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I asked about this a while ago when one of my players in a home game wanted to use it for a familiar with no cap. I asked on the boards and didn't get a whole lot of help, other than a few people saying it should be capped. There was a couple of people that implied that at one time this was a animal companion only feat, it was only later versions that included the familiar. If this is true, it was likely an oversight when updating the feat to not include language more appropriate to the familiar.
1) Feat argument-I don't have a dog in this fight, but I am inclined to err on the side of the player here as well. This alone isn't really enough to leave the game in my opinion, but you do raise some other decent points.
2) Faction argument-I liked every faction having something to do every mission also. I also didn't like all the stupid "here is something to find" missions. I have mentioned before that multiple factions could share goals, good goals, in a scenario. They could regularly swap who they share with and their motivations could be different. I really think this could solve a lot of the current problems.
3) Staff argument-I think both John and Mike do a really good job of keeping an even tone, even when people are being belligerent. However, I would say your concerns are very accurate with some of the other staff. I have both seen and been the recipient of some very inflammatory language and accusations both out of the blue and while trying to politely disagree with staff.
This has changed from a "Boot this guy because it is best for the game" to "boot this guy because it is best for the kid" issue for me.
Granted playing PFS is much better than out getting drunk and high, but at fifteen I wouldn't wouldn't want my son out at midnight on a school night for any reason........I would also change school districts if he was in one that said they didn't give homework because they don't want to stress out the students.
EDIT @The All Seeing Eye Thank you. I hadn't seen this before and I am glad I read it.
Apparently the political ideas on the gaming forums are like the pop news, individuals are much happier to jump on a sound byte of someone saying something they want to agree with rather than bothering with the veracity of the claim.
In the interest of simplifying my posts down to an earlier sound byte I can identify with, I will repeat part of that post.
Lord Fyre wrote:
By more visible, do you mean eye-catching, attractive, and memorable? I would agree with that, but I consider those things characteristics of both good art and good marketing. As far as quantity, I don't know that I have seen one group more than others.
I think this push to be less sexy is actually a regression. From the time when I was a kid, standards for dress for public, on TV, in magazines, on bill boards, in concerts, and in store windows has become significantly more relaxed.
Most of this increase in public sexiness is largely based on marketing a fantasy. But we want less fantasy in our fantasy art? Keeping sexiness in the art is a wise marketing strategy. Ceteris paribus, if I had the choice to buy/play/get involved in a game that looks sexy and attractive or a game that looks plain, I will choose the former every time. If I were to make this thread examining the differences between the iconics and more recently released art, I would phrase it in the terms of the newer art being too boring, safe, and PC. I can still remember the lamia pictures from monster manuals I haven't seen in a quarter of a century, but I couldn't tell you what I ate three days ago. That sounds like successful art to me.
The two groups that I see most opposed to sex appeal are those that profit from guilt and those that feel an unwanted need to compete on this metric. In either case, I find these motivations much more "impure" and "bigoted" than those of people that embrace sexuality. The double think employed by many people in this country (USA) is often astounding to me. The same people that get all uppity when a woman shows some skin, are often the same people that get all uppity when talking about countries that force women to wear Burqas.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Yes, absolutely. It's 2014. Why is Paizo clinging to an art style that makes female characters into sexual objects and sends the message that rpgs are only for straight men?
I know/have known several strait women, as well a gay men and women, who not only appreciate the female figure but would take issue with your hasty generalization.
N N 959 wrote:
But as Walter has pointed out, the current system does not provide an incentive for players to RP per their faction when they know a priori that nothing they can do in this scenario will have any impact on their faction.
Perhaps your earlier misinterpretation of my post was based on the fact I didn't make this point clear. The faction missions now do give some good chances for RP, but as stated here it comes up too rarely to have a huge impact (unless you metagame the characters to the scenarios as previously discussed). I too like the idea of faction goals always having some mechanical incentive, even if it is minor, in every game.
As I tried to explain before, I don't want a mechanical bonus to "win", I want this so no one can think I am wasting time by role playing.
To further Chris's idea from earlier about season long tracked goals, it would be fun to have options about which ones to take that would suit different character styles. It might be one Osirians task to collect undead specimens, while another annotates the details of different traps, or another collects and interprets certain ancient writings. It would give a character a repeating schtick that I find fun to work into characters anyway.
I think part of Korthis' frustration comes from the fact that he identified the line of logic being used to "disprove" him, explained that he didn't make that leap in what "functions as" means, and then instead of providing links or similar precedence that shows the extent of "functions as" people have repeatedly asserted that he is simply wrong in his understanding of the term.
He agreed that it didn't work a long time ago, he just did not agree with the initial reason given. I also have to admit, that if I had a passing interest in rule, and then someone came in insulting my reasoning ability without provocation and making assumptions in their rebuttal logic at the same time, I just might be pissed enough to argue it also.
Thank you for the explanation. I do think that people deserve props, rewards, whatever for donating their time and efforts to making PFS run. I know it takes a lot of work and volunteer hours to make happen. I also know that many times it can be thankless work.
But I am also a little reluctant to say stars should be the metric for dictating what is best for PFS, because I think high stars can often ironically lead to a mentality that isn't always concerned with what is best for PFS. If you look at people who have started to view PFS as a job instead of fun, those that get the most pleasure at events from the death of players, those that seem disappointed when no one dies, those that actively try to attack the wealth of characters, those that are the most hostile towards builds that players put a lot of time and effort into making work efficiently, are all 3+ star GMs. This is not to say that all high star GMs burn out, but it does happen. Because of this, I personally don't think that heavily weighting the opinions based on stars is going to lead to the most collective fun. The whole purpose of this game is to have fun, and less fun equals less profit.
Andrew Christian wrote:
I don't have insight into market analytics at Paizo, but I am inclined to wonder why your con attendance matters for this point. Perhaps con attendance generates much more revenue than I realize. At the Comicon I went to here, I don't think Paizo saw any direct profits.
I would think that books that open up races would be ones that people would be more inclined to buy. I can easily see people dodging a book purchase on a feat or item here or there in a build. If it came up, only a small aspect of the character is invalidated. However, if it ever were to arise that someone was using an illegal race, that would invalidate an entire character. This leads me to think race books should sell better than your average other book that is being sold to make a PFS legal build. I would be very interested in seeing if my speculation on these sales are accurate. If so, the Blood of Angels and Demons saw a spike after opening up those races to the public, and they should have higher sale rates than similar products.
Cons obviously do lead to revenue, but is the amount gained by con limited race, item, etc boons more than what would be made by treating those same things as free market items? Right now I have zero chance of buying the Dhampir book, but I would do so almost immediately if I could build a PFS character with it. Judging by several of these threads, I think a lot of people would do the same for other races they are interested in.
In addition to your "Well I have done more" mentality possibly not making the most business sense, it can be used to justify all sorts of silly things. When I was in the military, this mentality was pretty rampant, and I always thought that it was a flaw in reasoning based on some variation of band-wagoning or ad populum to trick people into doing all kinds of irrational things that they wouldn't normally do. I have seen a lot of people deny themselves health, time, family, nourishment, self improvement, and dignity in the name of "some people do more for less."
I don't either. In all honestly, I don't expect CoDzilla to be a huge problem here, because this class is so MAD. Like I said, I haven't tried to really work that angle, but I had to really lower both my dex and con well beneath what I am used to to make a decent caster out of this (this is offset by the medium armor and D8HP). I suspect that the melee version of it would likely run into the inverse problem of not having the points to go around to fill out the mental attributes.
When ever I read the Dark Whatever people are writing about I keep thinking of Dexter and the Dark Passenger. If this idea of a Dark Spirit were pursued (I am a bit intrigued by it) what if it were the one to deliver hexes? Hexes are delivered based on a 30' fly speed of the Dark Spirit instead of within 30' of the Shaman? It may or may not take up a large space in the way an ethereal swarm would.
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
While I have never put much thought into a melee version of the Shaman, I like a lot of what you have done here.
As to the people above still wanting the druid list, you do realize that there are spirits that can still give you that theme right? Why paint all shamans into that corner?
In a previous thread I said that I built a level 5 shaman as an NPC and that I couldn't find half the spells I prepped when he switched from the cleric to the druid list. I was mistaken in my numbers, there wasn't a single spell I had prepped that could be found on the druid list.
While this is my favorite class from this book, I lost all interest in playing it when it changed to just the plain druid list. When we got the augments, I built one again to play as a PC. I only write down the spells I think I might end up prepping on my divine characters' sheets, and for my new shaman the majority of my spells on the sheet are from that tiny augmented list, not the druid list. I simply don't care about most druid spells. I am not saying that people who do are wrong, but I am saying that people that would choose to force that flavor on someone needlessly are wrong. This class can be so much better than that.
For comment number four, how about combining the familiar alterations and manifesting fluff currently in play? I think both ideas bring some really great flavor to the class, but if the familiar is falling a little flat, those ideas can still be cannibalized. The spirits won't use the animals as a vessel, they use the shaman as a vessel. Instead of having a familiar it would look something like this for the bones spirit:
If desired, what triggers the effect could be more specific. Instead of special ability, perhaps specify hex or spell.
Inquisitor has its own list.
But what is the need for this affirmative action towards spell lists? It isn't like all lists are created equal or that there is some obligation to have list proliferate in equal amounts. I don't hear anyone saying we need more classes that use the paladin, magus, or inquisitor list. I think there is a very good reason not a lot of classes use the druid list, it is tailored to an extremely niche theme. You can have lots of different types of clerics based on how you want to focus your spell efforts, this naturally leads to being more usable by different themed classes. The idea that we need something to share this other list is a complete non-starter for me.
I still think far and away the best thing that could happen to this class would be that the spirits selected would have a more dramatic impact on the spell list, as Nighttree first suggested. Even if it didn't increase the hexes gained, perhaps just have access to more spirits that do nothing but provide a chunk of spells (perhaps a school.) While it may be more limiting than just giving the full cleric list, I think it would provide a fun level of customization.
I am hoping the druid list isn't set in stone. The only dev input I have heard about spells was something to the effect of "we are thinking about changing to the druid list" and then shortly after "make it so." The two reasons I have seen on here for it are "Some of the spells have shaman flavor that the cleric doesn't have" and "we only have one class using this list so far."
As to the first argument, the same can be said in reverse (possibly to greater effect). As to the second argument, does it really matter? It was an afterthought to fill this somewhat open niche, is it that important?
I used the cleric casting shaman as a 5th level NPC along with several of his animated dead in a home game against four 3rd level, optimized PCs. I didn't post anything about it here because the tactics were pretty far from the norm for story purposes, but it felt like a fun character that I could enjoy playing as a PC (even though it did burn out of juice very quickly). But around half of the spells I had prepped I did not find on the druid list.
I was not immediately opposed to the druid list idea, admittedly I never played one and didn't know what was fully on it. I read the list, saw what I was losing, saw what I was gaining, and took my first level Shaman I built for PFS and turned him into an Arcanist.
I still read this thread regularly hoping for some development on the spell front. It sounds like the spell list and the etymology of class name have all but dominated this thread. I find that kind of a pity, because the wandering spirit idea seems like such a hit that I would like to see more energy devoted to it. But it appears that for many people, myself included, this very cool idea is taking a back seat at the moment.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I hadn't heard "silo" used in this context before so I hit the quick google search button. What I got was not what I was expecting.
Is Destroying a Fellow Player's Raised Dead / Commanded Undead an action that Constitutes PVP in Society Play?
Eric Saxon wrote:
I donate blood on a somewhat regular basis and I have signed away all rights to any of my organs after I die. If someone else can benefit from them, I think it the good and noble thing to do to allow them to do so, even if I see no benefit and I don't even know them. Other people are better off for having access to the resources my body produced naturally, and it really doesn't even cost me anything to allow them to do so.
While I know it is a very common sentiment for people to want to preserve their bodies after death, I would feel like an obnoxious prick to say "When I am dead and have absolutely no use for my former body, make sure no one else can benefit from it in any way either........until of course nature breaks down my molecules and they get transferred into other living things. Damn you mother nature! Why do you hate me so?"
While I still love the flavor of this class immensely, the MAD issue is starting to weigh more and more on me. I like to play a lot of casters, particularly debuffers. Prior to the release, I expected anything x-witch to be a new debuffer. After reading it, I realized the unique debuffs weren't really that great but it was still a full caster with awesome flavor and a cool new versatile mechanic. So I started trying to build one and I started running into problems. My baseline assumption for casters is max casting stat, I juice every DC for every full caster I have made to the max and I still see my spells fail much more often than I would like. It didn't take me long to realize that 18 wisdom wasn't happening here. But then as I am juggling stats, I am having a hard time even keeping wisdom at 17, so I bump that down again. I start thinking maybe I will just try and avoid save spells and abilities, but really that is what I wanted out of this class from the start. I am starting to see a buffer/healer here (which admittedly a witch and and oracle could be) but unable to specialize in anything else.
Perhaps it is my preconceived notions about what I was going to do with this class, but I probably going to hold off on creating one now and see what others experience.
While I am glad someone up thread clarified that all prepared divine casters use wisdom (the thought process on where wisdom casting came from drove me nuts) I would be very happy to either see that tradition scrapped, make a shaman spell list that could be called arcane, or use the fact that it is also a spontaneous caster to shift the casting stat back to charisma.
Is Destroying a Fellow Player's Raised Dead / Commanded Undead an action that Constitutes PVP in Society Play?
For a little while I played a gunslinger cleric of Dranngvit who was hellbent on punishing wrongdoers. Any time a player would do something I thought transgressed against an innocent, I would have my character write down in a journal (as I wrote down on my character sheet) the name of the offending character, the type of offense, and "Awaiting arbitration," that was what I called it when I killed a wrong doer. So mechanically I didn't screw over any one else's character, but from a roleplay point of view, my character planned to track these people down and inflict justice on them at a later time when it didn't compromise the mission. It was a fun way for me resolve what otherwise might have led to nasty moral dilemmas.
This is my favorite class that I have read in the guide. I love the flavor and mechanics involved. However, mechanically this feels more cleric than oracle to me. Apparently I am alone on this judging by the above comments. I suppose I was expecting either spontaneous casting or charisma dependent casting as the oracle contribution to the spell side of things. The wisdom casting threw me for a bit of a loop when I read it. What does wisdom have to do with either class?
Originally I wished they had used different words for hexes since they are distinctly different from witch hexes, but an above comment about having feats ready to go to augment this class made me rethink that decision.
I had a little confusion at first in that I thought the familiar was the spirit, so I thought maybe you get a second familiar when you get a wandering spirit. A second reading of the class features cleared that up for me, but from a fluff perspective a little clearing up of exactly how the wandering spirits manifests itself would be nice. Does the familiar take on the characteristics of the wandering spirit also as if being possessed by it too? Does the shaman have the tells associated with the wandering spirits when manifesting one of those powers? As it reads now, I don't think so. But either of both of those things would be a cool way to physically represent this extra unseen presence that is affecting you.
I think there is a typo in the first paragraph "Familiars also aid a
My first response would be like many others, this is an out of character issue, it is best settled out of character. But if the guy won't listen, the GM won't help and you won't leave, I think your next best option is to UMD a wand of Command Undead. It would be pretty pricey to refresh every few days, but it would be pretty satisfying to turn this guy into your personal outhouse. If he does kill you, make your next character a caster so you can make use of this spell or feat for free.
While I do like the idea a lot about completed seasons or stars being worth certain races, here is another one. Let races be bought with prestige. By pulling strings in the society and using your personal clout, you can speak for an outsider and get them vetted. It might only cost you 16 prestige to get your kitsune friend in, but it is going to take a lot more greasing the wheels (45 prestige) to get some goblin in the ranks.
Eric Saxon wrote:
I'm still reading folks, just not joining the conversation because I can do without the malice. I'm only writing this because I won't see your responses for another 16 hours, its game night, tonight.
While I couldn't disagree with your position on this matter more, I certainly have no malice towards you (or anyone for that matter). If it reads that way, it certainly isn't my intention.
Eric Saxon wrote:
This isn't an option in PFS, and with some of our schedules regular home games with the same people are hard.
Eric Saxon wrote:
I am always leery of any argument that could be used to equal effect for the opposing side.
Once you add one restriction, you'll find 20 new threads requesting other restrictions to be added. And if you add one, another one will come up for debate. And once all the options are gone, I firmly believe each one of you will quit, one by one. You'll find different reasons, but eventually you'll all get sick of it if nothing is up for play.
But I will try and bring this back to some middle ground for a second and not be so adversarial. I firmly support you and your friends having fun in your store or home in whatever way most pleases you, so long as what you are doing does not somehow negatively impact the fun that my friends and I are having. Is this a statement that you would be willing to reciprocate?
Eric your appeals to public relations sound convincing until your realize that 1. What is seen by the public can't be handled across the board as well as it can in person. 2. Decisions are not made in a vacuum, and rules can have unintended consequences.
It will be absolutely impossible to legislate what is crowd friendly in every environment, hence general rules like "Don't be a jerk." Who cares if someone says "I cast blood transcription on the sorcerer" when right next door you have a GM shouting "As you whip your sword around it lands firmly in the cleric's neck, spraying blood out all over you and the nearby crowd! As his heart thumps the last few beats, a couple strong streams of blood pulse against your blade." Some people would call this good GMing, and some would call it inappropriate for public. We trust our groups, with the help of organizers and VOs, to help make this decision. If you are organizing a store, I wouldn't fault you if I was playing in your store and you told me "Cut out all the blood talk, I want a family friendly environment here." I would fault you for telling me that the standards you set for your store is in the best interest across the globe for all players, GMs, store owners, and patrons.
I can see several potential negative side effects to trying to make this type of widespread legislation based on a supposed moral high ground. For one, it gives more credence to the "good guys" thinking they can do whatever they want in the name of "good". This comes both in the form of dictating how other players are allowed to play their characters, and in their ruthlessness playing their own characters within the game. Remember my paladin player from earlier who can't get through two sentences without shouting f*!+ or s##@? What ground do we have to stand on in opposition to him when he sees a guy walking down the street that detects evil so he immediately goes to "SLICE HIM THE F*!& UP!?" If we concede a world where everything is clearly defined as black and white, when we call something evil it has no rights; killing people in the middle of the street you have never even seen or spoken with can't truly be argued as a bad thing. Instead it is a natural conclusion to be drawn from such simplified distinctions of good and evil. Mind you, I am not making up a strawman. I am talking about a real person who follows this chain of logic, and according to forum posts, he is not alone in this line of thinking.
Also, added legislation removing the grey zones often has the unintended consequence of causing people to inadvertently take steps in the wrong direction. I first saw this explained quite well several years ago in Freakanomics, I am sure several people here have read it. In it they give an example of a day care who wants parents to quit showing up late to pick up their children. They start to charge more money to those who are late in an effort to provide incentive for being on time. Instead, it had the opposite effect. People were more regularly late and for longer periods of time. The reason being, when people thought that their misdeeds was a nuisance to others and they were taking advantage of their good will, they were honestly trying to be on time. Once the rules were clearly defined about what happened in that grey zone and there was consideration being offered for being late, the parents no longer felt any moral obligations to the previous time frame. I noticed a very similar effect in myself a while back for PFS when it was stated that GMs were to audit all character purchases. The first time I started to do a personal audit for one of my characters after I read that rule, I momentarily stopped myself when the thought came into my head "Why bother, a GM is going to be doing audits now for me." I recognized the problem with that line of thought, but many people will not.
You also will likely have people who will want to push back against the boundaries out of spite. "What do you mean there is now a rule that my Dhampire can't bite a dead body! You have to be kidding me, that is ridiculous! Well in that case I am going old testament on this mother xxxxxxxer. I am chopping him up in pieces and delivering his body to different different corners of the city. I am going to urinate on him first just for good measure."
These changes right now really don't affect me. But they do scare me. Because it looks like a direction that not only runs the risk of the above problems, it runs the risk eventually boring me. There is a very good reason that TV, movies, books, etc have moved away from the traditional hero in the white hat who fights against the evil man in the black hat, it is so incredibly boring and unrealistic. Real people have real motivations and real tribulations, they don't always see eye to eye and there isn't always an obvious villain. The reason the white hats of old were so boring was because they were paragons of pure goodness in an unrealistic good environment. Once they could eliminate the clearly defined bad thing from that environment, there was an order and stability in the world. Now mind you, I am not opposed to strongly moral, thoughtful characters who stand up for what is right; but I expect them to own that burden. There is a reason most people you meet are not these righteous, uncompromising saints, it is really hard to have that level of conviction in a world that is not built upon those standards. In A Game of Thrones, I absolutely loved Ned Stark and was somewhat crushed when he died. I would say he very much represented an extremely moral character and a champion of virtue. I loved him because he maintained this virtue while having to pay through the nose to do it. If your characters want to be this type of righteous beacon of goodness more power to you, just realize that the world (and the society you exist within) runs on the backs of people lacking your level of virtue. To instead insist that the world conform around your set of virtues, is to remove the personal burden of being moral.
Matthew Morris wrote:
I think the better way to change that image is in the writing of the scenarios. These latter missions that focus more on roleplay than you see someone, roll initiative, serves that aim much more. Additionally, the players have to have buy-in on that transition. This feels like a capriciously executed forced.
Another example from the gutter-mouthed mouthed paladin at our game store earlier. At the last game I ran for him, they were outside of a drug house watching people trickle in an out that are available to question about the goings-on in the house. One of them detected evil on the paladin radar (not because the scenario said any of their alignments, but because I figured some of them in this place probably would be) his instinct was to rush in and cut him to pieces, it was the neutral character that prevented this act of murder hoboing. This seems much more vile and objectionable than what we are calling evil here.
Adjudication of personal morals is really impossible. If less violence is wanted, something funny in a game built on violence, I much prefer more options for non-violent success to be made available and more in game penalties for cut first ask questions later. Promote thought among the fan base, not try and force it with scattered mechanical restrictions.
I have reread this thread now that I have a little context on it, and the original post definitely comes off in a much different light to me now. A lot of time you will hear people arguing comparisons and slippery slope because they have an immediate aim that they wish to satisfy. I truly believe Pogrist is concerned with the potential long term ramifications, or as he aptly worded it precedence, that is set by this type of judgement. I don't care that this spell is lost from a mechanics point of view, but it is a little unpleasant shock due to the reason for the banning. This is confounded by how little support I have seen for this line of reasoning. "Cannabalism is evil, the end" sounds to me like it is "just so."
Now I respect that Paizo and PFS admin very much have that right to make "just so" decisions. I also have a job that requires 100s of "just so" decisions every day and I know it is a pain in the ass to feel the need to justify every one of them. My comments here are not meant to complicate things or be a pain; I really enjoy this hobby that people here have put together for me.
I just think this topic perhaps seems a little more personal to me for the same reasons the debates about alignment tend to get so heated. Making a value judgement on someone else's value judgement tends to be taken a little more personal. It doesn't make it any easier that the game world (and all its predecessors) is rooted in the idea of absolute morality, a system more defined by acceptance than reasoned discourse.
To try and make this...somewhat brief...er. I hope Pogrist was wrong about this decision being a portent of things to come.
Can someone please spoiler the OP?
An actual title from the author would have been helpful also. Nondescript thread number 4132524123 ready for reading!
I do admit partial fault in opening it to read it despite my instinct telling me I probably wouldn't be interested. Will save failed on my part.
Sylah was once married to the esteemed clergyman Tidus. Their social status within the community was virtually unrivaled. The commoners looked to them for all manner of guidance and protection; a sort of beacon in the midst of vast darkness.
Sylah’s beauty and character always afforded her constant attention, but ultimately that attraction brought about some rather destructive attention. She caught the eye of a devious scoundrel tainted with Rakshasa blood named Maahes. The sinister and cunning Maahes was intrigued by her purity and made it his personal mission to destroy that bright light within her.
Maahes disguised himself as traveling missionary who got close to Sylah by appealing to her desire to spread their “mutual” faith. All the while as Sylah and Maahes got closer and closer, he was working his charms to gain her affection. The day came she could no longer resist his machinations and a passionate affair ensued.
It wasn’t long until Sylah was with child and the conniving Maahes was no longer interested in developing a relationship. Instead he remained in the town as an independent missionary, sowing vicious rumors about Sylah. Disguised as various commoners, he began telling others that Sylah had been unfaithful to Tidus, and that she had even been seen consorting with members of demonic faiths. These rumors spread for their absurdity among the community more so than because anyone actually believed them. But even in jest the fault line of Sylah’s character had been laid. When she gave birth to a child with lanugos, elongated pupils, and highly pronounced philtrum, what was once seen as an absurdity was perceived as a scary reality for the public.
Sylah admitted to the affair with the missionary, but denied all allegations of consorting with demons or demon worshippers (this was a true statement as far as she knew). Her claims fell on deaf ears as her character was beyond repair. With quick growing unrest, it was clear that Tidus and the town intended to purge the demon child from their midst. Emotionally wrecked and feeling abandoned by her faith, she didn’t know what to do. Seeing the current travesty as her mistake and not that of the child, she fled from town in the night taking the infant Cado Deus with her.
Out on their own they were certain to die in the hostile outlands, but Maahes wouldn’t let her pain end so quickly. He sought to savor her fall as long as he could. Without her knowledge, Maahes would fend off potential aggressors before they could prey upon the new mother. His return payment would be to watch her tears for endless hours.
As Cado Deus grew, Sylah did her best to teach her bastard son all she knew, which ironically was how to comport herself around the masses. She always hoped for the day that Cado Deus could actually be accepted despite his genetic defects. Eventually the day came when Maahes grew bored of the distressed mother and left her proximity for good. It wasn’t long before she was abused and slain by brigands that stumbled upon her hiding spot, but when the brigands turned their hostilities towards the young Cado Deus they found themselves unable to advance.
In fact, they soon found themselves actually bending to the will of the young demon-blooded Cado. By means of his mother’s tongue and his father’s blood, he realized that he could assert his will over the miscreants. Knowing that he couldn’t survive out on his own but realizing that he had matured to the point that he could survive in the presence of others, he compelled the thieves to bring him to a nearby town where he could find a new life.
The more mature Cado found that free from the treacherous tale of his mother it was surprisingly easy to reintegrate into other towns. Rather than the abomination he was said to have been treated as during his infancy, his feline-esque beauty and silver tongue made him a boon of attraction rather than repulsion.
His meticulous and manipulative nature made him quite interested in both law and economics. The adult Cado fashioned himself as quite the businessman. Taking note of his acumen, the Qadiran faction came knocking. They knew they could use a man of his skills and their offers of travel and insight were most compelling. Thus a new Pathfinder was born.
During his time as a Pathfinder, Cado studied the laws of the lands in his free time. As a sort of indulgence to that passion, he even thought he would give religion another try despite the wicked role it played in his conception. He pledged himself to Abadar, the most legalistic and mercantile of the gods. This suited him quite well for a time, but Cado is currently having yet another crisis of faith. As business savvy as Abadar and his ilk may be, the drug trade and profits to be made from it are weighing heavily against Cado and his favor with Abadar.
Uriel "The Jester" Elnevel
The first record of Uriel Elnevel was as an abandoned infant. He was found on the doorsteps of a cathedral to Iomedae and taken in with great excitement. The baby was not like most, clearly the blood of a celestial flowed strongly in his veins as the energy was manifest on his very skin. He looked almost like a living breathing porcelain doll. His skin was pure white, completely pore-less, and an all-together sight of great beauty. He was heralded as a gift from Iomedae herself by the church elders and quickly became a beacon for nearby worshippers to marvel in her gracious gift to the church.
It seemed that Uriel had a life of respect and adulation laid before him from the start, but then he learned to talk. Everything was so remarkably funny to him. From silly rituals of his home to the sacred stories of Iomedae, to the toil in which most people lived out their lives, Uriel looked upon it all as utter hilarity. What he found even funnier was how serious and angry some people became at his musings while others could be brought to his same states of elation with just a few words. Uriel never played with toys as a child, he played with people. He would push them from their comfort zone and then dance them about like his own private puppet show.
At 11 when Uriel began proclaiming himself as the bastard love child of Cayden Cailean and Zon-Kuthon, the church elders had suffered all that they were going to on account of the alabaster child. They cast him out on his own, but this was no concern for Uriel; rather his playpen was expanded. He roamed from town to town sometimes living off the wealth of others and sometimes sleeping on the streets. But no matter where he found himself Uriel was laughing all the while, after all this world and its inhabitants were all just so ridiculous.
As he grew older he realized that he had a certain supernatural knack, which empowered his antics and further separated him from the dullards he walked amongst. About that time his reputation for biting humor and alabaster skin became quite noteworthy everywhere he went. People would often refer to him as The Jester instead of his real name. The moniker seemed to pop up in every town independently, and he decided to embrace this persona. He never cared much for the traditional costume, but by applying large amounts of make up to his lips and eyes, everyone simply saw him as an irresistible clown instead of some irresponsible avatar.
As he further developed in both mind and body, he was constantly in search of new laughs and new challenges. He found that while the folly of a random person was humorous, the folly at the expense of a foe was to die for. He decided to join the Pathfinders to exploit this very thing. This ridiculous group of so-called heroes never had any shortage of adversaries to one up, and his abilities made him quite the valued recruit.
Silas is my name; I have no formal surname to my knowledge. I was raised, and presumably birthed, by a Wescroni conjurer that never even told me her name. My room, for what I have calculated to be about 15 years, was a small library turned dungeon. I don’t think my….caretaker really knew what to do with me. For all their comfort when doing business with demons her kind are remarkably prudish about fornicating with them. And let’s face it; she couldn’t very well bring something looking like me out into society with her.
It retrospect there are worst ways to be raised. While creature comforts were light, the reading material was exquisite. I taught myself to read before I learned to speak my first language. Hell, I probably knew more about science, demons, and magic before I learned to speak than most people know in their whole lives. It didn’t really matter that the only person I had known was nothing more than a food delivery system, it isn’t like I am the type of…..person that needs coddling.
But one day when the lock turned it was not the familiar face I knew that came through the door. Instead there were three individuals who seemed quite startled to see me. Screams, throwing things, they were quite frazzled, as was I. Prior to this event the only person I had ever known acted more like a fleshy golem than something capable of emotion. I was chased out like a rat into the streets. I later came to know that my caretaker, who liked to think of herself as some sort of nobility, had passed. My three impromptu aggressors had come to lay claim on their share of her Vira. Of course I was not surprised my name didn't make it onto the will. Even after I found out her name I didn't draw the connection that it should be my own, but I am getting ahead of myself.
The people I met on the streets were not very accepting. I didn’t look like them; I looked more like the things they try to control. While I couldn’t depend on their good nature, I did learn to depend on their stupidity and carelessness. I found myself stealing things from them that I needed. I took both their food and their words. I learned my first two oral languages by eavesdropping alone.
Living on the street, it was a bit harder for me to get my hands on a steady supply of books. So in the interim, I decided to read anatomy. I dissected anything I could get my hands on. It was during one of my exploratory sessions that I was discovered by a rich traveler named Yahem Yalan. His disposition towards me was one of fascination and not horror. He was made inquisitive by my inquisitiveness. After I told him what I was doing, he asked my name. Occasionally I had been called Silas in my home and repeatedly I had been called Wretch in the streets. Apparently how names are given was not one of the tidbits of information I had picked up along the way, so I answered with what I thought best at the time “Silas Wretch”. By the time I knew better I thought the whole thing quite humorous and decided that I would keep the name.
Back to the matter at hand, Yahem was a very decent man although very peculiar by most peoples' standards. That probably worked out in my favor. He ended up taking me from my home in Westcrown to his home in Sothis. He taught me to dress like a leper and people would treat me a bit better not knowing what I was, but his real gift to me was his lab. Books and chemicals and test subjects were abundant. I learned much over the next few decades, I was working at three times the pace I was in my first library. I couldn’t have been more euphoric for a very long time.
But eventually something started to itch with me. I realized that there were still limits in my new home as well. If some merchant, traveler, scientist could amass this many resources, just imagine what I could amass gathering the knowledge of kings, emperors, and pharaohs. The Osirian Faction of the Pathfinder Society helps direct me to the greatest of secrets.
Treant Vrennis was a very talented academic and aspiring medic in the city of Slothis. While socially Treant fit in rather well and was often able to keep his personal idiosyncrasies to himself, they were in fact quite numerous. One particular oddity sprung from his academic love of anatomy. Treant was a grave robber, not of material goods but organic ones. He received a rush from the dissection of corpses, and kept meticulous notes and drawings of each one.
By earning a name for himself with scholastic achievements, he managed to secure personal passage into the tomb of the pharaoh Czernobog Al’ Akkara for academic purposes. While he was very clearly instructed not to remove anything from the tomb or damage any of the artifacts, he saw this as no reason to forego the chance to see the inner workings of what some people once considered a god.
Upon opening the chest cavity of the pharaoh, he was stunned to see a strange reptile that appeared to be living inside. Its eyes were a deep, piercing red that made Treant’s entire body feel very stiff and very heavy. Without moving, it was almost as if the weight of his own limbs felt so great that they were collapsing his entire body into the ground and itself.
He immerged from the tomb hours later carrying the reptile he calls Ezzit. Immediately one of the guards addressed him, reminding Treant of the instruction to remove nothing from the tomb. Treant stared directly into the guards eyes and replied. “Czernobog Vreniss has made no such agreement. It would serve you well to forget what you have seen here.”
Treant, who stopped answering to that name, was said to go through a series of progressive changes so that most of his former peers scarcely recognized him. One of which was his transition from academia, to the much more visceral, Pathfinder Society.
Lorenzo, or more specifically the man who uses the name Lorenzo as an important alias among many, is a complicated and elusive character. He is know to claim many identities, religious affiliations, regional affiliations, and personal motivations.
At one time there was a claim by now deceased people about missing documents that point to what some think is the most likely truth of Lorenzo’s history. Allegedly, Lorenzo was born to an Andoran slave woman and both were exchanged as consideration on a bet at the Histoqen in Katheer. After the race, both Lorenzo and his mother became property of a Qadiran noble named Alhem Alhazar.
Alhem, while quite prudent in matters of acquiring wealth, was quite decadent with his funds for a Qadiran. He was prone to hosting massive balls and masked soirees where nobles could anonymously indulge themselves, oftentimes at the expense of the slaves.
One of the repeat visitors, a man in an ivory plague doctor’s mask, became quite fond of the young Lorenzo and very quickly became quite attached the lad. As both a show of appreciation and mentorship, he offered to help Lorenzo rise from his lowly station. The man in Ivory drew up documents and had them falsely notarized to state that Lorenzo’s mother was a concubine to Alhem, and Lorenzo was their son.
Very shortly after the documents were in place, Alhem mysteriously died in his sleep. According to Qadiran law, Lorenzo was inheritor of both his property and title. Lorenzo then liquidated his “father’s” assets and the paper trail quickly disappeared.
This story is as much hearsay as any other, but from this point the tales diverge even more greatly. One murmur that perhaps crops up slightly more than others among the most trusted of spies include tales of the Reaper of Reputation.
Kyle Baird wrote:
Just because a player choice is "legal" and is used "responsibly" doesn't make it any less lame. I reserve the right judge any player by their character choices. Don't like that, find another table.
I have seen some pretty well thought out posts from you in the past. I would have to say this is the absolute opposite. It quite reminds me of playground ostracizing.
Can someone explain to me again why the merchants even care what the PCs think an item is worth in the first place?
It seems the main example of why this item is broken is a non-starter. "You think these beans are worth 12321343212354 gold, outstanding I will take a look at them and tell you what I think."
Even if I believe you, I still want verification for my investment. I could be wrong about you, or you could be wrong about your items.
To another recurring argument here, I don't assume most people know that the mask is even being worn on sight. But even if I did, I still MIGHT buy from the person. Hell, I might buy something from a nine-fingered Rakshasa under the right circumstances.
Would the people who really want to gimp this item still want to do so if it were more expensive?
As a GM I use it to avoid what can be some wonky flat footed rules, currently under discussion in another thread. As a player I try to have my character act on character knowledge. For example in the last game we played, one of my mates went into a room and saw some enemies while the rest of us were walking single file down the stairs. I was second to act in initiative, but I said "I have no reason to push my way to the front of the line, I didn't see the enemy." There is no way I would attack someone in the woods because initiative was rolled.
Total defense gives a +4 to AC for a standard action, use that as a point of comparison on what you should get for using your standard to be ready for an opponent. To instead get an attack and invalidate all of one opponents attacks is very silly.
I'm with Rob, if there is wiggle room in the interpretation to try and make it right, it should be taken.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Tell me more Sitri, if you can.
Sorry, I actually had a few drinks when I made this post and forgot which thread I was in. This first part, the joke, was meant for this thread and then for whatever reason I thought I was in the thread where the guy was talking about changes to the breastplate being unrealistic.
When does roleplaying fall into screwing over other characters? (Some spoilers for #4–15: The Cyphermage Dilemma)
This reminds me of Final Fantasy Online. You couldn't directly attack other players, so some people would do it by drawing aggro from a monster or monsters and bringing it into the area where there were people you didn't like (typically because they were camping to close). If I were GMing and saw a player do this, I think I would call it PvP. At a minimum I would do my best to have the monster chase the offender.
I think most anyone who reads these boards regularly would agree that Mike does a great job, but I don't think an appeal to authority is a good reason for people to silence their opinions. Let's also not forget that player feedback, like what is happening here, is also a source of data piazo has historically valued.
Todd Morgan wrote:
I have played a pre-gen a few times, it doesn't even feel like I am playing a role playing game. I couldn't care less about the role of party pre-gen cleric; I am a tag along mechanical device. There is a big plus to being able to play a character you designed and feel attached to.
What's the problem with extra exp tied to your extra gold?
I understand the desire to limit wealth disparity, but I agree that removing the incentive to play up is a bit heavy handed in my opinion. It seems that it will force more tables to play down or not at all.
I also do not think this will be a "fringe case" as Mark referred to it. When playing at a store, the decision to play up or down happens fairly often. I was faced with the decision 4 days ago. The fact that there was a gold incentive to play up led me playing along and completing a table. I was on the fence, but if there was no extra gold at the end of the rainbow, I would have without a doubt dipped out and the table wouldn't have happened.
I think I saw someone earlier suggest an out of tier gold amount, like getting paid half for playing up. As of right now that would be my suggestion to address the wealth disparity without completely removing all mechanical incentive of playing up.
Another possibility would be something like a luxury tax. A table that would have each level listed and the max gold you could spend at one time without incurring a tax on the item. This tax could mitigate the wealth difference a bit while feeling much more indirect.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
The best way to get quality PrCs is to make the suppliers aware of demand, as people are here, not to buy substandard products or unusable products that share the name.
Your advice boils down to "throw money at things you don't want in the hopes someone will some day make it the way you want." I do think this is almost the worst advice I have ever heard.
My wizards typically cast one or two spells and then sip tea while the beatsticks mop up.
I work along these lines too. Once the fight is in the bag, let the brawlers do their job. The amount of time I waste on a crossbow or acid splash isnt worth the damage even if I hit. I am a tactician not a janitor. :)