Difficult tests with no single answer for the Starstone Cathedral


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

I just finished doing a PFS legal campaign to level 19 (I let them level to 20) and everyone thought it would be a good idea to end it by doing a homebrew version of the Starstone Cathedral. I wanted to have a lot of rooms that weren't just a monster and/or a trap, but instead presented the players with difficult tests with no single answer. How the players each answered the test would determine what domains that received when/if they became a god. The problem is that I am having trouble coming up with these tests. Below is one that I came up with.

The PCs enter a jungle environment and see a Rabbit eating, and with their crazy high perceptions will probably see the fox getting ready to pounce on it. The PCs each have a chance to act and their actions each resolve with a different rabbit and fox than the other PCs. Then their guide asks them why they did what they did. If the PC saved the animal because he doesn't like those who live by hurting others they are more likely to get the Good domain (and crap from the rest of the table if they are not a vegetarian). If they let the fox kill the rabbit because that how nature works, they are more likely to get the Nature domain. If they saved the rabbit because they like rabbits, I may make a custom Cute Animals domain. If they mind control both animals to obey them and serve (one PC probably will), I will probably give them the Tyranny domain and/or Magic domain.

Please share if you have any tests you think would be good too.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Remember: we already know the first test from 'the confirmation' - Cross the moat and Enter the Citadel by a means no other mortal attempting the test has. And people have been trying for MANY years, multiple times a year.

Liberty's Edge

Nothing says they have to do it in a way no other mortal has done it. That said, I do have some shenanigans planned for that.

From Guide to Absalom P.17:
The Test of the Starstone is mysterious; the only publicly known part of the test is that hopefuls must cross the bottomless pit surrounding the Starstone Cathedral without using a bridge. Crossing the pit is a necessary first step, but not sufficient to enter the cathedral and continue the test, and what has worked for one hopeful may fail for another. Hopefuls have leaped across, flown with magic, or used tightropes, and the spectacle of an attempt nearly always draws an enormous, attentive crowd.


"Killing" them and dropping them off at the River of Souls seems like a good starting point.

Meeting a copy of themselves also works as a starting point.

I wouldn't apply the same test to everyone, though, since not everyone has (for instance) an investment in rabbits and foxes. If you know the PCs, you can figure out loosely what their domains/subdomains would be, or get a list of their top candidates (more than they could end up with). Then make tests that the PCs are likely to pass in a dramatic fashion, and use the results to decide between the possibilities.


Back in the day there were add-ons to the Basic Rules system that incorporated higher level play. One such set was the Masters set. It more or less dealt with very high-level characters intent on becoming demigods. They suggested some tests that characters must pass in order to gain divinity, but sadly I forget them.

Some of the tests I devised included the following:
a) Submitting to the purifying rays of the sun. It was a test of purity of spirit. Stand exposed to the rising (or setting) sun and see if the rays can find any impurity in your soul. It was meant for character reflection and was to end in a saving throw with modifiers based on the players' comments about their character. I never got to use it.

b) Creating a living and breathing creature from nothing. This was a test for the wizard in our group. He couldn't use formulae or any known spell. He couldn't summon or call something. He had to choose an animal and create it from nothing through force of will. It was intended to be a mental acuity test to see if he could think through all of the systems a living creature needs in order to survive and then compose them on the spot through the raw essence of magic and willpower. This one turned out to be pretty cool and the player really liked it.

I know I had some other tests devised, but for the life of me I can't recall them at the moment. Granted, this was like 30 years ago. =)


Write a short article explaining a hole in the Golarion setting and how filling that hole with a deity based on your character would significantly increase sales of Pathfinder setting rulebooks. Send the article to Paizo, if they agree you become a god...

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
ComicViolence wrote:

Nothing says they have to do it in a way no other mortal has done it. That said, I do have some shenanigans planned for that.

** spoiler omitted **

I believe that is in 'the confirmation' PFS scenario

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I was thinking wounded wisp, not confirmation..... I guess it doesn't flat out say that, I thought it had come up in the boards, but can't find it (Someone had asked if Norgorber had just walked across)

This thread might be of use to you as well.


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
ComicViolence wrote:

Nothing says they have to do it in a way no other mortal has done it. That said, I do have some shenanigans planned for that.

** spoiler omitted **

I believe that is in 'the confirmation' PFS scenario

Not confirmation... there's a scene in the newer evergreen.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks Dosgamer. This went off over the weekend and I ended up using a modified version of your B) concept. Thanks for the help.


Awesome! Glad to have been some help. My friend who played the wizard at the time still brings up his "godhood" challenge with me from time to time. Hopefully your player will remember his/her challenge for a long time, too.

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