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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 1,718 posts. 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Unfortunately it looks like I still have the subscription - could you check into that?

I wasn't expecting to be charged for it this month but that's fine, I don't mind and don't want to cancel/refund it or anything. Just please make sure I'm not charged for any Pathfinder Campaign Setting products next month (April).


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Unfortunately I need to cancel my subscription to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line. I will continue my Pathfinder Adventure Path subscription, however.

Thank you.

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Hi again James! So yeah about those awesome intellect devourers, I have some questions...

First, how common is the pursuit of psychic magic among the species? Psychics, mesmerists, etc. as opposed to the previous go-to class of sorcerer?

Second, do everyone's favorite brains-with-legs have a racial name for themselves, or are they cool with the menacing title of intellect devourer?

My third and fourth questions are about egophages, creatures from the Occult Bestiary. In case you didn't work on that book or have a hand in the egophage's design, they are intellect devourers who imbibed too much midnight milk and evolved as a result, gaining flight, psychic powers, etc. Assuming you did have a hand in the egophage's development, I have just so many questions about them. But I'll keep it simple:

Third, how are egophages regarded in Ilvarandin by their land-bound buddies?

Fourth, was the egophage evolution spontaneous - just a fun side effect of drinking the Midnight Koolaid when you're already an intellect devourer with a host body - or was this an intentional experiment?

Thanks as always, and may your holidays be free of brain-eating puppet-master parasites (unless you've already been taken over... in which case, carry on).

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey James. So Occult Realms came out and finally pulled back the curtain on what is now my favorite Orvian vault - Denebrum. After reading those fantastic 4 pages, I went back and re-read the section on Ilvarandin in Lost Cities and came away with a question about the intellect devourers therein:

Is the midnight milk scheme effective?

I ask because Denebrum is packed with very high end monsters. Midnight milk, on the other hand, is being used primarily to recruit human drug addicts. Not exactly the sort of military force one would successfully deploy against seugathi, gugs, and neothelids in the lightless Darklands.

(On a related note, I went back and re-read the awesome campaign journal for Shadows Under Sandpoint [a must read for anyone interested in the intellect devourer vs. neothelid war]. I for one am still holding out hope that it will one day get the Adventure Path treatment).

Thanks for any info you can provide!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I too would very much like to know. With all the skum-as-deep-one lore already established, actual deep ones complicate things quite a bit. Or at least, they do until we get more info.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The occupants of Denebrum shaking off their ennui and doing some serious invading of the surface world. Start with Old Cultists, then move up to seugathi, gugs, and worms that walk, and climax with the neothelids themselves. Additional intrigue could come from enemy-of-my-enemy style alliances with the intellect devourers of Ilvarandin.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:


Does it happen to mention anything about say, evil outsiders posing as idols?

Like maybe Nemesis Devils?

No, nothing like that. The four pages are devoted entirely to rules about idols, with two examples given - one good, one evil. If you're interested in seeing an idol in action...

Upcoming Module Spoiler:
than check out The House on Hook Street.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
How about those new idol-things?

I answered this a bit up thread. They are part intelligent magic items, part lesser gods that come to be as a result of worship by a large group of people (100+) over a long period of time. Their level of power is entirely based on how many worshipers they have. Like intelligent magic items, they have mental attributes, an alignment, and an ego score.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Albus wrote:

Who or what is the Ancient One hanging out in the cave?

It's left vague, but apparently a powerful member of the Dominion of the Black.

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Ixos wrote:
Don't his sorcerous priests know the truth of the gig?

No, only the highest-ranking members of his cult do. I would take that to mean only his Visions of the Fifth Step are allowed in on the ruse, and there are very few of those.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Really liked the investigators journal at the start seems they may be building up to something more in Razmir in the future (At least I hope)

Combine that with The Ancient One hanging out in a Razmiran cave, the hints that Sivanah is involved in Razmir's charade, and the fact that big R himself has to be approaching death by old age, and this nation is all but bursting with Adventure Path potential.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here were some of my favorite bits from this book:

The four-page layout on the Orvian Vault of Denebrum. That place is apocalyptic, mythic-level terrifying. The three top worms are a:


Neothelid necromancy 17
Neothelid overlord psychic 10
Neothelid overlord cleric of Yog-Sothoth 16

For Dominion of the Black enthusiasts:

There's also a ritual detailed for freeing Tylicharius, the Drowned God of the Dominion of the Black. Only the most capable cultists could pull it off, and the penalty for failing the ritual is nasty, but if someone happens to succeed... well, the accompanying art does a gruesome job of showing the results.

And speaking of the Dominion of the Black, it turns out that they have some interesting connections to the nation of Razmiran of fall places.

An awesome book to be sure.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

Herald's Fall? Interesting. Sounds like it could be related to Arazni or Kohal, perhaps.

Turns out you were right - Herald's Fall is indeed linked to Arazni. More specifically, it's a mobile phenomena in the Ethereal Plane that manifests as a super-powered haunt. There are no rules given for how the haunt functions, but based on the description, it's a doozy. It may also be the creation of Tar-Baphon.

xavier c wrote:
What are idols?

They are part intelligent magical items, part artifacts, part minor god. They often come to be as a result of prolonged worship. So if a statue were worshiped by a group of people over the years, it could gain a number of powers. Idols have alignments, mental statistics, and ego scores. Unlike true gods, their power depends entirely on the number of worshipers they have.

Samy wrote:
What do Lashunta or Vudrani get?

Nothing rules-wise. The Lashunta have one of their cities briefly detailed, while the Vudrani have one of their elite schools detailed in depth. The latter is a place where they train spies, courtesans, and similar clandestine types.

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Erik Mona wrote:


During the research period and writing of Occult Adventures, I became completely obsessed with the Theosophical Society cult, and now have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of their organization, history, and beliefs (at least for an outsider).


So, to answer your question, THAT's my favorite piece of trivia that I discovered while researching "Occult Adventures." I love the idea that the great religious secret that it took hundreds of thousands of years and numerous almost-perfectly enlightened reincarnations to deliver to us is: "This is all B.S."

That was a fascinating read, thanks for taking the time to write all of that up. I guess the moral of the story is, don't choose your spiritual movement's future messiah based on how attractive you find his/her... aura. I suddenly would like to read up on this subject.

So here's my question: Occult Adventures introduced some brand new elements, but none seem quite so potentially destabilizing as the Akashic Records. I understand that it's difficult to reach the (metaphysical?) place, but if a character succeeded in doing so, couldn't they effectively answer every great mystery in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting? Aroden's death, the gnome's exodus, the one true creation story, the annotated history of the aboleth empire, the biographies of every creature whether mortal, monstrous, and divine - all for the casual perusal of whoever managed to find the place.

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I don't know what a theory crafter is so I'm probably not one of them. That said, as to your questions:

Ambiguous answers are crummy answers, but in this case I really do think it depends on factors outside your stated hypothetical. Specifically, are the players more interested in creating powerful characters or interesting, imperfection-leads-to-roleplaying-opportunity characters. If the former, than I suspect every character would follow a similar build; pre-planned feat chain to maximum effect, only "useful" skills, optimal spells, etc. If the latter, than I would expect each character to be distinct. Or as distinct as possible. You would still have a combat-focused character, a utility/skill focused character, a support character, etc.

To your second question, I must once again query the nature of the players sitting around your table. I know one group I GM'd for years ago would jump at the opportunity to play an incredibly, blatantly overpowered class like your hero. (I stopped playing with that group for such a large number of reasons. Just so many reasons). A more recent group I've played with from time to time would avoid it like the plague.

As for your initial question "does balance really matter?", I would answer no, not really. Not how I play at least. Were I a GM of a group comprised of one hero and a smattering of standard PC classes, I would make sure to craft challenges appropriate for every character. Obvious high-end opponents for the hero, slightly less potent but no less interesting/important enemies for the rest.

Personally I took your questions as more of a psychological exercise than a purely in-game, mechanical one. Whether or not a player chooses the obvious, glaringly superior character options depends very much on what he or she wants from their Pathfinder experience.

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Zaister wrote:

We do?

Not for sure, but the easter egg in The Dead Heart of Xin (last line of the credits page) is pretty telling. It could mean many things I guess, but that's certainly how I took it.

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You know who would be just perfect for the "retrospective collection of NPCs for each of the previous Adventure Paths"? Someone who happens to be a favorite of James Jacobs, has influenced three past Adventure Paths to varying degrees, and is awesome:

Runelord Sorshen.

After all, we now know that...

She's awake.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I tend to agree with the other posters though: trying to logically determine how much an acre of land costs by using real-world currency is going to give you a headache and yield nothing. I think that's partially why the rules in Ultimate Campaign use abstract units of cost like "1 point of labor."

If 500 gp/acre makes sense for your campaign, just go with that.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depending on how much time you want to devote to the aspect of land ownership, there are some great rules in Paizo's Ultimate Campaign about starting, maintaining, and profiting from all kinds of investments (farms included).

Really though, many noble titles came with land as part of the package deal - with the understanding that the newly ennobled would protect and tend the land, as well as collect taxes from any inhabitants - some of which must be payed to the crown. I'd just give him some land and say it's part of the deal. You can give him a monthly tax stipend of a few gp depending on how much land we're talking - and even more if he cooks the books and wants to take more than his fair share.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

*** spoiler ***

I should be getting this in about two weeks. I'll jump on here and go all spoiler-y when I do.

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Therrux wrote:

As for Geb atrophying, I don't think he should. From my understanding, ghosts are stuck as who they were when they were alive. He will never get stronger nor will he ever get weaker then he is now.

It's not without precedent - there are two liches who lost levels permanently for plot reasons. One is encountered in the Kingmaker AP, the other in the Emerald Spire module. In both cases, the liches in question were heavily implied to have been 20th level at the height of their power. They are significantly weaker in the modern day.

That said, even if Geb didn't atrophy I get the feeling that he has definitely stagnated. If Nex continued to grow in power after disappearing (and who knows if he did), while Geb just kind of gave up (un)living, than Nex would still be more powerful.

All just conjecture of course.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Without going into builds, I would put Geb at maybe CR 26-27, and Nex at 28-29. Why? Geb and Nex were at one point equals, or close enough to it, but since his suicide, I suspect that Geb has atrophied significantly compared to his long lost lover. I wouldn't put it out of the question that Arazni has equaled or even eclipsed Geb by now.

Nex on the other hand is all-but spoken of as a god. Making vast demiplanes, binding the essence of at least one demigod that we know of (Count Ranalc), making an astral impression of himself, slapping together artifacts like it ain't no thang. And what have you. I don't think Nex is quite at Baba-Yaga's level yet. That said though, if I had to guess another CR 30 character, Nex would be it.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

True, but if it is in some way extraplanar, it would certainly qualify. Robert didn't say all of the Beyond Golarion section was just extraplanetary.

Ah, good point - didn't think about the Planes.

However, both Arazni and Kohol died on Golarion - battling Tar-Baphon in Ustalav and in the city of Ninshabur, respectively. I don't know of any other dead or fallen (a word with many possible meanings) Heralds. My guess is it'll be a new piece of lore.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

Herald's Fall? Interesting. Sounds like it could be related to Arazni or Kohal, perhaps.

That would make sense, except that it's in the 'Beyond Golarion' section.

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Mark Moreland wrote:

Each of the locations included in the "Beyond Golarion" chapter receives 1 page of information including an illustration.

Thanks! Also, booooo! Nowhere near enough space, but I guess It'll have to do.

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Robert Brookes wrote:
Glad to see people excited for the Citadel of the Black and Castrovel. I wrote the entire Beyond Golarion section and I think you'll all be pleasantly surprised (and horrified) by what is contained there. Of all of them, though, Herald's Fall is my favorite. I'm excited to see what everyone thinks of that new piece of lore.

About three years ago I actually started fleshing out a Citadel of the Black campaign. Made a map of the place, filled it with occupants, etc. The problem was that I had very little to go on and wasn't aware at the time that the Dominion of the Black ran the place (or so I suspect). Indeed, the Dominion of the Black was still a total mystery at that point. I ultimately abandoned it because of the lack of canon information. I'm a stickler for keeping stuff "official," even in my home games...

So yeah, if I had to name one person, place, or thing to know more about in the entire Pathfinder campaign setting, the Citadel of the Black would be it. I am very, very interested to see what you did with it.

Could you perhaps reveal how many pages are devoted to the Citadel?

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*Edit: Were I to extrapolate, the serpentfolk spent centuries battling against the empire of Azlant. The Azlanti people may be long gone, but in the collective serpentfolk consciousness, they are the embodiment of humanity and the threat it represents. Plus, I would wager that serpentfolk lack racial sensitivity. They aren't too concerned if humans are offended by their epithets.

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

Sorry, I meant to suggest "the people who did most of the modern cataloging of myths, legends, and stories for a long time" i.e. white academics from previous centuries.

Ah okay, my bad. In that case: agreed.

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

It's a shame, but that's the problem with scholarship being run by racist guys who weren't from Africa.

I hope you weren't referring to the authors at Paizo. Pathfinder is the most egalitarian, inclusive RPG I've played in 20 years. My opinion taken with a grain of salt, of course.

Wes's point was more that the fantastic elements of African mythology/folklore tended toward speaking or giant animals. Obviously he found some exceptions: the popoballa, mokole mbembe, miengu, tuyewera, biloko, chemosit, impundulu, obambo, eloko, tikoloshe, inkanyamba, lukwata, umdhlebi, grootslang, and kongamato are all Pathfinder monsters straight from African folklore. You can go ahead and Google any one of them. So to suggest that Pathfinder lacks African-themed monsters is provably false.

By contrast however, do you know how many monsters exist in Japanese myths alone? Just do a search on yokai. Or go here. For whatever reason (ask an anthropologist?), some cultures are much bigger on adding extraordinary beasts to their mythology than others.

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Okay, so I've been looking for this since the conversation started. It's the forward of the The Thousand Fangs Below adventure, of the very much African Adventure Path. In it, F. Wesley Schneider notes a few things relevant to this thread. In short:

When developing the Serpent's Skull AP, Wes utilized the real world book African Mythology to come up with authentic African monsters such as the impundulu, eloko, and tikoloshe. That said, many of them were simply talking or monstrous versions of actual animals such as crocodiles or hippopotami. In short, he admitted having trouble finding a large number of African monsters and cryptids that could be converted to the PF setting, especially compared to the rich folklore and mythology of, for example, Egypt, Greece, and Japan. To quote directly: "Despite all the fantastic sources for monstrous beasts and brutes, for one reason on another, it’s been a challenge finding folkloric creatures that simply scream for inclusion in Serpent’s Skull."

So if it seems like Pathfinder has a dearth of African-type monsters, perhaps this is as good an explanation as any.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I'm really curious—does Golarion have a South/Central America analogue? Or did our "jungle quota" get used up on Mwafrica?

What Kalindlara said. From Distant Shores, it appears the the northern part of Arcadia resembles the pre-colonial Native American nation-states. However, Arcadia is also big - it's sometimes listed as the largest continent in Golarion (though I think Tian Xia, or maybe Casmaron, get that billing as well). If that's the case, you can bet there are plenty of ziggurats, massive desert paintings, cliff cities, and at least one solid Machu Picchu stand in just waiting for exploration as one heads south.

Oh, and as large as the Mwangi Expanse rain forest is, it don't hold a candle to Valashmei in Tian-Xia.

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Kalindlara wrote:

I've only skimmed Entombed With The Pharaohs - the module line is kind of my blind spot. How much of Garund was in there, though? I'd count from Osirion, Land of Pharaohs and Heart of the Jungle, personally.

Quite a bit. It was an excellent introduction to Osirion - the climate, people, politics. When I said that Gardun was included from the beginning, what I really should have pointed at was the Gazeteer released in 2008. That was the first Campaign Setting-style book.

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Kalindlara wrote:

Technically, Tian Xia has been part of the setting since Burnt Offerings. Serpent's Skull and Heart of the Jungle only predate Jade Regent and the various Dragon Empires books by about a year, I believe.

Also, Legacy of Fire is arguably the first Garundi AP. Its flavor is much more Arabian, however, so there's that.

Tian-Xia was name-dropped, but we never had any information on it until Jade Regent - and along with it, the ninja and samurai in Ultimate Combat, and the gazeteer of the continent in Dragon Kingdoms. That was 4 years into the Pathfinder game. By comparison, Garund has been detailed, explored, and fleshed out since day 1 with the Entombed with the Pharaohs module.

I didn't count Legacy of Fire for the reason you noted.

One of the big issues I see, is when people say "Africa," they often mean sub-Saharan Africa and don't include Egypt. And that's fine, but as of now two-thirds of Garund remains undetailed. We know roughly what's down there - a kingdom of Amazons, a lizardfolk nation, more jungles, some human city-states. Are these more "African" than the top third of Garund? Maybe.

What we most certainly do have is northern Garund and the Mwangi Expanse, which correspond solidly with northern Africa and the Congo rainforest.

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darth_borehd wrote:

I know little about the Golarion campaign setting.

We have races, archetypes, and creatures from Asian mythology, so what am wondering is where are the same from African mythology? There's a few creatures that seem inspired from Egyptian culture but hardly anything from sub-Saharan Africa.

The Asian analogue - Tien Xia - came several years after the African analogue - Graund. The Inner Sea campaign setting has had Garund from the beginning, which is essentially the upper third of Africa.

I'm actually surprised you know about the Asian-themed races, archetypes, and monsters without having spotted the many African ones as well.

Races: Garundi (human), Pahmet (dwarves), grippli (frog people), Bekyar (human), Bonuwat (human), Mauxi (human), Zenj (human), charau-ka (monkey people), Mwangi elves, etc.

Archetypes: juju mystery for oracles, animist archetype for shamans - actually, the shaman class in general, Bekyar kidnapper for the rogue, jungle rager for the barbarian, and the Magaambyan Arcanist prestige class. There are also lots of archetypes that, while not strictly "African," are clearly inspired by it, or fit there quite well. Barbarians, druids, shamans, hunters, and rangers are all great places to look.

Monsters: I'd suggest you look through the six volumes of the Serpent's Skull, Mummy's Mask, and to a lesser extend, Skull and shackles APs, and the Heart of the Jungle book. Off the topic of my head, there's the pobobala, mkole mbembe, miengu, and sabosan.

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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Lord Gadigan wrote:
They're the demon lord Baphomet's servants; they build/enact cults/conspiracies and seek to subvert nations to his cause. They show up in Wrath of the Righteous as an opposing group.
Thanks for straightening that out.

It's tough to tell because his back's turned, but if you look closely you can see his helmet is in the shape of a bull. Or in other words, he's doing minotaur cosplay. Also Baphomet's favored weapon is the glaive.

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

...aren't invisible stalkers intelligent and capable of speech?

Shouldn't eating them be a pretty darn evil act, and thus potentially cause not just diplomatic failure but complete destruction of the banquet itself at the hands of at least some characters? I can see a paladin refusing to allow the dish to be served to anyone.

EDIT: Int 14, alignment Neutral, speaks Auran and Common. Yeah, there's a lot of people I've gamed with, not to mention myself, who would just plain no longer want Manticce's support at that point.

It's no more evil than, say, skinning a dragon and using its scales for armor. Which is to say... ambiguously so? The hostess also doesn't outright say what's on the plate, though I imagine PCs would figure out pretty quickly. Looks like an opportunity for roleplaying to me.

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Good lord does the city of Vyre have some powerful occupants. In the Notable NPCs section we have, from weakest to strongest, a...


*Female Halfling Swashbuckler 16
*Female Tiefling Aristocrat 2/Witch 17
*Female Lunar Naga Sorcerer 13
*Male Human Rogue 3/Cleric of Norgorber 17 (whose illustration screams magnificent bastard)
*Female Jorogumo Rogue 10 (that's a challenge rating of 22 right there)

I wonder what made all these luminaries settle in Vyre? Each one (swashbuckler aside) could probably conquer a small nation, Razmir style, without too much trouble.

Also cool that only the cleric is a man. Ladies got this place under control.

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Axial wrote:

Thanks for pointing out the Templar. I assumed he was a Hellknight until I saw your post and realized the similarities to the Templar art from WoTR. Though why this Templar has a weaaboo sword is beyond me.

It doesn't look like a katana to me - though it's hard to judge, the blade looks pretty European-straight. Then again the lack of a cross guard is unusual, especially considering the lillend's sword in all its cross guarded glory.

The Templar is a Minkaian? Sword is loot? Stylistic choice by the author? Who knows.

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DeciusNero wrote:
The appeaser cleric sounds enticing. I find the idea of the product being more for amoral PC's rather than dyed-inthe wool evil people.

C'mon guys, Zon-kuthon's not... like, completely bad. I mean he's the god of darkness - have you ever tried sleeping in a bright room? Totally messes up your circadian rhythms. And yes, Rovagug might want to destroy all creation, but he can't (yet), so cut him some slack. Plus he grants the weather domain, and who doesn't like weather?

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Wonder what one lillend could have done to piss off the Ivory Templars, Red Mantis, and Church of Razmir.

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Lirgen?! The Citadel of the Black!?!

Really, I'm glad they updated the product so late, so now I only have a few weeks to wait with baited breath.

Looking like Hell's Rebels was pushed back a month, but mercifully this one didn't. Hoping it stays that way.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey James, I have a question about the aboleth omnipath; specifically, where does it rank in the hierarchy of aboleth? Is it superior to the veiled master?

In the Inner Sea Bestiary, veiled masters are specifically noted as being in charge of standard aboleths, while in turn being subservient to the race's true masters. The more powerful omnipath in Occult Bestiary, however, is much more vague in its description, never outright stating where the omnipath sits in the aboleth hierarchy.

(I also know that there are at least two more high-powered aboleths noted in Occult Mysteries; an armored leviathan and some kind of intelligent swarm. Can't wait to see these some day).

Thanks for clearing this up if possible!

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High level creatures built with already complicated races (worm that walks and succubus), plus mythic tiers = many opportunities for mistakes.

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Taldan is Common, yes.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would ask again, very clearly:

What is the level of the character I should design, and how should I determine his/her attributes?

The response should be something like "1st level, 15 point purchase" or "3rd level, for each attribute roll 4D6 and subtract the lowest die."

CR 17 is not an acceptable answer.

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ChuckSC6568 wrote:

CR 17. Any race from the Core Rulebook or Advanced Race Guide, any class, Mythic or no.

That was actually his full response. Sorry. Does that make a difference?

That makes a big difference, in that I don't think your GM knows much about the game. There aren't mythic classes - it's not like sorcerer or rogue. And including mythic is definitely not something done lightly. Like, I can't imagine a GM saying "sure, go ahead and throw some mythic tiers on your PC if you want."

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Vundal wrote:
How dependent on having the players be from the Occult Adventures is this Bestiary?

I'm not sure I get your question. Several monsters have spells from the Occult Adventures hardback, so a GM will need access to that (or the free online version). But the player characters? They don't need to use anything from Occult Adventures to get the full experience from the monsters in this book.

jasonleeholm wrote:
I'm curious about the Prana Ghost's alignment... and if we'll ever get non-evil undead, especially a non-evil undead PC race (no, not dhampir).

The prana ghost is a template with no alignment restrictions. The example creature is neutral good, but the template description is careful to point out that evil creatures can become prana ghosts as well.

Oh, and prana ghost is a misnomer - they're actually outsiders with ghost-like traits.

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Top row: marry, [expletive], kill
Middle row: kill, [expletive], marry
Bottom row: marry, kill, [expletive]

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Cthulhudrew wrote:

Completely random thought, likely not related to any forthcoming AP, but...

How cool would it be to have an AP where the final boss... was the PCs themselves?

And the cover had a die cut "mirror" reflecting the viewer right back at themself as a result?

Time Magazine did something like that once for their "Person of the Year." If I recall, the responses were... mixed.

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