Liz Courts wrote:
Another warning to keep it civil.
It's a big internet. I'll guess I'll find another place to hangout.
But before I go, will you for once explain exactly what you mean? You are being remarkably cryptic.
Pippi, I don't know you, and what I am about to say may seem like it comes out of left field, but let me make an argument.
What do you think we are? And by "we" I mean humans.
I think we are pretty much lumps of protoplasm, mostly ruled by hormones and behaviors that are in some cases due to heredity, and in some cases learned from culture, other individuals, and sometimes by experience.
Over all this is a pretty thin veneer of rational thought.
Like most things in life, some things are more equal than others. For example taking on the sex drive in humans is a pretty tough roe to hoe. You need powerful tools for that, stuff like religion.
I might also add that pressing people's buttons using sex can be a lucrative business, even if you are selling clothes and deodorant as opposed to porn or what I'll just call a commercial transaction.
Now, secular beliefs that approach the power of religion are a relatively new thing. Stuff like environmentalism, nationalism, communism, capitalism, and what I guess your viewpoint is, feminism (you haven't really stated, so I'll just lump it in there). I think the jury is still out on whether they have the mojo to take on the reptilian centers of our brains.
Now what I just said you may find disagreeable from a philosophical standpoint. I don't really like it, but the rational part of my brain says it fits the available evidence. But that leads me to my personal problem with what I gather is your viewpoint.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are obviously a woman, and I'm sure quite lovely (notice how smoothly I segued into that sexism). Now from the context of your written words, I'd say you are a brit. Even in Britain you guys (uh well I'm drinking a beer, so I'm not changing that word) wear bathing suits and go to the beach.
So young lady (I'm guessing you aren't old school), do you find thong bikinis to be comfortable? I'll make another guess and say you don't. Now you might not wear them, but others do. Now why is that?
Anyway I have some assumptions embedded in there. Namely thongs are uncomfortable, but what does my hairy keister know?
Anyway, no one would be happier to believe in the ghost in the machine more than I would, but as nearly as I can tell it just isn't there.
So I have a problem. I want to live in a fin de siecle age, and party my gongs off (american slang) until I die.
I want She Devils with a Sword, Red Hair (and a lot of it), and a chain mail bikini that doesn't chafe (like I said, I'm drinking a beer). And I don't really want to hear from someone that I really shouldn't like that kind of stuff.
1) Hmmmm, who attacked who here? I don't particularly care about the identities, but I would like to know what you consider to be a personal attack and insult.
2) Given the topic: SF/F Authors clash over Sexism, Chain-mail bikinis, I don't see how you separate sexism, societal perceptions of gender, and portrayal of gender from the topic, when you pull at one string you see that they are all connected.
If you have another way of looking at this, I'm truly curious as to what that would be.
3) This is actually pretty tame. Are posts here supposed to be totally free of any convictions, beliefs, or emotions the poster has?
*Facepalm* (no link though)
They have everything to do with one another.
Go look at some pictures of beachware circa the 1920's or 1930's. Then ask yourself how it all changed.
I can tell you no one was wearing thong bikini's in the 70's, unless it was in Brazil or French Tahiti or something.
So did some wave crest out of the collective unconscious of man... uh womank... uh "womynkind" and people just start wearing thong bikinis? Or bikinis at all compared to the 30's?
No what happened is you started seeing them in magazines. Where they got it from is another matter. Did a designer come up with them on his (and most of them are "he's") own? Did a designer copy something he saw girls doing on a beach somewhere? No idea, a fashion historian might know.
But you started seeing them in magazines eventually movies. People wanted to be edgy and daring then started wearing them themselves.
It's that simple.
PS, bikinis are sexual advertising pure and simple.
Aaron Bitman wrote:
Come to think of it, Sunbeam was probably thinking that "Red Nails" inspired the module "Dwellers of the Forbidden City". That is true. The module's own author said so.
Nah, I was definitely thinking of The Lost City. I've never played Dwellers of the Forbidden City. I have played the other though.
I haven't read Conan since the 80's. I did read some of what Kurt Busiek did with Conan on that indie label in the last decade though. But other than that I haven't really read any of his stories or comics since the 80's.
Circa 1985 or so though, I think I had read pretty much all the Howard stories, the de Camp stories, and some by some other people that wrote during the Sword and Sorcery phase that kicked in during the 70's.
I definitely read that other one, because I remember thinking that the drugged up people in The Lost City was just like a Conan story I had read.
Just drawing a blank on it now though.
It appears you are right. I haven't read Conan since the 80's. I remembered the drug addled society, but thought it was in Red Nails.
I must have read this one, I remember some of the details, but I'm still drawing a blank on the title, at least as far as ever having read a story called that.
I would have sworn you were wrong, because I remembered reading about her in a Howard short story.
I remembered the right story, Red Nails, but everything else was wrong. The character I was thinking of is Valeria:
This has an interesting cover to the Weird Tales pulp, one depicting the said Valeria about to get her heart or something cut out by cultists:
If that ever happens to me, that is the way I want it to go down. Well I wouldn't want it to go down at all but..
More interestingly there is this interior art:
The description of Valeria by Howard:
"She was tall, full-bosomed, and large-limbed, with compact shoulders. Her whole figure reflected an unusual strength, without detracting from the femininity of her appearance. She was all woman, in spite of her bearing and her garments. The latter were incongruous, in view of her present environs. Instead of a skirt she wore short, wide-legged silk breeches, which ceased a hand's breadth short of her knees, and were upheld by a wide silken sash worn as a girdle. Flaring-topped boots of soft leather came almost to her knees, and a low-necked, wide-collared, wide-sleeved silk shirt completed her costume. On one shapely hip she wore a straight double-edged sword, and on the other a long dirk. Her unruly golden hair, cut square at her shoulders, was confined by a band of crimson satin."
Apparently reading the text is something only previous generations of artists did.
A few thoughts:
1) I thought the Latin lookng Conan was on Weird Tales covers from the beginning. Maybe not. I have always preferred that look, I guess it is what you get used to when you start reading.
2) I prefer the artwork in this black and white illustration to a lot of comics and modern fantasy art I have seen, including the Paizo stuff.
3) I always thought this story was the inspiration for The Lost City module. Not going to pull the thread on that one though.
BTW, obviously all this came from that wikipedia page.
Radbod Jarl wrote:
About Red Sonja. Yeah, I don't remember all the details on her. There was some god or spirit involved. Something about she could only "give herself" to someone who had beaten her in battle.
My images of Red Sonja are invariably the silver chain mail bikini (or is it scale?) and that luxuriant red, red hair.
But even if she is some kind of adolescent fantasy (you also have to consider in the pulp period you were kind of limited on how you could play on all those hormonal teenage boys and their lasciviousness to sell books), why can't she be in print? If you don't like it, don't buy it. If someone does, then they can buy it.
Lord Snow wrote:
Women will be standing in such ways that you could usually see both their breasts and their backsides,
Well all right!
Lord Snow wrote:
and if not so then at least you have to make sure their crotch is hidden behind nothing more than a piece of cloth that can blow away with even the slightest gust of wind,
The game is on!
Lord Snow wrote:
You can also get more money in life by stealing for supermarkets or not paying in restaurants or any number of other ways, each of them every bit as immoral as being a sexist in public.
"In modern usage, the word puritan is often used to describe someone who is strict in matters of sexual morality, disapproves of recreation, and wishes to impose these beliefs on others. Hedonism and puritanism are antonyms."
And you are not a Puritan how exactly?
Let's say I am a sexist. Leave aside the fact that there actually are profound differences in psychology and mental outlook between the sexes, a fact established by biology, neurology, anthropology, psychology, the dudes down at Bert's Bar, the gals at Minnie's Hair and Nail Salon...
I am a sexist (Rhetorical statement and to be honest the issue wouldn't come up if we interacted). Why should I bow my knee to you, or anyone like you, in any way pertaining to "morality," or "the one accepted way to live?" (See what I did there? That's your problem all over again.)
I want to say something else about that Hawkeye initiative. I am a comics fan from way back, and a lot of that art I find offensive for a reason different from most of you. Those women aren't hot they are deformed.
It may surprise you, but it is possible that I could find a drawing offensive. But the lousy art on most of them makes it hard to be offended.
I've always heard it said that it is hard to draw hands (and Rob Liefeld will tell you it is impossible to draw feet). Apparently something else is too, because most of those artists need to learn how to draw boobs. I was struck by how poorly Catwoman was drawn. If any character lends themselves to being drawn in a slinky, suggestive pose, it's her. Darwyn Cooke's style is cartoony, but I think he draws her better than anyone I saw on those pages.
I think that initiative also misses the mark in understanding the mentality of those they are trying to affect.
Because that guy with the speedos, helmet, and the big grin? I'd totally party with that cowboy.
Hmmm just checking out the first three pages of that Hawkeye Initiative thing, some of that art is just bad period.
I'm not sure how fair it is to blame Rob Liefeld for an anatomically impossible pose, because I'm not sure he can draw an anatomically possible pose.
Emma Frost (one of her covers, the one with her on the bench) looks like she is a product of Greg Land and his magic lightbox.
Which means there is a magazine photo or a bit of advertising out there just like it, *WINKEE *WINKEE.
But I liked the Red Sonja on page one. I think that is a very good representation of her. What is she supposed to look like in someone's mind? I like that look. It has been literally decades since I read any Conan stories, but if my memory is correct Howard had her in a chain shirt, helmet, and shield.
Just like Conan, but funny how he just always seems to be drawn with that bearskin loincloth.
I liked the Betty Page on page 3. I'm no anatomist but that seemed like a pose that is physically possible.
I liked She Hulk's rear view on that page too. A Ok in my book. Funny I remember a couple of He-Man cartoons where Adam, Prince of Steroidia was in the same pose.
Of course I was more involved with figuring out why Thundra was green. Gotta like that gal, that look hasn't changed since the 70's. They got her costume right, just like Ultra Boy and Sun Boy when they made that one.
I'm not going through all of those, but the people who submitted to that site should try to be a little snarkier. Herc on page 1 is the only one that got me laughing.
I guess one problem I have with what they are trying to do, is that at least half that art is awful period. I'm not talking about the amateurs, I'm talking about the art that was published. There's just nothing there to mock. Particularly Lady Death. I have loathed that character since I first saw her in the 90's. (I always thought Shi was drawn kind of hot though.)
What really gets me is what exactly is wrong with the Red Sonja on page one? I think it is perfect. I doubt the pose passes muster with any medieval re-enactors, but a realistic pose wouldn't be very good in a comic book anyway. I've seen some of these old renaissance illustrated manuals about sword fighting, and it looks nothing like what I've seen in fantasy art for the most part.
As far as the chain mail bikini? Well that goes in the unrealistic category along with all these oversized swords the manga kids like so much, and all this spiked armor. Plus let's face it, none of the armor looks right if you compare it to what you see in museums.
I get the fact that some people consider it demeaning. I think they are splitting the thinnest of hairs. I think the problem is showing any skin at all, not the chain mail bikini thing.
Edit: I take something back. That She-Hulk cover. Thundra has some kind of... leggings. They look like crap. She needs her bell bottoms back bad.
I once read a science fiction short story about an alien scientific expedition exploring the ruins of earth far in the future when humanity had died out.
They knew humans existed because they found uncountable numbers of...
They theorized that they had some religious significance.
The flying mount thing has been a sore spot forever.
Does anyone have any ideas about why they make it so difficult?
You can buy hippogriffs and whatnot as mounts, but none of the classes that have a mount as a feature can have a flying one?
Summoners don't really have a problem swinging this.
I'm just not sure I understand the reasoning.
I know it's uncomon, but some campaigns do go that high.
I guess someone could adapt the old epic handbook (didn't someone do that here?), or come up with something else.
But if you play an Aasimar Oracle, and do get to the higher levels it is going to come up if you use that racial bonus.
Assuming you selected the racial bonus at every level as early as level 14 you are going to have to figure out "Ok, so what is this exactly?"
Really I don't think the Life Oracle channel energy thing is a big issue with this at all. Things like the Nature Oracle and that mount, or the Ancestor Oracle and that Warrior thing are going to be bigger deals.
The Chort wrote:
Are you so sure about that? If you can answer that question, then tell me what happens to BAB, Saves, Spell Progression, Hit Points, and Animal Companions past level 20.
As nearly as I can tell there are no rules for it. I think I saw a writeup for a Aerpentfolk General in the last book of Serpent Skull. I'm pretty sure he had five racial hit dice and was a level 20 Fighter.
It might be possible to reconstruct something from that.
You know I guess it is a minor point to some. But unless what happens with the Aasimar racial bonus is defined, it becomes less useful as you level, and is totally useless at level 20 (if you make it that far).
Assuming that nothing progresses past level 20, which I haven't seen much written about in print.
Now see, you've managed to put things in a box you find convenient. One that fits the basic assumptions of your world view.
Answer this question: Is there anything wrong with being eye-candy? An exhibitionist? If so, what is the rationale? Do you view people who like to be looked at as less than you in some way?
What I'm hearing from you is that you think you are some kind of enlightened individual, whereas it seems to me you want to impose your values on other people.
I'd actually think most people in the SF industry would at least profess values you would be comfortable with. Whether their behavior follows from those things is another matter.
Hmmm I gather from you that if I were to purchase something with a lurid cover, that means I want every woman I meet to "Make me a sandwich?"
I think if you can get a long session every week a year is a reasonable amount of time.
When I say long I mean about 6 hours. You don't have to run that long every time but in my experience 4 hours seems too short to wind things up with more than one encounter. Of course the higher levels you make it to, the rounds can take longer and longer even if they take less total rounds.
A lot of it depends how organized the players and dm are. Plus the character classes. Some of them have so many options even experienced players dither over what to do in a given situation. And the higher you go the more bric a brac like scrolls and items come into play: "Hey I have something in my backpack, let me look something up."
Actually let's have this debate FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.
I take it this issue has been covered to your satisfaction already?
Devastation Bob wrote:
But if you're an aasimar, you can apply the feat that gives your mount the celestial template while still treating it as a regular animal for class abilities like animal friend (which i think is the one that buffs their saves...)
This is the feat:
"Celestial Servant (Aasimar)
Rather than being a normal animal or beast, your companion or familiar hails from the heavenly realms.
Prerequisites: Aasimar, animal companion, familiar, or mount class feature.
Benefit: Your animal companion, familiar, or mount gains the celestial template and becomes a magical beast, though you may still treat it as an animal when using Handle Animal, wild empathy, or any other spells or class abilities that specifically affect animals."
It's a really good feat. As I read it, becoming a Magical Beast gives you full bab, and d10 hit dice.
It also changes your skill points.
I don't know what I think of this.
As a matter of principle I'm all for scantily clad women. And no, I don't really mean that humorously. Apparently some women share my ideals, as any trip to the beach will confirm.
I get the idea that chainmail bikinis are a dumb idea. But there is only so many ways you can communicate that a scantily clad individual is... well a warrior. At least artistically.
Look sex sells. I'm not sure I would want to buy a book with a woman dressed in an actual Joan of Arc style suit of armor. I mean if my choices were between a typical painting of Dejah Thoris and a person of indistinguishable sexuality wearing full plate and a bucket helmet, I'm probably going for the one with Dejah Thoris on the cover.
Why doesn't anyone ever have a complaint about scantily clad figures like Conan? Fabio? Most of the armor I've seen on fantasy covers seems unworkable to me if it actually existed. Real stuff just doesn't look like the art they put out.
Why doesn't anyone try selling books with covers these people will approve of? That way they can compare and see what sells and what doesn't.
That said the article made the management of this magazine seem creepy and mean. That might be true.
I don't think Jean Rabe would resign if this were some kind of media stunt. I've read some of her books, and she has a good reputation in the game fiction world, as far as I know.
I guess the problem with this is the fact that I do not want to be a sober, calvinistic person. I want let it all hang out. Wretched excess. I would be proud if my headstone said "Rake at the Gates of Hell" when I die. I do not want to conform to these particular people's sense of decorum. If someone were to publish a series about nude, tattooed women superwarriors that oil their bodies up and drink soma, then that is what I want to read.
And I want the cover art to reflect that. If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it.
A lot of words, but to heck with this Neopuritanism.
Yeah, but most of these builds seem to progress the same feature, even past level 10.
Take the example I gave of the animal companion. Can you go past level 20 with that to have an Animal Companion that a druid level 30 could have? With any of the revelations?
Could your Aasimar Oracle channel like a level 30 Cleric?
5. Race choices for an oracle can really have a huge effect. Aasimar and the alternate favored class bonus can make your energy channel ridiculously powerful. As a human, you can add a bunch of extra spells known to your list, thereby increasing your spellcasting flexibility. Let's be honest, you're going to cast the biggest variety of 1st-level spells, and how many different 1st-level spells are you really going to cast in your career? A human oracle can have eight 1st level spells on their list at level 10. I would say that's more than enough.
I keep seeing this Aasimar racial bonus stuff with Oracles, and maybe there is something to it.
But some of this ... The Oracle of Nature's animal companion for one thing. I mean Animal Companions aren't defined on that table going past level 20.
So does it exist right now? Do you extrapolate which is pretty easy to do?
What I'm trying to say is, is anything beyond level 20 defined right now? Did they intend for a 20th level Aasimar Oracle to have a level 30 Animal Companion? Or any of the other little tricks I've seen? What happens in PFS? I mean if Aasimar are allowed, and someone takes the favored class bonus if that is allowed...
What do you have at the table? A level 24 horse or camel?
Edit: Well if you had a level 14 Aasimar, it could be a level 21 (not 24), but still, what exactly is that?
As you have that, a couple of comments:
1) If the Oracle is 10th level, he should only have three Revelations until 11th level. I also think you probably meant to have Enhanced cures as a revelation.
2) The Oracle with two Extra Channel feats should have 11 channels a day, not 13.
Can you take Extra Channeling more than once? I use the d20pfsrd and it doesn't say you can take it more than once.
That was my take too. I'm imagining the characters from the Little Mermaid in a song and dance number, Ariel being voiced by Brittany Spears.
I think someone needs to run the numbers of how much each could possibly heal.
You'd have to make some assumptions on the point buy and how everything is arranged.
But this has been done on these boards before. And if I remember correctly a cleric with the healing domain came out ahead of the Oracle of Life.
Now a cleric doesn't get stuff like the Battlefield Healing ability, Life Link, or that elemental type form. But as far as healing hp damage they were right up there.
Something else, if I build an oracle, when I take things, and what levels are up in the air. But in the end, one of my oracles will be able to remove negative levels, energy damage, ability loss, and cure poison and disease.
The Life Oracle gets most of those I think as bonus spells known. But I would think most Oracles would eventually try to acquire these abilities anyway.
And just to say, having them always ready to go, is better than "see me tomorrow." Although if a cleric leave one or two slots open "see me in 15 minutes" isn't too bad.
I'm not sure what I think of this. I like it in a lot of ways, but it seems like it is more useful for martial classes that get some kind of spell like ability, and don't really have a whole lot they do with swift actions.
I was looking at the various improved familiars, and the tidal dragon appears to be a caster much as the Faerie Dragon, but the wording is a little different than the Faerie Dragon entry, so I wondered.
I use the Pathfinder d20pfsrd usually when I look something up on the computer.
I agree and disagree with this. There is no question the culture she comes from is serioius about training and personal enhancement.
But whether the gods stood around her cradle and gave her gifts or not, she isn't just some bad arse normal.
Leaving aside the absurd strength levels of Superman, she definitely has the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury. In some ways she has some similarity in this regard to a character I mentioned earlier.
I'm not sure how much it it has been covered by the books, and I know there have been different takes (the Purple Ray etc). But the Amazons are perfected humans, if you will, and Wonder Woman is playing on another level.
Somewhere along the line they really upped Aquaman's strength level. As I recall he was always much stronger than a normal human, but not like even Spider-Man. Now he seems like he and Luke Cage would be a good match at armwrestling.
Diana is definitely far beyond this. I've never understood this whole "strong as Superman thing." I'm not sure if they have ever gone toe to toe (well no one was going toe to toe with pre-Crisis Supes), but I've always personally just kind of thought they were playing in the same league. Superman definitely has more invulnerability, I guess Achilles didn't give her anything in that regard.
Of course even though I like the old stuff, I have always thought Superman's power levels were ridiculous as portrayed in the old days.
But I have always thought there was something mythological about Wonder Woman's abilities, that couldn't possibly come from training. I guess that is one reason why I have always favored the magic clay origin. She may be Hippolyta's daughter, but the gods had a hand in her making.
There are parts of Wonder Woman, the parts that everyone "knows," regardless of whether a writer tries to change.
1) She is a member of a race of Amazons that live on an island that is mystically separated from "Man's World."
2) Her mother, Hippolyta, the leader of the Amazons, formed her from a lump of magic clay.
3) She won a contest her mother didn't want her to enter, for the position of being an emissary to Man's World.
4) She blocks bullets with her bracers.
5) She has a Golden Lasso that compels people to speak the truth. She wears it at her side.
6) She has an Invisible Plane.
And something that has bugged me since the Crisis reboots, I don't think she should be able to fly. She has super-speed which is rarely played used in her books, she ought to use that more.
But she doesn't fly. Traditionally, in classic DC manner, she would jump ... into the stratosphere and ride the jet stream.
Everyone and their brother flies, she can be different.
I think she should maintain regular contact with her people. It's not something she should do every issue, but if she wanted to go to Paradise Island to talk to someone, use some resource, or whatever it shouldn't be like she was exiled. You can always use them in a plot of course.
The Amazons shouldn't be some psycho race of warrior nuts. They made the decision to separate a long time ago, the gods enabled it, and they don't really want to rejoin. Though I would imagine they are curious.
Mythology, magic, and the gods should play some part. Lot of plot hooks there. But Diana is different from most heroes in that you can put her on distant planets, other dimensions, do time travel, battle science villains, and do all the magic threats at the same time.
I think the Cheetah should be her Arch Villain. I really liked the take Alex Ross had on her in Justice. So much more primal and feral than the kitty kat version.
I have a soft spot for Giganta. I laughed my rear off when Giganta and Rita (Elasti Girl) had that catfight in Justice.
Come to think of it, I guess it was more or less the 70's league in that book, but the personality Diana had in that is the one I want to see.
So now I'm going to say I wish Alex Ross would be the guy to take her book.
I'm not sure how that art style of his would do for a monthly though. He might could pull it off, but he wouldn't have time for anything else.
I'd rather see her done by an indie company.
Come to think of it, some things just work better if they are not part of Disney or Time Warner.
I'd like to see both companies become independent again.
I won't hold my breath though.
That site is kind of wonky with the sales figures. I clicked a few times and had trouble finding things.
One thing I did notice was how many books were in single digits. Good sales figures if it keeps up.
By way of comparison I think in the 80's dipping much under 100,000 was grounds to consider canceling a book.
Things have really changed.
Just for the heck of it, here is an excerpt from here: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/interviews/3621/cancelled-comics-cavalcade-30 -years-later-with-paul-kupperberg/
"Paul Kupperberg (PK): Not hardly, nuh-uh. I didn’t touch anything, I don’t know how comic books got broken in 1978, I swear! I was just a cog in the wheel. A wheeling accomplish, if you wheel. (That was me channeling Julie Schwartz. It won’t happen again.)
JB: Ah, yes, I could sense the great man himself there for a moment. So then, what caused the Implosion? ‘Bad weather’ was stated as one of the causes…surely it had to be more than just that?
PK: It was a combination of things. It started about 1975, which is the year I got into comics, writing for Charlton and DC. Again, just a coincidence. Not my fault no matter how bad most of those early stories were.
DC and Marvel both went on this competitive expansion jag, each trying to muscle the other off the newsstands … here’s where I do the old fart thing: back in the olden days, comics weren’t sold in comics specialty shops. They were sold in drugstores, candy stores, bus and train stations, newsstands, etc. The company would print, say, 500,000 copies of a comic (yeah, that’s right, and that was for one of the low selling titles), send it out through the distributor, who passed them on to the wholesalers, who sent them out to the retailers, and whatever the retailer didn’t sell, got returned to be pulped and recycled. That’s opposed to the modern system, where the retailer buys his comics outright, no returns."
"The company would print, say, 500,000 copies of a comic (yeah, that’s right, and that was for one of the low selling titles), send it out through the distributor, who passed them on to the wholesalers, who sent them out to the retailers, and whatever the retailer didn’t sell, got returned to be pulped and recycled."
Of course we don't know how many of a run like that actually sold on the shelves, and how many were returned.
Okay, I'll bite.
What sells 130,000 copies these days? I take it you aren't talking about the big crossover events.
So what title sells 130,000 copies a month? Last time I did much reading on this, it was an uncommon title that sold over 50,000. For DC it was pretty much Batman and Superman. For Marvel X-Men has fluctuated a lot over the years, but it has a pretty high threshold it never goes under.
If things are still the same a Spider-Man book will odds are be the best Marvel seller. And it is pretty hard to get even that title up to 100,000 copies a month.
Wow, I am chatty today.
I just got through reading a couple of articles on that site DeathQuaker linked to.
Sales in general are stronger than they were about '08 or '09. Either they are doing something right or the economy has improved.
Maybe they are doing something right. Sales across all books were monotonically declining for ... decades honestly till the last time I looked 3 or 4 years ago. Just the books I read about on that site seem about 10,000 units a month stronger than I would have expected, after adjusting for the reboot sales jump.
Something else I want to point out it that in my opinion they don't really make their money off of sales of individual books like they did in the old days.
Captain Marvel came close to selling 5 million books a month on one of the titles he was in during the early 50's (before that DC lawsuit).
Now there aren't many books that sell 30,000 copies a month.
My take is they can't possibly make the revenue to pay all their people off of direct sales. This isn't the 1940's and Timely Comics, where you have a couple of admin people, an editor and a stable of writers and artists. These guys are subsidiaries of conglomerates now, and they roll with real companies. Offices, execs, lawyers, the whole nine yards.
I think they pretty much serve as repositories of stories and concepts that can possibly be turned into movies. Recent comic book derived movies have done well.
They do develop some new ideas as well, 300, Sin City, whatever that movie was with Nicholas Cage and "Hit Girl" as well. Some others that I won't mention.
They might make more money off of graphic novels than regular books, I understand the margins are better, But that isn't enough to satisfy the monkey these guys have on their backs now.
Movies and merchandising is how they make their money now. Sales are an afterthought in some ways. If we were privy to their internal numbers, I'd hazard a guess that they lose money on some books they keep printing.
There are other reasons to publish a book. Marvel comics trots out a book called "Captain Marvel" in some way every so often. I did some reading on this once, but I've forgotten the terms used.
But from what I gather it is to keep the name reserved. I don't think they really care about ticking off DC in this era of the game, but they just keep that particular name in their Intellectual Property.
The unfortunate side effect to me is the the World's Mightiest Mortal will probably never be published in a book called Captain Marvel.
And if you thought DC didn't know what to do with Wonder Woman...
I just wanted to add that I do believe the character has been floundering for at least 40 years. Longer even.
They always seem to keep her in print, because she is so iconic. But her book never sells.
Of course nothing really sells for DC but Bat and Superman books. The Legion and Teen Titans had big runs in the 80's, but in general DC books just fade away unless they are Batman or Superman titles.
Another way it can be considered to be floundering is the lack of good runs in the storyline. I'm talking about runs like the Avengers had with Roy Thomas and Englehart in the 70's. Levitz on the Legion in the 80's. Lee and Kirby on Fantastic Four through about issue 60 or something.
Stuff you just can't wait for the next issue to get on the shelves.
I have never gotten that with Wonder Woman. And to be honest I don't think it is so much a matter of taste. Most of the time when a book really grabbed me, you can find a lot of comment about it.
The ones I didn't think were very good just seem to have gone in the memory hole.
I mean I just did a google for "who wrote the Avengers in the 70's." Issues 150 to 200 is my all time favorite era of the Avengers. Lots of discussion of it still.
I think you can reboot a character without a universe shaking event.
The character can be very different depending on who writes it. Perez had Diana working at Taco Wiz or Big Belly Burger. She was a stranger in a strange land with his take.
Byrne's Wonder Woman was more worldly and knowledgeable. The personality was totally different to me. Plus he had some junk about Darkseid in there (Talk about a shoehorn).
Simone's was different from both of those. I still don't know what she was going for with that.
Moore and Swamp Thing is pretty well known. You could definitely argue that was a true reboot shaking the foundations of the character.
You don't have to change continuity to get something totally different. Denny O'Neil and the Batgod were totally different from anything that had come before.
If you would like I can point at other changes I personally think were reboots with other DC characters. Superman, Flash, Green Lantern all had extensive changes, even without the various crises.
They've rebooted her almost continuously since the 80's crisis.
Most of you are too young to remember the pre-Crisis Wonder Woman. It wasn't a great book (honestly most DC books weren't then) but at least it was something. They had a character mythology (Paradise Island, Invisible Plane, Golden Lasso), supporting characters (Steve Trevor, Etta Candy), a sort of semblance of a non-hero life (her job as an Air Force officer in the Pentagon).
Since then we have had the Perez reboot, the Byrne (not really a reboot, but the character was different from Perez), some other people, Gail Simone, whoever is doing this new one.
It's getting old. By the 70's it was pretty clear the title needed to change, but I don't think anyone ever had a good angle on what to do.
Byrne came the closest, though it pains me to say that. It still wasn't exactly what I would call good though.
As far as the costume goes, maybe it is an age thing and when you were first exposed to the character. But she looks stupid in pants.
Kind of like Superman needs his underoos to look right.
Her costume is pretty iconic. It didn't change very much for close to 50 years after they ditched the 40's miniskirt (though there were some "experiments." But we don't really want to talk about that 60's white pantsuit thing.
Aah, heck let's go there:
This title and character need someone to come up with a good angle on it. Batman, Superman, Flash, just about all the other A-List characters have had numerous takes, most of them successful.
Why a character as iconic as this one flounders I don't know. I mean she is pretty recognizable, and the basic origin story is pretty well known, like Batman and Superman's.
If she is selling now, I take it back. I picked up the first issue after the Flashpoint reboot and wasn't that impressed.
It might not always be the best tool for the job, but as someone indicated above with the scouting air elementals, a Master Summoner can get a lot of utility out of his summons.
There are so many languages that you might possibly find useful that I wonder how you could possibly take them all.
I think getting Tongues permanencied on yourself would be an ideal thing for a Summoner, Master Summoner in particular.
Plus even though you have a gimpy eidolon, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a familiar with the arcane heritage feat, and take improved familiar.
That is a lot of feats (3) but the improved familiars can be very useful, and some have truespeech or telepathy.
It's just something I think would be cool. Probably a lot of builds you could do with a Master Summoner, but it is something I would investigate.
Hmmmm what happens if you have your eidolon take Skilled:Linguistics?
Come to think of it, with Evolution Surge you could just enable your eidolon to speak any learnable language for a minute per level. You'd still have to preplan things a little though. And those second level slots would add up (assuming you used Lesser Evolution Surge).
It's some kind of fad to say something about Schrodinger's wizard.
But the thing about the wizard is he is entirely capable of dictating when and if he fights.
Ambush him? Kind of like an old Dallas Cowboys game with Roger Staubach: "Staubach doesn't like the set of the defense and calls timeout." Then he leisurely trots over to the sideline to talk with Tom Landry.
Exactly the same with the wizard.
That said, even if he doesn't know exactly what he is facing he has enough spells to cover all the defensive and evac bases.
That is a long winded way to say that if the wizard doesn't feel like he has the spell load to win overwhelmingly, he can call timeout whenever he wants and come back. Unless the opponent is a similar spellcaster there isn't much he can do about it.
The only defense is DM contrivance, plot, or some sort of Dimensional Lock effect. And typically you get a save against the wizards good save for that.
The race option that gives sorcerers an additional spell per level puts them in the wizard category. Maybe even ahead, I'd have to think about it.
It really isn't important, but I thought of something else.
If you have a scroll of Word of Recall, or have some item, perhaps a staff that can cast it...
Where exactly do you go?
That spell has been around a while. I don't think I have ever seen a scroll or an item with this on it, and I've gamed a long time.
Oh well, things have gone ok I guess, so no point in worrying about it.
Might be a plot hook somewhere with this angle though.
"Word of Recall
School conjuration (teleportation); Level cleric/oracle 6, druid 8
Casting Time 1 standard action
Word of recall teleports you instantly back to your sanctuary when the word is uttered. You must designate the sanctuary when you prepare the spell, and it must be a very familiar place. The actual point of arrival is a designated area no larger than 10 feet by 10 feet. You can be transported any distance within a plane but cannot travel between planes. You can transport, in addition to yourself, any objects you carry, as long as their weight doesn't exceed your maximum load. You may also bring one additional willing Medium or smaller creature (carrying gear or objects up to its maximum load) or its equivalent per three caster levels. A Large creature counts as two Medium creatures, a Huge creature counts as two Large creatures, and so forth. All creatures to be transported must be in contact with one another, and at least one of those creatures must be in contact with you. Exceeding this limit causes the spell to fail."
"You must designate the sanctuary when you prepare the spell, and it must be a very familiar place."
So if I am an Oracle, and take this spell, what exactly does this mean?
This makes me think of an eccentric nobleman. One with lots and lots of money to dabble in things like this.
To me any place where you could see a filthy rich nobleman is a good bet.
Taldor, Absalom, River Kingdoms (exiled Galtan nobility?), Druma, Molthune, Cheliax, Varisia (Korvosa), Brevoy, Ustalav on Avistan.
Nex, Osirion, Geb, Mwangi Expanse, maybe Thuvia on Garund, or even Jalmeray.
I just get a vibe of some out of touch nobleman who is dotty about his hobbies, backed up by a vast estate somewhere.
I think I would take the Noble Scion prestige class and get an item making cohort in your shoes.
Someone did the math on it in a thread similar to this once.
If I remember correctly the Cleric with the healing domain was actually better if you built it expressly for this purpose, ie going for channeling, something a lot of cleric builds kind of put aside.