What is general opinion on Aroden mystery?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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So far at Paizo they've consistently said they aren't going to reveal their answer to what killed Aroden. So I really don't think you'll have any trouble with invalidated canon. My recommendation is to decide for yourself and go with it.


Tacticslion wrote:
The reason I don't like it, is because there is supposed to be an answer, that answer is there to help make the setting cohesive, and I feel trapped as a GM if I ever want to do anything with it.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I don't really feel that the setting loses cohesion just because you have one mystery with no official answer. Especially with an event that is ancient history.

As I said, it's my thing that I have issues with. But (like you in this post), I'm explaining my feelings, 'cause that's what this is. :)

Bill Dunn wrote:
So far at Paizo they've consistently said they aren't going to reveal their answer to what killed Aroden. So I really don't think you'll have any trouble with invalidated canon. My recommendation is to decide for yourself and go with it.

Yes, but they do make setting-affecting decisions based off of that thing. This is also something they've noted.

Hence, even if the mystery is never revealed, it still is noted as affecting the setting - we're just never allowed to know about, touch, or understand that thing. It is, thus, literally an unwritten (well, I suppose it's written somewhere, so "unpublished") rule in this case that is important enough to alter the setting, but kept from GMs. This very likely results in canon discontinuity.

Beyond that, there are many other retcons which have affected our games, sooooo... eh. It's a thing.

"Once bitten, twice shy." and all that.

Liberty's Edge

I enjoy not knowing. It leaves something up for the imagination to fill in. It's one of the things I like the most about the setting.

Paizo Employee Developer

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I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

I totally get that some people are frustrated about not having all the answers (or this particular answer), but I've always enjoyed the mystery. I was a freelancer for about four years before I moved up here to join the team, and as a freelancer I didn't know the true Aroden story. I actually resisted learning the secret for about six months after being here. For me, I wanted to keep it mysterious, and was worried that by knowing the story I might accidentally seed something into something I was working on.

I got over that. :) But, I now also find a lot of other mysteries in our setting as compelling if not more so than the details of Aroden's demise.

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Personally, both Aroden's Death and the lack of information, and the idea of The Gap in Starfinder, are driving me away from gaming in Paizo's settings. I just transplanted Kingmaker into 3.5 Forgotten Realms for my gaming group because, quite frankly, at least I know everything that's going on. If a mystery is kept from me as the GM, I get frustrated. It's annoying.

So yeah. For me, it might respark interest in the setting again if I knew. But at this point, after this long without an answer...meh. That's what I have to say about the setting. Meh.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cydeth wrote:

Personally, both Aroden's Death and the lack of information, and the idea of The Gap in Starfinder, are driving me away from gaming in Paizo's settings. I just transplanted Kingmaker into 3.5 Forgotten Realms for my gaming group because, quite frankly, at least I know everything that's going on. If a mystery is kept from me as the GM, I get frustrated. It's annoying.

So yeah. For me, it might respark interest in the setting again if I knew. But at this point, after this long without an answer...meh. That's what I have to say about the setting. Meh.

I understand that, but as a GM, you DO have the power to know everything in your game. In your version of Golarion you WOULD be able to know the truth behind Aroden's death, and what you did with that would be up to you. We wouldn't know what your truth was unless you told us, and for your game that's the truth that matters.

I've also heard from some GMs that they're frustrated with the fact that they don't feel empowered to make Golarion their own because of fears that the way they develop a region might some day in the future be "changed" or rendered "incorrect" when we later publish more info on that region that contradicts the GM's vision. The mystery of Aroden is one such thing that GMs will never have to worry about us contradicting, so that should be a good thing.

But you can't please everyone.

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James Jacobs wrote:


I understand that, but as a GM, you DO have the power to know everything in your game. In your version of Golarion you WOULD be able to know the truth behind Aroden's death, and what you did with that would be up to you. We wouldn't know what your truth was unless you told us, and for your game that's the truth that matters.

I've also heard from some GMs that they're frustrated with the fact that they don't feel empowered to make Golarion their own because of fears that the way they develop a region might some day in the future be "changed" or rendered "incorrect" when we later publish more info on that region that contradicts the GM's vision. The mystery of Aroden is one such thing that GMs will never have to worry about us contradicting, so that should be a good thing.

But you can't please everyone.

Honestly, it wouldn't be a problem for me if you hadn't said you'd never tell us what happened. That's the buzzkill for me. If it's just a random mystery thrown into the book? Okay, whatever, I wouldn't have too much problem with it. I've seen it before in other systems, and have run with my own ideas.

But the fact it's determined, and you'll never tell us? Well...for me, what's the point? I actually have fun when I see how close or far apart my ideas are to new material! Sure, it can be obnoxious when it totally contradicts what I had happen, but that's what happens when you play in a campaign world that's always growing.

I agree, though, you can't please everyone. I don't mean to say that your ideas are without merit (because they have merit). I don't think you're wrong to write your campaign settings in this way, either. But it's also the main reason I never entered RPG Superstar after 2012. Because I knew, knew, I wouldn't enjoy writing in your setting. I'm just one person, though, and that's...how it works sometimes.

But maybe I'm just worn out on it. I dunno, but it is what it is. My opinion, as right and wrong as it may be, stands.


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Adam Daigle wrote:

I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

I totally get that some people are frustrated about not having all the answers (or this particular answer), but I've always enjoyed the mystery. I was a freelancer for about four years before I moved up here to join the team, and as a freelancer I didn't know the true Aroden story. I actually resisted learning the secret for about six months after being here. For me, I wanted to keep it mysterious, and was worried that by knowing the story I might accidentally seed something into something I was working on.

I got over that. :) But, I now also find a lot of other mysteries in our setting as compelling if not more so than the details of Aroden's demise.

Actually, while it might not be a continuous topic of conversation anymore, I'm pretty sure that I, for one, would immensely enjoy the setting much more.

In the same way that I find endless enjoyment of, say, Forgotten Realms where I actually pretty much know all the mysteries and divine questions and whatnot, I don't find the lure of the unknown of that one thing as a form of staying power. By this point, I just find it exhausting and as something I never want to touch, because I don't want to invalidate future published things.

I can't claim to be representative in this - obviously you enjoyed keeping the mystery from yourself as long as possible - but it's not something that appeals to me anymore. I can still enjoy the guesswork, but the ones I like now are the funny joking ones, because those are the ones that are still relevant to the way I hink of the thing.

You guys do a great job of the writing, though.

James Jacobs wrote:

I understand that, but as a GM, you DO have the power to know everything in your game. In your version of Golarion you WOULD be able to know the truth behind Aroden's death, and what you did with that would be up to you. We wouldn't know what your truth was unless you told us, and for your game that's the truth that matters.

I've also heard from some GMs that they're frustrated with the fact that they don't feel empowered to make Golarion their own because of fears that the way they develop a region might some day in the future be "changed" or rendered "incorrect" when we later publish more info on that region that contradicts the GM's vision. The mystery of Aroden is one such thing that GMs will never have to worry about us contradicting, so that should be a good thing.

But you can't please everyone.

Sure - I'm certainly one of those people! Sorry!

To me, it's not that the specific thing will ever be contradicted - I recognize that the specific event won't.

Instead, it's that the specific event informs other events in the story (which is reasonable and important, as this adds cohesion), and, if I create something in a certain way, some element of setting cohesion runs the risk of suddenly becoming stupid or incongruous with the thing I design.

This isn't really hypothetical - it's already happened, just not with the Aroden mystery (per se), and it's one of those things that drives my particular brand of weirdo up the wall. :)

I wish to emphasize that I don't think you guys are necessarily wrong in doing it the way you're doing it - it's just less fun and less engaging for me, as a lone customer.


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My general opinion...uh, I guess I don't really care? I mean, if there was a chance we would find out, maybe I would care, but there isn't, so I don't especially. The more important aspects are the repercussions of his death, which have been covered to some extent, though there are still some mysteries I think, like the Eye of Abendego, which I could imagine higher level PCs wanting to put a stop to. Still, something can be made up.

Then again, Aroden just isn't a terribly interesting god to me, even if he wasn't dead. I'm just not terribly fond of any god who's interested in only one race, really...generally comes across as petty and small-minded to me.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Luthorne wrote:

My general opinion...uh, I guess I don't really care? I mean, if there was a chance we would find out, maybe I would care, but there isn't, so I don't especially. The more important aspects are the repercussions of his death, which have been covered to some extent, though there are still some mysteries I think, like the Eye of Abendego, which I could imagine higher level PCs wanting to put a stop to. Still, something can be made up.

Then again, Aroden just isn't a terribly interesting god to me, even if he wasn't dead. I'm just not terribly fond of any god who's interested in only one race, really...generally comes across as petty and small-minded to me.

See, this (see bolded portion of the quoted message) is exactly the kind of extra mystery that initially got my attention when I was just reading about Golarion. When the Inner Sea region map was first published, that hurricane immediately got my attention. I grew up in southeast Texas near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico so hurricanes are something I have a personal connection with, and I had so many theories on a static hurricane. I did some work on the Sodden Lands and Lirgen as a freelancer because of this interest.

And this leads me to a transparent statement on mysteries in our setting and why keeping some things a mystery is important.

Ideas change.

I know that the folks who made the setting and included a static hurricane off the coast of an apocalyptic wasteland had inklings of ideas about the ramifications about that and why a big storm would form and hold in the way that it has, but they didn't expect some swamp-dwelling Cajun would be in the office one day with strong opinions about how this kind of thing would play out.

So far in print we've never said what caused the Eye to form or why it is static. I have my own ideas. These ideas aren't exactly what the creators of the concept initially thought. My ideas could enrich (or screw up) those initial thoughts. So, by keeping it mysterious for the time allows GMs to do what they want with the various mysteries in our setting AND it allows us, internally, to have more and varied voices in our setting. (Eventually, when we can. When the time's right.)


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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

Having an answer takes the topic from absolutely uninteresting to at least a fun bit of world building.

As-is the "central mystery" has impacted nothing in a long time, and interest in it has ALREADY largely dried up. The highest praise anyone in this thread has given it has been "Eh, at least it gives me a blank spot to write a campaign around".

The psychologcal aspect of "I don't want to do anything with Aroden in case it gets contradicted" disappears entirely in that moment as well. People are much more willing to change something that exists, than fabricate something whole cloth. Look at the Houserules subforum for proof of that.

I don't see any reason why, in the long term, knowing the mystery wouldn't increase the interest in Aroden, who was a pretty bland god as a character to begin with. Knowing who/what killed him (or even if he was killed) and why pens the door for interesting stories to be told involving this nemesis, or provide insight into why a god might kill himself, or an impending fear that some cosmic fluke wiped out a deity and it could happen again.

There is much more potential for storytelling with something that exists than something that does not. More people set their games on Golarion than Triaxus because it's easier to be more detailed with the setting that way, for example.


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It's winter on Triaxus for at least another 80 years.


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I personally like not knowing what happened to Aroden. :-)

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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years?

Obviously I can't say for sure, but as it stands, in my Golarion there basically never existed any Aroden as far as our games are concerned. He just gets totally ignored because no one wants to even tangentially touch on this topic. The problem being that this specific mystery is so essential to the core of Golarion, that if I do something about it myself, I might change Golarion so much that it won't fit with later official products as all.

So if you told me right now what happened to Aroden, this would probably be a total gamechanger. And while I can't say for sure what it would be like in 5 years, I'm positive that it would make a difference right now.


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While we're on the subject, can we get more Triaxus stuff? I played in a one-shot module called "And Madness Followed" that was set on Triaxus and it's one of my favorite games I've gotten to play. I got to play a snake man.


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Frozen Stars has a big section on Triaxus, as well as the adventure being set there. I highly recommend it. :-)

But yes, more on Triaxus is definitely needed. :-)


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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

In five years? If it was a very good plot point, I would probably look back on it with a smile and think that it was a great show of storytelling ability. If it was just okay, I wouldn't think about it often, but would probably have fun remembering how it fit with everything else every now and then.

Six months? I'd probably still be discussing it, if it was anything other than horrible. Granted, I have a significantly short attention span, but something like The Reveal would make me stick on Golarion for quite long.

However, allow me to be brutally honest here: Withholding the information to "keep the interest" is like... Well, let me go on with the George Martin analogy. It's like if, today, he announced that he wouldn't publish the remaining books of A Song of Ice and Fire and also would revoke HBO's rights and they couldn't show the ending of the story either, so people would continue to talk, theorize and buzz around his world.

That is to say, pretty a-holish, a bit juvenile and guaranteed to backfire somewhere down the road. No offense meant. Just how I feel about it.


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Bill Dunn wrote:
So far at Paizo they've consistently said they aren't going to reveal their answer to what killed Aroden. So I really don't think you'll have any trouble with invalidated canon. My recommendation is to decide for yourself and go with it.

Wait . . . I think I've figured it out! If enough GMs take the bull by the horns and come up with their local canon of what happened to Aroden, the official canon will come out! So get engaged, people, and get to work: THIS is what we've got to do to pull out the canon!

Actually, now that I think of it more, what if this was made an official set of contests: People come up with local canon on this, and submit it, and a bit of the winning local canon becomes the official canon. Then each year (or maybe couple of years), the process goes through another iteration.


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That was a terrible analogy Patrick, it's not like they're canceling everything and shutting it down.


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captain yesterday wrote:
That was a terrible analogy Patrick, it's not like they're canceling everything and shutting it down.

The point is not canceling and shutting everything down. The point it withholding defined and known information in order to keep interest high.


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Well no, I can't tell what you were trying to say. Perhaps try again.

Not trying to be rude or anything, I just don't get it. Sorry!


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One's response depends upon whether or not one prefers to have all of the mysteries of one's setting spelled out for them or if they prefer to fill in the story gaps with flourishes of their own.

In my mythic home campaign, the mystery, life and death of Aroden often take on rather sublime symbolic importance. I enjoy having that element remain wide open from the publisher. Mysteries are one of the driving inexorable forces of nature in storytelling and roleplaying games are no different.


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I love the Pathfinder system, and I love the world of Golarion, and I love the various mysteries and intrigues; but, eventually, I am going to want to have a moment of revelation.

At some point, the mystery of how Dou-Bral became Zon Kuthon will be more frustrating than interesting; the creation of the Eye of Abendego will cease to be of concern, I will stop caring about why Asmodeus was entrusted with the key to Rovagug's prison, and what he plans on doing with it, and I'll give up guessing at the truth about the death of Aroden.

In every case save one, there might someday be a big reveal where we will finally be let in on what is going on; but not where Aroden is involved.

It honestly has meant that while I still dig for clues and tidbits of information about other secrets of Golarion, I pretty much just ignore Aroden.

I believe it was a mistake to state that the truth about Aroden would never be unveiled. It is one thing to tease people with dangled morsels and red herrings; it is quite another to just say, "Move along folks, nothing to see here".

At this point, the only thing that would get me interested in the mystery of Aroden again, would be a promise that the final Adventure Path Paizo ever puts out for Pathfinder will be about his death.

Dark Archive

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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

Honestly, its as I said before, unless the answer would turn out to be something that blew my mind, I'd still be like "Meh" and go on my business.

I mean, my issue with Aroden mystery wasn't that its going to be unanswered, it was that I get feeling its the biggest most important mystery in the setting and that I should care about it, but I don't. I don't get inspired and get campaign ideas for it. And on top of that, it discourages me to do ideas that relate to it, like Eye of Abendago is somehow related to it, but we don't know anything about Eye of Abendago's cause because we don't get any hints related to Aroden mystery. The other mysteries in setting are much more compelling to me and we do actually get hints about them.

And there isn't really a reason to care about Aroden's death either, since as said before, there won't ever be modules or APs or campaign materials that would give hints about it or where it would be relevant somehow. Nor is there anything about mystery to give PCs reason to wonder or worry or otherwise care about it besides "God died hundred years ago, I wonder how that happened". In other settings, well I haven't ever read Eberron, but there is that one location that is very important that had something cataclysmic happen to it? Well that sounds rather worrisome indeed and sounds like fun adventure location. As other example, in Eclipse Phase, there is reason for characters to worry about where TITANs left, why they went away and what they were trying to do since its rather important to fate of transhuman kind.

Sooo yeah, in short, I think mystery needs to give a carrot for why you should care about answer to it, in fiction mystery that is just mystery doesn't work as well as in real life. Though I guess the fact we know we won't ever get answer to it ''might'' also relate to it since we outright know we won't ever get the carrot while other long running mysteries that we haven't got much hints about(like Zon-Kuthon's thing) don't feel as uninteresting since we think we might eventually get that hints about them and that delicious carrot keeps us going. Like, in Zon-Kuthon mystery's case, the carrot is that its rather worrisome that from wherever in dark tapestry Zon-Kuthon returned from, there are god corrupting entities, so thats worrisome, AND it has second carrot of that since Zon-Kuthon is Shelyn's brother, at least Shelynites would want Zon-Kuthon to be redeemed so family is together again.


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My players care about the death of Aroden because every time another piece of the legend is revealed there is an element of reflexive subtext at play.

I'm not sure what the point of this thread is, unless it's to force GMs everywhere to not care about the mystery of Aroden and to exclude it from their campaigns?

Talk about "meh."


well.
ummm...

Klingon bloodwine

STar trek : DEstiny

Aroden is a prisoner in Gallowspire

seriously. I like Golarion, like PAthfidner.

wanto t know what officially happened to ARoden even if it takes $50 to pay Mr. Jacobs to tell me in person. and an nda signed not to tell. but then I dont really care about him anyway either.

mmmmm Klingon Bloodwine.

Targ milk

Nekid halfling table top dancers

Dark Archive

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Have to say as time has gone on the big mystery of Arodens demise has got less and less interesting mostly because its been stated there will never be an answer (A mystery only holds interest if it can be solved IMO)

Dark Archive

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Brother Fen wrote:

My players care about the death of Aroden because every time another piece of the legend is revealed there is an element of reflexive subtext at play.

I'm not sure what the point of this thread is, unless it's to force GMs everywhere to not care about the mystery of Aroden and to exclude it from their campaigns?

Talk about "meh."

Its point is to discuss opinions about the mystery :P

Just to check, how would you feel if I said "I'm not sure what is point of this post, unless its to dismiss contrary opinions and exclude them from discussion?" Seriously, rude you person.


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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years? Heck, one year? Six months? I'm pretty sure that once the reveal was dropped the boards would light up for a few weeks, but once everyone had their fill of discussing the particulars, this central mystery would dry up and become even less interesting than it is to some folks today.

To me it would go from being an annoyingly important event that I can do very little with (since I know next to nothing (beyond what the in game characters know) to being a useful feature which distinguishes Golarion from other campaign settings and can thus be used as a way to embed PCs in the setting.

If I make a big thing about Ariden's death to my players, they'll go looking. They'll sail into the eye of abendego, they'll build PCs whose life mission is to go looking for the truth. Suddenly, I have to make up a bunch of stuff with no idea if it matches James's canonical vision of it (something which is important to me). Consequently, I barely mention it, they never meet any ex-worshippers of Aroden and I'd be willing to bet if you asked them about it now they'd have no idea it is even a thing, despite playing several campaigns there.

In my mind, a minor mystery is a plot hook I can expand on - potentially deviating from the canonical setting. A major mystery like this is a recipe for me to screw things up royally and go who-knows-where, so I'll avoid the issue as much as possible (thus concealing one of the distinguishing features of the setting).

This is pretty much the only decision paizo have taken that really gets in the way of my enjoyment/use of Golarion. It doesn't really have anything to do with me "wanting to know", it's about wanting the central feature of the setting to be useful to me in running games rather than an elephant in the room I have to avoid.


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Excellent use of reverse psychology guys.

Bravo!


captain yesterday wrote:

Well no, I can't tell what you were trying to say. Perhaps try again.

Not trying to be rude or anything, I just don't get it. Sorry!

I've spelled it out quite clearly in the other post:Withholding information that is known and relevant.

That is, keeping under wraps not something they're saving to develop and flesh out later, but something they've already defined, something that has a HUGE impact (according to James Jacobs) on the setting at large, and doing this in order to keep the interest high is both a pretty low thing to do and eventually it will have the reverse effect. People won't care for it anymore because an answer is not going to be available.

It's like writing a classic whodunit mystery novel and then refusing to give the answers in the end to keep people talking about said novel. It doesn't work. That's how I feel about the whole thing.

I can't make it any clearer than this.


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That's an overreaction don't you think.


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captain yesterday wrote:
That's an overreaction don't you think.

The answer to that is very important, in fact it shapes a great deal of how communication on the messageboard works today, and is responsible for the creation of several threads which themselves are both significant and difficult to explain. The answer would potentially change how you view the entire posting experience. However, the official decision is that the answer to that will never be revealed.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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captain yesterday wrote:
That's an overreaction don't you think.

It's an opinion. It's what feels right to each person as an individual. You like the lack of information about Aroden's death, according to what you said. Great. However, your opinion on it is no more valid than mine is (and I utterly hate the fact it was teased and nothing was done with in in the years since).

Paizo isn't going to tell us. I know that and can deal with it. But when Adam asks us about how we feel, why should we not tell him, and why are you belittling our opinions?

Just a bit of perspective from how I'm seeing your comments.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Excellent use of reverse psychology guys.

Bravo!

I've got no idea if I'm one of the guys you're referring to. If not, ignore this. If so - no there is no reverse psychology (and I can't even imagine how my position could be seen as such). I've made peace with the fact that paizo's position is at odds with my preferences in this one instance. I'm not campaigning to shift that stance.

Adam asked a sincere question (presumably to better understand what the issue is for those who don't like it or perhaps as a way to invite us to take a different perspective). I gave him a sincere answer.


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Cydeth wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
That's an overreaction don't you think.

It's an opinion. It's what feels right to each person as an individual. You like the lack of information about Aroden's death, according to what you said. Great. However, your opinion on it is no more valid than mine is (and I utterly hate the fact it was teased and nothing was done with in in the years since).

Paizo isn't going to tell us. I know that and can deal with it. But when Adam asks us about how we feel, why should we not tell him, and why are you belittling our opinions?

Just a bit of perspective from how I'm seeing your comments.

I meant saying they're being "A-holish" was an overreaction.

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captain yesterday wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
That's an overreaction don't you think.

It's an opinion. It's what feels right to each person as an individual. You like the lack of information about Aroden's death, according to what you said. Great. However, your opinion on it is no more valid than mine is (and I utterly hate the fact it was teased and nothing was done with in in the years since).

Paizo isn't going to tell us. I know that and can deal with it. But when Adam asks us about how we feel, why should we not tell him, and why are you belittling our opinions?

Just a bit of perspective from how I'm seeing your comments.

I meant saying they're being "A-holish" was an overreaction.

That much I'll freely grant, but you weren't terribly specific, so it came across as being about his entire unhappiness with the way they handle Aroden.

But I should apologize for mis-interpreting what you said and bow out. Sorry about that.


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

Oh no, you're right, I was a bit more sarcastic then I meant to be, so my apologies there. :-)

I meant for the whole reverse psychology thing to come off as more silly then it did.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Again, I like the mystery of Aroden's death, and I'm totally fine with the statement that it will never be revealed by the devs. That approach gives more flexibility to GMs to develop the stories they want to write. It also allows multiple in-game theories to develop... and those can be really fun to play with!

On a broadernote, I have no problem whatsoever with tinkering with Golarion to suit the needs of my players and the stories we want to tell together. I run a fair amount of third-party adventure content, meaning that my version of Golarion has non-canon locations. Likewise, if I have a problem with the existence (or absence) of something, I'll just remove or change it to suit my own needs.

And if I design something that later gets changed in canon, then I'll either use my version, or use canon, or mash them together as dictated by the needs of the story!

Honestly, I prefer there to be gaps to fill in or loose ends to tie up. The gaps are what drives the story!

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Adam Daigle wrote:
I've enjoyed reading the responses to this thread, and I have a sincere question. If I told you right now what happened to Aroden, what would your feelings on the mystery/event be in five years?

It depends on the answer, Adam.

There are answers that go very deep in some settings, and gradually peeling back the onion skins is a way for the designers to answer one question and raise two others.

So, for example "What happened to Aroden?" "He saw his own death as the only way to prevent the Second Darkness while bringing about the redemption of the drow."

That's a poorly-constructed answer, but it does get one a-wondering. What?? Why would the god of Humanity care about the drow? Wait: what's the second darkness? See? One layer revealed, but the mystery deepens.

(Incidentally, my money's still on Mengkare. Dragon puts a lot of effort into "improving humanity," and Aroden's imminent return and "golden age" will put the lid on all that.)


The Mengkare theory at least makes sense. "Golden age" and "golden dragon", both of which help humans....

Still, the Aroden mystery isn't fun because we can't solve it. It's already solved. You can't do anything with it because, unless you miracously get it exactly right, you're completely wrong.

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Azten wrote:

The Mengkare theory at least makes sense. "Golden age" and "golden dragon", both of which help humans....

Still, the Aroden mystery isn't fun because we can't solve it. It's already solved. You can't do anything with it because, unless you miracously get it exactly right, you're completely wrong.

Substitute "Aroden" for "God" or "afterlife" and go have a talk with any religious and intelligent person. They likely won't convince you, but you'll perhaps understand why people find unsolvable mysteries fascinating.


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Aroden's death is quite interesting. The idea that his demise somehow "broke" prophecy, that everyone was geared up for his return,and then... oops?

Cool as hell,and easily my favorite thing about Aroden.

But knowing HOW he died has nothing to do with that. I like leaving the reasons vague, because, frankly, the what is more important to me than the why. In a world where deities are objectively real and the afterlife is something people with enough training can visit ahead of time, it gives philosophers and scholars something to debate without letting us, the readers, know for certain who is right and who is wrong. Chalk me up as someone who likes the mystery because of what it tells you about the rules of the universe it's in.

And there being an answer means that the setting elements used for any perspective in an in-game debate will make a certain logical sense.

I'm happy not knowing.


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I'd like to know why prophecy is still part of Pharasma's portfolio if prophecy isn't supposed to work anymore. And then why spells that let you know the likely outcome of certain actions(like Augury) still work.


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You think you can take it away, by all means, try. Won't be the first time, won't be the last.


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I think I remember reading somewhere that prophets still exist, and prophesy is still a thing, but there's so many conflicting outcomes to any given scenario it drives them insane almost all the time, and Pharasma's church takes it upon themselves to care for the insane prophets and prophetesses.

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Azten wrote:
I'd like to know why prophecy is still part of Pharasma's portfolio if prophecy isn't supposed to work anymore. And then why spells that let you know the likely outcome of certain actions(like Augury) still work.

Prophecy doesn't work on Golarion, they've said it can still work on other planets though.

And "is this a good idea or a bad idea" and getting answered with a "maybe" is a liiiiiiil bit different than "on the 7th day the 7th daughter will take 7 steps which starts a further chain of predetermined events that have a specific outcome".


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I liked this mystery when I started GMing in Golarion. It was a recent and important event in-world, and it gave the setting a dynamic feel to it. Things happened "here and now" and had repercussions.

But now a decade (let's add "about" to shut the sticklers up) has passed since this idea and mystery was presented, and it feels neither dynamic, nor very fresh, any longer. While I fully agree with the Paizo folks' belief in the importance of mysteries, I think they have made three mistakes here.

First, and most important - an unexplained mystery will grow stale after a while. What you should do then is to reveal the truth in some big, cool way, and then introduce new, fresh, mysteries. Preferably evolve the old ones with an age-old trick - the truth behind the mystery creates new questions. The truth makes the mystery metastasize. This hasn't really happened. It's the same old.

Second, if you intend to never give your audience the truth, you shouldn't say so. A mystery is a treasure hunt. The possibility of finding the solution one day is part of the attraction. But this is something Paizo seems to have missed completely. And that's a real big buzzkill, in my book. It doesn't matter that it's hard, and that the truth is buried deep, but knowing you'll never find the answer - what's the fun then?

And lastly - not a biggie, but anyway - it actually comes of a bit smug and excluding. "We know, we select few here on the inside, and you plebs on the outside's never gonna". And that's not really the best way to treat people that pay your cheetos.

I think Paizo have painted themselves into a corner with this "we'll never give you the truth"-postulate. Cue Starfinder, with fresh mysteries...

(Edit: And all this 'make your own answers!'-talk from the developers I don't give anything for. If I'd make up my own answers, I wouldn't be here, or buy your products in the first place. Or rather, I can find the time to change some things as needed, but then I want to decide myself if I need to spend my own time after I've spent my money on yours.)


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I don't like the whole bit about Aroden's death being a mystery that will never be explained.

I would expound more on that, but Tacticslion, Razcar, and others have already done so masterfully.


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Razcar wrote:

I liked this mystery when I started GMing in Golarion. It was a recent and important event in-world, and it gave the setting a dynamic feel to it. Things happened "here and now" and had repercussions.

But now a decade (let's add "about" to shut the sticklers up) has passed since this idea and mystery was presented, and it feels neither dynamic, nor very fresh, any longer. While I fully agree with the Paizo folks' belief in the importance of mysteries, I think they have made three mistakes here.

First, and most important - an unexplained mystery will grow stale after a while. What you should do then is to reveal the truth in some big, cool way,, and then introduce new, fresh, mysteries. Preferably evolve the old ones with an age-old trick - the truth behind a mystery creates new questions. The truth makes the mystery metastasize. This hasn't really happened. It's the same old.

Second, if you intend to never give your audience the truth, you shouldn't say so. A mystery is a treasure hunt. The possibility of finding the solution one day is part of the attraction. But this is something Paizo seems to have missed completely. And that's a real big buzzkill, in my book. It doesn't matter that it's hard, and that the truth is buried deep, but knowing you'll never get the answers - what's the fun then?

And lastly - not a biggie, but anyway - it actually comes of a bit smug and excluding. "We know, we select few here on the inside, and you plebs on the outside's never gonna". And that's not really the best way to treat people that pay your cheetos.

I think Paizo have painted themselves into a corner with this "we'll never give you the truth"-postulate. Cue Starfinder, with fresh mysteries...

this is easily solved. just run an AP about the unraveling of prophecy being a central feature. Remember, "Prophecy is always true" in fantasy literature. Pathfinder is a big setting where that's just not the case. Prophecy doesn't work in Golarion.

what happens to prophecy when it doesn't come to pass?

"Perished Auguries" could be a really cool concept AP, with the PCs tracking down pre-Arodenite prophecies, which may yet hold some kernel of truth.

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