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Set's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13,661 posts (17,737 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 79 aliases.


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Scarab Sages

981. Dream-Haunter Your mother narrowly survived a dream haunting by a Night Hag, attempting to claim your soul, and your father was infected by her diseased bite in his quest to destroy the creature. Which of these things tainted the bloodline of your fraternal twin sister and yourself (or perhaps both?), you do not know, but she was born a changeling, and you a tiefling. Your frame is slight, but wiry, and your skin a shade of purple so dark as to appear black in dim lighting. Your gaunt exaggerated features are similar to other hags and hag-spawn, with pronounced and angular chin, nose and cheekbones, and long fingers with fast-growing nails that naturally end in points (good only for scratching an itch, not as effective weapons). Your canine teeth are also pronounced, and your hair is shock white (or dirty gray, depending on your level of cleanliness...) People who sleep in your presence tend to suffer restlessness, and feel as if a figure is crouching over them, suffocating them or stealing their breath. A closed door, or even a separate tent is adequate to shield others from this effect, but if no one is around to be troubled by this effect, you yourself suffer from restless dreams of being unable to breath, and if this occurs for too long, you begin to suffer penalties upon awakening, as if you did not get a full nights rest (and when you do finally have the chance to afflict someone else with restless sleep, *they* may suffer such penalties, although the more people present, the less any one suffers, making it useful to you to sleep in common rooms, with a half dozen strangers, and so reduce the effect to some bad dreams scattered around, and nothing too serious).

Scarab Sages

Hama wrote:
Then why did you call Laurel's actress an actor?

'Cause I forgot we still needed a separate word for actors who are women, and was using 'actor' in the sense of 'person who acts.' :)

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Give it time. Laurel is just barely starting her crimefighting career and even in this series there's no real reason she should be a top tier melee fighter after only a couple of months.

I *like* that she isn't all 'more Sara than Sara' after a couple weeks at the gym with 'too young to be Wildcat.' It would feel pretty cheap if she turned out some 'trained for years by the League of Assassins' moves in under a month, after all. :)

I don't like Laurel as Black Canary because the Laurel character has been pretty terrible, pretty much since day one (I have no real opinion on whether or not the actress can act. I vaguely recall liking her in a previous role, so it's entirely possible that the inconsistent writing for this character isn't doing her any favors...). Tell her to do X, and she will do the opposite of X, pretty much every time. Because of that, she's gotten kidnapped, gotten Oliver shot, gotten Tommy Merlyn killed, etc. I'm kind of hoping she doesn't get her dad killed, because I like Paul Blackthorne and his 'Commissioner Gordon' to Arrows Batman, on this show.

I like the show but my main objection is how Ollie is stiff and boring. I want the snarky fork-bearded socialist Ollie, dammit. We're three seasons in, isn't it about time that Green Arrow starts showing up?

This Arrow, I fear, will never be the Errol Flynn-esque uber-liberal Oliver Queen of the comic books (indeed, it would seem pretty out of character, at this point, for him to be all quippy and fun-loving, like the comic book GA has been). The show came on the heels of the Nolan Batman movies, and this Arrow character is far more of an ultra-serious Bat-vigilante than the comic book Oliver, for better or worse.

The shows interpretation of Ray Palmer, on the other hand, seems more like the somewhat whimsical playboy idealist than show-Oliver. Perhaps, on the show, Ray will fill the 'Oliver' role, to Oliver's more Batman-like dark justice avenger role.

(Flash also obviously has a more idealistic streak, but he doesn't parallel as well, just being an idealist, and not a *billionaire playboy* idealist out to change the world!)

Scarab Sages

Hama wrote:
Set wrote:
Liked Roy's speech to Laurel.
I assume you mean Malcolm Merylin?

Nope, that was kind of silly, actually, like a puppy yapping at a lion.

Roy's talk to Laurel, on the other hand, was cool, because he was playing the level-headed person, for the first time.

Scarab Sages

Oh, I'd pay money for Sara to come back and Laurel to end up on Lian Yu (sp?) for the indefinite forever, but the writers really seem to be sold on this Laurel-as-Black-Canary bit. Caty Loitz really worked that role, and even spent her obligatory 10 seconds on the salmon ladder, something that I doubt her 'sister' will ever be able to pull off.

Tommy? Eh. That's guys 'acting' consisted of clenching his jaw a lot (Tom Welling 2.0?). Laurel's actor gets lots of hate, but that guy was at least as bad, and didn't have the entire writing staff desperately trying to make us like him.

Liked Roy's speech to Laurel. Dude hasn't really had a grown-up moment yet, always being the screw-up that Oliver has to point in the right direction, so it's nice to see him forced to be the adult in the room.

Did not like Roy's wire-assisted 'acrobatics,' where he kicked some guy and then floated majestically up onto the pipe like a zeppelin on it's way to the mooring. Ugh. If the actor (or his stunt double) can't do it, please don't try to have the character do 'cool' feats that involve flying around like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It's not like the comic book character was the most acrobatic dude, anyway. Save that sort of stuff for Nightwing (or Daredevil or Nightcrawler or Spider-Man).

Scarab Sages

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The White Wolf World of Darkness games, Vampire the Masquerade, Mage the Ascension, etc. often had 'splats' (such as the Akashic Brotherhood, Assamites, Black Furies, or Dreamspeakers) devoted to groups composed primarily by different ethnicities or groupings in the setting, or even entire sub-games (Kindred of the East, Mummy).

Aeon/Trinity concentrated on a future setting where the dominant cultures were China and Brazil, with Europe and America being in decline (and Australia and the 'United African Nations' also being strong powers). Aberrant, less so, but still set the most relevant 'centers' of the game in places like Addis Ababa and Ibiza (unlike the comic books that inspired them, which seemed to set their 'Greenwich Mean Time' with the assumption that New York City/Metropolis are the center of the universe).

Scarab Sages

the Lorax wrote:

From my own world...

29. Gloom Goblins
Gloom Goblins are touched by fae magic.

Ooh, I like these.

In a previous homebrew of mine, goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears were unseelie fey counterparts to gnomes, elves and a third extinct race (the bugbears totally annihilated their seelie counterparts).

So the idea of there being goblins with gnome-like fey connections is totally cool (although PF pretty used the wayang to create shadow plane 'anti-gnomes').

Scarab Sages

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Holy necromancy!

Anywho, he's an 8th level specialist Diviner, with an amazingly inflated local reputation and a soul-searing collection of porn involving him and various goddesses and female rulers (none of which have ever heard of him...).

He does have some great intel, for a guy tucked away in East Nowhere, 'the Dales,' and is a great source of adventure hooks for people who *can* deal with the situations he's become aware of.

Scarab Sages

So if Infernogoblins are 25 and Stomplins are 26;

27. Trolblins These goblins resemble small trolls, and possess normal goblin traits, claws that do 1d3, a bite for 1d4, and fast healing 3.

28. Goblin Scalywag Related to both Goblin Snake and Goblin, these scaly goblins have +1 natural armor, and the bite attack, poison belch and snake empathy traits of goblin snakes. They have a knack for sorcery, and instead of the traditional goblin penalty to Charisma, they have a +2 racial bonus to Charisma.

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM wrote:
963. Face to face Two Face- [SNIP] your body is neatly divided down the middle lengthwise between the goat-demon-like features and human ones. On those days, you cannot help but to flip a coin to make your aren't sure why.

Ha! Good one.

965-Nasty way to go- You are a disciplined fighter, Sorcerer or erstwhile adventurer, not predisposed to combat but ready for it nonetheless. However, every time you win an engagement, something terrible happens to your foe during the death blow. Your enemies are more likely to be beheaded, eviscerated, bisected or what have you than normal. Every time you kill an opponent in combat you draw a critical hit card and apply the effects to the corpse. You are starting to get frustrated with the coterie of bloodthirsty groupies that follow you around, thinking your combat style is cool and are begging you to teach them.

Ooh, I like this one! Very cool. (A distant voice shouting 'Fatality!' might be a bit over the top.)

Riffing on that;

966. Thief of Souls When someone dies in your presence, their body undergoes a strange sort of spasm, and sometimes marks, as from some unseen clawed beast, open up in their flesh. The shudder passes and a deep sigh is followed by a figure of smoke or steam rising from their lips (or from the death-wound), only to writhe momentarily, as if resisting or struggling against something, and being rent asunder.

It is said that whatever daemon touched your bloodline uses you as a conduit to the living world, and snatches up the souls of all unfortunate enough to die in your presence. While you insist that this is but a strange image, some fiendish echo afflicting you, even your closest allies will hustle you away if a friend or family member is dying, so that your presence doesn't somehow endanger their soul at the moment of death...

967. Heralds of Annoyance Some sort of ephemeral lesser fiendish presences accompany you, and breathlessly herald your arrivals or departures in distant sounding, but quite audible voices, as well as announcing events that occur to you or actions that you take. "Ooh, that was a close one, Bahb, how will he adapt to this brute?" "Ow! Did you see that, Jeeny? That had to hurt!" "Now entering the room, Erraki the Uncanny!" It gets particularly aggravating when there's a chance for romance. "Their eyes meet, you can feel the heat! Will she be the one to end his long celibacy, Jeeny?" (cue woman leaving in a rush) "Apparently not. Way to ****block, Bahb."

Scarab Sages

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I blame Cosmo for manipulating people into blaming each other for stuff, instead of him, the 'Cos' of all trials and tribulation.

Scarab Sages

960. Illuminati Your reflection is an obscure shapeless thing, limned in light, vaguely humanoid, but not identifiable as you. Any attempt to draw or depict your visage, or even to write your name, results in a similar blurry smear, outlined with gold or white, failing to represent your image (or communicate your name). People can see you, hear you or even speak your name without difficulty, but any attempt to write your name, or capture or reflect your image, is doomed to fail.

Option 1 - Magical attempts to portray your image or scribe your name work normally. Someone can use disguise self to appear as you, and you can benefit from mirror image normally.

Option 2 - Magical illusions or disguises are similarly affected, so that someone attempting to use disguise self to assume your form will instead become a blurry figure outlined in light, while a mirror image cast upon you creates a number of blurry images, limned in their own auras, making the spell useless for you defensively.

961. Mine is a(n Un)Holy Name! Your name is a word of power in Abyssal / Infernal / Aklo / whatever. It cannot be effectively transcribed into the Common tongue, and appears as a strange symbol when written on a surface, usually darker and larger than surrounding text, regardless of your intent. (Ink actually spreads to cover more paper, and a graven inscription 'weathers' unnaturally fast to make the sigil that represents your name take up more room.) When spoken aloud, your name has an odd quality, seeming both loud and remote, like the echo of distant thunder, or an unsettling rumbling beneath the earth. At some points (at the GM's discretion), odd events may accompany the speaking of your name, such as animals reacting with alarm, or an item falling, or a window or glass cracking, or a sudden wind blowing open the shudders with a bang. This last effect never seems to happen when *you* speak your name, to your frustration, although it always resonates in an unusual manner (and is hard to speak stealthily, as it 'carries' farther than expected...). Everyone has a +4 to Perception checks to hear your name spoken aloud, and a +4 to Linguistic checks to identify it when written, even if they don't understand any of the surrounding text.

962. "Fire flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow." Whenever you sing or perform some form of music, your features are underlit by sinister lighting that seems to bring out your least human qualities, and your performance is accompanied by unseen fiendish forces, which don't necessarily improve your performance, as their tastes aren't always conventional... This effect is most noticeable if you engage in some sort of magically significant performance (such as bardic music), making it most appropriate for a Tiefling Bard. Fiddle optional.

Scarab Sages

Still my favorite of the lands yet to be developed.

Vudra, Iblydos, Casmaron, Arcadia, Sarusan, all sound kind of interesting, but Southern Garund, all higher-fantasy and not-your-father's-Tolkien-fantasy, sounds really tempting.

It could be neat if some of the 'common' races are practically unknown in these distant lands, so that a dwarf or an elf showing up might be as 'weird' or 'cantina' to these natives as a gnoll PC or ghoran PC would be in Irrisen or the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

Scarab Sages

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Religious practices might include staking people (captured enemies, people who broke arbitrary laws, whatever) out for nocturnal predators / vampire bats, to 'keep them happy' and from devouring the local worshippers.

That this might end up with the unfortunate result of encouraging local predators to lurk around the communities and wait for their free meals of long pig would be amusing to the CE god, and kind of a 'stupid tax' on his followers, since they'd be inadvertently training the local monsters that they are yummy and that lurking around their communities is a great way to stay fed.

On the other hand, well-fed beasties might also be prone to not eating the local priests and their followers, since they have grown accustomed to not eating people that aren't tied up and incapable of putting up a fight (or smeared in aromatic butter, or wearing tinkly bells, or some other sign that this here one's for eatin' and that one there's not for eatin'), leading to the local priesthood perhaps having 'trained' (kinda/sorta...) nocturnal beasties like dire vampire bats, or stirges, or whatever, on call to impress the hoi-polloi (and secure their own positions of power in these communities) and fight off rivals.

The followers might consider it in their best interests to propitiate their god, and feed the beasties, because it's the way the god (or, his priests) taught them how to live in this monster-infested area, and also sort of 'protects' them from rival tribes or communities, who *don't* have this special sort of tactic for co-existing with the local nocturnal predatory creatures. They might think themselves blessed with the gods protection, or just cleverer than their neighbors, who live in fear of the beasties they've (more or less) 'tamed' by feeding them regularly. The priests of Camazotz would encourage this sort of thinking, and suggest that the followers of less clever / less brave / less worthy gods in neighboring communities are fit only to feed the beasties, encouraging raids on those communities to take captives to bring home and stake out for the beasties.

The fact that their practices are the *reason* why their area has such a thriving population of man-eating nocturnal beasties, while neighboring communities don't have to take prisoners and feed them to the predators, because they have heroes who go out and kill them / keep them away from their communities, is an irony lost on these Camazotz worshippers, who grew up with the simple formula of 'feed monsters, don't get eaten by monsters' and are not eager to stop doing what has worked for them for so many generations.

Camazotz probably finds it funny that he's got entire human communities trapped in a cycle of degeneracy, increasingly incapable of even conceiving of breaking free from this tradition of feeding each other to monsters...

Scarab Sages

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I'm not necessarily agreeing with that logic, but I've heard it argued that dividing up the damage of scorching ray into discrete chunks, and how that makes it less effective against fire resistance, is intentional design, and keeps it from remaining the 'go to' spell used by people who should be using 4th, 5th, etc. level spells in combat.

IMO, if the individual rays need individual 'to hit' rolls, then they count as separate attacks for the purpose of energy resistance / spell resistance.

If there was a 'Vital Strike' like feat for spellcasters using magic missiles or scorching rays or similar multiple-attack spells, that would be a different kettle of fish.

Scarab Sages

Gah, wrong button. Cut n pasted something else and deleted my entire post! Aiiiee!

Crime scene is cool. Bonus points if you wake up and find that someone has drawn a chalk outline around where you lie. :)

958. Heart(s)beat You have exceptionally prominent and bulge-y veins, and three separate circulatory systems, each with it's own smallish three-chambered heart. From the outside, the sight of all those veins through your pale white skin makes it seem as if you are just a collection of veins, entwined around each like worms, with no sign of muscle or bone. One set of veins are yellowish-green, another is orange-red, and the third is bluish-purple, and every 20 seconds, one of them grows exceedingly protuberant and flush, as that heart beats (each beating once per minute). If you are wounded, your blood is the color of the last heart that beat, increasingly bright yellow, orange or purple, depending on how close it was to that specific heartbeat (the blood losing vibrancy as it gets closer to the next heartbeat). The beating of these hearts is quite loud, and can be heard by someone close enough to be speaking to you, and someone closer still can hear the blood rushing through your veins during that moment, like a waterfall through a distant cave.

Scarab Sages

Are you looking for tactical advice or roleplaying advice?

Necromancy isn't full of battlefield control stuff, other than the usual fear spells, although you can find 3.X or 3P or homebrew stuff to fit almost any niche (including battlefield control spells that call up skeletal arms from the ground to grab people's feet, or walls of negative energy, or whatever).

Spell research can be your friend, here. With reflavoring and some gold splashed around, some standard crowd control options can be made necromancy spells. A wall of negative energy can replace a wall of fire (damaging line of sight-blocking effect), or a wall of bones could serve a similar function to a wall of ice (physical barrier that damages those attempting to break through it). Fields of cloying negative energy can hinder vision, hamper movement or even cause damage like a fog cloud, solid fog or acid fog spell. A spell that stiffens the muscles and bones within a foe or group of foes might work exactly like a slow spell, but be necromantic magic, instead of transmutation. It takes no real creativity to come up with necromantic fluff for common crowd-control spells like grease (it's a pool of blood, or the black waters of duat!) or glitterdust (tiny shards of powdered bone or little ghostly anima!), for that matter. (If anything, it's kind of boring and uncreative, since you're generally just tossing out a sentence of flavor and bang, it's necromancy, because necromancy isn't really a school of *effect,* so much as a mish-mash theme grouping of 'death, bugs, blood, bones, gore, fear, undead, scary Halloween stuff, etc.')

More unique spells might call up a 'well' of negative energy in a square or 10 ft. square area, that damages any living creature entering it and heals any undead creature entering it, that one could place on the map to block / channel movement by living foes, while also creating 'healing stations' for one's own undead allies.

The idea of 'using enemies against themselves' seems intriguing, but I'm not aware of a lot of necromancy spells that fit that theme. Something that instills people with bloodlust would 'feel' more like enchantment. (Granted, fear spells being lumped into necromancy, instead of enchantment, already create precedent for such milkshake-drinkage...)

For roleplaying, Nethys' faith can be all about magical supremacy, and the irrelevance of ethics, morals or 'squeamishness' in the judging of value or effectiveness of magical workings, such that a Nethys worshipper turning to necromancy, the most reviled of magical arts by the 'hoi-polloi' could be seen as a fairly on-theme route to take. If the magic-less peasants are the most terrified of necromancy, it could be seen by a magical supremacist as the obviously most 'arcane' of the arts, placing the necromancy-student that much further from the common art-less rabble than an abjurer or a diviner. The existence of Geb, an entire nation built around the embrace of necromancy, and of undead, an entire creature type tied to that art, could be seen as a sort of 'proof' that Necromancy is that much more relevant than, say, conjuration, which may be pretty awesome, but doesn't have an entire nation dedicated to it's pursuit, or populated by conjured creatures. Even if the character is of Nexian origin, he might argue that the reason Geb has been such a thorn in the side of Nex, and that Nex hasn't utterly wiped them from the map, is because Nethys is all about *all eight* schools of magic, and the Nexian tendency to restrict or shy away from studies of necromancy, to consider that 'Gebbite,' has pulled them out of the favor of Nethys. Only by honoring and respecting all of the ways of magic that Nethys has unlocked for their use, including necromancy, could they regain his favor. Geb only exists because it is filling a void that Nex has willingly created, by neglecting that art, and allowing it to be taken up by others, and, in this way, the church of Nethys has unwittingly abdicated not merely its responsibility, but also given up a portion of it's own authority and purview, surrendering an eighth part of magical study to the Gebbites, who revere Urgathoa and Zon-Kuthon, instead of the rightful lord of *all* magic, including necromancy! By helping to reignite Nexian, and Nethyn, interest in necromantic studies, the character wishes to not only eliminate the Gebbite advantage of necromantic superiority, but also to restore to the God of *all* Magic primacy over necromantic magic, which his Nexian church has foolishly given away to his rivals.

Scarab Sages

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thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
I'm not so sure that manspreading is a gender issue as opposed to a general decline in civic values. Most manspreaders are essentially men who eschew the notion of common courtesy to their fellow passengers, if not actively revolting against it.
Given that there have been campaigns against it (under other names) and other bad subway behavior since before I was born, I doubt it has anything to do with a "general decline in civic values".


My History of Rome had a poster of some speech about 'declining standards' and 'youth disrespectful to their elders' and 'not like it was in my day' and 'sign of general moral decay' that was given before the Roman senate, a couple thousand years ago and sounded pretty much exactly like something you'd read in a newspaper editorial today about social decay and lack of civility and whatnot.

Every generation is living in it's own end times, where things 'couldn't possibly get any worse.' And yet, we've mostly gotten rid gotten rid of slavery and trepanning and polio and infant mortality rates in the double digits, so it's a pretty groovy sort of 'end times,' compared to the glorious 'golden age' that always seems to have existed when our grandparents were our age.

Scarab Sages

Aw, tempted to come back, but I'd have to play on the Alliance side, so no Licktoad! (Which, in fine WoW tradition, seemed to get turned into Kicktoad and Licktard, when raiding with jerks...)

Still, I do have that Tiefling (Dranei, whatev) Paladin named Signifer I was planning on trying out on that server. :)

Scarab Sages

christos gurd wrote:
New take on multiclassing eh? Color me interested.

Yeah, that caught my eye. I haven't seen anything since Unearthed Arcana's Fractional BAB, Fractional Saves and Magic Rating notions that really did much for multiclassing. I think some of those ideas are Open License, as well...

It would indeed be interesting to see some sort of multiclassing support that would allow one to have a few levels of Monk, a few levels of Rogue and a few levels of Shadowdancer or Assassin, without having a BAB crying on the floor, and Ref saves artificially high, or a spellcaster / spellcaster multiclass that doesn't have super-low CL compared to his single class allies, in addition to lower level spells.

New rules for iterative attacks (baked in Vital Strike?, full attack numbers but no bonus damage on iteratives? who knows!) and poisons / diseases intrigues me. Poisons, in particular, have always seemed a bit gamist. (The longest poisons in the game lasts 48 seconds? I kind of prefer a Mutants & Masterminds homebrew idea I saw, in which the recurring damage from poisons used the games time progression table, so that the first repeat damage might be 1 turn later, and the second could be 1 minute later, then 10 minutes later, then an hour later and possibly having effects days later, if it goes untreated!)

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
1) Are Dagon and Cthulhu actually allied? Their cults are called out as allies in Dagon's Bestiary 4 entry. I'm presuming that despite Cthulhu's current status, the two of them could communicate if they really want to.
1) They are not particularly allied, but their cults are. They are not particularly enemies either, but they COULD talk if they wanted. A deity and its religion don't always share every quality.

On a more general note, are there cults (or even cultures!) that worship a pantheon that includes some combination of 'normal gods,' demon lords / empyreals / eldest / etc., and / or Old Ones / Elder Gods?

(Much as the Azlanti 'pantheon' included Zura, a demon lord.)

Scarab Sages

kevin_video wrote:
They were called the Space Mimic. Here is a 3.0 conversion.

Just beware the dreaded *Planet* Mimic...

Demiplane Mimics (or, at least, sentient demiplanes that attempted to digest anything that entered them, and sometimes even attacked and absorbed smaller demiplanes) probably already had a writeup back in the Manual of the Planes or something. :)

Scarab Sages

Mark Hoover wrote:
Unless there's a time loop in there somewhere. What if Tony's his own father?

Possibly even his own mother, via opposite-sex cloning shenanigans. The only person he's ever really loved (or respected, or considered an equal) is himself, after all. :)

Scarab Sages

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The most insane thing is that this actually exists already in the Monster Codex (as a feat). I didn't know that at the time. Apparently the idea of bouncey goblins is just a universal constant.

Now we just need a variant that can eat a bunch of cabbage and inflate comically to float over an area, and then 'attack' by discharging the gas that's holding them aloft as a weak stinking cloud effect (just sickness, not nausea), at the risk of sending them careening around wildly and slamming into folk in the process. (Because of this tendency, they strap on spiked armor before going into fights, and ground bound goblins keep them from drifting off by holding ropes tied to them, pulling them along like swollen goblin balloons...)

Scarab Sages

Derron42 wrote:
Fair play SET & LORD SNOW ... you're absolutely right. I've always been a fan of high magic, epic play, and mythic play ... and while I love Mythic Adventures, am probably just disappointed it didn't generate more mass appeal. Mea Culpa!

As a diehard fan of superhero games, where you *start the game* able to do stuff that a D&D/PF character might never be able to do, I'm not averse to high power stuff.

Epic in 3.X, or Mythic in PF, feels like just another layer of play, sort of progressing orthogonally, instead of linearly, and not exactly 'fat crackling cosmic power of the gods.' For what they were meant to do, which was very much not the sort of power levels I get from superhero RPGs or MMOs, I'm sure they are fine.

Scarab Sages

Drejk wrote:
Any Kaer Maga-related ideas... It's the great place where monstrous meet mundane after all.

A Bloodline for Naga Sorcerers (tweaked to be usable not just by Naga, but also by humanoid servants of theirs, ranging from Nagaji in the Dragon Empires to lizardfolk or merfolk / locathah or humans in the Inner Sea region).

A weak version of 'awaken dead' for Ankar-Te necromancers, allowing them to sell skeletons or zombies that retain some limited intelligence and ability to use skills (skeletal crafters! zombie guardsmen with actual combat feats!), and also opening up these dim-witted but sapient skeletons and zombies for PC use.

An expanded use of trollish 'prophecy' that allows a troll soothsayer to gain Cyclops-like 'flashes of inspiration' or 'flashes of brutality' whenever they are critically hit or below a certain percentage of hit points (as the sight of their own entrails fills them with visions of the future).

Something, something centaurs or constructs? (My creativity just ended, abruptly, as it sometimes does.)

Scarab Sages

Tacticslion wrote:
I always hated Cyric. Hated him. He was, in my opinion, the worst thing.

As a god, yes. But in the first and second Time of Troubles novels, the writer was apparently not with the program, because he was written as more sympathetic, likable and a better friend to Midnight than that jerk Kelemvore ever was, and then, bang, his characterization just changed and he went batcrap crazy and evil-for-the-lulz, for, like, no reason at all.

And Kelemvore didn't change at all. He remained a colossal @$$hat, and yet, for some inexplicable reason, we were supposed to like him...

Very frustrating books. (Although they did make me love Torm!)

Cyric as 'keystone cop' / incompetent bumbler who would have beaten himself if the heroes just stayed home and blazed up a fatty (making heroes utterly irrelevant to the survival of the Realms) was pretty much a Realms standard, following in the footsteps of the totally inept Zhentarim. ("Ooh, we blew up our city again!") Also the hapless Cult of the Dragon. ("Ooh, we spent 750 years recruiting and empowering these dracoliches, and Spellfire-chickie just annihilated six of them in a three month period!")

It's hard to take the 'heroes' of the Realms seriously when their foes are such losers. Good (as in effective and scary, not moral or nice!) villains make for good heroes.

Scarab Sages

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31: Tempest Tossed - This sodden fellow spied on the priestesses of the god(dess) of the sea and storms practicing their rites 'sky-clad' (i.e. nude), and was cursed to have a permanent 5 ft. storm cloud above his head whenever he is out of doors. The effects of wind and rain on him, and anyone else sharing his space, give him a -2 to all attacks and skill checks. If he dares to go outside during a thunderstorm, he has 5% chance per round to be struck by a weak lightning bolt for 1d6 nonlethal damage.

32: Love the Sun - This thief attempted to rob the temple of the sun-god(dess), and was cursed to always be in bright sunlight. Outside, a beam of sunlight comes down upon him from the sky (even when it is overcast, or in the middle of the night), but even indoors, he is always illumined as if by faerie fire, although he provides no illumination to anyone outside of his square. Stealth, needless to say, is no longer much of an option for him, although he does benefit from a +2 to Fortitude checks to avoid nonlethal damage from environmental cold (and a corresponding -2 penalty to Fortitude checks to avoid nonlethal damage from environmental heat...).

33: Hell's Brand - An evil priest has marked you with a visible brand that he can activate as a swift action whenever he is within 100 ft. of you, causing you to suffer 1d6 nonlethal fire damage and intense pain that sickens you for 1 round. He uses it to boss you around and torment you at his leisure.

34: Commandment - You have been cursed so that each day that you do not make an active attempt to further some goal stated at the cursing, you suffer pain leaving you sickened all day long. As long as you move towards the goal selected for you, or take action to advance it, the pain subsides and you are unpenalized. This 'quest' has to be attainable, but can certainly be ridiculously hard... ("Collect the seven shards of the sundered Topaz of Tybalt!")

Scarab Sages

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My issue with the sling (and the crossbow) is that they are Simple weapons, which is exactly one feat away from the longbow, a Martial weapon.

As such, mechanically, it should take no more than *one feat* to bring them up to longbow standards. They don't need to be *identical,* and, ideally, shouldn't be, but there shouldn't be a 'no-brainer' choice of one being clearly better in every case than the other.

Halflings of Golarion introduces a *three feat chain* that makes a sling about as good as a longbow, a weapon that is only one feat 'better' than the sling, which, IMO, is friggin' ridiculous.

Scarab Sages

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Lord Snow wrote:
Not really a relevant question. When you are watching a movie you don't judge it based on the question of whether or not you could have done it better yourself (in all likelihood, you like most people wouldn't be able to pull off any movie at all, just about regardless of how much time and money you had), you judge based on whether it's a good movie.

Exactly. I don't need to be a gourmet chef to know whether something tastes good or bad, or an award-winning writer or journalist to know if something is clearly written or kinda murky, or have a bunch of platinum records to have an opinion on whether or not the Beastie Boys or David Bowie are more 'classic' than the other.

There's actually no pre-qualifications at all for someone to have an opinion on something. :)

Scarab Sages

The 'AP' has a wide range of options, with tons of slavers, a heavily giant-focused middle (with a section filled with Ice subtype critters followed by a section filled with Fire subtype critters), to a Drow (and Kuo-Toa) filled part, and then a lot of demons.

Finding a single campaign trait or story feat that ties together with all of that could be rough.

Some notions;
One based on freeing slaves and / or breaking free from restraints (similar to Liberator) wouldn't have as much relevance past the A series. You could add some slaves to the Drow / Kuo-Toan areas of the D series, to be freed and add to the achievement / story feat potential of an 'Abolitionist' feat (effects could be bonuses to CMD to avoid grapple, grab, pin, binding attempts and spells that would paralyze or restrain you, or damage bonuses to Sunder restraints or binding effects, such as web spells or spider webs), and even have the big ship at the end of Q powered by the souls of captured webbed up mortal prisoners, whose freeing becomes relevant to the plot.

One, like Giant Vendetta, would be totally suitable for the G series, but less relevant in the earlier and later parts of the adventure. A possible solution would be to use your awesome GM powers a Hill Giant or some Ogre bruisers to the Slave Lords area (perhaps replacing the Aspis?), and then later to the D and Q regions (used as shock troops by the Drow, with fiendish / half-fiendish Ogre Magi found on Lolth's ship, replacing stuff you don't feel like converting, like the Yochlol?).

Foeslayer involving dark elves or giants also could work, with changes such as above. (I believe there's actually a dark elf in the Slave Lords, and adding a few more, working for that character, could make the feat more relevant in earlier adventures.) A variation on Foeslayer that affected vermin or insectoid life could be relevant if it worked on both Aspis and the various giant arachnids that show up later, and perhaps on a Bebelith-like foe added to the Q series.

Poison is a popular choice for some of the Slave Lords, the Drow in general, and the various giant spiders that show up, so a story feat that involves surviving (or curing) a bunch of exposures to poison could remain relevant throughout the series.

Scarab Sages

955. Flesh and Bone, in Frightful Array Skin, bones and tissues similar in color and texture to your own slowly encroach upon any gear or clothing you carry for more than a day, so that fine traceries of veins and a paper-thin translucent coating of skin form over your worn and carried gear, with bony growths forming on harder surfaces of metal or stone. If those items leave your person for more than an hour, these growths die and crumble away, leaving the unadorned item behind, and these growths do not appear to have any affect on the items in question, other than to give them a gruesome and macabre organic appearance.

Scarab Sages

310. Talk Like a Pirate Day Whatever outsider touched your bloodline had an unhealthy fascination with pirates (perhaps having been a legendary corsair or privateer before their own ascension to outsider?). You were born with the beginning of what has become a *fantastic* beard (which regrows overnight whenever you attempt to shave it off), and with one hand, one lower leg and one eye. Your missing eye was replaced by a bright red stone, which functions just like a normal eyeball (and cannot be removed any easier than removing any other persons eyeball), while your missing hand is replaced by a hook that you use with supernatural adroitness, suffering no penalties for any task that would require fine motor skills or the use of two fully functional hands, and your missing lower leg ends in an ivory peg that is as securely fastened to your body as your regular leg, and in no way impedes your ability to walk, run, charge, climb ladders, swim or kick.

You refuse to dress or talk or act like a pirate, and hate the open sea, sailing ships, parrots (especially talking parrots) and 'grog.' Whether or not you like booty is between you and your god, and the less said about 'rum, sodomy and the lash,' the better.

Scarab Sages

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Oh hey, a new thread to inspire creativity! Woo!

17. Aquagoblins / Gillblins - standard goblins with the aquatic subtype, reduced land speed to 20 ft., added 40 ft. swim speed and a bite attack using their shark-like teeth (1d4 damage, crits on a 19-20). Fingers and toes are boneless and tentacular, separated by webs, which also manifest between arms and torso, and their legs.

18. Goblotaurs - combines features of a goblin and a minotaur, having hooved feet and furry bodies and the head of a bull, but the size of a goblin. Has a gore attack for 1d4 damage and powerful charge (x2 damage with gore on a charge). Racial attribute modifiers are +2 Dex and -2 Int (no Str or Cha penalty), and replaces the racial +4 bonus to Ride & Stealth with a +2 racial bonus to Perception, Stealth and Survival. Can use oversized (Medium) weapons without penalty, due to large build, preferring greataxes and longspears. Rarely found in Medium size, using Large weapons.

19. Gobblers - gobblers jaws can distend, and have a flexible bulging sac-like throat and stomach, affording them not only a bite attack out of proportion to their size (1d6), but also the grab and swallow whole property (only applying to size Tiny or smaller prey, 1d4 acid damage, AC 10, 1 hp), generally of no concern to adventurers who don't have familiars.

20. Bargobs - these goblins claim to be in some way related to or 'blessed' by the barghests spawned by their demi-deities. They have a bite attack (1d4 damage), supernaturally tough hides (DR / silver equal to HD, max 5), and some limited supernatural abilities, such as the ability to feather fall (self only) for a number of rounds equal to their HD, and the ability to dimensional step as a Conjuration Specialist Wizard of level equal to their HD (although they gain this capability at 1 HD, instead of 8th level).

21. Goblin Bears These goblins emulate bugbears, whom they idolize to the point of near worship, in all things. They possess no traits any different than any other goblin, despite these pretentions of 'scariness,' and bugbears kill them on sight, being offended by these tiny skulking poseurs.

Scarab Sages

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I blame Cosmo that I've had to know the difference between magma and lava in the last two posts I made. What's up with that?

Is it some sort of portent? Oh dear...

Scarab Sages

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Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Should I be using the term Underdark, or is that specific to the Forgotten Realms only?

The inhabitants of the 'bowl' might consider themselves the inhabitants of the original cradle of life, in an area sheltered from danger, sort of an 'Eden' analogue, and residents of the outer brighter-lit area to be kind of crazy, by comparison, living on the wild 'underside,' as they think of it. (The fact that you tunnel down to reach magma, and place a fire on the bottom of a bowl, would make their assumption that they are living on the 'top' of the bowl seem logical.)

They might call their own dark area 'the Cradle,' while thinking of those clinging to the sun-lit side as 'Outsiders' or 'Downsiders.'

The world being bowl-shaped would likely lead to great glacier-topped mountain ranges along the edges (from whose monster-haunted peaks all rivers flow), and a vast sea at the very center, around which the various nations, empires and lands of the world are arranged in a crude circle.

Scarab Sages

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Random thoughts on monsters on which PF hasn't said a ton;

Gargoyles and their relationship with Xoveron, the Horned Prince, the Glutton, Demon Lord of Ruin. Tying that into some variation of the ruin-fueled magic (mentioned in Heart of the Jungle?), or power gained from ruining / destroying / consuming stuff, for an Oracle Mystery or Sorcerer / Bloodrager Bloodline, could be an avenue to explore. (Gargoyle Bloodragers of such a destructive / consumptive bloodline seem like a natural fit.)

Lamia, and an exploration of the sorts of addictive techniques and charming / illusory magics (or mixing the two, and designing some addictive spells that create pleasant visions and sensations in their victims?) they use to work their machinations among desert folk.

Merfolk, and magic and mundane methods they use to thrive in an ocean filled with threats like the sahuagin. Lots of avenues for undersea adventuring options, here, some of which may already have been covered in 3P products like Kobold Press' From the Shore to the Sea. Rules elements involving coral, water, pressure, etc. could be explored.

The stages of 'evolution' (or devolution) that can lead a person (or collection of people?) to a new existence as a Gibbering Mouther, assuming that such a thing is possible. I vaguely recall Wolfgang Bauer mentioning such a Lovecraftian possibility in an old issue of Dragon magazine, and it's too cool to not explore. Perhaps this can be the result of an aberrant sorcerer pushing the envelope too far, or is a rare consequence of a bunch of people being attacked by a Chaos Beast at the same time, and collapsing into each other to become a single creature.

Salamander society. Everyone and their dog has written about the City of Brass and it's Efreeti inhabitants. How about those other denizens of the Plane of Fire, the Azer, Mephits and Salamanders, who might have cultures and 'empires' of their own in the endless conflagration? Rules elements could include mechanics for hurling globs of lava at people or ensnaring someone in a red-hot chain or scorpion whip, with siege engines throwing massive glops of molten stone at people, not to burn the largely fire resistant threats they face on the plane of fire, but to slow them down and encumber them in cooling tons of stone.

Do Phase Spiders have a society, chittering together in their webs on the ethereal plane? What is it like? Do they manufacture fine 'phase silk' trade goods and swap information gleaned from their observations of other worlds? Could members of such a 'nest' or hive hire humanoid adventurers to deal with the raids of a nearby Xill collective, offering fine 'phase silk' clothing that can be cheaply magically enhanced to function as cloaks and boots of elvenkind, or cloaks of displacement?

Scarab Sages

Guess what Set got for Christmas? Well, a buncha books, obviously, but one of them was a ginormous collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories (800-something pages of them!). Woo!

And here's something kicked loose by that reading;


Sight From Beyond
School divination; Level witch 5, sorcerer/wizard 5
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, M (a human pineal gland)
Range 60 ft.
Area 60-ft.-radius emanation, centered on you
Duration concentration + 2 rounds
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell creates a pale violet radiance that outlines an area in which all living creatures gain an unnatural perception of beings that live in realms unmapped by current planar theories. Additionally, the denizens of that place become aware of those within the affected area, dangerously so. While the vaguely aquatic creatures are not corporeal, and seem unaffected by any form of attack, they become agitated by movement within the illuminated radius, and swarm to devour living creatures (including the caster and their allies!) that draw their attention (undead and constructs neither see these creatures nor are perceived or attacked by them). For every 5 ft. of movement taken within the lit area, a living creature suffers 1d6 damage, as these quasi-real creatures take ‘bites’ from them. Additionally, for every action or attack taken that involves physical movement (such as drawing a weapon, getting to one’s feet, firing a bow, swinging a sword, casting a spell with somatic components, or swiping with a claw), an additional 1d6 damage attack is suffered. This damage is not reduced by any form of damage reduction or energy resistance, and the ‘attacks’ of these ‘creatures’ passes through any form of armor. A creature that leaves the affected area will suffer damage only for movement or actions performed within the area of unnatural illumination. Any creature killed by the damage from these attacks is devoured, leaving behind their physical possessions, but only fragmentary remains, insufficient for revival by raise dead.

And it’s another divination spell that can kill people by revealing to them things that are dangerous to know, a very Lovecraftian trope. We can always use more divination and / or abjuration spells in general, and ones that can hurt people are just icing on the cake. Thanks H.P.!

Obviously this spell is niche, being most useful when one’s allies are capable of single powerful attacks, via Vital Strike, or the like (to minimize the amount of damage they take), or moving without drawing attention (via a Conjurer or Monk or Shadowdancers unique options), or while facing foes with many attacks (monks, hasted foes, many tentacled beasties, raking pouncing cats) or who make great use of movement (quicklings, chargers, pouncers, monks, again). Undead or construct allies (of foes) would operate unaffected, while unintelligent or animal intelligence foes, such as insect swarms or pouncing dire tigers, might not realize exactly how much their ’50 ft. charge-pounce, claw, claw, bite, rake, rake’ routine is contributing to the 15d6 damage they just took…

Scarab Sages

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Cosmo's older than dirt.

Seriously. On the third day, God was like, "What should I make today?" and Cosmo said, "Dirt!"

Scarab Sages

Simeon wrote:
What could be cool is a group of Arcadians who worship Tezcatlipoca and the leaders are the Weretiger-Kin skinwalkers. Or maybe an Azlanti outpost that was founded in Arcadia and surived the Earthfall.

Tezcatlipoca 'the Smoking Mirror' (which makes me think of volcanoes and obsidian) is a really interesting god, much more so, IMO, than Quetzalcoutl, who got his own monster in the Bestiary.

Scarab Sages

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Thanks for bringing this up from the depths Freehold DM!

954. Infernal Steamworks Your body is the reddish-gray of iron ore, and your hair sticks straight up, thicker than hair, and being composed of cylindrical metallic tubes, like the pipes of a tiny pipe organ. Your teeth fit together like the cogs of a clockwork wheel and the red spoked irises of your amber eyes rotate as you focus on a subject, with a barely perceptible whirring sound. When you speak, a hint of warm steam issues forth from your 'pipes', and the effect is greatly enhanced if you shout loudly, with a low moan of escaping steam accompanying your cry, as of a distant steam engine of some sort.

Scarab Sages

1000 was perhaps a trifle optimistic, but we're halfway to 100!

50. Inheritance After some accomplishment of note, perhaps slaying a particularly challenging foe, or attaining a specific level, or starting your own business / building your own keep / siring or bearing a child, a messenger arrives, apparently human (or your race), but of an unknown ethnicity, and wearing clothing and speaking a language utterly unfamiliar to even the most jaded world-traveler. The messenger bears a gift, which turns out to be an item or weapon that has the day before been stolen or destroyed or otherwise gone missing, not merely as good as new, but better (upgraded appropriately for Wealth By Level, and perhaps in some way that would not normally be an option, such as having been transformed into cold iron, silver or adamantine, or reconfigured into a new type of weapon that the character prefers to its original form), along with a note in your local or racial (or class specific, such as Druidic) tongue, saying that it is to be brought to this location at such-and-such a date (this date) and delivered to [your name here]. The note is written in your own hand, signed by you, and dated ten years in the future...

If questioned, the messenger speaks only haltingly in your tongue, and admits that this item has been in keeping for 645 years in their monastery / temple / whatever, charged by a founder of their order / faith / school to be delivered on this date. Mission complete, the messenger sighs and says that the long wait is over, and thanks the character, before aging rapidly and crumbling to dust, leaving behind only bones and tattered remains of clothing.

Scarab Sages

I wish there was a way for a Witch with the Coven hex to craft / use a Hag Eye to do this sort of thing.

Scarab Sages

The NPC wrote:

We have War, Death, Conquest/Pestilence, and Famine.

What would you posit for a 5th Horseman?

Thinking of things that feel thematic to appear in an 'of the Apocalypse,' I'd go with Disaster/Cataclysm (earthquakes, tidal waves, floods, volcanoes, hurricanes, rain of fire, rain of toads, rain of toads that are on fire, etc.).

Despair and Madness also sound appropriate.

Misfortune / Doom / Curses could be different.

Scarab Sages

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Set blames Cosmo for Loki being the cool trendy god of evil.

Loki? Really? Dude turned into a mare, got knocked up by a stallion and gave birth to a freaky eight-legged horse (proving that he can't even do *that* right, it's a horse, not a spider!).

Still waiting for the adult version of the story where Loki shortens Thor's 'hammer.' And by 'hammer,' I mean exactly what Captain Hammer meant.

Scarab Sages

Baron Ulfhamr wrote:

In brief, assimar are "plane-touched" humanoids, those with celestial blood somewhere in their ancestry. The Heavenborn alternate racial trait states that they are "born in the celestial realms...". With me so far?

The problem is, HOW are they born in the celestial realms? A creature who has an angelic mother, say, who has a tryst with a mortal and births it on her home plane would be a half-celestial, not an aasimar (their celestial lineage is further dilute).

I can't come up with a reasonable scenario that produces a heavenborn aasimar...

Options could include;

a pregnant humanoid ending up giving birth on a celestial plane, and her child being 'tainted' by the prevailing celestial energies (despite *both* parents being non-celestials).

the celestial parent was 'thin-blooded' or some circumstance resulted in the child being born 'taking after' their mortal parent, resulting in an aasimar child, and not a half-celestial, just as some mortal children 'take after' one parent more than the other.

the child has no parents, mortal or celestial, having sprouted from an enormous flower in some celestial garden of verdant soul quintessence, a newborn aasimar baby adopted by the keepers of this serene pool of giant lotus flowers (this not being a common occurrence, but hardly unknown in this gathering place of life and possibility), and sent down to the mortal realms to find its own destiny when it became old enough to 'place' with some mortal foster parents.

Scarab Sages

Use 'Bird' stats (or even 'Roc'?) stats, and fluff it as a raven-of-unusual-size, perhaps (instead of the usual eagle/hawk/owl).

I did something similar with a Gnoll Druid, giving her a Bird familiar, and describing it as a large mean vulture, instead of an eagle.

Scarab Sages

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Bardess wrote:
Monsters with class levels can benefit from favored class bonuses, but there aren't favored class bonuses for monsters. Mmmm... maybe a piece on favored class bonuses for angels/other outsiders could be worth it?

Ooh, neat!

Favored class bonuses for aberrations, fey, dragons, undead, etc. could be interesting as well, broken out by type(*), rather than by individual critter, to keep it under a bajillion wordcount...

*Or subtype. A FCB for creatures with the Fire subtype that gives bonus damage to fire attacks, or, allows fire damage they cause to ignore 1 pt. of fire resistance / time it's taken, could be nifty.

Scarab Sages

Tangaroa wrote:

I could think of a few similarly themed critters that might make for an interesting topic

- Aboleth Slime-alchemy
- Azer or Salamander Metalworking
- Xorn Rockshaping
...or something along these lines.

The Azer and Salamander options particularly intrigue me, as both of those Fire races are, IMO, underused, and ripe for development, compared to the Efreeti/City of Brass.

Scarab Sages

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So I just read the River of Souls article in AP 34 (which was awesome, and neatly addressed stuff like 'why does Pharasma oh-so-conveniently never judge/sort people before they get resurrected'), and noticed a bit about outsiders 'quintessence' sort of flowing back (eventually) to the Maelstrom or their plane-of-residence if they are destroyed, and that tied interestingly to the bit about souls kind of 'showing up' when a new mortal is born.

Would it be possible for someone to explain their infernal bloodline sorcery to be the result of an imp dying somewhere in their hometown of Korvosa the night of their birth, and part of its 'quintessence' getting mixed up with it's fledgling soul?

Similarly, could the death of demons in the Worldwound/Mendev area, and lingering abyssal quintessence swirling around the area, having not yet spiraled into the giant crapper that is the Worldwound, have some sort of effect on local mortal births (perhaps both humanoids and animals), as they 'get a little bit of demon in them,' resulting in everything from a completely normal child of two mortals being born a half-demon (woops, got a big chunk of demon in that one!), or a tiefling, or with a gift for abyssal bloodline sorcery (or bloodragery, or whatever), or just freakish events like chicken eggs cracking open to reveal crawling eyeballs or two-headed calves with people faces?

That would be kind of neat, and lead to some interesting story options, particularly in the Worldwound / Mendev area, or devil-haunted Cheliax (where a particularly ambitious/callous/strange sort of parent might arrange to have a few imps or lemures called up and ganked just before the birth of their latest little bundle of joy, to give the infant an infernal advantage baked in from the start, as it's newly forming / arriving soul is awash in infernal soulstuff/quintessence...), or even Qadira / Katapesh, home to both lots of genie-summoners *and* lots of Ifrits, Sylphs, Undines and Oreads, perhaps not-so-coincidentally.

Scarab Sages

Sissyl wrote:
MJ: You are saying a reduction of the total amount of meat produced through less human consumption of meat is going to not work because we still have pets?

Solution seems obvious.

Cat. The other white meat.

Developing a strain of rice (or other crop) gene-spliced to thrive in salty water seems like an eventual necessity.

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