1. What do you think of the design changes made to the Thought Eater in 3rd edition and the fact that those changes were kept in Dreamscarred Press' Psionics rules? I mean, there are some people who think the old design actually looked better in a Boschian "pathetic-yet-creepy" way.
2. Of those fan Thought Eater designs in the article I linked to, which do you think is best?
3. What do you think of the Wingless Wonder/Alkada?
4. Are there any creatures from the L. Frank Baum books in the Oz series that you'd like to add to Pathfinder?
5. Would you be okay with WotC using any of Pathfinder's open content monsters in D&D Next?
6. If the answer to 5 is yes, which ones do you think would best fill some iconic niches that their creatures lack?
7. I know you can't say this in the books because people would riot, but does the Christian god exist in the Pathfinder-verse, or is he absent ala the Cthulhu Mythos? Or is he the brother Asmodeus stabbity-stab-stabbed at the beginning of creation?
Well, we in the US have a congress that's nihilistic enough to make Kefka orgasm, our political left is milquetoast and secretly corrupt while our right are theocratic; mean-spirited and openly corrupt, and we're anchored down by an entire region of the country that's one big albatross of regressiveness-'n-racism around our necks as we march into the 21st century.
Granted, your situation seems worse (Thirty percent unemployment, jesus), but the US is still doing piss-poor. And don't forget, we're all in this sodomy factory together folks! It's too bad that we can't strike back against corporate America, the marketers who convince us to put up with them and the Ayn-Rand-corpse-tonguing economists who let them sleep at night* in any significant way except for silently praying they get cancer. Or possibly Bleeding Nightmare Pox.
*Not the Keyneseyans, I'm cool with the Keyneseyans
Yes. Yes I did mean "they" as in "the questions". I appologise for that off-putting typo. I can't believe I didn't catch that, and I hope I wouldn't be so stupid as to intentionally insult the guy who gave us Pathfinder, Obox-Ob and the awesome yet underused kaorti.
Well, I got a few more questions to ask ya Mr. Jacobs. Hopefully you aren't so stupid that you're getting annoyed by them.
-If you were going to create a weirder PC Alien race, IE. something more akin to the Brethedans, insectoids of Nchak, Flumphs, or even the Skirr from Fantasy Flight Games' Twisted Lore, how would you do it?
-How would you justify a good Syrinx character, since I'm assuming that that's what they were given PC stats for and its' a lot harder to see how one of them would turn good compared to, say, a Syrinx?
-What of the Monstrous races (Not Tieflings, because I don't quite count them as monstrous races) would be best suited for a "Love redeems"-type plot as an NPC or PC.
-How, other than Backwards Compatibility, would you justify keeping the Vermin subtype? Because, I dislike that subtype and its accompanying mindlessness because of how it implies that arthropods and their kin are "lesser" than other animals, which most people who know about arthropods think is total bunk.
-If you had to, given that they're open content, how would you integrate the Eleti from Mythic Races into Golarion without making them Always Evil like other Undead? Because the idea of a race of skeleton people who reproduce by animating other skeletons and just want to be loved appeals waaaay too much to me.
-Any chance of Prestige Races from Dragon returning as a concept in Pathfinder, given that the idea is open content?
-How would you design a sci-fi/horror-ish "Mutant" class? I'm thinking of designing one with ever-evolving Natural weapons as a class feature, a point-buy system of mutations similar to a Summoner's Eilodion, and a system of Sorceror Bloodline-ish mutation origins (Such as Repressed Emotions, Alien Parasites, Touched By Strange Powers, The Next Stage in Evolution, Strange Radiations, Alchemical Alteration, Magical Warping and so-on), but I was wondering what you'd think would work best.
-What existing Pathfinder creature would be good for occupying an analogous role to the Neogi in a Pathfinder space campaign?
-Is there ever going to be an equivalent to D&D's Kaorti in Pathfinder, IE, humanoids warped into horrible monsters by hideous aberrant things? I mean, you invented the Kaorti, so you'd be the one to make their Golarion equivalent.
-How would you put Dragonborn in Golarion if you were able to and had your arm twisted to, given that you don't seem like the type who'd like Dragonborn?
-Have you ever worked with Mike Mearls? If so, what was he like, and what does your work experience make you think about his work on D&DNext?
Exactly what it sounds like. If you were going to make an "Iconic" party of reformed/trying-to-reform monster races for Golarion, how would you make it? Here's my idea for one:
-A Hobgoblin Paladin with a backstory roughly based on the Christian Saint Christopher, and the least Lawful Stupid Paladin in existence.
-A Neutral Goblin Inquisitor of the same faith as said Hobgoblin, and who the Hobgoblin was assigned to keep a close eye on, as while he tries his hardest to be good, sometimes he slips up in the typical Goblin manner.
-A Tiefling Alchemist/Celestial-Blooded Sorcerer descended from Daemons, with a skinny buglike right leg and left arm to show her Dhergodaemon heritage. Said celestial-blooded-ness would be said to have been granted via alchemical self-experimentation, and she uses her Cognatogen to maximize the effectiveness of said Sorcerous abilities. She is very no-nonsense and gruff, but also has lots and lots of body-image issues thanks to her Tiefling-ness.
-A Peri-kin Aasimar Bard with severe fire-related deformities (A massive scar over his right eye and a burned away chunk of his lips that results in his teeth being constantly exposed), who's still likable enough to have the high required Charisma score. Everyone thinks he's a Tiefling due to his appearance, including himself, and the actual Tiefling in the party has sort of a crush on him.
-A Strix Oracle who got her abilities as the result of experimentation on her by her Syrinx superiors, and was then thrown out as a "Failed" experiment.
I'll stat 'em up if you want. So, what'd your idea for an "Iconic" monster-based party be?
As long as Ladon is a serpent like wingless limbless dragon and CR15+ I will be happy. Speaking of Dragons I would love to see a dragon like the one from the Movie Spirited Away.
Wouldn't those be the imperial Dragons from the Bestiary 3? I'd say a refluffed Sea Dragon'd be your best bet.
Also, for evil Fey, I know this is a weird one, but I'd love to see The Pincussion Man from that old cartoon "Balloon Land" made into an evil Fae. I mean, the cartoon's public domain so it'd be perfectly legal, and the thing feels a whole lot like those mythical fey-ish boogeymen like Rawhead, The Scissorman or the original Sandman (The one who rubbed kid's eyes out with coarse sand). What can I say, I love me my weird concepts.
Well, they're late in coming, but here are some Magel-only feats based on Pathfinder's oozes.
BrainSlime- Thanks to channeling their powers of concentration into their very form, this Magel may now gum up the brains of others with a special technique.
TrapSlime- You have mastered the malleability of your form to be able to momentarily change yourself into a painful deathtrap, though you are limited by the fact that you are not as flexible as the Trapper Ooze you're mimicking.
Plasmoid- You have found a way to add to your essence a spark of the strange energy known as plasma, and can use it to deadly effect.
Sticky- You have found a way to use your slimy nature to cling to walls like the dreaded black pudding
Paralysis- You have found a way to add a numbing agent to your internal gel like many other oozes.
Slime Burst: In mimicry of the Magma Ooze, you have found a way to direct your internal juices in the face of those who injure you as a defensive mechanism.
Stink Bomb: You have grown a small culture of the vegetation contained in the Garden Ooze, and can build up quite a nasty concentration of the gasses that make it stink so.
Now, what'd be some good ones to reflect their Dragon Quest Slime basis? And how do these work balance-wise?
@tbok: Tieflings aren't inherently evil, it's just that all of the other reindeer drive them to it.
I know that. But the various tiefling variants have relatively different personality traits depending on the type of fiend they descend from, and I'm pretty sure that said temperaments would make them react differently to said treatment.
1. If you were going to build a Bard inspired by Ronnie James Dio, what sort of spells, bardic performances, and class archetype would he use?
2. If you were going to introduce elemntals that combined very different elements (Like, say, earth and fire or lightning and ice) in the manner of 4e's combi-elementals, how would you justify it fluff-wise? Insane wizard? Creations of Haagenti?
3. How would you design more PC friendly versions/relatives of the Mongrelfolk, Clockwork Servants, Tanuki, Thriae Soldiers, and Brethedans? I ask because I think those races seem like they could be pretty well suited for PC use fluffwise and concept-wise with some tweaking.
4. Where did the idea for the Vemerak come from?
5. Have you ever played Barkley: Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden? It's a freeware parody of JRPGs, and it is completely and utterly bonkers in the best possible way.
6. In order of most likely to least likely, which of the Tiefling sub-races introduced in Blood of Fiends are the most and least likely to turn out good (or at least antiheroic)?
7. Is it possible for a Qlipoth-spawned Tiefling to end up good? And has it ever happened in Golarion's history?
8. Do Golarion's kodama do that weird little head-shake-y thing like the ones in Princess Mononoke?
I know that. But, given that it's implied that Golarion shares the same planar cosmology as the other settings, they've got to be hiding somewhere.
Okay, I've got a few questions:
1. Any chance of the Sumatran Rat Monkey from Dead Alive showing up as a Pathfinder monster (Albeit renamed ala the "Sandpoint" Devil), or does the Akata cover that territory well enough already?
2. If Golarion shares the same planes as the other D&D settings minus Eberron and The Nentir Vale, then where are the Slaad, Modrons and Rilmani on their respective planes? Do they just not travel into Golarion's metaphysical neck of the woods? Are they just hiding?
3. If you were going to put an equivalent of Neon Genesis Evangelion's Angels in Pathfinder, how and where would you put them in. If you don't know what those are, the short version is giant religious symbolism-y space monsters with massively varying forms and a link to mankind's origins. For the long version, look here.
4. If you were going to create an equivalent to the Evas (Basically giant meat-robots made out of one of the Angels and piloted by teenagers with abandonment issues), how would you create that?
5. Any chance of your answers to 3 or 4 making it into the game?
6. If you were creating a Mega Man-type "Steal the powers of defeated constructs" power that the Android race could acquire, how would you do do it? As a feat, a class feature, a prestige class or something else?
Mr. Sutter, I have a few questions for you:
1. If you got permission to use the Neogi in the Space part of Pathfinder,(Because I feel they're the thing that'd most fit in Pathfinder-space), how would you use them?
2. What would your ideal all-monster all-nonevil five-person adventuring party be (Class and race-wise)?
3. Any chance of you writing fiction about that party in Question 2?
4. If you were going to introduce stand-ins for Evangelion's Angels and Evas into Pathfinder, how'd ya do it? Personally, I'd make the Angel stand-ins be creepy True Neutral things from the Positive Energy Plane, because that makes the most sense paralell-wise (What with Eva's christian symbolism, the Angels are the real origin of all life, Human Instrumentality and so-on)?
5. Any chance in hell of your answer to Question 4 making it into a Bestiary, or at least an Adventure Path?
Well, while we're on the topic of theme music for the various Golarion countries, I must say that while I don't know what specific song it should be, I know that the theme song for The Worldwound should be something by Nickelback. Because that's the most unholy thing I can think of.
Also, for Andoran, there is no question that its theme song should be this, or at least an adaptation thereof. Because, really, is there anything more fitting?
Here it is!
Alright, to be fair, it wasn’t all sewer. It was actually mostly a series of stormdrains, mingling with abandoned train tunnels, cold war bomb shelters and anything else the inhabitants could drill their way into. The aforementioned inhabitants were a gaggle of freaks with sundry and manifold origins, with weird features and strange biologies that wouldn’t look out of place in a Ninja Turtles episode, or a Drainage City chapter with moderately less fornication. And right now a nice cross-selection of them were populating the premises of the largest, swank-as-it-gets restaurant in the place with its paper-and-resin walls and its small projector attached to a VHS currently playing the end of “Mystery Men”.
They had gotten used to that smell, that funky-in-both-senses-of-the-word smell, but the man sitting at the table was not so lucky. Though, in another sense, he was lucky thanks to the cockroach woman sitting directly across from him. That is, a giant cockroach with womanlike qualities, not vice-versa.
She was rather pretty in a odd sort of way. Not in a settle-for-less way, but she could rank at least a 7 out of 10 by human standards with her shining carapace and curvy proportions. Her entire sub-species could say likewise more-or-less thanks to the miracles of convergent evolution accelerated by the various chemicals in the water.
She wore no true clothes over her reddish frame, but she did have several adornments made of strips of aluminum can, woven together into various elegant pouch-covered chains on her carapace and adorning her surprisingly dextrous hands in the form of kitbashed jointed gloves, and a slightly burnt fedora adorned her head in a manner that was both dapper and slightly awkward.
The man sitting next to her on the other hand was not what most would call beautiful. Scruffy would be a more accurate description if one were being nice, with his disheveled hair, skin stained with dust and sweat, and clothing stained with condiments from the packets he’d been living on since last week. His face looked thin and tired, and his hair appeared to be thinning from stress at the ripe old age of twenty-five. A bag lay to the side of his scrap-wood seat, dripping wet except for the tightly sealed clear plastic sleeves containing bundles and bundles of paper.
His first comment was similarly self-effacing. “You didn’t have to take me here you know.”
The man went by the name Richard, though people either called him Rick or **** depending on if the person talking to him was a friend or somebody he owed money .And the latter category had been ballooning each day.
“Whatever do you mean?” said the cockroach-woman in a buzzing voice sweet as a bag of slightly melty Swedish Fish, looking genuinely confused with her large arthropodal eyes.
“You save my life Miss Sisskit, maam,” Rick responded, trying to avoid her concerned gaze out of embarrassment “You don’t need to take me out afterwards”
“Please, just call me Cshisk.” She said “And it’s the least I can do, as I remember you jumping in to save me first.”
There was an awkward silence. Rick glanced around looking at the various shambling mounds of vegetation, giant rats, and humans with various fleshy symbiotes studding their bodies waiting table, wondering when somebody would take their order. The strains of a fuzzy, faded Smash Mouth song involving stars or something like that started blaring in the background, making the silence less silent, but the awkwardness far deeper.
“So, what exactly do you do… Cshisk?” asked Rick, breaking the awkward silence with an awkward question.
“Well,” said Cshick, slowly mulling and rolling over her sentence, “I’m a river-runner.”
Rick looked confused, “What’s a…”
“Oh!” said Cshisk, antennae slightly lifting her antennae looking slightly embarrassed. “I forgot, you’re from uptown, you didn’t know.”
“I’m sorry” Rick said.
“No, no, no, not at all.” Responded back Cshisk “It’s just, I haven’t really met with any one outside the sewers, and I’m new to this explaning thi-Oh look here’s our waitress.” She shifted her sentence as hurriedly as if she was braking before she struck a nerve with her own weight.
Said waitress scuttled forward a bit more. She looked relatively human, with short sandy-blonde hair, brown eyes, and a pair of well-worn jeans. Of course this made the bizarre bits far more apaprent, such as her prehensile toes, the giant centipede-like-appendage coming out of her back and supporting her weight, and the fact that she was completely topless; likely due to said centipedal growth.
Rick tried not to stare, but he didn’t quite stick the landing. His eyes kept darting from the floor to the centipede woman, but to her credit, the centipede woman took it in stride, rolling her eyes and muttering “uptowners.” Richard’s face turned a bright shade of crimson.
She then turned to Cshisk and said “Heyyy Cshisk, howsit goin’?”
“It’s going… okay Candace. I’m just treating this gentleman who saved my life to a round of dinner.”
“So…. A date then?” Candace inquisited jocularly.
“Maybe. Perhaps. I suppose.” Cshisk muttered, her antennae twitching about in embarrassment.
Candace got the hint and said “Kay, so what’s your order hon.”
“I’ll have the pan-fried rat with a side of dough-wrapped Manhattan White, and Rick…” She looked over to Rick to see if he would respond, but he was still trying to avoid the male gaze, “I think he’ll just have the Spamchillada,”
She fished around near her seat and pulled out several chips of lacquered cardboard and handed them to Candace. “I think this’ll cover the meal” Rick looked over to where she was drawing it from, a purse-like bag homemade out of burlap. It was near overflowing with those chips.
Candace counted through the handful. “Maam, I think you might’ve overpaid me by a few chips.”
Csisk just smiled, at least as well as a pair of mandibles could smile, and said “Keep ‘em. You need ‘em more than I do, and besides, I’m not a poor woman.”
Candace gave a bittersweet gaze to Cshisk, which Cshisk gave back. A silent “In some ways” was added to that last statement between the two of them.
Rick still looked confused. “Oh,” said Cshisk, just noticing Rick’s embarassment “t-that’s a symbiote growing out of her back, fuses to ya after a while. Things like that are pretty common around here...”
“Heh, it’s okay,” Rick said half-truthfully “I’ve met a lot of weirdos around town.” That was a whole truth, as the burns from his encounter with that wizard and the scars from that “stellar probe” proved. Cshisk looked down.
“You know, you’re the first human I’ve actually seen down here without… them…” With the sudden realization she was drifting, she threw here head up and said, “Anyway back to river running… I run a few homemade canoes throughout the waterways to find things that your people lose, or flush, let get a washed away or in general lose down here.”
She fiddled with one of the many chips from her purse as she spoke, twirling it almost hypnotically through her chitinous fingers. “It all ends up here in the end. It’s my little operation, picking ‘em up and sellin’ ‘em back to the folks around here. I make a fair few chips on it. I remember findin’ the emcee’s parts, heh, wasn’t that a day… but I’ll stop talking. I don’t want to be a bore.”
“No, no, no, it’s okay.” Rick said, face still covered in residual blushery. He was looking her straight in the eye, though which part of it he should look at was a mystery to him “I… I’ve never known much about the underground,” he said, though he’d heard the (Frankly flat-out wrong) rumors “and I’m always up for a good story, so tell all ya want about your business, I won’t mind.”
Again Csisk gave that strange mandibled smile. “Alright then.” She put her hands on the table, rubbing them together nervously. The rhythmically rubbing chitin on them sounded like a constant skeetching of boots against a tile floor, or perhaps a chant of “Don’t screw this up, don’t screw this up”.
“We get mostly driftwood, cans, plastic bottles, but it’s pretty varied. Heck, most of the stuff in here came from my business, including the emcee.” Ah yes, him, Rick thought. Weirdest damned host he’d ever seen. Though it does explain why they got the good seats.
She gave an aside glance. “I must say, I hope I haven’t given the impression that it’s just my operation.” She drummed her chitinous fingers against the table, more out of nervousness than out of impatience really. “Dad started it years ago with nothing but his claws and a wooden raft. When he died it was barely running, and I was the only one out of my litter of 10 who decided to stay and keep it going. So, I brought in a few friends to try and at least salvage it, things sent out from there, and…”
She made a face like she’d be blushing if she were able to “Well, I’ve made a bit of a name for myself as you can see…” Rick looked back at the purse filled with cardboard chips. “But, it’s dangerous work. There’s the Sprayers, the Crackjaws, the Ghoulie Grabbers, the Rat Kings, the Rat Queens, the Rat Knights, the Rat Jesters, the Rat Popes,”
She shuddered a bit, and her antennae twitched. “Nasty things those Rat Popes, one of ‘em took Saul’s leg, and almost got his head too. There’s also the Deep Crows, the Meatcrawlers, the Manimals, the CHUDs, the Garbagefish and… well I know you got well acquainted with the Chokewhirl Whomper.”
Yes, yes he was, and a twinge of pain emanated from the bruise the ugly thing’d put on his chest when he dove in to save her from the suspicious pile of trash, along with the series of cuts on his arm from when it’d got a parting shot in, after Chsisk returned the favor and rescued him.
“You know, I probably would’ve died if you hadn’t managed to hold its attention long enough for me to get out and whomp ‘im. But,” Cshisk said, looking nervously at Rick’s face for any signs of boredom or restlessness “Enough about me. What is your life like up there, on the surface?”
Rick gave a smirk, and breathed out a heavy sigh. It was the sigh of a man who didn’t want to admit something, but was going to admit it anyway, because You Are A Good Person and That Is What You Do When A Lady Asks.
“Well, I wish I could say my life is as interesting as yours.” He said, his wan cheeks curled in a sad half-smile, “But I’m not much of anything. I’m one of those guys who went to college hoping to make something of myself, only to find when I got out that the big wide world would pound ya into nothing.” He let out a bashful slightly bitter “heh”.
“I know little of this ‘college’ place you’re talking about, except for that it is either a place for fornication and alchohol or a place where disadvantaged youths find extravagant success. And that’s just from the movies.” She looked slightly embarassed
Rick gave a smile, which had been a rarer and rarer occurrence as of late, and chuckled. “That first one’s not too far off from the truth.” Cshisk looked relieved as he continued onward, “But I complain too much. I have a job, even if it is a ****ty one, I have an apartment, even if it is a dump, and I have friends, even if they think I’m a schlematzl. But…”
He paused. The glow of the smile dimmed upon his face. “But, what?” asked Cshisk.
“I feel… stuck. There’s been so many things that I’ve wanted to do, but I’ve done nothing with my life. I don’t feel successful, I don’t feel like I’ve done jack ****, and I don’t think I’m ever gonna do the thing… the one damned thing I’ve been chasing after all my damn life.” The words spilled out of him, painfully, stumblingly like tears down a reluctant cheek.
“And I think if I keep this string-o’-misses up, if I keep falling on my face, if I keep icy road to nowhere, I’ll end up as dust in the g#! d!&n gutter…” He paused for a moment, face like a deer in the headlights as he realized what he said. He’d never told anybody the things he’d said before. He wished he hadn’t. “Nobody gives a **** about your whiny first world problems, least of all her.” He thought to himself.
He quickly added a “No offence maam,” to his statement, layered in fidgeting snark in a desperate attempt to save face.
“None taken.” Cshisk said. She didn’t quite get why the gutter was such a bad thing. It brought water and debris and knick-knacks down below for salvage, and often brought some of the most… interesting things that she found. But she didn’t mind. He was only human after all. “But what is that thing you’ve wanted to do?”
Rick suddenly looked very, very self conscious. “Huh?” he said in disbelief.
“I’m curious what you’ve been wanting to do with your life. I mean, I talk to people every day who need somebody to tell their problems to. And you seem like you need it more than anyone else.”
“It’s… nothing” Rick said. His voice was soft, as if he didn’t believe in the words it was forming, and his eyes darted low.
“Tell ya what.” Cshisk said “I’ve got a dream of my own that I’ve always wanted to do. You tell me your dream, and I’ll tell you mine. Deal?”
“Well, if you insist.” Rick said. Her words made him feel strangely at ease. Must be a skill of the trade, he thought. “Well, ever since I could hold a book in my hand, I’ve wanted to do comics, draw ‘em, create ‘em. Hell, I even majored in ‘em,” He let out a sardonic ha as his expression turned relaxedly grim. “Wasn’t the best choice, I tell ya. But, no matter what I do, what I write, what I try to sell. Best I could do is a 47-page webcomic with 47 views. I’m pretty sure they’re all by the same guy”
Cshisk’s antennae rose up in curiosity. “Would you happen to have any on you in that bag of yours?”
“Oh no- I wouldn’t- well- I don’t have any on me at the moment,” He said, eyes darting to the sealed bags where he indeed had them at the moment.
Cshisk’s eyes also darted towards the bags, but luckily Rick was distracted by the sound of a whirring tape recorder and the sound of a videocassette being pitched at high speed slicing through the mumbling. It was the Emcee, striding out on the stage, Mystery Men tape in one hand, and the tape for the next film in the other and spotlight directly on his mechanical patchworked face.
He was a bizarre thing, kitbashed of the parts of a Fats Domino and a Beach Bear animatronic figure from a long-gone “Showtime Pizza Place”, given a brain by the odd assortment of boards and drives jutting out of his back. But, he jerkily strode across the stage like he owned it, and indeed, one silvery mechanical spider threw a piece of her chassis like a housewife at a Tom Jones concert, and a muck-woman gave a wolf whistle as he strode.
Ric’s eyes were glued to the bizarre spectacle of the emcee saunter-jerking onto the stage, just as Cshisk’s chitinous toe seemed glued onto the bag she was scooting towards her seat out of Rick’s notice.
“G-g-g-gentlemen,” the emcee synthesizer-smarmed across the stage, voice skipping intermittently like an old CD. “That was M-M-M-Mystery Men, the third-best superhero movie Uptown has to offer!” The crowd cheered. “and I still want to see a spinoff about PMS w-w-w-woman someday!”
“But now for to-day we witness a night at the opera by those sons-o-guns who brought us Airplane and Kentucky Fried movie, the movie we call ‘Brain Donors’I”
In a swift, jerky motion he chacked the cassette into the player, and pressed rewind, continuing with the speech as the tape whirred backwards. “Now, from what information I could get off the internet I-I-I ‘completely’ and ‘legitimately’ ‘borrowed’ from Uptown by the ‘ever-so-secret’ human cable line about th-th-three-or-so meters above this stage…”
A knowing snicker passed through the crowd of creatures, or at least a burbling, clacking, squawking or beeping noise from those in the audience who didn’t have the capacity to snicker, as if they were exchanging a private joke that was on a certain gaunt somebody who was feeling very much out of place at the moment.
“It’s quite the rare f-f-f-film, debuting in theaters to thunderous silence thanks to the fact that nobody promoted it, not even payin’ a h-h-h-hobo five bucks to walk around with a sandwich board across the street.”
The emcee paced and gestured with his synthesized ballyhoo, psyching up the crowd to a roiling gusto. But he continued, “And it got off the small s-s-s-screen just as fast. In fact, the only thing faster than the film’s flight off the silver screen to the dustbin is the speed at which these gags fly. I tellya folks, we’ve got a r-r-r-real treat for us tonight, one o’ the best things I’ve seen in a while,”
The spotlight turned to Cshisk, now a little nervous. “And that’s why I gotta thank the lovely Miss Cshisk.” He sauntered over close to the table, as she still subtly scooted the bag between her toes, moving it ever closer with a series of small scoots, hoping Rick’s eye wouldn’t wander down to the scooting bag. “Ya know, when ya first sold this to me, I thought ‘There’s no way this could be worth a Rat Pope to get’.”
Rick’s eyes fixed on Cshisk as the emcee said this. “Well, I…” she said, gesturing in an almost exaggerated fashion to conceal the lean in her body as she drew the bag in her toes closer to her chair.
“Of course,” the emcee quipped “Everyone else said that about m-m-m-me when ya found my parts, and look where we are t-t-t-today!” The crowd cheered and she snatched the bag straight to her lap with a jerk of her leg, the sound of the thump drowned out by the applause. She recalled as the applause died down that the acquisition of the emcee’s parts (Well, most of them anyway) wasn’t nearly as difficult as he made ‘em out to be.
She’d actually found the parts in a hive of Black Weepers. Formidable creatures, true, but nowhere near as bad as a Rat Pope. And while there had been a few people who refused to buy, it wasn’t all that difficult to find a down-on-his-luck machinist willing to take a chance on a pile of scrap. But, a compliment was a compliment, she thought as the emcee now went towards Rick.
“And who’s the lucky b-b-b-beau sitting across the table from her?” the emcee asked, sidling close to Rick, metal-fur hand brushing across the table.
“My name’s Rick.” A little sweat came from his forehead “And right now I’m feeling a little…”
“Nervous?” The emcee said, raising an eyebrow and moving a servo in his lips in an uncanny-valley expression of slyness. “Don’t worry boy, I-I-I-I think you’ll fit just fine amongst us f-f-f-freaks!” Rick wasn’t sure if the emcee was insulting him or complimenting him, and from the muttering of the audience they didn’t seem too sure either.
With a flick of his hand and a springing, grinding jump back onto the stage, he said “Now, on with the s-s-s-show!” as he pressed play and glided back to the shadows in a sort of jerky moonwalk.
The words “Coming Soon, To a Theatre Near You” flickered upon the wall as the lights dimmed, and as they faded into previews, the audience watched with rapt attention. They were likely never going to see a fair few of those shown, so they might as well watch the condensed, marketing-ized, and highly spoiler-ized versions of them anyway.
Well, all but Cshisk, who was currently watching something else. More specifically she was flipping through the pages of drawings in the folder, extracted from right below the table. There was a luridness to the stories that was undeniable, psychotronic dramas of sex, violence and weirdness, with a smooth cartoony style contrasting with the deranged drama on the page.
But there was a lushness to it as well, some beautiful life to the stories of sleaze, and the lives of its strange, broken but fascinating characters. Characters like Dolly-X, the cyborg gunner with a heart of steel and a tongue of silver, the old and hateful Chainsaw Boss, mysterious and guileful Trenchcoat Man; who had a ticking clock replacing one of his eyes, the hubristic; social climbing; immensely fascinating Rocco Journeyhead, and the mad; stab-happy; magically cursed Doc Brainknife; who still managed to be the most heroic damned character in this whole mess.
Of course, the creator of that wasn’t thinking much about his work at the moment. His eyes were drifting about the room, not so much enjoying the trailers as thinking about the remains of the day. He felt the usual all-over ache from his work in customer service, which was the deepest and coldest level of retail hell in his opinion, and the wounds from his fight with that… whatever-she-called-it smoldered like embers in a fireplace.
But the one feeling that didn’t plague him was more mental than physical. He felt as though that chewing fuzz of ennui that wrapped around him everyday had been parted by some flickering beacon.
His rambling eyes watched the creatures at work. Amongst others, a rugose abomination could be seen playing a leisurely game of chess with a squamous horror, a vague thing in a hasmat suit was sipping soup through an odd hose coming out of his finger, a winged mole-rat-thing was necking with a creature of moss and driftwood, a very likely blotto alligator-man gulped down a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20, and these were just a few of the oddities that Rick saw as he looked about. Boy howdy was he gonna have a lot of drawing inspiration when he finally got home.
And Miss Sisskit (He still didn’t feel right calling her Cshisk), she had that blend of sweetness and moxie that he found… intriguing. The hope floated to the top of his head that, even when he went home on the surface, they might cross paths again one day. You know, as friends, he thought to himself. But then it just as quickly sank, as most hopes of his these days did.
It was at this point that the comic gave Cshisk away. Specifically, a moment in the story, which seemed climactic yet was only a quarterways through the folio. She couldn’t help but let out a small gasp when she saw the panel revealing who fired the Kannonade at Chainsaw Boss, which led Rick to turn behind.
He wasn’t quite sure what the small, restrained gasp was for at first, though he did see that Cshisk was looking down. Only when he saw the crisp white paper and the black and red ink from the corner of his eye did he realize what she was looking down at.
He looked to the side for his bag, which wasn’t there, then he looked to the thin trail of water from where his bag was, which led near Cshisk, and then he looked very, very mortified when he thought about exactly what she was reading.
“Oh god, please, let me explain!” he said to her. She looked up, eyes as if she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. He continued, sputtering, preparing to flinch as the pages were thrown back in his face like they had been many times before, “I know the violence is kind of excessive, I know it’s pretty dark, and I understand why you might be offended by all the nudit-”
“I liked it,” Cshisk interrupted succinctly. “There’s something nice about it.”
Nice? The damned things were raunchy, violent, crude and bizarre, cute and cartoony yet perverse and dark. How in god’s green earth could she describe them as “nice?” He looked absolutely baffled as a confused “Buh?” quietely fell from his lips.
“Reminds me of when Daddy used to read me Steven King and Dean Koontz stories when I was a little roachette,” she continued. Rick looked even more puzzled. “Oh,” Cshisk asked “Is that uncommon children’s literature Uptown? We get most of our books from whatever drops down here.”
“Nah.” Said Rick, trying to play it cool. “I’m just glad you didn’t ralph all over the pages like some of the other people who’ve seen it.”
Cshisk didn’t know what “ralphing” meant, but she could guess it was a term for something unpleasant Uptown, perhaps involving musk or mucus. “Well, I think it’s wonderful.” She put the pages up and slid them over the table. “Do you want these back?” she asked.
Rick thought for a few moments. “Nah, keep ‘em,” he said. They were copies, and it was likely he’d never see her again, so he might as well give her something to remember him by.
Cshisk smiled “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” She put her hand out to grab the papers back, only to have it grab Rick’s hand trying to push the papers back to her.
Silence rang about the table for a few moments as they held hands, the accidental touch becoming a firm grip. And then a peal of “And now for our feature presentation!” sliced through the silence, as the movie began to play.
They dropped the hand hold as the tones blared, both looking to the sides, looking back at each other (Somewhat sheepishly), and then shifting their view towards the claymation opening titles for the film.
But while they weren’t looking into each other’s eyes, they were in each others thoughts. Rick thought “She… called my art nice. Nobody’s ever called my art nice.” He thought to himself how funny it was that a cockroach woman was the first person who liked his art. An entrepenurial, adventurous, generous, kind, resourceful, gorgeous cockroach woman…
Suddenly the idea didn’t seem so funny. And the realization swirled about him that his thoughts about her may have been a bit more complicated than he wanted to believe.
Cshisk thought “Maybe this is a date. And maybe I am sort-of-a-little interested in him.” She’d never thought that her first date would be with a full-blooded human. “And, thinking about it, I never did think to tell him that dream of mine.” She thought to herself about her dream to go to the city above, about those lights and concrete sidewalks beneath her feet.
About somebody with her, maybe, when she got out of the sewers, holding her hand as she walked through the streets. “Oh well, it can wait until after the movie,” she thought to herself.
And so the movie went on, and the two sat together like an off-kilter Oingo-Boingo-ish note in the symphony of life.
Well, the title is self-explanatory as anything. I fancy myself a writer, and I'd like to see what the Paizo forums think of my stuff.
First is a novel I have in very slow progress, set in a weird world that's best described as a sort of cross between Dr. McNinja and D&D, a world like our own with lots and lots of weirdness added in, where Teddy Roosevelt is immortal, Dinosaurs roam the Western US, and D&D-type adventuring is a legitimate profession; with laws surrounding it and everything.
The story follows four adventurers, and is intended to be a relatively episodic narrative of six vague "parts" with lots of plot threads running between them. The parts I have up are most of the beginning and a small segment of the first "part". A bit more info on the setting can be found at the link. I can't post the story here because of how much space it'd take up.
The second story is a shorter, less ambitious project, titled "A Romantic Vignette in an Absurdly Spacious Sewer." The story is exactly what that title implies, and I'll post it in the next post since it doesn't seem too long to do so...
A corporate boot stamping on a human face forever, with nature dead and the spirit of mankind leaving as well. Seriously, if I actually thought doing so could affect positive change, I'd burn down Wall Street and K Street in a heartbeat. And I think we should've brought back the guillotine for those schmucks who @#$%#ed the economy. And while I'm ranting, @#$% the economists, those heartless @#$%s who got us into this mess in the first place (Except for the neo/post/whatever Keynseyans. They're cool with me).
Steve Geddes wrote:
Most of the stuff you mention is a bit "big picture" for me (I generally prefer low-power campaigns). I do have dragonborn - loosely tied in some as yet unspecified way to the serpentfolk.
Well, that kind of is most of the fluff for 4e's default world, except for the details given in a few scattered places (Most notably the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir vale).
Also, wouldja mind posting your stats for those Dragonborn? I'd like to take a look at how ya built 'em.
I was wondering if any of you on these forums have integrated any elements of the 4e default setting into your Pathfinder homebrew world. Because, despite its divisive nature, 4e had a lot of great stuff in its default setting (Albeit, stuff that killed a lot of sacred cows and that may not be to everyone's taste), such as:
-The Dawn War between the Gods and the Primordials/Princes of Elemental Evil/Archomentals
-The backstory of the Abyss being created by Tharazidun and the Obyrith-planted shard of evil
-The World Axis cosmology with the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos
-The backstory to the Underdark, with the maimed god Torog stuck there with his eternal wounds.
-The elevation of Formorians to prominence as the main villains of the Feywild.
-The long-gone empires of Bael Turath, Arkhosia, and Nerath.
-The idea of the Primal Spirits as a third faction between both the Gods and Primordials
-The backstory of Psionics as the world's naturally-generated defense against aberrant horrors.
And so on. So, has anybody used those or any of the other elements of 4e's lore in their Pathfinder game?
1. Is Rasmiran looking kind of like Florida intentional, given that it's pretty much Golarion's Scientology-equivalent (Amongst other things) and Scientology's main power base is in Florida, or is that just a coincidence?
2. Are Atropals ever going to make it into Pathfinder? BEcause, those horrifying undead god-fetuses were one of the best things fro mthe Epic Level Handbook IMHO.
3. Is there any chance of any of the Open Content monsters from the D20 Menace Manual making it into Pathfinder, as there are quite a few (Like the Acid Rainer) that seem like they'd fit well in Golarion.
4. If Golarion's planes are the same planes as in the rest of the D&D Universe, then is there any chance any of the other setting's gods interfering with Golarion's? Like, could ,say, Greyhawk's Zagyg go to mess with Pharasma or Urgathoa for funzies?
5. Continuing with that train of thought, while you've said that the LN plane of Axis is Golarion's equivalent to Sigil, given that Sigil itself is supposed to connect to everywhere in the multiverse, and since I know you can't confirm it elsewhere for copyright reasons, I was wondering has the City Of Doors itself ever connected to Golarion at all?
6. Do any of the Earth pantheons (IE, the Greek, Norse, Aztec, Voudoun, ect. ones) exist in the Pathfinder-verse? And if so, have any of them done anything on Golarion?
7. If somebody put a gun to your head and forced you to make a "Token Good Member Of A Monstrous Race" iconic character, what race and what class would you choose for them?
8. Would you ever want a Pathfinder video game to be made in the style of classic JRPGs, like Final Fantasy 6/Lunar/Breath Of Fire/Barkley Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden/ect. ? I ask because I've never seen a D&D game made in that style, so it'd be a nice change of pace, and because there are too few good JRPGs being made now as-is (Note how the Final Fantasy series has retreated up its own rear).
9. How would you stat up Ronnie James Dio as a bard?
If Paizo does do a single-player Pathfinder game, I'd love to see 'em do a game in the style of a classic JRPG, with whimsical, animesque art and a heavy focus on story and all the classic tropes thereof. They certainly have the mix of magical sci-fi elements (The alien-filled planets, the Lovecraftian/Aberrant creatures, the firearms, all of frickin' Numeria) and they have a lot of the sorts of quirky races that tend to show up as party members in such games (Goblins, Stryx, Dhampyrs, Ghorans, Androids, the list goes on)...
Hey, if they can make an awesome JRPG starring Charles Barkley, they can make one of Pathfinder! CHAAAAAAAAAAAOS DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
Well, I like myself my weirdness, and my general brand of such tends to run on two settings: whimsical and comical, and jarringly nightmarish.
By the way, are there any good guides on how to create a balanced player class? I might want to give making the mutant one a try for myself.
What do you think of the idea Cheapy? Is it whimsical and unique enough for ya?
Also, does anybody else think that a necromancy-using society (Whether they be good, neutral or evil) would use chalk as a building material? Because, it is essentially the skeletons of billions and billions of plankton merged and fused together by eons of time, thus it'd probably be really potent when used with Necromantic magic.
I personally really, really want to see a Mutant class, to get that "deep internal power" fluff of the sorceror for races with a Charisma penalty. They'd be more of the fleshy, visceral mutants like you'd see in Resident Evil or a B-Movie than the sexy kind you'd see in X-Men*, and they'd sort of have a combo of spells that work more like spell-like abilities and Rogue-talent-like features that'd work to represent their mutations.
Their different "Paths" (Sort of like a sorcerer's bloodline or a wizard's school) would be based on the source of their mutations. Starting ones could include Eldritch Radiations, Nanites (Think Tetsuo The Iron Man), Abolethic Intervention, Wild Magic, Space Parasites, Psychological Torment (It worked in The Brood!), Accelerated Evolution and Whatever The Hell Those Key-Shaped Tumors Were In "Tokyo Gore Police". And the class'd fit perfectly with Pathfinder's emphasis on weird pulp science. Or at least just as much so as the robot and space alien races in the Inner Sea Bestiary
*But they can still be sexy! Look at 4chan's /d/ board for proof! Then try to burn your eyes out with lye trying to unsee what you saw on /d/!
Scare Glow'd obviously be a Lich, Tytus and Megator would be Elysian and Thanatoic titans respectively, and Webstor would be a Drider using the Anthropomorphic template from Savage Species.
I'm just wondering how you'd represent the real weirdos from the series using existing stuff. Like how you'd alter Snakefolk so that they resembled the various Snake Men characters, how most of the Evil Horde would work, Extendar, Rio Blast, Snout Spout, Spikor, ect.
Well, actually the Rat Monkey is a pretty nasty beast as can be seen here, and most of the comedy in Dead Alive is more from the gore being taken so over the top to the point where it becomes slapstick. That, and the kung-fu priest who says "I KICK ARSE FOR THE LORD!".
Actually, the rat monkey is from Peter Jackson's Dead Alive (As the origin of the zombie plague, and a cute reference to Sherelock Holmes to boot), one of the funniest/goriest films I've ever seen, and proof that the man used to be crazy. Hell, most of the weird zombies in-film could take up their own "Undead ReRevisited" book. For the love of god, see this film!
A few more things to ask
1. To clarify an earlier question, is the being trapped in The Spheres on the Elemental Plane of Air a nod to Cryonax? I ask because it says it might be an Elemental Paragon, and one of the mentions of what kind it might be is ice, so it makes me wonder.
2. What do you think of Rusty and Co.?
3. If the creator of Rusty and Co asked you folks permission at Paizo, would you (or the person who is in charge of such things) let him use some of your copyrighted yet open content (Like the Gorzragh, the Seugathi, the Proteans and so on) creatures in his comic?
I ask because he got in a bit of trouble for using WotC-owned creatures in his comic, despite being a parody, and he's not sure about the legality of such things, and since you at Paizo are more relaxed/fan-friendly about these sort of things I was wondering what you think. Plus, I'd really love to see some of the Pathfinder creatures in the strip.
4. Just for funzies and/or adventure hooks, I must ask, what is Golarion's stage-play equivalent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in terms of its cult following and strange transgressiveness?
5. For an insectoid race that doesn't have overpowered extra attacks, why not make them 4-legged and just give them a speed bonus? Or maybe make that other pair of arms non-dexterous but instead evolved for stuff like burrowing or webbing-production?
6. What do you think of my concept of The Handyman as a substitute for the Beholder that also tries to do its own thing:
7. On a quick scanthrough (Since I know you're busy) what do you think of my setting, Dungeonworld,, which is set in a world-sized dungeon, has monster races treated as normal races, and is overall very gonzo .I'm nowhere near done with it, but on a quick lookthrough, you can kinda get an idea of it.
:EDIT: Also, one more question I forgot. Is the Atropal going to make a comeback in Pathfinder? Because, the horrible undead god-fetus is one of the best things to come out of the Epic Level Handbook in my opinion.
Well, I actually thought 4e's take on undeath was pretty neat at justifying both evil and non-evil undead.
You see, in 4e, the soul has two parts, the Animus (Which makes the body go) and the soul (Which contains the personality, memories, ect. of the person).
When a person dies, their soul leaves the body, but the animus stays and rots, and it's the animus that necromancers use to make their creations. And while they aren't necessarily evil, they are very, very feral and dangerous to control. Though, ironically, a lot of the 4e "Make Undead" spells seem less nasty than the other necromancy spells there, which usually amount to "Soul Rape For Massive Damage".
And Liches aren't evil because they are undead, but rather because a lot of spellcasters cheat and pledge their souls to Orcus to make the transformation to Lich far easier. The Archlich is simply differentiated by not cheating and doing it themselves.
Just another reason why I love the lore of 4e.
Gus Zagarella wrote:
I would really like to see some more original magical beasts. Part of the reason why things like the Owlbear and Bulette are still talked today about is because they came out of left field and surprised everyone in their time. Stuff like eel-weasals, elephants with three heads, and telekinetic goats would really stand out in a new book and could have some very fun lore crafted about them.
Yessssssss. I love stupid/ridiculous hybrid mosnters. Though, they tend to become iconic if they have some sort of shared theme, like smart jungle creatures (Maccaw/Monkey), Portents of Death (Vulture/Maggot), inexplicably deadly creatures (Hippo/Platypus) and animals that are both intelligent and secretly sociopathic (Chimpanzees/Dolphins). And if Paizo ever crosses anything with the Honey Badger, I will be a happy man.
Also, anybody else ever hope they make their own version of the Sumatran Rat Monkey? Sure it might have to be renamed like the "Sandpoint" Devil, and its original origin ("Then the rats came down and raped all the little tree monkeys!") might not be kosher, but I do think a Chaotic Evil monstrosity with a zombie-infectious bite (With the ultimate result of a hideous undead humanoid/rat-monkey hybrid) would be pretty nasty.
Also, I'd love to see some monsters based on the Tall Man, his midget sidekicks and The Sentinel Spheres from Phantasm. Because, I think they'd fit perfectly in Golarion.
And this is why I think both vanilla D&D and Pathfinder both should try their hand at an anime-themed setting, or a bit more anime-ish art, because I have noticed that a lot more female nerdlings tend to get into nerdery via anime, and that both big dogs in the market should take notice of that.
I'd like at least a bit more variety in artstyles, since I've actually heard (But I've forgotten where) is the reason that a lot of female artists don't tend to get into the comics industry is that they're a lot more cartoony and stylized in their art , and I was wondering if that same push towards "realism" in RPG art might not be alienating them as well.
Also, even though I'm a hetero male, I do think there should be a bit more female-directed fanservice in the name of equality. But I don't think that's going to happen because the latent homophobia in a lot of men makes them react violently towards beefcake, I.E. they act as if they see too many sexy ab-men they night catch "The Gay," and that's why you so rarely see female-directed fanservice in a lot of other general-audience media. Anyone else agree?
And, on the RPG Ladies night thing, why not take that idea a step further and say that a previous customer who brings a non-gaming friend with her actually gets a discount on books? That way, it'd incentivize existing female gamers to add to their numbers.
And finally, I can't help but think that game shop owners/con organizers should get more involved in preventing sexism in public games as well. Like, they should have a "Shepherds Crook of Get The #$@% Out Of My Store" for when Creepy Mc Molesto or Douchey o' Talkover decides to do his thing.
Well, I think a good way to get more women into gaming would be to market to them outside the usual gaming space. Like, maybe put the Pathfinder beginner box into the board game section of toy stores, or sell it at school book fairs, and include something in it on where they can find more Pathfinder-related material (IE, Paizo's website, gaming stores, the PRD, ect.).
And, of course, I do acknowledge that I have more privilege than others due to being a male, since I'm pretty sure nobody's ever groped me or told me to stay in the kitchen, though I think the drawbacks from my "Aspergers-induced social flubbery" kind of cancels out the benefits from my male privelege kinda like matter and anti-matter.
But, I have heard a lot of horror stories of misogyny, especially on the "That Guy" threads on 4chan's /tg/ board (Where they talk about horrifyingly unpleasant players and DMs). I know of one in four parts, that's especially, nastily relevant, though it is from the perspective of the male player who rebelled against the pervy DM.
I do think for the most part, Paizo is Doin It Rite, and I can't think of any ways in which they can improve that they aren't already doing except for to maybe add some pics with more female gaze. Because some hetero women like fanservice too yanno?
Well, I'm not quite sure how I could help on the issue, given that I tend to be equally alienating to both genders thanks to my Aspergers (Though I don't use it as an excuse not to try and be socially decent). I'm the sort of person who's pretty well consigned himself to likely being a perma-virgin.
Of course, in the realm of gaming, I haven't really had many problems, as most female gamers have been treated like/acted like "one of the guys" so to speak. The only real brush with gender politics I've had was with my first DM, Kynn Bartlett, who I respected until I found out he was a hypocrite and a jerk to boot. But I digress.
On the realm of female characters in anything I do, I pretty much think "why not?" on making them Female or LGB or T. Hell, in my own campaign setting, though I haven't written them up yet, I have a transgendered M-to-F Hobgoblin film director (Film cameras have just been invented in-setting) NPC and a goblin shopkeeper NPC with a gay life partner in a slightly grumpy Kobold mechanic.
And as for how to get women into gaming, I always had the idea for a relatively cheap, easy to learn (And, more importantly, easy to teach to your friends) Magical Girl/Shoujou-in-general based RPG (Because that's how I've seen a lot of female nerdlings get into nerdery) that could be sold at school bookfairs (To make it easier for younger female players to access), along with some optional "extra" books (IE. a pregen monster manal/NPC book, a book of sample settings, the list goes on). Anybody who could make that and market it properly to a young female demographic could make quite a pretty penny.
+5 Toaster wrote:
as a lover of the dragon quest monsters branch of the series (i own every game going back to gameboy), i gotta give great props to this.
Confession Time: I have never actually played a Dragon Quest game. I just know a bit about the slimes, and their prominent place in the series, and thought it'd be cool to make a race based on them. So, I must ask, are there any prominent types of slime, Slime player characters, slime abilities, slime roles in the various plots, ect. that I need to know about to give 'em the full Pathfinder conversion-ish treatment? Keep in mind, I'd also like to add aspects of some of the Pathfinder Oozes as well.
Well, first off, Paizo already has an analogue to the Deep Ones in both the Skum and the Gillmen.
And secondly, I actually do think the Howler Wasps/Monkey Bees are iconic, in that they are so incredibly goofy they swing back around to awesome, and I think they could be actually threatening if, unlike in their old art, they had opposable thumbs. A chimpanzee with flight, a hive-like social structure and a stinger would be damn scary. Not to mention what sorts of beeswax jungle fortresses they might build.
But I think an important part is backing the creature up with really good fluff. Beholders and Gnolls not so much, but Mind Flayers, Drow, Yuan-ti, Githyanki, Tanar'ri, Batezu, and Quori have a lot of high quality fluff behind them.
What are you talking about, Beholders have really awesome fluff. Read Lords of Madness; I, Tyrant and the material on them in Spelljammer. They are awesomely xenophobic nutcases with death lasers.
Book of Erotic Fantasy. Because these dirty fanfics ain't gonna write themselves :P.*
On a more serious note, I'd love to see something like The Binder Class from The Tome of Magic, maybe using voudoun-ish themes (BEcause the way they work is quite similar), and I'd also love a book like Heroes of Horror addressing mechanics for the metaphysical stain of evil (Hopefully with a less giggle-worthy name than Taint this time)
And also, an equivalent to Gamma World by the Pathfinder guys. Because everyone loves mutant bunnies.
*Note that I am only half joking here
Well, It is pretty majorly different.
it's called The Handyman, and it looks like an 8-armed humanoid in Monkish (As in the D&D eastern-style monk) dress with a giant hand for a head. Curiously, all the creature's hands look like left hands.
It'd have a few monk-like Special abillities, as well as a different special effect upon a hit for each of its 8 arms (So far I'm thinking one poisons, one blinds; deafens and dumbs, one traps you in a Forcecage, one sets you on fire, one freezes you solid, one causes the hitee to erupt in ally-hitting lightning, one causes bad luck, and one sends you flying). In addition, any spell fired at it has a 50% chance of being "caught" by the creature's hand-head and thrown back at the user.
Society-wise, they're basically a bunch of Lawful Evil monks, following their own personal philosophy. Of course, given that they are aberrant creatures, said personal philosophies are often nonsensical, contradictory and often downright insane. They despise all those who don't follow their own warped personal philosophies. And since no two Handymen's personal philosophies are the same, they all pretty much despise each other.
It's supposed to be the rough equivalent of the Beholder in that it's a weird looking anatomy-themed monster with lots of different ways to hurt you and with an insane xenophobia and hatred of others. But I do hope it does enough new that it works as its own creature as well.
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Having the tieflings given giant horns and crocodile tails so they could be Draenei clones also didn't sit well with many players who preferred a somewhat subtler approach.
Actually, I kinda wished they'd allow you to use feats and such to make your Tieflings gain a few features from the various types of devil they might harken back to. Same for Pathfinder too actually.
Also, I do understand why people don't like the new lore, especially when it was shoehorned into settings like Forgotten Realms, and I will admit that the early 4e books were kinda bland, but it got a lot better as the edition went on. Hell, Heroes of the Feywild and the new Dungeon Survival Handbook (The latter of which contains Ultok, the most adorable baby umber hulk expy of Hachiko ever) are downright awesome!
And I loved a lot of the new fluff concepts, like how the Shadar-Kai, Formorians, and Princes Of Elemental Evil (In the form of Primordials) especially were given more prominence, how much more open-ended and explorable the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos was, the idea of the Dawn War (The one involving the Primordials) and the Dusk War (The one involving the Star-spawn), the badass underground-god that is Torog, and the way Psionics was integrated with the setting as a defense against the Far Realm.
Though, this may be biased by the fact that I got into D&D via 4e, and I do love a lot of the lore that came before (I'm still sore they didn't do Spelljammer for 4e).