Things That Don't Go Bump In the Night - Goodness In the Moonlight


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Often times we use the night to terrify our players. We have it filled with monsters and evils. But the darkened sky and the full moon do not need to always house the enemy. Today I want to talk about things that can be helpful to players, ways to give the succor under the light of the moon. Pathfinder is of course my go to game and the examples are propose in that system but these ideas can be applied to other gaming systems and writing in general.

How have you made the night more appealing to your players? Have you used any traditionally evil nocturnal creatures as aides to your players instead? What are some of your favorite goodly creatures that come out in the moonlight?


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Not quite the same, but the main horror concept I toy with is using Lurkers in Light as the main antagonists. Entire party has darkvision, so seeing a light somewhere means there's something coming.


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Unicorns.


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The masked lady, Eilistraee!


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I always liked Greyhawk's Mist Wolves for that. Not sure if they ever got converted to 3e even.

In PF the Moon Dog fills a similar role


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

I've been kicking around a lunar deity for Pathfinder whose main area of concern is protecting against threats in the night- lots of fireflies, good-aligned lycanthropes (rare, but on-theme), good-aligned Will 'o' Wisps (mostly for the firefly similarity, but also just a fun idea), owls owing a heavy debt to the curandera's familiar from Bless Me, Ultima...


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All good stuff. I think Unicorns are in the purview of one of the deities I mentioned.

Cole Deschain wrote:

I've been kicking around a lunar deity for Pathfinder whose main area of concern is protecting against threats in the night- lots of fireflies, good-aligned lycanthropes (rare, but on-theme), good-aligned Will 'o' Wisps (mostly for the firefly similarity, but also just a fun idea), owls owing a heavy debt to the curandera's familiar from Bless Me, Ultima...

Tanagaar the Empyreal Lord is both a watchful eye in the night and has owls as his sacred creature. If your playing on Golarion and don't want to reinvent the wheel him and Ashava, Both Empyreal Lords, might fit your bill.


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Apupunchau wrote:
Tanagaar the Empyreal Lord is both a watchful eye in the night and has owls as his sacred creature. If your playing on Golarion and don't want to reinvent the wheel him and Ashava, Both Empyreal Lords, might fit your bill.

Thank you, but I prefer it my way. It's a real obvious "you've passed the Test of the Starstone, Now What?" sort of deal.

Also... neither of them strike quite the right balance of good nature with fearsome demeanor...


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Clerics, Warpriests, and Inquisitors of Desna are basically batman, stalking the darkness to rid it of the terrors that would use it to prey on the innocent.


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I have a LG cleric of the Tien god of the moon Tsukiyo. Tsukiyo is all about getting people to see the beauty of the night and not fear the darkness.


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Clerics, Warpriests, and Inquisitors of Desna are basically batman, stalking the darkness to rid it of the terrors that would use it to prey on the innocent.

Yes, especially in Nidal. Also with Desna's mysterious origins and Zon Kuthon backstory there might be another connection to Darkness hidden somewhere.

In Nidal's capital there's always night and one of my favorite NPCs there is the gold dragon wyrm posing as a simple beggar. (Astarathian from Dragons Revisited )

Dark Archive

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In a setting or culture where the sun is regarded as harsh or pitiless or even cruel, such as one where the sun-god is Amaunator, or Pelor 'the Burning Hate,' or Nurgal, having the night seen as a refuge from the harsh fire (and / or judgment) of the sun, could be one way to go.

The ancient Azlanti, who had a demon lord named Nurgal as sun-god, and a benevolent moon-goddess in Acavna (who gave her life to save the world from the Starstone), might be an example of such a culture, but a desert culture would be my first choice for such a situation, where getting anything done during the hottest hours of the day would be all-but impossible, while the communities might come alive at night. A lawful evil sun god and a chaotic good moon god, could be a neat way of dividing it up. The harsh light of the lawgiver strips away all that is unnecessary, such as dreams or rest or tall tales around the campfire, while the gift of the moon is mystery, for lingering outside the torch's illumination, one has the freedom to imagine that *anything* is possible, and that mystery is the source of dreams, and magic.

On the other hand, some sort of creatures that hunt during the day, perhaps a local form of wyvern that has crappy night-vision, or grows cold and sluggish when the sun sets and retire to their nests, could create a situation where people would go about by night, but shun the bright hours, when the great flying reptiles soar the thermals over the desert, sharp eyes on the lookout for an unwary meal...

Shadow Lodge

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There's also an Empyreal Lord called the Black Butterfly that ties into such things IIRC.


Monsters with Ranger levels. (ignore difficult terrain)

Silver Crusade

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I've been looking for a good excuse to do a Tsukiyo worshiper in PFS for a while now, but I already have too many divine PCs.


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Tacticslion wrote:
The masked lady, Eilistraee!

You know, now that I think of it Ashava seems to really be an Eilistraee expy.


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Given the Tyrant Lizard King's fondness for Eilistraee, I doubt the similarities to Ashava are accidental.


They are not: he has said as much himself.
(That said, he's also quick to suggest they are not the same at all, noting that Ashava has no connection to either drow or Elven history at all, being a fully manifested, independent Empyreal lord, with a different mein and focus and style than Eilistraee. But he's noted that similarities are rather intentional, even as they are different people.)


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In Pathfinder, the Empyreal Lord Ashava comes to my mind as well. Moonlight is her whole thing. It's her portfolio and her holy symbol.

What I like about Ashava is that she takes something that we traditionally associate with the night as being evil or terrifying--ghosts and spirits--and turns it on its ear into something hopeful. She "dances in dangerous wilderness and lonely graveyards alike, leading lost spirits home". She takes the spirits of those who have died violent or sudden deaths, and leads them to their graves where they can be at peace.

There is a very brief writeup of her in Magnimar: City of Monuments (along with a lovely discussion of the yamah which visit there), and of course in Chronicle of the Righteous.


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I mention Ashava, Tsukiyo, Ketephys and the Empyreal Lord Tanagaar in the article. All great choices for good defenders of the night. I like that Ashava's animal is wolf and that some of her followers are good lycanthropes. When I wrote up some possible sects for Ketephys one of them was good werewolves. I'm probably going to do something similar with Ashava when I do her write up for tomorrow.

Although not Pathfinder, white wolf's Scarred Lands campaign setting had a good write up on a ritual that helped lycanthropes fight the beast within.

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