Book 5: Discussion on Iomedae [SPOILERS AHOY!]


Wrath of the Righteous

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magnuskn wrote:
And she is asking them a favor, punctuated by occasionally torturing the people she is asking a favor of, just because she feels that they don't say what she wants to hear. "Severe" doesn't cut it, especially since she is the THE goddess of honor and justice.

Since she is the goddess of honor and justice, she can demands top honor and top justice from anyone. Did you watch Devil wears Prada ?

Liberty's Edge

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

So are we still hung up on the point that the designer may or may have wrote Iomedae in a bad way or is this thread about ways a DM can enliven or alter the encounter?

Silver Crusade

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Just to add my two € to this, I found the scene pretty interesting, but to be honest I didn’t really expect my players to actually be on the receiving end of her punishment.

The first couple of sentences, seem to be written in case of pretty unusual player characters, after all while the vast majority of groups will be filled with good player characters (and a lot of paladins) there is a chance, that the group has some evil characters in it. After all an asmodean cleric, an evil low templar, a member of the aspis consortium maybe a necromancer from Geb, all those characters and groups, while evil, have a stake in this world and won’t allow the demons to take it.
I can immagine characters of their kind to insult the goddess and be less than respectful. Calling Iomedae a streetwalker or worse, should result in serious consequences for them.

I really have no problem with this part, the part with the questions is a little bit more problematic.
The fact that Iomedae doesn’t want to send the heroes into their doom, when their hearts aren’t properly steeled makes sense, but yeah testing and antagonizing aren’t the same thing.

The first question includes a skill check, which isn’t ideal but quite doable (although I think a follower of Iomedae should receive a substantial bonus in this roll) and the second part, well that should be not problem for most players. I DO have a problem with the fact, that if one player fails, everyone gets punished. A stern look from the goddess, that just implies something terrible should be enough for the first offense.

Again, I really do not expect my players to invoke her wrath, the paladin of Iomedae in my group would go totally mental.

The second question seems easy too, after all, if I do my job right, the elements of retribution and mercy should have appeared in the campaign already.

The third question is another one that should benefit from some foreshadowing. The PCs should have found plenty of material about the Baphomet, or have the right skills to access that information.

So yeah the scene is not perfect, but it is hardly the worst thing ever. That said I don’t think, that those who complain about it are wrong, after all it is a matter of opinion.


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To summarize:

GMs find more offense at the two pages or so of text about Iomedae punishing players for being creepy and or evil or just forgetful or something else.

Upon hearing about this, I'm much, much more worried about why the editors felt such things were needed and had to be spelled out in such detail. For the first time, we have a module that allows players to interact with a god, to gain some personal insight on the goddess herself that would never be spelled out in non-social encounters... and we get more information about what to do with people and players that clearly won't have lasted this long into the game and a PC group kidnapping then ideas for how to RP the goddess.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I DO have a problem with the fact, that if one player fails, everyone gets punished.

As I read it, this is the opposite of the case. Only one player needs to succeed for the entire group to succeed. Only one PC needs to answer the first question, for the second they need only to not fall all begin bickering, or not all respond immediately in the same way, and the third requires only one PC to show heroic bravery or confidence. Thus it one PC will never be the cause of a failure to answer correctly unless they make a point of bickering with the others.

The Exchange

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Kyonko wrote:

To summarize:

GMs find more offense at the two pages or so of text about Iomedae punishing players for being creepy and or evil or just forgetful or something else.

Other than the "evil" part, we find at offensive that Iomedae would punish any PC, at all, given that the PC didn't chose to come talk with her, is powerless compared to her, and has already proven himself so many times that doubting his integrity is absurd.

Silver Crusade

Scaevola77 wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I DO have a problem with the fact, that if one player fails, everyone gets punished.
As I read it, this is the opposite of the case. Only one player needs to succeed for the entire group to succeed. Only one PC needs to answer the first question, for the second they need only to not fall all begin bickering, or not all respond immediately in the same way, and the third requires only one PC to show heroic bravery or confidence. Thus it one PC will never be the cause of a failure to answer correctly unless they make a point of bickering with the others.
First Question wrote:

If the question is not answered correctly and
at least one PC doesn’t present himself as humble or
confident
, Iomedae frowns and shakes her head. She nods
to the unseen choir, saying “We must wake them up, these
sleeping children. Where are my bold heroes of the Fifth
Crusade?” A moment later, the sound of the choir blasts
out from all directions, causing each PC to shudder and
shake in divinely inspired awe, and dealing 5d6 points of
sonic damage to each PC (Fortitude DC 25 half). Iomedae
does, however, allow the PCs to use healing magic to
recover from this damage before the next question.

Well it's not my first language, so yeah yeah. But the weird thing is that - and correct me if I am wrong - the punishment only becomes an option if the first question is not answered correctly. So as long as the PCs succeed on a their religion check, they can’t fail this?

Second Question wrote:


. As long
as at least one character seems conflicted
about answering
this question, yet in the end answers either yes or no with
conviction, Iomedae is pleased. If the characters fall into a
long, bickering argument (and thus fail to work as a team) or
if they all immediately answer “yes” or “no” without seeming
to think through the repercussions of the answer, they fail.

Yeah this is pretty clear, only 1 PC has to show at least some internal conflict.

Third Question wrote:


As long as at least one
PC seems confident about the quest, presenting an air of
resolve that it’s better to die attempting such a task than to
avoid it out of fear, Iomedae is pleased.

Same situation here, I really can't immagine my players failing these.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes. Question 1 only punishes players if their dice just all go sour. Of course, not everyone is going to take Knowledge (Religion) - fighters, Paladins, and the like who have an Intelligence of 10 or even 8 may be nursing those skill points and be putting it in somewhere useful like Stealth.

So if a Cleric or Bard fails their Knowledge (Religion) check by getting a natural 1, then suddenly the group is screwed. And some groups may not even HAVE ranks in Religion, depending on the builds and the specialization.

(And yes, at 15th level there would very likely be characters with an 8 or 10 intelligence. There are more important stats to be improved, like Wisdom, Constitution, or Dexterity.)

---------

Iomedae gazes at the group in despair. "Not a single one of you knows my past?"

Mythic fighter: "Well, my lady, we've been too busy fighting demons to attend church. I'm quite sorry about that. I know you're proud of what you've done but in the long run, shouldn't we just focus on driving our foes back to the Abyss?"

*a blast of trumpets blast his eardrums and proves him wrong*

Scarab Sages

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Skill checks don't fail on a nat 1, Tangent.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Everything fails on a natural 1.

Scarab Sages

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Skill checks do not, no. Just like rolling a 20 isn't an automatic success on a skill check, neither is rolling a 1 an automatic failure.

Shadow Lodge

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Nope.

PRD wrote:

Skill Checks

When your character uses a skill, he isn't guaranteed success. In order to determine success, whenever you attempt to use a skill, you must make a skill check.

Each skill rank grants a +1 bonus on checks made using that skill. When you make a skill check, you roll 1d20 and then add your ranks and the appropriate ability score modifier to the result of this check. If the skill you're using is a class skill (and you have invested ranks into that skill), you gain a +3 bonus on the check. If you are not trained in the skill (and if the skill may be used untrained), you may still attempt the skill, but you use only the bonus (or penalty) provided by the associated ability score modifier to modify the check. Skills can be further modified by a wide variety of sources—by your race, by a class ability, by equipment, by spell effects or magic items, and so on. See Table: Skill Check Bonuses for a summary of skill check bonuses.

If the result of your skill check is equal to or greater than the difficulty class (or DC) of the task you are attempting to accomplish, you succeed. If it is less than the DC, you fail. Some tasks have varying levels of success and failure depending on how much your check is above or below the required DC. Some skill checks are opposed by the target's skill check. When making an opposed skill check, the attempt is successful if your check result exceeds the result of the target.

No mention of fail on a 1.

PRD wrote:
Automatic Misses and Hits: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss.

Covers attack rolls, not skill checks.

Can't find the section on saving throws because the PRD search is wonky.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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friluftshund wrote:

Personally I'm conscious of the fact that designing games must be difficult, and that no two gaming groups are alike.

My take on this event
** spoiler omitted **...

Sorry, popped into my head:

Is this a dream now
Is this reality?
Caught in a plane shift
No escape from divinity.
Open your eyes
Look up to Iomedae and see...

"I'm just a poor god I need no sympathy
But my hearld's gone, you must go
To the abyss far below
Anywhere my hearld's gone you must find and rescue him for me
for me"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

you forgot to link to the video on youtube, you really need the video to get the full effect of the fact it is Bohemian Rhapsody, f@%+ing awesome job on the lyrics tho:)

Scarab Sages

Specifically, Sean Reynolds on abilty/skill checks.

Digital Products Assistant

Removed some derailing posts and back and forth. Please revisit the messageboard rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. Let's assume you're correct and not everything fails on a 1. We have a 15th level Cleric. He needs a 20 to know what Iomedae wants. The player rolls a 1. They only have an intelligence of 14, and 15 skill ranks in Religion. The result is a 17 as Knowledge is an Intelligence-based skill. (And that Int. of 14 is being generous, btw.)

Let's say they only need a 15. What if a Cleric only put 10 skill ranks in Knowledge: Religion? Assuming the same Cleric with an Int of 14, then the Cleric rolled a modified 13 and fails that Skill Check.

It is entirely possible for a player to, because of bad die rolls, flub this. It is not "ensured" that others will have knowledge in this. Thus a bad die roll can result in the characters being damaged and lose out on a boon. Oh, and let's say they decide to burn a point of Mythic to try and boost their chance... and roll another 1. Still failed.

The entire point of requiring skill rolls and the like is the chance of failure. But in this case, bad luck can result in players losing out on some equipment that would make their job easier. And at the same time the players are harmed because a simple die roll went bad on them, when they are talking with someone who is nominally their ally. All because she disapproves.

I honestly can see even a worshiper of Iomedae getting upset at this point and calling her on her action, and in doing so being hit with another disapproving strike for their actions. And in doing so, Iomedae is not being honorable, but petty. You don't summon people to your presence and then go about harming them because they aren't 100% to your approval. Especially if you're requesting their aid. It's not an honorable course of action.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Correct. Skill checks do NOT automatically fail on a 1, with ONE exception. Use Magic Device fails on a 1. That's specifically called out in the text for Use Magic Device, because it's an exception to the rule. If it weren't an exception, we wouldn't have to call that out specifically for Use Magic Device under the "Try Again" section of the skill.

Put another way, you can ALWAYS opt to "take a 1" on a skill check (other than with Use Magic Device). It's not an official part of the rules, but since you can still succeed on a 1 it might as well be.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. Let's assume you're correct and not everything fails on a 1. We have a 15th level Cleric. He needs a 20 to know what Iomedae wants. The player rolls a 1. They only have an intelligence of 14, and 15 skill ranks in Religion. The result is a 17 as Knowledge is an Intelligence-based skill. (And that Int. of 14 is being generous, btw.)

Let's say they only need a 15. What if a Cleric only put 10 skill ranks in Knowledge: Religion? Assuming the same Cleric with an Int of 14, then the Cleric rolled a modified 13 and fails that Skill Check.

It is entirely possible for a player to, because of bad die rolls, flub this. It is not "ensured" that others will have knowledge in this. Thus a bad die roll can result in the characters being damaged and lose out on a boon. Oh, and let's say they decide to burn a point of Mythic to try and boost their chance... and roll another 1. Still failed.

The entire point of requiring skill rolls and the like is the chance of failure. But in this case, bad luck can result in players losing out on some equipment that would make their job easier. And at the same time the players are harmed because a simple die roll went bad on them, when they are talking with someone who is nominally their ally. All because she disapproves.

I honestly can see even a worshiper of Iomedae getting upset at this point and calling her on her action, and in doing so being hit with another disapproving strike for their actions. And in doing so, Iomedae is not being honorable, but petty. You don't summon people to your presence and then go about harming them because they aren't 100% to your approval. Especially if you're requesting their aid. It's not an honorable course of action.

Correction here. Assume a 15th level Cleric of Iomedae getting the DC lowered to 20, which is reasonable. They have 15 ranks in Knowledge(Religion), which is reasonable as the campaign has been sprinkled with many instances where Knowledge (Religion) would be helpful. With an Int of 10, the Cleric has a +18 (15 ranks + class skill bonus) to hit the DC. He needs to roll a 1 to fail. If they have even 12 Int, they can't fail.

A different party has a lvl 15 vanilla bard, with 1 rank in Knowledge (Religion), thus their Knowledge (Religion) would be +11 (1 + 3 class skill bonus + 7 bardic knowledge). They use their Lore Master ability to take a 20 (they are in front of a goddess, why wouldn't they do this?) and get a 31. Certain party compositions will make this absolutely trivial. Others can make it more difficult.

Both of these also assume a character with 0 Mythic tiers whatsoever. Not a single mythic ability. If I am trying to make a knowledge check to answer a goddess, I am definitely using an extra 1d10 from Mythic Surge. If I roll a Nat 1 on my skill check, I am using Force of Will to get a re-roll immediately. All of a sudden, that first cleric can't fail. hitting a DC 25 when you get to roll 2, take the highest and add 1d10 plus some skill modifiers? Not too tough. 7 Mythic ranks give you so much extra padding that not making this check would require active neglect of Knowledge (Religion), which would be ridiculous to do considering the campaign so far. And all this is also assuming they do absolutely nothing to augment their abilities besides putting in a couple of skill ranks.

If a worshipper of Iomedae gets upset and calls her out . . . then I would question if they were ever a true worshipper of Iomedae. Iomedae set a test with a potential reward and a potential punishment. They failed the test. The lawful and honorable thing to do is accept the punishment. Rebelling against/complaining about the test is not the action a true worshipper of Iomedae would do. They would honor the terms of the test. A test given a being they revere. Does the PC truly believe they are a better judge of fairness than Iomedae? Are they so arrogant that they think they know better than their goddess?

Also, I find it weird that so many people are saying "Iomedae is requesting their aid", and even spinning it to seem like Iomedae should be grateful the PCs are even listening to her request. Yes, Iomedae is desperate and is asking the PCs for help, but this is not a "oh please will you help me?" from a position of weakness. This is a draft notice. This is a "you have been chosen to fight for the forces of good". Regardless of how you feel about the punishment aspect, let's remember that Iomedae is a goddess. No matter what, the PCs are not negotiating from a position of power. They have been selected as her agents, and she can't directly intervene, but she can find someone else if she really needs to. She could probably call up Irabeth and Galfrey and instantly give them 10 Mythic Tiers if she really wanted to. Just because the PCs are the best option, doesn't mean they are the only option.

Iomedae needs the PCs help because she can't intervene, but they need her more than she needs them. From the deity level, losing her Herald sucks and sways the balance of good and evil, but probably not much on the cosmic level. It is probably something she would be able to deal with eventually, after all Aroden dealt with the loss of a Herald as well. In the PCs' world, having the Herald as Baphomet's pawn has dire and immediate consequences. One of the Demon Lords trying to expand the Worldwound has just taken one of the strongest opposing forces and twisted it to his side. This is potentially devastating to the crusade. This could result in the expansion of the Worldwound and the destruction of nations. The draft notice is more for the PCs' sake than for her sake. The PCs reaction to this summons should be "Oh snap! This needs to be stopped or we are in trouble! What should we do?" not "Well, Iomedae, if you treat us right we might be willing to help you out here."


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Lord Snow wrote:

Other than the "evil" part, we find at offensive that Iomedae would punish any PC, at all, given that the PC didn't chose to come talk with her, is powerless compared to her, and has already proven himself so many times that doubting his integrity is absurd.

This. Lots of This.

We are entering into Book 5. The PC's have been working with Galfrey, Irabeth and other LG folks, whiile advancing the interests and fighting for the 5th Crusade for a while now - so, the Goddess decides NOW is a good time to see if they are committed to the cause? Really? I like to play my divine entities are just a wee bit smarter and wiser than that. Ok, a whole lot smarter and wiser than that. The PC's have the courage to brave the Midnight Isles and negotiate the challenges there (not to mention all the challenges of all the prior books), tell me, oh Goddess, what is better proof of the PC convictions? Their actions to date, or how they answer three questions in the "safety" of your heavenly cathedral? The answer, to any reasonable mortal, seems self evident.

As for the PC's needing Iomedae more than she needs them (post from above), I'd respectfully disagree. The encounter is a test, and one the PC's can fail. Failure would mean - no extra trinkets. Those artifacts will make the adventure path easier, but lacking them does NOT doom the endeavour to failure. The PC's can negotiate the challenges of Book 5 without them. Which means - the PC's don't need her and didn't need this encounter. She needs the PC's. She can help them. She chooses to apply some beat downs if displeased and withhold items that can help ensure success - it's illogical in the extreme, petulant and petty. She'd put the welfare of millions of mortal beings on Golarion in peril by withholding helpful items to heroes already doing their best to battle the Worldwound, just because the heroes fail to answer her loaded questions to her liking. Wow, just wow. Lawful Stupid at it's finest, folks.

There are some pretty excellent rewrites in this thread that can make this encounter go much better, and make Iomedae much more sympathetic to people. This is a rare miss in what is otherwise an excellent AP. The rest of Book 5 is great - but I really dislike the tone it starts with as written.

Scarab Sages

Tangent, I went off on a tangent about correcting the natural one on skill checks. I wasn't even specifically referencing anything with regards to this actual thread at that point.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
One of the reasons we haven't actually spelled out in print what those "deity non-interference rules" are is so that we don't have to explain that; we can simply make the gods do the things we want them to do or NOT do in order to tell the story that lets the player characters be the heroes.

I think that's understandable, and I don't totally fault that line of thinking on the surface, but in a shared universe with many authors I also think not having any type of rules the deities decide to operate under codified being a slippery road to go down. Sooner or later there is going to be things that blatantly contradict each other, and then people are left with the "the gods work in mysterious ways" reasoning for every plot hole that comes up involving the gods which is pretty unsatisfying (and to blunt kind of a cop out). Or maybe even worse a tangled web of things comes about to explain and justify some things and not others and it makes it worse.

Plus each time something like this happens it creates one data point in the canon that has to be considered each time a future product happens or even in the games we play. Does this mean somebody like Asmodeus could transport people that might not even worship him to his presence and hurt them when he feels like it or finds them unworthy?


Drock11 wrote:


Plus each time something like this happens it creates one data point in the canon that has to be considered each time a future product happens or even in the games we play. Does this mean somebody like Asmodeus could transport people that might not even worship him to his presence and hurt them when he feels like it or finds them unworthy?

Yikes. Good point. Now lets pick some gods that are really interested in creating some chaos and destruction, now that deific non-interference has gone out the window, and see what happens.

Let see what Book 6 brings - perhaps there will be some dire consequences for Iomedae for breaking the "Generally Accepted Practices for Gods." (though I doubt it). Maybe she will have to sacrifice herself to help close the Worldwound, thus paying the price for her interference. And whomever is her current Herald is gets a promotion.

Because we really don't want the gods snagging adventurers off the Prime whenever they want for whatever purposes, doesn't matter what the alignment or reason. Bad, bad precedent.

Hmnnn...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Drock11 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
One of the reasons we haven't actually spelled out in print what those "deity non-interference rules" are is so that we don't have to explain that; we can simply make the gods do the things we want them to do or NOT do in order to tell the story that lets the player characters be the heroes.

I think that's understandable, and I don't totally fault that line of thinking on the surface, but in a shared universe with many authors I also think not having any type of rules the deities decide to operate under codified being a slippery road to go down. Sooner or later there is going to be things that blatantly contradict each other, and then people are left with the "the gods work in mysterious ways" reasoning for every plot hole that comes up involving the gods which is pretty unsatisfying (and to blunt kind of a cop out). Or maybe even worse a tangled web of things comes about to explain and justify some things and not others and it makes it worse.

Plus each time something like this happens it creates one data point in the canon that has to be considered each time a future product happens or even in the games we play. Does this mean somebody like Asmodeus could transport people that might not even worship him to his presence and hurt them when he feels like it or finds them unworthy?

Welcome to the complexities of my job.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Drock11 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
One of the reasons we haven't actually spelled out in print what those "deity non-interference rules" are is so that we don't have to explain that; we can simply make the gods do the things we want them to do or NOT do in order to tell the story that lets the player characters be the heroes.

I think that's understandable, and I don't totally fault that line of thinking on the surface, but in a shared universe with many authors I also think not having any type of rules the deities decide to operate under codified being a slippery road to go down. Sooner or later there is going to be things that blatantly contradict each other, and then people are left with the "the gods work in mysterious ways" reasoning for every plot hole that comes up involving the gods which is pretty unsatisfying (and to blunt kind of a cop out). Or maybe even worse a tangled web of things comes about to explain and justify some things and not others and it makes it worse.

Plus each time something like this happens it creates one data point in the canon that has to be considered each time a future product happens or even in the games we play. Does this mean somebody like Asmodeus could transport people that might not even worship him to his presence and hurt them when he feels like it or finds them unworthy?

Welcome to the complexities of my job.

Haha, at least at this point the PCs have spent 3.5 books acting under the unseen guidance of Iomedae(Hello Gray Garrison!), so she's at least got some sort of 'they're not my followers, but they are working more or less directly for me' going on.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dracovar wrote:
Stuff regarding Iomedae needing no better proof and her testing the PCs

So, yes, the PCs actions up to now should be pretty good indicators that they are up to the task. However, Iomedae still wants to assess the personally. While she no doubt has been following them, I don't think she has spent the entire AP sitting on the couch watching then on her big screen TV. As far as I know, gods in Golarian are not omniscient. So . . . assuming she has been watching at all, why the tests?

Well, from a narrative perspective, they provide a reason for the PCs to meet her. If it was just a matter of "you guys are good to go, have some stuff", then she would just appear to them in a dream, and have the stuff appear in their backpacks. There is no reason for her to meet them in person, especially when she has never done it before, not even for Galfrey, who for some parties will be more worthy of becoming Iomedae's herald than any of the PCs. Also, the "god questioning the hero" is actually a decently well know trope. In mythology, the gods appeared and tested heroes quite often. Failing often mean horrible things, passing meant great boons. Often, the mortals aren't even aware they are being tested by the gods. In Greek Myth there are a lot of examples of this.

But let's just throw that out the window for now. Let's ask the question, why does Iomedae want to give some personal assessment time for the PCs before giving them their goodies and sending them along their way? Well, first of all, Iomedae never struck me as a "free stuff for you!"-type of deity. I think she wants the PCs to earn the goodies, even if the test she gives are not difficult. Also, I think she wants to confirm that what she has seen is actually accurate and that the PCs are truly ready for this new trial that dwarfs all previous ones. So . . . let us look at the questions, and what they could tell her about the PCs.

Test 1: A simple question regarding history, and an evaluation of humility. As I explained previously, the history lesson should be trivial to any group that has done anything to keep their knowledge half decent. This likely is just a test to see if the PCs know about her, and thus can adequately understand where she is coming from. The second part is probably more important. The PCs are amazingly powerful, and they almost assuredly know it. Do they recognize that power, but also appreciate it. Can they see they are mighty without letting it go to their heads. They are about to invade the realm of a hostile demon lord. If they are too confident in their abilities, they may misstep and fail. This is harder to recognize by observing from afar, and the PCs may never have had a situation where this could have been seen anyway. They have been elevated to great heights, but how often have they not been the most powerful people in the room and not been trying to kill the other person in the room? The meeting with Nocticula may be the only time since book 2. Their actions are being celebrated all the time, so it may be hard to observe their humility. Regardless, as long as 1 PC has decent knowledge, and 1 PC is playing the way the campaign seems to want them to play, success. Overall, an easy test.

Test 2: A moral quandary on whether to show mercy or not. Now, this question only requires that the PCs show uncertainty, and are able to civilly discuss the matter. Obviously, if the party is a group of Sarenrae worshippers, Iomedae must be smart enough to account for their answer of unanimous "Yes", and it is the GM's responsibility to adapt to that appropriately. I think she is evaluating here is are the PCs able to see the grey area regarding redemption. This takes on a whole new meaning when you consider that she probably knows that Baphomet has corrupted her Herald. Will the PCs endeavor to redeem her Herald? She no doubt wants this. However, if the PCs are too focused on that, they could end up dying and failing, and she would rather they kill her Herald than die attempting to redeem him. I think the other takeaway is are the PCs capable of thinking through tough decisions and evaluating things on a case-by-case basis. Again, this is something that for most parties playing Wrath of the Righteous will be ridiculously easy. All they have to do is have 1 PC playing a character that fits well. However, this is also something that they may not have encountered in fullness yet. Arueshalae is the only character where they are pretty much guaranteed to attempt to redeem, and that decision is easy because Desna has already given the green light. It is entirely possible that the PCs have never had to answer the question "is this evil person redeemable?" before, much less have encountered it multiple times and arrived at different answers.

Test 3: A test of "are you up to this?" Once again, trivial provided 1 PC is actually playing a heroic character. However, while the PCs have done some impressive stuff already, nothing comes even close to what she is asking of them. She is asking them to invade the realm of a hostile demon lord who actively wants them dead, may have turned her Herald against them, and knows they are coming. Yes, the PCs have been to the Midnight Isles, but there they were guests of a demon lord who was a potential ally. There is a significant difference between those two. Here, Iomedae wants to know that they are determine and are up for the challenge. She is looking for willingness and bravery, because if the PCs go in uncertain and scared, they will quite likely fail. Again, if you have even 1 heroic PC, this should be easy, but it is necessary because it is entirely possible that the PCs would be daunted and not want to take on this challenge.

As for the punishment. The first is kind of a rap on the wrists. If the PCs are being punished for not having humility, this is kind of a "yes, you are powerful, but keep that in perspective". The second one is harder to justify. I see it as either a lesson that not everything has a straightforward answer (in the case of "Yes"/"No" response, as they gave a simple answer), or a "listen up and stop bickering" blast. For the third, I think it is sort of a test in itself. If the PCs go in with no plan and no will to accomplish the taste, their hesitation and uncertainty will cause them great harm. The 20d6 is kind of a way to "test" if they can survive the repercussions their uncertainty could have in Baphomet's realm.

If you have a party that thematically fits the AP, these tests should be really easy, and perhaps even completely unnecessary because the PCs have already demonstrated that they are worthy. In which case this entire encounter becomes a "I want to do a final check before I send you on your way, good luck heroes!"-type encounter. That is great, and my guess is the PCs will still find it a fun roleplaying encounter.


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this seems personally fine to me.

it's funny how most people don't realize that Zeus was the Greek God of justice, and was a lot of times a jerk and incredibley unfair at times,

the same can be said of Odin.

Athena the Godess of wisdom for godness sake, was a sore loser and killed someone.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ikarinokami wrote:
it's funny how most people don't realize that Zeus was the Greek God of justice, and was a lot of times a jerk and incredibley unfair at times,

Adjusting for Zeus:

Tell me this vague thing that you could never know. DC 80 Knowledge (History) check.

Success: Your destiny is to go on a quest, kill some monsters, and eventually end up with a kingdom. Your queen may or may not attempt to kill you.

Failure: I'm gonna throw some lightning at you, permanently blind you, then go impregnate all your living female relatives.


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I also wanted to add that iomedae is acting well within her personality.
She reminds me of mike singletery, who was a great player and a terrible coach because he expected and assumed that all his players would have the same attitude as he did.

I also think calling it torture is silly, within the context of the situation it's no different than a coach making a player do laps.

Why would she be any less inflexible as a deity than as a human. She became a god by being who she was, why would she change.

I think people are excepting her to behave like sarenrae . She was human paladin who " reedeemed" a soul by convicing an unread knight not to atone, but kill himself and face judgement. She was an inflexible person who became an inflexible God. Michael Singletary was an inflexible player who became an inflexible coach.


ikarinokami wrote:
I also think calling it torture is silly, within the context of the situation it's no different than a coach making a player do laps.

Actually, it's more like a coach making the two or three best players on his team do extra, punishing work as if they were the two or three worst, and then berating them for it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alleran wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
I also think calling it torture is silly, within the context of the situation it's no different than a coach making a player do laps.
Actually, it's more like a coach making the two or three best players on his team do extra, punishing work as if they were the two or three worst, and then berating them for it.

To take this analogy a bit further... said coach would only punish those best players as if they were the worst if they screwed up. If the best players continued to play their best, then they won't be punished. In fact, they might not even ever know that punishment was even a possibility.


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Alleran wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
I also think calling it torture is silly, within the context of the situation it's no different than a coach making a player do laps.
Actually, it's more like a coach making the two or three best players on his team do extra, punishing work as if they were the two or three worst, and then berating them for it.

but in that example, he is just pushing them to be better, realize their own potential or any other number of work hard give 110% cliches.

and yes it is silly calling it kidnapping and torture


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James Jacobs wrote:
Alleran wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
I also think calling it torture is silly, within the context of the situation it's no different than a coach making a player do laps.
Actually, it's more like a coach making the two or three best players on his team do extra, punishing work as if they were the two or three worst, and then berating them for it.
To take this analogy a bit further... said coach would only punish those best players as if they were the worst if they screwed up. If the best players continued to play their best, then they won't be punished. In fact, they might not even ever know that punishment was even a possibility.

If one of those players follows Sarenrae, for example (among other possibilities, but she's a stand-out), then it's odds-on that they'll get punished for perhaps nothing more than remaining true to their beliefs. Beliefs that are not necessarily wrong, either, unless Iomedae gets to be the universal arbiter of which way is right (Sarenrae might want to have a few words with her about that redemption thing...). After they've been stolen away from the war effort, to boot (and yes, that is how I would term it - an easy fix is of course to have her send somebody to request/require their presence).

Iomedae acts like what I'd expect from Ragathiel or perhaps Damerrich. Which also worries me as far as how those two would act in a similar situation, using Iomedae as a baseline. At the level the PCs are sitting at (and mythic tier), then I could see some parties deciding that the empyreal stable needs a house-cleaning (of course, Iomedae is a goddess, so in that she can just lord it over them and they really can't do anything other than refuse... which some just might). They get friendlier treatment from Nocticula, who is not only a CE demon lord, but has little to nothing invested in the Worldwound and frankly need the PCs a whole lot less than Iomedae does.

(I can't help but contrast the paladin elements of Order of the Stick; Iomedae is Miko when she should be O-Chul.)


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Alleran wrote:
(I can't help but contrast the paladin elements of Order of the Stick; Iomedae is Miko when she should be O-Chul.)

This. So much.

Liberty's Edge

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Alleran, I am just not seeing that. Comparing Iomedae to Miko is ludicrous. One she was literally crazy going so far to kill Lord Shojo. Iomedae waking up some lazy heroes is not even in the same realm.

I re-read the section again and there is no kidnapping. Once the PCs are ready to move on, Iomedae brings them to her realm in Heaven. Any honorable Paladin would immediately be struck with awe by the great honor being bestowed upon the group by being summoned to her home. She then acknowledges them, giving a perception of focusing on the individual before she welcomes them and lets them know that they're about to have their worth tested to see if they have the mettle to stand up in the Abyss. Because while the previous achievements of surviving Kenabres, retaking Drezen, killing the worm and adventuring in the abyssal version of Sigil are incredible feats they are in no way in my mind godlike mythical feats that would allow a hero to ascend to demigod hood or Herald Hood at the least, which this the quest she is testing them for is the likely outcome.

Again I just don't see her wrist slap as anything more than a Commander being disappointed for you not paying attention during a briefing or in case of an evil character, an elbow from the good guy for not showing proper respect.

As for the angst or disappointment over how she is generically presented, it's your charge as the DM to enliven the module with as much of your own creativity as you wish, and then add your personality to interpret the cold lines of print and make them come alive.


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Alleran wrote:
If one of those players follows Sarenrae, for example (among other possibilities, but she's a stand-out), then it's odds-on that they'll get punished for perhaps nothing more than remaining true to their beliefs.

According to the text, this would only happen if ALL players are followers of Sarenrae and/or have the same conviction for ANY player to be punished. Only ONE PC needs to seem conflicted about the answer to this question. So unless ALL players follow Sarenrae and/or similar gods/goddesses, it is unlikely this will happen.

Furthermore, if you, as a DM, have Iomedae punish a group of known worshipers of Sarenrae (or a similar god) for adhering to their beliefs, that is your own failure as a DM, not Paizo misrepresenting Iomedae. Iomedae certainly doesn't agree with Sarenrae with regards to redemption, but I see nothing that indicates she is dumb enough to intentionally punish a paladin/cleric of another good god purely for holding true to their ideals. If anything that is something Iomedae would probably respect, as she was a human of strong convictions.

Having caveats for how Iomedae should factor in every potential PC's favored deity is not something you can expect Paizo to do. It would take up way to much space, and I prefer having more AP content over getting a few pages on how each question might change based on what deities my party worships. I can adjust for that just fine on my own. It is the DM's job to take the framework given in the AP, and make adjustments to suit their party. In my mind, this is clearly a situation where the DM should be expected to make the adjustments.

Stating "Iomedae will smite people for merely staying true to their goddess" is, in my mind, actually claiming "I am unwilling to make a small logical change in order to make it work for my group, and blame Paizo for not including instruction for specific group compositions", and is not really an indictment on Paizo's representation of the goddess, but your unwillingness to deviate from the AP exactly as written.


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captain yesterday wrote:
the thing Alleran is, IF it was Sarenrae, i'm pretty sure the Paizo folks would've written it differently

I have no idea what you're saying. I'm not talking about replacing Iomedae with Sarenrae in the scene. I said if one of the people she god-naps for a chat worships Sarenrae and replies according to their beliefs, that person may well end up punished for not believing the same thing as a god that they don't follow in the first place.

Scaevola77 wrote:
So unless ALL players follow Sarenrae and/or similar gods/goddesses, it is unlikely this will happen.

Or, you know, they've been redeeming villains that they encounter throughout the AP. This isn't the first or second adventure - by now, they'll have repeatedly associated with both good and evil individuals and likely redeemed at least a couple of them (redemption being one of the big themes, unless the players are deliberately choosing not to), will have befriended (possibly one has entered into a relationship with) a redeemed succubus demon (!), and have had more than enough time to firmly arrive at a conclusion on the subject by the fifth installment.

They don't need to follow Sarenrae (it'd help, mind you, for obvious reasons). She's just a big redemption goddess and gets called out in the text of the scene.

Quote:
Furthermore, if you, as a DM, have Iomedae punish a group of known worshipers of Sarenrae (or a similar god) for adhering to their beliefs, that is your own failure as a DM, not Paizo misrepresenting Iomedae.

Don't throw it into the "well, if you don't like it then change it" pile or "you're just a bad DM for not changing it" (or similar). The ability to change something is not at question, because it's always a given and is just dodging the issue. That so much should be changed in the opinion of at least several people, possibly more (I haven't done a head count), is indicative that a not-completely-insignificant section of the player/GM-base have problems with the presentation of the scene.


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D'oh! i mis-read it, consider my remark retracted:)


All this discussion has me wondering what the other nineteen core deities would do if you talked back to them.


Axial wrote:
All this discussion has me wondering what the other nineteen core deities would do if you talked back to them.

Well, Calistria would plot revenge, Sarenrae would forgive you and Cayden would probably laugh and buy you a beer while Thais shakes her head in exasperation, but you'd have to be mad to talk back to somebody like Lamash- oh, right. Goddess of madness.

Clever girl.


Alleran wrote:
Axial wrote:
All this discussion has me wondering what the other nineteen core deities would do if you talked back to them.

Well, Calistria would plot revenge, Sarenrae would forgive you and Cayden would probably laugh and buy you a beer while Thais shakes her head in exasperation, but you'd have to be mad to talk back to somebody like Lamash- oh, right. Goddess of madness.

Clever girl.

Abadar would have you arrested and sentenced to community service, Shelyn would probably cry, Desna would dazzle you with pretty lights, Asmodeus would straight-up incinerate you and Zon-Kuthon would weave sentient spiked chains through your anatomy while shouting, "NOW YOU WILL DISCOVER THE TRUE ECSTASY OF PAIN!" or something like that.


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And none of them are the gods of JUSTICE AND HONOR.

The Exchange

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Anorak wrote:


1)Alleran, I am just not seeing that. Comparing Iomedae to Miko is ludicrous. One she was literally crazy going so far to kill Lord Shojo. Iomedae waking up some lazy heroes is not even in the same realm.

2)I re-read the section again and there is no kidnapping. Once the PCs are ready to move on, Iomedae brings them to her realm in Heaven. Any honorable Paladin would immediately be struck with awe by the great honor being bestowed upon the group by being summoned to her home. She then acknowledges them, giving a perception of focusing on the individual before she welcomes them and lets them know that they're about to have their worth tested to see if they have the mettle to stand up in the Abyss. Because while the previous achievements of surviving Kenabres, retaking Drezen, killing the worm and adventuring in the abyssal version of Sigil are incredible feats they are in no way in my mind godlike mythical feats that would allow a hero to ascend to demigod hood or Herald Hood at the least, which this the quest she is testing them for is the likely outcome.

3)Again I just don't see her wrist slap as anything more than a Commander being disappointed for you not paying attention during a briefing or in case of an evil character, an elbow from the good guy for not showing proper respect.

4)As for the angst or disappointment over how she is generically presented, it's your charge as the DM to enliven the module with as much of your own creativity as you wish, and then add your personality to interpret the cold lines of print and make them come alive.

1) The comparison is of their temper, not of their actions. Miko (and Iomedae as portrayed here) has the right intentions, but her haste to use violence even against those who are obviously allies is staggering.

2) What Iomedae did should indeed honor the PCs. It only becomes kidnapping when you suddenly realize that there's an actual, tangible danger to the characters - maybe not danger of permanent death, but you know what? I'm sure you wouldn't want to be killed by a god and resurrected, especially given that you had no way to back out of the situation. It's a matter of principle - even though the PCs would almost certainly be ready and willing to meet Iomedae and go rescue her Herald, the fact that not only do they not have a choice, but also that Iomedae is willing to blast them with 20d6 sonic damage if she feels she needs to, mean that what she does is remarkebly similar to a kidnapping.
Put in another way - if a couple of burly guy snatched you from your home and and brought you to the white house to have lunch with Barack Obama, where he will discuss appointing you as The King of Awesome in the US... you were still kidnapped. Moreover so if you later found out that had you misbehaved during lunch, a sniper would have shout non lethal plastic rounds at your head. Very painful, though of course you would have still lived through it. Oh, and if you disappointed Obama and got shot multiple times? he would still smile by the end of the conversation and say, "mah, you are the best I have anyway. You are still hired".

3) But it's NOT a "slap on the wrist". Numbers have a meaning in this game. 20d6 is like 20 stabs from a short sword. It HURTS. It's actual, literal, physical torture. It's much, much worse than having an evil cleric cast his "inflict serious wounds" on you. And the worst thing is that the PCs are completely helpless to stop that or escape from that.

4) The disappointment is not about how the scene would play out - of course as a GM I can control how I present things to my players. But, as an avid fan of the setting, it's disappointing to me *outside of the game* that this is how a good deity behaves. Because the only "canon" we have for the setting is what's published by Paizo, and a huge part of the fun for me in playing on Golarion is interacting with this canon. And so when the canon veers so widely away from my comfort zone (and in an aspect of the world that I feel is really important), that's disappointing.


Scaevola77 wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
it's funny how most people don't realize that Zeus was the Greek God of justice, and was a lot of times a jerk and incredibley unfair at times,

Adjusting for Zeus:

Tell me this vague thing that you could never know. DC 80 Knowledge (History) check.

Success: Your destiny is to go on a quest, kill some monsters, and eventually end up with a kingdom. Your queen may or may not attempt to kill you.

Failure: I'm gonna throw some lightning at you, permanently blind you, then go impregnate all your living female relatives.

Problem is that Zeus was not the god of "justice", but god of "what justice his", that in his case meant "unchallanged power".

However, all greek gods are jerks when relating with human beings. That's because greek wanted in their gods an "eternal representation" of the best of humanity, that is "controlled conflict".

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