Concerning Cecelia


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Before I start two things.
Firstly I apologise in advance if this is posted in the wrong place, I'm new to posting here.
Secondly I know this might be weird and I apologise for that.

The main issue is that in a game I'm in my noble character has married another character's Cecelia princess to secure an aliance treaty. (GM's own setting rather than Golorian)

Now this is fine but because of the political nature of the game the matter of heirs came up, and not one of us at the table could find an answer to this.

Are humanoids and Cecelia even compatable in that sence? After all they octopus like from the waist down and octopi are... different in that sence. Even knowing if they have live young or lay eggs would narrow it down.

Does anyone have any idea if that's possible or if we need to start looking into adoption?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Given the plethora of half-breeds implicit in the Pathfinder rules, I tend to think that "life finds a way" is a good rule of thumb to go with. Exactly how is best left unmentioned.


I would leave it up to the Cecaelia character to figure out how their species' reproduction works. They're magical beasts, not a natural creation, so whatever wizard glued human torsos to octopi probably had a plan in mind.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There aren't any specific rules on this. Obviously, real world biology would preclude such a thing, but the rules on that in the pathfinder world are considerably less restricted. All sorts of things seem to have children with each other without any regards to how we understand biology to work.

I seem to recall a spell that was specifically designed to allow different creatures to reproduce as well, but I can't recall it's name at the moment.

In any event, the bottom line is probably it depends on what your GM wants and how he wants it to work and what he thinks is best for his game.


Dasrak wrote:
Given the plethora of half-breeds implicit in the Pathfinder rules, I tend to think that "life finds a way" is a good rule of thumb to go with. Exactly how is best left unmentioned.

That's a very fair point, might recomned the GM flips a coin during those downtime phases and just has one with traits of the other.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would leave it up to the Cecaelia character to figure out how their species' reproduction works. They're magical beasts, not a natural creation, so whatever wizard glued human torsos to octopi probably had a plan in mind.

They're aquatic monsterous Humanoids actually but I see your point. As the necromancers doing exactly that kind of thing, so for them we will probably (hopefully) just hand-wave rather than worry about the details of their abberant army.


I use in PF the same logic I use in SW.

If my player and it to work out with his SÓ, then it works out.

Honestly, never saw this create problems in the table and it makes people happy.


Dasrak wrote:
Given the plethora of half-breeds implicit in the Pathfinder rules, I tend to think that "life finds a way" is a good rule of thumb to go with.

This is actually explicitly wrong*. What is a good rule of thumb is "magic can find a way". As in, the couple would need magical help. Which, conveniently, makes for a perfect plot hook. Just sayin'.

Since the human part seems to include the entire torso, the reproductive organs (precicely the organ responsible for the production of either eggs or egg cells) in all likelyhood come from the humanoid part (i.e. a female should have an uterus), which means live birth.

­
­*) From Bastards of Golarion:
"Why are there no half-dwaves? Although humans can have children with many other races, there are limits to this gift. Half-dwarves, half-gnomes, half-halflings, and numerous other combinations are all but unheard of on Golarion. Biological incompatibility is the first and foremost reason that such half-races cannot exist. Simply put, dwarves, gnomes, and others just aren't compatible with other races, even humans.

In a realm shrouded in magic, it would be foolish to assume no spell in the known multiverse could produce a viable child between a dwarf and a humanoid of another race. Indeed, dwarven aasimars and gnome tieflings are known to exist, arising through the influence of outsiders or because of magical anomalies understood by few. A miracle or wish spell could likewise result in the birth of a half-dwarf, though the individuals able or willing to practice such spellcraft are few and far between."

PossibleCabbage wrote:
whatever wizard glued human torsos to octopi probably had a plan in mind.

Why do I have the feeling that plan involves Japanese Tian schoolgirls in sailor-style uniforms?


Derklord wrote:
This is actually explicitly wrong*.

That is an explicitly wrong use of the word explicitly.

Sure, there are no half dwarves/halflings/gnomes, but there are half dragon...pretty much anything. And ogrekin? I mean, come on. The manticore is another great example. And the list goes on.
So some couples need magic and others (usually stranger ones) don't.

I highly doubt there's anything resembling hard and fast rules, here.

I think a magical version of in vitro or artificial insemination is rather awkward. Now, a quest for some golden pear-esque device to cure a barren womb or save a newborn from a strange malady, that sounds like the stuff of legend.


So one reason I would be inclined to think this works more like human reproduction than octopus reproduction is that octopi tend to die after they have transferred their sperm to a female or once their eggs hatch, whereas in Cecaelia culture seems more sensible to organize around "you raise children one or two at a time" instead of laying 20,000 eggs and letting them fend for themselves.


Quixote wrote:
That is an explicitly wrong use of the word explicitly.

In what whay? The part from BoG says that "such half-races cannot exist" due to "biological incompatibility", and that "dwarves, gnomes, and others just aren't compatible with other races". 'Not compatible' clearly disagrees with "life finds a way", under the presumption that with "life" you're talking about biological processes.

Quixote wrote:
So some couples need magic and others (usually stranger ones) don't.

That's not correct. Everything but human/orc and human/elf needs the help of magic to produce offspring. Not necessarily outside magic like from a spell or magic item, i.e. often the inherent magic in creatures like dragons and outsiders is enough, but it's a magical process, and not a regular biological one.

Quixote wrote:
I think a magical version of in vitro or artificial insemination is rather awkward. Now, a quest for some golden pear-esque device to cure a barren womb or save a newborn from a strange malady, that sounds like the stuff of legend.

I was thinking of a quest to find a rare magic item (possibly potion) or spell that allows normally impossible crossbreeding. The insemination is not the problem, the incompatible chromosomes are, that's what you need magic to help you with.


Back in v.3.5, I invented an accommodation spell as a means to explain how an arcane villain was successfully interbreeding monsters, but I don't think I ever wrote up a full description of the spell. I arbitrarily set it to be an 8th-level sorcerer/wizard spell, so that it could be used to produce pretty much anything you could build with the Amalgam Creature template from Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary.


This is Pathfinder. There are probably one-third-griffins sneaking about out there somewhere.


Given that the trait racial heritage exists as something humans can take. It seems that humans at least, are able to breed with anything that's humanoid.

So, if your character is human then yes. Since it's possible to create such an offspring using the RAW. If you're not human, it probably requires magic and/or DM fiat.


LordKailas wrote:
Given that the trait racial heritage exists as something humans can take. It seems that humans at least, are able to breed with anything that's humanoid.

No. The feat makes no mention that it is the result of an unaided biological hybridisation. Thus, we have to fall back on the existing information, the part in Bastards of Golarion. That "blood of a non-human ancestor [that] flows in your veins" has to be presumed to come from exactly the magical methods the text in BoG talks about.

In Golarion, that is - obviously, this need not apply to your home setting, even if it is very close to Golarion.


Derklord wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
Given that the trait racial heritage exists as something humans can take. It seems that humans at least, are able to breed with anything that's humanoid.

No. The feat makes no mention that it is the result of an unaided biological hybridisation. Thus, we have to fall back on the existing information, the part in Bastards of Golarion. That "blood of a non-human ancestor [that] flows in your veins" has to be presumed to come from exactly the magical methods the text in BoG talks about.

In Golarion, that is - obviously, this need not apply to your home setting, even if it is very close to Golarion.

Racial heritage comes from the APG. Certainly it's up to the DM to determine how that blood ended up in your ancestry, but there's nothing in the text surrounding the feat stating that magic was required. I haven't read BoG so I don't know what's talked about in there.


The Cecaelia monster entry calls them human-octopus hybrids. Since "hybrid" means the result of two different races, breeds, varieties, species, or genera interbreeding, not only should you be able to interbreed human and cecaelia, but octopus are also homonis with which humans can interbreed.

I am joking of course, but feel free to field the idea at your table.

Cecaelia are called out as nomadic in their monster entry, and their young are born incapable of caring for themselves and prevent their nomadic travel. It also says that Cecaelia adapt their appearance somewhat to the humans they live near. Since octopus are precocial, we can assume that we're looking at a more human like birth and childhood.

I think letting the two interbreed would be reasonable.


LordKailas wrote:
I haven't read BoG so I don't know what's talked about in there.

I have quoted the entire section upthread.


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

I recall reading somewhere about Cecaelias as being incompatible with all other races, so you would definitely need some magical help to cross them with standard humanoids. That would suggest that "hybrid" is a description of their appearance, not their origin -- they are no more the offspring of humans mating with octopi than centaurs are of humans mating with horses.


Seems people have a lot of incite and veiws on this.
Thanks a lot for all your input, I'll share these ideas with the GM next session and see what he feels fits best naritively.
Especally as it sets a presidence for any npcs/other players political shananegans.


Derklord wrote:
In what whay?

ex·plic·it·ly

adverb
-in a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.

As there is still plenty of room for confusion and doubt, as can be seen by this thread.

Derklord wrote:
That's not correct. Everything but human/orc and human/elf needs the help of magic to produce offspring. Not necessarily outside magic like from a spell or magic item, i.e. often the inherent magic in creatures like dragons and outsiders is enough, but it's a magical process, and not a regular biological one.

What about magic biology? Or biological magic?

Who's to say that a dragon--which was not made and exists in and is part of the world like any other being--though magical, is not also natural?

I don't really care for trying to argue RAW beyond dice rolls; what's the point? Who can say? There is just so much up for debate, so much undefined.

Tolkien never had to explain why there weren't half-dwarves in his world. And he aknowledged the existence of half-orcs and goblin-men with a nod and then moved on with the narrative. Getting lost in these mundane, banal sorts of details...no thanks.

The truest, best answer out there for the OP is going to be "whatever works best for your story."


Quixote wrote:
As there is still plenty of room for confusion and doubt, as can be seen by this thread.

There is nothing unclear about the phrase "cannot exist". There is nothing unclear about "just aren't compatible with other races".

Also, the only "condusion and doubt" in this thread after I quoted the part from BoG is from LordKailas, who has clearly not actually read my entire first post.

So yes, Desrak's statement, under the presumption that "life" means a non-magical process, is explicitly wrong. I don't get why you are so hung up about that.

Quixote wrote:
What about magic biology? Or biological magic?

If there's magic involved, it's magic. Doesn't matter what phrase you makem up for the process, it only happens because magic is involved. Which makes my statement of "needs the help of magic to produce offspring" true.

Quixote wrote:
I don't really care for trying to argue RAW beyond dice rolls; what's the point? (...) Getting lost in these mundane, banal sorts of details...no thanks.

Then why are you doing it?

Quixote wrote:
The truest, best answer out there for the OP is going to be "whatever works best for your story."

That's really helpful for someone explcitly asking for information!!!

Shadow Lodge

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My problem with Cecelia was that I never got to make one in organized play.


Derklord wrote:
There is nothing unclear about the phrase "cannot exist". There is nothing unclear about "just aren't compatible with other races".

No, but there's heaps left unexplained by the phrase "dwarves, gnomes and other races." Other races? Which ones? Clearly not all of them, or they'd have said that.

Derklord wrote:
I don't get why you are so hung up about that.

Because saying "I disagree, and here's why" is one thing. Saying "you are profoundly, fundamentally and obviously wrong" is another. But maybe I misread your tone.

Derklord wrote:
If there's magic involved, it's magic.

Sure, if that's how you portray magic in your games.

I've always sought to make magic feel mysterious, strange. Magical, if you will. Which means leaving it as vague and undefined as possible. But some people want to nail it down and put it in a little box. Depends on the setting, I guess.
That's one thing I noticed on these forums; Pathfinder has this setting, Golorion or whatever. I've never used it, but some people apparently think it's gospel and any deviation from the writer's original design is blasphemy. Which, I feel, misses the single greatest and most challenging aspect of this hobby entirely.

Derklord wrote:
Then why are you doing it?

In my initial comment? Because it seemed you were trying to be technically correct while using language in a way that could at least be seen as technically not.

Beyond that, I haven't. I've been championing the RAI. The most important part of the game.

Derklord wrote:
That's really helpful for someone explcitly asking for information!!!

I agree.


Quixote wrote:
Because saying "I disagree, and here's why" is one thing. Saying "you are profoundly, fundamentally and obviously wrong" is another. But maybe I misread your tone.

I guess you did. Because not only did I not say anything like "you are profoundly, fundamentally and obviously wrong", I never meant anything like that, either. Basically, I was saying "I have some official information that is about just this topic, and disagrees with you". I used "explicitly", because the information is about exactly the topic of biological hybridisation, and not just something vaguely related that we might draw some implication from.


Derklord wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
I haven't read BoG so I don't know what's talked about in there.
I have quoted the entire section upthread.

I see, I apologize. When I see questions like this and have an answer in mind I try to skim over what's already been said to make sure I'm not just repeating something that someone else has stated. I'll also take care to read anything that's been quoted from a source in case it has an effect on my answer. I missed your quote purely due to the way it was formatted.

Based on what it says. I can agree with the idea that magic is required. However, given things like the feat I mentioned, classes like sorcerer and even races like ifrit. It's obvious that while magic might be required it needn't be very powerful or even deliberate. X fooled around with Y and ended up getting pregnant even though that's not normal. I mean, it could even be the work of a deity or one of their servants deciding to "mess with" some mortals. That's how we end up with oracles after all. Could be something as simple as getting on the radar of a fertility deity, regardless if it was for good or bad reasons.

I'll revise my answer to the OP. Yes, absolutely! It just might require some aid from the local priest and/or wizard, then again it might not depending on whom you've pleased or displeased in terms of deities and/or supernatural entities (eg. fey).


Lamashtu is a fertility deity, you know... She would like you to have this. It may explain some things about Tieflings at the least, and probably some other critters as well.

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