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Completely agree with GreenTea on the men can't have long hair and be professional thing. I am a professional, I work where I need a shirt and tie and what not, and I have long hair. Not as long as it was the first go round when I have long hair in college, but now at 35 I have the super elflord widows peak going on, so there is that.
I suspect it matters on what industry you're in and how older views on male hair length are entrenched by those generations. After a decade in biotech doing research, I've never had my long hair become an issue other than needing to wear it tied up and in a hair net like any women with long hair in the lab. Never raised in any interviews, and the only time it become a topic was the last time I had a keratin treatment and one coworker saw me from behind and starting to introduce himself because, in his words, "Damn! I thought we had a new girl starting today!"
I also don't have any hair loss whatsoever, so it looks good and healthy.
My non-canon take on this is that while the Shadow Plane was created by the scaeduinar in an attempt at emulating the grand creation of the Positive Energy Plane (life? souls? the Material plane itself?), either their own nature or -if you believe the raptors of the void- the jyoti's theft of their creative capacity ended up making their attempt at creation nothing more than warped, twisted mockery of the Material Plane, touched by negative energy, but still fashioned from and its natives tethered to positive energy.
Just imagine the sort of apoplectic rage that would instill in the sceaduinar towards everything created by or linked in any capacity to the Positive Energy Plane (including undead).
They basically paint your hair with purified keratin, small amounts of hair at a time, allow it to dry, and then flat-iron it at super high temperature to bind it to the hair. The only drawback is that you can't wash your hair (or even really get it damp) or tie it back for 4-5 days afterwards. I'm on day 2 and my scalp itches. This is going to be hell, but it'll be worth it.
Long hair. My spouse prefers I keep it long, and I just had a Brazilian blowout on it the other day. So it's currently amazingly straight, shiny, and tangle-free (and will be for at least the next three months).
I prefer my spouse have long hair as well, but that's their decision. Thankfully they seem to like it long as well. :)
I don't treat it as anything different than heterosexuality in the setting. Two NPCs happen to be in a relationship, it probably will be briefly mentioned in passing if it isn't important to the plot, or explored if it is. If they happen to be hetero, no big deal. If they happen to be anything otherwise, likewise no big deal.
One of the major friendly NPCs in my current campaign, the half-faerie dragon arcanist Astridalazindrianoxamilla is either bi or lesbian, but this didn't become relevant to the PCs until they accidentally got hired to abduct and deliver another NPC, Il'setsya Wyrmtouched to a third party they were being a giant pain in the backside to. Il'setsya, who they were hired to abduct, ended up being the girlfriend of Astrid, friendly NPC the PCs already knew.
Il'setsya is also trans, but this hasn't come up in game, and likely won't. One of the players ended up figuring that out just by way of the NPCs comments and a bit of her backstory, but it's not something I've focused on.
Gender and sexuality are elements of NPCs backstory, motivation, and personality, but unless they become highly relevant, it's not anything that needs to be emphasized as unique, special, or different regardless of their being hetero/homo/cis/trans/etc.
I think Todd Stewart also just had a book published through Purple Duck Games detailing a pantheon of Protean Lords. Obviously not strictly speaking Canon for Paizo, but could probably be used as a substitute pending the release of more info.
Obviously nothing I say about proteans is canonical unless it's published in something by Paizo. But I like proteans. I like them a lot. More than a few folks at Paizo probably would label me obsessed with them.
Writing BotD3 seems to have mollified my daemon obsession, so for the moment I'm largely focused on proteans as my planar race of current fascination, and it's reflected to an extent in my 3PP work in the past year and a half.
There's also 'Chaos Magic of the Proteans' that I wrote for Kobold Quarterly #10. It's a 3.5 product, and third party, but Paizo looked over it before it went to print as it involves Golarion content. I'm not actually certain how it stands from the perspective of canonicity, though some ideas therein on protean pre-history have appeared elsewhere (proteans or corrupted proteans creating the Abyss or discovering it already preexistent and then creating a doorway they couldn't close). The content hasn't been overwritten at the very least. It talks about what they did and what cabals might have been involved (Chorus of Razored Discord, Chorus of Malignant Symmetry, etc)
I've also sprinkled protean references in various places (and the Maelstrom city of Galisemni has been name dropped a few times by me and others).
Zolo of Hungry Shapes (potentially a protean lord) was mentioned in 'Artifacts and Legends' by Wesley Schneider, and James Sutter put a protean and some of the first protean speech into one of the chapter openers in the Gamemastery Guide (it's exceptionally cool).
Tons of little minor references all over (that I watch for like a hawk).
Since we've now had a successful penile transplant, I wonder if there will be transwomen donating theirs to transmen. I think this opens up a new era in (re)constructive surgery.
While we've performed penile and uterine/vaginal transplants, so far they've only (to my knowledge) been performed on cisgender persons. This is key, because the human brain maps out afferent and efferent nervous connections to and from body parts in a rather specific manner. For transplants in which you didn't develop in-utero with those particular parts, the mapping is going to be different and that may cause issues in how the brain interprets information from the new organs and how it attempts to respond.
We genuinely have no idea at this point what would happen with regards to integration of exogenous transplanted genitals and reproductive organs. Is the brain adaptable enough to over time accommodate? I don't know. There's also a question regarding how a transgender person's brain responds to sexual stimuli (the process of sexual stimulation and climax in the brain is different between cis males and females, and to my knowledge no study has looked to see if this is different for transgender persons).
That said, this topic is $%^&^$& fascinating and the technology is awesome. Hopefully we won't see people in the "it isn't natural" camp or the "it's playing God" camp disrupt its progress. Science is awesome.
I suspect that we're going to be seeing less use of transplants from donors than we'll see custom grown organs simply to avoid immune rejection issues for the new tissue.
I've done work in regenerative medicine/lab grown replacement organs and tissues (livers in my case).
You need to keep in mind just how mingboggingly expensive clinical trials are, especially when you consider the rate at which drugs -don't- make it through the trials to market and you end up taking all of those expenses for a loss. Plus the years of preclinical development work with candidate compounds even before you can consider years of clinical trials. You're not just having to charge on drugs to recoup your direct investment on that drug, but also on all of the other potential drugs that never made it to market.
Then once you manage to get a minute fraction of drugs to market, assuming that they compete against other drugs out there for the same target, you only have the duration window of the patent to recoup costs and make a profit to drive future drug development.
I know it's easy to blame high drug costs on the boogieman of evil corporate big pharma yearning for profits over people *insert scare quotes*, but it's a naive view at best. I've been in preclinical cell therapy and drug development for a decade.
A -lot- of us don't think that we're good enough. Writers are a terribly self-critical bunch.
I still get a goofy grin every time I get something published, because part of my brain is astounded and humbled while another part of my brain does its best to guilt me because I'm not good enough, and the rational part of my brain knows that I worked hard and earned what I earned because of that work.
There are a lot more things that you could do that would end up getting you disqualified or less qualified. Worrying about your work isn't really one of them IMO. Hitting deadlines, hitting word count*, and being easy to work with and accepting of editing and critiques of your turnovers is more important.
*or at least learning to never ever ever ever flub that one again ;)
Not as much interest in (my personal favorite) Elysium?
I can't put "everything" when it comes to trying to give some favorites. Elysium is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I've always found the upper planes to not be as much fun to write about, at least compared to the lower planes (which I utterly adore). Mind you, I had a lot of fun writing the original description of Elysium, and I'd love to see certain elements therein to be explored more in depth, but I'd pick something evil or much more obscure and exotic first (though Pathfinder folding the lillend into the azatas formally was awesome, and I've come to really like them).
Plus, as a giant Planescape nerd, I still have to think about which plane I'm talking about when I use Elysium (is it Pathfinder CG Elysium, or NG Nirvana that was NG Elysium in Planescape?). XD
xavier c wrote:
What want to work on the most from paizo or what do you want to write about the most in pathfinder?
Anything involving the planes (with a preference for anything having to deal with the Maelstrom, Abaddon, Demiplanes, Axis, Nirvana, the Abyss, Shadow, Positive and Negative).
Exploring places off the standard map would also be really cool, such as more stuff in Casmaron, Iblydos, Sarusan, Arcadia, southern Garund, etc.
xavier c wrote:
What is the most recent things you have worked on from paizo?
I can't actually talk about the most recent thing(s) that I've worked on for Paizo, because they haven't come out yet and/or haven't had author names attached to them. :)
Previous to that, my most recent work was for 'Undead Unleashed', where I did three of the chapters therein.
It's been a fairly slow freelancing year for me.
I haven't read the whole story, but how did someone illegally in the country get into the White House to heckle the President in the first place?
How intense is the submission pool for this year's Pathfinder Chronicler?
At the moment not very heavy. Typically we don't have a ton of submissions until literally the last few days, and then it explodes at the deadline. People want to keep picking at and revising things right up until the deadline, wanting to make their work the best that they can. :)
I say this having sat on a submission to Wayfinder for nearly a month, with the intent to finally do final revisions on it this weekend and submit it. :)
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Kindly elaborate on how you would see the relationships between the unique daemons would work out between them the Four Horsemen.
The politics would be absolutely byzantine, and the 'loths would end up dominating the daemons like favored pets, leashed with a dangling carrot of a steady stream of mortal souls keeping them in line. IMO. The daemons are slaves to their own hunger, hatred for mortals, and perhaps the gnawing knowledge that they themselves come from mortal souls.
Perhaps the Four would realize the actual state of affairs? Perhaps Apollyon wouldn't care as long as the 'loths helped him sow disease. Perhaps Szuriel would only laugh with glee at the steady march of damned souls to her gates. Perhaps Trelmarixian's madness would leave him blind to how his arcanaloth keepers guided his research and actions. But perhaps Charon would fully understand the state of things when he gazed at the undying corpse of the chained and mutilated Oinodaemon and recognized the dozens of blades still piercing the vital points as knives of Gehennan obsidian driven there by the 'loths who smiled their jackal's smiles, made fawning obeisance, and promised Charon and his kindred power and independence, only to become their new masters.
Now I want to run a game with that premise. :D
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Hi Todd, I have posted before, I have been a longtime fan (Shemeshka lives!), some on your work back in the day with the baernaloths were downright spooky.
Thank you so much! I should be posting another update of that storyhour within the next week, and I'm working on another story in the baernaloth sequence as well. :)
Will you please have a drink with me, Erik,
I would be honored and I'd absolutely love to, however I'm having to cancel my attendance at GenCon this year at the last moment due to a death in the close family. I have every intention of being back next year (and possibly for PaizoCon), so hold that offer for me till then if you would. :)
In my own two long-running Planescape campaigns I never did much with the archons of Mount Celestia. I was solidly fascinated with the lower planes, and when I did venture into the upper planes, I largely focused on Elysium as a bright mirror of the Waste. I never worked with any specific members of the Celestial Hebdomad.
Did you transplant these unique Archons into Pathfinder?
I named a number of unique archons in 'The Great Beyond', but the full structure of the hierarchy wasn't fully defined at that point, nor had the term empyreal lord been coined either. That developed over time bit by bit, and most recently had a lot of really awesome stuff written in 'The Chronicle of the Righteous' (including more details on some of those names I mentioned in TGB, some from Bestiary 1, and many cool new ones).
Make a separate layer of Abaddon to house the 'loths, or a distinct and also NE plane for them, or place both 'loths and daemons into Abaddon in a two-tiered system of native fiends ('loths being distinctly -not- derived directly from mortal souls, and daemons the exact opposite). For the last option, they wouldn't come into conflict necessary because they have very different goals and the daemons' antipathy of all things mortal would absolve the 'loths of that hatred. It might be difficult to handle that much material and backstory into a cohesive whole, and tricky to utilize in-game, but it's doable.
While canonical Pathfinder doesn't strictly have the sort of NE creator ur-fiends that the baernaloths represented in Planescape/D&D, I've certainly hinted at the possibility in my home Pathfinder game (with the creature known as Tegresin the Laughing Fiend [from TGB and 'Classic Treasures Revisited' being very heavily hinted at being an imprisoned baernaloth essentially shipwrecked and stranded in Golarion's reality, and responsible for manipulating events and persons through history simply to watch the suffering that commenced).
The level of deep history that Planescape's baernaloths introduced and fostered is something I personally adore (whether it be the early history of Abaddon and what sort of things the Oinodaemon had to do as a mortal to be so horrific as to die and become what they became, or the prehistory of the proteans, things like that, etc)
Toxic entitlement on their part.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
It's also possible I suppose that the population being looked at is skewed, with more intelligent criminals being much more likely to avoid being caught for their crimes than a less intelligent criminal. I suspect that a lot of higher IQ sociopaths either don't get caught or choose not to kill if they have that compulsion because of the risk/benefit ratio being unfavorable.
But yeah, there's a thing for glamorizing intelligent, dangerous serial killers in fiction which doesn't really reflect the population in prison for those crimes.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
First written about in 'The Great Beyond', which is also where most of the information about it can be found.
I'll stop hijacking Thurston's thread now :)
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Shadow Absalom: Another object of my affection, is trying to expand on what exactly is going on in Shadow Absalom (the Plane of Shadow version of Absalom). I defer to Todd Stewart a lot on this city, since he was the original creator, but I've recently come to do a lot with it. As James Jacobs has pointed out, it's not a location he's too pleased with, so I'd sorely like to make it something usable and cool.
It's a lovely little city IMO. I too would love to see more done to flesh it out, present it as a location rich in its own history, politics, and flush with intrigue for PCs to meddle in.
xavier c wrote:
Lady Taramyth is essentially a vulpinal risen to Empyreal Lord status. Super keen on evocation magic, and with a demiplane of her own creation. Not a ton of information on her.
Kelumarion is a leonal risen to Empyreal Lord status, with some echoes of the 'King in the Mountain' motif, but implied to be more of a protector of the sleeping heroes waiting in the hinterlands of Nirvana for the time of their greatest need.
Melek Taus is a difficult one to answer, because her status as alive/dead/fallen/imprisoned is right up in the air as an open question. She's one of the archon Empyreal Lords who oversee the various layers of Heaven, and for as long as anyone can remember, she's been missing and her throne vacant (the plane hasn't seen fit to replace her, thus implying that she isn't simply dead, and thus her throne is waiting for her triumphant return or her redemption, whichever the case might be). Some find a parallel in her name 'The Peacock Angel' with the Thassilonian 'Peacock Spirit', but it's only speculation, and the alignment seems very, very off (though if she's fallen, that would settle that). The material I wrote on that conflation of the two is very much just rumors and legends, and might be completely off base as more about the Peacock Spirit is written. Melek Taus -whatever her fate- is no longer in possession of her original sword, which is now utterly corrupted and held like a badge of station by Szuriel the Horseman of War (and has been held by prior holders of her position who renamed the sword 'Lamentation of the Faithless').
xavier c wrote:
1) No, unless you're actively trying to do something they disapprove of. Even then their response might be seen as one of the following: stern, serious, parental, reproachful, or full of righteous fury all depending on what you are, what you're doing, and who you're doing it to.
2) Not necessarily, no.
3) In no particular order:
1) Probably not immediately, because I haven't yet gotten a PS4. I figure I'll get one eventually (even if only just to play Disgaea 5), but I'll probably wait for the price to drop a bit more.
2) Probably the first one (which is the only one I actually finished).
3) Never heard of them.
4) Never seen any of those.
5) NES: Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy; SNES: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past; Sega Genesis: I don't actually own any of the Sega platforms
Disgaea. Disgaea 2. Disgaea 3. Disgaea 4. Disgaea D2. All of them are awesome.
I've played only the original Final Fantasy for the NES.
I've played Breath of Fire 1-3.
1) Yes, it was amusing to no end.
2) No, completely unfamiliar with it.
3) Seen neither.
4) I'm generally dubious on movies made for seemingly no reason other than they're a commercial property owned by a large company (see Battleship. Pirates of the Caribbean being one that broke this rule by being actually good).
5) Currently playing Pillars of Eternity. Have Torment: Numenera on preorder. Finished Dragon Age: Inquisition earlier this year (have yet to play the expansion). Waiting for Starcraft 2's next expansion. Waiting for Mass Effect 4. PS: Torment is the greatest game of all time.
1) Yes. Don't judge me!
2) Never heard of it.
3) 'Human Centipede 3' last week, and 'Mad Max: Fury Road' the week prior.
4) Stock response: until a given product is announced -and additionally author or authors announced- I can't speak about it. This is neither an admission or working on anything or a denial of working on anything. :)
As always, if you'd like to see me do more stuff for Paizo, politely whisper in their ears or inboxes that you'd like to see more stuff by me. Sending them pizza or booze with your requests might also help! :D
The last thing that I worked on that I can talk about was several sections in 'Undead Unleashed'.
5) 1 - tiefling. 2 - aasimar. 3 - goblin. 4 - fetchling. 5 - sylph. 6 - undine. 7 - human. 8 - ifrit. 9 - oread. 10 - half-elf
6) All of them. Frozen was amusing. Big Hero 6 was remarkably good and something of a tear-jerker. The two EQG movies were most or less longer versions of normal episodes of the show, but the show is better IMO.
Looking at the outline:
1) You're braver than I am by starting out at such high of a level. I much prefer to start people at low to middling level (4-8 typically) just to allow for some lower level adventuring and the concomitant character development that the time spent allows before throwing the PCs into the full grander scale elements of a campaign. I've got no experience with mythic PCs (as opposed to antagonist NPCs or monsters) in actual play, so I can't help out much there.
2) Normally, something from the elemental planes of the Inner Sphere affecting things in the Outer Sphere would be a bit rough IMO, just given the seriously vast intervening distance through the Astral between the surface of the Outer Sphere and the Inner Sphere. But the use of artificially established portals (tears in the fabric of space in this instance) is nice.
3) Are the praying proteans attempting to stop or accelerate the activity of those portals? Having multiple -and not necessarily actively aiding each other- groups of proteans might be nice to see, given the very much non-monolithic protean chorus structure.
4) Don't make the Maelstrom just seem like a wilderness with random encounter rolls. Give a region a theme and adjust that over time to show it shifting either slowly or not so slowly, and influenced by whatever other planes are nearby (if in the Maelstrom shallows) or have it be completely crazy. In the words of your friendly-just-happening-to-wander-by-imentesh, "The Cerulean Void is everything/nothing is constant except for the expectation of inconsistency and oh even not never ever that little mortals. Dance on the cusp of shooting stars a pleasant view of crumbling realities melding/merging/digesting/dyinglivingdyinglivingagain... but this has nothing to do with why you're here hearing my laughing thoughts/poetry in your brains such hissing lovely words on fleshy cerebrums a consistency of pudding... so sorry to ramble cannot help myself/You asked directions?"
xavier c wrote:
This is more a James or Wes question, and to be honest I haven't worked much with any of those three both in published content or in my own home campaign (writing up Erum-Hel with his/its connection to Iomedae is the closest I've come).
I suspect they interact with one another like adults in a room full of people they feel aren't as mature (Erastil and Torag) or haven't sucked it up amid all that life throws at you and pulled themselves up and become the adult they need to be (Iomedae).
xavier c wrote:
Archons and Devils interact with polite, cool distance. They agree on Law but not on their uses of it. A very good exploration of this can be found in James Sutter's novel 'The Redemption Engine'.
Axiomites are the creators and masters of the inevitables, though it isn't always so clear cut of a servile situation. In my own campaigns I have multiple additional types of axiomite and more structure in their society than has been explored in Pathfinder - with the higher ranking axiomites becoming more and more alien in nature, more divorced from their original status as exalted LN petitioners closely sticking to their original mortal forms.
Axiomites will happily work with both Archons and Devils and/or use them as tools.
Shared goals -and more often than not, shared enemies- are what binds the various lawful outsiders into a cool, sometimes uneasy, but always polite if possible fellowship of sorts. They don't always trust each other, not at all, but they aren't demons (or proteans or azata).
They're much happier bedfellows than the LG/LN/LE split. Archons and Azata tend to view each other as stupid, wayward, embarrassing family members, but still as family members with their hearts usually but not always in the right place. Everyone tends to get along with agathions. Angels are a different, more complicated matter, since they're not exclusively one alignment, and they often act as servitors of specific gods.
You won't see any of the celestials going to war with each other. Not at the current moment in the cosmos anyways. But the Law/Chaos divide is still there, and to be sure, you've got devils whispering in archons' ears and proteans whispering to azata (and everyone else).
Daemons will work with anyone so long as it furthers their own goals of the eventual obliteration of all mortal life.
Demons don't really get along with anyone, including themselves. The daemons probably at times regret creating them (but then go right back to experimenting with souls regardless of the potential to screw themselves over in that same way once again).
Devils are deal makers and they'll try to use everyone else to their own advantage. Clearly they won't trust daemons (but they're well aware of the daemons' overriding obsession that can be used as leverage), they despise demons utterly, and they probably harbor resentment towards kytons (but will work with them towards shared goals).
Kytons are a different beast in a way, because while they may have originated in the Hells, they're now native to the Shadow Plane and as a result, don't have as much interaction with the other fiends. Kytons and daemons probably get along the least, because if daemons win and extinguish mortal life, kytons would not longer have vessels to torture towards whatever bladed gnosis they want to push everything towards (including themselves).
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
Twin studies don't necessarily imply that the twins in question shared the exact uterine environment, potentially skewing the data. Do they share the same amniotic environment? Do they share the same placenta? I'd need to review the literature to see if a lot of the early twin studies even took this variable into account. Nor are even identical twins absolutely similar before potentially different uterine environment is taken into effect.
I think the idea that social influence is everything is a strawman, a position nobody seriously put forth, and I don't think any scientist would ever suggest that. What I did say is that the environment (not solely culture or society, but also more concrete things like...
I've seen the idea rather prevalent in some areas of the social sciences, with an outright hostility to the idea of biological influence on higher behavior (in whatever fraction that might be in whichever situation).
As for telling people things or trying to invalidate their own personal experiences. That's not my intent in any way. But as a scientist I have to allow empirical evidence to shape ideology, rather than ideology to shape evidence. If peoples' personal experiences differ from what we've measured and theorized, it suggests that perhaps we should look deeper or at a different angle. Sometimes it's the opposite, but it's still early in this area. My opinions will change if I see studies that suggest otherwise.
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
As a cell biologist, let me be clear about what I meant. I don't think we actually disagree much at all.
I'm not advocating any sort of hard, absolute determinism or anything at all clear cut as you have gene X thus you will be Y complex trait. Nothing is that simple. But a lot of complex human behaviors have significant biological components (and in the case of sexuality seem to be entirely biological and immutable past a certain point of development). But the expanding exploration of epigenetics, genetic plasticity, neurological development in utero with myriad influences on the uterine environment and the interplay therein between maternal and fetal genes and their expression, etc has put a nail in the heart of any notion of social influence is everything, much to the chagrin of Lysenko's ghost and his corporeal ideological fellow travelers.
That being said, from my own reading of the literature, I'm largely convinced that both sexuality and internal gender identity are biological in nature and immutable. I haven't seen much empirical evidence pointing to any social influence thereof. What exact biological effects in combination are responsible, in what way, at what point in development... that's still very much up in the air with lots of competing ideas. I look forward to seeing how the field advances as time goes on.
As for the discussion of demisexuality. I'm not personally convinced at this point in time that it exists as a distinct sexuality with empirical measurement to differentiate it from hetero/homo/bi/a.
There has been a proliferation of boutique sexualities in the past few years online. I'm not convinced that they necessarily exist in the sense that I would measure them by as a scientist. For the people applying it to themselves it may work for them, and it may be positive for them to define themselves accordingly. But I suspect it's just social terms placed on top of the underlying biologically defined sexuality in question.
Of course published, peer reviewed work on the topic can absolutely change my mind. That's how science works. At the moment however, a keyword search for demisexual or demisexuality on Pubmed for instance returns no hits.
Shadow Knight 12 wrote:
We don't have to believe in some things for them to be true regardless.
It depends on your definition of biological determinism I suppose. A lot of the work in the past ten years has been finding with no wiggle room to say otherwise a whole host of hardwired higher behaviors that are influenced or entirely determined by biological factors. A lot of things are more complex with a lot more variables, but for instance gender-identity, sexuality, and even certain things like phantom limb, certain body dysmorphias, and former paraphelias like foot fetishism have very distinct biological markers that exist regardless and outside of any social influence.
I'm not Mark, but I can, just like an erodaemon, pretend to be him and give you the answers that you want to hear, only to have him then provide different answers potentially and cause delicious, delicious misery! Mwahahaha!
*dances like an erodaemon, complete with wriggling, Wisdom draining snake-headed tail*
Yes, the extra channeling damage from the sun domain applies to haunts.
And you're welcome for the extra time during the Con!
xavier c wrote:
1) Populations, yes. Civilizations, no. I see long-term habitation on any of the outer planes not necessarily being good for a mortal. Be it horrific of beatific, exposure to those environments before you're ready for them will radically alter your outlook on things afterwards. I suspect that to an extent, the planes themselves may alter their own appearance to better accommodate mortals; altering their perceptions and experiences and modulating the intensity of what they experience compared to an outsider.
You see some very clear signs of this in James Sutter's excellent novel 'The Redemption Engine'.
2) Warily I suspect, with those mortals simply not being capable of accessing much of the plane since they're not considered ready for it. Every interaction won't be by chance, and ideally they'll all function to mold and influence that mortal's moral/ethical/alignment towards Heaven's goals (though ultimately it being a case of free will on the mortal's part).
3) A good amount, but I'm not the expert here. Between when I wrote 'The Great Beyond' and when 'Chronicle of the Righteous' came out, the concept of some of the good outsider races evolved and many new Empyreal lords came onto the scene (the name didn't yet exist when I wrote TGB). Some of the celestial paragons I came up with didn't feature in CotR at all (Melek Taus, most of the agathion specific ones, etc), while others were greatly expanded, and some really awesome new ones were created. That's how shared world writing works :)
I've never been super fascinated by celestials though, unless you're talking about celestials that used to be fiends or fiends that used to be celestials. I like edge cases. Most of my adoration for planar creatures resides with proteans, daemons, and axiomites (and jyoti and sceaduinar). Those are my favorites. Of course I'd never say no to writing on any sort of planar concept. But celestials are a weaker point in my repertoire.
Lord Gadigan wrote:
Any obedience for Yrsinius would really depend on what his current status is. Dead? Alive? Alive but manipulated by the Chorus of Malignant Symmetry?
When Yrsinius was Horseman of Pestilence, I would say that some act of corruption or contamination. Placing a rotting piece of flesh into a water supply or bleeding yourself into a well or spring, or releasing a plague vector into a plague-free place (mosquitoes, rats, etc) including if you yourself carry some disease and simply move from place to place, wandering and sowing disease.
The Speakers of the Depths embody the myriad interpretations of absolute Chaos, both its creative and destructive aspects at once. The fact that the innumerable and potentially infinite keketar choruses each have their own unique manifestation of the Speakers' will as their own ethos (at least until it changes at random), means that there really isn't a single obedience for them. It's best then tailored to the individual and what aspect of Chaos they promote, or for mortal servitors, which protean chorus they revere as intermediaries, with that particular keketar cabal serving as saints to the Speakers' godhead.
The Godmind I would say it would vary in one of three ways, corresponding to the three axiomite factions who collectively merge to become/form the Godmind. Either writing down and solving a mathematical proof (it doesn't need to be one you haven't solved before mind you, just a display of that logic), building or repairing something tangible, or overcoming a thing of chaos (multiple interpretations of what that means of course).
Kytons are cool. Buy I've done virtually nothing with them outside of some very early descriptions of Zon-Kuthon's domain and their residency in the Shadow Plane. Wes Schneider is absolutely the person to ask about them :)
Yeah, I contributed to the Dragon Empires Gazetteer. I wrote the sections on Kwanlai and Zi Ha, and a number of the non-human racial writeups.