Mélange IV

Random thoughts. Mostly about Pathfinder, still, but I also talk about video games and movies, a bit.
  • I'm not using them in my game, but if I did, I think the "elven" weapons in Pathfinder would basically be various sizes of shashka—the thorn blade and leaf blade are both dual-typed, piercing and slashing (I would actually extend this out to the curve blade, too). The shashka has a less pronounced curve than a typical scimitar, saber, or szabla, which presumably makes it easier to stab with.

    I'd personally further modify that list of weapons by making the "Aldori dueling sword" an "elven" weapon, and making the curve blade not only piercing as well as slashing but making it eligible for "Slashing Grace" (which currently only applies to light one-handed weapons, whips, and the dueling sword…I think maybe also scimitars, or would that render "Dervish Dance" redundant?).
  • Decided to do "weapon familiarity" for human ethnicities, too. The urban intrigue-y duel-happy society are always proficient with rapier and jutte and treat estoc as martial; the rural one, with politics centered on a heavy-cavalry elite but not exactly in the manner of European chivalry, are proficient with lance and heavy pick and treat whips as martial weapons. The land-nomads (whose main dismounted weapon is morningstar or greatclub—I follow Kingmaker in making the greatclub simple, because it always should have been) are proficient with bow and hooked lance and treat lassos as martial, while the sea-nomads are proficient with trident and treat harpoon and net as martial weapons. Halflings, who are small humans, in my setting, are proficient with atlatls (which don't have a plural in Classical Nahuatl, being inanimate) and treat bolas and boomerangs as martial weapons.
  • In my campaign, elves are proficient with longswords and bows, and treat bastard swords and fighting fans as martial weapons. Dark elves, on the other hand, are proficient with light and heavy flails and treat spiked chains and scorpion whips as martial. Dwarves are proficient with warhammer and earthbreaker and treat pistols and muskets as martial; "dark" dwarves are proficient with heavy pick and mattock, and treat net and bola as martial weapons—their gear is made of the silk and chitin of giant spiders, acquired by trading with the aranea. Gnomes are proficient with battleaxe and treat heavy and light repeating crossbows and "dwarven" waraxes as martial weapons. (This gives them a one-handed weapon that does 1d8 damage despite being Small.)

    Goblins are proficient with bows, falchions, and butterfly swords—butterfly swords are just small falchions, and perfect for dual-wielding, since my male hobgoblins are mostly rangers—and treat mancatcher as martial, because they get all their agricultural labor from non-goblin slaves. Ogres (including orcs) are proficient with battleaxe, throwing axe, and greataxe, and treat the orc double axe (the only "racial" exotic I keep with its original owner if I have it at all) as martial. Of course, ogres/orcs in my setting make most of their weapons from stone, so the typical "orc double axe" is two knapped-flint blades lashed to one axe-haft. (Incidentally, has anyone noticed that the so-called "war clubs" used by Plains cultures, would more accurately be called "stone warhammers"?)
  • Anthem really, really is just Destiny in powered armor. I mean, Legion of Dawn? Yeah I liked them better when they were called Iron Lords. The Scars are just time-locked Vex pretending to be Fallen (they even look like Spider's guys from the Tangled Shore). The Fall of Freemark is just the Six Fronts but they lose (it helps to be immortal, who knew).

    The thing that starts the game off, with the Heart of Rage, was kinda like the Great Disaster, except the people in the Last City weren't dumb enough to turn on the Guardians over the defeat at the hands of Crota, since they knew they really needed these son-bitches to survive. (And Crota was an actively hostile demon god, not just an unusually virulent natural disaster, so picking a fight with him was a much worse decision.) Maybe it's like the fall of the Iron Lords, actually?

    Shall we discuss the whole part in the middle of the main campaign where the protagonist makes a bargain with a piratical type with pretensions to royalty? I was half expecting Queen Mara Princess Zhim to make her entrance after the Freelancer is startled by seeing Scars with blue markings instead of orange, acting as guards.
  • I totally accept the BioWare devs' assertion that they started on these ideas before Destiny even came out; basically everyone was bruiting these ideas for MMO shooters at the time. Here's the thing, though: they didn't think, in all the time between the first E3 trailer and release, to maybe tweak anything in the final product so it's less reminiscent of Destiny?

    They were already trying to carve out a niche in the same "market space" as Destiny; they really should've put in some effort to set themselves apart. (And not go the "well, Destiny doesn't look like a PS2 game, so we're unique in that regard" route, the one taken by Warframe.) I don't know how you would do that, but they needed to. They're doing so badly in sales because most of the people who might want what Anthem gives them, are already getting it from Destiny.

    However, I don't care how bad of decisions EA has made with this game, no way no how should it be reviewing worse than Mass Effect Andromeda. This is me defending a BioWare game, that should tell you how unfair that is. Yes Anthem is nothing to write home about, but Andromeda is something to scrawl on the walls of a padded cell about!
  • Aquaman absolutely got robbed at the Oscars—not even getting a production-design or visual effects nomination? Really? That movie was the first truly DC Comics movie that doesn't even have the trifling issues Justice League did. It did what DC does best: "here's most of a century of continuity in one plot, but you're not going to feel overwhelmed by it in the slightest".

    Personally I would say it's even a Best Picture candidate, but the Academy doesn't nominate comic book movies for that unless there was an "Oscars so white" hashtag the year before a comic book movie with a mostly-black cast came out. (I'm not saying Black Panther didn't deserve the nomination: I'm saying deserving it, isn't why it got nominated.)
  • I know I said Cyberpunk 2077 was dumb, given how cyberpunk has been played out for about a quarter-century, but apparently it's based on a tabletop game. It's still dumb, though, because that game is, as far as I can tell, the one that introduced the CyberneticsEatYourSoul trope. And they eat it less if you implant it into your brain than getting it for your limbs, because that's totally logical. Cyberpunk, capital-C or otherwise, is dumb-dumb-dumb. It is, like all the *punk subgenres it spawned, long on aesthetic and criminally short on make-a-lick-of-sense.
  • So it occurred to me that even though I don't have azatas, agathions, or archons in my setting, I can use the cleric subdomains that derive from them, for the nonhuman races' gods—like how the 3e Forgotten Realms books had "Elf" and "Dwarf" and "Drow" domains. You could use the Azata subdomain as one for the elven gods, for example, and in my setting, anyway, Archon for dwarves and Agathion for either humans or gnomes.

    Could also give Demon to the dark gnomes (not sure if they have any divine casters at all, let alone any who have domain access) or maybe witch-humans' inquisitors, Devil to the goblins' inquisitors, and Daemon to either dark-elf or witch-human inquisitors. Most of my evil societies have witches for their priesthoods, not clerics, but most of them do have inquisitors.
  • Relatedly I think azatas are what elves become when they die. Mortals in my setting are worshiped when they die, and the celestials are explicitly the same kind of being as deities. It would be weird if every dead mortal became something stronger than all but the greatest celestials, so the "average" mortal doesn't really become a deity; they just become a sort of deified form of their mortal self. It gets harder with the other races, though, which don't resemble any celestial type as much as elves resemble azatas. I think I might have to have dwarves become inevitables, gnomes become aeons, and humans become agathions. This would necessarily entail changing their alignment to "any non-evil", of course, and changing a whole bunch of the fluff. Of course, what evil dead mortals become, is something else: undead.