Cobbler's page

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Hi fellow Nova Scotians,

I am running D&D Encounters Season 3: Keep on the Borderlands in Halifax, at Quantum Frontier (on Robie) every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30. The season starts September 22 and runs into February - no 4E experience required. It is designed to be a casual drop-in game for people who are new to 4E or don't have a regular group to game with. You can find out more by searching for D&D Encounters in Halifax on the D&D Website. You are more than welcome to contact me through the search/link there (as I won't be checking here that often).



When I came back from Africa a few months ago, things had changed on my favourite website. On the one hand, RPG Superstar was underway, letting some very talented and imaginative fans add to the growing world of Golarion. On the other hand, much of the creativity was being replaced by an unproductive and sometimes toxic back-and-forth about 4E. It made me sad and disinterested. I started lurking more than posting. I longed for the earlier days of generative enthusiasm.

Don’t get me wrong – I have been morbidly curious and at times, highly amused by the 4E discussion threads. I think I’ve abstained from the debates because I’m not sure how I’d respond to criticism. Yet again there is a loss to deal with … and I suspect some of the angry feelings floating around here have to do with unprocessed grief. Some people are naturally conflicted when a source of pleasure is also a source of pain. I get it. But when it comes out indirectly, unassertively and against fellow fans – the anger is really getting misplaced. Before I digress into psychobabble …

I decided to start a new pathfinder wishlist. I plan on adding my own personal wishes for the campaign setting every week or so. If it sparks discussion – great. If the paizo staff can use some of the ideas we come up with for the adventure planet – even better. If I end up looking solipsistic – so be it – at least I tried to carve a little niche and start a little something like it was in the good old days of early to mid 2007.


Dislikers of science fiction in Pathfinder beware - there are aficionados in the ranks! I personally love a little Sci-Fi in the background, and was heartened by James Sutters' confessional - how about you?

My home brewed adventures generally include some science fiction twist - as a 'believable' explanation for magic, including some Asimov-style transducing-lobes beneath those pointy-ears. I have even made spells require 'DUST' to function, the metallic powder of dying stars that has a colour with no name. I usually suggest that Humans were recent arrivals from some crashed ship, and hint that they were also the original terraformers and experimenters responsible for all the biodiversity and magic-wielding races on the planet today. How else can humans interbreed with Orcs and Elves?

But the major point is to make it a background element - something that can just as easily be replaced by the more arcane and mysterious for those who don't like it. A rocket ship of wood and stone, covered with runes and powered by eldritch fire is only a wizard's tower until a PC activates it and a DM likes the idea of a short flight. So while I'm excited about James’ new module and Golarion's Moon - I hope the Sci-Fi remains magically blended and creatively optional. You know what I mean?

This creative exercise for the Pathfinder Messageboards is to combine interesting races, places and cultures that may one day find their way into Golarion. Simply pick an OGL race, an interesting geographical habitat from Varisia or beyond and two inspiring motifs from real-world cultures.

Here are my examples:

Gnomes, the Sanos forest, Australian Aborigines & Medieval Monks.

These forest Gnomes are exiled keepers of lost knowledge. Each family is a guardian of a tree that contains hidden writing within it, and these repositories are copied and recopied over generations. If such a tree is ever lost, damaged or destroyed, a Gnome from the family is encouraged to go on a walkabout to discover knowledge about the world worthy of replacing what was lost.

Another example:

Dwarves, the veldt North of Janderhoff, Big-Game hunters and Mongolian nomads.

Across the veldt and plains South of the Cinderlands, Dwarven hunters track the big game. With magic, engineered ballistae and alchemical substances, these hunters shoot at great distance. Master taxidermists, they trade their precious hides and horns to perpetuate their nomadic, tinkering lifestyle. Living on the hard flat backs of giant beasts, their sturdy tent-encampments and dour yurts can be seen for miles across the plains.

Get the idea?