Disappointed with book 6? Spoilers ahead, fair warning.


Tyrant's Grasp

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, is anyone else a bit disappointed with how this adventure path ends? I mean, yes you fight a fully powered Tar-Baphon, but you can't beat him, and the incredibly intelligent lich ends up accidently nuking himself and you?

I understand that he's too powerful, generally, to go down easy, but so was Demogorgon, and Paizo made beating him suitably epic in Prince of Demons.

It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that the last adventure in Pathfinder ends with a no-save you're-dead-and-no-one-remembers-you-existed button.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's only unsatisfying if you make it unsatisfying. Also, depending on how the fight goes, the PCs can save NPCs who cement their legend, so it's not necessarily a "no one remembers you existed" situation. Your particular PCs may not be the canon heroes for the setting, but they can certainly be local canon to you and your players.

Spoiler for My Hero Academia with a very similar scene

Sovereign Court

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It is unsatisfying. But the book offers a couple suggestions (well, maybe only one) for giving players a way to survive. That said, it DOES feel a little bit like "moving the setting timeline along and the PCs are just along for the ride."


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I totally understand where folks are coming from with this issue. However, I have a few rebuttal points:

-This may not be the adventure for you/your group and that's okay. Some folks don't like Rise of the Runelords or Kingmaker or Strange Aeons. Thankfully, there's a LOT of other adventures out there to enjoy.

-The Heroic Final Sacrifice is an established trope that resonates with a lot of people. Properly set up, I believe the ending can be very satisfying to a group.

-I believe the HFS is properly set up so players know its coming. If you feel it needs more, adding in that set up isn't difficult.

-In regards to the HFS not resulting in perma-death for Tar-Baphon, I'd point to the fact that it took an entire crusade and a literal god to defeat him before. A party of 19-20 level heroes ain't gonna cut it, but stopping him from getting nigh-infinite nukes will objectively save countless people.

Serisan wrote:

It's only unsatisfying if you make it unsatisfying. Also, depending on how the fight goes, the PCs can save NPCs who cement their legend, so it's not necessarily a "no one remembers you existed" situation. Your particular PCs may not be the canon heroes for the setting, but they can certainly be local canon to you and your players.

Spoiler for My Hero Academia with a very similar scene

Chills. Every time with that clip. Love it so damn much.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OmegaZ wrote:
-The Heroic Final Sacrifice is an established trope that resonates with a lot of people. Properly set up, I believe the ending can be very satisfying to a group.

I would argue that's the key problem with book 6: this heroic sacrifice was not well set up. It's not that a heroic sacrifices are necessarily unsatisfying, it's that this heroic sacrifice is unsatisfying.

First, the AP does a very poor job of telegraphing its own direction. The whole heroic sacrifice thing comes out of left field in book 5, and is strongly undermined by Arazni's sacrifice in book 4. While it may have been the author's intent for Arazni's sacrifice to foreshadow the PC's own and serve as an example to follow, in reality she achieved nothing of consequence. As a result it feels much more like a parable of foolishness than an example to follow.

Second, the PC's actually don't have enough information to commit to the sacrifice, since they have no reason to believe that the Whispering Tyrant needs the specific shard in his hand to act as a focus. The Whispering Tyrant still has 4-5 shards remaining after the sacrifice, and if he can use one of them as a replacement focus then - just like Arazni - they'll have achieved nothing of consequence.

Thirdly, there's a fairly obvious non-suicidal course of action for the PC's to take: finding and destroying the 6 remaining shards. A heroic sacrifice just becomes parody fodder when there's a non-suicidal course of action that makes just as much sense.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would say the PC's are too powerful by the end of this AP for the heroic sacrifice to work. You can say that an 18th level party "won't cut it", but the fact is that if you can get him down to 150 then you can get him down to 0. His phylactery is well and thoroughly beyond the PC's grasp, but they can destroy his current form and - by extension - relieve him of the shard in his hand.

Silver Crusade

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Dasrak wrote:
First, the AP does a very poor job of telegraphing its own direction. The whole heroic sacrifice thing comes out of left field in book 5, and is strongly undermined by Arazni's sacrifice in book 4. While it may have been the author's intent for Arazni's sacrifice to foreshadow the PC's own and serve as an example to follow, in reality she achieved nothing of consequence. As a result it feels much more like a parable of foolishness than an example to follow.
She escaped her unlife which was her whole goal. Which is something for PCs to think about. Their sacrifice might permanently destroy Tar-Baphon without needing to destroy his phylactery. Of course it actually leaves it vague if it does destroy her permanently but still.
Quote:
Second, the PC's actually don't have enough information to commit to the sacrifice, since they have no reason to believe that the Whispering Tyrant needs the specific shard in his hand to act as a focus. The Whispering Tyrant still has 4-5 shards remaining after the sacrifice, and if he can use one of them as a replacement focus then - just like Arazni - they'll have achieved nothing of consequence.
Two shards are required for Radiant Fire to be used, and it's entirely possibly that it needed the "main one" in his hand to even function in the first place.
Quote:
Thirdly, there's a fairly obvious non-suicidal course of action for the PC's to take: finding and destroying the 6 remaining shards. A heroic sacrifice just becomes parody fodder when there's a non-suicidal course of action that makes just as much sense.
This squarely falls into "easier said than done", no one knows where the remaining shards are, and even if they did that doesn't stop Tar-baphon's advance on Absalom.
Quote:

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would say the PC's are too powerful by the end of this AP for the heroic sacrifice to work. You can say that an 18th level party "won't cut it", but the fact is that if you can get him down to 150 then you can get him down to 0. His phylactery is well and thoroughly beyond the PC's grasp, but they can destroy his current form and - by extension - relieve him of the shard in his hand.

If. The more likely outcome is they kill the Daemon and get him down to 250 hp. Which is more likely since the party doesn't have any time to prep for the fight.

This scenario relies on his arrogance, he's going to use his nuke rather than be destroyed. Him fleeing would probably be an even worse outcome.

Silver Crusade

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No one knows? Does that include Iomedae, who has a much bigger interest in this fight than she had in the Worldwound, where she put in a personal appearance? Or Pharasma, who could be "a little careless " in letting a mortal overhear something she tells a psychopomp, that "just so happens" to allow the overthrow of a powerful undead, which she hates, that is the center of a cult that teaches necromancy and becoming undead. Something she supposedly detests.

Besides, the "heroic sacrifice " accomplishes precisely zip. His phylactery was never destroyed, so in 1d4 days, he dusts himself off and goes right back to marching on Absalom, who just lost 4-6 legendary heroes to, effectively, call a time out.

Liberty's Edge

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Destroying his body does nothing to free the shard. It's as bound to him as the obols are to the PCs; that bond is the only thing that allows him to even use the Radiant Fire in the first place. After all, he's a lich, and the thing is described as causing him continual pain - don't you think he's tried to remove it? It already somehow managed to stay fused to his body even after he was defeated in the battle that created the shattered shield of Arnisant in the first place, when it should have been left behind then with all his other equipment.


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i thought that the rather poetic ending of being reborn in the trees of Arcadia was pretty cool.

Silver Crusade

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The problem is that's an optional ending. The real, canon ending is oblivion, body and soul both destroyed

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
The problem is that's an optional ending. The real, canon ending is oblivion, body and soul both destroyed

No, the "canon" ending is that Tar-Baphon is stopped.

Nowhere are Paizo going to state "this is exactly what happened to your PCs".

Silver Crusade

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It states "the explosion of the Radiant Fire overwhelms their obols and destroys their bodies and their souls", page 57, paragraph 2.

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
It states "the explosion of the Radiant Fire overwhelms their obols and destroys their bodies and their souls", page 57, paragraph 2.

Yes, unless your GM does the tree rebirth route.

Again, what specifically happens to the PCs is not canon and Paizo will not state as such, if anything it will be a vague "valiant heroes gave their lives to stop the Whispering Tyrant".

Silver Crusade

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If they didn't mean for that to happen, it wouldn't be the primary ending they present. I understand I can change the ending. I can also substitute Razmir for Tar-Baphon, doesn't make him the new Whispering Tyrant. Obviously you and I are going to disagree on this, but while you say they don't say what happened to PCs, that's exactly what they did, unless a GM changes things.

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
If they didn't mean for that to happen, it wouldn't be the primary ending they present. I understand I can change the ending. I can also substitute Razmir for Tar-Baphon, doesn't make him the new Whispering Tyrant. Obviously you and I are going to disagree on this, but while you say they don't say what happened to PCs, that's exactly what they did, unless a GM changes things.

Well we don't have the Lost Omens World Guide so no, we don't know what they said.

But let's look at the blogs so far. Anastasia is ruling Irrisen, that was an optional outcome in RoW, not the main one. So for you to say the optional outcomes are not allowed and that one specific outcome has to happen is purely assumption on your part, not fact.


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Tyrant's Grasp is the Rogue One AP for pathfinder. Jyn and Cassian are on death missions, and neither of them knows it until the end. Moreover, the PCs death isn't meaningless, nor a time-out that only gives the world a brief respite. The feedback loop at the end destroys the Radiant Fire as a usable weapon by Tar Baphon

Paizo wrote:
'Unlike the Whispering Tyrant, whose death marks his failure and loss of the greatest weapon he’s ever known..."

Want the PCs to survive? that's perfectly acceptable. Your party comes up with an imaginative way to escape. Adventure Paths are frameworks around which to construct a campaign. While you can run them *exactly* as intended, likely your experience would be much improved by modifying, adding to and increasing the depth of the story.


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Rysky wrote:
She escaped her unlife which was her whole goal. Which is something for PCs to think about. Their sacrifice might permanently destroy Tar-Baphon without needing to destroy his phylactery. Of course it actually leaves it vague if it does destroy her permanently but still.

The PC's don't know that she was intentionally trying to destroy herself permanently. All they see is someone who was attempting to combat the Whispering Tyrant, and now the only person they know who was both willing and powerful enough to actually rival him is gone.

Rysky wrote:
Two shards are required for Radiant Fire to be used, and it's entirely possibly that it needed the "main one" in his hand to even function in the first place.

Based on how the AP is written I would agree that this is the case, that the Whispering Tyrant requires the specific shard that's in his hand. However, the point is that the PC's have no way of knowing that this is the case.

Rysky wrote:
This squarely falls into "easier said than done", no one knows where the remaining shards are, and even if they did that doesn't stop Tar-baphon's advance on Absalom.

In other words, a level-appropriate challenge for 16+ adventurers. They presumably have access to powerful divination magic, have a readily available focus (their obols) for such divination spells to locate the shards, and a level of power appropriate to seek out and confront whatever powerful minions Tar-Baphon has entrusted the shards to.

And if destroying all the remaining shards doesn't stop the Whispering Tyrant's advance on Absolom, then neither will the "heroic sacrifice", as he's still got his conventional undead forces and mythic power in either event.

Rysky wrote:
If. The more likely outcome is they kill the Daemon and get him down to 250 hp. Which is more likely since the party doesn't have any time to prep for the fight.

I'd completely disagree. The daemon is a complete schmuck compared to Tar-Baphon and wasting your time attacking it is utterly foolish. Put bluntly, if the Daemon is actually a threat to your party then Tar-Baphon is probably going to TPK you in no more than 2 rounds.

Shisumo wrote:
Destroying his body does nothing to free the shard. It's as bound to him as the obols are to the PCs; that bond is the only thing that allows him to even use the Radiant Fire in the first place. After all, he's a lich, and the thing is described as causing him continual pain - don't you think he's tried to remove it?

He presumably never tried destroying himself, but it is true that this isn't addressed by the AP.

Silver Crusade

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If the Shard is as bound to him as the obols to the PCs, then killing him accomplishes nothing. He reforms, the Radiant Fire still burning his hand, and he can start nuking again, one lich reformation cycle later.

Silver Crusade

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Dasrak wrote:
The PC's don't know that she was intentionally trying to destroy herself permanently. All they see is someone who was attempting to combat the Whispering Tyrant, and now the only person they know who was both willing and powerful enough to actually rival him is gone.
But that wasn’t what I responding to. Your statement that “ she achieved nothing of consequence” was. She achieved what she set out for. It just didn’t completely align with what the PCs were trying to do.
Quote:
Based on how the AP is written I would agree that this is the case, that the Whispering Tyrant requires the specific shard that's in his hand. However, the point is that the PC's have no way of knowing that this is the case.
No, but it is a safe assumption.
Quote:
In other words, a level-appropriate challenge for 16+ adventurers. They presumably have access to powerful divination magic, have a readily available focus (their obols) for such divination spells to locate the shards, and a level of power appropriate to seek out and confront whatever powerful minions Tar-Baphon has entrusted the shards to.
Possibly but...
Quote:
And if destroying all the remaining shards doesn't stop the Whispering Tyrant's advance on Absolom, then neither will the "heroic sacrifice", as he's still got his conventional undead forces and mythic power in either event.
... it’s a matter of time, not power. The PCs might be able to hunt down the other shards, but Tar-Baphon is marching on Absalom all the while. And without the Radiant Fire the PCs don’t have their ace against him either.
Quote:
I'd completely disagree. The daemon is a complete schmuck compared to Tar-Baphon and wasting your time attacking it is utterly foolish. Put bluntly, if the Daemon is actually a threat to your party then Tar-Baphon is probably going to TPK you in no more than 2 rounds.

The Daemon is a more immediate threat since it engages the PCs in melee (and tries sundering their equipment) whereas Tar-Baphon stays safely back using his spells. TB is the bigger threat of course, way bigger, but you’ll still probably kill the daemon trying to get to him. The party is only assumed to be level 18 at this fight, with TB and his forces getting the jump on them.


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Shisumo wrote:
Destroying his body does nothing to free the shard. It's as bound to him as the obols are to the PCs; that bond is the only thing that allows him to even use the Radiant Fire in the first place. After all, he's a lich, and the thing is described as causing him continual pain - don't you think he's tried to remove it? It already somehow managed to stay fused to his body even after he was defeated in the battle that created the shattered shield of Arnisant in the first place, when it should have been left behind then with all his other equipment.

I'm sorry, but I'm under the impression that Baphon was never destroyed during the battle against Arnisant, but simply choose to retreat from that skirmish after an artifact shard was logged inside his hand, causing him either psychical pain or giving him "artifact related problem" in casting spells.

While he was working on how to fix his situation, he was sealed.
Also, since undeads are a bunch of backstabbing, were Baphon's phylactery inside Gallowspire (which i doubt, since it's probably inside The city of golden death), were the Whispering Tyrant to self destroy to free himself from the shard, he would have found himself naked, mutilated and perma locked in an antimagic field, betrayed by a few underlings.
I mean, he never even extracted the shard from his arm probably because moving it would have weakened/damage him more. Or, possibly even, because removing it would have caused, in a lesser area, a Radiant fire like effect. I like this new headcanon.


I was mistaken. The description of the Shield of Arnisant says clearly that Tar Baphon was destroyed by the presence of the shard in his body, and that therefore its phylactery is indeed inside Gallowspire! Good to know, i suppose.

So the shard is actually embedded in his essence/physical body, like the pcs souls.
One does wonder a few things, then:

First, how the hell he got back all his equipment, especially the artifacts, since they erected the Great Seal after they "entombed the lich's remains inside Gallowspire". Were they salvaged by his minions, or somehow magically teleported next to his phylactery? In the book, regarding the "horns of Naraga", it's written that Tar can get them back, if needed, but somehow he doesn't ... and therefore faces the pcs with a spare helm, i suppose.

Second, and more interesting: if the detonation of a splinter of the shield of Aroden from the inside of one soul obliterates it, then why Tar Baphon does not suffer the same fate of the pcs when this happens to him?

Cause, maybe ... this actually happens to him too, and therefore he's made a shadow of himself until another shard, that of his old soul inside the phylactery, doesn't somehow regrow the whole of his essence?

I mean, the Ap does not imply any of this, but by logic ... he should get a fate like Sauron. Unable to physically manifest, except inside an old center of power, like the island of terror.

Cause if Baphon's destruction means we get, for a few decades, a weakened Tyrant, unable to physically manifests of nevertheless forced to use external contraptions to rule his horde, then the pcs sacrifice gains a bit more weight, since their enemy cannot simply teleport back to the skies of Absalom 1d10 days back his explosion and gate spam a few Ulkreth just for the lulz.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't know if this is the past place for this topic/question, but it seemed like a reasonable space to start it. If anyone feels it should be in a different sub-forum, please feel free to move it there. This post contains a lot of spoilers for PFS 10-2 and 10-98 as well as book 6 of the AP.

I have now GMed PFS 10-23: Passing the Torch 2, played PFS 10-98: The Siege of Gallowspire, and read Midwives to Death, and I'm not totally sure about the timeline of events portrayed in all three of these and the interrelationships between events occurring in them. Here's what I think is going on.

Event One - The Pathfinder Society dispatches a sizeable force to the ruins of Gallowspire. This appears to have been done shortly before the Whispering Tyrant arrives outside of Absalom. It's not clear to me what intelligence inspires the Society to make this move.

Event Two - The Whispering Tyrant uses teleportation circles to take about half the army available to him in Fallowdeep to the Cairnlands outside of Absalom. I'm guessing this happens only a day or two after the Society sends the majority of its agents to Gallowspire.

And this is where things start to break down a bit. I'm not clear on when the events of 10-23, 10-98, and Part 3 of Midwives of Death occur in relation to one another. Are they all occurring on the same day? How soon are they occurring after Event Two? I think 10-22 ends before Part 3, otherwise the PCs in 10-22 would witness the Radiant Fire blast that concludes Part 3.

The impact of 10-23 on the general situation is obvious. The PCs' defeat of Vahlo deprives the Whispering Tyrant of a powerful force of undead inside Absalom. Perhaps because I was playing rather than GMing 10-98, it's not totally clear to me how the PCs' action in and under Gallowspire effected the events of 10-23 (other than not being available to defend the Grand Lodge) and Part 3 of Book 6.

I played the special at lvl 15-16, Champion, and we had a great GM. However, we were focused on the tactical picture in front of us and not as well versed in some elements of the overall strategic situation that we were a part of.

So, if anyone is able to help me out here, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
I was mistaken.

Been retconned since then.

The Dead Roads pg. 3 wrote:
Surprised and severely weakened by the artifact, the Whispering Tyrant fled deep into the dungeons below Gallowspire.

Emphasis: mine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The difference between the party members and Tar Baphon is that the party members are not Mythic. Tar Baphon has 10 Mythic Tiers. He is a demi-god and his phylactery is a minor artifact and can only be destroyed by one specific method. Also, it's debatable whether or not liches have souls. So, unless a humble ant or something like that crawled over his phylactery, he's coming back. It'll take a week or so (during which time the Absalom military will eliminate as much of his undead army as they can, which explains why he just doesn't start up again where he'd left off) and he'll probably be trying to recoup his losses and figure out what went wrong.

As for why he doesn't have his maginuke anymore? It may very well be that the combined essence of the souls of those with obols was enough to excise the shard of an artifact from Tar Baphon, or disempower it. It is hinted in the flavour text that his shard exploded as well which would mean he'd have to insert another shard into his arm and hope it didn't kill him to regain this ability.

Silver Crusade

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The problem is, if his phylactery is a minor artifact, it's reasonably easy to destroy. It's only Major Artifacts that have individual methods of destruction. If I wanted to destroy a Staff of the Magi, it's no more resistant to be chopped into firewood than any staff, magical or walking stick.

As for his armies, good luck. That's what makes undead armies so difficult to defeat. Yes, the rank and file soldiers are probably skeletons or zombies, but the ranking officers are most likely chosen from undead that can create spawn. Helps with recruitment, and makes them more terrifying, as you kill some soldiers, they just literally make more. As you lose soldiers, they gain more. They are also tireless, so the militia isn't able to disband. They can't tend the crops, so they fail, and so Absalom is left with a choice:they die in battle against the Whispering Tyrant, rising as undead themselves, or the city starved to death. Either way, Tar-Baphon wins.

Silver Crusade

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1) His phlyactery hasn't been stated up to my knowledge so it might be a full on Major Artifact.

2) That requires finding said phylactery.

Silver Crusade

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If it hasn't been published, why assume it's anything other than a standard phylactery?

I have previously mentioned 2 goddesss who could have easily and believably been worked into the storyline easily, with Iomedae being especially interesting as foil to Arazni. Yes, hiding his phylactery is possible, though fairly difficult, from Iomedae. From Pharasma, supposedly the most powerful of the deities, it should be next to impossible.


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From the Mythic rules: A mythic lich’s phylactery can’t be harmed by non-mythic sources. At 8th rank, the phylactery becomes a minor artifact, and can be destroyed by only one specific method.

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
If it hasn't been published, why assume it's anything other than a standard phylactery.
Because it's Tar-Baphon's phylactery. And also what Tangent101 points out.
Quote:
I have previously mentioned 2 goddesss who could have easily and believably been worked into the storyline easily, with Iomedae being especially interesting as foil to Arazni. Yes, hiding his phylactery is possible, though fairly difficult, from Iomedae. From Pharasma, supposedly the most powerful of the deities, it should be next to impossible.

What other AP has fun on Deities step in to solve the problems in the AP?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:

If it hasn't been published, why assume it's anything other than a standard phylactery?

I have previously mentioned 2 goddesss who could have easily and believably been worked into the storyline easily, with Iomedae being especially interesting as foil to Arazni. Yes, hiding his phylactery is possible, though fairly difficult, from Iomedae. From Pharasma, supposedly the most powerful of the deities, it should be next to impossible.

"Spoiler": Arazni also comes off more likeable than Iomedae from WotR. :p

Silver Crusade

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Also checing, all Minor Artifacts (with the exception of the Final Blades) have specific destruction requirements and can't be destroyed easily.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay. I was thinking about the rules from 3.5. I've never used artifacts in game for pathfinder.


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I actually kind of like the ending.

As for "no one remembers you existed," that's patently false.

The friggin' adventure wrote:
Absalom rejoices at having fended off another siege, though those who knew the PCs ensure that these heroes' names aren't forgotten. Captain of the First Guard Rothos commissions a statue in the PCs' honor to stand in the city's Foreign Quarter, and he establishes an annual festival to celebrate the many heroes who came to Absalom's aid when a terrible evil threatened the whole Inner Sea region.

For a small sample of remembrance.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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I have removed a post and a reply to it. Please do not try to bypass the swear filters.


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Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.

Okay, that is a REALLY good idea! I just might steal that :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KingTreyIII wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.

Okay, that is a REALLY good idea! I just might steal that :P

considering that at least two of the upcoming APs are set on the Isle of Kortos / Absalom... well... just sayin'...


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.

As someone who was rather annoyed with the AP's endgame and result for the PC's (book 5 sidebar not withstanding) I have to say...

THIS IS GENIUS. With potential timeline advance, you might even line up the children with some special trait(s), unusual backstory, all sorts of potential RP goodness, for an upcoming future AP - and your players get a neat 'reward' in a way.

Kudos Cole, kudos!

EDIT: I'm dubbing this the "Cole Deschain" sidebar...

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Dracovar wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.

As someone who was rather annoyed with the AP's endgame and result for the PC's (book 5 sidebar not withstanding) I have to say...

THIS IS GENIUS. With potential timeline advance, you might even line up the children with some special trait(s), unusual backstory, all sorts of potential RP goodness, for an upcoming future AP - and your players get a neat 'reward' in a way.

Kudos Cole, kudos!

EDIT: I'm dubbing this the "Cole Deschain" sidebar...

Me, too. I think this is a great idea.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Credit where it's due, I'm basically ripping off the emotional high point of Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man with a few twists and turns...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's still a very good idea.


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Counting as 'Everything is funny at 3AM and 4 hours of sleep.'

Having Tar-Baphon become a god is bad, but what might be amusing is that he finds himself now bound by the very same non-interference pacts that other(most) deities follow. So he gets his realm off somewhere, he gets a herald, but no striding the lands like a colossus, he has to take thousands of years to scratch up a place in the pantheon. Plus he now has to deal with Urgathoa taking shots at his realm .

Tar-Baphon is like the new kid on the playground, he thinks he is going to rule the school but ends up getting atomic wedgies by the big kids.


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It amazes me that in the current year we are still dealing with "Rocks fall, everyone dies" endings.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Heroic Sacrifice is a popular aesthetic.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Calling it "rocks fall, everyone dies" is a bit disingenuous. RFED is a trope that involves a frustrated GM killing the party because they can, not setting up a heroic sacrifice to culminate a six book story.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Also... cool as the tree rebirth can be, I've already got my epilogue planned, and it's a little different. Figured it'd give more of a sense of accomplishment to the players, while also tying back to a much-loved NPC from volume one...

Umble, the Nosoi from The Dead Roads approaches Pharasma with a small bag in her claws- containing the dusty remnants (the ash, if you will) of the heroes' souls.

The Lady of Graves does her usual "listen without saying anything" routine as Umble spells out the highly unusual circumstances of the case, finally concluding with an observation that for services rendered, if for no other reason, she hopes that something can be done, even if the souls as they were have been destroyed.

Pharasma actually reaches out, takes the bag of dust. Looks at it.

Says "Yes."

Cut to four children born on the same day in Absalom. Roll credits.

As someone who was rather annoyed with the AP's endgame and result for the PC's (book 5 sidebar not withstanding) I have to say...

THIS IS GENIUS. With potential timeline advance, you might even line up the children with some special trait(s), unusual backstory, all sorts of potential RP goodness, for an upcoming future AP - and your players get a neat 'reward' in a way.

Kudos Cole, kudos!

EDIT: I'm dubbing this the "Cole Deschain" sidebar...

Me, too. I think this is a great idea.

I planned on something similar happening, though the final cut is not to Absalom, but to Xopatl and Miraina as she is climbing to Tumbaja take a look at the seedling of the Kumaru tree that the PCs planted in Part 5, when she hears crying up ahead. Running forward she comes to where the seeds were planted and beneath each is a baby, wrapped in cloth, each with a birthmark over their hearts in the shape of a sliver of wood.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's not a sacrifice, it's the bad guy, who has literally been stuck with this artifact in his hand for 900 years, suddenly not knowing how it works. This is RFED because, as we established, in 1d10 days, Tar-Baphon is back, no longer has the thorn in his paw, and the world is short a few more legendary heroes to stop him. We can't even say his soul was destroyed, because that's from the interaction of the Radiant Fire and their obols. This is a villain victory. It may be Pyrrhic, but Tar-baphon wins.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:
It's not a sacrifice, it's the bad guy, who has literally been stuck with this artifact in his hand for 900 years, suddenly not knowing how it works. This is RFED because, as we established, in 1d10 days, Tar-Baphon is back, no longer has the thorn in his paw, and the world is short a few more legendary heroes to stop him. We can't even say his soul was destroyed, because that's from the interaction of the Radiant Fire and their obols. This is a villain victory. It may be Pyrrhic, but Tar-baphon wins.

It’s not. He lost his superweapon, he lost large parts of his army, he lost his assault and a chance at godhood. Just because he survives (in a fashion) doesn’t mean he won.

“suddenly not knowing how it works.”

I don’t think he ever knew about the Obols in the first place.

“This is RFED because, as we established, in 1d10 days, Tar-Baphon is back,”

That’s an assumption, he’s also constrained to his island so something’s up there.

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