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James Jacobs wrote:
Stop that. -_-
We've worked with Wayne for more than a decade and trust not just his artistic skill but also his fantastic insight into real-world arms and armor. While we very deliberately choose the genders, races, ethnicities, and general weapons and armors of new iconics in-house, Wayne is very much a creative partner in the creation of these characters. Less is usually more when it comes to ordering art, and in the case of art briefs for new iconics our descriptions typically include little more than what I already mentioned, and a sentence or two more of class particulars and other elements we're trying to highlight. Then Wayne does what makes him one of the best in the biz. We sometimes make minor tweaks upon seeing sketches, but more often than not we don't. Turns out Wayne knows what he's doing and getting a new piece from him always causes considerable buzz.
In Shardra's case in particular, we didn't ask for a dwarf-themed headdress, jade dagger, censer, etc. Dude knows the game, the industry, and his craft, and the results endlessly impress.
(You guys know Crowe, the Iconic Bloodrager is his Curse of the Crimson Throne Pathfinder character, right?)
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Lissa ninja'd me on this, but yeah... I'm not only the creator of Shardra, I'm also a fan.
*Spams "favorite" button*
Ross Byers wrote:
And obviously problematic.
It's something we've addressed additively and will share more on soon.
We had a lengthy discussion about Damiel in the lead up to defining our new iconics. While Damiel made an okay option if we wanted to retcon one of the existing iconics into a transgender character, it would be a retcon. Also, if you read Damiel's backstory, you'll see he's not necessarily a nice person, and that he's on pretty shaky mental footing. That's not the way we wanted to represent our first transgender iconic.
Rather, than trying to shoehorn an iconic into a role, we opted for a specific, strong, and positive characterization. Something Crystal has achieved here brilliantly.
All that being said, alchemists would make strong choices for characters with similar backgrounds. You'll see why when the Advanced Class Guide debuts.
Liz Courts wrote:
There's no evidence of that...
I might have started this whole thing with Pathfinder #6. At the time I was quite taken with similar hidden credits page messages that Privateer Press had slipped into the Witchfire Trilogy. Having one in every Pathfinder volume seemed like too much of a chore, but having a special "post credits" message at the end of the whole AP felt very cinematic.
I didn't expect it to become tradition, but I'm glad it did. :)
Hi Wes! I just wanna let you know that I very much look forward to seeing this article. I've had numerous PCs die in my game, and I gave each one of them an "afterlife" scene.
Those sound awesome! And this article shouldn't muck with that great idea at all!
This is one of those rare articles that is very "secret history," as in very not information every commoner and guard in Golarion knows—or cleric and sage for that matter. It all also happens on a scale that involves extraplanar erosion, so it's not a process that makes any sense to measure in scales as fine as centuries.
I expect a lot of folks are going to have questions and assumptions, but the big part to get across for me is simply, don't let knowing how the system works screw with any of the awesome stuff you're already doing with it!
archmagi1's review wrote:
The post adventure material, though, is where this volume really shines. The River of Souls article is the most comprehensive study of fantasy death and afterlife that I've ever seen. Golarioverse's cycle of positive energy to soulstuff to outsiderstuff to planestuff to maelstrom energy is thoroughly explained and even has a few handy charts to help intrepid adventurers with ranks in Knowledge: Religion and Knowledge: Planes explain it to the Fighter!.
This is one of BEST reviews of this I could have hoped for. Thanks a ton man!
I was just flipping through this article yesterday and was like "How is this only 6 pages long!?" I researched, wrote, and rewrote so much on this to get it just right and assure it's a perfect launching pad for...
For what I want it to be. ;)
I think I'll put together a blog post with the River of Souls map up in the next few days. That piece is awesome and needs a good show off now that it's finally out of my notebook.
Advanced Class Guide Preview Schedule Update!
Look forward to the Meet the Iconics story for the iconic skald tomorrow.
Next week, we might be previewing the brawler... or the shaman... or something else. Who knows? Certainly no one here has said.
There's nothing else to see here. Carry on.
pH unbalanced wrote:
Wayne's fantastically knowledgeable about ancient and medieval weaponry—likely having something to do with living within spitting distance of the Leeds Armory. More than once I've seen him explain and demonstrate the freedom one would need to wield a massive weapon with any sort of speed and flexibility. It's pretty fascinating, but more than that, it's something he thoroughly considers in his designs.
Mr. Pilkington, Philosoraptor wrote:
This is the most uncomfortable I've been since the last time Mark was in my office.
And yet... it seems somehow so right.
Heine Stick wrote:
I'm fairly certain that Emerald Spire has been labeled a superdungeon, having a smaller scope than a true megadungeon. That particular discussion has been going in the Emerald Spire product discussion, with Owen Stephens and Erik Mona participating in the discussion.
Any single dungeon or series of closely linked dungeons that fill multiple adventures and carry characters through numerous levels of play can probably be argued as a megadungeon. If the idea is that a dungeon covers one adventure, a megadungeon covers multiple adventures—the more, the better suited the term. Calling a dungeon that covers two adventures a megadungeon seems like a pretty paltry use of the word, while I don't think many would disagree that a dungeon you can advance from 1st-level to 20th-level inside feels like a megadungeon. The gray area between dungeon and magedungeon is an imprecise, subjective span. Throwing in the word "superdungeon" suggests a whole additional spectrum of semantics for what are ultimately entirely invented, imprecise terms.
Rather, I'd avoid considering "superdungeon" and "megadungeon" as units of measurements on some implied scale of dungeon-ness and take them as meaning:
Superdungeon: Big @#$%n' Dungeon.
Megadungeon: Even Bigger @#$%n' Dungeon.
Generic Villain wrote:
I love that people are digging Conference Z, but while the Bureau of Inquirers is definitely meant to be a PC-friendly, X-Files like wing, the group as a whole as another inspiration no one's touched on yet (a whole slew, in fact, but one in particular).
(The "Z" is relevant, though not to any particular name.)
First off, for all your Pathfinder Wiki needs, I'd suggest using Pathfinder Wiki, not the one previously linked. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but Pathfinder Wiki is more thoroughly updated. It's also run by a Paizo staff member, so... make of that what you will.
Second, in this regard, the wiki is correct. Seltyiel is lawful evil and is currently our only evil-aligned iconic.
In fact, when we ordered him way back for Pathfinder AP #12, his schtick was in part to serve as the "iconic evil character." We're a long ways from that now and I can't say he's going to remain the sole evil character, but for the moment he retains the title.
Expect more iconic love in the very near future.
Hypothetically, if someone were to write a Devils Revisited book in the same vein as Demons Revisited what named, unstated devil characters would you want to see and from where?
Named. Unstated. Mentioned in an existing product. Go.
An update of what's come before and what's yet to come for Bastardhall.
Year 1 - 2009 (4609 A.R.), The Blood of Bastardhall: The black coach rolled into the town of Cesca in the Ustalavic county of Varno and demanded that several particular residents climb aboard. The PCs were not able to prevent all the townsfolk from being captured, but with the aid of the young fortuneteller, Miamara Vitters, and the ghost of her father, they were able to discover the townsfolk's connection and prevent more abductions.
Year 2 - 2010 (4609 A.R.), Beyond the Gates of Bastardhall: The heroes journeyed to the ruined town of Maiserene on the banks of Lake Laruba, once the town that supported and owed fealty to the Arudora noble family and served as the coastal passage to Castle Arudora. Encountering several haunts suggesting details of the town's history, ruin, a mysterious traveler, and something terrible lurking within the lake's black depths, the heroes manged to rekindle the light atop the chapel of Aroden and restore a ghostly version of the ruined bridge crossing the lake to Castle Arudora, now known as Bastardhall.
Year 3 - 2011 (4609 A.R.), Within the Walls of Bastardhall: The heroes made their way across the bridge to Bastardhall, exploring the castle's gatehouse, a series of monuments mid-span, and other fortifications still manned by remnants of their ancient keepers and a gigantic centipede. (Note: The PCs did NOT actually get within the walls of Bastardhall.)
Year 4 - 2012 (4609 A.R.), The Black Gardens of Bastardhall: The heroes finally make it within the walls of Bastardhall, entering the island's vast tiered gardens. A plague of mosquitos and a horrible piping harried them to the greenhouse, then through the lower gardens. In a shrine of Shelyn they encountered a despondent, faithless huecuva who suggested much regarding the Arudora's family's fall and the coming of a dark rider bearing a squirming bundle. Trying to avoid the garden's other dangers by traveling upon the walls, they faced a grotesque satyr piper playing upon the proboscis of a gigantic mosquito, then faced his gigantic, bloodsucking pets. The heroes finally managed to make it to the outer walls of the castle proper... and knocked.
Year 5 - 2013 (4609 A.R.), The Bleak Bastion of Bastardhall: The heroes slip past the outer curtain wall of the castle Bastardhall. Within, they find an immortal creature snared and tormented within the citadel's repeating cycle of resurrection and destruction. Is death truly a mercy to an immortal? Beyond, the quarters of the castle's staff and several once idyllic overlooks of the grounds below suffer the same corruption as the gardens, with many of the Arudora servants lingering on in various states of terrible half-life. The servants' chapel of Shelyn still stands, the resident priests having given their lives to imprison terrible twins. Twins, with an undying hunger for souls.
Year 6 - 2014 (4609 A.R.), The Silent Servant of Bastardhall: To be continued at Paizocon 2014.
A little disappointed that so much of the art is recycle...but other than that it's looking good.
We definitely did pick up many of the more awesome pieces from relevant APs—if we were happy with the look of this priest or that monster I didn't think it made sense to change it.
As a data point, though, we ordered more than 250 new pieces of art for this book.
doc the grey wrote:
Can you give us any idea on what hell was like before Dahak scorched it through, how different was it from what it is now, were the asura and kytons roaming about it during that time or did they not appear till after, if the were around how did Dahak's inferno affect their lives on that plane?
Someday we'll get into the history and prehistory of the planes, but for now the specifics range from being pretty academic to purposefully vague. All I'm really comfortable with saying about this right now is that in a time before most deities, in epochs beyond any sane reckoning, before mortal life was a thing that was considered significant, things in the multiverse were different. How folks want that to impact their games is up to them.
They, and many, many others, get the full treatment.
While we'll definitely be previewing more of Inner Sea Gods over the coming days and weeks, if you're keen to learn more soon rather than later be sure to check out the Know Direction podcast tomorrow!
We'll be talking about Inner Sea Gods, what's new, what's awesome, the insanity of putting this thing together, and things so secret I don't even know what they are yet.
Mike Franke wrote:
I personally am heading straight to the chapter on selling my soul!
Rightly so! That's my chapter and includes the second best advice I can give practical-minded future immortals and devil-may-care despots! Win eternal power and influence semi-gods with such irrefutable tips as:
* How to untethered a ratty soul from your gross meat-body!
* Determining (and increasing!) the value of your mortal essence!
* Finding agents you can absolutely, always, 100% trust to give you fair value for your afterlife!
* Tips to assure you'll never, ever, ever, need (or want!) a hereafter!
* Phenomenal rewards vastly outweighing pedestrian mortal taboos.
* Practical ways to make your most depraved—er, LORDLY—dreams come true!
* And Much, MUCH more!
Act fast! Before the soul market's flooded with the tarnished essences of everyone who bought the Kobold Guide to Magic first!
Liz Courts wrote:
Oh to live entirely in the virtual world, where one's blackest sins prove so fleeting.
Boo hoo. Etc.
It is SO tempting to comment on this.
But I'm not.
In fact, I'm going to go make everyone swear a blood oath not to reveal these characters until this product hits and the Meet the Iconics start rolling out in May/June.
I'm going to jump out in front of this WAY before it even comes up (which it certainly will).
Risen from the Sands is awesome—I just ran it last week and we had an absolute blast. Rob McCreary did a fantastic job and poured equal shares of artistry and sadism into this work.
Not detracting from any of that in the least, but still a thing of note, is the fact that there's a very visable typo marring the back cover. In the tagline at the top, in about 1,000-point font, the word "Pharaoh" is misspelled "Pharoah."
And that is TOTALLY my fault.
I made a change to the line during my final approval and no one past me ever saw it. So 100%, unequivocally, absolutely, without a doubt, my fault.
Of course, as always happens in cases like this, that means I learned about this when we got our first printed copies in house. You know, when it's absolutely too late to correct the issue.
So that's a thing. A personally and professionally embarrassing thing that—along with 10 years of dishonor—has resulted in the hanging of a very clearly lettered Post-It note in my office.
While the print copies will bear this beauty mark, the error has already been corrected on all PDF copies.
In any case, my deepest, most sincere apologies to gamers, Egyptian nobility, and literate sorts everywhere. Fortunately, though, my utter failure has absolutely zero impact on the awesomeness you'll find on the front cover or on any of the pages within.
On a slightly lighter note (if there are such things as lightness and joy anymore), if you're a fan of schadenfreude (and who isn't?), here's a link to the moment this was brought to my attention. Enjoy... you jackals.
Steve Geddes wrote:
DAMN YOU JACKALS! CAN'T THERE BE A MOMENT'S PEACE!?!?
I mean. There's certainly a chance. I've got a few other pressing things I need to get through (see that interview I just linked above for the primary example). Beyond that though, more on devils could be fun!
And so could Bastardhall...
And so could writing another creepy AP...
And so could a book on hauntings...
And so could more fiction...
And so could...
If I were looking to rename these characters in ways that have similarly ominous impacts, but that don't have specific meanings in Italian, I might suggest the following options.
The first set takes the existing names and replaces them with the names of fallen angels (as listed in Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels).
■ Alichino - Astoreth
Alternatively, if you'd like less directly Judeo-Christian options, try these from Theresa Bane's Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures.
■ Alichino - Ayperor
Hopefully these (or some combination of these) are helpful and don't come off as silly in your language in the same way.