Conna the Wise

Craig Clark's page

344 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Chris Self wrote:
Snorter wrote:

Oh, for the day Paizo has a UK office...


Wonders what his relocation budget would be...

A box of Chiclets and a pair of rubber bands...

Timitius wrote:

Unlike James, I have NEVER played above 10th level. So, this is a real treat for me.

Actually the real treat is not playing above 12th level in 3rd edition - what a mess, I suppose you will find that out after a while, but it probably helps to have a very knowledgable DM.

High level fights tend to spike the needle either "deadly" or "boringly easy", in my experience.

Although milquetoast "evil" drow doesn't scream fun either.... Then again put me in the drow = "cheese" camp. :)

So here's to hoping Paizo can do something about the rules bloat and unweildiness of high level play.

Trevor Gulliver wrote:

Paizo is quite clearly referring to the average size of the contestants. I don't know about you, Neil, but I found stripping down for the Round 3 weigh-in to be quite embarrassing.

HA. Thanks for the laugh!

Jim Groves wrote:

I agree. I'm a Burn Notice fan too, and I didn't even recognize him. My wife had to make me take another look and listen before it clicked. Part of me wanted to say 'what a great range as an actor', but I couldn't quite sell myself on that line. It was a crummy part for such a good character actor.

If you haven't seen Oz, and it's definitely at the edge of the mature factor, I would suggest checking it out. "Doakes" is on death row and has a great scene where he kills another inmate on death row.

He doesn't play wimpy well at all, I would say that was a poor casting choice for Burn Notice. Watching him gulp down water when he should have been kicking Michael Weston's ass was pretty hard to swallow.

Jim Groves wrote:


That brought a smile to my face. I'm a big Dexter fan. I miss Doakes.

It was really sad seeing him play such a clown on a recent episode of Burn Notice. Such a long way from 'Oz'.

Cool chrome eye-patch!

Now all you need is a haircut and a REAL job! ;P

(Totally kidding of course, that pic reminds me of Nagel)

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

At the moment I am in some doubt if I will post regarding actual Round 3 entries or subsequent Rounds. I found Round 2 particularly draining, even without some of the 'off-stage' distractions, and the thought of having to wade through a sea of overly descriptive aberrations and undead again is not one which I enjoy.


Lets hope not only contributors - but judges as well - stepped up their game this round.

Chef's Slaad wrote:

I'm disappointed that a lot of voters think this is not a monster and dismiss this creative and well written entry.

Come on now.... where would the voters have gotten that idea?

I honestly didn't vote for this but I certainly didn't lump it into the brown mold/green slime side of the spectrum. I think the first couple of judges had the right idea. Having a mechanic where the adventurer fights for control of his body (probably becoming an oppenent, although that isn't spelled out) as his party tries to subdue him really appeals to me and no where does this come across as a disease, poison, or hazard, unless you are making assumptions.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

you're totally screwed, and your friends don't even have time to drag you back to town before you're dead.

I am actually quite disappointed with the judging on this entry.

Where does it say the adventurer is immediately dead? I quite see the possibility that this is a swarm that is hard to kill and then once it takes over the hero it becomes almost like a "heal-able" zombie. Sure it sucks having to subdue your companion and then drag them to the village to be healed but it certainly makes for an interesting encounter with a MONSTER.

What is the old saying about assumptions and all that?

Donated 20,000 Hilton points for Haiti relief, I never use them and it works out to 50 bucks for the people down there.

Hope it accomplishes a small bit of good.

It would be hard for me to lump sci-fi/fantasy together and stick to four so I will cheat and do four of each...

Science fiction

Neuromancer - William Gibson
Dune - Frank Herbert
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Foundation - Isaac Asimov


Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin
Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkien
Swords - Fritz Leiber
First Law - Joe Abercrombie

Also very good sci-fi series: Iain Banks Culture series, Neal Asher's Polity, Richard Morgan's Takashi Kovacs, Arthur C Clarke's 2001 series.

Fantasy: Steven Erikson Malazan series, Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards, and Roger Zelazny's Amber.

There are certain authors that don't seem to be able to constrain themselves adequately... (Hello Neal Stephenson!) I invariably like their earlier work better than their later because it isn't until they are successful that their editor's seem to give them free reign.

As other's have suggested these books could have been fantastic if condensed into 10 books. Spin off books such as New Spring could have filled in any gaps, but then again some authors probably just can't work that way.

In a way I think its much similar to the success of Star Wars first trilogy versus the second trilogy. Sometimes absolute creative control doesn't result in the finest piece of 'art'.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I might post up my notes to it one of these days.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Loved Mad God's Key, I was lucky enough to get the RPGA sequel as well but would love to see your notes for the other two you had planned. Sounds like a perfect blog post...right after your post lamenting the traitor Bret Favre... ;)

Timecrimes is a low budget Spanish film (subtitles) that you can watch instantly if you have Netflix. Its a modern day SciFi time travel story that actually holds up fairly well to plot-hole scrutiny.

I give a definite second to Rogue, splendid direction and acting in a horror film.

The Class is worth a look if you have any interest in things outside of the US. It's a docudrama written by a French school teacher based on his experiences at a very rough school in a poorer area outside of Paris. He is also the main actor and none of the students are professionals.

Erik Mona wrote:


This is doubly interesting, because Downer artist Kyle Hunter actually designed the "look" of the ethergaunts. I described to him what I was seeing in my diseased brain, and he did a sketch that we provided to our handlers at WotC, who then provided it to the artist who did the final piece (a dude named Puddinhead, if I remember correctly).

I told the story once on my old blog, which is now readable only via

Here it is!

Sadly, Kyle's original drawing is no longer available.

Whoops, I misremembered that post I thought it was the shadar-kai that took the "Null-prize".

Apologies to James.

James Jacobs wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
I don't remember that one. Which book is it in?
3.5 Fiend Folio. Same book as ethergaunts and shadar-kai.

Oh shadar-kai, you mean the githyanki of the second Fiend Folio? Heh heh heh. ;)

Longevity is generally measured by the accuracy of your aim and not how many bullets you spray into the air.

I am always amazed at how few of the posters from the Dungeon/Dragon days are still around actually.

Erik Mona wrote:

Please, please do. Make sure not to buy a "small".


I certainly hope there is a wager involved somewhere...

Set wrote:

Less recently, Idoru, by William Gibson, made my least favorite list. Great story, with lots of potential, and interwoven plots, for about 9/10ths of the book.
"Hey kids, we're going to Disneyland! [He stops the car somewhere in the middle of Arizona] I changed my mind. Get out of the car. [William Gibson...

I am assuming you read "Virtual Light" and "All Tomorrow's Parties", if not, you didn't get the whole story... Not that I thought "Idoru" was horrible on it's own. Gibson's on a different level then most of the writer's tossed about on this thread.

A complete piece of drivel (and I don't use that term lightly) that I read recently was "Dies the Fire" by SM Stirling. I didn't have any expectations whatsoever for that book (purchased before boarding a flight) and it took quite a bit of will power to get through the whole thing.

Now that Peter Jackson isn't such a fat a$$ I think he could probably take JJ "Dyn-O-Mite!" Abrams out without much problem.

Or is this a fight about which one is a better director? Less geeky?

Jason Nelson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Xuttah wrote:

What kind of giant is that? It looks upset!

Very good, as usual. Looking forward to owning these books.
The cover of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary features a marilith demon, a troll, and a bunch of goblins. The troll, as you can see, gets a pretty big revamp to its look in Pathfinder...


No more skinny green pickle-nose trolls?

Poor Poul Anderson... some of us still love you!!!

EDIT: And BTW, that is one Abyss of an underbite!

Love the cover of the Pathfinder RPG not so much the troll, something about the giant hamburglar fingers bugs me. Plus trolls always have big black evil souleating depthless eyes.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

No Nick, with a reply like that your point is to harangue anyone who does not leap to join you in expressing the same degree of sympathy as you embrace.

If you feel incapable of making a moral judgement because you feel you cannot make a moral decision over a situation you are not actually expreiencing, that is you.

As a former Marine and sniper I have to go with Nick on this one. These guys aren't terrorists. They are in no way threatening the United States in the way you are asserting. Are we all glad the captain is free and safe? Absolutely. I don't think anyone is shedding a tear over the pirates. But I grant you if these pirates weren't stupid kids with guns 9 times out of 10 the story doesn't have a happy ending.

I don't begrudge anyone being proud of our military and giving kudos where it is due. (To take down three targets on the water within seconds of each other is beyond what is normally required, exceptional skill, no doubt about it.) But I guarantee you none of those SEALS did any spiking the ball celebrations or chest thumping after the fact.

Sometimes this bull*cough* penchant for equating patriotism with which football team you cheer for is rather infantile and disturbing. I was in Somalia in '92, I was part of the landing force that encountered idiot reporters as soon as we were at the landing zone. I can only imagine how much more &!%$ed up the country is now compared to then.

To come on to Paizo's website and make broad statements about foreign affairs and belittle others comments only shows how clueless some people truly are.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

2. Having not read the book, I was a bit confused when Ozymandias beat the pulp out of Rorschach and what's-his-name near the film's end. I was sure that he had found a way to Manhattan himself, thus enabling such a scrawny guy to kick so much butt. But then it turned out he was still just a smart guy, and I scratched my head for a moment.

Yeah his athleticism definitely didn't come across in the movie. He had the smart thing and the pretty boy thing going on but...yeah. Not that I expect much consistency in a movie where any shlub can go out and single handedly dispatch a gang of senselessly violent thugs just by putting on a halloween costume.

He didn't seem to have much problem with the assassin that shoots Lee Iacoca. I suppose technically he doesn't have superpowers but he is much closer to it than either Rorshach or Nite Owl.

I hadn't read the book either but when I saw the Comedian torch Veidt's map, he was prime suspect #1. I had the whole "So that's the guy that beat the crap out of the Comedian!" moment when Nite Owl and Rorshach put everything together.

Randy Dorman—The Palace in the Ashen Wastes
Eric Bailey—Hecataeus: Sanctum of the Colossus

It's all about what have you done for me lately, I think this round is the most important for how well someone will perform in the next round. Body of work -- not so much.

Malgana the Twistwood Lich
Hecataeus, Master of Constructs
Derinogen, Aristocratic Mage

Didn't vote for anyone I voted for last round.

Valeros: "Mutilated?!! Whaddaya mean there ain't no such thing as an Elven mohel?"

To the web deity of Paizo, can you fix my "Gamers in Need" thread in the off topic discussion area? Not sure what happened, it seems to be there when you do a search but not when you browse the boards.


This is reposted from a message board that I frequent, if it is posted any where else on Paizo's boards then my apologies. I know what a great group of gamers there are on the Paizo boards so I thought some people might want to chip in:

thewylddream wrote:

Hi, I got asked to forward this information to the local gamers/comic geeks. If this in any way violates any terms of this forum please pull it immediately with my apologies.

CARLA AND LANCE HOFFMAN, video gamers, table top players, comic book geeks, SCA members, and all around wicked nerds. Carla works at a local comic book store and keeps a comic review blog. They live(d) in Montecito a small town near Santa Barbara California. They are truly awesome people who you would find at any good con.

Unfortunately they have had some very bad fate dice rolls lately. On Thursday Nov. 13, 2008. (About 6 days ago.) Lance and Carla were caught in a flash fire/wildfire that overtook them as they were fleeing their home. Fortunately they have survived.

Badly burned they drove themselves out of the fire and to the Montecito fire station and from there were taken by ambulance to a Santa Barbara hospital. They are in stable condition but both have suffered sever burns on their arms and legs and Lance has 3rd degree burns on his head.

Their house was incinerated by the Tea Fire, the huge fire burning around the cities of Montecito and Santa Barbara. It is my understanding that the house was rented and they had no renters insurance. They lost everything. Ever game, every game system, their laptops, everything. They have no clothes, no beds, nothing.

For more information you can check this blog: Newsrama blog
Here is the official announcement about the fund: Tea Fire Burn Victim Relief
Here is the news report on the couple: News article on Noozhawk

I know money is tight right now but if you want to help your fellow gamers there is a few things you can do.

Send a donation to:
The Lance and Carla Burn Fund
Santa Barbara Bank and Trust
1483 East Valley Road
Montecito, CA 93108-1248

Even donations as small as 10$ would be most appreciated.

If you can't send money you can repost this call for help in your own blog/webpage/myspace account. If permissible you could post it on other gamer forums and let others know that two sweet gamers need help. If you are in the SCA please let the locals know that these two need help. Get the word out to others who might be in a better position to give.

And finally you can pray. I know many of us don't usually do that but please keep these two lovely people in your hearts and minds and thank the Power(s) that be for getting them out of the fire and ask them to continue to care for them. They are lovely individuals. They are doing better but they still need our best prayers to avoid further disaster.

Bill Dunn wrote:
At the risk of digressing from the thread further, what would or could an attack on the Pacific coast of the US have accomplished?

Perhaps Japanese control of Alaska could have increased the common sense ratio up there. I can't believe they are going to elect a convicted felon to the Senate. First Bible Spice and now this.

We just had 8 years of Dick "Darth" Cheney, so I think I will take a pass on that one.

It can certainly be addicting, being shot at and having explosives lobbed at you, it gets the adrenalin pumping.

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is great fun as well, but spy-rigging had to be my favorite, just google it. The joys of being a scout/sniper (HOG) in the Marines.

David Fryer wrote:
Go back to the Powell endorsment, a friend of mine brought this to my attention. How does it help Obama's campaign to portray John McCain as Bush's third term when he has been endorsed by the most visible face of the "steady drumbeat to war" that Democrats kept bringing up?

I don't think its much of a secret what Powell thinks of the Bush administration. Also it doesn't make much sense if you are the McCain campaign to talk about Powell, he is well liked and respected by people on both sides of the aisle, so you will either end up looking like a sore loser because he didn't endorse you or in Buchanan's case 'a race baiter'.

And to be honest no body gives a 'rats left chicken McNugget' about the Iraq war right now. "It's the economy stupid", not Ayers, not Wright, not Farakhan, I think the McCain campaign is coming unglued.

This impressed me, from an early voter in Florida kfm1964:

"I'm a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville, Florida. I've got a wife and two kids. Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early. Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported "I Voted" stickers.

But I didn't vote for Obama.

I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants.

I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.

I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky. (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq).

I voted for Shawn, another who's been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who'll be going back to Afghanistan again soon -- and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.

I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school -- it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.

I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes -- Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.

I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break.

I voted for four little angels from Birmingham.

I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.

I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too. But mostly, I voted selfishly. I vote for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and once who has baseball practice at the same time. I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them. I voted for a government that will be respected in the world. I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile. I voted for everything I believe in.

Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn't him I was voting for -- it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.

Who else is there to vote for?"

A little smaltzy, but I don't see Colin Powell's name anywhere in there.

Be sure to click on the door multiple times...

Palin in the oval office.

Samuel Weiss wrote:
The reason I mentioned it as an issue is because if the current designers are coming up with the sort of logic that allows them to either redact the history of the game to the point of ignoring two settings, or simply forgetting to check the publication dates, then it suggests a reasonable concern with what other elements of the history of the game...

Their target audience is first time players. Why on earth would they put "Hollywood" type product placement adds for Greyhawk and Blackmoor or Mystara in their brand new book? They don't even sell those 'brands' any more!

There is a reason it was Manzorian and 'Free City' in Age of Worms, marketing guys don't like it when you prop up dead product lines.

Although I am not a subscriber for the magazine Games for Windows, I am guessing there aren't a lot of Windows XP tips in that periodical anymore...I am thinking they pimp a lot of Vista now, just a guess though.

Sebastian wrote:
It all depends on how you define campaign setting. It's not an unambiguous term. So crying that the phb goes out of the way to be insulting about Greyhawk is hard to take seriously (and kinda petty).

Please, to even consider this wasn't done as a marketing ploy is naive. If anything we can gather that a Dragonlance setting book is almost assured at this point.

I finally got a chance to play 4ed and to be honest it isn't a bad game. I also enjoy the occassional game of Talisman, Descent, and Runebound. And that is exactly what 4ed seemed to me, a hybridized version of those games. Whether you consider it a more complex board game or a streamlined RPG/Wargame it certainly isn't another step in the progression from 1st edition. It simply isn't THAT game anymore.

You can say it is simplified and easier play, or you can say it is watered down and no longer your cup of tea, I don't think those view points need to be so disparate.

I do like some of the systems from 4th ed. and plan on moving them into my 3rd ed game, but I don't think I would ever run a campaign length game with just 4th ed.

In my game I narrowed the human's ability to two abilities based on sub-races (+2 Int or Cha for race X) so they players are forced to think a little more about which sub-race of human they want to be.

It also boosts the half-elf a little because they don't have this restriction.

I think one of the largest prohibitive factors to both the fighter and the monk at higher levels is their loss of iterative attacks based on 3.5's full attack rules and movement in combat.

Obviously this becomes even more of a factor with the monk because one of their main abilities is their extra speed and one of their main combat abilities is flurry of blows.

I think the monk needs a couple of things, first they should have an ability that allows them to tumble and leap during a charge which would increase their mobility and combat ability, I would even go so far to say they should be able to leap just about anywhere and at any time as a charge in place of "x" amount of movement. It only makes sense that they should be the most mobile 'fighter' in any party.

Also the flurry of blows should be able to be beefed up at later levels, whether this is with ki strikes or magically augmented 'fist wraps' or whatever you want to say. Each of the blows should have a different option during a full attack. This would be especially be usefull if it somehow increases the utility of the additional iterative attacks ala fighting style feats or Bo9S.

Anyway they defintely need something more, but I don't think they need a whole re-build.

poizen37 wrote:

I agree that rangers should be more disposed towards archery than two-weapon fighting, but I like that they have a choice.

With the power bump that classes have received there is no reason that the class can't inherently have both styles of combat at the same time.

With regard to the ranger I think they better either go long or stay home.

It needs something to majorly overhaul it similar to the barbarian, otherwise why not play a fighter that can track stuff?

It might even be wise to give them a grab bag of abilities to choose similar to the rogue, except the spell abilities would be druid/wild shape based, and the fighter abilities would need to be something cooler than what you get from the rogue talents.

The ranger in 3.5 always struck me as a 2nd edition character that was hand waved at because the developers were afraid to mess it up.

Gruumsh doesn't strike me as the sort of deity that likes shmansy pansy druids with flowers in their hair running around.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Joey Virtue wrote:
Does a creatures mouth count as a Dangerouse Situation like swallow whole?

It might.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I am thinking of a Dungeon adventure that I played in not long ago (I think it was one of the Istivin arc adventures) and a behir scrabbled up a cliff and started grappling characters. The DM not being well versed in the grapple rules basically let us off easy and the thing was killed in a few rounds... With the new grapple rules I suddenly see characters being hurled off that cliff in droves, add in the swallow whole bit of the behir and that is pretty much a DM's wet dream scenario.

Which is to say I love the idea! But an automatic grapple check in this case to cling to the behir as it tries to fling you off the cliff is probably a good idea.

Mosaic wrote:
Roman wrote:
It may also be useful to give characters who take a level of their favored class +1 skill point per level (instead of the +1 hit point per level...
Great idea. This gets at what being in your preferred class is better than adding hit points. I agree that hit points seem to be going up quite rapidly.

Why not give the players a choice each time they take a level of their favored class? After all +1 hit points starting around 4-5th level is pretty small potatoes, especially for fighter types.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I did not want to come out and say it quite yet, but this is a change I am seriously considering right now. Each bloodline would have a list of spells, and you would get to choose one every time you gain a new level of spells (4th, 6th, 8th, etc). I like that, but to give them a bit of a bit more balance, I might drop all those levels by one (that is they can choose a bonus 1st lv spell at 3rd, 2nd lv at 5th, etc).

I realize that some folks would really like to see their progression change. Right now, I am not willing to make that change. The sorcerers benefit has always been more spells, just at a slightly slower progression. You may disagree, but right now, I am sticking with this concept.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Completely agree, I think the progression needs to stay the same. When I first started playing 3.0 I thought sorcerers were nerfed big time. But as the amount of spells per day became apparent it seemed much more balanced. I think the bonus known spells based on their bloodlines would fit perfectly.

I am also leaning towards giving them 3/4 BAB, otherwise they completely lose their flavor as a slightly buffer spell caster. (Seeing that wizards now have the same hit die.) Plus this would give them a reason to use their touch attacks in melee.

James Jacobs wrote:

As for her hair, yup. Our gnomes are fey; and one way that manifests is in their skin and hair colors.

Actually if you look up forest gnome in the Monster Manual, that's pretty much a spot on picture.

So even outside of Golarion it isn't all that "gimped".

Glan Var wrote:
I have to say I am very disappointed with Pathfinders Take on Paladins. You have failed to address some of the the major flaws in the class and instead have opted to add some shiny special abilities and call it good.

I think people need to check the 'voice' of their criticism before submitting. You have some valid points here but it's so heavy handed and dire sounding that it's hard to take seriously.

About the only thing I think is probably a no-brainer change is to give the paladin (and ranger for that matter) the same access to 0-level "at will" spells. I hope to see this in the future.

The Wis-based casting doesn't seem to me to be a big deal, the boost in turning is more than enough "oomf" for the class.

28 point buy plus humans getting +2 ability boost kind a sinks the whole stat argument in my opinion.

Ahnald - "Eef you take away my d12 Ahh will put you-ah puny 'ed between my tie's and crus' eet like a g'ape!"

Douglas Draa wrote:

Composition is nice, but too static form my taste.
He should be on the attack and not backed into a corner.
Again the colors are too subdued.
No sense of Place!

My main critique to the covers and this one in particular: No breasts! These are pulp books and such is expected. In that instance you have a character from the book (the Shambleau) with strange sex appeal that for some reason gets lost on the cover.

I think PS needs to go a little Gonzo with the covers.

I have no problems with this at all, has anyone started playing with 1st level characters lately?

Every time I start a new campaign I reminded that 3.5 really only "works" from about 4th level through 12th level. 1st level characters are too fragile and 13th level characters are too "wonky".

I for one think the power creep makes perfect sense especially if you combine it with the slower XP progressions.

Half-elves were always a disappointing race in 3.5 and I like the +2 to any ability score schtick but with humans getting the same bonus it pretty much nerfs the half-elf once again.

I also don't see why humans should get proficiency in any one weapon, something seems off to me there. Perhaps Weapon Focus with any weapon from the simple weapons list? What's to stop every human to lug around an exotic weapon at 1st level?

I think to redress things humans should lose the +2 ability boost and half-elves should keep it.

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