Cale the Calistrian

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I think the explanation is obvious enough. 12 mortals were fated to ascend using the Starstone (sans Aroden), but the death of prophecy *might* have messed that up.


Got that. Last question about the subject: Are Great Old Ones and Outer Gods the only creatures to exist apart from the cycle? Your words earlier indicate that all Outer Gods are somewhat inimical to human(oid) life (or noxious, to use a term that doesn't imply conscious malice), and I want to know if they are the only ones who keep going from one multiverse to the next.

Manasaputras theoretically also do, but I think there was never any confirmation of their pre-multiversal incarnations in-setting, only in the "general" rules.


Curious. I'd assumed Mythos-adjacent creatures were the ones Outside.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Cthulhusquatch wrote:
Desna as a Great Old One? Haha I like her.. but I'd like her even more then.

Desna is, by all the evidence, an ancient, alien, insectoid being from beyond the stars who visits people in their dreams.

She's never been technically stated as a Great Old One, and indeed she's among their greatest foes, but Alignments aside she has more in common with them than she does with most other Gods.

The 'friendly Great Old One' interpretation of her is really easy to buy into, and makes a whole lot of sense, even if it isn't 100% canonical.

Desna is indeed an alien entity who's kind of "adopted" the humanoid form in response to her delight in how we humans look and act. She's not from "outer space" even though she enjoys outer space—she pre-dates sapient thought/mortal life in the Material Plane, along with some of the other really REALLY ancient deities.

She's not a Great Old One, though. She's a full-fledged deity who doesn't get a stat block. Nor is she an Outer God, because she actively cares for and likes and wants to help us people.

If Desna were in Lovecraft's stories, she'd be classified along with Nodens as an Elder God, I suppose.

Is Desna older than the current multiverse?

I'm, huh... Asking for a friend.


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I dislike Cthulhoids being implicitly more powerful than everyone else.

We have Angels, Azatas, Archons, Devils, Demons, Daemons, Fey, Divs, Genies, Agathions, Aeons, Inevitables, Munasaputras... All Outsider Races, some of which go very deep into the weird/abstract/unconceivable end... Yet somehow these are supposed to not elicit the primal fear and madness that Cthulhoids do. Aaaand we have the creative director stating that Outer Gods are terribly powerful creatures which are older than the oldest deity in the universe.

*sigh*

I just wish we left the Lovecraft-inspired stuff into Lovecraft-emulating stories and stopped sticking tentacly monsters of outer space maaaaaadneeeeeess and DOOOOOOM where they don't belong.


Rysky wrote:

Nada.

** spoiler omitted **

Thank you.

Interesting implications there.

GM PDK wrote:
Awesome book! wonderful. Who should we thank for all this NEW stuff???

AFAIK, John Compton did Aeons, Inevitables and the in-character bits and Todd Stewart did Proteans and Axiomites.


The Raven Black wrote:
Those who remain ** spoiler omitted **

Oh, good, good. This is excellent.

I'm also satified with what the Monad turned out to be, but quite surprised about the Asmodeus and Ihys.

The Raven Black wrote:

Almost mentioned it too because it is also excellent. This book is a true cornucopia of great ideas and clues and hooks and inklings.

Really people, if you read this post, if you like Golarion and/or its Great Beyond and/or its cosmology, buy this and enjoy :-D

Oh, I'm definetly planning to! Just have to figure how to fit everything I wanna get this month in my budget, but this is definetly one of the top spots of the list.

The Raven Black wrote:
I was surprised that the Positive and Negative energy planes were almost never mentioned in the excerpts though.

Huh, that's curious. Tell me?

Spoiler:
Does the Prime Material gets destroyed and recreated with each iteration of the Multiverse, or only the Outer and Inner Planes get renewed, while the Material itself remains?

I ask this because JJ has once said (mentioned? mused?) that Outer Gods and Great Old Ones survive the destruction of the multiverse, and they are creatures of the Prime Material. Given that the Positive Plane is intrinsically tied to the Prime Material in PF's cosmology, maybe it survives each "hard reset" as well...


CorvusMask wrote:

I wonder if any of this explains that ominous text about number of incarnation and cycle that infernal contracts on material plane start with ._.

** spoiler omitted **

Maybe:
that's the sort of "dark knowledge" you can gleam from Those Who Remain (BTW, are those confirmed to be Azathoth, Nyarlathotep and the like?).

Alternatively, *some* beings survive from one multiverse to the next, like the aforementioned Manasaputras and their dark counterparts. It would perhaps make Pharasma less "unique", but that could be easily solved by saying it's a "different" sort of surviving - Pharasma survived as herself, while the others have to be "reborn".

Also, mean, James, mean.

spoiler:
And I did say a third, not the third. :P


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Rysky wrote:

And now we know the names

of those who plague Dou-Bral's waking dream
foes of the Survivor and The Eternal Rose
and now we know
THOSE WHO REMAIN

D-E-T-A-I-L-S!

I'm gonna spoiler tag my question just in case:

Now that we know:
That there was another multiverse and there's going to be a third one after, is there any mention of the Manasaputra? Surviving the destruction of the Multiverse is their whole thing.


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Protean Lords seem to be the most interesting of the bunch.


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Feros wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
Feros wrote:
I've got it, and what this reveals about Pharasma's place in the cosmos...wow.

Anything you wanna share? :) Do we have spoiler tags on this forum? You could use those if we have. :D

...

Still, I gotta wait for the PDF before knowing one way or the other... Unless some kind soul decides to share wink wink

Well...

** spoiler omitted **

That is a paraphrased, of course. There is a LOT more detail and implications. So many things are revealed here, most only ever so slightly. It is amazing. :)

Thank you, kind sir! :D :D :D It's certainly very interesting.

Spoiler:
I'm not a fan of how it makes Lovecraftians starsquid such powerhouses, but I like the idea of the survivor of a previous multiverse!

What if Pharasma is the Lady of Pain, and the Great Beyond is the remains of the Great Wheel? :P So many possibilities

Again, many thanks! :)


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Feros wrote:
I've got it, and what this reveals about Pharasma's place in the cosmos...wow.

Anything you wanna share? :) Do we have spoiler tags on this forum? You could use those if we have. :D

CorvusMask wrote:
But if you believe Tabris, then aren't you, gasp, evil?

I think he means he believes Tabris about Pharasma's place in the cosmos, seeing as he wrote it.

I certainly hope not to get confirmation of Tabris' views regarding Celestials of the "infinity of evil", because frankly, grimdark despair-inducing musings on evil are... Boring. Extremely so.

Still, I gotta wait for the PDF before knowing one way or the other... Unless some kind soul decides to share wink wink


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Todd Stewart wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
I'm excited for some info about the mysterious Monad! I hope it's something else than a mere demigod like the other outsider big shots.
That's exactly what I was thinking about. That it could be a god-like entity, and not akin to a demigod or a quasi. But I'm sure it's going to be something like this, as so far it doesn't seems to be a creature, like the primal inevitables or the protean lords.
Well, it would definitely be a downgrade from Supreme Being to merely demigod if that was the case.
I don't really expect a "Supreme Being", given that we've already been told by the Creative Director that the Pathfinder Campaign Setting shouldn't have an "overgod" or similar figure. But yet another demigod wouldn't do it justice, IMHO. The Monad should be something more of a cosmic force, or at least a full, if minor, deity.

I have no insight onto how the Monad will or will not be handled in this particular book, but I think a reasonable comparison could be made to how Planar Adventures finally handled the proteans' Speakers of the Depths as a full deity, but with the flavor text giving a solid amount of ambiguity to their actual nature.

Functionally they can be used as a deity with the domains provided in Planar Adventures, but it's up for debate if they as a dualistic godhead are simply a manifestation of the Maelstrom as an intelligence unto itself. The ambiguity and flexibility of the flavor text there allows GMs to run with their own answers there without even having to deviate any from the published content. :D

I'm yet to read how Planar Adventures handled the Speakers (got the PDF only this morning!), but some ambuiguity and wiggle room for the GM is always welcomed! Not full vagueness (That we already have), not minucious detail either.

But, if we are to have a "settled" answer, may that answer be, at the very least, something more unique than another demigod. The Aeons deserve that. There have been lots of tantalizing hints about the Monad in various Bestiaries and in the Occul Adventures, IIRC. It will be quite underwhelming if it turns out to be just a slightly-more-powerful Aeon.


CorvusMask wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
I'm excited for some info about the mysterious Monad! I hope it's something else than a mere demigod like the other outsider big shots.
That's exactly what I was thinking about. That it could be a god-like entity, and not akin to a demigod or a quasi. But I'm sure it's going to be something like this, as so far it doesn't seems to be a creature, like the primal inevitables or the protean lords.
Well, it would definitely be a downgrade from Supreme Being to merely demigod if that was the case.

I don't really expect a "Supreme Being", given that we've already been told by the Creative Director that the Pathfinder Campaign Setting shouldn't have an "overgod" or similar figure. But yet another demigod wouldn't do it justice, IMHO. The Monad should be something more of a cosmic force, or at least a full, if minor, deity.


I'm excited for some info about the mysterious Monad! I hope it's somethign else than a mere demigod like the other outsider big shots.


Monkeygod wrote:
Besides, there's a lot of Golarion specific locations I would like to hear about first, before CoB, that aren't covered anywhere else.

Precisely this. Other than Hell and the Abyss, all the planes of the Outer Sphère seriously lack in-depth information (one could argue that Heaven Unleashed gave the same treatment to the title plane, but I am ambivalent). I have nothing against the City of Brass in itself, but considering the limited space available, between seeing Axis or Nirvana get a decent write up, with the possibility of something truly original appearing, and the umpteenth treatment of the bazaars, slaves and byzantine laws of the Efreet capital, I would take the former every time.

It's a matter of diversifying the options available. If I want material on the City of Brass, there's a sleigh of sources to choose from. If I want, say, a city in the Chaotic Good plane, things get more scarce. Is it really that unreasonable to prefer that Paizo uses its limited resources to give us something different instead re-treading the same ash-soaked ground?


Gorbacz wrote:
By "overdone" you guys mean the fact that the last major City of Brass supplement, the Necromancer Games boxed set, is 10 years old and that there are a total of two Paizo adventures that take place there?

Well, yes, that. And the old 3.5 D&D Planar Handbook. And the material from Planescape and Al-Qadim, before that. Not to mention all other media that use the place as a setting.

You can argue that it's not overused because the number of sourcebooks that address it is not that big, but, relatively speaking, it's by far the most popular planar site on the history of this game, except, maybe, Sigil, but I don't think I need to worry about Paizo using that, do I?

Try to name me any planar settlement, other than Sigil, that has been detailed and used the same amount of times that the City of Brass has been.


I do love to see this book being done, but I have sort of a request to make.

No City of Brass, please. City of Brass is the go-town location for a planar settlement. It has been done and overdone and done again. Let's branch off to something different.


So, quick question: Does a "Planar Adventures" book entail the accompanying "Planar Origins" and "Planar Realms", like Mythic, Horror and Occult did?


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KingGramJohnson wrote:
So long as it's within the realm of what is good, could they not just make up laws that support what they do in the land?

As in, arbitrarily? No, I don't think so. "I am the law, there whatever I say, goes", is more of a Lawful Evil thing. A Lawful Good character would probably meditate a lot about the right laws to impose and then follow those laws himself. Though, probably, there would be some clause for revision/distinction if said laws were later found insufficient or too overbearing.

All in all, I think a LG Paladin would generally impose a softer level of their own deity's statutes upon their nation.


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Razcar wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
It's kind of the opposite of me wanting to feel like an insider.

Yeah - that's what I said (or meant to say, anyway). :p

I was responding to someone else's impression.

Yes Steve is not to blame. It was me (and a couple of others *points over shoulder but noone's there*) but in my defense I have since then recanted that 'tis was a silly notion - partly due to Steve here.

I will stress this again; I do not think an Aroden story/adventure/AP would necessarily need to spill the beans. It's just that it is a significant event in-world, should in my humble opinion affect it profoundly, and from there many cool things could emerge. Like Kings of Absolom :P

I was one of those "couple of others", I believe. I was absolutely not on my best behavior here and I have certainly overreacted. Mea culpa. I can only offer my sincere apologies to those I offended with my unnecessarily harsh words.

Now, If it's indeed the case the case that Aroden's death is intended as a blank for each GM to fulfill as needed, then I'm perfectly okay with that. My problem would be if an answer was settled on and not shared.

On this respect, allow me to say that maybe giving some contradictory information and releasing confusing statements would be, actually, a good idea. Internal coherence implies that the answer is settled on and canonically relevant.

Delightful wrote:
I don't see how knowing the "canon" answer to what happened to Aroden robs me, or anyone else, as a GM of the ability to create their own answer. Golarion has a lot of features to its world-building that I dislike and I've always just ignored them or worked my way around them without compliant. If Paizo's answer to Aroden's death was unsatisfying in my opinion or didn't fit for my games, I could always just do what I've always done. Of course, the opposite could happen and the answer could be so interesting that it inspires me. I Just wish I had the opportunity to know the answer and make that choice for myself.

Well, it certainly doesn't rob anyone from their capacity to creating their own answers. I have developed something along the lines of "Aroden was Golarion's Leto II Atreides" myself.

The thing is, I'm sure the Paizo staff's answer would be way better than mine, because they have access to a greater amount of information and design insight to go from, including connections we don't even suspect exist. Again, let me point you towards the answer about the Starstone, made of deep space stuff, aboleth magic, pieces of a moon goddess and "Golarion scar tissue". Who could have guessed that?

Now, you see, until Mr Mona disabused me of the notion, I was under the impression that such an definitive answer existed. That there was a deep, subtle, intricate and completely over-the-top awesome Theory of Everything that explained how the same thread that caused the ascendancy of House Thrune also broke down prophecy, and Paizo wasn't telling us for arbitrary reasons.

I was under the impression that there was something as exciting as "A moon goddess shielded the planet from a doomsday weapon with her own body" out there, and that this something would also explain what the f* was "Apexis" and what's the Aboleth endgame... And we could never see that something.

"But where do you take that from?", you ask me "That there was a theory of everything?". And I answer, we have been told, time and time again, that the world was "shaped" by the death of Aroden. That the Eye of Abendego, the Worldwound, infernal Cheliax and all of that are the direct result of Aroden's fall...

And sure, maybe something like Thrune Ascendancy can be linked to Aroden's death by a "link" as simple as "Cheliax lost it main god creating a vacuum that was eventually filled by Asmodean propaganda". Maybe the Worldwound is as simple as "Deskari' enemy wasn't there anymore, so he did what he pleased".

But that is not what I gleaned from the books and the way Paizo staff talked. Maybe it's my problem as an interpreter and they never intended such a meaning, but what I understood was: "There's a hidden story that explains that the Thrune Ascendancy was not simply an after-effect of Aroden's death, but a direct consequence of it".

As an example, in my "headcanon", by making himself the very embodiment of prophecy and then allowing himself to pass away, Aroden greatly bolstered the concept of "free will" and "self determination", and as such dealt a heavy, intentional blow to the powers of Hell, who responded by taking over and ruining the nation that embodied his ideal. A kind of post-mortem petty revenge, if you will.

See what I mean? Aroden's death is not "something that happened". It's THE event. It's the shot heard round the world. The assassination of the Archduke. the very big bang to current Golarion.

In such circumstances, kowing the hows and whys of his death would made the setting richer, and allow us to understand more of it's current configuration.

But then came Erik Mona explained that they also "don't know", and only have a "working theory"... So maybe my belief that there is a Theory of Everything is just wishful thinking, and reading too much into things, and seeing something that wasn't there... But I hope I could made clear the reasons for mine and others' frustrations. It doesn't arise from the fact that we are somehow unable to deviate from written material, but from the fact that a "layer" of said material was being kept under wraps forever.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

How about if the PCs make it into the Starstone Cathedral, endure all sorts of grueling tests . . . and find no Starstone?

This. This is perfection.

Alternatively, they find out that the Stone stopped working with Aroden's death. It used to run on the same engine as prophecy, and now it's broken.


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Keydan wrote:

Now if we want to be objective... the world of Pathfinder is a powder keg of some impossible proportions, where, if we assume all modules and APs are canon, each 5-6 months some thing tries to conquer/destroy/pillage the the world, or at least a part of it. And if it wasn't for specific groups of social awkward murderhobos, the world would have been destroyed 5 times over.

I is my choice to believe - Aroden was killed by mythic level murderhobos for his loot.

It's also known that such murderhobos are the only beings in the whole multiverse who can operate completely outside the purview of "Prophecy", "Coherent World Building" and "Good Old Common Sense", so it's completely believable. Only they could kill the Man of Prophecy.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

James Jacobs has openly stated that Paizo "knows" the "true" answer, but will never share it, and that it's not guessable.

And thats the part I think they misshandled. You have an answer to a mystery your never going to reveal thats fine but dont tell everyone you have the answer and are never going to tell them it.

I think that depends on your psychology. To me, that's them telling me "Here are the keys. It's yours now. You decide how Aroden died for your Golarion."

But then, my other favorite campaign setting is Greyhawk, another campaign setting that sketches in a lot of framework but leaves a lot of definition up to the GM.

The thing is there's supposedly a TRUE answer and makes sense of absolutely everything.

"Oh, but you can ignore it and make your own".

Exactly.

I can also ignore prophecies aren't supposed to work. I can also ignore the Worldwound. I can ignore that Aboleths exist. I can ignore that Golarion is a round planet, and not a flat-Earth.

In my headcanon, as people call it, I can do anything.

That's why this argument falls flat in my book. It's a non answer. A "just because".


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Garrett Guillotte wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aroden's death set up the current era, but we aren't interested in telling stories about Aroden's death. That's why we had that event occur a century BEFORE the current in-game year. We are more interested in telling other stories in a world that, 100 years ago, had a significant change take place.
This makes the Gap's centuries of distance from Starfinder's starting point even more curious. Will it have similar distance from the official setting's storytelling?

You know, the funny thing is that the Gap doesn't bother me at all and never will. The reasons are quite clear: If Golarion's "past" was accessible through Pathfinder it would "crystallize" future development (unless Paizo decided to mess around with alternate universes). The fact that it doesn't come across¹ as arbitrary makes me at ease.

¹ I just want to underline that I'm not saying keeping Aroden's death under wraps is arbitrary, just that it feels so. It's about perception, not a moral judgement on the people at Paizo.


captain yesterday wrote:

And how much would you pay for the answer.

What will you do once you have the answer.

What other mystery will you wonder about.

How disappointed will you be if it isn't what you thought it would be.

How much will you pay for the answer.

I see people say they're owed answers, or it's insulting to them, or they'll get best up if they do it wrong, or someone from Paizo is slapping them, but I haven't heard anyone say how much they're willing to fork over or whatever will keep them around after it's revealed.

I do hope you know that "none of you damn business" is a perfectly valid, and in fact perhaps the most appropriate, answer to all of your questions.

It's exactly this kind of patronizing attitude that irritates me about the whole thing. I can respect the decision to keep a mystery permanent. Onyx Path Publishing did this with their God-Machine setting, mostly to keep the "lost knowledge/conspiracy/everyone lies" theme they built the entire setting around, and I like it. Tolkien never explained who or what Tom Bombadil or the Watcher in the Water were (mostly because he probably didn't know himself), and I LOVE that.

My problem is that, as far as we know, the reason, or a big part of the reason why this knowledge is retained is because of the risk that people will lose interest once it's revealed. (Which is, incidentally, factually incorrect. The Starstone reveal made me more interest on it than I was before. Before it was a giant Dragon Ball for all that I cared. Now it has history and dramatic weight.)

"There, there, little child. The adult knows better."

I mean, "What other mystery will you wonder about"? I'm sorry, I do believe that is my problem.

I don't want to come across as too aggressive here, I jsut want to make very clear where the problem lies, for me.


captain yesterday wrote:

Well no, I can't tell what you were trying to say. Perhaps try again.

Not trying to be rude or anything, I just don't get it. Sorry!

I've spelled it out quite clearly in the other post:Withholding information that is known and relevant.

That is, keeping under wraps not something they're saving to develop and flesh out later, but something they've already defined, something that has a HUGE impact (according to James Jacobs) on the setting at large, and doing this in order to keep the interest high is both a pretty low thing to do and eventually it will have the reverse effect. People won't care for it anymore because an answer is not going to be available.

It's like writing a classic whodunit mystery novel and then refusing to give the answers in the end to keep people talking about said novel. It doesn't work. That's how I feel about the whole thing.

I can't make it any clearer than this.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:

I wouldn't say I hate such and such, but there are some deities I have a few issues with.

To start, Iomedae. She can be a bit likeable, but upon closer reading, there's something in her that screams "Strong Female Character", and that's just off-putting.
{. . .}

Why is that off-putting?

Because a Strong Female Character does not refer to a female character who is strong, physically or otherwise. It refers to a stereotype, or a trope, of a female character who is written to be "strong" but in the end falls flat as a character. Hence the capital letters. There are quite a few articles written on the subject available on the internet, mostly by feminist people working in the entertainment industry. Do look them up.


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captain yesterday wrote:
That was a terrible analogy Patrick, it's not like they're canceling everything and shutting it down.

The point is not canceling and shutting everything down. The point it withholding defined and known information in order to keep interest high.


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I'd make Cayden Cailean a halfling god. Remove his association with alcohol and make him more about "the good life" - food, rest, revelry, but not specifically alcohol.

Halflings need love too, and Cayden is the best for that.


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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

In five years? If it was a very good plot point, I would probably look back on it with a smile and think that it was a great show of storytelling ability. If it was just okay, I wouldn't think about it often, but would probably have fun remembering how it fit with everything else every now and then.

Six months? I'd probably still be discussing it, if it was anything other than horrible. Granted, I have a significantly short attention span, but something like The Reveal would make me stick on Golarion for quite long.

However, allow me to be brutally honest here: Withholding the information to "keep the interest" is like... Well, let me go on with the George Martin analogy. It's like if, today, he announced that he wouldn't publish the remaining books of A Song of Ice and Fire and also would revoke HBO's rights and they couldn't show the ending of the story either, so people would continue to talk, theorize and buzz around his world.

That is to say, pretty a-holish, a bit juvenile and guaranteed to backfire somewhere down the road. No offense meant. Just how I feel about it.


I wouldn't say I hate such and such, but there are some deities I have a few issues with.

To start, Iomedae. She can be a bit likeable, but upon closer reading, there's something in her that screams "Strong Female Character", and that's just off-putting.

Then there's Asmodeus and his Moriarty-Complex. Everything always goes his way, he has a backup plan for the backup plan or his backup plan (Which was actually his plan since the begging, because using a backup would mean that his original plan failed, and that's just impossible), sitting at the top of what is described as the most organized hierarchy... I mean, I know a lot of this is fans impressions, not actual canonical material, but Asmy sometimes approaches Villain Sue territory.

Calistria is... She's the stereotypical mean girl, vain, narcissistic, rude and shallow that hides her unpleasantness behind a "empowered" discourse. The thing encouraging revenge against perceived slights is also disturbing. There are some parts of the world where asking someone to turn down the music because it's 1 AM and the neighbors need to sleep is a slight that warrants a drawn gun. That are people that think romantic rejection is a slight that deserves the cruelest punishments. And Calistria is ok with that. There's no authority that can say "this revenge was warranted, that other one was going overboard, you shouldn't have done that". The only one who gets to decide which "offense" deserves which punishment is me, with no other reason than my arbitrary whim.

She is, in short, the goddess of sociopaths. She should be Evil. The fact that she's the "main" deity of a race that is, supposedly, chaotic GOOD is throwing salt on the wound.

Last, but not least... I wish all Outer Golds, Great Old Ones and figures directly inspired on them (i.e.: Groeteus) could be obliterated from the setting.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

James has said in the past he thinks people would stop caring if they ever revealed the truth of it, but that assumes people are enjoying the mystery rather than find it frustrating as you are.

For the record I'd like to find out what happened to Zon kuthon in the dark since it has been confirmed the outer gods had no hand in it.

Well, in my case, at least, it's exactly the opposite.

If I know I'm never getting a direct answer... Meh. Why should I care? The point of theorizing is that one day you'll be able to put your theory against the facts and see if you are right or not.

If George R. R. Martin said he would never, absolutely not ever reveal who Jon's parents are... Do you think people would be as crazy about it as they are? I know I probably wouldn't.

So...


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Zhangar wrote:

Yeah, think Howard, Leiber, and Moorcock when dealing with the Mythos in Pathfinder.

The Mythos creatures are catastrophically dangerous, but so are high level heroes.

If you want a more Lovecraftian adventure in Pathfinder, you should probably deliberately use something way out of your party's ECL range, and then have it mess with the PCs (or have some objective completely unrelated to the PCs) instead of killing them outright.

Make the monster more like a deadly puzzle to solve rather than something to take in a straight fight.

And hell, even in Lovecraft's own stories, humanity can take on Mythos creatures and win.

The Dunwich Horror was a CR 15 monster being challenged by a group of low level experts, after all. =P

Said another way, you can tell a "Lovecraft'esque" story with an Empyrean.

Older than mortal races. Works in mysterious ways. Direct rapport with the Gods. Knows secrets about the universe no one can even begin to fathom.

It's about the atmosphere.


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Dohnut King wrote:

I've always thought the Lovecraftian mythos is a poor fit for a high powered fantasy setting like Pathfinder. What made Lovecraft's mythos "work" was the inability of a mundane, materialist world to do anything to stop these incredibly powerful, incredibly alien entities.

In a universe with quippoths, demons, daemons, devils, undead, and pantheons of evil deities, dealing incredibly powerful, malevolent, and alien threats is just another Tuesday.

Cthulhu and company can be a real threat in a Pathfinder campaign, but they will not work in the campaign like they do in the stories.

This.

These days, every fantasy setting and their aunt, whether for RPGs or Literature, absolutely HAS to include the "deep, dark mysteeerious tentacly things from beyond that nobody understands". It has grown so much that you can have a setting with no Elves or Dwarves, but a variant of comics horror aberration will be there.

Which... I sorta understand. I get the appeal. But it doesn't work. Not in a high fantasy setting.

Cthulhu lives in a city with non-euclidean geometry? B#&*&, please, i know at least three guys that have a spell that makes reality bend over backwards for them!"

Lovecraft protagonists were men of science who didn't really believe alien things with tentacles could exist. Pathfinder protagonists... Saw a demodand last month, an efreet the past monday, a guardinal the day before yesterday and a vortex dragon today. What should be so terribly scary and maddening about the next "outsider"?

It doesn't fit. Simple like that.


There is also the possibility that some of the demigods pulled a Sarenrae/Lamashtu and got to full god status.

I just don't know which of the present ones could justify the growth... Ragathiel, maybe?

Nah... He's too similar too Iomedae...


Malefactor wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
I'm more curious about the other 13 gods marks. I mean, we know one is newish and is an AI. I would assume before that one there is a god for tech. So that's 11 other new gods. I assume the lashunta have a god or two they add, kasatha probably bring one on the mix. Maybe once for exploration? Those are the ones I'm curious about, both new and minor who have stepped up
I was under the impression that the majority of the Core 20 are going to be kept, and only some, definitely less than 10, are going to be new.
Starfinder Q&A wrote:


Q: Rob: Which of the gods from Pathfinder's core 20 are part of Starfinder's core 20, and what happened to the ones who aren't?

RM: Actually 7 gods from the core 20 Pathfinder gods have stayed core 20 for Starfinder: Abadar, Desna, Iomedae, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Urgathoa, and Zon-Kuthon. We also have, rounding out the core 20, I'm not going to tell you their names, there are some other gods you're familiar with in Pathfinder who have sort of graduated up to the core 20, and there are new and alien gods round that out.

As for what happened to these other core gods, for the most part, nothing. In the same way that Pathfinder has the core 20 and then a much larger group of gods that just aren't worshiped as much? The same thing holds true in Starfinder. The core 20 are the ones that are most commonly worshiped in the Pact Worlds, which is sort of the central setting.

So if a god didn't make it into the core 20, like Cayden Cailean, that doesn't mean anything happened to Cayden Cailean, it's just that his worship is not as popular in the future in Starfinder.

Q: Asmodeus is still in the game?

RM: He is still in the game, but he is not in the core 20.

So yeah, 7 are still Core 20, the rest are (for the most part) perfectly fine, just not widespreadly worshipped. As for new Core 20 members I reckon there shall be 7 old gods who have become more important, and 6 alien gods who are new to the...

Interesting. I hadn't seen that before. Thank you.

The comment about "old faces" intrigues me. What of the Parthfinder "lesser" gods could be important enough... Brigh? Casandalee?


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
I'm more curious about the other 13 gods marks. I mean, we know one is newish and is an AI. I would assume before that one there is a god for tech. So that's 11 other new gods. I assume the lashunta have a god or two they add, kasatha probably bring one on the mix. Maybe once for exploration? Those are the ones I'm curious about, both new and minor who have stepped up

I was under the impression that the majority of the Core 20 are going to be kept, and only some, definitely less than 10, are going to be new.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
yeah...going on the Book of the Damned, Sarenrae is really old, almost as old as Asmodeus, and was probably one of the first angels.
If not older than him!!!

So, the Book of the Damned had it so Asmodeus and his brother were the oldest, but he's really the son of the Ihys and Sarenrae and he killed his dad in a horrible patricide incident? (please don't tell me you guys were listening to "The Doors" when concocting this Freudian nightmare...)

:P

;)

Actually I think he was sort of her lieutnant, or something. Ihys never existed. It's jsut one more damned lie.


GM Rednal wrote:
I feel like you're a little late to be answering this question.

Strange Aeons is out, so it's good to have this particular conversation back on top.


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Devilkiller wrote:

I've seen people play various alignments including Lawful Good in a "The DM didn't let me be Evil, but I'm doing it anyhow" manner.

One of my current PCs started out as CG but over time "slipped" to CN partially due to the influence of an Evil magic item. He still performs a lot of heroic acts, but he's greedy, boastful, and prone to fits of rage. He's got an ongoing struggle between being a hero or giving in to the temptation of the daemonic powers which have been offered to him. Some see a villain where others see a hero. He's saved towns from terrible monsters, but he's also sacrificed foes to Evil magic for a thrill while in the throes of rage. The same campaign has another CN character who acts more like CG most of the time since he usually agrees to help folks out, rarely asks about rewards, and seems to chafe at dealing with Evil NPCs.

I guess I'm just offering some examples contrary to the usual reputation of CN. Anyhow, I seem to remember a time before all the complications of Good and Evil, back when Chaos was just Chaos - "Blood and souls for Lord Arioch!!!"

Meh. Back then "chaos" was just shorthand for "evil" and "law" for "unflinchingly neutral smug bastards". Seemingly, Good was inexistent.


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claymade wrote:
Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.

Even in Lovecraft's own mythos, there are things that would squash Cthulhu like a bug, so if Cthulhu occupies "a place" in a GM's world-narrative, that place needn't be at the very top. And if you're in a world where humans have as much "upward mobility" as Golarion does... well, they can climb a lot higher than the level 1-4 commoners that Lovecraft's world probably mostly contained, and face things that would break those commoners' brains to try to comprehend.

Granted, doing so would mean that, even if such a game incorporates "elements from Lovecraft", its overall genre would not qualify as "Lovecraftian Horror" per se. Okay... so? True, if you tell a story about a bunch of heroes ascending to demigod levels of reality-warping magic and punching the Eldritch Abomination in the face until it runs back to R'yleh with its tail between its legs... then yes, you're not telling a story about a hopeless struggle against existential dread.

But those are hardly the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Cthulhu, any more than mystery-genre stories are the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Sherlock Holmes.

If the whole thematic "point" of your plot arc is the contention that humans actually can grow beyond what we thought our limits were yesterday, and stake out a claim even in a big, scary universe that doesn't much care about us... then Cthulhu actually makes perfect sense to use as a final boss, for the exact reason that he's the go-to poster child for the opposing view.

So... maybe it's not the case that those GMs "have no idea what they are doing".

Maybe they're just doing something different.

This. This so much.

And actually, going with Lovecraft's own themes, Cthulhu is just an organic super alien. There's nothing supernatural about him, he's just much more advanced than us, but in the end he's just one more critter in a cold, dark and meaningless universe.

People prop Lovecraft's creations way higher than what they were actually supposed to be.


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I'd love to see Manasaputras detailed.

In fact, it would be handy to see all the canon information on the planar races spelled out on the wiki. I count on it to check, for example, if a new Archon was published in a sourcebook I didn't get for some particular reason, and get the general idea for it.


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It's not so much "PCs are always superior" as "I wanna play something in which the top dogs are not tentacly things from the outer dark for once".

Almost every pop culture setting these days, from comics to RPG, introduce "Lovecraftian" beings at least once, and they always have this feeling of displacing whatever was at the top and warping, if not the entire story, at least the cosmology, around themselves... In the end, they are just a more pretentious form of Mary Sue.

This is not, of course, an inherent problem in Lovecraftian fiction. It's the result of overuse and thematic dissonance.


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Daw wrote:
OK, Cthulhu Mythos 101, and why it actually does work for PFRPG Horror. You NEVER will see any of them in a game, other than their handyman/herald Nyarlathotep. The why is simple, they are SO Vast and incomprehensible that their very presence ends the game. The Gods can probably get clear, but could not face IT without perishing. Azathoth destroys the underpinnings of reality itself. Fortunately, somehow, the gods or their forerunners or perhaps the most powerful force in the cosmos, the writers, made this part of reality unpalatable to Azathoth and his Posse. Nyarlathotep deals with the ick factor (that is us) because it is part of his purpose, can we understand it? Nope. He does seem to want to encourage us thinking that we do have him figured out.

That's exactly why I say the Cthulhu Mythos are incompatible with a heroic fantasy campaign setting (You can, of course, play Pathfinder Horror in a Mythos-setting) - Tey reduce the rest of the cosmic players to chumps. "The Gods might survive if they run"? Come on.

Quote:
That said, I think one of the major problems is that Mythos fans try to shoe-horn the feeling of the Mythos protagonists into the players of non-Mythos characters. To this end, the Mythos creatures become unassailable super-monsters incapable of ever being defeated by mere mortals (never-mind that they are absurd by their own literature standards) or even the gods themselves (which, incidentally, aren't all that impressive, either, by PF standards).

Exactly.


Eh?

I'm quite sure I read James Jacobs once saying that they are not sure what is on the outside layer of the Outer Sphere, tough he liked the idea that it was the Abyss, up to infinity (I hate the idea, by the way). The inside is just the Maelstrom, with different planes poking around.

If I'm not mistaken, what Dou-Bral explored where the dark spaces between the stars of the Material Plane.

You could, at most, argue that there are more Outer Planes floating in the Maelstrom than the ones we know about, but there's nothing "outside" the Great Beyond canonically.

Of course, as a GM, you're completely free to come up with it.


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IonutRO wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Mmm. No Golarion means no Drows, right ?

Worse.

Dark Tapestry Drow!

Awww shiet.

...

Are you guys SURE you want to take on Games Workshop?


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I am guessing she will get her powers during the first Infinity Wars, possibly as a result of some infinity stone hijinks.
And then Rogue steals them in the X-Men movie that shows afterwards?

And then they can do the Brood storyline in a Guardians movie.

You could have an entire metaplot around Carol Danvers life history.

If they could bring all of Carol Danvers incarnations together, she'd be an Avengers league all by herself.

a la "Council of Reeds"?

I... Like it.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:

{. . .}

The problem is when you want to factor Lovecraftian Mythos in. They are predatory by their very nature - In order to preserve the authentic Mythos feel, they have to be beyond even the other gods. If they aren't, they become simply Very Big Aberrations, and thus, not Lovecraftian at all.
{. . .}

On the contrary, Very Big Aberrations are quite Lovecraftian. Who says Aberrations can't be so big as to give deities pause? Rovagug would qualify for this if not already classified as an Outsider (really ought to be able to combine the types and have things like Outsider Aberration, etc.).

Except... Not really.

Lovecraftian Great Old Ones are not only about power. They work by completely breaking down a character's sense of reality, causing upheaval in the whole structure of the story. They shouldn't exist. They are not rational. They are absurd.

So, if you wanna use a Lovecraftian abomination in a standard pulp fantasy setting, where things like dragons, mummies, manticores angels and demons run around, that feeling is lost: Why should a squid-thing give pause to a summoner who regularly deal with six-armed half-snake demon women? The only option is making them even weirder: they are worse than angels, fairies, dragons and other things, even more alien, even more absurd. You have to make them a step above the other "outsider" races, and thus the Lovecraftian themes "trump" the others.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Patrick C. wrote:


The problem is when you want to factor Lovecraftian Mythos in. They are predatory by their very nature - In order to preserve the authentic Mythos feel, they have to be beyond even the other gods. If they aren't, they become simply Very Big Aberrations, and thus, not Lovecraftian at all.

This really isn't an issue unless your players are super powered enough to kill demi-gods.

It is, tough.

Gods like Norgober or Zon-Kuthon or Asmodeus don't pack the same punch when something like Azathoth exists. I can understand them. I can know them. Heck, most of the times, I know their origins, their limits, their themes.

A proper Lovecraftian being, tough? Alien. Unknowable. Indifferent to anything else. It has been here way before the gods, it will remain after they go. Extremely powerful. The heart of the universe. And so it goes. It's a whole different level of "Oh my, I'm really screwed".

If you make Azathoth something smaller than the top god in your setting, it's not Azathoth anymore. If you make Azathoth Azathoth, Lovecraft has subsumed everything else, and the "human" gods fare little better than mortals standing against the terrible elder things from the dark between the stars.


Generic Villain wrote:

I think the Pathfinder cosmology's weakness is also its strength. Which is to say, the developers/authors just throw a bunch of stuff out there - much of it mutually exclusive - and tell the readers to draw their own conclusions.

A Lovecraftian mythology works in a Lovecraftian universe, but when you add ancient Egyptian mythology via Osirion, a pseudo-Christian concept of Heaven and Hell, and the real actual planet Earth, things get... muddy. Then throw in dozens of unique pantheons comprised of all sorts of gods, each with their own unique creation myths etc., and things get... literally impossible to make sense of. I'll call it the "Lost" effect. A corollary could be that, when authors/writers/creators are forced to try and explain everything and solve all the mysteries, the results are often vastly unsatisfying.

Some audiences are going to be put off by this style. There is no one truth in Pathfinder, or if there is, the developers aren't telling (because again: unsatisfying to most people). We the readers have only this ambiguous soup of maybes. Personally I prefer it that way. Because yes, Asmodeus is Nyarlathotep. Also no, they are obviously not the same. Often simultaneously.

While I agree with the gist of the post, I'd say it's not a problem, usually, to have dozens of unique pantheons. They can be balanced pretty well.

The problem is when you want to factor Lovecraftian Mythos in. They are predatory by their very nature - In order to preserve the authentic Mythos feel, they have to be beyond even the other gods. If they aren't, they become simply Very Big Aberrations, and thus, not Lovecraftian at all.

I have the unpopular opinion that Lovecraftian Great Old Ones et al shouldn't be mixed with other elements. They are better left alone.

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