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How does that work exactly? I thought a lot of those feats only applied to melee weapons? Then you have to take like four or five archery feats to make it useful (counting qualifying feats), and there would still be ones you really wanted.
KaiserDM I can't disagree with anything you've said.
But these guys are past levels 1-5 now. The characters have enough levels and equipment (there are crafters available) that concepts should be getting fleshed out.
In my experience you see a lot of deaths early on (I've played or at least started similar dungeons like The Night Below). But by the time they get to past 10 like these guys are, death isn't an unknown but it happens a lot less frequently.
We aren't in the campaign, I'm thinking the ratfolk monk's player must have had to miss some games, maybe another one of these guys as well.
But even when he was around, exactly when did he grapple? I'm guessing that was the point of being a Tetori monk.
Well I hope I haven't gotten on your bad side. Like I said I have been reading this a long time, and plan on reading it till you finish.
But as a reader, and as a gamer, I'd like to pass on my take on what I perceive as problems with all the groups you've had so far.
1) As nearly as I can tell no one has ever fully embraced the tank role. Now it is an opinion, but I think it is based on fact, as a perusal of threads on this board can tell you.
There are really only two tank classes, and only certain archetypes of each that can fill the role. They have to do creditable damage in combat, be durable, and perhaps most importantly be able to shrug off damage and make saving throws.
So that leaves you with Paladins, and... Invulnerable Ragers with that cookie cutter list of rage powers and feats.
When it comes to the barbarian, it may get old but Superstition/Beast Totem/Spell Sunder is just plain hard to beat for options in combat and durability.
I think Paladins do it very well too. Great saves, smite for a lot of the enemies you will face, and an incredible amount of hit points with lay on hands (really recommend fey foundling). Some underrated utility with spells and lay on hands removing conditions as well.
Multiclassing is not a definite no-no, but the combo has to make sense. Generally the dip has to fit some kind of theme, like Oracle with lame curse for rage cycling, or something that synergizes with high charisma.
A lot of the caster classes can fill this, but the builds are more complicated. Magus, druid, oracle, cleric, straight wizard (transformation), etc. The builds and concepts are out there.
You can also do something like Barbarian/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple or Rage Prophet, but you have to have an idea of how you want it to work.
But what makes a tank in this game is enough damage to make opponents take you seriously, durability, and some way to deal with hostile magic.
2) Some caster, and arcane is probably the most versatile, that is willing to do some crowd control. Evocation gets a bum rap, there are lots of ways to amp it up now, but the groups you have had would have had a lot easier go if one or more of the opponents suddenly was taken out of combat.
3) No one seems to use the divination spells on the books. I was thinking divinations didn't work in this dungeon, but a year or two back you said that they did in a post.
If someone would just pull out arcane eye, or clairvoyance from time to time, just to see what's ahead things would go much easier. I know that they have long cast times, but the potential payoff is worth it to my mind.
Heck some of the Oracle mysteries like air and the stone one have limited features that would really help in this regard.
Well anyway, my two cents. I'm going to keep on reading this, and hope I am not making you angry. But if this was a book, well you are way past Game of Thrones lethality at this point.
And I tend to think it is not because you are a killer dm.
I guess my biggest beef is that a melee combatant really needs to be built so that there is almost no way you are taking them out of the fight with a spell or an effect that has a saving throw.
I am not exaggerating that btw, you pretty much have to metagame as a dm to get a Paladin, or Invulnerable Rager Barbarian (Superstition/Eater of Magic/Spell Sunder) out of the game using a spell or the like.
I guess it is because it makes me think of the Dalelands.
Ed Greenwood got old and wonky, and they put way too much detail into Forgotten Realms. But that old grey box set was really good before the splatbook explosions.
They have a built in enemy in Molthune (like the Zhents when they were cool). They have a big lake (a Great Lake really), a forest seating, unexplored wilderness, ruins, history, places that aren't terribly far off for adventure hooks (Lastwall, Worldwound, Isger, Cheliax, Five Kings mountain territories, Ustalav, even the River Kingdoms aren't implausibly far away).
Just seems like a great place for 1-10 level adventures. Then you could go on road trips if you can't think of anything else to set in the Nirmathas area.
I missed something. Summoning is a full action for Oracles isn't it? They don't qualify for that Sacred Summoning feat as far as I know.
And aren't the Preservationist "pokebottles" a standard action to use?
I could be wrong, but that was my impression and definitely makes the Preservationist competitive with the Oracle.
Kind of a meh thing. Never seen roleplay get in the way of killing before.
Honestly if I was in a group where Radamir pulled this, I'd roleplay putting him out of the party.
Not sure about your players, but I would find this whole thing incredibly frustrating. I've been reading this thread for years, and it is this time after time.
Whether it was one of your earlier groups in the lower 48, or one in Alaska these PC's never outright win anything.
As a reader it is just getting old. You can run it anyway you want, and your players may well enjoy it.
Geez come on, 5 or 6 Fire Giants and some Fire Giant with class levels is a day at the office by this point.
Well anyway best of luck with this, and it's not like I am angry about it or anything. But how long is this party going to be a bunch of punching bags? It's kind of hard to defend min-maxing, but if I played in your game I'd make the most munchkin character I could, because I'd be sick of failure and death after death.
Really if these characters had been optimized this fight should have only taken about two or three rounds. Round One all Fire Giants incapacitated (probably using a daze effect). Round two and three unload on the bags of hitpoints.
I haven't played in a month or two, but while I wouldn't call the guys I usually play with min/maxers, I think we could have put up a more credible effort in this dungeon so far.
Anyway hope I haven't alienated you, but as a reader it is kind of frustrating. Grehennox really needed the smirk wiped off her face, but it looks like it won't happen.
I'm not joking by the way. If you have read the Beastmass threads there are all kinds of builds that could one shot these guys with one character in one round.
Look we don't know one another other than a few posts on this board. But I'll be honest about it as a reader, it's just getting old reading about a bunch of ever changing guys that get manhandled time after time.
Seems like they are actually playing "Zerging the World's Largest Dungeon."
I have seen less campaign stories about this mega dungeon than some others like Rappan Athuk. But I have read campaign stories where a lot of the original members that started Rappan Athuk made it all the way through.
Maybe the DM pulled punches or something, but it might also be that your guys have a bunch of screwy builds. A barbarian with cleric levels? What exactly is the synergy in that, other than using wands? A grappling monk? Can be done I guess, but a Zen Archer would have been a lot more useful in most situations.
I really would prefer the human bonus spells known over the Aasimar bonus.
That said, the Aasimar's bonus can be really good. I don't think Ancestral Weapon is a good one to use that bonus on though.
If I were playing an Aasimar with this mystery I would apply my racial bonus to Spirit Shield or Storm of Souls.
If your dm lets you use Magic Vestment on the Spirit Shield, it can be really amazing. There is a school of thought that the flavor blurb on some of this fairly common revelation for mysteries disqualifies some from using Magic Vestment. Things like the Bones or Wood revelation clearly refer to a physical thing. Whereas Winds sounds like it is... wind.
Storm of Souls could be interesting. If you somehow made it to 20, and applied the bonus every level you could do 15d8 to non-undead, and 30d8 to undead with that one. Plus you can do it twice more per day. Interesting it is "physical" damage, so other than spell resistance or saving there is no way to reduce it. It is a fort save, and most undead have crappy ones there.
I think it is because most fantasy worlds have a certain way they want to look.
And they handwave away what the implications of magic as they present it in the rules would be on the world and societies.
Personally I think EVERY nation would be some kind of mageocracy or theocracy. How would you get around it?
Eh, not saying anything mechanical about the merits of the spells. But becoming a 4 armed freaky thing just isn't in the cards for most of my characters.
If I built a character around shapeshifting, like an alteration wizard maybe it would fit.
But your average Magus (not sure if he gets Giant Form spells)?
I'm going with a Giant Form. Storm Giant for the win.
Hmmm a lot of people are concerned about Dismissal and Blasphemy.
I was once toying with making a synthesist who used these when he was particularly worried about that tactic:
Not something you want to use all the time, since dimension door and other transport spells are on your list, and you get dimension door as a spell like.
But if you are really worried about this tactic, you can have a set for 28,000 gp, or 14,000 if you take craft wondrous and make them yourself.
I guess it takes up one pair of arms. Not really sure if you could make one that was just a bracer or something, or just wear it on one arm and have it work. Then again most of these synthesists are multi-armed abominations and it wouldn't matter that much.
Plus Dimensional Anchor is only a 3rd level spell for a summoner. You could just cast it on yourself whenever or have a wand or a couple of scrolls if it ever came up.
Nothing stops you from crafting a golem of some sort to go with your eidolon as well.
Just time, feats, money, and caster levels, same as any caster.
Just imagine a golem with the shield guardian template to go with your other summmony goodness. Trying to think of how shield other on the summoner and the eidolon works, plus the golem would have fast healing. Not to mention two gigantic mindless beasts pounding those foolish enough to oppose you.
Thing is all casters are unbalanced to be honest. Too many things you can do if you comb the boards and look for tricks.
P.S. Dazing Spell is utterly broken. Someone mentioned Wall of Fire, but there are a couple of other damaging spells on the summoner list you can use. How much damage it does is irrelevant, you are going for the daze.
If you make him a ranger he might be able to help with some outdoor stuff.
Tracking, survival, that kind of thing. Also would be able to make some skill checks (and perception).
Since he is going to stay out of the way and plink, the lack of heavy armor shouldn't be a problem. He might get evasion and the ranger hide feature eventually too. Plus better reflex saves as opposed to fighter.
I'll bite. Does this mean that Barbarian bonuses last two rounds after you end rage? And I guess for whatever morale bonuses Bardic performance gives, though that is a little more complicated.
I don't have many publications so my sampling is limited.
I really liked Her Majesty's Expeditionary from Entombed with the Pharoahs (think that is the adventure; it was a 3.5 pre Pathfinder system).
They were so cool. Particularly the half-orc Fighter that was an alternate Fighter (basically his version traded feats for sneak attack damage). He had a Tower Shield that had a special hand crossbow that opened some kind of door on it when fired. Can't remember if it was repeating, but he got sneak attack damage when he used this.
Not sure if you really did rule-fu on it that it should have worked even then, but the idea of a sneaky Fighter that cheated like that...
Oh yeah, the Tower Shield was made to look like a sarcophagus lid.
There are so many feats and books I don't have now.
I guess I could look up Threatening Illusion on d20PFSRD, but I'm too lazy this morning.
But if that feat works as the name implies, ie you could place a threatening illusion wherever you wanted on the battlefield..
Depending on whether you have a lot of melees in the party, particularly rogues, it just seems like you could imact things a lot more with the gnome.
The problem with any kind of mounted combatant is getting a mount that can survive at higher levels.Even considering that the mount has an effective 32 + 1d20 AC for the first two hits it takes each round?
One word. Magic. Any kind of area effect spell, or similar thing and it is most likely goodbye for the mount considering the hit die.
Now I don't know what mount you have mind, say you somehow eliminate every melee attack that is ever aimed at the mount. But unless you find a way to deal with the mount's lack of hp's and saving throws, you have real problems.
But any kind of save, and you can pretty much count on the mount failing. Frightful presence? A medusa's stare? There are tons of effects you encounter as you level.
I don't know whether you can use Handle Animal to deal with the effects of a fear spell, but if you can't you have combat style that is totally a no go if someone uses that relatively low level spell.
I'm not trying to be a Devil's Advocate or rain on your idea. What I am saying is pretty much the conventional wisdom about mounts. And I haven't seen anything that challenges that thinking.
In short, a normal horse, even with your mad riding skills, isn't going to cut it later on. You might think you could make up the difference with barding and a horse blanket of resistance or something, but that is a bandaid on a wound, and it is going to get expensive.
The problem with any kind of mounted combatant is getting a mount that can survive at higher levels.
Most people if they use this concept got with something that gets an animal companion or some kind of special mount.
If your dm is willing to work with you, you might be able to get a high hit dice creature to be a mount using Handle Animal (you would think Fighters would be able to tame Wyverns or something, but it sure isn't supported by example).
You might be able to find a pretty durable construct mount too, using one of those figurine things.
There are a number of things I don't like about Pathfinder. One is while they have all these fiddly rules, and archetypes out the wazoo, they don't seem to want higher level melee guys to have level appropriate mounts, particularly flying ones. They reach their arm around their back to make sure classes and archetypes with a mount feature can't get a flying one.
Compare this with previous editions. One of Robilar's calling cards was his flying mount (Griffin? Hippogriff?), though in 3.x the gave him a stupid construct horse.
It didn't used to be a big deal to see a character sheet for a 10th or so level fighter and see Pegasus, Giant Eagle, or something listed as an available mount. Even some of the younger dragons.
You mentioned Wood, Metal, Ancestors, and Battle as good mysteries for combat oracle.
There is a newer one called Lunar that is really good as well. You can look it up in the PRD. I've seen a few builds on the boards.
Only problem is you probably want to build around natural attacks with this one. But you get a full level animal companion, and you also get access to a revelation that lets you add confusion as a rider effect to inflict spells (great with mass inflicts). Oh yeah, and charisma to ac and reflex saves.
And I'm surprised I forgot about it, a two level dip into paladin is well worth it. You get a number of features, the proficiencies are the equivalent of skill at arms, and you get divine grace.
That save bonus is a big deal if you have a good charisma score.
How would the brawling armor property interact with this? I read that, and I'm not sure it would apply to bites and claw attacks and such.
If you used unarmed strike or a cestus or something I think it would work.
Thanks a lot, I never would have thought to look up squeezing.
Basically I need a 5' passage to go through if I take the large evolution.
I may be able to go through something smaller (guess "head size" is just something that will have to be debated. 2.5' diameter for example seems too big even for large size), but since I intend to have arms (and shoulders) it will be more complicated.
I am also kind of assuming that a serpentine body can at least "compress" and extend, so to match head size, for a time at least. I really imagine the bulk of the body being wider than my head, except at the very tail end.
I'm asking this because I am thinking about making a synthesist summoner character who will as closely as possible emulate being or becoming a noble salamander.
But what puzzles me are the exact dimensions of one.
Okay, assuming you started at level 1 as a medium size serpentine form, you get reach with the bite attack. So what does this mean? Your body is roughly 10 feet long? I really intend to see if I can mod this thing such to have a form like the salamander or a Yuan-Ti Abomination, with no bite attack.
But what would the actual physical length be?
Then you get to the point where you can take the large evolution which reads:
"An eidolon grows in size, becoming Large. The eidolon gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 bonus to its natural armor. It takes a –2 penalty to its Dexterity. This size change also gives the creature a –1 size penalty to its AC and on attack rolls, a +1 bonus to its CMB and CMD, a –2 penalty on Fly skill checks, and a –4 penalty on Stealth skill checks. If the eidolon has the biped base form, it also gains 10-foot reach. Any reach evolutions the eidolon possesses are added to this total. The eidolon must be Medium to take this evolution. The summoner must be at least 8th level before selecting this evolution.
If 6 additional evolution points are spent, the eidolon instead becomes Huge. The eidolon gains a +16 bonus to Strength, a +8 bonus to Constitution, and a +5 bonus to its natural armor. It takes a –4 penalty to its Dexterity. This size change also give the creature a –2 size penalty to its AC and attack rolls, a +2 bonus to its CMB and CMD, 10-foot reach, a –4 penalty on Fly skill checks, and a –8 penalty on Stealth skill checks. If the eidolon has the biped base form, its reach increases to 15 feet (10 feet for all other base forms). Any reach evolutions the eidolon possesses are added to this total. These bonuses and penalties replace, and do not stack with, those gained from becoming Large. The summoner must be at least 13th level before selecting this option.
The ability increase evolution costs twice as much (4 evolution points) when adding to the Strength or Constitution scores of a Large or Huge eidolon."
This is kind of wonky. You get some of the benefits of being large, but you don't get reach unless you have a bipedal form.
So .... what would be the physical dimensions of a large, serpentine eidolon? And more specifically, what kind of spaces could it fit into, like passages and such?
Really I would be better off taking the bipedal form, adding a tail, and pretending I didn't have legs. But by RAW, I would never have a constrict attack, because you need to have a serpentine form for that.
But can anyone tell me the dimensions of this thing? What is a large serpentine eidolon? Something roughly human size in width, and 15 feet long? What are we talking about here?
I'm not sure I understand why you are taking two weapon fighting.
If you use that style, it sucks a lot of feats, which you have not many available, and will require you to have certain dex values to take the later in the chain.
If you aren't going to go all out on it, it is kind of a waste, since two handed weapons will do about the same damage and take less feats.
If you dip fighter for a few levels it might work differently. In your shoes I'd use a falchion, and nix the two weapon fighting.
I'd also take dance of blades as your other mystery.
All the Metal revelations seem at least decent except for steel scarf and riddle of steel. Riddle of steel seems to fit your concept, but a +5 bonus on one check once a day is pretty lame.
Not sure what to say about this one. I can tell you from personal experience that most women (every woman I personally have encountered actually) prefer men to be taller than they are.
It's also pretty widely known that height gives you an advantage in social relations, quite unrelated to sex. Taller people tend to earn more, get their way in relations with other people, that sort of thing.
And no, I'm not googling this for you. It is common knowledge. Established fact. If you disagree with this statement, it is an extraordinary claim. If you think otherwise, the burden of proof is on you, because otherwise I have to think you weren't paying attention.
Height isn't the only feature of course. There is also the widely observed phenomena of the the "bad boy," and the kinds of guys women are attracted to. Though I might add that class plays a large role in this as well, you just don't see it happening to women that attend Yale for the most part.
Interestingly enough, athletic ability can open a lot of doors for you as well. Timmy Geithner's main qualification for being named president of the New York Fed, and later Treasury Secretary was that he was a helluva softball player for an Ivy Leaguer and networked really well. Well I guess it didn't hurt that he just loved to tote water for Investment Bankers.
In short... I guess things like this are kind of like that story they tell about picking stocks and judging beauty contests. You don't pick the girl(stock) you think is prettiest. You pick the one you think everyone else will think it prettiest.
You might be a really worthwhile talented person by any objective standard. But in the end we are all stuck in a world with hairless apes driven by superstition, instinct, hormones, genes, whatever with rational thought being kind of an awkward stick-on at the very end.
Just the cards we all are dealt.
Personally I gave up on the whole thing. My attitude is kind of like the guy at the end of Cat's Cradle, the one who was going to climb to the top of a mountain, flip a bird at the heavens, and then touch a crystal of Ice-9 to his tongue.
Hmmm here is one, from a middlebrow magazine. Not any statistics of course, and studies. I'd have to do a lot more googling to find that kind of thing. The signal to noise is kind of high on this issue.
It's probably still fashionable to rail against wikipedia, but this link has an intro to the topic, and some references, though they seem to be mostly links to UK newspaper articles:
Here is an interesting link to some comments by Paul Dini.
I think he is missing the forest for the trees though. The people in question would be quite happy to sell advertisements for entire lines of girl's toys all dressed in militaristic blue uniforms, and sporting giant size rocket launchers.
If that is what would pay for all the grown up toys and lifestyle they want.
After all people not much different from them make tons off of selling salt, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup mislabeled as food, and they don't lose a wink of sleep over the obesity epidemic.
I will say I found all kinds of impassioned articles railing against forcing gender on to impressionable toddlers using "what kind of toys do little girls like marketing" as a search phrase.
My argument is none of those things. Rather I'm saying "Water is wet," and you are choosing to argue the point because your worldview says it's wet only because we tell it that it is wet in water pre-school, and we buy water appropriate toys to stereotype it as wet.
Actually I'd say your comments are far more appropriate to yourself.
Depends on whether the dm will allow magic vestment to work on it. This was discussed in the Channeling the Cosmos guide thread on these boards.
The more or less consensus opinion was that if an Oracle gets an Armor revelation, if the description of that seems to refer to a physical thing, as opposed to air or shadow or something then magic vestment will work on it.
Gives good ac then, no kinds of movement or check penalties. Plus they usually have another minor bonus.
Captain Wacky wrote:
I tell you what is really weird, most buyers of Yaoi manga are women, and from what I have read this holds true even in the states.
I can't even begin to come up with a theory for this. I sense that the answer wouldn't be terribly interesting to me anyway, so I'm not going to research it or think about it.
Still if someone has a theory on it, it would be interesting to read at least.
Jessica Price wrote:
No they aren't. They are being sold what they WANT to buy.
It isn't a conspiracy to mold the minds of young females into "acceptable" forms. This is actually what they want.
There have been attempts to make "action girl" toylines in the past. They don't sell terribly well, or stick around too long.
Jessica Price wrote:
I thought "Tomboys (girls that are boyish) are cool" was your whole point.
Once again: "If you reduce the sex appeal of your art, of the female characters depicted, you will sell less to women."
It is not a wild idea. I would have thought any educated person would be aware of certain facts.
Namely that from day one practically you can observe behavioral differences between individuals of different gender. This continues and exacerbates the older the individuals in question become.
Geez, don't take my word for it, there is a plethora of things on developmental psychology, genetics, anthropology out there for you to read, all at typing of a search phrase.
And a lot of marketing data.
But I'll leave you with this: a lot of human behavior is as deterministic as a dog's pointing reflex, and due to the same reasons.
Jessica Price wrote:
Why on earth, if you're asserting something you know people will disagree with, is it their responsibility to prove you wrong? You want to convince people of anything, it's your responsibility to prove there's data to support the idea. Anyone can just throw out crazy ideas -- don't...
Hmmmm makes me think of Mystara. They had a spaceship that had crashed on the planet as well.
I was never sure whether the ship came from our Earth in the future (It was called HMS Beagle or something). Of course that whole thing was kind of "adopted" from Blackmoor, the Arneson setting.
I really miss the Gonzo age.
Jessica Price wrote:
See this is something I just don't understand at all.
Is there some dark, secretive world of boys and grown men that collect Bratz dolls?
My impression was that this is marketed to small girls, and that is who winds up with the things.
No self respecting 7 year old boy would touch one for fear of cooties that Lysol couldn't take off.
I'd like you to explain to me why little girls are interested in Bratz dolls at all. Instead of demurely dressed ones.
Now here is a statement for you to disagree with, or say I'm wrong. But if you do, explain why you think it is wrong.
If you reduce the sex appeal of your art, of the female characters depicted, you will sell less to women.
I think there is a corollary I hadn't thought about too much, until someone pointed it out kinda in an earlier post. If you "tanked" up the men, you will sell less to males.
Now you aren't going to make me mad. If you have an argument that shoots holes in it, fine. But explain why it is wrong.
I kind of alluded to it in an earlier post, but here is a theory:
This is an escapist genre. When it comes to art, I think a big part of the appeal is to see idealizations, to see the form they'd like to have instead of whatever the personal reality is.
I think the same is true for women. And the non-PC opinion I hold it that being forceful and dominant is all well and good. But in the end, it's not as much of a draw as being smoking hot, nine out of ten times.
Someone might want the world and people to conform to whatever belief system they might hold. But in the end, we all have vast portions of ourselves that are based on instinct, and hard-wired, not a part of conscious abstract thought.
I guess that argument puts a shot through the petard I hoisted about the art and realism. I do have an out though. I guess due to age I have different fantasies about what an ideal is. Mine isn't the current crop of steroided up actors (yeah I think most of them are using HGH at the very least, the action guys), or modern cartoons and comics.
Actually this quote I just typed in from Astro City #1 (the current Vertigo series) expresses my thoughts on the matter.
"She's called American Chibi. I'm not sure about her.
I mean where does she come from? Robot? Cartoon come to life? 13-year-old anime fan who got her heart's desire and this was it?
Or worse, 35-year-old anime fan who got his heart's desire?"
BTW I googled Charles Voss. He would do a great job in this genre.
He's even more perfect for Oz, Barsoom, and Tarzan though to my eye.
Couldn't find Janet Ausilio mentioned on Google though.
I won't dispute that this is not all time art.
But come on. 1930's, published on acid paper. A medium aimed at kids and ... odd adults. I'm quite sure the artist didn't get the going rate they paid at Harper's or something for sure.
It's pretty hard to compare things across eras. I'd imagine that the pulp magazines were on a shoe string compared to what Paizo is running. And I'm also pretty sure the artist had a lot less time to come up with this than the artists Paizo uses does.
Another thing that gets me about this thread is that the people who don't like the way it is now, are awful sparse on details of what they would like to see.
BTW, the dude is actually "Conan." He doesn't look right to me though, Frank Frazetta eternally shaped my opinion of what Conan should like like. So improbably if a Cimmerian from a wintry land doesn't have Latin features, he doesn't look right.
Considering this thread and the "hypersexualization" thread running concurrently, with other such threads in the near past, it's not an accident, nor did anyone forget.
I saw that thread. I didn't read it, because the title sounded boring, and I kind of figured it would have a certain tone.
As to why I clicked on this one? Eh, not sure now. I will say I think Merisiel and Seoni are the only two that have a good "look" for what that is worth. I would definitely have done them a little differently if I was the artist.
Just not keen on any of the other female characters, at least the way they are drawn. As for the males, only one I can say I am a fan of is Eben.
If I were the art director I'd revamp all of them to some extent or other.
And the first commandment I would give my art team is "Thou shall not swaddle thy characters in crap. I care not how busy other other artists in other venues maketh their illustrations."
To tell you the truth, I think I would either use someone on staff, or hire a model, to pose for a bunch of reference photos for each character too.
It's not just specific to Paizo, something odd has happened in the past 20 or 30 years. Artists seem like they have forgotten (or never learned) how human bodies move, and how to put that into a medium. In the past you could get a teenager doing his first art gig, and he would seem to have more of a clue about how to go about it.
Now it's like artists reference cartoons or something, instead of people. Another degree of separation. And you see it in some of the god awful art major companies publish. (Looking at you DC and Marvel. Especially you Marvel.)
She's actually interesting for more than one reason. She was created in the 1970's Conan comic by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.
According to wikipedia she was based on a character called "Red Sonya of Rogatino," in a non-Hyborian age Howard short story called "The Shadow of the Vulture."
This surprised me because I would have sworn that Red Sonya was in Red Nails, a Conan story by Howard. Turns out it was another Howard heroine named Valeria, who I think is more the inspiration than the other. Well my opinion, I have never seen that short story.
Anyway this came up on these very boards, in a very similar argument a year or two ago:
Rereading that, I'm surprised at how similar the things I have to say are. Guess my opinion hasn't changed. Be interesting to see if the same people are in that thread as this one. Then again I don't care that much.
And just for the heck of it, here are a couple of links, one to the cover of Weird Tales, where Red Nails was first published:
And to an illustration from the story within:
Incidentally the second piece is a better piece of art than I have seen by Paizo. Maybe they could learn something? Think outside the box? Dump manga elements? Have their artists study human anatomy and posture? Use reference models? Heck Greg Land would be an improvement.
Anyway other than that, this thread is same as it ever was. And I'm sure the thread will be reborn in days to come, when memories grow dim.
Think I'll skip the next one.
Jessica Price wrote:
Seelah, no. She's got some boobplate going,
I think the "boobplate" does look stupid, but I'm not sure how many of your readers share the same opinion.
But they are your company's artists, not mine.
Jessica Price wrote:
Seoni, yes. Aside from the outfit, her chest is thrust out, lips are parted (compare Amiri's bared teeth).
Now this is an eye of the beholder thing. You apparently see a suggestive pose, and I see a look of minor irritation, "Alright, I've had enough of this $%*#."
Now as for some feedback, which I doubt you'll even consider. Her leggings are useless. I'm not sure what you call her "train," other than fabric. It is too long.
She doesn't look like she could actually run too well, and I'd think that is important in her business.
Think plain old sandals would be a better look. Plus the dagger and pouch are in crazy spots. She can't reach the pouch too easily, nor the dagger. Having them at waist level would make a lot more sense.
The staff is being carried awkwardly, and I have no idea what that... crosspiece is behind her back.
Appeals to realism are all fine and good. But why stop at "sensible?"
None of this armor, none of these weapons are right. No one in the real world wore armor like we see depicted.
No one has ever used a sword like the iconic Barbarian uses. Double bitted greataxes are something that never really existed, at least as a weapon actually used in combat either. No one would ever use a dire flail.
And as has been pointed out many, many times, the weight of the weapons are all wrong.
The weapons themselves make no sense. As an example quarterstaffs are definitely tripping weapons. Daggers and spears are definitely monk weapons, as much as shuriken and nunchaku.
Slings are utterly lethal weapons, on a par with longbows. Only to get this level of performance out of them, you need something beyond weapon training to represent it.
Okay, I get chainmail bikinis are ridiculous to look at. But it seems that if you are going to invoke a realism argument, there are a whole lot of other tings you can give a once over as well.
And being a cynic in some ways, let's say some of the posters got their wish, and all the female characters dressed realistically, instead of being idealized physical specimens, and showing it proudly.
Are you quite positive sales would improve? Stay the same? Drop?
And I'm not talking about strictly to the younger male buyer, I'm talking about to female buyers as well.
People have been selling this stuff for a long time, and it is lurid for a reason.
I'm not quite so sure that some in this thread understand the reptilian center of the brain, and why people actually do what they do as well as they might think.
Rationality and evaluating things on the basis of some kind of ideology you have... well that is weak sauce when you see what you get by pushing people's hidden buttons.
I've been seeing arguments like this my whole life. In that time, it has had no effect whatsoever. The clothes get skimpier, the fashions more risque every year it seems. When people get acclimated you have to go a little further each time to get the reaction you are after.
Then there are things like Game of Thrones. Or any of a number of other movies and television shows.
Like I said, I've seen it my whole life. Some of the voices I heard in my younger days saying things like this... well they are dead now.
And nothing has changed.
I used to get bummed by people preaching this message. Why do you feel the need to impose your own mores on everyone else? Then I realized something.
It isn't a rejoinder, but a statement of fact.
"Inherit the Wind." And by that I mean you are tilting at a windmill.
Is that a free download? I don't have that book.
Yeah, I wrote up a really long piece to respond to him last night, the kind where you google for half remembered things and learn new ones while you do it.
I decided to not hit the post button, because I didn't want to get into an idiotic thread fight.
Just have a couple things to say.
1) The Caliphate most people seem to think is established in 622 AD, with the founding of the first Islamic state. Whether it ends with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258, or the completion of the Reconquest in Spain in 1492 is up for debate. I tend to think the Mongol conquest, because my impression is that the intellectual stagnation of the Islamic world began before 1492.
Regardless the Caliphate was a remarkable period.
I'd also wager that if you were a common person, most of the Islamic world would have better to live in than Europe for a long time (till 1800's maybe?). The Koran specifically details requirements for charity. It's a long discussion, but my take is most of Europe is a pretty nasty place to live during this period, particularly in Eastern Europe and farther east among the Rus, if you were a peasant (serf/slav).
2) The Arabs (using this in place of 'Islamic World') didn't know too much more than the Europeans about the world. They had trading contacts down the East coast of Africa, and the island of Madagascar, but they knew pretty much nothing about Inland Africa.
I'd also wager they knew there was a "China," and it was on the other end of the Silk Road. Somewhere.
What is really interesting is that Islam dates back to about 1100 in Indonesia. I wonder if any scholars in Baghdad knew there were Muslims in Indonesia, that there was an "Indonesia," let alone had a map of the place. There couldn't have been many people making the Hajj given the distance back then.
You could also substitute Bangladesh, or whatever it was called then for Indonesia.
My take is you could draw a map about the Middle East, it goes way out to places accessible by ship, and it is much closer and hazier with places that have to be traveled to via land routes.
And that is what they knew.
3) It takes the introduction of Quinine to make anything other than novelty treks into the heart of Africa possible. I've seen some statements here and there, that Malaria is the most vicious pathogen the human race has ever faced, and I see no reason to question that.
Basically if you don't have genetic resistance to it, any area that it is endemic to, is almost totally a no go.
I'm not sure how to put this exactly. I think LazarX put it the best as far as I think things ought to be:
"BTW, those same Renaissance intelligentsia were stone cold ignorant about the Far East, the classic empires of Africa, and Islamic culture in general. Parochialism and prejudice had a lot to do with that."
Although I find it curious as to why he doesn't blame "Parochialism and prejudice" for the classic empires of Africa and Islamic culture in general for their stone cold ignorance of European culture.
Instead of, I don't know, distance or something? Parochialism tends to get a bad response, but knowing about some things isn't going to make one whit of difference to the grain harvest around Florence.
I think I just prefer a setting where you don't just know about all this stuff ahead of time, or at least the general gist of it. Regardless of whether technologies are forgotten, or the fact that there was once an Azlanti city of 500,000 located 500 miles west of Magnimar and it is currently underwater isn't generally known.
You guys are right about the divination magic. And the gods.
I think this is one of the situations where you just have to ignore the logical implications of spells and whatnot, so the world will conform to what we want a fantasy setting to be like.
I am putting this here, instead of advice, because I am looking for pretty specific advice about this setting.
Okay, I am thinking about making a cleric of Nethys, with the domains Knowledge, and Protection.
I don't really have much of a background other than the character would be Garundi, and from Nex. There really isn't any kind of plot hook other than the character is a seeker of knowledge, and wants to found a library one day.
So what exactly is known? This character would have been trained or raised (or something) in a Temple devoted to Nethys. Despite the focus on magic, I would expect these guys to go in for learning as well.
Now would an educated (no university, what you would expect someone to pick up in a temple of a god of knowledge) person know that there was ever an Azlant or any of the backstory about that place we as players know?
I'm kind of thinking that anything concrete wouldn't go back further than Nex's founding itself. Things like the long history of Osirion would be known, but Technocratic Leagues, Old Mage Jatembi's and the like are the thing of legends. The Great Darkness after the Starfall might be some kind of disputed legend, scoffed at as superstition. No one really knows much about the history or geography of Avistan other than a vague knowledge that Cheliax is up there somewhere, and oh yeah there is this Andoran place, right?
I'm pretty sure that Aroden and Absalom would be pretty common knowledge, just from the location, and trade routes. Taldor, Qadira, would be places that are known, but pretty much nothing north of that.
So just how much backstory would you expect someone to know that was reasonably well informed?
I'd drop Heavy Armor Proficiency. And Weapon Focus too honestly.
In their place I'd take Steel Soul (would still take Iron Will. Saves, particularly Will can NEVER be to high), and Extra rage power.
Also, you will get all kinds of people telling you what I am about to tell you is dumb, but it is the way I do it.
I would take Lightning Reflexes and Great Fortitude as well. Even though you would have Steel Soul, Glory of Old, Superstition, and a Cloak of Resistance.
Saves just can't be too high, ever.
I think I miss rules light most of all.
3.x and Pathfinder are too rule heavy for me to enjoy playing anymore.
It's been mentioned several times, but the Rules Codex (well the OSR versions now) are my favorite version.
Strangely enough for a system that had it's roots in OD&D (not even 1e), it wound up having the most playable system for levels past 20 I have seen in all the D&D brands. It wasn't perfect, but at least it kind of worked.
The Epic Level Handbook was totally broken. Not sure that Mythic is actually intended to fill this niche, but it is even more broken.
I'll also say that the class balance was better with BECMI than any other version I have played. Some problems were that low level casters were still terrible, and low level Thieves were gimped even by historical standards with how the Thief skills worked in that game (though they eventually become very capable with them). In the long run though Thieves could use Weapon Specialization, and that was a big deal for them.
Ah, I get it now. If you are planning to saturate the field with summon monsters.
From the Master Summoner entry:
"Only one summon monster spell may be in effect while the eidolon is summoned. If the summoner’s eidolon is not summoned, the number of creatures that can be summoned with this ability is only limited by its uses per day. "
So the first summon monster is fine, but if you are summoning 5 packs of dire tigers you need to dismiss the eidolon.
Halflings due to size get a +1 to hit as opposed to medium size PC's.
The small weapons on average do what, a whole point of damage less than medium sized?
Assuming you took power attack at level one, in the early levels I'd think the +1 to hit would more than cancel out the penalty of the small size weapons.
Later on Risky Striker will get you around most of your penalty anyway, though weapon base damage gets to be a non-issue since most of your damage is from weapon training/specialization and strength, plus weapon properties.
I just don't think it matters.
What does matter is that:
1) Small size gives you a handicap against combat maneuvers.
2) The dex bonus will add to saves. But dex builds are pretty much a trap for fighters. There are some interesting things you can do with two weapon fighting and shields, but it requires you sinking a ton of feats into it, with not much more payoff, if any, versus...
Using a two handed weapon.
Now you might be angling for duelist, or shadowdancer or something of the sort. But in general str builds are better.
I guess I could defend that statement, but if you want me to, do a lot of reading on these boards, and get back to me on that.
3) Make sure you substitute Fleet of Foot for Slow Speed and Sure-Footed. The skill bonuses just aren't a fighters bag, and as often said they are meaningless in the long run (unless you are actually using acrobatics). My biggest beef with small races is the slow speed, and this makes up for it.
Now if you did want to go dex based, you can do a lot with dual wielding kukris, getting crit feats, and dazing assault. There is a load of conditions and saves you can make an opponent make, and they are bound to fail one, even if your damage isn't as good as your buddy Fred and his Falchion.
Just want to say a str build is perfectly viable for a halfling. You can do interesting things with a dex build, but a str build is as viable for them as anyone. You might be 2 points of str behind due to your race, but you do get some features that kind of make up for it.