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RPG Superstar 2015

"Monster" orphanages and sanctuaries (Golarion)


Advice

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Star Voter 2015

mdt wrote:

If I needed to do that, I'd do the following....

Dex +4, Con +8, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4

Level 1 : Con +2, Class Level 1, Darkvision, 360 Vision
Level 2 : Monstrous HDx2, Con +2
Level 3 : Monstrous HD, Cha +2, Poison
Level 4 : Monstrous HD, Con +2, Dex +2
Level 5 : Monstrous HD, Int +2
Level 6 : Monstrous HD, Con +2
Level 7 : Monstrous HD, Dex +2
Level 8 : Monstrous HD, Cha +2, Gaze

Well to each their own. I have little use for monster levels honestly, and for a 'blind' medusa for a player I would stick to my own. However I see it as half dozen of one and six of the other at the end of the day -- both methods work.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:


Well to each their own. I have little use for monster levels honestly, and for a 'blind' medusa for a player I would stick to my own. However I see it as half dozen of one and six of the other at the end of the day -- both methods work.

As long as it works out the same as if they had started at 8th or 9th level as a Medusa, I'm fine with Monster Levels. If they didn't get the Gaze attack (due to blindness), I'd reduce the CR by 2 (maybe 3) and double up on the HD at a couple of levels.

Basically, a PC would start out as a young medusa (early teens) and age up in game.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
Abraham Spalding wrote:
all that stuff about trolls
There's an old Dungeon magazine adventure involving a CN troll who fell in love with a beautiful farm girl and would sing to her with an amazing voice from the cover of the nearby swamp every night. Being smaller and weaker than the other trolls, he was often beheaded by the other trolls in his group because they hated to hear him sing. The girl loved to hear the troll's voice, but couldn't be convinced to love him once she learned his identity. Depending on how the party played things out, the singing troll might either resign himself to a life of distant affection or go crazy at the thought of the girl never loving him. It was a good adventure with a very tragic monster.

Situations like this are why bards have Bluff as a class skill: "Yea and verily, fair maid, the handsome prince was cursed into the form of a troll and geased to never speak of what had been done to him. The only thing the evil witch could not hide with her wicked spell was his true princely voice with which he serenades you now. The only way to break the spell and return him to his true princely appearance is for a virtuous maid to marry him, and love him, and co-habitate for a period of ten years. Or you could marry a farm lout of indifferent appearance who will eventually leave you for a younger prettier milkmaid. The choice is yours."

Grand Lodge Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Dotting for my own amusement.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Awesome stuff, guys!

Abraham spalding wrote:
Trolls

The focus on how regeneration affects their outlook on the world has really turned the way I'm thinking about civilized trolls on its head. I can't believe I haven't seen that concept played with before with these guys.

Velcro Zipper wrote:

Troglodyte

Ha, glad someone actually did tackle 'em! :)

Good call on the change of environment, both for the psychological effect and to help handle the smell.

Emerald Wyvern wrote:
May I suggest a "blind" medusa Oracle? That would seem to fit perfectly, especially with a deliberate trade of ordinary vision for magical power / actual oracular ability. Of course, whether she made that trade deliberately is still an open question...

That's definitely on the table, along wtih the stuff presented afterwards. :D

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
chavamana wrote:


That reminds me
** spoiler omitted **

The moral being, careful on the use of fire and acid to train baby trolls.

Ehg, yeesh. I think I remember that one.

Also reminded of those troll fortune-tellers in Kaer Maga. IIRC, they aren't going around eating people, and they're making a pretty good living doing....the thing they do. Ouch.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Harpy

Recommended Deities: Desna, Cayden Cailean, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Sinashakti, Abadar
Recommended Environment: Urban

Reviled as a feral, cursed race of cannibals, the worst elements of the stereotypical harpy's character is primarily a result of environmnet and an unhealhty culture. Being raised within civilization rather than cast out of it curbs the worst facets of harpy "nature". In fact, several "wild" harpies have acclimated to civilization and become successful members of society on their own.*

Harpies present unique problems and potential when integrating them into society, most of which stem from their capability of flight and their supernaturally captivating singing voices.

Housing harpies, both in their youth and adulthood, can require unconventional approaches to architecture and city planning. Multistory "loft" houses with upper story entrances are a popular approach, though it is suggested that such entrances be built with the safety of non-harpies in mind. Balcony-like designs can help aesthetically bring them in line with pre-existing neighboring buildings.

If older harpies are unavailable, teaching youths how to fly can prove difficult and highly dangerous. It is highly advised that spellcasters experienced with flight be on hand for a harpy's early development, as is access to the spell featherfall.

Natural flight and humanoid forms also provide harpies ample opportunities as messengers and couriers, and one with the right connections and patronage can find their services in great demand. Law enforcing entities and the military would also do well to consider recruitment of harpies capable of taking orders.

The captivating singing ability of the race typically manifests with the onset of adulthood. Caregivers are advised to teach the proper use of this ability, or rather how not to use it, before this phase of their life.

This ability has enabled many harpies to find success as entertainers and as attractions for businesses, but this has also brought with it no small amount of controversy as many have questioned the fairness and ethics of using such a magically charming ability to draw both audiences and customers. Critics question the ethics of using the mind-affecting nature of the ability and the unfairness of being able to literally steal audiences and customers from those without access to it. Defenders note that the ability can only draw customers, but cannot force them to buy wares or reward performances with coin. Notably, many bards and entrepreneuring spellcasters have kept relatively quiet in this debate. Different cities have taken different approaches towards the legality of the issue, most often erring on the side of healthy commerce, whoever that may favor. It should be noted that in the fields of law enforcement, this ability has been credited with preventing several suicides and defusing hostage situations without the loss of life.

As a monogendered race similar to medusas, they are dependant upon interaction with other races to propogate. This presents just one more way through which harpies can be integrated into society, as a race running parallel with "mainstream" humanoids.

It bears special notice that harpy and goblin populations have difficulty mixing well. While the stereotypical "death stench" is nonexistant among non-cannibalistic harpies, they do still have a distinct smell. This "musk" contains several pheromones that have proven highly agitating to goblins, inducing anxiety in the lightest cases and outright panic at worst. This is often touted as yet another reason why housing for harpies should be kept as high as possible, as well as why the lower stories of any such structures should be made primarily of stone.

Young harpies are ideally raised in groups, and caregivers will often find that cultural standards introduced to such flocks tend to be self-reinforcing within the group. While this explains the sad commonality of the brutal culture of most harpies, it does prove beneficial when bringing them back into the fold of humanoids as a whole.

While the average harpy lags behind most in intellectual aptitude, their natural abilities provide ample opportunities to thrive and carve out their own unique niche within civilization.

*Naming names would be a bit of a spoiler

Also opted out of the live birth vs eggs issue. SOMEONE ELSE can tackle that. :P


I tend to go the opposite direction with most evil-aligned humanoid monster species. Most such beings are are evil by nature. Think of them as minor fiends given flesh, or lesser evil fay. They are not wholly natural beings. I've even given orcs, goblins, trolls, etc. alien reproductive schemes so that the 'what do we do with the women and children' situation never develops.

That said, I like your monster orphanage idea. It's an appealing way for good-aligned heroes to avoid 'goblin genocide' without veering into sappy political correctness. Kill the (evil) adults and spare the young. Raise the little monsters in a controlled environment, and try to make fit into civilized society, if possible. That's good stuff.


Mikaze wrote:

Harpy

[...]
Young harpies are ideally raised in groups, and caregivers will often find that cultural standards introduced to such flocks tend to be self-reinforcing within the group. While this explains the sad commonality of the brutal culture of most harpies, it does prove beneficial when bringing them back into the fold of humanoids as a whole.

"Hey! What's all this squawking going on in here?"

"Nuthin'..."

"Hey, don't make me go all Zone of Truth on you."

Star Voter 2015

I'm doing Wyverns next.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ewan cummins 325 wrote:
I tend to go the opposite direction with most evil-aligned humanoid monster species. Most such beings are are evil by nature. Think of them as minor fiends given flesh, or lesser evil fay. They are not wholly natural beings. I've even given orcs, goblins, trolls, etc. alien reproductive schemes so that the 'what do we do with the women and children' situation never develops.

I prefer this if the setting goes with Always Chaotic Evil. Making things literal embodiments of Evil, monsters in the darkness, works much better for me when players kill them outright.


Dotting for the levels of awesome.


TriOmegaZero wrote:


I prefer this if the setting goes with Always Chaotic Evil. Making things literal embodiments of Evil, monsters in the darkness, works much better for me when players kill them outright.

Yes, just so.

The classically evil D&D monsters pretty much stay evil IMC. There might be exceptions in certain types, but this would be very unusual.

I use neutral monsters when I want more ambiguity.

For the greatest moral variation and complexity, I use humans.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For things like this, I honestly favor a neutral society, and the application of a favored concept from DragonStar - the Principle of Active Morality.

This way, even evil little bastard offspring can be conditioned, if anything, to function within a society they loathe, even as they personally wish and plot to bring it down from within. They may not necessarily hate everything about it, but so long as they don't act on the urge to pin someone to a wall and eat their innards, they can think it as much as they want to. They can certainly be as evil as they wish, but so long as they don't act on it in any outwardly provable manner, they're in the clear.

Granted, this means they'll likely be making friends with the local butcher for sake of choice offal acquisition, and gaining provisional license from he local magnate to gain access to the remains of convicts (barring outright insistence that the executed condemned have the fundamental right to a burial of their remains in an intact form unless the give explicit consent to the use of their bodies as foodstuff for nonhumans), but such is a small price to pay for being able to live relatively-openly and thumb their nose/grab their crotch at seething Smite-First-Question-Later paladins who proceed to make the "FFffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff-!" face.

Contributor

Now the question comes of what to do with Pathfinder half-ogres? Are their cannibalistic and antisocial urges nature or nurture? Can you raise an ogre to not act, well, ogreish? And if they do not eat human bones, do they lack some vital nutrients?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lurk3r wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

determined to make something good come out of all the bad of late

+10 For this alone. Alignment debates have become nasty lately. Best of luck in avoiding that.

On the subject of the recent squabbles, someone was talking about non-malicious medusae (Medusas? Meduses?). I would love to see some suggestions for integrating them. I'm thinking Ray Charles style sunglasses. ^_^

I've always been one of those players who enjoys a variety of races as opposed to the human-dominated Golarion. A sort of Mos Eisley cantina feeling.

I have a greco-roman nation in my home brew setting wherein clerics of one of the good gods came up with a poison that has no lasting effects other than to suppress a medusa's gaze attack. Medusae that desire to live within the bounds of the city have to report once a month for their "medicine" or have a warrant issued for their arrest. While I have not defined them (no need to over detail) there are safeguards (magical and non-magical) in place to (mostly) prevent tampering/falsification/etc.

Star Voter 2013

Great work.

Also, if I may make a request/suggestion, I think Tiefling would be a good choice.

Star Voter 2015

TheAntiElite wrote:
fine stuff

I would argue there is no morality if it is not active.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Now the question comes of what to do with Pathfinder half-ogres? Are their cannibalistic and antisocial urges nature or nurture? Can you raise an ogre to not act, well, ogreish? And if they do not eat human bones, do they lack some vital nutrients?

I would rule that they have a dual nature, human and monstrous. They have the human capacity to choose freely between good and evil, but they also inherit the unholy lusts of their ogre heritage. A half-ogre may grow up to be a good person, but his latent dark side will always be a threat to his soul and his sanity. Half-ogres may be able to get by with simply eating animal bones and sucking the marrow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow. This is great stuff! Dot.

Additionally, I'm interested in the ogres - it's pretty much indicated that the entire race is inbred mutants. Really, that's the problem: they're DNA is messed up so much from bad choices made early on in the race's actions that subsequent generations have suffered. But... it does not indicate that the inbred condition is inherent. My supposition is that a) with careful application of magic* and b) careful raising, ogres could not only be redeemed, but not ugly. I don't know that they'd be a beautiful race, but it seems pretty heavily indicated that they're supreme ugliness (and many of their worst traits) is due almost entirely to their inbred state, while the preponderance of the rest of their terrible traits comes from culture.

As to half-ogres: I have a character who's contemplating gathering and raising some, while looking into 'standardizing' their mutations into: lowlight vision (positive)/light sensitivity (negative). This gives them the least amount of trouble... little more than a person that has to wear glasses to see normally.

That said, I'd love it someone took them on for this. After neolithids. 'Cause dudes. S'rs'ly.

*Polymorph Any Object into a non-mutant ogre. Huh. I wonder what that would look like. Also, I use magic primarily because I'm not a geneticist. Would two (or more), heavily-inbred groups, if melded by careful eugenics so that they are no long in-bred (with each other) "stabilize" to a more natural state (eventually - say, over the course of a generation or three)? With evolutionary traits/processes the answer is likely "no", as they'd be more likely to have a disposition toward permanent mutation into a new baseline state, while with non-evolutionary processes (but rather an pre-created "baseline" with localized derivatives that can return to baseline ["adaptation" v. "evolution"]) it depends on whether or not that baseline is able to be recovered from a sufficient amount of eugenics.

One other note to add to Abraham Spalding's fantastic stuff on trolls: they hunger. A lot. The few times characters of mine have attempted to redeem/raise trolls, this was a serious issue. We settled it via Rings of Sustenance (the one illithid too), but that's hardly sustainable for an entire species. I don't recall if, in PF they're still so ravenous or not.

Scarab Sages

Tacticslion wrote:
*Polymorph Any Object into a non-mutant ogre. Huh. I wonder what that would look like.

My non-canonical thought on the matter is that the Ogre is the very, very tail end of a long, long line of degeneration, that started with the Titans, and went down to Storm Giant, Cloud Giant, Fire/Frost/Stone Giant, Hill Giant and finally Ogre, getting smaller, dumber, less magical and more violent/angry/deformed/inbred as they go (with Ettins, Athach and Cyclopes all being offshoots of Hill Giants, with only the Cyclopes being, despite their 'deformity' a step back up the ladder, instead of a further degeneration).

Trying to 'fix' an Ogre would likely make it more like something higher up the chain, and, by human standards, 'refining' it up to a Hill Giant (bigger and tougher, but still CE, violent and thuggish) wouldn't be a terribly productive act.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:


My non-canonical thought on the matter is that the Ogre is the very, very tail end of a long, long line of degeneration, that started with the Titans, and went down to Storm Giant, Cloud Giant, Fire/Frost/Stone Giant, Hill Giant and finally Ogre, getting smaller, dumber, less magical and more violent/angry/deformed/inbred as they go (with Ettins, Athach and Cyclopes all being offshoots of Hill Giants, with only the Cyclopes being, despite their 'deformity' a step back up the ladder, instead of a further degeneration).

Trying to 'fix' an Ogre would likely make it more like something higher up the chain, and, by human standards, 'refining' it up to a Hill Giant (bigger and tougher, but still CE, violent and thuggish) wouldn't be a terribly productive act.

So, then, my other question stands: would two inbred groups of large enough size, if introduced into a population pool be able to become a "new" (non-inbred variant) of the same degenerate species? Also, what about trolls?


Dotting this for later

Scarab Sages

Tacticslion wrote:
So, then, my other question stands: would two inbred groups of large enough size, if introduced into a population pool be able to become a "new" (non-inbred variant) of the same degenerate species?

I suppose it depends on setting assumptions. If Ogres are degenerate remnants of a 'high ogre' race, as in the Dragonlance setting, then it's possible that selective breeding over a dozen generations (or some much faster process involving magic) could start moving them back in that direction.

If they are degenerate offspring of Hill Giants and Humans/Orcs/whatever, then one might be more likely to just get children of one of the two parent races as the result of a breeding program.

If they are instead degenerate spawn of Oni/Ogre Magi, selectively breeding them back into Ogre Magi could be an equally problematic scenario.

With the abundance in late 3.5 of 'Awaken X' spells for oozes or undead or constructs or vermin, in addition to animals and plants, I wonder if a redemptive spellcaster might find it useful to create an 'Awaken' or 'Ennoble' X spell for Ogres, Orcs, etc. to bring them up to a racial average Int 10...

Quote:
Also, what about trolls?

The hunger thing seems to be part and parcel of the regeneration. To get rid of one, racially, would likely require breeding out the other.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:

I suppose it depends on setting assumptions. If Ogres are degenerate remnants of a 'high ogre' race, as in the Dragonlance setting, then it's possible that selective breeding over a dozen generations (or some much faster process involving magic) could start moving them back in that direction.

If they are degenerate offspring of Hill Giants and Humans/Orcs/whatever, then one might be more likely to just get children of one of the two parent races as the result of a breeding program.

If they are instead degenerate spawn of Oni/Ogre Magi, selectively breeding them back into Ogre Magi could be an equally problematic scenario.

With the abundance in late 3.5 of 'Awaken X' spells for oozes or undead or constructs or vermin, in addition to animals and plants, I wonder if a redemptive spellcaster might find it useful to create an 'Awaken' or 'Ennoble' X spell for Ogres, Orcs, etc. to bring them up to a racial average Int 10...

Sorry, I was unclear. What you say does make sense. What I'm talking about is radical mutation into a new species. Would it be possible, once inbreeding has stopped, to generate a new species of creature out of the ogres? And what would that look like? I see that you're strongly in the camp of "adaptation" instead of "evolution" in regards to giant kind descendants, but given Golarion's history of non-divine tampering to create evolutionary processes (granted it's alien tampering, but still) I was wondering. So, effectively, you've answered the question that I didn't ask but was wondering anyway! :)

Set wrote:
The hunger thing seems to be part and parcel of the regeneration. To get rid of one, racially, would likely require breeding out the other.

Heh, I really must work on being more clear. What I meant was, since troll are giants, what is your take on their degeneration, aka, "where did they come from?" That was not really covered in your excellent article. I'm presuming that it's more hill giant-shenanigans or something similar, but I'm just curious if they have a specific origin in your mind.

All that said, I'm rather interested in the concept of free-range morality rather than (or in addition to) innate. I also strongly believe that Golarion as-written could work well with completely free-range morality. It's just that things have a strong tendency toward neutrality-instead-of-good with a tinge of evil, as written (so that there's more range for players and more for adventurers to do, I presume). Also, this isn't a Golarion-based thread. ANYWAY.

Also, I'm still totally waiting for someone to take on Neolithids. 'Cause dudes. That'd be the best thing.

Star Voter 2015

Tacticslion wrote:
One other note to add to Abraham Spalding's fantastic stuff on trolls: they hunger. A lot. The few times characters of mine have attempted to redeem/raise trolls, this was a serious issue. We settled it via Rings of Sustenance (the one illithid too), but that's hardly sustainable for an entire species. I don't recall if, in PF they're still so ravenous or not.

The hunger issue is one worth noting. Hopefully with a more peaceful agrarian culture there will be less injury and therefore less need for the regeneration to be going full tilt all the time which hopefully pays off with less need to eat constantly.

In my personal world (and work) trolls are actually a bit rare -- the regenerative process tends to do nasty things to an 'invader' like a fetus which is a downside of having an immune system running amok... another side effect is the dreaded (especially among trolls) trollish cancer -- which leads to horrible grotesque mutation and insanity as well as immediate expulsion from what counts as trollish society.

I don't think the 'taming' of the entire species is possible honestly (at least for trolls) unless they are a rare creature. If such a process is possible and successful it could spell doom for the other races in an ironic twist of fate: Domestication of human cultures tends to lead to longer life spans and higher population... if this trend is observed with trolls they could very well end up breeding out the other races through simple genetic superiority.

Star Voter 2015

Tacticslion wrote:
Also, I'm still totally waiting for someone to take on Neolithids. 'Cause dudes. That'd be the best thing.

Personally I would just watch stargate for this one... that's the direction I would probably go with on them.

Back to the 'degeneration' of trolls as a form of giant. I see it as an actual 'stabilized evolution' that actually ended in a new species. The observed sub-races of trolls would actually be caused by magical influence for the most part either from environment or forced by other creatures.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
I don't think the 'taming' of the entire species is possible honestly (at least for trolls) unless they are a rare creature. If such a process is possible and successful it could spell doom for the other races in an ironic twist of fate: Domestication of human cultures tends to lead to longer life spans and higher population... if this trend is observed with trolls they could very well end up breeding out the other races through simple genetic superiority.

See, the question of taming a species isn't, entirely, what I'm curious about in anything resembling the short term. However, if a (few) powerful, long-lasting societ(y/ies) could be established that eliminated the need for endless brutality, that would be a step. I admit that it wouldn't necessarily be as successful as, say, humanity, but it's a start.

Once the first civilization(s) started appearing, that trend repeated itself across the species, even once the early civilizations died, the distant remnants of their works reiterated throughout the succeeding generations and eventually gave rise to more modern societies. In truth, humanity is still pretty brutal too. We just have several "enlightened" societies that wag fingers at ourselves and others when we're brutal and telling us we did a bad thing. I'd say it'd be similar with trolls.

As far as breeding out other races, trolls, as you've explained them, don't have good breeding anyway and are thus far more likely to not breed often or much with themselves. As far as breeding out by breeding with the other races, in 3.X I could have seen it happen without too much alarm (the nose aside) whereas half-ogres were... er... uh... shall we say "less aesthetically pleasing", whereas in pathfinder this is definitely reversed (something that I'm actually quite pleased with). Still. Polymorph Any Object can work wonders...

Abraham spalding wrote:
Back to the 'degeneration' of trolls as a form of giant. I see it as an actual 'stabilized evolution' that actually ended in a new species. The observed sub-races of trolls would actually be caused by magical influence for the most part either from environment or forced by other creatures.

Interesting theory. I was never fully convinced of the D&D explanation of "sickly giant-cousins" because, honestly, fire giants aside, a troll would likely kill any other giant it fought by simple attrition... if the troll was smart enough to use tactics (by no means a guarantee). Their regeneration just didn't make sense in the context granted by the other system. I'm not recalling what Pathfinder's said of their origins right now. Still, interesting.

Tacticslion wrote:
Also, I'm still totally waiting for someone to take on Neolithids. 'Cause dudes. That'd be the best thing.
Abraham spalding wrote:
Personally I would just watch stargate for this one... that's the direction I would probably go with on them.

At which point? Honestly I stopped watching some time ago, not because I didn't like any of the series, but because I ran out of time, then I ditched paying for a service I never used (i.e. cable/whatever input device television). Also, my (very limited) fun-funds go to Pathfinder, instead of DVDs. So... can you give me the gist? *hopeful face* <:D

ALSO: in a semi-related note. The BEST "evil" item ever: Despoiler of Flesh (from Book of Vile Darkness). In any fantasy universe that I'd ever live in, regardless of what my alignment is, I'd want that. I'd want it so badly. And I'd totally use it to go around fixing everything. EVERYTHING. It allows you to alter any physical thing about any creature you want by desiring it and visualizing it well. *poof* Instant no-longer-evil-leaning-due-to-chemical-imbalance creatures! This prevents arguments of fighting a creature's nature or problems with forcing it into an alignment shift or whatever.

It doesn't even have the evil descriptor. Granted, it's made of a bunch of tongues with a "head" of several human mouth-parts-of-the-face and capped by a "crown" of tongues... but, you know, for the greater good, I'd put up with being absolutely disgusted. And in 3.X, if I ever got the rod, I'd put good money down on making those gloves of storing variants that let you use any sort of magic item stored in them.

Star Voter 2015

There was a 'subspecies' of gahoul (I'm not even sure of or bothering with the spelling) that were 'enlightened' and shared the body of their host instead of simply controlling it. They would provide the benefits they had (improved healing and experience) while allowing the host free will and choice in many matters (mates, options that could lead to death, food, etc) supposedly this led to a better melding.

As for trolls -- I've always felt they were mislabeled as giants... monstrous humanoid does fit them better in my opinion, much like the medusa or minotaurs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
There was a 'subspecies' of gahoul (I'm not even sure of or bothering with the spelling) that were 'enlightened' and shared the body of their host instead of simply controlling it. They would provide the benefits they had (improved healing and experience) while allowing the host free will and choice in many matters (mates, options that could lead to death, food, etc) supposedly this led to a better melding.

Interesting! That's actually pretty cool, and I vaguely remember something about one of them or somesuch (probably when I was only watching every few months). I like the idea a great deal and might try to work it into something, but I'm not sold on this being the method for neolithids, as... well, they do a lot more than simply inhabit a body (also they're ginormous!).

Abraham spalding wrote:
As for trolls -- I've always felt they were mislabeled as giants... monstrous humanoid does fit them better in my opinion, much like the medusa or minotaurs.

Agreed! They're just such a weird creature with specialized abilities. I've actually never really considered them "trolls" in the mythical sense, because they behave nothing like those creatures, but that's what the D&D legacy has left us with.


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For a thread this awesome it isn't necromancy -- it's TRUE RESURRECTION!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
For a thread this awesome it isn't necromancy -- it's TRUE RESURRECTION!

Huzzah!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Dotted.

Interesting thread with lots of good material.

Sczarni

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Neothelids

Recommended Deities: Desna, Erastil

Recommended Environment: Remote, rural monastery/temple or village, with connection to large subterranean environment.

Okay, so Neothelids.

Due to their immense lifespans and low reproductive rates, it is very unlikely that one will find more than one lone immature neothelid to attempt to raise. Even if multiple neothelids are found together, it is a good idea to separate them so as to reduce the potential danger if they revert to their natural tendencies.

Presuming that they grow to adulthood in a roughly similar manner to other creatures but at a much slower rate, there should be a relatively long period during which a neothelid will be open to moral formation.

This means that raising a neothelid will require either a very long-lived caretaker, or else an organization of many individuals committed to cultivating the neothelid's potential over the long-term. A relatively large organization is probably better, given the need for plenty of livestock to sustain the neothelid's nutritional needs.

It will also need a great deal of space in which to live, and it will likely need to be hidden from the general populace, at least until it becomes capable of demonstrating its trustworthiness and value though some dramatic good deeds. The best option is a large subterranean environment, which will also feel more comfortable to the neothelid than being forced to live above ground. Under no circumstances should this be a cave connected to the darklands. If the young neothelid's kin discover its location and come for it, it will mean certain disaster.

The organization raising a neothelid will need to be led by a very strong-willed and intelligent individual, who is capable of resisting the neothelid's powerful mental abilities. It is also best if this individual has potent mental powers of their own, so that they can model for the neothelid how one may use those powers for good and resist the tendency to control others to selfish ends. Obviously, a very powerful benevolent spellcaster or psion is the ideal choice.

This role-modeling will be vitally important, as one of the great challenges for the neothelid will be coming to grips with being much more powerful than nearly every other member of normal society. It will need to accept that this does not give it the right to force its will upon others. The doctrines of a freedom-loving deity such as Desna might help in this regard, if the neothelid can be taught that the free will of others must be held sacred. Alternatively, the traditionalist doctrines of Erastil might help the neothelid understand the importance of living as one member in a community, and placing the needs of others first.

The neothelid's natural tendency to cultivate servants should be discouraged, even such seemingly harmless expressions as commanding worms. It would be dangerous for it to develop a taste for mental domination, as almost no normal people would be able to resist it. It should be taught that compelling others to do its bidding is both cruel and lazy, and that it is a far bigger accomplishment to be able to work with free-willed friends than to build an army of slaves.

Desna might also be a good alternative focus of worship to the neothelid's natural affinity for the beings of the Dark Tapestry. The neothelid will likely demonstrate fascination with the nighttime heavens, especially if it spends most of its time underground and only rarely is allowed to come to the surface. A knowledgeable tutor in astronomy could help the young neothelid develop an interest in the stars, rather than the dark places between them.

Ultimately, given its eventual level of power, it is unlikely that the neothelid will be able to avoid eventual contact with either other neothelids or other emissaries from the Dark Tapestry. It should be prepared for this eventuality, so that it stands at least some chance of resisting the lure to return to its people's ways.

The goal of raising a neothelid should be that the creature either embraces its powers and channels them into being a guardian of the weak, or else that it at least decides to withdraw from the wold and refuse to use its powers for evil. Either way, perhaps only the long descendents of the neothelid's original "parents" will know whether the project was successful.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Oooh, I just had an amusing 'XPH in Golarion' moment.

Spoiler:
A community dedicated to rasing a neothelid. Over generations of its upbringing, it influenced them, and they influenced it, so in the end, they were unable to tell each other apart anymore.

Thus were born Elans

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Trinite wrote:

Neothelids

Matthew Morris wrote:

Oooh, I just had an amusing 'XPH in Golarion' moment.

** spoiler omitted **

Oh snap. I feel bad that I missed this update. This is awesome.


Particularly love the stressing on the NO DARKLAND CONNECTIONS advice and the idea about Elans(seriously, that idea really clicks). Seriously, adding those ideas together could make for a really cool locale to add to Golarion, and introduces a really cool way to introduce that particular player race. It's also a perfect place to introduce aberrant bloodline sorcerers; just being born near such a thing could possibly instill some strangeness in you.

Also, damn. Beaten to the punch. :D


Dot for later. I'm loving this thread...

I'll come back and tackle Dark Stalkers and Dark Creepers later (two races my girlfriend would LOVE to play).

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:

Trolls are perhaps some of the hardest creatures to raise. Their natural ability to heal from most injuries means they can usually be mentally lazy and still live to a fairly old age. These same abilities also cause trouble with their interactions with other species. Where two trolls might think nothing of beating each other to establish dominance or simply as a means of saying hello for other races this can easily be fatal. As such many 'normal' trollish cultural norms simply can not be applied in a civilized raising of a troll.

Trolls must be taught that not everything can simply be healed in most cases. A rather effective method of this is to allow something the troll develops an attachment to become broken. Once broken care must be taken to explain why the thing can not be fixed and how many things are like that in the world. While the troll child might throw a fit about this it is important to not give in and allow him to prove to you that 'anything can be fixed and healed' -- as this defeats the purpose of the lesson. Another method of instilling this lesson is considered fair more dangerous and inhumane but involves allowing the troll to regularly become hurt by fire or acid so that his wounds heal slower. Being exposed to the same mortality and rate of healing of 'normal' folk can cause a troll to understand the world better.

Understanding the fragile nature of the world however simply leads the troll into the next mental pitfall: Frustration at a broken world, and their own feelings of hurt and lost when something they care for breaks. Many trolls do develop deep attachment and devotion to other things and people -- but as the disappointment of these things breaking or dying grounds with each new attachment that is broken the troll becomes more and more frustrated at their inability to fix or heal the hurt to the object and their emotions. Once a troll has learned to be careful around others and things one of the most deep seated frustrations for trolls can be overcome -- specifically...

You sir have written something quite beautiful here. I'm so using this in my next campaign (council of thieves) for a jewelry maker in town. This is seriously wonderful.

Dark Archive

troll life oracle... or alchemist (chirgeon)

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kind of puts a new spin on the Troll oracles in the City of Strangers.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
DJEternalDarkness wrote:
Kind of puts a new spin on the Troll oracles in the City of Strangers.

Abraham's take could actually serve as a starting point for that particular tradition!

The rest of the world doesn't just fix itself, so they search for patterns to make sense of the world within something that does, themselves.

Heck, all that digging around in themselves might also give them some applicable mundane practical knowledge about anatomy that could prove useful for some of their ailing customers. Where the anatomy roughly matches up of course...


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Being as Lizardfolk are usually neutral, I would love to see them done.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
For a slightly darker spin I can see certain groups keeping "hunting sanctuaries" that have inteligent humanoids and other monsters for sport.

I can see Cheliax, Isger or Nidal training armies of hobgoblins.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Velcro Zipper wrote:
Abraham Spalding wrote:
all that stuff about trolls
There's an old Dungeon magazine adventure involving a CN troll who fell in love with a beautiful farm girl and would sing to her... It was a good adventure with a very tragic monster.

QFT! I Liked that one a lot.

Kudos to every contributor of this thread, very nice and very inspiring!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OH MY WORD, TRINITE!

That's wonderful! I really couldn't fathom how to do it, wracking my brains as I was, but that's beautiful! And adding Mr. Morris' sudden inspiration with Elan... oh, snap! Also worth noting, that it's "Neothelid", as I learned from your post, Trinite (and subsequent follow-up search), not "Neolithid" as I've been typing and saying it for years. Huh. I never saw that before today. Dyslexia~! *yells and shakes fist at sky*
(Actually, now I'm thinking maybe I had learned this once before, but I'd forgotton.)

(Incidentally, IF you have anything Mikaze, I'd still like to see it, but, I'm dubious that much of anything could be Trinite's definitive-seeming take!)

I love the focus on both Erastil and Desna, and I could definitely see why those two would be the go-to choice above, say, Torog*, Shelyn**, or Sarenrae***.

Erastil would be a really, really tough sell, especially considering that his followers are generally simple folk^, and adapting to something like a Neolithid would seemingly be an enormous stretch for their world. But they also are practical folk and, in my opinion, he may be the best one for the long-haul. If said Neolithid simply dropped off gifts or perform subtle rescue operations every once in a while^^, it could build up rumors of a local "friendly dragon", and thus prove itself over generations, until it finally reveals itself.

Desna, on the other hand, would be the easiest sell, over-all by far, and probably do the most "short-term" good, especially by encouraging it to keep its powers to itself, for all the excellent reasons you pointed out in your article. (Note, however, that "easiest" does not, in any way, size, shape, or form, translate to "easy".)

* __________________________

Torog:
Torog's other followers would likely never accept it and probably attempt to destroy it on sight for the sheer principle, and as a "favor" to itself (maybe, if convinced it was good, even paying a druid for a reincarnation, depending on how, precisely, said spell works). This would be a very difficult sell. Add that to Torog's violent tendencies... I see this not ending well for the Neothelid.
__________________________

** __________________________

Shelyn:
"Inner beauty" v. "outer beauty" thing aside, Shelyn-worship opens up a huge can of worms (no pun intended) with this guy. Could the Neothelid ever be truly sure it was loved? Perhaps it was just some psychic call, or accidental flare of its own power. Is it beautiful? Only the most confused of individuals from virtually any society it would be associated with would be likely to think so, and they're all the wrong kind of influence.
__________________________

*** __________________________

Sarenrae:
Redemption of evil is great and all, but it's kind of difficult for a darkness-dweller to really appreciate the sun. Added to the fact that Sarenrae is more than a bit militaristic, and the rather potent temptation to delve into its mind-control powers as a kind of "redemption"... and suddenly I don't think this'd work too well for our little Neothelid pal.
__________________________

^ __________________________
"Simple" in lifestyle and culture, not in intellect. If I thought the latter, I wouldn't have had my 38 intelligence wizard be a devout worshiper of the guy.
__________________________

^^ __________________________

An example of how I see this working:

Suggestion - it's a life-saver (literally):

Mother (weeping, grateful): "Oh, my precious little honey, we thought you were gone forever! You've been missing for weeks! We searched everywhere after that evil wizard took you! How did you escape, much less find your way out of the Troll-Swamp Woods of Eternal Doom (tm)?"

Child (innocent, also weeping): "I followed your voice mommy!"

Mother (confused): "My... my voice?"

Child (enthusiastic): "Uh-huh! Whenever I started to feel lost, alone, confused, or scared, I just heard your voice singing my favorite lullaby, telling me to come to you! And suddenly I knew which way to go and that way wasn't scary anymore! And whenever I was hungry, apples 'n stuff'd just fall out of the sky! I think my guardian angel did it, and is watching us right now!"

Mother (hugging child again in gratitude): "... thank you, 'guardian angel', and thank you, great Erastil!"

* Meanwhile, far away, in the darkness, a purple form watches and pulsates in delight at helping save one more innocent soul in its chosen community that may never know it exists... *

Additional note: While not made explicit here, in the older editions, Suggestion can clearly cause at least a slight befuddlement of the senses, as described in the language of the spell in previous editions; it is clearly explained that "jump in this acid" doesn't work, but "take a nice, relaxing bath in this spring pool" does... even when said "spring pool" actually acid. And if that doesn't work, that's what it's got telepathy for!

Also, in case it wasn't obvious, the Neothelid's using clairaudience/clairvoyance at the end and telekinesis and its flight for the apples (as well as to subtly dispatch threats to the child's life), as well as detect thoughts. If necessary, it could come in with a quick charm monster and teleport for big emergencies. Mind thrust and psychic crush can easily handle the vast majority of threats that would kill the child quietly, and an occasional swallow whole to keep the Neothelid itself fed rounds out the scenario nicely. About the only abilities I didn't use there were the breath weapon, trace teleport, and poison abilities.
__________________________

Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kobolds

Suggested Deities: Abadar, Iomedae, Sarenrae, Torag, Apsu
Suggested Environment: Urban

Kobolds tend to be over looked in the wild, seen as a nuisance at best or a slight step above vermin at worst. However, when eggs or young are taken and raised with a meaningful hierarchy they can be turned to good and industrious members of society.

In the wild they are brutally bullied and will always carry a small chip on their shoulders which will drive them to either prove themselves at every opportunity or to harbor deep grudges. A good mentor can turn this impulse to help them try and better themselves at every point where they fail or are thwarted by something (be it an event or a person).

Feeding of a young kobold is fairly easy as they'll eat anything put in front of them. Housing for kobolds is also fairly simple as they will prefer to share space (either with others who are of their age or with those whom they feel safe with). Because of their small stature and light sensativity they gravitate towards basements (if given an option). No kobold child likes to be more than a story above ground however. Entertainment for the young is important for how they grow and socialize. Kobold clans will always have a story teller, and young kobolds have an instinctive desire to be told stories. If they are left alone, the kobold with the best imagination will be picked to be the story teller and the others will listen to whatever stories it makes up.

Story telling, play, and socialization are vital in ensuring a kobolds natural paranoia of those that are larger than them don't overwhelm their personalities and push them towards the cruelty that tribes display in the wild.

Kobolds tend to be lousy cooks, but surprisingly enough very capable brewers. Their natural affinity for traps allows them to be capable trappers, and their desire for safety makes them decent defensive engineers. Kobolds enjoy working with their hands and are excellent miners (second only to dwarves) and metalworkers for fine work (such as jewelery). Their low strength makes them less capable blacksmith, but if a kobold gets it in his mind to be a blacksmith, he will usually try and invent tools to assist him with this work.

(hope this is ok folks; I'm always nervous about writing what's in my head.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like it! It sounds like kobolds would work perfectly with dwarves (if you could convince the bearded guys not to kill the buggers).

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DJEternalDarkness wrote:

Kobolds

That's pretty good!

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
Heck, all that digging around in themselves might also give them some applicable mundane practical knowledge about anatomy that could prove useful for some of their ailing customers. Where the anatomy roughly matches up of course...

Awesome that this thread lives on!

[tangent, inspired from the above]
Trolls, especially those in Kaer Maga, probably store (indigestible!)stuff, like large coin or gemstones, inside themselves, knowing that they can get to it without much difficulty, but that no pickpocket or burgler will ever get their hands on their 'stash.'

Some might even use their 'augur' reputation (even one that is *not* an auger) to smuggle items from one end of the city to another, in a place no local authority can search.
[/tangent]

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Must remember to steal some of this for my campaign setting.

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