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If it makes you feel any better, my current home campaign is
My Players Stay Out:
focused around the reasons for the Peacock Angel's fall, and the possibility of his/her redemption.
The little bits of lore I wrote regarding the Peacock Angel (Szuriel and a number of her predecessors wielding Melek Taus's sword for instance, and a LN race in the Abyss claiming to be the results of a fallen Peacock Angel's shed essence of Law as she plummeted from Heaven, etc) were intentionally fuzzy in that they could also be alluding to the Peacock Spirit as well, but nothing was absolute, by design so that future sources on either didn't have to worry about contradicting anything for the most part. Also since I didn't create the Peacock Spirit, I didn't want to solve someone else's mystery out of serious respect for them.
In my home campaign however I'm free to go crazy and be totally unrestrained by canon.
And I've got an Ask Todd Stewart thread, ask away any time you want, though with the caveat that any of my answers there aren't canonical in any way since I'm just a freelancer. :)
I do not understand that study. How do the manage to connect the genital nerves to provide a sense of touch here? I am not saying it is impossible, mind you...
They don't actually have to reconnect anything, and what they transplant in doesn't start out with any nerves it seems.
As they explain in the full paper, by seeding the matrix with both epithelial and smooth muscle cells, upon transplantation the tissue underwent vascularization and innervation, aka blood vessels from the surrounding tissue infiltrated, expanded, and integrated into the transplant, and likewise nerves from the surrounding tissue did so as well.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
And reviewed here and RPGNow (in comments), and hopefully soon at the d20pfsrd store!
Thank you so much for the review!
Since the proteans IMO were created without the option or the intent to harken back as much to non-OGL critters as for instance the daemons have some shared thematic ground with the 'loths, the proteans are quite near and dear to me, potentially more so than the daemons (heresy I know!). And since I adore tieflings (blame DiTerlizzi and Planescape), the lack of a protean touched race was a glaring hole IMO.
Of course the same glaring hole has been there for a long time, even with respect to slaadi in 3.x (chaonds and neraphim were never really explicit on the topic and were never developed further). Why should fiends get all the fun in interbreeding with mortals? Why shouldn't the plane of unbound creation and raw, random chance be able to imprint and alter mortal offspring? Why shouldn't the best outsiders get to create a race of best-planetouched? :D
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Proteans are awesome :D
Of particular interest to trans* individuals: Tissue-engineered autologous vaginal organs in patients: a pilot cohort study. was a paper published in Lancet just recently.
Big big big awesome implications, and I say this as someone who has worked in tissue engineering (livers) and with some of the techniques pioneered by the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine's. Though this particular study wasn't specifically aimed for producing organs for implantation for MtF patients, it's a logical extension of the technique, and the same basic techniques are likewise applicable with some more work to FtM patients.
And as it's using autologous cells (cells from the patient's own body) to grow the organs, there's no issue with immune rejection as in conventional transplantation.
Hmmm. Maybe i can ask here, if people are interested in discussing it. Please tell me if this is a stupid question... But how do you guys feel about how to include trans* people in RPG world creation?
Like TanithT said, in backstory. For most characters (depending on setting specific, cultural elements) it'll be as up front (or not) as any cis/het character. Unless you're heavily interacting with an NPC it might not come up, or might not be relevant in a lot of interaction.
Here's one example from my home game. The PCs are in the planar city of Galisemni, and one of the NPCs that they've interacted with rather heavily is a protean-blooded tiefling named Il'setsya. It never actually came up in conversation directly during the course of the game, but Tanith asked me after the game, "Is Il'setsya trans*?"
The answer was a solid yes, but as it literally never came up in conversation in game I asked why Tanith thought so, and it came down to a few very subtle statements about her past in-game and Tanith's assertion that "I know you really well". The guess was correct and the character is in fact trans, though it likely won't be openly discussed in game or necessarily something the other players and PCs are aware of. But it's there, and by interaction regarding some elements of her experiences in the past (specifically her past as a starving, male-bodied street urchin and her interaction with a giant campaign bugaboo/macguffin called the Lethe Wall).
Will it ever come up in game? I can't say for certain, but it does provide more depth and emotional character for this character in specific.
Most of my experience with the practical application of Said's work has been to see it used as a bludgeoning tool to silence or discredit scholars who criticize any culture that they aren't members of by birth, and doubly so if they're discussing religion.
For instance I've seen criticism of female genital mutilation in the middle east and east Africa hit by charges of 'you can't criticize this, you're being an imperialist eurocentric/racist/sexist orientalist' etc.
Worse even if the scholar is an actual orientalist by academic focus (see for instance the work of the German scholar Christoph Luxenberg, who regardless of if his theories are historically accurate wholly or even only partially, has been hit by an avalanche of dismissive, disdainful charges of "orientalism" as well as a bevy death threats).
Thank you for stating this (I agree wholeheartedly).
And since it was mentioned earlier, it's worth noting with regards to 1 Timothy's positions on women, that the scholarly consensus is that Paul didn't write it, but that it's a 2nd century forgery written in Paul's name. It contradicts Paul's own previous statements regarding the active and equal role of women in the early Church as well as details from other sources.
But I should avoid getting into a scholarly discussion here.
Male bodied (MtF trans* but I'm not currently transitioning)
Hetero (if you go by birth gender / if I transitioned it'd be homosexual)
Recent PCs and arguably DMPCs:
Nisha Starweather - female tiefling, heterosexual, 14 Cha, athletic. Obnoxiously random, almost perpetually happy.
Aranath Glenshadow- male elven druid, heterosexual, 16 Cha, athletic (the only male PC I've had in nearly a decade) - he did technically get turned into a female song dragon briefly, and eventually turned into a shadow dragon and ended up in love with an older female shadow dragon that took him under her wing.
Astrid'azilindria'noxamilla - female half-faerie dragon wizard/sorcerer, 19 Cha, bisexual, short, hyper feminine girly girl
Il'setsya - female protean blooded tiefling sorcerer/rogue, 18 Cha, homosexual, average to athletic build, flighty, hyper-random. Probably the most transparently self-insert character I've had in terms of personality in-game
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Not to get too in-depth into developmental psychology, but people are generally (more or less) bi-sexual;
Umm, no offense, but I would have to seriously dispute that assertion with pretty much every modern study on the prevalence of various sexual orientations, and with our current understanding of the origins of sexual orientation hard-wiring in the brain.
It appears to be entirely of biological origin, with social factors having little to no influence whatsoever in your sexual orientation.
I honestly can't say for certain, though for folks that I've spoken with, my dreaming patterns in that regard seem relatively normal.
If you think that you would enjoy the job, by all means apply for it. College degree or no college degree. The education spread for folks who have worked full-time as RPG designers and developers is pretty wild: everything from no college degree, to creative writing/English degrees, to Chemistry, etc.
Paizo will decide if your design chops are up to snuff, but for you, the only metric that matters is if you could see yourself doing it and if you would enjoy it.
Adam Daigle wrote:
The Maelstrom is as far as anyone can tell, infinite, and new planes have solidified out of its chaos as time has gone on. There's plenty of real estate to go around even just on the non-infinite but mind-bogglingly large other planes of the outer sphere, even before you get into the Maelstrom and Abyss.
Plus since gods aren't restricted to dwelling within a plane that strictly matches their alignment, it's actually more open to expansion IMO to some other cosmologies.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
This case isn't quite the same however. Hear me out if you would.
Proteans have also been described as being completely gender-morphic, shifting between male, female, agender, hermaphroditic and anything in-between at whimsy, because they can, and because orange acorn cantata, etc. When I used that word to describe them at times, it's in reference to the biological term which isn't appropriate for humans, because that state doesn't actually exist in humans. But it does in snails, proteans, and some other outsiders and others.
Tieflings however aren't precisely human. They've got some other blood floating in their veins that isn't of mortal origin. So why should mortal biology reign supreme? While it's frowned upon to use the word to refer to intersexed humans, given that tieflings have outsider blood involved, and the use of the term with respect to them refers to actual hermaphroditism, I would think it sufficiently transcends biology and isn't an intersex condition, but what we see in snails. Human intersex individuals may have been labeled hermaphrodite in the past due to ignorance of their state and confusion with non-human biology and mythological personages, but tieflings in this case and some others aren't the same thing. Of course you could also have an intersex tiefling, and that would be perfectly cool as well.
Jonathon Vining wrote:
Wait, what??! *boggle*
How and why am I on your favorite person list?
And this is officially the first time in my life I've been named in the same breath as China Mieville. Be still my black beating heart! :D
Generic Villain wrote:
Xegarius Malikar was his name.
The default is for most every undead creature to be evil, for a variety of reasons. James has explained the reason and rationale behind that default elsewhere.
Does this preclude their being incredibly rare exceptions for one of them to start off as non-evil? Does it preclude an originally evil lich from eventually becoming something other than evil?
If Malikar is revisited at some point in the future in print, perhaps we'll find out what his circumstances are for why he isn't evil. Or it's possible that he'll be turned evil. Time will tell :)
But just like with risen fiends, exceptions to the rule in Golarion should be really really really really freaky rare, with a deep, epic story to explain it all.
I just snuck into your inbox and hid another Weal or Woe there. It may or may not have explosive runes prepared. It also may or may not be a hungry naunet protean I scribbled the text in magic marker on. I make no promises.
Andrew R wrote:
So if this is so offensive to some, have there been any complaints about the witch class from those that are religious witches (wiccans)?
*shrug* Which I find somewhat odd, because the term existed well prior to Wicca being created in the early/mid 20th century - they just adopted the term for themselves. Now if the witch class referenced anything specific from wiccan theology and its various branches, then it might be something to be sensitive about perhaps. But as the word vastly predates wicca, I don't see it as much of a problem personally.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
You're perfectly welcome to your opinion, but that's completely and utterly wrong as far as modern biology is concerned.
While we're still teasing down the specifics, there very much is a biological basis for internal gender identity and gender dysphoria. The idea that "culture" is behind gender dysphoria is rather insulting and dismissive of trans* persons.
Having freelanced on parts of 'Heart of the Jungle', I can only ask how exactly you could miss the many pages discussing the multiple human ethnic groups in the area, a number of whom take inspiration from snapshots in time and space of several different real world cultures?
Paizo staff has touched on this before. For most people it would be a curse to have that transformation, while for transgendered persons it could be a blessing. As such it seems likely that it'll go from being "cursed" to just a magic item at some point in the future. Probably for the best.
It's a spectrum with different people choosing to transition and others not, and it has various shades of self-identity therein. The * is just an attempt to be more inclusive I think, but I don't think anyone is going to object or be offended if you don't use that.
Ambrosia Slaad is saying things in an incredibly effective, informative, and in terms of a response to certain posts in this thread, possibly a much kinder way than my first response would have been.
But a few brief comments on my part to some things in this thread that have been said:
Having your brain's physical structure not correlate with the rest of your body is not fun. I know this on a personal level, though I can't claim to speak for every trans* person out there. It took me years to even come to the point of being able to recognize and admit that status.
It's a daily discordance, a nagging, gnawing dyphoria that is never easy, even if you try to ignore it, or bury it, or try to rationalize it as anything else. For some people the level of dysphoria brings despair, and as TanithT said, for far too many trans* persons, it ends in suicide if they can't for many varied reasons transition if that would be their choice. It's a very real thing, and how each person decides to handle it is their own decision, be it hormones, surgical transition, or none of the above.
But please have some sympathy for people and not treat it as a joke, or an affectation, or a mental illness, or something that people "get over", or a phase, or a way to get attention, etc.
Also, for the record, I'm not offended by the Girdle of Opposite Gender. Just on account of it transforming your body without your consent or prior awareness that's enough there to earn it cursed item status. Paizo's designers have commented on its status wrt trans* individuals, its status as a cursed item due to legacy game lore, and Paizo of all people out there have been amazingly tactful, sensitive, and embracing of trans* people as customers, players, and with giving them in-game representation. I cannot thank them enough. :)
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Every bit of this.
I'd love to talk about what I'm writing, but alas I can't till any particular product is announced, authors listed, and released. I neither admit nor deny I'm working on any particular project at the moment.
But if you want specific things and think I'd be good for them, badger Paizo by sending them emails, or forum posts, or pizza with requests scrawled on the box. ;)
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
That I did. That was a really fun project as well.
Apparently it's either horrific and grimdark, or completely off the wall whimsical when I write.
James Jacobs wrote:
Congrats James, you've just doomed the PCs in my home campaign to run afoul of the Oliphant or run across Jandelay in some capacity, given that the campaign is based out of Galisemni and there's a crazy heavy protean influence just about everywhere they look.
Now my brain is fixated on what exactly Jandelay is, how it relates to various protean lords, any relation to Galisemni, and lots of home-campaign-specific backstory thereof. I love the Maelstrom and I'm eating this up here. :D
Despite the fact that I've run almost exclusively planar campaigns since 2001, the majority of the PCs in those campaigns have been more conventional than not. At most one template really.
But the thing is, it's so much a bizarre coterie of races represented by the PCs (or not) in my experience, its that my players' selection of characters have always fit the tone and atmosphere of the setting.
If you're in Sigil or Galisemni, sure you'll see lots of tieflings, aasimar, and other planetouched alongside normal humans, more monstrous races, and some full blown outsiders. If you're playing in a less exotic setting, it rather behooves your players to pick less exotic PCs I think. As long as people keep that self-imposed notion of be in line with the setting when you pick PC concepts, you'll avoid many issues. Don't pick a half-celestial qlippoth blooded tiefling rogue/wizard/3 different PrCs if you're playing in virtually any place on the material plane (or heck if ever anywhere else as well). Respect the setting constraints as they are are you'll be fine (and yes, this is coming from the person who played a half-faerie dragon PC).
But you'll take my CN tieflings from my cold dead hands. >:)
Hey, I was absolutely certain that not only would Lamashtu's Flower get cut in development, but I'd probably get an email politely advising me to avoid writing about Lamashtan blood orgies in the future.
And then it stayed in. And then it was illustrated. :D
You took my comment 180 degrees from what I intended.
I'm actually in agreement with TanithT's comment making light of some recent complaints with hyperbole. The response by an alt of mine was just being ironic, since TanithT asked for a pony in the hyperbole, and the alt was a My Little Pony character.
I actually suspect it would be a very lopsided decision in favor of equal rights by the current court, with some bizarre bedfellows that don't normally make sense with the conventional wisdom of Conservative majority/Liberal minority.
Too often on a national level, the Dems absolutely take LGBT votes for granted without doing much of anything after an election is over IMO versus larger voting blocks that they can't ignore.
I'm always in a bind when it comes to elections because I refuse to vote for religious conservatives but I also refuse to vote for folks on the economic far left. Moderates in both parties sadly tend to vanish because of the way that primaries are run in this country which tends to greatly amplify the voting power of the far left and far right in both the Dem and Repub camps. Sigh.
Generic Villain wrote:
You're welcome to whatever political beliefs you wish, but I can't help but be absolutely aghast at that sort of willingness to cause real harm to people in the name of supporting a specific political party.
I would argue that the country as a whole is seeing a sea change in terms of LGBT rights which pleases me to no end, and that it's no longer such a clear cut Liberal/Conservative issue.
A large chunk of normally Democrat-supporting voters approved of Prop 8 in California, and I would argue that it's only an increasingly marginalized (by their own party) the far right social wing of the Republican party that is against LGBT equal rights, rather than the amalgamation of the economic right/libertarian/centrist wing of that party.
I'm not personally willing to cause real harm to real people just to score political points for one party or the other.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
There's jargon and then there's jargon. On the one hand you can have highly specialized terms in science that are quite specific and between those with a background in those fields, it clarifies discussion. But at the very same time for something like chemistry or medicine that are grounded in the quantifiable, whatever theories that exist in those fields which use highly specific jargon, it's possible to describe them to someone outside those fields using much simpler language.
There's also that second type of jargon, that if I may paraphrase the words of the much underrated philosopher Calvin, in his monograph 'The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes' describes as being used to "inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity."
Another exploration of the difference might be found in the publication of Alan Sokal's brilliant "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" in the postmodern cultural studies journal 'Social Text'. [An intentionally nonsensical paper submitted just to see if his academic standing and the incomprehensibility of the text would make it seem intellectual enough for the editors to just publish it, which to their embarrassment, they did].
I'll admit a bias against certain schools of thought and their attempts to define the world through terminology of their own invention that at no point derives from experimentation. If something cannot be tested for confirmation or falsifiability, it isn't proper science, and unfortunately I see it as misguided at best to try to define human gender identity or sexual orientation via these.
However for the benefit of those without a background in philosophy, you might wish to actually provide a definition of Scientific Realism. You don't seem to have provided one above.
And what are these racially specific drugs?
When you get into pharmacokinetics, you can and will see some radically different metabolic profiles across different racial groups. Among what we broadly classify as races, you have populations that have population level SNPs for various P450 enzymes in the liver just as an example, that can radically affect the dosage and safety profile of specific drugs. If you under or overexpress Cytochrome P450 3A4 for instance, that has major ramifications for a patient, and it's often useful to consider racial population demographics of certain P450s when giving certain drugs to people in those populations.
Ideally we could sequence a specific patient for this information, but we're not quite there yet (almost at a commercially viable level for that!), so going by "racial" population genetics can be useful.