Player Core Preview: The Wizard, Remastered

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Hi everyone! James here to talk a little bit about the Remaster project. We're getting closer and closer to Pathfinder Player Core and GM Corereleasing in November. To shine a little more light on what's coming, the marketing team and us thought we would kick off a blog series going into some of our changes in a little more depth. We'll start things off with a class, the wizard!

The wizard is the classic arcane spellcaster who learns magic in the most academic way: institutions, tomes, tutors and the like, and we wanted this to come through in how the class feels to build and play, so expect to see some more references to training, incantations, runes, spell formulas, and the like in the feats and features.


Ezren, the iconic wizard. Art by Wayne Reynolds
Pathfinder Iconic, human wizard, Ezren

While the wizard was generally already providing a satisfying play experience at the table, it was also a class that interacts very heavily with one of the larger changes we’re making in the Remaster, which is the removal of the eight schools of magic that were deeply tied to rules we were using via the OGL. Though this presented a big challenge in remastering the class, it also let us solve one of the biggest frustrations of the wizard, which is that there wasn't a whole lot of space left for them to expand. One of the most commonly requested expansions for any class is additional major paths to build your characters along, but because the wizard schools already had all eight schools of magic that could ever exist in the setting (plus universalist), we could never increase the number of wizard schools or explore more interesting options beyond those preset themes.

The new role for arcane schools is as just that: actual mages' curricula in Golarion. This allows us to make much more tightly focused schools that really let you sell the theme of your wizard, from the tactical spells of the School of Battle Magic (fireball, resist energy, weapon storm, true target and the like) to the infrastructure-focused spells of the School of Civic Wizardry (hydraulic push for firefighting, summon construct and wall of stone for construction, pinpoint and water walk for search and rescue, and earthquake and disintegrate for controlled demolitions). We've also rearranged the existing wizard focus spells and, in some places, changed them a little bit to fit their new locations—the School of Mentalism's charming push focus spell functions much like the original enchanter's charming words, but the new spell doesn't have the auditory or linguistic traits, since the School of Mentalism is much more about direct mind magic.

This also opens the door to create more schools in the future based on the specific schools of magic in the setting, and I know my colleagues in the Lost Omens line have already started thinking of what some of these might be (they have, as yet, sadly rejected my suggestion for a goblin-themed wizard school containing mostly fire and pickling spells).

We haven't just remastered the schools; we wanted to go through the feats as well and give the wizard a few fun toys to underscore how they're nerds their academic mastery of magic. Some of these are tools originally developed in other places that make perfect sense for a wizard to have, like the Knowledge Is Power magus feat (with a few wizard-specific adjustments). We also gave the wizards some new feats, like the following:


Secondary Detonation Array [one-action] Feat 14

Manipulate, Spellshape, Wizard

You divert some of your spell’s energy into an unstable runic array. If your next action is to Cast a Spell that deals damage, has no duration, and affects an area, a glowing magic circle appears in a 5-foot burst within that area. At the beginning of your next turn, the circle detonates, dealing 1d6 force damage per rank of the spell to all creatures within the circle, with a basic Reflex save against your spell DC. If the spell dealt a different type of damage, the circle deals this type of damage instead (or one type of your choice if the spell could deal multiple types of damage).

This feat ties into some of the flavor tweaks we've made to wizards to have them talk about their abilities a little more academically, and it's burst of damage is one that requires a little bit of forethought in strategy to get the most out of, something that a spellcaster whose key attribute is Intelligence might gravitate toward.

That's our look at the wizard! Of course, what would a wizard be without their spells? Check back in on Thursday, where we'll go over some of the updates to magic coming in the remaster, from new spells to some of the new rules for spellcasting!

James Case (he / him)
Senior Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Remaster Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard
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AestheticDialectic wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Basically, I don't think that's how scientific progress works...
I have bad news for you about what models are, the replication crisis and many other things. Science isn't a truth telling machine, scientists understand this. To think it is, is ironically religious thinking. Science creates categories to approximate and make sense of things, but these categories are literally socially constructed and aren't actually "the thing in itself". There is a divide between noumena and phenomena, and the noumenal is something that anything withing a subjective frame can never truly come into contact with and observe. All scientists exist within a subjective frame. All practitioners of magic are in a subjective frame. The categorization of magic is always going to be an approximation of reality, not a full proper real description of reality and I think this intent is shown in how there are many interpretations of the four traditions and the four essences, the people in Golarion assume these categories are true and have wildly different ideas about what they mean. A magical tradition will also bring with it ontological baggage(a thing impossible to avoid) that will make their interpretation of things narrow. Much like how science has to assume methodological naturalism to even function

The point of science is to make testable predictions about the world. I do physics. It's not a truth-telling machine, but it's also not a "there are many faces of God, but all are equally valid in their own way" sort of thing.

Certain physical laws are empirically determined to work. That's why they're laws. The entire reason you have general relativity is because it makes testable predictions that are valid practically everywhere, from Osirion to Varisia. It's not like gravity works differently in Varisia from Osirion. Or in game terms, it's not like you randomly can cast 9th rank spells in Varisia but not in Osirion.

Sorshen has empirically-determined power. What she does WORKS. We have the mythic statblock to prove it (in 1e, but power is pretty constant across editions). Her theories about sin magic are therefore probably pretty dang sound and not "primitive superstition". Because Sorshen plays to the trope of "ancient archmage with a deeper understanding of magic than modern minds can comprehend". It's the same trope as Shangri-La, El Dorado, and pretty much the entire Renaissance. The trope that technology was more advanced in the past than in the present, and that modern humanity stands not just on the shoulders of older and wiser giants but in their shadow.

You can feel free to chuck that trope if you want, but then you have to explain how Sorshen did the magical equivalent of inventing a fusion reactor using Empedocles' theory of the Four Elements. Things like Runewells or the Everdawn Pool or the Mirror of Sorshen are all proof positive that her conception of magic is solid.


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Calliope5431 wrote:

The point of science is to make testable predictions about the world. I do physics. It's not a truth-telling machine, but it's also not a "there are many faces of God, but all are equally valid in their own way" sort of thing.

Certain physical laws are empirically determined to work. That's why they're laws. The entire reason you have general relativity is because it makes testable predictions that are valid practically everywhere, from Osirion to Varisia. It's not like gravity works differently in Varisia from Osirion. Or in game terms, it's not like you randomly can cast 9th rank spells in Varisia but not in Osirion.

Sorshen has empirically-determined power. What she does WORKS. We have the mythic statblock to prove it (in 1e, but power is pretty constant across editions). Her theories about sin magic are therefore probably pretty dang sound and not "primitive superstition". Because Sorshen plays to the trope of "ancient archmage with a deeper understanding of magic than modern minds can comprehend". It's the same trope as Shangri-La, El Dorado, and pretty much the entire Renaissance. The trope that technology was more advanced in the past than in the present, and that modern humanity stands not just on the shoulders of older and wiser giants but in their shadow.

You can feel free to chuck that trope if you want, but then you have to explain how Sorshen did the magical equivalent of inventing a fusion reactor using Empedocles' theory of the Four Elements. Things like Runewells or the Everdawn Pool or the Mirror of Sorshen are all proof positive that her conception of magic is solid.

You should know the pitfalls of empiricism then and you should know that Newtonian physics are still used to great effect despite being less descriptive of reality compared to general relativity, and you should also know people are looking to create models that supercede general relativity because it has it's own pitfalls. Sin magic is this, is describes something about magic but it, like Newtonian Physics and General Relativity are socially constructed. It's a model, not the thing in itself. All social constructs attach to "material bodies". Race and gender are attached to real things, money is attached to institutions, every market, the machines that produce "physical"(non-digital) forms of the currency. Social construct=/=imagined out of thin air. The runelords have a model of magic, one which I think modern practitioners of magic have superceded the need for


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I feel like everyone is trying to justify it in lore which isn't really going to work. Magi all of a sudden lost their arcane pool because 2e got rid of most of the unique daily resources classes had and nothing in lore really justifies this change because its purely a mechanical one (also stuff like Cloistered clerics going having worse casting than most clerics to being the standard casting cleric)


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AestheticDialectic wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The point of science is to make testable predictions about the world. I do physics. It's not a truth-telling machine, but it's also not a "there are many faces of God, but all are equally valid in their own way" sort of thing.

Certain physical laws are empirically determined to work. That's why they're laws. The entire reason you have general relativity is because it makes testable predictions that are valid practically everywhere, from Osirion to Varisia. It's not like gravity works differently in Varisia from Osirion. Or in game terms, it's not like you randomly can cast 9th rank spells in Varisia but not in Osirion.

Sorshen has empirically-determined power. What she does WORKS. We have the mythic statblock to prove it (in 1e, but power is pretty constant across editions). Her theories about sin magic are therefore probably pretty dang sound and not "primitive superstition". Because Sorshen plays to the trope of "ancient archmage with a deeper understanding of magic than modern minds can comprehend". It's the same trope as Shangri-La, El Dorado, and pretty much the entire Renaissance. The trope that technology was more advanced in the past than in the present, and that modern humanity stands not just on the shoulders of older and wiser giants but in their shadow.

You can feel free to chuck that trope if you want, but then you have to explain how Sorshen did the magical equivalent of inventing a fusion reactor using Empedocles' theory of the Four Elements. Things like Runewells or the Everdawn Pool or the Mirror of Sorshen are all proof positive that her conception of magic is solid.

You should know the pitfalls of empiricism then and you should know that Newtonian physics are still used to great effect despite being less descriptive of reality compared to general relativity, and you should also know people are looking to create models that supercede general relativity because it has it's own pitfalls. Sin magic is this, is describes something about magic but it, like...

It's true that Newtonian Mechanics are still used as a decent approximation, yeah.

But it's bizarre to use that comparison with respect to the Runelords, because Sorshen and Xanderghul are quite literally the most powerful wizards to have ever existed in-universe, and are still the most powerful wizards in existence now. And wizardly power is directly correlated with arcane knowledge.

There's no good real-life comparison to the Pathfinder universe, is my point. At no point in history did you have a society with the "wrong" ideas about science and technology do things that modern science is incapable of. It's not like medieval doctors were leaps and bounds ahead of modern medicine even though they were using Galen's theories - they were a lot worse! In general, bad theory results in really, really bad tech.

I normally wouldn't use such crude measures as "raw power" since as any fifth-grader could tell you, power is relative. However, there is nothing relative about character level and CR, and the world of Golarion assumes that there IS an empirical measure of knowledge, sagacity, and wizardly understanding. It's...well...your wizard level.

Narratively as well as mechanically...Golarion is an empirical world.


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Sy Kerraduess wrote:
The concept of Sin and Virtue magic can be true without being tied in any way to a fundamental categorization of magic itself.

Sin magic would be a much cooler concept without being tied to the old schools of magic – particularly since many of the pairings were pretty bad to begin with. I mean, what is the association between the sin of Greed and things like erase, feather fall, or jump?


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Calliope5431 wrote:

It's true that Newtonian Mechanics are still used as a decent approximation, yeah.

But it's bizarre to use that comparison with respect to the Runelords, because Sorshen and Xanderghul are quite literally the most powerful wizards to have ever existed in-universe, and are still the most powerful wizards in existence now. And wizardly power is directly correlated with arcane knowledge.

There's no good real-life comparison to the Pathfinder universe, is my point. At no point in history did you have a society with the "wrong" ideas about science and technology do things that modern science is incapable of. It's not like medieval doctors were leaps and bounds ahead of modern medicine even though they were using Galen's theories - they were a lot worse! In general, bad theory results in really, really bad tech.

I normally wouldn't use such crude measures as "raw power" since as any fifth-grader could tell you, power is relative. However, there is nothing relative about character level and CR, and the world of Golarion assumes that there IS an empirical measure of knowledge, sagacity, and wizardly understanding. It's...well...your wizard level.

Narratively as well as mechanically...Golarion is an empirical world.

I don't think it's bizarre, because the idea people who invented a magic based on what is our world's Christian sins became the best wizards is the dumbest thing to me. It's also not important that I think this though, it's still socially constructed like all models of magic would be. Maybe their old model was a little more effective than the current model, but it isn't more "true" neither general relativity nor Newtonian Mechanics are "true" in that they fully accurately describe reality. They are just models which have different levels of of application, and general relativity is just a better model but it's still something we constructed socially


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AestheticDialectic wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

It's true that Newtonian Mechanics are still used as a decent approximation, yeah.

But it's bizarre to use that comparison with respect to the Runelords, because Sorshen and Xanderghul are quite literally the most powerful wizards to have ever existed in-universe, and are still the most powerful wizards in existence now. And wizardly power is directly correlated with arcane knowledge.

There's no good real-life comparison to the Pathfinder universe, is my point. At no point in history did you have a society with the "wrong" ideas about science and technology do things that modern science is incapable of. It's not like medieval doctors were leaps and bounds ahead of modern medicine even though they were using Galen's theories - they were a lot worse! In general, bad theory results in really, really bad tech.

I normally wouldn't use such crude measures as "raw power" since as any fifth-grader could tell you, power is relative. However, there is nothing relative about character level and CR, and the world of Golarion assumes that there IS an empirical measure of knowledge, sagacity, and wizardly understanding. It's...well...your wizard level.

Narratively as well as mechanically...Golarion is an empirical world.

I don't think it's bizarre, because the idea people who invented a magic based on what is our world's Christian sins became the best wizards is the dumbest thing to me. It's also not important that I think this though, it's still socially constructed like all models of magic would be. Maybe their old model was a little more effective than the current model, but it isn't more "true" neither general relativity nor Newtonian Mechanics are "true" in that they fully accurately describe reality. They are just models which have different levels of of application, and general relativity is just a better model but it's still something we constructed socially

Yeah I think we may have to agree to disagree there, since I'm much more onboard the "physics is not a social construct" train.

Because yes, they're all models. And they're somewhat imperfect. But when I see Sorshen's model accurately describe SO MANY MORE phenomena than Joe Q. Wizzie in the modern era, I sort of have to figure she's on to something and that her argument can't be easily dismissed.

Thassilon, bluntly, WAS a more magically advanced place than modern Golarion. No nation in modern Golarion could have built Xin-Shalast. Or the Everdawn Pool. Not because of some "social construct" or because societally they don't want to, but because they're magically incapable of doing so.

And I think you could write an interesting (arcane) thesis on the fact that Thassilon produced at least three mythic 20+ wizards in its thousand-year tenure, yet in the past thousand years of the setting, the whole of modern Golarion has yet to canonically produce ONE.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We actually have no idea what sin magic is going to look like in the remastery, but it won’t look like a stand in for old D&D schools unless they just never publish anything involving the rune lords again. However it’s get written into the remastered rules is how it will always have worked, and if you want that to be different in your Golarion, you are free to do so.


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Kalliope5431 wrote:

It's true that Newtonian Mechanics are still used as a decent approximation, yeah.

But it's bizarre to use that comparison with respect to the Runelords, because Sorshen and Xanderghul are quite literally the most powerful wizards to have ever existed in-universe, and are still the most powerful wizards in existence now. And wizardly power is directly correlated with arcane knowledge.

There's no good real-life comparison to the Pathfinder universe, is my point. At no point in history did you have a society with the "wrong" ideas about science and technology do things that modern science is incapable of. It's not like medieval doctors were leaps and bounds ahead of modern medicine even though they were using Galen's theories - they were a lot worse! In general, bad theory results in really, really bad tech.

I normally wouldn't use such crude measures as "raw power" since as any fifth-grader could tell you, power is relative. However, there is nothing relative about character level and CR, and the world of Golarion assumes that there IS an empirical measure of knowledge, sagacity, and wizardly understanding. It's...well...your wizard level.

Narratively as well as mechanically...Golarion is an empirical world.

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.


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You could also argue that their theories are not the source of their power, but something else. The Norse used to put bones into their iron to strengthen it with the spirits of the bones. Despite being wrong about the spirit thing, the bones did make the iron into a primitive form of steel, so despite being wrong about the cause they were right about the effect.


AestheticDialectic wrote:
I don't think it's bizarre, because the idea people who invented a magic based on what is our world's Christian sins became the best wizards is the dumbest thing to me. It's also not important that I think this though, it's still socially constructed like all models of magic would be. Maybe their old model was a little more effective than the current model, but it isn't more "true" neither general relativity nor Newtonian Mechanics are "true" in that they fully accurately describe reality. They are just models which have different levels of of application, and general relativity is just a better model but it's still something we constructed socially

Except that, we do know the 8-schools existed and had power. In PF1 a Conjurer, even at level 20, would need to use two slots to prepare spells from opposing schools. This wouldn't make sense if there wasn't something fundamentally different about the schools of magic.


Perpdepog wrote:

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.

Largely yes. We know their CRs from 1e.


I mean, physics as a field of study is absolutely socially constructed. That shouldn't be controversial. All fields of study are. All models are constructed by subjects within a subjective frame trying to make sense of the limited information they can get of what exists outside their subjective frame. Now is there something outside us that is real that we are measuring? I think so, but our models of it and the systems and tool we created to create these models etc are all constructed by us, and constructed collectively interpersonally, aka socially. Physics as a field and all the knowledge within it are descriptions made to approximate the bits of external reality we can gain some information about but by the nature of being in a subjective frame(phenomenal) we cannot truly access anything objective(noumenal). Obviously something external to us exists and would exist regardless of our being here. Everything appears to suggest this, but it's not something you can truly experience without being the whole of reality, which would be a description of "God". So we constructed science, models, fields of study, created terminology etc. This is categorically socially constructed. If you think it isn't you might be assuming socially constructed mean "fake" but it doesn't


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.
Largely yes. We know their CRs from 1e.

We have statblocks for Xin, Nex, and Geb?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
One thing I may eventually homebrew, and I think would be a good addition for each school is a rare tagged level 1 spell that is a unique spin on another spell that intentionally heightens very well, that is only available to members of that school. This would be a tiny little bit like amped cantrips for the psychic, except they are a spell slot spell, since that is the wizard's whole thing. I think just one (probably, but I may play with 2) unique spell per school would be enough to make the starting school spellbook for each school a big deal. The nice thing about this idea too is that it could easily be added later to the schools in a splatbook if any of these preliminary jitters about the new schools continue to be real problems for players once they start building new characters that are members of these schools and not just trying to reimagine old characters into them.

This feels like it would be something these schools would even promote to draw prospective students into their curriculum if they were actual institutions competing for students.


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We don't have stats for Nex or Geb AFAIK but I'm pretty sure that Baba Yaga is supposed to be the most powerful mortal* spellcaster in the universe, since she has parked herself on the doorstep of apotheosis which is a pretty significant ace up one's sleeve. Her reason for not embracing Godhood is basically "she hates it when people ask her for things."

Lich Queen Arazni was IIRC 20/8 in Mythic Realms, so Geb and Nex should probably be in that range.

*she can technically expire from things like "aging" she's just taken steps to prevent this.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
MEATSHED wrote:
I feel like everyone is trying to justify it in lore which isn't really going to work. Magi all of a sudden lost their arcane pool because 2e got rid of most of the unique daily resources classes had and nothing in lore really justifies this change because its purely a mechanical one (also stuff like Cloistered clerics going having worse casting than most clerics to being the standard casting cleric)

As a mechanic, it doesn't need any lore, because it's fairly invisible to the in game world. The problem with treating the game like hard physics of the world is that a ruleset cannot account for every part of the world. It is just a model to simplify things for play.


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Pronate11 wrote:
You could also argue that their theories are not the source of their power, but something else. The Norse used to put bones into their iron to strengthen it with the spirits of the bones. Despite being wrong about the spirit thing, the bones did make the iron into a primitive form of steel, so despite being wrong about the cause they were right about the effect.

A great example. Ancient people weren't dumb, even if their understanding was in some way technically wrong


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Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.
Largely yes. We know their CRs from 1e.
We have statblocks for Xin, Nex, and Geb?

We know that Xin was weaker than the Runelords, it's stated that they surpassed him in later years in Shattered Star.

And yeah, James mentioned at one point that Nex and Geb were weaker than the greatest Runelords:

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=509?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#25411

He also says Jatembe and Tar-Baphon were equal, but we actually got stats for them later so we can probably ignore that.

More to the point though, all of these people are millennia old. The last wizard we KNOW became mythic was probably Tar-Baphon, a score of centuries ago.

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

(of course, what it actually implies about the setting is that "ancient evil slowly reawakening" is a very popular trope, and "Gandalf saves your party's bacon" is very much NOT a popular trope)


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Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.
Largely yes. We know their CRs from 1e.
We have statblocks for Xin, Nex, and Geb?

No, but Nex and Geb are close, and since we know Geb is level 23 then I highly doubt Nex would be much higher.

Xin is a bigger question mark, but he's also dead so I'm not sure how that's relevant for the question at hand.

There's also this, which while is not technically canon, it lines up with lore.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:

Nerdy nitpick, are we certain Sorshen and Xanderghul are, in fact, the most powerful wizards in the setting? Nex is still around, presumably, and we've never really seen what Geb is capable of, either. IIRC it's also been hinted that the version of TB we've gotten stats for is him after he's taken a serious beating and not fully recovered, much like Xanderghul's statblock.

I'd have also included Baba Yaga, who CR-wise blows everyone else out of the water, but she's expressly a witch rather than a wizard.
Largely yes. We know their CRs from 1e.
We have statblocks for Xin, Nex, and Geb?

No, but Nex and Geb are close, and since we know Geb is level 23 then I highly doubt Nex would be much higher.

Xin is a bigger question mark, but he's also dead so I'm not sure how that's relevant for the question at hand.

There's also this, which while is not technically canon, it lines up with lore.

Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?


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Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?

Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?
Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.

Thanks!


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?
Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.

Well, neat. Thanks for that. Kinda bummed Geb isn't up in mythic fight-y territory, but it does mean he's more likely to get a statblock someday, which is always fun.

It also means that, if we assume level and CR translate one-to-one, Tar-Baphon is a beefier necromancer than Geb is. That could have interesting implications if TB ever turns his eye to a nation of undead and considers the ready-made armies he could pluck from it. Granted, he'd be pushing through a seriously entrenched position, and Geb is smart enough to surround himself with competent people.


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Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?
Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.

Well, neat. Thanks for that. Kinda bummed Geb isn't up in mythic fight-y territory, but it does mean he's more likely to get a statblock someday, which is always fun.

It also means that, if we assume level and CR translate one-to-one, Tar-Baphon is a beefier necromancer than Geb is. That could have interesting implications if TB ever turns his eye to a nation of undead and considers the ready-made armies he could pluck from it. Granted, he'd be pushing through a seriously entrenched position, and Geb is smart enough to surround himself with competent people.

Though Tar-Baphon would have to go through Cheliax, Andoran, and/or Taldor before he even got out of Avistan, and then he'd have to stage a naval campaign across the Inner Sea. Which might be difficult logistically between Absalom, Osirion, and Qadira breathing down his neck. He's kinda locked up in the middle of the continent.

On the other hand - I'm sure he's got some access to large-scale teleportation. And he's also Tar-Baphon. The guy is freaking scary.

Liberty's Edge

AestheticDialectic wrote:
I mean, physics as a field of study is absolutely socially constructed. That shouldn't be controversial. All fields of study are. All models are constructed by subjects within a subjective frame trying to make sense of the limited information they can get of what exists outside their subjective frame. Now is there something outside us that is real that we are measuring? I think so, but our models of it and the systems and tool we created to create these models etc are all constructed by us, and constructed collectively interpersonally, aka socially. Physics as a field and all the knowledge within it are descriptions made to approximate the bits of external reality we can gain some information about but by the nature of being in a subjective frame(phenomenal) we cannot truly access anything objective(noumenal). Obviously something external to us exists and would exist regardless of our being here. Everything appears to suggest this, but it's not something you can truly experience without being the whole of reality, which would be a description of "God". So we constructed science, models, fields of study, created terminology etc. This is categorically socially constructed. If you think it isn't you might be assuming socially constructed mean "fake" but it doesn't

I think the various temperatures' scales are a pretty good example of what I think you mean. They all measure temperature and can be used to get the same real results : there is a given temperature where water freezes and another where water boils. But, for whatever reason, the values measured are different even though the reality (temperature) is the same.

Liberty's Edge

Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?
Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.

Well, neat. Thanks for that. Kinda bummed Geb isn't up in mythic fight-y territory, but it does mean he's more likely to get a statblock someday, which is always fun.

It also means that, if we assume level and CR translate one-to-one, Tar-Baphon is a beefier necromancer than Geb is. That could have interesting implications if TB ever turns his eye to a nation of undead and considers the ready-made armies he could pluck from it. Granted, he'd be pushing through a seriously entrenched position, and Geb is smart enough to surround himself with competent people.

I thought I read somewhere that Geb was vastly powerful, which is why he could do the impossible of raising Arazni as a Lich.

And more powerful than TB.


The Raven Black wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
I mean, physics as a field of study is absolutely socially constructed. That shouldn't be controversial. All fields of study are. All models are constructed by subjects within a subjective frame trying to make sense of the limited information they can get of what exists outside their subjective frame. Now is there something outside us that is real that we are measuring? I think so, but our models of it and the systems and tool we created to create these models etc are all constructed by us, and constructed collectively interpersonally, aka socially. Physics as a field and all the knowledge within it are descriptions made to approximate the bits of external reality we can gain some information about but by the nature of being in a subjective frame(phenomenal) we cannot truly access anything objective(noumenal). Obviously something external to us exists and would exist regardless of our being here. Everything appears to suggest this, but it's not something you can truly experience without being the whole of reality, which would be a description of "God". So we constructed science, models, fields of study, created terminology etc. This is categorically socially constructed. If you think it isn't you might be assuming socially constructed mean "fake" but it doesn't
I think the various temperatures' scales are a pretty good example of what I think you mean. They all measure temperature and can be used to get the same real results : there is a given temperature where water freezes and another where water boils. But, for whatever reason, the values measured are different even though the reality (temperature) is the same.

However, once a civilization figures out thermodynamics, they will realize there is a bottom temperature beyond which you cannot go. And that fact and that temperature are the same everywhere, regardless of whether they choose to name it The Forbiddance of God rather than Absolute Zero, or anything else they may "socially construct" around it.

(Whereas the boiling/freezing points of water depend on the ambient pressure, which is probably not 1 Earth atmosphere on alien planets.)


The Raven Black wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Oh, where do we find out Geb is 23?
Impossible Lands pg 142 under the Mechitar settlement block.

Well, neat. Thanks for that. Kinda bummed Geb isn't up in mythic fight-y territory, but it does mean he's more likely to get a statblock someday, which is always fun.

It also means that, if we assume level and CR translate one-to-one, Tar-Baphon is a beefier necromancer than Geb is. That could have interesting implications if TB ever turns his eye to a nation of undead and considers the ready-made armies he could pluck from it. Granted, he'd be pushing through a seriously entrenched position, and Geb is smart enough to surround himself with competent people.

I thought I read somewhere that Geb was vastly powerful, which is why he could do the impossible of raising Arazni as a Lich.

And more powerful than TB.

Yeah I think "vastly powerful" is something of a crapshoot on Golarion.

The antagonist of Stolen Fate:

Stolen Fate:

is only level 20 but has aspirations to rewrite all of existence

By contrast, in age of ashes

Age of Ashes:

there are over a score of level 18 guards running around Promise and battalions of level 14 zephyr guards defending Katapesh

So "possesses the power to raise a level 20-21 demigod as a lich" could mean you're level 30 or, evidently, level 23 as Impossible Lands tells us.

And then there's the taiga giant guy, Thulos, in Shattered Star who's a devoted servant of Runelord Zutha and is CR 24, despite the fact that Zutha was decidedly NOT above CR 20 even at his height. I blame this on having a writing team, and not always having time to check every single bit of continuity in every part of the setting before you sit down to write things.

Also, the fact that most APs have to go to level 17 or higher means that you wind up with a ton of level 17+ threats wandering around the planet at once, which gets really really awkward when you stop to think about it.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
I mean, physics as a field of study is absolutely socially constructed. That shouldn't be controversial. All fields of study are. All models are constructed by subjects within a subjective frame trying to make sense of the limited information they can get of what exists outside their subjective frame. Now is there something outside us that is real that we are measuring? I think so, but our models of it and the systems and tool we created to create these models etc are all constructed by us, and constructed collectively interpersonally, aka socially. Physics as a field and all the knowledge within it are descriptions made to approximate the bits of external reality we can gain some information about but by the nature of being in a subjective frame(phenomenal) we cannot truly access anything objective(noumenal). Obviously something external to us exists and would exist regardless of our being here. Everything appears to suggest this, but it's not something you can truly experience without being the whole of reality, which would be a description of "God". So we constructed science, models, fields of study, created terminology etc. This is categorically socially constructed. If you think it isn't you might be assuming socially constructed mean "fake" but it doesn't
I think the various temperatures' scales are a pretty good example of what I think you mean. They all measure temperature and can be used to get the same real results : there is a given temperature where water freezes and another where water boils. But, for whatever reason, the values measured are different even though the reality (temperature) is the same.
However, once a civilization figures out thermodynamics, they will realize there is a bottom temperature beyond which you cannot go. And that fact and that temperature are the same everywhere, regardless of whether they choose to name it The Forbiddance of God rather than Absolute Zero, or anything else they may...

Yeah my point was more that Sorshen had discovered some deep truths of magic that evidently no one in the modern world can replicate. And said deep truths aren't related to mutable social things like gender or societal norms. They're plain facts like "there is a minimum temperature" and "xenon is non-reactive".

Like, sure, she might only have magical Newtonian mechanics and not magical General Relativity. She might not have the complete picture.

But that's a whole lot better than whatever the modern wizards on Golarion have, given none of them is level 27.


Calliope5431 wrote:

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

I can even say what: that Sin magic is not something fundamental and the best or even 'true' model of magic. Can't you see it yourself? Of these examples 4 aren't practitioners.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We have no idea yet what PF2 mythical power is going to look like yet. I wouldn’t get too caught up on past stat blocks since those are all OGL material. Again, in your own game you can play it anyway you want, but only the loosest narrative elements of PF1 material is relevant anymore, and even pre-remastered PF2 content could change for NPCs.


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I think it might be that the game just cannot accurately replicate some of this stuff with regards to the most powerful wizards and what the old and new schools mean.

Like, for purpose of a game, there have to be conceits and constraints, but what is actually true about the world, agnostic of the rules, can be different.

Nothing will ever be a truly accurate depiction, because with characters like Sorshen, they should exist beyond rules and constraints - to accurately reflect their narrative.

When any powerful person is given stats, there are always concessions that have to be made, just by nature of it being a system that has rules.


Errenor wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

I can even say what: that Sin magic is not something fundamental and the best or even 'true' model of magic. Can't you see it yourself? Of these examples 4 aren't practitioners.

Well.

Tar-Baphon's power is directly based on his plundering of Zutha's Cenotaph. That's canon lore. He's presumably integrated some of that ancient knowledge into his own necromancy.

The larger point I was making, which has been, I admit, thoroughly lost in this discussion...is that Sorshen is not a blithering idiot. And that it seems somewhat presumptuous to call a level 27 archwizard who no one except Xanderghul has EVER surpassed in magical learning, power, or understanding a sad has-been who just doesn't understand how magic really works.

I'd defend Jatembe just as strongly, for the record. Golarion as a setting is MASSIVELY biased towards "ancient wizards with powers unseen in the modern age". Calling any of the people on that list outmoded seems kinda silly.


Unicore wrote:
We have no idea yet what PF2 mythical power is going to look like yet. I wouldn’t get too caught up on past stat blocks since those are all OGL material. Again, in your own game you can play it anyway you want, but only the loosest narrative elements of PF1 material is relevant anymore, and even pre-remastered PF2 content could change for NPCs.

Pretty much that yeah.


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Calliope5431 wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

I can even say what: that Sin magic is not something fundamental and the best or even 'true' model of magic. Can't you see it yourself? Of these examples 4 aren't practitioners.

Well.

Tar-Baphon's power is directly based on his plundering of Zutha's Cenotaph. That's canon lore. He's presumably integrated some of that ancient knowledge into his own necromancy.

The larger point I was making, which has been, I admit, thoroughly lost in this discussion...is that Sorshen is not a blithering idiot. And that it seems somewhat presumptuous to call a level 27 archwizard who no one except Xanderghul has EVER surpassed in magical learning, power, or understanding a sad has-been who just doesn't understand how magic really works.

I'd defend Jatembe just as strongly, for the record. Golarion as a setting is MASSIVELY biased towards "ancient wizards with powers unseen in the modern age". Calling any of the people on that list outmoded seems kinda silly.

True, but it's also a pretty common trope in fantasy that even the most powerful being doesn't actually fully understand something.

Like, Morgoth was the greatest of the Ainur, but even he could never fully understand certain things and thus was doomed to fail from the start - not that Sorshen is the same, but the idea of 'mega powerful being misunderstands something they think they understand' is pretty common.

Mostly spitballing here, but Paizo eventually coming out and being like "yeah, even the Runelords didn't fully understand magic, they just thought they did" wouldn't surprise me.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

I can even say what: that Sin magic is not something fundamental and the best or even 'true' model of magic. Can't you see it yourself? Of these examples 4 aren't practitioners.

Well.

Tar-Baphon's power is directly based on his plundering of Zutha's Cenotaph. That's canon lore. He's presumably integrated some of that ancient knowledge into his own necromancy.

The larger point I was making, which has been, I admit, thoroughly lost in this discussion...is that Sorshen is not a blithering idiot. And that it seems somewhat presumptuous to call a level 27 archwizard who no one except Xanderghul has EVER surpassed in magical learning, power, or understanding a sad has-been who just doesn't understand how magic really works.

I'd defend Jatembe just as strongly, for the record. Golarion as a setting is MASSIVELY biased towards "ancient wizards with powers unseen in the modern age". Calling any of the people on that list outmoded seems kinda silly.

True, but it's also a pretty common trope in fantasy that even the most powerful being doesn't actually fully understand something.

Like, Morgoth was the greatest of the Ainur, but even he could never fully understand certain things and thus was doomed to fail from the start - not that Sorshen is the same, but the idea of 'mega powerful being misunderstands something they think they understand' is pretty common.

Mostly spitballing here, but Paizo eventually coming out and being like "yeah, even the Runelords didn't fully understand magic, they just thought they did" wouldn't surprise me.

That's fair. I'd be somewhat sad about it, but I do understand setting lore consistency is important and all that. sad muttering about retcons

And hey, at least they didn't kill Nethys to do it like Forgotten Realms would have...well, at least not yet...


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Calliope5431 wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The magical apex of Golarion was Thassilon eleven millennia in the past. No modern wizard has achived that level of power. No wizard in the past two thousand years has equaled the Runelords, Nex, Geb, Jatembe, or Tar-Baphon.

In my opinion, this implies something about the setting.

I can even say what: that Sin magic is not something fundamental and the best or even 'true' model of magic. Can't you see it yourself? Of these examples 4 aren't practitioners.

Well.

Tar-Baphon's power is directly based on his plundering of Zutha's Cenotaph. That's canon lore. He's presumably integrated some of that ancient knowledge into his own necromancy.

The larger point I was making, which has been, I admit, thoroughly lost in this discussion...is that Sorshen is not a blithering idiot. And that it seems somewhat presumptuous to call a level 27 archwizard who no one except Xanderghul has EVER surpassed in magical learning, power, or understanding a sad has-been who just doesn't understand how magic really works.

I'd defend Jatembe just as strongly, for the record. Golarion as a setting is MASSIVELY biased towards "ancient wizards with powers unseen in the modern age". Calling any of the people on that list outmoded seems kinda silly.

True, but it's also a pretty common trope in fantasy that even the most powerful being doesn't actually fully understand something.

Like, Morgoth was the greatest of the Ainur, but even he could never fully understand certain things and thus was doomed to fail from the start - not that Sorshen is the same, but the idea of 'mega powerful being misunderstands something they think they understand' is pretty common.

Mostly spitballing here, but Paizo eventually coming out and being like "yeah, even the Runelords didn't fully understand magic, they just thought they did" wouldn't surprise me.

That's fair. I'd be somewhat sad about it, but I do...

Don't you put that evil on us, Ricky Bobby!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyder wrote:
Unicore wrote:
One thing I may eventually homebrew, and I think would be a good addition for each school is a rare tagged level 1 spell that is a unique spin on another spell that intentionally heightens very well, that is only available to members of that school. This would be a tiny little bit like amped cantrips for the psychic, except they are a spell slot spell, since that is the wizard's whole thing. I think just one (probably, but I may play with 2) unique spell per school would be enough to make the starting school spellbook for each school a big deal. The nice thing about this idea too is that it could easily be added later to the schools in a splatbook if any of these preliminary jitters about the new schools continue to be real problems for players once they start building new characters that are members of these schools and not just trying to reimagine old characters into them.

I like this idea but it either shouldn't have needed to be homebrew. The fact people (and especially you with your eternally optimistic take on things) find the desirr to homebrew little perks or improvements say wizard remaster did not hit the mark.

School specific spells shouldn't have needed to be homebrewed. School focus spells could have filled this niche. School spellshape or focus spells that modified a spell as it was cast would uave improved schools. As it is schools as is have issues. Dead school spell ranks at later levels while possibly low impact is still poor design and could easily have been avoided by having at least 1 school spell at each rank that remains good at the rank you get it rather than whay we got. Its not hard to do it, the fact they didn't makes me believe there are no wizard champions on the design team. We already know that things that have champions or are well liked by the desing team (e.g. Leshies) get a lot of love (I think Leshies now have more heritage options than any other amcestry). I am guessing rogue, cleric, witch and druid all have fans on the design team...

I see this more as room for growth with the class, rather than things that were needed, and needed to be right from the start. Wizards not being in the core 1 would have been a pretty big disaster for PF2.


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I admit - the whole "continuity reset whenever you do a new edition/write another adventure that changes the setting" thing may be one of the more painful things to witness in RPGs.

It was bad watching it happen in Forgotten Realms - I'm quite happy Paizo is TRYING to spread its adventure paths out now to different parts of Golarion. It means Varisia, Cheliax, and the rest of Avistan don't collapse under the weight of continuity shifts.

Because really. In the past 14 years of Golarion's history, we've had the following major political events...

a lot of stuff:

1. The Runelords all came back and most of them died (Runelord trilogy)
2. The return of Tar-Baphon (Tyrant's grasp)
3. The sealing of the Worldwound and death of a demon lord (Wrath of the Righteous)
4. Multiple civil wars in Cheliax (Council of Thieves, Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance)
5. A aborted coup in Absalom (Agents of Edgewatch)
6. An aborted coup/civil war in Geb (Blood Lords)
7. A civil war in Taldor (War for the Crown)
8. The overthrow of the Queen of Irrisen (Reign of Winter)
9. The founding of Druma (Ironfang Invasion)
10. A coup and restoration of the monarchy of Minkai (Jade Regent)
11. The rise and then destruction of the great pharaoh Hakotep (Mummy's Mask)
12. The founding of a major kingdom in the Riverlands (Kingmaker)


It's all a little much, and up until recently it was heavily concentrated in Avistan. The more that stuff gets spread out, the less insane the setting looks.

Shadow Lodge

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Honestly, that seems less insane than most real world upheavals.


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Calliope5431 wrote:
I admit - the whole "continuity reset whenever you do a new edition/write another adventure that changes the setting" thing may be one of the more painful things to witness in RPGs.

I think my favorite edition-change explanation, and the one to which I tend to default, is the one Wizards used for Forgotten Realms and the 2e to 3e changes: both are imperfect approximations of the "real" Forgotten Realms. The Symbul didn't change from being a 2e wizard to being a 3e sorcerer, it's just that sorcerer is a better model for her natural command of magical forces.

Similarly, I don't think it's worthwhile to get bogged down in details of how magic works between editions. Specialists needing to use two slots in order to cast opposition school spells is the kind of nitpicking that isn't really helpful.


Calliope5431 wrote:

I admit - the whole "continuity reset whenever you do a new edition/write another adventure that changes the setting" thing may be one of the more painful things to witness in RPGs.

It was bad watching it happen in Forgotten Realms - I'm quite happy Paizo is TRYING to spread its adventure paths out now to different parts of Golarion. It means Varisia, Cheliax, and the rest of Avistan don't collapse under the weight of continuity shifts.

Because really. In the past 14 years of Golarion's history, we've had the following major political events...

** spoiler omitted **
It's all a little much, and up until recently it was heavily concentrated in Avistan. The more that stuff gets spread out, the less insane the setting looks.

That basically sounds like most of European history.


Calliope5431 wrote:
9. The founding of Druma (Ironfang Invasion)

You meant Oprak, right? Druma's existed from the start. Let's also not forget that we saw the ascendency of not one, but three goddesses last edition, too.

Calliope5431 wrote:
I'd defend Jatembe just as strongly, for the record. Golarion as a setting is MASSIVELY biased towards "ancient wizards with powers unseen in the modern age". Calling any of the people on that list outmoded seems kinda silly.

I'm firmly convinced that the only reason Old Man Jatembe isn't more potent than he is is because he keeps getting sidetracked having to stop some random ancient evil or other from messing everyone up, and when he's not he is rightly finding the time to just vibe and have some self-care days.


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TOZ wrote:
Honestly, that seems less insane than most real world upheavals.

In a vacuum, maybe. But it's been going on for 14 years and if the pace continued for another 14 the setting would be borderline unrecognizable.

Real world medieval/Renaissance Europe had very few decades as tumultuous as that, where almost every major kingdom suffered a coup or civil war. And they certainly didn't continue for decades on end.

Or to reframe: the abyss has about 20 major listed demon lords. They lost two in the last 10 years in setting. This implies somewhat ridiculous turnover in eons-old archfiends...


Calliope5431 wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Honestly, that seems less insane than most real world upheavals.

In a vacuum, maybe. But it's been going on for 14 years and if the pace continued for another 14 the setting would be borderline unrecognizable.

Real world medieval/Renaissance Europe had very few decades as tumultuous as that, where almost every major kingdom suffered a coup or civil war. And they certainly didn't continue for decades on end.

Or to reframe: the abyss has about 20 major listed demon lords. They lost two in the last 10 years in setting. This implies somewhat ridiculous turnover in eons-old archfiends...

That's just how fiction generally works. Players/readers need excitement. RPGs specifically need adventures and every level 10+ adventure has the potential to be a significant event in a region with 15+ being nation-level events. We're just seeing a very volatile slice of Golarion history unfolding as a result of Paizo not stretching out events and putting in time skips.

Shadow Lodge

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Calliope5431 wrote:
Real world medieval/Renaissance Europe had very few decades as tumultuous as that, where almost every major kingdom suffered a coup or civil war. And they certainly didn't continue for decades on end.

Sounds like the real world is a terribly boring place to have fantasy adventures.


TOZ wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Real world medieval/Renaissance Europe had very few decades as tumultuous as that, where almost every major kingdom suffered a coup or civil war. And they certainly didn't continue for decades on end.
Sounds like the real world is a terribly boring place to have fantasy adventures.

I'm just saying.

This is how you get Mystra killed and resurrected three times and comic book canons where nobody actually dies

It's exciting until you realize nothing matters because the status quo is God and that your heroism means nothing because the joker is literally incapable of being removed from the board.

Shadow Lodge

You cleave to the status quo in your games? Well, to each their own.

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