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Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. 3,541 posts (6,143 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 28 aliases.

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*Blink* *Blink*

Um... What Latrecis said...

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GM (me) Make a Stealth check to sneak past the guard.
Rogue *rolls* Natural 20! With all my bonuses thats... 51!
GM . . .
Sorcerer With that roll, he could sneak by the guard by doing the moonwalk naked while playing Back in Black on the electric ukelele!

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This thread title wrote:
Is D&D set in the Bronze Age or the Iron Age?

Yes. No. Maybe. None of the above. All of the above. It depends.

Seriously, that's like asking, "Is fantasy literature set in the Bronze Age or Iron Age?"

Grand Magus wrote:

My friend plays D&D like it's happening during the Bronze Age. I don't completely agree with this and lean towards running games set in the Iron Age.

Now, I may be over complicating things, but I'm pretty sure there was no magic in the Bronze Age.

Um, as much as I hate to be the one to tell you... magic does not, in fact, exist, and did not exist in the Bronze Age, or the Iron Age... or ever.

As for what technological age you're running, it completely depends on the setting. A baseline, setting-neutral D&D game generally assumes a technological level akin to that of the European Middle Ages.

The original litary inspiration for D&D included early medieval sagas such as Beowulf, late medieval chivalric tales such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or The Song of Roland, late 19th and early 20th-century pulp fiction such as Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan" or "John Carter of Mars," and the slew of fantasy and swords-and-sorcery fiction from the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, including such works as Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings," Andre Norton's various fantasy series, Michael Moorcock's "Elric Saga," Fritz Leiber's "Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser" series, Ann McCaffery's "Dragonriders of Pern" series, and Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" series.

Note that some of the above sources mix in science fiction elements into their fantasy. Others can't be placed neatly into historical settings.

As for the setting in a modern D&D game, it really depends on your world.

You can run a game in the Old Stone Age, or in the glory days of Ancient Rome. Or maybe in a science-fantasy world with magically-powered starships. the D20 Modern rules set the game in the early 21st century.

In short-- you can use the OGL rules to run a game anywhere!

But the baseline, setting-neutral rules assume that your game is something like Tolkien's Middle Earth: akin to the European Middle Ages.

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That was going to be my question: Are you talking how much we spend on gaming stuff, or do you want to know people's total cost of living?

I'd be happy to share the former, but the latter is private, and I won't be sharing that on a public messageboard.

On any given month, I usually spend somewhere between $50 and $200 on gaming stuff.

(According to my last credit card statement, I spent about $400 in Dec/Jan, although $150 of that was backing Richard Pett's The Blight Kickstarter and $85 was for the three 5e core books.)

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captain yesterday wrote:
It's funny how the left handed captain is invariably the evil one... wait a minute.. I'm left handed!

No, the evil twin is the one with the goatee.

Wait a minute.. I have a goatee!

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Asmodeus is one handsome devil!

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Might as well update my current campaign...

Original cast...

Lynnda Windstrike, Female human sorcerer (arcane bloodline) and Shadow, her cat familiar
Halvor Tanner, Male human fighter
Krissina, Female human oracle (flame mystery)
Kyrian, Male half-elf rogue (investigator archetype)
Cerinibert, Male aasimar (of gnomish stock) druid

Lynnda was originally my character, but the GM resighed and I took over the GM duties. She's the sister of the NPC Kaven Windstrike from Book 3. After GMPCing her through the Catacombs of Wrath, I eventually wrote her out of the story. The players of Krissina and Halvor also both resigned; the characters are still NPCs in Sandpoint, but they've stopped adventuring because reasons.

We brought in three new players. Their PCs are:

Gwynithiel, Female elf arcanist/rogue
Helena the Pale, Female human oracle (life mystery)
Orik Vancaskerkin, Male human fighter

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The Life That Never Was

This cottage at first appears to be a regular bookshop that sells mundane books: mostly novels and biographies. In addition to standard fare, customers often find an anonymously-penned title that somehow references something that occurred in their own life... often something not widely known. When opening the book at random and skimming a page, the reader will at first be astonished to notice that the protagonist of the story shares their own name, and that the other characters in the book share the names of friends, enemies, and loved ones. All of the characters in the book seem to be written to (mostly) match what their real analogues would do in that situation.

However, the plot of the book is unfamiliar to the reader: it tells a tale of something that the reader has not experienced... or does not remember. The eerie thing is that the tale is clearly something that could happen... or could have happened.

Once examined, the words of the book are fixed.

The proprietor of the bookstore is a well-dressed, bespectacled satyr who does not appreciate browsers who fail to purchase the tale of their life that never was.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

It is not like there has been any APs were the entire adventure takes place outside of the Inner Sea.

Reign of Winter has two such adventures, Legacy of Fire has one.
And Jade Regent has four.

Actually, Reign of Winter has four as well...

The Snows of Summer: Taldor (Inner Sea Region)
The Dancing Hut: Irrisen (Inner Sea Region)
Maiden, Mother, Crone: Iobaria Golarion (Goalrion, outside Inner Sea Region)
The Frozen Stars: Triaxus (off-world, but still in Golarion's solar system.)
Rasputin Must Die! Siberia, WWI-era Earth (off-world, in another star system)
The Witch Queen's Revenge: Entirely inside the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, which is essentially its own demiplane. The hut is still standing in Siberia.

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If everyone at the table is having fun, then you're doing it right!

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Huh... it's a simple question. I endeavor to follow canon but I enjoy reading these turning points for myself. Like the undoing of the Asmodean paladins a while back. My request was not intended to sound sarcastic: where can I read about the new Erastil faith direction?
Erastil's write-up in Inner Sea Gods supersedes his write-up in Rivers Run Red. Consider it errata rather than a retcon.
Thank you Haladir!

You're welcome.

All of the write-ups of the Core 20 deities in Inner Sea Gods supersede the earlier write-ups that appeared in the deity articles in the Adventure Path line.

Side-conversation about changes to the campaign setting information.:
In general, where there is contradiction or omission between different sources, the new supersedes the old. Inner Sea World Guide supersedes the 3.5/OGL Pathfinder Chronicles: Camapign Setting. The "Dominion of the Black" article in Valley of the Brain Collectors supersedes the "Dominion of the Black" information in Distant Worlds. Elves' attitudes toward other peoples in Inner Sea Races supersedes how this was described in both the Second Darkness AP and Elves of Golarion.

This is how Paizo makes course corrections on the development of its world when it wants to re-write an eariler draft or something slipped through the continuity controls. They try not to draw attention to the changes, and rather just stop talking about the earlier interpretation. Again, they want players to consider changes like these to be errata rather than a retcon.

The problematic lines in the Erastil article in Rivers Run Red ran contrary to the Creative Director's vision of Erastil and his faith. In the later write-up, these lines were excised. There is no in-game reason for this change: that aspect of Erastil's faith was an error that was missed during the continuity edit pass and should never have been included in the first place.

It's like if a Feat was printed in a book that said it gave a +8 untyped bonus, but was supposed to be +4 circumstance bonus: It's an error that was missed in the edit passes that later gets corrected. There's no in-game reason why characters who had the feat are suddenly less effective: it was just an error in the rules.

And, if you're the GM, you get to say if you like the earlier "wrong" version of the setting better. If you feel that having a god of "home and hearth" value women less than men makes your game more fun or more interesting, then go ahead ans use it in your game. Just be cognizant that Paizo won't be printing any more support of that version.

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A sandwich of pork liver pâté on French bread, braised kale with bacon and onions, an apple, two tangerines, and a can of lemon seltzer.

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In the original Worldwound write up in the 3.5 Campaign Setting, there was some kind of magic fairy dust mixed into the river borders that kept the demons from leaving the former Sarkoris.

Wardstones are SO much cooler!

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I got a $75 Amazon gift card for Christmas. I used it to buy the 5e Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual.

And as for a late present for myself, I backed the Richard Pett/Frog God Games Kickstarter for The Blight campaign setting and adventure path: hardcover, PDF, and four add-on modules.

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Well, if we're sticking with the fantasy/sci-fi genre...

I've tried several times, but was never able to get into Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. (My wife is a huge fan.) While I like the premise (i.e the tales of King Arthur from the point-of-view of the women in the stories), I guess I'm too much of a traditionalist when it comes to Arthurian tales. Of course, I wasn't able to get through The Once and Future King by T.H. White either.

While I did very enjoy Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, it was very much a hippy-dippy period piece from the 1960s, and large parts don't really hold up today. For that matter, I really haven't liked any other Heinlein novel I've read (including The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Time Enough for Love, Starship Troopers, and Number of the Beast) They've been interesting enough to finish, but I have no need to ever read another Heinlein novel.

Several of my friends strongly recommended to me The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. I did get through the first novel of that trilogy. While I thought the imagery was gorgeous, the plot and characters seemed completely derivative of every other fantasy novel I'd ever read. I got bored about a quarter of the way through the second novel and never picked it up again.

While I am a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I did not enjoy Childhood's End. I just thought the book was a huge downer, and it really bummed me out for a while.

I tried to read Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard before I realized he was the same guy that founded Scientology. (It turned out that the friend who recommended it was a Scientologist.) That book was just awful, and I gave up about four chapters in.

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To be honest, it would not surprise me at all if they put toghether another Pathfinder conversion of one of the 3.5 APs for the 10th anniversary of the Pathdinder line... which would be next year...

My money would be on a conversion of Curse of the Crimson Throne. It remains extremely popular, and Edge of Anarchy, Seven Days to the Grave, and Escape From Old Korvosa are all out of print.

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Our wizard did have the teleport spell, but the player rolled terribly the first time he used it. The PCS ended up in the middle of the Storval Deep miles from shore without any good means of rescuing themselves! The fighter had to strip off his magic armor and let it sink to the bottom before drowning. The wizard thought to cast extended wall of ice to make a frozen raft for a few minutes while they figured out what to do. Another character remembered that she had a feather token: swan boat, which they used to get to shore.

Consequently, the party got very gun-shy about using teleport!

After defeating the ogres of Hook Mountain, they ended up with a LOT of giant-sized Thassilonian loot, including the armor from a rune giant. They had earlier befriended the Pathfinder Society, and realized that they would probably pay top dollar for the Thassilonian artifacts. I also reminded the players that I also enforce the size limits of bags of holding and similar items: much of the giant-sized loot woudn't fit!

They eventually contracted with a riverboat captain in Turtleback Ferry to bring them back to Magnimar by water, with a load of the giant-sized loot! It took a couple of weeks. I ran some river-based wandering monster encounters along the way... including an attack by hobgoblin river pirates, and another by one of Black Magga's severed tentacles that was growing into... something.

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Neal Litherland, in the original post wrote: don't HAVE to take paladin levels to play a knight in shining armor who follows a code and always tries to do the right thing.

However, the biggest push back to this is that there seems to be a lot of assumptions being made regarding the paladin. The two big ones I kept running into were:

1) All paladins are called paladins in-game. When they fill out their adventurer tax forms, that's what they put under job description. Not knight, or soldier of the faith, or any other title given to them by the organization (if any) they operate as part of.

2) All paladins must be part of an organization that is paladins-only. Even if they're part of an established church, paladins are sequestered into their own sections just because of their abilities.

As far as I'm aware, there isn't anything in the text that supports these assumptions. Paladins don't have to come from a holy order, and may have never seen someone like themselves before, as far as I'm aware. Additionally, given how rare they are supposed to be, it seems ridiculous that there would be a specific name for them known by the entire population. They have an unmistakeable aura of good, but what are the chances of most of the in-game population knowing the difference between a warpriest, a cleric, and a paladin? Especially if they all serve the same church, or divinity? For that matter, what are the chances of the PARTY knowing the difference, if most of them haven't had much contact with the divine or the mystical before?

Emphasis mine.

I have to agree with your perspective 100%.

As to the question about what the term "Paladin" (or the name of any character class) means in-game: This ENTIRELY depends on how the GM has set up the world!

I already mentioned how I run this in my version of Golarion.

Other GMs are free to interpret this as they see fit.

As long as the GM and players are on the same page... what's the problem again?

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So, I guess the bottom line here is: "Ask your GM!"

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SmiloDan wrote:


I'm not reading the rest of that!

I got as far as 900 page rulebook, and it seems really unpleasant to boot.

So, basically a really clunky game system about a lot of unfun stuff.

And I hated Hackmaster....

A more fitting title for FATAL would have been Misogyny: The Role-Playing Game.

The game stated unapologetically that women were inferior in every way to men. Its game mechanics reflected that. The author attempted to justify these rules with factually incorrect appeals to history, and quotes from "great philosophers" like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and St. Paul.

I wish I was kidding when I say that this pile of excrement provided game mechanics for raping women and young girls. I mean, pages and pages and pages of game mechanics for rape. Including how to rape someone to death. It treated rape like a big joke.

On the rare occasions I have run across a print copy of FATAL in a used bookstore, I always buy it. So that I can throw the thing into the nearest Dumpster, to make sure that it doesn't fall into the hands of an impressionable youngster. (I have done this twice.)

Why Something Awful won't review the game F.A.T.A.L.

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How the term "paladin" is used in-game depends on the setting of the game.

In general, class names are abstractions: a way to put game mechanics around story elements.

In my interpretation, class names don't necessarily mean anything specific within the game-world. For example, "Wizard" in my world means someone who learned magic through some kind of training (whether that's by enrolling in a college of magic or being an apprentice to an established wizard.) Calling yourself a 'wizard' implies that you're skilled in not just magic, but also other lore, and that you know your way around a library. In my game, a 'wizard' might have levels in wizard, arcanist, magus, or alchemist... or even other classes like investigator or occultist.

"Priest" and "cleric" are interchangible terms that mean someone with ecclesiastical authority in a church. While most priests have levels of cleric, a priest could be just about any character class, including oracle, druid, paladin, adept, ranger, warpriest, bard, expert, aristocrat, etc.

Likewise, the terms "sorcerer" and "witch" are used interchangably to mean someone who was born with "the Gift" of magic... "witch" being the more perjorative term. Sorcerers, witches, oracles, bloodragers, mesmerists, bards, shamans, psychics, adepts... essentially anyone who seems to have magic without formal training. This could include self-taught wizards!

In my game, "Paladin" is a title. There are several orders of paladins, each connected to a formal organization (such as a church or military unit). The title "Paladin" indicates membership in such an order, each with their own chivalric code. In this case, 'paladins' could have levels of paladin, cavalier, inquisitor, fighter, ranger, cleric, aristocrat, warpriest, bard, etc: what matters is membership in the order.

In my game, there are plenty of characters with levels of the paladin class that could not rightly claim the in-game title of "Paladin," and would never even think to do so!

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Richard Pett wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Hi, James.

I just stumbled across Richard Pett's Kickstarter for his swords & sorcery urban horror campaign setting, "The Blight."

This setting really seems like your cup of tea. Are you a backer?

Have been since day one, yup!

A good point well raised Haladir, I thank you for it.

You are Mr Jacobs, as I have said before, a singularly very talented and excellent likeable person who happens to have superb taste too...if it hadn't been for James re-writing and bashing and leeching the good words from the chaff over many years at Paizo the Blight would never have happened - he makes me a better writer. Like all my Paizo stuff he's a co-author of anything I write as far as I'm concerned.

Hey, wait - the Blight by James Jacobs and Richard Pett has a nice ring to it:)

And Haladir, when you say stumbled, does that mean you haven't pledged yet? Hmmm, Sister Blight can get very angry when she's ignored, and now she's burst from her cellar, blinking, she's so hungry. There are still a few safe days to feed her before she slithers away to find her own way and home, looking for those who did not give her succor in her hour of need...



You're welcome! ;-)

And of course I backed this! One of my PBP GMs plugged it, and I pondered all of 15 minutes before I pledged. While I have backed gaming Kickstarters before (Paizo's The Emerald Spire, TPK Games' The Fen of the Five-Fold Maw, and Robert Brookes' Aethera campaign setting immediately come to mind), I've never pledged as much as I did for The Blight!

How often do you tend to back Kickstarters?

How often are they successful?

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Backed at $150! (Hardcover & PDF, plus PDFs of the three modules in the stretch goals.)

Less than $800 to go for the basic goal!

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houstonderek wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
houstonderek, get out of here. You don't exist anymore.
Pfft, I live for the moments I can get in a Chick Tract reference. ;-)

If you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the 30-minute film Dark Dungeons from Zombie Orpheus Entertainment.

Yes, it's a film based on the Chick tract. No, Jack Chick and his company don't get ANY money from the film.

It is TOTALLY worth $5!

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Kids today don't believe how tough we had it back then!

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Keyboards... pfft. You kids have it too easy!

I still have scars on my thumb from programming my Altair 8800 byte-by-byte by flipping the DIP switches...

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Pfft. That cat was a pushover!

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Fighter/wizard/eldritch knight!

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A bunch of years ago, we were playing through the final battle of a homebrew campaign. The BBEG was a deathknight or lich or something (we never exactly figured that out.) We could never remember his name the first couple of times we crossed paths and always called him "Lord Deathface." The name stuck.

Anyway, about an hour into the battle, the GM's cat jumps on the table, walks across the battlemat, grabs the Lord Deathface figure in her mouth, and jumps off the table.

After a pause, the GM says, "And the wizard casts summon cosmic kitty of doom! It eats Lord Deathface! You win!"

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To me, Old School gaming is kind of like playing with people who don't really know the rules. You just describe what you want to do, and the GM tells you what dice to roll and numbers to add. If the rules don't specifically handle what you want, the GM ad hocs something.

Once you start to think in terms of the game mechanics, then you're getting out of the Old School mentality. Because, back in the day, there weren't too many game mechanics, and the GM had to make up stuff as he went along.

The complexity of the rules and the concept of System Mastery is what makes a New School game. That's one reason the rules-light systems (whether deliberately rules-light like FATE or modern retro-clones like Swords & Wizardry) have the Old School flavor.

Oh, and I have a whole lot less hair than my avatar, although the color is about right.

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Welcome to the boards!

In general, the Paizo boards are very friendly places, and are very well-moderated.

I would kind of caution against posting on the "Rules" and "Advice" boards. Those two boards are the local hotbeds of pedantry and arguments that can get nasty.

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From 'Guide to Korvosa':
Ten Underground Menaces

1. Blackboil gators (alligators)
2. Collapsing ceilings
3. Devilfish (Pathfinder #7)
4. Dire rats
5. Goblins
6. Oozes
7. Otyughs
8. Violet fungus
9. Wererats
10. Will-‘o-wisps

p. 55

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Jupiter Ascending

Why it's bad...

  • The plot is utterly, completely, and laughably preposterous. I mean, it's gonzo, over-the-top, cuckoo-bananas bonkers. Seriously, this film's plot is so terrible that the folks at Screen Junkies had its Honest Trailer simply summarize the plot instead of parodying it.
  • Complete lack of chemistry between the leads Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.
  • General dismissal of the "Checkov's gun" theory of plot-writing— There are a WHOLE LOT of metaphoric pistols shown in the first two acts that never go off before the credits roll.
  • After finding out that she literally owns the Earth, Mila Kunis' character resumes her life as an undocumented domestic servant in Chicago.
  • Eddie Redmayne emoting while gnawing on every bit of scenery when he's on-camera.
  • The entire film is a 13-year-old girl's elaborate wish-fulfillment fantasy.
  • Despite the above, the title character doesn't really do all that much aside from run away from danger and get rescued by men.
  • Space roller skates.

Why I loved it anyway...

  • It was a big-budget sci-fi space opera with an entirely original plot not based on any existing property
  • It is absolutely gorgeous to look at, especially on a big screen.
  • Eddie Redmayne emoting while gnawing on every bit of scenery when he's on-camera.
  • A Brazil-esque space bureaucracy scene that's actually a whole lot of fun.
  • The gonzo, over-the-top, cuckoo-bananas bonkers plot is unintentionally completely hilarious. Seriously, if you watch it as if it's a high-concept comedy, it's way more enjoyable.
  • I saw the film in a theatre with my 13-year-old daughter.

I'm actually convinced that this film will attain "cult classic" status in a few years.

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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer)/VMC Cleric 4
hp 22/22 | AC 16; touch 12; flat-foot 14 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +6 | Init +2 | Perception +2

I went back to read Joanna's dreams again: Wow! Very powerful stuff! Zed-- I'm going to take some liberties with the following Harrow reading to tell a compelling story. It's Very Mysterious...

Zee listens intently to Joanna's discussion of her dreams.

"Those are very disturbing dreams. As I'm sure you can imagine, I have had a few nightmares of my own that I've been struggling to interpret. Dreams are messages-- although it can be hard to discern who they are from and what they means. Desna knows, but her meaning can be enigmatic; for the journey matters more than the destination. But I think that if we explore the themes, we just might be able to find out."

Zee spreads her Harrow deck in an arc before her. "Choose a card." As Joanna shrugs and casually reaches out, Zee holds up a hand. "No, I mean choose a card. This card will represent who you really are at heart. Think long, and let your spirit move your hand."

Joanna pauses, then concentrates, slowly moving her hand over the deck. She chooses a card, pulls it out of the fan and turns it over.

The Empty Throne

Zee nods mysteriously. "The Empty Throne. Joanna, I find this card to be particularly appropriate for what I know of you. Now, the suit of Crowns represents spiritual power from within. It marks the influence of community, of family, of love. It is the suit of the performer, of the preacher, of the champion. It is also the suit most associated with dreams. In the Tapestry, this card's position is at the first warp," Zee touches the table and draws he finger toward herself, "and the first weft." She then touches the table and draws her finger across to her right. "Now, the first warp aligns to the influence of rules and tradition; the group over the individual. The first weft indicates the influence of love, of peace, of compassion, of mercy." After a pause, the hint of a smile crosses her lip. "These are also the traits the Inheritor most prizes."

The witch pauses for a moment, examining the symbolism of the card itself. "The Empty Throne is a card of loss, but of valuable lessons learned in the losing. In the image, a young person weeps at a grave. An offering burns in a brass censer. Also see that one cannot rightly tell if the mourner is a young man or a youg woman: for grieving affects all of us deeply regardless. Yet, plants and flowers grow up from the soil, and the tree is lush and alive. And see that the spirit of the King is with his child: For loved ones who have gone to the Great Beyond before us remain with us in spirit, always in our memories. They may be gone, but they are not ever fully taken from us. The lessons they have taught us last throughout our lives. So, while this is a card of grief, it is also a card of hope. I see this as the love of your father that will never, ever leave you.”

”The next card represents your past.” She gestures for Joanna to pick another card. After a short hesitation, Joanna selects another and turns it over.

The Rakshasa

The hint of a smile leaves Zee’s expression. ”The Rakshasa. Again, from what little I know of your past, this seems to be an appropriate card. The suit of books represents formal learning, money, writings, and the mind.” She taps herself on the side of the head. ”In the Tapestry, the Rakshasa also sits in the first warp, but in the last weft. The last weft represents the influence of hatred, of deceit, of ill intent. Now, to the symbolism of the card: A red-eyed crocodile dressed in finery sits contentedly upon the crouching body of a naked slave. This is a card of domination: of the strong forcing their will upon the weak, both literally and figuratively. It can represent the will of those who seek to see you fail, and who laugh at your misfortune. It is a card of an ‘I told you so!’ spit at you in delight. As this is the card of your past, I see this card as representing someone who sought to sow the seeds of self-doubt in your mind… your stepmother, perhaps? And remember that this is in your past, and need no longer have any bearing on your present or your future.”

”The next card represents forces that are on the wane in your life.” With growing confidence, Joanna reaches out, selects, and turns over another card.

The Eclipse

Zee nods at that revelation. ”I thought you would choose that one. The suit of stars represents morality, the influence of the gods, and one’s own determination. As with the previous card, its position in the Tapestry is the first warp and the last weft. The imagery is frightful: Under a blood-red sky whose sun is blotted out, a man flees in terror from a horde of the walking dead. This is the card of loss of faith; of self-doubt; of losing one’s way along a path.” She gazes intently into the young paladin’s eyes. ”You and I both experienced this on that last night in Ravenmoor.” She reaches out and grasps Joanna’s hand, holding it tight. ”The Gossamer King had its tendrils in us both… yet we did defeat him! They may not know it yet, but the people of Ravenmoor are far better off now, no longer under the influence of the Lord of Parasites. Pulling off a leech hurts and leaves a bloody mark, but only when it is gone can the wound finally heal.” She smiles mirthlessly, and adds, ”Or at least that’s what I am telling myself.” Looking back at the cards on the table, she gives Joanna’s hand a reassuring squeeze and lets it go. ”This is an influence on the wane: your faith in the gods and in yourself will return, deepening in its strength in time.”

”The next card represents forces that are increasing their influence upon you. Please, choose another.” Joanna nods and selects one more.

The Big Sky

Zee smiles at this one. ”The suit of hammers represents honor, conflict, and physical might. It is the suit of the warrior, This card’s home is the last warp, which represents individuality, self-reliance, and an abundance of options. As with the Empty Throne, it is also in the first weft.” She points to the card’s symbols. ”In the wilderness, two slaves burst their bonds under a bright sun in a blue sky. This is the card of liberation: of the breaking of shackles both physical and spiritual. I see that you are finally coming to believe in yourself, and in your ability to set your own course in life, whatever that may be. With increased confidence in yourself, you shall be free of the Rakshasa’s influence upon you. I see the lynchpin of this turnaround to be the dream you described in which the Inheritor came to you to encourage you on your own path. This card is a very, very good sign.”

”And now, the last card: the card of your present.”

Joanna hand pauses over the fanned-out deck, and then she turns over the final card.

The Paladin

”Ah, you have seen this card before, my friend! The suit is Hammers, and its home in the Tapestry is in the first warp and first weft. The stalwart knight stands with his—or her—sword with blade down, a hand extended forward offering friendship or assistance. This is the card of steadfastness; of holding the line in the face of adversity, regardless of the costs. It is the card of the defender of the weak, the champion of the downtrodden. In other words…” She locks her gaze with Joanna again, a smile widening, ”…you.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Before the phrase "Song of Silver" was published, I re-worked the lyrics of an old Scottish Jacobite song, "Cam Ye O'er Frae France" into an anti-Thrune/pro-Davian song called, "Hail Ye Chelish Lords" from the first Chelish Civil War.

The post is written as if it were an excerpt from a book on ethno-musicology by a Chelish scholar in exile in Magnamar.

If I ever run "Hell's Rebels," (ir "Hell's Vengeance") I'll be including that song in my game.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Starship Troopers

Why it's seen as bad...

  • Pretty much abandoned the plot of the novel.
  • Glorification of a military dictatorship.
  • Critics and most viewers completely missed the biting satire.

Why I loved it...

  • The biting satire.
  • Dina Meyer and Denise Richards.
  • The subversive sexual politics.
  • Excellent visual effects.
  • That scene at the end where Doogie Howser walks onto the scene dressed as an SS officer.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The way I play it, Charisma is a purely mental stat: Your force of personality / "mental strength". Charisma is your ability to convince others to do what you want them to do, whether that's by argument, threat, or fast-talking. Physical appearance certainly comes into play a bit when trying to convince people to go along with you, but that doesn't necessarily mean attractiveness.

I let players decide what their characters look like and how attractive they are. There are traits out there that give situational bonuses for attractiveness: If a player wants his PC's rugged handsomeness to affect skill rolls, he can take one of those traits. Otherwise, we just say he's ruggedly handsome and let the story play out accordingly.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I just listened to the Know Direction podcast where Ryan and Perram interviewed Robert about this project, and I'm really stoked about this!

I just backed at the Oracle level. And I just plugged it on Facebook.

This campaign setting looks amazing!

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Ugh. Aside from the occasional one-shot game with pregenerated characters (i.e. Classic D&D tournament modules), meat-grinder adventures interest me not in the slightest. A meat-grinder AP even less so.

For most of us, a full AP takes 2-3 years of face-to-face gaming to complete. A saving grace is continuity of characters, allowing for a great deal of character development and interpersonal relationships.

That all goes out the window when everyone's constantly rolling up new characters!

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Re: "Hard Mode"

As our beloved Creative Dinosaur has stated many times, the APs are written for a 4-PC party with 15-point buy and average player ability.

If the GM is running an AP...

  • ...with more than 4 PCs, and/or
  • ...PCs with 20- or 25-point buy, and/or
  • ...allowing exotic/advanced PC races, and/or
  • ...with highly optimized PCs, and/or
  • ...with players who have a lot of general TTRPG experience

    ...then the GM is going to have to increase the difficulty level of the APs to present a reasonable level of challenge.

    I think it's also important to remember that the people who tend to post on the Paizo messageboards are the ones who are far more than just causal players. Posters tend to be much more involved in PFRPG than the average player, and tend to have a much higher level of system mastery than average.

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    Male human (Kellid) Barbarian (Savage Technologist) 1/Gunslinger 1
    hp 22/22 | AC 16 (touch 13; FF 13) | Init +5 | Per +6 | Fort +5; Ref +5; Will +1 (+3 raging)
    Rikkan Anardi wrote:
    "Eeek! Scary," Rikkan screeches as the Shining head of the pole arm tears through the door!

    I am very amused by a ratfolk shouting "Eek!"

    Well played!

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    CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer)/VMC Cleric 4
    hp 22/22 | AC 16; touch 12; flat-foot 14 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +6 | Init +2 | Perception +2

    Examining Alizna's corpse...

    Takes 10 on Knowledge (arcana) for a 19.

    "She was an Aranea! I suppose that makes sense..."

    Zee pokes the stiffening corpse of Alizna with the point of her starknife. Assured that she's completely dead, she examines the corpse for magical auras. Finding none, she then checks the body for any valuables or other items of interest she might have had on her.

    Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22

    While searching the body of the spider-monster, Zee looks up to see Joanna wordlessly and determinedly march through the room with her sword drawn. Zee's face becomes concerned when she sees Joanna's mask of fury.

    "Joanna? What's...?" Zee's voice trails off as her Iomedean friend stomps out of the room. She then hears Brianna's sobs and walks back down the stairs to see her friends crouched around what's unser the altar to Ghlaunder... and the gray-skinned foot sticking out from the rags.... A look of shock and despair comes over her face as she puts her hand over her mouth and gasps.

    "O, de zei, nu, nur Nalathi!"

    "Oh, by the gods, no... not Nalathi!"

    Rushing to the altar, Zee feels for the pulse she knows is not there, then places her hand on her little friend's chest. Tears streaming down her face, Zee shudders violently, then shrieks, "NOOO!!"

    At the urging of her friends to go after Joanna, she calmly says, "We cannot leave her here. Please give me a hand." Gathering some of the gray cloaks of the cultists, Zee puts them together into a makeshift stretcher. She lifts Nalathi's body, and gently places it in the stretcher. With the help of her friends, she brings Nalathi's body upstairs, gently lowering it on the front porch of the farmhouse. She then wraps Nalathi's body with the cloak.

    Zee looks up at the sound of Joanna shouting into the night.

    With grim determination, Zee unsheathes her starknife and walks over to Joanna. All look of sorrow has left her face, replaced with a look of grim determination.

    She places her hand on Jo's shoulder, turns toward her friend and nods. "This ends tonight."

    Zed: What is behind the farmhouse?

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

    A character can call herself anything she wants. In-game, characters have no concept of character class names; they're just words. There's no mechanic needed for "paladins of Asmodeus." In my game, such characters are usually inquisitors or warpriests...or even a Hellknight or two.

    I once wrote a character who called himself a "paladin of Gorum." The character had seen a real paladin of Iomedae fight once, but was more or less ignorant of true paladins or what they stood for-- but he respected the paladin's fighting style. Honestly mimicking the fighting style of the paladin, he called down Gorum's wrath to "smite" his foes...and went into a rage.

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
    Krensky wrote:
    Where's my damn flying car!?

    Given the thread topic, don't you mean, "Where's my Fizzy Lifting Drink?"

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

    Well, if you really want to run a BECMI D&D game, I'd recommend using one of the D&D retro-clones, such as Dark Dungeons or Swords & Wizardry.

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

    I never was into evil characters, but I do have one memorable one from the early days...

    This was circa 1985, and I was in high school. I had just moved to a new school and found some gamers, and they invited me to join their AD&D game. I had always played heroic characters, and was not prepared for how the other players treated my PC. I made a Neutral Good ranger.

    Anyway, they sent me in first to fight some monsters. After I'd defeated the monsters pretty much single-handedly, he got pretty beat up. The other PCs refused to heal me up, and then proceeded to take the treasure for themselves... noting that I was pretty hurt and they were not. After some back-and-forth, I asked to speak with the DM, and we conferred in the other room. I told the DM that I didn't realize that we were playing evil characters, and that I'd like to change things up a bit, and he agreed. He let me change my PC's alignment to neutral evil, and switch character class to assassin. He also let me switch up some of his equipment a bit.

    So, after about 20 minutes, we come back to the table and continue adventuring a little. Again, they weren't too keen on my PC getting much treasure.

    Eventually, we left the dungeon and decided to camp out. Surprisingly, the other players let my character take a watch... so I sent the DM a note: "While everyone else is asleep, I poision their waterskins with that save-or-die poison we'd found in the dungeon."

    Next morning as we broke camp, the DM asked everyone but me to make a saving throw vs. poison. They all failed. After I buried the other PCs bodies in shallow graves, I then collected all their treasure and went on my merry way. I never actually played that character again.

    While the DM was putting together a new adventure for his new Level 1 party, I then asked if the other players wanted to continue playing evil characters... and not surprisingly, they all decided to play good guys for a while.

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

    This completely depends on how powerful the spellcaster is, and what, exactly, he's doing. Need more information before I can start floating scenarios.

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
    Imbicatus wrote:
    Of course, in Star Trek every humanoid sentient species in the galaxy is a descendant of the precursors, who seeded their DNA into the genes of several species throughout the galaxy in order to try to give life to thing long after they were gone.

    Which was terrible writing, and never mentioned outside of that one episode...

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

    Hi, Kirth.

    Many fans may already have part of your collection (I know I do). Plus, asking someone to drop more than a grand is only going to appeal to a very narrow subset of the gaming community. I'm pretty well-off, but I would not drop that much money on gaming stuff in a given month.

    I would recommend that you break up your collection into six-volume APs. You could try pricing them at $120 per six-volume set, or you could see what price they're going for on eBay, and price accordingly. (e.g. "Legacy of Fire" seems to be going for $9-10 per volume; "Kingmaker" goes for much more than that.)

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