Geb's Laws about Positive Energy.


Blood Lords


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I wish I understood these better. Specifically:

1) The Player's Guide says it's illegal to use positive energy, so does this cover every single thing that has the positive trait (e.g. the Monk Ki spell "wholeness of body") or the Spirit Barbarian's rage damage? It's clearly illegal to cast the spell Heal but are healing potions likewise forbidden? I would assume the bright line standard would be "uses of positive energy that could harm undead."

2) How closely is this monitored? This is clearly a lawful AP, but if players want to skirt around the rules how paranoid should they be about getting caught. Like one of my players wants to play a Paladin of Erecura which is as appropriate as an inappropriate choice could be (since her edicts include "Manipulate dangerous beings and opportunities to your benefit, thrive in hostile conditions" and her portfolio is about espionage.) It's the reanimator's guild that monitors positive energy use, but what sort of forensic methods do they have access to? Like if nobody outside the party ever sees you lay on hands and survives, are you okay?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Geb is a lawful society, but not in an exceedingly legalistic way. Some of the law of the land is very clearly unwritten deference to the clear authority figure present, and authority figures seem willing to make up their own rules as long as it doesn’t interfere in the will of the next highest authority up to Geb himself.

I would not recommend a spirit Barbarian raging in front of Geb, nor would I use a healing potions in front of the ghost king either. Down the line, I think most authority figures would be pretty similar in not wanting to see or hear about it happening, and if it raised a scene, then they would be forced to act.

There are certainly zealots of Urgathoa who are out and about, acting as spies, and will report anything even suspiciously close to positive energy use as far up the chain as they can. You definitely flirt with ranger even by asking such questions publicly.


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As always in terrible regimes, the rule for people with any power is "don't get caught."


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I guess "what's illegal" is "whatever the most powerful local person believes to be illegal" but is there any way to find out "there was positive energy here"? Like is a zombie that is killed with positive energy different than a zombie that is killed with any other kind of energy? Like it's pretty clear from looking at a corpse that if it was burned or not, but you negative/positive/aligned damage something you can figure out from looking at a corpse?

Like since a spirit barbarian can make their rage damage positive, negative, or neither can they plausibly deny that they ever used the positive option and it's hard to impossible to prove otherwise?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think you could cover it up, but if someone can make a medicine check to determine that someone died from fire damage or acid damage, they can probably do the same with positive damage.

Your average person? Probably not, but again, if people see you using it, you could be making trouble for yourself.

Dark Archive

So the book of the undead is more specific than the AP player's guide. It says:

"The dead and the quick have certain enumerated rights,
such as the right to practice a trade, to require witnesses
if accused of a crime, to receive recompense for lost or
damaged property, and so forth. The living and undead
are also restricted from interacting with one another in
specific ways: it’s a crime for one of the dead to feed
upon the quick except in certain circumstances, and the
quick are prohibited from using positive energy at any
time."

So I think that means the spirit instinct barbarian should simply become a ghost (a bit of a meta joke for that instinct). Bing bang boom, now you're undead using positive energy and following the law.

Bonus points for dying by Level 2 to become that ghost.


So would "a quick person using positive energy" be considered as big a deal as "an undead person feeding upon the quick"? Since I'm pretty sure the latter happens, not particularly rarely- after all, who is going to miss some random impoverished person?

But the deck in Geb seems stacked in favor of the undead, so "you ate that mother and her three children" is probably penalized less harshly than "you used a healing potion."


Red Griffyn wrote:

So the book of the undead is more specific than the AP player's guide. It says:

"The dead and the quick have certain enumerated rights,
such as the right to practice a trade, to require witnesses
if accused of a crime, to receive recompense for lost or
damaged property, and so forth. The living and undead
are also restricted from interacting with one another in
specific ways: it’s a crime for one of the dead to feed
upon the quick except in certain circumstances, and the
quick are prohibited from using positive energy at any
time."

So I think that means the spirit instinct barbarian should simply become a ghost (a bit of a meta joke for that instinct). Bing bang boom, now you're undead using positive energy and following the law.

Bonus points for dying by Level 2 to become that ghost.

Can't speak for how that excerpt from BoTU is worded, but the couple other sources I found seem to corroborate with how the BL players guide was worded and its intent. That is; The laws of Geb prohibiting the channeling of positive energy within its borders - which is pretty much how the Inner Sea World Guide words it anyways.


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

Note that elixirs of life and healing potions do not have the positive trait, so they should be OK.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Note that elixirs of life and healing potions do not have the positive trait, so they should be OK.

Uh, healing potions do have the Positive trait?

From Archives of Nethys wrote:

Healing Potion

Item 1+
ConsumableHealingMagicalNecromancyPositivePotion
Source Core Rulebook pg. 563 3.0
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk L
Activate Interact
A healing potion is a vial of a ruby-red liquid that imparts a tingling sensation as the drinker's wounds heal rapidly. When you drink a healing potion, you regain the listed number of Hit Points.


It definitely seems more reasonable to suggest that the law against positive energy is less about "Any ability with the positive trait" and more about using any ability which may, negligently or otherwise, harm an undead creature by attacking its life force. The Heal spell and Spirit instinct both count because they could cause damage to an undead creature, not necessarily based on whether they will or not, but perhaps at least healing potions are permitted because they're not using the positive energy directly, but merely consuming it.

I mean, totalitarian regime would still be a valid counterargument to that, but bear in mind that Geb appears to desire a civilization in which the dead and living can coexist--with the caveat that some of the living coexist as food. I wouldn't think that Geb has any motivation to prevent the living from healing themselves (whether to keep the livestock healthy until feeding time or for the benefit of the free, useful living population), but I could readily see a ban on any kind of ability which deals positive damage, even if it has benign alternative uses.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Note that elixirs of life and healing potions do not have the positive trait, so they should be OK.

Uh, healing potions do have the Positive trait?

From Archives of Nethys wrote:

Healing Potion

Item 1+
ConsumableHealingMagicalNecromancyPositivePotion
Source Core Rulebook pg. 563 3.0
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk L
Activate Interact
A healing potion is a vial of a ruby-red liquid that imparts a tingling sensation as the drinker's wounds heal rapidly. When you drink a healing potion, you regain the listed number of Hit Points.

Was this errata'd from the first printing of the Core Rulebook? I was going off my hardcopy and PDF, which only list the Consumable, Healing, Magical, Necromancy, and Potion traits.

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