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Uzbin Parault

Derek Vande Brake's page

1,057 posts (1,097 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 aliases.


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Pan wrote:
What does being mildly corrupt entail?

Somewhat user-defined, but more on the darker side of neutral rather than actually evil.


Which is better - an honest and upstanding person, but who is clueless, and therefore advocates plans that won't work with the best of intentions; or a mildly corrupt person who knows things, and therefore advocates plans that will work, but for selfish reasons?

Person one will make things worse for everyone equally, thinking they are doing the right thing. Person two will make things a little better for everyone, and a lot better for themselves, knowing they are gaming the system to do it.


I built my own in Google Docs, and had my players use it for a campaign I was running. Keep meaning to update it but it worked pretty well - when I could get them to stop typing over formulas.


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chocobot wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I have always felt that a soldier or guardsman type character is best represented by the fighter class. I have had more than one character who was either military or ex-military. None of the other classes seem to fit the flavor of an infantryman quite so well.
vanguard slayer

Eh, strikes me as more the squad leader than the squaddie.


I have always felt that a soldier or guardsman type character is best represented by the fighter class. I have had more than one character who was either military or ex-military. None of the other classes seem to fit the flavor of an infantryman quite so well.


Shouldn't the Girdle of Opposite Gender be called the Girdle of Opposite Sex? I'm surprised the staff at Paizo kept the old name.


The racial adjustments, at least in this case, don't actually affect anything - whether using point buy or rolling, the stats are generated before racial modifiers.

Also, throwing out duplicate point buys won't affect averages, since point buys are not randomly generated. It's like if I was looking for the probability of rolling a 7 on 2d6. I know the values are 2 through 12; if I throw out an extra 7, the values are still 2 through 12. I only need one of each number to define the set of possible values.


Thank you, Scythia! Following that link I also found this: AnyDice
Really helpful!


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I never played, but once toyed with, a concept I called Bunny the Barbarian. She was the embodiment of all the "spoiled princess" behavior you can think of... unless she got pissed, in which case she was a titan of death.

"Eww, go down in that icky dungeon? There's like... dirt and stuff down there! It would totally ruin my cute dress!"

"What? Hit him? But I'd break a nail!"

"Oh... my... god... I had another episode. I'm covered in blood. Someone get me a washcloth, now! No, not *that* one, I can't wipe blood off with a blue cloth, it would totally clash with my outfit!"


I am reminded of the druid from Standard Action who fits that trope fairly well. He's a druid... who has allergies, and starts forest fires.


The core rules suggest a 10 point buy is "Low Fantasy", 15pb is "Standard Fantasy", 20pb is "High Fantasy", and a 25pb is "Epic Fantasy". And it got me wondering... of you were doing dice rolls for stats, how would you differentiate?

Does 4d6 drop the lowest correspond to a 15 point buy or a 20 point buy? What about 5d6 drop the lowest two? 2d6+6 - the "Heroic" method from the PRD?

So then I thought, it should be possible to determine the probabilities on a given roll mechanic, and if you calculate the point buy needed to achieve those scores you could get a weighted value, an "Expected Point Buy" for a given roll system.

The problem is, the lowest you can buy down to is a 7, while with most rolling systems you can, possibly, get a 3. So with the method above you could get an Expected Point Buy for the 2d6+6, but the others would have invalid values that you can't just ignore.

Another alternative is to generate all possible ability score arrays for a given point buy (not *quite* as big as you might think, since order doesn't matter and so some possibilities are duplicates) and then determine the probability that a given roll mechanism will determine that set. Here you could at least see which rolls are more likely for given point buys, but it still doesn't really tell you what the point buy equivalency for a given roll is.

So, other than extending the point buy table down to three, is there any other way to get an expected point buy value for various rolling methods?


As I recall, I once played a character in an Eberron game that was an atheist. In Eberron the gods don't interact with the world, really, and even heretics can gain power. You can be a CE cleric of a LG deity. Based on these, my character concluded that "divine" magic was simply a different kind of magic, but essentially the same as arcane magic with a few different rules. Finding evidence of this was his reason for adventuring, and going mystic theurge and gaining some of that class's abilities lent credence to his claims.

I think he was an archivist/wizard, rather than a cleric/wizard, but there is no reason he couldn't have been a cleric - I think the archivist was better thematically and SAD rather than MAD, but not the only way to do it.


DM_Blake wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
In what way is "I do not believe there is at least one deity" not equivalent to "I believe there is not at least one deity"?

Simple.

The first ("I do not believe there is at least one deity") is not affirming anything, it's simply refusing to accept one (of many) possibilities. The second ("I believe there is not at least one deity") is affirming a position that one possibility is likely to be true.

For example:

You and I are standing on the roof of a house. The ground is 10' below us. You say "I am going to jump. I believe I will break my leg".

Now, I can agree "I also believe you will break your leg".
Or I can disagree, rejecting what you said but not affirming anything "I do not believe you will break your leg".
Or I can disagree AND affirm a different possibility "I believe you will NOT break your leg".

Note that all three examples are talking about what I believe. I make no claim to KNOW what will happen and I'm definitely not speaking in absolutes. Merely what I believe is most likely to be true, or (in that middle case) what I simply do not believe while not expressing what might be true.

Okay. I legitimately do not see a difference between the second and third, but I will drop the subject so as not to derail the thread any more.


Rynjin wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:

Okay, so sketching close to Chris's warning, but I do have to ask because *terminology* is relevant here, and I am honestly seeking clarification, not trying to argue a point. I think I may be using a term differently...

In what way is "I do not believe there is at least one deity" not equivalent to "I believe there is not at least one deity"? Are you using belief as a claim of certainty? In that case, many religious people would technically be atheists. But if belief means to simply think there is a greater probability of something being true rather than not, then the two above are equivalent.

It's a matter of something not being equal and opposite to its apparent inverse.

Like...

Okay.

Someone says something that sounds sketchy.

You might say "I don't believe you."

That is not the same as saying "I believe you are lying."

The first is a statement of disbelief, unqualified, with no attempt at naming an alternative.

The second is a statement that you don't believe them AND ALSO you believe they have fabricated the tale.

See how the two are different?

"I don't believe" and "I believe <Contrary>" are not the same thing.

Is that the same relationship, though? I agree those two are not equivalent - you could believe they are crazy, or simply mistaken. However, isn't "I don't believe you" equivalent to "I believe you are incorrect"?

For example, if my friend says there is a purple unicorn in his kitchen, "I do not believe there is a purple unicorn in your kitchen," is not equivalent to, "You are lying about there being a purple unicorn in your kitchen." But the latter is also not equivalent to, "I believe there is no purple unicorn in your kitchen," which I see as equivalent to, "I do not believe there is a purple unicorn in your kitchen."


Okay, so sketching close to Chris's warning, but I do have to ask because *terminology* is relevant here, and I am honestly seeking clarification, not trying to argue a point. I think I may be using a term differently...

In what way is "I do not believe there is at least one deity" not equivalent to "I believe there is not at least one deity"? Are you using belief as a claim of certainty? In that case, many religious people would technically be atheists. But if belief means to simply think there is a greater probability of something being true rather than not, then the two above are equivalent.


I don't agree with Dawkins on much, but I do like the Dawkins scale, which holds seven positions:

1. Strong theist - this person is absolutely 100% sure there is a God. This is not an agnostic position, the person is claiming special knowledge.
2. De facto theist - this is my position on the scale, and I'd suspect that of Pascal. This person estimates the probability of there being some form of deity at much greater than 50%, but does not claim 100% certainty. It is thus an agnostic position, but the de facto theist will live their lives as though there was a god, rather than not.
3. Weak (or Leaning towards) theism - this person estimates there is a greater than 50% chance of there being a god, but not by much. It is an agnostic position with no claim of special knowledge. The person acts as though there is a god, but they are very uncertain.
4. Impartial - this person estimates there is exactly 50% chance for their to be a god or not. This likely doesn't actually exist in the populace at any point, though someone may bounce back and forth between 3 and 5 and average this over their life.
5. Weak (or Leaning towards) atheism - this person estimates there is a less than 50% chance of there being a god, but not by much. It is an agnostic position with no claim of special knowledge. The person acts as though there is no god, but they are very uncertain.
6. De facto atheism - This person estimates the probability of there being some form of deity at much less than 50%, but does not claim 100% certainty. It is thus an agnostic position, but the de facto atheist will live their lives as though there was no god, rather than so. This is, I think where Sanya (from the Dresden Files) is, and is likely where most atheists are.
7. Strong atheism - this person is absolutely 100% sure there is no God. This is not an agnostic position, the person is claiming special knowledge. There are plenty of atheists here.

Note that agnosticism/gnosticism is a claim about knowledge, not belief, as Dread Knight mentioned. Gnostics claim (or imply) special knowledge and certainty, and are associated with both 1 and 7 above. Agnostics do not make the claim of certainty, base their beliefs on estimates of probability, and can run the range from atheist to theist (2 through 6 above). In a sense, then, if we put agnosticism/gnosticism and atheism/theism on two axes (plural of axis, not axe) the above scale would form a horseshoe shape. Further, neither axis would represent moral behavior.

As to the original question, then, it seems to me that "standard" clerics would fall into the 1 category above, or at least very, very high probability levels of the 2 category. It seems reasonable to me that "atheist" clerics, who fall in the 7 category and the low, low probability levels of 6 could certainly exist. However, since their faith is literally in the absence of something, I think the only domain that really fits would be the Void domain... or perhaps simply domains important to that person particularly.


Holy thread necromancy Batman!

But while it is up... I'm not personally ready for PF2.0, but give it another few years... sure. The developers themselves said they were conservative with the changes to allow more backwards compatibility, and didn't do everything they wanted. Some of the stuff that is later books - including Unchained - really improves the core rules, and there are numerous items in the FAQ that could be addressed in core. Personally, I'd like to see more flexibility within classes so they covered more concepts, meaning less need for so many base classes. (While I like the advanced classes, I also feel a lot of them are close enough to core stuff that they could have been archetypes, especially given how many of the mechanics that make them different have been added to core class archetypes anyhow.)


master_marshmallow wrote:

Really, I am not too keen on adding too many more races since there is already a huge variety plus a race builder.

I think I would be more interested in seeing more expansions for existing races, like an entire book that gave the core races the treatment that the Blood of X line gives.

I also really want to see more racial feats, weapons, and spells to expand on things like weapon familiarity.

Expanding on the background rules for non core races from Ultimate Campaign would be good.

More bastard races like half-dwarves, half-gnomes, and quarterlings might be neat. Or a bastard race template.

I 100% would like to see Dragonborn, but I want to see it be compatible with all the Kobold draconic feats.

Absolutely want to see more stuff for Lizardfolk and Gnolls, crunch related stuff like the SGG releases, but not broken and ridiculous.

I actually did some of this myself.

Mostly this, for me. Expand on what is there already rather than a bunch of new stuff.

That said... half-lycanthropes, half-dopplegangers, and some kind of living construct race would be fun. ;-)
Wouldn't mind some kind of insect race, either.

OH! But my top choice... would be a process to easily REDUCE racial hit dice to zero. This wouldn't just make them suitable for player races, it would also give more flexibility in fitting certain monsters to different CR ranges. For example, the Ogre Mage is CR 8. I can't throw this at a party of level 2s. But if there was a 0HD Ogre Mage, I could add a few class levels of Magus to make it CR 2 (or 3, or 4...) or add even more to make it the original CR 8, or even make it higher without having to work with both racial and class HD.


They were actually in an airship and crashed on a mountain. Overnight, the entire world flooded. (Planar breach to elemental plane of water for example.) The island is the top of the mountain - any other mountains as high would have created their own islands. Most of the world is underwater, and probably dead or aboleth slaves.


13. Fighter


So after I deep search of Golarion deities, I found this one.

Is there any more info about Kelinahat outside Chronicle of the Righteous? Perhaps a paladin/rogue prestige class to go with? ;-)


Good question!

In real life, I have sometimes thought that if I were pagan rather than Christian, I would likely worship Athena primarily, but not exclusively.

The same would be true if I believed in Golarion deities - I would worship one primarily, but also give some service to a few others. After an exhaustive search based on domains I feel important to me, I think the primary one would be Kelinahat, the Archon Empyreal Lord of Spies, Stealth, and Intelligence.


Some of that logic is what allowed early access to classes like Mystic Theurge which has since been retconned, I believe.

Even Augment Summoning, as Melkiador posted, applies affects to the summons, not to the spell-like ability, so it isn't that strong a precedent.


http://www.polygon.com/2015/4/22/8470473/dungeons-dragons-virtual-tabletop- fantasy-grounds

Just heard about this. I had heard of Fantasy Grounds, though I prefer Roll20 myself. Definitely puts a feather in WotC's cap, though.

I can't help but wonder if, as much as Paizo wants Game Space, partnering with someone else is really the way to go here...


Kthulhu wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Wasn't there a porn star who took up Pathfinder and joined the forums some time back? I remember everyone arguing that she wasn't really who she claimed to be and demanding proof it was her... Jenny something?

Jenny Poussin, and the behavior towards her was less than stellar.

Also, removed a few posts—let's keep this on topic, thanks.
In fairness, I'd wager that anyone claiming to be a pseudo-celebrity would get that kind of treatment, not just a porn star.

Maybe, except she provided a lot of proof, at which point people started questioning her motives for joining. "You aren't a real RPG player, you are just trying to exploit people rabble rabble rabble!" And I'd wager there was also a lot of creep factor.


In 3.5's Complete Arcane, pg. 139 begins a short section (about a page and a half) on spellbooks, which can include unusual sizes or pages (including metal foil). Ultimate Magic expands further on this.

I can't find it, but I distinctly recall some source - either 3.5 or PF - that gave tattooing spells as an explicit option of wizards, listing off the equivalent pages each part of the body could hold. It was less than a standard spellbook but useful in that you can't lose it. (If someone rips all your skin off, arguably losing your spellbook is the least of your problems!) Of course, reading a spell off of your own back may be problematic. Perhaps the rest of the party would lend you their own skin?


Let's try and get a list of 101 ideas for 101 X threads!

1. 101 Worst Mistakes to make as a GM


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Well, when a mommy trait and a daddy trait love each other very much...


Anybody ever heard of the Dark Tetrad? Four personality traits? It includes narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

It is possible to play and evil character focusing on the first two and be somewhat party friendly. So no, evil characters don't have to enjoy kicking animals just for the laughs. On the other hand, within the range of "evil characters" some WILL be sadistic, and WILL kick animals for the laughs.

(Internet trolls tend to score very high on tests of sadism, btw.)

As for chaotic neutral...

PRD wrote:
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

Playing CN doesn't mean you sometimes act evil and sometimes don't. If you are acting evil, that would make you CE. And in a game I was running, I would rule a character who consistently behaved in an evil fashion to change his alignment, with any consequences that may entail.


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I have never had a problem with players drinking my milk without permission. Or with me doing it.

In all seriousness, out of all the groups I have gamed with I have seen or had very little problem with good host or guest behavior. I think the most egregious violation was my own young stupidity when, after seeing another player bringing his dog to the hosts' house every game session, I decided to bring my cat. They were good sports about it, and most of the disasters were pain on my end, so I quickly learned my lesson and they didn't need to tell me not to do it again.

Dogs can, with permission, be fine companions at a game session. Cats, not so much.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Wasn't there a porn star who took up Pathfinder and joined the forums some time back? I remember everyone arguing that she wasn't really who she claimed to be and demanding proof it was her... Jenny something?

Jenny Poussin, and the behavior towards her was less than stellar.

Also, removed a few posts—let's keep this on topic, thanks.

That's not cricket!

We have people from very diverse occupations here, truly sad it went that way.

Reason to boot a player: chronic tardiness. Had to do it alas, but I wasn't nearly as bad as another dm, who would kill their character (hilariously and ignominiously) if they said they were coming and didn't. Fuzzy npc land didn't exist in his game, lying about coming carried the penalty of character death.

I'd allow the ape, if he had rudimentary roleplaying skills, he knew which dice to roll and took care of his own sheet.

122 (I think). Objectification of other players based on occupation... or any other attribute, for that matter.


Think of it more like a combat maneuver - normal usage has an effect but provokes an AoO. Get the improved version and you can do a better effect and avoid the AoO.

Just be glad it doesn't require Combat Expertise or Power Attack!


Wasn't there a porn star who took up Pathfinder and joined the forums some time back? I remember everyone arguing that she wasn't really who she claimed to be and demanding proof it was her... Jenny something?


Noting that this is a General Pathfinder RPG thread rather than in the Golarion specific forum, I should point out...

Some systems do allow for greater variation. For example, Eberron has very hands-off deities, and even clerics can be more than one alignment step away and still get power. (In fact, the head of a particular LG religion is, in fact, LE - though he avoids his own paladins.) It comes down to interpretation a lot more. So this really has to do with campaign setting and table rules. In regards to the OP's original question, RAW paladins do not have to follow a LG deity. But if you have been playing in a campaign setting where the GM has established only a LG deity will accept and empower paladins, your group is still not wrong.


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Castilonium wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.
There's no correlation here, you're trying to compare two different things: Comfort with playing evil, and need for nuance in morality. It almost sounds like you're hypothesizing that in order to enjoy playing evil, someone needs to lack a certain degree of maturity, morality, or discernment. Obviously that's not the case, because evil doesn't lack depth. Evil characters can just be as complicated and nuanced as neutral or good ones. People in this thread like DM Blake in post #92 have given stellar examples of evil characters with three dimensional personalities.

That is not at all what I said. I don't equate "evil" with "two-dimensional". At worst my hypothesis might suggest that different motivations and styles of roleplaying lend themselves to different moral outlooks.


This thread makes me want to play Civilization again.

Or Alpha Centauri, but I can't get it running on my comp...


Seranov wrote:
...because nearly every Good-centered campaign has a scapegoat race of demi- or sub-humans that get painted as the bad guys and then slaughtered outright, for the good of humanity. Orcs, trolls, goblins, kobolds, etc.

I can't help but wonder if there's a real-life element of alignment here. Most people are neutral, rather than good aligned. People like to see themselves as good, but most of us are not. So when we play good characters, do we drift away from it?

I don't enjoy campaigns where race X is inherently evil. If I'm attacking goblins/orcs/kobolds/trolls/whatever in a campaign, it is because of something they actually did in game, not because of what they are.

I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.

And ultimately, I wonder if the latter group would, under D&D rules, be described as Good while the former group would be Neutral. That's not an accusation or judgment, just a curious hypothesis.


Castilonium wrote:
I'll just leave this here

Thanks. You just cost me two hours of my life. :-P


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Should I just not bother at all? :I

Having had this idea myself, I think you should run with it, but start with a smaller population.

Remember that humanity went from ape-like beings little more than animals without agriculture or tools, to the civilizations of today. Starting naked with nothing is not an impossible task, it is just difficult. And while the arguments against a large group are valid - we were able to achieve such large groupings precisely because of agriculture and the ability to feed so many - a smaller group is still sustainable. Couple this with the fact that they at least have the knowledge of technology, if not ready access to it, and they have a distinct advantage.


Was Hades even evil at all? I mean, granted he didn't really like his posting, but he still tried to do a good job at it. Created paradise for the good people and torments for the bad. I'd say he was really lawful, probably a bit dispassionate, but not evil.


Is Koko a typical gorilla?

Human IQ, by definition, has a 100 mean. Average IQ is 100. If you take one gorilla, who might be a supergenius among her kind, and show that she *might* have an IQ one or two standard deviations below the average toddler, that doesn't argue sapience of gorilla-kind very well to me.

Soilent wrote:
Does it not occur that non-human species may actually think and function in fundamentally different ways from Humans?

Sure. That's quite reasonable. And I'd argue, exactly what makes humans superior. We think and function in ways that allow us to advance, both individually and collectively. We develop new models and apply them. We learn from the world around us and apply that knowledge to improve things. We develop concepts of morality.

If group A contains the characteristics of group B and then moves beyond it, while group B never obtains the characteristics of group A, and if those added characteristics are good, then yes, group A is superior. Animals at best operate at the level of very young humans. For the most part, humans operate at that level, and then move beyond it to higher levels of thought - the concrete and then formal operational stages. Animals never do. So in terms of thought process, humans are superior.

EDIT to add: I have been getting my certification as a teacher, and much has been made about the stages of childhood development... but also on setting high expectations. I admit I could be wrong, and as far as I know nobody has ever *tried* to train an animal at the concrete operational stage, let alone the formal one.


Establish a system of laws and property ownership. Let resource allocation be determined by a competitive market mechanism.


The Laughing Man wrote:
Or simply say that everyone's point buys begin from 10 not 8.

Uh, point buy already begins from 10, not 8. You can buy it down to 8 and get extra points, but if you put 0 points into a score you'll have a 10.


Healing a despoiled land seems like a good need for the fleece. Who says only animals could become undead? If the effect worsens, what happens if trees, and grass, and crops start becoming undead? Wouldn't even need to be mobile, just crops rotting and trees producing spoiled fruit create a problem all their own. Stores of grain suddenly provide no nourishment. How long do they have to find the Golden Fleece before the land starves - providing yet more corpses for the enemy to use?


Honestly, the issue of whether there are entities allowing it is immaterial to the rules.

Pathfinder RPG does NOT require the Golarion campaign setting. Other settings may have deities that DO allow both subdomains. I'm in an Eberron game now that uses PF. Further, some classes can get a domain without worship of a deity, even in Golarion. Druids spring to mind. So a druid without a deity could (assuming this concept is even allowed) take the Water domain, apply both Ice and Rivers to it, and be good. Even though no deity grants both.


What if you get a discount? If you can buy Onyx at 20% off, do you need to buy 25% more of it?


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
IQ-wise, gorillas, dolphins, and even some parrots might be as smart as a typical human.

Umm... no. While these animals (and chimps, and possibly elephants, pigs, and giant squid!) are highly intelligent compared to the animal average, it is really reaching to say they are as smart as a typical human.

Maybe as smart as your typical fan of the Kardashians, but not your typical human.

In any case, I wouldn't say you have to be evil to reanimate dead. Nongood, sure, but not evil. Especially if you stick to mindless undead like skeletons and zombies, and keep them firmly under your control.


Goth Guru wrote:
112: For animating a dead horse, if they were told they are not allowed to play an evil character.

Who says this must be an evil character? :-D


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I had always assumed this was not possible, but in reading this thread it makes total sense that it would be. And wouldn't really be unbalanced, either.

EDIT:

Dekalinder wrote:
I thought for something to be allowed must have been specified within the rules? When did pathfinder become a prohibitive ruleset instead of a permessive one?

I was about to make a comment on why this was the wrong way to think of it, but I realized all the counterexamples were stuff being done by characters. In terms of stuff being done by players, this is an excellent point - generally, you can't use mechanics unless the game says you can. While archetypes explicitly allow you to do so, subdomains are explicitly not archetypes, even if they function very similarly.

So I half retract my position - I would agree you cannot by RAW. But as a GM, I would allow this in my home game.


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As an attempt to bring this thread back onto the tracks...

108. Showing up for the game session in just your boxers, because we are all friends here, right?

Edited to renumber!

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