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Yeah, that bugged me, too. If somebody needed to hold the 'please explain to the normal person / non-science geek in the room the plot' ball, couldn't it have been someone who legitimately wouldn't have known, like Eddie, Iris or Joe?
Instead, Caitlin, one of the smartest people in the city, goes all Professional Physicist Barbie. "Gosh, math is hard! Someone with testicles needs to explain this to me, 'cause I'm just a girl!"
Also the Mwangi Expanse, like Chult in the Forgotten Realms, isn't much larger than a single Europe-analogue *country* in the Inner Seas region, compared to real world Africa vs. real world Europe.
Presumably, if/when we get a Southern Garund Gazetteer, detailing the nations south of Geb and Sargava, where the vast bulk of 'fantasy Africa' would lie, instead of a single jungle somewhat larger than the River Kingdoms (and more of a wild adventure location than any sort of actual 'country' like Cheliax or Taldor), there will be a much more representative focus on African-esque themes and deities and nations and cultures.
15. The House of Respite
D&D and Pathfinder don't give enough credit to Animals. Intelligence <=2 and Charisma in the single digits? Not if you've had a dog that was like part of the family, or met a dog who knew how to open doors and also knew how to make you feel REALLY BAD after you followed his owners' explicit orders not to let him into the guest room . . . .
In addition to dogs, cats, bulls, snakes, etc. even 'mindless' vermin in the real world have Intimidate ranks! (I've seen spiders chase people down a hall, for real, size penalty be hanged!)
Wow, that's an amazing cover!
Can't wait to see what dark and twisted stuff we've all come up with for this dark and twisted land!
Diana is a DEMI-GOD with super strength, flight and a warriors mentality and the skills to back it up. She's also capable of great compassion and unerringly loyal to people she calls her friends. She SHOULD have an epic film of some sort.
[Wonder Woman tangent]I tend to think of JLA Superman and JLA Batman as being opposite sides of a Mutants & Masterminds Power Level chart. (In their solo books, things change.) Supes has power level 10, but isn't a skill master. Bats has skill level 10, but has no powers. Each of them does things the other doesn't. (Again, barring solo Superman books, where they play up that he's 100x smarter than Batman and can think faster than lightspeed and has the sum total of Kryptonian science / martial arts / etc. downloaded into his head when he was a baby.)
Diana is kind of a mix, and just as Superman and Batman don't really have any reason to measure how awesome they are *by each others standards,* she doesn't either. She's not as powerful as Superman (usually), but she's got skills (in some cases centuries of fighting skills baked in) more like Batman.
Ideally, she's not competing for who can lift the most in a benchpress with Superman, because, as Black Widow says in Avengers 2 'That's not something I need to prove.', and she's not competing with Batman for 'world's greatest detective,' because she *still* doesn't need to measure her swinging Amazonian **** against the boys.
Where she is wildly different is that possibly her most iconic enemy, the Cheetah, she has spent years *trying to save,* and regarding as a friend who has gone terribly astray. Unlike Superman and Batman, who really don't have any illusions about 'redeeming' Lex Luthor or the Joker, not only does Diana want to rescue Barbara Minerva from the Cheetah curse, but she's redeemed bad-guys in the past, something Superman and Batman, more 'catch and release' sorts of guys, aren't so good at.
Indeed, Wonder Woman's first recurring foe, *a Nazi*, Paula von Gunther, ended up living on Paradise Island, using her skills for good.
That's something not a lot of superheroes can claim, that they've turned a villain around, and in so doing, eliminated their threat far more effectively even than killing them would have (and certainly more than a trip to Arkham would have), since dead people in the comics don't always (or even often...) stay dead.
But anywho, that's Wonder Woman.
As for Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, I'm not really a fan. Strikes against her include; got her name and powers from a dude, wore a bikini as a costume for years despite being an Air Force captain we were meant to take seriously, was an alcoholic and got pretty pissy about it when Avengers tried to suggest that 9 AM was a bit early to hit the hard stuff, picked the wrong side in Civil War, and (through no fault of her own) ended up giving birth to a son that was the father of the child and then went off to live happily ever after in a creepy mind-control relationship with him, which, unfortunately, is her most memorable storyline (other than losing her memories and powers to Rogue).
Give me a movie about Monica Rambeau any day of the week, instead. She didn't get her powers (or name) as a hand-me-down legacy, and her powers are unique and visually interesting (instead of third-rate Superman knock off). She's also led the Avengers. (And Nextwave!) And while I'm sure she'd look fine in a bikini, Monica wears pants to a gunfight.
Liane Merciel wrote:
The reason, in large part, is because you can put all those other genres into fantasy. You can have spy fantasies and romantic fantasies and horror fantasies (such as, uh, everything I've ever done, pretty much). But you can't put magic in any of those other genres without shifting it over to speculative fiction of one stripe or another.
I was just thinking that as I was typing that question, that half the stuff I was listing you do in a fantasy story anyway!
Dave Gross wrote:
As with so many boys of my generation, Zelazny was the galvanizing figure for me. Tolkien, Howard, Bradbury, Stewart, Leiber, LeGuin, and McKillip were also instrumental in shifting my primary affections from SF to fantasy.
Ooh, what's your favorite Zelazny? The pure fantasy of The Changing Land/Dilvish the Damned, or when he mixes it up with the sci-fi in Lord of Light, Creatures of Light and Darkness, etc.?
Walter Jon Williams, more a cyberpunk writer in his first outing, has a very strong 'Zelazny feel' to him in books like Knight Moves and Aristoi. (They might have met collaborating on the Wild Cards stuff.)
Anywho, other question for anyone; <-ignore misused semicolon
Apart from fantasy, what other genres would you like to write? Sci-fi? Romance? Horror? Historical fiction? Spy thrillers?
xavier c wrote:
I recognize some of the Archons (Warden, Throne, Tome) and Agathions (Musteval, Equinal, etc.), in particular, from 3.X D&D, so they'd probably be unusable by Paizo.
There's plenty of other things that could take their place, like Chalice/Grail Archons with a healing / purifying focus or Serpentes (snake agathions, associated with the lost wisdom of long-dead rulers).
They pretty much write themselves. For an Archon, pick some item of symbolic significance (such as the rod/staff/wand of the tarot, or the crown) and run with it's symbolic elements (fire, for the wand, to make an Archon with a heavy fire-evocation-arcane theme, rulership for the crown). For an Agathion, pick an animal type that 3.5 didn't already use, and go with any mythic associations, so a crow Agathion might focus on serving as a psychopomp or on locating (and destroying / devouring?) undead. It can be pretty formulaic, if you just want to churn out a bunch of new monsters.
I prefer to come at it from another direction, and design a monster that would thematically have abilities that do X because I want an encounter that does X.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
The good thing about this title being called "Distant Shores Gazetteer" is that it will probably only contain cities at the edge/sea of a realm and that fact limits the amount of knowledge needed to run an adventure there.
There's also the added bonus that, if they have a much better idea a year or two from now for one of these areas, the single city described might prove to be an outlier, and end up not being nearly as 'representative' as previously expected, sort of like someone landing at Sargava, and basing their expectations of what the rest of the Mwangi Expanse is like on that one city.
Or landing at Kaer Maga after a teleport mishap, and basing your expectations of the rest of Varisia on a city where troll entrail-diviners might not be the strangest sight you'll see.
Limiting our initial sneak peek to a single city allows for some tweaking, later, if an even better idea comes along.
I also forgot Agatha Harkness' familiar, Ebony, who may or may not be an intelligent demon cat-person in cat-form (and can definitely turn into a panther). Gosh, there are a lot of super-pets! (Not even counting all the Asgardian animals, like Odin's ravens, wolves and Sleipnir, Thor's goats, etc.)
As for the death-of-personality thing, I'd be more concerned if I thought it was going to last. It's comic-stuff. Even death is just a temporary thing (with an unpopular characters prison sentence lasting longer than a popular character's 'death'). Brain-wiping? It will last exactly as long as the plot requires, and not one second longer.
It certainly is one reason why I would never have believed Ward for a stone cold second when he *volunteered* to have his mind wiped. It's darn close to volunteering to be a zombie to ask to have your brain killed and your body still walking around as, for all you know, your killers slave.
I would like to see a Kyonin AP if they do elves justice
That might actually be a convincing factor in a Kyonin AP (perhaps with a visit to Castrovel?), in that the Elves of Golarion book is a bit out of date, and James Jacobs has mentioned that some of the earlier elf flavor isn't 100% in line with where he sees the race in Golarion now.
An elf-centric AP might go a way towards updating some elf-lore, in addition to stuff in the Advanced Race Guide / Inner Sea Races books, sort of a 'stealth reprint' of the older information / flavor in Elves of Golarion.
Thanks to the gnomish community *in* Kyonin, and the very near groups of Razmiran, Druma and the Five Kings Mountains, there's a lot of room in the area to not go to eleven with all the elfiness, and include some dwarf-y, gnome-y and human elements as well.
The Pet Avengers were Lockjaw, Lockheed, Speedball's cat Hairball, Kar-Za's smilodon Zabu, Falcon's falcon Redwing, Ms Lion, and Throg - the Frog of Thunder.
[Pet Avengers tangent]I think Speedball's cat was named Niels (some sort of science joke that goes over my head, maybe a Niels Bohr reference?).
That team could totally expand to include Cosmo (telepathic/telekinetic Russian dog / cosmonaut), Brightwind (Dani's Pegasus), Red Wolf's wolf, Hugin and Munin (Odin's ravens), Old Lace (telepathic deinonychus associated with the Runaways), Pizza Dog (from the recent-ish Hawkeye series), Princess Python's python (or perhaps that one could join the Pet Masters of Evil?), etc.
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I would expect it to be that case, since Black Panther and Luke Cage and Ant-Man (Scott Lang) have also been Fantastic Four members, and they are certainly going to be in the MCU as well.
Crystal's been an Avenger at least as long as she was a member of the Fantastic Four, and an Inhuman pretty much from the get-go, and the Inhumans area already in the MCU (on Agents of SHIELD) and are getting their own MCU movie anyway.
Now that I think about it, the fact that all of the SHIELD women are interchangeable is kinda representative of the comics.
Most of the SHIELD men are much the same. Hard-fighting action hero with a gun. Rah.
The dudes are mostly James Bond. The ladies are mostly Jackie Chan with some extra acrobatics.
Once we start seeing more super-powered femmes, like Carol Danvers and some version of the Wasp and the Scarlet Witch and DaisyQuake and Jessica Jones, it should change things up a bit. Hopefully we'll see some more super-powered options than 'strong tough person' (Carol and Jessica) and eventually see folk with more interesting powers like Monica Rambeau or Crystal, of the Inhumans.
112. Whenever she encounters a monster, she relates whatever knowledge she has of the beast by explaining that her older brother told her about this creature, and giving the impression that he was some sort of widely-travelled adventurer (an impression she has no interest in dispelling). At other times, she will comment about how her brother would love this, or he once described people who dress like these folk. At night, she fishes out a small locket during her watch and quietly describes the day's events, with a special focus on creatures and their tactics, vulnerabilities, etc.
(Her older brother was a sickly child, and anyone seeing the two of them together could be forgiven for thinking her the elder of the two, as he never truly matured the way he should have. He would read voraciously, naturalist's tomes and bestiaries and the like, and then tell his younger sister, who had become his caregiver over time, fantastic tales of the two of them adventuring together, facing the beasts he had read about that day. She promised him that someday he would get better and they would adventure for real. But he died, and now she carries a lock of his hair in her locket, and relates to him the adventures he never got to have in life.)
Lord Fyre wrote:
And yet that's entirely what I thought she was talking about. The hospital fire, Drakov's daughter, etc. Not that she couldn't have kids, which, as I understand her character, she never wanted anyway.
She's not a 'monster' because she can't have kids, but because she's a stone cold killer, and, at the end of the day, she's not even all that upset about it (as she later demonstrates by pushing Banner off a cliff, because she 'needs the other guy,' something that Banner reacts to by leaving her and not saying good-bye, since he *hates* being 'the other guy' and doesn't want to spend his life with someone who will literally push him off a cliff to make him more useful to her tactically).
It's kind of a poignant irony that she gives him that speech, and completely misses the point she's making, that he *doesn't want to be the Hulk,* that he, as she says with her mouth-words, he's 'not like other guys she knows because doesn't want to get in a fight, not because he's afraid of it, but because he knows he'll win.'
*cough* Morlocks *cough*
Didn't they all get massacred by a bunch of other mutants (including Sabertooth, who later joined the X-Men for a time?).
And then the survivors who relocated to Africa were massacred by gun-toting members of the Church of Humanity?
And then the survivors of the survivors left for another dimension with Mikhail Rasputin and came back as Gene Nation and ended up, in some cases, being killed by X-Men like Jean Grey?
Hardly seems fair to blame that one on the Sentinels. :)
Random thought after watching Arrow and seeing the Lazarus Pit and thinking 'We need this.'
In northern Katapesh, near the border to Osirion, is a community on few, if any, maps. The huts of surly uncommunicative fisherfolk dot the beaches, while a single larger boat sits anchored to a pier. A dusty road leads up into the hills, where broods a fortress carved into the side of a mountain so that it's gates are perpetually in shadow, a place squat in shape, and with odd pyramidal crenulations.
Within lies the sacred Murder Pit of Shax, whose carrion-scented waters provide a free raise dead without Con loss if a body is immersed within five days (-20% chance of success / day after the fifth), but changes the alignment of the subject one step towards evil, or one step towards chaotic, if already evil (the pit does not restore life to one who is already CE). This revival also changes ones favored class permanently to Assassin, so that any further training in life is steered in that direction.
A cult of assassins operate out of this secret and sacred site, maintaining (slightly) more publicly known 'branch offices' in Katapesh, Okeno, Absalo, Alkenstar, etc.
The assassins follow strenuous codes of conduct to try and keep a lawful alignment, so that they can continue to benefit from the pit, as it will continue to raise the dead if they work to keep a LE or (more commonly) NE alignment, although the process will reduce Con normally, after the first exposure.
CE adepts and clerics of Shax also frequent the site, encouraging the assassins to continue this dangerous flirtation, while helping the assassins to get rid of those who turn CE and prove unmanageable, by using drugs and rituals to blur their memories of the cult and the pits exact location, and then stripping them, drugging them and selling them off to slavers shipping cargo to far-off destinations, so that the now CE (and usually violent and impulsive) assassins can spread their love of murder far and wide without threatening to expose the cult.
Rituals of the Pit.
John Carter was another certainly underrated movie in my book, though I'm prepared to weather the scorn that comes with that statement.
I liked it.
My taste in movies sometimes seems to go completely against ticket sales. I really like some flops like Sahara and Thirteenth Warrior, but find super-hits like the Transformers movies kind of dull.
While it seems intuitive that an elemental would actually be composed of the element it represents, the rules mechanics don't support that (and never really have, in any edition).
Air and Water and Fire elementals, for instance, don't have any sort of amorphous quality and can't squeeze through keyholes or whatnot, nor do Small and Medium elementals have damage reduction, even though, logically, it should be very hard to damage air, fire or even water with any sort of melee weapon or physical attack (which would be less 'damage reduction' and more the sort of resistance / immunity to weapon damage that swarms get), while earth elementals, being, at the weakest, made of dirt, should probably start out with DR 5/-.
Whatever elementals are, they clearly have some sort of corporeal body that is *not* made of air, water, fire, etc.
I would be disappointed if any of these cities on far off lands turned out to be just a Inner Sea colony.
Ditto. Korvosa and Sargava are not typically Varisian or Mwangi cities, but just 'Cheliax abroad.'
I'd much rather any Arcadian or Iblydosian cities be more representative of the local culture, than an Inner Sea invader / colonizer.
It's Cosmo's fault that I've got so many Paizo books that I can't keep track of them anymore, and I just bought a second copy of Ships of the Inner Sea today, having forgotten that I already have one.
If it was one of the books I used so much that I *need* a second copy, like the Core Rulebook, that would be different!
It's also Cosmo's fault that I have a space on my shelf dedicated to extra copies of books I accidentally have more than one of, and Ships of the Inner Sea is the fourth Paizo book in that space...
101. He read about or heard some legend about possession as a child, possibly while feverish or being exorcised, and is *convinced* that he's possessed still, but that the entity he actually is has been mentally affected by the exorcism and no longer remembers his true nature, other than in brief surreal dreams of otherworldly places. The entity he believes to be isn't a fiend, but a time-travelling Old Cults creature, studying this era from within mentally displaced human hosts, and he tends to take copious notes on otherwise commonplace human interactions and activities in Aklo, for 'when his memories return' and he remembers how to 'get home and finish his mission.'
Even Sentinels seems not to bother the average person in the Marvel Universe. Considering the outcry over the use of drones. Yet Giant anti-mutant killer robots and no one blinks a eye. That causally rip open homes to get mutants.
And yet, they've got this amazing reputation, and you have to look far and wide to find a named mutant who's even been *hurt* by one, let alone killed by one. (Unless you are counting the Days of Future Past alternate future, in which they totally killed everyone! But in 616? When they do show up, they are fodder for someone like Cyclops or Colossus to casually demolish while uttering a quippy line.) The Sentinels became a threat, finally, when a *mutant* used one to destroy a bunch of nameless Genoshans. (And when it later became self-aware, it destroyed itself out of remorse!)
Reading about mutants *freaking out* about Sentinels, when they've done vastly less damage to mutantkind than nutjobs with guns, or exploding buses, is kind of surreal. And then funny, when you remember that they are giant purple-headed warriors. :)
As for the civilian populace of 616, they seem to be uniformly crazy and infinitely forgetful. In the Civil War, *before the act was actually voted into legality*, armed units were flying around New York trying to apprehend the Runaways *by launching heat-seeking high-explosive missiles at them,* and then, even better, *missing* and destroying high rise apartment buildings in the middle of Manhattan, quite possibly killing dozens, if not hundreds of civilians.
And this is apparently so well received that the survivors went on to vote for the Superhuman Registration Act anyway! Yes! More missiles blowing up our homes to protect us from those costumed crimefighters we'll probably never actually meet anyway!
Best not to judge the non-super-powered people of Earth-616 based on how uninterested any writer ever is of portraying even a single one of them as not-100%-a-dick.
94. Pick one not uncommon thing, and the character is *insanely* cautious about that thing. He'll even have a story explaining how his mother was reading him a story, when a gobbet of burning wax fell from the lantern onto his bedclothes and 'woosh!' his nightshirt and his hair were all aflame! And that's why he always holds a torch or candle or lantern as far from his body as possible, like it's a venomous snake, and totally freaks out if anybody with a lit torch even stands adjacent to him.
Maybe it's moving around horses (having been kicked as a child while standing near a horse that turned around, and still having a palpable 'dent' in his skull the shape of a hoof). Maybe it's drinking when people are talking or moving around (a laughing person once bumped him while he was taking a drink and he nearly choked to death, having to be resuscitated by magic!). Maybe it's a fear of stepping in puddles (a puddle once was obscuring a missing flagstone and he fell halfway into the sewers and was stuck for an hour!).
Myth Lord wrote:
What is people's obsession with good-alignment creatures like celestials and kami?
Don't know about the celestials, since I was talking about kami, which aren't 'good-alignment creatures.' Some are good, some are lawful, some are neutral, none have any alignment subtype, unlike demons, angels, etc.
Personally I think it's a mistake. The Mutant hate just doesn't make sense in a world where people love super soldiers, alien gods and geniuses who can build universe changing inventions, but refuse to actually use them to make the world a better place.
Thor (and Hercules), particularly if they openly talked up being actual gods, would be the focus of massive protests from religious groups, who are currently stuck protesting irrelevant crap like displays of the commandments on public land or the 'War on Christmas' or whatever.
The sort of people who protest against Harry Potter or D&D or The Golden Compass for 'promoting the occult' or 'endangering souls' or crap, would quite possibly spontaneously burst into flames over their outrage over Doctor Strange, let alone 'Satanna' or the 'Son of Satan.'
Mutants would be a drop in the bucket, and quite possibly the focus of conspiracy minded anti-government folk who would tie them to all sorts of military testing on their fathers when they were in the service, or fluoridated water, or chemtrails, or vaccinations, or science / evolution / sex education in schools warping their tiny fragile minds, or *whatever.* They'd be as likely to have massive groups *supporting them* (claiming that they are victims of whatever the evil gubmint did to them) as demonizing them.
Even if there were massive groups protesting them, which makes no sense, really (where are all the massive groups protesting these autistic kids and demanding we lock them up or sterilize them or whatever?), there would *still* be equally large groups, or even larger groups, like in the real world, established at first by family members of mutants (some mutant kids mom, outraged at how some evil government agency / plot / conspiracy warped her precious child into a freak).
Inhumans, established at the get-go as being part alien (or somehow infected by alien DNA), and a separate culture / people living in hiding among 'normal humans' all along, are *way* better than 616 style mutants in establishing the sort of mutant-phobia that currently exists in the 616 universe.
Freehold DM wrote:
no, I was actually wondering if you had no love for eric. There are a lot of ant-man fans who took exception to the character, and it was one of the reasons he was put into limbo. It doesn't have to be hate. Just not love.
I've never read a comic with Eric in it, so I don't really have love or hate or much of anything for the character, since I don't really know anything about him, other than what I've read on line, which suggests that he's dead at this moment (like that ever lasts...), and died quite heroically.
I'll start whining about chemtrails next :D
Flouride in my water! Corrupting my precious bodily fluids!
Rainbow colored chemtrails making the chiddren gay!
Vaccines cause autism!
GMO crops will spread killer pollen / seeds that murder any non GMO crops on nearby farms!
It would, of course, be hilarious if one of these things was true in the Agents of SHIELD-verse, because Hydra actually *is* using a vaccination program to inject people with mind-altering chemicals to make them suggestible, and the agents have to deal with it, without publicizing the threat and feeding the paranoia...
Woke up pondering the similarities between the MCU Vision and the 616 character of Adam Warlock, as created beings who carry Infinity Stones and could be leading into Vision taking on that sort of role in the Infinity Gauntlet movies, and then found out that the theory was already all over the internets anyway...
Freehold DM wrote:
no love for eric?
As always, if I don't specifically mention something, that means I hate it with the heat of a thousand exploding hyperboles.
So, since I didn't mention ice cream, or oxygen, or lactose-intolerant southpaws, or wombats, or garden gnomes, or the planet Neptune, or tantric sex rituals, just assume I have no love for any of those things.