Book 5: Discussion on Iomedae [SPOILERS AHOY!]


Wrath of the Righteous

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Scaevola77 wrote:
Maybe, maybe not. I don't think most kidnappings "fill each PC [victim?] with a feeling of pride and hope".

There's two ways that quote can be taken. The first is that it's the module is telling the players their characters' emotional response to something. This is a cardinal sin of bad GMing, but perhaps not surprising in an encounter with a stated One True Way of how the players should roleplay it. The other way to take it is that the feeling of pride and hope is a compulsion. The PCs' emotions are being supernaturally manipulated.

Either way, that quote provides no evidence that this is not a scenario of kidnapping and torture.


Chuckg wrote:
* On a second offense of openly mocking her (or on a first offense of trying to attack her), you get automatically reduced to -1 hit points and stabilized (DC 40 Will save to avoid). Furthermore, you are automatically blinded and only a deity can heal your eyes, and that's even /if/ you save.

'K thanks.

So if the PCs fail a religion check, she attacks for 5d6 damages. And if the PCs defend themselve with magic missiles (it deals the same amount of damages: it is a legitimate and proportionate answer when a villain attacks your friends), she take offense and perma-blind them.

What a dumb encounter. 5d6 damage can't be "a small spanking" on one hand, and "a severe offense that must be punished with perma-blindness".


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GâtFromKI wrote:
What a dumb encounter. 5d6 damage can't be "a small spanking" on one hand, and "a severe offense that must be punished with perma-blindness".

No, you see, it's not the damage that matters, it's who the damage is against that matters. Spanking the PC with 5d6 damage? That's okay. Doing the same to the DMPC deity? That's as evil and chaotic an act as possible.

Scarab Sages

agnelcow wrote:
Chuckg wrote:
There is nothing Good about lashing out with deadly force (anything that beats you into negative hp is a potentially deadly attack literally by definition) simply because you were dissed. There is nothing Lawful about requiring your followers to obey rules and self-restraints that you then exempt yourself from.
There is nothing in the text to imply that anyone is "beaten" into negative HP; yes, they are stabilized at -1 HP, but that could be a purely divine and harmless effect that doesn't affect the well-being of the person targeted. This is left unspecified, and reading anything further into it is pure speculation.

They're mythic with Hard to Kill. They auto-stabilize ANYWAYS. So if you want to go that way it could be Iomedae wouldn't care if they bled out or was counting on their Mythic to cover for her.

There's an effect for knocking someone out without true harm. It's called non-lethal damage and can't take you to negative HP.


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Either way, that quote provides no evidence that this is not a scenario of kidnapping and torture.

Bad GMing or no, neither does it provide evidence that the feelings of pride and hope are anything but the genuine sentiments of the PCs. In the absence of evidence for either assertion, I would hesitate to assume that the actions of a Lawful Good deity were written to be anything but Lawful and Good in nature; if that means we must consider ends and structures outside of the PCs and the setting/events at hand, then we should do that before making the actions out as the empty cruelty of a pigheaded goddess.


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agnelcow wrote:
There is nothing in the text to imply that anyone is "beaten" into negative HP; yes, they are stabilized at -1 HP, but that could be a purely divine and harmless effect that doesn't affect the well-being of the person targeted. This is left unspecified, and reading anything further into it is pure speculation.

I am incredulous at the idea that you can be "harmlessly" reduced to -1 HP, seeing as how HP is how the game tracks bodily harm being done to you in the first place.

Also, there is a mechanism in the game for tracking 'harmless' and 'temporary' HP damage to someone -- non-lethal damage. The damage done to you here is not non-lethal damage. Ergo, it is not ''harmless'.

To quote from the core rules:

Quote:

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Effects of Hit Point Damage: Damage doesn’t slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you’re disabled. If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you’re dead.

'But wait! The person is auto-stabilized! Therefore they are at no real risk of death!' you might say.

But you'd be wrong. To continue from the relevant section of chapter 8 in the corebook:

Quote:

A stable character who has been tended by a healer or who has been magically healed eventually regains consciousness and recovers hit points naturally. If the character has no one to tend him, however, his life is still in danger, and he may yet slip away.

Recovering without Help: A severely wounded character left alone usually dies. He has a small chance of recovering on his own. Treat such characters as those attempting to recover with help, but every failed Constitution check to regain consciousness results in the loss of 1 hit point. An unaided character does not recover hit points naturally.

So, Iomedae puts you at -1 hp and stable. This is a condition that, without further medical assistance, has nonzero odds of still leaving you dead.

Add: Admittedly, as you're tier 3+ mythic by this time, the odds of you dying are small. Of course, most systems of law and ethics that we're familiar with don't remotely accept 'well, he's way tougher than average and so probably wouldn't die!' as a legitimate defense against a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

So, saying that you are beaten by Iomedae into a badly injured and potentially dying condition is an entirely fair statement. Indeed, it takes completely ignoring both the letter and the spirit of the SRD to claim anything else.

I am finding that the rationalizations that some people are trying to stretch to to defend Iomedae's actions as not really being that bad are going beyond the suspension of disbelief.

Quote:
I wonder if you are familiar the work of Jonathan Haidt?

No, and I don't really feel its relevant to the discussion when the work of the Pathfinder System Reference Document is not only far more relevant, but entirely supports the position I originally took.


GâtFromKI wrote:
Chuckg wrote:
* On a second offense of openly mocking her (or on a first offense of trying to attack her), you get automatically reduced to -1 hit points and stabilized (DC 40 Will save to avoid). Furthermore, you are automatically blinded and only a deity can heal your eyes, and that's even /if/ you save.

'K thanks.

So if the PCs fail a religion check, she attacks for 5d6 damages. And if the PCs defend themselve with magic missiles (it deals the same amount of damages: it is a legitimate and proportionate answer when a villain attacks your friends), she take offense and perma-blind them.

What a dumb encounter. 5d6 damage can't be "a small spanking" on one hand, and "a severe offense that must be punished with perma-blindness".

1.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.

To get the 5d6 sonic they(all PCs) have to fail the question AND not act humble or confident.


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agnelcow wrote:
Bad GMing or no, neither does it provide evidence that the feelings of pride and hope are anything but the genuine sentiments of the PCs.

Here's the thing: the feelings of PCs are---excluding supernatural compulsions---entirely the decision of the players. You cannot legislate how your players' characters feel about something. If you're going to try to micromanage how your players roleplay like that, then you shouldn't be running an rpg. You should be writing a novel.

Scarab Sages

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Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.

Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.


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Indeed. And while an adventure about heroic crusaders against evil fails to work if the players choose not to be heroic crusaders against evil, here's the thing. You can't force your players to choose to be this. The most you can do is remind them that they originally bought in to the premise when the AP started and now the plot requires them to keep acting like it or else you have to end the adventure... and if they fail to do that, then you have no choice but to end the adventure.

Roleplaying is a cooperative effort. If the players won't cooperate, your game fails... but arbitrarily hosing their characters with godpower is not a valid method for either soliciting or forcing their cooperation.

On an in-story level, the encounter is badly written because it has the alleged exemplar of Lawful Good acting in ways that are nowhere near Lawful or Good, and excusing herself on the grounds of 'well, I'm the goddess so I /make/ the rules, I don't /follow/ them'. (An attitude that itself is Chaotic.)

But if we shift to the meta-textual level instead... then the encounter /still/ fails as written because if things have reached this point then the game is already falling apart on levels that no amount of in-story justification can save, due to lack of player buy-in on the core conceit of the game. (And hell, once a character has been permanently blinded and deafened and the only goddess reasonably available to cure him has refused to that player pretty much has to drop out of the game /anyway/, so its not even like the encounter as written attempts to even fix this problem.)


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Chuckg wrote:

So, Iomedae puts you at -1 hp and stable. This is a condition that, without further medical assistance, has nontrivial odds of still leaving you dead.

Saying that you are beaten into a badly injured and dying condition is an entirely fair statement. Indeed, it takes completely ignoring both the letter and the spirit of the SRD to claim anything else.

I am finding that the rationalizations that some people are trying to stretch to to defend Iomedae's actions as not really being that bad are going beyond the suspension of disbelief.

Keep in mind this only happens if a PC openly mocks/disrepects a diety. Redering them mute.

Which; "Iomedae removes the condition herself if, after this first part passes, she feels that the character wishes to apologize, but she does not give second chances."

Then after having that happen the offending PC continues to act like a fool and mocks her yet again.

So this happens only if you attack her or twice openly mock her. At that point the PC is either: 1. Stupid, 2. Doesn't understand what is going on, or 3. Is intentially doing it.


Lochar wrote:

Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.

Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.

Correction.

1.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.

The act of getting the question wrong does not provoke the sonic damage. Getting it wrong only means no extra reward for that question.

The PCs (ALL OF THEM) must get the question wrong and not act humble or confident. They have to all fail at BOTH of those for it to happen.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Keep in mind this only happens if a PC openly mocks/disrepects a diety. Redering them mute.

Keep in mind that openly mocking or disrespecting someone is not an offense legitimately punishable by blinding, maiming, and near-death experience... at least, not by the tenets of Iomedae's own religion.

Seriously, she doesn't get to make herself an exception to the rules just because she's the boss. /That is entirely against the point of being the Lawful Good Goddess of Justice in the first place/. Equal treatment under the law... for everyone.

Grand Lodge

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Lochar wrote:

Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.

Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.

Correction.

1.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.

The act of getting the question wrong does not provoke the sonic damage. Getting it wrong only means no extra reward for that question.

The PCs (ALL OF THEM) must get the question wrong and not act humble or confident. They have to all fail at BOTH of those for it to happen.

Quote:
Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.
Quote:
Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
To get the 5d6 sonic they(all PCs) have to fail the question AND not act humble or confident.

Actually, I don't care about the conditions. Like, you know, at all.

Is it possible that Iomedae blast the PCs for 5d6 damages because they fail to do what she want? Did the author use a part of his precious wordcount to describe how Iomedae punish the PCs for some frivolous reasons? If the answer is "yes", then it is totally possible and intended that the PCs are punished for some frivolous reason. Even if you add "but it's hard" after the "yes".

And any player I know would assume that the creature punishing him isn't Iomedae but an evil entity trying to deceive the PCs (and, you know, there are evil deceptive deities in D&D), and would try and defend himself and run away.

----
Anyway, 5d6 damages can't be at the same time "nothing" because the PCs are so powerful, and a sufficient reason for a deity to defend herself. If it's nothing for the PCs, it's even less for a deity - except if the PC are powerful enough to defeat the deity, in which case the save-less teleport doesn't make any sense.

Scarab Sages

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Lochar wrote:

Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.

Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.

Correction.

1.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.

The act of getting the question wrong does not provoke the sonic damage. Getting it wrong only means no extra reward for that question.

The PCs (ALL OF THEM) must get the question wrong and not act humble or confident. They have to all fail at BOTH of those for it to happen.

If you're going to play that game, then continue copy/pasting the next few lines. Where she tells the choir to wake them up with sonic damage. I understand they must fail both parts of this question.

Like I said. Quit looking at it from the perspective of whether or not the players can fail the question. Half way coherent players likely won't fail any of the questions.

Why would a LG goddess who wants to ask a favor of the PCs have a sonic attack if they fail the questions she has for them?


Chuckg wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Keep in mind this only happens if a PC openly mocks/disrepects a diety. Redering them mute.
Keep in mind that openly mocking or disrespecting someone is not an offense legitimately punishable by blinding, maiming, and near-death experience... at least, not by the tenets of Iomedae's own religion.

Yes it is, just not in the modern era.

It's called Lèse-majesté. Please look it up.

People have been; Fined, Detained, and Arrested for thousands of dollars, months to years of imprisonment for just insulting leaders.

Some countires still have forms of that even now. This coming from mortals.

So yes a deity should and can punish insolence.

Now imagine what a more Evil deity would do if you dare to insult them and compare it to what she did in the encounter. It's minor.

Shadow Lodge

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I would not call that Lawful Good.

Scarab Sages

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

This rmeinds me of a paper one of my PCs had a captured antipally of Baphomet write, to gain insight into his faith.

But I digress (and blatantly self-promote).

I do believe it is a tad unfair, but only by that much. It is meant to be a test of the players' (and more importantly, the PCs') bravery and valor, and if they have their heads screwed on straight. I think I will incorporate the stained glass windows changing into my campaign, but still make the point clear: this is a GODDESS. An old-fashioned one at that. She does not screw around. She wants to knwo if she's got he right people for the job.

Just my two cp.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lochar wrote:
agnelcow wrote:
Chuckg wrote:
There is nothing Good about lashing out with deadly force (anything that beats you into negative hp is a potentially deadly attack literally by definition) simply because you were dissed. There is nothing Lawful about requiring your followers to obey rules and self-restraints that you then exempt yourself from.
There is nothing in the text to imply that anyone is "beaten" into negative HP; yes, they are stabilized at -1 HP, but that could be a purely divine and harmless effect that doesn't affect the well-being of the person targeted. This is left unspecified, and reading anything further into it is pure speculation.

They're mythic with Hard to Kill. They auto-stabilize ANYWAYS. So if you want to go that way it could be Iomedae wouldn't care if they bled out or was counting on their Mythic to cover for her.

There's an effect for knocking someone out without true harm. It's called non-lethal damage and can't take you to negative HP.

Actually, non-lethal can take you to neg HP. Enough of it can actually kill you. It is difficult, but not impossible.


Lochar wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Lochar wrote:

Quit looking at it from the likelyhood of a player failing her question.

Look at it from the perspective of Iomedae actually having this as a response to a failed question.

Correction.

1.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.

The act of getting the question wrong does not provoke the sonic damage. Getting it wrong only means no extra reward for that question.

The PCs (ALL OF THEM) must get the question wrong and not act humble or confident. They have to all fail at BOTH of those for it to happen.

If you're going to play that game, then continue copy/pasting the next few lines. Where she tells the choir to wake them up with sonic damage. I understand they must fail both parts of this question.

Like I said. Quit looking at it from the perspective of whether or not the players can fail the question. Half way coherent players likely won't fail any of the questions.

Why would a LG goddess who wants to ask a favor of the PCs have a sonic attack if they fail the questions she has for them?

What i'm trying to get at is that the question itself has nothing to do with the sonic damage. It only happens if all the PCs are not being humble infront of a goddess.

So the PCs can get it wrong and as long as they showed proper respect and didn't act like jerks or haughty a$++&#$s nothing else happens.

Scarab Sages

Okay, so Iomedae has to cause double their current HP +1 points of non-lethal damage. Because any non-lethal damage in an amount over your current hitpoints starts invoking lethal damage.

Which means you are STILL taken to negative HP though what amounts to lethal damage.

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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
agnelcow wrote:
Bad GMing or no, neither does it provide evidence that the feelings of pride and hope are anything but the genuine sentiments of the PCs.
Here's the thing: the feelings of PCs are---excluding supernatural compulsions---entirely the decision of the players. You cannot legislate how your players' characters feel about something. If you're going to try to micromanage how your players roleplay like that, then you shouldn't be running an rpg. You should be writing a novel.

If the characters are made to feel "pride and hope" can we add brainwashing to the list of thigns 'LG deities don't do?'

I'm reminded of the D&D Book of Exalted [strike]cheese[/strike] er Deeds and some of those spells. "Good people don't do evil things, so here's some poison (but it's ok because it only affects bad people) and some spells that remove their free will and force them to be good."


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Brain in a Jar wrote:

Yes it is, just not in the modern era.

It's called Lèse-majesté. Please look it up.

People have been; Fined, Detained, and Arrested for thousands of dollars, months to years of imprisonment for just insulting leaders.

You are developing an appalling habit of ignoring the parts of other people's arguments that you find inconvenient.

To repeat myself with emphasis:

"Keep in mind that openly mocking or disrespecting someone is not an offense legitimately punishable by blinding, maiming, and near-death experience... at least, not by the tenets of Iomedae's own religion."

So, yes, pointing out that our own medieval history contains many examples to the contrary is 200% irrelevant to this discussion. Nobody who expects to be remotely taken seriously holds up our own medieval history as an example of Lawful Good ideals, much less an accurate representation of the doctrine of the church of Iomedae.

So, what are the tenets of Iomedae? Welp, let's open up our "Faiths of Purity", flip to the Iomedae section, and see how followers of Iomedae are expected to behave. I'll bold-text the most relevant bits:

Quote:

When you choose Iomedae as your deity, you declare that you will tolerate neither chaos nor evil, and vow to stamp them out wherever they arise. You become a crusader, traveling the world to find uprisings of evil so that you can tamp them back down. You are willing and able to serve and to lead; you have a forthright attitude and have no patience for lying, fraud, or deceit. You believe in discipline for yourself and others, tempered with love and respect.

Although your goddess is a warrior and your church is known for its efforts in battle, you still prefer the word over the sword. You would rather solve differences without bloodshed, but even when negotiating, you are firm and principled. And, of course, as an adventurer, you recognize that situations exist where the sword is the only answer.

Ah, but surely the more powerful are allowed more latitude? Hrm. Let's see. From further down the page, we get this...

Quote:
If you are truly faithful to Iomedae, you don’t just speak out against evil, but actively devote yourself to fighting it in any capacity you can, including putting your personal safety on the line. You abstain from all but the strongest temptations and offer penance when you fail. You have a strict code by which you judge others, and an even stricter code for yourself.

Oh, and then there's this tenet from Iomedae's paladin code, same sourcebook.

Quote:
I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae's perfection.

So, a worshipper of Iomedae, although proud and righteous, is also expected to be:

* Stricter with themselves then they are with other people. Part of this would mean that higher rank does not grant more freedom from rules.
* To prefer to resolve situations without violence whenever possible.
* Temperate -- that is to say, restrained -- in their retaliation against others.

Iomedae's actions as written in the module fail on every count here. Lashing out with damage that would kill a normal person for simple lese-majeste, or failure to answer a quiz properly, is in no way complaint with 'without violence whenever possible', let alone with 'temperate and moderate'. Furthermore, 'be stricter with yourself than with others' would mean Iomedae doesn't even get to cut herself an exemption because she's the goddess.

As I said all along -- "neither Lawful nor Good".


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Given that the encounter with Baphomet in the previous book did not have the PCs have to take any damage or the CHANCE of any damage and was still considered a Mythic Trial, the decision to "risk" damage because a Goddess didn't like your answers was a poor one.

A half a page went into the punishments that would happen, both if the PCs attacked and if the PCs answer incorrectly. That's a half a page that could have been put to better use in the book itself to expand on descriptions and the like.

Considering that Iomedae is able to yoink everyone into her little heaven in order to interrogate them and send them on a quest without any chance of spell resistance or saving throw, it is equally possible for the Goddess to have a Sanctuary effect up that the players cannot overcome. Now the players can't attack and the punishments aren't needed. Oh wait, that's railroading the players? How is that any different from railroading them to be browbeaten by Iomedae in the first place?

There should have been no punishments. No damage. The questions could have been used to determine if they gained the artifacts and atonements and that is all. And in doing so, you have at least half a page if not more saved for use elsewhere in the module.

No ifs. No ands. No buts. Just a missed opportunity due to a misguided belief that this Mythic Trial needed the risk of harm which is "handwaved away" at the end and thus just shows Iomedae to be a bully who earned the respect of Asmodeus because of the lie that is her existence and the whitewash job she's done to get paladins to follow her.


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Okay. I will state this a simply as i can.

A group of PCs can go through this encounter and get every single answer wrong and still not get hit with sonic damage.

Question 1:
The only way any PC can get hit with sonic damage is if they are not humble or confident.

This means as long as they(All PCs) tried to answer the question and didn't mouth off. Nothing happens.

Question 2:
The only way the PCs get hit with sonic damage is if they either start bickering and fighting with each other or simply answer yes or no without thinking about thier answer.

This means as long as one person in the group even waits a few seconds and says yes or no nothing happens.

Question 3:
This one is the easiest of them all.
Did at least one PC attempt to answer the question? No sonic damage.
Did all the PCs either not answer or answer like a coward? Sonic damage

This means that even if only one person in your group ATTEMPTED an answer they are not punished.

So to overview. In order to get punished during this encounter;

All the PCs have to Disrespect her, All the PCs have to argue, bicker, and place no thought to the answer, and all the PCs have to either straight up not answer the last question or answer it with fear or cowardice.

That is alot that all the pcs have to do.


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Dude, we entirely understand what you are saying. It just doesn't matter. The entire point under discussion isn't 'how easy is it to avoid Iomedae's punishment', the point is 'is Iomedae's punishment consistent with her being the Lawful Good goddess of justice that she's previously been written as'.

This is why we are 'ignoring' what you're saying. Its not because we can't understand you. Its because you're failing to understand us.


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Scaevola77 wrote:
Chuckg wrote:

So, no, I would venture to say that permanently crippling people simply if you don't like what they're saying to you /does/ qualify as "torture" by a reasonable sense of the definition.

Please note that all of this is what happens /before/ you get to the three questions. It's entirely possible to end up permanently blind, deaf, beaten to -1 hit points, and bounced back to Golarion before you've even /taken/ Iomedae's hero quiz, if she felt that your character was disrespecting her. This is something entirely separate from the sonic damage you get from not answering questions correctly. And its horrifying.

This only happens if you either attack her on sight, which is probably one of the dumbest things a PC can do. I mean, any character with more than 3 in Int or Wisdom should know not to do this. Or you openly mock her, suffer the warning blast, and think "I'm going to continue goading this goddess that without any effort was able to deafen and mute me".

So yes, it is possible to permanently crippled . . . IF YOU ACTIVELY ANTAGONIZE A GOD! I think in such situations, it is less "torture", and more "just desserts".

This is comparable to me getting "kidnapped" by my friends for a surprise party, then after we arrive at the location, I pull out a knife and try to stab him. Why on earth would I do that? Why on earth would I not expect retaliation for that?

Hey, you do know that maybe people could play characters with other motivations than fawning over Iomedae, right? I got a cleric of Asmodeus with some deep-seated personal problems towards Iomedae in particular in the group. This will probably be the defining moment of his personal journey as a character and if I'd place that torture-happy version of Iomedae on display, it would probably destroy everything him and me have been working on so far in the campaign.


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Good point. Redemption of evil is supposed to be a major theme of this campaign, but if an evil-yet-attempting-to-redeem PC walks into this encounter, he's enormously likely to walk out of it going "So, remind me what the difference is supposed to be between my new boss and my old boss again? Because brother, I am not seeing it. In fact, what with my eyewight being burnt out I'm not seeing much of anything. Also, you're gonna have to trace out the answer on my hand in braille because I'm sorta deaf in this ear. And this other ear. Seriously, I didn't get this bad of a beating for mouthing off to the boss back when I was working for the chaotic evil demons, and let me tell you, those guys really knew how to beat down a dude." Granted, that's only if his fellow party member is really good at lip reading because its not like he can talk anymore, no.

I mean, the PCs are expected to treat redeeming-formerly-evil allies with firmness, but also with tolerance. And beating them down into neg HP is supposed to be saved only for when you've decided that they're beyond redemption.

So, is that what we're supposed to take away from this encounter? That failure to properly flatter Iomedae qualifies you as evil beyond redemption? At this point the Evil Queen from "Snow White" is calling up and going 'Damn, girl, touchy and egotistical much?'

Grand Lodge

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Brain in a Jar wrote:

Okay. I will state this a simply as i can.

A group of PCs can go through this encounter and get every single answer wrong and still not get hit with sonic damage.

I will state this as simply as I can.

The fact that the goddess might even conceive of punishing the PCs in such a way is horribly out of character.


Chuckg wrote:

Dude, we entirely understand what you are saying. It just doesn't matter. The entire point under discussion isn't 'how easy is it to avoid Iomedae's punishment', the point is 'is Iomedae's punishment consistent with her being the Lawful Good goddess of justice that she's previously been written as'.

This is why we are 'ignoring' what you're saying. Its not because we can't understand you. Its because you're failing to understand us.

What you don't seem to understand is that only a bunch of arrogent, foolish, self-entitled, disrespectful, jerks will get punished.

The only reason the encounter has rules for punishment is for a group of self-entitled players that act like clowns when this enocunter happens.

My point is that if a group of PCs are those qualities and meet face to face with thier better and still act like fools. They should get punished.

[P.S.] I just want to make clear that i am in no way attempting to offend anyone. In anyway i am simply enjoying this debate. So cheers to all that are psoting. :)

Grand Lodge

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
The only reason the encounter has rules for punishment is for a group of self-entitled players that act like clowns when this enocunter happens.

You don't use in-game actions to resolve out-of-game issues.


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Heck, if I ran my Runelords group through this, I'd have Iomedae say something like "I wish to appeal to your sense of honor and decency. Except for you, Tongs. I know how you like to talk back and am in no mood to hear it. So if you just shut up and listen without back-talking, I'll give you gold. The more you talk back, the less gold you get."

In essence providing him with his reward ahead of time. :P

The player in question laughed when I said this and he agreed that Tongs would become most attentive and polite. Because gold! ;)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
The only reason the encounter has rules for punishment is for a group of self-entitled players that act like clowns when this enocunter happens.
You don't use in-game actions to resolve out-of-game issues.

Sorry. I more so meant for that to be taken as a in-game thing.


Tangent101 wrote:

Heck, if I ran my Runelords group through this, I'd have Iomedae say something like "I wish to appeal to your sense of honor and decency. Except for you, Tongs. I know how you like to talk back and am in no mood to hear it. So if you just shut up and listen without back-talking, I'll give you gold. The more you talk back, the less gold you get."

In essence providing him with his reward ahead of time. :P

The player in question laughed when I said this and he agreed that Tongs would become most attentive and polite. Because gold! ;)

That is also a cool way of handling that.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:

Yes it is, just not in the modern era.

It's called Lèse-majesté. Please look it up.

People have been; Fined, Detained, and Arrested for thousands of dollars, months to years of imprisonment for just insulting leaders.

Some countires still have forms of that even now. This coming from mortals.

So yes a deity should and can punish insolence.

Now imagine what a more Evil deity would do if you dare to insult them and compare it to what she did in the encounter. It's minor.

Yeah, but what seems to be forgotten here is that Iomedae is not a fallible mortal queen, but rather THE goddess of honor, justice and righteousness. Of course an evil or even neutral deity doing this would not be out of character. I could even see some good gods (Torag and Erastil) losing their cool. But a god with those specific portfolios has to be better than what was presented in this module.

Not to forget the incredible stupidity of antagonizing in so many possible forms the very people she depends upon to act in her stead.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
What you don't seem to understand is that only a bunch of arrogent, foolish, self-entitled, disrespectful, jerks will get punished.

One: You don't understand Lawful Good if you think that 'being a jerk' is an offense legitimately punishable by maiming and near-death experience. Iomedae's behavior as written in this adventure would be beyond the bounds for any paladin, much less someone who's supposed to be the super-shiny super-good goddess of paladins. For fug's sake, I've known LE paladins of Tyranny that were more self-restrained than this.

Two: Given that multiple posters in this thread have posted at least halfway credible scenarios by which players not intending to be assclowns can still inadvertently walk straight into getting Iomedae to blast them, your assertion is straight-up wrong to begin with. (For one thing, if a player mistakenly believes that he's been abducted by an Iomedae imposter demon lord -- which is not a totally unreasonable thing to think, given the circumstances -- and is impulsive enough to go straight to the initative roll, then by the adventure as written Iomedae is going to blast out his eyes, burst his ears, zap him into a coma, and send him back to the Prime without even stopping to go 'Perhaps it was a friendly fire mistake').

Grand Lodge

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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Sorry. I more so meant for that to be taken as a in-game thing.

Ah, okay. Tangent has the right of it. Iomedae knows these characters and should be anticipating any such problems. Now, if Tongs just ignored the warning and continued back-talking, I could see a chastisement. Definitely not maiming him, but maybe sticking duct tape over his mouth. Honestly, just dropping him back to where she had called him from would be the most tempered response. Suffer not the fool to participate in the meeting.

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Chuckg wrote:
Two: Given that multiple posters in this thread have posted at least halfway credible scenarios by which players not intending to be assclowns can still inadvertently walk straight into getting Iomedae to blast them, your assertion is straight-up wrong to begin with. (For one thing, if a player mistakenly believes that he's been abducted by an Iomedae imposter demon lord -- which is not a totally unreasonable thing to think, given the circumstances -- and is impulsive enough to go straight to the initative roll, then by the adventure as written Iomedae is going to blast out his eyes, burst his ears, zap him into a coma, and send him back to the Prime without even stopping to go 'Perhaps it was a friendly fire mistake').

There's a <redacted> in King of Chaos who does this exact thing to a group of crusaders.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Sorry. I more so meant for that to be taken as a in-game thing.
Ah, okay. Tangent has the right of it. Iomedae knows these characters and should be anticipating any such problems. Now, if Tongs just ignored the warning and continued back-talking, I could see a chastisement. Definitely not maiming him, but maybe sticking duct tape over his mouth.

I guess that is the point i was trying to make.

In order for a PC to suffer those effects they have to ignore the first warning. Being muted (which Iomedae can and will remove if they seem sorry for the offense). After that warning wouldn't the PC just be looking for trouble?


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Sorry. I more so meant for that to be taken as a in-game thing.
Ah, okay. Tangent has the right of it. Iomedae knows these characters and should be anticipating any such problems. Now, if Tongs just ignored the warning and continued back-talking, I could see a chastisement. Definitely not maiming him, but maybe sticking duct tape over his mouth.

I guess that is the point i was trying to make.

In order for a PC to suffer those effects they have to ignore the first warning. Being muted (which Iomedae can and will remove if they seem sorry for the offense). After that warning wouldn't the PC just be looking for trouble?

Because not every scenario is as simple as "everybody fawns over Iomedae".


magnuskn wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Sorry. I more so meant for that to be taken as a in-game thing.
Ah, okay. Tangent has the right of it. Iomedae knows these characters and should be anticipating any such problems. Now, if Tongs just ignored the warning and continued back-talking, I could see a chastisement. Definitely not maiming him, but maybe sticking duct tape over his mouth.

I guess that is the point i was trying to make.

In order for a PC to suffer those effects they have to ignore the first warning. Being muted (which Iomedae can and will remove if they seem sorry for the offense). After that warning wouldn't the PC just be looking for trouble?

Because not every scenario is as simple as "everybody fawns over Iomedae".

You aren't required to fawn. Even just being quiet would suffice according to the encounter.


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Yeah. I mean, if we're talking about temperate responses more in keeping for the goddess of paladins, justice, and all that:

"You get to be quiet now." -- The jerkish character has a silence, 1' radius field put around his mouth. If he actually has something important to say it turns off and he can contribute to the meeting, but every time he starts to say something insulting she hits the mute button again. If you want to know how a silence spell can know whether or not what a guy says is polite ahead of time, the answer is 'It's a miracle.'

"Somebody needs a time-out." -- *poof* If the misbehavior is chornic then the jerkish character is now back on the Prime, and no longer participates in the scene. He misses out on all the possible bennies that the rest of the party could have gotten. But since mortals have free will and Iomedae respects that, if the rest of the party still wants to take their friend along on the rest of the Crusade they totally can. She just won't invite him to her house anymore.

"... you're kidding. You're kidding, right?" -- This one is for anyone who actually attacks Iomedae. She just stands there and no-sells whatever they throw at her, and actually laughs out loud that somebody thought it would work. Then she says that OK, if the player character wanted to challenge her to a duel, all they had to do is ask. The next step involves a straight-up honorable duel, maybe a few die rolls, a s@*% ton of non-lethal damage, and the PC back on the Prime contemplating the error of his ways while he invests in some soothing cream for all his new bruises.

Notice the common theme to all of this -- the response is the minimal level of force necessary to resolve the situation, and none of it has Iomedae acting in anger or offended pride. A guy who actually is trying to take the meeting seriously but just keeps saying stupid stuff is punished with a temporary inability to say anything stupid. A guy who just doesn't want to participate at all... is no longer participating. And anybody too stupid to know not to try and fight a god... gets the opportunity to learn why fighting a god is really stupid, but the beating they take is entirely non-lethal damage and is no more brutal than a martial arts master teaching the newest student just how far he has to go. Its the difference between Yoda showing Luke that he's not as good as he thinks by running Luke until he drops, and Darth Vader teaching Luke that he's not as good as he thinks by cutting Luke's hand off.


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Chuckg wrote:

Yeah. I mean, if we're talking about temperate responses more in keeping for the goddess of paladins, justice, and all that:

"You get to be quiet now." -- The jerkish character has a silence, 1' radius field put around his mouth. If he actually has something important to say it turns off and he can contribute to the meeting, but every time he starts to say something insulting she hits the mute button again. If you want to know how a silence spell can know whether or not what a guy says is polite ahead of time, the answer is 'It's a miracle.'

"Somebody needs a time-out." -- *poof* If the misbehavior is chornic then the jerkish character is now back on the Prime, and no longer participates in the scene. He misses out on all the possible bennies that the rest of the party could have gotten. But since mortals have free will and Iomedae expects that, if the rest of the party still wants to take their friend along on the rest of the Crusade they totally can. She just won't invite him to her house anymore.

"... you're kidding. You're kidding, right?" -- This one is for anyone who actually attacks Iomedae. She just stands there and no-sells whatever they throw at her, and actually laughs out loud that somebody thought it would work. Then she says that OK, if the player character wanted to challenge her to a duel, all they had to do is ask. The next step involves a straight-up honorable duel, maybe a few die rolls, a s!%~ ton of non-lethal damage, and the PC back on the Prime contemplating the error of his ways while he invests in some soothing cream for all his new bruises.

Those are all fine as well. No one is wrong in this thread. We are strictly speaking of differing opinions.

Some people enjoy a more old testament, greek god, flavor of deity.

Some people enjoy a nicer approach to deities.

Either can be used.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:

Those are all fine as well. No one is wrong in this thread. We are strictly speaking of differing opinions.

Some people enjoy a more old testament, greek god, flavor of deity.

Actually, someone is wrong in this thread -- you. You don't get to say "It's my opinion" when talking about matters of simple factual record -- such as what Iomedae's description in the Pathfinder supplements does or does not say.

Iomedae, as written in Faiths of Purity, Inner Sea World Guide, Council of Thieves, etc, is not an "old testament, greek god, flavor of deity". She simply isn't. Your personal preferences and your own campaign aside, what's actually written in the game supplements is clear -- and totally inconsistent with what was written in Ivory Labyrinth.

This is why so many of us object to it. Because its violently out of character.

And that's not just a difference of opinion. That's the text.

Add: There's also that part where you tried to pass off blinded, deafened, permanently voiceless, and taken to -1 HP as a "spanking". That's simply wrong. No 'opinion' can possibly stretch the definition of 'spanking' remotely that far, anymore than I could define a price tag of $100 million as 'slightly expensive' or the Pacific Ocean as 'slightly damp'.


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Brain in a Jar wrote:
Those are all fine as well. No one is wrong in this thread. We are strictly speaking of differing opinions.

No we don't. People who defend torture as "slaps on the wrist" are wrong, easy as that.

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