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Should I emphasize the pain and anguish they are creating. Is that part of the point of an evil AP?
That entirely comes down to the game you and your group want to play.
With any game—but especially with ones that don't conform to common fantasy RPG expectations—before you start playing you and your players should discuss what you all want to get out of the game. That discussion should form the foundation of the experience you, as GM, seek to provide.
In the case of an evil Adventure Path, you should pose exactly the question you just asked to your group.
Maybe your players want the experience of being juggernauts of evil, fighting and crushing monsters they don't usually get to and indulging '50s comic book villain expressions of evil. If so, great! Go for it. Cackle along as the PCs burn every orphanage of wicker lesheys they encounter.
Maybe your players want an exploration into what it means to be evil, with all the ramifications and hurt laid bare, pitting their characters' angst and dark pasts against a world that scarred them. If so, great! Let them lash out, let them feel bad, let them push the boundaries of what they can bring themselves to do and see if their characters weep when finally their humanity breaks.
Maybe your players want something in between, 'cause there's quite a gulf there.
In any case, it's for you and your group to figure out what's right for all of you.
Along with that, you should CERTAINLY set some ground rules for what is and isn't too far. Evil games do NOT mean that everyone's filter gets switched off and every imaginable expression of id is suddenly okay. Talk with your group about what they do want to see in the game and what they certainly don't. Having these guidelines will help you run a game everyone enjoys and will serve you in defining what is too far.
There's a lengthy discussion about exactly this in our upcoming Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures book, and it makes sense that this comes up here—an evil game and a horror game have many similarities.
But ultimately, if you're going to try and make the players feel something negative—fear, discomfort, sorrow, etc—you should have that conversation upfront, let them know what they're in for, and let them make the fully informed call on whether or not they want to play.
Evil can be fun, but evil can also be unsettling, and that's entirely in your and your groups' hands. Make sure you're all on the same page about the story you're going to tell/play so everyone can have the best possible time.
I hope the corruption system will have a lot more then vampires and lycanthropes.
Woo. Might be hard. Hitting EVERY ANIMAL with lycanthrope options doesn't leave a lot of space in the rest of the book. We weren't initially sure whether to do this or not, but ultimately couldn't bring ourselves to leave our small but vocal were-koala audience in the lurch again.
We'll see how things shake out in editing.
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
But I need this now! One of my players just got raised from the dead by Bishop Senir, and a tag along spirit come along for the ride...
Well, good luck with all THAT. O_O
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
These corruption rules sound like the exact type I've been wanting for years, since Heroes of Horror came out. Exposure to the darkness might make you part of it... and you might not object to it at first... when it seems beneficial...
Heroes of Horror keeps coming up, and while I can't say that that product had much impact on this book, looking back it does look like some of the remits are similar. That said, there will be tons of new content in here for GMs as well as players. If you like the mixes you've seen in past "Adventures" books, particularly Occult Adventures, you'll be well served here as well.
N. Jolly wrote:
I'm sure I can't reassure you until this book's release, but, again: eyes open. Thanks for being interested! :D
Lucus Palosaari wrote:
Horror often has a great deal to do with your GM's storytelling technique, a topic thoroughly treated in this—whether she's trying to creep your character (or you) out.
As for upcoming products: Stay tuned.
N. Jolly wrote:
While I'm looking forward to this (Heroes of Horror was one of my favorite 3.5 books), I'm slightly worried about the amount of realism that will be involved in 'madness' and such. I do actually trust Paizo to do this well, so this isn't me saying they're going to do anything offensive, but it's also a very easy subject to be make offensive, so I hope we'll see some previews on this to assuage my fears.
We are keenly aware of this. I can't say don't be concerned, but certainly, don't think we're going into this with our eyes—or those of several partners—shut.
There's probably not going to be a competing new Hellknight PrC, but there might be a few tinkers and ways in.
Fringe cases are always going to be fringe cases.
Most Hellknights are not paladins. Some paladins are Hellknights. The overlap on that venn diagram is not especially large, but it canonically does exist.
Hellknights are fanatics. Paladins are also fanatics. In some orders, some members are capable to making their fanaticisms align. This is not commonly the fast track to the echelons of paladin or Hellknight power, but it can happen. Those that can straddle both worlds are uncommon exceptions, but interesting for being exceptions. They are also likely to face unique challenges to both their faith and their allegiance.
If you can imagine exceptional ways in which a Hellknight might also be a paladin, go ahead and add paladin-Hellknight to your roster of characters to play.
If you can't or otherwise don't like that idea, don't.
It's your game, include/exclude whatever you want.
Nice. Javert is CERTAINLY the major inspiration behind the whole group.
After I first wrote about these guys in the Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide folks started mentioning "Oh, like Judge Dredd." To which I've always been like, "Oh, yeah, I guess him too." :)
John Kretzer wrote:
There's PLEEEEEENTY of time for this to still be relevant to the end of the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path—particularly the issue that releases in the same month.
This might have been slated for earlier, but we bumped it back because I needed to finish volume one of this AP and can only write these things so fast, YOU. JACKALS.
Nice! Thanks for checking it out!
1) I wrote the description of Pathfinder's dhampirs in Bestiary 2, which includes this sentence: "Although not driven to consume blood for survival as their undead progenitors are, dhampirs nonetheless know a lifelong desire for blood that nothing else can truly sate."
Dhampirs don't just get the perks of vampires, they're also afflicted with a lifelong addiction. Larsa's no different.
2) Greater brand from the Advanced Player's Guide.
As an aside, I wrote the Occult Adventures spell repress memory entirely because I needed a better version of modify memory for Ms. Kindler. It's nice when the rules/story flow can run both ways.
3) The Monastery of the Veil is also touched on in Dave Gross's Prince of Wolves. Larsa and Jadain take the same path through the Hungry Mountains as Radovan and the Count. There's even an Easter Egg on the bridge L & J pass over for Dave's readers (so keep an eye out!)
The residents of the Monastery, the Anaphexia, are also touched on in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Mysteries, so you might want to check that out for more details.
Thanks again for reading and hope that helps! :D
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
The curupira got all the way to the end, but we weren't feeling the art. (Turns out that illustrating a little guy who runs fast with his feet on backwards is challenging to get just right.)
That's a factor worth pointing out. For all the monsters in our bestiaries everything has to be in The Zone: story, design, and illustration. If something slips, there's a strong chance the entry gets side-boarded. That doesn't mean it won't ever see the light of day, it just means that it's not right for the project du jour.
Then sometimes everything works perfectly and a creature STILL doesn't make it in. Take the roiling oil, for example. I ordered that guy for Bestiary 2. It's great art, it's a cool monsters, so why'd it take until now to slip in?
Take a look at your Bestiary. You'll see that there are, generally, two types of layouts: one pagers and two pagers—and two pagers NEVER split over a spread.
That's not by happenstance. Every Bestiary is a gigantic book puzzle. So if something slips, if a monster gets cut, if a name changes, if anything happens that reorders the book’s pagination by even one page, EVERYTHING slides. What that often means is that nothing dies alone. If one monster goes away, probably two monsters go away. Or something gets renamed.
That's part of what happened to the roiling oil. It got chopped from B2, got picked up for B3 then chopped again, never made it off the sideboard for B4, but finally found a home here... a half decade later. That's a lengthy example, but not the oldest (there's at least one oldie from Bestiary 1 who's never made it up to bat). It also happens to everyone. One of my guys for B5 got shuffled off because of the harsh realism of "We need to lose a book somewhere between 'Ho-' and "Ki-."
And that's just one harsh production reality.
Pffh. Bookmaking—am I right?
As for if there are other monsters that didn't make the cut or were seriously considered, etcetera: Of course. Dozens. There are well over a hundred rows on the "sideboard" tab of my Bestiary Monsters spreadsheet.
But it's okay, we'll either find spots for them down the road or assure that they keep good company on the Isle of Misfit Monsters.
Surprised nobody's mentioned the "Totes can make a Paladin of Asmodeus" trait yet.
I'm a little surprised how often the paladins of Asmodeus question comes up, considering the concept is addressed in Inner Sea Gods on page 24.
Inner Sea Gods, page 24 says wrote:
Many soldiers and martially minded types welcome Asmodeus’s dogma of force and dominance. While his church has few organized groups of soldiers, monastic orders or mercenary companies aligned with Hell are not that unusual. Among such militaristic servants of Asmodeus are those who extol him as a paragon of law and enforcer of order. With the encouragement of the church, many go so far as to call themselves “paladins,” relying on the reputations of virtuous crusaders to gain acceptance among commoners and those of modest faith. Although such armed propagandists lack the holy powers of true paladins, many supplement their strength of arms with magic items that allow them to perform miraculous feats. Most go out of their way to perform heroic deeds for communities in need—or to manufacture then thwart tribulations for those not in imminent need. Thus Asmodeus’s servants hope to undermine the common knowledge of their god’s evil, opening the minds and hearts of everyday people to the belief that Asmodeus has been judged too harshly, and that perhaps peace is worth harsh laws and rigid order. Once even a few entertain the previously unthinkable possibility of living alongside worshipers of the Prince of Darkness, the insidious seed of Asmodeus’s faith has taken root.
That's pretty much the end-all, be-all word on paladins of Asmodeus in Pathfinder canon.
Now, if you in your personal game want to play with that concept, go for it–certainly no one here's interested in interrupting your fun—just make sure you and your GM are on the same page first. :)
As for the pact servant trait, that's largely meant to be a flavor thing for Holomog. By the strictest readings of the Core Rules, there are not a lot of stipulations on who your paladin's divine backer has to be. For the Pathfinder world, though, the vast, vast, vast majority of the time we cleave to the Paizo house-rule that paladins have to worship lawful good deities. If you want to play faster and looser with that in your game and your GM buys off on it, go for it, but for us, that's our rule and how we play it in our printed products.
For my piece—and you'll find few more pro-Asmodeus backers—I doubt that even the Archfiend can honestly trick someone of true paladin stock into worshiping him, one of the most unabashedly evil beings in the multiverse. Even if he could, he probably can't grant them a true paladin's abilities. Asmodeus IS all about confounding folks, though. (So, if you find yourself confounded by any of this: good.) :P
In any case, we're certainly not going to be presenting paladins who worship Asmodeus in official Pathfinder products.
The pact servant trait dances in a gray idea that's unique to the situation in Holomog. If you want to play in that space with your divine spell casters, enjoy—the background there affords you that rare opportunity. If that unsettles you and you want to say the divine power from that ability in fact comes from some mysterious empyreal lord patron who's backing some ancient bargain tied into the pact, that's a neat idea too and could make for even more interesting stories.
Ultimately, play with it however you like, but don't view this as some new change in stance on our view of paladins of Asmodeus as anything but shysters.
Damon Griffin wrote:
There upon the house stairs stood the lady in question herself—more a thing of aether and ectoplasm than skin and substance. Still clad in a gown befitting a queen of the ladies of the night, her ivory skin shimmered in spectral translucence, the suggestive curves of her shoulders sweeping upward to a neck wearing gore like a ruby choker—and nothing more! Outstretched in a delicate claw, gripped unceremoniously by a shock of ephemeral hair, swung the lady’s misplaced head, her beguiling features darkened by the sight of vistas unknowable. Slowly she descended, her every spectral step heralded by a grave note from the towering salon clock’s invocation of the eleventh hour—exactly the time Boles had conjectured the house mistress had been so thoroughly finished.
“What? I don’t compare to the beauties of Caliphas?” she dared, her cool breath on my neck, startling me with her closeness.
Heart racing, lid thrown clear, I sought the breast of the infernal where he slept. Empty. Empty save dust, black soot, and the droppings of rats.
From Rule of Fear
Ardurras proved himself heir to the blood of heroes that day, cutting down orcs and returning corpses to Pharasma’s bosom by the score. It was recognition that finally halted his blade. Tyrus Ildimion had served in his guard for a season, a lad whose bravery marked him as a noble even if his blood did not. Now the youth gaped at his side, eyes empty, hands outstretched as if pleading, the gushing wound of an orc hatchet cleaving his brow. As Ardurras met the former man’s blank stare, his blade faltered. Around the king, the battle turned, with every knight cut down adding to the invaders’ ranks. As swiftly chilling hands grasped for Arurras’s flesh, so too did they clutch his heart, and the dead claimed their kingdom’s crown.
Only his scream echoed back at him, as if the full moon’s light had transformed the once-vast forest into a narrowing prison of iron shafts and tearing hooks. Something in his mind, infuriated by his disobedient body, struggled to be obeyed, grasping for reason, strategy, or the tells of a dream, or merely to hear over the deafening tattoo of his rioting blood. Behind him chased the end of the world, utterly silent as it consumed his steps and the trail of his fear. Only too late did all the whimpering tales of the devouring dark seem sage and sane, a realization that burst upon his mind in a rush of horrible reality, shattering the bulwark of callowness he’d long mistook for bravery.
For those who cared to see, Caliphas was obviously cursed. From dusk to daybreak some seaborne leviathan exhaled its chilling breath upon the city, filling the night with a haze of clinging fog and sour dreams. From daybreak to dusk the residents their turn, a thousand blaspheming chimneys pumping burnt offerings to choke the heavens while the people clambered and cried in a cacophony to rival fabled Dis. So foul and bleak ran the course that when true wickedness made the city its home, and when the sewers began to run and reek like a slaughterhouse sump, nary a soul took note, and those who did could hardly decide if the monsters were fiends or angels.
Could the surrounding acre offer some offense only the storm could see, and so provoke it to withhold its draught? Mayhap Boles and I were the culprits, though I couldn’t recall any outrages in the past week that would have affronted the very weather. Yet there it was, the sound of rain all about, a torrent of drops invisible through the gloom. As I turned to speculate with Boles, my bone-dry palm outstretched as evidence, the investigator’s glare into the shadows sent a shudder through me. I’d seen the look all too often.
As you can see, I've been dropping references to Miss Kindler since 2008, and I'm sure we'll see more from her in the future, but I'm excited to finally get more of her story out there with Bloodbound.
Jester David wrote:
That's about to change.
Ailson Kindler is a MAJOR character in Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound. It's my first novel and I'm VERY excited about it. :D
The story goes deep—DEEP—into Kindler's background, her reasons for becoming a monster hunter, for joining the Pathfinder Society, and, ultimately, why she stopped.
There's a little bit of misinformation on the wiki, which you can chalk up to Kindler's own flair for the dramatic, minor misreadings, or deliberate retcons, but Bloodbound will soon be the densest source on all things related to the Kindler family.
As for what's out there now, though, the introduction to Classic Horrors Revisited is written by Kindler herself and I don't see where it ever says her sister dies. I think that's just a misinterpretation, and an understandable one considering the price in lives that was paid in Ailson's rescue of her. But she certainly survived and went on to have at least one far-traveling son.
(Note: I have adjusted Ailson's sister's name from Allishan to Ellishan—for likely understandable reasons. We can probably see that into the wiki soon.)
Beyond that, there are a few more specifics out there, particular my novella Guilty Blood that, as folks have mentioned, prominently features her and a new assistant. There's also a bunch of quotes from her various novels...
But wouldn't the Inevitables or the Axiomites see it as disorder, and thus create a planetouched race to restore order to things? Good, Evil, Chaotic - the absence of a Lawful counterpart would be exactly the kind of thing you'd think would drive the Lawful outsiders batty, and something they'd immediately balance.
You, like many readers, seem to be very good at picking up on our design patterns. We've done half-blood races for many of the existing outsider races. We have not done this for all. In some products, like Distant Shores, we take the opportunity to fill in some of those obvious blanks—expanding on the number of races in the game in a place that makes sense and with a story that makes them interesting. We might do that again, we might not. Most likely, we'll let the products we do and stories we want to tell decide.
What we're not interested in is creating an outsider lovechild arms race, where every time we create a new outsider race we need to force a story about how, why, and to what results their sassy-times with humanity goes down. (Fortunately many fanfic sites and rule #34 exist for that.)
However, if you want to do exactly that, I think the precedents we've set with aasimars, fetchlings, oreads, sulis, tieflings, etc, etc should give you ample design suggestions.
For now, though, we're not hedging ourselves in by saying this group of outsiders do/don't have mystical/sexy/dreadful ways of influencing mortal meat-babies.
After the Kingdom of Ustalav's fall to the Whispering Tyrant, six centuries of undead rule, and liberation but foreign powers, the country's line of royal succession was broken.
Following the Tyrant's defeat, only members of two of the former kingdom's noble families were found to have survived: heirs of the Caliphvaso family and of the Ordranti family. The Ordranti family claimed the divine right to rule, while the Caliphvasos refounded Caliphas. With the installation of a new prince—a concession to the national understanding that the line of Ustav kings had been broken—the nation was rechristened the Royal Principality of Ustalav.
Much of this appears in the timeline on page 5 of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Rule of Fear.
Details on another surviving family, the Virholts, are also presented in Pathfinder Tales: Prince of Wolves
Although the Ordranti family still has holdings in Odranto, they have largely passed their non-royal holdings to their cousins, the Muralts. Over generations, the Ordranti family's connection to the county that bears their name has weakened, found mostly in honorary names, princely biases, and many Ordranti rulers military romanticism.
And that's all also why only two of Ustalav's remaining counties bear the names of noble families, and only one—Caliphas—shares a name with its ruler.
There will be revisions, but we've had no reason to do overhauls on any of the deities you've mentioned.
Like the past "monsters revisited" books, the focus will be on ecology-style write-ups of the creatures included, typically with details on society, a new rules option or two, and a useful statblock.
New locations might be mentioned, but are not a focus of this product.
Folks, this is teetering on the edge, so let's end this before it gets too sketchy.
Relationships in Golarion and in all Pathfinder products are between consenting adults.
I'd encourage you all to never consider "historical accuracy" as license to take your stories into territory that makes your players or community members uncomfortable.
I'll try to keep it in mind, but I have quite a few irons in the fire.
Mark Moreland is the developer that currently helms exclusively this line. If there's more of a thing you want to see in this line, he's the one to bribe.
Comics, movies, and piles of colorful things that can be deliberately arranged tend to be preferred.
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Ok, I just finished this book, and it's crap.
Kain Darkwind wrote:
..that I am going to have to wait, probably forever, for a sequel.
Well played. For a moment there...
But glad folks are digging it over all! I was really pleased with how it turned out and there's a TON for future schemes seeded in here.
If you like what you're seeing, by all means, please register your thoughts in the product reviews section here. That goes a long way in deciding what we do next!
Thanks so much for reading!
Generic Villain wrote:
Excellent! I really enjoyed doing those articles for KQ and am enjoying the chance to do a few more for the APs coming down the road.
Despite appearance, I don't think of Barbatos as being Lovecraftian. He's ancient and mysterious, sure, but the roll and place of the Great Old Ones is distinctly different in the campaign. Also, I think it'd be a little obvious. (Here's a bad guy with a veiled past: SURPRISE! IT'S A CTHULHU.)
No. I've got other schemes for him. Something more... fecund. ;)
This is the perfect place for these questions. Thank you for posting them where all readers can see them and not in other off-topic threads.
So, let's see here. Again, I'm not around my books so if anything I say here contradicts something in print, by all means, go with the established source.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
1. Is there a Nosferatu Vampire court that opposes Lord Seirvage's court locally in Caliphas? Or are the more prevalent in Varno, Sinaria and Ardeal?
No. The nosferatu race is a dying vampire offshoot. Their numbers are small and decreasing and most have retired to private sanctums. At best, modern vampires look at them as a sources of ancient wisdom and old magic. At worse, they're seen as dangerous or amusing relics. Regardless, it is up to each individual nosferatu to establish his relevance or obsolescence.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
2. When General Seirvage defected from Tar Baphon at the end of The Shining Crusade, how many Moroi vampire nobles left with him to Caiphas?
Ooof. Um. Not hundreds or thousands. While The Whispering Tyrant's legions might have had thousand of spawn, the number of true vampires was much lower (no vampire really WANTS more vampires around). So, a good number of close allies and relatives, probably no more than a couple dozen.
As a blatant side plug, Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound deals extensively with Siervage's family and challenges to his rule. So that might be up your alley come December.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
3. How does Doctor Low's Tong cooperate with the vampires or is there a treaty there?
I doubt there's much interaction at all. Maybe a few vampires disguised as humans or agents of vampires have employed the criminals, but nothing formal.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
4. How many Moroi nobles are left in Caliphas at the time of the AP?
Oh. Uh. An exceptionally plot-convenient number that's probably fewer than 75.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
5. Are there Drow or Duergar vampires in Caliphas?
Probably not that are affiliated with Siervage's crew.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
6. How does Mother Thestia and her branch of the church view Lord Seirvage?
They, like most of Caliphas, are certainly not aware that there's a major population of vampires active (and, to a degree, sanctioned) in Caliphas. They'd be the first group to try and rally opposition and eventual strikes into the Old City beneath Caliphas. The resulting bloodshed would be... significant. Fortunately, there are accords in place, a truce the Royal Accusers in part uphold.
I think there's a novel on this topic coming out in December.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Is there an uneasy peace treaty or does she want him eradicated?
The Pharasmins would NOT brook peace with the undead.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Is our favorite Iconic Half Orc Inquisitor part of Mother Thestia's Cathedral?
No, she's from Lepidstadt. Her home cathedral is Gravecharge, not Maiden's Choir.
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
7. Is Mother Thestia part of the Esotaric Order?
Probably not. She's got a much older and larger organization at her back.
Hope that helps!