Meet the Iconics: Mios

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Growing up in Caliphas, in the haunted nation of Ustalav, Mios Uriev learned that monsters can look like anyone, but they normally look like the rich.

Mios was born poor in the city of dark excess. In a place where disappearances were the norm, their parents raised them with a strict but protective hand, shutting the door to their meager home firmly at night. Mios took solace from this grim upbringing in knowledge, diving into whatever books they could get their hands on and seeking tales wherever they could find them, resulting in an eclectic education. One month, they memorized religious hymns from Andoran; another, they’d rush to finish their errands so they could see a presentation on medical practices from Qadira. It didn’t matter the subject, so long as they could dig into the knowledge the world of books presented to them. They had few friends, but that mattered little in the face of the company their learning provided.

Grown into a young adult full of studied confidence, Mios found work as a night coach driver—though they aspired to something loftier, opportunities were limited for a young worker of their means. Night after night, through pounding rain and choking fog, they drove their charges from grand homes to lavish parties and more often than not, their patrons gave Mios the chills. Perhaps it was the unnatural pallor of their faces or the glint of too-sharp teeth, but Mios became increasingly convinced that a number of Caliphas’s elite were monsters. And one night, their fears were proven true.

Mios, the iconic thaumaturge. Art by Wayne Reynolds.
Mios, the iconic thaumaturge. Dressed is a large jacket covered in charms and talismans, holding a lantern.

That night, under the light of the full moon, Mios drove a young noble to a banquet at a secluded mansion. The man seemed agitated, restless, fidgeting and twitching and pulling the blinds tight. A shiver laced through Mios’s stomach as the carriage began to shake. An enormous roar split through the night as the foolish noble tore through his finery, the transformation taking him. Scrambling, Mios pulled the cart to the side of the darkened road, grabbing their lantern.

The wolf leaped forward with dripping maw, tearing at Mios’s leg with yellowed canines and letting out a sickening crunch as tooth hit bone. With a swing of their arm, Mios shone their lantern in the creature’s face, shouting to drive him off. The beast recoiled, almost seeming to remember himself for a moment, the lantern’s light illuminating his feral form. The creature dove from the carriage and scrambled into the night, leaving Mios bleeding... but alive.

A werewolf bite, they thought grimly as they drove home, barely hanging onto consciousness. Countless cures written in dusty tomes or purported by local folk healers, but none proven, none reliable. No hope, most might think. But Mios believed in knowledge, believed in the power of the written word and the passed-down tale. Over the next month, they nursed their near-shattered leg, which would heal but never be quite the same, always requiring a brace to hold it steady. While their body recovered, they stretched their mind, reading every text they could get their hands on, apocryphal or not, and trying every reported cure. Herbal remedies, blood sacrifices of small animals, and stranger, they tried method after method, hoping one would stick. When the full moon next came, they drove into the woods and waited in terror for what all said was inevitable. The moon rose painfully slow, each moment an agonizing wait for the pain to begin, for the cracking of bones and sprouting of fur and claw. But the night waxed on, and the moon reached its anticlimactic zenith. Mios sat in silence. Could it be possible? Had they found a cure among the dozens of methods they tried? It appeared so. Which cure had actually worked, they’d never know, but their dedication and desperation had paid off. They had fought off the bite.

After their miraculous escape from this dark fate, Mios’s everyday life, ferrying others back and forth along the same wagon tracks, seemed devoid of meaning. They had discovered an incredible truth: fates weren’t sealed. Their learning, their dedication, it made them more than just a driver. To continue with their previous life felt like a waste of the gift they were just beginning to realize they possessed. Because the world was full of dark things, the powerful preying on the weak. Their lantern, which once shone the way through darkened streets, could shine a light on creatures of the night and bring hope to those in need.

And so, Mios set forth on a life of adventure, knowledge as their weapon. The unknown, the dark, all could be illuminated by the right source: their wit, their determination, and their lantern’s unfailing light.

Avi Kool
Lead Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Dark Archive Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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3 people marked this as a favorite.

Mios! Very cool write up, Avi!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

God they rule so hard. Love this story!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

37 people marked this as a favorite.

"[M]onsters can look like anyone, but they normally look like the rich."

Oh, oh I see, Avi is coming directly for my heart on this one.

Can't wait for their iconic encounter!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Eat the rich! (I loved this)


8 people marked this as a favorite.

That's pretty darned cool.

Reads more like an int class than a cha class, though.

Paizo Employee Designer

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats Avi! Mios is a great addition to the iconic roster and I can't wait for The People to see more of them ^_^

Grand Archive

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

“Throwing every theory to the wall until One stick, and not knowing which one did because you threw it all at the same time” feels very aperture science, so very far from INT IMHO. XD
I LOVE IT!
:P

Radiant Oath

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
willfromamerica wrote:
Eat the rich! (I loved this)

Before they eat US!!!

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AWOOOO
werewolves of Caliphas!

Really liked it, what with the showing esoteric knowledge and experimentation of occult magic.

(Then again, good Fort save!)


7 people marked this as a favorite.

I really like this. No divine power, no certainty of study, just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Mios rocks!

Wayfinders

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Absolutely rad iconic! One of my favourites so far, and not just because getting to see rep of an Elder Enby is a treat and a half.

Also the setting. I Usta-love it, and still do!


12 people marked this as a favorite.

I quite like Mios, even if Thaumaturge isn’t the class for me. The disability and non-binary rep is really wonderful.

Excited to meet Thaleon soon!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Awesome write-up!!

Horizon Hunters

12 people marked this as a favorite.

"Okay I finally found the cure! It's among the hundred and twenty different methods I've used."


Nice. The flavor is a bit different from how I saw the playtests pseudo magical abilities though. From the look of this description, it's just knowledge. It's missing how that knowledge is utilized I think. Otherwise this reads like an int class.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Holy crap this is my go-to character from now on. I don't even care how the class plays.

Grand Archive

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
willfromamerica wrote:
Eat the rich! (I loved this)
Before they eat US!!!

No, that would be the alternate villain Mios, one where the cure *didn't* work.

This Mios seems more like "Bury the rich at the crossroads with holy symbols of Serenrae, Iomedae, and Pharasma, with a cold iron nail and a copper coin in their pocket, a wicker bundle tied in this obscure fashion driven into their heart with a stake made half dark wood and half of wynwood, their mouth suffed with garlic before beheading them and burying the head elsewhere in a cask of a mixture of beer and holy water, their feet cut off and sewn back on backwards, exactly 137 grains of rice scattered in the coffin..."


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Amazing story, Avi!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyone else read this in the amazing baritones of a one Mr. Wayne June? No? Just me? ^^'


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Will we see these characters made for pregens for society play?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Johns 25 wrote:
Will we see these characters made for pregens for society play?

I believe they’ve said not to expect any further Society pregens for classes that come.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is awesome and so are they! Thanks, Avi!


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

Amazing write up!!! I love how you incorporated so much of the Occult's theory and background into Mios' story and just their overall personality and character.

This paints such a marvelous portrait of the esoteric monster hunter and supernatural investigator; van Helsing would be proud.

Advocates

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I was just wondering when we'd be getting to meet Mios properly. I love them already. Brilliant back story, and that's a mood. Plus, more precious Ustalavian LGBTQIA+ people (Right up there with my 1e Desnan Drag Queen Rogue-Bard)

I can't wait to try them out and put all my weird knowledge skills to good use.

Jared Thaler - Personal Opinion wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
willfromamerica wrote:
Eat the rich! (I loved this)
Before they eat US!!!

No, that would be the alternate villain Mios, one where the cure *didn't* work.

This Mios seems more like "Bury the rich at the crossroads with holy symbols of Serenrae, Iomedae, and Pharasma, with a cold iron nail and a copper coin in their pocket, a wicker bundle tied in this obscure fashion driven into their heart with a stake made half dark wood and half of wynwood, their mouth suffed with garlic before beheading them and burying the head elsewhere in a cask of a mixture of beer and holy water, their feet cut off and sewn back on backwards, exactly 137 grains of rice scattered in the coffin..."

*digs in backpack* "Oh dear, those things were in my OTHER backpack. Well, I do have a lemon, and if Valeros will let me borrow his sword for a moment, I think I can solve this still..."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Came for a story and got politics. Disappointing.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cassi wrote:

(Right up there with my 1e Desnan Drag Queen Rogue-Bard)

A Rogue dressed up as a Bard?? Oh, the scandal! ;)


Romão98 wrote:
"Okay I finally found the cure! It's among the hundred and twenty different methods I've used."

And then it turns out that in reality they nat 20'd their initial Fort Save and were never actually at risk in the first place.

Wayfinders

20 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Came for a story and got politics. Disappointing.

Isn't "Poor Person (say, farm boy) defeats Rich Person (evil emperor)" an elevated trope in fantasy storytelling? Robin Hood isn't suddenly a bad story just because it reckons with the fact of life that rich people have more power with which to perform evil and fewer consequences when doing so.

Plus, it's Ustalav. Any monster who isn't eating their way into the halls of power is missing a trick. If the peasants from Dracula had an Iconic among them, I doubt they'd be apolitical.

That said, I'd love to see Mios trying to "uncover" Aric's monstrous secret. "He's some kind of were-crow, I just know it!"


7 people marked this as a favorite.

So like, I already liked Mios in the playtest, nonbinary collector of weird baubles and books is already basically my gender irl and it was one of the first time I felt very extremely seen in a ttrpg iconic

But then y'all had to open their bio with "eat th rich" and now I like them even more!

Wayfinders

aobst128 wrote:
Nice. The flavor is a bit different from how I saw the playtests pseudo magical abilities though. From the look of this description, it's just knowledge. It's missing how that knowledge is utilized I think. Otherwise this reads like an int class.

I sort of have to agree (unless the class was changed to use Intelligence or Wisdom in the interim, but that feels like a big enough change that Paizo would let us know at PaizoCon), though hopefully the Iconic Encounter will showcase the Charisma part of the class better.

Grand Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RiverMesa wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Nice. The flavor is a bit different from how I saw the playtests pseudo magical abilities though. From the look of this description, it's just knowledge. It's missing how that knowledge is utilized I think. Otherwise this reads like an int class.
I sort of have to agree (unless the class was changed to use Intelligence or Wisdom in the interim, but that feels like a big enough change that Paizo would let us know at PaizoCon), though hopefully the Iconic Encounter will showcase the Charisma part of the class better.

The trick here is that yeah, they “use” knowledge. But not in a INT or WIS way,

They don’t analyze it in a scientific way, trying to logically find the one that fit. That would be INT. That would be the “Analytical” way.
They don’t specifically look at folklore and religious texts, nor try to find the most enlightened source, or the more natural, or seek out a mentor, be them mortal or godly, to guide their decision. That would be WIS. That would be the “Guided” way.
No. They take everything, put it in a blender, and hope for the best. CHA is the “brute force” of Magic, and they are using it here on “common” knowledge. This is the “Forceful” way.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm kinda confused about all the rave comments. This one didn't really grab me.

  • The whole "the rich are actual monsters" is kinda trite, and in Ustalav especially so.
  • Mios seems fine, but their heroic skill being "I can do research really persistently" in this story really doesn't inspire me to play a thaumaturge. It just seems like something everyone in Mios' position would already be doing? The lantern spooking the werewolf is similarly unimpressive.
  • The "incredible truth" seems to be that people can sometimes get lucky and not succumb to their fate? I'm not sure why this was a revelation.

    The Thaumaturge is kind of a wibbly-wobbly concept to start with, with abilities that are intentionally vague and esoteric, but I was really hoping for a more exciting background that shows off what makes them distinct compared to other adventurers.


  • 3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Elfteiroh wrote:


    The trick here is that yeah, they “use” knowledge. But not in a INT or WIS way,
    They don’t analyze it in a scientific way, trying to logically find the one that fit. That would be INT. That would be the “Analytical” way.
    They don’t specifically look at folklore and religious texts, nor try to find the most enlightened source, or the more natural, or seek out a mentor, be them mortal or godly, to guide their decision. That would be WIS. That would be the “Guided” way.
    No. They take everything, put it in a blender, and hope for the best. CHA is the “brute force” of Magic, and they are using it here on “common” knowledge. This is the “Forceful” way.

    Oh no, thaumaturges are just fantasy homeopaths, aren't they?

    The Exchange

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Ravingdork wrote:
    Came for a story and got politics. Disappointing.

    There's a werewolf attack in there too. At least that's what I got. Maybe drop another quarter in the claw machine and try again? I hear you can get something different every time.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    RiverMesa wrote:
    aobst128 wrote:
    Nice. The flavor is a bit different from how I saw the playtests pseudo magical abilities though. From the look of this description, it's just knowledge. It's missing how that knowledge is utilized I think. Otherwise this reads like an int class.
    I sort of have to agree (unless the class was changed to use Intelligence or Wisdom in the interim, but that feels like a big enough change that Paizo would let us know at PaizoCon), though hopefully the Iconic Encounter will showcase the Charisma part of the class better.

    Isn't the charisma part more appropriate because you aren't necessarily using knowledge persay but warping reality in a way using your brute force of personality.

    Wayfinders

    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    Wait, I just took a closer look at that beautiful pick.

    It's a unicorn.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Cellion wrote:

    I'm kinda confused about all the rave comments. This one didn't really grab me.

  • The whole "the rich are actual monsters" is kinda trite, and in Ustalav especially so.
  • Mios seems fine, but their heroic skill being "I can do research really persistently" in this story really doesn't inspire me to play a thaumaturge. It just seems like something everyone in Mios' position would already be doing? The lantern spooking the werewolf is similarly unimpressive.
  • The "incredible truth" seems to be that people can sometimes get lucky and not succumb to their fate? I'm not sure why this was a revelation.

    The Thaumaturge is kind of a wibbly-wobbly concept to start with, with abilities that are intentionally vague and esoteric, but I was really hoping for a more exciting background that shows off what makes them distinct compared to other adventurers.

  • I had a similar takeaway and felt much the same. The writing struck me as being rather lazy and uninspired compared to other Meet the Iconics articles; the author seemingly caring more about pushing an agenda rather than good indepth storytelling.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    MadScientistWorking wrote:
    RiverMesa wrote:
    aobst128 wrote:
    Nice. The flavor is a bit different from how I saw the playtests pseudo magical abilities though. From the look of this description, it's just knowledge. It's missing how that knowledge is utilized I think. Otherwise this reads like an int class.
    I sort of have to agree (unless the class was changed to use Intelligence or Wisdom in the interim, but that feels like a big enough change that Paizo would let us know at PaizoCon), though hopefully the Iconic Encounter will showcase the Charisma part of the class better.
    Isn't the charisma part more appropriate because you aren't necessarily using knowledge persay but warping reality in a way using your brute force of personality.

    That's what I got from the playtest but this story makes it sound like they just got lucky that something worked. The class has some kind of power especially in how the implements work that I think this story is missing.

    Paizo Employee Designer

    36 people marked this as a favorite.

    While of course not every story will be for everyone, our iconics are the result of many hours of writing and polishing, and I think it's safe to say that all of our authors care very deeply about telling interesting stories (or they wouldn't take on this work!).

    Regarding "getting politics": Remember that all stories reflect a worldview of some kind--as someone said earlier in the conversation, even classics like "Girl goes to party with help of fairy godmother", "Farmboy pulls sword out of rock", or "Girl steals father's armor to save family/nation" inherently make statements about the society that they take place in. As we produce more and more iconics, they will necessarily have more and more worldviews--if every iconic was a bookish scholar or kick down the door party machine, things would get old quickly.

    People's existences and identities are of course, never up for debate. Please note that Mios uses they/them pronouns and should be referred to accordingly.

    Please keep the discussion to the character and hey, if they're not for you, they might be for someone else!


    19 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Ravingdork wrote:
    Cellion wrote:

    I'm kinda confused about all the rave comments. This one didn't really grab me.

  • The whole "the rich are actual monsters" is kinda trite, and in Ustalav especially so.
  • Mios seems fine, but their heroic skill being "I can do research really persistently" in this story really doesn't inspire me to play a thaumaturge. It just seems like something everyone in Mios' position would already be doing? The lantern spooking the werewolf is similarly unimpressive.
  • The "incredible truth" seems to be that people can sometimes get lucky and not succumb to their fate? I'm not sure why this was a revelation.

    The Thaumaturge is kind of a wibbly-wobbly concept to start with, with abilities that are intentionally vague and esoteric, but I was really hoping for a more exciting background that shows off what makes them distinct compared to other adventurers.

  • I had a similar takeaway and felt much the same. The writing struck me as being rather lazy and uninspired compared to other Meet the Iconics articles; the author seemingly caring more about pushing an agenda rather than good indepth storytelling.

    That's a rather unnecessarily scathing reading into the author's intentions there, bud. You can not like a story without taking pot-shots at the authors character or supposed "pushing an agenda".

    Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

    Please see above staff comment. Keep discussion relevant or the thread will be locked for moderation as keeping in line with our Community Guidelines.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    The first line delighted me, because I'm playing in Ustslav right now and the theme of monsters that go bump in the night blending with the (sometimes human) monsters that go bump in the upper echelons of society is all over Ustalav lore. It is very pleasing to get this ground level look into how Caliphas society operates and also see newer mechanical elements displayed in a region I am already very familiar with.

    I also very much appreciate that Mios is a nonbinary character who does not owe androgyny to anyone.

    RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I enjoyed the story, but as someone who has not read the playtest, I really have no clue about what this class is supposed to be.


    Grumpus wrote:
    I enjoyed the story, but as someone who has not read the playtest, I really have no clue about what this class is supposed to be.

    The playtest was also a little up in the air about how it works. Hopefully the final release will solidify it's identity.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Grumpus wrote:
    I enjoyed the story, but as someone who has not read the playtest, I really have no clue about what this class is supposed to be.

    In a word: eclectic

    In a few more words: a warrior who uses their eclectic study of all manner of supernatural miscellania to draw out the latent symbolic magic in tools called implements (in Mios' case, a lantern which reveals the truth) and forge sympathetic connections to strike monsters where they are weakest, whether that means using a silver coin to give their sword antiwerewolf properties or killing a troll with the symbolic power of fire in a piece of charcoal (and, again, their sword).

    They don't know magic, but they know a little theory about every magic tradition and can wield that in their own way through combined esoterica and force of arms


    11 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ezekieru wrote:
    That's a rather unnecessarily scathing reading into the author's intentions there, bud. You can not like a story without taking pot-shots at the authors character or supposed "pushing an agenda".

    Yeah, I'm not really getting the hate. Personal biases favoring, at long last, a nonbinary character that is both human and not androgynous (albeit, I'm an enby that likes having a small amount of androgyny, it's important for people to see we aren't just half boy half girl), this is also just a good story both in terms of someone who's a scholar first, warrior second, as well as being actually grounded for a low level character.

    I'm also not really seeing an agenda thats being pushed...? At least, not one that isn't already common amoung most adventurers; we've all seen stories of people who chafe under evil kings or suffer at the hands of unjust noblemen, why is Mios distrusting a social caste that exploits them somehow spooky politics when we all love Robin Hood and his theft from the rich to give to the poor?

    Honestly, I find it nice to see the story of a poor nobody who's power is drawn from their own efforts, and is trying their best with what they have; and their first brush with adventure coming not from an ultra powerful being, but rather a simple werewolf that was driven off with the same truth of revelation that empowers Mios's own abilities. It feels very grounded; it's what I like in a low level backstory


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Very cool lantern design. Since the recall knowledge implement is likely gonna be the tome this time, I'm looking forward to seeing what the lantern can do differently in the release. A focus on perception boosts including initiative rolls would be nice.


    12 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Edit: I think Sibelius kinda ninja'd me here. Ah well, I'll post this anyway.

    MadScientistWorking wrote:
    Isn't the charisma part more appropriate because you aren't necessarily using knowledge persay but warping reality in a way using your brute force of personality.

    I know the devs described it that way, but based on the behavior being depicted in these stories and the explanations within the Thaumaturge's own class writeup, I get the sense there is a much more technical level to the way this all works than has been explicitly stated. It seems clear that a thaumaturge requires implements of power in order to exact these magical effects — they can't just wish the universe the way they want it to be because they really, really want to believe it works this way. Each implement itself represents a concept in its purest form (enlightenment or insight in the lantern's case), and the thaumaturge then uses their own force of their own charisma to create a sympathetic link between that idea the implement is imbuing and the creature that they are engaged with. It may be the case that these implements of power are themselves powered by the thaumaturge's dedication to the idea they represent, acting like a sort of focus. Or the implement may possess that conceptual power all on their own, and the thaumaturge draws from it.

    In the case of this story, the lantern's power to imbue insight temporarily imparted the werewolf with knowledge of their own horrifying, corrupted form — causing it to be repulsed. Here, Mios exploited a very unconventional (and possibly unique) weakness in their werewolf adversary not by "convincing the universe werewolves are afraid of lanterns," but by unintentionally exploiting a psychological weakness in this particular werewolf by forcing it to become momentarily aware of its own monstrous nature.

    To a larger extent, I think it’s that intuitive induction that is the methodology by which thaumaturges operate. They exploit weakness in monsters by intuitively inferring how that monster understands itself. A broken chain holds no mystical power on its own, but a devil who recognizes in that broken chain a refutation against everything they aspire to create, can thus be afflicted by the goodness that broken chain represents to them. The thaumaturge has created a sympathetic link between the devil and an idea that exposes an inner weakness within that devil, as manifested by an otherwise mundane object. Rather than convincing "the universe," they have instead convinced the devil of its own vulnerability to them.

    This is best exemplified in their very use of charisma for recall knowledge checks. Here the thaumaturge — rather than relying primarily on an expansive accumulation of knowledge — instead uses the knowledge they already possess to make intuitive inferences in an unfamiliar situation. They can recognize universal principles and archetypes in stories and extrapolate these features to new stories, characters and situations they aren't fully familiar with. Armed with this insight, they seek out the monster in the human — and the human in the monster — and exploit their essential characteristics to prevail. This insight was not pieced together through knowledge of the creature itself necessarily, but through the thaumaturge's own power to interpret human nature, hidden meanings in stories and legends, and monstrous psychology. Charisma is all about getting people.

    It's not what I expected out of a monster slayer class, and, I'll be honest — I initially really, really disliked the Thaumaturge being married to CHA the way it is. It made no sense to me. But upon further reflection, I think this setup for the Thaumaturge has the opportunity to promote a wider breadth of character stories (such as a thaumaturge having very little in the way of a conventional education but possessing powerful insights into human nature)...and maybe even give the trope a unique spin this time around. You can still create your 'Geralt of Rivia' seasoned monster-slayer with encyclopedic knowledge of paranormal phenomena if you want to — that option is still there. There's also a lot more you can do. And I also don’t think their powers work to any ridiculous degree like "I convince the universe this fire-breathing dragon is suddenly allergic to my flaming torch." There seems, to me at least, to be a little more realism at work here than that. :p I think Mios's story here did a good job bringing a little bit of that out, showing how exactly a Thaumaturge creates in an enemy and exploits their own weaknesses. They don't just pull things out of thin air — they understand what it is they fight. That's my understanding of them, anyway.

    Awesome story, Avi! Thaumaturge — probably more than any other class in 2e so far — I've been particularly excited for. You’ve done a swell job getting me even more excited now. I tip my wide-rimmed hat to ye. Good form.

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