Flavor Revisions


Hell's Rebels


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I'm curious to know of any minor changes GMs have made to Hell's Rebels. I'm not talking about major overhauls like dropping the Rebellion subsystem or anything like that. What are some story elements you've added or changed as a part of the roleplay aspect?

For instance, I have renamed the Chelish Citizen's Group the Queensmen. I just feel that has way more panache.

Also, I noticed that there seemed to be an absence of a place for this citizen's group to be based out of. Therefore I have invented the Chained Devil Inn, a large three story inn in Jarvis End. This will be the organizational meeting hub of the Queensmen in my game. I may post more details on this inn and its inhabitants and history as I work them out.

What have you added or altered?

Grand Lodge Contributor

Shaun wrote:

I'm curious to know of any minor changes GMs have made to Hell's Rebels. I'm not talking about major overhauls like dropping the Rebellion subsystem or anything like that. What are some story elements you've added or changed as a part of the roleplay aspect?

For instance, I have renamed the Chelish Citizen's Group the Queensmen. I just feel that has way more panache.

Also, I noticed that there seemed to be an absence of a place for this citizen's group to be based out of. Therefore I have invented the Chained Devil Inn, a large three story inn in Jarvis End. This will be the organizational meeting hub of the Queensmen in my game. I may post more details on this inn and its inhabitants and history as I work them out.

What have you added or altered?

I'd been planning to do something to make the CCG more interesting, and this is excellent. I'm stealing the Queensmen, but renaming the pub to The Queen Abrogail (named after the first Queen Abrogail) and positioning it in Old Kintargo.

I haven't changed much at all so far. The main thing I think I've added has been giving Aluceda Zhol a brother who is in charge of Shadowsquare, mainly because I want her to remain hidden until it's necessary that the players meet her. One of my players is seeking answers about his backstory from Aluceda so I wanted her to be even more mysterious in the early parts of the game.

PS: Good name, Shaun ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cool! I do love seeing how GMs make the APs their own. (That said, "Queensmen" seems unnecessarily gendered in my opinion since the split between men and women in that group is about 50/50... and also weird in that the Kintargan dottari increasingly work for Barzillai, not the queen...)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Cool! I do love seeing how GMs make the APs their own. (That said, "Queensmen" seems unnecessarily gendered in my opinion since the split between men and women in that group is about 50/50... and also weird in that the Kintargan dottari increasingly work for Barzillai, not the queen...)

I see the CCG, separate from the Dottari, as being more of a deputized social group with a right wing, patriotic focus. They're loyal to Barzillai for sure, but identifying themselves with the Queen is a more romantic ideal of patriotism to them than the lord-mayor.

Regarding the "men" in it, I'm not really sure how to explain it other than I envision this group as being conservative with a reactionary view of patriotism. Of course ladies are welcome, but I imagine this group likes the sound of the name and aren't the type of spend a lot of time considering branding for inclusion. Think the kind of crowd that would be appealing to Ted Nugent if he lived in Cheliax.

That's just my take on it.

Grand Lodge Contributor

The Queensguard? Queenscorps? Queensloyals?


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

The Loyal.

It's arrogant, assumptive, and it makes my players' good-hearted characters gnash their teeth in blinding rage.


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My players don't have a lot of familiarity with the Pathfinder campaign world. Also, strictly speaking we're not playing Hell's Rebels in that campaign world; I stuck Cheliax into the homebrew world that we've been building over time.

One of the things that I'd decided early on is that the events of our last campaign were sufficiently famous that they were depicted in a opera that was airing all over Cheliax, which of course was something that they enjoyed. And then once they got a kick out of that, I mentioned how the story had been... 'revised' in keeping with Thrune's policy on history. I think the single best thing that i could have done to get my one player invested in rebellion was telling him that his LG cleric was being depicted all over the nation as a brave servant of Asmodeus.


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I've made a few changes and expansions to the city, among other things.

First off, I've added in a significant businessman, a dwarf named Haak Gundersson. Starting off as a Blacksmith. After some success he got into the mining business to get his own ores at cost, and that then led to him operating his own freight business to move the ore to the city.
Once he had a reasonable number of employees, it became sensible to open up a couple of resthouses to provide overnight accomodation, and then that led to a tavern and eatery.
By now, Haak owns a shipping company, a hostelry, two resthouses, a tavern, three general goods stores and a smithy in the city, all under the name 'Gunderssons'. He's considering opening up a coffeehouse, given Kintargo's love of the new Arcadian import.

Known for his ever-present advertising slogan, "Is it Gunderssons?", this hard-nosed and hard-bearded businessdwarf is a potential ally for the Silver Ravens if they can convince him that his pocket is ill-served by the oversight of the House of Thrune.

Also, because my game has slightly more advanced gunpowder rules, there is a trading enclave from Alkenstar set up in the dock area. Heavily guarded and strictly neutral, the Alkenstar Warehouse is one part embassy, one part gunsmiths, selling high quality powder and carefully restricted firearms on behalf of the Alkenstar Gunworks.

My Dottari carry what are known as 'Riot Maces'. These round, studded metal maces come with a drawstring leather cover that goes over the head and turns them into nasty, but non-lethal subdual weapons in the case of unrest. The sight of Dottari guards taking out the leather covers is a sure sign that the situation is about to escalate into violence.

Finally, I also added in a Thieves Market that operates secretly out of the back room in an obscure fish-gutting factory known as The Red Mullet. The mullet reference is a running joke amongst the criminal classes in Kintargo (business out front, party in the back), and this is a good place to shift stolen goods or pick up items that aren't available through the usual channels.


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I think I will replace the faerie dragon Vindalfink at Clenchjaw's with a cat sith (from the Familiar Folio) with the same name and temperament. I will probably give him 1 level of sorcerer to make up for the difference in spell like abilities.

There's no other reason for this than I think an intelligent cat running the streets on behalf of the Silver Ravens is more cool than a faerie dragon. Plus he doesn't need to be able to turn invisible. A big black cat can hide in plain sight.


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I've added a few "lieutenants" for some of the big villains/adversaries. This gives the dottari and Order of the Rack some sense of actual hierarchy than Nox/Thrune or anyone else giving all the orders the peons. Its works more or less well enough, giving my players a greater sense of "one step at a time," and that they are making progress rather than just going about doing good for the city.

Dark Archive

Shaun wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cool! I do love seeing how GMs make the APs their own. (That said, "Queensmen" seems unnecessarily gendered in my opinion since the split between men and women in that group is about 50/50... and also weird in that the Kintargan dottari increasingly work for Barzillai, not the queen...)

Regarding the "men" in it, I'm not really sure how to explain it other than I envision this group as being conservative with a reactionary view of patriotism. Of course ladies are welcome, but I imagine this group likes the sound of the name and aren't the type of spend a lot of time considering branding for inclusion. Think the kind of crowd that would be appealing to Ted Nugent if he lived in Cheliax.

Maybe they are using old fashioned definition of "men" where it just means humans in general regardless of gender(like "mankind")? :p

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Shaun wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cool! I do love seeing how GMs make the APs their own. (That said, "Queensmen" seems unnecessarily gendered in my opinion since the split between men and women in that group is about 50/50... and also weird in that the Kintargan dottari increasingly work for Barzillai, not the queen...)

Regarding the "men" in it, I'm not really sure how to explain it other than I envision this group as being conservative with a reactionary view of patriotism. Of course ladies are welcome, but I imagine this group likes the sound of the name and aren't the type of spend a lot of time considering branding for inclusion. Think the kind of crowd that would be appealing to Ted Nugent if he lived in Cheliax.

Maybe they are using old fashioned definition of "men" where it just means humans in general regardless of gender(like "mankind")? :p

Old-fashioned is not always best. There's plenty of examples of "old-fashioned" word constructions that are no longer really appropriate for use today.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"rule of thumb" comes to mind.

at any rate, to stay on topic, im not so much "changing" The Newt but expanding him.

one of my player characters is a gnome, and has a backstory involving a brother who is an alchemist and is another of the individuals gone missing after the night of ashes.

well, alchemists can use alter self, so little does she know that she may have already "found" her missing brother in the Newt Market....

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Shaun wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cool! I do love seeing how GMs make the APs their own. (That said, "Queensmen" seems unnecessarily gendered in my opinion since the split between men and women in that group is about 50/50... and also weird in that the Kintargan dottari increasingly work for Barzillai, not the queen...)

Regarding the "men" in it, I'm not really sure how to explain it other than I envision this group as being conservative with a reactionary view of patriotism. Of course ladies are welcome, but I imagine this group likes the sound of the name and aren't the type of spend a lot of time considering branding for inclusion. Think the kind of crowd that would be appealing to Ted Nugent if he lived in Cheliax.

Maybe they are using old fashioned definition of "men" where it just means humans in general regardless of gender(like "mankind")? :p
Old-fashioned is not always best. There's plenty of examples of "old-fashioned" word constructions that are no longer really appropriate for use today.

Eh never called it a good thing, I don't know for sure what kind of group CCG is, but if they are conservative patriots, old fashioned in inapporiate ways is kinda fitting. Or maybe I just have had bad experiences regarding patriotism and nationalism...


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CorvusMask wrote:
Eh never called it a good thing, I don't know for sure what kind of group CCG is, but if they are conservative patriots, old fashioned in inapporiate ways is kinda fitting. Or maybe I just have had bad experiences regarding patriotism and nationalism...

The argument is that unlike Earth, Golarion never had an issue with sexism in its past, therefore presenting exclusionary language as "old-fashioned" is inaccurate. Golarionites don't apparently have a history of sexism to harken back to.

It doesn't change my position on this topic; "Queenspersons" or any of the other suggested alternatives don't get at what I'm looking for. But, that's the argument against this as I understand it.

Shadow Lodge

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"Chelish Citizens Group" doesn't really make sense as a name, putting aside the anachronistic, modern-sounding construction. Nominally, Cheliax doesn't have citizens. It has variously free and unfree subjects to the Imperial crown, and the gang under discussion is for the continuation of this state of affairs.

I think Cole Deschain has the right of it. They'd probably call themselves "Loyalists," and their detractors would call them something derogatory. Probably lumping them in with the rest of the "Thrunies." They remind me most of the Black Hundreds, but there are all sorts of very good reasons not to import the name directly.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's a matter of branding, and as has been stated here the branding will occur from at least two directions: what they brand themselves - the Chelish Citizens Group (The CCG, for those who like alphabet soup), the Queensmen, the Loyalists or Royalists - and what others brand them. Flunkies, devil worshippers, Thrunies, Thronies, imperialists, sellouts, or dead meat, depending on your party's outlook.

How you brand them in your game probably relates to the message you want them to send and any slogans they might use for their cause. On an initial readthrough I saw them as citizens reacting to Kintargo's revolutionary fervor by digging in their heels and saying, "Whoa, hey, you're courting disaster! Our loyalty is to Thrune and Cheliax!"

A slogan like "Cheliax first, Kintargo second" serves as a direct response to the belief that some of these revolutionaries, the Silver Ravens in particular, hold the city in greater esteem or value than the whole of the empire.

"Better the Devil you Know" is a fun slogan, especially if accompanied with artistic propaganda depicting happy and wealthy Chelish citizens under the symbol or depiction of Asmodeus vs. poverty-stricken or violent and deranged "rebels" swayed by anarchy (a demonic association).

I intend to have the CCG keep referring to themselves and their loyalist merchants as "the gold standard" in the Kintargan economy to set up a deliberate irony with the city's history as the Silver City. Just to see if my players capitalize upon that and call themselves by contrast the "silver standard".


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Shaun wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Eh never called it a good thing, I don't know for sure what kind of group CCG is, but if they are conservative patriots, old fashioned in inapporiate ways is kinda fitting. Or maybe I just have had bad experiences regarding patriotism and nationalism...

The argument is that unlike Earth, Golarion never had an issue with sexism in its past, therefore presenting exclusionary language as "old-fashioned" is inaccurate. Golarionites don't apparently have a history of sexism to harken back to.

It doesn't change my position on this topic; "Queenspersons" or any of the other suggested alternatives don't get at what I'm looking for. But, that's the argument against this as I understand it.

It is also worth mentioning that linguistically there is nothing sexist or exclusionary about the word. "Man" does in fact refer to humanity as a whole and comes from a wholly different source separate from "woman", however unlikely that may seem today. Their etymologies are not the same. "Man" is not a root word from which "woman" was derived. Heck, if one were so inclined the argument could easily be made that it is one of the most inclusive word in the English language, doing double duty referring not just to those with a Y chromosome but to all people.

And more on topic, I like your contributions to the path so far, Shaun, both in this thread and elsewhere. I'm going to be changing Vyre slightly, even though it really is neat; the place doesn't quite seem sustainable as presented, and I play with a major sociology nerd whose outcries would be too disruptive to gameplay if I let the place be. Chief among the changes is going to be a tighter border control. The 'no name' policy will stay intact, but not just anyone is going to get in. Once you are in it's still all debauchery, but the "government" is wary of elements that could disrupt the status quo.

And the skum are out, replaced by sahuagin. For no other reason than that I don't like skum and do like sahuagin.


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I've just started Hell's Bright Shadow last Sunday actually, and done a few minor changes. More to come as we go, probably.

1) (As per insights on this forum) I've bestowed a large chunk of Rexus' story to a PC (human female mesmerist) that is fairly interested in linguistics. So far, so good. Rexus is still in the story as her younger brother, though his attitude growing up in his highly charismatic sister's shadow made him turn out slightly differently than the AP. He never attended the Academy (she did). He left home several years ago to pursue a role in helping the people and has associations with various like-minded people throughout the city (i.e. Strea Vestori) that he tries to help using his family's ties and wealth. Since the night of ashes (PC was returning home as Rexus would have), PC has been looking for Rexus and worried sick since he is all she has left.

2) On that note; I will use Rexus less as a philosophical, peace keeping adviser and more of a haphazard, freedom fighter that puts his older sister and her companions a little too far over their head with posters, vandalism, etc (My PCs are fairly cautious and need a shove from time to time). A bit of an extreme example would be at the Salt Works. Depending on how things go, he may hang back and drape a Silver Ravens banner over the gate, or burn their wagons, crates and barrels (Hopefully supply them with a bit of Notoriety as they are going to be avoiding it at all costs).

3) Since our Skull and Shackles campaign we've had a scummy Dwarven 'tribe' known as the Saltbeards that serve as pirates, mercenaries and drunkards. Making Kossrani a member for our own personal amusement.

4) Going to now call the 'C.C.G.' either the Loyalists or Queensmen. Either is amazing, so thank you for that! C.C.G will now be the outsider's term for them with "Group" probably being replaced with "Goons".

That's all I can think off of the top of my head, though I'm sure I've modified more little bits and pieces that aren't very relevant to everyone else. I tend to GM more improvised, so I just try to familiarize myself with the city and the over-arching story and let my players take it from there. I guess I can update any changes they make to the game for me.

One thing I am wondering about is the usefulness of securing caches. I understand the idea of not getting caught with goods on you but with the caution my players go to, they seem almost like a waste of an action. Anyone made any changes or have insights to that that I may have missed?

Silver Crusade

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After the Ravens ally with Hetamon Haace in Turn of the Torrent, the Church of Milani will supply them with some healing supplies for those caches. I suspect they will be much more valuable to my party (and yours!) when they are free.


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Here are a couple additions I made to Redroof and Old Kintargo.

Old Kintargo

Spoiler:

O11: Fortunate Village: This is a fairly new neighborhood to coalesce in Kintargo. Southeast of the Old Kintargo Cemetery, in an area of Old Kintargo that had fallen into decay, the city’s small tengu community has begun to squat and occupy the buildings. Its name is a reference to the name many others have given them: “jinx-eaters”. Fortunate Village is more palatable to the tengu ear. Although stereotypes of larcenous activity seem to follow tengus, many of these traditionally insular people have begun trying to reach out to their neighbors and portray their culture in a positive light.

O12: Blackie’s Beauties: This unassuming brothel is tucked away in an alley on the border between Old Kintargo and Redroof. Although it doesn’t advertise as do the more flamboyant dancehalls, it has become a lightning rod of controversy in certain circles. The madam, a dark-hearted tengu known only as Blackie (NE female tengu sorcerer 6) employs people of all races except tengus, especially destitute tieflings. Cruelly, she actively addicts most of her doxies to pesh, making them even more susceptible to her enchantments and making escape unlikely. Strea Vestori and the Cloven Hoof Society rail against her but through bribes to the dottari and protection provided by the River Talons, her brothel remains out of their reach. For their part, the upstanding tengus in town shun her completely but her policy of not employing tengus as entertainers serves to suppress tengu outrage.

Refroof

Spoiler:

R8. Barrelbottom: The old neighborhood in Redroof is north of the Devil’s Nursery and has historically had the largest concentration of Halflings in Kintargo. Many of the red brick buildings here have been cleverly renovated by their residents over the years. Despite matching the proportions of the surrounding buildings in Redroof from the outside, they are broken up into multiple half-sized spaces on the inside. Many of the businesses here cater to Halflings primarily, but city statute decrees that any public business must be accessible to larger sized customers. The community has become very tight-knit over the years. Although there has been strife between Halflings, humans and tieflings in the past, for the most part these communities coexist peacefully.

R9: Podio’s Potions: Located directly across the street to the north from the Cloven Hoof Society, this friendly tavern is owned and operated by a jovial and boisterous halfling named Podio Stonepath (CG male halfling bard 5). This emancipated slave opened his business after being freed and granted a gift of money for saving a young scion of House Aulamaxa from drowning. An expert lutenist, he often wanders his establishment, serenading guests and provides musical accompaniment to entertainment acts on his small stage. The titular “potions” refers to the selection of halfling hooch he carries, the only place in town to find it (Halflings of Golarion p. 10).


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New to Jarvis End!

Spoiler:

J7: The Chained Devil: After the Kintargo Opera House, this massive, three story inn Is the most impressive building in Jarvis End. It has been host to daring adventurers, famous entertainers, powerful politicians, wealthy merchants and even minor nobility. Hundreds of gargoyles leer over its overhangs and balconies and a massive Chelish flag flies from each corner. It has many suites from the reasonably priced to the ridiculously expensive and employs over a hundred people. A ten foot tall oil painting of Abrogail II hangs over the bar in the taproom, where the owner and innkeeper Pavo Alazario (LE middle-aged male human expert 8) holds court. Pavo is a patriot to the core and is jocular and friendly to all who come to his establishment, assuming they share his love of queen and country. One of the most outspoken supporters of House Thrune in town, he has used his money and influence to hinder Jilia Bainilus’ mayorship and support those who he sees as like-minded, such as the Chelish Citizen’s Group.

He has two sons who are Hellknights in the orders of the Pike and Scourge respectively, of whom he is very proud. While he claims that his father, who built the inn, was a respected Chelish naval hero, it’s whispered that Archturus Alazario was actually a highly successful smuggler known as the Eel of the Arch who made his fortune running contraband from Riddleport to Absalom and retired to Kintargo building the inn. It’s further been said that when his father died, Pavo went so far as to hire a troupe of actors to go through the motions of giving him a full military funeral. No one would carry such tales in front of Pavo, however, unless they want to earn a lifetime ban from his inn and make a powerful enemy.


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Shaun wrote:

I'm curious to know of any minor changes GMs have made to Hell's Rebels. I'm not talking about major overhauls like dropping the Rebellion subsystem or anything like that. What are some story elements you've added or changed as a part of the roleplay aspect?

For instance, I have renamed the Chelish Citizen's Group the Queensmen. I just feel that has way more panache.

Also, I noticed that there seemed to be an absence of a place for this citizen's group to be based out of. Therefore I have invented the Chained Devil Inn, a large three story inn in Jarvis End. This will be the organizational meeting hub of the Queensmen in my game. I may post more details on this inn and its inhabitants and history as I work them out.

What have you added or altered?

I like the term Queensmen also, the women in my group do not have an issue with it. It flows better than Chelish Citizens Group thug for us especially after saying CCGT for the fifth time that night.

I reworked a lot of the npc dialog i.e. Chickadee and omitted all of the npc sexual preferences which we don't use except in rare occasions.


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

Here are the tweaks I've made/am planning on making:

  • BOOK 1.
  • Instead of having the urging of a low-level NPC (Rexus) be the main impetus for the party to start a rebellion, it felt more natural to have the players to build their characters so that they're proactively inclined to set up an active rebellion from the start.
  • Instead of having the outline of what the party needs to do to successfully organize the rebellion ("The Five Steps of Revolution") be something that's handed to the players by a low-level NPC (Laria), it felt more natural to have this advice be something the party discovers in the Silver Ravens documents they recover from the Fair Fortune Livery.
  • BOOK 2.
  • If the party decides to focus on keeping the rebellion a secret, and their identities and whereabouts unknown, some of the default lead-ins to missions will feel a bit strained. (E.g., assuming that Lieutenant Elia Nones can just find out who the rebellion leaders are, and where they're hanging out, so that she can approach them with an invitation.) Instead, it felt more natural to have the party's contacts inform them that Captain Sargaeta is interested in a meeting, or (if the party has done a good job of keeping the very existence of a rebellion a secret) that Captain Sargeata is stuck in a frustrating position, and would be a valuable ally if they could recruit him to the rebellion by offering him aid.
  • In a similar vein, the final encounter in which Barzillai presents the players with the key to the city will feel strained if the party has been doing a good job of keeping the rebellion and their identities a secret. But this is explicitly an optional encounter, and I just skipped it.
  • BOOK 3.
  • I rewarded the acquisition of Masquerade Points a bit more, by giving the party a number of new supporters at the end of the masquerade equal to 10 times the number of Masquerade Points they earn.
  • BOOK 4.
  • Each of the missions in the first half of this AP are tied to the liberation of a part of the city. But in some cases there isn't much, narratively-speaking, to tie the missions and liberations together. A few tweaks to make the connection a bit tighter:
  • Adding a written contract between Natsiel and Barzillai to Natsiel's possessions, and having the public release of these documents (demonstrating Barzillai's willingness to let Natsiel prey on the people of Jarvis End) lead the people of Jarvis End to rise up and ally with Silver Ravens.
  • Having Tiarise and her inquisitor troops be in explicit control of The Greens (employing martial law to keep the population of The Greens compliant), so that once they're defeated, the populace will gladly join the Silver Ravens.
  • Adding a written contract between Hei-Fen and Barzillai to Hei-Fen's possessions, and having the public release of these documents (demonstrating Barzillai's willingness to let the skinsaw cultists prey on the people of Villegre) lead the people of Villegre to rise up and ally with Silver Ravens.


I added a pair of benevolent drunks during a prequel/character gen session that led up to the Night of Ashes. One goes by "Dom," and the other is called "Blind Tiron." I endeared them to the party, and the pair eventually functioned as eyes/ears of the Silver Ravens halfway through book 1. Repeatedly, I dropped hints that Dom and Blind Tiron are retired pirates who have their own local legend (that the party learned was true, eventually...)
Dom was pirate captain Dominic Smythe, known as the Red Crane due to the tattoo on his torso. I envisioned his youth as a Han Solo-esque, gone sour as he and his first mate (Tiron) abandoned their ship for their favorite city and the bottom of a bottle.
In part 2 of book 1, it was Dom and another well-loved NPC who were doghoused by the CCG (I love the name "The Loyal," btw). Dom died of his wounds, and the other suffered physical (d% table) and emotional damage from both the encounter and surviving it.

I also created an inn/tavern in Villegre called The Pen and Paper. (I know, I know.)
It functions as a normal tavern or inn, though it offers an expensive members that allows access to the closed-doors Members' Common Room, as well as other benefits. A dwarf in a nice suit stands as host and bouncer, making sure all guests sign their name in the guest ledger as they arrive and sign out with a 'secret' of some kind. (Most being riddles or jokes with their answers, many others being fairly inane stuff.) But mostly, this inn serves as a trading post for information, and occasionally, magic items.

Oh, and a magical tattooist who secretly serves with the Church of Abadar in the House of Golden Veils. He's an aged Tengu Oracle with scrimshaw on his beak.

Scarab Sages

Wendy and Abigail wrote:
I've added a few "lieutenants" for some of the big villains/adversaries. This gives the dottari and Order of the Rack some sense of actual hierarchy than Nox/Thrune or anyone else giving all the orders the peons. Its works more or less well enough, giving my players a greater sense of "one step at a time," and that they are making progress rather than just going about doing good for the city.

This gave me a great idea. I'm wrapping up In Hell's Bright Shadow at our next session. So what I'm going to in Turn of the Torrent is add four lieutenants (a Dottarri commander, a Hellknight, an Inquisitor of Asmodeous and the leader of the Chelish Citizens Group) who can take actions of their own during the rebel phase to try to counteract the rise of the Silver Ravens. I'm still working out the exact effect of these actions, but it'll make the rebellion phase more active and competitive, give the players a target and a sense that they've become big enough to be noticed. Naturally, there'll be a series of sidequests to locate and eliminate these lieutenants.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Shadow Lodge

Falkus wrote:
a Dottarri commander, a Hellknight, an Inquisitor of Asmodeous and the leader of the Chelish Citizens Group

These characters exist in the books, and are named Vanasses Trex, Kyrre Ekodyre, Sabo the Spider, and Tombus Regegious.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I guess the name is a bit confusing but I just called the Chelish Citizen's Group 'The Citizens'. I foreshadowed them a lot of their leadership early on and they had a lot of Nazi-esque rallies in the first book.

As for most everything else so far I left it very much the same.

I'm adding No Response From Deepmar next session which is apparently where most of the PC's lost loved ones (who aren't already dead) have been shipped.


Wendy and Abigail wrote:
I've added a few "lieutenants" for some of the big villains/adversaries. This gives the dottari and Order of the Rack some sense of actual hierarchy than Nox/Thrune or anyone else giving all the orders the peons. Its works more or less well enough, giving my players a greater sense of "one step at a time," and that they are making progress rather than just going about doing good for the city.

I would like to know more.


I am just about to run this adventure path, and I am strongly considering reflavouring Barzillai Thrune to be a bit more like Donald Trump.
So far, that mostly just means me imitating his mannerisms and describe him as having mysteriously orange skin... But I'm working on it.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Shadow Lodge

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Shiftybob wrote:
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Read and try your best to understand the final section of Breaking the Bones of Hell. Politics and mannerisms are easy enough to tweak if all you want to do is make a cheap point, but here we get into very particularized aspects of this specific character's personality, that color Barzillai's motivations and inform his actions. If you're really going to change the character, those changes should be reflected here, and reverberate in appropriate ways throughout the AP.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:


Read and try your best to understand the final section of Breaking the Bones of Hell. Politics and mannerisms are easy enough to tweak if all you want to do is make a cheap point, but here we get into very particularized aspects of this specific character's personality, that color Barzillai's motivations and inform his actions. If you're really going to change the character, those changes should be reflected here, and reverberate in appropriate ways throughout the AP.

I would agree with this. During the Aria Park Protest I did have a few loyalists waving 'Make Kintargo Great Again!' signs, just as a throwaway chuckle, but that was it so far.

The proclamations et al are fairly anti-populist, I think it would be quite a rewrite to try and portray BT as more of a demagogic figure. I feel that BT is much more focused on crushing dissent and targetting internal enemies than in courting public opinion.


Shiftybob wrote:

I am just about to run this adventure path, and I am strongly considering reflavouring Barzillai Thrune to be a bit more like Donald Trump.

So far, that mostly just means me imitating his mannerisms and describe him as having mysteriously orange skin... But I'm working on it.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

WITHOUT putting my personal anti-Trump politics into it, here's some traits to work with:


  • Thrune should be extraordinarily sensitive about a minor physical defect. (the hands thing)
  • Thrune should spread misinformation about the parents of Rexxus (the thing about the father of Ted Cruz) and describe a female Silver Raven as too ugly (the thing about the wife of Ted Cruz)
  • Thrune should place relatives in positions of power. Given the prominence of the Thrune family in Cheliax, I guess you should make up some minor cousins or kids by a deceased wife? The daughter should be competent. (Ivanka sitting in on meetings with foreign leaders, role of family in the campaign)
  • He should have controversial businesses. He should pre-emptively blame the Silver Ravens businesses and politics for whatever he did that makes them controversial. (Trump "university" fraud settlement, dozens of lawsuits for non-payment of services to contractors)
  • He should not be the darling of the religious faction, yet still enjoy their support despite not adhering to their tenants. That could actually fit his established background pretty easily.
  • He should make a huge number announcements by town criers rebutting the smallest criticism. This should be either irritating or ground-breaking and innovative, depending on whether one supports Thrune. (Twitter account, duh)
  • The Chelish Citizens' Group should issue death threats against anyone who criticizes Thrune or accurately reports on his actions in ways that are not sufficiently glowing. (threats against journalists at rallies by supporters, documented use of Twitter to threaten journalists by supporters)
  • He should be endorsed by the armorers and weaponsmiths. The support by the dottari and the Order of the Rack already works for this.
  • The ban on sea captains entering town works for a "Wall" I guess. Alternatively, he could promise to add another wall to the city and promise to make the Golden Reclamation pay for it. Kintargo is the only foreign nation that borders this area of Cheliax, and that doesn't really work for these purposes, given that they're allies.
  • A segment of the Chelish Citizen's Group should be devoted to spreading conspiracy theories about the Silver Ravens (see: pizzagate and sub-reddit devoted to Trump)

With all that said, how Trump's alleged motivations--monetary gain and fame--fit with the established plot that Thrune's engaged in? Will this distract the players from that plot line and make it harder for them to get into?

Shadow Lodge

roguerouge wrote:
The Chelish Citizens' Group should issue death threats against anyone who criticizes Thrune or accurately reports on his actions in ways that are not sufficiently glowing. (threats against journalists at rallies by supporters, documented use of Twitter to threaten journalists by supporters)

Given that the CCG in the book is already made up of roving bands of goons that beat up and torture people for the hell of it . . . this seems like a step down.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
roguerouge wrote:
The Chelish Citizens' Group should issue death threats against anyone who criticizes Thrune or accurately reports on his actions in ways that are not sufficiently glowing. (threats against journalists at rallies by supporters, documented use of Twitter to threaten journalists by supporters)
Given that the CCG in the book is already made up of roving bands of goons that beat up and torture people for the hell of it . . . this seems like a step down.

Probably, yes, although you could lead up to that public torture with the threats, as I recall some of that occurring in book two. And, of course, organized crime and militias tend to prefer to use threats if they're effective.

Shadow Lodge

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

"Chelish Citizens Group" doesn't really make sense as a name, putting aside the anachronistic, modern-sounding construction. Nominally, Cheliax doesn't have citizens. It has variously free and unfree subjects to the Imperial crown, and the gang under discussion is for the continuation of this state of affairs.

I think Cole Deschain has the right of it. They'd probably call themselves "Loyalists," and their detractors would call them something derogatory. Probably lumping them in with the rest of the "Thrunies." They remind me most of the Black Hundreds, but there are all sorts of very good reasons not to import the name directly.

Been thinking about this some more. Using the Black Hundreds comparison, there's no reason to toss the "Chelish Citizens' Group" wholesale. It could, as with that example, or, say, the Klan, be an official name that nobody uses, in favor of colloquialisms. But then you still need colloquialisms.

In addition to "Thrunies" and "loyalists," I've been playing with the term "Empressarios." Now, there have to be "impresarios" around to produce all that Chelaxian opera, but in Kintargo they'd be seditious folk like Shensen or Amalia Wraxton over in Pezzack. So loyalists would be out to replace them. Not as theatrical producers, but as authors of history - complements to the official redactors and conductors of the play of street politics. I think this term superior to, say, "Queensmen" for the above reasons, for the Romance feel of it, and because Abrogail II is an empress, not a queen, and her supporters would never let anybody forget it. And because it's gender-neutral if you pretend that the "-o" ending is.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:


Been thinking about this some more. Using the Black Hundreds comparison, there's no reason to toss the "Chelish Citizens' Group" wholesale. It could, as with that example, or, say, the Klan, be an official name that nobody uses, in favor of colloquialisms. But then you still need colloquialisms.

In addition to "Thrunies" and "loyalists," I've been playing with the term "Empressarios." Now, there have to be "impresarios" around to produce all that Chelaxian opera, but in Kintargo they'd be seditious folk like Shensen or Amalia Wraxton over in Pezzack. So loyalists would be out to replace them. Not as theatrical producers, but as authors of history - complements to the official redactors and conductors of the play of street politics. I think this term superior to, say, "Queensmen" for the above reasons, for the Romance feel of it, and because Abrogail II is an empress, not a queen, and her supporters would never let anybody forget it. And because it's gender-neutral if you pretend that the "-o" ending is.

Abrogail II is a queen. I think Cheliax counts as an Empire, they certainly have had colonies. The title Infernatrix seems to be more related to diabolism than political system.

I used the Queen's Guard as an extremist splinter faction of the CCG, but it was headed by Nox (who survived the first book unscathed) so using a male term for a group whose leaders were all female (eventually they included Sabo, a gambling devil who preferred female form, Blosodriette, and Tiarese's apprentice) and claimed to a female ruler seemed inappropriate. Plus the name implies their motivation and mission: allegedly to protect the interests and respect if the Queen.


How about the Queen's Own? We are the Queen's Own men and women and we are for Cheliax and the Queen. Kintargo belongs to Cheliax and belongs to the Queen.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

- I introduced Hetamon Haace in the very first session (I did a prelude thing involving the night before the Aria Park protest) and let the party get to know him as a background character for all of book 1 before revealing he was the Rose in book 2. I figured that would have more impact than "hey, this guy's the Rose!"
- On the subject of Hetamon, I also gave him a sort of lieutenant (an assistant in his shop and a warpriest of Milani). She would sometimes go off and do things as the Rose, so it seemed like the Rose could be in multiple places at once.
- I thought the gambling devils in the back of book 1 were really neat, so I added an encounter with a few of them. (One escaped, so he came back with class levels in Vyre.)
- My group killed every possible person that could have come back for the end encounter on the Silver Span, but I still wanted to give them something, as well as emphasize that finding a solution to stop Thrune from rolling in and taking the city back was paramount. So I brought back the lich from the prison (with a few more levels) and some devils, since the lich's phylactery was in Egorian. (The lich went to report to the authorities, and Queen Abrogail figured there was no harm in sending her back with some minions to see if she could take the party out.)


I also couldn't resist using the gambling devil, who was summoned by the Queen's Guard early in Turn of the Torrent. To my surprise, the PC's actually took the bait and gambled with her (she was in human guise, they detected the aura of transmutation but couldn't confirm what she was). To my even greater surprise, they beat her at her own game. The gambling devil reprised at a big fight at the end of the AP pitching the Ravens vs. The Queen's Guard. It was there she died.

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