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Pathfinder Society Member. 13,581 posts (17,656 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.

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Scarab Sages

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Random thoughts I had while picking a subject;

Thanks to the Order of the Palatine Eye (Occult Mysteries p 24-25) and their Osirioni focus, leftover article ideas from the previous issue could find use here.

The usual class powers / options based on the theme. Alchemical discoveries or Rogue talents or Monk style feats or Sorcerer Bloodline or Wizard sub-school or Oracle mystery or Cleric sub-domain derived from Old Cults or vampire / werewolf / ghoul / etc. themes. (A werewolf or vampire totem trio of rage powers, for instance, or new rogue/ninja tricks that mimic vampiric or undead qualities, like momentary bursts of wall clinging or gaseous form.)

Vampiric 'fangblades' made with a vampire tooth in the handle that does +1d6 damage when it strikes a living a target, half of which (round down) is received as healing by the user (the other half of which is magically transmitted to the blades vampire creator!). An assortment of similar magic weapons / items that, like Hag Eyes, link one to a monstrous creator in some way.

Sanguine spells (animate dagger using blood from a bleed effect, transfer life-force between living creatures using blood, etc.)

Silver magic / werewolf magic, using silver as a power component to cause magic weapon spells to make the effected weapon count as silver to bypass DR, or during casting some detection spell to make it reveal lycanthropes instead (perhaps detect undead?) or to dispel magic to instead cause lycanthropes in the area to involuntarily change shape.

Pharasman holy water obscuring mist / fog cloud / riptide variants (holy water power component added to standard casting), variant Water Domain powers to to create a burst of holy water around self or in a life effect, holy water alchemist-like Bombs as high level Water Domain power for Pharasmans

Side Trek - bog bodies from Anactoria (Rule of Fear p 16) are actually specially prepared zombies (or even mummies) being used to infiltrate Lepidstadt, to provide a distraction for someone who wants to raid their library during the confusion (not to steal something, but to *change* some recorded information, perhaps to make a summoning fail, or to steal or deny an inheritance by adding or removing record of an heir to a noble family, etc.)

Secret of county of Berus and 'Mother Sighle' (Rule of Fear p 12), Bokrug-worshipping hag, vampire or ghoul weather controlling witch the source of the well-guarded bounty, demanding sacrifice for good crops?

The mysterious 'lost pages.' Page 10 of Rule of Fear mentions that Kavaspesta is detailed in Chapter 3. Page 30 of Rule of Fear mentions that Carrion Hill is detailed in Chapter 4. Neither entry exists, leaving plenty of room for someone to make stuff up! :)

Scarab Sages

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Article sent (it was written a month ago, I just got around to stripping out the formatting, 'cause I've been some combination of too busy and too lazy...).

Everyone knows I can write me some 10,000 words about undead in less time it takes to bake a lasagna, so I decided to not write about undead.

The great thing about writing for a game is getting to do 'research' that consists of reading books and looking up stuff I really wanted to read more about anyway. Oh no! Don't make me go read about ancient vampire legends, or Dagon-worshipping fish-peeps! I feel like one of those upscale restaurant reviewers whose 'job' is to eat really awesome food and then write about eating really awesome food...

Scarab Sages

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
If a player or kingdom wanted to be "good" then fight off, best and negotiate with the demihumans/monsters, not engage in genocide or cultural genocide, or abducting them, and then brainwashing them to be utterly against the culture of their people.

The original premise of the thread was what to do with children of hostile races that survived hostilities, not 'abducting' children of other races and brainwashing them. It was pretty much 100% the *opposite* of genocide (since actual genocide, killing the youngsters before they 'grow up evil', was the accepted solutions for Paladins who would find hauling the young orcs / goblins / whatever off to the local church of Sarenrae to be terribly inconvenient).

If the orc / goblin / etc. 'culture' includes stuff like genocide of other races, cannibalism, etc. then it's hardly a fair comparison to what's happened to various native American or Australian aborigines or even just slower-than-average kids in attempts to 'mainstream' them into whatever group is dominant. It's more similar to a jobs training program for kids in juvie, giving them tools to avoid spending even more of their lives in correctional system.

Scarab Sages

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Fiendish Perfection is uber-creepy! Also inspiring, in a horrible way...

951. Unborn. Your form is seven feet tall and androgynous, in an inconsistent manner, with some parts more 'masculine,' and others more 'feminine' (and perhaps even recognizably those of your 'parent'), as you were never born from your mothers womb, but instead grew within her and merged with her body, mind and soul, in a freakish twist on Vanishing Twin Syndrome. You weigh over 300 lbs, as you have the combined mass of your mother and the man you would have grown to become (in a stranger twist, perhaps it was a 'father' who became host to the seducer-fiends spawn, in a cyst on his belly, and this 'daughter' instead merged with the flesh of her unsuspecting parent, which is a typical 'be careful what you wish for' result from willingly enjoining with a succubus...). In any case, you are now a single being, both containing the memories, experiences and drives of the absorbed parent, as well as the new wonder and sometimes fiendish urges and motivations of the 'child,' no longer capable of distinguishing between the 'old you' and the 'new you,' being one flesh and one spirit.

Scarab Sages

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Christina Stiles wrote:
The world surrounding Freeport would be a great project.

Indeed. Those gargoyle-enslaving Iovan gnomes sound super-fun.

Loved their use of Serpentfolk and Yig and the Elder Sign / King in Yellow, etc.

Scarab Sages

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Lord Snow wrote:
Ward is supposed to be just below Romanov in terms of martial competency.
Well, we know that May is a step above him (their fight last season was a close thing but she did end up winning rather decisively), and she still seems leagues below Romanov... are you saying something that was mentioned by someone with the authority to say that for sure? Because I'm pretty sure that all the characters in this show are supposed to be small fish compared to any of the Avengers.

I *think* that Ward had the 'best scores since Romanov' in infiltration and undercover work, which, kind of pointedly, is what SHIELD trained him to do and rewarded him for doing to other groups for SHIELD, while, the whole time, he was doing it to SHIELD for Garrett as well...

"Why yes, Director Fury. All that schmoozing my way into organizations and gaining their trust and betraying them from within that you were so proud of me doing for SHIELD? Must be terribly confusing and shocking to you that the dog you trained to bite people could bite you."

Scarab Sages

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Loving this show, so far, and the longer it takes before we see Batman, the better. It's a great look at his surrounding cast and setting and mythos.

Scarab Sages

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I like the modularity of the class design, leaving room for easy expansion to more 'Eastern' elements like wood, metal or spirit/void.

Scarab Sages

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Orthos wrote:
steelhead wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
  • Not providing the "required"/desired magical paraphernalia on schedule
  • I have no idea what you are saying here. What magical paraphernalia and on whose schedule?

    Some players will complain things like "The game mechanics and Wealth-by-Level charts say we should have a magic weapon by level 4! Why haven't you given us magic weapons yet?!"

    I do not actually know if it's level 4, and I'm too lazy to actually look it up.

    I'm totally this guy.

    I remember a game where we made it to 7th level, and my character was still wearing his 70 gp. worth of starting gear, and the GM kept complaining about all the near-wipes, because of our 'poor tactics' against swarms and incorporeal foes and foes with DR that we couldn't affect.

    Several APs, in my experience, go by the assumption that clerics and wizards don't need treasure, at all. In Council of Thieves, we were 5th level before the GM deliberately added a couple of scrolls of wizard spells as a bonus, since there had, by the end of book two, not been a single item of treasure (or enough gold to craft even a potion, let along purchase a wizard spell) for a wizard (or, if there was, we missed it all, despite attempting to sell everything we found for cash and taking odd jobs around town for money to equip the party fighter with a masterwork weapon...).


    I don't need Stormbringer or anything, but an orcbane short sword and a mithril chain shirt could be handy (I'll pass on the ring of invisibility with the massive curse...).

    Although, being a fan of games like Mutants & Masterminds or Vampire the Masquerade, which don't have 'loot' at all, I suppose D&D/PF characters can go fine with no loot, so long as monsters that require magic loot to defeat (incorporeal foes, foes with lots of DR, etc.) are either changed or removed from play.

    Saying 'you must be this tall to play' and then arbitrarily capping height at 5" below that just seems weird and frustrating.

    Scarab Sages

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    RuyanVe wrote:
    time's fleeting...

    Madness takes it's toll.

    Scarab Sages

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    Feros wrote:

    I, however, got BOTH my great golem sale order AND my regular subscription sent.


    I blame Cosmo for the evil impulse that caused me to post this. >:D

    Fiend. It's been weeks, and I haven't even got the confirmation email allowing me to read the PDFs I ordered during the Great Golem sale!

    Which is totally all on Cosmo.

    Along with those dudes who try to talk to you in the bathroom. You know when I don't want to talk about sports with random strangers? When I have my **** in my hand, that's when. Cosmo!

    Scarab Sages

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    Man-Spider! Threat or Menace?

    Masked aranea engaged in lawless vigilantism, leaves purported 'burglars' webbed to the roof of the constabulary!

    Scarab Sages

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    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
    While you are away, your fellow party members begin to whisper of their indescribable unease behind your back... until you return, when they forget what they were even discussing, or how many times they've had this same conversation.

    "So you're saying that Ben might have some connection to Glory?"

    Scarab Sages

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    Barong wrote:
    Doesn't the Dragon Disciple prestige class turn you into a half-dragon though?

    Tangentially, 'Dragon Disciple' variants that turned one into a half-fiend, half-celestial, half-fey, half-genie or half-undead for Sorcerers of the Abyssal, Infernal, Celestial, Fey, Elemental and Undead Bloodlines would make sense. (Something modular, so that it could be a single PrC (or Sorcerer Archetype!) with many options, and not a half-dozen separate PrCs/Archetypes, would be ideal, and able to also be adaptable for Rakshasa, Protean, Djinni, Efreeti, Shaitan, Marid, etc. Bloodlines.)

    But yeah, a draconic race would be cool. One that incorporates eastern dragon motifs too.

    It's fuzzy, but I vaguely recall Japanese tales of great warriors marrying women of unnatural grace and beauty who were the daughters of dragons, making eastern dragons perhaps far better suited, from a myth and folklore standpoint, to have humanoid 'half-dragons' than western style dragons.

    And yes gnolls too!

    Triple yes!

    Scarab Sages

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    Guess this means I have to quit slacking off and start writing my Wayfinder 13 article. :)

    Scarab Sages

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    the secret fire wrote:

    What doesn't make sense to me with Gnomes is that they would get a CON bonus, to begin with. Dwarves are obviously stout, but have you seen the drawing of the common Gnome in the Core book?

    +INT, +CHA, -WIS makes the most sense to me for Gnomes.

    +Con seems like a holdover from the stouter Gnomes of earlier editions (and seems even less on-theme now that they have ties to the fey, the creature type with the smallest HD).

    There's also the muddle that Gnomes have been very different over different editions. Pre-3rd edition, and once again in 5th edition, they had high Intelligence and were associated, through the Dragonlance Tinker Gnomes, with clockwork, crafting and contraptions. In 3.5, for a few brief years, it was 'favored class Bard' and, while they didn't have a Charisma bonus, that certainly would have felt appropriate. And now they are associated with the fey and nature, more like the 'Forest Gnomes' of previous editions, and less like the 'Rock Gnomes' (aka, Dwarf-lite).

    As I tend to prefer not to close doors on flavors already introduced, I'd go for the Gnome attribute modifier to be +2 Intelligence *or* +2 Wisdom *or* +2 Charisma, and no physical attribute modifiers at all. They'd be stronger (wiry little bodies!) than Halflings and most other Small races, but not as nimble as many of them (Halfling, Goblin, Kobold) tend to be, and with a completely average Con score. Unlike Elves or Dwarves, who may have subraces or castes or different attribute arrays because of being forsaken or Sovyrian or whatever, Gnomes would have no genetic component to their attribute bonus. Two gnomish tinkers with +2 Intelligence might have a kid who has a +2 to Wisdom and goes into Druidism, or +2 Charisma and takes up inspiring oratory as a wandering Bard or awakens a knack for fey Sorcery.

    So folk who want to play Gimble the 3.5 Iconic Gnome Bard, can do so with a shiny +2 Charisma modifier, while those who want to play Nebbin, the 3.0 Iconic Gnome Illusionist, can have their +2 Intelligence, and those who want to play Lini, the Pathfinder Iconic Gnome Druid, can have a +2 Wisdom.

    No burning need to close any of those doors.

    Some gnomes can be tinker-y, or book-totin' arcanists, others can sing and perform and practice fey sorcery, and yet others can get all woodsy and spiritual and turn into bears and eat faces. Not even a need for sub-races like 'Rock Gnome' and 'Forest Gnome,' or City Mouse and Country Mouse.

    Scarab Sages

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    Rise of the Runelords - Varisia
    Curse of the Crimson Throne - Varisia (mostly Korvosa)
    Second Darkness - Varisia and the Darklands
    Legacy of Fire - Katapesh
    Council of Thieves - Cheliax
    Kingmaker - Stolen Lands
    Serpent Skull - Sargava/Mwangi Expanse
    Carrion Crown - Ustalav
    Jade Regent - Varisia -> Linnorm Kings -> Crown of the World -> Minkai
    Skull & Shackles - Shackle Islands
    Shattered Star - Varisia
    Reign of Winter - Irrisen
    Wrath of the Righteous - Mendev
    Mummy's Mask - Osirion
    Iron Gods - Numeria
    Giantslayer - Mindspin Mountains? (Had to look that up. Qu'elle surprise, it's also in Varisia!)

    That leaves;
    Hold of Belkzen
    Brevoy (visited briefly in Kingmaker)
    Five Kings Mountains
    Lands of the Linnorm Kings (visited briefly in Jade Regent)
    Realm of the Mammoth Lords
    Mana Wastes / Alkenstar
    Mediogalti Island
    River Kingdoms (visited briefly in Kingmaker, a dozen mini-settings, more than anything)
    The Sodden Lands

    Of them, Andoran, Qadira, Taldor, Thuvia, Linnorm Kings Lands, Mammoth Lords Realms, Isger, Molthune, Nirmathas and Druma are all large nations with plenty of potential baked in, while other places, like Belkzen, Galt, Nidal, Rahadoum and Razmiran, are a bit more limited, and lands like Kyonin, the Five Kings Mountains, Jalmeray, Nex, Lastwall and Alkenstar/Mana Wastes will have fairly focused themes.

    Given that Andoran, Qadira and Taldor are three of the 'big five' of the Pathfinder Society (along with Cheliax and Osirion), there's a ton of development space left to explore for campaigns that want to follow a more traditional fantasy adventurer niche (and avoid some of the more unique aspects that come with places like Numeria or Irrisen, or specific cultural analogues as would happen in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings or Jalmeray or the Mwangi Expanse).

    Isger, Molthune and Nirmathas always seemed to me like perfect places to set 'out of the way' games, that are unlikely to interact much with published stuff, since they lack the big, big flavor of devil-haunted Thrice-Damned Cheliax or 'fantasy Egypt' or don't-call-me-Ravenloft Ustalav or Thundarr the Numerian. (All of which I love, but each veer slightly away from the Tolkien-esque 'generic fantasy Europe' to their own flavors.)

    Scarab Sages

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    Zhayne wrote:
    I would have done Dwarves with a DEX penalty instead of Charisma, myself.

    I'd be fine with keeping both options.

    Dwarves could be divided into a warrior group, +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha, and a crafts group, +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex. The crafters are more common in the dwarven cities, and maintain the dwarven supremacy at metallurgy, weaponsmithing, armory, etc. Out in the world, people are more likely to meet the warrior types, as they are more likely to operate outside of clan holdings.

    I prefer the idea of dwarves having a Dex penalty and an Int bonus (as well as their standard Con bonus), but I also prefer keeping the option of the +Wis/-Cha open for those who prefer that stat array.

    Scarab Sages

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    Secret Wizard wrote:
    What the hell is a Spider Goblin

    Ooh, Spider-Eye Goblins.

    They could be Golarion-ed up by having some Chitterwoods tribe of goblins recovering from a demoralizing near-annihilation by renewing their vows to the Mother of Monsters, and her 'blessing' them with offspring that combine the traits of the local giant spiders with their own goblin blood...

    Other (perhaps more setting neutral) variants could make things interesting. Goblins that have grown up in a region where the borders between the material plane and the plane of shadow might have coal-black skin, better than average stealth and darkvision, and stronger than normal light vulnerability / light blindness, as well as the ability to snuff small light sources (darkness effect only usable to negate cantrip level light effects, or snuff torches, lanterns, sunrods, etc.). A Bugbear breed specializing in hunting fey might have some supernatural ability to resist fey magic and pass through woodlands as if it was a 4th level druid.

    Scarab Sages

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    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
    I blame Cosmo (and Set) for wanting to make "Your Cthulhu Mythos deities so fat" jokes.

    There's a thread for that.

    Two, actually.

    Only on Paizo...

    Obviously, it's all Cosmo's fault.

    Scarab Sages

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    Rysky wrote:
    Azathoth used to have an Intelligence Score. Then he had a meeting with Cosmo.

    Azathoth is the blind idiot god at the center of the universe, so vast that other gods orbit around him like planets.

    Azathoth orbits around Cosmo.

    Scarab Sages

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    He doesn't have to train the cats, if all the cats in the world (and possibly several other worlds) are all single neural cells in the vast evil hive mind named Cosmo.

    Scarab Sages

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    Spider-Man and Daredevil (and Spider-Girl/Anya and Nightcrawler and Timber Wolf and Nightwing and Jolt) are favorites of mine for the same reason, all are (in some cases, superhumanly) acrobatic fighters who are all over the place, very dynamic and kinetic. I love that sort of character.

    Of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, Nikki, in addition to keen senses and resistance/immunity to some energy effects, was a super-acrobatic fighter and sharpshooter. She'd be cool to see, on screen, doing Spider-Man / Nightcrawler-like fighting moves (and perhaps shrugging off blaster fire, while remaining vulnerable to knives and fists and bullets, and still having good reason to keep moving and dodging and flipping through fights).

    Scarab Sages

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    Randarak wrote:
    ...and Friday is only a 5 hour day.

    What perfidy is this? Cosmo has somehow stolen 19 hours from Friday!?

    Madness! He must be stopped!


    Or, possibly, propitiated...

    Scarab Sages

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    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
    So I bent down and picked her up, only to discover she is the newest incarnation of Graviton; she increased her gravitational attraction by at least an order of magnitude, wrenching my back.

    Clearly the cat was Jormungandr, which means Cosmo is Utgard-Loki!

    Or, at least, we've discovered one of Cosmo's 66 secret names...

    Scarab Sages

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    LazarX wrote:
    Robert Forward is about as "Hard Sci-Fi" as you can get, as all his books are based on tech that you can extrapolate from known science. And he's a real scientist who knows his stuff. However unless your the type that likes geeking out on hardware, his books have some of the least flavorful and shallowest characters you'll find in the genre, and will bore you to tears.

    So, so terribly dull. Old 'classic' sci-fi like Larry Niven or Greg Bear would sometimes delve a little bit into science-talk, but Forward will spend five pages on a mathy science lesson, complete with fomula. Ugh. Give me Trek-no-babble any day!

    The science (magic, historical accuracy, cultural details, fetishistic technical descriptions of guns, violence or medicine, whatever) should serve the story, not the other way around.

    Scarab Sages

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    Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

    But we want to know if you want to see support for:

    • Gunslinger
    • Samauri/Ninja
    • All ACG classes

    I recently noodled around with the idea of using the ninja as a chassis to build a Kellid witch-hunter sort of character, and it might be neat to see other sorts of non-faux-Asian uses of the ninja (or samurai). Using the ninja to represent a faux-Persian Hashashin (disappear in a cloud of hashish smoke!), or some other form of supernaturally stealthy assassin, could be funky, and the samurai reflavored to be a Mameluke could be a different way to open up that class to a different culture.

    The ninja's ki being reflavored to be a pool of magical energy (for a witch or sorcerer-themed 'magic assassin') or psychic energy, could be a neat way to radically change the 'ninja,' eliminating the Asian weapon choices with something more appropriate to whatever culture it represents (Persian/Qadiran, Osirioni/Egyptian (throwing scarabs instead of shuriken, with 'switchblade' sharpened 'wings' popping out of the harmless jewelry-looking item?), Mwangi/African, Ulfen/Viking/Celtic, etc.)

    Gunslinger variants that work based off of the bow, sling, crossbow, or even thrown weapons (such as shuriken, darts, daggers, etc.) seem like an obvious way to go. One based off of melee weapons, similar to how the swashbuckler uses panache instead of grit, like a PF version of the old Kensai kit / PrC from AD&D, could be an interesting tweak.

    A Magus variant that can fight and use spell combat while holding a pair of daggers, or a staff (traditional wizard weapons). Instead of being a 'fighter / magic-user,' it's more of a magic-user who uses their magic to enhance their wizardly fighting options, and not an armored dude with a sword that has a few spells. Perhaps even a ranged 'dagger magus' variant-on-the-variant, or a wider range of potential 'ranged magi' using darts, thrown weapons, crossbows, etc.

    Edit: Ah, *racial* archetypes. My bad!

    Certainly, the idea of how to integrate the culturally specific samurai and ninja into races like the elf and dwarf, as well as more exotic races, without falling back on the 'Japanese elves' notion, could be one way to go. A non-Asian samurai archetype based on dwarven clan loyalties, or a non-Asian gnomish 'ninja' that taps into their innate fey magic to enhance their stealth / etc. (magical 'ki') could be avenues to explore.

    Using magus to explore races that have both magical and martial traditions, dedicated to specific racial weapons, such as an 'elven curve blade magus' or 'elven bow magus,' or using the gunslinger / swashbuckler mechanic to showcase racial-weapon-focused dwarven waraxe fighters or half-orc falchion masters or halfling sling-specialists could be another way to go.

    Scarab Sages

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    One difference between vampires and predatory animals is that animals have to kill to survive. There's no way for a lion to bite a meal off of a gazelle without killing it. A vampire, even in systems where they have some sort of mechanical penalty for not feeding, can choose to feed from animals, or feed so lightly from charmed / dominated / friendly humans that they can recover blood lost overnight. They don't *have* to kill. (Same with ghouls, who explicitly prefer long-dead flesh, and aren't motivated by their 'biology' or 'necrology' or whatever to kill.)

    What makes so many vampires, ghouls, etc., unlike tigers, evil, is that, despite not having to kill to feed (and quite possibly not having to feed at all, just wanting to), is that they *choose* to kill.

    Scarab Sages

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    Ventnor wrote:
    Dual Klars.

    A Shoanti dual Klar style would be so much cooler (and so much *less* of an 'exploit' than) that Thunder & Fang feat that lets you dual wield an Earthbreaker and Klar.

    That said, I'd totally approve of a Shield & Spear style. Allowing someone to one-hand a spear or even longspear, and equip a shield in the other hand, would simulate several real world fighting armies (like the Romans), and be less mechanically 'optimal' than being able to one-hand an Earthbreaker, which, both visually and mechanically, seems a bit over the top.

    Scarab Sages

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    Dragon78 wrote:
    -Textile Telekinesis-use highest mental stat for str score.

    I suspect you meant tactile telekinesis, although being able to supernaturally manipulate cloth and clothing could also be funky. :)

    "Ooh, my boots just tripped me. And now I'm all tangled up in my undergarments, which apparently now have not only Improved Grab, but also Constriction. I thought my war dog was safe, being naked and all, but the dude's turban / sash thingie just unwrapped and is attacking like a giant cloth snake!"

    Scarab Sages

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    Kaiju mantis shrimp 'swim' through space and use their stellar-heat-igniting 'death punch' to turn planetoids into brief-lived stars, whose flare of light attract other kaiju mantis shrimps to mate.

    If one lands on an inhabited planet of larger size, the resultant firestorm is rarely large enough to destroy more than a small kingdom, but that's still pretty catastrophic for the inhabitants of said kingdom...

    Scarab Sages

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    captain yesterday wrote:

    who says the "Heroes" were good:)

    evil PCs that "save the day" and knock off their major competitors could step into said power vacuum and really clean house;)

    Yeah, many APs are perfect for evil parties. 'Ooh, we stopped the evil whatever, and now we get to take over his castle / city / nation!'

    Scarab Sages

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    Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East is a good read, and nicely combines elements of magical fantasy and post-tech-apocalypse sci-fi (including the most mind-blowing 'demons' ever).

    Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, Isle of the Dead and Creatures of Light & Darkness and probably the Amber books (which I don't remember all that well) also combine the spiritual / mystical and technology (more mental development and psi than magic, but far from a Babylon 5 or 'psionics' sort of feel).

    Andre Norton's Witch World and C.S. Friedman's When True Night Falls are post-tech-apocalyptic magic settings (as are the works of Linda Bushyager and Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders of Pern books), but none of them really have much tech at all.

    Scarab Sages

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    DM Under The Bridge wrote:
    A golarion bodyguard, for sure.

    Also fits thematically with the notion of 'shieldmaidens' who provide a defensive barricade for Vikings, or front line fighters in phalanx style formations, where the person in front shield-blocks, while the second rank goes on the offensive with a reach weapon.

    Scarab Sages

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    FormerFiend wrote:
    Personally I've got a homebrewed Couatl empyreal lord for some Arcadian-themed adventures.

    Ooh, a Couatl Empyreal sounds very cool. A bit of Quetzalcoutl/Kukulkan, perhaps.

    Scarab Sages

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    I see adventures as about as relevant to the financial structure of the setting as celebrities and professional athletes and pop stars and pundits with their own talk / radio shows are to our own financial structure. They exist (in relatively small numbers, compared to the general population). They consume conspicuously and spend vast amounts of money on stuff that the rest of us kind of boggle at (Diamond encrusted tooth grills? Pretty much as relevant as a metamagic rod, to those of us who have no use for either, and more important things to spend our much smaller amounts of money upon.).

    Right where they are concentrated, there would be cottage industries to support them (craftsmen specializing in pumping out magic items that nobody who isn't an adventurer, or ruler of an entire nation, could possibly afford, for instance), and these would exist at (and for) the convenience of the adventuring community, just as plastic surgeons and agents / managers and high priced companions and personal chefs / trainers all exist to sell overpriced services to the celebrities and athletes and other greatly overpaid people of our world, sucking away (some of) their money and returning it to the economy.

    Scarab Sages

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    Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
    He said that in true science fiction, the story was at least in some way about how the technology changed things. Not as a MacGuffin or substitute for a threat that could just as easily be a dragon or soldier, but how society, characters, or conflict is fundamentally changed by new technologies. The fiction is at least in big part *about* the science.

    Some of my favorite sci-fi deals with how society and people (and sometimes the very definition of what is 'people') have changed. Cyberpunk, for example, often delved into how technology changed society, and futurist/transhumanist authors like Greg Egan and Peter Hamilton tend to dive right into that well.

    Well-thought-out fantasy worlds go the same way. Eberron, for instance, dealt pretty strongly with how the presence of magic and other races changed the world / setting. Instead of it being 'fantasy Europe + all sorts of other stuff that changes nothing,' the presence of magic and other races shaped the entire setting in many ways. Other fantasy settings (and comic book settings, often) are more likely to shove other races off into their own little ghetto nations where humans don't want to live anyway and have humanity develop more or less unchanged in any significant way despite the presence of elves, magic and dragons.

    Scarab Sages

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    Mikaze wrote:
    "Heavy is the crown of the god-king/queen. The flail and scepter are pretty hefty too..."

    [tangent] Perhaps because of the Crown/Orb/Scepter of Might from 1st edition, I always wanted to see non-Western versions of the 'regalia,' such as a Sword/Jewel/Mirror for a Japanese set. An Egyptian set is harder, 'though, because there's the Crown/Uraeus/Mask, the Was/Scepter, the Ankh, the Flail, the Scarab and the Spear. Nailing it down to just three (Scepter/Flail/Crown?) becomes an issue, because some of them, like the ankh and scarab, are also pretty iconic. Coming up with thematic powers also becomes a thing. The ankh is life, the uraeus / crown is rulership and wisdom, the flail represents agriculture, the was/scepter measurement (determining value) and architecture, etc. [/tangent]

    More explicitly Osirioni/Vudrani/Qadiri/Mwangi/Tien/Kellid/Ulfen/Varisian/Arcadian Empyreals could be pretty neat, dragging myself kicking and screaming back to topicality.

    'Demihuman' (elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling) Empyreals, or even odder fare (such as a Tengu Empyreal or an Android Empyreal) also.

    In the vein of the 'make your own archfiend' thread, perhaps we could come up with some new Empyreal options.

    Scarab Sages

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    Orthos wrote:

    Pretty much seconding everything already said. That and the Vishkanya replace Yuan-Ti Purebloods the same way Serpentfolk replace the more exotic Yuan-Ti variants.

    On that note, something for Serpentfolk would be cool. Doubly so if there can be a version of them balanced better for PC playability.

    Ooh, yes! I do miss the Freeport setting with it's much more 'PC friendly' Serpentfolk.

    Scarab Sages

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    Android, Changeling (related to other Hag types?)

    Samsarans are a gold mine of potential for people wanting to play a gender-swapped or race-bent character (someone who reincarnated into a very different body when they were born Samsaran, ranging from Jadzia Dax shenanigans to full-on Sinclair-becomes-Minbari).

    Vishkanya, Suli and Tengu could definitely use some fleshing out.

    Guidelines to make playable versions of less-'PC friendly' races like Derro, Dark Folk, Centaurs, Ogrekin and Mites could be neat, as part of an exploration of one of those races.

    Scarab Sages

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    Kerney wrote:
    Good, because all this Pro House Thrune sentiment is really, really creepy.

    Considering that we have people fighting tooth and nail to turn neutral nations like Druma, Hermea and Rahadoum into evil nations, I actually *prefer* that we have an actual evil nation or two to point at and say, 'We don't *have* to distort every other nation into evil, we've already got some that *are* evil already!'

    It's like singing this with complete sincerity and saying "look at those really cool uniforms".

    'If you like something I don't, you're just like Hitler!'

    I've always loved that argument, particularly back in the 80's when it was 'D&D has magic and monsters in it, so playing it is exactly like devil-worship!'

    Scarab Sages

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    Kthulhu wrote:

    I vote for Forgotten Realms be one of the setting that is destroyed.
    Bonus points if Elminster dies in full view of the PC. Graphically.
    Even more bonus points if the PCs get to help.

    Oh, the Realms aren't that bad. (Plus WotC already blew them up for you! Crisis on Infinite Spellplagues, wasn't it?)

    Just have Elminster be an 8th level Divination specialist Wizard, with a truly terrifying collection of commissioned erotica depicting him and various goddesses and notable female rulers (none of whom he's ever met, or have ever heard of him), and run with it.

    Like pretty much every setting, you pick and choose what you like, and ignore the rest, and, it being such a big setting, there's a lot of stuff there to like.

    It's not like they've got spacefaring xenophobic penguin furries, or an entire nation of tortles, or... kender.

    Ugh. I just remembered gully dwarves. My soul needs a shower.

    Scarab Sages

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    David Neilson wrote:
    Oh of course, restrictions are not prohibitions. I am just wondering what the nature and severity of the barrier between the two is. I am assuming at the least a Kalistocrat is restricted to other Kalistocrats as partners.


    Since the exact nature of the 'dietary and sexual prohibitions' wasn't spelled out, when I played one (and kind of needed some specifics for role-playing), I based it around money.

    A Kalistocrat wouldn't eat the flesh of an animal that would be more productively kept alive (a source of ongoing product, such as a hen or milk cow or sheep, up until their productivity slows down, at which point it becomes more efficient to slaughter them and make space for a younger faster-laying / more milk or wool producing animal). Eating extravagantly is a way of showing off wealth and practically a requirement for a Kalistocrat looking to gain / maintain status. Eating to excess, on the other hand, is considered wasteful / sinful. Similarly, a Kalistocrat would only engage in reproductive sex with their assigned partner, and only engage in *non* reproductive sex with anyone else (since rules of inheritance, and struggles over same, are big, big deals in the Kalistocracy, so everyone is very careful to only have a very small group of designated heirs, and as few 'bastards' as possible).

    I mainly picked that fantasy stuff because I didn't want to go with a set of prohibitions based on any real world religion, such as Judaism, Islam or LDS.

    All I'm really are seeing here, so far, is that blackberry wine is on the approved list, and that sex with one's mercenary league employees is kept on the down low.

    Scarab Sages

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    Steve Geddes wrote:
    FWIW, The question of which settings I'd rather have converted to pathfinder (which I answered) has a different answer than the question of which settings I'd like to visit in an AP.

    That's also true. No setting is monolithic. An AP visit is likely to only explore a single smallish area of a setting, so it's not like an adventure set in the Scarlet Brotherhood is really touching on the other 95% of the Greyhawk setting, or would be anything like one set in Hepmonaland, or the lands of the Frost Barbarians, or the Lenore Isles.

    For AP visits, smaller city-states or whatever would be the way to go.

    the city in Ghostwalk (Manifest?)
    other big cities like Sigil, Waterdeep, Greyhawk, Ptolus, Axis or the City of Brass

    maybe a visit to a more regionally themed area, like can be found in Naranjan, Hamunaptra or Al-Qadim, that often share a similar tone across an area, just to stop it from being a smorgasboard of big cities, which, no matter how different they are, would get stale.

    Scarab Sages

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    Alexander Augunas wrote:

    To play devil's advocate, maybe images like some of the more graphic ones in that thread shouldn't be portrayed in Pathfinder's art at all? [SNIP]

    While I think our culture is definitely too squeamish when it comes to romance (and everything it entails), I also think we rely too much on violence to sell things.[SNIP]

    Certainly some valid things to think about. I kind of like the various 'bad things happen to Iconics' pictures demonstrating various traps and spells and (most commonly) monsters, but we do place a higher priority on pictures that include 'action,' so that one is more likely to see an illustration of the Whirlwind Attack feat or the chain lightning spell than one of the Heighten Spell feat or mage armor spell (does anybody know if metamagic-ing a spell has a visual effect? I sure don't. Does the casting of (invisible once created) mage armor, or many other spells with no noted visible effects, such as locate object or owl's wisdom, create any visible effects? Also, a mystery, perhaps best left to the hands of the GM.).

    A step between your own thoughts on images of non-action 'events' like romance (or other interactions), even some illustrations of not-so-action-y skill uses like Diplomacy and Heal and Handle Animal and Craft could show off some Iconics (or less Iconic NPCs) doing stuff other than get blown up / eaten / fighting / jumping / flying backwards through the air while backflipping with knives (Merisiel's favorite thing to be doing, apparently...). :)

    I'm personally a fan of pictures that include multiple people doing stuff in the same picture (like on the cover of most APs). D&D/PF has always been a game about a *team* of people doing stuff, and I'd like to see more pictures of multiple people working together, perhaps with one setting up another, or blocking an attack coming at another, or casting a spell to buff/enhance another, etc. There's a ton of solo pictures, and this has never been a solo game. Some of the Eberron books and modules had some cool WAR-drawn pictures of entire parties of adventurers, and that, to me, feels more like what the game is about.

    Not just multiple people having their own individual fights in the same general vicinity, but actual interactions and teamwork, would be a plus, for me.

    Scarab Sages

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    Masterwork studded leather armor has no armor check penalty, and is a relatively cheap (175 gp for size medium MW studded leather, 200 gp for size Large MW studded leather) +3 to AC for your companion.

    A Large ape with a Large greatsword is going to deal out some hurt.

    In the Golarion setting, where there's a city-state filled with armored and weapon-wielding evil apes, it's not even something far-fetched or implausible!

    Scarab Sages

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    Mark Hoover wrote:
    This topic is SO ripe for plot hooks I can't stand it.

    It can also get 'meta' pretty fast. Note that, in comics, in fantasy art and novels, etc. it's almost always the ugliest person who turns out to be the traitor. Someone has scars on their face from a childhood illness? That's the person that's going to betray the Knights of Solomnia.

    While there are plenty of beautiful-but-evil folk on the other side of the coin, age, fat, scarring, etc. are all warning signs that a character is going to be evil, as if we still carry the dark ages around with us, and sickness or infirmity is a sign that somebody did something morally wrong and is being punished for it (or is possessed by evil, or something).

    Given that, in many fantasy worlds, 'ugliness' is often a stone-cold-fact association with evil (Scarification, piercings and body art? Kuthite! Or maybe Drow Pain Taster, but still not good!), and deformed people are associated with Lamashtu worshippers (kill the freak before it kills us!), it's entirely possible that people would seek to either 'kill alla uglees' or try to 'redeem' them by transforming them into more aesthetically pleasing sorts, since they've gone to the shallow end of associating physical appearance with moral values, and so it would make 'logical' sense to them that making an ugly evil thing into a beautiful thing would cause it to become less evil and more good.

    And so, a (horribly misguided?) group, perhaps even a heretical splinter sect of a Shelynite church?, might be found to be kidnapping people who are deformed or unattractive and using surgery and magic to 'fix them' into prettier people, under the muddle-headed notion that they are fighting the influence of evil, such as Lamashtu, by cutting away deformities and alchemically 'blending' blotchy skin and pulling crooked snaggle-teeth and replacing them with aesthetically positioned and colored ivory replacements. Weak chin? Clearly a sign of moral weakness, perhaps a lack of courage. Just make a few slits and place some 'lifts' under there against the bone to 'fill it out.' Milky or lazy eye? Just pop that sucker out and we'll replace it with this flawless stone replica.

    As long as ugly or fat or deformed or venerable or mentally ill people are associated with 'evil' or moral failing (even if it's just as simple as 'fat people are lazy') by various setting elements (Lamashtu, Zon-Kuthon, Great Old Ones cults, etc.), then it totally makes sense that their would be factions within the setting attempting to 'fight the spread of evil' by finding ways to eliminate or 'beautify' these people.

    Scarab Sages

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    Mikaze - sad wrote:


    My state just had to be the one to break the combo. :(

    Judge What-His-Name wrote:
    “This court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest ... whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others ... in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents,”

    So, *clearly*, the next step is to prevent people from divorcing if they have children, or marrying a non-bio-parent if they already have children, and to prevent any sort of adoption whatsoever, and to force couples that are not fertile together to divorce and marry only persons with whom they are fertile and to prevent marriage licenses from being issues to hot young fertile people and creaky old rich folk beyond their reproductive years.

    'Cause if you don't do *all* of this, all that remains of this argument is the part you were too much of a chicken**** to say out loud, 'gay people are icky and shouldn't be allowed to marry the people they love or help raise some of the abandoned children that irresponsible folk keep discarding like so much rubbish.'

    Scarab Sages

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    thejeff wrote:
    While there certainly are a lot children's fantasy adventures with children as the heroes, dating well back before RPGs, those adventures tend to have a lot less slaughter than the average D&D/PF game. I think that make a difference.

    The thing with Iconics is that there's an entire thread devoted to which among them get devoured, impaled, blown up, trapped, drowned, etc. the most.

    A child Iconic being subjected to some of the terrible body horror deaths that Valeros, etc. get subjected to might be a little off-putting.

    Certainly the art orders could simply not request the child Iconic in various 'Monsters Revisited' death scenes, but that in itself might beg the question of whether the child Iconic was a suitable 'Iconic' if there's a built in limitation on how it can be used, compared to the other Iconics...

    Even if it is something easily work-around-able, I can see Paizo not wanting to open that can of worms.

    Scarab Sages

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    Note to self; learn to write shorter character bios and write-ups for Weal & Woe articles. I just now decided that I wanted to see what an Osirioni (Garundi) priest of Pharasma looked like, art wise.

    I think I'd like Pharasma 100% more if her clerics were all faux-Egyptian!

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