Where have all the Heroes Gone?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

So by my count there are 17 (counting Strange Aeons) APs set all over Golarion, concluding with quite powerful characters, usually level 16-17 or thereabouts. Assuming 4-person parties and a 25% casualty rate that's 51 movers and shakers loafing about. In your worlds, where do these powerful characters go? After you complete an adventure path, do you do epilogues, continue playing, or does every powerful adventurer embark on a planar journey, never to be seen again?

Just curious how other people handle their canons.


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Keep in mind that Paizo makes the vast majority of its APs entirely separate from each other. With a few exceptions, none are continuances of other APs or AP-worlds where the AP's events have taken place. I think most GMs run that way as well, though, yes, this does vary wildly from table to table.

Silver Crusade

I get that that is the simpler route by far, but I'm not sure that's true. Certainly Shattered Star refers very generally to the events from previous Varisian APs. Hell's Rebels/Vengeance are explicitly stated as being good/evil mirrors of the tyranny and rebellions in Cheliax, and I have heard that Strange Aeons makes references to events in Carrion Crown--but I haven't read either so I don't know if that's true.

Also many of the APs wouldn't intersect at all except maybe in the stories told in taverns. APs like RotRL, Giantslayer, Carrion Crown, Mummy's Mask, WotR, and Skull & Shackles could all be run any number of ways without affecting one another in the slightest. There's no reason Golarion couldn't have had a very busy decade :p

Liberty's Edge

Well, as is pretty much established by the Settlement Rules, and I codified in my Level Demographics thread a long while ago, high level people aren't actually super rare in Golarion.

I mean, they are, people that high level are something like 1 in 100,000, but 1 in 100,000 when there are billions (or even 'only' hundreds of millions) of people in the world still results in quite a few of them.

Assuming a world population of 1 billion, that makes roughly 10,000 people of that level on the entirety of Golarion. Say one tenth of those are in the Inner Sea region...that's still 1,000 people. Adding 51 is relevant, but not world-changing.

And that, of course, ignores the people they killed getting there. I know, having finished CotCT, the PCs may all have been that high level, but they killed at least two people of that level to get there, and were set up to kill two more before very long (I'd probably assume they succeeded). The same is basically true in most other APs I've looked at as well.

So I doubt APs are really gonna change the number of high level people notably. What they do seem likely to change is how many of those people are Good aligned (or at least heroic), but even there, it's sorta a drop in the bucket.

The exception to all of the above is Wrath of the Righteous. 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though). If you run that AP, the PCs need to either go on a planar quest (or something similar), or you need to start radically reassessing the world as a whole. Of course, that AP's ending sorta necessitates reassessing the world as a whole for other reasons as well...

And, as others have noted, all that assumes that the APs all happen, and that the PCs win all of them. Which a lot of people don't assume at all.


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I am more interested in all the PFS characters who leveled up to mid-levels using modules. Why aren't we seeing more arguments like the following.

"You are a liar Human, I killed the Kobold King, along with Ikara the Axe, Vlain the Wizaed and Sunchaser the Oracle. You. We're. Not. There."

Since both sides are telling the truth, and have been vetted and rewarded by the Society, is the Pathfinder Society actively hiding knowledge that Reality is a lot more fluid than anyone wants to admit?

I think I need to post this to the Conspiracies thread.


Yup.. as Buri Reborn pointed out, the setting material assumes that NONE of the APs have specifically happened yet (although there are some APs that assume others, they are the exceptions).

Each of the APs has notes on "Continuing the Adventure" in the final volume, which discusses where the GM can take things for further adventures if desired... but the published materials do not assume any of this.

When it becomes time to advance the campaign setting significantly, James Jacobs (the Creative Director) has indicated he has a list of which APs have occurred and their results.

At one point, there was a loose assumption that each AP volume occurred in a corresponding time frame to its publication.. so RotRL began in August 4707, CotCT began in February 4508, Second Darkness in August 4708, etc.

How long they took to play out varies from group to group. Using that timeframe, it is entirely possible that Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness could all be concurrent to some degree... but in the end, it is up to the GM to decide the timing in his/her version of Golarion. It is worth noting that Kingmaker presumes much more time passing.. as Kingdom turns are a month each, it will span years of in-world time.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though).

I know of at least one Lich, a handful of Runelords, and a few various other agents who would like to be mentioned.


bigrig107 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though).
I know of at least one Lich, a handful of Runelords, and a few various other agents who would like to be mentioned.

Iirc, only one Runelord was confirmed to be mythic.


Daw wrote:

I am more interested in all the PFS characters who leveled up to mid-levels using modules. Why aren't we seeing more arguments like the following.

"You are a liar Human, I killed the Kobold King, along with Ikara the Axe, Vlain the Wizaed and Sunchaser the Oracle. You. We're. Not. There."

Since both sides are telling the truth, and have been vetted and rewarded by the Society, is the Pathfinder Society actively hiding knowledge that Reality is a lot more fluid than anyone wants to admit?

I think I need to post this to the Conspiracies thread.

the advantage of being an evil mob monster is you'll slowly respa... I mean, be resurrected shortly later.


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Hiding a shovel behind her back.

Tammy doesn't think you should look into where the heroes have gone too much, you might not like what you find, especially behind the old church.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though).
I know of at least one Lich, a handful of Runelords, and a few various other agents who would like to be mentioned.
Iirc, only one Runelord was confirmed to be mythic.
James Jacobs wrote:
Nightdrifter wrote:
Were the runelords mythic?
Xanderghul and Sorshen were. Alaznist MIGHT have been. The other four were not.

Straight from the mouth of the holy dinosaur himself.

Also:

Also James Jacobs wrote:
Karzoug has, from the start, been intended to be the "middle-powered runelord." There are seven runelords. Three are more powerful than Karzoug (Xanderghul, Sorshen, and Alaznist) and three are less powerful (Zutha, Belimarius, and Krune). Karzoug is meant to be the toughest "Core Rulebook" runelord. Only Xanderghul, Sorshen, and Alaznist are/were mythic characters.

And seeing as how Karzoug was a 20th level wizard with PC wealth and stats (plus Xin-Shalast), it's not hard to see Xandy, Sorsh, or Alaz being able to at least handle 20th level/10th tier characters. Especially since I believe he said somewhere else that Xandy was a 20 wizard/10 archmage.


Were I looking to conclude an AP, it would be with the PCs ending the tale in no condition to adventure further. Stranded in pocket dimensions without possibility of escape, permanently dead, their wealth and gear destroyed leaving them destitute albeit high leveled. A true end to the characters' stories.

And how awesome would it be, if a meta AP were woven, with an assassin of high level PCs showing up at the end of various APs, perma-killing the party each time but revealing bits and pieces of how to defeat it, until a final AP is launched where the party investigates where all the heroes have gone and discovers the secret truth: that there's something out there that hunts heroes in their hour of victory. And in the end, they confront the foe: The ultimate challenge, the hero slayer.

I guess I just feel like pyrrhic victories are more interesting than overwhelming ones...


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That sounds pretty lame to me to be honest.

"Oh congratulations you defeated the big bad threatening to destroy the world! Now you're all dead/trapped and suffering for eternity so we can maintain the status quo of the game world. Cheers."

Meh.

Silver Crusade

I agree with Ryzoken that overwhelming victories are pretty anticlimactic, but I think Deadmanwalking has the right idea with just noting that there are hundreds/thousands of other powerful people & monsters out there. A party of 16th level characters are certainly noteworthy but they're not going to steamroll their way to an empire just because. That was generally the answer in Forgotten Realms, which has been my go-to gaming world for over a decade now. That answer works especially well if the characters go their separate ways once the BBEG is dead.

Shadow Lodge

Ryzoken wrote:
I guess I just feel like pyrrhic victories are more interesting than overwhelming ones...

So a fan of Warhammer fantasy. I remember reading one series of books where the main character had been bread to be the ultimate vessel/gate for a daemon to enter into the world. The only way to win was to bind his own soul to his body so the daemon could never use his body as a vessel/gate. This did not make him immortal, so he was entombed alive to die alone and the tomb was hidden away and sealed by magic. Three books of rooting for this guy to find a way to win and boom, he does, know one ever knows though. So yeah I could see that happening with the APs. Rocks fall everyone dies and know one knows your even buried here, or what you did to save their hides.

Silver Crusade

the Queen's Raven wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:
I guess I just feel like pyrrhic victories are more interesting than overwhelming ones...
So a fan of Warhammer fantasy. I remember reading one series of books where the main character had been bread to be the ultimate vessel/gate for a daemon to enter into the world. The only way to win was to bind his own soul to his body so the daemon could never use his body as a vessel/gate. This did not make him immortal, so he was entombed alive to die alone and the tomb was hidden away and sealed by magic. Three books of rooting for this guy to find a way to win and boom, he does, know one ever knows though. So yeah I could see that happening with the APs. Rocks fall everyone dies and know one knows your even buried here, or what you did to save their hides.

While I enjoy those stories myself, I also know my group would hate them, so, as always Consult and know that YMMV. :)

What were the names of those books?


swoosh wrote:

That sounds pretty lame to me to be honest.

"Oh congratulations you defeated the big bad threatening to destroy the world! Now you're all dead/trapped and suffering for eternity so we can maintain the status quo of the game world. Cheers."

Meh.

Everyone dies eventually.


Eventually, but that's half a century away for human PCs, half a millenia for elven ones.


I'd guess only a fraction of these high level characters is really active at changing Golarion. Some might be happy to just live a commoner's life, some might rule an area / organization without any interest in expansion and some might be drawn to realms beyond Golarion. A few might even restrict usage of their power on purpose - to avoid negative side effects and to give others a chance to grow and face evil themselves.

Anyway, I wonder what would happen if Golarion faced an obvious, devastating and growing threat - like the demons of the Worldwound breaking through the crusaders' lines. Maybe Golarion would see a march of many retired heroes against the danger...

Liberty's Edge

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bigrig107 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though).
I know of at least one Lich, a handful of Runelords, and a few various other agents who would like to be mentioned.

Nah, I picked my examples very carefully and specifically.

Xanderghul and Sorshen (and Alaznist, I guess) are asleep/in stasis/imprisoned, as is Tar-Baphon. And while impressive, they're not actually the equal of a party of PCs all of whom are Level 20/Tier 10.

I mean, Xanderghul is likely that powerful personally (ie: Wizard 20/Mythic Tier 10 or so), but he's outnumbered 4 to 1, and I very much doubt Sorshen is even that powerful, with maybe 6 Mythic Tiers to her name (Alaznist isn't even close, she's got like 3 Mythic Tiers at most). And Tar Baphon is 'only' CR 26, a mere one higher than even a single PC of that level, and no higher than Arazni is these days (she's leveled up since he killed her).

All are scary as hell, and death incarnate for non-Mythic PCs...but on par with 4 characters who are all CR 25 individually? No. None of them have a real chance against that.

Baba Yaga, meanwhile, is CR 30. And Geb is likely on par with her (and definitely a minimum of CR 27) given that Arazni is very thoroughly subordinate to him in their relationship (and she, as mentioned, is CR 26, and can back him up). Those two are actually starting to be on par with that kind of PC group.


Mythic can reach an impasse where the characters are incapable of fighting each other unless both sides agree to the conflict.

It is litterly impossible to track down an invisible opponent with Undetectable.


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Ryzoken wrote:
swoosh wrote:

That sounds pretty lame to me to be honest.

"Oh congratulations you defeated the big bad threatening to destroy the world! Now you're all dead/trapped and suffering for eternity so we can maintain the status quo of the game world. Cheers."

Meh.

Everyone dies eventually.

Mortality is actually pretty easy to avoid for high-level PC's.

The way that our group handles it is that the old PCs are still kicking around. They get to accomplish their goals and become notable NPCs that create a real, living Golarion.

Our group also assumes all APs are in play, and begin based on the default, assumed year (so the events of RotR occur in 4707.) We even skip around the timeline a bit as a result, which really isn't as disruptive as you might think (after all, these NPCs are very rarely, if ever, appropriate for the new batch of PCs to encounter.)

For instance, our Rise of the Runelords cast post-campaign:

* The party bard founded the new kingdom of Storval, with the former Xin-Shalast serving as the new capital.
* The party priest took a position of high office in the newly-formed Storval, and as a result, Iomedae is the patron deity of the kingdom.
* The party ranger and totemist retired to the First World.
* The party wizard retired to her own demiplane.
* The party barbarian traveled to the Great Beyond to join in the wars against Hell.

Our Wrath of the Righteous cast post-campaign:

* The party Hellknight self-actualized into becoming the demigod of Order, Purification, and Discipline (and god of the Hellknights.)
* The party wizard is wandering the world, building golems and just enjoying immortality.
* The party paladin of Iomedae spoilers spoilers spoilers (you know if you played WotR.)
* The party rogue left the planet in service of Desna and is off somewhere in space doing space things.

You get the idea. There's really just no conflict with keeping them about the way that we tend to write their retirements.


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Gulthor wrote:


* The party paladin of Iomedae spoilers spoilers spoilers (you know if you played WotR.)

This was what happened to my paladin, along with his wife :P

He also took Divine Source and Immortality, for the explicit purpose of eternally opposing the insane tiefling in the group, who ascended as a god of chaos.


Snowlilly wrote:
Gulthor wrote:


* The party paladin of Iomedae spoilers spoilers spoilers (you know if you played WotR.)

This was what happened to my paladin, along with his wife :P

He also took Divine Source and Immortality, for the explicit purpose of eternally opposing the insane tiefling in the group, who ascended as a god of chaos.

I had to go with Divine Source III (along with Mythic Paragon), Beyond Morality, and Legendary Item III, regardless of Divine Source being considered a "weaker" option - I was a mythic heirophant cleric, I had all the power I needed between my mythic trait and my mythic path feature (I went with Recalled Blessing.)

How often do you get to be a quasi-deity and forge your own major artifact?


Gulthor wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Gulthor wrote:


* The party paladin of Iomedae spoilers spoilers spoilers (you know if you played WotR.)

This was what happened to my paladin, along with his wife :P

He also took Divine Source and Immortality, for the explicit purpose of eternally opposing the insane tiefling in the group, who ascended as a god of chaos.

I had to go with Divine Source III (along with Mythic Paragon), Beyond Morality, and Legendary Item III, regardless of Divine Source being considered a "weaker" option - I was a mythic heirophant cleric, I had all the power I needed between my mythic trait and my mythic path feature (I went with Recalled Blessing.)

How often do you get to be a quasi-deity and forge your own major artifact?

My paladin also took Mythic Paragon and Beyond Morality.

He went dual path: Guardian/Hierophant

Admantine Mind on a paladin gave a certain demon lord a rude shock.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
The Original Poster wrote:

So by my count there are 17 (counting Strange Aeons) APs set all over Golarion, concluding with quite powerful characters, usually level 16-17 or thereabouts. Assuming 4-person parties and a 25% casualty rate that's 51 movers and shakers loafing about. In your worlds, where do these powerful characters go? After you complete an adventure path, do you do epilogues, continue playing, or does every powerful adventurer embark on a planar journey, never to be seen again?

Just curious how other people handle their canons.

The way I play is that Golarion is as presented as in The Inner Sea World Guide, unless I say otherwise. None of the APs, or any other published adventures, have occured until I run them for a group of PCs. The events of one set of adventures may or may not influence the events of another set; it really depends on the storty I'm trying to tell.

As written, none of the APs (with two exceptions) make any assumptions of whether or not any of the others have been run. The exceptions are: "Shattered Star," which assumes that the events of "Rise of the Runelords," "Curse of the Crimson Throne," and "Second Darkness" have all occured in the recent past. The other exception is "Hell's Vengeance," which assumes that the events of "Council of Thieves" have already occurred.

As for how I deal with my own timeline of events... Well, I just keep track of things. Of course, it takes me years of real-world play to get through a single AP, and my roster of players tends to change between (or during) the course of the campaign. I ran "Rise of the Runelords" for almost three years (from February 2011 through July 2013), and we only got through about a third of the way through Fortress of the Stone Giants before the group broke up and the campaign ended.

I set my next campaign, my homebrewed "Champions of Old Korvosa," four years before the events of the Runelords campaign. I only had one player overlap the two campaigns, so there really wasnt any compelling reason to have any continuity between the two campaigns.


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Well they could settle down and open a tavern ;)


I'd imagine that past level 10, most adventurers would be better off taking to a life on the Outer Planes instead of on Golarion. If that feels too early, then at least by level 15 they might be chilling on environs more suited to them, like a Lawful Neutral character deciding to live in the Eternal City of Axis, or a Chaotic one deciding to take a dip in the Maelstrom.


I like to think that Golarion is big enough to hide few high level heroes to it.
It is like murders in noir stories. There are million stories in the big city, that was merely one of them. It was told, it got wrapped up and the curtain closes.
And the world spins around afterwards, the world endures.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, the PCs in my CotCT game basically retired to help rule Korvosa, collectively run a business empire, and in one case start a magic academy. That's...pretty much it, really. Nothing that changed the world in a major way. Well, aside from:

Spoiler:
making peace with the Shoanti.

But that's more of a political change than it is something power level based.

Most APs don't end in anything really world shattering, at least not if you win (again, WotR is something of an exception).

Shadow Lodge

lucky7 wrote:
the Queen's Raven wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:
I guess I just feel like pyrrhic victories are more interesting than overwhelming ones...
So a fan of Warhammer fantasy. I remember reading one series of books where the main character had been bread to be the ultimate vessel/gate for a daemon to enter into the world. The only way to win was to bind his own soul to his body so the daemon could never use his body as a vessel/gate. This did not make him immortal, so he was entombed alive to die alone and the tomb was hidden away and sealed by magic. Three books of rooting for this guy to find a way to win and boom, he does, know one ever knows though. So yeah I could see that happening with the APs. Rocks fall everyone dies and know one knows your even buried here, or what you did to save their hides.

While I enjoy those stories myself, I also know my group would hate them, so, as always Consult and know that YMMV. :)

What were the names of those books?

I believe this is the series. It's been a while and hundreds of books since I read this series so I hope it's right.

Blood on the Reik Series
Death's Messenger
Death's City
Death's Legacy


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At the end of the AP, the PCs all say "I'm too old for this sh#t" in their best Danny Glover voice, take their 1.5 million gold pieces and buy an island somewhere to retire.


I am curious what that list mentioned earlier is.

I have been tempted to try and "convert" a few APs to take place in my homebrew world. Quite a few things would have to be changed, though.

As for where all the heroes have gone? I would think after all that, many would just retire. The more adventurous would go plane-hopping. Many would probably become teachers/trainers, or lead a country or organization. Some (like many who went through Wrath of the Righteous) possibly transcended to deity status. I would think it would depend on what the AP was that just finished, and who the PCs were that finished it.


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The PCs from my Rise of the Runelords campaign made a cameo appearance in my Jade Regent campaign. Both groups were friends of Ameiko Kaijitsu, an innkeeper in Sandpoint. And about half the players from Rise of the Runelords were also playing in the Jade Regent campaign, so I asked them to bring their old RotR character sheets to the next Jade Regent session and had them play both the new and old character.

The extremely powerful RotR characters did not meddle in the Jade Regent campaign, because we were only 2/3 of the way through the first module and the adventure still looked like a minor local problem. However, that encounter gave the new heroes a panic button for a dire emergency in a good cause: they could call the high-level heroes for help.

Months later, the fifth module of Jade Regent had gone completely off the rails. I upped the ante and set two armies of 130 oni each against the Jade Regent party. I had expected them to hide, but instead they defeated the first army (amazing!) and the first wave, 19 earth yai oni, of the second army. Then they felt too tired out, so they cast Sending and called their Rise of the Runelords friends to defeat the rest of the army. That was the only time they used the panic button.

In the background of my current Iron Gods campaign, the events of the Rise of the Runelords campaign and the Jade Regent campaign had occurred. But I doubt they will ever overlap with the events of the Iron Gods campaign. The RotR party is currently ruling the lost city of Xin-Shalast and trying to reform its evil culture. The Jade Regent party is ruling Minkai. They are busy.


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As an aside, books like "Inner Sea Magic", "Inner Sea Combat", and "Inner Sea Intrigue" list the "movers and shakers" in their respective themes (about 20-30 of them) with capsule race/class/level bits. Many of the major NPCs from the APs are presented there as they would be when the AP begins, as well as other figures from the lore of Golarion (some noted as "Deceased", where appropriate).


I imagine most high level PCs take a page out of the gods' books and take a less involved role. Many probably train apprentices, and I imagine quite a few operate or even found guilds to train tomorrow's heroes. Either way they're probably not going to go do hero stuff unless the country's about to explode or something.

Unless they ascend into godhood, that's also an option.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gulthor wrote:


The way that our group handles it is that the old PCs are still kicking around. They get to accomplish their goals and become notable NPCs that create a real, living Golarion.

Our group also assumes all APs are in play, and begin based on the default, assumed year (so the events of RotR occur in 4707.) We even skip around the timeline a bit as a result, which really isn't as disruptive as you might think (after all, these NPCs are very rarely, if ever, appropriate for the new batch of PCs to encounter.)

My table has a very similar setup, with most of the Adventure Paths "ready to begin" but not starting unless the table chooses to play them.

We've completed Rise of the Runelords, and are planning on starting Carrion Crown. A ***graphic*** of the current campaign includes moments where the crossovers take place.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Baba Yaga, meanwhile, is CR 30. And Geb is likely on par with her (and definitely a minimum of CR 27) given that Arazni is very thoroughly subordinate to him in their relationship (and she, as mentioned, is CR 26, and can back him up). Those two are actually starting to be on par with that kind of PC group.

Mythic tiers have been shown to be closer to 1 tier = +1 cr, potentially more depending on the tier.

A solo level 20 tier ten vs baba yaga is probably not In baba yagas favor.

Liberty's Edge

CWheezy wrote:
Mythic tiers have been shown to be closer to 1 tier = +1 cr, potentially more depending on the tier.

True to some degree, but see below.

CWheezy wrote:
A solo level 20 tier ten vs baba yaga is probably not In baba yagas favor.

Given that 5 of her CR is 10 Mythic Tiers of Archmage, yeah it is. If calculating 1 Tier as +1 CR she's CR 35. A CR 35 prepared caster, specifically.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Well, as is pretty much established by the Settlement Rules, and I codified in my Level Demographics thread a long while ago, high level people aren't actually super rare in Golarion.

I mean, they are, people that high level are something like 1 in 100,000, but 1 in 100,000 when there are billions (or even 'only' hundreds of millions) of people in the world still results in quite a few of them.

Assuming a world population of 1 billion, that makes roughly 10,000 people of that level on the entirety of Golarion. Say one tenth of those are in the Inner Sea region...that's still 1,000 people. Adding 51 is relevant, but not world-changing.

And that, of course, ignores the people they killed getting there. I know, having finished CotCT, the PCs may all have been that high level, but they killed at least two people of that level to get there, and were set up to kill two more before very long (I'd probably assume they succeeded). The same is basically true in most other APs I've looked at as well.

So I doubt APs are really gonna change the number of high level people notably. What they do seem likely to change is how many of those people are Good aligned (or at least heroic), but even there, it's sorta a drop in the bucket.

The exception to all of the above is Wrath of the Righteous. 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though). If you run that AP, the PCs need to either go on a planar quest (or something similar), or you need to start radically reassessing the world as a whole. Of course, that AP's ending sorta necessitates reassessing the world as a whole for other reasons as well...
{. . .}

Using your numbers from the above link, shouldn't around 1 in 135,000 be level 17 - 18, and around 1 in 405,000 be level 19 - 20? In a world of a billion people, that gives you around 2,469 people of level 19 - 20. Nothing to extrapolate from about Mythic Ranks -- still, it would seem that while a party of level 20 MR 10 adventurers would be significant, it wouldn't be world shattering, even if they did succeed in cleaning up a major problem in the world. (And you don't know how long that problem is going to STAY cleaned up -- in the unlikely event that I get the chance to run WotR and the following APs, expect it to stay cleaned up for some amount of time between half a year and a year . . . or whatever amount of time is needed for the characters to get dragged into a long vacation or some kind of divine contract that forbids them from coming back to clean it up again.)

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Using your numbers from the above link, shouldn't around 1 in 135,000 be level 17 - 18, and around 1 in 405,000 be level 19 - 20?

For the record, those numbers are intentionally ballpark, and are based on the Settlement Guidelines, which explicitly never have a city be inherently big enough to have 9th level casting (it needs something special about it to have that) which is why I never calculated that.

But since they're intentionally ballpark figures, sure, let's go with yours. :)

UnArcaneElection wrote:
In a world of a billion people, that gives you around 2,469 people of level 19 - 20. Nothing to extrapolate from about Mythic Ranks -- still, it would seem that while a party of level 20 MR 10 adventurers would be significant, it wouldn't be world shattering, even if they did succeed in cleaning up a major problem in the world.

Mythic characters are pretty clearly way rarer than high level ones. Like an order of magnitude rarer if we're talking anywhere near Mythic Tier 10. As mentioned, based on canon NPCs, there are maybe 10 in the whole Inner Sea (and I'm actually only thinking of maybe six). That's less than 1% of the number of high level characters I figured, and less than 4% of the number of 19th-20th level ones you figure. Either way, I'd be surprised if there are even 100 people of that power level on the planet/associated with it in any way...and adding 4 to that number is thus pretty relevant.

And, to be clear, a single Level 20/Mythic Rank 10 character can kill almost any number of 20th level ones. As noted, each Tier is the equivalent of a CR or so in a lot of ways, and 20th level characters are as outclassed by such a person as 12th level characters are by 20th level ones.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
(And you don't know how long that problem is going to STAY cleaned up -- in the unlikely event that I get the chance to run WotR and the following APs, expect it to stay cleaned up for some amount of time between half a year and a year . . . or whatever amount of time is needed for the characters to get dragged into a long vacation or some kind of divine contract that forbids them from coming back to clean it up again.)

Uh...the Worldwound wasn't easy to open. Having it reopen arbitrarily makes no sense. As well as making the PCs actions meaningless, which is a giant dick move to the players (who, IME, like having the things they do matter).

And there are a lot of problems way easier to fix than the Worldwound. Cheliax leaps to mind, with a party of characters on this power level able to overthrow it in a weekend and then pretty casually rule it for the rest of eternity.


Having 3 AP going on right now (Kingmakers, Council Of thieves and RotR)mastered by 3 players of the group, the way we play it is to have the groups level up at the same time.
They don't know each other for sure, but they hear of events going on in other countries and we use some cross-campaign characters.
Like Cheliax wanting to create an Asmodeus temple in the Stolen Lands, or Thassilonian ruins found in the forest.
That's a nice way to give life to the setting and give post-adventure some background infos.


I'm finishing up Rise of the Runelords right now and then will be running Curse of the Crimson Throne for my group.

I plan to have seeds and hints of what came before in the campaign. If they ever need research on Thassilon for example I will have them find "Alron's guide to the Thassilonian Empire" which is written by the RotR groups wizard (and expert on Thassilon)

Other small links will come in here and there because I know my players will enjoy the throwbacks and sense their characters made a change in the world. As for why the 17th level characters are not running around saving the world I think they have all gone back to their own things.


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

Well, with my group?

The Worldwound is closed and the earth-shaking heroes who did that are busy cleaning up the mess in Sarkoris and consolidating their leadership of the land, helping Mendev sort out what they're going to do now that their eternal war is over.

Karzoug was killed, and now one of the heroes is helping clear Xin-Shalast of its monstrous population, one is running the Therassic Library, another is living quietly in Sandpoint (and keeping an eye on a few troublesome bits of local lore),and the fourth is exploring the outer planes. They were also on hand as backup PCs near the end of Shattered Star in case anyone died...

Some new pirates are running the Shackles.

Korvosa is no longer ruled by a crowned royal, but run by a council including the PCs who helped solve that whole situation- one of whom runs an orphanage.

And so on.

We mostly assume that the majority of APs are going down at roughly similar times (regardless of how many real-life years pass) and that we're basically at the dawn of a new age of heroes, but all of whom are busy with the immediate fallout of their heroism... and some real monstrous SCUMBAGS in Cheliax, assuming everybody survives the next couple books of Hell's Vengeance.


My group doesn't do APs, and we've only actually played on campaign that went high level (It was 5-20) so I'll admit my experience isn't very broad.

At the end of our campaign, our party of three fought and killed a Pit Fiend who had murdered our Bard's Mother to get at our party Wizard who had drawn The Flame from the deck of many things. My character (Who was a homebrew class which could be most accurately related to a Draconic Bloodline Bloodrager with feats instead of spells) had gotten his spine broken after losing in single combat to the pit fiend. The Wizard took the pit fiend's power for himself, and we all teleported back to our home city.

The Bard promptly told the Wizard he never wanted to see him again, since the Wizard basically used the death of his mother to get a leg up. He then retired and spent his days with his wife.

The Wizard was confronted by a bigger, badder Demon Lord, and was made to hand over the power he took. The player can't get over this character, so he shows up in pretty much every campaign. Everyone (Including the DM) hates this, but we deal with it.

My character spent a while recovering and regaining the ability to walk, then spent a few years teaching other NPC parties how to be successful adventurers, before retiring and begrudgingly helping govern a city of Dragon tamers.

Aside from the Wizard, the other two haven't been a problem, since they're both out of the way and just doing their own thing (The Bard actually just died of old age in the latest campaign.)

As long as the players are willing to let the characters go (Or the DM makes them.) it's not really an issue. You've gotta get sick of adventuring eventually.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Given that 5 of her CR is 10 Mythic Tiers of Archmage, yeah it is. If calculating 1 Tier as +1 CR she's CR 35. A CR 35 prepared caster, specifically.

Sure, but the last five tiers of mythic are significantly more powerful than the first five


Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:
Well they could settle down and open a tavern ;)

Been there, done that, country blew up.


CWheezy wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Given that 5 of her CR is 10 Mythic Tiers of Archmage, yeah it is. If calculating 1 Tier as +1 CR she's CR 35. A CR 35 prepared caster, specifically.

Sure, but the last five tiers of mythic are significantly more powerful than the first five

Baba Yaga is a Female venerable advanced human witch 20/archmage 10. So she's got those last 5 tiers.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Well, as is pretty much established by the Settlement Rules, and I codified in my Level Demographics thread a long while ago, high level people aren't actually super rare in Golarion.

I mean, they are, people that high level are something like 1 in 100,000, but 1 in 100,000 when there are billions (or even 'only' hundreds of millions) of people in the world still results in quite a few of them.

Assuming a world population of 1 billion, that makes roughly 10,000 people of that level on the entirety of Golarion. Say one tenth of those are in the Inner Sea region...that's still 1,000 people. Adding 51 is relevant, but not world-changing.

And that, of course, ignores the people they killed getting there. I know, having finished CotCT, the PCs may all have been that high level, but they killed at least two people of that level to get there, and were set up to kill two more before very long (I'd probably assume they succeeded). The same is basically true in most other APs I've looked at as well.

So I doubt APs are really gonna change the number of high level people notably. What they do seem likely to change is how many of those people are Good aligned (or at least heroic), but even there, it's sorta a drop in the bucket.

The exception to all of the above is Wrath of the Righteous. 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 characters are almost unknown and almost completely unopposable (Geb and Baba Yaga can probably handle them...not much of anyone else, though). If you run that AP, the PCs need to either go on a planar quest (or something similar), or you need to start radically reassessing the world as a whole. Of course, that AP's ending sorta necessitates reassessing the world as a whole for other reasons as well...

And, as others have noted, all that assumes that the APs all happen, and that the PCs win all of them. Which a lot of people don't assume at all.

All this means is that instead of explaining away 51 people we now need to explain away 10,051.

Liberty's Edge

ZZTRaider wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Given that 5 of her CR is 10 Mythic Tiers of Archmage, yeah it is. If calculating 1 Tier as +1 CR she's CR 35. A CR 35 prepared caster, specifically.

Sure, but the last five tiers of mythic are significantly more powerful than the first five
Baba Yaga is a Female venerable advanced human witch 20/archmage 10. So she's got those last 5 tiers.

This. She is, in fact, exactly the kind of character a PC might be at level 20/tier 10 plus an extra +5 CR of ridiculousness.

Any 'Tiers are worth more than 1 CR per 2 Tiers' is countered by the fact that, however you calculate them, she has exactly the same as maxed-out PCs do and +5 CR on top of that.

412294 wrote:
All this means is that instead of explaining away 51 people we now need to explain away 10,051.

Nah, the world already explains what high level people do pretty thoroughly. My point is that there are enough of them that 51 extra isn't a huge deal.

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