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Pathfinder Module: No Response from Deepmar (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: No Response from Deepmar (PFRPG)
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A dungeon and wilderness exploration adventure for 8th-level characters

A hundred miles off the Chelish coast lies the remote island of Deepmar, where the House of Thrune sends prisoners to work in crystal mines, wresting valuable spell components from the depths of the earth. A month ago, all contact with the penal colony ceased, and now someone must discover what mysterious fate has befallen the prisoners and guards of this isolated mining operation. The abandoned colony shows no signs of struggle yet something is clearly not right: Herds of animals lie mutilated in the surrounding fields. The savage beasts of the island have run amok inside the compound. And the silent, gaping mines—each named for a different layer of Hell—lead to new threats beyond anyone's imagining. As the PCs explore the island in search of the missing miners and their jailers, what they discover may unhinge their very minds. If left unchecked, the new masters of Deepmar could bring about a new era of madness for all of Cheliax—and beyond.

No Response from Deepmar is an adventure of horrifying dungeon-and-wilderness exploration for 8th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. This volume also contains a gazetteer of the island of Deepmar, a detailed description of the abandoned penal colony, and a brand-new monster, all of which can be easily adapted for use in any campaign setting.

Written by Stephen S. Greer

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-410-8

No Response from Deepmar is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (119 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

Product Availability


Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO9536


See Also:



Product Discussion (57)
1 to 50 of 57 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Just announced for March! The cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool, but why would "heroes" help Cheliax?

Paizo Employee Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe they're from there? Not everyone in the whole country is an evil devil worshiper. Most of the people in Cheliax are just normal people who happen to have a corrupt, oppressive government.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The title that Lisa thought was so cool, and prompted the map makers to save a place for it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Nice to see something new from Steve Greer. Looking forward to it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

You know what I do hate about Vic's ninja product nights? It's 3 AM here, and I really should be sleeping now.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Gorbacz wrote:
You know what I do hate about Vic's ninja product nights? It's 3 AM here, and I really should be sleeping now.

It's ok... I'm done. You can go to bed. I probably won't spill anything very much about any secret products hardly at all in the coming hours.

Spoiler:
Probably...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sweet

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Even though the cover is a mock-up, it'd be cool if derro were the advesaries in the module. Definitely sounds like a fun, creepy investigation module.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I love the title. Reminds me of the German title of the old sci-fi picture "This Island Earth", which is "Metaluna 4 antwortet nicht" (i.e., basically "No response from Metaluna 4").

Paizo Employee CEO

Pygon wrote:
The title that Lisa thought was so cool, and prompted the map makers to save a place for it!

Yep, this is the adventure title that I have been carrying around in my brain since the late 80's finally seeing the light of day. Can't wait to see what Steve did with it!

-Lisa


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

I am also interested in these "valuable crystals" that are mentioned.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Cool!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Heheheh.

Sounds like a cool adventure, but the title screams Gamma World to me :)

Sequel to Famine in Far-Go, maybe?


Looks like it could follow-up From Shore to Sea. Same region if memory serves.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I think i'd adjust this one when I run it so that the pc's are the latest prisoners being transferred to deepmar at the outset, with the mainland not yet aware of the loss of communication. That ups the creep factor, imho.


is there a new Monster in this?


I like the idea of a gazeteer in these modules. Adds to usefulness and world building


+1 for the "Good to see Mr. Greer back" crowd. I love underdark stuff.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product description and image to match the finished product.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product description and image to match the finished product.

It looks darn good Vic, Can't wait to run it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice cover

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

That is a cool looking cover!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product description and image to match the finished product.

Freaking sweet!


Way nicer cover. :)

Deepmar and Murder's Mark are the two that made me resubscribe.


Man, that cover sells it. It's like the complete opposite of the Feast of Ravenmoor cover. (The Feast of Ravenmoor cover did not "sell it.") I hope this one's cover better reflects the adventure too. There was no point in Feast of Ravenmoor that I really thought "ah, like on the cover."

Paizo Employee Developer

The instance on the cover was specifically added to the adventure in development to give just that reaction.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Wolf Munroe wrote:
Man, that cover sells it. It's like the complete opposite of the Feast of Ravenmoor cover. (The Feast of Ravenmoor cover did not "sell it.") I hope this one's cover better reflects the adventure too. There was no point in Feast of Ravenmoor that I really thought "ah, like on the cover."

That's what happens when I let my desire to not spoil an adventure's surprise take precedence over making a cool cover, alas. There's certainly plenty of cool scenes in Ravenmoor that would have made GREAT covers... but they would have totally spoiled the adventure's plot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I am loving reading this, good work Stephen S. Greer.

I am going to have fun with Delbina, I reckon she might be interesting with a severe short-term memory problem: she remembers who she is, where she grew up etc. but every few days she has to ask PCs for their names, why they're there... stuff like that.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


That's what happens when I let my desire to not spoil an adventure's surprise take precedence over making a cool cover, alas. There's certainly plenty of cool scenes in Ravenmoor that would have made GREAT covers... but they would have totally spoiled the adventure's plot.

I appreciate that desire. It's a catch 22; you want players to be excited about playing the module, but you also want players to be surprised.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

Cheers, cool video.

I wonder why Paizo don't make those? Just not got the Hasbro marketing grunt? Or not effective marketing?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

*sigh* I'm sad.

I bought this book off of the cover, thinking it'd totally be some awesome alien or lovecraft thingie, and was indicative of some Ridley Scott type horror. I mean, watching a friend get dragged into a hole screaming is a tried and true terror trope.

However,

Spoiler:
it's just a magical trap put there by the derro - there isn't even a monster on the other end. They cast a delayed black tentacles spell, and reskinned it to look like hands. And it doesn't drag you anywhere cool, like the image would suggest. It holds you aloft until the spell runs out, then you take falling damage. And it's not even near anything cool: it's more-or-less a herring.

Oh well. Now you know. (If you clicked the spoiler-button, that is.)

Just don't buy this off of the cover, it doesn't really reflect the adventure in the ways you're hoping. :-(


See, for me it would have been the opposite - the cover on the Ravenmoor module did it for me, the cover on this one didn't (heck, it took me like a minute or two to compute what my eyes tried to tell me about what's going on); I didn't buy any of the two, mind you.
But, I guess that's what you get for judging a book by its cover.

Ruyan.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I put up a review.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Put up a review as well needless to say spoilers abound


Going by the reviews it seems this one will require some revising, but I do like the concept enough. Vigil had a cool idea about making the PC's the latest bunch of prisoners brought to the island, so there's a reason why they're "helping" Cheliax. Fixing the random encounters seems easy enough.

Cheliax

I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating. The concept is sound, it just requires more prepping on the GM's part to bring it up to speed.


Dezhem wrote:
I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating. The concept is sound, it just requires more prepping on the GM's part to bring it up to speed.

I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
OmegaZ wrote:
I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.

And how often has that happened. I mean, really . . .

If the goal is to not have to fix anything, I've yet to find one that has reached that goal completely. Paizo does a fantastic job with their pregens, I'm not denying nor complaining about their stuff at all! However, performing some surgery on pregens goes with the territory of being a GM. Not wanting to do this kind of thing means it's probably best to stick with being a player and leave the GM role to someone else.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

At least we can finally stop arguing how to pronounce "Drow".

Cheliax

Sub-Creator wrote:
OmegaZ wrote:
I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.

And how often has that happened. I mean, really . . .

If the goal is to not have to fix anything, I've yet to find one that has reached that goal completely. Paizo does a fantastic job with their pregens, I'm not denying nor complaining about their stuff at all! However, performing some surgery on pregens goes with the territory of being a GM. Not wanting to do this kind of thing means it's probably best to stick with being a player and leave the GM role to someone else.

Pretty much this. Every module I've GM'ed to date has had its own issues, most of them to do with the 'production' of the mod, rather than the 'content', if that makes sense. I've had to adjust things on the fly and/or prepare ahead of time to cover up for some small oversights. It shouldn't be a deal-breaker that drags the rating of a pretty entertaining mod down. Just comes with the territory as far as I'm concerned.


Dezhem wrote:
I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating.

???? And the reviews weren't "devastating", either.

In fact, the reviews were more than fair.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

As the guy who started off the whole negative review thing for this product, I'll chime in with this: The module just doesn't offer anything worth fixing. I think its good to compare to the module that came immeadiately before this one, Midnight Mirror, which I also wrote a review of. That module had a lot of beauty and a lot of really fun, imaginative stuff going on with it. It also had a lot of crud that needed to be removed or reworked. But because there is something great under there, I want to take the time to remove the debris and get at the gem inside.

This module, No Response from Deepmar, on the other hand, doesn't offer up anything. Its problem is not that it's a gem with some dirt on it. Its problem is that its a peice of quartz with some dirt on it. There isn't an underlying "awesome" to extract. It's just... pedestrian. It's not worth trying to save. It doesn't have a lot 'wrong' with it, it just doesn't have enough 'right' with it to be worth my time.

You have a weigh the pros and cons of each module. And this module fell up short. Not drastically short (that would have been a 1-star review). But fairly short, hence the 2-star review.

Contributor

Erik Freund wrote:

As the guy who started off the whole negative review thing for this product, I'll chime in with this: The module just doesn't offer anything worth fixing. I think its good to compare to the module that came immeadiately before this one, Midnight Mirror, which I also wrote a review of. That module had a lot of beauty and a lot of really fun, imaginative stuff going on with it. It also had a lot of crud that needed to be removed or reworked. But because there is something great under there, I want to take the time to remove the debris and get at the gem inside.

This module, No Response from Deepmar, on the other hand, doesn't offer up anything. Its problem is not that it's a gem with some dirt on it. Its problem is that its a peice of quartz with some dirt on it. There isn't an underlying "awesome" to extract. It's just... pedestrian. It's not worth trying to save. It doesn't have a lot 'wrong' with it, it just doesn't have enough 'right' with it to be worth my time.

You have a weigh the pros and cons of each module. And this module fell up short. Not drastically short (that would have been a 1-star review). But fairly short, hence the 2-star review.

Wow! :(

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Steve Greer wrote:


Wow! :(

I'm just one guy on the internet with an opinion. Who cares what I think? There's plenty of people up-thread who thought differently than me. I still stand by the opinions I articulated, but I'm sorry if I've come across as a discouragement or disparaging. You've still done far more in this industry than I have, and you still have my respect.

And BTW - I loved Gallery of Evil. So I can write off Deepmar as a fluke.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just gave a once over this apparently controversial product. I have yet to read it, yet, with all this hubbub going on, I just wanted to find it for myself if it was another case of someone venting on Ruby Tournament (an excellent module slightly marred by space constraints, yet with great pacing a a few really powerful moments), or if it was indeed somewhat mediocre.

Unsurprisingly, this is a take on "abducted by aliens" motif, with culprits being neither lovecraftian beasties, government men-in-black, undead or creatures out of this world. Additionally, the resolution of the adventure relies on a bit of walking, killing stuff and finally doing a sortie into an mental asylum of sorts (being intentionally vague to avoid spoilering).

So... yes. We are spared unspeakable horrors, unexplainable or indescribable phenomena, and we even get to reap xp the traditionally sacred d20 way - through owning villains with a sword and spell.

Is it bad? No! Merely not as fantastic, as it should be. If you are taking on this fantastic trope, you are morally obliged to amaze the recipients (at least that's what esteemed reviewers would want everyone to believe), and if you fail to meet this requirement, you're in for a painful landing on your hindquarters.

Can we salvage it? Yes! First, go and watch Dishonored trailer (yes, it is a computer game trailer, but I assure you that it is relevant):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbQgdSlsd0

While watching the clip, listen to the music and pay attention to the atmospheric elements.

Here is a short list of what I would add to turn this module to turn into horror, as inspired by the trailer:

(the first part)

1a. Add haunts. Make them fungi-based hallucinogenic traps planted by the abductors with damage being done to one's Wisdom. The haunts would be destroyable by simple surviving them, each haunt would require completion of a simple puzzle or passing a series of Will checks.

The haunts would force the PCs to experience the terror of NPCs fleeing unseen opponents, manage their dwindling resources and attempting to survive until dawn.

Each haunt would be a short cutscene, both adding more information for the players, and at the same time building the background.

The NPCs would have to be recognizable and likable - a gold-hearted thief, an unjustly imprisoned debtor, a daughter sold by uncaring parents, a cook who slighted a noble, a student distributing slave-abolishing pamphlets.

The haunts should be vulnerable to sunlight (i.e. occur only in closed spaces).

1b. The methods to make the abductors more alien and terrifying:
- ranged attacks and drag maneuvers. The hooks emerging from darkness to drag away an NPC - too classic to pass this opportunity.
- weird luminous walls of butterflies which one's skin like acid when you want to pass through (sculpted walls of fire) to limit character optiopns.
- sleepwalkers - sleeping victims emerging from houses to the tune of unearthly music and walking away.
- any survivors should suffer from obvious symptoms of advanced disease (maybe the fungi are discoloring their skin, their eyes become milky white, their hair falls out or goes grey, the survivors have problems with uttering more than one-two words at the same time, and appear to be amnesiac... they have also tendency to stand up and attempt to wander away in a daze)

1c. Clues.
No good mystery is without clues. Let them find a decomposed body of an abductor - if you let them perform a section, and present them with weird hybrid fungal midget, the PCs are unlikely to discover abductor's origins. Let the body eventually stand up as yellow musk zombie. This is another trope.
Award the players with information:
- how to protect themselves from weird, apparently fungal, harmful effects
- where to proceed from here

(part two)

This is easily the most difficult part of the adventure. It is hard not to let the adventurers to recover from initial shock.
My advice is... either let them or proceed straight to part three.
In the first case, you want the players to feel normal - avoid any super-nasty alien stuff. Just let them off a few wandering monsters, and find a few clues to eventually lead them to part three.
In the latter - just go straight for the gruesome ending.

(part three)

The PCs must feel safe - their opponents' main weapon (fungal hallucinogenic spores) is neutralized. They are rested and they have the advantage of surprise.

3a. Change the scenery.

Remember the organic warm corridors of Alien 2 colony? Or mist-laden passages of Predator ship? The crunchy insects of Raiders of the Lost Arc?

Reduce the visibility to 15 feet, make sure you describe hundreds of wondrously weird multilegged diminutive creatures scurrying about. Have the PCs roll for Perception and call their attention to weird movements just beyond the edge of their vision.

3b. Use the encounters as shock troops emerging suddenly from the fog, attacking in a crazed madness. During combat emphasize:
- fungal look of all creatures
- cannibalistic tendencies (for example, a troll grabs a body of a dying comrade, takes a healthy bite and flees)
- brutal toughness and tendency to brawl when faced with imminent death(add 20% hitpoints to all tough opponents, then, at previous equivalent 0 hp make them try to grab PCs heedless of danger) and attempt to bite
- the dead creatures should be wriggling on the ground (partially animated by the fungi) until burnt or left alone for some time

3c. Have the PCs find survivors. Have them recognize the some faces from their encounters with hallucinogenic haunts. If a PC "survived" the haunt sequence, award the respective survivor with reasonable level of lucidity.

3d. Iconic chest burster, or just let the PCs realize that the survivors infection has progressed far to make any rescue quite probably a futile experience... though, you may want to tone this effect down and allow survivors recover after spending several days in sunlight.

3e. The showdown.

Release the beast. Add spice to the encounter by dropping Neothelid on the PCs and opponents alike. Yes, that would make for a killer encounter, however Neothelid should be uninterested in killing PCs - just wreaking general havoc and kill everyone stupid or insane enough to stay.
All the good horrors finish with heroes fleeing for their lives... this is Neothelid function - it is a force beyond characters' scope of power.

As for Neothelid's purpose - it comes to feast on a delicacy, all creatures infested with fungi. It just slithers around, licking faces and skin off bodies, leaving bloodied skeletons in its wake. It usually ignores everyone just focusing on sating its appetite.

(the ending)

Let the PCs and a handful creatures survive, greet the dawn and leave the island behind.

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. Off to watch the trailer again.

Contributor

I had been out of the biz for a while both as a player and and a writer. The good folks at Paizo have been very loyal to me and requested me on several projects all of which I had turned down since the last thing I had written for them, which wasn't much. I decided this time to go ahead and give an adventure module a try again and thought I had turned in a pretty cool manuscript.
I think, though, that Paizo customers and fans have been a bit spoiled by the superb writing skills of the numerous other authors that they've entrusted the quality of their product line to. It's a great thing to have such awesome products available to you.
Problem is I think it's kind of passed me by. I appreciate the honest critiques. Will save me the guesswork of whether I've got it in me to do any future projects.

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