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Pathfinder Society Member. 14,313 posts (18,391 including aliases). 1 review. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.

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Scarab Sages

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
It has a sharp edge when they need it to cut but is dull as a rubber ball when they need it to be. Quite useful.

Yeah, that shield's always been selectively useful, bouncing or absorbing force as necessary for the cool stunt of the moment.

When it gets hit by Thor's hammer, it absorbs all impact, so that the dude holding it isn't smashed into jelly by the shield getting rammed halfway into the core of the earth.

When he flings it at a wall, it magically no longer absorbs impact, and instead bounces around like a superball (maybe the front of the shield is vibranium and the edges are made out of Tigger-hide, for extra bouncy, flouncy, trouncy funfunfun?).

When an annoyed Peggy Carter shoots it multiple times in a sealed underground bunker, the bullets lose all velocity and drop harmlessly to the ground (as they would if it absorbed all impact), instead of ricocheting around and killing everyone.

When Iron Man shoots it with a repulsor, it reflects around and shoots people, and when Thor smacks it with his hammer, a massive shockwave flies out from it's surface (or, if he hits it edge on, it flies around and smashes a bunch of robots).

Eh. It's the same in the comics. Remender had Havok shoot it with a plasma blast to boost Cap up into the air a few years back, which would have looked kind of hilarious if the shield actually absorbed impact (as it usually does) since Cap would have just plotzed on the ground, and then said, 'Uh, Havok? Just shoot the bad-guy and he'll fall down to me, 'kay? Don't try anything clever, we all know that's your brother's job.'

Scarab Sages

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The Scarred Lands had a wemic-like race called 'The Proud,' although they are very different stat-wise. It's OGL, 'though, and they fit the bill of being a lion-man 'centaur.'

Scarab Sages

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In addition to tanglefoot bags and thunderstones, and sources of bleed damage (such as bleed arrows) or other continuing damage (such as alchemist's fire, or fireworks that can set someone on fire), there are a few exotic weapons with potential to mess up a spellcaster's day by entangling them, such as lassos (DC 10 + spell level to cast a spell), nets (DC 15 + spell level to cast a spell) and snag nets (DC 17 + spell level to cast a spell), as well as weapons that grapple (such as crank crossbows or grappling hooks).

The net and snag net benefit from also functioning as a ranged touch attack, so even a non-proficient user with a -4 to hit might not be *terrible* at using one.

The net is also pretty handy for slowing down an armored (non spellcasting) troublemaker, or just a very drunk berserker that nobody wants to get near...

Scarab Sages

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
What, he's not the Redneck God of 'Get back in the kitchen', anymore?

That's a fairly selective interpretation. Erastil is the god of *couples* settling down, but that's only 50% to do with women, and also 50% to do with men. He's not a fan of bachelors or adventurers or any of the sort of single shenanigans that Cayden's worshippers get up to, believing that *everyone*, regardless of gender, is better off settling down and contributing to the community, etc. (Erastil might think of Cayden as the patron God of Irresponsible Behavior...)

But, because of that notion, that Erastil was somehow a misogynist for wanting *both* genders to settle down, he's been backed away from that anyway.

Scarab Sages

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Inspiration, mostly.

But also fleshing out of stuff that Paizo has not gotten around to yet.

3rd party can offer a more detailed description of an area, such as using Nyambe for ideas for the Mwangi Expanse, or Mindshadows / Naranjan for Vudra, or Hamunaptra for Osirion, or the Complete Book of Vikings (2nd edition AD&D, not exactly '3rd party') to get a 'feel' for the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

It could be years, or never, before Paizo gets around to fleshing out some of these areas to that degree, and while their versions will undoubtedly be very different, the best ideas from those 3rd party products and temporarily fill in any gaps.

While Paizo can spare a few paragraphs to describe a 'Winter Witch' PrC or Archetype, SGG/RGG can put out a decent sized PDF with multiple ice and cold-themed caster archetypes (and not just witches), and thirty or so ice/cold spells, as well as a new monster template or two, and have it all together in one place, if a GM wants to run a game in Irrisen and go further than just the Winter Witch PrC/Archetype.

Lejendary Games has also run with this notion, of sort of 'plugging in the holes' or further developing niches that the AP of the season might not have room to go into. Whenever I pick up something and think, 'Gosh, I love this, but I wish they went more into X' (where X might be the Azlanti/ioun stone connection or the whacky druids of Zon-Kuthon) I find out soon enough that someone else already has gone more into X (in this case, Kobold Games, both in Sunken Empires and in Deep Magic, or Lejendary Games in Dark Druids).

Scarab Sages

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I've played and run games where "pay twice" feats are free for all characters at level 1.

Power Attack
Piranha Strike
Combat Expertise
Combat Accuracy (-2 damage/+1 to hit)

Are just things any character can do. Just declare at the beginning of your attack you're doing that.

Weapon Finesse and Dex to damage are just weapon properties and always apply to attacks with weapons with the Finesse property.

Back during Pathfinder Beta, I was rabble-rousing for Fighters to get those feats as a class ability at first level (-Atk for +Dam, -Dam for +Atk, -AC for +Atk, -Atk for +AC, etc.), along with the option to make a single attack adding extra damage for each iterative attack sacrificed (what PF introduced as the Vital Strike feat).

A lot of that stuff feels like it should be just basic options available to a Fighter, and then gated off as feats available to other characters (who would otherwise have to settle for more restrictive or less generous options like Charge or Fighting Defensively, to move numbers around between AC and Atk).

While I didn't think of the Finesse option at the time, I definitely agree that it should be a weapon property, and not a feat (or, if retained as a feat, allowing the user to use a weapon that *doesn't* have the Finesse property as if it were a finesse weapon).

Scarab Sages

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Krensky wrote:

Catching up, I had to chuckle at the new Green Arrow intro.

Ollie sound so.. Up beat and chipper compared to the early seasons.

In the latest episode, he actually smiles and laughs during a conversation (about relationship issues) with Diggle, and I had to pause and rewind, because it looked so strange. :)

And then I looked back later and he had his shirt off, for like, no reason at all, and I was like, 'Oh, WB, never change.'

Scarab Sages

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Of my favorites, Desna and Erastil are both pretty laid-back, in different ways, and seem less unpredictable and dangerous than, say, Gozreh or Nethys, who I'm also fond of, and not quite as violently jihadist as Sarenrae can be.

Since I'm not fond of what happens to atheists in Golarion, I'd probably go with Desna. Cayden's also great, but I hate beer. :)

Other than Desna, Calistria's got a pretty happening afterlife going on, although I'm not sure I'd want to be surrounded by fellow worshippers to whom 'petty and vindictive' is an actual tenet of faith.

Scarab Sages

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Irontruth wrote:

They're very, very similar. They often occupy the same space in the pass/fail spectrum, sometimes both are an option, or some systems use one but not the other. Some systems use partial success in one area and success at a cost in another.

Success at a cost - you do the thing you set out to do, but something bad happens also.

Partial success - you achieve part of the thing you set out to do.

It's a subtle difference. But all in all, it's still a piece of gaming tech that I think Pathfinder would benefit from exploring this or similar concepts.

I like the idea, which I've most recently seen in Mutants & Masterminds (although I'm sure it's in tons of games), of grades of success.

Instead of 'it totally works' or 'it totally fails,' such as with a charm person or disintegrate, which either 'wins' or does absolutely nothing and represents a wasted action, things go in stages.

Flesh to Stone only turns someone fully to stone on a great success. Otherwise it causes some surface stone formation that entangles or slows the target for a few rounds. Sleep only puts someone to sleep on a full success, otherwise it makes them drowsy and reduces their speed / initiative / whatever for a short time. Every condition ends up being like shaken / frightened or sickened / nauseated, coming in a couple of stages, so that if you fail to Dominate someone, you might still Daze them for a round or two, and not have completely wasted your action. (Conditions that currently lack a meaningful 'lower grade', such as Blindness, might gain one, like a version of Dazzled that includes the 20% miss chance given to someone benefiting from partial concealment, or the Petrified / slowed or entangled option mentioned above.)

But, until there's some meaningful way for melee classes to inflict minor conditions (without waiting for 10th level and buying into a feat chain that allows them to *maybe* inflict a condition if they happen to Critical, and therefore having no real control of when this happens), it would just be one more cool thing for casters, and therefore probably should be avoided.

That would be something I would like, but counts more as a rule that doesn't exist that I would like, a way for Fighters, etc. to sicken someone by slamming a morningstar into someone's junk, or dazzle/blind someone by opening a bleeding cut over their eye, starting at 1st level, for the weaker conditions, instead of waiting until Critical Focus / Stunning Critical, etc. come online, after PFS gameplay (and possibly the majority of home games?) has already ended anyway.

Scarab Sages

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I vaguely recall that for the first few years, the only notification I got that an article had made it into the issue was when I got the issue and saw my name in the index of articles.

I get that we live in the future now, where everyone is on MyFace or whatever, and gets instantaneous mass feedback from 20,000 'friends' whenever they Tweet their latest thought/meal/thing their cat did, but Wayfinder's a free product, a labor of love. Speaking for myself only, *I* don't need to know whether I got in or not (although the editors have been doing a great job of making contact these last few issues!), and my appreciation for the fanzine or excitement to read it will not be lessened by my name not being in it.

Indeed, if I don't come up with a less deadly dull article than the submission I'm sitting on, this issue might be such a one. :)

Scarab Sages

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Sissyl wrote:

Jedi are control freaks who learn from a very early age to shut out everything that looks like feelings. Every feeling leads to the dark side. Dark side force users (loath to use Sith here) are ruled by their emotions and desires.

Anakin was supposed to bring balance to the force.

And he did. There were two or three Sith, and a hundred or so Jedi. When Anakin was done, there were two or three Sith, and two or three surviving Jedi. Ta da! Balance!

Probably not what Mace Windu was hoping for... :)

Further, he was the ONLY force user around, and it is reasonable to think he would build something which focused on a balanced person as a force user. Of course, if he goes down the dark side route and dies, this has to be further postponed...

It is interesting how Jedi kind of swing to the dark side on occasion in the movies.

In Phantom Menace, there's a fight between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul where they get separated by force fields during the fight, and Qui-Gon plotzes down and starts meditating, because he's all Light Side and focused on controlling his feelings, while Darth Maul is pacing and keeping his fury stoked, because his Dark Side power is centered around anger and rage and he can't afford to 'calm down,' as it will weaken him.

And then Obi-Wan gets into it, and he's totally berserk, and beats Darth Maul down *using his anger* over Qui-Gon's death, so that, even if Darth Maul pretty brutally lost that fight, it was because Obi-Wan totally gave in to the Dark Side. Which might have made him a poor choice to be Anakin's teacher, since he's already seen how surrendering to violent angry emotions can make one a stronger fighter...

I would kind of like if someday the Star Wars / Force notion evolved past the 'X emotions are good / Y emotions are bad' silliness. Hope can be bad, when it results in someone spending their rent money on lottery tickets. Fear can be good, when it results in someone behaving cautiously and *not* getting themselves and others killed through reckless action. Acceptance can be bad, when it leads an oppressed people to stay in an abusive or threatening situation. Anger can be good, when it moves people to take action against something (like, yanno, Hitler) who *needs* to have action taken against it.

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the Dark Side. Maybe sometimes we need a little dark side, and it's not healthy or balanced to shut out perfectly good survival instincts, *or* to totally surrender to them, but better to find a balance between control and passion?

Scarab Sages

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I like the rumor, even if it's not true;

That Luke may have turned to the dark side, and be fated to die in this movie. Though I'm not 100% convinced that 'dark side' automatically means 'evil.' (Just as Jedi didn't always seem to be automatically good guys, it being sort of half-and-half between 'good guy / bad guy' and 'Law vs. Chaos / Vorlon vs. Shadow / authoritarian control-freaks vs. just want to watch the world burn.')

Scarab Sages

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Am I one of the people that actually liked Avatar as a movie (with or without the 3d?). I am hoping Avatar 2 takes 3d into space more though, and gives us an absolutely spectacular 3d space battle!

I was fond of it. But some successful things are super-trendy to dislike (like Linkin Park, which hit some strange critical mass of popularity that made everyone suddenly say they hated them, which I never understood. The same thing happened to Nickelback, which also puzzled me, since I always hated them, and the people who used to try to convince me they were awesome were now telling me how much they sucked...).

Some times I knee-jerkedly don't like what everyone else likes (Avengers 2, blech). Other times I equally perversely like what everyone else dislikes (Brussel sprouts, yum!). It's so hard being a special snowflake these days when everyone else is trying to be a unique non-conformist, too, just like the rest of us. :)

Scarab Sages

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Ventnor wrote:
Inti: The God of the sun in Incan culture. Incan Emperors were said to be his direct descendents. So there could possibly be a Kingdom ruled by a celestial/aasimar royal family?

Or Ifrit. A 'test of royalty' that involved holding one's hand in a flame and 'proving' that one is made of incorruptible matter by withdrawing it unburnt could be a feature (and lead to cheating by using spells or potions of resist fire, and incorrect-but-encouraged-by-the-royals assumptions that 'incorruptible' refers to the supplicants morals, and not merely their racial resistance to fire...).

An aasimar-run society could have a similar test involving withdrawing a golden symbol of rule from a pool of aqua regia, the 'burning water of kings,' which burns anyone who *isn't* a king...

Scarab Sages

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My latest order from Paizo came in, and thanks to Cosmo, it was packaged in those foam peanuts, that, it being cold out, literally *fly* out of the box and in random directions (away from each other, or any attempt to pick them up) thanks to the seasonal static.

Even better, since they all have a charge, when you finally catch one and attempt to throw it into the trash, it clings to your hand, and when you finally shake it free, it leaps away from the trash and back onto the floor!

Cosmo! Why did you fill my living room with evil foam peanuts with enough Rogue levels to have Evasion? Why can you not harness this power (of staticky foam peanut ninja) for good?

On the cruel upside, the look of forlorn misery on the dog, to whom they fly across the room to stick, and refuse to dislodge no matter how she tried, so that she finally just lay down and whined, covered with foam peanuts, was funny.

Scarab Sages

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Really loving the numbers of nonhumans in the various cities.

Aelyosos has the merfolk, sylphs, undines and assorted fey and cyclopes hanging around. Anuli has aasimars, lizardfolk and the new chaos-peeps. Dhucharg is predominately nonhuman (hobgoblin), with some samsarans, elves and oni. Radripal has plenty of vanaras and vishkanyas, as well as some tieflings (likely rakshasa-blooded...) and, of course, rakshasa (and a honey-badger-headed one, at that!). Segada has gnomes, halflings, wyrwoods and skinwalkers. And Ular Kel has a more traditional mix of halflings, elves and gnomes.

While there's religious hints aplenty in Aelyosos, Anuli and Radripal, Segada doesn't seem to have much on Arcadian gods, other than a picture of a priest of Kazutal. There doesn't seem to be a 'temple quarter' in Segada, which may give it's own hints to differences over there, or just indicate that Paizo wasn't entirely ready to pin that down quite yet, and so had this community be less religiously focused, to avoid putting a fence up prematurely and hedging out whatever neat idea shows up later for Arcadian faith(s)...

Looking at that cover, I'm like 'What's wrong with that Rakshasa (Magus?)'s hands?' And then, 'Oh yeah, they have backwards hands. That's kind of their thing...'

Some really neat stuff. Loving the artwork!

Scarab Sages

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lucky7 wrote:
I'm a very details-oriented person, so I inevitably create volumes more than I need. The big thing to realize is that your players won't see a good chunk of it. Still, it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

I do the same, and it really doesn't matter much to me if the players don't get into that level of detail, since I'm mostly doing it for me anyway. It doesn't matter to me if the players don't care if the setting I'm working in doesn't make sense, it matters to me, as a writer. Just because I can write nonsense, doesn't mean I want to, or feel that it's a useful writing skill to develop or encourage. :)

I do the same as a player, often writing a two page backstory for my character with supporting NPCs, etc. that never get read or used by the GM. It's for me anyway. I like a character with some depth.

I do remember one game in college where the GM drew a neat map, and a river just sort of ended in the middle of a plains area, prompting us to joking for over a year that we were going to travel to that area and 'find out where the water went.' Sometimes players fixate on the strangest details!

Scarab Sages

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'Prophets' of the Kalistocracy wear those white gloves and heavy robes to cover up as much of their skin as possible, to hide the transformation. The special 'dietary restrictions' also fuel that change, as the adapt the bodies of those they possess to their own nutritional requirements.

And by 'dietary restrictions' I mean 'soylent green is people.'

Priests of Razmir cover up their faces for a similar reasons. Razmiran is where Kalistocrats whose transformation has gone too far and made their faces unrecognizable end up being transferred. The nations of Druma and Razmiran are stages one and two, in a long, long game, started on another world, and only the elves of Kyonin, themselves familiar with alien threats, would recognize the faces beneath some of those masks...

Scarab Sages

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If the Skrulls are even slightly questionable, it's not like Marvel lacks for alien races that can change their shape / assume a human form. Dire Wraiths, Plodex, etc. are all on the table.

Simms just happening to be near the portal (and still alive) was terribly convenient, and Fitz having brought back an imposter would be interesting.

It would be an interesting trick of the medium if what we were primed to see as Simmon's having a nightmare about her time away was a scene shift to the real Simmons, still trapped there, while the imposter wakes up next to Fitz and ponders stabbing him...

Still, generally, when I expect a TV show to do something relatively clever like this, they don't.

Scarab Sages

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Autoduelist wrote:
I was looking over some official Pathfinder materials and discovered that the Chelish citizens of Cheliax are called "Chelaxians" and not "Cheliaxians" as I've been spelling it all along.

Probably went to the same place as the 'R' in New Yohker.

Scarab Sages

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Not looking to have a debate about how various biblical passages were interpreted by various groups in the past vs present, so I'll just say that it is simply a historical fact that the 'first breath' doctrine on ensoulment existed.... along with the 'quickening' doctrine, the 'developing soul' doctrine (i.e. first no soul, then an animal soul, and only eventually developing into a human soul), and numerous less common views (e.g. 'no soul until the first time you say Amen'). There are extensive writings from past theological debates about them. Thus, views on this issue have unquestionably changed over time. The current 'conception' doctrine has not "always" been in place.

I'd probably use a version of this for a fantasy game world.

In Set-Golarion, souls get issued at the moment of birth, not the moment of conception, or something like that, so a fetus that doesn't survive (for *whatever* reason) is more of a lost opportunity than a person who didn't live to see the outside world (and given that most fertilized eggs don't thrive, the outer planes would be 70% souls of unborn fetuses anyway, which seems like it would make for a creepy sort of afterlife, and where does Pharasma 'sort' souls of the unborn, who obviously didn't have much time to develop a patron deity or set of moral or ethical guidelines?).

But, for Golarion, Pharasma is the arbiter of when and where souls are issued, and if Pharasma says it's at conception, then that's pretty much canon, and either conception is *much* rarer and more successful in Golarion than on Earth, *or* the outer planes are indeed primarily inhabited by baby souls that never got to breath Golarion air. Who knows. Not something terribly relevant to most games.

Since identical twins split hours after conception, which, in Golarion, would be hours after Pharasma gave a soul to the fertilized egg, that suggests that one half of identical twin pairs didn't get the soul (determined by some sort of Thunderwomb scenario where two blastocytes enter and one leaves with the soul?), and are soulless abominations! Woo! Plot hook! A Pharasman mystery cult that wanders around trying to figure out which of any pair of twins they encounter is 'the soulless one' and killing them! (Or maybe the soul is split between them, making them *both* seen as morally suspect and 'weak souled' and susceptible to possession/evil/etc.? Or maybe souls are like livers, and grow to fill their new home, so that a half-soul is equal to a full soul, after a few weeks or months? If that's the case, soul-traffickers like Night Hags are gonna have a field day splitting souls they've captured into fragments and nurturing them to grow full size souls out of the pieces-parts...).

Ooh. My head dun broke.

If it ever matters, which I don't think it will, I'm gonna go with 'souls get assigned at birth' for any games I run in Golarion.

There's a whole article on souls, in, IIRC, Mummy's Mask. I'm going to have to check that out and see if it agrees with or contradicts (or has nothing to say) on this whole 'when souls get assigned' thing.

Scarab Sages

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Ross Byers wrote:
But targeting Touch AC - in a system where the base assumption was Touch AC is a gate to effects (spells, supernatural touch attacks, etc.), not repeatable high damage - makes them very powerful. ** spoiler omitted **

I misread it the first time as targeting flat-footed AC (too fast to dodge), not touch AC (cuts through adamantine armor like armor), and thought that was cool, so long as it was specifically said to be not accurate enough to allow for sneak attacks. That would, of course, end the 'scoffs at +30 natural armor' problem, but make bullets much more effective against critters that get all their AC from a high Dex, like Will O Wisps. Which doesn't actually bother me, since I hate those guys! :)

I do like SKR's opinion on absolutes. I remember a minor hubbub when 4e fire elementals were given a lot of fire resistance, but not fire immunity, since they were 'made of fire' (which they are obviously not, since they have solid bodies for all mechanical effects, and can even be grappled, by someone with the stones to try that...). Even if they *were* made of fire, that wouldn't necessarily make them immune to fire, just as I'm made of meat and bone, and not at all immune to attacks by other creatures made of meat and bone, and my body contains acids and gut bacteria that could do me all sorts of harm if they got on my skin.

Blanket immunities are definitely a pet peeve, for me, since they shut down entire builds. My least favorites are the ones that don't necessarily make sense, such as creatures that are of a type that gets free immunity to mind-affecting traits, because they are mindless, but aren't actually mindless, and therefore shouldn't have that immunity.

Also nonabilities. Zero scores in Con and Int annoy me, from both a mechanical standpoint (since they snowball into later design weirdness, like undead having high Cha scores because their hp are now based on Cha, or various archetypes or PrCs having explicit abilities to override these blanket immunities and affect undead with X or mindless vermin with Y), and a 'fantasy realism' standpoint (since bugs can craft things, intimidate things, learn and remember things, do math, etc. and aren't any more 'mindless' than half the people I work with, who *also* seem to run on preprogrammed decision trees or response menus, that rarely, if ever, relate to what you said to them).

Ugh. Hate nonabilities. If a skeleton is smart enough to understand my necromancers spoken commands, if that spider is smart enough to build a web or rear up and threaten an intruder, then they should have at least a 1 Intelligence. And if a construct or undead or robot or car or whatever has parts that are more important (gears, structural bones, inner mechanisms, fuel lines, etc.) that can be targeted and affect it's function (a leaking brake line, a blown out Achilles tendon, a punctured tire, a foot pierced by caltrops, what's the real difference, mechanically?), then it's able to be sneak attacked, able to be critically hit, and might as well have a Con score, even if the word 'Constitution' might be more fussily called 'Durability,' in it's case.

Scarab Sages

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As a straight white male, on the winning team all my life, I could give a rat's bum what the folk who got the short end of the stick call me.

Honkey, white-eyes, gaijin, breeder, CIS. Makes no difference to me. I still get paid more and treated better and nobody watches me like a hawk when I'm taking clothes into the fitting room or touches my hair and says 'oh, it's so soft!' like I'm their poodle. The world pretty much bends over backwards to cater to people like me, so I'm not terribly concerned that the people it hasn't catered to are trying to get some of that action. I wish them luck with that, 'cause there's a lot of inertia to overcome there, from people like me who are afraid that more respect for you somehow means less respect for me.

You want to bug me, call me something that refers to a quality or trait I'm *not* happy with, like my thinning hairline or my weight.

Scarab Sages

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Hugo Solis wrote:
I blame Cosmo for my dissappearance from the boards and my PaizoCon absence for the last couple years... And now I blame him for my return!

Woo, you're back! Who do we praise for that?

Oh yeah, I blame Cosmo that where I work the work is so easy and non-thought-requiring that everyone is always picking fights over trivial **** to stir up drama. Yawn. So sick of workplace drama. Why do they never pick workplace romantic comedy, workplace nature/wildlife documentary or workplace Skinemax softcore porn?

Ugh. Now I have *that* mental image in my head... Cosmo!!!

Scarab Sages

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Brother Fen wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
As this thread shows, at least SOME people are interested.
I think this obsession with half-dragons is just creepy. How many pets do you have at home and how many of them have you bred with?

How many pets do you own that are sapient, have mastered language, the arts, science and mathematics, and even magic, and might be able to beat you in a contest of wits, game of strategy or arcane knowledge, or even, in the case of elves, be older than you?

It's not a fair comparison. People are people. A good aligned dragon *might* be a racist who considers all non-dragons to be inferior beings, or he might actually have done more than scribble a 'G' under alignment and regard other species capable of language, art, culture, society, arcane development, etc. *far* above anything achieved by dragonkind to be something more than just 'pets.'

Even some of the evil ones might be capable of respecting non-dragons, as with those Golarion greens mentioned in Dragons Gone Wild (Revisited? I forget the title...) who eagerly correspond with astronomers and mathematicians of the 'lesser' races and respect their insights into those disciplines.

It's only creepy if you want it to be creepy. And there's room for that, too, the old 'crazy cat lady' dragon who the other dragons just shake their head over when they hear that after she died, they found a couple hundred humanoids in her lair, all dressed up like dolls, half-dead from neglect.

Scarab Sages

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Damon Griffin wrote:

Strong's Hebrew shows mawet (death) being spelled with three Hebrew characters: מָ֫וֶת.

I think the scroll warrants closer examination. I don't see the point of scribing a single common word onto a scroll and sealing it up like that; I suspect there's some hidden message, either in the three characters or in the parchment/papyrus/whatever itself.

Unless they (either the show or the researchers) got life and death confused (I dont speak Hebrew but I remember the tale of the Golem...)

That's what I was thinking, the Mash/Shamash, Emet/Met thing. Maybe the original inscription had that extra letter, and it was like Pandora's Box, they slammed it shut just in time to lock in hope, and then altered the text to make it look like it held only badness...

Scarab Sages

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Random thought from another thread about a Numerian (Android?) Kineticist who manipulates nano-technology!

In Numeria, particularly among the Androids of that land, a rare form of kineticist has sprung up, the nanokinetic, tapping into the nanomachinery lacing their bodies and environment, forming temporary structures and generating thick hovering clouds of machines individually too small to see.

Simple Blasts earth blast, electric blast
Defense Wild Talents shroud of water
Class Skills: Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering)
Wild Talents:
...1st – air’s leap, basic telekinesis, kinetic cover, kinetic healer, pushing infusion*, voice of the wind
...2nd – bowling infusion*, entangling infusion*, veil of mists
...3rd – magnetic infusion*, self-telekinesis, touchsight
...4th – cyclone*, shift earth, telekinetic maneuvers
...5th – aether puppet, grappling infusion*, shimmering mirage
...6th – disintegrating infusion*, suffocate
...7th – cloud*, fragmentation*
...8th –
...9th – from the ashes

*represents a blast infusion

The Nano versions of earth blast, kinetic cover, etc. use barriers constructed of nano and whatever unattended material is nearby to be repurposed.

This 'element' has 23 wild talents, compared to 21 for earth, 23 for fire and aether, 25 for air and 27 for water. Not the least, but near the lower end, because it's got some good choices, like kinetic healer, and a fair number of blast options, between earth blast's option to do B, S or P damage (representing projectiles fashioned by nanotech), and electrical blast (representing nano swarming around the target and electrocuting it).

Scarab Sages

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
* Goblins are fey that spring up fully-formed meaning you don't have to worry about what to do with their babies once you kill them. Of course like everything else they don't have to be evil jerks, it's just there haven't been enough instances of someone redeeming them to form a population of non-jerks.

I like this one. They do seem a little like upscale mites, and definitely act bonkers enough to be fey.

I had a notion that goblins and gnomes were 'seelie and unseelie' versions of the same critters, from the First World / Shadow Plane, respectively, and that elves and hobgoblins (which replaced drow as elegant monsters) were similarly fey, with the last of the goblinoids, bugbears, being the dark mirror version of a race of seelie folk *that they utterly killed off,* being kind of badass like that. Being 'evil gnomes', goblins also had some magical knacks, and would end up being more like wayangs, than traditional goblins.

But that wouldn't really work in Golarion, where the elves are divorced from the fey connection Greyhawk used, and more space aliens.

Changing every core race to have *two* stat array options, also was a thought.

Elves would have the recent arrivals, with the standard Con penalty and Int bonus, and those who've 'gone native' and adapted to Golarion perhaps through some fey intercession (no Con penalty, a Str penalty instead, and replacing the Int bonus with a Cha bonus, +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str).

Dwarves would have the standard array, representing a warrior caste, most commonly met by adventurers and non-dwarves, and a more stay at home merchant / craftsman caste, that has no Cha penalty, an Int bonus, and a Dex penalty (+2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex).

Halflings have 'city mice' that are integrated into human communities and nations (+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str) and 'country mice' that live in shires of their own folk and are more rustic and pastoral and less inclined to curry favor with the big folk (+2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str).

Half Orcs could choose either +2 Str or +2 Wis (and full orcs might not have a Wisdom bonus, but they don't have a Wisdom penalty, either). Half Elves could choose either +2 Dex or +2 Cha. Neither warrants the human-only +2 to anything option, IMO.

Gnomes are weirder, having their choice of +2 Int, +2 Wis or +2 Cha, and no modifiers to any physical attributes. Whatever determined their stat bonus (the player!), it's not as predictable as genetics. An alchemist and a wizard with +2 Int bonuses can produce a child with a +2 Cha who goes on to be a bard, or a +2 Wis who takes up druidry.

Ultimately, few races will actively discourage certain classes, and dwarven bards or paladins can take the Cha-penalty-free 'crafter dwarf' option, and elves, gnomes and halflings have more incentive to try out sorcerer or druid or whatever seems thematically appropriate.

Barong wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Why aren't you playing warcraft?
I just really hate people saying this.

Standard badwrongfun boilerplate.

It's been part of the RPG scene at least since the wargamers got all bent out of shape about the fantasy elves and magic and dragons crowd taking over their conventions. This generation, comparing a tabletop game to a computer game (or a trading card game) is the magic put down, despite creativity and cool ideas happen *everywhere,* even in computer games (and trading card games).

It's all hip(stery) to hate on whatever's popular. Warcraft is in decline, but it's still a big tree, and invites strong wind.

Scarab Sages

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John Kretzer wrote:
Also where is Cosmo?... he has not favored any of these posts since... last week.

Maybe we aren't being funny enough, and need to step up our game. The purpose of this thread is to entertain/propitiate Cosmo, right? :)

Scarab Sages

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captain yesterday wrote:
I've actually used the race builder a few times, it's not hard to build balanced races, it is easy to get a little crazy, but overall I certainly don't think it's broken.

It, like most elements of game design, requires some judgment to get the balance right. Games like Mutants & Masterminds or GURPS, which focus as much on 'make your own PCs or monsters' than pregenerated 'classes' or Bestiaries, mention how easy it is to design something that's perfectly rules-legal, in a game meant to emulate superhero or fantasy tropes across the spectrum, and make a character or encounter that is either crazy overpowered, or kind of worthless.

I see the Race Builder as a step in that direction, something that, like magic item design, is more art than science, and could, if used strictly literally, could churn out the racial equivalent of cheap rings of always-on true strike.

Coming at it from the intent of *not* 'getting away with' something or 'breaking the game,' and creating a race that isn't optimized to be awesome at class X or role Y, but has some depth to it, the Race Builder rules can be useful tool.

Scarab Sages

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So I walk to and from work some days, as a bare minimum amount of exercise to keep my long-beaten archnemesis of diabetes from ever darkening my doorstep again.

And, each morning, I dash through the sprinklers that, for some inane reason, Cosmo has moved in the night to water the sidewalk and street, and not the actual lawns of the various businesses along said street.

Last night felt fine, going to work, and I wore my usual attire of shorts and thin T-shirt, because it gets hot at work, servicing all those machines. (I no longer service people. Unlike machines, people get so needy and demanding and irrational when they find out that they aren't the only one you are servicing...)

And then came morning, when there was frost on the windows of the cars I passed, in my shorts and flimsy t-shirt.

And those sprinklers were still on, Cosmo! I seriously considered dashing out into morning rush traffic to avoid your trap, but I ran that gauntlet!

Scarab Sages

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Landon Winkler wrote:

The Shoanti have a lot of half-orcs.

As a 'warrior race created by the Thassilonians' kinda/sorta, having *all* Shoanti being half-orcs, breeding true among themselves (which occasional human and orc members being born, as well as the rare adoptee from another race), kind of fits the lore, and gives the race something of a positive potential origin. There are humans up there, too, but the culture is ~70% dwarves and ~30% humans, with a smattering of other folk.

Similarly, my changes would be to make the core races more prevalent.

All Ulfen, and therefore most of the population of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, are dwarves. Dwarves also have monopolies on rare metalworks (pretty much any mithril or adamantine or cold iron weapon you buy is going to have eventually come from a dwarven forgework) and control the market price of Masterwork armor, weapons and many tools / gear items. (Much like in Tolkien, 'elven' chain is crafted by dwarves!)

Halflings have no kingdom of their own, but are up to 30% of the population of Taldor, Andoran, Cheliax, Galt and Ustalav, and were the original Varisians, although it's entirely possible to run into entire 'Varisian' caravans populated by humans, half-elves or even gnomes, with nary a halfling in sight. Humans still dominate in these countries, although in Varisia, among the Varisian nomadic people, halflings outnumber everyone else.

Elves explicitly adapt to their surroundings. Keep an elf in a dark cell for fifty years, she'll turn 'dark.' An elf living in the high mountains, surrounded by little more than light and air, and he'll be pale as ice. The deeper in the woods or jungles they live, under the canopy, again, the browner they'll be. And in the depths of the sea, blue and green are not uncommon colors for the aquatic elves. Elves are alien and don't have melanin. Unlike humans, they don't get pale in the dark, or darken up in harsh sun.

Taldor has an upper-crust of half-elves. It's something of a fad to have elven blood, and elven men of low standards (by elven standards) can make good coin sowing seed among Taldan aristocrats looking to 'class up' their thinning bloodline a little bit.

Not *every* prominent spellcaster of significance in the Inner Sea is a wizard. Razmir, for instance, is a Sorcerer (Destined, of course, but perhaps not as 'destined' as he was hoping...).

Nex may well have been an arcanist. Then again, he may well have been a gnome. Reports are unclear, as he did a great job obfuscating many details about himself, and even divinations about his person give conflicting results. Geb probably knows the truth of it, being one of the few 'surviving' people who knew Nex in life.

Scarab Sages

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Mark Seifter wrote:
The intention was that it's not the truth on the planes, but it is a truth,

Sivanah "And the secret that will really bake your noodle? It's *all* true."

Razmir "Even the lies?"

Sivanah "*Especially* the lies."

Scarab Sages

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
I want more Plasteel staff.

I want more weapons that aren't lightsabers. Ooh, this one has crossbars, and the fans lose their ****. Can't we have gravity hammers or lightning whips or plasma lances? Something new?

So bored with lightsabers.

Scarab Sages

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Adam Daigle wrote:
That we haven't provided an undead playable race in print on our own speaks to the fact that such a thing isn't an angle we're interested in presenting in regards to the creative direction and design considerations for our campaign setting.

Would such non-campaign-setting-friendly rules concepts perhaps be more suitable to the non-campaign-setting-specific rules books (like the Bestiaries or Advanced Race Guide), and not the campaign-setting books (like Inner Sea Bestiary or Inner Sea Races)?

Or would it perhaps just be too confusing to include rules for creatures or classes or themes that don't fit into Golarion in the setting-free rules books? (Like the 'cleric of philosophy' thing in the Core rulebook, which is not an option in the setting.)

IMO, that was perhaps a downside to both the Realms and Eberron, was an attempt to include *everything* somewhere in those respective settings, instead of picking some elements and saying, 'Yeah, we don't have a nation full of X here or guns or whatever. If you want to use them, add them yourself.'

A strength was when they took that in the other direction and said stuff like 'Core monks and paladins can't multiclass, but monks and paladins in the Realms *can* do the following multiclass options, and Paladins of CG Sune are an option!' or 'core Adepts in Eberron gain access to one Domain.' *adding* to the core assumptions.

Scarab Sages

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So, this was *not* the theme I was predicting, and my half-written article on [redacted] will have to wait until my prediction comes true, in, say, 2018.

As for the River Kingdoms, some thoughts that leap out at me for articles, after a quick hop through the River Kingdoms book;

Daggermark is rife for some Rogue trait / talent / alternate class feature action that *isn't* related to poisons, specifically. The Yenchaburian assassination style has to have some 'tricks of the trade' worthy of a write up, and their more recent focus on the threat of Razmiran suggests that they might be developing (or dusting off) some Rogue talents / feats specifically geared to fighting spellcasters (such as Razmir's arcanist 'priests').

Lambreth's dark lord has some infernal ties that appear to have nothing to do with Hellknights, and a pair of gnomish servants with a funky focus on thorn-vine manipulation and fiendish hounds, either of which could see some fun mechanical development (thorn-vine attack spells, or stats for a breed of fiendish attack dog slightly in-between regular attack dog and yeth or shadow hound).

Liberthane is run by a Paladin of Milani. That's either a typo, or a fun new possibility for Golarion. (A Paladin of a Chaotic Good goddess?)

The insectoid 'silkgoyles' of Nystra cry out for game statistics, and perhaps their special silk can be woven into special equipment, either mundane but special, like darkwood or adamantine, or woven into special enchanted gear that could show up in a magic item submission.

Outsea should have totally worked for me, since I'm a huge fan of undersea adventure stuff and aquatic races. (In 2nd edition, half of my characters were aquatic elves or 1/2 aquatic elves, it seems...) But it really didn't. I'd be very interested in seeing some good stuff on the area, since it's one I *want* to like very much. Even something like a writeup of the local deity, Danglosa, a 'N male-female fish-godling,' revered by the local merfolk, sahaugin, etc. could be interesting.

Scrawny Crossing is dripping with flavor, and leaves to the imagination what sort of stats the skum/scrag hybrids would have, and what sort of shenanigans an aboleth, so very far from the ocean or darklands, could be up to.

The Gorgas of the Sevenarches are another critter that could use a Bestiary entry, although they seem pretty versatile (perhaps more of a template than a straight up monster?), and could come from somewhere truly unusual, like a First World analogue to Sovyrian!

The River Kingdoms section itself has multiple interesting seeds scattered about. Do the rainbow plumed egrets of Rushlight have some connection to Shelyn? Can one gain some malefic boon from swearing an oath of vengeance atop Mount Branthlend? What cyclopean elder race crafted the inscriptions within the Tors of Levenies? Who will be the first to stat up fanged eels, or Old Hooktongue himself?

With Touvette, we have another religion-unfriendly region, pushing the boundaries of 'Lawful Neutral' into a brutally repressive regime. The area doesn't seem to have as much of a focus on the arcane as Rahadoum, but it does train everyone to be a soldier, and it's entirely possible that they've got some spellcaster-fighting tactics specially geared to followers of unwelcome faiths.

Tymon and it's famous Arena of Aroden just scream for some new performance combat-related options, such as perhaps an option to rally allies with a performance combat technique, while simultaneously intimidating the foe struck. Perhaps a 'rallied' ally would be temporarily immune to the penalties from being shaken/intimidated themselves, or receive some minor morale bonus, roughly equal to the bless spell, for that round (or as many rounds as you intimidated your target?). I like the idea of a gladiator from Tymon using a performance weapon and performance techniques in normal combat to not just intimidate one or more foes, but also to inspire his allies, adding a tiny dash of bard.

I have an entry in mind for Uringen, so I'll keep that one to myself. :)

Scarab Sages

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There's an old Rita Rudner joke about why she doesn't wear her diamond necklace when she goes out in New York. "I don't wear anything around my neck that's worth more than my head."

I think that applies to ~30k watches, too.

Scarab Sages

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On the iconic Occultist (Mavaro), there seems to be a repeating theme of a missing left eye, both with the missing ruby on the face on the sword, and in the hole punched into the left eye socket of the face on the metal thingie hanging right above the sword.

Was there a specific thought behind that detail?

Scarab Sages

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Good doesn't really seem to fit the Great Old Ones / Elder Gods, flavor wise. Even a Great Old One who seems genuinely concerned about fleeting mortal lives, would likely be so only in the same way that the crazy cat lady loves her kitties, to the point of treating them abominably so as to maximize the number of them she can have. The entity might think of itself as benevolent, but the people that it considers it's collection or pets or ant farm aren't likely to believe that once any of them go off script and earn the entity's displeasure...

A Lawful Evil or Lawful Neutral Great Old One, on the other hand, could be funky, in a Vorlon sort of 'we know what's best for you, don't worry your pretty little heads about this free will nonsense' sort of way.

Scarab Sages

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MillerHero wrote:
Can you think of an anathematic substance other than axiomatic that would be useful in binding proteans?

While I'm not Todd, that came up in a game once, and we had some ideas;

Proteans are all about change and things flowing into other things, leading to new discoveries.

Something pure and unalloyed and relatively enduring / unchanging seems ideal (iron has that rusting issue, but steel is a mixture / alloy / composite material, and pure gold is symbolically changeless, and yet very malleable, perhaps silver?). Also something worked, instead of a powder or raw material. Something that order has been imposed upon, so instead of a ring of silver dust, a fine chain of silver links arranged in a circle around a summoned protean, could represent both singularity / purity (which they wouldn't care for) and also matter being beaten / forged into a permanent unchanging state (ditto).

Other things that represent restraint or permanence, like a bug trapped in amber (life constrained by something that represents stasis and can remain changeless for a million years), could work, as well as preservatives like salt.

Scarab Sages

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It's somehow Cosmo's fault that the size 11 shoes I wore in high school turned into size 10 1/2 soon after college, then size 10 over the next decade, and now size 9 1/2 is too big and is giving me blisters.

My current theory is that gremlins working for Cosmo are nibbling away at my feet every night, making them incrementally smaller over the years.

Curse you Cosmo! And your hungry foot-nibbling gremlins!

Scarab Sages

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Also blaming Cosmo because I just made a list of all the PF products I own using the list function, which took about an hour, and it didn't save and now I have to do it all over again.

Or not. 'Cause I think everyone at Paizo would prefer I keep accidentally buying multiple copies of the same product anyway. :)

Scarab Sages

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And those garage sales always say stuff like 'Saturday and Sunday,' and they are never actually selling any Saturdays or Sundays!

I could *totally* use some extra weekend days, yanno? The ones I've got always seem to go bye too fast!


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I don't always discount some of my Aliases (4 out of 79, so only 75 'count'), but when I do, it's the ones that don't have complete stat-blocks and are just me name-squatting.

Scarab Sages

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What if Emperor Constantine picked Mithraism over Christianity as the new state religion of Rome?

What if the civilizations of North America had not only not succumbed to a massive plague, killing off 90% of them before the Europeans arrived in force, and instead it was the Europeans who brought back plague to Europe, leading to Native Americans 'discovering' a smashed-back-to-the-dark-ages Europe a few decades later, and colonizing it?

What if Egypt never fell to the point of Rome's breadbasket, but continued to expand, ending up a dynastic empire that lasted as long as China and influenced all of the surrounding territories of the Middle East / Persian Gulf, lower Europe and central Africa?

What if the rock never fell, mammals never got bigger than rats, and the sapient civilization on Earth is humanoid deinonychus-descended Sleestak? :)

What if Alexander lived longer and / or his kids weren't complete screw ups who squandered all of his achievements?

Same, but replace Alexander with Genghis Khan.

Same, but replace Genghis Khan with Adolf Hitler.

What if Jesus came back, and continued his trend of discouraging churches and temples and priesthoods and hierarchies, and the Church, as it became, never formed, and the faith remained a more Buddhist-monk-like order of wandering shepherds-of-men, robed and sandaled and unshaven, living off of the charity of those they minister as they travel the world, spreading the word?

What if the endless wars and crusades in Europe and the Levant led not only to ladies staying home and running the castles and inns while their husbands and sons went off to fight (and often didn't come back...), but progressed to the assumption that women would handle business and commerce and end up running everything, while men stuck to making war, leaving the reins of power increasingly in the hands of women. The same sort of women's liberation that WW2 helped kick off (thanks to an entire generation of women coming to appreciate having their own money, and not being entirely thrilled about giving that up when the war ended and the men came back), but almost a thousand years earlier...

Scarab Sages

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
One of the items on her left is indeed a wayfinder. The other is a magical stone/orb of some sort. It's not an Ioun Stone, as they float around the recipient's head on their own. This stone is being held by the Psychic.

Cool. The orb being something mysterious is probably even more thematic for an occult character than something as matter-of-fact as a specific magical item that's been around for many editions.

I love the different body types you've been using. I'm a big comic book fan, and back in 'the day' (40s to 80s) everyone pretty much had the exact same body type, the men were all broad-chested and lantern-jawed Charles Atlas wannabes, the ladies were all Marilyn, with wasp waists and improbable breasts, regardless of how athletic they were meant to be (or not be). I like how the Mesmerist has thin legs, suggesting a leaner-than-normal build, while the Occultist is heavy, and the Psychic has some 'child-bearing hips.' Very cool.

Your attention to detail is wonderful. It inspires me me revisit my own character designs to consider how the gear they carry can suggest information about them, a kind of 'visual storytelling.'

Scarab Sages

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Regardless of how much water (or food, or sunlight, or air, or disease-curing, or resurrection magic) can be created magically (or via other supernatural means, such as natural gates to the elemental planes or whatnot), I assume that the game world as written exists as described *despite* the presence of such magic, and that's it's 'built-in' to the setting.

So a desert nation / area is a desert *despite* the presence of water-creation magic, and would be even worse, if that magic didn't exist.

Instead of assuming that the designers of the setting didn't know about create water, purify water or create food & drink when they designed the setting, I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt and run with the notion that the setting works as presented *with* those magics in play, and that areas that one might assume would be radically changed by those magics, are only existing as they do *because* of those magics.

Perhaps it's a side-effect of growing up reading Marvel Comics, where you'd win a 'no prize' for not just pointing out an inconsistency, but for offering an explanation for how it could be reconciled, but I prefer to find possible solutions for questions as to where the 1000 years of accumulated snowfall goes in Irrisen (it's not 1000 years of winters, plural, it's 1000 years of the same winter, relentless and unending, timeless and fey!), or why Rahadoum, described by gods-propagandists as cursed by the gods, is the greenest and most fertile land in it's entire latitude, according to the map.

As for infinite cantrips, I'd love to see a bizarre wizard / sorcerer / whatever archetype that used higher level spell slots entirely to cast massively enhanced versions of the cantrips they've mastered, and cannot actually cast higher level spells. There was a 3rd party 3.X book that had a 'Master of Small Magics' along that theme, and it could be neat, if freaky, to have a 6th level Sorcerer who was casting enhanced (far beyond metamagic) versions of acid splash or daze, instead of fireball or haste.

Scarab Sages

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Love your stuff, and thanks for answering our questions!

Rivani has a few items floating around her, including an oil lamp and a crossbow with bolts.

What are the items on the left?

The item on the lower left looks like a sundial, pocket compass or wayfinder or something?

The blue sphere could be an incandescent blue sphere ioun stone, or just a blue pearl or something?

On a less questioning note, I love the iconic Medium's starknife. I'm not a fan of that weapon in general, but you made it look awesome with those thicker flared blades.

Scarab Sages

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I like long hair *or* short close-cropped hair (for either gender). Mid-length hair annoys me. Get off the fence and pick one!

Except for dogs and cats. The shorter hair (and therefore the less maintenance required on my part, and the less vacuum cleaner motors burned out trying vainly to keep the carpets and furniture hair-free), the better.

Scarab Sages

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I owe Salvatore a debt of gratitude for curing me of an embarrassing Drow obsession.

I also met him once and got to see a draft of something he was writing. I had no idea he was a published author. I pointed out to him that he'd misspelled Lolth.

Years later, I look back at that moment and cringe.

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