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Alex Stewart 689 wrote:
One is, what will the effect of their short term failure be in the outside world? Will Cressida simply urge them to return as soon as possible and try again? Will Thousand Bones and the Shoanti become angry at the delay, and should this have any effect on Korvosa/the PCs?

No considerable effect on Korvosa/outside world from the failure for the moment. Rolths operation was in the city for some years and apparently, considering Cressidas words that he became just a classical "pain in the back", it was not that world shattering. Just another annoying high, but not top priority, target that does stuff, however does not rock the boat (for now).

Cressida will want from survivors’ location of "Vreegs" den, and then muster a force of guards as quick as she can to send there. Probably would inform Thousand Bones, because shoanty would be ready to get there faster and clear the place for the guard (let’s be honest, as much as she understands TB situation, she cares more about her people more and would not put them at risk unless ordered to).

Alex Stewart 689 wrote:
The second is, if/when the PCs return, what will the Dead Warrens be like for a second visit? Vreeg was the only derro to survive - if he decides to stay, it would make sense for him to fortify or make some sort of preparations for another assault. It would certainly be interesting to make the PCs fight against the reanimated corpses of their fallen comrades.

Well, the thing is that Vreeg doesn't call the shots. Remember that PCs just got lucky that by plot, Rolth was away, shopping in the city when they barged in. When he gets back, and finds that one of his dens was compromised (no matter if some or all of the intruders got axed - they could have informed someone where they went) he gets his thing and relocates. In addition, he would surely animate the bodies of dead PC and take them with him (to haul his stuff and interrogate them via Speak with Dead).


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Holomog from Distant Shores Amazon-like society/nation?


I agree that negative consequences for a prolonged inaction should have place. It’s not a punishment because GM isn't there to cosplay a line of code from a video game and wait indefinitely for meaningful party progress in the plot. At least, this AP isn't a sandbox as Kingmaker or Skull and Shackles are, where players can gallivant and do stuff as much as they want. We, as GMs, can set the pace to be slower. However, if party doesn't move forward, knowing that Big Bad is going to do Big Evil and it's only matter of time... Well, or switch the campaign to a sandbox or drop the hammer.

Now, not knowing the details of your run of AP and trying not to project mine on it, I'll advice in somewhat broad strokes:

1. Let the party know (preferably from Neolandus/Vencarlo), that Ileosa eliminated any meaningful political opposition in Korvosa. If you're using updated edition of AP, she set a trap for them by running public execution of Marcus Endrin. His loyal "bannermen" (except Kressida) tried to save him/start a rebellion, but where caught, killed, and their small aristocratic families slaughtered. Without them, those who remained in anarchy/plague ravaged city understood the message, and run to pledge their allegiance openly to the queen.

2. Peerage Review, the aristocratic "board" of five most powerful noble houses of the city that "approve" monarchs decrees, is now obsolete. Arkonas are down/blockaded in Old Korvosa quarantine zone. Zenderholm is on the Queen side (Zenobia being now undead). Ornellos is neutral-ish (comfortable with supplying Ileosa side with magic items for being left alone in Academae). Jeggare and Leroung after massacre from point 1 got the "message" and went team Queen too.

3. City Guard is not disbanded but is sent to garrison and patrol the Korvosan holdings far-far outside the city. The token number that remained inside is just that - a token, in comparison to growing numbers of Gray Maidens.

4. Churches with political capital (Asmodeus and Abadar) are pro-Ileosa too. Asmodean just because they where okay with her actions before and now are preferring to sit quietly. Abadar - archbanker Darb Tuttle made critical mistake in supporting her (somewhat) earlier (riot and plague time), and now is playing along and tries to save the church (and his position) by sending away those abadarians who don't go along with "party line". Dispersion of city guard that Abadar Church was heavily funding (to keep it dependent on them) didn't help either.

5. Numbers of Gray Maidens are growing fast, way too fast. Even for an increasingly tyrannical grip that Ileosas rule becomes, it's impossible to have that much resources to continuously supply new members with ready full-plate armor, heavy shield and bastard swords.

6. Detachments of Gray Maidens where sent to Veldraine and Palin's Cove. First one to assure that Korvosa Navy stays loyal, and second, to secure the siege weapons factories.

7. Aside from this, citizens of the city are increasingly forbidden to leave it (mostly taking women from families to serve in Gray Maidens).

All of this to reinforce the fact that Neolandus position as true seneschal is now more symbolic than effective one. Ileosa has all the political capital now to just ignore him, if he somehow would show in Korvosa and demand from her to step down.

If this doesn't motivate them, then it's time to get a little personal. Find from players if their characters have flavor NPCs from their backgrounds. This is the expendable list. Let party know that number of these NPCs are missing or plainly executed by the Ileosas regime.
And if that doesn't make them move, well, time to get ridiculous. Party of my players is quite powerful, which made me painfully aware that at that moment (11th level) they could take Ileosa down, if they would decide to go YOLO and assassinate her. So I went preventive. Took the raid on Red Mantiss temple from the end of fourth arch (updated edition) and used it early. Long story short, party almost cleared the place, while sappers were preparing explosives to blow the place up. Then Ileosa shows. Party being somewhat resource depleted tries cautiously to take some shots at her. And here is where I went ridiculous by giving her "plot armor". Noting fancy, just all kind of attacks againts here fail critically, and her attacks and saves have auto-success (with criticals). In addition, all possible senses/visions, inability to take her crown away (only if she takes it off) and mad regeneration. After critically slapping rogues face with the palm of her hand, she "chased" them a bit. Until party detonated the explosives and blew the temple to the sky. Of course, this was just a mere "flesh wound" for Ileosa who dug herself after an hour. She was madder that party ruined her dress, shoes and nails with hair, than tried to kill her. After all this, party was sent to shoanti, to find more information that would lead to McGuffin/sword. Meta, sword will create anti-plot armor field, and give Ileosa normal stats for final fight.

Hope this helps!


On one side (the lazy one), I do wait for this AP because I'm quite a fan for a cloak and dagger style of games. But on the other, I dread the work I'll have to put in to tweak it for my taste - to make the story even more complex and gray, so players would have to build their own political capital and rely on it, and not be pawns or junior partners to NPCs and their schemes. Not saying that original story wouldn't have this things, but I feel (no disrespect to authors here) I'll find them lacking complexity for my humble taste.

And sorry for adding my five cents to off-topic discussion, but I found a bit... personally disrespectful to say that all art is political, in one way or other. I of course think the statement was for "written word" in this case, but still... Paintings that I've drawn from junior school to college and are hanging on the walls of my and my relatives home walls don't have any political message and don't support in any way any status quos around the world. This, as their creator, I can confirm (as long as I or witnesses are alive/my written and authentical explanation exists).
However, it would make me smile to see anyone trying to find some message in my naturemorte (still life) of a kettle hanging in the kitchen.

P.S. Sorry for my English, not native speaker.


Here are some answers to my questions about elves before Azlant and lizardfolk/xulgath(troglodites).

And a similar thread where some time ago I posted results of some lore exploration about golarion races.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Folca's written Obedience requires explicitly traumatizing a child and is thus a step beyond pretty much any other.

We all can agree at this. However, those few obidiences that do harm sentient humanoids not all probably have the specification to exclude some categories from being sacrificed. I recently have run a game featuring demon-lord of werewolfs Jezelda. And her obedience is nasty when it is done in a moonless night. It doesn't hit Folcas level, in the sense that it doesn't target children, but its prerequisite to work is a sentient humanoid of same race. No word on how old or young it can be. I do understand that it is a long shot by going for Folca-level shock content for one-time using Jezelda, but what is mattering that the option exists (and no, I didn't use it). And I hope, that if it gets in the spotlight, the only thing that gets cut is the "option" part (by adding a line that children are excluded), or the obedience. Not the whole demon lord. In short, I hope for no overreaction.


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Ralphrius wrote:
I highly doubt anyone reading this is inspired to start campaigns to remove more/other content

The question more likely is, if someone does get inspired, will it be done referring to/using this precedent only as a hollow excuse to censor something? I agree that Folca and its theme were disturbing and warranting changes. However, Folca didn't exist in perfect vacuum as sole evil deity of the setting, there are other themes there that are equally disturbing. And even as I can objectively agree with getting them cut too, I can't wonder if the same tactic may be used just to do the same with something in setting, that someone may just dislike.

But this is just my thoughts, hope they are wrong and all going to be good.

P.S. Sorry for clumsy english (if it is), not a native speaker.


Hello, James. I'm running CotCT AP, and have some questions that are bothering me a bit.

1. How many people does, approximative, a shoanti clan has (specifically the Moon and Sun clans)?
2. Are shoanti met in other places than clanlands of seven quahs "clanless" or just smaller independent/self-proclaimed clans?
3. Can an unscrupulous/desperate/warmongering clan call "clanless" shoanti in their war effort in exchange for recognition an incorporation in their quah?


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pjackson wrote:
I have the original CoCT. In those Marcus Endrin was never the seneshal.

He isn't. But here's what guide to Korvosa has to say on who assumes the office if previous one retires or dies:

"The current leader of the Sable Company, Commandant Marcus Thalassinus Endrin, is first in line to become the new seneschal of Castle Korvosa, should Seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis retire or die."
I'm inclined to believe that in Neolandus absence on any ocasion, Marcus should assume his role temporary. It's just that plague was organized by the Queen in such manner, that Endrin would have to remain at Sable Marines command until the crisis gets resolved. Aside from thinning the ranks of the marines and helping her to build a narrative to antagonize Marcus that they where incompetent, quite useless and dragging on the budget.

pjackson wrote:
Neolandis' fate was unknown but he wasn't missing for very long. Did the hardback change that?

Nope. However, AP doesn't have a firm timeline. Neolandus may be in rakshasas paws as short or long as GM decides.

pjackson wrote:
as soon as Neolandis reappears and denounces her she was no longer the legitmate one

I agree, however, by this time she obliterated all old and "above ground" opposition and replaced key positions in the government with her puppets. De facto yes, the laws of the city where by this time just a shell and Neolandus was right, but de jure, she didn't swept them away. Via her puppets she could legitimately drag this "Neolandus" and his claims through a bureaucratic gauntlet before he could be reaffirmed as the missing seneschal (if of course she wouldn't kill him quietly first).

In the end, it all comes down to how much depth a GM wants to put in this AP. Inheritance traditions of autocratic states are always messy. Who is powerful enough to win the internal struggle, gets to be the ruler. And as much as devils are pure evil, they are pure lawfulness too. I can't imagine for a magical contract from a personification of law (as evil as it is) to work if Ileosa wasn't by the standards of cosmic bureaucracy the legitimate monarch.


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pjackson wrote:
I don't think so. It is not normal for spouses to inherit that way (too much temptation).

Well, Golarion has some differences in inheritance traditions of monarchs.

And yeah, Neolandus, or his heir to the role of seneschal, Marcus Endrin wouldn't choose Ileosa, preferring some distant relative of Eodred or a local noble. However, isn't it lovely that former disappeared without a trace (by being jailed in rakshasas dungeon with no contact to the outside world) and the later tried to assassinate her in broad daylight? How much longer should the office be vacant in the wake of terrible situation like anarchy, traitorous coups and plagues? Maybe an influential arbiter and noble like, lets say, Zenobia Zenderholm, can state that in this dire times, a new person like Togomor, a foreigner with no ties to the city, should take the mantle. If she supports him, well, then it couldn't be that his, a foreigner’s choice, is wrong to elect her as true and only heir?
To be short, do not underestimate Ileosa. She had a plan the second Kazavon soulshard possessed her, and it worked like a clock to create her enough of a window of opportunity to get what she wants. Via manipulations and using the law to her favor, in a true lawful evil Palpatine style.


The only hostage situation that will work, in my mind, is that when the hostage taker can deliver damage to vide area as a free action. Or has someone help, in form of a partner who is watching how the situation will resolve and can do it for him if it goes bad. Or maybe when party is low-level.
Had two hostage situations at my table. One resulted in the hostage taker being dead before she could act in her round. The second - party just let the hostage be killed, so they could take down the bad guy and then "raise dead" the victim.


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Edge the He-Witch wrote:
My question is, how to motivate PCs into investigating the Queen’s contract to that extent. It seems like the only reason anyone would even try after she’s been defeated is if they had a desire to free her soul from Hell.

Short answer - she is legitimate monarch (no jokes, she is), they research her copy of the contract and understand that vanquishing her, by the might of cosmic bureaucracy, just passed the city from one tyrant to other. And this later guy, may use it to buy his position in hell back (which may land the city even in worse hands).


Just want to respectively express my humble opinion. And sorry for my English in advance.

After reading the topic and some objective personal thinking, I would say the problem mostly arisen from desire to bring some of deific worship in borders of mechanics, by adding obedience feat and boons (not a bad idea from my point of view). I understand that genie is out of the bottle, and the specific problem with Folca (and possibly other fiends) will be dealt with as Paizo sees fit. But for future I think (not advocating for it), the compromise is to present the method/guidelines for GMs how to craft unique boons and obedience for deities, that will not get them for one or another reason.
Again, this is just my personal opinion on the situation, and bigger picture around it.


Bokrug. Having a lot of fun with my elder mythos cultist cleric in Skull & Shackles. Then again, our party isn't good so it works well to be the crazy one.


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Jay wrote:
I was wondering if this is done on purpose, is Korvosa just not very racially diverse, is it exclusionary to other races? I noticed it is mostly human but didn't realize those humans were also not very diverse.

In confinement of lore it’s not that surprising that Korvosa is human-centric city with majority of humans of one ethnicity. Being the hub of colonization in the region for their parental empire (and settled by mostly their human colonists and soldiers) its no wonder that Korvosan society and traditions have preference towards chelish-ancestry humans, who do make majority of citizens. And queen-mother Domina, as probably at some degree her son Eodred II, enforced this stance, being foreign nobility that came from now Asmodean Cheliax to rule the former colony.

That said, Korvosa is still more diverse than you may think. They have sizable minority of elves and half-elves (the Guide of Korvosa mentions that elves, even their Grand Diplomat, do love to have endless affairs with locals). Janderhoff dwarfs have very good ties with the city (treaty of cooperation, that they do honor), which should imply a sizable community of dwarfs who seek to make fortune there. Halflings, while still being mistreated, aren't officially slaves and noble houses do enlist them to run their trade ships. Gnomes aren't mentioned much, but the alternative to magical school of Academae is run by one. Blood of Angels and Fiends state that tieflings and aasimars do have place in the region, so I don't imagine them being rare in Korvosa too. Heck, one pathfinder comics even puts non-savage goblins in Korvosa (as servants for nobles, but with their own scheming agenda).

Speaking of humans, indeed, the chelish ancestry seems to make the majority of movers and shakers in city government. However, this doesn't mean that outside this structure, all major NPCs are chelish too. Outside its core districts, there are a lot of varisians and shoanty (with their ethnic centered criminal organizations, in contrast to chelish). There are those who come from mixed ancestry (as Soldato kids example). Guide of Korvosa states that in the city are communities of Geb and Alkenstar people, who came with their families on invitation of Queen Domina. Arkonas trade with Vudra brought to the city not only specific guests, but simple vudrani too, as shown by Ishanty family. And being next trade hub after Magnimar in Varisian from Land of Linnorm Kings, I can see that ulfens and even minkai people aren't that much of curiosity.
Neolandus Kaleopopolis, by the way, sounds very greek to me.

In the end, there is diversity in Korvosa. It's just scattered in more lore of the books than the hardcover of the AP (and shouldn't be judged by portraits of dozen NPCs only). I'd advice to change mostly non-governmental NPCs (private organizations, like Academae for example, can and do have non-chelish professors). Leave officers, nobles (not self-made merchants), and high-ranking government types chelish.


Adjoint wrote:
I'd like to know more about history of Varisia between the fall of Thassilon and the arrival of Chelish colonists. Where should I look?

Information in various chunks is scattered around many books. Better to start from pathfinder wiki page on Varisia and look at the sources (and the sources other pages of various locations in Varisia have).

Adjoint wrote:
I know that after the fall of Thassilon the rune giants were ruling for some time, and that until the Chelish colonization the Shoanti had lived more south, as far as Korvosa and the Bloodsworn Vale. But the period I'm talking about is almost 10000 years, there has to be more in this than that.

The way I see it, based on all that I have read, first hundred of years after Earthfall weren't nice for anyone in Varisia except giantkind. Large parts of Alaznist, Beliarmus and Sorshens domains sunk when parts of Starstone hit Golarion. Any possible and easy land connection Horse Lords of pre-Nidal had with Thassilon via Sorshens domain was gone. The ash cloud, as stated, covered Golarion for 1000 years. Elves are gone, with Mierani Forest and Observatory that stood before Mordant Spire abandoned. The first probably gets soon infested with goblins, troglodytes and other creatures. No dwarfs, orks and gnomes yet.

With this setting, humans and halflings citizens of Thassillon that survived initial years get in one or other form oppressed by giants. Stone kick them away trying to build their own communities, Rune create their own little kingdoms (like one that was around Jol in Lands of Linnorm Kings), ogres do the same around Wyvern Mountains. Fire follow the same pattern in Mindspin Mountains, Taiga go roaming the lands, and altruistic Cloud are trying to help in some ways.
Somewhat giant free place is south parts of modern Varisia. Kaer Maga probably remains the only safe "free city" for humanoids, as it was standing there even before Thassilon.
As years go, giants (and then people) are first challenged by emerging orcs, and then dwarfs. Janderhoff is build, bringing more stability in the region where future Korvosa will be. Varisians and Shoanti, as ethnicity are born from their Thassilion caste past, after years of struggles for survival. The first center themselves on traveling, and the latter on fighting the giants as kellids and ulfen in neighboring lands do. Eventually shoanti spread all across Varisia, with clan lands defined (there is a map in Varisia, Birthplace of Legends). Of course there will be other enemies to fight, like orcs from Belkzen, goblin tribes, boggarts...
Lands near Sandpoint, which were in Alaznist domain, would be (and remain till now) kind of playground for demons. This particular part of Golarion is said to be a place of contest for Lamashtu and Pazuzu (for personal reasons). Both waging eternal war through their minions and followers over who will hold it.
In overall, Varisia, close before chelish colonization was almost the same, just a lot more emptier. No Korvosa and its settlements (aside Sirathu, which was wrestled from Kaer Maga protection), no chelish pirates that founded Riddleport and Roderick Cove, no Magnimar and at least some of its setllements, no Ilsurian, Whistledown and modern Turtleback. Only shoanti clans, varisian caravans, Kaer Maga and Sirathu, Janderhoff, gnomes that came to Sanos Forest, and elves that came back to Mordant Spire and Mierani Forest. Maybe some villages before the chelish wave like Wartle, Wolf Ear, Turtleback.
And goblins. Lots of goblins, bugbears, reclusive giants, ogre family clans, harpies, troglodytes, trolls and dragons.


You're bit wrong Kalindlara. Cyphergate in question is the arch in Riddleport bay. Still it was Karzougs toy too.

By the way, its interesting that Karzoug was the only one who tinkered with time and relied on "divination" advice. He aligned himself with Caulborn of Kaer Maga (which was there even before Xins arrival). And when those foresaw Earthfall and fled without any notice, he created "proof of concept" - orrery under Therassic Spire in Kaer Maga (Asylum Stone arch of Shattered Star AP). It could show the past for 100+ years, and divine the future for 1+ year. Possibly this gave him enough insight to create Chypergate as a prototype for his time portal in Xin-Shalast.


Another advice - just give them clothes akin to plague doctors (hazmat suits), that prevent then spreading Blood Veil while they are contagious.

Raynulf wrote:
It's not about whether they'll die, it's about how many innocents they'll kill. Might not bother most groups, but it does bother mine.

Can understand that, but I'd remember them that they are heroes of the story. And their sitting on their hands, even being contagious, will result in waaaay more dead people.


I agree that flow of the story in the 3.5 version of the second arch was better, though I still had to tweak it (and all AP, for the evil scheming in the background be coherent). In overall I still use the 3.5 version more than hardcover for the story (some changes and cuts are dissapointing indeed).

Raynulf wrote:


This is partly a matter of verisimilitude, but mostly to make sure my rather compassionate players focus on heroic action and saving the day, rather than trying to quarantine themselves - ensuring that part of the party will be sitting out through most of the book, which isn't fun for anyone.

The horror of plague is awesome. Spending a session playing scrabble on your smartphone because your character is laid up with plague, and the party doesn't have the resources to magic it all away constantly? Not so much.

I can understand that players want fun from the game, but the arch is about the horror of plague, not a fight against an enemy who they can touch and slay. It's not APs or your fault that their party composition doesn't have a dedicated healer. Stress to them that if the city cannot magic away the plague (heck, even show them text from 3.5 version that say why, as I did), then they should be extra cautious and look at the bigger picture by working as a part of coordinated effort, not as Wild Cards.

I know that every morning characters will roll for the chance of infection, but do give them possibility to buff their saves by antiplague and bathing. As GM, we know that their vector of infection are arguably coins then just rubbing shoulder with some poor diseased guy the moment they get up out of bed. And if they get infected - antiplague and heal to the rescue again! If the situation is dire, give them instead of some loot wand of Remove Disease. Inquisitor would be able tp use it.
This is a challenging part of AP, but by no way the odds are against the party, even if they don't have a healer, that GM must go easy-mode on them.


Replace some treasure with wands of Remove Disease. Do bring to their attention antiplague from alchemical creations, which is cheap and good enough to boost their saves vs the Blood Veil. And, no joking, by Pathfinder rules, 1 hour in a bath gives character a +2 on the next ongoing save vs disease.
My players, even having a cleric, were drinking antiplague and bathing all the time. Maybe because I used Unchained Rules for Disease to make Blood Veil deadlier then it is.


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Thanks Tacticslion for the advices!

Just for context, I'm searching an undead arcane spellcaster aside from obvious variants, because one of players at my CotCT run decided to depart from the game. In process he got his character (11 lvl wordcaster sorcerer) killed, but for a good reason. Characters body is now in the hands of bad guys, so they'll not pass the opportunity to make him their twisted pawn.
And yes, the player did gave permission for me to do this.


As the title says, I'm in need of undead arcane caster creature akin to Huecuva for clerics. Aside from using vampire, ghoul and skeleton for the purpose, is there one in Pathfinder Bestiaries?


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Player at my CotCT game had the same question, so I made for him a small code of conduit for his merciful healer cleric:

1. Any wounded living creature may benefit from faithful's healing skills and abilities, if it asks and doesn't harbor (or harbored/done) any evil acts against him directly. - guideline
2. Faithful cannot harm any living creature with his healing skills and abilities. - oath
3. Faithful cannot deal any lethal damage or effects to any living creature that doesn't continuously (2 times and more in a row) attack him directly.- oath
4. Faithful should preach against war and violence. - guideline

Guidelines are, well, guidelines, but oaths shouldn't be consciously overstepped. Or divine power will be cut for a period of time until faithful atones.

Haunts, constructs and undead (sapient or not) are not subject of restrictions, because they aren't "living". Animals... Only if it’s absolutely necessary, I think. Insects being mindless, and compared to a force of nature, like storm, aren't subject of restrictions too. And protecting non-combatants - I'd say faithful of Dalenydra should be concerned more on their healing, if foe tries to aggressively stop him (dealing any kind of damage) from doing this, then he has green light.


If I remember correctly, besides Korvosa, Abadars faith is significant in Kaer Maga too. And it was there way longer than branches that resulted from chelish colonization of Varisia.


I do not remember all of the sources exactly. However, beside Magnimar sourcebook, information is scattered between Sandpoint Hinterlands overview from RotRL (3.5+AE) and Jade Regend, Pathfinder Comics (the part with lore and encounters at the end) and, maybe, Lost Cities of Golarion (part about Ilvarandin).


There isn't any published adventure, but a framework for an Ilvarandin Campaign exists in Lost Cities of Golarion. All the Valdemar plot can be incorporated for low and start mid-level adventures.

Peet wrote:
How would you use that in a RotRL campaign? As a red herring?

Well, I must say that I discovered Ilvarandin and another one (Pazuzu-Lamashtu) plot, in the background of RotRL, too late to include them in any way without derailing the main story of AP.

To be honest, I think its better to separate the Ilvarandin plot and run it independently with a new set of heroes, which may or may not have connection with RotRL party/events. Or the first 2 story arches of RotRL can be cut and used as a base for Ilvarandin plot.


It took me some time to piece the scattered information together, but here's the "shadow plot", as I name it, in the background of RotRL:
Valdemar family in essence is a Intellect Devourer front. Patriarch of the family is lying comatose at their mansion in Sandpoint from taking too much Midnight Milk drug. Youngest son takes care of him and local family interest. Oldest one in Magnimar is now a vessel for an Intellect Devourer who supplies Midnight Milk to a local drug den (can't remember the name of the place). Also he plots with a ghast-alchemist/follower of Kabriri Kanker from the Pitt in Sandpoint Hinterlands to make the drug deliverable through water supplies (possibly kodlak bugbears from the Pitt are Kankers guards, and the latter has second "home" at Paupers Grave graveyard). Intellect Devourers plan to infect Magnimar so they can have more hosts and probably win at last their long war with neothelids in Orv.


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One thing, I understand, is already set in stone for many players and GMs who saw the art of Dr. Reinar - he is Nicolas Cage.


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You can give him something that has nondetection or misderection spell. Or mind blank. Or just say he may have a class with Aura ability, as paladin or cleric, and 11 HD.

But I have to ask, does paladin has the ability to cast his spell-like on Glorio without making it look like inappropriate move? Spell-likes do cause spell manifestations which are visible and Glorio is a respected noble (even if it's his disguise).

If Paladin goes all paranoid and starts accusing Glorio, then just play that Glorio bluffs his way saying that he's an worshiper of Asmodeus. And say as GM that he may have some cleric levels aside from NPC aristocrat class, which make his possible 11+ HD. This should restrain paladin from taking action (which he shouldn't anyway without more information - Evil alignment isn't a free from jail card to kill any NPC, for a paladin especially).


Sayoran wrote:
I want to have either Karzoug or his apprentice appear and offer this character the chance to join with the forces of Greed in exchange for power, knowledge, wealth, etc.

Well, Big K would only appear with this offer if he knows that wizard is "going bad". He is the most greedy person in Golarion after all, and would not easily share with his power. Even have an idea to lie about this to sway one of his foes to his side.

Sayoran wrote:
As a result of this and his time in Runeforge, he has decided that he wants to come back after killing Karzoug and basically take over everything the Runelord owned in the name of gaining more power.

The problem is that Karzoug owns all and nothing from what he had. By this I mean, that only he can know what vaults and remnats of his domain still remain untouched by Earthfall and almost 10 000 years of looters. Killing him and taking his title, gets wizard only the loot on Karzoug and his glaive. Wizard should somehow pry all the information from azlants mind.

P.S. Sorry for empty post. Misclicked and somehow cannot edit it :(


My players have a paladin of Shelyn in party, which should have been even a worse situation. But for starters, Laori doesn't wan't to fight with party. Even if there's a paladin there. She has a mission to do. The second point, she gave me an impression of quite professional, educated and polite character (as much it can be for a devotee of Zon-Kuthon). Her interaction with party should start from a polite dialog, trying to pry from them why they need Salvator, going as far as giving them some information back in exchange (like that she looks for him to ask about his source of inspiration). After that, she can ask to be temporary with party, to help them save Salvator, in exchange for, at least, some time with painter for questioning.

I roleplayed her like this, and my guys where quite okay with having her near them. I didn't push the angle of "seducing to the dark side" with her and paladin because it could warrant a smite, and she is not stupid to antagonize her allies that she is using (only once, she suggested to kill Emperor Pilts and not entertain the mad with dialog). Every time they got near paintings of Salvator, she went excited, started to study and explain with joy why they are great, and asked party if she can take the paintings for herself. When they saved Salvator (and escorted him out to a better place), party, under their supervision, gave Laori time to question him. After that, there was a polite question if Salvator wants to Nidal with her, party saying that he would be better in Korvosa, at temple of Shelyn, and her asking if she at least can join sorcerer in his escort-teleportation of painter. In the end, she snatched Salvator with her, when they where out of line of vision of sorcerer (he dimension doored them couple of streets away from temple, not to get seen by any Gray Maiden patrols).

In summary, even being a servant of lawful evil god isn't a warrant for paladin to smite her and for her to act stupid and antagonizing towards party.

If denied from joining party... Well, she would follow them (stealthy or not), wait them to save Salvator, and then try again and again, politely, to ask for five minutes of questioning the painter (this would be such a test for a stubborn paladin to deny her).

P.S. In my opinion, the addition that she can be redeemed is bad. She was a good and unique antagonist character. In contrast to mainstream kuthites, who are all angst and pain, she is cheerful and bright (she's bit mad of course, but still). Others despise her for that, but Zon-Kuthon doesn't cut her from his divine power, which is interesting, shows that his faith is deeper and probably only reinforce Laoris devotion.


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Beliarmus may be somewhere in Dimension of Dreams. Desnian Temple of Dreams from Crystalin was transported there. Don't remember if text says it was at the Eartfall time, but it's a possibility that Beliarmius made an "emergency teleportation jump" when Starstone hit the ground.


1. One of mine players is a cleric of Dalenydra, and may take Deific Obedience feat (for prestige class). Since there isn't any description on Dalenydras obedience and boons, can you provide any advice on what sort of bonuses it should give?

2. At another campaign (Skull and Shackles) I'm playing a cleric of Bokrug. Because there isn't much info on his faith I found it hard to roleplay my character. Can you provide something like, well, "priest's role" and how does Bokrug's faithful view/understand him?

3. How should Dalenydra be pronounced correctly?


Rogar Valertis wrote:

If you use Modify Memory and you could fid a way toi justify it, you could give Ileosa the mythic version of that spell.

Another way to deal with this is to create specific cursed magic items affecting the wearers with continuous charm person effects that could be turned into full scale dominate as needed (their helms or some sort of choker could be ideal for this). In order to break these effects the sisters would have to be treated with remove curse.

This certainly will be the next step. But for now, party isn't top priority on Ileosas list of things to deal with. Therefore, no need in Ileosas personal touch and high grade magic items.

For now, sisters should have the standart "treatment" used on them. As any other recruit would get, from Grey Maidens that supervise and maintain the "moral state" aligned with Queens interests.


I hope it's okay if I post this question again, but this time here.

I'm currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne AP and party will soon get to the end of third story arc (Escape from Old Korvosa). I started AP before Updated Edition and still haven't had time to read it/take a look at changes and additions to the overall story in full detail. But I know that there is an addition with raiding Red Mantises HQ under the Longacre Building.

Considering that the place is also the training grounds for Grey Maidens, I'll make sure that PCs are going to meet some of these fine ladies. Because two of them, are sisters of their respective brothers from the party. Story short - they "enlisted" on their free will, but were conditioned, as other recruits, to serve the Queen with unquestionable loyalty (and have, time from time, "sessions" that maintain this state).

When the party will go on the raid, they will meet these unfortunate relatives in full armor and with their minds messed up. Therefore, no immediate recognition from their respective brothers, avoidance of fighting and trying to "bring them back" (not immediate at least).

Now the problem is that until the raid, party isn't yet on Queens hit list. So there is no reason to put sisters under some intense brainwashing, to make them almost mindless constructs under Ileosas thumb. Only the "standard procedure", which I think consists of spells, drugs/alchemical creations (to make the mind susceptible) and some technics (diplomacy skill maybe?).

I'd be happy to hear any advice on matter of what spells and other stuff I should use, to flesh up the procedure of indoctrination. So they too do not snap back in one round, and run away with party. I kind of hope for some roleplay, and even "accidental death" of one of the sisters for a dramatic story/motivation to really hate Ileosa and make her a villain to remember.

P.S.

More context/explanation:
Group knows me and I know them well, because I had run for them RotRL earlier for two years (and other stuff before that). And CotCT is probably getting its first year of gaming. Before the start, I warned them that CotCT would not be the murderhobo happy ride that RotRL became (somewhere at the middle of 3th story arch). It would be gritty and more personal. Why? Because I did the mistake not to tie RotRL party to Sandpoint and it made them uninterested in the place and its struggle. Which spilled further, making them to have a more "pay us first" approach to the story of AP, then a heroic one.

Therefore, we rolled for backgrounds, got the skeletons of it for each character, and players went to flesh them up. And I must say, they made decent enough stories. Yes there was a bit of "dead parents" trope, but mostly because of rolls. Others in PCs families where alive (cannot say fine, because they tied some of them with AP story traits). After that, I again warned them, that this AP has elements that target not only their characters, but characters family and friends.

Players got the taste of it, when we got to the second story arch of AP, with the plague epidemic. I cannot say that they weren't interacting with them before, but they probably assumed that plague will avoid these NPCs. At the end of the second arc, which took literally seven days of in-game time, plague silently killed two of them (others managed with their Fortitude rolls against the plague) and almost killed the father of the paladin (character had to be informed by his adopted brother about the problem). Players were caught of guard yes, but they took it rather well. Questions were asked to clarify some things, but no hard feelings.

By this time, party wasn't (and isn't even now) knowing that the plague was engineered by Ileosa, and what is behind the Gray Maidens. They avoided fights with them, so they had just distaste towards them, thinking that they are misguided iron fist of the Queen. The sisters in question knew even less. One enlisted because of her idealism, wanting to help the city as her brother does (party is by the way, a special task force at City Guard) and serve the monarchy (Queen did pose herself as innocent lady trying her best in this chaotic times). Second one was an Academae student and was invited in Gray Maidens. Being determined and mostly ambitious (because this magic school isn't for the soft sort), she took the chance to be someone there.

Characters, after sisters enlisted, being in Bloodsworn Valley and doing some adventuring/getting noble titles and lands, sent letters to them asking to break with Maidens, but got no response (explanation on why will need another wall of text, but suffice to say its tied to one of brothers background and choices). Now they think that there is something fishy with Grey Maidens.

tl;dr version of spoiler text - sisters where introduced in PCs backgrounds; players know me and I them for some years (was their GM earlier many times); warned them that this AP will hit not only their characters but their respective circle of NPCs; playing the villain smart and cunning, so her actions didn't seem tyrannical to the less informed; inserted motivations for respective sisters to join Gray Maidens; prefer at least some of the world to move forward without direct involvement from the party.


Ok, I understand that I haven't properly explained the situation.

The long explanation:

Group knows me and I know them well, because I had run for them RotRL earlier for two years (and other stuff before that). And CotCT is probably getting its first year of gaming. Before the start, I warned them that CotCT would not be the murderhobo happy ride that RotRL became (somewhere at the middle of 3th story arch). It would be gritty and more personal. Why? Because I did the mistake not to tie RotRL party to Sandpoint and it made them uninterested in the place and its struggle. Which spilled further, making them to have a more "pay us first" approach to the story of AP, then a heroic one.

Therefore, we rolled for backgrounds, got the skeletons of it for each character, and players went to flesh them up. And I must say, they made decent enough stories. Yes there was a bit of "dead parents" trope, but mostly because of rolls. Others in PCs families where alive (cannot say fine, because they tied some of them with AP story traits). After that, I again warned them, that this AP has elements that target not only their characters, but characters family and friends.

Players got the taste of it, when we got to the second story arch of AP, with the plague epidemic. I cannot say that they weren't interacting with them before, but they probably assumed that plague will avoid these NPCs. At the end of the second arc, which took literally seven days of in-game time, plague silently killed two of them (others managed with their Fortitude rolls against the plague) and almost killed the father of the paladin (character had to be informed by his adopted brother about the problem). Players were caught of guard yes, but they took it rather well. Questions were asked to clarify some things, but no hard feelings.

By this time, party wasn't (and isn't even now) knowing that the plague was engineered by Ileosa, and what is behind the Gray Maidens. They avoided fights with them, so they had just distaste towards them, thinking that they are misguided iron fist of the Queen. The sisters in question knew even less. One enlisted because of her idealism, wanting to help the city as her brother does (party is by the way, a special task force at City Guard) and serve the monarchy (Queen did pose herself as innocent lady trying her best in this chaotic times). Second one was an Academae student and was invited in Gray Maidens. Being determined and mostly ambitious (because this magic school isn't for the soft sort), she took the chance to be someone there.

Characters, after sisters enlisted, being in Bloodsworn Valley and doing some adventuring/getting noble titles and lands, sent letters to them asking to break with Maidens, but got no response (explanation on why will need another wall of text, but suffice to say its tied to one of brothers background and choices). Now they think that there is something fishy with Grey Maidens.

tl;dr - sisters where introduced in PCs backgrounds; players know me and I them for some years (was their GM earlier many times); warned them that this AP will hit not only their characters but their respective circle of NPCs; playing the villain smart and cunning, so her actions didn't seem tyrannical to the less informed; inserted motivations for respective sisters to join Gray Maidens; prefer at least some of the world to move forward without direct involvement from the party.

Tacticslion wrote:
I might suggest moving this to the Curse of the Crimson Throne subforum, but I haven't flagged it, yet. I suspect you'll get answers more tailored to that AP that way.

Yeah, I think you're right. But I don't know to do it.


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I'm currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne AP and party will soon get to the end of third story arc (Escape from Old Korvosa). I started AP before Updated Edition and still haven't had time to read it/take a look at changes and additions to the overall story in full detail. But I know that there is an addition with raiding Red Mantises HQ under the Longacre Building.

Considering that the place is also the training grounds for Grey Maidens, I'll make sure that PCs are going to meet some of these fine ladies. Because two of them, are sisters of their respective brothers from the party. Story short - they "enlisted" on their free will, but were conditioned, as other recruits, to serve the Queen with unquestionable loyalty (and have, time from time, "sessions" that maintain this state).

When the party will go on the raid, they will meet these unfortunate relatives in full armor and with their minds messed up. Therefore, no immediate recognition from their respective brothers, avoidance of fighting and trying to "bring them back" (not immediate at least).

Now the problem is that until the raid, party isn't yet on Queens hit list. So there is no reason to put sisters under some intense brainwashing, to make them almost mindless constructs under Ileosas thumb. Only the "standard procedure", which I think consists of spells, drugs/alchemical creations (to make the mind susceptible) and some technics (diplomacy skill maybe?).

I'd be happy to hear any advice on matter of what spells and other stuff I should use, to flesh up the procedure of indoctrination. So they too do not snap back in one round, and run away with party. I kind of hope for some roleplay, and even "accidental death" of one of the sisters for a dramatic story/motivation to really hate Ileosa and make her a villain to remember.


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Hm. Cite for this? "What can Detect Magic do" is an endless source of debate, but this is the first I've heard of it being able to pick up on a (Su) ability.

Here's the answer from James Jacobs.


Politely ask to strip all magical stuff and dispel all active spells on himself, then cast detect magic. Supernatural shapechanging abilities are detected by this spell.


I see only one major problem. One day GM will decide to pull the rug under you, and Nidalese government would not be amused with the con. But hey, it would be fun to cool them down from "This Incident merits an invasion" to "meh, we'll just hire Red Mantises to deal with the person in question".


Candide wrote:
A.) what would be the process for booking the criminals? My vision of them is part army, part cops.

Considering that Wizard is a guard, they should drag Graeden and his goons to a cozy common cell in Citadel Volshnyek. Korvosa is a decent civilized city, with laws and even Judges to declare sentences. Therefore, being a small cog in the system, they should only catch and lock criminals for superiors to decide what to do with them.

Korvosa, by the way, has so called Vice Taxes, which enables for criminals to get better sentences in exchange for monthly payment of their "profit" to Cerulean Society (which is a legal and official thief guild). That said, if someone doesn't pay, as he should by city law, he will suffer fully for his crimes.

Candide wrote:
B.) zellara wanted them to kill Gaedren and bring him to justice, due to feeling that the guard is inept. As a haunt/ghost, how should she react?

She should ask Wizard and others to see that Graeden gets sentenced. Even make paladin swear and oath. Tempting a representative of law enforcement and a Paladin to kill a prisoner isn't the best course of action for her.

Candide wrote:
C.) I'd like Gaedren to escape to either Barvasi or more likely Pilts Swastel.

Well, it's your call, but I just left him rotting in Longacres dungeon cell. Graedens role is to be a problem for party to bond together around and overcome it in the start of AP, nothing more. Rolth was, and is now (in my opinion), a better character for being a recurring villain.

Finding Graeden latter, by the way, all broken and bragging for death in the cell, may be more dramatic and fulfilling.

My players still do from time to time ask me about Lamms fate (they too took him alive, and many others). And I do thing they would be happy to see what happened to him. Alternatively, I'll just keep him alive till the end of AP, so they could end it in a full circle, by seeing him getting sentenced (to death).


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Strange, I really remember reading about Aroden being judged by Pharasma somewhere in pathfinder material.

Well, maybe I just mixed James answer with a mention in Pharasmas "Relations with other religions", in Inner Sea Gods, which says that Iomedae views Lady of Graves with some resentment because she kept Arodens approaching death secret.


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Deites do have a sole. Aroden was judged by Pharasma after his death. The matter that she didn't tell Iomedae about this event, made the latter a bit unhappy with Pharasma.


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Well, James Jacobs actually answered this question.


Nearest elven community to Kintargo is in Korvosa. They have there an enclave of elves formed from entourage of their ambassador, from Mierani Forest.


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This is all that I can recall on most of races, not taking in account creation myths of each one:
Dwarves initially, as Orcs, where natives of Nar-Voth layer of Darklands (no more info on this saddly). After Earthfall, those dwarves who stayed in Darklands and choose to worship Droskar evolved in duergar (and maybe some Rovagug emanations helped as with drow).

Elves came to Golarion around the end of Azlanti war with Serpentfolk from Sovyrian (one of the planets in solar system where Golarion is). Aquatic elves evolved from basic ones after choosing to live underwater.

When Aboleth called Starstone to hit Golarion, most of surface elves choose to flee back to Sovyrian using their StarGate-style portal. Minority decided to stay, but hide in various corners of the world (at north pole, in Garund jungles). Some choose to go underground. There, reality of survival in Darklands, radiation from magical ores, slow shift of their worship from Elvish Pantheon to Demons and Rovagug emanation from his demiplane-cage in the center of Golarion changed them in Drow.
When exiled Demon Lord Treerazer tried to modify elvish "escape portal" they took action, returning to Golarion.

Gnomes came from First World. More info on this event should be in recent campaign setting book "The First World, Realm of the Fey".

Halflings were on Golarion as long as humans (no info, from where they are originally).

Humans, as with halflings, have no information on the matter of were they evolved, came from another place or created by deites. Only that they were uplifted to superhumans from barbaric state by aboleths (and then kicked back in it by former masters).

Then there are offshoots of those "superhuman" Azlanti like gillmen (created by aboleths), fetchlings (azlanti who fled to shadow plane), munavri (azlanti who fled to Orv layer of Darklands), morlocks (azlanti who in pursue of blood purity devolved in them), dark folk (azlanti who stayed in upper level of Darklands), skulks (devolved from citizen of Xin-Shalast and probably some other Tassilon places) and some others that I forgot.

Ghorans (plant people) were created by Nexian wizards. Hobgoblins, as I remember, by some wizards too. Driders, vegepygmies and some other monster races are creations of Drow Fleshwarpers.

Serpentfolk, Xulgath (troglodytes) and Lizardman where on Golarion before rise of Azlant.

Skum were created by aboleths. And aboleths probably were the fist sentient beings on Golarion, before it was designated to be cage of Rovagug by Gods.

Taiga Giants are offshoot of Stone. Scrag if I'm right, from Fire. Runegiants were created from Taiga and Fire by Runelords of Tassilon. Sinspawns are their creation too.

Marsh Giants are offshoot of Ogres or Hill Giants (may be wrong on this).

Stryx are supposedly created by their owlfolk masters (again, may be wrong). And latters are from Arcadia (another continent).

There are other races out there, but I didn't look that much in their history or remember it as good as those that I already mentioned.


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Goblinblood Wars in Isger.


Hello, James!

1. Is there any date, even approximate one, on when did Allevrah turned drow or started her research on how to "copy" Earthfall?

2. Did elves came to Golarion sometime after Azlant won the war with Serpentfolk?


Is there any date or timeline, even approximate one, on when did Allevrah turned drow or started her research on how to "copy" Earthfall?

The only solid thing I found about her, that she was for 4 years in Zirnakaynin, before she took over Azrinae House.


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It all depends on how well you know your players and what type of game will you run for them.

To explain - my players are good at making a well rounded party, so for me its a challenge to provide them... Challenge. They can overcome with ease a lot of things that are thrown at them. And considering the part, that as GM, I expanded the adventure with modules, PFS scenarios and ton of rules from other paizo material, they, at the moment, being 9th level with 1 mythic tier, can quite possible kill Ileosa without the magic sword from Scarwall. And this is while they are in the middle of 3th story arch.

If I had run AP close to what’s written, they would totally plan to do this. Maybe at her coronation, helping Endrin in his assassination attempt. This, of course, would have derailed AP heavily, and as much as I like to give players space to make their own choices, I want to stick to the story.

Therefore, I used the story - tuned down Ileosa as the Big Bad from start. Made her more "common" and all her actions hidden/done in the background. Yes, she was known to make unappropriated statements, but nothing unexpected from a spoiled young noble from Cheliax. And mostly, they were done in the circle of local aristocrats (which weren't better then her, from simple folk perspective). Only once her temper got out of control, when she lost her brooch while visiting one of the city orphanages (I started my run of AP before the Updated Edition, with its explanation how Lamm got the brooch). Then, when she got under influence of Kazavon, she became more clever and apt in doing things for the long run, besides getting massive ambitions.
To solidify her rule after Eodreds death, Ileosa needs some calamities as a scapegoat motive to act with "extraordinary power" (Palpatine-style), keep other city factions busy and take out those who can pose a threat to her.

And while she did this staying in the shadows, party had to deal with other villains, that I showed to be the ones who did all the bad things and were behind them (Reinard, Andaisin, etc). Ileosas actions in public were always explained as reactionary ones, born from necessity. With seneschal just missing and all the plague epidemic, she is regent and not Neolandus heir Endrin (because he must keep the city law and order).
She created Greay Maidens (in the first arch) as a force to rely on, because Sable Marines answer to seneschal only (in this case Endrin, who doesn't like her much) and City Guard can be vetoed by Great Families and/or Archbanker of Abadar. This organizations cannot be trusted by her, to defend her if someone like Arkonas would try a coup.
I introduced Reinard, Togomor and others in first arch, just to throw more suspects in the future. Kressida wasn't 100% suspicious only about Ileosa. Queen and her allies did a great job to make Neolandus disappearance look convenient.
When Endrin tries his assassination, Ileosas wrath is expected. Without facts, PCs and their allies suspicions are just that.
Even till now, without Neolandus, party thinks Ileosa is just possessed by a devil and Togomor is the wizard behind the curtain. Kressida thinks even simpler - that with all that happened, Ileosa just went full Cheliax-Thrune mode.

TL;DR - introduce everyone that matter earlier, make Ileosa appear as something common, rationalize through NPC-allies of the party her actions. Make her seen not as the source, but as a reactionary force. Let people compare her with Queen Domina, Eodreds mother, who was ruthless, but efficient ruler.

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