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Was there ever any update on this? The field guide, the other books like the Intrigue Manual and what have you.


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Ah okay, had just been wondering. Thank you for the reply.


Are the other Aethera books still happening (the intrigue guide, there was some mention of a Starfinder conversion guide somewhere on the forums)? Bit of a bummer if this just ended up as a one and done kind of thing due to the timing of Starfinder/Pathfinder 2.0 and what have you.


Jason Nelson wrote:

Need a freaking AMAZING setting for your space-faring Pathfinder or Starfinder campaign?

Aethera is it!

This book is 580+ pages, about 130 of which are Pathfinder rules material with alien races, archetypes, items, monsters spells, and technology. The other 450 pages is sweet, delicious sci-fi flavor of the highest order. Even if you didn't read a word of the mechanics, you're still in for an incredible collection of awesome and unique sci-fi setting material blending not just sci-fi and fantasy but cosmic horror and pulp noir!

A Starfinder rules conversion guide supplement is on the way, but meanwhile grab your copy today. THE STARS ARE RIGHT!

Any chance that will include a conversion for the Aetheric Knight? I'm rather partial to that class/archetype and a chance to use it in Starfinder would be pretty amazing.


I find that as awesome here as I did in that other thread, thanks for clearing that up Mark.

(Having made several stabs at putting something of a sandboxy Taldor campaign together, I look forward to December a fair bit)


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Mark Moreland wrote:
mark kay wrote:
Quote:
A) Going to be presented as much more France-during-Louis XIV than Byzantine,

That's.. honestly severely disappointing to hear, Taldor's byzantine flavour was one of the things that interested me about the nation/this AP. It's somewhat rare in fantasy to get riffs off the Byzantine Empire, it helped make it feel distinct.

It's kind of enough to put me off the AP really, and the upcoming Taldor setting book, if that's the case.

That is not the case. There will certainly be elements of the Sun King's reign, especially in the opulence and style of the ultra upper class. In many other ways, Taldor will remain heavily influenced by Byzantium, and in some areas will become even more clearly inspired by this rich source of material from real-world history.

If I can take the liberty to read into W.E. Ray's comment, it seems he might have been latching onto our mention of Louis XIV because it fit so well with his version of Taldor. And while elements of the campaign and CS book will gel very well with a focus on this type of setting, it isn't going to be at the exclusion of other inspirations.

Awesome. And back onto my to buy list it all goes.

Also, thanks for the timely reply on this, that itself is pretty neat.


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Quote:
To each is own I guess but I'm pretty tired of hearing this, especially considering how Gondor from the Lord of the Rings was explicitly stated by Tolkien himself to be an analogue for Byzantium (Arnor was supposed to be the stand in for the Western Roman Empire btw).

Yeah, I've read that too, but in execution Gondor didn't much resemble it at all, so it's an odd thing to sweepingly dismiss out of hand anyone who expresses that opinion about the genre over.


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So, it was just mentioned in the Taldor AP thread that the notion is to slide away from any particularly Byzantine empire themed elements to Taldor over portraying it as akin to France under the Sun King. Wondering now if that's going to be the case for the campaign setting book as well. That's kind of a bummer for my part if so. I really liked all the resonance with the later era of the Eastern Roman Empire.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
A) Going to be presented as much more France-during-Louis XIV than Byzantine,

That's.. honestly severely disappointing to hear, Taldor's byzantine flavour was one of the things that interested me about the nation/this AP. It's somewhat rare in fantasy to get riffs off the Byzantine Empire, it helped make it feel distinct.

It's kind of enough to put me off the AP really, and the upcoming Taldor setting book, if that's the case.


For my own preferences, I'm pretty burned out on third party material in higher level games.

edit: though as a thread started 17 days ago, it might be kinda moot to note that anywho.


Depending on the premise, sure. And rpol would be fine.


I suppose, for me anyway, it's that, outside of the intended for Hell's Vengeance iconics certainly, it feels fairly remarkable to have an iconic that goes about as the champion of a place as messed up as Galt, and from what it reads, bringing people to be killed by things as awful as the final blades. I mean there's neutral in the style of Alain the arrogant douchelord, and there's neutral in the style of that.

It stands out is all.


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Difficult to view a dude who seems to be on the side of Golarion's Reign of Terror as any sort of heroic, for my own part. Mileage may vary and all that.


ah well, some other time maybe. Thanks for the praise though.


gargh, got busy with work for a couple of days and seem to have missed an explosion of stuff.


Related question actually, for skill and capacity in merchantry and finance, estate management, that kind of thing, would some sort of profession: merchantry type deal cover most of that?


I mostly asked for the Abadarian banks being a sophisticated thing and the idea of insurance at least being a few centuries old, it seemed like something they might do. I'm cool with paying that sort of fee to truck in it.


Something I'm wondering, we're in a big ol developed society where Abadar is prominent along with his bank/church/bank, is it possible to have holdings insured with the Abadarian bank? Like pay x however much gold per year, insurance.


Is there anywhere particularly that the existing characters are otherwise summed up/detailed?


Oh, cohort wise, likely going to go for a cleric of Abadar, and one of Aurelian's cousins. A very earnest and cheerful fellow that his family sort of dumped on him a few years back once Aurelian started doing well for himself because, well, there's only so much staid people can handle someone being /that/ sunny, honestly. On the plus side, he does have a great mind for finance and his potency as a cleric has only grown with Aurelian on their travels. On the down side.. relentless, cheery optimism, even in the worst of situations. Sometimes that's inspiring. Sometimes that makes for wanting to punch a man in the face.


Hum, actually in playing around with holdings and pondering the family relations thing, I think I'll have his personal holdings still be largely mercantile that he's transferred over from Absalom along with a sprawling, ancient family estate he's restored, with his kin mainlining into the military influence still. So basically for his part a big old trading/banking compound at the docks and a sizable villa.


As far as it goes, I picture Aurelian and his family as tied into as much of a military/industrial complex as there could be said to be, though he himself is trying to diversify into avenues less stabby and more trade-y. Probably at least owns a bank.


GM Leviathan wrote:

I'll be stepping away for a few hours.

I see your wall of text Mark! I'll be reading it when I come back. I appreciate the quick blurb, though. it makes things easier on me in the immediate.

If you have questions, I'll either get to them when I get back, or maybe one of my players can answer them for you.

Not a problem, I figured that would help. Been trying to space out the paragraphs in the writeup, but it seems to not be taking in the edits.


Ah, neat a Taldor high nobility game!

I'd like to nominally throw my hat into the ring with a 12th level human LG (though a spiritually bruised lawful good) swashbuckler who had returned from a self imposed exile and life he had built for himself as a merchant, in order to shore up his ancient family after a scandal that saw his father exiled. Actually I've joined a few Taldor high nobility games across the internets that haven't made it out of week 1 sadly, adapting some things I put together for them.

I've been refining a backstory (it's a bit long, but I kinda go all out when above 10th level and all social prominent)

Aurelian Branas backstory:
Born to a prominent family of the dynastic royal castes, Aurelian was schooled from his early youth in the history of blazing glory of his homeland, and especially of his family within it. Branae lead the Taldan military. Branae performed some of the greatest heroic deeds of the nation's history. Branae could trace their power, glory and dignity all the way back to the founding of Taldor itself. Such knowledge, and a concurrent training in the proper dueling school for all Taldan nobles was practically drilled into him. He experienced his share of the luxury a Taldan noble could, but even that to him seemed a matter of duty, to be as glorious as should be his due. It provided contrast anyway, to long days besides in the vast family libraries being schooled in the management of estates. But in truth he didn’t mind, he even took to such conditions, the strength of his heritage letting him flourish within them, refining a strength of mind and soul and body that rested within. Something about the sense of greatness and glory of it all resonated with him, a promise of birthright. A might he very much believed could be put towards right. After all, his education and training were doing a good thing already. They were sparing his younger brother from having to go through the same.

For whatever reason the family blood was thinner in Alexandros Branas, for though quick and keen and strong like his older brother, it was never to quite the same degree as his older brother. Aurelian believed that having to regardless labour under the same pressure and expectation that he was would crush the child. So he took all such duties and education onto himself, as much as he could, trying to let his younger brother live more of his own life. But all Alexandros could see was the golden child and heir, taking all the glory and expectation for himself, leaving scraps of attention and regard in his wake.

So Aurelian’s brother, free to live his own life, began to waste it in dissolution and decadence, seeing nothing else he could or should bother to grow towards and thereby embodying the worst qualities of Taldor, even as his brother took after the best. It was not a symmetry Aurelian could appreciate, devoting time as he was now to cleaning up after as many of his brother’s messes as he could, expending himself in duels against those his brother might anger. Forcing himself to learn the tradecraft of shadowed workings, to subtly unmake the worst of his brother’s escapades before they could become overt fiasco. And again, all Alexandros could see was the older brother who had taken everything else away, now smothering and stifling him in what little life he had instead. If there was a parallel for Aurelian to early Taldor itself, trying to be an example, trying to take care of those under its charge and being just a bit too imperious about it, he was far too busy to see it.

Alexandros ultimately tried to lose himself in the Narrows of Oppara, and finding him there after a search of months as one of its denizens (“I’m on vacation” was cover story enough, and it was hardly as though any of his class paid attention to what went on in the Narrows as is) was a harrowing and dispiriting experience for an all of 16 year old Aurelian. His continued belief in his capacity to handle this all himself made for having to face that world with only the resources of his own quality. His triumphs were bitter in that struggle. Oh, it did not shake his faith in Taldor, he is intelligent enough to know his nation has problems that must be cleaned away for its greatness to rise again, but it shook him to find his brother degrading himself so thoroughly. And ultimately enraged him, to find Alexandros in the company of a girlfriend cum drug dealer providing, addicting and exploiting him with wares and experiences even the most decadent of Taldor’s nobility would be aghast at.

In imperial fury, he struck down the woman using his brother for a junkie, whore and worse. He misjudged sadly, his brother’s willingness to the arrangement, as he had misjudged much about his brother. He could not find any way out of the ensuing challenge to duel, and the resolution of it was predictable. He was one of the young rising stars of the Rondelero school. His brother was simply good and frenzied enough to make a simple subdual impossible.

It disturbed him to face no particular wrath for it. His brother had become an unbelievable embarrassment after all, and everything about the situation’s resolution was more or less legal enough. It was merely awkward. The crueler of mind even found it praiseworthy. Aurelian then could only face himself for it, and a rising sense that in the end, whether true or not, he was to blame for every part of this fiasco.

Neither the rigor of training nor courtly life nor family expectation could touch him, but it was this tragedy instead that broke him. He simply walked away from his life one day, adrift and dissolute. He sought to lose any sense of himself that he just couldn’t handle at that moment. His family, to save face, spun matters as their son having gone on some tour of Avistan, assuming his lack of funds would bring him home soon. They had forgotten the Branas heir had now spent months in one of the worst slums of Golarion, never breaking there until he only broke himself. Survival was easy.

For much of the time Aurelian simply.. drifted. He lost himself to war for a time, as a scout, squad leader and frontline fighter on the fronts of Mendev and Lastwall, as a petty River Kingdoms mercenary when the renown he began to earn for himself made him sick to his stomach. He still had better moments, sometimes, when he could recall his Taldan pride, his sense of imperial duty and propriety, a regard of noblesse oblige. And sometimes just smaller moments than that, where he’d go on about a bit of culture or history. But more often he struggled for any kind of peace with himself, morose and ill at ease, pondering if he simply sought death in battle for a lack of accepting any other means to die as a proper Taldan. It is as if with his brother’s death he has taken in all of Alexandros’ flaws to perversely honour him, and they war self destructively with his better nature.

He found himself in Absalom by the time he was 20, to lose himself in its teeming hordes, to brood, to drink, to hire himself out as an itinerant blade and duelist and find himself off puttingly popular with House Morilla as a guest at their events or hired guard to their children. As a Taldan descended house strongly favouring its heritage, an actual son of a dynastic family from the motherland lent them a touch of authenticity by his very presence. It nauseated him, truth be told, but he was too out of sorts to much refuse.

But in his much battered soul, he was still Taldan, in his soul, it was not enough. He fought in the Irorium, though he could not quite say why, earning the pin of a silver sword and an almost spiteful acclaim as a warrior who near miraculously spared his enemies in an arena that cheered for blood the loudest. He risked his winnings on himself again and again with reckless abandon, at a loss for what to do with his profits when he failed as ever to die (he was Taldan, his soul would not accept a death where he had not given his all). He took up every hopeless cause that was foisted onto him by the needy and desperate in a city packed with them and still he did not die. He was getting quality again, and a name, and people looking to him as a figure to rally against monstrous rampage, lurking murderers, shadowed plots. It made him want to vomit, even as he found himself accepting these responsibilities again and again. He wanted to shake people and scream for them to look at him, to realize what he was (and when drunk enough, he truly did so), and yet it never took.

It was not really that he came to terms with himself, it was only that he realized he could not escape himself, who he had been, who he wanted to be, the things he still believed in the depths of his heart. Half in spite to a city that derided a nation it should venerate, he began to build. Knowing opportunity when he saw it, he met with outlying often abandoned farmers he had helped defend in desperate battles, using lessons at estate and regency, rallying them to common interest both military and mercantile, investing in and expanding their lands against the wilds and threats of the island around them, cajoling rich and effete parasites to back such efforts. He raised up militias and a consortium (calling it the Crown and Lion, which he could not decide was pride or pledge or irony), establishing a great profit in securing an immediate venue of foodstuffs to a city always in need of them, expanding to storefronts to cut out middlemen, trading surplus abroad, buying in even to one of Absalom’s failing banks to batten and restore it as his own company’s riches increased. He alternated such efforts with throwing himself in the arena yet, donating his wagers now to philanthropy, to buying the freedom of slaves. He accompanied the more dangerous of his company’s ventures to safeguard them with his own person, as far afield as the Mwangi Expanse.

He could not quite tell you why he was doing any of it. The part of him that was Aurelian Branas, scion of Taldor, needed perhaps to build glory and better men through deed and word, to make his ideal Taldor where he was, if he could not bring himself return home to do so. The part of him that was Aurelian Branas, self loathing drunk contented himself with the occasional moody bender.

In what he viewed as a black bloody joke, his company even brought him ties with his homeland he could not have in person, finding himself investing in overland canal repair, offering loans to rescue estates and proud names and lineages that would have failed with them. His family had a certain confused pride at it all, even using the image of their built himself up from nothing son for social points.

He was 24, awarded recognition as tradesman even as he was one of the youngest in the city’s history to earn a golden sword pin. He was, of all things, a walking testament that in a place like Absalom, you could somehow succeed by playing it straight (it helped that skills born of the Narrows and in growing up with his brother left him suited yet for countering those who would play him false). He was content. He was miserable. He aspired to greatness and to encourage others to be great with that aspiration. He was a hateful, cynical, sarcastic drunk. He quietly yearned to smash to bloody ruin the face of men who ever louder called him hero. He was ever at war within himself, and yet always pulled irresistibly onwards by a conviction that came from within him, yet beyond. Still, he had dragged himself out of the gutter. Who knows? In a few more years, he might have finally found his small share of peace.

It was not to be.

Aurelian would find out about it all through letters that had a tinge of desperation, pleading for him to come home. His father had been implicated in conspiracy against the crown, and though too proud and prominent to be sentenced to death, he was to be exiled. From what Aurelian understood of the details, the old man had uncovered a plot against the throne, but his resolution to it was so unsubtly violent it drew out old family enemies to instead call for his punishment. Accusation and exile was perhaps even the only way the Grand Prince could show any gratitude at all.

The lack of a prominent heir could mean the complete destruction of the house in these fragile times, the loss of everything the Branas line had meant and could yet mean again. His long absence from home during this tumult made him acceptable to crown and royal families alike as a man untouched by the incident.

Aurelian was not ready to come home. He had thought in truth he never would. But he was Taldan, even if the sort of Taldan he was may have never existed outside of stories. He caught a glimpse of his father on the deck of a ship that passed his own into the harbor, the old man’s bearing defiant. He never even had a chance to speak with him.

It has been difficult, since. He has transferred the wealth and holdings of his own organization to shore up the stability of his family’s still extensive wealth and influence, the act making him more noteworthy than he had desired as is. He does what he can with it, attempting to raise money to further repair his nation’s canal networks, bankrolling her underfunded river police, seeking to create employment for her poor, attempting to suss out the more dangerous plots of Qadiran enemies of the state, maintaining the influence of his consortium. Yet it is hard to ignore the clamour all around him. Of aggrieved noble houses looking for a champion of a return to glory. Of a Grand Prince who sees an opportunity to garner a new, powerful fresh faced supporter. Of enforcers of a status quo he finds unsustainable and in some ways repellent. Students of Rondelero wanting to learn from or worse yet, prove themselves superior to one of his skill. Of any who would need or beg for the aid a powerful adventurer for goals esoteric or simply risky. He is valuable as a resource, as a proving point, and those wanting to use him seem to be lining up.

Of his fellow nobles, he is not even certain they are worth championing. But ah a voice in his soul says, what if they could be made to be worthy? Could they not be leveraged into being better? Could not the Grand Prince instead perhaps? A resourceful man could aspire to do much with his nation, a man with a righteous will, and the glory of Taldor in his blood.

A far different voice laughs at the ridiculousness of it all, and advises instead to just get drunk and watch it all burn. Maybe pick some fights in the interim. He tries as best he might to ignore his darker urges. Here, surrounded by indulgence, he no longer has the luxury of spiritual conflict.


At any rate, I can repost my various backstory stuff here for ease of not having to jump about different pages to find it, if that would be of any use.


Just to check, and also hey to everyone else in this one, for templates, you apply them to both gestalt progressions?

Most just looked a bit weird for people otherwise putting monster crs if they're some sort of thing or other down the one track, justwanted to make sure I had that right.


I'd prefer a more serious game and less jokey characters, if that influences what group I end up in.


As a suggestion, if you're looking to split people into groups, it might be better to do so via thematics, compatible alignments, and the like.

There's a bunch of characters that don't look like they'd necessarily be great fits with each other from that list and all.


Glargh. Forgot to post a description with the character and for some reason I can't edit that post now, so..

description for Peredur Anwyl:
To look to Peredur Anwyl is to see the fierceness of his soul on full display. It blazes in the transfixing power of his gaze, in his proud bearing, in the rich and resonant tones of his voice, in even just the forceful grace of his simplest motion, or the leonine motion of his fuller step and bright, toothy grin. Yet though there is almost a palpable heat haze about him from power and potential barely contained, the sense of it can feel as invigorating as it might claiming, as though all his strength is freely offered to take up. His eyes are a deep and piercing blue, his brown hair worn long and thick to frame noble features of a perfectly sculpted cast. His build is an athletic one, muscled in proportion to a height that is kept from feeling looming by the feel of a presence that draws onlookers within, instead of forbidding them without.

His bright white wings are usually kept folded to his body, tending to favour otherwise well made greatcoats of a brilliant green chased in gold worn open over golden mail, boots and gauntlets similarly coloured, if shod in steel with intricate golden filigree


Hokay, reaaallly hoping to have managed to make the cut off time, took longer than I had thought, anyway!

So, the character is Peredur Anwyl, human (half celestial template) battle scion 14//rogue 4/paladin 3/fighter 7 (buckler duelist archetype)

1. Well, holding off on full crunch since apparently the fluff matters more now, so see above for noted level spread. I would if possible like to take the leadership feat simply to represent that he came out from a kingdom he built of himself, and has taken at least the one personal friend on a ride with him out into the multiverse. Mostly for the cohort thereby.

2. Peredur Anwyl is essentially a god of nobility and aspiration. A civilizer from barbarism and darkness, a nation builder and king, and even something of a scholar and engineer. Of dreaming big and not letting anything like "the way things are" get in the way of realizing dreams. That ambition can be a force for good, if only properly channeled.

Simply for that he himself is human and lived largely amongst such on his world, he is a bit humanity focused, but in general the great adventure he himself is on is one that he tries to inspire others to take up their own.

His domains are likely to be knowledge, good, nobility, protection and strength (I might revise that a bit).

His servitor race, I'm generally picturing either Archons as made up of the souls of the people of the kingdom he founded as a mortal when they arrive in the afterlife, or.. actually no, I really like that image.

3. The Summer King, The Golden Dreamer, The Great Civilizer

4. The Golden Dream. As the kingdom of his homeworld grew, some of even its darker warlords would come to bend knee to him, seeking purpose, meaning, even atonement in a burgeoning better age. It became practice (though were you to ask him, he was mildly befuddled at the origins of such) to cast of their old crowns before him, and sunder them.

He was never particularly fond of acts of pure destruction, and resolved to turn the performance to a better purpose, as he did with most things as almost habit.

The sundered crowns thereby were taken, and some of their metals reshaped into resplendent badges of office he would give to his new followers.

Touched by the gesture, they in turn took what remained and shaped from it a new crown, though as these men were just barely out from barbarism, it was a rough working, a simple circlet of iron. It was presented almost with shame, until in response Peredur wept from surprise, joy and gratitude to be so gifted. Proclaiming that this act of creation was the truest pledge these men could make, and he would wear this crown for them always.

On placing it to his brow, it flared to brilliant light and life, a manifestation of his people's hopes in him, and his in them. It takes the form of a golden nimbus of radiance about his head, granting ease, protection and succor to what can sometimes be a mind far too quick keen and restless, supplanting insight with sight beyond sight, banishing darkness and malign presence, and bolstering and strengthening the spirits of those who behold it.

5. Given his shtick, I picture his realm as one he would basically fight to form from parts of the metaphysical layers of reality lost otherwise to evil and chaos, pulling them away and purifying them to form the nexus of a growing divine realm tied to more celestial planes. That it would take the shape of a greatly idealized kingdom after the one he had build. A green and golden forever Summerlands, of castles of silver and gold, shining majestically on tall hills. Resplendent cities bent towards growth without depletion, learning without scorn, of celebration and inspiration. Of rallying forces to challenge entropy, despair and evil.

6. It's a bit long, sorry! S'why things took me so long, aside from life stuff.

The child of a fallen world with blood that hearkened back to a better one, Peredur had been marked out for a life of either challenge or despair from upbringing alone. Though his family was but one petty kingship amongst patchwork brutal barbarism, their blood was ancient, and parents raised their shining son as if it still flowered in full strength and reign. Such lore and gifts as they had yet managed to hoard, they used in his shaping, in a demanding training to ideals and standards that no longer existed in a dark age of plundering warlords and burning kingdoms. This could only ensure he would look out on the world that was with dissatisfaction, with desire for more than it was now, and instead for what it could have been. In that sense, that in him all the promise of that old blood sang for burning potential was not necessarily a gift, for with the paltry means available to him, it could only mean a reach that would forever exceed his grasp.

With a self assured smile, Peredur himself, quick witted and keen enough to understand the travails and limitations before him, said simple “they only matter if I fail.” There was something in him that could only look to impossible standards, to elegies of once great kingdoms as challenges to be met and promises to be honoured. He was a restless soul in his youth, driven by will that came from within, yet beyond, gathering together a group of companions to ride outward, to seek and claim every hidden or buried remnant of their world’s glorious past as they could find. Ruins were explored, occulted wise men and spirits tracked down, even plundered riches, held by those with an ignorance of their use, were claimed, or as Peredur preferred to say, reclaimed.

And he grew strong, and wise, and powerful. He walked secret paths and learned hidden masteries. His fervor and force of personality drove those around him to rally and swear to similar purpose, uplifted even by his company to better themselves. But still he felt challenges before him, still his will and soul burned. It was not enough to satisfy him, to bring him a sense of peace within his spirit. The world had been ripped apart by the strong after all, was still daily torn to shreds by those who had made themselves mighty. Power alone then, self growth alone then, was meaningless, or it would have made meaning in the world, instead of showing the height of its creation to be slag.

As much from himself whole cloth as works he studied, Peredur built a philosophy to guide himself by. Did his companions bleed for him? Then they deserved to be honoured for what they bled. Could he have risen himself up without his family, his people? Of course not, and so they too, should be able to rise. Even the legends and stories of the old world that was, if that world had not been glorious enough to create a legacy of inspiration, then the fires of his own soul might never have been stoked. His own power, his own glory, was held in obligation to them, long dead though they were. He would take his might and put it into the service of right. And that right did not especially exist in this world meant only that he would have to create it. He was challenged by some as to how that made him different from any other conqueror of the moment, putting their will and ambition on the world. His reply was a simple one, that he was creating something for he himself to serve, and that ambition, if held for all men, as a promise to all their potential, could make one man’s rise as all their own.

These conclusions, these convictions, these quests, they sanctified his soul somehow, gave it radiance and resonance. He came into his own throne, he gathered followers. He traveled into depths of horror simply to reach out his hand and offer a better way, to join him in a better world. He endured hardship and privation in refining himself further to be an example for the world, an inspiration. And where he could not inspire, or persuade, he fought. Against warlords and petty kings, against monsters and foulness that had swept into the world after its collapse. His deeds were a wonder, as was his intent, for there was an underlying methodical rigor to his efforts. Though inspired by one that was, in many ways, he was building a new order, a new world, out of almost nothing, and care and thought needed to be twinned with the staggering aspiration and pride in himself and others that were necessary to believe such a working could be possible at all.

It could not be said that he conquered his world, such things are vast after all. But within its vastness he forged a great society all the same, heralded as the Summer King of a shining nation, a symbol of defiance against terror and despair, a testament to the idea of aspiration. And such forces as preferred his world a dark and wretched thing, its races degraded and brutal, near constantly assailed it. Yet from each war, victory was found, and strength ever heightened. In a city of silver and gold he gathered lore, sponsored learning and innovation, fostered culture and art, encouraged nobility to live as exemplars. He swore to himself this would not be yet another cycle of rise and fall, that he would rise his people to a point of touching eternity.

It made him attentive to such as were his enemies yet, to their motivations, and particularly to the patterns he intuited behind them. There were forces larger than them, larger than his world, that much desired its fallen state, and he could never strike at them while bound to a terrestrial sphere, could not shield his people from them. But that was just one more challenge to face. He had made himself powerful before, and made that power have meaning, purpose. If there was a world beyond his world, then it had power besides, that could be made his own yet, and put into better service yet. Securing his kingdom, he moved beyond it and into a wider reality, plumbing its depths, learning its knowledges, reaching infernal lows and celestials heights, transforming himself in high ritual to make his sanctified spirit manifest in his body. He found as he moved through the multiverse others in peril, in need, hungering, though they might have known it not, for an example to help them not just reach beyond themselves, but succeed in doing so. And in doing so, make their world a better place for having tried.

He learned besides of concepts he found distasteful, of cosmic balances, of gods, even principles of evil enshrined into the fabric of reality itself. He did not despair all the same. This was but a path his entire life had prepared him for. After all, these forces are only inviolate if he fails.

7. Dat and Yesod were tempting, but Malkuth fits the whole concept the most.

8. I'm a bit late obviously, but I'd be happy to talk the character out with anyone as far as working off/with others.

9. I like the idea of a character who doesn't simply view good as a maintaining of a status quo, restoring what has been lost, or the like, but that it can be a means to build big, new and glorious things. THat ambition doesn't have to be bad, if it can just be put into a proper use and context. Of a young glorious conquering hero king, but one who does such things because he wants people to be inspired to live boldly themselves. That even the simple craftsman looking to what could otherwise be a cold world and resolving all the same to make things in it is not just the hero of their own story, they are a hero, in his view.

In that sense, as far as group cohesion? He's the guy cheerleading people to take their craziest dream, as long as it could do some good, and saying "no, go for it! damn the naysayers! nothing is impossible!"

Said more glibly, he's Chris Trager from Parks and Rec as fused with King Arthur ;p (I kid, he's not)

Less glibly there is of course also something perhaps mildly terrifying about someone who turns an eyeball out at reality and goes "I can definitely improve that. And so can you."

edit: gargh, forgot to note the half celestial template


hey, is the thread still taking character submissions? Got kind of slammed by real life before I could put one together a few days ago, so figured to ask.


As regards the changed description, are the Lion Blades still getting some detail in this one?


James Jacobs wrote:
mark kay wrote:

The first crusade though was specifically noted as just Deskari wanting to give the impression of demons as a defeatable, disorganized mob that he intended to lose, and largely otherwise more or less provide cover for various demons bopping off to other corners of Golarion to fester and monger influence there.

The book even goes so far as to note that nothing is really stopping the demons from marching out to the north or west if they really, really wanted to, and that Deskari is keeping a focus on the Crusade because he wants them to ruin themselves by falling completely into corruption, with accompanying allowing wine to come to flavour over time metaphor.

It seems difficult to read into that the Crusades having ever really accomplished anything in their time.

I'm not really sure what you're trying to accomplish here.

If you're trying to find a way to justify the return of Nexivar to the setting... this isn't going to help. The "it marginalized the accomplishments of the crusaders" is a relatively minor part of the reason why I ret-conned Nexivar out of the setting.

The major reason is that from a storytelling viewpoint it felt WAY too convenient and lazy. Nexivar isn't coming back in our print products, in any event, and I'm hoping it'll not come back any more in PFS, so that's not an issue.

In any event, the crusade HAS accomplished a lot in their time. Trust me, if they hadn't spent the last better part of a century doing what they did, the Worldwound would be MUCH larger. The reason the Worldwound is the shape it is today is because of the Crusaders (and to a lesser extent the barbarians of the Mammoth Lords to the west and the siabraes to the north)

I don't have some hidden intent here as regards retconned out special materials, is what I guess I would say to that. My question wasn't particularly inspired by nexavar, I don't honestly care about that stuff one way or another, it was more the notion of the Crusade as a force that managed anything being mentioned. It seemed to fly in the face of how the Crusades were presented in the Worldwound.

To get to the heart of it, it was something of a massive bummer, that book, coming in the midst of stuff like Champions of Purity, Chronicles of the Righteous, so forth. And I don't mean in the sense of painting a depressing picture of a situation, I mean in the sense of organized good having come off as, well, easily manipulated and somewhat shmucky, and getting by on the largesse of evil not quite wanting to step all over them yet as part of master plans their enemies don't even have an inkling of.

It's nice to hear these things in an ask James Jacobs thread and all, but that's just not how their presentation in Worldwound comes off, which is mostly a talk on the Crusades as easily suborned and corrupted failures, that as an overall effort largely played into what Deskari wants anyway, even from the get go.


James Jacobs wrote:
mark kay wrote:

James,

On the whole taking away from the accomplishments of the Iomedean Crusaders notion, what in the main do you feel they've accomplished to date?

I ask largely because the Worldwound book itself presents such few victories as they've managed to be against initial disorganized mobs of demons, and that even those were a "just as planned" sort of thing by Deskari, that a large part of them getting by seems to come down to the demons specifically not trying as hard as they could be, again as part of more "just as planned" sort of things by Deskari, and that they amount to a degraded, easily corrupted force, whose strugglings in the main provide the higher up demons with amusement. The book notes the entire demonic plan to basically be to wait and let the Crusaders ruin themselves, for all that they could be doing more.

In that sense, particularly when the Inner Sea World Guide itself presented the situation as a more valiant defense that happened to have issues, it doesn't really feel like the Crusades have accomplished much of anything. The various Crusades to date are given detail as to why they've been failures or just the Crusaders having been gulled, whereas the ISWG at least presents some of the later ones in a context of having some relative triumphs as far as either purging corruption, tamping down on extremism, or what have you.

The whole point of the Worldwound situation is that it's supposed to be grim and dark and depressing, so that when and if heroes arise to solve the situation, those heroes feel suitably mythic.

The MAIN thing the crusaders have accomplished is the containment of the demons, though. This, coupled with their creation of the wardstones, is huge. And they DID manage to defeat the first wave of demons to erupt from the Worldwound. The 1st crusade was a GREAT success... it was just, unfortunately, not the main invasion as the crusaders had originally assumed.

If the crusaders weren't there at the start, our campaign setting would have...

The first crusade though was specifically noted as just Deskari wanting to give the impression of demons as a defeatable, disorganized mob that he intended to lose, and largely otherwise more or less provide cover for various demons bopping off to other corners of Golarion to fester and monger influence there.

The book even goes so far as to note that nothing is really stopping the demons from marching out to the north or west if they really, really wanted to, and that Deskari is keeping a focus on the Crusade because he wants them to ruin themselves by falling completely into corruption, with accompanying allowing wine to come to flavour over time metaphor.

It seems difficult to read into that the Crusades having ever really accomplished anything in their time.


James,

On the whole taking away from the accomplishments of the Iomedean Crusaders notion, what in the main do you feel they've accomplished to date?

I ask largely because the Worldwound book itself presents such few victories as they've managed to be against initial disorganized mobs of demons, and that even those were a "just as planned" sort of thing by Deskari, that a large part of them getting by seems to come down to the demons specifically not trying as hard as they could be, again as part of more "just as planned" sort of things by Deskari, and that they amount to a degraded, easily corrupted force, whose strugglings in the main provide the higher up demons with amusement. The book notes the entire demonic plan to basically be to wait and let the Crusaders ruin themselves, for all that they could be doing more.

In that sense, particularly when the Inner Sea World Guide itself presented the situation as a more valiant defense that happened to have issues, it doesn't really feel like the Crusades have accomplished much of anything. The various Crusades to date are given detail as to why they've been failures or just the Crusaders having been gulled, whereas the ISWG at least presents some of the later ones in a context of having some relative triumphs as far as either purging corruption, tamping down on extremism, or what have you.


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The premise itself and the promise of something higher level were already pretty engaging, yeah (I really like that scale of gaming, but there's not a lot of formal support for making it go as a gm I find), but knowing it will be an avenue for use of the mythic rules ontop of that kicks it into a must have for me (um, no pressure or anything though!)


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Christina Stiles wrote:
mark kay wrote:
Does this one still have the freeing Nethus related adventure in it?
No, it does not. That is a standalone that I am still finishing. I want it to be mythic, do I am awaiting the final rules on that.

That's actually incredibly cool to hear, I'm looking forward to it now moreso than I was before (and I'd been looking forward to it like crazy).


Does this one still have the freeing Nethus related adventure in it?


James Jacobs wrote:
mark kay wrote:

That sounds honestly a lot more workable, yeah. Is there ever any chance of the firearms rules getting some kind of revision? Guns just trumping monsters as well feels somewhat off.

If by some freak turn of events Pathfinder ever does a more technologically advanced setting or set or rules or campaign area or what have you, something in the rules to compensate for how good guns ultimately get once they start to proliferate and become both common and more advanced would be nice.

A revision to how guns work in this edition of Pathfinder is highly unlikely... but Jason's in a game I run where Rob's character regularly does over 100 points of damage in a round with guns, so who can say?

If we do a new setting/ruleset for a more modern or sci fi genre, that would be a place to adjust how guns or touch AC or both work as well.

It has made me mildly dread the "the party goes to Alkenstar" module mind you, since by my understanding guns are more common/advanced there. Unless I'm off about that one and the place still works like the rest of Golarion as regards firearms.


James Jacobs wrote:
mark kay wrote:

James,

This was a bit inspired by the recent Reign of Winter AP. So if a campaign goes with the much more common and advanced firearms options as a regular thing for its setting, what stops the fighter from ending up hosed by that to a certain extent?

By which I mean, an armor bonus generally seems to be something a fighter (and certainly a paladin and the like thereby) truck in to get by, but in a world of advanced and readily available guns, an armor bonus becomes pretty sweepingly useless.

What would you suggest for compensating for that? Magical bulletproof armor/shields (i.e. that thereby lets its armor bonus still apply vs firearms)? Working up some kind of per every so odd levels ac bonus thing that some d20 games used to do? Just tell the would be fighter to play a gunslinger? Other?

It doesn't stop at fighter—guns as they currently work are really REALLY strong against most monsters as well.

My original design for firearms was that they had a penetration value, and that value was the number of AC points they ignored against armored (be it armor or natural) foes. So, say a pistol might have a penetration of 2, and thus ignores 2 points of armor class bonus when used against a fighter in armor, but a higher powered rifle might have a penetration of 8. What EXACT numbers those scores were at I can't remember, alas...

Makes it a little more "calculaty" to play, but it also keeps guns from ignoring armor completely.

That sounds honestly a lot more workable, yeah. Is there ever any chance of the firearms rules getting some kind of revision? Guns just trumping monsters as well feels somewhat off.

If by some freak turn of events Pathfinder ever does a more technologically advanced setting or set or rules or campaign area or what have you, something in the rules to compensate for how good guns ultimately get once they start to proliferate and become both common and more advanced would be nice.


James,

This was a bit inspired by the recent Reign of Winter AP. So if a campaign goes with the much more common and advanced firearms options as a regular thing for its setting, what stops the fighter from ending up hosed by that to a certain extent?

By which I mean, an armor bonus generally seems to be something a fighter (and certainly a paladin and the like thereby) truck in to get by, but in a world of advanced and readily available guns, an armor bonus becomes pretty sweepingly useless.

What would you suggest for compensating for that? Magical bulletproof armor/shields (i.e. that thereby lets its armor bonus still apply vs firearms)? Working up some kind of per every so odd levels ac bonus thing that some d20 games used to do? Just tell the would be fighter to play a gunslinger? Other?


James Jacobs wrote:
mark kay wrote:

James,

I know Taldor isn't one of your favourite nations, but I figured I might as well ask this and see what your own view is. So, the army of Qadira is noted at clocking in at 100,000+, which can be further swelled by conscripts and slaves. The shtick of the Taldan army is noted as being underfunded, but still impressive, and further potent enough to hold its borders. Certainly they've at least been powerful enough to have discouraged a Qadiran invasion to this point.

How big an army do you figure that would have to be to be managing that, as far as the hosts of Taldor?

Without a super-robust set of rules for mass combat, and without an extensive gaming background in mass-combat wargames, I can't really answer that question. At this point, the answer is merely, "As big as it needs to be but not one soldier more."

Ah well, was worth asking as far as some campaign work I'm trying to do. Appreciate getting a response regardless.


James,

I know Taldor isn't one of your favourite nations, but I figured I might as well ask this and see what your own view is. So, the army of Qadira is noted at clocking in at 100,000+, which can be further swelled by conscripts and slaves. The shtick of the Taldan army is noted as being underfunded, but still impressive, and further potent enough to hold its borders. Certainly they've at least been powerful enough to have discouraged a Qadiran invasion to this point.

How big an army do you figure that would have to be to be managing that, as far as the hosts of Taldor?


Quote:
The Grittiest Good: For groups seeking a darker, grittier style of play, actually treating Ragathiel's obedience as a necessary ritual sacrifice could be pretty sweet. While it's probably the darkest way to play good ever, I can definitely see a stoic crusader of Ragathiel keeping a band of unrepentant demons caged up to sacrifice as the days go by on the frontlines of the Mendevian war effort. Maybe the heroes are awaiting much-needed reinforcements before they march back into the throbbing heart of evil that is the Worldwound; they're haggard and worn down, and most can only look away as the crusader carries out his unsavory but necessary task so that he may use his god-given powers to keep the ramshackle border camp safe in the meantime. (As a side-note, can anyone guess that I'm really excited for the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path?)

I kind of thought the whole intent of the trifecta o good related publications (Champions of Purity, Righteousness, the Worldwound AP) was to put out some stuff that didn't really for their stretch truck in that whole dark and gritty, good is a grodily brutal murderous hypocrisy ouvre. Or as Wes put it in another thread, to avoid the whole being too cool for school thing vis a vis good related stuff.


Amber Scott wrote:
mark kay wrote:


Just to ask, as it didn't really get a clear answer I think, was Ragathiel's obedience intended to be full out ritual sacrifice? Would full out ritual sacrifice qualify for it despite being, well, full out ritual sacrifice of someone likely bound and helpless for it? My own takeaway had been that killing someone appropriately evil in the course of battle as it might come up would qualify, along with requisite ritual prayer after.

It was intended to be the latter--the mystery cultist comes across Evil Person, slays Evil Person, and gets boons. Not all the obediences would necessarily take an hour, but none should take longer than an hour. For example, Black Butterfly's obedience of doing an anonymous act of charity could involve leaving some gold on a doorstep, knocking, and running--no need to turn it into an hour-long ritual.

I see under Celestial Obedience on page 5 it says the rituals are "typically an hour" but for the feat it says "only an hour." The former was my intention. I'm guessing the discrepancy occurred when the feat text was aligned with the Demonic Obedience feat. (I am only the author though and don't have the 'official' answers :) ).

Whoops, missed the reply, just wanted to thank you for taking the time for it, and for what is one of my favourite books released for Pathfinder at this point.


James,

First up, thanks again for answering my various random-y queries when they've popped up in thread. Anyway, a couple of questions that aren't again really related to each other.

1) Just to turn an earlier reply into a question, would Artifacts and Legends mentioning the good elemental lords as being alive but imprisoned be another one of those things that slipped into canon that you would want to correct some day (like the merged Mwangi deity thing and such)?

2) Is there a chance of there being rules someday for paladins and cavaliers having flying mounts (pegasi, griffons, the like) as their special/bonded mount or are they stuck having to take leadership and take them as a cohort? Rangers managed to get the Sable Company Marine and all. I ask largely because, well, this was something I asked before, and you noted to wait on Animal Archive for it. Archive came and went, no such stuff in it.


Amber Scott wrote:

A few comments here--

1. Ragathiel's obedience is pretty onerous. My thought process as I created his boons and obedience was the idea that this is an incredibly powerful empyreal lord with very strict standards (and correspondingly powerful rewards). I think most games in which a PC plays a mystery cultist would see the PCs come into conflict with evildoers on a regular basis and that would allow for the obedience to be fulfilled. During downtime/between adventures there may not be opportunity to fulfill the obedience which I think is important too. Even the most devout servants can't serve perfectly all the time.

I think what I didn't do was anticipate how popular Ragathiel would be as a choice for players. I could have taken that into account more as I created the entry. If the obedience is too strict for an individual game, I agree that Dammerich's obedience makes a good substitute.

Just to ask, as it didn't really get a clear answer I think, was Ragathiel's obedience intended to be full out ritual sacrifice? Would full out ritual sacrifice qualify for it despite being, well, full out ritual sacrifice of someone likely bound and helpless for it? My own takeaway had been that killing someone appropriately evil in the course of battle as it might come up would qualify, along with requisite ritual prayer after.


James Jacobs wrote:
Secane wrote:

Not sure if this has been asked before.

But would we ever see an Adventure Path or Module, where the goal is to free the "Good" Elemental Lords?

Would/Are the "Good" Elemental Lords even possible to be set free at all?

No. Because the "good" elemental lords are dead, not imprisoned. They were murdered LONG ago by the evil ones.

The Artifacts and Legends book refers to them all being existingly imprisoned, is what I think they're talking about. The Moaning Diamond for instance keeps the essence of Sairazul the Crystalline Queen trapped within it as far as what makes it go, the entry for the Diamond gives the various names of the good elemental lords and such, talks about them like they're still alive but trapped.


James Jacobs wrote:


That's a bit of edition creep, unfortunately, that probably shouldn't have been added to Pathfinder.

Thank you for the answer.

Is there any chance of a supplement or something sometime more firmly noting the whole "if an evil outsider dies, it dies" thing?


James,

In Champions of Purity there's a magic item, the Devil's Key, which is basically a sword that.. I'll just quote the thing to avoid confusion

Quote:

The devil’s key is designed

to permanently slay evil outsiders by
bringing the fight to their plane of
origin so they can be killed outright.
Once per day as a swift action after a successful attack against
an evil outsider, the wielder can activate the sword to plane
shift the wielder and the target of the attack to the creature’s
home plane. The targeted outsider can resist this effect with
a successful DC 20 Will save. Once the target of this ability is
slain by the wielder, the sword activates another plane shift
as an immediate action that brings the wielder back to the
exact spot it previously left.

I had thought though in Pathfinder there wasn't any more of that whole "you don't actually kill an evil outsider if you kill it anywhere besides its home plane" stuff? The sword seems to imply otherwise.

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