Breaking the Bones of Hell (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 6 of the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Silver Crusade

I finished reading Hell's Rebels this weekend, and I wanted to post and say that I pretty much think it's the best AP ever. Granted, I have not read all the other APs, but it's hard to imagine any of them fitting so well into exactly what I like (urban, good-aligned, lawful good Hellknights). Reading the end made me excited to go back and prep the earlier parts of the AP (my group's going to finish In Hell's Bright Shadow on Thursday).

I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

Now my question for GMs on Breaking the Bones of Hell: Do the DCs on the negotiations with Cheliax seem low to anyone, or is it just because I have an empiricist investigator with the orator feat in the party? Because for him by that point, they will pretty much be insta-win, even if the negotiator dies. I'll probably up them by about 10, just to give Cheliax a fighting chance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eliandra Gilessan wrote:

I finished reading Hell's Rebels this weekend, and I wanted to post and say that I pretty much think it's the best AP ever. [/quote

This. A thousand times this. I'm sad that my gaming group is the only ones I know who play Pathfinder, because there's no one I can shove the books at and have them ooh and ahh over it with me. And we aren't even starting playing it until we finish Rise of the Runelords, which is easily six to nine months out or more. The suspense is killing me. :)

And it may just be that you have the empiricist investigator, although our main party face is shaping up to be a high, high charisma life oracle, so we may run into much the same. I've only been in one campaign that went to high levels, and it played serious softball when it came to high-level play, so it's hard for me to judge where challenges lie on the "pushover" to "oh gods, oh gods, we're all going to die" scale.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

It's absolutely spot on how you interpret it: he's straight but messed up.

We should and will do a full-on aesexual NPC at some point, I guarantee, but I'd rather have her or him NOT be evil or villainous for the first one.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

I finished reading Hell's Rebels this weekend, and I wanted to post and say that I pretty much think it's the best AP ever. Granted, I have not read all the other APs, but it's hard to imagine any of them fitting so well into exactly what I like (urban, good-aligned, lawful good Hellknights). Reading the end made me excited to go back and prep the earlier parts of the AP (my group's going to finish In Hell's Bright Shadow on Thursday).

I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

Now my question for GMs on Breaking the Bones of Hell: Do the DCs on the negotiations with Cheliax seem low to anyone, or is it just because I have an empiricist investigator with the orator feat in the party? Because for him by that point, they will pretty much be insta-win, even if the negotiator dies. I'll probably up them by about 10, just to give Cheliax a fighting chance.

The DCs are intended to be ones that a low level party would have a tough time hitting, thus justifying why Ravounel sends its highest-level heroes to do the job. And for them, they're built so that an average party should be able to hit most of them with ease and not get shut out of things just because they happen to not have a diplomacy specialist.

If you have a character who's specifically built to excel at these types of checks, then yes, I fully expect that character to CRUSH this section of the adventure. That is entirely by design. Think of it as a reward for a player who went an entire campaign with a build that isn't all about combat.


Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I finished reading Hell's Rebels this weekend, and I wanted to post and say that I pretty much think it's the best AP ever.

*raises hand* Same here!

Glad I'm already running this.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

I finished reading Hell's Rebels this weekend, and I wanted to post and say that I pretty much think it's the best AP ever. Granted, I have not read all the other APs, but it's hard to imagine any of them fitting so well into exactly what I like (urban, good-aligned, lawful good Hellknights). Reading the end made me excited to go back and prep the earlier parts of the AP (my group's going to finish In Hell's Bright Shadow on Thursday).

I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

Now my question for GMs on Breaking the Bones of Hell: Do the DCs on the negotiations with Cheliax seem low to anyone, or is it just because I have an empiricist investigator with the orator feat in the party? Because for him by that point, they will pretty much be insta-win, even if the negotiator dies. I'll probably up them by about 10, just to give Cheliax a fighting chance.

The DCs are intended to be ones that a low level party would have a tough time hitting, thus justifying why Ravounel sends its highest-level heroes to do the job. And for them, they're built so that an average party should be able to hit most of them with ease and not get shut out of things just because they happen to not have a diplomacy specialist.

If you have a character who's specifically built to excel at these types of checks, then yes, I fully expect that character to CRUSH this section of the adventure. That is entirely by design. Think of it as a reward for a player who went an entire campaign with a build that isn't all about combat.

Okay, I will let Percy completely dominate the negotiations. He'll appreciate it.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

It's absolutely spot on how you interpret it: he's straight but messed up.

We should and will do a full-on aesexual NPC at some point, I guarantee, but I'd rather have her or him NOT be evil or villainous for the first one.

As both an asexual and a huge fan of Paizo's work, I would LOVE to see an asexual NPC!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I am glad to see Barzillai's sexuality falling into "straight but screwed up" and not "worst asexual representation ever." (If that actually was an attempt at asexual representation, I beg for you to never, ever tell me.)

It's absolutely spot on how you interpret it: he's straight but messed up.

We should and will do a full-on aesexual NPC at some point, I guarantee, but I'd rather have her or him NOT be evil or villainous for the first one.

As both an asexual and a huge fan of Paizo's work, I would LOVE to see an asexual NPC!

At least one of our iconics is aesexual, but I'm not sure who yet; as with all the sexual prefrence stuff for the iconics, we likely won't spell that out until it makes sense in a particular storyline.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I always assumed it was Seoni, since it makes such a great counterpoint to her visual design vis-a-vis peoples' assumptions and stereotypes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:
I always assumed it was Seoni, since it makes such a great counterpoint to her visual design vis-a-vis peoples' assumptions and stereotypes.

In fact, she is a very strong contender for the role, especially since that helps to counter the fact that she's one of the more sexualized in appearance and that helps to play against the stereotype.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Asexual? I had to look that up online: "A person who has no sexual feelings or desires." You learn something new every day!

Question: how rare are people with this orientation or lack of desire? (I've never heard of this type of non-visible minority; thus I'm assuming it's a minority)

Question 2: How plausible would it be for asexual people to display themselves as overly sexualized like Seoni? (in a middle-age setting; not a modern setting) Wouldn't that engender a stream of useless attention towards them? Wouldn't such people get really fed up or angry at all the people hitting on them? (I'm guessing everyone would display their asexuality differently, same as straight of gay people have different styles; but I'm wondering about the plausibility of such a thing in a harsh, ancient world where Erastil is a thing...)

(I'm just trying to understand; not judging)

Silver Crusade System Administrator

It's a minority but it's also a spectrum. I don't have numbers but I know a few people who have said they are on that spectrum.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Asexual? I had to look that up online: "A person who has no sexual feelings or desires." You learn something new every day!

Question: how rare are people with this orientation or lack of desire? (I've never heard of this type of non-visible minority; thus I'm assuming it's a minority)

Question 2: How plausible would it be for asexual people to display themselves as overly sexualized like Seoni? (in a middle-age setting; not a modern setting) Wouldn't that engender a stream of useless attention towards them? Wouldn't such people get really fed up or angry at all the people hitting on them? (I'm guessing everyone would display their asexuality differently, same as straight of gay people have different styles; but I'm wondering about the plausibility of such a thing in a harsh, ancient world where Erastil is a thing...)

(I'm just trying to understand; not judging)

This is off-topic, actually, for Breaking the Bones of Hell. It's an important topic to talk about though, as are ALL representation/equality issues, so perhaps it'd be a good idea to start a new thread in the off-topic forum?

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

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I can't answer question #1, aside from saying I have a few IRL friends and a few online friends who identify as asexual (or "ace" if you want to sound hip).

For question #2, though, people (especially women) don't dress solely to attract romantic or sexual partners. You dress you love an aesthetic, or to emphasize features you like, or to feel more confidant, or because that's how you were raised to dress/that's normal for you. Some people also dress to attract partners, but most people generally have a specific outfit (or outfits) for that rather than making it part of their daily wardrobe.

And even then, many ace people still have romantic leanings and want a partner. They just have zero interest in or attraction to sex. At least one of the ace people I know is in a poly relationship with several other people.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015

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Kalindlara wrote:
I always assumed it was Seoni, since it makes such a great counterpoint to her visual design vis-a-vis peoples' assumptions and stereotypes.

I always kind of felt that way as well, that despite her appearance she was either asexual or chaste, for some personal reason.

Silver Crusade

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I made a new thread here. Sorry for the derail!

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a few posts and their responses. Folks, this thread is for GM discussion regarding "Breaking the Bones of Hell." If you want to have a more detailed discussion about the sexual orientation of future characters in the Adventure Path line, or have commentary regarding representation in our products, please take it to another thread.

Silver Crusade

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So a thing I did not expect from Breaking the Bones of Hell---it made me feel a little bad for Barzillai Thrune. Let's be clear. He is one sick puppy and needs to be put down like the rabid dog he is (and my sincere apologies to canines for the comparisons.) But. I get stuck on the bit about his self-loathing, and a little bit the doubt. Put all together, I get the feeling that Barzillai was miserable. He had inappropriate feelings as a child---very, very inappropriate---but his mother handled them in the way least likely to make her child grow up to be emotionally functional. He's obsessed with trying to be remembered because no one has ever loved him. And the irony, of course, is that since Ravounel will likely not be redacting its history, he WILL be remembered---as the evil so great that it inspired a new nation to rebel against it.

My biggest (and still very small) sticking point on Hell's Rebels was that rebelling against Abrogail Thrune's creeper cousin, who was almost cartoonish in his villainy, was a little dissatisfying. But that one little bit humanized him somewhat, which makes defeating him more satisfying.

Also, the genius loci thing is just cool.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Yeah, this is one of the coolest villains. I just wish his "final form" were a little more unique than a classed-up bone devil.

It's just a minor quibble, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

So a thing I did not expect from Breaking the Bones of Hell---it made me feel a little bad for Barzillai Thrune. Let's be clear. He is one sick puppy and needs to be put down like the rabid dog he is (and my sincere apologies to canines for the comparisons.) But. I get stuck on the bit about his self-loathing, and a little bit the doubt. Put all together, I get the feeling that Barzillai was miserable. He had inappropriate feelings as a child---very, very inappropriate---but his mother handled them in the way least likely to make her child grow up to be emotionally functional. He's obsessed with trying to be remembered because no one has ever loved him. And the irony, of course, is that since Ravounel will likely not be redacting its history, he WILL be remembered---as the evil so great that it inspired a new nation to rebel against it.

My biggest (and still very small) sticking point on Hell's Rebels was that rebelling against Abrogail Thrune's creeper cousin, who was almost cartoonish in his villainy, was a little dissatisfying. But that one little bit humanized him somewhat, which makes defeating him more satisfying.

Also, the genius loci thing is just cool.

Excellent! That was kind of my goal. To present a multi-layered villain who IS a villain, but who isn't just a black-and-white evil just to be evil type of bad guy. And by holding off all that revelation for the final adventure the hope was to make the finale more memorable, rather than reveal that stuff too soon and distract folks or be anticlimactic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

So a thing I did not expect from Breaking the Bones of Hell---it made me feel a little bad for Barzillai Thrune. Let's be clear. He is one sick puppy and needs to be put down like the rabid dog he is (and my sincere apologies to canines for the comparisons.) But. I get stuck on the bit about his self-loathing, and a little bit the doubt. Put all together, I get the feeling that Barzillai was miserable. He had inappropriate feelings as a child---very, very inappropriate---but his mother handled them in the way least likely to make her child grow up to be emotionally functional. He's obsessed with trying to be remembered because no one has ever loved him. And the irony, of course, is that since Ravounel will likely not be redacting its history, he WILL be remembered---as the evil so great that it inspired a new nation to rebel against it.

My biggest (and still very small) sticking point on Hell's Rebels was that rebelling against Abrogail Thrune's creeper cousin, who was almost cartoonish in his villainy, was a little dissatisfying. But that one little bit humanized him somewhat, which makes defeating him more satisfying.

Also, the genius loci thing is just cool.

Excellent! That was kind of my goal. To present a multi-layered villain who IS a villain, but who isn't just a black-and-white evil just to be evil type of bad guy. And by holding off all that revelation for the final adventure the hope was to make the finale more memorable, rather than reveal that stuff too soon and distract folks or be anticlimactic.

You succeeded, good sir. :) I literally gasped out loud when I got to the tower in Caina on my readthrough. The connection between his history, his flaws, his proclamations, and the levels of the tower was, I thought, quite stunning, and drew together so many things in a very cool package. (Especially the greenhouse/plant room. He treated those beneath him like dirt, like s$$+ - it was so appropriate.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm noticing that several of Cheliax's 'problem children' lie just outside the borders of Ravounel;

Pezzack - Alternating between covert and open rebellion since Thrune took over. Currently under naval blockade.

Thuryan - Giants and mainland refugees preparing to claim the island.

Ciricskree and Devil's Perch in general - Strix. Enough said.

How likely would Nereza be to agree to Ravounel annexing some of these areas? That is, what would she demand in return? Would she even be authorized to make that kind of deal?


I doubt Nereza's authorized (or would be willing) to actually give away chunks of Cheliax, but depending on what the PCs say she could pass the offer on to the Queen.

I'd expect Abrogail would expect Ravounel to be responsible for making sure those areas "behave" and don't act against the interests of Cheliax - Abrogail is probably a psychopath but she is not a fool. And so if the party takes over hotbeds of sedition, she's going to want to make sure the party isn't just making a safe haven for anti-Chelish bandits/pirates or whatever.

Probably some clause that puts the burden on the PCs to "fix it" if those areas act out.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CBDunkerson wrote:

I'm noticing that several of Cheliax's 'problem children' lie just outside the borders of Ravounel;

Pezzack - Alternating between covert and open rebellion since Thrune took over. Currently under naval blockade.

Thuryan - Giants and mainland refugees preparing to claim the island.

Ciricskree and Devil's Perch in general - Strix. Enough said.

How likely would Nereza be to agree to Ravounel annexing some of these areas? That is, what would she demand in return? Would she even be authorized to make that kind of deal?

Yah, she's not authorized to give away anything else, and the contract won't really let the PCs try for them. That's something that, if the PCs want them, needs to be handled as part of a Continuing the Campaign thing; it's beyond the scope of the AP as designed.


So, the continuing the campaign part with the psychopomp messenger from Pharasma got me thinking. What if this was Salim Ghadafar instead, from Death's Heretic and the Redemption Engine? Obviously, he'd have to be high level enough to give 17-18th level PCs a challenge if they decide to fight, and he'd probably do best with some psychopomp allies, perhaps Ceyanan (I think he's a Memitim?) or the moriganna detailed in the book.

This sounds like the kind of thing he'd be sent in for, though.


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

Ceyanon is a Psychopomp usher, they don't have a specific type.


? Pretty sure Ceyanan's a memitim; some of the crap he does to Salim seems straight from the memitim stat block.


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

Fair enough, i haven't read the books in a while, and i haven't looked at the Memitim in forever. :-)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Bejakra's stats seem to be off. Her attack and damage bonus for Balgorrah are as if it were a +4 wounding kukri, not the +5 unholy kukri its stats ended up in the finished product. Likewise, she doesn't have the luck bonuses the awakened Balgorrah provides to Norgorber worshipers, or the damage bonus from Weapon Specialization. Those are the easy parts to fix.

But she also has the Two-Weapon Fighting chain of feats, but only one weapon, and a shield bonus which I assume comes from Two Weapon Defense, but again, only one weapon. Worse, she has Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses, but no ranks in Intimidate.

How should Bejakra be rebuilt? I'm thinking of giving her a +1 kukri for her off hand and keeping the TWF feats, but switching Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses for Double Slice and Iron Will.


Zhangar wrote:
? Pretty sure Ceyanan's a memitim; some of the crap he does to Salim seems straight from the memitim stat block.

Ceyannan is listed as a Psychopomp usher (unique demigod) in the first Bestiary psychopomp intro, whichever volume that was.

I suppose he's like a memitim in the same sense Nocticula is like a succubus.


Off-topic, I do believe! Salim has nothing to do with this AP...


I think there is something wrong with Corinstian Grivenner's CR. A normal Dread Wraith is CR 13, according to its entry in the Witchwar Legacy (and its entry on the PFSRD).

Even throwing on the Fiendish template, his CR should only be 14. He has lower Dex and Wisdom, higher Int and Cha, higher DCs (Due to a better feat selection than the standard Dread Wraith), and of course benefits from the Fiendish Template.

Is his CR wrong, or is the Dreadwraith from the Witchwar Legacy, and thus the PFSRD, wrong CR-wise?

--------------------------------

I do want to say on another note that this is THE best AP I've ever read. I love the finale of the AP and just the entire AP itself, so kudos to all of the authors for doing an amazing job with this AP.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dr. Logem, Ph.Dwarf wrote:

I think there is something wrong with Corinstian Grivenner's CR. A normal Dread Wraith is CR 13, according to its entry in the Witchwar Legacy (and its entry on the PFSRD).

Even throwing on the Fiendish template, his CR should only be 14. He has lower Dex and Wisdom, higher Int and Cha, higher DCs (Due to a better feat selection than the standard Dread Wraith), and of course benefits from the Fiendish Template.

Is his CR wrong, or is the Dreadwraith from the Witchwar Legacy, and thus the PFSRD, wrong CR-wise?

--------------------------------

I do want to say on another note that this is THE best AP I've ever read. I love the finale of the AP and just the entire AP itself, so kudos to all of the authors for doing an amazing job with this AP.

His CR is correct. Sometimes, particularly for monsters that we heavily tinker with, we make ad-hoc CR adjustments and decisions in precisely the same way we do when we design entirely new monsters. This one is a very different creature from the one in Witchwar Legacy, and further different from the one in the PFSRD. Wraiths are particularly difficult to CR since while they do tend to have somewhat low AC and hp, they can be difficult to damage and, with the Con drain he's doing, can put down even high level foes with shocking speed.


Wow. I just finished reading Hell's Rebels all the way through (finally), and am writing just to express how impressed I am by this final installment. Credit needs to be given where credit is due and BtBoH just might be the best final installment of a Paizo AP I've read yet. Granted, I haven't read all of them, but I still feel the need to voice just how good this part is, especially so since I'm not seeing a whole lot of buzz around this final part. Although it has some odd leaps in logic here and there, everything presented here, from the engaging social encounter of negotiating for your country's rights to delving almost literally into the main antagonist's psyche is just top-notch stuff.
Ms Scott, if you ever read this, kudos to you because BtBoH is fantastic.

That said, one of the primary reasons I love this part is its finale and that it doesn't shy away from depicting the horrors of both hell itself and the minds of the sort of people that end up there. Those glimpses into Barzillai's mindscape are so tantalizing and evocative. In my own mind, they solidify Barzillai as the best developed antagonist Paizo has featured yet, a sentiment I know others share.
That's why it kills me that the introduction hints that some details might have been removed for the same reason a content warning was added. I'm not sure if this is somehow a sensitive subject, but Ms Scott? Mr Jacobs? Is there any chance that you could reveal a few sordid details about what was? Or simply lay my fears about great big editorial shears to rest?

Don't worry, I'm a big boy who's been wearing his big-boy pants for a while now, and my table is no different. We can take it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Arthur G wrote:

Wow. I just finished reading Hell's Rebels all the way through (finally), and am writing just to express how impressed I am by this final installment. Credit needs to be given where credit is due and BtBoH just might be the best final installment of a Paizo AP I've read yet. Granted, I haven't read all of them, but I still feel the need to voice just how good this part is, especially so since I'm not seeing a whole lot of buzz around this final part. Although it has some odd leaps in logic here and there, everything presented here, from the engaging social encounter of negotiating for your country's rights to delving almost literally into the main antagonist's psyche is just top-notch stuff.

Ms Scott, if you ever read this, kudos to you because BtBoH is fantastic.

That said, one of the primary reasons I love this part is its finale and that it doesn't shy away from depicting the horrors of both hell itself and the minds of the sort of people that end up there. Those glimpses into Barzillai's mindscape are so tantalizing and evocative. In my own mind, they solidify Barzillai as the best developed antagonist Paizo has featured yet, a sentiment I know others share.
That's why it kills me that the introduction hints that some details might have been removed for the same reason a content warning was added. I'm not sure if this is somehow a sensitive subject, but Ms Scott? Mr Jacobs? Is there any chance that you could reveal a few sordid details about what was? Or simply lay my fears about great big editorial shears to rest?

Don't worry, I'm a big boy who's been wearing his big-boy pants for a while now, and my table is no different. We can take it.

There were not "big editorial shears" involved in the adventure's development, and in fact, as with all of the adventures (and particularly with Hell's Rebels overall, which I put a VERY heavy development hand into in order to tie the adventures together more than I've ever done before), I added quite a lot of additional material to the adventure, a lot of it being stuff to build up and develop Barzillai over the course of all six parts. (That's one of the reasons why I chose part 4 as the one I was writing; that let me be the one to build Barzillai's initial stats and NPC entry.)

That said, there was one element that got removed from the last chapter of Breaking the Bones of Hell, but it was more because it ended up not making sense for Barzillai's history or personality and less because of mature content (although it was mature). Summary in the spoiler below for the curious:

Spoiler:
The Bloodwall Bastion, area C3, was originally focused more on childbirth and pregnancy, but as I developed the text I realized that these elements didn't make much sense to be part of a torment to a man who was, in effect, impotent and obsessed only with his sister in an incestuous way. So instead I refocused the theme of area C3 from a hellish nursery to a hellish workhouse, and shifted it from pregnancy themes to child abuse themes. It simply didn't make sense to have pregnant women being tormented in this room, since the whole point of the Tower of Bone is to torment Barzillai and his followers. Feel free to adjust as you wish for your game, of course, but as written the encounter makes a LOT more sense and is a LOT more in-character for the location.

AKA: Editorial changes are usually about improving the end result, not cutting content just to cut content.


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James Jacobs wrote:
There were not "big editorial shears" involved in the adventure's development, and in fact, as with all of the adventures (and particularly with Hell's Rebels overall, which I put a VERY heavy development hand into in order to tie the adventures together more than I've ever done before), I added quite a lot of additional material...

Huh. Yeah, I can see that. Funnily enough, the Bastion is actually my favorite location within the Bone Tower. The idea of power hungry Barzillai hating his own lack of power as a child makes perfect sense, as does the punishment of infantilizing the petitioners there.

Thanks for the swift reply and for the little view into the editorial process, and while I have you here, thanks for the whole path, man. Looking forward to GMing it for my group. Will drop a review sooner rather than later.
Do apologize if my original post somehow painted the editorial staff as Asmodean redactors. Was certainly not intended. I know enough about the editorial process to see that this is not the case.


I had a couple of queries on the secession negotiations that I'd like to get a view on.

Firstly, the status of Anchor's End in Arcadia. I would guess that Cheliax does not want to let this key colony go, and that Ravounel doesn't have the resources to claim it, quite apart from the fact it's not in Ravounel proper.
Does this have any impact on the Vashnarstill family? The party seek their support in part 3, but the potential loss of their holdings doesn't come up as a factor.
I was going to assume they'd withdraw support if they weren't suitably compensated? How much would that Barony be worth?

Secondly was the status of Vyre. I get the impression it'a Free City, but it does fall into the borders of Ravounel, and it's actually bigger than Kintargo, but it doesn't come up in the negotiations.
Is the view that it's essentially a Free City state and therefore Ravounel has no claim on it, nor does Cheliax? Or is it meant to stay with Cheliax? If it goes with Ravounel I feel it would be a fairly major point, and the leaders of Vyre would have a lot to say on the matter as well.
My current planned solution is for Vyre to approach the party and demand they be given full Free City status inside Ravounel as a part of their support, and for Cheliax to demand free access to the city as part of their negotiations.

Silver Crusade

PJH wrote:

Secondly was the status of Vyre. I get the impression it'a Free City, but it does fall into the borders of Ravounel, and it's actually bigger than Kintargo, but it doesn't come up in the negotiations.

Is the view that it's essentially a Free City state and therefore Ravounel has no claim on it, nor does Cheliax? Or is it meant to stay with Cheliax? If it goes with Ravounel I feel it would be a fairly major point, and the leaders of Vyre would have a lot to say on the matter as well.
My current planned solution is for Vyre to approach the party and demand they be given full Free City status inside Ravounel as a part of their support, and for Cheliax to demand free access to the city as part of their negotiations.

In The Kintargo Contract, the PCs should get Vyre to sign their agreement, so it's included in the part of Ravounel that Cheliax can't invade. So it's not part of Cheliax anymore. I always got the impression that Kintargo planned to let the other parts of Ravounel govern themselves but maintain alliances with Kintargo. But I think it would be reasonable to make that explicit.

Shadow Lodge

CBDunkerson wrote:

I'm noticing that several of Cheliax's 'problem children' lie just outside the borders of Ravounel;

Pezzack - Alternating between covert and open rebellion since Thrune took over. Currently under naval blockade.

Thuryan - Giants and mainland refugees preparing to claim the island.

Ciricskree and Devil's Perch in general - Strix. Enough said.

How likely would Nereza be to agree to Ravounel annexing some of these areas? That is, what would she demand in return? Would she even be authorized to make that kind of deal?

Why would the PCs want those areas in Ravounel's borders? If they're serious about exporting their revolution, they should want them exactly where they are; buboes on Cheliax's bloated body, ready to burst.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Why would the PCs want those areas in Ravounel's borders?

Territory? Allies? Resources?

Quote:
If they're serious about exporting their revolution, they should want them exactly where they are; buboes on Cheliax's bloated body, ready to burst.

That assumes they are looking for trouble with Cheliax. If, instead, they are just trying to set up the most viable new country they can... that's a small chunk of northwestern Cheliax which would be thrilled to have a different political arrangement. Nearly any other expansion of Ravounel's borders would likely require war with Cheliax and/or Nidal... not a good plan for a fledgling backwater nation.

Shadow Lodge

CBDunkerson wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Why would the PCs want those areas in Ravounel's borders?
Territory? Allies? Resources?

None of it's enough to matter grand-strategically. The only reason to take these territories in would be too soothe a humanitarian conscience, but Ciricskree and Thuryan aren't doing badly for themselves. They need allies to help them continue on as they have, not new overlords. Even Pezzack only needs the blockade lifted for its dual power to resolve in a progressive way.

Quote:
Quote:
If they're serious about exporting their revolution, they should want them exactly where they are; buboes on Cheliax's bloated body, ready to burst.
That assumes they are looking for trouble with Cheliax. If, instead, they are just trying to set up the most viable new country they can... that's a small chunk of northwestern Cheliax which would be thrilled to have a different political arrangement. Nearly any other expansion of Ravounel's borders would likely require war with Cheliax and/or Nidal... not a good plan for a fledgling backwater nation.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Cheliax is guaranteed to use Nidal as a proxy to make trouble for Ravounel. Ravounel's only real security, and only real opportunity to promote whatever qualities supposedly make its independence worthwhile, lie in sparking yet another revolution within Cheliax. Doing that requires that there be . . . revolutionaries in Cheliax.

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