Hey, that's my character!


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Sovereign Court

I'm curious about the opinions of internet denizens. Yes, that's something no sane person would normally admit to, but it is what it is.

So, share with me if you will your opinion on players "taking" names from Golarion canon for their PFS characters.

I'll hold myself up as an initial example. I consider it perfectly reasonable (and at one time original) to have a PFS character who is a member of the Blackros family. But that's only because I deliberately included a backstory about why my character is a Black Sheep of the House and thus not privy to any more pull or knowledge in the plethora of Blackros-themed adventures than any other schmuck Pathfinder Agent.

What are your feelings about that, or other name-hijackings? As another example, my gaming area had a guy who insisted his character was "the" Merisiel. Not Merisiel clone X, but the real McCoy the pregens pretend to be. How would you feel about someone insisting her character is indeed "the" Kyra or "the" Valeros?

What about assuming the identity of a named NPC from canon such as a (presumably redeemed) villain from one of the published scenarios, or maybe even a well known NPC such as Janira Gavix or Kreighton Shaine?


I got two Liberty's Edge characters with the last name Benedict who claim to be distant relatives of Alysande Benedict.

One character is taking up the mantle of Thestil Shadowtongue (see 4-07: Severing Ties) whenever there's interactions with Aspis agents or just needing an alias in general.

Paizo Employee 5/5

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What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?


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deusvult wrote:
I'm curious about the opinions of internet trolls.

You rang.

As far as your question goes. I prefer creating something from my own original ideas but to each his own.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Is your Merisiel player James Jacobs, by any chance?

I can't say I'm a huge fan of this sort of thing, as it generally demands some sort of special treatment. It's fine when it's minor and workable (like being a Blakros black sheep) but if a player came to my table claiming to be Princess Eutropia, and ask to see the papers.

I briefly debated creating a pfs character out of a very minor (1-2 encounter) NPC who wasn't likely to ever show up again, but in the end decided against it. It's more trouble than it's worth, and there's still so much material on Golarion to tie a character to that I don't think sticking to the big names and faces is really necessary.

Sovereign Court

Fasch wrote:
What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?

In the case of assuming the identity of iconics or Venture Captains, I'd agree. That's not cool, but it's only my opinion and I'm curious what other people think, or even if they do it. Near as I can tell, there seems to be no actual rule against it, and if someone DID do it you'd be powerless to do anything other than shrug your shoulders and insist to the other players that the PC is "obviously deluded".

OTOH, I do kind of like the idea of minor NPCs "jumping" into the realm of PC shenanigans. How cool would it be to see Janira Gavix at your table, and get to see something other than that perpetual cycle of running from a minotaur added to your experience of her story? So long as the player isn't insisting on using that character in The Confirmation, obviously. Likewise it might be cool to see some minor villain from a scenario turn up. I have a character who helped turn in Celeena Deckland from The Infernal Vault in to justice. As a giggle, the GM announced her punishment was forced marriage to my (highly uncouth) barbarian. Hell, how much fun would it be to start a new character as Celeena, formerly of House Deckland? :D

Paizo Employee 5/5

deusvult wrote:
Fasch wrote:
What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?

In the case of assuming the identity of iconics or Venture Captains, I'd agree. That's not cool, but it's only my opinion and I'm curious what other people think, or even if they do it.

OTOH, I do kind of like the idea of minor NPCs "jumping" into the realm of PC shenanigans. How cool would it be to see Janira Gavix at your table, and get to see something other than that perpetual cycle of running from a minotaur added to your experience of her story? So long as the player isn't insisting on using that character in The Confirmation, obviously. Likewise it might be cool to see some minor villain from a scenario turn up. I have a character who helped turn in Celeena Deckland from The Infernal Vault in to justice. Her punishment was forced marriage to my (highly uncouth) barbarian. Hell, how much fun would it be to start a new character as Celeena, formerly of House Deckland? :D

To explain the joke, Fasch is one of the random throw-away example NPCs in City of Strangers that the GM can choose to use when the PCs are gathering information.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Just a quick note here: It's really *not* cool to refer to members of our community as "trolls." We're giving this thread the stink-eye about whether it should remain open or not, because this statement is incredibly baiting. We welcome all kinds of gamers here, and if you're actually experiencing an issue we'd rather it be communicated via community@paizo.com so we can help, not as a thread opener.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Fasch wrote:
deusvult wrote:
Fasch wrote:
What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?

In the case of assuming the identity of iconics or Venture Captains, I'd agree. That's not cool, but it's only my opinion and I'm curious what other people think, or even if they do it.

OTOH, I do kind of like the idea of minor NPCs "jumping" into the realm of PC shenanigans. How cool would it be to see Janira Gavix at your table, and get to see something other than that perpetual cycle of running from a minotaur added to your experience of her story? So long as the player isn't insisting on using that character in The Confirmation, obviously. Likewise it might be cool to see some minor villain from a scenario turn up. I have a character who helped turn in Celeena Deckland from The Infernal Vault in to justice. Her punishment was forced marriage to my (highly uncouth) barbarian. Hell, how much fun would it be to start a new character as Celeena, formerly of House Deckland? :D

To explain the joke, Fasch is one of the random throw-away example NPCs in City of Strangers that the GM can choose to use when the PCs are gathering information.

And Fasch is awesome. Would not have guessed Zen archer though...

The character I had thought to use was Deris Marlinchen from Black Waters as a Spiritualist, but ultimately decided against it. I suppose I still could come August, but I'd want to put GM credit from his scenario on him, which would take a star at this point.

For minor NPCs I don't see it as too much of an issue. As a hypothetical though, what do you tell people who show up at your table playing a character who killed the NPC your character is based off of? I feel like there'd be a lot of fumbling around in cases of "shared history."

Sovereign Court

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just a quick note here: It's really *not* cool to refer to members of our community as "trolls." We're giving this thread the stink-eye about whether it should remain open or not, because this statement is incredibly baiting. We welcome all kinds of gamers here, and if you're actually experiencing an issue we'd rather it be communicated via community@paizo.com so we can help, not as a thread opener.

Troll to you apparently means something different to me, so the wording in the OP is changed appropriately.

Sovereign Court

Zak Glade wrote:


For minor NPCs I don't see it as too much of an issue. As a hypothetical though, what do you tell people who show up at your table playing a character who killed the NPC your character is based off of? I feel like there'd be a lot of fumbling around in cases of "shared history."

It's a fair point, but easily enough dismissed. Raise Dead isn't just for protagonists! You'd likely have to change to a nonevil alignment anyway, so the whole being killed thing can be actually woven in to the backstory about generating some serious contemplation about poor life choices as justification for a PFS-legal alignment.

Shadow Lodge

If it deteriorates from the game, it's no good.

If it adds to (or doesn't really affect) the game, it's fine.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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...Do you mean "detracts"?

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Jiggy wrote:
...Do you mean "detracts"?

No, no, if the name starts to physically break down it's not a good idea to use it.

Paizo Employee 5/5

Zak Glade wrote:
Fasch wrote:
deusvult wrote:
Fasch wrote:
What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?

In the case of assuming the identity of iconics or Venture Captains, I'd agree. That's not cool, but it's only my opinion and I'm curious what other people think, or even if they do it.

OTOH, I do kind of like the idea of minor NPCs "jumping" into the realm of PC shenanigans. How cool would it be to see Janira Gavix at your table, and get to see something other than that perpetual cycle of running from a minotaur added to your experience of her story? So long as the player isn't insisting on using that character in The Confirmation, obviously. Likewise it might be cool to see some minor villain from a scenario turn up. I have a character who helped turn in Celeena Deckland from The Infernal Vault in to justice. Her punishment was forced marriage to my (highly uncouth) barbarian. Hell, how much fun would it be to start a new character as Celeena, formerly of House Deckland? :D

To explain the joke, Fasch is one of the random throw-away example NPCs in City of Strangers that the GM can choose to use when the PCs are gathering information.

And Fasch is awesome. Would not have guessed Zen archer though...

The character I had thought to use was Deris Marlinchen from Black Waters as a Spiritualist, but ultimately decided against it. I suppose I still could come August, but I'd want to put GM credit from his scenario on him, which would take a star at this point.

For minor NPCs I don't see it as too much of an issue. As a hypothetical though, what do you tell people who show up at your table playing a character who killed the NPC your character is based off of? I feel like there'd be a lot of fumbling around in cases of "shared history."

After she tried to pick his pocket and he caught her and got some info, the Cheliax faction zen archer in my run of City of Strangers spent significant personal gp to pay a caravan to take Fasch to the monastery in Cheliax where he himself had trained. So I said to him "I was planning on testing an archer soon anyway. I'll just play Fasch the zen archer as my next character."

Silver Crusade 5/5

you mean like this?

After I found out how much that group of meddling kids got paid for "investigating" my House of Recovery, I decided there was lots more money, ah, I mean, a better future in becoming an adventurer myself.

I should note, that I've had a lot of fun with my Auntie Baltwin character - and it seems like all the players she's played with have enjoyed her as well.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

I would avoid taking NPCs and using them as your character, even minor ones. You never know when a character might turn up again, even years later, and then there is a potentially very awkward situation.

Sovereign Court

Tony Lindman wrote:
I would avoid taking NPCs and using them as your character, even minor ones. You never know when a character might turn up again, even years later, and then there is a potentially very awkward situation.

Two players having characters claiming to be the same person would be awkward as well.

The Exchange 5/5

I'm not sure...

No more than working in an office with two people with the same name (which has happened more than once to me....). Or having a PC in a game with an unpronounceable name.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

nosig wrote:

I'm not sure...

No more than working in an office with two people with the same name (which has happened more than once to me....). Or having a PC in a game with an unpronounceable name.

Same name? No problem. Same family? Sure, why not?

Same actual person? Hm...that's going to get confusing.

In our area, we have quite the collection of distantly-related Blachros cousins, at least one Kitsune who enjoys disguising himself as NPCs from last week's scenario ("No, I'm totally Lander! Really!"), and a pirate captain who commandeered the Hydra's Fang--all good fun.

And then there's the ever-exanding Flutterfoot clan of the Flying Flutterfoot Family Circus and Traveling Pathfinder Lodge...

Silver Crusade 5/5

It is clear we aren't the same person, because I'm me and they are them... and we both know that.

;)

if I were to recieve an assignment from the VC at the same time as someone else with my name ... I think it would be about the same as seeing two GreatSword using Uthden Barbarians at the table - one named Pug, and the other Ploog....

We can check backgrounds, clearly we came from much the same environment, both running Day-Care centers in the City at the Center of the World.

Working it out in the field would be fine - and the fact that Pickles would have another cat around... He's kind of used to that from back at the House. Even the fact that sometimes I would get mixed up as to which cat he is, depending on how much "tea" I've had.

Silver Crusade

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I have one character that is supposed to be a specific NPC--just because I love playing her so much--but she is also troubled enough mentally, and her memory is notoriously wonky enough, that she could find out she is wrong. It wouldn't be the first time she got confused....

Her circumstances are also unique enough that there being more than one of her wouldn't be too unreasonable.

Grand Lodge

This isn't directly addressed at the OP's question, but as far as taking names from Golarion canon there are several which I actually think would be quite appropriate:

Names of gods (Aroden, Ketephys, Calistria, etc.), or derivations therein, are names that real people take in real life all the time (Jesus, Christopos, Ahmed, etc.). It would only make sense that Golarion is awash in these sorts of names as well.

Names of famous people (Durvin, Nex, Aroden, etc.) within Golarion also strike me as conceivably very common.

Of course, these would be PCs named after individuals in Golarion canon, not claim to be those individuals themselves...

Liberty's Edge

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It'd be even funnier if multiple people did it when you ran into the NPC in question...

Aram Zay: "I'm Aram Zay, and I need you to..."
Player 1: "Um, excuse me? I'm Aram Zay."
Player 2: "No, I AM ARAM ZAY"
Player 3: "HOW DARE YOU, I AM ARAM ZAY"
And then the GM went home

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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Marshall Mathers, Bard 6 (Sound Striker) wrote:
Will the real Aram Zey please stand up? Please stand up? Please stand up?

That'll be six DC 17 Fort Saves for half...

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5

On a related note, my GM and I had an amusing time when I played my Liberty's Edge Drunken Fist named Coalson (name inspired by Agent Coulson) met up with Major Colson in The Paths We Choose - after a few minutes, he was calling me 'Little C', and I was calling him 'Big C'.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

I think it depends based on the connection. If you can make it make sense, by all means!

If your character is a male member of the Blakros family who realizes he will never reach his full potential in a matriarchal family, that makes sense.

If your character is avenging the tragic death of Horace Colgardie, that makes sense too.

If your character is Lord Gyr of House Gixx, and you have no reason he's a Pathfinder...not so much.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

The only time that I have done something remotely like this is because one of my characters received the boon that allowed him to marry (or in this case, be adopted) into the Blackros family... Otherwise, I would frown on it...

Sir Roderick Blackros the Chaste

Scarab Sages

A friend of mine has a cleric named Lyra who is Kyra's little sister. She joined the Pathfinders after hearing several stories of her sister popping up in several locations all over Golarion, sometimes at the same time or too far apart to seem realistic. She also heard tales of her at different power levels (represented by all the NPCs people play of her). She signed on to investigate what was happening.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just a quick note here: It's really *not* cool to refer to members of our community as "trolls."

Well that's just racist is what that is.

Shadow Lodge

Who would do such a thing? Nobody I know would masquerade as a prominent member of Pathfinder Society lore.

The Exchange

Dorothy Lindman wrote:

In our area, we have quite the collection of distantly-related Blachros cousins, at least one Kitsune who enjoys disguising himself as NPCs from last week's scenario ("No, I'm totally Lander! Really!"), and a pirate captain who commandeered the Hydra's Fang--all good fun.

And then there's the ever-exanding Flutterfoot clan of the Flying Flutterfoot Family Circus and Traveling Pathfinder Lodge...

As said Kitsune, I've also started a scenario as Amara Li, only to have Amara Li give the mission...was quite funny. Ive also done Nefti in several adventures. Young boy from Kaer Maga, suddenly whipping you across the chest with a flimsy blade. When no-one can pierce the disguse, or my lies, who's to say who or what I truly am? Diplomat and Spy, able to speak nearly every human tongue, and only revealed my natural form twice.

Dark Archive

I see no harm in a PC saying that they are the "real" iconic. The iconics never show up as NPCs, so there will never be a conflict, and if it causes trouble it's completely possible they are mistaken about thier identity.

I also see no harm in playing minor NPCs from scenarios that aren't going to show up again. Especially if they are married to your character.


I have, and continue to be strongly tempted to play as NPCs who have had 1 adventure basically starring them, who PCs tend to hate. That said, if somehow it happened that I were to play such an NPC and that NPC somehow showed up in the adventure, I wouldn't make a scene, beyond maybe "There but for the grace of God go I."


I'm a bit confused. I thought that's what the iconics were for - for people to play as their characters.

So if someone in your game is playing Merisel, then for all intents and purposes in YOUR Golarion, they are indeed THE MERISEL.

As for someone playing a venture captain, that's really up to your GM. It's no different that someone trying to play Elminster or Bigby or Drizzt or what have you.

My original D&D campaign in 1980-something was home to Legolas, Gandalf and Ivanhoe the Knight.

One of my friend's original campaigns featured Legolas (again!), Alanon, and a young man named Adric.

Personally, that was me playing as a kid. Now that I'm a tad older and more experienced, I much prefer to create my own heroes and craft their legends anew rather than using someone else's idea.

The current campaign I'm running features a high level Ezren as the NPC contact to the Pathfinder Society with a PC group where one of the players is running Alahazra the Oracle at lvl 1. For our campaign, she is THE ALAHAZRA as there will not be another PC playing her - unless of course, she drops out and never plays the campaign again. In which case, someone else could take up the mantel.

Shadow Lodge

I have been tempted to build a more accurate Seoni then the iconic (by which I mean having the Tattooed Sorcerer Archetype, which was practically built for Seoni, besides, she shouldn't be forced into the arcane bloodline to have her familiar) but that may be too close to my Jade Regent PC.

Then there is my noble character, who had the chance to meet his cousin in a recent game Marcèl Lebeda, my swashbuckler.


Fasch wrote:
deusvult wrote:
Fasch wrote:
What!? How could someone even think of doing something like this?

In the case of assuming the identity of iconics or Venture Captains, I'd agree. That's not cool, but it's only my opinion and I'm curious what other people think, or even if they do it.

OTOH, I do kind of like the idea of minor NPCs "jumping" into the realm of PC shenanigans. How cool would it be to see Janira Gavix at your table, and get to see something other than that perpetual cycle of running from a minotaur added to your experience of her story? So long as the player isn't insisting on using that character in The Confirmation, obviously. Likewise it might be cool to see some minor villain from a scenario turn up. I have a character who helped turn in Celeena Deckland from The Infernal Vault in to justice. Her punishment was forced marriage to my (highly uncouth) barbarian. Hell, how much fun would it be to start a new character as Celeena, formerly of House Deckland? :D

To explain the joke, Fasch is one of the random throw-away example NPCs in City of Strangers that the GM can choose to use when the PCs are gathering information.

Good one

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I don't think I've done this....yet...

Edit: Wait, I was wrong. He didn't think before he stabbed and got fired.


Names are not unique. I don't see any issue with it.

Sovereign Court

May Contain Meerkats wrote:


Names of gods (Aroden, Ketephys, Calistria, etc.), or derivations therein, are names that real people take in real life all the time (Jesus, Christopos, Ahmed, etc.). It would only make sense that Golarion is awash in these sorts of names as well.

I think it's Inner Sea Gods, but one of the books out there specifies that it's totally A Thing that the church of Cayden Cailean maintains orphanages.. where those kids raised by the church without families take the surname Cailean.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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in the "Year of the Shadow Lodge" special, the bad guy used a magical widget to break himself into dozens of duplicates, each of different power and experience. I'm assuming that the same thing happened with the popular iconics.

In a world with clone, simulacra, doppelgangers, mirrors of opposition, and so on, I would find it easy to believe in Thomas Riker.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

in the "Year of the Shadow Lodge" special, the bad guy used a magical widget to break himself into dozens of duplicates, each of different power and experience. I'm assuming that the same thing happened with the popular iconics.

In a world with clone, simulacra, doppelgangers, mirrors of opposition, and so on, I would find it easy to believe in Thomas Riker.

While the rest of us are playing Pathfinder, Kyra is playing Paranoia.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Designer

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Linda and I started a meme in Boston about "The Order of the Kyra," a sect of Sarenrae that gathered priestesses of the Dawnflower who would renounce their name and worldly possessions, take the name Kyra, and receive garb and magic items to match the gear used by the original St. Kyra.

Once, Linda was playing Kyra as the GM to fill the 4th slot and I was also playing Kyra because I didn't have a character in subtier and my other choices were Valeros7, Merisiel7, and Ezren7. We got into major theological debates about differences in our dogma (my Kyra, for instance, believed that the fact that St. Kyra prepared cure spells in non-domain slots each day, even though it was obviously pointless because she could spontaneously swap for them, was a sign of greater wisdom to teach us humility and to help us learn that sometimes out magic must be saved to heal others, without temptation to put it to other use. Thus, I always prepared the exact listed spells on the character sheet. Her Kyra, on the other hand, believed that the exact spell list was not ordained from on high by St. Kyra as a lesson for future generations but was merely a product of her time and circumstances, a suggested set that must necessarily change to fit the current circumstances).

Sovereign Court 4/5

deusvult wrote:
May Contain Meerkats wrote:


Names of gods (Aroden, Ketephys, Calistria, etc.), or derivations therein, are names that real people take in real life all the time (Jesus, Christopos, Ahmed, etc.). It would only make sense that Golarion is awash in these sorts of names as well.

I think it's Inner Sea Gods, but one of the books out there specifies that it's totally A Thing that the church of Cayden Cailean maintains orphanages.. where those kids raised by the church without families take the surname Cailean.

Did you say an ORPHAN?!

(This is one such character. I figured I'd make a different kind of Taldan).

Grand Lodge

This character was a very fun NPC in the Kingmaker AP. It was the first AP that I ever GM'd, and the NPC really struck a chord with me.

Sovereign Court 4/5

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"Use someone else character as the inspiration for mine? Oh never sir!"

Liberty's Edge

I have threatened some of my players with a player character (Almost typed "PC", but where would the fun be in THAT?!) version of Miss Feathers...


I have a character who is a Blakros. She joined the Pathfinders as part of a exchange considering how much help the Society is when everything goes pear shaped at the museum. Simple back story that doesn't hurt the internal consistency of the PFS universe.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

James McTeague wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

in the "Year of the Shadow Lodge" special, the bad guy used a magical widget to break himself into dozens of duplicates, each of different power and experience. I'm assuming that the same thing happened with the popular iconics.

In a world with clone, simulacra, doppelgangers, mirrors of opposition, and so on, I would find it easy to believe in Thomas Riker.

While the rest of us are playing Pathfinder, Kyra is playing Paranoia.

I thought it was Ezran who was playing Paranoia. Kyra is just amongst the most popular.

Someday, I half expect to GM a party consisting of Ezran, Kyra, Harsk and Merisiel. I would also expect Kyra to be the sole survivor.

The Exchange 5/5

kinevon wrote:
James McTeague wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

in the "Year of the Shadow Lodge" special, the bad guy used a magical widget to break himself into dozens of duplicates, each of different power and experience. I'm assuming that the same thing happened with the popular iconics.

In a world with clone, simulacra, doppelgangers, mirrors of opposition, and so on, I would find it easy to believe in Thomas Riker.

While the rest of us are playing Pathfinder, Kyra is playing Paranoia.

I thought it was Ezran who was playing Paranoia. Kyra is just amongst the most popular.

Someday, I half expect to GM a party consisting of Ezran, Kyra, Harsk and Merisiel. I would also expect Kyra to be the sole survivor.

just run some Silverhex games

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