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John Spalding's page

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 360 posts (448 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 Pathfinder Society characters. 7 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

If robots aren't objects, then RAW would say that adamantine weapons won't ignore the hardness. You ignore hardness when sundering or attacking an object.

I guess I am wondering, from a designer perspective, is this a feature or a bug?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Vic Wertz wrote:
Unfortunately, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Class Decks, which are required for playing in the Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild Organized Play program, have been delayed yet again, and the new retail release date for the Class Decks will be October 1. As a result, the Adventure Card Guild retail launch is delayed to the same date.

Have you all considered not giving a new date until product exists in your hands, i.e. until you know you can make shipments happen. At least for this line,the date announcements have repeatedly been inaccurate. Other than the printer's (at this point suspect) assurances, is there any reason to believe this ship date is accurate?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

If he means to say he rolled 15 on two d8s , that is possible but unlikely.

That is 6 above average.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

shuku wrote:
How does Meyanda use Deadly Aim with the inferno pistol's touch attack? Deadly aim specifically excludes touch attacks.

The firearms rules have an exception to the exception.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Barachiel Shina wrote:

I debated on putting this either in Advice or Rules Questions, but it is actually bigger than that. Something I believe should have been addressed long ago, back when the APG came out, actually.

It seems the designers refuse to give us guidelines to increasing the repertoire of spells for classes such as Bloodrager, Magus, Summoner, and Witch. What I mean is, if we're using 3PP products (such as D&D 3.5 Spell Compendium), we would like to know what kind of spells would be appropriate for the unique spell lists of those classes.

Maybe you didn't intend to come as as demanding, but this seems a wee bit rude. Moreover, there are two kind of obvious explanations. First, Paizo is not really in the business of helping people make homebrew systems work or making sure all of the 3PP stuff they see fit into their game. Doing so doesn't (at least directly) make them any money, and may,in fact displace future book sales.

Second, Paizo has both directly and indirectly addressed this issue in several books. Ultimate Magic discusses spell design, at length, sometimes pointing out how the spell lists of various classes differ (e.g. damage caps). Moreover, the Words of Power system provides a great deal of insight into how spell lists differ. Finally, the spells themselves, printed across scores of books, are clear benchmarks for what each type of spell list is supposed to contain.

Finally, if you really like 3PP content, it seems pretty reasonable to ask the 3PP publisher to update their spell lists.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Flat the Impaler wrote:

Kyra is a cleric, which means she is a spell caster....She is also more likely to use her weapon for only the reveal power (less damage), because if she discards it for the extra die roll she is going to be discarding it (not recharging it like Flenta would).

The ability to heal somewhat mitigates the discharge issue.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Pathfinder Savant adds spells to your list.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Can't you just take clustered shot?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I really hope the card game isn't tablet exclusive. I would totally play on my phone or PC

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

To a certain extent, aren't private entities supposed to engage in viewpoint discrimination? I don't expect Christian churches to explain why the Taoists really did get things right or vice-versa. Nor do I expect NARAL to present abortion horror stories. I don't expect Libertarians to support big government programs.

I think we need people who advocate for a position and do so rigorously. What we should expect is charitable modes of argument, being hard on problems and soft on people, basic honesty, etc.

Paizo has been very open on the point of view it as advances. They tolerate other views and seem honest about what they are up to. That's pretty much all you should ask for. Not every forum need to be open to every view.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

KestrelZ wrote:
In a 15 point buy game, people tend to look at classes that have animal companions or Eidolons a bit more closely.

Yeah, those animal companions often outshine the fighter at 4-7.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Inneliese wrote:

I absolutely adore this idea, and now plan to steal this concept for use in all of my own future campaigns!

Hope you like it. Let me know what your players do.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This may not help you, but this is a house rule I am playing with for Iron Gods:

By RAW, one gets an ability score boost at 4, 8, 12 etc. You increase a single stat by one point. This bonus encourages SAD characters to hyper-focus and provides very little help to MAD characters.

My system was designed to undo that.

Instead, at each level, you gain 1 point buy point. You may spent it immediately or save it. For example, if you had an 11 Int at level 1 (not counting magic or racial boosts), upon reaching level 2, you could spend your one point buy point to increase your Int to 12. However, you could not increase your 15 Str to 16 Str because that costs 3 points.

I extended the PB table for people to use when leveling up (I don't let people start with a 19 before racial mods).

Addition to PB table:
19=21 pts
20=26 pts
21= 31pts
22= 37 pts

Basically, you get a lot more boost out of increasing poor stats. You can turn a MAD build like:

14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10


16, 16, 16, 14, 10, 10.

While a very focused point buy like this:

18, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8

can either do this:

22, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8


20, 14, 12, 12, 10, 10.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

In my experience 3pp stuff most frequently gets banned because Nobody wants to have to go through it and think about the way it affects the game. Or, because MOST (but not all) 3pp stuff from the 3.0 and 3.5 days was terrible and people have long memories. Paizo products only may not be the best rule or the most fair rule but it is an an easy to make and easily to adjudicate rule.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Use haunts. They fit the same general role.

Or, use environmental effects, like water filled rooms, poisoned air filled rooms. Areas with weather effects or weird magic traits.

Or use traps that are manually activated. A couple of archetypes have trap class features or special abilities to trigger traps.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I want to restart my sub to the AP line starting with Iron Gods. The current starting book options are 4 and 5 of MM. Any idea when that will update?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lord Snow wrote:
Seems like you're the kind of person who can take what was given to them and run with it. I think I can, too, but I also need a metric to determine which AP to run with my extremely limited Pathfinder playing time. And while "I like Egyptian themed adventures" is as good a tiebreaker as any, I always go for the AP that has me more excited about the plot/execution than the premise.

I think it's hard to boil any AP down to a single metric, and for me, as a GM, ease of running is HUGE and way more important than it being a good read as GM.

For example, Kingmaker was easy to run and fun, after making one small edit ...squishing the content of multiple hexes into a single adventuring day to reduce Nova-ing.

Skull and Shackles required more work because major NPCs were pushovers or (for my purposes) really badly built.

So, for ease of running, Kingmaker comes out ahead.

I also think that giving GMs space to make stories by giving them tools to use rather than plots to use may not be interesting to *you* to read, but I enjoy it. I enjoy the little interpersonal puzzle of fitting things together - players and NPCs. Certainly less compelling on my first read through, but also frequently better in play.

In my view, books that give those sorts of tools to the GM tend to emphasize GM talent. Bad GMing is made worse and good GMing is made better. (Like paint by numbers helps very poor artists paint better, but certainly wouldn't improve the work of the great masters). I am ok with that design because I usually play with talented GMs. Other people's mileage may vary.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

He's right, weapon finesse doesn't apply to longswords and you probably want a longsword (or two).

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whether or not Mauril's advice is good for normal play, it is not apt for WotR.

First, getting Dex to damage is easy; Mythic weapon finesse.
Second, TWF paladin puts out huge damage when you smite, and thanks to Mythic Smite, you will always be smiting.

You can have these at the start of Book 2.

Third, because of Fleet Warrior, you can almost always make a full attack.

This is available at the start of Book 3.

Paladin 5
Sentinel (from Inner Sea Gods) 10
Back to Paladin

1 Weapon Finesse
3 Weapon Focus (longsword)
5 Deific Obedience
7B Power Attack
10B Double Slice
13 Improved Crit

Worship Iomadae and wield a normal sized longsword in your main hand and a small one in your offhand (starting at 7). It is going to have a slower start, but will be super strong after Book 1.

The Sentinel boons for Iomadae are crazy good (and you essentially get full smite). The sentinel bonus makes up for the penalty to hit. And Iomadae is tied pretty tightly to the story.

I would skip TWD and use mythic abilities to cover defenses.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Ben Bruck, Jim, Groves, and I playing. We are bringing one gnome each. A cleric (kinda tanky), a summoner (kinda lancy), and a sorcerer (kinda flamey).

See you there.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Who all is planning on playing at the high level table, and what do you intend to play? Anyone interested in having pre-made groups for ease of mustering?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Looks like it may be tough getting a ticket. Someone just traded a ticket to James Jacobs' game to get in to the special. ((I assume because the trade was offered and it was no longer offered when I tried to make the trade. It is also possible that the person proposing the trade canceled it.))

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I made the cut this year.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Majuba wrote:

  • PFS play - never better: all the GMs are dedicated, and 90% of the players are veterans who know the world and their characters well.
  • Every current season scenario
  • Banquet - great experience
  • Seminars - ask the questions you've always wanted answered
  • I agree with all of this except the PFS bit. For example, last year it was, without a doubt, the worst PFS I have ever played. One good game (and as it turned out, the guy who ran it became a local VC), two terrible ones, and I bailed on the fourth.

    Both of the terrible games were GM issues. One basically decided to run us at a higher tier for no reason and wasnt clear about it until after people died. The other was just, all around, terrible GMing. The whole thing was filled with traps, but the DC to find and disable the traps was super low. So low that PCs could not fail when rolling a 1. But he made us roll for every square...we did that for two hours.

    Liberty's Edge * RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Hymenopteran wrote:

    Again, I apologize for creating an uncomfortable environment on here and I hope people can move past that and learn from it. I am doing my best to as well.

    Apologizing is a class act. Thanks for taking the time.

    Liberty's Edge * RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    I do think you have a number of options. First, I suggest an audit. In my experience a ton of characters have misinterpreted rules or improperly applied them. A look at his sheet may set things right.

    Second, I echo the suggestion to try a quick conversation with the guy. Let him know that eye rolling bugs you. Although eye rolling is a disrespectful habit, some people do it nearly reflexively and a mention that it bothers you may quickly set things right. As a matter of charity, I find it easier to presume that people who bother me aren't doing so intentionally unless that presumption is clearly rebutted. I wasn't there and I don't know that guy. You were there, so if you think he may be unwittingly annoying, maybe give him a chance to work things out.

    Third, work with other GMs. People have different preferences and tolerances for different kinds of annoying behavior. For example, I don't mind GMing kids tables (and some people hate it), but I can think of a few local players I would really like to avoid having at my table. Work with other GMs and move people if you can.

    Fourth, a lot of people use PFS to find people who they *enjoy* playing with. In some cases, that tends to concentrate PFS with people that very few people enjoy playing with (and people for whom logistics make home games tough, and busy people, etc). If the costs of dealing with those people aren't worth it, try other avenues of finding a group that works with you.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Do you know who is posting weird book codes in chat?

    Can you confirm that it is a staffer?

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Jim Groves wrote:
    Ross Byers wrote:
    zylphryx wrote:

    Though it would be interesting to run the cypher through the various core books based on the relative "age" of the gods listed, oldest to youngest to correspond to the core book number in sequence of publication.

    So you would have the following gods:

    Pharasma - The Bone Lands in a Spiral
    Lamashtu - The Skull of Mashaag
    Sarenrae - The Birth of Light and Truth
    Desna - The Eight Scrolls
    Abadar - The Order of Numbers
    Calistria - The Book of Joy (Shelyn's is Melodies of Inner Beauty)
    ??? - Our Master's Book (I'm thinking Aroden ... based off the line "since our master left" ... which would make the title History and Future of Humanity)

    I'm not sure your ordering is right. We have no reliable way of dating the non-ascended Gods.
    No.. But you just made me think of something Ross. The gods are also used as the names of the month

    There is some kind of order to those book names too. It looks like the book names roughly correspond to the first number in each set of numbers.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Mark Moreland wrote:
    N'wah wrote:
    It's not like any of these books actually exist, anyway. It's not like I can turn to Chapter 9 of The Book of Numbers.
    You can't, but I can. I just have to type a few things up here on my trusty old computer, call it canon, and, voila!

    So, this is some kind of staffer Easter egg hunt to promo the gods book?

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Yeah, and there are too many numbers to reference an actual Bible.

    For example, I thought 9: 22: 8 might reference Ruth 22:8 9th book of the Bible, chapter 22, verse 8. But, Ruth doesn't have that many chapters and there isn't a 247th book of the Bible.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Oh, good point. That's a better guess than MAC addresses. Though, most books don't have a chapter: verse organization.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Did they say anything else? Give any clues?

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    At first I thought it was probably just some scraping or mining bot. Especially because the numbers look like IP addresses or MAC addresses, some kind of indexing system.

    But at least some of those are the names of actual, in game books. E.g. "Bone Lands in a Spiral" caught my eye. That is a Pharasmin holy text. I check them out and so are a few others. "The Skull of Mashaag" is a Lamashtan book. The Eight Scrolls is a Desna thing. So, it looks likes a human being was involved.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Zantumal wrote:
    T Chang wrote:
    What level will the special be? I like to bring a character that can play at the highest tier, and that takes some planning.
    If it is similar to last year, it will be available to all levels. HOWEVER - No information has been released yet so stay tuned and check back sometime approximately May.

    Pretty sure last year capped at 15...

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    I think it would be better to announce the new AP at the banquet and do the AP Q and A the day after. Announcing the AP first at the banquet builds excitement and would make the AP Q&A more focused and fun.

    Also, the big banquet hall looks like you could use the room dividers to make smaller spaces. Smaller spaces would reduce the room noise from jet take off to loud stadium. By Sunday, more GMs would still have voices.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    FalconEx wrote:

    Secondly: When you start with an animal companion, do you assume you start with the things needed for their handling, i.e. a horse with a bridle, falcon with a glove?

    Nope but you can purchase these items with starting gold. Check the goods and services part of the core rulebook or the mundane gear portion of ultimate equipment. If using digital resources: rts.html

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    My advice is to not play an Eldritch Knight.

    The archmage path essentially gives you full BAB for one path ability: Shapeshifting Mastery.

    Because you can get the BAB so cheaply, I wouldn't spend levels on it.

    Likewise, as noted above, avoiding arcane spell failure is very cheap because component freedom allows you to ignore somatic components.

    Because you can get BAB and armor on the cheap, I would look for more attractive options for class levels. If you like class mashups, mythic arcane trickster is nasty.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    I think one of the ways to do a Dragon AP is to break one of the central Golarion taboos and use half-dragons. Especially if you do it in a way that doesn't involve promiscuous dragons.

    I would dig an AP where fiends use magic to make half-dragon and half-fiend monsters. Half-dragons get the central conceits: flight, breath weapons, mellee nastiness, etc, but are stunningly diverse.

    Plus, qlippoth dragons would be awesome.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    I think I would dig the following - an AP where the focus is less on saving the world from cataclysm (e.g. defeating the BBEG) and more on saving or rescuing a good guy from an undeserved poor fate.

    In particular, a "save Jatembe from some terrible fate AP" would be fun. Especially if the aim was not to get Jatembe to fix a problem but to rescue a deserving soul.

    Jatembe works as a focus because maybe, along the way, you save his 10 dudes or become his new set of dudes. Or have to establish some new dudes.

    Plus getting to kill the Gorilla king would be cool and could definitely be squeezed in as a boss in book 4 or 5.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    114 HP wont cut it. Most of WotR is over 11th level.

    2 Mythic scorching rays kill it if they hit and eidolons dont usually have awesome touch AC. It will pretty much always die if hit by 2 augmented magic missiles. So basically any 12th level mage with 4 tiers and quicken (or a rod) can more or less instantly kill that eidolon. Moreover they can do it without a weird build or crazy resources... a common feat and augmenting very common spells.

    By book 5 the enemies are going to commonly have caster levels of 20 plus. 20d10 of damage is straight to unconsciousness if the monster rolls well. 20d8 makes you a one hit kill.

    So yeah, spells will eat you alive.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Ben Bruck and I were lucky enough to play Unspeakable Futures at PaizoCon. It was a great time.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Spells are gonna eat him alive.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Kolokotroni wrote:
    Lamontius wrote:

    cool kolokotroni can you tell me more about what is wrong with my home game, since I would really like to do this individual and specific and individually unique thing the proper and correct way

    I have no idea what you do in your home game. I was identifying an extreme that I think is by its very nature flawed. I can see no rational or objective reason to allow all paizo made material but have a blanket ban on 3rd party material. Even pfs doesnt do that. If you can think of a reason I have not thought of I'd love for you to enlighten me. But for me at least, I cant think of one.

    The rule is easily adjudicated. The rule limits the costs of acquiring information. The rule helps organize what is and is not allowed when multiple people sometimes GM. Not my feeling, but animus to 3pp is pretty common. Some of that animus is rational given the content that came out during the 3.0 days. It isn't unreasonable to decide getting burned is a good reason to stop buying 3pp stuff. Conversely, some people may just prefer paizo and the corporate and design philosophy they advance.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    EccentricOwl wrote:
    tonyz wrote:

    Curse is about as fantastic as Kingmaker, maybe a little less so.

    Legacy of Fire is very fantastic, particularly in the later modules. Currently playing S&S so I don't have any opinion on it.

    Okay, that's good to know. So no major planes-walking craziness? Or if there is, it's rare? That's awesome. Any gigantic world-changing evil monsters from Wonderland?

    The latter half of Legacy of Fire is all about plane hopping.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    Because the game is designed to be offense dominant because offense dominance induces the behavior the game necessarily wants you to engage in.

    Defense dominance tends to encourage slow slogging combat or,and this is worse for the game, no combat.

    Deterrence dominance similarly incentivizes doing nothing.

    See, e.g.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    No barbarians is kind of surprising. The lack of monks really isn't, the one in KM retired to swap to sorcerer and never looked back.

    The most surprising is how infrequently someone played a skills-based class like rogue or alchemist even ranger. The three most played classes are all 2 skills per level and low int.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    LoF: Cleric, Paladin, Wizard, Druid
    KM: Druid, Fighter, Bard, Cavalier/Cleric, Summoner, Monk/sorcerer Ranger (retired)
    CC: Sorcerer, Ranger, Cleric, Paladin, Fighter??
    SK&SH: Alchemist, Wizard, Fighter, Gunslinger/Bard, Oracle, Fighter/Sorc/DD
    S*: Cleric, Wizard, Bard, Fighter
    RoW: Witch, Paladin, Magus, Cleric, Rogue, Gunslinger
    WotR: Druid, paladin, Cleric, Inquisitor

    Alchemist: 1
    Barbarian: 0
    Bard: 2.5
    Cleric: 5.5
    Cavalier: .5
    Druid: 3
    Fighter: 4.5
    Gunslinger: 1.5
    Inquisitor: 1
    Magus: 1
    Monk: .5
    Oracle: 1
    Rogue: 1
    Paladin: 4
    Sorcerer: 2
    Summoner 1
    Witch: 1
    Wizard: 2

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Reckless wrote:
    Jim Groves wrote:

    If you and Geraint don't understand how this can be interpreted as a wretched thing to write—allow me to so inform you. It was horrible.

    Oh no, I get how it was interpreted. Jessica made it clear in her first post how it was interpreted.

    I also read his clarification of his concerns after the interpretation.

    Then I read Jessica's response to his the clarification, and I was horrified that a Paizo employee posted such a dismissive, unthoughtful, and awful response to a customer's explanation of intent, and ended with the demonstratively uncommunicative internet slang phrase "Full Stop."

    I've already weighed in on my feelings on the work done on this product in my review, a few days ago. ** spoiler omitted **

    Geraint's problem is that his new interpretation stretches credulity in light of his other comments. His complaint here followed another, similarly uncalled for dig in which he felt the need to castigate an intern by name. For example, "The first taste anyone has of an AP is written by an intern..." That is not, on a fair reading, a comment on Paizo's selection of authors. The post ALSO contained what could have otherwise been a fair request to assign certain authors, but that was not all it contained.

    In general, I think an apology for a misunderstanding or for causing offense goes a long way. But when you give a non-apology apology and pretend you haven't said what demonstrably you have said, it doesn't go so far.

    As to Jessica, first, full stop is not an internet colloquialism, it is the British word for the period punctuation mark, , that has been used to describe that mark since at least 1593. Second, you get some leeway in standing up for support staff when people treat them poorly AT WORK. While Paizo is fun and games for most of us, it is work for that intern. I would expect most employees to stand up for their support staff who get unfairly treated at work.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    8 people marked this as a favorite.
    GeraintElberion wrote:

    Can I ask Paizo what the rationale is for farming most people's first taste of the AP out to an intern?

    And, if it comes down to money,then Paizo really need to start printing and selling 5-packs again. I'd be thrilled to see five RotRL-quality player's guides added to my AP subscription.

    This is abusive. Even before the update from Daigle, you had no reason to link the specific items you take issue with to any particular person. Assuming that his work is poor (or not to your taste) because his is an intern is baseless.

    Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

    magnuskn wrote:

    I hear you on most of the traits allowing people from outside of Mendev (although I think they very strongly "encourage" player characters to come from there ), but these traits are bad for free character generation, much more so than any other group of traits I've seen from past player's guides. I'm very disappointed and this is not an encouraging start to the AP.

    First, taking these traits is not required. If none fit, cool, move along. You don't seem to like the basic purpose of campaign traits which is to define one life event which ties you to the campaign. Here, the campaign has 2 big aspects 1) you are part of a crusade which fights demons and has a long history and 2) you are mythic. Having campaign traits ignore one or the other would be a disservice.

    Second, there are much more character defining traits than these. Traits which dictate significant life events are *not* new to this AP. Curse of the Crimson Throne traits are pretty similar in terms of story, each ties you to one crime boss in one city, one makes you framed for murder another can make you a drug addict. In the game world those are far more notable than you worship a deity or have cool parents or are an orphan. Likewise, Jade Regent traits all connect you to one of a few NPCs all of whom live in(or are linked to) the same city. One chooses your entire family for you.

    Plus these traits are pretty standard adventure backgrounds:

    Saved by a key NPC/mysterious figure; adventuring parents; exposed to badwrong energy (2x); orphan with cool parents; visited by the divine/some great power.

    Third, even with your group which, to be fair, appears to have far more characters stomping on the same roles than would usually be the case, there is no reason to have the PCs all be forced into the same role/backstory:

    Champion and Guardian for paladin1/barbarian, marshal paladin2, heirophant cleric, archmage or trickster bard is probably the most obvious set up, and each would have their own trait. That did not take a ton of mythic system mastery.

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