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Mark Moreland Drowning Devil Avatar

Mark Moreland's page

Developer. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 7,951 posts (8,731 including aliases). 19 reviews. No lists. 3 wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters. 19 aliases.


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I too am sad to see the fiction go, both because it means 6 pages of extra work for me to do on a monthly basis, but also because it was one of the elements of Pathfinder that first hooked me as a fan. Back when I was just "superfan" Yoda8myhead, I even made my own lulu.com compilation of all of Eando Kline's adventures so I could more easily read them on my daily commute (see this blog post from 2009 for pictures)—my first foray into publishing.

Paizo Employee Developer

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The question of random encounter frequency came up at Gen Con, and I'm only now in the office to address it, so I wanted to take the opportunity to do so in case other GMs wonder how often to throw random encounters at their players in this adventure.

Because the adventure takes place in a relatively constrained area, and so much of the adventure is based on setting the mood and building tension, I recommend using random encounters sparingly, as they can easily take a party out of the story unless worked in seamlessly to the ongoing plot. Feel free to pick something from the Briarstone Asylum Encounters table on page 81 when the party becomes too comfortable or the story starts to drag, but otherwise, let the adventure present threats as written. If you do add a random encounter, consider using one that makes sense for the part of the asylum the PCs are currently exploring rather than one that might be more appropriate elsewhere in the adventure.

Additionally, the supernatural weather described in the Bestiary introduction makes for great encounters that aren't necessarily combat but can help increase the weird factor of the adventure. As long as it's appropriate to do so, I encourage GMs to use those effects over a random encounter during the adventure.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Porphyrogenitus wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
It also isn't helpful calling something "abhorrent on so many levels" without at least saying what some issues are. I get criticism of Hell's Vengeance, evil isn't for everyone. But I can't think of any time I've heard it used to describe Hell's Rebels.
When the last one is out and I have time to write a review of all of it, I might. It will indicate what I find abhorrent about the first when tied to the second, as they are clearly intended to be, which is why:
Quote:
Paizo is pretty good at avoiding mention of AP events in other products.

Was violated here, and why I took the moment to decloak regarding my opinion of the whole thing, since they did break an otherwise generally* observed policy of not having APs or modules interact with other APs or modules in pushing the gameworld.

As one of Paizo's primary keepers of canon, I can assure you that the default assumption for the campaign setting as a whole is that nothing has happened except what is listed in the Inner Sea World Guide. That is the baseline for the setting, whether you're running an adventure that came out in 2009 or 2016. From time to time, specific stories we tell, either in fiction or adventures, build on past stories we've told and so assume those specific elements have taken place. In such cases, we do our best to provide guidance for GMs who are running campaigns that don't include the previous events, or for whose groups they ended in non-standard ways. That said, it's entirely possible to run Hell's Vengeance and Hell's Rebels independently of the the other, as they don't overlap geographically or in terms of specific NPCs involved in both.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Well, it really gets my Goat that they listed the 1973 Wicker Man, and not the superior, much more terrifying 2006 version.

This is one of those cases of sarcasm not coming through on the Internet, right?

Paizo Employee Developer

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JiCi wrote:


Even deadlier: you tattoo SEVERAL images of creatures on the target's skin and THESE images ALL spring to life to attack the target.

Even even deadlier: you tattoo SEVERAL images of creatures on the target's skin and THESE images ALL spring to life and attack one another. The poor victim is caught in the crossfire and can't escape the gory conclusion because BOTH sides of the conflict are made of his own flesh!

Paizo Employee Developer

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Seems legit

Paizo Employee Developer

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Such books, while fun to read for a certain audience, don't really help players build characters, GMs run adventures, or fiction readers feel like they've read a good story. As such, there are almost always more useful books we can put our efforts toward producing. Further, they run a very real risk of painting us into creative corners. For example, if we release all of Iomedae's teachings in detail, and then want to tell a story down the road that either contradicts these teachings, or is based on things that are wholly absent from the in-world text, we've made it that much harder to tell that story, and thus, provided ourselves less room for making fun adventures, exciting fiction, or neat character options than if we'd left the canvas blank until we needed to fill in just the part that was relevant to our needs.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Happy birthday!

Paizo Employee Developer

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Dragon78 wrote:
This book would have been great if it came out within a year from Kingmaker's release but at least we are finally getting something for the First World.

A book's greatness is not dependent on its date of release but on the contents of its pages.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Christina Stiles wrote:
If you'd like to help Steve's family, here is a Memorial Fund for Steven Russell.

Corrected Go Fund Me Link

Paizo Employee Developer

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I'll post here what I posted on ENworld, where this news broke.

Quote:


Steve gave me my first paid work in the industry, and even after I moved on from writing and developing for Rite, he was always a vocal cheerleader for my professional progress. It can be overwhelming trying to catch up with every industry friend every year at Gen Con, but I always made a point of finding Steve (usually at the ENnies ceremony), sharing a drink, and catching up on the newest projects he had cooking. He will be greatly missed, both by the industry as a whole, and by me and others who called him a friend.

As a note of warning, for those particularly touched by this tragedy, the link in the OP leads to an image of the wreckage in which we can only assume Steve passed away. If this is something that might be difficult to see, consider the following article at ENworld instead: RIP Rite Publishing Owner Steven Russell

Paizo Employee Developer

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I imagine Smuz branching into derro next.

Paizo Employee Developer

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If someone confirms that there is a section or subheading in this book titled: "First World Problems", I will pre-order the book right now.

We already did that on the back cover of "Fey Revisited"

But even without puns, this book will be full of all sorts of awesome that are worth your immediate pre-order. I promise.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Theory:

Aroden and Ranalc voted to leave the Golarion pantheon. Motion carried.

The fallout from Rexit will take generations to fully comprehend.

Paizo Employee Developer

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MMCJawa wrote:
So how similar will this book be to the Books of the Damned series? Are the Eldest going to get a similar treatment to the demigods of those other books? Any new Eldest?

It is very similar to the Books of the Damned and Chronicle of the Righteous. There are no new Eldest, but they each get a full write-up with obediences and such.

Das Bier wrote:
Hey LIz, is there anything here with how the fey interact with the kami and other nature spirits of the East?

There is not. The kami, while fey-like, are native outsiders and are not tied to the First World, but rather the natural places of the Material Plane. This book is really an exploration of the First World itself rather than an expansion on fey lore within Golarion.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Morgana wrote:

Not something I was expecting to see on the BBC. You tell them ladies.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/36345666

Somehow, I was expecting them to have British accents in the clip.

Jessica has worked so hard to hide her Russian accent, it would probably be really hard for her to pick up a British one on top of all the rest.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Elf Wizard wrote:
Xethik wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Lanowar wrote:
Could someone expand on the Investigator Talents?

Silencing Strike: Studied strike target unable to speak for 1 (on save) to 5 rounds.

Oh wow, that in particular seems great. Works well for an assassin investigator and as an anti-spellcaster option.
I'm not happy.

Quiet, you!

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I was thinking about it. I can't sell the material, obviously, but I could release it on my blog for other people to use.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
And what does it's tactics say for when it faces the Queen, and her retinue... Or is that not part of the adventure... tactics are there to help, not box people in. :-)
I'm just mentioning it because, the way that the critter is written (especially her morale) she should have died shortly after House Thrune took over Cheliax. Just annoyed at the inconsistency of how the creature is described vs. morale.

Someone being willing to fight to the death and actually doing it in the face of the larger causes it is sworn to defend, are two very different things. If every creature willing to die for its cause were to do so at the first opportunity, there would be no silver dragons in the world (not to mention countless other creatures and specific NPCs with similar motivations).

Paizo Employee Developer

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While answering other customers' questions about a book's contents is fine, copying and pasting the text of the book is not really appropriate in the book's own product thread. Please keep the discussion about the contents rather than reprinting the contents themselves. Thanks!

Edit: Thanks, Other Mark!

Paizo Employee Developer

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Christopher Anthony wrote:
Sharaya: I would totally trade my scooter for a sky bison

yip yip

Paizo Employee Developer

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So far, every "Inner Sea" companion to one of our "Ultimate" hardcover RPG rule books have included new prestige classes. This book is no exception.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Regarding this image:

Daigle: They'll hire anyone in Australia.

Crystal: To be fair, he has all the proper koala-fications.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Anyone else expect to see some of Bran's time-travel visions provide some clarity on the issue? When he looked back into the past, the first thing I thought was that he'd see the truth of Jon's birth as a means of revealing it to the audience, but not be able to tell anyone else cause he's alone north of the Wall.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Why didn't I think of this?

Paizo Employee Developer

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. . . . is too much. ... is appropriate

Paizo Employee Developer

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Slithery D wrote:

7. The Blessed Cup: I loved this section. It's a fantastic way to use a celestial as a low level resource or plot hook, and the variant abilities work perfectly with what Penshi is trying to accomplish.

The idea for the Blessed Cup came out of a game I ran a few years ago at PaizoCon, in which the PCs were all Red Mantis assassins contracted to kill the iconics. I'm glad we finally made a book where it would fit so that it could become canon, and that folks like it.

Slithery D wrote:
Side note: I find the use of "they" rather than "it" as a genderless pronoun horribly jarring and confusing. I couldn't even understand what was happening the first time I encountered it and thought there was some mysterious group entity I had missed a reference to or poor editing.

We had planned to put a sidebar in the book's introduction specifically addressing this, but when it came time to put the book together, I forgot. Instead, we've included the intended sidebar in the bestiary of Pathfinder AP #108, in which there's another genderless angel presented.

We debated back and forth about how best to represent genderless characters in this book, and ultimately "it" was not a pronoun we were comfortable using. As often as possible, we tried to phrase sentences so that there weren't too many "they"s, but we didn't catch them all. As we become more accustomed to using the singular they in future products, this will likely smooth out. But believe me, it was really hard for a building full of English grammar wonks to use the singular they, but I believe we made the right call and did the best we could considering English as a language doesn't provide a widely accepted genderless pronoun to use in place of he or she.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Previews for this are still a ways off. The art hasn't even been ordered for the book yet. ;-)

Paizo Employee Developer

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Every time this thread pops up again, I think, "Sean Bean hasn't been on the show forever!" Then I consider changing the title to "Sean Bean beheads cast for HBO's A Game of Thrones"

Paizo Employee Developer

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Schnappy das kleine Kobold wrote:
So is that one of the illustrations in the book, or did you go with a prettied up version?

We turned the infographic into words. Beautiful, eloquent, legible words. So yes, a prettied-up version.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Fromper wrote:
So what's the correct pronunciation of Yuelral?

YOOL-rahl

Drejk wrote:
What is official pronunciation of "jadwiga"?

Yod-VEE-ga

Paizo Employee Developer

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Christopher Anthony wrote:

Robot Chris clicks

Cosmo ceases to exist

And there was much rejoicing

Paizo Employee Developer

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A deity's power in the Pathfinder campaign setting is not related to the number of active worshipers it has. In the case of the Ancient Osirian gods, their attention has moved on to other worlds, but they can still grant spells to those who worship them on Golarion in the same way a worshiper of Cayden Cailean would still get spells if they were on a distant planet.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Amber is one of those freelancers who I'm always happy to see at Cons, even though we rarely have time to chat beyond simple pleasantries. She's someone whose work I've admired for years, and with whom I'm sad that I haven't had the opportunity to work on projects I've developed more. She's also strong and will get through this, but it's s+&&ty that she has to go through it at all.

Sending you the best, Amber!

Paizo Employee Developer

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FYI, Forge of Ashes author and Paizo editor Josh Vogt is doing a Reddit AMA today. You can ask him questions about Pathfinder Tales, books in his Cleaners series, or whatever (literally, ask him anything). The AMA can be found here.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Mavrickindigo wrote:
Derron42 wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Because, in the game, wizard > fighter?
That reason makes sense from some players' perspectives but would have to be considered unacceptable when examining the motives and productions of the folks at Paizo.
Considering Paizo employees have showed a willingness to find every way to make martials "realistic" while giving casters amazing powers at the same time, I doubt they are very much concerned with making an "epic" swordsman

Oh no, he's on to us!

Paizo Employee Developer

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I no longer care what DC does. I'm really just interested in the Arrowverse these days.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Tanis O'Connor wrote:
You're welcome.

What does it say about me (us?) that I didn't need to click the link to know what it was going to lead to, and that it was already in my head from my first reading of the blog's title?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Soooo.... does this mean I don't have to stress about getting my exp *right on the button* to *not go over* and *not be short*?

That was one lesson learned from Eyes and applied here, yes.

Remember that when EotT was conceived, written, and released, there was no way of getting above 33 XP. There weren't sanctioned modules or adventure paths. You simply played 33 scenarios at 1 XP per adventure and then had one capstone Tier 12 series to play. The confusion and annoyance came later as a result of the campaign growing in offerings without releasing new OP-exclusive high-level content.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Hobgoblins are generally not fans of arcane magic (which they call "elf magic"), so the lack of arcane spellcasters in Dhucharg isn't out of the ordinary. They are fond of alchemy, however, so they likely have high-level alchemists who aren't specifically listed in the city filling that gap within their society. On the whole, an army's strength is based on its size and armaments, both of which Dhucharg (and Kaoling on the larger scale) have very well covered. Even in a major military undertaking like the Mendevian Crusade most of the military consists of mundane fighters rather than spellcasters, with clerics and paladins far more common than wizards or sorcerers. Kaoling would only really be at a magical disadvantage from an attack by an extremely magical society, like Nex, but they're not really interested in waging a war on the other side of the world.

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Dragon78 wrote:
The only problem with this book coming out is that there is very little chance of a hardcover book of the planes coming out anytime soon.

That's false causation, Mr. Dragon, sir. This book is happening because we wanted to do planar stuff and there was already no change of a hardcover planar book coming anytime soon. :-)

Paizo Employee Developer

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Rogar Valertis wrote:

Is it just me or the part about the slave editors in Droskar scriptoriums and the severe punishemts meted out by their cruel and dark overlords hints at something specific?

:P

These are not the words you're looking for. Move along.

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Judd Karlman wrote:
You mentioned libraries above the Lake Encarthan. I'd think that the Technic League might have a decent library in Starfall. Any thoughts on that?

They probably have one of the best libraries on technology, but it's not going to be very easy to gain access to. Kellids, Ulfen, Varisians, and Shoanti (who comprise most of the population north of Lake Encarthan) all have strong oral traditions, so they aren't known for making stationary libraries. While some certainly exist, they're not as well known or extensive as those in non-nomadic cultures or which have more of a tradition of written histories than oral ones.

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Skeld wrote:
GoldenKlondike might be assuming that the people who write/produce the PF books are the same people responsible for the website.

This was how I interpreted it, too. I almost lost a mouthful of coffee on it, considering if a book from my line were cut it'd just mean I had nothing to do for a month (putting my job security in jeopardy). It would not mean I could suddenly learn to design websites and go assist the web team in tackling their ever increasing todo list.

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Ultimately, most libraries we've named, and especially ones we've based adventures around/in, would qualify as very robust collections. The library in Jorgenfist is an excellent example of a library on a specific, esoteric topic but that might not be the best place to go research the lineage of a prominent Taldan noble house. In the end, most libraries provide very similar mechanical bonuses on Knowledge skill checks. See more on specific libraries and research in Ultimate Intrigue; Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Intrigue includes a section on specific libraries in the Inner Sea region for use with the same subsystem.

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In many cases, if there's something included in a timeline without much else expanding on it, it's us setting a seed for a future story we want to tell. That's not to say we'll ever do an AP or novel or whatever picking up those threads, but we at least know internally what it's pointing toward. That said, there's nothing stopping folks from picking up the plots and running with them in the meantime.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Beyond the Inner Sea region, you've got entire continents that have libraries that would rival and perhaps even surpass Forae Logos, especially in Goka and in the heart of Kelesh. We haven't detailed these parts of the world extensively, so I don't have more information on libraries specifically in any of them, however. You may want to look into the legendary Abadaran sorcerer Hao Jin, from Goka, who set a goal of creating the single most complete collection of wonders in the multiverse behind the First Vault itself. While much of this collection is housed within the demiplane known as the Hao Jin Tapestry, it also would have included an immense collection of books, which she could easily house either in Goka, elsewhere in Tian Xia, or in her demiplane, which is now under the Pathfinder Society's control.

Sorry, you set me off on a canon fugue. I think that's it about libraries for now.

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