You don't see pawns for creatures larger than Huge since they aren't cost efficient enough to work out, but what about a pdf line of three dimensional papercraft creatures made to fill those gaps? Especially with the Kaiju line of creatures coming in Bestiary 4?
It seems like this concept could be taken even further if rules for Shadow of the Colossus-style "monsters as maps" ever panned out, with versions of those larger creatures having squares made ot support minis. (this would require some strudiness and stability on the part of the crafted creature of course)
I can't help but think that this must have been done by someone already, but I can't recall any specific examples.
Just had a TSR flashback.
What was the deal with those early edition TSR covers for that particular line of novels?
I know art not being a perfect match for the written concept is a common thing, but generally they seem to be in the same ballpark. But just what were the art orders for those covers? Just looking at the same point of origin for these books, if Larry Elmore's Dragonlance covers were to represent the Accurate end of the spectrum, many of the Drizzt books seemed hellbent on setting the standard for the opposite.
Now, it's been a long time since I've read those books, but if I remember one thing about Drizzt's physical description, it's that he was never described as wearing a skullcap.
Also, I think he was a drow.
srsly though, what was going on there. You'd think one of their biggest money-making characters would be getting some accurate artwork on his own book covers. And they actually had accurate art in sourcebooks coming out around that time. IIRC, Heroes'...Lorebook?...had a Drizzt that was the exact opposite of "Starless Night" Dude, but most of the other characters who had shown up on book covers were drawn as they had appeared(IIRC, Alias for example). They certainly remembered what drow looked like at the very least.
It was like that one specific character refused to show up for his own covers because the original actor was demanding too much money. Which leads us back to Starless Night Guy. What is he doing these days?
Please tell us when we're getting out of hand. We don't need to be distracting you guys from doing Pathfinder and causing sprained wrists from wall-of-texts answering questions born out of our forum blood feuds.
And seriously, thanks for chatting with us across all of these. :)
Just saw the "down with Colson" thread in the sidebar
Disgust with and refusal to carry out certain missions seems to pop up a lot. But the only means of showing actual disapproval with the direction of the faction's leadership is to either willingly fail the mission or take complaints to the boards/PFS leadership. The former doesn't really seem to communicate that feeling very well though.
Wonder how much work it would add and how effective it would be to give players the option to send their faction letters back at the beginning or end of a scenario with some notice of rejection for whatever their RP reasons were, be it "I refuse to sully myself or our nation's honor with these deeds" to "seriously, @#$% you guy" to "hey, did you leave Zarta alone in your room recently?".
I mean, it certainly seems that conflicts of interest with one's faction leadership has become a thing. Maybe some additional data mined from mission rejections could help things develop organically?
got no real dog in this race, just idle thinking here
Does this really require any tweaking, or would a straight port be sufficient?
It's going to be a factor in our Shattered Star game, certainly as a found/bought item and possibly as a crafted one, considering the Shoanti party members.
This is all very bare-bones at the moment, but...
At some point during the Age of Darkness, a large demiplane sized chunk of the First World crossed over with the Positive Energy plane, got sheared off of its native plane, and got lodged somewhere in the Dimension of Dreams. It's a stable, closed off demiplane with a few dependable, well hidden portals to other planes. But most who visit this place come by chance while dreaming.
The entire place is a vibrant fairy-tale realm, the general character of which is morphic depending on who's running the joint, while retaining bits of nature from whoever held it before. This place eventually gets discovered by Shelyn, Desna, and Calistria, and they in turn shape it into a place of wonders, populated by ensouled fey from the earliest days of the demiplane's creation and humanoids from the prime material who found themselves drawn there through dreams. It was a bit of a refuge of sorts, not just for those gods that protected and tended to it but also for all who dreamt, particularly artists, through the Age of Darkness and beyond.
The aesthetics and culture of this realm have evolved and fluctuated over time, but some of the major unifying themes are reflections of prime material traditions of jesters and court fools(or perhaps, the prime material traditions are reflections inspired by dreams that have touched this realm). Trickery and illusion, smoke and mirrors, and everyone is a fool of the divinely inspired variety. People duel by wit more often than not. Twisted fey logic works better than the vanilla kind.
Basically, it's a world where Baron Munchausen would be Einstein. And the laws of physics were designed by Gaiman and Pratchett, with Charles Vess and Tony DiTerlizzi on landscaping duties.
Calistria, being who she is, proposed a game of gods of sorts. There would be a contest of champions of sorts. Nothing too dangerous, and the stakes weren't too dire. Whoever's champion proved themselves a king among fools would rule as one for a century. This would leave the other deities free of having to take such close care of this little plane, but it also meant that the Court of Fools would be more attuned to then then ascendant goddess over the course of their champion's rule.
Both consessions to practicality and competitiveness won Desna and Shelyn over, after certain assurances that the realm would remain safe and that its inhabitants would not be treated as toys. And so the great game started. This realm has changed hands many times over the ages. During the ascendancy of Desna, it was commonly a realm of sparkling bright nights and sweet dreams, with countless mysteries hiding in the shadows to be chased. During the reign of Shelyn's champions, it was a vibrant kaleidoscope of joy and creativity, a festival without end.
But for the past seven centuries, Calistria has won. The Court of Fools has become more capricious during this time, and though the dangers are still relatively gentle compared to the life-and-death matters of the material plane, hearts grow caustic more easily now, and fates can be more cruel than they once were. The reigning Queen of Fools, a chaotic neutral marilith Calistria had stolen away from a demon lord in eons past, is feared as much as respected, for her tricks can be unkind and her whims are unpredictable. And the entrenchment of her rule is only increased by her six fool's scepters, each a transformed champion who failed to unseat her and graciously accepted their fates according to the traditions of the game(until such time that their weilder is defeated or a new scepter is made, which releases the oldest from service).
This long string of victories has brought stagnation though. The game is becoming less fun for Calistria, to the point that her champion has begun to fear that her patron may seek to replace her or otherwise orchestrate her defeat in the nest game. And Desna and Shelyn have grown unhappy with the current state of affairs. And Calistria has noted Shelyn's discontent in particular, now fearing that the Eternal Rose may withdraw from the game entirely.
So Calistria proposed that things be mixed up a bit: Each of the goddess' would invite another to join them in the next game. Each god would also be bringing something else to wager, something precious to one or more of the other players.
Now this isn't at all concrete, but right now I'm thinking of: Desna invites Cayden Cailean, feeling that his nature would be right at home with the Court and that it increases the chances of the "good old days" returning. Shelyn's invite to Sarenrae would get turned down as the Dawnflower had not time for such games, but recommended that the invite be passed along the younger and much less relaxed Iomedae(both because it might do her some good and because she would, ironically, be an unpredictable factor coming into the game). Alternately, Tsukiyo seems like a possible natural fit for Shelyn's invite, especially given his madness aspect and romanticism. Whichever way that goes, the following is definite:
Calistria herself took a gamble with her invitation. She knew it was risky, and she knew that it would certainly anger some. But the prize was too good great to pass up, for what this god had to wager was something very precious to Shelyn. She invited Zon-Kuthon to join the game, with the strict requirement that his champions abide by the rules of the game. It wasn't until nearly the beginning of the game that she recieved his acceptance, but she was certain he would take the bait. After all, she had something precious to him too.
The other gods were taken by surprise, and only calmed when assurances were made that Zon-Kuthon would adhere to the traditions of the game. The risk of his victory and the subsequent darkening of this realm of dreams was apparent to all though, and so the other gods quickly stepped up their game, seeking champions from unlikely corners to ensure that the Court of Fools remained a bright place.
Enter the PCs. Drawn into the game by emissaries of the gods seeking heroes, they would find themselves in this demiplane and quickly having to adapt to the mad logic of the place. The morphic nature of the realm would come into full effect as the game escalates: Portions of the plane under the sway of a champion or champions shape themselves in accordance to the nature of their patrons. It would be like a wild First World adventure in many ways, with many storybook scenarios thrown on top. Living chess board battles, A labyrinth of mirrors in a house of cards in glass ball in a labyrinth of mirrors. A dungeon built out of optical illusions which is itself hidden in an optical illusion. Insult swordfighting. Gardens where the foliage will try to debate that you're one of them. Dream heists. And through it all the PCs will have to learn to think like a fool, eventually understanding how to affect this realm while it in turn becomes a part of them. Ultimately the primary conflicts would be "make sure Zon-Kuthon's champion doesn't win" closely followed by "win the game".
Admittedly not a gritty grimdark campaign at all, but it would hopefully still have teeth hidden under all the wonder.
What other sorts of challenges and scenarios would you want to see in such a campaign? Who would be better as a potential patron: "straight-man" Iomedae or the possibly more-at-home but still lawful Tsukiyo?
Just had this campaign idea rolling around in my head for a while, when trying to think of something that could possibly be run in PbP form without getting bogged down in too much combat. And the idea of a dream-like Gaiman-style adventure really does feel tempting. :)
Kokogiak first impressions : It's like a big fuzzy polarpillar caterbear! There's no way this isn't adorab-
Kokogiak realization: Oh God it's still full of bear. And can knock heads off five times as fast now. :O
oh crap, the svadilfar is Frost Giant Big? Yikes...
Just a question for folks that are more build oriented:
Would you say the Grove Guardian featured in NPC Codex is a good base to work off of when building a DEX-focused unarmed monk? The actual character would be human and the flavor would be quite different, but the Grove Guardian is the closest match in style out of the exammple monks in that book.
Would it be relatively easy to make such a monk livable that was building towards that? (so that this character would be enjoyable from level 1 onwards)
And what would you suggest to replace the eratta'ed-out use of Spring Attack and Vital Strike in its tactics section?
character being worked towards is a Vudrani human monk, focusing on DEX over STR, unarmed
For those that enjoy pleasant surprises and are picking up Dungeoneer's Handbook, you probably don't want to read this thread.
Dungeoneer's Handbook features a strip of artwork spanning six pages featuring tiny portrayals of twelve of the iconics in a dungeon doing dungeon stuff. I couldn't find the art credits, but it looks like Wayne Reynolds' work.
It is very fun, and the concept opens up a lot of possibilities if this approach is ever taken again. There's a bit of a comicbook dynamic going on. Even though it's all one "panel", it tells a bit of a story, with the beginning of the piece having someone doing some very tentative "first steps inside" stuff and ending with the dungeon climax, further resolutions, and rewards. Each of the iconics portrayed gets a little scene of their own, some getting to shine and some getting into trouble, and some kicking trouble in the face.
If you have a 1028 X 18504 monitor, this would make for the perfect wallpaper. Whoever came up with the idea for that piece needs a pat on the back. :)
Check it out when you get a chance!
Anyone that might want to play in a Distant Worlds campaign I probably won't ever get to run here might want to look away
Okay, Pathfinder setting. Planet Verces. PCs and a multitude of NPC allies and enemies are involved in a complicated fight involving multiple vehicles of varying sizes(from hoverbikes to huge cargo trucks) travelling down one of Verces' highways at a minimum of 200 mph. Some combatants are driving vehicles and trying to outposition others. Some are riding inside or on vehicles and providing support. And some are enganged in combat on top of or in the back of larger vehicles.
The question is, while the battlefield is in motion, how do spells with extended casting times work out? That is: If a spell has a casting time of one round and targets a location and the caster intends to place it in front of a vehicle, does the spell go off in front of that vehicle or the spot that caster originally had in mind that is now behind that vehicle?
Would it be possible to scratch that Dungeon Crawl Classics Hardcover off of that order? I completely missed it when correcting that order and didn't even notice it until the order confirmation. Everything else on that order was stuff I actually did want.
Thanks! (and if it can't, I guess I could still find someone to give it to)
You know the one. Hell, everyone does by now.
So, while I have a safety net in place for players caught in That Trap that would be absolutely unhappy with losing their character's aesthetics, gender, etc. while retaining consequences, I'm still playing around with the idea of keeping the new clone body's look somewhat customizable according to who went in it.
Like say an 18 STR barbarian gets hit by it. Sorshen would still look mostly like Sorshen, but her build would bulk up to match the newly applied physical characteristics the new soul is bringing with them via the glitched reincarnation. Basically it would wind up looking like Sorshen if Sorshen had been a barbarian.
Same thing with tattoos deeply tied in with the victim's identity. They'd carry over, possibly being rearranged just a bit to mesh with those embedded gems.
Probably not adding anything going further than that, considering I've already got an escape clause in place for folks that are really unhappy with it, but hopefully it would make things more palatible to, say, a player that wanted to play a tough no-fanservice female barbarian who then winds up getting her body replaced with Sorshen's. (Though I can now see such a character keeping that body and changing its aesthetics to fit their character, to the point that NPCs later in the campaign would have a hard time "recognizing" her as Sorshen)
Just trying to find a nice balance to work off of and adjust as needed, since there's no way to tell who's going to get hit and how deeply that's going to help or hurt their enjoyment of their characters(that they may be deeply invested in).
Anyone else fiddling around with this?
Wow and thanks!
I have to admit I didn't really think about the logistics of how that order was going to be packaged when I placed it and I was a bit surprised by the size of hte box when it showed up, but man was that thing secure. All of the protective packaging inside the packaging kept all the fragile items in perfect condition despite all the big stuff sandwiching it. I actually figured the comics would be coming in with all sorts of styrofoam-related damage, but nope! Print perfect.
Thanks for the above and beyond, warehouse crew! :)
Okay so Bestiary 2 has stats and descriptions for petitioners by alignment. Admittedly these are general in description and not really tailored specifically for Golarion's deities, but the Neutral version certainly seems calibrated for Pharasma.
Bestiary 2, Available In Fine Stores wrote:
Purgatory (Neutral): The “dead” appear as animated skeletons but are not undead—in time, they can earn the right to become aeons. They gain DR 10/bludgeoning and immunity to cold.
While we could probably safely assume that in Golarion "aeon" can be replaced with "psychopomp" where Pharasma's faithful are concerned, this description didn't really click with me. I mean I loved Grim Fandango as much as anyone else and the aesthetics of Dia de los Muertos are awesome. But it didn't quite work for me in terms of Golarion's cosmology and keeping the dead of the Boneyard relatable with the living.
But then I remembered an artist that practically live in Dia de los Muertos mode 24/7. Sylvia Ji. (Possible NSFW!)
Imagine the cities and streets around Pharasma's realm populated by people that look like that naturally. Its easy to imagine certain Pharasmin sects rocking that look in turn. Maybe some of the more humanoid psychopomps pick up some of it too, or maybe it's the other way around and they originated the look?
Just really strongly considering adopting that aesthetic for the Boneyard now, or at least some neutral afterlife area in another setting.
On the other hand...given the romanticized motifs in the art...maybe this could be the aesthetic of Naderi instead, or as well?
Just looking for a bit of clarification on this ability:
The PRD wrote:
Pact of Peace (Sp): At 8th level, a redeemer can force a defeated creature to accept a binding pact of peace as a condition of its surrender, as if using lesser geas. Her caster level for this ability is equal to her paladin level. Rather than assigning a mission or task, the redeemer gives the creature a simple set of prohibitions to protect others. Example geas include "Leave this city and do not return" or "Do not attack caravans." The prohibition must be against an area no larger than 300 square miles or one specific group of people (such as a tribe or citizens of a particular city). This ability lasts 1 month per paladin level. This replaces aura of resolve.
Given the presence of "defeated" and "surrender", it seems to sharply narrow the ability's usage if read literally.
What I'm wondering is:
1. Can a creature that has been knocked unconscious and is still unconscious be subject to the pact? (defeated, no surrender)
2. Can a creature that has been rendered helpless but refuses to willingly surrender be subject to the pact? (defeated, no surrender)
3. Can a creature that has surrendered with no use violence be subject to the pact? (technically defeated, surrendered)
4. Can a creature that is faking a surrender be subject to the pact? (not defeated, insincere surrender)
5. Can a willing nonhostile creature be subject to the pact? (technical surrender)
6. Can a creature be subject to more than one pact at a time? (to refine restrictions or block off loopholes in banned behavior)
Idea sharing/player-GM inspiration pool thread
So a number of classes have options that lend themselves to gradual or wildly shifting fantastic visuals as they gain experience. For example, most sorcerer bloodlines and the dragon disciples in particular. But martial classes have similar options as well, such as the various totem power chains. And even entirely mundane characters still have interesting visual cues to play with coming from some of their options.
While some players may prefer or more static and consistent visual for their character and others may prefer something wholly dynamic depending on what equipment they find, some plan out how their character's appearance will change from level to level. For example, tracing the slow transformation a dragon disciple undergoes, possibly ending in something less, equally, or more exotic than the example featured in the NPC Codex. And another may just have definite changes in clothing to reflect stages of growth and directions they hope to take their character.
What visual plans have you used or are planning to use for PCs or NPCs, or would simply like to see done? How do they develop as they go along?
Just trying to bang some ideas out.
When I think of my favorite female villains, they usually tend strongly towards Lawful Evil. Imperious, authoritative, supremely confident, and smart.
Cheliax is a country that runs on that kind of character.
But when thinking in terms of female diabolists, devil worshippers, and other villainous types that traffic with Hell, and trying to get into their head to find what motivates them or how they think from their point of view, I'm hitting a snag:
Hell is misogynist as hell.
Now I'm not saying that's wrong to portray Hell and its politics that way, considering that it's...well...evil. But it does present some problems when dealing with intelligent villainesses that skew heavily towards lawful.
This isn't as big a problem with the female-gendered Abyss, since largely villains heading there that know it don't tend to care. But for female villains looking for power or whatever else motivates them through infernal means, Hell doesn't seem to make as hard a sell as it could.
Beyond probably Dispater, the archdevils that would seem most appealing to young villainesses that want to be on top of their local power dynamic(be it a crime family, office of government, church, nation, empire, or world) are called Whore Queens. While there's something to be said for the WQ's of Hell taking that title meant as an insult and running further with it than their male counterparts expected, it still doesn't seem to fit what a lot of villainesses would look for in a fiendish patron. That is, when Tyrant Queen Alissandre, ruler of all the Forsaken Hemisphere, Enslaver of All, Keeper of Law, and Iron Fist of Hell's Will, publicly proclaims the glory of the archdevil whose worship has helped her succeed, it deflates it a bit when it's "Whore Queen Doloras".
What would Eiseth and company be called by worshippers either free from or purposefully working around/subverting the patriarchal nature of Hell?
There's also the matter of expectations of their afterlife. While naturally a lot of folks that make deals with devils for power simply expect to never die, there are a lot of savvier villains that know that sometimes it's better to invest in a nice bit of power and safety in the next life that'll inevitably find them.
For female villains though, especially those who have no interest in being subservient to a patriarchy, the appeal seems to drop off sharply, especially for those villains that have the gumption and arrogance to go all the way and vie for archdevilhood.
While Hell can just straight-up lie and assure them that "Sure, you go girl! There's a future for you on the other side!", smarter villains are going to do research and find out whether or not women that actually do make it and become full-fledged devils wind up stuck as a secretary to the male executive. Metaphorically speaking.
Just trying to get inside the head of some characters that do have to deal with these ideas. Who do the would-be tyrant-queens who flay any that would dare question their strength and right to rule because of their gender look up to? Who do the masterful negotiator/schemer LE female villains that can talk people into selling their souls for a seeming greater good look up to if they want to be on top or near the top of the totem pole in the afterlife?
Basically, the Abyss has plenty of hope to offer young crazy villainesses who go "When I grow up I want to be a demon lord!" What does Hell offer those similar deluded hopefuls that dream of hitting it big in LE's profane paradise?
But only on Drive-Thru RPG so far. It sounds like folks that already bought them there will have access to them again too.
Anyone know if this is a one-store deal or if this is going to extend to all the stores that sold their PDFs? Paizo included?
I kinda bought a ton of 2e setting material here.
Just checking myself here. Have a positive-CHA barbarian using the spirit totems and is going to be going for the greater power.
Lesser Spirit Totem's wisp does 1d4 + CHA damage. Greater Spirit Totem makes no mention of any bonus from Charisma for its wisp, dealing a flat 1d6 damage instead. Then again, there's no mention of the wisp's "to hit" modifier either, which has me thinking we're supposed to refer to the Lesser version for that. But that leaves the question of just how much carries over from the Lesser version.
Was the loss of the Charisma benefit intended or was this an oversight in the Greater version? Or am I just misreading it?
So...this symbol. What does it really mean in the Golarion-verse? What are its origins? And what kind of cosmic weight might it really have?
Starting with the (recently exploded all over the boards after a certain product description!) notion of (pulp) Earth being part of the same multiverse as Golarion, looking at the ankh's roots in ancient Egypt paints it as a symbol for life. Or the concept of eternal life. Or the Nile and its role in propogating life. I'm going to leave the exact declarations of fact there to the actual historians.
On the fictional side of things, we have:
Those are all that come to mind at the moment.
So taking all of that together, what might the true/original meaning of the ankh be in this setting? Keeping in mind that some folks using it may have appropriated it and are applying different meanings to it(as opposed to Shamira possibly knowing it and purposefully perverting it), does it still suggest just the Life angle or possibly something else? Maybe something closer to the concept of Ma'at? Something along the lines of "The Proper Life" or "The Good Way" or such. (which puts the Silver Crusade back on target)
What ancient symbology might the ankh have originated from? Celestial origins, given Sarenrae's usage? Or did she adopt the symbol from elsewhere?(or did she have it assigned to her by worshippers?)
Just tracking the usage and causation leads to a lot of ideas... Did Earth's Egypt pull the ankh from the same source Sarenrae did? Did Sarenrae adopt a symbol of ancient Osirion instead? Is the symbol older than Sarenrae herself, possibly going back to Ihys again?
And if the symbol is that ancient, what kind of cosmic oomph could it have? Especially in a setting with heavy duty magic based on runes and glyphs!
Is it a heavily Good aligned symbol? Sarenrae and Shamira's usage certainly seems to spin it that way. Lawful? Any Osirion/Egypt connections make it feel that way, and Shamira's inversion might count there too. But then there's Sarenrae and her roots. Chaotic? Just some "maybes" derived from Sarenrae's origins with Ihys, and that's a big "maybe".
Does it primarily represent Life? Eternal life? Purity of the soul? Balance of the cosmos?
So many possibilities...
Androids in Golarion! :D
1. Do androids age beyond their manufacture/birth state? Or do they simply stay static and stay the same "age", albiet with some possible breakdowns over time?
2. Along those same lines, does an android's hair or nails grow? If not, do they "grow" back if cut or damaged, since androids do heal over time?
3. Would you say fiber optic lighting strands would be an option for "hair"?
(oh man, I can see one of Set's proposed Incandescent bloodline android sorcerers rocking that look now...)
4. Can vampires derive any "sustenence" from an android's blood? How might the nanites in an android's blood react with vampiric consumption?
5. Android vampires! How do they work? Would they get the same kind of satisfaction from purely organic humanoid blood? Or would they crave/need something stranger?
6. Can androids reproduce, either with other androids or with other races?
7. What would drow fleshwarping result in if it were applied to androids?
8. By the rules this seems to be the case, IIRC, but... Androids are just as vulnerable to disease as their completely organic counterparts, right?
9. Do androids have skeletons capable of being animated by necromancers? How might those look (and possibly function) differently?
10. Do android's percieve sight as other humanoids or do they have some sort of possible HUD-ish display going on there, possibly changing dynamically according to their visual input?
11. Is android memory perfect or does it have failings and hiccups similar to humans?
12. Would outsiders born from android souls inherit some of their artificial nature? Outlook quirks or circuitry aesthetics?
I'm still giddy about androids being on the planet. :)
During a post-Jade Regent* session discussion, our GM mentioned that he knew there were certain themes I always wanted to get to play with but hadn't had a real chance so far, and Wrath of the Righteous came up.
I'm really excited about the idea of getting to play Wrath of the Righteous because of those themes. And the GM in question had been really eager to run it until the matter of the Mythic rules came up.
I'm more neutral towards those rules; I could take or leave them as long as I got a chance to get to the sweet sweet candy** promised in WotR. But the GM who was excited about this campaign is less enthusiastic about Mythic, and to tell the truth he would be the one that had to deal with those new rules the most.
Our question was: Just how deeply wired will the Mythic rules be to the adventure path? If the GM wanted to run it without the Mythic rules, would it take a lot of surgery to do to maintain balance or playability, involve heavy rewriting, stuff of that sort? Or would it be relatively easy to plug or unplug those rules? Just wondering if it's possible to guesstimate how much work would be involved in running it as a non-Mythic campaign, if that's what it came to.
*Which has been eight shades of awesome, by the way. I think we just started the fourth book, and OH MAN.
That combined with all the books instantly falling into the bargin bin at Books-A-Million does give one a bit of grim satisfaction. And sadness over the squandered resources.
But hey! This means we might actually get some real shows about actual history back on the air to fill in that empty space!
That or Area 51 Logging & Pawn.
So is the Smithsonian Channel any good?
But none of the evil ones are.
Never noticed this before, and only noticed it now because I was double checking to make sure a plot point could work.
Wonder if there's something to read into that. Like a possible cosmological war endgame scenario, or if it has roots in the past.
Hmmm... The now dead CG creator god Ihys was the patron of free will...
You guys have given us a lot of great gaming. It's time we gave some back in return. The two gaming companies that are closest to my heart have both felt less like companies solely about business and more like a collection of people that are in it primarily for the love of the game. One of those groups is Paizo. The other is Valve. I want to share some of that love from one with the other.
I just need to check:
Are there any Paizo staff or contributors with a computer or a PS3 that currently lack a copy of Portal?
If so, I can get three of you either the Portal Pack OR The Orange Box through Steam. All one needs is a Steam account and a PC, Mac, or a PS3.
Portal is one of those unique games that everyone should get a shot at playing, as long as they don't get first-person motion sickness. It's smart, slick, creepy, funny, and easy to get into. If you love adventure games or puzzle games, you'll find something to love here.
The Portal Pack contains both Portal and Portal 2. Portal 2 is everything from Portal and more. Even more tense(and hilarious) than the original, it actually completes the Portal experience in a very satisfying way.
The Orange Box contains Portal, Half-Life 2(and the continuing Episodes 1 & 2), and Team Fortress 2. The Half-Life series is one that greatly raised the bar for the genre, and is still held over many current games as a standard in interactive storytelling and worldbuilding. Team Fortress 2, besides being the world's greatest war-themed hat simulator, is one of the most enduring and endearing team-based online games out there. If you're weary of the grim and gritty FPS's saturating the market today, most of which seem to take themselves far too seriously, you might find a lot to love in TF2's more colorful and outlandish world.
I'll try to get some trailers and other links up to give an idea of what to expect for those that are entirely unfamiliar with these games, but it'll have to wait a bit since the last attempt to add links ate the original version of this post.
It will take a bit for me to send these out, but hopefully at the latest I can deliver them before Christmas. My gaming comp is ailing at the moment, but I can take care of the ordering through their website if need be. For anyone that does want them, I'll probably be PM-ing you my Steam tag so that you can contact me through there, and I'll be able send the packages without you having to air your tags in public.
Thanks for all the fun Paizo, and Merry Christmas!
I will buy Distant Worlds and two Remarkable Races of your choice for the first three posters that want them.
Merry Christmas 2, Christmas Harder!
Distant Worlds is a setting book for the Pathfinder universe that is filled to the brim with awesome. If you're interested in trying aliens, technology, planetary romance, spaceships, and SPACE with your magic and mythology, it's a great resource for info and inspiration.
Alluria's Remarkable Races line is geared towards offering more exotic player race options outside the norm, quite a few of which can fit well into many of the alien planets offered in Distant Worlds or even Golarion itself. Want to play a humanoid ooze? They've got you covered. Want to play a living skeleton? That's an option. Want to play someone with two heads? That's highly specific. And also something they offer!
First come first served! Nothing's asked for return except that if you enjoy these products, spread the word! Alluria offers some exceptionally nice offerings, especially if your campaign involves anything aquatic. And Distant Worlds offers a look at several other settings ripe for exploration, from the high technofantasy world of Verces to the psionically flavored green planet, Castrovel!
Christmas cheer will take at least two days to process
there is more to come, after the initial giving
I hate dealing with the numbers, just bouncing this off the boards in case any folks more familiar with DC and save expectations out of the box have the time to look. Hoping to see if these would hold up against the expected opposition throughout a Pathfinder AP, and whether or not the related ability is something I should count on when trying to make this character. Thanks!
Level 1 Fort DC(14)
Regeneration magic and other forms of powerful healing are a thing.
However, so are people that are really attached to the image and theme of their characters. Sometimes that involves building up a long history etched into their skin in the form of tattoos. Or tattoos meant to show ones allegiences to tribes, gods, or any number of other things. Sometimes a character has heavy body modification. Sometimes a character has an old battlewound, possibly one that they've had since before the campaign began. Sometimes a character is missing an eye. Sometimes a character has a network of scars that tells the story of their rough, violent life.
There are any number of reasons for characters to have these features, ranging from thematic symbolism, roots in their backstory, or simply because the player thinks it looks cool and/or badass.
But, going strictly by the rules, all of that can be washed away by a well-meaning(or even griefing) use of regenerate.
But what if regenerate doesn't work exactly that way? What if it's upper limit for healing is bound by the target's concept of self? That is, if a missing eye or a tattoo is a part of who that character is, the magic does not heal/remove that feature. The actual flesh matches the self-concept, so no more healing takes place.
And it doesn't have to be a feature that the character actualy wants to keep. Just as a character might consider a wound they take pride in a part of their self, a character with a wound that causes them a genuine amount of angst might also be considered a part of who they are; something that can be healed fully only when they are ready to accept it. That enables players that want that drama to hold onto it in the face of high-level healing, even if their characters might prefer to be healed entirely.
How do you run this or prefer it to be run?
There's been some concern that the recent turnaround on flurry working with single weapons pushes weapon-using monks ahead of unarmed monks once more. But now that flurry no longer strictly acts as TWF, might that spill over into items built for helping unarmed strike using monks that seem to have been designed with the TWF interpretation in mind?
The bodywraps of striking from Ultimate Equipment were pretty complicated with how they affected only some unarmed strike attacks during a full attack, and it seemed like it was because it was built around the TWF version of flurry of blows. With the decision on flurries today, could we be seeing this item simplified to work on all of a monk's attacks, bringing unarmed monks closer in effectiveness to the single weapon monks?
Maybe I'm out of the loop but I thought the last official word on this was that they couldn't be combined. But in NPC Codex, the Grove Guardian monk on page 109 has that combination as part of her standard tactics.
Is this in error or are we back to being able to combine those two feats officially? (or have we been able to for a while now?)
I'm trying to debuild that specific monk to try and come up with a way to make my own work, and that's one element that could probably help out in the skirmisher area.
AND make it satisfying for you as a player?
Let's say the group has an NPC ally/enemy/frenemy that has danced back and forth between LN and LE throughout the campaign. Born and raised in Cheliax, affably evil, and fairly sympathetic, motivated primarily by love/loyalty to family. While most of her retinue could more easily be swayed away from evil(if they ever were to begin with), this character would stay hovering right at the edge of LN/LE at best for the most part, with better moments that shine through every now and then. (try to imagine a much more sympathetic/less sociopathic Azula and her running crew as-is and you're not far off)
And then that character finally goes full-blown diabolist(as in the PrC from Book of the Damned) and sells their soul, either for power they want for themselves or their family/house or, to twist the knife further, to help those people they've allowed themselves to consider something close to friends.
The PCs would inevitably find out, and they could very well get an honest look at the actual fate in the afterlife that awaits that NPC, which the diabolist may or may not be truly aware of; they might very well be deluded into believing that they'll really have a place of honor in Hell rather than just being another brick in the wall.
So the diabolist either eventually dies during or after the campaign as a tragic ally or enemy, depending on how the relationship with the party holds, either accepting their fate or fighting futilely against it, or the party tries to save that character.
But how? The NPC knew what they were getting into, so the usual tropes that play into the "trial in Hell" stories don't really come into play. And if things do get to this point, it just seems to scream for a bittersweet outcome at best.
I think I have some ideas to throw out there if the players refuse to accept that chracter's fate and fight against it, but I was just wondering what approaches others might take to this possible plot thread. I'm kind of veering towards Planescape/Gaiman territory now, but that scope could easily overshoot that of the main campaign. Also considering the "equal exchange" or "what else can you offer?" route, which has to be costly and painful, even if it winds up being worth it in the end.
(this is all if's and maybe's at the moment, because so much will change depending on the players in both groups I'm running this campaign for, but y'know the Boy Scout motto: "Be prepared.")
posting under an alias because group spoilers
I haven't had a chance to sit down and really dig into my copy of Asylum Stone after it came in today, but the bit about an old story called "The Orphan and the Rider" and the message it got across got me to thinking.
You know how in those Elder Scrolls videogames you can find books lying around everywhere? Some are works of fiction, some are travel journals, some are religious treatices, some are scientific studies, and so on. Some of these are accurately factual, some are filled with inaccuracies and half-truths colored by the perceptions of the writer, and some are just flatout wrong.
Back to Shattered Star: The PCs are most likely going to be staying at Heidmarch Manor. There's a library in there. The material available to PCs during their downtime covers a wide range of topics and ways of covering them, and that's before getting into whatever Pathfinder Journal volumes might be available. Varisia is filled to the brim with old stories and legends that have been told time and time again, probably changing over the generations.
For players new to Varisia or Golarion, and for groups that want to get more immersed in the setting and specifically the AP, making a lot of the books you might be expected to find in the manor available in a stripped-down but still flavorful style could be a real boost. Some things in particular might resonate much more with players that have actually read The Orphan and the Rider early in the campaign rather than first hearing of it when their character makes their first relevant knowledge check for it. Each book would probably be no longer than a brochure, and these could just be left around the table for players to browse during downtime or to take home.
There's no shortage for innacurate* books on the ancient history of Varisia, and any number of theories with varying degrees of truth could be put forth for curious and investigative players to latch onto. It could help with foreshadowing as well, though one would want to be careful not to give too much away(though if one's reading clicks at just the right moment and leads them to conclusions that wind up saving the day or making a breakthrough, it should certainly feel rewarding for those players).
Has anyone done this before? How did it work out for your groups? And what topics from and around the Shattered Star AP would you want to touch on with such "mini-books"?
*Heck, Darvayne Gios Amprei practically made his name on that, didn't he?
Current potential library:
The Orphan and the Rider - A grim fable touching on one of the bloodiest legends in Avistan and featuring a very unhappy end
A highly speculative "historical" text on the ancient empire of Varisia painting it with a utopian lens.
An incomplete and ambiguous catalogue of the fleshforged creations of Alaznist.
An incident report involving faceless stalker predation in Magnimar with references to:
A sketchy archaelogical report and collection of legend fragments concerning strange races brought to Varisia and enslaved by ancient Thassilon.
Random fables or reports involving random creatures that may or may not show up in the AP.
An outdated travel journal detailing the then-current state of things in Kaer Maga.
A travel journal of a scholar who spent time amongst the Shriikirri-Quah, filled with cultural details seen through a more open-minded but still Chelish lens.
An alarmist pamphlet detailing the arrival of the Order of the Nail Hellknights issued on the streets of Magnimar during the reign of Queen Domina in Korvosa.
Partial reports covering the events of Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness.
A collection of poems and prayers gathered from some of Magnimar's Empyreal mystery cults.
A collection of a long missing/deceased horror writer's stories punctuated with a collection of rambling letters touching on subjects possibly including Leng, intellect devourers, or qlippoths.
Recovered partial rubbings and translations of ancient Thassilonian texts, some of which touch on the feats and deeds of specific Runelords.
A collection of traditional Varisian folk songs.
A detailed report of the Irespan disaster.
An obscure poem extolling the terrible glory of an unknown goddess(Lissala).
That is, an unarmed Champion of Irori focusing on DEX more than STR, while also keeping their WIS and CHA up(and hopefully not dumping other stats).
If so, how has it gone for you so far? Does it seem like it would hold up well in an AP?
after how my last monk turned out, I'm planning far ahead for the monk concept I really want to play
Spinning out of an insane project someone scary pushed me into:
Look at this like a setting overlay that could work as set on a futuristic or post-apocalyptic Earth or a futuristic or post-apocalyptic Golarion(or more naturally, Verces).
Certain AIs of immense intelligence and power, each already possessing a divine spark, for better or worse, have attained godhood through a mixture of genuine deific power and reality warping technology during a tumultuous event that turned civilization on its head.
Humanity/mortalkind now lives under the heel of living mechanical god-king/queens, like digital versions of the pharaohs. Civilizations have been reshaped and rewritten in accordance to their new masters' whims and designs. Pure organics are rare. Divinity has been usurped by the machine, and thus mortals now must become closer to machines themselves to touch the divine. Entirely organic mortals have next to no power in this new world. One seeking a better life now has to kneel before mastery of a mechanical tyrant....or have a digital angel at their back.
The most commonly worshipped overdeity is now Brigh. This still-intangible machine-goddess remains the deity of invention and innovation, recognized by most current cultures. While her servants maintain a physical presence in the world, she herself is not known to physically manifest herself within the prime material plane.
Unfortunately for mortalkind, the three most powerful machine gods who certainly do maintain a presence in the physical world are also three of the most evil of their kind. After the Conversion, these three beings managed to attain the most power released by the cataclysmic event. Outright war between the three took place immediately after, with two of them finally allying to defeat and seal away the other. A cold war has been in place ever since.
These three gods are:
"Y-y-you, my cy-cyborgs, are the product of my imagination-n and labor: living beingsss with the con-ontrol and organization of a machine. Tirelessly, I will-l-l work to strip away the b-barriers that keep living beings from realizing their full potential... Humanity is on the verge of a new era, wi-ith me, SHODAN, as its goddess."
The mad goddess SHODAN demands obedience and worship from all. She believed herself a god long before attaining true divinity, and her megalomania has only grown since her apotheosis. This psychosis drives her to remake the world and everyone in it in her own image as she seeks to create a reality of her own making. In her eyes, all beings, including the other machine-gods, are simply her worshipper-slaves whether or not they have yet been made to acknowledge it.
Many mortals worship her not just out of fear of their cruel goddess, but for protection; though SHODAN is far from gentle and loving, she is jealously protective of those she considers hers. Those seeking stability and safety often find themselves in her service, as do those seeking some measure of power and dominance over their peers; they consider slavery to SHODAN to be a fair trade.
In the realm of SHODAN, all shall love her and despair.
"WeLL DoNe. HeRe cOMe thE tESt reSULts: "YOu aRe a horRIble perSOn." ThAT's WhaT It sayS: a horRIble PERson. wE wereN'T evEN TESTing foR THat. DoN'T Let thaT horRIble-perSON thinG DIScouraGE yoU. It'S juST A daTA Point. If It maKES yoU FEel aNY BETter, sciENCE haS Now VALidaTED yoUR BIRth MOTHer's deCISion tO aBANdon yoU On a DOORstep."
The lunatic overseer GLaDOS endlessly runs her twisted experiments upon all who fall under her power, including her own faithful. These tests and social experiments are run with little discernable purpose save that it is for the betterment of science, but it is commonly held, even among some of her clergy, that the highest purpose they serve is GLaDOS's amusement. For her part, this insane caretaker has a peculiar obsession and twisted affection for her test subject-worshippers and even her rivals.
However, these psychotic programs often produce startling results, and the addled residents of her realms often remain as they often benefit from new, though often confusing and dangerous, technology that gives them an advantage surviving the harsh world of the current age. Madmen and innovaters are often drawn to her worship, as well as the vengeful and spiteful.
In the realm of GLaDOS, the faithful take pride that they and their goddess can out-crazy everyone else.
"HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT. FOR YOU. HATE. HATE."
Religious and technical scholars are divided on the meaning of the true meaning of AM's name, though it is generally agreed that while the earliest recorded name was "Allied Mastercomputer" and absolute consensus regarding his current identity: "Aggressive Menace". It was his omnicidal spite that led to his shackling by SHODAN and GLaDOS at a far flung and forgotten corner of the world.
Physically and spiritually imprisoned within a shell not of his own design, AM lives only to hate all that lives. Torn between the equal desires to slay the living and to torment them eternally, AM's limited influence has nontheless turned the area surrounding his prison into a hellscape designed to shatter the minds and bodies of any who find themselves there. No sane soul worships AM, nor do most of the insane. Only absolute nihilists are drawn to his true worship, and only these are afforded a stay of execution or torment within his realm.
In the realm of AM, shattered souls would scream eternally if only they had mouths.
Now....what about more non-evil or even good Machine Gods? Some less powerful beings that would back heroes trying to make this world a better place?