Tales of Lost Omens

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Now that we've concluded our Iconic Evolutions video series, I'm sure all of our readers are eagerly awaiting news of what exciting content we'll be sharing on Tuesdays going forward. Have no fear, brave Pathfinders, for I've got you covered!

Starting next week, hot on the heels of what's sure to be the best PaizoCon yet, we'll be showing the first of the new regions of the Pathfinder setting as presented in the Lost Omens World Guide, coming out on August 1. These 10 meta-regions are geographically contiguous and thematically linked sections of the Inner Sea region, each intended to be a bit more accessible to new players and Game Masters than the previous 40+ nations presented in the Inner Sea World Guide.

Cartography by Rob McCaleb

In addition to new groupings of neighboring nations, we've also updated the "status quo" of the setting to incorporate the effects of the past 12 years of adventures. We'll share a few of these changes every Tuesday until August, giving you a glimpse of the state of the world in 4719 AR and beyond. Don't worry, though, we'll do our best not to spoil past APs for those still finishing up their First Edition campaigns, and we'll leave plenty of reveals for August when you can read the full book yourselves.

Illustration by David Alvarez

For fans of the Iconic Encounters series of flash fiction we've tied to the weekly Iconic Evolution videos, we'll be continuing that with a piece starring Fumbus on Thursday of this week, and then continuing the flash fiction trend with a new series beginning next week: Tales of Lost Omens. These pieces are slightly longer than James Sutter's Iconic Encounters, but are still closely tied (as best we could) to an epic piece of art from the forthcoming Lost Omens World Guide. Fans of past Pathfinder Tales novels will be happy to know that we've gotten some of our most prolific authors to return for this series, so stay tuned!

Let us know in the comments or at PaizoCon this weekend what you've thought of the Iconic Evolutions, Iconic Encounters, and other preview content we've featured over the last few months here on the blog. We've been really pleased with the level of engagement on both series so far, and hope that varying the format a bit will keep things fresh and exciting for the coming months.

I've got lots of PaizoCon preparation to get to, so I'll wrap this up, but I look forward to seeing everyone at the con and then showing off our first region next week. Until then, Pathfinders, may your wayfinders always point toward adventure!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder World Guides Tales of Lost Omens Web Fiction
151 to 200 of 216 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
You're right, it was foolish to secede from a fascist country ruled by a noble house dedicated to literally the devil and hell and patrolled by "knights" whose only interests are torturing rebels, eradicating ethnic minorities, and so on. The historical revisionism and chattel slavery are charming as well. What were the Ravens thinking?
Not only was it foolish to leave the regime unchallenged on its home ground, since that means reconquest in some form is only a matter of time, "screw you, got mine" is also a morally repugnant attitude.

I can think of lots of countries that broke away to not get reconquered in "only a matter of time" and in fact live in one.

Shadow Lodge

Cori Marie wrote:
I can think of lots of countries that broke away to not get reconquered in "only a matter of time" and in fact live in one.

San Francisco has in fact been conquered a number of times, but most applicably, Alta California broke away from the Mexicans only to ransom themselves to the Americans in short order because the Americans sent an army. It was only ever about as independent as Panama was in 1903.

Just across the border, Utah and Arizona (then part of New Mexico) have both indulged in separatism at various points in their history. Their attempts were put down by main force, and good riddance. California has also had to put down several attempts at dividing the state.

But that's California. Ravounel's circumstances are different: notably, the rump empire from which it broke away actually styles itself as an empire and doesn't even pretend to be squeamish about military conquest. California was also far more powerful relative to any of its putative overlords at almost all times in its history than Ravounel is or can ever be relative to Cheliax. Ravounel's only protections are 1) a legal covenant the protection of which its own internal politics could shred at any time and 2) the revolution in Cheliax of which it has washed its hands by opting for separatism. Hence, reconquest is only a matter of time.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I was thinking of the country, not the city. America broke away from an empire that was also not squeamish about military conquest, and as far as I know, the British still haven't reconquered us.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
2) the revolution in Cheliax of which it has washed its hands by opting for separatism. Hence, reconquest is only a matter of time.

There's a huge difference between public policy and what people actually do. Given the nature and origin of Ravounel, I'd be deeply shocked if they weren't subtly supporting every possible revolutionary element in Cheliax. Attacking Cheliax subtly in no way breaks the contract protecting them, and while Abrogail might be willing to violate it over a direct military threat, she can't and won't over espionage.

I agree that the situation isn't sustainable without the eventual collapse of Cheliax in its current form, but I don't think Cheliax's situation is sustainable either. They're in a very unstable situation, and Ravounel playing a waiting game and hoping Cheliax falls apart before it can reabsorb them is a reasonable, though risky, strategy. Heck, just by existing they erode Cheliax's authority in several important ways, and have a safe base to incite further destabilization efforts.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

One setting change that is interesting going forward is that it's now effectively impossible to economically isolate anyone, since Oprak has reliable large scale artifact based teleportation magic and is looking for markets and to buy your stuff.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
One setting change that is interesting going forward is that it's now effectively impossible to economically isolate anyone, since Oprak has reliable large scale artifact based teleportation magic and is looking for markets and to buy your stuff.

And steal your beer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
There's a huge difference between public policy and what people actually do. Given the nature and origin of Ravounel, I'd be deeply shocked if they weren't subtly supporting every possible revolutionary element in Cheliax. Attacking Cheliax subtly in no way breaks the contract protecting them, and while Abrogail might be willing to violate it over a direct military threat, she can't and won't over espionage.

Honestly, I'd be kind of surprised if that wasn't a pretty common result among parties that finished the AP. (Ours definitely finished the campaign intending to do everything they can to subtly undermine Cheliax and make plans to eventually take the revolution to the whole country.) Ravounel being a separate country now in no way precludes that, and in fact provides them with a pretty decent--albeit still somewhat unstable--base with which to do so. Nothing written in the AP really indicates one way or the other, but "Ravounel continues to help those still stuck in Cheliax and covertly assist those working against the throne there" seems just as reasonable a conclusion to me as them washing their hands of the whole business--if not more so, since Cheliax would certainly still be a concern for them.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
But that's California. Ravounel's circumstances are different: notably, the rump empire from which it broke away actually styles itself as an empire and doesn't even pretend to be squeamish about military conquest. California was also far more powerful relative to any of its putative overlords at almost all times in its history than Ravounel is or can ever be relative to Cheliax. Ravounel's only protections are 1) a legal covenant the protection of which its own internal politics could shred at any time and 2) the revolution in Cheliax of which it has washed its hands by opting for separatism. Hence, reconquest is only a matter of time.

Have you... actually played or ran Hell's Rebels? Because Ravounel's position is a LOT stronger then that. Namely, barring a complete renegotiation of the Chelish Covenant - an action that is likely to come at great cost to the Thrune family - Cheliax cannot take any military action against the Ravounel region at all. The follow-up treaty between the two countries could, theoretically, be "shredded", but it doesn't supercede the Kintargo Contract; that protection remains in place.

And even Cheliax can't afford to be seen as a nation that casually disregards its treaties. While the Queen is very evil, she's certainly not dumb; having Ravounel as a contractually-obligate trading partner is much more advantageous to her than the alternative. Sure, she could provoke Nidal into attacking Ravounel... but what would she have to give Nidal to get them to agree? How much of Ravounel would she lose?

Now, fully admittedly: The Silver Ravens started their rebellion in ignorance of the Kintargo Contract, and that was potentially foolish. Basically, if the Kintargo Contract had not existed they would have been doomed.

But it does exist, so their situation is a lot stronger than you make it out to be.


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

Those of you bothering to engage Zimmerwald on this topic, may I direct you to this little tete a tete from February?

"Enter no conflict against fanatics unless you can defuse them."

Shadow Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
There's a huge difference between public policy and what people actually do. Given the nature and origin of Ravounel, I'd be deeply shocked if they weren't subtly supporting every possible revolutionary element in Cheliax. Attacking Cheliax subtly in no way breaks the contract protecting them, and while Abrogail might be willing to violate it over a direct military threat, she can't and won't over espionage.

What revolutionary elements in Cheliax? The revolutionary movement in Cheliax was just drowned in blood, and will not recover for a generation. That's how these things work. 19th-century France and Poland, archetypal lands of revolution, went about twenty years between uprisings. This can be seen from the Adventurer's Guide: in Westcrown, the Children of Westcrown are apparently extinct, or at least unworthy of note compared to the Johnny-come-latelies of the New Council of Thieves. With which the SRs are described as allying. Presumably the CoW were destroyed in Hell Comes to Westcrown.

The only other group within Cheliax with which the SRs are described as allying is the Bellflower Network, which does not have revolutionary ambitions and even if it did, is organized in such a way that it cannot realize them.

They aren't even described as allying with the White Thistles in Pezzack which is practically a sister group as described, or the storm giants in Thuryan (who have Eagle Knight support).

MaxAstro wrote:
Have you... actually played or ran Hell's Rebels? Because Ravounel's position is a LOT stronger then that. Namely, barring a complete renegotiation of the Chelish Covenant - an action that is likely to come at great cost to the Thrune family - Cheliax cannot take any military action against the Ravounel region at all. The follow-up treaty between the two countries could, theoretically, be "shredded", but it doesn't supercede the Kintargo Contract; that protection remains in place.

I've only read it, but the only thing Thrune needs to do to render the Kintargo Contract a practical nullity is somehow suborn three of the members of the Board of Governors and then have them deny their assent to the next Lord-Mayor of Kintargo. Without a Lord-Mayor to renew the last Lord-Mayor's decree against Cheliax moving soldiers into Ravounel, there would be nothing stopping Cheliax from reconquering Ravounel.

Or they could assassinate the last Urvis or the last Mayhart, or both, so that the Board of Governors doesn't have a quorum, which would accomplish the same thing.

We know this because that's been the status quo for the seventy-five years leading up to 4715, and that status quo has allowed Thrune a completely free hand.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean, you're assuming that the Silver Ravens did not insist on amending the Kintargo Contract in order to modernize the way Kintargo chooses a Board of Governors and a Lord-Mayor as a concession during their talks with Cheliax.

Book 6 does explicitly say that Nereza is willing to cede basically anything minor which does not impact her key 5 issues, so getting her to agree to that was easy under the guise of "ensuring that questions of succession and leadership can be resolved in an orderly and lawful manner" was basically trivial.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:

What revolutionary elements in Cheliax? The revolutionary movement in Cheliax was just drowned in blood, and will not recover for a generation. That's how these things work. 19th-century France and Poland, archetypal lands of revolution, went about twenty years between uprisings. This can be seen from the Adventurer's Guide: in Westcrown, the Children of Westcrown are apparently extinct, or at least unworthy of note compared to the Johnny-come-latelies of the New Council of Thieves. With which the SRs are described as allying. Presumably the CoW were destroyed in Hell Comes to Westcrown.

The only other group within Cheliax with which the SRs are described as allying is the Bellflower Network, which does not have revolutionary ambitions and even if it did, is organized in such a way that it cannot realize them.

They aren't even described as allying with the White Thistles in Pezzack which is practically a sister group as described, or the storm giants in Thuryan (who have Eagle Knight support).

They weren't allied with those organizations prior to having a country. Now that they have one, they are in a much better position to make such alliances. Assuming they will not do so strikes me as completely unrealistic, given the likely ideology of the leaders of Ravounel.

Likewise, I'd be shocked if they don't make covert alliances to undermine Cheliax with Andoran and the like. An alliance between those two nations intelligence organs seems as inevitable as it is useful even if the nations themselves must remain publicly uninvolved.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

I've only read it, but the only thing Thrune needs to do to render the Kintargo Contract a practical nullity is somehow suborn three of the members of the Board of Governors and then have them deny their assent to the next Lord-Mayor of Kintargo. Without a Lord-Mayor to renew the last Lord-Mayor's decree against Cheliax moving soldiers into Ravounel, there would be nothing stopping Cheliax from reconquering Ravounel.

Or they could assassinate the last Urvis or the last Mayhart, or both, so that the Board of Governors doesn't have a quorum, which would accomplish the same thing.

We know this because that's been the status quo for the seventy-five years leading up to 4715, and that status quo has allowed Thrune a completely free hand.

Uh...I think you need to re-read. What the Kintargo Contract states is that Cheliax needs the explicit permission of the Lord Mayor to do things in Ravounel. They got around that for 75 years by deciding who that was and ordering them to give permission.

If they remove the Lord Mayor or the ability to elect a new one legitimately, they lose the ability to ever legitimately act against Ravounel since the Lord Mayor cannot then give them permission.

Or to put it another way: The default is that they can do nothing with Ravounel. They need a Lord Mayor they control to change that. Simply not having a Lord Mayor results in Cheliax (or at least House Thrune) getting completely screwed.

Getting control of the electors is possible, but as PossibleCabbage notes there are ways around that.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...I think you need to re-read. What the Kintargo Contract states is that Cheliax needs the explicit permission of the Lord Mayor to do things in Ravounel. They got around that for 75 years by deciding who that was and ordering them to give permission.

"If a lord-mayor is not officially appointed and ratified by the Board of Governors, neither House Thrune nor its allies need permission from the lord-mayor to take military action within the region. Since the Board of Governors hasn't been active for decades (the tradition was abandoned by the city a few years after Abrogail I's death), Lord-Mayor Jilia Bainilus wasn't officially the city's lord-mayor, and thus when Barzillai Thrune took over the city during the Night of Ashes, his actions did not imperil the contract. However, if properly ratified lord-mayor denies House Thrune permission to intercede, any direct military action against Kintargo or its associated holdings in Ravounel by Cheliax or the Church of Asmodeus terminates the Cheliax Covenant, removing Hell's support of the nation of Cheliax."

That's what it says. Now, in the contract, it would absolutely be defined if permission maintains, but we don't have that information. Is it:
A) The previous ratified lord-mayor gave permission so that permission is what stayed when there was no longer a ratified lord-mayor

or

B) There was no ratified mayor in place so it defaults to 'permission granted'

Its hard to say. Abrogail I wrote this as her escape plan, so what was her intent? Did she ever care about the ramifications of her not being the Lord-mayor of Kintargo when this happened?

Given that the Kintargo Contract is a fiendish contract that acts as an addendum to the Cheliax Compact, I can see no way Ravounel gets Cheliax to alter the documentation without Cheliax leveraging something out of it.

The Silver Ravens should have provoked Abrogail II into invading Kintargo and plunging Cheliax into a Civil War just to end it, even at the expense of the Silver City. (That's not what my players did, but that's about the only solution that really seems to hold up after there isn't a group of 17th level adventurers to enforce Ravounel's will.)

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, you're assuming that the Silver Ravens did not insist on amending the Kintargo Contract in order to modernize the way Kintargo chooses a Board of Governors and a Lord-Mayor as a concession during their talks with Cheliax.

They couldn't possibly. Ravounel's state is a third-party beneficiary of a contract between House Thrune and Hell, it is not a party to either the Cheliax Covenant or its addendum the Kintargo Contract. As such, it cannot renegotiate its terms. At best it could bargain a separate agreement that obligates House Thrune to renegotiate the terms of the Kintargo Contract with Hell, but 1) it has no power to hold House Thrune to such an agreement and 2) it would have to give up just about every chip it had to even get such a phantom agreement.

Quote:
Book 6 does explicitly say that Nereza is willing to cede basically anything minor which does not impact her key 5 issues, so getting her to agree to that was easy under the guise of "ensuring that questions of succession and leadership can be resolved in an orderly and lawful manner" was basically trivial.

This is by no means minor! First, any check on popular power within Ravounel is a good thing from Cheliax's point of view, because independent institutions are institutions Cheliax can exploit to gain influence. Second, as I've already explained, this particular institution can be exploited to undermine Ravounel's precarious autonomy. If I can spot this, you can be damned sure one or more of Thrune's flunkies would have.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
They weren't allied with those organizations prior to having a country.

The SRs didn't exist until shortly before the country did. This is mere coincidence.

Quote:
Likewise, I'd be shocked if they don't make covert alliances to undermine Cheliax with Andoran and the like. An alliance between those two nations intelligence organs seems as inevitable as it is useful even if the nations themselves must remain publicly uninvolved.

And this is state policy, the thing which you said earlier you weren't interested in talking about. And which is probably precluded by Ravounel's military alliance (properly so called, in the AP) with Cheliax.

Quote:
Uh...I think you need to re-read.

No, I don't. Kasoh explains why.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kasoh wrote:

That's what it says. Now, in the contract, it would absolutely be defined if permission maintains, but we don't have that information. Is it:

A) The previous ratified lord-mayor gave permission so that permission is what stayed when there was no longer a ratified lord-mayor

or

B) There was no ratified mayor in place so it defaults to 'permission granted'

Its hard to say. Abrogail I wrote this as her escape plan, so what was her intent? Did she ever care about the ramifications of her not being the Lord-mayor of Kintargo when this happened?

Given that the Kintargo Contract is a fiendish contract that acts as an addendum to the Cheliax Compact, I can see no way Ravounel gets Cheliax to alter the documentation without Cheliax leveraging something out of it.

The Silver Ravens should have provoked Abrogail II into invading Kintargo and plunging Cheliax into a Civil War just to end it, even at the expense of...

Huh. Interesting. Elsewhere in the AP it says several things that imply otherwise, and I admit I was doing a quick-ish skim. Still, the way things are phrased seems to point towards Case A being the default, especially because I doubt Abrogail I wanted to be assassinated, which is the logical way to deal with her if Case B applies.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
The SRs didn't exist until shortly before the country did. This is mere coincidence.

Well, yes, but their youth as a group is sort of more of a reason for them to make new allies in the future, rather than a reason they would never seek out new ones.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
And this is state policy, the thing which you said earlier you weren't interested in talking about. And which is probably precluded by Ravounel's military alliance (properly so called, in the AP) with Cheliax.

Uh...I never said that. And the military alliance is exactly why I noted there could be no public alliance between Andoran and Ravounel. I instead suggested that an alliance between their intelligence agencies specifically, even if informal, would be almost inevitable.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
No, I don't. Kasoh explains why.

I was wrong here, but your interpretation isn't as strongly supported as you seem to think it is.

Silver Crusade

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

Hey kids, you still haven't learned that "Hell's Rebels should have been a tale of communist revolt against the feudal system resulting in a North Korea, just nicer" is a hill Zimmerwald will die on about as readily as HWalsh did on the "Paladins must be LG" one?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean, one of our Silver Ravens ended up as a CR-19 outsider with all of their memories, having died after activating the Soul Anchor and before Pharasma sends someone to fix the situation, so an easy fix is to just make them Lord-Mayor, what with being effectively immortal (or at least someone who will likely be around longer than Golarion is.)

After putting an immortal being in charge of telling Cheliax "no", then we can just create a separate government for actually administering the state.

Dark Archive

Would CG nation actually want to be ruled over by immortals unless everyone there is immortal though? ._.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Would CG nation actually want to be ruled over by immortals unless everyone there is immortal though? ._.

Remove all power from the Immortal Lord-Governor save for the ability to say "no" to Cheliax - this is their only job.


As long as Ravounel is depending upon one Lord-Governor, the hazard exists that Cheliax might figure out a way to corrupt said Lord-Governor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

As long as Ravounel is depending upon one Lord-Governor, the hazard exists that Cheliax might figure out a way to corrupt said Lord-Governor.

Another exploit could be to set up a law that the Lord-GOvernor is not allowed to consent to Cheliaxian involvement. In effect, they are only authorized to say no.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doktor Weasel wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

As long as Ravounel is depending upon one Lord-Governor, the hazard exists that Cheliax might figure out a way to corrupt said Lord-Governor.

Another exploit could be to set up a law that the Lord-GOvernor is not allowed to consent to Cheliaxian involvement. In effect, they are only authorized to say no.

Not relevant to the contract between Asmodeus and Thrune. It doesn't say the Lord-Mayor, subject to any restrictions put on him by the local populace, must consent. It just says a Lord-Mayor, properly appointed via the methods stated in the contract, must consent.

The lesson, as always, is that while Paizo's writers are pretty good at writing adventures, they're fairly bad at politics, economics, and real world history, and that tends to be more true the more ideological the author is. See also all the primogeniture nerds mad about War for the Crown.

Silver Crusade

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

You mean the "nerds" that didn't know there's been more than one type of primogeniture used in history?

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
After putting an immortal being in charge of telling Cheliax "no", then we can just create a separate government for actually administering the state.

Putting aside CorvusMask's objection, what's to stop the immortal, immensely powerful outsider from just exercising power directly? The usual answer is that outsiders are beyond mortal concerns, but this one isn't, as it is a creation of the Soul Anchor and thus retains mortal memories and attachments.

It's also, presumably, Chaotic, and thus not likely to be bound by mere written restraints on its power.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
You mean the "nerds" that didn't know there's been more than one type of primogeniture used in history?

Huh. I just realized I remember faintly that being something that people were raging about, but I don't remember why or what specifically xD Were they Crusader Kings 2 fans who were annoyed about them not differentiating Agnatic Primogeniture and Absolute Primogeniture?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Rysky wrote:
You mean the "nerds" that didn't know there's been more than one type of primogeniture used in history?
Huh. I just realized I remember faintly that being something that people were raging about, but I don't remember why or what specifically xD Were they Crusader Kings 2 fans who were annoyed about them not differentiating Agnatic Primogeniture and Absolute Primogeniture?

As long as it's not Gavelkind.

Worst succession law evar.


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

All I will chip back in to this discussion is that Zimmerwald, a lot of your suggestions of ways Cheliax could mess with Ravounel are feasible, but completely ignore the fact that there is a group of 17th level characters - possibly even mythic 17th level characters - with a vested interest in doing everything possible to ensure none of that ever happens.

Don't underestimate high level characters.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cori Marie wrote:
I was thinking of the country, not the city. America broke away from an empire that was also not squeamish about military conquest, and as far as I know, the British still haven't reconquered us.

You've got the Atlantic ocean, not a land border, though


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

All I will chip back in to this discussion is that Zimmerwald, a lot of your suggestions of ways Cheliax could mess with Ravounel are feasible, but completely ignore the fact that there is a group of 17th level characters - possibly even mythic 17th level characters - with a vested interest in doing everything possible to ensure none of that ever happens.

Don't underestimate high level characters.

One reason Ravounel is gonna be fine is that it is a wealthy country which can feed itself. A bigger reason it's on less shaky ground is that there are 3-5 supremely competent people directly invested in its continued independence and prosperity, who spent the six months of revolutionary period making alliances and building an organization. It's not like they're liable to go home to retire after the AP since "protecting their home" is what the whole thing is about.

I mean, Cheliax is more likely to conquer Andoran in the next few years than Ravounel, since the commanders of the Eagle Knights are only 12th level. But we all know that Cheliax is more likely to collapse from a death of a thousand cuts than "conquer Andoran".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Rysky wrote:
You mean the "nerds" that didn't know there's been more than one type of primogeniture used in history?
Huh. I just realized I remember faintly that being something that people were raging about, but I don't remember why or what specifically xD Were they Crusader Kings 2 fans who were annoyed about them not differentiating Agnatic Primogeniture and Absolute Primogeniture?

As long as it's not Gavelkind.

Worst succession law evar.

And that turns out to be identical to the Salic succession law used in early France by the Merovingians and Carolingians. France was much better off once they got rid of that system.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
One reason Ravounel is gonna be fine is that it is a wealthy country which can feed itself.

In fact it is a poor country which can albeit feed itself. It has a small population, and many of those are recently-emancipated slaves. Most are smallholders or serfs. The general productivity and cultural level of the average person is very low. There is little to no industry. What exists is extractive rather than productive. It is economically backward.

That can all change in a short span of time. A new population of emancipated labor, weakened landed property, and the possibility of exporting to large markets (either [semi]-colonial markets or the Chrlish market, depending on the tariff policy) can serve as spurs to the development of industry. But shortly is not instantaneously. It would take about two decades, given that the pace of social and economic change on Golarion tends to be about twice as slow as on Earth.

Quote:
A bigger reason it's on less shaky ground is that there are 3-5 supremely competent people directly invested in its continued independence and prosperity, who spent the six months of revolutionary period making alliances and building an organization.

For purposes of setting discussion, PC parties should be presumed not to exist. Instructively, the Adventurer's Guide places the important SR NPCs at around 11th level.

But if they are presumed to exist, then Cheliax has at least one posse of high-level characters of its own, given the number of APs set there. This is not an arms race Ravounel wins.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
Not relevant to the contract between Asmodeus and Thrune. It doesn't say the Lord-Mayor, subject to any restrictions put on him by the local populace, must consent. It just says a Lord-Mayor, properly appointed via the methods stated in the contract, must consent.

This is, unfortunately, true.

Xenocrat wrote:
The lesson, as always, is that while Paizo's writers are pretty good at writing adventures, they're fairly bad at politics, economics, and real world history, and that tends to be more true the more ideological the author is. See also all the primogeniture nerds mad about War for the Crown.

This is not. Or at least not in any AP I've read or played (I admit I haven't read through War of the Crown in detail).

Ravounel is not in a stable, secure, and perfectly free state at the end of Hell's Rebels, but that's intentional rather than the result of incomptence.

It's an AP that leaves Cheliax, one of the setting's major villainous nations, intact and with a functioning government. Of course Ravounel is in an unstable and potentially very bad situation long-term. If it weren't, what future adventures would there be surrounding it's existence? Indeed, in the 'Continuing The Campaign' section they suggest a number of ways to have Cheliax attempt to reassert dominance (including sending the PCs from Hell's Vengeance, as well as potentially getting Nidal to invade). This situation being unstable, especially long-term, is very clearly the intent.

But Cheliax is also not in a good place, in terms of likely survival long-term. Indeed, I'd argue it's position as even more precarious given the nations who all agree that Cheliax is a problem.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

Putting aside CorvusMask's objection, what's to stop the immortal, immensely powerful outsider from just exercising power directly? The usual answer is that outsiders are beyond mortal concerns, but this one isn't, as it is a creation of the Soul Anchor and thus retains mortal memories and attachments.

It's also, presumably, Chaotic, and thus not likely to be bound by mere written restraints on its power.

There are two kinds of Chaotic. There's 'I do what I want' and there's philosophically invested in the concept of freedom, and in the case of the CG that's freedom for everyone. PCs from Hell's Rebels are very likely to fall into the second category, and people in the second category, when acting as government officials, are fairly unlikely to actively violate the constraints their authority is under, since those exist to preserve the freedom of others.

I'd expect the Outsider in question to go around generally doing Good rather than sit in a room, but they'd do it as a private citizen, with their only official capacity remaining saying 'No' to Cheliax.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, the Council of Thieves Party is most likely to work with the Silver Ravens, since they're an anti-Thrune outfit. Plus, the Skull & Shackles Party has a bone to pick with Cheliax (and a navy). What PCs can Cheliax be asumed to have in their pocket other than the Hell's Vengeance group (which in our game quit and left Westcrown to the Iomedeans). I mean, the overwhelming majority of AP groups are ostensibly "Good Guys" and "Cheliax" really is one of the major bad guys in the setting and Good Guys tend to oppose bad ones just as a matter of principle.

I feel like "the presence of PCs" is incredibly important for setting discussion since the only ways the setting will change is via authorial input (since this is, of course, fiction) and authors mostly only change things via "an active group of PCs handle it" and are (correctly) hesitant to undo or override something a retired group of PCs has done.

So the only way Ravounel gets annexed is if we set an adventure there, and we're not going to set an adventure for that specific purpose there since Hell's Rebels was a popular adventure path and "undoing it" would upset a lot of people.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
I was thinking of the country, not the city. America broke away from an empire that was also not squeamish about military conquest, and as far as I know, the British still haven't reconquered us.
You've got the Atlantic ocean, not a land border, though

There technically was a relevant land border to the north, if you count the region that later became Canada.

But Ravounel is actually fairly defensible. To invade Ravounel, Cheliax would have to either cross through one of a handful of narrow mountain passes or attack by sea.

Shadow Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ravounel is not in a stable, secure, and perfectly free state at the end of Hell's Rebels, but that's intentional rather than the result of incomptence.

I agree. That intent, however, can be criticized. Because it does not lend itself merely to further adventures in the meantime, but to an end that is inexorable and foreseeable, both in-universe and out. The power disparity is too great.

Quote:
PCs from Hell's Rebels are very likely to fall into the second category, and people in the second category

I disagree, because Paizo felt it necessary to put in an instruction in the Player's Guide saying that PCs should act that way. If they need an instruction, it is not self-evident. And there are numerous examples from the forums of PCs bucking the instruction, whether out of bloody-minded contrarianism or for some other reason.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, the Council of Thieves Party is most likely to work with the Silver Ravens, since they're an anti-Thrune outfit.

Making a massive assumption there. Aside from a single out-of-tone speech in the first adventure, there is nothing in CoT to suggest that its PCs are meant to be an anti-Thrune outfit, and much to suggest the opposite. For instance, their endgame turns out much the same as the SRs: negotiate with the regime for some "screw you, Jack, got mine!" autonomy.

On the other hand, that doesn't invalidate your point. Birds of a feather flock together, even if the feather is yellow rather than red.

Quote:
Plus, the Skull & Shackles Party has a bone to pick with Cheliax (and a navy).

And another "screw you, Jack, got mine!" attitude. All the moreso because they're bloody pirates.

Quote:
What PCs can Cheliax be asumed to have in their pocket other than the Hell's Vengeance group (which in our game quit and left Westcrown to the Iomedeans).

What your group does says nothing about the setting. Nor do the actions of any particular group. That's the point of a shared setting - a set of agreed-upon given circumstances.

But apart from the HV group, they could possibly have the CoT group, the CotCT group, and any number of PFS characters.

Quote:
I mean, the overwhelming majority of AP groups are ostensibly "Good Guys" and "Cheliax" really is one of the major bad guys in the setting and Good Guys tend to oppose bad ones just as a matter of principle.

What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

Quote:
I feel like "the presence of PCs" is incredibly important for setting discussion since the only ways the setting will change is via authorial input (since this is, of course, fiction) and authors mostly only change things via "an active group of PCs handle it" and are (correctly) hesitant to undo or override something a retired group of PCs has done.

You're muddying the waters here. Of course any given setting element will only change once its most obvious story has been told. And this being an RPG setting, the most likely way that happens is by way of an adventure build around that setting element. But that is method. It says nothing about whether a thing will be done, only how.

And the staff demonstrably pick and choose endings to canonize. Every AP contains within it the possibility of PC failure, or partial success, but the PF2 setting can only embody one of the possible outcomes.

Quote:
So the only way Ravounel gets annexed is if we set an adventure there.

Who's the "we" in that sentence? Have you been hired by Paizo at some point?

Silver Crusade

14 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

Yours maybe, you don't speak for everyone. You definitely don't speak for me or any of my groups.

Paizo Employee

8 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

Fortunately, the Pathfinder parties tend to hold themselves to a higher standard ;)

The meta reality of Golarion is that it trends towards powerful heroes rising up, and typically it takes a global threat like Tar-Baphon to actually trim those numbers. Cheliax is fairly familiar with what happens when one of these groups of walking atomic bombs crops up; totally aside from the particulars of canon in any given AP, Razmir is the constant reminder to the entire Inner Sea that any high level character can just start claiming territory until they run into a sufficiently dense number of other high level characters, or a coalition of lower level characters whose numbers give them superior resources to leverage. This is a setting where, canonically, a not-even-20th-level wizard just said "I'm a god" and then flexed enough magic that everyone else just went "Whatever you say, your holiness."

Given that Thrune's own resources have been battered and taxed, their most complacent vassal state (and the territory containing some of their most viable and prosperous trade routes) has never fully recovered from being ravaged by goblins, and that a militant hobgoblin nation now sits astride the trade route to the now-relatively peaceful northern nations that they've been selling war supplies to for over a decade, any expansionist attempts by Cheliax would be hilariously high-risk. They'd be initiating conflict from a position of weakness when their own resources are tenuous and they've already suffered significant losses to high level characters at least twice in the last decade, as well as dealing with internal conflict related to the existence of legitimate heirs who some still might see as viable successors to lead an overthrow against Thrune. A military conflict against Ravounel risks Thrune's grip on the throne at a time where even the Chelish nobility who don't particularly mind worshipping the king of devils might be contemplating a change in regime.

Abrogail is smart enough and experienced enough to bide her time before trying to bring Ravounel back into the fold, in part because she's been around long enough to know that "4-8 humanoids who are each the martial equivalent of a small army" is a potential setback any conqueror needs to be prepared to face. Meanwhile, Ravounel has nearly unrestricted access to the vast wealth and prosperity that can be derived from having nearly unrestricted trade access to Varisia and New Thassilon (and far more people interested in Cheliax remaining weak than in seeing Abrogail consolidate her power and return to conquest.)


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Yours maybe, you don't speak for everyone. You definitely don't speak for me or any of my groups.

I mean, one reason we gravitated to Automatic Bonus Progression is that no one I play with really cares about loot at all - the core aesthetic fantasy is "helping people, and saving the world- or at least making it a better place" (aside from like "spending time with friends doing something that you enjoy doing together", which more or less goes without saying.)


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

Yeah, much of what you've said is just matters of differing opinion, but this is factually, objectively wrong.

Some D&D parties are, but none that I've ever run or been part of - except when I played Skull & Shackles, where that was the whole point. And even then we managed to motivated more by a desire to shake up the existing power structure than by plunder.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
... except when I played Skull & Shackles, where that was the whole point. And even then we managed to motivated more by a desire to shake up the existing power structure than by plunder.

When we played Skull and Shackles the primary motivation for the group was "we have an unreasonable level of hate Captain Harrigan in particular, and would relish seeing him meet a bad end". IIRC, that motivation will carry you through the entire AP. Superficial trappings of "being a pirate" (e.g. "having a parrot", "calling people 'matey'", etc.) were more important to the appeal of that one than loot and plunder.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
I agree. That intent, however, can be criticized.

Certainly. I disagree with your criticisms, however.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Because it does not lend itself merely to further adventures in the meantime, but to an end that is inexorable and foreseeable, both in-universe and out. The power disparity is too great.

This assumes Cheliax survives. An unwarranted assumption, IMO.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
I disagree, because Paizo felt it necessary to put in an instruction in the Player's Guide saying that PCs should act that way. If they need an instruction, it is not self-evident. And there are numerous examples from the forums of PCs bucking the instruction, whether out of bloody-minded contrarianism or for some other reason.

We're talking what will happen in the official setting. As such, we should assume that people follow advice like this, because that's the way the APs are intended to go and thus how they will go canonically.

Indeed, you actually make the same point yourself below, leaving me confused as to what argument you're actually making here.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What your group does says nothing about the setting. Nor do the actions of any particular group. That's the point of a shared setting - a set of agreed-upon given circumstances.

As noted, you're being more than a trifle inconsistent here. I agree with this point, but it directly contradicts one of your own points above it (specifically, it contradicts your references to people not being CG and dedicated to freedom in Hell's Rebels).

Which again, confuses me as to what you're trying to say here.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
But apart from the HV group, they could possibly have the CoT group, the CotCT group, and any number of PFS characters.

A CotCT group who sides with Thrune is vanishingly unlikely. The main villain of that AP is Chelaxian and making deals with devils, on top of being profoundly Evil and unlikeable. Siding with Thrune after beating her is one of the most unlikely possibilities I can imagine. I'd say they're one of the least likely groups to side with Cheliax.

And there are more PFS characters who oppose Cheliax than side with it. By quite a bit.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

I'll just note that I agree completely with others that this is deeply untrue IME. It's certainly not the assumption the APs themselves make, which is the relevant bit for determining how the setting is gonna go.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Who's the "we" in that sentence? Have you been hired by Paizo at some point?

Well, you can always have it retaken in your own game as well, though that doesn't really effect the official setting as such.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, one thing that could be interesting is having an anti-Thrune faction in Cheliax aggressively pursue conquest of Ravounel, on the (false) pretense that the Kintargo contract does not pose an impediment, and then, once the poison clause is triggered, dissolve the House of Thrune when Cheliax is baited into war.

Since honestly, IMO, the most interesting thing to do with Cheliax right now is to just restart the Civil War. We could at least have an "inverse of expected alignments" where Thrune advocates for Ravounel as a friend and ally of Cheliax, and the anti-Thrune factions pursuing a war only to eliminate their political enemies at home.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
One reason Ravounel is gonna be fine is that it is a wealthy country which can feed itself.
In fact it is a poor country which can albeit feed itself. It has a small population, and many of those are recently-emancipated slaves. Most are smallholders or serfs. The general productivity and cultural level of the average person is very low. There is little to no industry. What exists is extractive rather than productive. It is economically backward.

Well, it's not unlikely that Ravounel's liberators own several metric tons worth of magic weapons and armors and amulets and stuff taken from their defeated enemies. A single item of these, sold for money can probably feed the whole country for a year.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This assumes Cheliax survives. An unwarranted assumption, IMO.

It has survived concurrent social and national uprisings, by putting down the former (which is a long-term solution; you're looking at a revival decades down the line at the earliest) and letting go of the latter so that it can't burden the state anymore. The regime is stronger now than it was in 4709 with the launch of PF1. It is not weaker. Do not mistake the loss of state territory for the weakening of central authority.

About the only thing that could possibly be more taxing on the regime than a concurrent social and national uprising is a general war, and Paizo will not write that scenario. They had the chance, and eschewed it.

Quote:
We're talking what will happen in the official setting. As such, we should assume that people follow advice like this, because that's the way the APs are intended to go and thus how they will go canonically.

In the official setting, again, none of the PC parties exist. They certainly aren't assumed to have stuck around to continue influencing events. If they did, the Broken Lands' writeup would be quite different. It could hardly be otherwise, because not all tables will have run all APs, no two tables could possibly have done so with the same characters, and Paizo has even reused iconics from AP to AP even if they were to stand in, they couldn't do so more than once. Hence if we want to talk about the setting, we have to ignore the PCs.

Quote:
As noted, you're being more than a trifle inconsistent here. I agree with this point, but it directly contradicts one of your own points above it (specifically, it contradicts your references to people not being CG and dedicated to freedom in Hell's Rebels).

Something something dialectics ;)

Which again, confuses me as to what you're trying to say here.

Quote:

A CotCT group who sides with Thrune is vanishingly unlikely. The main villain of that AP is Chelaxian and making deals with devils, on top of being profoundly Evil and unlikeable. Siding with Thrune after beating her is one of the most unlikely possibilities I can imagine. I'd say they're one of the least likely groups to side with Cheliax.

Why? Plenty of people in Korvosa besides Ileosa do those things. Encouraging them has been part of the government's Chelification policy since Queen Domina, and they are well-established parts of the culture. And the PCs of CotCT are nothing if not Korvosan chauvinists.

Quote:
And there are more PFS characters who oppose Cheliax than side with it. By quite a bit.

That is not relevant. The question was, in the hypothetical scenario where PCs were assumed to exist in the setting, which of them could possibly be on Cheliax's side in an arms race with Ravounel. Of course the population of one faction among eight (or is it four again? It's been years since I kept up with it) is going to be smaller than all eight. But that one is surely loyal, while the seven can go any which way.

Quote:
I'll just note that I agree completely with others that this is deeply untrue IME. It's certainly not the assumption the APs themselves make, which is the relevant bit for determining how the setting is gonna go.

The tacit assumptions about party motivations and morality vary from AP to AP. Off the top of my head, Second Darkness, Serpent's Skull, Kingmaker, Jade Regent, Skull and Shackles, Mummy's Mask, Shattered Star, Ruins of Azlant, War For the Crown, and to some extent Rise of the Runelords have the PCs motivated at some point, usually (though not in Rise of the Runelords) initially, and to a great if not exclusive degree by the prospect of treasure or reward. Curse of the Crimson Throne presumes a vengeful motivation. Hell's Vengeance presumes an outright Evil party.

Again off the top of my head, the only APs that presume the PCs have a heroic motivation from the get-go, and maintain that assumption all the way through, are Legacy of Fire, Reign of Winter (from a certain point of view), Wrath of the Righteous, and Hell's Rebels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:

The tacit assumptions about party motivations and morality vary from AP to AP. Off the top of my head, Second Darkness, Serpent's Skull, Kingmaker, Jade Regent, Skull and Shackles, Mummy's Mask, Shattered Star, Ruins of Azlant, War For the Crown, and to some extent Rise of the Runelords have the PCs motivated at some point, usually (though not in Rise of the Runelords) initially, and to a great if not exclusive degree by the prospect of treasure or reward. Curse of the Crimson Throne presumes a vengeful motivation. Hell's Vengeance presumes an outright Evil party.

Again off the top of my head, the only APs that presume the PCs have a heroic motivation from the get-go, and maintain that assumption all the way through, are Legacy of Fire, Reign of Winter (from a certain point of view), Wrath of the Righteous, and Hell's Rebels.

Book 3 of legacy of fire is DIRECTLY written with the idea that the pcs may try and sell an artifact they found for personal gain. They hold a banquet to get a possible bidding war going.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
It has survived concurrent social and national uprisings, by putting down the former (which is a long-term solution; you're looking at a revival decades down the line at the earliest) and letting go of the latter so that it can't burden the state anymore. The regime is stronger now than it was in 4709 with the launch of PF1. It is not weaker. Do not mistake the loss of state territory for the weakening of central authority.

I don't. Ravounel is far from the only problem Cheliax has at the moment, and indeed far from the largest. A resurgent Taldor ruled by a Good aligned monarch is a much bigger problem for them than that. As is Oprak's economic powerhouse status and ability to violate borders.

And those leave aside their ongoing issues with Andoran, which are certainly a factor, or their loss of a major naval fleet in Skull and Shackles. Or even Absalom making slavery illegal.

Or the aforementioned ability of anti-Thrune nobles to strongly advocate for attacking Kintargo and possibly even arrange to launch such an attack in a way that breaks the Contract. Something that could easily happen and lead to civil war.

Cheliax is in a very bad position geopolitically, with only the isolationist Nidal as a real ally (Isger is a client state, and not an especially happy one) and more enemies and rivals than you can shake a stick at, plus potential internal problems. Their fall isn't inevitable or imminent, but it's quite likely within a generation or two.

Which is to say within the lifespan of the currently appointed Lord Mayor of Ravounel. Which was my whole point in many ways, since it makes Ravounel's long term prospects much better.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
About the only thing that could possibly be more taxing on the regime than a concurrent social and national uprising is a general war, and Paizo will not write that scenario. They had the chance, and eschewed it.

The fact they haven't written it yet does not mean they will not do so in the future.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
In the official setting, again, none of the PC parties exist. They certainly aren't assumed to have stuck around to continue influencing events. If they did, the Broken Lands' writeup would be quite different. It could hardly be otherwise, because not all tables will have run all APs, no two tables could possibly have done so with the same characters, and Paizo has even reused iconics from AP to AP even if they were to stand in, they couldn't do so more than once. Hence if we want to talk about the setting, we have to ignore the PCs.

This is factually untrue in PF2. The PC parties are assumed to have existed and acted. This is really explicit in several points of the description of the Lost Omens stuff.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Something something dialectics ;)

I do not find this answer compelling, for the record.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Why? Plenty of people in Korvosa besides Ileosa do those things. Encouraging them has been part of the government's Chelification policy since Queen Domina, and they are well-established parts of the culture. And the PCs of CotCT are nothing if not Korvosan chauvinists.

The PCs are assumed to side with CG agitators against precisely these sorts of things, one of their biggest allies is a Varisian and they actively shut down a genocide campaign against Varisians, while making alliances with the Shoanti.

In short, the PCs oppose the goals of the Chelification policy in general about as hard as it's possible to. They can do this for purely pragmatic reasons, but that's a pretty out-there assumption to make given that I'm describing most of the things they do for half the AP.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
That is not relevant. The question was, in the hypothetical scenario where PCs were assumed to exist in the setting, which of them could possibly be on Cheliax's side in an arms race with Ravounel. Of course the population of one faction among eight (or is it four again? It's been years since I kept up with it) is going to be smaller than all eight. But that one is surely loyal, while the seven can go any which way.

The Andoran/Liberty's Edge faction is directly anti-Chelix in the most extreme ways, while many of the others are happy to oppose them more indirectly. Certainly more than want to help them.

Which is what makes it relevant. I said more opposed Cheliax than supported them, not just that more were not part of them than supported them. I very much meant active opposition.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

The tacit assumptions about party motivations and morality vary from AP to AP. Off the top of my head, Second Darkness, Serpent's Skull, Kingmaker, Jade Regent, Skull and Shackles, Mummy's Mask, Shattered Star, Ruins of Azlant, War For the Crown, and to some extent Rise of the Runelords have the PCs motivated at some point, usually (though not in Rise of the Runelords) initially, and to a great if not exclusive degree by the prospect of treasure or reward. Curse of the Crimson Throne presumes a vengeful motivation. Hell's Vengeance presumes an outright Evil party.

Again off the top of my head, the only APs that presume the PCs have a heroic motivation from the get-go, and maintain that assumption all the way through, are Legacy of Fire, Reign of Winter (from a certain point of view), Wrath of the Righteous, and Hell's Rebels.

I strongly disagree with you on many of those. Second Darkness, Jade Regent, War for the Crown, and Mummy's Mask at the very least all sort of fall apart absent PC morality at some stage of things (for example, everything after Chapter 1 in Mummy's Mask falls apart if you are purely motivated by money). A lot start with you being motivated by money, but in few cases does that motivation justify finishing the AP.

Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
Book 3 of legacy of fire is DIRECTLY written with the idea that the pcs may try and sell an artifact they found for personal gain. They hold a banquet to get a possible bidding war going.

This is true. It is also almost the only thing the PCs do for most of the AP that makes sense as purely monetarily motivated.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.
Yours maybe, you don't speak for everyone. You definitely don't speak for me or any of my groups.

Cuz why even have alignment at that point? Not everyone is a chaotic-chaotic murder hobo Zimmer

Shadow Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Which is to say within the lifespan of the currently appointed Lord Mayor of Ravounel. Which was my whole point in many ways, since it makes Ravounel's long term prospects much better.

Life appointments are quite as bad as having a Board of Governors. It means you can't throw the bum out if, say, they were to accept a massive bribe to allow a foreign invasion. It's also uncomfortably close to Caesarism in general.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like the thing that is saving Cheliax (which is otherwise in a lot of trouble from many sides) is that whenever anybody suggests "we should do something about those diabolists" someone in the room will say "yes, but we certainly do not want to overextend ourselves because who knows when Tar-Baphon is going to try something again."

Even ardent Thrunies can say "sure, we're evil... but we are willing and able to fight against the hordes of the undead" and buy themselves some leeway.

But Cheliax also isn't going to devote a lot of effort and resources to reclaiming a territory which was never very loyal, and wasn't even part of Cheliax to begin with, because again... they're with Asmodeus not Urgathoa.


Things to take into a note about both Cheliax and Ravounel's positions at the end of the concurrent adventure paths alongside everything that has happened to advance the timeline.

It should be noted that the Glorious Reclamation was not exactly unsuccessful in disturbing the status quo of oh "Great Devil Riden Cheliax", there's also nothing claiming that survivors of the Reclamation couldn't have slipped over the border to Andoran or fled to some other nation to recover and plot. The Bellflower Network isn't even fully destroyed and after a Thrune success just goes further to ground making their cells harder to track down.

Then we look at their standing with the outside world, Andoran went out of its way to utterly decimate their slaver fleet while their military ships were focused blockading different ports. Absalom has closed its ports to Slavers, and Taldor is once more on the rise so the Inner Sea just became a bit harder for them to find a way through. Now combine that fact with the Shackles devastating one of their military fleets, with an even bigger bone to pick with the devils now, and Rahadoum now being in control of half of the Arch of Aroden through retaking Khari. Isger was planning on having Molthune, Druma or even Andoran take over their client status if the Cheliax fully fell to civil war. They lost forces, territory and shipping lanes all because a single Paladin decided enough was enough and raised an army behind her. Hell an entire Hell Knight order is good as dead.

Say they try and take Ravounel...how would they go about it? Try and march their armies through and easily bottle-necked pass? How about go by sea...oh right the waves surrounding Ravounel are filled with Sea Elves that are now loyal to Kintargo, why not try for assassins then, well fun fact Vyre is now allied with Kintargo and has been the seat of some of the most powerful killers and rogues for some time. And the Silver Ravens do have allies canonically outside of Cheliax, and are trying to foster rebellion elsewhere inside Cheliax their allies include the remainder of the Bellflower Network, the Council of Theives which still survives unmolested in Westcrown, the Eagle Knights, the Scarlet Rose faction of Gray Maidens from Korvasa and numerous religious factions that have no love for Kuthites or Asmodeans, not including the Hell Knight Order that turned tail for the Duchy.

All I can say is we'll learn the truth of what is taking place in Old Cheliax eventually, though I doubt Ravounel is under the control of the Thrice Damned Thrunes.

151 to 200 of 216 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Paizo Blog: Tales of Lost Omens All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.