Converting an old character thematically to Golarion (intensive)


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I've been playing a lot of the same characters from 2nd ed. D&D since the late '90s, updating them to each edition, although usually in a world nonspecific way. I even make my favorites on MMORPGs and video games like WoW and Skyrim as closely as I can, even though the RP factor is slight in these cases. Now that Pathfinder is in full swing and I'm involved in organized play and modules, I'd like to adapt them properly to Golarion.

I have a character that I originally rolled as an LE antipaladin of no specific god, who is more L than E in character. Think judge Dredd meets Darth Vader, but with a touch of humanity keeping him from being a true villain. In 4e I adapted him as a grim "unaligned" paladin of the Raven Queen. The nearly obvious choice would be convert to Pharasma, but she doesn't have paladins.

Also, given her strict stance on undead, would she ever curse a fallen follower with undeath under any circumstance? In D&D, deathknights can arise from fallen paladins, but what of Golarion's graveknights? (This is important for some end-game stuff, as I've also used high level NPC versions of some characters in games I've DMed, and I'd like to keep character details consistent if worlds are not).

Hopefully one of you better versed in Golarion and /or Pharasma can point me in the right direction.

So it is mandatory that this character be undead?

Short version - Pharasma does not tolerate undeath under any circumstances. She's a goddess of the cycle - almost but not quite nature-oriented in this aspect. This has limited overlap with Gozreh as god(dess) of nature. Pharasma is also a goddess of fate, and has far more creative ways to punish wayward followers if this were to come up. On the side of major gods of the undead, the only one I can think of is Uragotha, who is very much into the 'chaos' aspect of 'Chaotic Evil.'

In short, in Golarion the concept of the lawful character "blessed" with undeath by one of the major gods is invalid. Your best bet will be looking through the lesser devil lords for something that fits - Book of the Damned Volume 1 is your go-to on this. Unfortunately I don't have it handy.

For race your best bet would to play as a Dhampir. That or find an Undead Template, you would need to talk to your DM about that.

John Kerpan wrote:
So it is mandatory that this character be undead?

Not at all, yet I need to find a Golarion-gods reason for it. His eventual (high level and as an NPC) undeath is a curse that he will seek to reverse- perhaps a curse by an opposing force to separate him from the goddess' good graces? The undeath thing- if it even occurs in this "timeline"- won't be until a much higher level.

In the meantime, since Pharasmites can't be paladins (or can they?), does she have any similarly powered followers? Would a hellknight be inappropriate as an alternative?

Also, if not Pharasma herself, who, if anyone, might curse such a character into a graveknight?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

in PF anti-paladins are CE (not LE) so that route is probably out. Hell Knight could be a strong alternative. you could also look at the playtest for the Advanced Classes Guide... there's a "Bloodrager" class that is sort of a barbarian/sorcerer hybrid- they have no alignment restrictions (so Lawful won't be an issue) and instead of rage powers they get bloodline things they can use/do while raging (including undead or infernal bloodlines). it could be an interesting way to build what you're looking for (or even just a solid option for something to take til you qualify for Hell Knight)

As far as anyone who wound make graveknighs, consider Arazani, once a demigod and herald of the god Aroden (now assumed dead). She was raised as a lich by the wizard-king Geb and is now evil largely opposing Aroden’s replacement Iomedae. She has a retinue of five former Knights of Ozem re-animated by Geb as graveknights.

Here’s a link to a wiki post:

Hmm...bloodrager sounds interesting, but perhaps not for this. I'll definitely look into it, as that bloodline for rage trade may do it after all...

Thanks for the other link...getting some good ideas here...

Having looked into Arazani, the Knights of Ozem, and Iomedae a bit more, would it be feasible to serve as a hellknight, yet revere Iomedae (and/or Pharasma, for that matter)? I can see a "breach of contract" resulting in a curse as a hellknight...

Well from what I can tell from the wiki on hellknights is that the order itself is not evil. The order seems to be LN in that it respects the order and lawfulness of devils. Most hellknights from what it says “the common Hellknight joins out of a sense of duty and a wish to be a part of something greater”. So it doesn’t seem necessary to be cursed to become one.

Here’s the link:

Edit: Having said that I'm pretty sure that the teachings of Iomedae would be incompatible with the philosophy of the hellknights.

So you're looking for a non-evil god that you (now) revere, but that in the past you have wronged seriously enough that they have cursed you with an undead condition, but you're seeking atonement?

I don't think any of the major good gods will work for this. Pharasma won't as she's too opposed to the undead. You might look at the Empyreal lords (I don't have a source though).

Is it possible to, say, start as a knight who reveres Iomedae/Pharasma, maybe join the hellkights for more "action", and get screwed over by an unnamed party there? Maybe an enemy curses him with undeath to separate him from Iomedae/Pharasma? Maybe he unwittingly breaches a coerced contract with Asmodeus during his as a hellknight?

Is this sensible with the world lore?

Have you considered playing an inquisitor instead of a paladin or antipaladin? The do not have any alignment restrictions other than that of their deity. They have a lot more magic ability than a paladin but slightly less martial power. They can go nova a couple of times per day and poor on the damage. They are also allowed to break many of the restrictions of a deities teaching. Being undead may be a little too far for Pharasma, but may work with Iomedea.

Chris Kenney wrote:
On the side of major gods of the undead, the only one I can think of is Uragotha, who is very much into the 'chaos' aspect of 'Chaotic Evil.'

Urgathoa's alignment is neutral evil.

Baron Ulfhamr, the antipaladin says it's chaotic evil only, but that is trivial to houserule away. The only thing chaotic about them is the code of conduct, which you'd probably want to customize to your character anyway. Talk to your DM and ask if they'd be willing to drop this pointless alignment restriction and let you play a LE antipaladin.

For Golarion deities, Urgathoa is an obvious choice, since she's the token deity of undeath and her alignment is one step from LE. Depending on what you are going for, Zon-kuthon might also be a good choice. Punishing a fallen follower with a tortured existence as one of the undead is very in-character for him.

Edit: This archetype for the antipaladin might fit your concept.

From your description, I would say inquisitor into hellknight. Possibly serving one of the Axian powers rather than the more usual Golarian dieties.

There are several hellknight orders described in the ISWG. One of the other books has a lot more detail on them.

Dark Archive

Inquisitor to Hell Knight is not a bad idea.

Warpriest to Hell Knight might be better

Fighter to Hell Knight won't hurt at all though. It is a really good prestige class and you get the coolest and toughest armour in Golarion.

You certainly can worship Iomedae. There is a built-in way to revere many of the lawful gods, by choosing Order of the Godclaw this gives you the hardest to get and possibly best Hell Knight discipline anyway.

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I figure given the character history, as some have noted Hell Knight makes a decent match. Just think of yourself like a 40k Space Marine: Purge the unclean, kill the heretic, blood for the blood god.

wait...forget that last one.

I would go with Zon-Kuothon or Asmodeues. Zon-Kuothon in particular might get all angsty and curse you to undeath (although probably as a shadow). Check out, too

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