For the majority of cases, having PC-level wealth and a 20 point buy grants a +1 to CR, so that would put her at CR 27. That's what I'm guessing. Characters like a certain dwarven antipaladin are the exception to the rule.
As for redeeming Areelu... it's possible I guess. But think about this:
She is the architect of the World Wound, has 10 levels in the Demoniac PrC, willingly transformed herself into a half-succubus, and has gleefully ruled a city for a century where her fellow countrymen are enslaved and daily sacrificed. If she's redeemable, you may as well try to redeem Deskari too.
Looks at the January schedule...
Wow, I'm suddenly much less regretful about cancelling my Campaign Setting subscription. It's going to suck enough budgeting for the 3 APs in a span of a few weeks.
The Painted Oryx wrote:
Just realized it says that the bestiary will include the final demon lords to be featured in this AP..meaning there's more than one!!! Is this a typo?
I've wondered about that from the beginning. The question is, will Deskari be statted in the Appendix or the Bestiary? Because if he's in the Appendix, that likely means we'll get additional Demon Lords ("one in each Bestiary"). At the same time, from the beginning we've been told we're getting 6 Demon Lords' stats - Shax, Gargoyle Guy, Noctitcula, Baphomet, Goth Girl, and Deskari.
My guess is we aren't getting info on the veiled masters of the aboleth race. This looks to be about secret societies, cults, etc. - aboleths aren't any of those things. I've been dying to get more info on them and really hope they get their long overdue time in the spotlight, but I just have a feeling this book won't be it.
Nathan Nasif wrote:
This is pretty awesome. I am enjoying my perusal of your work so far.
Thanks - I appreciate it. I typically consider most of what I produce to be varying degrees of mediocre (the #2 reason I've never written a book, just after my laziness). Glad someone enjoyed it.
That's about the thrust of what I have right now. I've statted Carsai the King and some of the NPCs listed above, and am about 40% done with a gazeteer of the Citadel of the Black (despite not having even a bare-bones map). Still a lot to do. If/when I churn out more material, I'll post it. Again, any suggestions/opinions/criticisms are welcome.
Two more toys. The Far Lens is my way around the optional rules in Distant Worlds that prevent long-range spells like scrying from working on targets on different worlds. The evil book is an evil book.
The Far Lens (Greater Artifact):
Aura Strong divination; CL 20th
Slot None; Weight 2,100 pounds
This 10-foot-diamater lens is mounted in a frame of copper metal that feels oily to the touch. A tiny forest of antennas protrude from the frame’s surface in every direction, some several feet in length, all softly humming in different frequencies. The lens itself is a paper-thin opaque crystal whose surface crawls with a thousand streams of ever-changing symbols—all highly complex mathematic formulas that, if deciphered, seem to calculate mind-bendingly vast distances.
The Far Lens allows those in its vicinity to utilize spells over otherwise impossible distances while on the Material Plane. Anyone within 30 feet of the device may use spells and effects without range limitations (such as scrying, sending, dream, and nightmare) to observe, contact, or reach any target in all the universe. There are no additional penalties for doing so. For example, attempting to use scrying to observe a creature dwelling on a different planet does not incur the penalties associated with scrying a creature on another plane. There is one limitation however: teleportation and conjuration spells and effects are not enhanced in this manner.
A spellcaster must remain within range of the Far Lens throughout the entire casting time and duration of the spell. If he ever passes beyond this radius, the spell or effect immediately ends. The Far Lens only functions on the Material Plane and does not allow spells to breach planar boundaries if they could not normally do so.
Destruction If a being were somehow able to solve every equation displayed on the Far Lens' surface in the split second before new formulas appeared, he would momentarily gain enough insight into the device to shatter it with a single blow from an enchanted adamantine weapon.
Secrets of the Dreaming Dark:
Aura Strong transmutation [evil]; CL 17th
Slot None; Price 55,000 gp; Weight 5 pounds
Alignment CE; Ego 14
Senses 60 ft., darkvision
Int 17; Wis 10; Cha 14
Language Empathy, speech (Common, Aklo, Osiriani)
This very old and massive tome is several hundred pages long and bound in black leather. By an unknown author, the pages are scribed in Aklo in cramped handwriting and include complex star charts and maps of strange, distant worlds. There are numerous breathtaking illustrations of eerie monsters and alien gods as well.
When held in hand, Secrets of the Dreaming Dark can lace spells with unwholesome energy, functioning as a sickening metamagic rod. More dangerously, an insidious intellect hides within the book’s pages. It is a patient and alien thing that urges its owner to uncover secrets and attempt dangerous rituals. It is well versed in many esoteric subjects, though will not part with such knowledge freely; only those who help further the tome’s inscrutable agenda can glean its secrets, and even then it sometimes omits details or lies outright. To that end, Secrets of the Dreaming Dark possesses the following skills: Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (religion) +8, and Bluff +7.
Three times per day the tome can channel the madness of the Dark Tapestry, targeting those who displease it with mad hallucination (Will DC 15 negates).
Requirement Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Rod, Sickening Spell, mad hallucination; Cost 27,500 gp
Note: "Secrets of the Dreaming Dark" was originally detailed in the module Dragon's Demand. This version does not resemble the original except in title and basic description.
Some things I'm still trying to figure out (not including all the stream-of-consciousness notes above). Any ideas welcome.
-What's the Citadel of the Black's population? Right now I'm tentatively putting it at 12,500, with about 75% of the populace being humanoid and the rest monstrous.
-What level of governance does it have? I'm going with an "organized chaos" mode, given that most inhabitants are all kinds of nuts. As of now, I'm thinking of making the government proper a group called "The Host," made up primarily of clerks, scribes, and mooks. That certainly works, but at the same time feels just so utterly mundane. This is the Citadel of the Black - why not think of some fantastic governing element? A bunch of not-dead, not-alive brains-in-jars hooked up to one another, controlling every aspect of the city perhaps.
-Aside from being crazy, what do the citizens do with their time? The dearth of official Aucturn info limits me a bit here, but it's suggested there are other cities like the Citadel, and they like killing each other. However considering the Aucturn is twice the size of Golarion, I'm assuming it's comparatively sparse in terms of humanoid population centers.
-Residences aside, what sort of buildings would you find there? Does the Citadel have inns, markets, taverns, and the like, just like any other city? Or is the place's populace too demented for such quaint things?
-For now, I'm thinking of making most buildings the "flesh domes and bone spires" mentioned in Distant Worlds. Basically, organic protuberances that have been hollowed out. Any other ideas?
Two of Carsai's toys. The amulet lets him control his favorite pet, while the book is lent out to his most favored and capable minions.
Amulet of Incarnate Madness (Minor Artifact):
Aura Strong enchantment; CL 20th
Slot Neck; Weight —
This amulet of silvery metal has an oddly organic look to it, appearing as if it were grown rather than forged. The only obvious marks of manufacture are the radial pattern of dots that adorn its surface. While these dots appear random, they are in fact Elder Thing writings, and reveal that this unassuming palm-sized lump is a powerful tool for harnessing the might of chaos made flesh—those beings known as shoggoths.
The wearer of an amulet of incarnate madness gains a +5 insight bonus to AC against any attacks made by a shoggoth and is rendered immune to the creature’s maddening cacophony. More significantly, once per day with a command word, the amulet can be used to take control of a shoggoth as per the dominate monster spell (Will DC 25 negates). Spell resistance is not useful against this effect. The ability to command a dominated shoggoth lies with whomever wears the amulet of incarnate madness, whether or not he is the one who initially took control of the creature. The duration of this effect is permanent. Only one shoggoth can be dominated at any one time, however, and if this power is used to dominate a second shoggoth, the first is immediately freed from its magical bondage.
Once per week with a command word, the amulet of incarnate madness can be used to summon the shoggoth that it is currently dominating if the creature is within 100 miles. This teleportation effect causes the shoggoth to appear adjacent to the amulet’s wearer, or as close as possible if all adjacent spaces are occupied. If the shoggoth is further than 100 miles away or on a different plane, or if no open space exists within 30 feet of the wearer, than the ability fails and is wasted. This summons is a dangerous gambit though, for upon appearing the creature may make another DC 25 Will save as a free action. A successful saving throw leaves the shoggoth free from magical control, immune to any further domination attempts from that particular amulet of incarnate madness for 24 hours, and within striking distance of the one who dared to enslave it.
Destruction This masterpiece of elder thing technology can only be unmade by an equally potent device from this species.
Pnakotic Manuscripts (Minor Artifact):
Aura Strong conjuration CL 20th
Slot None; Weight 10 pounds
This text is thousands or even millions of years ago. It is written in Aklo and focuses on knowledge concerning primordial forces of the universe, conjuration magic, the Dark Tapestry, and those unfathomable entities that dwell amid the stars. The book itself is relatively large, weighing 10 pounds and consisting of about 500 pages of thin parchment. The cover bears a large inset crystal (said to aid in concentration during the casting of complex conjuration magic) and a series of metal insect-like clasps along the edge that lock down and keep the book from being opened by anyone who can’t make the DC 25 Intelligence, Disable Device, or Use Magic Device check to do so. The book must be unlocked to function in any way and automatically reseals itself 1D6 hours after last being read or actively handled.
Reading the Pnakotic Manuscripts takes a total of 60 hours over a minimum of 10 days and requires a DC 30 Linguistics check if the reader does not know Aklo. The book can thereafter be used as a reference to grant a +8 bonus on Knowledge checks related to conjuration magic, the Dark Tapestry, or the mysteries of the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones.
The tome functions as a spellbook, and any spell prepared from the Pnakotic Manuscripts are treated as if the caster were two caster levels higher. It contains the following spells:
The Pnakotic Manuscripts also contain occult rituals that can modify certain conjuration spells. If it is held and used as an additional focus component by a spellcaster who has read the tome, he may use planar binding (including its lesser and greater variants) or gate to call creatures of the aberration type in addition to outsiders and elementals. Merely holding the open book grants its bearer a +5 bonus on the opposed Charisma check required by planar binding when used to call aberrations.
Destruction The Pnakotic Manuscripts are destroyed if exposed to the fury of a star’s heart.
Note: I got the basic, non-artifact version of this text from Richard Pett's fantastic Carrion Hill adventure.
Carsai the King
The Citadel of the Black's ruler is left quite vague. In all honesty, I think the intention is to have him affiliated with the Dominion of the Black - perhaps the Citadel of the Black is just an experiment conducted by the neh-thalggu. A massive petrie dish that allows them to observe humans who, for whatever reason, kneel to alien forces.
But I personally didn't want to take it in that direction. I'm making Carsai the King a human man from Golarion, a Sorcerer 20/Archmage 3 with the aberrant bloodline and the longevity path ability, thus rendering him immortal. He is a spawn of Yog-Sothoth - not the monstrous variety statted up in Bestiary 4, but the mostly human type. His aims are of a typical madman variety, something along the lines of unleashing the madness beyond the stars on Golarion's solar system for reasons. To that end, he has aligned himself with the Dominion of the Black, denizens of Leng and their moon-beast masters, and a plethora of Old Cultists. He lurks in his palace-spire, and with the aid of an artifact called the Far Lens, scryes on multiple planets to find suitable new residents for his city.
Carsai's trademark smoky appearance is accomplished via his unique robe...
Robe of the Stranger:
Aura Strong varied; CL 16th
Slot Body; Price 80,000 gp Weight 1 pound
This elegant robe is woven from the silk of Leng spiders and adorned with strangely beautiful meteoric gemstones. The robe of the stranger allows the wearer to act as if continually under the effects of freedom of movement and planetary adaptation, the latter attuned to the planet Aucturn. This grants immunity to the planet’s poisonous atmosphere and warping effects as a result, but does not the grant energy resistance that planetary adaptation normally provides.
The robe also sheds dirt and sweat as they accumulate, and remains as comfortable as weather-appropriate clothing regardless of environmental conditions. It always looks immaculately clean, can be slept in with ease, and does not cause a penalty to the wearer’s saving throws to resist the effects of extreme heat. In cold weather, it counts as cold-weather clothing. Additionally, one of its pockets functions as a handy haversack.
When the robe’s hood is drawn, the wearer becomes wreathed in dark and smoky vapor. This opaque stuff has no effect on the wearer’s vision, and though it is too thin to provide concealment, it does hide his features utterly as if it were a black veil. Nothing can be made of his physical appearance other than the outline of his form, though his worn and held equipment are not in any way obscured. This obfuscation only blocks visual senses. True seeing pierces the vapor, as does any ability that allows one to see through smoke or fog.
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, freedom of movement, planetary adaptation, secret chest, obscuring mist; Cost: 40,000 gp
Some of Carsai's top agents include the following.
Father Blind (CE Male Denizen of Leng Assassin 5) serves the sorcerer for his own Lengian reasons.
The Citadel of the Black
This part's not done. I drew up a map of the city using Campaign Cartographer (a basic mapping program with a focus on tabletop RPGs), but wasn't satisfied with it. I initially made it a city of relatively normal looking buildings, all built beneath several massive, interconnected domes of flesh and bone. But that felt dumb.
On James Sutters' advice from his "Ask James Sutter Everything" thread, I'm going to redo it as a city where most of the buildings are organic structures, such that the final place will look like a living being when viewed from way up. A horrible, horrible living being. At the center will stand Vox-Madahl, Carsai the King's palace spire.
When it comes to the Citadel of the Black's inhabitants though, I'm having some issues. It's supposed to be a mecca for Old Cultists, so I'm populating it primarily with humanoid races from throughout Golarion's solar system. But how are these cultists able to survive on a planet that so very much hates sane life? Suggestions here are welcome, but here's my current idea: Carsai achieved a sort of empathic link with Aucturn, which not only served as his moment of mythic ascension (more on that below), but also allowed him to will into being a massive dome of energy around his city. Within this dome, gravity is at normal Golarion levels, and all beings benefit from the spell planetary adaptation (from Distant Worlds). This would allow for all to survive safely inside the city.
Here's my next problem: how does a city of lunatics, Old Cultists, and abominations survive and even flourish on a planet like Aucturn? Where do they get their food when most of the humanoid inhabitants can't even leave the city's confines, lest they become mutated/poisoned? Where does the city get raw materials? While it may be the creepiest city in the solar system, the Citadel would still require trade, labor, some degree of governance, protection, etc.
For the moment, I'm assuming that much of the trade comes from otherworldly beings such as denizens of Leng, witchwyrds, and mercanes. I'm going to make a certain percentage of the populace have the alien template, and thus be capable of leaving the city to do whatever passes for farming there. An army of gugs, alien-template-humans, shantaks, and the like will serve as Carsai's military. The city's economy will be unusual, but ultimately center around magic, knowledge, and cold hard coins.
Each time a creatures succeeds on its saving throw against the warping, the DC for the next save increases by 1. The DC resets to 20 after the creature fails its saving throw or leaves Aucturn for at least one week. Warping that results in ability drain, blindness, or deafness can be cured in the usual manner. All other warps, except as noted, can be undone by an effect that removes curses. The warping is treated as being caster level 15th for spells such as break enchantment.
The tenth time a creature fails a saving throws against the warping, it does not roll on the below chart. Rather, it has 50% chance of either dying outright as if it rolled a 00 or permanently mutating as if it rolled a 98-99. A creature that has had all warping effects removed or cured resets the number of saves it must fail back to ten. Leaving Aucturn for at least one month and returning does the same, even if the creature is still suffering effects from past warpings.
D100 Warp Effect
1-9 Target takes 1D4 Strength drain.
10-18 Target takes 1D4 Dexterity drain.
19-27 Target takes 1D4 Constitution drain.
28-36 Target takes 1D4 Intelligence drain.
37-45 Target takes 1D4 Wisdom drain.
46-54 Target takes 1D4 Charisma drain.
55-57 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength for 1D3 days.
58-60 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity for 1D3 days.
61-63 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution for 1D3 days.
64-66 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence for 1D3 days.
67-69 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom for 1D3 days.
70-72 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma for 1D3 days.
73-76 Target is permanently blinded.*
77-80 Target is permanently deafened.*
81-84 Target permanently loses the ability to speak or verbalize in any way.*
85-86 Target gains darkvision 60 ft. for 1D3 days. If the target already possesses darkvision,
the range of that ability increases by 30 ft. for 1D3 days.
87-90 Target’s base speed is permanently reduced by 10 ft. (to a minimum of 5 ft.)**
91-92 Target gains a +10 bonus to its base speed for 1D3 days.
93-94 Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to its natural armor bonus for 1D3 days.
95-97 Target suffers a permanent –1 penalty on all saving throws.***
98-99 Target is permanently mutated, gaining the alien template. This mutation has an added effect: all warp effects currently affecting the target, harmful or not, immediately end. Any ability drain caused by a past warp is cured.****
00 Target’s body melts into formless goo, killing it.
*If the creature is already blind, deaf, or unable to speak, reroll.
Note:"Alien" is a simple template from Legendary Games' Beyond the Void. It is comparable to the fiendish template, so you can use that as well.
Like many Paizonians I really latched on to the themes of Aucturn and the Dark Tapestry. Alas, the Aucturn chapter in Distant Worlds was woefully small. However, one nugget that really caught my attention was a city of Old Cultists called the Citadel of the Black, ruled by an enigmatic figure called Carsai the King. I decided to make more detailed rules for Aucturn, map out and stat up the Citadel, and provide more detail on Carsai the King and his motives/operations.
For now, the only worked I've completed is on Aucturn. Basically, I took the rules that James Sutter gave us in Distant Worlds and expanded on them. Also, I took the idea of "Mythos Creatures" from Legendary Games' awesome work Beyond the Void. I tried to make it as complete a list of Lovecraftian beasties as I could. Also forgive the crap formatting - it's not my specialty.
With no further ado.
Aucturn is a nightmarish and deadly place, its poisonous atmosphere, crippling gravity, and strange magical emanations combining to create a world unfit for sane life. These three environmental hazards are described below, but first a note must be made of the monstrous beings considered native to Aucturn, for they alone can feel any sense of comfort on the accursed planet.
The second category of natives attained their status only after having lived on Aucturn for several generations. Such residents are usually horrifically malformed, to the extent that—although they may be statistically identical to a normal member of their species—their appearance is utterly alien. For example, a chimera native to Aucturn may resemble a winged centipede with scything, praying-mantis-like claws and three alien heads sprouting from its body. One head may lack a mouth but be covered in sharp, chitinous plates, allowing it to make a gore attack, while another has particularly large teeth and is capable of spewing energy (the “dragon” head). Such a monstrosity would be considered a native to Aucturn, but a normal chimera transported to the planet most certainly would not.
Regardless of which category it falls into, a native creature is immune to Aucturn’s poisonous atmosphere and warping effects. Being native does not necessarily protect one from Aucturn’s high gravity, however. Only a creature (native or not) that has lived all its life there can ignore the penalties associated with high gravity, including the reduction in projectile weapon range.
D8 Inhaled Poison Effect
Could qlippoths be spawned by old ones? Maybe grown from dreams of the old ones? Or their souls, if that term can apply to old ones at all?
Based on everything I've read, probably not. You can check out everything James Jacobs has said on the matter, but here's a particularly relevant quote (edited by me to only include the relevant snippets):
James Jacobs wrote:
Also, there's no suggestion that Great Old Ones are somehow responsible for birthing Qlippoth. For example, it is now confirmed that Rovagug is in fact a full Qlippoth god (as opposed to Qlippoth-turned-Demon Lord like Dagon, or a nascent Qlippoth Lord like Yamasoth). It is also hinted in Beyond the Doomsday Door that there are other full-fledged Qlippoth deities, on par with Rovagug. If anything spawned the Qlippoth race, it would be one of those. Think something like the Queen of Chaos from oldschool D&D (who was, by the way, transformed into an Obyrith [D&D equivalent of Qlippoth] in 3rd edition).
As for whether or not Great Old One souls make Qlippoth, that seems unlikely. The Qlippoth weren't even aware that the multiverse existed outside of the Abyss prior to nosy Proteans poking holes into reality. They certainly weren't connected with the Material Plane. It was only after the Proteans - and later Daemons - got involved, that mortal souls started filtering into the Abyss and transforming into Demons.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
No need! I already knew what it meant, even without the aid of Google. Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion though.
Yeah, I'm familiar with the word (in fact, I daresay your quoted definition is not 100% accurate). I just don't know why Lord_Malkov thinks the animals in the Bestiary are somehow exemplars. They're standard examples of their kind.
Is there some kind of inside joke I'm missing here? I'm not sure where that quote was from.
Two completely different categories. No Great Old Ones are not Qlippoth stuck on the material plane, and no they are not the same. Also they do not basically want the same thing. Both are largely unknowable and alien, but Qlippoth would really like to exterminate all mortal life (and their souls), whereas Great Old Ones are far more diverse in their desires. Shub-Niggurath for example loves birthing mortal life. (I know Shub-N is technically an Outer God, not a Great Old One, but you get the idea).
To put it another way, Qlippoth are a distinct race of outsiders. Great Old Ones are godlike entities that, thus far, are all of the aberration type. Qlippoth have their own godlike entities (as explored in Beyond the Doomsday Door), but they are not Great Old Ones.
Is there a thematic overlap? Yes. Is that all it is? Pretty much.
That's wrong too. Exemplars? Where are you getting that?
Goth Guru wrote:
I don't think I've ever seen an animal-type creature with a wisdom under 2. What do you mean by this?
Sorcerer. Charm person and disguise self would be enough to rule the world if you were savvy. As for a magic item, ring of sustenance. No chance of being poisoned by a meal, and way less sleep means more time to plot.
Well, as a historian I'm sure you know that the "Dark Ages" weren't actually all that dark. Proper historian don't even use that term. "Dark Ages" was a term coined by a 14th-century Italian author named Petrarch who really liked the Roman Empire, and thought everything after Rome's fall just sort of sucked. Source.
The so-called Dark Ages of Europe were not nearly as grim and brutal as some people think. Warfare was heavily limited due to the small size of armies necessitated by feudal government, women were treated better than previous times by a wide margin, and Dark Age serfs had shorter workweeks than Americans today. Oh, and life expectancy was about 50 years.
Hey James, I have a question about Aucturn. I'm trying to get a handle on the Citadel of the Black: it's described as a city, so about how many inhabitants (I was going to say "people," but yeah...) live there? It's described as having "skin domes and bone spires." Are these the equivalent of buildings on other worlds, or is the whole place encased in a gigantic cyst like some god-awful snow-globe? Is it similar to more conventional cities, with inns, shops, marketplaces, temples, barracks, etc.?
To put it another way, could you reveal anything more about this place? I'd very much appreciate it.
Joshua Goudreau wrote:
It features prominently in Mummy's Mask as well.
Where did you read that? Because from what I've read, the devs have specifically noted that the Dominion of the Black will not have any involvement with Mummy's Mask. I could find specific quotes, but meh. One reason they won't be featured is because they will definitely be showing up in the AP after Mummy's Mask, Iron Gods. Specifically, adventure 4 of Iron Gods is entitled "Valley of the Brain Eaters" - which you may know is the layman's term for neh-thalggu. Also, this is yet more evidence that the Dominion is all about neh-thalggu.
Joshua Goudreau wrote:
The primary villain...
has an alliance with neh-thalggus who are of the Dominion. Also, in his library, one topic that is covered in detail is "...the neh-thalggus of the Dominion of the Black."
When you also take into account the info from Dragon's Demand, it's pretty clear that neh-thalggus are, at the very least, a large part of the Dominion.
So, after the latest installment of Wrath of the Righteous (Demons' Heresy), I think we can say without much doubt that the Dominion is made up of neh-thalggu. At the very least, they are the bottom rung.
I'm a bit confused about Cernunnos. He's not expanded in Chronicles of the Righteous, except a minor excerpt in the back about being a lesser empyreal lord. Yet, he's a higher CR than Korada and Vildeis. Is he just a "lesser lord" in that he doesn't have a large group of worshipers?
Well, based on the descriptive text, "lesser empyreal lord" is more a statement on how well known they are on the Material Plane. Cernunnos must be one of those who "focus on their divine duties and rarely receive notice on other planes." He's an azata also known as the Stag Lord who indulges his fiery passions, so from that we can infer... pretty much nothing at all. Hmm.
Just 5 more days till any subscriber would receive anything. 15 for the rest of us. :(
Actually subscriptions are starting this week (technically today, though with the October authorization issue, I don't know how much got done). Paizo is giving themselves two weeks to get all the subscriptions out because of the popularity of Bestiary 4.
From the Qlippoth article in Beyond the Doomsday Door:
"The bulk of qlippoth lords are creatures roughly equivalent in power to nascent demon lords, ranging in strength from CR 21 to 25. More powerful creatures akin to demigods in stature may still exist in the deepest parts of the Abyss, but for now, these theoretical qlippoth demigods must remain mysteries."
There's further evidence when you consider Yamasoth was originally identified as a Nascent Demon Lord in Lords of Chaos. In fact, he actually sort of straddles the line between the two, with further hints that he was the first demon to be spawned from a qlippoth.
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
You're thinking of Zelikar the Bitter Flame, a CR 21 Daemonic Harbinger.
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
On a related note, what about Yamasoth? I am fairly certain he is a Qlippoth Lord & in the mid to high 20's CR range. Yet, thanks to the fact that his stat-block predates Mythic, he does not have any of those Mythic Equivalent goodies that the Demon Lords presently being stated up have.
Yamasoth is not a full-blown Qlippoth Lord - he is the Qlippoth equivalent of a Nascent Demon Lord/Daemonic Harbinger/Infernal Duke. At this time it has been hinted that there are actual Qlippoth Lords (aside from Rovagug?), but they are as yet unrevealed.
The Block Knight wrote:
In the "Ask James Jacobs" thread, he notes that...
James Jacobs wrote:
This is absolutely how I would do it. The problem is, unless I missed something, there is nothing in a Demon Lord's stat block indicating this to be an official rule. Thus I propose the following special quality:
Mythic Equivalent (Ex): Although [creature] does not possess the Mythic subtype, he is considered mythic when determining how spells and abilities affect him.
It would be applied to Demon Lords, Archdevils, Empyreal Lords, the Four Horseman, Great Old Ones, and any other CR 26+ creature who is essentially a demigod but does not possess the mythic subtype.
*Edit: But that doesn't really answer your question about whether or not Ahriman gets the mythic boost that Demon Lords gain when in their home realm. Hmm. I'd have to say, barring a developer/author jumping in here to clear things up, that Ahriman gets no additional benefits from being home. It was spelled out quite clearly what happens to a Demon Lord when on his own turf (all spell-like abilities become mythic, d12 mythic surge 10/day), and there's obviously no such perk noted for Ahriman. Maybe he lacks the intense connection with Abaddon that Demon Lords have with the Abyss? He's a second-stringer compared to the Four Horsemen after all.
He got the boost to mental stats without any loss to physical ones because of the sun orchid elixir that he drank, specifically.
Yeah the pirate thing was a joke. Jokes don't translate well through writing.
Generic Villain wrote:
As for Karzoug, I once priced out his gear, and though I don't have the numbers with me now, I know they exceeded 1,000,000.
I priced Karzoug's magical items, spell components, inherent bonuses (determined as if granted by manuals/tomes of stat increasing), and permanent spells at a total value of equipment: 2,070,993 gp. I counted his runewell amulet as an amulet of natural armor +5, and used the gp value of his glaive as presented in the 3.5 version of the adventure (prior to it becoming an artifact). Also note that Karzoug is immortal as an added bonus - he did not gain this ability as a class feature. As a result, he gained +3 to all mental stats and immunity to disease and madness.
My wish list for the worm that walks article:
-An illustration of Jatembe's nemesis, the King of Biting Ants.
The Block Knight wrote:
Yeah, the +1 CR for exceptional stats alone seems pretty arbitrary. Baba Yaga has it, as does Staunton Vhane from the most recent AP edition (though the latter is a bad example, because his gear is worth double what even a PC of his level should have). As for Karzoug, I once priced out his gear, and though I don't have the numbers with me now, I know they exceeded 1,000,000. Typically it seems an NPC gets a +2 to their CR when they have lots and lots of gear (more than even a PC), as well as other perks. Karzoug's stats were through the roof thanks to inherent bonuses and he had multiple artifacts. Baba Yaga also had the advanced simple template, which grants +4 to every stat - for someone who is already as strong as Baba Yaga, that kind of boost is, in my opinion, worth +2 CR alone.
By comparison, take someone like the Hurricane King. He has PC-quality gear, a +2 bonus to all mental stats thanks to aging (without the commensurate loss in physical stats, because pirates don't suffer aging penalties), and yet only gets a +1 CR boost.
Blah blah blah. Long story short, it seems pretty arbitrary who gets a +1 CR and who gets a +2 CR. To look at it another way, the difference between a 20-point buy and 25-point buy is miniscule - 2 or 3 points tops. It would be nice if the developers had an across-the-board standard, but for the most part they stick to the "PC wealth, above-average stats = +1 CR" mechanic.
JJ mentioned that Desnan inquisitors are actively opposed to followers of Ghlaunder and the Old Cults.
Just now saw this. Yeah, I added up every single item Tar-Baphon has, including 240,000 for his artifact ring (really just two non-artifact rings), and the result is 1,106,925 gp. Plus whatever the cost of a non-masterwork dagger is. So... 1,106,926 gp?
Anyway, a 20th-level PC has 800,000 gp based on the PC wealth-by-level chart. And no, it has been established the mythic ranks/tiers do NOT increase an NPCs wealth.
The Block Knight wrote:
No one gets a +1 CR just for having high ability scores (25 point buy). No one, that is, except for Baba Yaga. For all other NPCs with an elite ability score array, their +1 CR also includes having the wealth of a PC. It's usually an "ability" called exceptional resources, noting the NPC has high stats and extra treasure.
Tar-Baphon absolutely has way more treasure than a 20th-level NPC - or a 20th-level PC for that matter. After a little addition, we see his gear value is 1,106,925 gp, and that's not accounting for his incredibly powerful Horns of Narraga greater artifact. As such, his challenge rating is wrong and should be 27. Also, his equipment choice leaves some to be desired. For example, why give him an unfettered shirt when he has a ring of freedom of movement? Why a robe of the archmagi when he has bracers of armor +8, cloak of resistance +5, and a crazy high spell resistance without it?
-1: How would you represent the fungal/undead spawn of Xhamen-Dor? Via template, something like juju zombie? Also are said spawn contagious, which is to say can they also spread their god's "gift?"
-2: Are there any hints as to where Xhamen-Dor currently dwells? The meteor-born fungal infestation in the Valashmei Jungle seemed like a prime candidate, but there's no mention of undead there (only giant vegepygmies), so I pretty much ruled that place out.
There are hints that Aroden's death sent ripples throughout Golarion's solar system. One example is in Distant Worlds - a super cyclone called the Eye of the Ancients formed on Bretheda almost exactly 3,000 years before Aroden bit it, and has been raging ever since. Like the Eye of Abendego, but on a grander scale. As for Golarion itself, Aroden's death also seemed to presage the appearance of the morozoks (blizzards) that haunt the Crown of the World, and coincided with the collapse of imperial Lung Wa in Tian Xia. So far the latter was noted as being mere coincidence, but that's a tough pill to swallow.
Aroden's death also caused prophecy to fail throughout Golarion. Even on the distant planet of Triaxus, where no one knew what an "Aroden" was, his death caused prophecy to fail and drove prophets mad. Further, those who worshiped Pharasma as a fate-goddess lost their prophetic gifts and went looney, and Pharasma is a far older and more powerful deity than Aroden.
I almost wonder if Aroden's death had more impact than his life.
Does the section on the Mordant spire offer anything for Elf PC'S ???
The Mordant Spire is as much about Azlant and aboleths as it is elves - perhaps even moreso. It offers two universal path abilities and one marshal path ability, though none are elven in nature.