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Set's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13,852 posts (17,928 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.

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Scarab Sages

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John Kretzer wrote:
I Blame Cosmo for people not being more impressed by my crossover posts between this thread and the Praise Sara Marie thread.

Meh. Crossovers are so '70s.

Wake me up for the big summer event post that crosses into a dozen threads, 'changes everything!', kills a few posters and is available with foil variant covers.

Scarab Sages

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ElderNightmare wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

The war gods are brothers, are ostensibly at odds with one another, but at times their clergies appear almost affable. A lot of their mythology gives them a sort of Loki-Thor relationship.

Reminds me the Hextor/Heironeous relationship from greyhawk.

The Scarred Lands setting had a few like this as well.

The NG goddess of healing, the sun, compassion, etc. was sister to the NE goddess of the moon, darkness, madness, trickery and death, and while their clergies fought like crazy, they had stood against the Titans together, and seen two of the Titan sisters tearing each other apart during the final battle, and their eyes met over the battlefield and they each withdrew, agreeing silently that however their story ended, it wouldn't end like that...

They even had a syncretic church together, in the northern lands, despite being utterly at odds on most individual tenets.

The warring gods of the dwarves and the dark elves in that setting were also former best friends, and shared certain aspects, so much so that they could almost be seen as two halves of a single god (or differing aspects of the chivalrous forge-god, dragged by circumstance in opposing directions).

Scarab Sages

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Wanda's original hex bolts were plenty powerful, able to shut down anyone with equipment as easily as making stuff jam or break or misfire (up to and including Ultron and Iron Man). Even without equipment, it's as easy as waving her hands to make a car swerve out of control and hit you, or a street weakened by superhero battling collapse under your weight and deposit you in front of an oncoming subway train, or, with absolutely nothing anywhere that could go wrong, not even 'blue ice' or a freak meteorite strike, she could just give you a stroke...

But with this 'No More X' power, which seemed to be utterly effortless when she was doing it, there's no in-story reason at all that she doesn't wave her hand and say 'No More War' or 'No More Cancer' or 'No More Hunger' or 'No More Racism' or 'No More Alien Invasions' or 'No More Incursions.' Obviously, out of story, her actually using this sort of power (that she never had before, and never needed except to serve as a storytelling device, and duplicate something that the High Evolutionary had already done a decade before) to do anything *useful* would be a storytelling nightmare, so she not only had to be given a massive powerup out of the blue, but then written as too crazystupid to actually use it (and for it to not actually work for more than a couple of days on any mutant who had appeared in an X-movie and would be recognized, just the thousands of off-camera mutants nobody cared about anyway).

I would love for Children's Crusade (which had her lose this level of power, only for Rick Remender to put it back without explanation six months later, for no reason at all) to remain canon, and for her to go back to just pointing at people and making improbably bad luck smack them down. That was a crazy powerful power *she already had.*

This plot device / Wanda Ex Machina / wimmen-can't-handle-cosmic-power business needs to die in a fire.

Scarab Sages

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Gosh, one little fat-finger, and I'm talking about Herpes of the Wild...

Somehow this is Cosmo's fault, for putting the 'p' key right next to the 'o' key.

Scarab Sages

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
I don't have the answer to these questions. I included the sword into the illustration without an answer in mind in the hope of stimulating the imagination of the viewer.

Very cool!

Pet theory;

The sword is both intelligent and has an ego beyond compare, relating tales at length about all of *it's* magnificent and legendary deeds, and kind of ignoring the name of whatever schlub was holding it at the time.

Valeros, particularly when he's got a pint in him, find this sort of 'creative storytelling' amusing, since he knows darn well who the hero of his story is.

Alain, on the other hand, shares credit with *no one,* and there's few things in this world he appreciates less than listening to tales of *someone elses* glorious deeds.

He couldn't off-load that thing fast enough...

Scarab Sages

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Rynjin wrote:

Never played the older editions. Kinda glad I didn't because most of these rules sound annoying at best, and always have to me.

However, I always thought the idea of the Fireball spell having a VOLUME rather than simply being a fixed radius sphere was interesting. Probably a pain in the ass to calculate sometimes, but opens up some interesting options (and hazards) for use.

Being able to bounce lightning bolts and hit an enemy twice with the same bolt was rare, but great fun when it happened.

Less fun when it happened to you, obviously!

And gosh, I sure don't miss all the silly rules about subduing dragons and making them your gumby.

Scarab Sages

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34. Spells took time to cast, and could be interrupted by someone with the right initiative roll / a fast weapon.

Scarab Sages

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I'd say no for griffons (bird head, not cat head), but yes for catfolk.

And, just to contradict my rationale for griffons, I'd also say yes for sphinxes, but that it's a closely guarded secret, as the prideful creatures refuse to admit to a non-sphinx that they like to roll around in the stuff and get silly wasted. (Their maftet allies smuggle them the occasional dose, politely agreeing that their sphinx benefactor merely wants to 'destroy the foul poison' or whatnot, and not spend a day blissed out and batting at tumbleweeds.)

Various big cats flipping out on catnip.

Scarab Sages

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Arnwyn wrote:
When Gonzalez is blabbing away to Bobbi about how Skye nearly killed 7 Shield agents and she points out that they tried to shoot her first, he starts blabbing on about doing so because she's "dangerous" was a conversation mired in lunacy. Running away is "dangerous"? Running away from a surprise incursion by military-spec'd strangers? Uh huh.

If these shows weren't shot so far in advance, I'd suspect that this was ripped right from the headlines.

'The unarmed person running away from me made me fear for my life, your honor! I had to shoot her in the back for my peace of mind!'

I do kind of think that agent shoots-first (who I remember as Charlie Francis from Fringe, more than this show, so far) might be Hydra. There's incompetent, and then there's enemy action, and he's already beaten his quota of 'mistakes that just happen to work against our goals.'

Gonzalez, on the other hand, just seems to be that old trope, 'old fogey leader who always makes the *exact* wrong choice, so that the young pretty subordinates have to heroically buck authority to do the right thing.'

Scarab Sages

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Prophet of Doom wrote:
Set, if you want to split hairs, the Bandu Bekyar according to the Sargava: the Lost Colony, do human sacrifices, which is not technically cannibalism, maybe you have some other source.

They worship a few demon lords, IIRC, including Angazahn (sp?) and Zura, one of whom encourages cannibalism (or, more specifically, eating of humans, since many of his worshippers aren't human, and so it wouldn't be 'cannibalism' for them to 'feast on men like livestock') and the other of which is explicitly the demon lord *of* cannibalism (and vampirism).

So, even if they don't have long pig on the menu for casual dining, it seems likely that many of them practice cannibalism during religious observances.

Anywho, tangent. I wasn't aware of any significant cannibalistic tendencies among south/central American societies, nor do I feel like it's a particularly interesting vein to tap in developing Golarion analogues to same (since it's something already covered in the Mwangi expanse, to an extent, and the fantasy setting is *hardly* lacking for critters, some of them humanoid, that want to eat humans anyway...). :)

What might be interesting would be for the sort of methodical mass sacrifices suggested by sites like Tenochtitlan have an actual purpose in analogous Golarion cultures, such as to fuel incredibly powerful magical workings, or to propitiate the Great Old Ones (and perhaps be, unknown to people on the other side of Golarion, protecting the whole planet from the baleful attentions of figures like Azathoth! Horrified 'civilized' visitors from Taldor might attempt to 'stop this savage atrocity' only to find out that they've disrupted rituals meant to keep certain slumbering Things sated and asleep, causing them to awaken and go all apocalyptic-y). And now I've just spoiled someone for Cabin in the Woods. :)

Scarab Sages

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Aasimars are overpowered, not the other way around, IMO. And the extra heritages, particularly in a setting that was explicitly trying to avoid the Greyhawk/Realms-ish trend of 'an elf for everything', just made things worse.

Most of the other PC races end up around a +2. It might be, like humans, half elves and half orcs, a single +2, or like dwarves, elves, halflings, tieflings, catfolk, dhampir, fetchlings, nagaji, wayangs, etc. a +2/+2/-2, but it still ends up with +2 when the math is done.

Races that break away from that, like aasimar, (original) suli and hobgoblins, tend to be a tad overly good (although they updated suli in the Advanced Race Guide to a more standard +2/+2/-2 format). Races that have less than that, like goblins, kobolds and orcs, tend to be a bit weak, and, in the case of races with multiple negative stats, like orcs, especially, puts, IMO, too much of a limit on their viable class options. (And, to the shock of no one, the 'good races' are usually going to be mechanically superior to the 'evil races' because nothing says 'big damn hero' like being the big bully in the playground, smacking around the little guys.)

Gating off some of the aasimar 'good stuff' (such as resistances or SLAs) behind a heritage feat might put them on a more even footing with races like humans, elves, etc.

Scarab Sages

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Dustin Ashe wrote:
Set wrote:
I feel like it would be a missed opportunity for there not to be some Aztec analogues sacrificing people by the hundreds and thousands to appease the Outer Gods / Great Old Ones.
What if I told you...that accounts of American Indian cannibalism and human sacrifice are either greatly exaggerated or outright fabrications?

I've never even heard of cannibalism, actually.

As for sacrifice, the largest of the six skull racks in Tenochtitlan has been downgraded from having been estimated to hold 136,000 skulls to a paltry 60,000 skulls, but it does sound like the Aztecs still did a fair bit of human sacrifice.

Even if the numbers are downgraded to 'never happened,' it won't have any relevance to a Golarion culture based off of pop culture notions, any more than Godzilla and Ghidrah never existing prevents us from having monster kaiju in the game.

Scarab Sages

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Prophet of Doom wrote:
In the adventures set in Mwangi and Sargava, Paizo has been pretty careful to only very rarely make the native dark skinned humans the villains. Even the cannibals were white guys. I totally get why they are doing that, but it might be a really limiting factor to a plot set in a pre-columbian setting if you don't have any native humans who are bad guys.

I feel like it would be a missed opportunity for there not to be some Aztec analogues sacrificing people by the hundreds and thousands to appease the Outer Gods / Great Old Ones.

As for the Mwangi, there's a whole ethnicity of demon-worshippers and cannibals (the Bekyar), so I'm not too concerned about Paizo tip-toeing around and making non-whites into 'noble savages' and all the bad people lily-white.

Scarab Sages

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kestral287 wrote:
-If an option to use the old-style Summoner exists, and their Variant Multiclassing includes their SLA... we can certainly all hail our Chalords.

If a Conjuration Wizard (or summoning focused cleric, druid or sorcerer) could benefit from the Summoner SLAs (and faster casting time and 10x greater durations!, at the cost of only having one such summon out at a time), that would rock on toast.

Scarab Sages

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Sissyl wrote:



Ha, I remember that one from Murphy's Rules, along with items like the Mace of Sharpness.

Hitdice wrote:
Remember Gygax's description of the khopesh in UA? Where he said it was like a sword with a D (no crossbar) on top, and Egyptian, historically speaking, but totally meant for Druids with all that history, so now it's a Druid weapon? And you were like, "I play D&D all the time, and I have no idea what Gary Gygax is even trying to describe," cause you were only 12 years old ?

For a brief time, my cleric used a Lucerne Hammer, because it had better damage than a Warhammer or Mace. Then UA came out with the handy pictures of polearms and I found out that a 'Lucerne hammer' was not in fact a type of hammer.

I do too, but grognards never accepted the optional UA material to begin with.

Cavalier-Paladin seemed super-OP, at the time (and seemed designed to cause party conflict!). Barbarian wasn't much better (especially with the 'hate and destroy all magic items!' notion!). Thief-Acrobat, on the other hand, dire...

I remember being horked off that the D&D cartoon included an Acrobat, Barbarian and Cavalier, because of the UA push, instead of 'classic' classes like Fighter or Cleric, or even Druid or Monk!

Scarab Sages

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Dragon78 wrote:
I am also excited about the fey heritage stuff but it also saddens me that this the closest to a fey blooded playable race we will ever get.

The Killoren, from 3.5, were pretty flavorrific, IMO. Shouldn't be hard to 'Pathfinderize' them (just add +2 to a stat, perhaps even a different stat, depending on your 'aspect!,' +2 Int (or Wis?) for Ancient, +2 Str for Destroyer, +2 Wis (or Dex?) for Hunter).

Scarab Sages

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Sissyl wrote:

Poster 1: X works because A, B and C (quoted from the rulebook).

Poster 2: No it doesn't. You claimed Y worked in thread Z, and you were wrong then.

Oh, that's a favorite.

"You were wrong once, so everything you say for the rest of your life can (and will) be summarily dismissed!"

Which kind of makes the internet like being married, in that respect...

Scarab Sages

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Aranna wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

It's hard to say how much of that could just be bad writing, like the whole real-SHIELD argument about all the secrecy being bad and wanting more transparency despite being absolutely *more* secretive and *less* transparent than Coulson's SHIELD.

Every single thing they say is pretty much 100% in opposition to every single thing they DO. They are pretty much following the Hydra playbook, for that matter, it's bizarre that Olmos/Gonzalez would think that May, or *anyone,* would believe a word he's saying, since it's just flat out 180 degrees from to what his organization is actually doing.

"I would never shoot someone in the face."
"You literally just shot me in the face."
"But we are completely opposed to that sort of thing, which Coulson does all the time."
"Coulson has never shot me in the face. And you just did. Are you from some sort of Bizarro universe?"

It feels like really inconsistent writing (like Coulson's existence being a 'level seven' secret, that he blabs to every single person they meet in the first season), and not some sort of, 'Ha ha, they were Hydra all along, and half of them didn't know it!'

Scarab Sages

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Who is your personal most favorite villain?

Dr. Doom. He shares a quality with Lex Luthor in that he's *completely* deluded. He's 100% convinced to the bone that he's the hero of his own story, and that if people wouldn't meddle and misunderstand him and his intentions, he could make the world a paradise of enlightenment and advancement. But every time he's got the power to make this sort of thing happen, he goes nuts and blows **** up with it instead (like when he stole the Silver Surfers powers, after regaling the reader with how this power was wasted and could bring water to the deserts and eliminate disease and whatnot, and then, of course, uses it to fly around, blow **** up and ranting like a madman...).

And, unlike Lex Luthor, he's actually cool.

Who is the best all around villain, in terms of competence, success, evilness, and the corruption of all that is good?

Kaizer Soyze. Ballsy display of competence.

But if 'corruption' is a factor, perhaps the villain from Seven, instead. He did what the Joker only dreams of doing, and dragged the hero down to his level and 'proved' that everyone is a monster, in the end.

Who is the monster that induces the most terror in you when you think of meeting him in a dark alley somewhere?

Anything that eats you / replaces you / uses you as a host for it's larval spawn. John Carpenter's Thing, for instance, or, worse, Ridley Scott's Alien. A lifetime of being the apex predator, sampling all the flora and fauna this world has to offer, has left me psychology ill-suited to being something else's appetizer / meat-suit.

In an epic battle of villains, who would come out on top?

Whoever the script calls for to win. Could be Thanos. Could be the Anti-Monitor. Could be Xanatos. Could be Emperor Palpatine.

But it will probably be Miss White, in the Billiard Room, with the Rope.

Most memorable AD&D/D&D/PF villain.

Markessa. You have to fight your way through the innocent people she's turned into monsters, and the occasional innocent person she's surgically altered / brainwashed into thinking they're Markessa herself, before you (maybe...) find the real Markessa...

Deliciously evil.

Scarab Sages

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Joe Hex wrote:
Samy wrote:
That's a good question. I suppose you could click on some of the tags under the posts under "Paizo Blog" to get more articles like that, but for articles whose tags aren't used on that page...I dunno.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll try that. I was embarrassed that I was missing something obvious, but there really isn't anything for browsing old posts. :)

A specific page / tab that gathered all the iconics and their backstories would be kinda convenient. Is there such a thing?


As for non-binary, I kind of wish PF could have poached the Changeling race from Eberron, which lent itself nicely to stories of gender-swapping, or a 'today we choose faces' sort of casual mindset about gender identity / roles / expression.

Samsarans seem pretty well-suited to this sort of character. Remembering being both male and female in past lives may leave a current generation Samsaran giving off confusing signals to more gender-defined folk, as the Samsaran has been a 'manly man' and a 'mom' multiple times, and still carries over traits from these past lives, some of which might seem to conflict with their current physical gender. Meanwhile, this mixture of memories has left them feeling that gender is just an illusion, and their current physical gender is just a temporary blip, no more definitive than what clothes they are wearing today, and not really important, since they'll quite likely be the other gender in their next life. The Samsaran might be the 'Dax,' a pretty young woman who drinks, fights, talks and walks like a swaggering old manly-man and sometimes seems to flat out forget that 'he' is now a young woman.

Scarab Sages

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Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there is an archetype for alchemist that replaces mutagen and/or bombs for new types of homunculi as construct based companions.

Ooh, ever since seeing that Lepidstadt (sp?) section in the Alchemy Manual, I've been itching to see some more homonculous love!

Scarab Sages

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The Midgard campaign setting includes a planar city in a 'Plane of Gears' that is pretty much one giant clockwork. Having at least a portion of Axis be similar to this, a great clockwork district, gears turning thanks to a giant flanged gear being slowly turned by the planar river's current (a waterwheel on the river styx!), could be one way to add some larger-scale clockwork conceptions to the setting.

The fallen starmount in Numeria could then be a section of this gear-city that broke off (perhaps after the death of Aroden?, perhaps as a result of the corrosive effects of the Maelstrom fighting back the encroach of the city of law?, doesn't matter, no PC will ever know anyway...) and ended up 'falling' through the planar strata and 'crashing' into Golarion? Instead of a spaceship, it's a gear the size of a city, with dozens, if not hundreds, of buildings and structures built onto it, tilted 45 degrees and lodged deep into ground like a beyond-colossal shuriken. Any clockwork folk or clockwork technology comes from this location.

To keep it confined to one area, perhaps the clockwork stuff from this city can only be rewound / recharged in the city itself, so that the tech doesn't have much chance of functioning for long beyond a certain radius of the crashed gear-city (and therefore won't have much effect outside of Numeria, being limited to a few uses and then 'expensive paperweight').

Scarab Sages

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Orthos wrote:
other aspects of Necromancy are being greatly played down or even excised, to the point of focusing completely on the negative energy, undead-creating/controlling, cold and blood and death-based portions of the school.

A somewhat more consistent version of a necromancy school that focused on negative energy (which would be a hungering void that devours other forces) would have spells of cold (since cold is the draining of heat from a system), darkness (draining light), dispelling magic and removing curses (draining magical energy), etc. as well as some healing spells, such as remove disease (destroying hostile bacteria, parasitic infestations, tumors, etc.). It might also have some effects that do acid damage, representing not so much a chemical reaction, as pure entropic energy or 'decay' or (a more science-y explanation) through breaking down bonds in matter by draining the energy potential, perhaps tying into the waters of the underworld, if one wants to keep a liquid association to the 'acid' damage.

Creating disease is creating life, and that's all positive energy (although a version of necromancy that's all about life and death would have spells of positive energy as well as negative energy).

I've never gone so far as to actually do this, since every other product digs the hole deeper that necromancy and negative energy aren't anything consistent, just a 'theme' of 'blood and bugs and other icky gross stuff that has literally *nothing* to do with manipulating the forces of life and death.'

Same with products like the 3rd edition D&D Bard splatbook full of sonic and music-themed spells, pigeonholing the Bard more and more into a music-themed character, and further marginalizing anyone who wanted to make a Bard who wasn't entirely based on sound or music. They just kept digging that hole. Thankfully that particular trend (Bard = singer) has been ditched, and PF Bards can be dancers or orators or even comedians.

Perhaps another paradigm shift is needed before necromancers drift away from the 'eeevil NPC only' niche they've been increasingly shoved into.

Scarab Sages

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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
I blame Rysky for not already having a copy of 50 Shades of Graul.

The thought of that made my soul skip a beat.

I blame Cosmo for being the focus of the only thread on these messageboards that can give someone PTSD.

Or Stockholm Syndrome, for that matter.

Scarab Sages

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Tels wrote:


Dishonor on you!
Dishonor on your cow!
Dishonor on your family!

The cow is all like, 'How is this my fault?'

Scarab Sages

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Mythic JMD031 wrote:
I blame Cosmo for the existence of Forum Drama.

Forum Drama isn't too terrible compared to the horror that is Forum Romantic Comedy or Forum Tween Novel Adaptation.

I blame Cosmo for Forum Porn.

Scarab Sages

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Luthorne wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Just curious... What are some souped-up rogue skills people would like to see? Super-acrobatics seems like it could be a good fit.

Not that I'm expecting all of these, but a few I'd like to see would be...

Ability to run up walls and across water with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to move something like half the rogue's speed as a swift action with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.
Ability to trick someone into doing something ala command with Bluff checks, possibly only once per creature per encounter.
Ability to gain a climb speed and climb on ceilings with Climb checks.
Ability to destroy walls, or even weapons and armor with Disable Device checks.
Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
Ability to gain bonuses on attack rolls and damage with appropriate Knowledge checks.
Ability to gain more detailed information on what someone is thinking with Sense Motive checks, ala detect thoughts.
Ability to get an insight or dodge bonus to AC against a single target with Sense Motive checks.
Ability to hit touch AC with a single attack as a standard action with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to steal items from enemies in combat with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to beat scent, blindsense, and other senses with Stealth checks.
Ability to boost the caster level and DCs of magic items with Use Magic Device checks.

I'd definitely like to see a skill-based healer class option, getting more out of the Heal skill than another person (just as the Rogue can get more out of Disable Device and Perception).

Handle Animal, Use Magic Device, Diplomacy, Craft, etc. all have potential for a class built around enhanced skill options.

Some have already been toyed with, from as earlier as 1st edition with a 'Blacksmith' class in Dragon magazine, to as relatively recently as 3rd edition, with the Archivist (which had increased applications for Knowledge skills).

Scarab Sages

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Kvantum wrote:

This thread rocks. It's been needed for years.

But one question for the Paizonians: why is Wayne just a "Contributor"? He needs a better title!

Director of Style*!

*This position comes with no salary or benefits.

Scarab Sages

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It seems that part of the 'problem' with RealSHIELD is that they are run by committee, and Kirk Acevedo's gung-ho 'shoot first, ask questions never' character is a third of that committee, dragging the whole organization into bad decision after bad decision.

That's perhaps a kind of typical message for American media to send, that Coulson's SHIELD is 'the good guys' because they use a top-down dictatorial management system, where one guy, good or bad (but always conveniently the better choice than any group of leaders), has the ball, while RealSHIELD is 'the bad guys' because they are (as Bobbi points out in the flashback on the boat) are trying to get away from 'just following orders' and taking a stab at running things more democratically.

Same story from the Avengers movie. That one director guy makes the right call. The shadowy cabal of leaders on the conference call are, of course, the jerks who want to nuke New York.

(Benign, enlightened) Dictator good. (Backstabbing, muddle-headed and / or useless) Democracy bad.

Scarab Sages

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It's Cosmo's fault somehow that I'm now wondering if a Pugwampi with Plastic Man-like stretching powers (perhaps through some sort of Aberrant bloodline?) extends his bad luck aura into a 20 ft. radius of all squares in which his elongated limbs are reaching...

Scarab Sages

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:

I'd have probably given a female Tengu more jewellery and a kimono rather than a hakama. I'd make her form more slender than the male counterpart too.

I like the idea that Tengu use paint to make distinguishing marks a fascinating concept also. It would be a fun visual to play around with.

Ooh, tengu beak-paint / adornment, perhaps? Same for claws and scaly parts of the limbs? Neat!

And the visual of a tengu lady in a kimono (and perhaps fancy headdress) is awesome.

I love creating creature and culture building art.

IT's much appreciated. I love that even the 'monsters' get neat bits of detail, like the angular weapons and bone fetishes worn by the yeti-looking dudes on the cover of Ultimate Combat.

Scarab Sages

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Krensky wrote:
As for Ollie and stealing Batman's stuff... Well, duh. The Green Arrow was originally just Batman with a different gimmick anyway.

On the one hand, yes. Complete with Arrow Car and Arrow Cave and teen sidekick.

On the other hand, Ollie was a very different sort of character, in later years, being a mish-mash of Errol Flynn and overgrown manchild and unapologetically politically liberal (unlike most superheroes, who are generally pretty unaligned politically, or, in the case of openly conservative heroes, like Guy Gardner or Hawk or U.S. Agent, portrayed as over-the-top cartoonish jerks), so it's kind of a disappointment to see him all grimdark avenger-y, when he should be *fun.* (Indeed, I feel like I've seen more buckle-swashing 'Oliver' in the thirty seconds of Fandral that appeared in the Thor movies...)

On the other, other hand, Bale/Nolan's version of Batman, was just overwrought and tedious and heavy as lead. Amell's Oliver is ten times more compelling a character than Bale's boring Batman.

Scarab Sages

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Usual Suspect wrote:
I've found this debate to be interesting, if ultimately useless. What makes spells that create undead evil? Pharasma does.

A non-good goddess, who indeed thinks the whole idea of moral good is kind of quaint, is powerful enough to arbitrarily determine what is or is not evil that the actual *good* gods kind of have to suck it up and take her word for it.

Meanwhile, the world is *teeming* with creatures sustained and nourished by positive energy, a non-good, non-evil energy source from another dimension entirely (therefore being, by it's very nature, *unnatural*), all of which have to destroy and devour other living creatures to fuel their own unnatural existences on the material plane, which, even if they eat other living creatures 24/7, eventually are aged and withered and burned out by this dimension, as if their existence is *so unnatural* that the world is tearing them apart day by day.

And it also has some undead creatures, sustained and nourished by negative energy, a completely different colored extra-dimensional energy that is *equally* 'unnatural' to the material plane of Golarion, and equally non-moral, neither good nor evil. Undead, unlike living creatures don't always *have* to devour other living creatures to fuel their continued existence, as negative energy appears to be *more natural* to the material world than positive energy, able to sustain itself for centuries, or even millennia, without killing or eating anything. (Some do choose to devour living creatures, which, since they often don't *have to*, makes them eviler than a human or shark or fungus, that *has to* sustain itself on the deaths of other living things, and some undead, in a manner similar to trolls and goblins, on the living side, are filled with an endless unquenchable hunger to do so, but if that doesn't make the goblins and trolls 'unnatural,' then it shouldn't make the ghoul 'unnatural' either.)

But ultimately, it's a tautology. Some things are evil because they are described in-game as mechanically evil. There is no why, only a pool of Nietzchean madness awaits attempting to apply logic to this choice.

Pharasma isn't good. Not even a little bit. She shouldn't get to decide what is evil, based on Urgathoa once having flipped her the bird.

She's not lawful, either, so Urgathoa 'breaking her law' by stepping out of line wasn't even a chaotic act, it was just cheeky.

The game has always had a strange relationship with alignment.

Dwarves and Gnomes, traditionally 'good' races, have race hatred as traits. They loathe some other species with such ravening intensity that they drill every single one of their children in specific tactics to more effectively kill them. Orcs and Gnolls and Hobgoblins, traditionally 'evil' races? Really aren't that into genocide. They might have some flavor text like 'hobgoblins hate elves,' but they don't care enough to actually wake their children up at zero dark thirty and practice killing elves. It's a weak tea sort of 'hate' compared to the race-hate of the good races, which comes with mechanical benefits!

Scarab Sages

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tuypo1 wrote:

that is an odd request indeed

im guessing they wanted to make them seem androgynous or something

I'll admit that I can't really tell boy crows from girl crows, so unless you go the 'let's give girl dragonborn huge jumblies!' route, it's kind of a toss up.

The clothing choices on the Tengu-in-question led me to think male.

'Beaky' as a wizard or sorcerer is an interesting tweak. I probably based my cleric assumption at least partially on tengu statistics (bonus to Wisdom), 'cause I'm a dirty powergamer. :)

New question!

Seoni and Ezren have sorta-similar staves, and when you draw them, they are distinctive (his looks more cobra-head-ish, hers more like a dreamcatcher), but other artists seem to draw them so similarly I sometimes have to go look at the originals to see if they 'got them wrong.' Was the staff-similarity something in the original art order, or did they just sort of both randomly end up with staves that curved at the end like that?

Not a question!

I'd *love* to see your interpretation of some of the more Golarion-specific races, particularly Androids, Vishkanya or Wayangs. Or perhaps some sort of 'rule XXX' gender/race/ethnicity-bent versions of pre-existing characters. (Amiri as a Mwangi, Valeros as Osirioni, Seoni as Changeling or Nagaji, Ezren as an older lady.)

Scarab Sages

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I reflavored a ninja as an 'ulfen hexnail', a witch hunting Ulfen who threw iron nails at people instead of shuriken, and used supernatural gifts to blend in with his surroundings (ninja vanish trick), etc.

He knew nothing about Tien ninja stuff, acting more like a superstitious barbarian.

Scarab Sages

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3. Tall staircase leading down to the royal court, where the princess awaits your introduction. Badly fitted sollerets. Cue Yakety-Sax, much social humiliation, a broken-off engagement, and epic rage.

Yes, it's a paladin falling that came from a paladin falling.

Scarab Sages

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Ooh, I love that Tengu on the cover of the Advanced Race Guide!

Do you have any info on that character?

My speculations from your picture;

a) He's a boy tengu.
b) He's a cleric.
c) He's Tien.
d) His name is Bakiri, but Merisiel calls him 'Beaky,' to his annoyance.

Scarab Sages

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
That honestly wasn't even my point. I was saying just because Christianity didn't consider being black as sinful, what if other religions did?

Where I grew up in Oklahoma, being black was 'proof' that you were descended from Cain and bore his mark. Shunning black people was absolutely the Christian thing to do.

I have no idea where that notion came from, but the town (Grove, Oklahoma) had a 'blue law' on the books that black people couldn't live within the city limits. (An unenforceable law, even back in the 70's and 80's, but still not one that anybody felt a burning need to scrub from the books...) A black family did move into town, and bought the closed down movie theatre and re-opened it.

It burned down. A month later, the barn on their property burned down. They moved away, and a few months after that, the house they'd lived in burned down.

Not *all* of the racism in that part of the country stems from (mis)interpretations of Christian belief, but it's hardly blameless.

Meanwhile, some homeless liberal hippie named Jesus encouraged his followers to treat others the way they want to be treated and stop casting stones at each other. Maybe if a few more 'Christians' were inclined to follow his message...

Scarab Sages

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Although it would be funny if there was a real clairvoyant somewhere. Some old lady, blind and half-senile, sitting in a nursing home, waiting for that 'nice boy' Garrett to come back and ask her about 'the stories' she 'remembers' (i.e. the future, which she sees in visions).

She has no idea that she's precognitive (having some issues with the here and now), and now that Garrett is dead, neither does anyone else.

Scarab Sages

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Sissyl wrote:
How about an air-elemental-tainted insectile tauric koala?

Now I want to see that character...

Scarab Sages

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137ben wrote:
When people refer to observational or factual statements about a game as 'hate'.

Or the variation;

"What are your three favorite things!"
"X, Y and Z."

"No love for M?"

"Why does everyone hate B?"

"I think if you gave G a chance, you'd find it can X and Y almost as good as X or Y!"
<six page digression about whether or not G can X or Y, and under what very specific conditions / house rules / very-specific-thing-that-happened-once-and-is-in-no-way-generally-applicabl e, ensues>

If I list my favorite three settings as Al-Qadim, the Scarred Lands and Kara-Tur (a list that might change tomorrow, without warning!), that *does not* mean that I don't love Greyhawk, Golarion, Hamunaptra, Freeport and / or parts of the Realms, Eberron and Mystara.

It also does *not* mean I was hoping to be edumacated/evangelized about how amazeballs Krynn / Ravenloft / Io's Blood Isles / Kalamar was, and how much my life is poorer for not appreciating their subtle splendor.

Scarab Sages

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Hama wrote:
Well, Ming-Na had a lot of time to get it right.

That is also true. Chloe Bennett was kind of thrown in there, and I sometimes feel that her makeup people don't do her any favors, since her face looked extremely plastic in that Agent 33 scene, as if she was wearing an actual mask, and only her eyes could move.

I did like Ward's comment about being over Skye. "She tried to kill me. I'm not *insane.*"

Yes you are, Grant. Yes, you are.

Scarab Sages

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Thanks for the teapot reply, and the teapot itself. It adds a ton of character to Harsk, and is particularly appropriate since there's already another Iconic (Valeros) with an ale-mug.

Two questions this time;

1) How about that Temple Sword in the Sajan picture. Was that an ordered item, or something you came up with?

It's only thing in the original Iconics that ended up involving new rules content (and, therefore, perhaps being an interesting thing to see on an 'iconic' character).

2) Do Seoni's tattoos (and sash-thingies) spell out anything specific in a (real or made-up) language, or did you just sort of pick some cool-looking squiggles and run with them?

Scarab Sages

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Did the art order for Harsk include mention of the teapot, or was that your own little addition to our iconic dwarven unconventionalist?

Scarab Sages

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The Pathfinder Society reports success in their ongoing war with the rival Aspis Consortium, and that the second-in-command of the Aspis Consortium has been killed.

This is not a repeat from last month, when they killed the previous second-in-command of the Aspis Consortium.

Or any of the seventeen months before that...

Scarab Sages

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At least some evil werewolves are possessed by some sort of demonic wolf-spirits that take over when they 'wolf out.' They can be cured by a ritual exorcism that drags the wolf-demon out of them and forces it to materialize (at which point, it must be killed), or a shamanic variation that sends the victim (or some champions) into the person to fight the spirit as spirits themselves. Stats depended on the level of the victim (saving the king might be harder than saving a bunch of peasants!), but usually some sort of fiendish or half-fiendish wolf, worg or dire wolf or something.

It made the event of attempting to cure infected lycanthropes more 'fighty' than just 'here, have some wolfsbane and maybe you won't die.' (And also played more to the PCs strengths of blowing stuff up.)

(Idea based off of some shamanic 3rd party book that had shamen curing disease or poisons by causing them to manifest as creatures of appropriate CR and then fighting them off in a spirit battle. If the shaman lost, they also contracted the disease / poison!)

Scarab Sages

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wraithstrike wrote:
Alynthar42 wrote:
Thank you, Divinitus. You seem to see what I'm getting at. I'm not talking about the RAW so much as whether the RAW is actually right. I feel like animating a body is no different than animating a mud golem. There's no soul in the body anymore, and it may as well be used to kill some bad guys, rather than just sit there.
Actually if you want to go away from the rules animating golems should be evil in my opinion. It from a non-rules POV is worse than animating undead at times.

Agreed. Creating a golem always explicitly enslaves a spirit.

rules wrote:
The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.
Note this is not voluntary, and is no better than binding the soul of a person to something.

Yup, particularly since undead can be used without a guarantee that they will eventually freak out and attack people, as golems do, and golems always involve the binding and enslaving of elemental spirits, while at least some undead don't necessarily involve any spirit enslavement at all.

Although golems, like most (non templated) undead, don't seem to retain any skills, feats, knowledge, memories, alignment, mental ability scores, class levels, etc. from the 'enslaved spirits,' so it's a bit of a mismatch between the flavor text (enslaved spirits) and the mechanics (no rules mechanics confirming the presence of any sort of spirit within the golem).

If there was an elemental trapped in there and bound to serve, in theory, the golem should have the same Int score, skills, etc. available to it. Even if the elemental spirit is just a bound power source, magic should be able to sense and / or affect that elemental spirit (and the same for a human soul 'trapped' in an undead, or actually said to have *become* an undead. If an Int 16, Cha 9 1st level Wizard becomes a shadow, and another Int 9, Cha 17 5th level Paladin becomes a shadow, both of them shouldn't become identical Int 6 and Cha 15 3 HD creatures with ranks in skills like Fly and Stealth that neither Wizard nor Paladin had ranks in...).

The descriptive text and the mechanics just don't seem to mesh particularly well for either of these creature types (barring templated undead, like ghosts or vampires or liches, which actually *do* marry their flavor text to the rules mechanics).

Some sort of variant golems, with their own four-ish templates, determining the effects of them being fueled by bound elemental spirits of air, earth, fire or water, might be an interesting notion for a more consistent golem write-up. Or just golems that ignore the 'enslaved elemental spirit' flavor text entirely (and perhaps have some other explanation for the berserk chance, or no berserk chance at all?), and use the rules as written, which would be super-easier. :)

Still, that doesn't really address inconsistencies with undead.

Scarab Sages

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Spells that are evil are evil because they are evil.

It's a tautology, not a philosophy.

If you want there to be a reason that it's evil, such that it torments the souls of the people whose bodies are being dug up and used as pack mules, then you can invent that, so long as it's compatible with the game setting (that sort of thing wouldn't fly in a setting with someone like Pharasma, who 'sorts' souls to their final destinations, and is supposed to be unbeatable in that arena, or where souls can be sold to devils, or become petitioners/outsiders/celestials/fiends/possibly gods, etc. and the notion of an animate dead spell uncreating an angel or devil, or 'rescuing' someone from a Hell contract, or 'stealing' someone out of Heaven becomes incompatible with the setting). Certain setting assumptions, such as negative energy and positive energy (and the planes thereof) being non-evil and non-good, respectively, might have to be changed, and that might lead to other logical changes, such as positive energy spells (such as all cure spells) having the [good] descriptor. Evil clerics (and followers of evil gods) will have a *much* harder time of it, and, again, logically, nobody who isn't completely batcrap insane will worship one. But that's not terribly far from the way it already is, as good clerics (and good gods) already hand out better bennies than team evil, making it a harder road to walk, and more of a situation where the followers of the good gods have both the better benefits and, logically, the least self-sacrifice or devotion required to follow the good gods, since it's the obvious better choice, both for in-life gain, and the superior afterlife.

If you don't want those spells to be automatically evil (in that, a specific use could be evil, such as casting fireball at an orphanage, or summoning a lantern archon to light up and burninate a bunch of puppies, but the spell wouldn't have the [evil] descriptor and be evil even if you cast it to rescue a bunch of people from a flood or orc raid or something), then just snap that [evil] descriptor right off and throw it in the ditch, since it flies right in the face of most assumptions about alignment (that it's a *choice* and not something a rock or even non-sapient animal can have), and the 'fluff' of many settings (such as Golarion, with the aforementioned Pharasma).

Scarab Sages

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I blame Cosmo that my GM won't let my 1st level Ranger take Favored Enemy (kaiju).

Scarab Sages

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Update to last Galt article;

Those responsible for executing those who wrongly executed those other people have themselves been executed, as the verdict of guilt on the executioners-to-be-executed was reversed.

Due to this miscarriage of justice, the judge, court and jurors were also found guilty of wrongful execution, and executed.

Further update;

The Final Blade used for all the abovementioned executions has reached a critical threshold of absorbed souls, and animated as an evil daemonic construct that is rampaging across the countryside, whacking off people's heads and bellowing nonsense about 'justice for all.'

Adventurers willing to engage the beast are sought, with the understanding that attacking or damaging or even resisting an instrument of Galtan justice will, naturally, carry the death penalty...

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