My answer for that has always been "it doesn't", which seems contradictory to the rules so I should explain. What follows is all based on my own wild speculation and homebrew cosmological answers.
Positive Energy is, in a weird abstract way, life force. All living things have it, and adding more to one can help repair "broken" vital functions, which is more or less how healing works. Over time, your reserves of it naturally dwindle until there is no spark of life inside you.
Negative Energy is not merely the absence of Positive Energy, but its functional opposite; imagine that there is not only darkness, but rather a sort of anti-light that obliterates it to create darkness— that's how the two interact. Similarly, when Negative Energy interacts with living things it doesn't just "darken" part of your life force but actively obliterates a portion of it.
Now, this isn't an absolute truth; there are planes of existence and alternate realities where Positive Energy brings harm and Negative Energy heals. But that's pretty much an academic point, because if we lived in one of those realities we would refer to them by the opposite moniker, and not actually answer the question. "Positive" and "Negative" are shorthands for describing the effect on living things on the Prime Material Plane. The "undoing" of PE by NE is merely the first half of its own form of creation, which are cannot see as we are destroyed by the process; the distinction of "Entropic NE" versus "Creative PE" is based purely on our position in the process's cycle, and PE does quite the same to NE in universes where the dominance is reversed.
Animating dead is more than just infusing a corpse with Negative Energy because, at least in our version of existence, Negative Energy can't grant vitality; that's Positive Energy's job (again, in other realities, the roles of these two energies might be reversed, as the "anti-light" of NE could presumably illuminate in other universes). Instead, animating dead flesh uses the onyx in the spell as a focus that opens a sort of connection to the Negative Energy Plane that is focused through the corpse. Ambient PE is pulled through this connection into the NEPlane, where it is negated and destroyed. It is the Positive Energy flowing through the corpse that powers Undead, not the Negative Energy itself, as the process is sort of a gross mockery of the natural attrition of life force in living creatures. Animation only persists because the PE being drawn through the corpse is obliterated as it contacts the metaphysical connection to the NEPLane, causing a constant flow of life force through the dead tissue in attempt to create equilibrium.
As the undead is damaged, its connection to the NEPlane weakens until it closes and cannot draw any PE into itself to maintain animation. NE "heals" the undead because it strengthens the connection and allows more PE to be drawn through it, prolonging its unlife. PE harms the undead by altering the balance of NE and PE "pressures" around the portal to the NEPlane and causing the tide briefly flow the other way, drawing NE from its plane to be obliterated in ours. Equilibrium is restored quickly thereafter, but the connection is already weakened by the sudden reversal of energy flow.
TL;DR: Positive Energy actually animates the corpses, but doing so requires a connection to the Negative Energy Plane that forces Positive Energy to flow through tissue that normally does not contain it.
Wait a minute.
Brandon is implying patience is the key to learning more about the Order. He also said that I "hit the nail on the head". BUT he didn't say that the nail was the term "Palatines"! The nail could be my earlier theory about the Order playing a part in Mummy's Mask!
Let's look closer. Patience means waiting. We have to wait for adventure path volumes. Nails are used in coffins. Coffin, sarcophagus. Sarcophagi are found in Osirion, and are often decorated with images of the deceased inside. Masks are worn decorative images. Dead people in sarcophagi are mummies. Mask, mummy. Mummy's mask. EOotPE in Mummy's Mask confirmed! KHU BA HETEPH, NIB IMNET HEM MAA
Now where'd I put that tinfoil hat?
I did roughly the same, but went a little further.
One of my players was a Cleric of Desna and had the Good Dreams trait, so she got prophetic visions at night. First night in Ravengro, she had a pleasant dream that she was walking in a park with a kind-looking old man who asked her name (which was "Siphone"). He then proceeded to give an etymological discourse on the origins of that name and how it morphed over time. Then, of course, his head lit on fire, his flesh melted, the park they were in turned into a horrific hellscape, and he screamed that she would die now that he knew her name. Blood ran down her face and arms in the dream as the man ripped at her flesh. Awaking with a start, she found that she was in her room and that her wall was covered in blood that spelled, in broad and messy letters, "I know your name, Siphon-". Her left hand was bloody and cut, and in her right she held a blood-spattered piece of glass. The window in the room (on the first floor) was broken and opened, and she heard screaming from outside. The villagers had just found the statue defaced with blood from the town dog, its entrails spilling out from a clean, straight cut along its belly.
It really built up the self-doubt and paranoia that horror games need, and set up fairly quickly just how bad things were going to get.
If you haven't heard the Horror In RPGs seminar from this year's Paizocon, give it a listen. It has a lot of great tips for running effective horror games. And check out Dread as well; even if you don't use the system, there's a lot of good examples of creepy questions and advice for building tension.
I do about the same as Dudemeister, summarizing the AP outline and sharing the Player's Guide, but sometimes I feel the need to spice up the language and throw in some spoilers. This is my most recent pitch, for Wrath of the Righteous.
Wrath of the Righteous is a Pathfinder adventure path that's all about bringing the pain to demons in the most Lawful Good way possible. There's smiting, alliances, traitors, cults, armies, balors, crusades... Everything that you could ever want from a "let's invade the Abyss" adventure. Oh, and did I mention that you eventually invade The Abyss? Because you do. For murder reasons. Your job is to kill demonic demi-gods, save the world, and be capital-G Good.
Sometimes campaigns make you compromise your morals for expediency or political reality (cough, Carrion Crown, cough). Enough of that nonsense. Rise above, do Good, go mythic, and tear down some badguys. Someone's got to, right?
The adventure goes from levels 1-20— yes, 20 levels— and ten full mythic tiers. "Mythic tiers? Is that like epic levels?" Yeah, if you could start taking epic levels at level one and gained the ability to fling blood off your sword to blind people! Hell, the first adventure alone gets you to level six and has you (I kid you not) face down SIX CR 6 enemies at once. And win. Why? Because the gods like your beautiful faces, that's why.
Would anyone be interested in kicking demon butts, either as a Friday thing or a recurring weekend event?
It doesn't state that he was (or that he used any wish spells), but removing his mythic ranks drops his CR to 21. Given his PC wealth, he likely also has a 25 PB (for a +2 total CR, meaning the other 19 is just his straight necromancer levels). His special qualities/abilities (Aura of Absolute Terror etc.) just replace existing aspects of his mythic stuff, and don't increase his CR.
It's true that The Whispering Tyrant has a lot of stuff, but he also has item crafting feats which, per this FAQ, let him use the crafting cost of the items in place of their market cost when determining wealth. His gear does add up to around 900k gold, which is the proper level for level 20 PCs (does Mythic Rank increase the expected wealth level?), but his crafting feats mean that he could get that much gear for only about 450k gold- which, though lower than a PCs prodigious value, is still about 3 times the recommended gear level for a 20th level NPC.
Let's not forget that a couple of his items don't affect his survivability, though. The Unfettered Shirt? Already covered by his artifact ring. Spell Resistance, Saving Throw boost, and AC from the Robe of the Archmagi? Built into Mythic, has a cloak, and superseded by the Bracers of Armor, respectively. That's 85k of gear (10% or so) providing no stat benefit beyond redundancy.
I didn't calculate the cost of the Horns of Naraga, but unless they are worth 650k— meaning they cost Tar-Baphon 325k to craft— he doesn't fall into the range for an "Exceptional Resources" CR-boost. So he's not quite at PC-level gear if you assume he crafted everything, but he's definitely way above NPC level.
Of course, he'd be CR 26 even without PC-level gear and a 25-point buy. 19 for being a 20th level wizard, +2 for being a lich, and +5 more for being a mythic lich (the Base Lich's CR is 21, which grants 10 Mythic Ranks per table 6-1 in Mythic Adventures). It's possible that there should be 50k spent on stat-boost wishes or somesuch (not to mention equivalent amounts so that he can cast the version he has prepared), but the block clearly works as an adversary as written and I'll be using it as such; I was just hoping to build up a recurring villain in the same mold using incremental changes.
Can anyone help me reverse-engineer The Whispering Tyrant's statblock? I can't find a way to make it add up as written.
This is the closest I can get, assuming 15pt buy:
STR 10 (0pt)
DEX 14 (5pt)
CON 7 (-4pt)
INT 15 (7pt)
WIS 12 (2pt)
CHA 14 (5pt)
Put Human bonus into CHA. Level bonuses to INT. Belt boosts STR and DEX by 4. Headband boosts INT and CHA by 6. Lich boosts mental abilities by 2. Two mythic boosts into CHA, three into INT.
Which is one low for DEX, and two low for INT. Dex bonus isn't affected but Int is, lowing skill points and save DCs.
The CMD is also listed as 19, which has got to be wrong since the base for a level 20 wizard is 20 before stat mods. That should give him at least a 26, plus deflection bonuses and such. He also doesn't qualify for the Craft Construct feat, since he doesn't have Craft Magical Arms and Armor. Should this be replaced with the Golem Constructor [Flesh Golem] arcane discovery?
Honestly, the only thing that really bothered me about Mythic Realms is that I can't get Tar-Baphon's stat block to add up when I try to reverse-engineer him. I'm getting a much higher CMD and I can only get the INT up to 32 without sacrificing CHA.
Other than that, I'm a fan. I might even change the end battle of Carrion Crown to the Cenotaph, since it's a less obvious location than Gallowspire.
Product description wrote:
But a group of mysterious masked cultists also seeks the artifact to bring a pharaoh from the ancient past back to life.
Ohoho! Could this mysterious cult be
Spoiler:My tinfoil hat points to "Yes"!
The Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye?
Looking forward to AP soooooo much.
Mark Moreland wrote:
The EOPE is the shadowy organization sponsoring the rival adventuring party in Mummy's Mask, the one which steals an artifact capable of raising the dead.
Count Aldus Canter, founder of the Order, disappeared under mysterious circumstances some 700 years ago, and has long been presumed dead. But this is not the first time that he has gone missing: forty years prior, he mysteriously went missing for three years after looting the tomb of Thutmoset IV. In the interim, he (supposedly) met a group of immortal sages who worshiped a dessicated angel named Tabris, and the teachings they imparted to him formed the basis of The Lost Gospels of Tabris and, subsequently, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. One of these teaching was that mortals contain a divine spark that seeks to join the Upper Planes and that by learning and maintaining an ordered life, a person may cause themselves to ascend to angelic existence.
What if the sages, in addition to mystical rites, imparted to Aldus the secret to their immortality? Now immortal and free from his obligation to rule the Vieland, he secretly resides in Osirion, seeking ascension, while distantly pulling the strings of the Order he created. With the coming excavation of Wati's necropolis, Canter sees his chance to learn more of the Pharoahs of the past— whom he believes to be beings that nurtured and grew the divine spark of their beings. Believing now to be the moment he has hoped for, he launches a scheme that shall raise a Pharoah from the grave and bring the light of their understanding to the world, unaware of the cruelty and wrath that lie beneath the wisdom of the ancients.
The Balvenie Doublewood.
A man after my own heart! Balvenie Doublewood 12 is far and away my favorite for its price point. I'd like to get my hands on the 18 as well, but it's a bit out of my range.
Glenlivet Nadurra is another good one, with a great finish on it. I tend to prefer my scotch neat, but a little water really opens this one up nicely.
Now that it's legal in the States, I've been considering trying absinthe. Most shops near me don't carry it, but there is one with a shelf for it and all the related accoutrements (spoons, reservoirs, etc). Anyone have any experience with it?
I always assumed that the Ihys story was, for the most part, true but with one major exception: Ihys wasn't Asmodeus's brother, but his sister. Now, obviously, if they were amongst the first beings then gender is sort of a tough nut to crack given the lack of precedent to guide definitions of your being (hence why Big A calls Ihys his "brother"; he identifies as a masculine being and assumes that all beings like him must do so as well).
That would also give some sort of apocryphal precedent for Lawful deities tending to be male (6/7) and Chaotic ones tending to be female (admittedly just 3/6, but I wouldn't count Rovagug or Gorum as "male" per se), and conveniently explain Asmodeus's disdain for female-appearing deities: not only do they act, identify, and look differently than he, that most perfect of beings, does, but they also disrespect the memory of his dead brother, Ihys, by taking a similar form.
I'll go contra-Captain Yesterday and nudge you to not run Carrion Crown. I love the AP myself, and so do my players, but there is some pretty disturbing stuff at points, like vivisection, parasitic mating, cannibalism (perhaps from the PCs in part 6), finding children's corpses, and harvesting blood from an ever-bleeding intelligent creature. Some of it can be toned down, glossed over, or avoided, but it is a horror AP and some of that is of a psychological variety that might be a little much for younger players.
Of course, I may just play that stuff up too much and your kids can handle it all as written, but I figured I'd chime in anyway.
James Jacobs wrote:
Fingers crossed for a Rank 10 Mythic Lich, personally. I mean, Tar-Baphon is pretty much the poster-boy for Lichdom in Golarion- he deserves the whole gamut of powers.
In fact, the photo for the Combat Pad, we see "W. Tyrant"'s HP going up rather than down, which could imply at least Rank 9 to get the Sustained by Magic ability.
A pre-made dungeon, you mean?
Harrowstone Prison in book 1 of Carrion Crown goes from 2-4.. The Crypt of the Everflame is a pretty straightforward dungeon crawl as well, and ends the PCs pretty close to level 3. Both are more undead-heavy than your typical dungeon, but if that doesn't matter, they're both very fun.
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Actually, the question was whether Mr Daigle held anything back. Dear Grandmother simply confirmed that there was more than mere mythic levels to her power, which was not posed as a question.
Product Description wrote:
the Mordant SpireAt last!
the legendary Starstone...Yes, please.
new mythic path abilitiesAwesome.
the Pit of Gormuz
Oliphaunt of Jandelay!!!
Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god take my money now now now take my money now take it please gimme this book oh god oh god
*foams at the mouth*
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
So we hustled back before I forgot it and it went right in the outline. And Grandfather Luvick has been among the oldest, deadliest, and to me one of the most interesting vampires in Ustalav ever since. :)
Would Luvick's age and power make him a good choice for the Mythic Vampire template from the Mythic Adventures playtest (and, presumably, the forthcoming hardcover)?
If not, what vampires in the Inner Sea would you give the template to?
the Haunted Jester wrote:
I believe one of nect years HC's will be a Golarion specific hardcover compiling all the deity articles, new domains, feats, spells and perhaps a glimpse into some of the gods avatars now that mythic will be released by then.
I would love something like this. The AP deity articles are fantastic, and having them collected in one place would be both useful and cost-effective.
James Jacobs wrote:
Very much, yes.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It looks like the table on the PRD actually uses Tiny, Medium, and Large rather than Small, Medium, and Large. It also seems that it's not merely a labeling error, as the listed die sizes are appropriate for Tiny rather than Small weapons.
Now this is a cool mechanic! The two-tiered benefit mechanism makes it more appealing than achievement feats, and the predetermined goal helps GMs and players establish a connection to an on-going story. These could make good bonus feats to hand out at the start of a campaign.
Thanks for the preview! Looking forward to the next one.
Finally got a look through the rules (although I only skimmed the appendices for each class). Very cool stuff! My group will be testing it out with some low- and mid-level combats to see how it works for us.
Rolling ASF into ACP could be a cool feature. The armor in the book actually sort of does this already: light armor uses 10+(ACP*5), while medium and heavy armor use 5+(ACP*5). I'd make ASF apply to all spells, standardize SF using the light armor formula, and then make an Armored Casting feat to allow you to ignore SF in a single type of armor (light, medium, heavy) in which you are proficient. Druids could have a line of text that specifies that they may not apply the benefits of the feat to metal armor, but would get it applied to all non-metal armor they're proficient in (although they would still have to take Heavy Armor Proficiency as normal).
I don't have a real question, but I recently picked up a copy of Machine of Death and loved your story! The fact that the
Spoiler:made for a much more uplifting tale than I'd anticipated. It definitely motivated me to finally pick up a copy of Death's Heretic. Congrats on the nomination!
title subverted the "death prediction as title" naming convention the book uses
Eldritch Heritage wrote:
The character isn't eligible for the feat since Draconic is a bloodline she already possesses Further, Improved Eldritch Heritage says that effective sorcerer level for the power is CL-2, regardless of actual sorcerer level (which implies effective sorcerer level from other sources, such as Dragon Disciple). Even if you allow her to use the feat, I would not recommend allowing the effective levels to stack to over her character level.
The text leading up to the subdomain listing on page 27 of Blood of Angels states "The following subdomains grant powers to divine spellcasters whose abilities come from patrons of the good Outer Planes." (emphasis added). Although specific deities aren't listed (and "good" is weirdly not capitalized), that seems to imply that deities who hail from a Good-aligned Outer Plane and grant the parent domain of the associated subdomain [Good- Friendship; Law- Loyalty; Chaos- Whimsy] should be able to provide the subdomain to worshipers.
The only hiccup with this interpretation is that this would allow Calistria and Gorum (both CN) to give access to the Whimsy subdomain because they reside in Elysium, which is a CG-aligned Plane. There's an argument for that being fitting for Calistria, but Gorum? Whimsical? That's just laughable.
Abadar all the way. I mean, c'mon, he has a holiday called Taxfest! How is that not blowing your minds with awesomeness? I love the idea of his Paladins setting up bounty boards to motivate the less scrupulous to help capture wanted criminals. Also a fan of Asmodeus, Urgathoa, Norgorber, Pharasma, and Desna.
Golarion's deities in general are one of my favorite parts of the setting. A hardcover collection of the AP's deity articles would be an instant favorite.