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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!
Ha! I remember seeing that when someone thought it might be heralding something Arcadian, and figured it would be a monster for Mummy's Mask. Never imagined it would be a 0-HD race, though.
Yup! There's a lot of eager will-be Arcadians out there, so any hint gets the rumor mill started.
As I said, now you've got me torn on what to do with the Adam Warlock analogue I've been tinkering with for a Guardians of Golarion style team.
Decisions, decisions. Part of the inspiration for the look of these guys was the Guardians episode of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which Warlock is in. And he's SUPER cool in it. Enough that I was like, oh, we need some of that in Pathfinder.
Also, I echo the sentiment on the River of Souls article. I haven't had a chance to examine it in depth, but on first glance, it looked really cool and informative. It might also help in clarifying some things for a sort of "soul transmigrational" adventure idea I've had in mind for some time now that was inspired by stories of Egyptian pharaohs being buried with their servants to assist them in the afterlife.
Sounds cool! Be sure to let us know how it goes as soon as you've got it together!
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.
For my piece, I didn't feel any more or less restricted in my mapping for this project than any other. Paizo only publishes dungeon maps in adventures as either full-pagers or half-pagers—there are always those specs on projects, you simply don't see us printing round maps or page-and-a-half-sized maps. If adventures feel like the designers have complete control over their medium, I rather think that speaks to the strengths and professionalism of the designer, not to their having carte blanche to do as they will. As I recall, the only additional specs added on for the Emerald Spire maps were to use 5-foot squares and to create a single level (no split levels), which didn't feel that outlandish. Heck, I seem to recall we even got graph paper of the proper size.
As with any project featuring this many participants you might be able to notice designers' particular strong points from level to level. Some designers are amazing storytellers, or encounter designers, or trap builders, or cartographers. As such, you might notice their particular strengths contrasted by their fellow authors' strengths. In effect, that means you're going to see the work of some awesome map makers next to the work of designers whose strengths lie elsewhere, or whose tastes are radically different. You're going to see some real old-school work in here—as there are a few real old-school authors—next to the work of those with more radical sensibilities. Readers are sure to find their favorites in the mix. But, at least for me, that's actually part of the appeal of an exquisite corpse project like this. It's the variety that makes experiments like this so interesting.
For folks who haven't seen the maps yet, I'll ask Owen to preview a couple in this weekend's Emerald Spire blog. I've also just posted the sketch I did for my dungeon, level 10, the Magma Vault, on my personal Tumblr here. It's not Jason Engle's awesome final map, but it suggests what you can expect in the awesome final piece.
(You can also check out more about this level, the Magma Vault, and some art from it in this past weekend's Emerald Spire preview on the Paizo blog.)
Overall, I think the breadth of talents featured in the Emerald Spire will make it rather difficult to generalize on any level. I think some folks are really going to love that and, beyond using it as a fascinating adventure, will find it chocked full of adventure design insights. For those who like the formality and unified tone of a single author adventure, though, might I recommend...
Cool. Will there be a strong backstory for the Emerald Spire, like who built it how long ago and why in the module or just stuff hinted at and referenced in generalizations, nothing spelled out exactly.
It's a complete adventure (series of adventures) with a complete background and plot.
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.
What is it that every campaign setting needs a mega-dungeon? Greyhawk had Castle Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms had Undermountain – is Bastardhall Golarion's answer to this quandary?
I don't know how much of a quandary it is, but Golarion—like many campaign settings—is thick with large structures that would make exciting places to have extended adventures.
I'd say Golarion's most iconic is the Starstone Cathedral in Absalom, but others like the Spire of Nex, El Raja Key, Viperwall, Kaer Maga, and the Well of Lies all come to mind as well. In fact, every one of the dungeons presented in Dungeons of Golarion (both featured in the dozen or so mentioned in the introduction; of which Bastardhall is included) is called a megadungeon.
So the concept's not one we've avoided.
As for what makes a megadungeon...
Thanks for all the interest folks! For now, though, the best way to get more Bastardhall is to be at Paizocon or.... you, know, abduction.
The Paizocon 2014 event schedule just went up, so if—like me—you're not a fan of kidnapping, you can soon put your name in the lottery for this year's foray: The Silent Servant of Bastardhall. (Event Lottery Details)
Hope to see a bunch of you at the show!
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.