The reason I ask is that one of the bigger game book distributors (Alliance) has none of it left in stock, and hasn't for a very long while. I checked with two separate game stores in the general area. Perhaps it is the fault with the distributor itself.
I do not know how Paizo's printing system works for its hardbound books, or how Paizo provides its books to distributors. I am seriously curious as to when the Inner Sea World Guide will be printed again for distributors to carry.
I have to say that I kind of disagree with many people's conception of "Chaotic."
The motto of any Chaotic character can typically be described as "Do what thou wilt." But Chaotic characters don't typically go out of their way to flout authority and and established order as though on principle.
They generally do not care about such things in the first place. If a Chaotic character follows the law, it is because the law happens to agree with the Chaotic characters view of how things should be, and not the Chaotic character who agrees with the law. If a Chaotic character works within a team and accepts the authority of a leader, it is because the Chaotic character happens to enjoy working within the group, and he or she respects the leader's abilities. But the moment the respect is lost, the Chaotic character will thumb his nose and move on.
If a Chaotic character defers to a noble, it is because he or she respects the noble as an individual, and not because he respects the noble's rank and title. The same goes for Chaotic characters in a military setting; they only follow orders they find sensbile, and only obey commanders who they respect, and will never follow the orders of an unrespectable commander unless it is on pain of punishment. Even then, they may accept punishment.
The way I view chaotic alignments is following your passions without regard to the boundaries that society tries to place upon one's actions, whether those passions are benign or malignant.
However the biggest problem with your example is "freedom of speech" is not a "good". there is nothing inherently good about the freedom of speech, it might be more democratic, but more democratic does not mean good.
And as an aside, I disagree. I believe the ability to express one's ideas and feelings without fear of government repercussion is definitely a good thing. But that is me.
I like to think of Lawful Good as the people who are willing to make the hard decisions that end up having the best benefit for all in the end.
Let us take the following example: Freedom of Speech that is guaranteed by law.
Let us say that there is a group of racists and/or religious bigots on the street corner spouting hatred against a particular historically disenfranchised minority group.
An offended Chaotic Good person may feel the desire to go start a fight with these rotten people, and may indeed act on that desire. He or she may reason that if these people want to preach hatred and violence against the downtrodden, then they'd best put their money where their mouth is.
An offended Neutral Good person may look for any avenue to have these people peaceably removed. They will probably reason that allowing such hate to go unchecked will probably lead to it spreading and racial intolerance will grow. It is best not to ignore it, and find ways to isolate such radical hate groups so that society won't regress. They reason that the law was meant to protect the thoughts and expression good-minded people, not rotten people like these.
An offended Lawful Good individual, on the other hand, will allow these people to stay, and may indeed even work protect them. They will reason that the law is meant to protect the rights of EVERYONE. If people start stripping away the protections of the law from one hated minority today without consequence, what is to stop people from stripping away the rights of other groups tomorrow simply because the majority disagrees with them? The lawful good individual may hate what these blackguards have to say, but as long as they remain within the bounds of the law, the Lawful Good individual will defend to the death their right to say it. Because it is only by protecting the lowest that society is able to protect the best.
So, yes. The ACLU is a Lawful Good organization.
Todd Stewart wrote:
All I'm saying is that two inch-long tusks and a severe underbite kind of put a damper on my libido.
But hey, I'm not saying that she is a bad character by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I would like to get to know more about her character than most of the other iconics, male or female.
Indeed. The ridiculous "useless female armor" trope does keep popping up. The overt poorly-armored fanservice seems to have been avoided somewhat in Pathfinder Artwork, except in the case of Seoni and Alahazra. But then, they are characters who could and would use spells and magic items to armor themselves
Another thing, where are the average-looking girls? I am not trying to be offensive here, but we have grizzled and downright ugly male game characters and protagonists in electronic games and pen-and-paper RPGs, but very, very few homely women. I mean, the majority of female characters are made to look like they could be models and movie starlets, even in Pathfinder. Heck, the only unattractive female iconic character that I have seen in Pathfinder (depending on the artist) is Imrijka the Inquisitor. And even she has her moments in the right light.
When can we have some Brienne-of-Tarth-style heroines who are likeable, sympathetic, self-reliant, without having to conform to (if not exceed) the typical standards of beauty like 99% of other female game characters? Come on, just a few.
Actually, what you say does not make sense, at least not in the case of the Pathfinder Campaign setting, simply for the fact that at one time, there were no "Gods." Prior to the Gods' existence, there were the Old Ones, none of whom were Lawful, and certainly were not Good in any meaningful sense of the word.
So, going by your logic, if you were to play a character in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting a time before the gods, by your line of reasoning, you could not under any circumstances play a character of good and/or lawful alignment? But then, if that is your particular house rule, I cannot fault you for it.
And further, I see no rule in which a Lawful Good character must be religious and follow the direction of a Lawful Good deity. That really only seems to apply in the case of Paladins.
After reading the discussion on Sexism in the Games Industry with Jessica Price, I came to the realization that many people have already had: Namely, there are very, very few memorable and compelling female characters in games, at least in terms of compelling playable characters. I find this to be especially true in the case of video games.
We find this all the time in electronic games: Female characters in many games often exist to be (1) rescued by the protagonist, (2) killed off so that the main character (most of the time a male) can enact his revenge upon the killer(s) or (3) in a support role with varying degrees of effectiveness/ineffectiveness.
And when you actually do get to play female character, most of the time they are very poorly characterized such that one cannot relate to them(Lara Croft in most of the Tomb Raider games, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII), overly sexualized to the point that their sexual nature seems to be the only facet of their personality (Bayonetta, Lara Croft again to a lesser degree, and every fighting game female character ever), OR worst of all they are made to affect the worst aspects of masculine characters (Rubi from "Wet"). There are notable exceptions to this of course, but overall I find that there is a dearth of interesting female characters whose story I would want to explore further.
This is not to say that there aren't problems with poor writing in general when it comes to male characters (Marcus Fenix from Gears of War strikes me as an apt example). However, because there are fewer female protagonists than there are male protagonists in general, and of those, the majority fall into the prior categories, we are generally left with few female game characters that most people would truly relish playing as.
My question is what can be done about changing the paradigm? Does anything need to be changed? Perhaps I am tilting at windmills?
As far as I am concerned, Paizo has done some of the best work when it comes to making compelling female game characters whose stories actually draw you in. So I guess it should also be asked what makes a female character interesting or compelling to both a male and female audience, such that a person would want to play as that character if given the opportunity? What should be focused on? What should be avoided?
Getting back on topic, I actually had a question for Jessica Price with regard to Sexism in the Gaming Industry:
Do you find the tabletop/pen-and-paper gaming industry to be better when it comes to dealing with issues of sexism versus the electronic gaming industry? Or are they about the same overall? And when I say "sexism" I am referring both to the inner workings of the company/employee interrelationship as well as what they produce. Do you feel that electronic gaming companies are getting better, or are they staying about the same? And I understand if it is hard to give any specific examples without breaching confidentiality or provoking a slander/libel action.
The reason that I ask is that while I am pretty well entrenched in the local gaming community, I am utterly ignorant when it comes to matters of the industry that actually produces these games for us and informs the gaming culture as a whole, whether it be computer games, pen-and-paper games, card games, etc. What I mean by "informing the gaming culture" can mean things as simple as memorable characters. For example, I cannot recall off the top of my head a female character from a recent video game that I found to be particularly compelling, with the sole exception of Alyx Vance from Half Life 2. However, as memorable as she was, she was still an NPC. Meanwhile, I can think of a half dozen iconic female characters from Pathfinder that I find immensely interesting (actually, more interesting and compelling than most of the male characters except for Seltyiel). They are made all the better because whether you are a man or woman, you can actually play these characters, and they do not have to be relegated to background characters or support characters.
Because from the article and interview I read, it seems that the electronic gaming company you worked for was woefully backwards when it came to dealing with issues of sexual harassment, whereas Paizo doesn't seem to have any significant occurences of that happening (and if it did, it looks like Paizo would immediately move to rectify the matter rather than brush it under the rug). That is not to say that a gaming company in which some form of sexism occurs is necessarily going to produce games that have ill-defined female characters, or vice-versa. But it is so nice to see a company that has progressive gender-relations policy also producing games where both male and female characters are so well-written.
I can understand why people dislike the term for "white, male privilege". To those that have had a hard life (look above for examples), it feels like someone is throwing your hardships and accomplishments over adversity back in their face, as if they only got to where they were because they were white and male and not because of their training, hard work ethic, and talent. I know I'd feel furious if someone told me I only got where I was because of affirmative action and not from my skills or work ethic.
Actually, this has to be the most insightful comment I have read on this thread so far.
I'm a LG Paladin of Serenrae, would I tolerate a group member summoning Daemons or Devils to fight other evil?
I agree with your sentiment, Quandary. I do not think every aspect of a character's in-game knowledge need necessarily be tied to the Knowledge Skills.
For example, in the Crusader Kingdom of Mendev, it is doubtful that too many of the commoners have Knowledge: Planes, but almost every man, woman and child darn well knows what Demons are, and of the dangers that Demons pose. However, they may know nothing about Divs, Oni or Daemons, or anything of the outer planes in general. They may even confuse such creatures with Demons if ever they encountered them.
The only time I would ever bring something like Knowledge: Planes into the picture is (1) the players know absolutely nothing about Demons, because they may be from a land where such malevolent outsiders have never frequented and they thus have to turn to their academic knowledge to glean any information about them, or (2) they are trying to determine that specific outsider's powers and vulnerabilities.
Andrew R wrote:
As it should be. alignment was always about what you are at the core not a cosmic scoreboard for what flavor of smite works. That was a mechanics concept of 3 E that was a terrible idea i think, making good and evil basically just red team and blue team. i miss the old days of holiness meaning something, not just being an easier target to the bad guy
Agreed. Therein lies the problem when you marry an abstract and metaphysical concept like moral/ethical alignment to hard game mechanics. It is then up to the Game Master to find ways to have these things make sense in the context of the story. That is why I personally make evil outsiders truly repellent monsters bent on destroying and warping the world around them and I make out Paladins and most Good Characters to be, well...truly decent, kind-hearted people who want to make the world a better place for those around them. Still, I do love Smite Evil.
But alignment should not be treated merely as opposing teams. The players should be made to see the consequences of allowing supernatural evil to be unleashed within the game world.
Neutrality on the moral axis is simply non-malicious self-interest. If you care about anyone, it is because you have close emotional ties to them or you depend on them somehow.
A Lawful/Chaotic/True Neutral character may fight to the death to protect his family, his lover, his neighbors, etc. Generally he could not give two flying figs about the villagers being oppressed by the Hobgoblin Empire on the other side of the mountain. That might change if the Hobgoblin Empire could clearly be seen as a threat to the neutral character or those that the neutral character cares about.
When it comes to an ideal society for particular neutral characters, I generally see it as the following:
(1) Lawful Neutral Societies value order, stability, and are generally hierarchical. Everybody knows their place in a Lawful Neutral society. Lawful neutral laws are generally made to promote societal stability rather than justice, while a Lawful Good society generally believes that justice leads to social stability. While this may seem somewhat callous, a Lawful Neutral person would argue that if everyone follows the law, everything will work itself out, and justice will be a natural byproduct.
(2) True Neutral value harmony, social cohesion and reciprocity. No judgments. I won't stick my nose into your business if you don't stick your into mine. If you treat me nicely, I will treat you nicely. If you stick up for me, I'll stick up for you. That's the kind of society True Neutrals generally form.
(3) Chaotic Neutral Societies value freedom and flexibility. Despite being somewhat "anarchistic," Chaotic Neutral societies may indeed have leaders. However, the leaders may change quickly depending on the situation. A good example would be a tribe that elects a leaders who can lead the tribe in war, but who then elects a leader to lead the tribe for harvest. If the society has true leaders, the leaders are chosen on the basis of their ability, rather than birth.
I'm a LG Paladin of Serenrae, would I tolerate a group member summoning Daemons or Devils to fight other evil?
Indeed, and it would probably behoove a GM to remind those players who simply focus on the mechanics of the game and spells that they are playing an RPG in a Fantasy story setting, and not in a fantasy video game. Just because not every last iota of information is described in the mechanics of the spell does not mean there cannot be more dire consequences within the story's plot for having cast it.
Further, it might also be important to show how the unintended consequences of how the world reacts to the PCs summoning evil outsiders. Many communities that had been open and friendly to the PCs might suddenly close their doors to the party on account of their "cavorting with demons." Word will quickly spread of a party of adventurers that command the forces of darkness. When the party approaches fortified towns and castles, the gates will be barred and the guards and militia on the walls will state something along the lines of "We're good god-fearing people here. We don't want your ilk anywhere around us. This is your one warning: begone and do not return."
The PCs might even become the center of blame for any foul play that befalls a particular town or village, i.e., "I know it was those demon-summoning adventurers what kidnapped the priest's daughter! Probably to sacrifice her to their foul lord! Hang 'em from the highest tree I say!"
On top of that, the PCs may instead be approached by rather foul characters who start to crawl out of the woodwork after hearing tell of their infamous exploits such as Diabolists, Souleaters, Demoniacs and Anti-Paladins who feel they might find kindred spirits/useful tools within the party. And these are only a few of the possible and uncomfortable consequences of dirtying one's hands by allowing oneself to bring evil outsiders into the world.
Actually, if anything, I think that this would make (good) players realize that their actions have consequences that can affect their characters and the world around them. They cannot simply use spells on the assumption that the world works on video game logic, and that demons and devils simply disappear into nothingness after they have been summoned.
Players should also be reminded that there is a qualitative difference between summoning an animal versus summoning a highly intelligent and murderous outsider who would as soon torture and kill the players as look at them were it free to do so.
I'm a LG Paladin of Serenrae, would I tolerate a group member summoning Daemons or Devils to fight other evil?
Cross off "paladin" on your sheet and write "awesome magical knight guy that likes to go on adventures with other people and let them have fun however they enjoy the most, while I have fun however I enjoy the most."
*writes in "Anti-Paladin"*
nate lange wrote:
attacking a summoned creature would not be out of the question- but how much does the paladin know about what's going on? does he have ranks in knowledge [planes]? if not, how does he even know its a demon? does he have spellcraft? if not, would he even know it was summoned (as opposed to storming in on its own to try to kill him), or that it wasn't some illusion? how's his sense motive? if its low the summoner may just be able to lie and tell him its an illusion or make up some other explanation.
Depending on the creature, if the Paladin uses his "Detect Evil" ability, he will quickly find that the outsider metaphysically radiates an aura of undeniable malevolence.
Well, some evil outsiders pose a more obvious threat than others.
But who knows? The lemure may very well gain some infernal promotion within your lifetime. And you had best believe that a former Lemure's s*** list is a hundred miles long by that point, with the most easily dealt-with targets being the mortals who summoned it like a performing monkey.
Or worse, perhaps the Lemure's devil superior doesn't take very kindly to adventurers "borrowing" its minion. The superior may then send some hurt your way as punishment for your impudence and trespass against what he/she views as his/her property. Devils are nothing if not equally prideful and vindictive, ready to punish any slight against them.
The danger of summoning evil outsiders to do your dirty work is the following:
(1) Summoned evil outsiders do not simply disappear if they survive. They are still out there.
(2) Evil outsiders generally view the act of someone summoning them as a sign of extreme disrespect. One could also say it lowers their "street cred" amongst others of their kind, because it demonstrates that they are so weak that mere mortals could momentarily bind them to be their lackeys. Such a slight cannot go unanswered, because the appearance of weakness is a death sentence to most species of evil outsider.
(3) Evil outsiders have extremely good and extremely long memories, and if you summon them, you had better believe that most of them will remember your face, your smell, the sound of your voice, etc. And they will most certainly remember the names of the party if they manage to learn them.
(4) Evil outsiders are, as their name denotes, evil. If a Devil, Demon, or Daemon realizes it is not strong enough to take on the person or group who summoned it directly, it may instead start to murder and kidnap friends and loved ones of the party members. They may even blackmail other members of the group to kill the summoner by holding members of the party's families hostages. And that is probably some of the lighter things that an Evil Outsider might think of doing. Remember, there is a reason the souls of these evil outsiders were originally sent to Abaddon, Hell and the Abyss. They were the worst of the worst. There are no limits to their cruelty and depravity save the outer limits of their warped and perverse imaginations.
Evil outsiders should not be summoned lightly (or at all, really), because, as was pointed out, most of them are extremely intelligent, extremely vindictive, and have no compunctions against committing the most horrendous atrocities to press home the fact that they are no mortal's plaything.
I would not have to be a Paladin to have a major problem with a group member summoning evil outsiders. I would simply have to have the scantest knowledge of these evil outsiders and be sane to have a problem with it. Indeed, you could be role-playing an evil character who is more than a little bit troubled to be faced with a Demon or Daemon. When the Leukodaemon vanishes after having been summoned and plaguing the orcish horde with a wasting illness, I might turn angrily to the summoner and yell "You idiot! You let that thing see our faces! What is wrong with you?! Do you want to wake up to a bout of ebola?!"
The Golux wrote:
Sarenrae doing asmodeus's bidding is new to me, what's the story behind that?
I believe that it is explained in the Sarenrae entry in the "Legacy of Fire" Adventure Path. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
Sarenrae was apparently one of Asmodeus's servants (or was she his daughter)? I don't own the book, so someone will have to expound on that a bit.
Funky Badger wrote:
Saranrae did Asmodeus' biding back in the day. Its a bit much for her followers to start getting all uppity now.
Correct, but let us give the Devil his due. Asmodeus is bad. But he is nowhere near as bad as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their Daemons.
And second, any theologian of Sarenrae worth his or her salt would harrumph and say that their Goddess saw the error of her ways and rose up against Asmodeus when the chips were down. She is a forgiving goddess as a result (because she is essentially a "Super Peri"), and would probably give a Daemon a chance at redemption. But in the case of Daemons, I would say that she and her followers would only give the Daemon ONE chance.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Indeed. They are the more forgiving and rehabilatory paladins of the lot. But just because paladins of Sarenrae might not be as quick as others to cut down evil-doers and give them a chance to see the error of their ways, that does not make them blind or stupid. Especially when dealing with soul-snuffing daemons and those who think it is a good idea to summon them.
So once again the rest of the party must change their characters in order to not threaten the poor misunderstood paladin. The very class of paladin is provocation in many games.
If the Paladin is being poorly role-played by the player(i.e. as the stereotypical humorless holy book-thumping crusader with a stick up his rectum and no tolerance for anything slightly off-color or immoral), obviously not. I would say that someone who goes to that extreme is doing a poor job of role-playing the Lawful Good nature of the Paladin, just as someone who sets the orphanage on fire for yucks and hides behind the Chaotic Neutral shield is doing a poor job of role-playing. It's just being disruptive, only in different manners, and ruining everyone else's fun.
But the person who purposefully tweaks the nose of the Paladin by raising dead and calling/summoning Daemons? I would have to say that person is just as disruptive.
Again, I look at every situation on a case-by-case basis, and I would not be so quick to judge the guy role-playing the paladin as being the one at fault, nor necessarily the guy summoning Daemons. I do not know the full situation. But generally, I would say the Paladin has the right to be miffed when one summons a creature whose ultimate goal is the extermination of all life and souls in the multiverse.
Yes it is. the presence of a Paladin will inspire some folks to do things they otherwise might not do, just to honk the Paladin player's horn. But that's a discussion that's been done to death elsewhere.
This. I have seen many players try to take advantage and get under the skin of Paladin player characters just for the laughs, and then hide behind the "Hey, you're lawful good. You can't do anything!"
It's up to individual DM's to ban the class if they desire, as despite the desire of some of the Paizo staff, the class itself is not leaving the published game.
And I for one could not be happier, since I have a soft spot in my heart for the the self-righteous buggers.
Without any background explanation from the OP telling us why his fellow PCs felt it necessary to summon an evil outsider, I would have to disagree.
Summoning destructive evil outsiders right in front of the Paladin seems more like the jerk/provocative action than the Paladin reacting to such a summoning. Again, I would have to see the justification the OP's party member had for doing this.
If your party has a Paladin in it (and we are assuming they are not being poorly role-played) there are really only a few things they generally do not tolerate:
(1) Raising undead
Again, perhaps the OP would be kind enough to explain why the other PC decided to summon an evil outsider rather than a Neutral Outsider.
I guess I must refrain from answering the OP in order to ask for more detail, such as:
First, why on Earth is a Cleric of Sarenrae associating with people who would summon Daemons, the most hated, untrustworthy, and straight-up evil outsiders of them all (in my opinion)?
Second, why exactly must your Conjurer stick with Daemons/Devils? Is he/she just doing it to be edgy? There are numerous ultra-powerful Good (Angels, Azatas, Agathions, Archons) and Neutral outsiders (Inevitables and Aeons for example) that could be summoned. Some good outsiders would be far better at combatting this so-called "Greater Evil" because they have spells and abilities at their disposal that are suited to fighting evil creatures (Depending on which you are up against).
The "We need to marshall the forces of evil to fight an even greater evil" argument strikes me as a rather spurious line of reasoning when there is such a plethora of other powerful outsiders to choose from. If evil outsiders were the only outsiders there were, I could see the reason behind it. I guess I am just not understanding why this party is in this position to begin with.
I would like to take the time to point out that there is a vast gulf of difference between one's beliefs and the actions that one takes on those beliefs. Bigots do not necessarily become oppressors.
For example, one character might believe that most halflings are natural-born thieves, and be prejudiced against halflings. That does not mean that particular NPC will necessarily oppress halflings or join in a campaign of genocide against halflings. Such a person might even join the resistance against such a campaign because his bigotry butts heads against his empathy, and empathy wins out ("Just 'cause they're dirty little rock-chucking thieves doesn't mean they should be flat-out murdered!").
That is where the moral gray area really comes in. You may even have a bigot who has far more courage and who does far greater good than someone who is inclusive in their beliefs but is not willing to stick his neck out to defend the oppressed. Who is the more moral in that situation? The one with sincerely-held evil beliefs who does good in spite of those beliefs, or the one with sincerely-held goodly beliefs who will not act on them when the chips are down?
I'm going to have to come down hard in disagreement there.
I would say that homophobic NPCs and characters, just like racist characters, can run the gamut from being surprisingly good (Walt Kowalski from "Gran Torino") to being completely, utterly, irredeemably evil (Amon Goeth from "Schindler's List").
It is not the attitudes that one has towards certain people, but the actions ones takes. Some people demonstrate a far better nature than we think their prejudices would permit. While those prejudices can be real palpable character flaws, I am far more interested in characters who do the right thing in spite of their biases and bigotry. Because, hey, it makes it more real and relatable.
As such, I generally prefer a far more nuanced look at morality and alignment, rather than simply saying, "anyone who believes X, or does not believe Y is automatically evil. No further inquiry is needed." A person can hold an immoral or downright evil belief without themselves becoming an evil person, and I think it is important to recognize that these people can be good as well, certainly not because of their prejudices, but again, in spite of them.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
If anything, I would imagine that a hot-topic issue on Golarion would not be homosexual relationships but rather interracial relationships.
Most Elves, for example, might consciously or subconsciously see themselves as naturally superior to other races, and many of the more traditional members of their species would be shocked and offended by one of their males engaging in a lasting, loving relationship with a human being (or any other non-elf). Some might be even more offended if an elven woman decided to find true love in the arms of non-elves as well (They're gonna seduce our women!).
The possiblities for conflict and political axe-grinding are endless.
Louis it's not real, it's fantasy so why would that upset you? C'mon it's a game and if you can't handle it you shouldn't be playing the game.
I know that it is not real. But, then, that is kind of a cop-out. The reason this thread was created was to ask what we find too disturbing to play in our RPGs.
To draw an analogy, if you saw someone white-faced and crying after having just watched something along the lines of "Schindler's List," would you also tell them that it was all make-believe with actors and special effects and nothing to be upset about at all? I doubt it. We can be deeply affected by things that are not real, and I do not think it does anyone any favors to trivialize their feelings on the matter, or to say something along the lines of "Hey, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
I generally have an iron constitution when it comes to facing other topics and situations (both real and fantasy) that most other people find disturbing. But that does not mean some things cannot upset me, and child murder is at the top of that relatively short list.
That having been said, I am not saying that Paizo should have changed that particular part of the Adventure Path story. The Carrion Crown AP is perfectly good Adventure Path. I just did not like that particular part, and I do not care to use it if and when I run that Adventure Path because I find it upsetting.
Jessica Price wrote:
Louis, Matthew, Odraude: please take discussion of real-world politics and homosexuality to the off-topic forum. As I noted before, this thread is about homosexuality in Golarion.
I'm very sorry about that.
Back on the topic of homosexuality on Golarion:
I enjoy the way it is presented by Paizo. The characters and relationships feel organic and realistic, with there being good gay characters, morally neutral gay characters, and completely off-the-walls evil gay characters. It helps that Paizo publishing seems pretty sex-positive in general and are willing to explore and touch upon the whole spectrum of sexuality, not merely gay/straight.
For example, we have a rather strong (if somewhat self-loathing) BDSM community with the Zon-Kuthon worshippers. That's a start, but as someone mentioned before, it may do to present some people who enjoy those forms of relationships as truly good people (as many in real life are) rather than as mentally damaged, dysfunctional and/or self-loathingly evil (a la Zon-Kuthon and most of his worshippers) or uninhibitedly hedonistic (a la Calistra, Lamashtu or Urgathoa and most of their worshippers).
I am generally sickened when a module/Adventure Path includes child murder that is going on in real time, and that the PCs cannot do anything to stop.
I really did not like the way The Carrion Crown Adventure Path was written because:
one of the APs (the second one I believe) involves the murder of a young girl who is kidnapped from a band of traveling circus freaks and killed by a Phase Spider; the characters arrive too late to do anything about it.
It really angered me on a deep, emotional level and I had to put the AP down after reading it.
I realize I can tweak things around to either not include it, or to make it so the PCs are able to get there in time, but still, I found it way too dark for me.
I was reading up on Kaer Maga in "City of Stranger", and perhaps I overlooked some things, but this is how I see the city:
The city is shaped like a gigantic hexagon.
The outer "ring" of this hexagon is covered by a large, fortified roof.
The outer ring consists of multiple levels, making it essentially a singular multi-storied building (kind of like the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.).
A portion of the hexagon's outer ring has collapsed in on itself, forming what is now a shopping district.
Another portion of the hexagon's outer ring's inner levels have collapsed on themselves, so that buildings are built on the remaining tiers.
My questions: if I have the architecture of Kaer Maga correct, (1) exactly how many "levels" does the outer ring consist of?
(2) And how high are the levels from floor to ceiling? I can imagine that some of the levels are more tall than others, since Kaer Maga once acted as Shalast's version of Alcatraz and some of the larger, non-human prisoners required more space than others.
And (3), like most modern prisons, were the multiple levels/tiers open air, or did the floor of the upper level cover the lower levels as their ceilings?
Help would be appreciated, because I want to soon run some adventures for my players in Kaer Maga, and I want to be able to explain the architecture to them.
How are you planning on doing the mechanics of siege warfare? I'm not aware of any rules for mass battles, although I understand the recent pirate-themed AP had rules about mass naval battles, so there may be something useful in there. I'll be curious to hear how you handle this.
That's a good question, and kind of the reason I started this thread. I had the idea, but didn't know the mechanics with which to execute it. I was not planning a Mass Combat between armies, such as the one seen in Kingmaker.
I wanted to make it more centered around the parties efforts, and have them deal with multiple problems at once. For example, first they are repelling orcish raiders from climbing over the wall. Next, they are forced to rush over to the gates to stop and orcish-ridden owl bear from tearing the portcullis down. And finally, they are forced to face Kourzek himself.
A friend of mine actually suggested using the first adventure path book for Rise of the Runelords (the Goblins or Giants attacking Sandpoint) for how the siege is actually dealt with. I think I will go with that idea.
These are actually great ideas, King of Vrock. Thank you. I hadn't even thought about the Crooked Kin serving as the people who would warn of the attack, and was wondering how I would involve them after the Trial of the Beast. I have to say that their involvement in such a siege is a fantastic idea. I think you are right that making the siege take place after Wake of the Watcher is appropriate. They'll be just high enough where they can take on such a horde, but not so high as to where it won't even be a challenge.
And I also like your take on the actual siege, Helaman. While an assassination mission would be interesting, I imagine it will be too late by the time they get the news, as Kourzek will practically be at the gates of Tamrivena. Kourzek will be in the midst of hundreds of bloodthirsty Orcish troops who will be ready for an attack on their War Chief.
I really want my PCs to act as the heroic bulwark against near-hopeless odds where strategy and teamwork are an absolute must. I've also been wanting to demonstrate the savagery of Orcs when they perform siege warfare, and the terror they inflict upon a near-helpless populace. I want to give my PCs a real run for their money, and these Orcs won't be the typical CR 1/2 cannon-fodder Orcs; rather, they'll be the cannons. I'll be using high-level Orcish Barbarians and Clerics for the battle (lifting the NPCs from The Game Master Guide). It also gives me the chance to use Orcish beasts of war, such as Siege Owlbears or perhaps a War Rhino.
The fight will reach its crescendo when the PCs finally have to take on War Chief Kourzek, his Shaman, the Orcish standard-bearer, and his bodyguards. Once these Orcs are slain, the Horde will lose its morale, and break, but not after doing extensive damage to the Town in those areas where they actually managed to break through and cut through the militia.
If the PCs manage to survive this, I want them to be received as both the heroes and saviors of Casterwall, gaining an unassailable reputation within the Palatinate that even the more sordid members of the Casterwall Council dare not question publicly. That way, when they get to Caliphas, their reputations will have preceeded them somewhat. If they manage to truly distinguish themselves, they may be invited to receive accolades and rewards by Prince Ordranti himself.
I could not agree more. Orcs have really been given short shrift in Pathfinder APs, and I do not recall any major modules or even Pathfinder Society Play scenarios in which they make a noticeable appearance. I was really anticipating some Orc-heavy APs after Orcs of Golarion came out, but no such luck apparently.
No, it's D&D, a game about dealing with complex problems through various means according to the wants, desires and preferences of both the players and GMs. If a group wants to butcher its way through problems, that is an option. If a group wants to come up with novel solutions that do not necessarily involve killing, that is an option as well.
And you seem to be speaking out of both sides of your mouth here. On one hand, it is a game about killing things, yet on the other you admit that the writers have made interesting NPCs with incredible nuance, depth and sophistication. What would that matter if this is simply a game about killing things? I think you too realize that there is more to this game than simple hack-and-slash and looting.
If it was simply a game about killing hordes of enemies without any greater nuance than that, I would have just gotten a WoW account.
I'm going to be running the Carrion Crown Adventure Path shortly, but with a slight deviation in the storyline. It will take place either after Part Four of Five of Carrion Crown, and involves agents of the Whispering Way trying to distract the PCs from stopping their nefarious plot by instigating one of the Orcish clans of Belkzen to break through Bleakwall and lay siege to the capital of the Palatinate of Casterwall: the fortress-town of Tamrivena. The heroic PCs are naturally forced to break off their quest to help stop this more immediate threat (or they may deal with it on the way back).
I came up with the idea from the Pathfinder Rival Guide, when I decided to use the Night Harrows as some of the primary antagonists in the AP. We're told in the Rival Guide that the vampire Vesnic Demicci has an Orcish warlord named Kourzek in his thrall. Meanwhile, in Rule of Fear, the entry for Tamrivena states that there are rumors of an Orcish attack being imminent. I simply decided to simply make Kourzek the warlord known as the "Flayed Skull."
I have been wanting to bring some slightly more traditional fantasy elements into this AP, and Orcs can still be quite horrific if they are handled correctly. I also did not want to waste such an opportunity since the Hold of Belkzen is Ustalav's next-door neighbor.
The main problem that I am faced with is my lack of creativity and imagination when it comes to actually executing such a grandiose diversion.
Long story short, I need a module that centers around a siege of a fortified town, city or castle, even if it is from an earlier edition of D&D, as long as it can be converted. If it involves a siege by orcs or other vicious monster race, all the better.
Does anyone have any recommendations?
I'm going to be running the Carrion Crown Adventure Path shortly, but with a slight deviation in the storyline. It involves agents of the Whispering Way trying to distract the PCs from stopping their nefarious plot by instigating one of the Orcish clans of Belkzen to break through Bleakwall and lay siege to the fortress-town of Tamrivena. The PCs are naturally forced to break off their quest to stop this more immediate problem.
The main problem that I am faced with is my lack of creativity and imagination when it comes to actually executing such a grandiose diversion.
Long story short, I need a module that centers around a siege of a fortified town, city or castle, even if it is from an earlier edition of D&D, as long as it can be converted easily. If it involves a siege by orcs or other vicious monster race, all the better.
Does anyone have any recommendations?
I like to portray the Gods as being major influences within the mortal plane, but preferring to use a subtle touch in doing so.
The reason for this because the Gods are in a state of Cold War, because the Gods know that the only thing that can destroy them are other gods (as seen in the war between Asmodeus and Ihys and all the gods versus Rovagug). None of the various Gods wants to do anything too drastic, inviting open war onto the planes. Even evil gods and goddesses, like Lamashtu, are very careful not to extend their reach too far, lest they welcome an alliance of the gods of law, order and goodness to attack and annihilate them.
Thus they keep away from direct confrontations with each other, and generally use go-betweens and cat's paws to affect the Material Plane. Think of it as the world superpowers using the CIA and KGB as seen in the real Cold War.
The only times a God will personally intervene in all their glory on the Material Plane is when another God breaks the Détente.
I think a devoted follower of Aroden, who sees the results of what happened when the God of Humanity and Order dies (the Eye of Abendego forms, and the World Wound opens up) might actually seek to find a way to replace Aroden properly with a new God or Goddess of Humanity. Someone to take up the mantle, so to speak, if it is found that resurrection is impossible.
Winston Colt wrote:
I think the Paladin lived up to the Paladin's code. In my estimation, roughing someone up a bit does not exactly equal torture (although there is definitely a thin line between the two). Of course, if the Paladin started punching the bandit across the chops until he got answers, the torture flag would go up immediately.
In addition, scaring someone with a legal threat (i.e., if you help us, we'll try to get you off with imprisonment/labor; if you don't help us, you will hang) does not, in my mind qualify as torture. The man was a known bandit. He knew the penalties for his crimes. He might have been able to make things go easier on himself (maybe gotten out of getting a death sentence). But he didn't.
Further, I would rule that a Lawful Good character may legally execute a person properly convicted of a capital offiense without dropping in alignment. In fact, I would say that the Paladin exhibited great restraint under the circumstances.
Absolutely. Heck, the point of Role Playing Games is to play the role of a particular character that you created. And to do so, one has to know the character's story. Otherwise, the character might as well be a statblock and abilities list.
The more the players properly play the roles of the character according to the backstories they provided me, the more I end up rewarding them.
Good rule of thumb:
If you would consider an action wicked if it were done to you under similar circumstances, then, yes, it is evil.
Some folks have mentioned that because certain laws, such as the Paladin's Code, does not specifically forbid torture, then it is A-OK. I think that is what they call arguing within the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and misses the point about morality entirely.
There's the immortality arcane discovery from ultimate magic. Gives you the youth bit, with no age penalties ever, but I'm not sure from my reading whether it actually makes you immortal too.
It's more of an "eternal youth" discovery. You never age, and you can potentially live forever, but you can still be slain, starve to death, etc.
Unfortunately, I do not think I could answer your question regarding polymorphing oneself into a dragon. But there may be other secrets your character could seek in order to achieve immortality.
Technically, in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, the Rune Lords of Thassilon were able to achieve true immortality. They did so without relying on the more common Necromatic process of turning themselves into liches. However, I do not know if they were able to do so without clearly evil means. Judging from their most infamous representative, Karzoug, I kind of doubt that they relied on entirely benign means in order to achieve their longevity.
Actually, there may be something to this.
Paizo is soon going to be doing Player Companions once a month instead of twice a month.
Thus, if you are a regular subscriber, and with Paizo's current schedule, they will be releasing 12 Player Companions books, 12 Campaign Setting Books, 12 Adventure Path Books, and three hardcover books yearly. That comes down to roughly 39 books a year. Quite a bit. Averaging out the prices (10.99 for Player Companions; 19.99 for Campaign Settings; 19.99 for APs; 39.99 for Hardcovers, not including taxes/shipping of course), that comes out to a pretty penny each year. However, even if you are purchasing every single book that comes out, it's still generally cheaper than video games, based on the assumption that you purchase one brand-new console game each month.
However, there is no law saying you have to buy them all; in fact, chances are you do not need to unless you are just one of those folks who just has to have a copy of each book on your shelf for reference (i.e., like me). I like the fact there is so much variety. Further, I like that Paizo, unlike many RPG companies (I'm looking at you, Palladium), actually sticks to a consistent production schedule and gives us such great and magnificently-written products. I am not going to hold it against them for succeeding where so many of their colleagues and competitors fail.
If you are on a budget and are upset that you may be left behind as newer and newer products come out, or you are simply an ardent collector who likes having a complete library, that is understandable. But I'd say it's just best to stick with the hardcovers and ask to borrow your friends' copies until you are able to get your own.
I really do not like this attitude that Druids are a bunch of stoic, stone-hearted people who are somehow incapable of empathizing with other living creatures. Druids are not automatically Vulcans. Neutrality, even True Neutrality, does not mean a person is incapable of developing friendships and deep emotional bonds with other people or their own pets/companions. Even if one accepts the loss of friends and companions as part of the natural order, that does not mean they cannot grieve.
Heck, I do not think any of us here would not see death as part of the natural order, and yet we still grieve and mourn when our loved ones die. Why should druids be any different?
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
I actually think that would be a fantastic idea for a Lawful Evil Clergymember of Abadar.
Imagine a charismatic Bishop of Abadar who truly believes that for the march of civilization to progress, Barbarian nations must not merely be converted: they must be exterminated. And what's worse, let us say that she believes that barbarism is endemic to certain racial and ethnic groups, such as Orcs and Half-Orcs, but also humans of Shoanti, Kellid, Mwangi, and Ulfen backgrounds. In order to build the perfect civilization, she believes that the vermin must be extirpated, and calls for bloody crusades against these peoples to be wiped out down to the last child. She may also believe that certain human ethnic groups are qualitatively better in every single way for shouldering the burden of creating the perfect state, such as Taldorians and Cheliaxians.
And what is worse, she is able to convince thousands upon thousands of people that her views are correct. That the world is full of disorder and Chaos, and that it must be cleansed of the dross and forcefully reshaped into something new.
For inspiration on Abadar, see how some aboriginal populations were treated in real life. An evil priest of Abadar might kidnap the children of "less-civilized" people, force them to abandon their native beliefs and language, all the while virtually enslaving them, just to bring "civilization and order" to the "savages"
I really do hate how Chaotic Neutral is used as the alignment jerk players use to act like complete jerks in the game. I especially hate it because there are so many interesting ways one can play a Chaotic Neutral character, besides acting Chaotic Stupid, contrary, and being a general all-round pain in the neck.
And I do support kicking them from the party when they act like that.