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What is the real world inspirations for Razmir: cult, country, and person?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


while creating an awesome priest of Razmir (archetype & prestige class) I got to thinking about what the real world inspirations for the cult are. What I have determined so far is that it is inspired by the mafia, drug lords, and cults. Now my priest of Razmir is talking like the godfather in the Godfather film. "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

Anyone else have any idea what the inspiration for Razmir may have been?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I saw it as pulling from a lot of real life and fantasy fiction cults. The emphasis on the money flow tying into moving up to the next "step" of the religion does bring one particular RL group to mi-POSTER HAS BEEN SUED

in all seriousness, I don't want Paizo to get entangled in any frivolous litigation, and that concern should spell out exactly who is being referred to

Shadow Lodge

Mikaze wrote:
I saw it as pulling from a lot of real life and fantasy fiction cults. The emphasis on the money flow tying into moving up to the next "step" of the religion does bring one particular RL group to mi-POSTER HAS BEEN SUED

Thats the Prophets of Kalistrade, silly.


Mikaze wrote:

I saw it as pulling from a lot of real life and fantasy fiction cults. The emphasis on the money flow tying into moving up to the next "step" of the religion does bring one particular RL group to mi-POSTER HAS BEEN SUED

in all seriousness, I don't want Paizo to get entangled in any frivolous litigation, and that concern should spell out exactly who is being referred to

Considering Lisa has a South Park avatar I think breaking the 4th wall and screaming "SUE ME!" would probably be the response to any threats of litigation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Varthanna wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
I saw it as pulling from a lot of real life and fantasy fiction cults. The emphasis on the money flow tying into moving up to the next "step" of the religion does bring one particular RL group to mi-POSTER HAS BEEN SUED
Thats the Prophets of Kalistrade, silly.

No, it's really not. Those guys will sue you over business infractions, not over every perceived or real sleight of their cult they stumble upon.

For further information you should watch the movie "The Master" that's to be released this year.


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I'd actually suggest something far closer to the personality cults of Communism & Fascism... See North Korea and Kim Jong-Il, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Pot Pot ....


theres a lot of ancient and even modern day examples. discovery did a documentary on a guy out in utah that had people believing that he was Jesus reborn.

there were also a lot of old ancient cults that believed that their master was a god. Egypt was one of them, or at least that he was a divine emissary, similar to the pope.

this is just taking it to the extreme with Razmir and i love it. Its my favorite aspect of the entire campaign setting and is my next character. Razmir be merciful. Razmir be praised.

"In Razmiran my life lays; to Razmir my life is devoted. To mock the true god is to incur his wrath!"
Sornda of Razmiran

Shadow Lodge

pad300 wrote:
I'd actually suggest something far closer to the personality cults of Communism & Fascism... See North Korea and Kim Jong-Il, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Pot Pot ....

That combined with any modern secular business based on tricking people out of money, particularly via pyramid schemes.


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Asked James Jacobs

James Jacobs wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:

what is the real world inspirations for Razmir: cult, country, and person (?)

zergtitan wrote:

while creating an awesome priest of Razmir (archetype & prestige class) I got to thinking about what the real world inspirations for the cult are. What I have determined so far is that it is inspired by the mafia, drug lords, and cults. Now my priest of Razmir is talking like the godfather in the Godfather film. "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

Anyone else have any idea what the inspiration for Razmir may have been?

Where would that person get his/her answer, if there is one?
Razmiran was invented by Jason Bulmahn. You or the other poster would have to talk to him.


pad300 wrote:
I'd actually suggest something far closer to the personality cults of Communism & Fascism... See North Korea and Kim Jong-Il, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Pot Pot ....

Those ones + fictive examples of false gods : Zardoz, Goa'uld from Stargate


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There was a fellow in Egypt called RAMses who pretended to be a god and ruled over people. He also had a pyramid scheme ;)

Silver Crusade

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my friends and i usually joke about how Razmir is actually Elron Hubbard in disguise (I sincerely apologize if i have offended anyone)


Quintin Belmont wrote:
my friends and i usually joke about how Razmir is actually Elron Hubbard in disguise (I sincerely apologize if i have offended anyone)

Afraid of being sued? ;)

Andoran

A little off topic, I know, but I started running the Price of Immortality trilogy for my players and I like the idea of Razmir and the whole mage as false deity thing. I'd love to see more about him. Perhaps not an entire AP but perhaps a higher level adventure or a few adventures in the same vein as Price of Immortality or a sourcebook about Razmiran.


EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
A little off topic, I know, but I started running the Price of Immortality trilogy for my players and I like the idea of Razmir and the whole mage as false deity thing. I'd love to see more about him. Perhaps not an entire AP but perhaps a higher level adventure or a few adventures in the same vein as Price of Immortality or a sourcebook about Razmiran.

A good follow up for Price of Immortality is Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale.

Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale:
It allows the PCs the chance to basically acquire a 'home base' and is set in the same region as Nirmathas and is literally right next door to Kassan. After Bloodsworn, you could homebrew retaliation from Razmiran as they are just across the lake. The PCs did take out one of their temples and one of their more prominent believers.


Based on what has been said, I would suggest that Razmir is an amalgam of several different ideas that were thrown into a blender together. Arcanemuses idea that Razmir might have been based on the Egyptian Pharoahs, or any number of ancient rulers that claimed divinity, but nothing seems to fit perfectly.

In thinking about Razmir, a few questions come up. Outside of his country, do people believe his claims of divinity? Aside from that, just how powerful do you have to be to successfully masquerade as a god?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
wolfman1911 wrote:
In thinking about Razmir, a few questions come up. Outside of his country, do people believe his claims of divinity? Aside from that, just how powerful do you have to be to successfully masquerade as a god?

I think that access to 9th level arcane spells goes pretty far...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
wolfman1911 wrote:
In thinking about Razmir, a few questions come up. Outside of his country, do people believe his claims of divinity? Aside from that, just how powerful do you have to be to successfully masquerade as a god?

He's a LE 19th-level wizard that lives in a remote region (a former River Kingdom) where the locals aren't exactly the most in-the-know bunch. Which is to say Razmir's claim of having passed the Test of the Starstone isn't likely to be fact-checked by anyone. And if it is, that someone is not long for this world.

As for whether outsiders believe his tale of divinity? I think based on what I've read, neighboring countries don't know or care exactly what he is, they just want him to stay away from them. There's a funny bit in Rule of Fear where Razmir invaded a southern part of Ustalav (in Varno county) formerly in the control of a powerful vampire. Said vampire gladly handed over the land... and then turned it into the hunting ground for his vampiric followers. The place isn't too lively these days.


Pathfinder Chronicles Gods & Magic wrote:
Razmiran is remote enough (sandwiched between accursed Ustalav and feywarded Kyonin) that most people along the Inner Sea accept without question that the Living God is truly one of the Ascended, as they have no reason to doubt it. Those living within and near the theocracy have seen Razmir’s priests perform magic and there is little reason to doubt his declaration of godhood.

also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.


it also states in a lot of sources that only his most trusted and highest priests know the truth about his false divinity. even some of his high priests dont know hes false. remember, to become a priest you are taken into this forest and who knows what happens there. i suspect a lot of brain washing, memory alteration, etc into making people truly believe he is a god.


I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Andoran

martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
Fnipernackle wrote:


also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.

You misread. Page 7 of Inner Sea Magic clearly states he's a LE 19th-level wizard. You can make him anything you want for your campaign, but those are his official stats.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
William Ronald wrote:
martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.

Cripes, in just two posts Razmir managed to get exponentially darker.

C'mon Red Mantis, you know you wanna put this guy in the dead book...

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
William Ronald wrote:
martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.

Cripes, in just two posts Razmir managed to get exponentially darker.

C'mon Red Mantis, you know you wanna put this guy in the dead book...

The Red Mantis Assassins do not hunt wannabe gods. They leave that to their god.

Andoran

graywulfe wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
William Ronald wrote:
martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.

Cripes, in just two posts Razmir managed to get exponentially darker.

C'mon Red Mantis, you know you wanna put this guy in the dead book...

The Red Mantis Assassins do not hunt wannabe gods. They leave that to their god.

You may have stated Razmir's greatest fear -- to be slain by an actual god and exposed as a fraud.

I would argue that Razmir probably is doing his best to be hidden. I would not be shocked if he has actually seen anyone in the flesh in years. Everything can be done with magic or actors.


Mikaze wrote:
William Ronald wrote:
martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.

Cripes, in just two posts Razmir managed to get exponentially darker.

C'mon Red Mantis, you know you wanna put this guy in the dead book...

Razmir is the lawful leader of his country. The Red Mantis never accept contracts to kill the official leader of a country in respect to their god who cannot kill true deities.

=================

You know, this, and other threads, makes me think there is probably more interest in a module/AP involving Razmir (other than Mask of the Living God), than there is for just about any other NPC in Golarion. I see Razmir threads and questions about Razmir pop up more often than questions about Geb/Nex, Tar-Baphon, Arazni etc.


Tels wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
William Ronald wrote:
martinaj wrote:
I've been looking at Razmir as the Jim Jones of Golarion.

Yes and it may end as badly.

I would argue that we have in Razmir a man who knows he is running out of time and is getting desperate. This makes him a very dangerous person.

Cripes, in just two posts Razmir managed to get exponentially darker.

C'mon Red Mantis, you know you wanna put this guy in the dead book...

Razmir is the lawful leader of his country. The Red Mantis never accept contracts to kill the official leader of a country in respect to their god who cannot kill true deities.

=================

You know, this, and other threads, makes me think there is probably more interest in a module/AP involving Razmir (other than Mask of the Living God), than there is for just about any other NPC in Golarion. I see Razmir threads and questions about Razmir pop up more often than questions about Geb/Nex, Tar-Baphon, Arazni etc.

Specifically, it says they don't assassinate "kings" because they are the closest that mortals come to godhood. If the red mantis knew the truth about Razmir, don't you think they'd be a bit irked by his presumption?


Not really, it's been stated on a number of occasions by James Jacobs that the Red Mantis won't kill any one that is the legal ruler of a country. Razmir is the legal ruler of Razmiran. The fact they use the word 'king' I don't think is very important. Especially since Golarion has such a wide and diverse set of titles for rulers. For instance, an Emperor is 'more than a king' but "per RAW" the Red Mantis will kill an Emperor because an Emperor is not a King.

The way I read it is that any 'high leader' of the country is exempt from being targeted by the Red Mantis. So if you're the dictator, emperor, king, president, marshal, what-have-you, you're fine, as long as you're recognized as the official leader of the country.

Places like Nirmathas don't have an official ruler, instead, the Forest Marshal is the most powerful person in the country, because he is the undisputed commander of the Nirmathassian military. He is the closest thing they have to a ruler, but is still a viable target for the Red Mantis.

Whether they Red Mantis are happy with Razmir or not makes little difference. Keep in mind, they also know who their god is. Achaekek's duty is to seek out and destroy mortals who intend to usurp the power of the gods. After so many mortals ascended to god hood (Irori, Nethys, Caeden, Iomedae, Aroden, Norgorber), they created Achaekek to stop further mortals from doing the same. If Razmir ever got close to achieving god hood, it wouldn't surprise me to see him show up and cut him down. It may even be that the reason no one has succeeded in the Test of the Starstone recently is Achaekek now guards the stone himself.

Andoran

Tels wrote:
Not really, it's been stated on a number of occasions by James Jacobs that the Red Mantis won't kill any one that is the legal ruler of a country.

Really? That's not what he wrote in Escape from Old Korvosa. Page 67 says "the Red Mantis refuses all contracts on rightful monarchs. ... Anyone else, though--even religious figures, princes, the leaders of non-monarchies..."


First of all, Escape from Old Korvosa is from 3.5 and lots of stuff has changed since they switched to Pathfinder. Many things that were published in the 3.5 books are different now.

James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Has Razmir been targeted by Achaekek or the Red Mantis Assassins yet? If he has, how'd he get away?
Razmir's a rightful ruler of a nation first of all. And second of all, the Red Mantises don't just go around killing folks willy nilly. They only go kill those they've been hired to kill. If no one hires them to kill someone, say, like Razmir, they're not gonna go get him.
James Jacobs wrote:
Analysis wrote:
I think it was alluded to somewhere that Razmir, being a false god and and an actual king, became the latter so that the Red Mantis could not target him for being the former. If so, is this part of a more general trend, where megalomaniacs with designs on godhood or the like would start by founding or conquering minor kingdoms as a first step, since to do otherwise means risking the Mantis during subsequent steps?

I'm not sure if that was ever actually alluded to, but for better or worse Razmir is the ruler of his nation and as such is beyond the reach of the Red Mantis assassins.

It's not a "general trend," in any event, since the Red Mantis only go after those they've been hired to kill. If no one hires them, you don't have anything to worry about in the first place.

It's not just James Jacobs saying Red Mantis don't go after rulers, he specifically said the Red Mantis will not go after Razmir, regardless of the state of his government. If you live in a Theocracy, Democracy, Republic, Dictatorship, Monarchy, Meritocracy, whatever. If you are the legal and official ruler of your country, you are exempt from the contracts of the Red Mantis.

Curse of the Crimson Throne:
However, if you still wish to assassinate your ruler, they will still sell the tools necessary to you to do so on your own. This is how Illeossa got the posion to kill King Eodred in Edge of Anarchy.

Osirion

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Fnipernackle wrote:
also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.

My Inner Sea Magic has him as a wizard 19, not a sorcerer.

I myself would make him a sorcerer, just because, between Geb, Nex, the Seven Runelords, Xin-Shalast, the Whispering Tyrant, Arazni, etc. the Inner Sea is already *crawling* with high level wizards, and the we need Razmir to be yet another uber-wizard one like the Forgotten Realms needs more Chosen of Mystra. Everyone else is already an uber-wizard. Might as well have at least one of the legendary arcanists of the Inner Sea be a butt-kicking Sorcerer, rather than yet another wizard.

Plus, as a figure based entirely on a cult of personality, having Razmir be a Charisma-based Sorcerer, instead of a Charisma-dumping Wizard, feels a bit more on-theme, to me.


Off-Topic but, do any fans of The Legend of Korra picture Amon when thinking about Razmir?


Generic Villain wrote:
Fnipernackle wrote:


also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.
You misread. Page 7 of Inner Sea Magic clearly states he's a LE 19th-level wizard. You can make him anything you want for your campaign, but those are his official stats.

nope. didnt misread it at all. went back and checked. 19th level sorcerer in my printed copy.

ill post a picture of it this afternoon when i get home.


Set wrote:
Fnipernackle wrote:
also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.

My Inner Sea Magic has him as a wizard 19, not a sorcerer.

I myself would make him a sorcerer, just because, between Geb, Nex, the Seven Runelords, Xin-Shalast, the Whispering Tyrant, Arazni, etc. the Inner Sea is already *crawling* with high level wizards, and the we need Razmir to be yet another uber-wizard one like the Forgotten Realms needs more Chosen of Mystra. Everyone else is already an uber-wizard. Might as well have at least one of the legendary arcanists of the Inner Sea be a butt-kicking Sorcerer, rather than yet another wizard.

Plus, as a figure based entirely on a cult of personality, having Razmir be a Charisma-based Sorcerer, instead of a Charisma-dumping Wizard, feels a bit more on-theme, to me.

i agree with this 100%. not only are sorcerers already the bastard children of pathfinder when it comes to arcane casters, but even the archetype for a priest is for a sorcerer. plus it makes more sense for sorcerers since they already have eschew materials its easy to supplement the use of a religious symbol. PLUS if he is a wizard, which my book says hes not, but maybe thats just my copy, wouldnt it be weird to have him using a spell book? in addition, the whole being able to bluff and con numerous people sounds more like a sorcerer.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Amusing Red Mantis aside...

There will (has?) come a time where the mortal ruler of Chelax will be a valid target then? Once the country has (litterally, as VP Bidenopolis would say) gone to Hell?


I'm thinking Razmir and his followers will probably make a showing in the mmo. They make for great color-coded mooks.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

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zergtitan wrote:


Anyone else have any idea what the inspiration for Razmir may have been?

Just replace every instance of "Razmir" with "Jason Bulmahn," and everything will become clear.


Jason is 19th level Lawful Evil Wizard rapidly approaching the end of his life so he his seeking out methods of immortality or ways to become a deity? He also has a scores of cultists that obey his every command that also ruthlessly convert people to the faith, whether they want to or not?

Holy Crap! Where can I get some of that Kool-Aid?


Fnipernackle wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
Fnipernackle wrote:


also, i know that the pathfinder wiki says hes a wizard, but in the Inner Sea Magic book it lists him as a sorcerer and his primary archetype is for a sorcerer so im going with that hes a sorcerer.
You misread. Page 7 of Inner Sea Magic clearly states he's a LE 19th-level wizard. You can make him anything you want for your campaign, but those are his official stats.

nope. didnt misread it at all. went back and checked. 19th level sorcerer in my printed copy.

ill post a picture of it this afternoon when i get home.

Mine says Wizard.

There is Abrogail Thrune II at Aristocrat 2/Sorcerer 16.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I was pissed when I opened up Inner Sea Magic for the first time and saw Razmir was a wizard. (Actually that's not true - James Jacobs mentioned his stats in a thread before the book was released, but still). As a sorcerer fan for many years now, I too am miffed about their relative scarcity. There is mention of a super powerful sorcerer called the Ruby Phoenix in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament module, but she was from Tian Xia.


Yeah, Razmir is a sorcerer in all of my games. Celestial bloodline, but he's modified a few of his abilities so they work on his faithful instead of on good creatures. Favors spells that shape the world in a big way and allow for grand shows of power.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fnipernackle wrote:
there were also a lot of old ancient cults that believed that their master was a god. Egypt was one of them, or at least that he was a divine emissary, similar to the pope.

Prior to Christianity, rulers of nations, including Roman Emperors would typically assume the role of divinity. When Christianity made that unacceptable, they would take the title of Christ's Vicar. Even today, the head of state for the United Kingdom, is also the Head of the Church of England.

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