|Erik Mona Publisher, Chief Creative Officer|
Now that some time has passed, I can engage this topic without worry that I become contaminated by the sheer... Estesness of it.
Essentially, Maelfesh appears ONLY in the Mika-Oba books, and really mostly only in The Demon Hand.
There's nothing official about him beyond that.
He's horrible. Those books are really, really, bad, and you do no favors to Greyhawk by incorporating that drek into your games.
YMMV, of course. :)
If it seems like you are insulting another person on a thread about Doctor Who, it's probably best to take a step back and evaluate your demeanor.
Please be respectful toward one another.
Hell, one of my favorite companions is Turlough, but you don't see me baiting people into a fight about it. ;)
Here's the thing.
Nex is mine. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.
When we put together the Gazetteer, each member of the editorial staff got to pick one country that was "theirs," that they'd be the champion of, etc. etc. etc.
Nex was the country I claimed. I have a ton of ideas for it, but not that much free time.
At some point, I will have the free time to do it up right. In the meantime, we'll keep detailing it piece by piece until I have enough time to do it in style. Then, I promise it will be awesome.
Until then, there are plenty of other awesome countries in the world. :)
I strongly suggest that the OP stick around for a little bit. There's a product we're about to announce that addresses on of his specific criticisms explicitly, and one we're working on right now (that will come out later) that will have a ton of the type of thing he's asking for.
That said, it's important to understand that our books--all of them--are meant to be used as part of A GAME. If you're running a campaign set in Cheliax, for example, it's certainly important to have stuff like regional maps, cultural details, and a fair amount of contextual history, but it's also helpful to have stat blocks for important NPC types (hellknights, Nidalese shadow casters, etc.) and it's often helpful to have things like campaign traits to hook players into the setting.
We can find a good balance between continuity wank-fest and useful campaign resource. We're not always going to get that balance right for every gamer on every product, but we will continue to do our best with it, and as the campaign setting matures it's likely that the OP will see more material that is more in line with what he's asking for.
But there will be rules in most of these books, because the books are meant to supplement play of the Pathfinder RPG.
It also meant that some of the coolest illustrations from Shattered Star do not have miniatures, because the illustrations themselves (and in some cases the entire adventures in which they appeared) did not exist for months after we had to finalize the list of figures in the Shattered Star set.
The lead time for miniatures is about 8 months longer than the lead time for printed books. In the end, we decided it just isn't worth it.
Yep. His name for the moment is "Pirate". It'll likely change, but that's the name for now. He is not, in any event, a specific character from the campaign. Those come later. :)
And because I know folks are wondering, the set does include about five figures armed with pistols or that have something to do with gunpowder. Jus enough to please folks who want it, but no enough to spoil the set for those who don't.
I can't believe I didn't notice this thread until now!
Here are some pre-Distant Worlds references for Castrovel, and some of the thinking that went into it.
The existence of a Red Planet and a Green Planet are homages to the pulp versions of Mars and Venus published in magazines like Amazing Stories, Argosy, and Weird Tales in the first half of the 20th century. Edgar Rice Burroughs is the main influence here (and Akiton is influenced by Barsoom), but there were MANY other authors working in this tradition.
When Burroughs reached popularity with his Mars serials in Argosy, an author named Otis Adelbert Kline wrote similar stories set on his version of Venus. These are basically Burroughs pastiche (as is the entire Sword and Planet genre, really), but Kline had some novel twists in his Venus novels. Burroughs's later Venus books are actually a sort of response to Kline's, and were published later.
I actually haven't read any of Burroughs's Venus books yet, so I can't say they were a direct influence on Castrovel in the same way that Barsoom is an influence on Akiton.
The main "fantasy Venus" analog is Otis Adelbert Kline. See Kline's Planet of Peril, Prince of Peril, and Port of Peril/Buccaneers of Venus for more.
The sexual dimorphism of the lashunta, and elements of the lashunta themselves, come from two sources. Ray Cummings, another Burroughs pasticheur, wrote a series of interplanetary novels set on Mercury, most notably Tama of the Light Country and Tama, Princess of Mercury. Cummings's alien women are slight and winged, but they look different from the men. This was also true in Robert E. Howard's only sword and planet novel, Almuric, which we published as part of our Planet Stories line.
The formians have actually been on Venus all along. The sentient ant people were a creation of another early pulpster, Ralph Milne Farley, who created him as part of his "Radio Man" series, in which an Earth scientist is transmitted via radio beam to the planet Venus. He creates a radio headset to communicate with the native formians, as well as their rivals the Cupians, who are basically the clearest analog to the lashunta in all of this stuff.
The psychic element comes into play because Kline had psychics in his Venus stories (their flying ships were powered by mental energy), and because I just thought it would be cool to have psychics on Castrovel.
Another thematic influence, and something well worth reading for people who want to paint a really compelling scene of life on "pulp Venus," is Leigh Brackett's superlative tale "Enchantress of Venus," which stars her most famous character, Eric John Stark. I cannot recommend this story highly enough.
While the Farleys and the Cummings of the world often include interesting details in their stories, it's pretty much potboiler stuff that has little charm below the surface.
Leigh Brackett, on the other hand, is the Real Deal.
Guys, I don't want to throw cold water on a cool idea, but it's pretty unlikely that we'll be doing Curse of the Crimson Throne pawns any time soon. Many of the original issues are now out of print and unavailable to new customers, the entire thing is in 3.5, and we would need to order almost all new art, since we didn't order as many 'full body" images back then. So we're looking at massive start-up costs for that product relative to a modern AP, which isn't great. Beyond that, our schedule is currently strained to the limit making a couple of boxed sets and the two AP collections. We're still figuring out the "Pawn Business," if you will. It's definitely possible to imagine scenarios under which we'd publish a Curse of the Crimson Throne Pawn Collection, but the timing isn't perfect for that right now. Pathfinder Paper Minis are a good solution, and given crossovers with Shattered Star like the Grey Maidens even some actual prepainted plastic minis this year will help.
As for Pawns, something like the summoned monster/spell effects set is a really good idea I'd like to figure out how to do. Again, expensive, because we don't have a bunch of quality illustrations of celestial animals and stuff sitting around, but anything is possible, and I can see how a product like this would appeal to a broad base of customers.
Sadly, I was so busy handing out holiday bonuses to the staff today that by the time I finished, the web team was long gone! As a stop-gap, I've posted photos of several new reveals on the Paizo Facebook. We'll get formal photos up next week, and again I apologize about the lack of the blog lately.
Next Friday will have the coolest mini in the whole set, possibly the most complex and awesomest prepainted plastic mini ever made for any set.
And I am absolutely positive that it'll be actually posted on Friday, since I AM NOT WRITING IT!
Instead, a Shattered Star author will be dropping by with a fun essay discussing what it's like to make something up one day, have Wayne Reynolds paint it some time later, and later still what it's like to hold the thing you made up in your hand.
It's going to be wild.
In the meantime, check out the Paizo Facebook Page for a look at Amiri, the Troll Champion (next to the lowly Troll from Heroes & Monsters), the Guiltspur Naga, the Mite on Spider, and the Wrath Demon.
More coming soon, honest!
This is not necessarily a "one-time thing". It's something extremely special and extremely rare, and we have no current plans to do something like this again, but if I've learned one thing in this business it's been "never say never." I don't want people to panic or to think that this is the start of a new trend or anything, but nor do I want anyone to think that we're making promises that something like this will never, ever happen in the future.
The future is the future. Just because we don't have plans to do something presently doesn't mean we'll never do that thing. Just to be clear.
Putting aside for a moment the concept of a non-existant hologram edition, you do realize that these are different versions of the same book, yes?
It's silly to say we will never do anything again, including compiling Adventure Paths. We have NO present plans to compile Adventure Paths. Such an event would involve major changes to the company's strategy, probably something like another milestone anniversary for the company, and dozens of other factors with vanishingly small odds of happening, but 30 years from now, if we release Curse of the Crimson Throne in a single edition, some one will come out of the woodwork and say "neener, neener, neener, you said you'd never do this!"
Which is why I never say never, even when I have no expectation that something will ever happen.
Fair enough. That's a perfectly reasonable opinion to have.
PFS is in the business of promoting Pathfinder. It is the entire reason that the campaign exists in the first place. In this case, supporting the MMO and bringing it to the attention of Paizo's most dedicated group of players is of clear value to the Pathfinder brand, and to Paizo in general.
No, this is two in the past six months, both supporting the same project.
Your discouragement, at least in this specific case, is misplaced and based on incorrect data.
It's going to have at least 12 different authors, all superstars in their own different ways, contributing original dungeons based on the same sized grid (to fit on a single side of a Flip-Mat). Each author will be turned loose, more or less, to "do what they do best," and to approach the project with their own unique perspectives.
This should result in a super-awesome crazy quilt of different approaches and styles, all woven into a unified whole by Paizo's development team.
In a project like this, a certain amount of competition comes into play. You want to make sure your slice of the pie is as tasty (and ideally perhaps a bit tastier) than those of your equally able cohorts writing other levels in the same complex.
It's going to be sweet.
I'm actually working on setting up some guest blogs to fill in for days when I get too busy. It's shameful that I've missed two weeks in a row, so I'm going to make it up to you guys next week with a MEGA REVEAL.
In the meantime, this week did actually break some significant miniatures news. Have you seen the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter Campaign? We've already revealed two cool variant-paint Pathfinder Battles miniatures that will be sent to Crowdforger supporters as a bonus for backing the project, which also comes laden with other cool rewards like a soundtrack, a hardcover Pathfinder Emerald Spire Superdungeon written by superstar Pathfinder designers, Flip-Mats, and more. There are a ton more minis coming as part of this effort, and if it reaches its funding goal we're talking about at least nine figures.
So, while I HAVE been too busy to post blogs, miniatures-related business has been a big part of why.
As a quick update, WizKids is currently in production on the NEXT TWO Pathfinder Battles sets. They have art reference, and their sculptors are busy at work probably as you read this. In addition to this, we've got at least three other minis-related projects in various stages of production, from formal concepting to actual production.
No, I can't tell you anything about those yet. Yes, I will be approving new sculpts for one of these projects as early as next week.
More news soon, in the form of an official blog post. In the meantime, please consider kicking in on the Kicstarter campaign. I'm hoping that getting sweet Pathfinder Battles promotional figures as part of this package will help to introduce prepainted minis to a lot of video gamers, and that will help the Pathfinder Battles line grow and grow with more awesome figures and more awesome sets in the future.
Certainly hundreds of years ago. Maybe longer. There are Ghorans of power and influence in Quantium, certainly.
Ummmm. I guess it depends on what you mean by "Nexians." Certainly lots of people still eat them. I imagine that upscale restaurants still offer some Ghoran dishes "off menu," to the right customers. They are, after all, delicious. No doubt gourmands from all over Golarion sail to Quantium in hope of scoring a taste of these fabled creatures.
(and was there any delay between those two answers? :O)
Still have to wonder just what kind of rights Ghorans have in Nex. It is a very strange land.... I mean, their most famous method of execution is dumping people in that ooze lake. Which might not be killing them so much as absorbing them....
They do not, as a people, have formal representation on the Council of Three and Nine, and are seen as outsiders given their original growth outside the city walls. They're sort of underclass in that they are marginalized, but they've been around for centuries (at least), and have gathered a modicum of political clout and power. Their tenuous connections to their 'past lives" gives them a long-term perspective many others lack, and it's likely only a matter of time before their influence is felt more keenly in the region.
I wouldn't be surprised to see a date announced within the next couple of weeks. Thanksgiving and our Black Friday sale (as well as some key people being at an Italian convention the two weeks prior to that) conspired to prevent an announcement up until this point, but I'm pretty confident we now know in-house when the date will be, and I can't think of a reason why we wouldn't announce it some time in December.
I hate to be so cagey about this, but we are very, very close to being able to announce the date for 2013.
I just wanted to drop in here and make a note that while certain aspects of the Winter Fantasy Special (such as the fact that Jason himself will be running it) will be "exclusive" to Winter Fantasy, there _will_ be other opportunities later in the year for people to play the adventure content as an official PFS game.
The rewards might be a little different, the actual physical experience might be different, but the adventure itself will be played elsewhere eventually.
Specific plans for the adventure, such as what it will be called and when Jason will write the sequel, have yet to be determined, so please be patient with us while we work out the details on what is sure to become a hugely important event for the Pathfinder Society.
I've actually never read a Douglas Adams story, though of course I'm familiar with much of it via Nerdmosis. I know Adams mostly through his work as a Doctor Who script editor.
Actually I think the Mythic Code flaw works great, and is well within the spirit we're shooting for with this concept.
That's not to say there isn't merit in considering them a trade-off for additional power as you suggest, but the Mythic Code suggestion is hardly "backward justification" or "kludgy in the extreme." I thought it was pretty cool, and lots of other people did too.
Do not confuse "this is not to my taste" or "support of this might undermine my desired outcome" with "this inherently sucks."
They are not the same thing.
That would be me. Glad you liked it! I've been wanting a playable plant PC race since just about forever, and the only way to get it done was to do it myself. ;)
I hope you're in the minority, because I'd love to sell a ton of copies of an "Advanced NPC Codex" with all the bells and whistles some time in the nebulous future... ;)
Yes. We just had a meeting about this sort of thing this afternoon. I'm in the process of helping the web team write a sort of product "family tree" for better organization of the website.
Anything else mis-categorized, from your point of view? Now is actually a great time to have this discussion.
Thanks for the pizza, everyone! Thanks to Paizo's growth since the original Erik Mona Day (and at least in part due to the circumstances surrounding it), this year we had lots of folks here in the office who celebrated their very first Erik Mona Day with fan-bought pizza. It was really fun bringing them up to speed on this annual tradition and the reasons behind it. Much fun was had by all!
Thanks again. You guys are the best!