Imrijka

TerraNova's page

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32. Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 1,242 posts (2,666 including aliases). 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 13 aliases.


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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I know that it seems to go out of style, but politeness with usually increase the chances of criticism being perceived as valid and followed.

Style 1 is not just impolite, it is actively abusive. You could be making the most valid point in the world, and it would disqualify you.

Style 2 is antagonistic. You are more likely to be challenged on how you said it than on the merits of the point you are trying to make.

Style 3 is very good. I don't think you really need to go that far, though. I for one would be pretty happy just with "We feel that handling drawing weapons as a move action is bogging us down. We've houseruled it to be a reaction for martial classes."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I have never been deeply involved in PFO, so it might not be my place to judge. However, I briefly played during the stress test, and have come to some conclusions.

I consider the $100 i spend on Kickstarter to have been a gamble. One that did not pay off. The game is clunky, uninspired. The learning cliff makes EvE seem like a candy crush clone. I won't mention the graphics and animations, since they really don't matter too much to me. For a game that thrives on social interaction, there really isn't much tooling in place to interact with others.

Some of these things might be fixable. All of them, at the same time, not so much.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Just tried to get started, but the fun ended on the login screen. I prefer to have safe passwords, which means I usually copy and paste them from a password manager.

Now, this does not work at all with the form, in fact the paste operation & hotkey both seem to be disabled. :(

Typing in ~20 characters from all over the printable set is no fun at all. Now, I could change my password to "carrot", but I think none of us would want that. So please, add an option to use c&p for passwords.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I for one think it is very defensive and veers close to passive-aggressive in places.

Not something I would hand out to players-to-be and expect anything positive. If it works for your particular group, great. Yet I think most groups I played with have solved these problems by having a private chat or two, if and when actual problems arose, instead of up-front legalese laden with threats.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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For "smite first, ask questions if absolutely required" Paladins, I always keep the following NPC handy:

----
Roger Artui (LE human Rogue 3/Cleric of Norgorber 1) is a halfway-decent tavern keep catering to the seedier side of the town. His establishment serves watered-down ales, rowdy entertainment, and abets (though not directly employs) several ladies of the night plying their trade.

He is aided by his two daughters, Kylish and Aless. Both are able pickpockets, but take care never to work too close to home. Still, he shields them as best he can.

In his younger years he himself was involved with the thieves guild of the city, and took parts in their rites, often leading whispered prayers to the Grey Master before particular daring heists. He left the guild on semi-amicable terms after an internal power eliminated his protector, former guildmisstress Areia.

----

Evil Aura? Yeah. Killing him out of hand... probably a good way to get a hemp necklace.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Once you start hurting your players (not the characters), it is too dark. I personally would not want to play this scenario. Give your players advance warning, and make sure you have an eye out for their reactions, too.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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City guard, the royal guard, their pet devil, the vampire crime lord... Or whatever the GM decides constitutes appropriate opposition will stop the Paladin.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Alright, James and all. I've been critical of Mythic Play before. I've been critical of the Worldwound. And I've spoken out against Wrath of the Righteous.

What you delivered was nothing short of stellar, and I draw my hat. You've just published a serious contender to Curse of the Crimson Throne. Really excellent work.

All in all, I am glad I stuck with it, and anxiously await how you manage to make me like He-Man in Golarion. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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That might make for a nice RP encounter. Annoyed psychopomp shows up "This is what you get for meddling with matters of souls, Mister Mythic Barbarian. You tell us how to fix this"

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I think this forum is a victim of its own success in some ways. It was a great place back when paizo was smaller, with much of the animosity instead heading to WOTC.

Now, we get a lot of that traffic and misery. Considering that, things turned out pretty well. But with size comes regulation. Closing a topic by acclamation and a resounding "SMURF" won't do for the industry leader anymore.

So yeah. We lost something here - but I don't think there was any way around that. All good things, and all that. Or alternatively, "live long enough to see yourself become a villain."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I'm afraid I'll disagree with you a bit here. Certainly some classes have more "coherence", but even they are by no means automatic shoe-ins.

Rynjin wrote:

Paladins are in a distinct class all their own in universe. You recognize a Paladin due to his abilities and his unbreakable Code, neither of which can really be mimicked by anyone else.

A Paladin can be trusted to NEVER lie. A Lawful Good Cleric/Fighter, while still an honorable man, can do so with no issue if need arises.

A paladin may lie on occasion. It most likely (depending on concrete code) a violation of the code of conduct - and thus requires atonement down the road.

If I have a LG fighter who holds himself to the paladin code, who can, in universe, tell the difference merely by observing them act. The best an in-universe observer could maybe make out is that one of them is a little better battling with undead and demons, while the other has a bit more versatility to himself.

Rynjin wrote:


Likewise, your third example is impossible. Druids are forbidden to teach non-Druids the Druidic language. A Ranger is simply NOT a Druid (unless he takes a level of Druid).

So if a druid taught my Ranger the druidic language (becoming an ex-druid in the process), my ranger would suddenly become a druid?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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carn wrote:


Yes, that is also one. Can someone confirm that?

That would make my decision whether to unsubscribe rather simple.

He's probably referring to this:

Pathfinder #1, Pp 70 wrote:
While Abstalar Zantus (area 1) does his best to take care of Sandpoint’s truly sick and needy, he can’t help everyone. For minor aches, pains, and illnesses, most of Sandpoint’s citizens depend on Hannah Velerin (NG female elf cleric 3/expert 1). Hannah spends most of her mornings out in the surroundingsimply enjoying Gozreh’s bounty. In the afternoons, she returns to her shop and home here to prepare medicines and receive patients. Hannah’s ironically the one to go to when either one wants to end a pregnancy or needs a midwife to aid in a birth; Hannah encourages all of the women she sees to carry to term, and advises the use of pinberry extract to young women as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place, but in cases where there’s no other option, her other services are discrete and confidential

Now, if that passage causes you to drop from the product line, I am sorry for you. Simply because you seem to universalize your viewpoint, and reject material that does not reflect it outright. That makes for a nice echo chamber where your views never are challenged and thus cannot evolve past their current state.

I find Lovecraft reprehensible in some fields, and still I read quite a few of his stories. Howards writing is not only racist in places, but downright misogenic. You can reject parts off or all of these messages for yourself.

I for one am very glad about the inclusivness paizo has displayed. Even if it does not profit me personally, I know enough people who deal with these issues, and are thankful for finding some reflection of their lives in fiction - even if it is only a fantasy.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I, as usually would respond with "Why not"? Its not like most paladin codes feature a poverty clause.

They should, of course be mindful that their actions reflect their status (that is, go towards the good of their community), but I'd be hard-pressed to explain why a paladin of Sheylin shouldn't have a private collection of paintings, even if they are worth a lot of money. Now, a certain amount of charity is probably going to be expected from someone who's really committed to good, but that charity need not be to the point of self-denial.

Same goes for your second question. My canonical example is the inn with the LE inkeep who gauges prices. A paladin won't like that guy one bit, but he should neither smite the man dead, nor be forced to sleep in the snow instead of renting a room.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Losing levels often feels worse than starting over, at least with the groups I have personal experience with. So with that in mind, how about this:

Scrap book 1, have Apovonicus (sp?) infiltrate another Wardstone keep through some chicanery. The group, en-route to Kenebras, is able to learn of this plot, and save the Wardstone, facing up with the Marilith and her task force. Relatively short dungeon adventure, just to get things started

The beginning of Book 2, replace with the "Long Walk". Having defeated one of his powerful servants, Deskari marks the group with the "Locust Mark", a powerful curse that prevents restful sleep and serves as a dimensional anchor. Only the Sword of Valor can break this curse, forcing an arduous trek through the worldwound. The group must weigh every hitpoint lost and every spell cast in order to reach Drezen. Once there, they meet up with the scattered survivors of the original expedition (the NPCs, essentially), and proceed with the final assault on the citadel.

Run book 3 with somewhat beefed up monsters mostly as written. Their moment of Ascension comes when they destroy the Worm that walks, and are bathed in its foulness.

From there on out, continue pretty much as written. Add some mythic trials if required, or otherwise decide that the pick of 2 APs worth of weapons outweighs the disadvantage in mythic tiers.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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The Rot Grub wrote:

Does everybody have really crappy GMs or what?

Seriously, since when did we forget that this is a game of our imaginations, and that we aren't to take everything published as a proclamation from the gods, as shackles on our stories? Aren't these all suggestions, and explicit ones at that?

Even so, my approach guiding my players to create PC backstories, will be to see if any of my players are already committed to a certain backstory that is incompatible with some of these trait backgrounds. If so, then I will change the trait backstories to fit them with their future Moments of Ascension.

That is not the point. The point is that the PG is not very good. And I rated the PG, not what a good or even decent GM would be able to do in spite of it. The guide consists of a lot of reprinted material, and the material that is actually new is troubling. First and foremost, it suggests that you need to design your backgrounds along the lines of a specific trait in order to pick up a mythic path. Secondly, the "Redemption rules" made me scratch my head when I first read them, and haven't gotten better since. The whole thing feels cobbled together hastily, almost as if produced as an afterthought.

The book(let) is not horrible, but it is extremely far from being good. Compare and contrast it to the excellent Kingmaker PG, or more recently to the Jade Regent PG. Both did a much better job introducing the player to the AP, and raising interest in that AP.

As it stands, this PG is a wasted marketing opportunity. After reading it, I feel less inclined to play Wrath of the Righteous, not more - which is about the worst possible outcome to what is essentially an advertisement for the path.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I don't think "If you don't like these traits, don't take them" makes the offered traits any better. This whole PG feels rushed, somehow. I even had a hard time staying interested in anything other than the history section, which is actually a first.

This PG decreased my enthusiasm for the whole AP.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Skeld wrote:

Anyone that thinks there are a lot of threads getting locked around here for no good reason must have missed: the cancellation of Dragon and Dungeon, the Pathfinder AP launch, the 4e announcement, the susequent announcement that Paizo wouldn't support 4e, the announcement of Pathfinder RPG, and the Alpha and Beta test. Monk threads and recently locked threads are kid stuff compared to the wailin and gnashing of teeth several years ago.....

-Skeld

These were rough times. We're thankfully past that. But still, some people have more problems with locked threads than others. In fact, some people probably experience that in about any thread they get really really invested in.

These people may feel like they're being targeted specifically. Or maybe, that their threads are targeted specifically. And really, can that be? It would be so unlikely that someone thrives on the negative attention, the time wasted, and the people annoyed. I mean, such a person would need to be a curmudgeonly monster, maybe something with regeneration or fire vulnerability.

So, i can only state in all earnesty: Have sympathy for these suffering under the cruel moderator yoke. Send them your well-wishes, and help them find a habitat more supportive of their needs. Maybe something with running water, and an overpassing road.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I would caution against putting too much time into a feature of marginal interest. The very short list itself is a pretty huge giveaway: 3D isn't really something for video games. If it was really something driving sales, developers would bend over backwards to achieve. They are not.

It adds a lot of hurdles on UI design, and you need to model a "real space" much more closely than you'd otherwise do. So it adds significant upfront costs. Getting these costs returned depends on how many players would buy the game for the 3d support (and otherwise NOT buy it).

I for one would not buy a "true 3d" game. Not for that gimmick alone. In fact, probably I would be less likely to buy the game simply because signicant time was wasted on a feature I would never turn on. Glasses on top of other glasses suck bad enough in the cinema, and in fact I visit 2d showings quite often in preference of the 3d showing.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I am an adult. So are my players. So we should be able cope with even the worst depravities because its only make-belief, right? Wrong. Adults have hangups, things that go under your skin. Traumas that are just barely scabbed over, and never really heal. And really, your game shouldn't run a risk of causing psychological damage.

I happen to know one of my players is a rape survivor. She doesn't advertise this, and I only learned of it by accident. Imagine putting this player into a situation reminding her of that experience. Everyone has a few skeletons in their closets. Fortunately, most are not as horrible as this one. Still, imagine hitting one of these by accident. Really, the best thing you can hope for is a severe tongue-lashing.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I used to use a lot "horrible and terrible stuff", especially going into more graphic detail than I do now. Not because I've grown increasingly squeamish about it, but because I found that too much blood and gore doesn't shock or contribute to any particular mood, but usually pushes my players into full on "splatter movie humor". If it goes over the top, they laugh about it. Sometimes that's ok, but it tends to infect more serious stories, so I don't use it as much anymore.

Additional, I come to dial back the "everyday horrors". If every relationship ends on some sacrificial altar, its hard to maintain any investment in your "loved ones". If your little sister needs rescuing every other day, and usually still returns "damaged", why bother? So, rather than mandating the PCs to have at least three pieces of kidnap-bait, adding a healthy amount of competent allies, relatively un-involved family and mundane evils makes the real horror stories stand out all the more.

Or, to put it another way: If there is a rapist and a demon-worshipper in every other house, these orcs don't seem so bad anymore...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Spook205 wrote:


This ties in with my belief its Asmodean. Its that 'you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave' thing. I know Caleb's said its the wrong thread, but I really, really don't see Hermea as being really Lawful Good. The description basically says he's breeding people like horses, this shows there's a certain lack of respect towards the value of a person which doesn't mesh too well with the good outlook.

There is a mention of a long and involved courtship process, with some government oversight. Does that sound to you like having a mare send out to be studded? Not to me. More akin to having a meddling grandmother present who tries to steer the "young ones" towards a good match. Which, honestly, is something very lawful, and if not good itself, not evil.

For Hermea to be LG, not every single aspect of it must be a shining paragon of both virtues. This aspect is L(g-) ;-)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I think Hermea makes a very nice LG community. Remember, good needs not be pleasant for everyone. Think about it as the ultimate gated community. A refuge for people who prefer not to deal with the "unwashed masses", and who would gladly give up some freedoms to live among their own kind.

IIRC, no one is forced to settle on Hermea, and youths may choose to leave the island as well. Sure, once you go in, you're committed. Just like in marriage, or initiation into a church, or even mystery cults.

I think the darker elements are there precisely to open up the option for a fraud. To help groups who see the restrictions and long to liberate the oppressed. On the other hand, there is ample material for those groups who see the experiment as a harsh utopia which may challenge their moralities, but is worth preserving.

Oh, and agreed to the forest rebels being a "GoldsteinsBrootherhood". :-) Makes sense to have the Hermeans lure out internal dissenters and external troublemakers alike.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I don't see why a paladin couldn't have tattoos, even of the more outlandish variety. They are not born with the stick, it is inserted at some point Let me tell you about my character... ;)

With less snark, there is really nothing about the paladin that disallows them from not being tight-laced sticklers for conformity. They are lawful, but they need not be conformist. Any for every paladin tethering on the edge of LN, there ought to be at least one on the border to NG.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I think the GM has the right and duty to put up restrictions to the players and nagging over them really is a feeling if entitlement. Bot because the GM is made of special awesomeness, but because (s)he is the only one on the table without strong self- interest. Some other games put it more explicitly as "judge". It's the GM's duty to make sure all have.a good time, and that requires saying no occasionally. A player who doesn't accept that but still wants to play is acting out of a feeling of entitlement or arrogance.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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So you got a grumpy "I'll consider"... for a special treat, trashed your pc, and now complain the GM did not give you a reward for it? No sympathy from me

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I think the "infection" description might be just right. The Golarion population is carrying the infection, it just doesn't break out too frequently (only on fringe cases). The original Castrovel population is (so far) clean, but if regular contact between the G and C population were established (e.g. through a second exodus), the infection might spread.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Personally, I agree to some of the OPs problems. Death is trivialized by the current system - but I would rather make it harder for PCs to die than give out ready resurrections. If i look at the literary sources for most fantasy games, returning from the dead is a pretty huge deal - if it happens at all.

So personally, I would rather have some kind of "mandatory withdrawal" system in place than easily returning from the dead. Similar to "well, you've reached place X (negative HP? Some spells). If you continue to push on, you may die for real. Make a will save (DC = Character level) to stay engaged, or fall back / give up / fall unconscious for the rest of the day.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I for one strongly oppose this. Wasting even a half-page on a diagram that is of no use to me (I have to read, understand and adapt anyway) is a shame. Too much good material must be cut already. Cutting more for redundant infographics? Thanks, no. I get more than my share of PowerPoint.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Personally, I think the Orc as covered in the (admittedly not very strong) Orcs of Golarion works quite well. No need in making them carbon copies of Warcraft Post-Retcon orcs.

I like them to be savage, brutal and unapologetic about it - adding a dead little sister and two spoonfuls of having been oppressed by the man adds not too much ;) As I wrote way upthread, I think having so many different "orcs" in the public consciousness makes it very hard to use them effectively. Someone is bound to want the warrior poet when you write the savage, or want the demonic evil when you write the noble savage.

Adding a Orizzt-type "Good Orc"... nah. If anything, Belkzen needs a good strong warlord that really shows the neighbourhood a ton of orcs easily can be more hassle than they'd expect.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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While I am not a christian, I knew quite a few ones. Including some very strict ones. (I could tell some stories...) I can only echo what some previous posters also stated: Unless your community is extremely narrow in its views, to the point of discounting the separation of fiction and reality (and as such, rejects theatre, movies and dramatic literature), you should have no need to worry.

Does an actor on stage sin when he, in character, uses horrible slurs, or stage-kisses another actor to whom he or she is not married? Most christians I know (even the stricter ones) tend to say no, because it is not real. Exactly the same applies to RPGs. Just because my character worships a false idol, I do not.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I would imagine Osirian slaves to be employed mostly on domestic duties. Since you're looking for a background, however, I think some of the harsher fates are probably more up what you are looking for.

Osirion has plenty of fertile land on the river Sphinx, and I would hugely surprised if most of its food wasn't coming from there. Farmhands never have an easy life, and slaves probably have one more reason to resent that. Also, the usual quarries and mines offer themselves.

For something more exotic, an "archological expedition" (aka toom robbing) crew might bring along a troupe of thinking mules, both to carry loot, lift that 20 ton stone barring the entrance, and (though never to their face) as trap-fodder as well.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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It always gnawed on me that Erastil is a bachelor, and I came up with a few explanations that don't end up in making him (that) hypocritical. Feel free to steal if you consider them worth stealing, or suggest something of your own ideas.

1) Erastil can't marry

If Erastil is a bachelor after so many millenia, there are 2 possible reasons. Either he can't marry due to a lack of available partners or something is preventing him from marriage. Now, lack of available partners is unlikely. Even if there was no female diety matching him, there are hordes of female celestials, angels and any number of unique outsiders not diametrically opposed to his views and practices. So the reason is probably that something about himself excludes him from it.

It may be a long shot, but what if Erastil is a eunuch? He lost "them" in some battle or self-sacrifice. If Odin puts out an eye for wisdom...

In such a situation, he probably would no longer feel eligible to marry. What's more, it explains his acute interest in making sure other families have children, and live well. Essentially he becomes a kind of spinster aunt. By sponsering and living through nices and nephews, Erastil faces the emptiness in his own house.

Why keep this a secret

Eunuchs do not have a very good reputation in myth and legend. Erastil may have turned his disability to the benefit of mortals, but priests are likely to emulate their deity more than they probably should. Cults of eunuch priests of Erastil are probably the last thing he wants. Such an excess is city folk decadence, with the added danger of making those people least likely to care about their legacy shepards of a community.

What would it change

Very little, probably. In fact, the secret is so much of a minor detail that I consider it almost a waste of the mystery. ;)

2) Erastil was married once upon a time

When looking what Erastils portfolio actually entails, the words fatherhood come to mind. Community, family but also very much traditional fatherhood. He doesn't seem overly interested in issues like childbirth. Actually looking over what diety does cover this came up with... Lamashtu. Now, we already know about how Lamashtu stole the divine portfolio of Curchanus, and thus gained her dominion over wild beasts that way. What if she got her fertility aspects from yet another divine murder-and-robbery? I find it quite plausible that after such a tragedy, Erastil would be slow to consider remarriage. The fact that very few female gods around would register as eligable probably also counts for something ;)

Why keep this a secret

He failed. Hard. He could not protect his own family. How could he admit this failure to his faithful, and expect them to still follow his example? Since this happened before the ascension of Lamashtu, there would be scarce records and few who would remember anyway. So Erastils side looks pretty plausible to me.

But why hasn't Lamashtu brought forth such a coup front and center, and reminded the goodly religions of it at every turn. For one thing, it could well be she's wary of pushing Ol' Deadeye too far. Sure, she's a goddess, and has legions of the Abyss at her back and call. However, Desna has already invaded the Abyss once, and slain a demon lord. What if a man with nothing left to lose showed up on her doorstep? Or alternatively, one divine murder is a black swan. Nothing like that is likely to happen again. Two, by the same person is going to whet a lot of demon lord appetites. Lamashtu is the only demon goddess, and probably wouldn't mind staying that way. I am not sure how this could be spun, truth be told.

What would it change

Probably Erastil would take a turn for the darker. Not necessarily a full batman-esque double life, but he would probably be even more the "grumpy god" than he already is. If I decided to go with this idea, I would probably push his sexist angle somewhat, insisting woman need a man to protect them. I think he'd stop short of actual crusading (soldiers leave broken hearts behind, and bring broken lives with them when they come back), but only just barely. Harsh justice would be more up his alley than the standard view.

3) Erastil is actually married

Erastil is married offscreen. There is a wife, maybe even a few children. He just tends to believe a family should take care of its own business themselves. His wife stays out of his hair when he meddles with mortal affairs, and he respects her privacy by not dragging her into these affairs.

Why keep this a secret
Considering his dogma that a family should be evenly matched, and a strong woman needs an equally strong man (and vice versa), this wife probably is capable. Maybe not a full major goddess, but at the very least on the Empyreal Lord / Demigod level. So purposefully hiding her probably is not done against her wishes. The simplest reason here is: She simply chooses not to get involved.

What would it change

Depends a lot on the concrete wife. Shrewd housewife goddess X probably results her own beliefs just happening to sneak into his admonitions. Firebrand adventure goddess Y could probably not agree about half of his views, but damned if she doesn't love this old codger as much as he loves her.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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Blaeringr wrote:

So wait...do you really expect a business in a capitalist society to run itself "democratically" in the sense that it will let its customers have a representative say in everything? There's no way for any company to stay in business except to be run as a, as you put it, "benevolent dictatorship".

Although frankly, it is quite clear your understanding of political systems is very flawed: it doesn't work like that to just transfer terms across from politics to economics. The only way for a business to be a dictatorship is for them to have the power to force you to buy their product. Making outrageous comments like that really undermines the credibility of any point you're trying to make.

I expect little ;) I would have preferred this particular business to choose to impose upon itself a set of rules in their interactions with potentially troublesome customers. In essence, a code of conduct they hold themselves to. As it happens, this is not at all an uncommon thing for a company to do.

As for the term "benevolent dictatorship", it is (as I suspect you well know!) a shorthand for "trying to achieve the best overall result for their constituency by means of arbitrary and unaccountable case-by-case decisions without an overarching body of rules to govern their behavior". While the latter description might be a micron more accurate, its also over 10 times longer.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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I love sandboxes. Giving rise to so many professions the developers probably didn't even see coming. Rarely have I seen such a good setup for the "Agent Provocateur" profession ;) Can't beat them in a straight fight? Rile them up with barely-acceptable harassment until they f-bomb themselves out of the game.

Don't discount this, I've seen it happen in a MUSH, and I bet if Eve online was stricter, it would be a very common and highly profitable profession there, too.

Generally, I think most MMO communities are caustic, and love the idea that something is being done. About what is being done, I am less sanguine, though. Strict speech codes lead (to me, at least) to not speaking in public. That leads to less community, not more.

One huge step into the right direction would be to split that list, and apply the "tiered response" talked about earlier, instead of going the route of "generally, you're dead - but we might spare you, if you were good X times before"

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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While i agree with most of what the blog said about the community Goblinworks looks to foster, there is one thing that leaves me feeling a little sore - the "no appeal, no reconsideration" bit. There is a reason why we don't generally execute people for parking violations.

The blog talks about measured responses, but the very next sentence talks about "you'll be booted for without appeal" for not only the most common violations, but also some that really don't seem too severe to me.

Imagine you lost some PvP fight. Some important fight, maybe burning down the settlement you build for months on end. In your frustration, you write "Company XYZ really f...ed us up here", and you are "booted without appeal" for the sexual reference? Seems like severe overkill to me. For something like that, on first offense, maybe reminder or at most a day off. If you used the r... word, maybe something a little more drastic.

I certainly hope Goblinworks does not actually turn out as draconian as they claim to be. Otherwise I'll imagine there will be a lot of players booted from the game who'd otherwise have contributed to it. Especially given that the more engaged you are, the more time you spend in the game, the more chances you have to slip up one time.

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Just off the top of my head:


  • Tight focus on a limited locale that evolves with the party
  • Good integration of the single chapters, recurring characters both good and bad
  • Options for the paladin crusader and the tiefling summoner to both enjoy the storyline
  • Moderate to low dungeon content

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Why do I get this feeling, this special timecube feeling? Right now, noone is evil yet, but we're getting there. Rapidly.

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Scott Betts wrote:


Allowing anonymous, overly-invested/entitled internet nerds to have their senseless opinions actually matter in an observable way (by influencing an aggregate user review score on a very visible review site) is not a good thing, no.

[...]

Rad. But there are legitimate reasons for requiring a constant connection that don't involve facilitating multiplayer. For some reason you've decided that facilitating multiplayer is a legitimate reason for requiring a connection, while ensuring that items are not duplicated in an effort to monopolize the game's totally multiplayer auction house and economy isn't legitimate.

Scott, I frankly never quite clicked with your opinions in the past, but usually you raised points I could at least respect. However, this latest pet peeve of yours smacks of some ideas I frankly find reprehensible. Following that line of logic, you could ban anyone from publishing "overly-invested/entitled <insert derogatory terms) opinions" on about any subject. After all, it is frankly obvious we need to <liberate iran / leash the maniacal banking sector / protect our citizens from secular propaganda>.

Additionally, and just for the heck of it - you put the cart before the horse here. Putting a "fully global auction house" in an essentially single player experience is a very good scapegoat for the constant internet connection - but the design choice to do that is not automatic, but had to be made at some point. The same logic as "ah, its always online so we can stop cheaters" applies here - there is no gain, its a lousy excuse tacked on to a pre-concieved choice. You want an auction house? Play online. But what if I want to cheat in my single player game? Why should I be prohibited from it?

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I am not a fan of prestige classes at all, in fact the "Complete XYZ" series of 3.5 sourcebooks was a colossal waste of development time to me. To me, Prestige classes are about making base classes obsolete. Maybe not the first generation of any particular incarnation, but always the following.

If it's new, it has to be coolerbettermorepowerful. Since a PrC does not involve giving something up in exchange for what you're getting, the PrC character will outshine the normal or archetyped PC.

Finally, Prestige classes are all mutually compatible, so you can easily mix 5 into the same build. Archetypes, by virtue of their trading of abilities, quickly become incompatible. This cuts down the interactions, prevents a lot of 2-level dipping and reduces the overall amount of cheese.

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The "Paths of Prestige" supplement is enough to make me seriously reconsider my subscription to the campaign setting line.

A good Archetype is a more narrow, more focused variant of a class. A Prestige Class is an straight cut through the system. One or two might be necessary to fix something, too many cuts and the whole thing bleeds to death.

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Yes, thousand times yes! MUCH better than tired old Lovecraft. That is gold, right here!

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Please, stop the RFC-speak madness. ;)

Honestly, though: Which do you prefer?

- Petrifying Gaze (SU): Target is PETRIFIED (with PERMANENT duration), RANGE 30, FORTITUDE SAVING_THROW DC 16 NEGATES. CHARISMA based SAVING_THROW.

- Petrifying Gaze (Su): Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.

The first one might be clearer, but the later gets the same point across without both screaming at me, and an ever-bloating list of reserved words.

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I'm also with the "Player Revolt" crowd here.

Other than that, i wind up my music box that plays "what about the LE innkeeper who rips off his guests, the NE watchmen taking bribes from the thieves guild and the CE harlot who only tried her best to live up to the succubus cult's ideals she joined to make life bearable", and let myself be accused of moral relativism. ;)

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Arazyr wrote:
Thing that bugs me the most about Golarion is the lack of "traditional" fantasy tropes, like countries that are actually "kingdoms". We've got tons of city-states, a few empires, fledgling democracies, theocracies of dark gods, pharoahs, etc., but I can't think of (off hand) a country that would fit the old-fashioned "King and Queen" run Kingdom. With princesses to be saved, etc. Yes, I know, the folks in change, and likely most people, are tired of these old tropes, but I consider them to be classics, and should, at least, have some representation.

Just off the top of my head:


  • Lastwall is a crusader state with a very traditional vibe
  • Brevoy, despite all the russian undertones is a pretty traditional aristocratic society with all the trappings
  • Taldor is a bit more imperial than kingdom, but should fit the bill mostly

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Curse of the Crimson Throne. Yeah, I know I'm boring - but it is the most popular AP since the dungeon days for a reason. It was a perfect storm of great setting with good support material (Korvosa got its own book!), authors, daring writing (I doubt paizo would put Grey Maidens, The King of Old Korvosa or Illeosa's lover into print anymore) and binding the party into the story with recurrent NPCs and locales.

I have not seen better since, and doubt I will soon. Jade Regent had potential, but it lacked daring. Carrion Crown had potential, but failed to pull me in as tightly. Council of Thieves had a great location and decent support material, but stumbled on too many fronts.

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Just dropping by to tell you how much I like the focus feature. Really this is just what I considered doing in greasemonkey (and with massive resource wastage)!

Great work! Thanks a lot.

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My personal all time favorite list:

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Its been said so many times before it really is almost a cliche, but the AP works in any fashion. It is cohesive, it is well-supported, it has very memorable characters good and bad that stay with you as the AP progresses. Plus it had the daring of early APs that seems to have been dulled somewhat in the later installments.

Kingmaker

Daring, open-ended, the sandbox as it should be. It owes some debts in the story department, true - but mainly due to the impossibility to script as tightly as usual. It has by far the best "mini-rules" of all the APs, but loses out to the excellently fleshed out Korvosa

Carrion Crown

Ah, what it could have been... had it been a little less of a genre tour de force, and pulled its story together a little more tightly. Still, it has excellent adventures, memorable lokales and in general enough of a new spin on old plots to stay interesting. Its main problems come down to a slightly botched "starter town" and "creature overload".

Rise of the Runelords

Ah, Nostalgia is a tough beast to slay. I wanted to rank it higher, if only to conjure some of the "old daring" back into Paizo (that seemed to get lost somewhat around the time of Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire). Sadly, it was a forray into unknown territory, and has its flaws. Some as glaring as a certain Lamia, some more subtle as the near-botched "Sins of the Saviours" adventure.

Legacy of Fire

Arabian nights never clicked with me in any major way, so LoF is leading into my lower-rated half by personal taste only. If you love the genre, you get a very solid AP, if you don't, you don't.

Council of Thieves

A rough transition into Pathfinder RPG. A plot that was more than hard ot follow, with the big bad only beginning to show at the very end. Rough on the balance, rough on the flow of the story. Only Thesing and the Sixthfold trial of Lazaroth save this one from having to duke it out for rock bottom

Serpent Skull

Started off on very very high notes. Souls for Smuggler's Shiv raised such high hopes - but the rest of the AP felt like a smaller, less thought-out kingmaker. Racing to Ruin was essentially a wasted adventure ("We trek through the jungle, compete to conquer the ruin so we can trek through the jungle and conquer the ruin"). Also, there was a distinct lack of indiana jones feeling - however that could have been achieved.

Second Darkness

One plus: Great drow, evil and rotten. Started off with the solid with Shadow in the Sky and Children of the Void. But between Armageddon Echo ("You were lowlife, now save the elves due to the goodness of your hearts") , Endless Night ("Cut your paladin some slack, he can't win this one") and A memory of Darkness ("Save the elves no matter how badly they try to screw you over") there is just not too much going for this AP.

Interestingly, I seem to rate the "backswing" APs (Spring / Summer) higher than the "blockbusters" that open at GenCon. Maybe they are as a whole not as dependant on wowing on the first adventure?

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KaeYoss wrote:
TerraNova wrote:


  • Lovecraft getting his dirty talons progressively deeper into the setting
  • What? You're afraid? Your brand of insanity is delusion? :P

    TerraNova wrote:


  • The Worldwound. "Oh, so you're all doomed and nothing can be done about it. Carry on about your Westcrown revolution, by the way"
  • I love that. It's very human. "There's a big problem, but it's not my problem. Someone else will take care of it." "It's looking grim, but what can I do about it? It's too big for me!" "I'll get to it once I solved these more immediate problems that affect me on a very personal level"

    You can see humans practise this sort of thinking every single day.

    Nope, Lovecraft just leaves me rolling my eyes. The big bad a huge octopus for crying out loud. The most severe problem is that behind the flowery language and assertions that its beyond the ken of mortals, the emperor is naked. There is just nothing behind it, being unthinkable and all. Whenever Lovecraft tries to deliver, it is octopus heads, giant jellyfish and fish boats ramming great old ones back to sleep.

    It's a fantasy of artificial helplessness. Its the assertion that flipping the lightswitch was a bad idea, because huddling in fear is preferrable to even trying to fight. Not attractive to me.

    Regarding the Worldwound - yes, I know. I use this to play anything but a futile struggle north in WFRP. However, having to rely on that too much just... doesn't work. Besides, I am kind of... burned on that. Warhammer and Exalted both feature worlds that essentially can't be saved, but merely be kept running for another day. I don't think this is a satisfying result on the longer run.

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    While I refuse to follow any link so agressively promoted, here is a thing I noticed about variable storylines and sandbox games.

    Not. Worth. It.

    90% of the time, players will not deviate from the script in any significant way. They build to the sides of the script, establishing romances with the throwaway barmaid and deathly grudges against the guardsmen kindly asking them to not spit from the roof. They don't, however, shake up the story per-se.

    Way back when I was GMing Age of Worms, I reworked adventure 3 (Blackwall Keep) to a much more open-ended swamp-exploration scenario. Just putting up rought constrains took hours - but the players just beelined straight to the lair as quickly as they could manage. (My) players wanted an entertaining story, not a quasi-simulation of taming a swath of wetlands.

    That in addition to the much-cited constraints on time, space in the volume, and fiction analogy. After all, you fight the high priest in front of the idol, and not in the pantry.

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    Strangely, I like some of the complaints levelled here - the relatively marginal "elves and dwarves", the fact that the age of lost omens began with Aroden's death, the shorthand cultures, the "tried and true" racial stereotypes with just some bits of added flavor.

    After all, who wants to play in a world populated with elves who mature on human scales, live for thousand years, but ritualistically eat two out of every three children born to them, accounting for their low numbers?

    Anyway, here's my list of things Golarion could go without:


    • Lovecraft getting his dirty talons progressively deeper into the setting
    • The Worldwound. "Oh, so you're all doomed and nothing can be done about it. Carry on about your Westcrown revolution, by the way"
    • Wall of the faithless-style afterlife for non-diety worshippers. It doesn't matter if you're a moral atheist, animist or follow some philosophy - either worship a certified diety, or off to groetus you go. Unless you're following a demon lord or archdevil, aparrently - they are extra special
    • Extra-special demon lords.

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