Book 5: Discussion on Iomedae [SPOILERS AHOY!]


Wrath of the Righteous

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The Exchange

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ikarinokami wrote:

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.

When somebody's best line of defense is "not as horrible as Zeus", you might as well give up trying to defend them. Zeus was more than "a jerk and incredibly unfair". He was a rapist, a murderer, a pompous drunkard and wrathful. It's pretty clear from reading greek mythology that Zeus does not deserve his title, and sort of got it on the merit of, "who the hack is gonna argue with me about it" sort of mentality that happened to work because he's the strongest being in the universe.

I was really hoping that Golarion's gods are not at all like the Greek gods. Just like Golarion has much more tolerance for homosexuality than medieval Earth does, I was hoping that the good gods could be considered good in modern values, as well. The game IS played by players who live in our current modern world, after all, and after reading this section on Iomedae I can't ever imagine playing a cleric that worships her.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
And none of them are the gods of JUSTICE AND HONOR.

Exactly. Iomedae is a God of Justice and Honor. And what if she kills a couple party members with her tantrum? I could very well see them refuse to be resurrected because a God of Justice and Honor killed them because they didn't answer according to her demands.

Or are you saying a God can force resurrection on an unwilling soul?

So now Iomedae has screwed over the entire situation. If two party members refused to come back because they will not assist a Goddess of Justice who is not Just, then suddenly you just lost two Mythic Heroes. As well as the Herald. Is she going to send the remaining two on what's now a suicide mission?

Yes, she will. Because obviously she's not good and lawful, but instead has been driven insane enough to attack her allies because they didn't answer the way she wanted them to.

And now that the Mythic Heroes are all dead, two by her hand and two by a suicide mission into the Abyss, there is no one to stop the real villain and Golarion falls into the Abyss. Great job breaking it, Goddess.


@If being the keyword. I think if the two dead party members in question realized the sheer magnitude of their refusal then they would assist no questions asked. Their respect for Iomedae may have been evaporated by this encounter but that doesn't stop the fact that their homeland is in grave danger so as heroes they should begrudgingly fulfill the task.

Personally I'll tinker with this encounter when my group recovers from retaking Drezen. I highly doubt Iomedae will torture her own son and two granddaughters for failing to think like her.(if anything she may be disturbed by how her granddaughters represent extreme elements of herself)

Along with the fact that sending out your remaining family members to what amounts to a suicide mission will heavily weigh on you. Even if there's a "Well you tried." yank me out escape clause from the Ivory labyrinth.

On that note. Thank you forumites for giving me the plethora of ideas to customize this encounter for me.


Hello Paizo Community!
I must say, i found strange that all people here are bugged about the "20d6" story and so few are debating about the "instant, no safe, abduction" that child goddess Iomedae is able to pull off.

Just think about the ripercussion of this! Can other gods do that?
What if some not so kind fellow like Urgotha, Lamashtu or Asmodeus start calling people like this, punishing them (but not killing them) or giving them free stuff?

And, more important, since they can send back the people they abduct, what about the destination? Why Lamashtu does not abduct every high level paladin in Golarion and simply teleport them in a random spot of the material plane or on a desert planet? If she need a divine motivation, it's so simple! Just send against your 20 level paladin nemesis one of your lesser progeny (half fiend mythic goblin commoner 1?) and then cry "He/she killed my baby! I want revenge. I want he/she gone!" And puff: The paladin is either in front of her, or in the middle of Akiton desert! Isn't this the same principle of "I need someone to free my favoured servant" ?

Joke aside, my complain is simple: why the need of the abduction? Just send down someone to say "Hail, great heroes of the crusade. The Rightful queen of heaven wishes to speak with you. Touch me, and I'll trasport you in her divine presence ... please, be polite and clean yourself". Lochar had a good idea to solve this!


Honestly, I don't have an issue with the goddess whisking the players away as such. I think what makes it bad is the choir blasting she does. If she didn't do that, then it can still be said that a god (whether good or evil) can simply summon a person of importance to them to talk, not harm them.

Perhaps a vision would have been better? I think the "Hail great heroes" is kinda corny.

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Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:

Hello Paizo Community!

I must say, i found strange that all people here are bugged about the "20d6" story and so few are debating about the "instant, no safe, abduction" that child goddess Iomedae is able to pull off.

Just think about the ripercussion of this! Can other gods do that?
What if some not so kind fellow like Urgotha, Lamashtu or Asmodeus start calling people like this, punishing them (but not killing them) or giving them free stuff?

And, more important, since they can send back the people they abduct, what about the destination? Why Lamashtu does not abduct every high level paladin in Golarion and simply teleport them in a random spot of the material plane or on a desert planet? If she need a divine motivation, it's so simple! Just send against your 20 level paladin nemesis one of your lesser progeny (half fiend mythic goblin commoner 1?) and then cry "He/she killed my baby! I want revenge. I want he/she gone!" And puff: The paladin is either in front of her, or in the middle of Akiton desert! Isn't this the same principle of "I need someone to free my favoured servant" ?

Joke aside, my complain is simple: why the need of the abduction? Just send down someone to say "Hail, great heroes of the crusade. The Rightful queen of heaven wishes to speak with you. Touch me, and I'll trasport you in her divine presence ... please, be polite and clean yourself". Lochar had a good idea to solve this!

Because other gods with a vested interest in the people Lamashtu is attempting to divinely murder would intervene, or do the same to some of HER servants. The result would be a rapid depopulation of viable servants, the exact same situation, and détente as the gods murdered each others servants before they became useful.

So they don't do it, and leave it up to the abilities of mortals to decide.

==Aelryinth


Axial wrote:
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.

Eristal would lecture you, Torag would send you to the mines and Gorum would challenge you to a fight.


Aelryinth wrote:


Because other gods with a vested interest in the people Lamashtu is attempting to divinely murder would intervene, or do the same to some of HER servants. The result would be a rapid depopulation of viable servants, the exact same situation, and détente as the gods murdered each others servants before they became useful.

So they don't do it, and leave it up to the abilities of mortals to decide.

==Aelryinth

That is true, but at the same time it lacks something. Some important prisoners could be enough to keep an entire pantheon in check.

Like in old 3.5 Dispater had Heironeous daughter imprisoned inside his tower, and that was enough to keep the deity directly away form the nine hells (though, it didn't stop Heinoeous to create a paladin order devoter to recover her, che Chalice's Knight).

Also, deity like lamashtu care nothing about their mortal followers. If she steal the pope of Sarenrae and Sarenrae burn alive the her Gnoll pope, it's still score 1 for her, since the soul still goes in abyss (Sarenrae will not forciby redeem anyone, or utter destroy them). Also, Lamashtu is served by demons. Any demon can became her new Gnoll pope if she wants, while good deites dont' send so much help downstairs ...


Admittedly, we need to remember that Baphomet is desperate and at the point of Book 5, he'll push that thin line of "Divine Mandate" to kill the PCs.

Course, I was under the impression some minions kidnapped the herald


Odraude wrote:

Admittedly, we need to remember that Baphomet is desperate and at the point of Book 5, he'll push that thin line of "Divine Mandate" to kill the PCs.

Course, I was under the impression some minions kidnapped the herald

It was the case. He send up someone to catch Him

In Iomedae case, she just wish pcs in her presence, a power any god posses ...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I interpreted it as less a transportation to Heaven and more a vision of it, so the damage and things were just in the PCs' minds.

Silver Crusade

Odraude wrote:

Admittedly, we need to remember that Baphomet is desperate and at the point of Book 5, he'll push that thin line of "Divine Mandate" to kill the PCs.

Course, I was under the impression some minions kidnapped the herald

Baphomet however is not a god, there seems to be a pretty clear distinction between true gods and other creatures who can grant spellcasting. And while I agree, that giving the gods stats is a pretty horrible idea, I really would like to know if archdevils, demon princes and similar creatures could pose any kind of danger to a god.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Given that Lamashtu worked with another Demon Lord and ambushed a God to kill it (and thus allowed Lamashtu to ascend to full Godhood)? Yes, they can. Just not one-on-one.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Baphomet however is not a god...

Technically, a demigod is a god.

Just not a godgod. So to speak.

But yes, archdevils, demon lords and their ilk can pose a threat to "full" gods. Part of Pazuzu's schtick is that he does this, IIRC.

Silver Crusade

Tangent101 wrote:
Given that Lamashtu worked with another Demon Lord and ambushed a God to kill it (and thus allowed Lamashtu to ascend to full Godhood)? Yes, they can. Just not one-on-one.

Well, that point is extremely confusing to me. The player characters will be quite capable to kill a demon lord, well before they reach level 20 / tier 10. And I dare say, that a well prepared character could kill a demon lord without outside assistance.

I fear this is one area, where the rules of the game can’t be applied to the world. Otherwise the player characters could pose a very real threat to pretty much everything.

Silver Crusade

Alleran wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Baphomet however is not a god...

Technically, a demigod is a god.

Just not a godgod. So to speak.

But yes, archdevils, demon lords and their ilk can pose a threat to "full" gods. Part of Pazuzu's schtick is that he does this, IIRC.

I don't think Baphomet is even a demigod, and while I cherish the fact that Paizo doesn't go near words like "divine rank", it is a bit confusing.

The fact, that a herald is usually a CR 15 outsider, does indicated that he isn’t supposed to be a deities champion. Of course some heralds are quite often summoned to join and decide large battles - the description of Gorums herald was quite interesting.

Grand Lodge

Level 20 characters with or without mythic ranks pose a pretty real threat to everything just in general. The sort of power a level 20 wizard has? The destruction a level 20 fighter can dish out? The anarchy a level 20 rogue can casually foster? A high level PC is damn near a force of nature compared to the rank and file of the world around them.

As for things like deity's lifting followers into their realm for conversations, slaying gods, etc. There shouldn't be hard and fast rules for any of that. That's purely in the realm of story needs. Trying to define those things, or set out rules for them, would just get in the way. As for in-game explanation, the gods are bound by complex rules for their interactions with the mortal planes, rules beyond the scope of mortal understanding.

Scarab Sages

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

The fact, that a herald is usually a CR 15 outsider, does indicated that he isn’t supposed to be a deities champion. Of course some heralds are quite often summoned to join and decide large battles - the description of Gorums herald was quite interesting.

Actually the Heralds are supposed to be the champions of the gods, or so far in that the Herald is the god's Iconic and can be called upon with Greater Planar Ally.


I was always under the impression that they were just head messengers of the gods, providing a direct voice to the god themself.

That said, we'll probably learn more about them in Inner Sea Gods in a couple of months.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Alleran wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Baphomet however is not a god...

Technically, a demigod is a god.

Just not a godgod. So to speak.

But yes, archdevils, demon lords and their ilk can pose a threat to "full" gods. Part of Pazuzu's schtick is that he does this, IIRC.

I don't think Baphomet is even a demigod, and while I cherish the fact that Paizo doesn't go near words like "divine rank", it is a bit confusing.

The fact, that a herald is usually a CR 15 outsider, does indicated that he isn’t supposed to be a deities champion. Of course some heralds are quite often summoned to join and decide large battles - the description of Gorums herald was quite interesting.

Baphomet is a demigod. By our definition of what constitutes a demigod, in fact.

Whether or not any one group can or can't take him down with ease or not is more an issue of home-game power level than the stats.

And heralds are usually CR 15 outsiders with 18 HD because their in-game purpose is to supply worshipers of deities a thematic and strong choice for creature to conjure when casting greater planar ally. The gods ABSOLUTELY have more powerful minions than their heralds—but those need gate spells to conjure... if indeed mortals can conjure them at all.

There are times when a deity's herald can become more powerful than CR 15, but those are very rare times and when that happens, that robs the faith of their top-tier greater planar ally so those instances are not long-lived.

In the case of Baphomet corrupting a herald, that's one of those super-rare exceptions to a lot of rules—such as the fact that demigods generally don't have heralds at all, or that heralds are always CR 15.

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So I know this is a pretty contentious topic right now, so I'll do my best to keep this brief and constructive.

1) I really appreciate that the PCs in Wrath of the Righteous actually get to meet Iomedae, I think that's excellent and a great opportunity to showcase a lot of Golarion lore and other interesting bits of history surrounding her.

2) That said, I don't think the encounter — as written — really did the above justice. We didn't learn or infer anything new about Iomedae by being in her presence, and anything she did could have likewise been done by a messenger or servant.

3) Her portrayal in the beginning of the book rubs me the wrong way. Were Iomedae a mortal paladin I would find her actions questionable, but for a deity that embodies justice and honor it is also questionable. Perhaps if the moral ambiguity of the torture/punishment element was called out in the text — if it were made clear that even a goddess seems desperate and out-of-sorts, it could raise the stakes and address issue #2 some by showing a deity's vulnerability. We can assume that is the case, but that is our own, possibly flawed, inferrance.

On a more personal level, I had hoped we might see Iomedae in Aroden's Domain instead of her own personal domain in Heaven, perhaps using his abandoned realm as a neutral ground to bring the PCs together. In the environment there, we could have learned more about Aroden, Iomedae, and perhaps even her predecessor Arazni. All of the text spent describing the punishments could have been used to elaborate world lore and enrich the first written encounter with a deity, rather than spend all that text explaining how to brow-beat misbehaving PCs.

All in all, it's a lost opportunity that — while not detracting from the overall excellence of the adventure — is definitely it's low point. Wolfgang still managed to put together an excellent adventure with a wonderful setting, but it got off to a shaky start.

Liberty's Edge

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

Now that we've decided what camp we belong to, perhaps we can get into some ideas to enliven the audience or change it all together.

After reading the entry for Venerable Galevius, I came up with this crazy idea. I'm thinking in my campaign I will make Iomedae a bearer of a terrible secret, one that she will kill anyone if they ever get hint of the truth: It was she who killed Aroden or at least the catalyst. This secret is the reason for her actions and personality.

Back during the days of the Shining Crusade when she was the leader of the Knights of Ozem, she was approached by agents of the Ebony Triad, a sinister organization made up of the agents of Asmodeus, Charon and Deskari, whose sole goal was to bring about the apocalypse and right the error that began with Ihys. The only problem in the Ebony Triads plan was that Aroden stood in the way of their victory. If they were to succeed, Aroden would need to die.

Given the circumstances of Aroden's ascension, he was even more vulnerable than other gods were and could be killed under the right circumstances. Taking cues from Lamashtu's ascendance, the Triad approached Iomedae with an offer. In exchange for her aid, they would assist her in taking down the Whispering Tyrant, something that Aroden had so far no interest in doing. Desperate to save her men’s lives, she accepted the offer. All she would need to do was summon his Herald. They would do the rest. The rest is history. Flash forward to Iomedae's own ascension and centuries of service until finally the appointed time arrived: Aroden's Prophesied return to Golarion.

As Aroden prepared his arrival, he received a plea of help from Iomedae. Somehow, she had become trapped in Abaddon. Not wanting to lose his herald again, he materialized at her side, only to fall prey to the combined attacks of Asmodeus, Deskari and Charon. However, Iomedae could not standby, her heart breaking over her betrayal. Summoning her courage, she tried to save Aroden but the damage was done. He was dying but like with Curchanus before him, he was able to bestow his divinity upon Iomedae before he died. Enraged, the triad turned on Iomedae but she fled before they could kill her as well.

In fury, Deskari launched his attack on Golarion, as both Charon and Asmodeus shared a smile, stepping back into the darkness...


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Hi folks,

I just wanted to chime in to share my own disappointment with the way the Iomedae interaction was depicted in "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth." Like Robert Brooks mentioned above, it was definitely a great idea to give the PCs a chance to meet the goddess, but as written the encounter simply doesn't do the moment justice.

What struck me immediately on reading it was how weirdly preoccupied the text seemed with detailing all the ways that Iomedae could mess up the PCs if they displeased her, which seemed to be a more important focus than providing guidance on roleplaying scene to its fullest effect. The entire encounter is framed to the GM as combative rather than supportive. This in turn makes Iomedae come across as petty and mean, particularly given everything that the PCs have done up to this point and given what she is about to ask of them.

And I really dispute the notion that her sonic blasts are just a "slap on the wrist" for the party. If your brand of "tough love" deals lethal damage that requires the use of healing magic to repair, you've gone from encouragement to abuse, particularly when your targets are effectively helpless against you.

I can see Iomedae lecturing the party if they fail her tests and quietly withholding her artifacts from them, but battering the PCs with sonic damage and then clumsily trying to patch up her own handiwork with some healing spells (and potentially resurrections) after the fact is conduct unbecoming of a mortal paladin, much less a Lawful Good deity.

As Alleran and Lord Snow have said, Iomedae in this scene reads like a Miko rather than an O-chul or a Hinjo. Which, given that she's supposed to be the goddess of righteousness, justice and honor, is a major problem.

There's just a big gap in the way she has been presented in the lore and how she behaves in this scene, a discrepancy that leaves me scratching my head about which is the "real" Iomedae. Because the one depicted in this scene exhibits some of the worst stereotypes about paladins and it's one I'm not at all interested in seeing again.

I'm glad that these concerns are being heard, because right now this really feels like a wasted opportunity in the middle of an otherwise fantastic AP.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Alleran wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Baphomet however is not a god...

Technically, a demigod is a god.

Just not a godgod. So to speak.

But yes, archdevils, demon lords and their ilk can pose a threat to "full" gods. Part of Pazuzu's schtick is that he does this, IIRC.

I don't think Baphomet is even a demigod, and while I cherish the fact that Paizo doesn't go near words like "divine rank", it is a bit confusing.

The fact, that a herald is usually a CR 15 outsider, does indicated that he isn’t supposed to be a deities champion. Of course some heralds are quite often summoned to join and decide large battles - the description of Gorums herald was quite interesting.

Baphomet is a demigod. By our definition of what constitutes a demigod, in fact.

Whether or not any one group can or can't take him down with ease or not is more an issue of home-game power level than the stats.

And heralds are usually CR 15 outsiders with 18 HD because their in-game purpose is to supply worshipers of deities a thematic and strong choice for creature to conjure when casting greater planar ally. The gods ABSOLUTELY have more powerful minions than their heralds—but those need gate spells to conjure... if indeed mortals can conjure them at all.

There are times when a deity's herald can become more powerful than CR 15, but those are very rare times and when that happens, that robs the faith of their top-tier greater planar ally so those instances are not long-lived.

In the case of Baphomet corrupting a herald, that's one of those super-rare exceptions to a lot of rules—such as the fact that demigods generally don't have heralds at all, or that heralds are always CR 15.

Thank your for the confirmation, that gods indeed to have more powerful servants. I guess players and GMs just have way more contact with the evil part of the bestiary.

I had not considered, that the heralds were limited to allow greater planar ally to call them, my players have yet to touch the spell (they are quite unwilling to pay for services like this).


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James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

I think Lochar's suggestion from early in the other discussion was the best.

I am still dismayed that this is now a part of "official" Iomedae's personality. And quite disappointed.

Also... we've ramped back or retconned or adjusted PLENTY of things before. Just because it gets into print doesn't mean it's carved in stone. Going forward, I suspect we'll NOT be trying to make Iomedae into a heartless sound torturer... that was NEVER the point or intent or goal of this adventure, as a matter of fact, so don't expect us to support that interpretation of her personality going forward.

That's ... too bad.

Just imagine what an amazing story the fall of Iomedae would make. A beacon of hope that becomes a dark spectre, a shadow of herself.

What was justice turns into revenge, what was valor becomes desperation, then a craving for violence.

Watch out, because Iomedae is making right, and the blood of those she deems wicked will turn the rivers red and wash over Golarion.


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It seems like the biggest reaction to her appearance in this AP is,

"IOMEDAE

WAT R U DOIN

IOMEDAE

STAHP"

Liberty's Edge

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

I think people also forget that Lawful good can be a dangerous as Lawful Evil, especially when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest or persecutes the innocent in the name of ending evil. Look at what happened to the fourth crusade and Lord Hulrun's witch hunts.

For me, I can see Iomedae being analogous to Saint Cuthbert. A Lawful Good deity with Lawful Neutral tendencies rather than, say, Heironeous. though even he could be very overbearing.


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"I think people also forget that Lawful good can be a dangerous as Lawful Evil..."

It's not that we 'forget' it so much as many of us don't agree with the idea that Lawful Good can go all Kingpriest of Istar about it and still /remain/ Lawful Good, as opposed to falling into Lawful Evil But Deluded. To reiterate one of my biggest disagreements with Dragonlance.

And hell, even Lord Hulrun is LN, not LG. And the doctrine of Sarenrae, Milani, and Iomedae in their expanded Adventure Path articles all contain mentions of 'evil methods used in the name of Good are still evil'. Golarion cosmology /is/ supposed to be different on this issue.

As to the original question of 'What to do if the players act like arrogant or violent jackasses to Iomedae'... I'd pull out the old Morrowind "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created." type message.

Have Iomedae not torture them, but simply frown and sigh and realize that her hoped-for champions are already lost to the sin of pride before they even started. Then roll the end credits on the adventure path, narrate a cutscene of how the world is doomed, and start to fold your DM sheet. Game's over, let's all go home

Then have the PCs snap out of the vision Iomedae is showing them and have her, more in sorrow and in anger, point out that in their vainglory and self-righteousness they are already on the brink of falling to the Dark Side, failing in their quest, and delivering the world to the demons. Then let your players go on their way, chastened and humbled... but /not/ arbitrarily beaten up or tortured. All she did was show them the consequences of their choice, then leave them free to still make it.

Which is, yes, mechanically the same sort of 'do it this way or the game can't proceed' railroading as the other way. But it /presents itself/ a lot better, which is the point. One way is the DM slapping his player's with mightypower arbitrarily, the other is at least an evocative dramatic scene that reminds people that this Adventure Path is about a theme of goodness and honor and cancelling the Apocalypse, not about being the biggest munchkin.

Shadow Lodge

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Chuckg wrote:
Quote:
"I think people also forget that Lawful good can be a dangerous as Lawful Evil..."
It's not that we 'forget' it so much as many of us don't agree with the idea that Lawful Good can go all Kingpriest of Istar about it and still /remain/ Lawful Good, as opposed to falling into Lawful Evil But Deluded. To reiterate one of my biggest disagreements with Dragonlance.

+1 to this. That is not Lawful Good, even if it thinks it is.

Cuthbert is also LN, btw, not LG.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. Let's put it this way. I usually run games without using the Alignment system, at least before I started with Pathfinder (where alignments are... rather strongly suggested at because of the targeted spells). And I had an interesting mixture of Gods.

My God of Honor would never have done this. He was not Lawful and Good. He was a God of Honor and Valor. If someone challenged him or badmouthed him, he'd challenge that person to a duel in a "put up or shut up" moment. And if someone didn't get an answer right, he'd not smack them upside the ears with sonics. He'd present examples and the like through visions.

Oh, and my God of Valor wasn't a pushover or the like. Even the most benign of my Gods were not exactly someone you wanted to anger. And they meddled in the world (and in my games) more often than they should have.

So, what does it say when a non-aligned God of Valor and Honor acts more honorably and decently than a Lawful Good God of the same? It doesn't present a good picture.

The problem is literally that conflict and combat/damage are being confused. At the end of Book 4, the PCs undergo a Mythic Trial. They do so because they witnessed a Demon Lord get shanked by another Demon Lord. The fight with Baphomet's daughter was not a Mythic Trial. It was just a fight. It was witnessing what happened to Baphomet that counted as Mythic even though the players didn't get harmed or have to make a single save.

The encounter with Iomedae should have been the same. It's not making skill checks or getting blasted around the ears that makes this a Mythic Trial. It's encountering Iomedae herself that is Mythic. The write-up for Iomedae fails in this regard.

Liberty's Edge

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Chuckg wrote:


It's not that we 'forget' it so much as many of us don't agree with the idea that Lawful Good can go all Kingpriest of Istar about it and still /remain/ Lawful Good, as opposed to falling into Lawful Evil But Deluded. To reiterate one of my biggest disagreements with Dragonlance.

OK, first let me say I agree that the audience with Iomedae is not how I would play it. I do however disagree with these hyperbolic statements that her wake up call is akin to the actions of the Kingpriest, Miko of OoTS or even Lawful Evil. Hell, even some players are saying she kidnaps the heroes! Ha! As if any god, regardless of their alignment, would stoop to sending an invitation or limo to pick up the players.

Anyway, I like your suggestion and it's just what I was looking for from this thread!

Oh, Orthos, I know St. Cuthbert was originally a LN Deity but as of his last entry in Core Beliefs, he is LG with LN tendencies.


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Way I see it is, what if a paladin did this sort of thing? Would that then be acceptable?

Liberty's Edge

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Odraude wrote:
Way I see it is, what if a paladin did this sort of thing? Would that then be acceptable?

Depends on the Code, Odraude, IMHO. Look at what Paladins of Torag can get away with...;)


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Anorak wrote:

I think people also forget that Lawful good can be a dangerous as Lawful Evil, especially when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest or persecutes the innocent in the name of ending evil. Look at what happened to the fourth crusade and Lord Hulrun's witch hunts.

For me, I can see Iomedae being analogous to Saint Cuthbert. A Lawful Good deity with Lawful Neutral tendencies rather than, say, Heironeous. though even he could be very overbearing.

St. Cuthbert is straight LN, not as you said.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Anorak wrote:

I think people also forget that Lawful good can be a dangerous as Lawful Evil, especially when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest or persecutes the innocent in the name of ending evil. Look at what happened to the fourth crusade and Lord Hulrun's witch hunts.

For me, I can see Iomedae being analogous to Saint Cuthbert. A Lawful Good deity with Lawful Neutral tendencies rather than, say, Heironeous. though even he could be very overbearing.

St. Cuthbert is straight LN, not as you said.

Incorrect , Magnus. As of Dragon 358 he is a Lawful Good deity as part of the revision in Core Beliefs. Now of course that could have changed again. In 4E.


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I don't really give a damn about stuff from Dragon.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

magnuskn wrote:
I don't really give a damn about stuff from Dragon.

I'm pretty sure he's teetered between LN and LG between editions. Our resident Greyhawk fan says LG, for example, and that predates Sean's work in Dragon.

Grand Lodge

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
And what if one of the PCs is Iomedae's offspring? No special treatment, surely, but some kind of dialogue change.

Joining the discussion late, but I would imagine for her offspring she would be the least sympathetic, especially as lawful good I would imagine her having very very high expectations, and equally so disappointment.

Although, it would also come as a surprise to me that a LG deity would have children running around the world who were not aware from birth of their parentage and raised within her halls.

Shadow Lodge

Matthew Morris wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I don't really give a damn about stuff from Dragon.
I'm pretty sure he's teetered between LN and LG between editions. Our resident Greyhawk fan says LG, for example, and that predates Sean's work in Dragon.

I'm just going from what was provided in the 3.5 PHB. Anything beyond that is irrelevant IMO.


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Galnörag wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
And what if one of the PCs is Iomedae's offspring? No special treatment, surely, but some kind of dialogue change.

Joining the discussion late, but I would imagine for her offspring she would be the least sympathetic, especially as lawful good I would imagine her having very very high expectations, and equally so disappointment.

Although, it would also come as a surprise to me that a LG deity would have children running around the world who were not aware from birth of their parentage and raised within her halls.

In addition to their other faults, gods make terrible parents. Who'd have thought?


Yes, clearly this encounter is trash because it differs from my snowflake idea of what Lawful Good and deity interactions should be in a setting specific product.


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And what if that is how you have depicted Lawful Good to your gaming group? Suddenly you give them a Lawful Good goddess who acts like a spoiled selfish intolerant brat who punishes the most minor of mistakes. It ends up being completely inconsistent with your own campaign and how alignments function.

Which is, of course, why I don't like the alignment system and would probably eliminate alignments when I run WotR, with the various protection spells revamped under a generic Protection From Enemies spell (which would be one level higher to compensate for its greater power). And Circle Protection would likewise be bumped up one level.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
my snowflake idea

Your what?

If this encounter is "trash" (your word, no one else's, and too strong), then it's because it's an unfun encounter (bordering on obnoxious) - and I can confidently say would be unfun to the vast VAST majority of players.

And, if it's true that the vast majority of players 'wouldn't be affected by it', then it's a "trash" (again - your word and no one else's, and still too strong) encounter because far too much wordcount was used on something that most people supposedly won't experience (when it could have been used on setting the scene and helping the DM portray, you know, a god).

In the end, it was comparatively poor encounter design that likely wouldn't have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Shadow Lodge

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Yes, clearly this encounter is trash because it differs from my snowflake idea of what Lawful Good and deity interactions should be in a setting specific product.

Or you could actually read the thread and realize it's closer to "this encounter is problematic (I'm not sure "trash" is the right word and I'm not going to play hyperbole games with you) because it violates not only the description of the Lawful Good alignment nearly in whole but also previous descriptions of the character and her behavior".


What was most disappointing is the absence of any reaction to the Heirophants background. It's revealed in the prior book that the characters with this background are children of the specified diety. With the extremely high likelihood of Iomedae being chosen for this background, it's sad that no mention of how the deity will react to the player is included. What's more unreal, is that Iomedae would lethally blast her own child in a fit of angst if she didn't hear the answer she wanted.

What baffles me is that Iomedae even TESTS the players after 4 books of monitoring their actions. The deity already knows what the players are like, she's seen it first hand. The meeting feels forced, arbitrary and railroaded, not story driven or a good narrative. Iomedae should have treated the good players whose actions have been heroic with respect, and told the less heroic people man up. As the Goddess of Valor, it baffles me her idea of leadership is to beat her subordinates to near death in order to get them to follow her commands. Is she not supposed to have inspired people with her greatness? Lead by example, etc?

If there are arseclowns in the group who are not heroic, would mouth off, or otherwise antagonize her, I don't see why she would bother to bring them to her realm. I'd have said she'd speak with those who are heroes, and if THEY want to recruit others, they can.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Arnwyn wrote:

In the end, it was comparatively poor encounter design that likely wouldn't have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Since I was the one who developed that encounter AND I was the one who handled Dungeon magazine's submissions for 1/3 of its entire run... I suspect that the encounter design probably WOULD have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Of course, now that I've seen the reaction folks have had, if I had a time machine I would warn past James to develop the encounter in an entirely different way from the author's original direction... but I don't have a time machine.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:

In the end, it was comparatively poor encounter design that likely wouldn't have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Since I was the one who developed that encounter AND I was the one who handled Dungeon magazine's submissions for 1/3 of its entire run... I suspect that the encounter design probably WOULD have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Well yeah, you were sleeping with the submission master then. :P

Quote:
Of course, now that I've seen the reaction folks have had, if I had a time machine I would warn past James to develop the encounter in an entirely different way from the author's original direction... but I don't have a time machine.

Let me know if you get one. I could use a jaunt or two myself.


So, Iomedae = Gildaroy Lockheart is what I gather from how this is written. An odd characterization to say the least, but it is Paizo's sandbox.


James Jacobs wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:

In the end, it was comparatively poor encounter design that likely wouldn't have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Since I was the one who developed that encounter AND I was the one who handled Dungeon magazine's submissions for 1/3 of its entire run... I suspect that the encounter design probably WOULD have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Of course, now that I've seen the reaction folks have had, if I had a time machine I would warn past James to develop the encounter in an entirely different way from the author's original direction... but I don't have a time machine.

*grin* I know you were. And I specifically put that in my post because I, personally, bet that back then you wouldn't have accepted it! People change, and over time get different priorities and/or get... engrossed... in certain things that may be different than what they were engrossed with before. (And I keep my time machine in my garage, just so you know.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Arnwyn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:

In the end, it was comparatively poor encounter design that likely wouldn't have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Since I was the one who developed that encounter AND I was the one who handled Dungeon magazine's submissions for 1/3 of its entire run... I suspect that the encounter design probably WOULD have survived a Dungeon magazine submission.

Of course, now that I've seen the reaction folks have had, if I had a time machine I would warn past James to develop the encounter in an entirely different way from the author's original direction... but I don't have a time machine.

*grin* I know you were. And I specifically put that in my post because I, personally, bet that back then you wouldn't have accepted it! People change, and over time get different priorities and/or get... engrossed... in certain things that may be different than what they were engrossed with before. (And I keep my time machine in my garage, just so you know.)

I would have accepted it. Sorry to burst your bubble.

I'm still frankly kind of surprised at how violently some folks have reacted to the encounter in question. And that violent reaction really caught me off guard. So it's certainly something I'll be keeping in mind going forward when and if we do similar encounters,... if only that means limiting such encounters to the actually friendly and nice good guy deities! :-)

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