Golarion Day: Psychopomps

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Bestiary 2 we introduced a new race of neutral outsiders, the aeons. But we weren't satisfied with only one race of neutral outsiders—especially since aeons don't fit perfectly into the Boneyard, Golarion's true neutral Outer Plane. With the article on Pharasma in the second volume of Carrion Crown, we revealed a second race of neutral outsiders—ones that specifically serve Pharasma and dwell in the Boneyard itself. The psychopomps.

In Pathfinder Adventure Path #47, we'll present full stat blocks for two psychopomps—both of which are illustrated here in this blog post: the fearsome skeletal vanth and the cute little four-winged nosoi. We'll be presenting more of these creatures in the future, but I'm already quite pleased with how they're turning out. To the extent that I wouldn't mind having a nosoi pet. Those guys are so cute!

Illustration by Kieran YannerIllustration by Lake Hurwitz

Anyway, while I'm not quite ready to reveal any full stat blocks yet for psychopomps, I can do the next best thing—here are the rules for psychopomp traits!

Psychopomp Traits

The gears of the multiverse turn through the constant motion of mortal souls. Although Pharasma is the ultimate judge over the dead, a grand bureaucracy serves her and overflows with able record-keepers, prosecutors, investigators, and guardians. They are psychopomps, the right hand of death. Psychopomps, also known as reapers in some circles, are neutral outsiders who serve death and ensure the steady flow of souls into the cosmic cycle. Few care for the concept of balance so much as for duty and the rightful progression of life to death and beyond by any and all means necessary. As enforcers of mortality and the cosmic cycle, psychopomps universally loathe undead. Although they vary widely in appearance, all psychopomps bear an elaborate funerary mask as a mark of their place in the cycle of life and death.

Psychopomp Traits: A psychopomp possesses the following traits.

Darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.

Immunity to death effects, disease, and poison.

Resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10

Except where otherwise noted, psychopomps speak Abyssal, Celestial, and Infernal.

A psychopomp's natural weapons, as well as any weapon it wields, are treated as though they had the ghost touch weapon special ability.

Spiritsense (Su) A psychopomp notices, locates, and can distinguish between living and undead creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.

James Jacobs
Creative Director

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Tags: Carrion Crown Golarion Thursdays Kieran Yanner Lake Hurwitz Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pharasma Psychopomps
Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean, it makes sense why there would be something besides the aeons, but isn't Pharasma in a sense already a giant aeon? Birth and death in one deity, the perfect antithetical duality that aeons represent?

Sovereign Court

Kvantum wrote:
I mean, it makes sense why there would be something besides the aeons, but isn't Pharasma in a sense already a giant aeon? Birth and death in one deity, the perfect antithetical duality that aeons represent?

All the known True Neutral deities are, in a sense, already giant aeons - Nethys is creation and destruction, Gozreh is Mother Nature and Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw.

That said, I'm excited about Psychopomps. I wonder how well they'll stand up to Astradaemons in the inevitable fights over souls.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs in the blog wrote:
... the fearsome skeletal vanth and the cute little four-winged nosoi. We'll be presenting more of these creatures in the future, but I'm already quite pleased with how they're turning out. To the extent that I wouldn't mind having a nosoi pet

I think the vanth cute. I wouldn't mind having a vanth for a pet.

Yaay Psychopomps!

Dark Archive

The nosoi, with that impersonal mask-looking beak, scares the hell out of me. And I'm the GM.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Soooo... how long till we get a psychpomp-based PC race ala the Tiefling and Aasimar?

Cause I would be all over that.


Kieviel wrote:

Soooo... how long till we get a psychpomp-based PC race ala the Tiefling and Aasimar?

Cause I would be all over that.

Sounds like someone wants to be doing some Bleach/Ichigo Kurosaki fighting.


*peers at nosoi*

Someone's been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I wonder if psycochomp's (like other outer planers) will have a suitable wizard familiar in their ranks?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Filby Pott wrote:

*peers at nosoi*

Someone's been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Looks into the murky future at the nosoi's stat block.

Absolute Terror Field (SU)

:P

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Pharasma just keeps getting cooler and cooler.

Sovereign Court

For creatures who hate the undead serving a deity that abhors undead, the Vanth looks awfully like an undead creature...

--Vrock 'em Dead

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aegon Conqueror wrote:
Kieviel wrote:

Soooo... how long till we get a psychpomp-based PC race ala the Tiefling and Aasimar?

Cause I would be all over that.

Sounds like someone wants to be doing some Bleach/Ichigo Kurosaki fighting.

I actually had to google that, not much of an anime fan. Looks like fun though, so sure!

Sovereign Court

There sure are a lot of birds posting in this thread.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
cappadocius wrote:
There sure are a lot of birds posting in this thread.

Ha! Oddly appropriate, I'd say. Good eye.


If the nosoi has a circular hold through its body it could be a hollow!

(heh, birds, Yay birds!)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
cappadocius wrote:
There sure are a lot of birds posting in this thread.

Tweet Tweet

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK Paizo, you got your Neon Genesis Evangelion in my Pathfinder.

Now I want angel-powered 50-ft. tall constructs.


Oh sweet, I like these. These will also work perfectly as servants of Kelemvor in the Forgotten Realms setting :D Kelemvor needs neutral death-like outsiders to serve him


As a note, the Pharasma entry lists two other psychopomps, the yanakeion and the amzranei to be added to Pharasmin Summon Monster lists, and it says that they can be found in #44. I'm guessing this is meant to be 47 also? (it also says that the amzranei is on the Summon Monster 11 list).


Given all the lethal mayhem that happens in the typical Pathfinder/fantasy RPG campaign, I am kind of surprised that it took this long for outsiders who serve as escorts/guides of the dead to show up.

These guys look like a good idea and I hope we see more on psychopomps in the future.


Those are neat, I like them, they would make great pets.

Contributor

Galnörag wrote:
I wonder if psycochomp's (like other outer planers) will have a suitable wizard familiar in their ranks?

Yup. They're called nosoi.

Contributor

King of Vrock wrote:
For creatures who hate the undead serving a deity that abhors undead, the Vanth looks awfully like an undead creature...

A vanth is no more undead than a thanadaemon is. They're outsiders, embodiments of states and ideals, and those related to the powers of death are definitely going to skew toward morbid appearances.

Ultimately, Pharasma knows the difference even if "Joe Mortal" can't tell.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
As a note, the Pharasma entry lists two other psychopomps, the yanakeion and the amzranei to be added to Pharasmin Summon Monster lists, and it says that they can be found in #44. I'm guessing this is meant to be 47 also? (it also says that the amzranei is on the Summon Monster 11 list).

This has been addressed multiple times in the Carrion Crown forums, but (working backwards), that's supposed to be summon monster VI, the volume reference should city #47, and - as you'll see in the descriptions for these two - their names have changed from what was noted in that sidebar to what you'll see in #47. So, yanakeion = nosoi, and amzranei = vanth. And again, for folks who don't keep this post handy, that's noted in their write-ups.

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:
These guys look like a good idea and I hope we see more on psychopomps in the future.

Hope Pathfinder #48 isn't too long to wait after these in #47 release. :P


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
As a note, the Pharasma entry lists two other psychopomps, the yanakeion and the amzranei to be added to Pharasmin Summon Monster lists, and it says that they can be found in #44. I'm guessing this is meant to be 47 also? (it also says that the amzranei is on the Summon Monster 11 list).
This has been addressed multiple times in the Carrion Crown forums, but working backwards), that's supposed to be summon monster VI, the volume reference should city #47, and - as you'll see in the descriptions for these two - their names have changed from what was noted in that sidebar to what you'll see in #47. So, yanakeion = nosoi, and amzranei = vanth. And again, for folks who don't keep this post handy, that's noted in their write-ups.

Awesome! I'm expecting to probably play Carrion Crown, so I don't head into that subforum, but I do read every deity article (they are always amazing) and check the blog posts. At least now if anyone reads this blog post and is inspired by how cool the art and concept is to do a Ctrl+F for psychopomp in their Pharasma article, they'll have this response readily available. Thanks Wes!

Contributor

Filby Pott wrote:
Someone's been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Ha! I didn't get what you meant when I read this first, but now that you mention it. Awesome.

The angels would make great psychopomps, and that kind of inscrutability is totally what I'm going for with these guys!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
Someone's been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

i

Ha! I didn't get what you meant when I read this first, but now that you mention it. Awesome.

The angels would make great psychopomps, and that kind of inscrutability is totally what I'm going for with these guys!

Any NGE vibes in Golarion are greatly appreciated. You guys made me feel warm and fuzzy with your gracious nods to Castlevania, now it just gets better.

Many anime/manga fans are RPG'ers too!

Contributor

Well, in this case it's really nothing more than coincidence, but you're welcome! All I asked for for the nosoi was a whippoorwill with four wings wearing a plague doctor mask. That that mask came out looking similar to one of the angels from NGE, really just a weird similarity. Funny how things work out like that sometimes.


"Psychopomp and Circumstance", the theme to the graduation ceremony for axe murders.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
The angels would make great psychopomps, and that kind of inscrutability is totally what I'm going for with these guys!

That's awesome, and gives me ideas... :)

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Well, in this case it's really nothing more than coincidence, but you're welcome! All I asked for for the nosoi was a whippoorwill with four wings wearing a plague doctor mask. That that mask came out looking similar to one of the angels from NGE, really just a weird similarity. Funny how things work out like that sometimes.

I wouldn't be surprised if the makers of Evangelion also based that one Angel's look on such a mask (they did a fair amount of research, albeit with huge artistic license), so maybe it's not a coincidence.

Silver Crusade

This is awesome.

I'm really enjoying the idea of these guys tearing daemons a new one too. Especially that vanth. :D

And say what you will, the nosoi just strikes me as far creepier than the vanth. Those eyes....

So, is the CR 20 Psychopomp going to be a grim reaper-ish fellow or a perky goth lady? I'm sure most of us are good either way. ;)

Also, psychopomp has always been a fun word.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Galnörag wrote:
I wonder if psycochomp's (like other outer planers) will have a suitable wizard familiar in their ranks?

Perhaps one with four wings that's cute and has a GM-scaring mask?


Would someone point me to the source of this discussion? What are we talking about here? It DOES sound interesting, that's why I ask :)


cappadocius wrote:


That said, I'm excited about Psychopomps. I wonder how well they'll stand up to Astradaemons in the inevitable fights over souls.

*toothy grin* I know who I'm betting on.


So, can we expect more of these critters in the Bestiary 3?

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