Who here misses the edginess of 3.5 Edition Golarion?


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I haven't gotten too into the 2nd edition stuff, but there seems to be enough of a change that 2nd edition Golarion and beyond is a bit more "all ages" than 1E. That got me thinking about the 3.5 adventures and sourcebooks, which all had this sort of terror and horror and overall "edginess" that wasn't available in 1E. 3.5 felt like a setting where Folca could conceivably exist.

What are some darker aspects you liked about the old-school days?

Sovereign Court

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I dunno personally I think the escape of the Whispering Tyrant adds a whole bunch of terror and horror to the setting.

But am I upset about the "edginess" being removed. No not really.


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For my money the darkest thing Paizo ever printed was Book 6 of Hell's Rebels, which was during the "kinder gentler Paizo" period. So I don't think it's a matter of "they don't have it in them anymore" it's more an issue of "they pick their spots and don't just do this sort of thing gratuitously" which I find preferable.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, I don't think there's any lack of 'edginess' recently or going forward...just a little bit more warning of when things are gonna get bleak and horrifying in some specific ways.

Heck, look at this web fiction, which is PF2 fiction released less than a month ago. That's some horrifying s*+~, that is.

Shadow Lodge

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Jib916 wrote:
I dunno personally I think the escape of the Whispering Tyrant adds a whole bunch of terror and horror to the setting.

How so? He's a threat to nations rather than to the cosmos, and that only to nations in a tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world. Even if you only consider him as a scry-and-frier, he is more than counterbalanced by his near-neighbors Sorshen and Galfrey (and Baba Yaga, assuming she scries Irrisen every so often), and if you have former AP PCs running around, well, he's a midmorning romp.

He fails utterly at being threatening, and indeed comes off as something of a joke.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Jib916 wrote:
I dunno personally I think the escape of the Whispering Tyrant adds a whole bunch of terror and horror to the setting.
How so? He's a threat to nations rather than to the cosmos, and that only to nations in a tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world.

I'm sure the people in that tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world are perfectly fine with being dismissed as not worth saving from the crazy lich. Truly, the fact he'll only depopulate countries in his initial rampage makes his release less of a nightmare for anyone connected even tangentially to those nations.

Also, keep in mind he's the Whisperer in the Whispering Way - you know, the same organization who believes the end of all life is a good thing? Even if he's kept in check, a Tar-Baphon who isn't sealed away is an unliving nexus of information and organization. His freedom would cause the Way, a more-or-less global cult, would have another Golden Age and rampage across the planet, scarring it even worse than the first time he took Ustalav for a joyride. Hundreds of new liches to menace the world even if he is stopped. So no, he's kind of second only to Rovagug.

Shadow Lodge

Leliel the 12th wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Jib916 wrote:
I dunno personally I think the escape of the Whispering Tyrant adds a whole bunch of terror and horror to the setting.
How so? He's a threat to nations rather than to the cosmos, and that only to nations in a tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world.
I'm sure the people in that tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world are perfectly fine with being dismissed as not worth saving from the crazy lich.

Point taken, but who gives a fig for those people? There are more and better stories to be told half a world away, in lands the writers have barely touched. Write the Inner Sea off, there's nothing in it.


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The PC's usually, and characters who come from backwater areas. Were adventurers and were meant to care. (well the good ones anyways ) The Whispering Tyrant is only as much a joke as you make him out to be. I run a very Ravenloftish, style game of Pathfinder, and he's certainly no joke. He's quiet dangerous, its all in how you use him.


Leliel the 12th wrote:
{. . .} Also, keep in mind he's the Whisperer in the Whispering Way - you know, the same organization who believes the end of all life is a good thing? {. . .} So no, he's kind of second only to Rovagug.

I don't know about being second only to Rovagug (after all, he's got some tough competition), but he's certainly working hard on getting there, and his escape is a step in that direction, and if he actually achieves his goal of divine ascension, that's a BIG step in that direction. And as he levels up by oppressing backwaters, those are also steps in that direction.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There is still a lot of what might be described as "edginess" in PF2e Golarion. For example, check out the Bestiary description of ogres with its vivid descriptions of torture and incest.

"Ogres embody brutish, amoral violence and cruelty. Standing 10 feet tall and densely muscled, ogres are as strong as they are cruel. Ogres are sadists that enjoy remorseless murder, torture, degradation, and mutilation in all of its forms. Although they prefer to vent their violent urges on smaller humanoids— the smaller and more beautiful, the better—ogres promise a horrifying fate for anyone unlucky enough to fall within their meaty grasp. But for all their creativity in developing methods of violence, ogres often remain too dim-witted to realize that their playthings lack an ogre’s robust fortitude and high pain tolerance, so most captives die far sooner than the ogres might prefer. Such a fate is perhaps preferable however, as those who survive too long as ogres’ playthings suffer lasting mental scars from the horrifying abuse. A captive able to keep their wits can sometimes trick the brutes by promising treasure, meatier captives, or other crude amusements, taking advantage of an ogre’s limited intellect to engineer opportunities to escape.

Ogres are social creatures only in the most debased sense. They gather together in groups called families, though members are not always related by blood. Ogres practice incest regularly, believing that it makes for stronger familial bonds, and most ogres are misshapen or mutated from generations of inbreeding. The most powerful ogre in any family is the “boss”—usually the family’s patriarch or matriarch—while other ogres in the family learn to obey or risk being brutalized by the boss’s loyal kin. Ogres lair in caves, crumbling ruins, or dilapidated shacks close enough to humanoid settlements or animal trails to make raiding easy. These lairs are filthy and frequently contain all-too-recognizable evidence of their depravity."

I agree there has been a change in tone, but I think it's much less than many folks think.

Silver Crusade

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Leliel the 12th wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Jib916 wrote:
I dunno personally I think the escape of the Whispering Tyrant adds a whole bunch of terror and horror to the setting.
How so? He's a threat to nations rather than to the cosmos, and that only to nations in a tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world.
I'm sure the people in that tiny, backwards, unimportant corner of the world are perfectly fine with being dismissed as not worth saving from the crazy lich.
Point taken, but who gives a fig for those people? There are more and better stories to be told half a world away, in lands the writers have barely touched. Write the Inner Sea off, there's nothing in it.

Wow.

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Leliel the 12th wrote:
{. . .} Also, keep in mind he's the Whisperer in the Whispering Way - you know, the same organization who believes the end of all life is a good thing? {. . .} So no, he's kind of second only to Rovagug.

I don't know about being second only to Rovagug (after all, he's got some tough competition), but he's certainly working hard on getting there, and his escape is a step in that direction, and if he actually achieves his goal of divine ascension, that's a BIG step in that direction. And as he levels up by oppressing backwaters, those are also steps in that direction.

He's an NPC, and what's more a 2E NPC. He can't "level up" per se.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:

He's an NPC, and what's more a 2E NPC. He can't "level up" per se.

That’s about as ridiculous a complaint as I have seen. As an NPC, he’s as tough as the story (and GM) choose to make him. And yeah, he can get tougher even if he doesn’t do so the way PCs do.

Shadow Lodge

Bill Dunn wrote:
even if he doesn’t do so the way PCs do.

That's the work the "per se" is doing.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
He's an NPC, and what's more a 2E NPC. He can't "level up" per se.

This is just flatly incorrect, 'per se' or not. Firstly, him being a 2E NPC doesn't matter, since 2E NPCs can (not must, but can) be built just like PCs if the GM/designers feel like it. But secondly, and more importantly, because NPCs can and do level up. In some cases as fast as PCs do.

They don't do it in the same way as PCs...but if they can do it potentially just as fast and with the same results, that's completely immaterial to UnArcaneElection's point.


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Stop feeding the contrarian, kids, he's leading you astray.

As far as the OP goes...

If we're getting less Hook Mountain Massacre stuff in print, and if stuff like Folca is getting binned, well... it's because Paizo has matured a fair bit.

All the horrible people doing horrible things are still out there, but as a company looking to sell books, Paizo doesn't need Little Johnny's angry parents canceling his subscription because Ogre Skull Jigs were too prominently detailed in the latest AP volume.

Note that if you want to put a little more of an "edge" into what's going on, the material and implications are usually there.

Some of the Gaedren Lamm backstories my group came up with were WAY nastier than anything Paizo has put out in black and white, to the point where I can't actually detail them here.

What my group's slayer did with some of the heroes the party defeats in Hell's Vengeance? I can best sum it by saying, "sometimes dead is better." (Note also that using the flayed skin of one of your heroic humanoid enemies as a flag is actually a canon success condition in that campaign)

We took our Strange Aeons characters down some particularly dark roads with what happened in their "gap years" (the tamest example: My occultist found out she'd had a daughter with Lowls, and had sacrificed the baby on an altar to further their schemes).

There's still plenty of nasty out there, Paizo's just not stringing Christmas lights around it anymore...


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Yeah, Tar-Baphon really has made himself the laughingstock of Golarion. All around the Inner Sea people are giggling to themselves and pointing at him. (Well except for those poor souls nobody really gives a fig about.)

Silver Crusade

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Wasn't that part of the point to the plan in Tyrant's Grasp? Not just to stop his destructive campaign but humiliate him by ripping his most powerful weapon and his chance at godhood out from under him? At least that's the vibe I got from reading it. Nothing angers the prideful more than being made a fool of.


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I feel its kinda a hollow victory though. Yeah, he's no longer got the Radient Fire and his defeat there was a setback but he's still active, powerful, and without Lastwall to hold him back. I don't think there's any nation in the Inner Sea region he flat out couldn't conquer at this point, between his armed forces and the Whispering Way. His only obstacle is geography.

Liberty's Edge

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Bramble Knight wrote:
I feel its kinda a hollow victory though. Yeah, he's no longer got the Radient Fire and his defeat there was a setback but he's still active, powerful, and without Lastwall to hold him back. I don't think there's any nation in the Inner Sea region he flat out couldn't conquer at this point, between his armed forces and the Whispering Way. His only obstacle is geography.

Geb is almost certainly more powerful than him, and Sorshen, the ruler of New Thassilon is explicitly and canonically more powerful (she's CR/Level 27 to his 26). Baba Yaga is also probably invested in Irrisen even now, and she's likewise canonically his better (CR/Level 30).

That is pretty much the list of people who can take him, though. Which brings up the question of why he seems unwilling to leave his island fortress. I think the implication is that the events of Tyrant's Grasp really damaged him in some fundamental and long term way, though that's admittedly speculative.

Silver Crusade

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Bramble Knight wrote:
I feel its kinda a hollow victory though. Yeah, he's no longer got the Radient Fire and his defeat there was a setback but he's still active, powerful, and without Lastwall to hold him back. I don't think there's any nation in the Inner Sea region he flat out couldn't conquer at this point, between his armed forces and the Whispering Way. His only obstacle is geography.

And psychology, that's what I'm trying to say.

What the PC's and Arazni DO is remind Tar-Baphon that while he's powerful, he CAN be opposed and stopped, a lesson he's failed to learn twice now (first when he got imprisoned after fighting Arnisant and now again after the PCs outwitted him).

Despite being a powerful wizard, which requires a high INT score, his strategy isn't very smart. It revolves around overwhelming shows of force, whether it's an undead horde or the Radiant Fire, and he continually assumes these will crush anything or anyone who dares oppose him. He doesn't take into account the power of faith that enemies like Iomedae and Arnisant demonstrated, or the cunning of enemies like Arazni to decieve and outmaneuver him.

And each time he's TRIED to achieve some big overarching goal, he may have some successes, but ultimately fails. Wins battles but loses wars. Imagine what that does to his self-esteem! :P


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Bird of Ill-Omen wrote:
Note that if you want to put a little more of an "edge" into what's going on, the material and implications are usually there.

Yeah, this is my thought too. There's plenty of edgy material around, but it's now usually implied more than outright stated. Although I do miss some of the more explicit examples. I did appreciate that Pathfinder was a game written for adults. But that can be a bit limiting for it's growth.

I do think that getting rid of Folca is unfortunate. It seems to have come from an overreaction by people who took things out of context. Folca was a literal boogieman. It totally makes sense that one of the daemon harbingers would A disgustingly horrible daemon. The fact that he's disgustingly horrible is kind of the point. The kind of things he was responsible for and encouraged were shocking. But isn't that kind of what extra-planer evil is all about?

Silver Crusade

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Including evil of that nature was one thing, but giving player options concerning said evil was a whole nother beast.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

Geb is almost certainly more powerful than him, and Sorshen, the ruler of New Thassilon is explicitly and canonically more powerful (she's CR/Level 27 to his 26). Baba Yaga is also probably invested in Irrisen even now, and she's likewise canonically his better (CR/Level 30).

That is pretty much the list of people who can take him, though. Which brings up the question of why he seems unwilling to leave his island fortress. I think the implication is that the events of Tyrant's Grasp really damaged him in some fundamental and long term way, though that's admittedly speculative.

Future AP hook(s): Tar-Baphon manages to recover and get on the move again, and things get so bad that somebody gives (or at least is trying to give) Baba Yaga a loophole in (or lifting of)

Reign of Winter:
her recent ban against coming back onto Golarion (assuming the PCs in that AP got her to agree to such a ban as the price for being rescued from Elvanna and Rasputin)
.
Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bramble Knight wrote:
I feel its kinda a hollow victory though. Yeah, he's no longer got the Radient Fire and his defeat there was a setback but he's still active, powerful, and without Lastwall to hold him back. I don't think there's any nation in the Inner Sea region he flat out couldn't conquer at this point, between his armed forces and the Whispering Way. His only obstacle is geography.
That is pretty much the list of people who can take him, though. Which brings up the question of why he seems unwilling to leave his island fortress. I think the implication is that the events of Tyrant's Grasp really damaged him in some fundamental and long term way, though that's admittedly speculative.

While it's not explicitly stated for IMPORTANT REASONS, there's a lot of canonical inference that while Tar-Baphon's personal ascension to lichdom makes him much more difficult to permanently kill than the average lich, it also has a pretty slow recharge timer on it. Ol' Baphy could probably throw down with anyone who tried to come after him on the Isle of Terror itself (including some of the canonically more powerful figures), but away from his stronghold he's likely much more vulnerable.

The slow recharge rate on his lichdom could be due to the fact that he is the final inheritor of the Runelords of Gluttony; some portion of his power (and possibly the technique by which he attained lichdom) came from within Runlord Zutha's Cenotaph, and Zutha's particular form of lichdom required a constant influx of life energy to sustain itself. Baphy, having arisen to power after Zutha's fall, might have used a similar ritual but modified it so that he had a greater assurance of immortality without Zutha's weaknesses (one of the known differences between Zutha and Baphy being that Baphy made a point of getting himself killed by a god).

Given that the Isle of Terror is only barely separated from the Negative Energy Plane, Baphy is likely constantly inundated in minute amounts of negative energy that are an essentially unlimited pool assuring his inevitable return, but which is not enough energy at one time to allow for a full restoration of his maximum strength.

Minor Tyrant's Grasp spoilers:

Given that Baphy had to nuke himself to bust out of Gallowspire, it's possible, even very likely, that we've never actually seen Tar-Baphon at his full potential power. As a mortal wizard, Baphy threw down in an epic battle against Aroden that he lost because he intentionally threw the fight as part of his ascent into lichdom. General Arnisant got the better of him with an artifact built for that express purpose, and Baphy spent the next millenia with a shard of the shield boring a hole through his existence. We've never actually seen a version of Tar-Baphon that wasn't hobbled in some way.

In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Bramble Knight wrote:
I feel its kinda a hollow victory though. Yeah, he's no longer got the Radient Fire and his defeat there was a setback but he's still active, powerful, and without Lastwall to hold him back. I don't think there's any nation in the Inner Sea region he flat out couldn't conquer at this point, between his armed forces and the Whispering Way. His only obstacle is geography.

And psychology, that's what I'm trying to say.

What the PC's and Arazni DO is remind Tar-Baphon that while he's powerful, he CAN be opposed and stopped, a lesson he's failed to learn twice now (first when he got imprisoned after fighting Arnisant and now again after the PCs outwitted him).
[...]

Three times. He also got ROFLstomped by Aroden during his first attempt at mass conquest, back when he was "only" a mortal wizard-king in possession of a runelord's final legacy.

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Three times. He also got ROFLstomped by Aroden during his first attempt at mass conquest, back when he was "only" a mortal wizard-king in possession of a runelord's final legacy.

I stand corrected, but I think my point still stands, he keeps getting beaten because even though he's got a lot (A LOT!) of magical power to throw around, his hubris makes him relatively easy to trick or surprise. At least, that's my reading of him.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Three times. He also got ROFLstomped by Aroden during his first attempt at mass conquest, back when he was "only" a mortal wizard-king in possession of a runelord's final legacy.
I stand corrected, but I think my point still stands, he keeps getting beaten because even though he's got a lot (A LOT!) of magical power to throw around, his hubris makes him relatively easy to trick or surprise. At least, that's my reading of him.

Oh, for sure, despite the fact that Tar-Baphon wrested some portion of his power from relics of the Runelord of Gluttony, pride definitely seems to be his true sin and weakness. Like, if the moment he busted out of Gallowspire he'd just thrown on a cloak and used a few charm and illusion spells to slip through Absalom's gates to claim the Starstone and then started his war after he'd attained godhood, we'd have an entirely different story, but I think that fundamentally he sees sneaking and base trickery as beneath him.

It's worth noting that Baphy spent 500 years daring Aroden to come down and fight him again, which Aroden never did; that could mean that by that point Aroden had settled down and didn't feel it was necessary to tussle with Baphy, or it could mean that Aroden suspected (or knew) he would lose such a fight. Ultimately, Aroden lost a herald and an artifact to Tar-Baphon and still didn't permanently defeat the lich, nor did he ever come face to face with Baphy again.

There's a part of me that wonders if Tar-Baphon is so arrogant that he actually thinks Aroden faked his own death to throw Baphy off the scent, and Baphy's assault on Absalom was as much about trying to lure Aroden out as it was about claiming the Starstone. It's even feasible that Tar-Baphon's highly unique transformation into a lich, which required him to die at the hands of a god, gave him the power to kill Aroden specifically and claim his divinity, and that's why Aroden never faced him again. I also like to imagine that Aroden foresaw his own death and knew that it would stymie Tar-Baphon for eternity, preventing the lich from completing an otherwise inevitable ascension. With his carefully planned destiny forever out of reach, Baphy might just be trapped in an endless cycle, his only true chance at godhood dead with the god he never quite managed to outwit, a final curse from a deity whose portfolio included fulfillment of destiny.


Michael Sayre wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Three times. He also got ROFLstomped by Aroden during his first attempt at mass conquest, back when he was "only" a mortal wizard-king in possession of a runelord's final legacy.
I stand corrected, but I think my point still stands, he keeps getting beaten because even though he's got a lot (A LOT!) of magical power to throw around, his hubris makes him relatively easy to trick or surprise. At least, that's my reading of him.
Oh, for sure, despite the fact that Tar-Baphon wrested some portion of his power from relics of the Runelord of Gluttony, pride definitely seems to be his true sin and weakness. Like, if the moment he busted out of Gallowspire he'd just thrown on a cloak and used a few charm and illusion spells to slip through Absalom's gates to claim the Starstone and then started his war after he'd attained godhood, we'd have an entirely different story, {. . .}

Actually, can we be sure that he didn't do that? Maybe the big obvious attack at which he was defeated was just a diversion . . . .

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Three times. He also got ROFLstomped by Aroden during his first attempt at mass conquest, back when he was "only" a mortal wizard-king in possession of a runelord's final legacy.
I stand corrected, but I think my point still stands, he keeps getting beaten because even though he's got a lot (A LOT!) of magical power to throw around, his hubris makes him relatively easy to trick or surprise. At least, that's my reading of him.
Oh, for sure, despite the fact that Tar-Baphon wrested some portion of his power from relics of the Runelord of Gluttony, pride definitely seems to be his true sin and weakness. Like, if the moment he busted out of Gallowspire he'd just thrown on a cloak and used a few charm and illusion spells to slip through Absalom's gates to claim the Starstone and then started his war after he'd attained godhood, we'd have an entirely different story, {. . .}

Actually, can we be sure that he didn't do that? Maybe the big obvious attack at which he was defeated was just a diversion . . . .

Pretty sure the Organized Play developer is well up on the ongoing setting metaplot. Whether he's choosing to misdirect us is a whole other matter.


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Rysky wrote:
Including evil of that nature was one thing, but giving player options concerning said evil was a whole nother beast.

All deities were established to have obedience bonuses for some time before that. Simply not including evil deities would be odd, especially since the way NPCs and PCs operated on the same rules meant that you need those there for evil NPCs to have bonuses. And horrible gods will have horrible dedications. Some of the previously published ones included human sacrifice and cannibalism. It wasn't until Folca's was published that there was really an outcry. It is a sensitive subject, and one that they probably didn't handle as delicately as they should have. But I think the reaction was disproportionate and deprived the setting of a truly disturbing villain.


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I think the thing about Folca is that Paizo is under no obligation to give a complete accounting of all of the horrible things in the evil planes. They can be there, and individual GMs can homebrew them to their own satisfaction, but Paizo is under no obligation to provide them those tools.

It's basically the Baseline thing in the 2e CRB, Page 486

Quote:

The following acts should never be performed by player characters:

Torture
Rape, nonconsensual sexual contact, or sexual threats
Harm to children, including sexual abuse
Owning slaves or profiting from the slave trade
Reprehensible uses of mind-control magic
Villains might engage in such acts, but they won’t happen “on-screen” or won’t be described in detail. Many groups choose to not have villains engage in these activities at all, keeping these reprehensible acts out of mind entirely.

Which is to say, they will not be using Folca in any Paizo material for the rest of time. If you want to update the shared assumptions of your group to include that particular Daemon Harbinger, well... take it up with your group.

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Exactly. That stuff REALLY starts getting into "pizza cutter" territory (all edge and no point).

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Including evil of that nature was one thing, but giving player options concerning said evil was a whole nother beast.
All deities were established to have obedience bonuses for some time before that.

All deities were not, there’s dozens of deities we don’t have any mechanics for, let alone things like Obediences. Folca should have remained one of them.


Rysky wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Including evil of that nature was one thing, but giving player options concerning said evil was a whole nother beast.
All deities were established to have obedience bonuses for some time before that.
All deities were not, there’s dozens of deities we don’t have any mechanics for, let alone things like Obediences. Folca should have remained one of them.

True. I kind of left off the ones who didn't get the mechanical treatment, and Folca was in that category until Book of the Damned. And yeah, giving the delicate nature of the subject, it probably would have been best to leave it uncovered, or to leave Folca with one of the more symbolic obediences instead of active nastiness.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Quote:
Torture

Torture is taboo now? How does this correlate with the fact that there is an entire fiendish race focused on torture and body mutilations aka kytons/velstracs? How do you even use them without a heavy focus on this subject?

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You completely missed the quoted part where it says torture should never be performed by a PC and then adds at the end "Villains might engage in such acts, but they won’t happen “on-screen” or won’t be described in detail. Many groups choose to not have villains engage in these activities at all, keeping these reprehensible acts out of mind entirely.".

Kytons/Velstracs are still in, torture is still their game, just don't pull a Quake 4 and put the torture on display like a show.

The book then also adds you can obviously change things up as needed for your group, so if everyone in your group is wanting a mature themed gorefest then go for it. But if it's the first time playing with a random group then probably not.


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I didn't miss it. I just find the suggestion that torture should only happen off-screen and not be described in details pretty weird after they introduced a group of cenobites whose entire existence is based around torture and whose descriptions are filled with gruesome details.
Yes, it's obvious that in your own game you can include literally anything you want. I'm just kinda bothered that "we suggest torture shouldn't be a prominent theme in your game" and "here's a bunch of horrible torture-themed fiends in your core Bestiaries bro" seem kinda mutually exclusive? Unless kytons became muuuuch milder in the second edition or won't be included in core bestiaries at all.

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Have you read the PF1 basic Kyton description? It's not especially graphic. I mean, it's not full of sunshine and rainbows or anything, and references self-mutilation and pain and the like, but it's not graphic in its descriptions of what they do. Nor does it need to be to get the point across.

There's a difference between saying 'These creatures regularly engage in extreme acts of torture and self-mutilation' (which is not a sentence from their PF1 description, but could be) and describing what those acts are in detail.

The former is well within 'Villains might engage in such acts, but they won’t happen “on-screen” or won’t be described in detail.' Which is what the core rulebook actually has to say on the subject.

Silver Crusade

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

What Deadmanwalking said.

We've also had Zombies for as long as I remember, that doesn't mean you should go into detail of them swarming and devouring people unless your group is okay with that.

Dark Archive

I think I can get what it means, like you might have villains who own slaves and characters who are saves and adventures about rescuing slaves, but you won't have adventures that get huge in detail about daily lives of slaves or PCs being slaves?

Silver Crusade

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

To an effect.

Also, there’s a bounty on this person for rape. That’s as probably as far as you should go. You absolutely should not show rape playing out in your game. Full stop


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Alright, I see, it all comes down to the amount of the details. If you use kytons as some throwaway random encounter or minions of some other evil, then yeah, their sadistic habits do not require many details. But if they are major antagonists, then I think some graphic description of their atrocities is essential to make PCs more afraid of them, as well as fueling their hatred and disgust. Because if you just say "these guys are really bad, they like to torture people and stuff, go kill them now" - this can be applied to pretty much any evil group.
I wholeheartedly agree that overwordy description of violence can be tacky and immature when it's not needed, but a campaign focused on kytons is one of few situations when it IS needed. Of course, all players must be 18+ and okay with some gore, this goes without questions.

Dark Archive

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I mean, whenever kytons have appeared in 1e you have mostly seen aftermatch of what they do and not them currently doing it. Like in Iron Gods there is still whole laboratory complex full of people who have been turned into... Well living meatballs is pretty good description

Like, there is difference between "oh god that is horrible" unrealistic type of stuff and "oh god, he is digging out his fingernails one by one" :P


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Michael Sayre wrote:


In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

Please stop being so precious with your NPC's, particularly this one.

THE ultimate point of the game is for the PC's to defeat every single one of your bad guys and then queue up for the next lot that comes along.

This BBEG has already suffered from a severe case of writers armour, please don't make it any worse.

Silver Crusade

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NotBothered wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:


In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

Please stop being so precious with your NPC's, particularly this one.
He got nuked in the face.
Quote:
THE ultimate point of the game is for the PC's to defeat every single one of your bad guys and then queue up for the next lot that comes along.
And this is one exception.
Quote:
This BBEG has already suffered from a severe case of writers armour, please don't make it any worse.

... he has a phylactery, like all Liches do and those tend to be hard to get to and destroy.


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Rysky wrote:
NotBothered wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:


In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

Please stop being so precious with your NPC's, particularly this one.
He got nuked in the face.
Quote:
THE ultimate point of the game is for the PC's to defeat every single one of your bad guys and then queue up for the next lot that comes along.
And this is one exception.
Quote:
This BBEG has already suffered from a severe case of writers armour, please don't make it any worse.
... he has a phylactery, like all Liches do and those tend to be hard to get to and destroy.

We're never going to agree on whether the ending of bk 6 was sufficient reward for the party or not. Being nuked isn't so bad when you can come back from it.

And I would also like to disagree whole heartedly with your second point. The Whispering Tyrant is one of several too precious NPC's Sorshen and Noticula also spring to mind. Even up to and including the fact that Return of the Runelords was written in such a way to protect Sorshen from having to fight the PC's

And liches have been killed before, especially while they're reforming. It's only impossible because the writers say so.

Shadow Lodge

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NotBothered wrote:
The Whispering Tyrant is one of several too precious NPC's Sorshen and Noticula also spring to mind.

And toward the lower end of the power curve, Shensen and Ameiko.


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Rysky wrote:
NotBothered wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:


In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.
THE ultimate point of the game is for the PC's to defeat every single one of your bad guys and then queue up for the next lot that comes along.
And this is one exception.

I mean, it doesn't even have to be an exception. It's just building up the scale of Tar-Baphon, so that either in your own games, or as a part of a final campaign to PF2 he can be defeated, and anyone paying attention will understand just what the scope of his threat is.

That's not being precious, that's establishing a setting, and the dangers posed to it.

What a bizarre outburst. Do what you want in your own games with him, why is it a problem to have him as a very potent villain in the printed setting?

Silver Crusade

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NotBothered wrote:
The Whispering Tyrant is one of several too precious NPC's Sorshen and Noticula also spring to mind. Even up to and including the fact that Return of the Runelords was written in such a way to protect Sorshen from having to fight the PC's.
You mean not having them as antagonists. Which they've never been in the APs. Having them be allies isn't plot armor.
Quote:
And liches have been killed before, especially while they're reforming. It's only impossible because the writers say so.

Aside from the end of Carrion Crown where have liches been permanently destroyed in APs?


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vagrant-poet wrote:


I mean, it doesn't even have to be an exception. It's just building up the scale of Tar-Baphon, so that either in your own games, or as a part of a final campaign to PF2 he can be defeated, and anyone paying attention will understand just what the scope of his threat is.

That's not being precious, that's establishing a setting, and the dangers posed to it.

What a bizarre outburst. Do what you want in your own games with him, why is it a problem to have him as a very potent villain in the printed setting?

Why pray tell is my opinion "an outburst".

Does that perchance make yours demented ramblings? No?

Then kindly do not make assumptions on the tone of other people's opinions when there is no evidence to support it.

I have no intention of validating your comment with a further reply to the matter under discussion until you choose a less confrontational and biased manner in which to make it.

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