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Pathfinder Society Member. 14,245 posts (18,323 including aliases). 1 review. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.


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Scarab Sages

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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

So, was it my imagination, or did they show someone all burned to ash in their kitchen, about ten minutes before claiming that the element that made the terrigen stuff so deadly had filtered out and was no longer an issue?

I know, possible unreliable narrator issues, since the person who said that could have been totally wrong, but it felt more like exposition, not speculation...

Scarab Sages

Kryzbyn wrote:
Last Boyscout and Hudson Hawk are my two favorite Willis films.

Last Boy Scout, definitely. Fifth Element (for it's campy weirdness, it's like Flash 'Aaaaa!' Gordon for the next generation), Red and Die Hard, too.

For me, Hudson Hawk is somewhere under Die Hard 3: Just Please Die Already, and his MTV 'Return of Bruno' mockumentary thing.

Scarab Sages

Do you want warp speed? 'Cause I think that's how you hit warp speed.

Scarab Sages

M1k31 wrote:

"scarring/growth of devilish aspects" applies during infernal healing, I suppose I did not separate or clarify the first part of what I was describing, because someone else posted it first, that you could houserule that flesh healed by IH heals, yet leaves scarring or creates infernal looking flesh rather than normal flesh.

To take it a step further, the healed areas might not just look different, but have some unusual qualities, such as finding contact with holy water painful (just distracting, not damaging) or insensitive to fire (able to burn self for damage over a candle flame without feeling it) or having an allergic reaction to silver (which bypasses some devils DR).

None of that would have a real game effect, but would suggest that the changes are more than just skin deep, and that the person being healed by infernal healing might actually be having their wounded tissue replaced with devil flesh, turning them, bit by bit, into lesser devils of some sort. (Obviously the spell wouldn't actually be able to turn someone into a devil, no matter how many times it was cast on them! That's much higher level magical stuff!) That would certainly be enough to make non-evil recipients (or merely image-conscious ones, who don't like devil-skin scars) refuse infernal healing, or want some sort of 'antidote for the antidote' later to purge the results of the infernal healing from their bodies.

For other evil spells to have actual evil in-game effects, you'd have to come up with stuff. Summoned fiendish animals might cause real animals in the area to pick up fiendish qualities (perhaps 'summoning' a real animal and turning it fiendish for the duration, but sometimes leaving some lingering fiendish qualities in the animal, such as unnatural aggression, or a taste for succulent babies, after the spell ends and the 'summoned' animal is returned to its natural environment). Alternately, creatures from evil planes might bring parasites or contagion with them, that lingers in an area and blights it even after the creature has returned to it's home plane.

Spells like unholy smite, tied to evil, which, for better or worse, is often tied to negative energy, might have detrimental effects on wildlife / nature in the area, causing plants to wither (despite the plants being non-good and even more 'objects' than 'creatures' in game terms) or other thematic effects (milk curdles, food spoils and is full of maggots, a goat gives birth to a two-headed kid, a crow dies standing up on a fencepost and doesn't fall over until someone touches it, etc.).

Such things would be mostly cosmetic, and not reliably reproducible, so that an evil priest wouldn't be able to go casting unholy smite every night near a rivals vineyard to reliably spoil their harvest / ruin their wine, but just sort of leave behind a lingering sense of evil.

Logically, good spells would have the reverse sorts of mostly cosmetic 'good stuff' left behind, like sweeter tasting food, friendly animals doing portentous things (songbirds singing in celestial), a lost heirloom of only sentimental value mysteriously 'showing up,' spontaneous blossoming of plants out of season, etc. Again, not something exploitable. A wizard couldn't summon celestial badgers every day in hopes of it somehow making his herb garden more productive because of 'celestial aphids' or something hitching a ride and blessing his garden!

At the moment, spells with good and evil descriptors are pretty circular, being evil because they say they're evil, for the most part.

The trick is to 'evil them up' without adding unintended game effects, or free bonuses. I've seen some suggestions to 'evil something up' that unintentionally give them free powers, such as the notion that animate dead traps the soul of someone whose corpse you make into a zombie, which would allow one to destroy a demon, angel or god who used to be mortal, by finding their body and casting animate dead on it, sucking their outsider soul right out of the Abyss/Heaven/Nirvana and trapping it in their old bones. That's just silly, right there. Trap the soul is an *eighth level spell* and doesn't have the power to suck a soul out of it's Heavenly reward, or Hell's cruel torments, or right out of Pharasma's bony grasp. It's silly for animate dead to be able to do that.

Attempts to 'make infernal healing more evil' (or any evil, good, lawful or chaotic descriptors spells) need to be considered carefully, to avoid that sort of thing.

Scarab Sages

LazarX wrote:

This isn't Smallville, Bruce Wayne isn't a young adult about to become Batman, he's still a messed-up kid, and Batman if he exists is more than a decade in the future.

We kind of have to letgo the idea of a Batman mythos and see if this Gotham develops a mythos of it's own.

Agreed. I like the show not only for what it is, but also for what it *isn't*, and that's yet another Batman show.

Scarab Sages

The picture on page 9, of the Osirioni halfling Fighter type in Osirioni style armor is just amazing. Pretty much since the beginning of the game, I've wanted to see some good artwork of Osirioni armor, and to add it to a picture of an 'ethnic' member of one of the other Core races? Awesome.

Scarab Sages

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


Then some combination of Bard, Druid, Summoner, etc. I like versatility and options and at least a little bit of independence. (Having a character not able to heal themself is not a fun place for me to be, and you can't really control how other players play their healer, so counting on them is a bit of a crap shoot...)

Scarab Sages

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

Aberzombie wrote:
"Now, I go to spread happiness to the rest of the station. It is a terrible responsibility but I have learned to live with it."

"I'm going to beat you like a piñata!"

"Is that how you think of me? A colorful festive figure filled with treats for children? Interesting."

(probably terribly misquoted, but it made me laugh at the time)

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

I liked the variability of the races and technology on the show.

On Star Trek (which I also love and am not dissing at all), it seems like just about anyone the Federation runs into (Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Cardassians, Breen, Jem Hadar, etc.) has the same sort of shields, warp drive, transporters, tractor beams, etc. as the Federation. On Babylon 5, the Humans and Narn ships we see don't even have artificial gravity (the Human ships rotate, and the one Narn ship I remember, everyone was strapped in). The Centauri and Minbari (and presumably Vorlons) do have artificial gravity technology, in one instance to the degree of having a hand held gravity manipulating device!

And yet, as to the 'hard' science, I'm not sure any sci-fi show really fits the harsher definitions. Most of them have aliens, or genetically enhanced people, or faster than light travel, or telepathy, or hand held directed energy weapons, or 'sensors' that can read 'life signs' from space (*my* body doesn't emit anything detectable through the vacuum of space, not even when I've eaten chili!), or lightsabers, or whatever, and I tend not to worry about that sort of thing.

As sci-fi goes, it's maybe a bit 'harder' than one that includes a 'Q Continuum' (and about the same as the one based around 'The Force'), but hardly reality-based.

Upside, it's got characters like Bester. Oh, he's fun.

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

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Has anyone been watching Vixen on CW Seed? It's a shorts-based animated series giving backstory to the character Vixen that takes place in the Arrowverse. Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin both voice their characters, as does Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity) and Carlos Valdes (Cisco). It's been interesting, but I'm wondering if the character will appear in either series. It would be pretty cool if she does.

Ooh, I didn't know that it was out yet. Vixen's one of my favorite League ladies, with a great powerset (fly like an eagle!, fast as a hummingbird!, strong as a whale!, mantis-shrimp death-punch hard and fast enough to set the air on fire and create a sonic boom!, senses of, oh, *everything!*).

I'd love a live action show about that character. They could even cheap on the special effects by just having animal sounds occur when she uses the powers of an animal, instead of anything visual (a hawk's cry when she takes off and fly, a whale song snippet when she channels the strength of a blue whale, etc.). No need for fancy animal graphic overlays, except perhaps in special episodes.

Scarab Sages

Aberzombie wrote:

"Due to a tragically poorly timed flushing of the waste pipes into space, Ensign Redshirt just had every organ in his body sucked out his colon..."

Also, thanks to replicators, space-poop just gets recycled into Rak'tagino and Heart of Targ anyway.

As for Agents of SHIELD, I'm still wondering if Koenig and his undetermined number of identical 'twin' brothers are LMDs. They sure didn't lose any sleep over the one that What's-His-Face killed...

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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

The Raven Black wrote:
It took me some time to realize that Jiaying was Selene : a vampire using other people's lifeforce to both stay young and healthy and fuel her powers and who happens to be the psychotic leader/protector of a hidden people.

Ooh, that's a good catch. She didn't have the crazy levels of extra power that Selene had (to use that stolen life-energy to animate matter or enhance her own physical attributes), but still, a neat parallel.

(It's also possible that we didn't get to see her full potential, since both Daisy and Not-Lightning-Lad seem to be able to develop their core abilities to do things unrelated, like levitate or make water bend all funky...)

I am hoping for some more creative, and less 'human' looking Inhumans, in the next season. Most Inhumans shouldn't look like scrubbed young 20-somethings fresh off the latest CW show. More creative Inhuman talents than 'shoots lightning' might also be neat. Karnak, Gorgon and Medusa, to name three, had far less 'common' super-powers, and that was part of their quirky charm.

(It could be funny to have a character able to turn people into stone, or at least paralyze them with a glance, since the Inhumans were about a team with members named 'Medusa' and 'Gorgon,' neither of which had anything to do with the classical creature.)

That said, the budget is what the budget is, and if 'Inhuman' looking Inhumans are going to end up looking as terrible as Gordon and his eyeless face-mask, maybe it's best to stick to the pretty young actor-models...

[B5 tangent] Heh. 'Moon-faced assassin of joy!' is one of my favorite lines from Londo. Also, from G'Kar and Natoth 'You will know pain. You will know fear. And then, you will die.' <cheery wave> 'Good bye!' [/B5 tangent]

Scarab Sages

GM Niles wrote:
Babylon 5 is one of my favorite series ever. I remember watching the entire series (on rerun) in the late 90's on TNT.

I only got cable to watch Babylon 5.

(Had to keep it when the young ones got addicted to Cartoon Network...)

Londo, Ivanova and even Vir and Delenn remain quotable to this day.

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

DaemonAngel wrote:
The one epic MMO I loved that isn't around anymore is Anarchy Online. It had its problems but still.

I think every MMO has added something new to the mix, from Dark Ages introducing the notion that each class could have three different 'spec paths' to follow, or that warrior types could do something other than auto-attack and then go make a sandwich, with an array of weapon styles and reactive maneuvers and chained attack sequences, to Anarchy Online adding instanced encounter areas and eliminating 'camp checks.' It's kind of great that the more modern MMOs can avoid some of the painful learning curve of the past.

Instancing is such a given these days, that it's kind of funky to remember that the (otherwise classically buggy) Anarchy Online brought that feature to MMO gameplay.

There's elements I miss from otherwise forgotten games like Horizons (where you could 'accidentally' turn off the game world's gorgeous graphics and play in wireframe-mode!) or Shadowbane (first game with gameplay events actually affecting the map, causing different servers to be *wildly* different depending on how certain battles went, as different territories might be controlled by NPC enemies, depending on what server you picked!).

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

Icyshadow wrote:
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I have considered trying out Final Fantasy XIV when I have some spare time and my World of Warcraft time expires.

My guildies (from EQ, EQ2, WoW, SWtoR, etc.) have mostly moved on to FFXIV for now, so I've been trying it out. It's pretty fun, although the silly bits (even after WoW) can be a bit off-putting at times.

Some the NPC names look someone facerolled the keyboard, although they are probably no weirder than some Norse or Welsh names from actual history...

OTOH, I laughed out loud when I got a quest from someone named 'Ermagerd.'

The play is cool, and I like being able to have one character perform multiple roles, depending on gear equipped, which reminds me a little bit of Guild Wars 2. The questing system is insanely rich, and the storyline is fairly interesting to someone who knows nothing about previous Final Fantasy games.

Unlike Champions Online (which was massively cut down to crap to be usable on the console), it appears to be console playable, but my experience on the PC has not been affected one bit by that option.

Scarab Sages

Simeon wrote:
This whole thread is a gold mine for getting inspiration for designing stuff. Dotted!

Thanks! High praise indeed!

Seth Dresari wrote:
Interesting stuff.

And thanks to you as well!

My last purchase was Occult Adventures, and my first thought was that five of the six classes are just ripe for additional options (the Mesmerist being that sixth class).

Kineticists based on the eastern elements of Wood, Metal and Void are obvious niches to fill, for starters, but Ice, Positive Energy, Negative Energy and, of course, *Nano*, for the Numerian Kineticist, are there for development as well. (Shadow and First World are also options, even if 'First World' seems a little less intuitive and would likely have overlap with Wood and Positive Energy and perhaps a tad of Alchemist-like Mutagen goodness, as it would allow for rampant growth of the tissues of the First World Kineticist herself, perhaps growing claws or bone spurs, in place of close combat Infusions like 'fire sword' or whatever.)

For Mediums, replacing the six current spirits with ones based on a pantheon of gods, like the Elven pantheon or the Godclaw, or on the four (or five) elements, could be a different way to go with it (with the elements Medium option ending up feeling a bit like a Kineticist / Medium mashup).

Same with Occultist, and already mentioned under Archetypes, focusing on the Elemental Schools, instead of the 'classic eight' or some other type or sub-school distinction, like dividing spells up into light / fire and shadow / darkness, or other oppositional matrices.

For the Psychic, a Superiority psychic might have abilities related to shrugging off some mind-affecting effects, while a Materialist might use items of personal or historical significance to draw upon psychic resonances, one based on Sensation might have the ability to downgrade a fear or confusion or compulsion/charm effect to a dazed condition, as she chooses to revel in the sensation of the emotional / mental effect (and thereby mitigate it's worst effects, losing her action, but not running around in a blind panic or attacking her allies). Other psychic disciplines could include Individualists, Competitors or Dualists, with relevant abilities.

Spiritualists with emotional foci like Greed or Knowledge could be designed, or even a different sort of Spiritualist whose Phantom remains Incorporeal, but has a weak incorporeal attack (not quite as buff as that of a shadow, wraith or specter, perhaps limited to simple hit point damage, at first, and not ability damage until later, and probably never imposing negative levels!).

As with the Advanced Players Guide classes, I like the Occult Adventures classes for what sort of directions they can be taken, as much as for what they already add to the game.

Except that Mesmerist. I'm stuck there. :)

Scarab Sages

captain yesterday wrote:
I confess, I love their are no Mind Flayers or Beholders in Pathfinder :-)

Love mind flayers. Never liked beholders or those gith races. Good riddance to those modrons! Giant space hamsters were less silly!

The only loss from 3.X monster IP I still mourn is the displacer beast. I have a weird love for those guys.

Scarab Sages

Cat-thulhu wrote:
I'm still trying to find a group just to play an evil kingmaker style game.

After the Faction Guide came out, I wanted a Kingmaker style game in which the PCs were members of factions, such as the Kalistocracy, or the Whispering Way, or Varisian Wanderers, eager to form a nation-state in which they could thrive and prosper.

Scarab Sages

While I was not a fan of the Magic the Gathering card game, the world was super-evocative, and I wouldn't mind playing a Pathfinder rules game set in that world, with an assortment of thematically appropriate green, red, black, white and blue spellcasters.

Scarab Sages

The dragon collected quirky items of magic, not so much cursed, as of dubious utility, such as a goblin 'cloak' of seaweed and detritus encrusted netting that allows it's wearer to disguise themselves as a pile of flotsam, and even to (slowly) swim while so disguised as a harmless clump of garbage.

His prize possession is a sword.

Many have heard of the legendary sword Helbane, borne by a Paladin into Hell itself, and said to still be cleaving devils to this day.

This sword is not that one.

Few know that the original crafting ran into a snag, when the runic language used turned out to have very similar characters for the letters L and N, and the first product from the smithy was the not-so-legendary sword Henbane, a +1 bane (chickens) greatsword, that, perhaps due to a quirk in it's manufacture, has half of it's bane effect (+1 to hit, +1d6 damage) to chicken-like creatures, such as cockatrices, or that one unfortunate rooster-headed rakshasa who was unlucky enough to die upon it's blade.

The sword is displayed deeply stuck into the breast of a petrified cockatrice of unusual size, it's traditional enemy.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
As for internal buffer, in addition to the typical filling it before going to sleep to get more stuff the next day, [SNIP]

Ooh, that right there answers my question about internal buffer, about how long it lasted 'in the tank.' I had the impression that it only lasted the day it was used (until burn was recovered), in which case it was only useful for exceeding per-round limits, and not storing up some burn before you go to bed to get some full hp burnination tomorrow.

Being able to store up burn from the previous day (and therefore recover it overnight, instead of running around combat with massive damage from just using your class abilities, in addition to the occasional risk of actually being attacked by an enemy...) makes me a little less leery of the class. (Since I'm not a fan of running around at half health, with damage that can't be healed, and so was trying to design Kineticists that would *never* use burn.)

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

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

There are a hundred great character ideas on the forums, and yet Set's Mordecai always seemed very haunting to me.

And then despite such a Gothic Horror backstory, or maybe because of it, the character totally turned into a comedy of errors in game, which made me love him even more.


I think the 'A Day in the Life' notion of not just writing up a backstory, but coming up with a typical day for the character (grittier and more prosaic and less gothic for Mordecai) was more relevant to where the character was *now.*

Other games have done that too, and I found it useful to get into the feel for the character's present, instead of past.

(For instance, a Council of Thieves character was a foreigner whose father had died in Chelish custody, and was there for revenge, but that backstory was less relevant to the current storyline than her day to day work as a spell-for-hire and the NPCs she interacted with as competitors and customers.)

Scarab Sages

Very cool. Reminds me of gun-using occult types, like Hellboy or Gunwitch or even the guys from Supernatural (when they've got the Colt), and also plays well on notions like cold iron vs. fey or whatever, or Mage the Ascensions timeline, in which the rise of technology (such as guns) heralded the decline of the supernatural (like faeries and werewolves).

While a gun-using Spiritualist seems thematically odd, at first, a variation that summoned up a non-mobile wellspring of spiritual energy, and once that was done, could set it to perform certain tasks round by round (less like summoning an eidolon/phantom, more like setting up a haunt!), and / or tap it to call up spiritual energy for one's own spellcasting (or stand in it and benefit from some sort of cover or defense), could be a thematic fit between the concepts. That would have less to do with firearms, however, and more to do with calling up an immobile 'spiritual gun emplacement.'

I'm not sure every Occult class needs a gun-toting Archetype, but there's no reason not to explore the various niches. A gun-toting Mesmerist could specialize in trick shots that inflict psychologically-based conditions on targets shot, or trick people into thinking they have been shot (when they haven't), causing them to take nonlethal damage, or to be debuffed in some way (diving away from illusory suppressing fire, and becoming flat-footed or provoking attacks of opportunity from those near them, as their attention is diverted). Being able to 'flank' someone with a gun while standing 30 ft. away would be a logical 'trick' for a gun-using Mesmerist, for instance.

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!


Scarab Sages

What if Nikolai Tesla was as mad and inventive as in our world, but was also as good at patent-trolling and stealing credit as Edison, utterly dominating US energy policy and leaving Edison to die penniless and discredited instead?

What if the Civil War never happened, and the United States was the nation north of the Mason-Dixon line, while the Confederacy was an allied nation to the south?

What if a Chinese fleet bombed the hell out of Portsmouth and Calais, and then claimed them as their territory (as Britain claimed Hong Kong), to force the ports to remain open to their opium shipments, forcing Europe at gunpoint to buy their product? What if the sun never set on the Chinese empire?

What if Britain didn't choose to hand over Palestine to the displaced Jewish people after WW2, and the Allies went with their second choice, and the new nation of Israel was founded in Baja, California?

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

9. Whenever you kill anything larger than an insect, say a few words of prayer and apologize to it's departing spirit to shoo it's soul off to the afterlife, so it doesn't hang around and haunt you out of spite.

10. Salt and / or iron nails repel / restrain restless spirits. Sleep with a little salt on your lips, or some iron nails on a necklace, to prevent possession. (Nightmares are a sure sign of attempted possession! It's more common than you people think! Protect yourselves!)

11. Salting a meal doesn't just flavor it, it drives evil spiritual energies from the meat that could cause illness (as most animals resent being killed, and that resentment lingers in their flesh to spiritually poison those that eat them). Thoroughly cooking it on an iron spit or iron grill also works. You don't have to salt (or grill) plant matter, 'though.

12. Certain entities can hear their names spoken aloud, and so you never speak the name of an evil god, demon, devil, etc. referring to them only by their 'nicknames' like 'The Mother of Monsters' or 'The Prince of Lies.'

13. Thirteen of anything is anathema to you. If you reach a level where you can prepare thirteen spells a day, you will prepare only twelve, and then cast one (such as mage armor), before filling that last spell slot. If you are owned thirteen gold in 'change,' you will insist on 12 gold and 10 silver, instead, or even accept less, if you absolutely must (you're superstitious, not stupid!).

14. [For a spellcaster] You believe that other forces can use your hair, nail clippings, etc. to cast spells upon you, and so gather up or destroy all such remnants, using magic such as prestidigitation to clean up after yourself, or purify food & drink to transform your waste into clear water and burning hair clippings, blood-soaked bandages, etc. to fine ash and scattering it into the nearest river or sea, to prevent anyone from ever gaining access to these materials to use against you. You are, occasionally comically, paranoid about people stealing your 'precious bodily fluids.'

15. You've heard tales that your father and his father before him were dragged off into the shadowed corners of their bedchambers by strange hounds that seemed to crawl from the angled corners themselves. You never sleep near a wall or corner, and always surround your sleeping area with a curving circle of chalk or string or wax, which you believe will repel these creatures that come from the sharp angles.

Scarab Sages

Good grief, that cover, mock up or not, is super-hot!

What a gorgeous piece of artwork!

Scarab Sages

There two sorts of monsters I associate with Paizo;

1) Monsters from D&D that Paizo has breathed new life into, like Aboleth, Goblins, Ogres and Ogre Magi (expanded into a whole new Oni subtype of giant).

2) Monsters that are pretty much all-Paizo, like Boggards, Cyclopes, Linnorms, Mites, Shoggoth or Tengu.

Mostly it would be Goblins.

Scarab Sages

Ed Reppert wrote:

Yeah? Provide three examples, please. :-)

I don't mind "shoutouts" to old editions, but "anti-Paladin" just seems so ... clumsy to me.

My first choice would be 'Reaver,' for a CE 'paladin.'

Tyrant and Blackguard could work, as well. Maybe Knave or Transgressor or Defiler.

I'm less fond of two word names like Shadow Knight or Death Knight or Unholy Warrior or Dark Champion, but some are quite usable (Death Knight and Unholy Warrior, in particular, have already been used in Secret College of Necromancy and Green Ronin's Book of the Righteous spin-off, Unholy Warrior).

Of course, as with so many things, the old level-based names from 1st edition are a treasure trove of ideas;


Experience level Level title Horse (a) Unholy sword (b) Human retainers (c) Non-human retainers (c) Freehold

1 Caitiff 5% 100% 5%
2 Miscreant 10 95 5 10
3 Malefactor 15 90 10 15 (Manor)
4 Hellraiser 5% 20 85 15 25
5 Blackguard 10 25 80 20 30
6 Scoundrel 15 30 75 25 35
7 Dastard 20 35 70 30 40
8 Villain 25 40 65 35 45
9 Villain of the Deepest Dye 30 45 60 40 50 (Keep)
10 Fiend 35 50 55 45 60
11 Anti-Paladin 40 55 50 50 70
12 Anti-Paladin, 12th level 45 60 45 55 80
13 Anti-Paladin, 13th level 50 65 40 60 90
14 Anti-Paladin, 14th level 55 70 35 65 100 (Castle)

Malefactor's my favorite from that list.

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.'

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