The Monster Within

Thursday, July 7, 2016

In just a few weeks, Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures will be launching at Gen Con 2016 and landing on store shelves! And while the GM is the one who sets a lot of the atmosphere in a horror game, each player and character contributes to the ambience—what better way to do that than to partake in horror-themed character options? In this blog, I'll give you all a preview of the character options within this book.

To start, let's look at one of the most mysterious and anticipated sections: the corruptions! Corruptions grant your character new powers, but they also stain your character with drawbacks and risk your character losing control to the darkness within. Each corruption comes with a catalyst, which describes how you might acquire, progress, and remove the main source of corruption, as well as a number of manifestations that each grant you a gift and an associated stain. There's also variants for useful corruptions, where you can ignore the stains, and vile corruptions, where you have no control over the manifestations but can ignore the gifts to help you fight off the corruption's influence. The 11 corruptions are as follows: Accursed grants you powers of curses and revenge like a hag or a fey. Deep one grants you aquatic abilities and other benefits associated with deep ones. Ghoul grants claws, stench, paralysis, and other powers related to ghouls and ghasts. Hellbound grants diabolical abilities like horns and the ability to summon devils. Hive is related to a new subtype of aberration created by a depraved annunaki; while normally hive larvae gestate in your body for sustenance and then kill you, a hive corrupted character has survived a rare metabolic symbiosis, gaining hive-related powers instead like a hive mind or acid blood. Lich grants you powers related to a failed attempt at lichdom, including necromantic mastery and a corpselike countenance. Lycanthropy grants you the ability to shift form into an animal or hybrid as well as other lycanthropic powers. Possessed grants you benefits from a second mind or soul within your body, such as letting your possessing spirit give you another shot against Will saves. Promethean comes about when you replace your body parts with construct parts, and it grants various construct-related abilities, particularly resistances and immunities. Shadowbound fills you with darkness and empties your life of joy, granting darkness and fear abilities. Finally, vampirism grants vampire abilities like fangs and summoning a rat swarm.


Illustration by Kiki Moch Rizky

Unlike many other books, there's actually a brief section on new race rules with some cool variant abilities that work well in a horror campaign. One fun example is the halfling ability creepy doll, which lets you use freeze like a gargoyle in order to appear to be a creepy-looking doll instead of a creature, and lets you Intimidate larger humanoids without a penalty due to your size.


Illustration by Hugh Pindur

There's plenty of horrific archetypes and class options as well! For instance, the blood alchemist uses sentient lives to fuel her alchemy and can create alchemical circles like an occultist in order to apply formulas to an area instead of himself. The barbarian gains new rage powers including cult totem and daemon totem. The cleric elder mythos cultist archetype is a cleric who uses Charisma instead of Wisdom and is rather insane. Devolutionist druids devolve animals and humanoids into feral ancestors (including their animal companion, a devolved humanoid). Hexenhammer inquisitors mix blasphemous dark arts with their faith and must balance these transgressions with penance. Cult hunter investigators seek out horrific cults like your typical Lovecraft investigators. Kineticists gain the elemental whispers wild talents, which allow them to make friends with a voice in their head and even manifest it. Mediums can contact vile legendary spirits like the heretic, which replaces the hierophant and helps you infiltrate a good religion and corrupt it to evil. Hate-monger mesmerists can sow xenophobic hatred while applying touch treatment without the touched creature realizing it. Talisman crafter occultists can create talismans holding their spells that others can activate. Soul sentinel paladins can help with confusion and corruptions with their mercies and become immune to hexes and curses. Witch killer slayers are experts in hunting and killing arcane spellcasters, including an ability called "burn the witch". Necrologists are evil spiritualists that house vile undead within them, rather than phantoms. Hangman vigilantes are whip and noose experts. Tatterdemalion witches command fabric and thread and can stitch a creature's eyes or mouth shut. Finally, hallowed necromancer wizards use their necromancy to destroy undead, rather than create them.

Horror Adventures also has a variety of fun and horrifying feats, as well as feats to fight against the encroaching darkness. For instance, Absorb Spirit lets you temporarily house a rejuvenating spirit within you to prevent it from returning for a time, and Disconcerting Knowledge lets you demoralize a foe with Knowledge checks to identify its weaknesses. There's also plenty of monster feats (including one where a shapeshifter's form change involves ripping out of its old body in a gruesome fashion), a small assortment of story feats (like Twisted Love, where a horrible creature is in love with you), and even four new styles: Brute Style lets you victimize prone opponents like a rampaging kaiju, Deadhand Style allows you to manipulate fear and eventually inflict negative levels with your unarmed strikes for ki, Kyton Style lets you use a spiked chain as a monk weapon and eventually as a shield as well as a weapon, and Maddening Style lets you strike at a foe's sanity and eventually obliterate your fallen foes as disintegrate.

There are dark spells from foul tomes as well as righteous incantations to defeat them. The death clutch spell causes someone's heart to leap out into your hand while damnation deals damage to nearby creatures in proportion to their most powerful evil spell or spell effect. Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed), while holy javelin impales an evil creature, dealing ongoing damage and weakening them.

When it comes to magic items, there are a variety of horrific items, like a withered heart you can squeeze to damage your foes, an altar that lets you animated dead without expending onyx, gloves that give you mouths on your hands, ad a mantle of darkness that creates deeper darkness when you take a total defense. There's also holy items like a holy symbol that dazzles your foes when you channel or use it as a divine focus, a holy symbol that lets you calm down creatures by healing them with your channel, and a monocle that helps protect you from reading something that harm you (or your sanity!). There's also cursed items like the needful doll that demands attention lest it give you nightmares, as well as artifacts like the dark grimoire, which lets anyone cast any spell by studying it for 1 hour per spell level (you even ignore material component costs by sacrificing humanoid creatures—how convenient!).

And that's just a sampling of the goodies in store for you. Stay tuned next week when we'll be focusing on some of the cool GM tools and advice in the book!

Mark Seifter
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Hugh Pindur Kiki Moch Rizky Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Devolutionist druids devolve animals and humanoids into feral ancestors (including their animal companion, a devolved humanoid)"

That might be the prime reason I'm buying this!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

YAY!! Corruptions are awesome! :D


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Blood Alchemist and Elder Mythos Cultist sound really interesting! I hope they'll actually be playable.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Looking forward to this. ^_^


Interesting.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This book was already on my "purchase on sight" list.

Little has changed, except the way I've taken to glaring at the calendar.

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I tried to make sure this blog had little overlap with the tidbits we've already revealed, so even if you've kept up to date with the Paizocon panels via the Know Direction recordings or my summary posts on my fan page, make sure to read this blog for all the new info!


Hmm... Sounding more and more awesome! I eagerly await the next preview.

Grand Lodge

Will there be kineticist talents and/or magic items?

Paizo Employee Designer

Varun Creed wrote:
Will there be kineticist talents?

Indeed.

Quote:
Kineticists gain the elemental whispers wild talents, which allow them to make friends with a voice in their head and even manifest it.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Varun Creed wrote:
Will there be kineticist talents?
Blog Post wrote:
Kineticists gain the elemental whispers wild talents, which allow them to make friends with a voice in their head and even manifest it.

Signs point to yes.

Edit: Ninja-ed by Mark!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gloves that give you mouths on your hands. Well, I'm sold.

Liberty's Edge

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.

A pair of gloves with mouths on the palms of them? How long 'til someone in Pathfinder says "talk to the hand 'cause the glove ain't listening"?

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cult Totem?

DAEMON TOTEM?!?!

*faints*

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Attic whisperer wrote:
Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!

When you're so evil, you make others to kick the dog!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Who HASN"T made friends with the voices in their head?

... asking for a friend?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm so excited for this! So many cool tidbits added, too! Hexenhammer? Burn the Witch? Hive details?!

This is the first physical book I'm purchasing since the Core Rulebook. I think it has earned that honor.


TOTALLY AWESOME wrote:
Kineticists gain the elemental whispers wild talents, which allow them to make friends with a voice in their head and even manifest it.

Oh my gods, yes, please give it to me now.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Attic whisperer wrote:
Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!

I suspected that ripping out people's hearts and stealing their life force for alchemy wouldn't get as strong a reaction as vile dog transformation. Horror spells, and I guess [evil] spells overall, work when they really feel evil (unlike, say, deathwatch, which used to be [evil] but wasn't really doing anything particularly evil, just letting you know people's health conditions).

Paizo Employee Designer

HyperMissingno wrote:
TOTALLY AWESOME wrote:
Kineticists gain the elemental whispers wild talents, which allow them to make friends with a voice in their head and even manifest it.
Oh my gods, yes, please give it to me now.

I'll just say this: if you (or anyone reading this) is going to be at Gencon, somehow tickets are still open for the special Through Maelstrom Rift (Gencon site link); it seems...aligned with your interests. ;)


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Attic whisperer wrote:
Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!

.

Shopkeep: Oh hello, Ned. {cautiously:} A potion or alchemical effect go a bit wrong? You've wandered into the pet store; the talismonger is the next block over.
Necromancer Ned: No, no, I'm looking for a "do-gah". It gets quite cold & lonely in my tower. I thought it's about time I looked into getting a faithful fuzzy companion.
Necromancer Ned: Oh my, what's these little pygmy ones here? They're so small and squeaky and fluffy. And those big dark eyes, almost bewitching.
Shopkeep: Those are puppies, Ned. They're young dogs. Those three Westcrown Corgis are all that's left of the litter.
Necromancer Ned: Ah, good, good. Plenty of room in the tower, hate to break up these siblings. {unsettling wide smile:} I'll take all three.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Very excited about this!


I want this so bad.


How many pages does the kineticist get for wild talents?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
How many pages does the kineticist get for wild talents?

Well, they've also got (at least) two archetypes.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hoping some of the corruption mechanics are PFS legal.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
How many pages does the kineticist get for wild talents?
Well, they've also got (at least) two archetypes.

Indeed. Since we have no "other class" section, that means classes in the book get a minimum of two pages (not counting alchemist or whichever turns out to be alphabetically first, since that gets two pages shared with the intro). As it turns out, I believe every class that appears got two pages this time.


death clutch sounds an awful lot like the old heart ripper spell from Spell Compendium.


I was interested but unsure of this book. So much fun stuff.

I may try to use the Medium's new spirits for Strange Aeons


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Attic whisperer wrote:
Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!
I suspected that ripping out people's hearts and stealing their life force for alchemy wouldn't get as strong a reaction as vile dog transformation. Horror spells, and I guess [evil] spells overall, work when they really feel evil (unlike, say, deathwatch, which used to be [evil] but wasn't really doing anything particularly evil, just letting you know people's health conditions).

If one of my characters witnessed someone using that spell, he'd probably grapple them down and unarmed strike them until they die. Unless it was some rabid dog or one already trained as an attack hound.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Attic whisperer wrote:
Oh Man... "Vile dog transformation transforms dogs into horrific servitors, and they dissolve into a stinking pile of gore and bones at the end of the spell (if the dog trusts you, it takes a -4 penalty on its save to avoid being transformed)" You Monsters!!!
I suspected that ripping out people's hearts and stealing their life force for alchemy wouldn't get as strong a reaction as vile dog transformation. Horror spells, and I guess [evil] spells overall, work when they really feel evil (unlike, say, deathwatch, which used to be [evil] but wasn't really doing anything particularly evil, just letting you know people's health conditions).
If one of my characters witnessed someone using that spell, he'd probably grapple them down and unarmed strike them until they die. Unless it was some rabid dog or one already trained as an attack hound.

Ideally for your enemy, she would probably have precast the spell, since it lasts hours at a time. I suppose, though, that would means you wouldn't know if it's a rabid street dog or an innocent puppy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow, do you have to kick the dog as part of the somatic component? Still excited about the decapitate spell though. Which oddly enough feels a lot less evil.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So will these new corruptions actually turn a character undead? Or just give them undead-like powers?

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:

Wow, do you have to kick the dog as part of the somatic component? Still excited about the decapitate spell though. Which oddly enough feels a lot less evil.

Decapitate is neat particularly because it can be used for teamwork (if you're an inquisitor or magus, you can use it on yourself too, sure). It also has the action economy of fellow 6th-level spell cold ice strike while being significantly deadlier on a failed save (though single target and weaker on a successful save unless the foe has energy resistance). Plus, you know, off with their head! (that could even be the verbal component for when you use it after an ally's hit)


Is this the place where we will finally get our swarm-shaping Druid? Tune in in a month to find out!

Really happy about the Style Feats, by the way. Brute Style is too vague to know for sure (though an unarmed-agnostic bull rush/overrun style sounds cool); Deadhand looks like our vessel for the second coming of the Monk of the Long Death; Kyton Style is super sweet sounding but by the love of Aroden, please let us use spiked chains for Style Strikes and ki attacks (otherwise sounds great for Sacred Fist Warpriests); Maddening Style sounds very inspiring, though I find it odd that generally what you want to disintegrate are regenerating undead who are usually immune to mind-affecting (it also seems to have a weird overlap with Deadhand).

Love Disconcerting Knowledge - would like a Sense Motive version too.


Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
How many pages does the kineticist get for wild talents?
Well, they've also got (at least) two archetypes.
Indeed. Since we have no "other class" section, that means classes in the book get a minimum of two pages (not counting alchemist or whichever turns out to be alphabetically first, since that gets two pages shared with the intro). As it turns out, I believe every class that appears got two pages this time.

HUZZAH! That means Bards get at least 2 pages, correct?!

Holy Javelin?! Oh me likely! Me likes a lot.
Any chance you could hint at when we subscribers might expect this?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:


Any chance you could hint at when we subscribers might expect this?

I think the shipping thread said orders are created around the 21st, so probably then, at the earliest.


I like the sound of holy javelin, maybe one day will get a holy rain spell.

Other then the gingerbread themed witch archetype, will there be any fairy tail inspired stuff?

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Secret Wizard wrote:

Is this the place where we will finally get our swarm-shaping Druid? Tune in in a month to find out!

Really happy about the Style Feats, by the way. Brute Style is too vague to know for sure (though an unarmed-agnostic bull rush/overrun style sounds cool); Deadhand looks like our vessel for the second coming of the Monk of the Long Death; Kyton Style is super sweet sounding but by the love of Aroden, please let us use spiked chains for Style Strikes and ki attacks (otherwise sounds great for Sacred Fist Warpriests); Maddening Style sounds very inspiring, though I find it odd that generally what you want to disintegrate are regenerating undead who are usually immune to mind-affecting (it also seems to have a weird overlap with Deadhand).

Love Disconcerting Knowledge - would like a Sense Motive version too.

We're delighted by the idea of Stunning Fist-ing a foe with a spiked chain, but we're pretty unlikely to include something in HA that unpairs style strikes from their specific forms of unarmed strikes, as style strikes are an intentional balancing factor towards unarmed Unchained monks (with weapons being cheaper than amulet of mighty fists and the better Strength multiplier being the advantages for armed Unchained monks).

Brute Style is fun for overrun/knocking prone-style characters, especially if you are pretty big and brute-like!

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
How many pages does the kineticist get for wild talents?
Well, they've also got (at least) two archetypes.
Indeed. Since we have no "other class" section, that means classes in the book get a minimum of two pages (not counting alchemist or whichever turns out to be alphabetically first, since that gets two pages shared with the intro). As it turns out, I believe every class that appears got two pages this time.

HUZZAH! That means Bards get at least 2 pages, correct?!

Holy Javelin?! Oh me likely! Me likes a lot.
Any chance you could hint at when we subscribers might expect this?

If I didn't preview a class by name, it doesn't appear in that chapter. Nonetheless, bardic knowledge, for instance, is one of the potential prereqs for Disconcerting Knowledge and there's over a dozen new spells for bards, including the hilariously horrific compelling rant, where you hold a rally saying incoherent crazy things that causes those who listen to temporarily believe the rant and attack those who speak out against it (both listeners and speaker take sanity damage).


Quote:
Or with any spiked chain, if you have Kyton Style. ^_^

Hot hot hot.

Quote:

If I didn't preview a class by name, it doesn't appear in that chapter. Nonetheless, bardic knowledge, for instance, is one of the potential prereqs for Disconcerting Knowledge and there's over a dozen new spells for bards, including the hilariously horrific compelling rant, where you hold a rally saying incoherent crazy things that causes those who listen to temporarily believe the rant and attack those who speak out against it (both listeners and speaker take sanity damage).

YouTube Commenter archetype, nice.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Secret Wizard wrote:
At least you can always Stunning Fist with a ki focus weapon.

Or with any spiked chain, if you have Kyton Style. ^_^ (sorry, that was what I had been implying above)

Paizo Employee Designer

Dragon78 wrote:

I like the sound of holy javelin, maybe one day will get a holy rain spell.

Other then the gingerbread themed witch archetype, will there be any fairy tail inspired stuff?

A lot of the stuff in the next blog preview (things like curses, environment, and the like) sort of screamed dark fairy tales to me.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like this preview. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
ncluding the hilariously horrific compelling rant, where you hold a rally saying incoherent crazy things that causes those who listen to temporarily believe the rant and attack those who speak out against it (both listeners and speaker take sanity damage).

...

You're saying I can cast bard spells in real life?

;)


This sounds awesome for players as well as DM's!

How much on fleshwarping/fleshcrafting is there?

Looking forward to creating a character using the corruption rules.

Paizo Employee Designer

Lemartes wrote:

This sounds awesome for players as well as DM's!

How much on fleshwarping/fleshcrafting is there?

Looking forward to creating a character using the corruption rules.

I hope so, when you get yours, let me know how it works out in your games!

There's a fair amount of fleshwarping. Fleshwarping is probably going to show up in the blog about GM stuff, but it's certainly the most player friendly of the topics therein, assuming the PC in question is depraved enough to get involved with fleshwarping, of course!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Lemartes wrote:

This sounds awesome for players as well as DM's!

How much on fleshwarping/fleshcrafting is there?

Looking forward to creating a character using the corruption rules.

I hope so, when you get yours, let me know how it works out in your games!

There's a fair amount of fleshwarping. Fleshwarping is probably going to show up in the blog about GM stuff, but it's certainly the most player friendly of the topics therein, assuming the PC in question is depraved enough to get involved with fleshwarping, of course!

Hey, my Shelynite flashwarper is quite civil. He even requires a waiting period for the procedures he performs for others.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Lemartes wrote:

This sounds awesome for players as well as DM's!

How much on fleshwarping/fleshcrafting is there?

Looking forward to creating a character using the corruption rules.

I hope so, when you get yours, let me know how it works out in your games!

There's a fair amount of fleshwarping. Fleshwarping is probably going to show up in the blog about GM stuff, but it's certainly the most player friendly of the topics therein, assuming the PC in question is depraved enough to get involved with fleshwarping, of course!

Will do. Thanks Mark. Good to know about the fleshwarping and the possible blog for it.

I already create some very non standard themed characters...now things are going to get weird...okay weirder. ;)

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