Bizzare Beasts Boozer's page

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I haven't read Impossible Lands so I don't know if there is an official answer to this, but how does Nex (the country) view Necromancy?

Is it considered a lesser form of magic because it was Geb's speciality? Do they want to advance it using their own, superior (as far as they are concerned) better arcane approach? Do they have the general squimishness about its immorality?

As a related follow up question- are there any examples of specific Nexian Necromancers?

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keftiu wrote:
I'd love some Numerian robots, annd in a similar vein, I really miss the PF1 Outer (Solar, Lunar, Time, Void, and Vortex) Dragons.

Oh I adore them! I feel like Lost Omens has been incredible, even more than first edition, at grounding its spacey stuff in a pulpy world (probably because Starfinder handles all the truly sci fi stuff). But I am greedy and I want more, more, more. If every AP has a chapter taking us to a different planet? Yes please!

I'm pretty sure every official source has said that they never intend to give any official answer, or even really offer any clues to what happened to Aroden, so if you're after anything with sources to back it up, especially from the Lost Omen era than I think you're out of luck.

That said- I needed an answer for a particularly curious and persistent player a few campaigns ago. My answer was this.

He lives amongst the stars with the other Azlanti who fled Golarion and will eventually become the Azlanti Star Empire from Starfinder.

A few people have mentioned ancestries... what are people after?

There's no question I'm in the minority here, but personally I don't want my players making characters from the Darklands, I like leaving it as a big question mark that I can plunge them in to with the unexpected and the alien.

However I'm not made of stone and if there are xulgath and Urdefhan then I will be excited.

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
But Wescrown DOES have canals!

It does- I apologise if I said/implied it didn't. Maybe I should have been clearer in my original post that I don't consider canals the be all end all of a Venice-inspired location. Of course if part of the reason you like Westcrown is Venician-stlye canals, then I certainly don't want to imply that I think that's wrong or bad.

For decedancy, political maneuvers and sinister secrets I prefer Vyre.

Pan Majang is ruled by a shadowy council of horrible half-undead, half-clockwork creatures

Always knew there was interesting stuff down there but I never actually looked into it!

I would definitely want to go the route of basing each section around particular creatures or cultures, rather than geography.

(Yes, I basically want Darklands Revisted 2: This Time it's Darklandier )

This would give you more space to look at ancestries, as well as the people and monsters you might encounter that far down- without necessarily tying them to locations that are hundreds of miles from each other. I think this is particularly important because I'd love to see the Darklands expanded- any book that contains a chapter called "Haunted Clockworks" is going to get my money so fast.

I would also love to see more discussion of what surface-folk know (or think they know) about Darklanders. Let's you play more with players and character expectations, and if you can give the troglodytes a shocking twist, then why not play with other misunderstandings?

Personally I'd love to see it codified that the original Azruverda artwork is what people think it looks like after their game of telephone, and the updated appearance is their real look (or vice versa!)

Sorry- that last post was a lot more words than I realised. I think you'll never find a single direct equivalent particularly since one of Paizo's great world building strengths is homage and pastiche.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Bizzare Beasts Boozer wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Vyre has kind of a Venetian energy, does it not?
Vyre absolutely has a Venetian energy! I can't believe I didn't think of that- I've run Hells Rebels so many times!

How so? Everything about its geography, architecture, geopolitics, history, and culture is different.

Westcrown was designed to have Venetian energy, and still doesn't quite pull it off.

Did they say anywhere that this was the inspiration? Because saying something fails to pull off an inspiration might just mean it isn't really an inspiration.

It's true that geographically Vyre doesn't have Venice's most iconic feature (no canals) but the island has a similar impact of making it relatively protected from other world powers. It's closeness to a prison is also a feature of early Renissance/late middle ages (these terms are all so messy) Venice.

It's most Venice aspect imo is it's political situation- it's proud independence. Particularly in the Lost Omens timeframe it's balancing a relationship between a newly formed, progressive (one could say humanist) government and a totalitarian theocracy... this dynamic defined venice for most of the renissance paritucalrly.

I would disagree that the artitecture is not Venician, but yeah the lack of canals is mark against it. But the most direct inspiration is the outfitting of virtually every character from Vyre- an exaggerated version of how Venicians were depicted! Add to that its reputation for pleasure, sin and secrets, all things that have been alleged of Venetians throughout their history! Masked balls were particularly a staple of the city until it became part of Italy (at least in reputation). You could even argue that the association with Norgorber is an allusion to the various secret societies and conspiracies Western Europe and the Middle East thought Venice's merchants were part of.

I admit I am not particularly familiar with Westcrown, but I don't see the argument that it is particularly Venetian? The artitecture and geography isn't similar, no the history is very, very different- most notably its role a former capital city and still part of a grand (if crumbling) empire.

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keftiu wrote:
Vyre has kind of a Venetian energy, does it not?

Vyre absolutely has a Venetian energy! I can't believe I didn't think of that- I've run Hells Rebels so many times!

Venice is such an iconic city, both due to its geography but also its importance particularly during the period of history that seems to have most influenced Pathfinder's setting.

Paizo are rarely super coy about their inspirations, so is there a city in the setting that seems based on Venice?

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Something to consider: all the other ancestries have their names written singular (it's "human" for example, not "humans"), so there's no reason to assume these would be any different.

This might be wrong lore, my headcanon or possibly (gasp) d&d stuff, but I have a feeling that the gnolls ended up the way they did (read: insane evil irredeemable) because they ate the carcass of a dead god. Could easily be Curchanus.

But I also agree that this is unlikely to be the approach taken in Lost Omens, although the pragmatism that underlies them in Mwangi Expanse could still make it work. The "civilised" People see them as horrible monsters who consumed their own god, they understand that the real sin would be letting good meat go to waste.

Again though, it's possible I've made all this up.

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keftiu wrote:
The Mwangi Expanse has grasslands, jungle, coastline, swamps, tall mountains, big cities, small villages, ancient ruins, raging rivers, a portal to Fantasy Mars, and one very big lake.

I'm a big fan of the expanse- but ideally I'm looking for something more condensed. Obviously there are ways to handwave/teleport/airship across larger areas but I'm hoping for something that is "walkable" whatever that means. I am however making my way through the Mwangi Expanse source book and fully intend to use it as the setting for my next full campaign (or more!)

I didn't know that... I admit I assumed the Realms of the Mammoth Lords were just snow and tundra! I'll have to give it a look!

I'm starting a campaign with some new-ish players who are all big Zelda fans, so I'm planning an "elemental temples find the crystal" adventure for them to sandbox around in.

I'm looking for an area with as many different environments in the smallest possible area, ideally without magical/supernatural explanations (although I might not stick with that requirement...)

My current thought is Varisia, which has plains, coast, mountains (can easily add a snow top for artic), swamp and desert (in the cinderlands)

But thought I'd get thoughts!

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I love an excuse to head to the pathfinder wiki and search a concept. I admit I don't know how these characters have been used- so I have no idea if they are currently alive and kicking, imprisoned or running wild.

I will note that the kind of criminals found in a region relate to the sorts of stories most associated with it. Varisia has a lot of bandits, Ustalav has a lot of serial killers. Based on my clicking around, it looks like Absalom is mostly plagued by smugglers, and criminals who can hide within "legitimate" organisations.

The Banshees are a group of drug smugglers and slavers based out of The Puddles District. Their mouthpiece and most well-known member is the half-orc Gedrak.

The Poisoned Lodge make money trading in whatever they can get their hands on. What sets them apart is that they are adventurers, and potentially members of the Pathfinder Society. The wiki says they "claim" to be members, so maybe the are lying about it, or maybe they are actual pathfinders and afforded some kind of protection (implicit or explicit)

Guaril Karela, similarly, is the leader of the Sczarni and may be connected the the merchant wing of the pathfinders. Interestingly enough despite being based in Absalom (and perhaps not even known to be associated with the criminals) most Sczarni activity doesn't take place in Absalom itself.

Mason Karbie is actually a criminal from Diobel, but since that is under Absalom's protection they might want to see him brought to justice as well. But how the Diobel citizens feel about agents of Absalom sticking their noses into their bussiness might complicate things...

Tarrant Akayn is an interesting one (and from a piece of fiction I haven't read) but he is a con artist and incredible ambitious, which can make a change of pace from violent criminals.

Note: I looked it up and I've conflated Iobaria with Iblydos!

Taldor was a strong contender- as you say the period they are in now certainly speaks to certain simarities. The idea of an ambitious but bloated and distant bureaucratic ruling class also appeals!

On Iobaria- the appeal of Sarusan is that it's a huge tract on unmapped land. We're certainly not intending just to make it "Australia but Elves" but a certain amount of acknowledgement is required I think when dealing with "the mysterious southern continent most people don't know exist". People are going to think Australia.

However! I didn't know Iobaria had those Aussie animals- I always assumed it was an Ancient Greek stand in. I don't know if I misunderstood something- but the idea that there's a mythic hero nation that also has some Australian stuff? Yeah that's very appealing...

Which nation of the inner sea is most likely to build prison colonies?

Me and some other Australians are looking to flesh out Sarusan, and and a big event we're considering is an attempted invasion from a foreign power (definitely not based on anything real).

The most obvious answer is Cheliax- we know they have colonial ambitions and have the resources to put up a fight. They are also pretty clearly evil, which is a plus as we want to make it very clear the invaders are the bad guys.

But the obvious answer is not always the best... does anyone have any other suggestions?

We are intending the invasion to be facilitated by some artefacts, so the logistics of how they get there is less important than how interesting they could be once they're there.

I find Manasaputra interesting but never really "got" them- so another look from someone more insightful would be really useful!

Disenchanters and the rest of Misfit Monsters Redeemed (other than flumph) should always been around imo, but I was particularly upset to see Adhearers go away. They were so weird, so spooky and speak to such an interesting bit of world building!

I kinda like that xenopterids are relatively unknown because it is a trick I like to pull on parties who think they're too powerful to be frightened by anything...

keftiu wrote:
I'd gladly welcome some Numerian robots back.

I've only read the first Iron Gods book at that was many years ago. Other than the aesthetic and story origin, what separates a clockwork from a robot?

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Winterwight looks interesting- kind of an icy Nightwalker?

Lots of people talk about Strange Aeons, and I admit I haven't really looked at it all that closely. Had a look at the bestiary from the first book and saw the Oneirogen and was hooked!

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What made me think of this was the Tophet from 1e's Bestiary 3 . A mobile prison/torture room with a pseudo-historical basis? Yes please!

But I'm also a big fan of the Akaname, the Buggane and the Colour Out Of Space.

And, thanks to my well documented love of Mystery Monsters Revisited, I adore the Death Worms. I want to have my players struggle to defeat a monster that can throw every type of damage at them, and then struggle even more to prove to anyone that is actually happened!

Look: Pathfinder 2e as an incredible bestiary. Between the core trio, sources like "Booke of the Dead" and "Monsters of Myth", plus the additions in the adventure paths, we are spoiled for choice.

But that doesn't mean we can't be greedy and wistful, right?

What are your favourite monsters from Pathfinder 1e that haven't been seen in 2nd edition (yet)?

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Without wanting to sound dismissive, I think the fact you're saying it's a combination of two elements from opposite sides of Europe is a little telling.

I think it is based on the 'trope' of conqured nations (trope is in inverteds since obviously this is a real historical thing as well as an element of fantasy writing).

I really don't want to make it seem like I'm saying you're asking something wrong or bad, because I think it is an interesting question and hopefully opens the floor to a broader discussion of where this reflects history. But I also think it does a disservice to both real-world complexity and fantastical world building to want these things to have direct comparisons.

Obviously there are some areas of Golarion which are pretty apparently inspired by real world history. Osirion is maybe the clearest. But Galt isn't really inspired by France, so much as it's inspired by a particular period of French history. You can see elements of French history in the River Kingdoms, or Cheliax, or the Impossible Lands or even in Brevoy.

Ustalav has some inspiration from Central Europe, yes, but it's clearer influence is Gothic storytelling. Ibylos takes notes from areas of Greece, but is primarily a place for Epic storytelling.

So I personally think it's less useful to think of Brevoy in terms of what real-world history it resembles, and more about what stories and narratives it let's you explore.

Which is a long way of saying I agree it's Game of Thrones.

Chelish Mechs? These are the ideas campaigns are made of!

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I am embarrassed that I missed the previous post was ten years ago, but never embarrassed to share my love of the silver city.

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I agree with everyone giving love to the Varisian cities, but I am a little sad not to see anyone mentioning Kintargo.

My bias here is that Hell's Rebels was the first AP I properly ran, the AP I have ran most often, and remains one of my favourite adventures.

But even removed from that I think Kintargo is unique and interesting. The idea of a city leading the way after hard-won freedoms, while still having to negotiate their place in the world? That's the sort of place that always needs adventurers, but who's every problem can't be solved. Or you can wind back the clock and see it as the one artistic bastion in a fascist nation- arguably an even better place for intruige and adventure!

But also Kaer Maga is excellent.

I can't think of any specific examples, but when you actually look into the question you discover something interesting (I think)

The general consensus seems to be that half-ancestries are due to something specific to humans.

Unlike other ancestries, humans don't have significant physiological differences defined by their lineage. Instead, their heritages either reveal their potential as a people or reflect lineages from multiple ancestries.

However! It also mentions that while this is the default, half-elves and half-orcs can have an other half of any ancestry (albeit at GM discretion)

This seems to imply that the ability to have children with other ancestries isn't a human trait, but a trait shared by elves and orcs.


Most recently they were covered in Monsters of Myth, which is what reignited my interest in them.

So my question, if I didn't make it clear in the original post, is less about giant monsters coming to the Inner Sea and more about how the setting would be different if they were always here.

Kaiju are different from The Spawn in a couple of key ways, the first being that their origins are (mostly) mysterious and they tend not to be actively destructive. Like Godzilla and the monster movies that inspired them they are usually ignorant of human cities they are smashing, because they exist on such a different scale.

But, for example, in our Kaiju Inner Sea I can imagine Taldor being very Anti-Kaiju. They remember the destruction the Tarrasque brought, and people saying "but this giant rampaging monster isn't the same as that giant rampaging monster" is unlikely to convince the empire.

For understandable reasons, the kaiju of Golarion are mainly based around Tian Xia.

But what if this wasn't the case? What if, for as long as recorded history, the kaiju had been sleeping and fighting around the Inner Sea region?

Where would they call home? And what would change about the setting?

They give a few examples of what a muse could be for each one. They specifically call out a choral angel or the goddess Sheyln as examples, being both distant and aloof but also intractable with (depending on the heights your campaign reaches)

But it is just as possible that your muse is another bard or a beautiful royal who you want to impress. In that way I'd say it's closer to a wizard school than a bloodline, it's not the source of your power but a way of relating to it.

If you want your muse to be relevant to your character consider why they are inspired by them. What is it that makes them want to write songs as a maestro? Or to study throughly as a polymath?

If you want to make your muse relevant to the campaign, then discuss with your GM, but I can imagine a kingmaker campaign where your settlement becomes renowned for its bardic college. Or if you want a more personal connection, speak with them about a possible Brevoy or First World individual who might have inspired you.

Flumph yes, the others I don't think so. Paizo is great at coming up with unique and original monsters, but my favourite is when they taken something preexisting and, as you say, put their spin on it. I especially like that they (by and large) keep the silly aspects of many folkloric monsters in tact, in one way or another.

Particularly liked Dungeon Denizens Revisited and Dragons Revisited- excellent for taking monsters that could be generic enemies and figuring out how to do something interesting with them!

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One of the recurring themes when you read reviews of APs, or discuss them online is people mentioning the quality decreasing as it goes on.

Even APs that are poorly reviewed in their totality people talk about having great opening chapters (I'm thinking specifically Serpents Skull and Giantslayer as the most commonly discussed in this area).

I'm sure there's numerous reasons for why, but my question is which AP has the best last chapter/adventure?

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I truly believe their are two types of Pathfinder: those who find flumphs and flail snails incredible, and those who are wrong.

Seriously though- Misfit Monsters took ten jokes and made them genuinely impressive and/or scary (I'm a big fan of their treatment of Adhearers and The Wolf in Sheeps Clothing!)

My bank account is going to take some hits with all these recommendations! :P

"Mythos Monsters Revisited Revisited"... the only sensible option!

James Jacobs wrote:
If I remember correctly, my proto-list for this book was: Veiled Master/Alghollthu, Globster, Reefclaw, Scylla, Charybdis, Dragon Turtle, Lusca, Ningyo, Great White Whale, and Grindylow. I was holding back the Shoggoth for "Mythos Monsters Revisited." ;-)

Darn that sounds like the sort of thing I would have adored (although apparently just me if sales were so slow :P)

Were the Shoggoth going to double as the Elder Things entry? Deep Ones, Yithian, Zoog, Colours out of Space and the Leng Denizens (and spiders and ghouls). All worth candidates!

Out of interest- what distinguishes a Legendary monster from a Mythical one?

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I'll start with the monster that inspired me to ask the question: The Skelm.

When I first looked at their entry I wrote them off as "boy hags", but when rereading it today I realised how foolish I'd been.

They're monsters who wield societal norms like a weapon, combined with a weird cult of masculinity (literally bullying and humiliating angry men into becoming like them)! Add to that the wonderful line about their gaslighting nature:

Skelms pretend they don't have antlers at all when dealing with non-skelms, regardless of evidence or argument. Skelms will even gore enemies with their antlers in combat, even if afterwards they deny the action they obviously just took. - Bestiary 3

Safe to say Skelm will be infesting more of my settings cities going forward!

I feel like this topic must have come up before, but I also feel like it's the sort of thing people always like talking about!

What are your favourite monsters that are underrated, underused or otherwise overlooked?

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There's no denying we're spoiled for monsters- I'm just greedy and always wanting more!

Sea monsters have always appealed to me (the oceans of earth are filled with so much madness that Golarion barely needs to exaggerate!) Even assuming Krakens and Sea Serpents have already been revisited, we'd still have so many to be explored!

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It's an annoying answer but I'm pretty sure what you've shared there is all that has really been mentioned. Possibly there is a Society Scenario that deals with it, but not to my knowledge.

If you want cannon answers then that's all she wrote.

I did however use the Black Prince as a plot point in a previous campaign so if that's going to be helpful to you I can share how I filled in the gaps.

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Hands down my absolute favourite Pathfinder books were the "monsters revisited" books from first edition.

You'd get 10 articles about monsters (and one time treasures!) linked by a topic or idea. Some of them were creature types (special shout out to Fey Revisited) but my personal favourites were the ones more 'thematic'- such as Mystery Monsters or Classic Horrors.

You can see the spiritual fingerprints of these books on newer releases, but I miss them!

What topics would you want to be "revisited"? What monsters might be covered by then?