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Belzken Monk

Dreaming Psion's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 1,058 posts (1,167 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 18 aliases.


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54.getting audited by an IRS* Auditor Devil
*Infernal Revenue Service
55. The Random Wandering Murderhobo chart is killer.
56. Local Monster's Union calls for a strike and all your minions join in.
57. Some Random Mad Wizard has already laid a claim to the dungeon.
58. The inlaws are coming to visit.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My guess would be because it's safer to make something a feat than a mechanic because there's less of a potential backlash (it may be perceived that a feat could be disregarded more easily than a mechanic) and because it's probably easier to balance a feat than an entirely new mechanic. You have to give up something in order to get to it.

3.X/PF is an exception-based system with an implicit methodology that you need a specific mechanical "token" of some kind in order to do something that's beyond the norm. Feats are one of the easiest such tokens to quantify outside of class, race, etc.. Part of the theoretical balancing of feats is feats chains, in making more desirable feats you must take less desirable in order to get the feats you want (for a possible example: see "Deceitful" above. It's part of the strategy in character building side of the game.

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963. Darkmoon Vale has its own calendar marked by the amount of time since the last siege of Falcon's Hollow.

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I'm finding a few details of the events a bit vague, so I think some clarification might be useful

MyPCsCommitSuicide wrote:

I currently run a homebrew campaign with 6 PCs, one of which is a paladin. The main goal of the campaign is to travel to the center of an area of magical corruption and try to put a stop to it. Nobody knows what causes the corruption, and it is spreading quickly.

In their endless quest to completely ignore the main plotline, they managed to go on a plane-hopping adventure.

Are you saying "in their endless quest..." in a tone of humorousness/lightheartedness or a mood of annoyance?

(I ask because it's hard to read tone on the internet)


The paladin stepped up.

The paladin entered the demon's tent, arms crossed and head full of "I'm so g!%$%!n good there's no way this demon can pull one over on me"-ness and asked what the demon wanted.

Did the player say something equivalent to "there's no way this demon can pull one over on me"?


The demon simply said he wanted to show the paladin something, and that all he required was that the paladin place his hands on the same table the demon was. The paladin obliged. The demon showed him a battle that would take place in the future and how to stop it. But that wasn't all he did.

Now the paladin sees "Holy" golden light on areas and people of interest, actually caused by the demon, whom the paladin allowed into his mind.

By allowing the demon into his mind, are you referring to when he put his hands on the table? Was it more explicitly stated that he was allowing the demon into his mind?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What about a Fighter with the Martial Master and Mutation Warrior archetypes (from the Ultimate Class Guide)? The former would allow you to rotate some feats, and the latter would let you have mutagen and eventually some related discoveries of your choice.

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Hellknights like to emulate hell mostly because they like its edginess.

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Sounds like a bit of an anxious situation, due at least in part to out of game issues. What does your GM say about the situation?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Falxu wrote:

Good people pay for the now and get rewarded in the afterlife.
Evil people get rewarded now and pay for it in the afterlife.

Abraxas and Furcas would beg to differ. So would the various Good gods/celestial lords of joy and sensual fulfillment. Self-sacrifice of some degree or another is frequent tool to reach good, but it in and of itself is not necessarily good. An evil cultist may sacrifice her life, wealth, etc. for her evil cause; this does not make it Good.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Towns of the Inner Seas (Pathfinder Campaign Setting) has an updated version of Falcon's Hollow.

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the Swamp Thing effect: the character was actually killed, but his body was consumed by plantlife/scavengers, whom somehow created a new consciousness with his old memories.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Since this is in the Dungeon section, I'll emphasize Dungeon villains

Viktor Saint-Demaine is the quintessential champagne villain. All of his nasty tricks really suckerpunched my players in the trilogy of Dungeon adventures he appears in. Plus it was great hamming things up in his dialogues with the PCs.

The trio of hags from

Dungeon 137, "Man Forever". Gaslighting an entire community to bring down its retired adventurer ruler is pretty epic.

The bitter, old

Lady Auraluna Dromdal from Dungeon 128 "Shut-In"
, because of all the horror she brings about for such ho-hum reasons. She's the epitome of petty evil. It had one of the PCs almost give up his "no killing humans" vow.

Vecna and his cult. Such iconic imagery, yet so versatile. Plus secrets also lends itself to manipulation and intrigue.

Bargle. 'Nuff said.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Entryhazard wrote:

That doesn't really counter my point, as this is exactly how the Psychic with the Faith Discipline works

Actually, you have to to choose a deity to follow to get the faith discipline. Further, it is one's own faith, not the faith of a collective belief that might empower the clric as some nonanthroporphic philosophy or force. The psychic is about establishing faith through empowering of the intellect, rather than tapping into the wisdom of the ages. Prayers and holy symbol function as connections to the wellspring of divine or faith power the godless cleric draws from. With the faith psychic, it is purely from the mind.

(Since this is a discussion on "why magic works", I'm leaving aside practical issues like some games not wanting to use Occult Adventures and godless clerics being around for a much greater time than psychics with the faith discipline.)

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Clone blues: Only tissue sample on hand was from when the character was much younger.

Death/Rebirth: The character died and somehow reincarnated into a new form with his old memories but not old skills intact. (Samsaran perhaps? Finding some weird sensory crystal device that game her back her memories from her previous life? Pass-life regression hypnosis?)

An Act of the Gods: the character was thoroughly corrupt as a wizard, and either begged his god to be transformed into something new or the transformation was an affliction created by the gods to punish the character.

Parasitism: The character's brain or soul has been partially eaten away by an unusual form of parasite, thus undoing much of the character's wizardly skills.

Retraining gone wrong: a glitch happened in the system with whatever process you use to explain the retraining mechanic.

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You may want to check out the Kingmaker Adventure Path and/or Ultimate Campaign for ideas on this.

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How about a faulty clone or a simulacrum that somehow gained full sentience and the ability to progress but at the cost of most of its XP levels?

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Haven't used it so much as source mined it for a homebrew steampunk world. I'm using the Darkmoon Vale and choice bits about the ancient Azlanti and Thassilonian societies like the shards of sin.

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My players thought that the hall of inventions (forget the proper name of it, but the one with all the lumber yard equipment) was really horrific. So much that they burnt it to the ground even after the fey inside it were dispatched. So you may want to have a reaction ready from Thuldrin Kreed. I think that was how I roped them into doing Revenge of the Kobold King.

Also, the scenario is really helped if you've established or will establish the hostile politics between the fey and the lumber company. A Guide to Darkmoon Vale can be helpful with this. Other adventures that might serve as good sequels include the Dungeon module Wingclipper's Revenge (Issue 132) and Pathfinder Society Scenario #43 (the Pallid Plague).

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Could be a god of innovation or rediscovery no matter what the cost. Continued wayward expansion to always promote a pioneering/independent attitude. Trade can also promote ever-changing dynamics/change in culture as ideas and civilizations come into conflict with each other. Such a deity may also support the destruction of old traditions and other social mores in the name of restrictionless trade, social progress, or even a Social Darinian survival of the fittest.

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The only time I can think of a rogue being the BBEG of a module is basically one where he functioned as a spellcaster (as in, had a lot of scrolls and just burned through them like no tomorrow).

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I like the hypocrisy of druidic liches. Ones who have become so "attuned" to or protective of the natural world that they feel the need to transcend it.

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Baval wrote:
My group once had an encounter generator roll up a Lich Camel. We ran with it.

Which encounter generator was this? Please tell us!

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Fun fact: before the spell-like ability errata ruling out SLAs counting for preqs, the lowest CR lich that I could find was a barbazu/Bearded Devil. (greater teleport at 12th level, CR 5 base +2 template= CR 7). The lowest CR lich I can think of now is a kobold adept 11 (CR 9 base - 1 kobold +2 template = 10).

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Follow up on the Dragon issue: Dragon 323 p. 92, one of the "Winning Races" articles, has one version that is a brutal/degenerate version and an enlightened, oracular version. Both are Medium sized.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You could do like how they countered the negative slime in Ghostbusters II and let them somehow counteract the negative emotions a haunt evokes with some display of positive emotions. (Example: blaring out upbeat music, hosing them down with slime charged with positive emotions, or using some kind of Charismatic Hero ability). For a more rules based approach, I think think that haunts-created effects are considered mind-affecting fear effects, so abilities that function against mind-affecting or fear effects can usually work against the direct effects of a haunt.

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There was a cyclops-like race back in the days of Dragon Magazine for 3.5. I don't recall what issue it was in though.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As much flack as monks get, if you were interested in doing a greco-roman style wrestler you could certainly do worse than a Tetori.

Edit: A bard or other performance inclined character could work for Orpheus. You'll probably have to look around for one of the more esoteric sort of archetypes.

While not Greek heroes per se, you could go off the beaten path and make some kind of oracle like the Oracles of Delphi.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zhangar wrote:

I can accept the vast majoriy of Great Old Ones and Outer Gods as Chaotic Evil - they aren't stupid. They know the "lesser races" are sapient people. Nyarlathotep especially.

And they still want to engage in xenocide against the rest of the multiverse.

Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth are rather incompatible with non-aberrant mortal life, but they aren't actively hostile.

Their compatriots are outright hostile, and view the "lesser races" as an infestation to feed upon and/or destroy.

There's a lot of overlap between the Great Old Ones and the Qlippoths.

I wonder if the Qlippoths were the Great Old Ones of their original reality.

This is why I'm reluctant to really call a lot of how the Lovecraftian stuff is commonly used as truly "alien", "indifferent", or "beyond morality". Stuff like hunger, exploitation, and xenophobia are pretty human (or at least terrestrial). And for creatures that are supposedly indifferent to humanity, these alien beings seem to truly have a perchance for eating us, extracting our brains, or just generally coming in and wrecking the joint.

A lot of the time it seems to me that supposedly alien beings are just another kind of Bug Eyed Monsters, albeit with a different motivation of eating you, driving you insane, etc. And the motivation can be largely academic in play.

I'll be waiting to see how Paizo plays this one out though. I hope they provide some foundation for ideas to make the aberrations act and think different from other threats.

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John J Lynch Jr wrote:

Sodden Lands / Eye of Abendego

Mwangi Expanse – gorilla king

The gorilla king already appears in the Serpent's Skull AP.

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Cairn wight zen archers, rapid fire arrows delivering 1 negative level per round, advanced template stacked with already good dex and modifiers for class levels. Possibly include a caster that could dispel wind walls, etc.

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If you don't mind converting from 2e, I would suggest the various "Children of the Night" Ravenloft books (The Created (Ghosts, Golems, Vampires, Werebeasts) as they are the closest equivalents I can think of that I have any familiarity with. Each book has 13 NPCs of the corresponding type and a short adventure featuring that NPC. Some of them are really short and could use some GM elaboration, but most of them have a fair amount of RP to them. You can get pdfs of most of them on rpgnow drivethrourpg or

Modules that I've ran that include a fair amount of RP include the espionage/sabotage heavy Tower of the Last Baron (LB 1, also has a sequel LB 2 but I don't recall that one has quite as much RP potential) and the high society investigation Gallery of Evil

An adventure path volume that strikes me as fairly RP heavy would be the Sixfold Trial (Council of Thieves), since you're enacting a (quite deadly) play.

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The War of the Skies adventure path! Aerial combats, dirigibles, gryphon riders, cloud castles, dwarven Sky Citadels, etc.

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Reading over the flying cloud castle last chapter of Giantslayer reminded me about the flying pyramids in the last chapter of Mummy's Mask. And then a great idea popped into my head, a game with flying pyramids vs. cloud castles!

It might be fun to put the Giant Cloud Castle at the end of Mummy's Mask or the flying pyramids at the end of Giantslayer, or maybe just a whole new game with an assumption that these things exist. Heck you could even throw in some resurgent dwarven Sky Citadels should you want to.

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Adapting the play from the Council of Thieves volume, the Sixfold Trial might work as a centerpiece for the event. You could have Ironbriar try to make sure the participants (and possibly the audience?) meet nasty ends as it plays out.

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159) A cleric of Sivanah has masked himself as one of the "priests" of Razmir. While pretending to teach his flock the ways of Razmir, he has actually been slipping in the teachings of Sivanah into his pupils lessons. So much that his apprentices (unknowingly) worship Sivanah enough that she is able to grant them divine spells.

The cleric's apparent success in creating "Razmiran" priests has made him a target of suspicion by the true Razmiran "priests". However, if Razmir objects to the cleric's actions, he has not deigned to interfere.

The cleric is for the moment conducting a grand experiment in how far misdirected faith can go in bringing divine energy into this world. His ultimate goals beyond that are unknown.

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Have you looked at the Pact Magic Unbound stuff by Radiance House? Although there's probably some overlap with the Occult Adventures, there seems to be a lot of good stuff there. If you were a fan of the Binder from 3.5 Tome of Magic, I'd definitely recommend looking at this stuff.

It might be a neat gimmick to have your Occultist (Pact Magic Unbound Occultist, dunno about the one in Occult adventures), to make pacts with the spooks the other guys capture. (There's a bunch of spirits you can look at for ideas in the various Pact Magic Unbound books)

Anachronistic Adventurers (by Rogue Genius Games) has some generic hero classes that might also work. Each class (the tough, the daredevil ,the investigator, etc.) has his own specific thing he's good at with a list of recommended archetypes, but the classes are designed as such that any modern class is able to take any modern archetype. There's also a few subsystems in several of the PDfs (rules for making vehicles by templating pathfinder creatures, investigation, rules for SCIENCE! inventions, feats you can take for dodge bonuses in a less magical environment, etc.) The classes generally seem on the lower tiers power wise, but they were meant to be used with the Pathfinder RPG (as modern man sent back in time to a fantasy world, for example).

And Carrion Crown #1 (Haunting of Harrowstone) does indeed have a cache of ghostbusting items (and even a magical ouija board) in it. Excellent source inspiration too.

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A tiger/other exotic animals or mounts
Fancy clothes
False identification documents
Adamantine dagger (surprisingly good at cutting through doors, might be a bit expensive though)
Some of those weird holy symbols from ultimate equipment
a mirror
holy water
Smoke arrows
other special kinds of arrows
A house
Magnifying glass

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Carrion Crown has the Haunting of Harrowstone. It starts in Ravengro, a fairly small backwoods town. The people there are not friendly at all (rampant paranoia of Ustalav), so take that into consideration. But if you need some horror hooks it might be worth a gander. The prison could make for an interesting site to plop down. Definitely a lot of nifty back story, etc. to it.

Giantslayer 1 (Battle of Bloodmarsh Hill) is there if you like orky things. Has a bit of unexpected subterfuge at the beginning too. May or may not work for you as it's basically a prelude to a war-type campaign. The adventure takes place in Trunau and the surrounding environs.

Some Dungeon adventures from a quick check of my pdfs:
#87 (Valley of the Snails, Hulvin (village), 3.0 D&D)
#91 (3.0 D&D)
Bogged Down
The Legend of Garlthulga
#96 (3.0 D&D)
"Hollow Threats", Fogly (hamlet), sidetrek adventure with a bunch of orcs riding around in a hollowed out dead dragon turtle
#124 (3.5 D&D)
The Whispering Cairn (first part of Age of Worms), Diamond Lake (it is a LITERAL small town by the classification, Diamond Lake also gets a town backdrop article)

You can peruse through here to find more first level adventures: Pathfinder Adventure Finder.

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(said by one ghoul to the other) "Pass me another cold one!"

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

58. Have a wild/primal mage of sufficient power pretend to be the goblin god of cooperation and territory.

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57. Split them into groups of three. Allow two goblins to decide among themselves who gets to torture and kill the third, bound goblin.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm seeing a bit of a contradiction here that puzzle me.
On the one hand, you want them to care about the world (and presumably, the NPCs)

H2Osw wrote:

one player who married Shalelu, who is now pregnant, and is having complications is seeking medical help,

But on this issue, you seem to be getting irate at someone seeking aid for an NPC they care about.

It seems like you've gotten at least one player to care about Shaelu. How might you take what you did to get the players' interest in that NPC and apply it to getting them more interested in the world?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They might also be threats (or at least nuisances) in indirect ways, like filching belongings or horses tied to the entrance of a dungeon. Creating large fires or other natural disasters the PCs have to deal with could be another possibility. They can also strike at friends and hirelings of the PCs (though don't use this one too ofter).

Sometimes it may be about timing. After the group has taken on a major opponent and just about been beaten to a pulp, they might come out like jackals and swarm the survivors not bleeding out or maybe just make off with the dead bodies.

Diseases, have them carry some horrible (supernatural?) plague or other affliction that doesn't have a DC based on the creature, preferably fast-acting. Might be worse if they can quickly create spawn among normal commoners, then you have something approaching exponential growth.

Using the mob template (from DM2 3.5) might be an option, or use some version of the Troop subtype (from Rasputin Must Die! AP volume)

Another thing might be to have them not be the threat, but the thing that unleashes the threat, like in their pilfering they unleash some ancient horror or some such by accident.

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Volume 1 of Rise of the Runelords is goblins, which proceeds to lead up to evil cultists, ghouls, and ogres in volume 2-3. You can get the compiled version of that AP in the Annual Edition; it's updated from 3.5 to PF.

Giantslayer 1 starts with orcs and then moves up to ogres and giants.

You could probably take the first one or two volumes of an AP and use it to lead into Red Hand of Doom

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There's probably a continuum between total free-form and total dice mechanics. Think about where on that continuum your group is at, think about where you're at, and think about where you'd like both to be. how might you adjust on both sides to meet at a happy middle?

For example, somewhere on the continuum between freeform and rolling there's probably figuring out what you want to say more than rolling a skill, and then rolling it to see how you say it (phrasing, eloquence etc.) So that if you slip or stammer, the important thing is coming up with a good idea to convince, persuade, or intimidate whomever you're talking to. Sense Motive and doing your homework (researching your target in other ways like looking through archives, searching through homes, etc.) might help inform you about what your target might react to or want to hear.

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201. Search for traps on a door/make a find traps check, and then proceed to open the door from the next room over with a rope "just to double-check their work".

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Dragon78 wrote:

City focused(maybe)

I would peg this as unlikely, since it seems like Hell's Rebels will have a large city/intrigue focus already.

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LazarX wrote:

The spell is a 10 foot emanation centered on the caster. Doesn't work he way you'd want it to for that trick.

What if you cast Magic Jar first and then Antimagic Field while inhabiting the body of the barbarian or other martial?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is one of those gray areas where, if I was gming, I wouldn't make an insta- fall either way. Maybe a loss of a single ability until atonement, or a severe message of displeasure from the god the pally follows with a demand of atonement, depending on the circumstances, but probably not an insta-fall. The biggest thing I'd think I'd be looking for is, if a wrong decision has been made, whether the paladin tries to make up for it and repent rather than continuing down the same old trail and repeating old sins.

A couple of things to consider that might modify the situation. Has the paladin sworn an oath of personal fealty to the Queen? If so, he may have a Lawful obligation to follow her. Also, what were the terms of the surrender? If it was an unconditional surrender, the younger brother may not get a choice of demanding a trial- depending on how the terms of unconditional surrenders interact with the laws on moot trials. OTOH, if it was a conditional surrender of trial, then the paladin would be lying if he didn't give the guy the trial.

Someone earlier mentioned the potential fall-out for the Queen should she have her brother executed in cold blood without a trial. If the paladin has objections to unfairly executing the prisoner, then it might be wise to counsel her from a vantage point benefiting her well-being. It could be argued that by being obedient in this case it would actually be disloyal because the paladin might be against her needs if not her wants. The paladin could be especially influential on her if she follows the same god as the paladin and the paladin communes with his god and discover's the god's displeasure at the action.

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Turin the Mad wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Resource scarcity would be a welcome change of pace.

With optional rules on scarcity: conjure food/water not working, same with sustenance style items, long range teleportation blocked, scrying minimal, endure elements minutes/level or reduced effect, focus on preparation. Without making it a tedious checklist. Using those knowledge nature, engineering, survival, track.

Now that would be an off the beaten path AP.

One that sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. Especially with all the reboot films making the rounds, time to queue up some Road Warrior/Beyond Thunderdome/Fury Road and get to it!

Making skills other than Disable Device, Knowledge and Perception of significant value in an AP. I like it.

However unlikely this sort of thing might happen, I would surmise that it would take place in either the Mana Wastes (probably far from Alkenstar) or some backwoods/cursed region of Rahadoum.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another thing to consider with this scheme is, why would a god be pleased with a cleric going around with a group the deity didn't think was serving its interest in the first place?

Presumably, the cleric is advancing his deity's interests one way or another, and the party is therefor by proxy a tool to get those interests served. There's two ways of serving a deity, one is of faith, and one is of service. The latter need not necessarily be conscious or willing. So then why would the deity want to sacrifice the latter (service) in the favor of the former (faith)?

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