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There's definitely some dissonance between info given in Runelords and Shattered Star. I definitely remember reading some stuff in Runelords, where divination was considered a "lesser school," which is why there wasn't an eighth virtue of rule that was later corrupted into a deadly sin. Somewhere along the line, Paizo decided that outright derision for divination wasn't appropriate, so it became a "universal" school in Shattered Star. I can massage the story to make this work, of course - in universe, historians didn't know all that much about Thassilon, so they assumed that "no eighth sin = lesser school," but after the discovery of the library beneath Jorgenfist, Runeforge, and Xin-Shalast, enough accurate information to portray life in Thassilon was recovered to reevaluate the old assumptions.
An interesting thought occurs to me - if divination was considered a universal school back then, what if there wasn't a divinatory school at that time? What if there were only seven schools of magic, and all divination spells were considered "universal" at that time? Ten thousand years later, magical experimentation and practice has caused a divergence, and diviners are now a thing.
That's why institutionalized -isms are far more subtle devils than overt -isms. Everyone can agree that people that someone shouldn't be judged solely on the color of their skin, as that's clearly wrong.
But person of color A still has a lot of obstacles in their way to success that person not of color B does not. Person B feels justified in saying "Hey, I wasn't handed anything, I became successful all by myself, why should we treat person A any differently?"
It's a decent argument, and one that likely does not come from racist beliefs, but one that ignores the invisible advantages granted person B solely by the virtue of his skin color. The best analogy is that, yes, person B, you did make it all the way from the beach to the top of the mountain, but person A is starting five miles out to sea. Shouldn't we do something about that?
Now take race out of the comparison, and replace it with gender, sexual preference, or what ever other social group is disadvantaged. The principle applies across the board - the playing field is not equal, and people who say it is are defending a rigged game, even if they don't realize it.
Name of PC: Akades
Class/Level: Cleric 12/Paladin 1 (Ragathiel)
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst: The party's fighter, by way of Mistress-Mother Delvahine
Story: So the party starts a fight with the succubus in her tent, and her demon daughters have already died to protect the Mistress-Mother. She's dodged some nasty spells from the party's abjurer (disintigrate missed, while she made the save on flesh to stone), and she's surrounded, making dominate person unlikely. So, she settles for the next best thing - confusion, targeting Selene (elven curve blade fighter), Setashiel (elven archer warpriest), Tinker (gnome rogue), and Harbinger (Akades' blink dog cohort). All of them fail the significant DC, meaning they all have to roll randomly to determine their actions. To a one, each of them rolls "attack nearest target," and Setashiel is next up in initiative order. The closest target? Octavius, the human abjurer. Four arrows hit their mark, and even though he does basically minimum damage, Octavius takes nearly a hundred hit points of damage.
Surprising everyone, he's still alive. Standing even.
Octavius realizes how boned everyone is, and tosses out a greater dispel magic, targeting the confusion on everyone in the burst. He removes the confusion from Setashiel and Harbinger, but Selene and Tinker are still affected when their turns come up. Selene randomly targets Akades, and he's probably the best target for these four strikes, as he has a high AC and HP.
He probably could have survived, too, if Selene wasn't a critfishing machine. 115 points of damage later, he's on the ground, dead. Fortunately, since Setashiel was back in control of her senses, she runs up next to his fallen form and casts breath of life to bring him back.
So, yeah, nobody actually died this time, but once again, my players prove to literally be their own worst enemies.
Personally, I like the angle of #2. Jubrayl likely doesn't know if she killed them or not, but the fact they ended up dead when he specifically asked her not to kill them means he can ask her to do all sorts of stuff for them to make up for her "failure." I'd personally use her to be Jubrayl's asset on the inside, getting access to places he's normally unable to influence - maybe the Pixie's Kitten, mostly just to piss of Belor? I'm sure he'd like to take over that place. Maybe he wants dirt on more of the nobles than just Scarnetti. Maybe he wants her to rob the jeweler's. All sorts of things he can do to her to do to pay them back...and there's always "just one more job..."
I feel like I'm missing part of the story here. PC bard asks the Sczarni to help her get some contraband, and the Sczarni agree, so long as she chases the con men out of Sandpoint. She does, and they end up dead later. Now the Sczarni are after her? What did she do wrong? Do they think she killed them? Why?
In general, I found that the vehicle rules amounted to barely anything. The PCs targeted one of the two ogres, and when that one died, the chariot ended up flipping. That was basically round one, so the vehicle rules barely did anything. I'd recommend doing something else, since the chariot is not likely to survive for long.
High level PCs have been bedding low level commoner NPCs since 1e, so turnabout is fair play.
Part of the Matt/Foggy dynamic is that Matt doesn't deserve a friend as good as Foggy Nelson. He keeps secrets, he keeps people in the dark, he breaks promises, and he lets people down. Constantly. He desperately wants to be a good man, and use his abilities to clean up the Kitchen, but he constantly either makes bad decisions, or has to select from the least terrible of several terrible options. Matt does not deserve Foggy's friendship.
And yet, Foggy is Matt's closest friend, because of their long history together. Matt and Foggy are both good lawyers, but they never really achieve greatness unless it's as Nelson & Murdock. They make up for the parts that the other lacks.
Matt does not deserve Foggy's friendship. But he has earned it, over and over again.
My guess is that Asmodeus doesn't want Barzillai to become a genius loci, but has given Barzillai enough rope to hang himself. There are hints at the end of the AP that Kintargo's rebellion and departure from the Chelaxian crown was all foreseen by the Lord of the Ninth. All of this was set into motion a century or more ago, and is just now coming to fruition. Sound convoluted? Probably. But Asmodeus plays the long game, and a century to him isn't even close to his long game.
James Jacobs wrote:
I came to the same conclusion with my PFS summoner with an eldritch abomination eidolon, James. Groetus is the closest legal option I could find. :)
Interest Check -- Pathfinder CORE Campaign --Series of Classic Module Conversions (U1-U3, A1-A4, ??)
I also made my party work for selling the items they looted off the ogres and giants in Books 3 and 4. Most places don't have a population of Large-sized creatures willing to purchase these things. Fortunately, Kaer Maga does with the troll augurs, which gave me an excuse to have the party visit Kaer Maga a few times during the campaign. If they sold the Large weapons elsewhere, I probably would have reduced the GP value significantly.
I get what you're saying, Drakir - a racially diverse world where magic is as prevalent as it is on Golarion would have problems and issues that we can't even fathom at this moment. When changing genders is as simple as drinking a potion or putting on a belt, what does that mean for a society? When powerful magic can turn you from human into an elf or a dwarf or something else, what does that mean for a society? Would different human ethnic groups be more, less, or about equally divided given the fact that there are other sentient races out there that are clearly "not human"? It's an interesting thought experiment.
That was something I asked Crystal on her thread. Her response is below.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Pear of Anguish was never actually used in practice. From my recollections, it was created in the Victorian era as a macabre curiosity from the Spanish Inquisition or whatnot, and the unknown scam artists that created them sold them to collectors.
Of course, why let history get in the way of a horrific idea? Zon-Kuthon figured out a way to make them work!
I wouldn't feel too bad, Treia - that setup is designed to shake PCs out of being complacent with their tactics. My players are rather experienced and the party includes a paladin who used detect evil to sense if the "scarecrow" in front of them was evil or not, and they cut the evil scarecrows down while they were trying to escape their bonds. If they didn't scan as evil, then the party fighter rushed forward and cut them in half with her sword, just to be sure. That stopped once they found one of the two humans hidden, and she critically hit the husband, killing him instantly and bathing her in his hot blood.
Needless to say, they changed tactics moving forward.
I included Scarlet Sun as well. The mod has a Magnimarian Watch officer investigating the Sarenrite murders in town, but I also gave her the task of investigating the Star Murders. She's basically overwhelmed (which is how Justice Ironbriar wants it). Enter the PCs, who are directed to her if they start asking around about recent killings in town. The officer offers to give them leave to investigate things at the Foxglove Townhouse for the Star Killings, but only if they help her with this other case she's working...
It's also worth noting that the rebellion spends the first three books gathering momentum, until it crashes against the Thrune loyalists in Book 4. During all of this, Cheliax is having to devote its resources to the Glorious Reclamation sweeping through the mainland. It doesn't have time to deal with something that should be handled by a relation to the Queen on site. Only after Barzillai is defeated does Kintargo become an issue that Abbie must deal with - hence the first part of Book 5, as James points out.
I'm pretty sure it is a Paizo-sponsored documentary on the ongoing writers' feud between Greg Vaughan, Richard Pett, and Nicholas Logue. Getting all the waivers so that the three can legally be in the same room is requiring multiple reams of paper for the lawyers to haggle over.
I hear this is the final encounter in Shax's House of Pain.
James Jacobs wrote:
Not a question, but I wanted to say I got to watch most of the game you ran, and if that's representative of what we could expect from a regular game on OfficialPaizo, then I can't wait to see more! :)
Vic Wertz wrote:
Will this also be the case when Torg Eternity drops later this year?
I dunno about Morena in Gotham. I was interested in a young Leslie Thompkins when she was first introduced, but in the subsequent episodes I saw nothing that made her stand out as anything other than "Jim's new love interest."
I don't blame Morena for that. That's just shoddy writing. Also, I haven't seen more of that series since the end of Season 1, so maybe her character developed in Season 2 or something.
That dichotomy exists, Bellona. In general, from what I've read (and what I've run), the general people of Sandpoint have a very relaxed view about sex. The men and women that work at the Pixie's Kitten aren't treated as pariahs for their professions. Similarly, heterosexuality is treated as an equal and valid preference as homosexuality, bisexuality, or anywhere else on that spectrum. Ven Vinder's actions are colored by the fact that Katrine and Shayliss are his daughters, and he doesn't like the idea that they have a reputation. He probably wouldn't care too much if it were someone else's daughter who had this reputation for enjoying casual sex, but he takes the fact that they're gaining this reputation personally, as an attack on how he brought them up.
The main counterpoint to this are the Scarnettis, who fulfill the role of "shocked and filled with moral outrage." The Pixie's Kitten is a bad influence on people, and the "sexual aberrations" in the town, like Sir Jesper and Cyrdak, are a degradation of the town's moral fiber. They often claim that this is due to the lax hand that the Deverins have taken since Sandpoint's inception, and claim that if they are allowed control, they'll bring the city back to the good moral code that existed in the past.
Most townsfolk agree that the Scarnettis are sincere on this promise, and as a result strongly support the Deverins.
They've mentioned it before, Ninja. Wilkes himself mentioned that he really didn't want to rat on Isodyne because they were the only group that wanted a black man in a position that would have been considered "whites only" in the 40s. And that guy who ran the donut shop certainly noticed Wilkes was black.
The racism is there. It's just not as front and center.
The Doomkitten wrote:
And his deadly sin is wrath.
“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.”
What's your favorite Ellison story, James?
Yep, I mentioned Kaer Maga would be a good place to unload the magical ogre hooks and other Large sized equipment that they were finding, and that was enough to get them to head out to the Asylum Stone. I mostly wanted to introduce them to the place to
Popping in here to update things - the stars have aligned, and I'll be starting this game up with some friends very soon! My party includes Henry Jones (eventually, Sr.), Lady Mabel Goring, Phileas Fogg, Alice Pleasance Liddell, Calamity Jane, and Lizbeth Borden. They will be recruited by Lord Arthur and Lady Laura Godalming to join the Rippers, and set up a Lodge to fight the Cabal at Chesley Wold.
I think they would react the way that they would react to most PCs, only stronger. Lonjiku would dislike them for their meddling nature and flighty personalities, while Ameiko would probably be predisposed to liking them as fellow free spirits and artists. Even then, I think the only one who would have a reaction based on past experience would be Lonjiku, as Ameiko probably hasn't met one, given that she's spent her life in Avistan.