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Sean FitzSimon's page

1,444 posts (1,507 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 aliases.


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Hey gang,

I've been out of the game for the better part of this year. Life took a couple awkward turns and I just haven't had time to focus on the guide or pathfinder community at large.

I saw a comment by Kroisos noting that the formatting had been stripped out of the guide so I pulled it up and yes, in fact, it had. The change was noted as being done by "anonymous" and happened late December. I'm not really sure what happened since nobody else has editing permissions on the guide, but whatever. I restored a previous version and it's back to where it should be. I don't believe any data was lost.

Like I said, I've been out of the game for nearly a year now. I haven't been following updates to Pathfinder and I don't really feel qualified continuing the guide or offering advice. The guide is and always has been both a product of the community and owned by the community, with me acting as a filter and editor. If anyone wants to expand/revamp/take over the guide just hit me up and we can chat about passing over the document.

Otherwise it'll remain public and available to whoeever wants to use it. As of now I won't be continuing production of the guide. The last time I reviewed the content of the game was February 2013, so it's fairly accurate to that point. At least, as much as an opinion piece can be.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
This has been a pretty interesting conversation. I was pretty involved (lurker status) in the 3e boards of WotC and their CharOp folks, and you saw the term get thrown around quite a bit.
Was this before 2008?

Yeah, why?

This has been a pretty interesting conversation. I was pretty involved (lurker status) in the 3e boards of WotC and their CharOp folks, and you saw the term get thrown around quite a bit. Feat Tax was a pretty simple concept that came in two forms:

1) A feat you have to take to remain functional/competitive. Power Attack, Weapon Finesse, and Natural Spell all fall into this category. It is, of course, just a feat tax for the build.

2) A feat you have to take as a stepping stone to another feat/class that provides no benefit, or exceedingly little benefit to the character. Some of the biggest offenders in 3.5e were Toughness (3 hitpoints), Mobility (a low DC tumble check negated the feat), Skill Focus (skill DCs were very easy to make), or any feat that was then replaced by a class feature in the prestige class (this was surprisingly common). Pathfinder has gotten rid of most of these, but a few still exist.

I can't agree that Combat Expertise is a feat tax, though. It's done better with Crane Style but it still expands your abilities as a combatant and does so fairly successfully. It's only a "tax" if you choose never to use it.

@Amric: Thanks for the kind words, bud. :)

@Andrea1: It's only going to be 1d8/level if they're vulnerable to sunlight, which surprisingly few undead are. On the whole it's going to be 5d8 at 10th level for most enemies (avg. 22.5 damage) and a staggering 10d6 (avg. 35 damage) versus most undead. That's horrible on normal stuff and mediocre at best on the undead. I can see a few hedge cases where this might be better, like in undead-heavy campaigns, but on the whole I really feel like it's a red spell.

Avh wrote:

Or you can make him be similar to other classes, so with a 6th level casting of a 6th level caster (as a bard), and have a pet who is not customizable at-will but instead picked from a list (the fact that it will be more powerful than the druid pet is not an issue, the main problem is the customization at-will).

When you will have fixed that, you will have a summoner who is correct (or even powerful through its pet), but not broken.

I think this is probably the best solution. The summoner shouldn't have their eidolon nerfed down to druid strength. That's inappropriate. The druid has 9 levels of spellcasting, wildshape, and an animal companion- the summoner has 2/3 casting and a powerful summon.

The biggest issue, in my eyes, is the intense customization available to the summoner. It's too easy to min/max and a lot of the summoner rules are exceptions and special cases (so they're not well understood by the layman.)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*fidgets nervously and runs for the door*

This is hurting my thinky bits.

I'm also willing to wait. I hope your player recovers swiftly.

Anyone else feel like a Paladin or Ranger archer could do a lot of damage here?

Tanuki Tales wrote:

Got some bad news folks.

One of my players may have torn out her ACL, so I'm going to need to push back starting the game for a bit. I'll be moving some of the people who have been contacting me over onto actually building up their characters, but I can't give a hard day on when we'll start.

The good news is that any lurkers or folks who haven't fully thrown in yet still have plenty of time to decide on that and contact me about their character concepts.

Oh jeez, I hope she's okay. I know that sort of thing is really painful.

I don't mind waiting for things to get going. Life happens. Just keep me updated and we'll be square. :)

Marthkus wrote:
Story Archer wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
One summons can't teleport or summon other creatures, but I get what you are saying.
This is a classic example of either 1) how people judge the Summoner class without ever really understanding its abilities or 2) the errors gamemasters make in adjudicating the summoner class which eventually causes other players to resent it.
So is that it? Case closed, master summoner is good not cheezy and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand the rules?

I don't think that's what he's saying. The Summoner class is full of exemptions, exceptions, and odd-ball rules though. I'm not a huge fan of the class personally, but I do agree that a lot of the dislike of the class stems from poor understanding (or exposure to GMs/players who didn't properly understand it).

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Eldritch Heritage is based off your total level.

It will be smarter.

...that's what I just said.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Eventually, the Monkey will be smarter.

Unless the character goes the Eldritch Heritage route the familiar will always be Master Level 1, so the fighter's gonna be smarter. Barely. What a team they'll make, though!

Xexyz wrote:

I don't think it's particularly overpowered; my problem with it is more conceptual. If the barbarian otherwise has no way to tell that the target of his attack is a spellcaster, why should he get the bonus damage?

I think I'm going to amend it so that he has to see the creature cast a spell or use a spell-like ability in order for the power to work.

While this would certainly remove all doubt, you could also lean on skills. A successful monster knowledge check should identify a creature naturally capable of casting spells, and a perception or sense motive check should suffice for trained casters- at least in some cases.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I love what Paizo did with the Oracle. This is sort of how I saw it:

3.5 Cleric: Devotee of a god, channeling divine power through faith
3.5 Favored Soul: Also a devotee of a god, channeling divine power through faith (but with a crappier spellcasting system)

PF Cleric: Devotee of a god, channeling divine power through faith
PF Oracle: Vessel of a Divine Concept, channeling divine power through her very existence.

I'm speaking in hyperbole of course, so take it with a grain of salt. Paizo did a fine job of making the classes distinct in both mechanics and flavor. It gives players (and GMs) the opportunity to play around with divine magic without having to worship a higher power. Yes, you can do this by playing a "godless" cleric, but it's still different. Clerics are utterly devoted to their concept/god, where-as an Oracle is simply a conduit.

Tanuki Tales wrote:
Is anyone else having trouble accessing the house rules? I've had two people already voice this, but I'm beginning to think the issue may be something attached to Paizo and not the document (since the people I gave the link to off-site had no issue seeing it).

I found that there was a random space in the web address which, when copied, showed up as %20. Delete that and it works like a charm.

Came down with a nasty cold yesterday. I'm recovering (slowly) while also working so my background might have to wait a bit. I'm interested in knowing if anyone else is going the jungles/necromancer route to see if we should entangle our backgrounds- otherwise Talodarrin is going to be a battle-mage prodigy.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shifty wrote:

I don't think I've been had.

I full expect a Sarkeesian video to be posted next, and a long monologue about creeper behaviour being handwaved and given a pass in the gaming community.

If, on the other hand, it is a legit post... well thats even more fightening.

Hope they hurry up either way though, my box of popcorn is running low.

See, that's the thing. Except for the GM following the original poster to the forums (which strikes me as the most trollsy detail) I don't see a lot of his actions as creeper-status.

Honestly, I could see myself accidentally doing exactly what he did. They've been friends/friendly for 20 years and he made a few attempts to get ahold of her. She perceives it as harassment and runs to the forums to vent or seek advice. She hasn't come back, so that leaves her original position somewhat suspect.

Maybe the GM is a creeper. But maybe he's just a guy who got wrapped up in a really awkward situation he didn't even know he was in, and then got frustrated when he was branded a villain on the forums. Maybe in his frustration he defended himself, like anyone might do, and said a few things he probably shouldn't have.

In my opinion, both parties are at fault. The OP acted like a coward and a jerk by deliberately ignoring/avoiding the GM, never bringing up her concerns to the person who matters, and then running to the forums to paint him as a harasser. The GM is potentially oblivious of social queues (not necessarily a crime) and maybe even a bit too pushy by some standards. He didn't keep very good track of his own game, which is on him. The worst thing he did, by my viewing, was throwing all the blame onto the OP. Yeah, maybe this was a misunderstanding, but posts in the vein of "you brought this on yourself" don't garner much sympathy. Also, following the OP to the forums is a mite bit creepy (even if just to defend yourself).

If it's a legit situation I feel kinda bad. Both of these people are at fault and it could have been avoided by simply talking to each other. I hope each leaves this with some sort of personal growth.

This whole thread seems pretty trollsy. A post complaining about a game from a 1-post account, and then a follow-up from another new account defending himself.

The whole situation of "he said, she said" just seems designed to incite a lot of argument, and so far it's working.

Y'all, I think you've been had.

I'd be wary of allowing it. I see it from two perspectives:

1) Scimitars aren't that great, and they're certainly not gamebreaking. Any class trying to use them to great ability is only going to get two benefits: proficiency and pseudo Weapon Focus, which is roughly two feats. However, any build worth using them with probably already HAS proficiency with them (or something mechanically similar like the rapier or longsword) so it's not a huge deal. Essentially, it's a +1 to attack.

2) Archery sucks if you're not investing heavily in it, so it's somewhat of a different beast. Melee, however, is pretty great all on its own if you've got the stats to back it up. Offering the benefit of 1-2 feats for a bracer slot and a sum of gold likely has more bang for a melee person than a archery person.

Those are just my thoughts, though.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Then again... there are those who might appreciate the height difference for certain... purposes...

Like being able to use the top cabinets for whatever you like, because it's not like she's going to be getting up there.

The Human Diversion wrote:
Jane Lynch

Hey! Jane Lynch isn't ugly! She's just regular looking.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Charisma may be an example of physical attractiveness, but it can also be completely divorced from appearance. Allow me to show you a few creatures with high charisma that are defined by their ugliness (or their horrifying nature).

Night Hag (CHA 17)
Sea Hag (CHA 15)
Undead Horror Tree (CHA 18)
Dark Naga (CHA 17)
Tentacled Horror (CHA 18)

Hope that helps justify your cause. :D

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KestlerGunner wrote:
omg its amazing.

I was less than impressed. I enjoyed the heck out of it for the first hour or two, but the fun was quickly overwhelmed with a frustrating and tedious magic system.

Magic is so iconic in games like this, but Grimrock basically encourages you to play mage-less. I've made a few attempts to go back and finish it, but I can never get past level 5 before I quit.

I just keep hoping that the come out with some sort of fan-patch that redoes the magic. The game has so much potential for me!

(this is all personal opinion. I know a lot of people really enjoyed the magic system.)

FratManCy wrote:

Oh, I didn't think anyone would go that far for character

Using the SRD options for the core races (favored class bonuses and alternate racial traits) are totally fine with me.

I typically stay around from 3rd Party materials because its may/may not be balanced for pathfinder. But, if you've a solid reason as to why this should be the exception, pick my brain.

Haha, sorry. I like to explore mechanical options as a way to flesh out a character- RP and Crunch in the same bite, you know? I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to dig into anything you didn't want in the campaign.

Also, I usually avoid 3rd party materials simply because of the unease of the community. And that they were notoriously unbalanced in 3e/3.5.

magnuskn wrote:
Dal Selpher wrote:
I was actually surprised and impressed with the story. Blizzard has a habit of taking heroes and corrupting them into irredeemable villains (which, frankly I'm tired of) but they avoided that this time around. I thought they did an excellent job of turning Kerrigan into a sympathetic and tragic character. I especially enjoyed the cinematic with the shapeshifter in light of this.
She's horribly inconsistent. On one hand, she's supposed to be sympathetic and still show that she is not as monstrous as the Queen of Blades v1. OTOH, she gleefully massacres planet garrisons to test her newest Zerg toys. I found her a pretty bad main protagonist, if the idea is that players should identify with her plight.

I didn't find her inconsistent at all. Kerrigan has always been my favorite character of the series, so having the expansion focus entirely on her was an absolute blast for me. Bias, I know, but I acknowledge that.

Potential plot spoilers:
I found Kerrigan's character more complex than in previous games. Early on she's sympathetic and vulnerable, and then filled with rage- it becomes her driving goal. Her humanity is waning as the story goes on and she becomes more and more like the previous Queen of Blades. She's rutheless against "faceless enemies," but randomly spares people as a "testament to her Terran roots." It isn't until she faces Raynor that she realizes that's she's truly lost herself and accepts her role, really, as the Queen of Blades.

So yeah, I didn't find it inconsistent. I found her return to evil to be organic and engaging.

Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Most of us are probably using for character creation which, for the most part, identifies where its content comes from (so we can avoid unallowed material). However I think it was the Advanced Race Guide that expanded all core races and the site doesn't break it down by source very well.

To simplify my question, are we allowed to use any of the SRD options for the core races (favored class bonuses, alternate racial traits), excluding feats, or do we need to track down where the option came from and only use those from the allowed material?

Any chance I could get you to touch on this, please?

Most of us are probably using for character creation which, for the most part, identifies where its content comes from (so we can avoid unallowed material). However I think it was the Advanced Race Guide that expanded all core races and the site doesn't break it down by source very well.

To simplify my question, are we allowed to use any of the SRD options for the core races (favored class bonuses, alternate racial traits), excluding feats, or do we need to track down where the option came from and only use those from the allowed material?

4d6 ⇒ (5, 4, 2, 6) = 17 = 15
4d6 ⇒ (5, 1, 1, 3) = 10 = 9
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 2, 4) = 17 = 15
4d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 4, 2) = 13 = 11
4d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 3, 5) = 18 = 15
4d6 ⇒ (2, 4, 1, 5) = 12 = 11

Hmm. That's 22 point buy, but I think I'm better off going with actual point buy on this one. I'm thinking a Sylvan Sorcerer currently. Not sure on the race yet.

@Rasmus: I think that would be helpful. I don't know how anyone else feels, but to me it will really kill the mood if we're seeing leaks from other settings. The Diablo 'verse has a rich lore that should be easy to build from.

Heck, I did a quick search and found this Diablo Wiki to be both helpful and verbose.

In fact, this page here is a good starting point for the religions of Sanctuary.

@cjgrimm: Would you roll the character as a Necromancer as well (cult of Rathma)? If so, I really encourage it! I think it would be a blast to play with someone else from the same place.

Hell, if you went that route I'd love to weave our backgrounds together.

Tanuki Tales wrote:
Anyways, let's take the rest of the discussion about this Archetype idea to PMs, alright?

Sorry about that. I've sent you a PM.

Tanuki Tales wrote:
Which book was Lyrist in again? Complete Scoundrel?

It's from Complete Adventurer, if I recall. But it's also available online. I always thought it was a really great idea for a class, but pretty poorly implemented. You needed 3 classes and couldn't gain access until 11th level, which is FAR too late. I feel that the prestige class could be recreated by creating an archetype for a druid. If you stripped out most of the druid features (keep nature bond) you could build in bardic music (limited to what the Evangelist gets), evasion, and bardic knowledge. Instant success without the awkwardness of a dual-caster or messed up BAB.

jlighter wrote:
Ask your GM if, since you didn't really get a chance to play the character, you can have it re-introduced under a different name, and maybe with one or two details changed. Or ask if it would be possible to get a deity-revival-favor that you then have to work off (excellent RP opportunity).

I think this is a really good choice. If you didn't get very far in the game it's likely that your character really isn't known. Swap a few details, maybe a new race, and ask if you can return.

Tanuki Tales wrote:
My setting has its own pantheons and such (which, outside one specific goddess and one patron figure, aren't written up or decided at all), but it takes the same path that Eberron did. There is divine power and there are god-like creatures/creatures that are held akin to gods/creatures that claim to be gods, but whether the gods empirically exist is not really known by anyone. And those who would know aren't inclined to talk about it and/or shouldn't exactly be trusted in the first place.

So where does that leave divine classes, like the Cleric (Evangelist)?

Also, would you be opposed to me coming up with some type of Druid archetype along the lines of the Fochlucan Lyrist of 3.5? That's really what I'm aiming for. Bardic ability (to some degree) and druid spells.

Not really getting any inspiration here, so I'm going to bow out. It looks like you've got a lot of interest here so you shouldn't miss me too much. :D

Hope the campaign goes well!

Decided against using anything from GitPG. It was mostly 3.5 stuff anyway.

Had a few questions though- I was hoping to build a druid/bard hybrid, but the only way to really do that is to build a cleric (evangelist) who worships a nature god, which is fine. I was curious if you're using the golarion gods, or if you've got your own pantheon?

@Tanuki Tales: Oh, that sounds awesome! I love the idea of struggling to gain higher powers of magic. It makes it feel more... oomph-y.

I'm currently looking over the GitPG forums now. That place is really unorganized.

Right now I'm thinking about playing a Chameleon. I haven't decided which version I prefer more, but I don't have any interest in the martial maneuvers or vestiges. I'll hit you up with more details when I have them.

@Rasmus: Oh, I guess I was vague on that front. I apologize. When I referred to it being a "balancing issue" I was actually talking about Pathfinder and D&D, not Diablo.

But I agree about the Witch emulating curses exceptionally well. I had actually considered going the dual-cursed route to have a few of those curses, but I couldn't decide on two oracle curses that made sense. You're right though. It seems that you'd have to pick a different class depending on which tree you were looking to explore, which is frustrating. Still, summoning was always my favorite so I'm going with Bones oracle.

cjgrimm wrote:
When you say "light magic," does that imply any restrictions on magic using classes?

I'm interested to hear about your response to this as well. If you're curbing access to full casters it'll change a lot.

Well, you've piqued my interest. I'll need to look over a few sources, but I'm mulling a couple ideas right now. I'll post again when I've got a better idea of what I'd like to pursue.

Excellent. I've been looking over a few options to try to find something that properly emulates both the feel and ability of the Necromancer. I've settled on a Bones Oracle. I'd like to play it as a student of magic and a priest of Rathma and basically ignore the lore of the Oracle. He'd introduce himself as a priest and probably be referred to as a necromancer.

I'm going to take Raise the Dead as my first revelation so I can actually summon undead early on, and grab Abundant Revelation so I can actually use it more than once per day. I'd *really* prefer to take Abundant Revelation more than once for additional uses, but the rules are strict on this front. At 4th level he'll get access to lesser Animate Dead, and then at 6th he'll get the normal version.

I'll also take the Wasting curse to simulate the toll necromantic energy takes on a mortal body. The necromancers always seemed older than they were, so this works pretty well.

@GM Razor: Unless you're wanting to run it differently, the Diablo universe treats necromancy as "icky" but not necessarily evil. I would be interested in building a skeleton-focused necromancer who was always working towards the balance. True Neutral in the purest form (like old school druids). He'd be along for the ride to stop the ultimate evil because it upsets the balance, but when that's sorted he has no interest in sticking around to "right the wrongs."

If you rule that casting animate dead and similar are truly evil spells, I would have him be Neutral Evil but play him as True Neutral- thus being evil only in that he utilizes evil magic for his ends.

Looks like a great AP, and I like your enthusiasm for RP. I'd like to submit my token for consideration.

5d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 4, 6, 5) = 21 = 15
5d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 2, 5, 2) = 19 = 15
5d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 4, 3, 4) = 17 = 12
5d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 4, 2, 4) = 19 = 14
5d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 2, 3, 1) = 14 = 11
5d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 6, 4, 4) = 24 = 16

Wow, those are awesome stats. I'll need to do a bit of digging around, but I'm currently thinking about bard or druid.

@Rasmus: The Priests of Rathma was exactly what I was thinking of. Their unique exploration of life and death as a natural cycle always intrigued me. There was no internal stigma to animating the dead- it was inherently neutral.

Honestly it reminds me a lot of the necromancers of the Scarred Lands setting. Necromancy wasn't evil, it was just a magical response to the hordes of undead that plagued the land.

If I were to make a Priest of Rathma I'm not sure how I'd go about it. I'd want to be raising the dead as early as possible, so Master Summoner or some other summer archetype makes a lot of sense. I'd honestly prefer to go Wizard to match up with some of the more debuff-style abilities of the necromancer, but if I'm shelling out thousands of gold for disposable minions that becomes a bit of an issue.

Or maybe not. After all, the cost is a balancing factor of the game and likely wouldn't make sense to just hand-wave because it was setting appropriate. A necromancer with permanent free minions would get out of hand VERY quickly.

To the GM: would you be willing to explore a few house rules or alternative features to better recreate a classic Necromancer? Or are we sticking as core as possible?

Oh! This sounds very interesting. I think I would enjoy being involved in this very much. I had a few questions though.

  • Are we trying to remain as close to the Diablo cannon as possible? For instance, would you refluff certain classes to their lore counterparts, or is it more "anything goes."
  • What's the word on evil? Clearly every character has an interest in stopping Diablo and the necromancer, but you don't have to be a good guy to want to achieve that.
  • Player-side necromancy is a staple for most of the series. It's evil, yes, but people seemed okay with it if you were using it for the greater good. Is this true in your campaign, or are you hoping to avoid the grey areas of fighting fire with undead fire?

Currently my interests are playing a necromancer, but I'm willing to explore other alternatives.

Actually, I'm going to duck out of this game. My enthusiasm waned a LOT when I realized that I couldn't go druid and I don't think I would really be a good addition to the group at this point.

If this ever pops up again I'd love to join in, though! I hope you guys have fun.

Here's my Wizard. I chose a new name instead of one from the list. I hope that's alright.

Dolan, the Wizard:

Name: Dolan Ambrose
Look: Sharp Eyes, Wild Hair, Strange Robes, Thin Body

Alignment: Good
Race: Elf
Bonds: To be determined

Strength 8 (-1)
Dexterity 15 (+1)
Constitution 13 (+1)
Intelligence 16 (+2)
Wisdom 9 (0)
Charisma 12 (0)

Gear: Bag of Books and 3 Healing Potions, Staff, 3 Antitoxins

Cantrips: All, plus Detect Magic
1: Contact Spirits
1: Charm Person
1: Magic Missile

I only touched on the areas that required choice.

This looks very interesting, but I'm finding that the first link (to the rules) is broken. Or the site is down. is it hosted anywhere else?

It looks like the group currently consists of a Bard, Paladin, and Barbarian (I think)? If there's still room I'd love to join as a Druid. I'm probably unclear on a few rules, but I'll post my submission after this post.

Edit: Nevermind, it seems like two people have already laid dibs on Druid. That's a bummer, but my backup is a Wizard.

I'm going to go ahead and bow out of this one. I explored making a dirge bard, sorcerer, and oracle, but decided against it. I had hoped to make a necromancer of some flavor but the one most interesting is the Wizard, and my stats don't match up to that. I hope y'all have fun with this campaign. It looks like it's going to be a blast!

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