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Where's the Lust?


Shattered Star


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

So Curse of the Lady's Light is supposed to be themed after Lust. But except for "perfume" and doorknobs you have to, gasp, touch with your hand, it's pretty much batting .000 on the lust-meter, except for a mostly ex-relationship between Scarface and fake-Sorshen.

They Asylum Stone, on the other hand, is full of kinky-ass love triangles and various forms of bestiality. Which I heartily approve of, of course, but my main point is why is CotLL so... boring and vanilla?

Look, I know there's a variety of opinions on how salacious AP chapters should be, and there's a bunch of people still butthurt over Hook Mountain Massacre (zing!) but shouldn't the lust-themed chapter about the Runelord of Lust have... some lust in it somewhere? As a result, except for the clone gag, it's pretty boring an adventure.

Anyone else have the same reaction?


The Catfolk went from 'Cat headed humanoid' to 'Anime catgirl' Check out the ARG and you will see what i mean.

Silver Crusade

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

It's really all over the place, and you don't even have to run a black light over the walls to find it. But a lot of it is implied and/or left in "fill in the blanks" mode. Sometimes what isn't said or put vaguely is much more effective than what's explicitly stated.

Andrea1 wrote:
The Catfolk went from 'Cat headed humanoid' to 'Anime catgirl' Check out the ARG and you will see what i mean.

It's more that they went back to being Thundercats really, since the animal-headed version in the ARG was a rather jarring change from the original Bestiary 3 version(it didn't match the ARG's flavor text itself either).


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Andrea1 wrote:
The Catfolk went from 'Cat headed humanoid' to 'Anime catgirl' Check out the ARG and you will see what i mean.

Hm? No, that's not the bestiality I mean... Read on. I mean the Fragonard sculpture + the horseman and his horse.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:

It's really all over the place, and you don't even have to run a black light over the walls to find it. But a lot of it is implied and/or left in "fill in the blanks" mode. Sometimes what isn't said or put vaguely is much more effective than what's explicitly stated.

Yeah, that's a copout. Except for adding in a fairly obvious lesbian orgy with the Grey Maidens, I don't see anything else in there. It's all grotesque hags and stuff, and everything seems to be in maximal fight mode. You'd have to stretch to put as much lust in this thing as in any other adventure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:

So Curse of the Lady's Light is supposed to be themed after Lust. But except for "perfume" and doorknobs you have to, gasp, touch with your hand, it's pretty much batting .000 on the lust-meter, except for a mostly ex-relationship between Scarface and fake-Sorshen.

They Asylum Stone, on the other hand, is full of kinky-ass love triangles and various forms of bestiality. Which I heartily approve of, of course, but my main point is why is CotLL so... boring and vanilla?

Look, I know there's a variety of opinions on how salacious AP chapters should be, and there's a bunch of people still butthurt over Hook Mountain Massacre (zing!) but shouldn't the lust-themed chapter about the Runelord of Lust have... some lust in it somewhere? As a result, except for the clone gag, it's pretty boring an adventure.

Anyone else have the same reaction?

I suspect the difference is that in The Asylum Stone you're dealing with consensual relationships while in Curse it's a group of brutalized women being further f@#ked over and mind-screwed by an insane sex demon.

But if you want, and you think both you and your group can handle the subject matter maturely, go ahead and put more sex into the AP.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I’ll point out that this module uses the word ‘voluptuous’ more than any other, and Paizo really likes that word. Lots of statues and descriptions of bas reliefs get racy. Don’t forget the lustspawn! Now, having sexual stuff fill every room, that to me would get boring fast. Admittedly I did think of a couple visuals or items I might throw in as extras I know they wouldn’t print. What exactly did you expect to see in there? Just asking!


And I thought people wanted LESS blatant sex in their games :D


Boobs are getting put on anything female these days, have you seen the imp in Burnt Offerings? o.o


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's not an imp. It's a quasit. Stop being racist.

I'm with Ernest. Not a lot of lust in the lust adventure, and a succubus from Nocticula as the BBEG to boot. My own flavor, personal preferance, is this is the adventure where characters get to see what REAL lust and perversion mean, and it should horrify them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Again, nothing is stopping anyone from breaking out The Book of Erotic Fantasy to spice up the AP.

Paizo is trying to sell books to gamers of all ages here, so it only stands to reason they'd try and keep the sex down to a dull roar given how pedantically hypocritical some people can be about it compared to violence.

Qadira

Lloyd Jackson wrote:

It's not an imp. It's a quasit. Stop being racist.

You made me laugh, sir :)

Anyho, I really don't see the bug deal here. I mean, it's not like greed was a major theme of Shards of Sin, and nobody makes a fuss about that, right? I mean, I think it would actualy be kinda dorky to have the sin related to any specific shard be the theme of the adventure where the PCs find that shard. Can you envision the adventure about the shard of Sloth?

If you insist on wanting to shock your PCs... do remember there is a large number of mosntrous humanoids hanging around the Lady's Light... and they have needs, too.

Cheliax Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sorry. I stole all the extra lust for Queen of Thorns. You'll find it there. :)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ernest Mueller wrote:

So Curse of the Lady's Light is supposed to be themed after Lust. But except for "perfume" and doorknobs you have to, gasp, touch with your hand, it's pretty much batting .000 on the lust-meter, except for a mostly ex-relationship between Scarface and fake-Sorshen.

They Asylum Stone, on the other hand, is full of kinky-ass love triangles and various forms of bestiality. Which I heartily approve of, of course, but my main point is why is CotLL so... boring and vanilla?

Look, I know there's a variety of opinions on how salacious AP chapters should be, and there's a bunch of people still butthurt over Hook Mountain Massacre (zing!) but shouldn't the lust-themed chapter about the Runelord of Lust have... some lust in it somewhere? As a result, except for the clone gag, it's pretty boring an adventure.

Anyone else have the same reaction?

Sorry you found things boring and vanilla. However, I actually think that the Runelord of Lust is about dominating the wills of others--sex is only a means to that end. The Thassilion school of magic is enchantment-focused, after all.

Yes, a lot of the "lust" component is in the subtext, implied. Call that a cop-out if you want, but I think that's how you hit the right notes while aiming for a PG-13 rating (the target for all Paizo products).

Feel free to inject whatever salacious details into your own game you wish. There are plenty of places for you to do that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Furthermore...

While Sorshen is indeed the runelord of lust... and while this adventure does indeed take place in a monument she built...

...we made a pretty conscious decision to NOT wallow in the various sins as themes for Shattered Star. They exist, sure, but they're much more dialed back than these themes were in Rise of the Runelords. On purpose, because while the runelords have some stuff going on in this Adventure Path... they're not the focus of the Adventure Path.

If you want to add more lust elements to the adventure, the fact that...

Spoiler:
...the main bad guy of the adventure is a half-succubus gives you a great place to start. Furthermore, the adventure "Dawn of the Scarlet Sun" ties in to this adventure as well, which gives you a full-blooded succubus if you want to include that. And on top of that, you can turn up the alu-demon's interactions with the gray maidens as well—she could well be keeping them as her latest harem, after all, which is sort of implied in the text as it stands.

It's relatively easy to increase the lust-quotiant in the adventure, in other words. But not going in there with lust lust lust was a conscious decision.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Furthermore...

While Sorshen is indeed the runelord of lust... and while this adventure does indeed take place in a monument she built...

...we made a pretty conscious decision to NOT wallow in the various sins as themes for Shattered Star. They exist, sure, but they're much more dialed back than these themes were in Rise of the Runelords. On purpose, because while the runelords have some stuff going on in this Adventure Path... they're not the focus of the Adventure Path.

If you want to add more lust elements to the adventure, the fact that...
** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, I know how to add lust into an adventure. But so these are then just going to be six unthemed dungeon crawls? I'll admit I'm not the largest dungeon crawl fan in the world, but that seems like passing up an opportunity to jazz up something that could otherwise be pretty boring. If the history of the runelords and the sins aren't the focus of the AP, what is, besides getting the six widgets?

And you don't have to "wallow" in lust to have a little, one of my key points is that Asylum Stone rates way higher than it on the lust-meter and it's supposed to be about wrath or something. As I read the installments of Shattered Star I keep trying to figure out "but what IS the point" in addition to it being a bunch of unrelated, no-common-theme dungeons with a veneer of "well you got rod of seven parts part #3 this time"?

Just seems like a missed opportunity to expand on the runelord mythos and sin theme and do some storytelling. It's not like the sins really were a major part of RotR except in the dungeon and even there several of them were just closed down. What is the characters' personal arc even supposed to be in SS except "low level dungeon splorers" to "high level dungeon splorers?" Sorry, don't mean to be confrontational, just am somewhat disappointed at not really feeling the key conceit here.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The major theme of Shattered Star isn't the Runelords. If I could sum it up it would be "exploring the past." That's both the ancient past (Thassilon, primarily), but also more recent events such as the callbacks to prior APs, modules, and sourcebooks. For that, "Curse" really hits about the right tone - the lust is all there in the place's history. While it makes some hazards to overcome, the primary point is that it was a place where debauchery was the order of the day.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Chris Kenney wrote:
The major theme of Shattered Star isn't the Runelords. If I could sum it up it would be "exploring the past." That's both the ancient past (Thassilon, primarily), but also more recent events such as the callbacks to prior APs, modules, and sourcebooks.

That's pretty close to how it's coming across to me. I'm trying to build it up for the players as "This AP is about exploring the past and roots of Varisia, and discovering all of the grim truths and letdowns but also the great potential and promise of Ancient Thassilon. AND how that has carried over into the modern era with the inheritors of that land, and where they'll go from there."

Going to try and juxtapose the worst of Thassilon(the legacy of the Runelords) and the best of it(the original vision of Xin), and eventually the PCs might discover that even the best of Thassilon wasn't all roses and utopia. But they'll also discover context that brings out the best of Varisia's surviving native cultures, along with a heavy theme towards the end of learning from history's mistakes and coming to grips with the truth of the past.

I guess what I really hope to get out of this AP is an exploration of and a fight for the soul of Varisia. While the Runelords and the seven sins will definitely be an influence, they won't define it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Keeping it PG-13 as basis works fine for me, dial it up to 11 in your homegame, if you want.

I actually would like to wallow in the grittier things implied here and e. g. RotRL, too, but know first-hand how uncomfortable some (of my) players are when facing these kind of challenges (and we're well beyond PG-13 level in RL).

Ruyan.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
The major theme of Shattered Star isn't the Runelords. If I could sum it up it would be "exploring the past." That's both the ancient past (Thassilon, primarily), but also more recent events such as the callbacks to prior APs, modules, and sourcebooks.

That's pretty close to how it's coming across to me. I'm trying to build it up for the players as "This AP is about exploring the past and roots of Varisia, and discovering all of the grim truths and letdowns but also the great potential and promise of Ancient Thassilon. AND how that has carried over into the modern era with the inheritors of that land, and where they'll go from there."

Going to try and juxtapose the worst of Thassilon(the legacy of the Runelords) and the best of it(the original vision of Xin), and eventually the PCs might discover that even the best of Thassilon wasn't all roses and utopia. But they'll also discover context that brings out the best of Varisia's surviving native cultures, along with a heavy theme towards the end of learning from history's mistakes and coming to grips with the truth of the past.

I guess what I really hope to get out of this AP is an exploration of and a fight for the soul of Varisia. While the Runelords and the seven sins will definitely be an influence, they won't define it.

And my interest in Shattered Star is only increasing with each passing moment.

It's a shame I seem to be the only true Golarion expert among my players so far.

Seriously, I wish I found a good DM and ran Shattered Star as Wizard who'll take Cyphermage levels!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ernest Mueller wrote:

Yeah, I know how to add lust into an adventure. But so these are then just going to be six unthemed dungeon crawls? I'll admit I'm not the largest dungeon crawl fan in the world, but that seems like passing up an opportunity to jazz up something that could otherwise be pretty boring. If the history of the runelords and the sins aren't the focus of the AP, what is, besides getting the six widgets?

And you don't have to "wallow" in lust to have a little, one of my key points is that Asylum Stone rates way higher than it on the lust-meter and it's supposed to be about wrath or something. As I read the installments of Shattered Star I keep trying to figure out "but what IS the point" in addition to it being a bunch of unrelated, no-common-theme dungeons with a veneer of "well you got rod of seven parts part #3 this time"?

Just seems like a missed opportunity to expand on the runelord mythos and sin theme and do some storytelling. It's not like the sins really were a major part of RotR except in the dungeon and even there several of them were just closed down. What is the characters' personal arc even supposed to be in SS except "low level dungeon splorers" to "high level dungeon splorers?" Sorry, don't mean to be confrontational, just am somewhat disappointed at not really feeling the key conceit here.

I would HARDLY call any of the dungeons "unthemed" in this adventure path. The Lady's Light has quite a few themes in it. Lust isn't a major one, but redemption is, and so is betrayal, and so is deception. And so on.

The runelords are certainly lurking in the background of all six of these adventures, but they are not the focus of the adventures.

Cheliax

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

<threadjack>

Andrea1 wrote:
The Catfolk went from 'Cat headed humanoid' to 'Anime catgirl' Check out the ARG and you will see what i mean.

Heh, this is my only disappointment with Shattered Star so far. I was disappointed with the art style for the catfolk in Bestiary 3, happy that it was changed for Advanced Race Guide (although, as has been mentioned, the flavor text wasn't), and disappointed yet again with the art style for the catfolk in The Asylum Stone. Oh well, simple enough to change that for my own game. :)

</threadjack>


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks James. It good that your products are accessable, and acceptable, to a wide variety of people, but still have plenty of openings/suggestions for upping the ante.

Overall, I quite like the AP so far.


Ravenmantle wrote:

<threadjack>

Andrea1 wrote:
The Catfolk went from 'Cat headed humanoid' to 'Anime catgirl' Check out the ARG and you will see what i mean.

Heh, this is my only disappointment with Shattered Star so far. I was disappointed with the art style for the catfolk in Bestiary 3, happy that it was changed for Advanced Race Guide (although, as has been mentioned, the flavor text wasn't), and disappointed yet again with the art style for the catfolk in The Asylum Stone. Oh well, simple enough to change that for my own game. :)

</threadjack>

There was a thread about the differences between B3 and the ARG, and someone mentioned the ARG version could almost fit Monstrous Humanoid.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:

So Curse of the Lady's Light is supposed to be themed after Lust. But except for "perfume" and doorknobs you have to, gasp, touch with your hand, it's pretty much batting .000 on the lust-meter, except for a mostly ex-relationship between Scarface and fake-Sorshen.

They Asylum Stone, on the other hand, is full of kinky-ass love triangles and various forms of bestiality. Which I heartily approve of, of course, but my main point is why is CotLL so... boring and vanilla?

Look, I know there's a variety of opinions on how salacious AP chapters should be, and there's a bunch of people still butthurt over Hook Mountain Massacre (zing!) but shouldn't the lust-themed chapter about the Runelord of Lust have... some lust in it somewhere? As a result, except for the clone gag, it's pretty boring an adventure.

Anyone else have the same reaction?

I have to admit that I find it pretty ironic how blase Pathfinder in general can be (and should be) about large scale violence, demon summoning and whatnot... but then gets somewhat prudish when it comes to sex. I'm not saying gratuitous sex needs to drip from every advanture, nor even half of them - but if there was ever an opportunity to do so, I would think that an iconic lust-themed villian might be the it.


Wiggz wrote:


I have to admit that I find it pretty ironic how blase Pathfinder in general can be (and should be) about large scale violence, demon summoning and whatnot... but then gets somewhat prudish when it comes to sex. I'm not saying gratuitous sex needs to drip from every advanture, nor even half of them - but if there was ever an opportunity to do so, I would think that an iconic lust-themed villian might be the it.

That kind of fits into the phrase, 'Cut off a breast and get a R. Kiss a breast and get a X.'


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Andrea1 wrote:
Wiggz wrote:


I have to admit that I find it pretty ironic how blase Pathfinder in general can be (and should be) about large scale violence, demon summoning and whatnot... but then gets somewhat prudish when it comes to sex. I'm not saying gratuitous sex needs to drip from every advanture, nor even half of them - but if there was ever an opportunity to do so, I would think that an iconic lust-themed villian might be the it.

That kind of fits into the phrase, 'Cut off a breast and get a R. Kiss a breast and get a X.'

Wow. I'm amazed you were even able to make sense of my post after all those typos. Blame the broken finger.

Cheliax

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

To be honest, if Paizo's intention was to really dial up the themes of the various sins to 11 and focus on that, as opposed to the focus mentioned by James Jacobs above, I'm fairly certain we'd see more than was done in Curse of the Lady's Light. Maybe not as graphic as, say, The Hook Mountain Massacre, but prudish isn't a label I'd put on Paizo. It seems to me that that simply wasn't the purpose of this adventure. Missed opportunity or not, it is what it is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Andrea1 wrote:
Wiggz wrote:


I have to admit that I find it pretty ironic how blase Pathfinder in general can be (and should be) about large scale violence, demon summoning and whatnot... but then gets somewhat prudish when it comes to sex. I'm not saying gratuitous sex needs to drip from every advanture, nor even half of them - but if there was ever an opportunity to do so, I would think that an iconic lust-themed villian might be the it.

That kind of fits into the phrase, 'Cut off a breast and get a R. Kiss a breast and get a X.'

I really don't think this is particularly down to Paizo, it's the fact that they're operating in a (mainly) US cultural environment, and that's very much the dominant mindset that they have to operate within. Action hero killing bad guys with sword / gun / whatever is fine, but woe betide the product that promotes sex, sexuality or nudity as a human norm. You have to be realistic here. Paizo manage to skirt many different sensibilities admirably. Like James says, the leeway is there if you want to take it and run with it, but if there were to make it more overt then they risk alienating not only part of their market, but also the stores that are a large part of their lifeblood.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The combat/violence escape is sells better because people cant really go into a tavern and get a quest to slay things and then go do it (barring the mafia). Any of us can theoretically get laid, though playing pathfinder isnt considered conducive towards that.

I do not think paizo intentionally shies away from it. Sandpoint has an abortionist, though James was forced to rename the brothel (I of course prefer the original name). Could be more interesting though if say, a murderer in an AP was also a rapist though, or there were cultures that break the monogamyous norm. Maybe an entire culture where families are organized like the Oneida Commune. Maybe Iblydos could draw inspiration from some of the more hedonistic cults. A warrior nation that practices ancient greek pederasty. Just examples of mature sexual topics that can be included in positive, neutral, or negative light but realistic and interesting all the same.

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