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Hm...dunno. I'd kinda argue for LG for Jon, mainly due to his constant attempts to follow in his father's Lawful Stupid tendencies. His occasional breaks with the Lawful alignment came at great personal suffering for him, and as I've always been in the "intention=alignment" camp, I still think he holds towards LG.
As for Littlefinger, I'd go for CE, mainly because his purpose is to create as much wreckage as possible so he can climb to the top. He doesn't want to create order...he just wants to put himself on top of all the bodies. In my opinion, that's not really order.
I'll also go with the whole NG designation for Daenerys, because she does have a respect for doing certain things by the book, and tries very hard to get things to go in an orderly fashion. However, because she believes strongly in personal freedom and eliminating unjust institutions if necessary for "the greater good" (in her mind) I'd say NG makes sense.
As for everybody else, without tedious explanation...
The LG's: Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Barristan Selmy, Loras Tyrell (to some degree), Brienne of Tarth, Catelyn Tully, Rob Stark, Davos Seaworth, Joer Mormont, Samwell Tarly, Thoros of Myr
The NG's: Daenerys Targarean, Tyrion Lannister, Tommen "Baratheon", Margaery Tyrell (perhaps), Beric Dondarrion, Gendry, Bran Stark
The CG's: I'm not one-hundred percent certain there are any. Maybe Strong Belwas and Arianne Martell. Oh, and Brynden Tully. Edmure Tully might also qualify.
The LN's: Stannis Baratehon, Jorah Mormont, Maester Pycelle, Kevan Lannister, Doran Martell, and Maybe Melissandre (hard to say), Jaime Lannister
The N's: Possibly Varys and Mance Rayder, and maybe Sansa Stark
The CN's: Arya Stark, Oberyn Martell, Robert Baratheon, "Alayne", Ollena Redwyne/Tyrell
The LE's: Tywin Lannister, Roose Bolton, Janos Slynt
The NE's: Walder Frey, Khal Drogo, The Night's King (?), Bronn
The CE's: Petyr Baelish, Joffrey Baratheon, Ramsay Snow, Cersei Lannister, Sandor Clegane, Gregor Clegane, the entirety of the Bloody Mummers, Selyse Florent/Baratheon (?)
Personally, I end up playing neutral good more often than not. It's easier, it's the least objectionable alignment, and it helps to get along with the party best. Of course, I dabble in other forms of good. Lawful Good is pretty easy for me to pull off, since it's only one step away from what I perceive as my real alignment (LN), and Chaotic Good is a little hard to pull off, unless I'd watched a ton of shonen anime or Iron Man movies recently. I almost never play evil, because I get tired of it too easily, and the neutral alignments are far too nebulous for me.
Good evening, gentlefolk.
I come to you with a bit of a conundrum. My friend is going to run a campaign over the summer, you see, and I will be playing a rogue for the first time since...well, years. That said, I haven't got all that much inspiration to draw on, so I beg you for help.
Who do you think is an archetypal rogue? It can be from any source, books, t.v., media, even your own characters if you like. I'm interested in all sorts of opinions so i can draw inspiration. Tell me why you think these characters make good rogues, and if these characters were of your own make, how did you play them? How did they interact with the party? How did NPCs respond to them and how did s/he respond to NPCs?
I find a lot of stuff at deviant art, just search for generic phrases such as "fighter", "wizard", etc. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of WoW fan art, but you can find some good, usable fantasy stuff around it.
Yeah, that's a pretty good suggestion, so long as you keep it just within your game table. Googling "fire mage" or "dwarf" or something also sometimes works.
Petty Alchemy wrote:
I never considered the classic missions of clearing out goblin warrens as truly good, and have never bought the logic of "killing evil things is a good act." Unless the things you happen to be killing are incapable of free will, killing a creature aborts its potential. Once a life is snuffed, it can never be restored. Ever. That means you have literally neutered all other possible options. You could restrain the creature. Redeem it. Reason with it. But killing someone, especially if you do so actively (as in, not to protect yourself or someone after they've initiated the attack) doesn't truly feel like a good act. I don't know how to explain my exact reasoning, as I have no formal training in moralist philosophy, but I feel, personally, that going out and killing something on your own volition, actively, not in a reactionary or defensive fashion, isn't right. It isn't wrong, but it can never be truly right.
I've always liked the idea that the somatic components are dramatic. Not like ninja-esque hand-signs or anything like that, but more like....hm...more like slow-motion martial arts. Or like a conductor leading an orchestra. Except in this case, what you are conducting is not a band but rather the very basic forces of the universe. I imagine, and sometimes describe, the body language intent. If you're casting a fireball, you'd thrust a hand forward in the direction of the attack, a look of wild fury on your features (for fire, like anger, is all-consuming and is often colloquially referred to as "burning").
Of course, I also like the whole "runes around the hands" thing Paizo art draws out, though I imagine the runes not to be a flat disk of magic runes, but rather a long pale stream of letters that slowly revolve around the hands in a snake-like pattern, the color varying caster to caster, and sometimes spell to spell.
I've always toyed with having a character that recites a small poem for their verbal component, like a short haiku or something along those lines. But my creativity is not good enough for me to do this in its entirety, so I've never tried.
I wholeheartedly agree. Very interesting. I'd also normally put in the addendum that Lawful Good characters usually follow a personal code that keeps them on an honest path, but that's optional. Otherwise, I like your interpretation of the Lawful part of Lawful good being the methodology of the character. I think that's quite insightful, and works very well for Lawful Evil as well (with the obvious exception of a different morality).
Most of my characters are attractive, even the ugly ones if that makes ANY sense. I have huge problems with faces, and I actually find it difficult to imagine non-symmetrical features on a face off the top of my head. Sure, I'm prone to trying to play nasty-lookin' buggers, but I find it troublesome to picture them.
I play all sorts. I keep the sexuality limited unless the context demands it (depending on the game). But yeah, literally all sorts. One of these days I fully wanna try playing a character whose sole goal in life is to find a belt of gender swapping so that he/she can fulfill their dream of being formally a member of the opposite sex. That sounds like a fun bit of roleplay right there.
Petty Alchemy wrote:
ah, good ol' Jasnah Kholin (I'm guessing). Shallan tackled the issue pretty well, and I'll go with her gut feeling. It's not an evil action, per se, but it certainly isn't a good one. She did this to kill people, and regardless of who those people were, killing is...I don't know, it strikes me as distasteful unless absolutely necessary. As for it's chaotic aspect? Maybe. I mean, it is a vigilante move to assault the men yourself as opposed to just going with the law, but I'd actually argue that the action had a more lawful intent. The men were a disruption of order, a disruption that was not being put right. To go out of your way in order to remove the disruption restores law to the lawless, and therefore, I'd say it's got the teeniest hint of Lawful. So, I'd say Lawful Neutral, but only just.
I actually really like tieflings. I think they make a cool class, and tiefling wizards, alchemists, and rogues are super fun to play. Their abilities are...interesting, but not too great. Darkness isn't that great a spell, and elemental resistances don't really help out except in dealing with bad weather (most of the time). Prehensile tail is an awesome power that can be very cleverly used, but i don't think it's overpowered, per se.
As for the roleplay aspect, I've always liked the kin-slaying tiefling as a trope, with them using their unique abilities to hunt down and defeat fiends, since they have minor resistances against basic fiend spells and their immunity to person-based spells means low-level deceptive fiends like succubi have trouble with them. Never been a fan of the "nobody understands me" line of thinking. Sure you have tail and weird red skin. Nightcrawler was blue, and almost everybody likes him (out of universe, at least).
Alchemist: I really like the idea of this class. The idea of a class that has a little bit of everything, and uses mad science as a mechanic is very flavorful. That said, it is a very difficult class to play well from what I've seen, as resource management is a must if this class can be played well. Still, very neat take on spellcasting.
Cavalier: Meh. I honestly preferred the 3.5 Knight to this, though my only dislike is for the mount part of this class. Without the reliance on mounted combat I'd love the Cavalier. I like the whole warlord-esque class with teamwork feats and bard-like abilities yet very good combat prowess. That said, I almost never play/see one.
Inquisitor: Oh, this class is super cool. The monster-hunter, the Sherlock Holmes investigator, and the holy knight all wrapped up into one. I like their spellcasting, I like the judgment ability, and I love their minor class abilities like cunning initiative and monster lore. Very well designed.
Oracle: Meh, they're neat. A far better spontaneous divine caster than the Favored Soul was in 3.5, that's for sure. And they have some neat applications. I like the curse mechanic, but honestly, nothing unpredictable.
Summoner: You know, maybe it's because I loved Digimon more than anything as a little kid, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Summoner. Oh, I know the criticisms. I agree with most of them. Still, the idea of a spellcaster who has his own personal monster which changes and grows stronger as he does, well, that's just too good for me to dislike. Flavor-wise, anyway.
Witch: One of my favorite non-core classes. I love the flavor of this. The hexes. The familiar-spellbook. The mysterious patron that may or may not be responsible for giving you all of your powers. The spell list. It's just perfect. One of my favorite spellcasting classes, and it's fairly well balanced too, unlike the aforementioned Summoner. I'd play a Witch over a Wizard any day (though that's just because I dislike the Wizard).
Gunslinger: I like the flavor of this class, the idea that it gets its class resources by being a badass. That said, it's such a...weak class. Firearms are expensive, and while useful at short range, in my experience they're actually worse in combat than a ranged fighter or a divine hunter paladin. I'm honestly a bit of a disappointment, and am uncertain why this class isn't just a re-work archetype of the Fighter like the Ninja or Samurai classes.
Magus: I've always been fond of the spell-sword classes, and this one has some pretty cool potential. My favorite is the bladebound magus, though I blame Sanderson for this bias towards warriors with bonded, intelligent weapons. That said, it's a solid class, and i have little objection. A little unbalanced near the beginning of the game, but towards the sweet-spot levels where other classes get revving, well, then he just become's fine.
Antipaladin: It's a paladin, but evil. Same opinion as for a paladin, which is, yeah, it's okay.
Ninja: Oh, the ninja is quite cool. Too cool, unfortunately. I like the ninja a lot, but I always find it shameful that the ninja overshadows it's core class. I like the rogue. I don't want it to be rendered obsolete by a flavor-archetype.
Samurai: Much neater than the Cavalier, if only for flavor purposes. But also because the Sword-Saint archetype lets you ditch the mount in exchange for a pretty cool iaijitsu attack.
I have no opinions on the Advanced Class Guide classes, because they haven't been finalized yet. I found none of them impressive or necessary. Unlike the magus, which truly felt unique as a combo-class, all of them seem like clumsy cobblings of other classes, some of them without reason (how many different times do we need to see clerics mixed with martial. Paladin and Inquisitor are good enough. Leave it be). But, I'll keep my mind open when the final version comes out. At the moment, I sort of wish they hadn't tried to combine classes and just tried to make new stuff, like maybe psionics, or perhaps the Pathfinder's take on the Binder, or Dragon Shaman, or Warlock (obviously they can't, because OGL restrictions, but I'd have liked to see their take on these regardless).
Meh, it's not too well-balanced a class, and it does create problems especially if the person playing them is not very good at multi-tasking, thus taking up more time. However, I just recommend people use flash-cards for the stats of their summoned dudes, and the rest isn't too bad a problem. Every class has its annoying quirks, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course. I can conceptually understand the vitriol, but I don't see any reason to hate the Summoner.
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.
A Ninja wrote:
That might certainly explain why Aroden died. The idea of sacrificing himself to finally defeat an otherwise immortal enemy seems like something the LN Aroden might feel obligated to do.
Um.. aren't Drow CLERICS the highest ranking people in Drow society. After all, they are a matriarical society worshipping a half-mad goddess...
Holy crap, you're totally right (and sorry for the pun). Sorry, I got caught up with the generic racial descriptions as my source for this, and i totally forgot...all..about...drow, actually.
Male drow, though, would probably still value wizards. While sorcerers fit their build and temperament better, the idea of someone scheming and collecting cosmic power, capable of preparing different spells every day so that they can pull an under-used spell in a dangerous situation and watch their enemies squirm seems a very drow thing to do. Though, I'm going off War of the Spider Queen, in which the most memorable characters were wizards and clerics, though the rogue and fighter in that one aren't half bad, the archmage of Menzoberranzan was technically the highest ranking male drow...
Ooh. Interesting. Here's what I've got.
Catfolk-rogues or rangers. Makes use of agility and discerns information.
That's about all I got for now.
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.