My third PFS character, Sir Montgomery Brannag, Knight Captain-in-waiting of Absalom's Steel Falcons, is illustrated as a big man with a broadsword and a helmet to his armour. When people ask me what his class is, I say with a straight face, "Fighter."
I play him like one right up until he drops his sword, gives the finger, and grapples the enemy spellcaster's face into the floor, all the while swearing at the top of his lungs for a real or imagined slight.
Then, as he's out of breath, he turns to an ally and says something like, "Hey, you. When you're writing the Chronicle, I was the model of grace, right?"
Everyone I've ever played with, both player and GM, likes Monty. Also, after getting Diplomacy as a class skill as part of Steel Falcon training, he's been putting points into it and tries to use it before losing his temper. He's been the most diplomatic one in five different missions, tying in one with an oracle! His Charisma's 10, but his Int is 12.
While puzzle traps are loads of fun to come up with, and for clever players to solve, tabletop RPG players can demand the GM have an explanation for why they're there. It's something you just can't do in a Legend of Zelda or Professor Layton game.
You could always include a Sokoban (block-pushing) puzzle in a low-level adventure in a ruined building or warehouse: get the big boxes and ages out of the way, push them into gaps so the heavily-armoured PCs with low Dex can just walk over them, and remember that it isn't just to make fun of a group that didn't bother to bring along any rope. Plus, the strong types will be helpful in it.
In my experience, puzzles tend to be best suited to low levels. At higher ones, when you have Knock and [i]Passwall[/] spells or even an adamantine pick, all your intricate puzzles will end up as Gordian Knots.
To tell the truth, I skipped through most of this thread because I was originally hoping for more people talking about their characters with mental dump stats and their justification for them.
For me, I normally avoid giving characters dump stats,but when I do, they tend to be justified by way of characterization.
One of my PFS characters is an eleven evocationist with Int 18, Cha 8. He's autistic, preferring to write his thoughts down and read those of others over conversing. Occasionally, he'll try to Aid Another with someone's socials skills, fail, then go offendedly silent when his thoughtful advice gets ignored.
Going through Mask of the Living God with him got him more upset than he'd ever been, mostly starting when his writing implements were taken from him.
So, how do people play their characters who are slow on the uptake, lack self-awareness, or think of eloquence as something that happens to other people?
Plus, Nethys and Irori didn't need the Starstone; one managed to Mythically irradiate himself somehow, and the other one just left his physical body behind after achieving ultimate enlightenment.
Due to the fluid nature of the Starstone, its cathedral, and religion in the Pathfinder setting, I'd be fine with an answer to "how it works" being, "figure it out for yourself". If players want to undertake a Test of the Starstone, that's for the GM to tailor specifically to their characters.
Though I thought, at first, that goodhood would involve dying or otherwise leaving the physical world, the idea of hanging around after completing the Test opens up more possibilities: at Mythic Tier 10, travelling the world in order to strengthen your cult of personality into a fully-defined faith.
It's too bad Razmir's too busy running his own nation; he otherwise could have legitimately attempted it, though not being Mythical would probably make it too risky.
Not exactly good, but there's a mummified Iroran monk in
The name of the module:who, by preserving himself in a certain way while under a sacred vow to protect his monestary until such a time as his mistake could be fixed, became a True Neutral mummy.
The Dragon's Demand
Generally, unwilling undeath is seen as disrespectful to people and their remains, while the sorts of people who willingly turn to it tend to do so for bad reasons. Considering how lichdom in Golarion is hinted at requiring the person to do dangerous things to their own and other's souls, it generally isn't something that can be undertaken with clean hands.
Usually, even if it's to maintain a permanent vigil on something, it'd be morally better to set up bunch of guards than to undeadify yourself and stay there forever (and risk losing touch due to loneliness).
Of course, there's always the possibility of someone who's held on to their morality despite losing their mortality. Or a vampire who thinks she's being sporting about their diet, until she locks the doors on the competitors who ask to opt out of her bout.
Even Star Trek, if you want to run it PFS-style with a team of stern explorers whose Prime Directives are "Explore, Report, Co-operate".
But if only one person wants to do that, and the rest want to take part in the actual setting, then they'll just end up as the awkward comic relief.
Still, the possibilities for goofiness are limitless when a bunch of hapless archaic wanderers blunder onto a rechargeable ray gun or nuclear reactor and don't know how it works.
Also, if the group is willing to go that way, you could potentially have a group of Pathfinders (or Consortium agents), like a Nagaji barbarian, an Elven sorcerer, a Halfling alchemist and a Samsaran oracle, all led by a Human (mysterious stranger) Gunslinger; then make the whole thing a Mass Effect homage.
An idea I'd been toying with is a Bladebound magus whose Black Blade is really a small quantumn computer that's all sharpened on one end; he's the only one who can hear it talking due to it having quantumn entangled with him or something. Though he will never once utter that word himself.
It'd work really well for Numeria: him having started out as an illiterate tribesman, but after pricking himself on the end of this special sword he'd found, suddenly it was not only talking to him, but teaching him. I might even make mentions of how it was a piece of something bigger, spanning the world and beyond, before suddenly getting silenced somehow. It'll be hard to to explain, to people who have no frame of reference about it, what it would personally feel like to be disconnected from a wi-fi network, only to reboot much later to find that the network no longer exists.
In my group, the wizard and the cleric had to work together to figure it out (with the cleric intentionally getting himself eaten).
It involved spells like Getaway, Passwall and (for good measure) Explosive Runes after the fact. Then, it was just a matter of sticking a portable hole on the ground, and cantrip-sweeping all the rice into it.
Currently, the AP I'm in is partway through its final book, and it's given me several milestones over its course. This will be the first AP I've ever finished, going without saying that it's also been my first experience with characters at level 15+. It has survived a break-up with one of the other players (we still remain good friends, and no PvP ever happened, despite excuses for it abounding), and I had my very first final character death in it, which I accepted gracefully. I got to continue as my very first cleric; the GM and everyone else were willing to let me look up the cleric spells I never bothered to learn how they worked, and I never thought I'd be good at clerics before.
When it draws to a close with an end-credits photo montage, everyone has agreed on starting another AP later on. I want to try another character type I've never tried before in it. I think I'll be a paladin: a pleasant, polite paladin who'll have ranks in Diplomacy, observe multiple religions and philosophies on goodness, and suggest alternatives to violence when potential foes are in a position to listen to him. The GM has liked this idea.
(Edit) It's much easier to whine than to develop a reasonable critique of something you enjoy, but the latter does need more effort put into it. Hopefully, this thread will help people feel happier.
Well, it's always a good idea to keep that in mind. Two different extremes don't neutralize each other so much as they block out all reasonable debate with a false dichotomy.
...and no, while those things I mentioned aren't new to Pathfinder, the attitude to them has changed.
Look in the Core Rulebook's section on Cursed Items. There's still one of those. If you want to get a feel for it beforehand, to see whether it would work for you, there's always Alter Self or Polymorph.
I'm not sure how to describe it exactly, but I've always been happy about how "careful" the developers have been with their efforts. In the play testing, in their customer support, in their patience, in their avoidance of declaring previous works outdated (except when their more focused setting-related stuff ends up retconning the more generalized stuff, which ends up being a necessity), and especially their efforts to be inclusive.
Remember how, in first and second edition, magic trans-gender stuff was intended to be slipped in as a GM's practical joke? Now, thanks to Paizo's efforts, characters can undertake personal quests of discovery to seek them out, and if it turns out not to work out the way they hope, they can always seek out another one!
There's a well-thought-out level of maturity in every product I've read, which is a part of why I've gotten more into Golarion than any other RPG official setting. Keep up the good work!
I can agree that its in-depth look at summoning has changed my outlook on the whole sub-school.
The other articles make for helpful tips for the players who might need to volunteer to GM at a later date.
The website even has a sub-forum for posting your PFS characters' back stories. It could come in handy for people who've read each others' posts and sign up for the same scenarios.
The short version:
If he had known my CG abjurer's characterization, he would've known long before that the destruction of the town where he grew up and the many deaths involved (and the circumstances involved, which he had been fearing) was much more tragic than the dangling of lots of spells in front of him.
The long version:
Two friends of mine were invited to join. One wanted to be a stout-hearted yet secretive Dawnflower Dissident, while the other had a dwarven Zen Archer. We'd talked of buffing him so that he could fling a piecemeal portcullis at people!
The GM, however, ruled that the archer had to spend a round to string his bow, so that it wouldn't warp. My attempts to justify a hand-wave viaMending or alchemy were disallowed. After leaving in disgust, the paladin's girlfriend who came in to replace him (a foul-mouthed eleven ranger) didn't have to worry about the bowstring problem.
The paladin, who kept demanding that everyone convert back to Arodenism or die, refused to let anyone get moments of their own characterization or words in edgewise, and never learned anyone else's names. Since he kept charging into close combat before I could buff him properly, all I was able to do was to passive-aggressively poke him with an Enlarge Person wand, so as to make him a bigger target. When he died (by diving into an underwater passage all by himself and getting summarily devoured by the giant octopus within), he demanded that I sell things to raise him. He got even more brash after that.
The GM almost never included my requests to add to my guy's characterization, and when it was my time to figure things out, the paladin grew sulky. When I decided to jump ship, the GM asked if someone else could play as my wizard, because I was apparently the GM's pet instead of the Paladin.
I managed to carry him over into another adventure, wherein he has just recently gotten over his deep-seated distrust of violent holy men. He even got to include bits of his (now expanded) back story.
As a thought experiment, I once got the idea for a catfolk witch or wizard with a cat familiar. The best I could do was this:
"Do you know what it's like in Nex? It was all so sudden, and I'd like to see you think straight when you're really thinking for the first time. Under pressure, at that. I escaped with my... my wife, yes, before they could fleshwarp her too, and now we just aren't sure whether which of us should join whom.
"Now it's my turn to ask you a question: exactly how many ratfolk did you say were squatting in your building?"
Something like this happened to me when I was in a group of paranoid beginners. I myself got to use it on a similar group later on. Just present them with one big closed, yet unlocked, door, and wait to see how long it takes before someone says, "I... open it?".
First of all, make sure to give the bad guy some minions. They'll help take the pressure off of him, which will be instrumental in getting those touch-range spells off without getting surrounded.
As for those spells, there's always Bestow Curse, especially if at least one of those minions is a spellcaster as well. Or, if your bad guy is using it for more of a punishment than in a fight, use a custom curse like sterility, baldness, or the growth of a second nose.
If your villain is a divine spellcaster, the Cure/Inflict spells will be a given.
There's always Spectral Hand for casting touch spells at a distance.
Though summoning while invisible will most likely give away his location, he'll still have that miss chance, barring PCs with See Invisibility, Invisibility Purge, or a bag of flour or two.
Alternately, he'll be harder to find & hit while flying in one of the cloud spells. It'll make for easier summoning.
If your bad guy is into theatrics, make his Shout spell a magically-amplified villain laugh. In that vein, Prestidigitation is a must for any grand entrances. A whiff of sulfur, candle-flickering breezes, the faint sound of far-off thunder to punctuate his exclamations, subtly shifting patterns on his clothing, or even a general ominous glowiness, whatever sinks your boat.
Clairvoyance or other divinations will be handy to help him find out when people will be getting ready to take him on, and a Private Sanctum will prevent people from scrying on him. For added hilarity, put Guards and Wards all over his base, and a way for him to watch what the heroes do to try to bypass them.
Add in a couple of spells to aid an escape if you want him to make a return, and hopefully that list is short enough for you. I just wanted to add some helpful explanations.
Matt Thomason wrote:
Another thing to bear in mind is how the abstract "hit points" system works. At the later levels you have characters with insane numbers compared to the damage a commoner can take, because of the inclusion of their ability to avoid damage. A lot of those attacks aren't necessarily causing damage, instead just wearing down the defender's ability to defend by subtracting those abstract HPs as their endurance and luck get chipped away at.
That's true. That can represent, say, you holding up your weapon to parry but getting it slammed against your chest by the force of the blow. Or, at higher levels, that you remembered to tuck-and-roll to survive a fall from terminal velocity. Though even when the enemy misses, it could also be because of your armour or shield, and not just clumsiness on the attacker's part.
Though I admit it would be fun to have a defence-based monk who would go Crane Style or just stay in Total Defense, not wanting to cause undue harm; though it wouldn't work for long periods against undeads and constructs that can keep attacking endlessly.
Since Pathfinder is a fantasy game, and the staples of the fantasy genre include exploring uncharted places and beating the stuffing out of people who want to conquer or ruin the known world/universe/and beyond, its mechanics emphasize action over passivity. There's more searching than waiting, dungeon-crawling over getting your foes to come to you. Decisive victory is encouraged more than long, drawn-out sieges or political deliberations. It's probably something that goes back to the basic Hero's Journey, explaining why heroes are more often depicted raising swords than shields.
...Though now this thread makes me want to make up a homebrew adventure aboud defending a fortified frontier trading post, whose main deity's favoured weapon is the spiked shield.
So, to summarize, a non-mythic, high-level character is already miles and kilometers away from even the most highly-skilled real-life person, while mythic tiers just raise the threshhold of ridiculous hijinx.
A non-mythic purple worm just bit his head off? Don't worry, he'll walk it off.
This desert sure is inconvenient. Everyone would thank me if I suddenly changed the landscape for miles around.
One afternoon, everyone along the main caravan route suddenly loses consciousness; must've been that blasted dervish dancer again!
If anything, I just want to see mythic action just for its potential for massive silliness. I should probably go Trickster, then.
My wizard was at a mid-to-high level, and was worried about getting into a building unobtrusively. Having prepared the whole day beforehand, preparing plenty of spells that would hamper detection or non-lethally disable any passing guards, I had to fiddle around with scrolls of Knock and Wizard Lock to unlock the door, get in, and re-lock it from the inside. After all of that, I slapped myself across the forehead and said:
"Passwall beside the door. Why couldn't I have just done that?"
Though Ultimate Magic might not have had many helpful Abjurations, the Communal versions from Ultimate Combat are very handy if your team-mates are willing to wait before charging into superior opponents. It might not matter that you're all in Fireball formation if your first spell is Communal Protection From Fire.
Also, I didn't mind the smaller spell list because most of them were already very handy. Though counterspelling isn't used often, it's mainly because it's very situational and risky, most people would rather let both casters do something than use up a spell slot to stop their opponent from using theirs, and in general, a readied attack tends to be more reliable, while using up only one shot of ammo instead of a spell slot.
I've got an Abjurer with whom I'd like to counterspell enemy spellcasters, but since he's so far only faced two opposing wizards (both of whom specialized in one of his opposition schools), it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.
In closing, it sounds counter-intuitive, but Ultimate Combat looked to me to have more support for Abjurers than Ultimate Magic did.
As one of the players in that group, I can attest to the fact that our group had been called "the worst heroes ever" on multiple occasions.
Really, my focus during character creation just wasn't forward-thinking: someone who would be at the right place at the right time and who would serve a solid party role. "What would happen later on" didn't enter my mind until after everyone had stumbled onto their noble titles.
But now, after three of those characters have died and the forth has become Ameiko's official Leadership cohort, we are the worst heroes no longer. Even though the new group is fully human, a mix of forward-planning and asking for help has ensured that our Thud & Blunder days are behind us.
Avoiding modern viewpoint bias, an extra-national organization dedicated to finding things out and writing things down can get it and its members seen as a bunch of nosy busybodies, though a part of being in the Society, regardless of personal morals, is having to deal with the Society's various reputations wherever they go.
Really, one of the reasons the Society doesn't make all of its knowledge public and all of its findings on display is that some of them are powerfully, dangerously magical. If they did, then this thread would be full of posts like,
Also, if the Society published "The Basics of Lichdom", they'd get blamed for any resulting problems. They're officially neutral because their aim is on gathering knowledge, without any real goals about what to do with it. It allows for PFS characters to take on the mantle of Enthusiastic Researcher, Intrepid Reporter or just an itinerant editor of the Pathfinder's Guide to Golarion.
(Or, if you want to be a Shadowrunner, the "Hermean Escapee" back story practically writes itself!)
What a carefully-thought-out idea! You have given people some more credit, and I, for one, will vow never to abuse it!
You're right. Actually, only witches, alchemists and summoners can't get it, among the spellcasters.
Due to peer pressure, I bought a 3DS and the Animal Crossing game for it. It's a fun little "on-the-bus", "design-your-house-and-town" sort of video game, and eventually, I got to make my own designs for clothes, flags and carpets in it.
I had no idea what to do with that until my next look at the Inner Sea World Guide.
Argh! I got it wrong!
Fortunately, single lucky crit aside, the team's tactics did more damage to themselves than their adversary and they still succeeded.
I just ran a scenario, taking place in a former Cathedral of Aroden, full of historical and religious significance, with a (tier 1-2) team of a ranger, a figher, a cavalier, a barbarian and two rogues (one of them halfling, the only non-human). No magic and the only knowledge skill among them was the situationally useless Nature. You can read more about it in the Funniest Moments thread.
Earlier today, I took a group of six people to "Shadow's Last Stand Part 1: At Shadow's Door" at the lowest tier.
In short, they could not appreciate any of all that art and history the scenario explained at length, and just smashed their way up to the big evil guy, whom they then tried to flimflam (unsuccessfully), costing them the lives of Faction Mission-important NPCs.
The rogue checks for traps "looking at the bells", and rolls low. Before trying again, checking somewhere else, the barbarian shouts, "Screw it," and starts accellerated climbing down, triggers the trap, and avoids getting deafened, while half the group does not. Thanks to him, all adversaries are now alerted to their presence.
Moving around the walkway, nobody has Planes, so for all they know, a puffy cloud floats up to the barbarian and punches him in the chest. I have to explain Flyby Attack to them when they ask how it can rush by them without provoking, and when the fighter gets the bright idea to ready attacks with his bow, others do that. Except for the ranger, who had previously tied himself to the barbarian to make sure he wouldn't charge recklessly ahead. He decides to jump off the railing to shoot at the cloud as he falls. Managing to hit the thing with an arrow, the barbarian is yanked off his feet, fails a Reflex save, tips over the railing and lands on the ranger who did indeed hit the ground. Neither regretted it.
Meanwhile, the halfling spends a couple of rounds tying his rope to his grappling hook and hanging it from the railing. The cavalier, who had successfully Power Attacked the cloud with a readied action (while taking hits), decides to climb down the rope and get on the ground floor. The cloud hits him in the back while he's still on the rope, crits, and knocks him out, causing him to fall to the floor, almost dead. Another couple of arrows from the fighter, still on the walkway with his bow at the ready, and they won, but for all they know, most of them got beat up by a cloud.
Later, the halfling was admiring an image of Aroden on a stained-glass window, which peeled itself from the window and fell on him. Fortunately, low initiative and people with greatswords made short work of it, while leaving everyone extremely confused.
After a short fight with hobgoblins, the ranger drags one of them into a room, closes and bars the door, then proceeds to torture his captive for information by chopping off fingers and zapping him with the HP-on-a-stick when he passes out from pain and blood loss. The hobbo, who expected torture as a matter of course, tells the ranger that he's bad at it and that his team is disorganized, suggesting thumbscrews for both issues.
When they get to the bad guy, the ranger tries to trick him with an obvious lie and fails, so the bad guy starts to hang the NPCs they're supposed to save, with the group out of line of sight of that. When they finally get the hint and bum-rush him (running smack into the Stand Still feat), he successfully stalls them long enough for 2 NPCs to die. He even takes a crit from the enraged barbarian and keeps at it, downing the night with a lucky crit of his own. When he finally goes down, both the ranger and the barbarian chop off his fingers and head while the Venture-Captain they just rescued watches, even after telling them that he would get a quick execution.
The ranger's player accepted his Chronicle Sheet's "evil actions yellow card" with aplomb, due to all the unnecessary torture and mutilating corpses. Hopefully Part Two will have more subtle characters in it.
Also, the entire scenario almost got derailed by an argument and multiple thefts over who gets the spyglass they filched from a Society staff member they were supposed to rescue (and fortunately did).
Liberating Command, but that isn't a Sorcerer/Wizard spell.
At the very least, if you have Craft (Alchemy), it's simple to whip up a few dollops of alchemical grease, and if that brutal pugilist declares that your wizard's choice of garb means you're asking for it, you can just pour the goop all over yourself to slip from his grasp. Then your companions can mace him, or sword him or whatever.
(In a pinch, Cat's Grace can help, since increasing your Dex will bump up your CMD as well)
You could split the difference and give your character an old-fashioned-sounding name from the place that corresponds to their place of origin.
...Though I am guilty of making up an elf with a long, complex name, who just tells people to call him, "The Elf". In every session he's been in, he's been the only elf, so it's worked out so far.
The Secret of Bonewrack Island
Due to a Clarity Pyre, all record of his marriage was lost. His wife, at that same time, signed on as a cabin girl on the scout ship Infernus. Fearing other men canoodling with her, he followed her to further guard her virtue. Nobody would tell them why they were bringing a caged ghoul around the Eye of Abendego, and he was relieved to find that she spent more time with the other cabin girls than the men aboard. Once they were in the Fever Sea, they were robbed by a lewd Free Captain-in-waiting, who only decided not to capture their ship after his ex-wife convinced her not to. Unfortunately, their lack of supplies and slightly reduced crew prevented them from avoiding a storm and reef on the other side of what they named Bonewrack Isle. Then, the entries get scrawlier, mentioning that the ghoul got loose, the oppressive insects, how the grindylow ate the officers, how his wife had gone insane, the terrible sickness infecting himself, and how he would be joining her soon.
They decided to head back to the ship, make dinner, report the good news, then map out the most direct route to the stockade for the rest of the crew to recover the stuff they couldn't take with them that day. They stopped at the beach to pick up a few coconuts, but got attacked by a giant enemy crab. Peter threw one of the fancy dress suits over it, and the others beat it up and dragged it into the boat to help with dinner.
The next morning, they set out for the abandoned dock, with Maheem at the oars to ferry crew mates back and forth. Surprisingly, the dock and huts really were abandoned. After competing to see who could get through the marshes most fancily (and nearly getting eaten by big frogs), they came to the rocky outcropping, finding a few things and finishing their map of the island. They also got a better idea of the location of the wreck of the [i]Infernus[/]. On their way back to the mountainside, they ran into three desperate women in tattered clothing, but remembered the journal and the insects. Mia checked the locket, and even Peter was ready with the chalice he'd brought with him (assuming the talking zombies to be vulnerable to silver). Nobody worried about the specifics of ghoul fever, but thankfully, despite a few violent, toothy kisses and scratchings, nobody actually contracted it. After a thorough looting of their home base, the crew continued on, and spent the whole day bringing stuff back to the ship while Spooky Miss brewed up some healing draughts. For certain now, they'd rescue their shipmates the next morning.
If high levels are your preference, it would most likely take a long time in PFS to get anyone up that far. A lot of PFS involves going from one part of Golarion to another each week, making the most out of your lower-level stuff, meeting new team-mates with every new mission, and threatening to give NPCs bad reviews in the Pathfinder's Guide to Golarion if they don't let you through.
"After ten thousand years, I'm free! It's time to conquer Golarion!"
..."Shiela! Krune has escaped! Recruit a team of Pathfinders with attitude!"
Seriously, this makes me wish my local game store had more high-level people in it; my highest-tiered PFS character is level 9, and I haven't played as her in over a year. ...But all those new players need help and keep talking over each other!
Hm, it seems like the most basic thing to agree upon is that healing, like most actions in a fight, is situational. Thanks to spontaneous healing, it's a good idea to prepare spells based on what you guess or expect to have to deal with, and if it turns out that one of your spells won't be as useful as you thought and someone got injured, you're perfectly fine with using it to heal instead.
Though nobody wants to hear, from the person whose life they just saved, "No, you fool, why'd you do such a stupid thing?", sometimes, healing can be a bad decision, such as CLW on someone who went to -5, and still has a few baddies around him.
Normally, the best idea over mitigating damage or healing it depends on the players and characters getting to know each other and forming plans. Knowing the GM's patience for table talk can help too, in a meta sense.
I read about your second character, Netopalis. My detective noir guy is a half-elf Detective-Bard; he has ranks in Oration to justify his self-narrations, except for when he lapses into haiku or limericks.
But yeah, in regards to your original post, I wish there would be a PFS kobold boon, especially with Kobolds of Golarion out. There's even a tribe of kobolds who live in the sewers beneath Absalom, and a PFS scenario dealing with them. It's the perfect back story hook!
Though it is a lot fun to play as someone rare, especially if it can surprise people or even have other characters respond with, "Wait, you're a what?" there's more to creativity than just making a character who's an X. It's similar to refusing to play as a barbarian because you've always played as a wizard. Sure, your guy could introduce himself with, "I'm a vashkanya!" but you could also try, "I'm a naturalist who spent the past few years wandering through the River Kingdoms, ever since I left the City of Strangers when I learned that cult activity just wasn't for me." What you've done and what you're doing provides much more texture than just having yellow eyes and toxic snot, though those can add an intrigue of their own.
At the very least, if most of your characters have been of unusual heritage, you could always try to do something different for a change, and be a regular human being ;)
I have a story, though it rambles, and monk effectiveness comes in at the end.
I had joined in a Jade Regent campaign; due to playing a lot of Dwarf Fortress at the time, the character I made up was Russian-style Marksdwarf, with the crossbow archetype for the fighter. While the
halfling WoP Socrerer:went from damaging to buffing to brainwashing, the elven alchemist who'd dipped into fighter kept forgetting that he could throw bombs and the tiefling witch kept closing into hand-to-hand combat and getting things stuck all over her (and nobody with a Liberating Command), my marksdwarf kept consistantly doing the most damage out of anyone. Enemy spellcasters could rarely get anything done while in his line of sight, due to (and I quote from the GM herself) "his super-deadly readied attacks". Even on the occassions where someone tried to close with him, his AC was such that he could intentionally provoke AoOs and avoid them, or even take the hits. He even took Master Craftsdwarf to pick up Craft Magic Arms to build intricately-decorated weapons for everyone, the names of which nobody liked.
Secret cultist of Azathoth...
Much later on, when he was level 11 and we were in the Adventue Path's obligatory super dungeon crawl, he suddenly found himself largely ineffective: despite his readied attacks resolving at flat-footed AC, most of his targets, all of whom were aware of his attacks, were monks with Deflect Arrows. He even had to spend a feat to branch out into melee weapons.
(At level 13, I might just give him Skill Focus (Cook), and he'd still be the most effective ranged combatant in the group. He'd still have to tangle with enemy monks up-close, though)
Hmm, after reading it over, no, it doesn't.
But yikes. This one seemed much less goofy and much more... horrific instead. Still, as much as I like Poog and Mogmurch, I'd atually rather try this with a group of non-pre-gen goblins. I know someone who wants one of those goblin barbarians from the Advanced Race Guide who bites everything, and it'd be the perfect excuse to make up Goesh of the Norgorber Corps, Goblin Wizard.
All I've ever had are pencils, pens, and pencil crayons. I actually started trying to draw so that I could illustrate my characters. My proportions need work, and I still have difficulty with eyes, but I can do a decent portrayal of what I've thought up.
Take a look at Thalanerus, my PFS elven political historian (Evoker, not Magus).
As soon as I got the idea, I realized that I should never use it. Not because I hate the class, or because it'd be feat-intensive, but because nobody would like this guy:
An evil Diviner: the self-proclaimed Runelord of the Eighth Sin.
...The sin of impertinence!
That'd be the type of wizard who'd go around reading people's minds to look for anything that could be used for gossip or blackmail, who'd scry on you while you're on the privy, who'd set up insulting Magic Mouths, and when you've finally had enough of him and want to give him a much-deserved beating, he's always given himself protection from whatever energy you try to throw at him, or has a Contingency ready.
Recently, I've thought of another goblin song I've been meaning to try out:
Cut their manes off, pull their tails!
See a longshanks with a horse?
Though the Gorge of Gluttons probably won't make a return in this module, and I won't mind if its use doesn't even come up.
I would be letting them choose which they'd want to do mainly, and even do both if they wanted to.