Potential unforeseen consequences of allowing the Sacred Servant and Oathbound paladin archetypes to stack?
Hmm, duly noted. *Adds to her GM-ing notes for future reference.*
Thanks for the input, and I’ll bear that in mind, though with the silly progression I’ve tentatively laid out, Planar Ally wouldn’t come in to play (and summoning also just never captured my imagination, no matter how effective it might be). I was thinking something like Paladin 7 (so without the aura at level 8 that Sacred Servant turns into summoning) / Arcanist 4 / Mystic Theurge 9, in more or less that order.
Anyway, thanks again!
Potential unforeseen consequences of allowing the Sacred Servant and Oathbound paladin archetypes to stack?
Hello, everyone! Advisors par excellence!
I have just a quick question on my GM’s behalf about some possible houseruling that bends the rules of archetypes. Would anything break too terribly if one allowed a paladin to take both the Sacred Servant archetype and the Oath against Fiends, especially if said paladin planned to multiclass out before ever getting the 8th-level aura/ability?
For full disclosure, I’ll be playing the paladin, and my kid brother’s taking a turn instead of me in the GM seat for our home group, so I’m trying to avoid undue influence by virtue (vice?) of an older sister’s authority. The lunatic idea is to dabble in arcanist and head for mystic theurge eventually (and perhaps the evangelist prestige class, if we can come up with a suitable obedience for Yuelral, but that’s another homebrew question altogether).
Just because I found myself with a few idle moments this week, I jotted down a few ideas for those of the 20 questions I hadn't answered earlier for my character submission. Again, her profile can be found (repeating the link just for ease of reference) here.
Good luck to everyone as we wait with bated breath! :)
OK, I've fleshed out my character's backstory more or less to my satisfaction, all included in her updated profile here.
I know folks have different ideas about what they like to see in backstory, so I tweaked a couple of versions. I most enjoyed trying to do a bit in character (treating it as case notes from the asylum, focusing on the symptoms my witch presents), but if it's somewhat vague the other bits might help pin down a few more concrete details.
Good luck to everyone as they round out their submissions!
The GM in Yellow wrote:
Thanks, that sounds peachy! I've settled on enchantment, thrown together the moving/crunchy parts here, and will sort out a bit of backstory/character description this evening and over the next couple of days.
I'm not absolutely set on frozen caress for her Extra Hex feat, for folks who are following along and might be alarmed: if we end up adventuring together, I'm open to putting it off for a level and going with healing or evil eye first, if that sort of support looks particularly helpful just starting out.
This sounds interesting. I've had a gestalt character concept on the back burner that is tortured enough for a good fit for Strange Aeons, I think.
Would you consider a bit of house-ruling on archetype stacking? One half of the character I have in mind is witch levels, and I was wondering if it would break things too badly to hand-wave it so that the seducer and winter witch archetypes would work together, at once smooshing together and broadening the patron requirements - I've got my eye on thorns. (*Visions of frozen roses dance in Qunnessaa's head.* Note: despite the name of that archetype, I really don't want to make it weird. In more senses than one, I imagine this character as frigid.) If that's too much to ask, I'll bite the bullet and choose one archetype.
Thinking of an elven witch (*something something icy flowers, somehow*) / cavalier (sister-in-arms), whose luck evidently did not improve after (maybe?) being forcibly inducted into the Gray Maidens in the last desperate days of the original order. Something like that, anyway. I'll work on fleshing her out in the next little while.
GM Phntm888 wrote:
@Qunnessaa: I'm using the milestone leveling recommended by the AP, which means they are roughly halfway to level 4. I'd prefer submissions at level 3, especially since I think the two remaining players will decide to have the party fall back to Sandpoint in order to recover and recruit new allies. One's already voted that way, and I suspect the other will, as well. If you submitted at level 4 for that idea, I fear you'd be sitting bored for quite a while.
After a bit of thinking about it, I realized both characters I had in mind play a bit too similarly for me to be particularly enthused by both at the moment, and it’s the higher-level one that I’m feeling happier about, so I’ll just bow out this round, since I wouldn’t want to add to your GMing burdens by asking you to keep track of a higher-level alt to potentially introduce later while you weigh how many new characters to add to your campaign. If I may, I’ll just keep an eye out on the Recruitment boards in case a spot's left open when the party does reach level 4.
Good luck to everyone submitting characters! :)
I'm interested, and have a character or two from defunct campaigns that might be adjusted for this, mainly varieties of elven magi.
To make it easier to settle on which character I might like to submit, Phntm888, are your current players close enough to level 4 that you would consider a submission at that level, perhaps to be introduced after the other new players, in one of Thistletop's lower levels, as a prisoner of the bad guys, for example?
It's perfectly fine if that's too much to ask, in which case I'll work on adjusting a third-level character for submission.
No worries, I wouldn't have either, except one of the images particularly caught my eye and I thought I'd see what it was all about, and it wasn't hosted at a very happy place at all, compared to the Mashable listicle. (And now the snooty elven bard in me is wincing at those last two words springing from my keyboard. "Oh, that it should come to this!" - if anyone's seen the classic Stratford production of Iolanthe. :) )
I'm very interested, and, like Slayde77, have an existing character tweaked for this adventure path from a campaign that unfortunately fell apart before very far in.
It was a themed gestalt group, so my character would definitely need further adjustment to tone her down for your rules for character creation. Would you consider, say, house-ruling the Mantis Zealot warpriest archetype to accommodate a chaotic good Calistrian? (Basically, swapping out alignment/religious restrictions and a weapon proficiency.)
Archimedes The Great wrote:
Depends on the setting Turlin is planning on using, but when I saw the thread I thought along similar lines. Maybe instead of or on top of a gunslinger wielding two guns, an eldritch archer magus? I think those don't need a free hand for ranged spell combat, which might be fun with two pistols.
Because, really, flashy mundane weapons powered by alchemical powders are kind of fun, but magic makes everything better, as any wizard will tell you. :)
Happy New Year, everyone!
It's been a very long time since I've posted in this thread, but hopefully I'll be able to pop in again more often soon!
(I've been dealing with some obnoxious but not otherwise terrible medical business since the summer, and work has been maddening - I'm on the road again for it at an ungodly hour Thursday morning, so tomorrow will be spent getting ready for the trip.)
Yolande d'Bar wrote:
These kind-of pick-any-feat you want for the day just feel like they shouldn't be baked-in to any class. They feel like advanced options for players who really want to do homework.
"But, Ms. [Such-a-one], what should we do for next class?"
I was totally that girl. No, honestly. It's a miracle I survived high school. :)
(And Hermione was always the coolest of the Hogwarts kids.)
I take your point that extra homework might not be everyone's cup of tea, though.
Yolande d'Bar wrote:
1) I’m not sure if this would help, but maybe the ability could be framed as something more experimental, desperate, or glory-seeking? A move that the fighter is working on, but not yet mastered to the point that they’ve selected it as one of their set-in-stone/written-in-ink-on-the-character-sheet feats (or are sure they even want to, or that it fits their aesthetic)?
One of the things that springs to mind is pretty much the one scene I remember from the only one of the ghastly R. A. Salvatore Drizzt novels I ever read (borrowed from my kid brother on a very slow summer afternoon), in which the hero finally works out a counter to a particularly dangerous attack he encounters earlier in the novel. Inspiration might strike in a terribly melodramatic situation (I think it might be a fight over magma or something, if I recall correctly), and if the counter comes up again, it’s only as something that the hero has since added to his repertoire of nasty surprises in combat.
So much for dreadful game fiction. I wonder if renaming the ability could help: maybe “Glorious Deed,” riffing off the deeds/dares swashbucklers and gunslingers could take in PF1? Sadly, “feat” is already taken. :)
2) As someone who plays prepared spellcasters (badly) almost exclusively, in quite friendly groups, I wouldn’t worry about this much. Granted, it might be more of an issue in more demanding circles like organized play in some areas, and I don’t have any easy answers to that. I’m not sure how much everyone can lean on roleplaying to use the excuse that their fighter has never heard of Hamatulatsu or your other outlandish planar fighting styles (for example), or that said fighter is so focused on their chosen weapon and style that they don’t always see an opening to use another approach when it might be useful.
In the end, I would just make the best of it and try to find a group with compatible levels of interest in optimization, which is probably just always for the best. Then again, I’ve always been stubborn and may be getting more so: I got into fantasy roleplaying games for the magic, darn it, and have never played a plain fighter, and there are some mechanically sound choices that just don’t appeal to me – I dislike summoning spells, and even my conjuration specialist avoids them. As a few other folks have suggested, so long as focusing on only a few options from one’s choices for Combat Flexibility only means missing out on other but not necessarily generally superior options, the whole range could be a mini-game for those who do like to tinker with such things.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
OntosChalmer (and everyone else who wants 3.x multiclassing): Can you demonstrate what character you can't recreate with the current VMC-esque multiclassing?
I think I like the idea of the new edition’s multiclassing, but I think it might also use some tweaking, particularly for characters built around the former 6/9 spellcasting classes.
Now, I admit that I’m a terrible, wicked munchkin: my home group tends to be indulgent, and many of our characters would probably be overpowered if we had the system mastery and inclination to use them to their full capacity. All of which is to say that I’m aware that my group’s normal is probably rather far from Pathfinder’s assumed baseline.
Also, in practice I only play elves and spellcasters – though I will dip fairly extensively for a splash here and there of this and that.
I haven’t worked out the details quite yet, but the concept I wanted to test for PF2 is as follows: a Calistrian warpriest combining something like the shadowdancer’s “hide in plain sight” ability and sneak attack in conjunction with Whirlwind Attack. Something about how I imagine that would look just appealed to me.
Even in the current edition, I could only get it to work as I wanted it to with a kludge of gestalt and a couple of dips in other classes. Ideally, though, I would have been happy with something close to the cult leader warpriest archetype, with the following modifications: retaining channel energy instead of enthrall, and having the option to keep the bonus feats at 9th and 15th level at the expense of a proportionally reduced scaling of sneak attack. A lot of this, admittedly, is purely theorycrafting: I haven’t yet had a chance to play the character much at all.
You can see where this would go in PF2: some combination of cleric, fighter, and rogue multiclassing, conveniently all available in the playtest document. My first thought was to start with a cleric, go to rogue dedication, then fighter to wrap up with Whirlwind Strike at level 14, by means of Advanced Maneuver. If I’m reading things correctly, it would take all of my class feats up to that point, and my sneak attack would only ever be 1d6, but that would be fine by me. The problem here is that one only counts as half one’s level for fighter prerequisites for Advanced Maneuver, and there’s a lot more cleric spellcasting going on than a warpriest really needs.
Alright, what about starting with a fighter, going to cleric dedication, then rogue? Eyeballing it, I think that would work, up to Expert Cleric Spellcasting, with Domain, and again, spending all my class feats on multiclassing and Whirlwind Strike by level 14. The problem here is that it doesn’t feel priest-y enough to me: Divine Breadth and Master Cleric Spellcasting at levels 16 and 18 would round it off, but that’s pushing the endgame, and, as someone who overwhelmingly favours spellcasters, starting off as a non-spellcasting class at first level just rankles.
Still, the new system comes very close. For entirely self-serving purposes and this character in particular (though I wonder what the effects would be, generally), I wonder if it would be disastrous to loosen some of the restrictions on multiclassing. Just spitballing some half-baked ideas (one or more of the following):
1) For the purposes of all the “Advanced [Class X]” multiclassing feats, you just use your character level for the prerequisites of the class feat gained. I think as written this is already the case for Advanced Dogma (for multiclassing into cleric), but that might be an error.
Spent the weekend taking care of my mother in law, who just had a knee replacement surgery and promptly broke her tibia thereafter.
I hope your mother-in-law gets better soon, Vixie. And a speedy recovery to everyone here who’s feeling stressed and/or under the weather!
My weekend was stressful, but nice. I’m sitting in the airport waiting for the first leg of my trip to a conference out west to take my Amazon talk out for its first official run, and this past weekend was the annual lesbian film festival in the neck of the woods where I’m studying. It was one more thing to fit in between getting ready for my trip, but it was a nice break and most of the films this year were very fun.
Sadly, I’m missing my mum’s convocation today, since she’s just finished the program she’s been working through for the past few years, but she told me not to worry about it, since this sort of thing happens with conference season and when both of us are studying in different cities. Also, she wants to be able to indulge in a mock complaint in my absence, and tell all her friends that her wicked daughter is off swooning for cowgirls instead of attending her mum’s graduation. :)
Horrible gossip. And she says *I’m* the wicked one. :)
Freehold DM wrote:
Lesbians are visible today! EXCELLENT! Lesbians bring good luck! Bless these lotto tickets, local lesbians!
Not local, but I could try to send luck from the frozen north. Hold still! “First I must sprinkle you with fairy dust,” as the saying goes. :)
I hope everyone else had a good day too: I’m slowly getting through the work that needs to be done for the end of term, and while the talk I’m working on needs a bit of tweaking, that is part of what the practice run tomorrow is all about, and it is, I’d like to think, close to where it needs to be, at least in this incarnation.
*Waves at Rysky, and the other wonderful folks here*
I’ll do my best to be visible today, but taking a leaf out of Kyonin’s book, I’ve got a fairly involved network of invisibility fields and such already in place. :)
Between a labour meeting that just ended (marginally hopeful, but since that’s political, I won’t say anything more about it), and the last half of the batch of exams I need to grade in the next couple of days, on top of everything else, I’m probably going to disappear into my office today. Tomorrow afternoon, I am giving a work-in-progress version of a talk about Amazons that I hope ends up very queer indeed in the next stage of the project, so I’ll be flickering in and out of sight. *Casts blink* :)
Jessica half Orc Pistoliero wrote:
Hey are there any other LGBT+ educators in the group (besides me?). The NEA GLBT Caucus is hosting a national conference in May in Vegas (May 18th) NEA GLBT Issues Conf and I was wondering if I might see any of you there?
I suppose I’m kind of an educator, now, at any rate. *Checks: yes, is taking a break between working on a conference paper and administering the final exam in the first course she’s ever taught.* I’m in the wrong country, though, I’m afraid. But it does sound like an interesting conference!
I will be Stateside for another conference a few months down the line, more or less specifically for a panel on LGBT+ topics, but that conference has overwhelmingly more to do with my field than pedagogy as such.
In reverse order, building up to the ones I like the very most, and starting from #7, because my current true favourites are not for core classes and I’m going to list them anyways:
7. Arcane duelist (bard): Kind of the magus avant la lettre, as I understand it, but a bit too straightforward for my liking. I think I would have preferred to keep versatile performance instead of the bonus feats, or to have had the option to choose between them at each relevant level.
Not core classes, but my current obsessions:
Yasss Queen wrote:
Welcome, Yasss Queen! It’s nice to meet another Wood Elf fan, though I’m afraid I’ve rather fallen out of the loop on GW games, and still haven’t got around to actually trying WFRP. I should bug my GM. * Muses fondly about Wardancers and Dryads, to say nothing about truly revolting archery. Oooh, and Waywatchers! And… ;) *
I hope you have fun here: the folks in this thread really are lovely.
We are getting the car checked out, and I'll get myself checked out if the slightest thing seems off ^w^
I’m sorry to hear about your accident, Rysky, and I hope everything does turn out to not be hiding any complications.
Things are getting busy in my neck of the woods with the end of term approaching, but I did make some time to take a look at Julie Maroh’s (of Blue is the Warmest Colour fame) latest, Body Music, which my uni library had on their new arrivals shelf, in translation. I’m not much of a graphic novel girl, but it’s set in my hometown, and my mum’s trained in illustration, so I took a look.
It’s cute, often makes interesting use of lighting, and is organized around a set of vignettes about a diverse set of identities, relationships, and ways of thinking about love. It’s not a terrible way to unwind, all in all. (Although I did find it odd to read it and recognize a bunch of pointedly highlighted spaces: it’s set in a place that is just home to me, and not the glamorous big city that needs careful curation.)
I should probably take a step back from the playtest threads until the test itself actually starts, but this thread has, unfortunately, caught my eye. (Perhaps in the wake of the “ancestry” thing that mercifully got quashed quickly, and, elsewhere, the horror of feminine pronouns not attached to female iconics in the rulebooks.)
I don’t have particularly strong feelings about Seoni’s design as such, but I think I can see where Elegos is coming from. I really like how Paizo works to make their iconics who are easily read as “sexy” less unnerving: not confining it to one gender, including in-world explanations that these are choices freely made and embraced by the characters, and so on. That said, I know that because I’ve been playing Pathfinder so long, remember the original “Meet the Iconics” posts and such, and I can imagine my instinct if I hadn’t, and any number of other factors.
Of course there’s endure elements, of course pretty much all the iconics are weirdly kitted-out, (For the record, I would love to see realistic armour and amounts of gear on everyone: I prefer other extraordinary implausibilities to my fantasy games.), of course the accidents of history have made Seoni and Valeros the cover girl and boy for Pathfinder… But if we want to shake things up for the new edition, why can’t Seltyiel or Sajan be the poster iconic for “There is sexy handled well and maturely in this game,” or sexy not boil down, in visual terms, to impractical garb for adventuring? What could we do so that a time-warp/alternate-reality Qunnessaa new to Pathfinder and not particularly inclined to mine the website or comics or whatever for backstory would be less likely to conclude, “Oh, look. Another game happy to rehash 'manly-man warrior dudes' and 'spell-caster chicks,' the latter in even more improbable poses and outfits. At least it’s not a chainmail bikini?” Yes, we also have Seelah, and Kyra, and yes, things have got better, but do we have to stop aiming for best?
(And I say this as a woman for whom Seoni’s concept works, pretty much, whereas Seltyiel and Sajan leave her cold. Which is another quibble itself: I don’t think my personal preferences make that much of a difference in how easy it is to read what’s meant to be sexy.)
Sorry for the wall of text, and I hope it’s not too rant-y. Like I said, I’m going to try to step back from the playtest threads for a while after this, but I’ll happily read private messages if anyone feels a burning urge to respond: I don’t want to just disappear after posting here.
Also: I would love to see what all the iconics think of as formal wear. :)
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I’m not quite in the same boat, but the news is encouraging me to take a step back. I heard about it while decompressing after a day of really important business at work, so I had made some time to think about silly things, and that time, and seeing the (partially understandably) anxious response already, has let me realize a few other things.
Tedious, inconclusive ramble about feelings:
First, I worry and waste time enough with this hobby that getting sucked into a bunch of groundless speculation before the playtest actually starts is not going to make me happier, so I’ll try to discipline myself to just keep an eye open for blog posts and wait and see. Second, though, taking into account how little I actually play and how much of my current enthusiasm is for stuff that I doubt will make it into the new core rulebook quite as closely as I might wish (though I might well be pleasantly surprised, and I’m trying to keep an open mind), while I’ll happily give the playtest rules a look when they come out this summer, I’m preparing myself for the possibility that I might not keep up with the new edition. Given how much fun I’ve had over the years with various incarnations of D&D and, most recently, Pathfinder, that’s provoking some rather odd feelings. Specifically, how disconcerting it is to confront the possibility that by the time I might feel ready for a new edition, it might no longer be accessible enough for me to really want to bother. (“Oh, that sort of character sounds like you’d like class X. Mind you, it’s not in core, and to really flesh it out books Y, Z, A, and B would be really helpful…” sort of thing.) It’s weird to think about how much the balance of my hobbies might shift in a year’s time. Maybe I’ll actually do some serious creative writing?
I think in the discussion thread for the first blog post various metaphors for life stages, and comments on how some folks found them alarmingly apt, came up, and that’s very much where I am right now. D&D 3.0 came out about the year I finished middle school (I had discovered my mum's old Basic rulebook when I was still in elementary), Pathfinder some time into my first degree at uni, and now the playtest for the second edition has been announced just when I have huge projects on my personal and professional horizon that will drastically reshape, possibly for good and all, the sorts of stuff I do regularly.
Also, the recent day of really important business at work went well for me in my department specifically, but there are wider organizational issues that mean that work could get really, really ugly soon. [Labour, so politics, so that’s all that this anarchic faerie will say about it here.]
On a lighter note, while I know that the generational issue must be affecting a lot of people, if I’m still around when folks might be worried about the next next edition, I’ll let folks know if I eventually come close to finishing my current degree (I certainly hope I won’t just come close!), get a tenure-track job, or find a romantic/life partner, that sort of thing. ;)
Hmm. Anguish’s choice of metaphor was a bit vivid for me, but the sentiment of the post as a whole spoke to me.
I play actual Pathfinder games (as opposed to tinkering with characters and such) rarely enough that I’m very far from the point of wanting a new edition, so while I’ll take a look, I probably won’t keep up. I still haven’t gotten around to getting a copy of Starfinder to see what it’s all about, for example. Slowing down my RPG consumption would not be a terrible thing (my thesis thanks you in advance!), but if nothing else I’ll stick around for a bit to round out my first edition collection with adventure paths and such that I still have my eye on.
That said, may I be self-indulgent and float a few things here that I’d love to see going forward? I’ll just work on the presumption that I may. :)
I enjoy magic-heavy games, and what I’d probably most like to see is an archetype and/or multiclassing system that’s modular enough to get functional equivalents of most of the spellcasting classes from the first edition running out of the core second or very soon thereafter. After all these years, I still haven’t rolled up a witch, but a wizard with hexes would be lovely, and I have many magi and warpriests near and dear to my heart. Arbitrarily complex options that don’t take up too much design space that could be bolted on for those lunatics among us who enjoy them would also be greatly appreciated: I would be happy with something like a better-balanced version of the Sacred Geometry feat to model just how weird combat magic can be.
Again, though, that’s all so much self-indulgence. Come what may, I’ll give the playtest a look, and I wish Paizo all the best going forward, even if our paths end up diverging.
I would love to submit a character to this, but I’m afraid I couldn’t possibly commit to another play-by-post at the moment, and the latest characters I’ve been working on would require more or less houseruling (such as gestalt and multiclassing both, or adjusting specific archetypes) to do what I’d like them to, so this is just a quick post partly to express theoretical interest in case a spot ever opens up when I have time, but mainly to wish a bunch of fine folks from the LGBT Gamer Community Thread good gaming. Have fun, everyone!
I had a decent weekend: not as productive as I had hoped, but not awful. One of the highlights (maybe?) is encouraging me to continue my bad habit of rambling in this thread about LGBTQ+ lit., serious or otherwise, that I’m reading.
This weekend: Fiona Cooper’s Heartbreak on the High Sierra. Self-identified lesbian spaghetti western. Westerns aren’t really my genre, so there’s a trivial anecdote behind my reading it.
Snooty and wannabe, faux-radical aside on art:
You see, there’s an exhibit going on at the fancy museum of fine art back home on “The Art of the Western,” one of those weird stop-gap things to bring in the punters while negotiating with the fancy galleries abroad for something worth anyone’s time. Or whatever the rationale is. Anyway, my mum’s gone to see it three times, mainly for a school project, and been consistently horrified: the exhibit gestures feebly towards post-colonial perspectives, and fails miserably. (Hint: scenes of race-motivated violence are not properly described as depicting “rambunctious cowboys.”) To cheer her up, I told her about the ghastly novel I had seen on the shelf of one of the bookstores in my neck of the woods, at which she promptly told me I just had to acquire said novel. Since I aspire to be, if nothing else, a dutiful daughter, part of this weekend now involved reading an intentionally trashy western. The things one does out of filial affection! :)
Long story short, Cooper’s novel has its moments, particularly when the narrator tips the wink to the audience and reveals the gooey sentimentality underneath her tough-stuff mask. (Of course, this doesn’t speak at all to the cringeworthy experiences of a certain faerie by the name of Q.– on these messageboards. ;) ) Unfortunately, the novel falls headlong into the “magic Indian” trope, and there’s a lot of cowboy bluster that I don’t think gains much by just tweaking the genders of who gets to do the blustering. Final verdict: Alright for an idle afternoon, if one wants to switch off one’s brain and be reminded of the sort of pulp westerns do (in both good and bad ways), but only if one can find a library or cheap used copy.
I is hifalutin, I use the word erotica all time :3
I would too, if I, um, had more occasion to. I guess? :)
I’m not sure Thérèse et Isabelle meets my exacting requirements. Linguistically, yes. Narratively, perhaps not so much. *Admits her snobbishness, prudery, and all-around princessiness.*
Yikes! I hope things start going better at your job soon, Mr. Napier - your post came up while I was composing mine, but for what it's worth, I hope there have been other things going on that the next line of my post doesn't seem entirely callous.
I hope everyone’s first week of the new year has been nice, and that all the rest prove lovely too!
It’s been one last weekend of slacking off before putting nose to the grindstone again, on my end, but since I saw people posting about books they had read over the holidays, I thought I would chime in as a way of bidding farewell to the hols. Spoilers to avoid a wall of text, more than to hide plot details, mainly.
First, two silly things for reading on the train to and from home:
Nairne Holtz’s Femme Confidential.
I’m not sure I’m doing it justice to think of it as a queer, Canadian sort of Sex and the City (which I’ve never actually seen), but it’s quite the gleeful romp through the lives of a group of women in Toronto and their evolving friendships and various romantic entanglements. It’s very light, but occasionally poignant: I’m probably too young to really appreciate the later life-stages the novel covers, but some of the characters’ earlier misadventures hit home in delightfully cringeworthy ways. Bonus points for keeping half a jaundiced eye on the dodgier side of yuppie romance, extra bonus points for nuanced trans representation. The whole thing is a bit steamier than I’m used to, but then, I picked it up from the library’s New Arrivals shelf with only a quick glance to make sure the writing style wouldn’t drive me up the wall.
Violette Leduc’s Thérèse et Isabelle.
I first came across this in the recent translation for the Feminist Press at CUNY, whose design I find appalling – weird choices about font size and layout mean that I physically just can’t bring myself to read it. Fortunately, I was able to find a reasonable edition in the original at the new-ish feminist bookstore back home. It turned out not to be what I was expecting: instead, a schoolgirl ‘romance’ with all the feelings turned up to eleven, if that’s the right expression, but almost exclusively focused on the physical side of the relationship. I had been wondering why it had been censored so long, but in retrospect, I’m not sure what was to be expected for ~150 pages of smut (basically, and affectionately – I suppose you could call it erotica if you wanted to be hifalutin) in the late ‘50s, no matter how beautifully written. My French isn’t brilliant, but even I could tell that part of what Leduc is doing is just having a lot of fun exploring the possibilities of the language. Dreamlike, does interesting things with representing the obsessive side of some relationships, and with language, but a bit thin on the level of plot for my tastes, I guess?
Kai Cheng Thom’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars.
Eerie, violent (warning for casual references to self-harm: recurring songs to the heroine’s pocketknife), but not as bleak as I had been led to believe by a brief conversation comparing it to Wilson-Yang’s Small Beauty. The fairy-tale-ish setting and narration took some of the edge off, for me, and at the same time I’m a middle-class college kid that provides one of Thom’s many targets for gently biting satire throughout her novel, so I’m rather removed from the realities underlying her story. Highly recommended as a novel focused on a variety of trans perspectives. (I know I want to be like Alzena the Witch when I grow up. :) )
Yulefire Saturnalialemental wrote:
Love the avatar, not least because I’m not sure how I’d pronounce Saturnalialemental. I’d probably make the “i” a semi-vowel, for that decadent aristocratic Roman drawl. ;)
This year I’m actually going to make it home in time for the Saturnalia, which is nice. Depending on how this week goes, I might need to bring some work with me, but I should have everything wrapped up by next Monday, barring disasters. I hope everyone else’s week, students’ and otherwise, goes well as we hurtle towards the end of the year.
So, I finished reading Copenhaver’s translation of the Hermetica a while ago. Pretty Gnostic, and so not really my cup of tea, but it wasn’t as relentlessly dualistic as one might fear, and there are a few things about the deification/divinization of humans that’re relevant to stuff going on in other texts I’m working on, so I’ll have to come back to it eventually before jumping into Nock and Festugière’s edition of the texts in the original language.
Malory was also fun, and likewise at some point in the future I can now move on to more interesting things in Arthuriana in addition to ancient Mediterranean religions. Malory has confirmed my dislike of Lancelot, as I expected, but I think he would be horrified by how much I enjoyed cheering on various faeries, witches, damsels who can take care of themselves, TYVM, and on one occasion – to my satisfaction, at least – vampires.
I’ll be a bit busy over the next few days getting stuff done before going home for the holidays, so I’m not sure what’s next on my reading list that’s not for work. Maybe a bit of Irigaray, or, on a lighter note, The Roaring Girl? We’ll see.
Disclaimer: I’ve only ever dabbled in PFS games officially, but those rules have been convenient for character generation and such for a few games even outside of the organized play campaign.
I’m the sort of person who, if I were a Pathfinder character myself and had the ability scores for it, would definitely be a wizard, just for the sheer wonder of thinking about all the wacky things magic can do. By extension, that includes imagining all the different sorts of ways narrower specializations might turn out: I like the idea that a laser focus on enchantment might produce particular skills (a mesmerist rather than an enchanter wizard), or blending magic and swordplay (a magus rather than an eldritch knight), and so on.
In my ideal world, that would actually probably work out to an all but classless system with various special abilities available to be bolted onto the chassis of 4/6/9 –level casters, all of them with some sort of at-will powers like the witch class’ hexes. (Perversely, I haven’t actually tried a witch yet because I’m too fond of the wizard spell list. Whither my excellent prismatic spray?) That’s not the sort of game Pathfinder is, though, so I don’t mind an ever-expanding array of classes and archetypes. (I’m still looking for my ideal sneaky warpriest.)
That said, mainly (I think) because I’m only in a couple of ongoing games at an easy pace, part of the fun of the hobby, for me, is tinkering with other characters I might want to play someday. I can imagine how draining it would be to try to keep up with quite everything because one’s a GM for an open table in real life who might have to cope with whatever this week’s group brings to the game, compared to, say, play-by-post games or campaign-mode for sanctioned adventure paths with a regular group.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Breezed through Elmore Leonard's Tishomingo Blues and started on John Bellairs' The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull. I plan to read that and whatever of his other YA I found at the used book shop, then re-read James Ellroy's Lloyd Hopkins trilogy.
Oh, wow! John Bellairs’ YA fiction! That takes me back. I fell in love with it when I was still a little-ish girl [mumble mumble] years ago, after the Edward Gorey covers caught my eye and encouraged me to give him a try. I should see what I still have on my shelf when I get back home for the hols next month.
Most recently I just finished Emma Donoghue’s Life Mask, a gleefully gossipy historical novel about Anne Damer, the English sculptor. I read a bunch of Gothic novels in high school, so I have a vague soft spot for the very end of the 18th century, but since I was mainly interested in the ludicrous genre fiction popular at the time, Donoghue really brings home how small a world (not to say claustrophobic and basically inbred) English high society was, and that people that to me are pretty much just names that I’ve come across in passing probably actually all knew each other.
Next on my list for fun, after an interruption sometime in the summer, is the last bit of Malory’s take on the Arthurian cycle. Not the best, I know, but I’ve never gotten around to trying to get a sense of any version closer to the whole thing, from claiming Excalibur to the fall of Camelot, so Malory seemed like as good a place to start as any.
For work, Brian Copenhaver’s translation of the Hermetica. I’ve just got through the introduction, which doesn’t really have many surprises (I’m an aspiring classicist, so its survey of Hellenistic Egypt feels really basic), but the actual primary sources should be fun when I get into them tomorrow.
Selene Spires wrote:
So I am thinking of finding a therapist as it seems necessary for the trans stuff. Any advice on what I should look for? Or where?
Like VixieMoondew and CrystalSeas have said, if you have trans friends who could recommend someone, that’s a good place to start. Depending on what your situation is, you might also be able to get a referral from a doctor or clinic. I was really lucky that way: I met a wonderful GP through the university clinic of the school I attended prior to the one I’m at now, who referred me to my current endocrinologist, who suggested a therapist with whom I was able to work quite nicely, I think. I also did a stint with a clinic that was, frankly, less wonderful: it was a package deal since it was an established medical and psychotherapeutic team, and while it was nice enough, for the position I was in at the time and given personality differences, it wasn’t ideal.
Community resources might also be able to help, depending on what your local public health unit or local mental health services get up to. They might have a list (at least in-house) of practitioners with experience helping trans folks. Ditto any LGBTQ+ organizations in your neck of the woods. Then again, I’m a university brat who bounces between some of the bigger cities in my part of the world, so I’ve really been rather spoiled.
It helps, too, if you can go over as soon as you can with any therapist you meet what your goals are, what their experience with trans folks is, and what their usual therapeutic style may be, to see if they’re a good fit. It can definitely be a bit harrowing to open up to a strange therapist, but like Crystal said, there’s no point in suffering through something that’s really not working for you.
Deighton Thrane wrote:
I can’t speak to the numbers I left out from the abbreviated quotation, but this last bit is why I haven’t rolled up a vigilante yet. I’m one of those people who only like playing spellcasting classes, and, probably due to a blind spot, I just haven’t seen what concepts the spellcasting vigilante archetypes generate that other classes might not handle more or less just as well, particularly because I’m not hugely enthused by the dual identity aspect of the vigilante.
I know I could just ignore one persona, or think of it as my character getting into the right mindset when the gloves come off (shocking! unsporting!), but I have a few characters that compartmentalize already without that mechanic, and what if I want my vigilante character to just be “always on?” (In the performer sense: “When you’re on, be on, and when you’re off, get off.”) My imagination just gets stuck around the dual identity for some reason.
Otherwise, I just haven’t been brave enough to take the plunge yet and see what the cabalist, warlock, or zealot can do that some form of magus, inquisitor, or warpriest couldn’t, assuming I wouldn’t be using the dual identity bit much. I’m more comfortable with the dual identity for the magical child (I guess I would have to be!), but I’m not sure how many games would easily accommodate one, or how to fit one in to a campaign set in Golarion. :)
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Do trans women on HRT and transitioning need some fat and carbs in their diet, or do their existing fat cells just redistribute? Both? Neither?
As I understand it, it just kind of happens. One of the women I first talked to about it said one might eventually find one’s gained a bit of weight and then, hey presto!, a few months later it seems to have got to where it ought to be. But since we’re talking in terms of a second puberty, it’s not really something to lose sleep over. Being a teenager takes years, right? :) I’m only in the middle of the process more or less, as far as flooding my body with estrogens goes, though, and if I end up taking after my mother’s side of the family, voluptuousness probably won’t be in my cards anyway, so YMMV.
I'm taking Cymbalta for migraines and depression. I'm going to need to really start exercising. The one thing I'm actually working on with my therapist is anger management. It's one reason why I'm thinking about waiting until I have more tools available to deal with the changes.
You would know best, once you’ve talked with your therapist. I’m afraid I can only easily offer anecdotal evidence from my own experience and that of some of the folks I’ve talked to.
For what it’s worth, though, a lot of nasty feelings can just dissolve with hormone therapy. After a few weeks on anti-androgens, a lot of the anger I used to carry around seemed to melt away, or was revealed as something else: sadness, trying not to lash out, for example. Then again, though I tend to think of myself as a bitter, aggressive person, I’ve never felt the need to seek help with anger management, and none of the therapists I’ve seen thought it was necessary. I’m afraid I’ve fallen out of touch with a woman I knew once who was dealing with anger management concurrently with her transition, but from what I recall of how she described it, the tricky thing was managing emotions that were all newly in focus, rather than the anger she was dealing with at the same time becoming more prominent, if that makes sense.
As far as appetite goes, since I’ve started on hormones, I think my metabolism has changed in largely inscrutable ways. I think I’m eating a bit more, but my weight seems to have stayed more or less the same, so it might just be part of the second puberty thing again, some of that energy going into whatever it is that puberty does. (One might naïvely have hoped that it would make more sense the second time around, and to a certain extent it does, but at the same time… Sigh. :) )
Ugh. A largish chunk of text, if not quite a wall, aieeee! At least it’s not prismatic, so no risk of disintegration. More seriously, feel free to ask questions; I’ll try to answer them as best as I can, or, since you all are a lot of good people here, chime in to agree with or add to what others might have said.
[Hides in plain sight]It’s been a difficult summer for me, though, and likely will be for the next few weeks. I might continue mainly lurking for a while, but I did mean it about asking questions. [/Hides in plain sight]
For what it’s worth, like the others have said, go with what feels comfortable for you. If you’re ordinarily a good eyeliner sort of person, or that’s how you’re feeling on the day, go for it, but otherwise don’t beat yourself up about it. (Mind you, this is coming from a girl who intends to avoid makeup for the rest of her life if she can manage it, still rocks (though admittedly uneasily) her old slacks from before starting her transition, and was very very lucky in the doctor she was assigned randomly at her campus clinic, so YMMV.)
In terms of starting HRT, I’m not sure how it works in your part of the world, but in the parts of Canada I move around in, I’ve found that GPs are very leery about even renewing hormone prescriptions if one’s between endocrinologists, so you might be referred to a specialist first. But, circling back again to what to wear, in my experience, folks are more concerned with what social support network one has in place than in policing presentation.
I hope everything goes well for you!
Thanks, everyone, for the support. You really are all too sweet!
There will be a lot of running around for the next couple of days while I try to get in touch with everyone I need to so that I can work out a tentative plan going forward, but I work with some seriously great people at my uni, so even if it turns out there’s not much we can do, I know they’ll stand with me.
I hope everyone else’s week is going well.
On a completely unrelated note: I thought that was the general direction your pun was headed, Rysky, but I couldn’t have guessed that that was how it would get there. One learns something every day, I suppose. :) And I hope everyone continues to be as silly as they please: seeing other people have fun here is helping me get to a happier space. Good night, all!
Ugh. My day (and, indeed summer) has just taken a decided turn for the worse, so I could use some cheering up. Could some kind-hearted soul explain the gayness of the pun to this innocent maiden? (Adds to already immense file of evidence that Qunnessaa should really try a bit harder to understand how the other bit-less-than-half of the gender spectrum lives, much as she loves her happy gynous bubble.) :)
Spoilered for a very personal very bad day:
I was really hoping to post discreetly about this in a much happier way eventually, but under the circumstances, I’ll just have to vent. So, I’m trans, and, until this morning, a week away from SAS, only to get a call from my doctors’ office that they processed my paperwork incorrectly and it will probably take another couple of months to get it to the powers that be to be approved by the right province. Which means my main surgery date will almost certainly be postponed until at least October, though originally things had looked good for all being sorted by the end of the summer, for which period I had arranged for leave from my university.
The entire contretemps might also involve a difficult decision between surgery in the fall (as opposed to next summer) and a very good opportunity for professional development if I can snag a teaching assistantship for the right course. (It’s still up in the air because, naturally, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at my uni is struggling with a ludicrous budget cut this year.)
Apart from just being on the verge of tears generally today, since I’ve been off my hormones to get ready for the date initially set for my SAS, it’s been that just more fun today with my balance already all over the place. Second adolescence: gotta love it.
Still, after a flurry of emails, I might be able to salvage something of this summer, and the fact that I can even hope to do so makes me painfully aware that these are middle-class first world problems.
Rysky, on Thu, Apr 27, wrote:
*Looks up, frazzled, her hair improbably more wild than usual, ink stains on her hands and face.* Oh, was that when that was? I’m afraid I was cloistered away in my office all of last week, finishing up various projects for the end of the semester – it looks like I missed quite a bit in the thread, too!
Still, if I was invisible on the 26th, I did manage to make some time later to go to the local lesbian film festival, which was a lot of fun, and so there were a lot of us just out there on the weekend. :)
And next week I’m off to a conference where I’ll be presenting a silly paper about a few aspects of queerness in the ancient Greek-speaking world, so hopefully my ideas won’t prove too improbable, and folks will be able to point me to some additional sources to develop my research further.
Selene Spires wrote:
Okay...maybe people here can help me with my social anxiety I am having over the LGBT minger/mixer. I would have to go presenting as a guy...but calling myself a Trans woman. I feel...like people might not believe me...or even get hostile. I hope I will be able to present as woman for it...but right now that will be a long shot.
Also, Selene, I don’t really have anything to add to what everyone else has said, but for what it’s worth I’ll add my voice to their chorus. (Oooh, does that make us proteans? I do so like the Maelstrom. All that primal magic!) Anyway, back to the topic on hand: I remember some of the first few times I went out as myself, and even though my presentation hadn’t shifted spectacularly, with just a name-tag to guide them, even people who only knew me from before I was out in my transition adjusted easily and politely, and the one or two new people who had to be gently corrected were nice about it. When I go out to conferences I still carry a bunch of nametags that specify my pronouns, just in case, but I’ve never felt yet (knock on wood!) that I’ve had to use them.
I hope everyone’s midweek is playing nice!