Zaz

The Drunken Dragon's page

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 769 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The way the Mwangi Expanse characterized them, it’s that each culture has a sort of home base, and depending on the culture, they cleave to it more or less vehemently. For example, the Alijae tend to be more isolated towards defending their city, but there are examples of small groups or individuals settling elsewhere. I know that the Ekujae as a whole have been trending more towards outreach, and I know one of the cultures’ nominal leaders is currently courting Queen Edasseril of Kyonin. I imagine travel across the Expanse is definitely a thing they do. But yeah, keftiu’s geography is where they are most expected

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cori Marie wrote:
Okay but page one of Jeff's insufficient blog post was before the announcement of the union. That was before people knew that was something that was likely to happen. And again, the problem is that Paizo leadership is intentionally misleading people about what this firm does. Employment law and DEIB law are two different, often opposed types of law. A firm specializing in employment law is what the business owner who fired me for being trans hired when I sued for discrimination. A DEIB specializing firm is the firm I hired.

And on top of this: the calls were for a third party to help resolve the issue, but the implicit understanding is that the resolution is done *properly.* In other words, hiring any third party (particularly one whose specialty appears to be to defend employers from...uh...lawsuits brought on by legitimately aggrieved employees) isn't resolving the issue as requested under Jeff's original response. It's obeying the letter or the request but not its spirit, akin to "fixing" someone's bad plumbing by just duct-taping all of the leaks. You've technically done the thing...but not well, and have demonstrated that you are not inclined to engage in good faith. Which is what I see as Paizo execs are doing here: they're going on the defensive, *claiming* (in a manner that's almost embarrassingly easy to double-check them on) that this is for the good of the staff, and basically admitting that they're uninterested in solving the root problem. Only insulting themselves from consequences.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

See, I didn’t realize Crystal corroborated the slurs thing. My b. I admit I also misread Sean as having firsthand experience with it. But yeah, with every person that repeats the same thing makes it more and more real, and at this point we’re up to like…5 with identical concerns/anecdotes?

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I’ve spent a while contemplating why Sean’s comments are so damning, and I think it’s the corroboration of the little details. Crystal corroborated some very specific parts of Jessica’s thread, and when Sara Marie alluded to Jessica having exaggerated her complaints, I mostly focused on the stuff Crystal posted. But when Sean listed out that even the stuff that some people denied were true (like Jeff calling workers slurs), it became more real somehow.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

God that was horrifying to read. My opinion of the leadership team was low before, but now I can only think of them as ghoulish.

If there wasn’t a union this’d be the point where I threw Pathfinder away and left without a second thought.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree wholeheartedly with that statement above.

I was terribly distraught by seeing this milquetoast response from the leadership team. But the existence of the new union, the ceaseless efforts of the general staff, and the recent updates to the guidelines demonstrating that the *staff* of Paizo truly does walk the walk of Paizo's stated values. I'm immensely proud to support that Paizo.

However, I am still incredibly disappointed with the executive response. But the strong stance and response of the workers keeps me hopeful that things will improve. I will watch carefully, but I hope the union allows the staff to begin to make meaningful change within the company, ideally with, but likely despite, it's executive team.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Unfortunately, that’s more of a consideration of logistics than discriminatory intent. Paizo only has one (1) moderator that is legally able to work past Paizo’s hours, which are based on pacific standard time.

That isn’t to say I disagree with that statement, in principle. It’s just that this boils down to “Paizo has not invested enough resources on forum moderation.”

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

With great relish!

Eberron is definitely a favorite of mine for a number of reasons. 1st, of course, is that it was the 1st setting I encountered that codified the idea of alignment ambiguity, where things like ancestry and even faith were disentangled from alignment.

Also, the settings’ original creator continues to write, clarify, and answer questions about the setting, so there’s new content even if there’s sadly no official support.

I also, like was mentioned in the other thread, adore the many possibilities for story exploration. What is it like to contend with being born to be used as a weapon and then have a war end, leaving you adrift? What is important in war, and how do we move past its traumas? What is the nature of faith?

And then there’s the moral grey of the dragonmarked houses, the political intrigue of places like Droaam and Breland. It’s just…ahhhhh, it’s good

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That's why I like Eberron and Ravenloft. Much more ambiguity!
I really do feel like Keith Baker largely 'solved' D&D setting design with Eberron. "Ambiguous existence of the gods" + "no innate Alignment for races" + "people with player class levels are rare and exceptional" are all such brilliant big swings. It's nearly perfect.

I agree strongly with this sentiment. Heck, one of the big reasons I was so excited when they announced the Inventor class and Automaton ancestry in PF2 was because it made running Eberron using Pathfinder rules a lot easier :)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If that’s true (which I have little reason to disbelieve) that is not a “way to do the thing” that’s “the CS team pushed for a reasonable means of moderating the forums and weren’t acknowledged for a frankly insane amount of time.” If that’s genuinely how Paizo is running the ship, between that revelation and the recent letter, I’m genuinely uncomfortable with Paizo as a company. If not for the union, this would likely have been my line in the sand.

And heck, I’m cis (I think)! I can’t imagine how much of an absolute storm this has been to our trans friends.

Paizo, don’t just do better. Please at least do the bare minimum and go up from there.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly don’t understand this myself. Some of these recurrent posters have been actively malicious, constantly violate community guidelines, have many of their posts deleted, and by their own admission get suspended only to return and rinse and repeat. I know I haven’t posted here often, but it is becoming appalling just how much some folks are getting away with without meaningful consequences

Grand Lodge

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Blondeshep wrote:

Uhhhh, did anyone else actually click over and look at that law firm? Their last three cases they won were 1. Helping the bank that owns a Jewish history museum get more money from the museum when they filled for bankruptcy 2. Keep someone from being elected a deacon at a church? And 3. "MHH was retained by EverCare Choice Inc. (“EverCare”), a managed long term care plan, to challenge the decision by the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) to freeze the risk score it uses to determine the partial capitation and nursing home transition rates (“Rates”) charged to its members." I'm not a lawyer but isn't that helping a nursing home scam old people against the wishes of the DEPARTMENT OF FREAKING HEALTH?

I'd reeeally like to know who the DEIB person was that recommended this law firm.

Good lord. Any one of these things alone (referring to KC’s clarification also) would be cause for concern but not damning. But combined they don’t precisely paint a pretty picture.

Also, I do wish to sincerely thank Cleaver for the correction. Yeah they did specify that it was not a condemnation, just a confirmation that the union was only given an hour’s worth of time to read over the statement was issued.

Now, personally, I don’t think an hour-long preview constitutes a good faith effort at collaboration and I, personally, view that as dubious and probably a bad idea. But that is specifically my take, and not the view of UPW or any of its members (of which I am not), as far as I know at time of writing

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also I just saw the twitter post KC is referring to confirming that none of the actions taken were done in consultation with the union or employees at large. So the law firm is transparently a self-defense mechanism and not a means of “sussing out accountability.”

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, while I understand why Jeff used such careful language, that understanding makes this worse. This language is clearly couched to avoid litigation. While the law firm investigates, he would’ve been advised to not make absolute statements like “this was transphobic” or “I doxxed people.”

Except…those actions happened. Heck this post admits as much on the former and the latter doesn’t need admission cause the post where that happened is archived. You cannot apologize without exposing yourself to some form of repercussion. A sincere apology requires vulnerability. Without it, you demonstrate no desire to improve…just a desire to make people calling you out for it go away. That does not exactly inspire faith.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Also to be clear, none of this would be even academically acceptable to begin with, appeals to the idea of everything must be debated forever and "just asking questions" are both recognized tactics for poisoning the well.

Many things are settled, the validity of trans identities is settled. Anyone telling you otherwise is trying to sell you something, and that something is their hate.

This hits the nail on the head. I could not have put it any better if I tried

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well…I tried. I literally said as clearly as I could that your words will be perceived as such, and made no inference to your motive. Also, as I indicated, “anything should be up for debate” *is*, historically and demonstrably, a controversial and problematic statement.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Prismatic, I will make the (now admittedly charitable) assumption that you are not acting in bad faith.

Debate is all well and good. However, there are 2 factors you may be misunderstanding.

1) “Debate” implies 2 opinions. “Are trans people valid” is not a pair of opinions. It is a factual argument. Trans people exist and are valid. Period. That is as factually accurate as 2 + 2 = 4. You wouldn’t debate someone trying to claim 2 + 2 = kumquat.

2) There exists a thing called the “paradox of tolerance.” This asserts that by being tolerant of intolerant viewpoints, you are providing the intolerant the one thing they need to “win,” which is a platform. As others have already explained, with what is in my opinion Herculean restraint, is that a transphobe being given the opportunity to voice their opinion on its own is an admission of the validity of their viewpoint. If a platform allows them, then it provides the illusion that a debate exists, and that there are positions one can take. But it isn’t a debate. So giving the transphobe a platform is always going to be harmful, and to argue otherwise is at best naive or at worst an argument of bad faith.

The reason you are experiencing pushback here is both because as other posters have said, this is a point that has already been raised tiringly often. But also, because the whole “let’s debate things” is a couched dogwhistle that is used so frequently that it’s almost cliche. “I’m not a bigot. I just have some concerns and I’d like to debate you about them.” That’s usually the moral appeal made by people who want to get on a platform. To get eyes on that opinion. And the moment they do, they have already allowed harmful rhetoric to propagate.

Normally this is only an argument one can ale after the fact. I.e. it’s a bold call to suggest that all rhetoric of this sort should be treated as suspicion. However, as I said, by now someone calling for the chance to “debate” the “trans issue” is a huge red flag, since it’s the same call to reasonableness that bigots use to make their ideas seem palatable. If you weren’t aware of that before, you are now. If you were aware of that before but spend time to type this out anyway, I’m sorry, but I am understanding of the vitriol you are receiving. Using the tools of bigots unironically, especially after you’ve been told repeatedly that this is what you are doing and when you cannot claim ignorance, will cause people to see you as a bigot. That shouldn’t come as a shock.

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Diego Valdez wrote:
To clarify, Tonya lobbied for and was given the Director of Customer Service and Community position. This was in effect a demotion for Sara. A few weeks later Sara was fired by Tonya. I quit when she was fired.

That's...pretty damning. It's one thing to be put into a situation where you have to do the firing, but entirely another to lobby to in that position and then do the firing. That's...wow.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I’d also like to say “nah” to this. While many threads have pointed out that the forums have, to put it mildly, some logistical and personnel issues that make its problems difficult to confront, I’m not convinced they’re so far gone as to necessitate a full-on reset.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I just sent in my emails to management calling on them to recognize the union. This would be a fantastic first step from management to earn my trust back. I still bought some products, but the excitement and joy I'd normally feel has definitely been lessened by the litany of allegations against Paizo management. If even a fraction of what was said is true (and I know some of it is), that's awful and granting Paizo's staff collective bargaining power would go a long way towards remedying this and protecting them in the future. It's not an immediate fix, sure, but it's something that *should* exist.

I support the union! I had contemplated dropping all subscriptions and not purchasing more products after the end of the AP cycle. But if this union is recognized, I'd feel a heckuva lot more comfortable buying from Paizo again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In retrospect, I'd originally been cautious about drawing harsh lines in the sand specifically because of the pedantic arguments Tender Tendrils mentioned, but Wandering Wastrel is right:

If a doctor violates HIPAA they risk losing their job and even their medical license.

If I, as a government worker, gave out personal information I could be fired.

We are talking a massive, serious, and borderline illegal violation of public trust here. It doesn't matter how small the company is or who holds the position. If I knew that at any moment someone could post my personal information here just because...I wouldn't trust Paizo as a company. The idea is that for basic transactions to occur, some baseline level of trust needs to exist. I give them my home address because logistically, the product I purchase from them needs to be shipped somewhere. I give them my legal name because that's the name on the credit card I use to purchase their products. I understand that there is a need for that information. Every company that sells things and ships them asks for it. But if I know that information is going to be misused? Why would I buy from that company.

So yeah, personally, my desired consequence: I genuinely think Jeff should either resign or be removed from his position. Apologies are well and good but that is a serious breach of trust. An even if he receives training after the fact, the fact that he hasn't been properly held to account for years at this point tells me that I'm not sure that this can be resolved internally in such a manner. To echo WW, if someone posted my personal information on the forums, I'd want them fired before I trusted the company with my information. This is serious stuff. I'm frankly confused why people seem to think that degree of accountability is somehow excessive? It's...common practice for this sort of security breach?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Just a thought: isn’t this sort of interaction illegal in the state of WA? I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know if it applies here specifically, but there’s a cyberstalking law on the state books. And I mean “criminal misdemeanor” and not “civil case.”

EDIT: specifically, the doxxing issue

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The difficulty of “no government or outside interference because it worked for me” is that it presupposes a positive outcome. The whole purpose of labour rights laws is that it prevents abuse by assuming the worst and raising the bar for everyone. So, for instance, while it would be ideal to pay people a living wage, and one could even argue that the system incentivizes employers to do this (I don’t buy that argument, but it *could* be made), that doesn’t get over the fact that some companies will always try and cut corners or don’t give a fig about their staff. In these cases, you get the labour laws dictating what a “minimum” is. Sure, there are some people that love working overtime and would voluntarily engage with their work outside their parameters. But for every person that does, there’s the potential for another person where that assumption is used by an employer to exploit a non-consenting employee. So while it’s great you had a good experience, unless there’s something compelling other companies to follow suite with enough authority, many won’t, and people will be harmed. In addition, in my state for e.g., you can only work so many hours before you are required to receive a break. You can volunteer to work past it, but must sign paperwork to consent to it voluntarily. It’s not an ideal system because some employers will retaliate against workers that don’t sign (which is illegal, btw), it’s still at least some kind of protection. An employer can’t work their most vulnerable employees half to death on a whim. There are *some* hoops they have to go through. Honestly, given the willingness of many employers to try and circumvent even the existing labour laws specifically to overwork their staff for an extra few pennies on the bottom line, I’d argue we already need stronger labour laws, not more lax ones. But that’s just me…

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Admittedly, I have seen that proposed once or twice. I still don't feel quite great about her response to this, even given the circumstances, but I will begrudgingly admit that gwynfrid is correct in that calls like that were made. Whether that's justifiable or not is...hard for me to fully process at this time so I can't weigh in on that.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hello,

I'd like to cancel my Starfinder Roleplaying Game subscription, please.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with Steve. I believe strongly that Sara Marie was a positive community influence. I am at a loss to understand what could possibly have merited her dismissal, but even if there is some farfetched circumstance that warranted it, I am even more confused and disappointed that Paizo had no contingency to implement, *especially* during their busiest week.

This feels like a perfectly natural and obvious repercussion to the actions taken. Whether Sara deserved to be fired is, in a very specific lens, immaterial (not to me, I am still deeply disappointed and frustrated). Sara Marie was a consummate professional who knew her job well. Removing her during Paizo's 2nd or 1st busiest annual event is going to have a fallout, even if its just a logistical one.

And I am deeply concerned as the OP is that the person seemingly put in place over Sara Marie and thus now in charge of her original role has done very little to compensate for the sudden loss to the department. As I said, I don't know the circumstances. But I agree with Cori that Sara's loss is a huge blow to the community, and her seeming logical successor has not precisely instilled me with confidence.

That is, unfortunately, only my opinion. Perhaps things will improve. I hope so. But I agree, I do think the community is hurting and it would be excellent to see some action on Paizo's part.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

With all due respect, those self-same individuals have requested several times that you demonstrate, as a commitment to you making the argument in good faith if nothing else, to provide some form of citation to back your claims. The onus on providing citation when making the claim that “legal difficulties necessitated this policy” is on the person making the claim, and it’s not exactly in good taste to demand someone conduct a google search to do the work your own rhetoric needs to do.

The law is not always cut and dry, true. However, it was created with the intention that it be possible to cite when resolving novel or recurring cases. Therefore, are there any specific legal cases you can point to that provide precedent for this? Are there any state or federal laws, specifically existing tort law, that would facilitate the sort of civil case you seem to be outlining that management might have been trying to avoid? Thus far I have witnessed the same talking point repeated over and over again, but each request for specific evidence has been either ignored or handwaved away.

But even if you *could* provide proper legal citation or precedent via case law (which I doubt you could), that does not change the fact that having such a policy in place strictly clashes with Paizo’s stated values. Values which several executives have apparently reinforced in writing multiple times in the past few days. Given that, if Paizo was essentially disregarding its own states ethics in some misguided effort to cover their own legal behinds, I would certainly say that people would have cause to object! And i am having difficulty understanding why that objection would be unwarranted. After all, if you advertise yourself as a company that has progressive values but then hide behind regressive and potentially discriminatory policies out of of a sense of legal squeamishness, that certainly provides enough conflict that I as a customer might want to look elsewhere.

Still, I do wish to join in with the crowd in asking again: can you back up your description of how this policy is supposed to work or not?

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I believe the difficulty here is that in order for us to take on trust that Paizo will use an “as needed” verbal-only policy to make decisions about who gets to network for the company and who doesn’t is that the allegations which even led to these circumstances paint Paizo as having behaved in an untrustworthy fashion. To whit, a company accused of being discriminatory practices should not propose a solution where, without clear written policy, discrimination can still take place.

Let’s say you only send some employees “as needed” but not others. You say it’s because it costs too much. You say it’s because the employees you do send are better. But the employee you never send is one of your few trans employees…you’re possibly being discriminatory there. Normally I would expect a company with stated values like Paizo to not conduct themelves in that manner. But that’s just it: that trust has been broken since they apparently did do so in the past.

So, a clearly outlined policy with very specific descriptions of how the company decides who gets to go, when, how often, and for what reasons would be necessary. Not just to earn back the trust they lost, but because having written SOP is just good practice to avoid problems down the line. And obviously if that policy is discriminatory, even if it’s otherwise clear-cut and written down, then it’s still bad and must be revised.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This book was an absolute joy to read: thank you for all of your hard work on this creation. This is by far my favorite 2e product that's been released so far, and very likely my favorite Pathfinder product ever!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
The short answer is all of them. 500 page Core Rulebook Length Species Archives, please.

I'm pretty sure I would experience an apotheosis of joy at that

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Playable gnolls? Check.

African-inspired lore book written by authors of color? Also check.

Lore book longer than even the standard rules-heavy books? Check.

New elven cultures explored in detail? Check.

Anadi finally get playable stats? Cheeeeeeck.

I. AM. SO. HYPED!!!

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, I do want to weigh in a little about the decision to use non-lethal combat.

On the one-hand, having an option to use non-lethal damage at no penalty is great. Having non-lethal damage have a penalty creates an incentive to use harmful methods. Removing this restriction is certainly a welcome change.

However, as many have pointed out here already, I feel like this addresses the symptom rather than the disease, so to speak. Using conventional combat, lethal or otherwise, as a means of conflict resolution for an AP about law enforcement seems to be a bit...er, laden with problems. While implying that guards in this world are always trained to not kill is, indeed, a very welcome bit of lore, there is the issue that even "non-lethal" options are still incredibly harmful. 40mm rounds are "non-lethal" but can still cause extreme contusions, broken bones, organ damage, etc. etc., and in some cases death. These are "non-lethal." Chokeholds are "non-lethal" but can cause mild brain damage in a best case scenario and just asphyxiate someone at worst. Tear gas can cause severe allergic reactions and exacerbate breathing difficulties.

In other words, I feel like this AP, if the goal is to handle it respectively, would prioritize using non-combat conflict resolution, not just non-lethal. I feel having a system akin to the 1E Ultimate Intrigue "debate" system would have been a necessary first step prior to rolling out a police AP. Heck, Chapter One of War of the Crown had almost all of the major conflicts handled with diplomacy and sabotage, barring a few exceptions (which were honestly my least favorite part of that chapter for that precise reason). Otherwise, the concerns others have raised will certainly happen. People will still fling around dangerous, incendiary class abilities and spells willy-nilly against potentially innocent suspects (given that the Red Herring is a trope baked into the genre this AP appears to be invoking), and making them non-lethal doesn't change the brutality of these choices. I feel that it would be infinitely preferable for the AP to be designed as possible to resolve with almost no combat whatsoever (except against completely unambiguous opponents, like demons or mindless undead).

One final note: I did find the "reassurance" that anyone coming at the players with killing intent will be clearly telegraphed as such. As I illustrated above, I'd heavily prefer that this not be an issue because no one will ever be coming at you with killing intent. And even if they are, you should still be able to somehow resolve things with a minimum of blood-shed. If that reference is in regards to non-sentient or metaphysical beings, then great! If it refers to sentient mortal beings...even if they came at you with killing intent, the purpose of law enforcement (imo) is to take in a suspect non-lethally anyway, and then have their violent actions be a point against them in the proceeding trial (though there are some issues there too, but that's outside the scope of likely this AP and this post). Police are meant to be an executive body, not a judicial one. They should not be given the capacity to execute someone, and even self-defense should be something that is heavily scrutinized. Because goodness knows, ordinary civilians are scrutinized for using violent and lethal means for defending themselves. Police should have even more scrutiny directed at them for resorting to such methods, given the authority and influence their station grants them otherwise.

In any case, those are my thoughts. I heartily commend Paizo for putting in the changes that it did, even if I do not agree that they are sufficient. I believe this is still good progress in the right direction and am thankful they went to the effort to make them. But yes, I still think more work needs to be done. Thank you for your time, everyone.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Gnolls, kitsune, and kobolds. Gnolls never get any love and I’d love to play one

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Yqatuba wrote:
lowfyr01 wrote:

Him getting more desperate About his age is one of the even more dangerous Things About him.

I could see him using his People in a ritual to get Young again like the one shown in the Villian Codex i think. Always looked like made for him^^

What if he actually does die of old age? Will his followers just go "I guess he wasn't a god after all"? Or will they make some lame excuse for how he was still a god?

Likely the same thing that happened when the founder of Scientology died, which is to say, his followers basically say "he didn't die, obviously. Dying is for mortals. He's just abandoned his mortal shell because he has no need for it any longer, and he has now finally ascended to the Beyond. Now it is the duty of us, his faithful, to continue serving him and protecting and expanding his domain." Etc etc. People are reeeeeaaaaally good at convincing themselves that they were right all along, even when provided with objective evidence to the contrary. Heck, there are a lot of death-cults of the world ending that, when the world fails to end as they predicted, they just go "oh, well, obviously we were just so freakin faithful that we got an extra couple of years ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I should point out that we know some psychopomps take a very dim view of life extension magic or tech, and so people that take advantage of such things might end up becoming targets. That being said, I too choose to assume that most people extend their lifespan at least a little...until they get eaten by aforementioned space-bugs.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
One thing at I feel is also useful to mention is that not everyone plays the Pact World's setting.

This is true, in which case it becomes a moot point because then the GM can adjudicate the significance of the archetype however they want. But, if they *were* using the Pact Worlds setting, then it becomes an interesting and relevant discussion. Otherwise, if it's outside the setting, it becomes a weird "no-true-Scotsman" debate.

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Oh that's a a solid point, actually

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To be honest, while my inner munchkin is perfectly okay with justifying taking advantage of abilities even if the flavor doesn't mesh super well...buuuut in the case of the Esotericist, it would be odd for every default character to be one, especially given how the archetype is based on a cultural phenomenon which is considered quite fringe in the default setting. Granted, some of the abilities within the archetype enforce this (such as the limitations based on spell schools and being unable to affect technological items or constructs), but I find myself veering towards the side of some of the people objecting against taking the archetype just for mechanics. To me, it feels a bit odd to play an archetype without maintaining its theme at all. It can be within reason, so it's not like I'd stop using tech at all (unless I was playing a Hanakan), but it definitely feels wrong to just slap them on like a borrowed shirt.

To me, archetypes feel, intention-wise, the same as prestige classes in Pathfinder 1E did: intrinsically tied to the lore of the game. To treat them as bundles of math for your own advantage feels wrong.

Then again: that also feels a bit too gatekeepy for my tastes. There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of options, and nothing wrong with mechanics-over-lore playstyle. It ain't my cup of tea, but it feels wrong to impose on others. I wouldn't, but I don't think the present version of me would be comfortable arguing against this. I dunno, I'm more ambivalent than anything.

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Erk Ander wrote:

So Ihys was LG God of Free will ?

I mean, is that so far-fetched? Starfinder gave us Hylax, a LG goddess of individuality and choice. I think it was JJ himself that mentioned that sometimes gods have a unique or unexpected (and even seemingly contradictory) portfolio. For eg, there’s always Tsukiyo, LG god of madness. Granted, he is the patron of the neurodivergent and those who have come back changed after incredibly stressful events, sure, but the idea of a Madness Divinity being LG is just as odd as a Free Will deity being LG.

It might be that Ilya would’ve possibly altered over time...if he were allowed to live

Tbh, I feel personally that this is a stretch and I agree it’s unusual, but it hardly lacks precedent

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There are also humans on Suskillion and Grascha. In the case of the former, it's implied that these humans were true natives rather than transplants from Golarion (as was the case with New Thespera and Akiton), and in the latter case its outright stated that they were independently native.

Given that parallel evolution allows for things like mountain eels and barathu, humans don't seem too far a stretch in this particular universe. Especially when you take divine intervention into account.

Also, don't forget literal actual Earth.

As for do the Azlanti Star Empire have Golarion-centric info? Yes and no.

New Thespera was cut off from Golarion prior to Earthfall, so they *might* have access to historical records of early to middle Azlant, but most of Pathfinder's modern history would be simultaneously unknown and irrelevant to the Star Empire. They didn't know how or why Azlant fell. They certainly never learned about Aroden (and would probably have found his claim as the Last Azlanti as extremely insulting, all things considered), and it's unclear how much they even know about comparatively "modern" things like the existence of dwarves or the Thassilonian Empire (the latter being uncertain, since the only thing we know for certain is that New Thespera was founded prior to Earthfall...but not when prior to Earthfall). And I say they wouldn't care since with the exception of Thassilon, none of that "human" culture is Azlanti, and therefore as far as they are concerned, not even legitimately human. That being said, their few surviving records of pre-Earthfall Azlant might be pretty decent, since it was far enough from the Gap to be possibly unaffected and if they wrote things down accurately enough, could be quite accurate. Given how revisionist totalitarian regimes are, though, even this might be false. We know the Ixomander dynasty has already played fast and loose with Imperial history (they claim their ancestors created the Aeon Throne...which happened during the Gap so that is...a guess), so who knows what else they edited.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Considering that Aroden did a lot of...questionable...things on his rise to power, and tied his essence to a large number of powerful items and locations throughout Golarion...it might be a manifestation of that. Perhaps he was working on an undersea experiment of some sort and when he died, the controls for that magic broke. Or maybe a piece of the Starstone underwater reacted because his magic was connected to it. I have no idea.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean given Arazni's aesthetic it seems a reasonable choice. Maybe Nocticula, but that seems far-fetched given that her color palette doesn't match and she has no real relation to the undead. It seems odd why a being like Ragathiel or Milani (another guess of mine) wouldn't just...claim responsibility.

Also Arazni feels more appropriate given the oath, so...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Not gonna lie, if there was a biotech implant called "supercharged appendix" that let you carry an additional magic item would be hilarious

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is, more than likely, an incredibly unlikely question to be answered, all things considered. However, at the end of Soldiers of Brass, the NPC Nib mentions a pair of figures to express her feelings on the PC's accomplishments. She mentions Grandmother Rat, which is definitely Lao Shu Po. But she also mentions Round Papa, and here's where I get confused?

What being is that a reference to?

I've tried searching this on pathfinder's wiki. No results. Starfinder's? Nada. A search on the forums. Zip. So either my search-fu is lacking (very possible) or this figure hasn't been referenced before or since. And I'm desperately curious: who is Round Papa? Is this a god or an obscure historial figure in ysoki culture. Is it Kofusachi (another Tien god that ratfolk may have preserved across the Gap, and the only one who, visually, might match that description)? Or is it just a throw-away line. It probably is, but given how ravenous I am for little bits of lore, I'm still desperately curious.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, I've been wondering about Morphic Skin. Specifically, I wanted to ask what is meant by the word "apparent" in the description of the Advanced Morphic Skin:
Found in Armory, pg. 93

"Advanced Morphic Skin offers the same options as the basic model, as well as the ability to change your apparent sex and age, alter your height by up to 1 foot, and gain features of another species of the same creature type (although you don't gain or lose abilities as a result."

Soooooo, here's the thing.

It says "apparent" sex. Does this mean that you alter your sex via an illusion? As in, you gain the primary and secondary sexual characteristics of another sex but close examination reveals otherwise? This seems to be unlikely given that the item's base description (pg. 92) refers to transmutation magic and mutagenic enzymes, implying the change is more substantive than just an illusion. However, what does "apparent" mean in this context? Do you have functional new genitalia, as if you'd consumed a serum of sex change? If the sex you elect to become is capable of bearing young, can you become pregnant? How potent is this mimicry?

I ask because a longstanding player for my campaign has an idea for a character that performs music onstage as a man, but adventures and goes through daily life as a woman. They have so far managed to maintain this by buying serums of sex change in bulk, but I was wondering if this magitech implant could allow them to effectively buy a "permanent" serum (i.e. one that can continue to be customized rather than single-use). And if yes, are the effects superficial or are they faithful recreations like the serum would produce.

Normally, "apparent" implies this is a falsified mimicry. However, given that the primary magic at work here is explicitly transmutation, which produces actual, substantive physiological changes, this seems like maybe the wrong read? What do you all think? Personally I've let the player interpret it however they wanted to be favorable (given that the hopping back and forth between sexes was more a flavor thing and mechanically there is nothing to worry about here), but now I'm more curious from a design standpoint? What do you think was the intent? And how would you interpret this yourselves?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is...is she basically just Bill Nye with an extra set of arms? Cause I dig it

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Besides...like, harsh, man. I know that House Thrune is pretty evil, and their regime encourages being like them to survive, but I'm pretty sure most Chelish are...just people? People who might even prefer not being ruled over by literal actual devil-summoners? But...they have Hell on their side. And even a full blown rebellion with angelic support failed. Not because the people are a lost cause. Because House Thrune kinda...cheats.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am so happy about that. As cool as the Inner Sea Region was, it still felt too...familiar? Like, too European? The potential for interesting countries based on the legends and myths of other cultures have me chomping at the bit for Casmaron and Southern Garund content.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

See, it actually kind of makes sense to me, though there are a few ways to visualize it. I can think of 3.

1. In this case, Pathfinder's "ethnicities" is more a statement of shared cultural origin than the real world's definition. In this case, classifying Chelish as Taldane is the equivalent of saying, for simplicties sake, classifying French as European. If I were making a simplified campaign setting that was...well, Earth, to a group of aliens, I'd introduce French people (or German people, or Greek people, or Spanish people) as "Europeans" (maybe "Western Europeans") and then detail specific cultural differences (and origins of root differences in ethnic group via historical context) in each country's description. Which...the Lost Omens guide does do.

2. It was always a tad strange, to be frank, that the Chelish were considered a separate ethnicity than the Taldane, when none of the other ethnic groups of the world presented in Pathfinder were ever subdivided in a similar fashion. Maybe Ulfen, but even still...

The Garundi have enormous variation across the board. Keleshites are outright stated to be an overarching category based on ignorance that encompasses a ton of different groups. The Tien are a mass of different peoples. And the Mwangi. And the Kellids. Except Varisians and Ulfen, no other ethnicity is so singular, and considering Varisians actually *do* have drastic differences based on where they live (possibly creating unique ethnic groups, like Ustalavic, Varisian, arguably even the Szcarni given that their culture is so unique). Honestly, having all the other ethnicities be so weirdly lumped together...but have the Taldanes have prominent sub-categories listed as full categories always seemed off-putting. Like, the Taldanes are the closest thing to "white" in Pathfinder's lore, and so seeing the different kinds of "white" get their own massive 8-page descriptions and having the other (admittedly, in my own opinion, more interesting and unique) ethnicites forced to share page-space with others (fundamentally different, mind you) based solely on a weird lumping was a bit...strange, to say the least. This felt kind of bringing it more into line with how other ethnicities were categorized, and I'm okay with that. I mean, personally, I'd have preferred the other direction (every sub-ethnicity becoming a full fledged, fully developed primary ethnicity) but I can understand why that wasn't the easier direction to go.

3. Consider this: do Chelish outside of Cheliax act at all differently when they live elsewhere? I bring this up because one way I look at ethnicity is...flexibility. I know this is strange, but stay with me. Taldanes seemed a good primary category to me because if I met a Taldane in Isger and a Taldane in Taldor, they would act completely different, sure, but they'd be very similar in appearance and from an outsider perspective I'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart. But Chelish are always described as acting...well, Chelish, wherever they go. They were a much more rigid group, more bound by national traditions that they insisted on clinging to when traveling abroad. This made them feel like "visitors" when they showed up in say, Vidrian or Varisia. They didn't feel like an overarching group, but literally just the same country-folk but displaced into other places. I know this one's kind of hard to follow, but the way I see it: broad-strokes, primary categories should be *broad*. When you say something is a "dog" it doesn't serve to narrow it's definition. It's meant to be cast as a wide net. To me, having Chelish as a primary category was like making "poodle" and "dog" the same level of specificity. A poodle is clearly a type of dog. We already have the dog word, and if you want to look for types of dogs, you can.

Lastly...err, I'm kind of confused by the statement that "scratch that statement without the word white and it'd be so much worse." I mean...yes, yes it would. So, uh...isn't the fact that Zenj aren't listed as a full category kinda crummy, then? That they're just Mwangi? They clearly aren't. They're definitely not Bonuwat, and they are sure as hell not Bekyar. Like yes, I agree this level of cramming together is not my favorite. Like I said, given my way, each and every minor ethnicity: from Varki to Tien-Min, from Irrisenni to Isgeri, would get their own full category and their own articles written on them. But the thing is, what I think the designers were going for here was to increase their consistency and change the definition of their in-world nomenclature. Now, when they say "ethnicity" they mean "broad-stroke shared grouping of humans." Now everyone is equally diluted. Since 2E is something of a reboot, that makes sense. Simplifying things makes them easier to understand and digest, and now at least that weird thought of "hey, why are Chelish different than Taldane but Osiriani aren't different from Garundi" won't pop up. It's more consistent. Plus, given how low Chelish global influence has fallen, having them diminish in significance from a full ethnicity to a sub-ethnicity is kind of a context clue within the setting that their star is on the decline while the rest of the world rises, so lore-wise it checks out.

So yeah, basically, um, I don't see a problem with it. That's my long and meandering reason why. And uh...on an unrelated note...I want to know more about the Isgeri tribes. Oh, and Thuvians. Oh, and the different Keleshite traditions. Oh, oh, and more about the Zenj please. And...and everybody else too (I want more Varki content, I've always been enamored with them and always wanted to play a Varki-Snowcaster half-elf). For that matter, more details on non-human ethnicities would also be super.

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