So, if magic is split into 4 components, vital (life), spiritual (soul), mental (mind), and material (objects), and each spell list is a combination of 2 of them, what would other spell lists with the two remaining combinations look like?
Quintessentially Me wrote:
I believe that that's the viewpoint that Paizo takes, from what I recall of this topic from Seifter and Jacobs posts.
Just a few. You can also look through the references on the wiki page for Handedness
While that is an unfortunate stigma, most research shows that it's largely a fluke of genetics due to how our brains evolved. For whatever reason, the side of our brain that processes language almost universally controls which hand is our dominant. It's actually super interesting, but I don't want to derail the thread overmuch.
I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.
James Jacobs wrote:
So how do Shulsagas tend to new demiplanes? From reading Planar Adventures, it seems like they can interact with (both externally and internally) demiplanes, and do so as a matter of course. But since they don't have Plane Shift as an SLA, nor would they have a tuning fork for a newly formed demiplane, how is this accomplished?
James Jacobs wrote:
If you do happen to come across a demiplane, can you touch it or just walk in it, or do you still need Plane Shift or whatever for that?
(I am keeping in mind that it's based on the individual demiplane, and am asking if that's possible, not if it's universal)
You're right, I thought creature meant specifically outsider in this context for some reason, not a mortal.
The Raven Black wrote:
I don't believe that's true in Pathfinder (not sure if you're talking about D&D, PF, or Psychopass).
So the Balisse angel gets the fantastic ability Guiding Angel, which allows it to literally do the angel on one shoulder trope.
What are the chances of some other extraplanar creature having a similar ability (a devil perhaps)?
(Yes this is a request framed as a question)
I just don't see that as enough of a difference that calling them mercenary is inaccurate.
I think they're using the noun (a soldier hired to fight in a foreign army) definition rather than the adjective (serving merely for pay or sordid advantage) definition of the word.
They're law-enforcement personnel who's primary method of funding comes from being hired to enforce other's laws. That their ideals come before gold (presumably) doesn't particularly invalidate their mercenary status. Many mercenary companies (both modern and historical) will have a codified set of rules detailing what types of jobs they will and won't do that they will at least mostly adhere to.
Path of the Hellknight pg 4 wrote:
The Hellknights and their vision of order owe allegiance to no single nation. While most of their grim citadels lie within the borders of Cheliax, they do not serve that nation and their sense of order is derived from a compilation of severe strictures known as the Measure and the Chain. In troops or alone, Hellknights travel across the Inner Sea region hunting fugitives, solving crimes, and imposing order upon wilder lands. Rulers or law enforcers in need of aid—and who willingly pay to support the knights’ battles—might also summon them to particular sites where lawlessness reigns.
Path of the Hellknight pg 12 wrote:
Most of these appeals to hire the mercenary order go ignored, as the Hellknights simply can’t be bothered with every minor lawbreaker or escaped prisoner. Truly unique or innovative crimes, however, stand a chance of capturing the Hellknights’ attention. In such cases, a single fugitive hunter is typically dispatched to evaluate the request and, if the crime and criminal are deemed worthy, to bring the offender to justice. As such assignments become matters of honor for Chain Hellknights, they approach them with the utmost seriousness and prove dogged in their pursuit. From the outset of her quest, a Hellknight of the Chain insists upon receiving a fee and the right to ultimately choose how her captive will be incarcerated. If the Hellknight deems no local institution fit to hold her prisoner, she can choose to return to Citadel Gheradesca and imprison her detainee there—a fate most consider to be worse than death.
Path of the Hellknight pg 14 wrote:
Most members of the Order of the Chain are fighters stationed as guards at Gheradesca. Player or nonplayer characters, though, might have been singled out for their keen minds and so might enjoy special dispensation to train and quest as mercenary fugitive hunters.
Path of the Hellknight pg 35 wrote:
Settlements dealing with dangerous cults or threatened by zealots often reach out to the Order of the Pyre, hiring the mercenary knights to restore a community’s faith.
Path of the Hellknight pg 54 wrote:
The senator helped the order promote its services as mercenary assassin-hunters, and by the time the Chelish Civil War ended, the Order of the Scar was firmly entrenched in Taldor. […] Today, the mercenary Order of the Scar works almost entirely on retainer to wealthy individuals paranoid about assassination.
The Hellknights typical methods seem to indicate that they receive most of their income from being hired as law-enforcement officials. It's less clear what laws exactly they enforce, since while they have the whole 'Measure and Chain' thing, it's also been stated that they enforce the laws of whoever hired them, but can also be hired by non-governmental officials. So the exact hierarchy of whose laws they enforce is unclear.
When PF2 was first being playtested and the essences structure was revealed, I started writing up an in-world magical text. It modifies the traditional Pathfinder casting slightly, so certain terms and concepts are not the same. Spoilered below.
Spell components: complexity, power, duration (instant or continuous [maintained or set])
Caster components: focus/concentration, energy/resistance, skill
Primal magic (also called blood/sacrifice magic, sometimes nature magic) is one of the oldest and easiest types of magic there is. Casting a spell involves comingling one’s essence with a nearby ley line (see Ley Lines below), and then simply stating your intent, the ley line takes care of the rest (see Pros & Cons below). The more essence you comingle, the more power you can put into the spell. Comingling essence is almost invariably done via spilling blood at a ley line (thus the common names of blood or sacrifice magic), though other methods do technically exist.
Ley Lines – conduits of mixed positive and negative energy that run throughout the material universe like the circulatory system in a human body, also called the River of Souls or the Lifestream. While not sentient in the traditional sense, it is conscious enough to respond to intent, and can develop partial sentience under certain conditions. A powerful but poorly worded spell, a spell that managed to last beyond its intent and become permanent, or a death sacrifice can all result in a genius loci, which are essentially partially or fully sentient ley line ‘spirits’. These spirits can be communicated with via various methods. They are often bargained with or requested to cast spells, and many consider ‘spirit speaking’ to merely be a subset of primal magic (see Spirit Magic below). Genius loci can only cast spells of limited power and complexity and are further limited in difficult to understand ways by the intent of the spell or sacrifice that created them, but can still be very useful in certain applications.
Divine magic (also called faith magic or miracle working) is another old and relatively easy type of magic, though it is more selective in practitioners than Primal magic. Casting a spell involves aligning or harmonizing your soul with that of a deity (see Divinity below), and then requesting (often via a ritualized prayer or specific supplication, but not necessarily, depends on individual deity) a particular action. Beyond that, little is definitively known about the actual details or mechanics of divine spellcasting, and popular theory states that it is different for each deity. While some deities answer divine prayers specifically and individually, others take a more hands-off approach and grant whatever is requested. What is known is that the better one’s soul is aligned or harmonized to the deity, the more divine empowerment one can channel. Much like with Primal magic, complexity of a spell is not a particular concern, as that aspect is handled by the deity/the deity’s mantle. However, as harmonizing with a deity’s mantle relies heavily on one’s emotional state, a divine spells greatest weakness is mind-effecting magic, as even temporary disruption of that harmony can cause the spell to fail or collapse. This, incidentally, is also why so many dislike the gods, particularly the goods ones, as they feel that when they call out in fear or despair, they should be answered regardless. Sadly, the alignment is a required component, and fear is not usually aligned with any deity that is likely to offer aid. Also, amusingly enough, it is entirely possible to cast divine spells from a deity that the caster knows literally nothing about, in the case of those who just happen to align with a particular deity naturally. Indeed, this is one of the ways that new deities are discovered.
Divinity – a divinity is any being that has a divine ‘mantle’. While the exact nature of the divine mantle is much debated, there are a few things that are known to be true. A divine mantle allows other beings to receive power from the mantle by aligning themselves with it (i.e. grants divine magic) and gives the bearer of the mantle a little understood connection with a specific thing or things (commonly referred to as domains or portfolios), which grants them considerable innate control over said thing or things, interestingly very similar to loci spirits (and in fact there are known instances of loci spirits being divine). It is also unknown what requirements for type of being attaining divinity there are, as there are records of deific animals, constructs, and even plants. A divine mantle also appears to be entirely based around an abstract concept of ‘power’, generally thought to be connected to the soul. As such, some beings are born or created powerful enough to start as deities, while others gain power over time until a tipping point is reached. Interestingly enough, it only needs to be a one-time thing, as many mortals who gained divinity did so via temporary measures (such as Nethys briefly gaining omniscience, then afterwards returning to his normal level of power). Once you gain the mantle, it can only be removed by being transferred to something else, regardless of how weak or powerful one might become afterwards (though this transferal does not need to be voluntary, as one of the more common ways of gaining divinity is stealing or taking it from something that already possesses a divine mantle). Also, while more worshippers can increase a deity’s power, lack of worshippers cannot strip a deity of its divine mantle. According to various writings penned by ascended deities (that is, deities that were once mortal) using the mantles power can be risky, as tapping into that power allows the beliefs of one’s worshippers to affect one’s own power and personality, both temporarily (just while one is tapped into the mantle) and even permanently if one consistently and frequently relies on the mantles power. It is theorized that there are actually many more deities than are generally known, most of which remain unknown in an effort to actively avoid altering their divine mantle and the potential personality shift that can come with such.
There are a great many factors and rules about divinity that mortals (and likely even the gods themselves) do not understand.
Psychic magic is a relatively recent type of magic, and also the rarest. Often associated with monastic traditions, this is merely a correlation, as they both focus on and emphasize the same skills and behaviors. Psychic magic involves manipulating your spirit to produce excess spiritual energy (chakra, ki, chi, qi, serpentfire, etc, see spiritual energy below), and using that energy to cast spells. Psychic magic is difficult, as it requires a great deal of both mental and physical training and discipline, as one has to both provide the energy for the spell and direct it, unlike all other types of magic (primal requires an energy comingling, but not at a 1:1 ratio and does not require direction, divine requires neither energy nor direction, and arcane requires only direction and the ability to channel the energy, not the actual energy itself). Since both positive and negative energy are directly related to one’s physical health, increasing one’s ability to generate such energy involves rigorous physical conditioning, which in turn means one needs to increase their focus to deal with this increased energy. In the overwhelming majority of cases, psychic magic is largely underwhelming (though see pros below), requiring years or even decades of rigorous training to achieve even the most meager of spells, though as a lifestyle it is highly beneficial due to its requirement of good health and discipline. There are however extremely rare cases of people being able to surpass the normal limitation of an organic body (via genetic fluke, deific blessing, or magical aid) and generate almost inconceivable amounts of energy, allowing for spells of staggering scope. In the vast majority of these cases, the individual in question also ascends to godhood, which is what generates the largest draw for the style.
Spiritual energy – the energy of life. Described as a field of positive and negative energy that is given off by the soul, it is the animating force of the body. Technically, positive and negative energy are the same thing, just with different ‘charges’ (and in fact, more pedantic scholars have argued that the terms should be swapped to more accurately portray the flow of energy, but this is largely irrelevant to the actual mechanics themselves). A healthy body will be neutrally charged (i.e. having roughly equal amounts of negative and positive energy), with imbalances causing a host of physical problems. Too much positive energy often results in physical health problems, such as auto-immune disorders and cancer, while too much negative energy will result in mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or manic depressive/bipolar disorder.
Arcane magic is the most recent, and the most commonly used type of magic. Casting spells is essentially nothing more than transforming energy in one type, form, or place, to another type, form, or place (indeed, spells are often referred to as transformations by the more technically minded scholars). The caster is the channel through which the energy travels and is transformed. For example, one could transfer kinetic energy from a patch of desert sand with a large radius to a point coinciding with an enemy’s head to cause it to burst into flame (and incidentally create a very cool patch of sand in the desert). The limitations on this type of magic are almost entirely intellectual. Being able to hold the necessary transformations in your head accurately requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, and practice, and as such arcane magic is often limited to those who have access to educational facilities or experts. In addition, there is a genetic component as well, as everyone is born with a certain magical ‘resistance’, which inhibits the flow of energy through one’s mind, regardless of how accurate or thoroughly one holds the spells in their head. There doesn’t seem to be any way of reducing this resistance naturally, though there are case studies indicating that it changes over time. However, there are tools and other augmentations that can help mitigate a naturally high resistance.
Resistance – all things have a certain spell resistance that inhibits the transformation of energy of a spell. This means that practically speaking, all spells will require more energy to cast than they will produce, with the waste usually being in the form of negative energy (which can lead to toxic build-up and mental health issues eventually) and whatever the original energy type was. The calculations to determine spell efficiency are well known (and were in fact one of the first subjects of study for early arcane practitioners), but the reason for the resistance itself is not well understood. Theoretically, zero resistance objects or entities can exist, though no definitive examples have been proven (though several near zero substances have been discovered).
Arcane/Primal: often called witches, use magic similarly to arcane practitioners, but rather than pulling from physical energy, they convert spirit energy from a ley line or genius loci into magical effects. This gives them much more versatility than a typical arcane mage, but at the cost of power/efficiency. Often use blood diagrams to improve efficiency. Interestingly, these are the mages that are most likely to practice necromancy.
Primal/Divine: easily the rarest combination of magical styles, as it requires physical interaction with a deity. Much like primal magic, it involves commingling essence with a divinity, granting the user the power of that divinity. Almost all known records of this type of magic ended with the user either dead or deified (or both).
Divine/Occult: a common combination of styles, the user utilizes psychic magic largely to influence their own mind and soul to further help them synchronize with their deity, and thus improve their magic. This is practically ubiquitous in the higher echelons of divine casters.
Occult/Arcane: combining occult and arcane traditions is best utilized by mages who need to cast spells quickly and/or with little to no preparation. Unlike with Arcane/Primal mages, the mage doesn’t use their spirit energy to power the spell, but rather to feel out the forces to be used in the spell, allowing them to cast via intuitively feeling the energy, rather than calculations. Users tend to be highly perceptive and have incredible situational awareness, being able to accurately sense things beyond the means of their physical senses. There is also an inverse correlation between psychic ability and resistance (the more psychically adept one is, the lower their arcane resistance) that is being intently studied.
Arcane/Divine: a rare combination of styles that is only seen with deities that have arcane magic as one of their domains (such as Nethys). Similar to, but much more powerful than Arcane/Primal, just substituting Ley Lines for a deity.
Occult/Primal: instead of commingling ones essence with a ley line, practitioners of this art commingle their spirit. This is almost invariably suicide, as ones spirit can almost never compare in potency to even the meagerest branch of the Lifestream, and will be swept away (ironically often creating a genius loci). Even utilizing all possible safety precautions, it still essentially comes down to being able to contain that much energy, which is impossible for almost every mortal. Only those rare occult masters who have surpassed typical mortal limitations can even attempt this, and even then caution is advised.
Not technically an actual school of magic, “spirit magic” is little more than transferring a genius loci from a ley line to an individual’s personal spiritual energy (either their own or another’s), or a prepared vessel (typically constructs, though necromancy is also distressingly common). Genius loci come in an infinite array of forms (see Genius Loci below), but there are certain specific forms that are commonly sought after for binding. The first is a form that has a specific or unique ability that would be difficult to replicate otherwise (such as weather control or mental manipulation). The second is a form that is highly knowledgeable or knows certain secrets. Often young or desperate arcane practitioners will seek out a knowledgeable genius loci to provide tutoring, though of course binding a spirit and actually getting it to cooperate are very different struggles, and most possessions are the result of someone attempting to bind a spirit without securing its cooperation first. Most spirits do not have a particular desire to possess others, as it is a lateral move for most, and a significant downgrade for the more powerful spirits (as they’re limited to the spiritual energy of their host, rather than the entirety of a leyline). However, it’s a common enough practice that the binding spells are commonly known and are actually among some of the first spells most practitioners will learn and practice with.
Genius Loci – partially or fully sentient nodes or manifestations of the Lifestream, often broadly referred to as spirits. They can arise naturally (and often do) from a powerful but poorly worded spell, a spell that managed to last beyond its intent and become permanent, or most commonly via the death of a sentient being. It is important to note that a genius loci is NOT a ghost or soul in any way. It is merely a spiritual clone of the being at its moment of death. The spirit may or may not believe this, but that has no bearing on reality. It is interesting to note that the people most likely to create a genius loci with their death are experienced arcane practitioners, an oddity considering that of all the magic types they work the least with spiritual energy.
Meta-magic is often not even considered a form of magic, but rather a type of “reality bending”. The most prevalent theory suggests that meta-magic is merely a collection of oversights in the creation of the universe that were unintended. Another theory is that they actually were intended (though some of the ‘spells’ discovered make that claim seem dubious at best), but were only meant to be used by the creators, and just happened to accidentally be discovered by mortals. Both these theories are supported by the Aeon’s interest in all meta-magic/reality bending activity.
Reading through Path of the Hellknight and found this bit:
Path of the Hellknight pg. 37 wrote:
I would agree that Order of the Chain would probably be the best fit, but the Order of the Pyre is also noted as the only Hellknight Order to have it's own naval presence. Pirates are notoriously superstitious and the Pyre's focus is on stamping out 'cultists' and non-approved religions, so you could possibly swing it.
Oooh, that's interesting. I didn't realize that's what they meant when they said that Aeons were the new LN race.
Right at the start. I know Strange Aeons, but I don't seem to recall Wrath of the Righteous well enough to do this, explain?
Strange Aeons and Reign of Winter I can easily think of ways this would work. I've read Iron Gods and can't seem to recall anything that would facilitate this. Haven't read the other two. Explain?
Thurston Hillman wrote:
That does sound delightful. Thanks for the insight!
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
EDIT: Also, the fact that atheists are either A. Fed to Groetus or B. Left to linger until their soulbodies disintegrate is rather lame. Why can't she *recycle/reuse/reclaim* like EVERY OTHER FREAKING DEITY?
I had assumed it was because their souls couldn't be broken down into quintessence due to the atheism. Their souls literally reject the system so hard they cannot be incorporated.
Mark Moreland wrote:
I forgot about Legends, I’ll have to see if I can give that a listen.
As far as venues go, I can’t really say. The comics and novels seem to be problematic. I think the easiest thing would be to re-introduce the fiction at the back of each ap book, specifically featuring an iconic or iconics. For me personally digital games don’t work very well, I don’t even own a computer, and my phone screen is prohibitively small for gaming (though I recognize that I am probably in the minority as far as technological access is concerned).
So yeah. Short of being able to reintroduce novels or comics (my preference is novels), I guess short stories are the way to go.
This makes sense and is reasonable, but because I am pedantic I really wish they'd put them either material>fire>air>water>earth or material>earth>water>air>fire.
I don't think there's definitive rules about this, but they seem to range as far as power is concerned. For example, Dusk Ronin is a child of two full deities, but I don't think that she's anything other than a standard star archon (CR 19), Ragathiel (CR 26 demigod) is the son of Dispater (CR 27 demigod) and Feronia (CR ? demigoddess), so roughly the same power, but Shelyn (full deity) is the daughter of Thron (not any sort of deity at all (so presumably less than CR 25, possibly less than CR 20) and some other unknown creature. That's as many examples as I can think of off the top of my head.
So it seems like Kelldor knew about Tar-Baphon returning (he ordered the Mercenary League to double recruitment and train specifically for undead and orcs). It makes sense, as he's noted as being a powerful diviner (I seem to recall that he's a level 15 oracle). The only problem with this is that he started this operation two years before Tyrant's Grasp.
Any theories on how he got this information two whole years in advance?
(Of course there's always the option that I'm just looking too hard into things)
I have read both of those, great stuff. I'm mostly looking for an easy way to do it with events already in the story though, largely to prevent me from having to burden a GM with an excessive amount of extra work (and thus making it less likely to be accepted).
Andre Roy wrote:
Carrion Crown ran from February to July 2011, Strange Aeons August 2016 to February 2017. That a 5.5 years gap that we could transpose in universe and go from there. So what was Count Lowls up to, 5.5 years before Strange Aeons?
Based on the Thrushmoor Terror, that would have been just before he acquired the PCs (which was 5 years before the AP starts). So probably that would have been when Lowls got tired of being ridiculed in Ustalav's academic circles and started becoming obsessed with his occult research and the Star Stelae.
David knott 242 wrote:
Correct. IC (in character) is used to denote things as perceived by the inhabitants of Golarion (so for example the transcripts from Golarion books) and OOC (out of character) is used to denote things as perceived by us (such as the mechanical rules).
I am also now realizing how incredibly off topic this has become. I apologize for derailing the thread.
Why? The other deities can also do it. It still would have happened, just differently. All his power and influence comes from the fact that he is older than everyone else. The multiverse would function largely the same with or without him.
Almost every ooc reference to Asmodeus that I have ever seen (see the books I read through above) directly says that he is one of the oldest and wisest beings in existence. Since the gods don't have stat blocks, nothing ever explicitly says anything about how powerful he is in comparison to other deities, but given the fact that he is the only full-deity devil and is opposed by the entirety of the celestial planes (which are chock full of true deities) without losing or dying, it can be presumed that he is something of a heavyweight. I agree that nothing ooc says that Ihys created the cycle of souls, but the cycle of souls is almost never ooc discussed to the best of my knowledge.
Not sure what you mean by the timeline problem given Asmodeus character...?
Other than that I seem to agree with you, just don't find most of it to be as important as you do. I think our different perspectives are largely procedural in nature. You are looking for IC and OOC references to explicitly support each other, thus holding the lore to a higher degree of rigor than I, who am content with a lack of explicit contradictions or mutual exclusiveness, am.
Ah. I guess that's a difference in perspective then, I don't see that as being as important as you seem to.
Read the Cycle of Souls excerpt on page 22 of CoR. It states exactly that they were the first, the strongest, and that they (or really Ihys) created the Cycle of Souls.
Well, we know that there's no real timeline, but the above-referenced page indicates that mortals predate Heaven itself. So it seems the timeline is:
1) Asmodeus and Ihys (and later the other deities) create life
You're right in that CoR and BotD both seem to gloss over the intervening time between each event, but they do not give any span of time at all, so it's not really contradictory, just misleading. My take is that that's simply due to the face that Tabris is an immortal and thus has a very different concept/perception of time than we would (and ooc, that would drastically increase the page count if they tried to include too much of the intervening time for something that is relatively unimportant).
That's not what I got from reading it. BotD specifically says that the other "motes" learned how to use the power of the Seal the same way Asmodeus and Ihys did, Asmodeus and Ihys were just the first to do so. As you said, other than that they were the first and strongest, there's nothing particularly cosmologically important about them.
Book of the Damned pg. 260 wrote:
The First were not alone during this age, though, for while they were the first, others followed their paths. From the ranks of the younger motes grew vital forces synchronous to the things Ihys and Asmodeus created, majestic and wild beast spirits, and new personalities akin to the First. These beings gathered upon the islands the brothers created, the greatest of them even learning to shape the power of the Seal themselves.
CoR goes into a bit more detail about how the planes and outsiders were created (and has a more detailed, but still incredibly vague timeline), but other than that they appear to be the same.
The timeline still doesn't seem to quite work out because the rebellion against Heaven seems to have occurred long after free will was a thing (Moloch was explicitly an Archon who ran the Heresy Ovens immediately prior to the rebellion...that seems like something that is unlikely to predate mortals), but it's a lot closer than the BotD version.
I agree that the rebellion happened after Ihys created free will, but am not sure how that's a discrepancy? That's the catalyst that started the war/rebellion.