Shameless Plug — Masquerade Ball

OMG guys!  Buy my .pdf! It comes out on tomorrow from Raging Swan:  “Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball“.  It’s about clothes.  Obviously.  I mean there’s NPCs and plot hooks, but it’s mostly clothes.  It’s full of scary and elegant masks and costumes.  I had such a blast writing it, and re-watching Labyrinth, “for research purposes” only, of course.

I hope you like it!

Fashion Goblin:  Thinking too much about clothing, so you don’t have to.

To get you excited about it,  here are some gorgeous masked looks from the runway.

maskedball01 maskedball02 maskedball03

(Armani Privé, Spring 2011 Couture; Christian Dior Sprint 2011 Couture; Tex Saverio Jakarta 2014)

More Pinterest inspiration.


It’s Worse Than I Thought

Please Paizo,  Move up the release date of Hell’s Rebels.  Gareth Pugh needs rescuing.

You may remember my theory that based on his Spring 2015 collection, the Hell’s Rebels AP was going to center around rescuing Gareth Pugh from the Chelaxians.

Well, he just released his Fall 2015 collection, and it looks like he’s still trapped in Cheliax, working for House Thrune.

pugh20 pugh21 pugh22

He has shown in the past that he can dress a wider variety of Golarian inhabitants.

He can dress the Kellid and The Technic League


(Spring 2008, Spring 2014)

And Enora and Seltyiel.



(Fall 2013, Spring 2013)

He must be returned to wider Golarion!

Rayon in Golarion

The most common natural fibres of Earth are all pretty well attested in Golarion — cotton, linen, wool, silk.  Polyester, if it exists (and plastic does, so there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t), is safely confined to Numeria. But what about rayon?

Rayon (which is mostly synonymous with ‘viscose’) comes on the scene in about 1900.  It was developed as a cheaper alternative to silk. It is ‘semi-synthetic’; derived from chemically treated cellulose extruded through a spinneret.  (That sentence alone makes rayon fairly awesome)  In simple terms: wood pulp is mashed up with chemicals, then squirted though tiny holes to make thread.  Or something like that.  It dyes easily, is cool to the touch, and absorbent, but the fibres weaken when wet.

Qadira seems to be the only source of silk in the Inner Sea Region, which it obtains from Kelesh rather than producing. Think about that next time you spend 10gp on 50′ of silk rope. But don’t skimp and buy a cheap, rayon knock-off (assuming they exist).  You’ll regret it the next time you have to climb the Cliffs of Insanity in the rain!  (Does Tian Xia produce silk? It’s got to, right? Are there trade routes from Tian Xia over the Crown of the World?  Those are real question for any readers with access to Dragon Empires Gazetteer, or Jade Regent) With this single source of silk for the whole the Inner Sea Region, it makes sense that an alternative for clothing would be sought.

Rayon’s properties (absorbant, cool to the touch, not heat retaining) would make it an excellent fabric choice in hot, dry, northern Garund. (Rahadoum, Thuvia, Osirion, Katapesh).  As for likely producers, Andoran (Darkmoon Vale) and Mwangi Expanse, seem probable.  Both have large forests/jungles, and organizations willing to exploit them — The Lumber Consortium and The Aspis Consortium, respectively.

Given Pathfinder’s ‘pulp roots’, I have no alternative but to believe that rayon exists somewhere in Golarion.

Ask a Fashion Goblin

A gamer… asks:

Dear FG,

My GM seems hands out magic items that simply can’t be used together! Skull wands, then flower motif rings that glow softly… Seriously?? How can I get some simple fashion tips across?

Dear A Gamer…

I understand your vexation.  As the most stylish goblin in my gaming group, I face similar irritations.  The short answer is “Talk to you GM and have realistic expectations”.  (Is that ever NOT the short answer?).

Know your GM and your game.  If you’re playing in any sort of organized play situations (like Pathfinder Society), I’m afraid these tips won’t help you.  You probably won’t be allowed to make any changes, and you’ll have to be content knowing in your fashionable heart-of-hearts that the purple Robe of Arcane Heritage you found is actually a lovely shade of green that flatters your character’s complexion.  If your GM and the rest of the players in your group are very by-the-book, you may have to content yourself with this as well.

arcane1 arcane2 arcane3

(Possible Robes of Arcane Brilliance by Renato Balestra, 2014*; Naeem Khan, Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear; Tadashi Shoji, Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear)

Talk to your GM.  Sadly, not all gamers posses impeccable fashion instincts. Your poor GM may not know any better.  Start small and simple.  Ask what colour an item is.  Ask if it could be periwinkle instead.   Ask her whether the in-game town has a jewel-smith who can recast your ring into something less last-year (without changing the mechanics). You should probably do this away from the gaming table.  You’d be surprised at how many Pathfinder players don’t want to talk about clothes while they’re playing.

GMing is hard work, and takes a lot of time.  Many GMs are looking for ways to share responsibilities.   Your GM is probably excited that you have taken such an interest in the world and your character.  If she’s smart and/or lazy she’ll take advantage of your enthusiasm.  Offer to write descriptions of items you’d like to have, not the mechanics, just the appearance.  Can you draw?  Draw you character (and the other players), to help give everyone a better visual sense of each other.  It’s easier to see that an orange cloak is going to look garish over red armour, than to read it.

Have reasonable expectations.  There will always be occasions where, for whatever reason, the GM will not give you free rein to design the look of your items.  “I’m sorry, cleric of Desna,  I know you were hoping to find a butterfly pendant on these cultists of Zon-Kuthon, but they are really committed to their skull and chain aesthetic.”  Remember, NPCs (even evil cultists) have as much right to match their accessories as PCs do.


(What you wanted:  Valentino*; What you got:  Alexander McQueen*, 2011)

Certain items, like rings, are often described in ways that provide hints to their purpose.  A ring of swimming, for example, is described as having fishlike designs.  Organization may have official or unofficial uniforms.  A Red Mantis Assassin, will not be wearing olive green, no matter how much it flatters your complexion.


(Not a Red Mantis:  Mugler, Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear)

Embrace the Contrast.  Finally, if you end up with the skull wand and glowing flower ring, never underestimate the visual power of the hard/soft dichotomy.  Yes, it’s overplayed and cliché right now, but done well it can still create a visually stunning aesthetic.


(Prabal Gurung, Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear)

* I couldn’t find an complete reference for these, if any one knows season/year/designer, please let me know, and I’ll make corrections.