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Fantasy culture is much more present in our society than it was in the past. Therefore, people already have an idea of what fantasy should be and if you don't deviate from it, you'll never get that wonder and awe.
So in order to do that, you should stray from the familiar. make something really different that players wouldn't know. Most are familiar with henotheism and monotheism. throw in some animism and astrology. Don't stick with standard monsters, make your own. or reskin monsters. But as long as you make a setting that is a checklist of what is considered normal for a fantasy setting, you won't get that awe back.
If you die, the undead are still there. At least until someone can free them of their curse. That's kind of what you are doing when you force them into undead forms. Cursing them with unlife, trapping the spirit, and denying them an afterlife corrupts it in the Physical World. You're essentially doing evil things to people. That's the deal with that ;)
People doing evil things to innocents is tragic. But that's kind of the point of evil. For example, a leader knows their town is in danger and as a last ditch effort, makes a deal with a devil to protect the city. Lo and behold, the city is saved. So now when the leader dies, the soul belongs to the devil for all eternity to be tortured and turned into the building block of Hell. Is that fair or just? The leader made this decision to save their town, so they did good. But even then, they signed their soul away and while it's unfair that they are being tortured, that's the point of evil. Just like daemons steal souls and harvest them for their own purposes. Those might be goodly souls, but at the moment, they are powering a terrible engine of destruction against their will. Because daemons are evil. Or a legion of vampires forced into their condition by an evil elder vampire. Sure they didn't ask to be vampire spawn, but the elder vampire needed troops. Because vampires are evil.
That's the point of evil. They do evil things to good people and corrupt and break them. Evil is unfair and cruel because it simply is. And the point of good is to reverse that and save said innocents from their fate. Or, prevent it from happening in the first place.
Considering by raw that undead can be turned back to their living form via resurrection and true resurrection, I imagine a trapped soul that is freed from undeath isn't doomed to an afterlife in the evil planes.
Advanced Genre Guide.
I like that. I've honestly felt that the d20 system is robust enough to use it with different genres. Obviously changes would have to be made. But I'd love to see this book. Maybe a chapter on different styles of fantasy genres and how to run them, then another on the other genres (pulp, space, cyberpunk).
I would commit terrible atrocities and war crimes just to have an Ultimate Technology. It would fit with the rules for Stone and Bronze Age weapons we have already. I could see them adding more Renaissance tech and Industrial Age tech in addition to the WWI tech, WWII tech, Atomic Age Tech, Information Age Tech, and Future Tech.
All this talk about health insurance makes me sad I'm leaving my current job. While the pay was mediocre, I was part of the ICUBA health plan, which is pretty nice. Just got new glasses practically free. Gotta love that flex card. I'm pretty sure that the company my girlfriend works at (Akamai) has insurance that covers the gender reassignment surgery. Unsure thought. I'd have to ask her.
Got me birthday coming up and the ladyfriend is coming up to visit. Along with a surprise. Woohoo :)
That is a good point to bring up. In the setting and rules, there is nothing stopping a vampire from hunting animals, or even having an ally donate blood so it doesn't feed on the innocents. Granted, I'd imagine it'd be like getting bad weed or coke cut with baking soda, but it'd be something a good aligned vampire could do in the setting and rules.
In my game, the victims have to be sapient creatures and animal blood/donated blood only resets the hunger DC penalty by half. It doesn't totally get rid of it.
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
i don't really use official golarion as published, i use a more customized variation with a higher level of magic and features pulled from anime and action cinema.
And that's fine. In your setting, you run how things work. You are the master of your world and the rules of nature. I'm just pointing out the flaw in the argument comparing undead to predators in the base setting. The disconnect is largely through the different perceptions of undeath in different media.
Also, this topic is about Golarion. Hence the title. And the forum it is in.
James Jacobs says that the Vampires hunger is supernatural. Quote. But thats for golarion.
Under the Undead Creature Type, it states that undead do not need to eat. And the bestiary says they have to feast on creature's blood. So it is safe to assume that their hunger is not biological in nature.
That's not how it works. While there is no need, the drive is there. It's a part of the curse. Again, undead do not follow normal biological processes. The curse of undeath forces them to find blood, or flesh (for ghouls), or life force (for shadows) because that's an inherent propery of the curse of undeath. It's like a drug to them. They are addicted and if they don't get their fix, they start to lose it. Unless you've been through that type of withdrawal, it is difficult to understand the force that kind of addiction has. With most undead (ghosts being one exception), this is every day life.
Again, in your setting, you can do whatever you want. But in Golarion and the basic setting, undead feed because of an insane drive caused by the curse of undeath. That's why it's a curse, not a biological function. Zombies and vampires in Pathfinder aren't alternate species of humans like in Underworld/Blade, nor are they infected biological creatures like in Dawn of the Dead/I am Legend. They are dead and cursed via magic, not science.
Actually, that's not how vampires work at all in Golarion. Vampires don't need the sustenance since they are undead. From Blood of the Night:
“Hunger” is perhaps a misleading term to describe a vampire's lust for flesh, consciousness, or youth. As unliving things, they technically require no sustenance, and yet ravenousness is often considered a key characteristic of those who walk without life. In truth, this desire is driven not by need, but by psychological greed. Feasting grants the undead no physical nourishment, but does fill them with a pleasure and power they can't attain by any other means. For undead, the act of feeding can be likened to that of an addict satiating her inner demon.
In addition, under the rules for undead, undead do not need to actually eat. The issue is that you are looking at vampires (and zombies) in a modern, more biological light. This is something you see in modern movies like Underworld, I Am Legend, any zombie movie since Dawn of the Dead, etc. However, in Golarion and the game, undeath is magic. There is no biological reason why undead feast, just like there is no biological reason why outsiders don't need to sleep. Almost no undead needs to actually feed to survive because they are magic. Unlike a tiger, which actually does require sustenance to survive.
So, in regards to Golarion and the setting neutrality of Pathfinder, you are incorrect about vampires requiring food. However, in your own setting, you can obviously do what you want.
I'm actually statting the Black Tamanous right now. Probably will have it up tonight, as I'm trying to balance cleaning my apartment and moving with it.
I've got a small New World Bestiary on my Arcadia topic here that I've been working on. Now that I'm ready for my move, I can actually do some stat work here and there.
James Jacobs wrote:
Yeah, sorry, I wasn't trying to imply you ripped off Eberron. Rather, I really love Eberron and the Dreaming Dark and I thought it was cool to see a nod to that. One thing that really felt compelling to me in Lovecraft's work was his Dreamlands. I always loved that and my favorite of his books is The Dream Quest of the Unknown Kadath.
I'm the opposite. I view undeath as a curse, like in most literature. Being undead is a terrible curse. It's not a biological thing like you see in modern films. It's a curse that poisons your mind into becoming evil. Difference between a vampire and a tiger is that a vampire actually doesn't need to feed to stay alive. Granted, it'll be very unhappy without blood, but it doesn't need to feed. Feeding is more like a drug. A drug that gets them addicted and spirals them down into oblivion. Now mechanically they can go for animal blood. I allow that in my settings, but animal blood doesn't have the same satisfaction that real living sapient blood does. It'd be like doing pure cocaine for a long time, then having to ween off with cut, unpure stuff. For a vampire that has had human blood, it will barely stave off the hunger, but for a fresh vampire, it can help while they find a cure.
Mind you, one thing I don't do is make the vampire automatically evil right when it is turned. I do give the afflicted a chance to look for a cure and fight it. Because fighting the curse is more compelling than both "All vampires are evil automatically" and "Vampires can be of any alignment, it's cool." Tragedy is always more interesting to me anyways ;)
As for mindless undead, I view them as evil too. Like someone said, they don't need sustenance. They just automatically kill anything near them because they are mindless malice personified. Again, undeath is a curse and I feel it should be treated as such.
This doesn't mean that people who are turned into undead against their will are automatically going to Hell/Abyss/Abaddon when they are released. Most are thankful for being freed from their curse to finally move on to the Great Beyond. In how I run, clerics and shamans even bless the souls after they have been freed from the husk of undeath as a ceremony of good will and peace, ensuring that their actions during the curse do not affect their afterlife.
Now, there are always exceptions to the rule. Ghosts are a good example. of this. A revanant would be another one. In fact, in my setting, I have statted a Taino undead called the hupia that can be of any alignment. However, even in these cases, undeath is a curse. They all want to be free and move onto the Great Beyond, but cannot. In the case of the hupia, they are an intermediary position of the reincarnation cycle in my setting. They are spirits that became frightened at the prospect of moving on, so ran away from the realm of the dead. But in doing that, they doomed themselves into undeath. Some aren't accepted by their family while others are, but at the end, they are cursed with living forever long past their loved ones and never joining them in a better afterlife. Though there is a cure (read the statblock).
That said, I do change how undeath and death is viewed. Some view them with scorn and will hunt and kill them. Others view them with pity and mercifully aid them with their consent. If a guy is turned into a vampire against his will, some clerics will aid them in a cure or, if asked, a peaceful death surrounded by their loved ones. There is even an undead Death Deity I use that embraces undead into his arms and allow them to pass onto the Great Beyond.
At the end of the day, I find undeath being a curse much more compelling and less stifling creativity-wise than others allow. But, I also do it differently than most GMs do.
Maybe. Still think it could work as is, since by the CRB, buying those would cost the average person a decent amount. Especially Regenerate, which is the only one of those spells that can grow a limb back. 910 gp would be a lot for a peasant, and more if they don't live in a metropolis. Though obviously for adventurers it's not a problem later on.
We're unsure how the cybernetic transplants will cost. Though I'd imagine that the common person wouldn't be able to afford it, even with skills in Profession. And they'd have to get to a large town to pay for castings of Make Whole, or a small town for Mending. That'd still be a couple gold that the average person would have to save up to get. So I think the repair spells would be fine. Though obviously, adventurers wouldn't have to worry about it since they hunt for gold and treasures.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
I don't know what other limitations there are beyond something based on the Con score (or modifier). Nor do we know the bonuses yet.
captain yesterday wrote:
yeah not every party walks around with 7 layers of buff spells at all times, 3 campaigns in and my wife and kids have still not cast a buff spell once, and twice my daughter was a Bard.
Well now, we aren't slackers for optimization either. We've got the buffs and damage to shred people.
I've done up to L12, but disallowed 4th+level spells for full casters. Instead, I made those longer, costlier rituals (much like Incantations) that can't really be prepared and spammed. Things like scry, teleport, clairvoyance, etc. Still made casters fun, but more thematic. They could still cast 4th level spells with a feat (Ritual Casting), and for the most part, the utility spells were put as Rituals.
I'd probably tweak it some, allowing offensive and defensive spells to be exempt from that status. I'll have to print the PDF one day for it. I've been meaning to do it for a long time now.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
Well luckily, the Technology Guide is coming out with rules for cyborg parts. I believe there was a limit on cyborg implants based on your Con Mod. So I think that would be a good limiter.