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Pathfinder Society Member. 14,164 posts (18,241 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.


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Scarab Sages

Real world political axe grinding and 'it's your duty to die on-schedule so we can re-distribute the food, money, land you were using to the next generation like communists, rather than reduce everybody to sustainable (and much smaller) levels of all of the above resources *also* like communists' is boring.

Also off-topic. Which is transhumanism *in games.*

Reincarnate, raise dead, resurrection, lichdom, other types of undead-ness, class capstone ageless traits, turning into a petitioner and then a fiend or celestial, etc., as well as simply polymorphing into something with a vastly greater lifespan (like an elf or dragon) are all more relevant, when talking about extending life.

Actually *transforming* life, via turning into other creatures, or redefining what it means to be 'alive' (via becoming undead, or some sort of sentient construct) or a person (becoming a sentient plant creature or ooze creature or just an awakened animal) adds all sorts of non-life-extension-related transhuman themes.

It could be interesting to see how 'self' is legally perceived in a world where a person can transition into another race, magically, or be unwillingly transitioned to another status (such as petitioner or undead or even vegepygmy). The churches obviously know that souls transition into petitioners.

In Golarion, there's even a nation that explicitly gives intelligent undead the same rights as living people, but it's not clear if all (or any) undead are automatically regarded as *the same person* for the purposes of things like rights of retaining property owned in life, etc. Some undead seem pretty clearly to be the same person (template undead, like liches). Others seem to be completely different spirits animating the bodies, or incorporeally aping the general appearance of, a previous living person, and seeming to be no more 'that person' than a patch of green slime that used to be a person is 'that person.'

Scarab Sages

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Manwolf wrote:

I can't believe nobody's mentioned goblins and food related monikers. How about a gnaw of goblins, a gulp or a belch.

Pyre is good too. Conflagration is too high falootin' for goblins.

A pie of goblins. At least that's what ogres call them, because they like to stuff them in a big crust and bake them...

Scarab Sages

Icyshadow wrote:
Though if a non-human was seeking a higher state of being via transformation, would it still be transhumanism?

Just call it 'transcendence' I guess, so it applies even if the transcender is a dwarf or elf or dragon or gibbering mouther.

Scarab Sages

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D&D's been soaking in it for decades. I think I first noticed it in the Rogue's Gallery, where a character named Erac's Cousin (because he didn't give out his own name) had made a deal that after he died his soul would skip the normal infernal queue and progress straight to Horned Devil.

Some people use the clone spell. Some skip being dead by becoming undead (voluntarily or otherwise). Others magic jar into new bodies. Some reincarnate into new bodies (sometimes of completely new species). Others die, but their immortal spirits go off into the planes and become something different, that may or may not retain memories of their mortal lives.

In many of these cases, the transhumanish questions of 'is the clone that says it's me actually me?' remain muddled.

Becoming undead, for instance, often results in your HD, alignment and mental attributes completely changing. A 1 HD CG Cleric of Shelyn with an 8 Intelligence being killed by a Specter turns into an 8 HD LE hate filled monstrosity with a 14 Intelligence! It doesn't seem terribly intuitive to say that that Spectre *is* the former Cleric of Shelyn, even if it looks like her, because it's just ridiculously dissimilar in every way. Same with an 18 Intelligence, 8 Charisma NG 8th level Wizard becoming a Wight and gaining six points of charisma, losing 8 levels of wizard (and gaining 4 HD) and losing seven points of intelligence, as well as changing alignment and personality. Bob the Wizard has left the building, seems like.

Does a petitioner really count as 'you' if it's also lost all of your class levels, racial attributes and even *memories* of your mortal existence? That petitioner, whether it's a floppy bunny in Elysium or a person-headed maggot in Hell, might as well be a set of decorative windchimes carved from your finger bones, for all that it's 'you,' in any meaningful sense of the word. Yeah, it's made out of you, but it's not a continuation of your existence, and is actually significantly less 'you' than a recording of Marvin Minsky's brain in a computer would be Minsky.

Wonkier transhumanist stuff, like extreme body modification, is also a trope of the game, with gamers having explored altering their characters bodies with polymorph magic, to gain various benefits (form of... a war troll! shape of... a planetar!). That sort of transhumanism, where the person stretches the boundaries of what sort of physiology can be considered 'human,' has been going on since 1st edition.

Thanks to polymorph any object having a permanent duration option, it's eventually possible to do an Extreme Race Makeover and redefine your species entirely.

Scarab Sages

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Joe Hex wrote:
Since I posted above that psyrus' archetype should get "mad bonuses", I should clarify then, that I did not mean "Multiple Attribute Dependent"- Just really good ones. :)

Yeah, this is one of those game-lingo situations where having 'MAD feats' or 'MAD skills' isn't a good thing. :)

Scarab Sages

Note to self, when Googling 'Greg Vaughan blog', do not forget the middle initial 'A.' It's the difference between the Frog God Games site, and some shirtless model...

Scarab Sages

QuidEst wrote:
Rakshasas make a great conspiracy target. They're shapeshifters, semi-immortal, foreigners as far as the Inner Sea is concerned, mind-readers/manipulators, illusionists, and generally obsessed with controlling everything they can.

Here's a notion for animal-headed Osirioni 'god-kings,' who just happen to be rakshasa...

Scarab Sages

Kind of hoping Marvel doesn't retread DC and Sony's formula of re-hashing Batman, Superman and Spider-Man movies every five years, rather than continuing to explore new properties like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, the Inhumans, etc.

Seeing Iron Man or Captain America's story retold every decade until the end of time, with a succession of new actors, doesn't particularly excite me.

Scarab Sages

Woo, close to killing that star!

Scarab Sages

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Set wrote:

Norgorber is a committee...

Does that mean He created the platypus?

Or Lamashtu, in one of her 'I wonder what happens if...' moods.

The assassin bug is probably Norgorber's spirit guide.

Scarab Sages

The Blood Elf racial ability of Arcane Torrent as silence seems like a suitable workaround, but might be better written up as a spell in the document to then be used for this racial ability.

Some sort of 2nd level abjuration spell that imposes a concentration check on any spell the target attempts for the next round, and, if successful at disrupting a spell, has a chance of granting the caster a surge of magical energy (+1 caster level to the next spell cast within 1 minute? 50% chance of refreshing a spell slot expended of up to half the level of the spell disrupted?), could represent the mechanics of the ability in game (hampering magic use, granting some mana to the user, IIRC).

Scarab Sages

From the Thor movies, I liked Kat Dennings jokes, and pre-crazy-in-his-underwear Stellan Skarsgard, and some combination of Loki, Heimdall, Sif and Frigga (in the second movie, particularly).

Anthony Hopkins and the role of Odin didn't go well together. I have no idea whose fault that was, but he seemed completely asleep at the wheel. And I still have no idea if Chris Hemsworth can act. I ain't seen it yet, if so. He and Natalie Portman spent far too much time, IMO, running over each other and / or staring gleepily into each others eyes.

Of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, Thor is easily my favorite in the comics (being a big fan of magic and mythology), and yet I liked the Cap and IM movies better, perhaps because of the casting / writing.

I wouldn't mind seeing Balder, Brunnhilde (the Valkyrie), Amora (the Enchantress) and Skurge (the Executioner), more so than the Warriors Three, who always seemed to me like they should have been einherjar instead of actual 'gods.'

Scarab Sages

Jaelithe wrote:

I'll politely disagree, and give Avengers a slight edge.

I'd rank the films, thus far, in this order:

I mostly agree, although I'd rank Hulk, the Thors, Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3 at the bottom, and uprank Captain America I and Iron Man 1 a bit.

Whedon or no Whedon, Avengers was pretty amazing, and Age of Ultron kinda was not, IMO. Being a weirdo, one of my favorite Avengers scenes was the beginning 'Thin Man' sequence with Tony and Pepper snarking off of each other.

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM wrote:
I saw it and it was awesome!!! Obviously better than Avengers. The only problem I had was the constant shrinking and growing in the fights - a little less and it would have been perfect, although the miniature fight was amazing.

I loved the transitions between heroically lifting 'giant' train pieces to throw, and then zooming out and the little toy goes 'clunk.' Very jarring, and also funny.

Scarab Sages

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The Gninja remains blameless, because, as it happens, I didn't see any Gninja!

But I wouldn't, would I?

Cosmo gets the blame, because he distracted me, while the Gninja wallet-stabbed me!

Scarab Sages

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I've always been pennywise, poundfoolish with my money (choosing Pepsi Max or Coke Zero each week, depending on which one is selling for 99 cents / 2 liters, and then plugging money into machines at work to spend 1.25 on a 20 oz soda...).

But Cosmo is entirely to blame that I went into the comic shop today and found only one comic, and felt 'weird' about buying a single thing (and not being able to use my debit card on a purchase under $5), so ended up picking up all six books of the Iron Gods AP for $130-something, too.


Scarab Sages

Shisumo wrote:
That sort of thing is pretty much always addressed as a part of the backer survey after the KS ends.

Cool, I've only done this Kickstarter thing once or twice, so I was unsure. :)

Scarab Sages

Jason Nelson wrote:
when the Kickstarter closes, we'll email out the 5E link to the 5E backers and the Pathfinder link for Pathfinder backers (or both, if you back both).

When will that be determined, for those who picked something like Interplanetary Hero, where you can get a hardback of either PF or 5E? I'd prefer Pathfinder, obviously, but that wasn't asked during the pledging process.

Scarab Sages

Jam412 wrote:
Set wrote:
And I'm backer 326.
How do you find out which number backer you are?

I was guessing, actually, based on that they had 325 backers before I hit the button. :)

Scarab Sages

Ooh, an evil god with the Healing domain. Fun!

And I'm backer 326.

Scarab Sages

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Brandon Hodge wrote:

Similarly, bringing real-world spells to life was awesome. Ben McFarland is the master of incantations, and I think you guys are going to love his rituals section, and they are sure to get your PCs in all kinds of trouble. Rituals you can perform without having to be a spellcaster-as-a-prerequisite is a design space that was sorely needed in our game. We also got to play around a lot with ectoplasm, and making sure those spells were more than just "he slimed me" was an important goal for this book, and I'm pretty pleased with

the results.


Personally, the Occult Skill Unlocks are one of my prouder moments. I had conceived of those well before similar concept sprang up in Unchained and was scared to death things wouldn't be compatible, but they totally made the cut, and really open up these strange esoteric concepts to any PC, at a relatively low costs, so it's one of those things that I'm really proud to have brought to the table so players can experience this stuff even if they aren't totally on board running a psychic or mesmerist or something.

Woo! Love the idea of incantations, and it really adds a fun element for their to be magical rites that a non-spellcaster can cast to bargain with a devil or otherwise get themselves into all sorts of trouble calling up what they (lack the arcane or divine spellcasting to) cannot put down...

Skill unlocks was one of my favorite things in Unchained (having wanted to see some improvements for various skills, or even a class based on improved use of a skill like Heal or Handle Animal or Diplomacy), so I'm excited to see some new options for that space.

Scarab Sages

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Some classes already have a little bit of flavor built in, because of the name, such as Monks and Ninja being proficient with Asian weapons, despite being perfectly viable chassis on which to build other types of unarmed combatants (like a tribal warrior who studies the fighting style of animals, including fighting without weapon or armor, like the beasts he emulates, but from fantasy-Africa and not fantasy-China).

In those specific cases, I consider the classes a little too niche.

But for most of them, it's not quite so bad. A bard can function just fine as a priest or a nobleman, with a smattering of spellcasting (from the hoity toity education, or as 'divine favor' from whomevers holy hymnal they are chanting from) and swordplay and leadership / inspiration. Ignore attempts, such as 3rd editions heavily music focused / sonic focused Complete Bard's Handbook, or bardic alignment restrictions, to pigeonhole them as chaotic magical minstrels all about song and music, and you can take that class in all sorts of directions.

Gods & Magic mentions bards, illusionists (of Sivanah) and even monks (of Irori) serving as 'priests,' alongside divine spellcasting clerics, so Pathfinder has some precedent for coloring outside of the lines and not being stuck in the box, playing only a straight Cleric class as a priest.

Scarab Sages

Drow Sorceror wrote:
Alkenstar (Steampunk Campaign) - An Alkenstar steampunk political intrigue campaign based around a rich entrepreneur trying to bring technology to the rest of the world, while being opposed by the government of the city state. [On a side note, this would allow for more material to be published that covers early technology.]

This one could have multiple possible themes in the area (and different party members could be marching to different drums);

1) Introduction of / capitalizing upon technology.
2) Nexians seeking to repair the damage to the magical landscape (not necessarily the environment or creatures hurt by the past craziness, an actual repair of magic itself, in the area).
3) Mutants or similar races (such as Mongrelmen) attempting to secure the area as a safe homeland for otherwise unwanted or discarded peoples.

I like how each of your other ideas addresses two specific areas, such as the First World and Linnorm Kings-lands, or the Darklands and Casmaron. On the other hand, that can also be frustrating, for a group that wants to settle down and develop / explore a single area (being very interested in fey/the First World, and not at all in Vikings, or vice-versa, being totally up for going a-Viking, but not being all that into fey stuff), as was my own experience with Second Darkness, where it was all Golden Goblin / Riddleport / startin' up a bizness! and then, 'nevermind, we might as well have smuggled away on a tramp freighter, because we'll never see that hive of scum and villainy again...' :)

Scarab Sages

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Anthony Adam wrote:
"scary easy way to identify passive voice by zombies"

Ooh! :)

Scarab Sages

I was just reading through Mythic Realms and there was a reference to Old Mage Jatembe's 'Ten Magic Warriors' giving up their names and wearing animal masks when they take that role.

Have the ten animals whom the Ten Magic Warriors are named after / wear masks of been named, that you know of?

Scarab Sages

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Eh, play PFS and serve the Decemvirate, a bunch of people who nobody knows who they are, who hoard ancient magic and lore, and who disappear any knowledge (or items, or *people*) that they don't think the filthy peasants need to worry their pretty little heads about.

Seems like anyone who plays PFS already knows what it's like to work for a bunch of sketchy folk up to no good...

Scarab Sages

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I'm definitely realizing that I much prefer the smaller scale of movies like Ant-Man, Iron Man and Captain America to movies with larger casts.

I'm the exact opposite with comic books, preferring team books, even books with ridiculously large teams, like the Legion of Super-Heroes, which must be a function of comics coming out every month, and having plenty of opportunities to slow down the action and develop the characters. With a movie coming out every two years, and having to allot a certain amount of time to big action pieces, the development and characterization gets increasingly marginalized in team movies (which is less of a problem for characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, who have solo movies to pick up some of that slack, but no help at all for Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch or, especially, Quicksilver).

And so, I find myself looking forward more to Dr. Strange, Black Panther, etc. than I do to Civil War or Infinity Gauntlet.

Scarab Sages

Dragon78 wrote:
I can't wait to find out what all 5 types esoteric dragons are called. We know Dream and Nightmare but still the other 3 are unknown.

Spirit/ectoplasm, Thought/memory and Kinetic/motion? That's just looking at the Occult classes for esoteric inspiration...

Ignoring those classes and their themes, Alchemy, Language, Mirror, Mutation or Time could make neat esoteric dragon types.

Scarab Sages

My Self wrote:
Have you looked at Eaglesoul?

Nope. I tried to stick to Core spells and didn't know that one at all. A version of that that tricked an evil caster into casting it, and then staggered them for the duration, or a reversed version that summoned a fiendish spirit into a good caster, could be tricksy.

Random other thoughts;

70. Entangle - in the twisted wood writhing under the shadow of the dark dryad queen's corruption, certain druidic spells function differently. A druid casting entangle in the blighted area loses a point of Constitution to feed the hungry growth, which is always centered on his own feet.

71. Produce Flame - in Jynaste's realm, mentioned above, a druid calling upon elemental fire in this manner finds that his hand ignites as a burning torch, inflicting the spell's full damage to him, as well as anyone he strikes. He can reduce the damage he takes by taking an action to hurl it's flame, as normal for the spell, taking only 1d3 fire damage in any round he uses a standard action to throw flame (and thus reducing the duration of the spell, which he can't otherwise end on his own).

72. Hold Person - this lower level variation on hold person, sometimes called 'serpent's stare,' automatically paralyzes the caster for as long as the target remains paralyzed by the spell. The caster can attempt to save on any given round, but if he frees himself, his target is automatically freed as well.

73. (Continual) Wall of Fire - this wall of fire is illusory, and sheds light and warmth, even feeling like it radiating blast-furnace heat on it's 'hot' side, to those who fail a will save. The heat is entirely false, and won't serve to keep people from freezing to death in cold climates. On the plus side, the duration of the spell is permanent, and it's a level or two lower than a normal 'permanent illusion.'

74. Wall of Ice (lesser) - this 'wall of ice' is only a thin sheet of ice, about an inch thick. It takes 3 hit points worth of damage to smash through a five foot section of this ice, creating a hole big enough to admit a single medium-sized or smaller creature. The ice is not supernaturally cold, and inflicts no cold damage to people smashing through it in this fashion. On the upside, it only uses up a 2nd level spell slot.

75. Wall of Lice - this glistening white wall looks like ice, but is composed entirely of lice, precariously balanced upon each other. If disturbed, the wall collapses, filling a 10 ft. path along it's entire length with a swarm of lice that remains present for 10 minutes, causing negligible damage, but inflicting a sickened condition to those afflicted until they manage to clean the infestation from their bodies, hair and equipment, which could take hours...

76. Beaglesoul - this spell acts like Eaglesoul, but infuses the recipient with the spirit of a friendly dog, reducing his Int to 2 and giving him the following special qualities;
*Slobbery Tongue
*Puppy Dog Eyes
*Consume food that hits the floor as an Immediate Action

Scarab Sages

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Just got back from Ant-Man, and this is a new favorite.

I loved the light-hearted tone, mixed with the serious elements (father/daughter relationships and coming to terms with loss and learning to make better decisions after mistakes among them).

Michael Pena did indeed steal various scenes he was in, particularly in his Ferris Bueller-like recounting of third-hand tales.

It had the usual Marvel movie elements, including a pair of end credit stingers (one building on the current film, one setting up for Civil War) and the obligatory Stan Lee cameo.

I think it was even funnier than Guardians of the Galaxy, and any apprehension I may have had going in (reading all the doomsaying about it possibly being the first 'flop' coming from Marvel) or reservations about the decision to phase out the Wasp and make Pym a retired ex-hero/adventurer were set to rest by how good the movie was.

Scarab Sages

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KahnyaGnorc wrote:

In Mathematical terms:

Belief in X: positive integer
Belief in not X: negative integer
Lack of belief in X or not X: 0

Where the math gets fuzzy in games is that there might be powerful outsiders that call themselves gods and grant power to their followers, and various other types of power, including *divine spellcasters* (such as adepts, druids and rangers) who cast the same sorts of spells despite no interest in / belief in / connection to these 'gods.'

So someone might be 'atheist' in a d20-derived game setting by;

1) not believing the gods actually exist (since even their higher priests only know that they pray and *something* claiming to be Pelor/Cthulhu/Pharasma grants them spells, but rarely ever *know* that the being granting the spells actually exists, or is exactly truthfully like their holy books describe them, is not as ridiculous as it sounds, since divine spellcasting is available to plenty of non-god-worshipping druids and rangers, so a cleric praying to get spells proves exactly nothing).

2) believing that there are powerful outsiders, but that they aren't the creators of the universe (which most of them actually *aren't*) or omniscient or omnipotent or having any of the attributes a real world person would associate with 'god.'

3) believing in said powerful outsiders, and perhaps even that they are 'gods,' but that they don't particularly deserve to be worshipped, which, again, in some cases, like Groetus or Azathoth, said to be uninterested in, or even *unware of* their mortal worshippers, is absolutely true.

4) believing something even more radical, such as that the planes of existence (and gods thereon) are all philosophical constructs, no more real than a plane of 'ideal forms' or the 'music of the spheres' rubbing against each other. Since 99.99% of people residing on said fantasy world will never actually travel to another plane (before their death, anyway...), it's not even a ridiculous position to hold, compared to believing that the Earth is flat.

Scarab Sages

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116. The first rule of Goblin Fite Klub is... There are no rules in Gobblin Fite Klub!

Scarab Sages

Damian Magecraft wrote:
Dont bring a Hack & Slash to a Political game.

And vice-versa. A 'face' or 'crafter' is going to be unhappy (and drag everyone else down with them, sometimes) in a never-ending Warhammer-esque dungeon-crawl.

Still, this seemed to be the basic premise of Vampire games. "We are going to play a city-based political intrigue game!" <Set shows up with an elderly Toreador art maven who uses Auspex to learn others secrets. Game devolves into endless fights, Sabbat attacks, werewolf attacks, PvP and a dozen vampires who've survived *centuries* all dying en masse the first week of the game. Set re-rolls a Brujah whose only discipline is Potence, because he likes his Toreador and her two page backstory too much to see her die as the meaty filling in this craptaco...>

Scarab Sages

The 'petrifying' gaze could go in many directions, for lower level play.

Whatever it's base effects, it should probably start as a standard action, and perhaps even be limited to a number of uses per day, rather than function as a gaze weapon and be usable at will.

An effect that staggers or slows the (single) target for a time, perhaps even only when the gaze is active (forcing the fledgling medusa to spend actions to debilitate her target) could be a good starting point, with a visible side-effect of the target's skin turning gray, like stone, and perhaps shedding dust as they slowly move forward.

The character can continue adding feats to increase the power of their gaze, making it easier to maintain, longer-lasting or able to impose greater conditions (like paralysis, perhaps with a side-effect of increased natural armor while paralyzed, making it harder to get a cheap coup de grace out of it, as the target becomes harder like stone), or they can choose to spend their feats on class related stuff and not develop their gaze beyond it's starting functionality.

You could even later use this lower powered variation on the medusa (or various other creatures) to make lower level encounters with lower HD 'medusa' that only paralyze or slow their targets, in a kind of 'reverse precedent' (as the PC creates the precedent that there are immature medusa out there, or that 'traditional' monstrous medusa represent advanced versions of the race, that have developed their gaze to an exceptional degree).

Scarab Sages

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IMO, a cleric of 'the divinity of man' or something, that as gods are in some way supported by mortal devotion, the *source* of divine power in fact comes from mortals, not the gods, and that the true agents of creating mortal nations, mortal laws, mortal successes, mortal developments in the arts and sciences (and magic) are in fact mortals themselves, and not some meddling immortal outsiders from other dimensions who feed off of mortal faith, would be a neat notion for an 'atheist' cleric.

Their 'divine' spellcasting comes from the same source that powers some gods themselves (at least in some d20 worlds, if not necessarily Golarion), mortal belief.

They don't necessarily disbelieve that the 'gods' exist, only that they are just uppity extradimensional entities, a step above demon lords, no more worthy of worship than an epic rakshasa maharaja or mythic dragon or balor lord with levels in badass.

Their tenets would preach that for a mortal to truly behave in a moral or ethical manner, they would have to choose moral and ethical behavior without the stick of damnation or the carrot of salvation (which makes it a purely mercenary calculation, to behave morally to avoid falling into lakes of hellfire or ascending to a pretty garden with 72 virgins). Instead of 'being good' for the benefits (or out of fear of the dire punishments), they would be good because they feel it is morally right, sans any sort of bribery-based system of morality through self-interest. They might even argue that the current system, which encourages people to 'be good' by offering them candy to climb into the van, or threatens them to avoid evil by warning of how much it's going to suck when they die and go to the torture-pits that wait them, are in fact diminishing humanity, by teaching the lesson that mankind is inherently selfish and could never be trusted to choose good (or eschew evil) without some sort of Pavlovian conditioning involving doggy treats for rolling over on command and electrical shocks for peeing on the carpet.

Existing in a pre-existing d20 setting (such as Greyhawk, the Realms or Golarion) where intent is utterly irrelevant to one's alignment, and one can go to the heaven-analogues despite having only chosen to 'be good' out of pure selfishness for the free bennies and avoiding a life of evil out of fear of the eternal punishment, and one can 'be evil' just because one used [evil] subtype spells to save puppies from a burning orphanage, these clerics of the 'divinity of man' would, of course, be no more right or wrong than clerics of apocalyptic human or life-hating forces like Nerull, Tharizdun, Rovagug or the Great Old Ones (who are, in some cases, actually described as being uncaring of, or even *unaware of* their mortal worshippers, despite somehow granting them clerical powers!), but that has less to do with the concept being absurd and counter-intuitive than the concept of alignment being absurd and counter-intuitive.

Scarab Sages

I like the idea of specialized spells, such as mentioned in the Whispering Way entry in the Faction Guide, that have harsh penalties on non-approved users (like spells that have negative effects if cast by the living, or by those without fiendish blood, designed to be used by undead or devils). That or spells / items specifically designed by ghouls or vampires, that, when used, feed them in some way (or spell dispelling items that empower their arcane creator).

54. Vampiric Touch - designed by an undead spellcaster, this version of vampiric touch inflicts damage normally, but the caster doesn't gain any benefit, as the stolen life-energy is transferred as sustenance to the ghoul / vampire / wraith / whatever.

55. Cure Light Wounds - this necromancy spell transfers hit points from the caster (or another willing target also touched during the casting) to the recipient.

56. Cure Light Wounds - this transmutation spell causes wounds to knit with unnatural speed, but only can fully cure nonlethal damage. Lethal damage is instead converted to nonlethal damage.

57. Cure Light Wounds - this illusion (shadow) spell cures 20% of the damage rolled, but the recipient must save or believe that the full damage is cured.

58. Dispel Magic - when the spell successfully counters or dispels another spell, the spell's creator gains a surge of magical energy that replenishes a spell slot of equal level (if the spell's creator has full spell slots, a 50% chance, the energy surges back and inflicts 1d6 damage / level of the spell to the caster).

59. 60. Bull's Grace & Cat's Strength - a gladiator was discovered to be cheating by using Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace spells to buff himself, a wealthy competitor replaced his spellbook with an identical copy in which the respective spells reduced Dexterity and Strength, instead, while giving him the sensation of having been enhanced.

61. Fool's Strength - this 'cheap' version of Bull's Strength requires a Fortitude save or the recipient is fatigued instead. Even if it works, the recipient is automatically fatigued when the spell ends (and automatically ends if the target becomes fatigued by other means, dropping him straight to exhausted).

Scarab Sages

Amanuensis wrote:
PHB II from 3.5 had a system called teamwork benefits. These benefits had different requirements for task members and task leaders and required some training (two weeks of downtime). I thought that was a smart mechanic, because it rewarded teamwork, wasn't too meta, and required only a small investment of resources from each party member (usually, 1 rank in a skill or a minimum BAB was enough to qualify as a member).

That was a *great* system, and didn't eat up feats or otherwise make anyone in particular less successful at their chosen role.

Scarab Sages

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Random other notions for Golarion;

Blood alchemists of Geb, using vampire blood to develop new discoveries, such as mutagens that give the drinker vampiric traits (increased strength, slam attack, bite attack, undead-derived resistances (such as save bonuses to things undead are immune to, like poison)), bombs that explode in bone shrapnel that causes bleed damage or summon rat/bat swarms, or a self-bomb that explodes the alchemists body (damaging those adjacent to him) into a gaseous form for a number of rounds.

Red Mantis Assassin archetypes or feats developed for those who follow that group but aren't the usual monks or rogues, such as clerics of Achaekek, bards, ninja, slayers, warpriests, etc. Blood mantis vermin companions for druids, hunters and rangers of the Red Mantis.

Warriors of the Whispering Way, students of war using necromantic insights to avoid the weaknesses of the flesh / ravages of age, similar to the Unfailing of Hallowfaust in the Scarred Lands / Warriors of the School Beyond the Veil from Arcana: Societies of Magic / Death Knights of the Secret School of Necromancy. Archetype for Fighters who strengthen their body through exposure to negative energy and slowly develop increased toughness, immunity to the penalties of aging and undead-like resistances, while remaining alive. Perhaps self-crafting bone armor and weapons from the bodies of those they slay, partially animate / necromantically strengthened (harder to disarm, tough as iron, reducing armor check / movement penalties, etc.)?

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:
I don't think Antman has ever been able to go sub-cellular. That's the Atom's schtick.

I was speculating about the MCU version. The comic-book Pym can shrink so small that he falls out of the universe (and has been shown going sub-molecular, before that happens), so sub-cellular would be easy-peasy for the comic-book version.

But it is true that he does it less than the Atom, and it's the Wasp who has shrunk down and hurt the Hulk, not Pym himself.

Pym's actually pretty unoriginal for a science-hero.

Then again, Iron Man used to invent stuff in mid-fight all the time. These days it's all fly around, quippy comment, repulsor blast.

Nor in Pym's various giant guises has he ever been nearly as strong as the Hulk. Primarily because Marvel, like every other pop culture use of giant size people or creatures, ignores the square cube law. Both from the "He wouldn't be able to stand up at that size" and the "If he could his muscles would have to be 1000x as strong" perspectives. Though at various points he'd start getting weaker if he got too big, which could be seen as a nod to the square-cube thing.

Sadly, like most science-based supers, he's not written by people who remember their high school science (I majored in English, so I didn't learn about square-cube in college!), so yeah, he's almost never been portrayed as strong and tough as he would have to be just to stand unsupported without his bones and muscles shattering and tearing apart and leaving him a giant puddle of gore and giblets.

Colossal Boy or Giganta, from DC, should similarly be powerhouses (when they have room to grow!), and not taken out like giant chumps all the time. Growing characters in comic books seem to exist solely so that someone can knock them down and quip 'the bigger they are...' :)

Scarab Sages

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Lord Snow wrote:

Oh gods no. If any superhero actually ever used their powers intelligently there wouldn't be a heroic story to tell - they are equipped with so much overpowered stuff.

The entire genre of movie superheroes relies on nothing being well thought out - including powers.

So true. :)

I dunno. Ironman and Thor both went toe-to-toe with the Hulk. Antman is literally not capable of even making the Hulk notice he's there, right?

Depends on the powers. If he's got Giant-Man powers, then, at 1000x strength and toughness, he's actually stronger than the Hulk, just using the comic-book numbers from ye olde days (when they had strength ratings, instead of just 'can break worlds' or 'power of 1000 exploding hyperboles' or whatever).

If he can just shrink, it depends on how small he can get, and how much toughness he retains when shrunk. If he can go sub-cellular and get into the Hulk's brain or spinal cord, and expand to the size of a peanut, the Hulk's going to go 'urk!' and fall over paralyzed. (I'd avoid trying to plug a Hulk carotid and stroke him out, since I'm thinking that Hulk-heart is a Hulk-muscle, and probably beats with sufficient force to unplug a clogged artery with extreme amounts of Ant-Man squishing force. Also, not wanting to know what gamma-enhanced Hulk-white-blood-cells can do to a wee tiny little man. I'm thinking it would be much like the movie Pirahna...)

Still, small things suck, when they are lodged somewhere you don't have muscles (or white blood cells), but need to move around and yell 'Hulk smash' and stuff, like brains and spinal cords.

Scarab Sages

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Kalindlara wrote:

I'm still trying to come up with other suggestions... I like that the Player Companion line is Golarion-specific, so I'd like to see stuff for specific organizations or nations.

-More stuff for Norgorber's faithful would be cool.

Norgorber's cool in that his four 'faces' lend themselves to Barbarian content (rage powers for mad reavers of the Skinsaw Man), Bard content (reapers of reputation, all political and intrigue-y), Rogue content (Gray Master tactics and rogue talents) and Alchemist content (Blackfingers-inspired poison using alchemist archetype, replacing mutagen or something with a daily pool of poisons that can either be assembled at the beginning of the day (and last only 24 hours) at no cost, or, at higher level, a smaller pool of poison that can be crafted instantly).

New classes, like the Investigator and Slayer, have Norgorber written all over them, as well. Maybe even a divine Ninja, reflavoring the ki powers / pool with a pool of divine energy recharged by prayers to Norgorber, but mechanically pretty much identical (less Asian flavor in the weapon choices, perhaps) could be a thematic tweak.

-I'd love to see more Aspis Consortium or Whispering Way content.

Oh yes. Blackfire Adepts, as well.

Some specific Necromancer type Archetype for Clerics, Bone Oracles, Necromancer specialists, etc. for the Whispering Way could be creepy and cool.

Similarly, some specific summoning options for Blackfire Adepts could also be funky (perhaps the ability to corrupt anothers summons and cause celestial summons to become fiendish ones inclined to attack their summoner, or to counter-summon opposed fiends to fight enemy celestials?).

For that matter, being able to counterspell [good] spells with [evil] spells would totally make sense. PC is casting protection from evil to hold your summoned demons at bay? Your evil NPC cleric can't cast protection from evil, but he *can* cast protection from good, and what logically and thematically would make more sense to 'counter' protection from evil, than protection from good? Same with holy smite or holy word or similar spells that have alignment subtype opposites.

Maybe even a counter-channel feat, that allows a cleric within the radius of another clerics channeled energy to expend a use of their own channel energy as an immediate action to negate it (plus or minus any leftover dice, if one is stronger than the other).

Other thoughts;

Evil Druids of Zon-Kuthon already have a niche with the Umbra-Token, Shade of the Uskwood business, but Zon-Kuthon is literally the *last* evil god who thematically fits with 'Druid.' Just a sentence or two describing how Druids and Rangers of Lamashtu (mothers of monsters!), Asmodeus (helltamers/students of planar ecologies!), Norgorber (toxicologists!), Rovagug (masters of disaster!) and Urgathoa (students of the negative energy 'ecosystem!') function in Golarion could be handy.

(That could apply to neutral and good gods as well, for later books. Anyone can grok how a Druid of Gozreh would roll, s/he's practically got 'god(dess) of Druids tattooed on hir backside, and a Druid of Cayden or Calistria or Abadar or Shelyn could focus on intoxicating plants or mean old wasps or domesticating animals/agriculture or pretty birds and flowers, but a Druid of Gorum or Irori or Iomedae is less intuitive.)

A larger selection of evil *arcane* spells, sufficient to allow someone to specialize in Evil, instead of Conjuration or Fire. Not everything to do with evil has to involve the evil gods, or divine casters, after all! Some people are wicked and selfish without extraplanar incentives!

(And yeah, logically, it would make sense to also increase the number of Good, Chaos and Law spells, and make similar specialists for those alignment directions, eventually, just not in this book.)

Scarab Sages

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Doki-Chan wrote:

Agreed. I think a lot of characters (not just superheroes) get short shrift, just because the particular writer at the time doesn't have the imagination that Skill A + Power B + Knowledge C = "BOW BEFORE ME, PUNY MORTAL!!!!"

(Well, "hey, look at this really cool thing I just realized I could do", at any rate...)

A pet peeve of mine with super-heroes in general is that attempts to 'make them cool' so often seem to involve giving them spanking new powers, instead of intelligently using the powers / abilities they already have. It ends up making them seem *less* heroic and inspiring, as they aren't really winning through cleverness or perseverance, they just get a free power-up from the power-up fairy. The resulting 'win' feels unearned.

Fish control, shrinking, making things change color, whatever. It's still one more super-power than Batman has. And nobody tells him that he needs a power-up. :)

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

I like the origin that the Ed Norton HULK movie gave us.

Then again, I like a lot about the way that movie worked.

same here

I thought it was a more consistent movie than the first Hulk movie (and the 'super-soldier' scene with Blonski pre-Abominable was pretty awesome), but Ed Norton was horrible miscast as Bruce Banner, since Banner's supposed to be kind of sympathetic, and I'm not sure Norton can do anything other than 'guy you want to punch.' Bana was a better Banner. Ruffalupagus is even better-er.

Plus, Jennifer Connelly vs. Liv Tyler? Not even in the same sport, let alone the same league.

Scarab Sages

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Lord Snow wrote:
He does have control over ants, but they are more a shtick than anything, never really accomplishing anything truly impressive. A flying ant mount allows him some air mobility I suppose, but once he joins the Avengers, Stark can just give him some of that flying technology and solve that problem.

In addition to being able to eventually grow sixty feet tall (which, thanks to the cube-square law, would require his bones, muscles, skin, etc. be 1000x stronger and tougher than human flesh and bone), if Marvel ever wanted to give an Ant-Man/Giant-Man a real 'holy crap!' moment, they could just have him summon up 10,000 ants and use his Pym particles to enlarge them to the size of school buses (preferably without the sound effects from Them!) and order them to devour an entire alien invasion force, while the rest of the Avengers stand around looking vaguely nauseous.

He's never been 'weak,' even if he's never been quite as much of a show-off as Thor, Iron Man or the Hulk.

Scarab Sages

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Now I want to see Mel and Alain in a "buddy" road trip/dungeon delve misadventure.

Alain will be riding his horse.

Meligaster will be riding Alain. "Giddyap, you dumb beast!" <Smack>

Scarab Sages

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the xiao wrote:

<Thud> Set faints and falls out of chair.

Scarab Sages

Shadowborn wrote:
I think an added problem is they're using the same style of cinematography. The aerial shots of the Louisiana bayou were beautiful and eerie. Aerial shots of L.A. set me to thinking that I'll be landing soon and hopefully my connecting flight won't be delayed.


And yeah, this season lacks any hint of the supernatural that fueled my (limited) interest in the first season. I'll probably watch the rest just to see how screwed the various members of the cast get (since all of them seem pretty screwed already).

Scarab Sages

Snowblind wrote:
Of course, if the alternative is to let all those orphans die...

Depends on whether or not the setting accepts the idea of practicality vs. idealism. A good idealist will allow 10,000 orphans to die before engaging in evil tactics to save them. A good pragmatist will go all boddhisatva and lock himself out of heaven to save other people.

Scarab Sages

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IMO, Sarenrae's anti-slavery focus I could see being one nail in the coffin, but Osirion's history demonstrates how Nethys can be fickle and destructive, and not at all the sort of god a 'common man' (who isn't a wizard) would want to be associated with, since he's prone to blowing stuff up indiscriminately (including nation-states he just helped found...).

And then there's Norgorber, who runs a church that often already exists in hiding, whose clergy might think it's a swell idea to 'reap' the reputations of the other churches, thinking that even if the backwash taints *all* churches, they are already in hiding anyway, and will be affected the least (and their rivals inconvenienced the most) by such a swing in the tides of popularity.

By the time the church of Norgorber realized exactly how dangerous and uncontrollable this tiger had become, they were already on it's back, and it was far too late to get off or change it's course...

Scarab Sages

Peter Stewart wrote:

Laying all of that aside, the goodly kingdom and goodly god do not feel so goodly. The Church feels more like the inquisition, and the entire feel is more oppressive Catholics than goodly people. Where’s the evidence that you are tearing down a goodly society? Is it the religious intolerance that didn’t exist when Asmodeus worshipers were running the show? Is it the extremely stiff punishments for virtually any crime? Is it the corrupt guards at the prison? Is it the very flawed Captains at Balentyne? The thieving innkeepers?

Honestly, if you flip a couple ritual and enemies cosmetically and change Thorn to a cleric of a goodly god, you could easily cast the entire AP as a good party fighting the oppressive evil state.

I got the same feeling. Right from the start, there's the suggestion that the PCs have been tortured, and my character's crime wasn't eating babies or anything, it was heresy. (Being a worshipper of someone other than the official state religion.) If I'd been playing a Lawful Good Cleric of Iomedae or Chaotic Good Cleric of Desna, I'd have been *exactly* as inclined to smite the faces off of these people and break their chokehold on the kingdom.

I didn't really mind, since I understand that there needed to be a strong motivation to want to bring the system crashing down (which might even be against type for a LE Asmodean, who might be more inclined to subvert the system from within and corrupt it to advance their own agendas over a long period of time, without actually tearing it down directly), and just 'me evil, you good' wasn't as *personal* a motivation as being wronged and oppressed by that system. It made for a compelling reason for why even a non-team-player like a Neutral Evil Norgorberite might say, 'Asmodeus, Shazmodeus, these guys are gonna pay!'

My biggest beef with it ended up being purely mechanical, and not at all the fault of Way of the Wicked.

I play Clerics. It's my thing. Support and heal, I do it in MMOs, I do it in tabletop games. I love it.

But evil clerics just *suck* terribly at healing. Being able to spontaneously cast inflict spells and channeling only negative energy was painful (since it's never really an option, unless your entire party is undead, or you have a tiny party that has no cohorts, familiars, companions, mounts or eidolons *and* blow a feat on Selective Channeling *and* dump Wisdom to pump Charisma, in which case you are already failing as a Cleric anyway, by reducing your ability to do *everything else* a Cleric does, to make a not-great option actually usable without killing half the party...).

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