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Is the guy with the crossbows, the potions and the evil grin Podiker? He's one of the sandpoint characters that interacted the most with my player in my rise of the runelord campaign, it would be quite nice to have him have a role to play in this new module, even if it's as a minor villain.

I wouldn't call a grippli country a "monster ruled region" either. Where to draw the line is a bit muddy for sure. I'd say that "monster" here encompass all things that aren't humanoid (dragons, worms, insectoid beings and the like), and all humanoid that are "traditionnally" TTRPG foes or "hostile on sight" (goblinoid, giants, demons and the like).

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The runelord archetype isn't just about being a "thassilonian specialist" from 1e tho, it also include the "grafting aeon stones into your flesh" and "fight with a polearm" aspect of the runelords.

But I think James point was more about the semantic of it, in ancient thassilon "thassilonian specialist" was simply the baseline for a wizard, it's those that didn't cast their spell like that who were weird, so they didn't had name for this kind of spellcasting, it was just normal wizardry. Perhaps did they call it "thassilonian magic" to separate it from the magic of the Azlants and other part of the world, but they certainly didn't call all those using that magic "runelords", which was the title of their leaders.

But in the modern world, where the return of this kind of wizardry was heralded by the return of the runelords (tm), the modern wizards who use this magic call themselves runelords, and tend to also copy not just the thassilonian spellcasting, but also the "trappings" of the old runelords, yeilding the same kind of weapons as them and grafting aeon stone into their flesh like them. I'm pretty sure runelords of old would see current wizard with this archetype as "poseurs" trying to copy them.

At least that's how I see it. As far as the remaining runelords are concerned, I'm headcanoning Sorshen as being amused by the rise of these new "runelords", and Bellimarius as infuriated by all these people trivializing a title only she and Sorshen deserve.

Irrisen is indeed a big one, not "monster ruled" strictly speaking (especially since reign of winters), but it does have that feeling, with feys and winter wolf having seemingly more power than the more humanoid/"normal" ancestry. Altho we don't really know in what way Irrisen have changed since the AP, but the fact that it's still stuck in eternal winter mean that the old status quo shouldn't be entirely gone.

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On top of what the other said, Usaro in the Mwangi expanse is ruled by charau-ka, which are some kind of half demonic monkey people who can turn the corpse of their victim into more of them by using a special evil altar at the heart of their city. Since the death of the last gorilla king, they are in disaray as some Matanji orcs have stolen said altar, leaving them without a way of making a new gorilla kings or replenishing their people as quikly as they used to. Humans are accepted in the city, altho most are either demon cultist or prisoners of the charau ka.

I think the city of Kaer Maga in Varisia could also fit, if my lore is up to date. If I remember correctly, it's situated in an ancient thasilonian prison turned ruin build on top of an alien laboratory. While it have no formal government, and the city is kind of in a state of controlled anarchy with various mafia like entities holding power over some part of the city, if I remember correctly some of the original aliens still live bellow the city along with ancient vampires and they both control the city from the shadows and use it as a feeding ground and laboratory.

Even if that last part isn't up to date with the latest lore, the city is a gigantic melting pot of various ancestries, a good amount of which are usually only presented as monstruous otherwise. Notably, it have a sizable population of trolls acting as augury and running an information network, and it's the one place of varisia where necromancy is legal and overt undeads are normal, so it is "monster themed" if not "monster ruled". On an unrelated note, it's also one of the city housing the largest number of halfling proportionnaly to the rest of the population in the inner sea region for some reason. I really love how weird this city is, hopefully we see more of it soon.

Speaking of aiudara, I have a question about the network on Castrovel. Unlike Golarion, the network here is far more active and used, and most cities houses a few gates from what I've gathered. However, I'd like to know if these gates form a single "net" so to speak, or multiple smaller ones?

Which is to say, could you go from any city housing one of these gate from any other of these city only from jumping from gates to gates without ever having to travel "in land" and quit the confine of a city, or does they all connect only a handfull of cities with each others?

If it's the former, it would explain why Castrovel don't seems to have much in the way of big roads, and why much of the wilderness is still so "wild" compared to Golarion, if most of the big city are all touching each other in a sense. It would also make internationnal relationship interesting and very different from what we're used to if all of the greatest ruler of the planet are a few "gate jump" away from each other instead of being separated by thousands of miles worth of travels.

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Yup, I don't really see how leshies and poppet being an option makes it more work for the GM to have an "adult" adventure. Partly because I think "fully inhuman" characters like them have their place in less childish stuff, but mostly because making an executive decision to cut them out is the simplest thing to do.

However, it is true that the change of tone between early 1e and now have affected how easy it is to create some kind of adventure. The edgyness of old made it easy to have so called "gritty" campaign simply by using the unmodified lore and APs. The most recent lore book are significantly less edgy, and thus it takes more work to inject some into them if you do want that kind of tone. The reverse is also true, early 1e was incredibly avistan-centric and humanocentric, and wanting to play anything that isn't a human or core race from avistan asked you to do a lot more leg work, while the new lore books makes it a lot easier.

Personally, I like to take a bit of both, I really dislike the notion of "always evil" races that was prevalent in early 1e, and love the more nuanced presentation made in books like the mwangi expanse and impossible land (they actually feel like they are written for you to play as one of them, while before they felt like they were written to be NPC with strange customs), but I find the presentation in a lot of 2e lorebook to be a bit too saccharine, so I mix and match the two with my own interpretation of the setting to get the tone I like. It's a bit more difficult to do a "mix and match" like that for published adventure tho, so I can understand the disapointment of peoples that prefered the 1e tone if they don't find it in 2e AP. But since I haven't run any of them myself, being only a 2e player so far, I can't be positive that every 2e AP lack this "edge". I'll see when I finally get my hand on the season of ghost, which should be the first 2e adventure I run.

Talking about who the killer is seems a bit premature when both prophecy thus far have the god die of "natural causes". I mean, Asmodeus technically got killed by Ihys, but this happenned billions of years ago, and he just died from the wound "now". So this leave open the possibility that no one will "pull the trigger" at all, and that the war that will start as the result of this death won't be a simplistic "war of revenge" where the allies of the dead god will face the killer and their ally.

It's why I think it won't be any of the (previously) lawfull good gods, I don't see them being assassinated, and I don't see their domain being so sought after that it start a cosmic war between those trying to take it back. I think it's far more likely to be either a neutral deity who aren't formaly "murdered" but whose death start a war over their domain (like Gozreh or Abadar), or either Shelyn or Zon Kuthon who actually get killed and start a massive brawl (with possibly the one of the two who survive flipping over and taking the domain of the dead one, either abandonning their own or fusing the two).

I feel like there are some "roles" that are far less dramatic for player and GM options if they are left blank for a while (or even forever). Like Iomedae role as the paladin godess, or Irori as the monk god aren't that far reaching in the end, there isn't any "bard god", and the class is still fine. Paladin that want to play a crusader type character can still pick Torag or Sarenrae and roleplay them pretty much the same way they would an Iomedan. Monks don't even need a god in the first place, and even if he die, they can still follow Irori exemple despite him being gone now, he was always more of an inspiration than a leader for them anyway. Meanwhile, if there isn't any god of undeath or of magic anymore, it leave a much bigger hole.

I do think that since paizo have stated that Arazni won't take over the lost god role, and that since they also said that it wasn't some kind of fakeout (where the lost god come back in some form), there are some gods that simply were never on the table for removal. Pharasma was an obvious one (even if some people though she was likely to kick the bucket), and I would add Rovagug too, despite not being confirmed safe yet. As for the rest, I think the main consideration was wether the absence of their role hindered player option or not, rather than how their absence would affect golarion itself. So here's my view on how their domain affect each god likeliness to be "it" :

- Norgorber could be summed up as a "class god" for rogue like Irori is one for the monk, but he is also the one evil god that area of interest is the "normal" criminals. Not just the crazed murderous cultist like 95% of the rest of the evil deities have (altho he also have those), but the common thief, the smugglers, the spies, the so call "morally grey" character that aren't just absolute sociopath. No other core god fit this niche, which is too important an option for both player and GM, so he's gonna stay.

- Sarenrae is the godess of "the big good", the one that represent the most morally upstanding yet also understanding characters, and this is an important option to have. Shelyn also fit this bill however, so one of the two could be gone, as the other godess would be here to "pick up the slack". So the question is about what is most important about their remaining portfolio, between the angel godess of light and the sun, and the godess of beauty and the arts, I do feel like Shelyn fall behind, as people interested by the latter can simply go toward Calistria or Desna, or even Nocticula if they step out of the core 20, while Sarenrae's niche is more difficult to fill until you go searching deeper into empyreal lord territory, far too unknown for the incredibly popular "shinning beacon of light and good" archetype.

- Abadar is the god of "civilisation", industry, capitalism, law and all things orderly. This is a pretty important niche, but none of his domain feel unique. From both side of the alignment grid, Asmodeus, Torag and even Erastil in some way all possess part of his portfolio, and only the role of "god of money" really feel unique to him in the core 20, a role that is niche enought for players and NPC to be filled by secondary deity. Furthermore, the fact that multiple gods, both evil and good, fit his portfolio mean that if he were to die, his clergy would be divided between two polar opposite, which may make for good storyline.

- Gozreh is in a weird spot, as the god of nature, the elements and the climate. One might think that a god of nature is an incredibly important thing to have, but it isn't quite the case, for the reason that in my experience, nature oriented characters are simply far less likely to follow a god than the rest of them. These characters usually seems to focus on "the natural world" as a whole instead of an entity which is the incarnation of said world, and to be either atheist, animist or to follow something like the green faith. In that regard, the god of nature being gone make a hole in the pantheon lore wise, but not really as far as player option is concerned. Furthermore, Erastil is here for anyone wanting to make a "rural" character, and Lamashtu is here for anyone wanting to make a "wild" one. The one part of his portfolio that would really be missing is as the climate god, which IMO isn't quite as important as far as core options are concerned. He seems to me as one of those most likely to be "it".

- Irori have the same predicament. He is the god of monks, knownledge and self improvement, but knowledge is already share with a lot of other gods and "monks" as well as "self improvement" focussed characters are both archetype likely to follow no god at all, instead focussing inward. As such, it wouldn't hurt player or GM option much to have his role disapearing from the core gods.

- Lamashtu and Rovagug both share quite a lot, being the core gods you go to if you want to focus on madness or monstruosity, not a popular choice as far as PC are concerned, but a very important option in a GM toolbox if they want antagonist idea right from the core books. If we look at their other domain, Rovagug is the most important to keep, as he is the one core deity GM would use if they want doomsday cult and scenario in their game. On the other hand, Lamashtu's domain are far more aggreable in the PC side of things, but none of them are unique, "madness" and "monstruosity" can go to Rovagug, "beastly" and "wild" can go to Gozreh. I'm certain that she is not the one that will die, but her domain don't especially protect her here.

- Iomedae and Urgathoa are very different, but are put together for a simple reason. Urgathoa domain over undead is too important to lose, the necromancer/intelligent undead is too important for GM to have for her not to be a core option. Iomedae meanwhile isn't that important, because all that she ennable can be ennabled by other core gods, mostly Sarenrae and Torag (depending on if you want your righteous crusader to be nice or harsh). However their domains both ensure their safety for a simple reason, which is the fact that they are too close to Arazni in some way for her not to grab their domain if they were the one who die. And since we know Arazni won't swipe the dead god's domain, these two are safe.

- Zon Kuthon domain over pain and cenobite things is cool, but a bit niche to secure a place in the core 20 alone, his real draw being the one core god of darkness and shadows. However, Norgorber also fit the niche of a PC character and NPC themed around darkness and shadows, so he isn't alone in that. Furthermore, his relationship with Shelyn mean that she could theorically "switch" to his domain if he was to be removed. So all in all, I don't think Zon is safe, altho he isn't my first choice of victim.

- Nethys just feel too important to lose. Like nature themed character, the magic oriented ones are usually not really pious, but unlike Gozreh, Nethys was made with this in mind, as he don't care for worship, and instead provide and take away power on a whim, something that perfectly fit the "wizard hungry for magic" PC archetype and the "mad with power" villain for the GM all at once. Nethys thus feel quite safe.

-Erastil and Torag both aren't safe at all. Their domain over community and protecting your own can be absorbed by each other or Abadar, Erastil rural/natural outlook also fit Gozreh and Torag industriousness fit Abadar. The only thing that protect Torag is that he is the one dwarven god out of the core 20, but I don't the core 20 need a racial deity, even if the dwarves are stereotipically the most religious core ancestry.

- Gorum feel like a god made for barbarian in particular, and battle hungry characters in particular. Both are pretty popular, but can also easily find replacement in the core 20, Lamashtu or Rovagug for the savage/wild/"barbaric" characters, while Cayden fit the rest of the character seeking "the thrill of battle" without being raving lunatics.

- Speaking of him, Cayden Cailean seems to me like the "basic god of adventuring", the kind new players go for if they don't have much idea and simply want to make a very archetypal "good and adventurous with no real goal or backstory" character, and his simplicity kinda protect him I believe, as no other core god fit this very simple "god of adventure" kind of niche.

- Calistria is the godess that most support the very popular "seducer" PC stereotype, but this can also be filled by Cayden pretty easily. Her true niche to me lie in fitting mercurial "trickster" characters, but while I know that it's popular for player character and NPC alike, these don't tend to be overly religious, instead focusing mostly inward, so like Irori or Gozreh, Calistria feel like a godess that could be gone without really hurting player options much.

- Finally, Desna is with Cayden the godess most fit for the extremely popular "carefree good" characters. But more than just that, her domains over dreams, travels and the sky also make her the main option for a plethora of other kind of PC and important NPC, the explorer or traveller, the whimsical ones, the "seemingly foolish yet wise" ones, etc. And while she don't technically have a domain over arts, she's also an incredibly popular choice for "artsy" and colorfull characters, almost on par with Shelyn from what I saw. While these character archetype are often shared with other deity, or not amongst the most popular, the fact that she alone seems to inspire so many of them mean that I highly doubt that Paizo would remove her and leave a hole were she stood.

Getting healed by the party healer, through magical mean or the treat wound action (and restoring HP through rest) is the only way to heal the companion as far as I know. A healer's kit have unlimited uses, but you can't use it to treat someone more than once each hours. It takes 10 minutes out of combat, or one action in combat if you use the battle medecine feat (but you can only use battle medecine once per day for each target).

So keeping your companion healed in combat is going to be difficult unless you poach the druid focus spell by taking it's archetype. If you don't, you rely on the group healer to help your companion as well as you.

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But the first story was in large part about the fallout that her absence caused. While it showed no successor, it the problem her vacancy caused, which is another way of illustrating why she need one.

Meanwhile, the fact that Ihys was here to immediately replace Asmodeus meant that it's unclear how well Hell would have functionned without a clear leader, and what would have been the consequences for the universe. Perhaps it would have devolved into infighting as the archdevils would have scrambled for the top spot. Perhaps it would have continued going in an orderly way, the infernal engine still running without a hand to direct it, a machine without a purpose to fill, now churning out suffering not even in the name of an evil god's plan, but for no reason at all. Perhaps it would simply appear to still function as usual, as slowly each archdevil altered the mechanism of their own realm, each trying to work the engine a different way until it simply break and "all hell break lose".

In a sense, those two prophecies showed very different things. The first one showed what happen if Pharasma is gone and leave an empty throne. The second one show what happen if Ihys get into the driver seat and replace Asmodeus. We don't know what would have happenned if someone else had taken up Pharasma's domain, or if Asmodeus left an empty throne behind.

Unicore wrote:

I mean, anything is possible, sure. And we all have our own desires for the setting’s future and such so every guess is worth making if it brings you joy. Personally, I think the god will be a moving forward with the setting god and not so much of a where we’ve been god.

Desna, for example, could be interesting, but her death would mean having to go back to Varisia pretty hard to clean up what changes there. It feels less likely to me. Same with Torag.

Sarenrae’s deathon the other hand has “Golden Road needs massive revisiting” written all over it, which is good, because we don’t have those books in PF2 lost omen lore. Maybe Gorum would be appropriate if we were headed to Numeria or Zon Kuthon if we are headed to Nidal, or Shelyn if Taldor, but all of that feels less probable to me than an event really shaking things up in a way to create a need to go to a place that feels like it could be next on the docket. The Golden Road is innersea after all, and then Qadira will likely become a place where adventures are likely to be a foot.

I agree that Sarenrae is more likely than Desna (altho I don't think either will be the one), but do note that we don't have a Varisia or "saga lands" lorebook for 2e either. And that with the massive impact of the rise of New Thallisson (and of Tar Baphon to the west) this region is due for a revisit no matter which god die anyway as the old lore isn't really up to date anymore. So this argument for why Sarenrae is more likely than Desna don't really work.

And I could see them wanting the expand on the golden road as a rather underdevelloped region lore wise, which was the case for the mwangi expanse/impossible land/absalom/tian Xia regions which received big lore book in 2e (none of these receiving half as much focus and campaign book as the western avistan region in 1e). However the golden road did receive significantly more lore and campaign book in 1e than those regions. It's just that it's book are mostly outdated now, in more way then one (lore wise and topic wise). I do think it'll get one eventually (which I'm not so sure for regions like the shinning kingdoms or old cheliax), but I'm not sure that it'll come before the saga lands or the eye of dread, as Paizo seems to be starting to pick back up the meta plot of these regions.

Zyphus wrote:
Scarablob wrote:
he could always get expanded bc he is already very swole and strong
thx dudes preciate the support. don't forget to like and subscribe

I somehow don't remember writing that. Nor do I remember liking your post. Something's wrong is afoot here.

"The Rightfull Heir of Xin, True Emperor of all Thallisson".

Sure the empire instantly split up the moment Xin was gone, but to me most runelords (except maybe Sorshen and Xanderghul, due to being there from the start) ended up believing that they'll be the one who will unify Thallisson under their control, and that the other runelords are no equal of them. So in my headcanon, all runelords call the other 6 "Runelord of Shalast/Barakhan/etc" and themselves "Emperor of Thalisson"

SuperBidi wrote:
Maybe around your tables, but clearly not a stereotypical party to me. I associate Cayden Cailean with the archetypical Swashbuckler, personally.

It's not really the case around my table, but I'm under the impression that it's the most cliche dnd party setup (or at least that it was in the 2000'). They meet in a tavern, and go back here for a rowdy night between each quest. They do whatever they want without paying much mind to any authority, but are rather heroic, do good deed and defend the innocent. When an injustice is legal, they don't care and still correct it without caring about consequences. They don't have a familly or any NPC tied to their backstory, they're either orphan or their parent/previous friends simply aren't mentionned. They don't have any particular goal in life except for doing good deed and trying to become folk heroes.

It does fit a swashbuckler, but Cayden was introduced to the setting long before this class was. He is an archetype, but where Irori/Nethys/Iomedae/Norgorber all fit a given base class especially well, he don't. He's a fighter in ability, and a bard in spirit.

My take on the ascended gods is that they all are "ascended PC archetypes", Iomedae is the most paladin that ever paladinned, Norgorber the most rogue that rogued, Irori the most monk that monked, ect. Cayden however don't feel like an incarnation of any one PC, but the incarnation of the most stereotipical party. They meet in a tavern, are chaotic good, mostly mess around and try to have fun but still do so heroically, especially target slavers above all, are orphans, etc.

It does make him both very generic in his themes, but also pretty special because there aren't usually a deity that is this "on the nose" about being taylor made for the stereotipical pathfinder/dnd party.

CorvusMask wrote:
His art featured in blog is this one though?

Actually this one is fine. Nothing special, but fine. I think I still had his mind his art from faith of golarion and I think a few other 1e product, where he even have a wrestler belt. I didn't remember that they put a cloak on him in his 2e appearance.

Yup, most AP are either a near complete return to the status quo (like rise of the runelords), or a "step in the right direction" that still leave the status quo largely unchanged, it's just that thing have an opportunity to start to get better now (like council of thieves). Even AP that does significantly shake up the world limit themselves to a few regions, without affecting anything massively. For the moment, I don't think there is a single one truly "setting changing" AP that affected Golarion or the inner sea as a whole.

I'd say the most far reaching are Wrath of the Righteous, Return of the Runelords, Tyran's Grasp and Strength of Thousands, all having rather big impact in their respective regions, but not really affecting things much beyond them. Maybe Iron Gods too, but I'm not that aware of numeria, so I don't know how deeply the AP affected it.

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Add Rovagug to that list (and Groetus too). Major part of the setting just rest on the fact that they simply can't die. The only way I see for Rovagug to "die" is if something else and just as bad or worse burst out from It's corpse and take over It's portfolio of being the apocalypse incarnated (like the big black hole deity from starfinder that is pretty much Rovagug in cosmic form).

And killing Rovagug just to swap it with "Twovagug" feel lame, so Rovagug can't die.

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The prismatic ray, Zon Kuthon and the three starstone gods won't be safe. The first four and Iomedae because lots of things point toward them, so keeping the suspence as long as possible just make sense. The other starstone gods because they are the newest deity, and cause the least upheaval if they die (and thus the least interesting prophecies).

As for the other three, it's a toss up. I'd guess Irori for the same reason as the starstone ones, not far reaching enought to have an interesting enought prophecy. Either Calistria or Abadar to keep one "larger god" open that wouldn't have that interesting a prophecy.

And finally Gozreh because they's my pick for the dead god, druids don't tend to worship them but be atheist/green faith/animist, the elemental lords are taking away their "god of element" niche, so it doesn't hurt player options much. And the death of the god of nature would make a big enought shakeup on golarion to justify the war, with just the right amount of relevancy in the current political climate.

If Gozreh isn't the one, I expect them to have a prophecy tho. In which case my bet is on Erastil or Torag.

It's not really about him being humanoid, most gods and outsiders are humanoid, that's fine (even if I prefer the more monstruous/strange ones). It's about him looking like a wrestler painted in red wearing the biggest heel grin he can possibly muster.

I find his usual look far too cartoony compared to what he is. Having a cartoon devil in one of the 8 archdevil spot would be fine by me (mephisto is cool, altho he's far less cartoony than Asmodeus), but a cartoon devil as the top most ancient evil deity that rule over all Hells just feel weird.

Ashanderai wrote:
I'm leaning towards the "one" to die being Gozreh. With the Elemental Lords being around, Gozreh always felt more superfluous to me than the other gods. Now, after Rage of Elements and the return of more Elemental Lords, I feel that way even more strongly.

Also betting on Gozreh, druids I see are either atheist or follower of the green faith, and the new elemental lords eat away at their niche as the elemental god(s). Add to this that Erastil also work for a nature/rural themed cleric or champion, and it seems like they are the god that can be removed with the least amount of trouble in a player perspective, while still causing a massive crisis in the lore, as the deity of nature dying is sure to cause trouble.

I wanted to say that the proeminence of Irabeth the paladin of Iomedae as a big NPC in various books (being the first NPC of the setting that show up in the new GM core book) make killing Iomedae unlikely, but who am I kidding. Pushing her to the forefront to then have her reckon with the death of her godess, and thus represent every PC that have to reckon with the same thing, would make perfect sense.

It would actually explain rather well why she is still so proeminent despite not being a "big political figure", and despite her story having somewhat already been told. The only reason why I'm not betting on Iomedea right now is because Arazni isn't supposed to take the dead god portfolio, but given her history and how the setting is right now, I don't see how she can not take the crusader god portfolio if Iomedae get killed.

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This was a very good prophecy, but I do hope Asmodeus is due for a relooking, maybe by showing off his fabled "true form". I just find the whole "shirtless buff red dude" look silly when juxtaposed to his lore.

I also meant the inner sea region, WotR only really affected Sarkoris, Mendev and the followers of Deskari, Tyran's Grasp only really affected the surrounding of the Eye of Dread and Geb, and created a new minor (so far) godess in Arazni, and Return of the Runelords only really affected Varisia, the neighbouring countries and Nocticula's faith. Losing any of those would have have far more reaching implications (as is the case for most AP), but by winning, the real shakeup turned out to be mostly regionnal, none of this really changed how the River Kingdoms, Osirion or Cheliax worked for exemple.

Removing one of the core deity meanwhile promize to shakeup the whole inner sea region (and truly, the whole of golarion), so it's a bigger change of status quo.

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My guess is that they are starting with the "biggest", most far reaching ones, because they are those that create the most interesting and strange scenario if they do die, while the death of an ascended mortal wouldn't have quite that much of an impact on the cosmic scale. So they would make for less interesting "prophecies".

Which would mean that if they "skip" one of the big god, their odds of being the one that kick the bucket would suddently skyrocket. Altho it wouldn't be hard to skip a few of them to create false leads.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Yivali is a psychopomp. Not a mortal.

Oh, I didn't catch that part, the "Apprentice Researcher for the Lady of Graves" led me to think he was a cleric in training. A psychopomp make more sense as a being entrusted with such grand secrets, yeah.

Luis Loza wrote:
Book of the damned spoiler:
Whether this is the Archfiend’s true form or merely a guise he adopts so his mortal servants can conceive of him, none can say. Some legends tell that he has another form, one that bears a great, endlessly bleeding wound suffered during his final battle with the deity Ihys, but if any soul has ever witnessed this shape, they have never been allowed to leave Nessus.

Ohhh, I completely forgot about this, so this isn't quite all new information for the wound, but an expansion of older lore. I really like these two prophecies so far, great job to the writers and the story team that though them through.

WotR and TG (and I would add Return of the Runelords in the same degree of impactfullness) all only really affected a single region of the setting, and background "lesser deities", so they are quite a bit less impactfull than what War of the Immortal promises to be if it shake up the core pantheon, and possibly larger part of golarion.

Not that it's inherently bad, it doesn't seems to be a comicbook level "the world will never be the same!!!" event, but it still promises to be the most impactfull event yet, so I can understand why people would be wary.

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Even if the death of Asmodeus isn't true, this prophecy imply that the wound is an actual real thing that Asmodeus have. And if it's true, now a mortal, a mere apprentice even, know the greatest secret of the god of Hell. In itself, it feel like a pretty important story beat. And also an important bit of characterization for Asmodeus and Ihys, of course.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Why is the alternative a big time skip ? I don't get it.

Way I see it, the death of a core 20 deity is to avoid the setting getting stale and has nothing to do with edition changes.

I think the problem is that PC1 (and Gamemastery Core) is supposed to be an introduction to the setting, and to still be relevant years after their release for new player to pick up, presenting the "baseline setting" and options. And with it being released so close to the "big world shakeup", it mean that the introduction to the world will be outdated and present one no longer existant deity option less than a year after it's release. Had Paizo not been forced to scram and released an OGL free remastered version, the big shakeup would have been released 6 years after the core books, so them being outdated after so much time isn't quite as eggregious.

It's why big lore shakeup work best in the transition between edition. At that point, you don't have to worry about having to stick to the "baseline status quo" presented in the introductory book, as you're about to create an all new introductory book that will present the new status quo.

From what I saw of him, Zyphus feel more like a demon lord/"demideity" that an actual deity usability-wise. He don't have much nuance, is area of focus is a bit narrow, his followers seems to be only a few sparce cultist...

Compared to other evil deities, he feel lacking. I can imagine a whole campaign with followers of any one evil god as the main villains, but I can't do the same for Zyphus, I don't see them "lasting" as long, they would get boring after a single module worth of adventuring. As thing are now at least, he could always get expanded and fleshed out further latter down the line.

The Raven Black wrote:
That kind of an individual is such an exception that it is really writer's / GM's fiat.

There's a whole subtype of devil solely made out of fallen angel. My interpretation is that outsider changing "types" are rare, but "rare" is actually quite numerous in the near infinity of the outer spheres. And that the only reason we don't already have some angel/azata/whatever good outsider subset solely made of redeemed bad outsider is because the PC are unlikely to face good outsiders in the first place, so their ranks are quite a bit less fleshed out than the ones of the evil outsiders.

It's certainly not good, rather f$&@ed up, but I can imagine quite a few "neutral" characters doing it without feeling like a stretch of the alignment/concept. Something like a "end justify the mean" character on a war against all evil, believing that as long as their evil is proven, death is justified. Or a pragmatist who consider that their life were already forfeit the moment they attacked, and that carrying them all the ways to the authorities is simply impossible/too difficult in these circumstances. Or the one who wholly believe that it'll be impossible to keep the prisonner in line and that they still pose an active danger.

For a supposedly good character tho, this is a dark, dark thing to do, and I would see it as a "fall from grace", or an illustration on how far the character have fallen, that murder in cold blood now seems natural. Either the character would instantly regret it and have trouble coping with themselves, or I wouldn't consider them "good" anymore.

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I must admit, as someone who has exclusively been a GM for 1e and exclusively been a player for 2e... I long to GM a 2e game, and to play a 1e one. Character building just feel more fun in 1e, I'm not sure why, but all I see is endless options when I try to build something in 1e, when I see mostly constrains and limits in 2e.

But on the other hand, I have barely started spires of Xin Shalast, but it have become really hard to meaningfully challenge my players anymore, and I have to homebrew a lot of stuff for the adventure to remain as interesting as it first was. I'm pretty sure it would be far more relaxed to GM in 2e.

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I'm working under the same impression. A demon working toward redemption, or an angel slipping toward evil would keep their unholy/holy trait up until the very moment where the "flip" is complete and the demon became an azata and the angel a devil (or whatever kind of fiend fit the now evil angel better), at which point they instantly go from their original trait from the opposite one.

My interpretation is that the only way for an outsider to shed such trait completely would be to turn into a neutral outsider or become mortal.

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Errenor wrote:
Maybe... And what of it? He was a completely terrible being. Like most of the pantheon, they were at least half-monsters. The nicest thing about them is they didn't demand human sacrifices at least (most of the time?).

Do note that the person Zoken was arguing against was saying that Calistria was the kind of god that "NOBODY in their right mind would EVER venerate or respect". Even if Zeus and the other olympians were terrible beings (which they were), it's unarguable that they were still venerated and respected by the greeks.

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Themetricsystem wrote:
The context for taking revenge against those who have wronged you for somebody who values hedonism, thrillseeking, and revenge would be that anyone who would stand in the way of your own selfish pursuit of happiness and lust to be an enemy and would be acting defiantly against your behavior and would be worthy of vengeance. The directives are absolutely bleeding narcissistic vibes.

This is a really broad view of what a "slight" or "being wronged" is. Nothing indicate that you should take any mild inconveniences (or any inconveniences at all really) as a slight. Sure, a character that fly off the handle at the slightest hint of provocation would fit, but so would a calmer one that only respond in kind when someone actually deliberately antagonize or abuse them.

You really seems to focus on the worse possible interpretation and to take it as the baseline rule. It seems to me that you dislike her philosophy and portfolio, which is perfectly fine, she's not exactly my cup of tea either, but are trying to make up reasons as to why they are not just bad, but so bad that no one in their right mind would ever want to be associated to her and that she should be considered amongst the like of demon lords. And you do so by stretching every bad part of her characterisation as far as possible, drawing comparison to them and stuff that are related to these but not actually associated to her, and ignoring all the rest.

If I follow your logic and apply it to another god I personally dislike, then I could argue that all caydenite are pompous gloryhounds because one of his edict is "seek glory", so obviously the only way to properly worship him is to minimize everyone else's achievement and steal credit whenever it's possible. Continuing on that, I could say that as his portfolio is alcool and thrill seeking, he is thus the deity of drunk driving, and that really, the accidental god is the god of accidental death, deserving a place amongst the daemons. I could argue that his aestetic and area of concern easily associate him to college frat parties, and thus to every bad things that can happen in them, some of which as you say, we can't talk about in this forum. But of course, it would be reductive, he's not the god of frat parties, not the god of lethal drunken accident, and while the loud mouthed braggard could absolutely be a caydenite, it's far from the only "valid" caydenite that can exist.

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Themetricsystem wrote:
the image invoked by combining revenge, trickery, and lust with her sacred animal absolutely screams parasitc wasp which isn't something that I think any sane person would look to emulate or venerate.

Why does revenge, trickery and lust invoke the image of the parasitic wasp to you? It's one of the wasp that doesn't actually strike back against their aggressor, because their stinger is used to inject their larva into suitable host instead of being a weapon like the yellowjacket. Neither is it especially tricky to inject your eggs into something else. And it only invoke lust to you because they are wasp most known for they reproductive cycle, but even wasp that aren't parasitic have reproductive cycle, like almost every animals. And of course, reproductive cycle isn't really anything Calistria cares about anyway, that's more a Lamashtu thing, she care about lust and pleasure, not the reproductory aspect of sex.

The wasp is her symbol because of revenge, as the most well known wasp (the yellowjacket) are known for being spitefull and to dish out an incredible amount of pain comparatively to their size. I guess that this, coupled with the perceived independance of the wasp (who is seen as a "lone bug" compared to social insect like bees, even if it's not true of every wasp) is what cemented them as Calistria sacred animals.

I also think you're exagerating quite a bit her worse aspect here. She is not the deity of "overly attached individuals with BPD", her whole deal is independance, being overly attached is an anathema to her. She is the godess of "laidback hedonism", plain and simple, like an Urgathoa without a focus on "forbidden pleasure" and on reaching it at the expense of others.

Pursue pleasure, don't let yourself be tied down, don't let others walk all over you. Her philosophy is a (rather self centered) view on personal freedom, where you should value yourself and your freedom above all, and make sure that nothing can threaten this freedom. Take revenge on those that wrong you so that people known not to cross you (and thus not to bind you), and keep yourself in check so that you don't get overly attached to anyone. You should seek your own happiness and pleasure, just like other should seek their own, because people are responsible for themselves in her eyes.

I see her as a rather well liked godess accross Golarion, but especially for teenagers and young adult which find the idea of "no responsability except toward yourself" appealing, like a version of objectivism where the capitalism is swapped with hedonism instead. And as they grow up, they discover that caring about other people and getting attached is rather nice actually, and most reconsider their worship. I expect a lot of people in this planet have had a "cringe phase" in which they were rather deep in the Calistrian philosophy.

So all in all, not a good godess, but not an exceptionnally bad one either. A rather "neutral" deity, if you want.

EDIT : Now that I think about it, Calistria really seem to me like the "libertarian godess", she even have the colors. Not of the "conservative libertarian" mindset that care about freedom about the thing they like, and restriction on the things they dislike, but rather on the "true" libertarian philosophy, all about having as few regulation as possible and being able to do anything as long as you're not impeding other freedom, including doing sex work, taking drugs and dishing out your own brand of justice when you're wronged. Huh, don't know how to feel about it, never though of her like that before.

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If we consider corruption any exchange of favor or goods between the party and an authority figure, then yes, the AP are rife with corruptions. But in truth, not all of these interactions are actual corruption, a lot of them are about the party acting as mercenaries, or about the PC doing some task that need to be done for the favor to even happen in the first place.

If we consider that both the party and the authority figure can ask for only two things, either a personal favor (anything that wouldn't benefit the population the authority is bound to protect), or a public favor (something that would benefit the population), then we can see that there can be four kind of "exchange of favor" between the party and an authority figure :

- The party ask the authority for a personal favor, in exchange of which the authority ask for a public favor. This isn't corruption, it's just the authority using the party as convenient mercenary, and using the favor as a salary for their work.

- The party ask the authority for a public favor, in exchange of which the authority ask for a personal favor. This is textbook corruption, with the authority refusing to do it's job until they get something out of the deal. But I can't think of any exemple of this where the authority figure isn't already painted as corrupt by the book itself.

- The party ask for a personal favor, in exchange of which the authority ask for another personal favor. This entirely depend on wether the "favor" the PC ask is something that cost the population in some way, or only the authority itself. If it's the latter, then it's a simple an exchange of good and services between two private party, not corruption. If it's the former, then yes, it's corruption. This is the one exemple of corruption I can think of where it's often not presented as such in the book itself. It's usually because the favor isn't straight up money taken from the city/state coffer, but something like a special privilege that technically don't "cost" the public anything. Something like access to forbidden places or state secrets, things that if you think about it really shouldn't be handed as a prize for a personal favor, yet somehow don't feel quite as wrong as giving state money for the same reason.

- The party ask for a public favor, in exchange of which the authority ask for another public favor. It's almost always because the favor the party ask for is impossible to fufill until the other one is done. Sometime it's because the authority can't allocate any ressources to the party's problem because another one is more urgent, sometime it's actually caused by the checks and balance preventing the authority from helping the party until they go through official channel, whatever the case, it's not corruption.

- Special mention to my personal least favorite trope, which is "the party ask for a personal/public favor, in exchange of which the authority ask for random stuff so that the party can 'prove themselves worthy'". It's usually corruption when it's a personal favor. It's almost always very dumb when it's a public favor, doubly so when the "random stuff" is dangerous and the authority may accidentally kill their only hope in this dumb "trial". Most of the time it just feel like a completely unnatural way for the author to include special noncombat challenges that they didn't manage to naturally weave into the adventure. Very occasionnally, there is a good use of this trope, but most of the time, it completely break my immersion.

In 1e, I always saw Nethys as the mystical theurge holy deity. Like, if you are a cleric/wizard theurge then then the most natural option is to worship Nethys (and if you're a druid/wizard then youthe most natural option is to be from the Magaambya).

I haven't played a nethys believer in either edition, but when I do, I know that I'm going to either go theurge, or to take a spellcasting multiclass archetype in my already spellcasting class.

Was Nethys whole duality theme supposed to be representing the duality between divine and arcane magic? I though that it was more simply a "good and bad"/"creation and destruction" duality, with both traditions having their exemples of destructive/bad magic and contructive/good magic.

My interpretation was that nethys was pretty much the god of UNLIMITED POWER, and the incarnation of the old question about wether power corrupt or wether it depend on those who yield it, with Nethys favoring all those that search for it without caring about how it is used, as long as it is.

His death would be a perfect way to start a war tho, if only because a lot of other deity would want to take over his domain, so it might start an all out war between those that want his power for themselves and those that want it to prevent the other to get to it first. However, given that DnD have a things for killing their godess of magic again and again, I think it's kind of unlikely, if only because Paizo is trying to get out of DnD shadow right now, which would be difficult if they start mimicking their most well known storylines.

I'm pretty sure that Great Old Ones are mentionned long before bestiary 4 in APs. Early AP had monster from lovecraftian mythos show up quite a lot, and I'm pretty sure that there was an article about them in at least one of these Lovecraft themed module.

I think second darkness had it? In the second module I believe, where the PC have to investigate a recently fallen asteroid, which spawned a full Lovecraft menagerie. If I'm right, then it was even before the first rulebook of pathfinder was even out.

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SuperBidi wrote:

Sorry, but I can't be on board with what you say.

The definition of holy is made in a single sentence, so it's short. Stating that holy is limited to altruism and helping others but can then be racist, sexist, murderous, manipulative, abusive, etc... seems very much a flawed reading. It is the good ol' Good as we know it. It's not a new version that only cares about helping others but can carry very problematic political or personal views in the name of "holy".

The problem with good/evil alignment was that "good" and "evil" was in itself an absolute moral statement. A "good" character or faith imply that this character is ultimately good beyond nuance, and thus anything they did was tacitally endorsed by the writer as good. Even in the cases where a writer wanted to have nuance and have bad side to good characters, the fact that the character itself was classified by the rules of reality itself as "fundamentaly good" clashed with this idea. This is what sparked a thousand debate on "wether Miko should have fallen earlier" and "wether so and so deity/character is actually good".

Holy/unholy meanwhile, don't imply such an absolute morality, but rather imply sides in a cosmic conflict. One tied to selfishness and one to altruism, as their description said, but it's not the absolute moral statement that naming the sides "good" and "evil" was before. The presence of less savory people and idea in the "holy" side is much more understandable. The common trope of the "end justify the mean" angel that we can see in Ragathiel for exemple was pretty hard to justify as good, but it's very understandable as "holy".

This is why IMO the lawfull/chaotic axis never sparked even a tenth of the debates that the good/evil one did. Because these aren't moral statment, and such it's far more understandable why a chaotic something have a somewhat orderly side, and why a lawfull something sometime have a twisted sense of order and protocol, when a good character exhibiting even a bit of evil behavior feel wrong.

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Bluemagetim wrote:

Calistria seems likes shes the goddess of paradoxical aloofness.

never forgetting or forgiving a slight means a lot of a persons heart and memory will end up dedicated to holding grudges. It is paradoxical to say dont get too consumed by these and yet always hold on to them at the same time. I would argue if you go by the motto of never forget a slight then you are already consumed.

I think the idea is that you if you let revenge consume you, then you are letting the target of said revenge define your life in some way. Likewise for love, you can lust after people, even get romantically involved, but if you let yourself become fully commited, then the target of your affection define your life in some way. Both case are arguably a loss of independance, and Calistria want independance.

It is slightly paradoxal yes, but I think the intent is pretty clear. Make sure you take revenge and don't let a slight go unanswered, but never let this revenge become what define you. Make sure you live your life to the fullest and experience a wild pannel of sensation and emotions, but don't let yourself become a slave to them. It's of course a very fine line to walk, and it's the kind of stuff that would be far too vague to be an actual law or a formal rule, as it rely on "common sense" to be duly followed, but for a chaotic deity like her, it's rather fitting I think.

CorvusMask wrote:
I mean Torag does have craftsmen worship. Also Ekundayo from crpg xD

it's true that in the core 20, I don't see any other craftsmen god, which is a pretty important things to have in a pantheon. But it doesn't change the fact that Torag seems like an overwhelmingly racial deity, that care for and is worshipped by "his people" before all else. Meanwhile Calistria may have been an elven godess at first, but she doesn't seems to focus on elves, and her worshippers don't seems to be so overwhelmingly elves in the current setting.

And if kingmaker has anything to say in that discussion, then Regongar the half orc that worship Calistria should also be considered.

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Even if it's only this one sentence, it's a bit weird that an article talking about the sacred animal of a godess isn't especially divine. Or that one shouldn't try to emulate it's coloration when the godess herself is always shown in the animal colors. All this while the godess herald is a giant wasp and temples tend to wasps nest.

That's like if they said that priest of bastets stop caring about cat after a while, because the animal is only used to represent the godess.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
And I like that they seem to have ditched the idea that liking and nurturing wasps is a juvenile understanding of Calistria's faith according to senior members of the church, like it's a phase you're meant to grow out of when you start comprehending Calistria's higher mysteries and realize you're meant to draw inspiration from them but not treat them as actual sacred animals or something. Your church wouldn't be raising nests of them in their temples if that was the case! And wasps are cute!

Was this really a thing? If it was, it's weird that they tied her so much to wasps just to then say that they don't really matter, it's not like most of the pantheon were the "sacred animal" is an aftertough that is almost never associated with the deity, Calistria always have a wasp aestetic.

This feel like a result of shared canon, with different writers comming in and out and having different preferences about how things are supposed to be. Like one writer liked the idea of the godess of lust and vengeance, but didn't like bug, so they took step to have the bugs stay in the background. Regardless, I'm glad it's no longer the case. Wasp are indeed cute.

The Raven Black wrote:
Holy and Unholy are very telling about the deities.

It is, but it's far less "clear cut" than "good" and "evil" was. There is about a million fantasy stories where the angels are (secretly or not) just as bad and alien as the demons.

"Holy" and "unholy" allow the outer sphere to have a bit of "alienness" to them, and to decouple them from an absolute morality that "good" and "evil" imply. It doesn't say "this is absolutely good" anymore, instead it say "this is the view of someone on the celestial side".

And even if the celestial side is pretty much "the good side", Anyone understand that "the good side" can have bad part, and that "the bad side" can have some good part. Which isn't the case when presented as "this is the Absolute Good, and the Absolute Evil".

SuperBidi wrote:

A "lawful good" deity encouraging self-mortification?

For me, it relates to catholic integrism in particular and religious integrism in general. And from my point of view and culture (I'm not from the US) it's not at all "lawful good" and the fact that she's "lawful good" is problematic to me.

Now, I can see clear disagreements on that question depending on your culture and religion. And as I don't want to hurt anyone, I won't go on with this discussion (or through MPs as at least I can control who reads it).

Fortunately, the removal of strict alignment as a whole will remove the unfortunate implication that everything a "good" deity does is tacitaly endorsed by Paizo, and that everything an "evil" deity does is tacitaly condemned by them.

Sure, some gods will still be tied to "good" planes and some to "evil" planes, but not literally slapping a "good" and "evil" tag on the deity themselves will go a long way. First because gods already don't need to exactly fit their planes, like Gorum or Norgrober show. And because it allow for a more "alien" interpretation of the outer planes, that the simplistic alignment, being quite literally named "good" and "bad" didn't leave room for.

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Honestly, I feel the opposite way. While Torag can be worshipped by non dwarves, it feel like a completely dwarven deity, that almost no character that aren't dwarf care about. Meanwhile Calistria feel like a deity that started as elf-specific, but have since branched out into the mainstream for most ancestry of the world.

I expect to see a Torag temple in any settlement with a sizable dwarf population, and no Torag temple when there is too few dwarfs around. Meanwhile, I can see a Calistria temple in any city that doesn't shun sex work, regardless of what proportion of the population is elvish. Hell, I can even see one in settlement where sex work is outlawed, just hidden away instead of in the open.

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