Introducing the Blood Lords Player’s Guide

Wednesday, June 29, 2021

Deadly Intrigue in a Land of the Dead!

Blood Lords Adventure Path

The ghost king of Geb rules a nation where the living and undead work uneasily side-by-side. The power behind the throne, and the true rulers of Geb, are the Blood Lords: a scheming group of undying necromancers whose whims affect millions. Joining the Blood Lords isn’t easy, but your band of less-than-good-hearted troubleshooters is destined to ascend their ranks for exposing a dangerous plot to the nation.

The danger increases once your characters become Blood Lords, as the intrigues of the undead rulers are fiercest against each other. Powerful factions and ancient secrets are all playthings in the deadly trickery. Your Blood Lords must fight from the borders of the nation to the sepulchral halls of power to claim their authority over the land of the dead!

Iconic Oracle, Korakai and iconic Magus, Seltyiel fighting against the undead

Inside the Blood Lords Player’s Guide you’ll find player-friendly, spoiler-free information and tips to help you make an exciting new character perfect for the Blood Lords Adventure Path.

This player’s guide contains details and advice about:

  • Graydirge, the ossuary-city in Geb’s hinterlands where the characters begin their rise to power.
  • Geb’s Factions, presenting a short summary of the key power groups that run Geb’s economy. Your characters gain (and lose!) influence with these factions as they grow in prominence, so knowing about these power players is a must!
  • Character suggestions, including recommendations for alignments, ancestries, classes, languages, skills, and feats well suited for this Adventure Path.
  • New backgrounds to inspire your character’s past connections with Geb’s factions, including Corpse Stitcher and Propaganda Promoter.

Start your adventure today.
Download the Blood Lords Player’s Guide

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Tags: Blood Lords Pathfinder Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
Horizon Hunters

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"If you die trying, well, the undead rule in Geb just as much as the living!" Even in your death the work must be done!!


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The backgrounds are all really fun. Love the Celebrants one especially.

Scarab Sages

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The guide mentions that Urgathoa is a appropriate deity for this campaign. One of her anathemas is destroying undead. Will that not happen over the course of this adventure?


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
The guide mentions that Urgathoa is a appropriate deity for this campaign. One of her anathemas is destroying undead. Will that not happen over the course of this adventure?

I would assume that this would need to be amended to say that you can't destroy undead simply for being undead, or perhaps if you yourself are alive. That would leave a couple of possible outs for a mixed party of living and undead PCs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Interesting. I am really digging the choice in Skill Feat within the Backgrounds, depending on what Skill you choose to be Trained in.

I also really appreciate the map and short gazateer on Graydirge and its various locations. The history of the Ovens is gruesome to say the least.

"Geb is a LE land"... *Immediately begins conceptualizing a CG Undead Champion of Azarni whose core goal their own survival*

The Urgathoa thing gives me an interesting idea of try to force an Undead Creature to yield through things like Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Magic. Creates an interesting choice in regards to not destroying Undead and not sacrifice their own life. Which takes more precedence there? I mean, if the Pallid Princess is likely to destroy those who work against or fail her. And even then, nothing is stopping their allies from doing the burying. :p

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The white robed Seltyiel is interesting in the art.


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The thing I wish I understood better from reading the Player's Guide were the rules about positive energy. Is it just channeling it via heal spells and the like, or is something like "a spirit instinct barbarian" a tremendously inappropriate choice because your rage damage can be positive (or negative)? Or is it just the sort of thing where "it's a strong choice, just make sure to kill everyone who sees you hit someone with an axe that also does positive damage?"


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What is "Requian," from the Languages list? The wiki has no hits for it. My gut instinct is that it's the tongue of Psychopomps, something like Aquan or Celestial but for the Boneyard.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
What is "Requian," from the Languages list? The wiki has no hits for it. My gut instinct is that it's the tongue of Psychopomps, something like Aquan or Celestial but for the Boneyard.

You got it!

"The courts of the Boneyard preside in Requian, a somber yet melodic language spoken slowly with various tonal shifts."

From the Psychopomp section of Bestiary 1, pg. 270. And linkified from AoN HERE.


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

Sajan, looks like he's tenderizing dinner there!

Dark Archive

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Please bring this AP to Foundry like you did with OoA (シ_ _)シ

Liberty's Edge

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Nexedo Selias wrote:
Please bring this AP to Foundry like you did with OoA (シ_ _)シ

Love the emoji.

Love the idea too.


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I'm super excited for this AP now. I was a little torn before, a pro-undead adventure sounds like something I'd love, but I've gotten seriously burnt out on horror-themed games and wanted a change.
The intrigue focus in this AP, rather than a strictly horror focus, sounds like it's exactly the middle ground I didn't even know I was looking for until I read it.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

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Perpdepog wrote:
The intrigue focus in this AP, rather than a strictly horror focus, sounds like it's exactly the middle ground I didn't even know I was looking for until I read it.

It's only horror when the undead are coming for you. When you're the undead, what's a little zombie horde between friends?


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Also, apparently the site ate my edit, but I also mentioned that I love how Common is a different language in this AP. That's a cool touch I haven't seen before, though I assume it's in Strength of Thousands as well.


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Well, there was some discussion about "wait, Common in Alkenstar is Taldane? That's weird, why is that?" after the Outlaws of Alkenstar player's guide. I imagine making Common Osiriani is a response to that.

That being said I wonder if the Outlaws of Alkenstar Player's Guide was just incorrect and I'm wondering if I should check to see if it's been changed.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

They've done this a few times in PF2 thus far.

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Player's Guide points out that Tien is considered the Common tongue throughout Tian-Xia.

Strength of Thousands refers to Mwangi as Common; as does LO: Mwangi Expanse.

While not referred to as Common, Quest for the Frozen Flame has you switch Taldane for Hallit, as it is the predominant language of the Realms.

That said, I'm not certain Taldane is a mistake for Alkenstar, despite its geography. They site the cities cosmopolitan nature as the reason for this; Taldane being THE trade langaunge of the Inner Sea region and Alkenstar being a major trade city makes this make sense. That said, they do point out that Dwarven is spoken almost as much as Taldane, and Kelish has a very strong presence as well.

For Geb, it makes sense Osiriani is the Common tongue despite their cosmopolitan nature, due to the fact that they are basically isolated (since no living person in the right mind would go there) and most of its residences have been their for centuries (on account of being Undead). Given the nation was a territory of Orisian and Geb himself was Osirion, this checks out.


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I quite like how much you get out of swapping Common and playing with Rarity to give different regions their own feeling. These little Player's Guide charts are a real treat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Indeed. Kind of what I was alluding to in the Ancestry discussion. Every location in Golarion is suddenly more unique than its neighbors just based on what people and things are most widespread and relevant to their culture. Something as simple as language helps to give each their own identity from the next. Kashrishi may be far and few between elsewhere, but can be found on every street corner in Vudra. Even classes can be more relevant to certain areas, like the implication that Psychics are more prevalent in places like Rahadoum and Vudra. I makes for a dynamic, breathing world, even before considering the actual history of this places.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would have killed for an adventure path like this for Pathfinder 1E, and Book of the Dead. I might try my hand at the long process of trying to convert them.

Liberty's Edge

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Ly'ualdre wrote:

They've done this a few times in PF2 thus far.

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Player's Guide points out that Tien is considered the Common tongue throughout Tian-Xia.

Strength of Thousands refers to Mwangi as Common; as does LO: Mwangi Expanse.

While not referred to as Common, Quest for the Frozen Flame has you switch Taldane for Hallit, as it is the predominant language of the Realms.

That said, I'm not certain Taldane is a mistake for Alkenstar, despite its geography. They site the cities cosmopolitan nature as the reason for this; Taldane being THE trade langaunge of the Inner Sea region and Alkenstar being a major trade city makes this make sense. That said, they do point out that Dwarven is spoken almost as much as Taldane, and Kelish has a very strong presence as well.

For Geb, it makes sense Osiriani is the Common tongue despite their cosmopolitan nature, due to the fact that they are basically isolated (since no living person in the right mind would go there) and most of its residences have been their for centuries (on account of being Undead). Given the nation was a territory of Orisian and Geb himself was Osirion, this checks out.

I did some checking when the Player's Guide for Outlaws was released and IIRC Taldane had never been mentioned as one of the prevalent languages in Alkenstar before. So, really very strange.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean, I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain the copy I have was downloaded the day the Player's Guide dropped; and my copy mentions Taldane. So I'm unsure.

Mandela Effect? Lol


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

The reference to Taldane looks far too deliberate to be a mistake. Here is what my copy of the Outlaws of Alkenstar Player's Guide says:

"LANGUAGES
Owing to its cosmopolitan cultural makeup, the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar’s official language is Common (Taldane), though the high population of dwarves (especially dwarves from Dongun Hold) makes Dwarven nearly as ubiquitous. The most successful merchants and travelers also take it upon themselves to learn Kelish, a language commonly spoken in nearby nations like Geb, Nex, and Katapesh.

"In the wastelands beyond Alkenstar’s walls, roving bandits, violent mutated giants, and horrific monsters tend to speak Gnoll, Jotun, Aklo, or a pidgin of all three. Those who deal with evildoers could do far worse than to practice one of these tongues as well."

This paragraph does contradict the Blood Lords Player's Guide, which has Osiriani rather than Kelish as the primary language of Geb and makes no mention at all of Kelish.

The Inner Sea World Guide has Osiriani and Kelish as the major languages of Geb, but neither of the two most recent Player's Guides mentions both languages.

For Alkenstar, the Inner Sea World Guide mentions both of these languages but not Taldane.

I think Paizo needs to conduct a lore review for the Impossible Lands. I am hoping that the Lost Omens book for this region sets these matters straight.


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“Taldane is the language of trade!” stops making sense when almost all the trade happening around you is done in Kelish.


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The player's guide linked above says:

Quote:
–929 AR The declining empire of Osirion formally cedes control of its southern reaches to the archmages Geb and Nex.

So Geb and Nex were both part of Osirion 5000 years ago. Alkenstar lies in the Mana Wastes which is the area between Geb and Nex which constituted much of the battlefield in the war between the two states, so was also part of Osirion presumably (the declining empire wasn't going to commit to hold territory between two independent states). Alkenstar was founded by refugees from the war between Geb and Nex, who presumably had been living in what was once Osirion and probably spoke Osirioni.

Now the river that leads directly to Alkenstar empties out onto the sea and is probably the safest route through the mana wastes, so it makes sense that trade makes the city vastly more cosmopolitan than it would be otherwise, but it seems like they trade with people who speak Vudrani or Kelesh more than they would trade with people who speak Taldane.

I wonder if the whole explanation is that Kelesh traders might not speak Vudrani or Osirioni, and Vudrani traders might not speak Kelish or Osirioni, but since ships can go all over Taldane ends up as the lingua franca for Inner Sea trade.


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For some reason I keep having this urge to misread the title of this AP as "Brood Lords" . . . .


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think it's also worth noting that in the class options table for Outlaws of Alkenstar, Osiriani is listed in languages as "appropriate", separately from Common. So it's specifically noted as being much less common than Taldane or Dwarvish.


Good to have some free 'how-to-be' Blood-lordin' stuff down over in Geb out there for PF2e. ;)


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This AP looks awesome!

Liberty's Edge

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The Priorities table (a great concept from the start) feels better than the first one we had in the OoA PG, including being more consistent with the text. I need to dive into it to make a proper assessment.

Good to see that Paizo keeps on improving their products.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:

The Priorities table (a great concept from the start) feels better than the first one we had in the OoA PG, including being more consistent with the text. I need to dive into it to make a proper assessment.

Good to see that Paizo keeps on improving their products.

it's a really good idea. especially for players who are a) unfamiliar with the game or b) are going to ignore the text in favor of an old character concept they haven't gotten to play with.

Nice and simple. One look.


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Ooooh let’s gooooo! Do we know when the FoundryVTT release will be?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They said that this release may be a little delayed because they were waiting to see how well Outlaws performed before greenlighting


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Interesting and thank you for the reply/information. Do you have a link to where that came from? I would 100% be onboard with a similar model of purchase like Paizo did for Abomination Vault; where we purchased the VTT and received the PDF for one price (or something similar).

Looking forward to the official news team Paizo! ^_^

Liberty's Edge

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Jeremy Heyer wrote:

Interesting and thank you for the reply/information. Do you have a link to where that came from? I would 100% be onboard with a similar model of purchase like Paizo did for Abomination Vault; where we purchased the VTT and received the PDF for one price (or something similar).

Looking forward to the official news team Paizo! ^_^

I believe it was on the product thread for the 1st part of Blood Lords.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
The guide mentions that Urgathoa is a appropriate deity for this campaign. One of her anathemas is destroying undead. Will that not happen over the course of this adventure?

It should be edited out. Being an evil deity, she should understand the necessity of self-defense and advancement by assassination. I wouldn't think that your enemy being undead should be a problem.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I for one enjoy the challenging contradiction of having the undead AP feature many undead enemies and having to contend with an unreasonable evil goddess who will punish you for doing what might eventually best serve her interest anyway. Her curses are not that debilitating and there is down time aplenty in this book for doing the work of making more undead or repairing damaged undead (who don’t otherwise heal on their own). Also, there are ways provided, very early in this AP, to make destroying mindless undead unnecessary, and I feel like Urgathoa absolutely would punish her deciles if they don’t prioritize these means of not needing to destroy undead.

Staying on the good side of an evil, vindictive, and fundamentally selfish Deity should feel like a near impossibility that only the strongest, craftiest devotees manage.

The AP provides difficult, but not impossible ways of avoiding having to slaughter the undead. Not every encounter in the AP needs to be a combat to the death, even against the most traditional of no worry encounter fodder.


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It’s definitely an important discussion point to have between GM and player to establish for any cleric or champion of Urgathoa. Some may enjoy the challenge and RP aspect of it, others, including the rest of the party dealing with that character, may find it frustrating.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I got an update in my Foundry for the Blood Lords Basis Pack. Since this is where the package link goes, does anyone know what was updated?


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Yeah, strange about not announcing crafication or Errata came, from actual AP.
(Includes spoiling adventure)


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Heya guys! I’ve noticed that Chaotic Evil isn’t listed anywhere on the table of recommendations.

Any insights into how a chaotic evil character could be included? :3


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Vandalier wrote:
Any insights into how a chaotic evil character could be included? :3

It seems like a tricky one to fit in since the AP seems mostly to be about bad people in a bad society don't approve of what the other bad people in this bad society are up to, because that's liable to destroy the successful thing we have going here.

Like it's not the most inappropriate alignment for this AP (that would be CG) but it's definitely a Law-oriented Adventure Path. I'm not saying there aren't specific CE characters who could work, but there are specific LG characters who could work for sure.


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Vandalier wrote:

Heya guys! I’ve noticed that Chaotic Evil isn’t listed anywhere on the table of recommendations.

Any insights into how a chaotic evil character could be included? :3

I would personally not play a Chaotic Evil character in an adventure path about being agents of the state. Your character needs to be capable of following orders and having some concept of the public good, even if that "public" is a murderous necromantic oligrarchy. Despite how wretched Geb is, this is not an all-Evil storyline; it skews much Lawful and non-Good. Characters within a step of LE make the most sense.


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It feels like each alignment's read on the situation for a character in the AP would be something like.

LE: Geb is an ideal state.
NE: Geb is great, because I can hoard wealth and power forever and there is no social penalty for exploitation and abuse so long as you pick the right targets.
LN: Geb is a horrible place in many ways, but it mostly works, and completely dismantling it is going to do a lot of harm.
LG: Geb is a terrible place, but there are decent people who live here, and we can and should be doing better by them. The system is too entrenched to be confronted directly, but we can chip away here and there.
TN: Geb is what it is.

CE would be "Geb is terrible, let's make it worse" which is what the PCs are trying to *stop* CG and NG would be "Geb is terrible, it must be destroyed" which is just working against the premise of the story.


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I don't believe I'll have an issue with any of my players being CE as an alignment. Its just the inconsistency of having 8/9 alignments being mentioned with the CE one being strangely absent as one of them pointed out while reading the player's guide.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The category beneath "not recommended" is "We don't talk about Chaotic Evil."


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Vandalier wrote:

Heya guys! I’ve noticed that Chaotic Evil isn’t listed anywhere on the table of recommendations.

Any insights into how a chaotic evil character could be included? :3

Hmm... my guess is that the CE character would see cooperating with Geb (even temporarily) would help their own clout in order to do whatever they want in the future, especially when they earn the rank of a Blood Lord. CE beings may not like following orders, but some PCs can be smart enough to play along if only to take the heat off yourself for the time being and/or whatever group the PC is associated with. Remember that the demon lords of vampires and ghouls are also CE so they could work with Geb for the well-being of their people. For many of those cults, Geb may be the only place where they could be openly tolerated without getting kicked out. I would put it in the same level as a LG PC, uncommon but not impossible.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It feels like each alignment's read on the situation for a character in the AP would be something like.

LE: Geb is an ideal state.
NE: Geb is great, because I can hoard wealth and power forever and there is no social penalty for exploitation and abuse so long as you pick the right targets.
LN: Geb is a horrible place in many ways, but it mostly works, and completely dismantling it is going to do a lot of harm.
LG: Geb is a terrible place, but there are decent people who live here, and we can and should be doing better by them. The system is too entrenched to be confronted directly, but we can chip away here and there.
TN: Geb is what it is.

CE would be "Geb is terrible, let's make it worse" which is what the PCs are trying to *stop* CG and NG would be "Geb is terrible, it must be destroyed" which is just working against the premise of the story.

    [•]CE Envy: The rules in Geb sure are annoying, but if you get your connections right, if somebody living has something you want, you can get them Undeaded; besides, given that an awful lot of the population has vulnerabilities that normal people wouldn't have, you've got extra ways to defend yourself from them if they get on your case.
    [•]CE Sloth: The rules in Geb sure are annoying, but if you work things right, you can get Undead doing all your work for you, and generally they won't care if you're a complete slob.
    [•]CE Lust: Geb is a hard place to work, but somebody said something about orgies . . . .
    [•]CE Wrath: The rules in Geb sure are annoying, but sometimes the Blood Lords actually need carnage, and that's what you're here for.
    [•]CE Pride: In case the Blood Lords do need presentability, you're here to show them how it's done, and it doesn't hurt that you have the skills to steer some extra victims customers their way, and getting results will go a long way towards encouraging them to overlook your foibles with respect to staying within the legal system.
    [•]CE Gluttony: The rules in Geb sure are annoying, but pigging out is what the Blood Lords are here for and what you're here for.
    [•]CE Greed: The rules in Geb sure are annoying, but if you work things right, you can make quite the profit, and besides, if you have to go outside the law, who's going to expect a victim to get turned to a toad in the Land of the Undead?


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Chaotic Evil in that you're a heartless, self-interested monster? Sure.

Chaotic Evil in that you want to tear down the nation and will never ever take an order? Play something else.

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