Haha, no. You're right. THere's a reason I said and/or altruistic. However, Gaddak truly wants order and law brought to the land. He might do it to bring some prestige to the family, but he's also doing it to tame the wild lands and protect whatever innocent inhabitants might want to live there or already lives there. Even though he's Lawful Neutral, he leans towards Good, both because of faith but also a little from personal opinions. I do, however, picture him as a guy who can have the guts to do "what you have to do", simply because it's either a duty or what you "have to do" in a given situation (aka. the "kill one to save ten, or kill none to save integrity"-dilemma. He would kill one.). In that sense, he might not be a true champion of Erastil, but more a champion of the protection of communities-side of the faith (on the background of his noble upbringing).
But yeah, I'm a little back and forth when it comes to character ideas and such. Story can often trump balance imho, but there can be times where you feel a concept might risk being stretched too far in comparison with the rest. I dunno?
Would you look at that, a Kingmaker game! The Adventure Path was one I was very specific not to run for my group because I wanted to play in it. Since no one will run it on table top around here, it was about time I looked around online for a game.
So, I've been eager to try out the Inquisitor ever since the Advanced Player's Guide came out (needless to say, I don't get to play much as a player), and would like to apply with some sort of Inquisitor concept if there's still room. Ideally he would belong to a belief rather than religion. I was thinking about law and order (barring the fact that Brevoy is CN), picking an apropriate domain or inquisition. I'm thinking perhaps he's been in the deploy of the Aldori or otherwise coming from the Rostland area. I might alternatively connect that character with a faith, as well. I'll flesh out a full concept once it's clear whether there's room or not.
And this is a big cyberhug to you!
I have to say I'm most pleased with the efficiency and patience with which my customer service cases have been resolved - from postal errors (once had a package returned to Paizo from my local post office without me ever being notified - it was kindly re-sent and in as perfect condition as you'd expect from a package traveling half-way around the world a couple of times), to payment errors (my salary date changed, which kinda ruined the whole point of subscribing - not sure how many time I've asked for my orders to be re-processed) and halting and reopening of subscriptions (yeah, I needed a small break to get ajour in order to continue to pour money into this hobby). I've never waited long to get a reply, and all issues have usually been instantly resolved (or as soon as possible).
So thank you for being patient and being effective! That's what service is all about. While most companies quite certainly strive for effectiveness in their support department, I have to say you're clearly in the top in my experience. All ten thumbs up!
I owe you a beer if I'm ever in the area.
I've only had the time to skim through the Hellknight (and other) articles. So far I'm concentrating on reading the actual adventure, but I just realised I might not be able to read all articles before we start to play. Therefore I wondered how player-safe the Hellknight articles in #27 and #28 really are. The one in 27 with the prestige class perhaps more so than the one in 28 at a glance, at least. I don't want to give out any possible spoilers to my players, but I'm more than willing to give them the background information they need if they're interested in becoming a Hellknight. Thanks.
Okay.. So my group crashed, more or less, through the sewers, they wrecked the poor armigers, one of the players, a sorcerer that for some unknown reason has Wizard Mark, earned an eternal enemy by 'branding' his mark on the forehead of Shanwen...
That's so cool! I like clever players. Sometimes they're too clever for their own good, but when they give you that kind of story hook, who can complain?
Anyway, I'll be running the AP eventually, probably start up within the month and I'm finding this thread to be a good read.
One question about the sewers: How many of you mapped it out (more or less) beforehand, and how many of you simply rolled during play? I like to plan things a little, but I do like the "roll during play and make it feel more chaotic"-approach.
The Godhi is the Viking equivalent to a cleric. Historically a Godhi was a wealthy lord who took the responsibility to be a community's religious leader. In the historical context they would have far more warrior levels than cleric levels. As a pop culture Viking a Godhi could be a multi-class fighter(or any warrior class)and cleric or even single class cleric though they would use spears, swords, and axes or, of course, a hammer.
Heh, I've never seen the Godhi-term until now, and I'm a Norwegian. Though with some searching (most results being related to one form or other of paganism), I found the Norse spelling ("goði", which is expressed more or less as, you guessed it, "godhi"). Anyway, as it turns out our word for it would be (a) "Gode", which rang a small bell in the back of my mind from those elementary school history lessons. In either case, though, we usually use the more general term "høvding" (basically our word for "chief", although we also often say "king", but then in a small regional sense - not large scale/national) which was what I suspected all along. Now, there's a difference between a Godhi and a Viking chief (being, for instance, that a chief doesn't necessarily have to be a godhi or religious person as the term actually would include the godhi's vassals). But I digress...
As mentioned, you should probably decide whether you would want a "historical"-type of character, or a more "popular culture"-type of viking. I'd obviously support the former ;) in which case what Audrin_Noreys says above would be good pointers. Seeing as your viking, being an adventurer, would have wealth (at least, if not status), a sword (or alternatively an axe) and chain armor would be apropriate as suggested. For the axe, it would most certainly look like a handaxe (or the Danish Axe linked earlier), although it should perform more like a battleaxe (or even dwarwen waraxe) for use with shield - but steer away from those curved edges in your description! The sword would simply be a longsword (though it is a spatha or gladius-like sword, mind you). Dagger has been mentioned as a sidearm, which is a must-have in any case. Note that the viking knife could in certain cases be tied to status (the same way as a sword) and have a variety of sizes (ie. the ammount of steel used implies higher/lower status), thus a wealthy viking could have a large knife (essentially making it a shortsword).
Alternatively you could pick up the use of polearms. A simpler or less wealthy warrior would only have a shield and a spear. Mind you, though, that this is where the game-system fails you as most evidence points to the fact that vikings used their spears (which could be quite long) in one hand in conjunction with a shield. But, apart from that, almost any polearm could represent a viking spear as variations are described in the sagas to include barbed tips or blades, blades for cutting as well as striking and a few variations which resembles the various halberd variants (halberd, glaive, etc). Except for the ones used for cutting, they could also be thrown.
I also agree on the skill suggestions so far, but I would like to make some additions; for a skald character or someone with position or rank would be Knowledge (nobility) and also (history). It's important not to forget that family and relations were important. Likewise I saw that Ride was mentioned, which is actually quite important (the vikings utilized cavalry), but also don't forget Handle Animal. I can understand that Heal, being a generally useful skill, hasn't been mentioned, but seeing a lot of combat, any viking would know how to patch himself up even though I'll admit they weren't medically advanced.
The feats mentioned are all good, too, depending a little on what route or style to take, of course. Iron Will and Great Fortitude could probably be mentioned, as well as Leadership if you want to become a local king (or godhi, or chief or whatever you want to call it). Another feat that I like is Lunge. While not necessarily your typical Viking feat, it's not far off either. Similarily you have the various Shield feats (Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, Shield Master, etc), even though they are more concept-specific. There's also the various "Improved" feats (Bull Rush, Sunder and Trip would probably be most apropriate). Also, don't forget Toughness as an option.
Classes really depend on your concept, although I would pick Fighter above Barbarian for the more "historical" character, as well as Ranger above Rogue for the more nature-related class skills. Bard or cleric are as mentioned other possibilities depending on your concept.
Alternatively, you could create a person utilizing witchcraft (Seid in Norse), like the Völva (you could call it a wise woman, priestess, shaman, soothsayer or prophesiser and witch all in one package - I'll link this one). The specifics of what a Völva is vary, but they were respected for their knowledge of the religion, as well as powers and abilities. Even Odin himself is said to have consulted one! As such, these characters are the ones worthy of the cleric class in a viking-setting; although the Druid (picking a domain), Adept, Sorcerer (Arcane, Celestial, Fey; with Abberant, Abyssal, Destined, Infernal as alternatives), or even Abjurer or Diviner (only problem is the whole Spellbook-theme). Good domains for a cleric, be it for a Völva or Godhi or other, would be Air, Animal, Community, Earth, Glory, Good, Knowledge [Skalds?], Magic [Völva], Nobility [Godhi], Protection, Rune, Strength, Travel, War, Water, Weather - which, yes, is most of them - plus many of the others fit as well).
Alright, having placed my order after getting an answer to my initial question, I didn't expect to run into trouble right away. I opted for shipping all my items in one package when all preorder items were available. Having placed a fairly large order, my only shipping option was the USPS Priority-Mail, but in my invoice something different was stated that:
Will ship via Standard Postal Delivery in 3 packages (estimated 9 to 36 business days in transit)
I'm not sure what's up with the three packages (I'm guessing it's because of weight/volume), but I don't really mind it either. The real issue is that it states Standard Postal Delivery. Using that option usually takes a long time when shipped overseas with large packages. Besides, I paid for the faster shipping method.
Alright, I know I've seen an explanation for this somewhere, but I can't remember where and couldn't find it through searching.
So, I'm planning on ordering some books (well, quite a few, actually), two of which are preorders (the Princes of Darkness and the Bestiary). They're noted as preorders for October, but says expected in November during checkout.
I don't quite remember the explanation, whether it was expected shipping date, expected arrival date, or expected arrival date in stores (or something else). The point is that I originally planned to place all orders to ship with the preordered items to save money on shipping (which totalled a difference of about $20 - a couple of Companions or a Chronicles issue). I can wait until a while into October for sure, but waiting until November and saving twenty bucks suddenly isn't worth as much. Just want a little clarification on how it works.
Great work you're doing here. I would also eventually be interested in the photoshop files - or even be able to help out (I'd have to see how my workload becomes this week before I promise anything, but I like to do stuff like finding art and playing around with photoshop, etc).
I agree to several of the points that's been mentioned. There is a readability issue and also an issue related to card sizes. I also have a design issue, or perhaps more of a suggestion, when it comes to the border around the text.
So, first off there's the text. With background images I agree that the plain black text is hard to read, so I like the various types of shading you have done with these later cards. However, I'm not really sure either of the alternatives is what I would've tested (at least not once being presented those alternatives).
The 3pt shadow looks too big. It's fairly easy to read, so no problem there. but I think it makes the text look mushed together. The 1pt (50%) on the other hand doesn't enhance the text enough. But the 75% opacity looks ok (and of the choices given, I'd prefer this), but it makes the text look rather sharp. So, I would like to propose a 66% opacity on either 1pt or 2pt (50% might look ok with 2pt, as well).
For the absolutely reader-friendly version someone's expressed interest in (normally I'd be polite and quote you guys, but having just read through some 100+ posts it's been hard to follow what's been said by who and such). I'd suggest simply having the spell school's color fill the whole card's background (ie. where the picture would've been), and keep the white layer that brightens the background/picture (possibly increasing its opacity). Or, going even further, simply a white text-background (as I believe has been suggested). Those cards would also serve as the B/W alternatives (saving a little ink without those pictures.
As for card sizes I agree to that the big cards looks cool, but also that it would overall be better to have only one card size. On the other hand, the spells with long descriptions are often spells you don't always use in combat (though I noticed that so far most of the large spell-cards are...). But it's a question about what's more practical than not. I do agree that it would look best to keep the text on only one side, but I think the backside should be spell-specific. It should have a standard background (like, say drawn/painted wooden floor-planks or chainmail links or dragonscales etc) and hold the spell's short information (as presented early in the spell chapter). This would include name, short effect description and possibly school and level as well. That way a player could at a glance see if that or this level could be apropriate for the situation (despite the fact that, yes, you would already know what the spell does since you had it prepared in the first place).
I also mentioned the borders around the text-box on the cards (and by that also the background for the level) earlier. These have the same bright blue/silver color on every card. May I suggest that it should instead have a bright version of the spell school's color instead? Doing so wouldn't take away the overall consistency you get by having it in one color for all cards; it would simply add a different form of consistency. To exemplify: Pyrotechnics (A transmutation spell using blue) looks better than Deep Slumber (an enchantment spell using green) in that respect. (That is, save for the fact that Deep Slumber has art with a lot of blue in it and Pyrotechnics with lot of green in it, but that's beside my point).
Well, I think that was my two cents (and they seemed to last pretty long as well!). I'll drop you a note when/if I have some time to spare and I'll give you a hand.
(Speaking of which, I got the impression from an earlier post that you were looking into possibly making cards for class abilities as well?)