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Mark Moreland Drowning Devil Avatar

Mark Moreland's page

Developer. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 7,677 posts (8,455 including aliases). 20 reviews. No lists. 3 wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters. 19 aliases.


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That bonus dead technician looks like the Vashta Nerada.

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The Tiger Lord wrote:

I know it's lame, but my Paizo personnel-fu is not very strong. Can we get a who's who on that picture?

Thanks!

From left to right: Mark Seifter, Brian Campell, Me, Jason Bulmahn, Logan Bonner, Patrick Renie, John Compton. Ryan Mackin is to John's left in the background chatting with some friends (that guy knows everyone).

Also stranded—I guess delayed is more accurate—were Sara Marie, Jessica Price, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mike Kenway, and Other Mark's significant other.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Took them long enough to bring us a redhead! :)
Oh, I know. I've been hearing about it for many years now. :)

And totally not from your redheaded girlfriend, whose character is named ... never mind.

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Mechalibur wrote:
I always find it so weird to see DnD products on the front page. Isn't that like giving free advertising to your competition? :P

In addition to being a publishing company, Paizo is also one of the largest gaming-related web stores on the Internet. As such, the store offers products from every publisher who distributes their games through primary hobby channels.

If Paizo were to decide not to carry (or at least not advertise) Dungeons & Dragons products, where would we draw that line? No longer advertising Fantasy Flight products? Or Green Ronin? Or Catalyst Game Labs? Or Privateer Press? Deciding not to stock, or not to promote, something that customers might want is a bad way to be the go-to web store for any hobby. This way, if someone who frequents our boards for other reasons wants the Basic Set, they don't have to leave the site to get it. Conversely, if someone isn't familiar with Paizo and just does a web search for where they can buy the new edition of D&D, they may become a lifetime customer of paizo.com (whether or not they ever actually buy or play Paizo-published products).

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jimibones83 wrote:
I find it strange to focus so much on sexuality in this kind of roleplaying game. It seems to happen a lot with paizo though lol. Captain K's list was quite entertaining at least:)

In general, we only focus on sexuality when it matters to the stories we're telling. There's no section of a statblock where such has to be defined, so if it doesn't matter to the story that the shopkeeper is a cis-woman married to a trans-man or bisexual, or asexual, we don't mention it.

I can see how efforts to provide in-world representations of people of all sorts (real-world people who we want to feel have a place within our setting and our game) could be seen as a focus on sexuality, but not addressing the presence of non-heterosexual inhabitants of Golarion simply reinforces the cultural assumption that people are straight unless otherwise noted.

We've established in enough cases that there are lots of people who aren't straight that when we don't mention it at all (like when it's completely irrelevant to the character's role in the story being told), it's really up to the reader or GM which way they swing should such a question even come up, (which, as you note, isn't likely in an adventure-heavy game like Pathfinder, though every group is different).

Captain K's list is the perfect example of a fan taking what we've given them about characters and extrapolating histories and personalities for them that fit a particular vision. Leaving such creative additions to the game (and to the characters within it) up to the players is our job; it wouldn't be much fun to play the game if we spelled every single detail out for everyone and didn't leave any room to tell one's own story.

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Malwing wrote:

Ooh I have a question about the product. Since we'll get crafting rules for technological items analogous to magic items does this mean that martial classes will realistically be able to craft/enhance their own "magic" weapons?

While technically, yes, crafting technology is covered in the book, doing do requires access to specific manufacturing facilities—military labs, pharmaceutical labs, graviton labs, and so on—which, at least in Golarion, are not common. A GM could make them more easily accessible such that players could craft their own technological items, as long as they possessed the right feats and skills. It really depends on the level of technology a GM wants in her campaign. The rules are there, but the assumption is that these items are found treasure rather than something you can just make without much effort. The "magic shop in every town" effect is something I, at least, tried not to have permeate this book too much, so that tech remains special and mysterious instead of mainstream.

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Blackvial wrote:
there is always the cursed belt that changes your gender

Calling that belt a "cursed item" is indicative of the time in which it was originally written.

"Hur, hur. You got turned into a woman. Now you have boobs. Hur, hur."

Were it not for the sake of backwards compatibility and honoring as much of the history of the hobby as we could, I imagine the girdle would have been switched to a normal wondrous item, or removed from the game altogether.

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Arodus, 4714

Honored Colleague,

This letter is one of many pages splayed across my desk—normally kept so tidy but now overgrown with contracts, orders, and confirmations sealed in a rainbow of wax with a menagerie of stunning signet rings. In other circumstances I might be anxious about the disarray, but instead I have good reason to be excited. When I meet with a dear friend tomorrow and sign on the dotted line, I will terminate my commission as an official representative of Qadira and create a new business—with you as a stakeholder.

It may seem like folly to abandon the backing of the Qadiran satrapy, but I assure you that there are advantages. Many of our new clients have expressed reluctance to work with anything but an independent outfit, and my former superiors have vetoed several otherwise lucrative ventures on political grounds. These fine men and women have acknowledged and honored my decision, ensuring that Qadira remains a friend in the future. We are no longer bound by those restrictions, and lucrative opportunities await.

I have already set in motion a merger with Guaril Karela's operation, and based on projections, this growth should establish us as a force to be reckoned with in markets across the Inner Sea. Keep in mind that while the Sczarni employees are very capable business people, they sometimes pursue less savory business practices to manage the competition. Finding the right balance between our styles will be an early growing pain, so please be accommodating as we find the appropriate middle ground. If anything, their diverse skill set should help us adapt to fulfill countless commercial interests.

The Pathfinder Society has taken an interest in our young company, too, and I have a meeting with several investors from the Grand Lodge later this evening. With a broad enough trade network, I may be able to negotiate exclusive contracts to supply the Society in future expeditions. As you travel abroad, remember to study the markets and build connections with well-established, independent merchants. At an earlier meeting, a Society representative mentioned the Mwangi Expanse, which has long been beyond our reach—until now.

To our future success,
Trade-Prince Aaqir al'Hakam

The Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign begins the Year of the Sky Key, its sixth season of Pathfinder RPG adventures. Keep the words of Trade-Prince al'Hakam in mind, and be on the lookout for opportunities to help the new Exchange faction succeed in its objectives. When the time comes, endeavor to participate in Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-03: The Technic Siege.

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Arodus, 4714

Most loyal agent,

As I set pen to parchment, Korvosa is just fading from view in my cabin's window. The city served me well for my year of near-exile, but from peasant to prince, the population is too tied up in its Chelish origins. Already I find my thoughts clearer for having left. Of course, that's not the only reason. With a little help from friends in the Academae, I have performed most enlightening experiments with the gifts you and my other agents have sent me. Despite the school's reputation for losing students in magical accidents, it seems that there is a limit to how many bright-eyed, young conjurers can disappear before the faculty starts asking uncomfortable questions.

No matter, though. The experience has honed my skills, and your discoveries with the Pathfinder Society have provided ample information with which I have negotiated a more permanent home in Absalom. I fear the Chelish government has since cleaned out my townhouse in the Ivy District, but I understand the Grand Lodge has a space already prepared for me.

Do you remember how so many finds disappear into one of the lodge's vaults under pretenses of their being "stored for later study" or "too great a threat to Golarion?" The Decemvirate is concerned that we have acquired too many such relics without anyone spending the time to give them proper examination. They took rather kindly to my suggestion that we found a dark archive to curate and maintain these collections, and we get the unique privilege of operating it. Archival work may not seem glamorous until you remember what powerful artifacts we are handling. So long as we prove our competence, we will enjoy nearly unfettered access to this vast collection that everyone else is too afraid to handle.

Before we can settle into our new role, I want to ensure that we have the proper training to avoid any catastrophes. That means making friends with other curators who are in the business of handling dangerous objects. Can you think of any? I know I have a few in mind, and I have no interest in taking no for an answer.

Onward, brave archivist,
Zarta Dralneen

The Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign begins the Year of the Sky Key, its sixth season of Pathfinder RPG adventures. Keep the words of Zarta Dralneen in mind, and be on the lookout for opportunities to help the new Dark Archive faction succeed in its objectives. When the time comes, endeavor to participate in Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-02: The Silver Mount Collection.

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Redacted: Hello.

Redacted: Good morning.

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
She went to the pits in Daggermark? Wait a sec, don't the pits there fight to the death? So she was bored with life and went to the pits where she could fight to the death? She doesn't sound nice. Honestly if I were align her based on this story I'd call her Neutral Evil.

She went to one of the Inner Sea region's most notable arenas, in Tymon, which is associated with the region's premier gladiatorial college. While there might be fights to the death there, that's not a requirement or even something that would happen very often. The whole point there is to battle enough that you earn the title of Blooded, and thus become something of local nobility. It's not to kill whoever you happen to face in the ring.

Needless to say, Kess is not evil. None of the iconics we've introduced thus far from the ACG have been evil.

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Thanks for getting these out to the community, Nihimon. I have already put the attacks into a table (albeit a really large and somewhat ungainly one) on the wiki, and will be working as best I can in my free time (HA!) to get it a bit better organized. Anyway, anyone willing or able to help with that is welcome to join the effort!

pfo.pathfinderwiki.com

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Benjamin Falk wrote:
Kitsune are so much more^^

What? I can't even... WHY!?!?!?!

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Sent a PM to JJ in the hopes of getting this issue noticed.

As developer on this book, a PM to me would have been more effective. In any case, I'm aware of the thread now and will look into it once I get the current project off my plate and into edit (likely next week). That said, we only correct errata in books when they receive a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) printing. As a softcover, non-evergreen product, we are unlikely to make errata for Inner Sea Combat. We may, however, present an FAQ clarification on the message boards.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
So, since Mikaze's a contributor, we can expect to see lots of orcs and humans living in harmony in Belkzen, right? ;D

Not lots, no. But we knew that we wanted there to be more in the book than just the same evil, murderous orc tribe repeated for 64 pages. Since that means we needed authors to think outside the box and give a fresh spin on a few of the tribes included, we looked outside our regular author pool. Jason had done good work for other publishers and in Wayfinder, and was the first fan that came to mind when we initially started figuring out what would be in the book. It seemed only fitting, then, that he get the chance to contribute a small amount to the book. That said, most of the orcs in the book will be more traditional orcs that can serve as enemies for PCs, following established canon we have on the race and the region in the Pathfinder campaign setting.

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Since I am already the office's "Mark," you're going to have to go by something else. Like "Rules Mark" or "New Guy." Welcome, New Guy!

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Roga wrote:
So does this mean that gravity rifles are a thing now?

Is it August yet?

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I do.

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DaemonAngel wrote:

Ships from 900 BC to 1660 AD are certainly the kinds you can find on Golarion. Basically, anything you’d see sailing from Ancient Greece, to part of the Renaissance; the galley, galleass, longship, cog, caravel, carrack certainly work. But ships, especially warships, like those that appeared from the late 1600s to the 1800s don't fit. The Sloop, Brig, Brigantine, Frigate, Schooner, Cutter, Clipper, Windjammer and the famous "ship-of-the-line," don't work.

We made a point of hiring as many authors for this book as we could that we knew had naval or nautical backgrounds. Two of them live or have lived on sailing ships, and one is an active duty naval officer. While neither of those achievements guarantees that the book will be acceptable to readers with a passion for nautical history, we have put in as much effort as we can to be historically and technically accurate with the book.

That said, our setting does have a number of the ships you listed as not working. The Stargazer from the novel Pirate's Honor is a brigantine, for example. While variations in technology and ship design may have occurred one way in our world, they evolved differently on Golarion. As such, we have all sorts of ships in the world, and work to remain consistent when we've said one place that a given ship is a frigate that it's always a frigate.

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With only a few exceptions, there's a single continuity for all Pathfinder products, using the Inner Sea World Guide as a baseline and expanding from there. The most notable exceptions are products in which the outcomes are unwritten—when they're left up to individual GMs and players. Thus, the canon of what happens as a result of an adventure is really only canon in a campaign in which that adventure took place. We want everyone to feel that they can run through just about any adventure, in any order, at any time, and not feel like they are doing so in defiance of established canon. This means when you run Rise of the Runelords, what happens as a result of that campaign defines what is canon in your game. Except for a few rare events we've built sequels around, the events of an adventure or adventure path are always assumed to be just on the verge of happening in official canon. (This includes the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, which has its own internal canon for players of that campaign.)

Something like a setting sourcebook, in which we can say, "this event occurred" and "this is who secretly runs the city's assassins' guild," can follow the same continuity as any other source that describes concrete events. This includes fiction and, yes, comic books. Where the continuity of the Iconics' particular adventures gets a little fuzzy is that they appear a lot of places, and often in different adaptations of the same content.

The intention for the Iconics was that they would be stand ins for the PCs in art in our products, and that they'd have names and personalities so that players could identify with them over the course of the brand's life. That means that when it comes time to tell some stories set in our world, either in audio dramas or comics or a television series or Hollywood film adaptation, the characters that are most identifiably "Pathfinder" are those same Iconics.

Since you mentioned comics, I guess the best comparison I can give on how continuity with the Iconics works is to think of the various "Earths" in DC, across which there are multiple Supermen and Wonder Women. Whichever reality you're reading is internally consistent and what happens in that reality is canon. But a single different decision on Earth 2 could mean large butterfly effects for the continuity on that world. The Iconics are our Supermen, Green Lanterns, and Flashes. So while they're the same character across all instances of themselves, the specifics of the events surrounding their lives in any single reality might not line up perfectly with those of other realities. The Iconics' continuity within the comics is canon for the comics, and the Iconics' continuity for the audio dramas is canon for the audio dramas. And if one of them ever appeared as an NPC in an adventure path, they'd be canon for that AP in any campaign that included those events.

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We no longer solicit full scenarios or adventure proposals as part of the open call, so the direct answer to your question is none. That said, many of the authors who have written scenarios in the last few seasons are either new freelancers trying their hands at professional adventure design for the first time, or are established freelancers who are writing for Paizo or adventures for Paizo for the first time. Some of these were "discovered" via the open call, while others were found and approached after successful runs in RPG Superstar or as a result of providing volunteer campaign assistance for John, Mike, and me.

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This book will be more similar in its scope to Artifacts & Legends than to Magical Marketplace or Ultimate Equipment.

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As long as you are an active subscriber before orders are generated (usually the week before subscriptions start to ship), you'll be included as a subscriber. You can even start a sub after they've shipped but before the next month's book releases and select the previous month's release as your starting product. But you should totally subscribe today. Like right now. Doooo it!

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zergtitan wrote:
Actually does anybody know what her alignment and patron deity is?

Yup! Both are revealed in her print debut, Risen From the Sands.

Edit: Or James might just spill those details above. Good job holding some surprises close to the chest, Jacobs!

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I love this thread.

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Of course Bors doesn't mince words. He has a bludgeoning weapon.

...

What?

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chopswil wrote:
minor formatting - semicolon between "Defensive Abilities" and "DR" not comma

Copy-editing errors of this sort do not require errata, and they don't need developer comment or clarification to make the game playable. While we cringe at every minor error that makes its way past our dragnet of editorial eyes, is it really that vital that you point something this minor out? Is that missing semicolon really worth someone's time to correct or acknowledge, as opposed to the myriad other tasks on the editorial staff's agendas?

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Alex G St-Amand wrote:

Can't be worn, or can't be worn safely?

Can't be worn any more than you can swim in a water elemental. If a GM wanted to allow a PC to wear the armor that used to be First Blade, then it's up to that GM how that would work. But First Blade isn't wearing armor (thus it's not listed in its gear); it is the armor.

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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Patience.

Three of our most popular and prominent nations haven't simply been overlooked.

But Wes, we can likely convince them to send us pizza and donuts to bribe the books out of us. Thanks for ruining my plan!

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Robert Jordan wrote:
Thoroughly intrigued by the Knights of the Ioun Star, mostly because I love Ioun Stones. Have they been mentioned anywhere before and I just missed them?

They've been mentioned in Erik's Kings of Absalom campaign and appear in another upcoming book that I don't want to spoil.

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The purge of Sarenites from Taldor has not been retconned, it's just being downplayed to put it in perspective. Past sources mentioning the purge have led to a prevailing assumption that it was a major and ongoing element in the country, which isn't necessarily the case. Ultimately, Taldor's attempts to "ban" a NG religion based on the sun were futile (like so much else Taldor attempts to do). Yes, the faith was officially forbidden in Taldor 2 centuries ago; in practice, there are tens of thousands of people who venerate Sarenrae there, just as there are all over the world (except Nidal; they hate the sun there because it messes up their pale, gothy, skin.)

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Note to self: make sure we change the title on the box from "Island of Empty Eyes" to "tempest Rising" before we ship this to the printer...

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I do not disagree with the OP. In fact, I'd love to see more 64-page nation books in the Campaign Setting line, but there are only so many spots in the schedule where we can do them. Compared to books on general themes, like the "Revisted" and "Unleashed" titles, which are fairly modular and templated in their construction, regional gazetteer books are much more time intensive. They are easiest to develop when they're written by as few authors as possible (like 1 or 2), but it's hard to find the right author for such a book and who has the availability at just the time the book needs to be written. Further, we already have two such books that are pretty much mandatory each year to support the Adventure Path line.

So know that I (and several others here at Paizo) really want to see these nations explored further in 64-page Campaign Setting books, we just haven't found the right time or place for them in the schedule.

Perhaps asking James, Rob, and Adam for a Cheliax-, Taldor-, or Andoran-based Adventure Path will speed things along?

Or, you know, getting enough responses to this thread that we determine it'd be worth it to make a nation sourcebook that isn't directly tied to another dozen or so products released around the same time.

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Attention Daigle and Thursty: making gaming material isn't supposed to be fun. Cut out the shenanigans.

OR ELSE!

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zergtitan wrote:
That's why kids, D&D can be a tool of learning.

Or Pathfinder, as the case may be.

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The intention of Monstrous Mount is to give characters with a companion animal or mount class feature the ability to select a non-animal as the creature that advances with them as they level up. It is important, however, to ensure that characters don't gain access to abilities that most other character can't receive for several levels (such as the ability to fly before 5th level). The mounts granted by this feat end up being more powerful than the base creatures, as they continue to level up along with the cavalier who selects them, but before their full abilities are unlocked, they are "nerfed" to maintain balance.

The existence of this feat does not preclude a character from gaining a standard magical beast and training it as a mount. You can still raise a hippogriff as a mount and use it with all the normal rules. It just won't advance with you as you level up. You could take a griffon as a cohort, however, so that it would advance with you, but you can't take Leadership until 7th level.

Monstrous Mount was never intended to replace the existing methods of using a magical beast in mounted combat, flying or not. It is simply another set of options for a cavalier who wants to have the same mount from 4th level, even if he can't fly on the beast until such abilities are appropriate for a character of his level.

Needless to say, I fail to see how hyperbolic claims that Paizo "hates" mounted combat are supported with evidence of us providing more options for mounted combatants.

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Lots of responses!

Snorter wrote:
Should these be completely new creations, ie would PCs being run in PF Society games or home games be ineligible for submission?

That's up to the submitter. It just can't be someone else's intellectual property (you can't submit Conan or Elric, for example).

Dragon Prime wrote:
I will be submitting my favorite PFS character but I am wondering what they mean by game statistics, cause we give them the levels the guy has in classes and such. Are they going to flesh it out beyond that?

We reserve the right to create the stats essentially from scratch based on the flavorful description you provide. We're unlikely to accept a submission that read like, "This is a 6th-level fighter who has Weapon Focus (longsword), a Strength score of 20, and uses his favored class bonus on skill points to max out Perception." Rather, if a character is described as being unnaturally strong, being well-trained in the use of longswords, and has trained himself to be very perceptive, we'll interpret that into statistics as best we can.

The Halfling Cavalier wrote:
I just have one question: what is meant by our paizo.com 'account name'? Is that our forum name, or our email address?

Either. We just need a way of linking the submission to a registered user on paizo.com.

atheral wrote:
Quick question about submission, should the entry be in the body of the email or sent as an attachment?

Either, but it will be fastest for us to review 300 words in the body of the email rather than needing to download and open an attachment. How you submit the character to us won't impact our decision, however.

Torke Steelpike wrote:
Not to count my chickens before they hatch, but will we be contacted if we win? There's no note in the submission page about that. Do we just have to buy each comic in hopes of our character being in a little bio page towards the end of the issue?

We will not be announcing each month's winner prior to the release of that month's comic issue. If you want to be among the first to know if your character has been selected for publication, you should set up a subscription for the comic at your local comic book store, digitally on Comixology.com, or right here on paizo.com.

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We'll be selecting the entries we feel fit Golarion the best while also being inventive or creative additions to the campaign setting. We'll be looking for entries that can "color within the lines" of established canon, so keep that in mind if you plan to submit something that we wouldn't otherwise publish in one of our other books. All that said, there are no restrictions on what you can submit; there are, however, limits on what 5 entries we'll select to see publication. Even then, if someone describes a really cool paladin as CG in their entry and we decide to stat that character up and publish it because of its sheer awesomeness, we'd either change the character's alignment or class to fit within the rules of the Pathfinder RPG and the setting.


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Just as a heads-up, this weekend I plan to get an image map started of this map linking to articles on PathfinderWiki on the contents of each hex. It's a process that will likely take a long time and also require the game to, you know, launch before there's a lot of content on the articles themselves, but this is a thing that's "in the works." As always, anyone interested in assisting in the effort is welcome to join the wiki and add their expertise (or willingness to learn).

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Ross Byers wrote:

Just started reading this.

Also, I realized that Salim is Golarion's answer to Captain Jack Harkness.

Sutter is one of the many (unfortunate) Paizo staffers who has yet to be indoctrinated into the ways of Who, so I doubt he even gets the reference. That said, I am in 100% agreement with your assessment.

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Ross Byers wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:

Speaking of gods...

Oh My God!

This is the first time I've noticed your new avatar image, Mark!

Gah!

Grrrr!

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Illius wrote:

Quite excited to get my copy of this book. I'm glad there are at least a few mythic options sprinkled in there.

Can we expect to be seeing more support for the mythic ruleset in further releases?

When appropriate, yes, in the same way we support firearms, performance combat, and other rules subsystems presented in past books. There are currently no plans to do a book entirely of new mythic content, however.

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Please remember that this is a product thread. I love Final Fantasy as much as the next person, (but not as much as Liz, I don't think), but this isn't the place for such a tangent. We have a whole section of the message boards for discussion of video games where such a discussion would likely flourish without derailing this thread.

Thanks!

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Illius wrote:
Will we be getting a preview of this book in the coming weeks?

Yes, though I'm not sure when.

Joseph Davis wrote:
Just hoping for some more Aldori love.

I think you'll find a few bits of Aldori love in here.

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The fiction portal on PathfinderWiki is kept up to date and lists all novels, Pathfinder Tales novellas, and web fiction stories, in chronological order of release, no less! Might be easier for folks who like to stay abreast of these lists to bookmark the page rather than continue updating lists on the boards that can't be added to after an hour.

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mswbear wrote:
Honestly, I'm probably going to buy this book because I play a lot of divine characters and divine options are yummy.......however, I’m scared that it will be regurgitated information. Something have noticed about Paizo is that they release the same information in several sources with only a little bit extra in each source.

Because the basic information about the setting's deities have not changed, much of the information (especially on the core 20 deities of the Inner Sea region) will not be new. That isn't to say there won't be anything new in these sections (we specifically added new details that hadn't been introduced before), but descriptions of the gods' appearances, faiths, followers, and so forth will be largely the same. This book does present a large number of new mechanics, including a few picked up from other sources due to their thematic appropriateness, and either updated from 3.5 or kept largely the same.

When making a book of this size, unless it's on something completely new, like an as-yet-unexplored continent of the setting, a certain amount of "regurgitation" is inevitable. We'd be doing a disservice to people who purchased this book under the pretense that it was the definitive tome on religion in the Inner Sea region if it simply referred them to the 20+ deity articles in the pages of Pathfinder Adventure Path instead of presenting the information they'd expected. That does mean that some folks will be upset that they "paid twice" for something, but in large part, it's unavoidable.

Having gone over the entire book a number of times in the process of development, I'm confident there's enough new or updated content in this book that the elements which are reprinted or repeated from previous sources won't be what most readers notice, and will thus feel they've gotten their money's worth.

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The image with the filename, Aroden, is in fact a cleric of Tsukiyo. It appears in the book on the page on other human deities, illustrating those worshiped by humans in Tian Xia.

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