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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber. 1,521 posts. 11 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Claxon wrote:

So? OMG I can't make this character as one specific class! The world is coming to an end! We must change the rules!

That was my first thought too, though with way less snark. No, the Pathfinder ruleset cannot make an exact copy of every sort of character in history or fiction, and from my perspective, that's a feature rather than a bug. Games are defined as much by their limits as their possibilities. I mean I'd love to play a game of chess where I could win by just hurling expired produce at my opponent until s/he concedes, but that might detract somewhat from the nuances of chess.

LazarX wrote:

Monks are lawful because they are created in monasteries. If you abide from a code you get from an organisaiton without, rather than within your own principles, then you're lawful.

It's also basically tradiion handed down through four editions of the game. The man you really need to ask that question will need to be reached via a Ouija board or seance.

I agree with your second statement much more than your first. You could easily have a monastic tradition of rogues, fighters, wizards, even barbarians if you wanted to stretch the concept, but that doesn't imply they'd all be lawful. Most of them? Sure, but there's always outliers.

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Scythia wrote:

I'm glad they got rid of the challenge for rank (by level) aspects of the classes that had them. It got silly thinking that every PC was ultimately destined to be head (class name).

A vestige still remains in the Green Faith Acolyte prestige class from Paths of Prestige. To achieve levels 8-10 in that class, the character needs to challenge the regional archdruid, great druid, and grand druid, respectively.

I'm also glad there's no "must beat up another character of a rank higher than you to advance in level" restriction on the base classes, but I kind of like the option to still exist. I still have fond memories of Jaheira challenging the local Shadow Druid boss in Baldur's Gate 2. That was an optional side quest though, and Jaheira didn't have to complete it to increase her druid level.

Remember when only non-humans could multiclass? Man, earlier editions loved arbitrary nonsense.

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Rynjin wrote:

Man I must have missed that Lawful only restriction on the Ninja class then.
Generic Villain wrote:

Also, just remembered that ninjas get ki. So there goes that theory.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

At the risk of further devolving the thread into an alignment debate...

Again, in Pathfinder alignment really is a living, breathing thing. Gods, demigods, empyreal lords, the Four Horsemen, etc., are incarnations of pure alignment. Alignment manifests in real, tangible ways. You've got cursed helmets whose sole purpose is to change it, swords that hurt bad people worse than good people, spells that literally measure your soul and identify you accordingly, and so on.

So the idea that only people of a certain alignment can enter certain careers, shouldn't really be surprising. But then, if I'm reading people's statements correctly (and I'm very tired right now so blah), the real complaint is the seemingly arbitrary restrictions that alignment-limited classes like monk and paladin place.

But think of it this way. Wizards can't wear armor without burning a lot of feats, barbarians can't cast spells, [third example here]. Those are all concrete limits that draw far less criticism than alignment restrictions. But again, if we accept that alignment is as real in Pathfinder as a suit of armor or a cast spell, then it really shouldn't be such a deal breaker. It helps to distinguish classes in the same manner as limited weapon proficiencies, class skills, and hit dice.

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StabbittyDoom wrote:

It all makes sense if you look at it like this: Legacy. Then Paizo goes "wait, that sucks" and makes all new classes follow a smaller set of alignment restriction (Druidic + Divine only).

Druidic + Divine only? Come again?

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Perhaps the monk redo in Unchained will lose this particular legacy? The lawful never bothered me much, but I can see why some would find it annoying.

There is a barbarian-turned-monk in the Council of Thieves AP. And didn't Eberron have something similar? Like monks who went nuts and switched to barbarian? I never got into that setting, so I might be misremembering.

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p-sto wrote:
If it was the ki then monks would lose their ki pool if they lose their lawful alignment. It seems like it would be better interpreted as maintaining the self-mastery to achieve that next level of skill.

Good point. Interestingly barbarians lose their ability to rage if lawful, but monks keep their goodies. I will echo Eryx_UK's thoughts that a monk's powers require a disciplined mind, though yes, in that case you'd think they'd lose most of their powers should they stop being lawful. At least the supernatural stuff.

Also, just remembered that ninjas get ki. So there goes that theory.

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It's the ki. The martial artist archetype removes alignment restrictions, but also lacks ki. Why is ki lawful? Dunno. If I were to guess, I'd say, to channel ki, one has to be in a certain state of mind. Just as paladins need to be LG to use their powers, and barbarians can't be lawful to utilize rage.

In the Pathfinder world, alignment isn't just a vague abstraction - it has literal, real-world incarnations. You could think of it this way: the essence of good is sacred bonuses; the essence of evil is profane bonuses; the essence of law if ki; the essence of chaos is rage; and neutral doesn't get anything because screw 'em for being neutral (or I guess something to do with nature).

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Although I didn't like 3.5's Magic Item Compendium for a few reasons*, I did really appreciate how every item was given an "activation" line indicating how to... well, activate it. Very useful.

*It was magic item porn. Just vulgar, heaving loads of magic items all rubbing up on each other.

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Angstspawn wrote:

God is definitely a trickster!

That, or human intelligence is a fluke that developed over a period of hundreds of thousands of years, without any concept of good or bad, only emerging because it happened to be the best for the species at that moment in history (and through a healthy dose of sheer chance). Not being snarky either - whether viewed through the lens of faith or evolutionary science, human intelligence clearly has both major advantages and potentially devastating drawbacks.

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Maybe we can agree on this: the magic of the human brain lies in some barely-understood synergy occurring among neurons, dendrites, synapses, NTs, white matter, gray matter, and parts of the spinal cord, the likes of which human technology will probably never be able to fully replicate - at least not for a very, very, very long time.

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Krensky wrote:

I'd argue that you're being too cynical.

But you're probably not.

Corporations took patents out on DNA. Yes, the Supreme Court kind of sort of told them they couldn't, but still gave them a lot of wiggle room. When it comes to big business, it is impossible to be cynical.

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This adventure? It looks incredible. I've only skimmed through it, but it kind of blew me away. In short...

It looks like the PCs get to bust down the palace doors and kick Kevoth-Kul right in his Little Sovereigns, then murder every last Technic Leaguer except for one who's kinda-sorta not evil.

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Sissyl wrote:
2400:1 for 82944 processors? Compared to what, 1 billion neurons? Doesn't sound too far off to me.

About 85 billion neurons and 10 trillion synaptic connections.

The neurons aren't what make our brains amazing; its the synapses.

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For those awaiting the singularity, here's some unfortunate news: Japanese and German scientists were able to approximate the human brain's computing power. However, it took 82,944 processors and 40 minutes to pull off something resembling 1 second of human brain activity.

Skynet looks to still be a way's off.

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Anyone else bookmark Tiny Coffee Golem's link, with the intention of using it as soon as possible?

Yay for jerkholery!

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bugleyman wrote:

Wow, really? I've heard Obama is out to destroy America, but not the entire human race. Though that does manage to up the level of political hyperbole, so that's noteworthy. :P

There is no hyperbole when you're this crazy.

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If AI wants to end the human race, it's going to have some stiff competition. Environmental ruin, Spanish flu 2.0, nuclear war, Revelations, and Obama (or Hillary Clinton or maybe Elizabeth Warren in two years) are all - depending on who you ask - gunning for that honor.

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Alayern wrote:
Dreaming Psion makes a good point. There's even a precedent for it in Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition (not sure about original adventure.) You would still need to prepare your spells at some point though.

Someone does it in Beyond the Doomsday Door as well.

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3rd tier universal path ability "sleepless" (Mythic Adventures page 51).

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If I had to guess...


I'd say Divinity's exact size won't ever be revealed, and here's why: by keeping it undefined, that lets each GM decide for his/her own game what works best. Also, there's the question of how much of Divinity is still intact and explorable. Something tells me we won't get a firm percentage there, either.

All we know for sure is that Divinity was so large that its remnants can be found consistently over a country that's roughly 100,000 square miles. That tells me Divinity was at least a few cubic miles in size.

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Nope, no actual measurements in any of the writings so far. In fact, I don't think there's been an approximation of its size more specific than "really really big."

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

What's even more interesting (to me) is something else we learn about the Dominion in this adventure, to wit:

** spoiler omitted **


In yet another post from James Jacobs, he mentioned that he wasn't ready to pin down exactly what the Dominion's gods were, but liked the idea of them worshiping black holes.

What I'm curious about is why the Dominion is hostile towards Lovecraft's gods. Yog-Sothoth has frequently been speculated as being a personification of the Dark Tapestry itself, but apparently the Dominion rejects that notion. Actually, maybe that's where the animus comes from; the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods claim - or rather, are claimed by others - to be the lords and masters of the void, but the Dominion sees no need for such "representatives." It could be like the difference between druids worshiping the god Gozreh and just revering nature itself.

To put it another way, the Outer Gods are certainly potent representatives of the Dark Tapestry, but even those potent entities can die - the void is eternal.

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samuraixsithlord wrote:

Hmmmm they seem oddly similar to the Migo. Are they actively opposed to the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones or is it more of a passive agressive hate like the Migo.


There are in fact mi-go in this adventure, and they are engaged in hostilities with the Dominion. For the PCs, this is not a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" however.

Is it active opposition? Can't say for sure, but it certainly looks that way. In Valley, the Shub-Niggurath-worshiping mi-go are at war with the Dominion. In Dragon's Demand, the Nyarlahotep-worshiping grioths are at war with the Dominion. All told, this seems like a hot war rather than a cold one. What do the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods themselves think of the Dominion? James Jacobs shed some light on that. Also Here.

In short, it looks like the Dominion is actively hostile towards the Great Old Ones and their cults; the Great Old One cults are happy to reciprocate this hostility; the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods themselves see the Dominion as pawns, if they notice them at all; and all three groups hate people. Sucks to be people...

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Fergurg wrote:

I got a better question: what makes it a communist comet?

It has a dim view of capitalism and doesn't like it when an elite few control the means of production. It believes that the comet proletariat must rise up against the asteroid bourgeoisie, and thus assure equal treatment for all sub-planetoid space rocks.

Standard stuff really.

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Lord Snow wrote:

And what if these perverts will eventually hold a pride parade there?

Challenge accepted. We will make Comet 67p fabulous.

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Hey James. I loved Valley of the Brain Collectors, and have so many questions. But I'll limit myself to three - for now.

Question 1: First off, I noticed a slight discrepancy: the yah-thelgaad in the adventure is referred to as Lthoon on page 39, but that name doesn't appear again. All other instances refer to it as Dweller-In-Dark-Places. So what kind of naming conventions do neh-thalggu use? Is Lthoon the thing's given name and Dweller its title? Or was its name changed to Dweller at some point in the writing process, and Lthoon just left in there by accident?

Question 2: On the topic of the Dominion, there are several species mentioned such as the bah-thegga, bah-uurla, dehnolo, jah-tohl, chyzaedu, and haeshi-shaa. As far as I know none of these have appeared before. Is there any chance that the next time the Dominion rears its collective head in PF, we'll see some of these guys statted up?

Question 3: It's been repeatedly stated that the Dominion's masters are not gods like Cthulhu or Azatoth. That said, would you be willing to say what their approximate CR might be? Like in the 20-25 or 26+ range?

Thanks as always.

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Troodos wrote:
What's the scoop on ** spoiler omitted **

She's a neutral CR 12 artificial intelligence loaded into a Compact AI Core - a technological artifact. In life she was a cyborg oracle of the ancestor mystery who had been "reincarnated" 112 previous times. Her past lives occasionally resurface, so she's a bit of a conglomerate. Her oracle curse reflects this.

She reminded me of GLaDOS in the potato.

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Lloyd Jackson wrote:

Something I found interesting is the additional information on kytons and Zon-Kuthon.

I get what you're saying, and I noticed that as well, but I think it's more a matter of mutual interest than anything deeper.

Indeed, the adventure text says as much on page 61, stating that Paajgat was recruited due to her skill and artistry with a razor. Besides both groups being into body horror, there's such a huge disparity between them: kytons are lawful evil fiends of shadow, torture, and self-perfection, while the Dominion is a loosely aligned empire of chaotic evil aberrations.

On the other hand...

Vasoov the loony Night Herald seer claims that he was born on "a sphere of living chains and iron claws." Could the living chains refer to chain-like biomechanical appendages? Or actual, magically animate chains? Because if it's the latter, that sounds awfully kyton.

So yeah, there's evidence for either side. The turd in the punchbowl for me is the huge difference in alignment, origins, and philosophies between kytons and Dominion...ers. Dominionites? Dominionistas.

*Edit: D'oh. Upon a second reading, I completely misunderstood your post. I thought you were suggesting kytons and the Dominion may be linked. But, since I sort of think they may possibly be, I'll leave the post as-is.

Good catch with the apparently free-willed you-know-who; I hadn't noticed that.

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Hey James. On average, how many members would you say are in a medium-sized Night Herald cell? How about a tiny cell? Large?


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nighttree wrote:
What's the scoop on the DOMINION ???

That's... not an easy answer.


They're an intergalactic empire comprised of several species, with even more species serving them. Among actual members of the Dominion: neh-thalggu, yah-thelgaad (evolved neh-thalguu), rhu-chalik (from Lords of Rust), bah-thegga, bah-uurla, deh-nolo, jah-tohl, haeshi-shaa, and chyzaedu. Only the first three have been statted. The others are mysteries.

Some servant races include yangethes (from Dragon's Demand), intellect devourers, lunarmas, and neshmaals (from Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh). They frequently ally with vespergaunts.

The Dominion is ruled by enigmatic beings with names like The-Five-Who-Speak-As-One and Infinity-Ceases-Now. Infinity is a gigantic amoeba housed (imprisoned?) inside a planet, and it spawns the raw material for shipminds. Shipminds are ooze creatures that control the Dominion's massive bio-mechanical ships.

Much of the Dominion's technology is bio-mechanical. They create/grow their creations on "fleshfarms" - enormous, nation-sized factories staffed by slaves who are both workers and materials. This is where whole planets' worth of creatures go to be processed. They are rendered into raw material for use in the Dominion's experiments and creations.

The Dominion is perhaps religious, though they seem to worship the Dark Tapestry itself. Black holes are particularly significant. They are actively opposed to the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods.

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Todd Stewart wrote:
I would expect a majority decision in favor of equality for gay marriage. Probably 7-2 given the court membership at the moment.

Considering how SCOTUS ruled on the DOMA case, that's optimistic. Pope Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito were all pro-discrimination last time. If/when the case comes before them again, I'd be surprised if any of them budged.

Useless Speculation:
On the other hand, actually ruling in favor of same-sex marriage bans would, at this juncture, be such an obvious and blatant step in the wrong direction. It would also be a huge mess because of all the people that have gotten married since 10/6. Maybe those four Justices realized the case was lost after DOMA was struck down, and are ready to throw their hands up in defeat. That could be why they chose not to take any of the appeals from Circuit Courts that had previously ruled against same-sex marriage bans.

*Edit: Ninja'd by Celestial Healer.

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KSF wrote:

I need to stop reading those articles. Every time they quote a conservative judge or politician, the stuff they say always makes me so angry.

There is an out-there possibility. One author suggested that the Sixth Circuit ruled as they did specifically to force the Supreme Court to do their damn job. The SC has put this off and put this off, and now, because of the Sixth Circuit, they are all-but required to put this to rest once and for all.

I was initially pissed when I read this decision, but after some consideration, I'm downright elated. There's a very good chance that we'll win this. The only downside - and I'm being Machiavellian here - is that if the Supremes grant us equality now, it won't be an issue to galvanize voters in 2016.

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Kryzbyn wrote:
I hope they legalize it here in Nebraska. If anything comes up on the ballot, I'll vote for it!

I definitely appreciate the thought, but we're nearing a point where voting may no longer be possible. If the Supreme Court rules the way Anthony Kennedy did on the DOMA case, same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states.

If they rule against it, than all those states where judges struck it down, will once more treat the LGBT community as second-class citizens. In that event then yes, unfortunately voting will be necessary for every single state that passed gay marriage bans. In that event, we will lose pretty much everything.

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This could be it.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decisions of Federal Courts in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky, meaning that in those states, same-sex marriage bans ARE legal.

So what do ya'll think happens next?

Does the Supreme Court swoop in and take the case this session, guaranteeing us a final resolution by June 2015?

Or do they punt it to next session, thus delaying the inevitable?

When SCOTUS finally does take the case, will they rule for equality in all 50 states, or will the LGBT community suffer the greatest loss of civil rights in a very long time?

It's also possible that challengers can ask the Sixth to reconsider their decision (an en banc court).

Except for that last option, one way or another things will be coming to a head.

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...Nevermind, everything's been pushed back a week. Subscriptions won't start until 11/10 now. Crud.

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This has been my favorite AP since Carrion Crown (Carrion Crown being my all-time favorite). Not sure if Iron Gods will overtake it, but it certainly has a shot.

Speaking of which; anyone get their confirmation yet? They're scheduled to start sending today.

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In People of the Stars, it's stated that Dou-Bral transformed into Zon-Kuthon after exploring too long in the Dark Tapestry. Prior to this I thought the stance was that Z-K transformed not while exploring the Dark Tapestry, but the furthest reaches of creation. The "outside the outside" hinted at in the devourer's chapter in Undead Revisited, perhaps.

Now this understanding may have been based on stuff I read on the message boards and might not have been official, but I was still really surprised to see the apparent turnaround.

So my question: was People of the Stars right? Is Zon-Kuthon really borne from something he found (or that found him) in the void?

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Trumoi wrote:

I wanted to know, as a new GM, is a character could wear something else that's specified to be only the chest? Like wearing a chainmail or mithral shirt over the chest and the Stag Lord's armor over the rest of his body? And if I would allow it, what kind of benefits and drawbacks should I add? Should it have a full +6 AC bonus with only the max Dex of the Shirt? Should I perhaps limit it to a +4 in total to make up for it? Or should I increase the check penalty instead?

According to the alternate rules in Ultimate Combat:

Leather armor (arms): +0 AC, +6 max Dex bonus, 0 armor check penalty
Leather armor (legs): +0 AC, +6 max Dex bonus, 0 armor check penalty
Chain (torso): +4 AC, +4 max Dex bonus, -2 armor check penalty

The sum would be like wearing a chain shirt, except it's counted as medium armor. So basically you gain nothing and sacrifice the mobility of light armor. Clearly not worth it.

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I think you're over thinking this. A lot of characters wear armor that doesn't necessarily translate in their illustrations; take Dovan (From Nishroch), one of the Stag Lord's lieutenants. Despite wearing studded leather armor in his stat block, he is clearly showing his bare midriff in the illustration. That doesn't mean his armor is piecemeal, or a special version of studded leather; it just means the illustrator is taking some creative license. I've heard that female characters are sometimes subject to the phenomena as well...

As for your actual question, you can make up any rules you want, but officially a suit of armor has to be worn in its entirety to gain any benefit. A character wearing full plate mail that decides to leave out the breastplate and helmet would gain no Armor Class bonus (or if the GM were generous, would treat the character as having "hastily donned" the armor).


There is an optional rule in Ultimate Combat called "piecemeal armor" on page 198. That probably has what you're looking for.

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Troodos wrote:

Interesting... what role does it play in the adventure?


None sadly. It's one of the "Three exciting encounters in the wilds of Numeria to add to your Iron Gods campaign, by Patrick Renie."

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nighttree wrote:
So he's a Sorcerer ?....what bloodline ???

Troodos wrote:

So what's this I hear about a second ship of unknown origin?

It's called the Dusklight. From the teensy bit of info we get, it was originally piloted by Old Cultists who were looking to suck the nutrients out of - and/or possibly enslave - some unlucky planets' natives, then drain their sun of energy. The former crew are described as a now-extinct race that other space-faring races try to forget. Divinity found it drifting through space, a derelict whose only occupant was a gooey alien who killed the original inhabitants.

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Orthos wrote:

Can't he just...?

Being the "smoke wizard," Furcas Xoud's tower is set up to contain gaseous creatures such as vampiric mists and nanite swarms. The place is riddled with airlocks.

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Renaak wrote:

Well, two problems with this issue

I noticed the first problem; however, I'm not sure what you mean with the second. That would suggest to me that my PDF doesn't have that particular error.

As for content, I found something highly improbable...

The fact that a 9th-level sorcerer worm that walks would be unable to escape from some dinky prison cell. That is, however, until I looked at his spells. He has literally not a single spell that could damage a non-creature object, and his strength of 8 means he's not busting out physically. Let that be a lesson to sorcerers out there.

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Thought of another! Sarkorian God Callers were a special brand of summoner. Though Sarkoris was wiped out by the Worldwound, the god-caller tradition continues. You can read about God Callers in "Lost Kingdoms," and there's a generic 5th-level God Caller in "Inner Sea NPC Codex."

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Let no man channel the magic of the gods, perhaps? As in, no divine magic even if you're not a cleric. I say that because even Pure Legion rangers opt for the spell-less skirmisher archetype. Dunno, just a thought.

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Sounds like a rock-solid premise to me.

(I'm so sorry...)

The only issue I see is your armor idea. Maybe make it leather armor cut from the hide of a stony monster like a bullete? It would function like leather armor or hide armor mechanically, but you could say it looks and feels like stone. Or you could go all-out and get Heavy Armor Proficiency, then find yourself a suit of stoneplate (heavy armor, +9 AC, +1 max Dex, -6 armor penalty, price 1,800 gp).

*Edit: It may be too late if you've already started, but consider taking the cave druid archetype from the Advanced Player's Guide. Technically you could also look at the mountain druid archetype (same book), but without spoiling anything, cave druid would be a better choice for playing Serpent's Skull.

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1) Arazni is a beastly mythic lich demigod who more-or-less rules the nation of Geb. Is Geb (the necromancer ghost) even more powerful than her? Or has his lassitude allowed his queen to overtake him?

2) Golarion is packed with fiend-summoners. There are countries (Thrune, Thassilon), organizations (Blackfire Adepts), and races (drow) that are just all about summoning and binding various flavors of fiend. So my question: are there any nations/organizations that frequently summon and bind celestials? I know there's an Azata-worshiping nation in southern Garund...

3) How about neutral outsiders? Like maybe a branch of Abadar's church that specializes in binding inevitables? Or an anarchist wizard guild with protean servants?

(As a quick aside, psychopomp summoning played a role in a recent AP volume, and that was awesome).

4) Why is fiend-summoning so dang popular compared to other varieties?

Thanks for any insight!

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Nope. Until/unless it's elaborated on in the future, that's for you to decide as a GM. I always got a Southern Gothic feel from Falcon's Hollow, so based on that it could have involve dark magic or witchcraft.

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The Blackfire Adepts are based entirely around summoning and controlling fiends of various flavors. Their prestige class appears in "Paths of Prestige."

The Night Heralds don't have too much info, but based on the Pathfinder Journal appearing in the Legacy of Fire AP (Dark Tapestry by Elaine Cunningham), they certainly make use of summoning fiends. Moreover, they might have methods to summon/bind alien horrors. There are examples of this in the "Dragon's Demand" module (despite no actual Night Heralds appearing). For a brief Night Herald writeup, checkout "Occult Mysteries."

The Arabic-flavored nations (Katapesh, Qadira, and Kelesh) all summon and bind genies. There's tons of info on genie-binding in AP #22 "The End of Eternity," including a 5-level genie-binder prestige class. Unfortunately this info is all from 3.5. Still, it wouldn't take much effort to update it to Pathfinder.

Osirian mages summon and bind elementals. The Ruby Prince of Osirion himself has a small army of elemental servants.

Although they're technically long-extinct, the Thassilonians made prolific use of summoned and bound outsiders.

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