Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Cheliax, The Infernal Empire (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Cheliax, The Infernal Empire (PFRPG)
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In Hell We Trust

For centuries, the empire of Cheliax stood as an example of humanity's greatness, with colonies and vassal states spread throughout the Inner Sea region. Then Aroden, god of humanity, died mysteriously on the eve of his prophesied return, and the empire fell into a vicious civil war. Seeking victory at all costs, the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune made pacts with the denizens of Hell to wrest control of Cheliax away from its rivals. While many of the empire's holdings have fallen away in the decades since, at its core, Cheliax remains powerful, both subservient to and allied with the legions of the Pit. Yet discontent looms throughout the nation, even as brash young Queen Abrogail II seeks to tighten her imperial grip on the populace.

Cheliax is the diabolical setting of the thrilling Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance Adventure Paths, making this comprehensive sourcebook a perfect supplement for either campaign. Within these pages, you'll find:

  • An overview of Cheliax's government, foreign relations, society, and history—including details House Thrune wants forgotten forever.
  • An extensive gazetteer of the entire nation, offering more than 80 entries on such people and places as Brastlewark and its wily gnomes, the xenophobic strix of Devil's Perch, Kintargo and its rebellious citizens, and majestic Egorian's imperial sycophants.
  • A breakdown of Chelish noble titles and the country's social hierarchies.
  • Nearly a dozen new adventure sites ripe for intrigue and exploration, from a magical city ruined in the aftermath of Aroden's death to an isolated island where House Thrune secretly creates fiendish supersoldiers.
  • Six hellish new monsters, plus random encounter tables, a template for creating fiend-infused golems, and much more!

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Cheliax, The Infernal Empire is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-799-4

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

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The Devil's in the details.

5/5

A spectacular in depth look at Cheliax, it's government, people, and creatures. Essential reading for any campaign set in Cheliax, especially the three adventure paths that take place there, the Godfather-esque Council of Thieves, the rebellious minded Hell's Rebels, or the infernal affairs of Hell's Vengeance, this is the book you need to add nuance, beasties, and depth to your campaign.


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Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
djones wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Updated with final cover image and description!
Yay for Striges!

I think that's an erinyes... unless I've misunderstood your post. ^_^

Dark Archive

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

Rather interested in seeing Cheliax expanded. Hope it's more in the format of Osirion's and Irrisen's books; both of them broke down the regions and the settlements in good detail.

Also, elaborate hierarchies and redacted histories sound like a fun read.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cool.

Ruyan.


How much overlap is there with the old* "Cheliax: Empire of Devils" splatbook?

Doug M.

*I think that came out in... what, 2009? But it seems a lot longer.

Scarab Sages

Will any of the feats in Cheliax: Empire of Devils be reprinted with altered rules? For example, Belier's Bite is quite powerful for the investment compared with say the Boar Style chain.

Dark Archive

Actually this may be a Mark Moreland trivia question.

When was the first time Cheliax was coined the "Infernal Empire" in print?

I have a post from June 5, 2008 using that exact term, I may have very well been one of the first to use that turn of phrase.


baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Actually this may be a Mark Moreland trivia question.

When was the first time Cheliax was coined the "Infernal Empire" in print?

I have a post from June 5, 2008 using that exact term, I may have very well been one of the first to use that turn of phrase.

You my very well be....early references to Cheliax seemed to to be 'Diabolical Empire in Decline' in the Pathfinder Chronicles: Gazetteer and Pathfinder Chronicles: Campaign Setting both being published in 2008.


My favorite area in Golarion!!

Scarab Sages

what is the difference between this book and "Cheliax, Empire of Devils" ?

The blurb doesn't really say why I'd need *both*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well given the Andoran and Osirion books, there well be more information on each region in the Cheliax, more detail on a handful of cities, more up to date information, information/tips/suggestions on running adventures or campaigns there and details on adventure sites, and a small bestiary.

Not to mention the original book was 32 pages and this one will be 64. So thats a possible 32 pages of new information devoted to the Andoran Reconquista....


I'd say two important differences are:

1) It's 64 pages, which means double the size of Cheliax: Empire of Devils.

2) It's written for the primarily GM-focused Pathfinder Campaign Setting line, which typically means more focus on fluff than crunch.

As a result, this book is going to feature a lot more lore concerning Cheliax. It'll most likely be the go-to book for Cheliax lore.

If previous regional sourcebooks are anything to go by, this book will feature very little crunch beyond what's in the book's bestiary section, and as such the crunch in the 32-page Player Companion book might still be relevant to you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Awesome cover!


Will any of the devil based martial arts be updated or added to?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So angry.

Paizo, you were making me happy by not putting out Campaign Setting books that I was interested in for a while. There was one here, one there, but now you are going for 5 in a row (if you don't count Inner Sea Races).

Fortunately, your next two offerings aren't so tasty for me personally, but then what are you doing? Oh, that's right. Heaven Unleashed. What are you doing to me?

SICK AND TIRED. SICK AND TIRED Paizo. I expect, nay, I DEMAND that the remainder of 2016 be "Revisited" titles for the Campaign Setting line.


Does anyone know what new Devils are featured in this manual's bestiary?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Someone has got to inform me on the noble titles for Cheliax as soon as possible!

I need to use the correct title, you see.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Does anyone have the PDF of this book yet? PDFs for other products did get out to at least some subscribers today.

Dark Archive

I'm heading to bed, but to answer one of the floating questions: The para-x titles are ranked slightly lower than their non-para versions, are granted titles, and are non-hereditary.

Edit: I decided to briefly look through the rest before bed. The lure of the product was too great. The 'Master' line for the adventure area descriptions is back! Yay!

Haven't read through it yet, but the location-info parts of this seem especially meaty size-wise. I'm not immediately sure if it's just because of the formatting shift (which sub-divides the location info less, which seems to have given at least some of the added text-room), or if there's something else that got cut for more location space (The PC-race NPCs that usually end up with the monster section, maybe?).

The new devil is the Pataraavex (Sire Devil), which can shape-shift, seduce, and bargain, offering pleasure and a variety of rewards in exchange for bearing devil-tainted young. There's also a template for fiend-infused golems.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thank you.

I see that I was right to avoid the "para-" titles for members of the noble family my Chelaxian PC was born into.

I am really looking forward to seeing the stats for that new devil.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cool, I was thinking the para- titles were more of an appointment.

Are the 'meaty' bits similar to Irrisen and Osirion's?


Lord Gadigan wrote:

I'm heading to bed, but to answer one of the floating questions: The para-x titles are ranked slightly lower than their non-para versions, are granted titles, and are non-hereditary.

Edit: I decided to briefly look through the rest before bed. The lure of the product was too great. The 'Master' line for the adventure area descriptions is back! Yay!

Haven't read through it yet, but the location-info parts of this seem especially meaty size-wise. I'm not immediately sure if it's just because of the formatting shift (which sub-divides the location info less, which seems to have given at least some of the added text-room), or if there's something else that got cut for more location space (The PC-race NPCs that usually end up with the monster section, maybe?).

The new devil is the Pataraavex (Sire Devil), which can shape-shift, seduce, and bargain, offering pleasure and a variety of rewards in exchange for bearing devil-tainted young. There's also a template for fiend-infused golems.

What, pray tell, are the titles a proper Cheliaxian noble should refer to themselves as?

I believe that we upper class have been deprived of our proper titles for far too long!

(Will likely be getting this Campaign Setting for sure.)


What are the "six hellish new monsters"?

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I think referring to the sire devil as "new" is as good a reason as any to go back and reread Hell's Pawns. ^_^

Seven New Monsters:

Animate Aria - a construct made of living sound.
Ash hag - a hag associated with burned places. Has a changeling racial trait included!
Cerberus worm - a local variant sea serpent with three heads.
Sire devil - bloodline-corrupting devils. Can cause someone to only have tiefling children.
Fiend-infused golem template - Jistkan magic. Animate your golems with evil outsiders. May cause extreme berserking.
Hellfire ignis - Pyromaniac fey. Arsonists. Available as Improved Familiars.
Zealot wraith - those who lost their faith and died in a cataclysm. Common among Aroden's former worshipers.


Thank you, Kalindlara.
About this Sire devil, it's a greater one (CR 13 or higher) or a lesser one?


It's CR 7.

Dark Archive

DeciusNero wrote:
Are the 'meaty' bits similar to Irrisen and Osirion's?

Are the 'meaty' bits similar to Irrisen and Osirion's?

Less subdivided-by-area, but otherwise yes. There's 30 pages of gazetteer without divisions into areas like 'The Brazen Fronteer', 'Footprints of Rovagug', etc. This length actually appears to be less than what Osirion and Irrisent had, but it feels like formatting changes managed to get more on to those pages on average. There's some town maps, town stat blocks, and pictures in there, but there's less half-page maps and heading-formatting. After the gazetteer, there's 11 one-page dungeon/encounter-area-info sections.

For comparison:
Osirion has 36 pages worth of gazetteer and 9 partial-page adventure sites. Irrisen has 36 pages of gazetteer and 8 partial-page adventure sites.

Valignatir wrote:
What, pray tell, are the titles a proper Cheliaxian noble should refer to themselves as?

Infernal Majestor/Majestrix ('Infernal' being an optional prefix that doesn't change rank, Ruler of Cheliax)

Infernal Prince/Princess ('Infernal' again being an optional prefix that doesn't change rank, Must be a direct descendant of an individual who was Majestor/Majestrix)
Archduke/Archduchess (Six at one time, hereditary rulers of archduchies)
Duke/Duchess (Landed, hereditary)
Paraduke/Paraduchess (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary)
Archcount/Archcountess (Landed, hereditary, rules a 'county' just like a Count/Countess but higher-ranking)
Count/Countess (Landed, hereditary)
Paracount/Paracountess (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary)
Archbaron/Archbaroness (Landed, hereditary, rules a 'barony' just like a Baron/Baroness but higher-ranking)
Baron/Baroness (Landed, hereditary)
Demibaron/Demibaroness (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary, lowest noble rank)

There's nine ranks (excluding the top two royal ones) to mirror the nine layers of Hell, which go in the general Duke/Count/Baron sub-groups, each of which has three ranks within it. The top two royal ranks are formally considered outside and above the nobility. Archduchies are made of duchies which are made of counties, which are made of baronies, though there's a few regions that are exceptions. The Heartlands have House Thrune ruling directly instead of an Archduke. Ravounel is an Archduchy without an Archduke. Hellcoast is currently being run by a Paraduke instead of an Archduke; the wording there suggests that Archduke and other traditionally hereditary titles *can* be granted (with Hellcoast's current Paraduke possibly hoping to someday obtain one but being more-actively concerned with other problems, like the state of Pezzack), it is just rarer.

Then there's other titles that have authority on some level in the bureaucracy, but aren't formal noble titles. Visbaron is one of these and is noted as being below all of the above.


Lord Gadigan wrote:


Valignatir wrote:
What, pray tell, are the titles a proper Cheliaxian noble should refer to themselves as?

Infernal Majestor/Majestrix ('Infernal' being an optional prefix that doesn't change rank, Ruler of Cheliax)

Infernal Prince/Princess ('Infernal' again being an optional prefix that doesn't change rank, Must be a direct descendant of an individual who was Majestor/Majestrix)
Archduke/Archduchess (Six at one time presently, hereditary rulers of archduchies)
Duke/Duchess (Landed, hereditary)
Paraduke/Paraduchess (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary)
Archcount/Archcountess (Landed, hereditary, rules a 'county' just like a Count/Countess but higher-ranking)
Count/Countess (Landed, hereditary)
Paracount/Paracountess (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary)
Archbaron/Archbaroness (Landed, hereditary, rules a 'barony' just like a Baron/Baroness but higher-ranking)
Baron/Baroness (Landed, hereditary)
Demibaron/Demibaroness (Granted, unlanded, non-hereditary, lowest noble rank)

There's nine ranks (excluding the top two royal ones) to mirror the nine layers of Hell, which go in the general Duke/Count/Baron sub-groups, each of which has three ranks within it. The top two royal...

While reading that, I'm trying to think of what levels and CRs each rank would be...I'd imagine a Demibaron at 3-4th level and a Baron at 5-7th level. And an Infernal Prince/ess could easily be BBEG material.

I'm a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to be a Demibaron, since it just seems to place you one step above a peasant. I guess that's...something?


Also, what are the NPCs in this book? A heaping helping of Hellknights, I assume?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Also, what are the NPCs in this book? A heaping helping of Hellknights, I assume?

Do you mean NPCs who receive a short statline (LE female human fighter 4/slayer 1), or those with an actual statblock?


Statblock.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Statblock.

Zero. They reference the NPC Codex here and there, but that's as close as they get.


Orly? The past setting books always had finished NPCs.


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Axial wrote:
Orly? The past setting books always had finished NPCs.

There are no NPC stat blocks with accompanying fluff in the Bestiary for this book.

Which was a wee bit disappointing for me. I quite enjoy those NPC writeups, and if there's a place that features interesting NPCs, I reckon Cheliax would be such a place.

Oh well, it's still another sweet offering of regional lore. The parts I've read have me longing to run a Cheliax-based campaign.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds spiffy!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

They're probably banking on the Inner Sea NPC Codex, which has seven Chelaxian NPCs.

More are always useful, of course, but between that and various other sources, they probably felt it was well-covered enough to use the space for other content.


Kalindlara wrote:
More are always useful, of course, but between that and various other sources, they probably felt it was well-covered enough to use the space for other content.

Makes perfect sense. :)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Axial wrote:
I'm a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to be a Demibaron, since it just seems to place you one step above a peasant. I guess that's...something?

In a place like Cheliax, I assume that you would take whatever status you can get. Being one step above a peasant is a heck of a lot better than being a peasant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
Axial wrote:
I'm a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to be a Demibaron, since it just seems to place you one step above a peasant. I guess that's...something?

In a place like Cheliax, I assume that you would take whatever status you can get. Being one step above a peasant is a heck of a lot better than being a peasant.

Ambition! It is but the first step in your glorious ascension to power!

Liberty's Edge

So, knights aren't low ranking nobility?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am pretty sure that the whole "one step above a peasant" thing was a rash misinterpretation. I would guess that a knight is the next step below a noble, and that there are many fine gradations between a knight and a common peasant. I picked that much up from the earlier player's book for Cheliax.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Heine Stick wrote:
Axial wrote:
Orly? The past setting books always had finished NPCs.

There are no NPC stat blocks with accompanying fluff in the Bestiary for this book.

Which was a wee bit disappointing for me. I quite enjoy those NPC writeups, and if there's a place that features interesting NPCs, I reckon Cheliax would be such a place.

Oh well, it's still another sweet offering of regional lore. The parts I've read have me longing to run a Cheliax-based campaign.

We decided to not include NPC stats for 2 reasons—

1) There are PLENTY of NPC stats out there for Chelaxian stuff, what with 3 APs set there, numerous books with NPC support, and so on...

2) Because of customer feedback and in-house preference that preferred there being actual monsters rather than just NPCs. It doesn't take much to build a 4th level cleric of Asmodeus—anyone can do that—but official monsters and creatures native to Cheliax? That's something only Paizo can provide, so it makes sense that in a book where we can do both, we'd focus on the one other people can't do.


James Jacobs wrote:

We decided to not include NPC stats for 2 reasons—

1) There are PLENTY of NPC stats out there for Chelaxian stuff, what with 3 APs set there, numerous books with NPC support, and so on...

2) Because of customer feedback and in-house preference that preferred there being actual monsters rather than just NPCs. It doesn't take much to build a 4th level cleric of Asmodeus—anyone can do that—but official monsters and creatures native to Cheliax? That's something only Paizo can provide, so it makes sense that in a book where we can do both, we'd focus on the one other people can't do.

Perfect sense is made.

My "disappointment" is merely due to my own enjoyment of the NPC writeups. I have no problem with them not being present (like you mentioned, there are plenty of Cheliax-themed stat blocks available) because of the reasons you mentioned. :)


Anyone care to give some spoiler info on the Ash Hag, the associated changeling racial trait....and the Changeling focused feats ?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
nighttree wrote:

Anyone care to give some spoiler info on the Ash Hag, the associated changeling racial trait....and the Changeling focused feats ?

No feats.

Ash Hag:
CR 5. No coven changes. Lots of SLAs. Fast healing in burned environments. Can fill peoples' lungs with ashes.

Changeling:
Pyrophile: The changeling gets a damage bonus on fire-damage spells. The damage bonus increases with level.


Kalindlara wrote:
nighttree wrote:

Anyone care to give some spoiler info on the Ash Hag, the associated changeling racial trait....and the Changeling focused feats ?

No feats.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Excellent....many thanks ;)


Info on the cerberus worm and the Hellfire Iginis would be appreciated.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
KaiserBruno wrote:
Info on the cerberus worm and the Hellfire Iginis would be appreciated.

Cerberus Worm:

CR 14 Gargantuan magical beast. Big three-headed serpent with tentacles and poison clouds. Fairly basic stats.

Hellfire Ignis:

CR 3 Small fey. Little dude made of fire and brimstone. Firestarters with a few minor SLAs and the burn special attack, including a ranged version.


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Thank you Kal.

Ignis sounds pretty neat! I have a weakness for fiery casters so I might consider him as a familiar next chance I get to be a player.


I just hope I'm not alone in apreciating that the title of archduke holds any worth in a fantasy setting. history can be so silly sometimes.


Are Ash Hags Lawful Evil?

Are Hellfire Ignises Lawful Evil?

What CR is the Sire Devil and what does it look like?

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