I've made a couple of changes to Maizie so I've reposted her "sheet" to show them. I decided against Elf Atavism for the Ancestry Feat and chose Natural Skill instead. I'm going to lean a little less to the elvish side, she's never met her father or had any significant contact with elves. She would have learned more from her mother. Aside from Occultism I added Medicine to reflect this. Besides there aren't any Cleric applications so Medicine seems like a good investment. I added Acrobatics as the 2nd gained skill.
She also loses Detect Magic as an innate cantrip, so it's gone. I also realized I'd shorted her one cantrip, so added Ghost Sound instead.
I also learned that the Spoiler command seems to really hate quotation marks. It's working correctly this time. :)
Maragon (Maizie) Greven:
Ancestry: Human (Half-Elf Heritage)
Background: Truth Seeker
Class: Bard (Maestro)
Deity: Cayden Cailean
Skills & Feats:
+7 Deception (T): (Truth Seeker)
+3 Lore Politics: (T): (Truth Seeker)
+7 Perform: Singer (T):
+5 Perception (X)
+4 Athletics (T)
+7 Diplomacy (T)
+3 Society (T)
+3 Lore Breachill (T)
+3 Medicine (T)
+6 Acrobatics (T)
Bard & Half Elf Abilities:
Bard Focus Powers:
Focus Pool: 1 point
Half Elf: Low Light Vision
Combat & Saves:
+6 Melee Attack (Rapier)
+6 Ranged Attack
1st Level Spells:
Here's my submission. Maizie is a Maestro Bard. I'm not completely finished with her yet, for example no gear. I'm also still mulling over a couple of details about her, maybe a slight ability score change, or a change to her Ancestry feat. But she's really close to done.
Wow, 2e bards are very different from what I expected before I got into building her!
@Ash: I used a named NPC from the Player's Guide in her background. That's risky because the person may have a role that's completely incompatible with their use in her background. If that turns out to be the case, I'm happy to switch her background to take them out.
[spoiler=Maragon "Maizie" Greven]
Bard Focus Powers:
1st Level Spells
Maragon was born in a small village about halfway between Breachill and Elidir. Her mother was considered a seer before she was born and in her youngest years. Maragon isn't entirely sure whether, and to what extent her mother might have had some sort of second sight, but whatever it was drove her mother mad as time went on. Her mother's behavior became ever more erratic and strange as Maragon grew older, and her mother's reputation as a seer was replaced by the opinion she was a 'crazy witch'. Her mother's reputation made life as a child and teen hard in such a small town.
Her mother never revealed exactly who Maragon's father was, but she talked about him some, dropping little pieces of information here and there. The question of her paternity occupied Maragon more and more as she grew closer to adulthood, and it became more and more difficult to live with her mother. Maragon relocated to Breachill a little over a year ago based on her suspicions. While scraping by as a singer, she's kept her ear to the ground, gathering gossip and information.
She's become almost certain the Desnan priest Kellen Carondil is her father. Maragon hasn't approached him yet, she's not sure whether she's more angry about his abandonment of her, or more in need of a more stable relationship with a parent yet. In the mean time she's heard plenty of other very interesting tidbits about her new little town. She's continuing to dig for more, convinced Breachill isn't quite the kind of town its residents like to believe it is.
I'm working up a half-elf bard. Hopefully I'll have it posted by the end of the day.
It's a character concept that I'm very familiar with, but I'd like to have my first go around with 2e be something that makes it easy for me to compare the editions in terms of how characters play. A bit of A/B testing I guess you could say. :)
I'm very interested in giving 2e a go. I've only started looking at it the new system and haven't bought any of the books yet, but I like a lot of what I'm seeing. I'll probably at least pick up the PDF version of the Core Rulebook soon, and until I do I can use Archives of Nethys, which is where I've been looking at it so far.
I've never played Star Wars but it seems to me Skulls and Shackles would work very well if you wanted a game more like Solo, which doesn't involve the central Empire vs. Rebellion conflict as much. Just treat the ports and islands as different planets.
One thing I'm curious about is how do you handle undead? They seem to be very much outside anything found in Star Wars.
Yes, I'm the other sister.
Name: Hendrina "Hennie" Verkirk
Class: Spirit Guide Oracle with the Succor Mystery.
I switched from bard to oracle but the general concept is the same. Hennie is going to Falcon's Hollow to unite the common people in pushing back against their exploitation by the Lumber Consortium.
Hiya Prof Smith! That fighter archetype sounds pretty cool. I'll PM you as soon as I can to talk more about the idea.
@Aki-Kiri: Thanks for the offer, I took a look at your character and I really liked it. I think though that a pair of linked applications for two mostly support classes might be a harder sell for a limited number of slots. I hope you get accepted to the game, (as well as us of course). I'd really love to see a Spiritualist in action, it's a hard class for me to get my head around and I'd like to see how it works.
@Tarren: For what it's worth I can vouch for Prof. Smith's posting reliability. We've been playing together in another campaign for a couple of years now and Prof Smith has never held things up for failure to post.
I'm very interested!
Several years ago I started this module series. We only made it a few session before it ended, But I really liked it. I think the Darkmoon Vale modules don't get the attention they deserve.
Another player and I had linked characters, identical twins. Mine was a bard. She was a bright-eyed idealist coming to organize the timber workers against the Lumber Consortium, a Woody Guthrie type "Wobblie". Her (minutes older) sister is the more practical of the two, a fighter who's coming along to make sure her sister doesn't get into too much trouble.
I'd love to revive that idea for this. But a couple of questions first I suppose.
@ Tarren: Would you accept linked applications?
@ Applicants: If you're planning on submitting a martial character, would you be interested in playing the sibling? Although the original idea was identical twins, fraternal twin or just sibling of either gender would work.
Well, that hems you in pretty tight for choices. You'll certainly not want an investigator.
The hardest part to satisfy is the lack of skills part, so I'll mention that you don't have to invest skill points in in knowledge skills. Take up professions and know how to craft all sorts of mundane things. You could make a bard who's bad at lore, relatively speaking.
About the only thing I can think of that satisfies your parameters otherwise is Eldritch Scion Magus. They're a CHA based version, so no need to invest in intelligence. You could have a paltry 2 skill points per level. Go with a DEX build and pick up Stealth using a trait.
While I don't at all think Erastil is evil, this is not an either/or choice.
Here's an example for Sandpoint done for RotRL. The DM did a copy/paste from the Sandpoint Gazetteer in the AP. Done this way you can choose exactly what you share by editing the entries.
It's a little bit of work up front, but you don't need to be as comprehensive if you don't want to. It also pays off in time saved later since you can refer to it rather than writing in-game description posts.
How could the trait be construed to allow full azlanti? I'll readily admit I'm no good at the kind of intent-warping some players excel in, but I don't see any way to read that into the trait.
This looks great!
Depending on the answer to the question below I'm looking at submitting either a Studious Librarian Bard, probably either human or half-elf, or an Elven Arcanist.
The arcanist would definitely be taking Audrahni’s Ally as a trait.
I'd totally be up for working out something with another applicant to take Close Ally for the bard.
I have a Bloodrager from ROTRL I can level up for a Sihedron Hero.
The question then: Is Desna's Shooting Star Divine Fighting Technique allowed?
Also, Hello to Brainiac and Phntm888, I could potentially be playing with two of my GMs in this campaign. Wacky!
I'm going to put in a plug for Luke's Crimson Throne Campaign.
I'm a player in it and it's one of the best run campaigns I've seen. Luke has been putting quite a bit extra into it, leaning into the horror elements. My party mates have all been doing great stuff with their characters and it's a real privilege to be playing with them. We're currently transitioning from Book 1 to Book 2.
@John Lynch 106: Yes, an all bard party would require the use of more consumables to cover certain spell needs. That's why I mentioned UMD, which bards are ace at, and the need to cover some spells that way.
But, the gap might not be a big as it seems at first glance. There are Bard Options that allow some casting off other spell lists. Also the buffing from performance and spells like Saving Finale, should cut into the saving throw failures, taking care of a portion of those needs by preventing them in the first place.
Also, in my experience at least, if a spell like Lesser Restoration is having to be used all the time, the cleric buys or makes a wand to use for it so they can keep their spell slots for other things. In practice, having a spell on the spell list doesn't mean a character doesn't use consumables for it anyway.
I don't know how much of a difference it would make, I've never considered it closely but it merits keeping it in mind.
@Piccolo: I'm not sure what you're wanting out of this thread. The OP asked if bards are worth playing in Pathfinder. People have posted quite a few answers showing that they are in fact good, and quite a lot of fun to play.
You seem to want this thread to be about Rogues being awesome and how they get no respect, amongst several other gripes. Those things are not the subject of this thread. The OP never defined "good" or "fun" as performing every task a more specialized class, or one of the classes in a "core four" party, better than those classes.
I will grant you that obviously bards won't heal as well as clerics, fight as well as fighters, etc. by the numbers. But they can do enough things well enough to substitute for a more specialized class well enough to meet the party's needs. Sorry, Rogue is the easiest and most obvious substitution to make, though not the only possible one. I like Rogues just fine, but other classes can fill their role.
So while a bard will be 7.37% less perfect or whatever at filling a Rogue's niche, the party really will be okay. The all bard party is not a hypothetical. I personally know of people who have run it as a campaign theme, and they did not meet with disaster. I mentioned the all bard party not because bards do everything better than every other class, but to highlight their incredible versatility. I'm not sure an all x party is possible with any other class except Alchemist, which I think could do it too.
Of all the campaigns I've played, I have played in a party with a rogue exactly once. We have done just fine all those other times, and didn't notice any particular advantage when we had the rogue. We rarely have a full arcane caster and we do just fine. The answer to the OP's questions is yes, you can have a bard in the party, even a small one, and the world won't end. And yes, bards can do lots of cool stuff and are a blast to play. The rest of the debate is just wonkery.
Absolutely. Off the top of my head an all bard party with Arcane Duelist, Archaeologist, Songhealer, and Studious Librarian should be able to handle whatever comes their way. Even if there are some critical spells missing, there's so much UMD going on it's ridiculous.
There are plenty of other good party combinations that can be used to tweak the party to meet the demands of a particular campaign type, wilderness, urban, etc.
I'm going to be submitting a character, but I'd like to ask the current party how they would feel about a Skald?
Skalds only work well with certain types of parties, and the current party seems to me to be a decent match. I'm not familiar with the party's workings though so they may see things differently.
If there's no enthusiasm for a Skald, I'll be submitting an unarchetyped archer bard instead.
This looks really good!
I'm not familiar with Kingmaker except for the general tenor of the AP, lots of wilderness, etc. I'm wondering how the intrigue aspects will balance with that.
The reason I'm asking is the thing that first comes to my mind is a Dandy Ranger. It trades most of the wilderness Ranger abilities for intrigue-oriented versions.
Would that be going too far in the intrigue direction? I'm thinking I could but back the outdoor skills with traits, but would that be enough to stay relevant most of the time?
That complexity is completely stripped out when you transform it into a sexist, misogynist society that is so backward it treats women like chattel. Except of course, all the women who are grand duchesses . . . or generals . . . or senators . . . or prominent adventurers . . . .
I'm not sure why you're so wedded to this "women as chattel" view of the AP. Other people aren't seeing it. Nothing about the AP suggests it. If you really wanted to run it that way I'd tell you that you sure can make it that way, but you don't even like the idea apparently. Why insist on it?
To give a concrete example, if I were running it I'd mine into the period roughly 1890-1930 in the U.S. or Europe for ideas to set the tone and fill the AP out. Women are doing all sorts of interesting and fantastic things, but don't yet have full rights and are pushing hard to get them.
Another good model would be the late 1950's -1960's Mad Men era when women do have full rights, but attitudes are still quite misogynistic and barriers are still very apparent.
Ring of Gyges is on to something. Some wires got crossed somewhere between the writing of First Empire and the writing of Crownfall. I have theories, but I find the entire thing very odd.
It seems clear to me at this point that your gripe is really about creative decisions made by the authors. Why not just say so rather than taking pot shots at them over every little thing?
Obviously I can't read their thoughts, but here's my guess about why gender is not mentioned in the "First Empire", and is in the AP. It saves space. Why do it twice? If I were planning an AP and a companion book about Taldor, I wouldn't want to take up space repeating things.
If gender equality is going to play a significant role in the AP, talk about it in the AP. It matters the most there. I couldn't expect everyone playing the AP to buy the companion book, so I can't offload the information on gender to it.
I would use the space in the companion book saved to add something that wouldn't make the cut otherwise.
It does come up. From the bio of Velriana Hypaxes: "Power is not given, but taken—by those with the strength and resolve to do so, regardless of gender or background. This was a completely different outlook from how Velriana was raised,..."
But it doesn't need to mention it. Adding new information in an AP is typical for all of them. Earlier materials don't have to telegraph the gender information given in the AP everywhere and all the time to avoid contradiction. The AP doesn't contradict what little is said earlier.
More women holding titles or military ranks than you think appropriate based on your interpretation of the information in the AP isn't a contradiction. It's just something you don't like.
There's a second row of links right below the blue bar at the top of the page. "Harrow" is third from the left after "Calendar" and "Golarion Geography".
Cintra Bristol wrote:
That's an interesting read on the sentence that works well I think.
I haven't looked at Book 2 closely enough to be sure, but I don't think there are any NPC entries that explicitly say a women inherited a position in favor of eligible men. Of the five senators given in Book 1 two have explanations that involve other means. Marquess Tanasha Starborne is elected, and Marquess Charlotte Deschamps is through marriage (I think?).
Countess Abrielle Pace, Viscountess Octavia Nicodemius, and Lady Zariyah Clement do not have any explanations. That could mean they inherited, or the word count on them was used for other things, or that it doesn't matter.
I think it would be possible to play the AP without women being able to inherit. There are other ways to gain title. Nobody that I play with is going to care about any of this stuff though, so going to all the trouble of devising ways in which individual women came into their positions is more trouble than it's worth.
There's also no specific reason to assume the rules of inheritance are absolutely uniform. France showed considerable regional variation early on, and the same could be true of Taldor. Some families with hereditary senate seats might also be filled for idiosyncratic reasons. Octavia Nicodemius is very long serving and in her 90's. Maybe she had a son or sons who could fill the seat, but didn't want to enter the swamp so never sent in the paperwork to claim the seat when they came of age. Maybe they were browbeaten by their mother into agreeing to her remaining in their seat. Lots of possible ways to do it.
The contradiction in the "couple" of lines radically changes the source of the central conflict, which is a pretty bad thing to have in a story. Not to mention, you know, the fact that the AP isn't free and people paid money for everything but the player's guide? I don't understand people who claim others aren't allowed to complain about something they paid for.
It changes the central conflict if one insists to oneself it must.
Certainly they are allowed to complain. Starting a new thread in a discussion forum implies they want responses wouldn't you say?
If someone wants to complain without any responses, there is a place to leave a review.
You're arguing two incompatible things here. You're saying the authors exaggerated sexism in Taldor, which would mean there's some baseline amount they decided to go well beyond suddenly.
Then you say there is no mention of sexism before. Effectively the authors are filling in blank space. If so, they can't exaggerate, they're creating the baseline.
But that aside, I don't see the WftC as being mainly about sexism as Taldor's greatest problem to solve. The chain of causation isn't "defeat sexism because sexism is the worst of Taldor's problems". The chain of causation is "defeat sexism because the person who is most likely to deal with any number of Taldor's greatest problems can't take the throne because of it".
I would rate the almost certainly coming war with Qadira if Eutropia doesn't take the throne as the greatest problem. Taldor is already spending itself into bankruptcy in peacetime. The war would be catastrophic in every way.
You can pick your own worst problem of course. So all you have to do is be willing to touch gender equality with a 10 foot pole in order to put the right person in the right place to solve your bigger problem.
I took another quick look through and all I found were the same lines you gave above. I interpret the first two in exactly the same way as Zaister so I won't repeat what he wrote.
For the third one from the Player's Guide, I see what you mean. It suggests a wider application of the primogeniture law than just royal succession. So what we have is, on the one hand a couple of sentences from the Player's Guide, and on the other everything else.
We all know there was immense pressure to get the Player's Guide out as soon as possible. If those sentences were rendered in singular instead of plural they would no longer really be an issue either. Maybe it should have been caught in editing, but Player's Guides also always present information in a more generalized way than other sources. I don't see the big problem.
Women being able to inherit, at least under certain circumstances, is warp and weft to far too many things in the first and second books to seriously call it into question due to the Player's Guide. Short of the authors popping in to support your view, I don't see any way to claim there's a credible argument for women not inheriting.
In fact, even if the authors did do that I would keep women as "heirs of last resort" in my campaign. It gives more options to me and aligns with the overall flow of the books better. I am able to do that as a GM after all, interpreting and making those kind of executive decisions is part of the job.
You can too if you're really looking for a solution. If ignoring (or thinking of them as properly singular) those Player's Guide statements is a bridge too far for you though, you can always bin the whole AP and continue feeling aggrieved.
It's only contradictory if you insist on Manichaean thinking.
Yes, women may inherit titles and property. Yes, women may hold high positions in the government or military.
No, this does not equate to gender parity or equality. No, women may not inherit the throne.
This is not contradictory in the least. It simply isn't the case that if one set of statements is true, the other set must be false. I thought my previous post demonstrated that fairly well, but I guess not?
It is entirely possible that female senators do not have the same influence as their male counterparts. Just because they exist doesn't mean their male counterparts appreciate them or view them as a legitimate presence. Based on your own count male senators outnumber female senators about 2 to 1, which implies women are on average not preferred to take hereditary seats or appointed seats.
We don't know if attitudes among the aristocracy, and especially the senate are more or less conservative than society at large. My guess would be more, but that's only a guess. The bottom line is that the absence of legal barriers based on gender does not translate into non-sexist attitudes, traditions, or social conditions.
I admit I'm coming around to agreeing with you that using the term primogeniture. The authors are very clear about what the term means: "...senators to vote down the ancient law of primogeniture. The law states that royal power can pass only to a male heir...". That's from page 5 of Book 1, so no confusion there. They are perfectly right to use the word in a way outside the bog standard if they want. But, maybe they should have anticipated the amount of pedantic shrieking that would result and gone with something like "The Law".