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I was reading the skinsaw murders on the bus on the way to work today, and I got the the page with the picture of the diseased rat on it. I found it so unnerving I couldn't focus on the adventure. Eventually I gave up and turned the page sideways so I could read the other page. After a few seconds, the guy next to me said "Hey, could you not point that at me? It's pretty creepy"
That rat was the creepiest picture I've seen on a role-playing product.
Seriously, all the art was incredible at supporting the grim theme of the adventure. The blood spatter was a great touch. (Especially since I've been watching Dexter)
This, I can stand. If they're going to muck around with the cosmology, having their own to fiddle with is a much better idea than screwing up the wheel. Will make things interesting if they plan on reviving ravenloft, greyhawk, or planescape, all of which are tied to some extent to the great wheel.
As for the new cosmology itself, it's not particularly good or bad, but it has all the elements it needs. Having a faerie realm as "core" is probably the best feature it has over the great wheel. Nearly every campaign I've done has had a demiplane of fey. It's neat to see a less abstract take on the elemental planes, and there's room for divine realms. They really should have printed this article before the demons and devils article. While I still feel that the flavor of demons and devils has been excessively polarized, I would have found the article much more palatable had I known they weren't mucking around in the core cosmology.
Not going to quote that massive post, but I'd like to thank you for your inclusion of the paizo web community, by explaining clearly and honestly your position on the upcoming fourth edition change.
As a customer, I've always admired the direct and honest approach you guys have taken on such matters, and I'd like to make those sentiments known.
Also, I agree with everything written by erik mona in this thread so far.
Not a big fan of the tome being a spell accessory rather than an venue towards magical rites long forgotten.
Still, it's nice to see the wizard get magical items that make it more wizardly. There were very few interesting wizardly items in 3.5e, and, aside from the omnipresent headband of intellect, the best made them better at taking hits for the most part (better ac, better saves ect), which is strengthening a weakness, not playing to the strength.
It does seem like a headache to keep track of though.
Agreed. The very first page he's introduced touches upon his blooming romance with another guy. Khardan even says he isn't ashamed to know that a man is in love with him at the end of the novel.
While I haven't read pathfinder #1 yet, I will comment that seeing the *very minor spoiler* gay halfling in the appendix for Crown of the Kobold King was rather touching for me. It wasn't "rah rah rah pride" or anything, but rather just a well fleshed out NPC, easily enough ignored by DMs who are troubled by such issues.
I'd like to thank you guys for little things like that, they can mean a lot. It's nice to finally see some NPCs coming out of the closet. (Well, I mean besides the lightning zombie)
I'll add that, I don't mind succubus and eninyes having nearly or identical stats, and just putting "variant succubi: erinyes are the devil equivalents to succubi, and have identical stats except..."
And I have no problem with "sages have theorized that the nine hells started by..." but the origin of the multiverse is supposed to be a mystery. Honestly, my opinion of fourth edition just shifted from "cautiously optimistic" to "Dejected"
Wizards has stated a couple of times the very nebulous statement of "We intend to give support to all campaign settings, eventually." They qualified that by saying some settings will only get support on dndinsider.com, such as in the "dragon" section. The only anything that's been confirmed bookwise is Forgotten Realms.
Dark sun is a longshot though.
Tieflings were always intended to be a player race. They were first introduced as such in the planescape boxed set. While they do have demonic (Or devilish, daemonic, or even hagish) blood, they're open to any alignment, with just a tenancy towards evil. They fill the same roleplaying niche as half-orcs and drow, typically played by players who are interested in either evil or prejudice as character themes.
I demand my money back!
Seriously, I'm impressed the man's been so consistent throughout the years. I'd have given up after four strips. I genuinely enjoy burlew's work (even if I prefer the comedy and rules mocking to the current action line), and I buy his products in support. If you don't want to wait for an update, stop reading.
The sourcebook, while by the same designers who worked on planescape and in the same spirit, is not actually a planescape product. It presents an alternate cosmology, a "myriad of planes" cosmology, which is different from the great wheel. THe great wheel can function as a region of planes within this cosmology, however. A number of planes are presented, many of which are useful within the framework of a planescape campaign setting, however, as locations on the planes, planar paths, or alternate prime material worlds. It's quite good, but if you're looking for cannon planescape, this isn't the book
When one leaves the astral, time catches up with them. As such, a five-year old who lives on the plane for five years will be a five year-old until he leaves the plane or visits a region where the timeless quality is stripped (such as by the corpse of some dead gods), after whicht time he'd immediately have the body of a ten-year-old. To avoid dramatic and potentially traumatic suddent growth spirts, githyanki children are often raised on a dead god or on the prime material plane.
According to Planescape, the definitive guide to the multiverse, there is no center to the universe. It can be said that the prime material plane is at the center insofar as it is between the outer planes and the inner planes, but it is not at the center of the outer planes.
In third edition, each material plane has their own set of inner and outer planes. Which I find dumb. However, in first and second edition, there wasn't a plurality of prime material planes, but a single, prime material plane. all the prime worlds dotted it, and were separated by phlogiston (see spelljammer). Basically, all the D&D worlds set on the prime were on the SAME prime material plane, which wasn't just a single planet but many.
Eberron was designed absent from the great wheel. One of the great premises of the great wheel, that one may go to the heavens and meet the gods is in opposition with the feel eberron was going for. Also, eberron is supposed to be a world without heaven or hell, where death was simply oblivion.
However, eberron is actually very easy to shoehorn into the great wheel cosmology. The world Athas (from the dark sun product line) was in a similar situation, and had no connection to the outer planes. Once can simly assume that eberron has no direct connection to the inner or outer planes, but exists floating in the prime. Eberron has it's own unique demiplanes that orbit it in it's border ethereal, and there are a few small ways to get into the true planes from eberron. Possibilities include vortexes from fernia to the elemental plane of fire, Risia to Cania on baator, as well as the acid glacier in gehenna, and other such paths. It should not be *easy* to get from eberron to the planes, but it's far more interesting if it's possible. Eberron PCs could be *the* first to travel to the outer planes and determine the verity of the existance of their gods.
Hope I answered your quesion.
Aside from rage, it is actually the issue that'll kill the digital initiative at least for me. I have a nigh-infinite number of ways to waste my time when I'm plopped in front of my laptop connected to the internet, one more isn't going to be special.
I'm *always* looking for good stuff to read on a bus, or the john. D&D stuff works better than novels because it's often incremented into short interesting sections such that a person can read it for short periods of time and not have to reorient themselves to teh plot such as is the case in a novel. I've always made sure to save up an unread dragon issue for each time I go on vacation.
The hook that's been rattling around in my head for a while: (Slightly mature, as it deals with suicide)
A baron of a local fiefdom's daughter has been the subject of the courting of a young prince. The Baron hires the PCs to take the daughter to the healing baths outside of ribcage, in the outlands, citing a "rare medical condition" that threatens the betrothal and refuses to elaborate. The daughter is done up so that none of her skin aside from her face is visible, and she is dejected and agrees with anything her father says, without any vigor. The reward should be huge.
The baron has access to a portal to Sigil, but it's up to the PCs to find a portal to ribcage, or another to the Outlands and travel to ribcage. While hunting for passage to ribcage, (which should require involvement with the factions, such as suspicious harmonium) the young noble should try and run away at least once. Eventually, the PCs will get suspicious of the condition. If they don't, her clothing gets teared without any good reason by a Xaositect. What is revealed is that her arms are horribly scarred by suicide attempts. She refuses to speak much of them, other than that her father wants them removed so the courtship can go smoothly.
This should lead the PCs to believe that the young woman does not wish to court the prince. However, the truth is more sinister. A vile schemer, perhaps a baatezu, with a desire to gain political influence has researched and divined the woman's truename, and can use it to bestow powerful commands and geases. The entire betrothal has been engineered for this purpose. Unable to even speak of her problem, caring for her prince and her kingdom, the baron's daughter attempted suicide to prevent harm to both.
The baron is entirely unaware, and sent the daughter to the baths of ribcage as to avoid any peering eyes to know the embarassing secret of her daughter, while erasing the scars.
If the PCs unravel the mystery, feel free to give them a chance to hunt down and destroy the one who keeps her in thrall, and then require research into the unravelling of the geases.
Reading books for hours on end isn't nearly as unpleasant or bad for your eyes as a screen. And you can drop them, and they'll be fine. I'm sure they'll try and replace the book with some other medium, I don't think it'll catch on. There's something very personal about the medium.
And if it does, I'll be shaking my cane curmudgeonly at those damn kids and their newfangled e-books.
PS. I seriously have a cane, but it's from a bruised anklebone.