Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms (PFRPG)
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Unleash Mythic Power!

Bring mythic adventure into the Pathfinder world with Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms. This must-have expansion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game’s newest and most ambitious hardcover, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures, is your guide to epic legends, secret places of power, and mythic hot spots within the Pathfinder campaign setting that unlock phenomenal new power. Learn how to seamlessly integrate the incredible options from Mythic Adventures into your existing game, unlock additional path abilities for mythic characters to choose from, discover locations primed to inspire new mythic heroes, and claim the strength of monsters and villains too powerful to defeat—until now! Forge new legends and take on the greatest challenges of the Pathfinder world with Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms.

Inside this book you’ll find:

  • Six founts of mythic power, including the Doorway to the Red Star, the Mordant Spire, and even the legendary Starstone, each with new mythic path abilities available to characters who show their worth and claim the power within.
  • Six detailed locations throughout Golarion that offer a campaign’s worth of adventures for characters of mythic destiny, including the vast necropolis of Mechitar, the Pit of Gormuz, and the flying city of Yjae.
  • Nine legendary characters of Golarion, including challenging foes only those of mythic might can hope to defeat, like Arazni, Kortash Khain, the Oliphaunt of Jandelay, and the Whispering Tyrant.
  • Mythic trials tied to each location and character, ready to drop directly into a mythic campaign.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

Written by Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Amanda Harmon, Nicolas Logue, Jason Nelson, F. Wesley Schneider, and Russ Taylor.
Cover Art by Michael Ivan.

ISBN 978-1-60125-567-9

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

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Perfect high level fluff and crunch!

5/5

GOOD:
The most powerful and mysterious locations of Golarion are described!
My favorite: THE BLACK DESERT - one of the 6 vaults of Orv, home to a house of Urgathoa-worshipping undead drow, the birth-craddle of the Purpleworms, tribes of Urdhefan and a cabal of awakened demiliches!
The most powerful and legendary beings of Golarion are statted out!
If you want your players to fight the "Whispering Tyrant", he is in here!

BAD: nothing!

UGLY: nothing!

The writeup for the Black Desert inspired me so much, that i began writing an outline for a novel featuring the undead drow as protagonists in the style of the "war of the Spider-Queen" series.
The same is certainly possible for each of the locations in here!


5/5

I've reviewed this book over on RPGGeek.com.


Good introduction of mythic to Golarion

3/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Mythic Realms introduces the mythic rules to Golarion and takes a look at how they interact with the setting. It provides information on founts of mythic power, locations, and mythic characters. Just as there is a lot of variety to mythic characters, there’s a lot of variety in the book, particularly in Chapter 2: “Places of Myth”. Indeed, each location detailed is often different enough from the others to make it feel almost like you’re reading a different book. This does have the downside that most people are only likely to use one or two small sections of the book, and few people will actually find use for the entire thing. Still, it’s a good book and definitely useful for people wanting to introduce mythic rules into their Golarion campaigns. It’s also an entertaining read for people already familiar with Golarion, as it adds detail to a number of things that have only been mentioned or hinted at before.


Almost, But Not Quite There


Mythic Realms is the latest addition to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, and promises some impressive ideas. Powerful figures from Golarion's lore, sites of incredible power, and even the legendary Starstone. But closer examination finds the book's contents lacking, its concepts deprived of the execution expected of a Paizo work.

Chapter I contains information on Founts of Mythic Power, like the Cenotaph, the Morudant Spire, and even the Starstone(!). Mythic Founts are sort of like "seeds" GMs can use to transform high-level groups from extraordinary to truly heroic. The idea is great--it provides GMs with high-level groups to continue the adventure even when all other challenges begin to feel trivial. Furthermore, there are unique mythic abilities tied to the mythic ascension that occurs at each location.

The problem here is that not all founts are created equal, and this is particularly true of the Starstone. First off, the mystique of the Starstone test is all but obliterated by the book's presentation, and second, the Starstone's role in the lore is inexplicably changed. Suddenly the Starstone is only a means of mythic ascension, not the engine of divine apotheosis we've been lead to believe. What's worse is that the mythic ascension triggered by the Starstone provides bonuses linked to pre-existing gods, and only the twenty greater powers of the Inner Sea (so no blessing of Apsu, Tiamat, Shizuru, Tsukiyo, &c).

Furthermore, Mythic Realms paints a very confusing picture of Golarion's history. Did the Aboleth fear Azlant, or did they grow bored with their human experiment? The historical accounts in the Morudant Spire seem to conflict with those in the Starstone, but this isn't the only contradiction. The history of the war between Azlanist and Karzoug grows more confusing. Who was winning? Who was planning to summon the Oliphaunt of Janderlay?

Chapter II is, in my opinion, the best part of this book. It contains Gazetteers on six locations for your mythic heroes to explore. Although, again, historical accounts sometimes contradict themselves (I now have two conflicting accounts of what happened to the city of Gormuz). Still, the imaginative settings give GMs a lot to work with when planning their own adventures, and one entry can provide dozens of potential ideas for any given mythic campaign.

If Chapter I is my least favorite and Chapter II my most, then Chapter III falls somewhere in the middle. Here we find a bestiary of several legendary figures throughout Golarion's lore, from the terrifying to the heroic. This is both a good and a bad thing, in my opinion, as it provides mythic groups with epic challenges, but at the same time somewhat demystifies these otherwise mythical characters.

There is an adage once uttered on "The Spoony Experiment," which goes "if you can stat it, they can kill it." Simply put, this suggests that if you give a creature concrete representation in the rules system, then it becomes subject to the whims of that system, including death. Now, there are always ways to get around this (AD&D Fiend Folio's Trillioch, anyone?) but caveats that prevent defeat kind of feel cheap when you have a fat block of numbers and words staring you in the face.

That said, the histories of each mythic character are fantastic, if not unfortunately brief in some places. They manage to retain the intangible nature of the myths and representations these characters enjoyed in previous source material, never willing to commit too much detail where detail isn't needed, which in my mind is only ever a good thing.

All-in-all, the book had some great ideas and inspires some great ideas. The problem comes with the mechanical execution of those ideas, and the inconsistencies generated by its new treatments of setting-specific features. It's a 2-out-of-5, worth having for the ideas, but not the rules.


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To answer your question, no, not every product from now on will be in Mythic format. In fact, they've said that future Mythic products probably won't crop up that often. When it does it'll usually be in relation to Mythic locales, Demigods, and the like.

As for needing the rules, that's not necessary either. Like every single other Rulebook release, the rules are posted on the online reference document for free.

Also, it's not a new format, at all. It's an entirely optional extension of the rules for those who wish to include Demigods and certain other elements of high-myth storytelling into their games.


William Sinclair wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
If you're really obsessed with de-Mythic-ing creatures, figure 2 Mythic tiers are 1 CR, so a CR 12/MT 4 creature is a CR 10 without its Mythic tiers.
That's all cool and stuff, but what are the Mythic tiers? I'm guessing I'd be required to buy a copy of Mythic to get this? If so, and Paizo is planning on publishing everything in Mythic format from now on, I guess my days of Paizo may be over. I don't want to, but I don't like that I'm being forced into a format that I don't want. I kinda feel like I did when someone else took 3.5 and turned it into 4th ed. I'm trying to get a feel on the whole Mythic vibe and how prevalent it is going to be in Pathfinder and PFS from now on.

That's silly. Just because they introduce a new ruleset, you think that's all they are going to produce? That's like saying "Oh, Paizo made an Asian setting. Guess that's all they are publishing from now on!" They are just supporting their new ruleset for now. That doesn't mean everything from now on is going to be mythic. It just means that unlike WotC, Paizo is actually supporting their new rules. If you bothered to look at their future releases, you'd see that none of them deal with mythic. So relax. The sky isn't falling.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The Paizo folks have no intention of doing every thing in Mythic, but you will probably see bits and pieces here and there in different products. And I doubt there will be anything mythic in PFS.

For instance, the next two AP's after Wrath of the Righteous are non mythic. And Bestiary 4 has less than 30 monsters out of 300 that use mythic rules.

For monsters, as others have said, you can use them as is. The PRD will list the mythic feats they possess


William Sinclair wrote:
That's all cool and stuff, but what are the Mythic tiers? I'm guessing I'd be required to buy a copy of Mythic to get this? If so, and Paizo is planning on publishing everything in Mythic format from now on, I guess my days of Paizo may be over. I don't want to, but I don't like that I'm being forced into a format that I don't want. I kinda feel like I did when someone else took 3.5 and turned it into 4th ed. I'm trying to get a feel on the whole Mythic vibe and how prevalent it is going to be in Pathfinder and PFS from now on.

Oh the drama!

1) Nothing is being "forced"; mythic got a big push this year because they specifically wrote the mythic rules to support the Wrath of the Righteous AP.

2) You don't have to buy anything; like everything else, mythic rules are provided free of charge on the PRD.

3) Mythic is something I'm sure that they're going to continue to support here and there, just like the classes from the Advanced Players Guide are.

4) There's no word yet on if or when mythic will be adapted to PFS.

5) You don't have to convert mythic creatures if you don't want to - their CR is listed right there in the stat block for all of your non-mythic gaming needs.


Mythic Tirisfal wrote:
William Sinclair wrote:
That's all cool and stuff, but what are the Mythic tiers? I'm guessing I'd be required to buy a copy of Mythic to get this? If so, and Paizo is planning on publishing everything in Mythic format from now on, I guess my days of Paizo may be over. I don't want to, but I don't like that I'm being forced into a format that I don't want. I kinda feel like I did when someone else took 3.5 and turned it into 4th ed. I'm trying to get a feel on the whole Mythic vibe and how prevalent it is going to be in Pathfinder and PFS from now on.

2) You don't have to buy anything; like everything else, mythic rules are provided free of charge on the PRD.

I don't see it there.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It hasn't been put up yet, but it will be. The tech team just hasn't gotten to it.

Shadow Lodge

William Sinclair wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
If you're really obsessed with de-Mythic-ing creatures, figure 2 Mythic tiers are 1 CR, so a CR 12/MT 4 creature is a CR 10 without its Mythic tiers.
That's all cool and stuff, but what are the Mythic tiers? I'm guessing I'd be required to buy a copy of Mythic to get this? If so, and Paizo is planning on publishing everything in Mythic format from now on, I guess my days of Paizo may be over. I don't want to, but I don't like that I'm being forced into a format that I don't want. I kinda feel like I did when someone else took 3.5 and turned it into 4th ed. I'm trying to get a feel on the whole Mythic vibe and how prevalent it is going to be in Pathfinder and PFS from now on.

In the meantime....d20 PFSRD.

Hell, I wish MORE of their stuff would support the books beyond the core...especially the APG. Until the APG, Pathfinder was really just a tweaked 3.5/ Admittedly, the base of the system is still that, but the APG at least added some interesting new options to that system. If the NPC Codex had supported it, I might have bought a dead tree version.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
William Sinclair wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
If you're really obsessed with de-Mythic-ing creatures, figure 2 Mythic tiers are 1 CR, so a CR 12/MT 4 creature is a CR 10 without its Mythic tiers.
That's all cool and stuff, but what are the Mythic tiers? I'm guessing I'd be required to buy a copy of Mythic to get this? If so, and Paizo is planning on publishing everything in Mythic format from now on, I guess my days of Paizo may be over. I don't want to, but I don't like that I'm being forced into a format that I don't want. I kinda feel like I did when someone else took 3.5 and turned it into 4th ed. I'm trying to get a feel on the whole Mythic vibe and how prevalent it is going to be in Pathfinder and PFS from now on.

In the meantime....d20 PFSRD.

Hell, I wish MORE of their stuff would support the books beyond the core...especially the APG. Until the APG, Pathfinder was really just a tweaked 3.5/ Admittedly, the base of the system is still that, but the APG at least added some interesting new options to that system. If the NPC Codex had supported it, I might have bought a dead tree version.

My crystal ball predicts NPC Codex 2 with APG classes next Fall.


Is there a sample Mythic Realm somewhere that I can take a look at to see how it's set up. I don't run a Golarian game but plan on using the mythic rules.

thanks!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

xevious573 wrote:
Speaking of stat-block mistakes: Agmazar the Star Titan has Thanatopic Spell as one of its feats. Perhaps the idea is to let its SLAs use this effect or perhaps its Channel Negative Energy, but right now this feat does nothing for the poor kaiju.

Nobody's commented on this. What's the scoop? I'm assuming it's intended to be "Thanatopic All Abilities" but that's just a guess.


Disappointed by the humanocentric focus again. There's a section on the Mordant Spire, but the "mythic" part about it is about the Azlanti again. Surely there are mythic elves and dwarves still wandering around from ages past, too!

Paizo Employee Developer

Ansha wrote:
Disappointed by the humanocentric focus again. There's a section on the Mordant Spire, but the "mythic" part about it is about the Azlanti again. Surely there are mythic elves and dwarves still wandering around from ages past, too!

Most of the elven inhabitants of the Mordant Spire are mythic. Exposure to the spire for extended periods of time (like an elf's lifespan) unlock mythic power, as the article says.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Most of the elven inhabitants of the Mordant Spire are mythic. Exposure to the spire for extended periods of time (like an elf's lifespan) unlock mythic power, as the article says.

Yes, but the mythic power source is Azlanti (although I guess you might be able to say that it's a mix of the Azlanti and what's left of the elven observatory from before Earthfall). It just makes non-human mythics seem derivative and dependent on humanity's mythic past, rather than that they have a mythic past of their own.

(Point taken that most of the Mordant Spire elves are mythic, though. I missed that part when I read through it last.)

Paizo Employee Developer

What makes the Mordant Spire mythic is more

Spoiler:
that it is composed of the remnant god-stuff of one of the two deities who sacrificed their lives to prevent Earthfall from being even more damaging than it was. It's her essence permeating every wall, and what one assumes is her actual corpse somewhere in the depths of the tower, that bestow upon those who live there too long mythic power.


Spoiler:
That's why I was saying the mythic power source was Azlanti, and makes non-human mythics seem derivative of the human/Azlanti mythic past, rather than having their own mythic past. The Runelords and Tar-Baphon are mythic; surely there were mythic elven and dwarven (etc.) heroes who gained their power from elven and dwarven sources in order to fight them. Especially for elves in Kyonin and dwarves in their earliest settlements in the Five Kings Mountains, I would think.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's understandable. There certainly are/were mythic sources tied more closely to other races. While we can't put them in this book retroactively, I'll see what we can do to get a few of them detailed in appropriate places in other products in the future. Thanks for the feedback.


Why is Arazni (who was defeated, humiliated, and tortured to death by the Whispering Tyrant) statistically more powerful than he is in almost every meaningful way?


Probably got more powerful after Geb raised her from the dead.

Looking at the stuff about the gear, yeah that seems to be the case. A lot of the inherent bonuses she has comes from stuff she bought during her time with Geb.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Why is Arazni (who was defeated, humiliated, and tortured to death by the Whispering Tyrant) statistically more powerful than he is in almost every meaningful way?

Lichdom made the Tyrant more powerful, why too cannot it make one that he killed more powerful as well?

Perhaps Arazni might have a little rematch if he ever escapes from his cell. Hell hath no fury like a bat-s@&$ crazy, evil, psychopathic, undead female wizard lich, scorned after all.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Why is Arazni (who was defeated, humiliated, and tortured to death by the Whispering Tyrant) statistically more powerful than he is in almost every meaningful way?

She got stronger after Geb made her a lich. IIRC, it's been said somewhere that when the Tyrant killed her she was somewhere around the CR 19-22 range, and she's gotten a lot more powerful since then.

She has a generally better range of path abilities than what Tar-Baphon obtains from his mythic lich template (with the exception of the "no HD limit for undead he creates" power, which has the potential for serious minionmancy), and the base undead template she gains from lichdom protects against a lot of his abilities (e.g. the paralyzing terror). She also has better-chosen gear and boosts (for example, it doesn't look like the Tyrant has used inherent bonuses like she has... actually, Tar-Baphon's stats are surprisingly low). A lot of the WBL that the Tyrant has on him is made redundant by other treasure or by his own innate abilities.

For example, he has a robe of the archmagi. So +5 armour to AC, SR 18 +4 resistance to saves and +2 enhancement on checks to beat SR. Except he also has bracers of armour +8, a cloak of resistance +5 and a SR of 42 from mythic lich. That 75,000gp robe has most of its abilities wasted.

Besides that, the mythic subtype and/or mythic lich template is somewhat inferior to mythic tiers plus the regular lich template, especially when it comes to the amount of mythic power (a very important resource) available to you. Granted, the template also comes with some useful benefits, most notably that the phylactery is an artifact with only one specific means of destruction as you climb in rank (but then, Urgathoa has Tar-Baphon's phylactery anyway and is protecting it, so...), but were I given a choice I'd definitely go with the tiers over the ranks.

It's the case with Jatembe as well. I'd give the Old Mage even odds (if not better) to beat the Tyrant in a fight, and he's two CR points below.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It makes me wonder how powerful Geb is. It would be kind of humorous if she is more powerful than him too. For Tar-Baphon being maybe the greatest menace in Golrion's history he's kind of week compared to other people that have popped up on Avistan. About the only thing he has going over them is that he's even much harder to put down permanently than beings like Arazni and Geb, who are probably have conditions to slay them for good that are pretty hard themselves.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is just one of those things the developers didn't think about when they created them.


Alleran wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
Why is Arazni (who was defeated, humiliated, and tortured to death by the Whispering Tyrant) statistically more powerful than he is in almost every meaningful way?

She got stronger after Geb made her a lich. IIRC, it's been said somewhere that when the Tyrant killed her she was somewhere around the CR 19-22 range, and she's gotten a lot more powerful since then.

She has a generally better range of path abilities than what Tar-Baphon obtains from his mythic lich template (with the exception of the "no HD limit for undead he creates" power, which has the potential for serious minionmancy), and the base undead template she gains from lichdom protects against a lot of his abilities (e.g. the paralyzing terror). She also has better-chosen gear and boosts (for example, it doesn't look like the Tyrant has used inherent bonuses like she has... actually, Tar-Baphon's stats are surprisingly low). A lot of the WBL that the Tyrant has on him is made redundant by other treasure or by his own innate abilities.

For example, he has a robe of the archmagi. So +5 armour to AC, SR 18 +4 resistance to saves and +2 enhancement on checks to beat SR. Except he also has bracers of armour +8, a cloak of resistance +5 and a SR of 42 from mythic lich. That 75,000gp robe has most of its abilities wasted.

Besides that, the mythic subtype and/or mythic lich template is somewhat inferior to mythic tiers plus the regular lich template, especially when it comes to the amount of mythic power (a very important resource) available to you. Granted, the template also comes with some useful benefits, most notably that the phylactery is an artifact with only one specific means of destruction as you climb in rank (but then, Urgathoa has Tar-Baphon's phylactery anyway and is protecting it, so...), but were I given a choice I'd definitely go with the tiers over the ranks.

It's the case with Jatembe as well. I'd give the Old Mage even odds (if not better) to beat the Tyrant in a...

I understand mechanically why it happened, I'm just curious as to why Tar-Baphon was built that way. Why not build him as an Archmage10 / Lich - or throw mythic lich on top? He's built up as arguably the scariest being in history. Shouldn't he match the hype? Hell, even the world-wound girl is stronger - and by a not insignificant margin.


Drock11 wrote:
About the only thing he has going over them is that he's even much harder to put down permanently than beings like Arazni and Geb, who are probably have conditions to slay them for good that are pretty hard themselves.

Arazni would just be the phylactery deal. Geb is the tricky one, because he has his Rejuvenation ability as a ghost. If he has nine mythic tiers, then Immortal also comes into play, so you'd need a ghost touch weapon.

Peter Stewart wrote:
Why not build him as an Archmage10 / Lich - or throw mythic lich on top?

As soon as you become a mythic lich, you lose any mythic tiers you had, so that wouldn't work. Were it me, I'd have gone for Archmage tiers and the Lich template.


Tar-Baphon IS incredibly scary as written, with his variation on the mythic lich template.

Consider this: unlike every other caster on Golarion, there is no upper limit at all to the number or power level of undead he can have under his direct control. He can have undead more powerful than Arazni as his minions.


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

Tar-Baphon IS incredibly scary as written, with his variation on the mythic lich template.

Consider this: unlike every other caster on Golarion, there is no upper limit at all to the number or power level of undead he can have under his direct control. He can have undead more powerful than Arazni as his minions.

Which is a cool ability that goes a long way towards painting him as a mighty tyrant, that's fine. But Tar-Baphon, within the lore we've seen, is not painted as powerful because he controls a battalion of arch-vampires, super deathwalkers, or ultra liches. He's painted as tremendously personally powerful. With the power to not only defeat, but to humiliate the herald of a god and (pre-lichidom) fight a battle against a god that lasted days and wrecked an entire island.

If the intention is for him to be terrifying because he controls minions, I think some disconnect has occurred between the writers of his history and fluff and the guys who put his stats together.

A does not follow B in this case, and I'm wondering if it's intentional, or just an oversight in his building process.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Peter Stewart wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

Tar-Baphon IS incredibly scary as written, with his variation on the mythic lich template.

Consider this: unlike every other caster on Golarion, there is no upper limit at all to the number or power level of undead he can have under his direct control. He can have undead more powerful than Arazni as his minions.

Which is a cool ability that goes a long way towards painting him as a mighty tyrant, that's fine. But Tar-Baphon, within the lore we've seen, is not painted as powerful because he controls a battalion of arch-vampires, super deathwalkers, or ultra liches. He's painted as tremendously personally powerful. With the power to not only defeat, but to humiliate the herald of a god and (pre-lichidom) fight a battle against a god that lasted days and wrecked an entire island.

If the intention is for him to be terrifying because he controls minions, I think some disconnect has occurred between the writers of his history and fluff and the guys who put his stats together.

A does not follow B in this case, and I'm wondering if it's intentional, or just an oversight in his building process.

The fact he was (and is) a terrible menace to Golarion doesn't mean he's the most powerful being on Golarion. On the contrary, the fact he failed tells the tale more eloquently than words could.

That said the assumption that Tar Baphon should be more powerful than Arazni because he defeated her when she was an herald is just wrong: check Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth and consider how a CR 22 Marilith (unique) can do the very same thing. This is mechanically correct because... heralds are CR15 creatures (with ONE exception, check Inner Sea Gods). So at the time when the Whispering Tyrant defeated her Arazni was a pale shadow of the creature she became in undeath. One could claim the Tyrant should be more powerful than Jeb, but we just don't know how powerful Jeb is. The only thing we know is his final battle with Nex was enough to create the mana wastes. The fact Jeb lost all drive once he lost Nex as a rival doesn't mean he couldn't be an even bigger menace than Tar Baphon. He just doesn't want to conquer Golarion. Great power, great cunning and greater ambition were the things that made Tar Baphon such a great menace. Jeb could have even more power but probably lacks the cunning and certainly has no ambition besides ruling Jeb (and not even that... as we know he leaves Arazni in charge of everything).


Rogar Valertis wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

Tar-Baphon IS incredibly scary as written, with his variation on the mythic lich template.

Consider this: unlike every other caster on Golarion, there is no upper limit at all to the number or power level of undead he can have under his direct control. He can have undead more powerful than Arazni as his minions.

Which is a cool ability that goes a long way towards painting him as a mighty tyrant, that's fine. But Tar-Baphon, within the lore we've seen, is not painted as powerful because he controls a battalion of arch-vampires, super deathwalkers, or ultra liches. He's painted as tremendously personally powerful. With the power to not only defeat, but to humiliate the herald of a god and (pre-lichidom) fight a battle against a god that lasted days and wrecked an entire island.

If the intention is for him to be terrifying because he controls minions, I think some disconnect has occurred between the writers of his history and fluff and the guys who put his stats together.

A does not follow B in this case, and I'm wondering if it's intentional, or just an oversight in his building process.

The fact he was (and is) a terrible menace to Golarion doesn't mean he's the most powerful being on Golarion. On the contrary, the fact he failed tells the tale more eloquently than words could.

That said the assumption that Tar Baphon should be more powerful than Arazni because he defeated her when she was an herald is just wrong: check Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth and consider how a CR 22 Marilith (unique) can do the very same thing. This is mechanically correct because... heralds are CR15 creatures (with ONE exception, check Inner Sea Gods). So at the time when the Whispering Tyrant defeated her Arazni was a pale shadow of the creature she became in undeath. One could claim the Tyrant should be more powerful than Jeb, but we just don't know how powerful Jeb is. The only thing we know is his final battle with Nex...

Actually, Arazni was a demi-god and a herald of Aroden at the time of her death. Her CR was unique (like the Tarrasque), in the CR 26-30 range. But Arazni was not just defeated, she was utterly humiliated, indicating a vast difference in power between Tar-Baphon and Arazni at the time.

If she had been a normal Herald (CR 15), there wouldn't be as much of a problem. But the lore is that Arazni as she exists today, is weaker than she was when she was killed:

Undead Revistied Page 26 wrote:
The Harlot Queen of Geb—once Aroden’s herald Arazni, before her forced corruption by the Whispering Tyrant—is another famous lich, though not nearly as powerful now as she was as a goddess. Still, she has the ghost-king’s power behind her to help keep the scheming and independent-minded populace at bay. There are known to be a number of liches who live openly in Geb—these seem to enjoy the novelty of living in plain sight, as well as the long game of politics with each other in this undead state.

So that means as a Lich Wizard 20/Marshal 8 (CR 26) she is weaker than she was a demi-god, which means as a demi-god she was in the CR 27-30 range. That means when Tar-Baphon fought her, he would need to be in the CR 28-30 range, and yet, he's not.

The only thing that I think of to rectify this, is that Tar-Baphon did not fight her alone. Instead, he used his unique ability to control vast sums of undead to overwhelm Arazni before capturing her and torturing her as he did.

This would make the mechanics of Tar-Baphon fit along with the lore of Tar-Baphon. Especially since he was defeated by a guy using an artifact, and sealed away. So it's possible Tar-Baphon wasn't overwhelmingly powerful like other casters were (Geb, Nex, Sorshen), but that through his raw strength and the numbers at his command, he was able to do everything he did.


You see that all the time. Perfect example are PCs. All of them are usually lower level than the BBEG, but they can beat the ever living s&!! out of 'em when they get together :D


Right, and what of his pre-lich fight with Aroden that raged for like ten days?


Aroden had the flu.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Right, and what of his pre-lich fight with Aroden that raged for like ten days?

Do you have a reference for how long the fight lasted, because I can't find anything other than it was a "terrible battle".


Tels wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
Right, and what of his pre-lich fight with Aroden that raged for like ten days?
Do you have a reference for how long the fight lasted, because I can't find anything other than it was a "terrible battle".

The wiki cites their battle to the Campaign Setting and the Liches of Golarion article (from the final Carrion Crown AP book). You could have a look at those to see if it's in there. I'm AFB, so I can't look through my own stuff, but ten days is ringing a bell somewhere in my head.

What also might be pertinent is whether or not Aroden was a full deity at the time, or if he was still a demigod:

James Jacobs wrote:
And it's a common misconception that Aroden used the Starstone to become a deity—he did not. His act of raising the Starstone and the Isle of Kortos helped put him into demigod level, and it was numerous other things he did in the thousands of years to follow that eventually boosted him into true deity level. He was a demigod while "walking Golarion," and that's something that plenty of other demigods (Arazni, Treerazer, Lorthact, Ydersius, etc.) have done and still do.

If he was a demigod, then given that Tar-Baphon lured Aroden to the Isle of Kortos, set the trap, and had all the home-ground advantages he could muster (and, you know, wizard), and was already mythic thanks to unlocking Zutha's Cenotaph (he may have been in the CR 22-24 range), I could see a drawn-out battle taking place (yes, everybody knows it'll come down to the first round or two in play, but this is story-wise).

I'd forgotten that reference to Arazni losing power when she was killed and later brought back as a lich. How interesting. I'll have to look at Mythic Realms again to see if there's anything in there that agrees/disagrees with it.


Alleran wrote:
Tels wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
Right, and what of his pre-lich fight with Aroden that raged for like ten days?
Do you have a reference for how long the fight lasted, because I can't find anything other than it was a "terrible battle".

The wiki cites their battle to the Campaign Setting and the Liches of Golarion article (from the final Carrion Crown AP book). You could have a look at those to see if it's in there. I'm AFB, so I can't look through my own stuff, but ten days is ringing a bell somewhere in my head.

What also might be pertinent is whether or not Aroden was a full deity at the time, or if he was still a demigod:

James Jacobs wrote:
And it's a common misconception that Aroden used the Starstone to become a deity—he did not. His act of raising the Starstone and the Isle of Kortos helped put him into demigod level, and it was numerous other things he did in the thousands of years to follow that eventually boosted him into true deity level. He was a demigod while "walking Golarion," and that's something that plenty of other demigods (Arazni, Treerazer, Lorthact, Ydersius, etc.) have done and still do.

If he was a demigod, then given that Tar-Baphon lured Aroden to the Isle of Kortos, set the trap, and had all the home-ground advantages he could muster (and, you know, wizard), and was already mythic thanks to unlocking Zutha's Cenotaph (he may have been in the CR 22-24 range), I could see a drawn-out battle taking place (yes, everybody knows it'll come down to the first round or two in play, but this is story-wise).

I'd forgotten that reference to Arazni losing power when she was killed and later brought back as a lich. How interesting. I'll have to look at Mythic Realms again to see if there's anything in there that agrees/disagrees with it.

Well, Aroden ascended in 1 AR and the battle took place 896 years later, so he was probably a full God at the time. However, it may be possible that Tar-Baphon did the same thing that Lamashtu did with Curchannus (in fact, the story of Tar-Baphon and Aroden is scarily similar to that of Lamashtu and Curchannus except Aroden won). He could have lured Aroden to the island and then besieged him with many of his allies, only to ultimately fail because he didn't have quite the same 'oomph' that Lamashtu did; Lamashtu being a full on Demon Lord at the time, where as even a mortal with 10 Mythic Tiers just doesn't have the same 'spark' of power as a Demi-God being.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised that after becoming a lich, Tar-Baphon built an even more powerful trap in the same spot, but Aroden was smart enough not to fall for his tricks.

Or it may very-well be that Aroden didn't challenge Tar-Baphon a second time because he was a demi-god during the first battle (and thus able to interfere with mortal events), where as during the second challenge, he had risen to full Godhood, and therefore prevented from interfering directly with mortal events.


Well actually

Spoiler:
Tar-Baphon wanted to lose, so that he could become a mythic lich. Classic Xanatos Gambit

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