Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Chronicle of the Righteous (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Chronicle of the Righteous (PFRPG)
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Pray for Mercy
The empyreal lords watch over the infinite expanses of the multiverse to ensure that good can flourish and that evil, no matter its form, can be vanquished. But even these powers cannot stem the tide of evil by themselves, and they must often rely on their celestial servants—noble angels, wise agathions, unrelenting archons, and free-spirited azatas—to lead the charge against the forces of corruption. Together, these virtuous forces wage an unending war against the blasphemous and the profane, all the while lifting worthy mortals to stations of ever-greater glory among the boundless celestial spheres.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • A thorough exploration of over 50 empyreal lords, including details on their minions, the divine powers they bestow upon mortal worshipers, and the celestial realms from which they hail.
  • Rules for the mystery cultist prestige class and details on the various types of mystery cults.
  • Methods to bolster mortal spellcasters’ efforts while summoning all the different types of celestials.
  • New spells for spellcasters to hurl at their wicked foes and new magic items to aid adventurers in their battles against evil.
  • Rules for rituals of self-mortification and the divine powers that can be gleaned by such acts of devotion.
  • A bestiary of five new celestials to assist or oppose player characters, including the keen-eyed spyglass archon and the veranallia, azata master of seasons, growth, and decay.

Chronicle of the Righteous is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

By Amber Scott

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-506-8

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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Heavenly!

5/5

Chronicle of the Righteous is about the servants, worshippers, and homes of a group of beings in Golarion (Pathfinder's campaign setting) called "Empyreal Lords." Empyreal Lords are hard to define exactly; they're divine beings that inspire small groups of worshippers (called Mystery Cults), but they're not major deities that attract thousands of worshippers and the building of major temples. They might be best thought of as demigods, because they're below deities but above normal "celestial" races like angels. That's my best guess anyway, as I'm still a little bit fuzzy on the role of Empyreal Lords in Golarion. But put that to one side: Chronicle of the Righteous is a fascinating book that has inspired me to want to integrate Empyreal Lords, Mystery Cults, and more into my campaigns. The book is a 64-page entry in the Campaign Setting line. The inside front cover is a list of approximately fifty Empyreal Lords, their alignment, areas of concern (portfolios), domains (that they grant to clerical worshippers), and favored weapons. The inside back cover is a full-page reproduction of the cover art, which is quite impressive in its own right. Between the the covers are nine sections.

1. "Tabris's Return to Heaven" (two pages): This is a dense account, written in a "handwritten" font, that tells the tale of a warrior-scholar angel named Tabris who was obsessed with fully exploring and detailing the heights and depths of the heavenly and fiendish realms. Tabris disappeared for decades before returning with his Chronicle of the Righteous, and the book contained secrets that even the celestial realms would have rather been suppressed! It's quite evocative and well-written, and surprisingly effective. It's definitely a flavourful way to start the book off.

2. " Lords of the Empyrean" (29 pages): Each of the major Empyreal Lords receives at least a half-page entry that describes them and their particular interests, along with a drawing of their holy symbol and information on what types of people worship them, where their shrines might be located, and what sorts of celestial beings act as their minions. I would say that every third or fourth Empyreal Lord receives a full-colour picture, and these are done quite well. Perhaps the most important thing in this section is the introduction of the concept of "Celestial Obedience" and "Boons." Celestial Obedience is a feat that can be taken by worshippers of Empyreal Lords and provides them with an immediate +4 sacred bonus to something like (depending on the particular Emypreal Lord worshipped) a certain type of saving throw, combat maneuver check, AC against a particular type of enemy, etc. The benefit is narrow in scope and certainly not game-breaking, but additional powers ("boons") are gained at character levels 12, 16, and 20--and some of these are pretty cool. The best part of the Celestial Obedience concept is that, although it can certainly be taken by clerics, paladins, and other divinely-focussed classes, it doesn't have to be. If your Cavalier is a worshipper of the Ragathiel, the Empyreal Lord of chivalry or your Bard is a worshipper of Seramaydiel, the Empyreal Lord of communication and music, they can gain the benefits of Celestial Obedience. It's a great way to make the gods (or demigods) meaningful to more than just clerics in a campaign.

3. "Celestrial Realms" (2 pages): This is a description of the major geographical features of the celestial realms: Elysium, Heaven, and Nirvana. I have to admit I've never had characters adventure in celestial realms, and I have no idea what it would be like to GM or role-play such a place. I suppose it's good to have something more concrete to heaven than fluffy clouds. I did like how there was mention of where mortals who plane shift to each realm are most likely to appear.

4. "Celestialkind" (6 pages): After an introduction to celestial races and a sidebar about what happens to mortal souls who reach the celestial realms ("petitioners"), each of the following varieties of good-aligned denizens of the celestial planes receives a full page description: Agathions, Angels, Archons, and Azatas. I think this would be especially useful for those pesky spellcasters who are prone to summoning celestial beings willy-nilly.

5. "Concordance" (2 pages): Although only two pages long, this is one of my favorite sections of the book. The premise is that "once an eon, and only in times of great danger or turmoil" all of the divine powers of the celestial planes gather together to reach an accord on what should be done. There's material here about the death of Aroden, Lamashtu's rise to power, hints about a deity interested in time-travel, and, most intriguing of all, "The Seventh Accord", a Concordance never spoken of in the centuries or millennia since it happened and considered so blasphemous and dangerous that no mention of it is permitted to exist. Great fodder for creative GMs!

6. "Empyreal Worship" (14 pages): This section is a grab-bag of material, but it's useful. There's a page on how the different divine classes relate to Empyreal Lords, two pages on different types of Mystery Cults (drawn broadly among themes, but useful), and two pages on "secret offerings" that can be made to improve one's chance in summoning a particular type of celestial being. Two pages are also devoted to Rituals of Mortification, which requires a character to invest a certain number of days going without food, water or sleep in order to gain both an affliction and a benefit. The actual rituals listed are said to be examples only and GMs should feel free to add more. The Ritual of Appetite, for example, requires two days' fasting, afflicts the character with a -2 penalty on Constitution checks and saves vs. disease and poison, but grants the character a +2 sacred bonus on concentration checks and Will saving throws. Other rituals are far more powerful, with one providing a +4 sacred bonus on attack rolls against evil creatures and a +4 bonus on caster level checks to overcome their spell resistance! I haven't used these rituals in play, and I'm not sure whether they would be balanced or not, especially because part of the mechanism is the infliction of nonlethal damage once a day, but nonlethal damage heals quite easy. So the idea is interesting, but I'd have to test this concept out more before I'd be confident it's a good addition to the game. Next, there's an important new prestige class introduced here: the Mystery Cultist. A Mystery Cultist gains spells at the same speed as their prior class and several celestial-themed abilities, but a big reason for playing one is that they can receive the "boons" of the Celestial Obedience feat a few levels earlier than a regular character. I'd be very tempted to try this class out, as it seems to both fit the flavour of Empyreal Lord worship and be mechanically sound. After this, here are two pages of new spells (6 in all), with specific mention that these are not restricted to worshippers of Mystery Cults (and a couple of the spells are arcane in nature). I would love to see "Charitable Impulse" in a game, as it forces someone to help others and gradually give away all of their possessions instead of committing acts of violence. Last, there are two pages of celestial-themed magic items.

7. "Lesser Empyreal Lords" (1 page): About two dozen Empyreal Lords that were, for whatever reason, not significant enough to be included in the first section receive a brief, one-sentence description here.

8. "Fallen Celestials" (1 page): Intriguing description of those celestial beings who have turned their back on the heavens, many of whom have joined the infernal realms.

9. "The Celestial Hosts" (8 pages): This is basically a bestiary. It helpfully puts into table format all of the Agathions, Angels, Archons, and Azatas introduced in other Pathfinder materials, and then describes five new ones: Cervinal Agathions, Balisse Angels, Choral Angels, Spyglass Archons, and Vernallia Azatas. I found the new creatures interesting and potentially useful (except for the Choral Angels, which were a bit too cliche for me).

In sum, there's a lot of material here and it's almost all great. I picked this book up by chance (it was half-price) and have never done much with the celestial realms in a game, but I can now definitely see why I might want to in the future; and if I do, I'm confident that Chronicle of the Righteous would be the first place I'd turn.


Want More!

5/5

Few of the books in RP that I never wanted to end. The flavor and stats in this book are awesome and highly useful for people that find that they are not fitting into the 'standard gods' but your not a deviant into the other alignments.

There is something for almost everyone good aligned, investigators have two options of Emperial Lords who they can follow and seem perfectly inline with their 'deity's' viewpoints. Spies and artisans have options, crusaders have more than just Iomedae's views. Good aligned nature gods - sure you don't have to be purely neutral.

There are many options and the mechanics are useful but are more geared towards games that would end up in higher level range (12+) but would add a lot of good flavor without being overpowered.


Everyman Product Reviews: Chronicles of the Righteous

5/5

Final Score & Thoughts
Crunch: 5/5 Stars
Flavor: 5/5 Stars
Layout: 4/5 Stars
Final Score: 14/15 Stars, or 4.5 Stars, rounded up for it’s flavor.

Chronicles of the Righteous is a must-own book if you do absolutely anything with good outsiders in your campaign. This book provides a much needed insight into the nature of the celestial races and provides plenty of fodder for potential gods and entities in your campaign setting. This product is a rich tapestry of righteousness that your Pathfinder collection is incomplete without.

Read the complete review at the Everyman Gaming blog.


Excellent Book!

5/5

Read my full review on my blog.

Overall, Chronicle of the Righteous is an excellent book, particularly due to its extensive list of Empyreal Lords. It helps to balance out the playing field between the forces of evil and the forces of good. While gamemasters may have less call for information on celestials than they do information on fiends, the do have some call for that information, and this book fills that niche splendidly.


This is a fantastic book!

5/5

It is up there with Lords of Madness, Book of Fiends and Demonomicon of Iggwilv in the amount and quality of information it provides on the various Empyreal Lords and the other celestials. The author should be proud of this creation!

As for the material, there is an awesome list of new sources for divine casters as well as other information on new celestial creatures. I especially like the inclusion of Tabriss, the Celestial Realms, Concordance and the Fallen Celestials.

Do yourself and your players a favor, go out and pick up this book now!


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Silver Crusade

Axial wrote:
...How is that even physically possible?

Mind over matter.

...

I mean that's what I heard someone else say once.

Actually, with Arshea I can easily see some players glossing over the actual act part of the Obedience while playing the required talk afterwards to the max, basically being "sickening sweethearts" every day.

Cue the varied reactions from Community's D&D group during the Abed/Annie scene. ;)

Icyshadow wrote:


I realized Chadali has a lot in common with a homebrew deity of mine that I made for a homebrew race related to minotaurs...

Ha, I was close to giving you a heads-up about that one. :)

Project Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:

I had a few questions to ask about Lymnieris.

First off...

Obedience wrote:

Lie on a hard, flat surface wearing nothing but a

cowl. Concentrate on the feeling of the surface and the air while achieving sexual release without touching yourself. Healing spells you cast heal 1 more point of damage per die.
...How is that even physically possible?

Consider it a lateral thinking puzzle.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Axial wrote:

I had a few questions to ask about Lymnieris.

First off...

Obedience wrote:

Lie on a hard, flat surface wearing nothing but a

cowl. Concentrate on the feeling of the surface and the air while achieving sexual release without touching yourself. Healing spells you cast heal 1 more point of damage per die.
...How is that even physically possible?

A vivid imagination, dear boy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

And as a by-the-way - in that post, my reply should be read in the stuffiest, most stiff-upper-lip, posho Brit accent you can imagine.

Project Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kajehase wrote:
And as a by-the-way - in that post, my reply should be read in the stuffiest, most stiff-upper-lip, posho Brit accent you can imagine.

Don't worry, Kajehase. I'm not sure how anyone could read it in any other mental voice. :-D

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
And as a by-the-way - in that post, my reply should be read in the stuffiest, most stiff-upper-lip, posho Brit accent you can imagine.
Don't worry, Kajehase. I'm not sure how anyone could read it in any other mental voice. :-D

I heard Jim Backus.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:
And as a by-the-way - in that post, my reply should be read in the stuffiest, most stiff-upper-lip, posho Brit accent you can imagine.

With a bulldog on your lap, Gilbert & Sullivan playing in the background, and Alfred, your deaf but adorable majordomo shuffling around.


In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Sweetman wrote:

In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

If one can't achieve sexual bliss by laying back and thinking of England, he/she is doing something horribly wrong.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

If one can't achieve sexual bliss by laying back and thinking of England, he/she is doing something horribly wrong.

Oh Jeremy Clarkson...


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm just happy with the fact that we're punching the "sex is evil" mentality in the face.


I finally got my copy and there's a lot of really good stuff in here. Honestly almost any of the lords seems like they could fit into a pantheon (though most are slightly focused for sole worship, I think), and the items and spells are really cool too (I want to try out Elemental Assessor). Mystery cultists and the mortification rituals are also interesting, though possibly a tad tough to pull off in some situations.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

If one can't achieve sexual bliss by laying back and thinking of England, he/she is doing something horribly wrong.

I am gratified someone else, especially a foreigner, finally understands the transcendant erotic glory of fair Albion.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:
I'm just happy with the fact that we're punching the "sex is evil" mentality in the face.

It's safe to say that that got ax-murdered by this book.

Or rather, properly executed with due process and care.[/damerrich]

AND it's done without vilifying those that follow more chaste paths, because there are Empyreals that go that route too. In other words, this book got it right. :)

The Golux wrote:
I finally got my copy and there's a lot of really good stuff in here. Honestly almost any of the lords seems like they could fit into a pantheon (though most are slightly focused for sole worship, I think)

Yeah, a LOT of these folks can easily fit into the larger faiths of actual gods. Black Butterfly and Ashava fitting perfectly into Desna's larger faith for example(and if there's a Curchanus connection, Cernunnos).

Even if you have characters that are already worshipping one of the standard good-aligned gods, a lot of these folks make for very interesting expansions of that established faith. (hmm...maybe even some of the neutrals, Irez for Pharasma maybe? Kind of picking up some of that lost prophecy mojo?)

Silver Crusade

Also, Olheon:

I don't know if I'm reading too much into it, but the way her hands are described has me wondering if she's meant to have this sort of "any blood spilled or lost by those I command is on my hands as well" thing going on. That is, she's marked by the weight of her responsibility just as Damerrich is. Hm...


Amber Scott wrote:
mark kay wrote:


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

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

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

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

Dark Archive

A nymph oracle of lore or nature following Arshea should have an impressive AC. 3xCharisma on AC. Or 4x if you add Osyluth Guile.

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

If one can't achieve sexual bliss by laying back and thinking of England, he/she is doing something horribly wrong.

Or very right

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

In keeping with the lord of prostitution... you'll notice that there's no prohibition on being touched by others.

Reminds me a bit of Just lie back and think of England.

If one can't achieve sexual bliss by laying back and thinking of England, he/she is doing something horribly wrong.
Or very right

Pffft. Nowhere as sexy as Jeremy. Or Stig.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:
Obedience wrote:
Achieve sexual release by yourself or with one or more partners. Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks when interacting with an intelligent creature who could be sexually attracted to you.

Honestly, I can understand why this was included, with Arshea being a good-aligned deity of sexual expression and liberation.

But can you imagine how unbelievably AWKWARD it would be playing a Cleric of Arshea?

Depending on the party, it could be fun.

Lana the Cleric, [Stretches sensually] "Oh, what a day. Well, I need to go prepare my spells. Who wants to help?"

Archer the Cavalier, "Me, me!"

Cyril the Wizard, "Pick me!"

Ray the Bard, "Naw, I'm good. Knock it out, chica."

Lantern Lodge

Can some one tell me how much a practice dummy cost and weights? (for PFS)

Falayna, wants my Marriage Broker Barbarian to let off steam, whacking a practice dummy, before she goes off tying singles together in marriage.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Axial wrote:
Obedience wrote:
Achieve sexual release by yourself or with one or more partners. Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks when interacting with an intelligent creature who could be sexually attracted to you.

Honestly, I can understand why this was included, with Arshea being a good-aligned deity of sexual expression and liberation.

But can you imagine how unbelievably AWKWARD it would be playing a Cleric of Arshea?

Depending on the party, it could be fun.

Lana the Cleric, [Stretches sensually] "Oh, what a day. Well, I need to go prepare my spells. Who wants to help?"

Archer the Cavalier, "Me, me!"

Cyril the Wizard, "Pick me!"

Ray the Bard, "Naw, I'm good. Knock it out, chica."

Hahahaha

Pam the Barbarian: Give her some space! pushes ahead and holds up a hand-drawn "1" ticket


Starfinder Superscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Set wrote:
Axial wrote:
Obedience wrote:
Achieve sexual release by yourself or with one or more partners. Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks when interacting with an intelligent creature who could be sexually attracted to you.

Honestly, I can understand why this was included, with Arshea being a good-aligned deity of sexual expression and liberation.

But can you imagine how unbelievably AWKWARD it would be playing a Cleric of Arshea?

Depending on the party, it could be fun.

Lana the Cleric, [Stretches sensually] "Oh, what a day. Well, I need to go prepare my spells. Who wants to help?"

Archer the Cavalier, "Me, me!"

Cyril the Wizard, "Pick me!"

Ray the Bard, "Naw, I'm good. Knock it out, chica."

Hahahaha

Pam the Barbarian: Give her some space! pushes ahead and holds up a hand-drawn "1" ticket

Total sloosh!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am Christian and I can't stand the sex/nudity is evil thing. I am happy to see some celestials/empyreal lords who don't think that way.

I would really like to see a book(s) that talk more about the regular celestials and other inhabitants of the good aligned planes.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Lana the Cleric, [Stretches sensually]: Oh, what a day. Well, I need to go prepare my spells. Who wants to help?

Valeros: Important question before I make up my mind: are you a boy, or a girl?

Lana: That's ... complicated <smiles>.

Valeros: Errr I'm a simple person, I'll pass.

Merisiel: Oh if our resident womanizer hunk passes, I'm more than willing!

Harsk: *terrified look, hands shaking, spills tea*

Lirianne: I'm up if you're more the boy part this time.

Kyra: I'd love to share this communion of faith ... if you're more the GIRL part.

Ezren: I...erm...guess I'm too old for that. But I could do with a massage!

Lini: Lini not that kind of girl not that kind of girl not that kind of girl not that kind of girl DROOGAMI NO LOOKY!

Seelah: *wonders what does The Code say about this*

Alain: You can be a queen for my horse, cleric *laughs*

Everybody: Jerk.

Balazar: *puts on a grim face and holds a large <ERIK MONA WRITE MY BACKSTORY G$~+&*MIT> sign*

Sajan: Oh, you mean I would be to help you in meditation and contemplation?

Ezren: Uh, Sajan, my friend, come with me, I need to explain you a thing or two.

Alahazra: I need to consult the flames on this.

Amiri: Sorry, boars for dinner won't hunt themselves *wanders off, muttering* Southern barbarians and their customs...

Damiel: Excuse me, ran out of the correct lubri...elixir.

Lem: Gender shemnder, but you're a wee bit too tall for my tastes. Sorry!

Hayato: Hrumpf.

Feiya: You mean you like you want sex, yes?

Valeros: *pacefalm*

Seltyiel: *clenches fist* If this carnal act shall bring me closer to my darkest vengeance *leaps into air* THEN I SHALL BED THEE, MAN OR WOMAN!

Imrijka: I....aaaa...I think I'm not progressive enough.

Seoni: That's not what you said last night!

Reiko: *stands behind Lana and holds his/her hand* I'll go. I understand you better than you know.


Paizo, make Lana a new iconic. Mystery Cultist of Arshea!

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
mark kay wrote:
Amber Scott wrote:
mark kay wrote:


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

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

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

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

I've posted a veritable diatribe in response to this question in the Ask Wes Schneider Anything thread. I've pasted the relevant parts of the post below for convenience and visibility.

Ragathiel's obedience was meant to be pretty intense, to be sure, but it shouldn't be an outright obstruction to players who want to be a worshiper of him and collect on his boons every day. Before I get into logistics, however, I'd like to provide some reasoning for my decision to leave this obedience in during development:

Reasoning
One of the big ideas behind Ragathiel's obedience was that since you worship Ragathiel, you'll probably be out on the field slaying evildoers pretty often, since that's what Ragathiel would want of you. Ragathiel doesn't want his worshipers to work at the soup kitchen for extended periods of time, even though that's definitely a good deed; he wants them to go out on the field of war non-stop and wrestle a giant serpent for 16 years straight, just like he did. Just like Arshea doesn't really care if you're slaying archdevils, Ragathiel is pretty single-minded in what he rewards his followers for.

Another aspect of the reasoning behind his obedience was that his boons are almost solely combat-related, so if you're in town doing investigation or espionage, a bonus with slashing weapons isn't going to do you much good (or, if it would, you're likely slashing some evildoers anyway, so you'll get your boons soon as long as you slay said evildoers in the name of Ragathiel). The humble wandering cleric who goes into town every now and then and hangs with the laity for a couple days probably wouldn't be a follower of Ragathiel—or at least she wouldn't put a lot of stock in the combat boons he grants his worshipers. An evil-hunting, butt-kicking demon stomper traveling into the heart of the Worldwound, however, could probably do worse than to worship Ragathiel and perform his obedience as often as possible.

Using the Obedience as Written
I don't want this to sound like a zero-sum game for players who want to play a Ragathiel worshiper in an urban or low-combat campaign, though. No doubt there are still plenty of creative and evocative ways to worship Ragathiel in such settings. I've been toying with one possible way to play this just in my head the past couple days:

  • Take up a side-job as the town executioner. Obviously the criminals you're executing are technically "proven wrongdoers". In the instance that you accidentally execute a wrongly accused criminal, you'd probably know right away that something isn't right when you don't receive your boons for that day (which could open up all sorts of cool plot hooks).

If you plan to run the Ragathiel obedience as written, any player that takes the Celestial Obedience feat/mystery cultist prestige class with the intention of following Ragathiel should be made expressly aware of the implications of this choice, including how difficult it might be during certain segments of the game. Of course, a GM so willing might do well to work with the player/adjust the campaign to come up with a viable way for said PC to achieve her boons at least when she would most need them.

Adjusting the Obedience
I'm also of the opinion that you can absolutely change Ragathiel's obedience to more suit the style of your game/campaign. Other posters have suggested switching it out for Dammerich's obedience, which I believe is a more than fair compromise. Some other possible alternatives to running the obedience as written:

  • Montage/Behind-the-Scenes: At higher levels and in larger settlements, the obedience could be handwaived as much as any of the other obediences are. After all, there's not really a point in running a combat encounter between a 1st-level warrior NPC who's been murdering innocent townsfolk and a 7th-level paladin PC of Ragathiel; it's pretty clear who's going to win, and it would be a pretty cool display of the paladin's powers/character/background if he went out at the crack of dawn every day to stop some local evildoer in the sewers/outskirts of the city/bad side of town. How cool would it be if while everyone else is picking up camp in the morning, the Ragathiel worshiper is just coming back and solemnly cleaning his sword?
  • Powers Earned During Battle: As others (including the author of the book, Amber Scott) have postulated/mentioned, the intent of this obedience was not to be "ritual sacrifice." Rather, the idea behind it was that as long as you perform the necessary hour-long prayers to Ragathiel in the morning, you'll automatically "unlock" your boons for the day the first time that day you slay a proven evildoer in the name of Ragathiel. This is a more-than-appropriate way to play a character who relies on performing the obedience to gain his boons/powers.
  • The Grittiest Good: For groups seeking a darker, grittier style of play, actually treating Ragathiel's obedience as a necessary ritual sacrifice could be pretty sweet. While it's probably the darkest way to play good ever, I can definitely see a stoic crusader of Ragathiel keeping a band of unrepentant demons caged up to sacrifice as the days go by on the frontlines of the Mendevian war effort. Maybe the heroes are awaiting much-needed reinforcements before they march back into the throbbing heart of evil that is the Worldwound; they're haggard and worn down, and most can only look away as the crusader carries out his unsavory but necessary task so that he may use his god-given powers to keep the ramshackle border camp safe in the meantime. (As a side-note, can anyone guess that I'm really excited for the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path?)

Hopefully this post will help explain the reasoning and thought process behind Ragathiel's obedience and provide some solutions to some possible issues that arise because of it.

tl;dr Ragathiel's intense!

Sovereign Court

Patrick is a genius and I bow in wonder before him.

That is all.


Just got this one and I really do like it. I hope the hint given in the section on agathions about wolf and spider is one day followed up (seriously, I'd love to see good spider-monsters in an RPG; it would be so different). And the descriptions for potential mystery cults is so good I kinda wish we could have gotten some of those for the fiends.

Great work!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

A wee bit late to the party, but I just had to comment this one. So much, in fact, that gave up on lurking and accompanying Paizo from a distance to buy the PDF as well and comment here.

So, team... Thank you for this.

I met D&D early on 3rd Edition, and a book on Celestials similar to the legendary Warriors of Heaven has always been a dear wish that was never fully satisfied. The Book of Exalted Deeds was not as good as it could have been. Third party Book of the Righteous was excellent on the "pantheon" side, but, not focused on Celestials.

Then came this book. And it's even better than I could've hoped for. Empyreal Lord for all tastes and preferences, and, better yet, distancing from the traditional ideals about what Goodness is. An Empyreal Lord of executioners! A defender of virgins AND prostitutes! An empyreal lord of ignorance! Of COWARDS! The f*ing Black Butterfly!

Plus, the best part ever, Mystery Cults. Celestial not only as nice background elements, but with actual mechanic influence greater than their spell-like abilities. Some of the obediences seem a tad unbalanced, but meh.

So, again, thank you. This is what I've been looking for for almost a decade. And I finally have it. And I'll be keeping a closer eye out for Paizo from now on.

P.S.: I must admit, tough, I was a bit disappointed with the initial fiction and the seemingly expressed idea that goodness was a meaningless illusion, but the rest of the quickly changed my mind. Now I just want to know what has been done of Tabris. I just hope he didn't become a Boccob-like "force for neutrality and cosmic balance", because that'd be actually more cliche than Crystal Dragon Jesus definition of Good.

P.P.S.: "Worshiper of the alien powers from the dark between the stars" would be only slightly better.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 Patrick C. - my thoughts on the book exactly!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Patrick C. wrote:
A wee bit late to the party, but I just had to comment this one. So much, in fact, that gave up on lurking and accompanying Paizo from a distance to buy the PDF as well and comment here.

Thanks for that, and welcome to the community!

Paizo Employee Developer

Patrick C. wrote:
A bunch of nice things...

Thanks, and glad you enjoyed this book! :D

The Exchange

Amber Scott wrote:
For example, Black Butterfly's obedience of doing an anonymous act of charity could involve leaving some gold on a doorstep, knocking, and running--no need to turn it into an hour-long ritual.

Can anyone think of some other good ideas for the BB act of charity?

Also, does tithing mean at least 10% of income or can I tithe a copper piece if I'm filthy rich?

Finally, is there a 24 hour window on the seeing/speaking to bit? If I'm in a conversation with someone and learn that I helped this individual four years ago, is it blindfold time? Or am I only on the hook for the last helpee?

The Exchange

Arshea reads "Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked."

Does "aloud" mean spoken in a normal voice or does it mean shouted to the high heavens?

Does naked include shoes? :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:

I had a few questions to ask about Lymnieris.

First off...

Obedience wrote:

Lie on a hard, flat surface wearing nothing but a

cowl. Concentrate on the feeling of the surface and the air while achieving sexual release without touching yourself. Healing spells you cast heal 1 more point of damage per die.
...How is that even physically possible?

Well, it doesn't say you can't let someone else touch you.

"I know this sounds weird, but I can help the group more if you... you know..."

Quote:


Obedience wrote:

Achieve sexual release by yourself or with one or

more partners. Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks when interacting with an intelligent creature who could be sexually attracted to you.

Honestly, I can understand why this was included, with Arshea being a good-aligned deity of sexual expression and liberation.

But can you imagine how unbelievably AWKWARD it would be playing a Cleric of Arshea?

"Okay, I'm going to the edge of camp to rub one out and maintain my bonuses."

"You...what??"

And in the distance you hear: "I HAVE A WONDERFUL PERSONALITY"

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

At least now we understand that scene from the end of Boogie Nights.

Paizo Employee Developer

snobi wrote:

Arshea reads "Praise the most beautiful aspects of yourself and any partners aloud, and offer a prayer to Arshea while still naked."

Does "aloud" mean spoken in a normal voice or does it mean shouted to the high heavens?

The louder the better, I imagine!

Quote:
Does naked include shoes? :)

Yep.

Quote:
Also, does tithing mean at least 10% of income or can I tithe a copper piece if I'm filthy rich?

You'll know if you tithed enough when you discover whether or not you received your boons for that day. :]

Quote:
Finally, is there a 24 hour window on the seeing/speaking to bit? If I'm in a conversation with someone and learn that I helped this individual four years ago, is it blindfold time? Or am I only on the hook for the last helpee?

The seeing/speaking restriction is only for the individual you helped that day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why does the Veranallia Azata have Blasphemy as one of her prepared spells? Should it not be Word of Chaos or Holy Word?

Paizo Employee Developer

Bellona wrote:
Why does the Veranallia Azata have Blasphemy as one of her prepared spells? Should it not be Word of Chaos or Holy Word?

Ah, yep! Blasphemy should be replaced with holy word.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the quick reply!

And let me chime in to everyone involved in writing this product: thank you! It's my favourite Campaign Setting book so far this year, and probably ranks among the top 10 overall for me.


I have to echo patrick's statements.

Though I am curious about something, how do the various Empyreal Lords relate to gods and goddesses on glorian? there is the black butterfly, but what of the others?

I am particularly looking at how the churches of the deities might relate to them.

For instance, when I read about Falayana, I thought right away that she could be considered a saint or archangel figure of the church of Iomadae.

I can also see the church of Saranrae talking about Ragathiel, as sort of the ultimate parable of being redeemed; though I am not sure of how the two beings might interact.

So I am wondering if this sort of thing is common, or if it would fit the nature of these various churches/faiths?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think in the Iomedae article in Council of Thieves it says she and Ragathiel are allies of sorts, as her herald was formerly one of his servants.


I was browsing through the Empyreal Lords while brainstorming for a character to build for Wrath of the Righteous - and noticed one in the big list that I'd not focused in on before: Reymenda - the Lady of the Martyred Womb, CG Azata of Childlessness, endings, and responsibility.

I've searched on the boards and only found this mention, and have similarly searched google without luck.

There is a tiny bit more info in the alt text (about how she provides agents for dangerous missions) but it just left me wanting for more.

Amber / Paizonians - was there any more details written up for her that had to be cut for length? I think she's got awesome potential as a character's patron.


Please may we have the empyreal lords' holy symbols added to the Community Use Package?

Thanks

Wiki Minister

Dark Archive

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Ghenshau intrigues me. I think the word 'ignorance' is perhaps a bit off-putting, and he might feel a bit more palatable if he focused instead on innocence, the simple logic of a child, who cuts away all the complexities of an issue to offer a simple solution.

"Why are we talking about this? Why don't we just do X?"

His obedience is interesting, not so much in a 'books are evil, burn them' sort of way, but because one could easily choose to destroy bits of paper that have been 'wasted' with things that are ultimately meaningless, from a long-term celestial viewpoint, like ledgers of accounts saved in some warehouse for decades, which may seem terribly important to the merchant who scribed them all those years ago, but, in the end, only drew his attention away from the truly important things in his life, such as time with his children.

His philosophy seems very zen (by which I mean the shallower western interpretation of it, which is about as philosophical as I get). By spending less time hurrying and worrying, those who follow his teachings grow spiritually, or, perhaps more accurately, those who spend their entire lives worrying and hurrying, retard their spiritual growth, and miss the 'now,' amidst their regrets about the past, or anxiety about the future.

He reminds me of that Thassilonian virtue of 'well-deserved rest,' that was later corrupted into sloth.

Sovereign Court

vyshan wrote:

I have to echo patrick's statements.

Though I am curious about something, how do the various Empyreal Lords relate to gods and goddesses on glorian? there is the black butterfly, but what of the others?

I am particularly looking at how the churches of the deities might relate to them.

For instance, when I read about Falayana, I thought right away that she could be considered a saint or archangel figure of the church of Iomadae.

I can also see the church of Saranrae talking about Ragathiel, as sort of the ultimate parable of being redeemed; though I am not sure of how the two beings might interact.

So I am wondering if this sort of thing is common, or if it would fit the nature of these various churches/faiths?

Don't forget that Sarenrae was an Empyreal Lord before she ascended to full god hood. So there's that.


Set wrote:

Ghenshau intrigues me. I think the word 'ignorance' is perhaps a bit off-putting, and he might feel a bit more palatable if he focused instead on innocence, the simple logic of a child, who cuts away all the complexities of an issue to offer a simple solution.

"Why are we talking about this? Why don't we just do X?"

His obedience is interesting, not so much in a 'books are evil, burn them' sort of way, but because one could easily choose to destroy bits of paper that have been 'wasted' with things that are ultimately meaningless, from a long-term celestial viewpoint, like ledgers of accounts saved in some warehouse for decades, which may seem terribly important to the merchant who scribed them all those years ago, but, in the end, only drew his attention away from the truly important things in his life, such as time with his children.

His philosophy seems very zen (by which I mean the shallower western interpretation of it, which is about as philosophical as I get). By spending less time hurrying and worrying, those who follow his teachings grow spiritually, or, perhaps more accurately, those who spend their entire lives worrying and hurrying, retard their spiritual growth, and miss the 'now,' amidst their regrets about the past, or anxiety about the future.

He reminds me of that Thassilonian virtue of 'well-deserved rest,' that was later corrupted into sloth.

I like your elaboration much better than what we see in the book; as is, he's the only Empyreal Lord who I kinda want to punch in the nose. (And the only one whose worshipers' obedience I would actively attempt to stop.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:

Ghenshau intrigues me. I think the word 'ignorance' is perhaps a bit off-putting, and he might feel a bit more palatable if he focused instead on innocence, the simple logic of a child, who cuts away all the complexities of an issue to offer a simple solution.

"Why are we talking about this? Why don't we just do X?"

His obedience is interesting, not so much in a 'books are evil, burn them' sort of way, but because one could easily choose to destroy bits of paper that have been 'wasted' with things that are ultimately meaningless, from a long-term celestial viewpoint, like ledgers of accounts saved in some warehouse for decades, which may seem terribly important to the merchant who scribed them all those years ago, but, in the end, only drew his attention away from the truly important things in his life, such as time with his children.

His philosophy seems very zen (by which I mean the shallower western interpretation of it, which is about as philosophical as I get). By spending less time hurrying and worrying, those who follow his teachings grow spiritually, or, perhaps more accurately, those who spend their entire lives worrying and hurrying, retard their spiritual growth, and miss the 'now,' amidst their regrets about the past, or anxiety about the future.

He reminds me of that Thassilonian virtue of 'well-deserved rest,' that was later corrupted into sloth.

I think this is a really good way of looking at Ghenshau's philosophy.

Personally, I like to refer to him as The Empyreal Lord of "Ah %#@$ it, let's have a drink".

Grand Lodge

So I'm very late to the party with this, but I wanted to point out that the prereqs for the mystery cultist say nothing about needing to be a spellcaster.

If this was intentional, then I very much appreciate it. Sure it may not be ideal for a fighter to take this PrC, but roleplay wise it might be a lot of fun. Yeah I miss out on the spells class feature, but taking suboptimal options is nothing new. Like when a cleric chooses an inquisition instead of a domain.

Hope this wasn't a mistake!

EDIT: For example, I kind of REALLY want to create a fighter who worships Damerrich, a swashbuckler who worships Arshea, or an alchemist who worships Immonhiel and then take this prestige class.

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