Meh. If I ever actually get a chance to DM a game in Golarion, I'd rewrite mythic rules until they're just an updated version of the old 3.0 epic rules. I dunno, the idea of anyone below level 20, for any reason, being capable of rolling a 60 or something ON THEIR OWN POWER on a die roll is a little much for me.
Beyond that, I don't so much make changes as stylistic choices in how people behave and act. For one thing, I'd usually represent the Pathfinder Society a little more light-heartedly than the questionably true neutral organization it really is.
Other than that, I haven't changed much, if anything, in my written plans in case I ever do this. Oh, no, wait. I changed it so ratfolk can actually live a human lifespan. Spice to taste :)
Zorajit Zorajit wrote:
Oh...oh my. See, I thought they just wanted to go non-core races. I didn't know they wanted to go...that...far. Um...forget what I said before, if i were a DM, I'd be fairly uncomfortable with that, considering that of all the options thus decided only the half-drow is technically playable as a PC. The half-dragon template is...definitely not for players. IMO. I'm sorry man, this is one of those circumstances that I draw the line and explain issues of balance. In this case, I apologize for making it appear that blame lies in you. It doesn't. While much of the job does rely on the GM, if you aren't comfortable doing something, then don't do it. If our points have failed to satisfy you with exotic races, that's perfectly fine too. It doesn't mean you're not fun. And while I personally wouldn't deny exotic races (though I would, again, draw the line at two half-dragons...), at the end of the day, the GM still has veto power. Good luck with your campaign. Hope things work out for you in the end. Happy Gaming.
Meh, I guess they just wanted to make prestige classes prestigious. Like others have already stated, Paizo prefers a prestige class to be a fluff addition to express affiliation for a certain organization or due to a performance of some unusual deed. And I fully support that. I liked some of the PrCs in 3.5....some...by the end there were half of a thousand and half of them were jut copy-paste versions of each other. I always cringed back in 3.5 when your class just didn't have that oomph unless you went PrC or multiclassed. I prefer paizo's way a bit. Archetypes are solid and their base classes are well-rounded. I like that you can stay a single class for 20 levels and still be just as good as the guy who went Eldritch Knight.
Just my two copper pieces, I guess.
I hate playing wizards. I've always been and always will be a sorcerer man, and I'd be willing to play a witch cause they awesome fluff.
I have no problems with monks or fighters or rogues at all. In fact, while I don't like playing them because I prefer the flare of magic, but I'd play, say, a barbarian in a heartbeat if given cool enough fluff to work with.
I don't like ninjas more than rogues. The only difference I see between the is fluff. When i want to play Durzo Blint, I pull out a ninja. When I want to play Gonff the Mousethief, I pick up a rogue. Mechanics has nothing to do with it.
I love the summoner unabashedly, and would make any concessions the DM asked me to make to play what is essentially a Digidestined.
I like blasting spells. I enjoy Web and Glitterdust and summon spells and whatnot, but they just don't have the same oomph as melting someone's face with an empowered scorching ray...
I don't like how some of the APs run, and have abandoned them besides their miscellaneous articles as a result.
I have no problems with overuse of exotic races, and have no problems with my players using them.
Look in Ultimate Equipment. There's a sort of light armor called a haramaki, or the armored kilt from Adventurer's Armory. Both confer and armor bonus that can be increased via enchantment, but since they lack both an armor check penalty and an arcane failure chance, they can be worn without any problems by sorcerers. My personal preference here is the silken ceremonial armor for this. Same benefit without having to walk around wearing a utilikilt or looking like Oorochimaru...
Though personally, I'd pick up a wand of lesser extend metamagic and cast mage armor at the beginning of the day. Boom. 12 hours with an AC bonus of +4. Toss in Shield for another +4 bonus temporarily (you could also extend that for long combats if you wanted).
As for other equipment, pick up a handy haversack for sure. They are one of my favorite items by far, since it greatly reduces the weight you have to lug. Weapons are...an option, but a wand of scorching ray isn't too expensive, and 50 casting of a 4d6 ray attack beats a heavy crossbow in everything but price. Other wands are also cool. Past that, anything you want really works.
Though they could have been exiled or acting as a spy. Just saying. If I were exiled by a country and i were a bitter person, I'd go to that country's enemy and blurt all of the secrets i know out to anyone who'll listen. That won't make this hypothetical me higher north on the alignment axis than the rest of my kind. The distrust exists precisely because of this. Because it's a sign of that "bad" culture creeping in and taking root. And yes, i agree with you that it is indeed prejudice to make that assumption, but take fear and add ignorance and you have quite the bubbling brew...
We were playing a 4th edition game recently, and our paladin kept forgetting he could use a challenge ability once per round. In response, our DM tore off some notebook paper and wrote the word: CHALLENGE in big bolded pencil lines and gave it to him to have in front of him whenever he looked down at his character sheet. Not only did this help him remember until eventually he didn't need it anymore, but it culminated in one of the best spider-deaths ever.
Spider crawls across the table, he takes the little bit of paper, places it over the spider, yells Challenge! at the top of his lungs and smashed the thing to bits. We were in tears for a full five minutes from laughing.
My point is, if you have a certain effect or whatever that you need to remember, write it i big bold letters. Say, for instance, that the dwarf constantly forgets his Hatred racial trait. Put a little pieces of paper over his character sheet that says "goblins suck." Eventually, he'll get it. Bring flashcards. Gods but i found those helpful. If you're a wizard or cleric make flashcards of your spells and turn them over or put them underneath your character sheet once you've cast them. High-light them for spell level and relevance and occasionally flip through them when there's a moment to spare, like waiting for someone else's turn to resolve when you can't help him anyway. Combat moves pretty fast after a while.
That is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and precisely what I was talking about. If your GM lets you do it...that'd be sweet. Summon aspect of nature in tights, go!
What's it like communicating with Daji? I've heard certain spellcasters can speak with their familiars as if they had a common language. Do the two of you, and if so, what is it like? What sort of personality does he have?
Also, what in your opinion was the most interesting conversation you've ever had with another iconic?
I try to keep my prejudice to realistic situations and places. For instance, say that one town is on the border of a nation like, say, Cheliax. If a tiefling wandered into town, he'd probably get spat on and stared at if not outright lynched, depending on whether or not the town had the sort of charismatic enough bully to get people riled into a mob (I sometimes pull this in "investigation" adventures, when the PCs are considered prime suspects for a crime due to ethnicity or nationality or species, and must smooth things over Atticus Finch style). Now, conversely, if i have a town near a major thoroughfare that isn't currently at war or in the midst of political or cultural tensions, they might give the tiefling funny looks, but more because he's an adventurer, and adventurers of all flavors stink of trouble like a freshly-washed ferret.
But, in general, prejudice helps establish possible bits of evidence and world-building. This town dislikes ratfolk. Okay, fact. If this is so, there must be a reason. Hopefully, putting this in there will prompt PCs to ask around, if for no other reason than to keep their ratfolk party member from getting egged on the street. It provides a conflict, and flavors the surroundings, and establishes what people in the area consider pure and wholesome, and what they revile.
Just plain old world-spanning hatred of a thing, though? i save that for drow, who antagonize EVERYBODY, even each other. Other than that, I've never seen a reason to make someone universaly despised. That's just silly.
I dunno guys, it really seems rather simple in my head. A lot of you guys raised good points, and hell, I've been guilty of picking a race just to garner attention or just because I needed a crutch for roleplaying. Yes, sometimes I get lazy, or didn't have the time to prepare anything else, or just because I wanted to try something different. However, and here's the however, at the end of the day, when I reach for the Advanced Race Guide nowadays, I don't look at the stats so much, unless they're annoyingly crippling (which is why I don't ply kobolds or drow, for instance, as I don't want to wear snow-goggles ll day to avoid being dazzled by sunlight), I look to see what looks cool and interesting.
Something about a big green guy with tusks dressed in the garb of a buddhist monk and speaking quietly and peacefully despite his monstrous appearance is a cool idea. I run with it. The idea of a seductress who can change her shape into a fox-like creature and borrows heavily from old Japanese fairy tails of kitsune (find and seduce men in power, get far up in the court, and flee when revealed to be a shapeshifter and a liar) might intrigue me. Or perhaps I just dug out my old Brian Jacques books and thought: "huh, I wonder if I could pull off Martin the warrior. I'll be a ratfolk fighter or paladin and go from there." Honestly, I pick these races because they're cool.
I can get some good ideas from them that I just can't from humans sometimes. And sometimes humans are right for the job as well. Sometimes I want to be like Samuel Vimes, and be a man out of his depth trying to navigate through the politics of creatures fundamentally different than me to get to the bottom of a breech in the law, and I need an anchor of normality for that to work (which humans are great for). Or if I want to be like Simon the Digger and extol the virtues of never giving in, the endless march forward against all odds and sometimes against common sense itself. I'd go human here, because that idea is coolest from the perspective of a species which is short-lived, adaptable, and never says never.
My point is, yes, some people do it to power game. Yes, some do it to stand out or as a crutch to roleplay. But the fact of the matter is, there is a world of opportunity that exists among the more bizarre races, more characters and traits just ready to be used that just wouldn't be as cool if they weren't a particular race. Some of these ideas just can't be achieved with the core. They can be approximated, but why bother approximating when you can, legally in game terms, achieve the same thing by being a ratfolk or a goblin or what have you? That, I think, is the virtue of the exotic race: a chance to try something new and exciting, a chance to play something inspired by a work that doesn't use humans, and, at the end of the day, because the idea of this race with this class looks really cool in your head and you want to give it a go. Or maybe you just like that race. There's nothing wrong with that. And to deny players that choice might, just might, deny them the opportunity to give that neat idea life.
I dunno. Just my two coppers, so to speak. Carry on, fine people, carry on.
Roll with it man. I mean, you could retire him. Then again, you could milk it for all its worth. Go full Miko Miyazaki on this. Become fully convinced that your loss of power is a "test of faith" and make leaps of logic to demonstrate how right you are. Go into full battle with anything and everything that may or may not be evil, based on nothing but your same broken logic. And eventually, do it long enough, and even tough you won't return to paladin status, you'll go anti paladin after a full roleplay arc.
OOOOOOOOOORRRRRRR sit down and talk to your GM and work out a fair compromise. Instead of using simple RAW to get you atonement, have him go through a character arc, a literal quest for atonement. I've always felt, personally, that having a spell guiding that process is a little like the magical equivalent of granting indulgences. Gods have the power to bless and curse people directly in most D&D. See if you can get your GM to agree that if you create a great act of faith and penance, if you God can't intervene directly and grant you your powers again.
Mind you, I haven't played a majority of these, but in terms of their plot synopsis and what I've read from the actual work, I'd style them like this...
Wrath of the Righteous so far ties with Carrion Crown. WotR sounds too amazing (especially after watching Pacific Rim) for me to even hope to put it below first, and mythic rules look neat. Carrion Crown will always have a special place in my heart because Ustalav is my favorite country by far.
Rise of the Runelords is after that, mainly because of its epic scope.
Jade Regent next, because I really liked the lore of the Dragon Empires and an eastern campaign looks much too fun to pass up.
Reign of Winter gets tied with Serpent's Skull at my bottom list of AP's I've actually looked into.
The rest are all varying levels of meh for me, though I hear Kingmaker is pretty on the ball, and Legacy of Fire intrigues me. Council of Thieves and Second Darkness never interested me too much (though I like a good old-fashioned, "drow are the terrifying foe" romp), and I've never even gotten a look at Shattered Star OR Skulls and Shackles, so I honestly can't say.
Oh, forgot Curse of the Crimson Throne...again, never had enough interest when reading through it.
I can't believe this is actually going to happen. I mean, after they did Reign of Winter, I hoped, dearly, dearly hoped they finally had the momentum to go to Numeria. Ah, I don't even care that I'm in the "no science in my fantasy" camp. I just want to see what all this new awesome-sauce is going to be about!
Two Steps from Hell, and possibly I'll borrow from the Pacific Rim soundtrack too (just so thematically similar, closing a horrible rift to another dimension from which horrors are coming to kill us all, and the final line of defense has been broken...*sigh*, canceling the apocalypse indeed). For the darker scenes, I might use Erdensterns Into the Dark, or soundtracks from Dracula and Silent Hill. I've yet to find a suitably demonic sounding soundtrack so far, but I'll keep looking.
So much evil smiting. SOOOOOOO much. If they all go different archetypes and different focuses (one is a divine hunter, one is a hospitaler, one casts no spells and has that light buff, one for a tank, etc.) it might actually be possible to pull it off. Honestly, I think it'd be cool o try it. Or, at least, if not the Paladin party, than an all divine party. A paladin, a cleric, an inquisitor, and oracle, and a druid. That'd be a sight to see in any campaign, but here especially? Woo-wee.
This one probably gets used a LOT, but I wanted to try a LG Tiefling Witch, who is a firm believer in the cause of the crusade, and lashes out at demons in a sort of twisted self-loathing dressed up in the words of honour. So, he's actually almost a low templar in his conviction. He kills demons more because he hates them, and less because it's the right or good thing to do. I'm thinking maybe he'll change. Maybe not? Meh, whatever.
This one is one I hope to throw at them soon, though they won't know her as anything but the Scarlet Lady for a while.
Her real name is Eleanor Mossbridge. She was an ordinary apprentice mage to a very well known archmage, but she left his tutelage when a group of people asked her to come along with them on an adventure to travel the world. After many dangerous adventures, she gets to trust them like family, and they begin to form a true bond. And shortly after that point...they experience a TPK. Eleanor survives, enslaved by the vampiric lord of their final dungeon crawl, but the rest of her party are slain by daemons, their souls condemned to Abbaddon for all eternity.
Eleanor is inadvertently given her free will again when another band of heroes slays the vampire lord. She flees, and begins to hunt down anything that can get her friends back. She finds one such method: a ritual which creates a temporary planar convergence, bringing the planes of existence within touching distance of one another for the briefest moment. During that moment, she'll snatch their souls back to the Prime Material, restoring them to life and raising them up from perdition. She's desperate, as no attempt at planar travel or resurrection has thus far succeeded, and she is well aware of the potentially horrible consequences, but her love is so strong that she's willing to do anything to bring them back. Of course, they won't know most of this until much, much later. For now, she'll merely be a mysterious and shadowy figure moving horrible people across the world to do her bidding, finding the aspects of the ritual and causing chaos in the process, tearing up cities and entire cultures in their desperate search for the pieces of the ritual.
It's possible this is my childhood background in anime speaking, but I've always thought an eclectic band of freaks roaming the earth fighting evil all while confusing and scaring the hell out of passersby is a hilarious concept. And I do, after a while, get tired of everyone always going human. It feels...well...boring. Oh, look, another human barbarian. Another human wizard. Look at all that blending in they're doing. Sigh.
I don't know. Perhaps I'm just not a very subtle person, but to me, nothing screams "adventurer" and therefore "someone who is not of the common mold" like someone who DOESN'T blend in well with a crowd. These are rare individuals who often wander outside the boundaries of social convention. For me, it's easier to imagine this phenomenon if the players, in their very being, are rare and unusual, such as by having exotic race choices. For me, it adds color and variety.
As for optimization, I have two groups. One is so new to the game that I doubt half of them even know how to optimize, much less juggle races to their fullest effect. The other group has been in the game long that they could break it to pieces if they put in even a little effort...but they don't, since they don't like the play-style. When one of them goes up to me and asks to play an aasimar, there's little in my mind that screams to tell me that it's just for the overpowered racial bonuses. I trust them to put forth valid and interesting reasons there. In any case, I still prefer having people play a wide variety of things. I stare at humans all day long. Imagining that and thinking around it requires all the imaginative energy it takes to eat a candy bar. Give me a group of weirdoes any day so I can try and figure out how the world reacts.
Mayhaps I'm biased, but I don't like gnomes for the same reason I steer clear of most small races, even some of my favorites like goblins, kobolds, and ratfolk. Equipment and gear is usually generalized for medium creatures, and I've found it difficult to shoe-horn in equipment made for small characters when I frequently don't bother with smaller NPCs. And the ones I do bother with are usually spellcasters and thus offer almost no useful equipment beyond their spellbooks or what have you. Ah well.
Thematically though, I love gnomes. I still think it's hilarious that their Pathfinder splatbook has a background like a split prism, and how frantic their lives are. Very neat.
As far as core races go, Dwarves are actually really good. I mean, it's REALLY hard to beat the human's bonus feet. But, well, let's break it down cause I'm bored and why not.
Darkvision is simply beautiful, and only dwarves and half-orcs of the core get it. A bonus to saves against magic is amazing, since spellcasters and monsters with spell-like abilities become much easier to resist. Especially since Dwarves get bonuses to Con and Wis, which boosts Fortitude and Will, so Dwarves get really good saves to begin with. Poison is a nice touch.
Bonuses against trip attacks is situation-based, but a +4 bonus is substantial nonetheless. The hatred and dodge bonuses are also heavily dependent on the campaign, but it does make fighting certain common low-level enemies easier to fight. Appraise and Stonecunning are equally rare, but still, +2 to Perception for stone-based traps is good for rogues, +2 to Appraise for gemstones is pretty good for hoards. Finally, Slow and Steady is unfortunate, but, ah well.
All in all, dwarves are based on the campaign, but they have a smattering of interesting bonuses. And their penalty stat is to Charisma. Compared to the benefit from the bonus to Con and Wis, they make great melee characters. And they make amazing druids too.
By adopting either the philosophy of "things exist for brief periods of time and all in this world is transitory. To grasp at things that will fall apart is foolish and courts madness, so merely enjoy what is before you and allow your memories to honor what has past" or some sort of reincarnation based religion. If you can't do one or the other, I think it might be really difficult to cope with being an elven ranger. Perhaps that's why elves get the tree druid archetype.
I dunno. I suppose before eating something, just make sure a.) it doesn't belong to some fey or something, and b.) it isn't animate. Once that's out of the way you can pretty much eat whatever you want in terms of ethics, since it becomes a matter of personal opinion. As for the other two, option a is suicide, and option b would technically be murder.
Hm...in my Pathfinder campaign, we have a druid and I intend to play a bard, but no cleric/oracle, and therefore no primary healer. Technically, with two casters that can use CLW wands without making checks and two above-average charisma rogues with UMD, we have tht covered, but it isn't a primary force.
In the 4e game I'm in now, we have a warlord who focuses on healing spells and our paladin is pretty on the ball. Usually though, I don't see clerics too, too often.
The ability to increase variability of one's sight. See invisibility is nice, but something that gives you darkvision or otherwise improves perception checks is invaluable, especially if you plan on resting in-dungeon.
Alarm spells to protect your stuff
At higher levels, overland flight (and at lower levels, mount of phantom steed) for high-speed travel.
Also, anything that lets you travel in multiple terrains, such as magic to allow you to walk on unstable surfaces such as water. Environmental resistances can be mixed with this to increase what you walk on (ice, acid, lava).
A la goblins, I've often considered house-ruling that damage from critical hits can't be completely cured through magical healing: i.e. having your arm broken means that just healing the damaged tissue won't set the bone correctly. First, make the proper heal check. Only then will the magic work. Only the highest level healing spell allow players to skip this process. Thus, the Heal skill actually has purpose.
I have no objection to the Pathfinder gnomes. Lore-wise, they and the 3.5 edition of gnomes (the philosopher-pranksters) are about even with me in terms of how much I like them. Honestly, I don't really touch upon gnomes most of the time, since I have little interest in them. But making them fey-touched troll-hair people is as good lore as any. Also, Gnomes of Golarion is still endlessly amusing to flip througb because of the rainbow-colored background. Heh, those crazy gnomes.
I enjoy fluff immensely. To the point where I buy certain splatbooks just to read the fluff, even though I know for a fact I'll never use anything written in them. Back in 3.5 era, for instance, I picked up Lords of Madness even though I'd never use aberrations in my game like they were depicted in that book. Still, fun to read about.
But when it comes to dming or playing, I try to have a balance. When a player, I talk to my DM to see if the fluff mirrors his concepts. When I DM, I use whichever fluff strikes my fancy and switch it up when I don't particularly like it (for instance, i always liked the old 3.5 fluff that the Tarrasque was the weakest of the Abominations, horrible beings that were essentially twisted godlings created through divine incest...or something, and prefer it to "scion of a locked god"). It's hit or miss. Most of the time, I stick to as written because the fluff is cool. But sometimes, things can be arranged differently.
All the time. I have what is likely two trees worth of "potential characters" character sheets lying around the corners of my room, off in the background so to speak. And I abandon them and make new ones when other campaigns come up. Its really overwhelming, especially if there's a long time between me being informed of a campaign and the campaign actually starting...
I can't remember for sure, but I think one of the designers made mention that resurrection is implied to only work before a soul reaches the Boneyard. Once it becomes a Petitioner and gets its afterlife announced it can't be brought back (thus the time limit on certain resurrection magic). I don't, therefore, think Pharasma would be overly concerned. She'd be pretty miffed at having a petitoner stolen out of her line. Having someone brought back before their soul formally arrives to be filed away though would probably look like a much fancier and more thorough form of CPR. So I think she'd be cool with it. So long as they're not undead.
The treatment of dead bodies is an issue of culture, and thus wildly subjective. Some cultures revere their dead as if they were more honored than the living, while others ocnsider only the soul to be valuable, and the corpse just a pile of meat. Like the Qunari, from Dragon Age.
That said, Create Map doesn't appear to be good or evil. It's neutral. Alignmentally it appears to be equivalent to...well, looting someone's valuable possessions off of their body after you killed them. *cough*.
Interesting proposal. One thought though is to make certain that it doesn't appear to be an overt punishment. There are other options to dealing with overpowered tactics. Like asking the players to switch it up, for instance. I'd hesitate to use tactics that feel like an outright punishment. That said, this is still a great idea. Gives players full choices, but implants consequences should they abuse them. It isn't perfect, but then again such checks and balances aren't perfect in real life either...so...
I think you're good on the first count. Ragathiel is a vengeance deity, and just because you're good doesn't mean you can't punish a bandit. A warning like that isn't really evil, especially if you know that she could heal herself later. Besides, the whole point of the Inquisitor class is they can do some morally iffy things "for the greater good" without pushing aligment borders or losing class levels.
That said, and while it fits thematically with the inquisitor as a whole, the torture might be a little much. Especially otrture by fire. That's...well, that's just brutal. One of the worst possible pains, and at the same time, you can smell your own flesh cooking...yeah, no. Totally not a good act, even if it is justified. Even Ragathiel would probably dissapprove. Seeing as how he's an angel born to an archfiend, I'm pretty sure he knows what the road to Hell is paved with, and he doesn't allow those good intentions to justify that sort of treatment. Just my opinion, anyway.
+5 Toaster wrote:
just going to add to this, but since an Alchemist actually applies their own magical essence to extracts and the like, I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to rule that as a life essence substitute
oh yeah. I forgot that bit of fluff. Good point. Okay, yeah, what +5 toaster said.
Well, strictly speaking, making up the necessary chemical ingredients for blood isn't all that hard. Nor, for that matter, is gathering the ingredients to make a human, As Edward Elric once put it in FMA: "humans are cheap. Most of the stuff we're made of can be bought on a school-child's allowance." So, technically, it wouldn't be difficult to create a liquid very similar in composition to blood. The thing is, I don't think its really the chemical composition that's important for vampires. I'm pretty sure its the aspect of consuming another's life force through the medium of blood that's the important part. So, I suppose you could make fake blood. In fact, it would probably be mind-numbingly simple for an alchemist to do so. Problem is, since the blood isn't from a living creature, it might no "substance" to a vampire. This is, of course, just speculation. I'm just guessing this based on how I assume undead work. If vampires do actually feed on the ingredients of blood and draw strength from any substance similar to it, by all means, this would be the "vegetarian alternative," and would certainly be a neutral-aligned action (you aren't hurting anyone doing this).
By the by, I'm aware that it isn't actually possible to create human blood just by stacking the ingredients together using basic chemistry. Alchemy, on the other hand, has an element of arcane magic. It should therefore be child's play to create a substance that not only has a similar chemical composition (salt, water, iron, etc.) but also functions exactly as blood., in the same way it seems to be child's play to make a substance that gives one temporary regenerative abilities like a troll, or cures hangovers, or temporarily transmogrifies metals into other metals on contact with air. When compared to that, approximating blood should be a cinch. Especially to a chirurgeon alchemist.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
I like Likha, goddess of stories, from Vudra.
Ooo, Vudrani deities. Has any info on those been published? I'd be all over that stuff.
Just realized i forgot to mention a favorite minor deity as well. I think I'll take Arshea. It's refreshing to see a lust goddess that isn't evil. I never even considered it before but it makes so much sense in retrospect that such beings would exist. It just makes Golarion a deeper, more interesting place. I love it.
It would certainly make brothels featuring these sorts of races extremely interesting. Imagine the advertisements. "Come for our spring special: experience the exotic wonders and passionate love of distant lands. Disclaimer: limited time only." Heh. Ah. I think I'll actually use that...
I dunno? Maybe because its more fun to play/watch the guy with the fantastic explosions. Then again...watching samurai movies is just as fun...and knights battling demons from the abyss can be cool. I dunno.
All I know is this thread has given me an idea for a fighter character, built entirely to slay mages. He would travel the world and challenge casters to duels, in order to gain respect for what he calls the "path of the Naked Blade" which eschews reliance on any magic whatsoever. He'll be a fun NPC to toss at players, eh?
I think either way is good. Honestly, I don't use my familiar for scouting, i use it for RP or props, as MrSin mentioned. That said, making the familiar a spellbook doesn't really change my opinion on the matter. The magic item, while it has an interesting flavor to it, it lacks the flavor of...well, an old lady with a crow or a cat that amplifies her magical power. The magic item thing makes me think less of a witch and more of...I don't know...some kind of dark lord or something.
Cayden Cailean. A god of heroism and drunken revelry whose backstory involved becoming a god in a drunken wager? I've always found him exceptionally funny. Desna is a close second though. Interesting take...a "beyond the stars" deity with a good alignment is a rarity.
I play it more as "antitheism" rather than atheism. It seems difficult to make a case against gods or goddessess in a fantasy setting, unless one deliberately goes out of one's way to make them mysterious and inconsistant (i.e. ala A Song of Ice and Fire and such). Since this is Absalom, the city where there is a magic hunk of rock which grants divinity, it becomes very difficult to be an "atheist." But an antitheist?
By "antitheist" I mean someone who acknowledges that the beings others call "gods" exist. But they do not acknowledge them as being worthy of worship. They'd probably believe they were simply extraordinarily powerfuloutsiders, and thus about as deserving of a mortal's reseverance as the eldest of dragons: oh sure, they're horrifying and mighty, but do we need to grovel at their feet? They are, after all, merely another type of creature. It's only a difference of scale.
I find that it would take someone insanely delusional or perhaps foolish to reject their existence alltogether, though, since that person's great-great-great-great-great-great-etc. grandpa was probably drinking at the same bar as Mr. Cailean when he took the plunge. So, yeah, not atheists. Antitheists.
I've actually always found it EASIER to focus on a multitude of races. It's just like making multiple human cultures, and I've always enjoyed imagining how peasants would react to what is essentially a heavily-armed petting zoo/acid trip appear in town and ask if anyone wants them to chase the foxes out of their chicken coop.
What I've always found difficult, and why I appreciate Pathfinder a little better than 3.5, is too many base classes. Having so many ways to do something, especially when each of them has a separate rule system (psionics/incarnum/binding/shadowcasting/truenaming/etc.). Mind you, i don't find them mechanically difficult, as most of them are fairly simple once you've read the appropriate texts a few times and have playtested it once or so, it's just for some reason overwhelmingly difficult for me to put so many different power systems into one setting. Magic, whether arcane or divine, is easy. Th rest is just "hitting stuff but in weird ways." Once you get into the alternate power sources, I start getting a bit overwhelmed as to how to incorporate that into the setting coherently. Key word being coherently, mind you. It's fairly easy to stick in a Psychic Warrior NPC with no explanation and just watch the party adapt to a new style of fighting , which usually takes like...5 rounds in my group's case.
Anyway, tangent aside, races have never been tricky for me. You wanna play a monkey goblin scrollmaster wizard? Fine, go ahead. You'll get weird looks and other goblins will treat you like a heretic, and the party might object and if they roleplay it well, possibly have difficulty accepting you. Otherwise, i actually find the concept of weaving in alternate sentient species into one world kind of fun.