Potential offensiveness of AP covers (Please keep it friendly and polite)


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Silver Crusade

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Jim Groves wrote:

LOL! I don't!

Honestly I never dug into your background on FB. I know the country you live in, but other than that, you're just a loveable cursed bag with teeth!

Let's keep it that way, you really don't want to know what kind of evil I do to make ends meet.


Gorbacz wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:

LOL! I don't!

Honestly I never dug into your background on FB. I know the country you live in, but other than that, you're just a loveable cursed bag with teeth!

Let's keep it that way, you really don't want to know what kind of evil I do to make ends meet.

Record label executive? I dunno if I could believe that of even you Gorbacz...


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Gorbacz wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:

LOL! I don't!

Honestly I never dug into your background on FB. I know the country you live in, but other than that, you're just a loveable cursed bag with teeth!

Let's keep it that way, you really don't want to know what kind of evil I do to make ends meet.

Own a nursing home? those are pretty evil (at least in the US)


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Andrew R wrote:
Michael Gentry wrote:

Could someone explain what's so contorted about the woman's pose? Because I sincerely, respectfully, do not see it. She is not twisting at the waist in that ubiquitous "butt + boobs" pose; her shoulders are pretty much inline with her hips; one hip is cocked up at, what, about 15 degrees? Which is normal, because she is clearly in the act of taking a step forward.

It's not a combat pose, but it's not a stripper pose or even anything like typical comic book cheesecake. It's hardly contorted at all. It's almost the exact same pose (minus the staff) as this.

It looks to me like she is leaning on the staff a little. I stand in a pose like that at work frequently enough to take the weight off my bad leg

Which, if she is who I think she is, makes perfect sense.

There is another NPC in Empty Graves after the titular artifact & she recovered from a debilitating injury. If that picture is her, she really is leaning on that staff...


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Gorbacz wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:

LOL! I don't!

Honestly I never dug into your background on FB. I know the country you live in, but other than that, you're just a loveable cursed bag with teeth!

Let's keep it that way, you really don't want to know what kind of evil I do to make ends meet.

From certain posts I recall reading...

I'll spoiler this for you:
It sounds like he teaches at a Law School.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:

Oh and FINALLY a Black D00d on the cover of a Paizo product?!? YAY!?!

Anyone?

Bueller?

Anyone?

Okay to hell with all ya'll. I'm Happy about it...

** spoiler omitted **

I when I said Black D00d I meant Black Dude as in Black Male. We don't see many of them in roleplaying games period so when I see one it's like spotting a unicorn in a forest. More so in a FRPG. We see more Black Females because apparently they cover the female demographic and throws a bone to the people of color demographic. Which still is better than it was 10 years ago.

Silver Crusade

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Depressing realization: Taking all fantasy media combined, there probably are more artistic depictions of unicorns than black men. :(

Certainly in pre-3E D&D at least.


ShinHakkaider wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:

Oh and FINALLY a Black D00d on the cover of a Paizo product?!? YAY!?!

Anyone?

Bueller?

Anyone?

Okay to hell with all ya'll. I'm Happy about it...

** spoiler omitted **
I when I said Black D00d I meant Black Dude as in Black Male. We don't see many of them in roleplaying games period so when I see one it's like spotting a unicorn in a forest. More so in a FRPG. We see more Black Females because apparently they cover the female demographic and throws a bone to the people of color demographic. Which still is better than it was 10 years ago.

I think a lot of that is the same reason you don't see many Native Americans or Indians (as in from India) in RPGs either.

Most Fantasy RPGs cover a Western European society based on the Middle Ages or Renaissance. This means that the idea isn't regarding many others beyond those who were white, and typically they focus more on the Western and Northern parts of Europe at that.

On the otherhand, that leaves sci-fi RPGS, and for those I don't really have a good answer. At least Star Trek RPGs normally have Worf (though in that capacity probably doesn't count as it's as a Klingon) and maybe Sisco on some of the covers.

Dark Archive

So I don't see a problem with the picture personally. To me it is about the same as cover #80 but that is a guy.


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Lord Snow wrote:

Sure, I'll try to explain. The easiest way to understand my problem with it would be for you to try to imitate the pose (I tried it myself and couldn't really manage it). Just try standing like that. Look at the way her hip is twisted sideways and to the back, while the lag on the other side is forward.

I'm not sure you understood the gist of my post. If you physically cannot manage to stand like that, then I can only imagine you must have some kind of serious injury or skeletal condition. The woman is facing forward. Her shoulders are in line with her hips. Her right hip is not "twisted" sideways and back; it is cocked slightly upwards, as is natural, because she is taking a step forwards with her left leg.

Quote:
The second thing I'd do to understand is to try and imagine her standing like that in a room with other people, and ask myself "what situation is this?" Will someone stand like that while talking to friends? perhaps while in combat? or while casting a spell? I think you'll find the answer to all of these potential questions to be "no" - this is simply no way for a human to stand.

Again, I have to disagree. Respectfully, but unequivocally, I disagree. It's the pose of a woman walking. It's perfectly normal. I linked to a picture of a normal woman in a nearly identical pose (minus the staff) in my previous post, for illustrative purposes. Here's the link again, in case you missed it.

There are obviously sexual elements to the art, and she is clearly intended to be a sexually attractive woman. But that is not a sex toy pose.


I have less a problem with the pose and more with the way her loose dress is clinging to her like tight spandex to show off her body.


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You know, a post a bit up there (second-page territory) got me thinking.

It was about whether worrying about offending stifles creativity. Which is an interesting concept and one I nearly agreed with. But then I got thinking. (Saying all this with the caveat that I'm no artist.) But there must be a whole slew of things that artists instinctively never even try because it would be offensive.

For example, most artists would never intentionally depict a Jewish man in the same manner that Nazi propaganda did in the 1930s and 40s. And would never depict black people in the manner that artists in the 17th-18th centuries did. And would never depict East Asians or Native Americans they way they did in the 19th century. And there are probably countless other examples. Artists probably don't even consciously think about it since it doesn't even appeal to them to draw or paint in a, what we would today consider, grossly insulting manner.

I don't think that curbs artist creativity. I think it just adheres to good taste and modern morality. Actually, it might spur artistic creativity to new heights because it cuts through stereotypes and allows artists to take each subject completely fresh, not a slave to the prejudices that come before.

I'm not necessarily saying that the way women are depicted today in fantasy gaming art is as bad as the examples I gave above. (I guess the future will judge us.) I'm just saying I'm not sure artists have some license not to take into account how their work might be read. And, sure, as long as it doesn't leave the studio, whatever artists create is their prerogative. But when they send it to the publisher on the eve of a deadline so no revisions can happen before the product goes to print...I just think they have some obligation, just like the rest of us, to see if what they're communicating will or won't be damaging to some of their viewers.

So I think these conversations are useful in that publishers and artists both can take time to think about what messages they may unintentionally be sending. I just don't see how that curbs artistic license any more than what the rest of us have to do to make sure our actions and words don't damage others.


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Maybe I'm just crazy homophobic, but I have trouble seeing that lady on the cover as a shameless sex symbol devoid of character when she's wearing the mask of some old bearded guy. I find it half-sexy, half-unsettling, which I'm pretty sure is what they were going for. So good job on portraying that character, Paizo.

I've gotta be honest, I find the oracle iconic a lot more shameless than anything on a Pathfinder cover. Who's she the oracle of, Calistria?

*Doesn't actually know*

Liberty's Edge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Maybe I'm just crazy homophobic, but I have trouble seeing that lady on the cover as a shameless sex symbol devoid of character when she's wearing the mask of some old bearded guy. I find it half-sexy, half-unsettling, which I'm pretty sure is what they were going for. So good job on portraying that character, Paizo.

I've gotta be honest, I find the oracle iconic a lot more shameless than anything on a Pathfinder cover. Who's she the oracle of, Calistria?

*Doesn't actually know*

Oracles don't have to be 'of' anyone. Alahazra's Rahadoumi, and an atheist. Also, LG.

And from a scorching desert, but probably resistant to fire (Oracle of Flames)...which might help explain her clothing style, though I'm not sure it justifies it.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Maybe I'm just crazy homophobic, but I have trouble seeing that lady on the cover as a shameless sex symbol devoid of character when she's wearing the mask of some old bearded guy. I find it half-sexy, half-unsettling, which I'm pretty sure is what they were going for. So good job on portraying that character, Paizo.

I've gotta be honest, I find the oracle iconic a lot more shameless than anything on a Pathfinder cover. Who's she the oracle of, Calistria?

*Doesn't actually know*

.

Part of the point of the Oracle class is that they don't have to be 'Oracles of' Anyone. Their powers come not from worship, but as a 'divine gift'. They don't even necessarily know who/what gives them their powers. That is why, when you look at the Mysteries, there will be several Deities associated with each Mystery.

As to your other point, yeah, I was kind of getting the 'Male possessor in a female body' vibe off that picture myself. Which may just be because I have suspicions to the identity of that individual...
Something which a random customer, picking the title up of the shelf wouldn't necessarily, I'll admit.

edit: In the case of the Iconic Oracle, I know she was born Rahadoumi & I think she was actually in the section about Atheism in the Faiths & Philosophies Player Companion... So she could very well be an atheist.

second edit: Ninja'd by Deadmanwalking. Probably because I was wordier than he was...

third edit: Alahazra's LG? Cool. My Militantly (though not Militaristically) Atheist Alchemist just picked up his first level in Master Chymist & I figured it would be interesting if his alter was LG, but still just as emphatically atheistic as his 'main' personality and I've been contemplating how to pull that off. I'll have to re-read her background again soon.


A random customer would probably just go "Oh, weird".

Liberty's Edge

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@Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal:

Alahazra was actually cast into the desert to die by her family for, well, being an Oracle ("Divine magic bad!"). This soured her on Rahadoum, and made her more accepting of deities and their worshipers, but she still doesn't worship them herself (making her justifiably annoyed with the aforementioned family).

Paizo Employee Developer

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I fully admit I may be weird, but I found the character on the cover of Pathfinder #81 to be more seductive than the character on the cover of Pathfinder #82. And the character on the cover of Pathfinder #80 is totally rocking the underwear model pose.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

@Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal:

Alahazra was actually cast into the desert to die by her family for, well, being an Oracle ("Divine magic bad!"). This soured her on Rahadoum, and made her more accepting of deities and their worshipers, but she still doesn't worship them herself (making her justifiably annoyed with the aforementioned family).

I didn't recall the exact details, but I did remember something along those lines, yes. Which leads me to conclude that Gods are just as capable/inclined to 'troll' as us mere mortals...


Adam Daigle wrote:

I fully admit I may be weird, but I found the character on the cover of Pathfinder #81 to be more seductive than the character on the cover of Pathfinder #82. And the character on the cover of Pathfinder #80 is totally rocking the underwear model pose.

Must remember that if I ever have a chance to look at your browsing history, to just not. There are some things man was not meant to know :P

Though yeah, that is a fairly cute sphinx now that you mention it.


We should start taking bets on how a thread will turn out.

I'm betting this thread pulls a "Grappling a Succubus", but derails around the end thanks to a newcomer and turns into a flamewar over something to do with sexual assault, homophobia, or abortion, at which point it gets locked.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

We should start taking bets on how a thread will turn out.

I'm betting this thread pulls a "Grappling a Succubus", but derails around the end thanks to a newcomer and turns into a flamewar over something to do with sexual assault, homophobia, or abortion, at which point it gets locked.

I certainly hope that doesn't happen.


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...

Guys, he won't stop staring at me.

Guys, I don't think Daigle is as harmless and innocent as his Flumph avatar suggests.

I'm gonna run now.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

We should start taking bets on how a thread will turn out.

I'm betting this thread pulls a "Grappling a Succubus", but derails around the end thanks to a newcomer and turns into a flamewar over something to do with sexual assault, homophobia, or abortion, at which point it gets locked.

I certainly hope that doesn't happen.

I know I'd be far happier to see the thread just peter out once people have said what they feel needs to be said.

Based on the almost entirely constructive nature of it so far, I think this is even more than likey...

Huh... a thread about a topic with a high chance of heated emotions staying civil and potentially just dying a peaceful, natural death... this might explain the flying pig I saw passing my bedroom window this morning.

The Exchange

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Gorbacz wrote:
Wait, LS, you're from Israel? Ah, that explains *everything* - people coming from a country where a woman can get stones thrown at her for wearing a skirt and short sleeves sure obviously are at loss as how to handle sexuality.
Gorbacz wrote:
Wait, LS, you're from Israel? Ah, that explains *everything* - people coming from a country where a woman can get stones thrown at her for wearing a skirt and short sleeves sure obviously are at loss as how to handle sexuality.

Alright, I'm going to assume you are ignorant rather than, say Antisemitic or anything. Here are a few facts you need to know before ever making a comment like that again:

1) Israel is a modern, western country. Here is a normal picture from Tel Aviv(our largest city). On the formal front of things, there are no laws dictating a dress code for anyone at all. If I dropped you in a classroom, you wouldn't be able to tell if you are in MIT or Tel Aviv university (where I study) based on how people there are dressed, including the women. Let me give you a quick rundown of Israel's Jewish demographic:

A) Let's start with the very worst, a negligible minority which you assumed to be the entire country - "Haredim" (A word that literally means "zealous"). They live in their own secluded ghettos, and are especially numerous in Jerusalem. Normally, though, they don't go out of their living areas because they can't walk through a normal city street without being exposed to seven kinds of blasphemy. These people live in their own little world - they only study the bible, many of them are unemployed, and they adhere only to their elders, not to the law of Israel. They are the only ones who'll ever even consider throwing a stone at a woman because of how she's dressed. They are being frowned upon by everyone else in the country, to the point where they felt obliged to do this, recently. For a small period of time they attempted to force a law in Jerusalem that would force women to sit in the back part of a public bus so that men wouldn't have to see them. This quickly created our local version of Rosa Parks, and a few public rallies later (I participated in some) finished this miserable business. However, please understand the Haredim are a minority and are barely noticeable in one's everyday life.

B) Now let's talk about the "national religious" camp. These guys. They are far more numerous than the Haredim, but are for more lightly religious. Their main thing is conquering all the areas that the bible mentions as belonging to the ancient Israelis. Like the Haredim, they live in their own cities and villages, study in their own schools and generally don't impose themselves on anyone. Their dress code includes a "Kippah" (that's the thing on the guy's head in the picture) for the men, and a skirt + tshirt with no cleavage for the women. They are not harmless - their children are seperated by gender as soon as they are 6 years old (there's a school for girls, where they are taught to be modest and spawn many babies, and for boys, where they are taught real thing like mathematics and stuff, while also being encouraged to serve as combatants in the military). However, they are very capable of existing alongside atheists, and I've never seen them even say anything harmful to a woman, never matter how little she was wearing. The main problem I have with them is their constant warmongering - they are probably the main reason for the continued conflict with the Palestinians.

C) Then there are the atheists, a majority in the Jewish population. Honestly, Israel is less religious than, say, the US. Honestly, check their respective Wikipedia articles if you don't take my word for it. We atheists have to face a few annoying problem that come from a historical agreement between the atheist founders and the religious founders, called the "status quo", which was meant to pacify the religious population of the 1950's by giving them some ground - so for example, there is no public transportation in Sabbath (because the Jewish religion dictates that in this day everyone have a divine mandate not to use electricity of any kind). Other than a few small quibbles though, we live a life that anyone from the western world should be familiar with. It might also be interesting to you that the Zionists - those who originally set out to make a country for Jews here in the middle east - were a very atheistic movement, that wanted little to do with the Jewish faith. So for example, if some of your impression of how living in Israel must be like comes from interacting with Jewish communities in the U.S, know that they are MUCH more religion oriented than most Israelis - after all, the atheist families were the one who migrated in largest number to Palestine in order to make Israel happen.

2) Now, after we went over the demographics, I want to mention another crucial fact. The weather in Israel is not one that very much fits wearing concealing cloths. It usually ranges from tropical (in the central areas and near the beach) to, well, a desert. Think about summer in California and you have roughly the correct mental image for winter in Israel. Given that, it's actually exceedingly rare NOT to see women wearing very revealing cloths (the same is true for men - I myself can't remember the last time I had sleeves on my shirt, or wore pants that reaches all the way to my knees).

So, please realize the comment you made is kind of silly when faced with reality. It's not unlike someone seeing a picture of an Amish village and thinking that this is how everyone in the U.S live.

Now, I realize you do not agree with me about the cover art. I do want ti point out though, that it seems you are not carefully reading my posts before reacting to them, given that I explicitly stated that I don't mind the art of Areelu from Wrath of the Righteous, for example, and that my problem with this specific one is more about the dehumanizing pose than the choice of wardrobe. It seems that from the very start you decided I have a problem with scantly clad women in general, and since then you were only looking for ways to assess that initial idea. Well, I'm telling you flat out - it's wrong. You can disagree with me, no problem with that, but please stop trying to trivialize me.


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Well said man, well said.

Quote:
You can disagree with me, no problem with that, but please stop trying to trivialize me.

Something that a lot of people everywhere need to understand.

Dark Archive

Lord Snow That was very interesting read. As I have never really thought about what it would be like over there in really any way, that certainly paints me a picture. Thank you Sir.


Oh, and Lord Snow? Thank you for the insight into what life in your country is like. We don't always get a very fair view of other cultures from the media, and often all we see is the warmongering, intolerance and so on. So a lot of people forget that there's always another side to it, and it's nice to get a reminder that for the majority of people, life goes on as normal, in a way that's not so different to our own. Likewise, they seem to forget that their own homes have their own bigots and warmongers as well.

It's funny, but Japan ends up in a similar situation in the west, but for a different reason. We get bombarded with pictures and "news" that basically tells us that Japan is an entire country full of weirdos who do things like pimp out semi trailers with neons and all kinds of stuff, or dress up in utterly insane rockabilly outfits, or that their men are all perverts who buy used panties from vending machines... and we don't question it, because hey, Japan's crazy right? Except that when you look into the articles, you find that the groups they're talking about are a very small portion of the population, and in some cases, the stories are old and completely outdated (the aforementioned vending machines are actually illegal now for example).

Just food for thought.

Silver Crusade

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Tinkergoth wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Trivial arguments deserve to be trivialized. Not every point warrants to be taken seriously.

Sorry Gorbacz, I normally like reading your commentary, but I think you've missed the mark here. As Jim said before, the comment about Lord Snow being from Israel explaining the situation was unwarranted. Your last comment is just proving Lord Snow's point for him, that you aren't, or at least don't seem to be, reading his posts particularly well before responding.

His complaint in the last post is not that you're trivializing his point of view (though I could understand frustration at that as well), it's that you're trivializing him by reducing the argument to "Oh, you're from Israel. You must be backward because your country is like that". Argumentum ad hominem is, as I said earlier, a poor method of debate, and often incredibly offensive.

As he's demonstrated clearly in his last post, he's not religious, and Israel is not the misogynists paradise you seem to feel it is. I obviously can't comment on the state of affairs in Israel from first hand experience, anymore than I could on how life in Poland is, because I haven't been there and seen for myself. So as was suggested before, how about we give Lord Snow the respect we'd want for ourselves by taking him at face value. I have no reason to disbelieve what he's saying regarding his home and country, and while I may not agree with his views on the cover, I don't think he's out of line to want to have them heard, nor do I find it that difficult to understand where he's coming from.

I'm just trying to rationalize LS's point. I could understand if it comes from cultural background. I could understand if it comes from some personal experience. But if it comes from neither, I don't understand it. There's City of Locusts cover and dozens of other "sexy but not objectified" depictions of females in Paizo art. And then we have a mostly clothed woman, we don't have context (notwithstanding the fact that art doesn't need context) and honestly, I'm seeing the "excise any attractive females from your products" argument down the road. Maybe not from Lord Snow, but I can totally see some of the more rabid posters picking this up and going all out.

I'm pretty tired of all those folks, be them religious or otherwise, going apesnuff crazy about nipples and poses and not having a single damn issue with recurring use of bloody hyperviolence in Paizo art. The latter bothers me, not yet to point of writing an essay, but close enough so that the next disembowelment is going to tip me over.

On the sexuality front, Paizo is consistently pro-equality, has a girl paladin in full plate, does artwork of women both modest and inmodest AND they make a living off a target demographic traditionally populated by sexually overcharged males. Even if they ever slip and print a 100% pinup cheescake I'm willing to let that float.

On the violence front ... yeah. Sexy girls bad, innards ripped out good. Hypocrisy, gentlemen and ladies.


Gorbacz wrote:

I'm just trying to rationalize LS's point. I could understand if it comes from cultural background. I could understand if it comes from some personal experience. But if it comes from neither, I don't understand it. There's City of Locusts cover and dozens of other "sexy but not objectified" depictions of females in Paizo art. And then we have a mostly clothed woman, we don't have context (notwithstanding the fact that art doesn't need context) and honestly, I'm seeing the "excise any attractive females from your products" argument down the road. Maybe not from Lord Snow, but I can totally see some of the more rabid posters picking this up and going all out.

I'm pretty tired of all those folks, be them religious or otherwise, going apesnuff crazy about nipples and poses and not having a single damn issue with recurring use of bloody hyperviolence in Paizo art. The latter bothers me, not yet to point of writing an essay, but close enough so that the next disembowelment is going to tip me over.

On the sexuality front, Paizo is consistently pro-equality, has a girl paladin in full plate, does artwork of women both modest and inmodest AND they make a living off a target demographic traditionally populated by sexually overcharged males. Even if they ever slip and print a 100% pinup cheescake I'm willing to let that float.

On the violence front ... yeah. Sexy girls bad, innards ripped out good. Hypocrisy, gentlemen and ladies.

Okay. Let's flip it around then. I think a lot of what people want to say about the sexual nature of the art has been said by now. Just one last thing though. I wouldn't be too worried about the remove all attractive females argument you think might be coming, given that most posters have been saying that they don't have a real issue with it. And as mentioned before, most of us agree entirely, Paizo is in general above reproach when it comes to promoting equality between people of different genders, sexual identities, religion and race. I don't think many of us at all would say that's anything but an unequivocally good thing. So, moving on from there... (but if people do still have things they'd like to say, please go for it!)

Lets talk about the violent art, and how it affects people.

Honestly it never occurred to me that people may find it offensive (though I know that some people play it down in their games), because I've always just thought of it as part and parcel of the whole fantasy RPG genre. Swords & Sorcery in my mind leads to grievous bodily harm from both weapons and magic. I mean my group don't go totally Warhammer-style grim-dark on our descriptions of combat and its aftermath, but we don't shy back from mentioning the blood and horror of it. Though thinking about it, I do tone it back a little for my cousin's group (at least part of that is because one of those girls is actually starting to scare me... bloodthirsty. So bloodthirsty...), so I guess I instinctively try to tailor it to the group. But most of my games other than Pathfinder are high impact games, with often significant amounts of horror mixed in with some very, very dark humour and so on. I'm used to systems where "criticals" or "exceptional successes" or whatever they want to be called lead to tables that actually explain exactly what kind of awful permanent injuries you take. Two of my favourite one-shot/short run game systems are Hollowpoint (a game where you play agents working together to get the job done, no matter what it is, no matter what it takes... the tagline is "Bad people killing bad people, for bad reasons", and my research for this game often involves reading true crime books and medical reports about physical trauma wounds) and Dread (the horror game with Jenga as a resolution mechanic, where it's not a matter of if you die, but when and how horrifically). Likewise, the games I play in are generally World of Darkness games (with the exception of a Reign of Winter game I'm in at the moment), and a few of the guys who run these games are capable of causing physical fear reactions and nightmares in the players, they're that good and setting the atmosphere and running their games. So I suppose I really am pretty hard to shock when it comes to violence and disturbing content. I mean, I don't go around showing horrific images to the players (unless it's really called for and I need to truly shake them up), and we always make sure we know what people's truly nasty triggers are so that we can avoid them (though it did come close one time when my former housemate misunderstood just how uncontrollably terrified of needles and spiders I am, and introduced the needle spiders... I can handle either one of those on their own in games, but the idea of a biomechanical horror with hypodermic syringes for legs, able to inject poisons or extract blood with horrifying efficiency, crawling over me... *shudder*).

So that's where I'm viewing this from, and obviously that's going to colour my perception of the art and content. And please keep in mind that I'm not one of the "sexy girls = bad crowd", so I'm not taking part in the hypocrisy as you termed it. Most of us here aren't, so please don't accuse us of it (not saying that you were, just asking that you be careful not to where it isn't warranted).

That said, having just flicked through the first two volumes of Mummy's Mask (I'd go through more of the books, but that involves getting out of bed, and Canberra has had the weather switch flipped from "comfortable but cool" to "Hell has frozen over, and you're living there", so I'm not leaving these toasty warm blankets til I absolutely have to), I haven't seen anything that I'd consider to be high impact violence in there. At a guess I'd say there's probably more in Wrath of the Righteous, because demons, and Skulls & Shackles may have it's fair share too (though I can't recall anything too bad).

I'm not discounting what you're saying about the art being violent, just suggesting that once again, as with our previous topic, perceptions of this are going to be subjective. Would you mind giving some examples of what art you consider to be beyond the pale for violence? I can get PDFs of most of the books from the last couple of years easily enough, and I'd like to have a look and see if I can get a better feel for what you're talking about.

Silver Crusade

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My argument was about Paizo's art as a whole, not just Mummy's Mask. That said, three examples from top of my head:

APG, page 321

Asylum Stone, page 55

Ultimate Combat, page 115

I realize that Pathfinder is a game about defeating things and taking their stuff. And that violence is an integral element, just like in many other games be they RPGs, board games or video games. However, gore for gore's sake irks me. It's fine enough for me to be told in print that troll augurs divine from innards, I don't really need to worry if the book will hit me with something like that shown in full art. Or that I'll have to double-check the book before I show it to my hypothetical kids.

And of course, I'm not squeamish, I've played World of Darkness a lot, I'm no stranger to violence in gaming. But I do get worked up every time we have a conversation about how attractive bodies threaten to either despoil the youth with thoughts of lascivious lust or reinforce male privilege and deepen discrimination of women, but we ain't having a conversation about how we show that ripping out guts is cool. I'm actually angry that I can't have a fully nude nymph or a cheering incubus flashing his thing in a Bestiary because nudity is bad, but I can have Imrijka disembowelling somebody because hyperviolence is fine.

It's a double standard that arises from US being a country where naked human body causes panic while splattered gore causes nothing, and Paizo's catering to that, while understandable for all the business reasons, strikes me as a victory of backward prudence.


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Gorbazc is the winner!
as an actual father, not hypothetical, and the unnecessary gore has been my biggest issue with art, my daughter is 10 and has uncles that work in movies on special effects, so its not as big a deal for me as it is for some, but yes i'd rather they toned down the gore:)

also Gorbazc, you forgot about Carrion Crown, book 4

:
when the dude's head explodes

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, to be fair, Carrion Crown has HORROR written all over it, and I'd suspect some gore, warranted by the context to pop up there - after all, splatter horror needs some splatter! That's why I specifically picked examples from setting-neutral stuff and an AP that doesn't have "blood and guts" written all over it.

The Exchange

Gorbacz wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Trivial arguments deserve to be trivialized. Not every point warrants to be taken seriously.

Sorry Gorbacz, I normally like reading your commentary, but I think you've missed the mark here. As Jim said before, the comment about Lord Snow being from Israel explaining the situation was unwarranted. Your last comment is just proving Lord Snow's point for him, that you aren't, or at least don't seem to be, reading his posts particularly well before responding.

His complaint in the last post is not that you're trivializing his point of view (though I could understand frustration at that as well), it's that you're trivializing him by reducing the argument to "Oh, you're from Israel. You must be backward because your country is like that". Argumentum ad hominem is, as I said earlier, a poor method of debate, and often incredibly offensive.

As he's demonstrated clearly in his last post, he's not religious, and Israel is not the misogynists paradise you seem to feel it is. I obviously can't comment on the state of affairs in Israel from first hand experience, anymore than I could on how life in Poland is, because I haven't been there and seen for myself. So as was suggested before, how about we give Lord Snow the respect we'd want for ourselves by taking him at face value. I have no reason to disbelieve what he's saying regarding his home and country, and while I may not agree with his views on the cover, I don't think he's out of line to want to have them heard, nor do I find it that difficult to understand where he's coming from.

I'm just trying to rationalize LS's point. I could understand if it comes from cultural background. I could understand if it comes from some personal experience. But if it comes from neither, I don't understand it. There's City of Locusts cover and dozens of other "sexy but not objectified" depictions of females in Paizo art. And then we have a mostly clothed woman, we don't have context (notwithstanding the fact that art...

So, yep, you pretty much never read my posts and are reacting to some perceived group of people with an agenda I don't share. You will notice that I very specifically pointed out that my problem is with this are in particular, that all in all I think Paizo are doing great, etc.

Not that you should care much about it, but I lost most of the respect I had for you during the discussion. I found your comments offensive, shallow, and incredibly condescending. At moments there you actually bordered on racism, all based on posts you obviously never fully read.

The Exchange

Oh, and Tinkergoth, thanks! Also, I always suspected Japan can't be the carnival fun house that is always represented in international media.


Gorbacz wrote:

My argument was about Paizo's art as a whole, not just Mummy's Mask. That said, three examples from top of my head:

APG, page 321

Asylum Stone, page 55

Ultimate Combat, page 115

I realize that Pathfinder is a game about defeating things and taking their stuff. And that violence is an integral element, just like in many other games be they RPGs, board games or video games. However, gore for gore's sake irks me. It's fine enough for me to be told in print that troll augurs divine from innards, I don't really need to worry if the book will hit me with something like that shown in full art. Or that I'll have to double-check the book before I show it to my hypothetical kids.

*quote snipped*

Yeah, figured you were talking about Pathfinder as a whole. But like I said, I'm snug and warm in bed, and The Half-Dead City and Empty Graves were the only two books I had within reach. That said, now that I've got some examples, let's pull down the PDFs and take a look-see.

Let's see here...

(Stupid amounts of time later, because internet access here in Australia is crap for the most part, even in the capital, but apparently we don't need a national broadband network... *head-desk*)

APG pg 321: Wow. Okay. Honestly don't remember seeing that before. Yeah, I can see and understand the concern on that one. Undead or no, that is... brutal, to say the least.

Asylum Stone pg 55: Hmmm. Yeah, visceral. Not as bad as the previous one, but without context pretty full on still. Troll doesn't appear to be in pain, but could easily be disturbing for young'uns, or those are are sensitive to that sort of thing.

Ultimate Equipment pg 115: This one I don't consider as bad. I can see where you're coming from, but to me it's bloody without being over the top. The wounds, where shown, aren't highly detailed. Admittedly, still not something I'd shove in front of a kid.

Well Senor Talking Bag, you raise some good points. And while I wouldn't have a problem handing this over to my 14 year old cousin, I'd certainly have issues letting his younger brother get hold of it. Or even handing it over to the 14 year old's friends, because unlike my cousin, I don't know them well and couldn't judge their reactions or what their parents thoughts on the matter would be. But yes, certainly some of the artwork isn't child friendly.

I wouldn't say it's a widespread part of their artwork though. Maybe more of it than the amount of 'cheesecake' artwork, but not a majority of their work.

It's something I'm inclined to give them a pass on for much the same reason you were saying you'd forgive the occasional pin-up art if it occurred, because Paizo's track record speaks to me as a company that are trying do the best they can, and doing a damn fine job of it.

I guess the other thing for me is that I have no intention of handing over any of the rulebooks to the kids I'm teaching to play until they're far more familiar with the game (and given that we only get to play once or twice every couple of months, that may take a while). Note that when I say that, what I mean is that I'm not going to hand them books and say "Go run a game". They're welcome to read the books, but since they're my books they stay with me most of the time, so when they are reading them, it's during a session usually, and it's when I've handed something to them specifically for them to investigate how something works. So I don't have to worry so much about them just leafing through the books and finding it. and with the 14 year olds, while I'd prefer to not be the cause of them finding pictures depicting graphic violence, at the same time I'm not going to lose much sleep over it if they come across them briefly... from what I know, they're mature enough to handle it, it's just not something I consider my call to make. Though given that my aunt had seen the books before we started playing and cleared the content with the parents of the other kids, I think it'd be fine.

So yeah, I can definitely see where you're coming from, but again it doesn't bother me personally. As always, it's subjective.

EDIT: I should say on the gore-for-the-sake-of-it front, this actually doesn't usually bother me that much. Depends on the medium. Supernatural horror movies? Love it, though I prefer if there's some actual story too. Horror movies like Saw, or other movies where it's a human serial killer... those get to me a bit more, because my traitorous imagination likes to go into overdrive when I've seen something like that. Video games? ROLL IT ON! I actually have to admit that I loved the Splatterhouse reboot game from a couple of years ago, because it was just over the top blood and guts and silly fun, with a thumping metal soundtrack and Jim Cummings voicing the Terror Mask. So this is a topic where my personal response is always going to be pretty easy chilled, but that's not to say that I don't understand that not everyone will consider it appropriate, nor do I believe they should have to.

EDIT THE SECOND: The reason I snipped the last two paragraphs of the quote is that I don't really feel I can comment on the cultural background that this is coming from. Once again, I don't have that first hand experience. We never really had the Satanic Panic here (or not as much as the USA did), as I've mentioned before, and we don't seem to have as much of an issue with nudity, but that's really all I can say, as I've never visited the mainland of the USA (Hawaii is as close as I've been, though that was awesome... 15 years old and staying in the same hotel as a bunch of cheerleaders there for a competition. Best holiday ever. Thought I was in heaven.)

I would say this again though. Be careful what you claim about a culture that's not your own. I strongly suspect the fundamentalist religious groups that complain about the despoiling of youth by naked images and so on you hear about are, much like the "crazy Japanese", over represented in the media. It's the vocal minority thing, they make good copy, so they get press time. I may not have lived there, but I do have a fair few friends there, along with multiple state-side offices full of colleagues, and they don't seem to be frothing lunatics who can't bear the sight of a bare nipple.

Silver Crusade

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My problem isn't that much of gore itself. After all, I'm not running after White Wolf for what they do in Black Dog imprint. I'm even not that much bothered about the gore vs. kids problems because the more I grow old the more I slide towards "RPGs are for adults" mindset.

But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. And I really have a hard time understanding how you can go after the Sphinx Lady, but not have an issue with all those exploding brains elsewhere. And like Tinkergoth says - the gore isn't widespread just like potential cheesecake candidates are few and far between. But why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

Maybe I'm the odd one out and I should shut up and just paint those nipples in my books. Dunno. But the discourse is so one-sided that it hurts.


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Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. And I really have a hard time understanding how you can go after the Sphinx Lady, but not have an issue with all those exploding brains elsewhere. And like Tinkergoth says - the gore isn't widespread just like potential cheesecake candidates are few and far between. But why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

Possibly partly because the cheesecake tends to be splashed all over the covers, while the gore is hidden inside?

I can't remember a nudity/sexualization thread that didn't start from cover shots, though several have then veered into interior art.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. And I really have a hard time understanding how you can go after the Sphinx Lady, but not have an issue with all those exploding brains elsewhere. And like Tinkergoth says - the gore isn't widespread just like potential cheesecake candidates are few and far between. But why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

Possibly partly because the cheesecake tends to be splashed all over the covers, while the gore is hidden inside?

I can't remember a nudity/sexualization thread that didn't start from cover shots, though several have then veered into interior art.

Book, cover, judge, by, don't ... /sigh

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. And I really have a hard time understanding how you can go after the Sphinx Lady, but not have an issue with all those exploding brains elsewhere. And like Tinkergoth says - the gore isn't widespread just like potential cheesecake candidates are few and far between. But why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

Possibly partly because the cheesecake tends to be splashed all over the covers, while the gore is hidden inside?

I can't remember a nudity/sexualization thread that didn't start from cover shots, though several have then veered into interior art.

Book, cover, judge, by, don't ... /sigh

That would work better if you hadn't implied that by being Israeli, Lord Snow was some kind of religious fantic opposed to nudity. Physician (or bag with teeth) heal (bite?) thyself.

However, on a side note, Pathfidner is not for children. It's been PG13 (veering higher on occasion) since it started and was intentionally so. So can people cut out all the 'for the children' arguments? If they're under 13, it's your job as their parent to decide if they're mature enoug to handle Pathfinder, both from a content and complexity standpoint, not Paizo's to make it suitable for them.


thejeff wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. And I really have a hard time understanding how you can go after the Sphinx Lady, but not have an issue with all those exploding brains elsewhere. And like Tinkergoth says - the gore isn't widespread just like potential cheesecake candidates are few and far between. But why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

Possibly partly because the cheesecake tends to be splashed all over the covers, while the gore is hidden inside?

I can't remember a nudity/sexualization thread that didn't start from cover shots, though several have then veered into interior art.

I strongly suspect that thejeff has found the primary factor here. It's more in peoples faces, so that's what they focus on.

Even on games that are obviously going to be gore/violence filled, like the Splatterhouse reboot I mentioned in my last post, the covers aren't that bad. Splatterhouse has the name of the game in bloody script, and the back shows some characters, but it doesn't show the visceral nature of the combat, it just mentions that you can do things like impaling enemies and so on. Lack of visual impact means it's less likely to raise an outcry, unless someone playing/watching it be played decides to decry it.

Movies often won't show the real violence on the posters/DVD cases as well. Same as in our Adventure Paths and sourcebooks, it's all hidden inside, away from the casual glance.


Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. Why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

But the violence is almost fundamental to the game. Hit points, attack rolls, damage rolls. Even the core mechanics of the book and a large chapter in the Core Rulebook are about violence. I agree it doesn't need to be gratuitous, but it's there in just about every game session.

I can see a session or two every once in a great while having zero battles, but the vast majority of them do. So I would expect to see some artwork of the grisly work of dealing death.

But the romance/sexual encounter/inneundo? Well, we have no core rules for them that I'm aware (unless you count the romance scores from Jade Regent and a couple of monsters' charm abilities), so I would expect to see far less artwork along those lines. Far less, in fact, than we actually do see.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. Why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

But the violence is almost fundamental to the game. Hit points, attack rolls, damage rolls. Even the core mechanics of the book and a large chapter in the Core Rulebook are about violence. I agree it doesn't need to be gratuitous, but it's there in just about every game session.

I can see a session or two every once in a great while having zero battles, but the vast majority of them do. So I would expect to see some artwork of the grisly work of dealing death.

But the romance/sexual encounter/inneundo? Well, we have no core rules for them that I'm aware (unless you count the romance scores from Jade Regent and a couple of monsters' charm abilities), so I would expect to see far less artwork along those lines. Far less, in fact, than we actually do see.

We don't have rules for urinating and defecating as well, does it mean that Pathfinder characters do neither? Wait ... it sounds like something out of a Ravingdork Thread ...

On a more serious note: romance/sexual encounters don't need rules. But the fact that there are no rules doesn't mean these things don't happen in games. You can't assume that a baseline Pathfinder game is a hack'n'slash with no elements outside of combat.


Gorbacz wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. Why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

But the violence is almost fundamental to the game. Hit points, attack rolls, damage rolls. Even the core mechanics of the book and a large chapter in the Core Rulebook are about violence. I agree it doesn't need to be gratuitous, but it's there in just about every game session.

I can see a session or two every once in a great while having zero battles, but the vast majority of them do. So I would expect to see some artwork of the grisly work of dealing death.

But the romance/sexual encounter/inneundo? Well, we have no core rules for them that I'm aware (unless you count the romance scores from Jade Regent and a couple of monsters' charm abilities), so I would expect to see far less artwork along those lines. Far less, in fact, than we actually do see.

We don't have rules for urinating and defecating as well, does it mean that Pathfinder characters do neither? Wait ... it sounds like something out of a Ravingdork Thread ...

I'm just saying that the violence is fundamental to the game. Everything else (including your examples) is up to each group's discretion. I expect to see violent images in this type of game and a lot less of every other type.

Silver Crusade

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Dustin Ashe wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But the fact that nudity/sexualization is discussed constantly, but violence being completely glossed over, boggles my mind. Why do we keep ignoring the former, while we continuously bring up the latter?

But the violence is almost fundamental to the game. Hit points, attack rolls, damage rolls. Even the core mechanics of the book and a large chapter in the Core Rulebook are about violence. I agree it doesn't need to be gratuitous, but it's there in just about every game session.

I can see a session or two every once in a great while having zero battles, but the vast majority of them do. So I would expect to see some artwork of the grisly work of dealing death.

But the romance/sexual encounter/inneundo? Well, we have no core rules for them that I'm aware (unless you count the romance scores from Jade Regent and a couple of monsters' charm abilities), so I would expect to see far less artwork along those lines. Far less, in fact, than we actually do see.

We don't have rules for urinating and defecating as well, does it mean that Pathfinder characters do neither? Wait ... it sounds like something out of a Ravingdork Thread ...
I'm just saying that the violence is fundamental to the game. Everything else (including your examples) is up to each group's discretion. I expect to see violent images in this type of game and a lot less of every other type.

Violence, yes. Gore, not. Previous editions of the game did just fine without going overboard in this department. I was kinda fine with no nudity AND no gore in my AD&D books. It was kind of a "we're playing fully PG safe side, if you want something more edgy, check out other companies". I'm kind of irked by the current situation.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Oh, and Tinkergoth, thanks! Also, I always suspected Japan can't be the carnival fun house that is always represented in international media.

No worries :)

Off topic discussion of Japan's portrayal in media:

Hah, yeah it can be pretty funny how all we see of Japan is the weirdness, like it's some national export or something. I've got a few friends who spend a lot of time there, and others who lived there for a few years, and for the most part they say it's very normal and actually very conservative in a lot of ways. They're more open about certain things, like having tons of fan-service in anime, even the anime made for younger audiences, or the acceptability of hentai (in both anime and manga formats), but when it comes to, for example, pornography, they have strict laws requiring anything made in the country to be censored (no unblurred shots of genitalia, male or female, though breasts are fine) - I'm told it also covers hentai, though apparently it tends to away with it far more often.

One of my favourite stories was about the supposed "craze" that involved people in the club scene going and getting a temporary cosmetic procedure done where they had saline drips attached to their foreheads, waited until large pockets of fluid formed, then poked the middle of the lump to form a doughnut shape... turned out that it was some small group of clubbers that were doing it very occasionally. Not a big craze.

The same thing happens here though. You wouldn't believe how many people I used to speak with online who just assumed that because I wasn't from the city, I either lived in a desert mining town, or on a farm, and I must be a beer swilling country music fan (for the record, I was raised in a town in rural New South Wales; my mother is a teacher, my father is an IT technician, as am I; I HAVE lived on a farm, when I went to boarding school for all of 3 months; while I'll drink premium and boutique beers, I prefer cocktails, straight single malt scotch or red wine, as well as dessert wines; and when it comes to metal I listen to an unbelievable variety of stuff, but my main loves are metal, alternative, industrial electronica and rock). For a visual example, take at the way they show Alice Springs in Kangaroo Jack, as a desert town with tin buildings and dust everywhere. Then do a quick image search on it and see what it really looks like. Yes, it's a desert town, but it's not a barren wasteland.


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Dustin Ashe wrote:

*snip*

But the violence is almost fundamental to the game. Hit points, attack rolls, damage rolls. Even the core mechanics of the book and a large chapter in the Core Rulebook are about violence. I agree it doesn't need to be gratuitous, but it's there in just about every game session.

I can see a session or two every once in a great while having zero battles, but the vast majority of them do. So I would expect to see some artwork of the grisly work of dealing death.

*snip*

I'm sorry, I really shouldn't do this, you've given me just too perfect a lead in to ignore.

For an example of a game session that had truly minimal combat (literally two attacks worth of combat in the whole session) while still being one of the best sessions our group has played, check out my latest update over on my blog, The Grassy Gnoll. (Warning, Reign of Winter spoilers ahead for books 1 and 2 ahead).

Reign of Winter: The Bard and the Dragon

Back on topic! I can see your point here. And as Gorbacz did mention earlier, the perception of RPGs as being "for kidz" has been steadily changing over the years, especially with non-D&D/Pathfinder systems like World of Darkness and Call of Cthulhu running around handing out the mind-screws. And yes, a certain amount of violence is to be expected. But when I look back over the editions, and even 3/3.5 just prior to Pathfinder, it's true that I see far less gore, without any real drop in the effectiveness of the art. It's not something that bothers me, but it is something that I'll happily admit is not necessary to my enjoyment of the game.


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As an American, I often feel compelled to apologize for the insane dichotomy between sex and violence that shows up in products sold here. So, um... sorry, international Paizo customers.

In practice, showing someone's intestines or splattered brains is considered at the edge of good taste here, but showing a woman's nipples will get you pulled from a lot of stores.

Similarly, describing a love scene in the same level of detail as the battle scenes in most fantasy novels can fly under the radar, but will become a major descriptor of your writing if it's noticed.

Since many of Paizo's writers are here in the States, I'm sure a lot of them have internalized this as well. I know I personally don't think twice about describing vicious battles and body horror, but I need to be pushed by my players to even include fade-to-black sex.

In America's defense, we might be making a little progress. Hopefully stuff like Game of Thrones will remind the broader market that sex actually does sell and maybe they should just freaking sell it to us rather than dancing around the issue like puritanical idiots.

We'll see.

Tinkergoth wrote:
Asylum Stone pg 55: Hmmm. Yeah, visceral. Not as bad as the previous one, but without context pretty full on still. Troll doesn't appear to be in pain, but could easily be disturbing for young'uns, or those are are sensitive to that sort of thing.

With the context there, though, it's pretty awesome.

For what it's worth, young me would have freaking loved the Augurs. Old me freaking loves them too.

I was literally just pointing that art out on the Shattered Star pawn set to my spouse last night. Not because intestines are awesome, but because it's very representative of the Augurs.

Cheers!
Landon

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