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Erik Mona

Erik Mona's page

Publisher, Chief Creative Officer. Pathfinder Society Member. 6,233 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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There is a huge article on Aroden written by me in Pathfinder #100 that covers pretty much all of this.

In Summary:

Before the fall of Azlant, Aroden was a mortal man of great importance.

After Earthfall, he dedicated himself to helping Azlanti survivors reach safety in Avistan and to preserving what was left of Azlanti culture.

During this period, he became immortal (but did not become divine).

In the long, long period of time between the Age of Darkness and the raising of the Starstone, Aroden was essentially a high-level adventurer who spent time fighting demon lords, founding nations, and shifting his attention from Azlant in particular to humanity in general.

When he raised the Starstone he used it to go on a phantasmagoric spiritual journey (the first "Test of the Starstone") and emerged as a "living god" (basically a demigod). It's at this time that Aroden's cult of personality turned into an actual cult, and his clerics began to cast spells.

Aroden founds the city of Absalom at this point (or very shortly thereafter).

By 400 AR, Aroden is growing more and more interested in the Great Beyond, and while he is still present on Golarion, his interactions with humans grow further and further between.

He defeats Tar-Baphon in the 800s, but tellingly his attention is not lured to Tar-Baphon when the villain arises centuries later as the lich known as the Whispering Tyrant.

Some years later (in 4433), Aroden returns to Golarion to put down the demon lord Deskari in the north, which is his final bombastic appearance before the current era (basically some 300 years ago, give or take).

The Starfall Doctrine predates the fall of Azlant, and specifies the rise of a "Last Azlanti" who will lead humanity to a new Age of Glory. After Cheliax seceded from Taldor, hard-liners within the church of Aroden focused heavily on the Doctrine, proclaiming Cheliax (and Westrcrown specifically) as the spot where Aroden would manifest to usher in this Age of Glory.

It didn't go according to plan.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I use that guy a fair amount, so I can't explain it if he's not popular. One of the few WotC minis still in relatively heavy rotation at my table.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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edduardco wrote:
Horror Adventures will come with six new classes/paths/something new?

I would not expect Horror Adventures to include six new classes.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Right back atcha! :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Yeah, I think I'd run True Dragons throughout the whole show, and just try to pack Sunday with other awesome stuff in general.

I suspect Gen Con wants to keep people in seats as long as possible, and if Sunday starts to look like an "optional" day, they lose a lot of attendance as people drive home early, etc.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Fromper wrote:
This is a Paizo problem, not a problem with the GM volunteers. The problem is that Paizo considers the Friday before GenCon to be an acceptable deadline to have all scenarios distributed to the GMs. If they made the deadline two weeks earlier than that, and made sure everyone on their staff knew it 6 months in advance, then you wouldn't have nearly as many complaints about unprepared GMs.

I agree that this is a Paizo problem. We consider the Friday before the show to be the final deadline on which we can deliver adventures to prevent an abject failure and total systemic catastrophe, and unfortunately based on several issues this year that "final day" was indeed the only day by which it was possible to deliver the final versions of some scenarios. As others have mentioned, we tried to supply "everything but the maps" versions of a few not-quite-finished scenarios to help people prep, but this is an area where we can clearly do better.

I actually don't find the Friday before the show to be "acceptable." I had to "accept" it this year, but that's not quite the same thing, and we hope to have a far superior solution in place for 2016.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jon Cary wrote:
JBurz wrote:

Negative Feedback

I'm wondering if four specials is almost too many.

My understanding is that the decision to have 4 Specials this year was driven by Gen Con, based on the number of seats filled in previous years. I expect we'll see multiple Specials in the future because that sells more tickets.

While this is the correct context, and Gen Con did ask us to experiment with a "special" every day, their desires are not the only factors in our decision-making process. Four specials certainly put a strain on our editorial operation that led to judges getting their adventures a bit later than we would have preferred, so when we're making our plans for next year, we're certainly going to take all factors into account before making programming decisions.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Heine Stick wrote:
psyrus wrote:
Ultimately, I am still confused as to why 2nd ed psionics wasn't revisited and re-made for Pathfinder. I'd gladly play a revised, and balanced "psionicist". I had control over the direction my character grew; if I wanted damage - I went damage, if I wanted defense - I went defense, if I wanted mobility - went mobility, if I wanted utility - I would take a look at how some of the powers could be used, if I wanted a purpose... well, I as a player had already started with one.

Paizo staffers have indicated on a few occasions that they aren't interested in psionics as we've seen them in previous versions, and one of Paizo's key criteria when deciding what to produce is that it's something they have an interest in.

I'm fairly certain that the reason you're seeing this approach to psychic magic is that it's an angle that really works for Paizo and their vision for the game.

For classic psionics, you might want to check out 3rd-party publisher Dreamscarred Press' Ultimate Psionics. It's supposedly rather well done.

BTW, I don't know how much of it will see the light of day, but I just did an hour-long recorded interview with The Escapist in which I spend about 45 minutes enthusiastically going into the thought process behind this from the Gen Con floor.

I hope some of that comes through in the final article, as I'm super busy at the moment and don't have time to type it out.

Anyway, more later on this (and honestly I've spoken about the reasoning several times, including fairly recently on the Know Direction podcast.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Muser wrote:
Wouldn't this thinly disguised rant thread be better in PF General Discussion?

I think it's ok. Rules (especially badly edited, broken ones) sometimes change, and necessitate a change to a character. It's an unfortunate event, and I can understand the desire to leave a memento mori.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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QuidEst wrote:

*gets to the magic items section*

*dies*
This is too perfect for this world, too pure. The cursed items and minor artifacts are amazing, and do a fantastic job of implying encounters or entire campaigns.

Glad to hear it. I'd guess about 70% of the items in this book came from the initial brainstorming sessions Brandon and I put together. Other freelancers wrote most of those items and added a bunch of their own, but this book was somewhat unusual in that the magic items and many of the spell concepts were determined as part of the overall outline, and freelancers were assigned specific item concepts rather than "write 50 items," or whatever.

It was really fun to be involved so heavily in the outlining of this book, and it's interesting to see how people react to what amounts to a relatively subtle "behind the scenes" change from our normal operating procedure.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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From my perspective as a minis collector and a GM, I look at the line as a good source of very nicely painted adventurer types in lots of interesting varieties, plus oddball animals and companion creatures that otherwise probably wouldn't be made.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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1) No PRD changes yet (likely after Gen Con).

2) We're still selling the first print run of the book. We'll let you know when that changes, but it hasn't changed yet.

3) We'll likely make a blog post and discuss some of the changes once we're legitimately selling the second printing of the book.

Given the overwhelming desire/demand for errata for this book, I made sure that we posted the errata as soon as possible, not "when the new printing is on sale," as we normally do.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Duncan7291 wrote:
I just had a number of gamers locally balk at the old $30 MSRP in stores. $35 isn't going to make it any easier for them.

I imagine it would be an even tougher sell if it didn't exist at all?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We had intended to get these done for Gen Con this year, but other things got in the way, and we decided to put them back on the "middle burner" until some time after the convention.

They _will_ happen eventually!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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FLite wrote:

There was a post somewhere in there that was something like:

"It will either be released before gencon, while we are still in the office to answer questions. Or it will be late and offered after gen con, but it won't happen during gencon because we do not have the technical and process capability to issue it when that many people are out of the office."

This is incorrect.

The errata is coming BEFORE Gen Con, as I said it would.

Thanks for your patience, everyone. I know this one has been a long time coming.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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graywulfe wrote:

Unless I am misremembering, Liranne is a Half-Elf, not a human...

Oops! Fixed.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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danielc wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Of particular interest to you, I did at one point contemplate doing a mini of the "Seoni in Valeros's armor" image you use as your avatar. :)
Oh my, what stopped you. That would be a fun miniature to own. I would love to see that show up at some point.

I might still do it.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Magic Square wrote:

This is a truly great backstory! A collection of backstories for the iconics should be a top seller if they can all be done this well!

Lord Maskelyne? Is this John Nevil, Jasper, Nevil or Noel? or is it a misspelled Maslklyn ye Mage? Perhaps Meligaster made off with a cursed copy of Our Magic...

Look 'em up.

Pulled the name from this guy, J. N. Maskelyne, who (among other things) was an outspoken critic of the Theosophical Society.

I have an autographed copy of his "The Fraud of Modern Theosophy Exposed" on my desk at home.

I don't think he'd be a big fan of Meligaster, or of Occult Adventures in general. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Rushley son of Halum wrote:

So it's gone to the printers but the PDF isn't available yet is that right?

Surely if you're printing a new batch you should be able to put a date on it now?

I know, right?

Must be any day, now!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashram wrote:
Still betting money that it will officially come out AT GenCon.

How much money are you betting, and can I get in on that action?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Jester David wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Jester David wrote:

Wow... That is one long backstory. If I showed up at a game rocking that, my DM would shoot an evil glare. Certainly seems like the longest of any of the iconics.

Haven't read it yet. Tried and got distracted. But I'll make an effort.

Yikes, and people say it's my generation that has a short attention span...
It's 1,500 words. 3 1/2 pages at 12-point font. That's short story length.

Sorry to make you read, bro.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Cuuniyevo wrote:

Good story, but I think the first sentence should be changed from:

"From the fine tailoring of his immaculate suit to the gold handle of his elegant sword cane, little about Meligaster's current appearance belies his upbringing as a common slave."
to
"From the fine tailoring of his immaculate suit to the gold handle of his elegant sword cane, everything about Meligaster's current appearance belies his upbringing as a common slave."

I'm also pretty sure "baroques" isn't a word. :S

"Bronze baroques," is a French construction sometimes used in sculpture and interior design. If you prefer, you can read it as "baroque bronzes," and I suspect you will sleep easier. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I think of him as neutral evil. In PFS he'll be neutral, trying half-heartedly to turn a new leaf. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Hey, I had one of his autographed books on the desk when I wrote this. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Kalindlara wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
Still no Feiya and Daji for the Heroes sets?

They're having a devil of a time with Feiya's miniatures... it's like some sort of curse.

While I'm glad to see the new Iconics pouring in, I require more Seltyiel. Make it happen, please.

Of particular interest to you, I did at one point contemplate doing a mini of the "Seoni in Valeros's armor" image you use as your avatar. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I hate to say it, but everything I've learned about the minis business in the last four years tells me that a set like that would sell so poorly it could mean the end of the line in one fell swoop.

I like a lot of the creatures that you've suggested (including the chainsaw one), but I've got to pace out the weird stuff more judiciously than "all at once," or we aren't going to be having these weekend conversations much longer. :)

Neothelids are on the short list for Gargantuans, btw. Probably need a different name for them, however.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Hey, now, don't be hateful.

Hate leads to suffering.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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c873788 wrote:
Her white lotus experience seems to be akin to the rising of the kundalini. The awakening of her serpent fire is not something I would expect to happen at first level.

You could certainly look at it that way. If so, I'd consider it more of a temporary "first time" sort of a thing. She's definitely not meant to be an omnipotent 7-chakra psychic god at first level, but I can see the rajah's advisors being worried about what could happen if she one day became one.

To put it in very unfortunate nerd terms, "No one has a count that high, not even Master Yoda."

:)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Albatoonoe wrote:
I distinctly got the vibe that the advisors' plans were more politically dubious rather than outright evil.

This, but then again, you never know....

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Robert Little wrote:
The story seems to imply both of her parents may still be alive...what kind of adventurer has those?!?

Not only that, but she has six living siblings as well!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Troodos wrote:
Is the whole White Lotus thing intentional?

If you mean, is the allusion to the famous 1890 occult novel "The Idyll of the White Lotus," by Mabel Collins, intentional, then the answer is "absolutely yes."

If you mean, is the lotus meant to be a metaphor for the crown chakra, then the answer is "kinda, sorta, yes."

If you mean something else, then the answer is "not intentionally."

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Helcack wrote:
Wonderful story, I especially enjoy the description of coming to understand the flow of the universe. It is rather accurate to others accounts, though I do wonder is it simply that those who become monks focus more upon bringing the physical in alignment with the metaphysical compared to psychic where they attempt to overcome the physical with the metaphysical...

I think that's a pretty accurate view.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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the xiao wrote:
awesome story, hottest iconic but... she looked like having gotten enlighment at... 1st level? she sounds too powerful but thats also cool I guess... but damn, isn't she hot or what? AND SMART! and loves books! she is my hindu waifu lol!

I wouldn't call it enlightenment, certainly. More like a glimpse at the awesome powers to come through mastery of the self and a greater understanding of the esoteric underpinnings of the world. Rivani has a _lot_ of psychic potential. So much so that her initial trial frightened the rishis of the rajah's court, and they exiled her because they saw that one day she could easily outstrip even their power.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Ajaxis wrote:
Very nice. I do wish it had something on Rivani's reaction to her abilities and trials. Disgust, awe, simple acceptance? I know what she's been through, but not what makes her tick. Valeros, for example, I understand.

From my perspective, I think she was likely surprised by the potency of her initial trial, but after she settled into it a bit she redoubled her efforts at studying esoteric secrets in hope of unlocking even more of this power. That accounts for her post-trial work in libraries in Quantium and Absalom.

I should probably have pointed out that she hasn't quite been able to duplicate the power surge she felt during that first test, and she's still very guarded about the ramifications of others learning of her inherent gifts. So while she individually continues to hone her craft, she's a bit wary of letting others in for fear of their reaction. This plays into her "rambling man" style approach to personal relationships as well.

Rivani is incredibly knowledgable, very intelligent, and extremely inquisitive. Nearly everything she has learned about her powers has come not from human interaction, but from personal introspection and the written words of long-dead adepts. This has bred in her a sense of self-reliance that can easily be interpreted as arrogance, but those who attempt to forge a lasting bond with her find Rivani to be a welcome ally and companion, albeit a very guarded one.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Wow, I hadn't considered that. She would be great for a monk.

Or, come to think of it, a psychic or kineticist.

(Occult Adventures is so cool, you guys.)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Good idea. I'll look into it.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Cat-thulhu, that's really terrible, and an obvious collation error on the factory side. We're looking into it and will contact you shortly.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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A few drive-by answers.

1) Still no precise word on Iconic Heroes Sets 4-6. They are in the works, and I will let you guys know more on release schedule as soon as I know more myself. We've approved all of the sculpts at this point, and they're fantastic.

2) No plans for a taiga giant at present. I honestly hadn't really considered it. What do other people think?

3) Not sure why dungeon dressing isn't up on the site. I'll check on Monday.

4) Shardra will appear in an upcoming Iconic Heroes set.

5) No real "special inclusions" based solely on my taste in this set, though I did come up with the idea and worked to make sure that the chest and the mimic looked pretty much exactly the same.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Honestly I would have commissioned another Ameiko drawing for this set back in the day when we had 55 sculpts per set. Now that we've lost 10, I'm really leery of doubling up figures we've already done, especially named unique NPCs.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I hope to share more about upcoming sets in this week's Publisher Preview Blog. They're in the works.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I'm sorry to report that the Feiya and King Irovetti figures (Feiya in particular) were not up to WizKids's standards, so they've decided to push them back into the next set, The Rusty Dragon Inn.

Apologies that this has been more difficult than originally intended, but I'm certain that WK is doing their best to make sure everyone is pleased with the replacement figures.

So, to repeat, the replacement Feiya and Irovetti figures are NOT in Dungeons Deep, and will appear in the next set instead.

Thanks for your patience.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Berselius wrote:
Sigh, greeeaaattt...another goblin module for Free RPG Day...(rolls eyes).

LOL, when we don't do one we get skinned alive.

We can't win, so we tend to switch off every other year.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Milo v3 wrote:
Edit: Sarusan is likely not getting an AP for ages... None of the developers care for it, which as an Australian I find rather disappointing.

This is not the case at all. I have never heard anyone at Paizo suggest they don't care for Sarusan. The real reason we haven't done much with it yet is that is so far from Avistan and it is meant to be deliberately mysterious, at least for the time being.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Really hope it is set elsewhere in Cheliax and seperate from hell's rebels

It is. Both APs take place during the same general rebellion in Cheliax, but they do not deal with the same location. Hell's Rebels is all about the city of Kintargo. Hell's Vengeance doesn't go there at all.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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There will be more posts here from the Paizo staff once PaizoCon is over. The AP staff has not yet conducted their Adventure Path Q&A, which will have a lot more Infformation on Hell's Vengeance. Until then, a couple things:

1) Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance take place at the same time, during the same general rebellion throughout Cheliax. Hell's Vengeance has nothing whatsoever to do with Kintargo, and Hell's Vengeance does not in any way "undo" Hell's Rebels. We've had that concern for months and months, and have planned things accordingly to avoid the problems some people here are worried about.

2) The AP staff is very familiar with Way of the Wicked, and I am certain that they will be taking great pains to provide a very different experience. Although I referenced Asmodeus at the Preview Banquet, in fact the PCs in Hell's Vengeance do NOT work for Asmodeus. They work instead for House Thrune, which isn't the same thing. In fact, friction between House Thrune and Asmodeus is a significant plot point in Hell's Vengeance.

More soon.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Our long international nightmare will soon be over.

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