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F. Wesley Schneider

F. Wesley Schneider's page

Editor-in-Chief. 3,290 posts (3,320 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 3 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Super appreciate it, guys! This was a fantastic surprise to wander into this morning.

Now just to find an appropriate place of honor. :D

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nezzmith wrote:

After reading through the adventure, I have to say, with all the little details and hidden information, this is one of the most terrifying adventures I've read in a long time!

Definitely needs to be played with the lights dimmed, and at night!

Nice. Thanks, Nezzmith!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I heard there were spell clarifications in Ultimate Intrigue, and now Ad Lib guides here... I can't help but feel there should have been a GMG2 or some such that had these instead, rather than using space for broader stuff in books with a narrower focus.

Pathfinder hardcovers regularly feature GM-focused content relevant to the book's topic. Discussing spells from an "intrigue friendly" point of view in Ultimate Intrigue is relevant to Pathfinder players running "intrigue" games. Exploring the importance of game pacing and improving your ad-libbing game to maintain a creepy atmosphere is relevant to Game Mastering a horror adventure (more so, I'd argue, than to other sorts of adventures).

We could squirrel such material away in a separate product, but to date we've preferred to keep like information together.

That said, if folks would like to see a GameMastery Guide 2, hit up the general discussion board and let us know!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Frickin' cool, Zelgadas! Can't wait to see the rest!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
Interesting that the Godclaw imagine Irori as heavily armored, given that he is generally supposed to have been a monk before his apotheosis to divinity.

Dramaturgy: A vital part of any faith.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
KaiserBruno wrote:
The Eyrines Company are a bunch of former Gray Maidens that pledged loyalty to Abrogail after Ileosa's death. They were mentioned in the Gray Maidens article in the second book of Shattered Star.

Weird.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Is the Vicarius of the Gate supposed to be a Hellknight rather than a Signifier?

If so, why?

He is.

Hellknights, even the most magically inclined orders, are still a martial organization. Commanders seen as weak or as unwilling to stand in the front ranks are less respected and, thus, have a more tenuous grip on their authority. As a result, even spellcasters who rise to significant rank among the Hellknights often go through the same trials as rank-and-file members, preventing any from claiming they're not "true" Hellknights.

Also, as you'll soon see, Lictor Torchia and Lictor Wrens are far too pretty to hide behind signifer masks.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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CWheezy wrote:
Did you think of adding a useful bonus for the gate hellnight reckoning or is it really bad on purpose?

I think a lot of folks will be excited to have that bonus after they read the section on the Order of the Gate.

Thought police sure aren't immune to being accused of thought crime. ;)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oooh! Though, on a serious note about the "batlike" description, that's deliberately chosen as Havenguard Asylum is a small Kirkbride Institution. Maps of Caliphas show the asylum's architectural similarity to famous institutions like Danvers, Weston State, Buffalo State, and, my personal favorite (and childhood backyard) Spring Grove. So that's where that came from!

Thanks for the chance to point it out and for reading! :D

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Very poor.

Wait till they get to the end when they fight the tarrasque! They totally kill it with a magic missile.

That's some buuuuuullcrap.

This guy does NOT know what's up. :P

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LordOfThreshold wrote:
Strong, well considered commentary. :D

Wow! Thanks a ton LoT! Glad you enjoyed it and I seriously appreciate the kind words.

I really tried to explore "small evils" in this—real hurts that have the potential to lead people to resentment and hard heartedness; like Cimri's background.

I also wanted to give the PCs insight into the NPCs' vulnerabilities—because that's how you become a bully. Once the PCs know how to hurt people, its up to them how to do it. If they were playing good guys, they might help or they might walk away. As evil characters, how they exploit their knowledge is entirely up to their depraved imagination.

So again, thanks for the feedback! And, as always, thoughtful reviews are always greatly appreciated—and help us know down the line what we should do more of!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

9 people marked this as a favorite.

They're not gray, they're distinguished...

You @#$%.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Monkeygod wrote:

I feel like this might have been answered already, but since we now have a PC in our epic mythic game that it pertains to, I must know:

Are the forgotten/exiled/etc orders getting any coverage/love?

Some.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

5 people marked this as a favorite.
DeciusNero wrote:
Awesome cover! Didn't expect crunch in this product, though I do like cavalier orders and more disciplines . Can't wait.

Wooboy, are you in for something then. There's quite a bit in here.

As a bit of a teaser, here's something I realized halfway through: You know what class works great for Hellknights? Vigilante.

So, if you haven't snagged Ultimate Intrigue yet...

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:

Cover reminds me of a piece of artwork from one of the final fantasy games (12 I think) which had these 5 characters called judges walking foreward.

Ah here it is Prepare to be judged.

I believe Mr. Schneider linked a .gif of that when announcing this on Tumblr. So... you're not alone. ^_^

(And given who does the art orders... it may be more than coincidence.)

Total. Coincidence.

Neither Sarah nor I know anything about them TV vidja games.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Chris Spano wrote:
They came through it with 2 deaths, not too bad for the end fight of a book really.

Nothing fuels taking revenge like a good murder.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Captain collateral damage wrote:
Noooooo. I wanna play as the Glorious Reclamation instead.

That one there. Take it away.

We don't brook distention in Imperial Cheliax.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Largely what Philo and Samy said.

"Be evil" is not the plot of the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path any more than "be heroic" is the plot of any past AP.

Those who want to create an evil empire (of any form) might be better suited playing Kingmaker with an evil tinge.

If I had the compare this AP to any previous one in play-style expectations, I'd liken it to Skull & Shackles. In that one you play pirates. In this one you play rising stars in an evil empire.

If you'd like a different evil campaign—evil Kingmaker, perhaps—my biggest suggestion would be to check this one out and help us prove that the occasional evil campaign is just as viable an AP as any other.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

I got my shipping notice yesterday; I just finished my first read. It looks excellent!

I did notice the presence of a familiar name... the Feign Prince Lairsaph. Despite our evil AP being disappointingly Seltyiel-deficient, I'm glad for this little Easter egg. ^_^

I hope you like omelets.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ceirwyn wrote:
From the tiny female minority, god bless you for the male dryads. ;)

Ha, nice. If you're interested in a bit of my thinking on this, I talked about it a bit on my personal blog last year. And Mark Moreland coined a word.

Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
Ah yes, of course there must be male dryads. Where else would nuts come from?

::crickets::

-_-

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Queen of Leshys wrote:
Because gourd leshys may not understand that carving a new face into someone isn't a nice thing to do?

Wow... that's kinda DARK Linda. O_O

Remember, everybody: Linda only LOOKS like the innocent one.

(sendhelp.)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Captain collateral damage wrote:
Nooooo!!!!! Not Leshies! Not the little plant people! How could you, you monsters!
It was all Linda Zayas-Palmer's idea.
You sure are full of something, Wes. I'm not quite sure what that something is yet.

Knives! Is it knives?

Why do I get the distinct, perhaps precognitive, impression it's knives?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
This is great. I mentioned wanting a book with more info on the Hellknights in a few wish list threads not long ago.

Just. For. You! :D

Tell your friends.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CanisDirus wrote:
PS... is it Signifer or Signifier? The blurb above says the latter but other books have it as the former?

Signifer.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Dammit! I was hoping it told me Prince Aduard Ordranti III had finally died. Or something.

Treason, huh.

Noted.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Misroi wrote:

And now I have to reread The Hellfire Compact, going through it with a fine-toothed comb, to find this nugget of the Strange Aeons to come.

Thanks, Wesley. Thanks a lot.

I'll save you some time and let you know that there is no way you can identify the line in question until you read Strange Aeons (unless you hacked my desktop, of course).

Shhh!, Adam!

I mean... Dance, puppets! Dance!

I mean...

SHHH!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Captain collateral damage wrote:
Nooooo!!!!! Not Leshies! Not the little plant people! How could you, you monsters!

It was all Linda Zayas-Palmer's idea.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rob McCreary wrote:
Some clarifications about swearing the Hellfire Compact here. I think the GM Reference thread is a better place for such discussions.

Summarizing what Rob says over there:

"Kill them all."

Thanks, Rob. You're hardcore.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Lord Fyre wrote:

Makes some sense. It isn't a "man's world" anymore.

Still not sure how I feel about it though.

It was a confusing time for me too when I started having feelings about dryad guys.

I'm here to talk if you want to. :D

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Samy wrote:

While I have you here, Wes, any chance of some input regarding swearing the Hellfire Compact:

** spoiler omitted **

Answer one: Strongly encourage them to.

Answer two: Kill them.

Bad guys don't @#$% around. ;)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Samy wrote:

In case anyone is curious about artwork, here's the full-body single figure artworks:

** spoiler omitted **

On dryads:

For interested parties, Losoni is Pathfinder's second canonically male dryad. The first was encountered by Harsk and Lini over in Pathfinder Origins #5.

You can read my thinking on, as Mark Moreland termed them, guyads, right here.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Samy wrote:
Should I emphasize the pain and anguish they are creating. Is that part of the point of an evil AP?

That entirely comes down to the game you and your group want to play.

With any game—but especially with ones that don't conform to common fantasy RPG expectations—before you start playing you and your players should discuss what you all want to get out of the game. That discussion should form the foundation of the experience you, as GM, seek to provide.

In the case of an evil Adventure Path, you should pose exactly the question you just asked to your group.

Maybe your players want the experience of being juggernauts of evil, fighting and crushing monsters they don't usually get to and indulging '50s comic book villain expressions of evil. If so, great! Go for it. Cackle along as the PCs burn every orphanage of wicker lesheys they encounter.

Maybe your players want an exploration into what it means to be evil, with all the ramifications and hurt laid bare, pitting their characters' angst and dark pasts against a world that scarred them. If so, great! Let them lash out, let them feel bad, let them push the boundaries of what they can bring themselves to do and see if their characters weep when finally their humanity breaks.

Maybe your players want something in between, 'cause there's quite a gulf there.

In any case, it's for you and your group to figure out what's right for all of you.

Along with that, you should CERTAINLY set some ground rules for what is and isn't too far. Evil games do NOT mean that everyone's filter gets switched off and every imaginable expression of id is suddenly okay. Talk with your group about what they do want to see in the game and what they certainly don't. Having these guidelines will help you run a game everyone enjoys and will serve you in defining what is too far.

There's a lengthy discussion about exactly this in our upcoming Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures book, and it makes sense that this comes up here—an evil game and a horror game have many similarities.

But ultimately, if you're going to try and make the players feel something negative—fear, discomfort, sorrow, etc—you should have that conversation upfront, let them know what they're in for, and let them make the fully informed call on whether or not they want to play.

Evil can be fun, but evil can also be unsettling, and that's entirely in your and your groups' hands. Make sure you're all on the same page about the story you're going to tell/play so everyone can have the best possible time.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope the corruption system will have a lot more then vampires and lycanthropes.

Woo. Might be hard. Hitting EVERY ANIMAL with lycanthrope options doesn't leave a lot of space in the rest of the book. We weren't initially sure whether to do this or not, but ultimately couldn't bring ourselves to leave our small but vocal were-koala audience in the lurch again.

We'll see how things shake out in editing.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Evan Tarlton wrote:
"In ways both subtle and gross," eh? Looks like someone was channeling Q while composing the blurb. I heartily approve.

Q who?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
But I need this now! One of my players just got raised from the dead by Bishop Senir, and a tag along spirit come along for the ride...

Well, good luck with all THAT. O_O

Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
These corruption rules sound like the exact type I've been wanting for years, since Heroes of Horror came out. Exposure to the darkness might make you part of it... and you might not object to it at first... when it seems beneficial...

Heroes of Horror keeps coming up, and while I can't say that that product had much impact on this book, looking back it does look like some of the remits are similar. That said, there will be tons of new content in here for GMs as well as players. If you like the mixes you've seen in past "Adventures" books, particularly Occult Adventures, you'll be well served here as well.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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N. Jolly wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We are keenly aware of this. I can't say don't be concerned, but certainly, don't think we're going into this with our eyes—or those of several partners—shut.

As stated before, I'm not afraid on this because of Paizo having a bad track record with this sort of thing (following several of you on social media including tumblr has shown me that you're aware of issues like these), but even you have admitted that it's very dangerous territory for ableist content.

Personally, I would rather have the 'madness' in this book have less of a basis in reality, something more like 'fantasy madness', so things that are less rooted in reality. The more 'realistic' you shoot for, the more you run the line of reaching an offensive point,and fantasy already has a very bad reputation of "crazy=evil" to most people.

Really, I want to like this product, and I have high hopes for it, I'm just fearful for the same reason I always am when I see something like this, and I think avoiding more realistic 'madness' would help in keeping it from being a large issue.

I'm sure I can't reassure you until this book's release, but, again: eyes open. Thanks for being interested! :D

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Oh please more Dark tapestry, Vault Builders, Great old ones and the like. And a really good follow up mini Bestiary.
I personally hope that Golarion fluff stays out of the RPG-Line.

We haven't revised any our philosophies on what content goes where starting with this product.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lucus Palosaari wrote:

Working on Fat Goblin Games' Shadows over Vathak, I remember a discussion with my fellow writers that an old tagline of SoV, 'survival horror' was a kind of oxymoron in Pathfinder because by 5th level, 'survival' isn't nearly as big an issue as it 'should be' to claim that as a cornerstone of your setting.

That said, I'm stoked for this and curious if some of these new mechanics, etc can/will make that maybe viable again, and if not, at least Horror is getting serious attention in 2016 with this, Strange Aeons AP, and I'm sure some other support texts (will there be a "Horror Origins" for Golarion like there were Mythic/Occult Origin books?)

Horror often has a great deal to do with your GM's storytelling technique, a topic thoroughly treated in this—whether she's trying to creep your character (or you) out.

As for upcoming products: Stay tuned.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

6 people marked this as a favorite.
N. Jolly wrote:
While I'm looking forward to this (Heroes of Horror was one of my favorite 3.5 books), I'm slightly worried about the amount of realism that will be involved in 'madness' and such. I do actually trust Paizo to do this well, so this isn't me saying they're going to do anything offensive, but it's also a very easy subject to be make offensive, so I hope we'll see some previews on this to assuage my fears.

We are keenly aware of this. I can't say don't be concerned, but certainly, don't think we're going into this with our eyes—or those of several partners—shut.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Dragon78 wrote:
New monster templates are always nice but will there be any monsters that are not template based?

New monsters are not a major thrust of this product. But, you'll be getting plenty of new options to make your beasties plenty spooky.

Thomas Seitz wrote:

Why Dragon?

Did we not get enough horrific monsters in B5?

Can't ever have a enough creepy mon-stars.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Milo v3 wrote:
Hopefully these corruption rules will make vampires actually playable rather than a bucket of weaknesses.

But weaknesses are horrifying. ;D

Tune in next year for "Not Scary Japery."

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Why does Alain getting savaged by undead fill me with glee?

Good taste.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Dragon78 wrote:

Is that the final cover?

I am glad the book will have both madness and insanity rules.

It is!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Suthainn wrote:
Fantastic AMA, thank you Wes for taking all that time to answer everyone's questions!

My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Hellknights care nothing for good or evil? Funny, I think the Signifiers pretty much qualify as border line Diabolists.

Depends on the signifer... but yeah, overall signifers have a higher likelihood of leaning toward an evil extreme than most rank-in-file Hellknights.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Wonder if this supplement will have Hellknight Armiger archetypes of common classes for entry (including spellcasting classes)? Also wonder if it will update the Hellknight prestige classes to work well with more recently released material (including said archetypes, of more classes than were around when the prestige classes were written).

There's probably not going to be a competing new Hellknight PrC, but there might be a few tinkers and ways in.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Tons of neat ideas and suggestions.

I'll see what I can getcha. ;)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

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Dragnmoon wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?

I would love more information on how a paladin is able to join a group knowing it supports an evil government and how a paladin is able to get around the paladin code. To me Hellknights and Paladins just don't mix and how there are Paladins in the Hellknights has just not been explained to my satisfaction.

As an example your opening line for the blurp of this book

"Merciless, black armored enforcers, Hellknights care nothing for good or evil, only the order’s absolute, unflinching vision of law."

does not fit what a paladin is. A paladin is more then just law they care about good and evil.

Fringe cases are always going to be fringe cases.

Most Hellknights are not paladins. Some paladins are Hellknights. The overlap on that venn diagram is not especially large, but it canonically does exist.

Hellknights are fanatics. Paladins are also fanatics. In some orders, some members are capable to making their fanaticisms align. This is not commonly the fast track to the echelons of paladin or Hellknight power, but it can happen. Those that can straddle both worlds are uncommon exceptions, but interesting for being exceptions. They are also likely to face unique challenges to both their faith and their allegiance.

If you can imagine exceptional ways in which a Hellknight might also be a paladin, go ahead and add paladin-Hellknight to your roster of characters to play.

If you can't or otherwise don't like that idea, don't.

It's your game, include/exclude whatever you want.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:

Info on how the newer Occult classes may/may not fit into the organization would be awesome.

I would love to see traits that help various classes feel more "hellknight"...

Seems reasonable.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Itchy wrote:

More on Order of the God Claw please! I'm playing an Order of the God Claw Hellknight in Rise of the Runelords. :) He is loosely based upon Javert from Les Miserables. It's been a lot of fun.

This will be in my cart for sure, I like the Hellknights and find them intriguing.

Nice. Javert is CERTAINLY the major inspiration behind the whole group.

After I first wrote about these guys in the Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide folks started mentioning "Oh, like Judge Dredd." To which I've always been like, "Oh, yeah, I guess him too." :)

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