How many times has Rogue died before, anyway? She's one of the X-Men, so it's almost certainly at least 1.
That's why they call them the 'Ex-Men,' they're all ex-people.
Never liked her anyway. Spends all her time complaining about her mutant power, while basically making a living off of someone elses powers she stole. I think she'd have been way more interesting having only whatever powers she could steal in any given situation, and not defaulting to super-strong, invulnerable, flying supermanalogue.
She was like the Black Bolt of the X-Men. "Oh, if I use my main power, terrible things happen! Thank goodness I have a crapton of other powers that are better than the rest of yours anyway!"
Lord Snow wrote:
When you hear a couple of MMO players discussing their game, it's never about how cool the setting is, or speculations about the story, or sharing the fun of an encounter with some NPC. They are talking about their builds, the 251 new items that the new expansion set will bring, and how fun was that PvP.
There are those. And then there are those who scripted entire events back in EverQuest (big weddings with surprise betrayals and duels and whatnot) or held costume contests in City of Heroes (complete with prizes and guest judges) or form entire guilds that wear specific outfits or follow specific storylines or are based off of in-game lore.
In Star Wars: the Old Republic, the most fun I've had was with the Black Bisector storyline (love those Gree!) and listening to the storylines and dialogue of companions like 4-X and Blizz (both of whom are hilarious, for different reasons).
There's exactly one person in our guild who talks about gear all the time. Just as in EverQuest, Dark Ages of Camelot, City of Heroes, etc. my gaming friends generally shun loot-freaks or people who obsess over their DPS.
Warcraft is perhaps a bad example, since it's got whole sections of the game locked off by 'item value' so that those whose gear isn't uber enough can't play in those sections. That, IMO, panders to the worst element, but, like City of Heroes, which didn't even *have* gear (or attributes, for that matter!), Vampire was never a gear-centric game, and is built around vampires *avoiding* open conflict (since the local Prince would just call a Blood Hunt and annihilate your night-stocking *** if you capped another Kindred without his permission, and the easiest way for people to 'get permission' would be to kill someone else without permission...).
I'd love if a Vampire MMO went the way of CoH and was mostly gear-less (it's already been proven to be feasible and even viable), with any sort of mundane weapon being just that, mundane. A knife is a knife. A gun is a gun. Some might have different graphics, but they all do the same basic thing, leaving the truly impressive options the use of vampiric (werewolf, mage, etc.) powers (just as some 'temporary powers' in COH allowed one to pull out a gun and shoot someone, but it was never as good as shooting a fireball at someone, 'cause it was primarily a game about superheroes, not about guns).
That all aside, I don't expect to see a Vampire MMO.
It's not impossible that the World of Darkness / Vampire / White Wolf could rise like a phoenix from the ashes of their own self-immolation, but I'm not a vampire, so I'm not gonna hold my breath.
Slavery in the Pathfinder World and it's implications...(series of weird questions regarding a controversial topic)
And this is why people can't play Paladins. GMs deciding that the paladin will instantly fall if he *does what the GM has his boss orders him to do.* Catch 22.
Easier to just say 'No, you can't play a Paladin' during character generation than hose your player this way.
If a region in the setting both has active Paladins, and has slavery, then there will *have* to be some sort of accomodations or 'wiggle room' built into the system. Religious exceptions to lawful orders, for instance, or forms of slavery that a LG Paladin can reasonably accept (such as prisoners who would otherwise be sentenced to death for their crimes being allowed to choose a lifetime of servitude, instead, making them slaves by their own choice, and yet also in that situation because of their own wrong-doings, making their status as slave also their *just and lawful punishment*).
The crappy thing is that while I love the way Marvel has been setting up their universe, they have already sold large chunks off to other studies which they will probably never get back. Marvel can't touch X-men, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, etc. DC actually has there entire stable together, but can't seem to get their acts together to figure out what to do with the characters. Oh how I wish the roles were reversed, and DC had sold off their properties and Marvel had everything in house.
I actually kind of prefer the way it's ended up, if only because the Avengers movie might have been the 'Wolverine and his Amazing Friends' show, if they'd been allowed to go that route. Because Wolverine (and Spider-Man) are unavailable, we instead got an Avengers movie with more 'classic' Avengers in it.
As for DC, if they can dominate the small screen with Arrow and perhaps this new Flash venture, then more power to them. And I think I'd rather they keep shying away from doing a Wonder Woman movie, than put out a bad one, and perpetuate the notion that movies about superhero women won't sell.
Ivan Rûski wrote:
Wars have been started for less!
No true dwarf (tm) drinks aught but mead.
And sipping? No. Chugging, pouring and shotgunning are the accepted means of imbibement, with the odd exception for bodyshots off of an elven lasses tummy.
Sara Marie wrote:
I can't decide if I like this one or the first better.
Cute little fiery elemental / demon dude he's conjuring up makes all the difference. As often happens with fantasy art, it makes me want to write up a spell that could do that. (As I don't think there's anything on the Magus list that creates little winged fire demon dudes and chucks 'em at people.)
Dude should be wearing a mithril shirt, 'though. Isn't that standard Magus-wear?
I blame chainmail for being a pain to draw. :)
(Same with Alhazra. Why not use that armor proficiency, chica? Not that you aren't dressed fabulously for a blind woman, but still, no use wasting a revelation to have magic armor for a small fraction of your work day, when you could just shell out pocket change for some jangly metal protection, or even a nice white dragonhide breastplate, to keep your core cool in those warm climates.)
37. And Graves Give Up Their Dead The village lies in a mountain valley, and as you arrive, the sun has yet to crest the mountain side, casting the sleepy community in shadow. On the slope you cross, a small graveyard covers a field, and upon every grave, a body rests, above ground, some little more than rags and bones, others only years old. One in particular, a young woman, seems almost pristine, and lies upon freshly turned earth, her headstone revealing that she died only the day before. The other graves show no sign of disturbance, other than the occupants of their graves lying peacefully atop the earth, instead of deep within it. The sun crests the rise and the bodies disappear, as if sucked back into their graves, leaving no trace of their unnatural appearance, although the body of the young woman, who you now note has bloodied hands, marring her otherwise pristine form, awakens and screams before disappearing.
If the party digs up that grave, she was buried alive last night, thought to be dead after a bad reaction to a mushroom she ate, and through some unnatural circumstance, is alive still, but will suffocate shortly if not saved!
36. Sinister Drums The crack of the thunderstone caused the noise of the battle to be shorn away, leaving you feeling like you've been thrust into another world, where the melee around you is but an illusion, and the only sound is a strange rushing roar, that sounds like a waterfall, but is only the sound of the blood rushing through arteries near your ears. You quickly notice that you can not only hear your own heartbeat, but also those of everyone else, mixed into a strange discordant rhythm, or, more precisely, two warring rhythms, with your allies heartbeats forming a hopeful familiar pattern of beats, and your foes, a more desperate sinister symphony. The second 'song' grows dimmer as foes fall, until they have all been slain, or fled the scene. And yet, a single discordant beat remains, even though no one stands save your travelling companions. You turn to try and find out where this lone discordant beat is coming from, but your hearing returns, and you lose the ability to perceive it, only having determined that it came from one of your company...
In a world now overflowing with speech and laughter and other mundane sounds, drowning out your brief moment of perception, you are left to wonder, which of your trusted friends is not as they seem, and has a heart that beats to a sinister drum?
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
So the iconic ranger shouldn't use an axe and a crossbow (not traditional), be a dwarf (very not traditional), or be a dwarf that drinks tea instead of ale (practically heresy!)?
And the iconic fighter shouldn't use two-weapon fighting?
And the iconic cleric shouldn't carry a scimitar?
The 'iconics' have been quirky (and tarred and feathered for making un-optimal choices, in some circles) from the get-go.
Indeed, it could be said that, in Golarion, 'iconic' is *not* the same as 'traditional,' 'cause this isn't your grandpa's setting, where dwarves can only be fighters or clerics (and therefore the only dwarven iconics will be Tordek and Eberk), and, of course, the half-orc is a barbarian, because they aren't smart enough to be anything else, and obviously the iconic thief is a Halfling, because they aren't good at anything else.
I'll use dark or bleak if it fits the theme (my Freeport game had the PCs bust up a child-slavery ring, for instance), but the example sounds kind of weird to me, because you've got people who are, in theory, kind of greedy (willing to sell people for cash) and selfish (willing to buy people for cash), who are killing their hard-won slaves *to mess with other people's heads.*
That doesn't really make a lick of sense, to me.
Evil 'for the lulz' may exist, but it isn't the sort of evil that could run a slave market or, indeed, any sort of business venture. Running a business, one needs to turn a profit, not petulantly destroy your own wares to spite potential customers or annoy individuals who find your business practices objectionable. I go to Home Goods, and there's not a dude in front of me in the aisle, "Quick, buy this lamp or Imma smash it!" <Smash!> "Too late! Quick, buy this carpet before I set it on fire!" Similarly, I walk into a butcher's shop, and I don't expect to see owner shoving all the bacon into his mouth in an attempt to offend any potential vegetarians, Jews or Moslems in the place.
And if there is, I know that I've wandered into a universe that functions on Joker-logic...
I don't find the scenario where the owners of a slave market might kill anyone that doesn't sell after a few days to be more cost-effective than feeding them to be all that shocking (getting rid of / removing from the shelves 'inventory' that doesn't sell is a time-honored business practice, after all), but the manner in which it occurred seems to be purely meta, to shock the players, and therefore, not so much 'morally offensive' as 'implausible, dragging people out of the game and making it feel more obviously like something the GM is doing to affect the players, and not an organic part of the game.'
Instead of the on-stage executions, a slower-dawning horror, perhaps even more horrible for its banality, would be for the party to leave the area to find a cart with some human bodies stacked on it, of elderly people or ugly people or whatever, and to hear one guard tossing a body on the cart complaining about having to get rid of the 'merchandise' that didn't sell (not complaining about the morality, just annoyed that he has to drag these bodies out and throw them on the cart). Same thing, just as evil and monstrous, but not 'staged' to specifically annoy the players (and, from a business standpoint, less likely to drive away potential customers!).
A book of players options themed around a particular area or sub-setting;
So, one for Osirion or Hamunaptra or Mulhorand or 'fantasy Egypt' would have some 'Egypt-y' options for Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Rogues, Fighters, Paladins, etc. (all 11 core classes, plus a few others, that seem particularly appropriate). The cleric section might have some particularly appropriate sub-Domains, the Druid section some desert-friendly animal companions, the Fighter section some weapons, armor and / or feats, etc. Each class would have at least 1 page of options, to 'flavor them up' for this sort of campaign.
The next book in the line would do the same thing all over again, but have a 'fantasy Persia' or 'fantasy Araby' vibe, and be suitable for use in Casmaron/Greater Kel, Qadira, Al-Qadim/Zakhara, Calimshan, etc.
Or 'fantasy India' for a Vudra or Naranjan, etc. set campaign. Again, at least a page of options for all eleven core 'base classes,' plus maybe some options for others that seem appropriate (like appropriate Witch hexes or a reincarnation / Karma / ancestry based Oracle mystery, etc.).
Or 'fantasy Africa,' for a Nyambe or Mwangi set campaign.
A fair number of SGG products have been fairly tightly themed towards one class (specialist wizard school expansions, for instance, or the Talented X line), and these might be less obvious immediate buys for fans of one class over another (having one or pages devoted to every class), but serve instead to allow one to put some regional flavor into a character of *any* class.
The same sort of deal could be done with a book on racial flavor. A book with a page each dedicated to options to flavor / theme an elven or dwarven cleric, or druid, or rogue, or fighter, to make them 'elf-y-er' than a sorcerer who just happens to be an elf, or 'dwarfier' than a ranger who happens to be a dwarf, etc., could be neat. While a 'complete book of dwarves' might focus heavily on the more intuitive dwarven divine casters and warriors, this more even spread would have just as many pages devoted to options for less intuitive or optimal or 'classical' choices, like dwarven wizards, or elven barbarians, or Halfling monks.
You could also pick a race that seems less likely to get official support in this fashion, and go nuts with it. The tengu still has plenty of 'design space' left to it, for instance. A book with some tengu specific options for every class could be neat, since a lot of races tend to get pigeonholed around whatever classes their attributes and racial features make them 'best' at.
Human ethnicities and regional class variants would probably get too Golarion specific, although an entire book of Shoanti or Varisian class options would certainly be neat, so perhaps best to stick to more generic regions like 'fantasy Persia/Araby' which can apply not just to Qadira and Kel, but also to Ekbir, Tusmit, Zeif, al-Wazif, al-Haz, Zakhara, Calimshan, etc.
Cthulhu Kid wrote:
28. Sleep Tight
Ew! Love it!
29. Home, Under the Sea
Moments later, the water clears, and your reflection returns, although the eyes are oddly dark, like those of a shark...
Cori Marie wrote:
Why wouldn't they be able to? The iconics may appear in Core books, but they are Golarion characters. Seelah's Garundi, Kyra's Kelish, Amiri's Kellid.
Which makes the notion that Iconics can't be Golarion-specific (non-human) races, like Gillmen or Androids or Suli, let alone Bestiary races like Aasimar or Tengu, kind of suspect.
Anywho, definitely would like to see an Ulfen or Mwangi or Osirioni (in traditional faux-Egyptian dress) iconic.
What I really can't see him doing is the usual god schtick of delivering messages through dreams or visions or the classic burning bush stuff.
Cayden's omens and portents and warnings to his followers might come in the form of fortuitous happenstances like bumping into the exact person who knows what you need to hear (and is also drunk enough to blurt out what you need to hear), spontaneous outbursts of information during drunken rambles that contain useful information, terrible hangovers, liver failure and waking up in strange places next to satisfied-looking goblins of indeterminate gender.
As for falling in love with your god(dess), I'd imagine that many young elves fall in love (or lust) with Calistria, to some degree, and that's regarded as a phase among her clergy.
Magician is a book that I read probably once a year.
Not quite that much, but yeah, way too much.
There are scenes I start to get all verklempt before I even get to them. (The scene where Tomas is about to kill the slave always gets me, and Pug losing it at the Great Games.)
1) Mite Driders! The upper half of a mite, the bottom half of a size Small giant spider! (Bottom half of a small giant centipede or scorpion or wasp, for variety, or to avoid some grognard wrecking the mood by breaking into the Knight Rider theme song.) Normal mites and giant bugs of the appropriate sort work along side these deformed hybrid monstrosities.
2) A crazed alchemist died ages ago, and the town kind of forgot about him, but some idiot thief broke into his boarded up 'laboratory' and disturbed what should have been left undisturbed. People are disappearing, and it's because a couple of 'free range' homunculi have decided to kidnap people and try to perform various improbable experiments on them to restore life to their dead master. In addition to the homunculi, threats in the lab include 'alchemical golems' that consist of 1 HD animated objects with properties based on the sunrods, thunderstones, tanglefoot bags, alchemical fire or acid that they were created from.
3) A hooded figure approaches the party from a dark alleyway, seeking their help. The figure is a tengu, and the town have recently been whipped into a frenzy by a crazed bird-man sending trained crows to attack and steal from passersby. The actual enemy is a lone dire corby, more insane than usual, who believes that the ravens he is training are his children (or contain the souls of his ancestors, or something, he's not terribly consistent on this point...). He can't fly, but has a magic ring that adds 10 ft. to the height or distance of any jump (before the results of any Acrobatics roll) and subtracts 10 ft. from the height of any fall before calculating damage (again, before the results of any Acrobatics roll), allowing him to make incredible jumps and drop from great heights with little fear of being killed. Combined with his use of alchemical fire and smokesticks, and trained ravens, he has the local community in a conniption, as 'Spring-Heeled Jack' continues his reign of terror.
The tengu will reward adventurers bringing this dire corby to justice (and clearing the name of local tengu, persecuted for his actions) with training in any languages or sword proficiencies they wish, as well as the gratitude of their small racial community.
Crazy dwarf (gnome, whatever) snuck into a giant ant warren below the city and has covered itself with giant ant gunk and tricked the giant ants into thinking that it's another giant ant. Using these tricks, it has the giant ants 'trained' to follow it around and attack foes it's marked with thrown pheromone bombs.
Giant ants are a terribly under-used 1st level foe, compared to goblins, kobolds, skeletons and zombies, and are creepy and fun and can, used properly, even have a bit of an Aliens vibe.
When you shoot a dragon in this kind of movie, it's breath weapon builds up inside of it and explodes all over the place.
Same thing when you have climbed up on a dragon and stabbed it and it fell out of the sky and crashed into the ground and exploded, as you attempt to roll to safety.
It's a rule. Dragons always explode.
Demons, too, for different reasons. Kill one and everyone in 30 ft. is all covered in green steaming demon splooge. It's like staking a vampire in True Blood, or a Gallagher concert. The first three rows will get wet.
Some lady once fell from a plane over a mile and wasn't hurt.
*Obviously* this one specific example means that nobody should ever worry about falling damage, ever.
The new Thor movie has a scene with this situation. A bunch of monstrous dudes drop their weapons after Thor annihilates their big meanie, and I think the 'heroes' would have looked *very* different if they then proceeded to casually slaughtering the unarmed beasties.
Obviously the standards of heroism are higher for comic book superheroes than for 'good' in D&D style games (since superheroes don't generally make their living by invading other peoples homes, killing them and stealing their stuff), but I think murdering people (since it becomes murder when it's not self-defense or justified or a lawful execution) is pretty clearly on the 'not good' bar.
Oops. Never mind. Apparently I've forgotten large chunks of the first movie.
Eh. As time goes on, I'm finding chunks of the first movie to be quite forgettable.
How about that scene in Dark World where Heimdall is all like, 'Hey, do you hear an invisible ship floating by?' and runs out and climbs stuff and leaps on the invisible space ship and *stabs it to death?*
Hot dayum. I want that dude as the first line of defense for my magical city!
At the end of Iron Man 3, Tony Stark destroys his suits and decides to be just Tony Stark.
The best part of that is that he ordered all of his armors to self-destruct while Rhody was still in one of them, flying the President home. Boom!
I'm *sure* that, inexplicably, the War Machine armor didn't blow up and kill the President (and Rhodes), but, still, the look on Tony's face when he read the headlines would be hilarious. :)
And yeah, still loving this movie. I expected not to like it, and it was full of stuff that rubbed me the wrong way, and yet, paradoxically, I think I liked it more for throwing stuff like gun turrets in Asgard in my face. This is very much the Asgard of Jack Kirby's imaginings, where Asgardians were long-lived space aliens who had been considered gods by the ancients and rode around on flying machines, and not the one of Walt Simonson, which got all mythological.
Even the parts that didn't do much for me personally, I liked that they at least tried (giving Sif, Volstagg and Fandral some moments to shine, holding off the pursuers).
Frigga was surprisingly good with a sword, which I also liked, and having her be the source of Loki's sorcerous training (you always did prefer mothers tricks...) was a touch of inspiration! (In old myth, her and Sif were pretty much non-combatants, with divine portfolios of 'being so-and-so's wife,' so it's nice to see the comic book / movie portrayals getting away from that.)
Looks like del Toro's gonna be a quirky Collector. That's somehow just gotten more interesting to me, as well, despite groaning when I heard the announcement for that movie.
James Sutter wrote:
That said, I would imagine/hope that there's a lot less slavery in Rahadoum than, say, Katapesh, specifically for the reasons you mention--it's a very easy logical leap to say that if folks shouldn't be slaves to gods, they shouldn't be slaves to other humans, either.
That logic might even serve as a jumping off point for there to be a burgeoning abolitionist movement in Rahadoum. Some Inner Sea nations are portrayed as firmly A or firmly B (although several, such as Andoran, Osirion and Cheliax have underdone significant changes in the last century or so), so it might be interesting to have some kind of caught in a moment of transition, neither fish, nor fowl (and not in the same sort of way that Galt has been caught in a revolution / regime change that won't end).
It might make that sort of 'transitioning' country a bit more adventurer friendly, in that they are in a place where change is occurring around them, and where, if they play their cards right, they can help to steer it in whatever direction suits their own beliefs or agendas. That sort of option wouldn't come up in, say, Taldor, or even Qadira, where nothing has really changed for centuries, if not millennia, and the nature of the government / society would push back against anyone attempting to change anything.
It is odd that you have to have SHIELD clearance level 7 to know that Coulson is alive, but if you aren't in SHIELD, he can apparently tell everyone he ever meets his name and that he works for SHIELD...
That doesn't seem like how a security clearance should work, that you only keep a secret from others in your organization below your clearance level, but blab it all over the place to everyone else, including members of foreign military organizations.
The bit about prizing half-orc 'strength' seems like a mechanical / thematic mixup, since half-orcs aren't any stronger than humans, in Pathfinder, unless one is considering their ferocity trait as a kind of 'strength.'
As written, half-orcs don't seem terribly desirable as children, with the changes to both the human and the half-orc, in Pathfinder.
As I've said before, my idea for beefing up a half-orc presence in Golarion would be to just make all Shoanti half-orcs (with the occasional adopted or 'throwback' full orc or full human), the result of Thassilonians creating a 'warrior race' to serve in their armies.
If orcs actually did have something admirable about them (such as a racial bonus to Wisdom, to go with their bonus to Strength, making them more feral and in tune with nature, respected, if not always admired, for their keen senses and powerful wills), then that flavor text might make a bit more sense. 'Strength' doesn't necessarily even have to mean the Strength score, if half-orcs have other 'strength-y' traits, like being able to hump more gear (+2 Str for encumbrance purposes) or a bonus to Con checks to avoid penalties from environmental extremes or hustling or whatever (like a half-strength Endurance feat, although I don't think it would be out of line to even give them Endurance as a bonus feat and be done with it, just like how Half-Elves get Skill Focus as a bonus feat and Humans can choose any feat as a bonus feat) or a version of the Dwarven 'Steady' trait that allows them to not be slowed by Medium armor (or only slowed down by 5 ft. instead of 10 ft. by Medium and Heavy armor?).
With both setting flavor and game mechanics stacked against them (or, at the least, not doing them any favors), the half-orc is pretty un-desirable, both in-setting and from a gameplay standpoint.
As regards Sarenraen (is this the correct adjective to use?)
I've seen Sarenite and Sarenrite, but I prefer Sarenraen. I have no idea what's 'official.' That could be yet another thing that followers of gods disagree upon, particularly gods like Sarenrae, who are worshipped in countries that speak very different languages, and would have very different conventions on the matter...
Inspired by the last one;
27. Evil Hand. After touching the thing you ought not have touched, your hand is filled with a burning sensation and twists into a demonic claw that begins attacking you. Every time it strikes, it tears into your flesh and reveals new demonic flesh beneath, as if it is attempting to rip away your human self and unleash the demon growing within you. You have to sever the demonic hand, and restrain it, as the demon (a mere quasit?) still is trapped within it.
Your human hand regrows from the stump overnight, although you won't know this until the morning.
A horrible version of this could occur after some nut decides to desecrate an evil altar by peeing on it...
Matthew Morris wrote:
Another example would be if there are any clerics of Saranae involved in the slave trade that get spells. (Since those bast- er Kelish people, are involved in slavery).
I could see that being a mini-schism in the church.
Some might argue that providing healing services for slavers and the slaves they have captured for sale is only enabling them to continue slaving and making them 'more successful slavers' by cutting down their losses to disease or bad health, etc. In essence, those Sarenraens seen working with slavers, to try and 'fix the system from within' and provide healing to the slaves, could be seen as working *for* the slavers, and perpetuating the system in the process. By refusing to heal slaves, some will die, yes, but it will undercut the institution of slavery itself, making it less profitable, less desirable and less successful.
Others might argue that standing back and withholding healing from injured slaves furthers suffering among a group of people who are already suffering unreasonably and doesn't do anything to 'punish' the slavers themselves, since, if they lose a larger number of slaves, they'll just go round up *more* people, and the situation becomes even worse. Those who idealistically refuse to 'help the slavers' are just punishing the slaves themselves, and allowing their high-minded ideals to drown out the compassion they *should* be feeling.
And so, two Sarenraens, both with good intentions, could be violently opposed to each other on this matter. In the most extreme cases, one could be seen as callously allowing others to die, because of unrealistic idealism, like those Andorans who would rather sink a ship full of slaves than allow them to reach market, while the other could be seen as a traitor, taking coin from slavers to make their 'product' healthy and strong on the block, boosting their profits, and thereby 'profiting from slavery,' even if they personally don't own any slaves and have never sold a person or helped capture someone to be enslaved.
Same for Bolka, really. I could see *some* clergy of Bolka shaking their heads at homosexuality in general, calling it 'selfish' to allow one's personal desires and attractions to stand in the way of the very serious business of strengthening the clan by pumping out more dwarf babies. Others might not care, so long as the 'confirmed bachelor' participates in child-rearing, or in some other manner supports the clan / family / community, functioning as an uncle or aunt or god-parent to the children of their kin, and helping provide material support, crafting training, etc. Very few gods are so monolithic in their teachings as to not allow their clerics to remain individuals.
I sometimes feel that's a problem with settings that have too many gods (with 'too many' being an entirely subjective measure, obviously!), in that you start getting assumptions that if someone is a booze-hound, they must worship the god of booze, and that it's somehow 'wrong' to be a drunkard who worships the god of war or the goddess of love, as if, somehow, nobody ever drank booze before Cayden Cailean staggered out of the Starstone with a hangover and Mythic ranks.
The more gods a setting has, the more it seems that we hear arguments about what a cleric (or even lay worshippers) *can't* do, or *can't* believe, as if some viewpoints can only be held by worshippers of the God of That Viewpoint, and every cleric is a zombie-robot who believes every single thing that their god believes and marches in lockstep to the party line, with no room for individuality or 'feet of clay' or crises of faith or heresies or just two clerics politely disagreeing on one particular matter that may have little or nothing to do with their gods actual teachings.
Instead of 'more gods = more options,' it almost seems to go the other way, so that, the more gods exist, the more specialized they become, and the less generally usable, either as a player seeking a patron for their character, or as a GM, seeking a fun story role, only to find out that 'church X *never* would do Y' and that this tool has been made so specialized as to have become less usable.
(All the time I see this with various evil gods. "Oh, you can't play a non-evil cleric of Asmodeus in Council of Thieves or Urgathoa in Carrion Crown or Crimson Throne, because we use them as villains, and that might get weird." Like no members of evil groups have ever attacked and betrayed and turned against their own before, in the history of ever? Betrayal is practically their hat!)
19. Ripley's Nightmare. Swollen bodies hang from the trees, or the rafters of this barn, cocooned in spider silk and twitching softly as if reacting to your presence. One by one, they split open, the still living people (or herd animals) dying with screams as small sized giant spiders (or spider swarms!) erupt from their bellies. Those not yet split open thrash, and a timely remove disease spell or mercy (or even antiplague) can kill the unhatched eggs within them, saving their lives (and sparing you facing another giant spider or spider swarm in a few rounds, as they have remained dormant, waiting to hatch until their parent brings them a first meal of live struggling prey).
This reminds me of the original Deities and Demigods back cover, with that Erol Otus art of a vaguely Aztec looking dude summoning up a Cthulhu-like outsider or god...
I'm not sure I totally love the idea of an Aztec analogue that worships the Great Old Ones, but it sure does sound evocative and kind of on-theme for a people so caught up in massive bloody sacrifice, and being also a bit obsessed with bloodletting-based-divinations and human sacrifice and massive skull-rack displays of all their victims.
As I mentioned earlier, toss a half-mummified heart-ripping priest after a party, allowing it to teleport around by folding space, freeze people with paralyzing fear-roars, seize control of their minds and infect them with bloodlust to attack their allies, and tear their hearts out of their chest with a special grapple attack that takes a couple rounds, and you've essentially got a thematically appropriate beastie that can use the 3.5 Mind Flayer stats right out of the box.
In Mutants & Masterminds 1e/2e, certain actions were considered 'stunts' or 'challenges' and you could perform them with a penalty, such as 'Fast Stealth' or climbing while retaining your Dex bonus to AC. If you took the feat, it eliminated the penalty. Some challenges were generic like 'Fast Task' (to do something faster, doing a feint-bluff as a move action, instead of a standard action, for instance, at a -5 penalty) or 'Simultaneous Tasks' (doing two standard action checks at the same time, such as an acrobatic leap combined with a stealth check, as you attempt to leap out of sight), while others were specialized, such as attempting to Intimidate multiple targets or speeding up a Craft check or Disguise check.
I kind of love that idea, that a ton of options, at penalties, are available for various skills, and that a feat could reduce or remove those penalties. (Metamagic could work similarly. Modifying a spell on the fly requires a Spellcraft skill check to avoid losing the spell. Taking the appropriate feat removes that penalty.)
Back when PF was in Beta, I suggested that Fighters have a weapon damage bonus equal to half their level (like the old 1st edition monks) and a class defense bonus that added to their armor class, and then that they be able to switch numbers around to fight defensively (reducing accuracy to up AC) or recklessly (less AC, more accuracy) or precisely (less damage, more accuracy), etc. switching numbers around from their BAB, damage bonus and class defense bonus to AC, sort of like Power Attack, and the M&M feats Accurate Attack (+atk, -dmg) and All-Out Attack (-AC, +atk) and Defensive Attack (+AC, -atk).
Anyone who was *not* a Fighter, would have to purchase these options as feats (and wouldn't necessarily have class defense bonuses or class-based weapon damage bonuses to trade off with, and have to trade off their AC or damage bonuses from other sources).
Under such a system, every Fighter would be able to juggle numbers between AC, attack rolls and damage rolls (with the exact amount of juggling possible based on level), depending on the situation.
I lost track of the last thread.
Did anybody note that the worst 'special snowflakes' of all seem to be the GMs who meticulously plot out their setting and then prevent anyone from playing anything that doesn't fit their vision, or attempts an action that might mess up their pretty 'you can look, but don't touch' showroom? (Published adventures, such as the Time of Troubles and Dragonlance conversions, can also fall into this trap.)
I'm not a disruptive player by nature, but I've been in a game or two that seemed like a narrative which I was, begrudgingly, at best, allowed to observe, but not interact with, and I felt an urge to stab the very special NPC just to see what happened. (Unfortunately, being one of the not-disruptive players, that just meant I got caught in the GM freakout that happened when one of the *actual* disruptive players got bored with being read a story and did in fact do something that violated the propriety of the setting.)
I have no idea where the concept of 'the GM is god' and sense of over-entitlement came from, but it's, IMO, more of an issue than Jane, who always wants to play a cat-girl, even if we wanted to play gritty gothic horror or wild western adventures, and not something like high fantasy, superhero or space marines, in which an anthropomorphic tigress wouldn't be terribly out of place.
Ideally, the game chosen, and the setting of that game, should be flexible enough to accommodate the wishes of those who are playing that game, and not just be a frustrated writer saying that he'll 'run a game' just to get to read his story to a captive audience, who will be forbidden to play anything (or make any choices once the game starts) that will mess with the integrity of his artistic vision.
So, if I'm GMing, and (not a real person) Jane is one of those players, it will be set in my version of (world X) in which there happens to be cat people, for whatever reason. Since I prefer fantasy (with tons of anthros and lycanthropes), science fiction (with diverse aliens) and superhero (Tigra!) games, it's all good.
If the urge takes me to run a game set in the roaring '20s, and the only character choices are 'made man,' 'backwoods bootlegger,' 'corrupt G-man,' and 'gangster's moll,' then A) I won't invite Jane (or any woman, ever, given what most 'setting-appropriate' choices for women would be, in a historical game) and B) I'll lie down until that urge goes away, because *none* of my friends would want to play that anyway, and since I like my friends, I wouldn't inflict that upon them...
Instead I'll just write a short story set in the roaring '20's, and be done with it.
Yeah, that's just that one spell. Just as the fire from a Wall of Fire spell does extra damage against undead, and yet most other fire spells do not, nor does normal fire do extra damage against undead.
General trumps specific, and there's no general 'oozes / slimes / molds are hurt by sunlight' rule, just as the existence of a fire spell that does extra damage to undead (as produce flame and flame blade used to also do, IIRC) doesn't mean that one can assume some sort of general 'undead take more damage from fire' rule.
Welcome to D&D where random CR 2-3 things were thrown in with little care given to how obscenely dangerous they actually are. IE - shadows, brown mold, etc.
There's nothing *at all* to stop the entire Mwangi Expanse from being transformed into green slime overnight because one tiny patch made contact with one tree. Sure, it might all die in the morning, but that does nothing for every single living thing that died in that jungle, and the morning sun is going to rise over a steaming sea of dying green slime.
And brown mold doesn't even have that going for it. Even if one made up a rule that it couldn't grow in sunlight, it could still annihilate a warm region overnight, and volcanic regions in particular would be overrun with the stuff.
And shadows (wraiths, specters, greater shadows, dread wraiths, etc. anything both incorporeal and able to create spawn). Just, game over. A few thousand of them might get channeled to death in the process of taking over the world, but there would be billions of them, and only a finite number of people who can channel energy in existence (none of whom would last more than 1 round, when faced with infinity d6 Str drain 3 seconds *after* channeling the first wave to death). The only survivors would be those immune to ability damage, such as those pesky undead clerics, and most of those can't channel positive energy anyway...
All pretty much problems with the 'infinite self-generation' capabilities of some creatures, like molds and slimes and undead with create spawn (and, to a lesser degree, oozes that split into more oozes when you hit them).
Very low-tech versions of a 'grey goo' scenario, in which nano-builders / von Neumann machines get out of control and start deconstructing everything they come into contact with to create more nano-machines, until the entire world is covered with a grey heaving 'sea' of nano-machines, looking for more stuff to disassemble and make more nano-machines...
A Nexian attempt to create a swarm of tiny constructs that emulate the fabricate spell (by disintegrating a pre-existing item and using it as the raw components to fashion the new desired item) could be a fun plot story. The wizard and his workspace are now a heaving sea of construct swarms that disintegrate anyone or thing they engulf, and then spend a few rounds afterwards turning whatever they disintegrated into whatever they were programmed to make (breastplates, in this case, for the Nexian military). The building is collapsing into a pile of shiny new breastplates, and the swarms are starting to spread out into the city.
It wouldn't be quite so catastrophic if the wizard had just given a single construct swarm the ability to turn everything it engulfed into new breastplates, but he also accidentally gave it the ability to make more construct swarms, as well (as they ate all of his notes on their creation, and something went terribly wrong as they devoured all the information on how they were created!). So now there's a half dozen of them, and if even one gets away...
Empyreal lords: it's not just overly violent Ragathiel. I wouldn't have put "ignorance" in Ghenshau's portfolio at all. There's a decent concept there, but he should be more like the empyreal lord of Trust and Common Decency, or something...
My thoughts on Ghenshau, from another thread;
As for Arshea, s/he's a patron of freedom and liberation, tasked with comforting the weary and freeing minds and bodies from prisons both physical and spiritual. While I could see an argument for chaotic good, the good part of it seems pretty intuitive to anyone who values ideals of freedom or liberty and doesn't regard love or sexuality as icky or scary or wicked.
The sphere of annihilation used to be the standard example. Get one, move it to the bottom of the deepest trench in the ocean, and wait, water pressure / Brownian motion will keep pushing water (and fish, whales, etc.) into it to be annihilated until the oceans are gone, replaced by some deep valleys filled with mud.
The same process could also mess with the planet itself, if it has a molten core, or, much more slowly, if it has a solid core (just put it slightly off-center in the big ball of iron or whatever that is the core, and planetary rotation and subsidence will continually expose it to new iron, which will get eated, until the entire surface of the earth is undergoing a foot or so of daily 'settling' as it collapses into the latest swath of empty space beneath it).
But that's a slow boring process compared to how fast you could destroy an entire region by polymorphing up some green slime (which would turn a jungle measuring a thousand miles on a side into a giant patch of green slime pretty darn fast), or by unleashing a shadow (wraith, spectre, greater shadow, dread wraith) into a village, or tossing a chunk of brown mold into a volcano in the desert.
The way burrow speeds work, and the existence of an underdark or darklands, would allow bulettes, purple worms, umber hulks, thoqqua, etc. to undermine entire civilizations in relatively short times and collapse them into the caverns beneath. That would also kill the burrower, but it's not like any of those creatures are exactly brain trusts...
At least, any more living gulls.
[evil crow tangent]We are pretty far from the ocean, so it was a surprise to me when I moved to Nashua and noticed that all the McDonald's parking lots were infested with gulls, who would squabble over dropped fries and stuff.
As it got warmer around here, crows kept moving north, and over the course of a few years, I noticed that we no longer had any gulls in the fast food joint parking lots, just crows. Apparently, as they moved north, they would find gull nests (generally near the dumps) and fly in and smash all their eggs, so that their 'competitors' died out...
The crow mafia is vicious!
"That's a nice nest you gots here. Be a shame if something happened to it..."
And yet, there's a lot of room between the sling as it currently is, where the Simple Weapon takes *three feats* to be *almost* as good as the Martial Weapon, which only takes *one feat* to purchase, and the sling-as-uberweapon-better-than-bows that you are mentioning here.
The difference between sling and bow is just that, one feat. Simple vs. martial.
There's no game justification for it to take more than one feat for it to be a competitive weapon, if not an *identical* weapon (because that would be boring, IMO). Adding damage to a single shot, instead of the ability to load and fire it at bow-like speeds, would, IMO, better reflect the nature of the sling, while still upgrading it to being more useful mechanically, and, subsequently, more *used* in gameplay.
IMO, if the difference between a Simple Weapon and a Martial Weapon is one feat, then making a Simple Weapon (such as a sling or spear or dagger) function more effectively, and closer to a Martial Weapon (but not necessarily identically!), should never cost more than one feat.
This, again, IMO, is part of the 'Fighters can't have nice things' problem. I do away with the in-game limitations of the fireball being one of the more common resistance types and occasionally nuking your treasure, by making a 'frostball,' and it's practically a non-issue, with feats and class abilities that already do that sort of thing (such as elemental sorcerer or 3.X's Energy Substitution). I suggest something that might benefit a non-spellcaster, even to the point of making a sub-optimal option (sling) *almost as good* as the default choice (longbow), and it's Armageddon.
After the discussion on height and sling effectiveness, I want to see a version of Lord of the Rings where the taller-than-human elves like Legolas used brutally effective slings, and the little hobbits were the ones using bows. If Legolas had taken out forty-some orcs at the siege of Helm's Deep by cracking their skulls open with sling bullets, instead of filling them full of arrows, maybe the sling would be a little more popular in the fantasy RPGs inspired by that genre.
After decades of having spellcasters creating magical swords and armor for their buddies, and toting around mundane non-magical spellbooks and holy symbols, I've long wondered why there weren't more spellcaster-specific magic items, based on these items that they carry around every day.
Magical holy symbols, in particular, seem almost a foregone conclusion, adding bonuses to channel attempts (+X heal/damage? +X DC? Use as X levels higher? +X uses per day? Secondary effects based on the deity and their domains, such as a cleric of a fire god causing foes damaged by their channel to catch on fire?), or having effects related to their domain spells (allowing them to leave them open and pick either option, or adding a third domain, or being able to spontaneously convert prepared spells to spells from one of their domains?).
But there's all sorts of other options, such as sacred censers of incense or thuribles or vestments or holy canons that, when read from, enhance the effects of spells being cast (sort of like a clerical metamagic rod that has other effects, not necessarily metamagic).
Holy oils that, when thrown on an undead or demon or evil cleric, function like holy water, except that they *also* burst into holy fire, and function like alchemical fire, as well!
It's amazing how few magic items (particularly in AP treasure hoards, where you can get up to level 6 without seeing a single item useful for your role as spellcaster), almost exclusively crafted by wizards and clerics, are of any real significance to wizards or clerics, or tie into their class-specific mechanics, like spell preparation, or themes.
Petty Alchemy wrote:
Invis was #1. I'm not sure if I'd count healing spells (purely because of how little the mundane Heal skill can accomplish).
I would love for the Heal skill to be able to steal some utility from magical healing, among other things.
The Treat Deadly Wound option in PF was a baby-step in the right direction, but just that, a baby-step. Options to not only enhance hit point healing, but to also provide non-magical options for restoring ability damage or assist in the recovery of negative energy levels.
D&D elves have almost always been (probably totally unintentionally) consistently portrayed as lighter skinned, the more exposure to sunlight they get, and darker skinned, the more dark their surroundings. Grey elves, described as living on mountain tops and riding giant eagles, were the palest of the pale, with bright blue eyes and blonde hair. High elves, living at the same elevation as humans, were pretty much human colored. Wood elves, wild elves or grugach, living in the shadows of primeval forests, were described as darker skinned, or even, for the grugach, as 'nut-brown.' Aquatic or sea elves, shades of blue and green, like the waters around them. Dark elves or drow, growing up in the darklands or underdark, black as pitch (or very dark brown or blue, depending on the art).
If there are elves that live in the plains region or on the sea in the Mwangi expanse, I'd prefer that they be bleached and pale, while elves who live deep in the shadowy parts of the jungle canopy and rarely see the sun, could be darker than the 'average elf.'
Having elves who just happen to live near dark skinned humans also be dark skinned just seems lazy, and completely throws the way they've been portrayed (lighter in the sunlight, darker in the shadows) for 40 years out of synch.
Whether or not any non-human race should have features resembling a human ethnicity (barring half-human races like half-elves or aasimar), is a completely other question.
Dwarves, for instance, often appear more like squat Scotsmen or Scandinavians, instead of having any distinctive 'Dwarvish' cultural or appearance features (like elves long ears and black eyes). If certain white sub-cultures are already 'seeing themselves represented' in Dwarven appearances, is it more or less appropriate for non-whites to also see versions of themselves in other fantasy races? Taken to an extreme, that could be terribly insulting.