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Todd Stewart's page

Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,001 posts (2,144 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Greatbear wrote:


So, while there isn't a single book by Paizo describing the planes,

It's called 'The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse', it just hasn't been updated from the original 3.5 publication to the Pathfinder ruleset formally. But the fluff still describes all of the planes in overview, with later books like the BotD series going into specifics on their area of focus. :)

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Gaberlunzie wrote:
Also, it should be noted that until very recently, the law required anyone who juridically transitioned should be sterilized (even if there where no medical issues with them getting kids) and any saved eggs/sperm be destroyed

:O

That's an absolute abomination. What was the medical or ethical rationale used to even vaguely attempt to rationalize that? That's horrific. :(

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Tarinia Faynrik wrote:
*reasonable questions*

While Lissa and Crystal both gave some pretty comprehensive answers to your question, I'll chip in what I can.

Each of our experiences is going to be unique on some level. The best way that I can relate from my perspective is that it's on some level like phantom limb syndrome in that it feels like portions of my body are missing and things that shouldn't be there are. Looking in a mirror is often jarring and I try to avoid it if at all possible, even if by most standards -and most importantly my spouse's standards- I'd be considered an attractive male.

It's a combination of that gnawing physical perception of things being -off- and then the social perceptions and reactions from other people that likewise register as being wrong. For me at least I very much could care less about other people's perceptions of me, clothing, etc versus just having a body that didn't feel like a costume with a broken zipper so it can't be removed.

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Qstor wrote:
memorax wrote:
Nicos wrote:


Agreed. Hopefully will happen someday.
I wish they would have published something like this . Instead of the strategy guide imo. The Great Beyond is in need of a update yesterday. Considering the great work they did wiht Inner Sea Gods vs the old Gods and Magic companion. I hope it's a 2015 release.

I'm surprised they haven't done it yet. I'm hoping for 2015 too.

Mike

Let them know that you want such a book and it might happen. :)

Paizo also knows the extent to which I'd go to contribute to such a book, including no longer bugging the hell out of them at GenCon for that, and buying them all pizza, among others. :D

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7 people marked this as a favorite.
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The way I see the transgender experience is that such people have a gender that requires a different physical expression than the intelligible gender sphere our western thought wants to place them in at birth. This way gender is still something core about a person that we should allow them to express, but it does not depend on genders being essentially different. It would also explain why not all transgender individuals require genital surgery or even hormones.

It's becoming increasingly clear from the scientific literature that internal gender identity is neurologically hard coded into brain structure during early fetal development, but due to certain events (likely included an interplay of genes and maternal hormone exposure) specific regions of the brain are masculinized/feminized on a sliding scale, allowing for a very diverse degree of potential internal gender identities, some of which may lead a person to desire to ultimately transition and some of which do not, with a ton of variation thereof.

We're still figuring out everything that's going on, but it's fascinating. It also arguably IMO makes non-emperical theories of gender somewhat irrelevant.

Contributor

David knott 242 wrote:

Little Red Goblin Games published a Xaoling rece -- it is a chaos-based native outsider race.

That one was by Rogue Genius Games actually (I wrote it).

Contributor

KSF wrote:
And in Not-Good-News, Republican Congressmen ask Labor Dept. to withdraw the LGBT Protections the Dept. recently set forth.

Frown. :(

They're asking for a 60 day public comment period during which the labor dept ruling would not be in effect. I strongly suspect that the two members of Congress behind this may be surprised at how much flak they're going to get from a good chunk of their own party over this. It's rapidly becoming an issue of civil rights that's supporting by people across the political spectrum. This is a good thing. Those railing against equality for LGBT folks are an old and dying breed on both the Left and Right.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
graystone wrote:
James, since you've been playing with it, what do you count as small stowed object and/or small unattended object? Just curious where you draw the line between small and non-small.

Rob McCreary is my GM in that game, so he's the one that gets to draw that line.

If I were running the game, I'd allow the tail to pick up light weapons, one-handed weapons, wands, bucklers, light shields, potions, scrolls, holy symbols, torches, most alchemical devices, and pretty much anything else that you could comfortably pick up with one hand. I wouldn't set in stone specific weights and the like, but would make those decisions as the need came up on a case by case basis. Since you can't use the tail to attack or activate items or defend yourself, it really doesn't matter if the category of what you can pick up is vague.

Precisely.

The feat wasn't written with a weight limit in place, which I'd leave more to DM adjudication than not, as it's less about weight than it is about fine control which the tail lacks in comparison to a full hand. Hold, pick up, and stow objects but not wield weapons, shields, use spell components, etc (though in my home campaign I could personally be persuaded to allow the tail to perform somatic components of spells).

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James Jacobs wrote:
I've been playing a tiefling with this trait and the associated feat in a Way of the Wicked campaign for about a year.

You have no idea how flattered I feel right now that you're playing a character using that trait and that feat. :D

Contributor

As the one who wrote the feat, no. My answer isn't gospel since I'm not a Paizo employee, but the intent did not include it being used for shields.

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Il'setsya Wyrmtouched

Protean-blooded tiefling sorcerer, aka 'Crazy-Hooves'

Contributor

Shapeshifting.

Hands down my first choice of superpower.

Contributor

GreyWolfLord wrote:

Well, I believe over a decade ago they DID create human blood via pigs. There was a major uproar over it, despite that the blood was clean, the best type useable by everyone, and could be made plentiful.

So, I think they stopped doing that. Not sure, maybe they still make it somewhere, but from what I recall, the uproar and unhappiness with it stopped it from being continued?

I'm not specifically familiar with this having been accomplished already, but it's conceptually feasible to insert human bone marrow into immunocompromised pigs of some variety and then harvest the resulting blood with appropriate filtration. It seems an engineering problem than anything else.

The problem I would raise on a safety level would be the presence of porcine endogenous retrovirus, which makes any level of xenotransplantation involving porcine origin cells problematic, even if in the case of harvesting RBCs that lack a nucleus.

But beyond that, I suspect that most of the outrage over you know, helping people, was from the 'It isn't natural' anti-biotech fringe minority of the extreme left. Similar outrage from that camp in recent years over human/animal chimeras in research and creating human embryos using genetic material from a third person to cure various diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction in the potential child's two primary parents. Sigh. But I'm going on a rant. I'll stop.

Contributor

Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

Not exclusively so, but mortal souls can become proteans. They can breed and they can also spontaneously generate from the raw stuff of the Maelstrom.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nicos wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:

Pathfinder Chronicles: The Great Beyond—A Guide to the Multiverse (OGL) PDF

Might be what you are looking for.

Yes. It seems a little old but I will give it a chance.

I hope that you enjoy it :)

It was intentionally written with as many hooks as possible that don't rely on any particular set of rules to be useful. The monsters that it does have in the back have since all been updated to Pathfinder rules (in Bestiary 2). And if it helps, it was very much inspired by what came before in terms of the planes from AD&D/Planescape, though obviously it's a different IP. Much respect and appreciation for that though.

Ideally IMO an expanded planar source book (hardcover even?) written formally in the Pathfinder rule-set would be great. Would be great to see at some point, but I have no insight into if that's on the horizon or not.

Contributor

Bellona wrote:


By the way, was the Tegresin mention a nod to the RL setting?

Hmm? Tegresin is just Tegresin. I'm not aware of the name being the same as anything from RL (Ravenloft I assume?). Other than perhaps making him in attitude about as much of a yugoloth as you can find in Pathfinder which has no yugoloths, there wasn't anything more on him as a nod to anything else (more details on him and his demiplane appear in 'Classic Treasures Revisited' in the Well of Many Worlds section.

Contributor

Bellona wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:

Try the 'Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns', which is one of the only in-game sources on the Plane of Time. Presumably enough tinkering there could create or shunt you into alternate timelines, for good or for ill.

In which sourcebook can that tome be found?

Just a few lines in 'The Great Beyond'.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Try the 'Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns', which is one of the only in-game sources on the Plane of Time. Presumably enough tinkering there could create or shunt you into alternate timelines, for good or for ill.

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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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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. :)

Contributor

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.

Contributor

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.

Contributor

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).

Contributor

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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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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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!

Contributor

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.

Contributor

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.

Contributor

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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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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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.

Contributor

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

Contributor

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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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.

Contributor

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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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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