the status effect critical feats (exhausting, deafening, etc, with the assumption that I'll eventually put in a way to do similar things involving player choice rather than crit fishing)..
There was a 3E third-party book that had a system like this, where you could take penalties to your attack roll to apply effects if you hit.
49. Snow frog. These strange bluish-green frogs are found only in cold areas where megafauna such as mammoths, dire tigers, and dire bears dwell. An adult snow frog cannot survive prolonged temperatures much below 10 F, but its eggs can. Snow frogs lay eggs in the first deep snows of winter, then the adults die. When the spring thaw arrives, the snow melts and the eggs hatch into tadpoles, which rapidly develop into snow frogs. A snow frog lives less than one year, from hatching in spring to dying in early winter. (Toad statistics).
50. Gliglis lizard. Small, arboreal lizards that dwell in dense jungles. They are bright red with purple and azure splotches - dramatic warning coloration. A gliglis lizard has a strongly venomous bite, but doesn't normally attack anything larger than a frog or small rat. (Lizard statistics, but with the poison of a viper and CR 1/2).
51. Lisil frog. Found in the same dense jungles as the gliglis lizard, the lisil frog has a bizarre life cycle. The female lisil frog does not lay eggs. Instead, when the eggs are developed, the female begins to emit a scent irresistible to predators. If the female frog is eaten by a bird or mammal, the high body temperature prevents the eggs from developing properly and they are simply digested. But if it is eaten by a lizard or snake, the eggs hatch into tadpoles inside the predator's digestive system, swimming in the digestive fluids. By the time they are excreted, they have developed into froglings that can live independently. (Toad statistics.)
Create water is definitely a big "restoring the world" flavored ability on Athas, as The Sword suggested.
Healing might also fit the theme.
Depends how powerful you want the minor abilities to be...
Create Water at will.
Those are all 3rd-level or lower spell effects and no big deal in another world, but in Athas...
Actually, you might have to put a limit on the Create Water. At 10th caster level, one hour (600 rounds) of Create Water is 20 * 600 = 12,000 gallons.
Depends how powerful you want it to be...
PK the Dragon wrote:
One thing to remember is that while this sort of thing may seem like a buff to martials, it's arguably even more of a buff to casters
It could be class based. IE - everybody with 1/1 BAB gets Power Attack & Weapon Finesse; fighters also get Deadly Aim. Rogues get Shadow Strike and Weapon Finesse.
One small thing that can at least help close the disparity a little, is to have classes working on different experience tables.
This is how it worked in old editions.
The really powerful/plot-changing spells like Teleport and Contact Other Plane were also way more dangerous to use.
Also, IIRC there were often less spells (no bonus spells/clerics w/ slower spell progression & no spells at 1st level/etc. depending on edition).
Martial/caster disparity is especially a thing in 3E and its descendant PF since it removed those factors.
I believe the Creative Director is with you there. He's said that if he'd had the option, elvish and dwarven lifespans would have been brought way down - not to human, but not hundreds of years - for this and other reasons.
Well, I like elves having ultra-long lifespans, but they should grow up at a comparable rate.
Ross Byers wrote:
I dunno. Adolecscence keeps getting longer in the Western world.
Yeah, but I don't think that can be extrapolated much farther than we already have taken it, much less out to 80 years or so.
Maybe the duergar are way more numerous than drow and can make up the disparity that way.
I believe it's been said that most of that time is "teenage years"... I'll have to find you a quote later, though.
That doesn't really make sense to me either. Adolescence is inherently transitional, stretching it out indefinitely isn't much better than ultraslow development.
I always have disliked the 'elves take a hundred years to grow up' thing. I'd personally make the differences much smaller. Maybe humans are adults at 18-20, dwarves at 22-25, elves at 25-30 kind of thing. Not a difference of a factor of 5.
In summary, I'd argue the drow should be portrayed as if they were dying out, but it takes a while for a civilization of creatures so long-lived to perish.
I like this.
Yeah, the drow are going to die out... in a thousand years or so. Doesn't exactly help right now ;)
Presumably just a tiny trace of draconic/celestial/fiendish etc. ancestry isn't (usually) enough.
And it probably is not just genetics but environment too.
Ross Byers wrote:
Perhaps magic bloodlines dilute,
Just as a note - it isn't as dramatic as this in real life because people do marry second-cousins etc. (and in some cultures first-cousins).
Otherwise, you would expect to have 2^32 ancestors 32 generations ago (2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents etc.) But there were not 2^32 people alive 32 generations ago.
IMO sorcerers aren't common enough to generally reproduce with other sorcerers, so that the 'inhuman' (or magically-mutated or whatever) genes tend to dilute past the point of being EDIT: capable of sorcery.
There's probably a very low level of these genes present in all Golarion humans, which leads to occasional sorcerers popping up everywhere, but there aren't enough half-dragons/half-celestials/half-fiends being born* to make sorcery common.
*Or at least, not enough passing their genes on in the human population: half-celestials and half-metallic dragons etc. might often be killed in evil-aligned societies, half-fiends and half-chromatic dragons might be killed in any society where they weren't worshipped/revered. Also, some likely would end up living among the beings the other half of their ancestry comes from, and also be removed from the human gene pool.)
Exactly - why isn't everyone a super-genius by now? (Probably because really high intelligence is often correlated with mental problems which may make someone less likely to reproduce, and many people who are genetically capable of high intelligence never develop it in a useful form due to environmental reasons (being a peasant farmer with no access to education) or spending more time developing their athletic skills or laziness or ...)
EDIT: IMO, of course. I don't know that anyone really knows.
richard develyn wrote:
Specifically, it only became an issue due to the whole Galileo thing (which was mostly because Galileo was a jerk who alienated his former supporters).
EDIT: And it's not really accurate to say he "discovered" that; he proposed the hypothesis but had no way to prove it, nor did anyone for quite a long time.
It was not then until 1758 that the book was removed from the list of prohibited books by the Catholic Church, and even then only the "annotated" version. It took another 100 years before the original was allowed.
Not quite, 1758 is the non-annotated version. And all that was changed was a few statements presenting it as certain vs hypothetical.
The whole Galileo thing was a mess, but it isn't really reflective of a broader 'anti-science' attitude.
(And, in fact, in Galileo's time it wasn't at all clear that heliocentrism was right. A lot of people thought the non-observation of stellar parallax meant that the Earth couldn't be moving. Plus, they didn't have Newtonian concepts of inertia and gravity yet.
People present stuff like Tycho's system - in which the Sun goes around the Earth and the other planets go around the Sun - as religiously motivated; while that's true to some extent* it also had a real scientific purpose.)
*It hardly could be otherwise - in their time, science wasn't nearly as separate from philosophy and religion and even magic as we think of it. Even Newton was majorly into alchemy and so on.
EDIT: And stellar parallax does exist - instruments just weren't good enough to measure it until the 19th century - but no one expected the nearest stars to be tens of thousands of times farther away than Saturn (the outermost known planet until 1781).
Ross Byers wrote:
However, most of the real world religions with practices like human sacrifice tend to have more "reason" for it -- within their own system -- than the D&D/Pathfinder evil gods do. Even for the Aztecs, who probably went as far in that direction as anyone, the human sacrifice was considered to be a necessary part of keeping the universe running.
When there's evil gods existing alongside good gods which are mutually recognized (by each others' religions) to exist, it is harder to imagine why anyone would follow the evil ones. I can see the good gods being too demanding ... but it seems like even most evil people would prefer one of the neutral gods to the evil ones, if only for a better afterlife.
Cranky Dog wrote:
It probably has more to do with being a paragon of what you are... whatever that happens to be... rather than any specific virtue or set of virtues.
The gods who ascended with it were LG (Iomedae), CG (Cayden Cailean), NE (Norgorber), and LN (Aroden). Not much commonality there.
But magic items aren't tech. Once you have the infrastructure, you can manufacture technology in large quantities fairly cheaply.
But a magic item has to be made by a specific person with magical powers. It's not necessarily going to be cheaper or easier to make just because you're making 100,000 of them.
Mechanically, there's a certain base cost to build any magical item, so they won't be cheap enough to be available to most people. Further, they take time from those rare, skilled people, so there probably won't be enough, even if a rich government tried to give them out to its people. A couple of wizards can't run an assembly line that lets them make thousands of wands per day.
So magic isn't practical to mass produce and magic stays mostly in the hands of spellcasters and very rich people.
On the other hand, magic probably suppresses tech development, because for those very rich people the magic items are available... note guns are most advanced in Alkenstar, where magic is unreliable.
Azlant etc. probably had a higher proportion of spellcasters for some reason.
It just seems out of tune with the rest of the setting to me. All other tech is either 1800s at best (Alkenstar/Akiton guns) or magical or quasi-magical (Akiton airships, Eox spaceships) or lost relics that are really pulp-ish (Red Redoubt/Numeria stuff).
Verces is a currently thriving culture that understands its technology (unlike the Technic League) and ... their tech just feels more like something from a near-ish future pretty hard SF novel than the much more pulp approach of everything else dealing with tech/SF-ish stuff (Akiton/Numeria/Mythos stuff/Rasputin as a spellcaster/etc.)
Plus the caste system doesn't really seem to make sense IMO, and doesn't really fit what otherwise seems like a pretty open and optimistic and advancing society...
Totally not canon or anything, but this is how I see it...
Arcane casters have a solar panel (absorb and use ambient energy), divine casters are plugged into a battery (get a direct power feed from their god/force/etc).
(I see Alzrius' posts linked above use the arcane = ambient, divine = direct power from a god/force/etc model too.)
The big question is, why is the witch, with a patron, an arcane caster and not a divine one? Presumably because the patron only grants the "solar panel" - the ability/tools to absorb and use ambient energy - not the energy itself.
(Whereas a sorcerer has that ability innately, and a wizard, by study and concentration, develops his brain to be able to do so.)
Not just mass media, though it may be part of it. Stuff like the decline of slavery has a lot to do with technological advancement making it unprofitable/pointless too.
Pyronia - world of endless volcanoes
Pyronia is a moon of a gas giant. It is extremely close, leading to an unusual day-night cycle as the planet (filling much of the sky) often eclipses the sun. Further, Pyronia orbits just outside the Roche limit of its parent planet; this, combined with an orbital resonance with other moons, leads to immense tidal strain which manifests as constant earthquakes and terrible volcanism. After particularly intense eruptions, sulfur hail often falls. The atmosphere is choked with noxious and poisonous volcanic gases.
Despite all this, life exists on Pyronia. Due to the continual cataclysms, there are no old-growth forests, large coral reefs or other ecosystems that take centuries to develop. Instead, the moon's lusher regions are covered by grassy meadows and prairies or scrublands dominated by very fast-growing shrubs and bamboo-like plants. These are inhabited by herds of roaming reptilelike grazers and savage draconic predators (despite their appearance, the pseudo-reptiles of Pyronia are warm-blooded and fast-growing). The moon's seas are often in turmoil from underwater volcanoes, and massive tsunamis regularly devastate its coastlines. Nearly lifeless deserts also occupy vast areas of Pyronia.
Draconic and semi-draconic creatures like dragonnes, dragon turtles, and drakes are common on Pyronia. The dominant intelligent life on Pyronia is red dragons. Each young adult or older dragon holds a territory and dominates the creatures within it by force and fear. Dragons generally keep apart from each other's territories except for wars and one week every ten years (measured by the sun; 30 Earth years) when male and female dragons pair up. The mother dragon guards the eggs fiercely, but wyrmlings are hatched with knowledge of the Draconic language and basic survival skills, and receive little help after hatching; within a year, they travel into the wastelands of Pyronia, unclaimed by any dragon, to grow. Eventually, those that survive and grow will stake out new territories. As red dragons are chaotic evil creatures, wars between dominions are common.
Pyronian creatures do not suffer from Pyronia's toxic atmosphere even if similar creatures elsewhere would. For non-natives without magical protection, it is a deadly poison (inhaled; Save Fortitude DC 15; Frequency 1/minute for 4 minutes; Effect 1d2 Con damage; Cure 1 save). Unfortunately, each round of breathing the atmosphere means exposure to another dose of poison.
I still don't see it.
There's no reason dumping waste in the cold or hot zones should necessarily lead to worse air pollution than we have now on Earth -- and if they skip the messy things like coal (does Verces even HAVE coal?)
Verces' ecosystem might in some way be more vulnerable due to the limited area, but it's not THAT limited. The area of the "Ring" is probably at least that of a small continent. And the air should not be especially more vulnerable. The air mass will be comparable to Earth, so pollutants shouldn't build up any faster.
(There is the possibility that Verces' less plant life could mean faster CO2 buildup. But I don't think Verces uses fossil fuels, and quite possibly never did. Their tractors and such would be electric -- solar or nuclear sources of power -- or biofuel based. So no net CO2 buildup.)
And more primitive farming means certainly doesn't increase the atmosphere (are you thinking in terms of oxygen concentration?) compared to more advanced methods. If Verces really had oxygen issues, modern farming technologies could mean more photosynthesis per acre per year and thus more oxygen. (But if it had oxygen issues, native intelligence would be adapted to lower oxygen.)
Eh. I just don't see it working. Maybe it could be ingrained strongly enough to persist (though I doubt it, given the marrying across castes thing - IMO that just doesn't fit the nature of a class or caste system). But however strongly ingrained it is now... how did it get that way?
That said, I don't thing 40 regeneration is appropriate from what I remember of Godzilla movies,
Many of Godzilla's abilities vary across movies, but in at least some movies they make a big deal about his regenerative abilities, "Regenerator G-1" and "G-Cells". I think that's more a 90s - 2000 aspect though.
I never really liked bezravnis as a kaiju. He's only 130 feet long, which is pretty small for a kaiju. He's no more of a kaiju than a shipwrecker crab or a black scorpion is.
Paizo's Kaiju are more on the scale of the original (Showa) Godzilla who was about 50 meters (~160 feet) tall, rather than the later Godzilla who was 100+.
So Bezravnis is definitely on the smaller end, but not totally out of scale.
Not sure if someone have said it before, but Colossal creatures targeting squares of 5 ft x 5ft sound akward.
Cthulhu from Bestiary 4 has an ability "Cleaving Claws" that lets his claw attacks affect a 10-foot square. Something like that could fit.
As for recessive traits not breeding out, I think that genetic drift would be heavily impacted by the relative population sizes involved.
I don't think the number of Azlanti survivors was small enough for random genetic drift to be a significant factor.
Yes, if it's a recessive gene, you will have a very small number of people with the full traits in each generation. Sure. But that recessive gene shouldn't just disappear unless it's selected against. There should still be very occasional Azlanti popping up in the part-Azlanti-heritage populations of the Inner Sea.
In reality, I think the Azlanti thing would have to be a lot of genes (affecting intelligence, strength, health etc. after all) which would make it much less likely that they would ALL pop up at once.
Still, one would expect that part-Azlanti populations would tend to marry among themselves, which would increase the chances...
EDIT: And further, selection will act in favor of the Azlanti genes, since they provide significant advantages, which will increase it more.
I took it as kind of the Golarion equivalent of a "Golden Age" or "Eden" story in that there was a time when humans and nature were in harmony, but they aren't now...
John Kretzer wrote:
...Although I really like the idea that it makes animals in Golarion more aggressive than in RL. (EDIT: yeah, predatory animals, not just random herbivores, that would be kind of silly)
The problem is that the Azlanti "pureblooded" bit implies that it was basically the norm in Azlant, which would require that Azlanti parents were mostly having Azlanti kids.
Something like the plague thing would work, yes (though that would be pretty impressive engineering), but I don't think just being recessive would be enough.
I'm not sure "highly recessive" is really a thing, if something is classically dominant/recessive (as opposed to incomplete dominance or codominance etc.) it's all-the-way. (Unless you're talking about a trait being suppressed by epistasis? But I've never heard it described that way.)
EDIT: Recessive doesn't mean it's going to decline over time ... that requires something to act against it (selection or genetic drift).
I wasn't talking specifically about under Irrisen; it's the Darklands everywhere that must get flooded unless someone's taking special measures. Look at most cave systems on Earth; they're very often partially or completely flooded. And as soon as you have a widespread interconnected system going for hundred of miles underground, one of them is going to emerge in a lake or sea.
Do the Darklands extend under the ocean? The wiki article says Tian Xia has a separate Darklands...
A lake probably would just flood into the darklands and create a lake in Orv. The Vaults are pretty big.
It always struck me as weird that they would "die out".
If the Azlanti had mental and physical advantages in all fields with no disadvantages balancing them out, then natural selection would mean that those genes would spread rapidly through the population.
For it to work, the Azlanti advantages would have to come from some big spell that was disrupted when Azlant sunk, or something...
Even a tiny remnant population would mean that the intervening ten thousand years or so would be far more than enough for most people (certainly those in the Inner Sea region) to have the Azlanti advantages.
Look how widely lactose tolerance has spread through the human population of Earth, and that has a lot smaller advantages than a +2 to five more stats.
I agree that Azathoth would be either Chaotic Neutral or Neutral if you're going with a more Lovecraftian version. He's certainly not anything like actively malevolent -- he's only a danger if you are stupid enough to summon him or try to fly to his court on a Shantak, and even then I think that's more like "meeting him makes you go insane" than Azathoth actually doing anything to harm you. And in that version he genuinely is mindless.
In the Derlethian version of the Mythos with the Great Old Ones/Elder Gods conflict he'd be Chaotic Evil though. I think somebody (Campbell maybe?) had a bit where he started out as a sentient being and got driven insane/mindless in a war with the Elder Gods... And then the Lumley Titus Crow stuff talks about Azathoth being the Big Bang, but there's a whole bit about the Azathi/Spawn of Azathoth in there...
So take your pick, pretty much...
There's also the fact that at the higher levels, the wizards target was more and more likely to make their saves. Save or Die was save and laugh at the wizard.
Yeah, saves were easier to make at higher level.
Also, I think higher level wizards got fewer spells back then than they do now...
Here's a take on Merlin. I made him a sorcerer, but with a version of Old-Mage Jatembe's ability to use druid spells.
Merlin CR 13
CG Tiefling Sorcerer (Abyssal bloodline) 11 / Archmage 4
Medium Outsider (native)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +8
AC 17 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 bracers of armor), touch 14, flat-footed 13
hp 38 (11d4+11)
Fort +4; Ref +6; Will +9
Resistances cold 5, electricity 10, fire 5; +4 to saves against poison
Speed 30 ft.
Melee quarterstaff +5 (1d6)
Sorcerer Spells (CL 11th, Concentration +17)
*known due to Natural Arcana special ability
Spell-like Abilities (CL 11th)
Str 11, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 17 (13 without headband), Wis 10, Cha 23 (19 without headband)
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD +9
Skills Bluff +8, Fly +7, Knowledge (arcana, planes) +13, Knowledge (history*, religion*) +17, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +4
*granted by headband
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Empower Spell, Iron Will, Quicken Spell, Still Spell
Mythic Feats Eschew Materials, Iron Will
Languages Old English, Greek, Latin, Welsh
Mythic Abilities hard to kill, mythic power, surge +1d8, amazing initiative, recuperation; wild arcana; arcane metamastery, many forms, mythic spellcasting, shifting mastery
Special Abilities bloodline arcana, bloodline powers (claws)
Exceptional Wealth: Merlin has the wealth of an 11th-level PC, rather than an NPC. This increases his CR by 1.
Fiendish Sorcery: Merlin treats his Charisma score as 25 (21 without his headband) for the purpose of all sorcerer class abilities.
Natural Arcana: Merlin has access to several druid spells as well as his sorcerer spells. He has the following spells on his list of spells known: animal messenger, calm animals, cure moderate wounds, speak with animals, speak with plants.
Equipment bag of tricks (gray), bracers of armor +3, headband of mental prowess (Charisma, Intelligence) +4, tome of leadership and influence +1 (already used), wand of magic missile (CL 2nd)
I think also some of the Conan stories, given the whole barbarians thing...
Conan encounters a bunch of "Mythos" creatures some of which are definitely extraterrestrials (like Yag-kosha/Yogah from "The Tower of the Elephant"), and encounters a decadent remnant of a civilization that mixes science and magic in "Xuthal of the Dusk" with artificially generated food, radium lights, healing potions, and a Lovecraftian alien horror.
IIRC the lost city in "Red Nails" has some ambiguous-if-it's-science-or-magic stuff too, like a lightning weapon/wand and the ability to resurrect "dragons" (apparently dinosaurs) from fossils.
Not necessarily. All the known people who became gods were single individuals. If a party passed the test, it might divide the power among them... this could be why the Starstone entry in Mythic Realms just gives you mythic power with access to a special path ability, rather than full divinity.
Gnoll Bard wrote:
I personally rather like the theory that Norgorber was/is actually a group of four people who took the test together, resulting in the god's four rather different aspects (the god of secret knowledge, the god of thieves, the god of poisons, and the patron of psychopathic serial killers).
Yeah, a party who passed might also get that option... merging into a single deity.
Distant Worlds is still my #1.
But they'll probably want something a ittle more standard after Iron Gods. So maybe Darklands? Start with Candlestone Caverns, eventually work down to the Vaults of Orv, maybe ally with a dwarf town left behind by the Quest for Sky, discover the secret of the Vault Builders...
Justin Franklin wrote:
I would really like to see a Mythic AP where the bad guys are trying to free Rovagug. With the BBEG fight occurring at the Pit of Gormuz.
I figure the really big ones are powered by whatever powers kaiju. Like a house cat eating chipmonks, they don't really need to eat, but it is habit.
Magical energy of some sort ... I know some of the Godzilla movies make a big deal about "G-Cells", so maybe kaiju cells get their energy through organelles containing micro-portals to the Positive Energy Plane instead of mitochondria / chloroplasts. (Or in the case of undead Kaiju like Agmazar, negative energy...)
The same sort of thing might work for big dragons too.
I think some do eat though. I mean, there are tyrannosauruses running around some parts of Golarion and they're Huge carnivores working by conventional biology... and warm-blooded/high-energy, too. I think the Giant Tarantula (a Gargantuan cold-blooded/low-energy carnivore) is probably OK if a tyrannosaurus is.
Nah, I want the Black Ray pistol! (Power Word: Kill, 50 charges?)
Maybe giant spiders, scorpions etc, are especially scary because their metabolism is much lower than big mammal predators... the same prey population that can support 50 wolves can support 500 Medium giant scorpions.
Social spiders do exist in the real world -- tons of spiders sharing one huge web -- so why not social giant spiders? I'd make these a special and especially nasty variety rather than the norm, though... probably something found in the Valashmai Jungle or the wilder parts of Castrovel, or whatever the nastiest jungle in your campaign world is. The Valashmai Web-Swarmer, a Large green-and-black spider (use giant black widow stats?) that spins a gigantic communal web that fills a huge area of the forest (up to the canopy and a thousand feet on a side) supporting several dozen of these huge spiders.
The more regular solitary giant spiders are either solitary roving hunters (jumping-spider types) or lurkers waiting in their web (like what we would think of as "regular" spiders) or doing something special (like trapdoor spiders and the diving-bell spider that carries air bubbles underwater to breathe with).
EDIT: And the huge ones (Gargantuan giant tarantula etc.) should probably be solitary roving hunters, I can't see them getting enough food otherwise. Probably eat goblin tribes and isolated farms and stuff..
I don't think Paizo will actually do it, but I think it's quite viable to stat gods so they work with the existing (level-capped, including Mythic) rules.
The thing is to make gods something other than 20 HD/60 class level characters with some unique divine abilities tacked on as they were in 3rd ed.
Instead gods should be -- IMO -- statted about like demigods but with special, sweeping, cosmic abilities -- more plot-level stuff than combat-time stuff.
Lamashtu might be about as powerful in a direct fight as the other CR 30 demon lords, but she might be able to quickly and easily create new monsters from scratch, and turn her cultists into powerful and unique demons in her service, and do dramatic things with the planar structure of the Abyss, etc.
Gorum might be able to induce rage in an entire army, or apply greater magic weapon to every blade of one side in an entire nation-spanning war, or create an army of metal constructs out of raw ore.
That sort of thing...
Now the really powerful super-gods e.g. Rovagug and Pharasma might be genuinely beyond stats, but I'd prefer not, honestly.
I might add that humanoid Giants as depicted are totally fubar. If they tried to take a step, they would break their legs and fall to the ground
If a giant is literally exactly a human scaled up, then yes. But you could still have something more-or-less humanoid, it would just need thicker legs and such, leading to a big broad squat build... kind of the way fire giants are depicted, and I think maybe hill giants too.
The biggest humans at 8+ feet do have serious health problems, but those are pathological cases who are well "beyond specifications". A hominid species that evolved for that size could probably be quite a bit bigger without being obviously weird-looking.
And T. rex was bipedal and weighed ~9 tons, so...
I don't think you necessarily need more evil than good to give (presumably mostly good) PCs more agency.
You could just as easily do a setup where the cosmic forces of evil and good (and law and chaos) balance essentially perfectly, leaving mortals as the deciding factor in the direction of the world (the 'butterfly' that shifts the big cosmic balances etc.)
One thing you are overlooking is the deeply ingrained caste system. This sort of social structure is a self-reinforcing design. Both the God-Vessel & the Augmented are smaller & by cultural/caste mandate unable to wed within their own castes. The may only marry a Pure Ones caste member. This places the Pure Ones in the control seat. Neither caste can continue without the Pure Ones co-operation.
Yeah, but I kind of think that setup would end up diluting the whole idea of the castes really fast.
Also, one would think Augmented would have more in common with other Augmented, etc.
I can sort of see it lasting once established, in a really tradition bound society, but why would it be set up that way in the first place?
I realize that a caste social system is a bit alien to most American & Western European mentalities. Look at the Indian sub-continent for an ingrained caste system. To marry outside ones caste is to become a social, cultural, & familial exile. Now compound that pressure by an entire planetary society utilizing that caste/value system.
And that might well have worked ... up till now. But now that one nation (Kashak) has broken the mold, I'd expect it to spread fast.
The are interconnected in their cultural beliefs & the necessities of continued racial survival.
But I don't see how a system based on enshrining really inefficient labor-intensive low-tech means of food production helps them survive.
I mean, a system like that would certainly help some grassland/hedge species that can live in disturbed areas (ones that are declining on Earth now with huge monocultures) but...
And Verces has very limited arable land area so there should be a huge push for efficient farming. The whole 'ring' area would likely be totally managed, even the 'natural' areas, at their tech level.