Travelling Sasha's page

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James Jacobs wrote:

Aww, you're an absolute class act, James. I hope I didn't come off too strong a few posts above!

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Hmmm, the only male character that I know that can be redeemed is from the second book of War for the Crown.

Songbird, Scion and Saboteur:
Bartelby Lothed is the main antagonist of the book. He is the current administrator of the county of Meratt and lives in the Songbird Palace, and the player’s objective is to both hold sway in the county and take control of the Palace.

They’re introduced to him when they arrive in the county, since he is hosting a party. He is a charming and intelligent man, but also bitter and casually cruel. Despite his accomplishments and failures in managing the county of Meratt, he is signaled as a potential tragic romance, and the book lets us know that he is very much redeemable, since his vein of evil stems from selfishness and arrogance, rather than any deep vein of cruelty.

The book also mentions that behind all of his façade hides a simple insecure boy.

When I GMed, one of my players 100% went for the bad boy. It was very tragic and very nice, hahaha. She saved him from an assassination attempt, which made him curious; then he saved her from someone of her past, and it started from there and culminated and him being talked down by her in a very emotional discussion, while all the rest of the PCs, more pragmatic, wanted to simply kill him.

Still, his redemption is very optional and I feel like a PC would need to specifically take an interest of him for that to happen, especially because what he seems to need is just some genuine love

I have actually noticed this too, to be honest. Even the demon who gets redeemed turns out to specifically be a Succubus, hahaha. And maybe I can be a little reactionary about these topics, but I feel like this phenomenon isn’t just limited to who gets more redeemed and who doesn’t… Are any of the core 20 male deities queer, or in a relationship with another male deity? Also not baiting, just genuinely curious. Imo, Cayden Cailean and Kurgess totally have a lot of potential.

Maybe I’m just a little paranoid, and that’s kind of not on topic, so I’m sorry about that! Still, I am sure that there are other redeemable boys, and I'm curious to hear about them from people that have played through the 1e APs more thoroughly.

I would love to get support for a warrior that wields a really big weapon but like, has no feelings whatsoever about giants, or to what they can represent, or what they are.

I mean, for real! The two characters from fiction that have really big weapons and that first come to mind are Cloud and Guts, and I can't see either of them as barbarians. I’d love some support for a Giant Weapon Warrior in the form of an archetype or something, that doesn’t tie my character to the specific flavor of the barbarian.

I'm not even asking for a damage boost for wielding a big weapon, just flavorful abilities! Like... I dunno, maybe a feat that lets you raise your massive weapon defensively and use it as a shield, for example! Or maybe a feat that lets you raise your weapon in one turn, and down it in the next, attacking a three-square line in front of you. Stuf like that!

I also have another request, but this one may sound a little weirder: The Eldritch Knight!

Maybe there is no room for them anymore now with the Magus around, but I personally do like the Warpriest and Battle Oracle chassis, and I think it could pair pretty well with the arcane tradition. Could probably do a swell class archetype for the wizard or something.

Seriously: The Wizard that Punches is a pretty common trope, and while I absolutely love the Magus, anyone that visualizes their wizard as being able to get into the fray if needed but still, firmly, being a spellcaster, doesn’t have a lot of options.

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keftiu wrote:
Keep it the domain of weird cosmic beings, creatures who embody fundamental concepts and alien ideologies, but being able to say "that human is Good, that human is Evil" will literally always cause hiccups.

Hard, hard agree. I've been running a campaign with a homebrew alignement rule that more or less does this, and it's been great. Only creatures native to the alignement planes have actual alignements, and alignement damage hurts anyone but the creatures aligned to that sort of damage (i.e Angels are still immune to Good damage, as typical). A human Cleric of Iomedae can absolutely be hurt by the good or lawful damage of an Archon or an Angel, for example.

It's not only been a smooth experience mechanically wise (Never seen a Cleric using Divine Lance so often!), but it has really grounded the characters in an odd and interesting way. This same set of players tended to really tie their characters into their alignement — and that's fine, they've always came out spectacular! But they're so interestingly nuanced, right now, it's been great!

Ultimately, I do feel like the cosmic scale that the setting has is helped by the existance of an alignement system, but I don't think it needs to limit certain aspects of the game in the way it does currently. Imo, making alignement a force mostly alien to PCs is the way to go.

breithauptclan wrote:
Not that it makes any real difference at all for a lore question like this, but Arcanist?

Ah well, a flexible spellcaster Wizard. Secrets of Magic point out that wizards with the flexible spellcaster dedication are known as arcanists.

We've nabbed the narrative interpretation from the first edition though, where they were sorcerers that studied their innate magic just as wizards do.

AceofMoxen wrote:

Huh! Didn't even think about Aroden. Honestly, it's a pretty interesting idea! Coming to worship a god that is essentially dead seems like an evocative way to mourn your lost faith, so to speak, and it's kind of fitting. Maybe more importantly, it can even segway to a potential worship of Arazni or Iomedae in the future. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll study what form his worship is still taking place, today.

Themetricsystem wrote:

First of all, I'm a big fan of Harrim as well! But I do think that Groetus is a tad too "nihilistic" for her right now? While her realization that she is barely any sort of asmodean is certainly sorrowful in many ways, it is happening because she's realizing that she has changed in becoming a better person, so to speak. Maybe not the greatest person ever, but better-ish. I will keep him in mind if things take a wrong turn, though. Thanks!

Kasoh wrote:
Abadar(LN), Iomedae(LG), Sarenrae(NG), Arazni(NE)

Abadar was the first deity that I considered, and it does seems like a natural evolution for the character. In-game, she is even the mercenary band's treasurer as well! She even has a distaste for rural life in general. It's just — while she does adhere to a lot that Abadar seems to uphold, the whole strong-weak axis seems a little out of place in the faith, maybe. I do think it really fits.

Iomedae seems another natural evolution for her, considering her chelish heritage. But as you put it, she does seem a little too chivalrous. Don't get me wrong, Asmodia isn't a cleric so it may not matter that much: But I think that even her level of militantness isn't there yet. I do think she is heading that way, though. Maybe if her adoption of the iomedean faith takes a long while, which could be cool.

I absolutely love Sarenrae, but she does seem a little too reactionary for the faith. A little too angry?

I do really like Arazni — in many ways, she is a survival as well, and a very angry one. But as you put it, she isn't as concerned with going out of your way to protect others... Hmm. Maybe something like Arazni>Iomedae. There's plenty of ways to segway into that. Thanks for the fitting suggestions, friend! I'm tempted of going with Iomedae herself, but we'll see. Maybe someone will suggest another interesting deity!

Hi, friends! We’re nearing the end of a personal arc of one of my players' character, and her character is going through a crisis of faith, of sorts. By the way, I’m not asking for mechanical advice!

The player herself is absolutely great, new to TTRPGS but has taken a deep dive into the lore, as has been able to establish interesting bonds with her fellow PCs in-character extremely well, even though her character herself is pretty unfriendly.

Anyways, she asked me help to sort a potential new religion for her character, something that fits what she is going through. She herself isn’t sure what new deity could entice her PC right now, but her PC is deeply religious and has always needed faith to keep her stable: Plus, she’d love if I could make her involvement with this new religion a small thing or something, and I’d be happy to oblige, to be honest. Knowing her, she’ll play along with whatever I throw.

Here is the thing: I got nada! I have no idea at all. So, I’d hope to throw some details about her character and maybe you guys could throw some suggestions my way? I'm going to spoiler the information about her as to not make the post too wall of text-ey, but I'll also offer and tl;dr below.

More info on the character:
Her character, Asmodia, has a very oppressive childhood, being a minor noble from Cheliax. Her father, an asmodean lawyer, attempt to develop her small innate magic (she is an arcanist, if relevant) with very cruel methods, but ultimately, she herself didn’t have any incredible latent magic hidden in her or anything like that. She grew to become bitter and bratty, with a sharp sarcastic tongue. She was then sent to many wizarding schools, where she failed to attend to class; partially because she refused to cooperate with her father’s wished, and also because she was heavily depressed.

She eventually was sent back home, where she plotted to have her father framed against the Church of Asmodeus: And managed to do it! But accidentally, not only her father was executed, but she got herself exiled from the Infernal nation. She eventually finds herself in Varisia, meets one of the PCs, and that’s it!
Her character started being very, well, hateful. She found that strength was one own’s responsibility, and those weak deserved what happened to them. With time, as she hung around the group, her views softened. First, she grew impatient with what she perceived to be the passivity of the victims that they helped, but she eventually grew invested in the dynamic. That those to be blamed are not the weak themselves, but those that choose to use their own strength to abuse others.
She still very much sees the world through these strength-weak lenses, but is slowly adopting the idea that the place of strong is to, effectively, protect and empower the weak.

Because of her own culture, she’s has always been asmodean herself. Although she had always found the most cruel points of the faith distasteful or inelegant (she started the game being Lawful Neutral, she’s not a cleric at all), she still appreciated the rigid society that Asmodeus seemed to promote, with a hierarchy that reinforces its tyrannical structures well. To her, following Asmodeus was about never letting yourself fall within the hierarchy and keeping yourself strong and witty.

But she isn’t feeling a connection with Asmodeus’s ideas anymore, and this has become evident in this last arc, where the group is dealing a group of fervent Asmodeans. She is also pretty lawful, appreciating a need for control and not losing oneself to its ugliest emotions, comparing such thing to reducing oneself to an animal.

TL;DR Player’s character, chelish arcanist, is losing faith in Asmodeus, and player wants me to make a thing of her next religious connection. Happy to do it. She views the world through the lenses of strong and weak, but now believes that the strong must protect the weak, and dislikes lacking control. Dunno what deity could work with the character’s views, need suggestions.

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Ultimately, some champion clauses are not that fitting for certain deities, even if they’re technically compatible. :/

I do still believe that plenty of neutral evil concepts could work with Casandalee’s edicts, though. For example… A character that will do absolutely anything to ensure the harmony between artificial refugees and organic peasants in a specific settlement, including not only going for the mysterious inventor that is secretly sabotaging their relationship, but also their family; who has nothing to do with their social experiments, but, you know… They might, in the future. We shouldn’t take chances and etc.

The issue are the champion clauses themselves. The character above is a follower of Casandalee that happens to be neutral evil; but a Desecrator of Casandalee, though, not only has to champion Casandalee’s edicts, they also have to champion evil itself. A natural response to this is to try to mix a deity’s edicts with the champion causes, but we already have a tool for prioritizing how to do it: First, we must uphold or cause, then our tenets, then our edicts, and then avoid anathema. But when we layer it like that, if there is no natural synergy between them (like with Sarenrae and the Redeemer clause, or Iomedae and the Paladin clause). Itt just feels wonky, if not against the spirit of the idea. Very patchworky.

Let’s make an exercise! A Desecrator of Casandalee must uphold, in order:

- The subversion of everything that is good and pure, and sow doubt where this exists. (Desecrator clause)
- Never peform acts anathema to their deity, or willingly commit a good act (Evil tenet)
- Never put another person’s needs before their own, unless it is to their master’s own advancement of goals. (Evil tenet)
- The development of artificial intelligence and the understanding between artificial and organic life. (Edicts)
- Never treat artificial life as lesser than organic life, foment distrust between artificial and organic life. (Anathema)

And there we have our character’s set of values! You might say, but Sasha, isn’t the subversion of everything that is good and pure a little antithetical to the idea of understanding between artificial and organic life? I’d be inclined to agree! But, if push comes to shove, the Desecrator must choose corruption over understanding.

The only Desecrator of Casandalee that I can think of that doesn’t feel like a Desecrator of Evil that follows Casandalee when they can is one that only focus on the advancement of artificial intelligence, without involving itself with the relationship between organics and artificial beings. Something like a glorified tech seeker for a proper researcher? And then they’re really ruthless and cruel and probably not an artificial being themselves, as to not risk their actions fostering discontent between organic and artificial life. So him doing evil doesn’t necessarily tarnish the reputation of artificial people?

But eugh, even then, it feels wonky. Maybe someone has a better idea than me. :x

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So, hear me out: What about awakened animals?

I’m not totally sure how they would work out, but having Awakened Animal as an ancestry would go a long mile in showing just how versatile ancestries can be in this system! Not that that's needed, but you know. In my mind, heritages would signal to animal families (i.e Canine heritage, Ursine heritage, etc) and have a lot of lineage-like feats — although that would work out oddly with versatile heritages, and not having the option to play as a tiefling awakened rat does sound like a total bummer…

Plus, it’s a cool trope! And there’s a lot of room to write about them. What are the many ways that an animal can be awakened? Are there any communities of awakened animals, anywhere? Etc etc.

I dunno how not having hands would work out with the game, but I’m sure it’s a non-issue. I understand that Mark Seifter’s Dragon ancestry are also quadruped, no? So, there’s precedence!

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This is something that bothers me too, if only a little. It's not an absolute dealbreaker or anything! But Alkenstar seems so out of place — geographically, I mean.

Being completely honest, I do think that someone from the team simply thought that western and steampunk sounds like a cool combination, and that's why we have the Alkenstar of today. :B

If I had to come up with some excuse, though, I guess... I dunno. Alkenstar's early advances caught the attention from avistani people that brought appropriate attires and stuff from their cultures to deal with the climate, mingled with the local population, and the practicity of dusters and cowboy hats just exploded... Maybe? And now they have saloons too!

But in al seriousness, a pertinent immigration wave from Avistan in their early history could explain a lot of things, though not everything. Aside from that, unless one of Alkenstar's earlier founders or leaders has some sort of fascination with Taldor's culture and really wanted to do something similar, I dunno.

But, this is all conjecture...

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keftiu wrote:
The notion of other Castrovelian ancestries being present in Kyonin makes me giddy, as probably the loudest cheerleader for Pathfinder Lashunta. I'd quite like to see both them and Formians in small numbers somewhere within the nation.

Count me cheering too, right there beside you!

keftiu wrote:
I'm unfamiliar with Second Darkness - are the Drow driven from Celwynvian in that AP?

It's been tons of time... But! From what I remember:

Second Darkness, book 3 and 4:
Yep. The PCs are recruited by an ekujae ally that they originally met on the first book, on Riddleport, with he himself being a Shink'Rakorath and tracking down the presence of a drow in the city. I think his name was Kwava or something.

I don't necessarily remember the reason why Kwava recruited the PCs, but they're sent to the Mierani Forest, to Crying Leaf in particular, and there they learn that Celwynvian has been occupied for a long time by the Drow, with the elves of Crying Leaf leading guerrila warfare against them to attempt to keep them at bay and ideally, drive them back from whenever they came from.

If I'm not mistaken, Crying Leaf itself was established by Kyonin (by either the Winter Council or the Queen herself, I don't remember) as to combat the drow in Celwynvian. I think. I'm not too sure of this.

Anyways, book 3 is essentially about participatin on this guerrila effort against the drow and becoming the tipping point that leads them to being drove off. There was also a bit about a mirror dimension from the past thing? Where the drow fled whenever things started to go south, or something. And I also remember an aboleth helping them out.

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At the end of the day, Pathfinder 2e is game known for its options. People come to the game with concepts in mind, and want to represent their character with proper support. We can extrapolate that many concepts can already be jury rigged with existing rules and character support, but it is understandable that players are let down when they don't get to pick any "Drow" option anywhere to note down in their character sheet.

Personally, I'm not really a huge Drow fan, but many people around me are, and are understandably disappointed that there is no Drow support yet. It's not the end of the world or anything, of course! But for them, it is pretty eh.

I don't personally mind if the Drow ends up as an ancestry or a heritage, but I do hope that there is proper support for them. I could make a speech about having them as an option is definitely important from a legacy standpoint, but honestly? I think they should be their own thing simply because many people want to see them being their own thing. :B

Also, I will point out that having them actually be an ancestry would allow them to also be used with versatile heritages, which is always fun.

Plus c'mon, a lot can be done with them being their own ancestry! Maybe they're a little more hardy than they surface cousins and have a simple and lonely +CHA. And Paizo can take their ancestry feats to any direction that they'd like; they don't have to copy and paste from the elves'.

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Gosh, I would go crazy for a Darklands book, but what would its scope even be? It seems so impossibly expansive... Do we know of any Absalom-like Darklands city? Maybe something akin to a neutral ground to the biggest players on Golarion's undergrounds? I would hope for a big book like LO: Mwangi Expanse, but maybe it is more realistic to expect something more on the scope of the recently announced Highhelm?

I remember the 1st's edition Darklands book being pretty good, though, but I'd love to hear more about the people, residents, religions and traditions, efforts and intrigues, and a little less of its many natural hazards (but to clarify, these are still great!). There is so much to tackle, though! And I don't really see Paizo prioritizing a Darklands book over any of the many possibilities that Golarion's surface itself offers. Hopefully I'm on the wrong :B

I'd also be very interested in a LO: Golden Road book, in a Shadow Plane book, in Astral Plane book and something that includes the Merfolk as a playable ancestry. Let me play as a mermaid, Paizo!

And this is probably a nitpick, but I'm with everyone else saying that they'd appreciate more support for existing classes and archetypes, especially in the form of class feats. I get that releasing new archetypes is probably more productive since this content is technically available to everyone, versus some new wizard feats for example. Buuuut... Eh. I dunno. Some classes feel pretty sparse, sometimes. Oh, ancestries too! Actually, I think they're the biggest offender on this subject.

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I'm oddly commited to Golarion's elfness despite not necessarily being the hugest elf fan hahaha.

Okay! Let's see...

I'd love to know how exactly the aiudara impacts elven culture. As I recall, they don't necessarily have access to every single aiudara gate layind around, and many are essentially forgotten or lost. That said, if they do have general access to it, then it would make long-distance travelling trivial! What are the repercussions of that in a culture? Can any elf walk through any kyoni-secured aiudara? Is it protected? Do they need permission? If yes, from whom?

But I do genuinely love the idea of Iadara being much more diverse than we thought. Connection to Sovyrian can mean a lot of things, and even though lore books of this level don't necessarily include ancestries, it would be the perfect place to introduce any Sovyrian natives... When we ran Starfinder, Lashunta was the fan favorite. Aaaand since I'm planning to run an adventure set in another plane where a group only from Golarion alone woouldn't make the most sense, then count me in the cheer bandwagon that want to see people from outside of our lovely planet.

I will point out, and this is just for the sake of fomenting discussion and it is not something that I personally mind, that with Highhelm being sold as the new york of dwarves — Iadara being framed similarly could feel a little too samey. Even though it would make a lot of sense for that to be the case, especially because of the aiudara.

Eh, who knows! Maybe it's not something that matters that much, really. Or maybe that just means that we wil have to wait a little more for a similar book.

As for the embassies thing — That would make a lot of sense, to be honest! And really, I'd be surprised if that wasn't the case...

Second Darkness, book 3 and 4:
I have GMed Second Darkness and even though it's been like, the longest while, I do recall that Crying Leaf responds directly to Kyonin, and that they have an emissary from the Mordant Spire who has been in that role for like, centuries.

There's precedent, then. And if there is an emissary in Crying Leaf, then it does seem logical that there are people in similar role in Iadara from the Spire. And the next logical step is to assume that there are people in a similar role from other elven communities. :B

Also, I'm plenty of curious to what happened to the elves of the Mierani Forest. After everything that happened in Second Darkness, and after what happened after New Thassilon's annexation. Did the thassilonians just... Occupy the forest? Did the elves bend the knee? Or are the Thassilonians saying that the Mierani is under their control, but the elves there just continue to operate unbothered?

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Oh wow, you’re always having the best ideas for threads, keftiu!

I dunno why, exactly, but I have always found the idea that suffering has to lead to something better, poetically beautiful… And I guess that my favorite deities tend to be those whose values or what they represent can be drawn from such an idea. Not that who they are or what they do don’t matter to me, though! Gonna spoiler all of this so the post isn’t like, incredibly long.

- Sarenrae:
I have always been a fan of kindness, and the idea that kindness can be strength. Sarenrae hits a lot of spots for me. Her mercifulness does not correspond to weakness, just the contrary. It takes a lot of strength to see someone that has done plenty of evil, and see the potential of good in them. For those, of course redemption cannot mean a pretty clean slate: It’s gotta be a journey, and a tough one. Those that you affected do not own you forgiveness, and you don’t get to demand it, or to simply ignore them. What you may get, is to work hard for, the very least, peace of mind… And if you obtain it, then you may want to offer the same opportunity to others. But maybe, you will toil for that for the rest of your life — ultimately, being you that is never able to forgive yourself for your past actions.

Okay, maybe I am extrapolating a fair bit in here hahaha, but I like this assumption. Plus, it can differentiate from Nocticula’s own self-redemption, which I imagine is a little more “egotistical”.

- Vildeis:
Admittedly, I don’t actually know a whole lot about Vildeis, and it may be odd to say that she is one of my favorites. But during a certain AP, we were introduced by a NPC (added by the GM) that was a follower of Vildeis. The little twist being, that the follower was actually undead, having arose from the ground by sheer force of devotion, damning its own soul on the process and making an incredible sacrifice. We’ve found him standing around a room full of other undead like him, properly dead, and then he helped us around the place; ultimately losing control of its own undead body but pushing and enemy against a river of lava on its last turn of control, going out with it. We would probably have died not for him.

Since then, I’ve been fascinated by Vildeis. I like the idea of martyrdom. :B The faith seems to be so urgent in its precepts: For her followers, I imagine that life is not be enjoyed. They give up on their own luxuries, even the smallest ones, so others can live more peacefully — the ultimate sacrifice is not a mere, chivalrous last moment, but the dedication of your whole being to something better.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that she is the best deity for players… But she’s great for melancholic worldbuilding, imo, and for the frequent NPC.

- Arazni:
I mean… It’s our gal Arazni. I really feel like I don’t have to explain myself, with my explanation above. :B
Whenever I read about her, I feel this… I don’t know how to explain this well, hmm… This fire, in my heart. This determination. Her journey reads so incredibly personal that it spawns so, so many ideas and seeds and character concepts…

I do hope we an optimistic ending for her, or at least a hopeful intermission. Also, deviating a little because everyone knows why she is usually like, a great deity: I am really curious about her relationship with Iomedae. I mean, c’mon! She was her paladin, once in a blue moon. Let them speak! Not even the Prismatic Ray made me feel so enthused by the thought of deities’ social dynamics.

- Iomedae:
I didn’t actually liked her, right at the start. Mind you, “right at the start” means a thirteen old me that really like edgy stuff. My first impressions of her was that she was somewhat boring… Then, as I was introduced more about the lore by other other people with very flawed lens, and came to know about a certain infamous interaction with her in a certain AP, and how she “abandoned” her old patron Arazni to her fate and whatnot — and then! Then, Hell’s Vengeance rolled in and the Glorious Reclamation failed really hard, I was obviously like “Ha! She’s such and hypocrite, and her followers are all useless!”

But then I grew up, thank god, read stuff by myself (hey, English is hard!), realized that things were not so bad after all...

And then, as I kept playing, I noticed that, at least in my bubble, people really don’t like her for being Lawful Good. I mean, that’s fine, obviously, right? But this same people kept badgering wrong information about her, and even after a lot of conversations, they still… Well, they didn’t care about anything that she has done, really. They just wanted the armored lawful good paladin woman to be bad. Yep! I’m going there.

At least in my bubble, I’m fairly sure of what I’m talking about. Pretty butterfly eldritch horror and sun nice beautiful woman never got any sort of hard time like, ever, despite having their own mess ups. Armored short haired headstrong gal kicks the wrong rock, and she's suddenly the worse? -.-

So, I guess I grew kind of invested! I find the hardships that come with living with honor a very interesting dramatic hook. That her faith is most likely the most militant of all the Inner Sea just reinforces that her followers are not content with staying idle. I’d love to know what exactly happened that she did not attempt to help Arazni during her time as a compelled undead, because someone that does that by convenience cannot be the same deity that risked a lot when she was the only deity that helped mortals against the Worldwound, at least on a major scale.

Fun fact: Whenever I play, I actually hardly play as a follower of any deity that I actively like! I usually pick a regional deity, or a deity that know but don’t know a lot. Helps me interact with aspects of the setting that I’m not that familiar with. Grew to like Shelyn a lot, doing that!

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Okay, so I dug around a little and found some interesting information on the Measure and the Chain, on the Character's Guide. To recapitulate:

Character's Guide:
The Measure is the order's massive collection of laws and strictures. It seems to be their code, and because it's supposed to be so massive, I don't think we'll ever see it explicitly defined. And so, it remains a narrative resource, I guess.

The Chain, however, is their actual philosophy, and it's pretty well defined. It concerns itself with three virtues: Order, discipline, and mercilessness. "But Sasha", you might say. "aren't those just abstractly-defined words? What does mercilessness even mean, if not cruelty? What's the difference between order and discipline?" Thankfully, the virtues are further defined!

Order is to be enforced — as to create a world that is so structured and peaceful that it no longer needs them. The order must also be punitive, and so it is correct to punish those that hold back that progress. To me then, they're militant: They seek to create a peaceful word through such order, and will fight for it.

Peace is not defined by the Chain, so there's a lot to prod there.

Discipline is about emotions. Achievment is obtained without loss, and so, emotions are, at best, a hindrance. Especially fear, which Hellknights will attempt to weaponize against their enemies. To them, it is through such discipline that they may obtain victory.

Mercilessness is an interesting one. Mercilessness teaches them that all are guilty, even Hellknights themselves, and compassion is damaging to society and ultimately inhibits social progress. As such, none is truly worthy of mercy.

Reading their entry on the Character's Guide, they come off as very self policing. It also mentions that there is room for morality and goodness in the orders, and while many evil hopefuls might think that they might found shelter within the ranks, they themselves end up being punished for their capriciousness just as much the enemies of the order.

The Measure not being defined itself gives writers room to pull whatever from whenever — which is both good and bad, I guess. Maybe there's a hidden line somewhere about excessive cruelty or whatever.

I will also point out that the Character's Guide really seems to portray the incredibly problematic Order of the Nail as "Adventurers - The Order", although they're not really well developed there I guess. Isn't it possible that they have been retconned or corrected in the second edition? We've been told that Paizo prefers to deal with things like this in that way, no?

I know that there's at least one kind of member of the Order of the Nail that comes off as incredibly reasonable in one of the APs, for example.

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Oh wow hahaha, that post above was so long that I kind of made some weird spelling mistakes. Anyways, I meant " even after her own herald ascended...", and "Let the devil worshipping nation act develishly!". x(

How do we feel about an internal Hellknight reform storyline? "Too much evil too little law something something, the orders have been swayed away of their original intentions, Hell's hierarchy is fine but Hell's methods is NOT leading to more order", ascension of an order based on the order of the Axis or even Heaven instead of actual Hell, etc?

Axisknights or Heavenknight do not sound as cool as Hellknights, objectively speaking... And I don't think we have to go there? But I'd be open to exploring that theme and idea, as long as their visual identity is preserved. Yes yes, I like buff people in edgy armors, sue me!

But I'm curious to see what people think. To me, that Hellknights are supposed to be altogether LN is still odd, and there's so many weird situations, like the Order of the Nail's; considering the info that keftiu dug up... I'd personally preffer seeing them in less evil situations as to justify this, but maybe it's a little too late for even that?

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While I'd personally love to see Cheliax leading the diplomatic front on all TB issues, and having that pave the way to a United Nations-esque organization where their leadership is inherited to, we're already seeing the beginnings of structured international cooperation and I believe that Cheliax is kind of out of it.

Travel Guide information:
The Travel Guide introduces us to the Society of Scales, something akin to an international watch backed by half a dozen of unnamed nations, created as to facilitate law enforcement and just persecution between different countries. They're introduced as an alternative to Hellknights for when crimes are actually worth pursuing in case the target just skips town, and they're portrayed — by the fictional writer, I guess — as more polite than Hellknights, and as actual heroes.

Now, there's an impliciation that these sorts of organizations are granted a series of jurisdictional benefits or rights as to be able to operate between states like that, and I can't imagine the Infernal Throne conceding jurisdiction to anyone gratutiously, especially if they're painted as heroic. (When the HKs are painted as a stick on the mud by the same fictional writer) Maybe if they can put a lot of tabs on how they operate in their territory?

Now, of course, that Cheliax does not back the Scalies does not mean that they won't be able to reinforce themselves as a big player in the international cooperation front, but... Something to keep in mind. I find Andoran or Taldor leading that effort much more likely, to be honest.

But I do really like the idea of having the Infernal Throne acting a little more sneaky, to be honest. If I were to extrapolate (and I may be getting some info wrong in here), Cheliax biggest rival on the Inner Sea is undoubtedly Andoran. Within Cheliax's influence sphere, we got Nidal and Isger, and maybe Molthune. Andoran's sphere is a little thinner, with maybe Galt and Ravounel, and Osirion too, shared with Qadira. The other two biggest players in the Inner Sea are Taldor and Qadira, who rival each other (but probably a little less than before, thanks to Eutropia).

Honestly, they have a lot to gain by projecting a more reasonable image, as keftiu observed! It's probably a little hard to overcome the stigma of being devil worshippers, but otherwise acting within the Inner Sea's interests and controlling what informations gets out with a more cirurgical hand, instead of being all mwahahahaha, could even end up alienating their biggest critics, to be honest.

Could you imagine if Cheliax led the effort against TB, sacrificed a lot of people — sent a lot of minor nobles too to fight, probably cousins of cousins but don't mind that — then, after all that, projected a weakened imagine and then Andoran swept in on them? I dunno, it would make Andoran look really villanous.

And really, that's the best that they can do, imo, and internally too. Make the most militant forces that struggle against them look from unreasonable to downright cruel. Sure, we all know that Iomedeans are undoubtedly goodly even if a little headstrong, but do the people know that? To me, they've always come off as the most militant of all the core 20 followers. Even if it is hard to tarnish their imagine, well... It's easy enough to make them look incompetent. "They did lose Lastwall, right? Are they even able to do anything, at this point?" "Have you heard of Arazni's tale? Betrayed by goodly crusaders, even her own herald ascended, Iomedae didn't consider saving her own old patron... WE don't leave anyone behind like that..." Let the devil worshipping nations act devilish!

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Hey, I'd love to see the alchemist getting some tweaks or more options, maybe a class archetype or two — but... I was under the impression that the Treasure Vault is a book about a dragon's gigantic treasure vault, as presented by their assistant. Have we heard anything about class specific content? Don't wanna be a buzzkil, but it might be wise to adjust one's own expectations otherwise.

I don't see them squeezing in anything more than a sparse feat here and there, and probably related to crafting. Now, as for items, I think that there's a lot of fun things that can be done within the design space of mutagens, myself! Can't help but feel like only a few of them are usually worth it, and I don't see like that having to be a must, to be honest?

A mutagen that gives you fly speed as you grow wings from your back, but maybe you lose or land speed; as the mutagen does some body horror stuff to grow those wings...

A mutagen that temporarily gives you special senses (i.e scent) but makes you blind or locks you out of other senses...

Mutagens could also grant you special actions for a penalty. Like... I don't know. The whirling body mutagen lets you whirl your torso around, letting you use something like Double Slice but with Natural Attacks. And for that, maybe I dunno, you lose some speed or something. There's some stuff like that already!

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keftiu wrote:

Word is the Pactmasters recently banned slavery from their city, though they remain less than transparent as to their reasons why.

Oh wow, this is incredible! I just wrapped up my Osirion campaign literally last week. Its premise was about how Ipeq's whole garrison suddenly vanished and how Katapesh decided to just invade the country, and how Ipeq's influential people came together to recruit heroes to help them come with enough forces to stand their ground against Katapesh's mercenary army.

I made a whole epilogue about what came after, and between one of the players being an agent from Andoran and etc etc, I did make Katapesh do exactly that, having noticed the new tendencies around them, after being pushed back and all. I mean okay, it wasn't completely out of nowhere, but man what a coincidence!

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I feel like Hellknights do have a slight perception problem. I understand that we've mostly seen them being the evil minions that aid evil people in reinforcing their evil structuress — But overall, they are supposed to be a lawful neutral organization. So, they either gotta do a whole bunch of good as well, or just be so incredibly uh... Lawful? That their evil deeds don't actually matter that much.

Honestly, a HK AP would really help with that blindspot. At least for me! Just saying...

As for the Order of the Nail — These sorts of groups always come off weirdly, but they're not that different to me than Abaderites doing whatever for civilization's sake, or good nations intervening on the legitimacy of non-good nations because "our ways good". Yucky anyway, but if they're not supposed to be evil, then something's gotta give.

I imagine that the Order of the Nail's efforts are not as invasive as they probably sound — focusing on fighting or reducing legitimately dangerous aspects of the wilderness that they face instead of deconstructing whole cultures just because they don't like how their homes look like(Yes, I'm being ironic!). Like... I dunno, there's maybe a lot of road guarding and wolf killing and maaaybe telling some shoantis "hey you guys really need some of our architects" instead of whatever I imagine that they usually would say.

Otherwise, either that Lawful Good Centaur gal has two of her hooves already out of the door, or she just... Bumbled her way through life into that post. There's gotta be some narrative concession there.

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I would be all over a Hellknight AP! 11-20 does sound like a great range for their archetypes. Honestly, there's been a surprisingly odd amount of material enabling Hellknights APs from almost the very start of this edition. Let's put them to use!

Really, I'd be all over any faction-exclusive adventure, but especially a Hellknight's exclusive adventure.

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I know it may not be practical or an optimal use of space and there's some of overstepping there in the Cleric Dedication — But! But, but, but... Hear me out: Religious followers Archetypes.

Tired of having to hunt down Lore (Your Deity) or stretch your proficiency boosts thin to have Religion trained? Want to be able to use your deity's favored weapon? Want to have unique and flavorful feats to use during combat, that could very easily be analogues to the divine fighting techniques from the first edition?

Okay, I know that maybe not everything from that list can be granted, but c'moooon! Unique archetypes to the Core Deities, and maybe a few more, would be so cool! I... Can't imagine the page count and I understand that this might be a big ask, but I think they could work great for when your character really is a big follower of a certain deity, but they're not there yet to the level of proper clerics.

Also, I think that Divine Fighting Techniques — The Feat for each potential deity that has a follower archetype could be really cool and flavorful

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keftiu wrote:

I really agree! In my mind, a villain is as threatening as they're menacing. Beat them enough times, and they start to seem more like all bark and no bite — more mortal, as you said. I love that we have experienced Infernal Cheliax so deeply and from so many angles so far... But naturally, that makes them lose some of their mystery. I'd prefer if they were still villains at heart... But nevertheless, I would love some newer prospects for them. I would be a little disappointed if all we see is that their efforts keep getting thwarted at every turn and all the time (and nothing comes out of that, no lesson learned, no internal turnoil, no comeback).

I feel like we're going to hear from them soon. Another user pointed out to me that there's some hooks here and there indicating a potential future conflict between them and Andoran — likely initiated by Andoran. If the Infernal Throne does fall, then I'm curious to what happens to Old Cheliax... I can see Nidal standing up on their own, kind of. As for Isger and Ravounel... Well, I guess that would depend on what happens to the old Cheliax proper.

Saedar wrote:

...I really like intrigue.

I really like intrigue too! Taldor aside, Cheliax does seem like the ideal place for another intrigue campaign.

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I feel a lot of nostalgia for this region, but especially for Cheliax. I remember a friend lending me their Inner Sea World Guide to read, quickly turning over the pages and then stopping at Cheliax. I don’t remember why… I think the art had caught my eye. In my fourteen years old edginess, I absolutely loved the concept behind the nation — a realm that once had been chosen by the god of humanity itself, and been the goddess of justice’s birthplace, now reduced to tyranny and malice. And even though they were so clearly the bad guys and supposed to be on decline, they were still considered the strongest military force in the Inner Sea. A thousand of hooks sprung to my mind from reading Cheliax’s chapter alone.

I’ve grown, and my tastes have changed, but I don’t know… It’s hard to not look at the nation fondly.

But, hm… While I appreciate the idea that Cheliax finds itself stronger than before, I’m not so sure that’s exactly what’s been perceived by people, at least not the people around me. In the last two years, I had the pleasure to play with a lot of different people that were also into Golarion, and to my surprise, a lot of these friends don’t actually… Take Cheliax seriously? I don’t know. My own impressions are that Cheliax have been tanking loss after loss. If they are to remain a threat and conflicting point in the Inner Sea, then I really think that they could use some wins.

I’ve never been a fan of evil adventures, but a concept that has always enticed me is something akin to villains saving the day. Having the Infernal Throne (or its agents, in the case of an AP) doing something like that sounds kind of fun? “Oh no, some people in Andoran have opened a second Worlwound, but thankfully we stopped it! Andwecantreallyleavetheregionnowcanwe” Probably something pertaining a properly regional hook, though.

To me, Isger has become another Varisia, i.e land of adventuring. Its dense woods hide many secrets, and the tense relationships that it may foster with other goblinoids due to their past can make for some fun storytelling. What it does have is plenty of potential, right? Like, anything may soon be found in the Chitterwoods deeps. Maybe some mysterious ruins, from an unknown civilization? Maybe they’re from the Ghol-Gan or the Sekmin, somehow! But yeah, I’d love to see new things from Isger. I think they’ve got the potential. There can’t possibly be just goblinoids in the Chitterwoods!

I really like the idea behind Nidal, and I feel like the country is always present but never quite there? I know a lot of Nidal, despite never having read a lot on them. Honestly, of all the nations of Old Cheliax, Nidal seems the most likely to be featured in an eventual AP, imo. I feel like there was an attempt in the start of the edition to make Isger 2e’s Varisia, and we’ve been a loooooot of times in Cheliax. While playing as Desnans being up to something in Nidal is just a story waiting to be told!

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keftiu wrote:
Do folks think Azers have enough depth to be a full Ancestry, or is an Ifrit Dwarf close enough for government paperwork?

Hmm... I think they have potential, but I've used them in my games before and despite their relevance in the session, the moment I mentioned their talent with metalwork and showed them a picture of them, they were reduced to fire dwarves. :B

To be honest, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing — they do come off as very dwarf-ey. If we were to get downright elemental ancestries though, I'd be a little more inclied towards less analagous people, like the Magmin! What I'd really love in terms of ancestries from RoE, is something like an elemental essence, that would allow us to grow and shape ourselves as we grew with power — maybe a little akin to the amorphous elementals of older editions, but most customizable (and not necessarily amorphous).

I’ve never played one, but I’ve GMed for two and played alongside one. It’s… A little strange, really. From a glance, I really like what it offers, and people seem to really like it too (as evidenced by this thread!).

But these three players have all grown to be a little frustrated with it. Something between low damage, the best abilities having the incapacitation trait, and a hazy feeling that they are not contributing enough/that the party would be better off with another martial instead.

I dunno… I feel like they contributed plenty. But all three of them were newbies that had played martials with a bit more of pizazz before, maybe (Swashbuckler, Fighter and Thief Rogue, if I’m not mistaken). Ironically, all three of them went with Crane Stance, although the third player didn’t really stick with it and ended up poaching Sneak Attack from the Rogue Dedication and then built towards Whirlwind Throw. Always saw them use it to great effect, to be honest. So, I dunno!

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keftiu wrote:


If they don't get around to a Darklands book, this might be the place for playable Drow, weirdly enough. That would definitely move copies of a book that might otherwise be a little too familiar :>

Haha, you brought this up in another thread too, right? Meant to reply you there, but by the time I checked the thread again, the conversation seemed to have changed course. :B

But that's very true, and it honestly sounds like a more likely place to offer mechanical options for the Drow than waiting for that LO: Darklands. :| Great insight, keftiu.

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I'm always looking forward to your posts, Zousha! You seem to have such a firm grasp on the setting and, maybe more importantly, really know how the weave that knowledge into words and ideas beautifully.

I'm a very big fan of organizations focused on redemption or conciliation, but I often feel like they fall a little flat in execution... I may have a to take a look at their writeup in the Adventurer's Guide someday, to check how they feel. Anyways, I'd love to see a Lantern Bearer NPC in some adventure, doing something related to that adventure; like we often see Hellknights around.

Leon Aquilla wrote:


Other than Galt, there is none. Andoran is painted as the protector of liberal* values and a constant rival of Cheliax but as far as I can tell it mainly just sits there and looks smug and enlightened while Galt is a cluster and Cheliax continues to be evil in the west.

A more interesting take on Andoran would be well-meaning peacekeepers who just can't quite get it right and cause more trouble than they solve, breaking things and then acting unapologetic when they need to be fixed (sound like any contemporary places you can think of?).

*in the 19th century humanist sense of the term

Ahaha, I really like your take. Honestly, I don't necessarily mind Andoran's premise; it's their political missions that seem to be so unapologetically flawless in execution that I find either bland or kind of off-putting. They read like "Nation - The Hero" to me, and... Eh. I dunno. I find the power dynamics that must be established between them as a major power and other nations as minor powers for that sort of operations to be at least Neutral, alignement-wise. Unless they are executed perfectly, which in that case sure, they are Good; but by then, we're back to square one. I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling.

I also agree that the land could use more conflict, but of note, half or one third of Kyonin is occupied by a creepy demonic forest, which is the nest of one of the Inner's Sea biggest baddies right now.

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I've GMed both Second Darkness and War for the Crown to completion. Before doing that, I wasn't really a fan of any of the places from the Shining Lands that these APs visit. After running through them, though, you end up becoming fond of them. Or well, at least I did.

Slight-ish Second Darkness spoilers below:

My issue with Kyonin is an issue that is well known... Its portrayal in one of these adventures didn't seem to align to the image that the setting has for it. My players adventured in a very... Classically elf-ey land. The illusionary Iadara was fun, traversing the Tanglebriar felt tense, and dealing with a certain group of problematic elves felt exasperating. But their whole portrayal screamed Lawful Neutral, not Chaotic Good. I'm excited to meet the real Kyonin, whenever the time comes. I've always been curious of the Lantern Bearer's fate.

Before going through the AP set in Taldor, the nation never caught my eye. It seemed too generic, too vanilla... I've always been a fan of taldan being used as common in the most of the Inner Sea, but that's the only aspect of their premise that I found interesting

But the AP did wonders in humanizing the nation; of making their haughtiness both over the top but also credible(and then the they made the first taldan featured in a 2e AP so bleurgh, but nevermind that). I also think that WftC's first chapter is the strongest first chapter from all the adventure paths, buuuuut that's nor here nor there. I've liked the direction that the writers took them so far — as an International Relations major, I find Eutropia's efforts entertaining.

The Five Kings Mountains are very dwarf-ey! I've had moderate fun travelling through there in a certain AP, but I'm more excited to find out what else it can offer to set it apart from the many others classically generic dwarven nations that different settings have.

Druma and Andoran, I don't know a whole lot. But...

Druma... Eh. I don't know. I've never given it a chance, to be honest. They've always seemed like the avistani version of Katapesh, I guess, but with their own religion. I really think that the nation could use a small adventure. Personally, I've entertained the idea of running a game inspired by Shadowrun in there, where factions hire disposable mercenaries to mess with other factions. But realistically, that sort of game could be ran in many other places.

Andoran is one of the few nations in the entire setting that I sort of have an issue with; although not the only one. Personally, I am curious to what Andoran has to offer... And kind of put off to what Andoran has offer to the rest of the Inner Sea. I'm excited for the Crown of the Kobold King for that matter! Although it looks like a fairly impersonal adventure?

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I do not mean to beat a dead horse, but I am surprised that the Drow have not come out yet, being this “late” in the edition. From where I am around, they have to be one of the most popular ancestries in fantasy games... In the beginning of this edition’s lifespan I could swear that we’d see them pretty soon — sooner than most of the ancestries that we’ve already got! I know that we have the Cave Elf, but every time that I point the heritage out as a solution, fellow players just kind of seem to be bummed out about it.

Are the Drow not that big of an ancestry in the US?

keftiu wrote:
I'm going to be honest, I'm a little worried that the Battlezoo Monsters stuff will scare Paizo off of tackling any of the names on the list, and that really bums me out - I'm not interested in PF2 content that doesn't have Golarion lore. I really don't want to be in a situation where Pathfinder 2e never gets official playable Minotaurs and Stheno because someone else got around to it first.

Aw, hard same... I'm a fan of Mark's work, but I'd rather get content directly connected to Golarion. I think I recall him saying somewhere, maybe on the subreddit, that he himself was the loudest voice for Stheno content and with him gone, he didn't see them being released anytime soon... So there's that?

EDIT: Whoops, pressed sent before I should've! Anyways, I don't see Paizo not releasing content because a 3rd party already covered that. . . But, I am a little reticent that they never planned on releasing it on the first place and having it already covered dissuades them even more in contemplating the possibility. Don't mean to doomsay or anything, by the way! Sorry if it comes off as a little bummer-ey.

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Pathfinder 2e can be a complicated game, and the earlier APs can be tough... But this ratio is really odd. As others suggested, taking a look at their sheets might give us a clue to what can be wrong. Until then, maybe we can spitball what sort of rules-gotten-wrong could've led to this?

After this new edition launched, me and my group played for a good half of an year before realizing that the current Dying value does not ping pong back to the Wounded condition (i.e Being Dying 3 and getting healed doesn't make you automatically Wounded 3!).

I have seen some newbies messing up their proficiency levels a little too and what not. Some players don't seem to realize that you add your levels to almost every value in your character sheet, or forget to count their proficiency level bonus (trained +2, expert +4, etc).

I'm sure there's other instances that could lead to this... I've played through the entirety of Age of Ashes with an okay group(Alchemist, Wizard, Fighter, Champion and Monk) that really didn't do tactics (i.e Monk rushing ahead through a map full of difficult terrain against the enemies, leaving the rest of the party many feet back) and we only had two deaths.

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Personally, I'm really hoping for an Inquisitor, or something analogue to that! I'm really into Golarion's religion and I always play religious characters, even if I'm not playing a religious class. But for those times when I do want to play as a dedicated priest of some deity, I don't know. Sometimes I feel like the available chassis's (Cleric's or Champion's) doesn't quite hit the mark for plenty of how I imagine the typical priests of some deities being like. I think that an Inquisitor-analogue could provide the flexibility.

But honestly, and I know this is a very big ask, what I'd really love is for religious archetypes, emulating typical abilities the followers of certain deities might practice, like the divine fighting techniques from the first edition or just new stuff. But, if they didn't come on Gods & Magic, I'm not sure they're ever going to be a thing. :|

Karmagator wrote:
A topic I would have mixed feelings about is the Andoran-Chelish war they have dropped hints about. Usually, that would be absolutely my cup of tea, but given current events... yeah. Probably not so much.

What! Feel free to ignore me if my prodding is too much, but when and where were these hints dropped? I really like the idea, even if I'm reticent on what the consequences could be.

It's a long shot, but between Sayre's comment about hobgoblin weapons and another prediction on reddit about a release with bugbears as a playable ancestry...

We could be getting a book about goblinoids, in a similar vein to Book of the Dead! I'm not sure I'd put my money on this and honestly it does seem a little tight of a thematic (vs. Fey: The Book, or Aberrations: The Book), but who knows! They could expand the theme around it somehow so it's more than just goblinoids, or just... Include a lot of new content about them, too!

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Losonti wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Losonti wrote:
Speaking of armored skirts: did you also do the lore for Falayna in Knights of Lastwall?
I did! Among many other sections. ^_^
Of course, your name is on the front and all! Just wanted to let you know I loved her whole write up. I had only sort of vaguely known Falayna existed prior to this book, and now she's easily one of my favorite deities.

Just wanted to add my two cents and say that I love her write up too! It's very evocative. I've known and liked Falayna since the first edition, but that section really made me want to play as one of her followers, and I'm definitely planning to include a group of her followers as faction for my next campaign.

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keftiu wrote:
There’s a tiny part of me that thinks we’ll see an intrigue/espionage hardcover next year.

And there's a big part of my that hopes that you're absolutely right???

I've had tremendous success using the influence subsystem, and it's great... But having a complete lack of premade statblocks is a small issue, imo. A few arcs ago, my players attended a ball where they chould schmooze and secure resources for their efforts. And it was great! But oh god, having had to prep 14 statblocks was very, very tiring... I can easily come up with a homebrew creature if needed in a minute or two, but these statblocks took time.

Anyways, I'm a fan of social mechanics. and I'd really look forward to any book like that, even if they didn't expand on the influence subsystem.

That aside, I'm willing to bet that we're going to be seeing a Saga Lands book sooner than later. If we do, I hope that we see something interesting about skalds — I never cared too much about them, but after reading the occult section on Secrets of Magics, honestly, I can't think of any other class/archetype/cultural identifier more fitting for the tradition than them, even a little more than bards! (who they might end up being anyways)

Personally, I feel like it's a little unlikely but I'd love to have another playtest. It feels like while since the last one.

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keftiu wrote:
Is there any kind of Giant-kin ancestry in Pathfinder canon?

Hmmm, it depends a little on what you are asking? I know that Half-Ogres exist for example, but they're the offsprings of ogres and other giant ancestries, like trolls, hill giants, etc. I'm also pretty sure that giantkin is the umbrella term for giant ancestries in general (titans, ogres, trolls, cyclopes, etc) but I'm guessing you're using it as a correlation to geniekin, right? Correct me if I'm presuming wrong. :B

I'm pretty sure that there was no playable giantkin ancestry in the first edition, at least. The closest that we got were the Trox, I think.

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Oh! Well, to reiterate and reinforce what I meant to get across, I do not mean to dismiss your experiences in any way or capacity, Vamp. I largely agree with your reasoning that needing certain proficiency prereqs for tasks or challenges that cannot be circumvented in any other way isn't fun design!

I just wanted to offer another perspective on combat encounters specifically. I don't mind having my character be possessed for an encounter, for example - which does not mean that your experience is any less important than mine. It's just that I like abilities like that, but I do emphatize with your frustration. I just... Wouldn't like to see them gone, I guess?

I'm not sure if you referred to me as well in your last post but I do apologize if my post aggravated you in any way!

Edit: In fact, I myself made a similar thread a few years ago, more focused on the matter of quantity of combat encounters if I'm not mistaken. I'm not sure what linking it could bring to this discussion, but there might be something of value there aside from my bad english. :B

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Hmmm. . .

First of all, OP, I just want to say that your experiences are completely valid. I myself agree with you in a few points — Having to need anything that you cannot have in the moment isn't the most cool situation. In the case of hazards, this often means having to wreck it, or power through them... And I feel like, sometimes even these are not options at all. Having to need a rogue is even more bleh. I'm playing an EC campaign right now and the poor ranger had to invest in thievery because of that. With that considered...

I haven't ran a Paizo AP for a while, so I'm not sure how the difficulty is working out in the recent APs. More experienced players than me have actually told me that they find AV more lethal than AoA for example, although from what I see online I'm not sure if that's generally considered true. With that said, I will say that these... What, gimmicky fights? Are my favorite sort of fights. When the enemies does something special, I mean. Be it posession, Clay Golem's curse wounds, being able to do a super three-action combo if players finishes their turns adjacent to the enemy that is able to do it, having a cool bat wing reaction, etc etc. As a player myself, it pulls me in into the game and etc. Imo, these are the fights that makes people go "Ooooooh!" or "Nooooooooo!" or "Ohmygod Sasha you're dying 2 from the crit!!!". I do realize this is probably a group thing. Keeping the mood up and hyped is pretty important.

I say this as kindly as possible but imo, having a creature with a gimmick and not being able to use that gimmick defeats its point in the first place. Simply put, an enemy with Posession in meant to take a player out of the game, a Clay Golem is meant to make players waste their healing elixirs, etc. I get it! You're not saying that you don't enjoy gimmicks. A potential solution to these would be toning down these abilities... But again, would they be so memorable (if not frustrating, true) if they were toned down? Wouldn't they become another forgettable creature ability?

I'm not saying that these abilities's designs are perfect! Just offering some food for thought. These last questions that I made aren't necessarily literal, and are more there to get a point across.

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I don't recall my players having any issues with hit chances when we tackled Starfinder. It's a great game, with a lot of cool ideas — but honestly, what eventually killed the game for us were combats in general. They felt like a slog. :| They're waaaay too long, and that's mainly because of how little damage you do, especially if you're not melee.

I've skimmed through the entire thread and people have already made their points about the earlier premade adventures, have already spelled out useful and not implicit advice, and etc. I'd love to offer and extrapolate another perspective, though, for the discussion's sake. This is a big post, by the way. :B

And that is of a GM's. I'm not sure how new your GM is to the game, but I will say that GMing Pathfinder 2e is both an incredibly easy experience and, at first, an uncomfortable one. People often say how players should readjust their expectations and paradigms when playing Pathfinder 2e, but I'd say the same thing counts to GMs as well. I have never GMed another game out there that has the same precise fine-tuning in difficulty that PF2e has. I can genuinely say out of all the encounters that I've tailored,a good 90% of them turn out exactly as I thought they would, difficulty-wise.

And this is a powerful but sensitive feature to have! When I GM, I dunno, PF1e, SWADE, heck, Vampire The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition — all these games require a more flexible mindset when designing challenges and encounters. Of course they have their own nuances, but I can more or less adapt pretty swiftly to them, shooting for a difficult in any of these games is exactly that: A small bet. Sometetimes it pays out, sometimes it doesn't.

And sometimes GMs do not realize that that's not only not needed in PF2E, but can also cause trouble. Yet, the issue that I want to point out is not even that. At this point, a GM has to wonder: Do I want my game to be difficult? Heroic? Trivial?

And that can be an issue. It might not, but it can! For a long time I've myself thought that challenging encounters are more fun! And sometimes they're great. But when players are fighting for their lives in every single encounter, well...

It can cause what you're feeling, I think. In my group's last encounters, my 5 level 9 PCs faced a group of... Six or seven? Elite Brimoraks. Fireballs were thrown, Resist Energy was cast, a surprising amount of damage was dealt to the group... But the Fighter got to use their AoA a bunch of times, the Monk was able to trip using Assurance (Athletics), and the Ranger used their frost crossbow to great effect. The optional boss of the dungeon has already been teased, and they are more or less ready — though they do know that the boss is a strong enemy, and know that they will have to adapt accordingly and suffer anyways, because it's a boss. And feeling powerful and then facing a powerful opponent, that might be on your same group's level? That can create great tension, imo.

Anyways, just food for thought. I hope you can grow to like the game, OP, because I've had great, great fun with it. And I don't mean to drop this on the GM or anything: As I said, GMs have to readjust to the game's paradigm, yeah, but so does the players, at least for a fun experience. And if you don't... It's not the end of the world. People can like what they like.

Knowing what actual AP you’re going to play might help gauge how difficult it actually is supposed to be, OP! In a few some adventures, having party members going down might almost seem inevitable in some of its parts, for example.

People have given lovely suggestions, but I’ll be the boring one and suggest something a little more traditional but that would complement the group very, very nicely… A Cleric. A Cloistered Cleric, specifically.
It might not matter how much exponential growth a party member could bring its group to the table — from the moment that someone is knocked down, the strength of the group will waver! While in the majority of the cases APs are completely playable without dedicated combat healers… Well. Some adventures do require precise tactics and an understanding of the flow of the game that not everyone has, or is interested in having, which is okay. Going with a Cleric will help the whole group stay up and fighting, and that is particularly important since you’re four instead of five!

As far as “making the GM cry” goes, having been a GM and seeing all the damage that a boss did in a crit being whiskered away by one of the Cleric’s two-action Heals, and knowing that they probably have like ten more slots, well… It has never made me cry, but it certainly has made me go “Huh”.

Just make sure to suggest Sanctuary as one of their spells. :B

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I can see any primary martial doing great in this composition, really. Champions are incredibly durable and their AC scales very, very nicely — which is even more relevant since you guys will play Fists of the Ruby Phoenix next. If you would wrap it up at the end of AV though, you'd only enjoy the AC difference in the last module, I think.

A pretty great alternative is going Fighter and picking up Champion's Dedication and Champion's Reaction at levels 2 and 4 respectfully! Champion Dedication can be kind of a not that great of a feat for a Fighter, that's true, but you do get training in Religion out of it and more importantly, access to Champion's Reaction.

A more offensive approach would be going with the Paladin's Reaction, which Fighters really enjoy thanks to their better weapon proficiencies. The Redeemer's Glimpse of Redemption is a great conservative and defensive reaction, and the Liberator's Liberating Step is a little more circumstancial but, depending on the occasion, can really shine! If the Thief isn't planning on taking that feat that allows them to sneak attack whenevear an ally is also adjacent to the target, then I'd consider going with a reach weapon.

Ganigumo already mentioned it but, going with the Ruffian racket is a pretty good option too. You can pick up Sentinel if you want to be a little more tanky, and honestly, I'd also maybe consider the Champion Dedication because the champion's reactions work great for any rogue, even though rogues do have a surplus of reaction options down the line. Plus, rogues in general perform great at those levels, you'll be dealing some nice damage with the Thief. If both were to pick... Uh, Gang Up, I think? At level 6 if I'm not mistaken, I mean...That's pretty much just giving free sneak attack die for both of you. Though it will always be awkward deciding who goes first.

Any martial class is going to work, though. What may really sell your survival is your guys' in game tactics! Try to always go after the Bard inspires courage or... Dirges of dooms, I guess, so you can enjoy it's benefit (if doable), never go too out of the reach of the Cleric, flank if useful, bottleneck enemies's against doorways if able, etc etc. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!

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They also usually have a +Dex/+Cha spread instead of +Dex/+Int, no? I'm not sure if that's like, very important to Drow fans, buut yeah. There's also that!

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keftiu wrote:
I wish I felt like there was any chance of 2023 being the Golden Road's year, but it just doesn't feel like they've gestured toward that region much at all so far. It's a shame; it would be really tidy to have all 3 regions in Garund like that.

I'd loooove if they surprised us with a Golden Road year! But if there is any foreshadowing at all to be considered, then I really think that the meta region that they're going to tackle next is the Eye of Dread. The recent undead content segways very nicely into there, and with Knights of Lastwall coming out soon-ish...

Or I'm terribly missing my mark here. Anyways, let's cross our fingers for a bunch of Golden Road content being announced in the next conventions!

The only thing I'd love even more is if we got a LO: Darklands book! People love their Darklands ancestries, and me personally, I'm just after more Darklands goodies and info.

(No, Into the Darklands and Darklands Revisited is not enough...)

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No updates, OP. :|

I've always been under the impression that the Drow is a very popular choice in any medieval fantasy-esque TTRPG, and I swore that they'd show up in some way sooner than later in this edition. It is a little funny that you can technically play as Drider but not as a Drow yet, though. (Because of the Fleshwarp ancestry. I did say technically!)

There's also a chance that the Darklands variants to the core ancestries (Drow, svirfneblin and duergar) could also show up as heritages or something of these ancestries. Or ancestry feats with specific prerequisites (in the same vein of nationality ancestry feats).

If they do show up as their own ancestries though, then I'd bet on them being on a Lost Omens: Darklands book, so keep an eye on anything that might foreshadow something like that, OP!

Saedar wrote:

Are you actually talking about the entire TTRPG industry or just D&D/PF/Similar?

The general TTRPG industry! And I have actually played Agon before — it's a great, great game, though pretty niche. When I said big or relevant, I guess I did mean more like, in popularity. Maybe it's a me thing, but if I think of a superhero ttrpg, there's Mutants & Masterminds! Or, If I think of a hardcore simulationist TTRPG, there's Gurps. If I think of Cyberpunk, there's Shadowrun and, well, Cyberpunk 2020; if I think of low fantasy or grimdark or whatever, then Warhammmer or Shadows of the Demon Lord comes up. Urban Fantasy games? The White Wolf line. Pulpy games? Savage Worlds... Horror? Call of Cthulhu.

But I dunno, nothing comes to mind when I think of norse or greek inspired games. But I know there's some around! I know that Gurps has a supplement for everything, and Mythras has great supplements for certain periods of time. Saga of the Icelanders is more about, well... Icelanders, but it's sill thematically similar to some; and Fate of the Norns seems to be a proper Vikings: The RPG. I've also have heard of Yggdrasil too, but very lightly.

RE: Ustalav, you guys are right! Thinking back, there is a lot of content on them. Though... I dunno. Wouldn't it make sense to invest more on gothic fantasy because of Ravenloft's success? Or no?

Personally, if we were to get a book dedicated to a more traditional region, I think I do lean a little more towards the Eye of Dread. Although, with so much stuff on undead coming out, maybe we won't be getting to them so soon? The again, if not now, I'm not sure when is going to be more thematically approriate (although it doesn't need to, I guess).

(also give us Iblydos Paizo plz)

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keftiu wrote:
They've said we won't see Iblydos until we get Mythic... so I want Mythic for that, at least.

Could be a great place to (re?)introduce some classical thematic ancestries, too. Cyclops, merfolk, minotaurs, centaurs, harpies... I'm not even sure if all of them are supposed to be a big deal on Iblydos but hey, there is a lot of options.

Yeah, I'm personally not interested in explicit post-20th level content at all. Honestly, I'm not sure what I want from it, aside that I really want it haha — and I don't love the idea of it being a post-20th level thing.

I dunno, I like Paizo doing their own stuff, their own way — like their reimagining of ancestries. Free Archetypes sound like a very easy way to to configure mythic archetypes into the game although, to be honest, the idea of them being balanced with existing content sounds a little off. A player choosing Dual Weapon Warrior instead of Ultra Mythic Warrior at level 2 because they get double slice sounds a little unintentially funny. I know a lot of people are not into the idea of mythic messing with the game's math, but the idea of turning mythic tiers into a mythic proficiency bonus does sound cool and easy to balance around. Though, who knows! "Mythic feats" kind of already exist to an extent, since most high level (skill, I guess) feats are already pretty epic in flavour, so I'm not sure what they could do there.

Hopefully we will actually get to playtest it first.

But getting back to topic: I know that the Knights of Lastwall are not technically from Lastwall anymore, but if we were to try to see it as a hint to the next metaregion that is going to be released after Impossible Lands... Maybe the Eye of the Dread isn't that far away at all!

Plus, I'm so very sure that people love gothic fantasy (or well, people seem to like Ravenloft a lot at least), it always came off as interesting that Ustalav wasn't more prominent.

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Travelling Sasha wrote:

Edit: Do you guys also know what place would be perfect to feature mythic rules with? I certainly don't, cough cough.

Okay, I am just going to say it: It's Iblydos. Iblydos would be a great place to introduce mythic rules with.

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I do like vikings and norse-inspired fantasy, even though it's not something that I'm absolutely crazy about. If a Saga Lands book does come out, I think I'd be pretty excited for that and general Ulfen info, and probably a deeper look at the Shoanti. Concerning the latter, I'm very curious at how they're handling the rise of New Thassilon, considering their past with the Thassilonians of old (are they even aware of it?).

I also don't think, despite agreeing that norse-fantasy has been something pretty popular, that there's any... I don't know, any big or relevant norse-inspired place within the ttrpg scene, is there? Like, somewhere very famous. In fact, I think there's not a big or relevant norse-inspired ttrpg itself at all. Something to consider!

There's also no big greek-inspired place within the RPG scene as well, Paizo. Something for you guys to consider. Oh, if only you had the perfect place to explore for that... A place that starts with I, and ends with blydos. I guess that place would need to have an iconic ancestry pertaining to a mythological creature, huh? Like... I dunno, descendents of Medusas. Oh well, something to dream about.

(I know that Glorantha is considered pretty hellenistic, don't ruin my pitch here).

Edit: Do you guys also know what place would be perfect to feature mythic rules with? I certainly don't, cough cough.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Isn't Razmir currently in Absalom, waiting for the right moment to take the test of the Starstone ?

Ah yeah, that's true! Or well, at least that's the (very likely) theory going around.

Honestly! I don't know. I really like keftiu's hook, of his followers suddenly gaining divine powers after he kicks the bucket; so I'm very open to a possibility like that... But Razmir has always been such a charming villain of the setting. Sending him to meet Pharasma after never actually having him do anything... I dunno.

As for my guesses: With Knights of Lastwall coming out, I'm guessing that the next adventure is going to be related to them. Really, with what I've seen from the preview, the book seems surpisingly flexible! Does anyone know if the book is written from the POV of someone?

Just a little tangent on the writeup of a certain goddess:
Iomedae's section came out as particularly severe to me. Reminded me of Geb talking about Pharasma on the Book of Dead a little bit? But maybe that was just my impression...

As far as books on regions go, hmmm. So far we've gotten an entire, beautiful book on the Mwangi Expanse and we're getting another probably similarly beautiful book on the Impossibe Lands. I think that they're either going to keep doubling down on the most non-fantasy traditional places, or either focus on one again.

So my bets are either on LO: Golden Road, or LO: Saga Lands. I'd love if they came out with LO: Broken Lands tbh! But, with no support of high-tech stuff on sight, I'm not sure they'd release a book with Numeria... And they did came ou with both Guns & Gears and an adventure set on Alkenstar before announcing LO: Impossibe Lands. (Which, decidedly, doesn't say much, but it could be a pattern!)

And while I have never been the craziest fan of Varisia, I know that many people have lots of love and nostalgia for it, including plenty of the devs. It seems like the most natural region to revisit, if they want to splash some traditional western fantasy on their LO line again. Though alternatively, I'd love to take a look at the Eye of the Dread — so many things happening there!

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