Eye of Dread

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

One of the most wide-reaching events to become the baseline assumption of the Pathfinder setting between first and second editions is the Whispering Tyrant's escape from his centuries-old prison to once again terrorize the nations of the living. The specifics of how he breaks free from Gallowspire and the direct results of that escape play out in the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path, which wraps up next month with Midwives to Death. Needless to say, things for the lands on Lake Encarthan's western coast are NOT. GOOD.

Illustration by Federico Musetti

As we've hinted at with the name of the most recent set of Pathfinder Battles miniatures, Ruins of Lastwall (available now!), the Knights of Ozem who stood vigil over Gallowspire since the Shining Crusade met an unfortunate end, and are now scattered throughout the Inner Sea region, licking their wounds and trying to muster support for taking the battle back to the Isle of Terror, where Tar-Baphon has made his new headquarters. For more information on what became of Lastwall, check out the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path. Without giving too many spoilers of the whys and hows, I'll just say that what was formerly Lastwall is now the undead-haunted realm known as the Gravelands. Things sound totally awesome there, right?

Illustrations by Mirco Paganessi and Rogier van de Beek

To the south, the conflict between the nations of Molthune and Nirmathas has cooled considerably, thanks to the events of the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path and the advent of a larger threat in the region. Despite the ceasefire between the warring nations, tensions remain high, and agents of the Whispering Way would certainly love to see the people of both nations return to fighting one another rather than directing their military efforts toward the armies of the undead.

Illustration by Ksenia Kozhevnikova

The other notable result of the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path was the establishment of a new hobgoblin nation in the Mindspin Mountains. General Azaersi rules Oprak from the newly founded capital of Hunthul, but the mountains of Golarion's surface aren't the full extent of the fledgling nation's territory. Thanks to a powerful artifact giving the hobgoblins access to the natural resources of the Plane of Earth, the kingdom also stretches into the elemental planes. Azaersi's expansionist tendencies have been redirected toward mercantile growth, and if she gets her way, Oprak could soon become more of an economic threat to its neighbors than it is a military threat.

Illustrations by Fabio Gorla and Rogier van de Beek

With the fall of Lastwall and the rise of the Whispering Tyrant's third period of rule, the orcs of Belkzen have broken from tradition and refused to rally to the lich's side. That places them in the unfortunate role of being among the first bulwarks against the undead's expansion beyond the Gravelands and will try the governing abilities of the region's new ruler, Overlord Ardax the White-Hair. I'm sure a nation of disparate orc tribes will do fine in uniting to quell the burgeoning threat to their south and east. What could go wrong?

Players whose characters hail from this region will find eight new backgrounds including cursed family, onyx trader, and Whispering Way scion, as well as the Lastwall sentry archetype!

Illustration by Ainur Salimova

Be sure to check this spot in two days for the third entry in our ongoing series of Tales of Lost Omens flash fiction when Pathfinder Tales veteran Chris A. Jackson debuts the first of three stories with an exploration of a character cursed by blood to face one of Ustalav's most enigmatic haunts. Next week, we'll follow the Golden Road to see where it might lead your second edition campaigns. Until then, Pathfinders, don't get caught in the Tyrant's grasp!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess they all wrote Very Angry Letters to Marvel once it was blidningly obvious that most of Thanos' decimation from Infinity War will be undone in Endgame.

Oh well. Nerds. Making them happy is a thankless task.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Am I the only one that dislikes nearly all of this?

It's funny, because when the whole rigmarole with PF2E started I was skeptical of the rules and hopeful for the setting, and as time has gone one it has flipped in that I pretty much like all we see of the rules stuff and find the new Golarion status quo meh.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Am I the only one that dislikes nearly all of this?

I mean, obviously not, but that’s to be expected. Change is always a mixed bag.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I love how this description INSISTS that helping the Orcs beat the zombies is the only way to stop The Whispering Tyrant's murder roll. Which would make for a very awkward situation for people who adventured in Belkzan.

PATHFINDER 1 ORCS: "GRRRRRR MURDER! BLOOD! WE ARE THE PERFECT SPECIES! KILL THE WEAK!"

PATHFINDER 2 ORCS: "Um, hey guys, sorry for bothering you...could you maybe, please, help us kill all these zombies? KTHXBYE!"

Liberty's Edge

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

This article SPOILS THE END for the "Tyrant's Grasp" adventure path - NOT COOL!

Telling us that ** spoiler omitted **
kills all my interest in EVER playing or gamemastering that ap.

I think expecting non-Mythic PCs to ever actually destroy Tar-Baphon was a rather unreasonable expectation. Stop him? Sure. Kill him? No.

I honestly assumed the PCs would fail to kill him (but succeed in thwarting him in some fashion) from the day I heard about the AP in question.

CorvusMask wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hmm methinks Oprak will be the most divergent part of the setting for most people that have completed Ironfang invasion and also kind of a weird choice considering the message the forewords were putting out in that Ap
I'm myself surprised of default option in Ironfang in 2e being final boss(? I think?) being diplomaced(would make sense for war for the crown though) since I thought AP kinda encourages being hostile towards hobgoblins, but what is the forewords you mention?

Having some AP end with at least some diplomacy seems reasonably likely, and of those Azaersi is probably the most sympathetic straight-up villain in any AP (if still indisputably Evil). It also makes for a cooler world option than most alternatives.

There's actually a whole section in the final encounter with her about how to get her to agree to peace with Diplomacy (and it's not super hard to do if any of the PCs are Cha-based and smart).

Reckless wrote:
I'm frankly more bothered by New Thassilon and it's assumption that players just roll over for Sorshen's schemes.

Sorshen is basically your most powerful ally in that AP, CN in alignment, and owes you big by the end of it (meaning that her ruling a country is super good for you on both a personal and professional level). Also a 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 character (meaning that the PCs collectively are likely to lose a straight fight with her).

I'd be legitimately shocked if most PCs didn't go with her plan.


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It's not the spoilers that I mind, but having Tar Baphon essentially free on the Isle of Dread after the AP does not seem like a psychologically rewarding payoff. You "defeat him" much in the same manner of a Saturday morning cartoon where the villain gets away after you thwart their plans and plots their revenge for later.

At the very least, I hope there will be an AP for PF2 that involves hunting down his phylacteries and ending him for good. Liches can be fun, but they can also overstay their welcome.

Liberty's Edge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Sorshen is basically your most powerful ally in that AP, CN in alignment, and owes you big by the end of it (meaning that her ruling a country is super good for you on both a personal and professional level). Also a 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 character (meaning that the PCs collectively are likely to lose a straight fight with her).

I'd be legitimately shocked if most PCs didn't go with her plan.

Sorshen is the Runelord of Enchantment, mistress of manipulation, and a shrewd immortal who spends half the AP manipulating the PCs into eliminating her competition.

The PCs are predisposed to see the Runelords as evil, and very unlikely to believe they could see through any attempt by Sorshen to disguise her true nature.

My players will likely see Sorshen as the true BBEG with stopping Alaznist being the necessary step to get enough XP to take her on.

Sorshen once had a chance to help rule a kingdom based on peace and equality. She and the other Runelords chose a different path. Her "redemption" seems more play than honest reform. I don't see anything written in the AP that changes that impression, and my players probably will see her manuevering of them against her enemies as something of a bitter pill.


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So what happens if the PCs in Tyrant's Grasp do manage to permanently end Tar-Baphon forever?

How does that old saying go? "If you give it stats, the PCs will find a way to kill it?"

Dark Archive

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She doesn't do any sort of manipulation though. Like, only thing she asks for return is someone to party with her and afterwards she pretty much gives you everything you needed.

^That would require Tyrant's Grasp to tell true nature of Tyrant's phylactery. Or pcs somehow seal him again which seems unlikely


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The problem with that - and the reason I knew from the get go that Tyrant's Grasp would not end with the destruction of Tar-Baphon - is that his phylactery remains completely unknown.

In fact, none of the material released so far has given me any reason to think that his phylactery will even be revealed anywhere in Tyrant's Grasp.

Without that knowledge, killing him permanently is impossible, even if the PCs could manage to kill him temporarily (which my guess is, the AP will end with them killing Tar-Baphon).

Liberty's Edge

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Reckless wrote:
Sorshen is the Runelord of Enchantment, mistress of manipulation, and a shrewd immortal who spends half the AP manipulating the PCs into eliminating her competition.

Sure is, though I'm not sure 'asking them to stop basd things they want to stop anyway' counts as manipulation per se. She's also, by Word Of God, actually working on her redemption and no longer Evil.

Reckless wrote:
The PCs are predisposed to see the Runelords as evil, and very unlikely to believe they could see through any attempt by Sorshen to disguise her true nature.

This depends strongly on your PCs. Mine would be likely to start out with this opinion, but could be convinced by her actually behaving benevolently.

Reckless wrote:
My players will likely see Sorshen as the true BBEG with stopping Alaznist being the necessary step to get enough XP to take her on.

Okay. I'm pretty sure that's not universal among all people who play that AP, though. Especially once she sets up an actually fairly benevolent kingdom. Or offers the PCs the opportunity to administrate parts of it so they can make it benevolent.

Reckless wrote:
Sorshen once had a chance to help rule a kingdom based on peace and equality. She and the other Runelords chose a different path. Her "redemption" seems more play than honest reform. I don't see anything written in the AP that changes that impression, and my players probably will see her manuevering of them against her enemies as something of a bitter pill.

Seems to who? We, the readers, know for a fact that it's sincere (it's stated OOC to be the case multiple times and her Alignment is listed as CN). It's sort of up to you as a GM to do your best to convince the PCs that it is as well, since that's both true and Sorshen is immensely charming and persuasive.

IME, PCs will respond to an entirely helpful NPC who never betrays them by also not betraying that NPC. Sorshen is very likely to fall into that category if played as written.

You can change that, of course, but it's a non-canonical change to the personality of a listed NPC, not something that should be assumed by published works.

Silver Crusade

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Reckless wrote:
The PCs are predisposed to see the Runelords as evil, and very unlikely to believe they could see through any attempt by Sorshen to disguise her true nature.
Do they dump Sense Motive and PErception?
Quote:
My players will likely see Sorshen as the true BBEG with stopping Alaznist being the necessary step to get enough XP to take her on.
Uh, Alaznist is a Runelord too and the one actually trying to destroy stuff.
Quote:
I don't see anything written in the AP that changes that impression, and my players probably will see her manuevering of them against her enemies as something of a bitter pill.

Her enemies are the PCs' enemies too, she's not sending them out against random targets.

Dark Archive

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Also, Thassilonian WAS still an imperialist empire, even if imperialism was more of "Hey, we are more advanced than you, JOIN US" of deal where they at least initially offered more carrot :p

But yeah, I'm kind of skeptical whenever GMs tell about how they know their players WILL react because my experience as GM is that its not hard to lead players to certain direction on purpose or accidentally :p So GM who is like "Ah yes Sorshen is manipulative schemer" is more likely to make players believe that


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Man, this is reminding me how interesting this is going to be to figure out in my setting, since First King Xin is still alive and there are TWO Sorshens... (Shattered Star went very interestingly for my group XD )

I'm still on the fence if I will try to convert my version of Golarion to 2e or just throw it out and start over with the canon setting.

Liberty's Edge

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So, I love all of this. I can't wait to play in PF2 and the new setting standard.

Shadow Lodge

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Sorry got to agree with others here. This post is not well timed, to spoil the current AP in this fashion is in poor taste. You can play it down, act like people are having nerd rage or belittle their feelings on the matter all you want, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Paizo shouldn’t have done it.

It’s like that guy that walks out of the blockbuster movie telling everyone what happened. Yeah you may have known it was going to happen but it still affects your enjoyment of the film. I hope my players don’t read this blog.

On a different note. When do the minis previews start again?

Silver Crusade

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Cat-thulhu wrote:
It’s like that guy that walks out of the blockbuster movie telling everyone what happened.

But that's not what happened, we've known Tar-Baphon isn't permanently destroyed because his threat in 2e was talked about at Paizocon.

If anything this is going to the TvTropes page to read spoilers before you see the movie. This is a blog about how the Inner Sea Region is set up in 2e, of course there's spoilers.

Liberty's Edge

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Rysky wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
It’s like that guy that walks out of the blockbuster movie telling everyone what happened.

But that's not what happened, we've known Tar-Baphon isn't permanently destroyed because his threat in 2e was talked about at Paizocon.

If anything this is going to the TvTropes page to read spoilers before you see the movie. This is a blog about how the Inner Sea Region is set up in 2e, of course there's spoilers.

Yeah. This.

We've known that Tar-Baphon survives as a threat for months now if reading stuff about the setting in PF2, and there's been lots of stuff in previous setting posts that were spoilers for APs in the region. How in the world could you not know there might be spoilers in a post of this nature?

Liberty's Edge

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

Oh, I'm not saying my players dump Sense Motive (not that this matters with Sorshen's Bluff score not taking into account spells, mythic surges, or other abilities.)

When I say my players will see it this way, it is because I have played with them long enough, and their reaction to Corla telling them Viralane had a chance to play Sorshen in a play was very negative. While I cannot predict their actual reaction, I have a good sense as to what I am up against selling Sorshen's actions as anything but self-serving (which, as written, they very much are.)

Like I've said (apparently not strongly enough) in all of this though, it's very specific to my set of players. It is an example of how some of the canonical changes to the Campaign Setting will be different from actual results.

New Thassilon may very much be a thing ater the Campaign, and it may or may not be ruled by Sorshen, Xanderghul, the PCs, or someone else altogether.

As written, she is a CN, self-serving, survivalist near-demigod to whom the PCs are amusing playthings with just enough potential to block her enemies from rising to power without exposing herself to those enemies and the real threat they could pose if allowed to run unchecked. Some players will bristle at the idea of serving her, as frankly acknowledged by the writers.

EDIT: Probably enough threadjack on this subject. Thanks for your input/POV.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think expecting non-Mythic PCs to ever actually destroy Tar-Baphon was a rather unreasonable expectation. Stop him? Sure. Kill him? No.

It's my understanding that Urgathoa has possession of his phylactery, so any story about killing him for good is going to involve plane hopping and beings on the level of deities anyway. It's possible to do that AP, but the current one wasn't going to morph into that at the last minute.


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I'm still not sure why did no one realized that they can simply ask the gods via commune or contact other plane spell where the Whispering Tyrant's phylactery is. Surely gods would know it and gladly tell it to their worshipers, wouldn't they?

Azaersi not only survived, but also founded a monster nation? How can it happen? I thought PCs destroyed the Ironfang Legion entirely.


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Aenigma wrote:
I'm still not sure why did no one realized that they can simply ask the gods via commune or contact other plane spell where the Whispering Tyrant's phylactery is. Surely gods would know it and gladly tell it to their worshipers, wouldn't they?

I think that is specifically why a god (who is 100% pro-undead) has the phylactery and will tell you neither where nor what it is. One can't ask Desna or Irori "Where does Urgathoa keep Baphon's Phylactery" any more than one can ask Iomedae or Shelyn "Where does Asmodeus keep the keys to his vault?"

No one whose prayers the Pallid Princess will listen to wants to permanently destroy a lich.

Silver Crusade

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Aenigma wrote:
I'm still not sure why did no one realized that they can simply ask the gods via commune or contact other plane spell where the Whispering Tyrant's phylactery is. Surely gods would know it and gladly tell it to their worshipers, wouldn't they?

Why did you think they did not?

They did, and the Gods didn't knows. Gods aren't omnipotent in Pathfinder.

Quote:
Azaersi not only survived, but also founded a monster nation? How can it happen? I thought PCs destroyed the Ironfang Legion entirely.

Do you have the book already with it detailing the events of the AP as such?

Liberty's Edge

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Aenigma wrote:
Azaersi not only survived, but also founded a monster nation? How can it happen? I thought PCs destroyed the Ironfang Legion entirely.

That depends on the PCs' choices.

Per the final encounter with her in the AP, if you make the right decisions, the PCs have the opportunity to negotiate with her rather than fight. Assuming they're decently good at negotiating, this is a pretty doable thing (it's DC 35, but with up to +7 in easy circumstance bonuses).

If the PCs do this, a nation like Oprak is exactly what the AP describes as ensuing (though they don't give it a name).


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Ventnor wrote:

So what happens if the PCs in Tyrant's Grasp do manage to permanently end Tar-Baphon forever?

How does that old saying go? "If you give it stats, the PCs will find a way to kill it?"

The key here is that with a lich if the phylactery isn't in the adventure there isn't really anything the PCs can do to end him permanently.


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I feel like the issue with our big bad lich is that this basically is the same thing as what happened with the Worldwound.

First, Sarkoris explodes and demons are everywhere, and will overrun everything if something is not done. So they hem the thing in with some wardstones which do not solve the problem, but they keep it from getting worse.

About 100 years later, WotR happens and some heroes close the Worldwound.

What's happening in the current AP is the first part of that, which we didn't get to see for the Worldwound. Our heroes solve the immediate problem and prevent catastrophe, but it is a temporary solution. Hopefully the hordes of the undead stay on the island in the big lake for long enough for some heroes to emerge (presumably with mythic power) who can put a stop to it for good.


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Loving all these updates! Really enjoying that not all the canon AP endings are the PCs killing the BBEG. Its neat to see the setting evolving! I've been looking forward to these updates each week! Can't wait until the book's release in August!


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One thing I'm curious about is if the Worldguide books might have sidebars for "If you played the AP which ties into this, and things went differently, here's what you might consider changing."


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Rysky wrote:

Well this information has kinda been circulating the forums for awhile (since Paizocon?) so not that much of a spoiler, but even then,

CorvusMask wrote:

I mean, I was curious about whether they would kill of Tyrant of not, but I didn't think they would really do it.

Its not really buzzkill as long players don't assume the AP is about destroying Tyrant and not just preventing him from becoming a god :p

(also, seriously, this AP is worth it just for map art. I'm not even kidding, map art from war for the crown and afterwards has been super duper awesome)

You probably do kill him to stop him from ascending to the Starstone.

But that's the thing. He's a Lich.

Killing them is as much of a setback as them stubbing their toe in the morning.

It is still easier to stop a lich than trying to stop a god lich.


I like the Oprak ending for the II AP they chose to go with, really not surprising given the Goblin ruled nation of Kaoling is AFAIK reasonably functional and focused on trade with neighbors etc. Given it seems Paizo is less willing to develop APs with no connection to Avistan, should also present more cultural cross over opportunities and not just for Hobgoblins but the other cultures in their milieu. And Oni. And Half-Oni.

I am still disappointed with the meta-regional divisions, which they have now attached mechanics to, making them less than fully ignorable (as claimed). Clearly they prioritized adventure genres and metaplot (in case of Tar-Baphon) but IMHO that is poor choice for world exposition because adventure genre/plot is ALREADY what APs frame their background and support material around. Doubling up on that approach just leaves organic ethnographic etc world exposition under-expressed when IMHO that is exactly what cultivates real player engagement with setting, and after all the point of the fantasy tropes Paizo loves is that they don't need much explanation.

Specifically with Orcs, none of the regional backgrounds really sound applicable to Belkzen Orcs, so why include them in this region? Especially when "The Orc Story" really includes not only Belkzen but Varisia and Land of the Linnorn Kings as key parts, considering Urglin and Shoanti conflict and Half-Orcs and Gorumites in islands of Land of Linnorn Kings. Conversely, what an opportunity is missed by not grouping as many Kellid lands together as possible but instead grouping Realm of Mammoth Lords with Land of Linnorn Kings and Varisia?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that now 100% of the spooky stuff in Ustalav is going to have to revolve around their lich neighbor, when there's plenty of unrelated spooky stuff all over (there's vampires in the sewers and werewolves in the forest!) Like something like Strange Aeons should be allowed to happen without intersecting with Tar-Baphon.

While Tar-Baphon ruled over Ustalav twice in the past, he doesn't really have any more sway there now than he does elsewhere in the region (other than the Isle of Terror and the Gravelands). He's not based in Gallowspire anymore, so other than changes in Vyrlich, Ustalav is still largely the same. Any gothic or mythos horror campaign would still be a perfect fit there.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

This article SPOILS THE END for the "Tyrant's Grasp" adventure path - NOT COOL!

Telling us that ** spoiler omitted **
kills all my interest in EVER playing or gamemastering that ap.

I'm sorry you feel that was a spoiler, Marco, but remember

Spoiler:
Tar-Baphon has been defeated and killed twice before, once by Aroden himself. Nothing in this blog post says he wasn't also killed at the end of Tyrant's Grasp. While we'll likely do an AP someday in which the PCs get to be the big damn heroes and destroy him and his phylactery, we're not likely to do so until after all the other Tyrant stories have been told. It'd be a shame to permanently kill off the setting's most iconic villain prematurely.


Justin Franklin wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

So what happens if the PCs in Tyrant's Grasp do manage to permanently end Tar-Baphon forever?

How does that old saying go? "If you give it stats, the PCs will find a way to kill it?"

The key here is that with a lich if the phylactery isn't in the adventure there isn't really anything the PCs can do to end him permanently.

Imprisonment and defending the imprisonment location (maybe with a permanent Prismatic Sphere surrounded by more traditional guards) is the best I'd expect the PCs to be able to pull off, but he's got enough allies who can do a quick Freedom raid to release him that it's not even a feasible medium-term solution.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Quandary wrote:

I am still disappointed with the meta-regional divisions, which they have now attached mechanics to, making them less than fully ignorable (as claimed). Clearly they prioritized adventure genres and metaplot (in case of Tar-Baphon) but IMHO that is poor choice for world exposition because adventure genre/plot is ALREADY what APs frame their background and support material around. Doubling up on that approach just leaves organic ethnographic etc world exposition under-expressed when IMHO that is exactly what cultivates real player engagement with setting, and after all the point of the fantasy tropes Paizo loves is that they don't need much explanation.

The backgrounds in this book are about where you're from, and they're mostly framed around being from a specific nation, not a meta-region. The meta-regions are just how we're organizing them in the book. We have another World Guide coming out in the fall that will give you backgrounds based on who you are/who your ancestors were. We'll have another one in early 2020 giving you backgrounds based on what god or philosophy you worship. There will be plenty of backgrounds to explore ethnic or social influences beyond just geographic region of origin and if none of those work for you, there are a ton of them in the Core Rulebook. We'll keep releasing background of all sorts, including adventure-specific, setting-based, and generic, for as long as we support P2.


Aenigma wrote:
Azaersi not only survived, but also founded a monster nation? How can it happen? I thought PCs destroyed the Ironfang Legion entirely.

I found the possibility of a diplomatic solution so obvious that I was expecting to want to give her a good shaking and tell her "you have your new homeland and it's an instant economic powerhouse!"

How much of a toll do you think a merchant would pay to be able to get from Abasalom to Minkai in a couple hours, (including time spent waiting in line, paying the toll, etc.)?


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I thought Azaersi hates the civilized races very much. She wants to avenge her brethren by killing and enslaving all humans, elves, dwarves, et cetera. She seems more evil than Karzoug or Alaznist, who merely wished to dominate Varisia instead of killing all denizens there. Azaersi is so convinced of her hatred toward humans that she is clearly evil beyond redemption. So I thought there is no way PCs would let her live.

Paizo Employee

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Quandary wrote:

Specifically with Orcs, none of the regional backgrounds really sound applicable to Belkzen Orcs, so why include them in this region? Especially when "The Orc Story" really includes not only Belkzen but Varisia and Land of the Linnorn Kings as key parts, considering Urglin and Shoanti conflict and Half-Orcs and Gorumites in islands of Land of Linnorn Kings. Conversely, what an opportunity is missed by not grouping as many Kellid lands together as possible but instead grouping Realm of Mammoth Lords with Land of Linnorn Kings and Varisia?

It kind of feels like grouping people together by ethnicity is definitely not a preferred solution? It's honestly kind of weird to want to talk about the "Orc Story" as though being an orc in the Mwangi expanse, a half-orc in Absalom, or an orc in Belkzen are going to be equivalent experiences. Similarly with the Kellids, being a Kellid in Numeria isn't really going to be anything like being a Kellid in the Land of the Mammoth Lords.


Mark Moreland wrote:
The backgrounds in this book are about where you're from, and they're mostly framed around being from a specific nation, not a meta-region.

OK thanks, I just read "Players whose characters hail from this region will find eight new backgrounds including..." as implying meta-region as pre-req, maybe forgetting this is just a blog and not rules text. ;-D


Ssalarn wrote:
It kind of feels like grouping people together by ethnicity is definitely not a preferred solution? It's honestly kind of weird to want to talk about the "Orc Story" as though being an orc in the Mwangi expanse, a half-orc in Absalom, or an orc in Belkzen are going to be equivalent experiences. Similarly with the Kellids, being a Kellid in Numeria isn't really going to be anything like being a Kellid in the Land of the Mammoth Lords.

Yet organizationally separating them means removing ideal location to discuss the differences as well as the similarities. If these groups have absolutely nothing to do with each other, why are they one ethnolinguistic group in first place? Disappointed my argument was read as reducing them to non-differentiated monolithic group, when intent was reading nexus of shared history as launching point for more specific differences. Anyhow, it sounds like Paizo is planning products which dig into world from more organic angles which may be vehicle for this sort of thing.


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Aenigma wrote:
I thought Azaersi hates the civilized races very much. She wants to avenge her brethren by killing and enslaving all humans, elves, dwarves, et cetera.

She had a specific bone to pick with humans starting out since they destroyed her village, impaled her, and left her for dead. But considering the Ironfang legion got its start as mercenaries of Molthune, she's much more of a pragmatist than a zealot.

Her foundational issue is that "civilized" people would just spear a terrified hobgoblin girl because she was a "monster" and feel absolutely no guilt. Creating a nation for her people where they command respect for reasons other than fear might be the single most effective means to resolve this, much moreso than "conquering everyone in sight."

Dark Archive

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When i wrote that if i were a Lich with an int score of 36 no one would ever find my phylactery, James Jacobs answered that if there would be no way to find T-B's phylactery there wouldn't be any point in making this AP.
I disagreed and said the pcs could just defeat him.
He heavily implied that that wasn't the case and that the AP would finish him once and for all.

I also wasn't aware that T-B was to survive into second edition, despite reading paizocon spoilers.

I am not mad at Mark for writing this in this article, but it shows a disregard for PF 1.0, which doesn't matter anymore now that 2.0 is coming, because it states what is happening in a book that isn't going to be out for 50 days.

Also the revelation comes out of the blue without any spoiler warning.

The first paragraph directly refers the reader to the "Tyrant's Grasp" AP for more info, which is fine.

It's only in the second paragraph after it is mentioned that the Order of the Knights of Ozem were shattered, that the SPOILER is revealed (without any indication before).
Not even the article about the campaign in AP# 139 mentions this.

PS: Tar-Baphon has been killed once only: as a human, which was planned by him to become a lich.

The fact that he was killed a second time (as it is written in "Mythic Realms")was contradicted in the AP.
He has never been destroyed in lich form before.


The contradictions build, the collisions of the multiverses approaches...


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Marco Massoudi wrote:

I am not mad at Mark for writing this in this article, but it shows a disregard for PF 1.0, which doesn't matter anymore now that 2.0 is coming, because it states what is happening in a book that isn't going to be out for 50 days.

Personally, I think you are taking this too far. I do not see this blog as any different than any other “reveal” blog. Moreover, the world content has been telegraphed for months now.

Anyway, I do hope you are still able to enjoy the AP.

Silver Crusade

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Honestly, I think the first paragraph makes pretty clear that the rest of the article will contain spoilers, and the first blog post in this series does say that spoilers may happen, even though the team will try their best not to spoil anything. It was also revealed at Paizocon that Tar-Baphon does survive the adventure path, so that information was already out there. James isn't going to give away the farm when you ask him spoilery questions.


I have not played tyrant's grasp, but the article told me nothing about tyrant's grasp that I would not have guessed from reading the premise of the AP. I guess "it will not surprise you overmuch" is a bit of a spoiler?

Liberty's Edge

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Aenigma wrote:
I thought Azaersi hates the civilized races very much. She wants to avenge her brethren by killing and enslaving all humans, elves, dwarves, et cetera. She seems more evil than Karzoug or Alaznist, who merely wished to dominate Varisia instead of killing all denizens there. Azaersi is so convinced of her hatred toward humans that she is clearly evil beyond redemption. So I thought there is no way PCs would let her live.

Azaersi hates humans and would like to kill as many of them as possible, it's true. Indeed, this is arguably the main reason she's Evil.

However, she wants a true homeland for her people more than she wants to act on this hatred. She's a bad person in many ways, but she's a pragmatic and reasonable one, willing to put her hatred aside in the pursuit of other goals.

Karzoug and Alaznist were megalomaniacs unwilling to negotiate or compromise.

Silver Crusade

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

When i wrote that if i were a Lich with an int score of 36 no one would ever find my phylactery, James Jacobs answered that if there would be no way to find T-B's phylactery there wouldn't be any point in making this AP.

I disagreed and said the pcs could just defeat him.
He heavily implied that that wasn't the case and that the AP would finish him once and for all.
Source?
Quote:
I am not mad at Mark for writing this in this article, but it shows a disregard for PF 1.0, which doesn't matter anymore now that 2.0 is coming, because it states what is happening in a book that isn't going to be out for 50 days.
It’s a 2e thread, talking about the updated setting the game will be using from now on. You chose to come in and read it.
Quote:

Also the revelation comes out of the blue without any spoiler warning.

The first paragraph directly refers the reader to the "Tyrant's Grasp" AP for more info, which is fine.

blog wrote:
One of the most wide-reaching events to become the baseline assumption of the Pathfinder setting between first and second editions is the Whispering Tyrant's escape from his centuries-old prison to once again terrorize the nations of the living. The specifics of how he breaks free from Gallowspire and the direct results of that escape play out in the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path, which wraps up next month with Midwives to Death. Needless to say, things for the lands on Lake Encarthan's western coast are NOT. GOOD.

You should have stopped reading there.


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I don't see the problem. If there's some new development in the lore that clashes with your preferred ideas or the outcomes of your group's AP than just ignore it at your table.

I don't see why that's so hard. Perhaps this is just a thing unique to the people that I play with, but in most of the instances when we've used a AP the story diverges to such a radical degree that by the third book that whatever "How to Continue the Campaign" or "Here's the New Status Quo" options became useless anyway.

So if your players didn't trust Sorshen and miraculously managed to kill her I don't see how Paizo taking another direction genuinely harms or inconveniences your table? Fine, Paizo won't be supporting that outcome. So what? Keep following your own timeline and didn't feel pressured by "canon" when it comes to telling the stories that you want to tell.


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Look all I know is Mark confirmed that Ustalav won't ENTIRELY fall under Tar Barphon's grasp. Probably because he thinks there's nothing left there for him.


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Rysky wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

When i wrote that if i were a Lich with an int score of 36 no one would ever find my phylactery, James Jacobs answered that if there would be no way to find T-B's phylactery there wouldn't be any point in making this AP.

I disagreed and said the pcs could just defeat him.
He heavily implied that that wasn't the case and that the AP would finish him once and for all.
Source?

Here and following. (Note that, since the bug in the Product Discussion threads hasn't been fixed yet, the link won't take you to the correct post; it's #37.)

I don't get the "heavy implication" Marco did from James's responses, however, just, as Cori Marie said, that James wasn't going to confirm or deny the insistence that the PCs couldn't actually kill Tar-Barphon in the AP.

(Marco, you should feel vindicated: you were absolutely right in your original prediction.)

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