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Nonsense crack theory time.

Neither Abadar nor Zon-Kuthon is going to be marked safe because they've been passed in the alphabet already.

Hear me out:
Abadar
Asmodeus
Calistria
Cayden Cailean
Desna
Erastil
Gorum
Gozreh
Iomedae
Irori
Lamashtu
Nethys
Norgorber
Pharasma
Rovagug
Sarenrae
Shelyn
Torag
Urgathoa
Zon-Kuthon

(I suppose I should have said Calistria, too, but didn't see her there until I had the list in front of me)

If we ignore Pharasma's status as a special first, we have two early alphabet names confirmed, alternating with one late alphabet name. If we continue this pattern we should see another late alphabet name, working up from U, so possibly Torag, Shelyn, or Sarenrae, depending which deities have been pre-selected for these blogs. This is my foolproof hypothesis about the order of these blogs with a mathematically calculated 0% margin of error.


The Raven Black wrote:

This made me wonder why only one Core 20 will die. A war of the gods should easily kill several Core 20 deities.

Is there a clue about the killed deity's identity there ?

BTW do we know if Tian-xia's Core 20 are safe too ? Is this divine conflict happening only between Inner Sea deities ?

I don't know if I read it as that significant. After all, it's being called the War of Immortals, and I feel this little bit of pedantry is warranted. I don't think its only going to be the gods themselves engaged in war--or at least, I assume the gods' followers and armies of celestials and fiends are involved, too. Killing a god feels like it's a lot like killing a ruler. Sure it's possible to take out an enemy ruler on the battlefield, but usually just being able to do that takes winning a decisive victory.

Even if the Core 20 aren't especially powerful as a whole (and at least 5 of them are probably some of the oldest gods in the setting), their prominence means they also have the kind of influence to have large bodies of followers. Point being, I don't think it's easy for a god to be killed, even for another god, much less if that god is among the core 20. Even if every core 20 deity gets personally involved in the war, I don't think we must necessarily expect a high body count unless any one of them is personally overwhelmed, and with the balance of power it's dangerous to put all your effort into defeating one other deity when your own enemies might be waiting for such an opportunity.


Wanted to say I'm delighted by your goblin philosophy and approach to this adventure. I look forward to any other tampering you end up sharing with us. Rise of the Runelords holds some amount of historical interest to me, since I almost ran it once for my table. The gross-out factor and pure evil races you cite were among the main reasons we ended up choosing another at the time.

I don't know that I'll get a chance to run this adventure for a long time coming, but if I do I expect to revisit this thread with great interest.


I'm thinking back to all the people who speculated over the last 13 months that Paizo should Remaster the Green Dragon by renaming it to Swamp or Forest Dragon. I guess they were right in ways they didn't know yet. I wonder if that was agony for any dev to hold that nugget back when they saw that.

Pretty delighted by this design all the same. I had wondered what would make such a descriptor as 'horned dragon' sell as a primal theme and now we know. That said, jokes aside it doesn't seem hard to me to distinguish from horned dragons and dragons that merely have horns. If it's got a giant rhinocerous horn and it runs you down to impale you, it would be fair to declare that dragon uniquely horny--and not because of its proclivities with shapeshifting.

I shouldn't wonder if somehow the primal magic affinity didn't somehow infuse the horn of such a dragon, reinforcing it with the primal power of horned-ness. Horns, after all, have often been magically and mythologically significant structures.


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Patrickthekid wrote:
I find it interesting that worship of a CE goddess like Lady Nanbyo is more acceptable in the town than even in some evil-aligned governments.

To be fair it's likely less that they're actively worshipping her so much as engaging in an extremely common historical practice of supplicating her to avoid her attention by appeasing her.


Certainly it would be strange if we didn't get a Frankenstein's monster type "Stitchflesh Amalgam" or some such that was powered by lightning and may occasionally betray hints of sapience when the preserved neurons get overestimated.


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I think it's been said, but just in case it's gotten lost, there is no family of creatures that will replace golems. My understanding of what has been said about these creatures is that the classic types of golem are likely to remain, but as separate monsters with no cohesive identity as a family.

If in this disumcussion we use "bastions" in the sense of individual creatures who used to belong to the golem family, carry on, but from what has been said I don't think we will necessarily be able to draw conclusions about the design of all bastions from what we expect will be family traits because they aren't a family. If it so happens they all end up having magic and physical resistance, that should probably be seen as a coincidence of the fact that they're being adapted from highly defensive monsters, rather than because a flesh bastion is a variant of a clay bastion or stone bastion etc.


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We know that 1 core 20 will die at the beginning of the war and still be dead by the end. An unknown number of other deities may be at risk, and any number of them may return by the end (except Shyka who is also marked safe) but one core 20 deity is slated for the final chopping block regardless how many others come back.


Count me among those who dislike the idea of a general one-size-fits-all nonmagic compulsion taunt. By all means, I'm okay with 'taunt' mechanics that incentivise an enemy to attack a particular target, but until legendary tier, I don't feel like you should be able to force an enemy's tactical decision making process by rolling a mundane skill high enough tjat they obey your command regardless who they are or how tactically savvy or experienced they might be.

Already I find it challenging enough to picture what happens when you successfully inflict "fleeing" nonmagically--the target is so mind-numbingly afraid that they just keep running for a whole turn, no matter how many corridors and turns they've taken in that time... and then they presumably turn right back around to charge back into the fight. I suppose if the fight wasn't going well they're just gone at that point, but it still creates strange scenarios... especially when the foe in question is a dread wraith and has no life for which to flee, but on the other hand I enjoy undead losing the blanket immunity too much to be that upset about ghosts being the ones to get spooked.

On top of that, I'm not really a big fan of the Tank/Healer/DPS paradigm. It works for MMOs (at least I assume that's why it's so popular people keep trying to replicate it here) but it's both unrealistic and feels degenerative to the range of possibilities afforded by the game as it stands. I don't think they game is honestly very much improved by having a designated character whose job is to take all the damage while another player spends all their energy managing the first's health and the others actually get to deal damage. Obviously there are shades of that in play, with some classes having healing and others having more hit points, but the playing field is still level enough that no one can afford to take all the damage and no one is responsible for all the damage output.


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Aw, that's sweet.

Maybe one day I'll get over the word "cultivator" and not be picturing a industrial-sized hoe-rake doing kung fu, but today has not been that day XD


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
BG3 is a game that I enjoy inspite of itself, and I don't think all of it's rule changes were for the better (not having delay actions made me pull out my hair).

I agree with you, but that wasn't Larian's change. Last time I played 5e, I was baffled to realize delaying your action didn't exist. You can still ready, but actually delaying isn't in there that I could find (and it wouldn't be surprising if ready actions were taken out of BG3 considering the fluid nature of triggers)


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All evil creatures theoretically have the evil trait. However, possibly due to a minor editing error, only one monster in the entire game has an explicit evil trait, likely because having an alignment was considered sufficient.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I don't have PC1 on hand to reference, but I understood that Lamashtu's anathema has changed (specifically to swap the mention of mental illness and deformity for a less loaded expression of the same concept).

Nevertheless, Lamashtu is still a demon goddess and my point was not to say that she is not evil. Rather, that she is one of the evil gods who most permits the story of a self-righteous follower who believes that Lamashtu is a savior of the downtrodden on their own perhaps deluded worldview.

It's not that she's not evil, it's that her teachings seem to be the right shade of moral dark grey to make the most interesting story. It's always been a little difficult with alignment telling the story if somebody who believes they're justified when they're slipping in to evil, and Lamashtu not requiring unholy sanctification helps that... even if the fact that she doesn't offer holy is an inconvenient truth to overlook for this follower.

In my Kingmaker CRPG, the Lamashtu priestess/cult leader was a better religious/faith leader than the foolish 'holier-than-thou' Heaven knock-off.

Just sayin.

Hah! Nice. Although to be fair, I kind of hated some of OwlCat's writing choices with regard to depicting some of the deities. In particular, the portrayal of pretty much every aspect of Shelyn's faith struck me very strongly as a case of, "she would not **** allow that," to twist the meme format to my own ends. Took me straight out of caring about that plot line.

For that matter I could complain for another day and night about being prevented from solving a dispute between two factions because I believed in freedom, not just goodness or just individualism, but that's even further than this already slightly off-topic aside.


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I don't have PC1 on hand to reference, but I understood that Lamashtu's anathema has changed (specifically to swap the mention of mental illness and deformity for a less loaded expression of the same concept).

Nevertheless, Lamashtu is still a demon goddess and my point was not to say that she is not evil. Rather, that she is one of the evil gods who most permits the story of a self-righteous follower who believes that Lamashtu is a savior of the downtrodden on their own perhaps deluded worldview.

It's not that she's not evil, it's that her teachings seem to be the right shade of moral dark grey to make the most interesting story. It's always been a little difficult with alignment telling the story if somebody who believes they're justified when they're slipping in to evil, and Lamashtu not requiring unholy sanctification helps that... even if the fact that she doesn't offer holy is an inconvenient truth to overlook for this follower.


I do remember a thread about how Sarenrae allows murderers now that alignment is gone, but it faded rather quickly. In any case, three of the classic evil core 20 do not require sanctification, and iirc two of them formerly allowed neutral clerics, so it's an interesting idea. Now that Lamashtu had a slight wording change j think she's one of the most interesting "what do you mean my deity is evil? She's just the champion of the unloved" alt deity interpretations we have right now


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Captain Morgan wrote:
It seems like your standard corruption of good souls would be less important when so many souls are coming to you already. (Plus sin is more of a demon thing.) But I've read APs where devils are at least willing to broker deals to gain very specific souls, so there's room for a protagonist to barter their own.

I don't know. It's not like the wealthy are known to leave souls money on the table just because they already have more than they could ever use. Even if Hell is owed a share of all evil souls streaming out of the Universe, one can't rest on one's laurels in this growth-oriented industry. It is vital to diversify one's portfolio by branching out to audiences who may not already be familiar with the virtues of eternal torment and meet them where they're at.

I don't think we explicitly know why the planes desire souls in the grand scheme of things (at least, if not just as a sandbag against the Maelstrom), but it's reasonable to assume that they're valuable enough to want more than what your enemies have.

As an aside, even if we imagine a world where infernal contracts don't affect the number of hellbound souls because any soul that would sign a contract was already set for an LE afterlife, it might still be valuable for individual devils to shore up their wealth by having souls consigned to them personally, rather than wait to snap them up when they arrived on their own. Perhaps even one could imagine this his how the practice of infernal contracts got started in the first place, not that Asmodeus necessarily would have needed the help himself.

--

Oh, and PS, excellent guide! I was going to add that technically all Divine casters have option of dealing holy/unholy damage, since they should not be restricted from general holy/unholy spells, but I didn't realize it's only the two spells that have the Holy trait on their own, so it's really only Holy Light if you don't count indirect damage from summoning a celestial.


On a tangential but similar note, spoilers just in case:

Spoiler:

One of my player's character concepts tentatively includes being a hungerseed ghoul, since those elements seem to have a bit of thematic synergy. I may yet decide to try to convince them to play a living hungerseed ronin, but I'm keeping the option on the table for now since I'm far from ready to run any part of this amazing looking AP. They are fond of playing the more monstrous character who might otherwise have something in common with the enemies attacking (though I don't think ghouls are particularly common in Tian Xia normally anyway?) for example being the goblin in Jade Regent who managed to gain an audience with the Licktoads that led to us assassinating the chief and his top henchgobs rather than fight through the whole village, so we'll see when we get closer to playing if the ghoul plan remains strong or if they'll opt to save that archetype for a different character.


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Solarsyphon wrote:
I like the oracle conceptually and lore wise but I don't think it delivers. The introduction seems to describe it as like a wizard cleric whereas the actual mechanics function more like a sorcerer cleric.

This is a fascinating take for me because I have never thought of the Oracle as anything like the Wizard. I have tended to perceive oracles as being gifted power, often without their asking for it, and wielding it by instinct and intuition. In this sense, Cha is the only thing that makes sense to me.

On the other hand, I do kind of see what you mean if going with the idea that maybe oracles cut stroght to the source of power, bypassing the intermediaries that clerics use to moderate that connection. I don't necessarily think this is the theme I would want to centralize in the Oracle, but I can understand how it might be arrived at.


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This may not be the right place to ask, but on a tangentially related note: Does anybody know why the Foundry VTT bundle seems to cost $1 more than buying them separately?

It may be my international neck of the woods, but when I look at the first book of Season of Ghosts I see
- Summer That Never Was VTT Bundle: $34.99
- Summer That Never Was Just PDF: $19.99
- Summer That Never Was VTT Code if you already have the PDF: $14.00

Unless I'm doing some embarrassingly bad math, buying the PDF and then getting the code separately should be ~20+14 = $34, while the VTT Bundle is ~$35. Is this maybe a typo exclusive to this example, or is there some other incentive with which I'm unfamiliar to buy the Bundle for +$1 and gain some kind of extra content?

I could hardly begrudge Paizo the extra dollar, but I'm just confused.


Aenigma wrote:

1. Wait, what? Back in the day of ancient Thassilon, the runelord archetype didn't exist?

I have always thought that Xin created the runelord archetype and taught his apprentices (the first seven runelords) this archetype. But if there was not the runelord archetype and it is merely a very recent and modern development...

Assume that, after the rules for the runelord archetype is published for Pathfinder Remaster, Paizo decides to publish Rise of the Runelords again using the Pathfinder Remaster rules. Then, if you build the stats for Karzoug and his apprentice Khalib as if they are PCs (instead of NPCs, I mean), would you give them the runelord archytype?

Not James, but I took the point to mean that the original Runelords were more or less unique individuals. The Runelord archetype didn't exist because the Runelord archetype is for modern wizards to mimic their singular and unique trend without necessarily grasping their power. You couldn't make a Runelord using PC abilities because there is no game mechanic to model creating and tapping into a runewell and possessing mythically powerful wizardry.

I struggle to imagine how the difference between lord-mayor and lord mayor could have any meaning when most hyphenated words are treated as synonymous with their unhyphenated counterparts, but then the gritty particulars of titles have never really grabbed me all that much.


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I so happened to be rereading some of the Windsong Testaments when I noticed something that caught my attention. Abadar naturally appears in the story "On Family Bonds", given that he is the one who managed to coax Zon-Kuthon into imprisonment, but what I found significant was that in the story he is described as the protector of society, even among the gods. It is said that he saw the rumblings of a civil war among the gods because of the fight between Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon, and stepped in to prevent it.

I don't necessarily think Abadar is going to be the god to die, but I'm realizing that the idea isn't as unlikely as I had initially thought. If the coming war of immortals is anything that Abadar could have foreseen, he might have tried stepping in to stop it and found himself the first victim torn to shreds across the universe.


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Bokavordur wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:


Perhaps you have heard that the Sevenfold Cynosure, Desna's realm, exists as the north star for Golarion so that she can keep watch on the prison and was originally created as the site of the treaty where the gods agreed to team up if Rovagug ever attacked their creation?
Ooooh I have not! Looks like I have some stuff to read tomorrow! Thanks!

In particular, one version of the origin story shows up in the Three Fears of Pharasma (Windsong Testaments web fiction found on Paizo blog) which lists Desna among the first deities to come into existence. The history of her home realm briefly comes up in another of the Windsong Testaments, the Rage of Creation. And of course one of the testaments is about Desna herself and the tale where she accidentally unleashed Ghlaunder. There are probably a more lore sources than that to list, but since those are easily readable on the blog, they're probably the most immediately accessible.


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Unless we get, like, a Holy Mystery and an Unholy Mystery, I hope that the option of sanctification remains equal for all mysteries--whether that's open, deity dependant, or none.

Oracles gaining the option to take their divine wellspring and throw in with either holy or unholy powers seems perfectly fitting and should help the notion that sometimes oracles fill in when clerics aren't prevalent, so overall I'm in favour of oracles gaining some option to sanctify--even if it requires dedication to a supportive deity.

Granted, the Animist is an example of a divine caster without the option to sanctify, but also Animist's divine concerns feel a lot more imminent, concerned with aspects of this world rather than the dichotomy of the heavens, so even if the question of sanctification becomes an option for most Divine casters, perhaps they need not apply.

Given that alignment damage is now spirit damage, the stakes are a lot lower for whether a divine character can sanctify. All they miss out on is bonus damage against niche targets, and even in that case, they can always choose holy or unholy spells. It may feel weird that a devout Sarenite sorcerer with an angelic bloodline can't tap into either of those to unleash holy divine lances, but they at least can still use the spell to do normal spirit damage.


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Arkat wrote:

I can tell you beyond a reasonable doubt that Rovagug will be safe.

Paizo needs him to end the world.

I agree that I can't imagine they'll kill off Rovagug without making something much worse than having a caged rough beast trapped in the planet core happen, but when you look at the sheer variety and number of ways that the world has been predicted to end, I really don't think they need to keep it for that specifically. There are more than enough dark omens pointing to the doom of the entire universe that just sorting out which ones might come true in which order could be its own branch of eschatology.


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Now that I have a moment to pop back around and look at this closer myself, I love the idea of a dragon that's just a glutton for magical power to the point where magical things cling to its body and it likes to adorn itself with objects of worth--even if wearing its treasure in such an ostentatious display of wealth in fact devalues that very same worth, almost like it was a metaphor for something. Finally we have a dragon that has a clear and true obsession with hoarding treasure beyond generic universal treasure lust.

It's not at all what I expected from the fortune dragon, but I can't look away. I love the way it pierces its hide to cram even more wealth, explicitly unconcerned with the extra weight inhibiting flight or hindering its movements.

The only thing that yet vexes me is that with Divine and Primal dragons there's a pretty obvious set of hypothetical dragons you can project. There are at least 9 obvious Divine Dragons even without stretching to include concepts not based directly on one plane, like maybe a dragon for the River of Souls that's distinct from the Boneyard dragon, and yet another for like, Faith as a concept. Primal dragons you can probably name an aspect of nature and call it a dragon. When it comes to Arcane and Occult dragons its a lot harder to project what design spaces are out there - especially without the legacy schools of magic. Perhaps Rune dragons are in our future...?

Oh well, there's plenty of time for the remaster to fill in more updates to the lore as we go.


Ooh, last Arcane dragon reveal! Somebody get Unicore in here, either he's going to love this or it's going to drive him insane. Arcane dragons embody direct control of magic.


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Bokavordur wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I wonder what the basis for the theory that Desna is an outer god comes from? I'm pretty sure it was debunked years ago but I haven't retained the source on that. In any case, a goddess killing a demon lord should be swinging way

Oh it very likely was debunked. I have not been around log enough to know much at all. I just liked it when I heard it due to circumstantial evidence of her associations with space and not having a "home" place as much. Then the fact she is the most involved in fighting the Dark Tapestry.

So, very likely not true, since not a whole lot of evidence, I just find it fun. Oh and for swinging above her weight class I more meant that from a newbie/outsider perspective she is like this goddess of butterflies, dreams and luck, but then her lore is like "one of the strongest gods, present at the binding of Rovagug, accidentally creating a minor deity randomly, almost started a planar war due to a demon lord possessing one of her priests" kind of things. I love Desna, and I also enjoy playful theories like that occasionally.

It is true, Desna is a very fun goddess with many interesting stories. In any case, the idea that Desna's butterfly-elf form isn't enitrely her original holds merit. Desna and her girlfriend Sarenrae are I believe thought to have come into existence more as cosmic entities that do bear some notional resemblance with the way eldritch beings are as much concept as they are entities.

Indeed, I like Desna's hidden depths as a delicate-seeming deity for much the same reason I list Shelyn above as among my favorites.

Perhaps you have heard that the Sevenfold Cynosure, Desna's realm, exists as the north star for Golarion so that she can keep watch on the prison and was originally created as the site of the treaty where the gods agreed to team up if Rovagug ever attacked their creation?


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Bokavordur wrote:
Set wrote:

Desna, friendly happy butterfly lady of dreams and travelers and the stars. Some demon lord Aolar starts killing clerics of various gods and gets around to those of Desna, and she responds in her peaceful hippy way by fluttering down into the Abyss and ripping his face off.

I'm a big fan of the theory that Desna is not REALLY butterfly lady, but an Outer God who had blended into the gods of Golarion. Given the way that she absolutely swings above her weight class.

I wonder what the basis for the theory that Desna is an outer god comes from? I'm pretty sure it was debunked years ago but I haven't retained the source on that. In any case, a goddess killing a demon lord should be swinging way below the weight class for a full deity, never mind that she happens to choose an elegant form. Doubly so, given the evidence that Desna is only two steps removed from the oldest god in the setting. Even if age doesn't imply power among gods, there's no mystery behind the probability of Desna being a powerful deity.


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Errenor wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Just realized that, until the post above, I read Hide as the english armor while it was the japanese first name all along.

And I was trying to understand why the character would have such an odd nickname.

Oh. Ooh. And then most probably it isn't read as /haɪd/.

I feel that Tian Xia guide should include some guide on pronunciation...

Given this is Minkai, which takes most of its inspiration from Japan, and that Hide is a real name in Japan, it seems to make most sense to pronounce it like the Japanese name, and say 'he-day' - similar to the name Hideo Kojima, but without the 'o'


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SuperBidi wrote:

Iomedae

Cayden Cailean, Desna, Erastil, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Torag
Abadar, Calistria, Gorum, Irori, Nethys / Gozreh, Pharasma
Lamashtu, Norgorber, Zon-Kuthon
Asmodeus, Rovagug, Urgathoa

Seeing this list written out like this tickles my brain a little. I like how there are cleanly three "completely evil" deities and three "you can have evil as a treat, but you don't need it" in terms of the expected commitment to cruelty and harm.

Likewise, interesting that almost all the goodly deities give you the option to join the war or not except, naturally, the holy warrior goddess of knights. ... Seeing Iomedae stand out from the rest of the pantheon like that does make me wonder...


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I confess, I've long had a weak spot for "The strongest of these horrible giant monsters is actually the one who prefers to present themselves as being about human stature." Something about choosing a more comfortable, personable form adds layers to the unspoken threat that flexing out a bigger and badder form simply couldn't - or at least that's how I felt about it when reading the archdevils of 3.5e. That aside, I rather like that it seems like Sarenrae, Desna, and Asmodeus all have other forms but intentionally chose to represent themselves in a more humanoid manner after their creations.


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Prince Setehrael wrote:

My theory is that they are going in order of the oldest gods to the newest.

We started with Pharasma the Eldest/First of the deities now we go to Asmodeus.
According to the Book of the Damned and the Windsong Testaments Asmodeus and Ihys were the first born gods of this cycle of reality. As Pharasma was the Survivor of the Previous one.

So Sarenrae, Desna, or Rovagug could be next week's Prophecy.

If we're taking the Winsdsong Testaments order, we've already skipped Desna and Sarenrae--albeit it would be fair to suggest that the 'original eight' can really go in any order, and Asmodeus clearly likes to think of himself as being the Original.


Finoan wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Escaping a grapple/ropes is an attack roll and the only real thing that came to mind when I wonder what situation might a familiar need to technically have an attack roll but no means of attacking.

Escape, trip, and grapple are technically not attack rolls. They are skill checks for an action that has the Attack trait. Having the Attack trait does not cause the roll to be an "Attack Roll". That was also changed in errata.

Spell attack is the most likely reason for a familiar to be making an attack roll. The spellcasting familiar ability has a specific rule, but there are likely spells that you could target your familiar with that would allow them to make spell attacks. Most spell attack roll spells are cast directly, and a few more, like Biting Words only target the caster. But I still expect that there is at least one spell available that you can use to target a different creature and give them a spell attack option.

Ah, right of course, Escape can be an attack roll, but it's also choice of two skills, too, one of which is probably better than the hypothetical strike the familiar doesn't have.


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Aeshuura wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Was reading a second time and realized to pay attention for various Japanese-ism and noticed another: "Mister Kami" might stand out in English as a bit odd depending on circumstance, but it feels like a very natural place to put the honorific '-san' ie. Kami-san. Especially in this context where a speaker might 'name' an unknown animal [species]-san, like "neko-san" or "inu-san", not unlike saying "Mr. Cat" or "Ms. Dog."

That's just a cute detail I thought maybe people might appreciate knowing.

I found it odd, I am more used to people referring to them as -sama, which would equate to Master Kami rather than use Kami-san... Not sure if there is a cultural difference for that...

That being said, I loved this story and would love to see more!

Indeed, Kami-sama is a lot more natural sounding if you're familiar with Japanese phrases. This may be what was actually intended by referring to Green Rush as Mister Kami, but I erred on the side of equating Mister to the 'san' level of formality. I'm not Hiromi so I'm only speculating on choices, but had I intended the flower seller's address to be that formal I would probably have called GR "Lord Kami" instead. On the other hand, since Kami-sama seems so often to refer to large, important deities, it may be that this kami is seen as more on an equal footing with a human citizen in this fantasy universe.


Lafan312 wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Lafan312 wrote:
Finoan wrote:
Lafan312 wrote:
I actually didn't skip anything, copied it word for word from my Core Rulebook and double checked online (Nethys) as well. No such mention of no Strikes. Where did you find the additional sentence?
Familiar: Modifiers and AC.
My mistake, I didn't look at Nethys. So then why does Nethys contradict the actual text of the CRB? The actual book doesn't have that additional sentence.

Most likely? Check your printing. The CRB is on its 4th printing and therefore 3rd round of errata. That line probably got added during errata to clarify the intent that familiars do not attack.

EDIT: Confirmed from the first Core Rulebook errata. This means you likely have a first printing book

CRB Errata wrote:
Page 217: Familiars' level wasn't explicit. Add "A familiar has the same level you do." The description of familiars didn't define any Strikes but also wasn't explicit that they couldn't make them. Add "It can't make Strikes" to the beginning of the third sentence.

THANK YOU. That's actually helpful. I'm gonna have to look again because I can't find the printing info in my book (it's the red alt cover, if that helps, and that info should be on the first page but no lol).

I'm still looking for clarification on what attacks they can roll for, though, as the "if it attempts an attack roll" line is still intact even on Nethys (which I assume is up to date with errata) . I see that there's a niche familiar that can make Strikes, but that only applies to that specific familiar. I'll see if I can find something in the errata unless someone beats me to it.

Escaping a grapple/ropes is an attack roll and the only real thing that came to mind when I wonder what situation might a familiar need to technically have an attack roll but no means of attacking.


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Mathmuse wrote:

3. The Brinewall Legacy in Jade Regent had goblins from the Brinemarsh swamp raiding caravans on the route to Sandpoint. Innkeeper Ameiko Kaijitsu (one of those founding family members I mentioned above) organized a raiding party of her own to take out the overambitious goblin chief.

Okay, an innkeeper declaring war on a goblin tribe is far from legal justice. But the government's only corruption was in letting it happen.

An excellent list, but unless I recall incorrectly, the bounty on the goblins was posted by Sheriff Hemlock again - in wake of a string of attacks by firework-wielding goblins. Ameiko enters the picture when the source of the fireworks is traced back to their origin and that involvement mainly takes the form of organising a caravan to travel across Varisia based on the information uncovered.

Only a minor distinction, for sure, and which only further reinforces your data about negligible or no corruption in these adventures.


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Lafan312 wrote:
Finoan wrote:
Lafan312 wrote:
I actually didn't skip anything, copied it word for word from my Core Rulebook and double checked online (Nethys) as well. No such mention of no Strikes. Where did you find the additional sentence?
Familiar: Modifiers and AC.
My mistake, I didn't look at Nethys. So then why does Nethys contradict the actual text of the CRB? The actual book doesn't have that additional sentence.

Most likely? Check your printing. The CRB is on its 4th printing and therefore 3rd round of errata. That line probably got added during errata to clarify the intent that familiars do not attack.

EDIT: Confirmed from the first Core Rulebook errata. This means you likely have a first printing book

CRB Errata wrote:
Page 217: Familiars' level wasn't explicit. Add "A familiar has the same level you do." The description of familiars didn't define any Strikes but also wasn't explicit that they couldn't make them. Add "It can't make Strikes" to the beginning of the third sentence.


Someone, somewhere, did indeed have a list of spells sorted by "Changed name, same mechanics" "Changed mechanics, same name" and "Replaced by different spell" way back in the earlier days of the remaster, so the details may be sparse but there was something.

Can't seem to find it right now, but there are surely dedicated fans out there working on something like it as we speak.


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Was reading a second time and realized to pay attention for various Japanese-ism and noticed another: "Mister Kami" might stand out in English as a bit odd depending on circumstance, but it feels like a very natural place to put the honorific '-san' ie. Kami-san. Especially in this context where a speaker might 'name' an unknown animal [species]-san, like "neko-san" or "inu-san", not unlike saying "Mr. Cat" or "Ms. Dog."

That's just a cute detail I thought maybe people might appreciate knowing.


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A matsuri is a festival. Any festival, really, but in particular festivals related to Shinto or the shrines.


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OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:

At the risk of elevating the Holy/Unholy conversation, I'm almost as much a non-fan of the Holy/Unholy concept as I was of Alignment. Just seeing the inability of folks to see the nuance apparent in Holy Racists shows me that any kind of prescriptive moral appellation just won't work. I understand the apparent desire for a mechanic to express the celestial war and provide bonuses/penalties for combatants, but as a...flavor or theme it's positively...medieval. Which I guess really underscores the tension of a role-playing game that has roll-playing for combat.

Apart from that, I still can't quite understand the mechanics of Holy/Unholy/Sanctified. Will have to go back and read the Cleric in the Remaster again...

I don't think the point of removing alignment for holy/unholy was so unholy things could be good and evil thing could be holy. The moral ambiguity seems like it's for everyone else not directly signed up for the cosmic struggle. More to the point, I don't think "racists can be holy too" is really anuance that the game really needs much of. Except for the fact that characters don't have alignment written into their mechanics anymore, holy and unholy very much feel like the kind of element that would normally have been given Prerequisite: must be good. We don't really label all characters good or evil anymore, but the fantasy of holy characters being paragon of virtue doesn't really seem like it's changed to me? In fact, it seems more like it was intentionally kept the same, while freeing g every other character who didn't want to concern themselves with virtue or sin from needing a place on the grid.

--

As for how it works, my understanding may be incomplete, but you can only become holy or unholy with your deity's permission (so far, given its cleric exclusive as yet) and if you are sanctified, any spell that's listed as "sanctified" automatically becomes holy or unholy when you use it. Any spell that's already listed as holy or unholy doesn't change, and I'm pretty sure you're just not allowed to use the opposite trait. On its own holy or unholy doesn't change anything, but some creatures will be weak to one or other, while some spells will deal bonus damage to creatures with a trait regardless their personal weaknesses. Is there anything I'm missing?


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Want to add that Calistria's anathema fostering moderation with regard to lust and vengeance has never come of as paradoxical to me, nor really as very confusing. Unless we assume that deities as a rule espouse fanatical devotion to their thing, no matter how petty or grand, it makes more sense, not less, that Calistria says, "Be horny and get revenge, but also don't lose yourself in the process because if you get too obsessed, you're only going to sabotage yourself".

I imagine there are probably a number of Calistrian parables about the devotee who didn't know how to keep a feud at arm's length and ultimately destroyed their own lives or led their community to ruin.


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I feel like the alignment discussion might be getting a little lost in the weeds and may be overlooking some important nuance as it does so. It think it would be more accurate to say Alignment is more or less the same but nevertheless different. Like, of course the concepts of good and evil (and law and chaos) still exist - they're concepts and you couldn't delete them from the setting anymore than you could delete the idea of justice. On the other hand, people of the world no longer have an alignment in the sense of a (detectable) two-letter description of their soul's metaphysical sway.

Souls still have a sway, and that sway is toward good or evil (and law or chaos), but even before when this stamp was supposed to be objective, souls were judged and sorted according to a variety of factors and souls didn't exclusively go to the destination they were stamped with. It might be fair to say the idea of individuals having an 'objective' alignment is gone even though people clearly can still be judged as more good and more lawful etc. (and it might be fair to say alignment was never as objective as it seemed to us operating with only the two letters and some philosophical arguments about the nature of evil)

In the absence of alignment as a game-mechanical term and without the D&D-typical alignment compass to point our way to each plane according to the spectrum, I suspect the Outer Planes--without losing what we think of as their alignment theming--will be described more in terms of what that alignment means. Calling Elysium the CG plane and calling it the Plane of Freedom I think are not incompatible concepts, but that doesn't strictly tell us if the plane's substrate can be taken with a geiger counter that will measure 50 rads of chaos and 50 rads of goodness.

In the past we have understood that quintessence is fundamentally aligned along the familiar two axes, but while the concepts of pure planar law and pure planar chaos still exist and are crucially important for planes like Axis and the Maelstrom, we may find that measuring the midichlorian count of their soil isn't how the metaphysics of the setting will be understood going forward.

After all, we call Druid spells "Primal" rather than "Divine" now. In the fiction, this hasn't changed, but our understanding of how we categorise things has. There's a lot of room for the setting to stay the same while our grasp of it shifts to explore in greater detail what had only been brushed over--or to explore another way of looking at what we thought was a fundamental truth.


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YuriP wrote:

If that's the problem then maybe he's worrying too much.

I think that apart from the removal of the drow and the replacement of dragons linked to alignments with those linked to traditions, I didn't see much change in the lore with the departure of the OGL.

And honestly, even some of that I'm not 100% sure was just due to the license change. Because dark elves are already defined by Norse mythology and were already present in the Tolken universe before D&D. For me, the designers took advantage of the situation and just removed them from the game, as they was already having problems dealing with this politically incorrect association of dark elves = bad, light elves = good. While kobolds as reptiles with draconic traits are very linked to D&D (since the original mythological kobolds were fey and have their mythology mixed with that of goblins) and yet they continued in the game even with the license change.

To be clear, as I recall the developers have been pretty explicit that yes, they dropped the drow because of the OGL issues. Their preference would have been to guide the drow into a position where they were functionally a Paizo original creation that shares its origins and name with the OGL drow but is otherwise entirely distinct. The reason why this didn't happen is that they were years from enacting these developments, and the OGL debacle presented some rather tight deadlines on that idea.

Additionally, it's been said many times now, but Norse dark elves and drow are far enough distinct things that there is no way to claim the former when what you have is the latter--at least not while keeping really anything that drow fans like about the drow, and Paizo were not about to pretend that not-drow were 'drow enough', so instead we do have cave elves who aren't drow.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Feel free to adjust the ancestries of Willowshore's residents as you wish in your game. If you have a player who wants to play an ancestry that's not represented in the town's NPCs, it can be a good idea to include some of that ancestry to give that player character some links, but you should also chat with that player. I suspect that there's a fair amount of players who like playing more obscure or uncommon/rare ancestries BECAUSE those players want to play the unusual and strange and fish-out-of-water and unique character in the group, and they might not WANT to have others of their ancestry robbing that spotlight from them.

Ah, yes, this is also valid. Sometimes you absolutely need to play the character whose very appearance invites interest and confusion because what manner of creature is this and where do you come from? Definitely before I make any changes I'd want to check if any of my players were interested in thing their backstory to the elf presence in town, or if anyone was looking to be a standout monkey king yaoguai who happens to live in town.


QuidEst wrote:
I'd just treat it like the legal Fair Use test- you've got a few clauses that disqualify something from being a valid target.

Love the mental image this just gave me of kineticist magic not working on artificial objects because of copyright protections disallowing it. If you can't manipulate a rock call up your rules lawyer and see if they know why.

---

Also, as a personal gripe tangent, bonsai trees are awkward territory because whole living creatures never should have been made into an element. Sure, plant-controlling kineticists should exist in any version of the universe and it would have been messy to make a plant element wielder without making plants an element, but controlling wood as an element is like controlling bone as an element.


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I suppose it depends if you consider elves and kitsune as 'human seeming' but there's I think at least 2-3 named NPCs of each in town, a couple halflings, a tengu, and one named ratfolk. The town is definitely mostly human, it's true, but my own limited experience is that this is often the case especially in small town stats. Willowshore excites me because it does include a variety of important non-humans, even if it's still a majority human town--and the diversity of those humans, at least judging by the names (I haven't taken a roster of the human ethnicities mentioned yet) has delighted me, too.

This is not to say that the diversity of the town couldn't be seriously turned up to suit a group's tastes, of course! I find myself kind of liking the explanation for the random elf population, but even still I wonder if it wouldn't be interesting to replace every elf with another long-lived ancestry--like perhaps yaoguai can live to be hundreds of years old and ended up populating a chunk of the town? Only thing is deciding what to do with half-elves for these purposes.

EDIT: Actually, dialing in on that idea a bit, its just idle pondering but I think that the most obvious answer for yaoguai-ing the elves would be making them like something like a band of heavenly spiders who watched over the town in early days... partly just because I want to give the players a reason to expect that spider-themed things in this town aren't inherently demonic--and course to play off of UC when they come up.


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I love elemental magics and I've taken to thinking of this sort of issue as the Earthbender Problem. When you give a character the ability to manipulate earth and stone (and especially if you include metal), after a certain point no amount of conventional fortification can either hold them back or hold them in unless you start pulling up arbitrary lines what can and can't be affected (for example... platinum mechs... *shudder*). Of course, regardless why these arbitrary limitations must necessarily exist, it can still be rather dissatisfying to have arbitrary gaps in an otherwise fairly rational magic system.

Especially if coming at this question from a purely physical standpoint, there just is no answer that can possibly justify why things that have been intentionally shaped should become immune to manipulation but an object of similar description which was not is 'natural' because what is and isn't perceived as natural is not a state that exists outside of its relationship to our perception.

On the plus, on Golarion the mind is one of the fundamental forces of magic. What if the act of consciously shaping something instills it with a subliminal fragment of psychic meaning that flags its place in the cosmos as 'worked'? What if it's this bit of mental essence that gets attached to these objects which interferes with low-level primal magic such as base kinesis, much the same way any amount of actual magic does?

I haven't thought through if there are any further corner cases that cause this idea to break down, but as a plus I find it gives me a rubric for deciding on weird interactions, like breaking off a chunk of a statue separates it from the network of meaning that is attached to the idea of the statue, or maybe a piece of rubble that looks like a duck isn't worked, but if somebody were to keep it, with enough time and love sunk into its makeup, it too gains enough arbitrary meaning to count as its own thing.


Sounds like a cool character and welcome to Pathfinder! Unfortunately, you happen to have found yourself in the 2nd edition forum. The mods should be around sometime tomorrow to shuffle this thread over to the correct place, so don't worry too much.

It's been a little while since I played 1e but this character seems fully serviceable to me, albeit I'm sure 1e optimizers would be more than happy to give him a tune up.


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Seems like this topic might be past it's prime.

Beat the rush and get out now while the back-and-forth is just bickering about tone and semantics, and as of yet merely teeters on the cusp of full-scale ad hominem attacks. Little of value will likely be lost that wasn't going to get pruned in the morning when the mods get in.

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