Male human on stilts

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So the Malbrache are powerful devils, each one focused on a world or plane. The first Book of the Damned says that there are 12 that are known on Golarion, 1 for each of the worlds in the solar system, including the two that became the Diaspora.

I was wondering if there was a solid list as to which Malbrache was focused on what world?

My personal take is as follows:

Alichino - Golarion, since he's known as "The jester prince of the Cage".

Barbarica - Castroval, since his description mentions a jungle.

Calcabrina - I think the "dreamy mistress of twilight" would be tied to Liavara.

Cagnazzo - I'm not sure where the Hunter of Souls would put his focus. I'm inclined to think that it is Akiton, but there's part of me that wonders if it might be Aballon instead (where biological creatures "ruin" what might be his detailed plan for conquest).

Circiatto - I'm not sure which planet the Gluttonous would be connected with. Perhaps Triaxus, where gluttony an selfishness could spell doom to future generations.

Draghignazzo - Would seem to be one of the Malbrache of one of the worlds that makes up the Diaspora, since he "sleeps amid a conquest too complete".

Farafello - Eox. There's no other planet that could be described as "a land of the dead" where his conquest has been "delayed by death, but not denied."

Grafiacane - Not sure where the swarm lord would be. Perhaps Bretheda, as it is a world where the dominant race create biological tools such as tailored viruses and other servitor creatures.

Libicoco - I think that she would consider Aballon her domain. She's focused on destruction rather than conquest, after all, and there isn't much in the way of souls for her to harvest on that planet.

Malacoda - This Malbrache has already conquered 8 worlds and has brought his conquest with him, so I'm fairly confident that Apostate is "his" world. Perhaps the generation ship was trying to escape an infernal invasion of their home world/solar system.

Rubicante - I would put the prince of rust and ruin on the "dying" world of Akiton. Alternately, he could be connected with Verces, where his influence could be behind the upheaval in places like Kashak.

Scarmiglione - He shares a realm with Draghignazzo, which would mark him as the second Malbrache of the Diaspora.

Aucturn seems to be the only planet that might not have a Malbrache. The Stranger has a lot of mystery to it, including that it might not be fully on the material plane or that it seems to be a living entity in and of itself.

Does anyone have a different reading or more solid idea of which Malbrache is connected to what planet?


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Sure, the WW1 section is a very, very different section, but it's cool to see unique sequences like that. There's only so many times you can go into yet another bandit camp or dragon's lair.

I'm also not sure what's wrong with flying pyramids. Fantasy is filled with flying islands and flying castles. It's not that out there.


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Gorbacz wrote:
+1 to flying Russian pyramids.

In SPAAAAACE!


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I'd say that, before you kill the player's character, take her aside and have a quick talk with her. Explain that the point of the contract is to keep the campaign from devolving into backstabbing but that there are ways to get out of the contract later on. Then tell her that Thorn will kill her character if she doesn't sign the contract.

Why do this? She made a character for an evil campaign, but unless you told her that she should make a character that WOULD enter into a contract then it makes her character death seem arbitrary and makes it look like the group is being railroaded.

If the players knows you are running a published campaign it's perfectly fine to say "look, it's early in the game and the rest of the campaign hinges on you saying yes to this contract. You will have opportunities to get out from under it if you want but you have to say yes to this one event or else we might as well play something else."

Because the other option is kill her character outright and ensure that she goes into the rest of the campaign with a very negative attitude.

Be an adult and be up front. It'll help the players trust you with the rest of the campaign and keep the players positive about the game even if bad stuff happens. If she still refuses to sign the contract after getting a warning, just kill her character. It isn't like she didn't know it was coming at that point.


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Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
The Alluria Facebook page just announced their next product. Prepare yourselves for Campaign Currents! Think Adventure Path, but soggier. (actual product will be dry)

*Insert: Shut up and take my money!.jpg*


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Definitely would like to see more for the Primal Host and the Invoker.


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kevin_video wrote:
Tobias wrote:

Well,

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I don't know. I'll probably have to play it by ear. I'm not exactly what you'd call a seasoned DM.

There are a few issues with their plans. First, they're assuming that anyone who is a bandit is willing to work or trade with them. That's far from a foregone conclusion.

Second:

Spoiler:
They will draw the entire church of Mitra down on their heads the moment they start to proselytize for Asmodeus. Remember, the entire nation believes that Asmodeus drove a king insane and won't respond well to being threatened.

So why wouldn't the church go after them with the heavy hitters if they suddenly see such a blatant resurgence of Asmodeus worship, one that is actively trying to force people to follow them. After their first event they'll not only have people after them for escaping prison, but also for trying to restore a banned cult to the Prince of Darkness. Not subtle, not smart.

Playing it by ear is fine. Just make sure they get the logical consequences of their actions. In a place like Talingarde, the logical response of the audience to seeing someone burst into flame isn't going to be "we must worship Asmodeus or die", but "we need to call on Mitra and his faithful to save us from these devil worshipers!"

Part of Thorn's plan involves crippling Mitra's church's ability to help in the midst of the plague, which shows that Mitra cannot protect the people. That's necessary to ensure that there are conversions when the time is right. Asmodeus would shake his head in disgust at people who claim to be furthering his goals but then act like simple thugs with no understanding of the true politics at work.


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Beckett wrote:

Actually it doesn't asnwer the question at all. It soprt of screws over theg groups that do actually see the problem there, and passes the buck with basically a cop-out answer. It is comparrible to ignoring that the players are good and have the AP have them go slaughter an orphinage, because the good of the city calls on that landbeing the cite for the new universaty.

Besides being a Paladin, Paladins, and especially Clerics of Pharasma should have a huge issue with this. Not might, but should. Pharasma is ot good aligned, but her faith is 100% against undead. What's worse, the faith of Pharasma in Ustalav is a peculiar brand that teaches suffering and endurence will garner rewards in the afterlife. So killing the undead abominations, and causing that little extra suffering would be right up their alley.

Which bring the issue right back around full circle. By all rights and expectations, it basically is a douchey move. But, and the best thing I can think of is to completely ignor the vampire/vampyre/nosferatu thing and have some other not-douchey group patronize the party for the same task (or similar enough). Maybe bring Kendra back in with some new found wealth and advanced wizardry with a desire to follow in her father's footsteps, or at least pay for it to be done until she gets some influence set up.

It isn't really a cop out answer though.

Pharasma is against undead, but she doesn't require her followers to drop everything in order to go and squish the nearest undead creature. She is a very practical goddess and realizes that there are different threat levels to different undead. If she wasn't then all of her clerics would be useless as necromancers would know that they could distract them with a handful of weaker undead in different places.

Same with paladins. They aren't required to stop hunting the ancient red dragon when they hear that someone stole an orphan's life savings. If they were required to do that then their enemies would arrange those kinds of distractions in order to ensure they fall.

Ashes at Dawn presents a difficult moral choice which is not black and white. There is no "good" answer, just grey and grey. Characters don't need to cop-out in order to make their choice as even Paladins and Clerics of Pharasma aren't required to have ADHD regarding evil or undead unless the GM has decided to be a jerk about it.


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kevin_video wrote:

Hey Gary. Got an issue with my group who basically are going to tell Thorn where to stick it.

** spoiler omitted **...

Well,

Spoiler:
the book does talk about how to deal with this. It basically comes down to letting them do as they wish, but not letting them off scot-free. They're some of the worst criminals on the island (apparently) and they just pulled off something no one was thought possible by escaping.

Follow the book's suggestion. They've been branded, so no one will trade with them. They have everyone for miles looking for them.

Then there's the fact that their blatant "revivals" are going to draw the attention of local Mitra followers, bringing the very people they don't want after them right to their door.

Let them get away with the meeting once, maybe twice, then send the guards after them. Possibly at the tent, possibly chasing after them just after they leave town. And then have the number of people chasing them (and the resources they use) go up as these escaped criminals start to compound their crimes with blasphemy and other sundry thefts and murders.

Then, as the book suggests, have Thorn come in at the last moment, or maybe have Tiadora come by and demand they go visit the Master when the heat is getting really bad and they are struggling to look for a way out.


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Alzrius wrote:
gigglestick wrote:
Wouldn't the annihilation of everything be Daemonic Neutral Evil?
No, daemons just want to destroy all mortal life. Annihilating all of creation is Lawful Evil - just look at the asuras.

Actually, if I remember correctly:

Asuras want to dismantle the works of the Gods, since they themselves are created by the Gods' mistakes.

Daemons seek the destruction of EVERYTHING that exists because of their sheer hatred of existence.

Qlippoths desire the destruction of all Mortal Life in order to prevent all those sinful mortals from ending up in the Abyss and becoming demons.

It really comes down to semantics, but there it is...


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Then she notices that the kids was peeing in the River of Souls and just hands her over to the Daemons.


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James Sutter wrote:
I'm highly amused (and a little bit frightened) by how much everyone likes The Loving Place. Thank you! You guys are a twisted bunch :D

I have to admit that it instantly made me think of making the PCs racing to prevent the BBEG from sending an NPC (kingdom's heir/close ally/PC's family member) to the Loving Place as a sacrifice to the entities of the Dark Tapestry.

I've only had a chance to flip through the book so far, but there's something about Aucturn that makes me want to take out Ragnora from 3.5e's Elder Evils and work her in.


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Wow. Talk about a can of worms.

The original post... Meh. Doesn't float my boat.

But I've seen far, far worse. Look at the Thrallherd for example. You get hordes of willing slaves who want nothing more than to serve you in any way you desire. They'll even die for you. And should they die another poor soul willingly replaces them 24 hours later. Does this mean that anyone who plays a Thrallherd is automatically creating a harem of sex slaves? Because they're definitely obedient and submissive to the Thrallherd.

I don't think the OP deserved getting jumped on because what he posted does not automatically mean sex slaves.

Hear me out.

The game has lots of pervertable stuff in it. It all depends on how players and GMs apply them. Succubi, enchantment spells, and so on give far too much to work with if you're so inclined. I mean, there's a spell called Unnatural Lust for Pete's sake.

But just because something is pervertable doesn't mean all uses are sexual. As was posted above, Eidolons can be sex slaves, but the class doesn't require it. That's the players choice. Unnatural Lust doesn't mean the game becomes XXX rated or the players sexists or rapists. It's all how it is used.

Keeping that in mind, the same can be said of other more sexually oriented supplements. There was lots of stuff in the BoEF that could be implimented without sex having to enter the game. The Imagist and the Kundala classes, as well as a good number of PrCs, spells and items. You could use all of these without overtly introducing sex into the game, or even changing much flavour.

Sisters of Rapture is the same, though requires a minor change here and there.

That brings us to these Sekirei things the OP linked to. Yes, they're blatant T&A potential. They're described as submissive and obedient.

But where does it say they are sex slave.

This is where approach comes in. They're not really different from (improved) familiars, animal companions or Eidolons, which are obedient to their masters in all things. The better example of course is found with the Eidolons and the Thrallherds believers and thralls though.

The game has intelligent humanoid servants who are utterly obedient (and female). The Sekirei thing is presented in a way that is supposed to titillate but it doesn't require sex and doesn't encourage it either. It is possible to use the feat and creatures in the game, as written, without sex ever coming up, only having to change the text of the Norito ability from kiss to touch (if even that).

Willing and obedient bonded "slaves" are available to lots of the classes. It's how they're approached that decides what they are. Is a race of female creatures who willingly bond with geeky masters male wish fulfillment? Yes. That's sort of the whole point of the hare genre of anime. But there are also female protagonists with male harems in that genre too. Wish fulfillment is not a male only option.

Again, it's the approach of the group and the players that decide where something goes. There's far worse already in the game. It depends on where you want to focus.


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So we're discussing crafting again?

I guess that clears up the main issue of whether or not guns are broken.

In short, they aren't.


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Jeranimus Rex wrote:

Archetypes are important in this arena. Both Musket Master and Pistolero have abilities that are just flat out better for damage than the base Gunslinger. Especially the Pistolero, which at 11th level will be able to use up close and deadly as his signature deed, meaning that every time he attacks, he's gonna deal some amount of damage no matter what.

Further, UC does add a few things for Archers that might be very useful in the long run.

I would argue that archetypes shouldn't matter if the discussion is whether or not firearms are balanced or not. If firearms are unbalanced then they should be just as broken in the hands of a base fighter. If trying to show that the gunslinger is broken, then the question is about the gunslinger, then it needs to focus on the base gunslinger, not the altered archetype.

The OP's point was that firearms were broken in and of themselves. He should be able to prove that with a fighter as well as with a gunslinger. If he has to add archetypes to prove it, he's gone beyond the issue of firearms into whether the archetype is balanced.


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Great ideas! I just have two questions.

1. Is the church of Abadar really likely to have secret expectations, or to try and change the deal without notice? It doesn't seem to follow that he would play so fast and loose with the terms of a contract and try to force the PCs to do things that were not agreed to before hand. I can see them coming to the players and requesting more with an offer of something extra, and then striking harder and harder deals should the players need them, but to try and strong arm them? That's one way to ensure that they lose any chance of spreading their influence throughout the region and not a great business practice.

2. Paladins of Gorum???


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I agree that it ends with a really big change of pace, but I think it works as an arch.

The plot was revealed at the end of Ashes at Dawn. All of their investigations has lead to this and now they rush to save a man's life, and then to destroy the monster behind it all.

It's like Dracula, where the end becomes a massive chase and battle, knowing where the monster was headed and trying to get there in time. But instead of trying to stop the Way from getting to ground, the PCs have to stop them from completing their plans.

All of their investigations have lead them to this point, and they know exactly what is at stake. Unlike Kingmaker, where the final chapter comes right out of left field, Shadows of Gallowspire gives them a chance to finally bring the fight to the enemies they have been dogging through the entire path. It lets them stop being investigators and take all of their knowledge and put it to use in one fell blow.

It's a necessary change of pace, one that gives them a chance to act on all of the anxiety and fears that they have been building up throughout the path. It's the catharsis of finally rushing to put things right while balancing on the edge of the sword, fully knowing what the price of failure will be.

By the sixth book, the characters should be ready for that run. And like Van Helsing chasing Dracula, they have to navigate their own dead ends and traps (by getting through to the necessary places and obstacles). The might be able to recruit allies, they may be able to employ stealth. But this is the climax of a horror story they have (hopefully) gotten very involved in, and the tension has to receive several more severe ratchets before it can be released.


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Brandon Hodge wrote:

Quick reply fron GenCon:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
You mean he won't just wait for them if they stop and rest for the night at the big metal boss doors? That hardly seems fair! ;)

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So I start flicking through Ultimate Combat and find the Pup Shape spell, which turns an animal or magical beast into a younger and (quote) cuter version of itself than non-evil creatures have a hard time bringing themselves to hurt.

So I have to ask... Is Paizo specifically writing spells for my wife and her character or has she started to secretly write for them under some Pseudonym? ;)


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Razz wrote:
Ah, I see. So anything Paizo releases you cannot show content on the "crunch" material in it for 2 weeks? I thought it was Open Content once released? Or is there a clause somewhere?

It is open content, but that doesn't mean they have to throw everything on the PFSRD the moment it's released.

It's a courtesy thing, giving that extra time for sale BEFORE most of the material goes on-line for free. Doing this ensure extra good will and shows respect for the hard work that Paizo puts into its products, as well as for their willingness to make so much open content and work with their fans.

Really, 2 weeks after the book's release isn't that long, especially when it's free. If someone wants it sooner they can buy the pdf. But why frustrate Paizo or abuse their willingness to allow things to be open content by posting the material for free the moment the book is available for purchase? The end result would be Paizo reconsidering their open content policy and possibly how they deal with things like the pfsrd. Why ruin a good thing because some people are impatient?


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I think you're boiling things down too much, ruemere. Yes, if you decide to remove absolutely everything that's going on, yes that is what it comes down to. But it requires you to remove all the nuisances that are going on.

For one thing, the vampires aren't supposed to be sympathetic, rise above being evil monsters. They aren't. They've created a niche in which they can co-exist with humans, and one that the nobles of the city realize is to their benefit.

Working with the vampire's isn't supposed to be heroic. It is meant to be a matter where the character's are challenged to make a hard decision.

And I haven't been arguing that working with the vampire's isn't a case of the ends justifying the means. In fact, I've been pointing out that working with the vampire's is a morally questionable but easy, while fighting them and standing by morals is harder. And that's the way it should be.

Back to the characterizations:

In the intro to the vampires:

Spoiler:

- Quinley doesn't care one way or the other about the vampires. He's not going to pretend they aren't monsters, because they are. But he's still going to suggest talking with them because they might have information and he wants to find his mother's killer.

- If the player's don't want to work with the vampire's, he's still willing to bring them down to the catacombs and kill all the vampires in order to find the needed info.

In regards to the other vampires:

Spoiler:

- Luvick alone can point out that it's been his leadership that has lead to peace with the humans, and that as bad as the vampire's are their predations would be worse if he didn't keep a tight hold on them.

- If he can't stop the killings and doesn't let his people go after the human nobles that are being implicated (an act that would start the war), he will lose his hold and the result will be the same.

- He can point out just how bad things will get

These character's don't have to be saints, but they're intelligent enough to explain these things to the players in a way that is persuasive and makes sense. It's the GM's job to do that. If the player's still can't accept working with them then, that's fine.

My point is that the player's shouldn't be able to be big, damn heroes in shining armor AND work with the vampires. The vampire's shouldn't be tragic, or any less predatory, because it makes working with them less of an issue and plays down the importance of the choice.

The module gives the players a difficult choice:

1. Work with a lesser evil that, while bad, has been in place for centuries and is in equilibrium in the city. They don't have to perform any evil acts, but must not trouble the monsters. This leaves evil in place, but lets them focus on stopping The Whispering Way and prevents a war that just about anyone in the know (human allies and vampiric monsters) will point out will be bloody and costly, with many innocent people dying as a result.

2. Stay true to their absolute morals, accept no compromise, and cleanse evil wherever they see it. They still get their information and can go after the Way, but they start a bloody war between humans and vampires (all across Ustalav) that they don't have the time to dedicate their efforts towards fighting in full until the Way is stopped.

There is no good choice, because both require "Ends Justify The Means" thinking. You've explained the issues with trying to get them to work with the vampires, but you're forgetting the otherside of the coin. Is the war they will spark with the vampires, and then abandon the city to in order to stop the Way, worth the cost in innocent lives just so they don't have to compromise their morals?

They work with the vampires, things continue as they are, which is in an equilibrium that actually "works". They fight the vampires, and hundreds of innocents will die as they abandon the city to the chaos they created. Does the ends of sparing their morals from being compromised justify the additional innocents who will die and be cursed with undeath balanced against the lesser number who would have suffered? Especially when you consider that the vampire's have suffered purges before and will be prepared to fight back?

There is no totally good choice in this adventure. It's just that less innocents die if the PCs work with the vampires. Why make that choice easier? It's meant to be hard.


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Caius wrote:
I am getting ready to run this AP. I have noticed on the board a number of DMs tend to tell their groups when to level as opposed to giving out XP each session. I think this approach will work better than normal given the odd work schedules of one friend and the fact I have two players completely new to Pathfinder (no 3.x experience) so I would like a bit of a slower beginning to ease them into the ruleset. Does anyone have recommended leveling points for the books?

The thing is that, with the exception of the time in Ravengro after finishing up and possibly right after finishing with all the events surrounding the Trial, there isn't any real downtime for the PCs. From the start of book 3, they're on a race to track down the villains, and they're not far behind.

This makes it difficult if you want them to level up with set down times. It's actually probably a better idea to simply calculate their XP at the end of every session and have them level between the sessions.


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Nordlander wrote:

But give that npc commoner a torch and one hundred other commoners with torches....then even a god-killing lich may tremble!

p.s. he may not, I have'nt actually done the CR calculations :)

Well, laughter is a kind of trembling. Right? ;)


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spamhammer wrote:
I replaced all references to Lovecraft and the Great Old Ones with references to Doctor Doom. My game, my rules.
dungeonmaster heathy wrote:
Dr. Doom is an avatar of Nyarlathotep.

So Dr. Doom is an avatar of Nyarlathotep. Nyarlathotep is replaced with Dr. Doom, who is, as we know, an avatar of Nyarlathotep.

Dr. Doom is an avatar of Dr. Doom who is an avatar of Dr. Doom who is an avatar of Dr. Doom who is...