16 Paladin Problem in Hells Vengeance


Advice


How do I incorporate 16 canonical lv 17-18 PC paladins into Hells Vengeance, and still have the Glorious Recomation lose, without upsetting my players?

Backstory, my group has been playing pathfinder for over a decade and we have made it through every adventure path up to hells rebels, which we just started, and my players pc’s from each path have become cannon heroes of our Golarion.

One of these players has played a paladin of Iomedae for each path, using archetypes/multiclassing/RP to make them fit, with the basic backstory that they are from cheliax and with to someday liberate their home land from the devils grasp. At the end of each path his character would “ride off into the sunset” to return to his home land and fight the good.

It became a running joke, and I never thought anything of this until the Hells Rebels/Vengance, which as the Glorious Reclamation. The player’s paladins would totally join this group and fight tooth and nail to free their collective homeland.

So any thoughts or should I alter my tables history and have the glorious reclamation win?


Hell's Vengeance is an evil campaign.

Either say it's not part of your table cannon or accept that it will have negative impacts on the game world, specifically characters that your PCs created.

Hell's Vengeance really doesn't work if the Glorious Reclamation is allowed to persist in any way within Cheliax. You could have the Glorious Reclamation be driven completely from Cheliax and have to high tail it into another country where Cheliax doesn't give chase, and have those characters survive.

But there is no way for your PCs to "win" the current campaign of Hell's Vengeance and have the Glorious Reclamation not be thoroughly defeated within the confines of Cheliax.


Claxon wrote:


But there is no way for your PCs to "win" the current campaign of Hell's Vengeance and have the Glorious Reclamation not be thoroughly defeated within the confines of Cheliax.

Just to clarify we are running Hells Rebels Atm, which happens at the same time as Hells Vengeance.

Since plot elements of them are intertwined at parts, I am looking for options.


Could you set a little bit of time aside to work out what happened to each character? Possibly with the player, make it fit certain personalities.

Could one have got side tracked on the journey home and saved some other people/be saving some other people.
Could some of them have found a family and settled down.
Is it possible any of them could have fallen? Or turned Tyrant (the anti paladin archetype) for Cheliax?
And have some of them die in the reclamation?

Give each there own mini story in collaboration with their player?


Tom Marlow wrote:
Claxon wrote:


But there is no way for your PCs to "win" the current campaign of Hell's Vengeance and have the Glorious Reclamation not be thoroughly defeated within the confines of Cheliax.

Just to clarify we are running Hells Rebels Atm, which happens at the same time as Hells Vengeance.

Since plot elements of them are intertwined at parts, I am looking for options.

I guess I misunderstood.

If you're running Hell's Rebels just play through Hell's Rebels and ignore Hell's Vengeance. The endings of both literally can't be true. You have to decide which one is the cannon for your group.

There are actually several campaigns that infringe on one another being true if you pay close enough attention to them. Somewhere on this forum someone made a thread about it, but I can't recall the details any more. However they pointed out that most APs actually had some contradictions between them, it just so happens that Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance is way more obvious.

I think perhaps I'm not fully comprehending the issue you're having, unless it's just that your trying to apply the end condition of both APs (which is my current understanding).


I don't think hells rebels and hells vengeance are mutually exclusive. Ravounel is just a tiny little part of cheliax that iirc has nothing to do with hells vengeance.


Unless I recall the events of Hell's Vengeance incorrectly, the Glorious Reclamation had infiltrated Cheliax in a fairly sizable way. In the course of the campaign you completely decimate the Glorious Reclamation forces in Cheliax but stop short of eradicating them because some troops manage to escape out of Cheliax.

IIRC you even kill one of Iomedae's "close friends" which happens to be a dragon.


I haven't read through Hell's Vengeance so I can't offer any solid advice, but running various characters all with similar life goals should be rewarded. But also being able to say that you've run/they've played through every AP is pretty awesome so it seems like running the AP and having the players still somehow "win" the AP is important...
It's going to take a lot of work on your part.

Perhaps the player's paladins are helping all across the country and the PCs are focused on just keeping one area? Like, maybe they manage to hold Westcrown and the area around it? That way the PCs have earned a victory, defeated their enemy, struck some blows at the Glorious Reclamation, but the player's paladins still won the larger fight?


Thank you all for your advice.

I have talked it over with my player/s and after hells Rebels we are going to run the Continued Camp. of Hells Vengeance where the Evil PC's Lose. Ralling under Queen Alexeara Cansellarion, Heavenly Majestrix, the rightful ruler of Cheliax, the new pcs will be the heros of the second Cheliax Civil war.

The Previous paladins will be calling in favors (in the background) of the ARchducy of Ravounel (hells Rebel), the kingdom of Kickass (kingmaker), Minkai (jade regent), the hurricane king (Skulls and Shackles), The Sihedron council (shattered star), Irrisen (Reign of winter), The New nation of Sarkoris (Wrath of the Righteous), Korvosa (Curse of the Crimson Throne), The councle of Thieves (Council of Thieves), as well as oath bound heros from all over Golarion.

I have started to write it in my spare time, with a major plot point of invoking the Dissolution Clause of Cheliax's contract with Asmodeus.


If you're wanting to have the story be that way, why bother playing Hell's Vengeance at all?

Just skip it.

As I understand the problem you've play or are playing Hell's Rebels, and your worried about what Hell's Vengeance will do to the player characters from Hell's Rebels.

Just don't play Hell's Vengeance and say that the PCs in Hell's Rebels help to overthrow House Thrune completely.


Claxon wrote:

If you're wanting to have the story be that way, why bother playing Hell's Vengeance at all?

Just skip it.

We will kinda skip it. We will acknowledge that the events of Hells Vengeance happened, up until the battle of Westcrown. Where the "iconic villianous characters" will "canonically" lose to Alexeara Cansellarion. Splitting the country in two as per the adventure path alt. ending.

From there we will have new lv 1 pcs on a homebrew questline.


Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?


Warped Savant wrote:

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?

Same way they tend to run most APs with the L/CR 16+ bozos finding a convenient reason for waiting their turn so the local callow hobos can get to higher levels I'd imagine.

I mean, it's kind of like asking why Barz in HR doesn't just open up and obliterate the Silver Ravens while they're a bunch of L1-4 losers with his various big guns.


Warped Savant wrote:

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?

If that's the issue then Tarik covered it. The same various reasons why PCs don't all get destroyed in the beginning of an Adventure Path and eventually win. "Plot Armor", mostly.

And I do feel like Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance have to contradict each other, because at least in the play through I did of Hell's Vegence it involved killing literally every member of the Glorious Reclamation we could get our hands on and gruesomely and publicly torturing them to death as a display of power. In my groups version of that AP there was basically nothing left of the Glorious Reclamation but shambles, though they were not completely eliminated as we did not chase them beyond Cheliax.

That campaign definitely ended with my group torturing to death the Lord Marshal Alexeara Cansellarion. I don't see how you can say that the two APs "don't contradict" one another. I mean, no you don't have to decimate the Glorious Reclamation. But honestly I can't see the sorts of characters that are appropriate to Hell's Vengeance getting all soft and the end and deciding not to.

I guess they don't "contradict" each other in the sense that the events of Hell's Vengeance take place in response to events from Hell's Rebels, so technically everything that happens in Hell Rebels get to happen, followed by the Glorious Reclamation being destroyed later on. But I feel the spirit of what happens in Hell's Rebels in directly contradicted by the spirit of what happens in Hell's Vengeance.


Claxon wrote:
Warped Savant wrote:

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?

If that's the issue then Tarik covered it. The same various reasons why PCs don't all get destroyed in the beginning of an Adventure Path and eventually win. "Plot Armor", mostly.

And I do feel like Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance have to contradict each other, because at least in the play through I did of Hell's Vegence it involved killing literally every member of the Glorious Reclamation we could get our hands on and gruesomely and publicly torturing them to death as a display of power. In my groups version of that AP there was basically nothing left but shambles, though they were not completely eliminated as we did not chase them beyond Cheliax.

That campaign definitely ended with my group torturing to death the Lord Marshal Alexeara Cansellarion. I don't see how you can say that the two APs "don't contradict" one another. I mean, no you don't have to decimate the Glorious Reclamation. But honestly I can't see the sorts of characters that are appropriate to Hell's Vengeance getting all soft and the end and deciding not to.

Near as I recall from HR anyway (haven't looked at HV) the two APs are more or less concurrent since the big thing in HR as to why Cheliax proper doesn't flatten Kintargo is generally summed up as "they're busy with the Glorious Reclamation." Basically means you can just screw around with the timing so that HR and HV "end" roughly the same time. Glorious Reclamation gets fragged by local evildoers at roughly the same time Kintargo+friends break the yoke. No contradiction needed (or fenagling with the PCs from either AP since they're all busy doing their own AP)


And this is the reason I very specifically tell players at my table that the other APs we've run don't exist in my Golorian. I don't have to worry about the consequences of my run, or my previous run, or someone else's run unless I want to include them. And if I did it will be a surprise to the players since those previous characters are very much in NPC territory.

If you wanted to put a tragic twist on the OPs campaign world you could have the party come across scenes of major devastation where a battle between several of the paladins vs a Pitfiend and his personal cohort has ended. The Pitfiend himself teleported away from the battle. A lot of his minions perished. 7 of the Paladins declared 'victory' before retreating with the corpses of 6 of their companions. 3 of the paladins were captured alive and the rumors are they are being held in the Abyss. Hundreds of common citizens died in the battle.

Have word of a new battle each week where the paladins put up a really good fight, but slowly 1 or 2 of them get captured each time. Killing a Paladin is meaningless since they can get True Resurrection. Civilian casualties range from a dozen to hundreds. The devils attack the Paladins wherever they hide and don't care about who gets caught in the middle since they are guilty of 'aiding a rebellion' just by being near the Paladins and friends.

Eventually the Paladins and friends disappear from Cheliax, as they gather their former parties and invade the Abyss to rescue the captive paladins. This shouldn't end until way after the campaign is over. And there is a very good chance the Devils will win.


Claxon wrote:
Warped Savant wrote:

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?

If that's the issue then Tarik covered it. The same various reasons why PCs don't all get destroyed in the beginning of an Adventure Path and eventually win. "Plot Armor", mostly.

And I do feel like Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance have to contradict each other, because at least in the play through I did of Hell's Vegence it involved killing literally every member of the Glorious Reclamation we could get our hands on and gruesomely and publicly torturing them to death as a display of power. In my groups version of that AP there was basically nothing left of the Glorious Reclamation but shambles, though they were not completely eliminated as we did not chase them beyond Cheliax.

That campaign definitely ended with my group torturing to death the Lord Marshal Alexeara Cansellarion. I don't see how you can say that the two APs "don't contradict" one another. I mean, no you don't have to decimate the Glorious Reclamation. But honestly I can't see the sorts of characters that are appropriate to Hell's Vengeance getting all soft and the end and deciding not to.

I guess they don't "contradict" each other in the sense that the events of Hell's Vengeance take place in response to events from Hell's Rebels, so technically everything that happens in Hell Rebels get to happen, followed by the Glorious Reclamation being destroyed later on. But I feel the spirit of what happens in Hell's Rebels in directly contradicted by the spirit of what happens in Hell's Vengeance.

Hells rebels doesn't include any of the glorious reclamation would be how they don't contradict each other. The glorious reclamation being elsewhere (plus internal thrune politics) is why the rebellion in hells rebels doesn't just get squashed by the chelaxian army. Have played and read both of the APs, Ravounel is a tiny backwater in the greater area of cheliax.


Yeah, the writers of both AP go out of their way to keep their stories from crossing, despite happening concurrently. The Glorious Reclamation is a plot point in Hell's Rebels as mentioned above but otherwise no contradiction. Cheliax beats the GR but loses a duchy.

Personally, I love the OPs idea.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Warped Savant wrote:

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance don't contradict each other, Claxon, that's not what Tom Marlow is worried about.

The concern is trying to run Hell's Vengeance with 16 paladins that have each completed an AP that all want to go to Cheliax and join the Glorious Reclamation.
How would a GM run Hell's Vengeance and have the PCs realistically win while having 16 very high level paladins running around?

If that's the issue then Tarik covered it. The same various reasons why PCs don't all get destroyed in the beginning of an Adventure Path and eventually win. "Plot Armor", mostly.

And I do feel like Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance have to contradict each other, because at least in the play through I did of Hell's Vegence it involved killing literally every member of the Glorious Reclamation we could get our hands on and gruesomely and publicly torturing them to death as a display of power. In my groups version of that AP there was basically nothing left of the Glorious Reclamation but shambles, though they were not completely eliminated as we did not chase them beyond Cheliax.

That campaign definitely ended with my group torturing to death the Lord Marshal Alexeara Cansellarion. I don't see how you can say that the two APs "don't contradict" one another. I mean, no you don't have to decimate the Glorious Reclamation. But honestly I can't see the sorts of characters that are appropriate to Hell's Vengeance getting all soft and the end and deciding not to.

I guess they don't "contradict" each other in the sense that the events of Hell's Vengeance take place in response to events from Hell's Rebels, so technically everything that happens in Hell Rebels get to happen, followed by the Glorious Reclamation being destroyed later on. But I feel the spirit of what happens in Hell's Rebels in directly contradicted by the spirit of what happens in Hell's Vengeance.

Hells rebels doesn't include any of the glorious reclamation would be how they...

Interesting. I never played Hell's Rebels, only Hell's Vengeance. I guess I mistook the premise of Hell's Rebels, as I thought you were working for the Glorious Reclamation. If the PCs of Hell's Rebels are just doing their thing and working on their own to separate Kintargo from Cheliax then I guess it works.


Some ideas:
* The 16 paladins are a big reason WHY the Glorious Reclamation is doing as well as it is at the start of the paired adventure paths. Nothing changes, just why they're doing well does get altered. Perhaps one of them starts the crusade to retrieve the object?
* Some of the 16 paladins die getting the sword from the citadel that starts off the Glorious Reclamation. A heroic sacrifice at a chance for a better world is a fine paladin death.
* Replace significant Glorious Reclamation captives with these paladins.
* Have targets of Hell's Vengeance in book 5 and 6 be some of these paladins.
* 1 or 2 of them are ordered to go to other nations to recruit their support or neutrality as ambassadors. Paladins are not in short supply, but allies are, so this is an important use of their charisma.

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