Imron Gauthfallow

Lord Slaavik's page

41 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Reading the blog a month behind as usual, but wanted to say hello to the 1,074 fellow "Charter" subscribers out there. :)

Hmmm... I had not noticed, but the "Planet Story" bit in my tag has gone. Sad really.

And to you fellow "Chartered" Snorter.

Odd that you do not get the "superscriber" moniker too, you seem to allow Paizo to empty your bank account every month like me.
Oh... I got the Planet Stories subscription back in the days. I think that was the one that made me super-scribe to Paizo.

Yes, I also remember that sentence where the character's name had been obviously swapped with another, but I cannot remember where exactly.
Some minor typos can be found too.

Nothing that has stopped me from giving it a five star review.

I remember the email asking people like me with some Dragon and Dungeon "credit" remaining about switching to that strange and newly announced product called "Pathfinder" or getting our money back.

To be honest, I was not really enthralled at first but being a bit lazy and wondering about the hassle of cashing in a cheque in $ in Britain, I just chose the subscription option. After all, Paizo had graciously replaced some Dragon issues lost in the post before, they had been kind to me, so I thought they deserved a break. Of course with having Erik Mona and others who knew how to write decent Greyhawk stuff, there was also some hope for that Pathfinder thingy to be half-decent too...

That decision got me a Pathfinder "Chartered" Subscriber (and later superscriber) handle on the website. Ain't many of them around! ;)

Back to the blog entries, they show that the people at Paizo not only have some talent, they also have the balls (even for the ladies) to make tough decisions.

A great book, read it over the weekend.

The passage above is also well chosen for its focus on the not-so friendly alliance between Nidal and Cheliax. It is also close to the turning point, conscience-wise, for the main protagonist.

I guess we all knew from the beginning that this was at best aimed at a niche market. This is very bad news indeed as I sadly do not buy the "hiatus" thing and believe this has been canned for good. I dearly hope I am proven wrong though.

Well, subscribed from them all from day one, read them all, and apart from "The Walrus and the Warwolf" I have enjoyed them all (*) so this was nice knowing you "Planet Stories". The line did a brilliant job at inviting me to read authors whose books I would never have picked-up otherwise.

(*) Cannot win all the time as in all the time. :)

Being the happy owner of a huge Ptolus vinyl map, like others, I would like to put a +1 to the idea.

The globe would be nice too!

bigkilla wrote:
Probably by the end of August. And there was only copies made for the amount that were ordered so more than likely retailers will not have many copies at all.


These questions must have been asked and answered somewhere, but being lazy, I am asking them again here :)

What is the rough ETA for the print version?

Will enough copies be printed to ship to retailers in the UK? (to avoid killer shipping expenses and a likely non-negligible extra blood-offering to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)

Old and sunken Azlant, Aboleths, the very deep sea... Dagon?
And of course the pirate bit of "Savage Tide".

Erik Mona wrote:
Please post your reviews to as well as here on Paizo. We want to spread word of these books as far as humanly possible.


Just finished reading the book last night, so I have now written a review.
Pretty good book indeed.

Now back to reading my backlog of Pathfinder issues...

I had to email Customer Service first thinking this was a mistake in my monthly shipment, which took its time (thank you HM Revenue and Excise)... and ended up kindly directed to this thread. Next time I should read the back of the bleeding bookmark first! :)

I had already loaned my copy to a friend, I shall now strive to give it away for the cause then.


Raise dead on the thread, less than a year and my CL is high enough.

While reading "Curse of the Riven Sky", I wondered if Monte Cook got it wrong with his flying Linnorm encounter.
Then I checked the Bestiary and yes, Linnorms have a fly speed... problem is they have no wings and no access to the fly spell.

Checking that good old MM2 I realised that yes, the Pathfinder RPG Linnorms do not have spellcasting abilities. In MM2 they had fly at will, thus bypassing the lack of a pair of wings.

Therefore, I too would call for giving them a couple of spells, at least a list that makes their ability to fly more logical.


Like many I received the book a while ago and like Kajehase in particular, I have also finished reading it.

Granted, there is a blog entry that explains why the preview is so late, but I still find it unfair, intolerable, etc, :) that our weekly free dose of Pathfinder fiction is interrupted by a preview. Yes, I know, it is free, so we are not paying for it, but still as a "freetard" I am entitled to free stuff!

Why not attach a preview PDF to the product page and be done with it?

This is especially annoying this week as Ed Greenwood is supposed to be the next author of the next short piece of Pathfinder webfiction and I have to wait another week for that.

That being said "Winter Witch" is indeed a very solid novel. The author(s) (Dave Gross worked on it too from what I have understood) have definitely read their Pathfinder copies, specifically the "Rise of the Runelords" ones about Varisia and of course the Whitethrone section of Cities of Golarion. Elaine Cunningham as usual is very good at developping characters as the story goes along. The only gripe I have with the book is the ending that seems a bit rushed, as in it feels like the book needed another fifty pages or so.


Thanks for the clarification, in my defence, I did use the expression seems to in my previous post. It is just that, like others maybe, I feel a bit queezy at times at what appears to me as imposed political-correctness. There is a fine line between accepting and promoting different life-styles and I am one of those who would like the line not to be blurred.

The goal of "Before They Were Giants" while worthwile in principle was always going to be hard to pull. Quite logically, the majority of authors have expressed reservations about their earlier work, underlining the fact that they writing skills had evolved for the better since then. Thus, by the same logic, it was indeed likely that the "true first forays" were going to be anything from refreshingly candid to pretty awful (depending on personal taste of course). The book itself is true to its title though, so no complaint on this point from me.

Compilations of "best stuff" (which is a very subjective expression in itself) from famous authors have been done to death and usually regularly released and not really what "Planet Stories" should be about anyway. So again, this was an original take on a work of compilation.

"Worlds of Their Own" the other PS compilation was a better read, but then more likely to gather the better of an author's effort than one collecting earlier works. So, just to reassure you, I can say it again: apart from a few odd stories, I have enjoyed the book. It ticks the "discover an author you may never have otherwise read" box of the "Planet Stories" line design in my humble opinion.

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The book came out in the late 80's I remember reading them in my last years of High school - how far back in time do you think paizo should explore?

I don't understand your reference to British slang Cook was from New Zealand?

Sorry, I only realised that Cook was from NZ when I reached the end of the book, no offence meant to American authors but the book read more "British" to me. I may even have spotted some British English spelling every now and then. :)

"How far back in time?" I would vote for late 70s as the most recent. Sure, I have enjoyed "Template" and some stories from "Before They Were Giants" so I would have missed these, but what I meant was that the title of the line and the retro art, to me call for novels and short-stories from the 50s or 60s era.

As for "The Walrus & The Warwolf", well, it was "a bit meh..." as Bart Simpson would say, but I have read worse ("Baldur's Gate" the novel, yes, I am ashamed...). I just felt like siding with Elf_NFB because he appeared to be one of the few out there whose opinion about the book I felt closest to.

I could complain that the first book I did not like in the series was the thickest, which is not fair, but that would make me look like an idiot! :)

Can't really go wrong with Moorcock.

Therefore safely looking forward to reading the book. :)

The reviews are pretty harsh, the first two at time of typing, but I must admit that they are sadly close to the point for some of the stories.

The book is still full of refreshing stories, but with a few duds, worse, one author actually admits that his submitted work was pretty awful, but since it was from "before he was famous" it technically fits the theme.

I would have loved to read the China Miéville story, had it been translated in readable English first. Sorry, this must have been "art" or something, but being an engineer it just got lost on my being a Philistine. I do not really care either to read about the sexual orientation of an author being forced down my throat. "Mirrors and Burnstone" is a decent short SF story on its own and I find it annoying that the author seems to have been chosen because she has introduced LGBT themes via her work.

Dan Simmons is indeed missing, but I am glad to hear that he was considered.

In conclusion, not the best "Planet Stories" volume ever, but not a disaster either.

A refreshing story, especially after the slightly disappointing "Walrus and the Warwolf" which I did not think of as "Planet Stories" material.

Matthew Hugues has some Frank Herbert in him, he only needs a few pages to let the reader understand and picture his world. Sure, there is the cliché of "one society per planet" but once put aside, there is indeed a lot of very interesting sociological background.
The other nagging thing is that the story is a bit too short, with everything in place it could have lasted another fifty pages.

Has anyone picked on the "worlds based on particular sins" story and thought about "Rise of the Runelords" in space, or is it just me? :)

The cover is not that bad, it has a 1970s retro feeling about it... even if the actual novel is not that old of course.

Like Chris Mortika, I would have like to know a bit more about the various themes introduced later in the book: The Immersion, and for that matter the Archonate.

jmidd wrote:
Elf_NFB wrote:
In the face of all the glory being heaped on Cook's The Walrus and the Warwolf, I feel compelled to add an opposing opinion. Simply put, I'm finding it really hard to understand the love for this book and I've put it down for Many Wade Wellman. The narrative is like reading a sociopath's stream of consciousness acid dream. I'll give Cook a little credit as a writer for being able to make a story seem completely disjointed even when it is not. Unfortunately, I found nothing remotely compelling about any character or their story. Finally, when it came down to make sport of rape, I just couldn't continue. I can understand appreciating the novelty of the narrative but, really, this just isn't a book for me and it won't be going on my shelf.
So, two stars for me. This stuff is not really why I subscribed to Planet Stories.

Elf_NFB, jmidd,

I am a bit behind in my reading, but considering indeed the praise this "not really Planet Stories" book has gathered on this thread, I shall side with you.

My problem is not really that I dislike the book, it just reads like cheap fantasy to me. It is sort of enjoyable at times with the risqué but not overtly vulgar references. I also enjoy reading a book with words properly written in British English and British slang.

That being said, this is not what "Planet Stories" should be about.

Have you already run out of 1940-1970s forgotten materials?
I thought the line was to be more like digging for forgotten jewels of a distant past, some kind of reading list or guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy (or mix of the two) from the olden days.

Please do not get into the "this is a classic" argument, because what is "classic" to one can read as utter rubbish to many. It is all a matter of taste.

From the late Hugh Cook's own admission, this book series was a commercial failure at the time, and from what I have gathered he did not really create a new genre either.
The only apparent reason for this book to be in the "Planet Stories" line is that it was out of print, or never in print, in the USA. Well, I live in England, so allow me to be selfish.

Now, books like "Who Fears the Devil", "Robots Have No Tails", "Black God's Kiss", and many more have indeed their place in the "Planet Stories" line as I understand it.

Again the "Walrus and the Warwolf" is not that dire, it just does not seem to belong here.

As French resident of England enjoying the country's healthy dose of eurosceptiscim, I applaud those who say "UK and EU".

As an aside the UK is not "part of" this Chelaxian bureaucracy, it is "a member state of"... and long live the Pound Sterling!

And of course on a geographical point of view, the UK is based on the British Isles, Europe being "The Continent".

Will this one be available as a print product too?

Indeed a very good piece of art, I did not mean anything wrong by mentioning TC1.

I had forgotten about the Bonus Bestiary, yep, it is there for the Nixie entry.

This is not Arvormeigh, this is Cachee from "Into the Haunted Forest"!

I knew I had seen this art piece before, ruffling through my collection, I found and opened the old TC1

TConnors wrote:
I hear we're 75% commissioned already! I feel like I'm collecting tickets for the latest rollercoaster. Only, in this case, the people in line get to decide where to place the twists, turns, and screams!

Add another few percents to that.

I have just bought myself a standard ticket for the ride. If I had more time to spare, I would have spent a bit more.
Some people actually have to run adventures during their spare time while others merely need to write them you know. :)


Just dropping a word about The East Midlands D&D Meetup Group.

A lot of RPG systems are on offer, but well... why play anything else but Pathfinder?

I am currently running "Rise of the Runelords" in PPRG (game is full right now though) and actively trying to make my fellow members catch the PRPG bug.

"Black Waters" should be run soon in order for me to rehearse it for a forthcoming convention (ConQuest), players will be wanted.

Our group is mostly spread across Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.
We try to be more than just a mere presence on the web and have monthly socials at the Brunswick Inn in Derby.

So if your personal lair is located in the East Midlands and want to play Pathfinder RPG, contact our Meetup organiser and join EMD&DMG.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
PI'll go bump my thread so I can pick your brain.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

Since "Elak of Atlantis" has been obviously mentioned, I would advise to look at Open Design. I am a patron for "Shore to the Sea" and at the moment the activity is on the companion book.

To be honest I have not "worked" as a patron for quite a while, but the Atlantean subject must have been rehashed at nauseam in the various threads.

Since you have already mentioned the 1980s TV series, I guess I do not have much more to say on the subject.

As an aside, if you want to read about cities lost to the sea, you could have a look at "Ys" or "Cite d'Ys" in French.
Or by extension read about Lyonesse, which according to legend has suffered the same fate as Ys. The very first Planet Stories "The Anubis murders" started there if my memory does not fail me. The action did not last long there, a page or two only, so not much on Ys. The "Dangerous Journeys" setting (E.Gary Gygax) may have more, then again I do not have the book.

Since you already know that I am in academia, I shall not lower myself to give you the links to Wikipedia. :)

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

Howdy, Lord Slaavik. I was thinking of starting a Pathfinder Club at my college, as I'm trying to go from adjunct to professor and they've spread the word around that they are going to be looking to see what applicants have done with students outside of class!

By the way, you look like the kind of fellow who should have posted in my Atlantean fiction thread. ;)

As long as there is no relation examiner/student it is perfectly fine for a member of staff at university to be friendly, or to participate in activities (team sports, RPG society, arts, religious societies, etc) with students.

To be fair to the system, it is true that if one is supervising or assessing a friend or an acquaintance as part of their professional activity, there is a great potential for breaking the rules.

In fact it is highly probable that your running RPG sessions at the local Student Union (with students not related to your Department/School) would count positively towards a professional evaluation exercise.

After a while, you may realise though that students are always young, each and every one of them lasts only for the duration of their degree, and your are always around. I solved that issue by joining a local D&D meetup group ( Now, I play with people belonging to my own age group.

[Atlantean fiction thread]
Sorry, I did not get that...

Short answer: Don't.

I used to GM at university while being a Research Fellow. Because my job involved running postgraduate projects at master level, I made damn sure than none of the students I played with were in my Department. To be fair it never happened, so I never had to face the problem. Had it happened, I would have turned down the player.

The concept is that of being in a "position of influence", where one has to mark or otherwise evaluate someone with whom they have a social/leisure interaction. The wording is usually associated with situations of teachers/lecturers/etc potentially taking advantage sexually of the student, but it extends pretty easily to such an extra-curricular situation, unless the activity is sanctioned by the school as it has been mentioned above - in this case GMing an RPG session would technically become part of your job.

In other words, also as mentioned above, if one kid or the kid's family starts complaining or making stuff up, you are pretty likely to lose your job first and defend yourself second. Then even if proven innocent, because of the nature of the profession and the popular belief that all male employees in a teaching profession are pedophiles and females "sexual predators" (thanks to the British press), the stain on one's reputation becomes even bigger on one's CV.

Playing and GMing Pathfinder is great, I am not saying the contrary, but to my knowledge one needs a job to survive, and risking one's for a leisure activity (however low the chance of encountering problems) is not a great move to make.

I have already rejoiced at the news on the Open Design journal as a patron, and I shall do so again here: "Great news!"

Fleece66 wrote:

I wanted to pitch Alkenstar very, very badly, but the Azlant idea already had a lot of steam behind it, so here we are!

Maybe next dance!


That should be great too.

As mentioned above, Paizo wants very little to do with Alkenstar, thus the format of Open Design: "People who pay for producing what they want" would solve the issues of limited, too focused, interest that does not sell.

First things first though, us patrons should do our best so that "From the Shore to the Sea" becomes a classic and grabs an Ennie, to show the Paizo boys that Golarion is safe when handled by respectable hands. :)

Daigle wrote:

If all gets approved, this will be the first one using the setting, but one other patron project from Rite Publishing was the first to use the PRPG rules, making this the second to do so.

At least I think that's the case.

Ah... alright. Thanks for the information.

Wolfgang did write "using the Pathfinder RPG rules", I somehow implied "Golarion project", my mistake. Back to self flagellation "PRPG is not Golarion only... PRPG is not Golarion only..."

Wolfgang Baur wrote:

The second patron project using the Pathfinder RPG rules has been announced — and the project may also wind up using the Golarion setting, exploring a set of lost Azlantean ruins!

I am already signed in for "From the Shore to the Sea" and have even posted profusely on the various brainstorm threads.

I am curious though: What is/was the first patron project using the Golarion setting? I thought FtSttS was the one and only so far.

Erik Mona wrote:

Right now Planet Stories is _just_ profitable enough that I haven't been ordered to cancel it, and we have books signed all the way into 2011 (including some absolutely incredible titles that I cannot believe we were able to secure). But it could be doing a lot better than it is, and we're constantly trying to think up ways to improve the line's performance because it is a labor of love for just about everyone involved.
I would breathe a lot easier if we had about twice the number of subscribers than we have at the moment (though there have been a lot of new additions in the last three weeks--thanks!). Right now we have fewer than 300 subscribers. With double that, the future of the line would be assured forever, because we would be more than halfway to profitability on each book before it even left the warehouse.
I am cautiously optimistic.

Were the worst to come, I hope you will be allowed one more price adjustment before folding "Planet Stories".

On the one hand, it is very sad to read that less than 300 people are currently subscribing, I would have put that number far higher. On the other hand if 600 punters could guarantee the survival of the line, a good advertising campaign could seal the deal. Problem is, you have mentioned that advertising has not yet succeeded.

As for the new format, I definitely like the 50s look (although I am not that old), I am a fan of the Fallout games (first two), the overall feel of the book is great.

What is terrible, and is apparently about to be fixed, is the new paper quality.

I would also like to moan about the two-column format as others have done before me. This is fine for magazines but not for a book, well in my opinion anyway.

As for the price increase, since as far as I know only Paizo is offering the service of actual reprints of lost books, plus that of selecting these books and broadening my tastes in Science Fiction/Fantasy, I shall live with it. Do not ever print on toilet paper though! :)

Paz wrote:

Bear in mind that when importing books into the UK, they are duty free and have a zero VAT rate. You still have the shipping to contend with though. T-shirts, card games, etc. have different rates so you need to be a bit more careful.

True, it is indeed duty and VAT free. I must have read long ago, back in the 90s (expensive DVDs in the UK, cheaper in the US) that customs had an official price limit on what to let through without tax in order not to stop everything, and that they applied an unofficial higher threshold more on the lines of "cannot bother". A Paizo shipment of mine was caught once, but it was not the priciest to get through.

As for the shipping cost, between Sterling being most of the time stronger than the $, it usually evens out.

Paz wrote:

I fully intend to get the RPG subscription, but I'm currently trying to work out if its more economical to start that with the Bestiary and buy the core book from Amazon UK (and a PDF from Paizo). It all depends on how much the PDF costs.

It was on my mind too, then I am lazy.

And what about the pride and honour of having an insanely long tag in the forums?
I have noticed that you were a "Charter" subscriber too, surely you cannot afford the tarnishing of your tag by missing on the "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" addition for any length of time, can you? :)

I have related concerns regarding the shipping cost of the Pathfinder RPG core rulebook. I mean the book is going to be hefty, right?

The problem in the UK when receiving packages from abroad is not really the custom duty, after all it is only fair to shell out for a tax businesses have to pay, but the criminal £8 "handling fee" from Royal Mail, just to tell me they are holding a package on their shelves "for my own good" on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs. The monthly shipments usually avoid it, I think they do not bother too much for light parcels worth less than $50. However with the PRPG brick added to the monthly shipment, and its price tag, this is going to hit if combined with other items.

Ideally, I think that the Pathfinder RPG rulebook should ship alone for international customers on subscription. In my case, this could get through without incurring customs duty.

Note that I am not asking Paizo to break the law by indicating a lower price content than it would be.

I must say I had been agonising for a while about getting the Pathfinder RPG locally, due to these shipping concerns, but the usual "Free PDF" offer did it.

I have only run Crown of the Kobold King, but from merely reading the others, I would say that "River into Darkness" wins by miles

The worst, in fact only sub-par, so far for me would be "Seven Swords of Sin", it feels way too much like the recycled dungeon that it indeed is.

1 River into Darkness
2 Carnival of Tears
3 Crown of the Kobold King
4 The Demon Within
5 Tower of the Last Baron

Although "Entombed with the Pharaohs" is indeed worthy of the top five.

"River into Darkness" because of the moral ambiguity and the taste of Joseph Conrad's classic "Heart of Darkness".
"Carnival of Tears" for the ambiance and Mr Logue's name on the cover.
"Crown of the Kobold King" because it was the first module ever(*) and the excellent depiction of Falcon Hollow's residents alone makes D1 memorable (the mentally handicapped boy, the NE people by necessity, etc... grim)
"The Demon Within", for offering at long last a proper storyline for Paladins, and exposing the weakness of men when faced with an evil stronger than them, yet they show their perseverance.
"Tower of the Last Baron" for the total absence of railroading: the PCs must choose and design their adventure. It might be tough to be the GM on this one and keep things going though...

(*) D0 was officially a teaser, also great by the way.

On the second floor of the Gold Goblin, I understand why the record room (room 26) may have a secret door to the owner's room (28); however I find it hard to believe that the owner would have to enter his own place via a secret door from a record room in his office.

Shouldn't there be a door leading to the owner's bedroom from the dining room (27)?

Very good news indeed.
Paizo will therefore have even more of my money.

First post ever after years of ghosting, but the occasion is worth it.