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Todd Stewart's page

Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,983 posts (2,125 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Major_Blackhart wrote:

Ahh yeah. Not a bad look either, pretty nuts.

Interesting tho that the Urdefhan are referred to as vampiric, when I don't really see too much evidence either way of them specifically drinking blood or souls.

They're referred to as vampiric partially as an easter egg for myself.

In my homebrew, the urdefhans were also known as "Orvian vampires." They were, essentially, undead creatures (vampires) who underwent a vile ritual that actually resurrected them... but at the same time let them keep all their vampiric powers. In a way, they were essentially a high-powered race of dhampirs. They could have children and had to feed (on blood), but were immortal and only died via violence or accident. They had a toxic touch that injected paralytic venom with their claws, and drained blood with their bites.

When I transposed them to Golarion in "Into the Darklands," I made them into native outsiders and refocused them mostly away from undead and demons to daemons, but retained a lot of their death and undeath powers and themes. They still drink blood, and they're still healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy, so while they're not actually undead or vampires... they're pretty close.

(And yes, they actually do drink blood—check out their special attacks!)

That's... really really cool. :D

Also this is one of the reasons why Paizo is awesome. Because the Creative Director will show up on the forum and post behind the scenes details about what inspired material that showed up in the game.

I really wish that I could have played in that home campaign of yours James. I also wish that I lived in Washington so I could run for some of you folks (yes, I made my home group cry out of character, I need to spread that kind of DM love around). ;)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Doomkitten wrote:


Like I said, I'm about 75% sure I'm some sort of trans, and I would like to either confirm that yes, I'm trans, or no, I'm not, at the very least. But, every time I gather enough courage to try to at least write a speech, I get scared and walk away.

It isn't always easy to come to firm grips with that sort of self-realization either one way or the other. I know that I struggled with it for a long time and completely suppressed it for many years.

Not everyone has the same experience here with this. For some people it's easy to answer that question, for others, not so much. I'm not sure if I would have been able to eventually come to terms with my own self-identity if not for my partner talking it out with me and making me realize what I'd been suppressing for so long out of social norms being what they are.

Learn about things, listen to other folks and talk to them and piece it out for yourself. The self-discovery is worthwhile, regardless of the answer that you ultimately give for yourself. Many folks have been down this road before, and know that you're not alone in that. :)

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Major_Blackhart wrote:


James, you gotta tell us, what sort of magical nastiness can we expect from these guys? Also, I noticed we've seen only the males so far. Or at least I think they're the males. Any females or are they all just sequestered away, focused on making kids?

IIRC, there's a female urdefhan illustrated in one of the last sections of Book of the Damned 3, where it briefly discusses urdefhans and other creations of the 4 Horsemen.

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Welcome to Paizo, Joe. Maybe you have in the past 9 months, or will at some point in the future be subjected some something of mine to edit. ;)

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James Jacobs wrote:

Nope; not Todd's.

The urdefhans and Doga-Delloth are 100% from me. From my homebrew campaign, in fact. A significant portion of the Darklands, in fact, are from that source.

In my homebrew, the urdefhans are one of the primary bad guy factions/races/nations. Been building up their mythology for decades, in fact, so there's only a portion of what I've done for them in print so far. I do have plans to expand on them at some point in the future when the time is right.

They're not any more technologically advanced than the drow, though, or any other similar group. They have VERY powerful magic, particularly as a result of their close associations with daemons and Abaddon. (In my homebrew, they were actually more tied in to demons and the ancient wizards of the Imperium, who got translated into Thassilon and the runelords for Golarion).

And they're awesome. :D

So awesome that I've referenced them in at least two products that I worked on. :)

Now I'm going to go feel really cool because someone thought that I came up with one of your concepts.

Contributor

So here's the thing. I have a story idea for a fiction piece, but can I finish it prior to Dec 31st? Not sure.

I just had shoulder surgery, so typing is awkward and one handed for the present moment, and once I'm able, I've got paid stuff that needs to be finished. We shall see. :)

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Jonathon Vining wrote:


Also, I'm pretty sure there's something else if you can get to the other side of the Abyss.

There's that allusion as well - that what we know of as the Abyss is potentially just a tangent zone to another reality that's even worse than the Abyss. The Abyss and the Maelstrom are both the only truly infinite of the Outer Sphere planes.

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I have very long hair. In fact I have the longest hair at my company. I don't think that having long (well kept) hair has been an issue at interviews, but I do suspect that it -would- be an issue if I didn't have the resume and prior work experience and publications that I have.

Having long hair, piercings, tattoos I suspect is less of an issue once you're already -in- a professional field, but I don't doubt for a second that for entry level jobs yes, it would impact things negatively.

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Common cosmology yes. Pharasma judges all souls.

Of course there are suggestions that the infinite depths of the Maelstrom touch upon other realities altogether (with the other planes of the Great Beyond being just one local island of stability, one bubble of foam, one shallow point in the Cerulean Void).

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I would expect a majority decision in favor of equality for gay marriage. Probably 7-2 given the court membership at the moment.

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Congrats! Welcome to the club! :D

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mostly R, with very rare dips into NC-17 (as plot justified, not for the hell of it just to be explicit).

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3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:


At the end of the day, the production team hires the people who seem most able to do the job well and work effectively in our work environment, and when a new developer gets hired, it will be based on their skills and their fit for the team, not their gender or their opinions. There are things the team is doing to try to ensure that the process is as fair and unbiased as possible, and several of us are out there encouraging women and candidates from other underrepresented groups to apply. I'd love to see a strong pool of female candidates as well as male ones.

We'll continue to attack the problem from both ends -- both in doing the above and in inviting more women into the RPG space in the first place by continuing to do our best to make playing, GMing, and making Pathfinder welcoming to everyone.

Couldn't have been said better.

I've seen a much more diverse pool of players now than I saw when I first started playing RPGs, and I think the industry as a whole -and Paizo as a shining star therein- have made some some real strides in diversifying their audience and in providing games that increasingly reflect that diversity. With that being done, the applicant pool for industry positions will itself become more diverse, and that's a good thing.

A very good friend of mine in college introduced me to RPGs in the first place, and she pushed me to stop writing for myself and submit stuff to Dragon and Dungeon. She's damn talented herself and I pushed her to do the same, but when Dragon magazine stopped being printed she thought that her chances of getting published in the same route that I'd taken to get into the industry died. So I prompted her to enter RPG Superstar, and she did. She didn't make it far, but the opportunity did spur her to continue trying various creative pursuits and she's now doing stuff with Eclipse Phase that's rocking.

Push creative and talented people from every background and group to apply for open positions, take open calls, and talent will rise to the top. :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
KSF wrote:

Thanks all! As an added bonus, it looks like I'll legally acquire my new name on Halloween.

But it's been a huge relief to finally be on the final approach for this. Felt more freeing than I expected, actually, since the only time I or anyone still uses my old name is for bills and the like. Stopped using my old name this past December.

Definitely a good feeling, and highly recommended.

I'm so happy for you. Congrats!

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Also, I'm not seeing anyone mentioning Lamashtu's Flower, the orgy and procreation temple of Lamashtu that likes to...bring in new folk.

In my defense, I fully expected a polite talking to after turning that in :)

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

So what people are saying is that in the future I should try to present darker material than what I have in the past? ;)

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Belabras wrote:
Which begs the question, how much of that do you already have written Todd?

Well it doesn't matter unless it's in print, that's the simple answer. It's Paizo's world and they have the ultimate say on the secrets of things.

However if Paizo wanted to revisit the topic in the future and put me on it (which I'd gleefully agree to), yeah I know places I'd go, and the seeds are already in print for where I would.

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theheadkase wrote:
The Oinodaemon.

Ask yourself, just what sort of person would a mortal have to be in order to then die and have their soul weighed down with the stuff of that much metaphysical horror, hunger, and self-loathing such that on their own they seeded the genesis of Abaddon and a race of fiends in their image?

What sort of tale could the mortal-that-would-become-the-Oinodaemon tell?

Nothing pretty.

...

So yeah, that would be a pretty rocking topic to see expanded upon and yet still leave enough intentionally mystery there for DMs to expand upon on their own. :D

Contributor

Generic Villain wrote:

Thanks for the info LG. I still don't have this yet; hopefully Monday.

According to the Iomedae article, Erum-Hel was indeed one of the Whispering Tyrant's lackeys. Which makes sense, as every uber-lich needs a few uber-assassins. That doesn't rule out the other two rumors however. Hey may have served at the Battle of Three Sorrows (Shining Crusade vs. Tar-Baphon), but there's no indication that T-B created him.

It's intentionally ambiguous such that any of the three is possible, and even a combination of them, or none. Is one more likely given all the information? Yes, but there's enough fog of history that it's not absolutely certain.

:)

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PIXIE DUST wrote:

Oh and for those who are saying "it is not learned it is genetic! Biologists have a theroy showing it!" while that may be true it is not entirely true...

It is ALSO a learned trait as well... There are numerous physchological tests that show a person can LEARN to become homosexual.

Please by all means, provide citations from peer reviewed sources in the scientific literature. But you're making a claim that flies in the face of the current scientific consensus built upon decades of research in humans and even other species.

On human sexuality, to quote Swaab (2004), "nor is there scientific support for the idea that homosexuality has a psychoanalytical or other psychological or social learning explanations, or that it would be a 'lifestyle choice'."

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James Jacobs wrote:

3) The size of the book. It should be a lot bigger than the last one.

That's what I said the first time around! :D

Would be totally cool to eventually see an expanded look at the planes, building off of the material that has been added in since then, and incorporating some of the adjustments/soft retcons to that earliest material.

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Kvantum wrote:
The Tibet analogue is Zi Ha, the homeland of the Samsarans. I'd link you over to the PathfinderWiki page on it, but sadly right now it's just a stub. We haven't really gotten a lot of info on it beyond the Dragon Empires Gazetteer and Primer.

Zi Ha draws more from Bhutan from inspiration.

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Tirisfal wrote:

Yeah, I still won't eat there until after they stop contributing to my erasure from "their" society. I appreciate that not every franchise owner agrees with CFA HQ, but I won't help them as a company donate to those charities.

I'm not offended if anyone chooses to eat there despite that though; I understand that WalMart causes trouble, too, but I still shop there 'cause it's there.

I do my best to avoid them because of that. I likewise avoid Ben and Jerry's because of their anti-science stance regarding biotech, infuriates me as a scientist even if they make tasty stuff. Not been there in at least a decade.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:

YES. It was also a shining example of how to make an RPG source book useful and entertaining to read. It didn't so much spark the imagination as it exploded it and kept throwing firecrackers into the conflagration.

I've been using U:FoS as a model for the relationships between NPCs in the planar campaign I'm running out of Galisemni in the Maelstrom.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

It was an amazing book, one of the best RPG supplements of all time IMO. I was about a week late in asking about the original painting for the cover, otherwise I'd have it on my wall.

The book type only works if you have a tightly focused central city for a campaign though. Golarion has a lot of potential cities, but could such a book be done to tie in to an AP centered on one of them? It would be cool.

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I remember Aya from 'Heart of the Jungle', and this is a really awesome portrait of her.

I was hoping that we'd eventually see some artwork of her so that we'd finally get to see some planetouched with human ancestry from multiple ethnic groups and skin tones. :D

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Celestial Healer wrote:
I wonder if it will happen like that, or if instead they will figure out how to replace the DNA in a donor egg with DNA from a sperm cell and vice versa.

Both have their advantages/disadvantages.

Personally I'd go with using one of my own somatic cells as a base so that the resulting ova would carry my own mtDNA versus that of the donor (not that it really makes a difference in the end).

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Drejk wrote:


So, when two lesbians have a professional use DNA drawn from cell of one woman into egg of her lesbian lover letting them have a child of their own and be biological parents they can get married? Sorry gays, you need to wait to the moment when we will be able to coax your stem cells into forming an egg and later trigger your body into forming a placenta...

We've produced sperm and ova from adult somatic cells in mice, and while as I recall the work by Katsuhiko Hayashi produced sperm from male mice and ova from female mice, it's possible to do the reverse. We haven't to my knowledge (and this isn't my sub-field) done this in humans. Yet.

Artificial wombs will happen as well to aid those without one or those with other issues precluding their carrying a child to term.

It'll happen. And I will smile when it does because it will help people and because it's just freaking cool.

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Mikaze wrote:

Might as well dip into my own well. Tiefling paladin WotR PC portraits:

Liath Samathran by Anoki

Liath by The Orator

Liath again by Frenearden

That's pretty awesome :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
carborundum wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
An outer planar AP as a giant love-letter to Planescape. :D
With daemons, and you write some/ all of it :-)

I've made my players cry. Not their characters, but the players. Do you really want me to write part of an AP?

*cackle* >:D

I've actually never written a published module, let alone an AP. I'm certainly up to that challenge at some point in the future, absolutely, but on some level I question how my own playstyle would translate to that needed for an AP. I'd need to seriously work on pacing, encounter design, etc for it to not cause madness, bleeding walls, and the distant echoes of screaming baby animals at the Paizo offices; something like that. ;)

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Set wrote:


A Rule 63 Alhazra, named Alhazred, who is all scraggly-beared, Einstein-haired and wild-eyed and very much the spitting image of a certain 'mad Arab.'

I could totally go with this. :D

There would have to be artwork in the style of 'Undead Revisited' (where the iconics were being killed by the monster in each chapter) except for him it would just have him being devoured alive by invisible monsters in a public market.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

An AP with Nidal, fetchlings, the plane of Shadow, and Shadow Absalom.

An outer planar AP as a giant love-letter to Planescape. :D

AP in Nex/Geb.

AP in Casmaron.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:


Yes, please. That said, it would probably gain more traction if the iconic were described as intersex vs. hermaphrodite (unless we're talking about aberrations, outsiders, tieflings, etc.).

Hermaphrodite as a term has some baggage.

While it has been used in print to describe for instance tieflings that are actually hermaphriditic, or species like proteans that can be when the mood strikes them to be so... the term has been mis-used in the real world enough as a slur against intersex persons.

As such I've been convinced by several folks to actually avoid using the term in the future if possible, and I intend to respect their request.

Now intersex isn't biologically accurate if the person or creature has both male and female organs (like some proteans for instance), but because of the real world baggage for the technical term, I'll personally be using a different word (dual gendered, bi-gendered, etc) in the future.

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Fiction submitted.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Damn...I was hoping for domains and such...:(

James last week or so was asked if several entities including the Godmind were capable of granting divine spells. The answer was "probably" for the Godmind.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Can anyone direct me to good sources of information ? All I have found so far are the mentions in the Axiomite entry...

The Axis section in The Great Beyond, and the axiomite writeup in the same book. Not a ton published yet. It deserves more love :)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Played through this one at GenCon.

Happily used the line [Indiana Jones] "These artifacts belong in a museum!" [/Indiana Jones]

Spoiler:
So wanted to burn the place down (a swarm and no AoE spells among the entire party is unpleasant, and so is having no one being able to natively cast remove disease). Seriously enjoyed the scenario nonetheless. :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Loving this :)

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I'm intrigued. Please tell me more. :D

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Crystal Frasier wrote:

I have missed you, Mikaze!

I'll jump on this welcome wagon as well. Welcome back :)

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4 people marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:


I've been hearing this ever since that one House episode, but that's not how it works. The eggs begin with a single X chromosome and the sperm provides the second chromosome (the other half which is either X or Y) needed to begin development.

Generally speaking the default pathway for embryological development is female, but it's a large abstraction, albeit a convenient one. It's more subtle and complex than that. Things start out as neither male nor female with some common embryological structures that differentiate early on to female or male structures. I like to posit the situation as males being suppressed females and females being suppressed males.

There are male specific genes present on the X chromosome which are suppressed in most women for instance. The SRY gene on the Y chromosome is responsible for suppressing numerous female specific genes and activating male specific ones, stopping female development pathways and pushing male ones forward. For instance in the absence of SRY you can have a genetically XY fetus develop as a female.

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Got some fiction in the works.

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I'm actually running into this same problem as well.

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Players end up in possession of a soul gem containing the essence of an ancient and mad imentesh protean of the long-dead Chorus of Malignant Symmetry. The players also knew a friendly (if completely unreliable) NPC that has some manner of connection with the (possibly protean built) city of Galisemni in the Maelstrom, and seemingly on good terms with the protean lord Ssila'meshnik.

So they approach the NPC while she's in the middle of boozing herself into oblivion, just because it seemed like a good game plan for that day. They give her the gem. She listens to it, whispers back to it a bit. She shrugs, pauses a moment, and then proceeds to swallow it.

Ramifications to come later. :D

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zhangar wrote:

I'll add that Heaven's entry in The Great Beyond states that Heaven tries to keep families together. IIRC, you could actually find families going back many, many generations.

Between the The Great Beyondand Wes's article, I'm under the impression that very few types of petitioners - maybe only the Abyss's? - immediately lose their mortal memories.

More frequently, as millennia pass, the memories of mortal life simply fade into the background. Especially if there's nothing around to reinforce it.

Further, actually transitioning from petitioner to exemplar (angel, devil, protean, psychopomp, etc.) wipes the slate clean - the soul sheds its mortal baggage.

With the occasional spectacular exception. Like Nightripper.

Fwiw, many daemons tend to have scattered, disjointed recollections of their mortality. The knowledge that yes, they were once mortals, causes no small amount of self-loathing, rage, and delusional justification on their part.

Trelmarixian the Horseman of Famine is a special case in that he retains a perfect memory of his entire mortal existence, with the singular exception of the moments just prior to his death by self-inflicted starvation.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

This was beautiful.

Wes you rock, and for everyone else with Paizo, let me say that you're all awesome people and you should continue to feel awesome. :)

This was genuinely touching and it made me smile all morning.

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Axial wrote:
Product Description wrote:
Erum-Hel, the mythic Lord of Mohrgs, who plots to put an end to the crusader goddess Iomedae.
Haha, seriously? Good luck with that, buddy.

You go tell him that >:)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

So after some brainstorming between TanithT and I, we're going to be collaborating on a 1500 word piece of fiction to submit.

I do believe that Lamashtu's Flower was mentioned. >:)

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Zuxius wrote:

We have news!

Todd Stewart has climbed aboard as one of our judges. Todd has consistently moved on to the Sutter Round time and time again in our contest and we've published his stories in all our Anthologies. He decided this year that he felt the call to give something back to all the contestants and judges from previous years.

We are very proud to have a planar expert on board!

There will be more news to come...

I'm certainly looking forward to reading, critiquing, and where requested providing feedback on stories submitted to the contest. :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not only is this book evidence of my rapid descent into whimsical madness, it's also really cool, and on sale for $1 it's a steal. :D

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