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Golden-Esque's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStar Venture-Agent. 767 posts (5,623 including aliases). 38 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 14 Pathfinder Society characters. 4 aliases.

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** Venture-Agent aka Golden-Esque

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I'm of two minds about this.

On one hand, I know there's an audience for super hard games, and I think that said audience should get a bone (or a Bonekeep) thrown at them every now and then.

On the other hand, I can't see this idea working out well. At low levels, doing something "quick" like adding the advanced simple template to everything might help a little bit, but mathematically speaking, that template only boosts rolls. It doesn't do anything to prolong the fight, and that's where challenge comes in: monsters need staying power to be truly difficult. By Tier 7-11, the advanced simple template would just be a mere bump in the road; it works for making encounters harder, but not for introducing a true hard mode. Doing that is exceptionally difficult as well, because what constitutes a hard scenario is equal parts monster abilities and the abilities of the players.

In short, "hard mode encounters" are better left to home games, where fights can actually be custom-tailored to a group. It wouldn't be worth the page space that the devs would use.

That said, I'm all for designed hardmode scenarios, like more Bonekeep-type games.

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I never realized that I wanted a clockwork peacock in my life until now....

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"Things don't need to be the optimally best choice in the game in order to be wicked cool." ~ The Blackjacks of Druma

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James Jacobs wrote:
Jareth Elirae wrote:
Are there any thoughts to Paizo selling actual versions of the stuffed owlbear that the iconic kineticist carries with him and is featured on page 15 of Occult Adventurers? Even my most hardcore power gamer friends have seen the picture and say "I want one in real life". That picture seems to have significant appeal (as does the stuffed tiefling to a lesser degree).
It's certainly cute, but I doubt we'd do one, since the owlbear itself isn't really something we invented in the first place.

Side note, my friend Robyn actually made a Gom Gom for our former Venture-Lieutenant before he had to move. I got her to photo-document it and helped her write it into an article for Know Direction.

What do you think?


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The more I hear about the concept of "Game Days," the more disappointed I become. I was hoping for a system that would encourage of my players to try out the mantle of GM, thereby allowing our store to grow in terms of the number of tables I can offer and the number of players I can attract. Instead, what we're getting frankly feels more like an effort to remove HQ from small-scale convention planning by transferring that power to Regional Venture-Coordinators, and it doesn't even do that very well.

The biggest problem that I forsee is the hard "10 per quarter" limit. I don't know what the PFS scene looks like out in Seattle, but judging by how the Regional Venture-Coordinators are spread out across the United States according to the contact info page (Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and abroad), I can only assume that my home lodge in Philadelphia would fall into a hypothetical Northeast region. I honestly don't know; I've never heard of the position before and we're not listed on the page I linked. Assuming we are in a Northeast region, the Northeast includes all of the so-called "Northeast Megalopolis," which includes the cities of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. By this measurement, the most densely populated region of the United States is allocated a meager 10 Game Days. 10 Game Days per quarter, a total of 40 a year, split between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., plus ALL of the other cities and territories in that region, which includes relatively large cities like Pittsburg and Albany.

I do not envy whomever is appointed to be our Regional Venture-Coordinator.

As written, this system seems poised to make it even more difficult for our region to host small-scale Pathfinder Society games for boon credit, not easier. Because now you're putting tons of stress on a single person to plan and allocate a year's worth of cons fairly and in a way that bolsters all members of a number of independent communities that spam five of the country's largest cities. Just how is someone going to politely tell a PFS Venue that's struggling to establish itself in Delaware that a store in Connecticut needs the support more?

Game Days should be allocated by Venture-Captain, not Regional-Coordinator, and they should be used to by the Venture-Captain to strengthen communities. Not to try and encourage someone living in Upstate New York to take an eight hour drive to DC for a one-day convention.

If there's anything in the Game Day program that I'm missing, please inform me. So far I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole system because it seems utterly ineffective in my opinion.

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Yeah, in the PFS Card Game Blog today, Tannis confirmed that all of the non-Iconic class NPCs have pawns in the set because this product is designed to cater to both the Roleplaying Guild and the Adventure Card Game.

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Also, fun factoid: the update will use up some of that extra space on Page 45 by adding Variant Multiclassing rules for the shapeshifter and the vessel to the favored class options section.

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For Luthorne, this is the updated wording on hybrid shape:

Hybrid Shape wrote:

Hybrid Shape: The shapeshifter is able to control her transformation with uncanny precision, allowing her meld her animal shapes and her true form together. The shapeshifter can use her change shape to assume a hybrid shape, an animal shape that is associated with Intelligence and one ability score associated with one other animal shape she knows of her choice. While in a hybrid shape, she gains one base ability from her chosen animal shape, but otherwise retains all abilities she possesses that depend upon her form. She cannot choose the limbs ability in this manner, and if her true form possesses either the aquatic or terrestrial ability and her chosen animal shape possesses the opposing ability, she can select the amphibious ability as if her chosen animal shape possessed it.

Instead of gaining a base ability, the shapeshifter can choose to drastically alter her body shape in one of the following ways if her chosen animal shape’s body shape is different then that of her true shape. First, she can replace her true shape’s legs with her chosen animal shape’s legs, allowing her to retain her true shape’s appearance from the waist up while transforming her body from the waist down to resemble her chosen animal shape’s body from the neck down, similar to a centaur. In such a shape, the shapeshifter’s size category increases by one, but all of her natural attacks deal damage as if she were one size category smaller and she gains the undersized weapons universal monster ability. Second, the shapeshifter can replace all of her true shape’s limbs and hands with the limbs and hands of her chosen animal shape, assuming the appearance of her chosen animal shape except for her face. Finally, she can alter her true shape’s size category by one, becoming one size category closer to her animal shape’s size.

At 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the shapeshifter gains an additional base ability from her animal shape while assuming a hybrid shape.

Basically, a hybrid shape is its own special kind of animal shape, so wildheart doesn't give you your kingdom's abilities while you are using hybrid shape (you aren't in your true form anymore). Its associated with Intelligence and one ability score of your choice from the other animal that makes up the hybrid, but otherwise it should be clear that things like savage spirit and instincts work with a hybrid shape.

Interfacing wildheart was simply something I didn't have room for in this rewrite, but it is certainly a candidate for something I would do in a theoretical, "Everyman Options: Shapeshifter" product. Theoretically speaking, of course.

Also, I've fixed the bear ability to reference ferocity instead of Diehard, added missing abilities to daemon and demon passengers, and fixed the dark messiah's blessings of the planes ability. (In a previous version of the class, vessels got omens at every even level. The Messiah used to trade the 6th-level omen for its ability, but now there is no 6th-level omen. It should be 8th-level as a result."

I'm going to pass this along to Owen for an update after work today, so hopefully you guys should see it by the end of the week. If there's any other questions anyone has, let me know quickly so I can address them.


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Shelly Hudson wrote:
I was a little disappointed about the upcoming GM Suli race boon. I know several people who worked very hard to gather the 4 elemental races to make a suli and now it will be a single boon. Thankfully I haven't played mine yet and will simply re purpose the individual elemental race boons and wait for my Suli (I GM a lot of smaller cons).

In 2013 when I first started PFS, I played my first game with a kitsune swashbuckler using a race boon that Ryan gifted to me. I had been on the fence about society play for some time up until that point (if you listen to the brief stint of Private Sanctuary podcasts where we co-hosted it together, you can hear some of our conversations about it). Giving me those boons (he gave me two to start) is what eventually got me to try the campaign.

Of course, one session after I started playing it was announced that kitsune, nagaji, and wayang would become always available!

People said to me for a while afterwards, "Wow, Alex. Tough break. You wasted a boon when you could have waited a month and done it for free." I never felt that way though, personally. I got my early access, even if it was just one session, and more importantly, I could make more characters without using up my remaining boon.

But hey, who knows? I've been told I'm weird.


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Benjamin Falk wrote:
I really like John Comptons take in the Catfolk introduction, wish that effort had been made for some other races out there too. Some could profit heavily from it and it might be good to keep things a bit more Golarion Lore friendly.

It was a pretty great answer from John considering that my Venture Captain only asked it to mess with me on-air. :-P


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John Compton wrote:
If you feel that Season 7 has invested a little too heavily in the Skill Focus feats, that's valuable feedback that I can take into consideration while working on Season 8. I think you'll also find that the rest of Season 7 has plenty of opportunities to punch villainy in the face—while also having some roleplaying moments to experience even more of Golarion's flavor.

I started playing an investigator this season, and I was worried that my character was going to be useless because investigators take a while to build up their combat effectiveness.

Season 7 has been delightful for the character as a result; I actually wouldn't play a scenario on him if it wasn't Season 7 or one of the famous, "Skill Focus" scenarios if I could help it. Count me in the group that's glad (and prefers) the variance. Only Twisted Circle and Infernal Inheritance 1 are a little extreme on the "talk'em down" end of things, in my opinion, but I give those two a bye because I've been scheduling them for newer players as "mittens-on" scenarios to get folks a little more comfortable with how Pathfinder plays.

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More importantly, this is the first-ever not-a-core-race Iconic character!

That, to me, was more groundbreaking then anything else.

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Just because something is balanced for one class doesn't make it balanced for another class.

Vigilante talents are strong. REALLY strong. The weakest ones let you pick rogue talents / bonus combat feats. THE WEAKEST ONES. Most have benefits that are worth two or even three feats. Shadow's speed is worth FOUR feats.

Ninja tricks are not that powerful. They are worth a feat. Maybe. And they tend to interlock more, such as needing two tricks for invisibile blade, and that is even limited by a shared resource. Vigilante talents have NO shared resource, and few have daily limits.

In short, vigilante talents don't have an Extra Talent feat because if they did, the benefit of each talent would have to be severely lessened.


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I want to start by thanking you for taking a much better tone in the conversation, DM Beckett. I'd like to offer a few counterpoints for the sake of any PFS eyes who may (or may not) be watching.

DM Beckett wrote:

"Evidence #1:

The ruling on archetype legality for the unchained summoner was clearly made to prevent a situation where archetypes that" forgets to include the argument that the ruling on the Unchained Summoner was also put in place to mitigate a lot of the issues that came up with the normal Summoner, (particularly how overpowered it was, due to it's build as you want nature it was often used and played incorrectly, and in a lot of ways grew out of control very fast), and that Paizo intentionally made the Unchained Summoner incompatible with much of the previous material. This was done on purpose, though it was done in a very general way. However, the expressed intent was to balance the class out as it always should have been by removing a lot of the options that allowed it to get so out of hand.

For example, you could literally use all of these arguments to apply to the Undead Lord Cleric Archetype. It also does not conflict with the setting lore, is not overpowered, is a fun addition to the game (being really the only option for a Cleric to have a pet, and like so many folks love to remind everyone, the PFS is not a Good organization, anything goes that gets the job done), and doesn't do anything that is not already otherwise allowed. It too, would be exceedingly easy to alter the Additional Resources to correct if made legal. However, it's not illegal because of any of those reasons, but rather because it is a metagame issue. That is because it could cause trouble with paladin players at the table and the like, (EVEN THOUGH a normal Necromancer/dark Cleric/Undead Controller class is perfectly legal) and would do the same thing. <Not arguing to make Undead Lord legal, just pointing it out as an example>

All of the archetypes that were super powerful are still listed as being banned on the document. Ultimate Magic still says that the broodmaster and synthesis summoner is banned, for instance. Advanced Race Guide still says that the shaitan binder is legal (which is where the disconnect my friend experienced came from). In building the unchained summoner, none of the existing options for the class were invalidated; the two classes have the same class features and names; most of what changed happened to the eidolon's ability progression (specifically the introduction of subtypes and the reduction of evolution points per level) and in the spell list composition of the summoner's spell list. The Pathfinder Design Team never intended to make the unchained summoner incompatible with any of the existing archetypes; although we have no direct comment from them, we can infer this to be true because the following line of text appears on page 8 in Pathfinder Unchained: "Finally, with the exception of the monk, these classes should work with any of the archetypes in previous books so long as the classes have the appropriate class features to replace."

The restrictions were placed on by the PFS Leadership, not the Pathfinder Design Team, and the point of the thread is to try and prove that changing the restrictions for the purpose of the shaitan binder archetype would not hurt Organized Play. It was not, "one of those options that destabilized Organized Play."

As for the undead lord, then we can add to the pile that the shaitan binder doesn't disrupt the flow of table play like the undead lord does. It doesn't create any scenarios where it forces the summoner into a position where it conflicts with the alignment identities of any other class currently in the game. Because the undead lord does that (and arguably creates the same problem as the broodmaster summoner in that it borks action economy for the class in question), it isn't a particularly good counter point.


"Evidence #2:

With Evidence #1 in mind, is the shaitan binder overpowered? It does not disrupt the game’s action economy, like the broodmaster or master summoner, nor does it does not create a neigh unkiller engine of death, like the synthesis summoner does. Clearly, these are the archetypes that are the “problem children,” that PFS wants to avoid bringing back into the game. In the original blog that announced the sanctioning of the unchained classes, it was noted that the unchained summoner qualifies for all existing summoner archetypes, save those that modify the eidolon’s type or base form. Exactly what this means is extremely unclear because it doesn’t appear to reference actual rules text. . ." It's arguably true that the Shaitan Binder is not as broken as other examples, (which is partially matter of opinion), but it is also something that can easily open the door to reintroduce all of the issues with the original Summoner that PFS and PF in general tried to get rid of with the ruling and the Unchained Summoner.

In terms of "broken is a matter of opinion," there are plenty of ways to build every class so that it is broken. I've had entire, relatively tough scenarios die to a guy with the Spirited Charge feat. Hitting things for 90+ damage before rolling your weapon damage dice seems broken to me. But its still allowed in the interest of fun. Most of the issues with the original summoner can't be reintroduced "through the back door" of allowing this one archetype because those problems were inherent in the spell list, the evolution progression, and the number of evolution points per level, all of which cannot be adjusted back by any archetype. As I mentioned, the Additional Resources page still illegalizes all of the archetypes that were broken specifically by name, so this one change isn't going to build a case for those archetypes. Furthermore, most of the really crazy ones, the synthesis summoners, the broodmasters, the master summoners, they all have playtested experience on why those are bonkers and shouldn't be brought back. The only thing holding the shaitan binder back is the fear that allowing it will open the door to bring back those other, broken options, which simply isn't true.


"Evidence #3:

This one is perhaps the most important: an unchained shaitan binder is not overpowered, nor does it clash with any existing flavor in the Pathfinder Society’s lore." This premise kind of goes back to #1, misrepresenting/misleading with the idea that these are the only reasons something is banned in PFS. However, that's not true. Something can also be banned because it is too complex, to open to abuse with other options, because it falls into a banned category of things, because they (PFS) wants to keep it reserved for a special reward later, or because it causes other metagame related issues, but is not actually clash with PFS flavor or themes.

I agree with you that flavor and power aren't the only reasons to keep something banned. In addressing your other notes too: 1) the shaitan binder is not a complex archetype. It makes minor alterations to the eidolon, 2) the shaitan binder was scarcely played, let alone abused, prior to Pathfinder Unchained, 3) playing "take backsies" with an archetype that was already legal and never made illegal to put it on a chronicle later is pretty lame, and 4) metagame issues basically goes back to overpowered-ness, which the archetype is not.

Sorry. There wasn't really anything else I could do for this one other than dissect the reasons you noted.


"Evidence #4:

Nothing from the Unchained Society blog post was reprinted in the Additional Resources page, and the blog itself isn’t listed among the list of sanction Paizo blogs. And why should it be? The original summoner class was removed from the list of available legal sources, so any legalities listed on the Additional Resources page would, by default, have to refer to the unchained summoner. Technically, nothing needs to be done. The broken archetypes are still illegal because they were illegal for the APG summoner." This really doesn't seem to be an argument, evidence, or a premise at all, as much as a bribe perhaps, suggesting it would be easy to fix things to allow this one option, but not others.

Yeah, I didn't do a good job writing this one initially. My apologizes. My point was that the language isn't very clear, because despite what Tempest Knight said I couldn't find any note that, "All blog posts that the PFS Team does are automatically legalized for PFS play," anywhere in the Guide. (If you know it, a page number would be appreciated. That tiny book packs in a crazy amount of rules content, and I find stuff in there that I didn't know about all the time.)

All of these lead to a Conclusion that is either wrong (worst case) or arguable based on opinion and preference (at best).

One of the dirty secrets of Game Design is that when you get right down to it, everything is an opinion. There is no mathematical way to determine if an option is broken or underpowered or not without actual trial experience. Game Design is more like Rocket Science and less like Math. All the numbers could be right for what you predict will happen, but when you actually go out and "do the thing," something happens that you never expected, and now you need to redo everything.

Jason Bulmahn has said the lore warden fighter archetype is overpowered because of the mathematical trades it makes. Mathematically and philosophy-wise, he's probably right. But no one would talk about removing an archetype like the lore warden from the game because in the grand context of things, the fighter is only as powerful as his feats, and the things that make the lore warden mathematically overpowered (the massive maneuver mastery bonus) tend to not be THAT overpowered in play because they more or less compensate for the fact that normally, combat maneuvers hardly ever go off at high levels.

To avoid rambling anymore than I already have, the point is that when you're making a case for anything Game Design wise, arguments are always going to be based upon opinion. What's overpowered in my game in my lodge might not be overpowered for you at your lodge, and vice versa. PFS needs to adopt as close of a middle line as it can, and my points are that if this archetype crosses into overpowered territory, it doesn't do it in a significant way. From a designer's perspective, it makes fair, sometimes poor, trades for what amount to character utility. I think this archetype would be fine in PFS play, and that's all I was trying to prove.

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djones wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Not every vigilante was an aristocrat. Clark Kent was a journalist, Rorschach was a low-life.

Those are bad examples and got nothing to do with Pathfinder or Golarion.

You probably have the knowledge to do a lot better there^^
Well if it's Golarion specific examples of Vigilantes that aren't the iconic, my PFS playtest vigilante is a well-known actor with the Opparan opera company in his social persona, but I imagine PCs don't count.

The thing is, the vigilante class is REALLY good at mirroring a Dexter-type character; someone who can put on social graces by day, but goes around murdering people by night.

In fact, the stalker is SO good at being Dexter, from the emphasize on fear and nonlethal damage, to special abilities based around catching people unaware, that to me, personally, the stalker specialization is less "Batman," and more "serial killer."

Bringing back to Golarion, ANY of the ghosts of Harrowstone could have been excellent examples of characters who were vigilantes in life.

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David Neilson wrote:
Quite seriously, Archetypes do not feel as bad as prestige classes since you do not need to meet weird prerequisites for them. Prestige classes sometimes felt like you needed more planning, and weird warping of your character to fit.

I disagree about the weird warping, but they definitely do need more planning. That's sort of the aspect that makes them fun. Prestige classes are awesome when they feel like your character worked for the class and that hard work paid off. While I don't dislike well-made prestige classes that are based on organizations, such as the Lion Blade in this book, which I have high hopes for, I also think that the game has places for prestige classes like those in the Core Rulebook and the APG; not really tied to any place or organization, but instead tied to a really cool, possibly unique mechanic.

Prestige classes that say, "Hey, you need me to be good at X," are lame, which is what happened in 3.5. Prestige classes that say, "Hey, you want your character to accidentally transform into a Dr. Jeckel / Mr. Hyde split," or "Hey, you want to be really good at sneak attacking with spells, which doesn't have a good single-class character that can deliver the concept," are interesting.

But that's just my opinion, anyway.

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Thomas Seitz wrote:


I'm okay with fewer prestige classes after the glut of like 400-500 hundred in 3.5 D&D 3rd party publishers.

As opposed to the glut of thousands of archetypes? :-P

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John Compton wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Look at that diverse cast of races!

Look at those named NPCs!

Its like John Compton wants me to buy 10 copies of this one....

**Buy 10 copies**

Nah, that seems

**Buy 10 copies**

a little

**Give them to friends**


**Buy 10 more copies**

But if I give them away to friends, how am I supposed to covertly destroy my entire group of PCs with a harem of 20 vishkanya?

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

While the cover is far too comic cartoonish for my taste, the Secret Academies part is intersting enough.

The Red Mantis Assassins are so obviously absent that i expect big things from them soon.

The Red Mantis was first introduced in Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Curse of the Crimson Throne is getting compiled as a hardcover for the Pathfinder RPG and potentially worked in some places by James Jacobs himself.

Your expectations are probably spot-on.

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Eric Hinkle wrote:

Hopefully we get at least a few tomes of blasphemous evil along with the material aimed at the good and neutral divine casters here. {i]Arcane Anthology[/i] was great but I would've liked at least one little fiendish grimoire in it.

But I do expect that this will be great.

Hey now, Arcane Anthology had the tome of a Runelord! That's pretty wicked. :D

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No Krieghton Shane? Huh, that's weird. I thought for sure tha–KITSUNE?!?!?!?!

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I like how Alric is caught alone in his social identity on this cover. Nice!


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Tempest_Knight wrote:
If you would like a breakdown of the failings, I can audit the OP.

So, I'm not sure why you're taking this tone in my thread, or why you feel like you have to tear down my request. (Note: I didn't use the word petition anywhere in my post; that's your word. I find the word petition to be demeaning, like we can't get anything accomplished through civil conversation so we have to riot about it.)

I'll admit that Evidence #4 isn't logical if you've memorized the Guide to Organized Play. But for someone like my friend who is casually scrolling the Additional Resources page (which presents itself as the foremost resource on available player options), the disconnect is real. Perhaps that wasn't conveyed well, and I'm sorry you felt so passionately about attacking a request that you yourself have stated you have no real vested interest in that you felt the need to flounder around this thread, arguing for no real reason.

Obviously, I disagree with your assessment. An argument doesn't need to be perfectly logical to be valid, arguments based on how things feel are equally valid, because ultimately we're playing a game, and things that don't feel fun should be removed. (And considering I'm the OP, I contest the point that I was ever arguing with anyone to begin with).

So please, if you must rip my "arguments" apart, by all means come at me. But the developers have already seen this thread, so regardless of whether or not my thread was meaningful it served its purpose. Have fun tearing down a tower of blocks that have already served their purpose. Alone.


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A friend of mine is hitting a lot of unnecessary hostility about whether or not the shaitian binder archetype for oread summoners should be a legal option for unchained summoners. I’ve made it pretty clear that I think that rules are made to be debated and altered given good evidence, so I’m going to try to prove that the shaitian binder archetype should be PFS legal. Jiggy-style.

An option is only banned if it conflicts with the nature or goals of the PFS, or with the overall balance of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

The shaitian binder does not conflict with the normal rules for selecting archetypes, nor does it conflict with the nature or goals of the PFS.

Oread unchained summoners should be able to select the shaitian binder archetype.

Evidence #1:
The ruling on archetype legality for the unchained summoner was clearly made to prevent a situation where archetypes that A) clashed with the summoner’s new theme of summoning actual outsiders rather than “two-butts, nine-tentacles” monsters and B) archetypes that were too powerful for the APG summoner were not reintroduced to the campaign via the unchained summoner. Generally speaking, the campaign leans towards content inclusion over exclusion whenever possible.

Evidence #2:
With Evidence #1 in mind, is the shaitan binder overpowered? It does not disrupt the game’s action economy, like the broodmaster or master summoner, nor does it does not create a neigh unkiller engine of death, like the synthesis summoner does. Clearly, these are the archetypes that are the “problem children,” that PFS wants to avoid bringing back into the game. In the original blog that announced the sanctioning of the unchained classes, it was noted that the unchained summoner qualifies for all existing summoner archetypes, save those that modify the eidolon’s type or base form. Exactly what this means is extremely unclear because it doesn’t appear to reference actual rules text, as I will now demonstrate.

If we are to assume that “save those that modify the eidolon’s type or base form,” literally means “archetypes that include [This ability alters/replaces the eidolon’s type],” then technically the morphic savant archetype, from the Monster Summoner’s Handbook, should be illegal because it “alters eidolon.” However, that archetype was specifically made for the unchained summoner and isn’t excluded from the Monster Summoner Handbook entry on the Additional Resources page. This inconsistency brings me to my next point.

Evidence #3:
This one is perhaps the most important: an unchained shaitan binder is not overpowered, nor does it clash with any existing flavor in the Pathfinder Society’s lore. The one trade that everyone talks about is the extra +2 Strength to the eidolon, but this 2-evolution point equivalent ability comes at the cost of share spells, one of the summoner’s most potent tools for doing his job: buffing his eidolon to kick butt. This small bonus also only applies if your eidolon has a bipedal form, which means no pounce and no mount, two of the most common summoner strategies. One point that I will concede is that the archetype gives the eidolon access to evolutions that aren’t included in the unchained eidolon, none of those evolutions were barred when summoner classic was legal, and all of them revolve around the expenditure of a lot of extra evolution points for what could be best described as a utilitarian benefit.

Finally, although shaitan binder implies that you have a genie, nothing in the archetype alters or even enforces what your eidolon looks like. Changing the subtype of an eidolon shouldn’t be a problem either; tons of templates already allow you to have things like a fey agathion or a half-fiend psychopomp; none of that goes against the Pathfinder Society’s lore or heritage. And honestly, if flavor is the only real issue here, the simplest thing that could be done is a simple addition to the Pathfinder Society-specific clarifications sheet that says, “oread unchained summoners that choose the shaitan binder archetype can only select the elemental subtype for their eidolon, and they must choose earth as the eidodlon’s element.

Evidence #4:
Nothing from the Unchained Society blog post was reprinted in the Additional Resources page, and the blog itself isn’t listed among the list of sanction Paizo blogs. And why should it be? The original summoner class was removed from the list of available legal sources, so any legalities listed on the Additional Resources page would, by default, have to refer to the unchained summoner. Technically, nothing needs to be done. The broken archetypes are still illegal because they were illegal for the APG summoner. All that needs to be done is to have John or Linda pop into this thread and say, “Yup. Oread summoners rejoice,” and this whole thing will be over. (That said, you guys might want to check the Unchained Society blog and port any restrictions you still want over. Though letting the unchained barbarian and rogue pick classic talents is probably the better option, honestly.)

An option is only banned if it conflicts with the nature or goals of the PFS, or with the overall balance of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
— PFS leans towards inclusion over exclusion when it can be helped.
— The current status of whether this archetype is compatible with the unchained summoner is unclear.
— The shaitan binder does not clash with the Pathfinder Society’s lore.
— The shaitan binder does not significantly increase the power of the summoner.
— The shaitan binder was not illegal for the classic summoner.
— No legal resource claims that an unchained summoner cannot take the shaitan binder archetype.
— If the ability to give shaitan abilities to any eidolon seems immersion-breaking or off-theme, it would be simple to make a slight alteration to the archetype for the purpose of the campaign using a medium that already exists for such clarifications.

Thanks for your time, everyone, and remember: OREADS FOREVER!

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1) Name-dropping my name doesn't make your argument more valid. I also REALLY don't like it when people use me as a means to win an argument, because it means somewhere down the line someone at Paizo's going to have a fan hit them with, "WELL THIS GUY YOU HIRED SAYS I CAN," and then guess what? I don't get hired. Don't ruin this gig for me, man!

2) I'm not a Paizo employee, I'm a freelancer. As anyone with a 401K will tell you, there's a pretty big difference between the two.

3) Even if I was a Paizo employee, anything I say or do on my own (including write a blog) is essentially my own opinion and is never "RAW" or "RAI" unless I was posting under the Pathfinder Design Team forum account.

4) The question here seems to be, "Do supernatural abilities that do not cause damage force spellcasters that are casting a spell to make concentration checks?" The answer, as many people have pointed out, is no. The Concentration rules aren't a list of suggestions; they say for verbatim that when something interrupts your concentration, you need to make a concentration check. The rules don't say, "Use these as an example," they literally just start listing things, and that means that the list is exhaustive unless expanded upon by a future product. You wouldn't argue that the list of combat maneuvers, classes, or spells in the Core Rulebook wasn't exhaustive at the time it was printed, but none of those things needed to say, "This list is exhaustive."

5) I can't figure out how my blog plays into this conversation. I checked and double-checked; nowhere did I insinuate that non-damaging supernatural abilities cause concentration checks, nor did I ever say, "supernatural abilities that function like spells cause concentration checks like spells." As a matter of fact, I specifically wrote, "Some supernatural abilities do function exactly like spells, but they are exempt from a number of rules because supernatural abilities are not spell-like.

6) Now, as a GM, you are fully empowered to make your own rulings in your home games if you want to; the game is literally made to be modded to suit your tastes. But neither I nor the rules themselves agree that what you're describing ought to be the case, and I can think of more than one scenario that such a ruling would prove disastrous to the game's balance. For instance: if non-damaging supernatural abilities interrupted spellcasting, then every bard who sang a dirge of doom would automatically interrupt all spellcasters within 60 feet just by playing his song.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Angrimbor wrote:

1) Not every supernatural ability would, but every targeted supernatural ability would, for the same reason every targeted spell would. Literally any spell forces a concentration check if you cast it in reaction. In case you didn't see it, I'll direct you the the blog in this comment as well.


All due respect to Alex, he did not write the rules and is not a part of the development team. Until he is, and until he changes the rules, his blog means nothing when discussing the rules save as another experienced voice.

I like the "until" bit. Gives me hope for a bright future in this industry. ;-)

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Shadowlords wrote:

Since when did the game need to be balanced....[...]

if [...] one person is taking the spot light it is your job as the DM to "balance" the game.

Under what other circumstances is this kind of nonsense acceptable?

If I go to the dentist and he drills the wrong tooth, it's not my job to fill the cavities he missed.

If I go to the mechanic and he forgets to re-attach the cylinder head, it's not my job to put it back on.

If I go to a restaurant and get served raw chicken, it's not my job to go back into the kitchen and cook it all the way through.

If I get onto an airplane and the pilot doesn't know how to find San Bernadino, it's not my job to navigate.

If I hire a carpenter and he forgets the fourth leg of my table, it's not my job to work the lathe.

But if you go to McDonalds with your kids and choose to use the ball pit, it IS your responsibility to make sure that the play environment is safe and appropriate for your children. McDonalds provides the play area; its your job as a parent to make sure your kids are safe and properly entertained, because different parents have different parenting styles, and it isn't McDonald's place to tell any parent that their method of parenting is "unfun."

Unless of course you're a child abuser, in which case the odds are that you're not going to have kids for much longer.

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
It struck me, reading the description of this, that these "toolbox" books pay lip service to "learn to use your melee, ranged, magic, whatever abilities better," but the books aren't about that – they're about adding a bunch of new options which, in aggregate, are likely to make learning to be a good fighter or mage or whatever even more complicated. Isn't that backwards? Shouldn't we be learning to better use the basic tools before we get into all this new stuff? Or is learning to better use the tools we already have "left as an exercise for the reader"?

My answer to this question would be, "Its worse to ostracize your veterans than to confuse your newbies." Because when you get right down to it, who is more likely to pick a Player Companion off of the shelf and purchase it, the new player or the veteran player? New players should (in theory) be introduced to the game through products like the Beginner Box and "learn the ropes" through products like the Pathfinder RPG Strategy Guide.

Player Companions like the Tactics Toolbox lines aren't aimed at new players so much as they're aimed at the intermediate ones; the folks who have been around the block a few times and are ready to up their game a bit. They're not quite the veterans (for whom much of the advice has the potential of being rhetorical), but they're not beginners.

As for your last question, traditionally each of the Tactics Toolbox products have about a half page of various "beginner tactics" and even some "advanced tactics" for a multitude of topics. Then there's new content to help improve the game in those specific areas. Typically learning the basic tools isn't an exercise for the reader, but just because tools are in place doesn't mean we can't (or shouldn't) make new tools or make the tools we already have better.

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As one of the aforementioned guys who debated this on Know Direction last night, here would be by proposed "response."

If a feat or ability's benefit is contingent is dependent upon you using a specific action, such as hitting an opponent with a shield bash attack or summoning a creature, you may choose whether or not to apply that feat's benefit each time you perform that specific action.

If a feat or ability's benefit does not depend upon you using a specific action, then that feat's benefit is always active.

So for instance, you can choose whether or not you Shield Slam or give Moonlight Summons to your summoning spells because they depend upon you taking a specific action (making an attack or casting a spell in both cases). My argument to Ryan was that just because you have a feat like Shield Slam or Moonlight Summons, you shouldn't automatically forget how to "do the action" without applying the feat. Feats such as Fey Foundling, however, are always active because their benefit is not tied to a specific action that the feat's owner takes.

AFAIK, there aren't any feats in the "activation" category that would become broken as a result of this ruling. Can anyone think of any corner cases where I'd be wrong?

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully this explains what's going on.

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From Owen K.C. Stephens:


Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming are pleased to announce they have joined forces! In addition to massive new joint projects (to be announced soon!), RGG will now be offering Everyman Gaming’s catalog for sale!

If you missed any of these amazing products, you can now find them in RGG’s storefronts!
We’ve already transferred everything at DriveThruRPG, and will soon also have Everyman products available at our Open Gaming Store, Paizo, and Tabletop Library storefronts!
Alex Augunas will remain in control of Everyman Gaming, continuing the amazing work he’s done creating Pathfinder-compatible products, and we at RGG are pleased to be able to help present his impressive catalog of work!

Similar Message from Alex Augunas:


Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming, LLC are pleased to announce that they've joined forces! In addition to massive new joint projects (the first of which will be announced soon), Everyman Gaming's catalog will now be offered under Rogue Genius Games's storefronts. All of Everyman Gaming, LLC's products on DriveThruRPG have already been transferred over, and Rogue Genius Games will soon be hosting Everyman Gaming's wares at the Open Gaming Store, Paizo, and Tabletop Library storefronts!

Author Alex Augunas will remain in control of Everyman Gaming, continuing to create the same high-quality products that you've come to know and love, and Everyman Gaming is pleased to be working with Rogue Genius Games to help get those same products into the hands of adoring fans. You can view our new home at the following link.

So, to recap:

    1) Owen and I are combining forces!
    2) Everyman Gaming products will henceforth be listed under Rogue Genius Games's catalog. Over the next few weeks, products will slowly have their covers updated to bear both the Rogue Genius Games logo and the Everyman Gaming logo.
    3) Alex still owns Everyman Gaming, LLC, and he still has complete control of every product that Everyman Gaming publishes.
    4) This partnership has opened the doors for a number of unique partnerships between Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming, LLC, including (but not limited to) collaborations, cross-company products, and more.
    5) The "celebration" of this union will come soon(TM), in the form of a massively mind-blowing project.

One final note, as part of the partnership, I've decided to pull Psychological Combat and Leadership Handbook from my catalog. Its something I've been thinking about doing, and the merger seemed like a good opportunity to do it. Anyone who's bought either Psychological Combat or Leadership Handbook has had their account credited with a free copy of Ultimate Charisma on us.

Owen and I hope you'll continue to support both Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming, LLC as we move forward in this partnership. Both Owen and I have plenty of exciting projects and products that'll be coming out soon, the most public of which is the Dynastic Races Compendium Kickstarter that I'll be running starting March 30th, 2016.

Any questions? Post away!

Alex Augunas
Everyman Gaming, LLC

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Xethik wrote:

Thanks for the info on the new Fencing Grace. Makes me quite sad, personally. Rapier + Rapier with Effortless Lace should live on, forever!

I mean, I guess it helps to be consistent and disallow Dex to damage with extra attacks (Flurry or TWF) with URogue as an exception. I guess I'm just against that movement.

It only really bothers me for the swashbuckler, personally. Here you have what is supposed to be the ultimate Dex-based martial, and not only can it not use Dex to damage for all but a scarce few weapons (which what ought to be its inferior, the unchained rogue, can), but it is completely unable to use one of the most iconic swashbuckler weapon styles: two-weapon fighting.

Here's hoping that time will heal all wounds. :-)

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Ross Byers wrote:
Aura of the unremarkable is going to be fun.

Its so good at what it does that you didn't even know that it was originally printed in Cheliax, Empire of Devils. :-P

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
Please pass along my thanks to Linda for both the individual and organization influence subsystems, then, because they're excellent, and I can't wait to get completely to grips with them.

Aww, thanks! Glad you like them :)

I built the individual influence system off of the influence mechanics from several Pathfinder Society scenarios, so if you like that system, I recommend checking out
** spoiler omitted **
I was kind of surprised that the research system from Blakros Connection / Mummy's Mask didn't make it in. I REALLY like that system.
Belay your surprise and turn to page 148. Rob managed to make the already-good research rules 300% cooler than before for Intrigue, and since I try to keep the PFS team apprised of book content at the weekly PFS meetings, I was actually able to get John an early copy of the new changes to use for Blakros Connection. So in fact, Blakros Connection has the research system from a time warp!

... they're there! They're really there!

THIS IS THE SECOND-BEST DAY EVER! (The first best was when Wes told me that I could freelance for Paizo.)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chemlak wrote:
Only question I've got now is whether Alex is going to have to rework a few bits of Ultimate Charisma to account for the new stuff on Leadership.

Probably not. My approach is quite different from what's in the book, if I recall correctly. (I haven't given as much attention to the subsystems; I like to read longer bits like that in dead tree version because its easier for me to read them without hurting my eyes.)

If there are neat ways that I can tie Ultimate Intrigue into Ultimate Charisma, I will. But doing a update of a compilation seems like a waste of my energies. There comes a point where its better to make something new rather than constantly refine the old, and all that jazz.

EDIT: To reiterate, I'm not going to rework anything. If I do anything, I'll be making something entirely new that says something like, "If you want to use these both together, here's how to do it."

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We made a post about it!

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Oh you're right Donato! My bad!

The Player Companion line took a hiatus this month because Inner Sea Faiths is big and beautiful at a whooping 90-something pages. We'll be back to our regularly-scheduled crunch-a-palooza in April.

7 people marked this as a favorite.

By the way, I messaged her privately to say this and now I'm going to say it publicly: last week Mark revealed that Amanda was the one who wrote the vigilante archetypes for the book, and I have to say that she hit everything out of the PARK. Like, freelancers better watch out. She might get dibs on every archetype ever until the end of time because of her work in Ultimate Intrigue. And I think I might be strangely OK with that....

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Yrtalien wrote:

If possible could someone better at parsing rules field a question for me regarding the Warlock, I will try not to post too much directly from the book...

A Warlock still chooses a specialization correct?
I would still gain either the full BaB or the precision damage... correct?

Can the Warlock then choose the unique talents from that specialization?

I ask because under warlock it says you can choose from the warlock talents and general talents...

and that makes me think he cant get stuff like Combat skill or Signature Weapon? Is that right?

Any help appreciated...

The new warlock archetype makes me REALLY happy, because I playtested the warlock and wasn't thrilled with it. The archetype is MUCH better than the playtest class. SO much better. The answer to your questions, in order, is:

1) No. The warlock replaces vigilante specialization, so:
2) He can't pick any talents that require stalker or avenger, which means:
3) Combat Skill and Signature Weapon are both not allowed.

But who cares? I, at least, am thrilled, because the warlock got the ONE THING that I suggested that it get throughout the entirety of the playtest. Thanks for listening, Logan and PDT! :D

Now I need to get off this board: I'm so close to an Ultimate Intrigue fan-splosion that it isn't funny, and I swore to Ryan that I would save it for our big Ultimate Intrigue review next month.

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Milo v3 wrote:
Are warlocks able to learn spells off spell lists other than magus?

Yes, because they don't use the magus spell list.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I don't think I'm allowed to share tidbits yet. :(

I know the feels. I was telling Amanda about how hard it was to sit on this last week. :(

I will say two things, however: 1) I have been quoted several times by various Paizo employees as having said that in my humble opinion, the new vigilante is my favorite martial class in the game. 2) There's a feat that made me chuckle because its essentially Mark's way of fixing an issue with one specific stat block. ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It was John's birthday, but we got the presents!


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I not only LOVE that this takes place in Druma, but that John and Linda got THURSTY to write it! That's SO funny!

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So I don't speak for Paizo, but I'd be happy to give you my interpretation as the designer of the trait. Its written a little wonky because one of the choices is a bloodline feat while the other two are actual categorizations. That's what the trait is looking for: categories. Do the options that you can pick from allow you to choose from one or more feats of that type?

In any case, ranger is fine (but why would you want to?), monk and fighter and warpriest are 100% okay. Monk doesn't say bonus combat feat, but every feat you can choose from at every level is a combat feat. Wizard is fine, and if you're an arcanist who takes the metamixing exploit, you can take Magical Tail instead of that exploit.

Bloodline feats aren't an independent categorization; they only exist if your class grants you a bloodline feat class feature. So basically, its saying that a sorcerer or bloodrager effectively adds Magical Tail to the list of bloodline feats that the character can pick from.

Martial Flexibility doesn't grant a feat, it grants a benefit of a feat. Since you're not actually getting the feat, you can't pick Magical Tail instead of said feat. (Although an archetype that allows you to sounds super cool and totally like something I'd be willing to try in my 3PP Dynastic Races Compendium product.)

Hopefully Owen will chime in and give you something more official. (His unofficial rulings significantly outweigh mine since his could end up in an official FAQ somewhere, where I'm just a guy spouting his opinion on the forums who happened to write the rule in question. ;-P)

4 people marked this as a favorite.


GREAT choice. I'm loving how the newer Iconic backstories are beginning to tie the others together. Nice work, John and Paizo! :D

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd rather not talk any more about Ascetic Style more then I already have.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ferious Thune wrote:

Everyone is missing the most exciting and unexpected feat in the book...

Extra Ninja Trick.

This has needed to exist since Ultimate Combat. I know it could be house ruled that Extra Rogue Talent would work, but for PFS, it's big, as there actually are enough Ninja Tricks worth taking that you might spend a feat to pick one up at some point. After, you know, you use two ninja tricks to pick up feats...

Anyway, not really all that exciting. I just never thought it would happen. Thanks to whoever got that added in.

Yes! When I was assigned the feat section, the first thing I asked Owen was whether I could do Extra Ninja Trick. :D

Stuff like Extra Ninja Trick is actually the reason I started involving myself so heavily in organized play after I started freelancing for Paizo. Its a great way to hear from, like, a million people about holes they perceive in the Pathfinder rules set.


EDIT: I'm a little disappointed that Wayang didn't get any favored class options for Arcanist.

Overall, though, there's some cool stuff in the book. I'll have to update my proposed PFS build for my Wayang Archaist shadow magic specialist. Shield of Darkness has potential, though the duration isn't great. Shadow Trap is useful as a 1st level spell.

Four pages is NEVER enough! I stick by the choices I made for their favored classes in that section, though. I think of the entire list, my favorites were kineticist (I hope Mark beamed a little that I gave the wayang bonuses for being chaokineticists) and druid (the "If you pick this at first level it adds a domain to the list of druid domains you can pick" is one of my favorite ideas ever. That is, until the next thing I did for Paizo....).

EDIT, EDIT: Scratch that part about the Oracle. They already had a favored class bonus for that one. It's odd that it wasn't reprinted here, but I'd rather have new options than a reprint of old ones.

Yeah, we aren't typically instructed to reprint stuff in the PC line. We're too spatially constrained. Every word needs to do everything it can to BLOW YOUR MIND! (That last part is all me, nothing in our contracts or anything. ;-P)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Erikthered wrote:

I am a little disappointed in the Shadow Transmutation spell. I say this as a huge fan of the other Shadow school spells, but it offers so little flexibility that it seems kind of useless. I'm not going to burn a 6th level spell to emulate the first levels and give extra will saves to enemies. Animal growth and anthropomorphic animal both require having friendly animals on hand. Fins to feet is extremely situational. Polymorph is a cool spell, but I'd rather spend a 5th level slot for it instead of a 6th level for a weakened version.

Someone please sell me on this spell.

For sorcerers, it means you know all of the spells you just listed with a single spell slot. And a bunch of those spells (like fins to feat and animal aspect) don't really care if your enemies disbelieve the spell or not. Same is true of wizards, except one prepared spell to have an incredibly flexible spell slot.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, Monica!

I'm looking forward to the day that I can run your module for my store at PFS. :D

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
How did Alexander Augunas and yourself decide to partner up?

For the curious, Insain Dragoon is taking about the talks to merge Rogue Genius Games (my 3pp company) ("RGG")and Everyman Gaming (Alex Augunas' 3pp publishing company), as hinted at here.

That's not a "Paizo Developer" type question, but this IS "Ask Owen K.C. Stephens" anything. But it's more appropriate for me to not use my Paizo account to promote non-Paizo companies I am involved in.

To get to the question - I am available to nearly anyone who is interested in my opinion on game career, gaming, and game company questions, and Alex had some. And, my wife Lj (the bad-ass gamer chick who outgeeks me at nearly every turn) volunteered to help him with some layout issues, so they had a few long conversations. And, he's working on a couple of projects for RGG.

So we had some talks about game company things, and the possibility that working together might create a win-win came up. We tabled it, and then had a dedicated conversation later. While there aren't signed contracts yet, it looks very likely we'll be selling Everyman gaming products through our sales channels.

Alex has done some excellent work, so I am pleased as punch to be part of bringing those things to market.

I'm flattered to be on the first page of your Ask Me Anything page! <3

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Seelah just looks like she's had enough of Thursty's BS. XD

Nice work, Thursty!

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