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Set wrote:

Apart from fantasy, what other genres would you like to write? Sci-fi? Romance? Horror? Historical fiction? Spy thrillers?

I've written some SF/Satire/Humor, and I have a contemporary fantasy novel coming out this fall.

I am working (and have been for a very long time) on a SF novel involving genetic manipulation, but I'm hung up on the tech. I'm always hung up on the tech when it comes to SF. I'm a little hung up on tech in RL... Hah!

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Ross Byers wrote:
A question for the broader table - What is your philosophy when describing the process of using magic? Especially when it is the POV character who is using it?

In Pathfinder Tales I don't delve too deeply into what is happening in the character's head when casting spells, but in Pirate's Promise -

Spoiler:
Vreva is captured and her magical ability is incapacitated by a slave collar that inhibits spellcasting. That scene describes what is happening inside her head as if an inner warmth she had always known was suddenly quenched. She is a sorcerer, so her magic is quite a part of her.

In my own world, it depends greatly on the type of spellcaster we're talking about. Some feel magic as part of the environment around them that they can manipulate using material components and written spells, much like Pathfinder wizards do, while others feel a more innate connection to the world and manipulate certain elements as part of their genetic heritage. Still other mages only manipulate magic through runes.

I like to approach magic like science: there are different disciplines of science and each scientist might solve a problem by approaching it through their own specialty. A geneticist might design a bacterium to eat pollutants, whereas a chemist will use a chemical process, and a physicist might use another approach...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris A Jackson wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Chris A Jackson wrote:
I like magic, especially sorcerers,
Ah. I was wondering why Vreva was a sorcerer and not, say, a bard.

You know, I never thought of making Vreva a bard... Huh.

** spoiler omitted **

Also it is hard to be sneaky if you have to sing all of your spells...

So here are some questions about Golarion and Pathfinder in general...

1) What are some of your favorite classes?

2) What are some of your favorite races?

3) Any class or race you don't like?

4) What is your favorite regions?

5) What are your least favorite regions?

6) Top 5 favorite gods?

7) Bottom 5 least favorite gods?

Dark Archive Contributor

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Several of us Pathfinder Tales writers are part of Marc Tassin's Champions of Aetaltis anthology. You can ask us anything at today's Reddit AMA.

The Kickstarter launched a few days ago, and you can find that here.

Dark Archive Contributor

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John Kretzer wrote:

So here are some questions about Golarion and Pathfinder in general...

1) What are some of your favorite classes?

It's tough to choose favorites, because I like so many different classes. As a player, I like having skills and a wide variety of abilities. As a writer, I'm usually less interested in class than in personality, but I also like exceptions and multi-classed characters.

I'm going to say fighter/magic-user/thief!

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2) What are some of your favorite races?

For a long time, humans were my default choice, and I still think of most fictional fantasy characters as essentially human "on the inside."

That said, gnomes are awesome. I think that one just ate a bug.

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3) Any class or race you don't like?

I have a love/hate relationship with drow. I hate the racist paradigm that dark-skinned versions of traditionally lighter-skinned races are inherently evil. I love the idea of creepy subterranean elves.

In past campaigns, I've made drow albinos who used dark paint to protect their skin from sunlight when they made surface raids, or else I've declared that they aren't black, exactly, but rather a dark iridescent color because of a magical transformation that lends them the chitinous skin of their Spider Queen.

Also, I pronounce "drow" to rhyme with "crow," even though I know that's officially wrong. I just think crows are scarier than cows, and so should drow be.

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4) What is your favorite regions?

Varisia, Tian Xia, Ustalav, and Kyonin are high on my list of favorites. There are several more that appeal to me a great deal, but I haven't plumbed their depths.

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5) What are your least favorite regions?

Those nations that seem to have one overriding theme can turn me off, at least until I see the diversity within the region. For instance, the Worldwound did nothing for me until I read about ancient Sarkoris (and its modern remains) in Lost Kingdoms and Lost Cities, and then I loved it.

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6) Top 5 favorite gods?

Desna, Lamashtu, Norgorber, Iomedae, Pharasma.

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7) Bottom 5 least favorite gods?

I can't really think of any I dislike. I'd probably be least interested in writing about worshipers of Abadar, Gorum, or Torag.

Dark Archive Contributor

Ross Byers wrote:
A question for the broader table - What is your philosophy when describing the process of using magic? Especially when it is the POV character who is using it?

Once upon a time, I avoided spellcaster POV characters because I wanted only to show the effects of magic on those to whom it was most mysteries, i.e., everybody else.

When I first envisioned Varian Jeggare, I wanted a character who understood a lot about how magic works but who still wasn't able to wield it. Of course, that changed in Prince of Wolves, when I decided to start unraveling the mystery of his disability and wanted, basically, to put a wizard in the party to show a group closer to what players might create in the game.

With other characters, I like to show how magic is terrifying and creepy. With Varian, I like to show how it has rules and exceptions. Because even in the Pathfinder rules magic is still a fairly abstract art (that is, even though we have precise mechanics for the effects magic has in the game, it's not like we have specific incantations or somatic gestures to relay), there's a lot of room for creative license in showing how magic looks and feels to a caster. I like the notion that each wizard might experience magic slightly differently or even cast the same spells with different words and gestures, just as one might write a poem in Japanese, Spanish, or English. The subtleties are different, but the main thrust of the poem is universal.

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Ross Byers wrote:
What is your philosophy when describing the process of using magic? Especially when it is the POV character who is using it?

Like everything else, my feeling is that it should tell you something about the character who's doing it. :)

So, for Isiem, magic is something that will always be a little bit scary and never entirely welcome, because of how he came to his power and where he learned to use it. For Ascaros it runs on an addiction model: his sorcerous bloodline poisons him with every use, and he knows it's killing him, but he can't stop using it and, knowing his helplessness, sometimes uses it for trivial things out of pure frustration and despair. For Velenne it's a power trip and a source of utter delight that she can bend the universe to her whims. All three of them are arcane casters, and their spell repertoires overlap a lot, but they have very divergent attitudes regarding their own abilities.

Then on top of the first layer of character-building comes the second layer of what the magic itself does. My view is similar to Dave's in that I think magic is shaped by its conduit, so the spell (and the experience of casting that spell) should reflect its caster. Sometimes this is obvious to an external observer (Isiem and Ascaros throw different colors of fireballs! whee!) and other times it's more internal. But there are always differences, even when the mechanical effects are the same.

Beyond that, my preference is that magic should always be a little mysterious and unknowable, never something that's entirely predictable or possible to take for granted. Even its wielders are never completely sure what it'll do in their hands.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Chris A Jackson wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Chris A Jackson wrote:
I like magic, especially sorcerers,
Ah. I was wondering why Vreva was a sorcerer and not, say, a bard.

You know, I never thought of making Vreva a bard... Huh.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Bards do specialize in those types of spells, but they don't get familiars. I can see why that's an important aspect of Vreva (and her story). Also, bards don't get to throw fireballs at the climax.
RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Liane Merciel wrote:
For Ascaros it runs on an addiction model: his sorcerous bloodline poisons him with every use, and he knows it's killing him, but he can't stop using it and, knowing his helplessness, sometimes uses it for trivial things out of pure frustration and despair.

I do enjoy the irony that the illusions he uses to hide his condition only serve to make the condition worse.

Did you ever run into problems with Ascaros when confronting the aspect of sorcery about having a limited repertoire? Or does Ascaros get to sidestep that by virtue of also being a cleric/mystic theurge?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Regarding Varian, I liked how he upended the old trope/assumption of "he's smart, so obviously he's a magic-user". ^_^

Dark Archive Contributor

Thanks! I hope you dig the big reveal about his problem in Lord of Runes. It's probably not what you think.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Alright, one for Liane Merciel and Dave Gross (if I recall correctly).

As someone who delved pretty deeply into Westcrown for Council of Thieves, a lot of what the novels reference about Westcrown is totally new to me.

The Midnight Guard, the active revolution... is there a source I'm missing? Oparal, Isiem, and others talk about it like a hotbed of revolution with an active counter-insurgency, but Council of Thieves and the other Chelaxian sources I'm familiar with present virtually none of that.

Is this discrepancy your work, or was there a behind-the-scenes update?

Thank you! ^_^

Dark Archive Contributor

Liane is the expert on this subject, but I built in a broken friendship between her hero Ederras and my hero Oparal based on the idea that they were both rebels in Westcrown.

We also outlined a prequel story in which her villain Velenne and my villain Varian were tasked with rooting out those rebels!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Varian and Radovan both worship Desna - Radovan is clearly CG.

But Varian's alignment is a bit harder to pin down. He didn't necessarily gain Monk levels in Master of Devils - Improved Unarmed Strike would have been enough. But he's class-ist to a fault and has a much easier time with discipline than Radovan does. Not to mention he is more interested in the past and future than chaotic people tend to be. I have a suspicion that Varian is LG.

How does the Lawful portion of his alignment interact with his veneration of Desna?

Dark Archive Contributor

Like my pal Barbossa, I think of alignment less as rules and more like guidelines.

More to the point, I think fiction characters are more complicated than characters statted out for a game, or they should be. Someone can have, say, a "public alignment" and a "private alignment," and one can get confused about how to act while struggling to remain true to one's chosen (or required) values.

What I'm saying is that people are complicated and alignment values are awfully simple. And I side with people.

But in a pinch, I'd call him LG trending LN or NG at different times in his life and in different conditions, although surely there are people in Cheliax who are certain he's LE, and others who would consider him chaotic in contrast to what they consider The Law.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Dave Gross wrote:
Like my pal Barbossa, I think of alignment less as rules and more like guidelines.

This raises another set of questions - Are the rules of the game rules, or guidelines?

For instance, in City of the Fallen Sky Alaeron describes the rules of alchemy to exactly match those in the Advanced Player's Guide. In contrast, in Secret of the Rose and Glove, Norret's alchemy is a lot more loosely defined, and he is able to do things like cast glitterdust, even though that isn't an alchemist extract.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I know I'm asking a lot of questions today - I just think it's really cool to have a thread like this where I can pick the brains of the authors of these awesome books. Thanks to everyone for answering!

Dark Archive Contributor

Ross Byers wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
Like my pal Barbossa, I think of alignment less as rules and more like guidelines.

This raises another set of questions - Are the rules of the game rules, or guidelines?

For instance, in City of the Fallen Sky Alaeron describes the rules of alchemy to exactly match those in the Advanced Player's Guide. In contrast, in Secret of the Rose and Glove, Norret's alchemy is a lot more loosely defined, and he is able to do things like cast glitterdust, even though that isn't an alchemist extract.

Your examples suggest, and I agree, that it varies from author to author, but always within a certain tolerance determined by James Sutter and the other members of the Pathfinder inner circle.

I'm sometimes described my stories as 90% or 95% rules compliant (depending on the story), with exceptions for extraordinary individuals (the Count's disability, Radovan's unique lineage, and a few other weird characters) or the vague "creative license," which accounts for action events that might not be strictly describable by combat maneuvers and feats, unorthodox "special effects" for spells and other magical events, and just plain mistakes, which happen to us all from time to time.

One of the reasons I don't completely stat out my characters is that I don't want to be in the middle of a cool scene and think, "Gee, maybe his Diplomacy isn't high enough for that to work."

So, yeah, "guidelines," but in this case more honored in the adherence than in the exceptions.

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John Kretzer wrote:

So here are some questions about Golarion and Pathfinder in general...

1) What are some of your favorite classes?

For playing: Sorcerers, as I said, and monks. I also enjoy barbarians, but I don't general play them as meat shields.

For writing: Sorcerers again. Rogues of all stripes (poisoners are cool to play with). Martial classes with specialties like acrobatics (Torius), or serious attitudes (Grogul) I'm really loving writing Snick, who is a rogue with profession of Engineer, and a penchant for siege weaponry and things that go boom... I'd love to see her take a level as an alchemist, but that would make her wicked complicated. I have one more favorite that will be revealed in Pirate's Prophesy.

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2) What are some of your favorite races?

Gnomes for their attitude, Half-orcs for the same reason. I had to have these two races playing against each other as humor relief in the pirate's novels, and one of the original pitches I sent to James Sutter was a tale with Snick and Grogul as the primary characters. That was wisely tabled, but they slipped in as secondary characters...

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3) Any class or race you don't like?

Elves and bards both make my teeth ache a little. Paladins are very difficult for me to both play and write (hats off to Dave for doing that brilliantly) Summoners are difficult to play, but would be fun to write, and again, Dave beat me to that punch.

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4) What is your favorite regions?

I had a ton of fun in Katapesh and especially Okeno (what a vile place). I'm enjoying Andoran a lot, as well... Not going to spoil too much there. You'll have to wait for Pirate's Prophesy. Also, Belkzen fascinates me because it is a region of savagery and chaos, but works on a visceral level of "might makes right" and "the strong survive". Yes...I'd like to go there, in the literary sense, of course.

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5) What are your least favorite regions?

I don't really have any. I'm not partial to frigid climes in general, though I shoveled a lot of snow this winter, so now I have some experience to apply...

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6) Top 5 favorite gods?

Calistria - Revenge, trickery, and lust. What a wonderful mixture! This is why I'm in love with Vreva Jhafae.

Gozreh - I love the double aspect, and well...sea gods are right up my alley.
Besmara - well, duh!
Desna - stars and dreams...two of my favorite things.
Asmodeus - the whole notion of a coldly calculating evil is just bone-chillingly delicious.

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7) Bottom 5 least favorite gods?

None really. I think the pantheon is well rounded. There is a lot of overlap, but that is, I think, intentional on the developers' part. There is definitely something there for everyone.

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Ross Byers wrote:
Did you ever run into problems with Ascaros when confronting the aspect of sorcery about having a limited repertoire? Or does Ascaros get to sidestep that by virtue of also being a cleric/mystic theurge?

Not yet. I won't say "never," because who knows what future stories might bring, but it hasn't happened yet.

Ascaros actually gets a pretty good range of spells -- even if he didn't have any cleric spells (which he does!), a pure sorcerer would still be pretty easy to write, I think. By mid-level you get a reasonably wide selection, and since these are novel characters rather than game characters, we can just fast-forward right past the super limited low levels.

Most novel characters just don't have to cast that many spells, especially in an ensemble cast. Scrolls and wands fill in the gaps for plot purposes, and then you need a couple of combat buffs and blasts and you're good to go. Not many characters get enough screen time to run through more than that anyway.

And if they do get into a situation where the sorcerer's limited repertoire actually comes back to bite them, weeelll, then you've just hit on one of the many fun intersections between game rules and story design. :)

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Kalindlara wrote:

The Midnight Guard, the active revolution... is there a source I'm missing? Oparal, Isiem, and others talk about it like a hotbed of revolution with an active counter-insurgency, but Council of Thieves and the other Chelaxian sources I'm familiar with present virtually none of that.

Is this discrepancy your work, or was there a behind-the-scenes update?

The Midnight Guard originates with Council of Thieves -- that's Ilnerik Sivanshin's little pet project (hence the Nidal/Cheliax crossover).

To the best of my knowledge there's no active ongoing rebellion in Westcrown, until/unless the PCs make one happen in CoT. There are occasional isolated acts of rebellion (and suspected rebels, and "we need to justify our budget to the government so we're going to find some rebels right now, understand?"), but I don't imagine Westcrown is anything like Pezzack or other actual hotbeds of rebellion. I envision it as being the sort of place where there are occasional brief, isolated sparks and then they get crushed hard. Or neutralized in other ways.

It is true that Ederras and Oparal have a backstory of completely failing to make a rebellion happen in Westcrown yea so many years ago (which did indeed ruin their friendship) and it is also true that Varian and Velenne have some prior involvement in hunting down suspected traitors in that city, but none of that should be taken to mean that there's any kind of sustained, organized opposition to House Thrune in Westcrown. There really isn't, at least as far as I'm aware.

To the extent that Isiem used to have a job hunting rebels in Westcrown, it was way more about presenting a show of creepy force to keep ordinary citizens in line, not hunting down people who were actually doing anything (which is part of why he hated that job so much, because he spent basically all his time doing mean things to innocent people on flimsy pretexts). I'd have to look again to see if this comes through as clearly as I'd hoped, but that's what I was going for with his views on the subject. It was a terrible job, and that was why.

I would venture to guess that since most of the perspectives we've gotten on Westcrown in the fiction up to this point have been from characters who found it advisable to leave Cheliax for one reason or another, that might tend to skew the city's portrayal a little. We're only seeing it talked about after the fact, and mostly only by people who didn't fit in there.

But that might change in the future. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I see. I was under the impression that Ilnerik essentially worked alone (not counting his spawn or his shadow beasts). I'd love to see what you'd do with an actual run of Council of Thieves. ^_^

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Ross Byers wrote:
Are the rules of the game rules, or guidelines?

I think they're rules. To me it's much more interesting to take the game rules as a starting point -- these are the hard and fast laws that govern the universe -- and then develop plots and characters based on the implications of those rules.

For example: what are some of the complications that might arise if you can only teleport three people every time you cast that spell? Not hard to think of situations where that might be a brutal choice, and it only exists because the game rules say so. Also, if the characters know how their universe is supposed to work, then it has much more impact when their expectations are confounded. If they know that powerful druids are supposed to be immune to poison, and yet a powerful druid turns up dead apparently because of poison, then that's weird and scary.

So for me the rules are really great for generating plots, and I try to stick to them closely except when I'm deliberately trying to highlight a Thing That Should Be Impossible.

Pretty much the only game rule that I'll intentionally ignore is hit point mechanics, because that is the one rule that is good for games but not so good for story purposes.

Liberty's Edge

Ross Byers wrote:
In contrast, in Secret of the Rose and Glove, Norret's alchemy is a lot more loosely defined, and he is able to do things like cast glitterdust, even though that isn't an alchemist extract.

Actually per his author Norret has Master Craftsman on Craft Alchemy and CWI...which allows him to have used Dust of Appearance (made by himself) in the incident you note.

That's a bit off-topic, I admit. I just wanted to note it for the record that Norret seems to be playing by the rules as much as Alaeron.

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Kalindlara wrote:
I see. I was under the impression that Ilnerik essentially worked alone (not counting his spawn or his shadow beasts). I'd love to see what you'd do with an actual run of Council of Thieves. ^_^

I tried running CoT once a while back. Alas, we didn't get very far. The murderplay kind of killed that campaign, pun very much intended.

I still think Westcrown's one of the best cities in the game, though. It's so much fun! SO MUCH FUN.


Am I really meant to put all my questions here?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Liane Merciel wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
I see. I was under the impression that Ilnerik essentially worked alone (not counting his spawn or his shadow beasts). I'd love to see what you'd do with an actual run of Council of Thieves. ^_^

I tried running CoT once a while back. Alas, we didn't get very far. The murderplay kind of killed that campaign, pun very much intended.

I still think Westcrown's one of the best cities in the game, though. It's so much fun! SO MUCH FUN.

My campaign fell apart. Wrong players, wrong characters, etc. The play was fun, though.

It's really disappointing, because I was really excited for a lot of things - not least Ilnerik. ^_^

EDIT: Forgot to question! Which of the published APs is your favorite? (Liane or anyone.)

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John Kretzer wrote:

So here are some questions about Golarion and Pathfinder in general...

1) What are some of your favorite classes?

2) What are some of your favorite races?

3) Any class or race you don't like?

4) What is your favorite regions?

5) What are your least favorite regions?

6) Top 5 favorite gods?

7) Bottom 5 least favorite gods?

1. Wizard! Also, in no particular order: cleric, sorcerer, paladin, oracle (oracles are SUPER NIFTY), rogue (especially the slayer and investigator subtypes).

2. I default to "human" and will probably always have majority-human casts. I think that helps highlight the non-humans and makes them more interesting by contrast.

3. I wouldn't say I actually dislike them -- I think they're pretty neat, conceptually -- but I'll probably never write a summoner because eidolon builds make my head hurt.

My least favorite race is anything that adds up to having three or more "halves." If the character's heritage is mathematically impossible I'm not having it.

4. Nidal/Cheliax/Isger (yes I have a theme!)

5. Anywhere they won't let me write a story. *sniff*

6. Everybody who's Lawful Evil is my favorite. <3

7. All the Chaotic Neutrals are fundamentally incomprehensible to me. I've tried. I just can't put myself in that headspace. It's not that I don't like them, but I feel like I'm staring at one of those magic eye pictures and it's probably a bogus one that doesn't even have a secret image attached, it's just laughing at my headache. Yes. The picture is laughing at me. That is how I feel about Chaotic Neutral deities. I think they would be pleased.


Liane Merciel wrote:

{. . .}

My least favorite race is anything that adds up to having three or more "halves." If the character's heritage is mathematically impossible I'm not having it.
{. . .}

Listen to Car Talk, and you'll soon break through this . . . .

Dark Archive Contributor

Liane Merciel wrote:


7. All the Chaotic Neutrals are fundamentally incomprehensible to me. I've tried. I just can't put myself in that headspace. It's not that I don't like them, but I feel like I'm staring at one of those magic eye pictures and it's probably a bogus one that doesn't even have a secret image attached, it's just laughing at my headache. Yes. The picture is laughing at me. That is how I feel about Chaotic Neutral deities. I think they would be pleased.

This changes when you have children or students.

Contributor

Dave Gross wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:


7. All the Chaotic Neutrals are fundamentally incomprehensible to me. I've tried. I just can't put myself in that headspace. It's not that I don't like them, but I feel like I'm staring at one of those magic eye pictures and it's probably a bogus one that doesn't even have a secret image attached, it's just laughing at my headache. Yes. The picture is laughing at me. That is how I feel about Chaotic Neutral deities. I think they would be pleased.
This changes when you have children or students.

Or cats!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Chris A Jackson wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:


7. All the Chaotic Neutrals are fundamentally incomprehensible to me. I've tried. I just can't put myself in that headspace. It's not that I don't like them, but I feel like I'm staring at one of those magic eye pictures and it's probably a bogus one that doesn't even have a secret image attached, it's just laughing at my headache. Yes. The picture is laughing at me. That is how I feel about Chaotic Neutral deities. I think they would be pleased.
This changes when you have children or students.
Or cats!

Is sleepy an alignment? ^_^

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Kalindlara wrote:
Which of the published APs is your favorite? (Liane or anyone.)

I have not played nearly enough of them, but I had a great time with Rise of the Rune Lords, and I'm currently GMing Shackles. As always, I include the elements I like, and skirt around the ones I don't while GMing. The only problem I have ever found with any of the AP's is when two different authors give the adventure a very different flavor. Hard from an editorial standpoint to keep that transition smooth.

Dark Archive Contributor

Thaldis wrote:
Am I really meant to put all my questions here?

All of your questions. All of them.

Dark Archive Contributor

Kalindlara wrote:


EDIT: Forgot to question! Which of the published APs is your favorite? (Liane or anyone.)

The only ones I've actually run are the early chapters of Runelords and Jade Regent, and I love them both. As a GM or player, Varisia is my "comfort food" location in Golarion.

I've read or skimmed many of the other APs, or at least their summaries. Curse of the Crimson Throne is my favorite that I've read but not played.

Assuming we can actually finish Runelords this year, I'm keen to try Kingmaker, Reign of Winter, dShattered Star (probably after CotCT), and Legacy of Fire.

I played an oracle in a bit of Carrion Crown and loved the atmosphere. I've skimmed the AP for references to Prince of Wolves (thanks, Wes!), but I haven't read it closely. I'd like to run it or finish playing it some day.


How do you feel when your story is... how should i say this... invalidated (or alter so much that it's not the same story) by an existing spell?

For example (no disrespect on the authors as i enjoyed both stories very much) in the Master of Devils having Burning Cloud Devil get himself a regenerate or in Plague of Shadows having the lich get himself a resurrection.

Again i enjoyed both stories i used as an example, i am just curious how do you deal with such a thing.

Dark Archive Contributor

I actually considered the question of why BCD didn't seek out a regeneration spell. In his case, it was a matter of pride (he couldn't do it himself) and guilt (because [spoiler] died when he lost the arm).

Especially since the bigger characters in MOD were inspired by the operatic world of wuxia fiction, that was more than enough reason for me.


Dave Gross wrote:

I actually considered the question of why BCD didn't seek out a regeneration spell. In his case, it was a matter of pride (he couldn't do it himself) and guilt (because [spoiler] died when he lost the arm).

Especially since the bigger characters in MOD were inspired by the operatic world of wuxia fiction, that was more than enough reason for me.

That's pretty much what i had guessed, it fits the narrative of a wuxia story but this isn't what i asked. I asked how you deal with such an issue when writing a story, do you try to find reasons for not happening? do you alter the story a bit to explain it? something else?

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leo1925 wrote:
How do you feel when your story is... how should i say this... invalidated (or alter so much that it's not the same story) by an existing spell?

I would be sad if it were a plot hole and I'd just overlooked that possibility. I'm sure I've made that type of mistake in the past and I'm equally sure it'll happen again, so really the best I can hope for is that it's a minor one or at least easily explainable (maybe my wizard just doesn't know that spell!).

If I'm already aware that Ability X will beat out Plot Development Y then I need to either come up with a reason that Ability X does not work in this specific circumstance (which is fun) or I'll throw Plot Development Y out the window and come up with something else that makes more sense.

This does get pretty complicated, though, and I think it's a factor in why it's generally easier to write stories with mostly low- to mid-level characters. If the characters can't personally cast the spell then it might be functionally inaccessible to them, e.g., it's possible that a powerful Big Bad might be a wee bit paranoid about putting himself at the mercy of a high-level cleric who might decide that the world is better off without that particular Big Bad being around anymore, and might be powerful enough to pose a real threat. So even if those casters are around in those regions of the world, there might be good (or terrible and paranoid, but still functional!) reasons why characters choose not to avail themselves of those options.

In general if I'm relying on that kind of reasoning I'll make an effort to highlight it in the story, but sometimes it's hard to keep all the balls in the air already and that part doesn't feel organic to the scene so it gets cut. And other times I just completely missed it and it's a legit plot hole. Alas, mistakes happen.

Dark Archive Contributor

leo1925 wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:

I actually considered the question of why BCD didn't seek out a regeneration spell. In his case, it was a matter of pride (he couldn't do it himself) and guilt (because [spoiler] died when he lost the arm).

Especially since the bigger characters in MOD were inspired by the operatic world of wuxia fiction, that was more than enough reason for me.

That's pretty much what i had guessed, it fits the narrative of a wuxia story but this isn't what i asked. I asked how you deal with such an issue when writing a story, do you try to find reasons for not happening? do you alter the story a bit to explain it? something else?

I dealt with it by incorporating the qualities of pride and guilt into his character. I didn't have to alter anything because I had it in mind when conceiving of his personality.


Ok, thank you both for answering.

Another question (this one goes to Dave Gross), since the Arnisant chapters in Master of Devils, any chance the count's father will cast awaken on Arnisant so that we can have more chapters with him in future books?

Contributor

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leo1925 wrote:
How do you feel when your story is... how should i say this... invalidated (or alter so much that it's not the same story) by an existing spell?

In working with such a deep and powerful magic system, it's difficult sometimes to make sure you've figured out all the eventualities of magic to solve problems. It may seem like a cop out to say this, but I often think that if I can't think of using a certain magical "solution" for a problem facing my characters, well by golly neither could they! I strive to keep the magic in the novels relatively low level, and when a big spell is needed to solve a problem, there has to be a major investment to gain that spell. Sometimes the availability of high level magic in the game (as a GM) kind of makes my teeth ache. I limit the players access to high level magical items, spells, armor, weapons, etc simply because if these things were so readily available, everyone with enough money would have them, and that doesn't build a workable world (IMHO). That's how I write my fantasy. Yes, my characters employ raise dead right off the bat in the short prequel story, Stargazer, but Torius had to spend himself into the poor house to do it.

Hope that answers the question.

Dark Archive Contributor

leo1925 wrote:

Ok, thank you both for answering.

Another question (this one goes to Dave Gross), since the Arnisant chapters in Master of Devils, any chance the count's father will cast awaken on Arnisant so that we can have more chapters with him in future books?

I wanted to give Arni a side quest in Queen of Thorns, using the fae creatures of Kyonin as something equivalent to the kami of Tian Xia. Alas, TPTB did not share my enthusiasm for an Arni mini-adventure sequel. That's not to say it can never happen, but I don't think the chances are good.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

A whole Arni mini adventure might be too much, but maybe a two-page chapter or two?

Scarab Sages

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I like to think that Arnisant lives a rich adventuring life that Radovan and the Count are just blissfully unaware of. After all, you can't really picture him just waiting back at the inn while his people go out and brave danger.

Dark Archive Contributor

Belabras wrote:
I like to think that Arnisant lives a rich adventuring life that Radovan and the Count are just blissfully unaware of. After all, you can't really picture him just waiting back at the inn while his people go out and brave danger.

Yes, this.


Dave Gross wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

Ok, thank you both for answering.

Another question (this one goes to Dave Gross), since the Arnisant chapters in Master of Devils, any chance the count's father will cast awaken on Arnisant so that we can have more chapters with him in future books?

I wanted to give Arni a side quest in Queen of Thorns, using the fae creatures of Kyonin as something equivalent to the kami of Tian Xia. Alas, TPTB did not share my enthusiasm for an Arni mini-adventure sequel. That's not to say it can never happen, but I don't think the chances are good.

That's unfortunate, i really liked the dog's chapter.

Ross Byers wrote:
A whole Arni mini adventure might be too much, but maybe a two-page chapter or two?

Oh yes!!!

Or maybe a short story with Arni as the protagonist?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Probably a little early to ask...but I'll ask now anyway...

How was Paziocon(if you were there)?

Anything interesting happen that you can tell us about?

Any stories you would like to share?

Dark Archive Contributor

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This hotel is a much better venue. It's wonderful to have a hall of single- or double-game rooms upstairs.

Barcon is, as ever, the highlight. And, as you know, what happens in Barcon stays in Barcon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So are you guys still tired from the Con?

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