Travelling Sasha's page

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Oh wow, you guys are right! I completely skipped over that, huh.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I'm inclined to think that, technically no elemental blast cast from the bonfire can trigger the fire junction since that attack is just a ranged wood blast that happens to be on fire, and happens to originate from a different location than usual. While the bonfire itself definitely is a fire impulse, it doesn't seem like anything says that the wood blast launched from the bonfire gains the trait--albeit it probably should considering it will deal fire damage on arrival.

Of course, I have a feeling the discussion of what is or isn't technically correct may be about to get quite contentious and I'm not about to defend this reading considering that I would probably allow the bonfire bonus to go up to d8 for the fire junction, albeit at the stated maximum of one impulse junction per round.


Some of your thoughts makes me believe that you're of the opinion that a junction can only affect an impulse of their own element. Am I understanding you wrong?

As far as I can see (and I may be missing something, feel free to point it out to me!), fire junction may affect any fire damage die of any impulse. My only question is if we have any way to define "other impulse effects" to conclude if the additional damage die from Living Bonfire should be able to be upgraded by the fire junction, or if the fire junction is attempted to be applied before the fire die is added.

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Baarogue wrote:
@Sasha If your point is that Living Bonfire doesn't do any damage on its own, and that's why it doesn't qualify for the fire impulse junction, then I accept that interpretation. That just means you need to fire infuse to use the fire impulse junction each time you use a wood blast with Living Bonfire to upgrade the additional damage die from d6 to d8

Hahaha, yep! That's pretty much how I, personally of course, interpret it.

Baarogue wrote:
Living Bonfire is the most straightforward answer. It is a fire impulse that takes 2 actions, so qualifies for the fire impulse junction. When you use Living Bonfire, you increase the damage die size of fire damage dealt by the impulse by one step. "This blast deals an additional 1d6 fire damage." So increase that die to 1d8

So the additional damage of Living Bonfire wouldn't count as an "impulse effect", then?

Baarogue wrote:
If you use two-element infusion on a wood elemental blast to combine it with fire and activate your fire impulse junction, "The blast gains the traits of both elements and uses the highest range and damage die among the two elements." The highest range among the two elements is 60' from fire, and the dice are tied between 1d8 bludgeoning or vitality and 1d8 fire due to fire junction raising the damage die size of fire damage by one step. Regardless of which die you choose, you roll the dice, add modifiers, AND THEN split the total equally between bludgeoning or vitality damage and fire damage with any remainder from an odd total going to the type of your choice. You do not split the DICE before rolling, you split the DAMAGE after rolling and totalling. "Half the blast's damage is the damage type of one element, and the other half is the damage type of the other element. If the total damage is an odd number, you choose which element deals the higher damage."

Hmmm, agreed!

Baarogue wrote:
If you emit that blast through the Living Bonfire from my first paragraph, it would do an additional 1d8 fire damage, which is not increased again by your fire impulse junction because you're not "using" the Living Bonfire impulse again, you're just benefiting from its existing effect

So, this is why I don't think the fire junction can interact by itself with Living Bonfire: Say that in my first round, I use Living Bonfire, and so the fire damage die from any elemental blast that comes from it goes from d6 to d8 for the duration of Living Bonfire, okay. Next round! I'm using Elemental Blast, and it is coming from the Living Bonfire. Why couldn't activate the fire junction again, to upgrade it to a d10? I don't think there's any rule that prohibts the benefits of an existing effect, though I could be wrong.

IMO, Living Bonfire doesn't deal any damage. It enhances elemental blasts that come from it with an additional d6 fire damage. If the effects of Living Bonfire aren't considered as an "impulse effect", then absolutely, whenever the Kineticist uses an Elemental Blast that comes off the Living Bonfire, then the fire die is upgraded.

Is it practically kinda the same thing, though. :B

shroudb wrote:
But it does tell us. It tell us that it happens when the damage is dealt. That's neither before, nor after, and it's clearly defined (since damage is dealt at a specific point during the sequence)

"Increase the damage die size of fire damage dealt by the impulse by one step" is the effect of the junction. It is not specifying when it happens in the same way that it does with Air or Water. If that was the case, it would say something like "during the other effects of the impulse, increase the damage die size(...)" (which I don't think makes tons of sense rules-wise, since we have to know if the junction may affect the other effects of the impulse or not, so it should happen before or after).

shroudb wrote:

So in the case of Fire junction, there isn't an effect that happens before, but something that happens during, since that's what the specific junction says it does ("increase damage die DEALT").

Hi! Junctions will let us know when they take effect in a very explicit way. For example:

Air: "Before or after the other effects of the impulse, you can either Stride up to half your Speed or Step. If you have a fly Speed, you can Fly up to half your fly Speed instead."

Water:After the impulse's other effects, you can move one creature targeted by the impulse or in its area 5 feet in any direction, or 10 feet if it's in a body of water. This can't move the creature into the air. You can choose only a creature that's willing to be moved, that failed its save against the impulse, or that you succeeded at an impulse attack roll against."

Fire junction doesn't note when it happens in the same way, so it should default to happening before the impulses' other effects.

Finoan wrote:

Ahahaha to be clear, I'm not saying that the usage of a fire junction disallows for the usage of an infusion, it's just that the infusion effects are applied after the fire junction's. Some people think that Two-Element Infusion transforms the die of the Elemental Blast to a fire die, and so it should upgrade the d8 to d10. That's why I included the bit about "fire junctions shouldn't work on infusions". Not with, explicitly on.

As for Living Bonfire, I don't know... I can see what you're saying, but one could also argue that the Living Bonfire impulse isn't dealing any damage by itself, it simply enhances the damage dealt by Elemental Blasts coming from there with an extra d6 of fire damage. If we were to consider your version, then what happens if a player says "okay, it's my next turn, I use an Elemental Blast and it comes from the Living Bonfire. It deals an extra d8 by itself but since this is a new impulse, I'll upgrade it again fire the fire junction to a d10".

That feels a little... Unintended, no?

IMO it also doesn't seem to consider if the effects that Living Bonfire have on further Elemental Blasts coming from there are considered "impulse effects", because if yes, then they shouldn't be upgraded by the fire junction.

Kineticist can be a complex class, hahaha.

Living Bonfire allows the Kineticist to "summon" a proxy bonfire that from which it can use their Elemental Blast from. Whenever they do, their wood (vitality/bludgeoning) Elemental Blast deal an additional d6 fire damage. Okay!

Now, if I were to use Two-Element Infusion with an Elemental Blast coming from a Living Bonfire, I'd be using the highest damage die between fire and wood. Fire does d6, wood does d8, so it's wood's.

First question: What exactly are we rolling? Either a d8 bludgeoning damage die that deals half of its damage as fire, or an untyped d8 damage die that deals half bludgeoning and half fire damage. Correct? Since neither of these two possibilities aren't a fire damage die, it can't trigger the fire impulse juction, I think. Okay. Even if that isn't the case, infusion is defined as such:

Actions with the infusion trait tweak your kineticist impulses. You must use an infusion action directly before the impulse action you want to alter. If you use any action (including free actions and reactions) other than an impulse action directly after, you waste the benefits of the infusion action. Any additional effects added by an infusion action are part of the impulse's effect, not of the infusion action itself.

And it says as such when you gain your junctions:

"In addition, you gain an impulse junction, a benefit that occurs when you use an impulse of the chosen element that takes 2 actions or more. This happens before the other effects of the impulse, unless noted otherwise. You can gain only one impulse junction per round; they are described in full below."

Fire junction doesn't detail when its effects happens, so the junction happens before any of the impulse's effects. As such, really, fire junction can't work in any infusion. Right?

But what about the additional d6 from Living Bonfire? Would its die be increased by the fire junction impulse? Is its additional die considered "other effects of the impulse"? Is the intention of the fire junction to only work with the base fire Elemental Blast, then?


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The Raven Black wrote:
My most problematic players were usually CN.

Yep, mine too. I've never had a problem with paladin players, nor with dwarves players for that matter.

I understand that the crusader archetype may sometimes attract problematic players, but a lot of people seem to want Iomedae to be problematic, to justify their own dislike of her. I'm not saying this to anyone in this thread in particular, but it is a behaviour that I've observed around my gaming cicles, and around some spots on reddit and discord too. And let's not even talk about the Owlcat's CRPGs subreddit. :B

I'm all of her losing an arm though, she'd look super badass and it would make for some cool representation!

Question: I can swear someone from the dev team said something akin to "the reason the war starts is because of the death of the deity". Am I misremembering things?

Simeon wrote:

So there's one important detail about her relationship to Iomedae that isn't explicitly stated when sources describe Arazni's relationships with other gods. The Knights of Ozem, led by Iomedae at the time, summoned Arazni to help fight against the Whispering Tyrant. Despite Arazni being willing and eager to fight, the Knights bound Arazni to their will. With Iomedae as the leader of the knights, who else would've held the reins of power or given the order the bind Arazni? Because of that binding, she was unable to retreat when the Whispering Tyrant gained the upper ground, and she died because of it.

Essentially, Iomedae willfully allowed Arazni to be murdered and kicked off the whole series of events that led to her becoming a lich. Arazni commands her followers to "despise and never forgive those who hurt you" and if I was in her shoes, I would see Iomedae as a person who hurt me.

Ah, right. I've seen this understanding being mentioned here and there, and pretty often.

I mean, I dunno. Feels really weird that Iomedae could even be aware of this - knowing how she is like, I don't think she would have allowed that to happen, to anyone really and especially not to her own patron deity. She even kept her paladin powers after the event, and came to serve Aroden only a good few years later on her life, no? Why would Arazni empower the person who did that to her?

That such resentment isn't ever mentioned anywhere, even during or after Arazni is being freed while her relationship to Iomedae is actually being defined (during Tyrant's Grasp, if I'm not mistaken) seems a clear indicator to me that that wasn't a thing. IMO one could extrapolate why Iomedae didn't attempt to free Arazni while she served Geb for example, but even then I think it's likelier that she did try but wasn't able to, otherwise surely Arazni's feelings toward her would explicitly be more negative.

Simeon wrote:
Woo! Hard to kill what's already dead. The hint that Arazni might be the one to do the slaying is lending credence to my theory that it'll be Iomedae.

Wait, why would Arazni slay Iomedae? Did I miss something? I believe the only thing we've been told about them (unfortunately, because I'd like to hear more) in so far is that Arazni has complex and ambivalent feelings about her old Paladin: That she resented her for reaching divinity easily, and that she was proud of her for her victory over the Shining Crusade.

We've been told that this edition will focus on ranged combat (or something akin to that, I don't remember the verbatim :B).

What are your thoughts on it, from what we've been shown?

Personally, I remember been told exactly that when I set up to GM Against the Aeon Throne (by people, not necessarily any devs) and feeling confused when players would slog through fights with actual hits turning to 1 or 2 damage, until it got to the melee combatant's turn so they could actually strike down the enemy.

I do really like the idea of the game having a focus on ranged combat, though, and I hope it comes through fun.

EDIT: Just to clarify something real quick, I did only GM the first book of Against the Aeon Throne and haven't had the chance to interact with the game again, so I'm unsure if my impression would've changed on later levels.

I'm growing more curious about how Paizo is doing this... Do y'all think that Paizo are considering meta consquences of the death of the deity, or nah?

For example, the death of a deity like Urgathoa or Iomedae would leave the Core 20 with some odd blanks. Iomedae missing would leave no iconic paladin deity on the pantheon for paladin players, and no personable deity between the more (cof lawful) orderly and benevolent options of the core 20. Likewise, no deity of undeath seems like a strange blank for the pantheon. Do you think that reasons like these are enough for Paizo to disconsiderer a deity from dancing their last dance?

(Keeping in mind for these examples that Paizo devs have said that Arazni won't be replacing whoever gets the boot et all).

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lotrotk wrote:
I bet Iomedae will survive. Arazni and Iomedae together is a good opportunity for conflict, thus driving the narrative!

Right?! Development between Arazni and Iomedae was something that I was hoping for since the reveal of her freedom - it would be such a loss to me if nothing is done with it and then Iomedae just bites it...

Thread title, essentially!

Paizo is slowly revealing which deities are safe through the beautifully written Godsrain Prophecies, and I'm wondering about people's thoughts on which ten deities will have their status remain a mystery by the end of these revelations. For those who are unaware, Paizo will only reveal the safety of ten deities, so another ten will still be in danger until the actual reveal.

What are your bets?

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I really want to note how beautifully written this and the last prophecy are. I'm not a native english speaker, so I have a hard time really feeling texts in english, but these two are just beautiful works.

Anyways, back to hoping that it isn't Iomedae the one to bite the dust!

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I realize this may be a little out of scope for the Remaster, but I myself would love to see proper support for a ranged champion, ideally as a class archetype because imo its chassis need a few key changes for it to work well.

I mean yes, you can more or less get by with a throwing build, but if I want to play as a Champion of Erastil and wants to use his divine weapon, then I:

- Will have to incur the volley trait penalty if I want to use my reaction.
- Will have to stay too close to the enemy if I want to use my reaction.
- Will probably have to focus on my Dexterity, which won’t offer any synergy with heavy armor. In fact, I probably won’t wear one because I won’t have the strength requirements for one.
- If I want to play as an actual ranged character; that is, trying to be as far away from the enemy as possible, then I won’t be able to use my reaction… And at this point, why even play a Champion?

And yeah, I realize that the volley trait is a specific problem in itself, but it is compounded by the need of proximity to the enemy and allies of the champion.

I think that an ideal ranged champion option should:

- Have a reaction or similar key ability that works within a pretty generous range. Ideally have it run off your own weapon.
- Preserve the tank identity in some way, maybe muddling it more into a tank-debuffer or something.
- Decide if the ranged version of the class should wear heavy armor and then implement it in a worthwhile way (i.e use dex instead of str for the armor requirement values), or if it should have typical light to no armor and less AC (so maybe with this you could move more of the budget around?).

And that’s pretty much it!

I also kinda of agree on Rogues... If I see yet another elven branch spear wielding Thief Rogue that immediately goes for Gang Up as soon as they can... Well, that'd be okay and all because it's not broken or anything like that, but the class definitely feels like it gets a ton of mileage of its basic kit (damage rider, bunch of skill increases) and certain feats while others, well, don't as much. That so many people play exactly that in my circles would seem to confirm it, or at least paint my perspective.

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Timber Sentinel is really, really strong! I've been seeing it in play for a while and it often feels like it turns down the encounter's threat level by one... Save for Extreme encounters. They're still Extreme.

But seriously: It's an at will area damage reduction. It's two actions that will often make the enemy group spend two to four actions to destroy it, which also incurs MAP and makes any follow-up enemy Strikes harder to land. I mean sure, the enemy may choose to Strike the tree directly, but... Why? As far as they know, it's a weird blocking tree that sprout from the ground. Surely an enemy should attempt a Recall Knowledge with Nature to know what it is, or at least a Perception roll to realize the tree is quite weak - after it blocks an actual attack? That is, if the enemy is at least intelligent.

And then, after the tree is destroyed, the kineticist can just pop up another one. :B

"Okay, maybe a breath attack will damage the tree as well as the PCs" Ah but the Protector Tree has no saving throws. What happens then? Well, with my two different groups, arguments happened.

The caveat here is that I noticed that both my groups tend to disperse in wide battlemaps, but I'm GMing AV for both of them, so...

I think it just varies a lot: by deity, place, and even context.

There's a Father who is a desnan priest in Rise of the Runelords, for example, but I can totally see the leader of a group of Desnan clerics who go around helping people with complex nightmares being called High Dreamer, for example. Maybe another group of desnans that help people oppressed in Nidal be evacuated may be called Guiding Star, etc. For desnans in particular, I imagine that most spiritual leaders have no titles at all, really.

I feel like even the most organized religions don't seem to have a rigid structure. Abberton's Abadarian priest seemingly has no title, for example, despite being referred to as a "priest-banker." Yanmass's Abadarian priest and member of the local council (I think?) is called a Chief Enumerator, which is a title that I haven't really seen anywhere else in the setting.

The safest bet is to consider where the game is set, what the deity is about, and whatever the priest's role in the place is, at least in my opinion.

I myself have used High Redeemed and Sun-Father for Sarenrae's, Oenophile (this one was more of a nickname) for Cayden Cailean's, Elder for Erastil, Huntmaster for Cernunnos's, Illustrious for Green Mother's, Death-Priest and Blessed Midwife for Pharasma's, Soul Warden for Magrim, Debtmaster for Dranngvit's, High Instigator for Gorum, High Drowner of a homebrew regional interpretation of Gozreh's... There's probably more, but those are the ones that I remember.

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So, I'm not a native English speaker — in fact, I GM in both Spanish and Portuguese. Since these two languages are so full of cognates, though, the actual act of translating anything from English to either of these two languages can be confusing. I can't do it on the spot, not with precision. So, I'd have to sit down and actually translate these little blue room descriptors that Paizo puts in premade adventures to be read out loud. That... could take a bunch of time. Certain words don't translate easily. I remember spending a good thirty minutes trying to translate the word alcove, for example.

But today, it really is a matter of just quickly copying the text and asking ChatGPT to translate it. Running online, I can even do it on the spot! It's a breeze.

First, thanks for everyone's inputs!

But at the risk of being pedantic, if it is an object, then it has hardness - and if it has hardness, then reduces the incoming damage to itself by its hardness? And then it should have a BT too? That sounds a little out of scope for the spell, no?

I completely get that what treating it like an object really does is offer a comparable and borrowable framework for rules adjudication, but at this point one could also point to Hazards and mention how hazards without saves are simply immune to effects that target the specific defense.

It obviously isn't a hazard, of course! But both rules offer a similar framework to contemplate. I dunno, it's all very weird. Seems like the most RAW answer really is the quote that Hammerjack mentioned, with the tree being treated as part of the catch-all word environment.


If our party kineticist uses Tree Sentinel to put down a level-three Protector Tree, and then everyone in the party hurdles around it, and then the evil baddie casts Fireball on all of us - what happens to the Tree?

It doesn't reduce people's incoming damage, of course, but is it damaged by the fireball? Why, and how?

Haha, ironically, Sarenrae is one of my favorites but I'd be pretty interested in seeing her die... But I do love my dramas. :B I'm low-key hoping for some tragic turn of events.

That said, I'm under the assumption that she is pretty well-beloved at Paizo and I'm not so sure that she would pass away because of that. Same thing with Desna. I could see Iomedae dying, more in the sense that I don't see a reason on why she couldn't be it, and maybe Calistria or Erastil as well. Having Nethys or Abadar die sounds like it should change a lot of things in the setting, especially for Nethys, and I'm not so sure that would happen right now.

I'd be pretty mild on any of the evil deities dying, though, unless their death could create some more cool hooks around Golarion. Wouldn't love if their death just wrapped some issues up. Ultimately and realistically, I do believe that it's Asmodeus though, for the post-OGL context.

My wildcard choice is Pharasma! That would be pretty unexpected.

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Alternatively, Taldor!

Here is a quote on the issue on the War for the Crown player's guide.

WftC player's guide:
Despite this cosmopolitan veneer, Taldor remains a stubbornly old-fashioned, humanocentric empire with little regard for non-humans. Stigma toward part- humans such as half-orcs, half-elves, and geniekin is especially virulent, with some humans openly labeling such folk “mongrels” or worse. Half-elves descended from noble Taldans generally have the resources to live in comfort, but at the cost of lifelong reclusion. Halflings, gnomes, and half-orcs are considered suitable only for roles as servants.

The twist here is that, post-WftC, the current leadership is moderately progressive, but I imagine that the text above should hold true for general culture still.

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Aw man, what a bummer. I get it, as it’s already been said, it had to be done for the health of the company... But I’m still kinda mourning it. My first AP ever was Second Darkness et all, so I had a really soft spot for them. Good news is, one of my players has already sold me on a premise for their new character: A drow that went on a pilgrimage and when returned to Zirnakaynin, found it in ruins, and all other drow cities now being ruled by the serpentfolk. :0

Ultimately, I’m still excited and curious for what Paizo has in store for us, though. I hope that the inclusion of the ayindilar doesn’t dismiss the role of <good guys> that the umbral gnomes have in the Darklands. One of my players played as one in the latter parts of SD and we have grown fond of them. I’d love to hear more about them!

I know two of my players have an actual collection of drow pictures to use as characters, so I hope that Paizo can squeeze in elves sometimes, or somewhere, having lilac or blue skin, too. :B

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

There's already an alliance of sorts between the so-called "four queens" of the Sellen plain: Eutropia, Telandia, Marusek, and Drannoch.

I stand corrected! I remember something about that, but was it an actual alliance, or just an approximation of sorts?

GM_3826 wrote:
This statement made me double take, so I decided to double check and see what was said on the subject. The Firebrands section on Qadira talks about genie binding, but not mortal slavery. It was already said that genie binding would be harder to abolish in Legends, so that's an important distinction.

My understanding is that Qadira practices slavery and the Satrap's consort is fairly outspoken on being against slavery, but I concede that I'm not totally up to date with what's what on Qadira right now, and I haven't read Firebrands. Yet!

keftiu wrote:
Abrogail Thrune II has signed the Emancipation Edict, an act riddled with infernal legalese that freed every Chelish slave... only to bind them to military conscription and predatory loans. The 'liberation' has been a PR coup for the Chelish authorities, leaving rebel groups trying to inform the public of the truth and trying to support these new impoverished masses.

I'm really, really happy about the newest developments, but specially with the Emancipation Edict! I've been advocating for a proper devilish Cheliax for a while now, and it gives them a really cool win and gives us this whole new situation that sounds like a hook that will be cool as, ahem, hell.

This is a little off-topic, but it also puts some other nations in an odd light right now. I mean, Katapesh and even the devil-worshippers in Cheliax (okay, technically, but you know) have abolished slavery, but the oh so great Qadira hasn't... In my mind, the Emancipation Edict really was this great move by Abrogail. Puts Cheliax in a great light, and kind of makes some of its rivals look bad.

There's also some bits about the Order of the Scourge and the actual Firebrands being tentative allies here and there, no? Does anyone know what's up with that?

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Virellius wrote:
I need to see Eutropia and the leaders of Ravounel work with Andoren and really pinch Cheliax from all sides. Show them an organized, united front, and FORCE Abrogail to either abdicate, or, more interestingly, commit to a full and all-out war against all fronts.

I absolutely love Eutropia too, but would she? Work with Ravounel and Andoran in an attempt to destabilize Cheliax?

She hasn't taken over as Grand Princess for that long, and we know that Taldor hasn't necessarily changed overnight. There is a considerable amount of nobles in power that do not support her, too.

Now, of course! She would probably find herself more ideologically inclined to help Andoran and Ravounel, but realistically; Ravounel barely brings anything to the table... And I don't know. I admit I'm not fully versed on all things Andoran, but in my mind, I'm unsure what sort of alliance would blossom between a nation that is so militant in spreading its democracy, and probably the most hegemonical monarchy of Avistan. Would Taldor be able to influence Andoran, or is there a risk of the contrary happening? How worth is it involving one's nation that is barely stable in a conflict that not even reaches its borders?

Her platform throughout a certain AP was also pretty anti-war. Granted, against a specific old foe, and whose justification to do it according to the opposition standed on old nationalism, but still...

I'm sure that if a conflict does end up happening, Taldor will have its chips in it. But to champion it? I dunno.

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Hi! Hmmm, I dunno, I can picture the swarm of spiders scurrying below the embers just fine... I don't see how a swarm may be, what, more engulfable by the effect than a horse. Is that what you're having a hard time imagining?

If you're really hang up on this and you are the GM, imo lowering a whole step for save effects versus AoE spells does sound kinda powerful. I'd suggest having the spell trigger its area weakness as untyped damage.

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Hmmm... In one hand, I, like many others, was expecting a CRPG and was really excited about it. It's been announced that two games were in production, and I think that people theorized that one of those games would be smaller in scale; if that hasn't been downright announced already and I'm mixing things up. Still, I can't imagine this ARPG being the smaller game, so maybe there's no CRPG in the horizon after all...

In the other hand, my heart goes out for the devs. I hope they've had realistic expectations as for how the reactions for the announcement would go, but I'm not seeing an overwhelming positive reaction so far. I hope it's not disheartening.

I really love Golarion, and honestly, I'd be glad to have a game that isn't a CRPG set on the Lost Omens setting anyhow. An ARPG itself though... It's not quite the kind of game that I super love, independently. So I hope the game is more than a simple dungeon-crawl with brief expositions here and there, and it is evocative in a way.

I will say this: Between no game at all and something that is trying to be its own thing, I'd rather have the second option, even if it only offers a Golarion-like coat of paint. Here's hoping that the game is a blast, though!

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I’d love to have skalds as a class again, especially because imo, it seems to be another idea aside from the bard that really nails down the spirit of the occult tradition. I understand that skald is already cemented as a generic, non-ulfen concept in the setting, but I do think it could be appropriate and fun if it had a more generic name, though. War Poet or something. So, a little tidbit with information about how War Poets are called and viewed in different societies could be fun as well. Skalds for the ulfen, spirit-singers for the shoanti (taken from the pathfinder wiki), uhm… War Hymner in chelish societies? Okay, that’s an odd name.

As far as the mechanical side goes, I will be honest: I’m not sure. But I don’t think it has to take the Bard or Barbarian’s chassis, really. It could do its own thing, maybe thematically derived from both, but not mechanically so. Either way, I’m curious to what other people come up with!

What I just don’t know is in what sort of book this class could show up in! If it isn’t a class at all but a class archetype, or just an archetype, then it could show up in a LO: Saga Lands as the skald itself, but a LO: Saga Lands seems veeeery far away…

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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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