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I'd view that as evil. If you have to subsist off of murder to live, I'd say its evil. Evil is always the easiest path, the most obvious path, the one that takes from others so that you don't have to find alternatives, so that you don't have to suffer. You make other people suffer instead. Neutral would be if you let those people die because you might live. Evil is outright killing them yourself so that you might live. That's just my opinion though, so don't take it particularly to heart.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 actually love magic shops. Of course, I never actually let my players just BUY things (other than basic potions). They look around, and maybe the vendor will direct their eye to the strange golden figure in the shape of a snake-man. Any and all magic items in the shop will have their own little backstory, and will be special, unique (at least in description), and will devout a bit of dialogue to actually buy it. And since I've accomplished RP, and i feel the PCs have earned it, does it really matter?
Iv like the idea that language is something so intrinsic to fey that they only really think about it when they're on the Material Plane, where rules and boundaries are severe enough that there actually exist different forms of speech. I assume in the First World, you say stuff, and things just understand you. Simple as that. Rules are a lot less strict there from what I understand, so fey there would probably, if asked, simple say that what they do is "talking" and ignore the whole language aspect altogether. I may be dead wrong, and probably am, but it sounds like a cool idea to me at least. E.I. I'd do this in my own campaigns but I'd never assume this to be canon.
Morton forks. It's too easy for a paladin to be locked into some moral conundrum.
It's more a challenge for GMs. What is a quaint moral dilemma for the rest of the party becomes life and death for one of them. And at the end of the day, like arguing religion, philosophy, semantics, or pretty much anything that's even slightly subjective, nothing gets accomplished, except of course, making everyone angry. At the end of the day, paladins just have this unfortunate tendency to become the elephant in the room. Clerics have similar restrictions, but no one usually cares, since a cleric usually has a little more wiggle-room. Paladins have VERY strict restrictions.
Basically, what I'm saying is, they're a reason to get the entire table mad at one another, because, as we all one day learn, everyone has VERY different ideas about what the word "good" means.
P.S. The interpretation of a "greater good" mindset being outdated is stupid. The philosophical extremes of "greater good" and "situational good" have existed since people could reason in abstracts, it has nothing to do with age(though the tendency to subscribe to one mindset or another does depend slightly upon culture). If anything, our culture has a strong tendency of letting people freely choose one or the other without penalty. Both are considered valid. Both continue arguing pointlessly. Both are probably both true and false. See, this is exactly why most people don't like paladins.
Personally, I love paladins, but only because I enjoy playing them as if i were playing Dalinar Kholin or Michael Carpenter. I try not to be too militant or knight-templarish.
Andrew R wrote:
It is not anything like being manipulative, it is mind control they have NO choice in the matter. Some of us do not think that is ok. Some of us would rather get the waterboarding than have our brains buggered
Once more, Charm Person doesn't actually bugger your brain. The effect of the spell makes you see someone is friendlier than normal. You do realize you can literally achieve the exact same result by informing someone that the stranger they are about to meet has "a warm personality." before they meet them. I'm not even kidding. Also, just because you suddenly see someone as a friend doesn't mean you'll tell them a secret you've sworn to keep. Especially since Charm Person allows a Charisma check to avoid doing something unusual or unwanted (such as revealing secrets). A Charisma check. A check that implies a battle of personalities. No mind control. No pushing, no buggery. Just like having an argument or a discussion. Seriously, Charm Person is as much mind control as achieving a Diplomacy check. It outright says you can't control them.
I'll make the Breeze argument here: human beings use manipulation in their conversation at all times. We suck up to people, wheedle them, make informed arguments if they're intelligent. We make them like us, sometimes to get what we want. We lie, we scheme, sometimes we even set up relationships for the sole benefit of convenience (that guy's a publisher, and I'm a writer, it would be nice to make that guy like me, etc.) It's dishonest, but its how people work. Using charm person gives you an edge, but considering that it literally just generates an automatic success at a Diplomacy check, I doubt it's evil. It IS culturally iffy, though, since people don't like DISCOVERING that they're being manipulated or forcibly convinced, and they'd be pretty miffed.
But its certainly better than torture. I mean, seriously. That spell is an automatic success at convincing someone to be friendly. I doubt that's actually bad. Comparatively, it's actually pretty okay. Now, Suggestion and Dominate Person, they're a whole other kettle of fish.
The word Paladin comes from the name the Knights of the court of Charlemagne, and is supposed to imply a knight famed for Christian valor. You'd have to find an opposite of that. What is the opposite of a knight? What do you call someone who defies chivalry to such a degree that they go beyond knight-errant. Perhaps, I don't know, Attainted? Iconoclast? I dunno. Antipaladin isn't the best name, and blackguard might be better, and i tend to call it a blackguard, and i am aware it isn't called that anymore because of legal issues.
Oh, this sounds like fun...
Combat classes usually have it easier in the beginning. Spellcasters have to be stingy with their magic, and what little they have doesn't translate to anything game breaking. Barbarians and Fighters are kings until 5th level, and sometimes higher.
But then things begin to shift just a teensie bit. After a certain level, spellcasters get their act together. They start becoming capable of doing monstrous things. A summoner's eidolon can deal upwards to 50-80 damage a round. Sorcerers can obliterate an entire group of enemies, or put them out of commision with stinking cloud or the like, and they can do this enough times a day now that they don't have to cling to every spell like its their last. Besides, by this point, they ca afford to purchase wands and staves, or better yet, make them themselves.
Some folk will tell you that as the spellcasters become tougher and tougher, the combat classes fall behind. Well, there's truth and there's untruth to this. Being able to dish out and take hits becomes less important, and while you're crazy magicky friends are wizzing about, flying and teleporting and breathing fire, you're stuck on the ground pounding down one enemy at a time with you're boring old longsword, or what have you. However, what combat classes lose in effectiveness, they gain in reliability. No matter what, you can't really take away a fighter's powers (essentially represented as permanent combat bonuses in the form of feats) under any circumstance. Wizards will run out of spells. Druids will run out of wild shape. Inquisitors will lose inquisitions, and when the alchemist tosses his last bomb, the boring old fighter will still be whacking away at his one enemy like a boss. While that seems boring, and a lot of people can and will scoff, a fighter will very rarely have to scream a cry of lamentation that all of their precious abilities have been rendered moot, like clerics who fell would, or sorcerers who have been plopped into an antimagic field would. They just keep on truckin'....on an on and on all day every day. Boring, but efficient. Strengths and weaknesses change.
All in all though, most problems can be circumvented (and advantages ignored) depending on how intelligently you play the character. I've seen rogues torn apart into so many little chunks because they never bothered to try and create circumstances where they could sneak attack, other than in the surprise round, and I've also seen clever wizards that have used their magic to escape almost all forms of damage and outlast the party. In the end, therefore, a class is just a tool. Like all tools, they all have their uses, they all have their limitations, and they all have their potentials. However, more than 80% of the equation is determined by the person wielding it. The most broken class can be rendered less effective than a blind legless hobo if the player using him is an idiot, and the most underestimated, laughed at class can be turned into a devastating nightmarish combination in the right hands.
In other words, ask not what the classes can and cannot do, but rather ask what the players can or cannot do, in the end.
The way I see it is that the multiverse isn't actually so Inner Sea centric, its just that most of the material we've seen done is on the Inner Sea. Ergo, since that's the best reference point Paizo has given us, it makes far more sense for them to provide stories/myths/information that pertains to the Inner Sea and its gods/goddesses. The most we've ever heard of Tian Xia, for exaple, is comprised in one 64 page booklet and a single AP. What we know of the Inner Sea Region, on the other hand, spans an entire 400 page hardcover, a good 75% of bth the Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines, etc. etc. Of course more of the material we're given would circle back to the Inner Sea. The Inner Sea is far more relevant, since most stuff the players will experience will take place in the Inner Sea. I'm sure the stories and stuff EXIST, they just weren't relevant to most events that players would encounter canonically (i.e. in published material rather than what a freelance DM might run). Plus, despite how the gods function, never forget that religion is still religion. A lot of the things the gods are credited for are essentially myth. While they may have basis in reality, people can believe a vast variety of things. Rovagug's sealing is relevant because his cultists and spawn cause trouble in the Inner Sea anyway, so what business do Tian Xia clerics have with that stuff?
Also, most gods/goddesses do not have a "true form" per se. Every race percieves them differently. Halflings depict certain deities as Halflings. James Jacobs once said that even though catfolk worship familiar gods, they depict them as being cat-like (even when they clearly weren't, such as Cayden Cailean, who is an ascended human). Since the gods are essentially malleable based on who is praying to them, they can look like whatever they want. They "take a form most pleasing" to their worshippers, so to speak. I'm entirely sure that Pharasma will appear as whatever the soul she's judging believes her to appear. i mean, their gods for crying out loud. Alter Self is a 2nd level mortal spell. I'm sure a god can look like whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want. That's just how they're depicted by Golarion's residents, because, well, Golarion's residents are predominantly humanoid.
As for Outsiders...most Outsiders actually aren't humanoid. Angels and most archons are, but then look at the azatas. Those can look pretty weird. The agathions sometimes don't look humanoid at all (silvanshees or whatever those cat agathions are quadrapeds). Gelugons look like giant bug-men. Nalfenshee demons are enormous boars-things. Lemures are heaving sludge. And don't even get me started on qlippoth and rhakshasas. And the kytons? Have you seen those things? The majority of outsiders are indeed humanoid (because I assume a majority of sentient races in the multiverse are somewhat humanoid), but not all of them. A very good number look pretty freaking weird.
It's also a matter of perspective. Maybe bug-people from the plant Zog might look at angels the same way a human would look at a flumph. Both are good aligned beings, but their respective observers would be going like..."what a weird thingy. Helpful, sure, but man oh man is that thing ugly."
Yup. I've had my plans ruined and ruined the plans of others as well. I once sent a high-level demon against my PCs. The wizard cast Banishment and got lucky with their SR roll...demon failed its save as well. CR 20 creature beaten. he was supposed to be a final boss.
In a much lower-level game, the party fared horribly against a bunch of random kobolds, yet managed to out the enemy final boss (a knight, back from the old 3.5 days) by tripping him with my animal companion and then wailing on him for two rounds while he struggled (and failed) to rise. He was a CR above us and was meant to be a challenge, built for survivability in mind. We offed him with little to no damage to us, and in ten times the predicted speed.
This is why when I DM i just take things like this in stride. I used to try "idiot-proofing" my games, to make sure lucky breaks couldn't ruin me (or the PCs), but as a friend of mine aptly pointed out, this is pointless on two fronts. One: I can't circumnavigate luck in a system that relies on dice rolls. Eventually, a 1 shall be rolled. And 2, he reminded me that my players were very clever idiots...
I always think elves must be viewed on Golarion the same way Modegans are viewed in Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind and be treated stereotypically as very loose in their morals and ethics, kind of like how dwarves are always treated as gruff traditionalist. It's the sort of thing i think that makes them a bit more real. Plus I'd like to play a real prudish elf one of these days who would be terminally offended at the racial stereotype, after people constantly assume him to be lewd and act accordingly.
Also, having a goddess of lust doesn't bug me so much. Aphrodite was often portrayed in some myths as a lust goddess (she was a love goddess too, true, but she showed that aspect mostly through her son, since it was his job to make people fall in love), and she never bugged me. The capriciousness of elves is very well covered by Calistria. If anything, the only thing i object to about elves is the fact that they are quite literally aliens. It just doesn't sit well with me.
Other than that, no objections. There are plenty of cultures which considered very different things impure or pure. What one man considers lewd, another might consider standard courtesy. What one culture considers "barbaric" another culture would consider naive. Having elves be the culture that sleep around and consider carnal desire to be less sacred and less "permanent" really sticks with their general chaotic alignment. Makes sense to me. No objection.
Oh yeah. You work for hours and hours trying to get a certain mood or feel, spend an entire day making NPCs, memorizing certain types of dialogue, sitting in front of a mirror attempting to see every side of a potential conversation to see how an important NPC might react, stat up villains and monsters, draw out maps, read and re-read an AP. Adjust for class choices, for alignment, scan and correct Morton Forks (if you have a Paladin who you don't want to be vindictive to), insert Morton Forks (if you have a Paladin you really don't like), and on, and on...
Then your players show up and decide that their character's first response when talking to a physical manifestation of a god is to pee on them. Characters who decide to utterly ignore your entire dungeon which you spend hours handcrafting and putting hooks in for their characters specifically because, for some arbitrary reason they've only decided to explain now, their characters wouldn't do it. When you've spend days juggling your own busy schedule to get everyone together and they call at the last minute to tell you that they can't make it for some stupid reason. When they don't bother reading about or even bothering to remember any details of a campaign setting or AP player's guide, and decide to become a Cleric in Rahadoum for sh*ts and giggles, just because they know it'll cause you problems. When they (seemingly deliberately) make incredibly disruptive characters they know for a fact won't jell with the party mechanic, just to screw things up for you even more...and when they kill your bad guys with an insta-kill, though granted, that part is the only one that's fair and reasonable, but still feels like a kick to the place where the sun don't shine. They can laugh about it, but you know that what took you an hour to craft and devise (if not more) was taken out of the picture by a single die roll...
Yeah, DMing isn't easy. But then again, do it right and it can be very rewarding. But no, you aren't the only one. In all honesty, I don't think anyone in a leadership position of any kind doesn't feel like that sometimes. All part of the job.
In one campaign, I'm currently playing a summoner, and the eidolon by itself is ripping enemies apart. With just three quick spells (which I can extend so some can last for up to 14 hours at this point) the eidolon gets an AC of 32 (at level 7...), four attacks, each of which deal greatsword damage, free grapples, free trips, and it has the highest Perception modifier of our entire party. Next level it'll upgrade to large and send its Strength score up to a whopping 27. 27! A ragining barbarian or an alchemist on improved mutagens would be LUCKY to get that high, even with magic items. Gods above, if i added a Belt of Giant's Strength to this monster the whole game wouldn't be a challenge.
Also, one quick thing of note, the eidolon doesn't need any help in the "I got this" department, but the Summoner himself does. No wizard is squishier than the Summoner class, which has too few spells per day to truly protect himself, has few combat abilities (even sorcerers get combat spells), and will become a traget for any enemy with an Intelligence over 8, because eventually someone's going to figure out that if you take out the guy with all of the flashy jewelry making all of those fancy hand-signs, the giant rampaging monster will go away. And unlike said monster, mister fancy-pants doesn't have the AC of an armored car on steroids. That said, it would be the smarter thing to use all of your expenses to make your Summoner capable of surviving that sort of attention while your eidolon mauls the hell out of the bad guys.
The Stone lord Paladin is a nice choice. One of my players really liked that archetype, and i agree. Good feel to it.
A Sylph. Just in general, most of their spells or abilities are incredibly useful, particularly the alternate racial trait that allows them to use gust of wind 1/day.
Ratfolk finally getting scent, even if its not great.
Kobolds have their dragon-blooded feats back after a good long absence
And for the GM, the Dreamweaver witch makes an awesome villain...
"You've drunk too much...or too little, i forget how it works with you." -Phillip J. Fry
Sorry, when someone posted that enemies of the faith include prohibitionists all I can see is some guy wearing pirate garb brandishing a cutlass going after a bunch of perfumed ladies screaming things like "why, I never" because apparently old english-style fashion for some reason is primed with the word "prude" in my brain. Ah well.
I kind of envision an Inquisitor of Cayden Cailiean being a sort of wandering "hero of happiness" so to speak. He goes around, town-to-town, and makes sure everyone has a good time. If they aren't having a good time, he goes out and fixes whatever the problem is...then its booze for everybody!
He's close minded and sexist, but that doesn't make him evil. It makes him lawful stupid to some extent.
Another idea is to play him like Michael Carpenter from the dresden file: someone whose religion strongly frowns on the views and actions of his friends, but quietly goes along, only adding in his 2 cp every now and again in the way of someone genuinely concerned for their wellbeing, only getting really pushy if lives are at stake...
Interesting. I like the feel of it, especially because its a relief to see Changelings featured. I'm unsure about changelings with the witch class, but this is a very nice touch. I like the whole "inception" feel and this seems like a great BBEG-type class. Love it. Don't know if it'd be fun to play as a PC, but...well, whatever
Joyd has a good point. I seem to have answered the question but in so doing missed the bigger picture. Its a fantasy game. Fantasy. As in "stuff that is borderline nonsensical just because its cool." I mean, if anyone's ever seen the first episode of Soul Eater, I can see why a scythe would make an awesome weapon, and in a world where random people have the ability o light the house on fire by muttering gobbdy-g&$& and waving their hands dramatically, the realistic ability of a farming-tool-turned-weapon become less of a concern, and more of a "but is it fun and interesting?" To paraphrase soul eater here, "the issue isn't the form, but the coolness factor."
In other words, I see nothing inherently wrong with the scythe as it is
Now, to be completely fair, up until a century ago, Golarion was heading in the direction of a golden age of humanity, considering that the God of Humans was at the height of his power and predicted to return and lead them to their mightiest golden age. Now that the God of man is no longer alive, the other races ought to catch up in importance...or rather, they would, if humans didn't have the advantage of breeding like rabbits on viagra in comparison. Biologically speaking, it makes sense.
I DO dislike how common and more important humans are, but background-wise, it makes perfect sense. The beautiful thing is, however, that Aroden's death allows a GM to make a plot-line that changes this, for instance, the whole Serpentfolk re-appearance, or the elves finally deciding that mankind isn't worth cooperating with, so they go to war, etc. If you don't like Golarion's human-centricity, its current state of affairs is ripe for a reversal.
Also, to be fair, only the Inner Sea Region is so totally human-centric. Tian Xia has a much better distribution of races, and the Darklands have pretty much zero humans (in fact, humans can technicly be considered the only race not to have a legitimate "dark version" other than the dark creepers and what not, so there's something), Casmarron is implied to be more racially diverse, as is southern Garund.
And if you look, a good number of significant NPCs in adventure paths and other paraphenilia aren't human, and the most memorable of these definitely aren't.
The Rival Guide basically left a very open-ended statement in that alchemical experiments often have interesting psychological side-effects. You could say that the gloomwing was being experimented upon by an alchemist attempting to re-create and improve the Awakening spell in extract form (you could say that he was trying to perfect a mental mutagen but without the drawbacks or some-such) and his experiment worked on the Gloomwing, although in the process of giving it sentience, it also then proceeded to kill him, etc...
I personally dislike wizards. i know they're powerful and what not, but i always found their lack of both spells per day and lack of alternate methods of being useful in combat without said spells per day endlessly frustrating, since most GMs I play with usually have more encounters per day than I have magic...
Let's say enemies are charging the city gates...place the Silent Image in front of the gate to make it look like the air shimmers, as if a mirage, and have a pit trap suddenly appear. Make the way it appears similar to how an illusion spell fades, rather than is created, to make them think that they've "seen through" another spell. They'll stand in front of the pit trap, thinking what to do for just long enough for the archers on the wall to turn them into pincushions...
thing is...they'd need to interact with it, like try and jump across...which they won't do, assuming you make the pit deep enough...and full of spikes...
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Only gameplay reason I could think of is that unless the setting is exotic, players will oftentimes run into bears earlier than into large wildcats...and its meant so that the more common animals doesn't kill them in one hit, but if they go looking for trouble in exotic locales...which they'd only have the liberty of doing at higher levels, the animals can present an equal challenge.
Although I'm not sure this one action instantly qualifies to change his alignment...although personally, if i were hit DM, and i saw him planning this out, rathe than just a spur-of-the-moment-everybody-makes-mistakes-deal, I'd change his alignment pronto to CN. Killing people just because negotiations aren't going your way is evil...it's a form of blackmail if you threaten to do it beforehand, which is...you guessed it! Evil. Even the Lannisters had more decen-...well, nevermind...
realism and whatnot matter very little in a scenario such as this, and the scenario is very simple: party cohesion is threatened by some PCs basically making the game unbearably annoying. Yes, that's how the real world works. Yes, technicly, those PCs have the right of it. It doesn't make them jerks, and it takes a significant amount of fun out of the game.
Besides..."real world?" People play these games to get out of the real world, so that they don't have to think about these kinds of things. Besides, how "real" can an RPG world be anyway...
Two that were mine and one that was legendary. A bard who name is Will Bernard Dayen...or, as he'd appear on formal documents: Will B. Dayen...
This one is a little something from TvTropes, or anyone familiar with it...a two-handed specialist ranger whos name is Bernard Ferston Sollenis. Or, honestly, absolutely any initials necesarry to achieve BFS...as in...Big Freakin' Sword...
And finally, who could forget that supposedly, the character in Gary Gygax's campaigns who was the originator of the Rary's Telepathic Bond spell, a wizard named Rary, was only ever leveled to level 5 for the sole purpose of becoming a "medium leveled" NPC.
In other words, he'd be Medium Rary...
Well...to be completely honest, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the entire idea of Lovecraftian Horror. On the one hand, I kind of enjoy the idea that we are all but an insect to some far greater beings we cannot comprehend or even begin to combat. Makes sense, and humankind often gets too big for their britches, so its a good philosophical lesson (we ain't the biggest fish in this here sea...) On the other hand, I also don't find things like that all to frightening. If someone tells me that "there is a creature so horrific that it defies imagination", I draw a blank when imagining it. To do otherwise would either a.) make it so that it obviously does not defy imagination, since I just imagined it, or b.) completely missed the point. Having such creatures feature prominently in a book (especially horror) as a kind of psychic bogeyman that a character can't pin down works great. I loved "The Color Out of Space," "The Rats in the Walls, "Reanimator," etc. But honestly, I don't think that'd transfer over so well into an RPG. In an RPG, the only way you can describe your world to others is by description. The PCs can't actually see what you're telling them they should be seeing, so telling them their characters go mad by looking at something that "defies imagination" will very rarely have nearly as big an impact as it should. *Sigh* I also kind of dislike it for how often this is brought out, almost like a cliche...
But then again, there's a bright side. The good folks at Paizo have contributed by making the Dark Tapestry a viable part of their campaign world. There are creatures from beyond it, philosophies, dark cults, and even a God, all of which take liberal doses from the Cthulu-mythos and add a very good feel, especially for an adventure game (duh...evil cultists! Me go smash them! For the gold pieces!). Still...hesitant to use them...because like all cliches, they CAN be used right and creativly if done by someone....well, careful and talented. History states I am neither...so I'll stay as far away from that in my campaigns as the Inner Sea allows (a.k.a. away from Nidal and Ustalav, or rather Illmarsh, anyway)