Rakshasa Maharajah

xidoraven's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 451 posts (452 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 7 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.



Lantern Lodge

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First post?!?! What?

This sounds like a good time. Along with the previous module, Bluerise Breakout, I am glad to see this angle of the setting come out more and more.

Lantern Lodge

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I attempted to ask these questions on the product discussion for the most relevant Paizo book, The Pact Worlds - but it didn't get a real response. I am hoping to get the attention of Paizonians who can confirm the details, as opposed to just more speculation (unless you can provide new details to light, fans). I really need to begin with asking questions for clarifications related to images of the setting worlds.....

Let's do Akiton first, since it's easy to deduce cities being shown (the list of options is relatively small). We basically have Arl, Daza, and Maro, and a ton of small locales and wasteland.

If I had to guess, I would say the splash across 442-443 in the CRB is Maro, a trench city that I could easily visualize in that way. What's interesting is that there is another image of Akiton that was used in an early article (Paizo Blog, Nov-2016, which is now referenced on the Akiton page on StarfinderWiki, which I can't remember seeing in any product following this post. Specifically, {{this image}} is in question, as to its eventual product placement, its 'canon official-ness' in the setting, and where it is supposed to be illustrating. My guess is that it was an early choice for an Akiton splash image, and the final image was chosen over it. If I had to place it, it looks like a down-trodden district in Maro, an abandoned mining town (Utopia of Tivik, anyone? - lights are on, but nobody seems to be home), or any area within Daza.

The image splash on pp.48-49 in Pact Worlds is perhaps the least difficult of these last two to place: it looks like either an outlying district of Arl (with plateau in the background, perhaps), or a more populated (perhaps 'safe zone') in Daza. It's definitely not Maro.

Last specifics question, less image-oriented as map-oriented - Starfinder Society scenario, Fugitive on the Red Planet, begins in Maro, and then moves to an outlying town of Tasch. Tasch is not located on the Akiton map, but would it be located in any specific direction away from Maro? Also, would it be considered one of the 'Company Towns' given its current status in that scenario? Is it possible that undetailed "Eeha" is actually meant to be a place-market for Tasch?

Can we get a Starfinder developer or Thursty to give a clarification on these initial details?

Thanks!

Lantern Lodge

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I am super-stoked that this is now available on paizo.com! For those of you who make Pathfinder RPG Compatible or Starfinder Compatible content, or if you ever want to try, this product includes everything you need, including proper licensing notations, to use it in your own projects.

Please check it out, and let me know what you think!
-Will

Lantern Lodge

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From Varisia and the the Inner Sea, to the Dragon Empires, to Distant Worlds, the Dark Tapestry, and the Great Beyond, the world and atmosphere of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting has always drawn from evocative and atmospheric creative sources, including film, music, visual art, and the reproductions of our understanding of history. Many of these inspirations and recommended reading/viewing/listening lists or sources are spread across publications, these forum posts, and the discussion at countless conventions and other events. I am hoping to create a sort of central source for these inspirations, in order to help players and GMs wishing to re-create the atmosphere of the setting without feeling the need to purchase every item. This approach of backwards-engineering the developers creative processes, should help to eliminate the fear of being under-informed about the setting and its composition of elements.

I will begin with the lists in the GMG and Dragon Empires Gazetteer, and for now, the following links will serve as the basis for my understanding of what already stands on these forums.

I was originally going to make one post with a comprehensive list of the above base sources, but decided against it in favor of a new forum thread: Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide, product discussion.

This came up before on another thread, and with the re-publishing of CotCT, I don't think that anyone should count on getting a complete re-print of all of JJ's original inspiration lists. Source post, 'Ask James Jacobs' thread.

Also, someone made this thread which was a nice start for my own quick research for this topic: A Question of Literature thread - which featured a nice similar list: Appendix N blog post, off-site. And while this list is very helpful for finding great inspirations in general, it doesn't tell us how each element relates specifically to the worlds/multiverse of the PF campaign setting, or how these pulp sources were re-invented or otherwise served to fuel new ideas.

So, I am hoping this thread can serve that purpose. I will split up the following posts according to their sources, the GMG and DEG.

Lantern Lodge

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Since long before the release of this year's amazing supplement, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures, I have been tinkering with ideas of overlapping realities, false/illusory realities, battles of magic and the mind, and the possibility of alternate and anachronistic realms. I love the themes explored in this book, and have long researched exactly these sorts of subjects in our "real-world" history, in order to know where the ideas came from, and what is their purpose? Once you begin to uncover these elements of the past, many happen upon what Carl Jung referred to as synchronocity, and many who begin walking this path often continue it long into their lives, seeking out the universal truths and enigmatic precursors to consciousness, the mind, and its connection to the body and the soul.

But what if, in the course of exploring these facets of the mind within the fictional realm of Golarion, you were to happen upon an even greater, more world-shattering truth? What if the world as you know it, was never truly "real" in any sense, except that it was experienced by multiple consciousnesses, tied together in some grand, cosmic, or simply a mental scheme, using hypnotism or cleverly applied technology/magic? What if you learned in your explorations, that nothing has ever been what it seemed, not even in the most predictable and fated moments throughout known history? What if these unknowable truths were in fact blasphemous concepts of the darkest minds in the multiverse, and merely reaching out to them was enough to bring an inevitable end to all of creation?

This campaign series concept could easily fall under the heading of 'Ultimate Occult,' although this is in no way requires the use of new occult classes, or the proliferation of psychic magic, occult rituals, or similar effects. All standard and advanced classes could well enough participate in revealing the occluded elements of this campaign, without much additional effort. Masters of the inner realms of the psyche, and those who study the planar reaches of the external unknown stand to gain the most from these adventures, however.

For those gamers who have studied the deeper esotery of my own writings and goals, there is an obvious end-goal to this plot, but first we have to get from start to end, and that requires much more work. This campaign begins at 7th-level, using only pre-generated iconic PCs (at least in my own version of this adventure concept). My own table for this is posted on Roll20, and new players are welcome to join if there are open slots. See here: https://app.roll20.net/campaigns/details/980545/xidos-occult-adventures

Note: If you plan on playing in this campaign at any point in time (and especially if you are not an experienced roleplayer who can refrain from using metagame knowledge in-game, especially to the detriment of other players), you are only harming yourself and your fellow teammates by reading the following information about the campaign setup. That said, a GM needs to read this, so you are all off the hook if you plan to run this sort of campaign.

I have begun this adventure on the island-nation of Jalmeray, in the small town of Padiskar, where I have placed the newest addition to the Sweet Hag's Bosom tavern/inn planar franchise, a home-base for the heroes, who are Pathfinder Society members (for simplicity). I am using the full Tavern! ruleset to create this home-base environment, and I hope to use the table concept to branch off and split this into two tables: one for new or introductory players which can be used to organized more gaming sessions off-table; and another for the actual Occult Campaign, to help PCs reach the 17th-level for the campaign, and able to meet the prerequisites for my final planar adventure concept (ending at 20th-level).

Products used in this campaign:

Used or Referenced Products:
  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Hell Unleashed
  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary
  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Realms
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario 4-16: The Fabric of Reality
  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide
  • Pathfinder Module: Cult of the Ebon Destroyers

Along with these adventure-content products which have been used, the campaign relies heavily on all core-rules PFRPG sources, along with some new content created for my upcoming planar adventure concept. Especially, Occult Adventures, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, NPC Codex, Monster Codex, GameMastery Guide, Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Class Guide, Advance Race Guide, Ultimate Campaign, Pathfinder Unchained, all five Bestiaries, and it will also give me a chance to pit some of my mythic versions of creatures from Mythic Adventures against PCs in the Dream Arena.

This is a lengthy concept, my internet connection isn't the greatest, and I risk double-posting, but I am going to do this in several thread posts, so I can properly organize the content for each segment before I get it posted up. Everything will be spoilered, so I won't give away any of the good stuff.

Lantern Lodge

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I have been dying to put together a high-level adventure that would allow PCs to actually become 20th-level and possibly mythic by the conclusion of the module. With all the exceptional hype surrounding the upcoming Occult Adventures, and the connection to the elemental material involved in it, it's gotten my imagination all riled up. I made this outline in the style of the current PF Modules (17th-20th levels, Medium XP/wealth, for 4-5 PCs, with two possible mythic tiers gained).

I was inspired at least partially by Colin McComb's Beyond the Vault of Souls, along with the basic layout and pacing of Wardens of the Reborn Forge. Plus, well - I kind of love the planes - you know, like, way too much...

Along with general adventuring content related to the planes, I decided to include a compiled list of wild/primal magic events that could be possible in Limbo (the Maelstrom). Since I was thinking of publishing this, anything would be generically-named in the end, but would stick closely enough to Golarion lore to be relevant to the default campaign setting use. Also, because of the upcoming AP in Cheliax and the occult notions behind hidden mysteries, I decided to tie in Asmodeus ("Prince of Lies," "Dark Lord," "King of Devils," "Infernal Architect of Hell"), and a secret mystery that could lead to his downfall - among many other possible outcomes. I also made sure to include a segment where the PCs could even travel to a planar arena similar to the Coliseum Morpheuon. Astral Plane - Dimension of Dreams - close enough. It will also include a lot of elements tied to the war between the titans and the gods.

So, since it's a pretty intensive outline and background concept for the story arc, I will put it up in some further posts. For now, I will say it definitely will include a heavy elemental influence, which means genies and other elemental kin. Plus, portals affected by the Wild Magic trait from the Maelstrom/Limbo, where the adventure mostly takes place.

So, any thoughts or suggestions before I post up the basics?

Lantern Lodge

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Over on this thread, I got the following answer to my question regarding Serpentfolk's name for themselves on Golarion:

James Jacobs wrote:
xidoraven wrote:
In the Ecology of the Serpentfolk (Serpent's Skull part 1), the "serpentfolk" are described in the first sentence with quotations, as if that is not possibly what they call themselves in the native Aklo tongue. But then, it never does reveal what serpentfolk call themselves. Do they have a name for themselves?
They do. We haven't revealed what that name is, and that article would have been the best time to do so, so that ship's more or less sailed and we probably won't reveal (or, indeed, INVENT) that name anytime soon as a result.

This would have been covered in the Ecology article by Clinton Boomer, but sadly was overlooked, and will likely not be returned to for a very long time to come. I can't wait, since I am desperately in need of a name for this race. It seems to me, based on their culture of high-mindedness and superb ego, the word, "serpentfolk" would be deemed offensive, slur, or otherwise considered vulgar to them.

Suggestions for this race name is now open. Brownie points to anyone who gets a Paizonian to join the discussion, and even more if Clinton Boomer is brought in to comment. :P ;)

Lantern Lodge

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Ever since The Inner Sea World Guide included descriptions of the other worlds outside Golarion, along with the spell, Interplanetary Teleport, the potential to visit some of these distant worlds have made them take on quite a bit of mystery and flavor, and with some recent releases - most notably, Distant Worlds, and in fact, the deceptively-named Inner Sea Bestiary - there is some real material to begin fleshing out several of these worlds in much more vivid detail. Much like the thread on Verces which inspired this one, this is an open space to discuss the world called Castrovel, the Green, and its everyday goings-on, its culture, and how it may have gotten that way. It might even be helpful to use this space (and the Verces thread) as a drafting space to help make the information available freely on PathfinderWiki.com more detailed and comprehensive about these alien worlds.

Castrovel is a lush planet of humid jungles, where huge beasts roam, and the lands are tended and looked over by several humanoid groups - the lashunta and the Sovyrian elves - as well the native outsiders, the formians. Because of its dense atmosphere and close proximity to the sun, Castrovel is lush, humid, warm, and savage. The elves of Sovyrian are of the same heritage as the elves of Golarion, and share their relationship during the events of Starfall and the beginning of the Age of Darkness. Little is written of the Colonies of the formians, save that they are the eternal enemy of the Lashunta and the elves. They are ruled by many queens, by a conceptual figurehead called the "Overqueen" (rather than a real figure), which were allied during an event called the Meeting of Queens.

Finally, the Lashunta - are included as playable character race/NPC stats in the Inner Sea Bestiary - are the last piece of the social puzzle on Castrovel, and by far and wide, seem to be the most interesting and complex of the groups. Psionics (telepaths and telekinetics, especially) are common, and their spell-like abilities exhibit this theme as well. They are sexually dimorphic - the males are very different in appearance and mentality from the females - but all of them seem to share a scholarliness and civilized nature, despite the loose feudal system that is in place between the segments of this race and its lands. These are the antennae-bearing humanoids which ride on saurian lizards (sometimes depicted with multiple additional limbs, and some without), with psionic powers, often scantily clad (it's because of the hot weather, I swear!), which rule in a sort of civilized savagery that borders on tribal governance, but with the apparent sanctioning by the elves of Sovyrian.

The capital of Sovyrian is called El, and lies in the central eastern portion of the island continent - and this continent lies on the southeastern portion of the map. A much larger continent to the north, called Asana, is the land of the lashunta, and its capital is on the western shore, and called Qabarat; to the east on this continent is the strange and magical Ocean of Mists. Far west of Sovyrian lies the island continent referred to only as The Colonies, is the land of the formians.

An unnamed and unmarked continent lies to the northwest on the map, and no details are given anywhere in the written text as to its nature, one way or another. Nothing is mentioned about it at all. I have some ideas which I am working on in another thread on here, which lay out some of these possible natures/origins.

The planet also appears to have a vibrant undersea ecology, however it is not well documented in the text, except for a few specimen examples: cannibalistic selkies - semi-intelligent schools of fish - massive isopods with glowing shells, which have a symbiotic relationship with delicate creatures like seahorses, which live in the cracks in their shells. On land, similarly strange creatures are described: enormous saurian horrors - segmented centipede ticks - bug-eyed mountain eels - poison-beaked sky fishers.

In addition, the weather can be quite intense (Castrovel has a larger moon, assumedly only one), and can be host to moldstorms, which can be quite deadly and sickening in their scope of havoc. There is assumed to be some measure of protection against them for the native peoples, although formians may in fact live underground in their massive hives, and avoid the issue altogether. The lashunta and the elves of Sovyrian seem to have a passive sort of peace accord, and the formians are said to be the eternal foes of the lashunta - whom they fought in the past for territory, and which I assume is now mostly settled by the formation of the Unified Hives, under the Overqueen (the alliance of the Hive Queens). No monster stats are given for formians, but it assumed that your old 3.5 material is still valid to a degree. Until psionics is released by Paizo, Dreamscarred Press' Psionics Unleashed will have to do for now.

I am under the impression that several Pathfinder Society adventures may deal with the relationship between Golarion and either Akiton, Castrovel, or both of them - and I would be open to helpful input which further defines this guess-work, if anyone knows for sure which adventure modules do, in fact, cover anything to do with Castrovel in particular. I'm thinking it may in fact be Akiton, the Contemplatives of Ashok, and the red doorway in the Mwangi Expanse, which are dealt with in an adventure, but I would rather know for sure, if anyone has any information for or against this.

More to come....? ;)

Lantern Lodge

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I have been toying with this for a while. I am going with a working title, "Return of the Annunaki." This storyline follows the attempts of the serpentfolk to rise once already (in Serpent's Skull AP), where the united serpent races seek to re-establish dominance over the other races of the planet, this time with a whole new presented perspective on their past, and on their future intentions.

I'll start it with a full new posting.

Lantern Lodge

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This is all based on 3e/3.5e mechanics which I was working on years ago, and while I understand that Paizo has taken a significantly directed stance on topics like Divine Rank and Epic levels, this is just my input and recommendations, and someone who already plans on making Mythic a part of my own game-mechanics understanding, and possible future writing topics. I also don't contribute to the boards much, and I don't expect many people to give this thread two squints, I want to mention it anyway. I am hoping Jason/devs will see it, and at least take it in. The public pages about it are still up online.

As a personal request, please don't just nay-say the idea and smack-talk, since I don't really have the time to put you in your place. If the Paizonians want to look at it, I am leaving it up to them, and ask you to put forward either productive advice, or none at all. Thanks.

Spoiler:
I once created a system called Inath (the Cabala Inata) - it was very much based on the general 3.5-era lore of D&D, and especially the planar aspects of it, as well as the new ideas I was working on at the time. It is located here: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Inath_(3.5e_Variant_Rule)

This system was essentially constructed as a means for a PC, monster, villain, or other being to take on higher and more divine power, in a manner very similar to the proposed Mythic Adventures setup, but with a distinctive attachment to Divine Rank. The system was heavily influenced by my own personal writings on the languages (and their roots/origins) and the ancient powerful bloodlines, such as dragons, sylvans, sentient undead, magical/supernatural beasts, and others. Along with that, all of the naming conventions and ideas associated with the levels and tiers, were based on a combination of Kaballah and the fictional spiritual system of Storm Constantine's novel series, Wraeththu. All of it was geared with the intention of breaking up Divine Rank into a more player-approachable manner, and allowing characters/creatures of any background to become more powerful than mere mortals (exactly what we are doing here). It also included definitive notions about the immortality of spirit, mind, and body, attachments to bloodlines and powerful elements (Affinities) to fuel their spiritual power, and even Inath Quests (Mythic Quests) to achieve higher attainment between the levels and tiers. The system also assumes a four-plane transitive plane system, and these planes have substance and energies similar to the four elements (fire, earth, air, water); achieving understanding over these underlying planar "elements" and concepts allows the creature to use their abilities through a particular means (Knowledge and special Craft skill checks, and sometimes Ego/Spirit rolls, as well as magic (spell-slot or spell point) or Inath Point expenditure to fuel the abilities).

Not all of these abilities would translate easily or very well into Mythic Adventures mechanics, however, I think it is intrinsically necessary to describe and detail how these new options might translate over into Divine Rank or at least a comparative power between the deities (Demigods, Lesser, Intermediate, and Greater Deities). If it's not included outright (which is probably most likely), it would be still be incredibly helpful and even necessary to a degree, that the Mythic system at least be crafted in a manner which allows someone like me to translate these levels and abilities over into a such a way that "divine PCs" might take part in "quasi-deity" campaigns - and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will want to be able to refer to Mythic Adventures without much hassle or extra description.

Most of this it looks like you're covering. But let's say a spiritual war breaks out between Mythic figures. Specifically in mechanical situations where it might be nice to have a determining dice roll or steady DC check, I have found that Ego (from Intelligent Items) can translate pretty well over for such a need, and for those instances where the DC is based more on a creature's inherent divinity (or Mythic ability) than on their focused intention, a similar Spirit check/score was also devised; creatures with even more spiritual understanding and deeper access might even be able to wield their Spirit score as if it was their Ego bonus. Please see: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Ego_(Inath_Roll) and http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Spirit_(Inath_Roll) - Interestingly, when I put down 'Applicable Statistic,' I had no way of knowing they Mythic Adventures would be set up in such a way to immediately provide such a score, based on their Mythic Level type.

The system attempts to implement Deific Portfolio and Domain items into a creature/character's progression, based somewhat on their original divine power (the Affinity, which might be a magical/divine bloodline, or other powerful substance/energy), and also on the energies of their Divine Spark and its planar association. These are called the Veils (Ether), Spheres (Shadow), Umbra (Astral) and Permea (substantial Astral, or sub-elemental); they have their own Knowledge paths and Crafts, which allow a PC or creature to use deeper and more potent powers. They have a more/less potent affect on a creature's specific abilities and weaknesses in many ways, but it seems like you have covered a lot of this already.

I might recommend the idea of the active/passive rolls/DC in situations with arguable results. Ego is similar to an item's sentient power, raised through the means of Mythic Levels, and Spirit is an underlying individual's power, separate from their own hubris and intention - sometimes it's a roll, and sometimes a static DC - Ego is almost always a roll, at least so far as we could determine through our own playtesting.

In my assumptions, some races had immortal souls inherently, some gained them through achievement/insights, and some were prevented from immortality, like cursed races (ie, Book of Vile Darkness humanoids, the Vashar, I think...?). After this soul-oriented mortality concern (whether or not the soul moves on to an Outer Plane or post-life existence, possible to be raised, etc.), comes the mind and body - body can be split up, like monks have it in stages. Finally, after achieving a certain level of divine potency (and potency in this sense is only raised through followers/worshipers, not dependent upon them), Divine Rank is achieved. Divine Rank 0 (and this is all 3.5 SRD material here) is split up over the mind and body mortality ascension, with Divine Rank 1 (and the PC's first full Salient Divine Power) being the highest tier of three levels, and post-tier progression going into Divine Rank 2-21+.

In this system, the progression is Uninitiated, Initiate (no Divine Rank), First Tier (3 sub-levels; Divine Rank 0), Second Tier (3 sub-levels; Divine Rank 0), Third Tier (3 sub-levels; Divine Rank 1), and onwards (Divine Rank 2+) without too much more subdivision of divine abilities. I only mention it because it could help you to find a way to also open up a Divine-Rank-like system of simple translation of terms. I loved Deities & Demigods, so forgive me if you don't. I had a lot of time on my hands to think about how to best deal with it in my own stories.

Also, a last note - I was trying to set the system up in a way where one might ascend either with a group, under a mentor, or as an individual practitioner, with perhaps each method having its own bonus or weakness attributed, which the others would not have access to. I was trying to make it both diverse/approachable by all, and specific enough to let the individual PC feel unique.

So, the big thing is, I want to be able to tell/show my players how their Mythic Levels might translate or compare against their Divine Rank, or at least to how they might one day approach the known power of the deities as the lay-folk know them. Even in the myths, gods can be killed, and their power stolen or re-distributed, and while Mythic Levels might only be 1st-10th, there is nothing preventing a PC, villain, or monster from trying to achieve more than that. How they line up when compared to other gods might make it much easier to rationalize the power we have come to think that the deities hold (concretely) in a much more fluid manner.

Again, this is not a, "Here's you solution!" post, but an insight into a system that was attempting to do just what we all hope to seek here, and showing it as a complex base concept of how I had attempted to break down the old system into something more approachable to most players, so that the deities in the Deities & Demigods book wouldn't seem like such high-handed powers-that-be, and could possibly even be taken down as a foe by someone with the right resources, divine power, and a good plan. It would be really nice to see Mythic Adventures provide the perfect platform for that to take place. I AM *very* interested in the upcoming material, and hope to make the best use of it when it gets to my house. Good luck!

Ok, thanks! :)
-will

Lantern Lodge

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My name is Will Thompson, and my company, Krewe of Harpocrates Publication, LLC, is producing a new series of advanced gaming topics and box-breaking campaign ideas - this series will be called Farseeker, and in the future will include things like immortality & ascension, spacefaring adventures, high technology and cross-genre fantasy gaming.
Our logo for Farseeker
You can find our products (currently only for The Nymian Beastlands Campaign Setting materials) on Paizo.com and RPGnow.com. We are also on facebook, as you can see from our logo picture. http://facebook.com/krewehar

Our first product in this line is tentatively being called, 'Hinduism & A Pantheon of India,' and will include deity summaries of 25 new deities of India, as well as a mass of new content relevant to GMs (rather than expanding player options), including spells, monsters, and magic items.

I am looking for one or more people willing to volunteer looking over my content with an eye for balance and correcting any mechanical mistakes, prior to publication. Your name will be included in the contributors' credits, and you will be able to say that you were there first. I wish I had more to give, but for now, this is a very small project with a very large goal, and I am looking for avid players who can help me make sure my numbers and goals are practical before it goes out. I don't believe knowledge of Hinduism will be necessary for this purpose, but it wouldn't hurt, either.

Respond here by post, or email me, xidoraven at krewehar dot com.

Thanks, and best wishes.
-will

Lantern Lodge

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Hi all - I just wanted to point a couple things out, while I have a minute to do so.

First, this free document is yours - enjoy it, and share it as you please. However, there are no game mechanics involved in it, so it does not required playtesting feedback for credit on free/discounted products. We are not looking for feedback, so much as I am looking to hear what you think of the setting elements - and feel free to brainstorm on some of the considerations and questions posed within the document itself. I welcome any responses about this material.

Those who purchased Playtest Pack 01: Races of Omarka 1, will most likely be the ones to notice the connections between the Daventi and Faunarian languages, cultures, and connections involved in our materials. If you register to playtest with us, there is also some PP01 Bonus Material, which we can send in an email to registered playtesters. This Bonus Material helps covers some of the points regarding the languages, especially.

Lastly, I did notice that there are a few omissions from my text, which we not intentional. I'd like to provide the corrections here, until such a time when I can make a revision and re-upload it.

  • On page 3, first column, Questions & Consideration, paragraph 1, lines 7-10: "Do you think they could have other motives, including perhaps keeping the information secret, or even keeping the Daventi Manifesto from gaining more widespread {add} exposure?"
  • Page 3, second column, paragraph 2, lines 25-27: "...and the Daventi “separatists” actually established themselves as a powerful opponent to {edit: all who would} any detractors, including analyzing and recreating..."
  • Lastly, on page 4, in the advertising text for 'Playtest Pack 04: Verdant Ones 1,' the line, "Psionic creatures compatible with Psionics (PFRPG)" should have provided a link to Dreamscarred Press' Psionics Unleashed, material provided on d20pfsrd.com - here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed

Thanks, and best wishes to you all.
-will

Lantern Lodge

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Just to point out, like any of our playtesting materials, you can discuss the material here on Paizo.com's discussion board about the product for actual credit with us as registered playtesters, and our registered playtesters get the real hook-ups. In a very similar method to the Open Design patron-style design workflow, we are allowing anyone to view our material prior to its final print-on-demand publication, in order to better understand the game mechanics im/balances and your feedback about the material.

To register to playtest, please email Justin (blackfang@krewehar.com), and just give him your name (first and last, or a nickname/unique-username) and an email address for us to send you discounts and notices about the material for The Nymian Beastlands Campaign Setting (or TNB), as well as any discounts or extras we may have for registered TNB playtesters for our newest products (look for Farseeker #1 soon). Otherwise, we will leave you alone - and you can send in feedback at your own leisure and willingness.

Any registered playtester who submits viable feedback (at our discretion), using the Paizo discussion board about the specific product, or our other methods (using the form-field PDFs provided with the product, or by simple text - via email, or a separate and more private discussion board we have set up on RPGlife.com).

Otherwise, just enjoy the material, and look for more to come from us. We are late in our earlier promises, but we are all sticking to it, and making great progress once more. Your understanding and continuing enthusiasm is appreciated. :)
-Will (Author and Lead Rakshasa)

Lantern Lodge

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Having gotten some feedback from Sean on the forums here and some other discussions, we know that Mystic Motif got left out of Ultimate Magic, and that it got cut for its lack of crunch/applicability, but it got left in the text for the two sorcerer bloodlines, Maestro and Rakshasa.

From some input from Sean, the original feat had a conceptual theme chosen by the caster (such as "dragons" or "stars") which would make their spells more difficult to identify in Spellcraft checks or other detection (having a visual or other element of the chosen theme). It wasn't very potent, and it got cut. Sean told me that the replacement feat will likely be something accessible to all characters (having no prerequisites), perhaps something like Improved Initiative. I am saying maybe/perhaps because Paizo has not made an official errata yet, and this is all conjecture - but we know that 'Mystic Motif' got cut.

I did some back and forth with Sean about ideas, and ended up deciding to come up with this homebrew version of a Mystic Motif feat, basing the concept on the original elements, plus a boost from a favorite faction trait of our group, the Qadira Faction Trait, Eastern Mysteries.

Here is the feat - please tell me what you think, and if the mechanics seems appropriate. I would like to make sure it looks decent before implementing and sharing it. I will likely include it in our eventual refinement of the Rakshasa sorcerer bloodline for my setting material, The Nymian Beastlands. Don't let that discourage you - I publish in Open Game Content, so your input doesn't exclude you from benefiting from the feat's creation here - you are free to use it for your own use in its final or draft form.

Mystic Motif [General]
Choose a school of magic. Any spells you cast from that school are deceptively masked by stylish flair, and can be more potent.
Prerequisites: Cha 10.
Benefit: As a swift action, you may choose to apply a spell motif to a spell from the magic school you select; you may do this a number of times equal to half your Hit Dice, or the number of times of times you can raise the save DC (see below), whichever is higher (minimum 1). Applying a spell motif raises the Spellcraft check to identify the spell by +5, and when you take this feat, you choose a stylish element to apply, such as “dragons”; whether identified properly, or on a failed result, the identifying creature believes the spell has something to do with that element. A number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1), you may raise the save DC for any spell which allows a save by +2 any time you apply a spell motif.
Special: You may gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new school of magic.

Lantern Lodge

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I love the magus, and I have read and re-read the Spellstrike ability several times, but I can't be absolutely sure of something: let's say you are a player race that has natural attacks (such as a tengu's bite attack) - can you deliver a spellstrike through natural attacks, such as a bite, claw, or tail? If a monster takes on magus levels, do they get to use their natural weapons to deliver spellstrikes automatically, or do they require some other ability/feat/option? Thanks.
-will

Lantern Lodge

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I play a monk in PF Society, and the following monk archetype hasn't been done, and presents a specific benefit only available to an archetype such as this:

A monk that focuses on shurikens, with ki abilities which enhance them during flurry of blows (FOB with shurikens is standard, but there is a lot of room here). A ki-enhanced shuriken that could deal elemental damage is the goal (fire, cold, electricity, acid). My monk wants to throw flaming shurikens, and there is no simple, easy, or cheap way to do it currently - I have asked Doug Miles, and we have considered my options. It's unfeasible.

The archetype could solve my dilemma - and everyone should love FLAMING SHURIKENS. ;) I was thinking: "Starstorm Monk"

I didn't make it into the Top 32 to bring up my idea, but you did - please feel free to take this concept and run with it. I had no intentions of using it officially except in this contest session. It's yours to keep if you want it. :D Good luck to each and every one of you - you deserve it. ;)
-will

PS: I'm not sure you would be allowed to say much in reply to this, but I don't think I am prevented from sharing the idea for someone else to use. So don't add anything beyond, "thanks!" or something similar! I don't want you to get disqualified!

Lantern Lodge

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Just in case anyone would like to discuss the material found in this guide, this is a good spot for that to happen. We are looking forward to your thoughts, considerations, and questions! Best wishes during the holidays!
-will

Lantern Lodge

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I am looking at the fact that no single player race has the scent ability, nor do they have anything similar to it to make up for such a gap (supposed gap in a character concept for something such as catfolk, dogfolk, etc.). In Dragon Compendium, Vol. I, the Lupin has a lesser version of the scent ability (since I am considering 3.5/OGL precedents as well), and in fact this precedent seems to have carried through to Pathfinder in that no currently created player race or bestial race has this ability (to my knowledge).

Are there any specific reasons for this, and if a homebrew player race were to include a scent-oriented perception ability, what imbalances might be involved, or considerations taken into account for creating race concepts such as those examples mentioned above? Please, whatever input you have, of whatever form or experience, is welcomed. I am trying to figure out how much I can give a player race in this regard without breaking any standards. Thanks and best wishes,
-will

Lantern Lodge

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I am likely to hear these have come up countless times and I should just look through the posts on the boards, but here they are anyway. If you have a reference page number from the core rulebook, bestiary or errata, please let me know. I will welcome any precedent given, from any Pathfinder related publication by Paizo or a recent/current third-party publisher. Please, thanks, and best wishes to you all.

1) In 3.5, if a creature had a Swim base speed, they would often also gain a bonus to swim checks, and it was almost always stated in the descriptions (especially if it were an aquatic player race, where it would be listed in the racial traits): "gains a # racial bonus to swim checks, may make checks even while threatened, and can perform the run action if moving in a straight line and performs no other actions, etc., etc." Does a creature - player or monster - with a Fly or Swim Speed gain a bonus to Fly/Swim checks, and is there anything stated about the standards of their motion? Can Climb base speeds be possible for anything, and is there any precedent for that?

2) In 3.5, the Warbeast Template allowed you to train and bard an animal, and allowed vermin as warbeasts then stated that they couldn't be trained to wear armor because they do not have an Intelligence score, and so cannot learn how to wear it. First off, is there any precedent for saddling and armoring a giant spider, etc.? Also, since I am revising the creature template and considering augmenting the vermin by adding an Intelligence of 1 and changing type to Animal (augmented vermin), is this taboo? Would they simply be Magical Beasts at that point? Is there any precedent for this?

3) I want to make a template for a creature that is really only applicable to creatures of another template type - is this taboo? Is there any precedent for it? When developing a creature template's CR adjustment, are there any really good big things to consider when assigning a score before playtesting begins, just to keep realism? And, what kinds of things should be considered when applying a template to a templated creature, and especially for its CR adjustment?

4) I know is lame and amateur of me to ask: Do creatures without classes get a +3 bonus for applying skill ranks to skills they have access to by racial/type/subtype traits as if they were class skills?

5) A creature has access to a spell list as if it were a caster, like a rakshasa, who casts sorcerer spells like his ECL caster level would allow. If a creature has spell-like abilities, are there any stipulations, restrictions, or considerations in also giving them access to spell slots like this? I would like to make a rakshasa with cleric spells - would/could that include domain use, and would the creature automatically gain or be restricted from bonus domain spells per day? Could a higher-CR rakshasa-related creature have access to both SLAs and spell slots without too much hassle? If it is given access to cleric spells, how far should that go in comparison to giving it SLAs as well? A rakshasa is a CR10 and 10HD creature, but is has a caster level of 7th - what kind of considerations line up with this decision?

6) I want to create a creature that has one smaller head inside one larger head - both with attacks, the smaller shark head has a bite (1d8) and the larger warthog head has a gore (2d8). I want to give this thing grab and rend so that one bite could become two very quickly and so forth... Is taking the larger of the two damages and adding 1-1/2 Str mod to it as normal an acceptable choice for method on Rend (Ex)? Is there some other method or consideration I should be taking?

-will

Lantern Lodge

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I am having a difficult getting the PFSRD pages to print properly be selecting text or printing full pages, and was wondering if it was possible to allow the distribution of a PF SRD through pdf documents or as a zip folder of documents for the different parts of the HTML pages. It would be much easier to refer to and utilize in pdf or at least legally on hand from one's hard drive. In the original OGL, we had access to a zip folder of Word documents, which I thought was not only strange bu hazardous to the integrity of the data still being editable in a Word document and then capable of being spread as incorrect information to those who might be unaware.

In any case, I would like to be able to download this data in a compact or else properly formatted letter-sized page or as selectable text, and print it for personal, non-commercial usage. Is this possible? I can put it together for you in InDesign if necessary, maybe a few design elements to spruce it up might be in order, but it's not like it would be difficult... Is there any rationale behind not having a downloadable folder or packet of files for the Pathfinder RPG Reference Document of which I am unaware?? Heck we could even make it available to be placed into someone's Downloads area, and even personalized.... It's not like it had to remain unsecured. :/ Input? Explanation?

Thanks and best wishes,
-will

Lantern Lodge

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First off, I need to preface all of this by saying: Good job, everyone! Thank you for such wonderful work - please keep it up!

The bestiary looks awesome - it is on my Paizo.com wishlist and will be one of the very next books I buy of any form. It updates, creates, revises, and promotes some very cool aspects of the game, as well as keeping some of our favorites alive and giving us new things to think about... Morlocks, anyone? ;)

Main thing: the minotaur illustration (finally) does not make me want to strangle myself. I am so sad to see the previous renditions of this well-archived mythological creature whose aesthetic image was destroyed and mangled into its 3.5 form - which was not in any way realistic to a bull-like humanoid, nor to the mythological basis for the creature. I wanted to call the 3.5 MMI critter a beastaur, while my friend simply said it was nothing more than a douchetaur to him. :P ;) The image and stats in the new PF Bestiary make me happy, and stick to the precedence set and maintained by a truly mythological creature that never should have taken the turn it did - and I am truly happy that our evolution of the appearance of this creature has reached its current climax. Thank you, Paizo illustrators!!!

I currently have the PDF version of the core rulebook... I am realizing that for Pathfinder Society organized RPGs I am going to need to have a physical copy on hand... So the next books on my purchase list are:
Core Rulebook Hardcover
Bestiary Hardcover
Campaign Setting Sourcebook Hardcover
PF Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets (physical or PDF)
PF Chronicles: Gods and Magic (physical or PDF)

I look forward to all of them. ;) Thank you to everyone who worked on this project and keeping a viable and balanced system alive and thriving for our community! Best wishes,
-will

Lantern Lodge

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To make it easier on me and anyone trying to piece together a real conversation from all of this, I will add the questions I posted in the Monsters of Golarian thread, as well as Adam's replies (this helps me more than anyone else :P).

xidoraven wrote:

* What exactly is the difference between an Open Design patron and a typical author/submitter? Is this a separate formal organization/project that has its own methods? I have to admit that I am completely unfamiliar with it, and still a little confused even after doing a little searching around for more info about it...

* By Sword & Sorcery, would that also mean anything related to Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved Campaign Setting, Serran? Are there copyright issues there? Would something like an ecology of the Litorian be acceptable in this instance?
* In consideration for an Ecology article, would Ecology of the Guardinal be breaking any copyright restrictions, and though I am openly getting input from fans of the Planescape setting on Planewalker.com, is there any specific requirement that these ecologies and related histories be directly linked to known 'canon' events within the planes? I refer to the Ecology of the Inevitables in 'Monster Ecologies', to the "creche forges" named where the Inevitables are created, which in various other 3e and Planescape materials is referred to as Neumannus, the Life Molds (and not in any way a "creche forge")... Are discrepancies like this manageable, and if included purposefully or by accident, would the editors have rights to modify, delete, or otherwise edit the material submitted? If so, if there was some form of rationale involved in the writing, would that also be considered if mentioned in a separate document, such as errata or an explanation of material? (I can't believe I even just asked if it was allowable to write an errata page, but I sure did)
* Would Modrons break any copyright issue? Would these be even remotely acceptable to submit? These might fit into the clockwork/steampunk concept asked for, along with other materials I have on the subject (technology deities, cleric domains, classes, monsters, etc.)... I have even more than that, but in my own tech project I ended up revising a lot of old Modron material left over from pre-3.5 updates (primarily the 'Manual of the Planes' web enhancement which never made it to 3.5, and now with help from Planescapers and old 2e materials). I also gave Primus an update, now that he has been killed by another god (Tenebrous) and learned a few good lessons from that... Would including ways to add these kind of subjects into both 3.5/Pathfinder and 4e D&D campaigns be a good way to approach this, or would focusing on one system to the exclusion of the other be the more preferred approach?
* What is the Pathfinder monster stat block format? Is it in any way like the Forgotten Realms revised 3e stat block that WotC ended up using in later Monster Manuals and other books? Is there a sample somewhere that is open for consideration (since I really can't afford a magazine for comparison right now)?
* What the heck is Zobeck?
* Am I able to negotiate first rights to the material, so that I can keep my material for later publication considerations (since I have a lot of stuff that goes together into my various ideas - tech stuff, prehistoric stuff, and immortality/godhood stuff)? If I choose in the future to release all rights BACK to Paizo (say, if one of my publication ideas goes bust but I still want it to make a difference), could first rights end up being negotiated to being all rights in the future - say, for Best of KQ, if it were to have been published?
* Is there any way to work with an artist to submit sketches or basic concepts of a written idea that might end up having related images or media? I am also an artist, but not comfortable enough to try selling my skills at this point in this regard... But I would love to hand over my sketches to someone who can fully develop them to the level that we have seen in past magazine editions.
* I checked out Werecabbages.com, and requested to become a member - is there anything that will exclude me or else some requirement that I may be unaware of? Does this group only include published freelancers? Are there any post-acceptance requirements to continue membership?
Adam Daigle wrote:

You’ve got a bunch of questions and I’ll do what I can to answer them. However, I first want to add, if you are looking into getting into freelancing, now is your best bet. Paizo is runs an annual contest called RPG Superstar that is open to submission for the next couple of weeks. The link and threads associated with it should answer most of your questions about it.

Open Design is run by Wolfgang Baur and is a patronage model for publishing material. It is based on the medieval model where someone would pay an artist to write them an opera, paint a ceiling mural, or whatnot. In a patron project, the group of people paying into the project guide it and even contribute material to the project. There is more information on this on the Kobold Quarterly website and the site I linked earlier. These projects are also a good place to learn about the process, see how other freelancers work, and get some excellent advice on the craft. In addition to Wolfgang’s workings, other excellent publishers like Rite Publishing use the patronage model.

The messageboards at Kobold Quarterly, while there is some overlap of folks there and here, are also a great place to get feedback and questions answered. When you ask about the usage of “sword and sorcery” in the guidelines posted there, it refers to the fantasy gaming genre specifically. Using another publishing company’s Intellectual Property is typically forbidden unless you negotiate certain licenses and other legal stuff I’m not super smart on. I play it safe and only write using OGL stuff (unless I’m writing for a specific publisher, of course, where using or creating their intellectual property is part of the gig.)

Your next two bullet points involve a lot of IP questions. Anything not in the SRD published by WotC is their property, as well as other material that is IP of other companies like Green Ronin’s Freeport material, Wolfgang’s Zobeck, and Paizo’s Golarion. Most of this regards specific setting material and proper nouns, but extends into mechanics as well. There are tons of threads and discussions about what is and what isn’t OGL throughout these messageboards, as well as many other messageboards. If you are interested in freelancing, knowing what is clear and what is not is extremely important, as using closed material can be an insta-kill to a proposal.

I know you mentioned not having the funds to get a lot of material right now, but I have to say, the best way of getting a foot in the door with publishers is by knowing their material. Not only does this let you know what already has been published (so you’re not pitching something that’s already been covered), but it also gives you an idea of the type of material a particular publisher is looking for, not to mention certain styles and format they use. Many publishers provide free material on their websites that can be mined for this information. It just takes a little digging sometimes.

If you clicked on some of the previous links, this question may be already covered, but Zobeck is the setting that many, if not most, of the Open Design adventure and sourcebook material is set in. In addition to any articles appearing in Kobold Quarterly that reference the setting, Wolfgang Baur uses the last page of the publication to let us in on yet another interesting facet of the Free City.

First rights is something some publishers negotiate, but unless it’s a special case, I wouldn’t expect it. I’ve never done anything that I retain first rights to. Part of freelancing is selling your babies. One of my art instructors told me, “Give the piece enough love to make it wonderful, but not too much that you can’t let it go.” The same goes for everything.

Merging into your artist question, most of that depends on the publisher. My first paid freelancing gig I was able to wrangle one of my favorite illustrators looking to break into the biz to do the art, and I have to agree that finding like-minded talent to accompany your craft feels freakin’ awesome. I’ve had great pleasure working alongside my artist friends like James Keegan and Hugo Solis on a number of projects.

Regarding the Werecabbages, our group happens to be locked to a particular membership cap to keep things from becoming unruly. Really, you get too many creative folks in a small space and they get crazy fast. You gotta keep an eye on folks like that. Seriously though, we have reached the size we need to be at the moment, and every now and then bring new members in when determined though internal rules we maintain.

I hope I answered at least some of your questions well enough. I remember (just a couple of years ago) when I was staring down the long road of deciding to become a freelance writer and how strange and scary it seemed. I can’t even start to talk about how invaluable the advice of other freelancers, and everyone in this community really, is to honing your craft. You may come into things with preconceived notions of what gaming is, but having the breadth of experience, and how willing everyone is to share their experiences, this community is excellent for helping things along.

Lantern Lodge

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I am probably breaking a rule here somewhere, but I will do it anyway (without posting my actual entry). I need some help and a clarification about the rules of permanent spells (affected by the 5th level arcane spell, permanency).

I have an item that is minimal in physical materials cost, but conveys the effects of an awaken spell, a permanent comprehend languages, and an owl's wisdom spell to a critter.

My first question is one of permanency beyond the removal of the item from the body slot: if I would like the Wisdom bonus because of owl's wisdom to remain intact after the removal of the item, is it possible to bend the rules of permanency to work in that manner, and if so what price adjustment & caster level might be best to utilize for this specific spell? If it is possible, what effect might this have on price, either for creation, or market value? My suggested levels for this would be caster level 9th and an additional 1,000 XP used for permanency. Is this logical, or simply intuitive (like I made it up)?

My next major hurdle to overcome is the math for market price and creation price... This could get ugly, folks. :P ;)

So far, I have minimal materials used (20 gp), and the following price incursions made:
Awaken = 100,000 gp = caster level 10 * spell level 5 * 2,000 gp for a continuous spell effect (DMG p. 285, table 7-33)
Permanent Comprehend Languages = 20,000 gp = CL 10 * spell 2 * 2,000 gp (same)
(Hopefully Permanent) Owl's Wisdom = 16,000 gp = +4 Wis squared * 1,000 gp (same table, using Ability bonus enhancement rules for base price)

Also included along with these factors is the rule for multiple effects (use the highest price times two), as well as additional creation costs for XP used (+5 gp * XP). I would assume this would include the XP for permanency effects - which means I need to answer the question about permanent Wisdom bonus first.

I always get confused by this part - which is why I typically stay away from it. I think I end up with a market value of 200,000 gp + XP costs because of the multiple ability rule and an assumed value of 100,000 gp because of the awaken spell cast by a 10th-level druid caster. Is this way off key?

This item changes the sentience and cognitive abilities of an animal, and that is why I would prefer the Wisdom bonus to be permanent even after the item is removed - anything else would be cruel and punishing after such a major shift in a creature's consciousness. Please help me understand the intricacies of pricing this out... Otherwise I am gonna have to drop out of the game last minute (*sobs*). Any input would be appreciated.

I am using the DMG by Wizards since I do not have the Pathfinder RPG publications. My apologies for being a broke gamer. Merry Christmas, all!
-will