Fiendish Snake

Andrew Crossett's page

355 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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I'm still catching up on the existing novels (which is probably going to be harder since I imagine Tor has let them fall out of print).

It would be nice to see some novels to accompany the 2nd edition launch, and also some Starfinder fiction. But fantasy gaming fiction appears to be in a bad spot now. Even with the very successful D&D 5E, WotC hasn't published a new D&D novel since 2016.

I hope we will at least get more Pathfinder comics.

I will probably buy the core rulebook as a physical book, and everything else (if any) digitally. If there will be no backwards compatibility between the editions (meaning all 1E sourcebooks are useless for 2E) I will probably not buy any rulebooks beyond the core, and will just buy any Golarion world books that come out, as well as the novels (if any) and comics. I don't have enough opportunities to game anymore to drop hundreds of dollars on a new system.

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My thoughts on the matter of PF 2E:

This game was created for a reason: so that people who thought D&D 3.5 was the best fantasy RPG system ever made could go on playing a game very much like that one.

It was designed to accurately depict the diversity of options in a world with monsters and magic, not to simplify it. For people who want simple rules, there's Monopoly and Checkers.

The audience for tabletop, pen and paper RPG's is overwhelmingly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. There are some young gamers, but most Millennials and iGen kids play CCG's and video games. It's what they grew up with, like D&D is what we grew up with. Young RPG gamers already have D&D 5E, and there's not enough market there for a competitor.

Pathfinder's market, to put it bluntly, is the people who have been playing it for the last 10 years. So those are the people the new game needs to please. Fix broken rules, add some cool new stuff, streamline and control the number of options so they don't become overwhelming, and make it so optional rules are optional (i.e., not required in any published adventures).

But I think if they try to make too many changes to the fundamentals of the game, they will find that Pathfinder becomes just another fantasy RPG rules system in, as Roland the Gunslinger would say, a world that has moved on.

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Storyteller Shadow wrote:
Eventually I'll move on to D&D Next [I mean 5E :-)], once they release 6th Edition.

I don't think there will ever be a 6th edition of D&D... at least not a tabletop one. I get the idea that 5E was meant to be "D&D Forever"... a system that Hasbro could use to hang their D&D related IP (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, etc.) on, with licensing being far more important than game sales. I think that's why they haven't supported the system very much, though its unexpected success may lead them to re-think that.

I'm going to be honest and say that I really, really like Seoni's legs.

But yeah, she should put on some pants when it's cold. Don't want to develop Red Sonja syndrome here, where looks take precedence over survival.

Kenneth.T.Cole wrote:
Paizo DID say they would never update the rules (they actually couldn't under the d20 OGL). I'm not sure what their intention is on dealing with that from a legal point of view.

"d20" and "OGL" are two different things. The old d20 license (which I don't believe anyone at all uses anymore) had more restrictions, including certain rules that couldn't be changed. The OGL lets you do just about anything, as long as you don't use someone else's closed content and publish a copy of the license.

I'll probably pick up the core rulebook, because I can't resist a new system (unless it's one that rubs me the wrong way right from the start... like D&D 4E, the Michael Bay of gaming systems). I don't really game much anymore anyway. I'll be interested to see what they do with the system, but, like D&D 5E, I probably won't play it.

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I think PF needed simplification, but not in terms of the mechanics. Option bloat was the biggest issue. A quick look at the direction of PF 2E makes it look like they're going in the direction of D&D 5E... simplifying the game too much for my tastes.

Yes, I know options are just options... but PF was including references to non-core options in most of their products, making it difficult to easily play the game without all the supplements.

My ideal PF would be the core rulebook, the Bestiaries, the Golarion world books, and maybe one or two "Unearthed Arcana" type expansions. Unfortunately, the reality of being a game publisher is that you have to keep coming out with new product.

This looks like it will be the final death of the d20 system, which is a shame. I think it was the ideal RPG system.

Did Tolkien sell the television rights as well as the film rights?

Christopher Tolkien was unhappy with the movie adaptation and I'm sure would want to see a version more to his liking, if possible.

I would really like to see an accurate adaptation of The Hobbit. You could do it in a 3 or 4 hour miniseries.

Aside from a Pathfinder series... what fantasy book or series would you most like to see HBO pick up for their next high-profile show after Game of Thrones ends its run?

If you're running a game, how do you strike a balance between maintaining the threat of character death, but not killing characters? In the case where the fall of the dice indicates that a character is going to die...

Would you fudge rolls? Allow the character a chance to flee and save herself? Bring in a deus ex machina? Or just give the characters quick and easy access to resurrection? And do you impose penalties (like a permanent Constitution loss) for resurrections?

Merisiel Sillvari wrote:
Andrew Crossett wrote:
Have you ever met a vendenopterix?
What is that. Some sort of alphabet monster?

It's like a Calistrian succubus.

Have you ever met a vendenopterix?

If you and Kyra got married, would it be in Sarenrae's shrine or Calistria's?

Or maybe... a Sarenite wedding with a Calistrian honeymoon?

Have you read the novel "Southern Gods" by John Hornor Jacobs? I thought a Mythos novel written by a Jacobs might have caught your attention.

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James Jacobs wrote:
No women on that list, which sucks, and is something I'm trying to address.

Gotta recommend P.C. Hodgell's Kencyr series... I read the first chapter of the first book (God Stalk) when I was 16 (in 1982) and was immediately smitten.

What do you think of Fritz Leiber? Michael Moorcock?

How many swear words do you think H.P. Lovecraft uttered when he got his copy of Astounding Stories with the first chapter of "At the Mountains of Madness" in it and found they'd illustrated the climactic moment of the story right there on the magazine cover? That's always been a head-shaker for me.

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Do you like Ramsey Campbell's early Lovecraft stories (i.e., the stuff in the Inhabitant of the Lake anthology)?

Also, do you prefer mythos stories where the Horrors (Old Ones, monsters, etc.) can be fought and even defeated by the protagonists, or the ones where it's hopeless and the best the narrator can hope for is to escape alive and with his mind reasonably intact?

My characters are usually Chaotic Good or Neutral Good. My oldest and favorite character is CG.

Will be down to the wire with me.

1. You've mentioned that Shensen started out as a drow, and Shenshen from Elfquest is dark-skinned. Did you base Shensen's original appearance on her? (And did she start as a good drow or an evil drow?)

2. Do Golarion's gnomes have a special name for their own race, other than "gnome"?

I think I've finally thought of a good angle for my story. With 26 days until deadline, I'm actually ahead of the game this year.

Where on Golarion would one be most likely to experience the following (non-magical) natural disasters?

A major hurricane or typhoon;
A damaging earthquake;
A big, Central Plains style tornado.

Also, has Sandpoint ever been struck by an earthquake or a tsunami?

Do you ever have trouble with non-verbal communication due to the fact that people can't really tell whether you're making eye contact or not?

Since there isn't much detailed canon information about that era, and probably won't be, this is a good opportunity for writers to really indulge their imaginations.

I've got the setting and premise for my story... now if I can only figure out a plot. :-/

What do you think about the Hyperion TV series that's in development?

For me, it was:

"Hey, did you know they're developing a TV series based on Dan Simmons' Hyperion?"

[ascending slide whistle sound]

"It's gonna be on SyFy!"

[descending slide whistle sound]

They haven't announced a title change to "Shrikenado!" yet, so that's a good sign.

On page 26 of Cohorts & Companions there's an illustration of you with a nasty-looking bat creature perched on your arm. Do you think someone commissioned that picture to deliberately freak you out, and if so, will stabbing ensue?

Or have you actually been working on overcoming your fear of bats?

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Any chance we'll get more detailed information on Queen Abrogail in the upcoming adventure paths?

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Merisiel Sillvari wrote:
Minions. I have had minions for a while. They don't last long though. Not sure I remember who those two were. Or even how they died. They were in it for the money, in any event.

Having them wear matching uniforms based on your outfit doesn't sound very chaotic of you, though. Is Kyra gradually edging you over to lawfulness, or neutrality? What next... paying taxes? :-o

Have you seen the new abilities you'll be getting with the Unchained rules? What do you think? Will it now be DEBILITATE instead of STAB?

("Debilitate" is not "bats" spelled backwards, so there's that...)

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Doing a search of this thread, I saw some old responses that tentatively said Queen Abrogail is about 24 years old (actually, 22 in a post from 2 years ago) and came to the throne around 4707. Are those still good estimates?

What relationship was she to her predecessor, King Infrexus?

Does Cheliax have an official line of succession to the throne? It seems like, in the Thrune era at least, new rulers take the throne by stepping over the corpses of their murdered predecessors. But surely a lawful evil regime like the Thrunes would at least have a pretense at a legal order of succession?

Did Abrogail become queen because she was the designated successor, or did she win a power struggle?

Also... spoiler for Reign of Winter...

Who is the canonical queen of Irrisen now (4715)? I realize the adventure paths are not automatically canon because of the wide variety of possible outcomes... but Baba Yaga was due to return in 4713, so Elvanna can't still be queen unless she managed to defeat Baba Yaga.

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Is there empirical evidence that hallucinations exist? You can't show me a hallucination, after all. Those people could all be lying.

If I said, "I've never had a hallucination, and it seems to me illogical that people could see something that wasn't there," how would you prove me wrong?

(I do believe that hallucinations exist, of course... and I believe in the possibility that ghosts exist, though I don't make any assumptions about what they are, if they do exist. I have more personal experience of "ghosts" than of hallucinations.)

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I believe in the possible existence of ghosts. I don't suppose they could ever be conclusively proven to exist, since doing so would require actually catching one in a bottle. (Given modern tech, photo and video evidence can't be considered conclusive in any case anymore.)

I have never seen anything with my own eyes that I thought was a ghost. I have gotten a few video captures on a ghost cam (Ordsall Hall in the U.K.) that look an awful lot like detailed human figures to me. Could be matrixing, but it's awfully detailed matrixing if it is.

My grandfather died when I was 12 years old. The whole extended family gathered in his house (a big 19th century stereotypical "haunted house" on top of a hill... although I stayed there many times and never saw or heard anything suspicious).

The whole extended family gathered in the house for the funeral. The women and girls were given the beds, so all us dudes had to camp out on the floor. My father and I slept in sleeping bags on the dining room floor. It was the same room where my grandfather had spent his last few weeks, in a bed that had been set up there so my grandmother could look after him without having to climb the stairs all the time. He didn't die in that room though, or that house... he died in the hospital.

While I was lying there trying to fall asleep, I heard my name whispered very clearly, right in my ear. There was nobody there. My father was several feet away in his sleeping bag. It's wasn't my grandfather's voice, nor my father's. But it scared me enough that I spent the rest of the night sitting on the sofa in the other room with my eyes wide open, jumping every time the refrigerator came on.

Congratulations to Samuel L. Berry and thanks to James Sutter, Ted/Zuxius and all who participated. I think this makes 5 years now we've had this contest?

Off to read all the other finalists' stories now.

The Realms is a very high-magic world, though, and magic emulates many of the aspects of technology... including, I would think, a more rapid social evolution.

Anyway, my interest in the Realms was very "street level." It wasn't just about the cities and the dungeons, but the people and the rulers and the businesses. This was all stuff that was covered in depth in the FR, to an extent not seen in any other gaming world that I'm aware of. I attribute it to Ed Greenwood being more comfortable as a storyteller than as a designer of crunch.

Because of that, the 100-year jump was far more destructive to my enjoyment of the Realms than even the Spellplague and the geographical changes.

I was kind of hoping WotC would license out the development of their various settings (apart from the still-profitable novels, of course). The 5E Player's Handbook makes a lot of specific mentions of elements from the Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk... even Planescape and Ravenloft. Obviously, WotC isn't going to start developing all those again in-house.

If they did license it out, then whoever got the Realms would probably be free to put out products for whatever era they wanted. Apart from the Neverwinter campaign and the novels (especially Salvatore's), not a whole lot of development was done on the 4E Realms, so it wouldn't be that much of a retcon.

Probably all a pipe dream, though.

But all the specific info about places, people (now mostly dead) etc. are a century out of date. It would be like trying to see the sights in NYC with a guidebook from the World War I era.

Question for anyone who's been keeping up with this: while "The Sundering" is resetting the Realms to 3rd edition standards in several ways (e.g. the geography, the gods, etc.)... it's not jumping the timeline back to the 1370's, is it?

That's a big question for me, because if we're still in the 1400's then all of the expansions I have from 1st - 3rd editions will still basically be kitty litter as far as game useability is concerned.

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Got my submission in. This is the 5th story I've written for these contests.

I hate to say it, but a deadline is the most effective way to get me writing.

I can only go by my own anecdotal evidence, but I and all the old-schoolers I know switched to Pathfinder when 4E came out... some immediately, some eventually.

My local gaming store, where I bought the 1st edition Monster Manual hot off the presses in 1977, no longer even carries 4E because it wasn't selling. They only have Pathfinder and a couple of old 3.5 core books. They will be stocking the 5E books... at least for now.

Even if I like 5E, I have no intention of quitting Pathfinder.

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It's my belief (perhaps wrong) that this is intended to be the last edition of D&D (the last pen-and-paper edition, at least). As such, WotC wants it to be as inclusive, iconic, and evergreen as possible. I think they'll lavish a lot of attention and resources on getting the core books into people's hands, and after that it will become low-key.

Yes, I think maintaining the intellectual property for licensing purposes will be a big motivation. And no, I don't see them getting anywhere near an OGL this time around.

I think D&D will outsell Pathfinder for 2 quarters, maybe 3 if WotC plays their cards right. But then the amount of new material will decrease while Paizo continues putting out its regular slate of product, and Pathfinder will top the chart again.

The new edition will of course alienate most of the players who came on board with 4th edition, just as 4th edition drove us old-schoolers away. On the other hand, some of those old-schoolers will be lured back by the new game. I never bought a single 4E product, but I plan on at least getting the core books for 5E.

Before 4E came along, at least 2/3 of my D&D purchases were of Forgotten Realms stuff. You could say I was a FR superfan, to the point of creating this. But with 4E and the "Spellplague," I'm afraid I avoided it like a roadkilled skunk. I don't know where WotC is going with "the Sundering" (the latest Realms-Shattering Event to update the setting to the new edition). I'd hoped it would split the FR into "Classic Coke" (i.e., a reset to the pre-Spellplague continuity) and "New Coke" (the 4E setting), with novels and such set in both... but that is a faint hope. Too bad... WotC would get a lot more of my money if I could start reading novels about my Realms again.

Yes, congratulations to Maggie and the silver and bronze medalists as well!

(Pathfinder Comic spoiler below)

How do you feel about your relationship with Kyra being made very public in the pages of last week's Pathfinder comic? And how does Kyra feel about it?

Also, how many crude comments has Valeros made to date about it?

dmchucky69 wrote:

Just read your story Andrew. Seems we had similar ideas about a certain Chelixian Queen. I love strange coincidences. Crazy, is it not?

Yeah... just read yours. The two stories could almost be in continuity with each other. I have Abrogail taking more of a "long con" approach, but the theme is the same.

I think it's because her character portrait captures her mystery so well. She's like the Mona Lisa of Golarion... everybody wants to know her story and it's easy to think there's something more going on behind those eyes.

Kantrip wrote:
By the way, very good story about Abrogail.

Thanks! And congratulations on winning round 1... definitely well earned.

I've thought of my story for round 2. I'll probably write it and then spend two weeks trying to chop it down under 750 words... sigh.

You'd think writing a 750-word story should be easy, right?


Hey, Feiya's back from Irrisen! She totally didn't get killed.

You probably just want to find a non-dancing hut to lie down in and get some sleep, I'd imagine...

As a past winner I'm not sure whether I'm eligible to enter again, but... suddenly I find myself 1,000+ words into a story, so I guess I'm in, even if it's just to try to get into another anthology.

Merisiel Sillvari wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
Did Operation: Loosen Up the Cute Cleric succeed?
Things are going quite well, as a matter of fact.

Just remember that +5 ad hoc bonus I gave you a few pages back, and buy me a drink the next time we run into each other in a bar.

There's a new artist starting on the Pathfinder comic next issue. Have you seen any pages with you, and do you like the way you're drawn?

I think that Kyra's resistance is due to the fact that you and she would make an adorable couple, and she can't bear the thought of being "adorable."

(Judging by the comic, though, she needs someone to show her that sexy fun times are more sexy and fun when one is not swaddled in clothing from head to toe.)

Anyway, good luck! As a belated Valentine's Day gift, as GM I grant you an ad hoc +5 bonus on your Charisma checks to Interest Cute Cleric.

Now, questions:

1. As a Calistrian, what do you do if you are attacked by a swarm of wasps? Let them sting you? Swat them but say "Sorry" each time? Try to reason with them?

2. We always see you in the same outfit. Do you have more than one, or when it needs cleaning do you just strip it off and clean it?

3. Do you prefer hot weather or cold? (That is, do you like your nights sweaty or snuggly?)

Your biography in the NPC Codex says you fell in love five times in Kintargo, but only one of those relationships continues today. Who is the lucky girl/guy/both/neither?

I wasn't able to participate in the contest this year (horror isn't my forte, anyway). It supposedly ended last weekend, but I don't see any recent signs of life at the Pathfinder Chronicler site or forum.

No recent activity regarding the anthology(ies) either, apparently. I'm supposed to have a couple of stories in them. I wonder what's going on.

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