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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

In canon, it's not even clear if TB's plan was sound. The Cathedral kills very high level characters on the regular. Presumably it draws its power from the Starstone itself, an artifact so ridiculously powerful that it doesn't actually make sense if you think about it too much. So simply nuking it might not do anything.

OTOH Tar-Baphon seemed pretty sure his plan would work, so what do I know.

Doug M.

Tar-Baphon's Wisdom score is 14 after old age and being a lich, so... high int, low wis?

(What I believe to be the breakdown for Tar-Baphon's Wisdom Score: 14 = 8 or 9 (base) + 2 (lich) + 3 (venerable age) + 0 or 1 (leveling up))

Also, no one tried it before, so he could have reasoned that it was a method that was likely to work, since

Guide to Absalom wrote:
Crossing the pit is a necessary first step, but not sufficient to enter the cathedral and continue the test, and what has worked for one hopeful may fail for another.

And even then, honestly, who really knows what goes on in the mind of Tar-Baphon?


Charles Marshall wrote:

I was going to get to the dropship question, so here it is. The comments made by ITWT's reporters aren't fluff, but accurate descriptions of frames, parts, etc. Dropships are used by militaries to transport vehicles or siege robots, or other big battle machines to a planet's surface. Militaries still use civilian freighters to carry infantry or power armor troops (there is something to be said about cost effectiveness), but civilian freighters are barely able to haul military vehicles and their crews. The Heavy Freighter can barely carry two Huge vehicles, and their crews have to hitch a ride on another transport. That's why I came up with dropships (or maybe I should just call them Military Transports to clear things up).

In order to be anle to carry more stuff, military transports have to be a little bigger than civilian transports (compare, say, the C-5 or C-17 with the 747). And the weapons layouts on military transports are different than those on full-on warships. A frigate or destroyer has to deal with fighters, patrol craft, and other warships, while the military transport mostly deals with any fighters or patrol craft that somehow got through the tramsport's escorts. That's why they don't carry heavy weapons. Actually, I was surprised about how little the destroyer was armed; if I designed the core rulebook frames, the destroyer would have had 2 light weapons or 1 heavy weapon on their port and starboard arcs.

Regardless of "little-armed" the destroyer frame is, it still shouldn't be outgunned by another frame in its size category and the heavy freighter still shouldn't be outhauled by the heavy dropship. In fact why do you think the transport frame is not military? "Transport" as a term does not preclude it from being military, in fact transportation of goods is very necessary to military supply lines. You can even transport a Huge Vehicle and 16 soldiers in one and as stated before the Norikama Dropship is a Vesk military vessel. The Inheritorworks Shieldcraft is also a military vessel, and it's also a Transport frame.

Charles Marshall wrote:
I should have mentioned in Vehicle Bays that they also have ramps that allow vehicles to enter or leave the transport, though.

I can concede this point. Though, did you realize that you can only get Colossal vehicles to the ground in pieces despite the vehicle bays? Because there's only 3 frames that can use the Colossal version... and none of them can land on a planet, nor can any of the ones that can land on planets hold Colossal-sized vehicles

Charles Marshall wrote:

"If they're so good, why weren't they in the core rulebook?" Well, until Empire of Bones, we didn't know supercolssal ships existed, either, but the description of the Eoxian ultranought states that they had them before the Gap. The same is true with these frames.

We just didn't notice them.
And as I mentioned in the reporter's comments, militaries are about the only ones with sufficient vehicles to justify dropships/military transports (unless you're a corporation that makes vehicles that needs to ship them to other worlds).

In my view, the difference is that Supercolossal Frames are giving more to the game by increasing the maximum size and giving more lore. The ones you're proposing don't. There are existing frames, that can do what you want, you just don't believe they can be used. Also, if you're a corporation that ships vehicles, the bulk freighter is available and having multiple trips between planet/space station and starship is not unheard of in fiction. Also, if the problem lies anywhere, it's that expansion bays don't scale with the size of the starship. That alone would solve most problems as Heavy freighters could then hold twice as many vehicles or troops for an in-game military operation. And even then, the Large starship would lose out in capacity to the Ultimatum Hover Carrier (roughly the same size as the largest Large starships or the smallest Huge starships), which can carry 16 Huge vehicles and 10000 passengers while also having 8 starship expansion bays (of specific kinds, but the total is still almost the equivalent of 700 starship expansion bays). But regardless, invalidating another frame by taking its purpose and slamming it together with another frame's purpose is pointless and only engages in unnecessary power creep. That's my view on the matter.


Charles Marshall wrote:

Now about this "invalidation" business.

First, I'm only comparing starship frames you can buy at any shipyard, rather than space creatures like oma or statiketes (BTW, which book has the statikete stats?), because I don't know how you do your campaigns, but in my campaigns, shipbuilders don't have pens of oma swimming near their shipyards.

Statikete is from Attack of the Swarm: Fate of the Fifth which I'll admit means means they aren't common, but they do exist and people do want them. Same with Oma, and I'll agree that it's a matter of preference on the grounds of invalidation, but at the very least, Paizo made sure that the Oma and the Statikete have both advantages and disadvantages in comparison to their core rulebook base frames.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Second, with the exception of the Mini-Shuttle, these new frames are military frames, designed to be used in warships, and in the case of the Dropships, military transports. They're supposed to have more HP, weapon mounts, and so on, than their civilian counterparts.

The Destroyer frame is military, right? And yet... the Heavy Dropship has more weapon mounts despite being a "troop transport". The Heavy Freighter is the frame for transporting cargo, yet the Heavy Dropship has more cargo space than it. Actually, if you look at it, the military frames (destroyer, cruiser) in the large and huge sizes have consistently less expansion bays than the non-military frames (heavy freighter, bulk freighter). If you want the Heavy Dropship to be a meaningful choice and not just outright guaranteed, it should be somewhere in the vicinity of halfway between Destroyers and Heavy Freighters, not vastly over both of them. I would personally make the Heavy Dropship look like this:

SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0, Turn 2)
HP: 130 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 26
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 heavy, 1 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6
MINIMUM CREW: 6
MAXIMUM CREW: 20
COST: 35

It preserves the Destroyer as the military vessel for ship-to-ship combat and allows for the heavy freighter to carry more cargo while also being a middle ground between the two that doesn't give cause to be power creep.

My other issue with the dropships is that the frames provided in the core rulebook are fine as dropships, all of the Small and larger frames have 3 or more expansion bays, which means that they can carry a platoon of soldiers, since one passenger seating bay can hold 16 Medium-sized creatures, plenty enough since a platoon is defined as 20 to 44 soldiers. If you have Large-sized passengers, then the Transport frame has 5 expansion bays, more than enough for 45 Large-sized soldiers or 2 platoons of Medium-sized soldiers if you want. Also, the Transport frame doesn't state that it's purely for civilian use, nor that it's for only goods or people, it's meant for whichever one is appropriate to the starship. Case in point: Norikama Dropship which goes on the really nice side for its troops and has guest quarters for a 20-man platoon. Yes, your light dropship frame does it better, but that means that you're eliminating a frame from use that doesn't need to be.

To be clear, this isn't me saying that you're an idiot or that you're doing things wrong, I just don't think that the dropship series is needed because there are frames that can do their job more than satisfactorily in the core rulebook's base frames and the same problem can be seen in other homebrew and 3pp where they add more things (weapons/expansion bays/maneuverability) than is really needed to differentiate a base frame from the published ones.

Edit: Also, adding these frames that are honestly mostly generic (light dropship, heavy dropship, corvette/frigate, patrol craft) all come with an inherent flavor problem: Why wasn't the military using these before if they're all so good? They've had more time (200+ years, with war, which speeds up military development) than you or me to design and reject other designs. And why wouldn't civilians be using them? Beyond the names you gave them, they don't have any military connections and wouldn't have those names in setting either. The frames don't exist because something (flavor: physics-wise most likely; mechanically: they don't allow for diverse starships to exist) doesn't make them possible.


So, in addition to the comments I had earlier...

Charles Marshall wrote:

Vehicle Bays

MEDIUM: Stores vehicles like motorcycles or enercycles. BP: 1, PCU: 3, takes up 1 expansion bay.
LARGE: Stores other Large vehicles. BP: 2, PCU: 5, takes up 2 expansion bays.
HUGE: Stores Huge vehicles. BP: 4, PCU: 4,takes up 4 expansion bays.
GARGANTUAN: Stores Gargantuan vehicles. BP: 10, PCU: 20, takes up to 8 expansion bays.
COLOSSAL: Stores Colossal vehicles. BP: 20, PCU: 60, takes up 12 expansion bays.

Other than the Colossal version, technically the base cargo holds vehicles already at the given number of expansion bays. Really the only one of these that's useful is the Colossal version and unlike the comments I had earlier about things being too powerful, these ones (other than the colossal version) don't actually do anything if I'm right.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Spinal Mounts

For 10 BP, a Tiny or Small starship can Spinal Mount a Heavy Weapon in place of 2 Light Weapons. For 15 BP, a Medium or Large starship can Spinal Mount a Capital Weapon in place of 2 Heavy Weapons, BP and PCU permitting. Spinal Mounts can only be mounted on the Forward firing arc, and can't be retrofitted to an existing vessel.

I don't think these ones are worth having, after all, the whole point of when you can get the higher weapon sizes being tied to starship size is so that you can tell what a capital ship is, otherwise the classification of Huge and larger starships being capital ships doesn't make sense. Giving a shuttle or an explorer a capital weapon is not just nonsensical, it also doesn't fit in the definition of what a capital ship is: i.e. "a large warship such as a battleship or aircraft carrier." Starfinder clearly aims towards Huge or larger ships being capital ships because they're in the top 3 sizes of starships in the game system. The heavy weapon spinal mount I can see arguments for it, and I disagree, but the capital weapon spinal mount has no good merit without messing up both mechanical and flavor restrictions.

Oh and I missed it when I posted before but:

Charles Marshall wrote:

Mini-Shuttle Bay

2 BP, 5 PCU, takes 1 expansion bay. A Mini-Shuttle Bay can only be installed on a Medium-sized ship or larger.

The mini-shuttle bay invalidates and is much better than Launch Tubes from the Pact Worlds book. It costs half the PCU, less than half the BP, and only uses one expansion bay for the same benefit (minus the rules regarding docking and launching mid-combat).


Cool things, but a few notes:

Charles Marshall wrote:

Mini-Shuttle

SIZE: Tiny
MANEUVERABILITY: Perfect (+2 to Piloting, Turn 0)
HP: 25 (Increment 5)
DT: -
CT: 7
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 1 (usually Cargo Holds or Passenger Seating)
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 2
COST: 5

CT is based off HP and is 1/5 maximum HP, it's part of the base rules and makes this confusing when calculating out crit because players and GM's now have to remember that this base frame's CT is an exception to the rule. Also, this almost entirely invalidates a base frame published by Paizo (not sure whether you care about that, but still going to note it): the Statikete. The Mini-Shuttle frame has the same cost, but can have 1 more crew, an expansion bay and the increased CT. The only "advantage" the Statikete frame has is that it halves the duration of EMP weapons used on it, which is not guaranteed to make a difference, unlike the ones that the Mini-Shuttle has which will always come into play. Overall, this frame is much better than a published one.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Patrol Craft

SIZE: Small
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 45 (Increment 5)
DT:-
CT: 9
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 3
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 6
COST: 9

This frame... is just overpowered. It costs 1 less than the light freighter, but has more HP, an extra weapon mount and doesn't lose anything. It's just better overall in every way. There's no downside to it and it invalidates all other small-sized frames.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Frigate/Corvette

SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 75 (Increment 15)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 heavy, 1 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 4
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 7
COST: 16

Light Dropship
SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 75 (Increment 10)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 9
COST: 16

I'm just going to combine these into one because not only does the frigate invalidate the light dropship, it's also better than all of the other medium-sized frames. The frigate gets better maneuverability and a heavy weapon mount versus the light dropship getting an aft weapon mount and 2 expansion bays. That heavy weapon mount is worth more than the aft weapon mount and 2 expansion bays don't really make up for better maneuverability. Plus, compared to the Oma frame, the frigate has a turret and better maneuverability which more than make up for the aft weapon mount and extra expansion bays of the Oma frame which also costs more BP to start with. The light dropship is more reasonable, since upgrading one light weapon mount in the front of the frame makes it cost the same as the Oma frame with less HP, but a turret mount in exchange. However, the thing that makes it much better is that the Oma frame increases the cost of all drift engines by 50% which means that the light dropship frame just straight up invalidates the Oma frame.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Heavy Dropship

SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 100 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 26
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (2 light), Starboard Arc (2 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (2 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 10
MINIMUM CREW: 9
MAXIMUM CREW: 16
COST: 45

The Heavy Dropship frame is honestly, the most reasonable of all the frames as it has less HP than all of the other Large-sized frames, but has the same problem with CT as the mini-shuttle. It would be reaasonable if it didn't have all those weapon mounts though in addition to the expansion bays. Like, it can carry more cargo than a heavy freighter and has more ways to hit enemy starships than any other ship of its size. I think it would be fine if it had one or the other, but with both it just makes more sense to take this over the Destroyer and the Heavy Freighter frames. A dropship should not have more firepower than a destroyer, much less also having more cargo space than a heavy freighter.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Micron Micro

SIZE: T
PCU: 30
BP: 3

The remainder of the homebrew is harder to evaluate, but this power core is fine, though it would probably be alright to increase its PCU to 35 as 30 is cutting it close to the minimum necessary for propulsion alone and doesn't give much space for shields and weapons.

This is my two credsticks, so take it as you will, but I think you should tone back the frames to be more in line with what has been presented in the books published.


So, further feedback:

2 & 4: On further reflection, these two are connected and really should just be +1 caster level to the specialized school and an increase in spellcasting. It makes it less clunky and more on theme for the idea of the prestige class being hyper specialization in a specific school. The other thing is, +1 caster level is roughly equivalent to half of a feat, the increase of +2 caster level is roughly one feat with +1 to five schools being 2 and a half feats, resulting in a power increase of approximately 3.5 feats, conversely an evoker at level 8 gets rounds per day of wall of fire damage, a death domain cleric can heal from both positive and negative energy, a fighter gets one bonus feat, a barbarian gets a single rage power, a magus gets the equivalent of +2 caster level for concentration checks, and so on and so forth. The base classes are getting what is roughly equivalent to a feat's worth of power, so Attunement should probably be in line with that.

3: Yeah, most of the effects need overhaul, and should probably be looked at for thematic effects in line with the schools of magic.

5: The problem is more the fact that it adds spells to a school of magic. The only equivalent effect that I can think of to this is a first level wizard power that thematically allows for casting cure spells as necromancy spells rather than as conjuration. The ability you have on the class as written basically allows for bypassing of the prohibited school restriction, which as shown in the lore, the Runelords couldn't do other than by forcing or convincing other spellcasters to cast the spells for them. Or they used Wish to duplicate spells from their forbidden schools, but that tells us that lore-wise, this ability's second half doesn't make any sense. The ability while strong doesn't give off a feeling of being... shall we say unique to the theme and is just good. Expanding on effects specific to the school chosen at first level would probably work better and be more thematic on top of that. The Master Specialist prestige class is probably the best spot to look up reasonably school appropriate effects for this.


I may not be the most qualified to comment, but there are a few odd things I noticed:

1. Focus: This allows you to choose a school to hyper specialize in... which is fine if you aren't a wizard and can choose a school that is already prohibited by your Thassilonian specialization. It should state that the choice for focus must be the same one as your wizard school specialization if you have one since prestige classes that enhance similar choices tend to limit themselves the same way. E.G. Horizon Walker allows you to specialize further in Favored Terrains and you must choose ones that you've previously chosen in preceding levels. Same thing with Dragon Disciple. Yes, the prestige class you wrote is meant more for roleplaying purposes, but this could still be a weird issue if someone wants to make it be.

2. The first level of spell progression should probably be moved back as the closest equivalent (that I can recall off the top of my head), Agent of the Grave, has almost the same spellcasting progression, but slower.

3. Spark of Self allowing allies to auto-succeed on saves is more powerful than you'd think as even a 9th level spell such as meteor swarm or prismatic sphere don't allow allies to auto-succeed on their saves, plus there are rider effects on the ability as written. Also, you may want to look at them again as equivalent effects aren't as strong. E.G. Charity is more powerful than a 5th level spell (Dispel Evil) as it is an AOE and affects everything in the cone. Also, some of the effects don't make sense for their school, like Sloth making a wall of force, which is an evocation effect rather than conjuration or Wrath making creatures staggered which is more of a transmutation effect. On a second glance, the effects vary in power to a degree that is odd as Temperance heals so little on average (At 3rd level, 10.5/4 = 2.125 hit points healed) it's really just depressing and the auto-succeed on saves part in the ability really shouldn't be on the sin side of things anyway, nor should the virtue side be auto-selective, channeling energy requires a feat to do so and wizards and alchemists who want to be selective with their AOE's also have to choose the option with class features.

The virtuous effects might be helped by looking at the Runeguard prestige class's effects. Furthermore, being usable 1/2 hit dice times per day doesn't really exist in pathfinder for class abilities iirc, it should probably be a number of times per day equal to levels in the prestige class itself.

4. Attunement should really only affect the chosen school as the individual taking the prestige class is doing so to focus on that specific school of magic and it seems weird to have the other ones boosted by Attunement as well.

5. Harbinger of Ancient Ways is possibly stronger than the Incantantrix's Improved Metamagic class feature which only reduces the spell level increase by one. While the ability does only apply to one school of spells, it also adds two more spells to the list of spells that this ability can affect which can allow it to apply to things like say Wish or Limited Wish if the player chooses to do so. And if you combine it with Spell Focus, Spell Specialization and/or Spell Perfection, then things can get silly, especially since Wish can replicate other spells with all of its metamagics likely applying to the replicated spell...

6. This is just garnish, but the class's prerequisites should probably include being able to cast at least 2nd level spells and maybe even Knowledge (Arcana) since all Thassilonian casters were wizards and this prestige class is about adapting that heritage to more recent magic styles.

These are just my 2 copper pieces, take them as you will.


I know that Baba Yaga has three symbols of death on her body, don't recall offhand what the statblock said happens though, or if she can activate them as free/standard action by removing clothes/raising hand or what have you.
Hopefully that helps (granted a cr 30 creature is not great precedent, but...)


Aotrscommander wrote:

Well, that's likely stats for 6/7 (Krzoug being in Rise), so that's plenty to work with (and actually more like what I was expecting).

Has... Krule? Is it? (I vaguely recall from looking at it on Monday, but its been a long day and I'm too knackered to look it up now) made an appearance in anything that I could look at to crib some stats from (well, more "re-create but with some direction" from)?

Krune has stats in:

spoiler:

Pathfinder Society Season 4 The Waking Rune

All of the Runelords received stats or partial stats in Paizo's books.


Additionally, can you say how the Beast Speakers of Tekritanin were implemented? As archetype, feat, prestige class or something else?


Misroi wrote:
So, what do you think Oblivion Oath will be about?

Oblivion Oath? What?


I saw it and don't think it changes anything. So my estimations on the final Runelords CR's is based on the inclusion of a factor not included in the original statblock of Karzoug (and Krune): being pure-blooded Azlanti.

Without the above factor, Karzoug ends up as CR 21 (19 (20 levels) + 2 (Wealth + 25 PB)), yes. And Krune ends up as CR 18 (16 (17 levels) + 2 (Wealth + 25 PB. With the above factor of being pure-blooded Azlanti, which is included in Xanderghul's, Sorshen's, Alaznist's, and Belimarius' statblocks, the two of them get pushed up to CR 22 and CR 19 respectively. I'm also not factoring in Alaznist's explosive growth of power after emerging from the runewell and killing Xanderghul as the list is more meant to gauge levels of power during the time of Thassilon. ... probably should have included that last part in the first post for ease of understanding.


That's true, but more than one person has used Tar-Baphon learning from Zutha as a reason for Zutha being mythic. And so refuting that is required when explaining why it is unnecessary for Zutha to be mythic in order to be a powerful wizard. There's also the fact that learning need not always be done face-to-face and could be done by Tar-Baphon reading Zutha's notes and taking things a step or two further.


There's a lot of people who run around teaching, quite badly I might add, but they're still teaching. There are others who teach, but can't prove things yet because they don't have the right technology. The third point more gets into the possibility of Zutha not being able to become a mythic lich by being smote by a god, but Tar-Baphon could. Mythic ascension is different for each individual after all.

Edit: Bad comparison but: Zutha is to Tar-Baphon as Einstein is to Marie Curie. The former created a theory, but couldn't prove it. The latter took the theory and proved it with tools that the former didn't have.

To note, Ultimate Magic is core line, at least most of the spells and classes in my opinion. I specified core line rather than Core Rulebook for the reason you brought up, plus Horror Adventures and Advanced Player's Guide were used in statblocks though only spells (such as Wither Limb for Zutha) and thematic feats (such as Fleshwarper for Alaznist).

Also, the per RAW line you quoted? It doesn't really work if you want to use just RAW. Much like rule 0 is difficult when doing a RAW discussion. Rule 0 is useful, but at the same time throws discussions of track. Honestly that part of RAW looks to more apply if not using a template as templates have straight rules on how to use them.

Actually, in regards to how many MR 10 liches there are running around on Golarion... the better question is how many liches with mythic tiers/ranks? Only two named ones: Tar-Baphon and Arazni. The influence of mythic power is not that much so to speak. As it is, being a unique lich as Zutha has been stated to be would be its own template that probably wouldn't add to CR, while trading out something from the normal lich template.

In regards to Tar-Baphon having a unique set of abilities... that would probably be because of him being in a different book than the mythic lich template which is a "generic"* template for GMs that don't have the time to homebrew something equally powerful.

*as generic as Mythic power can be


1. Text formatting is located under the typing area beneath community guidelines.

But for simplicity's sake:
(url=http://www.google.com)text here(/url)
Just replace the parentheses with brackets and...
Voila!

As for linking to the middle of a thread? I generally have to figure out the exact post's url which is a pain in and of itself, but once you know the url for the first or last post in the thread, you can figure out the url for other post's as well.

2. Dunno if that thread was ever made, but finding old threads can be a pain if you don't know what key words to use. Have you tried searching "Runelords"? Ya get like 20 quadrillion hits! Not really, but it feels like it.


Ok, that's long, so I'm not going to use the quote function, but either way:

According to the other things we know about Zutha, such as Shattered Star's Continuing the Campaign article, Zutha's body was in the Cenotaph yes, but his phylactery, the Gluttonous Tome, was not. In fact, the bloody thing was broken into pieces before Earthfall to prepare for Earthfall. It's also been stated in the article on the Cenotaph that you mention that it's his body, but it's as a corpse, not an undead. In fact, the Gluttonous Tome's entry in More Magic of Thassilon states that it's supposed to rebuild his body using that of the person being controlled by the thing. So, nope, Zutha himself has not actually been in the Cenotaph for 10000+ years.

Second, the next thing that becomes interesting is whether or not the Cenotaph had its current level of power at the time of Earthfall. 10,000 years is a long time and we've seen examples of things not working as intended such as Sorshen's clones being linked to other people on accident.

Third, just because you learn from someone how to do something doesn't mean that they need to have attained that state themselves. History, and mythology, are rife with examples of people being able to teach something that they understand without having it themselves.

Fourth, if you actually check their statblocks, none of the Runelords use any material outside of the core line other than the Inner Sea World Guide and the 3 Adventure Paths (Rise, Shattered Star, Return) having to do with their story (Edit: Ok, Krune uses stuff from Pathfinder Society Season 4, but that is where he was featured). I don't think Paizo would have used Dread Lich for Zutha, in fact he was called a unique lich, not a greater lich or dread lich or the like. ... Wait, just realized you said dread LORD, not dread LICH. Please ignore that misreading. Anyway, the Mythic Lich template doesn't actually allow for partial mythic ranks like that. Per RAW, Zutha would be forced into having 10 mythic ranks by the template since his base CR from 18-19 levels and being a lich would be CR 19-20, giving him CR 23-25 from levels and mythic ranks alone. The dread lord template would then push him into having CR 20-21, CR 25-26 with mythic. 25PB and PC wealth plus pure-blooded azlanti would then push that to CR 28-29, higher than Sorshen. Also, part of the reason why James Jacobs doesn't believe Zutha is a mythic lich is it doesn't work with mythic tiers from taking a mythic path. And even then math has been done on Zutha not being a mythic lich by other people as well.

Granted, most of those links are to comments from James Jacobs outside of the printed material, but hey, it works.

Edit: "Powerhouse" FYI, Zutha is one. See, anyone who can cast 9th level spells is absurdly powerful. Wish alone is bonkers and that can make someone a powerhouse. Zutha does not need to be a mythic being to be a powerhouse as he qualifies by virtue of being a full caster who achieved level 17+.


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AshVandal wrote:
Dryad Knotwood wrote:
Ah, the Cenotaph... I think the best explanation for that is Zutha's right-hand man, Ungarato. Ungarato was Barbarian 12/Fighter 7/Marshal 4, so Zutha may have had some help from Ungarato being nearby and fairly loyal towards him too.

Sorry, I don't follow this thought. How are you linking Ungarato and the Cenotaph. Neither is mentioned in the other's official story, nor is either mentioned in the story of the sword of gluttony's entry in A&L.

Also begs the question of why a mythic character would act as a cohort to a non-mythic character of the same character level. But I'd put this aside for now to explore a deeper explanation of how you think Ungarato had something to do with the Cenotaph's creation and mythic empowerment of everything but Zutha.

So, this train of thought linking Ungarato and the Cenotaph requires following through on a number of things and takes maybe one or more leaps of logic:

1. Crafting magic items per the rules requires the creator to have the requisite item creation feat, a number of spells and abilities, and to make a Spellcraft check DC = 5 + caster level + 5 per requirement not filled. The only things that can't be skipped by increasing the Spellcraft DC are the item creation feat and the Spellcraft check.
2. Ungarato was himself mythic and helped to serve as a template for Zutha working towards making himself mythic... He just didn't manage to do so before Earthfall.
3. Ungarato didn't care whether Zutha was stronger than him and did canonically work as Zutha's right-hand man and supposedly was also best buds with Zutha.

But based on these we can guess that the Cenotaph was meant for Zutha to become mythic... he just didn't have the time for it to come to fruition. Also, the estimated DC for Zutha making the Cenotaph is likely DC 40, he most likely had all the necessary spells in his spellbook (Gluttonous Tome/Sihedron Tome, either works), but wasn't himself mythic.

Possible requirements for making the Cenotaph: Craft Wondrous Item, mythic power, Create Greater Undead, Ascension, Animate Dead. Ok, the DC may be 45 rather than 40 assuming Zutha didn't know the Ascension spell, but Zutha can still make that check (18 ranks in Spellcraft + 11 intelligence bonus + 3 class skill = +32 Spellcraft). Chances are that there's a few things that I can't think of as requirements for crafting the Zenotaph and it may include things like Fleshwarper as a result of Zutha's experiments with the Flesh Pits of Gastash, but the Cenotaph is possibly a result of Zutha possibly trying to become mythic like Ungarato, Sorshen and Xanderghul, but not managing to do so before Earthfall (in contrast, Alaznist succeeded in her endeavors to become mythic... one year before Earthfall).

Note that these are for the most part assumptions and may or may not be canonical, but it does help to paint the picture more easily for the way things may have worked. Plus, the Cenotaph is more of a story thing and PC's can't really make something like it unless the GM allows, but the magic item creation rules do help to give an idea on how it could be possible to do so. The DC for making something like the Cenotaph would also probably have a few ad hoc increases from the GM, but hey, this is an estimation based on incomplete data.

Edit: And based on this, the Cenotaph while not used for Zutha's ascension into mythic power, did get used by Tar-Baphon for his own purposes and his mythic ascension.


AshVandal wrote:
Dryad Knotwood wrote:
Well, technically speaking, we have no idea exactly how strong any of the previous Runelords of Gluttony were, though while we can estimate Goparlis' and maybe Aethusa's levels, Atharend and Kaliphesta are more difficult since Atharend was killed by Xanderghul which allows for any level from 17-20 and just isn't helpful, but can allow for a level above Zutha's.

Also to be fair towards my own points, a Zutha who is a Necromancer 13 CR 14 is not 1/3 as powerful as anything the Pathfinder system can create by hard rules unless you'd want to argue that wizards grow exponentially more powerful (which I'm sure most people would) and thus a shadow-aspect of Zutha as a Necromancer 13 with shadow gear is about 1/3 as powerful as say Lich Necromancer 19 and PC level gear and multiple artifacts and an entire realm of riches and servants at his disposal. In this respect, the Zutha scenario may have been better suited to book 2 where a CR 7 Zutha could have been 1/3 the power level of a CR 21 Runelord as Dryad envisioned. (There are a lot of ways to make the story clean, but I like the whole 1/3 power in fitting with manifesting 1/3 of Zutha's essence from 1/3 of his phylactery). Of course the scenario works just fine as written in book 3 as well.

So if this is the case (and it seems all but set in stone) that Zutha is non-mythic and not even max-level, how in the world did he create the Cenotaph? And why does he not benefit from his/its/Negative Energy Plane's ability to grant mythic power to other creatures but not himself. I can understand the mechanical reason of " because PLOT!" but my lore-hunger is not sated if that's the best we got. Maybe we'll find out in Tyrant's Grasp!!!!

Ah, the Cenotaph... I think the best explanation for that is Zutha's right-hand man, Ungarato. Ungarato was Barbarian 12/Fighter 7/Marshal 4, so Zutha may have had some help from Ungarato being nearby and fairly loyal towards him too.

As for CR... well supposedly (CR of given value) = 3 (CR of given value) - 3)'s, and since CR 14 = (CR 21 - 7), thus CR 21 = 12 (CR 14)'s. Or it should anyway, according to the CR equivalencies table in the Gamemastering section of the Core Rulebook, which would then mean Zutha's really weakened by his soul being in 3 pieces.

AshVandal wrote:
Having dug around little I came upon a 2011 thread where baron arem heshvaun quotes a post from James having listed the Runelords in descending order of power: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2n9i7?Power-levels-of-the-various-Runelords . I did not find the original post but it's as good as anything else.

Turned it into a link.

AshVandal wrote:
And thank you for linking out your thread again, I'd respond to it but I'm not quite sure what to say.

Honestly, I'd like to know if anyone has anything I missed that can help narrow down any of the level ranges for any of the Runelords that I don't have anything on. Chances are though that most of them are just names mentioned solely in Secrets of Roderic's Cove, sadly.


Honestly, 'twould be nice if Pathfinder wiki had a page that sorted all NPCs by total character level, but hey, at least we can find most things easily enough...

Though others at 20+ include Baba Yaga, Savith, likely Aroden, and possibly Iomedae, Cayden Cailean, Nethys, Norgorber and Irori. The last 5 being from when they were mortals that is.

Edit: The other problem with the sorting being monsters with innate spellcasting and levels not being easily found as well


AshVandal wrote:
Side-side note. Looking through other major necromancers of the world, the only other one that seems like he would hold a candle to Zutha would have been Geb, who does not have official statblocks but is officially listed as a Ghost Necromancer Wizard 20+. Like Zutha, he has a whole city listed in Mythic Realms, which provide mythic trials and is host to Arazni, a CR 26/MR8 creature that was created by and subservient to Geb himself. That speaks volumes about his candidacy as Zutha's chief rival to the claim of "most powerful necromancer before Tar-Baphon". If anyone cares, does anyone else know of any other necromancers in contention?

Well, technically speaking, we have no idea exactly how strong any of the previous Runelords of Gluttony were, though while we can estimate Goparlis' and maybe Aethusa's levels, Atharend and Kaliphesta are more difficult since Atharend was killed by Xanderghul which allows for any level from 17-20 and just isn't helpful, but can allow for a level above Zutha's.


Well, James Jacobs stated that his version of Xanderghul at least had the Sanctum mythic ability, so there's that.

It's also of note that player characters can choose a specific mythic path when ascending to mythic power, but NPCs may not have that choice and Sorshen in particular gets a number of path abilities that are very on theme for what the lore says she was like from the Trickster path.

Also, as for Zutha being mythic/non-mythic: I think I summed that up in this thread well enough.

Finally, regarding Create Demiplane, Belimarius and Krune have nothing from Ultimate Magic in their statblocks, Sorshen does have stuff from Ultimate Magic but she's also the one who created the theories behind runewells in the first place, so yeah.

Edit: The Sihedron Tome held by Belimarius states that it has the spells she prepared, plus all non-evocation, non-necromancy spells from the Core Rulebook, plus anything the GM decides she has. Ignoring the GM fiat part, this means Belimarius literally doesn't know the spell Create Demiplane or any of its variations.


Point Buy was the Heroic NPC Array (13, 15, 14, 12, 8, 10), thus no adjustment to CR. I figured I could give some leeway for anyone who wants to raise the difficulty on the character by giving some room for increasing the point buy.

Also, I didn't include any inherent bonuses from wishes, but all stats would probably be 4 higher if inherent bonuses were added in.


Huh, that's also a good idea. I, personally, was thinking fighter with improved critical (greatsword) and a ring of greater fire resistance as well as feats for throwing weapons and the like. Would also be frightening since an exploding greatsword is quite the weapon either way... let's be direct here: Garvok is a reusable grenade and it should be clear how frightening it would be to fight someone with (basically) infinite grenades.

Edit: Something like this maybe?

Champion of Wrath:

CR 16 XP 76,800
Human fighter 16
CE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +11; Senses Perception +1
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 32, touch 21, flat-footed 25 (+11 armor, +4 deflection, +7 Dex)
hp 198 (16d10+96)
Fort +19, Ref +19, Will +11 (+4 vs. fear); +4 vs. effects that cause you to lose your grip on weapons
Defensive Abilities fortification 50%; Resist fire 30
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee sword of wrath garvok +27/+22/+17/+12 (2d6+35/17-20)
Special Attacks weapon trainings (heavy blades +5, trained throw, warrior spirit)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 18, Dex 24, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +16; CMB +15 (+19 sunder); CMD 41 (45 vs. disarm, 47 vs. sunder)
Feats Athletic, Deadly Aim, Distance Thrower[UC], Endurance, Greater Sunder, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), Greater Weapon Specialization (greatsword), Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Throw Anything, Toughness, Two-handed Thrower[UC], Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Skills Climb +17, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +12, Knowledge (engineering) +12, Profession (soldier) +12, Survival +12, Swim +17
Languages Azlanti, Thassilonian
SQ armor training 4
Combat Gear potion of cure serious wounds (11); Other Gear +5 moderate fortification mithral chainmail, sword of wrath garvok, belt of physical perfection +4, cloak of resistance +5, emerald ellipsoid ioun stone (2), gloves of dueling[APG], greater ring of fire resistance, handy haversack, headband of inspired wisdom +4, ring of protection +4, 600 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Armor Training 4 (Ex) Worn armor -4 check penalty, +4 max DEX.
Deadly Aim -5/+10 Trade a penalty to ranged attacks for a bonus to ranged damage.
Distance Thrower Reduce ranged penalties for thrown weapons by 2
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Energy Resistance, Fire (30) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Fire attacks.
Fortification 50% You have a chance to negate critical hits on attacks.
Greater Sunder When destroying an item, extra damage is transferred to the wielder.
Improved Lightning Reflexes (1/day) Can re-roll a Ref save, but must take the second result.
Improved Sunder You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when sundering.
Power Attack -5/+10 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Throw Anything Proficient with improvised ranged weapons. +1 to hit with thrown splash weapons.
Trained Throw (Weapon Training [Blades, Heavy] +5) (Ex) Thrown weapon atk using Dex mod, add double training bonus to damage.
Two-Handed Thrower Gain Str bonus when using two hands to throw a one or two-handed weapon
Warrior Spirit +5 (Weapon Training [Blades, Heavy] +5 [Ex], 6/day) (Su) Standard action, add enhance bon or item powers for 1 min.
Weapon Training (Blades, Heavy) +5 (Ex) +5 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Heavy Blades

Exceptional Wealth - The Champion of Wrath has player character levels of wealth rather than wealth of a npc of their level. This adjust their challenge rating by +1.


It's not wrong if that's the question:

Alaznist Ability Score Breakdown
Str: 20 = 8 + 2 azlanti + 4 inherent + 6 enhancement
Dex: 26 = 14 + 2 azlanti + 4 inherent + 6 enhancement
Con: 36 = 14 + 2 azlanti + 4 inherent + 6 enhancement + 4 profane + 6 lvl/mythic
Int: 36 = 17 + 2 azlanti + 5 inherent + 6 enhancement + 3 age + 3 lvl/mythic
Wis: 24 = 9 + 2 azlanti + 4 inherent + 6 enhancement + 3 age
Cha: 32 = 14 + 2 azlanti + 5 inherent + 6 enhancement + 3 age + 2 lvl/mythic

It's possible to obtain all of the listed ability scores with a 25 PB as above which assumes the Enhanced Ability mythic path ability was taken once for either Intelligence, Constitution or Charisma. 20 Str is not weird at all.


Not sure whether the following can be considered spoiler(s), so:

Spoiler:

So we've seen in Rise that the traditional robes of the Runelord of Greed are the Robes of Xin-Shalast and in Return that the traditional robes of the Runelords of Envy, Wrath, and Lust are the Robes of Xin-Edasseril, Robes of Xin-Bakrakhan, and the Scintillating Garment respectively. One would expect that the Runelords of Pride, Gluttony and Sloth would have their own traditional robes, ones that weren't shown for various reasons in the modules/adventures that they were in respectively. What would those ones be called? Assuming that the traditional robes of their stations existed of course.

Also (not a question, just a comment):

Spoiler:

Loved how the name of Sorshen's traditional robes were the same as one of the magic items from the More Magic of Thassilon supplement from the 3.5 version of Rise of the Runelords.


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WARNING: This post contains what may be considered to be spoilers about all or part of three adventure paths (RotR, RotR2 and WotR) as well as a Pathfinder Society Module (The Waking Rune) and maybe a few other things. Nothing is going to be behind spoiler tags as this is the warning and the point of the thread is to help organize information and possibly find anything that may have been missed in one person's perusing of the forums and various modules, campaign settings and adventure paths.

So, with the release of Return of the Runelords, we know the names of all of the Runelords and their positions as well as the levels of 5 of the 7 final Runelords, the last two of whom received partial stats. Through this, Rise of the Runelords, Wrath of the Righteous: Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, a few other media, and a few comments from James Jacobs and other Paizo developers, we can roughly estimate the levels and possibly CR's of the remaining 20+ Runelords. Of course, these estimated levels are made based on the assumptions of minimum necessary power, that all Runelords could cast 9th level spells, and published CR's are adjusted based on PC Wealth = Cr +1, 25 PB = CR +1, and Pure-Blooded Azlanti = CR +1 (I just can't remember where I saw developer comments that support said).

First, we have these stats for sure:

Sorshen - Lust - Enchanter 20/Trickster 10 (CR 27)
Alaznist - Wrath - Evoker 20/Archmage 4 (CR 24)
Alderpash - Wrath - Lich Evoker 19 (CR 23)
Karzoug - Greed - Transmuter 20 (CR 22)
Angothane - Wrath - Evoker 18 (CR 20)
Belimarius - Envy - Abjurer 18 (CR 20)
Krune - Sloth - Conjurer 17 (CR 19)

Second, we have these partial stats:

Xanderghul - Pride - Illusionist 15 (CR 17)
Zutha - Gluttony - Lich Necromancer 13 (CR 15)
Thybidos - Wrath - Unique Undead (CR 10)

Xanderghul has been estimated by James Jacobs to be about CR 28 with 20 levels and 10 mythic tiers of Archmage
Zutha is estimated to be weaker than Karzoug, but stronger than Belimarius and upon reverse engineering his stat array can be shown to have a 15 PB, so he should be a Lich Necromancer 18 with PC wealth (CR 21 (17 base + 1 azlanti + 1 wealth +2 lich))

Then we have the various acts of Runelords that may help estimate their strengths:
Kaliphesta - Gluttony - Apprentice of Xin
Kaladurnae - Greed - Apprentice of Xin
Naaft - Envy - Apprentice of Xin
Gimmel - Greed - Summoned the Oliphaunt of Jandelay which requires either an artifact or mythic power
Xirie - Sloth - 50% chance of defeating Angothane when Angothane has less than full hp and has what could be construed as an ambush round
Haphrama - Greed - Killed by Karzoug with the aid of Leng
Tannaris - Envy - Died in a fight with his son by the same name and became part of the Alara'hai, the Sword of Envy
Atharend - Gluttony - Killed by Xanderghul
Jurah - Envy - Killed by Xanderghul
Goparlis - Gluttony - Killed by Zutha while distracted by the theft of the Alara'hai, the Sword of Gluttony
Ivarinna - Sloth - Abdicated peacefully to Krune
Ivamura - Envy - Executed by Azlant during the Azlant-Thassilon war
Xiren - Wrath - Took over after Xanderghul killed Angothane and was killed by Thybidos
Thybidos - Wrath - Killed and turned into a unique undead by Alaznist until he apologizes to Xiren
Phirandi - Envy - Encased in a coffin of force by Belimarius after having his magical protections stripped away
Aethusa - Gluttony - Took over after Xanderghul killed Atharend
Ilthyrius - Sloth - Took over after Xirie was killed by Angothane
Chalsardra - Envy - Took over after Xanderghul killed Jurah

The remaining Runelords have no details to help determine how strong they were.

Based on the above details, we can assume that the following are likely:
Xirie is about equal to Angothane in power, so Conjurer 18 (CR 20)
Gimmel is mythic and since he may have been killed by Ligniya, probably wasn't more than 1 or 2 tiers into mythic, so Transmuter 17/Archmage 1 (CR 20)
Haphrama was probably weaker than Karzoug, so possibly Transmuter 19 (CR 21)
Goparlis was weaker than Zutha, but could reasonably be the same level with a lower CR, so Necromancer 18 (CR 20)
Thybidos was weaker than Alaznist and stronger than Xirie, so Evoker 18 (CR 20)
Xiren was weaker than Thybidos, so Evoker 17 (CR 19)
Phirandi was weaker than Belimarius, so Abjurer 17 (CR 19)
Kaliphesta, Kaladurnae, and Naaft were apprentices of Xin and probably at least as powerful as their fellow apprentices, so Necromancer 18, Transmuter 18, and Abjurer 18 respectively

The rest don't have helpful details as being killed by Xanderghul allows for anything from level 17 to 20, same with being executed by Azlant, as does killing and being killed by an individual of unknown level.

Thus with these details, the estimated/published levels of the Runelords are:
Xanderghul - Pride - Illusionist 20/Archmage 10 (CR 28)
Sorshen - Lust - Enchanter 20/Trickster 10 (CR 27)
Alaznist - Wrath - Evoker 20/Archmage 4 (CR 24)
Alderpash - Wrath - Lich Evoker 19 (CR 23)
Karzoug - Greed - Transmuter 20 (CR 22)
Haphrama - Greed - Transmuter 19 (CR 21)
Zutha - Gluttony - Lich Necromancer 18 (CR 21)
Kaliphesta - Gluttony - Necromancer 18+ (CR 20+)
Kaladurnae - Greed - Transmuter 18+ (CR 20+)
Naaft - Envy - Abjurer 18+ (CR 20+)
Xirie - Sloth - Conjurer 18 (CR 20)
Angothane - Wrath - Evoker 18 (CR 20)
Thybidos - Wrath -Evoker 18 (CR 20)
Goparlis - Gluttony - Necromancer 18 (CR 20)
Belimarius - Envy - Abjurer 18 (CR 20)
Gimmel - Greed - Transmuter 17/Archmage 1 (CR 20)
Xiren - Wrath - Evoker 17 (CR 19)
Phirandi - Envy - Abjurer 17 (CR 19)
Krune - Sloth - Conjurer 17 (CR 19)

The remaining Runelords are level 17+ (CR 19+) as their levels cannot be reasonably ascertained based on the data available.

Thoughts?


Phntm888 wrote:
Bellona wrote:

I've skimmed the PDF and have a few questions.

There are two body slot items listed in the appendix: the Robes of Xin-Bakrakhan (powerful magic item) and the Scintillating Robes (major artefact), which belong to Alaznist and Sorshen respectively. However, I don't see these items mentioned in the NPC stat blocks. Are A. and S. wearing those robes, and do the stat blocks take into account all the robes' nifty powers?

I'm also curious about this. For Sorshen, it looks like the deflection bonus to AC and resistance bonus to saves are factored in, as well as the SR 30, but I don't think the stat boosts are factored in, which is fine, because even if they were, they wouldn't stack with the belt of physical perfection and the headband of mental superiority.

Alaznist appears to have the shield bonus to AC and the SR 24, but I don't think it says anything about her being immune to calm emotions.

It kind of looks like the bonuses are partially factored in, but weren't entirely factored in.

Actually as has been noted, the stat boosts for the mental stats are all there, the physical ones aren't

Sorshen Stats:

Str 14 (7+2a+5i)
Dex 24 (15+2a+5i+2(lvl/mythic))
Con 22 (15+2a+5i)
Int 40 (16+2a+5i+3v+6e+8(lvl/mythic))
Wis 24 (8+2a+5i+3v+6e)
Cha 40 (15+2a+5i+3v+6e+9(lvl/mythic))
a=azlanti racials
i=inherent
e=enhancement
v=venerable age

But even then, it's a large statblock, the editor's human, and the one encounter that Sorshen could be in, may not even have her if the PC's make the right (or wrong) choices.


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Cpt_kirstov wrote:
All but Zutha have official stats (even he might have stats, but I can't get to that book to check)

Spoiler:
Zutha has partial stats (as in the fragment is a part of his power) and based on what can be inferred from forum postings as to the Runelords, Zutha should be a lich necromancer 18, but was supposedly never built at full power. Beyond that though, the only thing his full statblock would have for sure is Craft Wondrous Item, since crafting a phylactery needs that feat per RAW.

Edit: I just realized that you may be talking about all as in all 37 or so Runelords from all of Thassilon's history, in which case:

SPOILERS:

Alderpash - Wrath - Lich Evoker 19 - Wrath of the Righteous
Angothane - Wrath - Evoker 18 - Rise of New Thassilon
Thybidos - Wrath - Unique Undead - It Came From Hollow Mountain
Xirie - Sloth - 50 % chance of beating Angothane in combat - Rise of New Thassilon

That's all that I saw on a quick glance through the Adventure Paths themselves.


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There's a number of them on the forums:

Alaznist (Non-mythic)

Xanderghul (CR 30 and CR 28 (supposedly))

Mythic Zutha (Warning: May be more powerful than the actual Zutha)

I believe there's a few more that exist, but I'm too lazy to find them and no one has made a tier 10 statblock for Alaznist.

Edit: I've made my own statblocks, but they won't be complete until I see the full statblocks for Sorshen and Alaznist for various reasons. Also, James Jacobs has said he may post the statblock he made for Xanderghul in ~3-5 months on the forums or in a blog post.


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Derron42 wrote:

You can't rely on the audience and customers reading a thread to get across information for an actual product. That would sorta be like a journalist saying "I didn't put that in my NY Times article because I'd mentioned it in my podcast". This is not a slam at you Dryad Knotwood or James ... simply not an acceptable journalistic tactic. And fair point ... you did note "hypothetically".

And if the stat block missed the two path abilities then they could absolutely miss Harrow Deck cards and "quest bonuses".

Thanks for taking the time to answer folks ;)

Thank you for that clarification on your point. I just like simple solutions when looking at statblocks, especially high-level ones where they generally include mention of extra bonuses.

Honestly, I'm thinking Enhanced Ability is being treated in the same way as level-based ability score increases, so they don't have to show them other than in the final ability scores.


Derron42 wrote:

Possible answer but her stat block also mentions that the gear presented is a minimum and that she has an additional trove if you will.

Remember that "Enhanced Ability" is far from the only solution. She could have pulled one or more theater cards from a Harrow Deck of Many Things ... that's a +2 untyped bonus. Additionally, there are several examples in prior adventure paths where an individual receives untyped +1 or +2 bonuses to an ability score of their choice. Reign of Winter and Wrath of the Righteous are two concrete examples. No reason Sorshen couldn't have scored similar treats.

Was hoping James Jacobs or Greg A. Vaughan could shed some light ...??

"Enhanced Ability" = boring choice for someone like Sorshen. That said, it was a cool and intriguing choice to have her in the Trickster path. Bold play Mr. Vaughan ;)

If Sorshen had those then I would expect the statblock to have mentioned other "interesting" bonuses like it does the inherent and age-based bonuses.

Much less, James Jacobs had previously mentioned the Enhanced Ability path ability in his Ask James Jacobs Anything thread when asked what he would hypothetically give Sorshen as path abilities. In lieu of any comment(s) from him, this is the most likely reason for Sorshen to have 8 listed path abilities. I see nothing wrong with her taking those abilities as they are choices that make sense even if they are, in your words, "boring choice".


Enhanced Ability (Cha) and Enhanced Ability (Int)
OR
Enhanced Ability (Dex) and Enhanced Ability (Cha)
OR
Enhanced Ability (Dex) and Enhanced Ability (Int)

Only way to get her listed ability scores (Ignoring enhancement bonuses to physical ability scores):

Sorshen Ability Scores:

Str 14 (7+2a+5i)
Dex 24 (15+2a+5i+2(lvl/mythic))
Con 22 (15+2a+5i)
Int 40 (16+2a+5i+3v+6e+8(lvl/mythic))
Wis 24 (8+2a+5i+3v+6e)
Cha 40 (15+2a+5i+3v+6e+9(lvl/mythic))
a=azlanti racials
i=inherent
e=enhancement
v=venerable age


As far as I can tell for Sorshen based on what I've heard about her ability scores and reverse engineering things: yes.

As for Alaznist: don't know, but would expect her to be pure-blooded Azlanti. Waiting on getting my copy of the adventure.

Edit: Interestingly, Zutha doesn't specify that either in his statblock, but you do need to have him be pure-blooded Azlanti to get the correct ability scores. Xanderghul does have it specified that he is pure-blooded Azlanti so it was probably an accidental omission though one that doesn't have much impact on the adventure.

Zutha reverse-engineered:

Str 19 (13+2azlanti+4inherent)
Dex 16 (10+2azlanti+4inherent)
Con -- ((8+2azlanti)not applicable due to being undead)
Int 24 (15+2azlanti+4inherent+2lich+1level)
Wis 20 (12+2azlanti+4inherent+2lich)
Cha 26 (14+2azlanti+4inherent+2lich+2level+2enhancement)

Interestingly, this does tell us something funny: without being a lich, Zutha couldn't cast wish unless he used a scroll to raise his Int to a 19, which is quite possible since he does have a fairly good Use Magic Device bonus even as a fragment in Runeplague.

Edit: Krune also doesn't have pure-blooded Azlanti in his statblock either in The Waking Rune and Karzoug is listed as Azlanti, but not pure-blooded, however both need the bonuses to achieve the listed ability scores. As before, it's probably accidental omissions that have shouldn't have any impact on the adventures as written. I don't know whether any of the Paizo staff would disagree with me but that's my understanding.


Acknowledged. And if we extrapolate from the build noted by Dave Gross to be the most accurate to what he had in his notes by adding 2 lvls or so per novel, Varian ends up at ~lvl 16 or 17 by the fight with Zutha. Closer but Zutha at CR 21 is supposedly well above the party as CR = lvl+4 is above an epic fight according to the system.


Dasrak wrote:
CoeusFreeze wrote:
1. He's been talked up as being "more than just a lich" in some of the older books, and Lord of Runes certainly built him up as something utterly bonkers in terms of power. I thought mythic abilities would be fitting for that.
High-level wizards (17+) are utterly bonkers in terms of power. I think it's really easy from a player's perspective to lose track of what "high-level" means in the game world. We can just choose to start a 17th level game and craft a character at that level of power, and if we play a 1-20 campaign then our characters have plot armor that ensures they won't face up against enemies too much stronger than them until they're ready. In-universe, that just doesn't hold; very few adventurers live to see the double digits, much less the truly high levels. Someone who is closing in on 20th level is a special and world-changing power.

To add to this: Varian Jeggare is level 6 according to Inner Sea Magic. For him, Zutha as a CR 21 encounter is way out of his league normally, much less with a higher CR. Granted, Varian Jeggare may be more powerful than that, but not so much that Zutha is way out of his league even at CR 21.

In fact even the weakened version of Zutha is utterly bonkers as far as Varian Jeggare and his allies are concerned.


As a counterpoint to Zutha being CR 22+, while Ungarato was mythic, he was Zutha's champion because Zutha gave Ungarato his master's head. Beyond that, it appears Ungarato didn't care about how powerful Zutha was in comparison to him.

Edit: Hilariously, this also creates a good reason for the Cenotaph to be a mythic place, but Zutha not being mythic himself. He was researching mythic power with Ungarato's aid, but didn't quite get there before Earthfall.


Something like this seems more likely, I believe:

Zutha, Runelord of Gluttony:

Male human lich (pureblooded Azlanti) necromancer 18 (Pathfinder RPG Adventurer's Guide 63, Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 188)
CE Medium undead (augmented humanoid, human)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., life sight (30 feet, 18 rounds/day); Perception +37
Aura fear (60 ft., DC 29)
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 28, touch 19, flat-footed 25 (+4 armor, +5 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 insight, +5 natural)
hp 296 (18d6+231)
Fort +21, Ref +14, Will +26
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, rejuvenation; DR 15/bludgeoning, 15/magic; Immune cold, electricity, polymorph, undead traits
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee touch +13 (1d8+9 negative energy plus paralyzing touch) or
zutha's scythe +16 (2d4+9/19-20/ラ4)
Special Attacks paralyzing touch (DC 29)
Arcane School Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +29)
14/day・grave touch (9 rounds)
Necromancer Spells Prepared (CL 18th; concentration +29)
9th・soul bind (2, DC 32), wail of the banshee (2, DC 32), wish (2)
8th・quickened animate dead, create greater undead, discern location, incendiary cloud (DC 29), greater shout (DC 29), symbol of death (2, DC 31)
7th・quickened displacement, finger of death (2, DC 30), grasping hand (2), plague storm[UM] (2, DC 30)
6th・quickened blindness/deafness (2, DC 25), disintegrate (2, DC 27), quickened mirror image (2), quickened scare (DC 25), wither limb (2, DC 29)
5th・cone of cold (2, DC 26), empowered fireball (DC 24), quickened magic missile, suffocation[APG] (2, DC 28), telekinesis (DC 26), quickened vanish[APG] (2, DC 22)
4th・bestow curse (DC 27), black tentacles, enervation (2), enervation (2), phantasmal killer (2, DC 25), empowered scorching ray
3rd・fireball (2, DC 24), fly, halt undead (DC 26), ray of exhaustion (2, DC 26), slow (DC 24), vampiric touch (2)
2nd・blindness/deafness (2, DC 25), create pit[APG] (DC 23), false life, ghoul touch (DC 25), mirror image, scorching ray (2), spectral hand, web (DC 23)
1st・cause fear (DC 24), chill touch (DC 24), mage armor, magic missile (3), ray of enfeeblement (2, DC 24), vanish[APG] (2, DC 22)
0 (at will)・bleed (DC 23), mage hand, ray of frost, touch of fatigue (DC 23)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 19, Dex 16, Con ・, Int 32, Wis 26, Cha 30
Base Atk +9; CMB +13; CMD 32
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Empower Spell, Eschew Materials, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Improved Channel, Improved Initiative, Inscribe Rune, Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (scythe), Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (necromancy), Toughness, Turn Undead
Skills Disguise +31, Fly +28, Intimidate +31, Knowledge (arcana) +32, Knowledge (nobility) +32, Knowledge (planes) +32, Knowledge (religion) +32, Perception +37, Sense Motive +37, Spellcraft +32, Stealth +11, Use Magic Device +28; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive, +8 Stealth
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Azlanti, Custom Language, Custom Language, Draconic, Giant, Shoanti, Thassilonian, Varisian
SQ arcane bond (zutha's scythe), power over undead
Other Gear zutha's scythe (+3 conductive keen spell-storing scythe), amulet of proof against detection and location, sihedron tome
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Arcane Bond (Zutha's Scythe) (1/day) (Sp) Use object to cast any spell in your spellbook. Without it, Concentration required to cast spells (DC20 + spell level).
Channel Resistance +4 +4 bonus to save vs. Channel Energy.
Combat Casting +4 to Concentration checks to cast while on the defensive.
Combat Expertise +/-3 Bonus to AC in exchange for an equal penalty to attack.
Damage Reduction (15/bludgeoning) You have Damage Reduction against all except Bludgeoning attacks.
Damage Reduction (15/magic) You have Damage Reduction against all except Magic attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Empower Spell Numeric effects of a spell are increased 50%. +2 Levels.
Eschew Materials Cast spells without materials, if component cost is 1 gp or less.
Fear Aura (DC 29) Foes in 60 ft are frightened (below 5 HD) or shaken for 18 rds (Will neg).
Fly (60 feet, Good) You can fly!
Gluttony (Necromancy) The dread and feared necromancer commands undead and uses the foul power of unlife against his enemies.
Grave Touch (9 rounds, 14/day) (Sp) As a standard action, touch shakes living foe 9 rds (frighten 1 rd if already shaken).
Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy) +1 to the Save DC of spells from one school.
Immunity to Ability Drain Immunity to ability drain
Immunity to Bleed You are immune to bleed.
Immunity to Cold You are immune to cold damage.
Immunity to Death Effects You are immune to death effects.
Immunity to Disease You are immune to diseases.
Immunity to Electricity You are immune to electricity damage.
Immunity to Energy Drain Immune to energy drain
Immunity to Exhausted You are immune to the exhausted condition.
Immunity to Fatigue You are immune to the fatigued condition.
Immunity to Mind-Affecting effects You are immune to Mind-Affecting effects.
Immunity to Nonlethal Damage You are immune to Nonlethal Damage
Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.
Immunity to Physical Ability Damage Immune to ability damage to your physical abilities.
Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.
Immunity to Polymorph You are immune to Polymorph effects.
Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.
Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.
Life Sight (30 feet, 18 rounds/day) (Su) Gain special blindsight which only sees living and undead.
Paralyzing Touch (1d8+9 negative energy dam, DC 29) Touched foe takes dam & permanent paralysis (Fort part). Seems dead unless examined.
Quicken Spell Cast a spell as a swift action. +4 Levels.
Rejuvenation (Su) Liches can return after a few days.
Spell Focus (Necromancy) Spells from one school of magic have +1 to their save DC.
Touch (DC 29) (Su) Touched foe is paralyzed permanently (Fort neg). Seems dead unless Percep DC 20 or Heal DC 15.
Turn Undead (DC 29) (Su) Receive Command Undead or Turn Undead as a bonus feat.
Undead Traits Undead have many immunities.
--------------------
Notes: 15 PB based on weakened version and +4 inherent bonus to all ability scores except Constitution included (CR +1 due to PC wealth, though I'm too lazy to spend all of that). Rings are assumed to give +6 enhancement bonus to Int, Wis, and Cha, +5 deflection to AC, +1 insight to AC, and +5 resistance to saves. Other ring effect(s) are not homebrewed out of laziness. Zutha's Scythe is based on the commonalities between the other Alara'qin and the base enhancements from Runeplague. Finally, Hero Lab doesn't have the Gluttonous Tome programmed in, so I substituted a Sihedron Tome.

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at https://www.wolflair.com
Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Inc.®, and are used under license.

Sets Zutha as weaker than Karzoug, but stronger than Belimarius and Krune.


Just looked over it and Savith has critical feats but is missing the prerequisite of Critical Focus for all four of them.

Also, just to check, but a number of things seem to be left unsaid: like whether she has inherent bonuses or not (which are kinda needed to reach a strength score of 40 and usually included in statblocks) as well as age bonuses and whether she's affected by them.

I also realized you may not have known about it, but:

https://www.aonprd.com/MagicArmorDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Savith%27s%20Iron

That is Savith's canonical shield that she lost in battle against Ydersius.

Other than those critiques, it's a good-looking statblock for Savith and I'd love to use it (if I ever get a chance with players doing what I hope they'll do and I ever get that game running again...)


Thank you for this lovely statblock.

Will look at it more when I have my computer in front of me.


magnuskn wrote:

I fear she hasn't taken Enhanced Ability even once.

Honestly, it really doesn't matter very much if her stat block is perfect. I fear all this number crunching for nothing may scare James off from publishing Xanderghul's full stat block later in the year on the blog, so I'd really appreciate it if we didn't pick this one apart so much.

I honestly am not trying to scare him off because I'd like to see the actual stats as well.


magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, not quite. Her stat block, as presented, is as follows:

** spoiler omitted **

Ok ... Let's see...

Spoiler:

Str 14 (7+2a+5i)
Dex 24 (15+2a+5i+2(lvl/mythic))
Con 22 (15+2a+5i)
Int 40 (16+2a+5i+3v+6e+8(lvl/mythic))
Wis 24 (8+2a+5i+3v+6e)
Cha 40 (15+2a+5i+3v+6e+9(lvl/mythic))

a=azlanti racials
i=inherent
e=enhancement
v=venerable age

Appears to have 19 ability score increases across her levels and mythic tiers which means that the enhanced ability mythic path ability was taken twice, probably once for Cha and once for Int. I also achieved the spread without using the belt... Which probably means that it actually was omitted from the stats or the aging penalties were added in on accident. Interesting how that actually plays out when broken down.


Then they probably made a minor mathematical mistake since:

7 + 2azlanti + 6enhancement + 5inherent = 20

Assuming maximum inherent bonus due to wishes and that the rest of the ability scores are consistent with old/venerable age (ignoring penalties).

Assumed Ability Scores:

Dex: 28 (15+2azlanti+5inherent+6enhancement)
Con: 28 (15+2azlanti+5inherent+6enhancement)
Int: 27 (16+2azlanti+5inherent+3venerable+1lvl)
Wis: 18 (8+2azlanti+5inherent+3venerable)
Cha: 40 (15+2azlanti+5inherent+3venerable+1lvl+8lvl/mythic+6enhancement)

Note: only 10 ability scores increases were used out of the guaranteed 15 total from mythic and leveling and only a +6 enhancement to Str/Dex/Con/Cha were assumed. Also base ability scores were derived from the statblock of the simulacrum in Runeplague


From rereading the mythic magic rules, yes.


Augmented mythic spells require the caster to be of the listed mythic tier... so sadly not possible


That would be a beauty contest I'd love to see... sadly I don't think Earth has anyone anywhere near close to being as charismatic as either of them.


Huh, 'cause then her strength score is taking the penalty for aging and brings to question what the rest of her ability scores are which would then allow for figuring out what went weird if anything.

Either way the statblock is still lovely I'm sure.


magnuskn wrote:
Dryad Knotwood wrote:
Quite possible, though I couldn't say since I'm don't have access to a pdf of the adventure and thus can't see her statblock

It says that she enhanced all her ability scores. I'd say that this sentence should end with "except her strength score". Because, may I dare suggest this, she probably would not like to look like female Conan the Barbarian as the runelord of lust. ^^

I know Hollywood has trained us to expect that you can be super strong as a female and still have the slim look of a super model, but if we expect a male barbarian with a strength of 18 to look like, y'know, Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, then even a female runelord with a strength of 19 would look a lot more musclebound than how Sorshen is depicted in this book and past publications.

BTW, some exquisite images of Sorshen in this volume, I really must commend the artist who did those drawings on pages 75 and 82.

Actually, now that I think about it, the better explanation is that the person who I initially quoted didn't check the gear section of the statblock and assumed that Sorshen has a belt of physical perfection +6. Chances are she doesn't and that's what causes her to have strength 14 (7 base + 2 azlanti + 5 inherent).

This also allows her to have the build that she has without being built like Schwarzenegger while still having a +5 inherent bonus... she just simply doesn't have the inherent bonus, but also doesn't take the aging penalties.


Quite possible, though I couldn't say since I'm don't have access to a pdf of the adventure and thus can't see her statblock

Edit: Though I'm also making an assumption based on them stating belt of physical perfection rather than belt of physical might


The Inheritor wrote:

Unless Sorshan has a Base strength of 3, I believe her stats are calculated Wrong?

14 - 6 (+6 belt of Physical perfection) - 5 (+5 Inherent Bonuses) = total of 3?

Assuming thats all, are we going to get a correction to this? or have her just be super frail

It's possible...

14 = 7 + 2 (Azlanti) + 5 (Inherent) + 6 (Enhancement) - 6 (Age)

Though, true it does seem low and one would think that she isn't affected by the age physical ability reductions... since Karzoug wasn't.

The following question is what the rest of her ability scores are since that would allow for reverse engineering of how they got to that final score overall and whether it's a mistake or not.

Spoiler:
Based on the stats of the simulacrum from Runeplague, Sorshen's base ability scores (before leveling, racial bonuses, mythic tiers, inherent bonuses, enhancement bonuses and age) are probably:
Str 7 Dex 15 Con 15 Int 16 Wis 8 Cha 15


To reiterate questions:

Spoiler:
What are Sorshen and Alaznist's alignments?
Also, what are the enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities of their Alara'qin?

The second question is mostly important for comparisons and deriving what Zutha and Xanderghul's Alara'qin may be like.

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