely to lead to wrong conclusions about who most of these people are and why they do what they do. At least, that's my impression as someone who tries very hard to view both sides of the political spectrum objectively and has spent a bit of time looking at the echo chambers the extremes on both sides of the so-called 'culture wars' tend to live in.

Obviously, some people (especially organizers of events like this) are gonna be a bit more savvy and may indeed be behaving disingenuously, but the vast majority? No, they really believe it. And even the savvy folks are likely to at least partially buy their own propaganda.

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Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Figured he already had it. That's usually not the sort of thing you can get on a short notice. The fact that he knew how to fire it accurately indicates he had at least cursory practise with it.

That's possible...except I don't think Felix knew he had it, and his family certainly did it, which just reinforces him having acquired it without his family at least.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Yeah, I suppose he can pick locks, now that you mention it. Strange why they bothered making a key for the diamond heist instead of picking the lock, though.

Time. Picking a lock takes longer than using a key. They almost ran out of time as it was, after all.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
As for the bit about finesse, one has to wonder how much of that was Felix's idea. In the funeral, he's the one that relishes in the idea of defeating the cousin, he was the one that made the key and had the fencing contacts for the diamonds, so the plan might've been his doing.

But Wolfgang was the one who was obsessed with the safe itself. I think the plan was definitely a group effort, but it certainly shows Wolfgang as capable of subtlety.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I think his uncle was pretty scared in the finale.

Sure. Imminent death will do that, regardless of the intimidation skills of the people involved.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
The reason Wolfgang doesn't intimidate anybody before that is that in order to intimidate, you must be in a position of power over the other person. Since Wolfgang's story is "the underdog", he's usually not in a position to intimidate anyone.

See, I disagree. Anyone can be intimidating from a position of power. I mean, think about it, when they've got a gun on you, almost anyone is scary. Where skill comes in is if the situation isn't that one-sided, where they're the underdog and they look at you and deliver a threat and you believe them about their ability to carry it out despite them being the underdog. That takes skill...and it appears to be a skill Wolfgang is mediocre at at best.

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Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I know Wolfgang can crack safes (I bet that's going to be a plot point in the show at least once), but I don't think he has that many connections anymore. Felix seems to be his main go-to guy for fencing and the like, and other connections might have depended on his family. He probably has a few connections of his own, but not that many.

Then where'd he get the rocket launcher? I mean...Felix wasn't available to help with that, it's not exactly an easy item to acquire, and his family didn't seem to know about it.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
He doesn't seem to have the traditional skills of a thief. He apparently relies on his key-making business rather than on lock-picking, Nomi probably knows more than him when it comes to bypassing security, and he doesn't seem to be type of guy who gets into air vents or dangles outside buildings. He's more of a thug than a thief, really.

Uh, his key-making business is otherwise known as 'being a locksmith'...the profession that also teaches you how to pick locks (Remember the woman he slept with? She called him because she locked her keys in her car). Nomi's definitely better at the software parts of electronic security, but as he displayed in the diamond heist, he's no slouch at physically disabling such systems. And he seems quite physically sneaky when he wants to. Re-watch the heist and compare how he stole the diamonds with how his cousin was going to. Wolfgang's version is pure finesse, while his cousin takes the thuggish route.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I do consider Wolfgang to be a good intimidator, actually. His ruthlessness and fearless bravado can make him very good at convincing people he has no problem hurting them to get what he wants (which is the talent Will invoked from him in episode 12).

The thing about that is that literally nobody is ever actually scared of Wolfgang. They certainly should be, but they aren't. Playing chicken, as he does in the finale, is far more about being fearless and willing to die than it is intimidation, and aside from that he never successfully intimidates anyone...leading me to believe he's bad at it.

Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
I wouldn't consider him charming, I think he has average social skills and exceptionally good looks, so he's used to letting his looks carry most of his social interactions.

I felt like he charmed Kala pretty well. That said, I don't really disagree. He's not great at social stuff, which was actually my point in the first place.

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