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Wow! One of the great things about Paizo growing and expanding into more than just RPG publishing is that I occasionally find myself surprised by a development from another department. This is just such an instance! Very excited to see what the community comes up with and get professionally printed copies of new cards to expand the game beyond its current boundaries.
Getting back to the original question and ignoring the unwelcome vitriol between the OP and this one:
I think the best way to increase female participation (or, heck, participation of anyone who isn't oneself) is to be sensitive to their experiences and requests.
Some requests don't need to be stated, because they're taken for granted, as has been indicated elsewhere in this thread. One doesn't expect to need to ask others not to lick them, for example. Being licked by a stranger would make anyone uncomfortable, and thus we've accepted as a society that licking other people is not ok. We can sympathize with the victim in this situation, because we can all imagine being licked by a stranger.
To make gaming spaces (or any space, for that matter) welcoming to people not like oneself, be that someone of a different gender, race, class, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, physical or mental disability, etc, etc, etc, one must—at the bare minimum—be open to the fact that their experiences are also different, and there are therefore circumstances that are going to make them uncomfortable that might not even occur to you. And that's ok. No one expects everyone to anticipate every possible situation that will make another person uncomfortable. But when someone states their personal experience or makes a request to avoid discomfort, accepting that experience as valid and honoring the request to the best of your ability are the bare minimum required to make that person feel welcome in the space.
Being asked to change your behavior for another's benefit, or simply acknowledging experiences that do not mirror your own or that you haven't personally witnessed does not make you a victim. It makes you a human being in a society of other human beings. So if your aim is to increase the diversity of the other human beings in the microcosm of society that plays games together at a given event or location, be open to listening, accepting others' requests at face value, and making what changes you can to accommodate those requests. If you aren't willing to do that, you likely aren't genuine in your claims of wanting diversity and inclusiveness in your gaming group.
Ultimately, Pharasma still judges every soul, so it might not be true in every case. A paladin who happens to fall down the stairs (ha, a fallen paladin) would still likely be sent to Heaven, and a demoniac that gets run over by a cart would still probably end up in the Abyss. A neutral evil soul, however, that died a meaningless death could be sent to any one of a number of evil gods' realms, so it might be that Zyphus gets those souls. His followers, who actively try to kill people in meaningless and (supposedly) accidental ways are certainly evil, and would be dogeared for Zyphus's realm in the afterlife.
It was largely a joke, but thank you for the further clarification. :-P
Does anyone know who was responsible for the Pain Taster prestige class' revised write-up in Occult Mysteries? I would really like to get some answers to the questions above ...
As the lead developer on the project, I'm the one ultimately responsible, and those questions should come to me. Since I'm here, I can answer them! (Note that I already wrote a really long post doing just that, but RPG Superstar voting knocked the site out just prior to my finishing the post. I hope my repeated effort is not wasted.)
The ritual involved in the disciple of pain class ability does not deal hit point damage. To do so would make it one of the few class abilities that came with a built-in burden to characters who take levels in the class. The rituals are meant to be primarily flavorful means by which a character gains the benefit, similar to deific obediences from Inner Sea Gods or to a wizard preparing spells for the day. If a GM wishes to play out this hour-long ritual, she is welcome to do so, but we didn’t want to hard-code a penalty or hit point tax into the rules for all players. The reference to hit point damage in the pain mastery description is a legacy from changes made to the class last-minute that slipped through the cracks (see below).
Because a character shouldn’t risk death when attempting to level up. As with many special requirements for entry into a prestige class (such as a Hellknight killing a devil or a Pathfinder Chronicler selling a written work for a certain amount of money), they are primarily flavorful elements to further cement the character into the theme of the prestige class in question. Individual GMs may choose to make this ritual into a much larger part of the campaign, and by not hard-coding how it works into the class, it gives GMs the freedom to push the boundaries of what her players are comfortable with as she sees fit. As written, the ritual may be attempted many times in the lead-up to a character’s entry into the prestige class, and a failure should be an opportunity for a more intricate story rather than an opportunity to make a new character.
Your assessment is correct (see above). In order to fit the class on a single spread, we had to make some adjustments to its text in the late stages of editing and development, and this ability in particular changed pretty significantly. Pain mastery should work in conjunction with disciple of pain rather than masochism, as a result. If we ever pick the prestige class up elsewhere, we’ll aim to make the necessary adjustments to the language to clarify this.
I think that’s all the actual questions that remained unanswered. Sorry for the long delay!
Without including the entire contents of the book here, I'll note that Andoran's conflict with nations like Cheliax, Taldor, and Qadira is more a war of ideals than a physical war in which two armies charge across a field of battle at one another. The armor of the Eagle Knights (especially the Steel Falcons, who largely operate outside Andoran's borders) needs to serve as much as fancy, memorable armor worthy of the defenders of the Inner Sea's greatest form of government as it needs to protect them from physical damage.
As for specific pieces of art in prior publications, consider that illustrations from our own world supposedly representing actual events are often not practical in their implementation. I doubt, for example, that Washington actual stood in a rowboat with one foot on the gunwale while it was traversing iceberg-filled waters as depicted in Washington Crossing the Delaware. But such an image inspires patriotism, valor, awe, and respect among those who view it. I'm not saying every illustration of Andoren military units is such a representation, just as I assume you're not saying they all need to be photorealistic.
A true Andoren wouldn't want to include only heavily armored soldiers fighting for the nation's ideals, after all. Doing so would send a message that only those who can afford such protection are capable of standing up for liberty, that dedicating one's life to what is right and true is inherently without risk, and the incorrect assertion that the common people are not stronger than the blades and arrows wielded by tyrants.
We've illustrated Eagle Knights in plate armor, and will continue to do so. For examples see The Inner Sea World Guide (265); Andoran, Spirit of Liberty (23, 29); Paths of Prestige (22); "Noble Sacrifice" (ch 1). Aside from the half-page illustration referenced as depicting impractical armor, all illustrations of Eagle Knights in unarmored blue clothes are of Gray Corsairs or other marine combatants (Andoran, Spirit of Liberty [cover, 2]; Ships of the Inner Sea , etc.) It should probably also be noted that the lightly armored soldiers in the referenced illustration are all cut up. It's pretty clear that their lack of armor had negative effects on their ability to maintain full hit points.
TL;DR: What you're afraid of happening with the art in this book is something we're specifically working to make sure doesn't happen.
The Tiger Lord wrote:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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,
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Alex G St-Amand wrote:
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.