Iconic Encounter: Whispers in the Blood

Friday, May 10, 2019

Some spellcasters study tirelessly to master the arcane arts, such as the wizard Ezren, whose understanding of various treatises on magic was at the heart of his Iconic Encounter a few months ago. Others, however, like the iconic sorcerer, Seoni, gain their magical abilities from their blood, whether that's a hint of an extraplanar power or simply legendary ancestors from ages long past. Enjoy the following piece of short fiction from James L. Sutter in the next entry into our series of Iconic Encounters—brief vignettes of the iconic characters showcasing the myriad stories you can tell with Pathfinder Second Edition.

Illustration by Mikhail Palamarchuk

The gargoyles hit like a ton of bricks—which they were, more or less. Valeros went flying as the leading statue-beast slammed into him, and if not for Kyra grabbing his leg as he sailed past, he might have tumbled from the roof entirely. Seoni only barely managed to dodge the two that came for her, their stony wings chipping shards from the parapet as they swooped in for the kill.

Valeros didn't bother to stand. From his position flat on his back, he thrust upward with his sword. Steel sparked and screeched across stone pectorals, barely scratching one of the beasts as it glided past, claws raking at his armor.

Behind him, light blazed from 'Kyra's holy symbol, casting long shadows against the dusk.

"It's no good!" the cleric shouted, lashing out ineffectively with her own blade. "They're not evil!"

"You could have fooled me!" Valeros rolled aside as claws gouged stone like bread dough, leaving deep furrows. He barely blocked a second strike with his shield. "Cayden's cup, how do we hurt these things?"

How indeed? Seoni raised her staff, then hesitated. Would fire even touch these stone monstrosities? Or lightning?

Best to be safe. She let her eyes defocus, turning her sight inward—down inside herself, to the roiling core. Across her skin, tattoos flared to life, their blue light feeding back into her, running like ley lines into her soul.

For Ezren, magic was a memory—the struggle to record and remember, his wizardry dry and academic. For Kyra, it was channeling the power the divine, making herself a vessel for the sun goddess's holy flame.

For Seoni, it was both of these and neither. The power came to her like a memory, but it was not her memory. The power that filled her was not a god's, but her own people's, a thousand generations flowing through her veins. With it came their whispers—shards of lives she'd never lived, voices long since turned to dust. Uncounted faces staring back from inside her.

Sigils blazed in the air before her. They spun around her hands, then shot forward like darts, smashing through the gargoyles' stone flesh in bloodless explosions. The monsters screamed in shock and pain, banking away from the tower.

Seoni smiled, but only briefly. She'd proved the creatures could be hurt, but her missiles were too weak to take on all of them singlehanded. Wearing them down would take too long, and already the beasts were wheeling around for another pass.

Yet something about the creatures' twisted visages tugged at her memory.

Or maybe not her memory...

Falling back into the shelter of the cathedral's doorway, she closed her eyes. Shutting out the snarls of the enemy and the shouts of her friends, she sought new voices—those flowing through her blood. They surged louder, surrounding her as she asked her silent question.

A storm of images, whirling and chaotic. Faces familiar and foreign, seasons flickering past like lightning. A flash of stone wings. The glint of a blade too bright for steel...

Seoni's eyes snapped open. "Adamantine! They're vulnerable to adamantine!"

Kyra dodged another claw swipe and looked over at her, her own eyes wide. "Those blades in the crypt! The ones the knights were buried with!"

"Then what are we waiting for?" Through bruises and blood, Valeros grinned. "Looks like the church is going to make a donation to us for a change!"

If you liked this week's Iconic Encounter, be sure to check back next Thursday for another new entry in the series. Until then, Pathfinders, may the power of your ancestors flow through your veins.

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Iconic Encounters Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Seoni Sorcerers
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Neat!

Love the imagery of Seoni using her heritage to power her magic!

As always, great reading your work, Sutter!

:D

Carry on!

--C.

<edit>I like the portrayal of the gargoyles in the art, too. And how ethereal Seoni's magic missile(?) look!


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Huh...she can look into the past? That's an interesting feature.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another enjoyable vignette, curious about what it means for sorcerer.

My only point of confusion is that, a glint of a blade too bright for steel sounds like an odd way to describe adamantine, since isn't adamantine supposed to be a black metal?


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Speculation: The Imperial Bloodline gets a new power that is related to Recall Knowledge.


Maybe one that lets you reroll a check you've already failed?

Liberty's Edge

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I like this one. In terms of new mechanics, the only real possibility seems to be something involving the Imperial Bloodline and knowledge or memories or something like that. Which seems quite plausible.

Shadow Lodge

I'm going to have to assume her braids are always just out of the camera shot, aren't I.


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VERY nice to see the whole idea of magical bloodlines getting picked at a bit.


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I think she used Hypercognition. 3rd level Occult Spell in the PT, and requires a verbal component (she asked a question to herself). So maybe they’re gonna share some more spells between the spell lists? I believe Arcane and Occult share the ‘Mental Essence’ so it would make sense for the spell to be in both lists. It could also be a Power, but i don’t know why it’d be tied to Imperial Bloodline over the others.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
MusicAddict wrote:
My only point of confusion is that, a glint of a blade too bright for steel sounds like an odd way to describe adamantine, since isn't adamantine supposed to be a black metal?

This confused me also.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I think she used Hypercognition. 3rd level Occult Spell in the PT, and requires a verbal component (she asked a question to herself). So maybe they’re gonna share some more spells between the spell lists? I believe Arcane and Occult share the ‘Mental Essence’ so it would make sense for the spell to be in both lists. It could also be a Power, but i don’t know why it’d be tied to Imperial Bloodline over the others.

I think the story did a rather good job of explaining why it would be tied to the Imperial Bloodline. Answers from the ancestors and all that.

Hypercognition could have been made arcane, as it fits the mental essence, but in general they have acknowledged the arcane list already has too many spells.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Could it be as simple as she takes an action to recall knowledge on these creatures?

Great storytelling, thank you.


Captain Morgan wrote:


I think the story did a rather good job of explaining why it would be tied to the Imperial Bloodline. Answers from the ancestors and all that.

I agree 100%. It feels very natural how it played out. I can picture it working similarly for Aberrant, Angelic and Demonic bloodlines just as well. I just don't see a direct link aside from good writing; but i can be wrong on that. Just playing Devils' Advocate on the idea is all.

Captain Morgan wrote:


Hypercognition could have been made arcane, as it fits the mental essence, but in general they have acknowledged the arcane list already has too many spells.

This is a very good point that i certainly missed, and can agree with. Personally i hope the lists share the generic and keep the specific. i.e. share Hypercognition but not Soothe or Arcane Missile; but that's just my opinion on that.

In the end it fuels the fires of anticipation till we can find out in just over another month. :3


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
In the end it fuels the fires of anticipation till we can find out in just over another month. :3

Wait, "just over another month"? The CRB comes out in August...?

Anyways...

James, I love how you're depicting magic in these vignettes - each of the classes feels very distinct in how they cast spells/use powers, tapping into different resources and concepts - very inspiring!

Personally I feel the gargoyles come across as too construct-like, though - iirc, they have a very tough skin and they look like statues... they aren't stone golems... But I'm basing my interpretation on impressions, mostly from bits of the Iron Gods AP, and furthermore I don't know whether they've changed for 2e. Something else that rubbed me the wrong way was calling them "beasts" when it appears they possess human-like intelligence and have a culture, but I suppose one could call them worse in anger?

I love the new imperial bloodline power - just fantastic.

The illustration is probably my least favorite part (nothing new there). In particular I wonder how is Seoni able to literally dismember a gargoyle with magic missiles...

... although I'm probably too nitpicky today, for some occult reason.

Still a very cool piece of fiction, as always.

Liberty's Edge

Roswynn wrote:
The illustration is probably my least favorite part (nothing new there). In particular I wonder how is Seoni able to literally dismember a gargoyle with magic missiles...

Per the playtest, Gargoyles have only 40 HP. If one's already injured a bit, it dying from 2 Magic Missiles (which can total up to 10 damage) seems plausible. And if they're fighting 5 Gargoyles, Valeros's sword probably does some damage even through their Resistance 6 due to being magic (probably around 7 points per hit), so one being meaningfully damaged is also quite plausible.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
The illustration is probably my least favorite part (nothing new there). In particular I wonder how is Seoni able to literally dismember a gargoyle with magic missiles...
Per the playtest, Gargoyles have only 40 HP. If one's already injured a bit, it dying from 2 Magic Missiles (which can total up to 10 damage) seems plausible. And if they're fighting 5 Gargoyles, Valeros's sword probably does some damage even through their Resistance 6 due to being magic (probably around 7 points per hit), so one being meaningfully damaged is also quite plausible.

By "injured a bit" you mean at 10 hp, DMW, 30 under full health. You use the expression "meaningfully damaged" too, which seems more appropriate. So essentially Seoni is finishing off that gargoyle...

I suppose it could work but it still doesn't convince me. Magic missiles amputating 2 limbs at a time each are not something I'm used to imagine, and it tends to suspend my disbelief. But I know, I'm just nitpicking on an illustration.

I do hope that the production values for 2e tend more towards Wayne Reynolds (and Lie Setiawan, Ekaterina Burmak, Miguel Regodon...) than the otherwise worthy artists illustrating the Encounters, though. Meaning no offense.


I agree that the illustration doesn't really fit either the mechanics of magic missile or the description in the story. One of them also appears to have hit the foreground gargoyle on the way to the background target which also isn't how they work.

That said, I like the picture as art. The missiles look cool, the effect around her hand of casting them and the blue glowing trails.

Silver Crusade

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Best reveal so far?

Kyra is buff and awesome. Meri’s gonna be happy.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I like this one. In terms of new mechanics, the only real possibility seems to be something involving the Imperial Bloodline and knowledge or memories or something like that. Which seems quite plausible.

I mean, the name of the vignette *is* "Whispers in the Blood", so there's that.


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Fantastic James!! This will totally inspire someone interested in being a sorcerer

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm never going to get the image out of my head of Seoni going cross-eyed every time she casts a spell.

But this story was amazing.


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Defocus =/= cross-eyed XD


Roswynn wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
In the end it fuels the fires of anticipation till we can find out in just over another month. :3
Wait, "just over another month"? The CRB comes out in August...

i mean, two months is over a month technically speaking; but yeah, i goofed on that.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


I think the story did a rather good job of explaining why it would be tied to the Imperial Bloodline. Answers from the ancestors and all that.

I agree 100%. It feels very natural how it played out. I can picture it working similarly for Aberrant, Angelic and Demonic bloodlines just as well. I just don't see a direct link aside from good writing; but i can be wrong on that. Just playing Devils' Advocate on the idea is all.

Captain Morgan wrote:


Hypercognition could have been made arcane, as it fits the mental essence, but in general they have acknowledged the arcane list already has too many spells.

This is a very good point that i certainly missed, and can agree with. Personally i hope the lists share the generic and keep the specific. i.e. share Hypercognition but not Soothe or Arcane Missile; but that's just my opinion on that.

In the end it fuels the fires of anticipation till we can find out in just over another month. :3

I feel like I should clarify something: Mark has noted they had issues pairing down the arcane list to something more thematically tight and appropriate to material/mental essence, while still providing its classic legacy spells and enough stuff to make any given school specialist feel ok.

I don't recall him noting they actually were going to take away spells from the arcane list. He identified a problem, not promised a solution. So you could wind up being right about Hypercognition. I just wouldn't bet on it.

Liberty's Edge

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Another possibility is that they've adjusted Bloodline Spells so that Hypercognition is an Imperial Bloodline spell. Possibly as part of normalizing how many Bloodline spells are from other lists between different Bloodlines.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
i mean, two months is over a month technically speaking; but yeah, i goofed on that.

No worries, I have noticed I said magic missiles dismembering gargoyles "suspend my disbelief" instead of "break my suspension of disbelief"... I wonder how many other mistakes I've made just on these forums...

In other news, paring down the arcane spell list sounds like a great idea, most of all to make it fit the material/mental essences concept better. It's not easy to remove the right spells without touching any of the most iconic wizard tricks and at the same time give all specialists enough options and power, but I trust Mark and his team.

If Seoni's portrayed ability is indeed hypercognition and it's an imperial bloodline spell, that's good. If imperial bloodline sorcerers have a power similar to hypercognition but acting in a different way, that works too. I just hope 2e sorcerers are more powerful than in the playtest, about on par with the other spellcasters using the same lists. It doesn't take a lot to bring arcane and occult sorcerers up to speed with wizards and bards imvho, but with divine and primeval sorcerers - the designers had their work cut out for them, I imagine. It will be interesting to see what they added to bring all sorcerers up to par with the other classes. Crossing fingers.


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Roswynn wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
i mean, two months is over a month technically speaking; but yeah, i goofed on that.

No worries, I have noticed I said magic missiles dismembering gargoyles "suspend my disbelief" instead of "break my suspension of disbelief"... I wonder how many other mistakes I've made just on these forums...

In other news, paring down the arcane spell list sounds like a great idea, most of all to make it fit the material/mental essences concept better. It's not easy to remove the right spells without touching any of the most iconic wizard tricks and at the same time give all specialists enough options and power, but I trust Mark and his team.

If Seoni's portrayed ability is indeed hypercognition and it's an imperial bloodline spell, that's good. If imperial bloodline sorcerers have a power similar to hypercognition but acting in a different way, that works too. I just hope 2e sorcerers are more powerful than in the playtest, about on par with the other spellcasters using the same lists. It doesn't take a lot to bring arcane and occult sorcerers up to speed with wizards and bards imvho, but with divine and primeval sorcerers - the designers had their work cut out for them, I imagine. It will be interesting to see what they added to bring all sorcerers up to par with the other classes. Crossing fingers.

Yeah, the trick in my book is too boost the non-arcane (and maybe non-occult) sorcerers up significantly without boosting the arcane ones too much.

And your first bit reminded me of: "my disbelief has not been merely suspended, but hung by the neck until dead." :)


Roswynn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
The illustration is probably my least favorite part (nothing new there). In particular I wonder how is Seoni able to literally dismember a gargoyle with magic missiles...
Per the playtest, Gargoyles have only 40 HP. If one's already injured a bit, it dying from 2 Magic Missiles (which can total up to 10 damage) seems plausible. And if they're fighting 5 Gargoyles, Valeros's sword probably does some damage even through their Resistance 6 due to being magic (probably around 7 points per hit), so one being meaningfully damaged is also quite plausible.

By "injured a bit" you mean at 10 hp, DMW, 30 under full health. You use the expression "meaningfully damaged" too, which seems more appropriate. So essentially Seoni is finishing off that gargoyle...

I suppose it could work but it still doesn't convince me. Magic missiles amputating 2 limbs at a time each are not something I'm used to imagine, and it tends to suspend my disbelief. But I know, I'm just nitpicking on an illustration.

I do hope that the production values for 2e tend more towards Wayne Reynolds (and Lie Setiawan, Ekaterina Burmak, Miguel Regodon...) than the otherwise worthy artists illustrating the Encounters, though. Meaning no offense.

Keep in mind that nowhere in the story does it say she is casting Magic Missile at 1st level. Gargoyles are level 4, so if they are fighting many of them, Seoni is probably level 5. She could be casting 3rd level Magic Missile, firing 6 darts for 21 average damage.


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thejeff wrote:
And your first bit reminded me of: "my disbelief has not been merely suspended, but hung by the neck until dead." :)

XD That's a fun one! I googled a bit and it appears Marion Zimmer Bradley (one of my favorite writers) said something similar which I agree with very much:

Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote:
"Willing suspension of disbelief" does not mean "Hang by the neck until dead".
lordcirth wrote:
She could be casting 3rd level Magic Missile, firing 6 darts for 21 average damage.

Meaning 3-4 damage per hit, just a smidge over a regular knife wound, but in the illustration two missiles tear off the background gargoyle's arm and wing each (one after almost detaching the foreground gargoyle's wing, which thejeff correctly pointed out is not how magic missile works - one missile can't hit more than one target, once).

It's also that I tend to envision this particular spell as creating bludgeoning darts of magic force, hitting like maces or clubs, not cutting off body parts like war axes - but that might just be me, I ignore what the canon says regarding whether they hit more like bludgeons or blades.

I do agree that the party is probably not very low level if they just met a whole band of gargoyles, though.

There's something else I feel we're not discussing, maybe not quite "the elephant in the room" but very interesting still:

Kyra wrote:
"It's no good!" the cleric shouted, lashing out ineffectively with her own blade. "They're not evil!"

The gargoyles aren't evil... perhaps James was under the impression gargoyles are constructs, and as most such beings they're not aligned... but let's hypothesize he got this detail right. Normally 1e gargoyles are evil (please correct me if I'm wrong). The fact these aren't might mean that either gargoyles have changed alignment in 2e, or that while, say, many are still evil, a considerable portion of them are neutral, or even good.

This change in alignment would be consistent with how Sajan's troll sparring partner didn't act in any particularly nefarious matter (he certainly could be evil of course, and just avoid violently lashing out at anything crossing his path, like most intelligent evil beings capable of self-control or lacking any particular violent impulse would). Then there's the fact that fiends are almost universally evil, but they no longer require the direct intervention of a deity to change their ways - it's just a very singular and noteworthy event, but it can happen.

And of course, goblin pcs. Considering having evil pcs is discouraged unless [insert extraordinary alleviating circumstances], the number of non-evil goblins must have certainly grown since 1e.

I might be reading too much into this, but it would be nice imvho if we were moving farther away from monolithic evil with many creatures in 2e (and yes, I do know virtually all species have outliers who don't share their common alignment, but since I ardently dislike categorizing people, races, ancestries etc as good or evil, this would do much to make the option a little more palatable to me. As would any attempt to justify the trope, subvert it, deconstruct it, and so on).

Silver Crusade

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Sutter has used both trolls and gargoyles before, and as one is Humanoid and the other is Monstrous Humanoid neither one have innate alignments such as Undead and Aligned Outsiders.

Liberty's Edge

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Roswynn wrote:
The gargoyles aren't evil... perhaps James was under the impression gargoyles are constructs, and as most such beings they're not aligned... but let's hypothesize he got this detail right. Normally 1e gargoyles are evil (please correct me if I'm wrong). The fact these aren't might mean that either gargoyles have changed alignment in 2e, or that while, say, many are still evil, a considerable portion of them are neutral, or even good.

We actually knew this from the Playtest Bestiary (or would if we'd paid attention...I must admit I didn't), where they are listed without Alignment tags of any sort (I checked after reading this).

But yes, evidence suggests non-specific Alignments for Gargoyles in PF2. I'm tempted to search the PDF for more examples of this, and may even do so, but it'll likely take awhile if I do.

Silver Crusade

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I DID read the Bestiary and the tag system... wasn't exactly user friendly.

(For all that is good and holy I hope if they kept it they sorted the tags by groups rather than alphabetically).


You guys are right, gargoyles aren't evil in the Playtest - I hadn't noticed!

I did notice that goblins, orcs, gnolls, efreet... they're all still tagged as evil. I'm really curious about how the 2e Bestiary will spin the "Always Chaotic Evil" trope without sounding like a Tolkien throwback... if that's the actual intent, of course (which I think it should be).

Liberty's Edge

Roswynn wrote:
I did notice that goblins, orcs, gnolls, efreet... they're all still tagged as evil. I'm really curious about how the 2e Bestiary will spin the "Always Chaotic Evil" trope without sounding like a Tolkien throwback... if that's the actual intent, of course (which I think it should be).

I imagine the same way as PF1 but way more explicit (ie: 'this is the most common Alignment among these creatures, especially the ones you fight, but far from universal.')


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
I did notice that goblins, orcs, gnolls, efreet... they're all still tagged as evil. I'm really curious about how the 2e Bestiary will spin the "Always Chaotic Evil" trope without sounding like a Tolkien throwback... if that's the actual intent, of course (which I think it should be).
I imagine the same way as PF1 but way more explicit (ie: 'this is the most common Alignment among these creatures, especially the ones you fight, but far from universal.')

I think so too, but in that case... perhaps tagging a whole Bestiary entry with the "Evil" keyword might seem a little unfair?


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In the playtest, the "alignment" tags were not a "creature type" tag, but just to show the alignment. A "normal" goblin usually have CE, so his tags contain Chaotic and Evil, but a particular LG goblin NPC would have the tags Loyal and Good. They are primarily there for detect alignment spells, of spells that affect a target differently depending on Alignment. So a creature that have no alignment tag is True Neutral, and if it's missing only one, that part is neutral.
I don't think it should be used to denote any "ingrained" alignment on a creature. In a bestiary, it's the one that PCs usually encounter, and in an adventure stat block, it would be the one valid for that particular instance of that creature.

Silver Crusade

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That is exceedingly confusing.

Contributor

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Thanks for the comments, everyone! Glad you're all enjoying these, and I love watching you puzzle out which aspects of the game we're focusing on. :D


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Rysky wrote:
That is exceedingly confusing.

Is it more confusing than creatures that are overwhelmingly of one alignment not being given an alignment in the listing, since they're not all that way. Maybe only having a comment somewhere in the text that mentions they're usually CE.

Liberty's Edge

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Having checked, in terms of Playtest Bestiary Alignments, Goblins have changed from NE to CE, as have Barghests, and Gargoyles are Neutral now.

None of the other creatures listed had alignment changes I noticed, though I don't have every PF1 creature's alignment memorized.

Roswynn wrote:
I think so too, but in that case... perhaps tagging a whole Bestiary entry with the "Evil" keyword might seem a little unfair?

I think having the most common Alignment listed is fine, as long as they make it very explicit it's just the most common culturally for those who aren't Outsiders or Undead (and not universal even among outsiders and undead).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Having checked, in terms of Playtest Bestiary Alignments, Goblins have changed from NE to CE, as have Barghests, and Gargoyles are Neutral now.

None of the other creatures listed had alignment changes I noticed, though I don't have every PF1 creature's alignment memorized.

Roswynn wrote:
I think so too, but in that case... perhaps tagging a whole Bestiary entry with the "Evil" keyword might seem a little unfair?
I think having the most common Alignment listed is fine, as long as they make it very explicit it's just the most common culturally for those who aren't Outsiders or Undead (and not universal even among outsiders and undead).

I'm hoping that the "build NPCs for their role in the story" approach will help solidify this idea. The sickly runt orc who never fights, gets bullied and tormented by his tribe, and decides to help the captured PCs escape shouldn't have stats have the stats of an orc warrior (or PC), nor should he share their alignment.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Having checked, in terms of Playtest Bestiary Alignments, Goblins have changed from NE to CE, as have Barghests, and Gargoyles are Neutral now.

None of the other creatures listed had alignment changes I noticed, though I don't have every PF1 creature's alignment memorized.

Roswynn wrote:
I think so too, but in that case... perhaps tagging a whole Bestiary entry with the "Evil" keyword might seem a little unfair?
I think having the most common Alignment listed is fine, as long as they make it very explicit it's just the most common culturally for those who aren't Outsiders or Undead (and not universal even among outsiders and undead).

I hope they list that elsewhere than the Tags, and save those for overwhelming/innate Alignment.

For most things in the bestiary we can infer their alignment and actions simply by reading their lore/ecology (one of the stated goals, I believe, was to avoid 1 sentence writeups for monsters in 2e), whereas Bandits 1-5 in area 2 room 3 you can list their Alignment.


Having looked up the 1st Edition versions of Gargoyle and Detect Evil again, Gargoyles are on the low end of the hit dice range for Detect Evil to detect them, even when they are perfectly average. If 2nd Edition moved the hit dice range up by 1 or Gargoyle hit dice down by 1(*), then the average Gargoyle wouldn't be detectable with Detect Evil.

(*)The latter possibility would square better with Magic Missile being able to do major damage to them, although a low-to-mid-level Magic Missile still seems insufficient to replicate what is shown in the artwork.


Roswynn wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
i mean, two months is over a month technically speaking; but yeah, i goofed on that.

No worries, I have noticed I said magic missiles dismembering gargoyles "suspend my disbelief" instead of "break my suspension of disbelief"... I wonder how many other mistakes I've made just on these forums...

In other news, paring down the arcane spell list sounds like a great idea, most of all to make it fit the material/mental essences concept better. It's not easy to remove the right spells without touching any of the most iconic wizard tricks and at the same time give all specialists enough options and power, but I trust Mark and his team.

If Seoni's portrayed ability is indeed hypercognition and it's an imperial bloodline spell, that's good. If imperial bloodline sorcerers have a power similar to hypercognition but acting in a different way, that works too. I just hope 2e sorcerers are more powerful than in the playtest, about on par with the other spellcasters using the same lists. It doesn't take a lot to bring arcane and occult sorcerers up to speed with wizards and bards imvho, but with divine and primeval sorcerers - the designers had their work cut out for them, I imagine. It will be interesting to see what they added to bring all sorcerers up to par with the other classes. Crossing fingers.

Sorry, I know we’re way past this but I honestly felt that the primal spell list was solidly better than the occult and poor, poor divine list. As far as the powers went the fae bloodline powers weren’t fantastic but I think they were still generally better than the arcane bloodlines’ and aberrant powers, which only really compliment one build. Arcane pretty much wins just for the sake of the spell list.

Though further discussion of this, if absolutely necessary, should be elsewhere. Or just look over the playtest threads where this got talked about extensively. Sorry for the interruption, I haven’t been on the forum for a bit.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Another possibility is that they've adjusted Bloodline Spells so that Hypercognition is an Imperial Bloodline spell. Possibly as part of normalizing how many Bloodline spells are from other lists between different Bloodlines.

I hadn’t thought of this. I actually really like this idea.


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I would hope that alignment in bestiaries only applies to outsiders and other things that are innately tied to alignments. Any other generalisations really take away from Pathfinders direction to Show that intelligent cultures are always complex.
Why introduce Core Goblins but still list the average Goblin as CE? It would also make it much easier for new Players to see which creatures are inherently evil due to their nature.

Liberty's Edge

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DerNils wrote:

I would hope that alignment in bestiaries only applies to outsiders and other things that are innately tied to alignments. Any other generalisations really take away from Pathfinders direction to Show that intelligent cultures are always complex.

Why introduce Core Goblins but still list the average Goblin as CE? It would also make it much easier for new Players to see which creatures are inherently evil due to their nature.

The problems with this are twofold:

#1: Nothing is actually 'inherently evil due to its nature'. Outsiders come a lot closer than mortals to this, but there are explicit canonical examples of fiends rising and becoming Good, as well as of Celestials falling to Evil. Those are rarer than exceptions among mortals, and should be noted as such, but nothing is written in stone regarding creature alignments.

#2: If you're not gonna list NPCs and monsters with Alignments, you might as well ditch them entirely. They are not, primarily, a player tool. They are a tool to make the GM's life easier by giving them advice on how to roleplay a particular creature. If such advice is no longer given, Alignment ceases to serve much of a useful function and should probably be removed.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
DerNils wrote:

I would hope that alignment in bestiaries only applies to outsiders and other things that are innately tied to alignments. Any other generalisations really take away from Pathfinders direction to Show that intelligent cultures are always complex.

Why introduce Core Goblins but still list the average Goblin as CE? It would also make it much easier for new Players to see which creatures are inherently evil due to their nature.

The problems with this are twofold:

#1: Nothing is actually 'inherently evil due to its nature'. Outsiders come a lot closer than mortals to this, but there are explicit canonical examples of fiends rising and becoming Good, as well as of Celestials falling to Evil. Those are rarer than exceptions among mortals, and should be noted as such, but nothing is written in stone regarding creature alignments.

#2: If you're not gonna list NPCs and monsters with Alignments, you might as well ditch them entirely. They are not, primarily, a player tool. They are a tool to make the GM's life easier by giving them advice on how to roleplay a particular creature.

In PF2 they are increasingly a tool indicating whether and how to apply good/evil/law/chaos typed damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
In PF2 they are increasingly a tool indicating whether and how to apply good/evil/law/chaos typed damage.

This is nonsensical. Nothing in the new edition has changed how you roleplay a CE creature, or a LG one. There are mechanical impacts, but no more than in PF1.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
In PF2 they are increasingly a tool indicating whether and how to apply good/evil/law/chaos typed damage.
This is nonsensical. Nothing in the new edition has changed how you roleplay a CE creature, or a LG one. There are mechanical impacts, but no more than in PF1.

It truly is nonsensical to think anything I wrote concerned roleplaying.

Aligned damage is more common and accessible than in PF1. To rule on that, you need to know the alignment of the target. Therefore stat blocks need to include alignment, and DerNils hope that a Bestiary with statblocks won't include alignments for most creatures is in vain.

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