The Orange Feather

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cognitivedissonance:

After threats against her life, Anita Sarkeesian canceled an upcoming talk at Utah State University. Gamergate trolls are celebrating on Twitter while simultaneously dismissing the threats as nothing. Does this read like nothing to you?

“I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”

The email’s author threatened to murder feminist women indiscriminately in a mass shooting. And because carrying guns on campus outweigh the right of students and guests to be safe, Anita Sarkeesian canceled her talk.

BUT WE SHOULDN’T FEEL THREATENED, RIGHT?

BECAUSE IT’S JUST THE INTERNET, RIGHT?

The bullies won this time. And if you think this shit isn’t dangerous, I’m fresh out of fucks to give and I’m not restocking any time soon. It’s goddamn wrong to to dismiss this by claiming the author isn’t serious. Elliot Rodger’s rantings were dismissed until it was too late.

This. Is. Not. OK.

(via liamdryden)

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We now know that telling writers to avoid the passive is bad advice. Linguistic research has shown that the passive construction has a number of indispensable functions because of the way it engages a reader’s attention and memory. A skilled writer should know what those functions are and push back against copy editors who, under the influence of grammatically naïve style guides, blue-pencil every passive construction they spot into an active one.

Harvard psycholinguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker on the art and science of beautiful writing 

(via explore-blog)

(via medesha)

2,934 notes

femfreq:

Last month I was invited to speak at the XOXO conference & festival in Portland. I used the opportunity to talk about two forms of harassment that are commonly used to try and silence and discredit women but are not as easily identifiable as misogynist harassment: conspiracy theories and impersonation. (Note: trigger warning early on for examples of rape and death threats)

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dr-archeville asked: So whenever I see Changeling in a PF book, my initial thought is still the doppelganger/human hybrids from Eberron, not the hag/human hybrids of Golarion. Why did Paizo make that change, and is/will there be a shapeshifter-descended PC race in PF?

wesschneider:

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Changelings first appeared in the Pathfinder RPG with Pathfinder Adventure Path #43, where I included them in the initial volume of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Changelings as a creature/concept has variations in the folklore of multiples cultures (Changelings on Wikipedia). Typically they’re children left by some sort of fairy creature replacing a kidnapped human child. They’re then raised by human parents and—in some stories—only later realize their magical nature or are reclaimed by their otherworldly progenitors.

In RPGs, hags have always been one of my pet monsters. As an all female race, they rely on males from other races to procreate—which gets messy. Hags don’t seem like the maternal type to me, though. It also never made sense to me to have young hags, their concept is so reliant on them being crones. So their children needed some way to blend in. But how that worked was always a mystery.

As tales of hags—Black Annis, Peg Powler, Jenny Greenteeth—appear in several of the same cultures as stories about changelings, and as the two concepts fit well together thematically, I decided to tie the stories about hags and changelings together. Aside from meshing in a folkloric sense, in-game it created a young, human-looking race that has hints of a more magical background, but also a sinister secret. That appealed to me not just from a story angle, but also from a character angle—which is why I set them up as a player race.

So for me, I quite pleased with Pathfinder’s take on Changelings, both for their story potential and the niche they fill in a classic monster’s ecology.

As for why they’re different from Eberron’s changelings, well they had to be. There’s no folkloric prescient for changelings being related to dopplegangers—especially as dopplegangers are very different things in world mythology. That makes it an idea rather unique to Eberron, Dungeons & Dragons, and Wizards of the Coast. It’s an interesting idea, but it is distinctly someone else’s idea. So even if we were particularly taken with the idea, it wouldn’t be ours to touch—the concept, the look, anything.

But what always struck me as slightly odd was that Dungeons & Dragons so drastically changed the changeling when they’d already presented another unique version of the creature. Second edition’s Ravenloft adventure, The Shadow Rift had strong ties to all manner of fairy folklore but still introduced changelings as something different than then classic magical foundlings.

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The concept apparently got a strong retcon for Eberron, though. Eberron has never been my particular cup of tea, so I’m not entirely sure on this, but it seems like both versions have distanced themselves from the folkloric roots—which seems a shame.

Now, all that being said, if you’re looking for a shapeshifter race in Pathfinder, the closest thing you’ll likely find at the moment are skinwalkers. These are tied into Native American tales of people who can change themselves into animals, and in-game set them up as something akin to half-lycanthropes.

I think you’re looking for a bit more of direct port from Eberron to Pathfinder, though. I’m sad to say that there isn’t one. I’m also not in any particular rush to make one, for the reasons I mentioned above. That said, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own! The Advanced Race Guide’s Race Builder was designed entirely to let you make any race you want, and any race we might not be able to make for you. With that and a look at some low level spells, like alter self, you could probably string together your own Pathfinder changeling pretty easily!

(Or, I bet someone here might be interested in the challenge of creating a Pathfinder RPG changeling for you!)

So that’s the story! Great question. Thanks for asking!

~W

I loved Eberron, but it’s very distinctly Its Own Thing. To have Eberron anything you need an Eberron world. And the changelings of Eberron were more about a cool noir twist on fantasy tropes than trying to tie into mythology. I like the idea of a shapeshifter race for urban adventures (though gods did it ever create complications, I had 2 in my campaign) but I love the concept of the fey changeling from folklore (see the story in my anthology Changed and Changing by Andrea Phillips!). So the hag idea is really cool. I generally believe in just including the things you want to include in your game, because it’s your game! But yes, Eberron is awesome, and also Golarion is awesome.

Filed under changelings pathfinder D&D eberron

2 notes

Tom Sawyer Big Read

silverstringmedia:

The Lewis & Clark Library (lclteens) in Montana is embarking on a Big Read of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer — a massive, community-wide bookclub lasting all through the month of October 2014, and including lectures, movie nights, outdoor adventures, and a series of online discussions with special guest speakers like award-winning YA author Rachel Hartman, Lizzie Bennet Diaries producer jennipowell, and The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy actor itskylewalters!

Even if you’re not in Montana, you too can join in this internet-wide community book club, participate in the online discussions, and send in stories of your own adventures. Check it out!

Nerdfighteria take note! This is an awesome community reading project that’s not just limited to Montana. And you could be part of a book club discussion with Jenni Powell or Kyle Walters!

Filed under hank green john green lbd nerdfighters nerdfighteria