Pathfinder Chronicles: The Great Beyond—A Guide to the Multiverse (OGL) Print Edition

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Pathfinder Chronicles: The Great Beyond—A Guide to the Multiverse (OGL)

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The home of the gods. The essence of matter. The realm of demons. The birthplace of souls, and the cities of Hell. All these things and more await in the planes beyond Golarion. Brave mortals leave the cradle of their homeworld and cross the misty ethereal sea or the silver void to discover strange dimensions—some hauntingly familiar, others inherently deadly, and many alien beyond imagining.

Bargain with djinn over land rights ceded to the mephit king while fighting off roving patrols of the queen of the fire elementals. Sign treaties with the umbral dragons of Shadow Absalom. Join the archon armies on a sortie into the Abyss, or assist a cadre of devils guarding the winding river of souls through the Astral Plane. Invade your enemy’s dream realm, study your own past, or negotiate with a cannibalistic sentient demiplane.

This 64-page book describes all of the major planes of the Inner and Outer Spheres, as well as numerous demiplanes and lesser-known dimensions. It also provides maps of the nine planes of the Outer Sphere, and unleashes five new monsters unique to Golarion’s cosmology—soul-eating astradaemons, law-forging axiomites, trickster-fey that lurk in light, quasi-noble keketar proteans, and fox-bard vulpinal agathions.

Looking for more planar adventure? Check out Pathfinder Module J5: Beyond the Vault of Souls, where the heroes must retrieve stolen soul-gems to prevent the sudden destruction of the multiverse!

By Todd Stewart

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-167-1

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

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Solid Intro to Pathfinder's Planar Cosmology

4/5

I have to admit that planar cosmology is not one of my strong suits. Apart from a PFS scenario here or there, I just haven’t run any campaigns that took place in different planes. Still, I thought it’d be worthwhile to get the classic breakdown of the planar structure of the official Pathfinder campaign setting by reading The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse. This is a 64-page entry in what began the campaign setting line, and features glossy pages and full-colour artwork. The cover art is reproduced in the inside back cover and looks pretty awesome there—probably poster-worthy. The inside front cover is a visual diagram of how the different planes relate to one another in a “geographical” sense—frankly, I’m not sure how much value there is in something like this because how often do the “borders” between planes come into play? Anyway, the book is divided into five chapters.

CHAPTER ONE: THE GREAT BEYOND (6 pages)

This short chapter serves as an introduction and summary of the book. There are good capsule descriptions of the different planes and their planar traits along with a few interesting additional bits such as the relationship between souls and the undead, and the life-cycle of a soul. It’s clear that author Todd Stewart--and by extension Paizo--intentionally left a lot of mystery to some facets of planar cosmology, and I think that’s a good thing. PCs need opportunities for discovery, GMs need opportunities to create, and an exhaustive encyclopedia wouldn’t be practical anyway.

CHAPTER TWO: THE INNER SPHERE (14 pages)

The “inner sphere” contains the planes that PCs will probably interact with the most: the material plane, the ethereal and shadow planes, and the four elemental planes (it also contains the positive and negative planes). For the transitive and energy planes, the chapter gives a couple of paragraphs on “notable creatures” and “notable places”, though the elemental planes are covered in greater depth. It’s just enough to get a rough feel for each plane and perhaps enough to improvise with in a pinch, though I wouldn’t personally feel comfortable running long-form adventures in the planes without more setting info (I know, I know, I’m contradicting myself on the value of mystery). I really like the description of “Shadow Absalom”. I should note that the interior artwork isn’t the greatest—this was before Paizo regularly landed some of the best fantasy artists in the business.

CHAPTER THREE: THE OUTER SPHERE (26 pages)

This is by far the longest chapter in the book, and covers the astral plane and the aligned planes (Heaven, Hell, the Abyss, etc.) Each of the aligned planes receives a stylized map that includes keys to between ten and twenty locations discussed in the text—pretty good coverage for a book this size! There are some really interesting locations—Aroden’s Domain in Axis, Nirvana’s Hall of Slumbering Kings, Groetus orbiting the Boneyard, and much more. I think it’d be fair to say that the “evil” planes receive more coverage than the “good” ones (with Heaven getting barely a page and half, for example). On the whole though, the chapter gives a nice introduction and overview.

CHAPTER FOUR: OTHER DIMENSIONS (6 pages)

This is a sort of grab-bag of all sorts of minor planes—prominent demiplanes, the dimension of time, the pit of Gormuz, and more. There are some awesome concepts here, with some clever little planes that are perfect sites for adventuring parties to explore. Sometimes starting small and mysterious is good, and this is probably my favourite chapter in the book.

CHAPTER FIVE: BESTIARY (10 pages)

The book’s bestiary includes five two-page entries of new monsters. The CR13 astradaemon is a sort of “soul predator”, with cool artwork and an effective description. The CR 8 axiomite is a LN resident of Axis—they’re not exactly exciting, but it’s probably good to have their nature solidified in case the PCs ever visit there. The CR 5 lurker in light is one of my favourites--scary fey who thrive in light instead of darkness, and with a special ritual that gives the GM a built in story-hook for introducing them. The CR 17 keketar protean has some very cool abilities. The CR 9 vulpinal looks exactly like a kitsune to me; it’s a type of wandering agathion. I’ve used astrademons, axiomites, and lurkers in light before in games, and I’m happy with the results. My guess is all of these creatures have been included in various Pathfinder bestiaries over the years, but perhaps in only single-page condensed versions.

It's a little challenging to give a verdict on a book that is long out-of-print and that has been supplanted by more authoritative sources like the Planar Adventures hardcover. Nonetheless, this is where it all starts in a way, and Todd Stewart has made a real contribution to the setting with The Great Beyond.


Portuguese (Br) review

3/5

Eu gostaria muito de dizer que este livro vale a pena, mas mesmo não sendo um livro ruim e de certo modo cumprindo a sua proposta de satisfazer a curiosidade sobre a cosmologia de Golarion, ele sofre de alguns problemas graves. Talvez o maior deles foi ter sido lançado entre edições, o que causou pouquíssimo conteúdo mecânico (algo que nem sempre é ruim, mas no geral aventuras planares carecem de auxilio mecânico devido a realidades muito diferentes do mundo natural). A falta de vontade da Paizo em se aprofundar muito em conteúdo que ela não estava preparada para se comprometer ainda (provavelmente haverá muito retcons quando o assunto planos voltar a vanguarda) e a arte não estava nada inspirada para um assunto tão transcendental quanto esse. Compre apenas se você gostar muito do assunto aventuras planares e realmente esteja querendo idéias que voce mesmo irá desenvolver, no resto o livro ainda continua muito bem escrito sendo uma leitura interessante para qualquer fã.


Great ideas skimmed over too quickly

2/5

I'm huge fan of planar gaming, so I was hoping we'd be getting something meaty. Sadly this product is too short for it's own good. You end up feeling like you're reading a prologue to a book where the rest of the book after the prologue is missing. This is an introduction and that's it.

The ideas are great, but they're just skimmed over. This supplement needed to be far more detailed and meaty than it is to be useful. Over all it's just not worth the money as it currently is.




a great planar book

5/5

An excellent take on the planes, typical pathfinder twist, familiar yet still wonderfully detailed.

Overall, it packs a ton of flavor and detail into a short supplement.

Some of the artwork is breathtaking.


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waiting for the pdf

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Still just waiting for mine to ship out so I can get the PDF. Stupid credit card screwups.


It also provides... five new monsters unique to Golarion’s cosmology... [and] fox-bard vulpinal agathions.

'Fox-bards'? *His ears prick up*

Okay, now I have to get it just to see what they look like.

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:

It also provides... five new monsters unique to Golarion’s cosmology... [and] fox-bard vulpinal agathions.

'Fox-bards'? *His ears prick up*

Okay, now I have to get it just to see what they look like.

*chuckle* Vulpinals. They're pretty much a direct import from my home game. And Sarah Stone did an awesome job on the artwork for them.


Fox-bards make perfect sense from where I'm sitting.

Contributor

And they're very sassy!


Got mine in the mail today. Thumbed through it quickly in the middle of our D&D session...looks awesome, as I expected.

Todd, I hope Paizo asks you to write the 3rd Book of the Damned (Daemons). (I'm assuming James will want to do the 2nd book, on demons)

Dark Archive

Got mine, the text looks good but the art on the maps I don't care for. It looks blury, almost like a rough sketch.

Dark Archive

I have to be real honest. I didnt like this one at all. There were bits and pieces to steal, but the over all cosmology set up just doesnt do it for me.

Grand Lodge

Kvantum wrote:
You know, as a hard-core Planescape fan, I was somewhat uneasy about the Pathfinder planar setup. It's not as bad as the cluster**** that is 4e's planes, but still, there's a bunch of changes being made that don't really "need" (IMO) to be made. I was willing to accept what Paizo was going to do with the planes, but I wasn't exactly looking forward to it.

I'm kind of wondering the same thing, why did Pathfinder need a unique cosmology? Why not just define some unique planer destinations and leave the whole definition of the cosmology blank. We are supposed to be compatible with 3.5 right, so let people get the details from there, and just make some really cool and engaging planer destinations, and set them on the plans with the names like "heaven, hell, nirvana, abyss" etc which are non-trademark/copyright synonyms for the wotc planes?


Galnörag wrote:
We are supposed to be compatible with 3.5 right, so let people get the details from there, and just make some really cool and engaging planer destinations, and set them on the plans with the names like "heaven, hell, nirvana, abyss" etc which are non-trademark/copyright synonyms for the wotc planes?

Pathfinder RPG is supposed to 3.5 rules set compatible. Golarion is its own world, and as such warrants its own seperate and unique cosmology.


carmachu wrote:
I have to be real honest. I didnt like this one at all. There were bits and pieces to steal, but the over all cosmology set up just doesnt do it for me.

Just curious -- which part would you say you liked the least?


Galnörag wrote:


I'm kind of wondering the same thing, why did Pathfinder need a unique cosmology? Why not just define some unique planer destinations and leave the whole definition of the cosmology blank. We are supposed to be compatible with 3.5 right, so let people get the details from there, and just make some really cool and engaging planer destinations, and set them on the plans with the names like "heaven, hell, nirvana, abyss" etc which are non-trademark/copyright synonyms for the wotc planes?

I think that it works. People familiar with the old can still use it. As a hardcore Planescape fan myself, I often regret how everyone is already familiar with the weird quirks of the planes; how quickly the wild and wonderful infinite became sort of "normal." They know all the factions and planar traits, it is difficult to replicate the naivete of a prime setting foot in the planes for the first time, in the spirit of Planescape.

A new cosmology helps me restore the sense of mystery for my experienced Planescape players. In this new configuration, the things they take for granted are gone — arriving in Axis for the first time will be every bit as confusing as arriving in Sigil was all those years ago. The Great Beyond should fulfill the role that the original Manual of the Planes had - new worlds.

As for compatibility, don't confuse the Pathfinder setting with the Pathfinder RPG. I don't think that the actual rules will contain reference to the individual planes beyond how they interact with spells, which doesn't seem to be any different in either cosmology. I don't see any compatibility issues in this book.

Dark Archive

hogarth wrote:
carmachu wrote:
I have to be real honest. I didnt like this one at all. There were bits and pieces to steal, but the over all cosmology set up just doesnt do it for me.
Just curious -- which part would you say you liked the least?

Most of the cosmology. I really like the great wheel, but I know they cant use it.

Start with the inside cover. The set up doesnt makes sense to me with all the rings. I dont like how the outer and inner spheres are set up.

There's a bit or 6 that I would steal here or there and add it to planscape or the great wheel, but overall I dont think I can use this comology with the world if/when I run it.

Dark Archive

vagrant-poet wrote:
Galnörag wrote:
We are supposed to be compatible with 3.5 right, so let people get the details from there, and just make some really cool and engaging planer destinations, and set them on the plans with the names like "heaven, hell, nirvana, abyss" etc which are non-trademark/copyright synonyms for the wotc planes?
Pathfinder RPG is supposed to 3.5 rules set compatible. Golarion is its own world, and as such warrants its own seperate and unique cosmology.

No not really. I believe that they had to set up a new one because the old cosmology wasnt OGL compataable if I read right somewhere. Wotc still has the rights or something to that nature.

I think that had more to due with it, rather than Golarion is its own world and needs its own seperate or unique cosmology.


carmachu wrote:


Start with the inside cover. The set up doesnt makes sense to me with all the rings. I dont like how the outer and inner spheres are set up.

Strangely that's my favorite part. I've recently taken some courses that covered ancient cosmology and this closely resembles the Platonic model of concentric spheres. There's a rich history there. I guess different people want different things, I can totally relate to being a Great Wheel purist.

Then again, I'm not sure I want a book of re-packaged Planescape, when my old planescape stuff is still on the shelf, and nobody could top those books.


toyrobots wrote:
carmachu wrote:


Start with the inside cover. The set up doesnt makes sense to me with all the rings. I dont like how the outer and inner spheres are set up.

Strangely that's my favorite part. I've recently taken some courses that covered ancient cosmology and this closely resembles the Platonic model of concentric spheres. There's a rich history there. I guess different people want different things, I can totally relate to being a Great Wheel purist.

Then again, I'm not sure I want a book of re-packaged Planescape, when my old planescape stuff is still on the shelf, and nobody could top those books.

And just to add a third voice, I like the "great wheel", but not Planescape; my idea of planar adventure is shaped more by the Dragon articles on the Nine Hells from issues #75-76 and the module Aesirhamar (from Dragon #90). I also think that Eberron's planar cosmology is fairly elegant, too.

I have to admit I wasn't really jazzed by the "hollow world" picture of the planes in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but I haven't really delved into it too much yet.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

This also gives a source for when all those Planescape and other books are no longer available for prices folks are willng to pay :)


I'm still waiting to get my copy from my FLGS however based what was in the Pathfinder Chronicles setting book it seemed that they kept close to the alignment and trait based setups on the outer planes, to the point where you could replace it with the great wheel with only a small amount of jiggering.

I'll jump on the "settings should have their own cosmology" wagon. I've yet to see a published setting that doesn't break from whatever the 'standard' cosmology is at the time. Not to bash things like Spelljammer or Planescape but as multi-setting unifying over-settings they really didn't stand the test of time, not that I'd expect that any such settings would. Even the wink and a nod plane of shadows as a multi-setting transition plane that was created in 3e likely won't live for much longer.

Now that's settings, the core rules really shouldn't put to much focus on any one cosmology model. Like the bare bones material in the SRD those are good starting point for new GMs making their own worlds (with a little bit of expanded "how to" examples). Hopefully the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game will be far more generic with the planes then the Pathfinder Chronicles setting with its own 'unique' one.


carmachu wrote:

No not really. I believe that they had to set up a new one because the old cosmology wasnt OGL compataable if I read right somewhere. Wotc still has the rights or something to that nature.

I think that had more to due with it, rather than Golarion is its own world and needs its own seperate or unique cosmology.

While its true that they couldn't use the Great Wheel (which I always found awkward) or other WotC IP, a cosmology is important background to a setting, they need places for the gods to live, for demons and devils and daemons to dwell, and they would be squandering literally a vast dimension of existance by not tailoring it to their needs, now instead of seperated, unexplored planar areas, you have something integral to the campaign setting, a new horizon, and some interlinking source of many adventures, cool ideas for world and magical sources and origins.

Golarion is a world where you can play any type of game you like, including a Great Beyond planar game. I'm sure some people would have preferred Tian Xia or Vudra to get further explored first, but I think the planes is more vital. However, this vitally doesn't deny or preclude replacement. Its neat background, but easily replaced by the Great Wheel, or say your own cosmology based on Eberrons, or infinite possiblities without definition of a whole.

So I think establishing their own cosmology was an important step for Paizo and Golarion, and you can still use your preference instead. I just wouldn't have purchased this book if you didn't want to use Paizo's Great Beyond.

Dark Archive

toyrobots wrote:


Strangely that's my favorite part. I've recently taken some courses that covered ancient cosmology and this closely resembles the Platonic model of concentric spheres. There's a rich history there. I guess different people want different things, I can totally relate to being a Great Wheel purist.

Then again, I'm not sure I want a book of re-packaged Planescape, when my old planescape stuff is still on the shelf, and nobody could top those books.

In undertsnad where it comes from, but even that never sat well with me.

I would love a repackaged planscape set....so long as its not 4e rules.

Dark Archive

Dorje Sylas wrote:


I'll jump on the "settings should have their own cosmology" wagon. I've yet to see a published setting that doesn't break from whatever the 'standard' cosmology is at the time. Not to bash things like Spelljammer or Planescape but as multi-setting unifying over-settings they really didn't stand the test of time, not that I'd expect that any such settings would. Even the wink and a nod plane of shadows as a multi-setting transition plane that was created in 3e likely won't live for much longer.

I SO disagree with you thinking that planscape doesnt stand the test of time. Its tsill quite good, and quite relevant today, as well as tody.

Dark Archive

vagrant-poet wrote:


While its true that they couldn't use the Great Wheel (which I always found awkward) or other WotC IP, a cosmology is important background to a setting, they need places for the gods to live, for demons and devils and daemons to dwell, and they would be squandering literally a vast dimension of existance by not tailoring it to their needs, now instead of seperated, unexplored planar areas, you have something integral to the campaign setting, a new horizon, and some interlinking source of many adventures, cool ideas for world and magical sources and origins.

Golarion is a world where you can play any type of game you like, including a Great Beyond planar game. I'm sure some people would have preferred Tian Xia or Vudra to get further explored first, but I think the planes is more vital. However, this vitally doesn't deny or preclude replacement. Its neat background, but easily replaced by the Great Wheel, or say your own cosmology based on Eberrons, or infinite possiblities without definition of a whole.

So I think establishing their own cosmology was an important step for Paizo and Golarion, and you can still use your preference instead. I just wouldn't have purchased this book if you didn't want to use Paizo's Great Beyond.

I have a subscription, so not buying it isnt quite an option. Besides its not like there's any place to look through the book first.

The great wheel has TONS of places in the great beyond to do stuff. There's definately a couple things I'm stealing from the book overall.

Grand Lodge

vagrant-poet wrote:
Galnörag wrote:
We are supposed to be compatible with 3.5 right, so let people get the details from there, and just make some really cool and engaging planer destinations, and set them on the plans with the names like "heaven, hell, nirvana, abyss" etc which are non-trademark/copyright synonyms for the wotc planes?
Pathfinder RPG is supposed to 3.5 rules set compatible. Golarion is its own world, and as such warrants its own seperate and unique cosmology.

Well cosmologies are what ties the many campaign worlds together, so I'm not sure that it follows that it needs its own.

Contributor

carmachu wrote:


I SO disagree with you thinking that planscape doesnt stand the test of time. Its tsill quite good, and quite relevant today, as well as tody.

Yes and no perhaps. It's an awesome setting, and I adore it to a fanatical degree at times. However it faces the problems of its constituent settings like DL and FR having retconned their way out of that cosmology, and in FR's case abruptly retconning its way out of that retcon into the 4e default cosmology. When major chunks of Planescape's sub-settings in the current edition conflict with Planescape, or muddy the Planescape lore, it's difficult to play Planescape with the current edition, and new players who might only be familiar with the current edition.

That said, I've yoinked stuff from my home 3.x Planescape game for ideas in The Great Beyond, and I'll be happily incorporating ideas I developed for TGB into that same classical Planescape game with little or no problems at all. :D

Grand Lodge

toyrobots wrote:

I think that it works. People familiar with the old can still use it. As a hardcore Planescape fan myself, I often regret how everyone is already familiar with the weird quirks of the planes; how quickly the wild and wonderful infinite became sort of "normal." They know all the factions and planar traits, it is difficult to replicate the naivete of a prime setting foot in the planes for the first time, in the spirit of Planescape.

Player knowledge really is a huge issue for me, I find that my players actually know more about Galorion then I do, and of course I learned about this book first from my players who are subscribers to the various subscriptions here.

While I am running an adventure path, and know that they haven't read the contents of that path, they know what is in the MM, and they meta game the s!*# out the campaign at times.

Spoiler:
Been running Second Darkness and I've really tried to push the notion that Drow are completely alien to their own perceptions of the world, especially to the elf in the party who should be gob smacked by this bizarre elf. In spite of my efforts, the first poison soaked bolt from the darkness was met "with Ah Ha Drow!"

So maybe a reboot of the planes is good, but of course my players already know to much. So in essence the only way to keep my game fresh is to use as much non-cannon as I can.

ah well end ramble.


carmachu wrote:
I SO disagree with you thinking that planscape doesnt stand the test of time. Its tsill quite good, and quite relevant today, as well as tody.

Planescape as a setting is very good and one that many of my current players greatly enjoy. However, what I was saying is that its purpose as a multisetting connector and a universal cosmology hasn't lasted. I don't think you can have that without heavily enforced requirements on future writing. There isn't any reason for it to be the main form all setting cosmologies take.

You don't see Spelljammer still being used as be all and end all of cross-over settings. Some of those concepts of adding 'space' to fantasy setting can still be seen in Pathfinder Chronicles, but not as the unifying mechanic.


Galnörag wrote:
So maybe a reboot of the planes is good, but of course my players already know to much. So in essence the only way to keep my game fresh is to use as much non-cannon as I can.

You could try reskinning stuff. It's a shame to resort to that, but it changes/obfuscates the first pieces of information that people use to metagame in a negative way.

Or perhaps it's time for the group to sit down and talk about out of character knowledge. It sounds like meta-gaming with out of character knowledge is something they enjoy, so why not see if you can't get them in on it and then concentrate on surprising the characters rather than the players? Perhaps they'd enjoy a bit more of an author/director stance on controlling their characters rather than being in actor stance.

As for the structure of the cosmology in Golarion, I see it as how mortal scholars are trying to diagram and represent it within the world of Golarion itself. Like the Platonic cosmology being an attempt to diagram and understand our world. The spatial relation of the different realms within the Great Beyond isn't exactly that meaningful in play/telling stories set in Golarion.


frozenwastes wrote:


Or perhaps it's time for the group to sit down and talk about out of character knowledge. It sounds like meta-gaming with out of character knowledge is something they enjoy, so why not see if you can't get them in on it and then concentrate on surprising the characters rather than the players? Perhaps they'd enjoy a bit more of an author/director stance on controlling their characters rather than being in actor stance.

Good suggestions all, frozenwastes, and good players are usually able to keep the metagaming in check. But what I am most grateful for in The Great Beyond is that ability to engender actual confusion and curiosity in the players - not as a cudgel to beat them with, but rather to enhance the enjoyment of exploring a new and untamed setting. That's something you can only get with actual ignorance, not simply fair role play.

I've been waiting for years for the opportunity to re-live my first planar experiences, but the tone of the material I'd seen thus far was not quite what I was looking for. The Great Beyond seems like a good fit to me.

I am a little bummed about the maps though. It seems like Lazz was trying to do something different, but in this instance I would have preferred he stick to tradition. They're more like illustrations of each plane than "maps" comparable to MotP3e or the Planescape boxed sets. Space was obviously a consideration here, but I wish the maps had been a little bigger and more detailed.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Where's the Ecology section of the keketar's statblock? It just goes straight from Statistics to Special Abilities.

Edit: and the Treasure line from the Astradaemon's Ecology section?

Edit 2: And the Astradaemon's Weapon Finesse feat shouldn't be limited to its claws only. The attack bonuses for the tail and bite are correct, but then the bite damage is wrong as a secondary natural attack (should only be 1d8+2 plus energy drain).

Edit 3: And the Astradaemon's Hide check is wrong, too. -4 size penalty from being Large should make it a +20, not +24.

Sigh. Between this book and the litany of errors in Dragons Revisited (seriously, I don't think any of the statblocks there are error-free), this is kind of getting ridiculous. WotC editing circa MM3 ridiculous.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Holy crap, this book is awesome. That's all I have to say now.


toyrobots wrote:


Good suggestions all, frozenwastes, and good players are usually able to keep the metagaming in check. But what I am most grateful for in The Great Beyond is that ability to engender actual confusion and curiosity in the players - not as a cudgel to beat them with, but rather to enhance the enjoyment of exploring a new and untamed setting. That's something you can only get with actual ignorance, not simply fair role play.

I must admit that as a DM who's totally into the cosmology of a setting and loves knowing every tid bit of information about it regardless of the game, I find Golarion's cosmology to engender wonder/confusion and curiosity in me just from reading about it. It reminds me of the first time I encountered Plansecape stuff. In my last session the PCs encountered their first outsider-- a demon servant of Pazuzu. After they dug into it a little more, I read them some of the stuff related to Pazuzu in the Campaign Setting book. I got a visible shudder from one player and the group came to the conclusion that it would be best not to attract any more attention from the denizens of the Abyss.

toyrobots wrote:
I've been waiting for years for the opportunity to re-live my first planar experiences, but the tone of the material I'd seen thus far was not quite what I was looking for. The Great Beyond seems like a good fit to me.

I didn't think of it until you said it, but you're exactly right. For me, it's the tone of the material that works so well. Old school isn't quite the right term, but there's something classic about it. It's the same thing as the tone of the drow in the Second Darkness stuff.

The only thing I don't like is the word "multiverse." From playing too much Rifts back in the day, it gives me an icky feeling. A lot my players are old Rifts veterans as well and I don't even want the word uttered at the table. At no times do I want to conjure any image or emotion connected with the mish-mash splat-book-fest power creep twinkery that was the Rifts multiverse. That experience has ruined that word for me. The first time I saw it in the Campaign Setting, I had to promptly make sure it meant something else, and thankfully it did. I still get a bad taste in my mouth every time I see the word in print though-- as irrational as that is.


Yeah, I also feel gripey about the term "multiverse," due to a logic issue.

Contributor

frozenwastes wrote:
The only thing I don't like is the word "multiverse." From playing too much Rifts back in the day, it gives me an icky feeling. A lot my players are old Rifts veterans as well and I don't even want the word uttered at the table.

I've never played Rifts before, nor read any of its material. I'm using the term purely from its Planescape era usage and connotations to describe the planes. So forgive my use of the word, I mean well. :)


Todd Stewart wrote:


I've never played Rifts before, nor read any of its material. I'm using the term purely from its Planescape era usage and connotations to describe the planes. So forgive my use of the word, I mean well. :)

You can't be held responsible for what others have done with the word :)

I am overjoyed that "multiverse" in Golarion doesn't mean that every possible universe/world/whatever is out there somewhere and it's all connected to the setting regardless of whether or not it's compatible in terms of genre, tone, etc.,.

Imagine if you will, a post apocalyptic Earth with rifts to everywhere and everywhen, mashing together fantasy, sci-fi, westerns, comic book super heroes, anime, cthulhu-esque horror, Bond style spy antics, etc., including specific things like Robotech and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Thank you so much for meaning something else by the use of that word. I really mean that.


The creator of the term "multiverse" is M. Moorcock, not some guy at palladium, so it should be save to use it. AFAIK golarion has some elements from Moorcocks multiversum.


Enpeze wrote:
The creator of the term "multiverse" is M. Moorcock, not some guy at palladium, so it should be save to use it. AFAIK golarion has some elements from Moorcocks multiversum.

Actually, the term was coined by William James, a psychologist and medical doctor in 1895 and first appeared in a published work in 1897 (the publication of his lecture, The Will To Believe). The word is 114 years old-- ofcourse it's safe to use it. It is by no means a trademark or copyrighted title. It's just a word.

I was merely talking about my own hurdle with the word because of my own gaming history. Even if Palladium has stopped using it in favor of the term "Megaverse."


Speaking as a Planescape purist and collector (I think the only thing I don't have is the concept art sketch book at this point, I even have all the Ral Partha miniatures.) I like this book. Is it Planescape? No. But I can see many things that can be yoinked for a Planescape game (which I will be most likely be doing for my Silver Rose Planescape PbP). While I would have loved to have Sigil in all its' soot-stained glory as part of the Golarion/PFRPG, I know due to IP issues it will never happen. That doesn't mean I can't use my materials, or use the new stuff with the old materials. I use stuff from Beyond Countless Doorways as well, and many other 3pp publications from the 3e era.

The great thing about the planes is it can be as open and wonderful as you want it to be. I hope more stuff is written in this vein Todd, keep up the good work!

Contributor

Kvantum wrote:
Where's the Ecology section of the keketar's statblock? It just goes straight from Statistics to Special Abilities.

Oops.

Kvantum wrote:
Edit: and the Treasure line from the Astradaemon's Ecology section?

Astradaemons don't carry treasure.

Kvantum wrote:
Edit 2: And the Astradaemon's Weapon Finesse feat shouldn't be limited to its claws only.

It actually doesn't need Weapon Finesse at all, given that it's Str and Dex are the same.

Kvantum wrote:
The attack bonuses for the tail and bite are correct, but then the bite damage is wrong as a secondary natural attack (should only be 1d8+2 plus energy drain).

Fortunately, the Pathfinder RPG simplifies the rules on how this sort of thing works, and I've built a monster-builder spreadsheet that does all the math, so we should see much fewer incidents of this sort of thing.

Kvantum wrote:
Edit 3: And the Astradaemon's Hide check is wrong, too. -4 size penalty from being Large should make it a +20, not +24.
Kvantum wrote:
Sigh. Between this book and the litany of errors in Dragons Revisited (seriously, I don't think any of the statblocks there are error-free), this is kind of getting ridiculous. WotC editing circa MM3 ridiculous.

You're right, five errors in a 45,000 word book (which was turned over as a 63,000 word manuscript and had to be cut down to size), that's just ridiculous. I shall arrange a beating post-haste. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Use Rope and Knowledge (ropemaking) synergy bonuses are way off on all counts. Somebody fire the editors, they are doing a lousy job there... ;)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fortunately, the Pathfinder RPG simplifies the rules on how this sort of thing works, and I've built a monster-builder spreadsheet that does all the math, so we should see much fewer incidents of this sort of thing.

Oooh ... that would be something I think a lot of folks would like to get a copy of :) I know I would!

Sovereign Court

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


You're right, five errors in a 45,000 word book [...]), that's just ridiculous.

Far be it from me to bust up a good snark, but how many of those 45,000 words were mechanics?

Contributor

Well, in the other thread he cited stuff from the monsters section.

5 monsters x 1400 words per (approximately) = 7000 words

So if there are 25 errors (estimated from his other thread) in those 7000 words, that's an error rate of about .35%, or a success rate of 99.65% for the Bestiary chapter.

I'm not happy that the errors are there, but (1) most of them don't significantly affect the creature (it's not missing it's HD and hp, frex), (2) given the amount of extra work the book required to get it to fit in the pages alloted, I'm satisfied with the overall quality level of the book.

The Pathfinder RPG stat block really really really helps take care of things like this. Just this morning Wes asked me some questions about the skills entry for the trumpet archon (a monster I wrote). We were able to pull up the spreadsheet and check all the info to see if the numbers were wrong somewhere. All the math was correct, it just so happened that someone noticed it had fewer racial class skills than it should for its creature type. Which, at the time I designed it, was probably a matter of me thinking, "the only other skills it has ranks in that aren't class skills are Escape Artist and Handle Animal... do we really want to put them into either of those niches?" Wes made the decision to add the two remaining class skills anyway for consistency's sake. He typed in TRUE for those two class skills, it calculated the new skill values, and we were all set.

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


We were able to pull up the spreadsheet and check all the info to see if the numbers were wrong somewhere. All the math was correct,...

Can the public get a hold of that spreadsheet?

Sovereign Court

Two notes

1) Does Kvantum have anything else to do but count errors? really perhaps he /she should try writing andlet others critique HIS stuff.

2) Can the general public get ahlod of this spreadsheet program ? PLEASE PLEASE!!!

Errors added on purpose :)

Contributor

(1) Now that the RPG is done, I can update the spreadsheet to take into account the final feat names, etc., but at the moment I'm trying to get 3 books out the door (books that have been delayed for various reasons, including "there are no spare editors or graphic designers to work on these books because everyone is trying to get the RPG out the door by the absolute deadline").

(2) Once that is done, I wouldn't mind getting the spreadsheet in the hands of the public, but I think I'd need the go-ahead from some people above me.

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

(1) Now that the RPG is done, I can update the spreadsheet to take into account the final feat names, etc., but at the moment I'm trying to get 3 books out the door (books that have been delayed for various reasons, including "there are no spare editors or graphic designers to work on these books because everyone is trying to get the RPG out the door by the absolute deadline").

(2) Once that is done, I wouldn't mind getting the spreadsheet in the hands of the public, but I think I'd need the go-ahead from some people above me.

How about as an online web tool we can print out our creations? Should be really simple to implement and will allow a broader user base to enjoy. Think of the time wasting one could have creating creatures and then posting to the forums...


Getting that spreadsheet would be awesome.

Contributor

Salient wrote:
How about as an online web tool we can print out our creations? Should be really simple to implement and will allow a broader user base to enjoy. Think of the time wasting one could have creating creatures and then posting to the forums...

Well, I'm not a programmer, I just know how to build stuff in Excel.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm slowly self learning how to build stuff in Excel *laugh*

spreadsheet good. I don't worry much about stat blocks, to be honest.

(Though I'd like them to be right) And as to the dragons... they're the most complex monsters in the book.

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