How entrenched will the Mythic rules be in Wrath of the Righteous?


Wrath of the Righteous

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Lantern Lodge

I don't see how mythic isn't just another form of archetypes.


James Jacobs wrote:
Mythic Adventures is not a new edition of Pathfinder, and if we've given the impression that it IS a "stealth edition" then we screwed up.

I'm VERY concerned with this. From the statements from designers, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why would we not support our new rule books in the AP line." To seeing the Ultimates cameo in the APS, the release of Mythic Rules and their impact on future APs have me worried.

I was so not happy about the power creep in the Ultimates, I shudder to think of the impact of Mythic on my beloved AP line. Needless, to say I plan on skipping this AP. I just don't want to have to skip others.

The Wrath of Winter led me to believe I needed the Planet rule book. I mean the more Paizo forces me to buy rule books to play APs the more likely I am not to buy APs -- not the other way around.


Riggler wrote:
I mean the more Paizo forces me to buy rule books to play APs the more likely I am not to buy APs -- not the other way around.

Unfortunately, I think that makes you the exception rather than the rule. At least in my own experience, the presence of a new ruleset in the APs has always been great incentive to pick up a new rulebook, presuming I didn't have it already. I would imagine much of Paizo's customer base is the same. I think this is unfortunately a situation of you being the odd man out.


Orthos wrote:
Riggler wrote:
I mean the more Paizo forces me to buy rule books to play APs the more likely I am not to buy APs -- not the other way around.
Unfortunately, I think that makes you the exception rather than the rule. At least in my own experience, the presence of a new ruleset in the APs has always been great incentive to pick up a new rulebook, presuming I didn't have it already. I would imagine much of Paizo's customer base is the same. I think this is unfortunately a situation of you being the odd man out.

You may be right. But don't mistake Paizo's customer base with "Those who frequent its message board." The more fanatical fan is likely to hang out here. Those two groups probably have very different purchasing profiles.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Mythic rules will be available for FREE on the PRD and d20pfsrd. While Paizo would certainly love for you to purchase Mythic Adventures, you won't actually need to if you wish to use the material.

You could always just read over the rules on the PRD and use that to determine if you want to make the purchase or not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Riggler wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Mythic Adventures is not a new edition of Pathfinder, and if we've given the impression that it IS a "stealth edition" then we screwed up.

I'm VERY concerned with this. From the statements from designers, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why would we not support our new rule books in the AP line." To seeing the Ultimates cameo in the APS, the release of Mythic Rules and their impact on future APs have me worried.

I was so not happy about the power creep in the Ultimates, I shudder to think of the impact of Mythic on my beloved AP line. Needless, to say I plan on skipping this AP. I just don't want to have to skip others.

The Wrath of Winter led me to believe I needed the Planet rule book. I mean the more Paizo forces me to buy rule books to play APs the more likely I am not to buy APs -- not the other way around.

Conversely, the more books you buy from Paizo, the better the company is doing and the more adventures and content we can produce.

I get it that folks don't like to buy new product. We DO try hard to make it easy on folks, by doing things like putting the entire contents of the rulebooks up online for free in the PRD, or by reprinting full stat blocks for non-core creatures in full in the adventure to minimize the amount of books you need to buy or have at the table.

But Paizo is first and foremost a business. We WANT folks to buy all of our books, because that allows us to not only stay in business, but to be rewarded for our hard work.

The way I look at it... it's not that we're forcing you to buy anything, but that if we're doing our jobs right, you WANT to buy everything.

One way we try to do that is to try to make every thing we publish be something worth buying, but another way we do that is to USE what we create to support itself.

A product that is never supported after its publication is a doomed product.

Finally, as I've said before... we're not using Mythic Adventures in "Wrath of the Righteous" because we want to support the new rulebook we just happen to be publishing at the same time. In fact, one of the reasons we're publishing Mythic Adventures at this time is BECAUSE we need it to support the story I've always wanted to tell about the Worldwound. There are events in "Wrath of the Righteous" that the Core Rules simply do not support. In the same way that before Ultiimate Combat, there were no rules to support ninja or samurai characters, and as such we needed to wait for Ultimate Combat to come out before we published the Jade Regent Adventure Path.

If we weren't publishing Mythic Adventures, "Wrath of the Righteous" would not be happening. A Worldwound adventure path would not be happening. We'd have done an entirely different AP.

And that would have been a shame, since a Worldwound AP has been among one of the most-often requested APs for years.


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Riggler wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Mythic Adventures is not a new edition of Pathfinder, and if we've given the impression that it IS a "stealth edition" then we screwed up.

I'm VERY concerned with this. From the statements from designers, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why would we not support our new rule books in the AP line." To seeing the Ultimates cameo in the APS, the release of Mythic Rules and their impact on future APs have me worried.

I was so not happy about the power creep in the Ultimates, I shudder to think of the impact of Mythic on my beloved AP line. Needless, to say I plan on skipping this AP. I just don't want to have to skip others.

The Wrath of Winter led me to believe I needed the Planet rule book. I mean the more Paizo forces me to buy rule books to play APs the more likely I am not to buy APs -- not the other way around.

From what I understand, you don't need to buy Distant Worlds to run Reign of Winter, since Triaxus gets a gazeeter article in that volume. And Distant World only did a light summary of Triaxus anyway (which was largely not rules content anyway, but setting information).

Honestly, I think one of the worst things Paizo could do is make new rulebooks and never refer to them in AP's and modules. Why should I buy a book that will never be referred to again? I got that impression from a lot of the 3.0/3.5 books which introduced new classes, races, etc, but then never referred to them in any other book outside the one they were introduced in. No thanks


MMCJawa wrote:
Honestly, I think one of the worst things Paizo could do is make new rulebooks and never refer to them in AP's and modules. Why should I buy a book that will never be referred to again? I got that impression from a lot of the 3.0/3.5 books which introduced new classes, races, etc, but then never referred to them in any other book outside the one they were introduced in. No thanks

Amen. It drove me nuts how many options were available in 3.5 that just never seemed to get taken advantage of. You'd occasionally see one or two non-core base classes every now and then, a handful of non-core feats and spells, and so forth, but 90% of the time it was kind of like "This stuff is exclusively for PCs, we're just going to keep pulling from Core then slapping prestige classes on everything as necessary".

I think the one major exceptions were Psionics and the Binder from ToM. The amount of support both got in later books, online web enhancements, and adventures was somewhat bizarre compared to how little some of the other stuff got used.

And I love to see that Paizo has learned from this, and is not making the same mistakes with their own expanded content.

Riggler wrote:
You may be right. But don't mistake Paizo's customer base with "Those who frequent its message board." The more fanatical fan is likely to hang out here. Those two groups probably have very different purchasing profiles.

It's not about "who's the real fan" between people who do or don't frequent the boards, and I'd appreciate you not trying to start that argument, even if it wasn't your intent. It's about what keeps the company running - selling books, and sparking interest in the readers to purchase new books by keeping the stuff they buy in use and not just relying on the core stuff that everyone already has.

If you're one of the people who runs a strictly-core game, I feel confident in saying you're in the minority in regards to your desires for the content of future APs, and not among the main avenue of customers Paizo is aiming their business model at, regardless of whether you frequent the forums or not.


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Paizo Superscriber
Orthos wrote:
If you're one of the people who runs a strictly-core game, I feel confident in saying you're in the minority in regards to your desires for the content of future APs, and not among the main avenue of customers Paizo is aiming their business model at, regardless of whether you frequent the forums or not.

I don't think this is a helpful way of interpreting Riggler's comments. Or mine, for that matter.

Paizo probably doesn't have a business model that aims at only the buy-everything subset of customers. If they narrow the definition of their target market that much, they end up speaking to an increasingly narrow aucience. On the other hand, if they offer products which appeal to a wide variety of play styles, setting choices, and so forth, they widen their potential audience. Take a look at their products - or even just the way that Golarion itself is designed - and you'll see their choices to widen, not narrow, their appeal.

As James Jacobs said above, it's in Paizo's interests that various game books be useful for future products. But as Riggler and I have pointed out (Riggler by not wanting to be required to buy those books in order to run the other adventures, me because I run another edition of the game entirely but prefer to run Paizo adventure paths), it's just as important that those of us who are selective with our purchases can feel comfortable we'll have everything we need to run an AP if we buy that AP.

Will the supplemental books that come out alongside it (the Irrisen book for Reign of Winter, etc.) add additional material and ideas that we can use to flesh out the campaign? Absolutely, and that's wonderful. But if we can't run the AP at all without having one of those supplemental purchases, that's a much bigger problem.

For Riggler, it might come down to budget - the cost of the AP is the amount being committed to, and any required items above and beyond that cause problems. (By the way, Riggler, I apologize for putting words in your mouth here.) For me, my concern was the possible drift from the core game - not the core rules, but the feel and style of the game itself. I like playing D&D, and as long as the Paizo adventure paths continue to be D&D, regardless of edition, I can convert them to my preferred ruleset and play them. But if a supplemental ruleset changes things so much that I have trouble recognizing it as D&D...

Which, by the way, was my concern when I posted above (a few days ago), and my concerns in this case were laid to rest by James's response. But I still feel better making sure he and the other folks at Paizo are aware that we're part of their audience. That way, they can weigh our needs (and decide whether or not they're willing to take our needs into account) as they continue to develop new products. If folks like me don't speak up to mention what we need, Paizo doesn't get the feedback to consider us at all. And then we all lose out.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Considering the Mythic rules will be available free on the PRD (eventually), the additional cost argument isn't a good reason to protest. Paizo is very generous on how much they give away via the OGL.

I'm sure Paizo is aware that people don't want all Mythic APs all the time. They've already said the next two after this won't be Mythic APs. Since they probably won't pull the trigger on a second Mythic AP until seeing the feedback from the first, I expect we'll see a Mythic AP once every two years at the absolutely most frequent. And then only if a significant number of customers clamor for them. I expect it'll be more like a Mythic AP every 3-5 years, with perhaps on Mythic Module a year.


I think there products do aim at a wide variety of purchasers...some people only buy the rulebooks, some people only do the APs, some people buy the Campaign Setting Material, etc. And of course some people will buy everything.

But I do question how much of their audience and marketing is towards 1st edition players. In that sense (and no offense intended towards you), concerns about compatibility of new products with 20+ year old versions of the game are probably minimal, as there are probably a remarkably small number of people in that niche.

(EDIT: by small number I do not mean 1st edition fans, but 1st edition fans who frequently purchase and modify APs for 1st edition. Personally, I would imagine that would be enough work to kind of render the point of buying an AP...well pointless

Scarab Sages

My 2 cp.

As of yet I do not run an AP but want to... eventually i will likely want to get away from pfs play, as my group and I have played alot lot the scenerios, and go into an AP for the campaign feel...

That said this at face value looks like what i want. An entire region is a nightmare, goodly heroes going in for the right reasons, demons vs. paladins. Wow - I am in.

But i do not think I will be in if the mythic stuff is added in. I dont want to have to learn a whole other book worth of stuff just to play this. The more convoluted the core of this game has gotten past the first rulebook, the more it hurts my brain. Mythic is just to much for me.

That said, I will wait, discuss and see.


Indivar wrote:
. . . if the mythic stuff is added in.

Well, the Mythic stuff is in there, as the AP has been designed around the Mythic Rules. The question has been whether it's possible to actually play the AP without the Mythic Rules there. The answer to this question has thus far been it is possible, but some substantial alterations must be done to the AP because of the power level which it sustains. JJ has said on a few different occasions--one being just a short distance up--that this AP is the result of the Mythic rules happening, not the other way around. That's a pretty good indicator that WotR and Mythic very much go hand-in-hand.


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Sub-Creator wrote:
JJ has said on a few different occasions--one being just a short distance up--that this AP is the result of the Mythic rules happening, not the other way around. That's a pretty good indicator that WotR and Mythic very much go hand-in-hand.

Right idea, but you've got the emphasis backwards.

The statement is: The Mythic Rules exist so that this AP can be done properly.

Paizo does APs first; all other books are there to help the AP be better, or be played better, including the hardcover rulebook line.

The AP is *not* a result of the Mythic Rules being published. The Mythic Rules are being published because this AP, as envisioned by the creative team, needs them in order to work as intended.

Grand Lodge

@ Urath: Nope. Just read James Jacobs' post on this page.
They would not have done this AP without having the Mythic Rules, according to JJ.


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With due respect, i believe Urath said it correctly.

Folks wanted a worldwound AP, Paizo chose to do one. Paizo concluded they needed Mythic to make their vision of the worldwound AP happen, Mythic was developed.


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Rathendar and Urath nailed it.

Yes, they would not have done this AP without having Mythic rules. True. But the point that is being missed is that they made a commitment to do this AP so they then made a commitment to build the rules to make it happen.

Basically, to oversimplify it, they need rules for Demon Lords to do a proper Worldwound AP. So they built rules for Demon Lords (and a bunch of other stuff) so they could write this AP.

This is not a cash grab. This is not a "plot" to turn people into Paizo-addicted super-collectors. This is not a change in Paizo's policy of how they handle hardcover rules supplements and support material with regard to their APs. This is not part of Paizo's master plan to introduce a bunch of power creep into the setting.

This is business as usual.

It's very similar to how Paizo built Mass Combat rules to supplement Kingmaker. The major difference being that the sub-system here is more extensive. That's it.

Honestly, I feel bad for James Jacobs. He's now had to post almost literally the exact same statements regarding expectation management in over 10 different threads (and counting) in the last two months. And sometimes he's even had to repeat himself in the same thread multiple times. Which has to be painfully annoying and frustrating.


Rathendar wrote:

With due respect, i believe Urath said it correctly.

Folks wanted a worldwound AP, Paizo chose to do one. Paizo concluded they needed Mythic to make their vision of the worldwound AP happen, Mythic was developed.

Urath DM wrote:

Right idea, but you've got the emphasis backwards.

The statement is: The Mythic Rules exist so that this AP can be done properly.

Paizo does APs first; all other books are there to help the AP be better, or be played better, including the hardcover rulebook line.

The AP is *not* a result of the Mythic Rules being published. The Mythic Rules are being published because this AP, as envisioned by the creative team, needs them in order to work as intended.

Yup, you're right. Got my words twisted around a bit there. What you two said is what I was thinking, but failed to convey properly. Despite that, the purpose for what I was saying remains unchanged. ;)


The Block Knight wrote:

Rathendar and Urath nailed it.

Yes, they would not have done this AP without having Mythic rules. True. But the point that is being missed is that they made a commitment to do this AP so they then made a commitment to build the rules to make it happen.

Basically, to oversimplify it, they need rules for Demon Lords to do a proper Worldwound AP. So they built rules for Demon Lords (and a bunch of other stuff) so they could write this AP.

This is not a cash grab. This is not a "plot" to turn people into Paizo-addicted super-collectors. This is not a change in Paizo's policy of how they handle hardcover rules supplements and support material with regard to their APs. This is not part of Paizo's master plan to introduce a bunch of power creep into the setting.

This is business as usual.

It's very similar to how Paizo built Mass Combat rules to supplement Kingmaker. The major difference being that the sub-system here is more extensive. That's it.

Honestly, I feel bad for James Jacobs. He's now had to post almost literally the exact same statements regarding expectation management in over 10 different threads (and counting) in the last two months. And sometimes he's even had to repeat himself in the same thread multiple times. Which has to be painfully annoying and frustrating.

Perhaps the most confusing thing to me is the 'need' for Mythic rules. It would seem that character progression beyond level 20 would be sufficient. Perhaps if a little more 'oomph' was needed, new feats could be written with character level 20 set as a pre-requisite. Even if level 20 in a particular class was a hard limit, expansion into other classes would be easy enough to do - BAB would still progress, HD would continue to accure, saves would continue to increase, spells would continue to be gained. I just can't understand the need for an entirely new ruleset that renders current character builds unusable (without extensive modification) just to run a single AP.

How often do characters actually get to USE their capstone abilities? This would seem to have been a golden opportunity to enjoy all that you had earned through 20 hard levels of character development, but now that we finally have the opportunity for high-level content, all of that is tossed aside in favor of these new 'supplemental' rules. To me, supplemental means something you add on to the original, like new races or base classes... it does not mean something that replaces all that came before because the two are incompatible.


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Story Archer wrote:
Perhaps the most confusing thing to me is the 'need' for Mythic rules. It would seem that character progression beyond level 20 would be sufficient.

The main answer to this is that a lot of people don't like epic/20+ rules for various reasons. Some don't like them because they don't scale well. Others don't like them because they never reach level 20 anyway.

In theory, the mythic rules will work around both of these problems. It doesn't really extend the standard stat progression (not in the usual way at least). Also, it gives an option for low level mythic play for people who hate high level games.

I'd say the main reason Paizo is doing mythic rules may be for the people who never see high level play. Allowing mythic to be available at all levels greatly increases the possible userbase of the rulebook. It was both a smart design and business decision in my opinion.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Matrix Dragon wrote:
Story Archer wrote:
Perhaps the most confusing thing to me is the 'need' for Mythic rules. It would seem that character progression beyond level 20 would be sufficient.

The main answer to this is that a lot of people don't like epic/20+ rules for various reasons. Some don't like them because they don't scale well. Others don't like them because they never reach level 20 anyway.

In theory, the mythic rules will work around both of these problems. It doesn't really extend the standard stat progression (not in the usual way at least). Also, it gives an option for low level mythic play for people who hate high level games.

I'd say the main reason Paizo is doing mythic rules may be for the people who never see high level play. Allowing mythic to be available at all levels greatly increases the possible userbase of the rulebook. It was both a smart design and business decision in my opinion.

This. The principal reason the APs don't go to 20th level is the research that the majority of players campaigns will never go to 20th level because of all sorts of reasons. The EPIC rules of 3.X done by WOTC basically required one to play at levels beyond 20 because that was WOTC's paradigm for epic play - to extend the rule set to allow play past 20.

Paizo's Mythic is a far better paradigm so one can enjoy a epic storyline while low level. Everyone would probably agree that the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are 'epic' stories about people from humble beginnings doing truly outstanding things during events that impacted most of Middle Earth. Frodo wasn't a 20+ level character by far. But he did a truly 'mythic' thing in bringing down Sauron.

That is how I view the mythic ruleset - to tell epic stories without requiring the participants to be 20+ level to do so.


Cintra Bristol, I think you got exactly what I was saying.

I think James Jacobs outreach to customers is delightful. It is the kind of customer service fans of RPGs clamor for. And I hold his opinions and explanations in high regard.

That being said, I have trouble wrapping my mind around a "Mythic" type rule set being needed to tell a "Mythic" type of story. There just seems to be other design choices that could be made to accomplish a more powerful AP without a hardcover subset of rules.

And my problem isn't so much with more options. I love more options IF those options are well thought out mathmatically. APG was/is an amazing crunch book. The Ultimates leave a lot to be desired in the math/balance department.

I see what you guys are saying. Paizo is a business. Paizo is in the business of selling books. The more books they sell, the more money they make. And so the cycle of TSR and WotC begins anew. But I thought Paizo was different. I thought the business model was such that they didn't need all these accessories, because the bread and butter was the APs. I guess when you become the new King of RPGs, you act like the new King of RPGs.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Riggler wrote:

There just seems to be other design choices that could be made to accomplish a more powerful AP without a hardcover subset of rules.

Like, which ones?


Paizo Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Riggler wrote:

There just seems to be other design choices that could be made to accomplish a more powerful AP without a hardcover subset of rules.

Like, which ones?

Like creating a set of granted boons that the PCs gain as they progress through the adventure, which specifically boost their ability vs. specific foes.

Like a set of items or rituals that allow the PCs to bypass immunities and other defenses of ultra-powerful foes.

Like specific materials which, when activated by specific rituals, are capable of harming ultra-powerful demon lords who might otherwise be invulnerable.

And like any of the options I've just listed, but having them grant the PCs a set of special defenses which allow the PCs to survive combat with said demon lord long enough to use these weapons/boons/etc.

These are the sorts of things I imagine I'll be doing if I ever run Wrath of the Righteous, to translate the adventures to my preferred edition. (Which would currently be 4th, but by the time I get around to running this AP, it's more likely to be D&D Next - and referring to 1st edition was a better comparison to Next for asking my question.*)

None of these options require a separate ruleset, and none of them need to escalate the actual power of the PCs in most combats. Instead, they specifically address the power of the PCs only against the precise foes that otherwise couldn't be faced. So because they would only apply to those particular fights, the abilities wouldn't need to be "balanced" to work with everything else in the game.

Which isn't the way Paizo chose to go, and that's fine - I'm curious to see what they came up with instead, and what it offers that the above choices wouldn't. But the above options would make it easier for some of us to feel comfortable "buying in" - and that's useful for Paizo to consider, if only to be aware that some of us are having these questions. Because if many of us are expressing these concerns now from the way they've so far explained the AP, maybe they want to rethink how they're explaining it to us in advance of the actual publication.**

And I'd like to emphasize in response to others who posted above - if you're a Paizo fan (and not a Paizo employee), you shouldn't be telling folks on the boards that we're not part of Paizo's target market. We might choose to believe you, and then you've just cost Paizo revenue. Let Paizo tell us if they don't want us buying their products to use our way...

* Please don't restart the edition wars over this point in my post.

** Personally, my concerns have already been answered by Paizo. I don't need any additional response to this from Paizo employees to be willing to purchase this AP. Instead, I'm posting this for the benefit of the other folks in this thread who don't seem to understand why we might have qualms about Paizo's apparent direction.


Not to mention that in order to run the AP and finish it, characters would need to get up past level 20 in 6 100 page AP volumes, because Paizo's business model relies on 6 volume APs.

Which I am pretty sure is impossible. Mythic levels allow and additional layering of power that players can take early on an accelerate the CR threat range they can follow. Because doing a worldwound AP without punching out Deskari would be very lame.


Riggler wrote:
I see what you guys are saying. Paizo is a business. Paizo is in the business of selling books. The more books they sell, the more money they make. And so the cycle of TSR and WotC begins anew. But I thought Paizo was different. I thought the business model was such that they didn't need all these accessories, because the bread and butter was the APs.

And it still is. They release far, far, far more content in the form of APs, modules, PFS scenarios, and other story/encounter/event content than they do pure rulebook crunch. But having a significant majority of published content being fluff and flavor and story does not mean 100%. There will still be rulebooks, so long as there is a desire for them and a need, perceived or requested, for new rules, new systems, and new expansions available for the playerbase. New rules, like Mythic, allow the telling of different stories, or simply provide players with more options.

Could it have been done differently? I suppose. Before Mythic all we had to consider was 3.5's Epic, which certainly had its fans and its detractors, and Paizo chose to do something different rather than attempt to revamp Epic as it is. But this is the route they've chosen to take. If for whatever reason this does not meet your needs, you really only have three options: remove it and reverse-engineer the campaign down to normal play, houserule it as necessary with your own system or revision, or wait for a 3rd party producer to produce a supplemental system that meshes better with your expectations (or become and produce one yourself with your revision/houseruled system in option 2).

Full disclosure: I admit I have a hard time sympathizing with your position, because what you call "rules bloat" with a not-so-subtle distaste I gleefully refer to as "YAY more options!". I understand that there are people out there who dislike the growth of the ruleset and available options for one reason or another, I simply cannot comprehend nor follow the line of thought that leads to their dislike. *shrug*

Quote:
I guess when you become the new King of RPGs, you act like the new King of RPGs.

..........

Yeah I have no response for that beyond "wat".


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Personally I find boons and items to be a crutch.

To me negating or disabling the BBEG in some way means you didn't actually fight the BBEG.

The final battle of Harry vs Voldemort was dissapointing beyond measure. He didn't outsmart him, or even learned spells to protect himself properly. He just had a boon.

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post. Let's not bring an edition war into the discussion, please.


Cintra Bristol wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Riggler wrote:

There just seems to be other design choices that could be made to accomplish a more powerful AP without a hardcover subset of rules.

Like, which ones?

Like creating a set of granted boons that the PCs gain as they progress through the adventure, which specifically boost their ability vs. specific foes.

Like a set of items or rituals that allow the PCs to bypass immunities and other defenses of ultra-powerful foes.

Like specific materials which, when activated by specific rituals, are capable of harming ultra-powerful demon lords who might otherwise be invulnerable.

And like any of the options I've just listed, but having them grant the PCs a set of special defenses which allow the PCs to survive combat with said demon lord long enough to use these weapons/boons/etc.

I wasn't even talking about something as complicated as that. Because it's true those would just each up AP space. Add supernatural abilities here or there to the bad guys, a couple of templetes in the beastiaries and start the PCs at level 5. Done, it's "mythic."

A "mythic" storyline doesn't need a new rules set. It just doesn't. I have full faith that James Jacobs and Co. could contrust an epic AP within the current rules they had centered arond Demon Lords and it would have been just as great as the previous APs. A small subset of rules has appeared in most APs or player's guides. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were not. They were experimental though for that AP. The new direction of a Hardcover Rules Set for an AP is just a bit harder to swallow for me. I think it's a bad direction. Again, I just don't think a new core rule expansion was needed to tell an AP.

The setting, the story, the writing, the NPCs the goals and objectives are what make an epic AP -- not a new rules set.


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At this point, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.


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Riggler wrote:
I see what you guys are saying. Paizo is a business. Paizo is in the business of selling books. The more books they sell, the more money they make. And so the cycle of TSR and WotC begins anew. But I thought Paizo was different. I thought the business model was such that they didn't need all these accessories, because the bread and butter was the APs. I guess when you become the new King of RPGs, you act like the new King of RPGs.

The bread and butter still is the AP model. Nothing has changed. Nothing. This AP is about fighting Demon Lords (well, a lot more than that but I'm simplifying for the sake of discussion) so they built a ruleset to allow for that. They don't care overly much about selling Mythic hardcovers, the rules will even be available for free, they care about selling the AP. To sell an AP, it needs to "not suck" and a Demon Lord AP without rules for Demon Lords would suck.

Riggler wrote:

I wasn't even talking about something as complicated as that. Because it's true those would just each up AP space. Add supernatural abilities here or there to the bad guys, a couple of templetes in the beastiaries and start the PCs at level 5. Done, it's "mythic."

First, an AP that goes to Level 20 would need to start somewhere around Level 7, not 5, and James has said as much in the past.

Second, you're still missing the point. The AP isn't about being "Epic" (also, high or epic levels does not equal Mythic as that's sort of the point of the new rules) so just shifting the AP to focus on high-level play isn't going to accomplish what they're trying to do.

Riggler wrote:
A "mythic" storyline doesn't need a new rules set. It just doesn't. I have full faith that James Jacobs and Co. could contrust an epic AP within the current rules they had centered arond Demon Lords and it would have been just as great as the previous APs. A small subset of rules has appeared in most APs or player's guides. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were not. They were experimental though for that AP. The new direction of a Hardcover Rules Set for an AP is just a bit harder to swallow for me. I think it's a bad direction. Again, I just don't think a new core rule expansion was needed to tell an AP.

Sooooo. . . . how would you propose to do an AP centered around Demon Lords without rules for Demon Lords? I also have confidence that James and company can deliver a fantastic AP just as great as the previous APs and they have chosen to do so by developing a new rulesystem to tell this story. You can't have a Demon Lord AP and then only have the Demon Lords sitting in the background - that would be cheap. So they put new a rulesystem in place to cover CR 26 to 35. And rules for characters to properly deal with high CRs as well. Whether Epic or Mythic, a new rulesystem would need to be created either way and the way Paizo has gone about it is the better of the two, in my opinion. This new storyline does need a new rules set. It just does.

This is the key point here: even if the AP went to Level 20, Player Characters would still not be able to fight Demon Lords. Period. New rules had to be made. Retconning the current rules to allow for Level 20 PCs to fight Demon Lords would have been a cop-out.


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I also have to point out that 2 years ago when some people were begging for an epic rules book there were other people who were begging Paizo to NOT make an epic rules book. Why? Because they never play that high level and they didn't want to be left out when the next big rule book came out.

Paizo saw Mythic partly as a way to satisfy both crowds. I really don't see such an decision as a bad thing.


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Cintra Bristol wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Riggler wrote:

There just seems to be other design choices that could be made to accomplish a more powerful AP without a hardcover subset of rules.

Like, which ones?

Like creating a set of granted boons that the PCs gain as they progress through the adventure, which specifically boost their ability vs. specific foes.

Like a set of items or rituals that allow the PCs to bypass immunities and other defenses of ultra-powerful foes.

Like specific materials which, when activated by specific rituals, are capable of harming ultra-powerful demon lords who might otherwise be invulnerable.

And like any of the options I've just listed, but having them grant the PCs a set of special defenses which allow the PCs to survive combat with said demon lord long enough to use these weapons/boons/etc.

Many players would feel cheated if they kept being told "the only reason you can actually fight these Demon Lords is because of the magical mcGuffin you have accquired. Your personal power is worthless." Granted, that kind of story has its place (and a rich history in the genre) and can be done very well but making that the only way to ever be able to fight Demon Lords is unfair to all the players and GMs who don't want to be forced to always tell the same story when it comes to Demigod scenarios.

Mythic rules allow for both the Personal Power and McGuffin stories to be told. So rather than excluding the personal preferences of an entire camp of players it includes the personal preferences of all. The way Mythic power can be gained or granted allows for divine intervention, personal power, and McGuffin story seeds.

Even if Demon Lords could only be killed by McGuffins, they still need to build a rules set for CR 26 to 35 Demon Lords anyway. It's more than just a simple matter of adding a few hit dice and making the numbers bigger. Plus, by having a consistent rules set, GMs will be able to build their own CR 26+ monsters. Pathfinder is never going to be able to stat out every single CR26+ entity in the game within a reasonable timeline (if ever) so this allows GMs to do it for themselves if they want to feature a specific villain that the game has yet to stat up.


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Honestly while I'm sure most are fine with the setting/writing and such creating the epic feel, there's still a large level of disconnect between a lvl 20 PC and Demon Lord.

Orcus in Rappan Athuk is CR 35 by himself not counting the large number of minions that are in the same chamber. You're just not meant to win within the current ruleset.

And if you're going to bridge that gap with items and boons then your story becomes less about the heroes and just creates cognitive dissonance for many players.

"You mean we can defeat Deskari if we had Excalibur? And Deskari hid it in that dungeon ? Why wouldn't a Demon Lord capable of interplanar, interstellar travel put it somewhere much more difficult to reach? Like a black hole? Why didn't any other level 20 hero go get it earlier?"

I can imagine all of those and more coming from my players.

Edit: Ninja'd

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rathendar wrote:

With due respect, i believe Urath said it correctly.

Folks wanted a worldwound AP, Paizo chose to do one. Paizo concluded they needed Mythic to make their vision of the worldwound AP happen, Mythic was developed.

This is correct.

We didn't decide to do the Wrath of the Righteous AP because we wanted to support Mythic Adventures.

I've been wanting to do the Wrath of the Righteous AP for years, but held off starting it up because part of this adventure requires...

Spoiler:
... statistics for demon lords, which are demigod level creatures of a CR higher than 25, which is the CR "ceiling" for monster stats in the core rules.

So until we decided one way or another how we could do CR 26 and higher monsters, Wrath of the Righteous was on hold.

Had we decided to never do Mythic, then I would have gone ahead with a different Adventure Path, most likely, and would have never done Wrath of the Righteous.

But! Now that Mythic is on the way, Wrath of the Righteous CAN proceed. It was one of the major reasons we decided to do Mythic Adventures—with another big reason being folks wanting us to show our take on how to handle "epic level" content.

There's some neat "side effects" from using Mythic as well.

1) Wrath of the Righteous WILL LIKELY be the first Pathfinder AP to go from 1st level to 20th level. The fact that mythic characters can face more and tougher challenges means that they can gain XP faster since they fight tougher foes sooner than non-mythic ones, which means that in the limited number of pages we have in 6 volumes, we can shed many of the lower CR encounters for higher CR ones, which means that PCs are gaining more XP in these six volumes than a non-mythic adventure hands out. Which means we'll probably be able to have PCs reach the highest level of power for the first time in a Pathfinder AP.

2) Even WITHOUT the mythic rules, we now have guidelines for statting up monsters up to CR 30. You can still use these monsters without even looking inside of the Mythic Book in your core games; their stats work just the same. They'll be really tough foes to fight, but there's plenty of other options when you want to throw a CR 30 monster at a party of 19th or 20th level PCs—we did that very thing in the last 2 adventures for Savage Tide back in the Dungeon Days, but it was kinda tricky. I much prefer having some in-game reason that explains why demon lords haven't been statted up yet and why core PCs and heroes can't really hope to defeat them in a stand-up fight. Mythic solves that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Story Archer wrote:
Perhaps the most confusing thing to me is the 'need' for Mythic rules. It would seem that character progression beyond level 20 would be sufficient.

Simply doing a book that raised the core game's level cap would certainly have been sufficient to tell a story like the one I want to do in Wrath of the Righteous... but that would likely have meant that I would have had to use the Fast XP track and start the AP at a much higher level than 1st—two things that I don't want to do for Adventure Paths.

Further, the core design of the d20 system is built so that beyond 20th level, the underlying math of the game really starts to break down. That's one of the reasons D&D's epic level rules were so awkward and difficult and confusing. (Another reason is the lack of a level cap, which meant that no two epic-level games had the same power curve, which made it more or less impossible to publish adventures using the rules—there was no common baseline frame of reference to build from.)

And even more important—rules that merely added to the level cap have a built-in requirement that until you can even USE those rules, you have to play the game long enough to reach 20th level. None of our current adventure paths, for better or worse, support that, so had we gone with this option, we'd be spending a HUGE amount of in-house work to build a rulebook we didn't support. That was never an option.

Since Mythic rules can be used right out the gate at 1st level if you wish (Wrath of the Righteous's mythic elements kick in at about 6th level), the book isn't something you buy and then put on your shelf for 2 years until you can use it. It's a book you can use immediately.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Black Moria wrote:
The principal reason the APs don't go to 20th level is the research that the majority of players campaigns will never go to 20th level because of all sorts of reasons.

Not quite true.

The principal reason the APs don't go to 20th level is the fact that it's not really possible in the course of 6 50 page adventures to put in enough encounters to give out enough XP for you to go from 1st level to 20th level. Even if you use the Fast XP track. We'd have to SERIOUSLY compromise our adventures' style and more or less remove most of the flavorful story elements from our adventures, or make GMs stat up the monsters, or do something equally unworkable and undesirable in order to somehow get enough room in those 300 pages of content over the course of 6 months to have enough XP to hit 20th level... or alternately just throw in some ridiculously high and common story awards that would annoy folks.

"Research that the majority of player campaigns will never go to 20th level" doesn't really factor into things at all. It's really a purely physical constraint imposed by the fact that we only do 6 part Adventure Paths and the fact that since they're on a monthly schedule, there is a finite amount of time four the developer to develop a single adventure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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In the end, folks will need to wait for all six parts of Wrath of the Righteous to see how we plan to utilize Mythic Adventures in actual play, so I hope folks at least check the AP out when they see it on store shelves!


James Jacobs wrote:
2) Even WITHOUT the mythic rules, we now have guidelines for statting up monsters up to CR 30. You can still use these monsters without even looking inside of the Mythic Book in your core games; their stats work just the same. They'll be really tough foes to fight, but there's plenty of other options when you want to throw a CR 30 monster at a party of 19th or 20th level PCs—we did that very thing in the last 2 adventures for Savage Tide back in the Dungeon Days, but it was kinda tricky. I much prefer having some in-game reason that explains why demon lords haven't been statted up yet and why core PCs and heroes can't really hope to defeat them in a stand-up fight. Mythic solves that.

Wait, the CR range has only been increased to 26 to 30? I was under the impression it would go to 35 originally. When/why did that change?

Grand Lodge

Sub-Creator wrote:


Yup, you're right. Got my words twisted around a bit there. What you two said is what I was thinking, but failed to convey properly. Despite that, the purpose for what I was saying remains unchanged. ;)

Yup.. somehow I got things convoluted as well :) Somehow I read an implication that this AP was just a marketing tool for the new hardcover, which is not the case.

To be honest, I had planned to give this path a pass. My players have less enthusiasm about Mythic than I do, and I'm on the fence.
However, James' posts have encouraged me to look closer.
Also, I have been one of the proponents of a more "heroic" APs.
I'm now inclined to at least pick up the first couple of volumes, and see what it's about.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Block Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
2) Even WITHOUT the mythic rules, we now have guidelines for statting up monsters up to CR 30. You can still use these monsters without even looking inside of the Mythic Book in your core games; their stats work just the same. They'll be really tough foes to fight, but there's plenty of other options when you want to throw a CR 30 monster at a party of 19th or 20th level PCs—we did that very thing in the last 2 adventures for Savage Tide back in the Dungeon Days, but it was kinda tricky. I much prefer having some in-game reason that explains why demon lords haven't been statted up yet and why core PCs and heroes can't really hope to defeat them in a stand-up fight. Mythic solves that.
Wait, the CR range has only been increased to 26 to 30? I was under the impression it would go to 35 originally. When/why did that change?

Not sure when it changed, but the why is because a 20th level tier 10 character didn't end up being nearly as powerful as we'd originally estimated.


Out of curiosity, James, was possible future expansion another reason for opting to design the Mythic rules as they are being done? Since the power level of the ten-tier system is not where you said it was, it seems like the relatively simple solution is to release further material in the future that expands the Mythic ruleset beyond the "regular" ten-tier capacity.

I'm sure that wouldn't happen initially, of course, just because Paizo doesn't yet know how successful Mythic itself will be; I'm personally very excited about it! Most of my Paizo purchases come through PDF, with the occasional hardcover, but I'd likely be very interested in purchasing the Mythic book this fall just because of the extra 'oomph' it can provide to a campaign at any level. Further, Wrath of the Righteous as an AP sounds like it's right up my alley, too! I've actually played the "paragon of light and virtue" archetype very, very sparingly in my years of gaming experience, despite the fact that all of my friends think I would DEFINITELY be a Paladin in a "real" fantasy setting such as Pathfinder.

At any rate, I suppose my ultimate reason for posting this is to ask this: If the Mythic rules work out and end up being a success for Paizo, how easy would it be for Paizo to release further supplemental or expansionary materials that would extend the Mythic system beyond 10 tiers? Could it be as simple as coming up with the next say, five tiers in-house and releasing a web supplement or would it necessitate an open playtest on the level that the current Mythic ruleset was/is exposed to?

It's probably pretty silly of me to even be asking a question about the possibility of EXPANDING the Mythic rules when the core of the system isn't itself done, but my curiosity is gettin' the better of me.


Piggybacking off that, were you forced to weaken Deskari? or are we to assume Deskari is simply weaker than some of the other Demon Lords?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Phillip0614 wrote:

Out of curiosity, James, was possible future expansion another reason for opting to design the Mythic rules as they are being done? Since the power level of the ten-tier system is not where you said it was, it seems like the relatively simple solution is to release further material in the future that expands the Mythic ruleset beyond the "regular" ten-tier capacity.

I'm sure that wouldn't happen initially, of course, just because Paizo doesn't yet know how successful Mythic itself will be; I'm personally very excited about it! Most of my Paizo purchases come through PDF, with the occasional hardcover, but I'd likely be very interested in purchasing the Mythic book this fall just because of the extra 'oomph' it can provide to a campaign at any level. Further, Wrath of the Righteous as an AP sounds like it's right up my alley, too! I've actually played the "paragon of light and virtue" archetype very, very sparingly in my years of gaming experience, despite the fact that all of my friends think I would DEFINITELY be a Paladin in a "real" fantasy setting such as Pathfinder.

At any rate, I suppose my ultimate reason for posting this is to ask this: If the Mythic rules work out and end up being a success for Paizo, how easy would it be for Paizo to release further supplemental or expansionary materials that would extend the Mythic system beyond 10 tiers? Could it be as simple as coming up with the next say, five tiers in-house and releasing a web supplement or would it necessitate an open playtest on the level that the current Mythic ruleset was/is exposed to?

It's probably pretty silly of me to even be asking a question about the possibility of EXPANDING the Mythic rules when the core of the system isn't itself done, but my curiosity is gettin' the better of me.

The primary reason we capped mythic advancement is the same reason we capped level advancement—it provides a baseline assumption for what is "barely powerful" and what is "most powerful." The lack of a level cap was the greatest fundamental flaw for the D&D Epic Level rules, because it meant that no matter how powerful you made, say, a demon lord... it was guaranteed to be too powerful for some groups and too weak for others, since every single group had their own power level and there was no common ground to focus on.

The power that PCs get isn't as much as we thought it was, but it's still a large jump in power over the core rules. A 20th level, 10 tier character will be able to do things that are REALLY impressive.

And keep in mind a few things about the CR system. It's used for tracking monster and challenge levels, NOT tracking a PC's actual capability. Furthermore, it seems that a lot of folks get confused about the expectations—a CR equal to your average party level should consume about 20% of your resources—it's supposed to be a pretty easy encounter, while a CR equal to your APL +5 (which a CR 30 foe is for a maxed out party) is a TPK waiting to happen unless you fight REALLY smart and do lots of preparation. APL +10 won't really even let you survive if you do that. And on top of that, a lone PC against a creature of equal CR is probably in dire trouble as well.

Gaining levels is still the better way to increase things like saves, Base Attack, and the like. And those raw numbers are what the CR system is most based on reflecting. Mythic tiers do OTHER things.

Whether or not there's an expansion beyond Mythic... we'll have to wait and see. Taken from a Golarion perspective, the only real logical expansion beyond Mythic is Divine—rules for playing gods and for fighting deities and such. I'm not so sure that's an expansion anyone's eager to see us do... in house our out of house.

The goal of Mythic was to basically allow for adventures where you fight demigods or do other super-heroic stuff. Constantly expanding Mythic upward into new tiers of "Super-Mythic" or "Ultimate Mythic" or whatever isn't something I'm interested in seeing... mostly because beyond the new stories Mythic lets us tell, I don't see any room for expansion EXCEPT for into something akin to the Immortals box set or the like. Which is an entirely new campaign pretty much.

If the Mythic rules work out and are very successful, what you can expect to see is more Mythic adventure paths and the like, in other words. I'm not interested in following the Warcraft model here and upping the level cap every few years, because soon enough, you reach a point where your original world's implied structure can no longer provide logical challenges to the PCs, and you either have to abandon the world for somewhere new, or you have to introduce incredible new powerful creatures that have never been mentioned before and are thus things no one's heard of even though they SHOULD have heard of them, due to their power. I'm not interested in either option.

Simply coming up with 5 or 10 more tiers would not be simple, in any event, since they're already more or less designed to represent coming up to the cusp of true deity level power without stepping into that arena. Again... any power expansion would have to be into the "Now you PCs get to be full-on deities."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ataraxias wrote:
Piggybacking off that, were you forced to weaken Deskari? or are we to assume Deskari is simply weaker than some of the other Demon Lords?

I've not yet statted up ANY demon lords, because I wanted to wait until Mythic. I'll be statting up the first of them this weekend, in fact.

So, no. I wasn't forced to weaken Deskari at all. His power level was never set in stone in the first place.

In fact... the way this all worked out is kinda nice, since that means that the demon lords we'll be statting up will be about the same, power wise, to those I statted up for Dragon Magazine in the Demonomicon articles. Those demon lords varied in CR from CR 22 to CR 32, but the power level of the game was slightly less, so I could see a CR 32 3.5 Demonomicon demon lord being about the same stat-wise to a CR 30 Pathfinder demon lord. Which means that if folks wanted, they could probably throw Demogorgon or Malcanthet or Zuggtmoy or Fraz-Urb'luu or the rest at their mythic characters with relatively little conversion work.

Which is frankly pretty cool, I think.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Ataraxias wrote:
Piggybacking off that, were you forced to weaken Deskari? or are we to assume Deskari is simply weaker than some of the other Demon Lords?

I've not yet statted up ANY demon lords, because I wanted to wait until Mythic. I'll be statting up the first of them this weekend, in fact.

So, no. I wasn't forced to weaken Deskari at all. His power level was never set in stone in the first place.

In fact... the way this all worked out is kinda nice, since that means that the demon lords we'll be statting up will be about the same, power wise, to those I statted up for Dragon Magazine in the Demonomicon articles. Those demon lords varied in CR from CR 22 to CR 32, but the power level of the game was slightly less, so I could see a CR 32 3.5 Demonomicon demon lord being about the same stat-wise to a CR 30 Pathfinder demon lord. Which means that if folks wanted, they could probably throw Demogorgon or Malcanthet or Zuggtmoy or Fraz-Urb'luu or the rest at their mythic characters with relatively little conversion work.

Which is frankly pretty cool, I think.

Are some of the Demon lords the same ones as listed in the Second Darkness AP (I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't remember the individual book it's in)?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

j b 200 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ataraxias wrote:
Piggybacking off that, were you forced to weaken Deskari? or are we to assume Deskari is simply weaker than some of the other Demon Lords?

I've not yet statted up ANY demon lords, because I wanted to wait until Mythic. I'll be statting up the first of them this weekend, in fact.

So, no. I wasn't forced to weaken Deskari at all. His power level was never set in stone in the first place.

In fact... the way this all worked out is kinda nice, since that means that the demon lords we'll be statting up will be about the same, power wise, to those I statted up for Dragon Magazine in the Demonomicon articles. Those demon lords varied in CR from CR 22 to CR 32, but the power level of the game was slightly less, so I could see a CR 32 3.5 Demonomicon demon lord being about the same stat-wise to a CR 30 Pathfinder demon lord. Which means that if folks wanted, they could probably throw Demogorgon or Malcanthet or Zuggtmoy or Fraz-Urb'luu or the rest at their mythic characters with relatively little conversion work.

Which is frankly pretty cool, I think.

Are some of the Demon lords the same ones as listed in the Second Darkness AP (I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't remember the individual book it's in)?

Lords of Chaos is the current go-to source for demon lords. It includes all of the demon lords mentioned in the Second Darkness article, and adds 3 more—these demon lords are the "core demon lords" of Golarion.

All of the demon lords I'll be statting up for Wrath of the Righteous and some other upcoming projects are from the 30 or so core Demon Lords of Golarion.

Lantern Lodge

Will the Empyrals in Chronicles of the Righteous be similarly stated?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Othniel Edden wrote:
Will the Empyrals in Chronicles of the Righteous be similarly stated?

Eventually, yes. Not in Wrath of the Righteous though. They don't have a giant role to play in the AP. That role is the PCs' jobs!

Nor will they be statted in Chronicles of the Righteous.

But yes. Some day.

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