Why is xenophilia a theme in Shackled Hut?


Reign of Winter

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Lord Snow wrote:
By the way, if anyone here thinks he/she encountered any sort of ignorant D&D hatred before, think again. This is a site belonging to some very extremely religious christians, and I can say with certainty that nothing could be more hateful than this.

See I don't veiw the Chick Tracts as hateful. They are wrong, ignorant and probably crazy. And they can certainly foster some dangerous attitudues to freedom and such. But I would not classified it as hate.

If you see somebody drowning would you not try to save them? That is kinda what they are doing....unfortunaly we are all really just swimming.

This is most certainly a case of the road to hell is paved by good intentions.


Ironic, that. But the fundamental (no pun intended) point remains: not giving them fuel for their fires. And certain terms are more charged than others.

Scarab Sages

Jim Groves wrote:

That show has a vampire, werewolf, and a ghost as the main characters. But the show isn't about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost—it's about being human.

I'll hush up now. :D

'Rentaghost' had the ghost of a pantomime horse.

Let that sink in for a moment, before you realise how f'ed up that was for a kids show.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:
Ironic, that. But the fundamental (no pun intended) point remains: not giving them fuel for their fires. And certain terms are more charged than others.

I think that the issue of "giving them fuel" is far less relevant than most gamers think it is.

Simply put, unless the haters spend a LOT of time getting into the minutia of gaming (or whatever else it is that they hate), they're almost never going to discover the things that we gamers think are obvious.

Case in point, how much of a splash did the Book of Erotic Fantasy make among these haters? To hear our own community talk when it came out, you'd think that it was nothing less than a deliberative attempt to bring "the Bad Times" back again. But nobody else talked about it outside of gaming circles. As such, I hardly think that one message board thread would have any impact whatsoever.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Ironic, that. But the fundamental (no pun intended) point remains: not giving them fuel for their fires. And certain terms are more charged than others.

I think that the issue of "giving them fuel" is far less relevant than most gamers think it is.

Simply put, unless the haters spend a LOT of time getting into the minutia of gaming (or whatever else it is that they hate), they're almost never going to discover the things that we gamers think are obvious.

Case in point, how much of a splash did the Book of Erotic Fantasy make among these haters? To hear our own community talk when it came out, you'd think that it was nothing less than a deliberative attempt to bring "the Bad Times" back again. But nobody else talked about it outside of gaming circles. As such, I hardly think that one message board thread would have any impact whatsoever.

Oh sure, trivial things such as an exposed nipple on the TV never generate any backla...oh wait.

Scarab Sages

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Lord Snow wrote:
though to be fair I guess SKR can't techincally know if I'm an adult or not...

The Internet.

Where women are foxes, and men are mammoth.


Gorbacz wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Ironic, that. But the fundamental (no pun intended) point remains: not giving them fuel for their fires. And certain terms are more charged than others.

I think that the issue of "giving them fuel" is far less relevant than most gamers think it is.

Simply put, unless the haters spend a LOT of time getting into the minutia of gaming (or whatever else it is that they hate), they're almost never going to discover the things that we gamers think are obvious.

Case in point, how much of a splash did the Book of Erotic Fantasy make among these haters? To hear our own community talk when it came out, you'd think that it was nothing less than a deliberative attempt to bring "the Bad Times" back again. But nobody else talked about it outside of gaming circles. As such, I hardly think that one message board thread would have any impact whatsoever.

Oh sure, trivial things such as an exposed nipple on the TV never generate any backla...oh wait.

That may have been trivial, but not obscure. Millions of people saw it. Not surprising that it drew attention.

Postings on a gamer website, even gaming publications aren't going to draw any fire. No one is going to notice. Maybe, maybe books that actually make into mainstream bookstores.


John Kretzer wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
By the way, if anyone here thinks he/she encountered any sort of ignorant D&D hatred before, think again. This is a site belonging to some very extremely religious christians, and I can say with certainty that nothing could be more hateful than this.

See I don't veiw the Chick Tracts as hateful. They are wrong, ignorant and probably crazy. And they can certainly foster some dangerous attitudues to freedom and such. But I would not classified it as hate.

If you see somebody drowning would you not try to save them? That is kinda what they are doing....unfortunaly we are all really just swimming.

This is most certainly a case of the road to hell is paved by good intentions.

Yeah, and the Inquisition was just trying to save their victims too. (Well along with confiscating their gold and land, but the basic theory was good.)

No. The Chick tracts are full of hate. The attacks on Muslim, Catholics, gays and pretty much anyone who isn't fundamentalist Christian of the right flavor go far beyond preaching to save people.
They're not directed at the evil scary people they're about. They're directed at the believers (maybe the wavering believers). Trying to scare them in line and away from "bad influences".
Like the D&D one. No one who actually plays is going to respond to that nonsense. But their parents might

OTOH, they're so over the top crazy, they're actually funny. They've got to backfire more often than they get taken seriously. I've long had a sneaking suspicion they're kind of a reverse psychology infiltration kind of deal. Actually designed to drive people away from the kind of Christianity they portray.


The irony being the Inquisition DID save a number of people. See, they didn't like secular courts getting into the action. Thus when civil courts were trying people for witchcraft the Inquisition would sometimes speak up and say "he's not a witch" or "she's not a witch" and tell them to cut it out. It wasn't all horrific.

Mind you, I say this as an agnostic with strong atheist tendencies.


thejeff wrote:
Yeah, and the Inquisition was just trying to save their victims too. (Well along with confiscating their gold and land, but the basic theory was good.)

Actualy the Spainish Inquistion was not as bad history has made it out to be. The Spainish Goverment would have been alot more brutal in what they were doing...not saying the Inquistion is a great organization...but it has gotten a bum rap. Also we are talking about a time period where really no one had clean hands. But besides that

thejeff wrote:

No. The Chick tracts are full of hate. The attacks on Muslim, Catholics, gays and pretty much anyone who isn't fundamentalist Christian of the right flavor go far beyond preaching to save people.

They're not directed at the evil scary people they're about. They're directed at the believers (maybe the wavering believers). Trying to scare them in line and away from "bad influences".
Like the D&D one. No one who actually plays is going to respond to that nonsense. But their parents might

Sure all religions...heck even secular politians and such uses fear to gain power and control. That does not remove the fact they some of them (if not all) really believe that being gay or such is evil and are trying to save your soul.

I am not saying this to give them a pass...or to say just ignore them. I am saying this so people can actualy understand them. So we can fight against it a lot better without becoming them. Know the enemy is a important step.

Now you are free to disagree with me. And perhaps you are right and I am wrong...but I have always held to belief that you must understand your...enemies to be able to defeat them.

thejeff wrote:
OTOH, they're so over the top crazy, they're actually funny. They've got to backfire more often than they get taken seriously. I've long had a sneaking suspicion they're kind of a reverse psychology infiltration kind of deal. Actually designed to drive people away from the kind of Christianity they portray.

I admitt I chuckle a bit at that. While I did not peg the Chick Tracts in this light I have often thought similair things that some of the most off the road political pundits on both sidea are actualy secretly supports the other side.

Silver Crusade

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John Kretzer wrote:
That does not remove the fact they some of them (if not all) really believe that being gay or such is evil and are trying to save your soul.

I can state with absolute certainty that the bolded portion is not the case.

your friendly neighborhood religious D&D playing xenophile

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:
Like the D&D one. No one who actually plays is going to respond to that nonsense. But their parents might.

I can confirm I had a response to Miss Frost. Ohhhhh yeeah.

Grand Lodge

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John Kretzer wrote:
Actualy the Spainish Inquistion was not as bad history has made it out to be.

Just more unexpected.


Random trivia about how incredibly charged the original word is in the USA ... one of the first executions (and the first recorded execution of a juvenille) in American territories was in Massachusetts where Thomas Granger was executed by hanging on September 8, 1642 for "buggery" with animals.

-TimD

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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@TimD, Now I have this horrible image of Mr. GRanger being hung by the neck for being inappropriate with Mrs. Slocum's *filter won't let me finish the joke*

In general, I'd point out a lot of beliefs harmed people in trying to help them. LSD for psychology, bleeding for healing, and carbon inhalation therapy to name three. But I've posted elsewhere about the idea of 'helping' someone and harming them instead, and backed out of that thread.

Aherm, as to the topic at hand, Lord Snow is perfectly justified at being squicked out, because of his understanding. I myself didn't think much of it because a) I like playing the planetouched/half races and b) it really comes down to consent. Wally Wolf can't* Gretta can.

It *is* something to watch out for. Like the fate of Thora in book one generated a strong (to put it mildly) reaction from me, the scenario in Shackled Hut generated a strong reaction from Lord Snow. The emotional investment, or repulsion, to me marks a good writer, to get me hooked in and invested in the characters.

*

Spoiler:
And that doesn't count with speak with animals or for extra squicky goodness speak with dead

Silver Crusade

Matthew Morris wrote:
*** spoiler omitted **

D:

realizes that the latter point could be too easily applied to Osirion

D:


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Now, now: that spell doesn't do anything more than gather information the target knew. It imparts no volition or consent.


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Now, now: that spell doesn't do anything more than gather information the target knew. It imparts no volition or consent.

Maybe the offender just wants to have a simple chat while they cross some serious moral lines? Afterall, being able to find out that Pharaoh Humpotep liked the color blue, and never liked Rush...that's a conversation starter.

Silver Crusade

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Now, now: that spell doesn't do anything more than gather information the target knew. It imparts no volition or consent.

phew!

That's a relie

Herbo wrote:
Maybe the offender just wants to have a simple chat while they cross some serious moral lines? Afterall, being able to find out that Pharaoh Humpotep liked the color blue, and never liked Rush...that's a conversation starter.

D:

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Now, now: that spell doesn't do anything more than gather information the target knew. It imparts no volition or consent.

Well it pulls what the target knew. So I'd say "Mind if I out your bones to some, personal use?" is something it can answer.

Scarab Sages

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Now, now: that spell doesn't do anything more than gather information the target knew. It imparts no volition or consent.

It does, if the question is "While you were alive, would you have been squicked out by the idea of someone humping your bones?".

Scarab Sages

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Aherm, as to the topic at hand, Lord Snow is perfectly justified at being squicked out, because of his understanding.

I agree, and I think his point about the origins of the satyr myth are being missed, or misunderstood.

Posters saying that 'Satyrs aren't animals.", or "Satyrs embody a lack of inhibition, not necessarily with animals.", or "Satyr myths are meant to warn us of the darkness within the human mind.", don't address what he said.

Once satyrs had entered the folk tale public domain, it may be true that they were used by high-minded poets and philosophers, as a metaphor for human lust, but there's also a very good chance the idea of the satyr originated among regular folk, as a means of stigmatising and ridiculing Greek country folk and their alleged zoophilic behaviour.
Behaviour which created the satyr, from a union of human and goat.

Regional stereotypes still exist. Mention you're from Wales, and within a minute, someone will have made a joke about 'sheep-shaggers'. "Must get cold and lonely in those mountains, if you know what I mean...<wink>".

The film 'Deliverance' didn't have any trouble convincing the audience that it was a believable scenario. "Squeal like a pig...Hoo Wee!" is an instantly recognisable movie quote, nearly four decades later, and fridge logic does make you wonder, if it was born from the speaker's own personal, porcine experience...
No-one I know has ever commented "Oh that film is ridiculous, none of that would ever happen!", because it draws on commonly held beliefs, that country folk ARE exactly like that, they WILL kill and rape anyone they find, animal, vegetable or mineral, and anyone stupid enough to leave the main road in that state is asking for whatever they get.
Is that true? Probably not, but that doesn't stop it being 'common knowledge'.

So, while the urban Greek upper classes, who commissioned the poetry, the plays, and the marble statues, may have been attempting to make an intellectual statement about being wary of our base urges, the ORIGIN stories of the satyr probably arose from nothing more profound than "Them country folk can't keep their dicks out of their flock.".

And that is what Lord Snow says he thinks of, whenever one clops onto the page.


Snorter wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Aherm, as to the topic at hand, Lord Snow is perfectly justified at being squicked out, because of his understanding.

I agree, and I think his point about the origins of the satyr myth are being missed, or misunderstood.

Posters saying that 'Satyrs aren't animals.", or "Satyrs embody a lack of inhibition, not necessarily with animals.", or "Satyr myths are meant to warn us of the darkness within the human mind.", don't address what he said.

Once satyrs had entered the folk tale public domain, it may be true that they were used by high-minded poets and philosophers, as a metaphor for human lust, but there's also a very good chance the idea of the satyr originated among regular folk, as a means of stigmatising and ridiculing Greek country folk and their alleged zoophilic behaviour.
Behaviour which created the satyr, from a union of human and goat.

Regional stereotypes still exist. Mention you're from Wales, and within a minute, someone will have made a joke about 'sheep-shaggers'. "Must get cold and lonely in those mountains, if you know what I mean...<wink>".

The film 'Deliverance' didn't have any trouble convincing the audience that it was a believable scenario. "Squeal like a pig...Hoo Wee!" is an instantly recognisable movie quote, nearly four decades later, and fridge logic does make you wonder, if it was born from the speaker's own personal, porcine experience...
No-one I know has ever commented "Oh that film is ridiculous, none of that would ever happen!", because it draws on commonly held beliefs, that country folk ARE exactly like that, they WILL kill and rape anyone they find, animal, vegetable or mineral, and anyone stupid enough to leave the main road in that state is asking for whatever they get.
Is that true? Probably not, but that doesn't stop it being 'common knowledge'.

So, while the urban Greeks upper classes, who commissioned the marble statues, may have been attempting to make an intellectual statement about being wary of our base urges, the ORIGIN stories of the satyr probably arose from nothing more profound than "Them country folk can't keep their dicks out of their flock.".

And that is what Lord Snow says he thinks of, whenever one clops onto the page.

It's possible, I suppose. Do you have any actual evidence?

Remember the earliest depictions of satyrs were even less bestial than later ones: Goat ears, horse tail. No hooves or goat legs. That goes back to early vase depictions long before classic marble statuary.

I think it's at least as likely the satyrs came from the same kind of folk mythology of local nature spirits that also led to naiads and dryads, as that they came from jokes about country folks bad habits.


You also have to wonder how much of the reverse-anthropomorphication of the Satyr has to do with Egyptian mythical influences. Remember, Egypt is just round the corner, and travel via early seafarers helped spread myths and other materials. Egyptian Gods were depicted with the heads of animals (undoubtedly to create a metaphorical connection between the God and the animal's traits). Thus while early Satyrs were shown with tails and ears, in time they morphed further to become closer to animals in order to provide them with a metaphoric link to that animal. Thus satyrs are "randy as goats" and get goat-legs. But satyrs were not originally depicted as such. Instead, they were entities that were provided attributes that emphasized certain human emotions and traits.

In some ways you can see this with the Greek Gods. These Gods often emphasized specific human states and emotions. You have jealousy, for instance, being overriding traits of certain divinities, which becomes that divinity's primary calling card. But those divinities remained "human" for the most part.

Thus nature spirits are not bestiality in myth. Instead, they are human emotions given form... and then transformed through various stories and metaphoric language into the forms we know of today.


Pretty much every culture on Earth has anthropomorphized animals in some fashion, or deified them to a certain extent (from Tangent101's mentioning of Egypt and Greece to various aboriginal cultures and even modern Anime Cat Girls). I personally don't think there is some concerted conceptualization of pure animal on human ee-er-ee-er-eeeeeee-errrrr-ee-er-ee-er...this goes on for a bit...ee-er. Rather, I think it comes from a part of human conscience that spawns appreciation for dissonance in music, abstraction in art, and other non-linear associations we make with our higher brain functions. Those images, be they satyrs or Hindu gods like Ganesha, are a way to transfer or meld recognizable archetypes from the natural world upon the human condition. So whether you are representing promiscuity with a recognizable image from the animal world (ie. goats can get really busy, so a man with goat legs represents the lustful unrestrained aspect of humanity), or the calm wisdom some perceive in an Elephant's eyes...it's not about "oh man that Elephant man must have crazy elephant man secszorz let's all bone elephants and goats!!!!!!" It's about exaggerating the abhuman to refocus the human.

Think of it like this. I can tell you that you are strong as a bear, wise as an owl, graceful as a cat. You read the words and get all blushy...or file a restraining order. But in a world where mastery of the written language was focused into a small privileged subset of humanity (when these types of images and stories were introduced)...you would just see $^&#@*$^#4(#47. But if I drew a picture of a bear-man and pointed at you...it'd be my illiterate attempt to capture my thoughts about you in more than spoken words. I wouldn't be suggesting that your mom was a bear and your dad was a sexual deviant.

So to me...the squick factor just isn't there. To look at fairy tales where a princess is a swan, or a boy is a hedgehog, or a prince is a frog as "ewwwwww bestiality!!!" is immature and missing the point behind it all. Themes of love conquering adversity, honoring one's word, respecting the personhood of others despite their appearance...these are things that are worth representing in stories and roleplay.

My 50cents anyway.

The Exchange

Herbo wrote:


So to me...the squick factor just isn't there. To look at fairy tales where a princess is a swan, or a boy is a hedgehog, or a prince is a frog as "ewwwwww bestiality!!!" is immature and missing the...

Not to undermine your intentions, but some people will tell you that "the human centipede" is a tale about human nature. Well I say it's a tale that shouldn't have been told :P

Anyway, I can actualy see your point, and in general I'd even agree with you. What got to me here is that the "semi human with animal body parts as a sexual/romantic partner) was repeated no less than 3 times in this adventure, whcih got my attention as I just feel uneasy about that. I wouldn't say that I can't see anything except bestiality in these cases but they certainly make me think about it, and you might have noticed that I wasn't complaining about bestiality but asking why it was given such a central place in the adventure and how could I trim it a bit without hurting the feel of the story too much.


Lord Snow wrote:
Not to undermine your intentions, but some people will tell you that "the human centipede" is a tale about human nature. Well I say it's a tale that shouldn't have been told :P

That is not even close to the same type of comparison. Swing and a miss I'm affraid. Human centipede was intended to be grotesque to no other purpose. It is Carnography, not a metaphor for working together. Hans my Hedgehog is a story about trust, and keeping one's word...not a hedgehog boning a princess. I suppose everyone is free to look at anything they want anyway they want. But labeling your discussion topic with the term "theme" and then proceeding to deny anything besides a literal dictionary dissection of a fictional story...is misleading. Anyway, I'm out. Happy gaming to you, and best wishes!


Yeah. Once you brought up that atrocity of a movie, I lost all interest in this thread. Feel free to think you won. I just don't care.

Scarab Sages

@Tangent and Herbo;

He did say he'd come closer to seeing your points.

Silver Crusade

Jim Groves wrote:

Let's not dogpile Lord Snow, folks. I was taught about Theseus and the Minotaur in Junior High, yet somehow my teacher managed to skim right past the whole story of Queen Pasiphaë.

Anyway, I feel like its a good discussion and I don't want to punish a poster from bringing up a concern in a polite manner.

Well, the Greeks couldn't conceive of Genetic Engineering or that Bulls and Humans are incompatible, so they explained the Minotaur as a result of a human and a bull mating. At least, that's what it is on the surface.


Snorter wrote:

@Tangent and Herbo;

He did say he'd come closer to seeing your points.

.

After he brought up a comparison that was so far off-topic that =/= doesn't even cover it in support of his argument.

Pretty much classic debate derailment strategy right there. Not cool.

Silver Crusade

Tangent101 wrote:


Thus nature spirits are not bestiality in myth. Instead, they are human emotions given form... and then transformed through various stories and metaphoric language into the forms we know of today.

Actually, there is a case that centaurs, minotaurs, and fauns actually existed. Take the case of a green goblin named Yoda. Although George Lucas invented him, do you think people will remember him?

Yet, you go to Greece and you see centaurs, minotaurs, and fauns all over the place. It's been at least 3 thousand years, and yet people still remember them. They may actually existed at somepoint, making them more than just a metaphor. So, how can they exist?

Right now, the Transhumanist movement is moving us to improving us to be as gods (without need for a babe born of a virgin two thousand years ago). They've done some experiments combining animal tissue with human tissue. They even have a sheep born with a human heart, there is a man in England putting techie implants into himself (which included a Radio Frequency Identification chip), and a man in China is working on artificial intellect. Our genetic engineering is becoming so proficient that we will be able to combine human genes with animal genes at some point and get some interesting combinations.

In the Prehistoric world, they had done things that could be termed loosely as "Genetic Engineering." Human animal hybrids did exist. The paradigm that human beings in prehistory were a bunch of ignorant, unwashed fools that used just stone tools is all wrong, and there are thousands of artifacts recovered that proved this. Prehistoric man had human intellect. They can do all the things we can do, so to give them the role of unwashed ignorant fools who only worked with stone tools until the Agrarian Revolution some ten thousand years ago is only showing that your ignorant of human intellect.

To think of them as metaphors is great, but to discount the possibility that those forms existed as something untrue without strongly looking at the evidence is doing yourself a disservice. The difference between the Ancient Greeks and us that the Greeks viewed such hybrids as things of horror and we view them as harmless fantasies created by frenzied minds. Genetic Engineering did happen, and it's happening again today. Case in point, maize or corn. No one botanist has been able to find the ancestor plant of maize -- it's nearly impossible to find. Maize is a product of genetic engineering. The real aurochs was smarter and much more aggressive than the cow. And wolf breeders are swearing that they are having a hard time getting a dog from the wolves they are breeding.

The difference between prehistoric man and us is that we've forgot they could possibly do it. We also delude ourselves that our Ancestors in prehistory were stupid and this is the first time anyone has really tinkered with genes in any stretch of human history.

Spoiler:

So, given the paradigm that prehistoric man was capable and possibly did create hybrids of man and animal, the myth of Pan running around with Satyriasis and teaching young shepherds how to get off has a basis in truth.

Earth history is a strange, strange thing. What Lord Snow is addressing is his concern -- humans having relationships outside of their species with things fae. If it struck a nerve with him, then perhaps he has a right to have it addressed.


Wow. Seriously?

I don't even know where to start.

Yes, they did genetic engineering in the basic selective breeding kind of way, over thousands of years. That's not going to get you human/animal hybrids.

And we know where corn comes from. The ancestor (or a very similar descendant species) is still around. Teosinte

The Exchange

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Snorter wrote:

@Tangent and Herbo;

He did say he'd come closer to seeing your points.

.

After he brought up a comparison that was so far off-topic that =/= doesn't even cover it in support of his argument.

Pretty much classic debate derailment strategy right there. Not cool.

It's not, actualy :P

Was gringing that up to show that while the intentions of the story might be to discuss something about humanity, it might just be a disgusting story. Never watched that movie and never intend to, but I felt I could get my point across better with an extreme example - I get that a story of a women sleeping with a satyr could be about love or passion or one of many other things, that dosen't mean I don't find the thought of the act unpleasent.

I wish people would be less internet savvy and actualy read with attention posts in this thread, as it started out as a very civial discussion and could easily remain that way.


@Gm Elton: Um....where is the fossile records of such creatures? Actualy the Greeks were really into collecting fossiles....they did not know what they were doing a created alot of hybrids.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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I have somewhat stepped back from commenting on every aspect of the Shackled Hut, except to answer questions directly about the manuscript.

However, let me redirect this topic (since it doesn't appear to be dying).

It disturbs one GM, ad we shouldn't judge that person for their feelings. We're not "Thought Cops". It is pretty pointless to try to change their mind. Its like a certain TV commercial where the wife is trying to get her husband to eat more vegetables and she keeps smacking him on the forehead. He finally looks at her and says, "You can do that all you want, but I still don't like the taste of V8".

BUT... here's what I am interested in knowing, after you folks have chewed on this topic for a couple weeks—is the adventure stronger or weaker for those encounters?

(When I turned the chapter over, I kinda had the personal impression that the wilderness encounters was the weakest section—it has been a surprise to find that may not be true)

Whether xenophila is a theme or not is one question, perhaps a better question is whether it helped or hurt the story?


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I for one am glad the essential character of mythological beings were, for once, not removed via disneyfication.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Jim Groves

It's been... interesting for me. Since I'm playing Ksenia (my Jadwiga scion Winter Witch) the AP is affecting her as I've read it. She swings between being protective of children, reflecting my core attribute, and callous, almost alien coldness. I explained to another player that in her mindset, you can divide the peoples of Golarion into three catagories. "Jadwiga, citizens of Irrisen (meaning the monstrous population) and peasants." Last night, when we killed a faction mission, I jokingly said OOC "What, you can speak with dead right?
When the reply was "Why does everyone think every cleric has that spell, my rely to that was more Irrisen like:, "Well eventually I'll just be able to bind part of their soul into a soubound doll and ask that. No biggie."*

While I understand where Snow was coming from, I'm not similarly 'unnerved' about it. Indeed, because I like playing 'halves' (half-elf, half-orc, tiefling, aasimar, etc) the mosntrous nature doesn't worry on me.

I do think it helps in that it makes Irresen more 'real'. The Fae, the Winter Wolf, etc aren't just 'walking bags of XP'. They're more real people, with lives of their own.

It also makes the soulbound dolls and mirror men more horrifying. When you're dealing with Winter Wolf girlfriends, human-touched fae, and the like, the soulbound become worse. If the child is killed by the wolves while gatherine firewood, at least Pharisma can send his entire soul on to its reward. something that was denied his sister. "Death can be a mercy" indeed.

*

Spoiler:
Yes, metagame she can't craft. But IC she *is* a Winter Witch, on good standing with her family so she can think, "I'll get enough power, go home, and get some peasants of my own to rule. I wouldn't torment children, but if I have a few prisoners to execute, why not make use of them?"

The Exchange

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Jim Groves wrote:

I have somewhat stepped back from commenting on every aspect of the Shackled Hut, except to answer questions directly about the manuscript.

However, let me redirect this topic (since it doesn't appear to be dying).

It disturbs one GM, ad we shouldn't judge that person for their feelings. We're not "Thought Cops". It is pretty pointless to try to change their mind. Its like a certain TV commercial where the wife is trying to get her husband to eat more vegetables and she keeps smacking him on the forehead. He finally looks at her and says, "You can do that all you want, but I still don't like the taste of V8".

BUT... here's what I am interested in knowing, after you folks have chewed on this topic for a couple weeks—is the adventure stronger or weaker for those encounters?

(When I turned the chapter over, I kinda had the personal impression that the wilderness encounters was the weakest section—it has been a surprise to find that may not be true)

Whether xenophila is a theme or not is one question, perhaps a better question is whether it helped or hurt the story?

I want to give a strong answer to this one: yes, I think it made the adventure better.

I love what Paizo is doing with the AP line in general, and so far Reign of Winter seems to be an extreme example - APs are dark, often horrifying, and always experimental. The capability of Paizo and thier freelancers to dare and try new things, and more than that to write contriversial content into their adventures, makes them all better at their jobs.

In Reign of Winter, the line is being stracthed further than ever before. This includes doing an AP in a land very strange and different from anything on our Earth (which so far didn't happen, I think), to planetary travel. A part of what makes the AP special is it's fairy tale theme. And that includes the encounters we discussed in this thread.

I might have an uneasy feeling about this particular subject, but that dosen't mean I can't see how it contributed to the adventure. While I might omit some of it for my own campaign, I think my opinion on the subject is rather unique and shouldn't bother other peope. Even if every now and then something pops out in an adventure that I feel bad about, what happens far more often is that I get quelity and renovation which I can appreciate.

My bottom line is that I think you did a superb job with "The Shackled Hut", and I encourage you to stick to your instincts in feature AP work (which I certainly hope to see from you!) and go ahead with whatever wierd, awesome story elements you think of.


Jim Groves wrote:
BUT... here's what I am interested in knowing, after you folks have chewed on this topic for a couple weeks—is the adventure stronger or weaker for those encounters?

I have not play adventure or even read it beyond the spoilers here. So I can't say definitly one way or the other...

I can say though I tend to like encounters that treat NPCs as real being and such. So I can say it defintly helps the adventure. As it helps frame what Irrisen is.

My only complaint....and it is much broader sense...I don't like totaly evil countries. Showing a neutral or even good Winter Witch I think would have been interesting...or even a evil Winter Witch who is not so EVIL. Maybe there is such a character in the AP.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

John Kretzer wrote:
My only complaint....and it is much broader sense...I don't like totaly evil countries. Showing a neutral or even good Winter Witch I think would have been interesting...or even a evil Winter Witch who is not so EVIL. Maybe there is such a character in the AP.

Understood, but just so that you understand my role in things, that is above my paygrade. Authors are given parameters to work within, and we can offer an opinion, but it isn't our call to make.

I'm not passing the buck, and the feedback is good. I just want to explain that is outside my "sphere of influence". On the other hand I'm sure they'll read this and take it into account.


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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Snorter wrote:

@Tangent and Herbo;

He did say he'd come closer to seeing your points.

.

After he brought up a comparison that was so far off-topic that =/= doesn't even cover it in support of his argument.

Pretty much classic debate derailment strategy right there. Not cool.

To be fair to Lord Snow, I saw his centipede comment as harmless teasing. A misguided analogy perhaps, but harmless nonetheless.

Jim Groves wrote:
Whether xenophila is a theme or not is one question, perhaps a better question is whether it helped or hurt the story?

Mr. Groves, you are shaping up to be a wonderful Adventure Path author. No worries there. For me anyway, this is the strongest AP offering from a first-timer I've seen in a long time.

Grand Lodge

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John Kretzer wrote:
My only complaint....and it is much broader sense...I don't like totaly evil countries. Showing a neutral or even good Winter Witch I think would have been interesting...or even a evil Winter Witch who is not so EVIL. Maybe there is such a character in the AP.

No Glinda the Winter Witch yet ;)

However, there are many Good NPC citizens of Irrisen in these adventures.


Jim Groves wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
My only complaint....and it is much broader sense...I don't like totaly evil countries. Showing a neutral or even good Winter Witch I think would have been interesting...or even a evil Winter Witch who is not so EVIL. Maybe there is such a character in the AP.

Understood, but just so that you understand my role in things, that is above my paygrade. Authors are given parameters to work within, and we can offer an opinion, but it isn't our call to make.

I'm not passing the buck, and the feedback is good. I just want to explain that is outside my "sphere of influence". On the other hand I'm sure they'll read this and take it into account.

Oh I did not mean it directly related to you. I understand that there are guidelines you have to follow.

It goes with my NPC as real people thing. Sometimes I get the whole White Hats and Black Hats vibe...which I kinda of dislike. I can stand race...or most of the inhabitants or country being mostly evil...I just kind dislike it when just boiled down 'well this person is from Irrsen...so she is EVIL."

Also to be fair there is a White Witch in the Campaign Setting who rules a twon who is neutral and actualy pays to have her subjects rescued from evil fey. I was kinda of hoping she would be involved somehow...which fgrom what people are saying I am guessing she is not.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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The Block Knight wrote:
Mr. Groves, you are shaping up to be a wonderful Adventure Path author. No worries there. For me anyway, this is the strongest AP offering from a first-timer I've seen in a long time.

By the power invested in me, I declare you to be the King of the Internet!

:D

Seriously, I am humbled. Thank you. Great compliment!

EDIT: I'm willing to bet Amber Scott does great in August though!


I'm willing to bet she does as well. I have high hopes for that one.


John Kretzer wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
My only complaint....and it is much broader sense...I don't like totaly evil countries. Showing a neutral or even good Winter Witch I think would have been interesting...or even a evil Winter Witch who is not so EVIL. Maybe there is such a character in the AP.

Understood, but just so that you understand my role in things, that is above my paygrade. Authors are given parameters to work within, and we can offer an opinion, but it isn't our call to make.

I'm not passing the buck, and the feedback is good. I just want to explain that is outside my "sphere of influence". On the other hand I'm sure they'll read this and take it into account.

Oh I did not mean it directly related to you. I understand that there are guidelines you have to follow.

It goes with my NPC as real people thing. Sometimes I get the whole White Hats and Black Hats vibe...which I kinda of dislike. I can stand race...or most of the inhabitants or country being mostly evil...I just kind dislike it when just boiled down 'well this person is from Irrsen...so she is EVIL."

Also to be fair there is a White Witch in the Campaign Setting who rules a twon who is neutral and actualy pays to have her subjects rescued from evil fey. I was kinda of hoping she would be involved somehow...which fgrom what people are saying I am guessing she is not.

Also to be fair, we have plenty of good people from Irrisen. What we don't have is members of the ruling aristocracy of the evil nation that aren't evil.

We've also only seen a couple of actual Winter Witches, right? IIRC, just the main bad guys at the end of each volume.


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Jim Groves wrote:
The Block Knight wrote:
Mr. Groves, you are shaping up to be a wonderful Adventure Path author. No worries there. For me anyway, this is the strongest AP offering from a first-timer I've seen in a long time.

By the power invested in me, I declare you to be the King of the Internet!

:D

Seriously, I am humbled. Thank you. Great compliment!

EDIT: I'm willing to bet Amber Scott does great in August though!

WELL... If we're going to pile on the love... I--and to this I swear--was crying through parts of The Shackled Hut. I couldn't sleep until I finished reading it. Wife came downstairs, looked at me, said, "It's that good?"

I just nodded.

I'm itching to run this AP in May. Itching. I should see my physician about it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Phew... how to put this...

Ok, maybe it is just me, but "Mother, Maiden, Crone" (and AP in general) is trying too hard to be inclusive? Are there any heterosexual couples in this AP, with both partners still alive? Lots of lesbians, lots of weirdness. Few humans-of-different-gender.

I know paizo has made every effort to not be as chauvinistic and homophobic as some parts of our subculture tend to be - but lately, this effort feels a little forced. Lesbian couple? Shape-shifted wolf? Transwoman-on-woman? Run of the mill. Man-on-woman of compatible age in a loving relationship, something worth noting.

On an unrelated note: Where is the man-love? Could the lesbians be there because male gamers tend more easily accept them than gay men?

I am not saying that including (whatever the current politically-correct phrasing for "different" has become) couples is a bad thing, but when they eclipse the "default", it starts to feel a little strained. I for one felt nothing but "Now they're trying too hard" this time around.


TerraNova wrote:

Phew... how to put this...

Ok, maybe it is just me, but "Mother, Maiden, Crone" (and AP in general) is trying too hard to be inclusive? Are there any heterosexual couples in this AP, with both partners still alive? Lots of lesbians, lots of weirdness. Few humans-of-different-gender.

I know paizo has made every effort to not be as chauvinistic and homophobic as some parts of our subculture tend to be - but lately, this effort feels a little forced. Lesbian couple? Shape-shifted wolf? Transwoman-on-woman? Run of the mill. Man-on-woman of compatible age in a loving relationship, something worth noting.

On an unrelated note: Where is the man-love? Could the lesbians be there because male gamers tend more easily accept them than gay men?

I am not saying that including (whatever the current politically-correct phrasing for "different" has become) couples is a bad thing, but when they eclipse the "default", it starts to feel a little strained. I for one felt nothing but "Now they're trying too hard" this time around.

There is actually a thread for Maiden, Mother, Crone...

Your post might work a bit better there.

That said, I can see your point, kind of. I would respond however, that the AP has already had: Radosek & Jairess (sort-of), Radosek & Nazhena, Nadya & her deceased husband, Nadya & a PC (granted, there is no guarantee that will be a romance, or even that the PC will be male...), Sylgja & Finngarth (and if the PC's inadvertently slay Finngarth there is the possibility of Sylgja & a PC... Reference my comment regarding Nadya & a PC above), Maret & Borvald, Greta & a male PC (if a PC a}acquires the Winterpelt b} uses the Winterpelt to pretend to be a Winterwolf & c} successfully impresses her with Diplomacy; she is looking for a mate after all...) Yes, several of those pairings are hypothetical, some fall into the other that you were referring to & some are so much in the background they may easily be overlooked...
But they are still there.
Finally, this AP goes into such odd territory from the get-go that the fact that those relationships that get called attention-to have a significant portion of 'not-mainstream' is, in my opinion actually appropriate. So many of the 'rules' go out the window in this AP, why not have the relationships go someplace they haven't traditionally gone as well.
When the old Cartographers wrote 'Here be Dragons' on the borders of Maps they were really saying 'We don't know what is out here & we don't know how/if you will be able to handle it'; then we went out to those borders & we came back & said what's out there is just people & places & things & wonders...
and we'll handle it just fine thanks.
Yes, my initial reaction to Marislova was 'wait, what?' (and I realize in the real world external forces have next to no affect on a person's actual sex psyche), but thematically, why not have a place where 'Woman' is so powerful that a man who stays there long enough finds himself feminizing, even to the point of becoming a woman?
On the other hand, yes, an openly Man/Man relationship would make for an interesting addition; but again, this AP is shaping itself into a lot of 'Woman' themes, both the beneficial & the dangerous, so I can understand the lack of apparent male homosexual presence.

Whew, big ol' 'Wall o' Text' there. Hopefully anyone who reads this gets something more than 'That Irnk sure does go on...'

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